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Chevy Spark Goes 139.7 Miles on One Charge

Chevrolet Spark

One of the biggest knocks against the electric vehicle revolution is range. It’s hard to get from one charging station to another in some places around the country. They are city drivers, designed to get you back and forth from work less than 20 miles away to get you there without incident on the EPA-rated 82 mile range Chevrolet Spark.

Digital Trends wanted to put the limits to the test. According to Chevy, they could get well over 100 miles in ideal situations. Those “ideal” situations weren’t exactly practical – 18 MPH nonstop with the right driving conditions. To test it, they took it to the track and set the record, unofficially. There are no recorded events for this type of test, so it’s the record as far as we know. That’s good enough for us!

According to the driver:

I prodded the Chevy team for more info. The Spark EV engineers admitted that in ideal conditions, the Spark could probably go 160 to 180 miles on a single charge, which – at 18.5 mph – would take around nine hours of non-stop driving.

Read More: Digital Trends

Science:

The Fisherman vs. the FAA: The Saga of Beer Delivery Drones

It’s been a beautiful winter for ice fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Due to the especially cold weather, many lakes froze early giving hardy ice fishermen an early start to the season. On top of that, a Wisconsin Brewery, Lakemaid from Stevens Point, had developed the ability to deliver cold and fresh beer straight to their fishing spots via drone. They’d never run out of beer again! No one would have to make that cold trek to shore to visit the bar or liquor store. Technology to the rescue!

Enter the FAA, or Federal Aviation Administration. They spotted a video put up on YouTube by the brewery showing their test flight of what they call their UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The FAA won’t have it, and they put a stop to it.

Although there are almost no laws governing drones specifically, the FAA rules the airspace and have determined that commercial drones, even when granted a research exception to the ‘no commercial drones’ rule, cannot fly higher than 400 feet. This means that the typical RC helicopter (seen here) is fine for a toy, but toss a delivery service into the mix and things become criminal. Additionally, Lakemaid was caught dead to rights. These drones flew higher than that and were officially in the FAA’s domain.

The Internet arose in full fury mode. Twitter and Facebook were inundated with stories of the beer drone shutdown. What seemed like a peaceful, logical and useful application of drone technology was being eliminated while military usage grew almost unrestricted.

Lakemaid even started a Whitehouse government petition asking the Obama administration to put their drones in the skies again. As of this writing only 1405 signatures have been gathered with only 98,595 to go by March 1st, 2014.

The drone in use by Lakemaid Brewery is a DJIF550, which can handle about a 12-pack or a little less on a day with windy flying conditions. Jack Supple, the president of Lakemaid, has said the company was pleased with their drone marketing so far and were about to order a larger model when the FAA called and put a stop to their drone operations. They will be keeping a sharp eye on the upcoming regulations, so they can continue their drone beer deliveries in a safe, legal manner.

Lakemaid isn’t the only commercial operator of drones that has received cease and desist orders from the FAA. A real estate company in Wisconsin had been using drones to get pictures of properties, and the University of Nebraska had been using them for journalism purposes. These programs have been halted.

Currently there are few regulations for drone technology despite the publicly-announced development by large companies like Amazon and Domino’s Pizza. The FAA is expected to come out with comprehensive regulation in 2015. In the meantime grounding protects the public from things like falling objects that could do harm to people or property.

It’s expected that special training and licenses will be involved, so drones won’t be filling our airspace for some years to come. For the time being ice fishermen will have to haul more beer out on the lake by themselves!

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last update: April 16, 2014

Gadgets:

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Tech Work Survives Your Worst Fears

There’s only one thing that may be harder than performing difficult technical work: recovering emotionally from the disastrous event of losing all that work.

You might assume we’re going to give you the same bland advice you’ve always heard about saving your work. But take a look at the ways that you might manage not to lose your work, and how you can mitigate the danger of these fearsome disasters becoming a horrific reality.

Here are five ways to ensure your work survives your worst fears.

1. Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property protection is an issue of ongoing contention and legal conflicts, but one thing is for certain: you need to protect your work in this way. Due to the lightning viral nature of today’s Internet, and the hunger for great content, the “borrowing” (which is to say, stealing) of creative work is at all-time high.

Ask an attorney who specializes in this type of protection, or check out solid informational sources on intellectual property protection.

