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Dec 7, 2013

Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

Posted by in categories: complex systems, defense, ethics, evolution, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, human trajectories, posthumanism, robotics/AI, singularity, supercomputing

By Greg Scoblete — Real Clear Technology

We worry about robots.

Hardly a day goes by where we’re not reminded about how robots are taking our jobs and hollowing out the middle class. The worry is so acute that economists are busy devising new social contracts to cope with a potentially enormous class of obsolete humans.

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Dec 7, 2013

3D printed pizza is coming sooner than you think

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, business, food, fun

By

3d printed pizza

For some odd reason, pizza always seems to be at the forefront of emerging technology. It was the first food you could buy via online ordering, the first food to legitimately be delivered via drones, and now it’s dipping its saucy little Italian toes into 3D printing.

Natural Machines, a startup out of Barcelona, has developed a prototype 3D printer called Foodini that can pump out decent, edible-looking pizza just like a normal 3D printer pumps out custom-made lightswitch covers and drain plugs.

Dec 6, 2013

Now There’s a Zombie Drone That Hunts, Controls, and Kills Other Drones

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, security

—By

When 27-year-old Samy Kamkar—a security researcher who famously made one million Myspace friends in a single day—heard the announcement on Sunday that Amazon was planning to start delivering packages via drone in 2015, he had an idea. He knew that whenever new technology, like drones, becomes popular quickly, there are bound to be security flaws. And he claims that he found one within 24 hours and promptly exploited it: America, meet the zombie drone that Kamkar says hunts, hacks, and takes over nearby drones. With enough hacks, a user can allegedly control an entire zombie drone army capable of flying in any direction, taking video of your house, or committing mass drone-suicide.

“I’ve been playing with drones for a few years,” Kamkar, who is based in Los Angeles, tells Mother Jones. “I’m sure that with most of the drones out there, if you scrutinize the security, you’ll find some kind of vulnerability.” Kamkar says that the Amazon announcement was an opportunity to point out that drone security has room for improvement.

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Dec 6, 2013

“Now for the long term” by Sir John Beddington & Lord Rees

Posted by in category: policy

The establishment of the Oxford Martin School is an important initiative to research the greatest global challenges facing us. I attended a featured event organised by the School, ‘Now for the Long Term’ where Sir John Beddington and Lord Rees outlined some of the short-term and long-term challenges that require urgent attention from governments worldwide. I was struck by both the degree of optimism and pessimism in tackling issues such as climate change, where it seems that scientific evidence is being superseded by political agendas. Indeed it would seem to some that many politicians are more concerned about winning elections. While science and engineering are integral to finding solutions to many of the issues facing our world, they fundamentally depend upon policy decisions, which are ultimately shaped by values. People’s worldview and values will determine how they think about solving problems and how they prioritise, and that seems to be at the heart of the problem of why we seem unable to tackle issues affecting the future existence of humanity. As Lord Rees said there is no scientific impediment to achieving a sustainable world, however we still need to overcome the gap between knowledge and effective action.

There are some deeper issues, which have to be tackled of really getting to the reason of why we are not taking on these issues with the seriousness and commitment needed. We have brilliant scientists and engineers and more are needed but if the political culture and values aren’t built upon an aspiration to discover what is true, and a culture of basing decisions upon evidence, rather than desires then it makes the task of changing our world for the better that much harder. Indeed so much of our time and energy seems to be taken up having to convince people, and even when people are confronted with overwhelming evidence there is still a reluctance to take it on board, which leaves me asking the question, why?

Dec 5, 2013

First Tesla Model S Purchased With Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, transportation

Tesla Model S purchased with Bitcoins from Lamborghini Newport Beach

If you’re not familiar with Bitcoin, you might want to change that. The electronic cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining acceptance around the globe, with many businesses–and even one university–accepting Bitcoins as readily as dollars. Now, a Tesla Model S has been purchased directly with Bitcoin.

The car, sold for an undisclosed sum of Bitcoin by Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa, California, appears to have been a lightly used model, if only because it wasn’t sold directly by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].

ALSO SEE: 2015 Ford Mustang Preview: Official Photos And Video

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Dec 5, 2013

US Navy launches drone from submerged submarine

Posted by in categories: defense, drones, military, security

By

December 5, 2013

Sequence photo of the launch of the XFC (Photo: NAVSEA-AUTEC)

Today, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced that it had successfully launched a drone from a submerged submarine. The all-electric eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System (XFC) was launched in the Bahamas from the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) using a system that allowed the drone to be deployed without modifications to the boat, or requiring it to surface.

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Dec 5, 2013

The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting

Posted by in categories: education, health

The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham and Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford

Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Another one we could add to this list is that on any given news website and in almost all print media there will be articles about health and nutrition that are complete garbage.

Some articles that run under the health and nutrition “news” heading are thought provoking, well researched and unbiased, but unfortunately not all. And to help you traverse this maze – alongside an excellent article about 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims – we will look at seven clichés of improper or misguided reporting.

If you spot any of these clichés in an article, we humbly suggest that you switch to reading LOLCats, which will be more entertaining and maybe more informative too.

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Dec 5, 2013

Driving Home Drunk Will Never Be the Same Again

Posted by in categories: futurism, information science, robotics/AI, transportation

Thousands of people die every year due to drunk driving. It’s a statistic that’s both appalling and frightening. We all like to party, but then when the party’s over, many still refuse to recognize the danger they not only put themselves in, but others as well when they choose to drive while mentally impaired. Thankfully a lot of potential situations are averted every year as well due to taxi services, or even friends willing to drive them home.

Today, however, we live in a very sensor-oriented society. Our phones have sensors. Our homes have sensors. Our tablets have sensors. Our cars have sensors. Take Tesla Motors as an example. They have sensors by their doors which detects whether or not the right driver is approaching the vehicle. If it detects its correct driver, then it’ll extrude the door handle out, ready to be open. If you’re not the correct driver, however, like someone trying to hijack the vehicle, then the door handle will not pop out for you. Sorry.

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Dec 5, 2013

Kentucky police chief to be paid in Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics
December 4, 2013

Vicco, Ky., is about as small town as it gets, with a population that hovers around 330 people. That does not appear to have kept its residents, namely Police Chief Tony Vaughn, in the dark when it comes to Internet trends and emerging crypto-currencies.

The city commission on Monday approved a measure that would allow Vaughn to receive his salary entirely in Bitcoin, an alleged first in the US and yet another story bolstering the reputation of the unregulated virtual currency as a payment method that will one day, supporters hope, stabilize and become commonplace.

Vaughn’s pay, still set in US dollars, will receive standard federal and state deductions, the Hazard Herald reports, before being converted into Bitcoin based on current trading values at the time of pay and deposited into an account held by Vicco. The Bitcoins will then be transferred to Vaughn’s personal account. The city expects to be able to pay Vaughn this way as early as this month.

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Dec 5, 2013

Could Apple’s next products have Minority Report-like control?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, business, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts

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