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Why don’t we have fusion yet?

October 2, 2013

800px-Preamplifier_at_the_National_Ignition_Facility

The dream of igniting a self-sustained fusion reaction with high yields of energy, a feat likened to creating a miniature star on Earth, is getting closer to becoming reality, according the authors of a new review article in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Researchers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) report that while there is at least one significant obstacle to overcome before achieving the highly stable precisely… read more

World’s first lab-grown burger is eaten in London

August 6, 2013

World's first lab-grown burger (credit: BBC)

The world’s first lab-grown burger was cooked and eaten at a news conference in London, BBC News reports.

Scientists took stem cells from a cow and, at an institute in the Netherlands, turned them into strips of muscle that they combined to make a patty.

One food expert said it was “close to meat, but not that juicy” and another said it tasted like a real… read more

Will anyone create a killer app for Google Glass?

March 7, 2013

Google's Glass Foundary

Google is creating high expectations that Google Glass will become a mass-market device, MIT Technology Review reports.

A new company, Augmedix, is making a Google Glass app for doctors, not for their patients. Founder Ian Shakil says his company is already testing it with medical facilities using the Vuzix M100, another smart glasses gadget coming out this year.

Google said there were more than 80read more

Elon Musk: AI is ‘potentially more dangerous than nukes’

August 5, 2014

Terminator 3

Elon Musk warned in a tweet Saturday that “we need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes,” and recommended Nick Bostrom’s book, Superintelligence.

Musk followed that up a day later with “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” (A boot loader is a small program that loads other programs at… read more

The RoboRoach: control a living insect from your smartphone

June 11, 2013

RoboRoach

The RoboRoach, a Kickstarter project, is the “world’s first commercially available cyborg” — part cockroach and part machine.

The backpack communicates directly to the roach’s neurons in its antennas via small electrical pulses.

The cockroach undergoes a short surgery (under anesthesia) in which wires are placed inside the antenna. Once it recovers, a backpack is temporarily placed on its back.

When you send a command… read more

CNN’s Spurlock Inside Man explores extreme life extension

April 18, 2014

(Credit: CNN)

In “Futurism,” an episode in CNN’s original series Morgan Spurlock Inside Man on Sunday April 20, Spurlock enters the “brave new world of extreme life extension, embarking on a life-prolonging regimen and trying everything from genome hacking to creating an avatar and uploading his consciousness in preparation for the ‘Technological Singularity.’

“Spurlock’s quest to live forever includes visits with radical futurist Ray Kurzweil, Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Cambrian Genomics in San Francisco, North… read more

Google unveils ‘Project Glass’ augmented-reality glasses prototype

April 5, 2012

google-glasses.top

In a post on Google Plus, Google X employees unveilved a prototype of the company’s “Project Glass” wrap-around augmented-reality glasses.

The glasses can superimpose information on the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages via voice commands, similar to Siri.

A built-in camera can record video and take pictures.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn… read more

Stephen Hawking on AI

October 9, 2015

Stephen Hawking on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (credit: HBO)

Reddit published Stephen Hawking’s answers to questions in an “Ask me anything” (AMA) event on Thursday (Oct. 8).

Most of the answers focused on his concerns about the future of AI and its role in our future. Here are some of the most interesting ones. The full list is in this Wired article. (His answers to John Oliver below are funnier.)
The real risk with… read more

Earth’s habitable lifetime: at least 1.75 billion years, say astrobiologists

Why we should move to Mars before that
September 23, 2013

599px-The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17

If we can just hold out another 1.75 billion years, we’ll be fine — as long as we move to Mars by then, according to astrobiologists at the University of East Anglia.

“We used the ‘habitable zone’ concept to make these estimates — this is the distance from a planet’s star at which temperatures are conducive to having liquid water on the surface,” said Andrew… read more

5D nanostructured quartz glass optical memory could provide ‘unlimited’ data storage for a million years

"Superman memory crystal" recordings could survive the end of the human race
July 10, 2013

5D_optical_memory

University of Southampton and Eindhoven University of Technology.scientists have developed a new technology that could store vast quantities of information — 360 TB on a disc, about 100 times more than current disk drives — for more than a million years [1].

‘Superman memory crystal’

Using a high speed femtosecond laser, data is written  on self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, and stored in… read more

Dyson sphere hunt using Kepler data

October 12, 2012

med_fractaldyson_bowers

Geoff Marcy has received a grant from the UK’s Templeton Foundation to look for Dyson spheres, Paul Gilster writes on Centauri Dreams, the news forum of the Tau Zero Foundation.

Freeman Dyson hypothesized the vast structures over fifty years ago that could ring or completely enclose their parent star. Such structures, the work of a Kardashev Type II civilization — one capable of drawing on the… read more

Mysterious algorithm was 4% of trading activity last week

October 11, 2012

hft_chart

A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity.

The motive of the algorithm is still unclear, CNBC reports.

The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a… read more

3D printing: ‘potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything’ — President Obama

February 13, 2013

(Credit: White House)

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, U.S. President Barack Obama noted that “Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.

“Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries… read more

How to find time travelers

January 8, 2014

Is Jay-Z a time traveler? --- desusnice (Buzz Feed) (credit: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/New York Public Library)

If there were time travelers among us, how would you find them?

That question occurred to astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff, a professor at Michigan Technological University. So he and his team developed a search strategy based on what they call “prescient knowledge.”

If they could find a mention of something or someone on the Internet before people should have known about it, that could indicate that whoever wrote it… read more

AI software smart as a 4-year-old

July 16, 2013

682px-Child_drawing

Artificial and natural knowledge researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have IQ-tested one of the best available artificial intelligence systems to see how intelligent it really is.

About as smart as the average 4-year-old, they will report July 17 at the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Conference in Bellevue, Wash.

The UIC team put ConceptNet 4, AI software developed at… read more

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