To avoid collapse, humanity needs a new narrative

August 19, 2017 by  
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A vision of the shift in which humanity pulls itself from the brink of massive disruption. From here, the future looks bright.

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To avoid collapse, humanity needs a new narrative

Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

July 19, 2017 by  
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The energy market has changed dramatically since Microsoft signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2012, according to Brian Janous, the tech company’s director of energy strategy. Back then, the idea of signing a 20-year PPA was novel, but now there is a massive uptick in companies participating in energy agreements. However, the risks of market fluctuation and falling prices are all material to designing electricity markets in the future. “More companies are signing a shorter PPA,” said Janous. “These things are not a free lunch.” 

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Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

Episode 82: Greening the big Apple; Peter Seligmann’s graceful exit

June 30, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, selling sustainable tourism, a chat with Honolulu’s first resilience officer and the future of urban mobility.

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Episode 82: Greening the big Apple; Peter Seligmann’s graceful exit

Learning our scales (or why size really matters)

June 6, 2017 by  
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What sci-fi can teach us about the future of innovation.

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Learning our scales (or why size really matters)

Hope for the metropolitan solution to climate change

April 29, 2017 by  
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More than 7,000 cities will report emissions cuts and climate progress. That’s why Mike Bloomberg Carl Pope are optimistic about the future.

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Hope for the metropolitan solution to climate change

First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

April 24, 2017 by  
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Most of us have dreamed about flying . Now company JetPack Aviation is making those dreams reality. They’ve designed “the only true JetPack ,” the JB10, and it packs a powerful punch. Humans can soar up to 10,000 feet in the air at speeds of 68 miles per hour with the futuristic technology . JetPack Aviation has designed a personal flight jetpack that allows humans to zoom through the air for around 10 minutes. The technology is powered by two efficient jet engines that run on diesel. While flying, users can lean forward to move and speed up, or lean back to slow down to a hover. The right handle controls thrust and throttle; the left handle governs spin. The jetpack can even be equipped with an automatic inflation system which will release a float bag in seconds if the jetpack hits water. Related: Dubai firefighters now have jetpacks in their arsenal JetPack Aviation CEO David Mayman said in a Mashable video, “I think that the jetpack is the ultimate expression of freedom. It’s more than just a fantasy or a dream; it’s more than science fiction ; it’s something that we can literally do right now.” Mayman has been working for ten years with chief designer Nelson Tyler, who has been working on jetpacks for decades and whom Mayman describes as “like one of the original Wright brothers.” The jetpacks aren’t just for having fun in the backyard; the company has envisioned several practical applications for their jetpacks as well. They said commuters and first responders could benefit from the technology, and the military could use the jetpacks on search and rescue missions. JetPack Aviation recently raised $285,269 on equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine . The company says 500 people, military services, and government agencies have contacted them for more information, and they’ve already received their first order from a private citizen. Start saving now – the retail price is $250,000. + JetPack Aviation Via Mashable and JetPack Aviation on StartEngine Images via JetPack Aviation Facebook and screenshot

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First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

April 24, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s war on science and the environment continues as his administration is set to switch off the Environmental Protection Agency’s Open Data Web site this week. The data service is the United States government’s largest civilian-linked data tool, according to The Independent , and offers information open to researchers on the climate , the environment, and public health . While that would be awful enough, since the tool is vital for keeping people informed about health and climate data, that isn’t all Trump has planned for this week. Private citizens will soon no longer have access to a tool that allowed them to obtain data on climate change , health impact analysis, environmental justice , and life cycle assessment. The EPA’s Open Data Web page provided information on toxic chemicals, and allowed people to see if a treacherous spill had happened near them during the last 30 years. All that information is about to go dark, thanks to Trump. Related: 75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order The move to yank data away from citizens isn’t Trump’s only planned assault this week. On Wednesday he is supposed to sign an executive order  connected to the 1906 Antiquities Act, signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt. President Barack Obama  the act – more than other presidents – to protect federal areas such as the 1.6 million acres of land in Nevada and Utah which he designated as national monuments. The land contains Native American artifacts, and Obama’s move protected the area from drilling and mining . Then on Friday Trump is set to sign another executive order to review rules on offshore drilling and look at areas for offshore oil and gas exploration. Both orders could pave the way for more fossil fuel development. Trump’s been working hard to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, citing goals for improving jobs in the US. An anonymous White House official told Reuters over the weekend, “This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines , innovations in energy production, and reduce unnecessary burden on energy producers.” Whether these moves will create jobs remains to be seen, but the impact on the environment is very real. Via The Independent and Reuters Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Becker1999 on Flickr

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Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years

