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Jul 6, 2018

High-power thermoelectric generator utilizes thermal difference of only 5C

Posted by in categories: internet, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, wearables

A team of Japanese researchers from Waseda University, Osaka University, and Shizuoka University designed and successfully developed a high-power, silicon-nanowire thermoelectric generator which, at a thermal difference of only 5 degrees C, could drive various IoT devices autonomously in the near future.

Objects in our daily lives, such as speakers, refrigerators, and even cars, are becoming “smarter” day by day as they connect to the internet and exchange data, creating the Internet of Things (IoT), a network among the objects themselves. Toward an IoT-based society, a miniaturized is anticipated to charge these objects, especially for those that are portable and wearable.

Due to advantages such as its relatively low thermal conductance but high electric conductance, have emerged as a promising thermoelectric material. Silicon-based thermoelectric generators conventionally employed long, nanowires of about 10–100 nanometers, which were suspended on a cavity to cutoff the bypass of the heat current and secure the temperature difference across the silicon nanowires. However, the cavity structure weakened the mechanical strength of the devices and increased the fabrication cost.

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Jul 6, 2018

New world record for direct solar water-splitting efficiency

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Hydrogen will play a central role as a storage medium in sustainable energy systems. An international team of researchers has now succeeded in raising the efficiency of producing hydrogen from direct solar water-splitting to a record 19 percent. They did so by combining a tandem solar cell of III-V semiconductors with a catalyst of rhodium nanoparticles and a crystalline titanium dioxide coating. Teams from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, Technische Universität Ilmenau, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE participated in the development work. One part of the experiments took place at the Institute for Solar Fuels in the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Photovoltaics are a mainstay of renewable-energy supply systems, and sunlight is abundantly available worldwide – but not around the clock. One solution for dealing with this fluctuating power generation is to store sunlight in the form of chemical energy, specifically by using sunlight to produce hydrogen. This is because hydrogen can be stored easily and safely, and used in many ways – whether in a fuel cell to directly generate electricity and heat, or as feedstock for manufacturing combustible fuels. If you combine solar cells with catalysts and additional functional layers to form a “monolithic photoelectrode” as a single block, then splitting water becomes especially simple: the photocathode is immersed in an aqueous medium and when light falls on it, hydrogen is formed on the front side and oxygen on the back.

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Jul 6, 2018

A Single Cell Has The Power To Predict An Animal’s Lifespan

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new study published in the journal Cell Development reported that the size of an animal’s pancreatic cells relates directly to the length of its lifespan, with animals that have larger pancreatic cells living shorter lives and animals with smaller cells living longer.

Researchers studied the pancreases of 24 mammals in order to figure out how the organ grows, and what that means for an animal’s lifespan.

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Jul 6, 2018

Survival of the Richest

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, bitcoin, finance

Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk — about half my annual professor’s salary — all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig.

After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.

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Jul 6, 2018

London police chief ‘completely comfortable’ using facial recognition with 98 percent false positive rate

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI

While facial recognition performs well in controlled environments (like photos taken at borders), they struggle to identify faces in the wild. According to data released under the UK’s Freedom of Information laws, the Metropolitan’s AFR system has a 98 percent false positive rate — meaning that 98 percent of the “matches” it makes are of innocent people.

The head of London’s Metropolitan Police force has defended the organization’s ongoing trials of automated facial recognition systems, despite legal challenges and criticisms that the technology is “almost entirely inaccurate.”

According to a report from The Register, UK Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said on Wednesday that she did not expect the technology to lead to “lots of arrests,” but argued that the public “expect[s]” law enforcement to test such cutting-edge systems.

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Jul 6, 2018

Russian Army to get 6 unrivaled weapons in coming years – Moscow

Posted by in categories: government, military, policy

Some of the new weapons, which are set to enter service in Russia between 2018 and 2027, surpass the existing and even future weapons systems used by other nations, including the NATO member states, Borisov said as he listed what he called six Russian cutting-edge weapons.

The Russian Armed Forces are expected to get new state-of-the-art weapons systems, which have no equals anywhere in the world, a Russian government’s top official said. The new equipment is set to enter service within a decade.

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Jul 5, 2018

What is the multiverse?

Posted by in category: cosmology

Some scientists say we live in a multiverse, and that the universe we inhabit is just one of many — or perhaps an infinite number — in existence.

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Jul 5, 2018

Teen Makes $100,000 Through Bitcoin, Crowdfunds VR Headset

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, virtual reality

After having been given $1,000 by his grandma at only 13-years-old, Erik Finman, now 17, made the risky decision to invest in the notoriously volatile Bitcoin market.

Teen Makes $100,000 Through Bitcoin, Crowdfunds VR Headset

When he was 15, only a year and a half later, he liquidated his Bitcoins, making a cool $100,000. He’s now crowdfunding his very own VR headset. He has been featured in Time Magazine, Mashable, CBS News, Business Insider, The Times, BBC, and more.

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Jul 5, 2018

Robot Learns to Sort and Organize After Watching a Human Do It Only Once

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers at UC Berkeley have figured out a way to train robots by imitating humans, by showing them and not telling them what to do. This is a stride in being able to easily communicate with machines to hopefully usher in an age of robotic butlers and home assistants to serve humans’ needs.

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Jul 5, 2018

Jupiter’s Moons Leave Signature Spots in Its Aurorae

Posted by in category: space

Despite being wildly different from Earth in almost every way, Jupiter does feature some familiar phenomena—including aurorae, what we call the Northern and Southern lights. But Jupiter’s aurorae have something Earth’s don’t: strange features caused by the Jovian moons.

Scientists analyzing data from the Juno spacecraft spotted some of these anomalies in action. They saw swirls and spots caused by Jupiter’s moons Io and Ganymede. And, as is often the case, things weren’t what they seemed from far away.

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