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Facebook Launches “Order Food” for Take Out and Delivery Straight from Pages

Facebook announced a new feature which allows users to order food directly from Facebook pages. The new feature, called “Order Food,” lets users order takeout or delivery directly from restaurants like Papa John’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jack in the Box, Five Guys, and Panera. It also allows the users to order via food delivery services Delivery.com, EatStreet, Olo, and DoorDash.

The ability to access the restaurant’s Facebook Page would also be easier to do, at the same time, this would help the user make a quick decision in ordering from the restaurant.

This is the latest innovation from within Facebook; it helps ensure that users do not need to leave the app to order food. It joins other Facebook features like games, weather info, jobs board, fundraisers, movie listings, marketplace, appointment bookings, and getting quotes.

Facebook disclosed that the food ordering system is currently only in limited testing in the United States since last year. At launch, the facility will be available on iOS, Android, and on the desktop.

Accessing “Order Food”

The Order Food facility is accessible via the “Explore” menu, which lists participating restaurants in the vicinity from where the user can order. The restaurants’ Facebook reviews and ratings are available as well. The user can choose between “pickup” or “delivery” options, and then start an order at a restaurant. If the restaurant offers multiple delivery service options, the user can select which one to use. If the user does not have an account with the delivery service, they can also signup on that service without leaving Facebook.

This is an all-in-one approach which effectively ensures that the user does not have to leave Facebook. It also integrates functions included in other websites like Yelp!, Foursquare and Zomato. In this case, the restaurant will have to include their updated menu on their Facebook Page. At a glance, the user can read friends’ restaurant reviews, as well as the customer experiences of other users.

Back in the Day

Previously, Facebook users would be able to read comments about user experiences from their timeline. Their friends’ posts would show where they dined, some pictures, as well as the overall experience. This is usually written in a light and lively manner. Seldom would you see critical user reviews of restaurants, unlike in Zomato, for instance. The ability to access the restaurant’s Facebook Page would also be easier to do, at the same time, this would help the user make a quick decision in ordering from the restaurant.

Without the “Order Food” facility, users can go to the restaurant page to find the contact numbers, inquire about the food, check what promos they have, and then make an order. They can also inquire about the hours of operation, as well as the availability of items on the menu. This traditional method of doing things has become more interactive. With the “Order Food” facility, the chances are that those restaurants which offer takeout or delivery would have better chances of increasing their sales.

Ease of Use

The facility makes it very simple and very easy for users to order food. It will take only a few taps to order – there is no need to call the restaurant and have someone on the other line list down what they want, which can be prone to human error. This is an automation feature which will have a bold impact on the dining experience of users.

Facebook has clarified that this bold move is not a new revenue stream. The company says it does not charge any fees, or have any share in the sales or profits from the orders placed on its site.

Genomic Prediction; The Future Of Customizing DNA is Now

The future may be bright, dark, dystopian, promising, or utopian. We may also move into a world where there is no disease and people live long lives. Regardless of viewpoint, a new way to shape that future is here now. That’s because we now have much more control over the genetics of our offspring than ever before.

The markers are read and analyzed and a report given to the parents. The Genetic Prediction test is just one report which the parents can avail to check for the health of the embryo.

Nathan Treff wants to help people who are going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) avoid passing on type 1 diabetes, along with other complex diseases. He co-founded Genomic Prediction with Stephen Hsu and Laurent Tellier. They have diverse backgrounds required for the task at hand. Treff is an IVF specialist and a Rutgers University Associate Professor. Hsu, a physicist, is also the Michigan State University vice president for research. Tellier, CEO of Genomic Prediction, is a Danish bioinformatician.  Tellier and Hsu have previously worked in China on the bold idea of a genome sequencing program of mathematical geniuses with the aim of understanding the genetic basis behind IQ.

