Trending December 2023 # Investors Flock To Inqubeta As Ai Cryptos Grow In Popularity # Suggested January 2024 # Top 16 Popular

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AI technology has been making headlines around the world, and its influence has extended into the realm of cryptocurrencies. InQubeta, a crypto crowdfunding NFT platform, has emerged as a major beneficiary of this growing trend, attracting substantial investment during its ongoing presale. With over $100,000 raised so far, InQubeta has garnered attention comparable to other prominent AI tokens like SingularityNet and

Analysts have already begun predicting a significant price spike for QUBE tokens in the coming weeks, with some estimates reaching up to 20 times their initial value. But before delving into these projections, let’s take a step back and explore the factors fueling the excitement surrounding InQubeta.

InQubeta Leverages The Power Of AI and Blockchain Technology

InQubeta operates as a platform that allows users to invest in AI startup projects using QUBE tokens. Its NFT marketplace provides a means for startups to raise funds and engage with their community by offering reward and equity-based NFTs. This unique investment opportunity has captured the interest of investors looking to support AI technology innovation and participate in the growth of the next generation of AI startups.

One crucial aspect that instills confidence in InQubeta is the verification and certification of its smart contracts. Top smart contract auditing firms such as Hacken, Block Audit, and Consult have thoroughly reviewed and certified InQubeta’s smart contracts. This validation assures investors that their funds are secure, mitigating concerns about potential security breaches or loss of funds in the smart contract system.

Investing in InQubeta’s QUBE token offers several compelling benefits. Firstly, investors gain exposure to the potential long-term growth and value appreciation of AI technology startups. As the AI industry continues to expand and evolve, investors stand to reap significant returns over time. Moreover, by staking QUBE tokens on the InQubeta platform, investors have the opportunity to earn rewards from the dedicated reward pool, providing an additional source of income and incentivizing long-term investment in the QUBE token.

QUBE tokens, being deflationary ERC20 tokens, offer a unique investment opportunity for crypto investors seeking to diversify their portfolios. The token’s buy and sell transactions incur a 2% tax, which is directed toward a burn wallet, reducing the circulating supply and potentially increasing the token’s scarcity. Additionally, a 5% buy and sell tax contributes to the dedicated reward pool, which further enhances the token’s value proposition.

As a QUBE token holder, investors also play a crucial role in the governance of the InQubeta platform. They have the ability to propose, discuss, and vote on key decisions, ensuring that InQubeta remains responsive to the needs and priorities of its community.

Visit InQubeta Presale 

InQubeta Presale Offers A Great Opportunity For Investors

Currently, nQubeta is in its presale stage and investors can get the tokens at the best possible price and interested investors can purchase QUBE tokens from the presale platform using supported cryptocurrencies like ETH, USDT and BTC. 

In addition, any remaining QUBE tokens unsold will be burnt from circulation ensuring scarcity and providing long term value for chúng tôi minimum investment amount for QUBE tokens is set at $50 making it accessible to a wide range of investors. 

To further engage investors, InQubeta offers a staking dapp, accessible through supported wallets, where QUBE token holders can stake their tokens. By staking QUBE tokens, investors can earn rewards from the 2% and 5% buy and sell tax that flows into the dedicated reward pool. If the presale target is met then the starting market capitalization will soar to impressive levels, instantly solidifying its position as the next big AI project.

Bottom Line

InQubeta has an ambitious roadmap for its development and future plans. The platform aims to expand its NFT marketplace and introduce new features and partnerships to support the growth of the platform and the AI technology startup community. With its secure smart contracts, unique investment ecosystem, and staking rewards, InQubeta offers a promising avenue for investors looking to capitalize on the growth of AI technology.

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7 Best Beginner Cryptos To Invest In

2.LastChain (LAST): Discovering the full potential of Web 3.0

LastChain is a Web 3.0 platform where users can access cutting-edge tools to deploy secure and scalable dApps. It also doubles up as a decentralized exchange where you can also stake NFTs. Its native token is LAST and it’s built on the ERC-20 protocol of the Ethereum network. The team has been working hard to roll out a sovereign public chain called LastChain. It would be a Layer 1 permissionless blockchain that would ramp up LastChain’s utility and make it an ideal cryptocurrency for beginners. Its key USPs are ensuring highly-scalable tools at cost-effective rates and a user-friendly interface. Moreover, LastSwap is the network’s in-house exchange for cryptocurrencies and can offer users quick, seamless, and pocket-friendly services. Another feature of the blockchain that has been garnering a lot of attention is Last Bridge which facilitates seamless transfers of assets and data between Ethereum and the LastChain ecosystem. Minus the complications, the transfer service comes without any hidden charges.

