Convenience stores, cornershops, newsagents, call them what you will — nearly 5,000 local businesses in the UK have now been signed up by Amazon to receive and look after its customers’ precious packages. The “Collect+” scheme is currently on trial but The Telegraph reports it’s expected to roll out across Britain, where it’ll add one more delivery option for those who — for their own strange and inexplicable reasons — are rarely at home between 9am and 5pm.
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
Starting next month, around one thousand frontline personnel in Afghanistan will begin testing the Soldier Body Unit, a sensor kit for recording the effects of explosions on the human body. While that’s not the most pleasant of subjects, the blast sensors have been rushed out to collect as much data as possible before soldiers head home in 2014. The US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which developed the sensors, hope to gather info on concussions and traumatic brain injuries to improve aftercare. This will also be used at source to stop super-soldiers heading back out after a concussion and increasing the probability of an even worse injury. Further sensors will be carried on military vehicles, to help measure the effects of IED blasts on passengers. Adding two pounds in extra equipment probably won’t make the Soldier Body Unit too popular, but it’s thought the kit could weigh in at half a pound once it’s been refined.
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
As a publicity stunt for the March 6th release of the game, Mass Effect 3 publisher Electronic Arts will use weather balloons to launch early copies of the game high, high into the sky (but not actually space) next week and encourage gamers to track the packages via GPS and find them when they land. Unfortunately, the launches will only take place in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris, so if you live anywhere else you’ll have to pack up your bags and move to one of those cities by next week. “Or I could just visit.” Or you could just wait till March 6th like a normal person.
‘Mass Effect 3′ becomes true space oddity [usatoday] and Official Mass Effect Site (where the tracking will happen)
Thanks to Brian and Wilmersama, who have every intention of finding out where they’re launching the balloons from and shooting them down with arrows. I like the way you think.Related Posts:
Developers, start your engines. T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II was the slowest in the family to get the official kernel source. It’s here now, though, arriving on Sammy’s site a whole four days after the phone’s release; this isn’t an eternity by any means, but its counterparts had the source available no later than the actual launch date. No matter the reason, make your way to Samsung’s official site to dive in and make some magic happen.
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San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge looks much like this right now, but come September 2012 the last of those yellow “cash” signs are scheduled to wink out. That’s because the bridge’s board of directors voted 13-2 to approve a $ 2.9 million plan that will replace the bridge’s 30 full-time human tolltakers with a fully electronic system. Don’t say you didn’t see this coming, folks. The existing FasTrak subscription RFID transponder system will continue to work, and there will be a camera-based backup as well — if you pass through the bridge without a FasTrak pass, bridge-mounted cameras will take a picture of your license plate and you’ll get a $ 6 bill in the mail. Planners estimate the move will save about $ 19.2 million by the year 2020 in salaries and benefits that would otherwise go to the friendly meatbags who work there now, and should things stay on track the revamped system will debut in February of next year.
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Magic Jack, the broadband telephony service famous for its kooky late-night TV adverts, is in a bit of hot water in Florida. A county there wants to know why Magic Jack hasn’t collected 911 fees from its customers, and has taken the company to court to demand payment. Magic Jack, of course, claims that it shouldn’t have to collect such fees, even if its customers have the same access to 911 services as other, paying citizens.
Kanawha County says that Magic Jack has refused to collect 911 fees from its customers despite being, in its opinion, no different than any other telephone service. (Telephony companies collect nominal fees, mostly around the $ 3 per month range, then send this money off to the county, with which it uses to pay for 911 services—a roundabout tax, if you will.) Magic Jack says it shouldn’t have to collect the fee because of a technicality: it’s not a telephony company, per se, but rather a company that just so happens to provide a separate incoming and outgoing telephone service.
When Kanawha Count’s commissioner took issue with that argument—one can’t subscribe to Magic Jack’s outgoing service while subscribing to a different company’s incoming service, for example—Magic Jack quickly broke out the ol’ “no comment” defense.
Most readers should be familiar with Magic Jack.
For $ 39.95 per year users get unlimited local and long-distance calls, along with call waiting, voicemail, Caller ID, and so on. It all runs through a USB dongle that plugs into your PC or Mac.
It’s unclear why Magic Jack would be so reluctant to collect the 911 fees, as it’s not like the company itself would have to pay; it’d merely collect the fees from its users, than pass them onto the county. Magic Jack would have to raise the price of its service, sure, but it’s hardly an astronomical fee the county is looking for here.
Further hearings on the matter are scheduled for March 1 and 2.
Urbanizer iPhone Application Uses Exalead CloudView to Collect Customer Sentiment Data SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – June 2, 2010) – Exalead, a global leader of information access solutions and search-based applications for the enterprise and on the web, today announced that Yellow Pages Group (YPG), Canada’s largest performance media and marketing solutions company, selected and deployed Exalead Cloudview to collect customer sentiment information for YPG’s Urbanizer iPhone …Related Posts: