Ford’s leading the way to modern instrument panels

I want to give Ford credit for its instrument cluster design for the new F-150, which is boldly non-skeuomorphic.

On the off-chance you’re not a pedantic little numbnuts like myself, you may want a quick definition of skeuomorphic. Usually, this word just refers to digital interfaces that look like real-world things, often needlessly.

Now, some skeuomorphism really isn’t bad, as it helps us understand how to use things via analogies we understand in the real world, but it can also become a crutch that actually restricts the potential of what new technologies can offer.

Some car instrument panels are excellent examples of this. Screen-based displays instead of conventional mechanical instruments could have meant that entirely new and better methods for displaying information could have been developed, yet nearly every carmaker has so far insisted on just re-creating the look and behavior of physical gauges…

Bravo. Guaranteed plenty of folks will whine about being dragged into modern tech. Buy a used car! Keep buying older. Claim to be a collector. Get a second job!

This coronavirus-killing robot may start working nights in your local supermarket

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory worked with Ava Robotics — a company that focuses on creating telepresence robots — and the Greater Boston Food Bank to develop a robot that uses a custom UV-C light to disinfect surfaces and neutralize aerosolized forms of the coronavirus…

While household cleaning solutions are able to reduce the spread of the virus, an autonomous robot capable of quickly and efficiently cleaning large areas such as warehouses or grocery stores could prove to be essential. The researchers used the base of one of Ava Robotics’ mobile robots and modified it with a custom UV-C light fixture.

UV-C light has proven effective at killing bacteria and viruses on surfaces, the researchers said. However, it is harmful to humans. The robot was built to be autonomous without the need for any direct supervision or interaction.

The robot sanitized a 4000 square foot warehouse in a half-hour.

Solar Eclipse this Sunday the 21st


JAXA/ISAS/NAOJ

An annular solar eclipse (like this one imaged by JAXA’s Hinode spacecraft in 2010) happens when the Moon is at its furthest distance from Earth and passes in between the Earth and the Sun, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire,” or annulus, around the Moon. This kind of eclipse will happen this Sunday, 21 June. The ring of fire will be visible from central Africa and through Asia. Many other locations from southeastern Europe to the northern tips of Australia will experience a partial annular eclipse. Elsewhere, you can watch a live stream of the eclipse. Learn more about annular solar eclipses.

We won’t get to see this live in North America; but, click the 2nd link and you’ll find directions for a live feed on that page.

Interstellar traveller is ‘dark hydrogen iceberg,’

Three years after a mysterious cigar-shaped interstellar object was spotted hurtling through our solar system, sparking questions of alien spaceships and solar sails, a new study suggests this visitor may actually have been the cosmic version of a massive iceberg, formed in the birthplace of stars out of frozen hydrogen gas.

And it could be one of many

‘Oumuamua was our first visitor from a different solar system, discovered while already on its way out of our system, and it defied the known rules for asteroids and comets. Its oblong shape was interesting, but most baffling was its speed, which was faster than should’ve been possible if it was being propelled through space purely by gravitational force…

“It’s a frozen iceberg of molecular hydrogen,” Darryl Seligman, one of the paper’s authors, told UChigcao News. “This explains every mysterious property about it.

Hydrogen gas is “the dominant constituent of Giant Molecular Clouds,” which are enormous clusters of gases spanning hundreds of light years in size.

The densest parts of these clouds are where stars are born. The temperatures within these dense cores can also be some of the coldest in the universe. The paper suggests that “macroscopic bodies composed of frozen molecular hydrogen gas that are not incorporated into stellar systems,” are then “released into low-velocity dispersion galactic orbits,” meaning that objects such as ‘Oumuamua are some of the leftovers from the process of creating stars.

And, now that we’re capable of seeing and tracking an interstellar body like this – we’ll be watching out for more.

Levitated timepiece – and a new benchmark

A new mechanical “clock” has been created by an international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of St Andrews, which could test the fundamental physics of gravity.

The levitated mechanical oscillator, created within a glass sphere the size of a single blood cell, was manipulated by light by the team to create an ultra-sensitive sensor which could measure temperature and pressure changes at the nanoscale.

This highly accurate clock could potentially detect gravity at smaller scales than previously possible and find potential evidence for deviations from Newton’s laws of gravity calling for new physics beyond what we currently understand…If this was actually a clock, it would be so accurate that it would only have lost half-a-millionth of a second in a whole day.”

I winder if Jeff Bezos knows about this clock, yet? Bet he’d want it for his collection, his research.

“Wave”

The gangnam-gu area in Seoul is the Korean version of Times Square and it’s the country’s first free display outdoor advertisement zone. Here, mega-size LED screen displays have been installed on the walls of large buildings which create an electronic display for 18 hours a day. one of the most notorious of these buildings is the COEX artium, also known as the mecca of K-pop. featuring an electronic display measuring 80 meters in width and 23 meters in height, this massive screen wraps the building and showcases Korean wave contents, those related to south korean culture gaining global popularity since the 1990s. for this screen, local based d’strict has created an anamorphic illusion projection properly titled wave.

Way cool!