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Jun 5, 2015

Ex-Googlers Get Millions to Help You Build the Next Google — Klint Finley Wired

Posted by in categories: information science, internet, software, supercomputing

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After Spencer Kimball left Google, he found himself missing some of the custom-built software the company uses internally. So he and a bunch of fellow ex-Googlers started building their own. And now they want to make it available to everyone to power the next Google or Facebook.

Specifically, Kimball wanted something like Google’s database system Spanner. Spanner is designed to juggle data between potentially millions of database servers, a tool that keeps Google’s services online even if several servers, or an entire datacenter, go offline. While few companies need to operate at quite the scale Google does, the ability to stay online even if many systems fail, and to automatically balance resources between servers, would be useful to many other companies. Read more

Jun 5, 2015

Pakistani Comicbook Fights Violent Extremism, One Panel at a Time — Tasbeeh Herwees @ Good

Posted by in categories: counterterrorism, education, entertainment, futurism, media & arts

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When you consider that one of the most vulnerable targets of violent extremism are kids who don’t have access to education, we really had to try and make the art captivating and yet simple enough to explain the story to someone even if they can’t read the words,” Aftab told Hyperallergic.

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Jun 5, 2015

Bitcoin will employ the creators of the future — Jared Janes Ideapod

Posted by in category: bitcoin

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Jun 4, 2015

An eagle without a beak got a new one that was printed just for her.

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Let’s hear it for the power of technology!

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Jun 4, 2015

Our Universe is Fine Tuned for Life—Why?

Posted by in categories: astronomy, chemistry, cosmology, gravity, physics, space

Consider how many natural laws and constants—both physical and chemical—have been discovered since the time of the early Greeks. Hundreds of thousands of natural laws have been unveiled in man’s never ending quest to understand Earth and the universe.

I couldn’t name 1% of the laws of nature and physics. Here are just a few that come to mind from my high school science classes. I shall not offer a bulleted list, because that would suggest that these random references to laws and constants are organized or complete. It doesn’t even scratch the surface…

Newton’s Law of force (F=MA), Newton’s law of gravity, The electromagnetic force, strong force, weak force, Avogadro’s Constant, Boyle’s Law, the Lorentz Transformation, Maxwell’s equations, laws of thermodynamics, E=MC2, particles behave as waves, superpositioning of waves, universe inflation rate, for every action… etc, etc.

For some time, physicists, astronomers, chemists, and even theologians have pondered an interesting puzzle: Why is our universe so carefully tuned for our existence? And not just our existence—After all, it makes sense that our stature, our senses and things like muscle mass and speed have evolved to match our environment. But here’s the odd thing—If even one of a great many laws, properties or constants were off by even a smidgen, the whole universe could not exist—at least not in a form that could support life as we imagine it! Even the laws and numbers listed above. All of creation would not be here, if any of these were just a bit off…

Continue reading “Our Universe is Fine Tuned for Life—Why?” »

Jun 4, 2015

Next Big Future: Conceptually Viable Brute Force Radical Life Extension

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism, life extension

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has made the first steps towards development of bioartificial replacement limbs suitable for transplantation They had used decellularization technique to regenerate kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs from animal models, but this is the first reported use to engineer the more complex tissues of a bioartificial limb.

They took the leg from recently deceased rat and then:

* Over a period of 52 hours, infusion of a detergent solution removes cells from a rat forelimb, leaving behind the cell-free matrix scaffolding onto which new tissues can be regenerated.

Continue reading “Next Big Future: Conceptually Viable Brute Force Radical Life Extension” »

Jun 4, 2015

Are new stem cell therapies miracles in a bottle–or just a dangerous form of snake oil? — Tyler Graham Popular Science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

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On a snowy evening in Brooklyn, New York, sweat is streaming from my pores, rolling down my face, back, and palms. I don’t know what the temperature is here inside the MRI machine, but “summer in the Sahara” seems about right. I keep thinking about how I should have shed my winter-weight pants and button-down shirt.

The lab technician chimes in over a microphone. He reminds me not to move or I’ll need to start the MRI over. Considering I’ve been here for 45 minutes, that doesn’t sound appealing. My eyes sting, and sweat has pooled in weird places. I imagine this is what Chinese water torture feels like. Add to that, I have a gadolinium contrast agent coursing through my body. The substance is supposed to highlight areas of inflammation, but it can also make you feel like you’re itching from within. Read more

Jun 4, 2015

A New York State of Megabits — Susan Crawford | Backchannel

Posted by in categories: architecture, big data, business, economics, education, energy, information science, internet, moore's law

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So it was great to get back to New York and be able to report on what is called the“New NY Broadband Program.” It involves a $500 million expenditure to help ensure that New Yorkers across the state have access to current-generation Internet capacity. There’s lots of potential in the plan, targeted at providing every New Yorker with access to 100 megabit per second (Mbps) service (10 Mbps uploads) by the end of 2018. Because New York expects a 1:1 match from the private sector for each grant or loan it makes, that means the state hopes to be deploying at least $1 billion on high-speed Internet access infrastructure.

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Jun 4, 2015

CuriosityStream Live

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

DARPA ROBOTICS CHALLENGE 2015 THE ROBOTS ARE COMING

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Jun 4, 2015

Google Wants You to Control Your Gadgets with Finger Gestures, Conductive Clothing — Tom Simonite MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: computing, hardware, innovation, materials

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Small gadgets such as smart watches can be frustrating to use because their tiny buttons and touch screens are tricky to operate. Google has two possible solutions for the fat finger problem: control your gadgets by subtly rubbing your finger and thumb together, or by swiping a grid of conductive yarn woven into your clothing.

The first of those two ideas works thanks to a tiny radar sensor that could be integrated into, say, a smart watch and can detect fine motions of your hands from a distance and even through clothing. Levi Strauss announced today that it is working with Google to integrate fabric touch panels into its clothing designs. The new projects were announced at Google’s annual developer conference in San Francisco Friday by Ivan Poupyrev, a technical program lead in Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects research group.

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