Ever Knocked Down the Wrong House Thanks to Google Maps?

We’ve all used Google maps and then had to guess the last few metres as the marker shows us the wrong location. It’s always a pain but, at least, it wasn’t responsible for knocking down your house. That’s correct, the wrong house was demolished thanks to the google maps marker showing the incorrect house. Whoops.

The address in question is 7601 Calypso Dr., which Google Maps also lists as 7601 Cousteau Dr. only the truth is that the second address is actually a block away. Cousteau Dr. was the address that should have been demolished after it was damaged by a tornado only things didn’t go exactly to plan.

The original Google Maps incorrectly pointing to the wrong address

Lindsey Diaz is the owner of one of the houses (the torn down building was, in fact, a duplex owned by two people) on Calypso Drive that was “mistakenly” taken down, with an employee for Billy L. Nabors Demolition going so far as to send her a screenshot of what Google Maps displays. No apology has been issued yet with the company “investigating” the situation, a mistake they rectified when they went to the next block and tore down the correct house.

The duplex that was torn down was in fact still structurally sound and the owners of the property had filed paperwork to start repairs on the property. I guess that whole in the ceiling can now wait as they wait to see how much support they get in rebuilding their homes. It should be noted that Google now shows the correct location for the building, sadly just a little too late to help the demolition team.

Instant Shelters For When Times Are Bad

We’ve all seen the news, sometimes they just seem to be filled with doom and gloom telling us how climate change is going to flood our homes and the beaches that we love to spread our toes on when it gets sunny. To combat this threat technology has created some amazing little shelters, designed to be deployed in just a moment to help protect people when their most vulnerable from the environment.

The Better Shelter

The Better Shelter is designed as a “modular” housing system. With four windows and a lockable door, the concept behind the shelter is to be quickly deployed to create a safe and secure environment for people running from people or the weather. Solar panels are installed on the roof in order to power the lights within the structure, lasting four hours when at full charge, or less if you use the USB port included to charge your much needed mobile phone.

Reaction Housing Exo Shelter

Designed as a home away from home, the Exo is built for the simple purpose of providing shelter. With only two pieces to clip together, once the floor is met by the shell and plugged into a power system you have four fold down beds with a variety of controls including LED lighting and climate controls. Worried about people entering your Exo? Worry not as the doors is locked and unlocked through NFC bracelets and key cards.

Daiwa Lease: EDV-01

Daiwa Lease is known for creating structures but the EDV-01 is something a little different. Designed to be no bigger than a shipping container during transport, a press of a button releases the hydraulic lift that raises the outer shell to create a two-tiered structure in less than half a minute. Designed for quick deployment where needed, the EDV-01 deploys to contain everything you might need. With showers, toilets, and a kitchenette you can enjoy modern comforts with the second floor being dedicated to your personal space. Solar panels on the roof mean that these temporary structures can be used as offices or shelters, helping not only shelter people but create a base where they can recover.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Neighbours Unhappy Again!

Mark Zuckerberg is not really ingratiating himself with his neighbours within the local but admittedly expensive community that is Liberty Hill in San Francisco. The extensive construction and the accompanied noise and disruption has not been a favourite with the fellow residents and now a parking dispute has again caused friction between the Facebook founder and his neighbours.

The aforementioned parking dispute involves Mark Zuckerberg’s security team “permanently’ and illegally occupying desirable parking spots in the area with two silver SUVs”. Below is an image to illustrate the alleged problem that has annoyed the fellow residents, as you can see, these vehicles are stationed next to the social network founder’s house.

It has annoyed the community to such an extent that it has distributed a letter to residents urging them to “complain to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) about the vehicles and also contact Zuckerberg’s residential security manager, Tim Wenzel” Below is an image of the letter that was obtained.

