NASA's Creative Use of Vending Technology

When you think of vending machines, what do you imagine?

Almost everyone knows that after the customer inserts an appropriate amount of cash into any machine, products are automatically dispensed. Whether you're keen to enjoy a soft drink, ice cream, refrigerated sandwich or one of a wide selection of snacks, almost anything is possible. In today's world, vending machines are fairly common and convenient to use. At cinemas and other public venues, they can provide quick access to a much wanted snack or drink, whilst avoiding the queues of a concession stand.

However, the future of the vending machine looks set to change if a recent display by NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is anything to go by. Normally associated with space travel and robotic innovations, they've adapted a vending machine 'with a difference' at their Jet Propulsion Laboratory machine shop.

At their recent annual open house, NASA's scientists delighted the visiting public by displaying and explaining their latest robots and inventions. The inventions on display were impressive. Surprisingly, one particular adaptation that caught the eye of many visitors was their updated vending machine, as people remarked that "they'd never seen anything like it". With no ice cream or snack in sight, people were astonished to see tools and equipment being dispensed as needed. The available items included precision drill bits, saw blades, couplers, and other numerous tools.

Keep Your Private Business Information Secure

If you have been in business for any length of time, it is likely that you have seen some significant changes in the technology that is running your business. Perhaps you started at a time before computers were readily available, and you may have done almost everything by hand. During those days, there were fewer problems with that information getting loose and being publicly available. Today, however, there are many issues as far as that is concerned, and you need to make sure that the technology you are using is able to handle it properly. What are some of the ways in which problems could occur within your business, and how can you make sure that you are locked down tightly?

If you handle sensitive documents, such as if you do any MICR printing, it is important for you to stay in compliance with the agencies that are monitoring you. It is also important that you have everything set up properly, not only as far as security is concerned but also as far as the inner workings of your company is concerned. An example of this would be the E-138 font that you may use when writing checks. It is likely that you have this available, and it is important for you to use the right font to ensure that the check is read properly at the clearinghouse. Of course, you would also want to ensure that the printers were locked down tightly and access was limited so that obvious problems did not occur.

EWaste By The Numbers - How Much Isn't Disposed of Properly

Electronic waste or eWaste is basically any piece of electrical equipment that is discarded improperly. That is very vague and broad, but you get the picture. The amazing thing about this term is that it was something that was rarely discussed years ago. Even going back further, it didn't even exist! But now as we are entering into a new generation and a future where eWaste is going to continue to grow unless we learn to control it, it is becoming more critical to properly dispose of this waste. Not that people aren't aware of the fact it should be recycled but I think the problem lies in the lack of information about peoples disposal. When was the last time you knew what to do with your old laptop? I don't know about you but I still have one sitting in my closet. Oh not to mention my four cell phones too.

The amount of eWaste disposed of improperly at a glance is extremely overwhelming. Now I wish I was able to tell you something to make you believe otherwise. But until people become more aware of what to do with eWaste or where to dispose of various types of electronic waste, these numbers will not change.