January 21, 2010
Source: xkcd webcomics
Robots have just taken another (slightly weird) step toward becoming our overlords.
Technische Universität München (TUM) scientists are developing an artificial skin for robots that will provide tactile information to the robot to supplement information from cameras, infrared scanners, and gripping hands.
The idea is to let the robot know when it touches an object so it can then visually search for whatever it… read more
ScienceInsider (published by Science magazine) reported Tuesday May 17 that “over the last week, a combination of robotic and human inspections has led to the conclusion that the fuel assemblies in units 1, 2, and 3 were completely exposed to the air for from over 6 hours to over 14 hours and that melting was extensive if not complete. Much of the fuel is now likely at the… read more
NAMM 2014 show and tell — in sights and sounds
Kurzweil Music Systems founder Ray Kurzweil recently attended one of the world’s premier music events, the National Association of Music Merchants trade show (NAMM) 2014.
We hope you enjoy this audio|visual tour of the NAMM 2014 tradeshow floor, review of the new Artis keyboard from Kurzweil Music Systems, insights on accelerating electronic developments in the music world from executive… read more
William Hertling’s science-fiction collection of Singularity novels about the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) consists (so far) of Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears, A.I. Apocalypse, and the recently published The Last Firewall.
I think The Last Firewall is the best of the lot: a fast techno-thriller set in a hybrid human/AI world with social tension and dominance conflicts, in where… read more
The just-released movie The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, is based on a 1954 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, “The Adjustment Team.”
The plot is similar to Dark City, The Truman Show, The Matrix, Fringe, and other works suggesting the idea of a manufactured realitymanipulated future.
“In the film, Damon plays a man who glimpses the future planned… read more
Bigelow Aerospace has announced plans to lease space aboard its inflatable space habitats to seven clients in The Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirate of Dubai, according to Aviation Week.
At the meeting in Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, Bigelow Aerospace founder Robert Bigelow stated that one of the main types of customers that his company is looking at is… read more
A combination of cheap DNA synthesis, freely accessible databases, and our ever-expanding knowledge of protein science is conspiring to permit a revolution in creating powerful molecular tools, suggests William McEwan, Ph.D., a virologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K., in this excerpt from the new book Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge, edited by Max Brockman.
This afternoon I received… read more
Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006
Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… read more
Tuesday night April 12, “Ray Kurzweil — inventor and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man — stops by to take everything that Stephen thinks he understands about the world and grind it into unrecognizable smithereens before his forlorn and tearful eyes,” Comedy Central’s Indecision reports.
“Surrogates” scenario: FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes.… read more
Source: Social Times — June 11th, 2010 | Megan O'Neill
3D projection mapping has recently emerged as one of the coolest forms of advertising, with big companies like Nokia, Samsung and BMW projecting beautiful 3D video displays on buildings around the world and sharing their campaigns on the web. 3D projection mapping has become something of a recent obsession for me, as well as for the advertising world. Read more about this technique and how it’s being used by brands… read more
Fats in foods like potato chips and french fries make them nearly irresistible because they trigger natural marijuana-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found.
The researchers discovered that when rats tasted something fatty, cells in their upper gut started producing endocannabinoids, while sugars and proteins did not have this effect.
How fats create,… read more