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Dec 5, 2013

The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting

Posted by in categories: education, health

The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham and Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford

Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Another one we could add to this list is that on any given news website and in almost all print media there will be articles about health and nutrition that are complete garbage.

Some articles that run under the health and nutrition “news” heading are thought provoking, well researched and unbiased, but unfortunately not all. And to help you traverse this maze – alongside an excellent article about 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims – we will look at seven clichés of improper or misguided reporting.

If you spot any of these clichés in an article, we humbly suggest that you switch to reading LOLCats, which will be more entertaining and maybe more informative too.

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Dec 5, 2013

Driving Home Drunk Will Never Be the Same Again

Posted by in categories: futurism, information science, robotics/AI, transportation

Thousands of people die every year due to drunk driving. It’s a statistic that’s both appalling and frightening. We all like to party, but then when the party’s over, many still refuse to recognize the danger they not only put themselves in, but others as well when they choose to drive while mentally impaired. Thankfully a lot of potential situations are averted every year as well due to taxi services, or even friends willing to drive them home.

Today, however, we live in a very sensor-oriented society. Our phones have sensors. Our homes have sensors. Our tablets have sensors. Our cars have sensors. Take Tesla Motors as an example. They have sensors by their doors which detects whether or not the right driver is approaching the vehicle. If it detects its correct driver, then it’ll extrude the door handle out, ready to be open. If you’re not the correct driver, however, like someone trying to hijack the vehicle, then the door handle will not pop out for you. Sorry.

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Dec 5, 2013

Kentucky police chief to be paid in Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics
December 4, 2013

Vicco, Ky., is about as small town as it gets, with a population that hovers around 330 people. That does not appear to have kept its residents, namely Police Chief Tony Vaughn, in the dark when it comes to Internet trends and emerging crypto-currencies.

The city commission on Monday approved a measure that would allow Vaughn to receive his salary entirely in Bitcoin, an alleged first in the US and yet another story bolstering the reputation of the unregulated virtual currency as a payment method that will one day, supporters hope, stabilize and become commonplace.

Vaughn’s pay, still set in US dollars, will receive standard federal and state deductions, the Hazard Herald reports, before being converted into Bitcoin based on current trading values at the time of pay and deposited into an account held by Vicco. The Bitcoins will then be transferred to Vaughn’s personal account. The city expects to be able to pay Vaughn this way as early as this month.

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Dec 5, 2013

Could Apple’s next products have Minority Report-like control?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, business, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts

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Dec 4, 2013

How 3D Printers Are Cranking Out Eyes, Bones, and Blood Vessels

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical, health

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on Gizmodo

How 3D Printers Are Cranking Out Eyes, Bones, and Blood Vessels

At the dawn of rapid prototyping, a common predication was that 3D printing would transform manufacturing, spurring a consumer revolution that would put a printer in every home. That hasn’t quite happened—-and like so many emerging technologies, rapid prototyping has found its foothold in a surprisingly different field: Medicine.

The following studies and projects represent some of the most fascinating examples of “bioprinting,” or using a computer-controlled machine to assemble biological matter using organic inks and super-tough thermoplastics. They range from reconstructing major sections of skull to printing scaffolding upon which stem cells can grow into new bones. More below—and look out for more 3D printing week content over the next few days.

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Dec 4, 2013

Google’s humanoid robots take on Amazon’s courier drones

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, robotics/AI

Android developer Andy Rubin leads new robotics division that aims to complete online shopping with home delivery by droids
, telecoms correspondent
The Guardian,

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Dec 4, 2013

Congress members push privacy bills in response to Amazon delivery drones

Posted by in categories: drones, ethics, government, law, policy, privacy

Will drones give you better shopping recommendations by watching your house?

By Adi Robertson on

http://cdn3.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/9510337/prime-air_high-resolution02_large_verge_medium_landscape.jpg

Since Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s hypothetical delivery-by-octocopter service earlier this week, its drones have become a point of focus for existing debates over privacy, regulation, and “disruptive” technology. The plan has given a sense of urgency to questions about widespread governmental and commercial drone use, and a new hook for members of Congress trying to answer those questions through legislation. Yesterday, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) became the second member of Congress to raise the specter of Amazon Prime Air to support an anti-surveillance bill, giving a sometimes colorful account of how the drones could change our future.

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Dec 4, 2013

Virgin’s space passengers can pay with Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, fun, space, transportation

richard branson virgin galactic

Good news, future space travelers: Now you can enter the void without bringing your wallet.

U.K. business magnate Richard Branson announced Friday that his commercial space travel venture, Virgin Galactic, will allow customers to pay for their flights with the digital currency Bitcoin.

“Virgin Galactic is a company looking into the future, so is Bitcoin. So it makes sense we would offer Bitcoin as a way to pay for your journey to space.” Branson wrote in a blog post.

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Dec 2, 2013

Predictive Analytics is the Next Growing Sector in Big Data Market

Posted by in categories: big data, complex systems

By On November 30, 2013

The theme of Big Data has spawned a tremendous amount of attention and investor interest in recent years. While much of the big data hype has focused on the storage, structured and unstructured processing technologies, London based investment bank GP Bullhound predicted that some of the most exciting developments are in the fields of Predictive Analytics and Advanced Visualization.

The “Exabyte Research Report” of the international tech investment bank GP Bullhound shows why the investment activities currently skyrocket. Based on over 30 interviews with technology providers, investors and customers, the study shed light on developments in the Big Data market. As per report, big data has already furnished $1.4 billion worth of investment over the last 12 months and has been able to achieve revenue of more than 200 per cent last year.

A large chunk of progress is coming from processing information and using analytics. The report said over 17 percent of information processing individuals eventually use big data analytics and the number is expected to progress to over one third of information workers by 2016.

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Dec 2, 2013

The first person in the world to become a government-recognized cyborg

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, posthumanism, transhumanism

The first person in the world to become a government-recognized cyborg

Annalee Newitz on io9

Neil Harbisson is the first person on the planet to have a passport photo that shows his cyborg nature — in his UK passport, he’s wearing a head-mounted device called an eyeborg. The color-blind artist says the eyeborg allows him to see color, and he wants to help other cyborgs like himself gain more rights.

Anyone who has ever gotten a passport photo knows Harbisson has accomplished something that once seemed bureaucratically impossible. Other people with cyborg headgear, like Steve Mann, have had their gear forcibly removed and been refused entrance into buildings for wearing devices on their heads. But with a passport photo that shows the eyeborg as part of Harbisson’s face, somebody trying to rip his augmentation off would be committing a violent crime equivalent to injuring his face.

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