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Curiosity rover laser zaps Martian rock

August 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

laser operator

NASA has launched the first interplanetary war by attacking Mars with a high-power laser beam for “target practice.” Some are blaming the “mohawk guy” at JPL, shown in disguise in this NASA photo. No word if Mars plans to return fire….

OK, we admit, it’s a remote spectroscopy experiment to determine the composition of a rock curiously called “Coronation.” The energy from the laser excites atoms in the… read more

book review | Memories with Maya

July 30, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

Memories with Maya

What happens when you mix virtual reality, haptic interfaces, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence?

That’s what Clyde deSouza explores in near-future science-fiction novel Memories with Maya.

He introduces the “Wizer,” an augmented-reality, see-through visor driven by AGI (artificial general intelligence) — Google Glass on steroids.

It’s coupled with 3D scans of real environments generated by wall-mounted laser cameras (think next-gen Kinect) to insert remote participants… 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

Are you a Facebook addict?

May 8, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Are you a Facebook addict? Take the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale test, developed in Norway, and find out.

Do you (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, or (5) Very often:

  • Spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.
  • Feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
  • Use Facebook to forget about personal problems.
  • Try to cut

read more

Eyez without a Facebook — live video lifelogging!

June 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Eyez

This just in from Aussie HIVE45 vidcaster Nathan Waters: “Someone is finally making *normal-looking* tech recording glasses! I have no affiliation with this product, but I would absolutely love if you added it to the news section to encourage more pledges for their Kickstarter funding. Here’s the link: Eyez by ZionEyez HD Video Recording Glasses for Facebook. “The issue so far has been… read more

How to create a startup country

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Seasteading artist's concept (credit: András Gyorfi)

At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).read more

Critique of ‘Against Naive Uploadism’

May 10, 2011 by Randal A. Koene

(Credit: iStockPhoto)

In “Against Naive Uploadism: Memory, Consciousness and Synaptic Homeostasis,” neuroscientist Seth Weisberg challenges the comparison of a neuron to a digital computer and the idea that an action potential (spike) fired by one neuron equals one calculation at each synapse. He also challenges the assumption that we are approaching computing power comparable to the human brain.

Overall, Seth Weisberg’s article is refreshing and clearly spoken, in that… read more

A universe of self-replicating code

March 27, 2012 by John Brockman

georgedyson

What we’re missing now, on another level, is not just biology, but cosmology. People treat the digital universe as some sort of metaphor, just a cute word for all these products. The universe of Apple, the universe of Google, the universe of Facebook, that these collectively constitute the digital universe, and we can only see it in human terms and what does this do for us?

We’re missing aread 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

The search for ET continues — in West Virginia

May 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world's largest fully steerable single-aperture antenna (credit: NRAO)

Now that NASA’s Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope — the 100 meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world — at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced… read more

How to stimulate your brain by shining light through your ears

August 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Valkee NPT-1000 bright-light headset (Valkee Ltd)

Ever want to just like, lie down and shine bright white light at the intensity of the Sun into your ears to see if that will wake you up from your deep depression? Me neither.

But Finnish people are apparently desperate. Especially in Winter, when they get as little as four to six hours of Sun a day. So neuroscientists at the University of Oulu in Finland… 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

DIY BioPrinter

January 28, 2013

DIY BioPrinter (credit: BioCurious/Instructables)

Bioprinting is printing with biological materials.

There’s a lot of work being done at research labs and big companies like Organovo on print human tissues and human organs, with an eye towards drug testing, and transplantation into humans.

Check out these amazing TED talks by Anthony Atala, for example:

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs
Anthony Atala: Printing a humanread more

Aokify America Charity for brain research

November 10, 2013 by John Smart

Aoki Charity

You get to vote: the American Brain Foundation, U. of Rochester Memory Care Center (both research ways to prevent neurodegenerative diseases); Infusio, a German wellness clinic; or the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF), a research charity I’m affiliated with seeking evidence that computational neuroscience and automation can revive the memory and minds of chemopreserved and cryopreserved brains in the future.*… read more

Google is destroying your memory

July 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Well, OK, maybe not totally destroying it, just making it unnecessary to rely on friends, libraries, books, notes, and other forms of “transactive memory” (external systems), thanks to the rise of Internet search engines, Wikipedia, and other Internet tools.

So says Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow, co-author of an article in Science Express.

“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more

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