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Aug 30, 2015

Concept Video: Your Next Plane Could Take Off Vertically

Posted by in category: futurism

Private aircraft tentatively seeking stockholders.

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Aug 30, 2015

Racing Real Car in Virtual Reality — Castrol Edge & Video Games tech

Posted by in categories: computing, transportation, virtual reality

Castrol Edge & Video Games technologies: Racing a Real Car in Virtual Reality.
Castrol EDGE has premiered its latest Titanium Trial driving challenge, featuring Formula Drift professional Matt Powers driving his Roush Stage 3 Mustang whilst wearing a state-of-the-art Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 headset: blind to the real.
world around him, but fully-immersed in a rapidly changing 3D virtual world.
In a world first, Castrol EDGE fused video games technology and a real world driving experience, using a modified car and virtual reality technology, so a computergenerated world responded to the driver’s and car’s movements in real time.

The video game-like experience featured a mind-blowing landscape of falling boulders, crumbling track, tunnels, sheer cliff drops and even a cameo virtual appearance from another racing icon — with the landscape’s shifts reacting to Matt Powers’ every driving move.
The challenge was part of Castrol EDGE’s Titanium Trials, a series of high-powered challenges that bring man and machine together to push the boundaries of performance enabled by the strength of Castrol EDGE boosted with fluid Titanium technology – Castrol’s most technologically advanced and strongest oil.
After taking on the VIRTUAL DRIFT Trial, Matt Powers said: “Virtual Drift was exhilarating and challenging like nothing I’ve ever done before. It’s been awesome not only being involved and testing this next generation of gaming technology but the possibilities this opens up for motor sport in general are mind blowing. I had to rely on my instincts and the car to perform, with the strength of Castrol EDGE in the engine to give me the reassurance that the car would reach its maximum performance.”
Castrol EDGE and creative technologists, Adam Amaral and Glenn Snyder, developed the all-new technology behind the trial. Everything from the steering angle and wheel spin, to the dynamic damping and throttle position was tracked, allowing Castrol EDGE to simulate the vehicle with near perfect accuracy in the virtual world.
With the Oculus Rift DK2 updating 75 times a second, brand new technology was needed to match or exceed that rate, making a previously sit-down, stationary experience, now a mobile experience in a moving vehicle for the first time ever.

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Aug 30, 2015

This App Can Scan and Solve Math Equations Instantly

Posted by in categories: information science, mobile phones

A viral video about a new app looks like a dream come true for anyone who struggles with math.

Based on the promo clip, PhotoMath, dubbed a “smart camera calculator,” appears to use smartphone cameras to scan a photo of a math equation in a textbook and display the answer instantly — similar to apps that scan barcodes and takes users to a link in a web browser. It looks like the app can also show step-by-step instructions for solving the problem.

PhotoMath’s parent company MicroBLINK launched the app this week at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in London, TechCrunch reports. It is available in the App Store on iTunes.

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Aug 30, 2015

Joe Firmage’s radical plan to simplify the Internet, Part 1

Posted by in category: internet

Legendary Internet entrepreneur Joe Firmage is back, and he plans to turn the Internet upside down. Again.

He did it once before with USWeb in the 90s, designing and building Internet sites, intranets, and applications for more than half the Fortune 100 and thousands of startups.

Now his new venture — 15 years and tens of millions in the making — called ManyOne, plans to do the same for a public (and for businesses of any size) dazed by the complexities of setting up websites. And worse, mystified about getting page rank on search engines — and even worse, creating their own successful apps.

Continue reading “Joe Firmage’s radical plan to simplify the Internet, Part 1” »


Aug 29, 2015

MAKS: Germany’s hypersonic SpaceLiner concept solidifies — 8/28/2015 — Flight Global

Posted by in category: space travel

Ten years after the project was conceived, the German Aerospace Centre’s SpaceLiner could soon enter a new design phase with a “mission definition review” planned for 2016.

The idea is to produce a two-stage, reusable hypersonic space vehicle that could transport 50 passengers from Europe to Australia in 90 minutes.

Leonid Bussler of the German Aerospace Centre’s Space Launch Systems Analysis (SART) group says the project is currently in “Phase Zero,” where the range of vehicle concepts are narrowed down to a single, baseline configuration through wind tunnel testing and performance trade-offs.

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Aug 29, 2015

AI and Effective Altruism

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

MIRI is a research nonprofit specializing in a poorly-explored set of problems in theoretical computer science. GiveDirectly is a cash transfer service that gives money to poor households in East Africa. What kind of conference would bring together representatives from such disparate organizations — alongside policy analysts, philanthropists, philosophers, and many more?

Effective Altruism Global, which is beginning its Oxford session in a few hours, is that kind of conference. Effective altruism (EA) is a diverse community of do-gooders with a common interest in bringing the tools of science to bear on the world’s biggest problems. EA organizations like GiveDirectly, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and the charity evaluator GiveWell have made a big splash by calling for new standards of transparency and humanitarian impact in the nonprofit sector.

What is MIRI’s connection to effective altruism? In what sense is safety research in artificial intelligence “altruism,” and why do we assign a high probability to this being a critically important area of computer science in the coming decades? I’ll give quick answers to each of those questions below.

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Aug 29, 2015

David Hanson: We are close to building the first sentient robot

Posted by in categories: energy, materials, robotics/AI

Hanson would be unimpressed by my use of the word “it” to describe his robots, though. His latest creations, Han and Sophia, are “he” and “she” respectively. And Hanson believes that the latter model will become the “first sentient robot, the first one to achieve human-like consciousness.”

This is because Sophia is smaller in size – all of her mechanisms fit inside a smaller chassis. This is beneficial for two reasons: she costs less to make in terms of materials and it takes her less energy to make facial expressions and move around.

“Because of this, she can make more of a difference in the world,” Hanson explains. He adds:

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Aug 29, 2015

Cheaper, More Efficient LED Technology Developed

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability

Scientists including one of Indian origin have developed a new highly efficient and low cost light emitting diode that could help spur more widespread adoption of the LED technology.

“It can potentially revolutionise lighting technology. In general, the cost of LED lighting has been a big concern thus far. Energy savings have not balanced out high costs. The new discovery could change that,” explained Zhibin Yu, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Florida State University.

Yu developed this technology with a team that included post-doctoral researcher Junqiang Li and graduate students Sri Ganesh Bade and Xin Shan.

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Aug 29, 2015

That’s Awesome! Visit: www.technologyvista.com

Posted by in category: futurism

That’s Awesome!

Visit: www.technologyvista.com.

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Aug 29, 2015

Boeing’s new laser canon can destroy drones in mid-flight

Posted by in categories: drones, habitats, military, space

Drones are everywhere these days. They’re at your local park, they’re in the ocean, they’re hovering over the White House lawn, and they may even be hovering overhead armed with tear gas.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly drone friendly, there are some serious safety considerations that shouldn’t be ignored.

Continue reading “Boeing's new laser canon can destroy drones in mid-flight” »


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