In the spotlight
Your thermostat: time to “get smart”
From the moment you see one, a smart thermostat looks cool. The cover plate is smooth, and there’s a clear digital read-out. Unlike that grimy little hockey puck, with its analog dial and worn-out numbers, the smart thermostat feels futuristic, like something out of a science fiction movie. Yet smart thermostats are real – and it’s changing lives.
Best smart home deals to buy
Smart home devices are everywhere you turn. And although many of them come with the same technologies and features you might like, it’s not so easy to determine which products are best and which devices you should stay away from when you’re shopping. Still, smart home devices can dramatically improve your life.
Smart homes may be exciting, but beware – the walls have ears
Optimistic self-improvement is a boom market, especially at this time of year, with apps such as Habitshare, Habitica, Done and Productive, which are designed to help users form better life habits, topping download lists. The concept of a smart home offers a similar promise of domestic utopia…
Agriculture & Environment
Statistics: how hot, how wet, and for how long
How much will the county be affected as the globe grows warmer? Different scenarios were explored in California’s most recent climate assessment — from wildfire to the oceans — including a look at temperature and rainfall. Researchers used data for the latter two from 1961 through 1990 to project….
This is what scientists say we should eat to help save planet earth
A “planetary health diet” requiring a massive shift from meat to vegetable consumption is needed to protect the well-being of future generations and the planet, according to experts. Moving to healthier, more sustainable eating habits around the world could prevent 11 million premature deaths per year by 2050, scientists claim.
WEF sees bad times for tackling global risks
In its latest Global Risks Report ahead of its annual Davos meeting, the World Economic Forum warns that worsening international relations are hindering concerted action across a growing number of serious challenges facing mankind. As if that were not enough, a darkening economic outlook can easily….
Transport & Energy
Is capitalism the answer to climate change? This Tesla-backed startup believes it is
Carbon Lighthouse set out to change this reality since it was founded in 2009. However, it is not just the use of innovative technology, but even more so an innovative business model that makes the startup unique. “We innovate first and foremost by the way our contracts are structured.
Energy efficiency targets: time to ramp up investment in buildings, industry and vehicles
Energy efficiency investment rates need to double now, and then double again in 2025, to meet energy efficiency’s obligation to hitting the Paris targets. Right now there is a €130bn annual energy efficiency investment gap in Europe.
Who needs banks? – Why digital community currencies are becoming so popular and how to make one work
It will, perhaps, come as no surprise to learn that the number and scale of ‘community currencies’, which obviate the need for conventional banks, has mushroomed since the global financial crisis of 2008. Consequently there are now more than ten thousand of such projects operating around the world with many more in the pipeline.
Blockchain use for securing IoT data, services, devices doubles last year: study
The adoption of blockchain to secure Internet of Things or IoT data, devices, and services has doubled in a year, according to a study conducted by digital security company Gemalto. In its report titled The State of IoT Security, Gemalto noted that blockchain is emerging as a potential technology and an IoT security tool.
Food & Health
FT Health: fighting the three biggest infectious diseases
The best part of my job is going into the field to see health programmes, talking to the workers on the front line, listening to people affected by the diseases. Last month I went to Côte d’Ivoire in west Africa and visited a pop-up HIV testing station at a long-distance truck stop, and shadowed a….
Pace-Man and output sports give fitness training the personal touch
In October Dr Cailbhe Doherty ran his first marathon in 3 hours 34 minutes. He started his training programme 20 weeks out and his secret weapon was Pace-Man , a newly developed app that leverages big data and running analytics to help runners achieve their race goals. Doherty had a vested interest in using Pace-Man successfully.
CRISPR/Cas Systems towards next-generation biosensing
Beyond its remarkable genome editing ability, the CRISPR/Cas9 effector has also been utilized in biosensing applications. The recent discovery of the collateral RNA cleavage activity of the Cas13a effector has sparked even greater interest in developing novel biosensing technologies for nucleic acid….
French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds
Germany’s Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $63 billion last year, faces thousands of U.S. lawsuits by people who say its Roundup and Ranger Pro products caused their cancer. A court in Lyon in southeast France ruled that the approval granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro….
Science policy & Communication
Social media roundup: post on multiple Instagram accounts, upcoming WhatsApp feature, YouTube update
The decision to remove the organization and the Pages of the accounts it controls are based on the behavior of the actors who repeatedly violated spam policies rather than the type of content that was posted. And the investigation began after Facebook learned Twinmark was selling admin rights to….
From star ratings to video views, beware fake internet stats
Quantified information — such as video views, product ratings and ad impressions — inform what we do as individuals, as well as how marketing dollars are spent. As markers of what we value, what we find interesting or entertaining, and how long we spend engaged, if those metrics can’t be trusted, it….
Research headlines – helping small farmers to meet growing food needs
The global human population is now expected to reach 9.15 billion by 2050. If that estimate holds true, world food demand will rise by 70 %. All food producers, large and small, will need to improve their efficiency to meet that demand. The object of the EU-funded APOLLO project is to develop an….
40% of EU budget should be dedicated to greening the economy, EESC says
40% of EU budget should be dedicated to greening the economy, EESC says. Its proposed 40% earmarking for climate action is almost twice bigger than the European Commission’s own proposal. The EU’s next multi-annual budget (2021-2027) should dedicate 40% of spending to the low-carbon economy and high-quality jobs…
Short food supply chains in Europe’s south
The concept of short food supply chains (SFSC), where intermediaries between farmers and consumers are removed, was introduced in the 2014-2020 CAP and has risen in recent years. According to a study carried out by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in 2015, 15% of farmers sold half….
17 Star hotel chefs share their New Year resolutions
Chefs are around food all the time. So as 2019 takes off, I tapped executive chefs across the USA at Loews Hotels & Co. to discover their best resolutions for more food-loving happiness this year. Teach kids how to cook.