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Jan 4, 2014

DARPA Is Building A Vanishing Battery: This Post Will Self Destruct In 5 Seconds

Posted by in category: defense

William Pentland, Contributor — Forbes

helmet-sensorConsidering that batteries are typically designed for maximum longevity, it may seem odd to learn that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is ramping up research into self-destructing batteries.

Odd or not, DARPA awarded a $4.7 million contract last week to SRI International, an independent research organization based in Menlo Park, CA CA -0.09%, to develop a transient power supply that, when triggered, becomes unobservable to the human eye.

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Jan 4, 2014

Zynga Links Up With BitPay For A Bitcoin Payment Test In FarmVille 2, CityVille And Other Web Games

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business

by — Tech Crunch

Gaming giant Zynga has started to accept the cryptocurrency as a payment option for those buying tokens for virtual goods on the web versions of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille. It makes Zynga the first major gaming company to accept Bitcoin.

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Jan 4, 2014

What If the Third World is in Outer Space?

Posted by in categories: futurism, geopolitics, human trajectories, lifeboat, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, transhumanism, treaties

Here’s a thought experiment inspired by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): Suppose in our search for beings in other galaxies, we come across a species that looks very much like us and can communicate with us reasonably well, so that it doesn’t take very long for them to understand what we’re about. In other words, they are definitely within our sphere of spontaneous sympathy. Moreover they even possess technologies that we consider relatively advanced, such as mobile phones. (After all, how else could we have recognised them as intelligent beings?) At the same time, however, they also tend to live half as long as we do – and for reasons that are quite obvious to us because they lack the sort of societal infrastructure that would enable them to live longer.

To be sure, these beings think that their lives are perfectly fine, aside from spates of internecine strife that seem to be fuelled by alien sources (perhaps the same aliens that enabled us to discover them). In any case, their culture is designed around the way they have conducted their lives for centuries. The question is whether we should violate Star Trek’s Prime Directive and substantially intervene to provide them with an infrastructure that would allow them to live longer and perhaps flourish in a way that would go beyond the sort of superficial trade relations that currently mark our maintenance of a ‘respectful’ distance from them. Here are some options:

1. No matter the cost to them or us, ‘civilising’ these aliens is an end worth pursuing in its own right – even if it ends up a gallant failure.
2. We can’t really afford much backlash from the natives, especially given that backups from Earth will not be forthcoming. So, we need to tread carefully, perhaps envisaging a long-term strategy of cultivating natives over several generations.
3. We commit to leaving the natives with some care packages and a time-limited run of advisors whose mission is to get them to use those packages as effectively as possible, so that eventually they can produce their contents for themselves.
4. We simply obey the Prime Directive and deal with them as free market traders without any particular concern for how they end up using whatever the both of us agree to have been a fair exchange of goods.

Now let us think about planet Earth, where we have the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights – and not the Prime Directive – as our guiding normative principle. Clearly, (4) would be seen as a libertarian dys/utopia that would render the Declaration irrelevant (though it may well capture China’s current policy towards the Third World), whereas (3) would be seen as the default position of most development aid. I have advocated (2) as Imperialism 2.0, and of course classic Imperialism is captured by (1).

Continue reading “What If the Third World is in Outer Space?” »

Jan 3, 2014

3D-printed gun advocate Cody Wilson announces bitcoin venture

Posted by in category: bitcoin

By

WASHINGTON –Cody Wilson isn’t afraid of legal gray areas, whether they’re do-it-yourself firearms or anonymous online money.

Last year, the Austin resident and former UT law student posted plans for a 3D-printed plastic handgun online along with a video demonstrating the weapon. He took the plans down days later, after the State Department ordered them removed.

Continue reading “3D-printed gun advocate Cody Wilson announces bitcoin venture” »

Jan 3, 2014

Acoustic levitation: how sound can get physical

Posted by in categories: engineering, physics

By — The Telegraph

Imagine how much easier life would be if it was possible to levitate objects. Maglev trains, for example, use powerful magnets to repel the carriages and remove the friction of the train on the tracks.

But magnets are just one way of achieving this – and they require the object to have a repelling magnetic force. Now scientists in Japan have shown that a similar effect can be achieved with sound.

Continue reading “Acoustic levitation: how sound can get physical” »

Jan 3, 2014

Researchers Crack 4096-bit RSA Encryption With a Microphone

Posted by in categories: security, surveillance

- Extreme Tech

Acoustic cryptanalysis of RSA decryption keys using a parabolic microphone

Security researchers have successfully broken one of the most secure encryption algorithms, 4096-bit RSA, by listening – yes, with a microphone — to a computer as it decrypts some encrypted data. The attack is fairly simple and can be carried out with rudimentary hardware. The repercussions for the average computer user are minimal, but if you’re a secret agent, power user, or some other kind of encryption-using miscreant, you may want to reach for the Rammstein when decrypting your data.

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Jan 3, 2014

Hey, Elon and Sergey, did you see these SpaceGlasses?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, augmented reality, business, engineering, futurism, human trajectories

By 3D Printing Industry

Two-thousand-and-fourteen is already looking like a great year for 3D creativity. Assembled 3D printers are coming out priced at under 500 euros, new low-cost high-quality 3D scanners are launching and, if that weren’t enough, the first SpaceGlasses are going to be delivered in July.

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Jan 2, 2014

A Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton Will Kick Off the 2014 World Cup

Posted by in category: exoskeleton

By Devin Powell — Washington Post

http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/imported/mind-in-motion_2.jpg

The first kick of the 2014 FIFA World Cup may be delivered in Sao Paulo next June by a Brazilian who is paralyzed from the waist down. If all goes according to plan, the teenager will walk onto the field, cock back a foot and swing at the soccer ball, using a mechanical exoskeleton controlled by the teen’s brain.The first kick of the 2014 FIFA World Cup may be delivered in Sao Paulo next June by a Brazilian who is paralyzed from the waist down. If all goes according to plan, the teenager will walk onto the field, cock back a foot and swing at the soccer ball, using a mechanical exoskeleton controlled by the teen’s brain.

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Jan 2, 2014

World’s biggest pasta maker wants restaurants to 3D print your food — with their cartridges

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, business

By — Geek

pasta head

3D printing is attractive to a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons, but in general its supporters talk about the economic and efficiency benefits; it can build things faster and easier than competing methods, bring down manufacturing costs and remove the need for large amounts of international shipping. That’s usually what you hear in defense of 3D printing — but now, Italian food corporation Barilla is looking to 3D print their art.

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Jan 2, 2014

Mars One Announces Lockheed Martin Partnership, Crowdfunding for 2018 Mars Mission

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

Written By: — Singualrity Hub

Mars_One_Astronaut (1)

First, the private organization announced they would colonize the Red Planet by 2023 and fund the mission, in part, by making a television show about their space adventures. Then they took some 200,000 applications from would-be astronauts (with no required qualifications) for a one-way ticket to Mars.

If you’re disappointed that human beings haven’t flown beyond the Moon—then all this bold Mars talk is inspiring. But talk is cheap. Now, comes the costly part.

Continue reading “Mars One Announces Lockheed Martin Partnership, Crowdfunding for 2018 Mars Mission” »