The Actuator – June 5th

This week's Actuator comes to you from June, where the weather has turned for the better after what seems like an endless amount of rain. We were able to work in the yard and it reminded me that one of the best ways to reduce stress is some physical exercise. So wherever you are, get moving, even if it is a walk around the block.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

The Vehicle of the Future Has Two Wheels, Handlebars, and Is a Bike

Regular readers of the Actuator know I have a fondness for autonomous vehicles. This article made me rethink that our future may best be served with bicycles, at least in more urban areas.

SpaceX Starlink satellites dazzle but pose big questions for astronomers

Is there any group of people Elon Musk hasn’t upset at this point?

How much does it cost to get an employee to steal workplace data? About $300

And for the low price of $1,200, you can get them to steal all the data. This is why security is hard: because humans are involved.

Real estate title insurance company exposed 885,000,000 customers' records, going back 16 years: bank statements, drivers' licenses, SSNs, and tax records

Setting aside the nature of the data, much of which I believe is public record, I want you to understand how the breach happened: because of lousy code. Until we hold individuals, not just companies, responsible for avoiding common security practices, we will continue to suffer data breaches.

Bad metadata means billions in unpaid royalties from streaming music services

Each paragraph I read made me a little sadder than the one before.

Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Just About Cutting Costs. It’s Also About Growth.

Let the machines do the tasks for which they are able, freeing up humans to do tasks for which they are able. Yes, automation and AI is about growth, and about efficiency (i.e., cutting costs).

What 10,000 Steps Will Really Get You

I never knew why Fitbit chose 10,000 steps as a default goal, but this may explain why. I’m a huge advocate for finding ways to get extra steps into your day. I hope this article gets you thinking about how to get more steps for yourself each day.

Pictured here is six yards of gravel. Not pictured is another 12 yards of topsoil. All moved by hand. I need a nap.


  • Space might be very very big but the little bit around our planet is getting pretty congested.  It will soon get to the point that, IF we have to leave, we won't be able to.    emoticons_shocked.png

  • So close with the future has two wheels.  Then you left out the engine.  Motorcycles are so much better.  Faster than bicycles, much more fuel efficient than cars, take up much less space than cars, do less damage to road surfaces than cars and the emissions from my sports bike are significantly less harmful than all that excess CO2 being pumped out by cyclists.  Don't even get me started on all that unsightly lycra  emoticons_laugh.png

  • All that dirt you're moving is a great reason for a toy that can handle it.  Buy/borrow/rent the right backhoe, excavator, tractor, or ATV-with-plow.  I've gotten to the age where I have less time & muscle than I have funds with which to pay someone else to help me get certain jobs done.  This looks like one!

  • I live just NW of Superior, Wisconsin.  Tuesday evening at 4:30 p.m. my rain gauge was bone-dry.  By 5:15 p.m. it had 2.1" of new rain in it.  That was a juicy one!  Plenty of lightning, some stronger winds (that caused no damage of which I am aware).  Lake Superior is at an all-time high water level at the moment.  Back in the 90's it was at an all-time low water level.

    Apparently all things are cyclic in Nature.  Ha!

  • I asked my wife about her degree of satisfaction with her Fitbit.  She finds it guilts her into motivation for more steps.  She's very goal-oriented, while I'm happy to achieve the goal and be finished with the project.  It only means I must redefine my goal.