UT Austin Makes Advancements in Sodium Batteries

For a long time now, the University of Texas in Austin has made lots of attempts to create sodium ion Batteries that could outperform a traditional lithium battery. Scientists and engineers have been developing sodium batteries, but unlike the previous failed designs where the anode which is the component of a battery would tend to grow dendrites which are needle-like filaments that could cause an electric short or even make the batteries catch fire or explode. The scientists have risen from the ashes and built a new sodium anode material called the sodium antimony telluride intermetallic that can surpass the previous huddle which is the formation of dendrites that was previously a common problem. The new anode material is made by rolling a thin piece of sodium metal over a powder of antimony telluride, then folding it over itself, and repeating the process.

This process makes sure that there’s a uniform distribution of the sodium atom that makes forming dendrites less likely

The sodium batteries were being built so they can be a much-preferred alternative to replace cobalt and lithium used in lithium-ion batteries that currently power everything including our cell phones. As it uses a more natural and environmentally friendly material Sodium, the batteries are cheaper as the materials for the design are easily attainable. 

One of the two recent advances in sodium battery design from the University of Texas, it solves the common dendrite problem and it recharges just as fast as a traditional lithium-ion battery. Thus, making the battery more stable and allowing faster charging.

David Mitlin who is a professor at the department of mechanical engineering and applied research laboratory in the Cockrell school for engineering walker who designed the material attested to the fact that the sodium ion battery solves two problems at once. When you charge faster dendrites tend to grow more which was a major problem but all of a sudden it is safe as you can either charge or discharge faster once the growth of the dendrite is suppressed. 

Professor Graeme Henkelman from the department of chemistry and the Oden Institute for computational engineering and sciences explained from a theoretical view why the material in its way unique through his use of a computer model. Hypothetically, the sodium metal anode has an energy density that is higher than any sodium anode which makes the material more startling. 

Lithium-ion batteries have been a cause for concern for some time because of the impact on the environment through the material lithium and cobalt used in production.  Lithium mining has a heavy impact on the environment, soil and water pollution, carbon emissions, and heavy groundwater use are some of the many impacts it has on the environment. Cobalt mining is mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo( DRC) where aside from making it more expensive it has had a huge impact on the environment as well as the health of humans. This is too much of a consequence to take especially now when the demand for static energy has increased. In contrast to sodium mining that is cheaper and more eco-friendly.

Top Universities for Technology Degrees

Looking for top universities you can get your technology degree, the look no further. Because of how vast technology is as it comprises software engineering, information technology,  artificial intelligence, etc, It is no doubt you would want to get the degree from the best.  Listed below in no particular order are some of the top universities you could get your technology degrees 

Carnelian Mellon university

This is one of the most renowned universities in the world with a community of over 14,000 students in the seven schools and colleges in the university. Carnegie Mellon University is a private, internationally classed university with programs in various areas like science, technology,  business, public policy, etc. The school acceptance rate is 15% which makes admission very competitive. To apply for admission just go on the official school websites for admission requirements and guidelines.

 Brigham young university

Located in Provo, Utah in the salt sea area, the Brigham young university is another highly ranked private, Christian university where you can get a technology degree. Although the university is large with an enrollment of 28, 288 undergraduate students, the acceptance rate into the university is 67% which makes the university a little bit competitive. 78% of students who graduate earn a salary starting at 41,100 dollars. Popular majors in the institute include accounting, psychology, and psychology. Just log into the school’s official website for more information

The University of Michigan- ann arbor

The University of Michigan is a highly ranked public university that’s located in Ann Arbor, Michigan Detroit. The institute enrolls 30,204 undergraduate students. Admission into the institute is competitive as the school’s acceptance rate is 23%. The common majors in the school include business, economics, and information science. About 93 percent of graduating students earn a salary starting at 49,800 dollars. For more information on admission requirements, you can go on to their official page umich.edu

Cornell university 

Located in Ithaca, New York,  Cornell is a highly ranked private university. The university is large with an enrollment of 15,038 students. The acceptance rate for admission is 11% which makes it very competitive. 95% of students who graduate from Cornell begin earning a salary of 64,800 dollars. Some majors in the school include biology, computer science, hospitality, and tourism management. So if you looking for a top school to get a degree, Cornell University is just one of them. You can get more information regarding the schools’ admission and requirements from their official page Cornell.edu.