In response, a spokesperson for Mark Zuckerberg states “The security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local parking laws. The team strives to be sensitive to neighbour’s concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”

Disputes, in this case, can be perceived as rather silly with the potential to escalate out of all proportion, I think this has evolved from allegations in 2014 of persistent and noisy construction work followed by further allegations involving an apparent restraining order which had reportedly been filed by Mr Zuckerberg’s security team against a 62-year-old local man, leaving him temporary homeless in 2015. I do think there is also a perception that “rich” individuals do not respect the social etiquette within the community, but rather zoom in and develop an area without any consideration for residents.

It will be interesting to see if there are any further reports of alienation between both parties in the future.

Image courtesy of dnaindia

Amazon Fire Can Talk to Your Home and Listen to You

It would seem Amazon keep expanding on their technology, from the Kindle to the Echo, they produce more and more technologies that we now feel we need, that we never even considered before. The next one has a simple and nice name, Alexa, and she’s looking forward to helping you get your house straight.

Alexa is available on Amazon Fire devices running version 5 (and Fire TV Sticks running Fire OS 5.0.3) and higher. Alexa is a system designed to allow you to voice control your connected home systems.

From playing your prime music stations to playing your music collection, even your audible books. You can even re-order items, so remember that pet food and supplements you order? Why not re-order more in a single sentence?

You can even use Alexa to create your shopping lists, check your calendar or toggle your home devices.

Imagine sitting down to watch a movie and realising the lights are a little too bright, one sentence later the lights have dimmed to that of a cinema and with another sentence, your movie begins and you enjoy your popcorn in comfort having never left your seat.

At £79.99 for the TV box or £34.99 for the Fire TV Stick, you could soon be streaming all your favourite videos and streaming services without ever having to leave your chair. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Minecraft Streamer Purchases House For $4.5 Million

Many human beings outside the gaming stratosphere often make derisive comments and perceive the art-form as a waste of time or childish. Clearly, these ignorant comments are absolutely absurd but becoming less common given the financial success of many gaming personalities. For example, YouTube personality Jordan “CaptainSparklez” Maron has recently purchased a property for an eye-watering $4.5 million. His channel contains a great deal of Minecraft videos and has amassed over 8.8 million subscribers. Interestingly, the house is within walking distance of Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft.

It’s unbelievable to think making gaming videos on the internet can result in such a vast sum of money. Whether the financial freedom comes from ad-revenue, sponsorship or a combination of both, you have to acknowledge the monetary success of huge YouTubers. Some critics might argue it’s not a “real job” but I’m not aware of anything else which pays so well if you’re successful or lucky enough. Clearly, Minecraft’s popularity revolves around video-content and user-created videos. Despite this unreal situation, I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as a YouTube celebrity given the over-saturated market. We’re almost at a stage where everyone is producing let’s play content which makes it impossible to stand out.

Who is your favourite YouTube personality?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information. 

SkySphere – The 360 Solar Powered Tree House


Who didn’t want a tree house when they were young? Who still doesn’t love the idea of being able to climb into a small house and enjoy a view while you take a break from the rush of everyday life? Seems like you may have the opportunity to enjoy half of that dream soon enough.

When Jono Williams wanted a room with a view the classic treehouse came to mind, but with a twist. Rather than rely on a tree, why not build something which could go anywhere? So the SkySphere was created from his background as a graphics designer and plastics engineer.

The initial SkySphere is located in New Zealand and features a ladder (like any good tree house inspired design) to access the main features of the building.

So its late at night and you want to do something, the SkySphere comes with a set of colour changing lights, perfect for anything from a romantic meal to a late night of gaming with friends. What could help with those dreams? Well maybe the high-speed internet accessibility, meaning this tree house has gone full techno, including a wireless surround sound system and fingerprint-based entry system (you can always ask for a password out the window though).

Of course, no modern house would be complete without a remote control, of which the SkySphere supplies through an app on your phone controlling everything from the lights and doors to the refrigerated beer dispenser.

