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Turns out I’m not the only hater in town when it comes to the “solar freakin’ roadways” project. Since I wrote that “we don’t need solar roadways, we need to unleash current solar panels,” back in May the solar roadway’s Indiegogo project raised $2.2 million, over double their goal of $1 million. But Scientific American just published a well researched take down of the hard road ahead that such a technology would face — the article looks into the technical and cost hurdles. Check it out here if you’ve been following this project.

In Brief

3D printed SLR film camera

Last summer, 3D printing enthusiast LeoM developed a 3D printable film camera and posted it on 3D design repository Thingiverse. Now, he’s offering a kit on a French crowdfunding site that includes the non-plastic parts needed to make the camera. He will use the funding to add improvements like compatibility with more types of film, making it easier to use and improving documentation. The camera’s design is still open source.

 

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In Brief

It looks like bringing back F8 wasn’t enough for Facebook. Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in March, will host its first developer conference Sept. 19-20 in Los Angeles. The conference, which is called Connect, will feature CEO Brendan Iribe, founder Palmer Luckey and CTO and virtual reality pioneer John Carmack as keynote speakers. The first consumer version of Oculus’ Rift virtual reality headset is expected to debut in the next year, so the conference could feature updates on the form it will take. Applications to attend open July 10.

In Brief

Upp

The British hydrogen fuel cell company Intelligent Energy (IE) has floated on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The firm raised $69 million in the Thursday IPO for 8.8 percent of its shares, along with $27 million from Singaporean wealth fund GIC, which now owns around 10 percent of the firm. IE will use the money to sell backup power units for cellular base stations in India, and to support the launch of its Upp personal energy generator (pictured), according to the Financial Times. Early reviews suggest one Upp hydrogen cartridge can charge a mobile device 5 times. IE, which has been developing its technology for 13 years, also plans to make fuel cells for vehicles.

In Brief

BMW 3D printed thumb

BMW is 3D-printing “finger cots” for some of its factory workers, the German carmaker said this week. Working alongside ergonomics researchers from the Technical University of Munich, BMW uses mobile 3D hand scanners to create tailored thumb-protectors for each worker. The printing is done with a selective laser sintering (SLS) process, using a precisely targeted laser to form a pre-modelled solid mass out of a thermoplastic polyurethane powder. The cots act as splints to counter thumb joint stress, helping workers who are fitting rubber plugs.

In Brief

After a short 24-hour delay, NASA launched a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Wednesday morning, which contains a satellite and a spectrometer that will monitor carbon emissions from on high. The tool measures the colors of sunlight that bounce off of the earth — the intensity of the colors indicates how much carbon dioxide there as the light passes through the atmosphere. Check out this article for more on how cutting-edge tech in the skies is seeking answers to the world’s changing climate.

In Brief

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The web-based integration service If This Then That, which is trying to tie your physical connected devices to your digital services (and everything to each other), now supports the Nest thermostat. Or rather the Nest thermostat, which is the subject of a new open developer program, now supports IFTTT. So now readers could geo-fence their Nest to their phones, change their temps based on incoming emails (your ex sends an email the temp drops 30 degrees!) or whatever other recipes you’d like. Yes, all this will likely be available via the Nest developer program, but IFTTT is a way to bring in devices that may not yet be supported.

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