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A Stanford education for free, on-line?

This fall, Stanford decided to experiment by offering its three most popular computer science classes to the public—for free. Within weeks, 200,000 people from around the globe signed up, with Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, taught by renowned Stanford professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun (pictured above), attracting a whopping 160,000 students.

Norvig’s tracking found that more than 3 million users have come to the page since the university announced the artificial intelligence class. And more than 35,000 of the people who signed up have stuck with Intro to A.I., turning in assignments and taking midterm exams right along with the 175 students paying to take the class in person.

Because of the interest, Stanford plans to offer seven more computer science classes beginning in January, and will expand its offerings to two entrepreneurship courses. Next semester, students will be able to take Technology Entrepreneurship—a class on how to launch a successful startup, and The Lean Launchpad, which will teach how to turn “a great idea into a great company.”

Read more on Good News

Solar-power airplanes take off by 2014

Some analysts have said that we are about to enter a golden age of solar technology, as the cost of solar electricity and installations becomes increasingly competitive with established fuel sources. But will we ever use solar power to fly? A team comprised of engineers and adventurers wants to build the first plane to circumnavigate the world solely on solar power.

Bring Your Sunglasses

A tall order, to be sure, but solar-powered transportation has been gaining ground in recent years as solar cells become more efficient and batteries are engineered store more energy in less space. A solar-powered boat is currently sailing the world, and by 2014 the Solar Impulse team hopes to launch a plane that can fly by day or night solely on solar power.

Read more on gas2.org

Move over GE crops, here comes GE salmon

While genetically-engineered (GE) crops are nothing new to U.S. dining tables, GE animals are a different matter. In the case of GE salmon, at least, it appears that is about to change.

Reports that government regulators will soon approve the fish -– developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies — for consumption have surfaced and, as expected, GE naysayers are howling in protest. Along with the typical concerns about the safety of such genetic manipulation in general, there are also worries about such fish getting loose and, if that happens, how they will affect wild salmon populations.

In mid-October, Farm Press spoke with Ron Stotish, AquaBounty President and CEO. Stotish spoke on the arguments against GE salmon, the positive impact the GE fish could have on declining world fisheries and where they can be raised.

Read more on southwestfarmpress.com

GE Advanced Desalination Technology Brings Clean Drinking Water To The Bahamas

GE’s (NYSE: GE) advanced desalination technology is helping a water scarce region in the Bahamas conserve water, expand water production and improve its access to clean drinking water.

Residents of Tarpum Bay on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas have been suffering with brackish and poor quality water for many years. GE provided its seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membrane technology to a new water treatment plant, which can now produce 200,000 imperial gallons per day of desalinated water. Specifically, the plant uses GE’s SeaTECH 84 SWRO system.

“The completion of the Tarpum Bay/Rock Sound Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant was extremely important to the residents of South Eleuthera who have suffered for many years with poor quality water due to high salinity levels,” said Philip J. Beneby, assistant general manager, Water and Sewage Corporation of the Bahamas. “GE’s water technology enabled us to provide highly improved water quality to the community.”

Read more on thestreet.com

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