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Engineering Students Use Sound Waves To Extinguish Fires工科男利用声波灭火Water, foam, sand, blankets, and even baking soda are well-known solutions to putting out flames. But sound waves? That has to be a first. But that is exactly what two young engineers from George Mason University are using to douse small fires.洒水、泡沫、沙土、毛毯甚至发酵粉都是常见的灭火方法,但声波灭火也许你是头回听说。Electrical and computer engineering students Viet Tran and Seth Robertson were looking for an interesting idea for their senior research project. That#39;s when they stumbled upon an experiment conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA ) in 2012. 电子工程专业学生Viet Tran和Seth Roberson当时正在为他们大四毕业设计找一个炫酷的方向,随后就偶然间发现了DARPA2012年做过的这个实验。Tran and Robertson decided to challenge themselves and see if they could take the research to the next level and build a fire extinguisher that could be used commercially. As with any radical idea, they faced a lot of skepticism even from faculty members many of whom declined to serve as advisors. Tran和Roberson打算挑战自我,看看能否进一步推进这个实验,制造出一款可以创造商业价值的灭火器。这个不切实际的想法让他们面对很对质疑,甚至还有许多学院成员拒绝做他们的导师。The young engineers first tried to extinguish the fire by placing a subwoofer near a flame created using rubbing alcohol. But they soon realized that #39;music#39; is not such a good idea since it is inconsistent and unpredictable. The next option was exposing the fire to 20,000 to 30,000 hertz frequencies. However with the high frequencies, the flames only vibrated. The duo hit a home run when they reduced the frequency to about 30 to 60 hertz. Turns out that at these low frequencies, the sound vibrates the oxygen away from the flames. With no fuel to keep them going, the fire suffocates and dies.两位年轻的工程师首先尝试了用低音炮熄灭酒精火源。很快,他们认识到,用音乐来灭火并不是一个好主意,因为音乐不连贯也不规则。另一个方案是把火置于2万到3万赫兹的频率中,但是无论音频有多高,火焰都只是震颤了几下。但当他们把频率降到了30-60赫兹的时候,就开始有效果了。实验明,在低音频下,声波把氧气从火焰中震颤出去,没了燃料,火很快就减小熄灭了。Tran and Robertson are not letting naysayers stray them from their goal. They are forging ahead with their idea, this time with the full support of the University who is even helping them apply for a provisional patent. If they do succeed, there may be soon be a time when fire trucks will be extinguishing flames with some sweet music, instead of messy toxic chemicals!这时的Tran和Roberson并没有让唱反调的人阻挡他们前进的步伐,他们正在不断推进自己的想法,也获得了来自校方的全力持。校方甚至要帮助他们申请为临时专利。如果发明成功的话,救火车以后就会不用脏脏的有毒化学物品灭火了,放些甜美的音乐就能搞定一切。译文属原创,仅供学习和交流使用,未经许可,。 /201507/385821

Earlier this year, the FT wrote that, as far as emerging market equity investors are concerned, the Brics are dead, and have been replaced by the Ticks. 今年早些时候,英国《金融时报》曾写道,就新兴市场股票投资者而言,金砖国家(Brics)已经名存实亡,取代它的是Ticks。 The rationale was that the collapse in commodity prices has badly holed the economies of Brazil and Russia which, in alliance with China and India, had formed the Brics quartet dreamt up by Jim O’Neill, then chief economist of Goldman Sachs, in 2001. 理由是大宗商品价格下跌重创了巴西和俄罗斯经济。当年这两个国家连同中国和印度被时任高盛(Goldman Sachs)首席经济学家的吉姆#8226;奥尼尔(Jim O#39;Neill)称为“金砖四国”(Bric)。 Instead, equity investors were buying into the Ticks, which feature Taiwan and (South) Korea, alongside China and India, ignominiously dumping Brazil and Russia in the process, as the first chart shows. 相反,今年早些时候股票投资者转而买入包含台湾和韩国的Ticks,同时大举抛售巴西和俄罗斯的股票,如图表一所示。 A key driver of the trend was the rise of technology companies in emerging markets, a sector in which each of the Ticks excels but Brazil and Russia do not. 该趋势的关键推动因素是新兴市场科技公司崛起,Ticks所有经济体的科技股板块均表现出色,而巴西和俄罗斯的科技公司表现欠佳。 As the second chart shows, tech stocks account for 35.9 per cent of Taiwan’s stock market capitalisation, 14.1 per cent of the Indian market and 9 per cent of that of South Korea. 如图表二所示,科技股占台湾股市市值的比重为35.9%,占印度股市的比重为14.1%,占韩国股市比重为9%。 Admittedly, technology stocks only constitute 4.8 per cent of China’s mainland equity market, but this is misleading. 应该承认,科技股占中国内地股市的比重仅为4.8%,但是该数据具有误导性。 As China’s onshore A shares are not yet included in MSCI’s flagship Emerging Market index, which is followed by most EM fund managers, what is meant by “China” is really Hong Kong. 由于中国A股尚未被纳入多数新兴市场基金经理追踪的MSCI新兴市场指数,所谓的“中国”实际上是指香港。 