SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Nov 2, 2015
Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week
- 3D batteries with sponge-like structure, made of porous materials, are cheaper, faster to charge, smaller and less toxic. Made by a company called Prieto Battery.
- The first viral-based cancer therapy was approved by the US FDA. T-VEC, a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus that can help treat advanced melanoma, a type of malignant cancer. T-VEC carries a gene encoding protein that triggers the immune system.
- Harvard Physicists have created a metamaterial where phase velocity of light is infinite. This velocity is the speed of waves that ripple when light hits a material. If it can be commercially applied, the light-powered communications can be million times faster.
- 3D printed teeth can now be pre-built with oral hygiene. Dutch scientist has developed an antimicrobial plastic that is made by adding antimicrobial salts to dental resin (stuff dentists use to fill cavities), and then hardened with UV light. The material kills bacteria on contact.
In Tech News
- Google is sending out balloons to float in the stratosphere to provide free internet. Called project ‘Loon’ details here. Indonesia – latest country to sign up.
- EU will abolish data roaming charges starting June 2017. But, if you’re travelling to Europe, read the fine-print from your operator.
- Here is the latest update on the Hyperloop. The test track is slated to begin construction in 2016.
Start you up (week’s start-up stories and insights)
- Why on-demand home cleaning company Homejoy failed?
- How WhatsApp became a phenomenon, by Brian Action, Co-founder.
- A Singapore entrepreneur’s guide with a to-do list to making it in Silicon Valley.
What are Microplastics?
Microplastics are small plastic materials in the environment that are between 1 and 5 mm. They are used in cosmetics, scrubs etc to scrub away dead cells. They can absorb persistent organic pollutants and get through water treatment facilities unnoticed. Consider getting cosmetics and soaps that doesn’t contain microbeads. Here is a list of products (.pdf) that contain microbeads. Start with the scrubs.
- How to avoid surge pricing on Uber?
Did you know?
- Most table salt is full of microplastics. Study in China tested quantity of microplastics in table salt from sea salt and found it to be high. Microplastics maybe also found in Shellfish.
- China abandoned its one child policy after 35 years. Greater than 10% of population is over 65. Lots of parents going no-kid route. The intended baby boom might not happen.
- Caffeine may help curb depression a bit. Have a cup of coffee when you feel a bit down.
- Nail polishes could be leaching toxins into your bloodstream. Some popular nail paints contain a suspected endocrine disruptor called TPHP.
- You shouldn’t refrigerate bread in a plastic bag. Sliced breads become hard and stale over time. Putting that in the fridge will fasten the process. A better way to do it is to buy whole loaves, cut away what you need and put the rest in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Why a lot of people pay to get scared. Basically, it triggers great flight-or-fight response with a release of higher levels of dopamine, endorphins and adrenalin in a safe environment. Brain high. ScareHouse, a haunted house in Pittsburgh gets 3,000 customers a night in peak season before Halloween.
- Fathers in South Korea go to a Durrano Fathers School where they learn how to hug their kids. Basically, they teach how not to be absent.
Did you read?
- If you’re trying to be a growth hacker (a role where you multiply user growth quickly in a startup), you should try ‘Growth Hacker Marketing’ by Ryan Holiday. It’s a quick read.
- Grofers acquired Spoonjoy and Townrush last week. Calling it an acqui-hire. Which means, no significant cash or equity is being exchanged.
- TinyOwl raised $7.7 million last week. One of the few ones to get more capital. But that’s after they laid off 160 employees in Bangalore, Pune last month. This gives them a year for managing costs and make some revenue.
- Swiggy (Bangalore) has stated that they don’t believe in a heavy discounting model. They increased delivery rates and cut down discounts. Not surprising. One way of trying to get out of a maze.
- Most of these startups have begun to outsource last mile connectivity to delivery partners such as Roadrunnr. This helps saves hiring costs but increases vendor costs.
Less costly and more convenient solutions cause disruption. But what creates sustenance is revenue and profitability. When startups want to uberfy, their focus should more on economics than on technology
Arcluster has partnered with research resellers to promote its research studies to a global audience. You can now procure our latest farm drones market report from our reseller partners ResearchandMarketsand Market Publishers. We are also in talks with a couple of leading distributors to bring our studies to the Asian markets in Japan and Korea. Follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company. Subscribe to our media alerts to be informed.
Folks, that’s it for last week. Good week ahead!