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Aiming to Learn as We Do, a Machine Teaches Itself

October 5, 2010

A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University — supported by grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Google, and tapping into a research supercomputing cluster provided by Yahoo — has been fine-tuning a computer system that is trying to master semantics by learning more like a human.

The computer was primed by the researchers with some basic knowledge in various categories and set loose on the… read more

Air Force Seeks Bush’s Approval for Space Weapons Programs

May 18, 2005

A new Air Force strategy, Global Strike, calls for a military space plane carrying precision-guided weapons armed with a half-ton of munitions.

The “common aero vehicle” could strike from halfway around the world in 45 minutes.

The “Rods From God” space program aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground.

A third program would bounce… read more

Air Force Treating Wounds With Lasers and Nanotech

May 10, 2010

The Air Force is funding scientists who are using lasers to seal up wounds at a molecular level.

The process would replace the sutures and staples traditionally used to repair wounded skin. A patient’s wound would be coated in a dye, then exposed to green light for 2-3 minutes. The dye absorbs the light and catalyzes molecular bonds between the tissue’s collagen.

The bonds instantly create a seal… read more

Air Force Wants Neuroweapons to Overwhelm Enemy Minds

November 4, 2010

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing revamped a call for research proposals examining “Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance.” It’s a six-year, $49 million effort to deploy extreme neuroscience and biotechnology in the service of warfare.

One suggested research thrust is to use “external stimulant technology to enable the airman to maintain focus on aerospace tasks and to receive and… read more

Air guitarists’ rock dreams come true

November 29, 2005

The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at Helsinki University of Technology, uses a computer to monitor the hand movements of a “player.” The system adds riffs and licks to match mid-air finger work.

Air Storage Is Explored for Energy

August 27, 2008

Energy Storage and Power, a new company, plans to use wind turbines to produce compressed air that can be stored underground or in tanks and released later to power generators during peak hours.

Airborne Laser lets rip on first target

December 16, 2008

Airborn laser battles with aircraft patrolling the skies, zapping missiles, aircraft or even satellites in low Earth orbit with invisible, ultrapowerful laser beams may become a reality soon, with the successful test of the Airborne Laser (ABL), developed by aerospace firms Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

(Jim Shryne/USAF)

Airborne prions are infectious; precautionary measures advised

January 14, 2011

Histoblot analysis of brains from mice exposed to prion aerosols (PLoS Pathogens)

Airborne prions are also infectious and can induce mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disorder. This is the surprising conclusion of researchers at the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich and the University of Tübingen. They recommend precautionary measures for scientific labs, slaughterhouses and animal feed plants.

The prion is the infectious agent that caused the epidemic of mad cow disease, also termed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and claimed… read more

Airbus designs biomimetic airplane for the year 2050

June 15, 2011

(Credit: Airbus)

Airbus visionaries have conceived the plane of the year 2050, with a transparent ceiling and morphing seats that maximize passenger comfort. Airbus is releasing images of its vision of the future in preparation for the upcoming Paris Air Show June 20.

The aircraft’s bionic structure mimics the efficiency of bird bone, which is optimized to provide strength where needed, and allows for an intelligent cabin… read more

Aircraft could be brought down by DIY ‘E-bombs’

April 2, 2009

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons capable of frying the electronics in civil airliners can be built using information and components available on the net, warn counterterrorism analysts.

Airships tested as telecom beacons

December 17, 2002

“Stratellites,” spherical airships at 19,000 meters in altitude, will be used as high-flying telecommunications platforms to supply two-way Internet access across the United States and into Mexico and Canada ihin 2004. They offer the advantages of satellites without the launch costs and transmission latency.

AIs May Call Virtual Worlds Home

September 18, 2007

Novamente is looking at virtual worlds like Second Life as training grounds for self-directed AI applications that learn by interacting with their environments.

Novamente plans to unveil a teachable “virtual companion” in Second Life at the Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose this October.

Akamai moves to optimize TV

January 22, 2013


Akamai, the Web optimization company whose servers deliver up to 30 percent of Web traffic, is setting its sights on creating a TV technology that can detect what a person is watching and stream secondary content to a smartphone or tablet in near real-time, MIT Technology Review reports.

The aim, the company says, is to take today’s fast-growing but chaotic landscape of TV “companion” apps… read more

Alarm raised about religion defamation ban

March 30, 2009

The U.N.’s top human rights body has approved a “defamation of religion” proposal by Muslim nations urging the passage of laws protecting religion from criticism.

Christian, Jewish, and secular groups say the non-binding resolution restricts freedom of speech and will worsen relations between faiths.

Alarm Sounded on Global Warming

June 16, 2004

Ten of the nation’s top climate researchers warned yesterday that policymakers must act soon to address the dangers associated with global warming, which they described as a looming threat that will hit hardest and soonest at the world’s poor and at farmers.

The academics emphasized that if international leaders do not act soon, they will not have the option of reversing global warming.

Researchers, including Chris Field of… read more

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