As the chart shows, Hong Kong has an 11.6 per cent weighting to tech stocks. Moreover, many of China’s largest technology companies, such as Alibaba, Baidu and Netease, are listed in New York but are also included in the MSCI EM index (as indeed are Taiwan and South Korea, for those who get hot under the collar about the FT describing them as emerging markets). 如图表二所示,香港科技板块的比重为11.6%。此外,中国很多大型科技公司——比如阿里巴巴(Alibaba)、百度(Baidu)和网易(Netease)——都是在纽约上市,但是也被纳入MSCI新兴市场指数(台湾和韩国也是,这些经济体对于被英国《金融时报》形容为新兴市场感到不快)。 Yet tech stocks account for just 4.1 per cent of the Russian stock market. This, admittedly, is not a pitifully low level: it is higher than in the European Union, Canada, Australia and poor old Brazil, where the weighting towards tech is a princely 0.3 per cent. 不过,科技股占俄罗斯股市的比重仅为4.1%。说实话,这并不是低得可怜的水平:它高于欧盟、加拿大、澳大利亚和可怜的巴西的科技股比重。科技股占巴西股市的比重仅有区区0.3%。 Yet, to someone whose formative years were lived during the cold war, when the Soviet Union and its arch nemesis the US were the two technological superpowers dominating the planet, it still seems odd. 不过,对于那些在冷战时期——当时的苏联及其死对头美国是主宰整个地球的两个技术超级大国——长大的人来说,这看上去仍有些奇怪。 The USSR was, of course, the first country to launch an artificial earth satellite and to send a man into space. Its rockets remain the only way astronauts, even those from the west, can reach the International Space Station. 苏联当然是首个发射人造卫星、首个把宇航员送入太空的国家。俄罗斯的火箭至今仍是宇航员(包括西方宇航员)进入国际空间站的唯一方式。 The Soviet Union’s strength in physics and mathematics ensured the country could match the best of America’s military technology, particularly in the nuclear sphere. 苏联在物理和数学方面的优势确保了它可以与美国的尖端军事技术、特别是核技术相匹敌。 So it might seem slightly puzzling that, when it comes to producing technology companies, Russia now lags so far behind the likes of China and India. “What the hell has gone wrong?” asks one person with knowledge of Russian industry. 因此,或许有点令人费解的是,在育科技企业方面,俄罗斯如今远远落后于中国和印度等国家。“到底出了什么问题?”一名熟悉俄罗斯工业的人士问道。 There appears to be little consensus as to what precisely has gone wrong, and what Moscow needs to do to better exploit its impressive scientific legacy. 对于俄罗斯到底出了什么问题、莫斯科方面需要采取什么行动才能更好地挖掘其令人印象深刻的科技遗产,各方似乎没有什么共识。 To David Lubin, head of emerging markets economics at Citi, part of the answer lies in Russia’s limited freedom of expression. 在花旗(Citi)的新兴市场经济主管戴维#8226;卢宾(David Lubin)看来,部分原因在于俄罗斯的言论自由有限。 “No one in Russia has much sense of being able to do things. I guess the explanation for that is deep in the political system and political culture. You have got to allow dissent and disagreement and artistic self expression to allow the innovation that technology relies on,” he says. “俄罗斯没人具有自己能够成就一番事业的感觉。我猜其原因深植于政治体制和政治文化。你必须允许异见、分歧和艺术性的自我表达,才能使科技赖以发展的创新涌现出来,”他称。 “To have depth you need to have political freedom, and no one does that like the US,” adds Mr Lubin, who cites the example of Lady Gaga, an often outlandishly attired singer, performing during the half-time interval of this year’s Super Bowl, the most watched event in the US television calendar, as an example of the sort of cultural freedom Russia would never countenance. “要有深度,你必须具有政治自由,在这一点上没有国家能像美国那样,”卢宾称,他以Lady Gaga今年在美国电视收视率最高的盛事超级碗(Super Bowl)中场休息时献唱为例,说明在俄罗斯永远得不到持的那种文化自由。Lady Gaga是一位歌手,常常穿着离经叛道的奇特装。 Having said that, countries such as China are not particularly noted for encouraging freedom of thought and expression either. 话虽如此,中国等国家也并不以鼓励思想自由和言论自由而闻名。 In contrast Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank, believes Russia has been a little more successful in the tech field than might at first appear. 相反,莫斯科投行晋新资本(Renaissance Capital)的全球首席经济学家查尔斯#8226;罗伯逊(Charles Robertson)认为,俄罗斯在科技领域比乍看之下更成功一些。 Mr Robertson cites the examples of Yandex, Russia’s answer to Google, and Mail.Ru, an internet group controlled by billionaire Alisher Usmanov. Perhaps less intuitively, he also argues Magnit, the country’s largest food retailer, can be regarded as a tech company. 罗伯逊以俄罗斯版的谷歌(Google) Yandex、以及由亿万富翁爱利舍#8226;乌斯马诺夫(Alisher Usmanov)控股的互联网集团Mail.Ru为例。他还认为,也许不那么直观的是,俄罗斯最大的食品零售商Magnit可以被视为科技公司。 “Retail is about logistics and the management of logistics. Magnit has developed [those operations] itself. It’s very sophisticated, it’s like Amazon,” Mr Robertson says. “零售是关于物流和物流管理的行业。Magnit自己发展了这些业务。这些业务的技术含量很高,就像亚马逊(Amazon),”罗伯逊称。 More broadly, he is hopeful that a “big push” from the Russian government to develop small and medium-sized enterprises will help improve the situation further. 整体而言,他对俄罗斯政府“大力推动”中小企业发展将进一步改善局面抱有希望。 “They know they have got too few people working in SMEs and too many in large companies. It’s about letting SMEs thrive and I think a lot of it will come in tech,” Mr Robertson says. “他们知道在中小企业工作的人太少了,在大企业工作的人太多了。这其中的关键在于让中小企业蓬勃发展,我认为很多中小企业将在科技行业涌现,”罗伯逊称。 Konstantin Styrin, assistant professor of economics at Moscow’s New Economic School, believes the main obstacle is the “poor quality of institutions” such as the rule of law, protection of property rights and the lack of an independent judiciary. 莫斯科新经济学院(New Economic School)经济学助理教授康斯坦丁#8226;斯特林(Konstantin Styrin)认为,主要障碍在于法治、产权保护、缺乏独立司法体系等“制度劣质”。 Although these deficiencies are likely to sap activity across all industries, he believes the technology sector may be particularly sensitive to the quality of institutions because of its relatively high-risk nature. 尽管这些缺陷很可能抑制所有行业的活力,但是他认为,由于相对高风险的特性,科技行业对制度质量可能格外敏感。 “Excessive regulation” is another handicap, Mr Styrin argues. “Businesses must comply with a huge number of rules and regulations. Many people believe that following all of them would be prohibitively costly. This implies that every firm has to violate some of those rules and therefore is vulnerable in the face of an inspection by tax authorities, fire department, etc.” 斯特林认为,“过度监管”是另一个障碍。“企业必须遵守大量的规章制度。很多人认为遵循所有规章制度的代价过于高昂。这意味着每家公司都不得不违反部分法规,因此他们在面对税务、消防等部门的检查时相当脆弱。” Edward Crawley, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of the Moscow-based Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, instead argues that the root of the problem stems from the break-up of the communist system. 麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)航空航天学教授、莫斯科的斯科尔科沃理工学院(Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology)的共同创始人爱德华#8226;克劳利(Edward Crawley)则认为,问题的根源在于共产党体制解体。 While the US still has an array of national laboratories and corporate research and development centres, many of the equivalent institutions in Russia “completely ceased to exist” when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. 美国仍然拥有一大批国家实验室和企业研发中心,而俄罗斯的很多类似机构在1991年苏联解体时“彻底关停”了。 As a result, the bridge between universities and commerce was broken, a disconnect the Skolkovo centre was designed to help rectify. 其结果是高校与商界之间的桥梁垮塌,创办斯科尔科沃创新中心的初衷就是帮助纠正这种脱节。 “There are very few sectors where you can take an idea right out of university and make a company of it. The maturation process of technology through to delivery into a product usually requires several intermediary steps,” Prof Crawley says. “很少有什么行业是你可以从高校得到创意、然后以此打造一家公司的。从技术到产品的成熟过程通常需要一些中间步骤,”克劳利称。 He argues that the UK, another country with a respectable academic scientific tradition but little success in producing tech companies (a meagre 1.5 per cent of the UK’s market cap) suffers from the same problem. 他认为,同样拥有受人尊敬的学术科学传统、但在育科技企业方面鲜有建树的英国受制于同样的问题。科技企业在英国股市的市值占比仅为区区1.5%。 “There are some similarities between the systems in Russia and the UK, which also has excellent universities and good industry and also doesn’t have a connection [between them],” Prof Crawley says. “俄罗斯和英国的体制之间存在一些相似性,英国也拥有出色的大学和经营有方的工业,(但两者之间)也没有衔接,”克劳利教授称。 Between 2003 and 2006 he was executive director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a joint venture with the British university, and he welcomes the creation of a series of “catapult centres” by the UK government to attempt to address this disconnect. 2003年至2006年间,克劳利曾担任剑桥—麻省理工研究院(Cambridge-MIT Institute,与剑桥共同成立的合资企业)的执行董事。他欢迎英国政府创建一系列“弹射中心”(catapult centre)以解决这种脱节的举措。 Despite the problems in Russia, Prof Crawley argues the country has still had some success in developing tech companies in sectors with “low capitalisation”, such as Yandex and Kaspersky Lab, a privately held data security group. 尽管俄罗斯存在问题,但克劳利教授认为该国在“低资本化”行业发展科技公司方面还是有一些成功,比如Yandex和私有的数据安全集团卡巴斯基实验室(Kaspersky Lab)。 It has also retained its “excellence” in a handful of strategic industries such as aeronautics, nuclear energy and space technology, he argues, where the country has done a better job in keeping the intermediary chain alive. 他认为,俄罗斯也保留了其在少数战略性产业(比如航空、核能源和空间技术)的“卓越”,同时该国在保持中介链活力方面做得比较好。 David Nangle, managing director of Vostok Emerging Finance, a venture capital group specialising in fintech, believes Russia’s struggles are wider than just a difficulty in commercialising technology. 