China displaces thousands in search for ET’s phone call

With all the tech advancements made in the automobile world as of late, the fact remains that getting into and out of a car still usually requires one of the oldest technologies around: a key. Sure, many cars use those fancy new wireless “proximity” fob thingies, but hidden inside: the same tech that was used to open dungeon doors and treasure chests. But that may be about to change.

Volvo says it is looking to do away with the traditional key in favor of a smartphone app, which would work like a fob but also let you track your car’s location, vital stats and so on. Seeing how Volvo is also developing autonomous car tech, this seems like a no-brainer, but the Swedish carmaker also says that keys won’t be going away completely, because it’s always possible to lose your phone as well. And then what are you going to do?

China is putting the finishing touches on a new radio telescope that will make the giant Arecibo dish look like an inverted tinfoil hat. The FAST radio telescope is over 1600 feet wide and cost $184 million to build. It should go online later this year and it’s primary mission: to look for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Anyway, China needs a big radio-silent “quiet zone” around the new telescope, so they’re relocating over 9,000 people across two provinces, both of which are among the poorest in the country. Families will receive about $1,800 each in compensation, which the communist government says is about six months pay for the average peasant. I’m sure the people losing their homes hope that they indeed hook up with some ETs – who will hopefully offer them a better deal.

Got dreams of being the next Neil Peart or Phil Collins? What you probably need is a third arm – if you want to take on Peart at least – and researchers at Gerogia Tech have you covered. The creators of a robotic third arm for drummers say the software learns your movements and is pretty good at keeping the beat… because it’s a robot that can keep perfect time, of course.

Initially designed to help a one-armed drummer, the natural progression seemed to be, hey, if two arms are good, we can only imagine where this might end up.