“Drones Are Here to Stay. Get Used to It.”

This statement was the title of a TIME article, which was included in the magazine’s special report on “The Drone Age”. We asked Christian Bettstetter to tell us what today’s drones can do and what drone(swarms) are not yet capable of. One thing is certain: Our airspace is going to be much busier in the future.

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“I worked hard for this”

Jennifer Simonjan’s work focuses on camera networks. In conversation with ad astra she tells us why she does not fear ubiquitous camera surveillance, what she recently learned in Atlanta about nano cameras, and what it took for her, a first-generation student from an environment that was hardly technologically-minded, to gain her current position.

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Not every valley is suitable for a technology cluster

As a general rule, simply starting a business cluster in a green field does not tend to work, as Max-Peter Menzel explains. He specialises in the geography of innovation and production. “Smarter” concepts offer greater promise.

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Automatic log-loading at sawmills

Sawmills can already transform wooden logs into planks at lightning speed. In contrast, the process of unloading the logs from the truck and transferring them to the sawmill is relatively slow. A project funded by the FFG is now exploring ways to automate this step.

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Efficiency in the great big data cloud

Every minute, video material amounting to roughly 400 hours of viewing time is uploaded to YouTube. Users watch one billion hours’ worth of videos every single day, according to the channel’s own statistics. This data traffic between the YouTube “cloud” and the terminal devices, more than half of which are mobile devices, requires efficient organisation. The computer scientist Radu Prodan specialises in the efficiency aspects of these distributed and parallel systems. In the following interview, he discusses the possibilities and impossibilities that still lie ahead and that present enormous challenges for technology, humankind, and nature.

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