Underrepresentation of Women Bad News for Tech Startups...

Despite the fact that 200,000 new tech jobs were formed in 2016, women are still severely underrepresented in the industry. Startups are popping up all over the country, and in California in particular, but recent studies have shown that the majority of women in tech would rather work anywhere else. Startups have somehow managed to isolate women even more than the tech industry has in the past. A recent study by Women Who Code (WWC) in partnership with Pluralsight reveals that there are several reasons few women are interested in joining the many freshly budding startup companies. One reason is simply that women are not as interested in the benefits that startups are likely to offer employees. Larger companies are more inclined to offer flexible work schedules, while startups usually offer benefits that highlight stock options. WWC CEO Alaina Percival suggests that women value their spare time more and are more “interested in nurturing other aspects of their lives.” Flexible hours relate to the amount of time a person can spend with her family. Percival argues that this is a major reason why women are showing little interest in startup lifestyles. Unfortunately, the United States has no federally mandated maternity leave, so companies that can offer this benefit are more attractive to mothers. Simply put, startups do not always share the same values held by many women in the workforce. Percival finds this troubling, saying, “What we want to do, especially through this report, is let those companies know — because those companies absolutely want to hire the 50,000 technical women from our organization — let them know that these are the kinds of things that women value and if you can put them in place faster, you’re more likely to attract women engineers.”...

How Did European Carmakers Beat Their Emissions Targets?...

This April the European Environment Agency of the European Union announced that automakers there actually came in below the reduced emissions target set by regulators. In 2015, new cars sold in the 28 EU member countries emitted 119.6 grams of CO2 per kilometer on average, a full eight percentage points below the year’s target rate. In total, European carmakers reduced emissions by 3% compared to 2014. The European strategy is two-fold: downsize engines and reduce overall vehicle weight, a process known as lightweighting. Unfortunately, lightweighting has had some unintended consequences. One of the easiest ways for carmakers to reduce weight is by eliminating parts that dampen road noise, which is why so many new cars are far louder than consumers are used to. Unfortunately, many consumers now expect cars to be quiet enough to accommodate cell phone conversations and Bluetooth technology, which isn’t possible if the vehicle interior sounds like a race track. In the 1990s carmakers in the United States began using mass backing, an insulating material bonded to the vehicle’s molded carpet. Mass backing provided sound protection, heat insulation, and a luxury aesthetic. In the era of lightweighting, components like these are quickly flying out the window, along with once standard features like spare tires or acoustic panels. At the 2015 WardsAuto Interiors Conference, auto industry experts described a lighter car seat as the “holy grail” of lightweighting, and carmakers will seemingly do anything to meet new fuel-economy mandates (ahem, Volkswagen). So far, it looks like these efforts are paying off, at least according to the latest emissions figures from the European Union. Still, the auto industry faces an uphill battle moving forward. In Europe, the target emission for 2021 is just 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer, and the industry may...

Art Inspired By Richard III’s Skull Is On Exhibit In London...

Richard III had a long and dramatic life — and even after his death, his remains are experiencing celebrity status. The king’s remains were found during an archaeological excavation in 2012, under a city council parking lot in Leicester at a site that had once been a Medieval friary. After extensive DNA testing, the team at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services announced that they had found King Richard III. Now, a series of portraits based on X-ray images of the king’s skull are set to go on display in London. British artist Alexander De Cadenet, who has created the images, is known for his skull portraits. The X-rays are from the University of Leicester analysis of the royal remains. High quality X-rays, which can be taken as fast as 30 frames per second, were used to create records for extensive scientific analysis. “I am extremely grateful to the University of Leicester for allowing me access to the X-ray scans, without which this creation would not be possible,” said De Cadenet. “His remains have been discussed and analyzed in such scientific detail, I felt he was an extremely appropriate subject to be present as his skull is likely the most recognizable and iconic in the world today.” The first of a six-portrait series will go on display at a gallery in London, from April 14 until April 25. Indeed, Richard III has already stirred the creative minds — a facial reconstruction was commissioned by the Richard III Society, and a large photo-mosaic portrait was revealed on the first anniversary of his discovery. History and literature enthusiasts were aghast — and fascinated — when medical scanners found that the king had died of devastating injuries. Two large wounds were found at the base of his...

