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Crowdfunded science projects

March 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Exomoon project (Harvard)

Got a cool idea for a research project, but need funding? Check out Petridish.org, which has just launched crowdfunded science and research projects. I think this is a really great idea that could open up funding for some amazing research ideas.

On Petridish.org, researchers post materials about themselves and their research, and the public can discover projects that are exciting to them. In exchange for contributing to… read more

Welcome to your future android clone

March 12, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Bina48 android (credit:

This is the most interesting event at SXSW I’ve heard of so far: “Robot panelists, AI and the future of identity.”

It’s a session Monday at SXSW (3:30PM  – 4:30PM), where Bruce Duncan, Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation, will bring us up to date on Terasem’s amazing LifeNaut project.

LifeNaut is a free online service (and experiment) for personal data storage and avatar interactivity,… read more

The new iPad: awesome

March 7, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

the-new-ipad

The new iPad, introduced today, has a 264 pixels/inch “retina” display with 2048 x 1536 pixels (3.1 million), compared to 1920 x 1080 with HDTV; 5 megapixels camera with 1080P HD video (and new version of iMovie) with autofocus and face detection in still images; new A5X quad-core processor that is “four times as fast as the nearest competition”; and next-gen 4G (up to LTE) connection. Unbelievable.… read more

‘Creative right brain’ myth debunked

March 7, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Brain

Yet another brain myth bites the dust, joining “we only use 10 percent of our brain,” and other pseudoscience nonsense that tries to cram people in nice neat boxes.

The left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking, University of Southern California (USC) researchers have found, at least for visual creative tasks… read more

How to jam annoying talkers

March 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

speechjammer

Attention, telephone babblers, library whisperers, and hecklers: Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology want you to shut the bleep up.

They’ve developed the “Speech-jammer” gun, which will reduce you to incoherent stuttering from up to 90 feet away.

It works by recording your words and then sending them back with  a delay of a few hundred milliseconds (it’s more effective… read more

Avatars meet in Second Life to celebrate Future Day 2012

March 5, 2012 by Natasha Vita-More

natashafutureday2012

The first Future Day on March 1 featured events in 14 cities in 8 countries. The largest event was at Terasem Island in Second Life, with about 50 attendees.

The auditorium at Terasem Island was full and we were eagerly awaiting three of the speakers to arrive: Ben Goertzel, Martine Rothblatt, and Howard Bloom.

I introduced the event by… read more

How to see quantum images and survive (I hope)

March 1, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Sun and Allan test out the Stellerator (credit: Nick Herbert)

Physicists have designed several wild experiments to see if humans can see quantum images.

The latest, just described in the Physics arXiv Blog: Geraldo Barbosa at Northwestern University plans to use a laser beam shaped into an image, such as the letter A.

This laser beam hits a non-linear crystal, generating entangled pairs of photons that retain this image shape and are detected by human eyeballs.

(Hmm,… read more

Txting makes u stupid

February 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Yeah, you knew that already. How else to explain the zombies who text while driving or randomly jaywalking in traffic, AGKWE*?

But now there’s a reason: they have a tiny vocabulary.

Textisms

Or so says says University of Calgary linguistics researcher Joan Lee, who interviewed texters in research for her master’s thesis. Texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints that caused students to reject many… read more

Infinite storage in the cloud: NOT RECOMMEDED

February 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

bitcasa

Bitcasa has created a new cloud service that promises “infinite storage” in the cloud for Windows and Mac.

Once you install Bitcasa it prompts you to choose which of your folders to “cloudify.” Cloudified folders are uploaded to Bitcasa’s cloud right away and get a Bitcasa logo added to the system tray or Finder.

Any time you save, copy, or paste new files… read more

Future music invades the Grammys

February 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

scary_monsters

For me, the best part of the Grammys Sunday night wasn’t on the telecast. It was the three pre-awards to the amazing dubstep artist Skrillex: Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album (both for “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”) and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical (for “Cinema” remix track from Electroman).

“Bass riffs that sound like fire-breathing dragons, vocal melodies that closely resemble Central African Mbenga Mbuti Pygmy music, and… read more

Bypass the Internet!

January 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

meshnetwork

I’m sick of hearing about how we need to cave in to repressive governments and throttle back Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other information services and accept Web censorship and limits on free expression. Get the hell off my cloud.

“If a full-surveillance world prevents us from speaking, then we need to make another platform where freedom of speech and freedom of thought can be maintained,”… read more

Evi trumps Siri for general knowledge

January 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Evi on iPhone 4

Move over Siri, Evi is the new kid in town.

It’s no Watson, but Evi, created by True Knowledge, a Cambridge, U.K.-based semantic technology startup, like Siri, can answer questions posed by voice (using Nuance software) in a conversational manner or by typing.

But unlike Siri (only available on iPhone 4S), Evi runs on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (with iOS 4.0 or… read more

The future of autonomous cars … and planes

January 27, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: BMW)

If you’re driving on the Autobahn right now, I advise you keep an eye out for this guy, who is apparently praying his driverless BMW doesn’t crash into something (note: this is a highway without speed limits — not reassuring).

(Videos here.)

Hey, BMW: why not toss in a robot driver to carry groceries and fight off the crowds at Walmart on Black Friday?… read more

This is your brain on magic mushrooms

January 24, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

psilocybin

Stoner alert: psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) messes with your brain.

OK, not exactly a news flash. But that’s what researchers in the U.K. and Denmark found when they scanned the brains of 30 people tripping on psilocybin.

But here’s what’s interesting: the researchers did two different types of functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans with two groups of 15 — one scan that measured blood flow throughout the… read more

Why China makes our electronic products (it’s not just cheaper labor)

January 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Apple Inc.)

It’s not just that workers are cheaper abroad, according to an important article in The New York Times Saturday. Most of the components of cellphones, computers, and other electronic products are now manufactured in China (and European and other East-Asia countries), so assembling the device half-a-world away would create huge logistical challenges, the article points out.

China now has a far larger supply of qualified engineers than… read more

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