How a team of innovators overcame the odds to create water from thin air

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Today, 790 million people — 11 percent of the world’s population — live without access to clean water.

Two years ago, XPrize, an international nonprofit organization, announced a global competition enticing innovators to find a sustainable and affordable way to bring potable water to those who aren’t privileged enough to have it now.

Skeptics told the competition organizers that it was impossible.

Nearly 100 submissions later, and XPrize found precisely what they were looking for — entrepreneurs who could design a minimalistic device that could reliably extract 2,000 liters of water from the atmosphere per day for no more than two cents per liter all using 100 percent renewable energy.

Continue reading… “How a team of innovators overcame the odds to create water from thin air”

2 gonzo ideas for slowing down a hurricane that might actually work

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Scientists are looking into ways to weaken hurricanes early on.

Hurricane Michael is expected to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge to Florida’s Gulf Coast.

As heavy winds from Hurricane Michael begin to lash Florida’s Gulf Coast, forecasters are urging residents of the panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast to prepare for life-threatening storm surge and flooding.

With so much potential devastation, one may wonder whether anything can be done to stop Michael in its tracks.

It’s quite a daunting challenge, given that the average hurricane’s wind energy equals about half of the world’s electricity production in a year. The energy it releases as it forms clouds is 200 times the world’s annual electricity use.

Continue reading… “2 gonzo ideas for slowing down a hurricane that might actually work”

This super-reflective coating keeps buildings cool so we don’t need as much AC

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Buildings are already being painted white to help keep them cool. As temperatures increase, this new addition to the paint could help lower our massive air conditioning energy use.

One of the ironies of climate change is that as heat waves become more common, people use more air conditioning–and those air conditioners help drive more climate change, and make things hotter. By the middle of the century, as more people around the world can afford air conditioners, the number of units could more than triple and end up using as much electricity as China uses today for its entire economy.

Continue reading… “This super-reflective coating keeps buildings cool so we don’t need as much AC”

Stephen Hawking’s incredible predictions in 2017

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Stephen Hawking is known for his groundbreaking achievements in science, but many do not realize that the physicist is also recognized for making predictions about the future of humanity and Earth. This year the Oxford professor made some of the most unusual predictions to date, some of which may put a slight damper on your New Year’s festivities.

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Solar Vertical City is a self-contained, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor

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Resigned to the fact that rising sea levels are inevitable at this point, architects are starting to create feasible, water-based living solutions. Italian architect Luca Curci has just unveiled a design that envisions a soaring zero-energy tower infused with greenery on each level that will be planted into the sea floor, resulting in what could be the future of self-contained architecture.

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Vinod Khosla predicts AI will replace human oncologists

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While much of the conversation around AI and jobs is focused on widespread job losses in sectors like trucking, venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems cofounder Vinod Khosla thinks that there’s a high-paying job on the chopping block: oncology.

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Tesla’s new solar roof will cost less and keep your house off the Grid all day

We all know that nature is a powerful force. I was reminded just how powerful after last week’s wind storm, when the next day I found shingles from my roof littered on the lawn. I’ve been driving around the last week, and observing all the damage that storm caused, getting quotes from roofers, dealing with insurance, and realizing that I was not alone. One contractor said that they received 300 hundred calls in one day. All that damage caused by one storm. My roof looks like it needs to be replaced, and by the look of the other roofs in my neighborhood, I am not alone. Which of course left me day-dreaming about upgrading to include the new Solar Panels being produced by Tesla and Panasonic in Buffalo.

Continue reading… “Tesla’s new solar roof will cost less and keep your house off the Grid all day”

No more pointless idling with Pittsburgh’s new artificially intelligent stoplights

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Traffic lights are finally getting smarter in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to a new pilot program from the tech startup Rapid Flow Technologies, Steel City now boasts 50 intersections whose stoplights are running artificial intelligence software known as Surtrac that reduces wait times on empty or lightly-traveled roads.

Continue reading… “No more pointless idling with Pittsburgh’s new artificially intelligent stoplights”

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