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May 2, 2015

WikiLeaks Finally Brings Back Its Submission System for Your Secrets

Posted by in categories: hacking, open access, open source, privacy

— Wired
It’s taken close to half a decade. But WikiLeaks is back in the business of accepting truly anonymous leaks.

On Friday, the secret-spilling group announced that it has finally relaunched a beta version of its leak submission system, a file-upload site that runs on the anonymity software Tor to allow uploaders to share documents and tips while protecting their identity from any network eavesdropper, and even from WikiLeaks itself. The relaunch of that page—which in the past served as the core of WikiLeaks’ transparency mission—comes four and a half years after WikiLeaks’ last submission system went down amid infighting between WikiLeaks’ leaders and several of its disenchanted staffers. Read more

May 1, 2015

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches its first rocket

Posted by in category: space travel

Katie M. Palmer and Neel V. Patel — Wired

You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but Elon Musk and Richard Branson aren’t the only billionaire magnates at the helm of a spacecraft company, gunning to rule the future of privatized space flight. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been flying under the radar—but at long last, the company yesterday launched its flagship suborbital spacecraft from its West Texas proving grounds in a developmental test flight.

Video released by the company shows the spacecraft, called New Shepard, blasting off to an altitude of 307,000 feet before its crew capsule separates from a propulsion module. Named after the first US astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, the craft is meant to take off and land vertically, utilizing a reusable first-stage booster—the same approach SpaceX is using in its Falcon 9 rocket. Read more

May 1, 2015

Why Tesla Wants to Sell a Battery for Your Home

Posted by in category: energy

By Phil McKenna — MIT Technology Review

Seeking to expand its business beyond electric vehicles, Tesla Motors will sell stationary batteries for residential, commercial, and utility use under a new brand, Tesla Energy.

Tesla is launching the home battery business partly because it’s already making vehicle batteries—and as a result it can benefit from the economies of scale that come from making both. Another reason is that the market for storage is expected to grow in concert with the use of solar power. Tesla needs both electric vehicles and solar power to boom if it hopes to fulfill the projected output from a vast $5 billion battery “gigafactory” it’s building in Nevada.

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Apr 30, 2015

They’re Alive! Watch These Mini 3D Printed Organs Beat Just Like Hearts

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting

By — SingularityHub

There’s something almost alchemical going on at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Scientists there have genetically transformed skin cells into heart cells and used them to 3D print mini-organs that beat just like your heart. Another darker organoid fused to a mini-heart mimics your liver.

The work, developed by Anthony Atala and his Wake Forest team for the “Body on a Chip” project, aims to simulate bodily systems by microfluidically linking up miniature organs—hearts, livers, blood vessels, and lungs—and testing new drug treatments and chemicals or studying the effects of viruses on them.

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Apr 30, 2015

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

Posted by in category: space

By — SingularityHub

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites and spacecraft—and it is very, very hard to remove. A team of scientists, however, think they have a way: Lasers.

A recent paper by Tokyo’s Riken institute proposes using a telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) to track small bits of space junk. A laser on the telescope would target and zap the junk, sending it crashing into the atmosphere, where it would vaporize—no longer a threat to humans or satellites. Read more

Apr 29, 2015

Robotic EQ

Posted by in categories: evolution, homo sapiens, robotics/AI

Can an emotional component to artificial intelligence be a benefit?

Robots with passion! Emotional artificial intelligence! These concepts have been in books and movies lately. A recent example of this is the movie Ex Machina. Now, I’m not an AI expert, and cannot speak to the technological challenges of developing an intelligent machine, let alone an emotional one. I do however, know a bit about problem solving, and that does relate to both intelligence and emotions. It is this emotional component of problem solving that leads me to speculate on the potential implications to humanity if powerful AI’s were to have human emotions.

Why the question about emotions? In a roundabout way, it has to do with how we observe and judge intelligence. The popular way to measure intelligence in a computer is the Turing test. If it can fool a person through conversation, into thinking that the computer is a person, then it has human level intelligence. But we know that the Turing test by itself is insufficient to be a true intelligence test. Sounding human during dialog is not the primary method we use to gauge intelligence in other people or in other species. Problem solving seems to be a reliable test of intelligence either through IQ tests that involve problem solving, or through direct real world problem solving.

As an example of problem solving, we judge how intelligent a rat is by how fast it can navigate a maze to get to food. Let’s look at this in regards to the first few steps in problem solving.

Continue reading “Robotic EQ” »

Apr 29, 2015

The Cities Science Fiction Built

Posted by in categories: architecture, engineering, futurism

Adam Rothstein | Motherboard
“In the city of the future, trains would rocket across overhead rails, airplanes would dive from the sky to land on the roof, and skyscrapers would stretch their sinewed limbs into the heavens to feel the hot pulse of radio waves beating across the planet. This artistic, but unbridled enthusiasm was the last century’s first expression of wholesale tech optimism.” Read more

Apr 29, 2015

Dear young Physicists: Please, picture a frictionless Wheel that is lowered reversibly in Gravity

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

by Otto E. Rossler, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

When you are doing this picturing job, you will directly get close to Einstein’s heart. He only did not yet have this special sentinel available in 1907. Noether’s ultra-hard result of 1917 came 2 years in the wake of Einstein’s opus maximum that is being celebrated this year.

I need your kind help to improve on the following finding: “Noether’s Theorem + Einstein Equivalence Principle = c-global.” I have 5 steps to offer so far, the sixth would be your initiative.

Continue reading “Dear young Physicists: Please, picture a frictionless Wheel that is lowered reversibly in Gravity” »

Apr 29, 2015

Injustice, Ethereum and the information renaissance…

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, internet

Quoted: “I recall reading somewhere that “Ethereum is to Bitcoin as an iPhone is to a calculator”, which is a pretty good analogy. Bitcoin proved to us that it was possible to keep a tamper-proof system synchronised across the globe. There really is no reason the same system can’t be applied to other problems in the same way we apply normal computers to them.

Ethereum is a single computer spread out over the internet, processing the information we all feed it together. I guess you could call it a ‘shared consciousness’ if you wanted to.

In this computer, information cannot be suppressed. In this computer, ideas and trust rule. Work and reputation are visible and independently verifiable. Anyone can contribute and everyone is automatically safe. Collaboration will overcome privatisation as people work together to build an open network of ideas contributing to the betterment of us all. They are calling it internet 3.0. And though web 2.0 was a thing in some ways, I think we’ll look back at everything up until this point as the first internet. The internet we built by adapting old communication lines into new ways of communicating. The internet we built when we were still used to centralising responsibility for things.”

Read the article here >…naissance/

Apr 29, 2015

What if Your Computer Cared About What Makes You Smile?

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

Kyle Vanhemert | WIRED465617108-crop
“Your computer isn’t a person, but as psychological studies have shown, you often can’t help but treat it like a one. “ Read more