Round-Up: The Technology You Missed This Week

The NSA broke Syria’s internet


In 2012 the NSA took out all internet connectivity in Syria – the disruption had previously been blamed on President Bashar al-Assad.

In a beautifully presented long form feature, from Wired, Edward Snowden speaks in detail about his motivations for leaking the NSA documents.

Source: Wired

Image courtesy of 360b /

Renewable’s the way to go


More than a fifth of the world’s electrical energy is now provided by renewable sources, a new report has revealed.

It also said that half of the new energy creating capacity introduced last year was from renewable sources.

Source: Renewable Energy World

Sunscreen and pencils


A sixteen-year-old has created a paint-like substance which is able to break down pollutants which it comes into contact with.

The newly created product is made using chemicals which are in both sunscreen and pencils.

Source: Inhabitat

Cannabis powered batteries


Apparently it is possible for cannabis to be used to power batteries and not just any batteries, extremely powerful super capacitors.

That’s the finding of researchers from one American university who discovered the future of batteries could be hemp.

Source: AlterNet

The world’s fastest camera


The quickest camera in the world is able to capture 4.4 trillion frames per second beating the previous record by a mere three trillion frames per second.

Unfortunately it won’t be developed for commercial purposes but the technology may be used for medical research.

Source: International Business Times

In Pictures: This week’s most futuristic designs


Avo: self-cleaning fishtank

This fish tank gets a lot of points for style, but better is the fact that it also doesn’t need it’s filter to be cleaned or water to be changed. It has a self-maintaining system that combines a sustainable bacteria-laden filter and plants growing in the bowl to form  a cycle that keeps the bowl clean. It also features automated light and heating to keep your fish well cared for. If you fancy one, you may be in luck: a white version is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

Via Noux.


Blunt: umbrella

Climate change is bringing more wind and rain to many of our streets, so we need an umbrella that can handle it. Step in Blunt, a Chinese company that makes ultra robust umbrellas that look decidedly high-tech.  Tested for aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, these umbrellas feature an array of patented technologies to help you endure the storms without fighting with an inside-out mess.

Via Blunt.


The Unseen: colour-changing coat

This rather dramatic coat’s glistening colour scheme is more than just eye-catching. It changes colour in response to changes in an array of environmental conditions, including heat, UV, pollution, chemicals and sound. As well as looking impressive, the jacket could be used to determine the presence of dangerous chemicals or gases, making it ideal for hazardous areas.

Via Discovery.


Windwaker: wind energy capturing public park

Designed to sit on Copenhagen’s seaport, this array of structures are designed to capture wind energy while providing shading to visitors of the park below. It’s an exciting idea for green energy, leading with the aesthetic approach in a way other projects fail to.

Via designboom.


Iceberg: housing project

This stark housing project in Denmark is designed to mimic an iceberg, with more than 10 ‘peaks’ making up the whole development. The jagged shape angular windows also serve another purpose – to let as many people have view of the adjacent ocean as possible and provide maximum daylight.

Via Inhabitat.