Documentary on Toronto's Subway at the End of the Service Day

The Last Train

#Travel

Thu, Feb 23rd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this short documentary, Matt Knarr interviews travellers taking the very last train of the day before the vomit comet service takes over.

A documentary exploring the quiet, empty world of the last subway train of the night, and the stories of the people riding it.

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“It will be very disruptive and very quick.”

The robots are coming to take your job, very very soon

#Robots

Wed, Feb 22nd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

American businessman Marc Cuban warned that "automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to be ready for that," after pointing out that the Trump administration does "not understand technology advancements."

"But there are many people whose jobs are to drive. In fact I think it might be the single largest employer of people ... Driving in various forms. So we need to figure out new roles for what do those people do, but it will be very disruptive and very quick," Musk said.

Musk, among others, has been speaking about ways to deal with the displacement, including a growing chorus of voices in the technology industry calling for a universal basic income.

Not everyone agrees. The Editorial Board of the New York Times thinks that blaming robots is "a distraction from real problems and real solutions," and instead goes straight to pointing fingers at…

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“The cost of carbon fibre could drop, dramatically and be seen in far more applications.”

Australians figure out how to mass produce carbon fibre

#Technology

Tue, Feb 21st, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to techAU, CSIRO and Deakin University may have found a way to mass produce carbon fibre, a material known for being both light and strong. Apparently, the production process up to now has been very expensive, meaning that if this technology works, the cost of the composite material is bound to crash.

A breakthrough in the production of carbon fibre, would be game changer and if with the technology to simplify the creation, the cost of carbon fibre could drop, dramatically and be seen in far more applications.

Right now, carbon fibre is used in hypercars and supercars, aircraft, top end road bikes, basically the places where cost isn’t the primary criteria. With a dramatic drop in the cost, it could be used in low-cost applications and where weight is a concern, like vehicle propulsion, reducing weight, while maintaining strength, means this is a critical technology development.

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“Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto [...] is a scary, dystopian document.”

Facebook wants to run like a country, except you have no idea how it works

#Internet

Mon, Feb 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky calls Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto a "scary, dystopian document" designed for a place that causes anxiety, addiction, stress, and the need to feel validated.

Where is your line on nudity? On violence? On graphic content? On profanity? What you decide will be your personal settings. We will periodically ask you these questions to increase participation and so you don't need to dig around to find them. For those who don't make a decision, the default will be whatever the majority of people in your region selected, like a referendum. Of course you will always be free to update your personal settings anytime.

The real-life effect will be that most users, too lazy to muck around with settings, will accept the "majority" standard, making it even less likely that anything they see would jar them out of their comfort zone. Those who…

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“We could set up a small lunar base for $10 billion or less, and we could do it by 2022.”

And that's five years from now

#Space

Sun, Feb 19th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this slightly dated article on Popular Science, Sarah Fecht believes that in just a few years humans could potentially set up a fully-functional and affordable moon base thanks to current technology — most which has nothing at to do with space. Reportedly, self-driving cars and waste-recycling toilets are going to be "incredibly useful in space", making a moon-base an affordable reality.

"My interest is not the moon. To me the moon is as dull as a ball of concrete," says the astrobiologist. "But we're not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The moon provides a blueprint to Mars."

A lunar base would provide a valuable opportunity to test out new propulsion systems, habitats, communications, and life support systems before astronauts bring them to Mars--a 9-month trip away, versus just a few days to the…

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"It's the equivalent of being able to see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon."

The Event Horizon Telescope

#Space

Sat, Feb 18th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Using the Event Horizon Telescope, researchers are hoping to take a picture of Sagittarius A*, a huge black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Albeit the black hole has never been directly observed, researchers know it is there by the way it is impacting the orbit of near-by stars.

So what can we expect to see if the project is successful?

The researchers predict the black hole will look like bright ring of light around a dark blob.

The light is being emitted by gas and dust particles that are accelerated to high speeds just before they're ripped apart and consumed by the black hole. The dark blob would be the shadow cast over that chaos.

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Leningrad's “Kolschik”

Truly bizarre

#Music

Fri, Feb 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Directed by Ilya Naishuller, this bizarre music video for Russian band Leningrad shows disaster striking a circus... in reverse. It's pretty graphic.

