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Oct 30, 2020

Episode 22 — The Far Future Of Our Universe (Turtles All the Way Down)

Posted by in categories: alien life, particle physics

This is the episode for anyone who has wondered about the fundamental structure of the universe and its extremely distant future — a time which is so distant that for all practical purposes, it’s almost synonymous with eternity. Black Holes, Fundamental Physics, and the meaning behind the cosmological catchphrase — Turtles All the Way Down. Please listen.

What happens when all the stars in our cosmos’ galaxies burn out; with little or no hydrogen gas left to fuel star formation; and everything pretty much turns to toast? It will presage an age of black holes where extremely low temperatures and fundamental particle decay will alleviate life as we know it. This universal endgame in an almost infinite far future may actually be a Dark Age where little or nothing can happen. And if it does, only on the longest timescales. Yale University astrophysicist Gregory Laughlin and I discuss these and other issues in this cosmological “turtles all the way down” episode of the podcast.

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Oct 30, 2020

The Man Who Was Left Behind in Space

Posted by in categories: habitats, space

Space — The final frontier, and for Soviet cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev, it nearly was his final frontier! Check out today’s new video where a soviet astronaut was on a space mission, meanwhile the USSR crumbled,… More making him the last citizen of the Soviet Union. How did Sergei finally get home, and what home would he be coming back to? Check out this epic new space story to find out!

Oct 30, 2020

Juno data indicates ‘sprites’ or ’elves’ frolic in Jupiter’s atmosphere

Posted by in category: space

New results from NASA’s Juno mission at Jupiter suggest that either “sprites” or “elves” could be dancing in the upper atmosphere of the solar system’s largest planet. It is the first time these bright, unpredictable and extremely brief flashes of light—formally known as transient luminous events, or TLE’s—have been observed on another world. The findings were published on Oct. 27, 2020, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

Scientists predicted these bright, superfast flashes of light should also be present in Jupiter’s immense roiling atmosphere, but their existence remained theoretical. Then, in the summer of 2019, researchers working with data from Juno’s ultraviolet spectrograph instrument (UVS) discovered something unexpected: a bright, narrow streak of ultraviolet emission that disappeared in a flash.

“UVS was designed to characterize Jupiter’s beautiful northern and southern lights,” said Giles, a Juno scientist and the lead author of the paper. “But we discovered UVS images that not only showed Jovian aurora, but also a bright flash of UV light over in the corner where it wasn’t supposed to be. The more our team looked into it, the more we realized Juno may have detected a TLE on Jupiter.”

Oct 30, 2020

Microsoft Releases Free App To Train AI Models Without Writing Any Code

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Microsoft has announced the launch of the public preview of a free app that allows users to train machine learning (ML) models without writing any code.

This app — Lobe — has been designed for Windows and Mac, only supports image classification; however, the tech giant is planning to expand the app to include other models and data types in the future.

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Oct 30, 2020

Predictive model reveals function of promising energy harvester device

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

A small energy harvesting device that can transform subtle mechanical vibrations into electrical energy could be used to power wireless sensors and actuators for use in anything from temperature and occupancy monitoring in smart environments, to biosensing within the human body.

In research recently published online in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a for such a , which will allow researchers to better understand and optimize its functionalities.

“Sooner or later these harvesters will replace batteries, reducing associated environmentally and maintenance costs,” said Diana-Andra Borca-Tasciuc, a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer, who led this research effort.

Oct 30, 2020

The Technology 202: The Google lawsuit launches a new phase of tech regulation in Washington

Posted by in categories: government, law

Scrutiny of the tech industry has ballooned in the nation’s capital in recent years, but until now federal regulators have passed little meaningful legislation or other penalties targeting the companies for perceived transgressions. Consumer advocates and legal experts say the DOJ broadside is an early sign that could be changing.

It could put more pressure on Congress to pass legislation addressing the tech industry.

Oct 29, 2020

Elon Musk’s Message on Artificial Superintelligence — ASI

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI

Elon Musk is on the record stating that artificial superintelligence or ASI could bring the end of the human race. Elon has publicly expressed concern about AI many times now. He thinks the advent of a digital superintelligence is the most pressing issue for humanity to get right.

What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence would have undergone an event called the intelligence explosion, likely to occur in the 21st century. It is unknown what, or who this machine-network would become; The issue of superintelligence remains peripheral to mainstream AI research and is mostly discussed by a small group of academics.

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Oct 29, 2020

Moderna says it’s preparing global launch of Covid vaccine as it takes in $1.1 billion in deposits

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Moderna is prepping for the global launch of its potential coronavirus vaccine, already taking in $1.1 billion in deposits from governments awaiting the potentially lifesaving drug, the biotech firm said Thursday in its third-quarter earnings report.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it was in ongoing talks with the World Health Organization-backed COVAX initiative on a tiered pricing proposal for its potential vaccine, which it’s tentatively calling mRNA-1273. It already has supply agreements in North America, the Middle East and in other regions of the world.

“We are actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 and we have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a press release. “Moderna is committed to the highest data quality standards and rigorous scientific research as we continue to work with regulators to advance mRNA-1273.”

Oct 29, 2020

Q&A: This entrepreneur is turning waste plastic bottles into boats

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, sustainability

Madiba & Nature’s ‘ecoboats’ — made out of discarded plastic bottles — are creating jobs, promoting ecotourism and raising awareness of the circular economy.

Africa, like most other parts of the world, is battling a spiraling plastic pollution crisis. In Cameroon, one non-profit company is helping to keep waste plastic out of the ocean while also improving livelihoods and inspiring entrepreneurs in communities across the country.

Madiba & Nature’s ‘ecoboats’ — made out of discarded plastic bottles — are helping fishermen while also creating jobs in the recycling industry, promoting ecotourism and raising awareness of the circular economy.

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Oct 29, 2020

Picturing Earth: Astronaut Photography In Focus

Posted by in category: space

📸 🌍 For 20 years, humans have lived and worked in Earth orbit on the International Space Station. Astronauts photograph our home planet from space almost daily, contributing to a growing archive of over 3 million Earth observations. How these images benefit science: # SpaceStation20th.