Sneakers Made From Carbon Dioxide and Does Not Have Footprint

A sneaker made from recycled carbon dioxide cutting the carbon footprint in the fight against climate change, CCTV Africa reports.
According to NRG Energy, a company committed to reducing and repurposing carbon emissions released a shoe prototype that combines captured carbon dioxide in the foam of its sole at the New York Fashion Week this past week.
This is not the first time carbon dioxide has been converted into something useful. Beverage-grade carbon dioxide, a chemical technology develops a proprietary catalyst reacts with carbon dioxide to create polyurethane, which is used to create the foam for the sneaker.
The creation of the shoe changes the industry into replacing petrochemicals in products and lessens the world’s dependence on oil.
“We are not going to win the fight against climate change unless someone figures out how to capture and reuse carbon economically and turn it into something that society values,” Lynda Clemmons, vice president of NRG’s Business Solutions Group, was quoted as saying by The New York Times to Xinhua

Kenny Damola: A Desperate Memo To Nigeria’s Minister Of Science And Technology

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, I find it very pertinent at this point in time to send this memo to you sir. I have been itching to bring to your notice a number of issues as the minister of science and technology, chief among which is the neglect of the highly innovative young Nigerians who have been making laudable inventions.

I have never been in doubt of your ability to bring Change to the ministry of science and technology. Not long after your swearing-in ceremony, you vowed to Nigerians that you will indeed “be the best minister Nigeria ever had.” Many Nigerians are eagerly looking forward to seeing that happen.

Sir, it’s important to re-echo the role of science and technology; it’s the lifeline of any nation that desire to grow. Few weeks ago, I watched with awe the documentary of how one 30-storey building was completed within a record 360 hours—an astonishing 15 days—in China.

Nigeria is endowed with great inventors

Sometime in 2014, I interviewed Oyeyiola Segun, a final year student in the Department of Electrical Electronics, Obafemi Awolowo University, who built a solar-powered car. I was very amazed at his brilliance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get any form of support from the government, despite all his efforts. The last time I heard from him—a few months ago—nothing has changed.

I was held spellbound as I watched a number of “made in Nigeria” mini airplanes, which were built by Aghogho Ajiyen, a young Nigerian who resides in Edo State, take off and fly several metres in the air. Channels Tv Eyewitness Crew had visited the inventor of these camera-fitted airplanes, which were made from locally sourced materials. Isn’t that amazing?

Sir, I’m pleased to inform you that two young Nigerians, 13-year-old Anesi and 15-year-old Osine Ikhianosime recently developed an Android-based web browser known as “Crocodile Browser Lite”. Not only that, I also read the story of one 27-year-old Hillary Promise who invented a remote controlled ship, aeroplane as well as bio-fuel.

And only recently, a young junior secondary school student, Chinecherem, from Anambra State, single-handedly constructed a very beautiful mini-duplex house for himself. It’s a long list and these are only a few of the numerous innovative young people that Nigeria is blessed with. There are still many more whose potentials, when unleashed, can make Africa’s largest economy the true Giant of Africa.

The world is moving fast; we should take a step

The World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland, between January 20-23 and the fourth industrial revolution was the subject of discussion. The use of Artificial Intelligence, evolving robotics, and emergence of self-driving cars was widely debated. The United States, China and other developed nations are already taking the lead. Sadly, we are still very far behind. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere. And a good place to start is grooming and investing in the budding talents that are scattered across the country so as to turn our dream of becoming a technology giant into reality.

Mr Minister, I believe the ministry of science and technology should have a think tank mostly comprised of young and energetic Nigerians who are tech-savvy. This will enable you have access to first-rate ideas that can help revolutionize the sector. Also, I think there is the need to engage the tens of millions of Nigerian youths who are active users of both social and digital media. Prove to them that there is still hope despite the age-long neglect of this indispensable driver of change—science and technology.

