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May 13, 2015

More STEM education won’t protect our jobs from robots — Toby Walsh | The Conversation

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

More STEM education won't protect our jobs from robots

“If robots are going to reduce how much we work, the humanities will help us fill time that we are not working in constructive ways. Wouldn’t that be great? If the 21st century became famous for an explosion in great works of art, paintings that changed the way we see the world, symphonies that make us weep, and plays that touch the soul? Robots might one day be able to help make such art, too.”‘ Read more

May 13, 2015

There’s an Uber for Everything Now — Geoffrey Fowler | The Wall Street Journal

Posted by in categories: business, economics, innovation, internet, mobile phones

“Can tech companies really offer better experiences than the taqueria, flower shop or dry cleaner down the street, while taking a cut for themselves? Not necessarily. Quality control is a challenge when the supervisor is just software.

Read more

May 12, 2015

How digital storytelling revives the ancient art of gossip — Katherine May | AEON

Posted by in category: media & arts

“The internet didn’t create this kind of story: in fact, it’s probably the oldest narrative form of all. This is narrative as a rolling multitude of voices; a story that has no controllable ending, fading instead into a network of other tales told by a network of other people. It is the narrative of everyday life, of friends we know well and not-so-well, and the ways we use their narratives to prop up our own. We know this kind of story as deeply as we know language. This has huge implications for writers. It reveals that we’re not as keen on neat narrative arcs and emotional closure as we thought we were.” Read more

May 12, 2015

Unless Everyone Using Bitcoin Makes This Radical Change, the Currency Will Die — Jordan Pearson | Motherboard

Posted by in category: bitcoin

“But if Bitcoin is ever used by enough people so that blocks are 90 or even 100 percent full, the network could become congested to the point of unusability. The solution, Andresen believes, is to increase the size of each block to 20 megabytes by 2016. How? By changing Bitcoin’s underlying protocol and splitting the blockchain into two different versions—one using 1 megabyte blocks and the other using 20 megabyte blocks.Read more

May 11, 2015

Read This Before You Freak Out Over Gene-Edited Superbabies — Nick Stockton | WIRED

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA


“The point being, science needs room to figure out exactly what this technology is capable of doing. Right now, researchers have a ton of potential on their hands, but not a lot of agreement about how far that potential reaches.” Read more

May 11, 2015

A question of computers and artificial intelligence — Peter Day | BBC

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Gary Kasparov playing chess with IBM computer Deep Blue in 1997

“It is a reflection of the ever-increasing ability of computers to search and do pattern recognition in an ever-increasing store of data. The concept of AI reflects this burgeoning power of the computer to cope with stuff. Each step on the way, each computerised victory over humans in checkers, or chess, or Jeopardy, looks like a material step towards the ultimate — machines that are as intelligent in every way as are we mortals.” Read more

May 10, 2015

Foxconn’s Robot Army Yet to Prove Match for Humans

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Lorraine Luk | The Wall Street Journal

“While the company has automated more manufacturing processes for components and established some lights-out, or workerless, factories, replacing dexterous human hands that pack tiny flexible parts into the tight structure of consumer electronics remains challenging” Read more

May 10, 2015

Watching This Simulated Star Die Is Mesmerizing…and Good Science Too

Posted by in categories: physics, space

By — SingularityHub

Traditionally, we’ve done science by observing nature in person or setting up experiments in the lab. Now, a relatively new scientific technique is proving a powerful tool—simulating nature on supercomputers.

A few years ago, Caltech astrophysicists released a supercomputer simulation of a supergiant star’s core collapsing just prior to going supernova. Apart from a stunning visual, simulations like this hinted that Type II supernova explosions were asymmetrical—a guess just recently backed by empirical observation.

Read more

May 9, 2015

Secret Air Force Space Plane Gets Darth Vader-Style Engine

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, space travel

By Kelsey D. Atherton - Popular Science

6 kW laboratory Hall thruster

The Air Force’s secret robot space plane is going to try out a new engine. The X-37B has so far spent a total of 1367 days tooling around in Earth’s orbit, doing classified things. Yesterday, the Air Force Research Lab announced that on its fourth flight, the X-37B will come with a new fuel-efficient engine for maneuvering in space. Read more

May 9, 2015

Stackable Brain Specimen Coasters Reveal a 3D View of the Human Brain

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

— Colossal


The brilliant minds at ThinkGeek just launched this set of 10 glass coasters printed with sequential illustrations of the brain. When stacked in the correct order they reveal a complete three-dimensional “scan” of human brain. Available here. (via Laughing Squid)