Uber is eager for the day when you can take a flying car across town, and it just landed a key hire that could help make this a reality. The company has recruited Mark Moore, NASA’s technology lead for on-demand mobility, as its director of engineering for aviation. This doesn’t mean that the ridesharing firm will build its own flying cars, at least not any time soon — rather, he wants to “make this market real.” That will likely involve solving technical obstacles that Uber’s hardware partners face, such as extending the range of electric aircraft or reducing noise pollution. The hire might have come just in time, too. Google co-founder Larry Page reportedly started funding flying car companies (Kitty Hawk and Zee.Aero) in response to Moore’s work, suggesting that the engineer’s talents are in high demand. It may have just been a question of which tech giant snapped up Moore first, rather than whether or not he’d leave NASA in the first place. [Engadget]
I’ve always wanted to sit my grandfather down and talk about the advance of technology from when he was born in 1906 to the early 00s. I never got that chance, but I’ve always been a little bummed that in my lifetime, I won’t see nearly the advances that he did. I mean, he literally saw the metaphorical shrinking of the globe each and every decade and lived through two world wars and the great depression AND the rise of airplanes and the internet! My life has started out with the beginnings of the internet to smart phones and that’s about it. Flying cars won’t change things like original cars did. They’re just fancy modes of transportation. I mean, maybe I’m being naive because who the hell knows what life will be like in 30 years due to technology, but I have a feeling the 20th century was one of the most unique centuries in humanity’s tiny blip of living.
— Ramsey Nasser (@ra) February 6, 2017
LOL Hey, Nazis are humans, too!
Game developer Ramsey Nasser put a timely spin on classic MS-DOS game Wolfenstein 3D. “People have been asking if punching fascists is OK, ” he wrote on Twitter, “so I made a game exploring that question.” The result of his little project is Dialogue 3D — it’s still Wolfenstein, but every time you’re about to shoot a Nazi, a dialogue box pops up. Before you can pull the trigger, you’ll have to answer questions like “Is it OK to shoot Nazis?” or “Is it okay to deny fascists a platform?” or “Wouldn’t peaceful protest be more effective?” Nasser is, of course, talking about the Inauguration Day attack on Richard Spencer, an “alt-right” leader who dreams of “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans,” who wants to ban interracial relationships and who supports “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” Spencer was punched on the head in front of a camera while being interviewed, and it had people asking if it’s OK to “punch a Nazi.” Even The New York Times ran a story tackling that very question — this is Nasser’s take on the whole situation. [Engadget]
Listen, I got into this argument with someone that we shouldn’t be calling Steve Bannon a racist or bigot. He told me, where’s the evidence? And true, there’s no outright, blatant quotes or writings about Bannon. But when you surround yourselves with outright racists and bigots and support them, you can’t just shrug off the notion that you’re not one of them. Ironically, they want us to call them nationalists and not Nazis, something that the PC police would be proud of.
Here’s another shot:
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) February 6, 2017
Hot damn that is pretty cool. I’d like to think if I saw one IRL, I’d hop on over right away so I can get a chunk of space rock that inevitably I would start to worship and think of as imbuing me with super powers.
OH GEEZ Trump and his cronies are at it again:
Speaking to troops from the military’s Central Command headquarters (CENTCOM) in Florida Monday, Trump accused the press of intentionally covering up terrorist attacks. No, seriously. The president of the US actually said that: “Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe. You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe. It’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” [Vox]
Oh and this is priceless:
When Brian Kilmeade questioned whether this was an “organic disruption” or if Spicer thought that “people are being paid to protest,” he happily answered yes to both these assertions while providing zero evidence: “Oh, absolutely. I mean, protesting has become a profession now. They have every right to do that, don’t get me wrong, but I think that we need to call it what it is. It’s not these organic uprisings that we’ve seen through the last several decades. The Tea Party was a very organic movement. This has become a very paid, ‘astroturf’ type movement.” [Uproxx]
We’re only three weeks in and it’s becoming pretty obvious the White House is going to continue to lie and distort reality. I mean, I know Trump admires Putin, but it sounds like he wants to be Putin at this point.
YOUR DAILY PUMP UP I’m not a fan of live albums or songs – I feel like part of the experience gets lost when put onto a disc. But there are exceptions. Like this Fleetwood Mac marching band rendition of Don’t Stop (you’ll have to jump to the 4:45 mark):