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Jul 1, 2014

Newegg is the latest online retailer to accept Bitcoin

Posted by in category: bitcoin

Tom Cheredar — Venture Beat

Newegg is the latest online retailer to accept Bitcoin

Even though Bitcoin has suffered some security setbacks over the last few months, many retailers still seem happy to let customer pay with the controversial crypto–currency.

The latest of these retailers is online tech store Newegg, which today announced plans to begin accepting Bitcoin for purchases on the site. To make this happen, Newegg is teaming up with virtual currency processor Bitpay.

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Jul 1, 2014

The future of journalism

Posted by in categories: information science, internet, journalism

Berthold Stevens — Deutsche Welle

Jeff Jarvis and Mathias Döpfner, speaking at the Global Media Forum

In the age of big data, Google critics say online services come at the price of freedom. Opponents say old business models for journalism are being redefined by the Internet and the people who use it.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO of media publishing house Axel Springer SE and U.S. Internet expert Jeff Jarvis locked horns in the first main debate at the DW Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. Döpfner says that people pay for seemingly free online services with their freedom, while Jarvis says he’s glad “that Google knows where I live.”

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Jul 1, 2014

Science Events: Heroic Apes and Abandoned Railways

Posted by in category: entertainment

By JASCHA HOFFMANJUNE — NY Times

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Directed by Matt Reeves. Opens July 11.

In this second big-budget prequel to the 1968 technicolor classic, intelligent apes are thriving in the forest while human cities crumble. If that sounds depressing, think again: In this version of “Planet of the Apes,” the chimps are the heroes. Rather than shooting in a studio, as is the custom for motion capture, much of the film was shot in the forest, where actors playing apes, their bodies covered with infrared dots tracked by hidden cameras, controlled the skeletons of their primate avatars. How does one walk like an ape? The motion is “heavy, weighted and circular,” said Terry Notary, a former gymnast who served as movement coach for the film, although “the pace, energy and feel” differs for gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees. To capture emotion, a small camera mounted on the actors’ heads harvested facial data to drive the apes’ expressions. “This high-tech rig is so powerful and transparent that it allows actors to abandon control,” Mr. Notary said. The results are apes so magnetic, it’s hard not to empathize with them, even as they take up arms against their human rivals. “We’re making a film where apes are causing our downfall,” said Joe Letteri, the senior visual effects supervisor, “but they’re the ones you want to root for.”

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Jul 1, 2014

Founders Fund Backs a Robotic Lab that Puts Science in the Cloud

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, robotics/AI

By James Temple — Re/Co[de
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Emerald Therapeutics is developing potential treatments for viral infections like HIV and HPV. But they’re not ready to talk about that yet.

What the stealth startup is ready to discuss is a tool they built in an effort to accelerate that work: A completely robotic lab that the company believes could aid other researchers as well, effectively serving as a kind of Amazon Web Services for science.

The nearly 20-person company has packed a 5,000-square-foot facility in a little office park in Silicon Valley with more than $2 million worth of mass spectrometers, automated pipettes and microscopes, capable of carrying out remote life sciences experiments under controlled conditions.

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Jul 1, 2014

Data Science: What the Facebook Controversy is Really About

Posted by in category: ethics

— The Atlantic

Facebook has always “manipulated” the results shown in its users’ News Feeds by filtering and personalizing for relevance. But this weekend, the social giant seemed to cross a line, when it announced that it engineered emotional responses two years ago in an “emotional contagion” experiment, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Since then, critics have examined many facets of the experiment, including its design, methodology, approval process, and ethics. Each of these tacks tacitly accepts something important, though: the validity of Facebook’s science and scholarship. There is a more fundamental question in all this: What does it mean when we call proprietary data research data science?

As a society, we haven’t fully established how we ought to think about data science in practice. It’s time to start hashing that out.

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Jun 30, 2014

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

Posted by in category: quantum physics

By Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

A droplet bouncing on the surface of a liquid has been found to exhibit many quantum-like properties, including double-slit interference, tunneling and energy quantization.

