How Ultra-Low Power Computing Will Change Everything
Computer performance has doubled roughly every 18 months since the 1970s. But computers' energy efficiency has also been doubling, which may prove to be the more important development.
What's the Latest Development?
You may know that computer performance has doubled roughly every 18 months since the 1970s, but computers' energy efficiency has also been doubling. "To put the matter concretely, if a modern-day MacBook Air operated at the energy efficiency of computers from 1991, its fully charged battery would last all of 2.5 seconds." This trend of increased efficiency has enabling ultra-low power computing. The University of Washington, for example, has developed wireless no-battery senors which harvest background energy from stray television and radio signals.
What's the Big Idea?
Because such senors are so efficient, they typically do not need an external power source, surviving on their harvesting abilities alone. These sensors will transform our ability to collect data on everything from transactions to energy flows. Long-term increases in energy efficiency promise to revolutionize how we gather an compute data, bringing to life 'an Internet of things'. "It will enable us to control industrial processes with more precision, to assess the results of our actions quickly and effectively, and to rapidly reinvent our institutions and business models to reflect new realities."
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Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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