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The Future

Technology + Engineering = The Future



With the diversity of advanced technologies available for growers to save labor, automate processes, and control their greenhouse environments, there’s one important human element that’s missing from most operations: a greenhouse engineer.

“We’ve seen growers shut down possible technologies because they don’t understand how to use them, or they don’t use a system to its full potential” says Peter Ling, associate professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) Department of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering. “And, if technology breaks down, they don’t know how to fix it.”

These are driving forces behind a new specialization at the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster, Ohio. The two-year Greenhouse Engineering Technology specialization is the only one of its kind in the country, and it’s a partnership between ATI and OSU. The degree merges studies in traditional horticulture technology, engineering, and new greenhouse technology.

“We want to train our students as technicians so they can help growers,” Ling says. “They understand horticulture and technology. They understand how to use advanced computer controls to maintain an ideal environment for plants.”

Greenhouse Engineering Technology students learn to use sensors, control strategies, actuators, and electro-mechanical equipment. They also work with smart irrigation systems, pesticide application equipment, and materials handling systems.

“To us, the key is for growers to understand the potential of the technology and to be able to use it to its full potential,” Ling says, relating that one student in last year’s graduating class had four job offers on the table. “We are getting a great response from the industry. It shows us that we need to train more students to supply the demand.”


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The Future

What The Future Of Farming Will Look Like Thanks To Technology




As the food industry continues to evolve, advanced technology is becoming a more prominent part of farming. In recent interviews, three experts shared their ideas about the future of farming and tech. Ofir Schlam, CEO and co-founder of Taranis, Jason Green, the CEO and co-founder of Edenworks, and Kevin Brown, CEO and co-founder of Innit, discussed the changes that will happen.

“In 2017, tech startups in the agriculture sphere raised $670 million to develop software management, big data analytics, automated equipment and other cutting-edge tools that help farmers grow crops with scientific precision. While companies face several challenges, such as imaging limitations and a lack of data management, farmers are still keen to introduce technologies to improve farm management. Between today’s labor shortages and the world’s rising demand for food, farmers must look to technology to predict and prevent threats to millions of acres of crops worldwide,” Schlam says.

Canola field. Photo by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images photo credit: picture alliance via Getty Images

Canola field. Photo by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images photo credit: picture alliance via Getty Images GETTY

Brown believes that every step of the food journey, from farm to fork, will be influenced by technology. Smart supply chains will track and report where the food came from and how it was handled, down to the individual package. Blockchain tech will enhance trust as food information is captured and shared at every point of the journey. New sensors will allow people to rapidly scan food and measure it down to the molecular level, ensuring better quality and transparency.

Schlam agrees and sees artificial intelligence (AI) as an important component of the future. While current technology is far more advanced than the tools previous generations used, there needs to be a renewed focus on technology using AI capabilities to make massive amounts of data useful and actionable. The future of farming will be dependent on precision technology, the adoption of automated practices, indoor urbanized farming and more. All of these innovations will help to propagate the growth of farming crops. The ultimate goal is to create a synergy between farming and technology that works with the forces of nature to maximize production.

Working with nature and not against it is a crucial part, according to Green. “The basis of our technology is ecosystems. It is our belief that the more we can replicate the biodiversity of nature, and the microbial diversity that results, the faster and more healthy our plants and fish will grow. Future farms will have an increasing focus on microbial health. Generic sequencing of the microbiome will help us understand what microbial communities exist in our system at any given point enabling us to understand the health of our farm’s immune system before disease actually hits,” Green explains.

Green’s company is focused on making indoor farming cost competitive with field farming. He believes it is the only way to make the sustainability benefits of aquaponic farming truly widespread and impactful. As opposed to the Industrial Revolution, which created cheap products through brute force, synthetic chemicals and backbreaking labor, he thinks it is possible to fulfill this mission by looking to nature to do most of the work for people. “A mantra that we use internally is that by harnessing nature’s complexity, we share its abundance,” Green shares.

Brown looks at the big picture and sees tech innovations spreading from the farm to the table. Increasingly, food recommendations will be made by software based on personalized nutrition. Users will simply indicate their preferences, and the right items will show up. Machine learning advances in voice and vision will create more seamless assistance with shopping, managing food and cooking. New cooking technologies powered by automated cooking programs will enable vastly improved quality of home-cooked meals while reducing stress and time requirements.


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The Future

This is what the Samsung Galaxy Note10 will look like




Yesterday a schematic of the Galaxy Note10’s rear camera arrangement leaked, and we showed you a render approximating what that would look like on the back of the upcoming device. What about the front, though?

Since the Galaxy S10+ comes with two sensors in the punch-hole screen cutout, you’d expect the Note10 to have at least that number of cameras tucked in there, but apparently you’d be wrong. Both the Note10 and the Note10 Pro (yes, we’re getting two models this yearfour if you count the 5G-enabled offshoots) will only employ one front-facing camera.

This information comes from Ice universe, a leakster that has provided reliable info in the past. And it is the same person who has confirmed that this render of the upcoming Note10 is in fact correct. This, then, is what Samsung’s next flagship smartphone will look like.

The render was created by Ben Geskin and is not a leaked image, but we should probably expect it to be extremely close to the official promo pictures. Once again the new vertical arrangement of the rear cameras is confirmed, with two islands – a bigger one towards the left edge, and a smaller one to its right, housing the LED flash, ToF camera, and possibly a flood illuminator too. Over in the main hump, expect to see a wide, ultra-wide, and tele lens, and don’t be surprised if these are identical to those in the Galaxy S10+.

It’s good to see Samsung ditching its horizontally aligned camera island abominations for the Note10, but apparently the new design is controversial. So what do you think? Does it look better than what we got for the S10+ and S10 5G?


