Think more green space, fewer roads and faster commutes. A fascinating new simulation finds that self-driving cars will essentially terraform cities by eliminating 90% of cars on the roads, opening up acres of land and slashing commute times. This per a team of transportation scientists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that analyzed data on actual car trips in Lisbon, Portugal, to see how a fleet of self-driving, shared “taxibots” would change the metropolitan landscape (PDF link).
Luckily, some of the brightest minds in the world are on the case. USAIDrecently announced the winners of the Desal Prize, part of a competition to see who could create an affordable desalination solution for developing countries. The idea was to create a system that could remove salt from water and meet three criteria: it had to be cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient.
The winners of the $140,000* first prize were a group from MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems. The group came up with a method that uses solar panels to charge a bank of batteries.
PwC released a 30 page report called “The Future of Work – A Journey to 2022”. Asked what will be the driver of change, technology ends up on top of the list. The report presents a ‘three worlds of work’-concept on what types of organizations we will have in the future.
The Blue World This scenario is all about good old “big company capitalism” and the primary goal and purpose of a business is to focus on profits, revenue, and growing market share.
The Green World Green represents companies that focus on sustainability, well-being, and eco-living. Employees and customers team up to have a positive social and environmental impact. Co-creation and crowd wisdom are at heart of these organizations.
The Orange World ‘Orange companies’ are quite similar to the startups everybody is talking about these days. Companies that focus on maximizing flexibility while reducing costs. In this scenario freelancers and entrepreneurs dominate the employment landscape and companies break up into smaller entities in order to stay relevant with fast changing world we live and work in.
Last summer, Icenews reported on Búi Bjarmar Aðalsteinsson and Stefán Atli Thoroddsen, two entrepreneurs from Iceland, who founded Crowbar Protein, a startup company that produces protein bars made with sustainable and protein-rich edible insects. After months of preparation and development of their first product, the company has launched Jungle Bar, the insect powered protein bar on Kickstarter.
Jungle Bar is a normal looking protein bar, made from dates, all sorts of seeds, chocolate and cricket flour, the special insect ingredient. Cricket flour is made out of nutritious crickets which have been specially farmed for human consumption in a very sustainable way. These crickets are dried and ground down to fine flour, which is mixed with the other ingredients to make the final product. Cricket flour is full of protein, minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients which Stefán says is „a perfect ingredient for Jungle Bar.
No matter what industry you’re in, your company can’t survive without technology. From smart phones and tablets to mobile apps and cloud-based technology, there’s a plethora of technological advancements not only to keep track of, but also to profit from. To stay competitive, your organization needs to anticipate the most significant technology trends that are shaping your business and changing your customer, and then develop innovative ways to use them to your advantage, both inside and outside of your organization. Remember, if it can be done, it will be done. If you don’t use these technologies to create a competitive advantage, someone else will.…
You're looking at an unpowered "ankle exoskeleton" that researcher report can improve walking efficiency by 7 percent. Carnegie Mellon engineers Gregory Sawicki and Steve Collins describe the lightweight, spring actuated prototype in Wednesday's issue of Nature. Rachel Feltman has more info – and video – at WaPo.
Digital currencies have come and gone in the past, and despite the astonishing rise of bitcoin’s popularity over the past eighteen months, the majority of the population has yet to board the bitcoin bandwagon.
BOOK REVIEWEDThe Glass Cage: Automation and Us, by Nicholas Carr, W. W. Norton, $26.95 What does it mean to be a technology critic in today’s America? And what can technology criticism accomplish? The first question... Read More »
Nobody wants to say it outright, but the Apple Watch sucks. So do most smartwatches. Every time I use my beautiful Moto 360, its lack of functionality makes me despair. But the problem isn’t our gadgets. It’s that the future of consumer tech isn’t going to come from information devices. It’s going to come from infrastructure.
That’s why Elon Musk’s announcements of the new Tesla battery line last night were more revolutionary than Apple Watch and more exciting than Microsoft’s admittedly nifty HoloLens. Information tech isn’t dead — it has just matured to the point where all we’ll get are better iterations of the same thing. Better cameras and apps for our phones. VR that actually works. But these are not revolutionary gadgets. They are just realizations of dreams that began in the 1980s, when the information revolution transformed the consumer electronics market. But now we’re we’re entering the age of infrastructure gadgets. Thanks to devices like Tesla’s household battery, Powerwall, electrical grid technology that was once hidden behind massive barbed wire fences, owned by municipalities and counties, is now seeping slowly into our homes.
The world economy’s operating system is being rewritten. In this exclusive excerpt from the new book No Ordinary Disruption, its authors explain the trends reshaping the world and why leaders must adjust to a new reality. A McKinsey Global Institute article.
1. Beyond Shanghai: The age of urbanization2. The tip of the iceberg: Accelerating technological change3. Getting old isn’t what it used to be: Responding to the challenges of an aging world4. Trade, people, finance, and data: Greater global connections.
Via Bonnie Hohhof
Fully autonomous weapons, already denounced as “killer robots”, should be banned by international treaty before they can be developed, a new report urges the United Nations .
Under existing laws, computer programmers, manufacturers and military commanders would all escape liability for deaths caused by such machines, according to the study published on Thursday by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School.
In the future the workforce will be more connected, workers will be virtual, mobile and temporary, they will be global, multi-generational and diverse – older and younger, different sexes, cultures and beliefs working side by side.
The Space Age gave us some beautiful, rocket-shaped visions of future cities. But before World War II, people were already imagining sleek, beautiful structures. And floating airports. And air taxis. And Futurama, circa 1939!
Have you ever wondered how Wolfram Alpha works? If so, you’re in for a treat. Stephen Wolfram, the CEO of Wolfram Alpha, explains the algorithmic capabilities behind Wolfram Alpha.
It is powered by massive data sets — so much that it cannot be simply retrieved from sources on the internet. Stephen Wolfram even states that “there actually isn’t enough data on the Web to get all of the things we need. To make sense of the data, Wolfram Alpha must both compute custom answers (and not simply search for them
and of course, natural language processing plays a major role in understanding what’s asked.
We’ve just added Stephen Wolfram’s talk at the 2013 TNW Europe Conference to our TNW Video site and you can watch it right now for free.
This year’s SXSW Interactive was bigger than ever, with over 33,000 attendees and hundreds of panels and events. Our latest report explores key themes from the ballooning festival, from innovations in sustainability to the new frontier of artificial intelligence and virtual immortality. The report features on-the-ground insights, brand examples and interviews with experts from tech and academia.
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