How Cutting-Edge Technology & Science Are Powering The Future TPM Idealab

With its bevy of tech companies and biotech researchers, San Francisco has become renowned around the world as the epicenter of new ideas, change and innovation.

So when companies come to town wanting to offer San Franciscans new ways of accessing the internet, it might come as a surprise that this isn't the easiest town in which to be a telecommunications provider.

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By Elizabeth Schiffman

Bike technology has been advancing rapidly to meet cycling's growing popularity, making frames stronger and lighter, improving shock absorption and streamlining gear mechanisms.

But shifting has yet to diverge from its simple, manual process.

Technology design firm Deeplocal wants to change that by creating a mind-controlled electronic gearshift system.

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How easy is it to "hack" into a voice mail system? Easy, according to security experts.

That's both because cell phone owners make it easy by not changing their default personal identification number to access their voice mail, and because of the proliferation of easily-accessible software online that enables people to pretend to be the owners of phones that they're trying to break into.

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By George Parrott

There are now more than 4,000 Nissan Leaf electric cars on the road in the United States, and the 2012 Mitsubishi "i" is poised to arrive at dealers late this year.

Each car offers a DC quick-charge port using the Japanese CHAdeMO standard, for which most 2011 Nissan Leaf owners paid extra.

Yet as of today, there is exactly one fully functional CHAdeMO quick charge point in the entire United States: in Portland, Oregon.

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Scientists have known for years that lightbulbs can be made to be more efficient, and could last longer, but it wasn't until 2007 that Congress mandated a federal standard that would ensure manufacturers produce better lightbulbs.

That relatively obscure 2007 rule, part of a broader energy bill signed into law that year by President Bush, burst into the spotlight in 2008 when Rush Limbaugh put it on the public radar by complaining about it as a prime example of government intrusion into individuals' lives.

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By Emily Gertz

That chicken breast or pork loin sitting on your plate may look innocent enough -- yet meat production is among humanity's most environmentally destructive activities.

It is estimated that livestock raised for meat drink up eight percent of the fresh water supply, create 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and use about 30 percent of the world's non-ice-covered land. Clearing land for livestock is also a major driver of the destruction of forests and other wildlife habitat.

Enter "cultured meat," or meat grown "in vitro:" beef, sheep, and other animal muscle cells grown in laboratories, using the well-established tissue cultivation method of immersing a few cells in a nutrient-dense glop, and then leaving them alone to divide and increase.

Proponents say that cultured meat could feed billions cheaply. It could be grown in any shape, and even texturized to improve palatability: Sheets of meat cells could be stretched mechanically, imitating how an animal uses its muscles.

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