Friday of the future: about global warming and the fight against it, about the death of mankind and a space catastrophe live

Greetings! This time on "Future Friday" we will talk about the news of the apocalypse and not only. On the agenda

days:asteroids that destroy spaceships, even faster electric cars, global warming and the fight against it from dystopian fiction, the growth of eSIM popularity in Russia, the death of humanity at the hands of AI, the US fight against foreign high-tech, the spread of Starlink, the Irish mega-accumulator and the new Etherium algorithm, which does not require video cards.

Table of Contents

  • A battery that will last all of Ireland
  • Starlink launched in Antarctica
  • eSIM becomes more popular in Russia
  • Ethereum will do without video cards
  • The United States will limit investment in foreign high-tech
  • Live Asteroid Collision
  • High speed motor for electric vehicles
  • The GAN neural network will destroy humanity
  • A new way to fight global warming
  • Global warming began in the 19th century

A battery that will last all of Ireland

As you know, one of the inconveniences of some speciesgreen energy is the fact that the energy produced does not depend on current consumption. For example, solar panels on the roof of a house are efficient during the day, but consumption peaks in the house after sunset. There is only one way so far - to stock up on batteries. But if you do not have a house, but a whole country that has made a choice in favor of renewable energy sources, then a couple of batteries are indispensable. The range must be appropriate. In Ireland, construction has begun on a new Shannonbridge B storage battery, which is enough to power all the country's networks within 3-4 minutes. Of course, no one is going to use the drive in this mode, but this gives an idea of ​​​​what a 170 MWh battery is. The construction will cost €130 million and be completed as planned in 2024, after which Ireland will further consolidate its leading position in the EU in energy storage, reaching a total capacity of 1.5 GW. All other European countries now account for about 3.6 GW. However, it cannot be said that the result achieved will help to radically change the situation, which has already forced the Irish government to legally restrict the construction of certain facilities (in particular, there is a ban on the construction of new data centers) that consume “too much” energy.

Image from Getty Images

Starlink launched in Antarctica

SpaceX was the firstInternet provider, which is represented on absolutely all continents of the Earth. The last uncovered territory was Antarctica, but now, according to the US National Science Foundation twitter, Internet from Starlink has become available at the McMurdo base. In addition to reaching the mark of six continents, Starlink was noted at the same time by testing new communication terminals. An experimental version with a laser communication channel was deployed at McMurdo. The laser communications system has been added to the latest Starlink satellites, so don't expect everyone to have it anytime soon, the company says. However, it is this variant of data transmission that seems to be more promising, since it is claimed to be faster and more stable. Such a connection allows you to form a kind of mesh network (mesh-network) from satellites, which makes sense if you need to cover a large area with relatively few subscribers. This is very relevant for sparsely populated areas, to which, no doubt, Antarctica also belongs.

Image from TechCrunch

eSIM becomes more popular in Russia

However you feel about eSIM, it looks likethis type of SIM cards will soon become the main one for the Russian market. And it's not at all that new iPhones don't have a physical SIM slot by default. These devices have not yet reached our market and will not soon make up a significant percentage of it, but already 1 out of 6 new smartphones bought in the Russian Federation supports eSIM technology. And this is about two million devices in 2022. In total, more than 11.5 million devices have already been sold in Russia, which do not need a physical SIM card. This is reported by the analytical department of the retailer "M.Video-Eldorado". However, the study does not provide any data on what percentage of these models actually work only with eSIM, because at the time of the start of sales of such devices in 2018, Russian operators did not offer the ability to connect without using a physical chip. In addition, eSIM now remains the privilege of buyers of expensive gadgets, these are the top models of Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Motorola. Not surprisingly, 80% of sales come from devices without eSIM technology. At the same time, there is no doubt that a SIM card that does not fail and cannot be lost is a more convenient option that will eventually replace the usual piece of plastic.