In my opinion, I think your ministry needs to organise, as a matter of urgency, an effective exhibition during which the finest inventions in the country are showcased. Working closely with the media, I believe this will show the world that our country boasts some of the greatest inventors. Once the best of the best are selected in a most transparent way, they will have to be supported and established to do more, thereby solving many of our local problems.

These inventions can be improved upon through further trainings and partnerships with several international organisations. I believe this will go a long way, at least, in laying the foundation for the future you desire, the one every patriotic Nigerian desires.

Science and technology, once developed, can help transform many sectors—from education, health to agriculture, and trade and investment. In fact, it will help tremendously in fighting terrorism, corruption, oil bunkering and all forms of crime when given attention. That’s not to talk of the jobs it would create for the teeming unemployed and resourceful youths.

Sir, you can’t afford to let the many enthusiastic Nigerians down. We have your copious promises at our fingertips; it’s time for action.

 

 

Meet The Filmmaker Who Replaced His Eyeball With A Camera To Conduct Documentaries

This filmmaker has taken a bold step towards becoming a bionic journalist by replacing his eyeball with a minute camera.
Rob Spence lost the use of his eye following a shooting accident when he was nine.
But decades on, the Canadian documentary maker had the idea of replacing the eye with a camera.

Spence – who now calls himself Eyeborg – said the eye-cam allows him to conduct interviews without the intrusion or distraction of bulky cameras or film crews.

But due to the technology within the camera, it can only be used for three minutes at a time without overheating.

Spence said:

“Literally everybody [said] it as a joke – ‘Oh, you should get an eye camera’.

“The two reactions are, ‘Wow, that’s so cool’ — and, after a few moments’ reflection, ‘But that’s so creepy’.

“I’ve actually started wondering, do we want to have constant video of our lives? It’s just another data set. And I don’t know the answer, but I think no, we don’t want that. But it’s coming anyway.”

The eye-cam resembles a regular prosthetic eye but it is embedded with a camera.
Spence cannot see out of the lense but a what the ‘eye’ can see is visible from a handheld monitor.

The 43-year-old can switch the camera on and off at the tap of a button.

Source: UK Mirror

Facebook Offers Employees $10,000 To Move Within 10 Miles Of Its Headquarters

Facebook Inc is offering employees at its Silicon Valley headquarters at least $10,000 to move closer to the office, a reflection of the challenges many tech companies face in the increasingly expensive and congested San Francisco Bay area.

 
To qualify for the payment, which the social networking firm started offering in the last 12 months, according to current and former Facebook workers, employees must buy or rent a home within 10 miles (16 km) of the Facebook campus at One Hacker Way, a desolate strip of road overlooking a marsh about 30 miles (48 km) south of San Francisco.

 
Some Facebook employees with families to support could earn a one-off payment of $15,000 or more for housing costs.

 
Facebook’s efforts, along with similar programs at some other technology companies including investment management technology company Addepar, data company Palantir and software firm SalesforceIQ, a unit of Salesforce.com Inc, could help ease a major source of tension in San Francisco: an influx of young, wealthy tech workers who commute to Silicon Valley on private buses and often displace lower-income residents.

 
But Silicon Valley has a housing affordability crisis of its own, and if Facebook’s programme gains traction it could further accelerate the gentrification of nearby communities, especially the low-income city of East Palo Alto.

 
“A lot of local families are going to get hurt,” said John Liotti, chief executive officer of East Palo Alto community advocacy group Able Works.

 
Facebook says the programme is not about social engineering. “Our benefits at Facebook are designed to support our employees and the people who matter most to them at all stages of life,” a Facebook spokesman said.

 
Cynics suggest the company might be looking to encourage people to spend more time in the office while also cutting the cost of its luxury bus service, whose drivers recently unionized.

 
For Mark Shim, an engineer who had worked at Addepar, living across the street from the Mountain View-based company earned him a $300-a-month bonus. But the money, which was a taxed benefit, wasn’t the reason behind his housing decision.

