RoboMasters China

China’s Awesome Robotics Challenge

It’s called RoboMasters and it’s more important than it may seem. At first sight it could be classified as a nerdy game show. It is much, much more than that.

This has seriously impressed me. I’m seeing a fascinating amount of innovation and initiative arising from China in the past few years. The country is on the rise in a deeper, more meaningful way than in the “manufacturing powerhouse” decades.

World Peace

Amid Souring Relations, Russia Pulls out of Nuclear Treaty

During the past few weeks and months, there have been some worrying rumblings among the world’s superpowers. We’ve witnessed a serious degradation of relations between Russia and the USA, while China is slowly but surely pursuing its own agenda.

Part of a process of rebalancing itself in the planetary power-play, Russia has recently been involved in military exercises together with China. This sends a clear message that the Eurasian superpowers are waking up to the fact that they share more points in common than just the massive landmass they occupy. These military drills were held in the contested waters of the South China Sea. There, the USA has been involved in arbitration between other claimant nation-states. But the balance is quickly shifting, even as Philippines’ human rights violator and political wildcard Rodrigo Duterte cares little about the meddling of far-away USA in regional matters.

Autism Genetics Ultrasound

Connection Between Ultrasound, Autism and Genetic Disorders?

A recent study has found a possible connection between the severity of autism symptoms in children and ultrasound scans during the first trimester of pregnancy. Apparently, the worsening of symptoms occurs only when certain genetic disorders are involved. But here’s the thing: if ultrasound does have an effect, it means that it affects any fetus, regardless if there are symptoms or not.

CRISPR Designer Babies

CRISPR. Designer Babies on the Way?

It was bound to happen sooner or later. CRISPR, the acronym associated with a major breakthrough in genetic engineering has just brought us much closer to being able to perform arbitrary changes in living organisms. This is important because it may bring us closer to finding cures for thousands of diseases, create anti-aging treatments and even change features in our unborn children.

The Internet Diagram

The Internet Is 25 Years Old

Few discoveries have changed mankind so much in so little time. Even fewer have their future in as much doubt as the Internet. Even though the Internet is still technically open and anybody’s public thoughts can be accessed, it doesn’t mean that worthy information can actually reach the people that need it.

Search engines have become gate-keepers of sorts while social networks transform themselves into walled gardens. Mobile apps are also filtering out the open web into cute little boxes where companies keep their users enthralled.

Dark Window Tinting

The Danger Posed by Vehicles with Tinted Windows

“The need for the eye contact is something hard to do with tinted windows. As a pedestrian, before you step off a curb when you arrive at a four-way stop, the interaction with a driver requires a degree of not just acknowledgment, but trust. I have to know what you intend to do, and I have to know that you’ve seen me.”

Once we get thinking about the dangers of tinted windows, a lot of risks will immediately pop into a driver’s mind: dangers of changing lanes in the dark, parking in an insufficiently lit garage and so on.

China Quantum Satellite Launch

China Invests in Quantum Cryptography and Not a Moment Too Late

In the past years, a steady stream of revelations has shown the extent at which governments spy on us. This shocked nobody in the know. We’ve suspected it all along.

China is moving towards ensuring secure and private communications for itself and, I suspect in the near future, for any entity that pays a hefty fee. Large corporations will definitely be interested in having access to a spy-proof communications network.