More amazing news from the open frontier of technology

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few more of the amazing things going on in the open frontier of technology:

  • USAF experimenting with anti-drone shotgun rounds that would snag a drone
  • One state considers allowing police to put lethal weapons on drones
  • Amazon building 7th and 8th fulfillment center in Southern California
  • Amazon starts collecting sales tax in last four states it doesn’t already do so
  • 2 terrabyte flash drive
  • computers as smart as humans by 2029 instead of 2045?

3/13 – The Drive – U.S. Air Force Buying Special Drone-Snagging Shotgun Shells – USAF has 600 special 12-gauge rounds on order for testing. If the test goes well, they will buy 6,400 more.

The rounds are used for snagging a drone.

Picture a 12-gauge slug sliced into five pieces length-wise and tied together with cable or heavy cord. Put  choke at the end of the barrel to give a slight spin. When leaving the barrel, the five pieces spin apart under centrifugal force, spreading the cable out into a spinning net. When contacting the intruding drone, the cables entangle the propellers of the drone, bringing it down.

These rounds are designed to take down drones weighing up to 55 pounds.

This is just one amongst many tools that are developing in what is now called counter-small unmanned aerial systems, or C-UAS.

USAF is testing these rounds for defense at nuclear sites. Would also be quite useful at prisons.

3/30/17 – Fox 5 New York – Connecticut considering weaponizing drones – The state legislature is considering a bill that would allow police to use lethal weapons on drones. Bill hasn’t passed – it is under consideration.

Currently, North Dakota is only state that allows police to have weapons on drones, but only less-than-lethal.

2/9 – Daily Bulletin – Amazon to open more fulfillment centers in Redlands and Eastvale – astounding.

I was a bit confused when I looked at the headline in the first couple paragraphs. Amazon already has a fulfillment center in Redlands and Eastvale. From what I thought this was somehow talking about two centers that are just ready to open their doors, except I’ve driven by the Eastvale facility off the I-15 and it looks like it’s in operations. Checked the address on a map and the new facility is being about the same area on the same side of the freeway.

The tally of Amazon fulfillment centers in Southern California as of May 2016 were

  • San Bernardino – two fulfillment centers
  • San Bernardino – one sorting facility
  • Rialto
  • Redlands
  • Moreno Valley
  • Eastvale

Two new sites will be:

  • Redlands, second facility, 27517 Pioneer Ave, for larger items, i.e. patio furniture and sports equipment.
  • Eastvale, second facility, 4950 Goodman Way, for smaller customer items, i.e. toys, books, electronics

I think that new facility in Eastvale will be immediately adjacent to the current one, based on publicly available address information. Last time I drove by there was lots of construction right next door.

For some size perspective, the current facility in Eastvale has 74 truck docks on the side facing the freeway (signs show docks 101 through 174).

Each of the new facilities will employ about 1000 people, according to the company

By my count that makes eight fulfillment centers plus one sorting facility on the east end of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Astounding.

3/27/17 – Kelly Phillips Erb at Forbes – Tax-Free No More: Amazon To Begin Collecting Sales Tax Nationwide on April 1 Starting this week, Amazon will start charging sales tax in the last four states where it currently does not do so. At that point Amazon will be collecting sales tax in all 45 states who have sales tax laws.

Consider the strategic planning issues.  Conceding the sales tax issue to the state of California allowed Amazon to set up fulfillment centers inside the state. Thus Amazon cut a day or more off their delivery time. That makes it better for customers and more severely challenging for competitors.

2/27/17 – Not Hard Ware – Kingston 2TB Data Traveler Ultimate GT Now Shipping AS world’s Highest Capacity USB Flash Drive – Yeah, you read that right. Two terabytes.

Not 2 GB.

2 TB.

As in 2,000 gigabytes. 2,000,000 megabytes.

Don’t think many people will be buying it at the staggering price tag $1,625.

However, it is available. A 2 terabyte flash drive.

Very, very cool.

3/16 – Flipboard – Ray Kurzweil predicts computers will be as smart as humans in 12 years – Mr Kurzweil is estimating it will only be in 2029 that computers will have artificial intelligence levels that are comparable to humans. In his past predictions, he estimated that would happen in 2045.

Something to think about if you have not been focused on keeping up with the accelerating change that surrounds us.

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