 
“For me, it wasn’t financially driven as my rent has gone up more than 60 percent since I moved to Mountain View and the stipend doesn’t keep up with the rent spikes in the area,” said Shim, who has since joined another company.

 
“If you live closer to work you are less worried about leaving at an exact time, and if you’re in the middle of solving a cool problem, you’ll spend the extra time to finish that up.”
Lissa Minkin, vice president of people at Addepar, said the perk was designed to help employees spend more time on personal interests or with their families.

 
“Not having a long commute makes a huge positive impact on maintaining a healthy work-life balance,” she said.
Tech workers say the commute is getting worse. What would have been a one-hour commute each way three years ago has stretched to 90 minutes or more as the tech economy has boomed and more cars hit the road.

 
San Francisco-area drivers spend more time in gridlock than those of any city other than Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, according to traffic data service Inrix.

 
Still, plenty of young techies are willing to endure it. Take Nilesh Patel, a single technology worker who commutes from San Francisco to a large company almost 40 miles (64 km) away so he can cultivate his rich social life in the city.

 
“I didn’t want to move into one of those depressing bachelor complexes,” he said about the generic Silicon Valley apartment buildings that often house people like him.

 
Even for those who might consider a more suburban lifestyle, $10,000 doesn’t necessarily go very far in a city like Menlo Park, where the average rental is $3,600 a month, according to data from online real estate company Trulia.

 
And moving south won’t provide an escape from the resentment tech workers have engendered in San Francisco neighborhoods like the Mission, where community activists protesting gentrification have blockaded tech-company buses.

 
In East Palo Alto, once a crime-ridden city that provided an element of gritty flair amid the bland office parks and strip malls that dominate much of Silicon Valley, the recent influx of tech money has brought plenty of benefits.

 
Crime, including robbery, auto theft and rape, has declined over the years, according to city data. New businesses like the city’s only full-fledged grocery store have opened, and many new arrivals are trying to help by tutoring kids and donating to local causes, said Liotti.

 
But the newcomers, who locals call “los Facebuqueros” regardless of where they work, have also contributed to increasing evictions and sky-rocketing rents.

 
“We’re dealing with a huge displacement of lower-income individuals,” said Tom Myers, executive director of the Community Services Agency in Mountain View, which this month passed ordinances to try to take pressure off lower-income renters.

 
There’s also the chance that the housing incentives backfire.
Old hands remember a time when Facebook offered a few hundred dollars for employees who lived within a few blocks of its old offices in Palo Alto. Landlords got wind of the situation and quickly raised rents to match, they say.

Festac Robbery: Technology Deployed To Identify Suspects

The police may have deployed a special squad to collect fingerprints from the two banks attacked by robbers in Festac Town, a suburb of Lagos on Tuesday.

Both banks have been cordoned off with police patrol vehicles.

It was gathered that the anti-bomb squad concentrated efforts in areas, such as the strong room and other places the hoodlums went to.

A police source said  Tuesday’s robbery was the last the armed gang would execute, adding that the police won’t rest until they are caught.

He said the criminals were the same gang that attacked commercial banks in Lekki and Ikorodu earlier this year, adding that the police observed the similarity in their  tactics.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Sex Between Humans And Robots May Soon Become Real

Would YOU have sex with a robot? Experts claim it will be a norm in the next 50 years.

Pictured above is android Anita from Channel 4 drama Humans, who at one point in the drama is used as a sex bot by a married man, causing problems in the marriage. The sex scene between the man and her shocked audiences.

According to academic Dr Helen Driscoll, a sex psychologist, in a blog post for the Huffington Post, humans spend more time in virtual realities – including online gaming and social media. And our physical relationships will come to be seen as primitive in the near future as humanity embraces machines as partners.
Sex mannequins that you can order online already exist, and rapid advances in technology will enable them to ‘come to life’. Robophilia – the word for a sexual attraction to robots – seems like an alien concept to us now, but could become the norm as our attitudes catch up to the technology.