‘Terrorist Sounding’ Dog’s Name Leads to Bank Freezing Man’s Online payments...

In the United States, about 26% of people admit to not making their payments on time. There are many reasons why people miss payments, but for Bruce Francis of San Francisco, his reason is more of a rarity after Chase Bank misunderstood the memo line on his check. The Huffington Post reports that Francis was attempting to transfer money from his Chase Bank account to his dog walker’s account, but it was blocked because his dog’s name “sounded like a terrorist network.” Francis’ nine-year-old dog’s name is Dash. Bank officials though that sounded too much like Daesh, the Arabic term for the jihadist militant group and self-described Islamic State. Francis was not too upset about the misunderstanding. “I think anything we can do to stop the terrorists and the funding of terrorists, let’s do it,” Francis told KTVU. “If it means an inconvenience to me and my dog walker, then that’s a price I’m totally willing to pay.” The payment was flagged with the U.S. Treasury Department, and asked Francis to explain what Dash meant. Once Francis explained that Dash is actually his dog’s name, the flag was lifted and his payment was processed. According to the New York Daily News, Chase Bank officials defended the reasoning for originally flagging the email. “If a name on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list appears on a payment, we are required to review it,” Chase Bank said. “This is an important part of ensuring that crime does not filter through the U.S. banking system. In this instance, the payment was flagged, reviewed and eventually released.” Although a serious issue, Francis found some humor in the misunderstanding. “The idea that my dog is a terrorist is pretty funny,” Francis said. “Seriously, the only thing Dash...

Caught on Camera: Five Guys Burglar Cooks Himself Midnight Snack...

This April an anonymous Washington D.C. man has gone viral for a most unusual crime. On March 18, between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., the suspect stealthily followed a delivery man inside a Five Guys fast food restaurant. The man waited for the delivery man to leave, then proceeded to rummage around the restaurant and treat himself to a free meal. Eventually, the man decided to fire up the grill and cook himself a midnight snack, all the while talking to someone on his cell phone. Finally, he stole some bottled water and made his escape. Footage of the nighttime prowler was captured on the restaurant’s surveillance cameras, and the Metropolitan Police Department released the footage on April 10 via YouTube. According to a statement that accompanied the video, “The Metropolitan Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in identifying a person of interest in reference to a Burglary II incident which occurred in the 1400 block of Irving Street, NW, on Friday, March 18, 2016… DC Crime Solvers currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a serious crime committed in the District of Columbia.” Presumably, the Case of the Five Guys Crook qualifies as a “serious crime.” Often, the mere presence of CCTV video surveillance is enough to prevent burglaries. Police believe that up to 67% of such crimes could be prevented by video cameras, and most crimes are impulsive crimes of opportunity. The Five Guys incident seems like the perfect example of a crime of opportunity perpetrated by an impulsive burglar, but the brazen nature of the crime suggests he either did not notice or did not care about the...

Ohio Pilots a High Tech School Bus Alert System to Protect School Children...

In Ohio, Department of Transportation officials are trying to figure out how to get drivers to pay more attention to signs on and about school buses. School buses are so ubiquitous across the American educational landscape that they have penetrated our understanding and perception of the primary school experience. Not only that, but they are subject to many safety rules, keeping then heavy, tall, and equipped with emergency exits — and they are notoriously safe. Data shows that just four school-aged children are killed aboard buses every year, as compared with the 490 killed going to and from school in passenger vehicles. The real risk to school children when riding the bus is actually while getting on and off. This is despite the stop sign that indicates to drivers that children are boarding or disembarking; it is illegal to pass a school bus at this time. In advertising, on-site signage can have a value of more than 25 newspaper ads per year, but for school buses, enforced signage has saved children’s lives. Researchers are trying to utilize signs to improve safety even more; they have suggested installing flashing lights on signs in order to get drivers attention by activating proximity sensors to determine when a bus is approaching. The sensors would depend on radio frequency to tell when the bus was approaching and light up a “School Bus Stop Ahead” sign. Other innovations are also coming to the school bus arena, such as a school bus tracking app that has been developed by AppAlert Inc, a startup making school-bus monitoring software. Seed funding for the project has amounted to $900,000 in a round led by Narinder Singh, a U.S. based investor. Trials of the product have been deployed across 20 school in the National...

