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GLASS LIFE IN FUTURE

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The Sifter's Top 10 Homes of 2010 If you’re a regular reader of the Sifter you’re familiar with my real estate fascination. I love posting all types of homes. From the unique and interesting to the grand and opulent. The Biggest and Most Expensive Home Posted in 2010 This staggering 48,00 square foot mega-mansion in the Cayman Islands was listed at a jaw-dropping $59 million USD! The Best Use of Limited Space [500 sq ft] Architects Darrick Borowski and Danny Orenstein show us that it’s possible to live quite comfortably in 500 square feet (46 sq m). The Most Exotic Home Posted in 2010 Located in gorgeous Phuket, Thailand, this stunning property boasts over 8,000 square feet of interior space and over 8,500 square feet of outdoor terrace space as well! The Craziest Penthouse Posted in 2010 It’s not surprising that the craziest, most outlandish penthouse posted in 2010 would be in New York City. The Coolest Retrofit Property of 2010 It’s a 1965 Boeing 727 converted into a hotel room. The Most Unique Property of 2010

Chronicle: Universal robotic gripper Robert Barker/University Photography The human hand is an amazing machine that can pick up, move and place objects easily, but for a robot, this "gripping" mechanism is a vexing challenge. Opting for simple elegance, researchers from Cornell, the University of Chicago and iRobot Corp. have created a versatile gripper using everyday ground coffee and a latex party balloon, bypassing traditional designs based on the human hand and fingers. They call it a universal gripper, as it conforms to the object it's grabbing, rather than being designed for particular objects, said Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and computer science. John Amend The robotic gripper conforms to the shape of the item it is lifting. "This is one of the closest things we've ever done that could be on the market tomorrow," Lipson said. Here's how it works: An everyday party balloon filled with ground coffee -- any variety will do -- is attached to a robotic arm.

Hug Chair by Ilian Milinov A Chair for Clingy Lovers If you’ve ever had someone sit in your lap, you know that 15 minutes is about the max your legs can handle. It’s really not fair. The Hug chair brings simple design and human gesture together for that extra time you want to sit with your significant other. When you’re away from your special someone the extra seat doubles as a convenient space, perfect for catching up on video chat. Designer: Ilian Milinov Rolling Bridge ? Heatherwick Studio London, UK The studio was commissioned to design a pedestrian bridge to span an inlet of the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Basin, London, and provide an access route for workers and residents. Crucially, the bridge needed to open to allow access for the boat moored in the inlet. The aim was to make the movement the extraordinary aspect of the bridge. A common approach to designing opening bridges is to have a single rigid element that fractures and lifts out of the way. The structure opens using a series of hydraulic rams integrated into the balustrade. The whole structure was constructed at Littlehampton Welding on the Sussex coast and then floated up the Grand Union Canal, before being lifted into position and attached to the hydraulic system which powers its movement. The Rolling Bridge won a number of awards including a Structural Steel Award, and an Emerging Architecture Award. Go to images

D.I.Y. Is in Their DNA Some people build their own doghouses or tree houses. Jacob and Melissa Brillhart’s D.I.Y. project was a little more elaborate: They hand-built a 1,500-square-foot house. Never again, they insist. Still, one wonders, why do it in the first place? Sure, they are both trained as architects, and he has his license, but most architects are content to leave the heavy lifting to the contractors. Mr. He grew up in Canterbury, N.H., home of the Canterbury Shaker Village, which “had some kind of influence on me,” he said. But more important, perhaps, was what happened when he was five: His parents gut-renovated a 1780 house. “I don’t think my family is quite as extreme,” said Ms. So in 2011, while they were living in a one-bedroom apartment in Miami Beach, Fla., they decided they should build their own house. What they discovered is that when you set about doing something yourself, help often presents itself at every turn. “They taught us to go back to the basics, to time-tested strategies,” Mr.

Was It Too Soon to Be Sustainable? Photo Warren, Vt. — Dotty Kyle and Eric Brattstrom had an ambitious vision for the home they would build when they sold their bed-and-breakfast here seven years ago and retired. They were environmental and community advocates, so they wanted it to be as sustainable as possible — ideally net-zero, producing as much energy as it used. And because they would be living on a modest fixed income, they needed to make sure it was inexpensive to maintain. But they didn’t want to scrimp on luxury or size, so against their architect’s advice they insisted on 5,000 square feet, enough space to accommodate all their children and grandchildren at the same time. The indoor pool was just for fun. “We sold a nine-bedroom B&B and then pretty much recreated it right up the street,” said Ms. “I was an idiot and built a house that was way too complicated and labor-intensive,” said Mr. The good news? With 71 photovoltaic and eight solar hot-water collectors, there is plenty of free power. And because Mr. Mr.

D.I.Y. Is in Their DNA Some people build their own doghouses or tree houses. Jacob and Melissa Brillhart’s D.I.Y. project was a little more elaborate: They hand-built a 1,500-square-foot house. Never again, they insist. Still, one wonders, why do it in the first place? Sure, they are both trained as architects, and he has his license, but most architects are content to leave the heavy lifting to the contractors. Mr. He grew up in Canterbury, N.H., home of the Canterbury Shaker Village, which “had some kind of influence on me,” he said. But more important, perhaps, was what happened when he was five: His parents gut-renovated a 1780 house. “I don’t think my family is quite as extreme,” said Ms. So in 2011, while they were living in a one-bedroom apartment in Miami Beach, Fla., they decided they should build their own house. What they discovered is that when you set about doing something yourself, help often presents itself at every turn. “They taught us to go back to the basics, to time-tested strategies,” Mr.

AI Revolution 101 — AI Revolution AI Revolution 101 Our last invention, greatest nightmare, or pathway to utopia? About This essay, originally published in eight short parts, aims to condense the current knowledge on Artificial Intelligence. It explores the state of AI development, overviews its challenges and dangers, features work by the most significant scientists, and describes the main predictions of possible AI outcomes. Introduction Assuming that human scientific activity continues without major disruptions, artificial intelligence may become either the most positive transformation of our history or, as many fear, our most dangerous invention of all. Exponential Growth The Guiding Principle Behind Technological Progress To more intuitively grasp the guiding principles of AI revolution, let’s first step away from scientific research. So you wonder which era should you time-travel to, and decide to hop back around 200 years. Now there are three of you, enormously excited to do it again. So what happened? What’s Next?

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