3. Goracle (GORA): Bringing the power of real-world data to DeFi platforms

Goracle’s journey to the list of top crypto coins is a perfect example of how a crypto project can be successful by solving a crucial industry problem. As blockchains are decentralized and do not have access to real-world data, dApps are often limited in their capabilities. Goracle solves the problem by providing developers with an Oracles-based tool that matches the security framework of a blockchain. Goracle facilitates this by leveraging the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm to offer the same level of speed and security as Algorand – the blockchain it is built on. What further pushes Goracle’s capability is that it uses quality enterprise data that ensures complete transparency. The community members also get to have a say in deciding which data providers can be allowed to join its network. Like most other blockchains, Goracle has a network of nodes/validators to keep its ecosystem secure. Users who volunteer to operate as validators or nodes are rewarded with LAST tokens.

4. MaziMatic (MZM): Unleashing the potential of virtual reality and Metaverse

It might be among the new alt coins but don’t dismiss MaziMatic too soon. The decentralized platform leverages reality to create a dynamic play-to-earn platform where users are rewarded handsomely for their participation. Powered by the Polygon network, MaziMatic’s services are also preferred by users because of its low transaction fee. Its native token MZM opens many doors for users and is the key crypto token on the network. Those interested can also create their own Metaverse platforms by using MaziMatic’s next-generation Web 3.0 technology that can help you scale to reach out to a global audience. Talking about the games that one will come across on MaziMatic, Partyverse is among the most popular ones on the network. One can jump straight into the realm of MaziMatic and have a good time with thousands of other virtual users. From live performances to foot-tapping music, there’s a lot to look forward to. What’s more, if you don’t like the party, you can always teleport to another party. 

5. Swot Token (SWOT): A blockchain solution to capitalize on your talent and skills

The SWOT token is a unique crypto project where users come together to share their skills and talents to build unique products while exploring new opportunities. In other words, a crypto user can be a seller, buyer, business owner, or even an investor.  The word SWOT here stands for ‘Solutions for Wealth, Opportunities and Time-freedom’. What makes it a good crypto to buy is the fact that users get to earn high revenue by choosing opportunities that best complement their talent and knowledge. Its native token is SWOT and it’s used for all transactional uses. Its USPs include SWOTMART which is an e-commerce portal where registered users can purchase a wide range of products using their SWOT tokens. SWOT token also offers its users the SWOT Wallet that can be used for holding and storing tokens by earning passive income on them. 

6. Censis Wallet (CWK): Making crypto payments seamless 7. Vivi (VIVI): Ecosystem of dApps to promote passive incomes

The beginner cryptocurrency has been a game-changer for the decentralized gaming and entertainment ecosystem by introducing a unique dynamic that enables users to maximize their passive earnings while accessing a multitude of opportunities. Vivi is a decentralized ecosystem of dApps that facilitate secure Web 3.0 interactions. Vivi Academy and Vivi LiveVivi Sport are among the platform’s core products that open a world of opportunities for their users. These dApps enable users to share and interact with videos and earn rewards for their participation. Its native token is called VIVI and it is used for all types of transactional uses on the platform. At the same time, the platform’s smart contracts take care of tasks like creating and sharing video content and managing users’ accounts and rewards.

Openai Ceo Responds To Ftc Investigation As Ai Concerns Rise

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman responded to a request by the Federal Trade Commission as part of an investigation to determine if the company “engaged in unfair or deceptive” practices relating to privacy, data security, and risks of consumer harm, particularly related to reputation.

it is very disappointing to see the FTC’s request start with a leak and does not help build trust.

that said, it’s super important to us that out technology is safe and pro-consumer, and we are confident we follow the law. of course we will work with the FTC.

— Sam Altman (@sama) July 13, 2023

The FTC has requested information from OpenAI dating back to June 2023, as revealed in a leaked document obtained by the Washington Post.

The subject of investigation: did OpenAI violate Section 5 of the FTC Act?

The documentation OpenAI must provide should include details about large language model (LLM) training, refinement, reinforcement through human feedback, response reliability, and policies and practices surrounding consumer privacy, security, and risk mitigation.

we’re transparent about the limitations of our technology, especially when we fall short. and our capped-profits structure means we aren’t incentivized to make unlimited returns.

— Sam Altman (@sama) July 13, 2023

The FTC’s Growing Concern Over Generative AI

The investigation into a major AI company’s practices comes as no surprise. The FTC’s interest in generative AI risks has been growing since ChatGPT skyrocketed into popularity.

Attention To Automated Decision-Making Technology

In April 2023, the FTC published guidance on artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms, warning companies to ensure their AI systems comply with consumer protection laws.

It noted Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act as laws important to AI developers and users.

FTC cautioned that algorithms built on biased data or flawed logic could lead to discriminatory outcomes, even if unintended.

The FTC outlined best practices for ethical AI development based on its experience enforcing laws against unfair practices, deception, and discrimination.

Recommendations include testing systems for bias, enabling independent audits, limiting overstated marketing claims, and weighing societal harm versus benefits.

“If your algorithm results in credit discrimination against a protected class, you could find yourself facing a complaint alleging violations of the FTC Act and ECOA,” the guidance warns.

AI In Check

The FTC reminded AI companies about its AI guidance from 2023 in regards to making exaggerated or unsubstantiated marketing claims regarding AI capabilities.

