Amazon patents network-based ‘gardening service’

December 6, 2017 by  
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As if Whole Foods  isn’t enough, Amazon is looking beyond your shopping list, and right into your backyard. As first spotted by The Modern Farmer , the tech giant has just received a patent for a network-based “gardening service” that would provide users with the ability to get personalized recommendations for everything from ideal plantings based on location to recipes, required tools, and much more, by simply snapping a photo of their yard. The service, which is essentially a smartphone app for the gardening-challenged, uses algorithms and image recognition software to evaluate conditions and make recommendations. While the tool at first seems a bit perfunctory, it is a lot more specific and personal than a simple Google search. Related: You can now buy tiny shipping container homes on Amazon For example, the patent tells a hypothetical story of a woman named Evelyn who just moved to Seattle and would like to cook a meal with the “unfamiliar” veggies growing in her garden. To get started, she snaps a photo of her yard and the gardening service determines she has mint, tomatoes, and cucumbers growing in one corner. As such, it recommends she makes a Greek salad. At the same time, the service may also see that she has a “large brick pizza oven structure [that] may shade the south-end of the backyard.” Knowing that, it might suggest Evelyn plant some wild ginger—”available at the electronic marketplace” for purchase (of course), as it is a low-shade plant that would do well in those conditions. More broadly, the service is also able to provide recommendations on based on specific geo-location. So as long as one inputs their garden’s coordinates correctly, it can develop a personalized plotting plan, or “virtual garden,” detailing what plants would thrive. The feature would also allow one to see how their garden would look as it transitions through the seasons, and to be sure, what exactly you’d need to buy on Amazon to make it happen. Via Modern Farmer Images via Amazon’s U.S. patent and Pixbay

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Amazon patents network-based ‘gardening service’

Hyundai to build battery 50% larger than Tesla’s South Australia system

December 6, 2017 by  
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Tesla’s South Australia battery system likely won’t hold the title of world’s largest for long. Hyundai Electric and Energy Systems is building a 150-megawatt lithium-ion battery storage system – 50 percent larger than Tesla’s – in South Korea . And they say it should go live in around three months. Hyundai’s South Korea battery could go live in February. They contracted with metal smelting company Korea Zinc for the system costing 50 billion won, or around $45 million. Korea Zinc will use the battery storage system at their Ulsan refinery. Related: Tesla’s South Australia battery starts delivering power a day early Bloomberg New Energy Finance senior associate Ali Asghar said, “ Musk has set a benchmark on how quickly you can install and commission a battery of this size,” and that plummeting costs are “making them a compelling mainstream option for energy storage applications in many areas around the world.” Hyundai Electric was created earlier in 2017 in a spinoff-move by shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, according to Green Car Reports . The company has since expanded into the power storage market – they said in a statement the global market is anticipated to grow from $2.6 billion last year to $29.2 billion by 2025. “The energy market is rapidly changing globally due to the expansion of new and renewable energy sources and the trend of declining power sources,” said Hyundai Electric president Jung Young-jul. “We are targeting the market through technology -competitive systems and data analysis based on various experiences.” Bloomberg said battery prices have plunged by nearly half since 2014, and that each time the global supply of batteries doubles, prices fall by 19 percent. Hyundai Electric recently constructed a 51.5 megawatt-hour energy storage system (ESS) at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan headquarters. They said the system will boost the efficiency of power use. Via Bloomberg , Green Car Reports , and Hyundai Electric Images via Hyundai Electric

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Hyundai to build battery 50% larger than Tesla’s South Australia system

13-year-old kid wins fame and education in Somalia for turning junk into toys

January 17, 2016 by  
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Crowds will gather around 13-year-old Guled Adan Abdi just to watch him work. The Somalian teen from the northern town of Buhodle has made a name for himself by turning discarded junk into moving plastic toys. Thus far he’s constructed four electronic toys from old cooking containers, an impressive self-taught feat that the Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has caught wind of and, was so impressed by he promised free education to Guled. READ MORE>

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Nitsan Debbi Cooks Up a Batch of Gadgets Made From Bread

September 13, 2012 by  
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We’ve featured furniture made from baked goods before, but now Israeli designer Nitsan Debbi has cooked up a batch of working electronic products made of bread! Debbi removed the original exterior cases of clocks, radios, and flashlight, and then baked the components into fresh loaves. The edible electronics are certainly mouthwatering, although we’re not so sure about their shelf life. Read the rest of Nitsan Debbi Cooks Up a Batch of Gadgets Made From Bread Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baked electronic goods , baked electronic products , baked goods , baking , Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design , bread , electrical products , Holon Institute of Technology , Israel , israeli designer , Köln International School of Design KISD , nitsan debbi

