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Sep 4, 2015

VASIMR: Here’s How we Might Reach Mars in 39 Days

Posted by in categories: energy, space

The first VASIMR experiment was conducted at MIT in 1983 on their magnetic mirror device plasma device, and in 1998 ASPL created the first VASIMR rocket, the VX-10. By 2005 the ASPL had created the VX-50, which was capable of up to 50kW of plasma discharge. So, what’s so significant about this design?

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Sep 3, 2015

Bitcoin Network Stress Test Could Occur Next Week

Posted by in category: bitcoin

The controversial group behind several bitcoin ‘stress tests’ has confirmed it will push ahead with its biggest experiment to date.

Speaking to CoinDesk, CoinWallet COO James Wilson said the test – which could reportedly cause a 30-day backlog of transactions – would be executed at 10am Thursday (GMT) next week.

The mysterious group, which sees its work as a drastic but necessary demonstration of Bitcoin XT’s need, has been criticised by some users for “bullying” a live network worth several billion dollars.

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Sep 3, 2015

Lyfe

Posted by in category: media & arts

With the standard of a gamified social media, two young adults meet for a date with the expectation of personal fulfillment.

Alex Stanton’s Thesis Project for Full Sail University’s Digital Cinematography Bachelor’s of Science program.

Directed by: Alex Stanton vimeo.com/alexstanton, Brent Howard.
Story by: Pride. St. Clair.
Cinematography by: Josh Russell vimeo.com/joshrussell
Original Music Composed by: Josh Wilson.
Title Design: Chris Koelsch vimeo.com/thisnthat
Starring: Justin Stanton.
Lissy Smith vimeo.com/user9221474
Dylan Stretchbery vimeo.com/user27301393
Daniel Lee Robertson III

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Sep 3, 2015

Live: AMA with a scientist who is working on a way to “laser print” neurons

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Reddit AMAs are such a great feature. They’re one of the (admittedly few) redeeming features that keep the community interesting enough to follow, despite all the crap that the site otherwise plays host to.

In this Ask Me Anything, a series in which a notable person stays with a Reddit topic to answer Redditors’ questions, Matt Thomson from the UC San Francisco explains how he and the team he works with are able to use coloured light to get stem cells to develop in such a way as to form otherwise rare neurons, and similar cells that have until recently been beyond cellular biologists’ grasp. Here’s a video to get you started:

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Sep 3, 2015

Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

A few lines in a seemingly routine RAND Corp. report on the future of technology and law enforcement last week raised a provocative question: Should police have the power to take control of a self-driving car?

Human drivers are required to pull over when a police officer gestures for them to do so. It’s reasonable to expect that self-driving cars would do the same. To look at it another way: Self-driving cars are programmed to stop at red lights and stop signs. Surely they should also be programmed to stop when a police officer flags them down. It is, after all, the law.

It’s clear, then, that police officers should have some power over the movements of self-driving cars. What’s less clear is where to draw the line. If a police officer can command a self-driving car to pull over for his own safety and that of others on the road, can he do the same if he suspects the passenger of a crime? And what if the passenger doesn’t want the car to stop—can she override the command, or does the police officer have ultimate control? – Slate, Aug. 24, 2015

Continue reading “Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?” »

Sep 3, 2015

Startup claims a breakthrough in brain-like computing on chips

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

A small, Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company called Knowm claims it will soon begin commercializing a state-of-the-art technique for building computing chips that learn. Other companies, including HP HPQ and IBM IBM, have already invested in developing these so-called brain-based chips, but Knowm says it has just achieved a major technological breakthrough that it should be able to push into production hopefully within a few years.

The basis for Knowm’s work is a piece of hardware called a memristor, which functions (warning: oversimplification coming) by mimicking synapses in the brain. Rather than committing certain information to a software program and traditional computing memory, memristors are able to “learn” by strengthening the electrical charge between two resistors (the “ristor” part of memristor) much like synapses strengthen connections between commonly used neurons in the brain.

Done correctly—and this is the result that HP and IBM are after—memristors can make computer chips much smarter, but also very energy efficient. That could mean data centers that don’t use as much energy as small towns, as well as more viable robotics, driverless cars, and other autonomous devices. Alex Nugent, Knowm’s founder and CEO, says memristors—especially the ones his company is working on—offer “a massive leap in efficiency” over traditional CPUs, GPUs, and other hardware now used to power artificial intelligence workloads.

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Sep 3, 2015

Intel Micron Webcast

Posted by in category: computing

Sep 3, 2015

Micron Unveils 3D NAND

Posted by in categories: computing, innovation

Enter our new 3D NAND technology, which uses an innovative process architecture to provide 3X the capacity of planar NAND technologies while providing better performance and reliability.

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Sep 3, 2015

Self-healing bioplastic – just add water

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Imagine if things like undersea cables or medical implants could simply heal themselves back together if severed – it would certainly be easier than having to go in and fix them. Well, scientists at Pennsylvania State University are bringing such a possibility closer to reality. They’ve created a moldable polymer that heals itself when exposed to water – and it’s based on squid sucker ring teeth.

Led by Prof. Melik Demirel, the researchers started by studying sucker ring teeth collected from squid in various locations around the world. Although the exact composition of the teeth varied between species, it was found that the same proteins which allow them to self-heal were always present.

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Sep 3, 2015

NASA and the Makers of the Hoverboard Are Bringing You Tractor Beams

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

The now-famous hoverboard company will work over the next few years to tug NASA’s tiny satellites.

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