In the post from February 2023, the organization warned marketers against getting swept up in AI hype and making promises their products cannot deliver.

Common issues cited: claiming that AI can do more than current technology allows, making unsupported comparisons to non-AI products, and failing to test for risks and biases.

The FTC stressed that false or deceptive marketing constitutes illegal conduct regardless of the complexity of the technology.

The reminder came a few weeks after OpenAI’s ChatGPT reached 100 million users.

Deepfakes And Deception

About a month later, in March, the FTC warned that generative AI tools like chatbots and deepfakes could facilitate widespread fraud if deployed irresponsibly.

It cautioned developers and companies using synthetic media and generative AI to consider the inherent risks of misuse.

The agency said bad actors can leverage the realistic but fake content from these AI systems for phishing scams, identity theft, extortion, and other harm.

While some uses may be beneficial, the FTC urged firms to weigh making or selling such AI tools given foreseeable criminal exploitation.

It also warned against using synthetic media in misleading marketing and failing to disclose when consumers interact with AI chatbots versus real people.

If infected, users should update security tools and operating systems, then follow steps to remove malware or recover compromised accounts.

Federal Agencies Unite To Tackle AI Regulation

Near the end of April, four federal agencies – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (DOJ), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the FTC – released a statement on how they would monitor AI development and enforce laws against discrimination and bias in automated systems.

The agencies asserted authority over AI under existing laws on civil rights, fair lending, equal opportunity, and consumer protection.

Together, they warned AI systems could perpetuate unlawful bias due to flawed data, opaque models, and improper design choices.

The partnership aimed to promote responsible AI innovation that increases consumer access, quality, and efficiency without violating longstanding protections.

AI And Consumer Trust

In May, the FTC warned companies against using new generative AI tools like chatbots to manipulate consumer decisions unfairly.

After describing events from the movie Ex Machina, the FTC claimed that human-like persuasion of AI chatbots could steer people into harmful choices about finances, health, education, housing, and jobs.

Though not necessarily intentional, the FTC said design elements that exploit human trust in machines to trick consumers constitute unfair and deceptive practices under FTC law.

With generative AI adoption surging, the FTC alert puts companies on notice to proactively assess downstream societal impacts.

Those rushing tools to market without proper ethics review or protections would risk FTC action on resulting consumer harm.

An Opinion On The Risks Of AI

FTC Chair Lina Khan argued that generative AI poses risks of entrenching significant tech dominance, turbocharging fraud, and automating discrimination if unchecked.

In a New York Times op-ed published a few days after the consumer trust warning, Khan said the FTC aims to promote competition and protect consumers as AI expands.

Khan warned a few powerful companies controlled key AI inputs like data and computing, which could further their dominance absent antitrust vigilance.

She cautioned realistic fake content from generative AI could facilitate widespread scams. Additionally, biased data risks algorithms that unlawfully lock out people from opportunities.

While novel, Khan asserted AI systems are not exempt from FTC consumer protection and antitrust authorities. With responsible oversight, Khan noted that generative AI could grow equitably and competitively, avoiding the pitfalls of other tech giants.

AI And Data Privacy

In June, the FTC warned companies that consumer privacy protections apply equally to AI systems reliant on personal data.

In complaints against Amazon and Ring, the FTC alleged unfair and deceptive practices using voice and video data to train algorithms.

FTC Chair Khan said AI’s benefits don’t outweigh the privacy costs of invasive data collection.

The agency asserted consumers retain control over their information even if a company possesses it. Strict safeguards and access controls are expected when employees review sensitive biometric data.

For kids’ data, the FTC said it would fully enforce the children’s privacy law, COPPA. The complaints ordered the deletion ill-gotten biometric data and any AI models derived from it.

The message for tech firms was clear – while AI’s potential is vast, legal obligations around consumer privacy remain paramount.

Generative AI Competition

Near the end of June, the FTC issued guidance cautioning that the rapid growth of generative AI could raise competition concerns if key inputs come under the control of a few dominant technology firms.

The agency said essential inputs like data, talent, and computing resources are needed to develop cutting-edge generative AI models. The agency warned that if a handful of big tech companies gain too much control over these inputs, they could use that power to distort competition in generative AI markets.

The FTC cautioned that anti-competitive tactics like bundling, tying, exclusive deals, or buying up competitors could allow incumbents to box out emerging rivals and consolidate their lead.

The FTC said it will monitor competition issues surrounding generative AI and take action against unfair practices.

The aim was to enable entrepreneurs to innovate with transformative AI technologies, like chatbots, that could reshape consumer experiences across industries. With the right policies, the FTC believed emerging generative AI can yield its full economic potential.

Suspicious Marketing Claims

In early July, the FTC warned of AI tools that can generate deepfakes, cloned voices, and artificial text increase, so too have emerged tools claiming to detect such AI-generated content.

However, experts warned that the marketing claims made by some detection tools may overstate their capabilities.

The FTC cautioned companies against exaggerating their detection tools’ accuracy and reliability. Given the limitations of current technology, businesses should ensure marketing reflects realistic assessments of what these tools can and cannot do.

