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Mar 6, 2017

Hard drives of the future could be made of DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, internet, mathematics

Our data-driven society is churning out more information than traditional storage technology can handle, so scientists are looking for a solution in Nature’s hard drive: DNA. A pair of researchers at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center recently wrote a full computer operating system, an 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card and other files into DNA strands and retrieved them without errors, according to a study published in the latest edition of Science.

There are several advantages to using DNA. It’s a lot smaller than traditional media; a single gram can fit 215,000 times more data than a one terabyte hard drive, The Atlantic notes. It’s also incredibly durable. Scientists are using DNA thousands of years old to de-extinct wooly mammoths, for example. But, until now, they’ve only unlocked a fraction of its storage capacity. Study coauthors Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski were able to fit the theoretical maximum amount of information per nucleotide using a new method inspired by how movies stream across the internet.

“We mapped the bits of the files to DNA nucleotides. Then, we synthesized these nucleotides and stored the molecules in a test-tube,” Erlich explained in an interview with ResearchGate. “To retrieve the information, we sequenced the molecules. This is the basic process. To pack the information, we devised a strategy—called DNA Fountain—that uses mathematical concepts from coding theory. It was this strategy that allowed us to achieve optimal packing, which was the most challenging aspect of the study.”

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Mar 6, 2017

IBM to build quantum computers, selling machines millions of times faster than anything made before

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

IBM has taken its first step towards selling computers that are millions of times faster than the one you’re reading this on.

The company has set up a new division, IBM Q, that is intended to make quantum computers and sell them commercially.

Until now, quantum computers have mostly been a much hyped but long away dream. But IBM believes they are close enough to reality to start work on getting software ready for when they become commercially available.

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Mar 6, 2017

Blue Origin’s latest rocket engine is finally complete

Posted by in category: space travel

After six years of development, the first of Blue Origin’s new BE-4 rocket engines has finally been fully assembled. The company’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, debuted the images via a series of tweets.

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Mar 6, 2017

Nanotechnology Combatting Global Warming

Posted by in categories: chemistry, complex systems, disruptive technology, energy, environmental, innovation, materials, nanotechnology, Singularity University, sustainability, transportation

Superlubricity nano-structured self-assembling coating repairs surface wear, decreases emissions and increases HP and gas mileage.

Globally about 15 percent of manmade carbon dioxide comes from vehicles. In more developed countries, cars, trucks, airplanes, ships and other vehicles account for a third of emissions related to climate change. Emissions standards are fueling the lubricant additives market with innovation.

Up to 33% of fuel energy in vehicles is used to overcome friction. Tribology is the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion inclusive of friction, wear and lubrication. This is where TriboTEX, a nanotechnology startup is changing the game of friction modification and wear resilience with a lubricant additive that forms a nano-structured coating on metal alloys.

This nano-structured coating increases operating efficiency and component longevity. It is comprised of synthetic magnesium silicon hydroxide nanoparticles that self-assemble as an ultralow friction layer, 1/10 of the original friction resistance. The coating is self-repairing during operation, environmentally inert and extracts carbon from the oil. The carbon diamond-like nano-particle lowers the friction budget of the motor, improving fuel economy and emissions in parallel while increasing the power and longevity of the motor.

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Mar 6, 2017

Germany Becomes The First Nation To Ban ‘Chick Shredding’

Posted by in category: food

Newly developed technology will determine the sex of each fertilized egg before the chick inside develops – enabling the removal of all male-identified eggs from the hatchery. This will eliminate the industry’s need to heartlessly grind male chicks once hatched.

Did you know? Every year, millions of tiny male chicks are ground up alive or suffocated because they don’t lay eggs. The little guys aren’t considered ‘commercially viable’ to even be raised for meat and, therefore, are brutally killed shortly after hatching.

It’s an unfortunate side effect of the commercial egg industry which few producers are open to talking about. One can understand why, as half of all chicks born into the egg industry are male – creating an enormous ethical issue.

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Mar 6, 2017

Shailesh Prasad Photo 7

Posted by in category: futurism

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Mar 6, 2017

Population dynamics

Posted by in category: life extension

Rejuvenation and population dynamics: will the defeat of ageing bring about population explosion?


This article goes to the very core of the overpopulation objection: If we defeat ageing, will we actually cause a huge spike in population? And if so, how long will it take before we reach an unsustainable population?

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Mar 6, 2017

LED-it-GO: Leaking (a lot of) Data from Air-Gapped Computers via the (small) Hard Drive LED

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, encryption, internet, mobile phones

Abstract: In this paper we present a method which allows attackers to covertly leak data from isolated, air-gapped computers. Our method utilizes the hard disk drive (HDD) activity LED which exists in most of today’s desktop PCs, laptops and servers. We show that a malware can indirectly control the HDD LED, turning it on and off rapidly (up to 5800 blinks per second) — a rate that exceeds the visual perception capabilities of humans. Sensitive information can be encoded and leaked over the LED signals, which can then be received remotely by different kinds of cameras and light sensors. Compared to other LED methods, our method is unique, because it is also covert — the HDD activity LED routinely flickers frequently, and therefore the user may not be suspicious to changes in its activity. We discuss attack scenarios and present the necessary technical background regarding the HDD LED and its hardware control. We also present various data modulation methods and describe the implementation of a user-level malware, that doesn’t require a kernel component. During the evaluation, we examine the physical characteristics of different colored HDD LEDs (red, blue, and white) and tested different types of receivers: remote cameras, extreme cameras, security cameras, smartphone cameras, drone cameras, and optical sensors. Finally, we discuss hardware and software countermeasures for such a threat. Our experiment shows that sensitive data can be successfully leaked from air-gapped computers via the HDD LED at a maximum bit rate of 4000 bits per second, depending on the type of receiver and its distance from the transmitter. Notably, this speed is 10 times faster than the existing optical covert channels for air-gapped computers. These rates allow fast exfiltration of encryption keys, keystroke logging, and text and binary files.

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Mar 6, 2017

IBM launches IBM Q initiative to create 50+ qubit universal quantum computer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, chemistry, quantum physics, robotics/AI

IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build a commercially available universal quantum computers for business and science. While technologies like AI can find patterns buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen and the number of possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous ever to be processed by classical computers.

IBM Q quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform and will be designed to tackle problems that are too complex and exponential in nature for classical computing systems to handle. One of the first and most promising applications for quantum computing will be in the area of chemistry and could lead to the discovery of new medicines and materials. IBM aims at constructing commercial IBM Q systems with ~50 qubits in the next few years to demonstrate capabilities beyond today’s classical systems, and plans to collaborate with key industry partners to develop applications that exploit the quantum speedup of the systems.

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Mar 6, 2017

Amazon Chief Bezos Expected to Unveil Further Private Space Exploration Plans

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

The burgeoning space-transportation company owned by Amazon.com chairman Jeff Bezos this week is expected to announce some customers and new initiatives, the latest step toward its long-term goal of building rockets powerful enough to penetrate deep into the solar system, according to industry officials.

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The moves by the typically secretive Mr. Bezos, these officials said, are anticipated to disclose further details about Blue Origin LLC’s strategy to create a family of reusable rockets initially intended to take tourists on suborbital voyages, and then propel spacecraft into Earth’s orbit and eventually blast both manned and robotic missions to the Moon and various planets.

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