New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Millions of people around the world don’t have regular access to clean drinking water, and this breakthrough could help them.   Every year millions of people around the world die from diseases they’ve contracted from drinking unclean water but now researchers in Australia have developed...

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Finland evaluates the results of its Universal Basic Income experiment

Finland evaluates the results of its Universal Basic Income experiment

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As automation threatens to make tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people redundant, governments are trialling new welfare schemes to support them, one of which is UBI.   The rise of the robots, whether it’s hardware robots that are taking over more manufacturing jobs,...

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New Graphene sieve turns seawater into drinking water

New Graphene sieve turns seawater into drinking water

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Water scarcity is one of the greatest worries facing the modern age, and as the world watches one of its great cities face the real prospect of running out of water in months, not years, the search for new water filtration systems has never been...

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Hitachi’s newest surveillance AI can follow you through a crowd

Hitachi’s newest surveillance AI can follow you through a crowd

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF You might not care too much about your privacy today, but what about your children’s privacy tomorrow? The technologies to track and analyse our every thought and move have already been assembled, the next step is deployment.   Not only can a new Artificial Intelligence...

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DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are becoming the pandemic of the 21st Century, and as the number of AI fuelled cyber attacks increase matters will only get worse, but now DARPA hopes a new reconfiguring “Rubik’s Cube” computing system will stop hackers in their tracks.   This week...

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Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Processing Bitcoin is now consuming more energy than Denmark uses in a year, and as cryptocurrencies become increasingly popular their energy consumption is, literally, starting to affect the planet.   You’d have to be almost deaf and blind to not notice that at the moment...

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China’s surveillance network found a BBC reporter in under 7 minutes

China’s surveillance network found a BBC reporter in under 7 minutes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As nation states roll out increasingly advanced and sophisticated surveillance networks, how we use them and the agenda of those who control them become increasingly important to understand.   It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its...

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Pioneering blockchain experiment rewards volunteering and helping the community

Pioneering blockchain experiment rewards volunteering and helping the community

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Most volunteering goes unrewarded and undocumented but Hull’s pioneering social blockchain experiment rewards people for helping the community.   Volunteers and community workers in Hull in the UK will soon be able to obtain discounts at local retailers and even reductions in their council tax...

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Futurist keynote, Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, ChangeNOW Summit

Futurist keynote, Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, ChangeNOW Summit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The effect that climate change and pollution is having on our society and wellbeing is well documented but it’s clear from this summit that for every problem we face there are hundreds of innovative solutions.   Firstly, a big thanks to the wonderful team, lead...

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As automation accelerates experts debate Universal Basic Income alternatives

As automation accelerates experts debate Universal Basic Income alternatives

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly sophisticated technologies are bringing about a new revolution in automation that threatens hundreds of millions of jobs, and if unemployment rises governments will need a way to support people who are affected.   In Budapest last week a small crowd gathered to watch Steve Fuller,...

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Researchers are trying to create a rating system for cybersecurity software

Researchers are trying to create a rating system for cybersecurity software

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With cybersecurity at the top of most people’s minds how do you know just how good the cybersecurity product you just bought to protect your company or home devices really is?   Cybersecurity is obviously front of mind for a lot of people, which is...

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Blockchain experts are putting a stop to governments putting backdoors in software

Blockchain experts are putting a stop to governments putting backdoors in software

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Governments want backdoors in software and criminals want to exploit them to spread malware, now a blockchain based system from Switzerland could put a stop to both   A new blockchain based software update framework from the team at the Decentralized-Distributed Systems (DEDIS) lab at the Swiss...

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Estonia announces plans to create its own national cryptocurrency

Estonia announces plans to create its own national cryptocurrency

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of money is digital, and more countries around the world are drawing up plans to develop and deploy their own national cryptocurrencies, signalling the demise of the cash society and ushering in a new era of government led transparency and control.   Estonia...

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Hawaii becomes first US state to pass a bill supporting Universal Basic Income

Hawaii becomes first US state to pass a bill supporting Universal Basic Income

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It’s hoped that Universal Basic Income will act as a support net for individuals who loose their jobs to automation, and Hawaii’s state legislature now officially support the idea.   As automation continues to bite into the global workforce, whether it’s taking jobs on Wall...

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The United Nations taps blockchain to solve world hunger

The United Nations taps blockchain to solve world hunger

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Hundreds of millions of people go hungry every night, and after a succesful pilot the UN thinks that blockchain could help them solve world hunger.   Earlier this week United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) announced that 10,000 individuals had taken advantage of its trial to deliver food to Syrian...

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US Intelligence director: “AI will replace 75 percent of spies”

US Intelligence director: “AI will replace 75 percent of spies”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One day the world’s best spy could very well be an AI, and that’s bad news for Starbuck’s whose biggest coffee shop is on the NSA campus…   The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and an increasingly connected society has already, according to the UK’s...

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Russian researchers have created a ‘Quantum safe’ blockchain

Russian researchers have created a ‘Quantum safe’ blockchain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s quantum computers will be able to crack at least seventy percent of all today’s encryption algorithms within minutes, but now Russia says they’ve created the ultimate, secure blockchain technology.   Researchers at the Russian Quantum Center (RQC) announced earlier this week that they’ve created...

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Dubai’s first Robocop starts active duty

Dubai’s first Robocop starts active duty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It is inevitable that robots will take a more dominant role in our society and by rolling out the world’s first robot police force Dubai has taken the first big step.   Almost two years after their initial announcement the world’s first robot policeman has...

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New blockchain tools are helping people reclaim control of their online identities

New blockchain tools are helping people reclaim control of their online identities

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF You lost control of your online information, and your online identity, almost a decade ago, but now companies are using new technologies to help you regain control of it   The Sovrin Foundation, a non profit organisation who’s building a range of online “Self-Sovereign Identity” and...

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Massive new satellite network can watch everyone on Earth

Massive new satellite network can watch everyone on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new, bolstered, space satellite system to keep watch over the world, it’s the equivalent of Tivo for Google Earth.   Planet, a global satellite company, who recently bought mini-sat company Terra Bella from Google, is used to breaking records. In 2014, a rocket exploded...

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