专注金融科技的风险资本集团沃斯托克新兴金融(Vostok Emerging Finance)的董事总经理戴维#8226;南戈尔(David Nangle)认为,俄罗斯的困难不仅在于技术商业化。 “Even if you look beyond technology, Russians don’t export well. The global brands that come out of Russia are few and far between. It exports people well, not brands and technology,” says Mr Nangle, who lived in Russia for six years. “即使你考虑科技以外的领域,俄罗斯人在出口方面也鲜有建树。出自俄罗斯的全球品牌少之又少。它输出了优秀人才,但品牌和技术不行,”曾在俄罗斯生活了6年的南戈尔称。 He points out that a good number of chief technical officers in Silicon Valley and in Israel’s tech sector are from the former Soviet Union, such as Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, suggesting the pipeline of talent is there. 他指出,硅谷和以色列科技行业有很多来自前苏联的首席技术官,比如PayPal联合创始人马克斯#8226;莱文奇恩(Max Levchin),这似乎表明俄罗斯能够源源不断地培养人才。 The problem, he believes, is that Russia does not have the “enabling environment” of somewhere like Silicon Valley, which has “an ease of doing business, a lack of fear of failure and the belief that you can do anything”. 他认为,问题是俄罗斯没有像硅谷那样“让人施展才华的环境”,硅谷拥有“便利的营商条件、无惧失败、以及一切皆有可能的信念”。 In addition, Silicon Valley has an abundance of capital, something he says Russian tech companies are starved of. 另外,硅谷拥有充足的资本,南戈尔称这是俄罗斯科技企业得不到的。 “It’s very hard to get global capital to want to support young companies in Russia, but they are willing to put billions into some other countries,” he says. “很难说全球资本持俄罗斯的年轻企业,尽管它们愿意在其他一些国家投入巨资,”他称。 “Many global private equity houses are prepared to look at other emerging markets like Asia and Brazil, but currently not Russia. I was in Pakistan last week and global [investors] are starting to invest there,” says Mr Nangle, whose own firm is endeavouring to buck the trend with investments in TCS Group Holding, a London-listed provider of online retail financial services under the Tinkoff brand, and Revo, an early-stage merchant payments company. “很多全球私人股本公司都准备看看亚洲和巴西等其他新兴市场,但是目前并未考虑俄罗斯。我上周去了巴基斯坦,全球(投资者)正开始投资那里,”南戈尔称。他自己的公司正努力逆势而行,投资了在伦敦上市的在线金融零售务提供商TCS Group Holding(以Tinkoff为品牌)以及处于发展初期的商家付公司Revo。 While western sanctions imposed in the wake of the Ukraine conflict currently muddy the water, Mr Nangle says even before that many investors were concerned about corporate governance in Russia, although he argues this is an issue across many emerging markets. 尽管目前西方因乌克兰冲突而对俄罗斯实施的制裁使情况变得复杂,但南戈尔称,即使是在制裁之前也有很多投资者担心俄罗斯的企业治理,尽管他辩称这是很多新兴市场普遍存在的问题。 He remains “a believer” in the medium-term opportunities in the Russian online, ecommerce and general tech sectors, citing the likes of TCS and Yandex. Yet, he fears Russia may have now missed its window of opportunity to fully regain its cold war-era strength. 他仍然相信俄罗斯的在线、电子商务和一般技术行业存在中期机遇,并以TCS和Yandex之类的公司为例。不过,他担心俄罗斯可能已经错过了全面恢复冷战时代实力的机遇之窗。 “Overall, I think it’s a massive opportunity lost. Russia could have gone toe-to-toe with the US in developing another Silicon Valley. Education systems in Asia are going to crush the world, let alone Russia,” he says, envisaging Asian dominance of the tech sphere in a generation’s time. “总的来说,我认为它失去了重大机遇。俄罗斯原本可以和美国并驾齐驱,打造另一个硅谷。亚洲的教育体系将会碾压世界,更别提俄罗斯了,”南戈尔称。他预测亚洲将在一代人时间里主导科技领域。 Prof Crawley, at least, is more optimistic. He says that scientific education, at least through to masters level, remains strong and “the standard of students we [Skolkovo] are able to attract is on a par with MIT, Cambridge and Oxford”. 至少克劳利教授更乐观些。他称,俄罗斯的理科教育仍然强大,至少在硕士级别或以下是如此,“我们斯科尔科沃可以吸引到的学生的水准与MIT、剑桥和牛津不相上下”。 In particular, he believes Russia’s ongoing strength in applied mathematics will, eventually, allow it to make its mark in areas such as IT networks, IT security and data analysis. 特别是,他认为俄罗斯在应用数学方面保持的强大实力,最终将使其IT网络、IT安全和数据分析等领域取得成就。 /201603/432744

With this mechanical friend, you#39;ll never have to drink alone!有了这个陪酒机器人,妈妈再也不担心我一个人喝闷酒了!Some creative visionaries harness the power of technology to help people work more efficiently or to stay connected with friends and family in different parts of the world. Eunchan Park, however, had a different goal in mind. The South Korean inventor wanted to put his robotics knowhow to use in making alcoholic beverages taste better.有些发明家利用技术帮助人们高效工作或与世界各地的亲朋好友保持联系。但是,韩国发明家朴恩惠却不这样想,他想利用自己掌握的机器人技术让一个人饮酒变得更有趣。And thus was born Park#39;s robotic drinking buddy, who#39;s appropriately named Drinky.因此朴恩惠的陪酒机器人就诞生了,他称其为Drinky。