Apple Not Suing FBI Over Purchased iPhone Hacking Device...

Apple has announced that they are not suing the FBI over the recent iPhone hack, and that they are confident that whatever method officials used to gain access will not be a security threat for the majority of iPhone users in the future. Just last month the Federal Bureau of Investigations revealed that they had been able to gain access to the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December terrorist attack that killed 14 people. The FBI has admitted to purchasing a “tool” from a third-party that allowed them to hack into the terrorist’s phone. The FBI had pursued legal action in order to force Apple to bypass the phone’s security, but the company refused to cooperate, claiming that to do so would compromise the security of all Apple product users. They argued that creating a “back-door” to access any iPhone’s data would mean creating an easy opportunity for malevolent hackers to commit identity theft. Apple consumers expressed concern that the existence of this tool would put their privacy and security in jeopardy, but FBI director James Comey assured the public that he as a “high degree of confidence that [the creators of the tool] are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours.” Comey also revealed that the purchased tool could only be effective on a “narrow slice of phones,” which do not include the newest Apple models. The concern expressed by the public is easily understood, as web-based security attacks have increased 23% since 2013. Identity theft is a very real problem in the world today, and as iPhones become increasingly multi-purpose and thus contain more of our personal information, the higher the stakes...

The Invention You Didn’t Know You Needed Till Now: The Flying Selfie Stick...

According to Mashable.com, the industry of self-photo taking just took an innovative, if not contradictory, turn. IoT Group, an Australian-based technology company, just began the pre-sale of the ROAM-e, a flying selfie stick. “The selfie stick’s problem is it’s confined by the length of the stick,” Ian Duffell, executive director of the IoT Group, told Mashable Australia. “The thought was, let’s get the thing taking the picture flying with you.” He described the company’s vision as creating a, “selfie stick on steroids.” The fact that, by definition, a selfie was originally designated for pictures one took of themselves aside, the invention could be set to change the way society documents their lives in the digital age. Approximately eight million people fly on planes every day, but now you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to take a flying picture. The device, which basically looks like some sort of camera-equipped drone, can be tethered to a smartphone and programmed for facial recognition to use at distances as far as 82 feet away. The device features a 360-degree camera with live streaming capabilities for up to 20 minutes. Inside, it packs a 5 Megapixel CMOS sensor and a Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 Processor, according to the ROAM-e website. Duffell was quick to point out the difference between this new device and typical drones for critics who might try to classify them as virtually one and the same. “We all know drones fly around and take pictures, but because we’ve tailored it to be portable and in your space, it fits into a different category,” Duffell explained. “We wanted it to be small enough to fit into a bag or pocket. We modeled it on not being bigger than a 600-millilitre water...

Study Finds Discrepancy in Level of Care For Heart Disease in Men and Women...

While men and women complain of having similar symptoms, men’s claims are usually assessed as higher risk and taken more seriously. Discrepancies in treatment of men and women in the medical world might increase women’s risk factor when it comes to heart disease, a new study says, with care levels lagging far behind compared to men. The study was conducted by a research team at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and looked at how doctors both diagnosed and assessed the risks involved with heart disease in more than 10,000 male and female patients. The patients were taken from the Prospective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of Chest Pain. The patients selected didn’t have a history of having a heart condition but were suspected of having coronary heart disease. Typical initial symptoms of heart disease include chest pain and shortness of breath. When women reported having these symptoms, they did not receive the same level of care that men received. And even when women had more risk factors for heart disease than men, the researchers noted that women were assessed as having a lower level of risk. One of the groups most at-risk for heart disease-related mortality, regardless of gender, is individuals over the age of 65, with 84% dying from the condition. However, this discrepancy in assessment can lead to grave consequences for women. While researches observed that an equal number of men and women complained of chest pain, the pain itself is described differently. Men are more likely to describe it as an ache or burning sensation, whereas women are likely to call it tightness or pressure. “Our findings suggest there might be need for heart-health resources specifically aimed at women because much of what is provided is for men, and there are...

