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Can taking probiotics improve your mental health?

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Gastrointestinal system (credit: iStockphoto)

Professor Mark Lyte and associates at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have come up with a radical concept: that you may be able to fine-tune your mental and emotional states by the right combination of probiotics!

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally reside in your gut and are available OTC in any drug store or health food store. Lyte suggests that they can generate… 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

By 2018, supercomputers could operate 100 times faster than the human brain

December 2, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

ibm_supercomputers

The breakthrough (see Breakthrough Chip Technology Lights the Path to Exascale Computing) announced Wednesday by IBM researchers has been long sought: a way to use pulses of light in waveguides instead of electrons in wires for chip connections. Electrons generate heat, which limits has fast chips can work and requires a lot of power for cooling. Light has no such… read more

Spinner | Bright Eyes album The People’s Key inspired by Kurzweil and Singularity themes

December 21, 2010

The People's Key album

Source: Spinner — December 21, 2010 | Dan Reilly

Conor Oberst, of the band Bright Eyes, discusses inspirations behind their album, The People’s Key, on AOL’s Spinner music magazine:

Spinner | Are there any books or authors in particular that influenced the album?

Conor Oberst: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the theory of Singularity. This guy, Ray Kurzweil, who was the inventor of early synthesizers, he has this theory — a few… read more

Breakthrough: proton-based chips that communicate directly with living things

September 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
Proton communication

University of Washington scientists have just crossed another major threshold between humans and machines: they’ve built a transistor that uses protons instead of electrons.

Their ultimate goal: create devices that can communicate directly with living things certain biological functions that involve protons — eventually even control them — a “first step toward ‘bionanoprotonics‘.”

Yes, there are implants (such as cochlear… read more

Bots gone wild

November 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

ant-roach

Introducing random — a new, occasional blog category for stuff that’s way too weird for our regular weird posts. Like these wacky robot stories:

Wanna take a ride on a 15-foot-long inflatable walking robot named Ant-Roach (as in anteater-cockroach)? Um, maybe not, but hey, “human safe” bots are not a bad idea, especially if you plan to have one in your home, with kids. A future Disney… read more

book review | William Hertling’s Singularity series continues with The Last Firewall

September 12, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

hertling_last_firewall

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

book review | The Transhumanist Wager

May 15, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

The Transhumanist Wager

Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager is an epic story of radical libertarian ideas, their enemies, and the violent global conflict that ensues, painted in strong saturated colors with little room for intermediate shades and character development.

After reading cover to cover, and then reading it more carefully, I have mixed love/hate feelings about this novel.

It’s a page turner. Istvan — a former journalist… read more

book review | The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates

August 14, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The God Problem

Howard Bloom‘s forthcoming book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates, is arguably his best book so far, a page-turner with deep thoughts and entertaining bits on every page.

Is The God Problem a book on the history of science? No, more like a philosophical novel. Wait, perhaps an autobiography? Pop culture?

All of the above, and none. The God Problem defies categorization; it’s a cascade… read more

book review | Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

January 28, 2010

Author: William Halal
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10: 0230019544
ISBN-13: 9780230019546
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages

Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Societybrilliantly deals with the co-evolution of technology, business and society. It is a concise but complete “history of the future,” covering most scientific and technological fields, with specific scenarios until 2050 and with general ideas for the future of humanity.… read more

book review | Science fiction bots becoming fact

March 3, 2011 by R.U. Sirius

We, Robot book cover

An interview with Mark Stephen Meadows, author of We, Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact.

 With We, Robot (Lyons Press, 2010), Mark Stephen Meadows explores the recent edges of robotic development in the context of some of our favorite fictional narratives.

It’s a smart, edgy read, written in a very hip, almost cyberpunk style (for one example, the author describes himself

read more

book review | Ray Kurzweil’s read on latest AI insights in the book Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us

October 31, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

This review was originally published in Wired, “Peer Review,” in October 2002.

As one of the world’s leading roboticists, Rodney Brooks (Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Chairman of the successful iRobot Corporation) is also the consummate teacher.

He has a penchant for clear explanation and in his latest book, Flesh and Machines, How Robots Will Change Us, Brooks lucidly explores a wide range of themes related to his life with robots.

These range from personal anecdotes (e.g., his first encounter with another legendary robot builder, Hans Moravec, who was then living in his Stanford laboratory and musing about exotic topics ranging from sky hooks to tree-like robots), historical vignettes (e.g., Marvin Minsky’s unsuccessful attempt to solve the computer “vision” problem in a single Summer in 1966), algorithmic insights (e.g., how his Genghis robot achieved “animal-like behavior” from a few dozen simple programs operating in parallel), philosophical musings (e.g., what is the true nature of consciousness, “apart from our own personal experience of what it is like to be us?”), and ethical dilemmas (e.g., when will we need to stop treating robots like slaves).

The book ranges far and wide, but maintains a unity around the author’s passion for creating what he calls “situated creatures,” which we can eventually regard as our teachers and companions.… read more

book review | Dan Brown’s Inferno

May 31, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

Inferno

Dan Brown’s latest action thriller Inferno follows art historian Robert Langdon in a fast-paced roller-coaster hunt for the source of a genetic hack delivered to everyone on the planet via a highly contagious airborne virus.

As in previous novels, Langdon works against the clock to decipher hints hidden in the treasures of the world’s art and literature, fighting intrigue and deception.

I… read more

book review | Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge

August 8, 2008

year-million

Source: Nature — August 7, 2008

In Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge (edited by Damien Broderick, Atlas, 2008), 15 futurists explore long-range posthuman extraterrestrial futures.

One thread in the book is launch of an expanding wavefront of intelligence, converting matter into nano-engineered computronium that is then assembled into M-brains. These then send out seeds that encode the ability to bootstrap new nano-manufacturing capacity on suitable worlds, where minds… read more

book review | Whole Earth Discipline

September 23, 2009

whole earth discipline

Source: Wired — Sep 21, 2009 | Douglas McGray

“Stewart Brand: Save the Slums” | In his new book Whole Earth Discipline, Stewart Brand defends genetic engineering, nuclear power, and other longtime nemeses of the green left as good for the planet.

Some people see a squatter city in Nigeria or India and the desperation overwhelms them: rickety shelters, little kids working or begging, filthy water and air. Stewart Brand sees the same places and he’s encouraged.… read more

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