‘As virtual reality becomes more realistic and immersive and is able to mimic and even improve on the experience of sex with a human partner, it is conceivable that some will choose this in preference to sex with a less than perfect human being,’ said Dr Driscoll.

In addition to having physical relationships with machines, advances in artificial intelligence could enable machines or even computer programs to become realistic enough to fall in love with.
This was explored in the 2013 film Her, which saw Joaquin Phoenix’s character fall in love with a Siri-like operating system.

‘This may seem shocking and unusual now, but we should not automatically assume that virtual relationships have less value than real relationships,’ wrote Dr Driscoll.

Dr Driscoll points to people who have lost their partner or who live alone as people who might benefit psychologically from a virtual sexual relationship.

 ‘After all a virtual partner is surely better than no partner at all.’

Virtual affairs could also present a problem in the future, with some partners seeing sex with a machine as similar to sex with another person, according to Dr Driscoll.

The amount of time we spend online – communicating via emails and social media – is already a problem for some people, but our relationships with other humans could soon be conducted entirely online.
As we spend more time in virtual reality and living alone, this will lead to increased mental health problems, according to Dr Driscoll.

The lack of human contact is currently harmful, as humans are social animals and isolation is linked with mental health problems, she said.

Recent studies have shown that young Japanese people are already avoiding sex and intimate relationships, with half of Japanese adults saying they no longer have sex.

And earlier in August, a Chinese ‘girlfriend app’ called Xiaoice was reported to be keeping thousands of heartbroken people company. People can add her as a friend on several major Chinese social networking services including Weibo, a Twitter like microblogging service used by 700 million people, and Touchpal.

This trend may seem like a problematic trend now, but as the technology improves the isolation issues will disappear as it becomes harder to tell the difference between artificial intelligence and machines, according to Dr Driscoll.

‘When eventually there are intelligent robots indistinguishable from humans – apart from their lack of bad habits, imperfections and need for investment – not only are we likely to choose them over ‘real’ humans but psychologically we will not suffer if we are not able to tell the difference.’

IT Company Employs Witch To Help Them Fight Hackers And Virus

Modern technology doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with witchcraft, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping Silicon Valley companies from employing the services of a Wiccan witch to help them deal with hackers, computer viruses and demonic possessions.

Reverend Joey Talley is a witch of the Wicca faith with more than four decades of experience in dealing with the occult and three master’s degrees under her belt. Based in Marin County, just outside Silicone Valley, the Wiccan witch is the-go-to person for computer programmers, software designers, and engineers facing problems that they feel are supernatural in nature.

The fact that Talley has absolutely no background in technology or IT, or that she often refers to the tech industry as the “techno industry” doesn’t bother them one bit.
“Most people want me to protect their computers from viruses and hacks,” the witch says, “so I’ll make charms for them. I like to use flora.” If plants fail, she turns to Jet, a black gemstone that acts as an energy blocker, ideal for debugging office hardware. However, larger or more vulnerable computer networks often require “a rainbow of colors to divert excess energy.” And if all else fails, she can just cast a protection spell over the entire company, to keep things going smooth.

These New Smart Condoms Change Color When Exposed To STDs

A new ‘smart condom’ was created by a group of teenage students for the Teen Tech awards, which they claim will glow different colors if it detects an STD!

The creators said the condom will work with a layer of chemicals on the surface that will attach to bacteria and viruses from STDs.

Here are the colors that the condom will change if STDs are detected:

“glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the human papillomavirus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis.”

Not only will the “smart condoms” make you aware if your partner might have an STD, one of the designers explained:

“We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive.

The Artificial Womb Is Born: Welcome To The WORLD Of The MATRIX

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The artificial womb exists. In Tokyo, researchers have developed a technique called EUFI — extrauterine fetal incubation. They have taken goat fetuses, threaded catheters through the large vessels in the umbilical cord and supplied the fetuses with oxygenated blood while suspending them in incubators that contain artificial amniotic fluid heated to body temperature.

