Stay on target Researchers Use Rats to Find Out Why Coffee Makes Us PoopStarbucks Will Test ‘Greener,’ Recyclable Cups in Stores Soon More than 75 million homes have a single-cup brewing machine. They’re convenient, sure, but they also generate an estimated ten times as much waste as traditional coffee makers.Billions of Keurig’s K-Cups, Tassimo Pods, and Nespresso capsules get used up every year. Thankfully, there’s been an increased focus on sustainability from these companies recently. Nespresso, for one, started shipping pre-paid recycling bags to its customers in the EU last year. The program has been very well received, and Nespresso decided to get creative to trumpet its success.They teamed up with the legendary knifemakers at Victorinox to produce a limited edition Swiss Army knife. The company calls it “a bit of Swiss recycling history,” and it’s fitting that they chose to create a new member of their Pioneer line with this pioneering project.Like K-Cups, Nespresso capsules are made from aluminum. Each Pioneer Nespresso Livitano knife contains aluminum from two dozen spent capsules, which gets melted down and cast to form the Alox scales on the sides of the knife.It’s going to take a whole lotta knives to make a dent in the billions of aluminum single-cup containers consumers are burning through each year, but every little bit helps. Now that Nespresso and Victorinox have shown that the recycled material can meet the knifemaker’s rigid quality standards, perhaps other companies will be willing to follow their lead.In the meantime, you can always re-purpose your single-serve waste into things like tiny leprechaun hats for your St. Paddy’s day festivities or seed starters.
Stay on target The Japanese always seem to get the better end of the deal when it comes to video games, don’t they? Not only will their version of the SNES Classic Edition come with five exclusive games, but it’ll also have some slick looking (i.e. better) box art.Instead of simply featuring a picture of the console on the box, the Japanese cover looks like it was hand drawn. They eye-catching minimalist design really pops out with its bright colors. I could totally see it being displayed in a museum as a piece of pop art.As far as the games lineup goes, it’s not all that different from North America and Europe. On top of classics like Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy III (VI), Super Metroid, and Donkey Kong Country, the Japanese SNES Classic Edition will exclusive have:Fire Emblem: Mystery of the EmblemThe Legend of Mystical NinjaPanel de PonSuper SoccerSuper Street Fighter II: The New ChallengersFor comparison’s sake, here are the five games exclusive to North America and Europe:EarthboundKirby’s Dream CourseStreet Fighter 2′ Turbo: Hyper FightingSuper Castlevania IVSuper Punch-Out!!Yes, the Japanese SNES Classic Edition features the best version of Street Fighter II. Not that there’s anything wrong with Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, but come on! With that said, it could be argued that we got the better end of the deal overall with our exclusives. After all, the Japanese SNES Classic Edition doesn’t have Earthbound, Super Castlevania IV, or Super Punch-Out. Still, not having Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers stings.Despite Nintendo stating it would produce more SNES Classic Editions than it did NES Classic Editions, folks are having a hard time pre-ordering the system. How do you get your hands on this already highly sought-after console? There’s not much that can be done now, so keep checking back with your favorite local (or online) retailer to see if they have any in stock.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 8Bitdo’s SN30 Wireless Gamepad is a Perfect Controller for the SNE…8Bitdo SNES Classic Edition Wireless Controller Now Available for Pre-Order
With its latest acquisition, Deere & Company wants to prove old heavy-equipment manufacturers can still learn new tricks.The John Deere brand owner this week announced plans to purchase robotics firm Blue River Technology for $305 million.Blue River’s growing portfolio includes high-tech agricultural spraying equipment, dubbed “See & Spray,” which enables farmers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present.See & Spray for cotton weeding (via Blue River Technology)Using artificially intelligent tools, growers can scan fields, assess crops, and exterminate weeds in one fell swoop.A set of cameras fixed to crop sprayers use deep learning algorithms to identify various types of greenery; the machine automatically knows to shower weeds with herbicide and squirt fertilizer or fungicide on plants as needed.“We are using computer vision, robotics, and machine learning to help smart machines detect, identify, and make management decisions about every single plant in the field,” Blue River CEO Jorge Heraud said in a statement.The multi-million-dollar transaction is expected to close this month; once the ink dries, the 60-person Blue River team will remain in Sunnyvale, Calif., where it has been operating since 2011.“John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers,” John May, president of agricultural solutions and chief information officer, said in a statement. “Machine learning is an important capability for Deere’s future.”LettuceBot for precision lettuce thinning (via Blue River Technology)Despite working on autonomous tractors for two decades, Deere & Company hasn’t yet reached the same level of success as industry giants like Google and Tesla. Even its most advanced vehicles, which use the proprietary AutoTrac guidance system, can only assist with navigation, and require a human in the cab.There is no telling what Deere will accomplish with the help of Blue River; neither company revealed its exact plans for the future. But whatever it is will surely benefit the growing agricultural robotics sector, expected to reach $16.3 billion by 2020.