Furthermore, the FTC noted that users should be wary of claims that a tool can catch all AI fakes without errors. Imperfect detection could lead to unfairly accusing innocent people like job applicants of creating fake content.

What Will The FTC Discover?

The FTC’s investigation into OpenAI comes amid growing regulatory scrutiny of generative AI systems.

As these powerful technologies enable new capabilities like chatbots and deepfakes, they raise novel risks around bias, privacy, security, competition, and deception.

OpenAI must answer questions about whether it took adequate precautions in developing and releasing models like GPT-3 and DALL-E that have shaped the trajectory of the AI field.

The FTC appears focused on ensuring OpenAI’s practices align with consumer protection laws, especially regarding marketing claims, data practices, and mitigating societal harms.

For now, the FTC’s investigation underscores that the hype surrounding AI should not outpace responsible oversight.

Robust AI systems hold great promise but pose risks if deployed without sufficient safeguards.

Major AI companies must ensure new technologies comply with longstanding laws protecting consumers and markets.

Featured image: Ascannio/Shutterstock

Nasa Is Learning The Best Way To Grow Food In Space

“Our plants aren’t looking too good,” astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted from the International Space Station on December 27, 2023. He was right: The attached picture showed four baby zinnias bathed in magenta light. Three of the four leafy stalks were discolored and curling in on themselves. The station’s garden was struggling to recover from a mold problem. It’s an issue familiar to terrestrial gardeners. And while on Earth, the problem means a trip to the local nursery for replacements, in space you can’t do that.

Space gardens will be essential someday if astronauts are to go beyond low-earth orbit or make more than a quick trip to the moon. They can’t carry all the food they need. The Voorhes

The zinnias, brightly colored flowers in the daisy family, were part of an experiment called Veggie, whose ultimate mission is to provide crews with a long-term source of food. In prior tests, astronauts had successfully harvested lettuce. The zinnias had a longer growth ­period—60 to 80 days—and then would bloom, producing neon-hued blossoms that look like they belong in a psychedelic corsage. They were practice for something finickier and tastier than leafy greens: tomatoes. If station crews were ever going to grow something that intricate, they needed to figure out—among other things— how to vanquish mold.

Veggie is a relatively uncomplicated way for astronauts to develop their green thumbs. “It’s a very simple system,” says Gioia Massa, one of the project’s lead scientists. “It doesn’t control much at all.” Instead, the humans do.

Space gardening will be essential someday if space travelers are to go beyond low-Earth orbit or make more than a quick trip to the moon. They can’t carry on all the food they need, and the rations they do bring will lose nutrients. So astronauts will need a replenishable stash, with extra vitamins. They’ll also require ways to make more oxygen, recycle waste, and help them not miss home so much. Space gardens can, theoretically, help accomplish all of that.

Veggie and other systems aboard the space station are helping researchers figure out how radiation and lack of gravity affect plants, how much water is Goldilocks-good, and how to deal with deplorables like mold. Just as important, scientists are learning how much work astronauts have to put in, how much work they want to put in, and how plants nourish their brains as well as their bodies.

For all its potential importance, Veggie is pretty compact. It weighs 41 pounds, just a hair less than the station’s 44-pound coffeemaker. The top—an off-white rectangular box that houses the grow lights—resembles an old VCR. From this, a ­curtain of clear plastic hangs to encase the ­1.7-square-foot planting surface. Astronauts preset how long the lights stay on each day; how brightly they emit red light to optimize photosynthesis, and blue light to control the plants’ form and function. They can also ­activate a built-in fan to adjust the humidity.

The most important part of Veggie, though, is the fragile bounty it is meant to cultivate. That begins as seeds encased in little ­Teflon-​coated Kevlar pouches. The scientists call them plant pillows. “You can think of it like a grow bag,” Massa says of these packets stuffed with seeds, water wicks, fertilizer, and soil.

People have anticipated this scenario for more than a century. In 1880, science-fiction author Percy Greg wrote Across the Zodiac, a novel about an astronaut who traveled to Mars with plants to recycle waste. Fifteen years later, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian rocket scientist, wrote Dreams of Earth and Sky, which laid out how space farers and flora could live together inside a closed system.

In the 1950s, green things burst from book covers and into the lab. NASA and the U.S. Air Force started growing algae to see if it could help with life support (turns out, it tasted bad, was full of indigestible cell walls, and had too much protein). Then, Soviet scientists experimented with nearly self-sufficient ecosystems in which humans survived on oxygen, water, and nutrition produced mostly within an enclosed habitat. In the longest run, a 180-day trial inside a facility called BIOS-3, an earthbound crew got 80 percent of its food from its own wheat and vegetables. Finally, in 1982, plants in space became a reality when Soviet cosmonauts grew Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering species related to cabbage and mustard, to maturity aboard their Salyut 7 space station. The yield was too small to be a source of food.

Liquid refreshment

Astronauts dispense precise amounts of water to the plants inside Veggie.

