At Inhabitat, we always keep our ear to the ground for new green building techniques and technologies as we look for more sustainable ways to shape our world. For the past year, we’ve been following the story of the Chinese developer BSB, who is planning to build the world’s tallest skyscraper — the entirely prefabricated 220-story building is set to break ground next month, and the building is expected to take just 210 days to build. In Chicago, transportation officials held an official groundbreaking ceremony last week for the “greenest street in America,” a 2-mile stretch of road that is paved with permeable, smog-eating pavement.
In material news, scientists at the Institut de Physique de Rennes in France have figured out a way to create biodegradable computer chips from spider silk. And with Halloween fast approaching, we’ve come across perhaps the creepiest building material ever made: a recent architectural graduate has been collecting blood from slaughtered animals and forming it into bricks.
In the world of wearable tech, Japanese company Cyberdyne created a mind-controlled robot exoskeleton to protect Fukushima workers from nuclear radiation, and NASA developed an Iron Man-like exoskeleton that could be used by astronauts for exercise or for paraplegics for mobility. In a discovery that could have plenty of interesting medical applications, scientists have developed tiny electronic devices that, once they have functioned for a set period of time, dissolve harmlessly inside the body. We’re also excited about the potential of this cancer-detecting smart bra, which could soon surpass mammograms in accuracy.
As the seasons change, we’ve been focusing on winterizing our homes, and we’ve come up with seven great winter home improvement tips to save you energy (and money) this winter. We also checked in on Brett Herbst, the king of corn mazes (or the Master of Maize), who has built more than 2,000 incredible corn mazes (including a Star Wars labyrinth) using computer software, GPS technology and a heaping portion of imagination.
In green energy news, Saudi Arabia announced plans to ditch oil and harvest 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and a scientist developed a water-resistant solar panel coating inspired by iridescent butterfly wings. Billionaire Larry Ellision bought 98 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai — and he plans to transform it into a haven for sustainable technology complete with solar thermal and photovoltaic cells, organic farms and desalinization plants.
This week New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a 3D printing competition called “New York’s Next Top Makers” to help spark creativity and innovation in the city. Meanwhile, in a move that could spell doom for 3D printing, Microsoft CTO and patent troll extraordinaire Nathan Myhrvold has obtained a patent for a technology that could impose digital rights management on 3D printing. And we’d be remiss not to share two of our new favorite Lego creations. Lego builders Wayne Hussey and Carlyle Livingston have built an amazing LED-lit Bat Cave, which is filled with all of Batman’s toys, using 20,000 Lego bricks. And the folks at Vienna’s ModelMaker Fair recreated Felix Baumgartner’s death-defying leap from the edge of space with Legos.
Screenshot by CNET
Humankind is never satiated.
People make promises in front of altars, and then, soon after, they sacrifice themselves to take another person’s spouse. Because, well, they can. Or they have to. Or they feel like it. Or something.
One excuse I hear is that married lovers are more assiduous — or even more grateful.
The only issue, it seems, is whether your current husband or wife begins to suspect and make investigations.
App developers have not been slow to help your cheating heart beat easily. So I am grateful to the Huffington Post for bringing together some of the more imaginative applications that hide your indiscretions.
There is, for example, Slydial. This neat little affair is your way to get straight through to your illicit lover’s voicemail without his or her current amour sniffing suspiciously.
What is charming about Slydial is that its Web site doesn’t directly address cheaters at all, unlike the site for makers of the Call and Text Eraser App — Cate, as it’s more personally known.
Cate’s creators do offer a variety of uses for their fine invention. They claim it will stop telemarketers in their tracks. They claim it will stop abusive calls (from an ex-spouse, perhaps).
But, at heart, Cate is all about having an invisible log of calls and text messages and being able to hide specific numbers from your contact list. Spouses, you see, have a natural tendency to look in the obvious places for painful clues.
How else to explain Cate’s slogan: “Love is blind, we like to keep it that way”?
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
This is a little more subtle than Tiger Text, which makes text messages simply disappear. Technology, you see, has so many subtle ways to help you fulfill your dreams.
I hadn’t, for example, been aware of the Vaulty Stocks app. This heinous, insidious, society-threatening monstrosity pretends, as its name suggests, to be a stocks app.
Look more closely, though, and it is nothing more than a repository for all your guilty secrets. It’s a grimy locker for your more private pictures and videos.
The Web site boasts: “No one will even know you have anything to hide.”
Might I wave a dampened flag here? Wouldn’t your spouse be slightly suspicious if, well, she saw the Vaulty Stocks app on your phone?
So perhaps the most subtle and the most satanic is the NQ Mobile Vault. This tempting app(le) takes your pictures, videos, and who knows what else might be incriminating in the wrong hands and backs them up in the cloud.
Personally, I am suspicious of clouds. I associate them with bad things like rain and seasonal affective disorder. However, there exist those who believe that they are the future.
I wonder whether app developers will have to continue to innovate as faithful, loving spouses continue to discover the ruses that their unworthy lovers are attempting.
Perhaps this will be a never-ending battle battle between the decent and selfish.
In the end, relationships are about power. Surely some enterprising app developers will begin to create apps where you can secretly bug your lover’s phone without having to worry about what cover-up apps they happen to have installed.
Because, in the end, technology and relationships have one common thread: they’re both better when they’re easy.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/TuwdIRf4BqE/
If you didn’t get enough in mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we’ve opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This past week, we received further evidence of an imminent replacement for the Galaxy Nexus and the Optimus 4X HD found a new home in Canada. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the “best of the rest” for this week of October 15th, 2012.
Bell Mobility declares ‘end of life’ for the Galaxy Nexus
All eyes are on Google and its Android event that’s currently set for October 29th. While we’ve already seen a number of good indications that the Galaxy Nexus is on its way out, Bell Mobility took away any doubt this week, as the Canadian carrier has given an end-of-life status to Google’s venerable smartphone. [MobileSyrup]
FCC approves ATT’s proposal for LTE within WCS spectrum
The writing has been on the wall for nearly a month, but this week, the FCC unanimously approved the joint proposal of ATT and Sirius XM that would authorize deployment of LTE service within a 20MHz portion of the 2.3GHz (WCS) band. A final order must be issued before everything becomes official, but given the FCC’s support, this is more of a technicality than a hurdle. WCS has historically been used for satellite radio, and ATT’s mobile broadband deployment — currently set for three years from now –will be a first for the spectrum. [ATT]
LG Optimus 4X HD arrives at Wind Mobile
Quad-core processing has arrived at Wind Mobile with the Optimus 4X HD. For $199 on a three-year contract, the phone offers a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3, a 4.7-inch HD (1,280 x 720) IPS display, an 8MP rear camera and 16GB of internal storage. Those who’d prefer foregoing the contract will find the Optimus 4X HD for $549 outright from Wind. [MobileSyrup]