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Bees are awesome. They pollinate the crops we rely on and they make delicious honey. Father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson have designed a fantastic new beehive that enables their fellow apiarists to collect that delicious honey without disturbing their precious bees. Instead of the traditional and labor-intensive extraction process which involved removing the frames that hold the honeycomb, opening the honeycomb with hot knives and then loading those frames into honey spinner that uses centrifugal force to extract the honey, the Anderson’s Flow Hive is a specially designed hive featuring a spigot system:

"The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.
When the honey has finished draining you turn the tap again in the upper slot resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.”

Pure, fresh honey on tap, plus no angry bees. That sounds like a dream come true.

Click here to watch a video about the Flow Hive. To learn more visit the Flow Hive website or Facebook page.

[via Colossal]

History was a trash bag of random coincidences torn open in a wind. Surely, Watt with his steam engine, Faraday with his electric motor, and Edison with his incandescent light bulb did not have it as their goal to contribute to a fuel shortage some day that would place their countries at the mercy of Arab oil.
—  Joseph Heller, Good as Gold
youtube

Video: Google’s proposed new campus.

Google have revealed some pretty ambitious new campus designs in a proposal for just submitted to Mountain View City Council. Instead of traditional buildings, the plan is for giant enclosed structures, which can be reconfigured as needs change.

From Google’s official blog:

The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our Search engineers.) Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.
Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it’s about doing more with the local community as well. So we’re adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds. And we’re committed to do everything we can to save energy—our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal.
We chose Mountain View for our headquarters 15 years ago because we love the beauty of the bay, the close proximity to great universities, the family-friendly environment and the chance to work in a city at the heart of Silicon Valley. Today, we want to create office spaces that don’t just provide a great home for Google, but which also work for the city that has given us so much.

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Collaborative Visualization of Microbialites

Graphics researcher Oliver Kraylos reshared this three year old video which demonstrates 3D teleconferencing using Kinects and pre-Oculus Rift headsets. Whilst the video shows an outsider-looking-in viewpoint, the participants will see a 3D repesentation of each others perspective. Both of the people in the video are in different buildings:

Demonstration of the KeckCAVES Remote Collaboration approach and early implementation.  Oliver is in the UC Davis VR lab in front of a 3D TV with an optical tracking system.  Dawn is in the fully immersive KeckCAVES in a different building.  Burak is in the VR lab using a desktop computer and a mouse.  Two Kinects are capturing Oliver’s image, and two are capturing Dawn’s image.  Burak’s image is not being captured.   Sound is shared among all three participants, although Burak doesn’t say anything.

All viewers see the same data.  Both Oliver’s and Dawn’s images are rendered in Burak’s view.  Only Oliver’s image is rendered in Dawn’s view, so she can see him and how he is moving, plus her own physical body.  Only Dawn’s image is rendered for Oliver.   Burak’s view is represented by a spherical avatar with orientation ornaments, and his mouse is represented by a cone.  Oliver and Dawn have similar avatars that are sometimes visible in addition to their images. 

This is still futuristic compared to the current commercial direction VR is going, and this video is three years old!

More Here

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Valve and HTC announce joint headset venture

Powered by Valves SteamVR catalog, the 1200x1900 screen of the HTC re Vaive born from a HTC and Valve partnership is headed for customers later this year for use with their Steam console. Movement tracking is accomplished with the combination of gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor - not only that but a combination with a pair of Steam VR base stations will allow you to convert a 15 x 15 square foot area into an area to track your physical location for the sake of getting you moving in game.

Check out the promo video here

via htcvr.com