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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ category: Page 4

Jan 31, 2020

GM resurrecting Hummer as an all-electric ‘super truck’ with 1,000 horsepower

Posted by in categories: entertainment, military

DETROIT – General Motors is resurrecting the Hummer, best known as a gas-guzzling, military-style SUV, as an all-electric “super truck” with massive horsepower, acceleration and torque.

The Detroit automaker confirmed the plans Thursday and released three online teaser videos for the “GMC Hummer EV” pickup ahead of a 30-second Super Bowl ad for the vehicle featuring NBA star LeBron James. The spot is scheduled to air during the second quarter of Sunday’s game.

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Jan 29, 2020

Japan Is Building a Giant Gundam Robot That Can Walk

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Japan is constructing an 18-meter-tall, 25-ton Gundam robot powered by a combination of electric and hydraulic actuators.


Japan has had a robust robot culture for decades, thanks (at least in part) to the success of the Gundam series, which are bipedal humanoid robots controlled by a human who rides inside of them. I would tell you how many different TV series and video games and manga there are about Gundam, but I’m certain I can’t count that high—there’s like seriously a lot of Gundam stuff out there. One of the most visible bits of Gundam stuff is a real life full-scale Gundam statue in Tokyo, but who really wants a statue, right? C’mon, Japan! Bring us the real thing!

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Jan 27, 2020

The unexpected renaissance of the hard science-fiction movie

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space travel

What defines the last decade’s hard science-fiction is a tendency to use process-oriented survival dramas to gain a personal understanding of the role of scientific inquiry and the big picture questions it poses.


From The Martian to Interstellar to Gravity, the 2010s was a comeback era.

Jan 26, 2020

New drug may keep cancer metastasis under control

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, entertainment

Sorry, might be a re-post, new source (r;ns)


Fighting cancer can sometimes feel like a game of Whack-A-Mole – even after a primary tumor is removed the disease can crop up again in other organs. Now, researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research have developed a drug that can prevent cancer from spreading.

Previous research has shown that before tumors start to spread, they secrete substances that prepare new places for them to settle down. One way in which the disease does this is by making blood vessels in the area “leaky,” allowing the cancer to penetrate them easier. And it’s this process that the new drug, created by researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute, prevents.

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Jan 23, 2020

In Just 4 Hours, Google’s AI Mastered All The Chess Knowledge in History

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Circa 2017


Chess isn’t an easy game, by human standards. But for an artificial intelligence powered by a formidable, almost alien mindset, the trivial diversion can be mastered in a few spare hours.

In a new paper, Google researchers detail how their latest AI evolution, AlphaZero, developed “superhuman performance” in chess, taking just four hours to learn the rules before obliterating the world champion chess program, Stockfish.

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Jan 23, 2020

Exploring Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail Engine

Posted by in categories: entertainment, particle physics, robotics/AI

As others have pointed out, voxel-based games have been around for a long time; a recent example is the whimsical “3D Dot Game Hero” for PS3, in which they use the low-res nature of the voxel world as a fun design element.

Voxel-based approaches have huge advantages (“infinite” detail, background details that are deformable at the pixel level, simpler simulation of particle-based phenomena like flowing water, etc.) but they’ll only win once computing power reaches an important crossover point. That point is where rendering an organic world a voxel at a time looks better than rendering zillions of polygons to approximate an organic world. Furthermore, much of the effort that’s gone into visually simulating real-world phenomena (read the last 30 years of Siggraph conference proceedings) will mostly have to be reapplied to voxel rendering. Simply put: lighting, caustics, organic elements like human faces and hair, etc. will have to be “figured out all over again” for the new era of voxel engines. It will therefore likely take a while for voxel approaches to produce results that look as good, even once the crossover point of level of detail is reached.

I don’t mean to take anything away from the hard and impressive coding work this team has done, but if they had more academic background, they’d know that much of what they’ve “pioneered” has been studied in tremendous detail for two decades. Hanan Samet’s treatise on the subject tells you absolutely everything you need to know, and more: (http://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Multidimensional-Structure…sr=8-1) and even goes into detail about the application of these spatial data structures to other areas like machine learning. Ultimately, Samet’s book is all about the “curse of dimensionality” and how (and how much) data structures can help address it.

Jan 22, 2020

Chris Roberts on using infinite computing power to create a universe of endless possibilities

Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, space

Circa 2017


Chris Roberts built worlds for games such as Wing Commander at Electronic Arts’ Origin at the dawn of 3D games a couple of decades ago.

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Jan 22, 2020

Defector says North Korean regime turned its people into cannibals

Posted by in categories: entertainment, food

Like millions of movie-mad children around the world, Gim Gyu Min dreamed of being a film star when he grew up. But when he huddled in the darkness of the cinema in the 1980s and ’90s, he was forced to watch propaganda praising the North Korean regime.

Now, after a harrowing escape from his country in 1999, he is a filmmaker dedicated to making movies that expose the human-rights abuses there. “I want to let the world know that more and more people are dying under the Kim family dictatorship,” he said.

His movies are based on events that he witnessed during the North Korean famine in the late 1990s, when, among other horrors, he watched a woman being arrested for cannibalism after she resorted to eating her own son. Her child’s head had been found in a cauldron.

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Jan 22, 2020

Physicists Develop Reversible Laser Tractor Beam Functional Over Long Distances

Posted by in categories: entertainment, particle physics, space travel, tractor beam

Circa 2015


Spaceships in movies and TV shows routinely use tractor beams to tow other vessels or keep them in place. Physicists have been hard at work trying take this technology from science fiction to reality. Significant process has recently been made by a team who have developed a laser tractor beam able to attract and repel particles about 100 times further than has been previously achieved. The lead author of the paper, published in Nature Photonics, is Vladlen Shvedov at Australian National University in Canberra.

Other recent tractor beams have used acoustics or water, but this one uses a single laser beam to control tiny particles about 0.2 millimeters in diameter. The tractor beam was able to manipulate the particles from a distance of 20 centimeters, shattering previous records. Despite this incredible distance, the researchers claim it is still on the short end of what is possible for this tractor beam technique.

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Jan 22, 2020

Billions of quantum entangled electrons found in ‘strange metal’

Posted by in categories: entertainment, quantum physics

The research, which appears this week in Science, examined the electronic and magnetic behavior of a “strange metal” compound of ytterbium, rhodium and silicon as it both neared and passed through a critical transition at the boundary between two well-studied quantum phases.

The study at Rice University and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) provides the strongest direct evidence to date of entanglement’s role in bringing about quantum criticality, said study co-author Qimiao Si of Rice.

“When we think about quantum entanglement, we think about small things,” Si said. “We don’t associate it with macroscopic objects. But at a quantum critical point, things are so collective that we have this chance to see the effects of entanglement, even in a metallic film that contains billions of billions of quantum mechanical objects.”

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