Your new car is a spy, probably

Plus: Improv magic
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

In today's edition:

// Spy cars

// China’s ‘force’ gun

// The man dropping chemicals in your pool

// Flexible solar cells

Major power efficiency boost for flexible solar cells | SciTechDaily

“Researchers have enhanced the efficiency of ternary organic solar cells by introducing a ‘guest’ component. This modification allows for improved sunlight absorption and optimized solar cell operations. Through strategic placement and modification of this guest component, they achieved power conversion efficiency gains of over 19 percent.”

The lost art of playing with your kid | How To Play With Your Kid

Calling all parents (or people with friends with kids)! Playing with your kid can be hard, even if a sweet show about a loveable family of anthropomorphic blue heelers is making your kid think otherwise. That’s okay because, through the art of improv (you know, that thing your funny co-worker does in the back of a pie shop every week that you refuse to watch them do), you can learn how to engage your kid on a whole new level. Best of all, it’s a lot of fun too. Even better than that, those tips and tricks are all in a short, easy-to-read, and super useful guide. [Ad]

Man arrested for dropping chemical into swimming pools using drone | The Byte

“The general manager of a Quality Inn in Absecon, New Jersey, noticed a bizarre trend at her hotel: a mysterious blue substance had seemingly been airdropped into the hotel's pool, causing it to turn a radioactive shade of green.


As The New York Times reports, it wasn't a sudden algae bloom or bacterial infection. It was a 45-year-old man, who thought it was hilarious to use a drone to contaminate nearby pools with packets of Sea Dye, a chemical that colors the water to aid during water rescues.”

If you’ve got a new car, it’s a data privacy nightmare | Gizmodo

“If your vehicle was made in the last few years, you’re probably driving around in a data-harvesting machine that may collect personal information as sensitive as your race, weight, and sexual activity. Volkswagen’s cars reportedly know if you’re fastening your seatbelt and how hard you hit the brakes.


That’s according to new findings from Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included project. The nonprofit found that every major car brand fails to adhere to the most basic privacy and security standards in new internet-connected models, and all 25 of the brands Mozilla examined flunked the organization’s test.”

Elite performance and longevity, powered by your data | Fount

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Meet China's new 'Force' gun that can move things from afar | Interesting Engineering

“Chinese scientists are working on a device that uses plasma rings to move objects at a distance. Touted as possibly being used for contactless satellite recovery, delivery, or space object deflection, the team behind the program is confident the device would work in principle, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.


Likened to the "Jedi" abilities of 'Force Push' and 'Force Pull' in the science fiction franchise 'Star Wars' (though possibly closer in concept to an actual 'tractor beam'), the device could prove revolutionary for many industries if proven viable.”

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