While the military has been utilizing robotic planes for a while now, academic types have now decided to get into the act by using them for scientific purposes. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has decided to invest $3 million to use UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) for what one researcher calls “the missions we call dirty, dull and dangerous.” These include predicting intensity of hurricanes, tracking Arctic ice melting, and flooding of the west coast of the U.S. They also feel an advantage is that they can use the robo-planes for continuous sampling without needing the dreaded coffee break by whining employees.
Read More | BBC
Since hurricane season has just begun, we think it’s time for kudos to companies such as Microsoft for aiding survivors and their families. Last year, Microsoft teamed up with the Red Cross and the San Diego Computer Center to create Katrinasafe.org. This site helped survivors find their separated family and friends by posting their locations. To date, more than 340,000 have utilized the site.
One year later a new site, Safe and Well, has been created for faster communication. Through this website you can search for missing family members, or if you are a survivor, post your physical condition and location. Phone registration is also available. Safe and Well is accessible via https://disastersafe.redcross.org.
Checking out the site, I noticed that 11 people have registered today. Our thanks again, Microsoft, for proving that life is not all fun and games.