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March 22nd, 2019 at 11:20 am

Solar-powered moisture harvester collects and cleans water from air

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Access to clean water remains one of the biggest challenges facing humankind. A breakthrough by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin may offer a new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.

The breakthrough, described in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, could be used in disaster situations, water crises or poverty-stricken areas and developing countries. The technology relies on hydrogels, gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to be “super sponges” that can retain large amounts of water.

A research team led by Guihua Yu in UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering combined hydrogels that are both highly water absorbent and can release water upon heating. This unique combination has been successfully proved to work in humid and dry weather conditions and is crucial to enabling the production of clean, safe drinking water from the air.

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March 22nd, 2019 at 11:16 am

This robot can park your car for you

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French startup Stanley Robotics showed off its self-driving parking robot at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport today. While I couldn’t be there in person, the service is going live by the end of March 2019. And here’s what it looks like.

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March 22nd, 2019 at 11:12 am

Does it even matter where you go to college? Here’s what the data says.

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Let’s not forget that billionaires Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all dropped out of college.

Does it matter where a person went to college? Well, it’s a complicated answer, depending on whom you ask.

After Operation Varsity Blues ensnared 50 people in a college admissions scam, including famous actresses and heads of major financial companies, the scandal is raising the question of what matters more: a fancy school name on a résumé, or an education.

“I have no idea where most of the people who worked for me went to college. I just know: Did they get stuff done or did they not?” former President Barack Obama said last week at a tech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, before news of the arrests broke.

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March 21st, 2019 at 11:14 am

Thermomix introduces a small appliance that can do it all

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Remember those commercials for kitchen appliances that can do it all? “It slices, it dices, makes julienne fries!” Well, here’s an appliance that actually does do just about everything you could ask for when you’re in the kitchen. The Thermomix TM6, the latest smart appliance from Vorwerk, is here to save you counter space and help you get dinner on the table faster.

If there’s a task you need to do for meal preparation, odds are you can count on the Termomix TM6 to take care of it. It’s built with a stainless-steel bowl, a state-of-the-art blade, a precision heating element, and an embedded scale. Taken together, those features give the appliance the ability to perform 20 different functions and techniques without requiring you to jump from one appliance to another, cluttering the counter as you go. Whisking, caramelizing, browning, chopping, steaming, sautéing, blending, boiling, kneading, emulsifying—you name it and the Thermomix can probably do it.

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March 21st, 2019 at 11:11 am

Carbon fiber camping trailer sustains itself off-grid with “endless” power and water

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The Sonic X’s slide-out increases interior space, providing room for a comfy dining lounge with wraparound…

A new style of trailer for an evolving breed of traveler, the Sonic X from KZ Recreational Vehicles adds a little more self-sustainability to the camping trailer world. With its solar-backed lithium battery bank, the 26-footer is designed to run off-grid indefinitely. It also includes lightweight carbon fiber construction, a fresh water harvesting system and insulation-boosting technology for better performance, autonomy and efficiency. Get lost for weeks and months at a time without giving up residential-style comforts.

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