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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kurzweil responds: Don’t underestimate the Singularity

October 20, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

Last week, Paul Allen and a colleague challenged the prediction that computers will soon exceed human intelligence. Now Ray Kurzweil, the leading proponent of the “Singularity,” offers a rebuttal. — Technology Review, Oct. 10, 2011.

Although Paul Allen paraphrases my 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near, in the title of his essay (cowritten with his colleague Mark Greaves), it appears that… read more

TechCrunch | Lady-finder app hits the store — totally serious

February 4, 2011

lady finder

Source: TechCrunch — February 1, 2011 | Alexia Tsotsis

TechCrunch | Geo-location has come to this: After three weeks in review, Wheretheladies.at, a web app that aggregates Foursquare checkins by the female gender, is now available on the iPhone. The concept OF A BIG COMPASS POINTING YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF LADIES is so unprecedented that Apple actually called co-founder Jeff Hodsdon on his cellphone to ask about the app during the review process.

Co-founded by… read more

Large Hadron Collider rap

March 10, 2011

LHC

This is pretty clever. Brought to you courtesy of AlpineKat via YouTube who writes: “Images came from Particle Physics UK, Space.com, the Institute of Physics, NASA, Symmetry, Marvel, Einstein Online, and Physics World. Stock footage is CERN’s. They’ll have a lot of data to sort — 15 million GB per year, actually. Want to get involved and donate your computer’s downtime? Visit

read more

Related:
U.S. at the Large Hadron Collider
LHC at home

Late-night radio host Art Bell returns with new show, Dark Matter

September 17, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Chris Moet)

Talk-radio legend Art Bell launched Monday night his new nightly radio show, Dark Matter, with guest Dr. Michio Kaku.

Dark Matter airs on SiriusXM Indie Talk channel 104 (30-day trial available) at 10PM Eastern/7PM Pacific* (also available via Internet and apps), covering wild ideas at the edge of reality.

Art was a founder and original host of the read more

Let the AIs, not us, formulate a billion-year plan!

Long-term, humanity will be 'left in the dust by the machines,' who will be deciding our next billion years
October 12, 2012 by Robert L. Blum

A celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun (credit: NASA JPL)

In What our civilization needs is a billion-year plan, posted on KurzweilAI September 23, 2012, Lt Col Peter Garretson calls for a long-term plan to assure humanity’s survival, “moving everyone and everything we value off Earth.”

He cites the coming big extinction events for planet Earth, including asteroid collisions, the Sun engulfing the Earth during its transformation to a red giant, and ultimately, the heat death of the Universe. Human… read more

Let’s bring back apprenticeships!

March 23, 2012 by Dale J. Stephens

UnCollege

Dale J. Stephens, age 20, is a Thiel Fellow and leads UnCollege, the social movement changing the notion that college is the only path to success. His first book, Hacking Your Education, will be published by Penguin in 2013.

The idea that the world is constantly changing — and faster than ever before — is nothing new. But what’s new is that companies and organizations are starting to realize that our… read more

Let’s tell everyone how to make a virus that could kill millions!

November 26, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

H5N1 virus (credit: Lennart Nilsson)

Here’s an idea: why don’t we just tell everybody in the world how to make an airborne H5N1 influenza virus strain (“bird flu”) that has been genetically altered to be easily transmissible (between ferrets, which mostly closely mimic the human response to flu), and which if released, could trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths?

OK, it seems like a totally evil idea, one that… read more

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