Newscientist reports on a self-healing material that pinpoints damage. There is an outer skin, a metallic mesh layer, and a liquid epoxy layer. When the outer layers are punctured, the epoxy flows forth and seals the hole. You probably are thinking what I thought, "Cool, this would be perfect for a robot!" Actually, the epoxy only hardens in the presence of ultraviolet light, and the damage is detectable only by a wand which induces a current in the mesh, except where broken. So, it’s less than ideal for a robot, but would be excellent for a spacecraft.
Teamwork! Scientists have programmed miniature drones to work together . Now all we need to do is to scale this up to full size and set up a mesh-type network for them to communicate. What would be a good name? Let’s see, it’s a network of unmanned aerial vehicles, so, hmm… UAVNet? No. AerialNet? No. What’s that thing they fly around in? The sky! We’ll call it SkyNet! Oh, crap…
The San Diego Reader has an amusing article in which the author recalls being pestered by beggars, survey takers, and the religious. She, not suprisingly, hates it. I hate it, too. Why should I give my time and/or money to you, you random person on the street? Because I have it and you want it is not a sufficient reason. What’s in it for me? If you say it’s a magzine subscription, I’ll kill you. Not literally, of course, only in my heart.
The Web and the real world are not so different from one another. Those people that stand on street corners and twirl brightly colored signs advertising condominiums and jewelry stores are like animated GIF’s. Distracting, maybe annoying, but bearable. The people that sit on the median with poor-me stories written on cardboard are like maudlin chain letters that plead for you to pass them on. Worst are the wandering salesmen for various organized belief systems and other products. They are like pop-up ads that won’t go away. Someone should invent a real-world pop-up blocker, and throw in a spam filter while they’re at it.