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Drones inhibit Californian wildfire fighting efforts

Over the last 12 months there's been an explosion in the popularity of drone photography, thanks to companies such as DJI putting both downward pressure on pricing, and making them easy to use for the everyman. But, unfortunately common sense is not as common as the Californian Firefighting Department would like, after users put the lives of firefighters and citizens at risk.

 

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According to CNN, helicopters sent to douse the wildfire that hit the in San Bernardino County over the weekend were grounded by hobbyist drones in the vicinity, which could have casued further disaster. U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Gerrelaine Alcordo pleaded with would-be aerial photographers to "Please stop flying hobby drones in the area... We can't risk the choppers colliding with them. We could have loss of life."

 

With Government's moving slowly to regulate this burgeoning industry, it's stupid beahviour like this that will quicken the pace, and ruin the fun of drone photography for all.

Australians can now see a doctor through video link thanks to Telstra

We've all seen the memes about misdiagnosis through WebMD and now Telstra is offering Australians the ability to see a qualified doctor through the internet, courtesy of ReadyCare.

 

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Free of Government assistance, ReadyCare will not be 'bulk billed' and this collaboration with Medgate will set users back $76 AU per session. Even though the payment is high, Telstra's Dr Amandeep Hansra justifies it through the prevention of virus': "Services like this will decrease the risk of infection because if somebody has got the flu and they're sitting there waiting in the GP's waiting room they're coughing and spreading it; the same goes for hospital emergency departments."

 

Dr Chris Mitchell from the clinical advisory panel agrees, commenting on the swine flu epidemic being a major cause for using this service "dangerous honeypot situation for spreading infectious diseases."

Jawbone sues Fitbit as fitness trackers go to war

As fitness tracking company Fitbit prepares to go public in a $100m offering, rival Jawbone has thrown a spanner in the works by launching legal proceedings against the market leader.

 

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Fitbit has been accused of poaching multiple employees away from Jawbone who took with them trade secrets by downloading IP and attempting to cover over their tracks. For their part, Fitbit denies the claims, saying in a statement "We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession and we intend to vigorously defend against these allegations."

SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg's death confirmed as gym accident

Recently we reported on the unfortunate and unexpected death of SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg, announced by his brother with little information attached.

 

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We've now received word that it occurred whilst exercising at a Mexican resort gym, seeing the 47 year old collapse while running on a treadmill and with the Mexican Government stating that he "cracked his head open." With the discovery made around 6:30pm, Goldberg was found on the ground in a pool of blood as reported by The New York Times.

 

His family has planned a private funeral service in Silicon Valley to commemorate his life.

David Goldberg, cheif executive of SurveyMonkey passes away

David Goldberg, passed away at only 47 suddenly whilst on holiday as confirmed on Facebook by his brother, Robert Goldberg.

 

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Husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Goldberg was was well known for his position as the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and described by his wife as "a true partner" in her book named 'lean in'.

 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also posted of Goldberg's passing, adding "Sheryl is a very strong person and knows we're all thinking of her."

 

His Facebook profile has been changed to 'Remembering Dave Goldberg' and stands as a celebration towards a life well lived.

Stephen Hawking says mankind needs to leave Earth to survive

Often referred to as the 'most intelligent man on Earth', Professor Stephen Hawking has told audiences in Australia that the future of humankind is grim if we don't master interplanetary travel by the end of the millennium.

 

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From his office in Cambridge, Hawking appeared via hologram to sold-out crowds at Sydney's Opera House, telling crowds that he didn't "think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet... We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity". Hawking's comments echo many other respected scientists who urge authorities to prepare for the need to leave our big blue planet - a topic at the heart of the 2014 feature film 'Interstellar'.

 

In a lighter topic, Hawking also fielded a question on the "cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world", to which he replied "Finally, a question about something important" before delivering a response outlining the theory of an alternate universe where the boy band member stayed.

Japan sets new world speed record with Maglev train

The land of the rising sun has long been the envy of the world for their amazing network of public transport infrastructure, headlined by the Shinkansen bullet trains that travel across the country at speeds upwards of 320 km/h. But as we know, Japan isn't one to sit on its technological laurels and now the country has been rewarded with a new world speed record.

 

 

According to BBC News, the countries experimental Maglev train has set a new record of 603 km/h in a stretch of test infrastructure near Mt Fuji. Japan Railway plans to introduce the Maglev service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027, but the tech doesn't come cheap, with estimates the infrastructure could cost as much as $100b, mainly because of the extensive network of new underground tunnels that are required.

 

And to think Australia has to deal mostly with buses. Sigh.

Continue reading 'Japan sets new world speed record with Maglev train' (full post)

Weed delivery just got real thanks to investors like Snoop Dogg

TweakTown has the 420 on what's going on in the weed delivery startup scene, with rapper and businessman Snoop Dogg investing an unknown sum of money into Eaze, a California-based startup that is aiming to deliver weed to your doorstep, all in less than 10 minutes.

 

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The weed delivery startup has raised over $10 million so far from DCM Ventures, Fresh VC, 500 Startups, and Snoop Dogg's Casa Verde Capital. Ease was founded by former Yammer employee Keith McCarty, where the startup quickly raised $1.5 million in seed funding in November, quickly becoming one of the first weed companies to reel in overseas investors. This is mainly because Eaze doesn't just provide the marijuana, but the technology behind the delivery side of things.

 

Since it launched nine months ago, Eaze has made over 30,000 deliveries, and is looking to expand heavily in the next 50 days where it is aiming to add another 50 members to its growing team.

Thinking about living in an internet cafe? These people have no choice

MediaStorm has released an interesting video as part of their three-part series called Japan's Disposable Workers - this edition is about "Net Cafe refugees" and how they are basically forced to live in a cubicle thanks to an extremely low income.

 

 

Reportedly happening since the mid-2000's, numerous internet cafe workers in Japan are forced to use tiny cubicle spaces as their own homes due to their low salary and a lack of other options.

 

Explained as mostly temporary employees, these people have no other choice.

Continue reading 'Thinking about living in an internet cafe? These people have no choice' (full post)

Re-live Mario Kart pain in real life with this remote controlled toy

Sometimes there's nothing more frustrating than being the leader in Mario Kart - Blue shell after blue shell eventually ruining your flow so badly that you somehow end up finishing in fourth place after a half-lap lead. If you're wanting to inflict some pain on your some shins in real life following the loss - JAKKS Pacific has the solution for you.

 

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This Mario Kart 8 replica will not only transform into hover mode, but it will cruise around on all four wheels as controlled by your remote. Unfortunately due to hover-technology being a little behind where we would like - it doesn't actually lift off the ground, but the normal drive version works just fine.

 

The World of Nintendo RC Racer will retail for $100 later in 2015, including a wireless controller with a 30m range. Unfortunately we're told that there are no sound effects, however why not make like the video below and make your own?

 

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