Malta Today: Maltese scientists teach computer how to make airplanes land safely. “A research team at the University of Malta has developed a computer programme that can help aeroplanes land safely by learning from the data of thousands of flights from a NASA database. The research project Smart Flight Data Monitoring (SmartFDM) by the Institute of Aerospace Technologies uses machine learning techniques to analyse the recorded data and allow the computers to learn automatically – without much direct human intervention or assistance – high volumes of data at a fast rate.”
Boing Boing: DoNotPay bot launches a cheap airline ticket that automates the nearly impossible business of getting refunds when prices fall . “The DoNotPay bot… is a versatile consumer advocacy chatbot created by UK-born Stanford computer science undergrad Joshua Browder, with its origins in a bot to beat malformed and improper traffic tickets, helping its users step through the process of finding ways to invalidate the tickets and saving its users millions in the process. Now, Browder has launched a service that tracks your plane-ticket purchases after you buy and, if there are sudden price-drops (as is often the case), automatically engages in the deliberately baroque and nearly impossible-to-invoke US consumer protection rules that enable you to get a refund for the difference.”
CNET: Google’s Sergey Brin secretly building blimp at NASA, say reports. “It’s finally happened. I find myself writing the words ‘Google dirigible’ and it seems like a perfectly normal thing to say. Silicon Valley has finally come full circle.”
New-to-me: a database of drone specifications. And when I say drone, I don’t mean “fly it around in your backyard” drone, I mean drones that should probably still be called UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Countries from Afghanistan to the US are included in this database.