For a moment, as you contemplate those fetal goats, it may seem a short hop to the Central Hatchery of Aldous Huxley’s imagination. In fact, in recent decades, as medicine has focused on the beginning and end stages of pregnancy,the essential time inside the woman’s body has been reduced. We are, however, still a long way from connecting those two points, from creating a completely artificial gestation. But we are at a moment when the fetus, during its obligatory time in the womb, is no longer inaccessible, no longer locked away from medical interventions.

The future of human reproductive medicine lies along the speeding trajectories of several different technologies. There is neonatology, accomplishing its miracles at the too-abrupt end of gestation. There is fetal surgery, intervening dramatically during pregnancy to avert the anomalies that kill and cripple newborns. There is the technology of assisted reproduction, the in-vitro fertilization and gamete retrieval-and-transfer fireworks of the last 20 years. And then, inevitably, there is genetics. All these technologies are essentially new, and with them come ethical questions so potent that the very inventors of these miracles seem half-afraid of where we may be heading.

Between Womb and Air

Modern neonatology is a relatively short story: a few decades of phenomenal advances and doctors who resuscitate infants born 16 or 17 weeks early, babies weighing less than a pound. These very low-birthweight babies have a survival rate of about 10 percent. Experienced neonatologists are extremely hesitant about pushing the boundaries back any further; much research is aimed now at reducing the severe morbidity of these extreme preemies who do survive.

”Liquid preserves the lung structure and function,” says Thomas Shaffer, professor of physiology and pediatrics at the School of Medicine at Temple University. He has been working on liquid ventilation for almost 30 years. Back in the late 1960?s, he looked for a way to use liquid ventilation to prevent decompression sickness in deep-sea divers. His technology was featured in the book ”The Abyss,” and for the movie of that name, Hollywood built models of the devices Shaffer had envisioned. As a postdoctoral student in physiology, he began working with premature infants. Throughout gestation, the lungs are filled with the appropriately named fetal lung fluid. Perhaps, he thought, ventilating these babies with a liquid that held a lot of oxygen would offer a gentler, safer way to take these immature lungs over the threshold toward the necessary goal of breathing air. Barotrauma, which is damage done to the lungs by the forced air banging out of the ventilator, would thus be reduced or eliminated.
The Artificial Womb Is Born
Today, in Shaffer’s somewhat labyrinthine laboratories in Philadelphia, you can come across a ventilator with pressure settings that seem astoundingly low; this machine is set at pressures that could never force air into stiff newborn lungs. And then there is the long bubbling cylinder where a special fluorocarbon liquid can be passed through oxygen, picking up and absorbing quantities of oxygen molecules. This machine fills the lungs with fluid that flows into the tiny passageways and air sacs of a premature human lung.

Shaffer remembers, not long ago, when many people thought the whole idea was crazy, when his was the only team working on filling human lungs with liquid. Now, liquid ventilation is cited by many neonatologists as the next large step in treating premature infants. In 1989, the first human studies were done, offering liquid ventilation to infants who were not thought to have any chance of survival through conventional therapy. The results were promising, and bigger trials are now under way. A pharmaceutical company has developed a fluorocarbon liquid that has the capacity to carry agreat deal of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide — every 100 milliliters holds 50 milliliters of oxygen. By putting liquid into the lung, Shaffer and his colleagues argue, the lung sacs can be expanded at a much lower pressure.

”I wouldn’t want to push back the gestational age limit,” Shaffer says. ”I want to eliminate the damage.” He says he believes that this technology may become the standard. By the year 2000, these techniques may be available in large centers. Pressed to speculate about the more distant future, he imagines a premature baby in a liquid-dwelling and a liquid-breathing intermediate stage between womb and air: Immersed in fluid that would eliminate insensible water loss you would need a sophisticated temperature-control unit, a ventilator to take care of the respiratory exchange part, better thermal control and skin care.

