Japan Plans To Turn The Moon Into A Giant Power Plant

Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese architecture and engineering firm, has a plan to effectively turn the moon into a giant solar power plant, reports Inhabitat.

It proposes building a massive collection of solar panels (a “Luna Ring”) 6,800 miles long by 12 miles wide on the moon’s surface. That’s certainly a heavy-duty construction job for human beings, so Shimizu plans to get the work done with robots, only involving humans in supervisory roles.

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Once complete, this hypothetical plant could continuously send energy to “receiving stations” around the globe by way of lasers and microwave transmission. This idea gets around two major hurdles for solar power, as there is no weather or darkness to curb electricity production on the moon. If operating in ship-shape, Shimizu says it could continuously send 13,000 terawatts of power back to Earth. By comparison, it took the United States all of 2011 to generate 4,100 terawatts of power.

It’s big thinking that we’re skeptical will ever see fruition, but we like where Shimizu’s coming from. It believes that “virtually inexhaustible, non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives. Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring for the infinite coexistence of mankind and the Earth.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shimizu-corporation-solar-plant-on-moon-2013-11#ixzz2lsntFsib

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Nielsen research finds that when it comes to mobile, Instagram beats Twitter

instagram addict
Instagram is more popular on mobile phones than Twitter, according to research by analytics firm Nielsen. The photo-sharing app, which just launched a private messaging service called Instagram Direct, is the seventh most-popular app overall. Twitter, which just boosted its photo functionality to include private messages in a bid to undermine Instagram’s new feature, lags behind in the tenth spot.Instagram’s average monthly audience came in at around 32 million, and appears to be the fastest-growing app this year, with a 66-percent increase. Twitter, meanwhile, counts 30.8 million average monthly users.The top app? Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, dominating with 103,420,000 monthly users. Other top apps primarily come from Google’s roster, with Google Search and Google Play in the second and third spots.Neilsen looked at data from Android and iOS, the two most popular platforms. However, since Instagram only became available on Windows 8 very recently and Twitter has been available for a longer time, the two platforms may be closer in competition when considering all operating systems.

All is not lost for Twitter, though: It has a substantially larger overall user base than Instagram, with 230 million active users trumping Instagram’s 150 million – but because Instagram is explicitly a mobile app and not built for the Web, its users concentrate their browsing on phones and tablets, while Twitter still maintains a healthy Web presence.

But plenty of evidence suggests that Twitter needs to keep a close eye on Instagram – another recent study suggests Instagram is a better tool for brand engagement than Twitter.

British Journal of Photography thinks you’ll pay for its new iPhone-only magazine, FLTR

fltr

As another indication that smartphones are playing a huge role in how we take photographs today (as if you needed one), the British Journal of Photography is launching a new publication called FLTR that focuses solely on smartphone photography. And, since smartphones have become one of the top ways to consume media, the new pub is only available as an app for the iPhone (with a small online presence). FLTR calls itself “the world’s first smartphone photography magazine, published weekly and designed exclusively for the iPhone.”“The best camera is the one that’s always with you, and the popularity of the smartphone has made photographers of us all. FLTR is the first magazine to explore this new and universal language of photography, offering an unparalleled source of inspiration and technical know­-how,” the magazine writes.Although the app itself is a free download, each weekly issue will cost 99-cents per week, or $20 for the year. With everything going social, images tagged with #FLTR in the usual places (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) may get picked up and published in the pub.What will FLTR offer readers? “Created by the award-­winning team behind British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest-­running photography magazine, FLTR offers exclusive interviews with both amateur and professional photographers who have found success with their smartphones. There are also stunning pictures, and in­-depth reviews of the best photography apps and accessories for your smartphone, plus how­-to guides to take your photography to the next level and take advantage of your smartphone’s capabilities.”

FLTR represents where BJP thinks photography and publishing are heading, i.e. smartphones and tablets. But we’ve seen publications try the smartphone-only approach before, and none have been incredibly successful (remember Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily?) There’s no telling if users will flock to this new medium and, more importantly, pay for it.

Lightning strikes Rio de Janeiro Jesus statue

Iconic Christ the Redeemer statue was damaged in a storm on Thursday night

The iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro has been struck by lightning during a violent storm.

Officials confirmed on Friday the right thumb suffered damaged from the storm. Incredible pictures captured the moment lightning hit the 125 ft (38 metre) statue on Thursday evening.

The powerful lightning and rain storm swept across the city, flooding streets and knocking out power in some neighbourhoods.

The middle finger of the right hand had also been chipped during a storm last month. The statue sits atop a steep mountain and is often hit by strikes.

It underwent a $4 million (£243, 600) renovation in 2010 to repair badly eroded parts of its face and hands.

Lightning flashes over the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado Hill in Rio de Janeiro on January 14, 2014.The statue is managed by the Archdiocese of Rio. Father Omar Raposo told Globo Radio repairs will soon be carried out.

