Monday, October 28, 2019

digital computers =/=> consciousness

MIT News | Nature can help solve optimization problems

A low-cost analog circuit based on synchronizing oscillators could scale up quickly and cheaply to beat out digital computers.

Friday, October 25, 2019

with that much lead time, i could take my zinc supplements

Nextgov | Military Algorithm Can Predict Illness 48 Hours Before Symptoms Show

The program lead says future troops might be deployed with wearables like watches or chest straps that will know when they are getting sick and how long it will take them to get better.

uh, yes and yes?

Wired | Trying to Plant a Trillion Trees Won't Solve Anything

We’re not going to stop climate change with just seedlings and fancy agriculture. We also need to reduce emissions.

still not economical

Green Car Congress | New process produces high-octane synthetic fuel from low-octane Fischer-Tropsch gasoline

In recent years, interest in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis has increased significantly and thus it makes possible to produce synthetic motor fuels by using alternative energy resources as raw materials such as natural gas, coal, and biomass. The resulting product, which is commonly called synthetic crude oil, is a mixture of light and medium distillates with a boiling point of up to 350–360 °C. To obtain commercial gasoline from synthetic crude oil requires costly and multi-stage refining in the processes of hydrogenation, isomerization and reforming, which greatly complicates the entire chain of production of commercial gasoline. In addition, the industrial technology of upgrading the Fischer-Tropsch gasoline fraction (reducing the amount of olefinic hydrocarbons, as well as increasing detonation resistance) is a multistage process that exceeds the processing of straight-run gasoline obtained from petroleum feedstock in the number of stages.

In this regard, a significant resource base is unclaimed for economic reasons. The development of a fundamentally new technology for upgrading gasoline Fischer-Tropsch will ensure energy security and diversification of raw materials for the production of motor gasoline.

sometimes we forget how vulnerable we are to the little things

MIT News | New process could make hydrogen peroxide available in remote places

Hydrogen peroxide, a useful all-purpose disinfectant, is found in most medicine cabinets in the developed world. But in remote villages in developing countries, where it could play an important role in health and sanitation, it can be hard to come by.

Now, a process developed at MIT could lead to a simple, inexpensive, portable device that could produce hydrogen peroxide continuously from just air, water, and electricity, providing a way to sterilize wounds, food-preparation surfaces, and even water supplies.

light in the dark

Joule | Generating Light from Darkness

A large fraction of the world’s population still lacks access to electricity, particularly at night when photovoltaic systems no longer operate. The ability to generate electricity at night could be a fundamentally enabling capability for a wide range of applications, including lighting and low-power sensors. Here, we demonstrate a low-cost strategy to harness the cold of space through radiative cooling to generate electricity with an off-the-shelf thermoelectric generator. Unlike traditional thermoelectric generators, our device couples the cold side of the thermoelectric module to a sky-facing surface that radiates heat to the cold of space and has its warm side heated by the surrounding air, enabling electricity generation at night. We experimentally demonstrate 25 mW/m 2 of power generation and validate a model that accurately captures the device’s performance. Further, we show that the device can directly power a light emitting diode, thereby generating light from the darkness of space itself.