How UPS Delivers Faster Using $8 Headphones and Code That Decides When Dirty Trucks Get Cleaned

With Amazon's imminent plans to launch a low-cost package delivery service, UPS is about to face intense competition from a company with top customer-tracking capabilities and even artificial-intelligence expertise. To tackle it, the company is turning to advances analytics. From a report: In 2016, it began collecting data across its facilities. Today there are about 25 projects based on that data, grouped under the acronym EDGE (which stands for "enhanced dynamic global execution"). The program has sparked changes in everything from how workers place packages inside delivery trucks in the morning to how the vast army of temporary hires that UPS recruits during the busy holiday season are trained. Eventually, data will even dictate when UPS vehicles get washed. The company expects to save $200 million to $300 million a year once the program is fully deployed. [...] Another project tells seasonal workers where to direct the outbound packages that UPS vehicles pick up throughout the day and bring to the company's sorting facilities. UPS hires nearly 100,000 of these workers from November through January. Typically, these people would need to memorize hundreds of zip codes to know where to place parcels, but last winter UPS outfitted about 2,500 of them with scanning devices and $8 Bluetooth headphones that issue one-word directions, such as "Green," "Red," or "Blue." The colors correspond to specific conveyor belts, which then transport the packages to other parts of the building for further processing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The $20 Wyze security camera gets a sequel with improved intelligence and Amazon Echo support

 The team behind WyzeCam is full of surprises. First they introduced a $20 plug and play security camera in October of last year, and now they’re already back with the sequel. The simply titled WyzeCam v2 is here, less than half a year later, bringing with it some pretty welcome updates. The first version of the camera actually scored some pretty decent reviews for all it was able to… Read More

Author Brian Dear talks about the amazing PLATO computing system

 Before Xerox Parc there was PLATO. This amazing computing system came to life in 1960 and by the 1970s was running a number of graphical terminals well before the rise of Xerox PARC and the Alto. This wild little system used some unique hardware and software to create true early educational computing projects and author Brian Dear has written an amazing book on the project. Called Friendly… Read More

Vietnam’s Internet is in Trouble

The World Post: Vietnamese authorities have harped of late on the urgency of fighting cybersecurity threats and "bad and dangerous content." Yet the fight against either "fake news" or misinformation in Vietnam must not be used as a smoke screen for stifling dissenting opinions and curtailing freedom of speech [The link may be paywalled]. Doing so would only further stoke domestic cynicism in a country where the sudden expansion of space for free and open discussion has created a kind of high-pressure catharsis online. Other countries, including democratic states, are also scrambling to rein in toxic information online. But while Germany, for example, specifically targets hate speech and other extremist messaging that directly affects the masses, Vietnamese leaders are more fixated on content deemed detrimental to their own reputation and the survival of the regime. The ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has repeatedly urged Facebook and Google to block "toxic" information that it said slandered and defamed Vietnamese leaders. Google sort of conformed by removing more than such 5,000 clips; Facebook also flagged about 160 anti-government accounts at the behest of the government.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Combining augmented reality, 3D printing and a robotic arm to prototype in real time

 Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA) is a joint project out of MIT and Cornell that brings together a variety of different emerging technologies in an attempt to build a better prototyping machine. Using an augmented reality headset and two controllers, the designer builds a 3D model using a CAD (computer-aided design) program. A robotic arm then goes to work constructing a skeletal model using… Read More

Algorithmic zoning could be the answer to cheaper housing and more equitable cities

 Zoning codes are a century old, and the lifeblood of all major U.S. cities (except arguably Houston), determining what can be built where and what activities can take place in a neighborhood. Yet as their complexity has risen, academics are increasingly exploring whether their rule-based systems for rationalizing urban space could be replaced with dynamic systems based on blockchains,… Read More

Life sciences startup Avro aims to deliver drugs to children and the elderly through skin patches

 Avro, a life sciences startup in Y Combinator’s current batch, is banking on a method to deliver medications to populations unable to swallow or chew — it will administer them through the skin. Starting with allergy medications, the startup is developing skin patches that release drugs commonly used in seasonal allergies for children. The patches can deliver a variety of drugs. Read More

Flight Sim Company Embeds Malware To Steal Pirates’ Passwords

TorrentFreak: Flight sim company FlightSimLabs has found itself in trouble after installing malware onto users' machines as an anti-piracy measure. Code embedded in its A320-X module contained a mechanism for detecting 'pirate' serial numbers distributed on The Pirate Bay, which then triggered a process through which the company stole usernames and passwords from users' web browsers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hulu’s weekend outage affected some users trying to watch Olympics, NBA All-Star game

 Hulu is still recovering to a hit to its reputation due to a live streaming outage that affected some number of subscribers during the Super Bowl. But over the weekend, the company’s live TV service experienced another outage, this time leading to login and connection issues. The issues prevented users from watching other high-profile sporting events, including the Olympics and the… Read More