New gadgets

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New gadgets
I love great gadgets that make life better and I want to share two of them with you today. The first is something affordable you should own, the second is the exact opposite. Terri and I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. We also have a lot of indoor plants. All that adds up to an irritating problem for us, fruit flies—irritating tiny buzzing gnats that drive us nuts. They seem especially prevalent in the winter months, mostly (I assume) because it's cold outside and they are happier inside. What to do. After some searching, I found the perfect trap for these little buggers. It's called a Katchy and it is brilliantly simple. A proper frequency light to attract the flies, a quiet fan to suck them in, and sticky paper to trap them. We keep one in the kitchen and within a few days of its installation, there's nary a fly to be seen. About every 60 days we pull out the replaceable sticky paper disc that's now covered with the victims and slide in a new one. The second gadget I wanted to share is nothing short of amazing. It's a marker of how advanced robotics have gotten. The robotics company, Boston Dynamics, (owned by Google) is the clear leader in robotic technology. Go here and watch their video of the dancing robots. If that doesn't suggest to you how close robotics are to becoming human-like, I don't know what would. (If you prefer, there's also this video with the Rolling Stones and the robots) To be clear, these robots aren't "dancing" in the sense they are of their own free will reacting to the music. No, this is clearly scripted and they are simply moving to a specific set of instructions. But that's just the beginning. Have a look at this video to see that the robot can "think" for itself as it navigates rough terrain as well as make its own decisions about how to respond to being put in a difficult situation. They are expensive. If you'd like to purchase one, go here and drop a cool $75,000 (about the cost of some loudspeakers) and have fun. Two ends of the spectrum gadgets to enjoy. One makes your life better, the other hopefully gets you to think about the future that lies just around the corner.
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Paul McGowan

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