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Oct 1, 2015

IBM unlocks the secret to carbon nanotube transistors

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, internet, materials, neuroscience

Following Moore’s law is getting harder and harder, especially as existing components reach their physical size limitations. Parts like silicon transistor contacts — the “valves” within a transistor that allow electrons to flow — simply can’t be shrunken any further. However, IBM announced a major engineering achievement on Thursday that could revolutionize how computers operate: they’ve figured out how to swap out the silicon transistor contacts for smaller, more efficient, carbon nanotubes.

The problem engineers are facing is that the smaller silicon transistor contacts get, the higher their electrical resistance becomes. There comes a point where the components simply get too small to conduct electrons efficiently. Silicon has reached that point. But that’s where the carbon nanotubes come in. These structures measure less than 10 nanometers in diameter — that’s less than half the size of today’s smallest silicon transistor contact. IBM actually had to devise a new means of attaching these tiny components. Known as an “end-bonded contact scheme” the 10 nm electrical leads are chemically bonded to the metal substructure. Replacing these contacts with carbon nanotubes won’t just allow for computers to crunch more data, faster. This breakthrough ensures that they’ll continue to shrink, following Moore’s Law, for several iterations beyond what silicon components are capable of.

“These chip innovations are necessary to meet the emerging demands of cloud computing, Internet of Things and Big Data systems,” Dario Gil, vice president of Science & Technology at IBM Research, said in a statement. “As technology nears the physical limits of silicon, new materials and circuit architectures must be ready to deliver the advanced technologies that will drive the Cognitive Computing era. This breakthrough shows that computer chips made of carbon nanotubes will be able to power systems of the future sooner than the industry expected.” The study will be formally published October 2nd, in the journal Science. This breakthrough follows a number of other recent minimization milestones including transistors that are only 3-atoms thick or constructed from a single atom.

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Oct 1, 2015

Skype now has real-time translation built in

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Microsoft first released Skype Translator almost a year ago as a standalone app designed for Windows 8. The software giant is now integrating its impressive translation feature directly into the desktop version of Skype, opening it up to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 users. Six voice languages will be supported at launch, including English, French, German, Italian, Madarin, and Spanish. Skype will now let you hold a conversation in any of them, without ever needing to learn a language.

“It has been a long-time dream at Skype to break down language barriers and bring everyone across the globe closer together,” explains Microsoft’s Skype team. “Researchers, engineers, and many others across Microsoft have been working hard to make this dream a reality and we are looking forward to bringing this preview technology to more devices.”

Skype Translator desktop

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Oct 1, 2015

A Greater Giving Potential: Introducing Micro-Donations in Bytecoin

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, encryption

Suggests a mechanism to be adopted for any
cryptocurrency that would alter the fee layer to
help fund a new public good.

From ABIS concept

In 2013, following a period of reflection and visioning, I imagined the possibility of completely altering the financial system as we know it. This vision, known as ABIS, will now see its first-ever implementation.

The implementation is now being issued in BCN’s GUI Wallet with the release of v. 1.0.8, where the transaction has been re-envisioned to allow the user new ways to explore the possibilities of transactions and realize greater giving potential, initially through two use cases involving unique forms of donations:

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Oct 1, 2015

Ray Kurzweil: Tiny Robots In Our Brains Will Make Us ‘Godlike’

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, neuroscience, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

Once we’re cyborgs, he says, we’ll be funnier, sexier and more loving.

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Oct 1, 2015

Machine learning used to predict crimes before they happen — Memory Report style

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

The word on every tech executive’s mouth today is data. Curse or blessing, there’s so much data lying around – with about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data added each day – that it’s become increasingly difficult to make sense of it in a meaningful way. There’s a solution to the big data problem, though: machine learning algorithms that get fed countless variables and spot patterns otherwise oblivious to humans. Researchers have already made use of machine learning to solve challenges in medicine, cosmology and, most recently, crime. Tech giant Hitachi, for instance, developed a machine learning interface reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report that can predict when, where and possibly who might commit a crime before it happens.

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Oct 1, 2015

This Wearable Keyboard Makes You Move If You Want To Write An Email — By Jessica Leber | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: computing, wearables

“A design concept created by Nitcha Fame Tothong, an MFA student at the Parsons School of Design in New York, the keyBod “explores the mechanical relationship between the body, mind, and digital environment.””

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Oct 1, 2015

Scientists suggest a new, earth-shaking twist on the demise of the dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: existential risks, space

Giant impact of space rock could have intensified volcanic eruption, scientists say.

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Oct 1, 2015

Bioengineers Make “Mini-Brains” of Neurons and Supporting Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, neuroscience

New research from Brown University details a relatively accessible method for making a working (though not thinking) sphere of central nervous system tissue.

If you need a working miniature brain — say for drug testing, to test neural tissue transplants, or to experiment with how stem cells work — a new paper describes how to build one with what the Brown University authors say is relative ease and low expense. The little balls of brain aren’t performing any cogitation, but they produce electrical signals and form their own neural connections — synapses — making them readily producible testbeds for neuroscience research, the authors said.

“We think of this as a way to have a better in vitro [lab] model that can maybe reduce animal use,” said graduate student Molly Boutin, co-lead author of the new paper in the journal Tissue Engineering: Part C. “A lot of the work that’s done right now is in two-dimensional culture, but this is an alternative that is much more relevant to the in vivo [living] scenario.”

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Oct 1, 2015

Russian Scientist Claims He Knows The Secret To Eternal Life

Posted by in category: life extension

Call me skeptical. That said, who knows? It’s worth keeping an eye out for updates, at least.


Most of us might pray that the key to living forever will be found in our lifetime and, well, it has — according to one Russian scientist.

Anatoli Brouchkov reckons he has found the key to eternal life — but selfishly he isn’t going to let the rest of us try it out for ourselves.

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Oct 1, 2015

Glu reinvents James Bond with a mobile strategy game — By Dean Takahashi | VentureBeat

Posted by in category: mobile phones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYdXLRHHXsA

“Glu Mobile is doing something completely different with the mobile strategy title James Bond: World of Espionage. Instead of a Pierce Brosnan-style shoot-em-up, this game takes into account the thinking and serious nature of current Bond actor Daniel Craig, said Niccolo De Masi, the chief executive of Glu, in an interview with GamesBeat.”

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