Penn state

This institution has had a long-standing tradition of investing in the success of the student, academic excellence and it is committed to providing opportunities for students to study thus making it a great place to study. The acceptance rate for admission into the university is 56 percent making it slightly competitive. The university is exceptional in its dedication to the students, staff, and faculty. If you are looking to get a technology degree in a top university then Penn university can be another great choice. To gain more information on admission requirements, go on to their official page psu.edu.

Blockchain Music Streaming Services

We have never had so much music at our fingertips! According to one music industry organisation, music streaming services have in the region of 400 million subscriptions worldwide, plus a higher number of consumers who listen to music for free via the free accounts on Spotify and similar services.

This is great for consumers of course. But for musicians things may not be quite as rosy. Critics of the streaming services claim that musicians, songwriters and other music professionals are not being financially compensated and are in a position where much of their hard work is being given away for free. And the fact that a consumer may be paying a company such as spotify to download and listen to music, does not mean that the musician will ever see any payment for this service.

Audius offers an alternative and fairer system for sharing and listening to music and it may change the way the whole music streaming system operates. 

What is Audius? 

Audius is a unique blockchain decentralised music streaming service. It utilises the blockchain technology used in crypto currency and it has issued its own crypto token called Audio to pay for it. It is the first music streaming service powered by crypto currency. 

Audius is owned and operated by musicians, artists and developers. Each piece of music is time stamped and owned by the performer who register their creative work, so will receive payment when their piece of music is played. 

This decentralised system lets artists upload their music to the app. Audius also has a strong social media component that lets fans communicate directly with artists and hear exclusive new music, direct from the artist. 

Audius functions like a musical co operative where the Audio token aligns musicians, fans and operators alike. 

Is Audius easy to use? 

Unlike many of the crypto platforms, Audius is extremely easy to use. You don’t need to know anything about crypto in order to download and access great music online. 

For the consumer it means that all the music they listen to is free yet the musician does not miss out on payment. 

Artists are rewarded with the Audio token for their music, popularity and for social engagement with fans. The site plans to share 90% of the token supply with the artists. 

So what type of music is available on Audius?

The platform was first established in 2018 and so far has attracted mainly indie music. But things look likely to change fast. Audius has recently partnered with TikTok which will undoubtedly spread the word of this streaming service. According to 75% of TikTok users using the Audius app, consumers are using Audius to discover new artists and new music. To keep up with the latest events and trends in technology check out our guide to top tech websites so you can always stay ahead of the curve.

How to DIY LED Lights

DIY LED lights aren’t just good for Christmas. These inexpensive strips of light can look fantastic in your home all year round. In addition, they are extremely cheap to run and are perfect for adopting a greener life style. So let’s check out some imaginative and effective ways on how to DIY LED lights in your home. 

Use LED lights to make backlit wall panels. 

Backlit wall panels look great, create a subtle atmospheric lighting effect in your home and are easy to make with basic woodworking skills. Essentially each panel is a flat support covered with a leatheresque material.  At the back of each panel you stick your RGB LED light strip in place and then fit on the wall with a few inches clearance. Once switched on the light will diffuse upwards and side ways creating a fantastic lighting effect. 

Use in the Kitchen for custom counter lighting

How to use DIY LED strips in the kitchen for a practical lighting method is very easy with basic wiring skills. You just need to decide where your lighting should run and stick the LED strips in place first peeling the strip open to reveal the internal wires. These can then be fitted into a terminal block in order to join multiple strings together and the whole system can be plugged into a hidden socket. The result transforms your kitchen. Find the full tutorial on the MUO website.  

Use LED lights to liven up your bed frame headboard

Some LED light strips come fitted with a sticky back plastic strip so you don’t need to bother with tacks or pins.  Just stick the LED light strip in place behind your bed head, and let the light do the rest.  It is that simple. All LED lights come with a light controller so that you can choose between one color, set the colors to change or even set a timer. 

Use LED lights to light up dark areas and cupboards

How to DIY LED Lights is never complicated and they can be used for many practical reasons. Use a string of LED lights to illuminate the back of your pantry, wardrobe or other dark areas and cupboards in your home. That way you never have to search for the flash light in order to locate hard to find items lurking at the back of the space. 

