Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter
July 16th, 2018 at 9:38 am

The first Fortnite World Cup with $100 million in prize money is happening in 2019

Qualifiers start later this year, and anyone can participate.

Epic Games announced more details about its e-sports plans for Fortnite, revealing today during its live celebrity-streamer ProAm tournament in Los Angeles during E3 that the competitions will all be part of what’s called the Fortnite World Cup. The prize pool, first announced earlier this year, will be $100 million. It will be spread out over a number of different “organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world,” reads the developer’s blog post.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 16th, 2018 at 9:29 am

CERN chip enables first 3D color X-ray images of the human body

IMG_7849

Using CERN technology, Mars Bioimaging has created the first 3D, color X-ray images of the human body.

Medical X-ray scans have long been stuck in the black-and-white, silent-movie era. Sure, the contrast helps doctors spot breaks and fractures in bones, but more detail could help pinpoint other problems. Now, a company from New Zealand has developed a bioimaging scanner that can produce full color, three dimensional images of bones, lipids, and soft tissue, thanks to a sensor chip developed at CERN for use in the Large Hadron Collider.

Mars Bioimaging, the company behind the new scanner, describes the leap as similar to that of black-and-white to color photography. In traditional CT scans, X-rays are beamed through tissue and their intensity is measured on the other side. Since denser materials like bone attenuate (weaken the energy) of X-rays more than soft tissue does, their shape becomes clear as a flat, monochrome image.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 16th, 2018 at 9:14 am

Endangered Languages: Why do they face extinction?

IMG_7845

Portrait of a Warrior Asmat tribe in traditional headdress.

By definition, endangered languages are those that are facing extinction in the future. Several languages are not being used and are replaced by languages that are widely spoken in various countries and regions. If the trends are not reversed, the next century will see a few more of them becoming extinct.

Many older languages only have very few speakers since they are no longer taught or learned by younger people. When the last speakers of endangered languages die, the languages die with them, unless there are efforts to revive the language.

Continue Reading »

IL-Header-Communicating-with-the-Future

comments Comments Off
July 15th, 2018 at 11:05 am

Flying trains could be coming your way

French firm has designed an airplane with removable wings.

It’s presenting plane to Boeing, Asia to cut Europe dependence.

It sounds like something Q, the tech guy in James Bond movies, would create: A plane that lands on a runway, shrugs its wings off, turns into a train and rolls on to rails to drop you off at your local station.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 15th, 2018 at 8:58 am

The history of a city, as told through its trash

IMG_7835

Today’s garbage is tomorrow’s archaeology.

Humans have been tossing stuff into rivers for thousands of years, whether it’s trash, wished-upon coins, lost items, or dramatically dumped, once-significant objects. That makes the river bed into a microcosm of human history and the development of cities–and a rich source for archaeologists.

A 15-year project to excavate two locations in Amsterdam’s river Amstel, one in the city center and one at the river’s mouth, is currently reaching its conclusion. Prompted by a complex civil engineering project–a north-south metro line that goes underneath the river–archaeologists got the go-ahead to dig two immense holes, each about 100 feet deep, and excavate whatever they could. The fruits of the project, called Below the Surface, are now online, with an interactive photo catalog designed by Netherlands-based firm Fabrique showcasing 20,000 objects uncovered beneath the project. The items range from 1980s cell phones, contemporary ID cards, and a plastic camera film case, to centuries-old coins, pottery, and fishhooks. And that’s just a small fraction of the 700,000 items they found in these two small cross-sections of the riverbed.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 15th, 2018 at 8:39 am

Which 7 countries hold half the world’s population?

IMG_7828

People at a water park in China, which is home to the world’s largest population. Half of the world’s population lives in just seven countries. (VCG via Getty Images)

As of this month, the world’s population is 7.63 billion, according to the United Nations, which celebrates World Population Day today. More than half of all people around the globe (3.97 billion) live in just seven countries, according to the UN’s estimates. China has the world’s largest population (1.42 billion), followed by India (1.35 billion). The next five most populous nations – the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Nigeria – together have fewer people than India.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 14th, 2018 at 10:10 am

Kroger to bring driverless cars to grocery delivery

IMG_7825

Kroger is partnering with autonomous car company Nuro to introduce driverless cars to its grocery delivery.

Kroger has made a number of investments toward expanding its digital and online delivery business.

“Last mile delivery” is one of the hardest feats in the delivery of fresh food.

Kroger announced plans Thursday to partner with driverless car company Nuro to deliver groceries using its autonomous vehicles.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 14th, 2018 at 9:53 am

The race to get tourists to suborbital space is heating up

IMG_7823

SPACE: FINAL FRONTIER or ultimate tourist destination? Possibly both—provided you have the cash.

Already, you can buy tickets for (as-yet-unscheduled) flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, the crew vehicle developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. And at a NewSpace conference in Seattle last month, Blue Origin—helmed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—announced that it has plans to sell tickets to wannabe space tourists as early as next year.

Both companies have solid plans to cash in on human space travel (and then, of course, there’s SpaceX, which will focus first on shuttling astronauts to and from the space station). Branson has said that Virgin Galactic is in a race with itself, not other companies, to achieve safe human space flight. But with Blue Origin aiming to start selling tickets next year, both companies could be competing for business sooner rather than later.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 13th, 2018 at 9:53 am

The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race

And They're Off

There’s no x86 in the AI chip market yet—”People see a gold rush; there’s no doubt.”

A lot has changed since 1918. But whether it’s a literal (like the City of London School athletics’ U12 event) or figurative (AI chip development) race, participants still very much want to win.

For years, the semiconductor world seemed to have settled into a quiet balance: Intel vanquished virtually all of the RISC processors in the server world, save IBM’s POWER line. Elsewhere AMD had self-destructed, making it pretty much an x86 world. And Nvidia, a late starter in the GPU space, previously mowed down all of it many competitors in the 1990s. Suddenly only ATI, now a part of AMD, remained. It boasted just half of Nvidia’s prior market share.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
July 13th, 2018 at 9:17 am

A Chinese electric car startup is trying to take on Tesla by making its cars more like an iPhone

IMG_7807

The Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton is developing three vehicles, the first of which will hit the market in 2019.

The company has prioritized interior features, like touchscreens and adjustable seats, over traditional performance metrics, like range and acceleration, in part because it assumes autonomous driving technology will become available to consumers in the next few years.

Byton president and co-founder Daniel Kirchert told Business Insider that Byton will sell a car with Level 4 autonomy — which means the car can handle all driving functions in certain scenarios — by the end of 2020.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
25 Driverless Car Predictions square