Angry Millennial Crashes Car Into an ATM Because Taco Bell Was Closed...

If there’s one thing that millennials love, it’s Taco Bell. Many a meme has expressed the generation’s love for cheesy gordita crunches, $1 breakfast bowls, and other inexpensive fast-food South-of-the-border delights. But when you deny a millennial their Taco Bell fix, you better watch out. As shown by one Massachusetts man, the consequences can be dangerous — and mildly ridiculous. Late one evening, 33-year-old Derrick C. LaForest approached the Pittsfield, MA Taco Bell drive-thru in his vehicle. When he pulled up to the window and no one answered, he began repeatedly honking his horn. According to a staff member, LaForest “laid on the horn for at least two minutes” before someone went outside and told him that the establishment was closed for the evening. In a fit of rage, LaForest sped through the drive-thru lane, accelerating through the parking lot at dangerously high speeds. Finally, he hit a curb, causing him to lose control of his car. Ultimately, LaForest and his vehicle smashed into a former TD Bank ATM. LaForest’s car was totaled, and Taco Bell employees had to pull his unconscious body from the wreck.. Luckily, the airbag of the car deployed, and there were no lasting injuries save a cut over his eye. According to the Berkshire Eagle, LaForect was arrested after claiming he had “no idea” how he lost control of his car. Ultimately, the thwarted taco lover was arrested on charges of vandalism and reckless driving. He was released on $500 bail. It looks like LaForest might be one of the 75% of Gen Y individuals accounting for all cars purchased by 2020! Let’s hope that by then he learns to control his temper when his beloved fast-food restaurant is closed for the...

New Technology and Consumer Trends Expanding Job Opportunities in Stagnant Agriculture Industry...

If 100 college students were asked if they’d like to have a career in agriculture, it’s likely that only a select few would say “yes.” However, recent advances in technology have broadened the horizon for agricultural jobs, and more students are now looking to enter this “growing” industry. According to local Michigan news affiliate WILX, Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is providing hundreds of students with the opportunity to follow their dreams of becoming a dietitian, pesticide applicator, or any other farm-related job imaginable. While most people would not assume that dietitians require a deep understanding of agriculture, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Deborah Walker, a sophomore at MSU who is studying to become a dietitian, decided to enter the prestigious agriculture program because “food management kind of goes back to what’s being grown.” Kelly Millenbah, Associate Dean and Director of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU, agrees with her student. She believes that more college freshmen would show an interest in the program if they knew the wide array of job opportunities that can come from an education in farming. “Yes it starts in the field,” said Millenbah. “That’s an important part of what we do, but it concludes [with] things like food scientists and dietitians and foresters. [Students] perceive, when you use the words food and agriculture, hard dirty work and that’s a part of it.” Another reason that many students choose not to pursue a career in agriculture is the common misconception that agriculture has become obsolete. While employment of farmers and other agricultural managers is projected to decline 2% in the next decade, this does not affect ancillary careers such as dietitian or forester, which are still in high demand. “We...

String of Propane Related Explosions Continues This Week as Two Separate Trucks Crash and Explode...

In what can only be described as the latest in an inexplicable uptick in propane-related incidents across America, an 18-wheeler carrying massive quantities of the volatile gas rolled over this afternoon in Calloway Co., KY, shortly before bursting into flames, reports local news station KFVS12. Police were forced to close the 5000 block of Murray-Paris Road and evacuate several homes in the area. People are reportedly still being asked to avoid the area until it has been deemed safe by authorities and emergency responders. The incident is only the latest in a string of propane-related fires or explosions which have bedeviled the country over the past few months. This has Americans understandably concerned, as over eight million homes are powered by the gas. People want to know if they’re running their homes on something potentially unsafe. Just last week, firefighters and police responded to the scene of another propane truck crash in Callaway, MN, where a tanker truck collided with a freight train and caught fire. The crash and explosion caused the train to derail, according to the Star Tribune. The driver of the truck, Biya Abdella Buta, 31, was not injured in the crash. However, the two-member crew of the Canadian Pacific freight train both suffered minor injuries. Fire from the crash and the threat of additional explosions prompted authorities to temporarily evacuate the area. Authorities are looking into potential criminal charges for the driver, who, Twin Cities reports apparently displayed negligence in the leadup to the crash. Onboard video from the train recovered last Friday proves that the crew aboard the train sounded the horn and did everything in their power to alert the truck driver and slow down the train. Over the weekend, Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to Callaway to view...

