“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”

When all cars are electric, gas stations will simply switch to selling you electrolyte

#Driving

Wed, Aug 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Purdue University, a new system to instantly recharge the battery of an electric vehicle could be obtained without changing existing petroleum-based distribution centres, simply by using a battery system that could be quickly filled-up much like a gasoline engine. While the idea is novel, economic, and environmentally friendly, it also means that drivers would still be financially dependent on "gas" stations, rather than simply recharging their car at home.

“Instead of refining petroleum, the refiners would reprocess spent electrolytes and instead of dispensing gas, the fueling stations would dispense a water and ethanol or methanol solution as fluid electrolytes to power vehicles,” Cushman said. “Users would be able to drop off the spent electrolytes at gas stations, which would then be sent in bulk to solar farms, wind turbine installations or hydroelectric plants for reconstitution or…

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“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”

Improving photosynthesis by genetically engineering plants' metabolism

#Food

Tue, Aug 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With global warming and a growing global population, food production must increase by 50% by 2050. According to MIT's Technology Review, one way of doing this is to genetically modify the efficiency of photosynthesis in a plant. Reportedly a plant only converts 5% of the light it collects into biomass, and even less than that for the production of the edible parts. Just by changing three genes in tobacco, there was a 20% increase in yield. Other plants are now being tested.

[...] Plants thrive on carbon dioxide, but very hot days suppress crop yields. In many parts of the world, the rising temperatures and increased droughts caused by climate change will be devastating. And those negative effects “will have the biggest impact on the poor,” says Steve Long, director of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, an international consortium based at the University of Illinois at…

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“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”

Collapse of the U.S. predicted in 20 years

#Future

Mon, Aug 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Double-doctored, Nobel Prize-nominated professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University Johan Galtung is a futurist, who is predicting the decline of the “US empire” in 20 years — possibly sooner, now that Trump was elected. Reportedly, Galtung has made numerous predictions of major world events, all of which were correct. According to Motherboard, he predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union almost to the day, a decade ahead. He's not completely pessimistic, though.

Galtung has doctoral degrees in both sociology and mathematics, and some decades ago developed a theory of "synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions", which he used to make his forecasts. The model was based on comparing the rise and fall of 10 historical empires.

In 1980, Galtung used his theoretical model to map the interaction of various social contradictions inside the Soviet empire, leading him to predict its demise within 10 years.…

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“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”

The internet has basically become one giant marketing tool designed to control people's built-in impulses

#Advertising

Sun, Aug 13th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

American psychologist B. F. Skinner considered free will an illusion and that all human behaviour is based simply on previous experiences — hence his experiments with instrumental conditioning, where behaviour is tailored using rewards or punishment. Skinner was heavily criticised for his experiments, but as we enter the era of big data, marketers are using the exact same approach to control the behaviour of their consumers.

One of the reasons America is hooked on junk foods is that we are gnomically designed to crave sweet, salty, and fatty tastes (as Michael Moss has documented and reported on in his recent Salt, Sugar, Fat). Many obese people have those cravings. If a fast-food provider using big data can discover by analyzing your Internet behavior that you have been looking for ways to lose weight, they have a pretty good idea that you might be one of…

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“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”

We are all getting chipped, sooner or later

#Future

Sat, Aug 12th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While USA Today notes that the chipping of employees at a Winsconsin company was more of a publicity stunt than anything else, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Noelle Chesley believes that getting chipped "will happen to everybody."

“It will happen to everybody,” says Noelle Chesley, 49, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “But not this year, and not in 2018. Maybe not my generation, but certainly that of my kids.”

Gene Munster, an investor and analyst at Loup Ventures, is an advocate for augmented reality, virtual reality and other new technologies. He thinks embedded chips in human bodies is 50 years away. “In 10 years, Facebook, Google, Apple and Tesla will not have their employees chipped,” he says. “You’ll see some extreme forward-looking tech people adopting it, but not…

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“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”

The death throws of the combustion engine are starting already

#Driving

Fri, Aug 11th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit the combustion engine is “the mightiest motor in history,” The Economist notes that its end has already begun. With the cost of batteries plummeting, regulations banning petrol-based vehicles, and the overall cost to significantly decrease both to own and maintain, the car industry is about to see quite the turmoil — all probably very soon.

