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The Bee-Friendly Pesticide Alternative That Has Farmers Buzzing

By Marc Davis​

If you want to stay healthy by eating right, there's a catch: It's getting more and more expensive.

For fruits and vegetables alone, price increases of 10 to 15 per cent per annum have become the new norm.

In which case, here's society's crucial challenge: Can these price escalations be curbed? And can it be done before these health-promoting foods become unaffordable for all too many of us?

By Marc Davis​

Technology News

Big Data: Managing Wild Weather and Water  

A state of emergency was declared throughout Washington State in November in response to a series of savage storms that caused three deaths and hundreds of injuries. So catastrophic was the cumulative damage that the National Guard was called in.


The devastating impact led to power outages, road and rail closures and the cancellation of numerous flights and ferry sailings. It also triggered flooding, eroded slopes and stream banks, uprooted trees and produced landslides.

By Gaalen Engen and Marc Davis​

Ready, headset, go

New VR headsets are being launched, but the technology’s appeal is uncertain

Those trying a virtual-reality set for the first time can be transported to the top of a skyscraper at night. Stepping up to the edge, they look down on the bustle of the city, far below. If he is standing nearby, Brendan Iribe, the boss of Oculus, which makes virtual-reality headsets, likes to dare people to jump. But many, including your correspondent, are too fearful: it feels like they really are teetering on the brink.

Cheaper than getting divorced?

Has Oculus been Trumped?

By Marc Davis


It’s sleek, super-lightweight and has the ‘cool’ factor. That’s not up for debate. But what comes next will surely stir up some controversy.


More so perhaps than Facebook’s $2 billion buyout last year of Oculus VR – a start-up virtual reality (VR) headset developer for gamers. 


What’s contentious here are the claims of Doug Magyari, a 59-year-old serial inventor who lives light years away from Silicon Valley in low-tech Detroit. He’s developed ‘smartglasses’ that are not only considered functionally superior to Oculus’ technology; they can also easily transition from VR to augmented reality (AR).


“Our product’s VR and AR capabilities outperform Oculus and the rest of the competition in every important regard,” Magyari says.

Virtual Reality Grand Illusions
Virtual reality flopped in the 1990s. This time it’s different—apparently

By The Economist


Your correspondent stands, in a pleasingly impossible way, in orbit. The Earth is spread out beneath. A turn of the head reveals the blackness of deep space behind and above. In front is a table full of toys and brightly coloured building blocks, all of which are resolutely refusing to float away—for, despite his being in orbit, gravity’s pull does not seem to have vanished. A step towards the table brings that piece of furniture closer.


A disembodied head appears, and pair of hands offer a toy ray-gun. “Go on, shoot me with it,” says the head, encouragingly. Squeezing the trigger produces a flash of light, and the head is suddenly a fraction of its former size, speaking in a comic Mickey-Mouse voice (despite the lack of air in low-Earth orbit) as the planet rotates majestically below.

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