Relevant items from the consumer electronics show

david52_gwJanuary 12, 2013

"At CES [Consumer Electronics Show] this year, among the giant tablets, new 3D printers and smartphone accessories, a new gardening gadget was unveiled: the Flower Power. The sensor-packed device alerts you via your smartphone when your plant needs more light, water, fertilizer and when your plant is too hot or too cold.

In the past when we have seen gadgets like these, we've thought they were a novel tech solution for a black thumb, but now with the proliferation of these devices, we have to ask, do we no longer know how to water our plants without a gadget telling us when to do so? Are we so detached from nature and dependent on technology that we can't properly take care of a houseplant?

Over the past year alone, we've covered a robot that moves your house plant to more sunny locations, a Wi-Fi sensor that tells you when to water you plants and I even included a plant sensor system in the Green Geek Gift Guide. Go back in our archives and there are even more high-tech gardening systems.

We're all about the intersection of technology and nature, but in this case, it may be necessary to step back and look at some low tech alternatives. If you have a black thumb, as in you regularly forget to water or take care of houseplants, you don't have to rely on smartphone alerts.

The most basic solution is to occasionally look at your plant. If your plant looks a little yellow or crunchy, it probably needs water. Plants like sunlight. Put them in a sunny spot.

Beyond those obvious things, there are other solutions..... "

At the link, you can find the robot that moves your plant to sunny locations

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Anything in the way of new targeting lasers?

:-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:36AM
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david52_gw

Did you see what they had, Bill? I can't find the link this morning, but they have a gun now that has a range finder, laser, sensors for wind and humidity, and its computer controlled so that you put it on target, it calculates out everything, then you squeeze the trigger and sort of aim in the general direction, trying to hold on it. It won't fire until you are exactly right.

Cost only $35,000 or so.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 1:41PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

No, I haven't seen it. it must be something short range, though. Windage will change downrange. But then again, I've said many times there's a direct correlation between the size of one's wallet, and the size of one's brain. The fuller one is, the emptier the other is.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 2:55PM
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chisue

I saw the vibrating fork described on TV. If you raise the fork from your plate to your mouth too often, too fast, the fork vibrates to remind you you are *shoveling it it, fatso*. (My words.) I think it's advertised to help end 'mindless eating'.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:46PM
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fancifowl(5Pa)

hey Bill, just got a new laser. my 1st. and a couple a red.green/blue do sights too. Hey david, $3500 does come close to what yer sayin. Its awesome, ya hardly have ya aim and its good to +or- 7oo meters.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:13PM
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david52_gw

This isn't the same article I found earlier, but it still gives an idea -

"For the longest time, the gun hasn't really evolved. The technology has become more powerful, but the core essence of the gun hasn't changed. One tech startup is looking to change that.

At CES 2013, TrackingPoint is showing off what could be called a "smart gun," but the company calls it a "Precision Guided Firearm." The guns are outfitted with a computerized scope that provides a hunter with a number of metrics including wind speed, incline, temperature, distance to target and more. TrackingPoint is also manufacturing its own ammunition that works well with the scope's guidance systems.

By far, the most interesting addition is the ability for the scope to stream video to an iOS device. Speaking to Ars Technica, the company said that more experienced hunters can now more easily help younger hunters with spotting by being able to see exactly what they're seeing through the scope. It's an interesting concept and one that many hunters stand to benefit from.

The gun could potentially be much safer as well. Some injuries during hunting are caused by somebody having an itchy trigger finger and they fire at the first sight of movement. TrackingPoint's rifle increases the pull strength of the trigger until the the reticle and the target are aligned. In this way, the hunter is more likely to hit their target and accidental firings can be largely avoided.

As Ars points out, a more accurate gun being released so soon after the recent string of gun violence across the nation may be looked down upon, especially a gun that makes the process of firing more like a video game. It's indicated that the system is only being produced for bolt-action rifles which are largely intended for hunting, and tend to be ineffectual for anything else.

For those interested in TrackingPoint's technology, the company will start selling the rifles for $17,000 in the near future." end quote

As I posted above, the other article I read said that you start to squeeze the trigger, and when when you're lined up, then the trigger gives.

Here is a link that might be useful: video at the link

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:34AM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

That's freakin nuts. Don't care much for a weapon that thinks it knows better than you.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:38AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

We need more "smart bullets" that can identify the wrong target (such as a child) and pass right on by. Or a stolen weapon in the hands of a potential bad guy refuses to function because of the wrong biometrics.

