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Jun 2, 2017

Shotwell: Ambitious Targets Achievable This Year

Posted by in category: satellites

It has been an eventful 12 months for SpaceX. Many successful launches were interspersed with a high-profile test failure which led to the loss of the Spacecom satellite, AMOS 6, making headlines across the world, far beyond the traditional coverage of space publications. However, the launch service provider is dusting itself off and ready to go again with some hugely ambitious targets in 2017.

Mark Holmes

On September 1, 2016, at Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX observed an anomaly about eight minutes in advance of a scheduled test firing of a Falcon 9 rocket. This resulted in the loss of Spacecom’s Amos 6 satellite. It was headline news around the world.

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Jun 2, 2017

Reaction: Trump Decision to Withdraw from Paris Accord

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, Elon Musk, environmental, geopolitics, government, policy

One of the missions of Lifeboat Foundation has always been to contemplate the protection of our fragile Spaceship-Earth and to contemplate a day when we may need to migrate from this tiny stage. Yesterday, that day may have been moved a lot closer. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday, I had a fantasy. One that I passionately hoped would become reality. Minutes before Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, I began to daydream…

  • I dreamt that Trump might listen to his top science advisors and his daughter
  • I dreamt that he might not gamble our existence on his minority opinion that humans cannot help rescue the environment.
  • I dreamt that he would recognize that clean energy jobs trump legacy coal mining
  • I dreamt that he would avoid export tariffs for failing to respect international norms
  • I dreamt that he would stop pandering to Yahoos and stand for something worthy and undeniable

No such luck! The USA has lost its Mojo—at least while it is led by a man with no grasp of science, history, morals or a global perspective. As Trump begun to speak, I was sucked into a cruel nightmare. But this nightmare is reality. It’s the reality of a buffoon representing you and me in our nation’s highest office.

Question: Time for a thought experiment. Can you guess the answer?…

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Jun 2, 2017

No more planes? Hyperloop test facility unveiled in Netherlands

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

A Hyperloop test facility has been unveiled in the Netherlands, bringing Elon Musk’s vision of transporting pods of people through a tube at incredibly high speeds one step closer to fruition.

The test facility, a 30-meter-long (100ft), 3.2-meter-diameter (10.5ft) steel tube, is located at Delft Technical University.

“In this facility we will test all systems that don’t require high speeds,” said Tim Houter, CEO of Hardt Global Mobility, which is working on the project with construction company BAM, as quoted by Reuters.

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Jun 2, 2017

This start-up is offering $8,000 blood transfusions from teens to people who want to fight aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Blood transfusions from teen-agers might sound like science fiction, but it’s happening.

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Jun 2, 2017

Wallet Security: Cloud/Exchange Services

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance, hacking

3½ years ago, I wrote a Bitcoin wallet safety primer for Naked Security, a newsletter by Sophos, the European antivirus lab. Articles are limited to just 500 hundred words, and so my primer barely conveyed a mindset—It outlined broad steps for protecting a Bitcoin wallet.

In retrospect, that article may have been a disservice to digital currency novices. For example, did you know that a mobile text message is not a good form of two-factor authentication? Relying on SMS can get your life savings wiped out. Who knew?!

With a tip of the hat to Cody Brown, here is an online wallet security narrative that beats my article by a mile. Actually, it is more of a warning than a tutorial. But, read it closely. Learn from Cody’s misfortune. Practice safe storage. If you glean anything from the article, at least do this:

  • Install Google Authenticator. Require it for any online account with stored value. If someone hijacks your phone account, they cannot authenticate an exchange or wallet transaction—even with Authenticator.
  • Many exchanges (like Coinbase) offer a “vault”. Sweep most of your savings into the vault instead of the daily-use wallet. This gives you time to detect a scam or intrusion and to halt withdrawals. What is a vault? In my opinion, it is better than a paper wallet! Like a bank account, it is a wallet administered by a trusted vendor, but with no internet connection and forced access delay.

Exchange and cloud users want instant response. They want to purchase things without delay and they want quick settlement of currency exchange. But online wallets come with great risk. They can be emptied in an instant. It is not as difficult to spoof your identity as you may think (Again: Read Cody’s article below!)

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Jun 2, 2017

A Net Neutrality Nightmare? / Part II (Future A to Z)

Posted by in categories: futurism, information science, internet, journalism, law, media & arts, software, strategy, supercomputing

The recent efforts to remove Net Neutrality have given many a sense of impending doom we are soon to face. What happens to an Internet without Net Neutrality? Advocates have a vision of the possible results — and it is quite the nightmare! In this segment of Future A to Z, The Galactic Public Archives takes a cheeky, yet compelling perspective on the issue.

Part 1 / Part 2

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Jun 2, 2017

Bionic Carbon Fiber Arm From Lamborghini? It Could Happen

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, transhumanism

Automobili Lamborghini’s expertise in carbon fiber may lead to implants and prosthetics. Oddly, a Ferrari is involved as well.

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Jun 2, 2017

Your entire wallet in one smartcard

Posted by in category: finance

This touch-screen card is going to replace your entire wallet.

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Jun 2, 2017

Zuckerberg’s Universal Basic Income Speech

Posted by in category: economics

Mark Zuckerberg makes a passionate call for Universal Basic Income.

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Jun 2, 2017

Resurrected: A Controversial Trial to Bring the Dead Back to Life

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Scientists remain skeptical about an experimental approach to reverse brain death.

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