The inspiration for Drinky came during a dateless Christmas which Park spent with a bottle of soju (the traditional Korean alcohol called shochu in Japan). During his solo drinking session, Park decided, on a whim, to pour a second glass and place it in front of himself, as though he were drinking with a friend. He found that doing so improved not only the atmosphere in the room, but also how he perceived the soju#39;s flavor, and figured that even more benefits could be reaped with a robotic companion.Drinky的灵感来自于很久之前朴恩惠独饮烧酒(日本称这种韩式烧酒为Shochu)度过的一个圣诞节。独饮期间,朴恩惠心血来潮,决定再倒一杯酒放在他对面,如同在与一位朋友共饮一般。他发现这样做不仅让房间更有氛围,还有助于他更好地品酒。那时他就意识到陪酒机器人会是个很不错的点子。Drinky#39;s operation is as straightforward as his name. Simply pour him a drink and he#39;ll jovially clink glasses with you, before downing the liquid in a single manly gulp.Drinky的功用恰如其名。只要给他倒一杯酒,他就会高兴地与你碰杯,然后大口喝下去。Since no one likes drinking with someone who#39;s reactionless or otherwise morose, Drinky finishes off each shot by flashing a thumbs up as his cheeks flush with color.没有人会喜欢跟没有反应或闷闷不乐的人一起喝酒,所以Drinky每喝完一杯酒就会立起大拇指,双颊也会变红。Best of all, Drinky can hold his liquor, both figuratively and literally. Not only will he never become weepy or belligerent, every drink he takes is stored in the glass jar that makes up his body. The container is removable, giving you the option to drink that alcohol yourself later or pour it back into Drinky#39;s cup.最重要的是,Drinky有肚量能“容”酒。他不仅从不会哭哭啼啼或发酒疯,而且能把喝下去的酒都存在身体的玻璃罐里。这个玻璃罐是可拆卸的,你可以选择稍后自己喝掉或重新倒回Drinky的酒杯。Just be sure to keep an eye on the jar#39;s level as the night goes on. Its capacity isn#39;t limitless, and if you don#39;t empty it the booze will start dribbling down Drinky#39;s chin just like any human booze hound who#39;s had one too many.晚上喝酒时一定要留意Drinky的玻璃罐。它的容量有限,如果你不清空的话,酒将会顺着Drinky的下巴往下滴,就像人喝多了一样。 /201601/422609Anirudh Sharma doesn#39;t just want to pull harmful carbon from the air. He wants to offer a cheaper alternative to the exorbitant costs of ordinary printer ink.阿尼鲁德·夏尔马不仅想除掉空气中的有害炭物质,还希望创造一种更便宜的普通打印机油墨,解决墨水价格高昂的问题。Sharma recently invented ;Kaala,; a device that can gobble up harmful pollutants and instantly repurpose them, with a little help from alcohol and oil, into black printer ink.夏尔马最近发明了一种名叫“Kaala”的装置,它能吞掉有害污染物并迅速将其变成有用物质,只需加点酒精和油,就能生成黑色打印机墨水。One day, Sharma hopes to commercialize the device so it can live in every home around the world.将来,夏尔马希望能将这个设置商业化,希望世界上的每家每户都能使用它。The idea came to him after one-too-many smog-filled trips to his home country of India.他经常去烟雾严重的祖国印度,如此往返,就有了灵感。;On a hot summer day, if you take a handkerchief and rub it on your skin, the handkerchief actually turns a little brownish-blackish in color,; says Sharma, a scientist at MIT#39;s Media Lab. ;So we thought, #39;How do we repurpose something we complain about on an everyday basis into something that is a utility?#39;;“在酷热的夏日,如果你拿手帕擦皮肤,手帕就会变得乌黑,”麻省理工学院(MIT)媒体实验室的科学家夏尔马说,“所以我们就想‘能不能把这种我们天天抱怨的东西变成日常用品呢?’”For the device to work, it first needs to be exposed to exhaust. In his demo, Sharma uses the flame of a candle.要让这个设置运行,得先把它放在废气中。做实验时,夏尔马用的是蜡烛燃烧产生的废气。While the candle burns, a suction pump pulls in the surrounding air to a simple mechanism that separates the carbon black — a byproduct of combustion — from the rest of the air. It then traps the soot in a small chamber to be mixed with alcohol — in this case, vodka — and a drop of olive oil.蜡烛燃烧时,用真空泵吸走周围的空气,令黑色的炭物质——即燃烧产物——与其余空气分开。接下来,黑灰聚焦到一个小隔间,加入酒精——此例中用伏特加——和一滴橄榄油。Lastly, the newly formed liquid can be injected into an ordinary ink cartridge for everyday use.最后,混合而成的液体就能放到普通墨盒中每日使用了。Sharma admits the black could still be blacker. Since it was designed as a research project, Kaala would also need to hold up against formal toxicity standards before it can hit the market.夏尔马承认墨水还可以更黑。但这只是个研究项目,投入市场前,Kaala也得满足正式的无毒标准。;With a little bit of research,; he says, ;it can become as good as the printing ink HP sells to you.;他说:“只需再研究研究,它就能跟惠普(HP)卖的打印墨一样好了。”Sharma estimates a 4-year-old diesel engine could produce enough carbon to fill an HP cartridge within 60 minutes. A chimney would take only 10 minutes approximately.夏尔马估计一个使用了四年的柴油内燃机60分钟内产生的炭能填满一个惠普墨盒。一个烟囱大约只需要10分钟。Recreating that ink wouldn#39;t take much effort.制造这种墨并不费事。;Usually, people don#39;t know about this, but the ink you#39;re buying is nothing,; he says. ;It#39;s just carbon black mixed with a few chemicals, and that#39;s all. If you#39;re making your own ink, the cost would definitely be much, much lower.;“一般来说,人们不了解这点,不过大家买的墨真没什么特殊的,”他说,“炭黑掺些化学品就制出来了,就这些。如果自己制墨,成本绝对非常非常低。”Sharma hopes that his handheld device could scale to a size that sits on par with leading carbon-capture systems: huge walls of fans that trap carbon lurking in the air.夏尔马希望他的手持装置再大点,能用到主流炭捕集系统上:比如捕集空气中隐藏的炭的巨型风扇墙。 /201510/404398

