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Kinect tracks bionic rescue roaches

Trapped in an earthquake? Don't panic. Hissing roaches with backpack WiFi, microphones, and speakers are coming for you. OK, that might make you panic.
June 27, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

(credit: Alper Bozkurt/NC State University)

When we last visited our “RoboRoach” bionic cockroach, it was being remotely controlled by a mobile phone that triggered hallucinations of an invisible wall (for educational purposes only, mind you).

Seriously.

Now Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at  North Carolina State University, and his team want to take it a step further. They plan to use their Madagascar hissing roaches (dubbed… read more

Keep your laws off my body!

March 29, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

balduzzi-dicci-si

Let’s say you have a incurable illness, and someone has developed a controversial stem-cell treatment that has led to a cure in about 80 patients. Do you have a right to ignore government regulations prohibiting its use?

If you live in Italy, the answer is si, thanks to Italy’s health minister, Renato Balduzzi, who has decreed that a stem-cell treatment can continue in 32 terminally ill patients, mostly children — even though… read more

Julia Map generates fractals with just a browser

February 4, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Julia Map blue fractal

Google Labs has launched Julia Map, a fractal renderer in HTML 5. which lets you generate and explore fractals — specifically, the Julia set and Mandelbrot set — with just a browser (no need to launch a program).

It uses the Google Maps API to zoom and pan into the fractals. The images are computed with HTML 5 canvas. “Each… read more

Japan radiation levels reach new highs

March 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Counts per minute from gamma radiation (at different ranges of energy) at the EPA's Anaheim RadNet monitoring station.

Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs: Leaked water sampled from one unit Sunday had 100,000 times the radioactivity of normal background levels…. airborne radioactivity in the unit 2 turbine building still remained so high — 1,000 milli­sieverts per hour — that a worker there would reach his yearly occupational exposure limit in 15 minutes. A dose of 4,000 to 5,000 millisieverts absorbed fairly rapidly will… read more

Jabberwocky, AI, and aging

July 4, 2010 by L. Stephen Coles

cheshire

Seeing Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3-D (which continues as No. 1 in box office sales for the second weekend in a row), I thought that the Jabberwocky poem came from the original Alice in Wonderland, but it didn’t. It came from the sequel, Through the Looking Glass.

Recall that Lewis Carroll was a professor of mathematics at Oxford University before he was more well-known as the… read more

I’ve seen the future of electronics and it’s … vacuum tubes!

July 12, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

back_to_the_vacuum

Huh? Yep, you read it right.

We are bumping into a limit to increasing transistor speed, determined by the “electron transit time” — the time it takes an electron to travel, says Hong Koo Kim, a professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

It’s back to the vacuum, folks.

Kim explains: electrons traveling inside a semiconductor device frequently experience collisions or scattering… read more

It’s time for a real policy on asteroids

February 24, 2013 by Peter A. Garretson

Edge-on view of our solar system with Sun (white) in the center, showing the population of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) that scientists think are likely to exist based on the NEOWISE survey. Positions of a simulated population of PHAs on a typical day are shown in bright orange, and the simulated NEAs are blue. Earth's orbit is green. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

If you think the events of the post-Valentine’s day surprise of the Russian Meteor and 2012 DA14 near miss are one of a kind, think again. “We know there are 500,000 to 1 million asteroids the size of DA14 or larger. So far we have found fewer than 1% of that ‘cosmic hailstorm’ through which we sail in our yearly orbit around the Sun,” said the Association of Space Explorers… read more

Italy elects first transhumanist MP

August 26, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

giuseppe_vatinno

A transhumanist congressman? In Italy? Seriously?

Yes. In July, Italy — ironically, a stronghold of the Catholic Church —  became the first major Western nation to elect an active transhumanist.

Giuseppe Vatinno, a member of the Italian Parliament, ran on a platform of “politics that strive to improve the human condition, making use of appropriate advanced technologies.”

And not a moment too soon, as Italy… read more

Is there a Japanese plan to evacuate 40 million people?

April 16, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Chinese ghost city

[Note: according to a knowledgeable intel source, this report from What Does It Mean blog is based on Russian disinformation, with the intention of neutralizing what the Russians see as a Japanese threat.]

According to What Does It Mean, a new report circulating in the Kremlin prepared by the Foreign Ministry on the planned re-opening of talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands during the next fortnight states that Russian diplomats were “stunned” after… read more

Is there a biological limit to longevity?

"Medicine is about transcending biology."
July 5, 2012 by Aubrey de Grey

Percent of people surviving to a given age, based on data from the Dept. of Demography, UC Berkeley (credit: C. A. Everone/fig.org)

Gerontologists and demographers have argued about this for a long time, with the balance of opinion heavily influenced by the changes seen in the wealthiest nations’ “survival curves” — graphs showing, broadly speaking, the proportion of an initial population that survived to a given age.

Until a couple of centuries ago, these curves looked very much like radioactive decay curves, because one’s chance of dying at any given age… read more

Is the iPad the New Guillotine?

July 4, 2010 by Howard Bloom

Follow Osama’s Example–Shred Red Tape With Personal Tech

What Do Brooklyn’s Tea Lounge and Al Qaeda Have In Common? It’s time to kill bureaucracy. What do I mean? And what does this call for revolution have to do with the next generation of netbooks, Apple tablets and Google Phones? Not to mention with the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

America needs a productivity revolution to lead the world into… read more

Is Sponge Bob destroying kids’ minds — or accelerating their intelligence?

September 13, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

spongebob

Young children who watch fast-paced, fantastical television shows may become “handicapped” in their readiness for learning, says a new University of Virginia study.

U.Va. psychologists tested 4-year-old children immediately after they had watched nine minutes of the popular show “SpongeBob SquarePants” and found that their “executive function” — the ability to pay attention, follow rules, remember what they were told, solve problems,… read more

Intuitive music

February 26, 2002 by Amara D. Angelica

bob moog 1976

Bob Moog changed musical history 37 years ago with the invention of the first electronic music synthesizer. On February 26, 2002, he received the prestigious Technical GRAMMY Award for his achievements. Here, he looks at the next 37 years.… read more

Inspired Singularity album by American band Mae

June 17, 2010

mae

Wikipedia | Mae is an American rock bandthat formed in Norfolk, Virginia in 2001. The band’s name is an acronym for “Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience,” based on a course taken by drummer Jacob Marshall while a student at Old Dominion University.

Singularity is Mae’s third full-length release and their major label debut. The album was originally to be released in April 2007 on Tooth & Nail Records like their previous… 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

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