Category Archives: Technology

Phoenix: How America’s Hottest City Cools Itself

Phoenix, Arizona is coming up with innovative ways to beat the heat.

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is accustomed to a hot desert climate, but day and night temperatures have been rising due to global heating and the city’s unchecked development, which has created a sprawling urban heat island.

Scorching temperatures have made summers increasingly perilous for the city’s 1.4 million people, with mortality and morbidity rates creeping up over the past two decades, but 2020 was a gamechanger when heat related deaths jumped by about 60%.

Future Of Automobiles: ‘Lightyear 0 Solar Car’

“I think most electric vehicles will have a solar roof in the future,” he told Dezeen. “It’s a topic that all big car manufacturers are working on.”

Integrated solar panels could help electric cars rival their fossil-fuel counterparts by making them less reliant on charging points and potentially free to run, says Lightyear‘s Emanuele Cornagliotti in this interview as part of our Solar Revolution series.

Lightyear 0’s in-wheel motor technology sets new industry standards and offers greater control on tricky terrains. Not only is our drivetrain in pole position for the highest efficiency, but it also reduces the number of rotating components, meaning much lower maintenance!

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Energy: Nuclear Start-Ups Address Safety Issues (WSJ)

Nuclear projects are getting a boost of investment as countries try to tackle an energy crisis sparked by the Ukraine war, while also pursuing emissions targets. WSJ looks at how start-ups say their alternative designs can help solve past issues.

September 2022 Reviews: ‘WSJ 12 Books To Read’

The Car: The Rise and Fall of the Machine That Made the Modern World

By Bryan Appleyard Pegasus

In their brief ascendancy, cars have dominated every aspect of public and private life and changed our understanding of space, time and nature. Review by Mark Yost.

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PHOTO: AVID READER

One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World

By Michael Frank Avid Reader

A chance meeting with a Holocaust survivor blossomed into weekly conversations—and a journey into a vanished world. Review by Heller McAlpin.

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PHOTO: CROWN

Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison

By Ben Macintyre Crown

Built on a rock outcrop, the grim German castle once housed the incurably insane. Then it became a prison for unruly Allied POWs. Review by Alex Kershaw.

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PHOTO: VIKING

Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921

By Antony Beevor Viking

If the American Civil War ended slavery, and the English Civil War restrained the monarchy, what did the Russian Civil War achieve? Review by Douglas Smith.

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PHOTO: MIT PRESS

Working With AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration

By Thomas H. Davenport and Steven M. Miller MIT Press

A compendium of case studies in which corporations stopped worrying and introduced artificial intelligence into their workflow. Review by Matthew Hutson.

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World Economic Forum: “Top Stories Of The Week”

Top Stories of the Week (September 30, 2022) include:

0.15 – China’s trackless trams 01:39 – Germany and Denmark are building the world’s longest undersea tunnel 03:12 Students in the Netherlands have built an electric car that captures carbon 04:09 This tower turns sunlight and air into clean jet fuel

Technology: How Amazon Dominates Smart Homes

Amazon ships more U.S. smart home devices than any other company and says Alexa is now compatible with 140,000 devices, far beyond the Echo and Fire TV. But privacy advocates are concerned by all the data these devices collect, and are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to block Amazon’s latest smart home expansion.

Chapters: 1:41 First to market 4:27 Acquiring iRobot 7:41 How it uses the data 9:45 Privacy concerns 11:33 Ambient home of the future

After acquiring video doorbell maker Ring in 2018 and mesh WiFi system Eero a year later, Amazon’s now looking to buy Roomba smart vacuum maker iRobot. In a rare move, the FTC is asking for more information before approving the $1.7 billion deal. Ahead of Amazon’s annual smart home event, we talked to Amazon’s VP of privacy to find out what really happens to all the data collected by its devices – and sat down with the head of smart home to hear the strategy behind Amazon’s race to dominate the internet of things.

Urban Planning: Will The Cities Of The Future Float?

A new industry of floating infrastructure is emerging to help adapt to rising sea levels. There are two distinct approaches that are being put forth as possible solutions: retrofitting homes to be amphibious and building floating cities.

Amphibious homes can preserve the accessibility of the house and maintain the congenial front porch culture in places like Louisiana, said Elizabeth English, founder and director of The Buoyant Foundation Project. English’s design places a steel frame beneath a house, and then below that, in the crawl space, buoyancy elements. Her team then recommends adding elements to prevent lateral movement so the home will not float away while on the surface of floodwaters.

She estimated that a contractor could do such a retrofit for about $20 to $30 per square foot, but cautioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently discourages this type of building practice. Modern floating cities are the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels. He told CNBC he hopes his Oceanix City, which is currently slated to be built in the harbor near Busan,

South Korea, will be “a city that is the most resilient city you can imagine, but at the same time, the most enjoyable city that you can imagine.” “We really hope that it will be a successful project and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, told CNBC of the Oceanix development.

She said the world must look more into adaptation and hopes that the project can help mitigate or even solve the problem of sea-level rise. Would you live in a floating city or retrofit your home so it floats during floods? Watch the video above to learn more about what life could be like in these innovative climate change adaptations.

World Economic Forum: ‘Top Stories Of The Week’

Top stories of the week of September 23, 2022 from the World Economic Forum:

Video timeline: 0:15 Could These Solar Panel Windows Be The Future Of Green Energy? – If deployed on a large scale, Ubiquitous Energy says the windows could transform solar capacity worldwide. 01:33 What Would A Post-Economic Growth World Look Like? – ‘What is the type of growth that the world needs? And what is the type of de-growth we need?’ asks Tariq Al-Olaimy, Social Entrepreneur and Global Shapers Alumni. 04:41 Clean energy jobs boom – Green energy jobs in wind and solar are more available than fossil fuel jobs for the first time 05:57 Is your smartphone making you less smart? – Not according to scientists

Droughts: Fixing Water Waste On American Farms

The western U.S. is experience a megadrought so severe, it is the driest two decades in at least 1,200 years. And no sector has felt the impact more than agriculture, which takes up about 70% of the world’s freshwater. With water resources becoming more scarce, several companies are working to improve irrigation efficiency and help sustain food production in a future where extreme climate may be more common.

Chapters: Ch. 1: 2:08 The West’s drought Ch. 2 4:48 Water in agriculture Ch. 3 8:02 Smarter irrigation Ch. 4 11:08 Indoor farming Ch. 5 13:11 Future technologies

World Economic Forum: Top Stories Of The Week

This week’s top stories include:

0.15 – These restaurants are making takeout sustainable: Just Salad, Loop, DeliverZero, and Burger King are cutting back on food containers and packaging. Here’s how. 01.38 – Nuclear Power is unpopular but could really save our planet: The IEA says the world’s nuclear power capacity must double by 2050 if we are to achieve net zero. 03:13 – The renewable battery made from crab and lobster shells: Scientists at the University of Maryland have shown the potential of the chemical chitin to make a biodegradable electrolyte. 04:10 – Handheld device lets you check for breast cancer at home: The device, called the Dotplot, has won the 2022 UK James Dyson Award.

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.