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Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

General Articles of Interest

“There’s no check on this,” said Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. “Once NSO’s systems are sold, governments can essentially use them however they want. NSO can say they’re trying to make the world a safer place, but they are also making the world a more surveilled place.”

The NSO Group’s capabilities are in higher demand now that companies like Apple, Facebook and Google are using stronger encryption to protect data in their systems, in the process making it harder for government agencies to track suspects.

The NSO Group’s spyware finds ways around encryption by baiting targets to click unwittingly on texts containing malicious links or by exploiting previously undiscovered software flaws. It was taking advantage of three such flaws in Apple software – since fixed – when it was discovered by researchers last month…Read more…

 

Liberals Have No Clue How to Fix Obamacare – Reason

Liberals Have No Clue How to Fix Obamacare – Reason

General Articles of Interest

Liberals Have No Clue How to Fix ObamacareObamacare enthusiasts have long been in denial that their beloved law is unworkable in anything resembling its current form. Liberals Have No Clue How to Fix Obamacare – Reason

thumbnail courtesy of reason.com

How to Fit the World’s Biggest Indoor Waterfall in an Airport

How to Fit the World’s Biggest Indoor Waterfall in an Airport

General Articles of Interest

Airports are hell, but Singapore’s Changi Airport is—for the jet set—a little slice of travel heaven. The world’s best airport for the fourth consecutive year boasts a rooftop pool, 24-hour cinema, butterfly garden, and spas—all surrounded by lush vegetation to make you forget you’re stuck in a concrete and steel jungle waiting to board an aluminum tube.

So if you’re Changi Airport and you want to top yourself, you have to go big. Bold. Ostentatious. You bring in WET, the water design firm that designs fountains for famously over-the-top places like the Bellagio, Burj Khalifa, and the Sochi Olympics. When the airport’s newest structure designed by architect Moshe Safdie opens in 2018, it will boast the Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

Construction on new glass building that will house Rain Vortex began this summer. “It’s a huge toroid of glass,” says WET founder Mark Fuller. Or, to put it in less mathematical terms, it’s like a huge glass bagel, complete with the hole in the middle. It is through this hole that water will fall nine stories, dropping into what looks like a second waterfall that begins at ground level. To spice it up even more, WET is also choreographing light shows that make the waterfall glow. No one has ever built anything like it.

And because no one has ever cut a giant hole in a bagel-shaped glass roof and dropped water nine stories to the ground, the engineers on the project were concerned. “A natural waterfall, it actually creates it own microclimate,” says Fuller. Think about it: A waterfall is water crashing through the air and dragging that air with it. It creates turbulence. It makes clouds of mist. The last thing you want is a terminal full of hot, humid air. You expect that in LaGuardia, not the world’s best airport.

After a bunch of airflow studies of the glass dome, the WET team’s solution was to change up the flow of the waterfall. The effects of the turbulence build up over time. By alternating lighter trickles with sheet-like cascades, the waterfall doesn’t actually disrupt the air in the building all that much.  read more at wired.com

6 Emerging Kitchen Storage Design Ideas

6 Emerging Kitchen Storage Design Ideas

General Articles of Interest

The kitchen is known as the heart of the family, a perfect place for hosting and bringing loved ones together over a good meal. It’s a space that needs to be kept up to date hence it’s worth reading up on emerging kitchen trends which may provide inspiration and influence your design. Often, we encounter challenges when dealing with storage no matter how big the kitchen is. Fortunately, for every item that needs to be stored away, there is usually some sort of space and a storage solution that’s waiting to be discovered.

kravelv.comCustom-built pullout drawers are the in-thing now and definitely a clever way to use up skinny spaces usually between two appliances; one example being the gap between the refriger ting cabinets from the wall and rehang them with the top right beneath the ceiling and then add a shelf below for extra storage refrigerator and a full height cabinet.

Large pullout pantries are  ideal for those who lack space for actual pantry storage as seen on the right hand side image with several pullouts. Not only are they great for storing canned products and spices, they can be sleek and add a modern feel to your kitchen design while taking up less cabinet storage. There are plentiful ideas when it comes to pullout drawers, whether you want to store your pans, knives, cooking boards, small appliances, just have it built to your taste and you are good to go.

