Top Stories for the Week of July 26, 2017

  • From Category5 Technology TV S10E45
  • July 26, 2017
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday July 26, 2017

The world's first autonomous transport ship plans to set out on its voyages next year.

A crewless ship to be christened the Yara Birkeland is expected to start sailing in 2018, initially delivering fertilizer along a 37-mile route in southern Norway.

The electric-powered ship will be miniscule by modern standards, with the capacity for 100 to 150 shipping containers. But its arrival could be a huge turning point for the global shipping industry.

The ship, according to the Wall Street Journal, will cost $25 million, about three times as much as a conventional ship of similar size, but will save up to 90% in annual operating costs by eliminating both fuel and crew.

Though it is projected to launch next year, it will transition to fully autonomous operation only in stages. It will first be operated by an onboard crew, then remotely, before becoming fully self-guided by 2020. That is around the time rules governing autonomous ships are expected to be in place.


Sent to us by: Jeff Weston

A Swedish Rail Firm has Approved "Trainy McTrainface" As The Name Of Their Train Following an Online Poll

Those disappointed when Britain rejected the name Boaty McBoatface for a polar research ship should find joy in the name of a new train in Sweden.

After a public vote, a Swedish rail operator has vowed to name one of its trains Trainy McTrainface. The Guardian reports: Trainy McTrainface won 49% of the votes in the naming competition conducted online by train operator MTR Express and Swedish newspaper Metro, beating choices such as Hakan, Miriam and Poseidon.

The train will run between the Swedish capital Stockholm and Gothenburg, the country's second-biggest city.

MTR said another train had been voted to be named "Glenn," an apparent tribute to an IFK Gothenburg soccer team of the 1980s that featured four players of that name -- uncommon in Sweden -- including Glenn Hysen, who later captained Liverpool.


Sent to us by: The Albuquerque Turque

Google is unleashing 20 million lab-created sterile male mosquitos on a city, and says this is a good thing and will help control the mosquito population.

Google’s healthcare arm Verily announced just before the weekend it will release twenty million sterile male mosquitoes into the wild, in Fresno County, California.

Don't panic: it's to test fighting diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

The Debug Project will be the biggest US study to set free mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia, a common reproductive parasite.

The idea is that the infected mosquitoes will try to mate with wild females, but the eggs laid will not hatch, and the mosquito population will decline over time.

A million mosquitoes will be released over a 20-week period.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, British magazine "KODI" is directing readers to copyright-infringing software.

According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, British magazine "KODI" is directing readers to copyright-infringing software.

Kodi is a free, legal media player for computers - but software add-ons can make it possible to download pirated content.

The Complete Guide to Kodi magazine instructs readers on how to download such add-ons.

Dennis Publishing has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

The magazine is available at a number of retailers including WH Smith, Waterstones and Amazon. It was spotted on sale by cyber-security researcher Kevin Beaumont.

It repeatedly warns readers of the dangers of accessing pirated content online, but one article lists a series of software packages alongside screenshots promoting "free TV", "popular albums" and "world sport".

"Check before you stream and use them at your own risk," the guide says, before adding that readers should stay "on the right side of the law".

Two of the add-ons listed in the article are on a banned list maintained by the Kodi developers.

Nate Betzen, Kodi's community and project manager says, "We don't support piracy add-ons and so we don't like the idea of someone selling a magazine encouraging people to use them".

WH Smith declined to comment but it is understood that the newsagent has no plans to stop sales of the magazine.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Updated drone regulations in Canada make it legal to fly again.

Transport Canada has issued an update in recent weeks to its interim order governing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, which include consumer and professional drones.

The previous order, which went into effect on March 16, imposed harsh restrictions on when and where Canadians could operate their drones, effectively grounding their aircraft in most populated areas of the country.

The rules surprised many, including amateur drone enthusiasts, professionals, and industry players. They also prompted a strong backlash from drone owners, who signed online petitions, wrote to the Minister of Transport as well as their local MPs, and joined an online group called NODE, created by Chinese drone company, DJI, for the purpose of making their voices heard.

These efforts were apparently successful. The new rules adjust the limitations imposed by the March announcement.

Earlier in the month, at the Canadian launch of its new drone, the DJI Spark, Adam Lisberg, DJI’s corporate communication director for North America, expressed frustration with Transport Canada’s rules, noting that they would do nothing to prevent drone pilots from flying recklessly if that’s what they were determined to do, while they penalized the “overwhelming majority” of drone pilots who fly safely.


Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


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