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Sep 26, 2016

A sickeningly bad idea indeed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension

A strong rebuttle to the sick article in the Telegraph which attempts to discredit Zuckerberg and Chan and their commitment to curing diseases.

Science and progress hardly ever stop just because a few cuckoos think we’re going too far. That’s what I tell myself most of the times when I bump into depressingly ill-informed articles about ageing and the diseases of old age. I tell myself that the best thing to do is to just let such articles disappear into oblivion and not give them any extra visibility. However, if instead of a few cuckoos we’re faced with an army of cuckoos, then we’re in for troubles.

At the time of this writing, people who are in favour of or oppose rejuvenation aren’t many, and neither are those who know about it but don’t care. Quite likely, most people in the world haven’t even heard about it yet. What I fear is that, when the advent of rejuvenation biotechnologies will be close, people who oppose rejuvenation will do their best to persuade undecided ones that disease is better than health, and ultimately, provoke an us-vs-them conflict that could jeopardise the cause of rejuvenation. The best way to avoid that conflict is to convince as many people as possible to support rejuvenation biotechnologies before they even arrive, so that when they do, those who oppose them will only be a few cuckoos indeed and not an army. Exposing the intellectual misery of deathist arguments is indubitably a good way of reaching this goal; that’s why I chose to respond to this spectacularly stupid article, instead of just ignoring it.

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Sep 26, 2016

Michelle Simmons: a quantum queen

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Quantum Goddess

Can the University of New South Wales researcher propel Australia first over the finish line in the race to build a reliable quantum computer? Elizabeth Finkel reports.

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Sep 26, 2016

Quantum study sparks questions about why time runs forward and not backward

Posted by in categories: futurism, quantum physics

Why do we remember the past, but not the future? It seems like a silly question, but for some scientists, it’s a deep mystery wrapped up in physics and perception.

The mystery takes another twist in a study appearing in the same journal that published Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity more than a century ago.

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Sep 26, 2016

Quantum Internet Edges Closer As Researchers Teleport Photon State Six Kilometers Away

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

Researchers from the University of Calgary demonstrated that photons’ states could be teleported at a record 6 kilometer distance over “dark fiber.” The team hopes this research could help them establish the fundamentals for a “global quantum internet.”

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Sep 26, 2016

Uber researches vertical-takeoff planes for short-haul city rides

Posted by in categories: drones, futurism

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s your Uber ride arriving to take you to work.

Uber is researching how to offer customers short-haul flights on vertical-takeoff aircraft in future, the ride-hailing company’s Product Head Jeff Holden told a a Recode reporter on stage at the Nantucket Conference on Sunday.

Holden said the company is looking into drone-like aircraft, “so we can someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around.”

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Sep 25, 2016

Pushing Database Scalability Up And Out With GPUs

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

What is good for the simulation and the machine learning is, as it turns out, also good for the database. The performance and thermal limits of traditional CPUs have made GPUs the go-to accelerator for these workloads at extreme scale, and now databases, which are thread monsters in their own right, are also turning to GPUs to get a performance and scale boost.

Commercializing GPU databases takes time, and Kinetica, formerly known as GPUdb, is making a bit of a splash ahead of the Strata+Hadoop World conference next week as it brags about the performance and scale of the parallel database management system that it initially created for the US Army and has commercialized with the US Postal Service.

Kinetica joins MapD, which we profiled recently, and Sqream Technologies, which you can find out more about here, in using GPUs to execute the parallel functions of SQL queries to massively speed up the processing of queries against databases. Each of these GPU databases has come into being through a unique path, just like the pillars of the relational database world – Oracle’s eponymous database, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server (and its Sybase forbear), MySQL, and PostgreSQL – did decades ago. And as these GPU databases mature and develop, the race will be on to scale them up and out to handle ever larger datasets and perform queries faster and faster at the same time.

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Sep 25, 2016

This Plane Will Get You From New York To London In Just 11 Minutes

Posted by in category: transportation

Before you get too excited, it’s still only a concept.

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Sep 25, 2016

The first pop song ever written by artificial intelligence is pretty good, actually

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The song, “Daddy’s Car,” sounds like The Beatles and is eminently hummable.

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Sep 25, 2016

Marshall McLuhan full lecture: The medium is the message — 1977

Posted by in categories: media & arts, theory

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Sep 25, 2016

Our Simulated Universe Is Just One Piece of a Matryoshka Doll of Annihilation

Posted by in category: computing

Perhaps a posthuman civilization running simulations self-destructs, or a lab assistant accidentally spills coffee on computer hardware. Simulations can collapse.

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