Around this time, in the mid-’80s, ­Veggie’s Massa was in middle school, and her ­seventh-​grade teacher returned from an astro­agriculture workshop at Kennedy Space ­Center with reams of information on the topic. Inspired, a teenage Massa kept taking ag classes as she moved on to high school, and later teamed up with her middle-school ­mentor for a hydroponics project.

While Massa continued her studies and self-guided experimentation, NASA began building orbital plant-growing apparatus, most notably the Biomass Production System. Designed to be used for experiments on the space station, it was a rectangle with sides each about the length of an arm. Four cube-shaped growth chambers rested like safes inside. Designed by scientists at a Wisconsin-based company, ­Orbitec, the Biomass Production System joined the space station in 2001. There, Brassica rapa field mustard soon sprouted tall, illuminated by plain white fluorescent light.

When researchers compared the harvest to a control plant on the ground, though, they found that the space mustard had more bacteria and fungus. “The significance of the difference is uncertain,” states NASA’s official conclusion. By which the agency meant it didn’t know why the microbes proliferated, not that their presence wasn’t important. In fact, as Veggie’s mold would show, it was critically important.

NASA retired the Biomass Production System in 2002, but Russian cosmonauts picked up where the U.S. left off. Over the decade, they successfully grew dwarf wheat, leafy mizuna, and dwarf peas. Bonus: In four successive generations of orbiting dwarf peas, the vegetables didn’t show signs of genetic messiness.

All went pretty well for Veggie until the flower flap. Most of its initial ­edible plants—a lettuce variety called Outredgeous—sprouted as they should have in 2014, and the astronauts shot them back down to Earth for testing. Massa says they’re still working on all the analyses. “But in general, the plants are pretty similar to our ground samples.” When they’re finished, they’ll know about chemical contents like antioxidants, anthocyanin (pigments), and phenolics, which protect plants against stress. Short term, the priority was mealtime: Could we have consumed the harvest? The crew, Massa, and NASA all wanted to know. Yes, it turned out, the produce was microbially safe to eat.

Kevlar-coated pouches help protect seeds from microbial contamination; fully grown ­Outredgeous lettuce NASA

Still, when the astronauts planted a second set of seeds, in summer 2023, Massa ran into a new challenge: With harvest approaching, NASA had no protocol to approve the crew chowing down on the leaves of their labor. “We said, ‘We have only 28 days, and then they’re going to have to eat it,’” Massa recalls. With the clock ticking, management found a way to ­officially add the lettuce to the astronauts’ diet.

On August 9, Kelly snapped a picture, standing in front of the unfurling greens. His brow was furrowed, faux serious. “­Tomorrow we’ll eat the anticipated veggie harvest on @space_station!” he tweeted. “But first, lettuce take a #selfie.” Soon he crunched the harvest live on NASA TV. It might seem like no big deal, but a single leaf can make a big difference to someone who’s been eating rehydrated fare for months. During a later harvest, astronaut Peggy Whitson would use them to wrap a reconstituted lobster salad. “Even with a really good diet with hundreds of items, there’s dietary fatigue,” Massa says. “People get bored. Adding a new flavor or texture—like something crisp and juicy—could spice up your regular meal.”

That’s not the only brain boost. Sure, astronauts can gaze down at Earth and see its most beautiful spots—literally all of them—every 90 minutes. But those places are always out of reach, reminders of how far away sea level is. Having something nearby that photosynthesizes might cheer the crew. “It’s the psychological aspect of something green and growing when you’re far away from home,” Massa says.

And then the leaves started to die.

That’s bad enough on its own. But, worse, dying vegetation can be a breeding ground for mold, which had somehow come to space with the astronauts and cargo. Soon, menacing white fuzz began choking the plants.

By this time, Lindgren had returned to Earth, and Kelly had taken over the garden. On December 22, with instructions from ground control, Kelly snipped away the moldy parts like bad spots from a piece of cheese, and swabbed the remaining zinnias and equipment with cleaning wipes. He left the fans on high to help dehydrate the setup.

It was a good try but not without a cost: It made the plants thirsty. Kelly relayed that to ground control and asked to water them. Sergeants who were set on sticking to the drill told Kelly it wasn’t time yet. Not till December 27. “You know, I think if we’re going to Mars, and we were growing stuff, we would be responsible for deciding when the stuff needed water,” Kelly told them, according to NASA’s write-up of the event.

Farm to table

On-Orbit Gardeners Kjell Lindgren (left) and Scott Kelly. The fast-growing salad green was the first plant to be grown, harvested, and eaten in space.

Eventually, they gave autonomy to the person who was actually next to the plants, along with one page of instructions called “The ­Zinnia Care Guide for the On-Orbit Gardener.”

Under the On-Orbit Gardener’s thumb, half of the zinnias revived, unfurling and growing green. NASA spun the whole thing as a positive: They now knew that crops could survive floods, drought, and disease, and that excising the problem plants and cleaning the remainder could keep the fungus from taking over.

