Light Start: SA wants to ban fluorescent light, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings suffers a blight, Nasa helicopter prepares for flight and Domino’s pizza robot is a delight

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Selling fluorescent bulbs may be banned in South Africa

A change in the regulations in South African light bulbs is currently being undertaken, with the aim of improving general safety and energy efficiency of lighting around the country. The new specifications that determine what may be sold in the country will more or less ban compact fluorescent lamps, a form of light bulb that is known for being 75% more energy efficient than regular bulbs. Which raises the question: Why? Under these new requirements, LEDs would become the more commonly used form of light in South African households.

You might think that the reason CFLs are facing a ban is the small amount of mercury gas contained within the bulbs but you’d be wrong. The proposed regulations will require lightbulbs to give off a certain amount of light, measured in lumens, which CFLs don’t quite meet. Essentially, the government is looking to install legislature that would require less environmentally friendly bulbs to be sold… which doesn’t sound all that appealing if you ask us.

But according to a study conducted by Nova Economics, using bulbs that require more energy but give off more light could be more environmentally friendly as fewer lamps are needed to meet the same amount of lumens given off by energy-efficient bulbs. This could in turn reduce general strain placed on the national grid.

Source: MyBroadband

Amazon cancels its Lord of the Rings MMO

Amazon

Amazon’s attempt at breaking into video games seems doomed to fail. With the failure of Crucible last year, its upcoming Lord of the Rings MMO has unfortunately met a similar fate before even leaving the gates. Announced in 2019, Amazon was working alongside developer Athlon Games to bring the game to life but plans seemingly fell apart when Athlon was acquired by Tencent Holdings. In December of 2020, an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge that it was “unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.”

The cancellation of the project has now been confirmed as members working on the LOTR title will be put to work on other projects within Amazon. This Lord of the Rings game would probably have tied into the adaption currently being put together for Amazon Prime Video. In any case, there’s already a Tolkien-inspired MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, so if you’re feeling burned by this cancellation you could always check that out.

Source: The Verge

Nasa readies helicopter for historic first Mars flight

It sounds like a rather trivial thing but building a helicopter than can fly on Mars is… well, it’s damn tricky. Considering the atmosphere is completely different (it’s roughly 1% of Earth’s atmospheric density) Nasa needed to come up with an original design to get its Ingenuity helicopter off the (red) ground. Nasa is in the process of setting up for the first launch which, even we will admit, doesn’t sound especially exciting. Ingenuity’s first flight will see it rise about 3 metres into the air for 30 seconds before gradually dropping down to land. It’s simple but an essential start for the process. It’ll also mark the first powered flight on a planet other than Earth.

Speaking to BBC News, Farah Alibay, a systems engineer at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said “We’ve been flying on Earth for just over 100 years, and now we’re like, ‘yeah, we’re gonna go to another planet and fly’. It’s crazy. But that’s the beauty of exploration. That’s the beauty of engineering.” Tune in to the live stream from 12:15 today. 

Source: BBC News

Domino’s launches a pizza delivery robot

As shown off by Spider-Man 2, delivering pizza can be a difficult job. Domino’s hopes to improve it with the launch of its first delivery robot: R2. The very obvious name aside, the autonomous device has been set loose on the streets of Houston, Texas to deliver pizza to whoever might order it. Developed by self-driving vehicle company Nuro, the robot is designed to cruise along pavements right to the front door of folks who’ve placed an order. It’s smaller than a car, electric and looks like an oversized mouse droid from Star Wars.

Once customers place a prepaid order for a Domino’s pizza, they will be prompted to have their delivery conducted by R2. If they select the little robot, they’ll be sent SMSs updating them on the robot’s journey (or they can track it live through the order confirmation page). When R2 arrives, customers will enter the pin they were sent earlier on a touchscreen, which will unlock the robot’s doors and allow delicious pizza to be extracted. It’s a real neat little system that will probably take a very long time to spread to other parts of the world, because it’s no doubt disgustingly expensive.

Source: Gizmodo

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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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  1. Pingback: Watch NASA's Ingenuity helicopter take off and land on the Martian surface » Stuff

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