Soon We Might All Have Personal Drones Following Us Around

April 28, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Richard Lai covered Hover Camera – a personal drone that follows you around:

  • Hover Camera recognizes your face and then follows you about taking photos or videos as you engage in your daily activities.
  • It works indoors and outdoors and can, for example, follow you while you’re out for a run.
  • Features such as gesture control and orbiting mode are expected soon.
  • Unfortunately, its limited to about eight minutes of flying – though the makers have gone out of their way to make the battery easily replaceable while you’re out and about.
  • And the $600 price tag is steep. But once the technology improves perhaps we can all expect to have little personal assistant drones, following us around, helping us out, and documenting our lives.

Read more over here.

Source: Engadget

The Economics Of Animated Movies

April 27, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Angry Birds (the movie), Finding Dory, a new Ice Age, and even a movie about those 90s toy Trolls – the upcoming calendar is full of animated movies. Kyle Stock delved into the economics of the business:

  • We’re reaching saturation point for animated movies, in part because they earn a 36% return.
  • This is far ahead of the 26% that second placed Science Fiction/Fantasy movies earn, and well ahead of dramas and comedies that struggle to break even.
  • But, while a lucrative opportunity, it is also an expensive one. The top movies need to shell out for A-List voice talent and skilled animators, all of which can cost $100 million.
  • Through in another $150 million for promotions.
  • If directors want to cut costs they avoid hair and water – two expensive things to animate. It’s no coincidence that the Minions movie starred largely bald characters.
  • But you don’t want to cut too many corners. Fortune favours the bold. The more spent, the greater the likelihood of success. One expert believes that it’s riskier to make a $90 million movie than a $150 million one.
  • The cost means that failures really hurt. Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Rise of the Guardians, are two recent flops that cost DreamWorks a substantial amount of money.
  • But no studio can resist the allure of making the next Frozen. Ticket sales for that movie alone were $1.3 billion. Which is peanuts compared to the $6 billion it made in ancillary revenue from things like its soundtrack.

Read more here.

Source: The Star

Via: Marginal Revolution

To Prevent People From Texting And Walking Into Oncoming Trains Germany Is Considering Street Level Pedestrian Lights

April 26, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

In the future mobile phones could subtly change city infrastructure, wrote John Metcalfe:

  • Pedestrians who text and walk at the same time have a tendency to get hit by cars or run over by trains.
  • One German city is embedding pedestrian lights into the roads around a train station. The hope is that texters while looking down at their phones will also see the red lights that indicate an oncoming locomotive.
  • Critics of the idea say that you cannot “protect against…idiots”.

Read more here.

Source: City Lab

Why There Have Been So Many Celebrity Deaths In 2016

April 25, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Harper Lee. Alan Rickman. David Bowie. And now Prince. 2016 has been a rough year for noted celebrities. Roland Hughes and Laura Gray wrote about why there has been so much death:

  • Television meant increasing fame for a larger group of people.
  • TV really spread in the 60s – and those that were famous then are beginning to enter their 70s now and are dying off.
  • Soon after World War 2 there was also a growth spurt in the population known as the baby boom. Baby boomers make up a large proportion of the population and thus of celebrities. As they enter their grey years they’re passing away.
  • All of this helps explains why in the first three months of 2016 around twice as many celebrities died as in the first three months of 2015.
  • It also means that we should expect the rest of this year – and the next ten or so years – to be heavy on celebrity deaths, as boomers continue to age.

Read more over here.

Source: BBC

The Economics Of Westeros Leading Up To Game Of Thrones Season 6

April 22, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

As you prepare for the premiere of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, you should wonder if all the problems in the show could have been solved if the King had merely hired an economist. At least that’s what Carolyne Larrington thinks:

  • Part of the reason for the instability in the Seven Kingdoms is that the capital has run up debts that it’s unable to repay.
  • Some bankers have thus resorted to financing the crown’s opponents, in the hopes that they will usurp the throne and pay down the original debts.
  • In fact, in the books, the banks have stopped providing financing to the Kingdom’s merchants as well, causing trade to grind to a halt and increasing discontent.
  • Meanwhile Daenerys is struggling to keep control of her lands because she disrupted the lucrative business of international slavery, thus leading to the creation of an insurgency funded by the wealthy.

