Archive for the ‘economics’ category: Page 183

Feb 12, 2016

Toyota’s weird, bright green Prius uses science to stay cooler in the sun

Posted by in categories: economics, particle physics, science, transportation

The Prius is an intentionally odd-looking car that gets odder with every generation; I’m pretty sure even ardent defenders of Toyota’s flagship hybrid could agree with me on that. So why not throw an equally odd paint color on top?

What you’re looking at here is the new Prius in “Thermo-Tect Lime Green,” which is more than your average upsettingly loud paint color. Toyota says that by removing the carbon black particles found in most paint and replacing them with titanium oxide, it has significantly increased the vehicle’s solar reflectivity — in other words, the car heats up less, which lessens the need for air conditioning, which in turn improves fuel economy. And fuel economy, of course, is what the Prius is all about.

White paint also does a good job of keeping the sun’s heat at bay, but Toyota actually says that its Thermo-Tect paint outperformed white in a two-hour summer test outdoors. Basically, this technology means that you might be able to get the color of your choice on your next car and still reduce your AC use. Granted, lime green may not be your first choice, but there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping Toyota from rolling it out to other colors as well.

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Feb 12, 2016

Universal Citizen Income: The Way Forward

Posted by in categories: business, economics, education

When governments value people they find creative ways of making people even more valuable in their local economies and communities. In turn, people return the compliment by contributing to the building of stronger local economies.

When governments do not value people they inadvertently create systems that stifle inventiveness and trap people in cycles of state dependency and long-term unemployment.

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, known informally as the G.I. Bill, is widely (across all political spectrums; around the world) considered one of the most successful pieces of legislation ever passed. It made provisions that effectively created ‘bonds’ to enable low-cost mortgages, low-interest business start-up loans, cash payments for educational return at all entry points, as well as one year of unemployment benefit for returning servicemen. Canada saw similar results for its programs of support for Second World War veterans. Few would argue that this investment in the human capital of service men and women in turn contributed enormously to the overall wealth of both nations to this day.

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Feb 12, 2016

Transhumanist Party leader Zoltan Istvan supports basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, geopolitics, transhumanism

Interview with Zoltan Istvan, US presidential candidate and leader of the Transhumanist Party. He supports basic income as part of his campaign platform.

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Feb 10, 2016

Singapore Makes Plans to 3D Print Public Housing

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, economics, habitats

In a world of economic scarcity, public housing has become essential for sheltering our species’ most vulnerable populations. Interestingly, the island city-state of Sinagpore having a unique approach to public housing, with 80% of the resident population living in government buildings and, more than that, the small nation implemented some housing practices that the United States has sometimes been too afraid to tackle when it comes to public housing: socioeconomically integrated public developments. Now, Singapore is moving beyond these important strategies to novel methods of construction, namely 3D printing.

sinagpore's public housing

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Feb 10, 2016

Davos 2016 — A World Without Work?

Posted by in categories: business, economics, health

A World Without Work. Just Play and Have Fun.

Christopher Pissarides defends a universal basic inome at Davos 2016.

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Feb 8, 2016

Emergent Chip Vastly Accelerates Deep Neural Networks

Posted by in categories: computing, economics, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Stanford University PhD candidate, Song Han, who works under advisor and networking pioneer, Dr. Bill Dally, responded in a most soft-spoken and thoughtful way to the question of whether the coupled software and hardware architecture he developed might change the world.

In fact, instead of answering the question directly, he pointed to the range of applications, both in the present and future, that will be driven by near real-time inference for complex deep neural networks—all a roundabout way of showing not just why what he is working toward is revolutionary, but why the missing pieces he is filling in have kept neural network-fed services at a relative constant.

There is one large barrier to that future Han considers imminent—one pushed by an existing range of neural network-driven applications powering all aspects of the consumer economy and, over time, the enterprise. And it’s less broadly technical than it is efficiency-driven. After all, considering the mode of service delivery of these applications, often lightweight, power-aware devices, how much computation can be effectively packed into the memory of such devices—and at what cost to battery life or overall power? Devices aside, these same concerns, at a grander level of scale, are even more pertinent at the datacenter where some bulk of the inference is handled.

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Feb 3, 2016

Will Robots Make Humans Unnecessary?

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

Good article. Robots taking over the world? No. All human workers replaced by a robot? No Will humans need enhancements to keep up with technology or do certain positions/ careers? Yes.

As robotics and artificial intelligence continue to accelerate in their development, there will be a dwindling number of jobs that machines won’t handle better than humans. How should we prepare for an economy that no longer needs us?

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Feb 1, 2016

Cancer rates still higher in Appalachia, but gap is narrowing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, health

Very messed up.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) — Residents of Appalachia continue to have higher rates of cancer regardless of race and location.

Appalachia is a region of the Eastern United States defined by the presence of the Appalachian Mountains. It stretches from Mississippi to New York and includes 420 counties in 13 states and roughly 25 million people.

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Feb 1, 2016

Young Aussies thinking twice about car ownership: city futurist

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, finance, habitats, robotics/AI, transportation

2 trends that is happening now especially with millennials: car ownership is no longer the desire; and home ownership is out of reach. And, this will impact at a minimum 4 industries — financial, real estate, auto, and insurance industries? Something that many in industry will need to get very creative in addressing to entice the future larger market consumers.

Young people no longer rush to buy their first car, meaning future cities need to think quickly about public transport and the emerging “share economy”, one of Australia’s leading urban futurists says.

Fewer people will “own a car”, “shared” driverless cars will be common and the “Uber” idea of sharing a ride will extend beyond an alternative to taxis, to ‘sharing’ homes, jobs, electric cars, hotel rooms and bikes by 2050.

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Jan 31, 2016

Why the golden age of growth is behind us

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, economics, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Hmmm; we’re definitely not at the end of the golden age of innovation. In fact, once Quantum technology has evolved to the point where it is available to the broader public; we will see a new explosion of new innovation occur as a result.

This is the first of two excerpts from “The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War,” published this month by Princeton University Press. The second will explain the implications of all this for the next quarter century.

Can future innovations match the great inventions of the past? Will artificial intelligence, robots, 3D printing and other offspring of the digital revolution do for economic growth what the second industrial revolution did between 1920 and 1970? The techno-optimist school of economics says yes. I disagree.

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