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Charting a Changing World One Loss at a Time

charting a changing world one loss at a time

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When Cao Fei’s Beijing studio was demolished in 2015, the artist relocated to the disused Hongxia Theater: a mid-twentieth-century movie palace decorated in the drab style of the Sino-Soviet alliance, in which institutional pea-green tempers propaganda’s fiery red. At the entrance of her solo show at London’s Serpentine Galleries (her first in the UK), the Hongxia lobby was reproduced at full scale, complete with curving welcome desk. In vitrines, Cao Fei presented movie ephemera collected during her research into the history of the studio building over the last five years: a lone film reel, tickets, a cinema membership card. An outmoded ATM has been refitted to screen the artist’s interviews with locals who recount their memories of the old theater. Sited in Jiuxianqiao, among China’s most productive techno-industrial districts, the former theater and present studio is now slated for demolition.

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The exhibition, titled “Blueprints,” featured themes of building, destroying, and rebuilding, whether in reality or virtuality—although such distinctions blur in twenty-first-century China, where cities and technologies expand in tandem at breakneck speed. The centerpiece was the lushly shot, feature-length film Nova (2019), a retro science-fiction movie about a doomed romance between two computer scientists, …

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READY Academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

ready academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

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READY Academy all geared up to upskill any worker in robotics

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Cleveland’s Internet of Things collaborative to launch research hubs on community, business solutions

cleveland’s internet of things collaborative to launch research hubs on community, business solutions

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University will establish two technology research hubs to expand the Internet of Things collaboration.The partnership researches physical technologies that are connected through the internet. Examples include a smart speaker or an engine that relays information via sensors. CSU and CWRU launched a research collaborative in 2017 to further explore the area.By establishing two “research hubs” with a $3.1 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation, the partnership aims to present more solutions using the Internet of Things. One hub will focus on how this technology can help the community. The other will explore applications in manufacturing and healthcare.The community hub will also curate a list of “Smart Cities” projects in Cleveland on the collaborative’s website. “Smart Cities” projects integrate technology into public spaces, like the Ohio Turnpike’s “Connected Road” where drivers who enable technology in their vehicles can receive alerts through sensors on the highway. “Universities are key to building a knowledge economy for the future, and a partnership between two of the region’s most respected institutions of higher education is catalytic for Cleveland’s transformation,” CSU President Harlan Sands said in a joint press release.“The …

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Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

dust bowl 2.0? rising great plains dust levels stir concerns

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A dust storm in the Texas panhandle. Fueled by drought and agriculture, dust levels in parts of the Great Plains have doubled in 20 years, researchers say.

KEITH LADZINSKI/National Geographic

By Roland PeaseOct. 20, 2020 , 10:50 AM

Earlier this month, a storm front swept across the Great Plains of the United States, plowing up a wall of dust that could be seen from space, stretching from eastern Colorado into Nebraska and Kansas. It was a scene straight from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when farmers regularly saw soil stripped from their fields and whipped up into choking blizzards of dust.

Better get used to it. According to a new study, dust storms on the Great Plains have become more common and more intense in the past 20 years, because of more frequent droughts in the region and an expansion of croplands. “Our results suggest a tipping point is approaching, where the conditions of the 1930s could return,” says Gannet Haller, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Utah who led the study.

The dust storms not only threaten to remove soil nutrients and decrease agricultural productivity, but also present a health hazard, says Andy Lambert, a co-author on the study and a meteorologist …

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MCWT ‘Embraces the Moment’ through Transformed Programs and a Virtual Gala in 2020

mcwt ‘embraces the moment’ through transformed programs and a virtual gala in 2020

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation’s 14th annual Signature Gala went virtual – one more pivot this year for the nonprofit working to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The Oct. 17 digital fundraiser, with a theme of “Embrace the Moment,” raised  $352,000 in gross revenue for programs that help inspire and grow girls and women in technology. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles served as host sponsor and over 500 individuals tuned in for the evening.
“Despite the pandemic, we’ve actually had a significant year here at MCWT,” said MCWT Executive Director Chris Rydzewski. “We are a technology group, and thanks to our partners, we’ve been able to build on our strengths, adapt to an ever-changing environment, and reach even more people. The move to virtual was an opportunity to maintain our community connections and make an even bigger impact among the girls and women who need to hear our message the most.”
The event provided a behind-the-scenes look at how the nonprofit found the upside in the year’s challenges, detailing five impactful pivots:  

