This new cement could become America’s next big bumper crop and help save the world as we know it

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Colorado-based Prometheus Materials and other emerging companies are developing new biocements that could help meet the world’s growing concrete demands and avert climate catastrophe.

Innovation thrives when we pause to observe, question, and reimagine the world around us, turning challenges into opportunities for progress. Nature, in particular, serves as a rich source of inspiration. By observing it, studying its daily challenges, and contemplating its processes, we can discover valuable insights that inspire innovative solutions.

One of these current challenges is the production of concrete, an ancient and extremely popular material that is now accountable for a significant portion of global CO₂ emissions, due to the energy-intensive process of cement production and the chemical reactions involved. It is estimated to be responsible for approximately 8% of the world’s annual CO₂ emissions, pumping 11 million tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere every day and consuming 9% of the world’s annual industrial water usage. In addition, the world’s building stock is expected to double by 2060—the equivalent of building an entire New York City every month for the next 36 years, which means an incredible increase in demand for cement and concrete. Faced with this daunting situation, is there anything we can do? In this article, we speak with Loren Burnett, CEO of Prometheus Materials, which has developed a material that mimics nature’s processes to recreate concrete as we know it.

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The new, sci-fi ways AI will radically redesign airports

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Someday you might be able to check into your flight from your car.

Airports today are shaped like dumbbells. One end of the dumbbell is for ticketing and checked bags. The opposite end is where the gates are located along with restaurants and shops. The thin middle between the two ends is for security screening, which separates the “landside” of the airport from its “airside.”

This airport shape has become more pronounced in the past two decades, mainly because of security screening apparatuses. But artificial intelligence is poised to subvert that shape, first by creating new ways for people to interact with existing airport infrastructure, then by challenging the traditional landside-airside barrier, and, finally, enabling all-new design approaches to the physical and digital footprints of airports. Here’s how those changes will unfold in the next five, 10, and 20 years.


Airports have historically told you what they are doing: a giant flight information display system or series of gate announcements is the airport broadcasting its operations. What you are doing as a passenger is extracting relevant information and maneuvering those operations. This power dynamic between what an airport is doing and what a passenger is doing is changing, though, and becoming far more collaborative. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), passengers can make “spot saver” appointments for security screenings, skipping the lines and avoiding any anxiety about getting through checkpoints ahead of flight times. Also at SEA, passengers parking their vehicles can use anautomated parking guidance system to find open spots faster. In each instance, the airport is improving its efficiency by allowing passengers to interact with infrastructure more directly.

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Humanoid robot factory

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A factory planning to pump out 10,000 two-legged robots a year is taking shape in Salem, Oregon — the better to help Amazon and other giant companies with dangerous hauling, lifting and moving. Jennifer reports.

Why it matters: Agility Robotics says that its RoboFab manufacturing facility will be the first to mass-produce humanoid robots, which could be nimbler and more versatile than their existing industrial counterparts.

Driving the news: Agility Robotics, which makes a bot named Digit that’s being tested by Amazon, plans to open RoboFab early next year, inaugurating what CEO Damion Shelton calls “the world’s first purpose-built humanoid robot factory.”

  • “We’ve placed a very high priority on just getting robots out there as fast as possible,” Shelton, who’s also a co-founder, tells Axios.
  • “Our big plan is that we want to get to general-purpose humanoids as soon as we can.”
  • There’s a growing backlog of orders for Digit, which the company says is the first commercially available human-shaped robot designed for warehouse work.

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Behind the Curtain: U.S. not ready for robotic, AI world wars


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America’s ability to remain the world’s most lethal military hinges on two interrelated — and vexing — mysteries, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen write.

  • Can soon-to-retire four-star generals truly foresee the awesome power of artificial intelligence in time to break generation-old habits and shift warfare theories?
  • If they do, can they convince the brightest coding minds to chuck lucrative gigs at Google to build AI-powered systems for America faster or better than their rivals in China?

