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

German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030

October 10, 2016 by  
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Germany’s Federal Council (Bundesrat) voted to approve a ban on new combustion engine vehicles beginning in 2030. This move solidifies the opinion outlined earlier this summer to slash emissions in privately owned passenger cars. The Federal Council, which represents the nation’s federal states, approved the measure in order to cut emissions in accordance with the goals set forth in the Paris climate agreement, which Germany ratified just weeks ago. The Council has also asked the European Commission to consider implementing a ban like this across the European Union; given the long history of German policy influence, it could happen. While German lawmakers aren’t considering any proposal that would take combustion engines off the roads, the bill would govern all new vehicle registrations from 2030 forward. This will effectively force car buyers to choose an electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in order to drive legally. A host of complementary proposals are under consideration to support the effort, and the Federal Council has asked the European Commission to review its taxation policies and their role in the “stimulation of emission-free mobility.” Related: All new cars in Germany must be emissions free after 2030 That could lead to additional tax breaks for buyers of green cars, or an end to tax credits for diesel cars. New registrations of diesel vehicles have already dropped in the EU as of August, according to a Forbes report , which some take as an early indication that the push toward emissions-free vehicles has more public support than realized. In order to meet the terms of the Paris agreement, Germany must cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide by 95 percent by 2050. Targeting the transportation industry will put a huge dent in that figure, but it’s clear much more work will be necessary in other areas (hello, energy sector) to get the job done on time. Via Engadget Images via ceiling/Flickr and Wikipedia

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German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030

US Army to start testing a fuel-cell-powered Chevy Colorado ZH2

October 10, 2016 by  
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General Motors has announced that the US Army is going to start testing a new fuel-cell-powered pickup concept – the Chevy Colorado ZH2. The off-road, aggressively styled pickup was developed together with the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center with real-world testing to begin sometime next year. To develop the fuel-cell powered electric Colorado ZH2 concept, GM started with the standard Colorado chassis and then stretched it so it is now 6.5-feet-tall and more than 7-feet-wide. The pickup also gets a specially modified suspension and rides on massive 37-inch tires. According to GM, the army is going to test the many benefits that a fuel-cell electric powertrain can provide, like near-silent operation, high wheel torque and reduced fuel consumption. Related: General Motors announces plans to switch to 100% renewable energy “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.” The Colorado ZH2 concept also features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable. + General Motors

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US Army to start testing a fuel-cell-powered Chevy Colorado ZH2

Mobile cooler designed by 22-year-old Will Broadway could save 1.5 million lives

September 9, 2016 by  
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Transporting vaccines in developing countries can be precarious. Highly sensitive to temperature, vaccines can be damaged if they freeze or even if the car transporting them gets stuck in traffic. Loughborough University industrial design graduate Will Broadway utilized his final year at the university to devise Isobar , a mobile vaccine cooler which could potentially save 1.5 million lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR-6BlB7G1Q Isobar heats water and ammonia to generate ammonia vapors, which are released into the main chamber to maintain a temperature of two to eight degrees Celsius (around 35 to 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep vaccines stable. Broadway designed an insulated backpack that can transport the Isobar easily. He created two methods of recharging the device as well, through propane or through electricity. He specifically designed the Isobar to be small so it could also be carried conveniently via the device’s handle. Related: This solar-powered device keeps fruits and veggies fresh without a fridge Broadway drew inspiration from travels in Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China. He also counts Albert Einstein as an influence. In the 1920’s, Einstein designed a device that provided refrigeration without electricity. The device worked through a chemical process that just needed a heat source. Broadway’s Isobar won him a national James Dyson Award . Broadway’s goal is not to profit from Isobar, but to get it to the people who desperately need vaccines. He told BBC Newsbeat, “Medical products have such a big markup that it’s unreasonable for people around the world to purchase these items. If it is the best thing available, then it should be out there saving lives…I wanted to make something for people who have next to nothing. It should be a basic human right, in my opinion, to have a vaccination.” Next up: production. Broadway intends to develop the device for widespread use, and thinks they could also be used to transport organ transplants or blood donations. He said there even could be an application for commercial cooling. + Isobar Via BBC Newsbeat and The Guardian Images via screenshot

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Mobile cooler designed by 22-year-old Will Broadway could save 1.5 million lives

Cassandra Verity Green Draws Criticism for Fishbowl Handbags

August 17, 2013 by  
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Designer Cassandra Verity Green caused quite a stir at the Central Saint Martins fashion show when she unveiled a line of perspex fishbowl backpacks and purses. The  Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  wasn’t having any of it. “While we understand that a graduate fashion show is about grabbing attention and headlines, we do have concerns that using a living creature to create a novel or unusual accessory encourages people to see them as replaceable ornaments, rather than living creatures in need of care and commitment,” said a RSPCA spokeswoman  in a statement . What’s your opinion on using living fish as accessories? Head over to Ecouterre to take a poll. READ MORE >   Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cassandra Verity Green , Central Saint Martins , Fashion , fashion show , fish purse , goldfish , purse        

