Friday, December 12, 2014

Amazon threatens US government over drone testing

E-commerce giant Amazon tells Federal Aviation Administration it will move drone testing abroad if it is banned from flying outdoors

Amazon wants to hire a Flight Operations Engineer, a Project Manager, a Site Leader and a Software Develoment Engineer in the UK Photo: AFP
Amazon has warned America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it will move its drone research programme outside the US if the company is stopped from testing its unmanned aircraft.
The e-commerce giant is currently trying out its dones in the UK, and recently placed job adverts for pilots, as the company steps up plans to deliver products using aerial machines.
Seattle-based Amazon recently wrote a letter to the FAA stating that it would like to perform more tests in the US but would move these abroad if it is not allowed to do so outdoors.
"Without the ability to test outdoors in the United States soon, we will have no choice but to divert even more of our [drone] research and development resources abroad," Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice-president of global public policy, said in a letter to the FAA seen by The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon has urged the FAA on numerous occasions to let it step up its drone testing, without success.

Thursday, December 4, 2014



First Folio Shakespeare
[Image of First Folio Table of Contents from Wikipedia]
This week already saw the discovery of a famous lost Kerouac letter.  Now we can add a previously unknown First Folio to the tally.
Shakespeare’s First Folio – containing 36 of his 38 known plays and printed in 1623 – is one of the most valuable books in English literature. It’s also one of the most closely inventoried. Of the 800 copies thought to have been originally printed in the 17th century, 233 are believed to still exist today. And now we can add the 234th to the list.
This particular First Folio has lain dormant in the library of Saint-Omer, an obscure French town near Calais, for over two hundred years.
Medieval literature expert and librarian Rémy Cordonnier stumbled across the book while searching for items to use in a planned exhibition of Anglo-Saxon authors.
“It had been wrongly identified in our catalogue as a book of Shakespeare plays most likely dating from the 18th century,” Cordonnier said in an interview with The Guardian. “I didn’t instantly recognise it as a book of value. It had been heavily used and was damaged. It had seen better days… [But] it occurred to me that it could be an unidentified First Folio, with historic importance and great intellectual value.”
Cordonnier then reached out to American professor Eric Rasmussen for verification.  Rasmussen, affiliated with the University of Nevada, was in Britain at the time to study at the British Library. Rasumussen quickly hopped on a train to France.  After arriving at Saint-Omer, Rasumussen authenticated in the First Folio in a matter of minutes.
“This is huge,” Rasmussen said in an interview with The New York Times. “First folios don’t turn up very often, and when they do, it’s usually a really chewed up, uninteresting copy. But this one is magnificent.”
Needless to say, the book will become the centerpiece of the Anglo-Saxon exhibition at the library next summer.
In the meantime, don’t sit around waiting for the next First Folio to be unearthed.  Their average rate of discovery?  Once every ten years.