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How solar energy saved a Puerto Rican farm from Hurricane Maria

Posted on: Wed, 2017-10-04 - 12:33 By: danie

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How solar energy saved a Puerto Rican farm from Hurricane Maria

While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre (16.2-hectare) nursery in central Puerto Rico.

The U.S. territory is in a near blackout, its electricity grid shredded by the storm that slammed into the island on Sept 20. But Santiago’s decorative plant and poinsettia nursery, set amid the jagged peaks of the Barranquitas farming area, has kept working thanks to the $300,000 he invested in 244 solar panels six years ago.

“Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don‘t,” said Santiago, whose flowers are sold in Puerto Rico, at outlets like Costco, and throughout the Caribbean.

While Santiago’s nursery was considerably damaged during the storm, many plants were destroyed and the roofs of some greenhouses blew off, he was able to regroup quickly, with electricity to keep pumping water from his two wells.

Another good case for having decentralised generating capacity.

See http://reut.rs/2fNCmZy

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A 50% 'sin' tax on soda in Dubai could have global consequences

Posted on: Wed, 2017-10-04 - 11:31 By: danie

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A 50% 'sin' tax on soda in Dubai could have global consequences

The United Arab Emirates has instituted a hefty tax on sugary drinks and cigarettes: 50% on soda and 100% on energy drinks and tobacco products.

The tax, which went into effect October 1, has several goals. The first is to generate revenue for the UAE government as global oil prices remain low, according to Gulf News. The second is to improve public health since the UAE has one of the worst diabetes rates in the world. Today, 19.3% of the UAE population (nearly one in five people) between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes. The UAE's diabetes figures have gotten worse in recent years, according to the International Diabetes Federation — in 2013, 10% of the population had diabetes.

Some other countries, including South Africa, have implemented much tamer sugar taxes but this one is quite a serious move. It will be interesting to see what happens and whether there is an effect.

See http://read.bi/2xcWknT

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UK Civil servants were warned office 'cake culture' could be a 'public health hazard'

Posted on: Wed, 2017-10-04 - 07:23 By: danie

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UK Civil servants were warned office 'cake culture' could be a 'public health hazard'

Civil servants have been warned that bringing cake into work for birthdays and celebrations could be a “public health hazard”. A post on the official Civil Service blog asks colleagues to be “mindful” of the sweet treats they bring into the workplace and the impact it has on “those who have difficulty resisting”.

It comes after experts warned that the culture of bringing cake into work is becoming a daily health hazard and should be stopped. In recent years, it has become popular for workers to offer birthday cake to colleagues or bring back sugary gifts from their holidays. However, earlier this month the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) warned that in large offices, sweets and cakes have become a daily occurrence and the growing trend is contributing to poor oral health and the obesity epidemic (https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/cake-culture-putting-health-at-risk/).

See http://bit.ly/2xcF6Hn

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How To Take RAW Photos On Android, No Root

Posted on: Wed, 2017-10-04 - 05:21 By: danie

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How To Take RAW Photos On Android, No Root

Google Camera+ HDR is a ported version of the Google Camera app that brings HDR to non-Google devices. It’s a pretty amazing little port that’s just added the ability to take RAW photos on Android phones.

Download Google Camera+HDR from XDA Developers. They have a nice detailed write-up about this app. There are two versions of it; one for Snapdragon 820/821 devices, and one for non-Snapdragon devices. Download the correct one and side-load it on your Android phone. You don’t need a rooted device to use this app. This is a third-party app and it’s not available on the Google Play Store so use it at your own risk. If you’re apprehensive about this app, know that the XDA Community has complete faith in it.

See http://bit.ly/2fOjnOC

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Everything You Need to Know About Proper Hat Etiquette

Posted on: Wed, 2017-10-04 - 04:19 By: danie

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Everything You Need to Know About Proper Hat Etiquette

These days there doesn’t seem to be much order when it comes to hats. People wear whatever they like, whenever they like, wherever they like. That’s all well and good, but once upon a time, everybody had a nice hat, and there were rules to follow. If you didn’t, people could instantly tell that you weren’t an upstanding member of society. Well, it’s time we bring those rules back.

Find out according to etiquette when it is OK to wear a hat and when tone should remove it - http://bit.ly/2fNBKDs

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A Graphical Timeline of the History of Computer Graphics & Games

Posted on: Tue, 2017-10-03 - 22:06 By: danie

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A Graphical Timeline of the History of Computer Graphics & Games

An interesting look at some key milestones from 1951 onwards around the development of gaming hardware and games over the years.

