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Mar 20, 2014

The Future May Be Getting Close to Reality in Vancouver, With D-Wave and General Fusion

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, supercomputing

By Liz Gannes — Re/Code

Vancouver is a land of scenic harbors, tall mountains and startups trying to harness the limits of physics.

In town for the TED conference, I had the occasion to visit two such companies yesterday: D-Wave and General Fusion. D-Wave, a quantum computing company, is all about the very cold and the rather tiny. It has built enormous refrigerators that each house a single chip, laced with “qubits” that can be in the superposition of both 1 and 0 at the same time and can carry an electric current with no resistance at low temperatures.

Meanwhile, General Fusion is all about huge and hot. The company is putting together the pieces for an alpha version of a nuclear reactor plant that would use magnetized target fusion. That is, it slams together hydrogen atoms by shooting donut-shaped electrified plasma into a chamber where it’s squished by synchronized pistons from all angles. This happens at a temperature of 150 million degrees. The point: To create clean and cheap energy.

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Mar 20, 2014

NASA Study Concludes When Civilization Will End, And It’s Not Looking Good for Us

Posted by in category: existential risks

By Tom McKay — Polymic
nasa, study, concludes, when, civilization, will, end,, and, it's, not, looking, good, for, us,
Civilization was pretty great while it lasted, wasn’t it? Too bad it’s not going to for much longer. According to a new study sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, we only have a few decades left before everything we know and hold dear collapses.

The report, written by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center along with a team of natural and social scientists, explains that modern civilization is doomed. And there’s not just one particular group to blame, but the entire fundamental structure and nature of our society.

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Mar 19, 2014

DARPA’s Newest X-Plane Concepts Are All Robots

Posted by in categories: defense, military, robotics/AI

By Evan Ackerman — IEEE Spectrum

Yesterday, DARPA announced the four companies that’ll be competing to develop a new experimental aircraft that combines the efficiency of an airplane with the versatility of a helicopter. It’ll be something like a V-22 Osprey, except that DARPA is hoping for “radical improvements in vertical and cruise flight capabilities.” Three of the companies provided concept art to DARPA; Boeing’s Phantom Swift is pictured above. And the thing that every proposal has in common? They’re all robots.

Robots weren’t a specific requirement for the VTOL X-Plane, but DARPA says that the best proposals ended up being unmanned. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this is the case; in a contest based on speed, efficiency, and payload, including a human pilot would be a significant disadvantage: humans are fragile and require a lot of maintenance, and it’s becoming increasingly arguable that a human in an aircraft has the potential to be more of a liability than an asset, at least in some cases, which may include (say) cargo delivery into dangerous areas.

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Mar 19, 2014

Information Technology Vis-à-vis Technology Per Se! Is all “…technology…” an “…information technology…” only? Aren’t there other technologies above and beyond increasingly indispensable I.T.? The Most Authoritative and Functional Elucidation of the Technology Concept!

Posted by in categories: business, computing, economics, education, engineering, futurism, information science, lifeboat, science, scientific freedom

Information Technology Vis-à-vis Technology Per Se! Is all “…technology…” an “…information technology…” only? Aren’t there other technologies above and beyond increasingly indispensable I.T.? The Most Authoritative and Functional Elucidation of the Technology Concept! By Mr. Andres Agostini at


With the advent of personal computers and the Internet, whenever anyone pronounces the word “…technology…” there is an unprecedented expectation to mean information technology. Something similar happens with the word system that goes, by far, further than just meaning “…computer system(s)…” But, let us just focus on technology now.

In addition of addressing I.T., it will also be coped with B.T., that is “…Business Technology …”, also called Business Technology Management (BTM).

Continue reading “Information Technology Vis-à-vis Technology Per Se! Is all "" an "...information technology..." only? Aren't there other technologies above and beyond increasingly indispensable I.T.? The Most Authoritative and Functional Elucidation of the Technology Concept!” »

Mar 18, 2014

Bitcoin: Silicon Valley’s new version of real estate?

Posted by in category: bitcoin


FORTUNE — Tim Chang has a very busy full-time job as a partner with venture capital firm Mayfield, where he has led investments in such companies as Lyft, Lumosity and Playdom. But he also has a business venture on the side, helping friends and family invest in bitcoin via something called Binary Fund.