With reference to the OP and gardening technologies, the rage right now are hydroponic grow towers made of PVC plastic and fully automated. I saw them in the 5' and 7' heights. You can buy them fully planted or can purchase flats of fiber blocks in which to start seed for later transplanting into the apertures. All for the basic price of just under $500.00 for the taller one (plus the costs of those flats, seed, fertilizers, and water conditioners.)

So for that sunny little spot in your condo or apartment, you too can farm.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:50AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Marshall,

There should be an App for that!

Just think. Someday every new weapon sold will be embedded with a GPS detection device. Then you'll be able to log on and click "view guns" in your area just like you can sexual predators.

Some day!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 7:50AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

The NRA will have none of that, Brush. Besides, if GPS can be added to the weapon system, some 10-year-old can debug it soon enough.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 7:55AM
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fancifowl(5Pa)

I am a fan of technology up to a point. Its the planning and human errors which keeep the interest. Whether applied to ag or shooting or most anything. I like that my new tractor has all the ergonomics and electronics but I prefer to do the driving. What fun would it be to just clamp yor handgun or rifle to a vise and letr it workout all the bugs on its own? The wifes new car talks o her, and has more doodads than Ive ever seen, but so far she still gets to steer it and do all those other little things. The thing has over 25 onboard computers!!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:29AM
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jodik_gw

A green thumb is really nothing more than applied knowledge. There's no magic or luck to it. One is either knowledgeable and applies that knowledge, or one doesn't garner optimal success. It's really that simple.

Technology may be able to impart the knowledge we need, and it may able to record it and remind us, but I would never use it beyond that, given that each grower works within a unique environment and micro-environment when it comes to gardening... whether in the ground, or within the confines of containers. There is no one-size-fits-all to complete success in growing.

Every sensor I've used to this point has been inaccurate... especially when it comes to moisture and the like.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:55AM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Or a stolen weapon in the hands of a potential bad guy refuses to function because of the wrong biometrics.

Sorry, but I disagree, and I'll tell you why. I use biometrics on my laptop. Instead of entering passwords, I've got a fingerprint scanner that does a great job.... most of the time. If I've got anything on my fingertip (and some of the stuff I work with has to wear off), or if I've been working with an especially abrasive tile, like pavers, or even some textured porcelains, it'll literally wear down my fingerprint to the point where I have to bypass it and type in passwords. In using a firearm in an emergency situation, I can't even imagine trying to scan a fingerprint, much less if there's a reason it won't READ it.

The wifes new car talks o her, and has more doodads than Ive ever seen, but so far she still gets to steer it and do all those other little things.

Not a big fan of that, either. I mean, if your car parks itself and hits another car, who's liable? You, or Ford Motor Company? And if it's me, I'll be in control of that car as it's being parked-- not some computer.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:56AM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Just watched a video on that rifle. Not sure what it is, but something about that rifle that makes me very uncomfortable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gun with a Brain You-tube

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 2:47PM
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david52_gw

And Obama and the libruls will try to ban them, further eroding the 2nd Amendment.

/thank goodness the NRA will fight to keep those things available to everybody

With a little work, they could come up with a pistol that does the same thing - much smaller, just the thing for concealed carry.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:08PM
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steve2416

I'm showing my age, because I like sleek lines, mostly integral magazines and iron sights on rifles. In my youth, my .22 rimfire brought in a lot of small game that Mom turned into wonderful stews.
I wonder how much game that (ugly) gun would have to bring in to pay for itself.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and bragging rights for a very expensive gun.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:42PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

and bragging rights for a very expensive gun.

Yeah, I'm proud as hell I'm as stupid as could be!! So much for any target shooting sports!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:52PM
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fancifowl(5Pa)

I use my S&W M&P 15/22 to hunt. Yeh, its not legal here in PA but I stay on my own property. 15 years ago I thought so what if they ban those ugly black sporters. well, now I have several in different formats and I gotta say,they are awesome They can be transformed by changing all the components into different practical platforms. Its not cheap, but the67y bare the wave of the future in firearms. Why drive a Model T when ya can have a new Edge?
I thought my Sakos were fine shooters, these new ARs can outperform anything goin.
I try to imagine my AR platform weighing at 12 pounds with all the goodies being used as an assault weapon??

Thank goodness for the NRA, i would be down to the old dbl twist bbl Knickerbocker without their fighting for my rights.

Too bad the anti tyupesw just cant take the time to get it right, but then, that would take work. And they just re elected santa Clause.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 5:51PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

I thought my Sakos were fine shooters, these new ARs can outperform anything goin.

Ceptin a good AK, or M1A. :-)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:05PM
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