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Feb 1, 2015

RoboCorp — Get ready for companies that run themselves

Posted by in category: bitcoin

by — Aeon

Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACS)  will see cloud robots manage supply chains free from direct human supervision. Photo by Gallery Stock

It is January 2014 and at least 400 people are packed into a conference hall in Miami Beach. High-profile journalists stand against the walls. Powerful venture capitalists crouch in the aisles. Banking and finance gurus crane their necks from the back of the room. They’re waiting for one of the most anticipated presentations of the 2014 North American Bitcoin Conference. A massive surge in interest from the media has just pushed the price of a single Bitcoin to around $900, up nearly 800 per cent in three months. Bitcoin Miami is the largest ever conference of its kind. In this moment, the possibilities for Bitcoin seem limitless.

What appears to be a teenage boy mounts the stage. The crowd goes quiet. In fact, Vitalik Buterin – all acne-splotched face, spidery fingers and shining eyes – is just a few days shy of 20. He surveys the audience nervously for a moment, then kicks off his presentation by lauding the benefits of the Bitcoin payment network – its speed, security, economy and autonomy.

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Feb 1, 2015

How to Understand the Super Bowl—With Physics!

Posted by in categories: entertainment, physics

By — Wired

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, Jan. 3, 2015.

The Super Bowl isn’t just a football game. It’s an opportunity to discuss physics. Let’s look at some of the interesting physics concepts that go with the game.

Deflategate and Ball Pressure

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little weary of the whole “deflategate” thing. In case you missed the controversy, it appears that some of the footballs in the playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots had below-acceptable inflation pressure. Now, it’s true that if you put a balloon outside on a cold day, the balloon deflates with the colder temperature. Could something like this have happened to the deflategate balls? The answer is: probably not. If you want more details, Chad Orzel has an excellent piece that looks at the physics of pressurized football. He shows experimentally that a ball in a 50°F football game wouldn’t drop 2 PSI due solely to the temperature change.

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Jan 31, 2015

Innovation Takes the Exponential Express

Posted by in category: innovation

By Jason Bloomberg, Intellyx — Wired

innovation_wall

We’re all familiar with Moore’s Law: the observation that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years or so. We’re also familiar with the plethora of corollaries to the law, pertaining to everything from network speed to hard drive capacity to the number of pixels in our digital cameras. It seems that the natural behavior for technology advancement follows an exponential growth curve.

However, not all innovation follows such a curve. Organizational and process improvements, in particular, seem to proceed at a glacial pace. Management fads come and go, and they don’t even seem to be getting much better, let alone better at a faster rate.

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Jan 30, 2015

Robber barons and silicon sultans

Posted by in categories: business, economics

The Economist

IN THE 50 years between the end of the American civil war in 1865 and the outbreak of the first world war in 1914, a group of entrepreneurs spearheaded America’s transformation from an agricultural into an industrial society, built gigantic business empires and amassed huge fortunes. In 1848 John J. Astor, a merchant trader, was America’s richest man with $20m (now $545m). By the time the United States entered the first world war, John D. Rockefeller had become its first billionaire.

In the 50 years since Data General introduced the first mini-computers in the late 1960s, a group of entrepreneurs have spearheaded the transformation of an industrial age into an information society, built gigantic business empires and acquired huge fortunes. When he died in 1992, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was probably America’s richest man with $8 billion. Today Bill Gates occupies that position with $82.3 billion.

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Jan 29, 2015

Dr. Ken Hayworth, Part 3: If we can build a brain, what is the future of I?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, entertainment, existential risks, futurism, neuroscience, particle physics, philosophy, physics, quantum physics, science, singularity

The study of consciousness and what makes us individuals is a topic filled with complexities. From a neuroscience perspective, consciousness is derived from a self-model as a unitary structure that shapes our perceptions, decisions and feelings. There is a tendency to jump to the conclusion with this model that mankind is being defined as self-absorbed and only being in it for ourselves in this life. Although that may be partially true, this definition of consciousness doesn’t necessarily address the role of morals and how that is shaped into our being. In the latest addition to The Galactic Public Archives, Dr. Ken Hayworth tackles the philosophical impact that technologies have on our lives.