Binary Fund was formed by a Canadian investment firm called Binary Financial, and also includes participation from venture capitalist Jon Teo (ex-General Catalyst who is forming a new fund of his own). The idea is basically to participate in bitcoin arbitrage, as opposed to investing in bitcoin-focused startups.

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Mar 18, 2014

Narrative Science Launches Free Artificial Intelligence Application for Google Analytics

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Narrative Science

CHICAGO, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Narrative Science, the leader in Narrative Analytics, announces the launch of Quill Engage, a free application that automatically analyzes and transforms Google Analytics data into natural language reports. By quickly and easily explaining what’s impacting site performance, Quill Engage enables organizations to make better decisions about user engagement and specific marketing efforts. Quill Engage utilizes Quill, Narrative Science’s artificial intelligence platform, and can be accessed for free at

“Organizations of every size struggle with getting true insight and actionable information from their website data. Quill Engage provides instant analysis in the form of easy-to-read, written reports that empower people to do their jobs better,” says Stuart Frankel, CEO of Narrative Science. “Quill Engage is a powerful way for any Google Analytics user to experience the speed, scale and personalization made possible with artificial intelligence.”

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Mar 18, 2014

DeepFace: Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence To Boost Performance Of Facial-Verification Project

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

An accuracy rate of 97.25 percent is fairly impressive in most cases, and when it comes to facial recognition, DeepFace, a facial-verification software project being developed by Facebook, reached that level, according to a research paper released by the social network last week, which added that human beings shown two unfamiliar photos of faces were able to identify whether or not the subjects were the same person 97.53 percent of the time, barely edging out DeepFace.

MIT Technology Review pointed out that the progress made by DeepFace marks “a significant advance” over previous facial-recognition software, adding that DeepFace has received a boost from Facebook’s emphasis on artificial intelligence.

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Mar 18, 2014

Why The Universal Usage Of The Terms “…Futurism…” And “…Futurist…” Is Unimpeachably and Outrageously Wrong As Per Three World-Class Dictionaries!

Posted by in categories: education, futurism, information science, science, scientific freedom, transparency

Why The Universal Usage Of The Terms “…Futurism…” And “…Futurist…” Is Unimpeachably and Outrageously Wrong As Per Three World-Class Dictionaries! By Mr. Andres Agostini at


Futurism Vs. Futurology, as per the most authoritative dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (translated into English by Andres), ensues now.

According to RASL, Futurology is thereby the “…set of studies that purports to scientifically predicting the future of man…”

Continue reading “Why The Universal Usage Of The Terms ‘...Futurism...’ And ‘...Futurist...’ Is Unimpeachably and Outrageously Wrong As Per Three World-Class Dictionaries!” »

Mar 18, 2014

Driverless Cars, Meet Captainless Ships: Autonomous Vehicles To Take To The Sea

Posted by in categories: automation, drones

— Singularity Hub
If artificial intelligence is sophisticated enough to guide a car through Bay Area traffic, surely it can pilot a ship safely from port to port on the open sea. That’s the premise of a European Union-funded project called MUNIN tasked with designing largely automated cargo ships by the beginning of 2015.

The project got a push from Rolls-Royce plc, the major British military contractor that splintered from the car company with the same name in 1973, when an executive hinted that Rolls-Royce may design such systems and that they would bring down the industry’s costs.

“Sometimes what was unthinkable yesterday is tomorrow’s reality. So now it is time to consider a roadmap to unmanned vessels of various types,” Oskar Levander, the company’s vice present of innovation, engineering and technology said in a recent company publication.

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Mar 18, 2014

A Guy Who Owns A Bitcoin-Only Electronics Store Is Revealing Everything On Reddit

Posted by in category: bitcoin

— Business Insider

Screen Shot 2014 03 18 at 9.25.21 AM

Reddit user “Leeburg” has written a post on his nine months and counting of experience in running a Bitcoin-only storefront online. The site is called CoinsForTech, and it deals in smartphones, computers, and all order of electronic gadgets wanted by people all over the world.

Leeburg is able to serve these people because Bitcoin is a geographically agnostic digital currency. Rather than get a bank involved in converting obscure currencies, CoinsForTech simply waits for confirmation that a customer’s payment has arrived at the appropriate Bitcoin wallet. At that point, it can convert to U.S. dollars or do whatever else it would like with the Bitcoins — the payment’s arrived and the irreversible nature of Bitcoin transactions means it’s here to stay.

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