Thomas Alva Edison is considered one of the greatest inventors of the world. From the invention of light bulbs, to developing devices capable of recording sound, this renowned scientist has done it all. Let’s look at some unknown facts about Thomas Alva Edison.
Unknown facts about Thomas Alva Edison
1) As a child, Edison had an unusually broad forehead and a head which was considered larger than an average human’s.
2) He did not have any formal education as a child. As a hyperactive child, Edison’s teachers were not able to handle him properly, which led his mother to remove him from school and tutor him at home until the age of 11.
3) As an avid fan of Shakespeare, Edison once wanted to be an actor, however, he soon gave up on the idea because of his extreme shyness in front of crowds.
4)Edison published his own newspaper, the Grand Trunk Herald, at the age of 13. He used to publish up to date stories and the newspaper soon became a hit.
5) Edison once made a device which could kill cockroaches using electricity.
6) One of his biggest failures as an inventor was when he tried to invent a device to separate ore from rock and lost millions in the process.
7) Two of Edison’s children were nicknamed “Dot” and “Dash,” in honour of his telegraph days.
8) He used over 2,500 books to keep a record of his progress on thousands of inventions.
With more than 512 patents under his name, Thomas Alva Edison was also the first scientist to employ a team of researchers under him. A scientist turned entrepreneur, Edison is an inspiration to many scientists.
Which fact about Thomas Alva Edison surprised you the most? Comment below and let us know.
Impossible Foods – Achieving The Impossible With Plant Based Meat
Plant based meat is an oxymoron in every way, yet a startup called Impossible Foods Inc. is doing just that. They successfully created a plant based meat which looks, feels, smells and tastes like actual meat. This is no easy feat and it required years of research and development to come up with a product like this.
The world is seeing increasing greenhouse emissions every year and it adversely affects the climatic conditions throughout the world. Cattle and livestock make up for 10 % of greenhouse gases and in the United States of America alone, countless amounts of water and land is used to breed cows.
Impossible Foods was founded by Patrick Brown in 2011. Patrick Brown is a renowned personality in the field of microbiology and holds a Ph.D. As a pure vegetarian and having cut dairy from his diet, Patrick Brown set about to think what the largest environmental problem is and settled down on the production of meat from cattle. He held a conference to raise awareness about the issue, only to have it make minimal impact. It was then Patrick realised the need to offer a competing product on the free market.
Patrick Brown then immersed himself in research about what makes meat endearing as food and began to develop a process which isolates compounds that make meat feel like meat. After attracting an initial investment from venture capitalists, he started his venture Impossible Foods Inc.
How Impossible meat is made
After a few years of research, Patrick Brown realised the key to the unique taste of meat was the availability of ‘heme,’ an iron based molecule present in abundance. Patrick and his team then set out to search for the availability of heme in plants and found it is present in soy plant roots.
Patrick Brown figured out a way to isolate this heme from soy plants and inserted them into a yeast which replicated the heme compound. This method cut down costs in terms of land and cultivation of soy plants to extract the heme compound. After this, the team decided they need to replicate the flavour, texture, smell and taste of a beef patty and decided to engineer it from scratch.
Impossible Foods employed the use of a mass spectrometer to isolate smells which made a cooked patty delicious and replicated the same in their Impossible patty. Coconut oil chips, with the coconut flavour extracted, were used to replicate fat which melted upon heating the patty. Potato protein was used to replicate the effect which meat undergoes when it is being cooked and for the taste, Impossible Foods turned to the heme. This patty was used to create the Impossible Burger and the makers claim it has very less total fat, no cholesterol and fewer calories than a normal burger.
Growth of Impossible Foods
Upon the development of the Impossible Burger, it made its debut in the Momofuku Nishi restaurant, which is owned by David Chang in New York. Since then, it has featured on the menus of Michelin star restaurants. Burger chains like Bareburgers, Umami Burgers and Whitecastle added the Impossible Burger to their menu. Since the release of the Impossible Burger, Impossible Foods has worked to refine the Impossible Burger patty to more closely match an actual meat patty and they came up with the Impossible Burger 2.0.
Upon the launch of the Impossible Burger 2.0, Burger King did a test sale in select restaurants by offering the Impossible Burger on their menu and it was a success, which led to it becoming a standard offering on Burger King menus of all their locations in the United States of America. This demand led Impossible Foods to increase their production capacity to one million pounds a month.
Impossible Foods is now planning to expand their product range and conducting research to further their offerings. While Impossible Foods is trying to achieve the impossible, the technology they use in their development process will definitely find its use in the future if land and water become precious commodities due to unchecked global warming trends.
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ROLI – A Startup Pushing The Boundaries Of Making Music
Music is a very important part of people’s lives. Different individuals have different tastes and different genres which they like. However, everyone will agree music, as an art, uplifts emotions as well as the quality of life. Music is constantly evolving by adapting to technologies prevalent in the current times, with a variety of new musical instruments like the hang drum, cajon and electric guitars, to name a few, coming out.
There is a startup reinventing and redefining the boundaries of what a piano can do—ROLI. This startup combines the science of computers and music to come up with products which integrate technology and sound.