The only thing missing from this amazing modern take on a tree house is the bathroom, so getting a portaloo and portable shower may be on the cards as well.

So who would be interested in going and staying in the SkySphere? Personally I might ask them to put up one-way class first before the neighbours start to get nosey.

Thank you Mashable for the information and images.

Siri Can Now Play a Helpful Role in Controlling Your Smart Homes

Apple seems to be focusing on making you upgrade your homes as well as your gadgets this year. After it first announced a release date for the first smart home devices, the company is now focusing on getting their personal assistant, Siri, to help you out inside your smart homes.

What this means is that Apple made Siri compatible with certified products to give you the ability to control appliances via voice commands. This is a good thing given that most if not all manufacturers are now interested in joining the Internet of Things. Why? Well, everything nowadays is made or will be made with a microchip and yes, that includes your fridge, doors, lighting and so on.

Also, if you think Apple is the only one focusing on smart homes, think again! Google just announced it is also working on its own piece of code that will help you control things in your smart homes, having Microsoft and Samsung promoting their own solutions too. In addition, the list of manufacturers is most likely to get bigger by the end of the year, but it will also depend on how comfortable you are with having microchips in your appliances. What we do know is that your toaster will not try to kill you.

If you are interested in purchasing some smart devices to upgrade your home, Lutron Electronics and Insteon are two manufacturers now selling wireless hubs that allow you to control the lighting inside your house. Other manufacturers have also placed their products up for pre-order and are working on other home solutions, so you can now browse and save some cash for future home improvements.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Someone Built a Home to Withstand a Zombie Attack!

When you’ve got $1.75 million, a cold-war missile silo and a bit of spare time, there really is only one thing you should be doing – building a zombie proof home of epic proportions! This home in Adirondacks was built on top of an old cold-war missile silo, but the house on top, really is just the beginning of something far more impressive.

On the surface, there’s a nice 2,000 square foot house, a runway, and airplane. As you go downstairs, you’ll find a blast proof door with keypad entry system. The house then spirals down a staircase through the old missile silo, until you reach a 2,300 square foot area of the house, built directly into the former launch control center.

The new accommodation has its own air supply, is fully soundproofed, has 10 foot ceilings, two bedrooms and is equipped with lots of luxuries throughout. What’s crazy is that there’s still 9 stories of the silo unused. So there’s certainly room to expand the unit, but given that it’s already run a cost of almost $2 million to get this far, I can’t imagine it’ll be cheap to go down another 9 levels.

It’s a very cool house, but perhaps the owner needs to watch less zombie movies.

WhiteHouse.gov SSL Certificate Expires – Chrome Issues Embarrassing Warning

Apparently you couldn’t trust the White House yesterday. Well, while some may say that everyday, you really shouldn’t have yesterday, according to Google that is.

In an embarrassing blunder, the US government-owned site forgot to update its SSL certificate, resulting in insecure connections to the site, as well as the above warning message showing up on Chrome. It couldn’t have came at a worse time than yesterday, considering President Obama was speaking at the Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford University.

That summit was attended by a number of industry figures, including Apple’s Tim Cook, who spoke at the event. You can watch it in its entirety below.

Source: The Verge

Minecraft’s Notch Buys Most Expensive House in Beverly Hills

The creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson (Notch) has reportedly purchased the most expensive house in Beverly Hills for a whopping $70 million.

We’re all aware of Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang, the company behind Minecraft earlier this year. That deal landed Notch $2.5 billion, explaining his most recent purchase.

The house includes an “automated 54–foot curved glass door in the living room that opens onto an infinity pool with iPad-controlled fountains and spectacular views” as well as a “candy room, an 18-seat tiered screening room, a state-of-the-art kitchen and an exquisite 18-foot onyx dining room table for 24 that includes place settings by Roberto Cavalli at a cost of $3,700 each”. It also features fifteen $5,600 toilets.

The video below will give you a better idea of what Notch’s Christmas present to himself is like.

