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New movie Real Steel to pit Hugh Jackman against robot boxers

April 23, 2011

Real Steel poster

Wikipedia | Real Steel is an upcoming feature film inspired by Richard Matheson’s short story Steel. The story was first adapted for television by Matheson as an episode of The Twilight Zone. The film stars Hugh Jackman and is directed by Shawn Levy. Film is a gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up… read more

New hope for repairing diseased or damaged brains

November 25, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Two exciting landmark studies of ways to repair damaged or diseased brains have just been published, and are discussed on KurzweilAI today.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison study found that when neurons generated from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) were implanted into the hippocampus of a mouse, the neurons began to behave like normal rat neurons. That means that for humans in the future, there could be limitless… read more

New brain-computer interface mobilizes patients, opens up new mind-control scenarios

June 20, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

BioBolt brain implant with the thin-film microcircuit and sensor pad

In the Green Lantern movie, a ring takes orders from Jordan’s mind, enabling him to fly, take down multiple bad guys, and create wormholes through which he can travel thousands of light-years in minutes.

University of Michigan Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems professor Euisik Yoon and colleagues are developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that would handle the mind-to-ring communication part. DARPA is working on the other stuff,… read more

Navigating the seas of Titan in a boat

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...
October 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

talise_paddles

NASA landed a rover on Mars. So what’s the next step? Right: land a boat on Titan!

Hey, come on, it’s gotta be the ultimate travel destiny:

  • A magical moon that’s actually more like a planet.
  • One of the most Earth-like bodies in the Solar System.
  • Has an atmosphere (OK, mostly nitrogen — so bring your own oxygen, stop kvetching).
  • A vast network of

read more

NASA Ames’ Worden reveals DARPA-funded ‘Hundred Year Starship’ program

October 18, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

"We'Pete Worden at Long Conversation (Long Now Foundation)

Video of Pete Worden and Peter Schwartz. Audio podcast of the full 19-minute conversation also available.

NASA Ames Director Simon “Pete” Worden revealed Saturday that NASA Ames has “just started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship,” with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA.

“You heard it here,” said Worden at “Long Conversation,” a Long Now

read more

Nanoclusters that diffuse laser beams or create 3D telepresence

August 31, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Atomic clusters of metals are an emerging class of extremely interesting materials occupying the intermediate size regime between atoms and nanoparticles. (credit: /Nano Letters)

Think of the possibilities.

University of Central Florida assistant professor  Jayan Thomas, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor Rongchao Jin, has developed a new material based on gold nanoparticles smaller than 2 nanometers, in a regime between atoms and nanoparticles called nanoclusters.

Thomas and his team found that nanoclusters developed by adding atoms in a sequential manner could provide interesting new optical properties that make… read more

Multiple stab wounds may be harmful to monkeys

October 21, 2010

The Onion logo

Source: The Onion — February 27, 2008

Repeatedly stabbing monkeys with sharpened objects may have an adverse effect on their health, according to a new study.

movie review | New science fiction movie Elysium

Now in U.S. theaters and in IMAX
August 5, 2013 by L. Stephen Coles

Elysium2

The science-fiction movie Elysium opens in theaters and IMAX in the U.S. on Friday, August 9. The ostensible bionics (exoskeleton technology) and special effects for this film are mesmerizing.

The folk who live on the space station Elysium appear to have eliminated poverty, war, illness (including cancer), and possibly death.

The unfortunate folk who remain on Earth have all of these problems in spades and worse. Recall the… read more

Molecular cut and paste

July 28, 2011 by William Mcewan

Future Science book cover

A combination of cheap DNA synthesis, freely accessible databases, and our ever-expanding knowledge of protein science is conspiring to permit a revolution in creating powerful molecular tools, suggests William McEwan, Ph.D., a virologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K., in this excerpt from the new book Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge, edited by Max Brockman.

This afternoon I received… read more

Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see and interact with objects on the tabletop

February 11, 2011 by Sarah Black

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface | Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see what’s going on on the tabletop. This allows for all manner of natural user interfaces to be employed both with everyday objects, and objects specifically crafted to work with Surface.

Wikipedia | Microsoft Surface is a surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and real world objects. It has a 360-degree user interface, a 30 in (76 cm) reflective surface… read more

Microsoft offers a glimpse into the future of productivity

October 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

cell

Microsoft has posted an awesome new concept video with some ubercool new interfaces that could be here in five to ten years, estimates Kurt DelBene, President, Microsoft Office Division.

That sounds a bit conservative. “All of the ideas in the video are based on real technology,” he said. “Some of the capabilities, such as speech recognition, real time collaboration, and data visualization, already… read more

Meetup and 9/11

September 9, 2011 by Scott Heiferman

meetup

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don’t write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don’t know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the… read more

Meet Stompy: the giant, rideable walking robot

August 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Wanna take a ride? Sorry, you'll have to pledge first. Stompy is a work in progress. (Credit: Hexapod)

It’s an open-source, 18 ft. wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot. So yet another quirky Kickstarter project? Well, not exactly, read on….

“We dream of a world where imagination becomes reality simply because enough passionate people decide that an idea has merit.” So say the folks at Project Hexapod, based out of a makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts called Artisan’s Asylum.

OK, but what’s the purpose of… read more

Medieval tech support

January 21, 2010

medieval-tech-support

Source: "Øystein og jeg" on Norwegian Broadcasting — 2001

From the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.

Mask-bot: A talking video humanoid robot

November 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Mask-Bot

Welcome to the creepiest uncanny-valley experience yet: a talking robot face called Mask-botdeveloped by a team at the Institute for Cognitive Systems (ICS) at TU München and AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

What sets Mask-bot apart is that it can instantly construct and project a static video image of anyone’s face (from a photo) on a 3D surface,… read more

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