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Apr 7, 2018

The Making of ‘Pillars of Creation,’ One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe

Posted by in category: space

Pretty Scientific is a new Gizmodo series where we explore how the best images in science were created and why.

Three pillars of gas and dust sit among stars like towers of billowing smoke. It would take several years for light to cross from the top to the bottom of these dusty columns. This striking image from the Hubble Space Telescope remains, to this day, one of the most well-known astronomical images ever taken.

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Apr 7, 2018

How AI and Machine Learning Are Redefining Cybersecurity

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones, nuclear energy, robotics/AI, transportation

We are now a connected global community where many digital natives cannot remember a time before the iPhone. The rise of smart homes means that we are increasingly attaching our lighting, door locks, cameras, thermostats, and even toasters to our home networks. Managing our home automation through mobile apps or our voice illustrates how far we have evolved over the last few years.

However, in our quest for the cool and convenient, many have not stopped to consider their cybersecurity responsibilities. The device with the weakest security could allow hackers to exploit vulnerabilities on our network and access our home. But this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Businesses and even governments are starting to face up to the vulnerabilities of everything being online. Sophisticated and disruptive cyberattacks are continuing to increase in complexity and scale across multiple industries. Areas of our critical infrastructure such as energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing have vulnerabilities that make them a target for cybercriminals and even a state-sponsored attack.

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Apr 7, 2018

The Milky Way’s Center Is a Cornucopia of Black Holes

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers have detected evidence of a handful of the likely thousands of light-gobbling objects in the middle of the galaxy.

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Apr 7, 2018

Orion Span says it’ll put space hotel in orbit by 2022, but some details are up in the air

Posted by in categories: habitats, space

The plan to launch the module into space, and take reservations from customers for multimillion-dollar trips, was announced today at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, Calif.

Orion Span says its hotel habitat, dubbed Aurora Station, will be about the size of a large private jet’s cabin, with 5,650 cubic feet of pressurized space. It’ll accommodate up to six residents at a time, including two professional crew members.

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Apr 7, 2018

First in-flight firing of Virgin Galactic spaceplane engine

Posted by in category: space travel

Virgin Galactic’s tourist-carrying spaceplane has taken a step closer to entering service after its chemical rocket engine was fired for the first time in the skies over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. With test pilots Mark “Forger” Stucky and Dave Mackay at the controls, the 60-ft-long (18 m) SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity pegged the speedometer at Mach 1.87 (1,424 mph, 2,290 km/h) within 30 seconds of igniting its engine.

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Apr 7, 2018

Here’s How A Few People Knew The Strongest Earthquake In Years Was About To Hit LA

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Seconds before the strongest earthquake in years shook Southern California, hundreds of people received an alert on their cell phones, giving them crucial time to prepare.

BuzzFeed News Reporter

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Apr 7, 2018

Yosemite Valley to close to visitors as powerful storm moves in

Posted by in category: futurism

Yosemite Valley will close to the public Friday ahead of a powerful storm that could bring flooding to the area, officials said.

Visitors were asked to leave by 5 p.m. and all overnight reservations were canceled through Saturday night, according to Yosemite National Park officials who say the storm may cause “significant impacts.”

After the storm passes, authorities will assess road and facility conditions to determine when Yosemite Valley, home to many of the park’s picturesque waterfalls and cliffs, can reopen.

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Apr 7, 2018

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, law, military, robotics/AI

“Be very, very afraid. As this extraordinary book reveals, we are fast sailing into an era in which big life-and-death decisions in war will be made not by men…and women, but by artificial intelligence” — @stavridisj’s review of @paul_scharre upcoming book Pre-order yours now:


A Pentagon defense expert and former U.S. Army Ranger explores what it would mean to give machines authority over the ultimate decision of life or death.

What happens when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Or when a weapon that can hunt its own targets is hacked? Although it sounds like science fiction, the technology already exists to create weapons that can attack targets without human input. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in emerging weapons technologies, draws on deep research and firsthand experience to explore how these next-generation weapons are changing warfare.

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Apr 7, 2018

New Brain Maps With Unmatched Detail May Change Neuroscience

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

A technique based on genetic bar codes can easily map the connections of individual brain cells in unprecedented numbers. Unexpected complexity in the visual system is only the first secret it has revealed.

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Apr 7, 2018

XPrize breathes new life into failed moon landing competition

Posted by in category: space travel

The Google Lunar Xprize, a decade-long competition to put a privately funded spacecraft on the moon, may have come to an anticlimactic end but organizers aren’t conceding defeat just yet. They have today announced plans to re-launch the competition, though with no current sponsor to speak of teams could be competing for bragging rights only.

Launched in 2007, the Google Lunar XPrize tasked competing teams with getting a privately funded spacecraft to the Moon before having it travel 500 m (1,640 ft) and transmit HD video and images back to Earth. It offered up US$30 million in prizes, though these went unclaimed as organizers finally pulled the pin in January following several deadline extensions.

Google had funded the original Lunar XPrize but will be taking no part in the relaunched competition, which means that no cash is currently up for grabs. XPrize is now seeking a new title sponsor for the competition, who would get naming rights and be responsible for offering up prize money for the winners.

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