The Fetus as Patient

The notion that you could perform surgery on a fetus was pioneered by Michael Harrison at the University of California in San Francisco. Guided by an improved ultrasound technology, it was he who reported, in 1981, that surgical intervention to relieve a urinary tract obstruction in a fetus was possible.

”I was frustrated taking care of newborns,” says N. Scott Adzick, who trained with Harrison and is surgeon in chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

When children are born with malformations, damage is often done to the organ systems before birth; obstructive valves in the urinary system cause fluid to back up and destroy the kidneys, or an opening in the diaphragm allows loops of intestine to move up into the chest and crowd out the lungs. ”It’s like a lot of things in medicine,” Adzick says, ”if you’d only gotten there earlier on, you could have prevented the damage. I felt it might make sense to treat certain life-threatening malformations before birth.”

The Artificial Womb Is Born
Adzick and his team see themselves as having two patients, the mother and the fetus. They are fully aware that once the fetus has attained the status of a patient, all kinds of complex dilemmas result. Their job, says Lori Howell, coordinator of Children’s Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, is to help families make choices in difficult situations. Terminate a pregnancy, sometimes very late? Continue a pregnancy, knowing the fetus will almost certainly die? Continue a pregnancy, expecting a baby who will be born needing very major surgery? Or risk fixing the problem in utero and allow time for normal growth and development?

The first fetal surgery at Children’s Hospital took place seven months ago. Felicia Rodriguez, from West Palm Beach, Fla., was 22 weeks pregnant. Through ultrasound, her fetus had been diagnosed as having a congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation a mass growing in the chest, which would compress the fetal heart, backing up the circulation, killing the fetus and possibly putting the mother into congestive heart failure.

When the fetal circulation started to back up, Rodriguez flew to Philadelphia. The surgeons made a Caesarean-type incision. They performed a hysterotomy by opening the uterus quickly and bloodlessly, and then opened the amniotic sac and brought out the fetus’s arm, exposing the relevant part of the chest. The mass was removed, the fetal chest was closed, the amniotic membranes sealed with absorbable staples and glue, the uterus was closed and the abdomen was sutured. And the pregnancy continued — with special monitoring and continued use of drugs to prevent premature labor. The uterus, no longer anesthetized, is prone to contractions. Rodriguez gave birth at 35 weeks’ gestation, 13 weeks after surgery, only 5 weeks before her due date. During those 13 weeks, the fetal heart pumped normally with no fluid backup, and the fetal lung tissue developed properly. Roberto Rodriguez 3d was born this May, a healthy baby born to a healthy mother.

This is a new and remarkable technology. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of California at San Francisco are the only centers that do these operations, and fewer than a hundred have been done. The research fellows, residents working in these labs and training as the next generation of fetal surgeons, convey their enthusiasm for their field and their mentors in everything they say. When you sit with them, it is impossible not to be dazzled by the idea of what they can already do and by what they will be able to do. ”When I dare to dream,” says Theresa Quinn, a fellow at Children’s Hospital, ”I think of intervening before the immune system has time to mature, allowing for advances that could be used in organ transplantation to replacement of genetic deficiencies.”

But What Do We Want?

Eighteen years ago, in-vitro fertilization was tabloid news: test-tube babies! Now IVF is a standard therapy, an insurance wrangle, another medical term instantly understood by most lay people. Enormous advertisements in daily newspapers offer IVF, egg-donation programs, even the newer technique of ICSI intracytoplasmic sperm injection as consumer alternatives. It used to be, for women at least, that genetic and gestational motherhood were one and the same. It is now possible to have your own fertilized egg carried by a surrogate or, much more commonly, to go through a pregnancy carrying an embryo formed from someone else’s egg.

