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Sep 15, 2015

Boeing rolls out R2-D2-themed 787 Dreamliner

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

If there’s one thing R2-D2 knows, it’s flying. The astromech droid has provided air support for both Anakin and Luke Skywalker who know a few things about piloting.

However, the blue and white robot’s next flight will be on Earth thanks to the newly themed Boeing 787 Dreamliner made to look like the lovable Star Wars staple. Here’s hoping that the flights are more comfortable than some of R2’s space dog fights or dodgy landings on Dagobah.

Starting on October 18, Japanese carrier ANA will fly the newly minted plane between Tokyo and Vancouver before extending the service to include Munich, Paris, Seattle, Sydney and beyond. The 215-seater plane isn’t just Star Wars-y on the outside, though. In addition to featuring all six Star Wars films on the seat back screens, the cups, headsets, and napkins will also carry the theme on inside.

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Sep 15, 2015

Sex robots should be banned because they will harm humanity, say campaigners

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sex

The Campaign Against Sex Robots


Companies should be stopped from developing sex robots with artificial intelligence for fear of harming humanity, according to campaigners.

Many engineers are looking to add artificial intelligence to sex toys and dolls in an attempt to make them more like humans, and therefore more attractive to customers. But such moves are unethical and will harm humanity, according to a new campaign.

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Sep 15, 2015

Physics-Astronomy: LOCKHEED: We Made A Huge Breakthrough In Nuclear Fusion

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

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Sep 15, 2015

Can A Healthy Gut Help You Live Longer?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, life extension

Our gut and the microbiome play a crucial role in our health, but could better understanding of that role help us avoid disease and live longer?

The microbiome weighs 2–3 pounds and contains 10 times more cells than our own, but we’ve neglected our microbial tenants for a long time. These little denizens help us break down food, provide key nutrients and even play a role in inflammation and the integrity of our intestinal tract. It’s no surprise then that fermented foods and probiotics are gaining popularity as we become more aware of how important our gut is. Recent evidence even links poor digestive health to chronic inflammation and Parkinson’s disease.

New research suggests that both gut integrity, and the amount and type of bacteria that reside within it, can actually predict an individual’s health. They may even quicken or slow the pace of aging.

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Sep 15, 2015

What is a Blockchain?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, government, internet, transparency

This short post is not about Bitcoin. It’s about a new method of organizing and arbitrating communications that is at the heart of Bitcoin

We hear a lot about the blockchain. We also hear a lot of misconceptions about its purpose and benefits. Some have said that it represents a threat to banks or to governments. Nonsense! It is time to form a simple, non-political, and non-economic explanation…

What is a Blockchain?

The blockchain is a distributed approach to bookkeeping. It offers an empowering, efficient and trusted way for disparate parties to reach consensus. It is “empowering”, because conclusions built on a blockchain can be constructed in a way that is inherently fair, transparent, and resistant to manipulation.

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Sep 15, 2015

The Imminence of Transhuman Technologies

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, ethics, existential risks, genetics, health, innovation, neuroscience

Progress always seems to ride a slippery slope. Innovations generally bring a plethora of potential benefits and just as many dangers, the obvious and the hidden. Technologies that tamper with our biological constructs is well underway in the neuro- and biotech industries. Historically, innovations in medicine have usually been beneficial on the aggregate.

But these new breakthroughs go beyond preventing and healing pre-existing causes. Transhuman technologies hold the promise of enhancing who we are as individuals and potentially as an entire species, and the decisions surrounding these technologies are far from simple. Dr. Nayef Al-Rodhan, a philosopher, neuroscientist, and director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy, believes we should be acting now to prepare for the inevitable and the unpredictable ramifications.

Framing Human Motivation

Considering our mixed track record as a species in rolling out groundbreaking innovations, discussing and finding potential solutions to many of the hidden dangers, and obvious ones, seems more than reasonable. One of the more puzzling questions is, where do we begin to have a pragmatic conversation on the ethics of these technologies?

There are plenty of theories about what drive human decisions, not least because human morality is infinitely complex and our minds crave frames through which to make sense of chaos. Dr. Al-Rodhan has his own conception of what drives human motivations. He makes meaning using the lens of “5 P’s” – Power, Pride, Profit, Pleasure, and Permanence – which he posits drive human motivations. “This is my view, the foundation of my outlook…this perceived emotion of self interest drives our moral compass.”

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Sep 15, 2015

Curing Alzheimer’s

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, life extension, mobile phones, neuroscience, space

Dr Michael Fossel is a PhD and MD heading up telomerase research and therapy and has kindly written a blog article for Bioviva detailing the work both they and his company Telocyte are doing to fight back against Alzheimer’s.


How Alzheimer’s Can Be Prevented and Cured…

Michael Fossel, MD, PhD

As I said in my medical textbook on aging, “If age is a thief, then the greatest treasure we lose is ourselves.” We fear Alzheimer’s not simply because it takes away our health, but because it steals our souls.

Continue reading “Curing Alzheimer's” »

Sep 14, 2015

Interesting Cyborgs Photo

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

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Sep 14, 2015

Batband headphones provide ears-free listening

Posted by in category: media & arts

Listening to music via headphones can isolate the listener from the rest of the world. The new Batband bone conduction headphones, however, allow users to to still hear what is going on around them. Audio is transmitted through the bones of the skull, while the ears remain uncovered.

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Sep 14, 2015

World’s first all-electric propulsion satellite goes on line

Posted by in categories: energy, space travel

Boeing has announced that the first satellite with all-electric propulsion is now fully operational. Launched last March, the ABS-3A 702SP (small platform) satellite was formally handed over to its owner, Bermuda-based telecommunications company ABS, on August 31. It will provide communications services to the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

ABS-3A launched on March 1 atop a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida along with EUTELSAT 115 West B. The geosynchronous comsat’s key technology is its Xenon Ion Propulsion System (XIPS). Previously, hybrid systems that use a mix of chemical and ion propellants have been sent into orbit, but this is the first time a satellite has been deployed with an all-electric drive.

Boeing says that the technology is based on 210,000 hours of ion propulsion flight experience and is 10 times more efficient than liquid-fueled rockets. Four 25-cm (9.8-in) thrusters using xenon as a propellant allow the 702SP satellite to maintain stationkeeping while using only 5 kg (11 lb) of fuel per year. This is a great saving because the satellite needs less fuel and smaller thrusters, which reduces launch costs.

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