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Cassandra Verity Green Draws Criticism for Fishbowl Handbags

Suspended Window Planters Waste No Space

February 29, 2012 by  
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Written by Matt Hickman, Mother Nature Network Another week, another inventive design concept geared towards greenthumbed urbanites without a backyard — and in this case, a balcony — to spare. And this one, in my opinion, is a doozy. The creation…

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Suspended Window Planters Waste No Space

Holiday Help: Last-Minute Green Tips

December 22, 2011 by  
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The following is an op-ed piece by Wes Muir, director of communications for Waste Management. It does not describe the views or opinions of Earth911. Now that Hanukkah is underway and Christmas is around the corner, people of all ages are giving…

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Holiday Help: Last-Minute Green Tips

4 Alternative Thanksgiving Celebrations

November 16, 2011 by  
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Written by Starre Vartan, MNN As I was explaining to some foreign visitors the other day, the best part about Thanksgiving is that it’s all-inclusive, and pretty much everyone can (and does) celebrate it. To take part in Thanksgiving, you…

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The Big Question: Can vertical farms end food shortage?

October 8, 2011 by  
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Munmun Goswami: vertical farms vertical farms to meet the shortage of food in the future Why are we asking this now? The world has seen the problem of population explosion in the last few decades like never before. With this, comes the turn to deal with several other nuisances like where to accommodate the ever increasing populace, from where to find employment for most of them and most important, from where to feed such a huge numerical, keeping in mind that most of the forest and agricultural area is slowly being converted into residential area? The remaining plots and scratches of agricultural land are turning barren, increasing the concern regarding food supply. Naturally, there has to be a way out! The only visible path right now is to go for vertical farming just like we went for vertical expansion of architecture to accommodate the increasing population. Is it really that serious? Well, of course, it is. Just imagine how would it be if farms were grown inside buildings and a part of your office construction would be devoted towards growing crops? In addition to reducing space required for farming, this would also partially solve the problem of urban pollution. Everything would go hand in hand. It is estimated that by 2020, the world population would increase by another three billion, naturally the place required to grow crops which would sufficiently feed the population would also be huge. An estimate is that an area 20 percent larger than the present country of Brazil would be required to attend to the cause. So you see? The issue is damn serious and so it its proposed solution. What others are saying? The supporters of this proposition are many. One of the strongest among them is Dickson Despommier, Professor and researcher at the Columbia University. He is strongly of the opinion that while the remaining patches of agricultural land are being squeezed to yield the maximum using artificial fertilisers and unhealthy farming practices, there has to be a way which would stop this. Vertical farming is the only possible solution. Given the benefit of doubt of problems like from where to get sunlight for a vertically overlapping pattern of agriculture and the frequent infe3station by pests, the idea is a bright one and deserves to be given a serious thought. Another supporter is Gene Giacomelli who is the director at the Controlled Environment Agricultural Programme. Along with collaborators, Gene has successfully completed a project which involved growing vegetable and fruits in a building in the Amundsen-Scott research centre in Antarctica. The developments 1. Columbia University vertical farm Columbia University vertical farm Columbia University vertical farm This is only a concept and as yet, has not been even tested out on a pilot scale. However, the estimation is that vegetation consuming a vertical area equivalent to an eighteen storied building would be enough to feed a population of fifty thousand. The one thing that has not been considered in this model is where to rear livestock, if at all horizontal farming is taken over by vertical farming? Cows and pigs cannot be kept straying on an eighty storied building to fill in their shares of fodder. Work and thought regarding this aspect is also on the move. The possibility is, sooner than later, you would possibly come across a building green with vegetation in your very in city, let’s not forget the bleating and lowing cattle. 2. Chris Jacobs’ vertical farm Chris Jacobs’ Vertical Farm Chris Jacobs’ Vertical Farm Chris Jacobs, an architect by profession and an otherwise easy to take on person, by chance involved himself in the green movement of designing vertical farms. In fact, he has been the first person ever to have designed a workable architecture of a true vertical farm. His proposed vertical farming architecture would be a tower with different floors dedicated to different crops and livestock. Energy would be an obvious problem, which he feels could be easily overcome by further research and efforts in this direction. The principle that underlies this idea is that of hydroponics or the technique to raise crops wholly in water rich in micro and macro nutrients without the slightest traces of soil particles. The main hurdles Every new introduction has to face questions. Similar is the case here. The first challenge is to answer how sunlight is going to penetrate the different floors so as to supply the desired wavelengths of light? This would require artificial sources of light. And if at all artificial sources are used, how exactly is this proposition green? The next question is whether the actualisation of this concept at all possible or not. The main reason is, temperature, light and nutrient conditions will have to be critically maintained to get a profitable yield of crops. What can be done? Steps are being taken and answers being found out to these questions. However difficult the explanation might seem to be, the conclusion is just one this proposition will have to turn to reality some day because the expanding world population would have nothing else to live on if this practice is not used. The future is called so because it is unknown. Let’s wait and see how this whole concept is given strong grounds to exist and thrive!

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The Big Question: Can vertical farms end food shortage?

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