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Do billionaires crave eternal life?

July 19, 2012

avatar2045

Dmitry Itskov, a Russian entrepreneur, wants the world’s billionaires to fund a project called the 2045 Initiative to find the key to immortality, IEEE Spectrum notes.

Itskov expects the first fruits in about a dozen years, when a human brain is to be transplanted into a robot body. The resulting “avatar,” as he calls it, will “save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged.”

The… read more

IBM simulates 530 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapses on supercomputer

November 19, 2012

A Network of Neurosynaptic Cores Derived from Long-distance Wiring in the Monkey Brain: Neuro-synaptic cores are locally clustered into brain-inspired regions, and each core is represented as an individual point along the ring. Arcs are drawn from a source core to a destination core with an edge color defined by the color assigned to the source core. (Credit: IBM)

IBM Research – Almaden presented at Supercomputing 2012 last week the next milestone toward fulfilling the ultimate vision of the DARPA’s cognitive computing program, called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), according to Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, Manager, Cognitive Computing, IBM Research – Almaden.

Announced in 2008, DARPA’s SyNAPSE program calls for developing electronic neuromorphic (brain-simulation) machine technology that scales… read more

The strange neuroscience of immortality

July 30, 2012

ken-hayworth

Neuroscientist Kenneth Hayworth believes that he can live forever, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. But first he has to die.

“The human race is on a beeline to mind uploading: We will preserve a brain, slice it up, simulate it on a computer, and hook it up to a robot body,” he says.

He wants that brain to be his brain. He wants his 100 billion… read more

How much is an asteroid worth?

As much as $20 trillion, says one expert; others skeptical
February 15, 2013

Asteroid fuel mining concept (credit: Deep Space Industries)

When asteroid 2012 DA14 flies by Earth today, we could be watching a fortune fly over our heads and disappear into the void.

DA14 could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant, Deep Space Industries (DSI) said in a statement —  if it were in a different orbit … and  if we had a space-based asteroid mining operation.

Which we don’t. Problem is, explains… read more

American schools go on utterly insane hiring spree since 1950. Kids shrug, continue to do poorly on tests

October 25, 2012

2011-03-01-studentspendvsachievement

A new study from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice finds that America’s public schools saw a 96 percent increase in students but increased administrators and other non-teaching staff a staggering 702 percent since 1950. Teaching staff, in comparison, increased 252 percent, Reason reports.

If non-teaching personnel had grown at the same rate as student population, American public schools would have an additional $24.3… read more

A Bitcoin backlash?

October 15, 2013

bitcoin

Governments and established financial institutions are likely to launch a campaign to quash the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin, according to a leading economist and academic. Simon Johnson, a professor of entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, expects Bitcoin to face political pressure and aggressive lobbying from big banks because of its disruptive nature, MIT Technology Review reports.

The code that supports and… read more

The world’s first 3D-printed gun is a terrifying thing

July 26, 2012

worlds-first-3d-printed-gun-520x363

Gun enthusiast “HaveBlue” has documented in a blog post (via the AR15 forums) the process of what appears to be the first test firing of a firearm made with a 3D printer, The Next Web reports.

Actually,. the only printed part of the gun was the lower receiver. But, according to the American Gun Control Act, the receiver is what counts as the firearm.

HaveBlue reportedly… read more

Can you design the ultimate augmented-reality system for warfighters?

November 6, 2012

PIXNET

Imagine a single camera that can fuse (integrate) images across a wide spectrum on light, from visible light to near-infrared and far-infrared (thermal) images (for night vision), replacing multiple cameras.

It would be part of a head-up display (HUD) that is helmet-mounted. It would be lightweight, low-cost, easy to use, and draw minimal power. And it would interface wirelessly with an Android-based smart phone for fusing images and networking… read more

A chance to finish life: UPDATE

August 31, 2012

kim_suozzi

UPDATE 8/31/2012 10:15 a.m. EDT:

This just in from Shannon Vyff: “We have raised $27,000.00 in just a week, we were at $17,000.00 Thursday when a generous $10,000.00 donation from Life Extension Foundation come in. Our minimum goal is $35,000.00 to cover transportation and cryopreservation costs — if additional funds are raised Kim is hoping to be able to cover standby as well. I’m very thankful to our… read more

‘Stop watching us’ rally protests surveillance

October 25, 2013

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On October 26th, the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA Patriot Act, StopWatching.us — a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum — is holding the largest rally yet against NSA surveillance.

According to StopWatching.us:
The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the… read more

Human cycles: history as science

August 7, 2012

800px-Marais-massacre

Advocates of “cliodynamics” say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure, Nature News reports.

To Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the appearance of three peaks of political instability at roughly 50-year intervals starting with the U.S. Civil War is not a coincidence. For the past 15 years, Turchin has been taking the… read more

MIT inventor unleashes hundreds of self-assembling cube swarmbots

October 4, 2013

M-Blocks

The experts said it couldn’t be done. But research scientist John Romanishin of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created  M-Blocks — cube robots with no external moving parts.

Despite that, they can magically climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, snap together into different shapes, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic… read more

Ability to ‘think about thinking’ not limited to humans

Another distinction between "humans" and "animals" removed
April 4, 2013

Chimpanzee (credit: Thomas Lersch/Wikimedia Commons)

Humans’ closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, have metacognition — knowing what one knows, according to new research by scientists at Georgia State University and the University at Buffalo.

“The demonstration of metacognition in nonhuman primates has important implications regarding the emergence of self-reflective mind during humans’ cognitive evolution,” the research team noted.

Metacognition is the ability to recognize one’s own cognitive states. For example, a game show… read more

China’s next-generation Internet is a world-beater

March 12, 2013

Artist rendering of city-sized cloud computing and office complex being built in China (IBM)

An open-access report published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society last week details China’s advances in creating a next-generation Internet that is on a national level and on a larger scale than anything in the West, New Scientist reports.

At the root of the problem are “two major gaps in the architecture of the Internet”, according to a report from the… read more

How the Internet of everything will change the world

November 8, 2012

Internet-of-Everything

From the Internet of Things (IoT), where we are today, we are just beginning to enter a new realm: the Internet of Everything (IoE), where things will gain context awareness, increased processing power, and greater sensing abilities, says Cisco in their blog.

Add people and information into the mix and you get a network of networks where billions or even trillions of connections create unprecedented opportunities and… read more

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