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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 535

Oct 17, 2015

How Tesla is ushering in the age of the learning car

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s new autopilot system is relying on the cutting edge of machine learning, connectivity and mapping data.

While Tesla’s new hands-free driving is drawing a lot of interest this week, it’s the technology behind-the-scenes of the company’s newly-enabled autopilot service that should be getting more attention.

At an event on Wednesday Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk explained that the company’s new autopilot service is constantly learning and improving thanks to machine learning algorithms, the car’s wireless connection, and detailed mapping and sensor data that Tesla collects.

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Oct 15, 2015

Billions in Change — Official Film

Posted by in categories: complex systems, energy, ethics, hacking, health, materials, sustainability, water

“The world is facing some huge problems. There’s a lot of talk about how to solve them. But talk doesn’t reduce pollution, or grow food, or heal the sick. That takes doing. This film is the story about a group of doers, the elegantly simple inventions they have made to change the lives of billions of people, and the unconventional billionaire spearheading the project.”

Oct 15, 2015

Researchers use engineered viruses to provide quantum-based enhancement of energy transport

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Nature has had billions of years to perfect photosynthesis, which directly or indirectly supports virtually all life on Earth. In that time, the process has achieved almost 100 percent efficiency in transporting the energy of sunlight from receptors to reaction centers where it can be harnessed—a performance vastly better than even the best solar cells.

One way plants achieve this efficiency is by making use of the exotic effects of quantum mechanics—effects sometimes known as “quantum weirdness.” These effects, which include the ability of a particle to exist in more than one place at a time, have now been used by engineers at MIT to achieve a significant efficiency boost in a light-harvesting system.

Surprisingly, the MIT researchers achieved this new approach to solar energy not with high-tech materials or microchips—but by using genetically engineered viruses.

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Oct 15, 2015

Efficiency Of Solar-Powered Electrolysis Doubled

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Researchers have reached an all time solar-to-hydrogen efficiency high of 24 percent.


Having reached a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of more than 24 percent, it may soon be feasible to harness the sun to split water.

| October 13, 2015 | In the Lab.

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Oct 14, 2015

Tesla is mapping the Earth, ‘cause your GPS won’t cut it for self-driving cars

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Self-driving cars require an incredible amount of information to operate safely. Tesla and Elon Musk know this well.

Tesla Motors formally launched its long-awaited Autopilot feature on Wednesday, which is not quite a self-driving car, but rather a higher degree of autonomy. One of the new features of Autopilot: Tesla is creating high-precision digital maps of the Earth using GPS.

See also: I went hands-free in Tesla’s Model S on Autopilot, even though I wasn’t supposed to.

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Oct 14, 2015

Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

Posted by in category: sustainability

The logic is flawless:

“Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC”


The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Continue reading “Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change” »

Oct 11, 2015

Elon Musk: Tesla autopilot features coming Thursday in software upgrade

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s latest software update is slated to roll out worldwide this week. Here’s what it will do.

Tesla Motors, the electric automaker, plans to roll out its latest software upgrade—version 7, which includes autopilot features—worldwide to owners of its Model S sedan on Thursday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement via a tweet this weekend. He also answered some of his Twitter followers’ questions about the new software.

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Oct 10, 2015

The mysterious artificial intelligence company Elon Musk invested in is developing game-changing smart computers

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

“Vicarious, the mysterious company that’s been funded by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and actor Ashton Kutcher, wants to do something completely radical — build the world’s first human-level artificial intelligence (AI).”


Smarter than Siri and Cortana.

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Oct 10, 2015

h+ Magazine: Synthetic Biology — The True Savior of Mankind

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, disruptive technology, DNA, environmental, ethics, futurism, genetics, health, innovation, science, sustainability, transhumanism

Encapsulation Pictures

Fear of scientists “playing god” is at the centre of many a plot line in science fiction stories. Perhaps the latest popular iteration of the story we all love is Jurassic World (2015), a film I find interesting only for the tribute it paid to the original Michael Crichton novel and movie Jurassic Park.

Full op-ed from h+ Magazine on 7 October 2015 http://hplusmagazine.com/2015/10/07/opinion-synthetic-biolog…f-mankind/

john hammond jurrasic parkIn Jurassic Park, a novel devoted to the scare of genetic engineering when biotech was new in the 1990s, the character of John Hammond says:

Continue reading “h+ Magazine: Synthetic Biology — The True Savior of Mankind” »

Oct 8, 2015

Panasonic has made the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, solar power, sustainability, transportation

At the end of last week, solar technology company SolarCity, which was co-founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, made headlines when it announced it had developed the most efficient rooftop solar panel to date, with a module-level efficiency of 22.04 percent. Now, just a few days later, Panasonic has one-upped them by announcing a rooftop panel prototype that’s nearly half a percent more efficient.

“Sorry Elon, I’mma let you finish…” and, well, you know how that pun goes. What’s cool about Panasonic’s record-breaking prototype is that it was mass-produced, and able to convert 22.5 percent of sunlight into electrical energy straight off the production line, which means it’ll be easily commercialised and presumably relatively cheap for consumers.

Right about now you’re probably wondering why this is a big deal, when researchers have already managed to convert the Sun’s rays into electricity with more than 40 percent efficiency, and just last year Panasonic themselves announced they’d made a solar cell with 25.6 percent efficiency.

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