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Nitsan Debbi Cooks Up a Batch of Gadgets Made From Bread

Sydney’s Historic Majestic Theatre Renovated Into Daylit Apartments

September 13, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Sydney’s Historic Majestic Theatre Renovated Into Daylit Apartments Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , adaptive reuse , australia , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , hill thalis , hill thalis architecture , majestic theatre , majestic theatre apartments , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sydney , theatre apartments

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Sydney’s Historic Majestic Theatre Renovated Into Daylit Apartments

Scientists Develop an Electronic Nose That Can Detect Dangerous Airborne Chemicals

August 24, 2012 by  
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The human nose is an exquisitely sensitive organ, capable of recognizing over 10,000 different smells.  Yet, when toxins are in the air, it may be best to leave the sniffing to a device that can’t suffer damage from inhalation.  Scientists from the Nano Engineered Applications, Inc ., an Innovation Economy Corporation company, have developed a prototype “electronic nose” that can detect up to eight pollutants harmful to humans. Read the rest of Scientists Develop an Electronic Nose That Can Detect Dangerous Airborne Chemicals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: airborne , bourns college of engineering , innovation economy company , nano engineered applications inc. , nanosensor array , nanotubules , nosang myung , nose , pollutant , stephen abbott , toxin , uc riverside

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Scientists Develop an Electronic Nose That Can Detect Dangerous Airborne Chemicals

MONOHEDRON: Andrej Cverha’s Futuristic Prefab Canvas Shelter is Highly Customizable

August 24, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of MONOHEDRON: Andrej Cverha’s Futuristic Prefab Canvas Shelter is Highly Customizable Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aero unisex slippers , andrej cverha , Architecture , bricks and mortar alternative , canvas , customizability , flexible housing , modular housing , monohedron , Prefab Housing , steel frame , toto twin lamps

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MONOHEDRON: Andrej Cverha’s Futuristic Prefab Canvas Shelter is Highly Customizable

