‘Drone’ That Hit Plane in London May Have Just Been a Plastic Bag

A few days ago it was reported that a drone may have hit a British Airways jet flying out of Heathrow. The transport minister Robert Goodwill has yet to confirm if that’s the case, saying that it could have just been a plastic bag.

The incident is believed to have occurred at around 1,700 ft, over four times the legal limit for people who want to fly their drones in the open air and while the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating the incident alongside the Metropolitan Police there has been little in the way of information released to the public.

Goodwill did respond to comments regarding “geo-fencing”, a technique where drones would be blocked from entering restricted areas by means of having ‘no go zones’ installed on their devices by the manufacturers. Goodwill didn’t show great promise or belief in that option as he said it would be vulnerable to “somebody who could get round the software”.

With people speculating that the plane struck a drone, a thought that has occurred many times before and almost happened on several occasions, Goodwill did say that it “has not been confirmed it was actually a drone”, instead saying that the original story came from a local police force who tweeted the news about a reported drone colliding with a plane. “There was no actual damage to the plane and there’s indeed some speculation that it may have even been a plastic bag or something”, the latest news seems to be that if it was a drone or unmanned electronic device, they don’t even know what it could have been.

Going on to explain the current information, Goodwill explained that “there was no actual damage to the plane and there’s indeed some speculation that it may have even been a plastic bag or something”.

So no confirmed Drone could mean that people are overreacting to what has been a nightmare scenario for many groups for a while now, with incidents involving everything from illegally flying their drones during major events to even crashing into famous landmarks.

Apple Will Start Phasing Out Plastic Bags This Month

Buying an Apple product is almost as symbolic as the illuminated apple located on the back of your device, with the whole experience of walking out the store reminding you of that new gadget feel before you’ve even opened the box. Part of this experience is the bag you get the new product in, a plastic bag emblazoned with the Apple logo. This part of your experience may be changing with Apple looking to phase out plastic bags later this month.

Revealed by 9to5Mac, a note sent to employees reveals plans for the bags to be replaced by paper bags. The new paper bags will be made with 80 percent recycled materials, a move intended to further Apple’s goal of leaving the world “better than we found it”.

The change will start on the 15th April, with stores looking to use up their plastic bags as soon as they can. Much like when you go shopping customers are now also going to be asked if they want a bag and being given the choice between medium and large sizes, both of these actions look to help reduce the number of bags used and the amount of material given away in the form of bags.

If this wasn’t enough, people who are looking to recycle their iOS devices will get a new “Apple Renew” card, a gift card made out of recycled paper.

With Apple already running their facilities on renewable energy and now using recyclable materials for their stores, leaving the world better than we found it is a step closer to being a reality.

Adidas Creating 3D-Printed Shoes From Old Plastic

We are constantly reminded about the world around us and sometimes our impact on it for the worse. Companies and countries alike are looking for ways to create a better world by first reducing our impact on it, from solar energy to recycling companies are looking at new and amazing ways to help improve the world. Adidas is looking to use recycling to help not only save the planet but also give you some new footwear.

Made from some of the ocean plastics and gillnets, the wall of netting that you typically use to catch fish, the new pair of trainers aren’t just looking at using old materials. Futurecraft 3D is the name given to Adidas’s 3D printing technology exploration, meaning instead of crafting your shoes they will instead be printed to your requirements.

While no release date has been set for the shoes making it to the public market, can you imagine what this could mean? Are your feet odd sizes? How about that toe that always seems to dig into the side of any shoe you wear? Custom shoes, using recycled components meaning its better for the environment and quicker, you could even walk into a shoe store and custom order a pair which they print while you have your lunch.

Handgun Attachment Makes Bullet Non-Lethal

A company based in California, titled Alternative Ballistics, specialises in (surprise surprise) creating alternatives to traditional firearms. Their latest creation is used in conjunction with your everyday gun, however, and it turns your fatal round to something a little more friendly.

Titled ‘The Alternative’, the small device clips onto the front of your firearm, and when fired catches the propelled bullet along with the metal ball at 80% less force than the bullet was originally fired at. As shown in the animation below, the bullet is effectively caught by the metal ball before carrying on its path. When it finally reaches its destination the ball shape increases the impact area so much so that the chance of it actually piercing flesh is minimal while still hitting its target with enough force to knock a person down, in a similar fashion to a bean bag round.

Due to it being a simple attachment to the muzzle, the one-time device can be equipped alongside flashlights and sights with no impact on the guns normal use. The orange plastic ejects after firing meaning that you’re free to continue use without adjustment mid-operation.

With its simple to use nature and easy installation Alternative Ballistics hopes that police forces around the world could soon adopt ‘The Alternative’ as a quick way to incapacitate targets which can be carried around and ready for use at a moment notice.

Thank you Gizmondo for the information and the images.

Scientists Come up with New Way to Control Light for Next-Gen Super Fast Computing

Scientists from the University of Texas El Paso and University of Central Florida introduces a plastic honeycomb-like device that steers light around corners, while keeping the integrity and density of the beam intact.

