“There are over a billion people who have no access to energy what-so-ever.”

The energy revolution

#Administrative

Tue, Feb 20th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Amar Inamdar looks at the energy revolution taking place in Africa which has realised it has a nuclear powered reactor up in the sky and getting most of its output. Off-grid solar kits are able to provide energy for all the needs of each household.

There's an energy revolution happening in villages and towns across Africa -- off-grid solar energy is becoming a viable alternative to traditional electricity systems. In a bold talk about a true leapfrog moment, Amar Inamdar introduces us to proud owners of off-grid solar kits -- and explains how this technology has the opportunity to meet two extraordinary goals: energy access for all and a low-carbon future. "Every household a proud producer as well as consumer of energy," Inamdar says. "That's the democracy of energy." (Followed by a brief Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson)

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“We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”

How long the space-faring Tesla will be floating in space before it crashes and burns onto a planet

#Space

Mon, Feb 19th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In a paper titled The random of walk of cars and their collision probabilities with planets, a bunch of astrophysicists from Canada and the Czech Republic, have calculated for how long Elon Musk's Tesla will stay in space before it falls into a planet. Apparently quite a long time.

On February 6th, 2018 SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster on a Mars crossing orbit. We perform N-body simulations to determine the fate of the object over the next several million years, under the relevant perturbations acting on the orbit. The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth. The first close encounter with the Earth will occur in 2091. The repeated encounters lead to a random walk that eventually causes close encounters with other terrestrial planets and the Sun. Long-term integrations become highly sensitive to the initial conditions after several such close encounters. By running a large…

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“Facebook is a declining power.”

Facebook has peaked

#Internet

Sun, Feb 18th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On the BBC, Media Editor Amol Rajan argues that albeit Facebook has been a great innovator and has provided a service that is enjoyed by many, it is also very good at causing itself problems and making quite a few enemies. He explains eight factors that may indicate Facebook has peaked in power, influence, and maybe even money.

Perhaps even more worryingly for the social media giant, it wasn't just the absolute number of users that dropped in that key market. It was also the amount of time they spent - in other words, engagement dropped too. Facebook reported that the amount of time users spend on Facebook had fallen by 50 million hours every day. That is a whopping drop. It suggests that the experience of the News Feed had become less sticky, or addictive. But that would also make it less attractive to the advertisers who…

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"What if plant cells could be grown for food by regular people."

Appliance grows fruit cells for human consumption in the comfort of your home

#Food

Sat, Feb 17th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit the idea isn't new, a home bioreactor would allow home users to grow food cells in the comfort of their home and turn them into a nutritious jam-like substance ready for consumption. Could be handy to feed space travellers or for the world's overgrown population. Above, a photo of strawberry cell jam from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Reuter says expanding the human diet is an essential part of the idea. Of the almost 400,000 species of plants, disregarding lichen and algae, human beings only eat around 3,000. Just a few of these make up most of what’s grown and consumed, known as “staple crops,” and climate change threatens their health. “We’re using a small fraction of the diversity that we could be using,” he says. Small-scale bioreactor technology could change that by allowing people to grow plant cells from previously difficult- or impossible-to-cultivate, but…

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"Automation will disrupt millions of Canadian jobs, not far in the future, but in the next dozen years."

The robots are coming to take your job at the most inopportune time

#Robots

Fri, Feb 16th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

As we become more inept due to technology — already we are forgetting how to readThe Globe and Mail's Campbell Clark notes that world leading business consultants are warning that "the robots are coming" and "the scale of the change is so significant."

Okay, admittedly Mr. Barton didn't exactly say the robots are taking over the planet. But he is warning that automation – robots, driverless cars, artificial intelligence, technological transformation – will disrupt millions of Canadian jobs, not far in the future, but in the next dozen years.

Put another way: If you are 30 or 35 now, there's a good chance that not just your job, but the kind of job you do, will be eliminated – at the most inopportune time of life, when you are 40 to 55, perhaps with a mortgage and kids.

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“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.”

Germany to trial free public transportation

#Environment

Thu, Feb 15th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In a rush to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines, Germany is considering making public transport free in five cities across western Germany in order to reduce the number of private cars. In the video above, a report by Al Jazeera English on how Estonia already tried this system.

Titans like BMW, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler or the world’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen agreed to pay some €250m euros into a billion-euro fund to upgrade local transport.

