In The Age of Intelligent Machines, which I wrote in the mid-1980s, I predicted that a computer would defeat the world chess champion by 1998. My estimate was based on the predictable exponential growth of computing power (an example of what I now call the “law of accelerating returns”) and my estimate of what level of computing was needed to achieve a chess rating of just under 2800… read more
How do you find motivation to want to live forever? How do you find comfort in your father’s death, knowing you may never truly see him again — only an avatar of what he’d represent?
— John Hansen
I have the motivation to live to tomorrow, metaphorically speaking. I think everyone has that motivation. As we get to times in the… read more
Stoner alert: psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) messes with your brain.
OK, not exactly a news flash. But that’s what researchers in the U.K. and Denmark found when they scanned the brains of 30 people tripping on psilocybin.
But here’s what’s interesting: the researchers did two different types of functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans with two groups of 15 — one scan that measured blood flow throughout the… read more
November 6, 2014 by Howard Bloom
Exactly what exploded in a ball of flame over Wallops Island, Virginia, on Tuesday October 28 at 6:22 pm? And what brought down Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert Friday morning just after ten am?
Was the vehicle that exploded above the launch pad in Virginia, as some headlines have proclaimed, a NASA rocket? Was it, as others have said, a commercial rocket? Or were both… read more
July 14, 2012 by James Iliff
At the recent E3 2012 show, I saw the future of virtual reality and gaming.
It’s a robust stereoscopic head-mounted display (HMD) called the Oculus RIFT from hardware pioneer Palmer Luckey, shown off by legendary computer graphics guru John Carmack, technical director of Id Software.
Using aspheric lenses and side-by-side stereoscopy, the Oculus RIFT boasts a wide field-of-view of 90 degrees horizontal and 110… read more
April 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. As Enrico Fermi asked, “Where is everybody?”
One answer is that extraterrestial life sufficiently advanced to be capable of interstellar travel or communication must be rare, since otherwise we would have seen evidence of it by now. This in… read more
The new iPad, introduced today, has a 264 pixels/inch “retina” display with 2048 x 1536 pixels (3.1 million), compared to 1920 x 1080 with HDTV; 5 megapixels camera with 1080P HD video (and new version of iMovie) with autofocus and face detection in still images; new A5X quad-core processor that is “four times as fast as the nearest competition”; and next-gen 4G (up to LTE) connection. Unbelievable.… read more
David J. Linden is the author of a new book, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.
It should be noted that many of the criticisms in this blog post… read more
September 17, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica
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
May 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica
OK, this one pushes me over the “Onion threshold,” to coin a term.
Hey, I’m not making this stuff up — it comes from IEEE Spectrum, a credible source, and it’s not April 1!
Anyway, it turns out Yamagata University researchers are developing a robot to make… read more
June 27, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica
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).
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