Solar panels make drinking water

A project backed by a $1 billion fund led by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos in Lebanon, Kenya and other countries is producing drinking water from solar panels. Moisture is gradually extracted from the air and that moisture is heated by solar panels and condensed into pure water. A Lebanese orphanage, a girls school in Kenya and private homes in the US are already using the water. If replicated, this technology is likely to alleviate water challenges that currently bedevil many cities as a result of climate change. Major cities like Cape Town and Beijing are some of the cities that are struggling with low water levels.

Cows milked via 5G technology

With 5G fast taking over the technology space, a project in Southern England is testing the milking of cows using 5G enabled robot machines. The cows are fitted with smart collars which control gates and allow robotic milking machines to milk the cows without any human interference. Connected ear tags also allow workers at the facility to monitor the health of each cow and to track its location at all times. 5G technology is expected to contribute in a lot of areas which includes self-driving cars, smart cities and artificial intelligence. 5G is also expected to provide internet speeds which are twenty times faster than those offered by 4G. We can’t wait for its rollout in this part of the world.

US$22 million for Facebook founder’s security

Facebook founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s security cost the company $22 million in 2018. Like other wealthy CEOs, Zuckerberg’s official salary is $1 a year. However, he received $22.6 million in 2018, up from $9.1 million in 2017 for security. The increase is to cover increased threats against Zuckerberg and his company. It also covers private aircraft travel, security guards, equipment and residential improvements. Facebook has been under fire for personal privacy issues and this has led to increased security concerns. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s personal security also cost the company $1.1 million more due to these concerns.

800 electric buses for Paris

Paris is ordering 800 electric buses in a bid to end dangerous smog and fight climate change. Across France, 48 000 people die annually due to air pollution. And, with Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics, the city wants to clean up its air before then. The 800 buses will be the biggest electric bus purchase in Europe. But, it is not the largest purchase in the world. Shenzhen in China rolled out 16 000 electric buses in 2017. Paris’ efforts are not to be overlooked though. Their targets are impressive. Two-thirds of Paris’ buses will be electric by 2025 with the rest fuelled by biogas. Moreover, diesel cars will be banned from 2024 and petrol cars from 2030. Zimbabwe has a long way to go in this regard.