Kelly loved the now-flourishing flowers and carried their container all over the space station for photo shoots, like those people who snap shots of themselves in Hard Rock T-shirts all over the world. “He asked if he could harvest them on Valentine’s Day,” Massa says. He’d been in space, away from everyone ­except his smelly crew mates for more than 300 days. NASA let him make the bouquet.

It was one of Massa’s favorite moments. “We had been a part of something that gave him pleasure,” she says.

In upcoming Veggie experiments, scientists will learn more about that part of gardening—the mental part. “We’ve heard a lot anecdotally,” Massa says, “but we’ve never been able to collect data.” They’ll also investigate how much farming crewmembers actually want to do, how much is fun versus how much is a chore, how their sense of taste changes in orbit, and which plants can survive human error (no offense, astronauts).

Veggie’s experiments will continue in tandem with those of a brand-new Type-A companion, the Advanced Plant Habitat, an 18-inch-square self-sufficient laboratory with more than 180 sensors and automated watering. Scientists can establish their variables and thus nail down the specific conditions that cultivate plants—and how those plants can ­cultivate humans. A temperature-­control system keeps the air within 0.5°C of the thermo­stat setting. Sensors relay data about air temperature, light, moisture, and oxy­gen levels back to base. While the Advanced Plant Habitat will quantify the circumstances for successful gardening, Veggie will help qualify how—and why—humans can facilitate their own food supply. In other words, through the habitat’s tight controls, researchers can learn how to grow which plants best. Then, using those parameters, they can set up a system like Veggie that astronauts get to interact with.

Astronauts assembled the habitat over six hours in October 2023, after it rumbled into space in two shipments. The automated contraption looks like a microwave that could survive… being shot into space. Wires stream from here to there and there to here on a control panel. Red indicator lights blink next to toggle switches. And inside the plant chamber, LEDs beam from the ceiling, illuminating the plants below with concert-stage color combinations. It has red, green, and blue lights like Veggie—plus white, near-, and far-infrared ones.

Plants might also be a brain boost. “It’s the psychological aspect of having something green and growing when you’re far away fom home,” says Massa. The Voorhes

Robert Richter, director of environmental systems at Sierra Nevada Corporation, which acquired Orbi­tec in 2014, monitored its progress from the earthbound Space Station Processing Facility. He’d helped design and build the new lab, as well as Veggie and Biomass. When he started in the field, almost 20 years ago, he was a bit ­naive. “I thought, How hard is it to grow plants?“

He’s partly joking, of course—and he knows, now, that when you’re trying to keep the humidity level within 3 percent of a given ­number, when you must make and measure light and moisture, and when you maintain the temperature to a fraction of a degree, there’s a long row to hoe between growing some basil in a cup and farming lettuce in space.

The team powered up the unit in November 2023. And by February this year, test crops of Arabidopsis thaliana and dwarf wheat sprouted. Soon, they’ll begin experiments like investigating plants’ DNA and physiological changes. A lot of the previous plant research has been focused on whether things would grow at all, says Robert Morrow, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s principal scientist. Will they reproduce from generation to generation? And are they as productive in space as on the ground?

Yes, he says. Scientists are beyond those basics now. They need to dig into the dirtier details and more-complicated ecosystems. ­Astronauts, for instance, exhale carbon ­dioxide that plants can inhale. The plants then exhale oxygen, which humans can inhale. ­Human waste can become plant fertilizer and hydration. Nothing wasted, everything gained.

Ultimately, Morrow believes, a garden on a deep-space mission will be more like Veggie than like the Advanced Space Habitat. “It’s really not practical to put all the stuff you have in APH in a system like that,” he says. With so many sensors and tubes, lots can go mechanically wrong, and it’s easier to repair a Veggie than an APH. For now, scientists need APH to home in on optimal guidelines for plant growth and understand how leaving the planet changes them so they can instruct future astronauts how to better manage Veggie-esque systems.

Looking toward the future, Massa is interested in observing astronaut interactions with the instruments. “Do you always want to pick your ripe tomatoes, but maybe you don’t want to have to water them every other day?” she wonders. She’ll have a chance to find out ­because Veggie will grow its first dwarf tomatoes, a variety called Red Robin, early next year.

Other nations continue to experiment too. China, for instance, intends to send silkworms and potato seeds to the moon this year aboard its Chang’e-4 spacecraft. When the silkworms hatch, they’ll create carbon dioxide, which the potato plants will suck up and turn into oxygen, which the silkworms will then take up.

All this research doesn’t just help ­people above the atmosphere. Creating ­self-­contained growth systems might help farmers on Earth grow crops year-round or foster plants with extra protein and high yield. Someday, the work will lead to gardening systems ­substantial—and stable—enough to support space journeyers. Then, those travelers can wrap anything they want in lettuce and crunch their way through the cosmos.

Contributing editor Sarah Scoles is the author of Making Contact: Jill Tartar and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 Life/Death issue of Popular Science.

Online Maps Popularity To Expand Local Search?

Online Maps Popularity To Expand Local Search?

