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Dec 16, 2015

This transforming pool disappears before your eyes and turns into a deck

Posted by in category: engineering

Imagine having a sunny dry deck that descends to become a relaxing in-ground pool at the push of a button. The engineers at Agor Creative Engineering specialize in just such an experience. The movable pool floor can submerge below water, or rise above it to become a sturdy deck. By covering the pool when not in use, it improves pool safety, protecting children and pets from falling in.

Produced by Rob Ludacer

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Dec 16, 2015

Experience Changes Biology

Posted by in category: biological

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Dec 16, 2015

Samsung Reveals Details On Their Live Streaming Virtual Reality Camera

Posted by in categories: electronics, virtual reality

Over the past one year, you must have realized big brands have been creating virtual reality headsets, 360-degree content or building a VR camera.

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Dec 16, 2015

ASCB Celldance 2015 premieres three videos featuring live cell imaging

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

ASCB’s Celldance Studios released Monday (Dec. 14) three new short videos made by cell scientists, featuring dramatic live cell imaging.

The videos, which take advantage of accelerating advances in super-resolution imaging, fluorescent tagging, and Big Data manipulation, where made in the labs of Douglas Robinson at John Hopkins University, John Condeelis at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Satyajit Mayor at the National Centre for the Biological Sciences (NCBS) in India.

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Dec 15, 2015

The world’s largest smartphone battery lasts up to 15 days on a single charge

Posted by in category: mobile phones

There’s lots of interesting research – involving things like mushrooms, aluminium, and hydrogen – looking to find the next generation of energy technology that will replace our current lithium-ion batteries, but what if you don’t want to wait for the future to arrive?

Well, how about we just insert a mega-big-ass battery into your next phone and see how that goes? That’s the exact thinking behind the new K10000 smartphone from Chinese tech company Oukitel. This model crams in a gigantic 10,000 mAh (milliampere-hour) battery that’s billed to last between 10 and 15 days in regular use.

Compared to the ho-hum daily/nightly charge routine most of us are used to with our current phones, the K10000’s sensational longevity gives it quite the unique selling point.

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Dec 15, 2015

Universal basic income could arrive in Europe faster than you think

Posted by in category: economics

Several European countries are moving to adopt universal basic income schemes in the next few years. If any of them come to fruition we could finally get an answer to one of the most exciting questions in economics: whether basic income is the best way to end poverty and the welfare state:

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Dec 15, 2015

Singaporean Professor Develops Energy-saving Algorithm

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, engineering, information science, physics

A researcher at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has developed a new technology that provides real-time detection, analysis, and optimization data that could potentially save a company 10 percent on its energy bill and lessen its carbon footprint. The technology is an algorithm that primarily relies on data from ubiquitous devices to better analyze energy use. The software uses data from computers, servers, air conditioners, and industrial machinery to monitor temperature, data traffic and the computer processing workload. Data from these already-present appliances are then combined with the information from externally placed sensors that primarily monitor ambient temperature to analyze energy consumption and then provide a more efficient way to save energy and cost.

The energy-saving computer algorithm was developed by NTU’s Wen Yonggang, an assistant professor at the School of Computer Engineering’s Division of Networks & Distributed Systems. Wen specializes in machine-to-machine communication and computer networking, including looking at social media networks, cloud-computing platforms, and big data systems.

Most data centers consume huge amount of electrical power, leading to high levels of energy waste, according to Wen’s website. Part of his research involves finding ways to reduce energy waste and stabilize power systems by scaling energy levels temporally and spatially.

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Dec 15, 2015

Year in review: Pluto unveiled as a world like no other — By Christopher Crockett | ScienceNews

Posted by in categories: space, space travel, water


“The alien landscapes of Pluto and its moons dazzled scientists and nonscientists alike this year. More than eight decades after its discovery, Pluto became much more than a nondescript point of light. It’s a dynamic, complex world unlike any other orbiting the sun.”

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Dec 15, 2015

US Rushing to Keep Up With Russian, Chinese Killer Robots

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

Hollywood has long warned about the dangers of artificially intelligent robots. Now the Pentagon is thinking about future autonomous armies, and the possibility that it’s falling behind Russia and China in the race for weaponized artificial intelligence (AI).

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Dec 15, 2015

When Will We Look Robots in the Eye?

Posted by in categories: ethics, human trajectories, robotics/AI

In the various incarnations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a sentient robot named Marvin the Paranoid Android serves on the starship Heart of Gold. Because he is never assigned tasks that challenge his massive intellect, Marvin is horribly depressed, always quite bored, and a burden to the humans and aliens around him. But he does write nice lullabies.

While Marvin is a fictional robot, Scholar and Author David Gunkel predicts that sentient robots will soon be a fact of life and that mankind needs to start thinking about how we’ll treat such machines, at present and in the future.

For Gunkel, the question is about moral standing and how we decide if something does or does not have moral standing. As an example, Gunkel notes our children have moral standing, while a rock or our smartphone may not have moral consideration. From there, he said, the question becomes, where and how do we draw the line to decide who is inside and who is outside the moral community?

“Traditionally, the qualities for moral standing are things like rationality, sentience (and) the ability to use languages. Every entity that has these properties generally falls into the community of moral subjects,” Gunkel said. “The problem, over time, is that these properties have changed. They have not been consistent.”

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