For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.

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Jun 30, 2014

This is the amazing design for NASA’s Star Trek-style space ship, the IXS Enterprise

Posted by in category: space travel

By Abby Phillip — The Washington Post
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/06/11/article-2655105-1EAA831200000578-206_1024x615_large.jpg
NASA engineer and physicist Harold White announced a few years ago that he was working on a potentially groundbreaking idea that could allow space travel faster than the speed of light. Yes, like in “Star Trek.”

And now, to boldly go where no designer has gone before, Mark Rademaker — who is collaborating with White — has created a CGI design concept for the “warp ship.” They’re calling it the IXS Enterprise.

“We wanted to have a decent image of a theory conforming Warp ship to motivate young people to pursue a STEM career,” Rademaker said in an e-mail interview. “It does have some Sci-Fi features that might never transfer to a possible final design, unless we really want to.”

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Jun 30, 2014

Lifeboat Foundation Worldwide Ambassador White Swan Update and Published Amazon Author by Andres Agostini at www.amazon.com/author/agostini

Posted by in category: futurism

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Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on command http://phys.org/news/2014-06-muscle-powered-bio-bots-video.html

Crowdsourcing for robots http://www.kurzweilai.net/crowdsourcing-for-robots

Giant space telescope could detect hints of life on exoplanets http://www.kurzweilai.net/giant-space-telescope-could-detect.….exoplanets

Continue reading “Lifeboat Foundation Worldwide Ambassador White Swan Update and Published Amazon Author by Andres Agostini at www.amazon.com/author/agostini” »


Jun 30, 2014

New book: The Beginning and the End by Clément Vidal

Posted by in categories: alien life, complex systems, ethics, philosophy, physics, posthumanism, singularity

By Clément Vidal — Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

I am happy to inform you that I just published a book which deals at length with our cosmological future. I made a short book trailer introducing it, and the book has been mentioned in the Huffington Post and H+ Magazine.

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About the book:
In this fascinating journey to the edge of science, Vidal takes on big philosophical questions: Does our universe have a beginning and an end, or is it cyclic? Are we alone in the universe? What is the role of intelligent life, if any, in cosmic evolution? Grounded in science and committed to philosophical rigor, this book presents an evolutionary worldview where the rise of intelligent life is not an accident, but may well be the key to unlocking the universe’s deepest mysteries. Vidal shows how the fine-tuning controversy can be advanced with computer simulations. He also explores whether natural or artificial selection could hold on a cosmic scale. In perhaps his boldest hypothesis, he argues that signs of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are already present in our astrophysical data. His conclusions invite us to see the meaning of life, evolution, and intelligence from a novel cosmological framework that should stir debate for years to come.
About the author:
Dr. Clément Vidal is a philosopher with a background in logic and cognitive sciences. He is co-director of the ‘Evo Devo Universe’ community and founder of the ‘High Energy Astrobiology’ prize. To satisfy his intellectual curiosity when facing the big questions, he brings together many areas of knowledge such as cosmology, physics, astrobiology, complexity science, evolutionary theory and philosophy of science.
http://clement.vidal.philosophons.com

You can get 20% off with the discount code ‘Vidal2014′ (valid until 31st July)!

Jun 30, 2014

Space Travel Test Flight A Success, Trip To Space May Be A Reality Soon

Posted by in category: space travel

Wall Street OTC

An Arizona start-up company says it has successfully completed its first small-scale test flight of a stratospheric balloon and capsule being developed to show tourists a space like view of the Earth from 19 miles (30 km) above ground.

Privately owned by World View, an offshoot of Paragon Space Development Corp, aims to start taking passengers to the edge of space in the Voyager vehicle by 2016, according to a company statement.

“We couldn’t be any more excited about the results from this test flight,” said Jane Poynter, chief executive officer of World View. “It represents a foundational achievement that moves us one step closer to offering a life-changing experience of our Voyagers.”

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