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Floaters that turn ocean waves into renewable energy could power our homes



Blue metal floaters attached to an old World War II ammo jetty in Gibraltar’s coastline oscillate up and down, converting the moderate rise and fall of waves into renewable electricity. 

The floaters were developed by Eco Wave Power, a business that aims to turn man-made structures like breakwaters and piers into renewable energy sources.

According to the development team, each batch of these floaters is specifically created to accommodate the particular wave conditions where they are deployed. 

For instance, smaller waves require smaller floaters since they are easier to move up and down, whereas larger waves can accommodate larger floaters and hence require fewer of them.

Land-based accumulators that are built into large blue shipping containers are inflated by the movement of the floaters. 

A hydraulic motor is turned by the fluid pressure caused by the rising waves. That then starts a generator, which turns on an inverter to transfer electricity to the power grid.

The hydraulic pressure generated by the floaters is converted into electrical energy for the grid inside one of Eco Wave Power’s land-based containers.

When waves become too high during a storm, the unit automatically locks into an upright position to protect itself, and once the bad weather has gone, it descends back into the sea.

According to Eco Wave Power, its complete system — from floater to grid— is about 50% efficient, which means that roughly 50% of the wave energy that enters the system is successfully transformed into electricity. To put that number into perspective, consider that it is higher than the typical solar panel efficiency of 15% to 20%, the typical wind turbine efficiency of 20% to 40%, and the typical coal power plant efficiency of 33%, according to a CNET report.

There are now a few areas where the company consistently provides grid power, and more are on the way. The company’s first grid-connected station was inaugurated in Gibraltar in 2016 and a second one is presently being built at Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv, Israel. In early 2023, a third is anticipated to open in Los Angeles.

The quantity of energy generated by each floater depends on the local wave conditions. Each of the company’s floaters in Jaffa, according to Inna Braverman, co-founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, may produce up to 10 kWh, or roughly enough energy for 10 households.

According to Braverman, the business has carried out numerous environmental studies, which have revealed no adverse effects on the environment. Additionally, the fluid used to generate the hydraulic pressure within the system is biodegradable.


WhatsApp rolls out new ‘text editor’ experience




Meta-owned WhatsApp has announced back-to-back new features for its users and recently, the messaging app is rolling out a new text editor experience, WaBetaInfo reported. 

According to the app-tracking website, the new feature has been released to some of the beta testers as of yet and will be rolled out to more users in a future update. 

Through the revamped text editor, users will be able to edit images, videos, and GIFs with the help of new tools and fonts. The new feature is also being developed for the iOS version of the app. 

— WaBetaInfo
— WaBetaInfo 

The screenshot shows that users should open the text editor to check this feature is available in their accounts. If the new update is available, users will be able to use several features. 

Even though it was possible to change the font of a text, through this feature users will quickly be able to switch between different fonts by tapping one of the font options shown above the keyboard. 

Through this, users have more control over how to format text within images, videos, and GIFs as they will be able to align the text to the left, centre, or right. 

“Users can change the text background colour, which makes it easier for users to differentiate important text from the rest,” said WaBetaInfo

Some of the new fonts that have been released to beta testers include Calistoga, Courier Prime, Damion, Exo 2, and Morning Breeze. 

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Pakistan, China to deepen cooperation in meteorological science




In a major development, time-tested friends Pakistan and China have agreed to strengthen cooperation in meteorological science and technology.

The development came during a meeting of meteorological officers and experts from China and Pakistan held in Beijing last week.

Both sides reviewed the cooperation in the field of meteorological science and technology, and consulted on topics like early warning supporting system, operational capacity building, and training, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Thursday.

During the meeting, China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Deputy Administrator Zhang Zuqiang said that Beijing looks forward to promoting the construction of cloud-based early warning supporting system with Pakistan.

“Pakistan will continue to support CMA in international meteorological governance,” said Mahr Sahibzad Khan, Director General of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and permanent representative of Pakistan with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). “Pakistan is grateful for CMA’s technical support when Pakistan was hit by severe floods last year.”

Mahr Sahibzad Khan and the Pakistani delegation also visited relevant agencies under CMA to learn about the progress of the cloud-based early warning support system in Pakistan and discussed customized plans for Pakistan. “PMD and CMA will strengthen cooperation in monitoring, forecasting, hydrology and communication, and research & training,” he said.

China and Pakistan are important members of WMO Regional Association II. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries is of vital significance for meteorological development in Asia.

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Humanity at risk: Musk, others ring alarm bells over hasty ‘giant AI experiments’




Hundreds of celebrated artificial intelligence (AI) researchers including Tesla owner Elon Musk have undersigned an open letter recommending AI labs to revisit gigantic AI systems, ringing alarm bells over the “profound risks” these bots pose to society and humanity.

According to the letter, published by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute, AI labs are currently locked in an “out-of-control race” to develop and deploy machine learning systems “that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” said the open letter.

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.

AI engineers around the world want to make sure that these powerful AI systems should be allowed to take logical time for the researchers to make sure they were safe.

Among the signatories of the letter are author Yuval Noah Harari, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, politician Andrew Yang, and several well-known AI researchers and CEOs, including Stuart Russell, Yoshua Bengio, Gary Marcus, and Emad Mostaque. 

The letter was mainly prompted by the release of GPT-4 from the San Francisco firm OpenAI.

The company says its latest model is much more powerful than the previous version, which was used to power ChatGPT, a bot capable of generating tracts of text from the briefest of prompts.

“Therefore, we call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” says the letter. “This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

Musk was an initial investor in OpenAI, spent years on its board, and his car firm Tesla develops AI systems to help power its self-driving technology, among other applications.

The letter, hosted by the Musk-funded Future of Life Institute, was signed by prominent critics as well as competitors of OpenAI like Stability AI chief Emad Mostaque.

The letter quoted from a blog written by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, who suggested that “at some point, it may be important to get independent review before starting to train future systems”.

“We agree. That point is now,” the authors of the open letter wrote.

“Therefore, we call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

They called for governments to step in and impose a moratorium if companies failed to agree.

The six months should be used to develop safety protocols, AI governance systems, and refocus research on ensuring AI systems are more accurate, safe, “trustworthy and loyal”.

The letter did not detail the dangers revealed by GPT-4.

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