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Platform enables passers-by to tip buskers with Bitcoin

The rise of digital piracy — and to some extent, streaming services such as Spotify — has hit the music industry extremely hard. We’ve already seen efforts to help fight back with innovative payment systems to reward artist directly, and now we’ve come across a new startup built around the idea of “tipping”. READ MORE…

Future Farms Will Be Home To Ground-Crawling Robots And Airborne Drones



by Michael Keller

Not too long from now, those peaches and peppers you love will be getting some TLC from a few farmers’ friends made of silicon and metal.

Engineers at a number of institutions and companies are working on systems that will help farmers tend their crops by offering new insights into real-time conditions of the plants, soil and atmosphere.

“Agriculture right now is at a unique point, with lots of R&D going on,” Gary McMurray, a mechanical engineer who leads the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s efforts in food processing technology, tells Txchnologist. “In the next five to 10 years, you’re going to see a significant change in the farm. There’s a lot of technology coming.”

McMurray says robots, his area of research expertise, are going to be the main enabling technology. The drivers of farm innovations, he says, are U.S. Department of Agriculture research funding and defense contractors looking for new opportunities for their technologies after current conflicts taper off. “Even venture capital is going into agriculture companies,” he says.

In Illinois and at Georgia Tech, for example, researchers are taking steps to use flying and ground-crawling robots to help farmers better manage the land and plants.

Read More

The Future of Computer Intelligence Is Everything but Artificial 

Nick Stockton,

Computers are already smart, just in their own ways. They catalogue the breadth of human knowledge, find meaning in mushroom clouds of data, and fly spacecraft to other worlds. And they’re getting better. Below are four domains of computing where …


Underground fridge goes back to basics to save money and the environment

With all of the smart, connected Internet of Things devices we’ve seen recently, it’s refreshing to see entrepreneurs still drawing inspiration from the simplest and most effective ideas from the past. The eCool, an underground fridge for cooling canned drinks, is one such device. READ MORE…

across all 10 countries surveyed by YouGov on behalf of the Reuters Institute, 36% of 18-24s say they use smartphones as their primary access for news.

Futureproofing pharma  



The disintermediation of healthcare could mean we begin to use comparison sites to manage our health in the same way we manage our holidays. Pharma companies must consider this future now to develop their brands.

By Charlie Stott

When Bluetooth was launched in the late 1990s an email…

The Rift is designed to make users feel as though they are actually inside the world of the game by following your movements in real time. While video games are the target market for the Rift, the technology also has implications for architecture design, emergency response training, phobia therapy, and much more.


Cory Doctorow on intellectual property in a digital age

In his keynote speech for The Literary Consultancy’s 2014 conference, author and renowned digital publishing pioneer Cory Doctorow talks about his creative experiments on and offline, and addresses head-on the thorny question of ‘Intellectual Property in a Digital Age’.

The conference is taking place until this Sunday - you can follow today’s action at the Guardian Book Blog’s liveblog, on Twitter with #TLC14. Learn more about TLC and the conference at

One barrier to mainstream use of renewables is integrating sustainable energy sources into the current power grid. Big data and artificial intelligence have made it easier to predict how much power wind turbines will produce.
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