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Jun 6, 2016

Viewpoint: Black Holes Have Soft Quantum Hair

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

A black hole may carry “soft hair,” low-energy quantum excitations that release information when the black hole evaporates.

Four decades ago, Stephen Hawking proposed that black holes could destroy information—a conclusion that is incompatible with standard laws of quantum physics. This idea started a controversy known as the “black hole information problem” that even now has not been resolved. A new study by Hawking himself and Malcom Perry, both at the University of Cambridge, and by Andrew Strominger at Harvard University shows that some of the assumptions that led to the information problem might be wrong [1]. Their results do not completely solve the problem, but point to a promising research direction that might lead to its long-awaited solution.

According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, stationary black holes are completely determined by just three observable parameters: their mass, charge, and angular momentum. Almost none of the information about what fell into the black hole is visible from the outside. Physicist John Wheeler described this idea by saying that “black holes have no hair.”

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Jun 6, 2016

Black Hole Hunters

Posted by in category: cosmology

New calculations by Dr. Hawking and other researchers suggest that essential properties of whatever falls into these cosmic pits may survive.

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Jun 6, 2016

HIV: Oregon University Seeking Volunteers For HIV Vaccine Human Trials

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, health

Oregon Health & Science University is currently seeking volunteers for human testing of its “promising” HIV vaccine. If that’s not enough, the Oregon university’s approach to its ground-breaking HIV vaccine is reportedly being used to develop vaccines for other diseases and infections, including tuberculosis. While many believe the TB is virtually eradicated, it actually kills almost 2 million people every year.

As Oregon Live reports, the Oregon university’s novel HIV vaccine could equate a huge step forward in the fight against HIV, as well as give the Oregon school the confidence and research it needs to pursue vaccinations against other deadly infections. In addition to being a stepping stone toward the prevention of HIV and TB, the current vaccine trials could open the door for vaccines that would prevent malaria and hepatitis C, among others.

“HIV is the poster child because it affects so many people, but there are many other conditions that are also extremely challenging to prevent or cure.”

Continue reading “HIV: Oregon University Seeking Volunteers For HIV Vaccine Human Trials” »

Jun 6, 2016

SpaceX Is Heading to Mars in 2018 and Sending Humans in 2025

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, government, space travel

Elon Musk is confident that SpaceX will be able to send people to Mars in 2024, with arrival in 2025. This is in line with his long-term vision of colonizing the Red Planet, as he strongly believes it is the next step in ensuring the survival of human civilization.

After saying that the chances of us not being a computer simulation is just one in billions, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, went on to say that SpaceX will be sending people to Mars by 2024, with arrival planned for 2025.

When asked about what he thinks the government on Mars will be, he playfully joked: “Well I think I was just declared king of Mars a moment ago.”

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Jun 6, 2016

The Space Between Us (2016) Trailer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space

Trailer for The Space Between Us, starring Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson.

In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere.

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Jun 6, 2016

Former NASA chief unveils $100 million neural chip maker KnuEdge

Posted by in categories: computing, finance, health, robotics/AI

It’s not all that easy to call KnuEdge a startup. Created a decade ago by Daniel Goldin, the former head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, KnuEdge is only now coming out of stealth mode. It has already raised $100 million in funding to build a “neural chip” that Goldin says will make data centers more efficient in a hyperscale age.

Goldin, who founded the San Diego, California-based company with the former chief technology officer of NASA, said he believes the company’s brain-like chip will be far more cost and power efficient than current chips based on the computer design popularized by computer architect John von Neumann. In von Neumann machines, memory and processor are separated and linked via a data pathway known as a bus. Over the years, von Neumann machines have gotten faster by sending more and more data at higher speeds across the bus as processor and memory interact. But the speed of a computer is often limited by the capacity of that bus, leading to what some computer scientists to call the “von Neumann bottleneck.” IBM has seen the same problem, and it has a research team working on brain-like data center chips. Both efforts are part of an attempt to deal with the explosion of data driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Goldin’s company is doing something similar to IBM, but only on the surface. Its approach is much different, and it has been secretly funded by unknown angel investors. And Goldin said in an interview with VentureBeat that the company has already generated $20 million in revenue and is actively engaged in hyperscale computing companies and Fortune 500 companies in the aerospace, banking, health care, hospitality, and insurance industries. The mission is a fundamental transformation of the computing world, Goldin said.

Continue reading “Former NASA chief unveils $100 million neural chip maker KnuEdge” »

Jun 6, 2016

Russian developer collaborates with FB, Google to help ‘machines see’

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

A Russian developer here has created an open source computer vision platform, in collaboration with Facebook and Google, that acts as a teaching machine and enables them “see”.

VisionLabs, a solutions developer in the field of computer vision, data analysis and robotics, and a Skolkovo IT Cluster resident have developed this as a global open-source computer vision project with the support of Facebook and Google, an official said.

VisionLabs integrated two popular libraries for developers — OpenCV and Torch. The joint project with Facebook and Google was launched last year. “The two IT giants became interested in the in-depth study of neural networks and artificial intelligence and hence extended their support,” the official told IANS.

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Jun 6, 2016

Brazil and Russia discuss nuclear partnerships

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

While everyone else is snoozing; Russia is definitely protecting it’s energy interests.


Coontrol center at the generation 3+ nuclear plant in Novovoronezh, regarded as the world’s most advanced of its kindFlávia Villela/Agência Brasil.

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Jun 6, 2016

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment vehicle LetterOne launches health business in US

Posted by in categories: business, health

Nice.


LetterOne, the investment vehicle owned by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has launched L1 Health in the US and appointed Diageo chairman Dr Franz Humer to the firm’s advisory board.

L1 Health will target up to $3bn (£2.1bn) of investments in the global healthcare sector over the next three years “with the goal of making sizeable equity investments in businesses that it can support and help grow for significant periods of time”, the group said.

Continue reading “Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment vehicle LetterOne launches health business in US” »

Jun 6, 2016

Why Switzerland’s basic income idea is not crazy — By Scott Santens | Politico

Posted by in categories: economics, governance, government

Activists pose on top of a giant poster reading "What would you do if your income was taken care of?", setting the Guinness World Record for the largest poster ever printed, on May 14, 2016 in Plainpalais place in Geneva. A campaign group backing an unconditional minimum income in Switzerland set a Guinness Record for the world's largest poster on May 14, seeking to rally support for the controversial idea ahead of a referendum next month. The record breaking 8,115 square metre (87,350 square feet)  poster was made with a series of massive black plastic sheets, with the words "What would you do if your income was taken of" written in gold lettering.  / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists pose on top of a giant poster reading “What would you do if your income was taken care of?”, setting the Guinness World Record for the largest poster ever printed, on May 14, 2016 in Plainpalais place in Geneva. A campaign group backing an unconditional minimum income in Switzerland set a Guinness Record for the world’s largest poster on May 14, seeking to rally support for the controversial idea ahead of a referendum next month. The record breaking 8,115 square metre (87,350 square feet) poster was made with a series of massive black plastic sheets, with the words “What would you do if your income was taken of” written in gold lettering. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

“Seven out of 10 voters fully expect another referendum in Switzerland, and the beginning of a necessary national conversation.”

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