Filtered by author: Doug Vining

Chemical energy on demand
Posted: 22 May 2017

Here's another energy invention that promises to change the game. Australian researchers have built a reference model of a chemical loop energy system which essentially uses natural gas or electricity to 'charge' chemical particles in a reactor vessel. When that mixture is allowed to oxidise it releases heat, which can drive a turbine and heat water. They are not saying what chemicals they ...

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The revolutionary redox system that produces and stores energy in the home
22 May 2017
Imagine having a fridge-sized box in your home that generates and stores electricity, heats and cools the house, provides hot water and churns out oxygen ...
New energy storage system saves summer's heat for winter's chill
Dateline: 25 January 2021
We humans like our comforts, and temperature is one of the most important. In summer, we want our homes and offices to be pleasantly cool, and warm and ...
Politics cannot save coal in the future
Posted: 22 May 2017

Whether you believe in climate change or not, it's abundantly apparent that coal as a primary energy source has a limited future. Globally, it will still take many years for alternative technologies to supplant coal, but as we can see happening in the United States, the economics of cleaner alternatives will make coal-fired power simply obsolete. In 2017 alone, 8 coal power stations have ...

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In 2017 alone, enough US coal-fired plants have announced closures to power all of Qatar
22 May 2017
Trump's coal magic has worked—but not in the way his voters had hoped.
Nano solar films bring cheap energy to sunshine states
Dateline: 5 May 2018
It's hard to believe that a mere decade ago fossil fuels were at a premium, and everyone talked of 'peak oil' and the high prices of natural gas and coal. ...
Google Lens is AI for cameras
Posted: 22 May 2017

Google's new app for cameras, Lens, is designed to let a connected camera, like the one in your smartphone, to understand the image and find related information about it. It's like Shazam for pictures. And although the demos were for identifying flowers and reading signs, you can be sure that it will also work for identifying people you meet. I can just imagine the scenarios that might ...

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Google Lens will let smartphone cameras understand what they see and take action
22 May 2017
At Google's I/O developer conference, CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new technology called Google Lens. The idea with the product is to leverage Google's..
With Google Screen you get more than just television, broadband and games
Dateline: 26 August 2015
Google has launched its pay TV service, with regular television channels on a broadband connection. But unlike 'on demand' services, this is an entirely ...
Fake blood means no donors required
Posted: 19 May 2017

Well, it's not really fake - it's blood cultured in a lab from your own stem cells. Why go to all the trouble and expense of getting blood safely donated when you can "grow your own"? Biotech advances will revolutionise healthcare and extend human longevity. The future potential is amazing.

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Stem-cell research a step closer to making blood donation redundant
19 May 2017
Two different teams have managed to train stem cells to replenish a mouse’s blood supply.
Artificial blood saves earthquake victims
Dateline: 17 April 2021
"We're out of blood," was the chilling statement released by Sichuan University School of Medicine in Chengdu. 4,700 people were left homeless following ...
Battle in the clouds
Posted: 18 May 2017

Google's announcement of new hardware for sale is interesting - because you can only buy it as a service. The second generation of Google's TPU chip is optimized for machine learning jobs, and is available as an option to users of Google's Cloud Platform. As a cloud provider, Google is currently running third behind Amazon and Microsoft, but they definitely want to improve on that position. ...

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Google unveils next-gen TPUs to both train and run machine learning models
18 May 2017
At Google I/O, CEO Sundar Pichai said Google's high-power chips should make Google Cloud Platform the best public cloud for machine learning.
Neuralink will open the door to the Matrix
Posted: 12 May 2017

Elon Musk's new company Neuralink has the ambition to create a whole-brain digital interface, so that you can communicate with people and computers just with your thoughts - pure thoughts undistorted by language or descriptions. Imagine if you could install a 'wizard hat' on your brain that made the cloud completely accessible at the speed of thought, on demand. Pretty scary stuff, but pretty ...

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to turn cloud-based AI into an extension of our brains
12 May 2017
Elon Musk has been working on a Neuralink, a human-computer brain interface company, in whatever spare moments he has between running Tesla and also ...
Now you can upload new skills to your brain
Dateline: 10 April 2029
Need a new skill or ability? There's an app for that! Neuroscience and neuroprosthetics have advanced to the point where, if you need to learn Arabic in a ...
SpaceX heads for cyberspace
Posted: 5 May 2017

Will thousands of internet satellites plug the digital divide in under-served areas, or will fibre and terrestrial wireless make the satellites too slow, and obsolete by the time they've launched? It's a gamble, but I think Elon Musk has a good idea - a mesh network of satellites close enough to earth to keep response times quick and cover huge areas currently not connected. It could be a ...

