The scars and pits of aging apartments and housing units under the jurisdiction of the New York City Housing Authority don’t immediately convey innovative ideas. NYCHA is New York City’s largest landlord, home to nearly 1 in 16 New Yorkers, but after decades of delayed maintenance and mismanagement, NYCHA’s buildings have effectively collapsed. All in all, this abandoned subsidized home is located in what local planners say “Negligent demolition. ” It is estimated that $40 billion or more, at least $180,000 per unit, will be required to return the building to a state of good repair.
Years ago, there was evidence of innovation hidden within these units – in the kitchen. By the late 1990s, NYCHA realized that the existing refrigerators in many units were extremely inefficient, aging and costly. It set up a successful competition for appliance makers to create smaller, more efficient apartment units. Winner Maytag acquired the rights to NYCHA and other housing authorities, and sold 150,000 of its novel Magic Chef models between 1995 and 2003.
Now NYCHA wants to do the same with heating and cooling. The Clean Heat for All challenge requires manufacturers to develop low-cost, easy-to-install heat pump technology for building retrofits. The stakes for the institution, the winning company, and society itself can be huge — and good for the planet.
After all, retrofitting existing buildings is more sustainable than tearing them down and building new ones. Read the full article.
I combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scariest/most fascinating tech stories of the day.
1 Amazon wants Alexa to mimic the voice of a deceased loved one
Yep, that sounds like a leaked Black Mirror script. (NBC Finance Channel)
+ How your life data means a version of you can live forever. (MIT Technology Review)
2 Finland is sealing its spent nuclear fuel deep underground
It was the first country to build a complete deep geological storage facility. (economist $)
+ Fusion startup Zap Energy claims to have injected plasma into the reactor core. (Now $)
+ Can the U.S. solar panel industry rebound? (slate $)
3 Recession? What recession?
The economy is slowing, but if we do sink into a recession, it may not be as scarred as previously thought. (New Yorker $)
+ Defining a recession isn’t easy, but we’ll know it once it does. (Bloomberg $)
4 Cash is dying
But while fewer people use it, it remains a lifeline for the vulnerable. (new york magazine)
+ The Elegy of Cash: The Technology We May Never Replace. (MIT Technology Review)
+ compliment dollar bills. (MIT Technology Review)
5 How a group dedicated to the removal of missionaries was cancelled
No white savior has been accused of similar misconduct to the aid workers it targets. (enter)
+ How the AI industry is profiting from disaster. (MIT Technology Review)
6 Mark Zuckerberg can’t be allowed to rule the virtual world
His current monopoly should be seen as a warning sign. (time $)
+ Meta is no longer sponsoring U.S. anniversary events. (Wall Street Journal $)
+ Facebook’s oversight board is pushing for greater transparency. (Wettable powder $)
7 Alibaba sets its sights on South Asia
After conquering China, it is looking to expand into new pastures. (foot $)
8 How The Boring Ape Transcended Its Crypto Origins
And in the process it became a cultural movement. (block)
+ Crypto Game Axie Infinity May Benefit From Apes’ Good Luck. (Rest of the world)
+ At least GPU prices are finally coming down. (motherboard)
9 These tiny robotic fish remove microplastics from the ocean
But we need a lot of people to make a difference. (protector)
10 Disassociation music reflects the bleak state of our world today
Fans are revelling in being out of touch with reality. (cross)