Alcohol is primarily known as a liquid, but it can also be whipped, solidified, and practically vaporized. But now it’s available in powdered form — a product called “Palcohol” that was just approved by the U.S. government.
Alcohol powder is a molecular encapsulated alcohol that produces an alcoholic drink or meal when mixed with water. Because alcohol can be absorbed in a sugar derivate, it can be delivered as a powder and/or packed into capsules.
OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released two of its Working Group reports at the end of last month (WGI and WGIII), and their short discussion of biofuels has ignited a fierce debate as to whether they’re of any environmental benefit at all.
The IPCC was quite diplomatic in its discussion, saying “Biofuels have direct, fuel‐cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels. However, since for some biofuels indirect emissions—including from land use change—can lead to greater total emissions than when using petroleum products, policy support needs to be considered on a case by case basis” (IPCC 2014 Chapter 8).
The summary in the new report also states, “Increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity” (WGIII).
The report lists many potential negative risks of development, such as direct conflicts between land for fuels and land for food, other land-use changes, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and nitrogen pollution through the excessive use of fertilizers (Scientific American).
The International Institute for Sustainable Development was not so diplomatic, and estimates that the CO2 and climate benefits from replacing petroleum fuels with biofuels like ethanol are basically zero (IISD). They claim that it would be almost 100 times more effective, and much less costly, to significantly reduce vehicle emissions through more stringent standards, and to increase CAFE standards on all cars and light trucks to over 40 miles per gallon as was done in Japan just a few years ago.
With more than 60 nations having biofuel mandates, the competition between ethanol and food has become a moral issue. Groups like Oxfam and the Environmental Working Group oppose biofuels because they push up food prices and disproportionately affect the poor.
One of the problems the military faces with several decades of working aircraft is that the command interfaces are all slightly different, therefore requiring them to be manned by different people. But now, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will soon debut a new "ultimate auto-pilot program" that, with any luck, will allow a single pilot to do the jobs of five crew members on a given mission.
The new system is called ALIAS, which stands for Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System. Its main goal is to streamline the incredibly complex interfaces that avionics operators have to contend with on a daily basis, and make lives easier for people flying jets. "Our goal is to design and develop a full-time automated assistant that could be rapidly adapted to help operate diverse aircraft through an easy-to-use operator interface," said DARPA program manager Daniel Patt in a statement. "These capabilities could help transform the role of pilot from a systems operator to a mission supervisor directing intermeshed, trusted, reliable systems at a high level."
According to a program launched yesterday by CTIA – The Wireless Association®, an international nonprofit that has represented the wireless communication industry since 1984, all phones manufactured in the U.S. after July 2015 will be required to contain a “kill switch” system that can be remotely disable and wipe any cell phone’s data.
Although the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” is a voluntary program, apparently all the major players have already happily jumped on board: “Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry’s largest trade group,” reported CNN.
And the supposed reasoning — anti-theft — sounds super phony, but just like everything else, it’s all for your safety of course:
Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft. (source)
Yeah, because law enforcement really cares quite a bit about whether or not your smartphone is stolen…unless it’s law enforcement stealing your phone from you in the first place because you’ve used the camera on it to protect yourself from police state activity by taking incriminating photos and videos of said law enforcement.Well, now they won’t even have to physically take your phone from you, because apparently they’ll be able to just push a button and remotely wipe it clean of all data.