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May 27, 2015

MIT’s President: Op-ed on Innovation

Posted by in categories: business, disruptive technology, economics, education, finance, government, innovation, policy, science, strategy

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“[T]he United States needs a more systematic way to help its bottled-up new-science innovators deliver their ideas to the world.”

A better way to deliver innovation to the world

May 27, 2015

An Homage to CERN’s John Bell

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

Heraclitus’ Saying “The Wartime-Slaughterer is the Father of Everyone”: almost confirmed through Einstein’s Intuition

Otto E. Rossler

Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Tubingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, 72076 Tubingen, Germany

Abstract

Continue reading “An Homage to CERN's John Bell” »

May 26, 2015

The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here. — Brian Fung | The Washington Post

Posted by in categories: business, space, space travel

“What could the FAA, an agency whose chief concern is air travel, want with outer space? Well, the FAA is the agency that grants licenses for commercial space launches (the ones that aren’t performed for NASA or the Defense Department, anyway). This potentially gives the nation’s aviation regulators a tremendous amount of power over the fledgling private space industry.” Read more

May 26, 2015

Could Bitcoin be Dethroned by an Altcoin?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, encryption

Cryptocurrency aficionados have been discussing Bitcoin limitations ever since the blockchain buzz hit the street. Geeks toss around ideas for clearing transactions faster, resisting potential attacks, rewarding miners after the last coin is mined, and supporting anonymity (or the opposite—if you lean toward the altcoinsdark side). There are many areas in which Bitcoin could be improved, or made more conducive to one camp or another.

Distinguished Penn State professor, John Carroll, believes that Bitcoin may eventually be marginalized due to its early arrival. He believes that its limitations will eventually be overcome by newer “altcoins”, presumably with improved mechanisms.

So, does progress in any of these areas threaten the reigning champ? It’s unlikely…

Andreas-transparentMore than any other individual, Andreas Antonopoulos is the face of Bitcoin. We discussed this very issue in the outer lobby of the MIT Bitcoin Expo at which he was keynote speaker (March 2015). Then, we discussed it again, when I hosted his presentation at The Bitcoin Event in New York (also in March). He clearly and succinctly explained to me why it is unlikely that an altcoin will replace Bitcoin as the dominant—and eventually surviving—cryptocurrency

Continue reading “Could Bitcoin be Dethroned by an Altcoin?” »

May 26, 2015

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Selects 2015 Investigators

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, computing, DNA, education, genetics, life extension, neuroscience, science, scientific freedom

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“The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today that 26 of the nation’s top biomedical researchers will become HHMI investigators and will receive the flexible support necessary to move their research in creative new directions. The initiative represents an investment in basic biomedical research of $153 million over the next five years.”

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May 26, 2015

Blueprint for a Better Human Body — Rose Eveleth | The Atlantic

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

“But at the same time, there are more and more amputees who are going without the cosmetic covers, who are showing the machinery behind the leg, the hinges and the carbon fiber and the metal. And while function is still crucially important, there are people who are no longer asking how to replicate. Instead, they’re asking how to improve. How to make a limb new, better, stronger, more striking, more beautiful.”

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May 25, 2015

The Emotional Amplifier — Patrick O’Luanaigh | Develop

Posted by in category: virtual reality

Virtual reality: The emotion amplifier

“Probably the worst scenario as a game designer is that players experience something in your VR game that freaks them out so badly, they rip the headset off and refuse to put it back on again. Moreover, because VR is an emotion amplifier, all sorts of negative emotions and fears can become apparent that even the player may not have known about before. “ Read more

May 25, 2015

Dear young Physicists and Architects

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

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

Otto E. Rossler

Faculty of Mathematics and Science, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Abstract

Continue reading “Dear young Physicists and Architects” »

May 25, 2015

DRONES: How Drones Could Help an Indigenous Community Fight Mining and Deforestation Emiko Jozuka | Motherboard

Posted by in category: drones

“The local Wapichana monitoring team learned how to build a fix-winged drone from scratch. The team then mounted a GoPro onto the drone, which shot around 500 images of the Shulinab village along a pre-programmed flight path. Using Pix4Dmapper automatic imaging software, the team were then able to recreate a 3D model of their village from the images. The aim, explained MacLennan in a blog post, is to ‘create high-resolution up-to-date imagery at a fraction of the cost of satellite imagery.’” Read more

May 24, 2015

Neuroscientists Are Making an Artificial Brain for Everyone — Davey Alba | WIRED

Posted by in category: neuroscience

“Nara is essentially a matchmaking system that finds and understands entities in any data set, from people and places to businesses and abstract concepts, then builds a massive knowledge graph that shows weighted links between those entities. Wilson says Nara inserts users right into that knowledge graph to offer personalized recommendations. Knowing a bit about the user is what allows Nara to light up other things they might like. And the system can scrape public databases to enhance its knowledge.”

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