10 Green facts every eco conscious individual should know

October 14, 2011 by  
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Radhicka S Saxena: Green Facts Amazing green facts about our planet Our environment is showing signs if misuse and maltreatment. The effects of global warming are being felt world over and pollution is altering our natural habitat. Every product that we use daily is soused with chemicals increasing toxicity in our body and all things around us. A huge mound of waste is degrading on our landfills. The facts about pollution and global warming will truly amaze you. A few of them have been compiled below. 1. Water conservation Water conservation Amount of drinking water is decreasing Pollution is decreasing drinking water reserves with per capita availability declining by roughly 50% in the last 50 years. Water is used mostly in agriculture followed by the industrial sector. Domestic consumption stands third and in our homes largest quantity is used in toilets and to wash clothes. Also, showers take up more water than other bathing techniques. Watch leaky faucets and running taps for the staggering amount of water wastage they can cause. 2. Facts on trash Waste thrown out Trash dumped on landfills can be reduced A single person generates around 4.5 pounds of trash daily. If the food waste thrown out was composted instead it can set off emissions given out by two million cars. The number of aluminum cans dumped out increased in 2000-2004. According to the clean air council, around 1 billion shopping bags are used by Americans each year and less than 1% are recycled. 3. Toxicity Toxic products Cosmetics and cleaning products are loaded with toxins Personal care, beauty, food, and cleaning products used everyday are loaded with toxic chemicals. Coming in contact with them can set off allergies, psychological abnormalities and birth defects. Toxins in household cleaners can cause air pollution and even cancer. Within 30 seconds of exposure these toxins spread to every organ in our body. Around 300 synthetic chemicals have been uncovered in a human body. 4. Air pollution Polluted air Health hazards are on the rise due to polluted air Tailpipe emissions from vehicles contribute heavily to air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for more premature deaths than car accidents. In fact, on days when air is heavily polluted it is healthier to exercise indoors. Though carbon emissions dropped world over in 2009, they went up in India and China. 5. Arctic thawing out Arctic ice Long summers and temperature rise in the Arctic Arctic ice is disappearing at a fast pace, the region might have a summer without ice by 2040. The natural habitat of animals like polar bears, chipmunks, squirrels have shifted further up to combat the meltdown in temperature. Glacial ice is decreasing and summers arrive much earlier now causing a spurt in growth of flora and fauna. 6. Flowering and allergies More allergies Pollens are causing allergies and colds The increase in temperature and prolonged summer have given a boost to flowering and photosynthesis. Blooms emerging early on and in greater numbers are releasing more pollens in air. This has given rise to yet another problem – surge in allergic reactions. Due to polluted air packed with pollens, incidences of illnesses like colds, coughs, fevers, respiratory problems and other allergies have increased. 7. Sea level rising Sea levels rise Coastal and island nations might cease to exist The overall thermal expansion due to global warming and melting ice is causing the sea level to rise. Also, sea waves will increase in size and erode the coastline. Between 1961 to 2003, the sea level mounted by 1.8 mm. This rising sea level is threatening the existence of many coastal cities and island countries. 8. Electronic waste e Waste electronic waste can cause health hazards Televisions, computers, phones, and other electronic devices thrown out of homes contribute further to world eco issues. Only around 10-20% of the electronic waste is recycled, rest is dumped carelessly. Upto 50 million metric tons can be thrown out every year and is growing by 5% annually. This e waste releases toxins, carcinogens and various other poisonous substances into our environment which can lead to health problems like bronchitis, mental retardation, cancer, neurological damage, etc. 9. Food production Food crops Food production threatened due to climatic changes With increased release of greenhouse gases, rainfall and climatic patterns around the world are changing. The monsoons will have heavier rains while summer will be hotter and drier. So, more water will be required to irrigate crops. Also, quality of soil is degrading due to deforestation and the incidence of floods, hurricanes, storms and droughts will increase. This will adversely affect farming and cultivation. 10. Rising t emperature Temperatures soar Heat waves and increase in temperature is felt the world over Last two decades of the 20th century were the hottest in past 400 years. The average worldwide temperature has gone up by 0.8 Celsius. The effect is intensified in the Arctic and nearby areas; the average temperature increase in eastern Russia, western Canada and Alaska is double the global average. The U.S. experienced a long lasting heat wave in 2006 while south-eastern Europe had two in 2007. The World Meteorological Organization has reported 1998-2007 to be the warmest decade.

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Mimicking nature: Artificial photosynthesis