[...] electrification has thrown the car industry into turmoil. Its best brands are founded on their engineering heritage—especially in Germany. Compared with existing vehicles, electric cars are much simpler and have fewer parts; they are more like computers on wheels. That means they need fewer people to assemble them and fewer subsidiary systems from specialist suppliers. Carworkers at factories that do not make electric cars are worried that they could be for the chop. With less to go wrong, the market for maintenance and spare parts will shrink. While today’s carmakers grapple with…

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“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”

A drone you can fly in

#Travel

Thu, Aug 10th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

This under-$200,000 helicopter comes with 8 drone-style propellers, has a battery backup system in case the gasoline-powered generator fails, has a ballistic parachute, and allows travel up to 112km. It's basically a giant drone that can carry two people. I'd love to try it.

The time has come. After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented. SureFly is a personal helicopter/VTOL aircraft designed for safe and easy flight. With eight independent motors each driving a single carbon fiber propeller, a backup battery power system, and a ballistic parachute to safely land in the event of emergency, the SureFly provides unparalleled safety for a personal aircraft.

SureFly is changing the helicopter industry. Now is the time to discover the affordable, easy-to-pilot, safe answer to personal flight.

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“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”

Randomising your life to escape the filter bubble

#Technology

Wed, Aug 9th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

This article on NPR looks at Max Hawkins, a techie who has algorythms randomly pick events for him: from which events to attend, where in the world to visit, to Christmas parties at complete strangers. Max is planning on releasing these tools to the public, and you can read updates on his projects here.

One year, Max decided to use the Facebook-event generator app to choose where he would celebrate Christmas. It came up with a party at someone's home in Fresno, Calif.

With a pie and a friend, Max drove for three hours and showed up on the doorstep of a retired psychologist, Karena Beasley. Karena was celebrating with a handful of friends and family — and now, also two 20-something strangers.

"She was completely not fazed," Max says, describing the moment they met Karena. "She didn't miss a beat. She said, 'Oh, wonderful! We…

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“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”

Former Facebook executive warns that in 30 years half of us will be jobless, chaos and violence will follow

#Future

Tue, Aug 8th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Both Mashable and the Huffington Post bring to attention BBC's Secrets of Silicon Valley, where former Facebook executive Antonio Garcia Martinez warns that in 30 years technology will remove half of the world's jobs, causing chaos and violent conflicts. Scenes like these may soon be the norm.

AAccording to Antonio, many tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are just as pessimistic as he is about the future they’re building. They don’t say it in public of course, because what’s the point. It’s inevitable, they say; technology can’t be stopped. It’s a force of nature.

Even just a couple of years ago, this would have sounded like just another exhibit in the long-tradition of American dystopian paranoia. But the robot jobs apocalypse argument is starting to sound more reasonable by the day.

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Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing

All it takes is some stickers

#Driving

Mon, Aug 7th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Engadget notes that while car makers are worried about the possibility of car hacking, a paper from the University of Washington shows that simply by using stickers and altering street signs is all it takes to send an autonomous vehicle off course. The stop sign above, for example, is perceived as a speed limit indicator.

It's easy to see the potential problems. You could make these stickers using a printer at home, so anyone from dedicated attackers to pranksters could try this. It might lead to a crash the moment someone alters the sign, but it could also produce long-term chaos -- picture your city closing a road until maintenance crews can scrape the stickers off a sign.

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Jul 14"A real-time surveillance machine that has been developed for online advertising is rapidly expanding into other fields." #Privacy
Jul 08Everything the Internet Knows About You #Advertising
Jul 19Fast, Clean, Cost-Effective Metal 3D-Printing #Technology
Jul 12Teleportation Achieved #Science
Jul 13"Warp drives could become a real technology within the lifetimes of today’s toddlers." #Space
Jul 17"You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States." #Future
Jul 09Flippy the Burger Flipper #Robots
Jul 27“Our goal is to entirely remove the animal from the meat production process.” #Food
Jul 26Garbage Sorting Robot #Robots
Jul 11“An unfolding 'Cambrian Explosion' in robotics.” #Robots
Jul 21"A helpful guide created by an unqualified individual." #Music
Jul 25"There’s a galactic gold rush brewing." #Space
Aug 14“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”
Aug 15“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”
Aug 16“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”
May 27Making a Movie Inside a Video Game
Aug 13“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”
Jan 26Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World
Aug 12“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”
Aug 08“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”
Aug 11“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”
Aug 07Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing
Aug 10“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”
Aug 09“The algorithm chose; Max attended.”