Business & Technology

Toyota concept bike has psychic gear shift

Parlee Cycles and tech company Deeplocal are working together on a bike inspired by the Toyota Prius. It's a reasonably slick-looking machine, but the really weird and bizarre part is the "neuron shifting." The bike uses a gaming neuroheadset, which detects the brain's electrical activity like an EEG, to let riders shift between gears using only their minds.

Energy Policy

Conservatives try to force military to accept dirty fuels it doesn't want

The U.S. military has said that it does not want to use high-carbon fuels, but congressional conservatives are trying to force it to.

Could you use the internet to heat your house?

Servers generate so much heat that they have to be kept in super-cooled rooms, lest the entire Cloud collapse. People's houses need heat, at least in the winter months. Two great tastes that go great together?

A dress with a built-in air purifier

The Centre for Sustainable Fashion's "catalytic clothing" strips pollutants out of the air and breaks them down harmlessly. Here's an atmospheric (ha) video of an air-purifying dress, but they've also got jeans, which significantly improves the chances of getting enough people wearing catalytic clothing to actually make a difference in air quality. (None of this is available for purchase or anything crazy like that, but in theory, if it were, you'd probably want the jeans.)

Why China's winning the cleantech contest

One Block Off the Grid, a company that organizes collective purchasing for green home improvements, put together a very loooong infographic about, in their words, "Why China is Kicking Our Ass in Clean Tech." Fast Company very helpfully chopped that infographic up into digestible pieces. But here is the only picture you really need to understand:  

Paper antennas pull electricity from the air

The air is full of energy -- not in a woo-woo crystal-gazing way, but in a scientific electromagnetic-radiation-from-TV-stations-and-phone-networks kind of way. That ambient energy is just being wasted. But a team from Georgia Tech is developing inkjet-printed paper antennas that could generate enough energy to power a small gadget, right out of thin air.

Where do greenhouse gases come from?

This chart from the United Nations Environment Programme (click to embiggen) looks complicated, sort of like a traffic sign cross-bred with a banyan tree. But it basically just traces the path of greenhouse gases from polluting industries, through uses, out into the atmosphere. So you can tell at a glance, for instance, that energy industries produce by far the most greenhouse gases, or that most of the methane comes from oil processing and livestock.

Amazing bamboo bike is grown, not manufactured

The complicated weave of the Ajiro bike would be work-intensive to achieve through conventional means -- it takes a lot of energy to bend bamboo stalks into shape. So instead, design student Alexander Vittouris tensioned the bamboo over a mold as it grew, then harvested a completed bike frame. 

Warren Buffet's crazy-like-a-fox plan to revive America's auto industry

Warren Buffett, legendary investor and one of the world's richest people, is about to leverage his part-ownership of China's largest battery manufacturer to deliver a shot in the arm to America's ailing auto industry.

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