Deutsche Post Introduces New Robotic Technology To Deliver Packages Late More Efficiently

Intent on keeping up with the times, the German Post is now in the process of introducing a so-called Postbot that will help human postmen deliver their packages later than ever before, or not at all.

Postbot

Based on their human counterparts, the Postbot will regularly call in sick, inexplicably lose letters and packages assigned to it once it leaves the post office and regularly pretend to have ringed at apartments located two floors or higher before leaving a notice in the mailbox claiming that nobody was home when they were there. The Postbot will do this noticably faster and more efficiently, however, failing to deliver up to seven times the number of undelivered packages normal German postmen fail to deliver.

Union officials have expressed concern that the Postbot could threaten Deutsche Post jobs and insists that the robot must be granted obligatory union memborship to help slow down this frantic pace of technological advance.

In zwei Zustellbezirken wird das vierrädrige, 1,50 Meter hohe Gefährt den Boten hinterher fahren. Es könne bis zu 150 Kilo Briefe und Pakete transportieren, stoppe vor Hindernissen und überwinde Bordsteine. Mittels Sensoren erkennt er die Beine der menschlichen Postboten und folgt ihnen in Schrittgeschwindigkeit.

 

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Berlin Face Recognition Technology Severely Flawed

Immediately after launching their six-month test of automatic facial recognition technology at Berlin’s Südkreuz railway station, a number of the German authorities responsible have already expressed their bitter disappointment with the initial results.

Face

It seems that the face recognition software being used – programmed here in Berlin – is only capable of recognizing frowning faces and security officials involved with the project fear that the new system will not be able to recognize any cheerful, smiling terrorists who attempt to murder and maim us in the future.

“This is German software, after all,” grumbled one frowning security official, refusing to give his name for security reasons. “Now wipe that stupid grin off your face and leave me the hell alone.”

Heute ist es soweit: Die umstrittene Testphase zur Gesichtserkennung am Bahnhof Südkreuz beginnt. 300 Freiwillige haben sich gemeldet.

German Of The Day: Notlandung

That means emergency or forced landing.

A380

I guess size matters after all.

The future of Airbus’s A380 super jumbo looks even more bleak after the pan-European aircraft company said it was cutting production of the double-decker airliner.

Reporting half-year figures, Airbus said that “considering the current order booking situation” delivers of the A380 will be reduced to eight in 2019…

Demand for the giant four-engined aircraft has waned as airlines seek the efficiencies of smaller twin-engine aircraft. Airlines have ordered just 317 A380s; so far 213 have been delivered.

Der weltgrößte Passagierjet A380 wird für Airbus zu einer immer herberen Enttäuschung. Weil Airlines den Flieger nicht mehr bestellen, streicht der Hersteller die Produktion ab 2019 auf acht Maschinen pro Jahr zusammen.

Germans To Develop On-Demand Flying Car Service

They’re going to call it Über.

Über

A GERMAN tech firm has vowed to develop a five-seat “flying taxi” after it successfully carried out a test flight of a smaller airborne automobile.

Munich-based Lilium said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical take-off and landing, could be used for urban air taxi and ride-sharing services.

German Engineering At Its Finest

Fortschritt durch Technik. That’s Audi’s motto and means progress through technology.

Audi

And their latest advance in defeat device technology is a great step forward in consumer deception indeed.

Audi’s defeat device, camouflaged as a warm-up function, keys in on movements of the steering wheel to detect if the car is in the lab or not. Once in normal traffic, however, this warm-up function is deactivated and the vehicle switches to a higher fuel consumption mode, thus producing more CO2. Brilliant, don’t you think?

Come on, America. Why can’t you produce technology like this? These new fangled electric cars everybody is talking about these days don’t have any of this cool stuff.

So schummelte Audi bei CO² – Mit einer Software sollen Messergebnisse manipuliert worden sein.

And Yet Another Leap Forward Already

Back to the past, I mean.

Transrapid

Step one: Develop a a maglev train technology that any ecology-minded tree hugger and profit-minded industrialist ought to have been thrilled about.

Step two: Go out of your way as ecology-minded German tree huggers to make absolutely sure that this technology is a complete failure at home.

Step three: Give up as a government years later by auctioning off the technology to the lowest bidder. Fine, to the highest bidder. But they’ll be giving it away “for an apple and an egg,” as the German idiom goes.

Jahrzehntelang stand der Transrapid für die Mobilität der Zukunft – die in Deutschland aber nie Gegenwart wurde.

Günther Has Left The Building

You know, just like Elvis used to? Only in this case Günther has left the Gasometer. Or will have left it, a bit later tonight.

Gasometer

Don’t ask. This is the spaceship thingy inside Schöneberg’s Gasometer (taken out of service in 1995 – the Gasometer, not the spaceship) where Gunther Jauch has been holding his popular Sunday evening political talk show on German Channel One (Das Erste) since 2011. And he’s done a pretty good job at it, I think, Gasometer spaceship or not.

Another era has come to an end or something. He will be replaced by Anne Will whom he replaced in 2011. Don’t ask. It’s a German öffentlich-rechtlich TV (“public sector” or state TV, if you prefer) kind of thang.

So, Anne Will (her last name could be translated as “wants to,” if you wanted to): May the talk be with you.

Am Ende war es ein eher kurzes Gastspiel für Günther Jauch in der ARD: An diesem Sonntag lädt der Moderator zum letzten Mal als Polittalker ins Berliner Gasometer. Für Jauch könnte es der Einstieg in den Vorruhestand sein.

Smart Guns Too Smart?

Mr. Mauch and his team developed a weapon that works using radio-frequency identification – the same technology employed in anti-theft tags on clothes in department stores. To fire its gun, you use an accompanying watch. When that watch is activated with a code and sitting on your wrist – or anywhere less than 25 centimetres away from the gun – the gun will fire. Otherwise, it’s a “just a piece of composite,” says Mr. Mauch, and useless as a weapon…

Smart Guns

A former long-time colleague of Mr. Mauch’s in the United States, who asked not to be named, called him a “first-rate” weapons designer but said he didn’t appreciate the American context. “The thing that worries me and millions like me is that the anti-gunners in our [government] … ONLY want this technology so they can restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” the colleague wrote in an e-mail. “Would you want to bet your life on your smart phone or laptop? Me neither.”

The Bigger They Are…

Airbus Group NV (AIR) raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.

A380

Bis heute hat Airbus Bestellungen für 318 Exemplare der A380 erhalten. Das ist nur gut ein Viertel des Bedarfs, den Airbus einst vorausgesagt hatte.

Look Mom No Cables

Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to high-rise building can sound both thrilling and nerve-wracking. That idea is soon to become a reality for global transportation manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, who is set out to test the first units of their cable-free MULTI elevator system once the testing tower in Rottweil, Germany is complete by the end of 2016.

Operating on a circular system, the elevators will be able to move vertically and horizontally in a loop at a speed of 5 m/s, powered by new linear motor technology similar to that of the Transrapid magnetic-levitation train. Passengers would have access to an elevator cabin every 15-30 seconds with a transfer stop every 50 meters.