Our previous two films feature Dr. Hayworth extrapolating about what radical new technologies in neuroscience could eventually produce. In a hypothetical world where mind upload is possible and we could create a perfect replica of ourselves, how would one personally identify? If this copy has the same memories and biological components, our method of understanding consciousness would inevitably shift. But when it comes down it, if we were put in a situation where it would be either you or the replica – it’s natural evolutionary instinct to want to save ourselves even if the other is an exact copy. This notion challenges the idea that our essence is defined by our life experiences because many different people can have identical experiences yet react differently.

Hayworth explains, that although there is an instinct for self-survival, humanity for the most part, has a basic understanding not to cause harm upon others. This is because morals are not being developed in the “hard drive” of your life experiences; instead our morals are tied to the very idea of someone just being a conscious and connected member of this world. Hayworth rationalizes that once we accept our flawed intuition of self, humanity will come to a spiritual understanding that the respect we give to others for simply possessing a reflection of the same kind of consciousness will be the key to us identifying our ultimate interconnectedness.

Continue reading “Dr. Ken Hayworth, Part 3: If we can build a brain, what is the future of I?” »

Jan 29, 2015

Black Phosphorus: The Birth of a New Wonder Material

Posted by in category: materials

Emerging Technology From the arXiv — MIT Technology Review

Materials scientists have discovered how to make black phosphorus nanosheets in large amounts, heralding a new era of nanoelectronic devices.

In the last few years, two-dimensional crystals have emerged as some of the most exciting new materials to play with. Consequently, materials scientists have been falling over themselves to discover the extraordinary properties of graphene, boron nitride, molybdenum disulphide, and so on.

A late-comer to this group is black phosphorus, in which phosphorus atoms join together to form a two-dimensional puckered sheet. Last year, researchers built a field-effect transistor out of black phosphorus and showed that it performed remarkably well. This research suggested that black phosphorous could have a bright future in nanoelectronic devices.

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Jan 28, 2015

Snowden Claims U.S. Policy Is Creating A Black Market For Digital Weapons

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

— Tech Crunch

Edward Snowden says in a new interview with NOVA Next that the U.S. government wrongly promotes cyber offense strategies at the expense of weakening the system and leaving it open to cyber attacks from the black market.

“We’re creating a class of Internet security researchers who research vulnerabilities, but then instead of disclosing them to the device manufacturers to get them fixed and to make us more secure, they sell them to secret agencies,” Snowden says. “They sell them on the black market to criminal groups to be able to exploit these to attack targets. And that leaves us much less secure, not just on an individual level, but on a broad social level; on a broad economic level. And beyond that, it creates a new black market for computer weapons, basically digital weapons.”

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Jan 27, 2015

Doomsday Clock Now Three Minutes to Midnight

Posted by in categories: existential risks, nuclear weapons

Citing catastrophic climate change, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the energence of cybercrime, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

http://thebulletin.org/three-minutes-and-counting7938

Among the proposed actions that should immediately be taken is the creation of “institutions specifically assigned to explore and address potentially catastrophic misuses of new technologies.”

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Jan 27, 2015

Cutting Edge Microsoft HoloLens is an Augmented Virtual Reality Computer for Your Face

Posted by in category: augmented reality

By - 3D Printing Industry

microsoft hololens for 3D printing

Today, Microsoft held a conference to announce a number releases related to the new Windows 10 operating system, but all eyes were on the HoloLens, which, in a way, is the company’s answer to the now defunct Google Glass and Facebook’s Oculus Rift. Looking at it from another standpoint, however, HoloLens is much more, and not just because of its envisioned 3D printing applications.

Continue reading “Cutting Edge Microsoft HoloLens is an Augmented Virtual Reality Computer for Your Face” »

Jan 26, 2015

A Brain-Computer Interface That Works Wirelessly

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience

By Antonio Regalado — MIT Technology Review

http://www.singularityworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/emotiv.jpgA few paralyzed patients could soon be using a wireless brain-computer interface able to stream their thought commands as quickly as a home Internet connection.

After more than a decade of engineering work, researchers at Brown University and a Utah company, Blackrock Microsystems, have commercialized a wireless device that can be attached to a person’s skull and transmit via radio thought commands collected from a brain implant. Blackrock says it will seek clearance for the system from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so that the mental remote control can be tested in volunteers, possibly as soon as this year.

The device was developed by a consortium, called BrainGate, which is based at Brown and was among the first to place implants in the brains of paralyzed people and show that electrical signals emitted by neurons inside the cortex could be recorded, then used to steer a wheelchair or direct a robotic arm (see “Implanting Hope”).

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