Michigan High School Tech Students Develop New Locker Mechanism for Sixth-Grader With Cerebral Palsy...

It’s amazing what people can do with a little time, innovation, and a commitment to wanting to make the world a little better for someone else. Sometimes those people aren’t even old enough to buy lottery tickets yet. That’s the case in a recent school project that could revolutionize school lockers for kids with cerebral palsy. According to MLive.com, a team of eight seniors from Grand Rapids’ Kent Career Technical Center’s Engineering and Architectural Design class spent about five months working on a class project that doubled as a community service activity as well. Brin DeVries, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from nearby Excel Charter Academy, has always navigated the school hallways by wheelchair due to her cerebral palsy condition and was even given a custom locker in order to allow her to access it by herself, as she lacks the motor skills necessary to maneuver a traditional combination lock. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability found in children and affects approximately one in 323 kids in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, even the custom lock the school had originally gave her was a bit inadequate, too. It would typically take her multiple tries to successfully get through the three-step process, which had a 10-second timer, on the magnetic locker with a modified key. By combining the three actions into one all-inclusive, turn-key solution, the senior students were able to give DeVries even more freedom and peace of mind not having to worry about constantly running late for class. “It certainly gives me more independence,” said DeVries, who said the old lock was frustrating. “A simple design on a computer turned into something that could help me. It’s pretty amazing!” The high school students from the vocational...

Cat Feces Might Cause Trigger a Rage Disorder in Humans...

Cats are known for their famously grumpy attitude, but a new study suggests that people with cats might actually be more prone to bouts of rage due to toxoplasmosis, an illness that’s actually caused by a parasite found in both cat feces and raw meat. According to lead researcher of the study Dr. Emil Coccaro, people who are diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) are more than twice as likely to carry Toxoplasmosa gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis. “If you’ve got someone with aggression problems, you might check them for toxoplasmosis,” said Coccaro, chair of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “People who blow up have a real problem. It’s not just a character problem or bad behavior. There’s something underneath that’s driving it.” However, Coccaro’s study was not a clinical trial. This means that the results don’t establish a direct cause and effect link. According to UPI.com, IED is a disorder that involves recurring, impulsive outbursts of anger that can manifest in both physical and verbal aggression. The disorder affects as many as 16 million Americans and, according to the study, is more common that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined. “They’ve got a short trigger, and when they’re threatened by something, they blow up,” Coccaro said. And Coccaro and fellow researchers believe that toxoplasmosis might be linked to some cases of IED. For the most part, toxoplamosis is a harmless infection. For those with weakened immune systems, toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain eyes or other organs. Yet previous research shows that even otherwise healthy carriers may experience a change due to the disease. Previous studies have found that those with toxoplasmosis are linked to an increased risks of impulsiveness and aggressiveness, as well as suicide and suicidal...

Liam, The New Apple Robot, Can Take Apart an iPhone 6 in 11 Seconds...

