User login

You are here

Feed aggregator

A Device That Can Pull Drinking Water From the Air Just Won the Latest XPrize

SlashDot - 3 hours 13 min ago
Two years ago, XPrize, which creates challenges that pit the brightest minds against one another, announced that it would give any startup or company $1 million that can turn thin air into water. This month, it announced that the challenge has been concluded. From a report: A new device that sits inside a shipping container can use clean energy to almost instantly bring clean drinking water anywhere -- the rooftop of an apartment building in Nairobi, a disaster zone after a hurricane in Manila, a rural village in Zimbabwe -- by pulling water from the air. The design, from the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, just won $1.5 million in the Water Abundance XPrize. The competition, which launched in 2016, asked designers to build a device that could extract at least 2,000 liters of water a day from the atmosphere (enough for the daily needs of around 100 people), use clean energy, and cost no more than 2 cents a liter. "We do a lot of first principles thinking at XPrize when we start designing these challenges," says Zenia Tata, who helped launch the prize and serves as chief impact officer of XPrize. Nearly 800 million people face water scarcity; other solutions, like desalination, are expensive. Freshwater is limited and exists in a closed system. But the atmosphere, the team realized, could be tapped as a resource. "At any given time, it holds 12 quadrillion gallons -- the number 12 with 19 zeros after it -- a very, very, big number," she says. The household needs for all 7 billion people on earth add up to only around 350 or 400 billion gallons. A handful of air-to-water devices already existed, but were fairly expensive to use. The new system, called WEDEW ("wood-to-energy deployed water") was created by combining two existing systems. One is a device called Skywater, a large box that mimics the way clouds are formed: It takes in warm air, which hits cold air and forms droplets of condensation that can be used as pure drinking water. The water is stored in a tank inside the shipping container, which can then be connected to a bottle refill station or a tap.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Micron Plans To Buy Out Intel's Stake In Flash Memory Joint Venture For $1.5 Billion

SlashDot - 3 hours 36 min ago
Micron is planning to exercise a $1.5 billion option to buy Intel's 49% stake in the companies' IM Flash Technologies Joint Venture. "The option is exercisable on Jan. 1, 2019, and Micron says the deal will close six to 12 months after," reports TheStreet. From the report: In a statement, Intel suggests the timing of the deal's closing is at its discretion for up to a year after the option is exercised, while indicating it long expected Micron's decision. The companies have already made a pair of announcements this year that between them that signal the end of their age-old R&D partnership for developing non-volatile memory technologies. IMFT owns a manufacturing plant (fab) in Lehi, Utah that both produces NAND flash memory and is for now the sole manufacturer of 3D XPoint (pronounced 3D cross-point), a memory technology that Micron and Intel co-developed and announced to much fanfare in mid-2015. Intel, via its Optane product line, has a head-start on Micron in launching 3D XPoint-based products. However, Micron, via its QuantX brand, plans to launch its own 3D XPoint offerings in late 2019, using a second generation version of the technology. What's so great about 3D XPoint? In a nutshell, it carves out a middle ground between DRAM (very fast, but not dense, relatively expensive and volatile, or unable to retain its data when power is lost) and NAND (cheap, dense and non-volatile, but relatively slow). Though more expensive than NAND -- particularly in these early days -- and not as fast as DRAM, 3D XPoint is much faster than NAND and much cheaper than DRAM, and like NAND is non-volatile. That opens up a lot of potential applications. Games can get a boost from using 3D XPoint solid-state drives (SSDs) for storage rather than conventional NAND SSDs, as could demanding workstation applications. Within data centers -- probably the largest market for the technology over the next few years -- 3D XPoint could improve the performance of demanding AI and high-performance computing (HPC) applications and enable larger deployments of high-speed, in-memory databases than what's possible using DRAM. And in both the PC/workstation and data center markets, 3D XPoint drives can work in tandem with slower types of storage to act as a high-speed cache for important or frequently-accessed data.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GitHub's Website Remains Broken After a Data Storage System Failed Earlier Today

SlashDot - 6 hours 5 min ago
Github engineers are trying to repair the data storage system underpinning the code hosting website, which has been presenting users with a "What!?" error for much of the Sunday. From a report: Depending on where you are, you may have been working on some Sunday evening programming, or getting up to speed with work on a Monday morning, using resources on GitHub.com -- and possibly failing miserably as a result of the outage. From about 4pm US West Coast time on Sunday, the website has been stuttering and spluttering. Specifically, the site is still up and serving pages -- it's just intermittently serving out-of-date files, and ignoring submitted Gists, bug reports, and posts. Sometimes, it appears to be serving a read-only cache or older backup of itself, although some fresh code pushes are coming through onto the site. From the status page, it appears a data storage system died, forcing the platform's engineers to move the dot-com's files over to another box. In the meantime, some older versions of files and repos are being served to visitors and users. "We're continuing to work on migrating a data storage system in order to restore access to GitHub.com," the team said just after 5pm PT, adding in the past few minutes: "We are continuing to repair a data storage system for GitHub.com. You may see inconsistent results during this process."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Air Pollution Deaths Nearly Halved Between 1990 and 2010

SlashDot - 6 hours 39 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from EurekAlert: Air pollution in the U.S. has decreased since about 1990, and a new study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill now shows that this air quality improvement has brought substantial public health benefits. The study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, found that deaths related to air pollution were nearly halved between 1990 and 2010. The team's analyses showed that deaths related to air pollution exposure in the U.S. decreased by about 47 percent, dropping from about 135,000 deaths in 1990 to 71,000 in 2010. These improvements in air quality and public health in the U.S. coincided with increased federal air quality regulations, and have taken place despite increases in population, energy and electricity use, and vehicle miles traveled between 1990 and 2010. [...] Still, despite clear improvements, air pollution remains an important public health issue in the U.S. The estimated 71,000 deaths in 2010 translates to 1 of every 35 deaths in the U.S. -- that's as many deaths as we see from all traffic accidents and all gun shootings combined.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Subscribe to TenTwentyFour aggregator