He says the church has a stock of the same stone originally used to build the statue, which was erected in 1931.

The statue also suffered damage in April 2010 when the arms head and chest were covered in spray painted graffiti, in an act Rio’s mayor described as a “crime against the nation.” The perpetrators used the scaffolding erected during the renovation to scale the statue and vandalise it.

The vandals sprayed sentences such as “when the cat’s away, the rats will play,” as well as references to residents who were killed in recent and unsolved crimes.

BP discovery offset by $1bn write-off

BP said it had made a “significant” discovery in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico, but also said it was writing off $1.08bn after poor results from a well off the coast of Brazil.

The discovery in the Gila prospect caps what BP described as its most successful year for new field exploration for almost a decade.

Gila, co-owned with ConocoPhillips, is located in the Paleogene trend, where BP has already made two big oil finds in recent years – Kaskida in 2006 and Tiber in 2009.

Though BP did not indicate how much oil Gila could contain, the discovery underscores the company’s gradual recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, when an explosion on a drilling rig it was leasing in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men and unleashed the worst offshore oil spill in US history.

Last month, BP said it had nine drilling rigs operating in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico – a record for the company. It said that reflected the “vital importance” of the oil-rich basin to BP’s future.

BP used news of the Gila find to boast of its recent exploration successes. It said that in the course of 2013 it had participated in 15 completed exploration wells which resulted in seven potentially commercial discoveries.

Lamar McKay, head of BP’s upstream division, said the successes now being delivered through the company’s increased exploration activity “confirm our confidence in our ability to sustain BP’s resource base”.

The company also reminded investors of two other big oil finds it and its partners had made in recent weeks. One was the Pitu well in the deepwater Potiguar Basin off Brazil’s equatorial margin, a discovery that was announced by BP’s partner Petrobras earlier this week.

The other was Lontra, which was announced by Cobalt International Energy in the “pre-salt” region offshore Angola on December 1.

But there was some bad news too. BP said it was relinquishing a licence block off the coast of Brazil, BM-CAL-13, because an exploration well drilled there, Pitanga, had not encountered any commercial quantities of oil or gas.

It said it would write off $230m in drilling costs related to Pitanga and $850m associated with the value of BM-CAL-13, which it acquired as part of a deal with US oil group Devon Energy in 2010. The write-off represents more than 10 per cent of the $7bn value of the Devon acquisition.

The deal with Devon elicited considerable excitement at the time: vast amounts of oil have been discovered off Brazil over the past 6 years, particularly in the Santos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, home to the massive Lula “pre-salt” field. But the Devon blocks BP acquired in 2010 were far from the Santos.

How Poland Became Europe’s Most Dynamic Economy

How Poland Became Europe’s Most Dynamic Economy

With much of Europe still struggling to recover from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, Poland stands out as an unlikely island of economic success, a place where companies and individuals plan for growth rather than decline.

Poland

Moov Launches 3D Sensor-Enabled Wearable Fitness Coach

Moov-1

Moov launched a campaign to crowdfund its wearable fitness “coach” on Thursday.

While most fitness trackers focus on counting steps or tracking calories burned, Moov is trying serve as an all-in-one virtual fitness coach to provide real-time feedback during workouts.

Moov, which is described by its founders as the second generation of fitness wearables, is a plastic disc about the size of a half dollar. Your activity will determine how you wear it. It can be worn as a band around your arm or ankle, or mounted on equipment like tennis rackets or golf clubs.

The company is hoping its unique approach to wearable fitness trackers will set it apart from competitors.

“We have the same mission: to make people fitter and healthier, but from a different approach that gives you a wearable coach that can coach you while you’re moving and working out,” said Meng Li, one of Moov’s three cofounders in an interview with Mashable.Moov run coachBacked by extensive biomechanics and sport science research from Harvard University and University of Cape Town, it relies on sophisticated 3D sensors and game mechanics to give users real-time feedback to make workouts better, safer and more efficient.

while you’re running, Moov may tell you to swing your arms faster to improve your cadence

while you’re running, Moov may tell you to swing your arms faster to improve your cadence, or to land on your feet more lightly to avoid the risk of knee injury.

At launch, Moov will ship with supported activities — running, swimming, cycling, cardio boxing and weight training — but the company plans to open up its platform for developers once it begins receiving user-generated exercise data.

Rather than turn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, the company is independently raising money for the project on its website. It hopes to raise $40,000 over the next 30 days.

Preordered trackers will cost $59 each or $99 for two. Once production begins, each Moov will retail for $120. The company says it plans to ship the first batch of trackers to backers by summer 2014.

Li said developers are already imagining all sorts of uses for Moov, even beyond exercise. Yoga, golf and tennis are all on tap for the near future.

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