3-D perspective image of the San Diego-Tijuana area from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In November I quit my job as the editor of Wired to run 3D Robotics, the San Diego-based drone company I started with a partner as a side project three years ago. We make autopilot technology and small aircraft — both planes and multirotor copters — that can fly by themselves. The drones, which sell for a few hundred bucks, are for civilians: they don’t shoot anything but photographs and videos. And they’re incredibly fun to build (which we do with the ample help of robots). It wasn’t a hard decision to give up publishing for this.
But my company, like many manufacturers, is faced with a familiar challenge: its main competitors are Chinese companies that have the dual advantages of cheap labor and top-notch engineering. So, naturally, when we were raising a round of investment financing last year, venture capitalists demanded a plausible explanation for how our little start-up could beat its Chinese rivals. The answer was as much a surprise to the investors as it had been to me a few years earlier: Mexico. In particular, Tijuana.
The authority that runs the cash-strapped and passenger-starved airport Tuesday endorsed a $5 million plan to add a U.S. Customs station that would allow LVIA to have flights out of the country as early as 2014.
Embarking on a multimillion-dollar project will not be easy for the struggling airport. But the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority supported a plan to accept a $1.5 million state grant and take out loans for $3.5 million to build an inspection station.
The board believes the station will keep thousands of fliers a year from using other airports to go to places like Cancun, San Juan and Montego Bay.
Editor’s note: Sounds like history is repeating itself in the Amazon!
The city states of the ancient Mayan empire flourished in southern Mexico and northern Central America for about six centuries. Then, around A.D. 900, Mayan civilization disintegrated.
Two new studies examine the reasons for the collapse of the Mayan culture, finding the Mayans themselves contributed to the downfall of the empire.
Scientists have found that drought played a key role, but the Mayans appear to have exacerbated the problem by cutting down the jungle canopy to make way for cities and crops, according to researchers who used climate-model simulations to see how much deforestation aggravated the drought.
Two Schuylkill County men were found guilty of federal hate crimes in the beating death of a Mexican immigrant, Luis Ramirez. Brandon Piekarsky (18) and Derrick Donchak (20), both of Shenandoah, were convicted by a jury in Scranton. Donchak was also convicted of two other counts relating to a cover-up plot with Shenandoah Police. At the time ol the 2008 beating, the accused were high school football players.
Both men were taken away in handcuffs and ordered held until their January 24th sentencing. They were acquitted of more serious charges by a jury in Pottsville.
Two Shenandoah police officers will go on trial early next year for their role in the attempted cover-up.