Category Archives: Technology

The Guardian: Fiona Harvey: UK medics call for government ban to cut antibiotic resistance

The headline doesn’t actually get to the truth of the story. The headline should probably read, “UK medics call for government ban on the overuse of antibiotics in farming or risk apocalyptic consiquences.” As Ms Harvey points out antibiotics are used to prevent disease in farmed animals. What she does to make mention of is that antibiotics are also used, especially in the United States, because dosing animals with antibiotics makes them gain weight. Overuse of antibiotics in farming has put us in an “apocalyptic” situation where “farms are becoming a greater reservoir for antibiotic resistant bacteria.” While I think a ban on the overuse of antibiotics in UK farming is needed it will make little or no difference if the US is not brought into line. “Antibiotic use in US farming is six times higher per livestock unit than in the UK… and cattle in particular receive 13 times as much antibiotic medicine as in the UK.” You could also give serious though to switching to a plant based diet. It is healthier, does less harm to the environment, and reduces our need to use antibiotics in farming.

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NowThis: This interface lets you navigate your phone without pressing buttons by pinning apps to real-life objects

 

The Guardian: Julia Kollewe: Alarm over talks to implant UK employees with microchips

This technology is the stuff of dystopian fiction, and should be outlawed. I don’t care that they could help legal or accounting firms improve security. “These companies have sensitive documents they are dealing with. [The chips] would allow them to set restrictions for whoever.” Their use  is “voluntary” at the moment. How long before it’s an entry on your curriculum vitae? Given the choice, an employer will choose the chipped candidate. Because the non-chipped candidate must have something to hide. People will get the chip to get the job. That’s not voluntary, that’s coercion. And that is the philosophy at the core of the panopticon.

Now This: Bitcoin mining alone could cause catastrophic climate change

This Bitcoin fact is a true reflection of the society we live in. Even something that does not physically exists produces CO2 at the rate of a continent. To produce you must consume.

The same organic polymers in OLED TVs could be used to make solar panels you can roll up and put in a backpack

How Netflix changed entertainment

Welcome to 2030. I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy, and Life Has Never Been Better

Just think about this for a moment. The models of contemporary life, its institutions, the language, every interaction and relationship, would change. Would there be an imperative to conform? Would we become drones in a self perpetuating machine? Would we care? If our basic needs are met, then the power structures that propel us through contemporary life would melt away.

Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves

While I find the Swedes optimism towards this kind of technology refreshing. Recent scandals around Facebook and Cambridge Analytica would give me serious concerns about how this technology is used, or more specifically used against us.

Netherlands to build world’s first habitable 3D printed houses

I’m really interested to see comparative costs with traditional construction methods. Could it be one part of the solution to the housing crisis in the UK. At the very least it’s another square on the Grand Designs bingo card.

The Bright Agrotech ZipFarm™

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