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Apr 12, 2018

Reaction Engines Secures £26.5M Investment From New Industrial And Financial Investors

Posted by in category: finance

New strategic investments from Boeing and Rolls-Royce, additional investment from BAE Systems

– Financial investments from Baillie Gifford Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management

12 April 2018 – Reaction Engines Limited (‘Reaction Engines’) today announced that it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance which will support its development of SABRE™ – a revolutionary new class of aerospace engine combining jet and rocket technologies.

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Apr 11, 2018

Either Planet X Will Kill Us All on April 23rd or the Rapture Can Happen Any Time, Take Your Pick

Posted by in category: existential risks

Maybe one of those times where you shouldn’t have consulted a numerologist?

Silly fringe theories about Planet X—an imagined planet typically named Nibiru that is on course to hit or pass by Earth with disastrous consequences—are the kind of thing normally relegated to vanity press-published books or those tabloids you browse in the supermarket checkout aisle. On Wednesday, they made it into Fox News, with the added caveat that maybe some other Biblical catastrophe could surprise us instead.

The Planet X theory first emerged in 1995 and is usually evidenced by tortured interpretations of religious texts, with vague suppositions that NASA either hasn’t detected this ominous celestial body or is actively covering up its existence to prevent widespread panic. In an article filed to Fox’s website on Wednesday, this time the prophesied doomsday comes courtesy of an article in British rag the Daily Express citing numerologist David Meade’s interpretation of the Bible’s Revelation 12:1–2:

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Apr 11, 2018

Environmental Group Plans Methane-Tracking Satellite

Posted by in category: satellites

Tracking methane in the air is hard because it rises and spreads from the source. Measurements taken on the ground and from planes vary all over the place.

Hamburg says the satellite, called MethaneSAT, is the best thing yet for quantifying and tracking the gas: “It will be able to see where it’s happening [and] how much, across the globe — not just the big sources, but all the sources collectively, and understand the scale of the problem. That’s the kind of data we don’t have anywhere in the world.”

The satellite will be about the size of a beer keg and is due for launch in three years. It’s funded with money raised from wealthy philanthropists.

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Apr 11, 2018

US approves artificial-intelligence device for diabetic eye problems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

US regulators Wednesday approved the first device that uses artificial intelligence to detect eye damage from diabetes, allowing regular doctors to diagnose the condition without interpreting any data or images.

The device, called IDx-DR, can diagnose a condition called diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of vision loss among the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes.

Its software uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze images of the eye, taken with a retinal camera called the Topcon NW400, the FDA said.

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Apr 11, 2018

Podcast: transhumanism — using technology to live forever

Posted by in categories: evolution, life extension, transhumanism

We talk to Mark O’Connell about transhumanism, the evolution of the human species and his Wellcome Book Prize-shortlisted book To Be A Machine.

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Apr 11, 2018

5G: What a superfast connection will mean

Posted by in category: internet

Jump to media player The connection will have speeds of between 10 and 100 times faster than 4G.

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Apr 11, 2018

Mars Express spacecraft gets in-orbit upgrade

Posted by in categories: life extension, robotics/AI, space

ESA’s Mars Express orbiter is getting a major software upgrade that will extend its service life for years to come. On Sunday, the space agency uploaded the update into the veteran deep space probe’s computers where it will remain stored in memory until a scheduled restart on April 16. If successful, it will take some of the burden off the aging gyroscopes used to keep the unmanned spacecraft’s vital high-gain radio antenna pointed at Earth.

As anyone who regularly uses digital devices can tell you, software updates are a way of life. It turns out that Mars orbiting spacecraft are no exception, with aging electronics that need new instructions to deal with worn out components after years of heavy use.

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Apr 11, 2018

FDA approves AI-powered diagnostic that doesn’t need a doctor’s help

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Marking a new era of “diagnosis by software,” the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave permission to a company called IDx to market an AI-powered diagnostic device for ophthalmology.

What it does: The software is designed to detect greater than a mild level of diabetic retinopathy, which causes vision loss and affects 30 million people in the US. It occurs when high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the retina.

How it works: The program uses an AI algorithm to analyze images of the adult eye taken with a special retinal camera. A doctor uploads the images to a cloud server, and the software then delivers a positive or negative result.

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Apr 11, 2018

How gravitational waves might help fundamental cosmology

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

New observations could help us understand discrepancies in measurements of the expansion of the Universe.

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Apr 11, 2018

SpaceX’s president says Mars is a ‘fixer-upper planet’ and just a first step toward exploring other galaxies

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell says the company will put humans on Mars within a decade because we need a backup planet.

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