Nature crisis: Humans ‘threaten 1m species with extinction’ – BBC News

One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need for ever more food and energy are the main drivers.

These trends can be halted, the study says, but it will take “transformative change” in every aspect of how humans interact with nature.

via Nature crisis: Humans ‘threaten 1m species with extinction’ – BBC News

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Embr Wave, An Ingenious Wristband That Automatically Regulates Skin Temperature — Laughing Squid

The Embr Wave is an ingenious wristband developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists that automatically regulates skin temperature, like a personal thermostat. This smart device is worn on the inside of the wrist to access the body’s thermoreceptors and can be easily be switched from hot to cool (or vice versa) on the…

via Embr Wave, An Ingenious Wristband That Automatically Regulates Skin Temperature — Laughing Squid

Really neat idea. Potentially more efficient putting a device on everybody’s wrist than trying to heat/cool vast spaces.

The Foldable Phones Are Coming – The Verge

Samsung ‘Infinity Flex’ Display
Samsung ‘Infinity Flex’ Display. Samsung: http://bit.ly/2Pm3ijS

In 2011, the giant 5.3-inch display on the Galaxy Note was met with guffaws in tech circles. Today we just call phablets, phones. Similarly, the curved display on the oft-ridiculed Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Round eventually morphed into the Infinity Displays found on Samsung’s modern S-series of flagships. If foldable phones follow a similar journey, then Samsung’s first device won’t completely capture the design’s potential — instead, it’ll mark the beginning of an emerging battle over this intriguing display technology.

via The foldable phones are coming – The Verge

This is how I feel. Unreleased folding screen device concepts always appear wishfully thin, flimsy, completely alien to phones now. But this early Samsung prototype intrigues me.

The possibility of a large screen but in a pocketable device, is a problem that is of this time, which this device appears to solve. Once again, I predict we will look back on these early doubts and say, ‘Of Course!’

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ – BBC News

The researchers have used these facts and numbers to paint a picture of the world with a dangerous fever, caused by humans. We used to think if we could keep warming below two degrees this century, then the changes we would experience would be manageable.
Not any more. This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet’s liveability. And the 1.5C temperature “guard rail” could be exceeded in just 12 years, in 2030.
We can stay below it – but it will require urgent, large-scale changes from governments and individuals and we will have to invest a massive pile of cash every year, about 2.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced, for two decades.
Even then, we will still need machines, trees and plants to capture carbon from the air that we can then store deep underground – forever.

via Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ – BBC News

Microsoft Device Attempt To Bolster App Line-up?

Microsoft is exploring potential new avenues to remedy its issues with a lack of applications in the context of its rumored dual-screen mobile Surface device – which will allegedly utilize a custom version of Windows 10, referred to as Andromeda – beyond initial app expansion plans driven by Progressive Web Apps.

via Microsoft is exploring new ways to seriously bolster its app line-up ahead of Surface Phone | TechRadar

I had this in my mind when I heard about this rumoured device. They need developers to think about and build for smaller device form factors before they could think about launching a Surface Phone. Currently they have a hole in the form factors Windows runs on.

They seem happy being apps on other platforms right now but,  the phone is the gateway for future Microsoft customers. Its the most used device for many users. What is installed by default can lock customers in to non-Microsoft services. So I think they have to try and crack this market again with their own phone.

How your home could generate, store and sell energy – BBC News

More energy storage providers – such as Ovo Energy, Powervault and Moixa are entering the market – particularly as electric vehicles (EVs) promise to become a useful addition to the domestic energy mix. BMW i3 batteries are already being used to store windfarm energy in Wales, so it makes sense to integrate such car battery tech into homes.

via How your home could generate, store and sell energy – BBC News

Amazon Working On First Robot

There are no firm details on what Amazon’s robot looks like or what purpose it will serve, but Bloomberg suggests it could be a sort of “mobile Alexa” — following users around their house to places where they can’t speak directly to an Echo speaker. Prototype robots built by Amazon reportedly have computer vision software and cameras for navigation, and the company is said to be planning to seed devices in employees’ homes by the end of the year.

via Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot – The Verge

Yep, I see this as a mobile Alexa or a robot vacuum cleaner. Nothing too big or scary, to ease people into having robots in their home.

OLPC was going to give every child a laptop — then it all went wrong – The Verge

…instead of “the $100 laptop,” Bender wanted to call it “the Children’s Machine,” he says. “I think we got more mileage out of ‘The $100 Laptop’ at the time, because typical laptops cost over $1,000, so it was a very bold statement. But we got burned by that — because we set an expectation around price, rather than an expectation around what this machine was really for.”

via OLPC was going to give every child a laptop — then it all went wrong – The Verge

It’s not the fairytale ending the project was aiming for but it is helpful to get the OLPC story in full.

Formula-E ‘Gen2’ Car Revealed

Designed to be used for the next three seasons, the car will make its competitive debut in the 2018/19 season of the series. With almost double the energy storage capacity and double the range of the current car, the Gen2 will enable the teams and drivers to complete a full race at higher speeds, without making a mid-race car swap. With all that, the Gen2 car is clear proof of the advancements in battery and electric motor technology achieved in the space of only four years, which will eventually make its way into everyday electric road cars.

I’ve spoken about the Formula-E cars design before, particularly the distinctive top front wing. The top wing is gone but I like the split rear wing(winglets?). The corners of the car look a little more substantial to enable more wheel to wheel racing.

Looks like a futuristic electric sled. I love it!

via Introducing: the Gen2 Formula E car – Formula E

Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago

I’m glad that you’re still interested in computers! Today we have many more of them than we did 10 years ago, and that comes with new challenges. We wear computers on our wrists and faces, keep them in our pockets, and have them in our fridges and kettles. The cars are driving themselves pretty well, and we’ve taught programs to be better than humans at pretty much every game out there — except maybe drinking.

Crazy what can happen in 10 years.

via Web development explained to a time traveler from ten years ago