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CraigD

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Post and discuss interesting articles & videos about science and technology.

You don't need to be an expert - just interested in the wonders of modern science, technology, and the history of these fields.

Please keep it rational, and post articles from reputable sources.
Try not to editorialise headlines and keep the copy to just a paragraph with a link to the original source. When quoting excerpts from articles, I think the best method is to italicise the copy, and include a link to the source.

Have some fun with your comments and discussions... just keep the sources legitimate.

Other threads:
The Break Room has a number of other popular threads, so there is no need to post material here that is better suited to these other threads:

- Covid19-Coronavirus updates and news
- Conspiracy Thread Free For All
- The *religious* discussion thread


Please enjoy!
 
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Cal2

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Construction 3D Printing to Tackle Apartment Buildings​


Ian Arthur, president and founder of Nidus3D, a 3D printing construction company that’s in the middle of building a multi-unit residential project in Canada, told the Winsor Star newspaper that once the project is finished, “you won’t be able to tell it’s a printed house.”

This is surely a disappointing statement to 3D printed house fans, but it’s also a sign that the technology is moving from being a novelty to achieving its touted purpose; to construct homes faster, cheaper, and better.

House-builder Habitat for Humanity, a partner in the project, said this multi-unit structure is a key step in increasing access to affordable housing in Canada and may be a game-changing solution to the current housing crisis.

“Nidus3D is driven by the mission for increasing access to housing, and we’re deeply honored for building the first multi-unit 3D printed homes in North America,” says Arthur. “This historic build serves as proof-of-concept for future builds, and paves the path for quicker and more cost-effective homes for Canadian families.”

The project, scheduled for completion by the end of this summer, will result in four units in a self-contained home with each unit measuring 560 square feet. Nidus uses a COBOD International BOD2 construction 3D printer.
 

Cannuck

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First images from NASA's James Webb telescope:


Streaming back to the beginning of time...

 
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J Sokol

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An abandoned Berlin airport is being transformed into a climate-neutral, car-free neighborhood

Last year, after Berlin’s Tegel Airport had been replaced by a new international airport at another location, workers started clearing the land for a new project: a neighborhood built from scratch with the climate in mind.

Some parts of the airport will be reused, with old terminals turned into commercial space for research and offices for startups. But a more-than-100-acre area near where the runway used to sit will be completely reimagined, with 5,000 new apartment homes built in a walkable, bikeable, carbon-neutral neighborhood with parks, schools, and stores.

https://www.fastcompany.com/9076979...ed-into-climate-neutral-car-free-neighborhood
 

Cannuck

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Future Sensors

78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots
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Cal2

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UMaine Printing Homes with AI and Sawdust​


Our favorite large boat-printing academic institute, the University of Maine (UMaine) is making news again, this time with a new approach to construction printing that aims to address the labour and materials shortages in the US construction industry. It is also hoped that the project will offer relief during the current housing crisis in the US.

By converting the waste materials from the local wood industry into wood flour, and then mixing with bioplastics to form granules, the researchers have developed a method of using wood scrap with extrusion-type printing, resulting in a resilient material that can be quickly deposited.

https://3dprinting.com/news/umaine-printing-homes-with-ai-and-sawdust/
 

J Sokol

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We’re occupying schools across the world to protest climate inaction​


School and university students all over the world are planning to take school strikes one step further and occupy our campuses to demand the end of the fossil economy. Taking a lesson from student activists in the 1960s, the climate justice movement’s youth will shut down business as usual. Not because we don’t like learning, but because what we’ve learned already makes it clear that, without a dramatic break from this system, we cannot ensure a livable planet for our presents and futures.

Why occupy? Because we’ve marched. We’ve launched petitions. We’ve written open letters. We’ve had meetings with governments, boards and commissions. We’ve struck. We’ve filled squares, streets and avenues with thousands and, all together, millions of people in continents across this Earth. We’ve screamed with all our lungs. Some of us have even participated in blockades, sit-ins and die-ins. And just as it seemed the seed for deep and radical social transformation was taking root in the midst of the massive 2019 climate mobilizations, Covid-19 came, and our momentum drastically decreased. What didn’t decrease, however, was the greenhouse gas emissions, the exploitation of the global south and the unimaginable profits hoarded by the fossil fuel industry.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/26/school-strikes-climate-protests-activists
 

Cal2

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New living wall uses recycled materials for better growing conditions​

Unlike most living walls, which house the plants in recessed pockets, this one utilizes approximately 300 diamond-shaped planters. These are made from folded scrap sheet metal (obtained from the automotive industry) and disposable matrix trays – the latter are plastic trays used to transport components in the production of printed circuit boards.

