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Science moves far too slowly

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Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 2:49 am

I am a big science fiction fan. I find that science moves far too slowly and I am ready to travel light years into the abyss of space. Having said that, it is easy to understand why I found the X-47B so interesting.

No, the X-47B is not a new smart phone. It is an aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman. The X-47B is an autonomous drone that does not have a pilot in the cockpit or one on the ground. The X-47B finds and destroys targets using artificial intelligence.

After reading about this amazing aircraft I couldn’t help thinking about the sci-fi film Terminator. For anyone unfamiliar with the film, the story involves autonomous drones wiping out humanity. While I am sure Northrop Grumman is testing their new creation thoroughly, it makes me a little uneasy.

While the X-47B makes me uneasy, Google’s small fleet of autonomous Prii absolutely terrifies me.

Yes, the geniuses at Google are testing an autonomous vehicle in an effort to take you and me out of control … of our cars. The Google semi-autonomous Toyota Prius uses GPS in cooperation with onboard sensors to navigate these boring little drones around obstacles. If anything good can be said about the project, it would be that no human will have to suffer the monotony of driving a Prius ever again. With any luck the X-47B will wage war on the Prius - bot and we can continue to be the masters of our own destiny, or at least masters of our morning commute.

In a past article, I made a list of my top five most desirable cars featured in movies and television.

Cars like Magnum Pi’s Ferrari and, of course, Tom Cruse’s Porsche 928 featured in Risky Business. By far the most exciting news you will read in the paper today is that the legendary Porsche 928 from Risky Business is up for sale, a classy car from a classic movie.

The Volvo auto museum in Chicago is selling the restored 1983 Porsche. There were apparently four cars used in the movie, one of which was dumped into Lake Michigan shortly after outrunning “Guido, the killer pimp.” The owners of the car claim it is in rough shape but it is all original. Asking price is $55,000, which is a lot for an old 928, but it may just pull some serious cash from a Scientology enthusiast.

I sometimes feel as if I have been over critical of the Honda Motor Company in the past. After all they are responsible for a walking robot and countless automotive achievements like variable valve timing. However I can't help but feel that their current lineup is not the same high level of engineering that I have come to expect.

In an effort to reach these high standards, Honda is building a jet. Not a jet powered car, mind you, but a jet with wings and landing gear. HondaJet, will cost $4.5 mil when it goes to market. While the Hondajet has taken twenty - six years to go from design to reality, experts say that is an industry norm.

Honda is building the plane to fill a void in the market. Unlike the luxury Gulf stream jets, the Hondajet will be a no - frills business plane. Great, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Honda Civic for the sky.

That’s the news, folks. Watch out for Toyota Prii on the road they may be driven by renegade robots from the future, or someone on the phone.




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