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Feb 17, 2019

Elon Musk says SpaceX is developing a ‘bleeding’ heavy-metal rocket ship. Making it work may be 100 times as hard as NASA’s most difficult Mars mission, one expert says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX is building a steel launch system called Starship for the moon and Mars, but some aerospace experts say Elon Musk’s new design won’t be easy.

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Feb 17, 2019

Best apps and gadgets to repel mosquitoes

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Ah, warm weather. It’s time for t-shirts, backyard barbecues, pool parties, and madly swatting at mosquitoes as the biting insects come out from hiding to make our outdoor experiences miserable.

There are some traditional ways of fighting off the flying pests. You can slather on insect-repellent sprays and lotions, light citronella candles, or just keep smacking the bugs when they land on you. Or you can try out some newer methods, including interesting gadgets that take on the problem.

You may even have heard about smartphone apps that are designed to deter mosquitoes, but there’s something you need to know about those.

Continue reading “Best apps and gadgets to repel mosquitoes” »

Feb 17, 2019

Travel-friendly robot cleans your hotel bed with artificial intelligence

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Germaphobes rejoice: you can now check in with confidence, thanks to this nifty little device.

Advertise with NZME.

The robot uses UV light to scour surfaces – including bed sheets – without the need for harmful chemicals or manual labour. This method is found to be effective against 99.9 per cent of pathogens tucked away in the fabric of hotel suites.

Continue reading “Travel-friendly robot cleans your hotel bed with artificial intelligence” »

Feb 17, 2019

Engineered metasurfaces reflect waves in unusual directions

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

In our daily lives, we can find many examples of manipulation of reflected waves such as mirrors to see our reflections or reflective surfaces for sound that improve auditorium acoustics. When a wave impinges on a reflective surface with a certain angle of incidence and the energy is sent back, the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence. This classical reflection law is valid for any homogenous surface. Researchers at Aalto University have developed new metasurfaces for the arbitrary manipulation of reflected waves, essentially breaking the law to engineer the reflection of a surface at will.

Metasurfaces are artificial structures, composed of periodic arranged of meta-atoms at subwavelength scale. Meta-atoms are made of traditional materials but, if they are placed in a periodic manner, the surface can show many unusual effects that cannot be realized by the materials in nature. In their article published 15 February 2019 in Science Advances, the researchers use power-flow conformal metasurfaces to engineer the direction of reflected waves.

‘Existing solutions for controlling reflection of waves have low efficiency or difficult implementation,’ says Ana Díaz-Rubio, postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University. ‘We solved both of those problems. Not only did we figure out a way to design high efficient metasurfaces, we can also adapt the design for different functionalities. These metasurfaces are a versatile platform for arbitrary control of reflection.’

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Feb 17, 2019

OpenAI’s text synthesis algorithm generated this bit of Lord of the Rings fanfiction completely from scratch on its first try

Posted by in category: information science

19 votes and so far on Reddit.

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Feb 17, 2019

Research: Planting Trillions of Trees Could Cancel Out CO2 Emissions

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Unlike high tech solutions to climate change like carbon capture systems, Crowther argued, trees are nice because anyone can plant one.

“It’s a beautiful thing because everyone can get involved,” he told The Independent. “Trees literally just make people happier in urban environments, they improve air quality, water quality, food quality, ecosystem service, it’s such an easy, tangible thing.”

READ MORE: Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests [The Independent].

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Feb 17, 2019

These Tree-Planting Drones Are About To Start An Entire Forest From The Sky

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering

Villages have spent years replanting mangroves along the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Now their work will go much faster, with some help from above.

“We are now racing against time to rebuild the green shield in order to protect the most vulnerable people.” [Photo: BioCarbon Engineering].

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Feb 17, 2019

How the Brain Keeps Its Memories in the Right Order

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events.

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Feb 17, 2019

The End Of Work: The Consequences Of An Economic Singularity

Posted by in categories: biological, economics, engineering, robotics/AI, singularity

How will artificial intelligence, molecular manufacturing, biological engineering and distributed additive manufacturing change the economics of the production of goods and services?

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Feb 17, 2019

One would think one third of the universe’s matter would be easy to find

Posted by in category: cosmology

However, when astronomers add up all the mass of normal matter in the universe, a third of it can’t be found. (This missing matter is distinct from the still-mysterious dark matter.) However, the matter might be contained in gigantic strands of hot gas in intergalactic space, which are invisible to optical light telescopes. Data from Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes are on the case:

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