The Download

What's up in emerging technology

Today Subsidy-free solar still requires a little help

How to Build a Solar Farm Without Government Subsidies

In a nutshell: find a site where you can lean on existing infrastructure.

Just outside the genteel English town of Flitwick, a field has been filled with a British first: the Clayhill solar farm is the nation’s only such facility to have been built without… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Anesco

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Robots, Now Wielding Nunchucks

Don’t tell Elon Musk, but the machines are turning into ninjas. Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology have demonstrated a new way to teach robots how to perform tasks, and demonstrated the technique's effectiveness by training one to… Read more

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  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
Intel's new prototype chip takes cues form the brain

Intel’s New Brain-Like Chip Can Adapt to New Jobs

The chipmaker has unveiled a prototype processor called Loihi that’s loosely based on the human brain. The so-called neuromporphic chip is the firm's latest effort to use digital circuits to recreate the brain’s electronic spikes, allowing the device to… Read more

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  • Intel
Yesterday Microsoft's AI push is boring, but its results may not be.

Microsoft Is Making AI Boring, and That’s Either Great or Scary

Machine learning isn’t always overtly tantalizing or controversial: sometimes, it’s just … dull and useful. And that’s exactly what many of the AI announcements made by Microsoft at its annual Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, promise to provide.… Read more

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  • Fabien Lavocat | Flickr
Tesla may edge forward in China

China May Make Life a Little Easier for American Electric Automakers

But is America likely to show reciprocal good will?

Both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have reported that China is mulling a relaxation of rules (in some parts of the country, at least) that currently require foreign automakers to partner with… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Jacob Rank | Unsplash
The new Marea cable reaches depths of 17,000 feet in places

This Cable Will Boggle Your Mind With the Highest Data Capacity Ever to Cross the Atlantic

The new undersea link, which stretches 4,100 miles between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain, can stream 71 million HD videos simultaneously. Known as Marea, it was laid as a joint venture between Microsoft, Facebook, and telco infrastructure… Read more

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  • Microsoft
September 22, 2017 Rise of the robotic dentist

In China, Robot Dentists Are Implanting 3-D Printed Teeth

Open wide, because the robots have eyes on your dental work. South China Morning Post reports that a robo-dentist has autonomously implanted two new, 3-D-printed teeth into a woman’s mouth.

The procedure, which appears to have made use of a robot arm… Read more

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  • Science and Technology Daily
Mark Zuckerberg has big problems to solve

Is Facebook Too Big to Fight Its Ad Problem?

Policing how a quarter of the world uses a website isn’t easy. Mark Zuckerberg knows that all too well. It’s the reason why his social network has had to announce that it’s now sharing 3,000 Russian-linked ads from its pages as part of a government investigation… Read more

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  • Facebook
Uber's London operations are in question

Uber Has Lost Its License to Operate in London

It’s time to take a black cab in the British capital. The city's transport regulator, Transport for London, has declared the ride-hailing firm "not fit and proper" to provide its services in London. It says Uber shows "a lack of corporate responsibility"… Read more

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  • Uber
September 21, 2017

Lockheed’s Laser Cannon Shoots Drones Out of the Sky, No Fuss

Don’t mess with ATHENA. That’s the Advanced Test High Energy Asset to you and me, and it’s Lockheed’s astonishingly destructive laser cannon. It’s been developing the weapon in order to take down drones without messy—and position-revealing—recourse to… Read more

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  • Lockheed