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Canada invests nearly $250 million in international observatory project
CCTT
Canada is investing close to $250 million to help build what will be reportedly be the world's most powerful optical telescope. Canada will contribute $243.5 million to the Thirty Meter Telescope project, to be located on the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Canada joins partners from Japan, India, China, and the United States in backing the initiative. Much of Canada's funding will support the construction of the telescope's enclosure and optical instruments, features that were designed by Canadian engineers and that will be fabricated in British Columbia. Construction of the observatory, which had been delayed pending the Canadian government's decision, can now begin in earnest. Researchers across the country applauded the announcement. "(It's) an amazing day for Canada," said Ray Calberg, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, said in statement that "this timely investment gives certainty to Canada's role in this globally important project." The 22-storey-tall observatory is expected to be operational in 2023.

Toronto Star | National Post | UBC News Release
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IFME World Congree on Municipal Engineering — June 2015 — Rotorua, New Zealand
CCTT
The 2015 IFME World Congress on Municipal Engineering is to be held in Rotorua (New Zealand), jointly with the IPWEA (Australasian) International Public Works Conference. Australian and New Zealand IPWEA members are looking forward to hosting delegates from around the world.

We have arranged a stimulating program with excellent keynote speakers (including the Deputy Prime Minister), over 200 papers in eight streams over three days, technical visits, and plenty of opportunities for international networking. And all of this in Rotorua, where delegates can soak up the best of New Zealand's fascinating Maori culture, explore the great outdoors, satisfy their inner adrenalin junkie and visit geothermal wonderlands. Rotorua truly offers something for everyone.

Online registration is now open.

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Colleges help students meet industry demand for soft skills
CCTT
An article in The Globe and Mail looks at how Canadian colleges are working to overcome a gap between the demands of employers and the skills of recent graduates. The article notes that recent U.S.-based surveys have found that while 75 per cent of education providers said that graduates were adequately prepared for entry-level positions in their field, only 42 per cent of employers and 45 per cent of youth felt the same way. Forty-nine per cent of employers felt that grads had adequate written communication skills, in contrast to 63 per cent of education providers. In response, some colleges are working to enhance their soft skills offerings, providing instruction on communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, sometimes in collaboration with employers. The British Columbia Institute of Technology, for example, requires that students complete a hands-on consulting project for an industry client in order to graduate. BCIT has also collaborated with SAP Canada to develop a high-school course that has students working on real-world projects and learning about teamwork and job readiness. "I firmly believe you have to simulate what is done in industry if you are going to call yourself industry-ready," said Robin Hemmingsen, Dean of BCIT's business school.

The Globe and Mail

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New inexpensive aluminum-ion battery set to outlast competitors
The Globe and Mail
Lithium-ion batteries may be on their last charge. Stanford University researchers have unveiled the world's first long-lasting, fast-charging, inexpensive aluminum battery. The Stanford team said the technology could replace many commercial batteries in use today, including the lithium-ion batteries that power everything from iPhones to pacemakers to Tesla Motors' electric cars.
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Thirty Meter Telescope to see cosmos on micro scale
CBC News
Less is more. That's one way to see things when it comes to the Thirty Meter Telescope, a project that received more than $240 million in funding from Canada recently. It's billed as the most powerful optical instrument on Earth for viewing the cosmos. Named for the diameter of the aperture it will use to gather light, the Thirty Meter Telescope is designed to offer astronomers the most detailed glimpses of the known universe that they can get from the ground.
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Vegas arena to use facial scan technology
Sportsnet
Like the eye in the sky looking out for card counters in casinos, the new 20,000-seat arena set to open in spring 2016 in Las Vegas will feature technology that keeps watch on its patrons. The arena, which could house an NHL franchise if a local bid proves successful, will use cameras to gauge visitors' age and gender in an effort to target ads to specific demographics, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
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Patients are cool with mobile tech in the exam room, as long as it isn't a barrier
Venture Beat
Doctors have long worried that the presence of the electronic medical record, and the technology needed to write to it, created a wall between the doctor and the patient during exams. They worry that it degrades the doctor-patient relationship, and the "art" of practicing medicine. You picture a physician sitting at a PC asking the patient questions, but never looking at the patient.

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The high-tech battle against pirates
Popular Science
Ghose looks more like a spacecraft than a sea-borne combat vessel. It's waiting for us in the Piscataqua River, a few minutes out from its home at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME. As we approach in a small chase boat, I get a full view of the cabin — sharp and angular like a stealth fighter — looming over the dark water.

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No more aisle: The high-tech window seat of the future
Yahoo!
Air travelers of the future won't have to look at their tablets or seat-back monitors for in-flight entertainment — all they'll have to do is look out the window. Airbus has filed for a U.S. Patent for its new smart window, which the aircraft maker calls an "interactive aircraft cabin window display system" that provides a "method for interactive visualization of information in an aircraft cabin."

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This simple technology could greatly increase subway capacity at little cost
Vox
New York City is currently in the process of constructing a $4.5 billion Second Avenue subway line. The project is important: it will deliver much-needed relief to the overcrowded Lexington Avenue subway line in a city that is utterly dependent on mass transit to move people around. But is the multi-billion-dollar subway line actually necessary?
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Novel photolithographic technology that enables control over functional shapes of microstructures
Phys.org
Researchers in South Korea have developed a novel photolithographic technology enabling control over the functional shapes of micropatterns using oxygen diffusion. Professor Shin-Hyun Kim and his research team in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a novel photolithographic technology enabling control over the functional shapes of micropatterns using oxygen diffusion.
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Scientists: Aluminium battery can charge phone in one minute
The Guardian
Scientists say they have invented a new battery that could fully charge a smartphone in just one minute. The researchers have created an aluminium battery which they hope could replace the lithium models commonly found in laptops and mobile phones. And as well as the "unprecedented charging times" of their aluminium prototype, the team said it was also safer than lithium-ion batteries as it was less prone to catching fire and more environmentally friendly than alkaline models such as AA and AAA.
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New technology keeps drones from crashing and burning
Engadget
Small drones could easily be blown off course by harsh winds or lose access to GPS while passing through somewhat closed off locations. Since either scenario could spell disaster for delivery or service drones of the future, a research team from the University of Zurich has devised a system that autonomously sets them upright and finds them a good place to land.
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This is probably the most high-tech cemetery in the world
Gizmodo
The Ruriden columbarium, operated by the Koukokuji Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, is as futuristic as the capital of Japan itself. Believe it or not, this is a cemetery. The Ruriden is home to 2,046 small altars, with glass Buddha statues that correspond to drawers storing the ashes of the deceased. People can visit their beloved lost ones with the help of a smart card which grants access to the building and lights up their corresponding statue.
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