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Jul 16, 2016

Marschitect Vera Mulyani Dreams of Cities on Mars

Posted by in category: space

SPACE editor, Heather D’Angelo, spoke with Marschitect Vera Mulyani about her dreams to build Mars’ first ever self-sustaining cities.

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Jul 16, 2016

DARPA Invests $7.5 Million for Implantable Biosensor that are 3 millimeters long and 500 microns in diameter

Posted by in categories: chemistry, health, internet, military

Profusa (South San Francisco, CA) has won a $7.5 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office for further development of its tissue integrated biosensor technology, the company said Tuesday.

The U.S. military sees value in the technology improving mission efficiency through real-time monitoring of combat soldier health status.

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Jul 16, 2016

Deep Learning Algorithm Automatically Colorizes Photos

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

This is one of those sites you’re going to want to try yourself. Take any black and white image, feed it to the algorithm, and watch as it spits out its best guess at a color version, which is often quite convincing.

Using a deep learning algorithm developed by Richard Zhang, Phillip Isola, and Alexei Efros of UC Berkeley, the process was trained on one million images. Though it currently fools humans only 20% of the time, that’s still a significantly higher rate than previous iterations and represents an exciting step forward, and further training should only increase that rate. Imagine a time when Photoshop can colorize a photo in one step, leaving the end-user to just tweak a few hues here and there. Such a capability would be huge for restoring old family photos and the like.

I played with it a bit today, and the results were rather interesting. It struggles a bit with skin tones, which may be due to dataset bias (meaning the team may have trained it more with landscape-style images), but often the results are fairly good and definitely close enough that they could be tweaked to believability without a lot of effort.

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Jul 16, 2016

China Might Float Nuclear Reactors in Disputed Waters

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

China aims to launch a series of offshore nuclear power platforms to promote development in the South China Sea, state media said again on Friday, days after an international court ruled Beijing had no historic claims to most of the waters.

Sovereignty over the South China Sea is contested by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and any move to build nuclear reactors is bound to stoke further tension in the region.

The China Securities Journal said 20 offshore nuclear platforms could eventually be built in the region as the country seeks to “speed up the commercial development” of the South China Sea.

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Jul 16, 2016

Gravity doesn’t care about quantum spin

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

Physics, as you may have read before, is based around two wildly successful theories. On the grand scale, galaxies, planets, and all the other big stuff dance to the tune of gravity. But, like your teenage daughter, all the little stuff stares in bewildered embarrassment at gravity’s dancing. Quantum mechanics is the only beat the little stuff is willing get down to. Unlike teenage rebellion, though, no one claims to understand what keeps relativity and quantum mechanics from getting along.

Because we refuse to believe that these two theories are separate, physicists are constantly trying to find a way to fit them together. Part-in-parcel with creating a unifying model is finding evidence of a connection between the gravity and quantum mechanics. For example, showing that the gravitational force experienced by a particle depended on the particle’s internal quantum state would be a great sign of a deeper connection between the two theories. The latest attempt to show this uses a new way to look for coupling between gravity and the quantum property called spin.

I’m free, free fallin’

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Jul 16, 2016

Optical Magnetic Field Sensor can Detect Ultra-Small Magnetic Fields

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Small magnetic fields from the human body can usually only be picked up by very sensitive superconducting magnetic field sensors that have to be cooled by liquid helium to near absolute zero (which is minus 273 degrees Celsius). But now researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have developed a much cheaper and more practical optical magnetic field sensor that even works at room temperature or at body temperature.

“The optical magnetic field sensor is based on a gas of caesium atoms in a small glass container. Each caesium atom is equivalent to a small bar magnet, which is affected by external magnetic fields. The atoms and thus the magnetic field are picked up using laser light. The method is based on quantum optics and atomic physics and can be used to measure extremely small magnetic fields,” explains Kasper Jensen, assistant professor in the Center for Quantum Optics, Quantop at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Ultra sensitive magnetic field sensor.

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Jul 16, 2016

Is invisibility cloak on its way to reality?

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Invisibility cloak has hidden Harry Potter and hobbits from view and now, this sci-fi staple may be moving closer to reality!

Scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have made an object disappear by using a composite material with nano-size particles that can enhance specific properties on the object’s surface.

Researchers demonstrated for the first time a practical cloaking device that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves.

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Jul 16, 2016

NSF leads federal effort to boost advanced wireless research

Posted by in category: education

NSF’s mission is to advance the progress of science, a mission accomplished by funding proposals for research and education made by scientists, engineers, and educators from across the country.

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Jul 16, 2016

GM Arrogance Spurred Government to Fund Auto Hacking

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, military

GM executives’ declaration that they didn’t care about automotive security triggered the Pentagon to fund the famous Jeep hack of 2013.

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Jul 16, 2016

This Tablet-Toting Military Vest Is Actually a Giant Battery

Posted by in categories: energy, military, mobile phones

Smartphones and tablets are being used more frequently in the battlefield, and that means that battery power is more important than ever. Soldiers often carry spare battery chargers in the 90-pound combat packs they carry into war zones, but the batteries are often lost or broken. BAE Systems wants to help lighten the load with its new system that lets soldiers plug electronics directly into their clothing.

The BAE Systems Broadsword Spine is a harness that can be sewn into a soldiers vest, jacket, or belt that carries a battery pack and hides charging wires. The harness places the battery pack on the small of a soldier’s back and includes eight conductive fabric conduits that can be used to connect to a USB port.

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