technology

Posts: 21

Pilotless planes and the myth of passing on savings to consumers

The Verge has a short article up on pilotless planes, a study about consumer acceptance of pilotless planes, and the economic effects: Pilotless planes could save airlines billions, but passengers don’t want to fly in them yet

I thought about this a bit and I realised that I'd actually be willing and curious to be a passenger on a pilotless plane.

This passage, though:

UBS believes passengers could then see these savings passed down to them in the form of reduced fares, assuming there is no additional cost for flying pilotless and airlines don’t retain the benefits.

Really? Passing on savings to consumers. Really?

Let's ignore the development costs for this type of change that need to be recuperated; when was the last time you've seen publicly traded companies pass down savings to consumers?

There's nothing wrong with making a profit and once this technology is mature enough to confidently and securely transport people, by all means, make a profit. I just think that we all shouldn't lie to ourselves and think that there will be a financial benefit for anyone but these companies.

Which, ultimately, shows us that the core message of this article can be found in the first part of the title:
"Pilotless planes could save airlines billions"

Profile of accessory maker Anker on The Verge

The Verge published a profile of accessory maker Anker yesterday, written by Nick Statt.

I've been using their accessories—battery packs, Lightning cables, chargers—for a few years now and from the beginning I was very impressed by the quality Anker is able to deliver at less than half the price of Apple and established accessory manufacturers.

This article is a really interesting read about the origins and philosophy of the company.

How Anker is beating Apple and Samsung at their own game — The Verge

Eddycam 35mm camera strap + Peak Design Anchor Links

My favourite camera strap by a long shot is the Eddycam Edition "35mm" in all black. It's comfortable, robust, and the design is understated. I bought it alongside my Fujifilm X-Pro2 last year and kept it on the camera since then.

As much as I like this strap, there are two downsides to carrying my camera with a strap attached to the eyelets on either side of the body:

  • When using heavier lenses on the body, the camera becomes front-heavy, making it dangle uncomfortably when carried over the shoulder, around the neck, and diagonally across the body.
  • I can't switch to using a wrist strap in those rare situations when I want to and wrapping the neck strap around my wrist is impractical and doesn't give me the secure feeling a wrist strap does.

After a bit of searching for a quick-release solution to attach my Eddycam to, I ended up with the Peak Design Anchor Links. I have a couple Peak Design camera accessories and straps and their quick connectors are second to none. The system is a bit bulky which was my one small, but ultimately unfounded, concern about pairing the Anchor Links with the Eddycam 35mm strap: it might've ruined the clean looks of the X-Pro2 + black Eddycam strap combination.

X-Pro2 + Eddycam + Peak Design 01

The big benefit of using a quick connector system like the Peak Design Anchor Links, is having a new option to carry my camera when attaching larger lenses like the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR zoom, or the XF90mmF2 R LM WR. If I'm going to be using either of those lenses for a significant amount of time, I always attach the additional hand grip MHG-XPRO2 to my camera, which has a little gap on the right side of the base that is perfect for attaching one of the Anchor Disks — I'm honestly not sure if this is an intentional feature of the hand grip, but it's undeniably useful :)

X-Pro2 + Eddycam + Peak Design 02

With the strap attached to one of the eyelets on the camera and the small gap in the hand grip, the camera will now hang vertically on my side, making the combination more stable and comfortable to carry.

X-Pro2 + Eddycam + Peak Design 03

I'm really happy with the result of this experiment and the increased versatility of this camera strap setup. The only thing missing now is an Eddycam wrist strap with an Anchor Link, as I don't find the Peak Design wrist strap very comfortable.