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Dec 16, 2015

Four Market Forces That Will Shape Robotics Over The Next Year

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

“When will I have a robot that can do my laundry?”

This is the number one question I get from friends and family members, whose expectations are unconstrained by the software and hardware technical realities that make robots tick (washing dishes is a close second by the way).

Since most have been waiting a lifetime for this transformational milestone, I have been promising lately, with muted bravado, that it won’t be too long now.

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Dec 16, 2015

Our Aging World: The Striking Statistics About Diabetes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

By 2034 the annual cost of diabetes in the US will be comparable to the market capitalization of Google.

Diabetes comes in two main forms, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a failure of the body to produce the hormone insulin that helps sugar molecules to be absorbed by your cells. This type of diabetes is commonly caused by an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks the pancreas, the gland that produces insulin, and normally occurs during childhood. The second form is when the body becomes insensitive to insulin; the hormone is still there but the cells no longer respond to it. In the Dutch language this form used to be called ‘ouderdomsdiabetes’ meaning ‘diabetes of old age’. This description is no longer accurate as even teenagers have now been diagnosed with it.

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Dec 16, 2015

First iPhone hacker built a self-driving car with Linux

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI, transportation

Wait, what? You might be asking yourself what inspired a hacker by the name of George Hotz to build his own self-driving car. That’s what we wanted to know, too. It would seem that Hotz decided to kick out a self-driving car using a 2016 Acura ILX in “about a month.” He’s using Ubuntu Linux as his operating system and has an absurdly massive 21.5-inch display sitting in the middle. A flight navigator joystick rests between the front two seats which, when triggered, engages a fully operational self-driving vehicle system.

Hots spoke with Bloomberg earlier this year for a report this week, showing reporters what his vehicle can do out on the highway back a few days before Thanksgiving. The vehicle is nowhere near a production-level sort of setup, looking more like Hotz ripped the cords out of several machines and bashed them together inside his vehicle — but it works. It all works.

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Dec 16, 2015

Your broadband service is about to be tax-free forever

Posted by in category: internet

Congress is expected to pass a permanent ban that will prevent local governments from taxing Internet access, a big win for consumers that ensures your broadband bill won’t ever look like your wireless bill.

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Dec 16, 2015

Supercharged LHC finds hints of entirely new particle

Posted by in category: particle physics

Two separate teams of physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland have identified signs of a new fundamental particle of nature. While hypotheses abound as to what exactly this particle could be — if it exists at all — the most popular opinion seems to be that it’s a heavier version of the Higgs boson, the particle that explains why other particles have mass.

“I don’t think there is anyone around who thinks this is conclusive,” one of the researchers, Kyle Cranmer from New York University, told The New York Times. “But it would be huge if true.”

After a hiatus of more than two years, the LHC was fired up again in June to continue smashing particles together — this time at record-breaking energy levels of around 13 trillion electron volts. (In case you’re wondering, an electron volt is a unit of energy equal to approximately 1.602×10-19 joules, and 6.5 trillion electron volts is twice the energy level used to detect the Higgs boson for the first time in 2012.)

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Dec 16, 2015

Pentagon Seeks $12 -$15 Billion for AI Weapons Research

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, military, neuroscience, robotics/AI

The news this month is full of stories about money pouring into AI research. First we got the news about the $15 million granted to the new Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence. Then Elon Musk and friends dropped the news about launching OpenAI to the tune of $1 billion, promising that this would be a not-for-profit company committed to safe AI and improving the world. But that all pales in comparison to the $12-$15 billion that the Pentagon is requesting for the development of AI weapons.

According to Reuters, “The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget request will include $12 billion to $15 billion to fund war gaming, experimentation and the demonstration of new technologies aimed at ensuring a continued military edge over China and Russia.” The military is looking to develop more advanced weapons technologies that will include autonomous weapons and deep learning machines.

While the research itself would be strictly classified, the military wants to ensure that countries like China and Russia know this advanced weapons research is taking place.

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Dec 16, 2015

This transforming pool disappears before your eyes and turns into a deck

Posted by in category: engineering

Imagine having a sunny dry deck that descends to become a relaxing in-ground pool at the push of a button. The engineers at Agor Creative Engineering specialize in just such an experience. The movable pool floor can submerge below water, or rise above it to become a sturdy deck. By covering the pool when not in use, it improves pool safety, protecting children and pets from falling in.

Produced by Rob Ludacer

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Dec 16, 2015

Experience Changes Biology

Posted by in category: biological

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Dec 16, 2015

Samsung Reveals Details On Their Live Streaming Virtual Reality Camera

Posted by in categories: electronics, virtual reality

Over the past one year, you must have realized big brands have been creating virtual reality headsets, 360-degree content or building a VR camera.

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Dec 16, 2015

ASCB Celldance 2015 premieres three videos featuring live cell imaging

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

ASCB’s Celldance Studios released Monday (Dec. 14) three new short videos made by cell scientists, featuring dramatic live cell imaging.

The videos, which take advantage of accelerating advances in super-resolution imaging, fluorescent tagging, and Big Data manipulation, where made in the labs of Douglas Robinson at John Hopkins University, John Condeelis at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Satyajit Mayor at the National Centre for the Biological Sciences (NCBS) in India.

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