This autonomous tracking drone is frighteningly capable

April 5, 2021


This is a video putting Skydio's Skydio 2 autonomous tracking drone to the test and it works frighteningly well. First they track a person running through the woods, then a car driving under a bridge, then test out it's electromagnetic shielding. And the results? Well turns out this is the perfect stalking tool because it was able to keep up with everything they were doing.

The Skydio 2 uses six 200 degree 4k color cameras to get 45 megapixels of visual sensing which it computes with AI to help navigate. Obviously the intended use case is for personal filming of sports and activities, but if you decided to just aim it on a subject I'm not entirely sure what they could do to escape aside from shooting it down. The good news is that it's still as loud as every other drone so I'd like to see a stalker actually try and use it. It's hard to be creepy and stealthy when there's a flying vacuum cleaner following you around.

Keep going for the full test video as well as Skydio's own promo video. The Skydio 2 costs $999 and you can reserve them here.

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Man finds 15,000 bees in car after grocery shopping for 10 minutes

April 2, 2021


A man was shopping at Albertsons and when he got back to his car it had been invaded by 15,000 bees:

He had just finished grocery shopping, but a New Mexico man got much more than he bargained for when he returned to his car in the store's parking lot: A swarm of 15,000 honey bees had taken over the back seat.

The man, whose name was not released, had left a window down in a Buick while he made a 10-minute stop at an Albertsons supermarket on Sunday afternoon in Las Cruces, N.M., the authorities said.

That isn't a stock image of a beehive superimposed onto a stock image of a car. That's the guy's actual car after he finished shopping. That's what he came back to. He ended up calling 911 and an off-duty firefighter relocated the hive, though I personally would've skipped the phone call and just accepted my new life as a bee chauffeur.

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Side-by-side comparison of Whedon and Snyder cut of Superman fighting the Justice League

April 1, 2021


YouTuber thomas is insane made this side-by-side comparison of the theatrical and Snyder cut of Justice League of the scene where Superman fights the Justice League. Not only is the color grading totally different, but Joss Whedon added in a bunch of "comedic" inserts with his reshoots. The biggest difference is probably that Superman doesn't say a single word in the Snyder cut whereas Whedon decided to treat us to a bunch of reshoots so we could see their attempts at digitally removing Henry Cavill's facial hair which, honestly, might be the funniest parts of the whole movie.

Anyways, if you haven't watched the four hour Snyder cut what are you even doing? Having a life? Doing things? No thanks. I'd rather spend four hours watching Zack Snyder indulge himself followed by another four hours of him doing it again in black and white. That's right, if you weren't aware there's also a black and white version of the Snyder cut that's the exact same movie but in black and white and called Zack Snyder's Justice League: Justice Is Gray. Really rolls off the tongue.

Keep going for the full side-by-side comparison.

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Simone Giertz designed a chair for needy pets

March 31, 2021


YouTuber Simone Giertz designed and built a chair for needy pets.

My dog would really prefer it if I turned myself into a dog bed. Since I'm not too keen on that project, I built her a chair instead.

It's basically a normal chair but with steps built in and some drawers for treats. And it's longer. And there's a rail. Okay so it's not a normal chair at all. Although I've found a better solution for myself: don't have a pet that loves me so I can sit in my chair all by myself. All by my lonesome, lonesome, self.

Keep going for the full build.

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Using A4 metric paper to explain everything in the Universe

March 30, 2021


This is a video by CGP Grey using the proportions of A4 metric paper to explain everything in the Universe. Seriously. It's clearly inspired by the classic Eames video Powers of Ten (which also zoomed in and out but using powers of ten instead of, uh, paper) but it stands on its own. It's inspiring and informative and premised on the fact that metric paper folds in half to the same ratio. He basically tries to explain the entire Universe but the paper thing might actually be the most impressive fact presented.

Keep going for the full video as well as the original Powers of Ten.

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Boston Dynamics has a new robot named Stretch

March 29, 2021


Boston Dynamics has introduced a new robot named Stretch designed for automating box moving tasks in warehouses and distribution centers.

Stretch's mobile base allows it to go to where repetitive box lifting is required - unloading trucks, building pallets of boxes and order building. Stretch makes warehouse operations more efficient and safer for workers.

I'm glad Boston Dynamics is finally making a robot that might actually be profitable, but this is probably their most terrifying robot yet. As best as I can tell, their plan is to replace every worker and force them to live on the streets so that they can send in their extermination robots to finish the job.

Keep going for the full introduction video.

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A Falcon 9 rocket made an uncontrolled re-entry last night

March 26, 2021


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched almost a month ago made an uncontrolled re-entry last night and a bunch of people got footage of it. Normally the rocket's second stage relights and pushes it down so that it re-enters Earth's atmosphere into the Pacific Ocean. However, there wasn't enough propellant after this launch, leaving the second stage orbiting for three weeks until it was pulled into Earth's upper atmosphere.

This was, however, simply the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage--which weighs about four metric tons unfueled--breaking apart in the atmosphere and burning up. It is likely that the second stage completely broke apart over the Rocky Mountains near the United States and Canadian border.

If you didn't know it was a rocket burning up in the atmosphere you might think it was an alien invasion. There's actually nothing to say it's not an alien invasion except for Elon Musk's word. And for all we know he is an alien so, I mean, this is all pretty convenient. Guess I'll see you guys in the alien zoos once the invasion is complete?

Keep going for some more videos.

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LEGO is making a NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set

March 25, 2021


LEGO is releasing a 2,354-piece replica of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery. It's made to 1:70 the scale of the actual spacecraft and also includes a replica of the Hubble Telescope.

The new LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, which was developed in collaboration with NASA, is a complex 2,354 piece build that pays homage to this pioneering moment in space history and marks the 40th anniversary since the first Space Shuttle flight on 12th of April 1981. The set, aimed at adults, features the Discovery orbiter with functional landing gear, payload bay doors, elevons and rudder; and the famous Hubble Space Telescope, which can either be folded and contained within the payload bay or expanded with solar array and displayed separately. Both also come with a display plaque which features key data from the mission.

To help launch the product they teamed up with former NASA Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan (the first American woman to walk in space) who was part of the original NASA STS-31 mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. The product announcement features a nice video of her going through the LEGO set and by golly am I sold on this. Although I keep throwing money at my monitor and nothing seems to be happening. Just *continues to throw money at monitor* take it already.

Keep going for some more shots as well as the launch video. The set is scheduled to release April 1, 2021 for $200.

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