Can video games replace the outdoors?


Maybe not in our hearts, but certainly in our brains. Plus, they can make you love the indoors far too much—which is why there’s now a full-fledged, woodsy rehab center for joystick addicts who need a soothing pathway back to a normal life.

Joining game in progress.

You materialize at a sprawling ranch near a snowcapped mountain covered with freshly powdered pines. Three horses graze nearby behind a purplish wooden fence.

To open the gate, click the lock.

A jet-black mare wearing a striped blanket approaches, its hooves sinking into the slush and white puffs blooming from her nostrils.

Click horse.

Continue reading… “Can video games replace the outdoors?”


A floating device created to clean up plastic from the ocean is finally doing its job, organizers say


The Ocean Cleanup’s System 001/B collects and holds plastic until a ship can collect it.

Could this giant floating pipe clean up 90% of ocean plastic?

(CNN)A huge trash-collecting system designed to clean up plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean is finally picking up plastic, its inventor announced Wednesday.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit the Ocean Cleanup says its latest prototype was able to capture and hold debris ranging in size from huge, abandoned fishing gear, known as “ghost nets,” to tiny microplastics as small as 1 millimeter.

“Today, I am very proud to share with you that we are now catching plastics,” Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat said at a news conference in Rotterdam.

The Ocean Cleanup system is a U-shaped barrier with a net-like skirt that hangs below the surface of the water. It moves with the current and collects faster moving plastics as they float by. Fish and other animals will be able to swim beneath it.

Continue reading… “A floating device created to clean up plastic from the ocean is finally doing its job, organizers say”


The $100 trillion opportunity: The race to provide banking to the world’s poor


Two years ago, Amylene Dingle lived with her husband and 7-year-old daughter in Payatas, an impoverished Manila neighborhood with the largest open dump site in the Philippines. Her husband worked on the security staff in a government building, earning 4,000 pesos a week, the equivalent of $80. She had always wanted to start a business, but she was unemployed, had no money saved, no credit history and couldn’t get a credit card or a bank loan.

Dingle’s fortunes took a dramatic turn after she responded to a Facebook ad for Tala, a Santa Monica-based startup that makes small loans through a smartphone app. After granting Tala access to her phone, through which the app cleverly parses mobile data to assess a borrower’s risk, she got a 30-day, $20 loan. She paid 15% interest and used the money to buy cold cuts, hamburgers and hot dogs. She marked them up 40% and sold them door-to-door, earning $4 in profit after paying back the interest and a small processing fee.

Continue reading… “The $100 trillion opportunity: The race to provide banking to the world’s poor”


The remarkable legacy of Edward Cornish, founder of the World Future Society


Edward S. Cornish, journalist and futurist association founder, dies at 91

Edward Seymour Cornish, founder and first president of the World Future Society and editor of its magazine, The Futurist, died August 14, 2019. He was 91. A longtime Maryland resident (Bethesda and Rockville), Cornish had been living at Olney Assisted Living in Olney, Md., during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Cornish was born in New York City August 31, 1927, the son of George Anthony Cornish, an editor of the New York Herald Tribune, and Elizabeth Furniss (McLeod) Cornish. He attended New York schools and Harvard College, where he majored in social psychology. Following his graduation in 1950, he joined the staff of the Evening Star newspaper in Washington, D.C., as a copy boy, later becoming a dictationist and part-time reporter.

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Robert Downey Jr. announces footprint coalition to clean up the world with advanced tech



 Robert Downey Jr. used his part of the opening keynote for Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas Tuesday evening to announce the launch of a new organization that is committed to using advanced technologies for the good of the environment. The Footprint Coalition, as the group is called, is scheduled to officially launch by April of 2020.

“Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years,” Downey Jr. said, relaying that he had been given these insights a few weeks back by a roundtable of experts. “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects,” he joked during his talk.

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Inspiring woman invents refugee tents that collect rainwater and store solar energy


  Since 2011, the Syrian Civil War created one of the most devastating humanitarian disasters in the world, with an estimated number of 13.5 million Syrians internally displaced or are refugees outside Syria, according to the United Nations.

Facing the difficulty of finding basic shelter and a home to live in, award-winning Jordanian-Canadian architect Abeer Seikaly was inspired to come up with a solution to help transform the lives of these refugees.

Named ‘Weaving a Home’, this design uses a unique structural fabric composed of high-strength plastic tubing molded into sine-wave curves that can expand and enclose during different weather conditions, and also be broken down to allow an ease in mobility and transport.