Given the strong desire to be pregnant, which drives many women to request donor eggs and go through biological motherhood without a genetic connection to the fetus, is it really very likely that any significant proportion of women would take advantage of an artificial womb? Could we ever reach a point where the desire to carry your own fetus in your own womb will seem a willful rejection of modern health and hygiene, an affected earth-motherism that flies in the face of common sense — the way I feel about mothers in Cambridge who ostentatiously breast-feed their children until they are 4 years old?

I would argue that God in her wisdom created pregnancy so Moms and babies could develop a relationship before birth, says Alan Fleischman, professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who directed the neonatal program at Montefiore Medical Center for 20 years.

Mary Mahowald, a professor at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and one of her medical students surveyed women about whether they would rather be related to a child gestationally or genetically, if they couldn’t choose both. A slight majority opted for the gestational relationship, caring more about carrying the pregnancy, giving birth and nursing than about the genetic tie. ”Pregnancy is important to women,” Mahowald says. ”Some women might prefer to be done with all this — we hire our surrogates, we hire our maids, we hire our nannies — but I think these things are going to have very limited interest.”

The Artificial Womb Is Born

Susan Cooper, a psychologist who counsels people going through infertility workups, isn’t so sure. Yes, she agrees, many of the patients she sees have ”an intense desire to be pregnant but it’s hard to know whether that’s a biological urge or a cultural urge.”

And Arthur L. Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, takes it a step further. Thirty years from now, he speculates, we will have solved the problem of lung development; neonatology will be capable of saving 15- and 16-week-old fetuses. There will be many genetic tests available, easy to do, predicting the risks of acquiring late-onset diseases, but also predicting aptitudes, behavior traits and aspects of personality. There won’t be an artificial womb available, but there will be lots of prototypes, and women who can’t carry a pregnancy will sign up to use the prototypes in experimental protocols. Caplan also predicts that ”there will be a movement afoot which says all this is unnecessary and unnatural, and that the way to have babies is sex and the random lottery of nature a movement with the appeal of the environmental movement today.” Sixty years down the line, he adds, the total artificial womb will be here. ”It’s technologically inevitable. Demand is hard to predict, but I’ll say significant.”

It all used to happen in the dark — if it happened at all. It occurred well beyond our seeing or our intervening, in the wet, lightless spaces of the female body. So what changes when something as fundamental as human reproduction comes out of the closet, so to speak? Are we, in fact, different if we take hands-on control over this most basic aspect of our biology? Should we change our genetic trajectory and thus our evolutionary path? Eliminate defects or eliminate differences or are they one and the same? Save every fetus, make every baby a wanted baby, help every wanted child to be born healthy — are these the same? What are our goals as a society, what are our goals as a medical profession, what are our goals as individual parents — and where do these goals diverge?

”The future is rosy for bioethicists,” Caplan says.
Perri Klass’s most recent book is ”Baby Doctor.” She is a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.

Culled from earthweareone.com

Nigeria, not Kenya, is About to Become Africa’s Next Big Technology Hub

Largely off the back of Mpesa, the hugely successful mobile money-transfer system, the Kenyan capital has gained a reputation for technological innovation—and with it an influx of no-strings (or few-strings) development funding that has crowded out some of the private investment searching for tech startups to finance.

 Now investors are looking to the other side of the African continent for results. Nigeria, with nearly 200 million people, a growing economy, and no shortage of local problems, stands out as an option. It’s slowly building up a tech sector of its own. The funding circuit is still small: probably no more than 10 companies investing money, says Kresten Buch, founder of the Nairobi tech accelerator 88mph (which has since expanded to South Africa).
The biggest difference between Nigeria and other major African economies is its sheer size. With roughly four times as many people as Kenya or South Africa, Nigeria is big enough to reward products and services that are domestic in nature.

One example of that is Obiwezy, a venue for selling used smartphones. Nigeria is primarily a pre-paid market, where customers pay the full cost of a handset up front. That puts most high-end devices out of reach for all but the very rich. But the aspiration to own a high-end Apple or Samsung handset remains, as it does elsewhere in the world. Obiwezy’s founders figure that a secondhand market—with warranties—is one way to sate that demand. They have tied up with MTN, a large telco, to offer the service.