Sometimes I’m even surprised by the level of interest and attention being given to maps of late. But the data keep reminding me of how mapping applications are so widely used and, dare I say it, beloved by consumers. Our Q3 joint online survey with BizRate/Shopzilla showed that mapping sites lead nine other categories of Web sites (including search engines) in terms of a composite index of awareness, usage frequency and loyalty.

More recently, iCrossing’s “How America Searches” study revealed that among activities conducted via search engines, looking for maps or driving directions was the second most popular and performed by 75% of survey respondents. And last year, the folks at Pew Internet & American Life found that mapping/driving directions was the one online application that was consistently rated better than its offline equivalent.

According to recent data from Hitwise, Yahoo! Maps was the most popular mapping site followed by MapQuest (with Google gaining). comScore data reflect that MapQuest is the category leader.

Tommy McGloin, SVP of MapQuest, told me today that the site will be reintroducing aerial imagery later in the year. The company had it until March 2003 but decided consumers weren’t that interested and the costs were higher at the time. In explaining the reintroduction he said, “I don’t want anyone to not use MapQuest because of these niche features.”

In press interviews about mapping I’m often asked, “How will MapQuest respond . . .?” Part of the answer is above. But McGloin told me that MapQuest would continue to do what he believes it does better than anyone else: provide fast and accurate driving directions. McGloin also spoke about MapQuest’s ability to leverage its brand and traffic in creating an extremely successful online directory product.

McGloin stressed that innovation was critical to MapQuest’s brand identity and that wireless was and would continue to be a major area of development for the site. “We have the number one BREW application out there.”

He acknowledged my remark that the newly introduced mapping APIs and related development may take maps in directions (no pun intended) that create new usage patterns. However, he believes that driving directions and finding specific locations/businesses (“name in mind” searches) will continue to dominate user behavior for some time.

Maps and online map usage reflect the growing importance and momentum of the Local Internet and the increasing online/offline connection. Maps are a metaphor for local. So, I suppose, their popularity should come as no surprise.

Importance Of Online Learning To Grow Digitally

Learning is a never-ending affair and to those who have the thirst to sharpen their skills, learning is a pleasant experience. Somewhere along the lines of colonialism and industrialization, we as a society have forgotten to cherish the pleasure of learning. This is exactly where the difference between learning and studying comes into play. 

Learning has been framed as a responsible and monotonous task in the name of studying tell me how many of us enjoyed studying as a kid?

Not many of us understood that the essence of learning was to know and explore different things and acquire experiences, rather than simply imprint what we learn in a book on another. 

We as a society were tuned to accommodate ourselves to rote learning to a major extent and it continues to prevail for a consistently long period of time.

‘What we learn with pleasure, we never forget’

– Alfred Mercier 

Then a massive blow and a huge leap came along the way of learning in the name of online learning. 

Should we thank the pandemic or thank the evolution of technology?

You might be wondering why I should cherish these times and let me tell you why.

Online learning..!

The importance of online learning is profound because anyone can get access to learn anything from anywhere.

The concept of time and distance has always been a huge barrier that has curtailed the humanity from doing many things and with the proficient development of technology and the internet, it would be absurd to blame it on anything for not having space or platform to pursue what we want anymore

Right from the fourth month of 2023, the internet started to flood with numerous online courses, webinars, and workshops. 

Although online courses did exist even before the virus decided to take a stroll, it wasn’t widely sought after by many learners. For a longer period of time, we believed that learning happens through enrolling in institutions and being physically present at the learning place. 

Did the pandemic take a toll on the traditional way of learning? Yes, it did but it also opened ways for many exciting opportunities.  

Of Course, the kids are the ones who are affected the most and institutions are making efforts to survive the situation. But if you consider the situation in the longer run, you will be able to figure out that the online classes are in fact a boon. The accessibility to learning right in the comfort and safety of being at home is what the kids need right now.

And let that pass, on the other hand, If there is someone who is majorly benefitted from this situation of chaos then it would be the avid learners who constantly want to update their knowledge and upgrade themselves. Many have quickly analyzed the importance of online courses and have started to put them into use. 

The plethora of online courses opens ways for many people, not just students. Entrepreneurs, marketers, artists, writers, bakers, chefs and even academicians and many more are making good use of the online learning platforms and online courses

Online Learning Platforms Widely Used in India 

Few of the notable online learning platforms widely used in India are;







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Academy earth



The above is just an example of a few of the popular ones which offer online courses and there are many similar ones. More and more startups are emerging with fresh ideas to establish themselves in the field of online learning because they have analyzed and comprehended the importance of online learning. 

Given that, it is understandable that online learning platforms and courses are available in abundance and accessible to everyone. 

Not just the learners, but even the course creators are benefitted from this. Many course creators are making use of this time and earning a good sum of money. They are on the path to broadening their knowledge by sharing their knowledge with others. After all, learning is a two-way process. 

If you have an above-average knowledge in a niche that would add value to others, then you should go ahead and create a course. The more you teach, the more you learn and you earn as well. 

