Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

futurescope:

‘Impossible’ material would stretch when compressed

Imagine cushions that lift up instead of sinking when you sit on them. Impossible? Not according to a blueprint for new materials with “negative compressibility”: the materials compress when they are pulled and expand when they are pushed.

Zachary Nicolaou and Adilson Motter of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have now [theoretically] designed a metamaterial that stretches when compressed, and vice versa, under any circumstances.

[…]

[read more @dvice & @newscientist] [paper]

Posted at 7:55pm and tagged with: tech, technology, assumptions,.

futurescope:

‘Impossible’ material would stretch when compressed

Imagine cushions that lift up instead of sinking when you sit on them. Impossible? Not according to a blueprint for new materials with “negative compressibility”: the materials compress when they are pulled and expand when they are pushed.
Zachary Nicolaou and Adilson Motter of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have now [theoretically] designed a metamaterial that stretches when compressed, and vice versa, under any circumstances.
[…]

[read more @dvice & @newscientist] [paper]

Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life



This protozoan is so unique, it belongs to a whole new kingdom, say researchers

Full Story: MSNBC

Posted at 3:41pm and tagged with: science, assumptions,.

Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life


This protozoan is so unique, it belongs to a whole new kingdom, say researchers
Full Story: MSNBC

Solar cells must emit light to attain perfection, research suggests

Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley claim to have hit upon a counterintuitive means of boosting the efficiency of flatplate solar cells by making them emit light. “What we demonstrated is that the better a solar cell is at emitting photons, the higher its voltage and the greater the efficiency it can produce,” said principal researcher, UC Berkeley Professor of Electrical Engineering Eli Yablonovitch.


Full Story: Ars Technica

Posted at 10:11am and tagged with: innovation, assumptions, energy, solar,.

Solar cells must emit light to attain perfection, research suggests


Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley claim to have hit upon a counterintuitive means of boosting the efficiency of flatplate solar cells by making them emit light. “What we demonstrated is that the better a solar cell is at emitting photons, the higher its voltage and the greater the efficiency it can produce,” said principal researcher, UC Berkeley Professor of Electrical Engineering Eli Yablonovitch.

Full Story: Ars Technica

theatlantic:

Who Has the Right to Fly a Drone Above Your Head?

While the government’s use of drones in other countries has drawn scrutiny, there are plenty of drones flying in American skies on behalf of the military, law enforcement, universities, and local governments. 

Just how many drones are zipping around is not clear, but thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s  Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Transportation, at least we now know which government agencies can fly drones. There are 58 institutions in total, including both active and expired “certificates of authorization” from the Federal Aviation Administration. They range from DARPA to the city of Herrington, Kansas to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The individual list is interesting, but we thought the aggregated pie chart above made it easier to take in the data at a glance. 

Perhaps most interesting is how many universities have applied for permits. Some may be working with military grant money. There are relatively few law enforcement agencies using drones, maybe because of the expense involved. Only 11 local law enforcement districts have tried out the technology: Arlington PD, Gadsden PD, Georgia Tech PD, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Miami-Dade PD, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Ogden  Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seattle PD. 

Keep in mind, as the EFF points out, the number of certificates are not equal to the number of drones. So the military may have many, many drones flying while a city government might just have one.

Read more.

Posted at 4:41am and tagged with: robots, technology, tech, assumptions,.

theatlantic:

Who Has the Right to Fly a Drone Above Your Head?

While the government’s use of drones in other countries has drawn scrutiny, there are plenty of drones flying in American skies on behalf of the military, law enforcement, universities, and local governments. Just how many drones are zipping around is not clear, but thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s  Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Transportation, at least we now know which government agencies can fly drones. There are 58 institutions in total, including both active and expired “certificates of authorization” from the Federal Aviation Administration. They range from DARPA to the city of Herrington, Kansas to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The individual list is interesting, but we thought the aggregated pie chart above made it easier to take in the data at a glance. Perhaps most interesting is how many universities have applied for permits. Some may be working with military grant money. There are relatively few law enforcement agencies using drones, maybe because of the expense involved. Only 11 local law enforcement districts have tried out the technology: Arlington PD, Gadsden PD, Georgia Tech PD, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Miami-Dade PD, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Ogden  Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seattle PD. Keep in mind, as the EFF points out, the number of certificates are not equal to the number of drones. So the military may have many, many drones flying while a city government might just have one.
Read more.

