16 Ways to Design a Better Intersection--And Better Cities

WIRED

If you think the only purpose of intersections is to move cars past each other, you solve problems like a plumber: with bigger pipes. But wide, barren streets full of traffic don't make a livable city. One solution would be nothing. No lights, no curbs, no sidewalks--just colored pavers. Accidents decline, traffic slows, and property values rise.


MESSAGE MOCKED Dem slogan jeered as Papa John's parody

FOX News

Democrats, after lengthy deliberations, reportedly have settled on a new slogan – and it's not exactly getting rave reviews. The winner, according to Vox, is: "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages." The slogan drew immediate taunts given its obvious similarity to the Papa John's tagline, "Better Ingredients. But considering the party has been scrambling to regroup with an effective message and strategy since its November thumping – all toward the goal of retaking at least one chamber of Congress next year – Obama-era communications pros greeted the slogan with a collective facepalm. "If your slogan uses a colon or a comma, back to the drawing board," tweeted Jon Favreau, former speechwriter for then-President Barack Obama.


Tomorrow's Factories Will Need Better Processes, Not Just Better Robots

#artificialintelligence

When people think of the automotive Factory of the Future, the first word that comes to mind is automation. They think of the "lights-out" factory that General Motors Chief Executive Roger Smith fantasized about in 1982 and Elon Musk talks about building today--plants so dominated by robots and machines that they don't need lights to work. There's no doubt that the auto industry will continue to vigorously pursue automation solutions to lower the cost of producing cars. But the reality is that any major leap forward on cost and efficiency will no longer be possible through automation alone, since most of the tasks that can be automated in an automotive factory have already been tackled. When a real Factory of the Future arrives, it will not look different because we have automated the processes we use today.


Kirigami Inspires Better Bandages for Deformable Regions of the Body

#artificialintelligence

Ruike Zhao, a postdoc in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, says kirigami-patterned adhesives may enable a whole swath of products, from everyday medical bandages to wearable and soft electronics. Image courtesy of researchers Cutting kirigami-style slits in stretchy films could make for bandages, heat pads, and wearable electronics that adhere to flexible surfaces. Scraped up knees and elbows are tricky places to securely apply a bandage. More often than not, the adhesive will peel away from the skin with just a few bends of the affected joint.


Camera Flash Adjusts Itself to Provide Better Lighting

#artificialintelligence

It's a good time to be an amateur photographer because artificial intelligence is starting to make photography a lot easier. For instance, Sony's created a product that predicts and automatically executes where to send your camera's flash for optimal photography lighting. When prompted, it uses sensors to measure the difference between the subject and the camera as well as the camera and the ceiling to automatically create the ideal angle. There are some limitations, as noted in several articles on the product, but if version 1.0 isn't ideal, wait for the next version, which is sure to benefit from customer feedback.