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Jun 26, 2019

Elon Musk says he knows why Falcon Heavy’s core booster missed its landing

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, satellites

SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in the early hours of Tuesday morning, delivering 24 satellites into orbit and making many of its clients very happy in the process. The company nailed the landing of both side boosters, but the center core booster narrowly missed its landing and splashed down in the ocean instead.

In the hours following the launch, SpaceX boss Elon Musk weighed in on the unfortunate fate of the core booster, offering a bit of an explanation as to why it missed its mark.

Jun 26, 2019

Syringe-Injectable Electronics with a Plug-and-Play Input/Output Interface

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience

Nano Lett. 2017 Sep 13;17:5836–5842. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03081. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

Syringe-injectable mesh electronics represent a new paradigm for brain science and neural prosthetics by virtue of the stable seamless integration of the electronics with neural tissues, a consequence of the macroporous mesh electronics structure with all size features similar to or less than individual neurons and tissue-like flexibility. These same properties, however, make input/output (I/O) connection to measurement electronics challenging, and work to-date has required methods that could be difficult to implement by the life sciences community. Here we present a new syringe-injectable mesh electronics design with plug-and-play I/O interfacing that is rapid, scalable, and user-friendly to nonexperts. The basic design tapers the ultraflexible mesh electronics to a narrow stem that routes all of the device/electrode interconnects to I/O pads that are inserted into a standard zero insertion force (ZIF) connector.

Jun 26, 2019

SpaceX Boat Snags Falling Payload Fairing in Historic First

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Payload fairings protect satellites during launch and are jettisoned after rockets reach space. The fairings SpaceX uses for the Heavy and the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which fall back to Earth in two pieces, cost about $6 million each, company founder and CEO Elon Musk has said.

There’s thus ample motivation to recover and reuse this expensive hardware. Indeed, SpaceX equips both fairing halves with parachutes and small steering thrusters, to bring the gear down softly and under control.

And that’s where Ms. Tree comes in: Snagging the fairing halves before they hit corrosive seawater makes reuse more feasible and cost effective, Musk has said.

Jun 26, 2019

Home: Innovating an extraordinary future

Posted by in categories: futurism, habitats

Jun 26, 2019

NIST Reveals 26 Algorithms Advancing to the Post-Quantum Crypto ‘Semifinals’

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, information science, mathematics, quantum physics

The field has narrowed in the race to protect sensitive electronic information from the threat of quantum computers, which one day could render many of our current encryption methods obsolete.

As the latest step in its program to develop effective defenses, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has winnowed the group of potential encryption tools—known as cryptographic algorithms—down to a bracket of 26. These algorithms are the ones NIST mathematicians and computer scientists consider to be the strongest candidates submitted to its Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization project, whose goal is to create a set of standards for protecting electronic information from attack by the computers of both tomorrow and today.

“These 26 algorithms are the ones we are considering for potential standardization, and for the next 12 months we are requesting that the cryptography community focus on analyzing their performance,” said NIST mathematician Dustin Moody. “We want to get better data on how they will perform in the real world.”

Jun 26, 2019

11 Terms Used by Spies

Posted by in category: futurism

Maybe you’re involved in a covert operation. Maybe you’re just curious. Spies have developed their own language of code words in order to keep from being discovered. We don’t need to know, but you should learn the 11 terms used by spies here.

Jun 26, 2019

The Rise of a New Generation of AI Avatars

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

I recently discovered it’s possible for someone in their 20s to feel old—just mention Microsoft’s Clippy to anyone born after the late 90s. Weirdly, there is an entire generation of people who never experienced that dancing wide-eyed paper-clip interrupting a Word doc writing project.

For readers who never knew him, Clippy was an interactive virtual assistant that took the form of an animated paperclip designed to be helpful in guiding users through Microsoft Word. As an iconic symbol of its decade, Clippy was also famously terrible. Worldwide consensus decided that Clippy was annoying, intrusive, and Time magazine even named it among the 50 worst inventions of all time (squeezed between ‘New Coke’ and Agent Orange. Not a fun list).

Though Clippy was intended to help users navigate their software lives, it may have been 20 or so years ahead of its time.

Jun 26, 2019

Air Force Wants Neuroweapons to Overwhelm Enemy Minds

Posted by in categories: military, neuroscience

It sounds like something a wild-eyed basement-dweller would come up with, after he complained about the fit of his tinfoil hat. But military bureaucrats really are asking scientists to help them “degrade enemy performance” by attacking the brain’s “chemical pathway[s].” Let the conspiracy theories begin.

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Jun 26, 2019

Physicists Are Making Solid Light

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Circa 2014


A team of researchers from Princeton University has started doing some very strange things with light. Instead of letting it zip by at incredibly high speed, they’re stopping it dead: freezing it into crystal.

Crucially, they’re not shining light through crystal; rather, they making light into crystal. It’s a process that involves fixing the particles of light known as photons in a single spot, freezing them permanently in one place. It’s never been done before, and it could help develop new exotic materials with weird and wonderful properties.

Jun 26, 2019

Scientists develop unique trap for light

Posted by in categories: biological, nuclear energy

Circa 2018


Based at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia), a research team led by Prof. Yuri Rakovich has developed a tunable micro-resonator for hybrid energy states between light and matter using light to control the chemical and biological properties of molecules. The results have been published in the Review of Scientific Instruments.

The micro-resonator is a two-mirror trap for the , with the mirrors facing each other within several hundred nanometers. A photon caught in the trap would form a localized state of an electromagnetic wave. By modifying the resonator’s form and size, operators can control the spatial distribution of the wave, as well as the duration of the photon’s life in the resonator.

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