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Fully self-driving cars expected by 2030, says forecast — UPDATE

New IHS Automotive study forecasts nearly 12 million yearly self-driving cars sales and almost 54 million in use on global highways by 2035
January 3, 2014

Google_autonomous_vehicle

Self-driving cars (SDC) that include driver control are expected to hit highways around the globe before 2025 and self-driving “only” cars (only the car drives) are anticipated around 2030, according to an emerging technologies study on Autonomous Cars from IHS Automotive.

In the study, “Emerging Technologies: Autonomous Cars — Not If, But When,” IHS Automotive forecasts total worldwide sales of self-driving cars will grow from nearly 230… read more

AP: Justice Department’s seizure of phone records an unprecedented intrusion

May 14, 2013

Security woman

The U.S. Department of Justice has seized two months’ worth of phone records of calls made by reporters and editors.from the offices of the Associated Press news agency, in what appeared to be an effort to track down the source who disclosed an alleged Yemen terrorist plot story, The Guardian reports.

AP’s president and chief executive officer, Gary Pruitt, described it as “serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Delayed aging is better investment than cancer, heart disease research, says study

October 9, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A new multi-university study shows that research to delay aging and the infirmities of old age would have better population health and economic returns than advances in individual fatal diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

With even modest gains in our scientific understanding of how to slow the aging process, an additional 5 percent of adults over the age of 65 would be healthy rather than… read more

Rabbits kept alive by oxygen injections

June 28, 2012

injected_microparticle

Rabbits with blocked windpipes have been kept alive for up to 15 minutes without a single breath, after researchers injected oxygen-filled microparticles into the animals’ blood, Nature News reports.

The development is reminescent of a hypothetical concept called respirocytes proposed by Robert A. Freiatas, Jr. —  microscopic, artificial red blood cells that can emulate the function of its organic counterpart, only with 200 times the efficiency, so as to supplement… read more

Why wind — and soon solar — are already cheaper than fossil fuels

August 24, 2015

Cost of energy from renewables expected to fall drastically over the next years (credit: Citigroup)

Citigroup has published an analysis of the costs of various energy sources called “Energy Darwinism II.” It concludes that if all the costs of generation are included (known as the levelized cost of energy), renewables turn out to be cheaper than fossil fuels and a “benefit rather than a cost to society,” RenewEconomy reports.

“Capital costs are often cited by the promoters of fossil fuels as… read more

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