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Are you concerned that Amazon will eventually provide a similar service for Kindle users?. Adler (Scribd): The book subscription space is getting super interesting, and I'm excited to see how it plays out. I'm also curious what Amazon thinks of our engagement numbers in our Kindle Fire app. Do expect other major publishers to come on board before year's end?. Adler (Scribd): I'm really optimistic about the book subscription space, and I think we're just at the beginning of a tipping point. How has your adoption rate been? (Do you have any numbers to give out)?.
Adler (Scribd): Incredible, Since we soft iphone screen protector keeps cracking launched the book subscription service in January 2013, it's been growing at 50 percent per month, That's 438x growth in 15 months! On top of this engagement has been solid, with the average user spending 45 minutes reading per session, and engagement has been steadily improving as we add more books and improve the product, I'm really excited to see how these numbers respond when we add the S&S books, Scribd and Oyster's all-you-can-read e-book subscription services add 'Big 5' publisher's backlist titles..
That's exactly why NASA originally turned to Spheres, autonomous, free-flying robots that take care of mundane tasks and are based on the flying droid that helped teach Luke Skywalker how to fight with a light saber in the original "Star Wars."Now, Spheres are incorporating Google's Project Tango, cutting-edge tech that is expected to help the space agency increase efficiency. For some time -- since 2003, to be exact -- space station crews have had access to free-flying robots known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites. That ungainly title is best abbreviated to a more palatable acronym: Spheres. Originally designed by aero/astroengineers at MIT, Spheres were meant as a flying test bed for examining the mechanical properties of materials in microgravity. The inspiration for the project, said Terry Fong, director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA, "comes from 'Star Wars,' as all good things do.".
Now, NASA is bringing an especially innovative commercial tool into the mix, Starting this October, Spheres will incorporate Project Tango -- a smartphone platform built for 3D mapping that also happens to be packed with just the series of sensors and cameras that NASA needs to handle many of the mundane tasks aboard the ISS, In iphone screen protector keeps cracking 2003, Spheres were fairly rudimentary -- at least for flying autonomous robots, They relied on liquid carbon dioxide for propulsion and on an ancient Texas Instruments digital signal processor..
About four years ago, Fong's Intelligent Robotics Group took over the project. Since then, it has been slowly improving Spheres robots by using the small computers better known as smartphones. At first, NASA worked with Nexus S smartphones, which are jammed with cameras, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and modern processors. In his lab at NASA's Ames Research Center here on Monday, Fong explained that his team has now graduated to incorporating Project Tango into the Spheres project. That's a step forward, he said, and should allow far more control over the flying robots and more accurate and trackable flying.
That's important, as space station crews have a lot to keep track of while on board, For example, Fong said, they must test air quality, as well as measure items like sound, light, radiation levels, In addition, there are more than 20,000 items aboard the space station that must be inventoried, such as food, toolkits, and instruments, At the same time, NASA has a need for cameras on the ISS, but who wants to ask an iphone screen protector keeps cracking astronaut to stop what she's working on and take pictures?, With Project Tango, Fong said, the Spheres can be smarter than ever and help NASA take more of the day-to-day tasks out of the crew members' hands..
Thanks to the device's multiple onboard cameras and ability to "see" with stereo vision, as well as built-in PrimeSense technology -- which powers the Kinect, Microsoft's hands-free motion-capture system -- NASA now has a tool for auto-generating 3D maps of the space station without requiring the physical beacons that earlier Spheres relied on to know where they were. With Tango, Fong explained, Spheres will be able to automatically calculate their distance from anything on the ISS. That should make it much easier for a droid to navigate the space station while managing its tasks.
Of course, Fong's team has taken a few liberties with the Project Tango devices it has been marrying with Spheres, For one thing, he said, they've taken the back side of the phone and "butterflied it out," meaning that all of its cameras are now facing forward, They've also covered the screen with protective material and pulled out the components that allow phone calls on Earth -- both safety steps mandated for working on iphone screen protector keeps cracking the ISS, And instead of the built-in battery, it is powered by a special lithium-ion battery pack certified for use on the space station..