As Uber has grown to become one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, its ambitions often seem limitless.随着Uber成长为全世界最具价值的初创企业之一,其野心看起来也是永无止境的。But of all the ways that Uber could change the world, the most far-reaching may be found closest at hand: your office. Uber, and more broadly the app-driven labor market it represents, is at the center of what could be a sea change in work, and in how people think about their jobs. You may not be contemplating becoming an Uber driver any time soon, but the Uberization of work may soon be coming to your chosen profession.但是在所有Uber能改变世界的方式之中,影响最深远的却可能近在咫尺:你的办公室。Uber,以及更广义来说,它所代表的由应用软件驱动的劳动力市场,处于一个工作上的,及人们如何看待自己的工作的巨变的核心。你也许没有在近期内成为Uber司机的想法,但是你所选择的职业可能很快就会被Uber化。Just as Uber is doing for taxis, new technologies have the potential to chop up a broad array of traditional jobs into discrete tasks that can be assigned to people just when they’re needed, with wages set by a dynamic measurement of supply and demand, and every worker’s performance constantly tracked, reviewed and subject to the sometimes harsh light of customer satisfaction. Uber and its ride-sharing competitors, including Lyft and Sidecar, are the boldest examples of this breed, which many in the tech industry see as a new kind of start-up — one whose primary mission is to efficiently allocate human beings and their possessions, rather than information.就像Uber对出租车行业的影响一样,新兴科技拥有这样一个潜能——它可以把大量的传统工作分割成互相独立的任务,并在需要时将之分配出去。相应的报酬将由供需关系动态决定,而且每一位工作者的表现将被不断地追踪、评估并时不时受到严厉的顾客满意度监督。Uber以及它车辆共乘类的竞争对手,包括Lyft和Sidecar,是这类全新工作方式的最佳代表。科技界的很多人将它们视作一种新型的初创公司——他们的首要使命是高效地分配人以及他们的财产,而非信息。Various companies are now trying to emulate Uber’s business model in other fields, from daily chores like grocery shopping and laundry to more upmarket products like legal services and even medicine.从日常琐事如买杂货和洗衣,到更高端的产品如法律务甚至医药行业,许多不同行业的公司都在模仿Uber的商业模式。“I do think we are defining a new category of work that isn’t full-time employment but is not running your own business either,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s business school who has studied the rise of the so-called on-demand economy, and who is mainly optimistic about its prospects.纽约大学商学院教授阿伦·桑达拉拉吉(Arun Sundararajan)说道,“我的确认为我们正在定义一种新型工作方式——它既非全职工作也不算是个体户”。他对按需经济的兴起展开研究,并对这种工作方式的前景比较乐观。Uberization will have its benefits: Technology could make your work life more flexible, allowing you to fit your job, or perhaps multiple jobs, around your schedule, rather than vice versa. Even during a time of renewed job growth, Americans’ wages are stubbornly stagnant, and the on-demand economy may provide novel streams of income.Uber化有它的好处:技术会让我们的工作生活更有弹性,让我们根据自己的时间来安排一个或多个工作,而不是根据工作来安排自己的时间。即便现在就业已经在重新增长,美国人的工资却依旧停滞不前,所以按需的经济模式也许能提供全新的收入来源。“We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the work force would do a portfolio of things to generate an income — you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit,” Dr. Sundararajan said.桑达拉拉吉士说,“我们的未来可能会是这样的——一小部分劳动力会以做很多不同的工作为生:你可以做Uber司机,替Instacart买东西,在Airbnb上租房子以及在Taskrabbit上揽外包”。But the rise of such work could also make your income less predictable and your long-term employment less secure. And it may relegate the idea of establishing a lifelong career to a distant memory.但是这种工作方式的崛起可能会让收入更不可预测,也可能会让长期雇用更没有保障。而且它也许让人们忘记建立一个毕生的事业是一个什么样的概念。“I think it’s nonsense, utter nonsense,” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. “This on-demand economy means a work life that is unpredictable, doesn’t pay very well and is terribly insecure.” After interviewing many workers in the on-demand world, Dr. Reich said he has concluded that “most would much rather have good, well-paying, regular jobs.”“我认为这就是胡扯,纯粹是胡扯,”曾任克林顿政府劳工部部长,加州大学伯克利分校的经济学家罗伯特·B·赖希(Robert B. Reich)说。“这种按需型经济意味着你的工作生活会变得不可预测、低薪而且十分没有保障。”在采访过很多从事按需型工作的人之后,赖希士得出的结论是“多数人都宁愿从事好的、高薪的普通工作”。