India’s mass of small family firms could miss the IIoT revolution

MUMBAI, INDIA - 12 JANUARY 2015: Indian workers sew in clothing factory in Dharavi slum. Post-processed with grain, texture and colour effect.

Few of India’s myriad family businesses have adopted any advanced manufacturing technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). And worse, most don’t plan to in the future. An article by Live Mint discusses the results of a recent survey by Tata Strategic Management Group and industry lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce… Read more »

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MUMBAI, INDIA - 12 JANUARY 2015: Indian workers sew in clothing factory in Dharavi slum. Post-processed with grain, texture and colour effect.

Few of India’s myriad family businesses have adopted any advanced manufacturing technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). And worse, most don’t plan to in the future.

An article by Live Mint discusses the results of a recent survey by Tata Strategic Management Group and industry lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The study, which surveyed executives at more than 50 leading Indian engineering companies, focused on the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies such as IIoT, advanced robotics and additive manufacturing. The survey highlighted these three areas of advanced manufacturing because of their anticipated role as major drivers for future manufacturing growth globally.

The researchers found that only 10% of family run businesses have currently adopted any form of advanced manufacturing. However, future prospects for manufacturing are a bit better for family businesses, though these companies still will lag other types of businesses.

“More than 50% of family-owned businesses do not plan to adopt advanced manufacturing within the next three years, in comparison to both Indian and foreign corporations where less than a quarter plan not to adopt in the three years’ time frame,” the report said.

This economic backbone needs strengthening

Any numbers around family-owned businesses in India is especially significant as these types of companies form the backbone of the country’s economy. Such businesses comprise almost two-thirds of India’s GDP and employ nearly half of the country’s work force.

India’s governments are proving keen on adopting connected technology to develop smart cities, but studies like this raise questions that some economic sectors are not keeping pace with the new technological revolution.

Manufacturing remains a key sector of the Indian economy. It is responsible for employing nearly 12% of the country’s workforce and contributes almost 18% of India’s gross value-added production.

Many obstacles to the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology were identified in the study. Chief amongst these perceived barriers is industry’s difficulty in quantifying its return on investment once the technology has been implemented.

“The industrial internet of things definitely enhances ability of companies to receive real time information about plant equipment thereby reducing downtime and improving productivity,” said Forbes Marshall CEO Jehangir Ardeshir. “However, companies need to ensure that they build a solid business case and check feasibility before adoption.”

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Trump and Mexico president Peña Nieto talk about a wall, but not about who pays

Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto arrive for a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a quick trip to Mexico today to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, against the objections of many citizens of Mexico, who have been insulted by Trump pretty much every day of the campaign, for more than a year.

(more…)

Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto arrive for a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a quick trip to Mexico today to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, against the objections of many citizens of Mexico, who have been insulted by Trump pretty much every day of the campaign, for more than a year.

(more…)

The Last Days of L.A.’s Mountain Lions?

Their best hope: a proposed freeway wildlife crossing.

The mountain lions of Los Angeles have made a big splash over the past few years, especially since the National Park Service discovered one charismatic male, dubbed P-22, living not far from the Hollywood Sign in the Santa Monica Mountains. But their days may be numbered. According to new research published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the urban cat population faces a strong likelihood of extinction within half a century.

Using demographic, genetic, and environmental factors, researchers from the NPS, UCLA, UC Davis and Utah State University estimated survival odds for the tiny population of mountain lions who live penned in by freeways and urban development in greater Los Angeles. (The researchers believe that there are roughly 15 in the Santa Monica Mountains at any given time.) Although the animals are already inbreeding, so far they’ve managed to keep up fairly healthy rates of population growth. But their genetic diversity is likely to sharply decline in coming decades, and that could start to drag on their ability to survive and reproduce, a phenomenon known as “inbreeding depression.” If it occurs among the Santa Monica Mountains population, the cats have a 99.7 chance of vanishing within 50 years, the researchers found.

That might be happy news for the hikers who are occasionally menaced by the big cats, but sad for a lot of other reasons. Urban biodiversity seems to be a good thing, and the popularity of L.A.’s hometown mountain lions has helped raise awareness among Angelenos about other kinds of wildlife. Luckily, there is a glimmer of hope for the charismatic felines: A wildlife crossing over Highway 101, a major urban barrier for many species in the Santa Monica Mountains, would allow animals to enter in and out of the mountain lion’s current isolated range. A proposal for such a crossing is currently in the works by CalTrans, and private fundraising efforts so far have raised about $1 million. The researchers of the new paper say that such a bridge could be the SoCal cougars’ best chance of survival.

“If we were able to get one new mountain lion every two years or, even every four years, it would considerably lower extinction probability,” John Benson, the lead author and a post-doctoral researcher at UCLA, told KPCC.

What’s an urban wildlife lover to do? Head on over to Save LA Cougars to pitch into the crossing project. And while you’re at it, don’t use rat poison, and support the preservation of natural spaces within cities. It’s good for all animals, humans included.

