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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

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

The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels

August 8, 2012

google_car

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

 

Astronaut on ISS uses interplanetary Internet to control robot in Germany

November 12, 2012

legorobot_esa

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) used an experimental version of interplanetary Internet in late October to control an educational rover from the International Space Station, NASA says.

The experiment used NASA’s Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to transmit messages and demonstrate technology that one day may enable Internet-like communications with space vehicles and support habitats or infrastructure on another planet.

Space station Expedition… read more

Digital global intelligence on the future of the world in the palm of your hand

December 11, 2013

(Credit: The Millennium Project)

The Millennium Project’s Global Futures Intelligence System is now available and accessible online, including auto-detected mobile phone data access.

“Overviews, situation charts, references, and latest relevant news on the most important challenges facing humanity are now all immediately available,” explains Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project.

“The system presents distillations of the present situation, prospects, and strategies to address issues ranging from climate change to… read more

First true 3D microchip created: Cambridge scientists

February 1, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

University of Cambridge scientists have created a new type of microchip that allows information to travel in three dimensions, enabling additional storage capacity on chips.

Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way — from either left to right or front to back, the researchers say.

In the future, a 3D microchip would enable additional storage capacity on chips by… read more

Floating cities of the future

August 1, 2012

seascraper_national_geographic

Touted as an eco-friendly floating city, the Seascraper  is among concepts for sustainable offshore settlements described by National Geographic.

“With more than seven billion people on the planet, mass migrations to cities, and increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, more and more architects and innovators seem to be weighing anchor,” NatGeo says.

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