This pandemic has paved the way for many learners and course instructors to share their knowledge and upskills themselves. This is something that the world hasn’t faced in a hundred years and with a strong wifi connection and a robust electrical gadget, we have realized that learning can happen at ease and with much greater efficiency. 

So, given all of the above, we understand the importance of online courses, and the next question would be how do you choose or frame the right courses, and what is your learning path? 

Whether you’re a learner trying to grasp new things or a course instructor who is willing to offer new learning opportunities, you need to narrow down on your approach.

We all know that planning is more essential than the execution itself, for which you need to know about the learning path.

If you’re planning to take up an online course or create one, then jot down how you’re planning to approach and decide on your learning path by making use of this article. 

So What Exactly is the Online Learning Path?

A learning path is the set of learning entities put together to facilitate the smooth learning of a subject or a particular course. It is more of a direct plan on how to go about the e-learning process. The internet is flooded with a lot of information and numerous online courses, so having a proper learning path planned could help figure out on 

Importance of Learning Path for a Learner  

From a learner’s perspective, the Learning path is choosing a course that contains all the necessary entities that benefit the learner’s skills. 

A learning path is very essential for a learner because a vague approach to learning can eventually lead to confusion in putting into action whatever they learn and the learner ends up feeling aversive toward what she/he actually wants to learn. 

So there are certain things to keep in mind while choosing a course to enroll in. 

Narrow Down on the End Learning Goal of the Course You’re Opting Out

The first and foremost thing you need to do as a learner is jot down what are the skill sets you are aiming to learn. Then based on that you have to look for courses which satiate all of them. 

Enroll in the courses that are relevant to the current times. Any course or skill set keeps evolving according to the times, and checks for relevancy in the course context. Even if it’s a standard course that was created some time back, the course instructors keep updating the course materials from time to time and look out to enroll in one such course. 

Look Out for Courses With Effective Online Assessment 

You need to check for yourself that you have learned right about what you have learned. What is the use of learning something if you don’t know how to implement it? Look for courses that have a good online assessment along with the course. This is not to fret yourself like exams in school but just to ensure that you have learned the concepts right. 

Break Down Your Learning Goals 

This is an important part of e-learning. Most of the e-learning courses are pre-recorded and are given to you in one go. Do not dump yourself with all the information at once, instead plan your study schedule accordingly. 

Dissect the course material down and make a weekly schedule for yourself and move about learning and working on the application part on their side by side. By doing this you will be able to understand the course better and assimilate what you learned. 

Ensure that there is a Space for Doubt Clearance  

Most of the online course creators leave their mail ids or contact information along with the course material which the students can use to contact if they need any doubt clearance or more clarity on the course material.

Few of the online course instructors offer a live doubt clearing session, look out for courses that give you space and a platform for connecting with the course instructors, thereby you can get your doubts cleared and get more clarity on the course material.

Learning Path from a Course Creator’s Perspective

From a course creator’s perspective, the Learning path is curating a course with a relatable set of information, and facts, which should be directed with the right flow to engage the learners and direct them into smooth learning. 

Structure the Course Precisely 

We all know that too much of anything is good for nothing so don’t bombard your students with too much information. Oftentimes tutors have this urge to transmit all the knowledge, in this case giving off an information overload in a beginner’s course might not hold any good. 

Make it a Two-way Learning 

A candle loses nothing by lighting another and by teaching your skills to others, you are only going to improve yours. Make sure that you have the scope to interact with the participants which makes it interesting and amusing for the students as well as you. 

The doubt clearing session will not only give a better understanding of the subject matter to the students but also helps you brush up on existing knowledge and enable you to process the subject matter to a deeper level.

Try Implementing New & Fresh Concepts 

Adding fresh and new components to your course can upskill the course and add value to it. 

Make sure you add relatable concepts and bring in the subject matter which makes the application of the learning a multidimensional way.

Just like how we have elective subjects along with core subjects in our curriculum system, try adding concepts that would be adding value to the core of the course. Make sure it doesn’t deviate from the main grind of the course. 

Be Open to Updating and Innovation 

If you’re someone who is used to traditional ways of teaching and has just shifted to digital platforms, be open to update yourself on the digital front. 

If you’re someone who already has a hands-on experience in the digital world, try using innovative ways of teaching through different digital platforms like uploading podcasts, youtube videos, illustrator videos, going live on social media, and much more. 

Ensure Quality & Authenticity

Make sure that the quality of the content your offer in your course is worth the enrollment money. Be thorough with your research and the content you upload, because something you upload online is always going to be there no matter what. 

You can improve the authenticity of the course by providing certificates for those who completed the course. A certificate is a representation of the skills a person acquires and adds value. 

Even after the Covid-19 expires, online courses are expected to do well and add value, so upskills yourself digitally and ensures that you are open to learning new things. Learning is important but a learning path is pivotal for an online course.  

As Walt Disney once said curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. True, to that channel your curiosity into choosing a planned path of learning which will lead you to great success in developing yourself and your skills.

Check out Digital Scholar’s digital marketing online course for upskilling your knowledge in the digital marketing field.

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