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SpaceX will start launching more than 4,000 broadband internet satellites in 2019
5 May 2017
Potentially ideal for people currently residing in rural areas of the world, SpaceX is moving forward with launching a mesh network of satellites that will ...
Upstart satellite operator creates bandwidth flood
Dateline: 15 May 2011
The Google-funded satellite communications company O3b has transformed the cost of internet access in all those hard-to-reach places, by launching dozens ...
Fusion energy UK
Posted: 28 April 2017 1 Comment

A private company has turned on their latest attempt at delivering nett energy from a fusion reactor, in the UK:

Speaking after the ST40 reactor was officially turned on and achieved “first plasma”, Tokamak Energy chief executive Dr David Kingham said: “Today is an important day for fusion energy development in the UK, and the world.
“We are unveiling the first world-class controlled fusion ...

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UK reactor takes first steps towards fusion - News for the Oil and Gas Sector
28 April 2017
Britain’s newest fusion reactor has been fired up and taken the UK one step further towards generating electricity from the power of the stars. The heart ...
Power from nuclear fusion is forever beyond our grasp
Dateline: 12 May 2026
The greatest nuclear fusion experiment, ITER, has been mothballed barely a year after being switched on. "It's unlikely we'll ever achieve ignition," said ...
Saying goodbye to fake news
Posted: 26 April 2017

Is this the end of fake news, or is it the beginning or something much worse: sanitized news, approved by those who want to control what we see, hear and consume, perhaps even think?

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Google Rewrites Its Powerful Search Rankings to Bury Fake News
26 April 2017
Google isn’t planning to rid fake news from its search results -- but it’s trying to purge it from the top.
'Pants-on-fire' detector comes to the rescue
Dateline: 29 May 2021
The Internet and globalization brought hordes of information with it, but unfortunately no easy way of verifying the truth or validity of all those search ...
Solar fuel and clean air
Posted: 26 April 2017

Solar power works, but it's not very efficient, mainly because it only uses a small part of the sun's light spectrum, mainly UV. What if we could make a photo-reactor that used visible light to generate chemicals? That's what a chemistry professor in Florida has developed. A metal organic framework (MOF) that uses blue light to convert CO2 into usable carbon-based fuels. The idea is to ...

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Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air
26 April 2017
A chemistry professor in Florida has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean ...
New process integrates solar power into the hydrocarbon economy
Dateline: 26 February 2026
A new process for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into usable liquid fuel has been commercialized and scaled up. Originally ...
Facebook, listen to my thoughts
Posted: 21 April 2017

In one of those slightly bizarre coincidences, we wrote a MindBullet seven years ago, suggesting that in the future (still to come) you would have a small earbud that could read your brainwaves and send out a tweet, just by thinking about it. We've seen lots of research and some progress towards brain-computer interfaces, but the idea of simply thinking to type has not quite arrived yet. ...

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Facebook imagines tapping brain waves
21 April 2017
Facebook’s research unit, Building 8, is working to make it possible for people to type using signals from their brains, part of the lab’s broader effort ...
Brain computer interface works like a hearing aid
Dateline: 20 March 2022
Now you can update your Facebook status and search Google just by thinking about it. And you don't need fancy headgear or wires sticking out of your ...
Voice is the interface of the future
Posted: 20 April 2017

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, more big players are heading towards a voice-based computing platform, in the form of home assistants you can talk to, to get things done. Now, in Europe, there's a rival to Siri and Alexa; but will Djingo prove to offer anything more than a catchy name?

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There’s a New Rival to Siri and Alexa
20 April 2017
European mobile networks Orange SA and Deutsche Telekom AG are teaming up to build an artificial intelligence platform, in a bid to catch up with Alphabet ...
Voice is the new mobile computer interface
Dateline: 21 September 2019
The company that brought us the world's first true smart phone has done it again. A dozen years after the launch of the iPhone, Apple has completely ...
Tesla overtakes Ford
Posted: 5 April 2017 1 Comment

As Wall Street closed for on Monday 3 April, Tesla, led by 45-year-old tycoon and 'futurist' Elon Musk, was worth $49bn, compared with a paltry $46bn for the empire built by Henry Ford.

This is an astonishing feat, considering that Ford is over 100 years old, and Tesla has never made a profit. I for one, was extremely sceptical of the electric car becoming mainstream in the medium term, and ...

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Tesla charges ahead to overtake Ford in market value
5 April 2017
Elon Musk’s electric car company has been valued at $49bn, leaving the 100-year-old motor manufacturer lagging behind
Google acquires Tesla to produce electric robocars
Dateline: 3 November 2017
Looking to expand into seriously big markets and build on its experience with robots and driverless cars, Google has announced that it is acquiring Tesla. ...
Nokia and Kodak not dead yet
Posted: 17 April 2017

"HMD is on a roll with the new Nokia-branded Android smartphones. Given the overwhelming demand and high pre-registration numbers in China, there is a lot of interest in the new face of Nokia. At this rate, the Nokia 6 could be on its way to become a global hit in 2017. It’ll be interesting to see how the smartphone does in other key markets like the US and Europe."