 Source: Kotaku

22 People Vetted Mitt Romney’s Tweets During 2012 Election

We all know how social media has become the go to form of marketing for many organisations, including politics of course. But we also know how this can go completely wrong, when something goes out that shouldn’t have for instance.

There are many examples of this, with a most recent one being the case of the British Labour politician who felt compelled to resign over her Tweet mocking a white van and England flag outside someone’s property. A simple quip that cost that politician her job. So it’s no surprise that in the race for the White House, some politicians feel compelled to ensure nothing goes wrong. In Mitt Romney’s case, that meant a team of 22 people approving every single tweet that was posted to his account during the 2012 election.

In a paper called Seizing the Moment, by Daniel Kreiss, an assistant professor at UNC Chapel Hill, analysis of both Obama and Romney’s social media accounts revealed that every single tweet posted from Romney’s personal account had to be vetted by all of those people.

“Romney’s digital team had to go through an extensive vetting process for all of its public communications, meaning that the temporal workflow of the campaign did not match the speed of social media,”.

It’s no surprise that this had a negative effect on his Twitter output. Social media is often all about being spontaneous, something traditional media outlets are not.

Source: The Verge

Bad Hotel Reviews Attract $500 Fee

Have you ever posted a negative review of service on Yelp or other public review sites? If your host had their function at Union Street Guest House, you might be doing them a great disservice.

Located in Hudson NY, this guest house has been said to charge $500 USD for negative reviews left on their website – the money for which comes out of the wedding couples deposit.

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” reads an online policy. “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.” Page Six

Not only will they keep the $500 if the couple themselves leave a negative review, but if any of the guests do so you’re also in trouble. If the review is deleted, your deposit is fully refunded.

Since this information has come to light, people are quite outraged and many have started leaving negative reviews on the companies Yelp page, with one politely stating:

Just want to keep flushing down their ratings in toilet.

Booooooooooo” Valenz L. on Yelp

Unfortunately, we have been unable to find any official statement from the guest house regarding this issue.

Have you been a victim to a similar story? Let us know.

Image courtesy of Union Street Guest House

King of the 3D-Castle

We’ve seen many things 3D printed before, but this one is my favourites by far. The Minnesota based Andrey Rudenko has amazed us before with his goal of a 3D printed house and his concrete 3D printer is already a reality. He has shown us some smaller projects in the past and is now stepping up the size.

A couple of months ago he announced that he was going to print a 3D castle as a large scale test before printing his house. Not only has he begun this process, he is almost done with it. The ability to print smaller buildings would give him the confidence to advance on to the full scale, he told.

The castle is big enough for people to both stand and walk inside and he is currently printing 50 cm of height every 8 hours. Test have shown that he could go as high as 75-100 cm during warm temperatures. The dark-grey area on the images show one such printing period.

“I still have some imperfections, mostly when I stop the printer,” Rudenko wrote. “But if I print nonstop, the layers look great.Though I’m not completely finished with this structure yet, from the current progress, I can already see that I am ready for the next step, which is printing a house with this technology.”

Rudenko is still a little behind his original schedule, wanting to start the print of his house this summer. While the summer isn’t over yet, it seems unlikely that he’ll manage to stick to that timeline. The small delay doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of his projects and I for one can’t wait to see this one finished.

Rudenko also told that he still plans to make a few improvements to the printer and redesign a few parts of the house before the actual print. It should be clear by now that his dream of a fully printed house isn’t just a dream any more.

Thank you 3Dprint.com for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of 3Dprint.com

Man Breaks Into Neighbor’s Apartment Using His Phone and An App

Andy Greenberg from Wired has apparently shown us how easy it is to break in someone’s house nowadays. You don’t need sophisticated lock-picking skills or need to be a professional thief to do it. All you need is an app and an iPhone, as he puts it.

