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Jan 30, 2016

Google’s Project SkyBender aims to beam 5G internet from solar-powered drones

Posted by in categories: business, drones, habitats, internet, mobile phones, solar power, space, sustainability

Google is working in secret at a spaceport in New Mexico to build and test solar-powered internet drones in a new initiative codenamed Project SkyBender, according to a report from The Guardian today. The company is reportedly renting 15,000 square feet of hangar space from Virgin Galactic — the commercial spaceflight outfit of business mogul Richard Branson — at the privately owned Spaceport America located near a town called Truth or Consequences. The lynchpin of Project SkyBender appears to be cutting-edge millimeter wave technology, which can transmit gigabits of data every second at speeds up to 40 times faster than modern 4G LTE.

Millimeter waves are thought to be the future of high-speed data transmission technology, and may form the backbone of 5G mobile networks. Aereo founder Chet Kanojia’s new startup Starry announced earlier this week it would use millimeter wave tech to bring gigabit internet speeds to people’s homes via Wi-Fi. Millimeter waves have much shorter range than current smartphone signals and are easily disrupted by weather conditions like rain, fog, and snow. Using what’s called a phased array, however, Google and others could potentially focus the transmissions over greater distances.

Google is currently testing the technique with a new solar-powered drone called Centaur and other units made by a division known as Google Titan, which the company formed after it acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace in 2014. The company has a deal with the FCC to continue testing until July, according to The Guardian. It’s also paying Virgin Galactic about $1,000 a day to use its hanger, as well as an additional $300,000 to Spaceport America to construct installations with servers, millimeter wave transceivers, and other tech onsite.

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Jan 30, 2016

Giant Tesla Coil in Oklahoma

Posted by in category: energy

This 15 foot Tesla Coil creates sparks of up to 26 feet and runs up to 55,000 watts in Oklahoma.

“That electrical energy can be economically transmitted without wires to any terrestrial distance, with a loss not exceeding a small fraction of one percent in the transmission, even to the greatest distance, 12,000 miles – to the opposite end of the globe.”

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Jan 30, 2016

Go To The Moon In This Virtual Reality Experience

Posted by in categories: space travel, virtual reality

New VR project allows you to go to space right from your living room.


Thanks to a new virtual reality project, you can go to space from your own living room. http://voc.tv/14JQHoo

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Jan 30, 2016

Discovered: How to unlock inaccessible genes

Posted by in category: genetics

An international team of biologists has discovered how specialized enzymes remodel the extremely condensed genetic material in the nucleus of cells in order to control which genes can be used. The discovery will be published in the print edition of the journal Nature on Feb. 4, 2016.

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Jan 29, 2016

European Parliament discusses Bitcoin and virtual currencies for the first time

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament spent an hour and a half discussing bitcoin and virtual currencies on Monday, although more questions were asked than answered.

#cryptocurrency #Bitcoin #blockchain

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Jan 29, 2016

This may look like an ordinary coaxial data cable

Posted by in categories: electronics, transportation

But a carbon nanotube coating (shown in clear jacket) replaces the tin-coated copper braid that serves as the outer conductor, ordinarily the heaviest component. Created by researchers at Rice University, the coating was tested by a collaborative group including NIST, which has more than 10 years of expertise in characterizing and measuring nanotu…bes. The coating, only up to 90 microns (millionths of a meter) in thickness, resulted in a total cable mass reduction of 50 percent (useful for lowering the weight of electronics in aerospace vehicles) and handled 10,000 bending cycles without affecting performance. And even though the coating is microscopically thin, the cable transmitted data with a comparable ability to ordinary cables, due to the nanotubes’ favorable electrical properties.

Credit: J. Fitlow/Rice University See More

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Jan 29, 2016

USENIX Enigma 2016 — Why Is Usable Security Hard, and What Should We Do about it?

Posted by in category: security

Adrienne Porter Felt, Staff Software Engineer, Google Chrome.

Everyone wants to build software that’s both usable and secure, yet the world is full of software that falters at this intersection. How does this happen? I experienced the disconnect firsthand, when the Chrome security team redid Chrome’s security UI to conform to best practices for usable security. In the process, we learned how hard it is to actually adhere to oft-cited wisdom about usable security when faced with real-world constraints and priorities. With a set of case studies, I’ll illustrate the limitations we encountered when trying to apply common wisdom to a browser with more than a billion users—and discuss what has actually worked for us in practice, which might work for other practitioners too.

Continue reading “USENIX Enigma 2016 — Why Is Usable Security Hard, and What Should We Do about it?” »

Jan 29, 2016

ICYMI: Cheaper exo suits, radical plane design and more

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transportation

We hardly need superheroes anymore: engt.co/1JLE7im

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Jan 29, 2016

Harvard wants to build AI that works as fast as the human brain

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, robotics/AI, transportation

Researchers at Harvard are working to identify the brain processes that make humans so good at recognising patterns. Their ultimate goals is to develop biologically-inspired computer systems for smarter AI. Computers inspired by the human brain could be used to detect network invasions, read MRI images, and even drive cars.

Their ultimate goals is to develop biologically-inspired computer systems for smarter AI.

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Jan 29, 2016

‘Aipoly Vision’ AI app opens up the world live for visually impaired

Posted by in categories: education, mobile phones, robotics/AI

This just in: Aipoly Vision* — a free AI app that runs on your iPhone/iPad** (Android coming) and recognizes objects and colors — is now live on the App store, Aipoly Inc. co-founder Alberto Rizzoli just told me in an email.

Of course, I immediately downloaded the app, launched it on my iPhone 6s+, and tested it. It works spectacularly. Its voice names objects or colors in real time as a walk around and also displays objects’ names. I am blown away. Here’s a sample:

Continue reading “‘Aipoly Vision’ AI app opens up the world live for visually impaired” »