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Jan 9, 2016

The Martian VR Experience is out of this world

Posted by in categories: space, virtual reality

“You’re way too low. You need to get back on course!” I’m soaring through space high above Mars, steering my way towards the ship that’s going to take me back to Earth after hundreds of days stranded on the Red Planet. I’m changing direction using the air escaping from my pierced left glove, which I’m holding behind my back so I can move forward. I look over my shoulder and see the rocket I used to escape hanging against a Martian backdrop; above and around me, there’s only the void. My return home might be in jeopardy.

I change my left hand’s angle and approach a white beam of light, where my commander is waiting to drag me onto her waiting spacecraft. She wraps me in her arms, and I feel a little jolt when our helmets clunk together. Having finally achieved relative safety, I drop the controllers I’ve been holding and lift the Oculus Rift headset I’ve been wearing for the last 20 minutes into the hands of a nearby attendant. I’ve just finished The Martian VR Experience, which is coming to a virtual reality headset near you sometime this year, and the moments I just spent hurtling through the solar system are giving me a new appreciation for the solid footing of this Las Vegas nightclub.

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Jan 9, 2016

Science Documentary: DNA Hard Drives, Quantum Computing, Moore’s Law

Posted by in categories: computing, education, materials, nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics, science, security

DNA is similar to a hard drive or storage device, in that contains the memory of each cell of every living, and has the instructions on how to make that cell. DNA is four molecules combined in any order to make a chain of one larger molecule. And if you can read that chain of four molecules, then you have a sequence of characters, like a digital code. Over the years the price of sequencing a human genome has dropped significantly, much to the delight of scientists. And since DNA is a sequence of four letters, and if we can manipulate DNA, we could insert a message and use DNA as the storage device.

At this point in time, we are at the height of the information age. And computers have had an enormous impact on all of our lives. Any information is able to be represented as a collection of bits. And with Moore’s law, which states that computing power doubles every 18 months, our ability to manipulate and store these bits has continued to grow and grow. Moore’s law has been driven by scientists being able to make transistors and integrated circuits continuously smaller and smaller, but there eventually comes a point we reach in which these transistors and integrated circuits cannot be made any smaller than they already are, since some are already at the size of a single atom. This inevitably leads us into the quantum world. Quantum mechanics has rules which are, in many ways, hard for us to truly comprehend, yet are nevertheless tested. Quantum computing looks to make use of these strange rules of quantum physics, and process information in a totally different way. Quantum computing looks to replace the classical bits which are either a 0 or a 1, with quantum bits, or qubits, which can be both a 0 and a 1 at the same time. This ability to be two different things at the same time is referred to as a superposition. 200 qubits hold more bits of information than there are particles in the universe. A useful quantum computer will require thousands or even millions of physical qubits. Anything such as an atom can serve as a quantum bit for making a quantum computer, then you can use a superconducting circuit to build two artificial atoms. So at this point in time we have a few working quantum transistors, but scientists are working on developing the quantum integrated circuit. Quantum error correction is the biggest problem encountered in development of the quantum computer. Quantum computer science is a field that right now is in its very early stages, since scientists have yet been able to develop any quantum hardware.

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Jan 9, 2016

Apple registers car-related web addresses as vehicle rumours gather speed

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Apple has laid claim to a number of car-related domain names as self-driving
car rumours gain credence.

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Jan 9, 2016

Processors That Work Like Brains Will Accelerate Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

Weekend Reads: Even tiny fly brains can do many things computers can’t. This 2014 feature showed why making machines much smarter might require processors that more closely mimic brains.

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This weekend we revisit stories from MIT Technology Review’s archives that weigh the question of how far AI can go—and when.

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Jan 9, 2016

2016 will likely see significant advances in #AI

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

One of the most important breakthroughs, perhaps, may be AI that can understand humans. http://ow.ly/WLEBo

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Jan 9, 2016

Space Settlement Size

Posted by in category: space

Space Settlement Survey


https://sjsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cIodLeiNTfaVN5P

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Jan 9, 2016

Space + Anthropology

Posted by in category: space

Kalpana One.
My New Vision of Space Settlement.

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Jan 9, 2016

The iPhone of the future may heal itself overnight

Posted by in categories: futurism, mobile phones

Apple has been awarded a new patent for an iPhone that can dry and heal itself. Apple has been awarded a new patent for an iPhone that can dry and heal itself.

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Jan 8, 2016

Why 3D Printing Will Be a Key Technology in the Next Space Race

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, economics, space travel, transportation

NASA recently announced that they test fired a research rocket engine. Nothing special about that—other than the fact said engine was 75 percent 3D printed parts.

As industrial 3D printing has moved from prototyping to actually manufacturing finished products, the aerospace industry has become an avid early adopter. Although in many industries mass production techniques still make economic sense—for the ultra-precise, almost bespoke parts in rockets? 3D printing is a great fit.

Continue reading “Why 3D Printing Will Be a Key Technology in the Next Space Race” »

Jan 8, 2016

Crime-Fighting Robots Go On Patrol In Silicon Valley

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI, security

A new kind of security guard is on patrol in Silicon Valley: Crime-fighting robots that look like they’re straight out of a sci-fi movie. News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of SF

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