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Aug 5, 2015

Watch the Moon cross in front of the Earth, as seen from a million miles away

Posted by in category: space

A thing of beauty!


We all need a little cosmic perspective from time to time, and this is as good as it gets. NASA has released this truly stunning GIF of the Moon passing in front of the Earth. The image sequence offers an unprecedented look at the relationship between the two planetary objects, and also gives a detailed look at the rarely seen far side of the Moon.

The resulting GIF is so amazing that it’s almost unbelievable, but the images are completely real. The whole sequence was taken by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (or “EPIC,” a wonderfully appropriate acronym) on the DSCOVR satellite that was launched in February.

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Aug 5, 2015

Warforged are robots right?? Who cares, sharing is caring.

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Due to recent issues with Hitchbot, the Asimov’s rules of robotics have been updated.


Warforged are robots right?? Who cares, sharing is caring.

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Aug 5, 2015

These scientists have engineered a new, lightweight bionic hand

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

VIDEO: Nickel-titanium wires mimic muscles.

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Aug 5, 2015

A psychologist thinks it’ll be normal to have sex with robots

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI, sex, virtual reality

In the next half of this century, humans will be regularly engaging in sexual activity with robots, and maybe even falling in love with them, according to Helen Driscoll, a psychologist who specialises in sex and mate choices at the University of Sunderland in the UK.

Her comments came while discussing the technological advances that are making sex dolls more interactive than ever before, and they present a future eerily similar to that of the Joaquin Phoenix film Her, where the main character falls in love with an operating system on his computer (voiced by Scarlett Johansson no less, who could blame him?)

“As virtual reality becomes more realistic and immersive and is able to mimic and even improve on the experience of sex with a human partner; it is conceivable that some will choose this in preference to sex with a less than perfect human being,” Driscoll told David Watkinson from the Daily Mirror.

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Aug 5, 2015

If every woman has a smartphone imagine all the empowered people — By Melinda Gates | The Economist

Posted by in categories: ethics, innovation

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““Who is Sabita?” I was looking right at Sabita Devi when she said these words. She was describing her life as a wife and mother in Jharkhand, one of the poorest states in India, where she has spent most of her days inside the four walls of her home. “No one in my village knew my name,” Sabita told me. Her contact with the outside world was mediated entirely by her husband: who she could talk to, what she could buy, when (and if) she could see a doctor. She was isolated from everyone and everything but her children.”

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Aug 5, 2015

China is building its first large-scale solar plant in the Gobi Desert

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

In a move that once again proves its commitment to renewable energy, China has begun construction on its first large-scale commercial solar plant out in the sun-dreched expanse of the Gobi Desert. Called Delingha, the colossal facility will spread out across 25 km² (6,300 acres) of vacant land in the country’s Qinghai province, and will feature six huge solar towers hooked up to an array of solar mirrors.

When complete, the plant will have a capacity of 200 megawatts, which means it will be able to supply electricity to 1 million households in Qinghai year-round. “Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation,” Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group board chair, Wu Longyi, told the press.

The facility is the first solar plant to be run as a commercial entity, and according to Svati Kirsten Narula at Quartz, it’s being jointly developed by BrightSource Energy, based in Oakland, California, and the Shanghai Electric Group in China. The first phase of construction will look at completing two solar towers so they can generate 135 megawatts each to cover more than 452,000 homes, and then the remaining four will be completed to cover at least 1 million.

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Aug 4, 2015

Four Technologies That Could Let Humans Survive Environmental Disaster

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transhumanism

My new story for Gizmodo: Climate Change apparently is here–to survive and thrive, go transhuman. The essential thing to remember here is that environmental change creates a mandate for our species to speed up technological progress to make sure we can adapt to changing conditions on Earth.


Scientists say we blew it. We bought too many plastic trinkets from Walmart; we drove too many gas-guzzling Broncos. We made babies like rabbits without questioning if the planet could handle so many people. Well, it looks like it couldn’t. Climate change is here to stay, and it’ll probably end up affecting nearly every aspect of our lives over the next century.

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Aug 4, 2015

A high-performance single-molecule diode

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University have created the world’s highest-performance single-molecule diode, using a combination of gold electrodes (yellow) and a “TDO” molecule (purple, with molecular structure on the left) in propylene carbonate, an ionic solution (light blue). The circuit symbols on the right represent a battery and an ammeter (A) to measure current flow. (credit: Brian Capozzi et al./Nature Nanotechnology)

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has created “the world’s highest-performance single-molecule diode,” using a combination of gold electrodes and an ionic solution.

The diode’s rectification ratio (ratio of forward to reverse current at fixed voltage) is in excess of 200, “a record for single-molecule devices,” says Jeff Neaton, Director of the Molecular Foundry, a senior faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and the Department of Physics at the University of California Berkeley and a member of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute at Berkeley (Kavli ENSI).

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Aug 4, 2015

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel — A tediously accurate scale model of the solar system | www.joshworth.com

Posted by in category: space

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Aug 4, 2015

Millennium Project releases ’2015–16 State of the Future’ report

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, economics, energy, health, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

The Millennium Project released today its annual “2015–16 State of the Future” report, listing global trends on 28 indicators of progress and regress, new insights into 15 Global Challenges, and impacts of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and other advanced technologies on employment over the next 35 years.

“Another 2.3 billion people are expected to be added to the planet in just 35 years,” the report notes. “By 2050, new systems for food, water, energy, education, health, economics, and global governance will be needed to prevent massive and complex human and environmental disasters.”

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