Meet Liam — the new Apple robot. He is designed to take apart old iPhones and harvest from them valuable, reusable materials. Liam was unveiled in response to heavy criticism that Apple products are too difficult to recycle. The prototype will be used to deconstruct the iPhone 6, recovering materials like aluminum, copper, tin, tungsten, cobalt, gold, and silver. Apple has expressed plans to modify and expand the system to process other devices. Liam is actually 29 separate robotic modules, working together at a single site near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. He started to operate at full capacity last month and is able to take apart one iPhone 6 every 11 seconds. Although Liam could deconstruct a couple million iPhones each year, that is only a small fraction of the number of iPhones in use. In 2015 alone, Apple sold more than 231 million iPhones. When it comes to waste disposal, new innovations in technology tend to change the name of the game. For instance, cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP), a non invasive sewer rehabilitation technology, has the same lifespan as that of a brand new pipe. Liam, however, serves as a vital new addition to the field of electronic waste recycling. Electronics recycling has been a long neglected issue. Millions of electronics are produced every year, and yet less than a sixth of global e-waste is properly recycled or made available for reuse, according to a United Nations University report. Gary Cook, a Greenpeace IT analyst, told Reuters, “If it’s easy for a robot, that’s great. But making it easier for a human, who will be doing most of this, is part of the solution.” While Apple may be ahead of the game when it comes to green initiatives — the company received a perfect...

Rage Yoga Quickly Becoming One of the Most Popular Variations of the Ancient Exercise...

Most gyms have a secluded yoga room so that loud noises cannot penetrate its walls to distract the people inside. Now, a new type of yoga is flipping this idea on its head, encouraging loud music and aggressive behavior to help relieve stress. According to Pop Sugar, Rage Yoga is extremely popular in Canada, and it may be coming to the U.S. very soon. A variation of traditional yoga, Rage Yoga allows participants to vent frustrations by cursing, making rude gestures, and doing whatever else they want to feel better inside. Lindsay Istace, the founder of Rage Yoga, started to play around with the traditional rules of yoga when she grew tired of her normal exercise routine. She describes Rage Yoga as “a practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become as zen as f**k. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude.” While the new exercise is loosely based on Vinyasa Yoga, an aggressive form of traditional yoga, there are some key differences between the two methods. For example, Istace encourages participants to release their frustrations on their own accord, whether it be through screaming, using swear words, or blaring loud metal music. Over 15 million Americans practiced yoga as of 2015, and most practice a traditional form of yoga known as Hatha. However, several distinct yoga variations have become quite popular over the past decade, including “hot yoga” and “curvy yoga.” When Istace realized that yoga was not a “one size fits all” exercise, she decided to develop a routine that reflected her unique personality. As Bustle recently reported, the young entrepreneur stumbled upon “Rage Yoga” following a tough breakup with her ex-boyfriend. “My [yoga] practice is what got me...

Investment Management Firm Goldman Sachs Acquires Online Retirement Benefits Startup Company...

Technology has drastically changed the way that Americans prepare for retirement, and some major corporations are starting to take notice. Now, global investment management giant Goldman Sachs has made a key acquisition to enter this burgeoning market. According to Nasdaq, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is set to acquire Honest Dollar, an online retirement savings startup company that was founded just one year ago. The acquisition was made by Goldman’s investment-management division, which is spearheaded by former Discover Financial Services executive Harit Talwar. Honest Dollar was founded in Austin, TX, and its headquarters will remain there once the acquisition is completed. The fast-growing company sells low-cost retirement plans to small companies, which often range from just $8 to $10 dollars per month for each employee. With the rise of computer-generated stock portfolios, the cost of saving for retirement is now lower than it has been in years, particularly for small businesses. Just 39% of part-time employees had access to retirement benefits in 2015, but that percentage will gradually increase as more companies take advantage of this new technology. In just one year of operation, Honest Dollar has already established itself as a top player in the online retirement benefits industry. In 2015, the company raised $3 million in seed funding, which helped to attract big-name clients like ride-sharing startup Lyft. As CNBC reported, the acquisition of Honest Dollar is a major coup for Goldman Sachs, which has been competing with other investment corporations to strike while the iron is hot in the online financing industry. Last year, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. announced an exclusive partnership with OnDeck Capital, which provides online loans to small businesses. Last week, Bank of America Corp. dispatched one of its top executives to Silicon Valley in hopes of luring...

It’s Official: Google’s Self-Driving Car Finally CAUSED a Crash...

