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Jul 30, 2015

Graphene kirigami could lead to flexible, nanoscale machines

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, physics

Cornell physicists found yet another use for graphene.

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Jul 30, 2015

Solar Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels for Many Small Businesses

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

SolarCity is expanding its services to small and medium-sized businesses. This move allows local businesses to save money with renewable energy. Going solar.

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Jul 30, 2015

Google’s Internet balloons will soon connect all of Sri Lanka with Wi-Fi

Posted by in category: internet

It will be the first country in the world to have universal Internet coverage.


Google has teamed up with the Sri Lankan government to deliver broadband Internet to every region of the island nation, making it the first country in the world to have universal Internet coverage. The initiative is part of Google’s Project Loon, which aims to provide cheap or free Wi-Fi to people in remote rural areas around the world via a fleet of huge helium-filled balloons floating way up in the stratosphere.

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Jul 30, 2015

Dr. Steve Omohundro and the Implications of A.I. in the Future of Industry

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, robotics/AI

Concerns about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) have recently gained coverage thanks to pioneers like Hawking, Gates, and Musk, though certainly others have been peering down that rabbit hole for some time. While we certainly need to keep our eyes on the far-reaching, it behooves us to take a closer look at the social issues that are right under our noses.

The question of artificial intelligence transforming industry is not a question of when — it’s already happening — but rather of how automation is creeping in and impacting some of the biggest influencers in the economic sphere i.e. transportation, healthcare, and others, some of which may surprise you.

I recently discussed these near-at-hand social implications and ambiguities with Steve Omohundro, CEO and founder of Possibility Research.

Social Implications of AI

In the words of Mr. Omohundro, we’re “on the verge of major transformation” in myriad ways. Consider near-term economics. McKinsey&Company have estimated that the presence of AI automation could impact the economy by $10 to $25 trillion in the next 10 years. Gartner, an information technology research group, estimates that 1/3 of all jobs will be relegated to the world of AI by 2025.

Continue reading “Dr. Steve Omohundro and the Implications of A.I. in the Future of Industry” »


Jul 29, 2015

Researchers build bacteria’s photosynthetic engine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, energy

“Furthermore, the chromatophore project marks a shift in computational biophysics from analyzing the individual cell parts (e.g., a single protein) to analyzing the specialized systems of the cell (e.g., hundreds of proteins working together to carry out an autonomous function). This is a significant step toward the long-term goal of simulating an entire living organism.”


Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic organisms were likely single-celled purple bacteria that began absorbing near-infrared light and converting it to sulfur or sulfates about 3.4 billion years ago.

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Jul 29, 2015

Hanging Underneath A Bridge Is A Great Place To Put Wind Turbines — By Charlie Sorrel | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: energy, science

3049024-inline-i-1-viaducts-are-great-places-to-put-wind-turbines

One problem with wind power is that it’s expensive to build and hard to find the space. Problem solved.

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Jul 29, 2015

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell. The engineered ribosome may enable the production of new drugs and next-generation biomaterials and lead to a better understanding of how ribosomes function.

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Jul 29, 2015

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Eyes Weird Rock On Mars

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity went out of its way to investigate a rock the likes of which it has never seen before on the Red Planet. Measurements by Curiosity’s rock-zapping ChemCam laser and another instrument revealed that the target, a chunk of bedrock dubbed Elk, contains high levels of silica and hydrogen, NASA officials said. “One never knows what to expect on Mars, but the Elk target was interesting enough to go back and investigate,” ChemCam principal investigator Roger Wiens, of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a statement.

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Jul 29, 2015

‘Trillion-Dollar Asteroid’ Zooms

Posted by in categories: economics, space

It’s asteroids like these that will be (and to a certain extent already ARE) the economic engine that powers the first wave of human expansion from our homeworld out into the vast, unimaginably resource rich expanse of the greater solar system.


The near-Earth asteroid is an intriguing candidate for mining, said representatives of the company Planetary Resources, which is hoping to begin these activities in the coming decades. Previous studies by Planetary Resources estimated that 2011 UW158 contains about $5.4 trillion worth of platinum, an element that is rare on Earth.

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Jul 29, 2015

Intel’s new storage chip is 1,000 times faster than flash memory

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Intel and Micron Technology on Tuesday unveiled what they touted as a new kind of memory chip that could “revolutionize” computing devices, services and applications.


Intel and Micron have a new way to store data that they say is denser, tougher, and faster than the competition, and it’s already starting production. In a live keynote today, the companies announced 3D Xpoint, a new category of non-volatile memory that claims to be 1,000 times faster than the NAND architecture underlying most flash memory cards and solid state drives. The new architecture does without transistors entirely, relying on a bulk material property change to switch bits from a low-resistance to a high-resistance state. From there, memory cells are layered in an intricate three-dimensional checkerboard pattern that Intel researchers say is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

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