Greenberg used an app called KeyMe, which lets users 3D scan any key and uploads the images to the company’s cloud. Once that is done, you can head over to either one of their kiosks or order a 3D printed copy online.

He apparently went to his neighbor’s appartment, 3D scanned his key in a few seconds using the app and told him that he will be back in his apartment the next day ‘uninvited’. His neighbor did not believe him at first (who would believe you when saying you will break an entry with an iPhone?), but it did surprise him the day after.

KeyMe, KeyDuplicated and Keysave are apps that serve pretty much the same purpose, which is scanning keys. Some even let you scan more complex keys, such as car keys, having KeyMe stating it will even duplicate keys that “do not duplicate”. The service however describes the scanning process to be more complicated than just point the camera and take a picture.

KeyMe states that in order to duplicate a key, customers need to take it off the keychain, scan it on both sides against a white background and from approximately 4 inches away. However, Greenberg told that he did not follow any of the rules when he made his ‘stairwell creep-scans’.

With so many app alternatives and 3D printing aid nowadays, every commercially available piece of tech can be used to break into houses, amongst other ‘unintended’ uses. As Greenberg stated, breaking an entry nowadays has proven to be quite “idiot-proof”.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

3D Printer Reportedly Can Build A House In A Day

Scientists claim to have developed a revolutionary new giant 3D concrete printer that can build a 2,500-square-foot house in just 24 hours. The 3D printer, developed by Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis from the University of Southern California, could be used to build a whole house, layer by layer, in a single day.

It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” said Khoshnevis. “Contour Crafting” is a layered fabrication technology and has great potential for automating the construction of whole structures as well as sub-components. Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air-conditioning.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31jkjsZPjtQ[/youtube]

The potential applications of this technology are far-reaching including in emergency, low-income, and commercial housing. The technology may potentially reduce energy use and emissions by using a rapid-prototype or 3D printing process to fabricate large components, according to the project website. Featuring robotic arms and extrusion nozzles, a computer-controlled gantry system moves the nozzle back and forth.

The main advantages of the Contour Crafting process over existing technologies are the superior surface finish that is realised and the greatly enhanced speed of fabrication.

Thank you NDTV for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of NDTV

3D Concrete Printer Can Build A 2500sqft Home In One Day

3D printing is big business, but up until now it has been about small things made of plastics. Sure there are other 3D printing technologies, such as the ones used in Formula 1 to create prototypes and there is even a company that can print metal objects, but nothing compares to the scale of this new concrete 3D printer.

The University of Southern California is testing a giant 3D printer than can print a whole house in less than 24 hours! Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis designed the giant robot which take the place of the entire construction work force and replaces it with a frame, a printer head and a tank of concrete. The basic principle is exactly the same as any other 3D printer, it’s just really, really, really big.

The potential for cheap, efficient builds is staggering and it could massively reduce the cost of home-owning, make quick and affordable shelter in disaster zones a reality and more.

“Ultimately it would work like this,” says Brad Lemley from Discover Magazine. “On a cleared and levelled site, workers would lay down two rails a few feet further apart than the eventual building’s width and a computer-controlled contour crafter would take over from there. A gantry-type crane with a hanging nozzle and a components-placing arm would travel along the rails. The nozzle would spit out concrete in layers to create hollow walls, and then fill in the walls with additional concrete… humans would hang doors and insert windows.”

Just imagine picking a house design from an iPad, thinking “hey I don’t want that door there!” so you just adjust the model, upload it to the printer and the very next day you’re fitting the carpets, awesome!

Don’t be fooled to thinking this is a cheap copy of a house either, the Contour Crafting technique prints the walls that can resist 10,000PSI (pounds per square inch) compared with a regular wall that would normally take 3,000PSI.

The potential is huge for this project, multiple printers could build anything from office blocks to whole estates, or even just larger houses in record time, for lower prices and could be integrated with traditional building techniques to create homes that were previously impossible, or too complex to construct by hand.

Thank you MSN for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of MSN.