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Oct 15, 2021

Watch this M.C. Esher-like simulation teach 4,000 robots how to walk

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers from ETH Zurich collaborated with Nvidia develop a novel method for teaching robots how to walk before they ever take a step in real life.

Oct 15, 2021

VanMoof unveils 31 mph ‘hyperbike’ electric bicycle with two motors and full suspension

Posted by in category: transportation

VanMoof has just announced a new high-speed electric bicycle model known as the VanMoof V, which will reach speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h). The company is referring to it as a “hyperbike,” which makes sense considering it is faster than just about any other e-bike available in the US or Europe.

VanMoof is largely known as an elegant, tech-forward electric bicycle brand. The Dutch company’s sleek, classy-looking e-bikes are heavy on the tech side but don’t attempt to win any awards on performance.

That makes today’s announcement of a high-speed electric bicycle all the more suprising.

Continue reading “VanMoof unveils 31 mph ‘hyperbike’ electric bicycle with two motors and full suspension” »

Oct 15, 2021

How solar rockets can bring Uber to Musk’s Mars city

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

One emergent company, Virgin Orbit wants to switch from a fuel-burning upper stage to solar energy, a move that could support future human habitats on other planets.

The satellite launch company has made a name for itself with its visually striking rocket launches. Strapped to the wing of a Boeing 747 the LauncherOne rocket doesn’t need the same launch pads and infrastructure as its competitors.

Continue reading “How solar rockets can bring Uber to Musk’s Mars city” »

Oct 15, 2021

Ex-SpaceX Engineers Are Building a Cheap, Portable Nuclear Reactor

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear energy

Nuclear power is going portable in the form of relatively lightweight, cost-effective microreactors. A team of former SpaceX engineers is developing the “world’s first portable, zero-emissions power source” that can bring power to remote areas and also allows for quick installation of new units in populated areas, a press statement revealed.

Last year, the team secured $1.2 million in funding from angel investors for their startup Radiant to help develop its portable nuclear microreactors, which are aimed at both commercial and military applications.

Oct 15, 2021

Surprise: the Big Bang isn’t the beginning of the universe anymore

Posted by in categories: cosmology, singularity

We used to think the Big Bang meant the universe began from a singularity. Nearly 100 years later, we’re not so sure.

Oct 15, 2021

Cooling radio waves to their quantum ground state

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, quantum physics

Researchers at Delft University of Technology have found a new way to cool radio waves all the way down to their quantum ground state. To do so, they used circuits that employ an analog of the so-called laser cooling technique that is frequently used to cool atomic samples. The device used a recently developed technique the researchers call photon pressure coupling, which is predicted to be of use in detecting ultra-weak magnetic resonance (MRI) signals or for quantum-sensing applications that can help the search for dark matter. The results have been published in Science Advances.

The radio waves we usually encounter in our daily lives, such as those that we listen to in our car or those that send signals to our baby monitors in our house, are hot: they contain noise that comes from the random motion of the in the things they are emitted from and even in the antenna you are using to listen to them. This is one of the reasons why you hear static when you tune the radio in your car to a frequency that has no .

Oct 15, 2021

Turns Out, There Is a Way to Nuke a Dangerous Asteroid As a Last Resort

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, military, space

Good telescope that I’ve used to learn the basics:
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Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about a new simulation showing that we could use nuclear weapons to protect the planet from certain types of dangerous asteroids.

Continue reading “Turns Out, There Is a Way to Nuke a Dangerous Asteroid As a Last Resort” »

Oct 15, 2021

Virtual reality: A front-row seat to the impact of (un)sustainable behavior

Posted by in categories: sustainability, virtual reality

Witness first-hand how your mountain of waste plastic expands over the years and what impact your food has on the rainforests. Virtual reality gives you a front-row seat to the impact of unsustainable behavior. Communication scientists Marijn Meijers and Hande Sungur have developed highly effective virtual worlds that give people an up-close and personal experience of how sustainable and unsustainable conduct make a substantial difference…

You walk around a supermarket and whenever you take a product from the shelves, a pop-up appears with information about the environmental impact of your choice, for example, clearcutting of tropical rainforest to cultivate the palm oil in your chocolate spread. You travel through time to see how much plastic waste your everyday products create in the future, and travel back to see how your mountain of waste shrinks when you make more sustainable decisions.

VR is shown to have a positive effect on sustainability.

Continue reading “Virtual reality: A front-row seat to the impact of (un)sustainable behavior” »

Oct 15, 2021

Voice copying algorithms found able to dupe voice recognition devices

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Deepfake videos are well-known; many examples of what only appear to be celebrities can be seen regularly on YouTube. But while such videos have grown lifelike and convincing, one area where they fail is in reproducing a person’s voice. In this new effort, the team at UoC found evidence that the technology has advanced. They tested two of the most well-known voice copying algorithms against both human and voice recognition devices and found that the algorithms have improved to the point that they are now able to fool both.

The two algorithms— SV2TTS and AutoVC —were tested by obtaining samples of voice recordings from publicly available databases. Both systems were trained using 90 five-minute voice snippets of people talking. They also enlisted the assistance of 14 volunteers who provided voice samples and access to their voice recognition devices. The researchers then tested the two systems using the open-source software Resemblyzer—it listens and compares voice recordings and then gives a rating based on the similar two samples are. They also tested the algorithms by using them to attempt to access services on voice recognition devices.

The researchers found the algorithms were able to fool the Resemblyzer nearly half of the time. They also found that they were able to fool Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing service) approximately 30 percent of the time. And they were able to fool Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition system approximately 62% of the time.

Oct 15, 2021

Fastest-spinning white dwarf ever seen rotates once every 25 seconds

Posted by in category: futurism

A white dwarf star that spins every 25 seconds owes its record-breaking rotation rate to a companion star dumping gas onto it.

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