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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

May 2, 2016

Raytheon developing technology to make software “immortal”

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, life extension, military

Making software immortal; Raytheon is trying to make it a reality.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A team led by Raytheon BBN Technologies is developing methods to make mobile applications viable for up to 100 years, despite changes in hardware, operating system upgrades and supporting services. The U.S. Air Force is sponsoring the four-year, $7.8 million contract under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems program.

“Mobile apps are pervasive in the military, but frequent operating system upgrades, new devices and changing missions and environments require manual software engineering that is expensive and causes unacceptable delays,” said Partha Pal, principal scientist at Raytheon BBN. “We are developing techniques to eliminate these interruptions by identifying the way these changes affect application functionality and modifying the software.”

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May 2, 2016

How AI will make information akin to electricity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering, government, internet, life extension, mathematics, mobile phones, robotics/AI, wearables

Ask an Information Architect, CDO, Data Architect (Enterprise and non-Enterprise) they will tell you they have always known that information/ data is a basic staple like Electricity all along; and glad that folks are finally realizing it. So, the same view that we apply to utilities as core to our infrastructure & survival; we should also apply the same value and view about information. And, in fact, information in some areas can be even more important than electricity when you consider information can launch missals, cure diseases, make you poor or wealthy, take down a government or even a country.


What is information? Is it energy, matter, or something completely different? Although we take this word for granted and without much thought in today’s world of fast Internet and digital media, this was not the case in 1948 when Claude Shannon laid the foundations of information theory. His landmark paper interpreted information in purely mathematical terms, a decision that dematerialized information forever more. Not surprisingly, there are many nowadays that claim — rather unthinkingly — that human consciousness can be expressed as “pure information”, i.e. as something immaterial graced with digital immortality. And yet there is something fundamentally materialistic about information that we often ignore, although it stares us — literally — in the eye: the hardware that makes information happen.

As users we constantly interact with information via a machine of some kind, such as our laptop, smartphone or wearable. As developers or programmers we code via a computer terminal. As computer or network engineers we often have to wade through the sheltering heat of a server farm, or deal with the material properties of optical fibre or copper in our designs. Hardware and software are the fundamental ingredients of our digital world, both necessary not only in engineering information systems but in interacting with them as well. But this status quo is about to be massively disrupted by Artificial Intelligence.

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May 1, 2016

Optical Processing Pioneer wins Project with DARPA

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, information science, mathematics

Cambridge University spin-out Optalysys has been awarded a $350k grant for a 13-month project from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The project will see the company advance their research in developing and applying their optical co-processing technology to solving complex mathematical equations. These equations are relevant to large-scale scientific and engineering simulations such as weather prediction and aerodynamics.

The Optalysys technology is extremely energy efficient, using light rather than electricity to perform intensive mathematical calculations. The company aims to provide existing computer systems with massively boosted processing capabilities, with the aim to eventually reach exaFLOP rates (a billion billion calculations per second). The technology operates at a fraction of the energy cost of conventional high-performance computers (HPCs) and has the potential to operate at orders of magnitude faster.

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Apr 29, 2016

Nvidia GPU-powered autonomous car teaches itself to see and steer

Posted by in categories: engineering, mobile phones, robotics/AI, supercomputing, transportation

I do love Nvidia!


During the past nine months, an Nvidia engineering team built a self-driving car with one camera, one Drive-PX embedded computer and only 72 hours of training data. Nvidia published an academic preprint of the results of the DAVE2 project entitled End to End Learning for Self-Driving Cars on arXiv.org hosted by the Cornell Research Library.

The Nvidia project called DAVE2 is named after a 10-year-old Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project known as DARPA Autonomous Vehicle (DAVE). Although neural networks and autonomous vehicles seem like a just-invented-now technology, researchers such as Google’s Geoffrey Hinton, Facebook’s Yann Lecune and the University of Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio have collaboratively researched this branch of artificial intelligence for more than two decades. And the DARPA DAVE project application of neural network-based autonomous vehicles was preceded by the ALVINN project developed at Carnegie Mellon in 1989. What has changed is GPUs have made building on their research economically feasible.

