• The Endless Potential of Flying Robots

    Right now a Parrot AR Drone may just be a toy quadracopter that retails for around $300 at Brookstone (not to mention Bill's favorite way to kill time), but today we're looking at all the potential applications beyond spying on your neighbors BBQ, including flying one through the studios of ABC News in New York (and giving Diane Sawyer a rude surprise).

    A quadracopter is something of a blank canvas that can be used for the silly to the serious, from delivering tacos to couch potatoes in San Francisco to remaking the James Bond theme song at the University of Pennsylvania.

    But what may be most intriguing is a concept coming from Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, a London based think tank lead by Liam Young, who has created a set of quadracopter prototypes that act as WiFi hotspots.

    Once in operation these WiFi drones could be flown above crowds of protestors when access to the internet is cut off by authorities, like during the Arab Spring, or to house servers out of the jurisdiction of

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  • Let's say it's the fourth of July, and the Clintons have invited you to their house in Westchester, New York to shoot off some fireworks and have a barbeque. From Grand Central station in New York City, it would take you an hour to get there by train. Well, imagine being able to travel to London in less time to meet the Queen for tea at Buckingham palace.

    A licensing organization called ET3 believes that day isn't far off. They hold a patent to Evacuated Tube Technology or ETT and say that with their tubes, you will eventually be able to get you from New York to Beijing in 2 hours and from New York to London in less than an hour.

    Their six person capsules would travel on frictionless magnetic levitation tracks, through air-less vacuum tubes reaching a maximum speed of 4,000 miles per hour. At that speed you could spend the day comparing noodles in China to Pasta in Italy and back to New York in time for cheesecake, all in the same day.

    Now before you start making dinner reservations

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  • Looking Beyond Leather

    This week's blog post is an edited transcript of a very long text message from our special guest Fernando Perez, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays. Follow him on Twitter @outfieldrambler.

    Check out Scott Carpenter's custom-made synthetic baseball glove, and his custom hand-molding process, at Carpenter Trade Company.

    There are more baseball equipment start-ups than you could imagine, some started by baseball lovers who've only grazed the game and some by former players. Players apply empirical research in producing a product they believe should exist. The outsider makes assumptions based on library research and inklings. Rightfully, half of the products are laughed at and tossed in the trash of locker rooms when passed to players to demo.

    Baseball players are often superstitious to a fault, but until that fault is disproven, they're merely acknowledging that their wheel works fine, although this stance disallows them to seize an opportunity to make the wheel more perfectly round. For

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