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Issue #10

China acquires rights to flying car, clean energy park is larger than Paris, Estonia has best schools in Europe, and more.

News from March 28 - April 4, 2024

China Acquires Rights To Flying Car

The technology for the world’s first certified flying car has been sold by a European company to a Chinese firm. The vehicle, known as AirCar, can transform from a road automobile to a plane in under three minutes.

The AirCar can travel 8,000 feet in altitude and 100 miles per hour in speed. Powered by a BMW engine and normal fuel, the AirCar flew for 35 minutes between two Slovakian airports in 2021, using runways for take-off and landing. The Chinese company has promised to “accelerate progress towards mass-market flying car manufacturing.”

The news comes as the UK government anticipates flying taxis will be operational by 2028. Market forecasts suggest the global value of flying cars could reach $1 trillion by 2040, with China expected to command a 23% share by 2050. Experts believe flying cars will soon be more affordable than helicopters.


Ray-Ban Smart Glasses Adding AI 

Meta is set to enhance its Ray-Ban smart glasses with AI features for identifying objects and translating text. Next month's update follows months of testing features like recognizing animals and landmarks and translating language in real time.

Activated by the voice command “Hey Meta,” the AI interacts through built-in speakers.

The New York Times tested these features, noting successes and limitations, such as difficulty identifying distant zoo animals and an exotic fruit named cherimoya. While it isn’t perfect, success was noted in identifying pets and artworks.

The glasses can also speak English, Spanish, Italian, French, and German.


Clean Energy Park Is Larger Than Paris 

Sagar Adani, a coal billionaire and nephew of Asia's second-richest man, is building the world's largest clean energy plant. This ambitious $20 billion solar and wind initiative spans an area five times the size of Paris and is visible from outer space. 

The project marks a significant pivot from the family's origins in the coal industry, which built their $100 billion fortune.

The success of the energy park is crucial to India’s efforts to reduce pollution while meeting the burgeoning energy needs of the world’s most populous nation. The country has 83% of the top 100 most polluted cities in the world, with coal still accounting for 70% of its electricity. The energy the park will produce is expected to power 16 million homes. 

Sagar Adani: “There is no choice for India but to start doing things at a previously unimagined size and scale. I think it’s also very important to respect the fact that every country has its own right to make sure that the people of their own country are well-served from an energy perspective. So is India doing a bit of coal? Yes, of course India is. But is India doing a massive amount of renewables? Yes, there’s no question.”


Bulletin Board

  • 3D Printing Is Making Homes Cheaper. ICON, a 3D-printed architecture startup, has unveiled a multi-story printer named Phoenix, capable of printing entire buildings, offering reductions in time and costs. Phoenix simplifies construction, potentially saving up to $25,000 on an average American home. Jason Ballard, ICON Co-Founder and CEO: Since launching the first permitted 3D-printed house in 2018, we aimed to improve building quality and affordability. Now, we're not just leading in 3D printing but in construction overall. Source 
  • Hackers Are Now Targeting Water. The Biden administration warns of cyberattacks on U.S. water systems, urging states to increase security. Linked to Iranian and Chinese hackers, these threats compromise clean water access and are costly for communities. Highlighting the vulnerability, Jake Sullivan and Michael Regan noted the sector's critical status but lack of cybersecurity resources. To combat this, the EPA is forming a Water Sector Cybersecurity Task Force to strengthen defenses and address weaknesses. Source
  • ‘Internet Of Brains’ Expected By 2050. By 2050, the "Internet of Brains," facilitating direct brain-to-brain communication and internet connectivity, might become a reality, as per a RAND research institute report. This future envisions a deep integration of humans and technology, with "trans-humanism" seen as inevitable. The report discusses the adoption of advanced technologies like brain-to-brain communication and genetic enhancement. The envisioned technology includes wearable devices, implants for environmental analysis, sensory devices for enhanced hearing, and brain-computer interfaces for direct human-computer brain communication, alongside complete exoskeletons and robotic suits. Notably, Elon Musk's Neuralink has already achieved brain-computer interfaces, enabling a paralyzed man to control a computer mouse with only his mind. Source
  • SBF Sentenced To 25 Years. Sam Bankman-Fried, once a cryptocurrency tycoon, has been sentenced to 25 years by a Manhattan court for embezzling over $8 billion from his crypto exchange customers. Convicted on charges including conspiracy and fraud following a month-long trial, he expressed regret for his "bad decisions" but denied they were self-serving. The judge criticized the 32-year-old for masquerading as a proponent of crypto regulation, dismissing it as a facade to gain political clout, and branded him "remorseless." Before FTX's downfall, Bankman-Fried's extravagant lifestyle involved private jets, hefty political contributions, and a luxurious Bahamian penthouse funded by misappropriated customer money. The prosecution, condemning his persistent denial of wrongdoing, portrayed him as driven by extraordinary greed and arrogance, recklessly speculating with others' funds, and had sought a sentence of up to 50 years. Source
  • Estonia Has Best Schools In Europe. Estonia leads Europe in education rankings with a system that embraces innovation, offering free lunches, creative freedom, and a digital focus. In Estonian schools, students might study "Blade Runner" instead of traditional science textbooks and choose from subjects like politics or programming during "voluntary" lesson slots. The country values arts and music as much as math and languages, attributing its educational prowess to historical challenges from neighboring powers and the necessity to prioritize education “to survive.” School head: "As long as students are smiling and saying hello, then everything is fine," emphasizing the system's focus on student well-being and autonomy. Source

Disclaimer: This blog offers insights into international business and global events for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment or business advice. WeavePay is not liable for any decisions made based on the content provided.

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