Ecobricks are a world wide community movement that uses plastic bottles stuffed with non-biodegradable plastic waste to use as the foundation for building walls and other structures. Get involved here.
This is an interesting article by Singularity Hub on the possibilities for the next generation of the web, what they term the spatial web and web 3.0. The article describes how 5G, AI and the IoT landscape could allow realtime generation of AR and VR scenes sources from multiple public cameras in realtime, allowing the user to embed in a street protest, sporting or news event. Other technology possibilities discussed are always-available AR virtual sales people and ads, yay!
Inspired by the shuttlecraft of Star Trek, researchers at MIT have successful performed the first ionic flight of a solid state fixed wing aircraft using electroaerodynamic thrust! layers of wires underneath the wings create a 20,000 Volt differential between the front and the rear wires, with cause charged electrons to travel through the air from the positive wires to the negative wires. The charged particles push air particles over the wing as they travel, creating a small amount of lift.
Victoria Krakovna has a fantastic list of examples of AI systems that have misbehaved and subverted their way to meeting their incentive goals by sometime hilarious means! Some game systems evolved to clap body parts together to exploit a collision detection bug and generate free game enerrgy.
Quartz have put together a list of the 600 courses recently released online by 190 universities. The courses cover programming, engineering, computer science, social studies, science, art & design, mathematics, humanities, business, health & medicine, data science, education & teaching and personal development.
The Spinnaker project at the department of Computer Science in the University of Manchester turned on their million-core neuromorphic computer this week. The system is designed to mimc the human brain and can perform 200 trillion operations per second.
Samsung teased their new foldable device this week. Their announcement showed the foldable display in action within a secret device demoed under dimmed lighting. Apparently Samsung are due to start production in a couple of months.
London design consultancy firm Special Projects have created a unique new mobile app task switching interface they call Magic UX. The project aims to bring the UX of a smartphone more into the physical world by allowing the user to map an app to a spacial location and switch between multiple apps by just moving the phone to the set location, similar to picking up different items on a desk. The app even lets you transfer data between apps for example by "picking up" an image and moving the phone to the email app to attach it.
I picked up The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick last Christmas on a visit to the amazing Charlie Byrne's Bookshop in Galway. My reason for buying it was part intrigue about how the author could fill a whole book about there being too much information in the world, and partly because I must admit, the cover design drew me in. It took me a while but I finally got around to reading and finished the book this week and I was so happy with the choice I made all those months ago.