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Feb 4, 2017

Architects Reveal What They Think “The City of the Future” Will Look Like

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

In Brief

  • From colonies on Mars to massive pods under the sea, architects and urban planners have come up with some wildly imaginative designs for the future of city living.
  • Given current population trends and our ever-worsening environment, we need to start thinking now about how humanity will live in the future.

When you imagine what the cities of the future will look like, it’s hard to think that we can do more than what some nations have already achieved. For instance, Dubai, Japan, and Singapore feature some of the world’s most impressive modern architectural marvels; Helsinki is pioneering a future in data transparency; Brazil is setting the standard for efficient and sustainable mass transportation and eco-consciousness; and Korea is defining an urban landscape anchored on digital connectivity.

But architects and urban planners are letting their imaginations run wild — after all, where else can we go but toward our most outlandish, exciting, and sometimes even dystopian imaginings of the future?

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Feb 4, 2017

China’s Manufacturing cost advantage is eroding so China will spend trillions for automation, robotics, 3D manufacturing and research

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

While the USA has been extremely concerned about losing jobs (particularly manufacturing jobs to China), China performed a survey of businesses in the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and found that 25% had moved or were planning to move their businesses out of China. Half were going to other Asian countries and 40% to America, Canada or Mexico.

China’s worker wages are rising about 7–8% each year and they have a shrinking working age population as the people age.

China is making big moves in automation and large scale deployment of robotics. In 2014, President Xi Jinping talked about a robotics revolution. China has been the number one buyer of industrial robots since 2013. However, China lags other nations in terms of robots per worker.

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Feb 4, 2017

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think it’s ‘crazy’ to view job-stealing robots as bad

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The billionaire leaders and friends say increasing productivity is a good thing for humanity.

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Feb 4, 2017

Retraining Our Desires: How to Be Happy in the Coming Robot Age

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, robotics/AI

We will need a good dose of healthy stoicism if we are to survive in the world after work. Luxury items will be significantly reduced in the world we’re imagining. Stoics like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca recommended that we adjust our desires to simple, reliable pleasures, like fresh water, decent bread, modest clothing, and good friends. Luxury pleasures are rare and unreliable so we suffer more when they fail to materialize.

But chocolate cake is delicious and diamonds are beautiful. When Plato sketched a Spartan lifestyle in the Republic, his friends accused him of designing a city for pigs not humans — and they demanded that he add spices and luxury to the imagined utopia. While I’m sensitive to this worry, I hasten to point out that many Americans are currently, and by their own initiative, downsizing their sense of the good life. The contemporary “tiny house movement” — which builds elegant housing around 1/10th the size of average homes — is already the kind of stoic adjustment that Americans will need to make when we’re all unemployed.

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Feb 4, 2017

Solar Power Finally Becomes the Cheapest Source for New Energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Cleaner energy sources are becoming cheaper too.

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Feb 4, 2017

Scientists Simulate a New Material That Could Be Even Weirder Than Graphene

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

We all love graphene — the one-atom-thick sheets of carbon aren’t just super flexible, harder than diamond, and stronger than steel, they’ve also recently become superconductors in their own right.

But it’s not the only over-achieving nanomaterial out there. Researchers have just simulated a stretched out, one-dimensional (1D) chain of boron, predicting that the material could have even weirder properties than graphene.

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Feb 4, 2017

Something the President-Elect Should Put His Name On: Trump Internet Superhighway

Posted by in category: internet

Poor Americans, people in rural locations, and those with disabilities would benefit most.

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Feb 4, 2017

SIY course video Daniel Goleman — Neuroscience of emotion and decision making

Posted by in category: neuroscience

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Feb 3, 2017

App reveals constituents

Posted by in category: futurism

Consumer protection

App reveals constituents

Research News / 1.2.2017

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Feb 3, 2017

Full(erene) potential: Adding specific molecules to ‘trap’ charge carriers in semiconducting polymers

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

In what could be called a classic “Eureka” moment, UC Santa Barbara materials researchers have discovered a simple yet effective method for mastering the electrical properties of polymer semiconductors. The elegant technique allows for the efficient design and manufacture of organic circuitry (the type found in flexible displays and solar cells, for instance) of varying complexity while using the same semiconductor material throughout.

“It’s a different strategy by which you can take a material and change its properties,” said Guillermo Bazan, a professor of chemistry and at UCSB. With the addition of fullerene or copper tetrabenzoporphyrin (CuBP) molecules in strategic places, the charge carriers in semiconducting materials—negative electrons and positive “holes”—may be controlled and inverted for better device performance as well as economical manufacture. The discovery is published in a pair of papers that appear in the journals Advanced Functional Materials and Advanced Electronic Materials.

In the realm of , device functionality depends on the movement of the appropriate charge carriers across the material. There have been many advances in the synthesis of high-mobility, high-performance materials, said lead author Michael Ford, graduate student in materials, but the fine control of the electrons and holes is what will allow these sophisticated polymers to reach their full potential.

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