The full article covers many more aspects of Westerosi economic policy. Read it here.

Source: 1843

Japanese Tour Guides Are Just Cleaning The Streets Of Paris Themselves

April 21, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Sophia Rosenbaum wrote about interesting measures that tour guides have resorted to:

  • Paris is among the most popular cities for Japanese tourists to visit.
  • But Japanese people are famously concerned about the overall cleanliness of an area.
  • Feeling that Paris wasn’t living up to expectations, a group of Japanese tour guides have started cleaning the city themselves.

Read more here.

Source: New York Post

Via: Marginal Revolution

Like A Dog Chasing Food Trucks

April 20, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Manual Valdes wrote about the latest innovation in the world of food trucks:

  • The Seattle Barkery caters to the dog loving people of Seattle.
  • The brightly coloured food trucks offers “pupcakes”, air-fried chicken feet, and peanut butter banana cookies.
  • Some confused humans have tried buying some of the food for themselves and have been a little…surprised by the result.
  • There’s probably little need for heavy advertizing. Once a dog gets their first taste they’re likely to make a dash for the truck the next time they detect its presence.

Read more here. And read about other Pet Perks that Centives has covered in the past here.

Source: AP

And Now For Smart Water Pitchers

April 19, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Smart beds, smart suitcases, smart belts and now…joining the lineup…smart water pitches, writes Lauren Goode:

  • Brita’s pitcher water filters are meant to be replaced after they filter about 40 gallons (150 liters) of water.
  • The pitchers used to be at the mercy of their owners’ willingness to follow instructions.
  • Now they’ve announced a new water pitcher that will automatically order a replacement from Amazon when it detects that it’s time to switch out the filters.
  • The pitcher itself costs $45, and a pack of three replacement filters costs about $20.
  • This is all powered by two non-rechargeable batteries that should last about five years.

Read more here. You can buy it here. And read our entire series on the smart future ahead of us here.

Source: The Verge

The Swedish Plan To Spread Unmanned Convenience Stores

April 18, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

NDTV wrote about one Swedish business that is foregoing sales staff entirely:

  • To use the convenience store you have to download and register an app.
  • You then use the app to unlock the front door of the store, and scan everything you intend to take with you into the app.
  • The store will then send you a monthly invoice for the things you purchase.
  • The store avoids stocking things like cigarettes or medicines since they’re more likely to be stolen.
  • A series of surveillance cameras helps ensure that shoppers stay honest. Since you have to sign in the app to unlock and enter the store, there’s a record of exactly whose inside.
  • The founder aims to spread the stores to remote areas that have difficulty getting to mega super-centers that countries across the world have been trending towards.

Read shoppers’ reactions, some of the challenges the store has faced, and other details here.

Source: NDTV

Via: Marginal Revolution

The Future Of Movie Theater Food

April 17, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Bryan Bishop visited the CinemaCon convention and featured some of the ideas that movie theaters are considering for our snacking future:

  • “Walking tacos” are bags filled with nacho chips, with the bag acting as the taco ‘shell’. You open the top of the bag lengthwise then pour on toppings such as melted cheese.
  • Extra-large popcorn containers that can fit into your movie theater cup holder for easy sharing (pictured) are planned.
  • Robotic popcorn machines that don’t require as much human intervention are being developed.
  • Shots of concentrated flavours that can add a tang of cherry to your drink may soon be offered.
  • Frozen sodas (“Icees”) are popular in the theater but patrons are usually limited to one flavour. Self-serve mix and match options are being considered.
  • It’s not all obesity inducing decadence. Theaters are considering offering lightly salted edamame as a healthy alternative.

Read more, and see pictures here.

Source: The Verge