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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

A huggable, talking intelligent toy robot? Oh yeah!

Fun, intelligent robot that I'd actually want as a friend and mentor
July 29, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Supertoy

Supertoy Robotics Ltd. has created Supertoy, aka “Teddy” — a cute, talkative robot teddy bear with a New-York-comedian attitude and a surprisingly realistic voice — and just started a Kickstarter campaign for it.

As you can see in the video, he converses fluently and naturally. He should be a huge hit with kids and adults alike.

Think a less-complicated  Zeno or MIT Media Lab Huggable,… 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

Future music invades the Grammys

February 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

scary_monsters

For me, the best part of the Grammys Sunday night wasn’t on the telecast. It was the three pre-awards to the amazing dubstep artist Skrillex: Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album (both for “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”) and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical (for “Cinema” remix track from Electroman).

“Bass riffs that sound like fire-breathing dragons, vocal melodies that closely resemble Central African Mbenga Mbuti Pygmy music, and… read more

When creative machines overtake man

March 31, 2012 by Jürgen Schmidhuber

robohorsegm1

Machine intelligence is improving rapidly, to the point that the scientist of the future may not even be human! In fact, in more and more fields, learning machines are already outperforming humans. As noted in this transcript of a talk at TEDxLausanne on Jan. 20, 2012, artificial intelligence expert Jürgen Schmidhuber isn’t able to predict the future accurately, but he explains how machines are getting creative, why 40‚000 years of Homoread 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

Ask Ray | Question about molecular assemblers

February 21, 2014

DNA linkers allow different kinds of nanoparticles to self-assemble and form relatively large-scale nanocomposite arrays. This approach allows for mixing and matching components for the design of multifunctional materials. (credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory)

Hello Ray,

I finished reading your book not long ago, and I had a question regarding your opinion of molecular assemblers.

Suppose molecular assemblers are indeed proven to be feasible on a large scale and we are given an infinite abundance to produce as much as we want — limited only by the amount of matter in our vicinity — with minimal effort.

If this scenario comes… read more

Ask Ray | Oral nutritional supplementation decreases hospitalization length by 21% says report

September 4, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

oral nutritional supplement

Dear readers,

This is a valuable study about supplements and health that I wanted to share with our readers. 

American Journal of Managed Care | “Impact of oral nutritional supplementation on hospital outcomes”

The findings say “the use of oral nutritional supplementation decreases length of stay, episode cost, and 30-day readmission risk in the inpatient population of hospitals.”

That’s the conclusion of an eleven-year retrospective… 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

Ask Ray | Supplement study quoted in The Wall Street Journal is misleading

December 29, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: iStock)

Dear readers,

I read this recent article: The Wall Street Journal | “Multivitamins found to have little benefit — no effect seen in preventing cognitive decline, heart disease”

Readers have asked, “What is your response to the recent ‘anti-supplement’ research study?”

The study quoted by The Wall Street Journal is misleading. It only looked at low potency (and low quality) supplement combinations and set a… read more

Ask Ray | An interesting article about body and mind

May 14, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

gear brain

This is a really interesting article about body and mind which I recently read. I wanted to share it with my readers:

The New York Times | “I am not this body”

Here is a compelling excerpt: “I do not identify with my body. I have a body but I am a mind.

“My body and I have an intimate but awkward relationship, like foreign roommates who share… read more

An autonomous flying car? Really?

May 12, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Artist's impression of TF-X future flying car in flight (credit: Terrafugia Inc.)

“Where’s my flying car?”

Skeptics have trashed predictions of flying cars with this annoying question ever since the Jetsons.

But now Terrafugia Inc. has announced feasibility studies of a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) [similar to a helicopter] plug-in hybrid-electric flying car, the TF-X.

Just tell it where to go. It flies (and lands) for you — no runway needed — and… read more

The Limits of the Earth — Part 2: Expanding the Limits

April 19, 2013 by Ramez Naam

Naam-Limits-of-Earth-Part1-001-earth (600x600)

This is part two of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth.  Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, here, looks at the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems.  Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finiteread more

book review | Human+ — smartdust, spooks, psychics, and transhumans

September 9, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

human_plus_martin_higgins_book

Each artificial neuron would communicate with the brain via electrical signals and would be able to wirelessly interface with external hardware, enabling brain-computer networking. Once such networking was established, David noted with interest, Internet telephony could be quite simply deployed. Synthetic telepathy, in other words. …

Such advanced technology may be developed in a couple of decades, transforming us into a “telepathic” species. But what if we already have… read more

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