"In the future, you might be able to talk to computers and robots the same way you talk to your friends.
Researchers are trying to break down the language barrier between humans and computers, as part of a new program from the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for developing new technologies for the U.S. military.”
A decade ago, people started panicking about the collapse of the honeybee population and the crash of our food supply. But today there are more honeybees than there were then. We have engineered our way to a frenzied
and precarious new normal.
For the past seven years, as has been widely reported, honeybees have been
dying at an alarming rate. Yet today there are slightly more hives in
the [USA] than before the die-offs began. That’s because beekeeping [operations] have moved beyond panic and begun quietly
adjusting to a strenuous way of doing business, one that requires
constant monitoring, treatment, supplemental feeding, rapid replacement
of dead hives, and grudging participation in an agricultural system that
grows increasingly inhospitable to the bees it needs to survive. […]
For the vast majority of their history, beekeepers moved their bees in
order to make more honey, not to pollinate crops. In fact, pollination
itself is a phenomenon few farmers understood until relatively recently.
As late as the 1880s, some farmers banished beekeepers from the their
farms, believing that bees robbed pollen and killed fruit. It’s a
forgivable misunderstanding. The farmers didn’t realize that the bees
had evolved to be messy eaters, carrying pollen grains on their fur. And
with swarms of native bumblebees, orchard bees, and feral honeybees
always around, fruit happened with beekeepers or without. In a natural
ecosystem, or even a small multi-crop farm, there were always enough
plants in bloom at any given time to sustain a resident population of
But when farmers began planting
larger plots with one crop, the natural balance of pollination was
distorted. A monoculture, as it’s called, can’t sustain all the wild
insects it needs to pollinate it, because there’s nothing for the
insects to eat when the main crop isn’t in bloom. Monoculture farmers
noticed that their trees would flower abundantly yet produce hardly any
fruit, which led to the discovery that many fruit trees are
self-sterile: To produce, they need to be planted in mixed varieties,
and they need insects to ferry pollen from one variety to another.
Honeybees provided a convenient solution. Whereas many bees native to
North America are solitary, fly only a few hundred feet to forage, and
have evolved to pollinate a single plant species, honeybees are
opportunistic eaters, fly more than two miles, and live in resilient,
easily transported hives. By the early 20th century, farmers were
signing occasional contracts with local beekeepers to pollinate
orchards. In 1918, the naturalist John Harvey Lovell concluded that “the
fruit-culture of the future must be largely dependent on the domestic
bee, the only agency in crossing which can be controlled by man.”
The dramatic transformation of our relationship with the honeybee, however,
began in the years following World War II, as the mechanization of
agriculture drastically increased the size of the nation’s farms and the
use of pesticides exploded. This marked the decline of many remaining
wild pollinators, and the beginning of the honeybee’s shift from a
semi-domesticated producer of honey to a living tool integral to
industrial agriculture. In the past several decades migratory
pollination has only become a bigger portion of the beekeeping industry,
surpassing revenues from honey sales sometime around 2007. The economic
shift from honey to pollination was a long time coming, but two things
finally tipped the balance…
Put food, toys, gadgets or any other thing that you want to have so badly right now but you shouldn’t have it, set the timer by a rotating button (it can be set to periods ranging from one minute to ten days), and that’s it. You have only five seconds to change your mind, and after that, the container stays sealed and cannot be opened until the countdown is over.
Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies were among the many companies that released new devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Samsung rebooted its premium Galaxy smartphone line with the S6 and S6 Edge, featuring a three-sided screen. The S6 devices will have a 5.1-inch front screen, the same size as the S5. They run on Samsung’s own 64-bit chips, which are based on ARM Holdings’s architecture, and operate Google’s Android Lollipop software. The camera has 16 megapixels and includes a “bright” lens that improves nighttime photos. The phones have high-speed and wireless charging capabilities. Users will get enough power from 10 minutes of charging to watch video for 2 hours, Samsung said.
Huawei’s 42-millimeter (1.6-inch) diameter “luxury” watch will be the world’s first smart wearable with sapphire crystal glass. The watch will have over 40 interfaces to choose from, features an ultra-high resolution AMOLED display, and has a range of leather or stainless steel straps to come from.