Use LED light strips to illuminate your shelving units 

This makes a great display area for shelving. Whether you want to highlight your home bar or your book case, how to use DIY LED lights offers a range of possibilities that looks both stunning and subtle in one hit!

Newest Technology Applications You Should Know About

There are so many new technology applications under development and entering the market right now. The easiest way to think of this, is that whatever we do in our lives, there is likely an app for it. 

Let’s take a look at some technology applications that if we are not already using, we will be using soon.

The Internet of Things (IoT): People are becoming accustomed to using app technology in order to make their lives easier. Mobile apps enable the user to control the heating, the refrigerator, the washing machine, the home security system and everything else in the home. App software plays a major role in this development with an estimated global market of around $161 billion. 

Foldable Devices: originally most phones had a folding cover. Then we all switched to touch screens such as the apple I phone. Now foldable devices are making a come back with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold. This could be a trend for the future, so if you want to keep up with the newest technology applications, a foldable device is something worth considering. 

Beacon Technology: we confess we are not great fans of Beacon but it seems likely that it will become more popular. It is all about proximity marketing and is designed to alert customers to offers and special deals while out shopping or are in store. According to industry sources Beacon is a vastly growing market and is designed to “improve customer experience” by nudging them in the right direction to buy. 

Mobile Payment Apps and Wallets: We are all increasingly using phone apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. This trend is likely to continue because it is extremely convenient and it also enables companies to see exactly what we are buying and when. No doubt this information will be integrated with Beacon. It is extremely convenient for the customer but it probably comes at the cost of your privacy. 

On Demand Apps: These types of app offer services when you need them and include Uber, Air B and B and food delivery services such as Just Eat. Expect more of these to become mainstream in the future with every service you can think of such as parcel delivery, home cleaning, laundry, buying a car,  pet grooming and more. These new technological applications may not seem particularly revolutionary but they have a massive impact on how small business operate and advertise their services. 

Cloud Computing Integration: We are all accustomed to cloud storage but this hasn’t really become integrated with app use yet. Using cloud storage for apps will free up space on your phone and is likely to become the default for the future. 83% of enterprise workloads are already cloud based so it seems likely that app storage will go the same way in the future. To keep up with the latest in technological developments check out Techular.com to find out how new trends affect your life.

What’s the Oldest Type of Technology?

The word technology comes from the Greek words Techne meaning art and craft, and logos meaning speech or words. Originally the term meant a speech about arts and craft and when the word first appeared in English in around the 17th century, it kept to its original meaning. 

It wasn’t until the 20th century that technology came to mean, “The means or activity by which man seeks to change or manipulate his environment.” So although the way that we understand technology today means that we can look back throughout human history and see all the technological advances that humankind has made this idea of technology as we know it today, did not exist 200 years ago. 

The beginnings of human technology date back to the Stone Age where humans began to make tools from stone, such as axes and flint knives. It is important to remember that some animals also use stones and sticks and it is likely that humans did the same until they began to refine these natural materials and make them into tools. 

The Neanderthal people were proficient stone tool users and examples have been uncovered that date back to 70,000 BCE. Nobody knows whether they also used wood or constructed simple dwellings because none of these have survived throughout this vast expanse of time.

By the Neolithic age (3500 BCE), humankind was making pottery, jewellery, tools and beginning to crease their nomadic lifestyle and develop farming practices. They used plows and grinding stones for wheat so also developed bread and other modern day practices, living in towns together rather than roaming the landscape and following the herds of wild animals they used for food.

Nobody knows how any of these advancements were discovered or by whom. But gradually over the space of thousands of years, humankind developed previous inventions and technology, refining them and turning them in to something better.

The Neolithic age in Europe has been defined by their mysterious stone monuments and stone circles such as Stonehenge. Scientists still do not understand how or why so many of these were constructed. To create Stonehenge, the vast stones needed to be transported many miles and the laws of physics and astronomy employed to position them into their final resting place. Even today modern people would struggle with this task so whatever technology the Ancients used it was certainly effective. 

Defining the oldest type of technology is actually impossible. Was it the use of sticks and stones and other natural materials as tools that were used in hunting and other human activities? Is this the first type of technology? Or was it when humans took a natural object and worked on it so that the tool became something suitable for an exact purpose that humankind could use?

Scientists and archaeologists cannot agree and there are no real answers but one thing is sure; human technology has been in operation since the first person sharpened a stone or a stick and that dates back to at least 70,000 years before the dawn of history as we know it. 