Sending data with the help of light beams allows it to travel thousands of times more quickly, but it has always been a challenge to control the light beams without losing their energy. Microchip and computer manufacturers alike are heading towards this type of technology and are constantly looking at ways to overcome this issue.

“Computer chips and circuit boards have metal wire connections within them that transport data signals,” said Raymond Rumpf, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UTEP. “One of challenges when using light is figuring out a way to make tight bends so we can replace the metal wiring more effectively.”
“Direct laser writing has the potential to become a flexible means for manufacturing next-generation computer devices,” said Stephen Kuebler, associate professor of chemistry at UCF.

Kuebler and his students used direct laser writing to create the miniaturised lattices and confirmed that they could flow light through them without loss through turns. The finding is very significant due to the fact that there is high demand for ever-smaller and faster computers and hand-held device. The current fiber optics technology does not play well with turns. If a turn for example is too abrupt and not gradual, the light beams escape and the energy is lost.

While the UTEP-UCF team has created the honeycomb-like plastic device which lets light beams turn in tight spots, it is said that they will not stop here. The team of researchers are planning to double the record and create an even tighter turn, making the revolutionary technology prepped and ready for supercomputers in the near future.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Apple Might be Facing Problems with New Tech for the iPhone 6

It appears that even giant companies such as Apple are facing problems this year, having been rumoured that the iPhone manufacturer is currently facing some problems with key components for the upcoming iPhone 6.

The good news in all of this is that the latest iPhone 6 is said to break away from its yearly refreshed mainstream design and move towards something more ‘uncommon’ for the company. This is why there are rumours circulating that the plastic inserts above the antennas will be replaced by glass pieces, giving its general outlook a more appealing look and feel.

The bad news however comes from China, where Apple is apparently facing problems with the new iPhone 6 display. The new technology required to make the displays is reportedly giving quite a few headaches production-wise. China Times has stated that Apple is attempting to use new display technology in order to make its next generation of iPhones thinner.

This is nothing new for companies attempting to move towards newer and more sophisticated tech, though it requires meticulous steps to get the new tech to work properly. Apple is reportedly ditching the two-layers found in the ‘brightness enhancement films’ (BEFs) and moving to a one-layer design in order to achieve the required thinness. This might be why Apple’s suppliers are apparently facing problems, having to work out the final touches for the display in question.

Looking back at previous releases, Apple’s manufacturers were reportedly facing similar production problems before every major release, having the company and its suppliers eventually succeeding in releasing the final product before the deadline. The same thing might be happening now, though the outcome is unknown until the final product gets released.

Apple is said to launch its latest (rumoured 4.7-inch display) iPhone 6 model this year, having the launch date previously leaked as being set for September the 19th.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Business Insider

ADATA Elite CE700 Qi Wireless Charging Station

Introduction


ADATA is brand synonymous with memory and storage solutions. For more than a decade they have established a strong relationship with their customers that consists of average consumers and business professionals around the world. With constant innovation and a determination to produce only high quality products that will exceed consumer expectations, ADATA will continue to be at the forefront of our culture’s technological growth.

Anyone that keeps up to date with their technology news can already see that most manufacturers are targeting the mobile device segment no matter the relevance to their core product stacks. Mobile devices have become such a critical part of our everyday lives and I for one still have a hard time fathoming how our culture was able to survive without things like email, instant messaging, or even mobile computing. We are a culture that constantly has our eyes glued to our phones and tablets to get through each day.

But how exactly are we constantly powering these devices? Traditionally the standard charge cable is the primary method of choice. But with technology constantly evolving we are always looking to improve the experiences that we have with these products. What is the obvious next step for charging your devices? Wireless charging of course. A freedom from the cluster of cables that we are so used to dealing with. That’s where ADATA comes in and brings us the Elite CE700 Qi Wireless Charging Station.

After a quick opening of the packaging you can see the the contents are pretty basic, but that’s okay because there’s not much needed to use this type of product. The box contains the user guide, micro USB charge cable, and the unit itself.

Shapeways Brings Us Elasto Plastic, Flexible Rubber for 3D Printing

Makers are always looking for new and innovative ways to make interesting things, even if it is only for personal use. Some makers design things for other people to use, and even for companies. 3D printing is becoming ever so popular. People are able to make simple things, elaborate things, toys, and even artwork. Where will it stop?

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

Shapeways gives us the ability to turn our ideas into products. Recently they showed off a newer material called Elasto Plastic, a material that is flexible, though it may not hold its shape when abused. Elasto Plastic is an almost rubber like substance that is stronger than traditional 3D printing plastics, which allows them to take a bit more abuse. Elasto Plastic is only an experimental material, and will only be offered for a short period of time, until July 9th, at the end of the trial Shapeways will decide if the material is worth keeping on their shelves. Important facts.

  • Not watertight
  • Not dishwasher  safe
  • Not recyclable
  • Not food safe
  • heatproof up to 90C/194F

If you plan to take advantage of this product trial, I suggest you read more about Elaso Plastic on the Shapeways website, as there is loads more information available to you. They describe how the materials react, and how they may effect a project you might make with this material.

Would you be interested in testing out this new material? What kinds of things would you make with flexible plastic?

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