Boeing's 737 Max's recent crashes are due to a faulty sensor that was never properly tested
Black box data has revealed that a key sensor aboard the two fatal 737 Max flights was the reason why they crashed. Furthermore, these sensors were never fully tested by Boeing - which may be leaving them in some hot water with a slew of regulatory bodies: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/politics/boeing-sensor-737-max-faa/index.html
If you've been reading my emails for the last few weeks - you know I've got a few flavours on this story - but this week brings it all down to quality engineering. In modern software engineering - we write tests for virtually every function we create. It's impossible to get every single one, but it's hard to imagine any engineer not writing tests for a sensor that gives pilots life or death information.
This is either negligence - or - a great example of how software engineers might be creating better standards for testing than their "forefathers".
If you're an engineer - I'd LOVE to get feedback on this point.
FAA approves Google for the use of delivery drones
Google (actually their holding company Alphabet) has been approved for drone drop deliveries. The program will start in Virginia where Alphabet will test in a small market before going further. See the full story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-23/alphabet-s-drone-delivery-business-cleared-for-takeoff-by-faa
This is huge. It's small for now, but this will seriously disrupt transportation in a big way. Moreover, this is (from what I understand from the article) an incredibly fast approval from the FAA, signaling the rapid maturation of the drone market in consumer environments.
Most importantly - I'll live to see my dream fulfilled of getting tacos delivered by a drone.
Cognitive Gadgets - a new and positive view into Social Media and AI
This is a long, but very worthwhile read on Aeon about the evolution of our brains and how technology can play a massive role in ensuring that we continue to survive our rapid movement through the future.
The very short (but to be honest, not as good) version of the article is that while there is merit to the fact that we've evolved our thinking to deal with the myriad signals that we are bombarded with every day, our brains are physically the same as they've been for thousands of years and that we need technology to help us move forward.
Here's the most valuable quote:
"Virtual reality might give us prodigious capacities for imitation, exceeding even those of the professional mimics and sportspeople who are celebrated for their outstanding skills. Social media could endow us with new ways of thinking about tribes and community relations. Living and working among robots could transform our everyday conceptions of how minds work, eroding the distinction between the mental and the mechanical, so that the ‘uncanny valley’ becomes a familiar pastoral scene. In the right social and economic environments, our already ‘Space Age minds’ can sprout new gadgets, refine old ones, and move nimbly into whatever the future holds."
You can read the rest here: https://aeon.co/essays/how-culture-works-with-evolution-to-produce-human-cognition
Those of us in any role related to Product Design, AI, Virtual Reality, etc. are at the forefront of a field that is literally moving humanity forward. Take your job seriously. Humanity depends on you.
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