Facebook Launches Special Glasses to Play Video Games

Sometimes it seems as if we are already living in a weird Sci Fi reality. Facebook has planned to increase this mood with their special glasses designed to augment reality.

The AR glasses are being produced in partnership with Facebook and Rayban and they look like ordinary Raybans with an additional LED light button, plus a slick button on the side. Called Rayban Stories, they can be paired with either IOS or Android and you control them via your phone in the same way as any wearable tech such as the Apple watch.

The glasses come with a smart case that enables you to charge them and keep them protected when you are on the go.

The first generation glasses are already on sale. They cost $299 USD and are available in 20 style choices including Rayban classic frames such as Wayfarers, Aviators and more. They are available in stores and online in the US as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

So what can you do with the smart glasses?

According to Facebook, they enable you to take pictures from the unique perspective of your eyeline. You can also use them to listen to music and speak to people via the smart built in speakers. The technology accepts Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and more.

You can also make 30 second videos and share immediately online. In fact you can do most things via the glasses as you could do via a smart phone. Predominantly designed for social media, if you like posting your life online, it makes it fast, easy and hassle free.

You can’t see images through the glasses that are not really there. So you can’t transform your daily commute into a rainforest for example, but undoubtedly this will come.

In addition you can’t use the glasses to play video games and see all the action unfold in front of your eyes. Again we will probably get to this in the future but so far this function is not available.

Rayban Stories were launched on September 9th 2021 and surprisingly there has been very little fanfare. But if you are a fan of wearable technology and you like wearing cool sunglasses, these smart glasses will undoubtedly be top of many people’s Christmas list.

Only time will tell as to whether the smart glasses will really become as popular as smart phones. We think it is unlikely right now but with the move to put everything online and stay connected 100% of the day, it is highly possible that we will all be wearing these in the future.

Top Apps and Online Language Learning School

It is great to learn a language. Not only is this a fantastic skill that will help you communicate when you are travelling, it is good for your brain too. Neuroscientists say that learning a second language improves mental capabilities and memory and can even stave off dementia so is certainly something we should all be embracing. Luckily there are numerous online language tutors out there to help. So let’s take a look at some of them.

Pimsleur: this offers a traditional method of language learning in that it gives you the fundamentals of grammar. It also provides plenty of conversational practice and requires that you listen to audio clips and repeat them until they are right. According to language experts, Pimsleur is more rigorous than many of the competitors and with 50 languages on offer it is ideal for getting a baseline understanding. It costs $15 per month so offers good value for money.

Duolingo: This is a free app although there is a paid version. Duolingo gives you idiomatic expressions and introduces vocabulary , so it would be useful if you were planning a vacation and wanted to manage day to day requirements However it doesn’t provide any explanation of grammar so you will not get very far unless you combine it with other language learning methods.

Babbel: This is more challenging than Duolingo so expect a steep learning curve. That said if you stick at it, you will acquire a reasonable level of language. The first lesson is free and after that it costs $12.95 for a month or $8.95 per month if you sign up for three months.

Italki: This app offers one to one conversation online in 150 languages. You get to talk to people around the world and have access to your online language tutors where you can discuss a range of topics in your language of choice. Italki is inexpensive, ranging from $6 to $25 for an hour lesson.

Idlewild: This is a 7 week course that costs $295. Paying this will keep you focused on learning your language and this course does provide you with opportunities for deep learning. There are 7 classes a week via Zoom, taken by native language speakers and each class has a maximum of 10 students. The classes are aimed at a range of learners from basic to advanced and if you are serious about learning a language, Idlewild will deliver. Online language tutors with Idlewild deliver the experience of classroom learning into your home and will help you brush up or learn any of the major European languages.

Netflix: This is not a language learning app but with so many foreign language films and TV shows hosted on the site, it is a great way to enjoy the language and culture of your chosen country. Using Netflix in combination with a language app is a great way to become more fluent in language learning!

What to Look for in a Podcast Camera

Podcasts have long been an audio medium but today an increasing number of podcasters are now live streaming their content in video too. This means that if you are already a podcaster or you fancy trying it out for yourself you will now have to add a podcast camera to your equipment.

So what do you need to look for in a podcast camera? We checked out some consumer guides and podcast experts to find out where to start.