Google’s autonomous, self-driving robot cars have been on America’s roadways for several years now, and already the driverless vehicles have been involved in a number of high-profile crashes. In October 2015, the California Department of Motor Vehicles released details on all recorded vehicle collisions involving self-driving cars, and every single accident involved human error. In eight of the incidents, human beings caused a collision with the driverless cars. The ninth accident was attributed to a self-driving car, but only because a human being was temporarily in control behind the wheel. But this March, news finally broke of an autonomous auto itself causing a collision. A video of the incident shows a Google self-driving Lexus sideswiped a public bus in Silicon Valley’s Mountain View, CA. According to Google, before making a right-hand turn, the car’s computer anticipated that the bus would allow the Lexus “into the flow of traffic.” A Google employee was inside the car during the incident, and the employee came to the same wrong conclusion. Instead, the Lexus scraped against the side of the passenger bus. Luckily, at 15 miles per hour, it was a low-speed collision that didn’t cause any reported injuries, at least not to any human beings. The computer wasn’t so fortunate. Google reported that “the impact crumpled the Lexus’ front left side, flattened the tire, and tore off the radar Google had installed to help the SUV perceive its surroundings,” while the bus received scratches and broken glass. “This is a classic example of the negotiation that’s a normal part of driving — we’re all trying to predict each other’s movements. In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision,” Google wrote following the crash. Auto makers,...

Toy Manufacturer Secures Grant for New Custom Molding Division...

Little Tikes Co. is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the country. While the plastic toys that they make might not seem very technical, the process by which many of them are made certainly is. According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, a news site located near the Ohio-based toy company, Little Tikes was awarded a two-year $250,000 grant through the Ohio Development Services Agency, with the help of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) in Cleveland. “We’re open for business,” said Bill Cofield, Little Tikes’ vice president of operations. The grant will allow the toy company to expand the process by which it makes many of its products, called rotational molding. Rotomolding, as it’s known colloquially, is an extremely unique process that involves heat to melt and fuse plastic resin in a closed mold. It’s a four-stage process that doesn’t use any pressure, unlike most plastic molding processes. Little Tikes has used this sort of technology for some time, but with the grant money — and the $250,000 matching investment the toy company is chipping in themselves — they will create a subdivision called LT Molding Solutions. This new division will exclusively use custom molding technologies and could create as many as 400 jobs in the area. “We have a strong production capability, with the capacity and technology that we have on the shop floor, and the years of experience that we have out there,” Cofield said. “And our world-class distribution center is able to ship anywhere in the world, when the customer needs it, and how they need it.” According to Cofield, employment at the toy company tends to fluctuate with the seasons by sale volume. For example, the pre-holiday season always gets a boost, so they’re hoping the new division will...

Japanese Firm GKP Releases Collectible Manhole Cards...

In an attempt to raise the profile of the sewage industry, a Japanese company is giving away trading cards featuring uniquely designed manhole covers, a signature landmark in Japan. According to Thisiscolossal.com, the manhole covers were developed in 1985 after a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction industry came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to personalize their own manhole covers. The goal was to not only raise awareness for the country’s costly sewage projects but to get the municipalities involved and make it more palatable to tax-paying citizens. Now, there are almost 6,000 artistic and unique manhole covers throughout Japan, with a myriad of symbols that boost local appeal. And it’s easier than ever to carry around the beauty of this national phenomenon in your very own pocket. The cards are the product of GKP, a conglomerate of local governments and the sewage department of Japan’s Infrastructure Ministry. Each card’s caption provides a full explanation of the design’s meaning, including the exact coordinates of said manhole cover. According to Japan Visitor, the manhole covers attract what they call “drain spotters” — tourists who flock from all corners of the globe to see the uniquely designed manhole covers across Japan. Like Texas’s famed cross-country cows, the manholes feature geographically specific symbols and designs. Typically, the designs are decided upon after either taking a public poll or through competitions. The first batch of manhole cards will be given away for free to anyone who visits sewage plants or water treatment facilities in the area. To boot, the GKP says they will be releasing a second batch of cards this July. The cards are roughly business-card sized — certainly much smaller than a typical 100- to 200-pound manhole cover. This makes it easy for drain spotters...