April 21, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk must not be busy enough with his Boring company , Space X and Tesla , because he just became CEO of another company, and this one has a goal of turning us all into cyborgs .  Neuralink,  a  San Francisco -based startup says they are “developing ultra high bandwidth brain -machine interfaces to connect humans and computers ” and Musk says he hopes to start delivering by 2021. Musk hinted that he was working on neural lacing last year , though details were scant, but he has never been shy about his opinion that we should be connecting our brains to computers. According to TechCrunch, Musk wants to make that leap with Neuralink. He wants to integrate our brains and computers, or allow us to connect cloud-based artificial intelligence computing with our selves. This could allow humans to communicate directly with each other, instead of having to compress thoughts into language. Related: Elon Musk says new company will start drilling under LA next month It sounds like science fiction. Musk explained it in detail to Tim Urban of Wait But Why . Musk said we already are cyborgs; we’ve “already kind of merged” with smartphones and laptops. He added, “You’re already digitally superhuman. The thing that would change is the interface – having a high-bandwidth interface to your digital enhancements. The thing is that today, the interface all necks down to this tiny straw, which is, particularly in terms of output, it’s like poking things with your meat sticks, or using words – either speaking or tapping things with fingers. And in fact, output has gone backwards. It used to be, in your most frequent form, output would be ten-finger typing. Now, it’s like, two-thumb typing. That’s crazy slow communication. We should be able to improve that by many orders of magnitude with a direct neural interface.” Neuralink’s product probably won’t be ready for the public any time soon – it could be eight to 10 years for people without disabilities, according to Musk, who said the timeline depends both on regulatory approval and how well the devices could work for disabled people. If you want to dig more into the project, Urban wrote a 36,000-word explanation . About the piece, Musk said on Twitter , “Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.” Via Wait What Why ,  The Next Web and TechCrunch Images via OnInnovation on Flickr and Max Pixel

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Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years

Tel Aviv’s Gran Mediterraneo Tower blooms with with a lush vertical garden

April 21, 2017 by  
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This curvy new skyscraper envisioned for Tel Aviv is a lush oasis that combines modern, sustainable living with plenty of nature. The skyscraper is filled with Mediterranean and Dead Sea flora and features an automated car park, farms, electric charging stations and public gardens. The mixed-use Gran Mediterraneo tower, designed by French architect David Tajchman , is wrapped in mirrored glass and white concrete conceived using the latest construction and digital technologies. Gran Mediterraneo combines different programs, including apartments, a hotel, an automated car park , a public charging station, farming and public gardens , co-working spaces and spas. The automated public car park will operate as the first induction charging station for public and shared electric driverless vehicles in the city. Related: Bordeaux’ Canopia tower will be one of the tallest timber frame structures in the world The tower aims to renew Tel Aviv’s skyline with its vertical form, generated using state-of-the-art digital tools . “Innovative with its topological geometry giving a spiral effect to the high-rise, the Gran Mediterraneo breaks with the global and usual stacking of horizontal slabs wrapped with mirrored glass ,” said Tajchman. + David Tajchman Via Archdaily

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Tel Aviv’s Gran Mediterraneo Tower blooms with with a lush vertical garden

This insane giant traffic roundabout in England will make your head spin

April 21, 2017 by  
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Europe’s many traffic roundabouts are complicated enough – but this head-spinning, multi-directional traffic intersection in the UK is enough to make you walk to your destination. Located in Swindon, the famed Magic Roundabout is actually five mini roundabouts placed around a larger central, counterclockwise roundabout. Designed by engineer Frank Blackmore of the British Transport and Road Research Laboratory, the intersection was built in 1972 as an innovative attempt at controlling traffic flow in the area . When the complicated layout was unveiled, the mini roundabouts weren’t even marked in order to leave room for reconfiguration after further studies were conducted. At the time, a police officer was stationed at each circle to direct traffic. Related: LA’s most dangerous intersection made safer with innovative crosswalk “scramble” Today, although locals surely have a handle on its complicated rules, driving the 7-circle roundabout still requires nerves of steel. Once inside the vehicular labyrinth , traffic flows counterclockwise around the outer roundabout, while interior traffic flows in a clockwise manner around the five mini roundabouts, which all lead to various exists located on the outer loop. Forty-five years after its inauguration, the intersection has become more and more famous, or infamous. In 2007, BBC News published a survey that named the Magic Roundabout as one of the “ 10 Scariest Junctions in the United Kingdom “. However, despite its harrowing appearance, the roundabout has an excellent safety record, mainly due to the slow traffic pace required once inside the crazy intersection. Via Boing Boing Images via Wikipedia and Wired

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This insane giant traffic roundabout in England will make your head spin

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