smarterplanet:

Next generation Cargo Ship with 50m high sails uses 30% less fuel

The aim of the Wind Challenger Project is to substantially reduce fuel consumption by large merchant vessels. Under development by a group including members from the University of Tokyo, the idea is to utilize giant retractable sails, 20m wide by 50m high, to make maximal use of wind energy. The group has done simulations for shipping routes such as Yokohama-Seattle. The results indicate that hybrid ships with sails and engines could reduce annual fuel consumption by about 30% on average. […]

[more]

via futurescope:

Posted at 8:20am and tagged with: tech, technology, design, energy, environment, assumptions,.

futuramb:

stoweboyd:

The result of a great deal of cognitive science research demonstrates that people don’t really understand how we think, how we influence each other, and the degree to which we are connected. We also lack an understanding of water, which is the most common liquid on Earth:

Everything We Think We Know About People Is Wrong - Stowe Boyd via Nexalogy blog:

[…] It turns out that people — and marketers — don’t really understand influence very well, despite being embedded in social networks their entire lives: we really don’t understand the way that we are influenced by other people. For example, if someone touches you when you first meet, you are ten times more likely to remember that person. But we are unaware, later, that the touch was the reason for our recollection. We underestimate the impact of a kind word, or the chilling effects of workplace fear. There are dozens of examples of this sort coming out of cognitive science that demonstrate that we are being strongly influenced below the conscious level, physiologically, all the time. The actions of others can make us fearful, or confident, or curious, or suspicious — and it can happen invisibly. People just don’t have a great insight into the social interactions of people, despite being involved in them. Most contemporary thinking about our social interactions is derived from an economic view that considers groups as collections of individuals, where each individual makes more-or-less rational decisions intended to maximize benefits to themselves and their loved ones. I think there is a analogy with the historical physics view of how fluids work, like water, or water specifically.

read more at Nexalogy blog

That is - in line with the scientific knowledge of our minds - because knowledge is more socially constructed and defended than we think it is. (Yes, it is a recursive truth…)

Posted at 2:50am and tagged with: cognitive, assumptions,.

thenextweb:

Gulf News reports that a study from Gartner, analyzing last year’s mobile phone sales in the region, shows that Nokia made the most sales over any other smartphone manufacturer. (via Report: Nokia Leads Smartphone Sales in the Middle East)

Posted at 4:40am and tagged with: tech, technology, smartphones, assumptions,.

thenextweb:

Gulf News reports that a study from Gartner, analyzing last year’s mobile phone sales in the region, shows that Nokia made the most sales over any other smartphone manufacturer. (via Report: Nokia Leads Smartphone Sales in the Middle East)

theatlantic:

What If Your Emails Never Went to Gmail and Twitter Couldn’t See Your Tweets?

A new tool under development by Oregon State computer scientists could radically alter the way that communications work on the web. Privly is a sort of manifesto-in-code, a working argument for a more private, less permanent Internet. 

The system we have now gives all the power to the service providers. That seemed to be necessary, but Privly shows that it is not: Users could have a lot more power without giving up social networking. Just pointing that out is a valuable contribution to the ongoing struggle to understand and come up with better ways of sharing and protecting ourselves online. 

“Companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook make you choose between modern technology and privacy. But the Privly developers know this to be false choice,” lead dev Sean McGregor says in the video below. “You can communicate through the site of your choosing without giving the host access to your content.”

Through browser extensions, Privly allows you to post to social networks and send email without letting those services see “into” your text. Instead, your actual words get encrypted and then routed to Privlys servers (or an eventual peer-to-peer network). What the social media site “sees” is merely a link that Privly expands in your browser into the full content. Of course, this requires that people who want to see your content also need Privly installed on their machines.

Read more.

Posted at 3:41pm and tagged with: tech, technology, privacy, internet, assumptions,.

tetw:

by Steven Johnson

For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward the lowest-common-denominator. But on closer inspection it seems the exact opposite is happening: TV is getting more cognitively demanding, not less. 

Posted at 10:46am and tagged with: cognitive, attention, media, assumptions,.