Record Time: make sure your podcast camera has a long recording time. Many cameras automatically switch off after 30 minutes so ensure that this automatic cut off function can be disabled, otherwise it will destroy the flow of the podcast if it cuts out and you have to switch it back on again.

Battery life: This is equally important. You will need to set up the camera and equipment and you may run through a couple of times before you get it right. You need to know your battery life can keep your camera on, or you will face lengthy details for recharging.

Live Stream Capabilities: Can you carry out live streaming with your podcast camera? Podcasts are very immediate and enable your audience to interact and engage with you. To live stream a video you will need to stream to your laptop or smart phone via wifi or by using an HDMI cable. It is important that your podcast camera has the capabilities to use at least one of these functions. You might not be ready for live streaming yet, but it is something that you will probably want to do in the future.

High Resolution: Picture quality is important and even though it can be daunting to see your own face in high resolution, we have all become accustomed to viewing in high picture resolution. Make sure you choose a podcast camera that delivers the best viewing experience possible. The minimum should be 1080p and with the popularity of 4K, if your podcast camera can record in Ultra HD, so much the better.

There are some great podcast cameras on the market right now which will deliver these capabilities and your choice will come down to your budget and your own personal preferences. So it is very important to carry out research before you buy, or it could be an expensive mistake.

Other points to think about for video pod casting

Remember too that your other equipment is equally important so your podcast camera is only part of the kit you need for video pod casting.

As well as your audio equipment, you will now need to ensure you have the correct lighting and a good place to film the podcast.

Many audio podcasts are recorded in studios that absorb sound to prevent background sound interference. You can achieve this by hanging drapes, carpets, egg boxes or other soft materials that absorb sound.

Now you are switching to video podcasting, it is a good idea to make the recording space as dark as possible and to introduce lighting. That way you can control the light coming into the studio and focus on the participants, rather than other distractions. Black out curtains can be a great idea for the podcast studio because it enables you to fully control the light that you want your podcast camera to pick up.

How are Science and Technology Related?

Science and Technology?  You can’t have one without the other. Science is the study of all of the natural world and how it works. Technology helps us find ways to apply what we have learned and helps us increase discoveries via specialised tools.

In human biology, science and technology work together to create a greater understanding of the human body as well as improve how any necessary treatment is to be achieved. From the simple blood test to life saving cancer surgery, technology finds ways to measure the body’s vital responses and find solutions at all levels.

There is a lot we still don’t know about how the body works. And because the body is so complicated, no medical expert can fully understand every part of it and all its complexities. Your heart specialist for example is not the best authority for a fractured bone. An endocrinologist understands hormones yet may not offer the best advice for a neurological condition.

The problem is that for many health conditions, many parts of the body are interrelated and there is no holistic approach that considers the body as a whole rather than a separate range of compartmentalised symptoms.

One health aspect, on which all health experts agree, is the importance of vitamin C. Your body needs this essential vitamin on a daily basis in order to protect it from many medical conditions and maintain health, yet many people never even consider it.

You can only obtain vitamin C via diet and it is present in all fresh fruits and vegetables, yet owing to the modern day diet of processed food most of us lack this vital component in our daily diet. Your body cannot store or make vitamin C; it has to be ingested every day to provide protection.

Liposomal Vitamin C is a great example of science and technology working together. It comes from Core Med Science who have developed a way to deliver your daily requirements of vitamin C straight into your blood system.

There are numerous vitamin C tablets and supplements on the market but owing to their construction, most of the vitamin C is unabsorbed by the blood stream. And even if you up your fruit consumption and try to consume as much vitamin c as possible, only 18% will get into the blood stream and it often leads to digestive problems such as diarrhoea as a result.

Liposomal vitamin C offers something different. The scientists at Core Medical Science (CMS) have developed the technology to deliver the full RDA of vitamin C direct into the blood system by bypassing the digestive process.

Liposomal Vitamin C is in liquid form. The vitamin dose is protected by natural phospholipids which are microscopic spheres of fat and as this substance is already part of our cell membranes, it enables the body to fully absorb vitamin C without losing any of the serving size or causing digestive side effects.

Thanks to Liposomal Vitamin C you can now maintain your body’s Vitamin C levels in one daily dose.  So if you care about your health today and long term, taking this scientifically designed supplement is the best thing you can do for your own health and for your family.