Uber Makes Peace With Cities by Spilling Its Secrets

As more and more services compete for valuable kerb space (deliveries, ride shares, taxis, emergency vehicles), having a common framework, platform, and language to share valuable data on utilisation and timings can help city planners optimise rules and maximise value, ensuring they do this without compromising customer confidentiality (does the city need to know who is getting out in front of the health clinic, or just that it’s a busy place?) https://rob.al/2K5bkr0
The ride-hailing company is working with DC to share data—and the much coveted curb.

If we weren’t the first industrial civilization on Earth, would we ever know?

A fascinating insight – what traces would be left of a civilisation which died out 4 million years ago? Certainly nothing on the surface (the oldest is only 1.8m years), and fossils are incredibly rare (only a few thousand dinosaur fossils exist despite their 180m year existence) – but what about chemical traces? https://rob.al/2K3Qjwz
Fossils and objects are unlikely to survive more than a few million years. Searching for chemical traces of industrialization offers an intriguing alternative.

Robots can assemble IKEA furniture

Assembling an Ikea chair in 20 minutes, rather than the 5 that a person takes, doesn’t seem like much of an advance. But while computers excel at trigonometry and logic games like chess, evolution’s billion year head start on interacting with the physical environment means that advances like this are drawing us (very) slowly closer to a world where robots can perform menial but unpredictable physical tasks.
Cower before your silicon overlords, puny humans

Apple has revealed a new robot specifically to take apart and reuse iPhones

Apple’s new robot, Daisy (an upgraded version of a robot announced in 2016), can disassemble 200 iPhones per hour, sorting the parts for reuse and recycling, extracting parts which traditional recyclers are unable to safely or cost effectively remove.
Apple has created a new robot – not for building products, but for ripping iPhones apart. The robot, named Daisy, can take nine different iPhones models apart and extract the important parts of them,…

Blockchain Is About to Revolutionize the Shipping Industry

The move to paperless movement of goods in these extraordinarily complex logistics chains has the potential to unlock massive benefits, reducing the cost of movements, by shortening the time it takes for goods to cross checkpoints and borders – an example 32 day journey of perishable goods could be completed in 20.
Globalization has brought the most advanced trading networks the world has seen, with the biggest, fastest vessels, robot-operated ports and vast computer databases tracking cargoes. But it all still…

Musk Says Excessive Automation Was ‘My Mistake’

While I’m sure that eventually, the process could have been automated, anyone who’s tried this even at a trivial scale would tell you to get the process working first, then to automate. So I don’t get how Tesla ended up in this position.
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk, who’s built up an aura around how automated his car assembly plant will be, has good news for humans: We still need your help.