Sunday, August 26, 2012

Robots and Your Christmas Gifts

Here is an interesting video about industrial robotics that enable order picking in a so-called fulfillment center -- like Amazon has. Each individual shelving unit has a little computerized controller than moves it around on the work floor like a giant gameboard. The computerized shelving units are less robots than drones controlled by a master program.

This product, from Kiva Systems, is used by Toys-R-Us, but it is owned by Amazon. Presumably Amazon will use this in their new distribution centers. Amazon appears to be expanding it; Massachusetts-based Kiva has dozens of openings.

Mitt Romney's company Bain Capital was/is an investor in Kiva.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion:

I upgraded to Mountain Lion OSX 10.8. It is the update of the Lion release, and has a minor upgrades and bug fixes. Lion was a major release and it obsoleted a lot of old software. This is mostly little stuff. Maybe that is why it is only $20.

The most notable thing is in Safari -- where the address window now accepts searchers just like Chrome.  A minor feature, but it was one of the reasons that I liked Chrome.

It has scrollbars that hide themselves. I think of them as less convenient, but I seldom use scroll bars, almost always using jesters on the touchpad.

Another little thing is some new desktop pictures and a screensaver.

Another feature is dictation, which still needs some work: here is the transcript for the first dictation:

"Just got him McNab OS X Mountain I am on my night I was upgrade his computer version it's just needed a dude he's my computer working well am anyway so Duncheon any differences really I would've this dictation since I'm taking dictation right now that you write up this blog post will see how it works the first time, and that I was going to what update the mountain on my way to bed."

My policy is to keep the computer up-to-date with the latest revisions. I think it saves me time in the long run.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Diving Off the Fiscal Cliff

I am really tired of politician that can't get anything done. At the end of the year, we have a chance to rid ourselves of all of it. When the tax cuts end and the govenment programs get cut, we just need to embrace it.

We need to get excited about it. I call it Fiscal Cliff Diving.

People get excited about it since it will contract the economy due to the higher taxes and job cuts in government. I say suck it up.