Monday, November 3, 2014

Um, yikes?

Halloween may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean the scares have to stop. Consider this uplifting news out of Brazil.
South America’s biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn’t rain soon.
São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key reservoirs that supply the city dried up after an unusually dry year.
One of the causes of the crisis may be more than 2,000 kilometers away, in the growing deforested areas in the Amazon region.
“Humidity that comes from the Amazon in the form of vapor clouds - what we call ‘flying rivers’ - has dropped dramatically, contributing to this devastating situation we are living today,” said Antonio Nobre, a leading climate scientist at INPE, Brazil’s National Space Research Institute.
The changes, he said, are “all because of deforestation”.
How bad is it? Real bad.
The severity of the situation in recent weeks has led government leaders to finally admit Brazil’s financial powerhouse is on the brink of a catastrophe.
São Paulo residents should brace for a “collapse like we’ve never seen before” if the drought continues, warned Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil’s Water Regulatory Agency.
Dilma Pena, chief executive officer of Sabesp, the state-owned water utility that serves the city, warned last week that São Paulo only has about two weeks of drinking water supplies left.
More frightful -- though perhaps less life-threatening -- news below the fold.

Sony has filed a patent on technology that could redefine brands interacting with customers. In short, they propose to turn TV ads into something more akin to video games.
That’s the future of you sitting in front of your television, watching commercials, according to a new patent application from Sony. Interactive software streams to your television between pre-cut commercials, asking the viewer to actually engage with a brand for some sort of reward. In the case Sony’s proposal for this McDonald’s ad, saying the name allows you to skip the rest of the commercial.

Check out the link to see other potential uses for this technology. It would seem like a neat idea if it didn't have a certain Big Brother ring to it and appear so ripe for abuse. If nothing else, this technology coming to pass would bring humanity one step closer to the final frontier of advertising -- having ads beamed directly into your dreams.

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