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May 27, 2022

Ignorance, Failure, Uncertainty, and the Optimism of Science

Posted by in categories: computing, genetics, internet, science, space

Stuart Firestein Science is a fundamentally optimistic enterprise. More than a cheery disposition, it is the source of a philosophical outlook that we might call ‘optimistical’. It reliably produces fundamental and actionable knowledge about the world. We are able to take for granted, in a way even our recent ancestors never imagined, the idea of progress. The engines behind science, surprisingly, are ignorance, the unknown, failure, and, perhaps most vexingly, uncertainty. In recent decades, science has undergone a change in perspective and practice — from viewing the universe like a clockwork regimented by laws and formulas to recognizing it as irreducibly complex and uncertain. Perhaps counter intuitively this has freed science to exploit previously unimaginable possibilities and opportunities. It has led to a deeper understanding of the nature of things and to the production of technologies such as lasers, microchips, the internet, genetics, and many more. And yet socially and societally we remain mired in a 19th century view of deterministic science. We might instead learn to revel in the adventure of navigable uncertainty and take advantage of the creative opportunities of a world where we can confidently say ‘it could be otherwise’. Possibility of this sort is the rarest and purest form of optimism. Stuart Firestein is a neuroscientist and the former Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences, where he researches the vertebrate olfactory system. He is also a member of SFI’s Fractal Faculty.

May 27, 2022

Researchers teleport quantum information across rudimentary quantum network

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

Researchers in Delft have succeeded in teleporting quantum information across a rudimentary network. This first of its kind is an important step towards a future quantum internet. This breakthrough was made possible by a greatly improved quantum memory and enhanced quality of the quantum links between the three nodes of the network. The researchers, working at QuTech—a collaboration between Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)—are publishing their findings today in the scientific journal Nature.

The power of a future is based on the ability to send quantum information (quantum bits) between the nodes of the network. This will enable all kinds of applications such as securely sharing confidential information, linking several quantum computers together to increase their computing capability, and the use of highly precise, linked quantum sensors.

May 26, 2022

This Algae Powered a Computer for a Year With Just Water and Sunlight

Posted by in categories: computing, food, internet

In addition to being a simple power source built from readily available parts and materials, the system runs day and night (in contrast with solar power). The algae, the team thinks, overproduces food during the day, so it continues to happily munch away, and produce electricity, through the night. Although the paper addresses their findings from just that first six-month period, their algae-powered-computer has now been running continuously for a year (and counting).

It’s a pretty nifty trick, but some scaling is probably in order. The system produces a tiny amount of current. The chip, an Arm Cortex M0+ commonly used in Internet of Things applications, sips just 0.3 microwatts an hour to perform very basic calculations. As The Verge notes, if your average laptop uses around 100 watts an hour, you’d need millions of these algae energy harvesters just to check your email or zone out in a Zoom meeting.

But the researchers aren’t targeting laptops. Rather, they believe future iterations would find a niche application powering the billions or trillions of simple sensors and chips making up the Internet of Things. These might take measurements of local conditions in remote locations, for example, or they might be able to charge a small device.

Continue reading “This Algae Powered a Computer for a Year With Just Water and Sunlight” »

May 26, 2022

Chinese researchers say China’s military must be able to destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites in a war

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, government, internet, military, satellites

The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, under the PLA’s Strategic Support Force. Coauthors included several senior scientists in China’s defense industry.

Ren and his colleagues could not immediately be reached for comment and it is uncertain to what extent their view represents an official stance of the Chinese military or government.

“A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system,” said the paper, published in the domestic, peer-reviewed journal Modern Defense Technology.

Continue reading “Chinese researchers say China’s military must be able to destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites in a war” »

May 25, 2022

Dutch researchers teleport quantum information across rudimentary quantum network

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

Scientists realize quantum teleportation between remote, non-neighboring nodes in a quantum network. The network employs three optically connected nodes based on solid-state spin qubits. The teleporter is prepared by establishing remote entanglement on the two links, followed by entanglement swapping on the middle node and storage in a memory qubit.

They demonstrate that once successful preparation of the teleporter is heralded, arbitrary qubit states can be teleported with fidelity above the classical bound, even with unit efficiency. These results are enabled by key innovations in the qubit readout procedure, active memory qubit protection during entanglement generation and tailored heralding that reduces remote entanglement infidelities.

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May 25, 2022

Starlink launches satellite internet for RVs that costs $25 more

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, habitats, internet, satellites

Starlink has launched a new product meant specifically for RV dwellers and those who can’t wait to get connected to the satellite internet service. While applying for a regular Starlink dish and service will put customers in a waitlist until 2023, Starlink for RVs is immediately available and will ship out to buyers right now. The downside? Network resources are always de-prioritized for it, and the service costs $135, which is $25 more than a regular Starlink connection.

In other words, the RV option costs just as much as a regular Starlink connection with the Portability feature introduced back in March that allows customers to use the service while they’re away from home. A regular connection requires one to have a home service first, though, and that may not be possible for some people. Another difference is that the product for RVs gives customers the ability to pause and un-pause service, so they can control when their billing starts and ends.

Since the network is de-prioritized for the RV service, though, users’ connection might be slow and intermittent in congested areas and during peak hours. “Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of the service are not guaranteed,” the company wrote in its Help page, clearly making sure interested customers understand that it’s prioritizing at-home users. One important thing to note for those looking into the RV option is that they can’t use Starlink while in motion at this time. SpaceX chief Elon Musk also added on Twitter that the dish is too big for cars, though that didn’t stop at least one user from bolting it onto their vehicle’s hood.

May 24, 2022

Elon Musk says he’s testing out SpaceX’s Starlink internet on his private jet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

Elon Musk said on Monday that he’s testing out SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet on his private jet.

“I am testing Starlink on the plane. Some polishing needed, but it’s working quite well,” Musk tweeted. He also wrote in the Twitter post that he works while traveling on the jet.

His tweet was part of a Twitter thread about SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell defending Musk, following sexual misconduct claims involving a flight attendant working on the billionaire’s plane, which Insider first reported on Thursday.

Continue reading “Elon Musk says he’s testing out SpaceX’s Starlink internet on his private jet” »

May 24, 2022

SpaceX’s Starlink launches $135-a-month internet service for RVs

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX announced this week that it is launching a Starlink internet service option designed with RV owners in mind.

The company is rolling out an optional $25 monthly fee for customers who want to relocate their satellite dishes, CNBC’s Michael Sheetz first reported. The extra cost will be added on to the Starlink base service price of $110 per month and will be billed in one-month increments. The users will be able to pause and restart their service at any time.

However, the company says that the internet service will not be active while the RV is in motion and will be limited to an “as-needed basis at any destination where Starlink provides active coverage,” according to a press release.

May 24, 2022

Bam Logo

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

On large, isolated construction sites, reliable remote operations are a game changer. See how BAM Nuttall remotely deployed Spot for 3D laser scanning using a p… See more.


On a large and remote construction site in Shetland, where the team is battling the elements, covering large distances every day, the Trimble and Boston Dynamics integrated robot solution has become man’s newest four-legged friend.

BAM Nuttall has successfully trialled the integrated Trimble X7 laser scanner with Boston Dynamics’ Spot® robot in a remote construction setting — utilising a private stand-alone 5G network for remote control — in the first use case of its kind.

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May 24, 2022

SpaceX expands its Starlink service for RV users. But it’s an extra $25 monthly

Posted by in category: internet

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