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Dec 30, 2015

Computer-on-Modules Enable First Bionic Leg with No Surgery or Implants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, electronics, transhumanism

Small Form Factor Technology Solves Complexities of Thought-Controlled Leg Prosthetics

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has developed the first neural-controlled bionic leg, using no nerve redirection surgery or implanted sensors. It’s a powerful advancement in prosthetics, including motorized knee and ankle, and control enabled by the patient’s own neural signals. Powered by a tiny but powerful Computer-on-Module platform, this thought-controlled prosthetic represents a significant breakthrough in medical embedded design, improving patients’ lives and mobility with a prosthetic that more closely than ever acts like a fully-functioning natural limb.

The technology of prosthetic limbs has come a long way over time, yet options are still limited for leg amputees. While simple peg legs have evolved to more sophisticated and realistic artificial limbs, the patient was forced to undergo nerve surgery or endure invasive implants. And even though the technology to produce through-controlled mechanized arms has existed for some time, the complexities of leg motion have kept it from being successfully applied in leg prosthetics. Without the ability to move and control the knee and ankle, the prosthetic leg remained a passive solution for patients struggling to replicate natural leg motion.

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Dec 30, 2015

Artificial intelligence, free money and the end of capitalism

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

What will really happen if artificial intelligence takes the jobs we have today? How would society change if we got a basic income?

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Dec 30, 2015

‘Star Wars’ dates: Here’s when the next five movies will be released

Posted by in category: entertainment

You just saw The Force Awakens and want more next-gen Star Wars. Well, you’re going to get more.

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Dec 30, 2015

Autonomous Cars Can Now Learn to Use Landmarks While Driving

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI, transportation

Cambridge scientists are “teaching machines to see” using a new smartphone-based system (or a regular camera), without GPS or a wireless connection.


This has applications in everything from driverless cars to autonomous vacuum cleaners.

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Dec 30, 2015

A priest got suspended for riding a hoverboard in church

Posted by in category: transportation

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Dec 30, 2015

These Technologies Will Shift the Global Balance of Power in the Next 20 Years

Posted by in categories: business, economics, habitats, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Governments, businesses, and economists have all been caught off guard by the geopolitical shifts that happened with the crash of oil prices and the slowdown of China’s economy. Most believe that the price of oil will recover and that China will continue its rise. They are mistaken. Instead of worrying about the rise of China, we need to fear its fall; and while oil prices may oscillate over the next four or five years, the fossil-fuel industry is headed the way of the dinosaur. The global balance of power will shift as a result.

LED light bulbs, improved heating and cooling systems, and software systems in automobiles have gradually been increasing fuel efficiency over the past decades. But the big shock to the energy industry came with fracking, a new set of techniques and technologies for extracting more hydrocarbons from the ground. Though there are concerns about environmental damage, these increased the outputs of oil and gas, caused the usurpation of old-line coal-fired power plants, and dramatically reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil.

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Dec 30, 2015

LA’s Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster

Posted by in categories: climatology, energy

One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn’t going to be contained anytime soon.

Natural gas is often touted as a cleaner energy source than oil or coal, because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning it. But as this disaster highlights, there are insidious risk to natural gas production. Coupled with weak regulation, they can make this energy source as dirty as the fossil fuels it’s meant to replace.

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Dec 30, 2015

Two Steps Closer to a Quantum Internet

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” can reach as far as low earth orbit, and twisted light could boost quantum communication bandwidth.

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Dec 30, 2015

Frighteningly Enormous Solar Flare Update: White House Prepares For Coronal Mass Ejection, Potential Catastrophic Space Weather Events

Posted by in category: space

While many people are looking back on pivotal events of 2015 — famous deaths, terrorism, and the horse and pony Republican presidential debates — a disturbing solar flare report is trending again.

Recently, the White House made preparations for unpredictable and severe space weather events. And much of the clamor focuses on the possibility of a catastrophic coronal mass ejection striking Earth, citing an AOL latest news story.

According to a Newsy video report (below), an intense solar flare narrowly missed a direct hit with Earth by a matter of days in 2012. NASA said an intense CME launched towards the planet at speeds of over 6 million miles per hour.

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Dec 30, 2015

Powerful Solar Storm to Hit Earth Before New Year’s Eve

Posted by in category: space

Here’s one way to end the year on a bright note.

A powerful solar storm set to slam Earth today will make for stunning views of the Northern Lights just before New Year’s Eve. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the “strong” storm could allow the Northern Lights to dip as far south as Oregon and Illinois.

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