The government “should make sure that the car manufacturers finance the emergency measure” of free transport, Greenpeace urged, adding that more parking and road tolls in cities could help reduce urban traffic.

On their own account, the auto firms have stepped up plans to electrify their ranges, with a barrage of battery-powered or hybrid models planned for the…

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“What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"

The Information Apocalypse

#Future

Wed, Feb 14th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With an internet controlled by Facebook, Twitter, and Google who prioritize ads and money over quality of information, Aviv Ovadya — chief technologist for the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Media Responsibility among other things — worries about a Big Tech–enabled information crisis in this constant war for our attention.

But it’s what he sees coming next that will really scare the shit out of you.

“Alarmism can be good — you should be alarmist about this stuff,” Ovadya said one January afternoon before calmly outlining a deeply unsettling projection about the next two decades of fake news, artificial intelligence–assisted misinformation campaigns, and propaganda. “We are so screwed it's beyond what most of us can imagine,” he said. “We were utterly screwed a year and a half ago and we're even more screwed now. And depending how far you look into the future it just…

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“Can a platform be 'cool' if your aunt, grandfather, and third grade teacher all use it?”

Facebook is for losers

#Internet

Tue, Feb 13th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With Facebook purposely hiding default settings that are not privacy friendly — something a German court ruled as being illegal — it might come to no surprise that younger tech-savvy users are abandoning the social media site leaving older members behind. With 2.8 million users under 25 leaving the site, a study backs up the notion that Facebook is for old people only.

There are likely multiple reasons for the decline. Facebook has been losing its “cool” factor for years, and young people have more options than ever for staying in touch with friends and family. Facebook also serves as a digital record keeper — but many young people don’t seem to care about saving their life online, at least not publicly. That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer features for sharing photos and videos that disappear, are growing in popularity among this demographic.…

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“From Self-Driving Cars to Beyond!”

What's coming down the road with the self-driving car

#Driving

Mon, Feb 12th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

I know I seem to be on a self-driving craze here but there seems to be news after news after this developing technology. Take this series of videos by Frank Chen from Andreessen Horowitz exploring the fast and rapid switchover to electric vehicles, and everything related to the advent of the self driving vehicle. Above The Autonomy Ecosystem: Where and How It Begins (Introduction), with remaining videos below.

The story of technology is not unlike what often happens in dramatic stories and plays, where a “deus ex machina” or character drops down magically from the skies onto our world stage. But in reality, technology never comes so suddenly, or in such an isolated manner: There’s an entire ecosystem that grows up around, and is required for it all to work. In the case of autonomy and self-driving cars, what…

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“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society.”

The Robots-Are-Coming election campaign of 2020

#Politics

Sun, Feb 11th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Promising $1,000 a month to everyone over the age of 18, Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and author running for President as a Democrat in 2020 with an apocalyptic political message: the robots are coming. For those that have heard President Barack Obama speak on David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction will recall his grim comments on the coming automation revolution.

“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued,…

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Jan 14How to Escape Planet Earth #Space
Jan 17“AI codes its own ‘AI Child’.” #Future
Jan 15“The first-ever driverless mass transit test program.” #Travel
Jan 16“I can’t wait for the day robots rule.” #Politics
Jan 20“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.” #Space
Jan 19“World's first passenger drone.” #Technology
Feb 03“American-made social media platforms were key to the dissemination of propaganda by ISIS.” #Technology
Jan 12“Automation doesn't have to be a replacement for human workers.” #Food
Jan 28Make a Convincing Sex Video of Anyone You Like #Technology
Jan 25“Facebook should be regulated like a cigarette company.” #Internet
Jan 13“Some of us will do anything to be liked.” #Internet
Jan 18“Changes to the platform announced by Zuckerberg, will likely make the problem worse.” #Internet
Feb 19“We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”
Feb 18“Facebook is a declining power.”
Mar 23The 24 Carrot Cake
Feb 20“There are over a billion people who have no access to energy what-so-ever.”
Aug 29Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine
Jan 09CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form
Feb 17"What if plant cells could be grown for food by regular people."
Jan 04The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit
Feb 16"Automation will disrupt millions of Canadian jobs, not far in the future, but in the next dozen years."
Jan 11How to Avoid Jury Duty
Feb 14“What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"
Feb 13“Can a platform be 'cool' if your aunt, grandfather, and third grade teacher all use it?”