Each planter reportedly holds a greater amount of soil than the compartments in traditional living walls, providing more room for the plants' root systems. Additionally, because the planters protrude out from the wall, the plants can grow straight upward instead of at an unnatural angle.

https://newatlas.com/architecture/l...ail&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-89be3f4a40-90628689
 
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Cal2

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3,221

OpenAI's DALL-E 2: A dream tool and existential threat to visual artists​


"The greatest artistic tool ever built, or a harbinger of doom for entire creative industries? OpenAI's second-generation DALL-E 2 system is slowly opening up to the public, and its text-based image generation and editing abilities are awe-inspiring."

https://newatlas.com/computers/dall...ail&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-2ea2894c29-90628689


After watching a couple youtube videos of what dall-e-2 can already do, I signed up on Open AI's wait list for access to it:

https://labs.openai.com/waitlist?ck...dium=email&utm_campaign=☕+Alts+Cafe - 8675746


 

J Sokol

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This giant 'water battery' under the Alps could be a game-changer for renewable energy in Europe​

(CNN)Switzerland has unveiled its latest renewable energy innovation: a giant water battery.
Beginning operations last month, the water battery, called Nant de Drance, is a pumped storage hydropower plant that provides the same energy storage capacity as 400,000 electric car batteries.

Located high in the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais, the plant is equipped with agile, reversible turbines that offer new levels of flexibility, says Robert Gleitz, a delegate of the board of directors of Nant de Drance: with the flick of a switch, the plant can go from storing energy to providing electricity.

The massive project took 14 years to complete. Around 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) of subterranean tunnels were excavated through the Alps while the six turbines are stored 600 meters (1970 feet) below ground, in a giant cavern the length of two football fields.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/01/worl...le-energy-climate-scn-hnk-spc-intl/index.html
 

J Sokol

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It’s time to ban private jets – or at least tax them to the ground​

Akin Olla
Kylie Jenner, Drake and other celebrities have recently faced criticism for carbon emission-heavy private jet rides, with one of Jenner’s flights reportedly lasting an offensively short 17 minutes.

It might be less insulting if the flights were taken for reasons vital to the survival of the human race or at least the function of government. But these were entertainers and private individuals who have access to first-class commercial flights and the same conveniences of phone and video calls us humble common folk use.

In the last few decades, private jets have become an increasing source of global flight emissions, while providing very little value for most humans on earth. At the same time, the working class has carried the burden of daily sacrifices for the climate crisis, with the poorest of the global working class even forced to flee their homes. It is time that we go after the egregious lifestyles of the wealthy, and invest in public infrastructure that can fill the gaps and provide both the wealthy and the masses with fast and clean transportation.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...ate-jets-or-at-least-tax-them-onto-the-ground
 

J Sokol

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‘Botox for your lawn’: the controversial use of pesticides on golf courses

Harold Nisker spent roughly 50 years of his life playing golf in his Toronto suburb. He visited the course at his country club nearly every day, teeing up to play on the miles of pristine grass.

Like many golfers, Nisker grew to have a certain expectation of the turf: green, trim, with no weeds in sight. But when Nisker died in 2014 from a rare type of lymphoma, his son Andrew began to wonder if his father’s death could be connected to all those golf games – and the pesticide applications that helped the golf course attain its aesthetic perfection.

Nisker obtained records showing what kind of pesticides were used to treat the golf course where his father regularly played, finding among the chemicals listed an herbicide known as 2,4-D. The pesticide was one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange, a tactical use chemical deployed by the US military during the Vietnam war that was later determined to cause cancer.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/06/pesticides-golf-courses-health-problems
 

Cal2

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US nuclear regulator greenlights its first small modular reactor​


The first small modular reactor (SMR) design has been approved for certification by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). NuScale's tidy reactor design promises safe, clean energy at radically reduced cost, land use and installation time.

The NRC released news last week that its staff have been directed to make a final rule certifying the NuScale reactor design for use in the United States. This is just the seventh design approved by the NRC since it was established in 1974, and the first of a coming wave of technologies designed to make nuclear power cheaper, easier and safer to implement than ever before.

The keys to this small modular reactor's advantages lie in its small size and modularity. Rather than having to build each reactor on site, custom designed for the location, NuScale can mass-manufacture its light water reactor modules in a factory and then ship them worldwide for a relatively quick and painless installation.

https://newatlas.com/energy/nrc-cer...ail&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-cab2de891c-90628689
 

J Sokol

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Meta injecting code into websites to track its users, research says​

Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has been rewriting websites its users visit, letting the company follow them across the web after they click links in its apps, according to new research from an ex-Google engineer.

The two apps have been taking advantage of the fact that users who click on links are taken to webpages in an “in-app browser”, controlled by Facebookor Instagram, rather than sent to the user’s web browser of choice, such as Safari or Firefox.

“The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them [to] monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” says Felix Krause, a privacy researcher who founded an app development tool acquired by Google in 2017.

https://www.theguardian.com/technol...ited-by-its-users-to-track-them-research-says
 
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