currency computational power computer chips processing for medicine
Wild Systems

A Cryptocurrency Helping to Cure Cancer

A ten part series exploring the design of an invisible technology: money.

1969. The historical year humanity first walked on the moon. This incredible event took years of engineering, billions of dollars and relied heavily upon state of the art computers. The Goddard Space Flight centre in the US was the epicenter of all these computers. Flight technicians used the IBM mainframe computer to maintain communication between Earth and the astronauts. This computer could perform several hundred thousand operations per second. Fast-forward almost 50 years and now a simple USB stick has more computational power than the computers used for the moon landing.

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Society of Simulations

Bringing The Web into Real Life

Biancoshock is an Italian street-artist, known for his provocative yet realistic projects. His last work is called Web 0.0, an urban activism project in which the Internet and web apps are contextualized in everyday life. It represents living proof that services like Facebook or WhatsApp have always existed and will continue to exist, even in a small provincial town almost untouched by virtual reality.

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Drones and agriculture
Manufactured Animals

Drones in Agriculture

It seems drones are everywhere these days. They became known as a way for unmanned aircraft to carry out military surveillance and attacks, and now hobbyists use them to take stunning photos and videos from the sky. Amazon has even tinkered with the idea of using drones for home delivery. As is the case with most new forms of technology, more and more uses for drones will become available over time. Here’s a look at how drones can and will impact the agriculture and farming industry.

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Cloud control in Moscow
Hypernature

Moscow Spent $1.3M for a Day of Sunshine

On the first of May the sun will shine bright over Moscow. This year the International Worker’s Day coincides with the celebration of the Orthodox Easter. Since the weather is expected to be cloudy and rainy, Moscow authorities decided to pay for a clear blue sky.

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Manufactured Landscapes

No-Waste Architecture From Seawater

Erosion and desertification are two of the biggest changes we are facing today. According to the United Nations they are “the greatest threat to our planet”. Intensive agriculture and urbanization are among the causes of this emergency state of climate shift. This causes yearly losses of 12 million hectares of land, right when our population is highly increasing. Given this actual status, Dutch innovator Eric Geboers came up with a solution to use only locally available resources. His idea is to pump seawater to establish a well-functioning, independent ecosystem in desertified areas.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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turkish shepherds always connected
Manufactured Animals

Solar-Powered Donkeys to Stay Online

Our peculiar image of the week features the innovation of the Turkish shepherds. To stay connected they fasten solar panels and battery packs to the donkeys that accompany them to the desolate mountains. Thanks to the energy produced, they can stay online and power lights. Connectivity is a powerful tool for economic progress, and it can often represent the difference between life or death in poor rural areas.

Image: Getty Images

Virtual Gold bullion alternative currency
Wild Systems

How Rare Is Virtual Gold?

A ten part series exploring the design of an invisible technology: money.

The (in)famous American economist Alan Greenspan once said that “in the absence of the gold standard, there is no safe store of value”. The gold standard is a monetary system where a country’s currency or paper money has a value directly linked to gold. The system is no longer used, with America being the last major country to renounce it in 1971. Yet gold bullion, also known as gold bar, still holds its allure to investors as a safe store of value. In recent years, a new store of value has arisen in the form of a virtual precious metal cryptocurrency called Crypto Bullion.

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Suburban Utopia

Making King’s Day More Sustainable

On the 27th of April, The Netherlands celebrates the birthday of the king Willem-Alexander. This holiday is called King’s Day, or Koningsdag in Dutch. Everyone wears orange clothing, tourists invade Amsterdam, people set up stalls to sell second-hand goods, boats parade in the canals, but beer-drinking remains the main activity of the day – with everything that entails. Between 600.000 and a million visitors are expected in the Dutch capital and local authorities developed a strategy to make this annual street-party more environmentally friendly.

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Information Decoration

The Complex Networks of Our Planet

Our planet is composed of millions of networks. The balance between the animal species and their habitats. The migrations in history. The financial flows between countries and continents. Everything that happens in the world, on a microscopic scale as well as globally, is potentially describable as a set of mathematical functions. The more accurate they are, the more useful they will be to depict not only the present but also the future reality.

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