Big Data on DNA

Research into diseases have shown that a person’s DNA can predict some of these. Today, the genetic data is available from large population studies. With the use of big data, data mining and machine learning, statistical models called predictors read the DNA and other health information, and improve upon prior predictions. Machine learning allows the research to iterate and more accurately spot genetic patterns showing disease risk. The same data and techniques results also predict the weight, skin tone and IQ of an IVF embryo.

Currently, clinics already test embryo DNAs prior to implantation. The IVF clinics test for single gene defects for rare diseases including cystic fibrosis. The aim of Genetic Prediction is to find gene groups or correlations between genes which lead to complex diseases like type 1 diabetes. Coincidentally, these tests would also show the most probable make up if and when the embryo reaches adulthood.

Tellier admits that he got his inspiration from the movie “Gattaca” where parents could choose what their babies would become. This scenario is almost possible with Genetic Prediction’s current technology. The company will offer IVF doctors and parents reports identifying these genome markers or “outliers”. These are embryos with statistical scores that have a proven predisposition for disorders. Besides diabetes and cystic fibrosis, this method can predict other diseases including dwarfism, late-life osteoporosis, and schizophrenia. The results will be predictive in nature based on a large population of data, but due to the nature of the procedure, there is no way to test the hypothesis unless the embryo goes to full term and reaches adulthood.

IVF Choices

IVF procedures allow for these conditions, because of pre-implantation testing. The markers are read and analyzed and a report given to the parents. The Genetic Prediction test is just one report which the parents can avail to check for the health of the embryo.

Fertility doctors in the United States consider testing embryos for disease risks as ethically acceptable. However, the Genetic Prediction DNA scoring models will allow parents to choose other traits including IQ and height, among other things. There is no separating these predictors because the predictor algorithm uses the same complex genetic influencers.

Food Loves Tech Expo 2017: New Innovations, Brand New Experiences

The second annual event for alternative proteins and cultured coffee enthusiasts, Food Loves Tech (FLT), was held on November 3-4 at Industry City in Brooklyn, New York. Food Loves Tech is an education by entertainment innovation expo conducted by the magazines Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.

FLT brought together innovators in food and drink, starts ups and thought-leaders, and food aficionados and enthusiasts, all under one roof to discuss where food has been and where it is going, both on and off the grid.

The two are magazines that cover Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s local food and drink culture, restaurants, ethnic eats, farmer’s markets, food-related events, or articles on things related to food in the two New York City boroughs.

A Slice of Americana

The two magazines chose Industry City as the venue for this year’s expo because it is a known community hub for creativity and innovation. The expo’s local purveyors set up shops in the area, allowing creative and entrepreneurial energy to run through its hallways in inspiring and motivating ways.

Woman with VR goggles looking at a hamburger.

The expo features a lineup of demos from industry leaders and innovators looking to engage an audience that is focused on bold ideas and innovation for the future of food and drink. As the motto of the expo is “Education by entertainment,” attendees to the expo were expected to open both their minds and mouths for a new experience in food and drinks.

The expo kicked off on the first day with the sold out $100 Future of the Cocktail event. It featured drinks from the hands of expert bartenders and mixologists, including the famed team from Gramercy Tavern, who designed futuristic cocktails that feature innovative brewing and distilling technologies. Only 200 available tickets were printed and sold separately.

The Future of Nourishment

The Brooklyn sector featured the likes of Edenworks, an aquaponics company, and Spira, a company with technology to grow spirulina anywhere. These types of food tech advancements offer a glimpse into how industry leaders are building the future of agriculture and nourishment. Brooklyn has become increasingly famous in this sector.

The Food Loves Tech Expo features a series of experiential exhibits that showcase samples from unforgettable food and drinks from different makers. This continues Edible’s attempts to connect positive pioneers in food technology and sustainability with the future’s food chains. FLT had its premiere in June 2016, and the expo this November merely continues where other food explorers have not gone before. The expo boasts multiple immersive installations, tastings, technologies, leadership panels, and dining experiences that travel across the current and future states of food across four themes: food in the field, in the home, in the city, and on the horizon.