 Nigeria still has a big hole where investors willing to put in between $100,000 and $1 million should be. For now, investors are ensconced in Nairobi. But that might change as Nigeria’s companies grow larger, signaling opportunity to deeper-pocketed investors looking for returns.
Credit: qz.com

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Technology Versus Man By @Lanre_Olagunju

Insight pix

Economic advancement has always been a function of being able to provide improved goods and services at a faster rate with fewer workers. And to a large extent, technology has been a vital tool for economic progression. It’s undeniable that technology has greatly improved how business is done. Unfortunately as well, technology has resulted into disregarding the need for monotonous task and the people who carry them out, leading to freeing-up of so many jobs. MacAfee once pointed out that “certain kinds of document examination once done by armies of lawyers—can now be done competently by scanning technologies and software.” This implies that not only labour intensive jobs are being threatened.

The influx of technology in production is gradually annulling the conventional believe that increase in production instantly results into job creation. And sadly, many of the lost jobs aren’t immediately replaced with enough newer and higher skilled jobs to make up for the loss. Isn’t the Luddite fear of machines replacing people gradually becoming a reality? American entrepreneur and software engineer, Marc Andreessen didn’t mince words when he said “Software is eating the world. Industry after industry is being disrupted by software, and if your industry hasn’t been transformed into a software business, you’d better start worrying now.”

Without any iota of doubt, technology, especially information technology has greatly helped in creating amazing opportunities which aren’t restricted to walls or boundaries. But studies have revealed that IT is basically favouring only 1% at the top of the pyramid while draining opportunities at the lower level most especially in the area of job creation. And come to think of it multi billion dollars information technology companies don’t essentially employ a large number of people. Twitter, with a financial worth of over $8 billion employs about 650 workers, Facebook with an estimated $3.7 billion in revenue and $1 billion profit in 2011 has only 3,000 employees.

Corporations benefit greatly basically because with modern technology they can operate leaner and then make more profits. “I had many occasions to work with the marketing reps, and the approach they used in selling anything to any customer was telling them that if they bought X number of their wonderful machines, they could lay off Y number of employees”A customer engineer with IBM for twenty-five years who specializes on installing and troubleshooting large mainframes IBM explained.

But it’s also very imperative to note that though the advent of new technology might destroy jobs initially, things will eventually balance up in the long term. The initially unemployed will later find jobs elsewhere; say in repair and maintenance of technological equipment.

On the other hand, we also should realize that success from thriving industries as a result of technological advancement would in many ways help the economy; consumers would be able to purchase goods at cheaper prizes, hence save more money, which would increase their demands and purchasing power for other products. Other industries would respond to this increase in demand by producing more, which automatically implies employing more workers. Also, the remaining few workers who didn’t lose their jobs would benefit from higher wages. And with higher profits, capitalists can now venture into other businesses where they’d naturally have to employ more workers. Almost everyone benefits in the long run. So in this sense, technology both eliminates and creates jobs. And this lends so much credence to the words of Robert Solow; Nobel Prize winning economist who said “it has been the norm throughout the course of history for technology to throw people out of work. But in the long run, employment keeps growing, and wages keep rising”

We obviously can’t stand on the way of technological revolution; therefore one way to curb the rise of unemployment as a result of technological advancement is to reinvent our educational system such that modern education can deal with the current unemployment issues surrounding modern realities.

To find relevance in the ever changing world of growing technology, it’s important that individuals reinvent themselves and be devoted to constant professional trainings and never ending improvements. Basically because jobs that require mentally creative analytic skills and high level problem solving ability can’t easily find technological replacements. The inability to think creatively and critically implies difficulty in getting or maintaining employment.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

*This article was first published on www.AfricanLiberty.org

 

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Lanre Blogs @ www.larigold.blogspot.com