MIT’s Food Computer: The Future of Urban Agriculture?

Open-source, Internet-assisted farming aims for a new green revolution

3 min read
MIT’s Food Computer: The Future of Urban Agriculture?
The Food Computer: This tabletop machine lets you program the climate you want for your tasty experiments.
Photo: MIT Media Lab

Is urban agriculture on the verge of an Internet-enabled revolution? According to a team of technologists at MIT, this unexpected possibility may yet emerge from a series of recent technological breakthroughs. These include the development of high-efficiency blue LED lighting, whose inventors received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The MIT researchers say that as technology enables new farming opportunities in indoor, warehouse-based settings, food production can be retooled to accommodate high-density urban living and maintain food security despite a future of increasing climate instabilities and vulnerabilities. The visionaries behind this new farming tech are working toward a networked agricultural system that looks to the open-source software movement for inspiration.

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Vertical
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton
Pink

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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