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Sep 20, 2019

Something Is Killing Galaxies in Extreme Regions of the Universe

Posted by in categories: energy, space

In the most extreme regions of the universe, galaxies are being killed. Their star formation is being shut down and astronomers want to know why.

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world’s leading telescopes is hoping to do just that. The new program, called the Virgo Environment Traced in Carbon Monoxide survey (VERTICO), is investigating, in brilliant detail, how galaxies are killed by their environment.

As VERTICO’s principal investigator, I lead a team of 30 experts that are using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to map the molecular hydrogen gas, the fuel from which new stars are made, at high resolution across 51 galaxies in our nearest galaxy cluster, called the Virgo Cluster.

Sep 20, 2019

HPE to acquire supercomputer manufacturer Cray for $1.3 billion

Posted by in category: supercomputing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has reached an agreement to acquire Cray, the manufacturer of supercomputing systems.

HPE says the acquisition will cost $35 per share, in a transaction valued at approximately $1.3 billion, net of cash.

Antonio Neri, president and CEO, HPE, says: Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data.

Sep 20, 2019

MIT Future of Work Report: We Shouldn’t Worry About Quantity of Jobs, But Quality

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Robots aren’t going to take everyone’s jobs, but technology has already reshaped the world of work in ways that are creating clear winners and losers. And it will continue to do so without intervention, says the first report of MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future.

Widespread press reports of a looming “employment apocalypse” brought on by AI and automation are probably wide of the mark, according to the authors. Shrinking workforces as developed countries age and outstanding limitations in what machines can do mean we’re unlikely to have a shortage of jobs.

But while unemployment is historically low, recent decades have seen a polarization of the workforce as the number of both high- and low-skilled jobs have grown at the expense of the middle-skilled ones, driving growing income inequality and depriving the non-college-educated of viable careers.

Continue reading “MIT Future of Work Report: We Shouldn’t Worry About Quantity of Jobs, But Quality” »

Sep 20, 2019

Navigating Water Shortages with Decentralized Water Control System and Irrigation

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, food, information science

Rural communities are often built on agriculture and livestock. That means they’re also dependent upon a strong irrigation system – a potential weakness as the global water crisis grows. To more efficiently manage and coordinate the use of a scarce water supply in agricultural communities, a team from the Polytechnic University of Madrid proposed a blockchain-based automatic water control system.

“We investigated how blockchain technologies can be used to solve the problem of user competition for scarce resources in communities,” said Borja Bordel, the project’s lead investigator. “We particularize the problem to the irrigation communities, where independent users must trust a system that automates a fair and trustworthy distribution of the available water resources, according to an individual quota set by the community and the consumption forecasts of its users.”

Rules are paramount for the proposed system and must be established upfront by the community of users. In a prosumer environment, users establish regulations for their individual and community water quotas. Those regulations are then taken by a transformation engine and are built, compiled, and deployed. A simple infrastructure of common valves and pumps are complemented by interactive electronic devices and allow a SmartContract to oversee decision-making and control algorithms, as well as the state of the water sources.

Sep 20, 2019

Houston Mechatronics unveils underwater transforming robot ‘Aquanaut’

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Houston Mechatronics (HMI) unveiled Aquanaut at the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, one year after the announcement of the platform concept.

Aquanaut is a revolutionary multi-mode transforming all-electric undersea vehicle. The vehicle is capable of efficient long-distance transit and data collection in ‘AUV’ (autonomous underwater vehicle) mode.

After transforming into ‘ROV’ (remotely operated vehicle) mode the head of the vehicle pitches up, the hull separates, and two arms are activated so that Aquanaut may manipulate its environment.

Sep 20, 2019

These AI-generated people are coming to kill stock photography

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

None of these people are real—but their images are free to download and use in any way you choose.


Sep 20, 2019

AI learns to defy the laws of physics to win at hide-and-seek

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

Bots built by artificial intelligence lab OpenAI worked together to find solutions to problems that humans hadn’t thought of.

Sep 20, 2019

Researchers build a quantum dot energy harvester

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Over the past few years, thermoelectric generators have become the focus of a growing number of studies, due to their ability to convert waste heat into electrical energy. Quantum dots, semiconductor crystals with distinctive conductive properties, could be good candidates for thermoelectric generation, as their discrete resonant levels provide excellent energy filters.

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with colleagues in Madrid, Rochester, Duisburg and Sheffield, have experimentally demonstrated the potential of an autonomous nanoscale harvester based on resonant tunneling quantum dots. This harvester is based on previous research carried out by part of their team, who had proposed a three-terminal energy harvester based on two resonant-tunneling quantum dots with different energy levels.

The energy harvester device was realized at Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge by a researcher called Gulzat Jaliel. The original theoretical proposal for the device, however, was introduced by Andrew Jordan in 2013, and the theoretical work behind the harvester was carried out by him in collaboration with renowned semiconductor physicist Markus Büttiker and a team of post-doctoral students in Geneva.

Sep 20, 2019

Bill Gates warned that a devastating ‘quirk of nature’ could kill 30 million people in less than a year. Experts say we’re still not doing enough to prepare

Posted by in category: futurism

An outbreak could easily spread around the globe in 36 hours, sickening millions and costing $3 trillion. Epidemiologists say we’re not prepared.

Sep 20, 2019

World unprepared for global pandemic that could wipe out 80 million people, WHO report says

Posted by in category: futurism

The world is unprepared for a global pandemic that could wipe out 80 million people in less than 36 hours along with 5% of the global GDP, a new report from the WHO says.