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Apr 2, 2018

Scientists invent cheaper and greener wastewater treatment

Posted by in category: energy

A new energy-efficient process developed at Murdoch University is set to revolutionise wastewater treatment by significantly reducing the industry’s electricity consumption.

Dr. Ralf Cord-Ruwisch and Dr. Wipa Charles, along with two Phd students have collaborated with engineers Professor Liang Cheng and Dr. Lee Walker to form BioFilmTec Pty. Ltd – a research team designing and developing a new system that requires less than half the electricity to operate.

With current wastewater technology in Australia more than 100 years old, Dr. Cord-Ruwisch believes the time is right for a more energy-efficient approach.

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Apr 2, 2018

Aiming to fill skill gaps in AI, Microsoft makes training courses available to the public

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Microsoft announces the Microsoft Professional Program in AI, the latest learning track teaching artificial intelligence skills open to the public.

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Apr 2, 2018

A Flawed Study Shows How Little We Understand Crispr’s Effects

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Flaws in a study about unintended gene editing snips have led to its retraction. But that’s not the end of the story.

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Apr 2, 2018

Hubble space telescope

Posted by in category: space

Icarus is a blue supergiant, a rare type of star that is larger than the Sun and far more luminous.

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Apr 2, 2018

This weird-looking plane isn’t a joke

Posted by in categories: humor, internet

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

With so much fake news slithering around the web all year, is it still possible to enjoy April Fools’ Day?

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Apr 2, 2018

A Blockchain For Mars

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance, space travel

Outside John Snow Pub, arguably one of the best pubs to visit on a rainy November day in Soho, London, I was having a beer with my dear friend Alex, discussing tech and cryptocurrency like we always do. The thing that struck me the most from the conversation that Alex brought up was the technical challenges of Mars to have its own blockchain due to speed of light delays between Earth and Mars. It took me on a little journey of determining what might a blockchain on Mars look like, what are the challenges brought upon by speed of light and other factors, and how to push forward the efforts of colonizing the Red Planet.

The past few years and especially 2017 have brought cryptocurrency to the mainstream. Everyone and their grandmother can be seen at one point asking around “How can one buy bitcoin?” and “Would you buy Ripple?” among other questions. Every day, someone armed with a badly-edited whitepaper (a paper outlining how the technology works) will raise millions of dollars in Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs (the cryptocurrency version of a stock market IPO). By now, one can see that, while 99% of the coins will probably fail due to bad planning, overpromised marketing, or because of their scammy nature, there is no doubt that the future of the cryptocurrency market is bright and it has a lot of room for growth.

The race to Mars is on going. SpaceX still is leading the efforts to allow humans for colonization of the Red Planet, most recently with their two simultaneous Falcon Heavy rocket landings.

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Apr 2, 2018

Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores

Posted by in categories: business, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Companies are testing robots that help keep shelves stocked, as well as apps that let shoppers ring up items with a smartphone. High-tech systems like the one used by Amazon Go completely automate the checkout process. China, which has its own ambitious e-commerce companies, is emerging as an especially fertile place for these retail experiments.


But the opening of Amazon Go in January was alarming for many retailers, who saw a sudden willingness by Amazon to wield its technology power in new ways. Hundreds of cameras near the ceiling and sensors in the shelves help automatically tally the cookies, chips and soda that shoppers remove and put into their bags. Shoppers’ accounts are charged as they walk out the doors.

Amazon is now looking to expand Go to new areas. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on its expansion plans, but the company has a job posting for a senior real estate manager who will be responsible for “site selection and acquisition” and field tours of “potential locations” for new Go stores.

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Apr 1, 2018

China says its space station re-entered earth, broke up over South Pacific

Posted by in category: space

“China’s Tiangong-1 space station re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and burnt up over the middle of the South Pacific on Monday, the Chinese space authority said.

The craft re-entered the atmosphere around 8:15 a.m. Beijing time (0015GMT) and the ”vast majority” of it had burnt up upon re-entry, the authority said in a brief statement on its website.

It had said shortly before that it was expected to re-enter off the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic near the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

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Apr 1, 2018

One of Estonia’s first “e-residents” explains what it means to have digital citizenship

Posted by in categories: economics, internet

Three years in, what I find most incredible about e-Residency is that it actually works.

Estonia’s quest to become a “digital nation”

To better understand how e-Residency came about, let’s go back almost 30 years, to 1991. Estonia had just won independence from the Soviet Union and was in the early stages of building a market-oriented economy from scratch. At the time, leaders were quick to identify the potential of the internet and open source collaboration tools (interestingly this was less out of principle, and more for the simple reason that they had no money to pay for Microsoft Office). They decided to become the world’s premier “digital nation.” A favorite quote I’ve heard in Estonia: “What do you think of when you hear the word Slovenia? Nothing. Precisely! We don’t want to be Slovenia.”

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Apr 1, 2018

How Cape Town found water savings California never dreamed of

Posted by in category: policy

High-income Cape Town families have cut their average water use by 80%, according to Martine Visser, director of the Environmental Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, while low-income families cut back by 40%. After city residents were restricted to just over 13 gallons per person a day, any household that blew the limit had a water restriction device attached to its pipes by authorities.

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