2019-01-23

I wonder at which voltage these are running: Miniature trains, a big hit with children at #floraexpo2018 and...

I wonder at which voltage these are running: Miniature trains, a big hit with children at #floraexpo2018 and competition to the horses at this ranch.


The usually (that slowly seems to change though) rather car-centric Taiwan has done a good job in making pedestrian...

The usually (that slowly seems to change though) rather car-centric Taiwan has done a good job in making pedestrian access to #floraexpo2018 comfortable. Almost the whole path from Houli station to the nearby exhibition areas (about 500 and 1000m) can be walked without encountering cars.

2019-01-22

Reinventing the wheel, with AI

Reinventing the wheel, with AI

I'm just busy banging my head against the nearest wall, after I came across this article. You may perhaps know KYMCO, the big Taiwanese scooter/bike manufacturer. Like their counterparts in the four-wheel tin can industry, they overslept electrification and are now trying hard to find ways to deal with Gogoro, the company most popular when it comes to moving batteries on two wheels.

To distinguish themselves from the in their eyes inexperienced competitor, they are now teaming up with ITRI, the institute for technological research in the industry, to solve a problem they discovered: Apparently, the display of remaining mileage and battery capacity on electric vehicles is unreliable, especially with older batteries, leading to people being afraid to ride their electric scooters out of fear they may end up in the middle of a trip with dead batteries.

The solution? AI! (I'm surprised they didn't include block chain.) And their plan is so ingenious: First they will display the remaining mileage based on the rider's riding custom. (Hmm, does that mean they will calculate based on current consumption? Sounds so.) Second they will display battery capacity in percent. (Really!) And third they will incorporate environmental and battery temperature. Wow! All of which can easily be done even with an 8bit MCU...

To give you an orientation on the severity of this "problem", at least here in Taiwan: I live in a village (OK, the official term is "township".) near one of the smaller cities. The closest Gogoro battery swap station is 800m from me, at a 7-11. I usually walk there. They also have regular chargers. In the other direction the next battery swap station is 3.2km away, the next charger 1.7km. I live a bit away from the main road, so the distance between the two chargers is 1.7km, between the swap stations 3.2km. In the countryside.

Plus: All the above mentioned functionality already exists. If it's not reliable, it's because of a poor implementation. So let's throw some AI at the problem, because it makes for such nice press releases...


https://udn.com/news/story/7240/3605971
https://udn.com/news/story/7240/3605971

2019-01-20

If you're going to San Francisco Flora Expo


If you're going to San Francisco Flora Expo,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...

Visiting Flora Expo 2018, the world agricultural exhibition, this time taking place in Taichung.

2019-01-01

There has been a lot of debate the last few days regarding Donald Trump's announcement to withdraw troops from Syria.

There has been a lot of debate the last few days regarding Donald Trump's announcement to withdraw troops from Syria. It feels like a lot of people are opposing this mainly because it came from Trump. The real issue are however not the US soldiers in Syria - who are there rather illegally btw. This article may help shining a bit of light on the situation:

This is not about where US troops are stationed. The two thousand US soldiers at issue are a drop in the bucket in terms of the number of armed fighters in Syria today. They have not been on the frontlines of the fighting the way that the US military was in Iraq. The withdrawal of these soldiers is not the important thing here. What matters is that Trump’s announcement is a message to Erdoğan indicating that there will be no consequences if the Turkish state invades Rojava.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll oversimplify and say that today, there are roughly five sides in the Syrian civil war: loyalist, Turkish, jihadi, Kurdish, and rebel. At the conclusion of this text, an appendix explores the narratives that characterize each of these sides.

Each of these sides stands in different relation to the others. I’ll list the relations of each group to the others, starting with the other group that they are most closely affiliated with and ending with the groups they are most opposed to:

Loyalist: Kurdish, Turkish, jihadi, rebel
Rebel: Turkish, jihadi, Kurdish, loyalist
Turkish: rebel, jihadi, loyalist, Kurdish
Kurdish: loyalist, rebel, Turkish, jihadi
Jihadi: rebel, Turkish, Kurdish and loyalist

This may be helpful in visualizing which groups could be capable of compromising and which are irreversibly at odds. Again, remember, I am generalizing a lot.

https://enoughisenough14.org/2018/12/29/the-threat-to-rojava-an-anarchist-in-syria-speaks-on-the-real-meaning-of-trumps-withdrawal/
https://enoughisenough14.org/2018/12/29/the-threat-to-rojava-an-anarchist-in-syria-speaks-on-the-real-meaning-of-trumps-withdrawal/

2018-12-29

🎶On the seventh day of shutdown the POTUS said to me:

🎶On the seventh day of shutdown the POTUS said to me:
I'll shut the border down!
Look here, our Navy SEALS!
This is a witch hunt!
Stop the caravan!
I never liked Mattis!
I need a Chief of Staff!
I want my wall, so give me money!🎶
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/28/trump-mexico-border-wall-democrats-fund-shutdown

2018-12-24

Ave Maria, the atheist version

Ave Maria, the atheist version

Originally shared by Sabine Hossenfelder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd5hT7Zv0rk&feature=autoshare

Just enjoy the holidays!


Just enjoy the holidays!

Via Hartmut Noack

Originally shared by Laura Natale