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A labyrinth of rooms stretches across the third floor of N51, the weathered gray building that has long housed the MIT Museum. The rooms look more like a handyperson’s workshop than a scientist’s lab. There’s woodworking equipment, metalworking equipment, hammers, wrenches, and dozens of boxes just for storing bike parts. Cookstoves line a windowsill. Pots that cool food through evaporation from a surrounding layer of wet sand occupy a hallway. Hanging from the ceiling, there’s a floatable bike that’s suspended above four pontoons, so a rider would pedal just above the water’s surface. This is D-Lab.

Ask different members of D-Lab what the D stands for, and you’re likely to get a variety of responses. Often, people say “design” or “development.” At one point, the D was a placeholder for a whole phrase—“Development through dialogue, design, and dissemination.” Ta Corrales ’16 adds another D word to the list: “D-Lab derails students,” she says, “and that was me, too.”

Corrales was a first-year undergraduate from Costa Rica when she discovered this eclectic enclave within MIT, where 26 staff members support 15 classes that teach MIT students how technological innovation can bring people together. The students, in turn, teach others in less-developed areas how to build tools that will simplify their lives. D-Lab works in more than 25 countries on five continents to help raise standards of living. By the end of her sophomore year, Corrales decided that instead of pursuing her first love, chemistry, she would make D-Lab’s work the basis for her career.

Solving problems

Today, five years after graduating from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering (and a minor in chemistry), Corrales is a leader at the OAXIN Innovation Center, a nonprofit organization in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. OAXIN was founded in 2019 after 32 academic, nonprofit, and government partners, including D-Lab and MIT Enterprise Forum Mexico, collaborated to identify ways to build up the regional economy. Today, around 10 OAXIN members run workshops in which locals and visiting MIT students design and build tools for Oaxacans to use. Workshop participants say they come away feeling connected to their communities and empowered to solve technological problems. Often, they contribute to the local economy along the way. 

At the start of a typical five-day workshop, 25 participants discuss Oaxacans’ biggest needs and vote for five to focus on. Participants might say they want to prepare food more quickly, avoid inhaling smoke while cooking, or light their homes at night. After they choose which issues to address, Corrales leads locals through a design process in which they brainstorm technology, build prototypes, see what works well and what needs improvement, and then repeat the process. Small groups of MIT students sometimes travel to Oaxaca to join in, and those who do often prototype solutions back in the lab at MIT.

Corrales demonstrates a charcoal press at a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico.OC3 PROGRAM

“Ta Corrales showed us that for a community to become prosperous, it has to understand how to manage technology,” Enoc Ramírez, a former workshop participant, says through a translator by text message. 

Ramírez has enjoyed working with tools since he was a kid, and he’s long built machines like agave grinders and lawn mowers. During his first workshop with Corrales in 2018, he learned a framework for researching design strategies, prototyping, and improving his designs that made his job as an inventor and welder much easier and more efficient. Now he runs workshops through OAXIN as well as fixing and creating tools in his business. 

Recently, he helped a group of women speed up fish processing by helping them design a knife with a blade that’s optimized for descaling the fish on one side and cleaning them on the other. He hopes that learning engineering and design skills in the workshops that he and Corrales run will give Oaxacans more job opportunities and prevent young people, like his two children, from needing to immigrate illegally to the United States, as he

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By: Saima May Sidik, SM ’21
Title: The power of simple innovations
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/10/26/1036741/the-power-of-simple-innovations/
Published Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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