Eco-friendly ending: Washington state is first to allow human composting

Legislation would let facilities offer natural organic reduction which turns a body into about two wheelbarrows worth of soil Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt. Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. It allows licensed facilities to offer natural organic reduction, which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. It gives meaning and …

GM Gives All Its Vehicles a New Soul

General Motors’ latest offering is so far from sexy, it doesn’t even have a clever name created by the marketing department via focus group. But the new “electronic platform,” the computing network that will run through nearly all the company's vehicles and make their myriad digital systems work, is as key to the automaker’s future as any single feature, or even vehicle. It’s the infrastructure that will let GM compete in an industry increasingly ruled by software—and give its customers all the high-tech goodies they’ve come to expect, from high-res screens to booty-shaking safety features. “It’s the brain and nervous system of the vehicle,” says Al Adams, GM’s director of electrical components and subsystems, who led its development. Think of …

Why Software Needs to Escape from San Francisco

Lately I've been hearing complaints from my techie friends about San Francisco. Sure, the city is a mecca for anyone who wants to build a startup—with ample capital, helpful angels, and some of the best software talent on the planet. But it's becoming a monoculture. “You go to dinner and tech is literally all people talk about: tech, tech, tech,” sighs my friend David Silva, an engineer who lived in San Francisco for five years before decamping for the East Coast. Tech has crowded out other subjects of conversation. That, I'd argue, is a good reason to break the region's lock on software development. Different cities have different moods and obsessions. Spreading the creation of software to other parts of …

Robin picks up $20 million Series B to optimize the office

Robin Powered, a startup looking to help offices run better, has today announced the close of a $20 million Series B funding. The round was led by Tola Capital, with existing investors Accomplice and FirstMark participating in the round, along with a new strategic Allegion Ventures. Robin started as part of an agency called One Mighty Roar, where Robin Powered co-founder Sam Dunn and his two co-founders built out RFID and beacon tech for clients’ live events. In 2014, they spun out the tech as Robin and tweaked the focus on the modern office. The office stands to be one of the least efficient pieces of any business. As a company grows, or even if it doesn’t, it’s particularly difficult …

Does a ‘stunning school’ help learning?

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council Image caption The old school had a “lovely atmosphere” but “didn’t look the prettiest” Taking a stroll round the grounds – even on a relatively dreich day – the structure looks striking. And, chatting with everyone who sees and uses the building on a regular basis, their pride comes across in every word. Image copyright Andrew Lee Image caption Pupils said the bright new school “cheers you up a wee bit” A group of pupils at the new school – Bronwen, Ker, Kenny and Antonia – say their former home was “not that good an environment to learn in”. “It wasn’t very light because you had to put the lights on and if you turned …

Quadric.io raises $15M to build a plug-and-play supercomputer for autonomous systems

Quadric.io, a startup founded by some of the folks behind the once-secretive bitcoin mining operation “21E6,” has raised $15 million in a Series A round that will fund the development of a supercomputer designed for autonomous systems.   The round was led by automotive Tier 1 supplier DENSO and its semiconductor products arm NSITEXE, which will also be one of Quadric.io’s customers for future electronic systems in all levels of autonomous driving solutions. Leawood VC also participated in the Series A round. The company says it will use the injection of capital to build out its product and hire more people, as well as business development. Pear, Uncork Capital, SV Angel, Cota Capital and Trucks VC are seed investors in Quadric.io. The roots of Quadric.io grew from …

Voi unveils longer-lasting e-scooters designed to withstand rentals, and launches its first e-bikes

Voi Technology, the “micromobility” startup that operates an e-scooter service on the streets of a growing number of European cities, has unveiled a range of new scooters and a first e-bike more suited to rentals. The company is also revealing plans to expand to another 150 cities and towns, having ratcheted up 2 million rides in eight months since launching. Voi currently operates in 18 cities in nine European countries — including Stockholm, Madrid, Copenhagen, Paris, Lyon and Lisbon — and will open up in Germany, Belgium, Poland and Italy this summer. In a call, Voi CEO and co-founder Fredrik Hjelm told me the new hardware rollouts are part of the Swedish company’s plans to become a broader micromobility play …