Why it matters: Future wars will be won with Stanford nerds, faster chips, superior computing power and precision robotics on land, sea and air. Experts tell us that because of a lethal combination of congressional myopia and constipated Pentagon buying rules, America isn’t mobilizing fast enough to prevail on future battlefields. Continue reading “Behind the Curtain: U.S. not ready for robotic, AI world wars”

What is a Data Lakehouse? Definition, Benefits & Features

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A data lakehouse is a hybrid data management architecture that combines the best features of a data lake and a data warehouse into one data management solution.

data lake is a centralized repository that allows storage of large amounts of data in its native, raw format. On the other hand, a data warehouse is a repository that stores structured and semi-structured data from multiple sources for analysis and reporting purposes.

data lakehouse aims to bridge the gap between these two data management approaches by merging the flexibility, scale and low cost of data lake with the performance and ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) transactions of data warehouses. This enables business intelligence and analytics on all data in a single platform.


What is a lakehouse?

A data lakehouse is a modern data architecture that creates a single platform by combining the key benefits of data lakes (large repositories of raw data in its original form) and data warehouses (organized sets of structured data). Specifically, data lakehouses enable organizations to use low-cost storage to store large amounts of raw data while providing structure and data management functions. Continue reading “What is a Data Lakehouse? Definition, Benefits & Features”

How Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity Could Help Vividly Image Alien Worlds

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One day, a mind-bending device called the gravity telescope might bring us visceral pictures of exoplanets far beyond our solar system.


Christmas Eve, 1968 — Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders took a picture that would soon reframe humanity’s view of the universe. It was an image of Earth, but from the moon’s vantage point. 

When you look at this picture, a crisp planet stares back at you, levitating just above the lunar horizon like a turquoise sunrise. And this very resemblance earned Anders’ photograph the perfect name: “Earthrise.” 

Since the time Anders took his shot from a moon-orbiting spacecraft, scientists have procured absolutely mind-blowing pictures of Saturn’s rocky rings, Neptune’s azure hues and even Jupiter’s orange marbled stripes— but these photos barely scratch the surface of our universe’s planetary society. 

There are thousands more alien worlds floating beyond our solar system, but they remain hidden to the human eye because they’re light-years on light-years away from us. Our telescopes are too far away to capture their beauty. They show up only as blurry dots of light — if they show up at all. Continue reading “How Einstein…Could Help Vividly Image Alien Worlds”

Meta disrupts China-based influence campaigns

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Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has shut down at least five China-based political influence campaigns on its platforms this year, the company said in a report Thursday, according to Axios’ Jacob Knutson.

Why it matters: Meta claims that China has become the most prolific source of operations that seek to exploit U.S. political divisions and that those campaigns typically include content beneficial to China’s interests in different regions.

  • The company also disrupted operations originating in Russia and Iran, it said.

The big picture: With several high-profile elections around the world coming next year, including the presidential race in the U.S., Meta said it expects new campaigns will attempt to hijack authentic partisan debate to inflame tensions in target countries.

  • It also warned that actors could flood platforms with large volumes of convincing content created by rapidly advancing generative AI tools to influence voters or for financial gain.

How it works: The influence operations violate Meta’s rule against coordinated inauthentic behavior, which is a manipulative communication tactic used to harass, harm or mislead online debate about crucial issues.

  • In addition to cracking down on campaigns to spread government propaganda, Meta has also cracked down on financially motivated schemes, like clickbait farms.

Details: Meta said it disrupted two China-based operations across its social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Threads in the third quarter. The campaigns largely failed to build authentic audiences, it said.

  • Some of the posts involved in the operations defended China’s human rights record in Xinjiang and Tibet and attacked critics of the Chinese Communist Party.
  • Others focused on U.S. domestic politics and China’s strategic rivalry with the U.S. in Africa and Central Asia.
  • To disrupt the campaigns, the company removed more than 4,800 accounts and seven Facebook groups, it said. Some of the removed accounts had posed as journalists, lawyers and human-rights activists.

Yes, but: Meta did not say whether the campaigns were directed by the Chinese government.

The surprising threat lurking even in your ‘secure’ work environment

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When Netflix released The Most Hated Man on the Internet, we got an up-close glimpse of the harm that nefarious people can do by exposing the personal information of others online. The series illustrated how Hunter Moore used stolen or hacked images to populate a pornographic website, targeting women who did not consent for their images to be used—and introducing many people to the concept of “doxing.” 

Derived from 1990s hacker culture, doxing is a play on the word document or dossier, referring to compiling data on a person or company. It gained greater visibility in 2014 when a group released the private information of women who they perceived as receiving favoritism in the gaming journalism industry. The incident, titled GamerGate, exposed the dangers of being targeted by bad actors and the potential for negative psychological outcomes. Continue reading “The surprising threat lurking even in your ‘secure’ work environment”