October 14, 2011 by  
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Rajeev Kumar: Artificial Photosynthesis Artificial Photosynthesis for the greener future Artificial photosynthesis replicates the natural photosynthesis process for producing electricity. The natural process involves two critical steps or half reactions. First is the oxidation of water molecules to produce oxygen and protons (hydrogen). And the second step involves the reaction of oxygen with carbon dioxide to form glucose. With little success, the researchers are trying to achieve both the steps separately with the help of artificial catalysts. The hydrogen produced in the first step could then be used in the fuel cells, converted directly in liquid fuel or reacted with carbon molecules for producing hydrocarbons with similar molecular structures like many petroleum products. What difference will it make? The artificial photosynthesis can revolutionize the energy situation. It would allow for the production of unlimited amount of green energy for powering many development projects of the world. Not only this, it would consume most of the carbon emissions and halt the changing climate patterns which is a direct result of excessive carbon emissions. The possibilities 1. Artificial photosynthesis: Turning sunlight into liquid fuels moves a step closer Turning Sunlight Into Liquid Fuels Turning Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel by Artificial Photosynthesis Breaking up of water molecules is one of the critical step of the natural photosynthesis process. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have now shown that this can also be done artificially with the help of nano-sized cobalt oxide as catalyst. With this they have claimed that artificial photosynthesis could be easily carried out in future. The hydrogen produced from the oxidation of water could be used to convert the CO2 molecules into fuel. 2. Synthetic leaves generate electricity by artificial photosynthesis electricity by artificial photosynthesis Synthetic leaves generate electricity by artificial photosynthesis A team of scientists from MIT, University of California and University of Michigan have claimed that synthetic leaves made up of glass wafers with small water-filled networks can produce electricity through the process of photosynthesis. For this they have artificially developed a plant like system. The synthetic leaves get water from the main stem which has metal plates connected to the electric circuits attached to a wall. Water moves through the pores to the edges and evaporates. The charged metal plates of the main stem and water network form two conducting layers in the system. Both are separated by an insulated layer. A small amount of charge is produced because of the difference of the electrical properties of air and water. This allows the system to produce about 2 micro watt electricity per cubic centimeter. Though this amount is extremely small, it might be possible to exploit this system for producing green energy after some more technological innovations. Trends 1. Artificial photosynthetic process could run your house on a bottle of water energy using artificial photosynthesis Energy by using artificial photosynthesis Dan Nocera, a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has shown that the adequate electricity for a household could be produced from single bottle of water and sunlight. This could be done with the process of artificial photosynthesis. For this, Nocera has developed a special catalyst to split water into its constituents. Unlike the natural photosynthesis, this process produces free hydrogen atoms through the reaction of carbon dioxide and water molecules in the presence of sunlight. The free hydrogen could then be used in a fuel cell or converted directly in to liquid fuel. It has been claimed that this process can about 30 kilowatt of electricity from a single water bottle in four hours. 2. Artificial photosynthesis to power future jets power future jets Artificial Photosynthesis to power future jets Nathan Lewis, a chemist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, has developed new photovoltaic cells that can enable artificial photosynthesis many times faster than most of the crops. This invention can directly convert sunlight into fuel instead of energy for propelling aircraft jets. It splits the water molecules to generate hydrogen gas. However, there is a limitation as the complete process would require the formation of hydrocarbon molecules with similar structure like the molecules of diesel or aviation turbine fuel by combining hydrogen and CO2. At present, no commercial process is in application for doing this. Lewis believes that this could be done in the course of next 4-5 years. 3. Carbon Nanotubes make artificial photosynthesis a reality Carbon nanotube Carbon Nanotubes make artificial Photosynthesis a reality Scientists at the Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology in China have shown that carbon nanotubes could be used to mimic a key of step of the photosynthesis process. Thus making the possibility of artificial photosynthesis a reality. Photosynthesis reaction takes place naturally in plants and involves multiple electron systems for providing necessary energy for the process. For making artificial photosynthesis a reality, multiple electron systems need to be replicated artificially. The Chinese scientists have done so by substituting electron receiver molecules in photosynthesis process with single-walled carbon nanotubes. It has been claimed that carbon-nanotubes could be coated on walls of houses in future for achieving mass-scale artificial photosynthesis and consumption of atmospheric carbon emissions.

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Mimicking nature: Artificial photosynthesis

Today’s Better Businesses Are Green

October 10, 2011 by  
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Not so long ago, any overture an entrepreneur made toward environmental sensitivity served her company well. Customers responded favorably to these businesses, whether or not their particular shades of green came from sincere and meaningful efforts or superficial marketing campaigns. Things are different today. Prospects are knowledgeable about environmental issues, and they have little respect for the business that makes false sustainability claims. More importantly, organizations are finding that truly embracing the environment is actually good for business. There is an expense to pursuing environmentally aware business practices. Companies who do it spend time and money implementing their efforts. However, those entrepreneurs who do it well find high returns on investment in the first year, and the recurring savings in terms of energy use and government incentives makes going green a business decision that pays dividends in the long term. Here’s why greening your company makes good business sense: Traditional energy and waste removal are expensive. Curbing your electricity usage can be realized with virtualized data centers. Passively cool your office buildings with cinderblock walls that naturally maintain ambient temperatures for most of the year in many regions. Install on-site windmills and energy fuel-cell generators to create cleaner power yourself. Want to cut down on your trash removal bill? Composting and recycling can help you divert solid waste. Paper is inefficient. Chasing ink-and-paper signatures is expensive and time-consuming, and it does not scale well as your business grows. Cloud-based contracts let companies close business deals faster with automated, virtual contract signatures. By moving to paperless contracting processes, businesses can save paper as well as cut down on water use and solid waste output. And since the passage of the Electronic Signatures In Global And National Commerce (ESIGN) act in 2000, e-signatures are also as legally binding as physical ones. Customer loyalty increases in response to many green business practices. Involve your prospects in your environmental practices, and they’ll feel a part of the greater purpose of your company. A simple action like planting a tree in honor of every new customer presents only a modest cost to you and can help your organization increase loyalty and repeat business. Green businesses gain a powerful differentiator in their markets. When they approach the environment with sincere concern and targeted action, entrepreneurs improve the earth while improving their bottom lines, too.   Jason Lemkin is VP of web business services at Adobe and the former CEO and co-founder of EchoSign . His operational experience spans the business development, sales, legal, human resource and finance fields, and he is an acknowledged expert in the field of electronic signature and electronic contracting.  

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