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The week's best bits in 4 bites

We’re one step closer to flying deliveries

Amazon’s quest to deliver in packages in only 30 minutes using unmanned flying drones seems to be progressing well according to a patent filed by the online retail giant.

Source: Youtube/Amazon

The patent in question is for technology that will allow these drones to interact with humans once they reach their destination. This shows a clear development path towards new dynamics that 30-minute delivery would create. If you’re ordering something you can reliably expect to arrive in 30 minutes you wouldn’t have to worry about it turning up while you were out of the house, you could simply order your package, track the drone’s location, and then wait at the doorstep as it approaches your address.

The new patent will give Amazon’s delivery drones the ability to respond differently to various gestures from the human who is waiting for their package. Gestures range from a friendly thumbs up giving the OK to land to frantic waving of the arm to shoo the drone away. The patent also seems to indicate that the drones will be able to respond to voice commands.

Source: Twitter/JeffBezos

With ominous images of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’ new job hitting the internet recently, let’s just hope that one of those voice commands isn’t hard-coded to Bezos’ voice and simply says destroy humanity.

Humanity’s days are numbered!

Whenever you see a spider, it is often comforting to think that it is more scared of you than you are of it. What the hell are you supposed to think then if that spider is a merciless robot that doesn’t feel anything and so is scared of nothing?

Source: Youtube/Festo

You don’t think anything, of course; you just run for your life knowing that robots are small cumbersome beasts and that you’ll probably get away safely. Wrong, not anymore, now you’re toast, done for, a goner. The spider robots are coming people, and you won’t be able to get away from them.

Known by its creators as the BionicWheelBot, the above monstrosity is the thing of nightmares. Looking like the Droideka destroyer droids from the Star Wars prequels the BionicWheelBot s able to traverse multiple types of terrain easily. It can use its legs to travel across uneven rocky terrain, but if the ground is flat, it can roll up into a ball and shoot off at much quicker speeds.

There will literally be no place to hide from these things. God knows why they’ve been developed. I’m now one step closer to submitting and becoming a subterranean mole person.

Spotify has an ad-blocker problem

If you’re rocking the free version of Spotify, you’ll have come up against a rather annoying problem, ads. Ads are a way for Spotify to offer free access to Spotify’s music streaming service and monetize all the millions of people who want to listen to music but who don’t want to pay for it.

Source: Reuters

The problem is that ads are annoying, so annoying in fact that people don’t want them in lives. Some people are OK with the tradeoff, free music for a few seconds of ads now and then, but others will work tirelessly to try and avoid ads annoying the hell out of them. This is a very real problem for Spotify.

Spotify has around 157,000,000 active users, and 86,000,000 of them are free users who can only be monetized through ads. Recent numbers released by Spotify show that as many as 2,000,000 of these free users are using ad-blockers and so aren’t hearing any ads squeezed in between their favorite songs.

Ad-free music isn’t the only benefit of signing up to Spotify Premium, but it is definitely one of the biggest. If you’ve ever used ad-blockers to get rid of annoying ads from your Spotify listening, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. With Spotify about to go public, you can probably expect the music streaming specialists to pull out all the stops in trying to combat ad-blockers to ensure Spotify shares are as expensive as possible.

Lego has built an epic VR roller coaster for kids

With killer robots and flying drones on the hunt this week it is nice to finish on something little more fun. Let’s take a visit to Legoland in Florida where the brand new Great Lego Race Coaster has just opened.

Source: Youtube/Coaster101.com

The Great Lego Race Coaster is aimed at kids so there’ll be no scary loop de loops or death-defying drops, but Lego has added an extra thrilling layer to the ride using virtual reality. All riders get their own VR goggles that take them into a virtual world that has been crafted around the thrills and spills of the real world roller coaster.

Lego says that it has based the virtual experience on how their research shows kids play with their Lego toys at home. The adventure starts by introducing the crazy contestants that’ll be taking part in a Whacky Races/Mario Kart type Grand Prix. After that the roller coaster starts moving, the race begins, and the riders are whisked through a virtual adventure built entirely of Lego bricks.

Now that is more like it. You can keep your killer robots; I’ll take the Lego adventure every day of the week.

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