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“We’re only producing the product that the consumer wants — muscle.”

Breakthroughs in lab-grown meat

#Food

Thu, Feb 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Futurism brings to attention a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports in which researchers highlight two significant breakthroughs in lab-grown meat: the ability to turn adult livestock stem cells into edible tissue; and the ability to feed the cells without the use of animal serum. While this brings animal-free protein production closer to reality, the biggest hurdle will be convincing consumers to actually eat it.

The current consensus is that lab-grown meats will still be more expensive, and it will take at least half a decade before any real benefits of artificially created meat become evident. Once that happens, however, the cost of producing muscle tissue and bringing it to consumers may actually prove to be significantly cheaper than raising animals and getting them to the market. Growing only muscle tissue means minimizing the logistics surrounding maintaining livestock, such…

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“A new material that is capable of turning different types of energy into electricity.”

Perovskite crystal can convert heat, light, and movement into electricity

#Technology

Wed, Feb 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland have discovered a type of perovskite crystal called KBNNO that can convert heat, light and movement into electrical energy. While tests have revealed the material to be not as efficient as specialised crystals, researchers believe that they can "modify the composition of KBNNO to improve its pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties."

This week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, Yang Bai and his colleagues at the University of Oulu explain their research on a specific type of perovskite called KBNNO, which may be able to harness many forms of energy. Like all perovskites, KBNNO is a ferroelectric material, filled with tiny electric dipoles analogous to tiny compass needles in a magnet.

When ferroelectric materials like KBNNO undergo changes in temperature, their dipoles misalign, which induces an electric current. Electric charge also accumulates according to the direction the dipoles point. Deforming…

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"Renewable are no longer ‘alternative.’ Rather, fossil fuels are increasingly ‘legacy.’"

Renewables will seriously disrupt traditional energy companies

#Future

Tue, Feb 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Medium, David M. Bank has an essay on the growth of clean energy, noting that even legacy energy companies are aware of the transition. With prices for producing clean energy getting lower — and expected to get lower still — he believes the growth of wind and solar will look "a lot like the Internet revolution of the last 20 years."

The real signal to watch is the oil companies’ “capex” or capital expenditure budgets for drilling and production, where they reveal what they really think about future prospects. Chevron’s 2017 capex estimate is $19.8 billion, down 15 percent from 2016 and a whopping 42 percent from 2015. Other major oil companies have also cut back sharply. It’s not just activist college campuses that are divesting from the fossil-fuel economy. It’s the fossil-fuel producers themselves.

When the history of the 21st century is written, we’ll see that by…

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Feb 10"90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots." #Future
Jan 26"Oh, surprise. I got some pretzels for you." #Humour
Jan 30“A self-learning robot could be handy for exploring distant planets, too.” #Robots
Jan 16"People can pay $8,000 to have their veins pumped with blood plasma from teenagers." #Health
Jan 29“In the end all we do on social media is akin to a fart in a crowded room.” #Politics
Jan 23“There are things we can do that emulate natural systems to address the carbon problem.” #Environment
Feb 01"A robotic arm that prepares coffee like it would assemble a car on a factory floor." #Food
Feb 12"Robots with legs can go a lot of places that wheels cannot.” #Robots
Jan 25“Regenerative medicines have the ability to restore or heal the body's own cells or create new body parts” #Health
Jan 24“The number of human employees may even drop to 20 someday.” #Robots
Jan 22"A war that we are losing." #Health
Jan 17If NASA Had the Budget of the U.S. Military #Space
Feb 22“It will be very disruptive and very quick.”
Feb 21“The cost of carbon fibre could drop, dramatically and be seen in far more applications.”
Feb 23Documentary on Toronto's Subway at the End of the Service Day
Feb 10"90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots."
Feb 20“Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto [...] is a scary, dystopian document.”
Feb 14"Renewable are no longer ‘alternative.’ Rather, fossil fuels are increasingly ‘legacy.’"
Feb 17Leningrad's “Kolschik”
Jan 09CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form
Feb 13"It could help usher in a new cycle-centric transport paradigm across the country.”
Feb 18"It's the equivalent of being able to see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon."
Feb 12"Robots with legs can go a lot of places that wheels cannot.”
Feb 15“A new material that is capable of turning different types of energy into electricity.”