Luxury vehicle drivers are the most interested in self-driving

mercedes-benz-self-driving

Owners of luxury vehicles, from Mercedes-Benz and Nissan’s Infiniti, are more likely to be interested in self-driving, according to a MaritzCX survey that polled a variety of car owners. On the opposite end, owners of RAM and Jeep cars, two of the popular off-road brands, were least likely to be interested in self-driving. Less than… Read more »

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mercedes-benz-self-driving

Owners of luxury vehicles, from Mercedes-Benz and Nissan’s Infiniti, are more likely to be interested in self-driving, according to a MaritzCX survey that polled a variety of car owners.

On the opposite end, owners of RAM and Jeep cars, two of the popular off-road brands, were least likely to be interested in self-driving. Less than 10 percent of RAM and Jeep owners said they were “very interested”, compared to 27 percent for Mercedes and Infiniti.

See Also: Tesla’s self-driving AI will “blow minds,” says Musk

Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda, and Ford car owners were all in the middle of the pack, at 20 to 18 percent.

“Luxury-vehicle owners are more willing to accept this technology because they believe safety would be much better in these types of vehicles,” said Shawn St. Clair, the survey author and global syndication director at MaritzCX, to Bloomberg. “If you’re interested in off-roading in a Jeep or a Ram, you’re not interested in an autonomous vehicle.”

Despite the positive numbers for Infiniti and Mercedes, the majority of car owners still reject the idea of self-driving. 48 percent stated that they weren’t interested in the technology.

The numbers are a little better than a British survey, where 70 percent rejected full automation, but there’s still uncertainty surrounding self-driving and its apparent benefits.

It’s still early days, but…

That’s a worrying sign for auto manufacturers that have invested billions into the self-driving market. The manufacturers will have to prove the tech can work in crowded cities with thousands of pedestrians, two of the biggest fears from consumers, before we see consumer attitudes change.

Self-driving is still a few years away from entering the market, but taxi trials have begun in Singapore and Pittsburgh. nuTonomy has a 2018 goal for launching a shuttle service in Singapore, while Tesla and Uber are reportedly aiming to have driverless cars on the road before 2020.

These early services should provide enough evidence for worried consumers, so by the time General Motors, Ford, and other big automakers enter the scene, the fear of self-driving has been muted. Or at least, that’s what auto manufacturers are hoping will be the case.

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Want to Boil Water? Step 1 – Grab Some Bubble Wrap

MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that uses sunlight to boil water, even on relatively cool, overcast days.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that uses sunlight to boil water, even on relatively cool, overcast days.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Megaphone vs. bagpipe

bagpipe

Youtube description:

A bagpipe playing student drowned out a homophobic bigot who compared being gay to bestiality in megaphone rant.

Brave Brice Ehmig confronted the preacher who was wearing a “Jesus saves from hell” T-shirt on the campus at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, USA, on Friday August 19.

Despite the preacher’s best efforts to have his voice heard, the fourth year student follows him around continuing to play the loud Scottish music.

As the video ends, applause and cheering can be heard from out of shot as Brice calls her girlfriend over.

bagpipe

Youtube description:

A bagpipe playing student drowned out a homophobic bigot who compared being gay to bestiality in megaphone rant.

Brave Brice Ehmig confronted the preacher who was wearing a “Jesus saves from hell” T-shirt on the campus at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, USA, on Friday August 19.

Despite the preacher’s best efforts to have his voice heard, the fourth year student follows him around continuing to play the loud Scottish music.

As the video ends, applause and cheering can be heard from out of shot as Brice calls her girlfriend over.

How to charge your smartwatch with your mobile

Businessman uses smart watch and phone. Smartwatch concept.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) presented a new way to extend the battery life of fitness trackers and smartwatches, without stuffing a larger battery inside the device. The method, named Braidio, uses Bluetooth and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to send power from a larger device, like a smartphone or laptop, to smaller wearables.… Read more »

The post How to charge your smartwatch with your mobile appeared first on ReadWrite.

Businessman uses smart watch and phone. Smartwatch concept.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) presented a new way to extend the battery life of fitness trackers and smartwatches, without stuffing a larger battery inside the device.

The method, named Braidio, uses Bluetooth and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to send power from a larger device, like a smartphone or laptop, to smaller wearables.

See Also: A heated jacket wins Topshop’s wearable competition

Offloading energy to larger devices may allow device manufacturers to make wearables smaller and lighter, according to UMass professor Deepak Ganesan.

“We take for granted the ability to offload storage and computation from our relatively limited personal computers to the resource-rich cloud,” said Ganesan. “In the same vein, it makes sense that devices should also be able to offload how much power they consume for communication to devices that have more energy.”

Increasing wearable battery life by 400x

In tests, the UMass team were able to deliver 400 times longer battery life to a small device, like a fitness tracker, when powered by a larger device. That is not indicative of real-life performance, said graduate student Pan Hu:

“To be clear, our results only cover the cost of communication or transmitting data. If a radio is transmitting from a camera that consumes hundreds of milliwatts, clearly the sensors may dominate total power consumption and reduce the benefits of optimizing the radio.”

Most smartphones and laptops are not battery efficient devices, but a fitness tracker requires less than one percent of a laptop’s power to be at full charge; for a smartphone, it requires less than 10 percent.

If Braidio sensors are ever embedded into smartphones and fitness trackers, we assume users will be able to choose when or if they want their wearable to siphon energy from a smartphone.
Outside of smartphones and laptops, Braidio could be integrated into smart clothing or power banks, which use less power and, in some cases, have a larger battery.

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