13 leaders aiming to increase African Americans in tech

In Silicon Valley, they call it the 2% problem.

African Americans make up a tiny fraction of the overwhelmingly white and Asian male workforces of major technology companies, the ranks of aspiring entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who control the spigot of money and access.

Silicon Valley is taking steps to offer more opportunities to underrepresented minorities in the nation’s fastest-growing, highest-paying industry. But no one is working harder to tear down barriers for African Americans than a growing cadre of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers and advocates pioneering a range of innovative efforts, from teaching kids of color how to code to preparing African American and Latino engineers for jobs in Silicon Valley… [+]

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Clever app uses photos from all over the world to track pollution

What if managing city smog were as simple as snapping a photo? Maybe it is. A new project called AirTick is using cellphone snaps to help scientists track air pollution. The project started with a fundamental question: How do we manage good air quality? This method could be a lot more cost effective and practical.

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China's nuclear fusion machine just smashed Germany's hydrogen plasma record
Game on.
By Bec Crew

Just last week, we reported that Germany’s revolutionary nuclear fusion machine managed to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees Celsius, and sustain a cloud of hydrogen plasma for a quarter of a second. This was a huge milestone in the decades-long pursuit of controlled nuclear fusion, because if we can produce and hold onto hydrogen plasma for a certain period, we can harness the clean, practically limitless energy that fuels our Sun.

Now physicists in China have announced that their own nuclear fusion machine, called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), has produced hydrogen plasma at 49.999 million degrees Celsius, and held onto it for an impressive 102 seconds.

While this is nowhere near the hottest temperature that’s been produced by an experiment - that honour goes to the Large Hadron Collider, which hit a whopping 4 trillion degrees Celsius (250,000 times hotter than the centre of the Sun) back in 2012 - the team from China’s Institute of Physical Science in Hefei managed to recreate solar conditions for well over a minute.

Continue Reading.

In a world where we can make pretty much any object ‘smart,’ sometimes the more interesting questions are posed when being stupid.
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Arwa Mahdawi, on the third-annual Stupid Hackathon, where developers waste their valuable time purposely creating ‘projects that have no value whatsoever’

Read more of Mahdawi’s cultural anthropology of the competition, over at the Guardian

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Lockheed, where legacy and former futures have a longer life than elsewhere

“When you got a big job, large equipment, people to support and no roads to get there, there is only one solution: A safe, simple and sustainable answer. Hybrid Airship - #noroadsnoproblems”

[read more]

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Light Sculpture of Flames

Interactive installation by teamlab is a cubic array of lights which presents a volumetric representation of fire:

This artwork uses accumulated light points to create a sculptural body, similar to the way distinct dots of color form an image in a pointillist painting. Since the sculpture is made of light, it can be controlled digitally and is interactive.

Fire does not have mass; it is a phenomenon in which flammable substances and oxygen react, radiating heat and light. The shape of a flame is formed by the aggregate of such light. Many people perceive fire, a phenomenon, as an object, and sometimes feel a sense of life in fire. Light Sculpture of Flames belongs to a series of endeavors to transform a phenomenon into a sculptural object using accumulated light particles.

Most flames appear white at the center and red towards the outside, creating an appearance of layered colors, an effect that cannot be expressed with a solid three-dimensional object. This artwork, with a flat painterly quality, seeks to express a layered flame in a sculptural form. From any angle, the sculpture appears as a solid object of flames expressed in layers of colors.

The artwork does not use pre-recorded imagery; it is continuously created in real-time by a computer program and is in a constant process of transformation. Each moment is unique and never repeated.

Link

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“For the past year and a half, Swedish startup Earin has been trying to turn a Ryan Gosling–inspired earbud concept into a proper working product. The hook: Unlike other Bluetooth headsets, these $249 earbuds are completely wireless: They sync with each other and a phone, and… that’s it. The concept is one of those things I didn’t even know I needed, but after spending a week with the Earin buds, I’m almost ready to pick up my pitchfork and wish death upon the headphone cable. Emphasis on almost.” - Engadget Senior Mobile Editor, Chris Velazco

Up close with Earin’s wireless earbuds

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Here Active Listening Earbuds - By Doppler Labs

Have you ever wanted to be able to control what sounds from your surrounding you can hear? Well, the Here Active Listening Earbudshave been created to allow you to do just that. The two earbuds along with the smartphone app are designed to empower you to take charge of the sounds around you. You’ll be able to personalize your live experience by controlling the volume, adjusting EQ and the effects of the area around you.