Image from the Moflix website


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Ethereum will do without video cards

More good news for those who don't havestock of cryptocurrency, but there is a desire to buy a gaming video card. The second largest blockchain, Ethereum, has completed the transition to a new algorithm that does not require productive equipment for cryptocurrency mining. And this means that for Ethereum, mining farms with many video cards should be a thing of the past. Accordingly, this will further reduce demand for them, which means it will reduce the shortage in the market and the cost of the device. For those who are interested in cryptocurrency details, we inform you that Ethereum has completed the transition from the proof-of-work consensus protocol to the proof-of-stake protocol announced back in 2020. With this algorithm of work, those who have the largest number of coins in their account will have the greatest chances of forming a new block and receiving rewards from the network. In Ethereum, it is now more profitable to be not a miner (mining cryptocurrency), but a staker (putting funds on deposits). This policy change is due to the need to attract institutional investors who were prohibited from buying proof-of-work tokens. The result for Ethereum is not yet entirely clear - against the background of the news about the completion of the transition, Ethereum Foundation quotes fell by 3.4%. At the same time, the level of reduction in network energy consumption should reach 99.95%.

Image from Reuters website

The United States will limit investment in foreign high-tech

US lawmakers plan to give a number ofgovernment agencies with additional opportunities to protect American industry from threats from foreign companies. The Biden administration decided not only not to stop at the achievements of its predecessors, but also to go much further. Now the threat is seen in the investment of US residents in the foreign semiconductor industry. This is very similar to Trump's attempts to force large manufacturers like Apple to move production to the United States, but the implementation of the idea is likely to be very different. As early as next week, a law could be passed that would prohibit investing in foreign companies involved in the development of AI and quantum computers. But a broader interpretation is also possible, since we are talking about a ban on financing key industries for the national economy of foreign countries. An alternative seems to be additional subsidizing of American companies, but such a solution was considered insufficiently effective. The proposed move will give the US authorities additional tools to control the economic activities of their own citizens, the scope of which will be indefinitely wide, since it is government agencies that will decide which activities are strategically significant and which are not. There is no longer any doubt about digital high-tech: AI, neural networks, quantum computing, lithographic technologies definitely fall under such restrictions, as can be seen from the example of a ban on interaction in these areas with companies from the PRC.

Image from Reuters website

Live Asteroid Collision

In less than two weeks, NASA is offering everyonewishing to watch a documentary space thriller. The plot is familiar from many films: a killer asteroid is flying towards Earth, and NASA sends a spacecraft to meet it, which should change the trajectory of the planetoid. There are only two differences. First, the asteroid Dimorphus orbits another asteroid, Didymos, and neither of them is moving in a trajectory that threatens to collide with the Earth. Secondly, the DART spacecraft from the mission of the same name is not manned. There will be no heroic astronauts on board. But there will be an Italian spacecraft LICIACube, which will fly nearby and be able to capture everything that happens on a video camera. If the operation goes according to plan, the 500kg DART will crash into Dimorphus, causing it to spin around the 780m Didymos for 73 seconds. For those who are eager to watch the cosmic catastrophe live, there are two pieces of news. First: acceleration is the desired result of the mission, because in this way Didymos will change its orbit, no chain collisions and colorful explosions, as well as virtual lines with trajectories. Second, good news: the recording from the LICIACube video camera will be broadcast on the official NASA channel. You can also watch it on YouTube. Write down in the schedule: September 27, around 3 am Moscow time.

High speed motor for electric vehicles

Apart from the need to savebattery charge to get to the goal, then any driver of an electric car has one big advantage over cars with internal combustion engines - the best acceleration dynamics. It is due to the absence of losses in the transmission and the high speed of rotation of the drive. The latter has its limitations, but relatively speaking, the faster you can turn the shaft, the faster the wheels can potentially turn. And the more torque you have, the better the acceleration dynamics will be. How fast you can turn the motor shaft for an electric car, we decided to find out at the University of New South Wales (Australia). The result was an IPMSM unit that can spin up to 100,000 (in words: one hundred thousand) revolutions per minute. Against this background, not only the engines of conventional cars look faded, but even the Formula 1 engines, which reached almost 20 thousand revolutions per minute (modern electric vehicles have units with rotor speeds of about 18 thousand revolutions per minute). The specific power of a 200 kW engine was 7 kW per kilogram. Of course, such record-breaking characteristics required non-trivial solutions, especially when designing the rotor, but the engineers managed to do without the use of rare and scarce materials. So in the end it is said that from six months to a year it will be enough to make this electric motor from an experimental serial one. In addition to electric vehicles, such high-speed motors can be used in industry and ventilation systems.

