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A boost for quantum reality

May 9, 2012

joint_measurement_n_qubits

In a controversial paper in Nature Physics, theorists claim they can prove that wavefunctions — the entity that determines the probability of different outcomes of measurements on quantum-mechanical particles — are real states.

The paper is thought by some to be one of the most important in quantum foundations in decades. The authors say that the mathematics leaves no doubt that the wavefunction is not just a statistical tool, but rather, a… read more

Ultra-thin capacitors could acclerate development of next-gen electronics

February 28, 2014

All-nanosheet ultrathin capacitor (credit: C. Wang et al./ACS Nano)

Japanese researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science and Shinshu University have developed a way to shrink capacitors — key components that store energy — further, which could accelerate the development of more compact, high-performance next-gen electronic devices. The study appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Takayoshi Sasaki and colleagues note that current technology has almost reached its limit in terms of materials and processing, which in turn… read more

Visual computing still decades from computational apex

March 9, 2012

Left_Eye_Retina

With 120 million monochrome and 5 million color receptors, the eye and brain are able to do what even our most advanced cameras are unable to, according to computer graphics pioneer Tim Sweeney of Epic Games.

With a resolution of about 30 megapixels, the human eye is able to gather information at about 72 frames per second, which explains why many gamers debate the need for frame rates higher than… read more

Mystery deepens: Mike Treder has crossed over into Canada

March 22, 2012

Michael Treder, the transhumanist leader and IEET fellow who disappeared during a visit to Detroit, has crossed the border into Canada and hasn’t been seen since, according to Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens, the Detroit Free Press reported today (March 22).

Treder, 58, from Brooklyn, N.Y., was last heard from March 14, according to his family, who said he left all of his possessions in his room at… read more

Watson beats humans on ‘Jeopardy!’ with a total prize of $1 million

February 15, 2011

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The Watson IBM supercomputer finished the third round of the TV show “Jeopardy!” on Wednesday night as winner, with a cumulative total of $77,147, compared with $24,000 for Ken Jennings and $21,600 for Brad Rutter. Watson won a total prize of $1 million; Jennings and Rutter got $300,000 and $200,000 respectively.

News reports

Ultra-high-res 100,000 dpi color printing

April 12, 2013

Variation in post size and spacing in the metal array alters which incoming wavelength of light (red, green or blue) is reflected back (K. Kumar et al./A*STAR)

Commercial laser printers typically produce pin-sharp images with spots of ink about 20 micrometers apart, resulting in a resolution of 1,200 dots per inch (dpi).

By shrinking the separation to just 250 nanometers — 80 times smaller, a research team at A*STAR can now print images at an incredible 100,000 dpi, the highest possible resolution for a color image.

These images could be used… read more

’1 in 5 chance’ Ebola will spread to the US in September

Ebola cases "increasing exponentially ... many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming 3 weeks" --- World Health Organization
September 10, 2014

Air traffic connections from West African countries to the rest of the world (credit: PLOS Currents: Outbreaks)

The number of new cases in Liberia is “increasing exponentially,” according to a statement Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO), and “many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming 3 weeks.”

There’s also a 20% chance that that the Ebola epidemic (as it is now called) will reach the U.S. by the end of September, according to experts writing in… read more

The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels

August 8, 2012

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Members of the Google self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs) for things like commuting to work, says Google Official Blog.

Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident… read more

A circuit diagram of the mouse brain

Max Planck scientists aim to analyze a whole mouse brain under the electron microscope.
October 24, 2012

Serial block-face electron microscopy stack from the corpus callosum, cut down the middle, with 50 traced myelinated axons emerging, randomly coloured (credit: MPI f. Medical Research)

Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Medical Research scientists are developing a complete circuit diagram of the brain of the mouse using an electron microscope to make fine extensions of almost every single neuron visible.

Most axons are less than one micron thick, some even smaller than 100 nanometers. “The electron microscope is the only microscope with a high enough resolution to enable individual axons lying next to each other… read more

Google calls for greater transparency and challenges surveillance gag order

June 19, 2013

Google logo

Google has called on the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Tuesday to relax its gag order on tech companies targeted in U.S. security investigations, The Guardian reports.

The legal filing cites the first amendment’s guarantee of free speech and follows on from a letter to attorney general Eric Holder asking for permission to disclose the number of requests Google receives… read more

4D printed objects ‘make themselves’

March 1, 2013

Cube self-folding strand (credit: Self-Assembly Lab, MIT/Stratasys)

At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble, BBC News reports.

It could be used to install objects in hard-to-reach places such as underground water pipes, he suggested.

It might also herald an age of self-assembling furniture, said experts.

Smart materials

“We’re proposing that the fourth dimension is time… read more

Blocking this molecule in the brain could prevent age-related cognitive decline

February 8, 2013

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Researchers have discovered a molecule that accumulates with age and inhibits the formation of new neurons. The finding might help scientists design therapies to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

The investigators identified the molecule, called Dickkopf-1 or Dkk1, in the brains of aged mice. By blocking production of Dkk1, “we released a brake on neuronal birth, thereby resetting performance in spatial memory tasks back to levels observed in… read more

Gingrich proposes Moon base by 2020

January 27, 2012

Domed lunar settlement (credit: Pat Rawlings/NASA)

Newt Gingrich has called for a bold, aggressive space program that would establish a permanent base on the Moon by 2020, along with a next-generation propulsion system for taking humans to Mars, and commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing.

Transcript of the speech, courtesy of the National Space Society.

 

 

 

Volvo’s first self-driving cars now being tested live on public roads in Swedish city

100 cars, involving a vehicle manufacturer, real customers, legislators, transport authorities, and a major city
May 5, 2014

volvo-drive-me

Volvo Car Group’s “Drive Me” project — featuring 100 self-driving Volvos on public roads in everyday driving conditions — is moving forward rapidly, with the first test cars now driving around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

“The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption, and merging traffic all by themselves,” says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group.

“This is an important step… read more

Delivery by drone: will it work?

MIT has two computational tricks to help
August 22, 2014

(Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT - photograph of quadrotor courtesy of the researchers)

MIT researchers have devised computational solutions to reduce the chances that Amazon’s planned delivery drones will crash and burn — along with your stuff.

It’s complicated. Drones have to deal with iffy factors like high winds, low fuel/power level, component failures, and even possible shooters in some locations.

So with Boeing support, the researchers developed two fixes.

  • An algorithm enables a drone to monitor aspects of

read more

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