Tech

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2017 - Amazon files a patent for "multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned aerial vehicles"



2017 - UC Berkeley's Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment












With no federal agency keeping watch on amusement parks, rides are regulated state-by-state. About half of states — including California, New York and Pennsylvania — require regular inspections from a government agency and allow the state government to investigate accidents. But there are also about 10 states — including Oregon, Washington and Tennessee — that have no state oversight, leaving inspections up to county governments or private inspectors. Six states — Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama and Wyoming — have no regulation at all. And Florida, one of America’s amusement park capitals, exempts its three biggest parks — Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens — from accident reports and investigations.

Alycia Loshaw said her ex-husband’s death could have led to lessons learned for the rest of the industry. Instead, she said, it’s “almost like it never happened. It created a conversation for a while, but just like anything else, things just go on,” she said.









Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” said the Abu Dhabi-based industry group in a report Wednesday.

The “most attractive” markets for solar panels up to 2020 are Brazil, Chile, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, according to Irena. Global capacity could reach 1,760 to 2,500 gigawatts in 2030, compared with 227 gigawatts at the end of 2015, it said.




"He looked at using Spidrex to make artificial bone, and also tested it for use as dressings and sutures, but he eventually settled on knee replacements -- an area in desperate need of new solutions. The Group launched its second spin-off, Orthox, which used Spidrex to create a malleable material that could be shaped to replace knee cartilage and serve as a biocompatible scaffold to support tissue that would then regenerate over it. A similar scaffold concept is being applied for nerve repair, through yet another offshoot start-up Neurotex. The team are hoping to apply this to the central nervous system and help reverse paralysis caused by severe spinal injuries -- yet another field in dire need of more options.

New studies are published almost every day exploring applications for silk in regenerative medicine. Research teams around the world are producing new materials using a range of creative techniques, such as implanting spider DNA into goats and even using yeast to spin silk. Silk material is now also being used for sutures, scaffolds, grafts and a vast selection of biomedical implants. Vollrath's group is now working on bicycle helmets, airplane panels and military uniforms, and studying the spider's ultra-efficient spinning process for use in advanced manufacturing. Spider webs have become a model for pollution sensors, while synthetic spider silk is increasingly popular for clothing."








"Sounds simple enough, right? All these tech companies have to do is turn over encrypted data in readable form! This is foolishness. Companies simply don’t have access to the readable form of encrypted user data. That’s the whole point! They can’t help law enforcement even if they want to. What the senators are proposing would force companies to engineer backdoor access to their encryption algorithms, undermining the core principle of what allows encryption to protect you from hackers and criminals. Feinstein and Burr’s bill is not based in any technical reality."



Are we fully in control of our technology?







"The long-term goal is to shrink the size of these devices," Dong said. "Then hopefully we can do this with higher-frequency electromagnetic waves such as visible or infrared light. While that would require advanced nanomanufacturing technologies and appropriate structural modifications, we think this study proves the concept of frequency tuning and broadening, and multidirectional wave suppression with skin-type metamaterials."



» 2015 World Intellectual Property Report: 200 Years of Innovation and Growth (PDF)



"As Todd Kuiken, the senior program associate at the Wilson Center Synthetic Biology Project who authored the report, told me in a conversation, DARPA now represents close to 60 percent of all public funding in the synthetic biology field. If you add in all Department of Defense spending, he says, then nearly two-thirds of all synthetic biology funding from the federal government has a defense industry tilt to it.

The second key finding from the report is that little or no funding (less than 1 percent of the total amount) is being allocated to “risk research” – research that attempts to determine what impact creating genetically modified organisms has on the environment or on humans. There’s also very little (also less than 1 percent) being allocated to study of the ethical, legal or moral aspects of tinkering with organisms."

"A coalition of more than 110 environmental watchdog organizations has called on international regulators to demand independent risk assessments for these types of projects. But it’s not clear which U.S. agency should take the lead."



"At the core of science’s self-modification is technology. New tools enable new ways of discovery, different ways of structuring information. We call that organization knowledge. With technological innovations the structure of our knowledge evolves. The achievement of science is to discover new things; the evolution of science is to organize the discoveries in new ways. Even the organization of our tools themselves is a type of knowledge. Right now, with the advance of communication technology and computers, we have entered a new way of knowing. The thrust of the technium’s trajectory is to further organize the avalanche of information and tools we are generating and to increase the structure of the made world."









"Through those experiences, he came up with the idea of making and selling a charcoal-based alternative to fertilizer, called biochar, in 2008. To develop this product, Mr. Aramburu received funding from nonprofits, including Ashoka and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

After using some of his own profits from his biochar venture to start Edyn, Mr. Aramburu sought out Silicon Valley investors and was able to raise $1.6 million. One investor, Yves Behar, the co-founder of the industrial design firm Fuseproject, also signed on to design Edyn’s soil sensor, valve and smartphone app."





"John Kempf's approach is more proactive. AEA sells all sorts of products intended to improve soil and plant health in some form, and takes sophisticated measurements to monitor plants’ health throughout the growing season. It is simultaneously a throwback to pre-industrial agriculture and an embrace of its latest technological innovations. People are responding to this philosophy. Growth has been rapid; Kempf says AEA now has about 30 employees and a few thousand clients across the country."


"One thing the tech industry is very good at is automation and building efficient processes for production, both of which are essential to successful indoor growing, and this trend toward indoor farming and local food production has been attracting some attention from that sector."

"One potential solution for producing more food in the city, while recycling waste and water, is creating modular vertical farms from shipping containers, such as Hive Inn City Farm. According to OVA, the design is intended to include rainwater harvesting, water recycling (through aquaponics and hydronics), the recycling of both human and animal waste into compost and methane, and solar arrays and "low wind" turbines for electricity production."

"First they took a CT scan of Garrett's windpipe so they could make a 3-D replica of it. Next they used the 3-D printer to design and build a "splint." It's a small, white flexible tube tailored to fit around the weakest parts of Garrett's windpipe. They've already started using 3-D printing to build more body parts, including ears and noses, by combining the plastic structure with human cells. Other scientists have gone even further, using 3-D printing to make blood vessels, skin and even primitive organs out of cells."

"Refugee Open Ware gives refugees access to digital manufacturing technologies. Asem, the man who built Ahmad's customized echolocation device, is among the first of many refugees who are learning to 3D-print and code at Refugee Open Ware, a series of fabrication labs, or "fab labs," located in crisis areas. The company was founded by Dave Levin and Loay Malahmeh. The idea is to stock each Refugee Open Ware fab lab with laser cutters, vinyl cutters, milling machines, 3D printers, and scanners. They'll also be packed with the kinds of things you'd find in any good woodworking or metal shop, like welding equipment, table saws, band saws, lathes, and handcrafting tools. 'We want to take the most advanced technology and put it in the hands of those who need it the most,' Levin said."

"Anti-lock brakes and air bags were standard on European cars first; Japanese automakers put the first crash-sensing brake system on the market in 2003, nearly 25 years after the RSV sported it."

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