It is true that many of these start-ups are creating new opportunities for employment, which is a novel trend in tech, especially during an era in which we’re all fretting about robots stealing our jobs. Proponents of on-demand work point out that many of the tech giants that sprang up over the last decade minted billions in profits without hiring very many people; Facebook, for instance, serves more than a billion users, but employs only a few thousand highly skilled workers, most of them in California.的确,很多这类初创公司都在创造新的就业机会。这是一个技术界的新趋势,尤其考虑到现在我们都在担心机器人会抢走我们的工作。按需工作的持者们指出,很多在过去十年间崛起的科技巨头在没有雇佣很多人的情况下,创造了数十亿的利润;比如说,Facebook为十亿以上用户提供务,但仅仅雇佣几千名技术水平很高的员工,而且多数在加利福尼亚。To make the case that it is creating lots of new jobs, Uber recently provided some of its data on ridership to Alan B. Krueger, an economist at Princeton and a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Krueger’s report — which he said he was allowed to produce without interference from Uber — paints Uber as a force for good in the labor market.为了展示出自己创造了很多新的就业机会,Uber最近向普林斯顿大学经济学家阿兰·B·克鲁格(Alan B. Krueger)提供了一些乘车数据。他同时也是奥巴马总统经济顾问委员会的前主席。不出所料,克鲁格士的报告将Uber描绘成一股对劳动力市场有利的力量。克鲁格士说他的报告的产生过程没有受到Uber的干扰。Dr. Krueger found that at the end of 2014, Uber had 160,000 drivers regularly working for it in the ed States. About 40,000 new drivers signed up in December alone, and the number of sign-ups was doubling every six months.克鲁格士发现在2014年末,Uber有16万名司机定期在美国工作。仅十二月份就有大约4万名司机加入Uber。而且每六个月新加入的司机数目就会翻番。The report found that on average, Uber’s drivers worked fewer hours and earned more per hour than traditional taxi drivers, even when you account for their expenses. That conclusion, though, has raised fierce debate among economists, because it’s not clear how much Uber drivers really are paying in expenses. Drivers on the service use their own cars and pay for their gas; taxi drivers generally do not.这份报告发现,即使减去他们的开销,Uber司机平均比出租车司机每小时赚得更多且工作时间更短。但是这个结论引起了经济学家之间激烈的争论,因为Uber司机的开销其实并不明确。此项务的司机开自己的车,自付油费,而出租车司机则不然。The key perk of an Uber job is flexibility. In most of Uber’s largest markets, a majority of its drivers work from one to 15 hours a week, while many traditional taxi drivers work full time. A survey of Uber drivers contained in the report found that most were aly employed full or part time when they found Uber, and that earning an additional income on the side was a primary benefit of driving for Uber.Uber的关键好处是灵活度。在大多数Uber最大的市场里,大部分司机的每周工作时长从一小时到十五小时不等,而许多传统出租车司机都是全天工作。报告中一份针对Uber司机的调查发现多数司机在加入Uber之前已经有全职或兼职的工作了,所以能赚点外快是开Uber的主要好处。Dr. Krueger pointed out that Uber’s growth was disconnected to improvements in the broader labor market. “As the economy got stronger, Uber’s rate of growth increased,” he said. “So far, it’s not showing signs of limitations in terms of attracting enough drivers.”克鲁格士指出Uber的增长与劳动力市场的整体改善无关。他说,“随着经济增长,Uber增长率也有所增加。目前还没有出现吸引新司机的瓶颈”。One criticism of Uber-like jobs is that because drivers aren’t technically employees but are instead independent contractors of Uber, they don’t enjoy the security and benefits of traditional jobs. The complication, here, though, is that most taxi drivers are also independent contractors, so the arrangement isn’t particularly novel in the ride business. And as on-demand jobs become more prevalent, guildlike professional groups are forming to provide benefits and support for workers.一项对Uber式工作的批评是它的司机严格意义上说不是雇员而是独立的承包商,所以他们不享有传统工作的保障和待遇。可复杂的是,多数出租车司机也是独立的承包商,所以Uber的安排在租车行业并不算新奇。而且随着按需工作越来越普及,行会形式的组织也正在形成,来为人们提供相应待遇和持。The larger worry about on-demand jobs is not about benefits, but about a lack of agency — a future in which computers, rather than humans, determine what you do, when and for how much. The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue.关于按需工作,更大的担忧并非是待遇,而是缺乏管理机构——担忧在未来,电脑而非人决定你做什么、什么时候做、给你多少钱。Uber式工作的崛起是将效率奉若神明的经济和科技体系发展的合理结果。“These services are successful because they are tapping into people’s available time more efficiently,” Dr. Sundararajan said. “You could say that people are monetizing their own downtime.”“这些务的成功之处在于他们可以更有效地利用人们的可用时间,”桑达拉拉吉士说。“可以说人们在利用下班时间赚钱。”Think about that for a second; isn’t “monetizing downtime” a hellish vision of the future of work?稍等一下,难道“利用下班时间赚钱”不是极其糟糕的未来的工作方式吗?“I’m glad if people like working for Uber, but those subjective feelings have got to be understood in the context of there being very few alternatives,” Dr. Reich said. “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?”