Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

Recent Tweets @leerobinsonp

An interesting look at city sizes.


Urban Footprints Around the World - Comparing City Sizes [2457x3736]

Now AI's become board members - at Hong Kong based venture capital firm, Deep Knowledge Ventures anyway.


Venture Capital Firm Appoints Machine Intelligence As Board Member
Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it’s an “equal member” that will uncover trends “not immediately obvious to humans” in order to make investment recommendations. This is probably an attempt to attract media attention, but it could truly be the start of a larger trend; it’s the world’s first software program to be appointed as a board member. The move could also herald a new direction in the way venture capital is done. The tool was developed by Aging Analytics UK who’s licensing it out to DKV, a capital fund that focuses on companies developing therapies for age-related diseases and regenerative medicine. DKV will use VITAL (Validating Investment Tool for Advancing Life Sciences) to analyze financing trends in databases of life science companies in an effort to predict successful investments. It works by poring over massive data sets and applying machine learning to predict which life science companies will make successful investments. The company has already used VITAL to inform investment decisions in two start-up life science companies, Pathway Pharmaceuticals, Limited in Hong Kong and InSilico Medicine, Inc in Baltimore, USA. The long-term goal is to get the intelligence to the stage where it’ll be capable of autonomously allocating an investment portfolio. Eventually, the software is expected to get an equal vote on investment decisions. (via Venture Capital Firm Appoints Machine Intelligence As Board Member)

Amen NdGT! “After we stopped going to the moon, it all ended, we stopped dreaming.” #keepdreaming




Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson on the defunding of NASA.

Wow. Fantastic.

Its so true though 

(via astrodidact)

The wonderful maps show the most highly-value exports by country.


Your highest-valued exports, mapped

(via starstuffblog)

Martian magnificence!




This is just beautiful.

(via purple-cosmos)

Japan’s plan for a solar collector in space in nothing new, however, if executed, it will be amazing.


That’s right. And before you preemptively speculate, this is not something new.

Space-based solar power generation has been proposed and feasible since the 60’s. However, you may have heard of recent proposals in the last few years, such as the U.S. Navy’s plan to beam down energy from orbiting solar panels, the Department of Energy’s developments via their Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Space Energy’s ambitious project for SBSP (space-based-solar-power) toward a clean energy market, Russia’s proposed plan regarding infrared energy receiving stations via an “infrared window, and the proposed collaboration between the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on an Space-Based Solar Power Initiative…to cite a few.


Space-based solar power (SBSP) is the concept of collecting solar power in space (using an “SPS”, that is, a “solar-power satellite” or a “satellite power system”) for use on Earth. It has been in research since the early 1970s. [source]

Although there is speculation behind everything due to the obvious history of humankind, let alone of the countries allocating such time to even put forth plans such as these which involve collaboration toward a monumental common goal for the greater good regarding the longevity of our species…one this is certain and blatantly obvious: ambivalence regarding fossil fuels and climate change is beyond irrelevant.

We can no longer entertain climate change deniers or wish away our carbon emissions. Action is needed, and the sun has been a thriving energy power plant blinding us with its raw power, while the physics have been awaiting our crawl out of carbon addiction to realize what we’ve known all along…anything unsustainable will ultimately be just that — not sustainable. It’s only been a matter of when. We must come up with the how, and there are a growing number of feasible options.


“The timing of the oil catastrophe is a great opportunity for re-evaluating solar energy from space.” - Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin [read the blog post from the National Space Society]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has proposed an exciting Space Solar Power System, whereby sunlight is collected in geostationary orbit, converted into electromagnetic radiation via microwaves or laser beams, transmitted to a ground or ocean-based receiving facility for use as electricity and hydrogen for Earth use.

Questions? Read Practical-Application of Space-Based Solar Power Generation" from JAXA and the MOTHERBOARD | VICE editorial, which addresses such issues as Earth’s rotation…


The problem is that part of the Earth’s rotation spins it away from the sun, which doesn’t do much good for a solar power station. So the scientists hacked the initial model by adding in a couple mirrors to reflect the sunlight and point it directly on the panels, 24/7. These mirrors are just floating free, and scientists on the ground have to configure the whole setup with extreme precision. [source]

…and the storage of energy via solar stations on Earth.


The solar station is tethered to a base station on the ground with six-mile-long wires. This acts as a counterforce to offset the gravitational pull so the satellite is essentially pulled in tow as the Earth turns, keeping it at a fixed point in geostationary orbit. It’s the concept astrophysicists proposed to build our future space elevators, as explained Professor Emeritus at JAXA Susumi Sasaki in an editorial in IEEE. [source]


For further reading, I recommend IEEE Spectrum’s article “How Japan Plans to Build an Orbital Solar Farm.

No matter what avenue is explored first, when it comes to sustainable energy, the future is indeed bright. Watch JAXA’s SBSP Systems video HERE.

(via starstuffblog)

Waterbears - so tough they can survive in space.Truly amazing creatures.



Waterbears can go without food or water for more than a decade. They can survive temperatures from zero to above the boiling point of water, pressure six times stronger than the deepest ocean trench, radiation hundreds of times higher than the fatal dose for a human, and the vacuum of space.

noot *paddle paddle paddle paddle* noot

(via starstuffblog)