ROLI was founded in 2009 by pianist Roland Lamb while he was a graduate student at London’s famous Royal College of Art. He was heavily influenced by saxophonists and guitarists as they modulate the sound any way they want by increasing or decreasing the pitch and tonality of a sound. Roland Lamb decided the piano could not replicate the range of sounds a guitar could and started working on his first product called the ROLI Seaboard.
The Seaboard is a digital instrument. Its design is based on the piano and is made up of an intuitive silicone structure. It is meant to be played like a normal keyboard or piano, but with the addition of gestures meant to modulate the sound output. Sliding a finger between the keys of the Seaboard changes the pitch, similar to a stringed instrument like an electric guitar. Volume and vibrato notes can be modulated by using a controller which is integrated into the Seaboard. Utilities like these are what sets it apart from the traditional piano and similar instruments.
Since the release of the first Seaboard in 2013, ROLI has launched Blocks and an app named Noise. While the Seaboard is modelled based on the piano, launching it was a hassle as there was no other product out in the market which was similar to the Seaboard. So, ROLI went ahead and created a community of their product users. This was the reason why it was modelled around the piano as it offered a familiarity for users to draw upon their past experiences of using the instrument. ROLI relied on well known musicians to use their products to help with their growth. Artists and acclaimed music composers like Hans Zimmer, A.R. Rahman, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder use ROLI products.
Musician Pharrell Williams invested in the startup and took up an executive position as the Chief Creative Officer at ROLI.
ROLI gained popularity over the years as more and more artists adopted its usage in creating music. This unique startup, which has both music composers and software engineers working and collaborating side by side, aims to push the boundaries of creating music as far as it can.
Watch the Game of Thrones theme being performed on a Seaboard:
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5 Corporations With Bug Bounty Programs
Corporations, both large and small, are now increasingly sinking resources into perfecting their online and offline security for their data. In this age, where data is the new gold, organisations are taking care not to let the data be leaked because a breach of data will signal their inability to protect themselves from security threats.
A bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system which causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. Bugs lead to a huge loss in infrastructure, finances and reputation. For example, a Mars climate orbiter, which was launched in 1998, crashed onto the martian surface due to a bug. A sub contractor, who designed the navigation system, used the Imperial units of measurement instead of the metric system which was specified by NASA, leading to the orbiter crashing. The famous Y2K bug led the entire world to believe entire systems would come crashing down because of the belief the time on the computers will reset to the year 1900 instead of 2000 after the year 1999.
There are many bugs like these, some harmless, some which cause considerable harm. Bugs like these can be exploited by anyone with a malicious intent and corporations are trying to counter it by offering bounties for bugs which are reported. A bug bounty program is a deal offered by many websites, organizations and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those pertaining to exploits and vulnerabilities.
Let us have a look at five famous companies with bug bounty programs.
It is no surprise Google is on the list because of the amount of user data and confidential information to which it has access, considering most of the world uses Google’s products or services in some way or the other. Google currently offers six reward programs which are:
Google Vulnerability Reward Program (VRP)
Patch Reward Program
Vulnerability Research Grants
Chrome Reward Program
Android Reward Program
Google Play Security Reward Program
Google offers rewards ranging from $ 500 to one million dollars, depending on the severity of the bug.
The social networking platform, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, has access to large amounts of private information of its users. The recent Facebook security breach saw founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg sit in front of an American congressional panel to address the concerns of the Government and the public. A Brazilian engineer was paid a bounty of $ 33,500 for reporting a bug which showcased vulnerabilities that would allow anyone to read arbitrary files on a web server.
One of the world’s largest corporations, Microsoft has a bug bounty program called the Researcher Recognition Program. It allows white hat hackers (ethical hackers) to report bugs on all of Microsoft’s services and products. Microsoft offers up to $ 300,000 dollars, depending on the type and nature of the bug.
In a bid to compete with Google Maps, Apple released its own version of Maps, called Apple Maps. The utility this application provided was, however, nowhere close to that provided by Google Maps. There was a bug which left motorists stranded in the middle of nowhere in Australia. The motorists, who were supposed to go to the town of Mildura, were instead led to a location which was 45 miles away from the location of the town and was instead a place in a remote national park. Since then, Apple got on to the bug bounty program, which lets white hat hackers and its users report bugs in return for rewards. At a recent Black Hat Briefings conference, Apple announced it would increase its rewards to one million dollars. Apple offers its rewards through its Apple Security Bounty program available on its website.
PayPal offers rewards through its program called the PayPal Bug Bounty Program, which allows users or hackers to report bugs on their domains like PayPal, Braintree, Paydiant, Venmo and Xoom. Paypal currently offers bounties ranging from $ 50 to $ 30,000.
There are many other companies and corporations as well whichwho have a bug bounty program in some form or the other in order to protect their security interests. These programsThis program also attractattracts hackers to test their skillsskill in order to gain recognition from their peers. Even the American Pentagon has a bug bounty program, whichand that goes on to show the importance of security of data in this day and age.
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