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The Future

These 3 Computing Technologies Will Beat Moore’s Law




There’s a big lie about disruption going around. And folks aren’t spreading it intentionally.

Many smart investors I talk to genuinely believe it to be the truth.

If you accept this widespread lie, you’ll likely make poor decisions when investing in disruptive companies.

Here, I’ll explain the real truth and why it matters to disruption investors.

Your Smartphone Is More Powerful than an Early ‘90s Supercomputer

Your smartphone can do the job of a whole collection of gadgets.

It’s a phone, camera, camcorder, Walkman, watch, wallet, radio, global map, TV, VCR, and computer all in one.

And keep in mind, all a supercomputer does is crunch numbers. We have “Moore’s law” to thank for this.

Named after Intel founder Gordon Moore, it observes that computing power doubles roughly every two years.

This has led to exponential growth in computing power.

As you may know, exponential growth “snowballs” over time. It builds momentum and eventually leads to vertical gains, as you can see here:


For the past few decades, computing power has more or less followed this path.

This Is the Driving Force Behind Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law says the number of transistors that can fit on a computer chip doubles about every two years.

Transistors allow computers to compute. The more transistors you cram onto a chip, the more computing power it has.

Again, for the past 50 years, this has more or less held true. Back in 1965, only 64 transistors fit on the world’s most complex computer chip.

More than 10 billion transistors can fit on today’s chips.

Moore’s law is responsible for many of the giant stock market gains in the past few decades.

Leaps in computing power enabled big disruptors like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon to achieve huge gains like 50,800%, 159,900%, and 111,560%.

And along the way, the companies that make the computer chips have gotten rich, too.

Taiwan Semiconductor, Micron Technology, and Intel achieved gains of 1,014%, 3,256%, and 35,050%.

Conventional wisdom is that Moore’s law will continue to snowball. As progress gets faster and faster, you can understand why many folks think we’re headed for a tech utopia.

It’s a great story. But it’s not quite true.

Moore’s Law Will Break Down

Moore’s law isn’t really a law. Gravity is a law. Moore’s law is an observation and a forecast.

As I mentioned, since 1965, it has held true. But here’s the key…

Within the next few years, Moore’s law will break down.

You see, although today’s transistors are microscopic, they still take up physical space. There’s a limit to how small you can make anything that occupies physical space.

We are now approaching that limit with transistors. So the progress predicted by Moore’s law must slow.

In fact, Moore’s law is already slowing down. Many technologists predict it will totally break down between 2022–2025.

Does that mean progress will stop?

Not a chance.

New technologies will pick up where Moore’s law leaves off. There are three exciting computing technologies in development you should know about.

3D Computing Hits the Market Later This Year

What does a city do when it runs short on land? It builds skyscrapers.

By building “up,” you can create real estate with the footprint of a one-story building, but one that holds 100X more people.

Something similar is just getting underway in computing.

You see, the “guts” of computers have always been two dimensional. Flat computer chips sit on a flat motherboard. Nothing moves in 3D. There’s no “up” or “down” inside a computer chip.

That’s now changing. In December, Intel (INTC) introduced its new 3D chip technology. It plans to begin selling it later this year.

Tech reporters are touting it as “how Intel will beat Moore’s law.”

Chips stacked in 3D are far superior to ones placed side by side. Not only can you fit multiples of transistors in the same footprint. You can better integrate all the chip’s functions.

This shortens the distance information needs to travel. And it creates many more pathways for information to flow.

The result will be much more speed and power packed into a small space. Eventually, 3D chips could be 1,000 times faster than existing ones.

DNA Computing Is a Bit Further off, but Its Potential Is Mind-Boggling

DNA carries the instructions that enable life.

As incredible as it sounds, DNA can be used for computing. In 1994, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California used DNA to solve a well-known mathematical problem.

One pound of DNA has the capacity to store more information than all the computers ever built.

A thumbnail-size DNA computer could theoretically be more powerful than today’s supercomputers.

I won’t get deep into the science here. DNA computing is still very early stage. But several companies, including Microsoft (MSFT), are working to push the technology forward.

Quantum Computing Could Be the Ultimate Disruption

The science behind quantum computing will bend your mind. To understand its potential, all you really need to know is this.

The basic unit of conventional computation is the bit. The more bits a computer has, the more calculations it can perform at once, and the more powerful it is.

With quantum computing, the basic unit of computation is called a quantum bit—or qubit.

Bits behave linearly. To get a 20-bit computer, you might add 2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2.

Qubits are different. Every qubit doubles computing power.

So, a 10-qubit computer could do 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 calculations at once, or 1,024.

A 100-qubit quantum computer could perform over 1,000 billion billion billion simultaneous calculations. Those numbers are too big for humans to comprehend.

In theory, a small quantum computer could exceed the power of a regular computer the size of the Milky Way galaxy.

With enough computing firepower, a quantum computer could solve any problem.

If we ever achieve far-out goals like controlling the weather, colonizing Mars, or reversing human aging, quantum computing will likely be the driving force.

There Are No Pure-Play Quantum Computing Stocks

They’re all private or have been scooped up by larger companies.

Many of the big tech players are developing quantum computing technology. Microsoft, IBM, Google (GOOG), and Intel are a few.

Google looks to be in the lead.

In March 2018, it unveiled its Bristlecone quantum processor, which the company thinks could achieve “quantum supremacy.”

Quantum supremacy is the “tipping point” for quantum computing. It’s the point when a quantum computer can beat a regular one in a useful task.

So far, scientists haven’t been able to crack this. But once quantum supremacy is reached, progress should take off very quickly.

This is yet another great reason to consider investing in Google.


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