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BOOK REVIEW | Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 19, 2007

almost_human

Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007

“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.

The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more

Documentary from Motherboard | Singularity of Ray Kurzweil

February 16, 2011

motherboard logo

Motherboard | Ray Kurzweil tells us about his vision of the Singularity — a point around 2045 when computers will acquire full-blown artificial intelligence and technology will infuse itself with biology. His theories have all sorts of supporters, detractors, and critics, but do you even remember what life was like before three-year-olds had cell phones and you actually had to remember facts instead of relying on the internet?

That

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Related:
Motherboard: Exploring the Culture of Technology website

Ask Ray | The Blind Driver Challenge

December 19, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

blind driver challenge

Hi Ray,

I will be attending a gathering of National Federation of the Blind leaders in Daytona, Florida, on the evening before the Blind Driver Challenge event early on Saturday, Jan. 29 before the start of the Rolex 24 Race. [more information]

This high-profile event will be the first public demonstration of a blind person driving a vehicle without any form of guidance provided… read more

HUMOR | The Mactini

December 23, 2009

Source: "The Peter Serafinowicz Show," BBC2 — December 23, 2009

From “The Peter Serafinowicz Show: Christmas Special” on BBC2.

The original MacBook Air commercial for comparison.

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

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

From DIY to DIWO: biohackers, synthetic biologists, and FBI to dialogue at Open Science Summit

July 26, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

A new generation of biohackers is literally taking the future of biology into their own hands, and it’s raising some red flags with the government. The basic concern: how can we avoid proliferation of dangerous bioagents?

The situation will come to a head on Friday night July 30 at the Open Science Summit conference at UC Berkeley. Edward You, Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s… read more

book review | Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science

December 10, 2007

mind_as_machine

Source: American Scientist — February 2008

In Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Margaret A. Boden’s goal, she says, is to show how cognitive scientists have tried to find computational or informational answers to frequently asked questions about the mind — “what it is, what it does, how it works, how it evolved, and how it’s even possible.”

How do our brains generate consciousness? Are animals or newborn babies conscious? Can machines… read more

comic | Devotion to duty

February 23, 2010

© xkcd webcomics

Source: xkcd webcomics

Galileo was wrong. The church was right!

September 13, 2010

galileo

Source: Galileo Was Wrong conference website — September 23, 2010

An actual conference — not a spoof.  — Ed.

Are ‘net neutrality’ rules a fed takeover of the Internet or a sell-out?

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

internet_map

“The Federal Communications Commission’s new ‘net neutrality’ rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote [Monday, Dec. 20], represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations,” says Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund. “The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.

“There’s little evidence… read more

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

The Providence Phoenix | Experimental band Yeasayer’s Odd Blood inspired by Kurzweil’s vision of human-machine intelligence

April 29, 2010

yeasayer odd blood

Source: The Providence Phoenix — February 9, 2010 | Jonathan Donaldson

Yeasayer have created a decadent, densely produced mess of a second album. Like other bands trying to do art rock in 2010, they confront us with the irony that their world of genre-melding futurism (a/k/a Brooklyn) can sound dated from the moment you get off the plane.

This aside, Odd Blood is a sprawling trip through Yeasayer’s uniquely rhythmic takes on rock and roll, art rock, R&B, electronic,… read more

The Onion | Disney Lab unveils its latest line of genetically engineered child stars

October 21, 2010

Source: The Onion — September 16, 2008

The Onion | Disney claims its latest batch of child stars is so lifelike, you’ll barely be able to tell they have no souls.

Related:
Onion News Network

Every breath you take, every move you make …

September 19, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

breath_detector

Those University of Utah engineers who built wireless networks that see through walls are now taking it a step further: detecting if surgery patients, adults with sleep apnea, and babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have stopped breathing.

This thing freaks me out a bit. Think what Homeland Security could do with it. The idea of being surrounded by tiny microwave ovens… read more

Has NASA discovered extraterrestrial life?

December 1, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

rhea

UPDATE: NASA discovery of arsenic-based bacterium expands scope of SETI research.

NASA has announced it will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

Participants are:
-  Mary Voytek, Director, Astrobiology Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
-  Felisa Wolfe-Simon, NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow, U.S. Geological… read more

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