Although it might be a bit tricky accessing the top cupboard, it’s still a worthy storage option, especially in a small kitchen space. Alternatively, if you want to achieve this look with less expense, remove the exis

You can never have enough space in the kitchen so why waste it on dead space. With emerging trends we witness bespoke kitchen cabinets being built all the way to the ceiling to re-capture the space. read more at kravelv.com

 

A Prefab Home that Mixes Design and Technology

A Prefab Home that Mixes Design and Technology

General Articles of Interest

Dubbed Koda, this small prefab home has been developed by the Estonia-based architecture firm, Kodasema. Since the completion of the home, they’ve been shortlisted for the Small Project Prize by the World Architecture Festival 2016. Koda was first completed and presented at a Tallinn Architecture Biennale in Autumn of 2015.

humble-homes.comKoda was first completed and presented at a Tallinn Architecture Biennale in Autumn of 2015. The house pulls together a number of facets of design, including prefabrication and technology.

According to the  architects, over 100 experts from various fields helped to create and develop the prototype. Some were enlisted to help introduce smart technologies; the house is capable of monitoring and learning from its surroundings (presumably so it can automatically adjust the heating and air-conditioning).

Its simple boxy shape allows for easier and faster construction, while also reducing the amount of waste. The two-storey home features a double-height living room to the front, followed by a kitchen, dining area and bathroom to the back.

A flight of stairs takes you to the bedroom, which overlooks the living room below. The entire front facade is glazed allowing plenty of natural light to enter the home.

Given that Koda isn’t particularly deep, there’s little need to introduce more windows on the other elevations. Although it does have a narrow strip window providing light to the bathroom and bedroom on the rear wall.

There’s also a small mechanical room hidden away in a corner at the back of the house. It probably contains the home’s heating/cooling unit and whatever smart technology they’ve included.

For more small houses check out the Lakehouse by JRKVC which serves as a pragmatic playhouse for a family of 5. Or, the ZEDPod, another prefab design that aims to make better use of car parks. See all small houses. ….humble-homes.com

 

An Italian rapper, a ‘hangman’s noose’ and a $250m lawsuit: the chaotic race to build Elon Musk’s hyperloop

An Italian rapper, a ‘hangman’s noose’ and a $250m lawsuit: the chaotic race to build Elon Musk’s hyperloop

General Articles of Interest

WIRED’s exclusive four-month investigation into Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the two companies aiming to reinvent travel

In 2013, irked by the $68 billion (£51 billion) cost of California’s high-speed rail project, Elon Musk proposed an alternative. He called it the Hyperloop: levitating pods that would travel in near-vacuum tubes at near the speed of sound. By his calculations, a hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take just 36 minutes and cost under $6 billion – a tenth of the cost. “Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would be awesome,” Musk declared, the hyperloop is “the only option for super-fast travel.”

Musk being Musk, the internet went crazy. Proponents argued hyperloop routes could transform economics in a way not seen since the invention of air travel, turning far-flung cities into stops on a continental tube map. Others thought the idea a sci-fi fantasy. Either way, Musk declared himself too busy running SpaceX and Tesla to build it, and instead invited anyone ambitious enough to try.

wired.co.ukToday two startups, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are racing to be the first. Between them, they employ hundreds of engineers and have raised millions in venture capital. They have met with world leaders, signed deals with sovereign nations and partnered with global engineering firms. Earlier this year, WIRED set about to document their progress.

It did not go as we expected.

On a cloudless morning in May, a convoy of coaches drove out to a test site belonging to the transportation startup Hyperloop One. A sweeping, fenced-off cluster of low container buildings, the facility lies less than an hour north from Las Vegas into the Nevada desert. Fighter jets soar on thermals overhead. Sections of steel tubing, painted white, lay in the dirt. Next door, a solar farm dazzles in the sunshine….Via wired.co.uk

 

How The Catholic Church Documented Mother Teresa’s 2 Miracles

How The Catholic Church Documented Mother Teresa’s 2 Miracles

General Articles of Interest

Hundreds of Catholics have been declared saints in recent decades, but few with the acclaim accorded Mother Teresa, set to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, largely in recognition of her service to the poor in India.

“When I was coming of age, she was the living saint,” says the Most Rev. Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “If you were saying, ‘Who is someone today that would really embody the Christian life?’ you would turn to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.”

Born Agnes Bojaxhiu to an Albanian family in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Mother Teresa became world-famous for her devotion to the destitute and dying. The religious congregation she established in 1950, the Missionaries of Charity, now counts more than 4,500 religious sisters around the world. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her lifetime of service.

Humanitarian work alone, however, is not sufficient for canonization in the Catholic Church. Normally, a candidate must be associated with at least two miracles. The idea is that a person worthy of sainthood must demonstrably be in heaven, actually interceding with God on behalf of those in need of healing….Via npr.org

 

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