Robotic trucks

“The Oshkosh truck company, which makes the
U.S. Army’s heavy trucks, is offering a robotic (unmanned) version of
its ten wheel Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicle. This is a big
truck, built for cross country movement.”

This is really interesting, I did a little research and found some additional details here, and that this vehicle actually competed in the DARPA Grand Challenge event held recently.

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IE7 Beta 2 Preview

I’ve been running the IE7 browser beta release and really like some of the things they have done. As I pointed out in an earlier post on the subject of FF v. IE market share, I think it’s fair to say that for the broader market people don’t really care about what ideology is behind a product, what they care about is the features. Competition is good, IE6 was so old that it almost pre-dated the Internet itself, it seemed, and I never used it except to access some internal SAP systems that didn’t support FF.

Here’s some observations:

  • The RSS support is key for enterprise customers. I’m going to diverge here and get into a little SAP stuff, it’s no secret that we’ve been increasing our use of blogs internally but one of the big problems in adopting RSS is that we don’t have a standardized was of consuming the feeds on the our user’s desktops and laptops. I’m not going to go out and buy a product to do this and put it on 30,000+ computers on our network, and I’m not going to do anything with Outlook plug-ins either because the time required to run the pilot and stress test, as well as develop our internal support is just too great. Plus, Outlook is far to fragile to go and start plugging in a bunch of add-ons. Having IE7 support RSS takes this entire issue off the table, and while there will still be great opportunity for companies to build innovative RSS products, for most enterprise users what IE7 provides will be more than adequate.
  • Downside on the RSS features is that the refresh speed is not as good as I would like.
  • The tabbed browsing interface is better than FF. This is a small point but I like being able to create a new tab just by clicking on it, and what I’m finding is that I use tabs more often becuase it’s right there front and center.
  • The add-on manager functions are much improved and getting closer to FF. The number of add-ins is, not surprising, far less than FF, but the direction they appear to be on is a good one. Of course, I’m writing this blog post on Performancing for FF so the add-ons have a long way to go to completely satisfy me.
  • The search dropdown functionality is just like FF and that’s good. It’s really interesting to see how you can add search engines for not just the usual suspects but also and, to name a few. They are making it really easy for 3rd parties to add their search engines to the browser by supporting the OpenSearch spec. We should enable a search engine in IE7 for SDN.
  • It took me a little while to get used to the new layout for all the buttons, but I think it’s actually a much better way to organize the browser functions.
  • The browser is speedy fast.
  • I wish they would make it skinable, it seems pretty trivial but I like being able to change the appearance of my applications.

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