Next thing you know, Kodak ...

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Silver Nokia 6 went on sale today in China, aaand it's gone
17 April 2017
All variants of the Nokia 6 are in high demand in China. The silver model went on sale today at Chinese online retailer and sold out shortly after.
The naked truth about United
Posted: 12 April 2017

The truth is United Airlines still hasn't learned the lesson of Naked Leadership - you can't hide from the market, and certainly not in this hyper-connected world of personal media. As Stephen Moore points out in this linked article, the entire United debacle could have been avoided, by simply having an intelligent, empowered and empathetic approach to dealing with a situation. A situation ...

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United Airlines overbooking fiasco should never have happened - CNN
12 April 2017
Stephen Moore says an economist decades ago came up with a simple solution to avoiding the kind of spectacle we saw on an overbooked United Airlines plane
MindBullet logo WE'RE ALL NAKED NOW
Business and government leaders adopt Naked Leadership as the benchmark for transparency and trust
Dateline: 9 September 2017
Five years ago Naked Leadership was an alien concept, but now leaders in all walks of life are preaching the benefits of a leadership paradigm that ...
Reusable rockets
Posted: 10 April 2017

SpaceX has successfully recovered eight of their first stage boosters, and has also reflown, and recovered again, the rocket known as Core 1021. Now Elon Musk says they want to be able to recover the second stage as well, and reuse almost 100% of the rocket. His vision for human space flight includes landing the crew capsule under power for reuse too!

Soon space tourism will be a regular ...

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Elon Musk Wants To Reuse All Of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket By 2018, Slashing Cost Of Space Travel
10 April 2017
As noted by Fortune, space entrepreneur Elon Musk now says he wants to achieve complete reuse of the entire SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2018.
Welcome to the hotel at 'the edge of the world'
Dateline: 22 December 2017
The Stella Hilton officially opened for guests in time for the Christmas holidays. The glittering 'first night' featured Senator Charlize Theron and ...
Global photosynthesis is on the rise
Posted: 6 April 2017

It seems that our recent MindBullet was quite correct in speculating that plant growth - photosynthesis - was increasing with climate change. A new study proves it.

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Research shows global photosynthesis on the rise
6 April 2017
Plant photosynthesis was stable for hundreds of years before the industrial revolution, but grew rapidly in the 20th century, according to new research ...
Climate change is making the world greener
Dateline: 11 August 2028
Climate change is a reality that we've all come to accept, even though the debate surrounding the root cause of climate change rages on. Whether it's ...
Drones getting a bad reputation
Posted: 5 April 2017

Drones are becoming a pest, and complaints are soaring in the UK over non-military drones invading privacy and abetting criminals. How long before we see 'drone hunting' becoming a popular sport, as suggested in this MindBullet?

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Drone complaints soar as concerns grow over snooping
5 April 2017
Complaints to police include claims of burglary ‘scoping’, mid-air near-misses and the smuggling of contraband into prisons
Bullet-proof paint creates need for cyber weapons
Dateline: 27 August 2017
Since the development of bullet-proof paint two years ago, drone manufacturers were quick to protect their products from the 'drone hunters' who typically ...
Bionic leaf grows better plants
Posted: 5 April 2017

"Like their natural counterparts, artificial leaves take in sunlight to generate fuel. In the case of the latter, that solar energy is used to break water down into hydrogen and oxygen, and that in turn has been used to create liquid fuels and electricity. Now, a Harvard team has added a new function to their repertoire, turning artificial leaves into low-cost, portable fertilizer factories."

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Bionic leaf turns sunlight and bacteria into fertilizer factories
5 April 2017
Already used to break water down into hydrogen and oxygen, and in turn create liquid fuels and electricity, artificial leaves now have another string to ...
Nano-machines do photosynthesis better than leaves
Dateline: 12 June 2030
What started as a bold project at Imperial College London in 2009, has now reached its first stage of commercialization in the deserts of north ...
Hacking the planet
Posted: 28 March 2017

One of the possible 'solutions' to climate change is called geoengineering; re-engineering the planet (or at least its atmosphere) to cool it down, or reduce carbon dioxide concentrations. Now personally I don't think we can control the climate, certainly not with taxes and agreements; but it's interesting to note that as far back as 2009, we published a MindBullet suggesting that ...

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Harvard scientists are gearing up for some of the first outdoor geoengineering experiments
28 March 2017
The climate researchers intend to launch a high-altitude balloon that would spray a small quantity of reflective particles into the stratosphere.
MindBullet logo WELCOME TO EARTH 2.0
Geo-engineering creates a new environment for a smart planet
Dateline: 21 September 2027
Our planet couldn't cope with all the demands our modern civilization placed on it. So we built a new one. Welcome to Earth 2.0. A new planet for a new, ...

Filtered by author: Doug Vining