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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

Sep 16, 2019

Tesla’s ‘Joe Mode’ in its V10 update is a lifesaver for parents

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

Tesla owners who travel with kids can breathe an extra sigh of relief with the electric car maker’s V10 Update, as the company has introduced a new feature known as “Joe Mode.” The new feature will allow drivers to lower the volume of alerts and prompts that will are engaged while the vehicle is in motion.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced some details on V10’s “Joe Mode” earlier this year while replying to numerous followers who speculated about what new features will be coming to be new update. As one follower asked for a mode that would help keep his children asleep during drives, Musk replied with introductory information about the V10 feature.

Hoping to get “Joe Mode” into V10. The default, of course, is normal volume, but selecting “Joe Mode” would lower the volume of strident beeps & chimes by half.

Sep 16, 2019

EU agency starts space sustainability initiative

Posted by in categories: business, security, space, sustainability

PARIS — The European Union’s equivalent of a foreign ministry is starting a new effort to promote the need for sustainable space operations, but that effort will not initially include any new regulation of European satellite operators.

Carine Claeys, special envoy for space and head of the Space Task Force for the European External Action Service, said in a Sept. 13 panel discussion at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week that the Safety, Security and Sustainability of Outer Space (3SOS) public diplomacy initiative will promote “ethical conduct” in space amid concerns about orbital debris.

The acronym, she noted, has a second meaning. “It is also three times SOS,” she said, “to create the case and a sense of urgency.”

Sep 15, 2019

A Solar-Powered Hyperloop Train Could Soon Be a Reality

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Click here to read the full article.

The Hyperloop may still be a decade from becoming a reality, but already people are trying to improve upon the concept. Chinese architecture firm MAD is developing an eco-friendly version of the futuristic transportation system, one that would utilize solar and wind energies to operate.

Earlier this week, MAD announced that it was working with US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies on a new sustainable design with the aim of creating “enhanced connectivity between cities and people,” according to CNN. The proposed Hyperloop draws its power from a system of solar panels and wind turbine forests.

Sep 14, 2019

Meet the 8 Tech Titans Investing in Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, food, sustainability

“DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” Bill Gates wrote this in 1995, long before synthetic biology – a scientific discipline focused on reading, writing, and editing DNA – was being harnessed to program living cells. Today, the cost to order a custom DNA sequence has fallen faster than Moore’s law; perhaps that’s why the Microsoft founder is turning a significant part of his attention, and wallet, towards this exciting field.

Bill Gates is not the only tech founder billionaire that sees a parallel between bits and biology, either. Many other tech founders – the same people that made their money programming 1s and 0s – are now investing in biotech founders poised to make their own fortunes by programming A’s, T’s, G’s and C’s.

The industry has raised more than $12.3B in the last 10 years and last year, 98 synthetic biology companies collectively raised $3.8 billion, compared to just under $400 million total invested less than a decade ago. Synthetic biology companies are disrupting nearly every industry, from agriculture to medicine to cell-based meats. Engineered microorganisms are even being used to produce more sustainable fabrics and manufacture biofuels from recycled carbon emissions.

Sep 13, 2019

Toyota Wants to Slather Solar Panels All Over Its Prius Hybrid

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability, transportation

Since July, Toyota has been working on a brand-new design. It features special, much higher efficiency solar panels that are mounted on the hood, roof and even hatchback of the car, charging the car’s batteries even when it’s moving.

Panel Van

The new solar system could allow the Prius to cover 50 kilometers, four days a week, on solar alone, Bloomberg reports.

Sep 13, 2019

Toyota Is Trying to Figure Out How to Make a Car Run Forever

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Put together the best solar panels money can buy, super-efficient batteries and decades of car-making know-how and, theoretically, a vehicle might run forever.

That’s the audacious motivation behind a project by Toyota Motor Corp., Sharp Corp. and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of Japan, or NEDO, to test a Prius that could revolutionize transportation.

Sep 12, 2019

It Looks Like Tesla Will Attempt To Set An Absurdly Specific Record At The Ring With A 7-Seat Model S

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

While pretty much all of the recent obsession with setting Nürburgring Ring lap record times and the rivalry between Tesla and Porsche is sort of idiotic genital-measuring, there is one foolproof way to guarantee that a record will be set: make the criteria for the record so specific that pretty much any result will set a record. That seems to be exactly what Tesla is planning by running a seven-seat Model S.

As with everything important in our world now, this all started with a tweet:

Sep 12, 2019

Toyota tests solar-powered Prius in quest for plugless electric car

Posted by in categories: government, satellites, sustainability

TOKYO (Reuters) — Inspired by new ultra-thin solar panels developed for satellites, a project led by Toyota Motor Corp is experimenting with a sun-powered Prius that it hopes will one day require no plugging in.

In the Japanese government-funded demonstration project, Toyota engineers fitted solar panels designed by Sharp Corp to the hood, roof, rear window and spoiler to see how much juice the sun can generate.

The electricity from the panels goes directly to the drive battery, so the Prius can charge while moving or when parked.

Sep 11, 2019

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle range, performance specs revealed

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Harley-Davidson has released full specs for its Livewire electric motorcycle, with the 15.5-kwh battery pack providing a city range of 146 miles and DC fast-charging cutting charge times to an hour.

Sep 10, 2019

Future of portable electronics: Novel organic semiconductor with exciting properties

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

Semiconductors are substances that have a conductivity between that of conductors and insulators. Due to their unique properties of conducting current only in specific conditions, they can be controlled or modified to suit our needs. Nowhere is the application of semiconductors more extensive or important than in electrical and electronic devices, such as diodes, transistors, solar cells, and integrated circuits.

Semiconductors can be made of either organic (carbon-based) or inorganic materials. Recent trends in research show that scientists are opting to develop more organic semiconductors, as they have some clear advantages over inorganic semiconductors. Now, scientists, led by Prof Makoto Tadokoro of the Tokyo University of Science, report on the synthesis of a novel organic substance with potential applications as an n-type semiconductor. This study is published in the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. According to Prof Makoto Tadokoro, “organic semiconductor devices, unlike hard inorganic semiconductor devices, are very soft and are useful for creating adhesive portable devices that can easily fit on a person.” However, despite the advantages of organic semiconductors, there are very few known stable molecules that bear the physical properties of n-type semiconductors, compared to inorganic n-type semiconductors.

N-heteroheptacenequinone is a well-known potential candidate for materials. However, it has some drawbacks: it is unstable in air and UV-visible light, and it is insoluble in organic solvents. These disadvantages obstruct the practical applications of this substance as a semiconductor.

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