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FAA Announces Drone Registration Rules.

The New York Times (12/15, Kang, Subscription Publication) adds that registration will be free for 30 days, and then a $5 fee will be required for a three-year certificate of registration after that period. Those who purchase drones before Dec. 21 have until Feb. 19, 2016 to register, while those purchasing after Dec. 21 must register .

Article posted: 12/15/2015

Big Names Put $1 Billion Behind Open-Source AI.

The Wall Street Journal  (12/11, McMillan, Barr) “Digits” blog is among the media outlets that report on a $1 billion investment by some high-profile Silicon Valley names in keeping the development of artificial intelligence open and immune to profit pressures. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, venture capitalist Peter Thiel, and Y Combinator executives are among those backing the OpenAI Inc. nonprofit research organization. Musk is famously apprehensive about the potential for destructive AI.

        AI Could Some Day Adjust Advertising, Based On Human Reactions. MediaPost’s Media Daily News (12/13, Sullivan) speculates on media applications of AI, such as “advertisements that adapt to human reactions,” altering engagement online and offline as a result. The report adds that it might become possible to adapt a media campaign from one source to “other types of media, such as display and search” by using “software and

Article posted: 12/14/2015

New York City To Switch Many City-Owned Vehicles To EVs.

The New York Times (12/2, Grynbaum, Subscription Publication) reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office on Tuesday announced a plan to replace about 2,000 sedans owned by the city with electric vehicles over the next ten years. The plan would switch roughly half of the city’s fleet of nonemergency vehicles to electric vehicles, officials said, and would involve a $50-80 million capital investment through 2025 in order to create necessary charging infrastructure. De Blasio spokesperson Amy Spitalnick said the savings from fuel would offset other costs and the plan “is projected to help cut the city government’s vehicle emissions by

Article posted: 12/03/2015

Silicon Valley Consultancy Proposes New Coding Boot Camp Accreditation Model.

The Chronicle of Higher Education (11/12) reports that Silicon Valley consultancy firm Entangled Solutions “is proposing a new model for assessing educational quality.” The firm “calls for evaluating traditional institutions and other education providers based on students’ opinions of the programs once they’ve left, and on ‘valid, reliable, and appropriate’ tests of student learning.” The piece reports that the model “is designed for coding academies and other educational providers seeking to be part of a U.S. Department of Education experiment that will allow federal student aid to flow to ventures that operate in partnership with accredited colleges.”

Article posted: 11/13/2015

Plan Designates California Desert Land For Renewable Energy Development.

The AP (11/11, Spagat) reported Tuesday’s announcement of a plan to regulate the development of renewable energy in desert areas under the oversight of the US Bureau of Land Management in Southern California. Reportedly, the plan designates nearly 400,000 acres for potential renewable projects, and sets aside 5.3 million and 3.6 million acres respectively for conservation and recreation. US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose comments were echoed by the Nature Conservancy, stated that, “This strategy provides effective protection and conservation for wildlife, recreation and cultural resources, while encouraging streamlined renewable energy development in the right places.” The National Parks Conservation Association, however, disagreed that the plan removed the threat that renewable energy development posed to desert national parks.

Article posted: 11/12/2015