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Mar 28, 2016

CO2 Recovery System Saves Brewers Money, Puts Bubbles into Beer

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, space

NASA Technology

Building on work he and his companies did with Johnson Space Center’s In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) team, Robert Zubrin has developed and commercialized technologies that could prove revolutionary in their Earth applications, such as a system that could extract millions of barrels of oil from defunct oil wells around the world and another that can harness all the natural gas currently burned off as waste at many oil drilling rigs (Spinoff 2015).

But when he’s not working to change this world or colonize others, the president of Pioneer Astronautics, Pioneer Energy, and the Mars Society enjoys a good microbrew. Now, he’s applied some of that same technology to cut costs for craft breweries that produce anywhere between 3,000 and 300,000 barrels per year.

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Mar 28, 2016

Alien Technology –“Might Be a Billion Years Old and Not Made of Matter” (Weekend Feature)

Posted by in category: alien life

The author of “Alien Minds”, Susan Schneider of the University of Pennsylvania, has proposed a “greater age of alien civilizations” argument that says that “if extraterrestrial civilizations are millions or billions of years older than us, many would be vastly more intelligent than we are. By our standards, many would be superintelligent. We are galactic babies.”

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Mar 28, 2016

Study suggests Earth is heading toward a second catastrophic hot-house event

Posted by in categories: climatology, habitats, sustainability

If you dig deep enough into the Earth’s climate change archives, you hear about the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. And then you get scared.

That was a time period, about 56 million years ago, when something mysterious happened — there are many ideas as to what — that suddenly caused concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to spike, far higher than they are right now.

The planet proceeded to warm rapidly, at least in geologic terms, and major die-offs of some marine organisms followed due to strong acidification of the oceans.

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Mar 28, 2016

Want to live forever? Ray Kurzweil thinks that may be possible very soon

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, media & arts, Ray Kurzweil

When rock band Queen asked us “Who wants to live forever?” back in 1986, we interpreted it as standard lyrical rhetoric. But now, three decades and what feels like light years in technological, medical, and scientific advances later, the answer to that age-old question may have changed. And according to Ray Kurzweil, the famous American inventor who has been described as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” we’re nearing immortality.

As the man responsible for the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer, and much more, Kurzweil has a knack for spotting trends and anticipating the future. And if history is any indication (and his word stays true), we may be in for a long, long lifetime.

In an episode of PBS’s News Hour last week, Kurzweil noted that death, which he describes as “a great robber of meaning, of relationships, of knowledge,” will soon be conquered. Indeed, the futurist notes, our species will soon be able to defeat disease and degeneration, and live “indefinitely.”

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Mar 28, 2016

Lockheed Martin’s new Compact Fusion Reactor Might Change Humanity Forever

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

This is an invention that might possibly modify the civilization as we know it: A compact fusion reactor presented by Skunk Works, the stealth experimental technology section of Lockheed Martin. It’s about the size of a jet engine and it can power airplanes, most likely spaceships, and cities. Skunk Works state that it will be operational in 10 years.

Aviation Week had complete access to their stealthy workshops and spoke to Dr. Thomas McGuire, the leader of Skunk Work’s Revolutionary Technology section. And ground-breaking it is, certainly: Instead of utilizing the similar strategy that everyone else is using— the Soviet-derived tokamak, a torus in which magnetic fields limit the fusion reaction with an enormous energy cost and thus tiny energy production abilities—Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Reactor has a fundamentally different methodology to anything people have tried before. Here are the two of those techniques for contrast:

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Mar 27, 2016

Venus Likely Had Past Life; Next Step Is Finding It

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological

Venus, sometimes called Earth’s twin, is a hauntingly beautiful planet that likely had past microbial life a prominent astrobiologist asserts. If so, we need to go find it. NASA is developing the tech to withstand the high pressures and temperatures to do such a surface search.

I say there’s no excuse; Venus is closer than Mars; and while Mars may have harbored life as did Ceres, finding evidence of past life on Venus and then Mars later this century would mean that life itself evolves pretty readily.


Venus likely harbored past microbial life, if not on its exposed surface, then in the planet’s potential warm early oceans and hot pools of liquid water, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University astrobiologist now tells me.

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Mar 27, 2016

Massive Robots Keep Docks Shipshape

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

They are pushing for fully automated robot Cargo ships. Now, we have robots to load and unload cargo ships. In a few years there probably wont be a single person left working on a dock.


TraPac LLC’s Los Angeles shipping terminal offers a window to how coming global trade will move: using highly automated systems and machinery to handle a flood of goods amid new free-trade accords.

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Mar 27, 2016

Google’s New ‘Hive-Mind’ Robots Learn From One Another

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

These 14 robots receive their train thanks to convolutional neural networks, and they share their knowledge with their fellows.

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Mar 27, 2016

Racist, Hitler-loving bot unleashed

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Oy veh!


Microsoft created an artificial intelligence called “Tay” that was designed to learn from back-and-forth interaction on Twitter. But after a mere 16 hours online, the bot had become so offensively racist that Microsoft was forced to take it down.

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Mar 27, 2016

Chinese Scientists Say They Have the Ability To Clone Humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Chinese company Boyalife Group is set to start cloning cows later this year, but they say that they have the technology to do even more.

The Boyalife Group, responsible for building the world’s largest cloning factory, says that it already has the technology needed for human replication, and that it is only holding back due to public perception.

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