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Daily Authority: 🦅 Drone delivery ...delivers!
👋 Good morning! Nothing quite like a cozy sleep while there’s a bit of a storm outside, eh?
Delivering on a promise
A couple of days ago I linked to a paywalled piece about delivery drones: the short story being with the FAA on board through evolving (and less dense) regulation, deliveries by drone are picking up.
- Drone deliveries were a sort of talking point in the mid-2010s. I think a lot of people either watched or heard about Amazon doing this via 60 Minutes in 2013, as promised packages would hit your door at rapid speed.
- The Amazon Prime Air video, where the first full customer delivery happened in December 2016, which Jeff Bezos tweeted, was a big moment as well which felt like progress.
- Then came the inevitable desert of drone deliveries: the hype was too big, things were slow. A 2019 pitch by Amazon executive Jeff Wilke said drone deliveries would happen “within months.”
- A grim picture was painted by Wiredin 2021 about Amazon’s Prime Air struggles in the UK.
But things are happening:
- The latest is that Wing, a real, active drone-delivery service that’s part of Alphabet and has been active in Australia and Finland, is launching a new run in the Dallas-Fort Worth area via Walgreens:
- “Walgreens … will stage deliveries from a store parking lot in the town of Little Elm, Texas. Using Wing’s drone-delivery app, customers will be able to select from 100 items, including over-the-counter medicines and household essentials, a Walgreens spokesperson said.”
- Deliveries are via a rope and hook system: The Wing drones speed along at 65mph, carrying up to 3.3 pounds of goods. A person attaches the delivery box to the drone hook, the drone reels it in, and then lowers packages to the ground for pickup in the same way.
- It’s great that getting prescriptions, for example, can happen rapidly and easily, and pet prescriptions are possible via non-Walgreens options via Wing.
- There’s a mention of getting ice cream too, which is true 2022 living.
- The thing about drones is that they’re not really in cities, but more regional and rural areas, a reverse of usual tech trends.
- The likes of Zipline have been buzzing in medicine to places like Kenya and North Carolina, vaccines to Ghana, and Walmart goods to Arkansas.
- Manna does 2,000-3,000 daily flights in Ireland.
- There’s plenty more, but the general sense is that there are a bunch of places where these drones are entirely normal.
- But the FAA requires pilot oversight, and built-up cities aren’t part of operations yet, meaning the vast majority of people are wondering where their drones are at.
🔜 The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 will keep side fingerprint scanners, as they should (Android Authority).
🔓 “We asked, you told us: Most of you are pirates sailing the high seas in 2022” (Android Authority).
🔎 Google now lets you search for things you can’t describe — by starting with a picture, in a new beta (Android Authority).
🍎 Apple drops out of a privacy industry trade group because the “secretive group” had “weak privacy laws” (9to5Mac).
🤔 It seems Google Japan is getting apps ready to play IRL arcade claw games in Japan: prizes will be shipped and everything, but Google is limiting prizes including disallowing NFTs (Gizmodo).
👀 Watching the r/Place timelapse is like staring into the heart of Reddit (The Verge).
🔋 The Hummer EV is an electric truck for people who think EVs are stupid (Ars Technica).
🚚 Here’s a promise you can put limited faith in — Tesla’s Cybertruck will go on sale in 2023, says Elon Musk (Engadget).
📗 Visualizing the scale of the carbon removal problem(The Verge).
🚀 Netflix’s SpaceX documentary doesn’t tell the whole story (Wired). Also in SpaceX news: the SpaceX launch later today will have astronauts wearing brain-tracking helmets to study microgravity effects (CNET).
⚛ New Measurement for the W Boson: An elementary particle is way bigger than expected, putting it at odds with the Standard Model, though physicists advise “immense caution” before we run around tearing up everything we know (Gizmodo).
🤓 “Do glasses improve vision over time or will vision deteriorate over time? (r/askscience).
This is clever: The New York Times has a new WordleBot, which will give you some welcome feedback on your strategy/passive-aggressively insult your strategy.
- The idea: “I’ll examine your puzzle and tell you what, if anything, I would have done differently.”
- So in short, you complete the Wordle as you would normally, then open up the Wordle bot page for some feedback.
- The people at Mashable are upset by this which I enjoy:
- “My coworker, Mashable Australia editor Caitlin Welsh was equally offended by such a rigid approach to strategy, not because she made a bad guess, but because she did in fact have a strategy, and WordleBot was just too ignorant to see it. ‘Sorry WordleBot,’ she said, ‘my third guess today did exactly what I intended it to, which was confirm letter placement? It was not ‘wasted!’”
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.