Continue reading… “Inspiring woman invents refugee tents that collect rainwater and store solar energy”


Tech giant brings software to a gun fight


Business-software giant Salesforce instituted a new policy barring retail customers from using its technology to sell semiautomatic weapons and some other firearms.

SAN FRANCISCO — On its website, touts retailer Camping World as a leading customer of its business software, highlighting its use of products to help sales staff move product. A Camping World executive is even quoted calling Salesforce’s software “magic.”

But behind the scenes in recent weeks, the Silicon Valley tech giant has delivered a different message to gun-selling retailers such as Camping World: Stop selling military-style rifles, or stop using our software.

The pressure Salesforce is exerting on those retailers — barring them from using its technology to market products, manage customer service operations and fulfill orders — puts them in a difficult position. Camping World, for example, spends more than $1 million a year on Salesforce’s e-commerce software, according to one analyst estimate. Switching to another provider now could cost the company double that to migrate data, reconfigure systems and retrain employees.

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More tigers now live in cages than in the wild.

8B6C9B77-CB64-4F79-8BFE-0EBD20D75BC2They’ve been farmed,butchered, sold — commodified.

We joined this man on his obsessive quest to expose the traffickers.

THA BAK, Laos — He was up there somewhere, at the top of the hill, the man Karl Ammann had come to see. It would soon be night. The forest was all shadows and sounds. Ammann had driven across the country to reach this remote river village, and now he was finally here, looking to the top of the hill, ready to confront the person he believed had murdered more tigers than anyone in Laos. In the distance, he could hear them: dozens of tigers roaring.

Continue reading… “More tigers now live in cages than in the wild.”


German inventors develop bracelet to test drinks for date-rape drugs


Inventors in Germany have developed a bracelet aimed at combatting a fear of many clubbers — drink spiking.

Kim Eisenmann and Sven Häuser’s “Xantus” bracelet only needs a drop of liquid to be applied to tell if it contains traces of “date rape drugs” — substances put in a person’s drink to incapacitate them.

The band, which is already available at German healthcare shop dm-drogerie markt, is white and resembles the ribbon used to enter many clubs.

It has two green circles that turn blue if the wearer applies some of their drink and the result is positive for the drugs.

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This 61-year-old woman just gave birth to her own granddaughter


 Matthew Eledge and Elliot Dougherty of Omaha, Nebraska, needed a surrogate to carry their baby. They never expected she would turn out to be Matthew’s mother.

When Matthew Eledge and his husband, Elliot Dougherty, told Matthew’s mother, Cecile, that they were planning to start their family, Cecile thought fondly of her own parental journey. She’d loved being pregnant decades earlier with her three now-grown children.

“If you want me to be the gestational carrier,” she told Matthew, “I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Matthew, 32, and Elliot, 29, appreciated the gesture, but, they thought, let’s be real — it’s not like that would ever happen. A postmenopausal 61-year-old couldn’t possibly be equipped to carry and give birth to a baby. Right?

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Volvo’s next step in car safety: Intervening in dangerous driving


Volvo hopes to tackle speeding, distraction and intoxication with tech. Jake Holmes mugshot BY JAKE HOLMES MARCH 20, 2019 5:20 PM PDT 0 Twelve years ago, Volvo senior technical advisor for safety Jan Ivarsson announced Vision 2020. The bold plan dreamed of a world where, by 2020, nobody would be killed or seriously hurt in a new Volvo. Where do things stand today, with 2020 less than 12 months away?   At a presentation in Gothenberg, Sweden, on Wednesday, Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson said the limiting factor in any car maker reaching that ambitious dream is bad human behavior.

“We have done a lot with technical means, passive and active [safety] features in the car,” he said. “But really to come down to zero [deaths] you have to tackle some issues that are much more human-related.”

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From coworking to a smart city.


This year is the 10th anniversary of my decision to devote myself to the creation of the models of social changes. After banging my head against the wall, trying to scale the default coworking business model, I realized that only city-wide catalyst models such as smart city can survive and are ones of the pillars of the future of coworking business as well as cities itself.

It took some time when I tried to persuade the atomized community of small coworking owners that our model will not sustain and will probably end up very, very soon, but they didn’t want to listen. Next year, the network of publicly financed spaces turned up into business, disrupting the co-working space in every major city.

Continue reading… “From coworking to a smart city.”