Image from TechXplore website


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The GAN neural network will destroy humanity

Collaborative work of scientists from the OxfordUniversity and the Google DeepMind laboratory seems to confirm the worst predictions of futurologists that in the future humanity will face a confrontation with artificial intelligence. And the struggle, as usual, will go for resources, which will be too few for the two species. However, there is no need to rush into predictions that Doomsday and marching killer robots are inevitable. We are talking about only one type of neural networks, albeit the most effective to date. GANs, or generative adversary networks, pose a potential threat due to their very structure. It consists of two subsystems, one of which generates a picture or sentence based on incoming data, and the second critically evaluates it. As a result, one of the possible scenarios for the development of such a neural network is the emergence of a situation where AI will create "fraudulent" schemes to receive rewards. If such an AI controls important functions that involve resources that are also necessary for a person, then a confrontation strategy may arise when the neural network will seek to obtain the maximum reward or eliminate all threats to its successful operation. Considering that resources may not be infinite, everything begins to look like a fantastic horror in the spirit of The Matrix or Terminator, when, for purely rational reasons, machines decide to end the existence of humanity as the dominant species on Earth.

Image from Vice website

A new way to fight global warming

By the way, about the horrors of The Matrix.As you may remember, in that world there is no sunlight on the planet, not at all because of the machinations of machines. Global dimming was arranged by humanity itself, trying to deprive the machines of a source of energy. Nothing good came of it, but the idea turned out to be interesting for scientists. While threats from AI look like a matter of the future, the issue of global warming is on the agenda. By 2050, the temperature on the planet may increase by 1.5 degrees, and the reduction of emissions and the transition to green energy have not been effective enough. In addition, Europe is increasingly discussing the “temporary” abandonment of these installations in order to overcome the energy crisis. But the temperature is rising, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in 2016 rose to the level of 2 million years ago. So the greenhouse effect looks like a more than likely outcome of the development of the climate situation. And the blame for everything is solar radiation, which warms up our planet. To reduce it, you need some way to increase the reflectivity of the atmosphere. It could be spraying aerosols into the stratosphere using high-altitude cargo planes, or it could be building a shield in space. It was this option that was proposed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many inflatable bubbles are created from ceramic materials, which form a kind of umbrella the size of Brazil at the Lagrange point. From there, it will not go anywhere and will not require the cost of adjusting the orbit, but at the same time it is far enough from the surface that the bubbles can be blown off if necessary. Thus, the Earth will receive protection from solar radiation, and irreversible climate change will be avoided. True, as usual, scientists do not yet have an exact answer to the question of how to create this shield in space and how much it will cost. But in case of success, we will not fry, and we will not freeze. And in search of an answer, how to avoid the greenhouse effect, only the United States spends from 100 to 200 million dollars a year.

Image from Meteovest website

Global warming began in the 19th century

Well, since we are talking about the globalwarming, it is impossible not to mention the discovery of scientists from the Yamal branch of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It refutes the conventional wisdom that global warming has only recently begun and is caused by car exhaust, industrial emissions and agricultural intensification due to the large-scale use of chemical fertilizers. The end of the 20th century did not become the starting point for heating up our planet. Plant analysis showed that warming began in the middle of the 19th century. This coincides with the beginning of the industrialization of industry, but it is unlikely that its scale at that time could immediately affect the global climate. At the same time, tracking warm and cold years on tree rings indicates that already at that time the climate began to change. Over the past century and a half, the climate of Yamal has become much warmer: by 2.5-3 degrees in winter and by 4 degrees in the warm season. At the same time, scientists determined that the most noticeable warming was in the region of Vorkuta, Ulan-Ude, Salekhard, Chita and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

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