Architect I.M. Pei Dead At 102

World-renowned architect Ieoh Ming Pei, known as I.M. Pei, died at age 102.  told The New York Times on Thursday that his father had died overnight. architect was known for iconic designs, such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France. Among his most famous projects were museums like the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the JFK Library in Boston, designed in the 1970s, as well as buildings like the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong in the 1980s and the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan in the 1990s.  met with criticism from many in France’s art establishment. favorites among his works. “It’s like a man with many children … They all have …

How startups can use Amazons SEO best practices to dominate new shopping verticals

Eli Schwartz On-page SEO – This is anything to do with optimizing an actual page or website for maximum SEO visibility. Within this bucket will fall efforts such as the content of a page, metadata, internal links, URL/folder names,  and even things like images. Content Cross-linking

Whitney Biennial 2019: why is this year’s show so safe?

The show, increasingly typified by controversial resistance art, is presenting a mostly safe front this year despite a growing protest over a Whitney trustee When the doors open on the sixth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first thing one sees is a snowman painting by Calvin Marcus. Its an underwhelming statement for the Whitney Biennial, arguably Americas most politically charged art event, which opens on Friday. The curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, both staffers at the museum, wanted to take a more subtle approach for this 79th edition of the biennial, which features 75 artists, half of whom are women. Despite the countrys political upheaval and the looming elections in 2020, it comes as a …

Goodbye to Gomorrah: the end of Italy’s most notorious housing estate

Famous as the setting for the hit Italian film and TV series Gomorrah, the towers of Le Vele became synonymous with poverty and organised crime until residents took charge When I think of my life in Le Vele, my skin crawls with rage, says Omero Benfenati. He looks out from a dark, narrow passageway framed by suspended steel stairways that block the natural light and lead up to abandoned apartments. Most of the windows are bricked up, and liquid leaks from split pipes on to the sewage and refuse-strewn asphalt several storeys below. We used to play down there, says Benfenati, now a housing activist. The uncollected rubbish bags make ideal goalposts for five-a-side football. Just a few years ago, …

Sterile or stirring? Britain’s love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UKs controversial postwar towns People sometimes say to me, You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town, said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, My god, thats unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good. If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of Stevenage, …

Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich review the tale of the Winklevoss twins

Coders, cocktails and a bank heist in reverse the brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg and hit bitcoin boom time If you have seen Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea to make Facebook. (Zuckerberg eventually settled for $65m.) In that film they were portrayed as faintly ridiculous comic relief, personifying the establishment against which the geeks triumphed. No doubt, then, they were eager to be interviewed for this book, in which they are the heroes. Ben Mezrich wrote the non-fiction account on which The Social Network was based, The Accidental Billionaires, and since it seems that the word billionaires works well in a book title, he is back to tell the story of how the Winklevi as they are commonly …

Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spires An architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to were damaged in a firein April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a contemporary gesture in rebuilding it more beautiful than before, and the prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, called for a new spire adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era. The said the architect Alexandre Chassang, who has designed a proposal for a glass spire. PierreTrollment (@PierreTrollment) Pour la transissions cologique. pic.twitter.com/hmHLfCrZ9U Florian Renucci, a master mason at the experimental medieval building site at Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate …

10 of the worlds best city views: readers travel tips

These stunning viewpoints put the fun into funiculars and the drama into panorama and many have art, bars and cafes to enjoy, too Winning tip: Jaipur, India Nahargarh Fort sprawls around a rocky outcrop above the Pink City of Jaipur in sthan province. Take a rickshaw up the hairpin road or go in the evening and tackle the stiff 20-minute hike up the path from the citys northern edge. Wander the extensive battlements and find an empty rampart or dome-covered lookout for incredible views over the constant tumult of Jaipur. Grab a late beer at the forts Padao Cafe and watch the famous pink render of the citys buildings glow in the evening sun.SPD Havana, Cuba Photograph: Kate Hockenhull/Alamy The …