- One of the things that I’m going to be keeping an eye on this year is the legal status of civilian drone use. The reason I bring this up is that Sea Shepherd (the vigilante anti-whaling group) has received permission from the Australian government to use drones to track the Japanese whaling fleet.
- Speaking of civvie surveillance drones… here are some toy versions for making mischief.
- And, lest we forget, there are certain improvements that have to be made for drones to work in busy airspaces and around cities. Like avoiding other aircraft and knowing what spots are safe for an emergency landing.
- Smart traffic lights – they’re a dream for planners and commuters, and a nightmare for people who deal with them when they glitch. Still, maybe if they have something that tells them what’s at the intersection, that’ll help a little.
- A new pathway for cybercrime (and possibly assassination): hacking your car. Seriously, if you hook a car up to the internet, this will happen. Who, when, where, why, and how aren’t possible to determine, but it will happen. Really doesn’t make me look forward to buying my next car…
- Sleeves that track your arm movements, another way for people and companies to improve productivity.
- Connect your home appliances, thermostat, power and water supply, etc, to a single electrical monitoring system, which you can access and control via the internet. This is a smart home, and we’re likely to see more and better in the coming decade or two.
- Oh hey, I was talking about the US military’s budget plans yesterday, and here they are in the news: Wired and DefenseTech have articles on Obama’s and Panetta’s plans for the military. They were also on the network news quite a bit, too.
- There’s been some chatter on the blogosphere about the USAF X-37B spaceplane spying on China’s space station/lab. Not sure if it’s legit concerns or just a bit of noise that lacks real substance.
- An electronic contact lens that measures blood sugar and relays the information wirelessly. Useful news for all the diabetics out there.
- Chinese airlines have decided that they aren’t going to pay the EU’s airline emissions tax. We’ll see if this results in any meaningful penalties.
- Plug-and-play household-scale solar panels, with an inverter and power outlet built in. You can literally plug an extension cord into one and power a device with it. Now if they’d only keep going down in price…
- Interesting. Japan has started making plans for a robotic farm in areas hit by the tsunami last year. I might be surprised, but this is Japan. You kind of start to expect them to come up with interesting new robotics ideas.
- The US is experiencing a snow drought this winter. What sort of effects can we expect from this?
- Yet another “Weirdest title of the day” award: Can Mountain Dew Really Dissolve a Mouse Carcass?