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Apr 28, 2016

Automation raises Indian IT industry’s productivity; firms like Infosys, TCS likely to see lower hiring

Posted by in categories: employment, engineering, robotics/AI

Hmmm;


The latest figures are a clear sign that India’s largest outsourcing firms are succeeding at ‘non-linear’ growth, where revenues increase disproportionately compared with hiring.

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Apr 28, 2016

Qubiz aims to make quantum technology practical

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, quantum physics

Excellent news!!!!!


The Quantum Innovation Center or Qubiz has been launched in Copenhagen with the goal of translating quantum physics into practical quantum technology. The Danish project involves the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark DTU, and Aarhus University, along with 18 industrial partners. Qubiz will be building on the very strong Danish research platform within quantum technology, a platform that has its origin in Niels Bohr’s pioneering work 100 years ago.

The CEO for the new Center is Søren Isaksen, who previously served as the CTO of the NKT Group and is a member and chairmen of various research councils. In addition to leading the center, his job will be to reach out to Danish and foreign companies and, with the researchers, to help find out where there is potential for starting new businesses. A 2-year seed funding grant of 11M EUR from the Innovation Fund Denmark enables the hiring of new employees with business and engineering backgrounds, as well as researchers.

According to Isaksen, the Center will engage with existing businesses, Danish as well as international companies, to develop new products and lay the foundation for new businesses. On April 15, Qubiz held a kick-off event that included seven elevator-pitches presenting potential startups—two of these have now being established and more are on the way.

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Apr 28, 2016

At last: Non-toxic and cheap thin-film solar cells for ‘zero-energy’ buildings

Posted by in categories: engineering, entertainment, solar power, sustainability

‘Zero-energy’ buildings — which generate as much power as they consume — are now much closer after a team at Australia’s University of New South Wales achieved the world’s highest efficiency using flexible solar cells that are non-toxic and cheap to make.

Until now, the promise of ‘zero-energy’ buildings been held back by two hurdles: the cost of the thin-film solar cells (used in façades, roofs and windows), and the fact they’re made from scarce, and highly toxic, materials.

That’s about to change: the UNSW team, led by Dr Xiaojing Hao of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, have achieved the world’s highest efficiency rating for a full-sized thin-film solar cell using a competing thin-film technology, known as CZTS.

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Apr 28, 2016

Tiny Spacecraft to Take on Journey to Alpha Centauri

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, space travel

Draper’s ChipSat Research Could Make Stamp-Sized Spacecraft Functional for Interstellar Mission

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Chip-sized spacecraft will be beamed about 25 trillion miles to Alpha Centauri within 20 years of launch – a mission that would otherwise take 30,000 years – thanks to an engineering project sponsored by the Breakthrough Starshot team. Since 2010, Draper and Cornell University have collaborated on research into spacecraft that could be reduced to the size of a postage stamp and dubbed “ChipSats.” While ChipSats are small and inexpensive to launch, they face challenges far different from those of larger spacecraft and require a completely different approach to space missions.

Due to their tiny size, ChipSats experience disturbances in space in a different manner from large spacecraft. Much like a dinghy is greatly affected by waves that cannot move an oil tanker, the importance of small environmental forces, such as solar radiation pressure and aerodynamic drag, is magnified for ChipSats. This represents a challenge for completing the journey to Alpha Centauri and pointing precisely to send data back to Earth. But it is also an opportunity for developing new guidance and control approaches that take advantage of the environment.

Apr 27, 2016

Biology May Hold Key to Better Computer Memory

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, engineering, nuclear energy, sustainability

Of course bio technology holds the key for better memory.


Newswise — A group of Boise State researchers, led by associate professor of materials science and engineering and associate dean of the College of Innovation and Design Will Hughes, is working toward a better way to store digital information using nucleic acid memory (NAM).

It’s no secret that as a society we generate vast amounts of data each year. So much so that the 30 billion watts of electricity used annually by server farms today is roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants.

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Apr 26, 2016

Chinese Billionaire Taking on Tesla With Cars He Hopes One Day Will Be Free

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Tomorrow’s cars will be all-electric, self-driving, connected to high-speed communications networks … and free.

And probably Chinese.

That, at least, is the vision of Jia Yueting, a billionaire entrepreneur and one of a new breed of Chinese who see their technology expertise re-engineering the automobile industry, and usurping Tesla Motors, a U.S. pioneer in premium electric vehicle (EV) making.

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