Where have all our insects gone? | Environment | The Guardian

Where have all our insects gone? | Environment | The Guardian

The start of summer is the time of year when the nation’s insects should make their presence known by coating countryside windows with their fluttering presence, and splattering themselves on car windscreens. But they are spectacularly failing to do so. Instead they are making themselves newsworthy through their absence. Britain’s insects, it seems, are disappearing.

via Where have all our insects gone? | Environment | The Guardian

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Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans 24 with Toyota – BBC Sport

Fernando Alonso won Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt as he and team-mates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima finally ended Toyota’s long drought.

Toyota had never won the sportscar race despite years of trying but finally delivered in an event in which they were effectively without opposition.

via Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans 24 with Toyota – BBC Sport

Even though Toyota were effectively unopposed, I was still nervous for them. It’s still not an easy thing to make a car take that punishment.

I am pleased for the Toyota team and that Alonso can try for the ‘Tripple Crown’ with a win in Indy 500.

A New Era of Frankensoftware Is Upon Us | WIRED

… Big-name device makers are looking closely at the technologies running on their most successful hardware offerings and finding ways to incorporate that magic into the rest of their products. The shift is driven partly by the popularity of mobile apps and touchscreens, industry insiders say, but also by emerging technologies like voice assistants.

via A New Era of Frankensoftware Is Upon Us | WIRED

The Wired article covers more of a voice assistant, multi-platform, multi-experience slant.

Desktop OS Reshuffle

Personally, I find it interesting that this platform shuffle is going on in desktop OS right now:

  • Windows 10 adding PWAs – Windows already bridged desktop and mobile. The web is joining in.
  • Mac OS bringing iOS app and PWA support – web and mobile joining a desktop environment.
  • Chrome OS adding Android apps  – Web based OS getting mobile native apps, with linux desktop support incoming also.

Whats pleasing to me is the web is taking a more seamless role to all the desktop OSes. Web and native apps are merging and co-mingling.

I’m sure there will be some missteps in how this multiplatform existence merges under a desktop OS.

But from now on, most every connected thing you buy is going to have a little bit of something else in it. And once the companies making those things figure out a way to make these interactions effortless, it won’t seem like such a bad thing.

Instilling the notion in users, of tasks = apps, means that apps can be recombined under any platform and experience you like. Apps will remain constant no matter what the OS, how they interact will be crucial.

One in five UK mammals at risk of extinction – BBC News

One in five UK mammals at risk of extinction – BBC News

The red squirrel, the wildcat, and the grey long-eared bat are all facing severe threats to their survival, according to new research.
They are among 12 species that have been put on the first “red list” for wild mammals in the UK.
The Mammal Society and Natural England study said almost one in five British mammals was at risk of extinction.

via One in five UK mammals at risk of extinction – BBC News

Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed [ARTICLE] — 99% Invisible

According to British railway lore, the “slip coach” was born when a rail official was riding in a train car that came an unexpected stop. The rest of the express train kept going while his carriage glided to a gentle halt in front of a midway station. As the story goes, the coupling chain broke…

via Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed [ARTICLE] — 99% Invisible

Hovertrain: The British Hyperloop That Never Happened

The hovertrain, it was hoped, would speed passengers from London to Glasgow in little more than two hours at speeds of up to 300mph. It would revolutionise long-distance travel and consign conventional trains to the history books. But the vision never materialised. In 1975, little more than five years after construction started, the test track was demolished and the project was unceremoniously mothballed.

via The strange tale of the hovertrain, the British hyperloop of the 1970s | WIRED UK