New Innovations, Brand New Experiences

The expo let participants experience things such as rooftop farming, the boom of food apps, virtual reality menus, and new sustainable protein sources including grilled crickets. FLT brought together innovators in food and drink, starts ups and thought-leaders, and food aficionados and enthusiasts, all under one roof to discuss where food has been and where it is going, both on and off the grid.

The Edibles created Food Loves Tech as part of its history of supporting and predicting the future of foods as well as to offer the public a rare chance of having a glimpse of the technologies that will be part of our everyday food lives – a lot sooner than we all think.

Biomass Energy Conversion Systems Provide Electricity to Hurricane-Devastated Puerto Rico

In the aftermath of the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria on the island of Puerto Rico, bold action is bringing relief to the Islanders in the form of distributed power generation.

Where sugarcane or rice bagasse, pulp and paper industry residue, and urban solid waste take up valuable space or are being burned anyway, the use of biomass for electricity generation is a viable alternative to fossil fuels and other less reliable green energy sources (wind and solar).

“We’ve all heard the reports that it will be many months before electricity is restored to Puerto Rico,” said Arensis CEO, Julien Uhlig. “Though the government is currently rewiring the central electrical grid and working hard to have 90% of the island powered by December of this year, we are glad to support the desperately needed relief now and feel continued building of smart and efficient microgrids is an important alternative to having only one source of energy on the island.”

While restoration of the central grid will take time, distributed energy systems can provide relief in localized areas more quickly. Arensis is installing an initial biomass conversion system to power the Sports Complex in the City of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The Sports Complex is currently serving as a refugee shelter and distribution center.

 

In addition to the energy conversion system, Arensis is also sending a debris processor along with plans of relocating staff to run the system. This system converts hurricane debris and woody biomass to electricity and thermal energy.

Arensis is an international provider of distributed energy systems, headquartered at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). According to Arensis literature, their energy systems use the most advanced German biomass and waste-to-energy technology in the market. Each power system generates 50 kilowatts (kW) of electricity and 120 kW of thermal energy and fits in a 20-foot shipping container. The containers can quickly be deployed and can be stacked to supply up to 50 megawatts (MW) of entirely off-grid energy.

Arensis plans to supply 30 additional units to deliver a total of 1.5 MW of electricity and 3.6 MW of thermal energy. Arensis is one of a growing coalition of companies reaching out to help in Puerto Rico. Lufthansa Technik is transporting the units, and Schneider Electric is providing contractors and integration equipment. The long-range intent of this international coalition is to spark a micro-grid energy revolution in Puerto Rico. This revolution could not only deliver immediate relief to the citizens of Puerto Rico but also create jobs for the longer term.

Biomass Technology

As a method of power generation, biomass is one of the more controversial energy alternatives. Positive attributes include the following:

  • It’s a renewable energy source;
  • It’s carbon neutral;
  • It’s theoretically widely available;
  • It can produce a diversity of fuel products (methane, biofuels);
  • It can drive steam turbines to generate electricity and heat; and
  • It can eliminate or reduce waste that would go to landfills.

Critics of the method emphasize that:

  • It’s not clean, producing air pollution that can be toxic;
  • It can lead to deforestation;
  • It produces inefficient fuel;
  • The technology is expensive;
  • And the biggest concern—the use of land to grow fuel crops takes up land that could be used to produce food in a world where the ever-increasing population needs food.

Use of biomass as a fuel source makes the most sense in areas where heavy biomass residues are readily available. Where sugarcane or rice bagasse, pulp and paper industry residue, and urban solid waste take up valuable space or are being burned anyway, the use of biomass for electricity generation is a viable alternative to fossil fuels and other less reliable green energy sources (wind and solar).

And particularly in emergency situations such as Puerto Rico is experiencing, an Arensis biomass conversion system that transforms devastation into lifesaving power can only be seen as a good thing.