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Mar 3, 2017

America Needs a Space Corps

Posted by in categories: government, security, space

American space power stagnated under U.S. Air Force stewardship a long time ago. [1] Congress observed this situation nearly 25 years ago, as the epigraphs above indicate. However, nothing substantive was done to fix the problem.

This article recommends the creation of a U.S. Space Corps in the Department of the Air Force as an initial step to set American space power on a path to reach its full potential.

Ultimately, America’s national security interests in space will best be served when Congress creates an independent Space Corps, just as it created independent services for land, sea and air, uniting them under the Department of Defense.

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Mar 3, 2017

Our free interstellar magazine “Principium” N°16 is out now!

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI, space

The cover features an AI interstellar probe, beautifully illustrated by concept artist Efflam Mercier. Here is the download link:

This issue covers the following topics:

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Mar 3, 2017

An exclusive look at Jeff Bezos’s plan to set up Amazon-like delivery for ‘future human settlement’ of the moon

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

In a paper prepared for NASA, Bezos says his Blue Origin space company could land a delivery vehicle on the moon by 2020.

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Mar 3, 2017

Richard Branson starting a new venture dedicated to launching small satellites into space

Posted by in category: satellites

Once focused primarily on flying tourists into space, Virgin senses an opportunity as the size and cost of satellites have been greatly reduced.

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Mar 2, 2017

A cartoon of the Immortality Bus and some reader responses to The New York Times Magazine story on my work in mid-Feb came out last weekend on the NYT site and in print

Posted by in categories: life extension, transhumanism

The responses are quite deathist and not favorable, but such is pushing #transhumanism and anti-aging science forward:

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Mar 2, 2017

Scientists Have Grown the World’s First Artificial Embryo, and It’s Nuts

Posted by in category: bioengineering

Em uma primeira experiência mundial, os cientistas conseguiram desenvolver um embrião artificial funcional, a partir do zero, usando dois tipos de células-tronco para construir a vida em uma placa de Petri.

As células-tronco foram cultivadas fora do corpo em uma bolha de gel, e foram capazes de se transformar em vários estágio inicial órgãos internos — assim como em um embrião regular. Os pesquisadores agora estão esperando a técnica vai resolver alguns grandes mistérios sobre os primórdios da vida.

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Mar 2, 2017

Robots could soon be covered in real human flesh, Oxford boffins claim

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

SCIENTISTS are calling for robots to be made with real human flesh.

But it’s all in aid of helping those in need of tendon replacements, like musicians or athletes.

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Mar 2, 2017

Denmark runs entirely on wind energy for a day

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Denmark’s wind turbines produced enough electricity to power the entire country last month.

The Scandinavian nation generated 97 gigawatt-hours (GWh) on 22 February, thanks to particularly windy weather, which is enough to power 10 million average EU households for the day.

Wind Europe spokesman Oliver Joy said the “impressive” feat was another boon for wind energy.

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Mar 2, 2017

Robots won’t just take our jobs – they’ll make the rich even richer

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

These dystopias may sound like science fiction, but they’re perfectly plausible given our current trajectory. The technology around robotics and artificial intelligence will continue to improve – but without substantive political change, the outcome will range from bad to apocalyptic for most people. That’s why the recent rumblings about a robot tax are worth taking seriously. They offer an opportunity to develop the political response to mass automation now, before it’s too late.

When I asked the prominent leftwing thinker Matt Bruenig for his thoughts, he explained that whatever we do, we shouldn’t try to discourage automation. “The problem with robots is not the manufacturing and application of them – that’s actually good for productivity,” he told me. “The problem is that they are owned by the wealthy, which means that the income that flows to the robots go out to a small slice of wealthy people.”

Job-killing robots are good, in other words, so long as the prosperity they produce is widely distributed. An Oxfam report released earlier this year revealed that the eight richest men in the world own as much wealth as half the human race. Imagine what those numbers will look like if automation accelerates. At some point, a handful of billionaires could control close to one hundred percent of society’s wealth. Then, perhaps, the idea that wealth should be owned by the many, rather than monopolized by the few, won’t seem so radical, and we can undertake a bit of sorely needed redistribution – before robot capitalism kills us all.

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Mar 2, 2017

Indoor security robot reads badges, flags open doors and more

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, security

(Tech Xplore)—Can you picture indoor security robots strolling around your workplace tomorrow? You might balk at the idea of militaristic rolling machines making people feel uncomfortable as they hunt for thieves and blunderers. Well Cobalt Robotics has come up with a different kind of indoor security robot.

The robots made news this week when IEEE Spectrum posted a video on Wednesday to show what they look like and what they do.

These are mobile robots designed to work alongside human guards. “Cobalt’s robots gather data using sensors like cameras and lidar, and process the information using machine-learning algorithms to detect and flag anomalies,” said IEEE Spectrum.

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