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May 17, 2018

How 3D Printing Is Unlocking A New Space Race

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, government, satellites

A new space race is in the works, thanks to 3D printing. This time around, it’s not about large government agencies vying to blast human astronauts into uncharted territory. Instead, today’s competitors are aerospace startups like Rocket Lab and Relativity Space that are trying to launch satellites into orbit.

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May 17, 2018

Achieving scalability in quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

While a variety of quantum systems exist today, many are unable to scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. Explaining the real-world obstacles of building a quantum system that scales, this post explores how Microsoft addresses these challenges through a topological qubit.

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May 17, 2018

The right to die and the right to live

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

Somewhat paradoxically, euthanasia and life extension share a common goal—ending pointless suffering.

On May 10 this year, Australian ecologist David Goodall took his own life before aging could. The scientist, aged 104, reportedly said he “regretted” having reached that age, because the quality of his life had significantly deteriorated as a consequence of his declining health. Unhappy with his condition, though not suffering from any terminal disease—except for aging itself—Goodall opted to end his life through assisted suicide. As the practice is currently not allowed in Australia, he flew with friends and family all the way to a clinic in Switzerland, where he flipped a switch and administered his own lethal injection while listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Interestingly, the cost of his trip to Switzerland was covered with money collected through a crowdfunding campaign.

A matter of rights

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May 17, 2018

Selfish Ledger: Google’s mass sociology experiment

Posted by in categories: big data, complex systems, DNA, ethics, evolution, genetics, information science, internet, surveillance

Check out the internal Google film, “The Selfish Ledger”. This probably wasn’t meant to slip onto a public web server, and so I have embedded a backup copy below. Ping me if it disappears. I will locate a permanent URL.

This 8½ minute video is a lot deeper—and possibly more insipid—than it appears. Nick Foster may be the Anti-Christ, or perhaps the most brilliant sociologist of modern times. It depends on your vantage point, and your belief in the potential of user controls and cat-in-bag containment.

He talks of a species propelling itself toward “desirable goals” by cataloging, data mining, and analyzing the past behavior of peers and ancestors—and then using that data to improve the experience of each user’s future and perhaps even their future generations. But, is he referring to shared goals across cultures, sexes and incomes? Who controls the algorithms and the goal filters?! Is Google the judge, arbiter and God?

Continue reading “Selfish Ledger: Google’s mass sociology experiment” »

May 17, 2018

New Drug Blocks Cancer Metastasis

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Kansas, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) have discovered a compound that can block the spread of cancer cells.

Preventing cancer metastasis

Metastasis is how cancer spreads from an initial site to a secondary site within the host’s body; the newly pathological sites, then, are metastases. Metastasis is what makes some cancers so lethal and hard to treat unless they are caught before they spread.

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May 17, 2018

What happens to small towns whose water becomes big business for bottled brands?

Posted by in categories: business, food, law

Groundwater being pumped from a highland aquifer, only to be whisked away in tankers and sold in little plastic bottles by a multinational corporation – it’s a difficult concept for a small farming town to swallow.

Just ask the residents of Stanley, Victoria, whose four-year court battle to stop a farmer bottling local groundwater for Japanese beverage giant Asahi ended in failure last month. They were left with a A$90,000 bill for legal costs.

Locals have clashed with the bottled water industry in many parts of the world, including the United States and Canada, and perhaps most famously in the French spa town of Vittel, where residents have accused Nestlé of selling so much of their water to the rest of the world that they barely have enough left for themselves.

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May 17, 2018

Lunar Palace 1: China’s One-Year Mock Moon Mission in Pictures

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

China and India are going to build a Lunar base/colony (I’ve heard) and the Japanese (I’ve heard) want to clad the moon in solar cells and microwave the power to Earth. To different places round the globe depending on the time.

In May 2018, China wrapped up a yearlong mission inside “Lunar Palace 1,” a Beijing facility designed to help the nation prepare to but boots on the moon. See images of the experiment here. (Read our full story here.) Here: Four volunteers take the oath in front of Lunar Palace 1, a facility for conducting bio-regenerative life-support systems experiments key to setting up a lunar base, at the Beijing University for Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) on May 10, 2017. A ceremony was held in the BUAA that day as eight volunteers in two groups started a 365-day experiment in Lunar Palace 1.

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May 17, 2018

What Is Spacetime?

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists believe that at the tiniest scales, space emerges from quanta. What might these building blocks look like?

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May 17, 2018

China launches first rocket designed by a private company

Posted by in category: futurism

BEIJING (Reuters) — China launched its first privately developed rocket from a launchpad in northwestern China on Thursday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s ambitious space exploration program.

“Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket, developed by Chinese private firm OneSpace Technology, takes off from a launchpad in an undisclosed location in northwestern China May 17, 2018. Wan Nan/Chongqing Ribao via REUTERS.

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May 17, 2018

Warning and Aviation Code Red Alert Issued For Hawaii

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Red is the highest level of alert to aviation, meaning that either an eruption is forecast to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely — as is the case currently in Hawaii — or an eruption is underway with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere. Either way, this could mean disruptions are possible in aviation around the big island of Hawaii for the foreseeable future, depending on what happens.

Ash clouds from volcanoes can clog the engines of airplanes and cause them to malfunction — or stop working altogether. According to this article from the World Organization of Volcano Observatories:

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