2. NDAs

NDA stands for Non Disclosure Agreements, which help to prevent people from running away with your most prized intellectual ideas and properties after they’ve been exposed to them. This is something you’ll definitely want for your developers and employees.

If don’t have NDAs in place, you could lose your hard work to someone who did nothing other than take it from you!

3. Hold workers to milestones

If you’re not setting and measuring milestones, there’s a chance your project (and the hard work involved) will be a complete waste of time. A good resource for this are the principles of lean startups. If you don’t finish the project, you lose your work. Period.

4. Debug

If you’re not testing and debugging everything you build, then you’re potentially making a massive mistake that will kill your entire project. Certain types of bugs, if detected early, can alter the essential design, but if you discover the problems too late, you might not have the budget or time to make the necessary alterations.

5. Backups

Backing up your data has always been a habit that every techie utilizes (or should), but what about the devices themselves?

We’re talking specifically about backup power. You’re going to want to find a battery-based backup service with the kind of ongoing maintenance plan that works for your needs and budget.

When your data is backed up, and the power to get to that data is also backed up, you’ll be especially well protected from any type of calamity that might endanger your ability to use all the work you’ve done.

Social:

Is Anyone Watching Your Commercial?

After going to all the trouble of creating a commercial for the world to see that promotes your brand, don’t you want to know if anyone is watching it? That’s the message behind the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

With state of the art analytic tools, Adobe can help marketers make sure that their ads are effective and viewed by the proper audience. Learn more by visiting http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html.

Lifestyle:

4 Creative Ways to Help Your Real Estate Sell Quickly

At an auction

When it comes to selling real estate, it seems like nearly every type of creative maneuver has already been executed. And while that might be true – somewhere, somehow, nearly every type of idea has been attempted once – that shouldn’t stop you from going above and beyond with your real estate listing, and being as creative as possible.

Your agent may have some unique ideas for you, but take a look around the Internet, and you’ll find all kinds of extra things you can try to help your home sell faster (or at least generate some free buzz and word of mouth marketing). Here are our favorite ways we’ve seen people taking creative action to sell their homes.

1. Arrows

It’s been rumored that directional arrows sell as much real estate as the computerized listing systems, although that claim is hard to track accurately. Whatever the truth, arrows work. Find the heaviest traveled streets and place signs in a pattern that lead people to your property. Also include a URL on the sign, for people walking past it.

2. YouTube

Video marketing is only just beginning to materialize in the real estate industry, and you can be an early innovator before it’s crowded. Online video viewership is happening at an astounding rate, so this trend is here to stay.

You could give the tour yourself and make it fun, with inside information about certain areas. And nobody can quite convey the emotion as positively as you, since you loved living there.

3. Flyers

This old-school technique is one of the most underutilized methods out there. Of course, you can’t put them in mailboxes, but there are all kinds of places around town where free flyers can be posted. Just look for them, and you’ll notice all the locations you can use to create a little extra buzz for your real estate listing.

4. Word play on the city or street

Think of how you might play on the name of your town, and what kind of promotion you might do around that. If your real estate listing is in Truckee, Calif., perhaps you could sell your old truck along with the property! The ad could say “Free truck in Truckee, first accepted offer drives away happy!” That’s the type of promotion that will stand out from the rest, and it’s such a simple idea to implement.

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Improve Your Email Use, Improve Your Clientele

The good folks at Constant Contact have noticed 5 main issues businesses face when sending emails that alienate their client base. Check out this short video that details 5 things your email recipients hate and what you can do to correct them. These seemingly simple mistakes can be the difference between effective and ineffective communication via emails and e-newsletters.

For more tips on improving your marketing and growing your business, visit http://constantcontact.com.

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It’s going to be a big day for young girls everywhere

Debbie Sterling was upset. She had just spent years earning her degree in engineering at Stanford, only to realize how few women were graduating alongside her. Her training kicked in, she saw a problem and immediately sought a solution. So, she started Goldie Blox. Goldie Blox aims to engage young female minds in the world of science and engineering through the story and imagination. Her hypothesis was proven and now her company had a thirty second spot during the Super Bowl. Not a bad conclusion.

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Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

Ford Hybrid

There is more and more confusion added to the mix every time the automakers come out with a new version of energy efficient vehicles. There’s hybrids, plug-in hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles, and likely several more on the way that combine gas, electricity, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, and gravitational energy induction to propel our vehicles.

Continue reading Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

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