“如果人们喜欢为Uber工作的话,我当然很高兴了。但我们在理解这些主观感受时必须考虑到他们并没有什么其他的选择,”赖希士说。“你能想象如果这变成一个土耳其人象棋傀儡(Mechanical Turk)型的经济吗——每个人都在零散时间做零碎工作,不知道什么时候会接到下一份工作,也不知道它的报酬会是多少?这样的话,我们还能有什么样的个人生活,什么样的人际关系,什么样的家庭?”The on-demand economy may be better than the alternative of software automating all our work. But that isn’t necessarily much of a cause for celebration.按需经济可能比把工作彻底软件自动化要强吧,但也不一定值得庆祝。 /201502/360780Moveable Type Printig活字印刷The block printing technology in our country was probably invented in the seventh century, and reached its climax in the tenth century in the Song Dynasty. With the block printing technology, such procedures as writing samples,carving blocks, spraying the ink and printing were involved in the process of publishing a book, and it was always time-consuming and costly in the use of the material resources and manpower to print a work of great length. The procedures would have to be repeated if other books were to be published; hence our ancestors conducted active explorations and strived for improvements, which led to the eventual invention of the moveable clay-type printing technology by an ordinary man called Bi Sheng during the period of Qingli of the Northern Song Dynasty, as can be proved by the account of the book Dream Pool Essays by Bi Sheng#39;s contemporary,Shen Kuo. From then on, the moveable type printing technology was applied, and it was 400 years earlier than that used in Europe when the German Gutenburg, for the first time, printed the Holy Bible with this very technology.During the period of Dade of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Zhen learned to use the moveable wood types to print books, of which none has come down to the present day. The oldest moveable-type printed book in existence in China is Yushice in the Yuan Dynasty, which is now collected in the National Library of China. There are, because of the differences of the times and materials, different names for the moveable type printing,such as the moveable clay-type printing, magnetic printing, moveable wood-type plate, moveable copper-type printing, moveable lead-type printing and moveable zinc-type printing. In the years of Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty, the moveable cop-per-type printing became prevalent in Wuxi, Suzhou, Changshu and Nanjing, Jian-gsu Province, but in the years between Tianqi and Congzhen of the Ming Dynasty when a social and economic decline was pervasive, lapsed into a low ebb due to its great economic cost, the corollary of which was that there were few moveable copper-type printed books handed down to the present day. There are over 100 kinds of books in existence which were printed with the cheap moveable wood types in the Ming Dynasty. In the late Ming Dynasty, the moveable wood-type printing gradually replaced the copper-type printing for the printing of the books.People at the time also learned to use the moveable zinc types to print books; un-fortunately, there was not any book of this kind left to the present day. The moveable wood-type printing was the mainstream in the Qing Dynasty, and a great number of books of this kind have been properly preserved. After the Opium War, the moveable zinc-type printing technology originating in the west was introduced into China. The new printing technology, given its great advantages over the traditional block printing and moveable type printing, replaced them gradually as the major type of printing books, and has been used to the modern times. 我国雕版印刷技术大约发明于公元7世纪,到了10世纪的宋代达到鼎盛。使用这种技术出版一套书籍须经过写样刻版、涂墨印刷等多道工序,如果是要印一部大著作,往往要花费大量的物力、人力和时间。假如要再出版其他书籍,这些工序又得重新来过,因此我们的祖先积极探索,力求改进,终于在北宋庆历年间,平民毕异发明了用胶泥活字印刷技术。此事记载于与毕异同时期的沈括的《梦溪笔谈》一书中,从此活字印刷术开始使用了。它比欧洲最先用活字印《圣经》的德国谷腾堡要早400年。到了元代大德年间,王桢发明了用木活字印书,可惜这些都没有传本,国内现存最早的活字印刷实物是国家图书馆藏元朝的《御试策》。活字版因时代、材料不同而有不同的名称,有“泥活字版”、“磁板”、“木活字版”、“铜活字版”、“铅活字版”、“锡活字版”等等。明代弘治年间,在江苏的无锡、苏州、常熟、南京一带,铜活字印刷开始流行起来。到了天启、崇祯时期,由于社会经济的衰落,铜活字印刷因经济成本太大进入低潮,很少有传本面世了。明代用木活字这种成本价廉的印刷方式印制的书籍现存有100多种,到了明代晚期,木活字逐步取代了铜活字印书。同时在明代还发明了用锡活字印书,可惜无实物传世。木活字是清代活字印刷的主流,且有大量的木活字书籍保存下来。鸦片战争以后,西方的铅活字印刷术传人我国,这种新型的印刷术比传统的雕版印刷和活字印刷有着较大的优势,逐步取代了雕版印刷和活字印刷的地位,成为印刷书籍的最主要的方式,并一直沿用到现代。 /201601/419343

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