Links, 1/1/12

Happy New Years!  Hope you all had a fun and safe evening.  Unsurprisingly, there isn’t much going on on the web this weekend, so I’ve collapsed yesterday’s and today’s posts together.



  • We’re going to see more and more drone stories this year.  The first one is on one that’s been kitted out with transmission equipment, enabling it to act as a wireless hotspot or cell-phone tower – which lets the controllers listen in on what it’s transmitting.  Something to think about, when you hear a buzzing from overhead.
  • sUAS gets into the 2012 predictions game, talking about the market and regulatory environment for UAVs.
  • How does a robot walk in the sand?  Right now, they don’t – but that may change sometime soon.
  • Japan’s finished making an anti-hacking virus.  How effective it will prove to be, and how legal it is given their laws against making viruses, we’ll see.





  • A man in China just died from bird flu, the first fatality to the disease in China in 18 months.
  • One of the consequences of a rapidly greying population in much of the rich world is that robots are coming into their own as therapy tools.  Japan is the leader in this kind of tech, but now Singapore’s getting into the game, quite literally – they’re using robot-assisted, gamified therapies to help grey-beards recover from injuries and illness.



  • If you’ve been paying attention to the most recent attempt to market a cold fusion system (I know, the phrase “cold fusion” makes me want to laugh, too) then this latest bit should be interesting:  Rossi (the guy peddling the ECAT low-temperature fusion catalyst that’s been the cause of all the hoofrah) has a new competitor, a Greek company by the name of Dekfalion, which is marketing its own cold fusion plant design, dubbed Hyperion.  I’m unsure whether to think the cold fusion thing is for real and something that will open up a new chapter in energy generation, or if I should grab the popcorn and wait for the fireworks as the scam is revealed.
  • Fisker, an EV manufacturer, just recalled some of its Karma luxury sedans because of a faulty battery installation, which could result in a fire.  Oh, joy, more reasons for people to be nervous about the batteries in these things.



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