Sparking curiosity through virtual summer technology programs. Instead of 10 in-person camps for middle and high school girls across the state, MCWT launched …

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Tactile Feedback in Virtual Reality Game Has Potential in Health Care

tactile feedback in virtual reality game has potential in health care

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Technological advancements have changed the face of gaming, providing immersive and realistic video games with virtual reality. Virtual reality allows the player to experience game elements, but with a limitation: most VR systems focus on vision. So, a researcher at Nagoya University developed tactile perception for a new VR game. This integrated the sense of touch with sounds and sights. The study was published in the Journal of Robotics, Networking and Artificial Life.”Tactile sensation has a more significant effect on sensibility than audiovisual,” Yasuhiro Suzuki wrote in an article published by TechXplore.The gameThe player plays the game with a spherical object. This virtual object beats in tandem with the player’s heart. The game sends the beats from the object to the player using visual and sound effects and tactile feedback. The combination of the three effects increases the player’s immersion into the game. During gameplay, the player needs to break multiple targets using the spherical object.The game setup includes a wire that connects the sphere to where the player is standing. After breaking all targets, the player uses a pair of scissors in the game to “cut” the thread. The player will feel a sensation when …

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

the benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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As startups accelerate in record Q3, Europe and Asia rack up huge VC results

as startups accelerate in record q3, europe and asia rack up huge vc results

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Investment outside North America just had its best quarter in years

Alex Wilhelm

7 hours

Venture capital activity in Europe and Asia saw a strong return to form in Q3, data indicates.
The two continents enjoyed more venture capital investment into their local startups than in some time, underscoring that strong VC results the United States saw in the third quarter were not a fluke, but part of a broader trend.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Data compiled by CB Insights shows a global acceleration in the number of dollars venture capitalists are putting to work around the globe as 2020 chews through its second half. The record figures that Q3 supplied stand in stark contrast to the fear that overtook startup-land in late Q1 and early Q2, when COVID-19 threw some young technology companies surprise turbulence.
But the dip in venture capital activity was short-lived. As many startups sold software, they found their wares suddenly in greater demand; across a host of verticals, startups benefited from an accelerated digital transformation as the world adapted to a new work environment. Aside from clear winners like video …

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Robotic kitchen startup YPC raises a $1.8M seed round

robotic kitchen startup ypc raises a $1.8m seed round

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Montreal-based YPC Technologies today announced that it has raised a $1.8 million seed round. Led by Hike Ventures and Real Ventures, the funding includes participation from Toyota AI Ventures and Uphill Capital, among others, designed to help the company pilot its kitchen robotics technology.
Toyota’s funding came as part of the company’s “Call of Innovation,” which finds it investing in early state AI, robotics and other cutting edge technologies. “At TRI, we’re always searching for ways to amplify human ability and help improve quality of life,” TRI’s Gil Pratt said in a statement. “Through the call for innovation, we got a first-hand look at how startups like YPC Technologies are addressing the needs of people in urban communities, and we’re encouraged and excited by their efforts.”

Robotics and automation generation has been a fairly hot category for VC investment, amid the on-going COVID-19 shut down. Food robotics, in particular, have been a focus. And it makes sense, certainly. After all, providing people with sustenance is about as essential as services get. The startup’s solution is built around a robotic arm that can prepare recipes with a variety of different ingredients — similar to other models we’ …

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Startups run by women of color need money from investors, not empty platitudes

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What women of color don’t need is another white person saying “Yes, Black Lives Matter” or “our company rejects racism.” What we need is more investors willing to ask: what can I do to change the system?
Dedicating 15% of a venture fund is a platitude, a pat on the head, particularly when you consider that 46% of the country are people of color.
This current environment also stifles economic growth and chokes off the true innovation we need.
Stephanie Lee is a former staffer to former First Lady Michelle Obama and former product developer at the global brand, MAC Cosmetics.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Too many women of color are being asked to prove first that our ideas are worthy of investment, while white founders get the benefit of the doubt over and over again. What we don’t need is another white person saying “Yes, Black Lives Matter” or “our company rejects racism.” What we do need is more investors willing to ask: what can I do to change the way things are actually run? Though the access to investments are especially limited for women …

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