See http://bit.ly/2fOIUHw

Graphics & Games | Timeline of Computer History | Computer History Museum
The Festival of Britain was designed as a nationwide display of British Arts, Technology and Culture following the widespread destruction of World War II. As a part of the festivities, computer company Ferranti provided a display for the Festival's activities in South Kensington (London). John Bennett, an ...

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You can now capture Google Street View scenery with your car for $3,500

Posted on: Tue, 2017-10-03 - 20:02 By: danie

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You can now capture Google Street View scenery with your car for $3,500

If you’ve dreamed about driving the Google Maps Street View car, now you can take the DIY route. Chinese camera maker Insta360 announced today that the Pro — its $3,500 camera that shoots 8K, 360-degree imagery — is the first to be certified by Google for your car as part of the “Street View Ready” program announced back in May. Basically, this is Google giving you the thumbs-up that this camera meets the specifications, quality, and accuracy necessary for capturing Street View scenery.

Theoretically, this will let Google plug some of the gaps in its Street View coverage around the world by leaning on citizen mappers (or organizations) with some cash to burn (Insta360 says Google will also offer 50 cameras through its Street View camera loan program). As long as the imagery captured is up to Google’s algorithmic standards, what people capture will make it into Street View.

See http://bit.ly/2xenaMM

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Google Announces Android Wear Beta Based on Android Oreo, Starting with the LG Watch Sport

Posted on: Tue, 2017-10-03 - 13:41 By: danie

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Google Announces Android Wear Beta Based on Android Oreo, Starting with the LG Watch Sport

Google has announced a new Android Wear beta based on Android 8.0 Oreo, and it launches today starting with the LG Watch Sport. The new update brings the device to API level 26 — the API level for Android 8.0 — and introduces features such as the new background restrictions and notification channels.

With this update also comes more advanced notification customization called “notification channels.” This allows the user to opt in or out of notifications from certain apps based on what category the notification is in. An example is shown where the user chooses to receive notifications from an application called “MooMessenger” when they receive a new follower, but not when they receive new likes.

See http://bit.ly/2xcqN5A

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Wave Power Renewable Energy Project Underway In Japan

Posted on: Tue, 2017-10-03 - 12:39 By: danie

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Wave Power Renewable Energy Project Underway In Japan

Being a nation of islands, Japan is keenly attuned to the problem of erosion. Nearly 30% of its coastline is protected from the ravages of the sea by tetrapods, man-made pyramids that help reduce the power of waves before they reach the shore. Professor Shintake and his team would like to redesign those wave-breaking devices to incorporate small turbines that generate electricity from the power of the flowing water.

“Using just 1% of the seashore of mainland Japan can [generate] about 10 gigawatts [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants,” Professor Shintake explains. “That’s huge.” It is especially huge in Japan, where nuclear power has a somewhat mixed track record.

Previously, Shintake has spearheaded a project labeled Sea Horse that places turbines tethered to the ocean floor in the middle of ocean currents, but maintaining the equipment is difficult and the cables carrying electricity to shore are problematic. He says his wave power process would be cheaper to install and maintain.

The turbines are designed to withstand the tremendous force that ocean waves can create. Inspired by dolphin fins, the blades that turn the turbines are flexible so they can relieve excess stress. Rigid blades would simply break under the power created by typhoons and the like.

See http://bit.ly/2fM8Fs0

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Honda Riding Assist-e Self Balancing Motorcycle To Unveil In Tokyo

Posted on: Tue, 2017-10-03 - 11:38 By: danie

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Honda Riding Assist-e Self Balancing Motorcycle To Unveil In Tokyo

The Honda Riding Assist-e concept will feature self-balancing technology. Interestingly, Honda has not used any gyroscope or similar elements to meet the purpose. The two-wheeler stays upright with the movement of the front wheel. Furthermore, the company has raked out the front forks and then the motorcycle automatically gets balanced by moving the wheel forward and backwards.

The bike gets a shaft drive system to transmit the power. The frame of the Honda Riding Assist-e looks to have been taken from the NC750. To cool the motor, a radiator has been fitted on the rear end. The motorcycle can be charged via a port that is bolted on the left side.

Read more at: https://gaadiwaadi.com/honda-riding-assist-e-self-balancing-motorcycle-948866/

Honda Riding Assist-e Self Balancing Motorcycle To Unveil In Tokyo
Interestingly, Honda has not used any gyroscopes in this Riding Assist-e motorcycle for self balancing purposes

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