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Aug 23, 2020

Kim Jong Un reportedly in a coma as his sister Kim Yo Jong takes control

Posted by in category: futurism

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has fallen into a coma, a former South Korean official is claiming on the heels of reports that the northern leader has ceded over some of his power to his younger sister.

Chang Song-min, a former aide to late-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, has alleged that the Hermit Kindom’s honcho has become seriously ill amid speculation about his limited public appearances this year, the Mirror reported.

“I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended,” he told South Korean media.

Aug 23, 2020

Loofah-inspired aerogel efficiently filters microbes from water

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Millions of people worldwide die every year from waterborne diseases because of a lack of affordable, practical disinfection technologies. To address this need, researchers have developed a strong, flexible filter out of a silica aerogel that efficiently kills bacteria, resists getting clogged, and needs just a quick dip in dilute bleach to renew its disinfecting properties.

Read about the loofah-inspired aerogel here: https://bit.ly/3lhulJo


Low-cost, functionalized silica material kills bacteria instantly and is easy to clean.

Continue reading “Loofah-inspired aerogel efficiently filters microbes from water” »

Aug 23, 2020

Lambda School Gains Additional $74M For Online Education

Posted by in categories: computing, education

Lambda School, the startup that offers online computer science classes to be paid for after a student gets a job, has raised an additional $74 million in funding, the company announced Friday.

TechCrunch first reported news of the Series C round, which was led by Gigafund.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily.

Aug 23, 2020

BlackBerry is back from the dead – 5G and QWERTY keyboard confirmed! 😲

Posted by in category: mobile phones

BlackBerry is all set to come back from the dead for a surprise second time, with OnwardMobility picking up the baton from TCL, which ended its licencing agreement earlier this year.

We don’t know a great deal about the handsets yet, except that they’ll be 5G connected, manufactured by Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Limited and coming to North American and European markets by mid 2021.

The BlackBerry will come back from the dead in 2021 | T3.

Aug 23, 2020

How quantum computers could make future humans immortal

Posted by in categories: computing, life extension, quantum physics

As best we can guess, life started on planet Earth about 3.5 billion years ago. Unfortunately, so did death. And the reaper remains undefeated.

About 99 percent of all species that ever lived are now extinct. There’s almost no scientific reason to believe humans won’t join them in a relatively insignificant amount of time. I say almost because, if we try really hard, we can conceive of a theoretical, science-based intervention for death. Let’s call it a “quantum respawn.”

We’re not the first generation to imagine immortality. But we are the first one to have access to this really cool research paper from physicists working at the University of Rochester in New York, and Purdue University in Indiana.

Aug 23, 2020

Fast Broadband From Orbit? New Data Says SpaceX Can Do It

Posted by in categories: internet, space

SpaceX just hit the FCC’s goal for low internet lag. Next step: 1 gigabit internet speeds.

Aug 23, 2020

The term ‘ethical AI’ is finally starting to mean something

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, information science, robotics/AI

Since OpenAI first described its new AI language-generating system called GPT-3 in May, hundreds of media outlets (including MIT Technology Review) have written about the system and its capabilities. Twitter has been abuzz about its power and potential. The New York Times published an op-ed about it. Later this year, OpenAI will begin charging companies for access to GPT-3, hoping that its system can soon power a wide variety of AI products and services.


Earlier this year, the independent research organisation of which I am the Director, London-based Ada Lovelace Institute, hosted a panel at the world’s largest AI conference, CogX, called The Ethics Panel to End All Ethics Panels. The title referenced both a tongue-in-cheek effort at self-promotion, and a very real need to put to bed the seemingly endless offering of panels, think-pieces, and government reports preoccupied with ruminating on the abstract ethical questions posed by AI and new data-driven technologies. We had grown impatient with conceptual debates and high-level principles.

And we were not alone. 2020 has seen the emergence of a new wave of ethical AI – one focused on the tough questions of power, equity, and justice that underpin emerging technologies, and directed at bringing about actionable change. It supersedes the two waves that came before it: the first wave, defined by principles and dominated by philosophers, and the second wave, led by computer scientists and geared towards technical fixes. Third-wave ethical AI has seen a Dutch Court shut down an algorithmic fraud detection system, students in the UK take to the streets to protest against algorithmically-decided exam results, and US companies voluntarily restrict their sales of facial recognition technology. It is taking us beyond the principled and the technical, to practical mechanisms for rectifying power imbalances and achieving individual and societal justice.

Continue reading “The term ‘ethical AI’ is finally starting to mean something” »

Aug 23, 2020

Miners on Decentralised Storage Network Compete For 4 Million Token Prize

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, space

Filecoin, a blockchain-based decentralized storage project, is officially launching its testnet- Space Race to test out the network before the mainnet launch.

As promised, Filecoin will start its testnet launching competition. It encourages global miners for the next three weeks to be competing for up to four million Filecoin in prizes to onboard as much storage space to the network as possible, says the report. The contest begins on August 24 at 10 pm UTC.

The top 100 miners globally, and the top 50 miners from each continent, will use the earned Filecoin rewards to jump-start their mainnet mining efforts based on how much storage they and the network achieve during the competition. People can also track their progress on the testnet main website.

Continue reading “Miners on Decentralised Storage Network Compete For 4 Million Token Prize” »

Aug 23, 2020

This NASA Animation Shows What It’s Really Like to Travel Close to The Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

If you’re a fan of science fiction, chances are you encountered a few franchises where humanity has spread throughout the known Universe. The ships that allow them to do this, maybe they use a warp drive, maybe they “fold space,” maybe have a faster-than-light (FTL) or “jump” drive.

It’s a cool idea, the thought of “going interstellar!” Unfortunately, the immutable laws of physics tell us that this is simply not possible.

Continue reading “This NASA Animation Shows What It’s Really Like to Travel Close to The Speed of Light” »

Aug 23, 2020

GPT-3, Bloviator: OpenAI’s language generator has no idea what it’s talking about

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Since OpenAI first described its new AI language-generating system called GPT-3 in May, hundreds of media outlets (including MIT Technology Review) have written about the system and its capabilities. Twitter has been abuzz about its power and potential. The New York Times published an op-ed about it. Later this year, OpenAI will begin charging companies for access to GPT-3, hoping that its system can soon power a wide variety of AI products and services.

Is GPT-3 an important step toward artificial general intelligence—the kind that would allow a machine to reason broadly in a manner similar to humans without having to train for every specific task it encounters? OpenAI’s technical paper is fairly reserved on this larger question, but to many, the sheer fluency of the system feels as though it might be a significant advance.

We doubt it. At first glance, GPT-3 seems to have an impressive ability to produce human-like text. And we don’t doubt that it can used to produce entertaining surrealist fiction; other commercial applications may emerge as well. But accuracy is not its strong point. If you dig deeper, you discover that something’s amiss: although its output is grammatical, and even impressively idiomatic, its comprehension of the world is often seriously off, which means you can never really trust what it says.