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Jan 4, 2017

Germany has so much renewable energy that people are being paid to consume electricity

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Germany had so much renewable energy last week that customers were briefly being paid to consume electricity, it has been reported.

As spotted by Quartz, who cite data from German think tank Agora Energiewende, fair weather and high winds on Sunday 8 May saw wind, solar and hydroelectric power plants producing 54.6GW of power, roughly 80 per cent of the 68.4GW of power being consumed across the country at that time.

As a result, the price of power plummeted, and went negative from 7AM to 5PM, bottoming out at -€130 per MWh at 1PM. Energy providers were essentially being paid by producers to take the electricity off their hands.

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Jan 4, 2017

What to expect of artificial intelligence in 2017

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Expect to see better language understanding and an AI boom in China, among other things.

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Jan 3, 2017

Physicists May Have Just Discovered A New Form Of Light

Posted by in category: particle physics

In Brief Scientists from the Imperial College have discovered that light could possibly exist in a previously unknown form, as a mix with a single electron. This interaction creates light that has the properties of both particles.

For something that seems so integral to our lives, we are still discovering many things about light. Its most fundamental properties still astound us, and its interactions with other particles are full of surprises. Case in point, scientists from the Imperial College in London seem to have just discovered a new form of light, one made by combining light with a single electron particle.

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Jan 3, 2017

Watch DARPA’s New Self-Guided Bullets Turn in Mid-Flight, Following Their Target

Posted by in categories: entertainment, military

In Brief DARPA has created self-steering bullets which use a real-time optical guidance system to hit both moving and accelerating targets with high accuracy.

You may have seen the movie Wanted. Sure, the movie was almost unrecognizable from the Mark Millar comic book series it was very loosely based on. But that didn’t stop anyone from pretending to be a bullet-curving, badass, supervillain-with-a-heart sniper like Angelina Jolie after seeing it.

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Jan 3, 2017

Sex exists to avoid disease, study demonstrates

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, sex

“By comparing clonal and sexual daughters from the same mothers, we found sexually produced offspring get less sick,” Auld said.

PARIS – From an evolutionary perspective, sexual reproduction could be seen as a nonstarter. Compared to cloning, which also exists in nature, it is a major waste of time and energy.

Think of the ungainly, preening peacock — an easy snack for tigers and wild dogs — strutting his stuff to impress the ladies.

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Jan 3, 2017

A Completely New Human Organ Has Just Been Officially Discovered

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Last year – although a rather grim one by other measures – was a splendid one for research. From gravitational waves to cooing dinosaurs, we’ve uncovered a lot about the world around us, but as a remarkable new study has revealed, there’s a lot within us we’ve yet to discover too.

Writing in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, scientists have officially announced the discovery of a new organ inside the human body. That’s right, there’s a brand new organ hiding in our abdomen and it’s only just been classified.

Known as the mesentery (meaning “in the middle of the intestines”), it can be found in our digestive systems. Leonardo da Vinci actually gave one of the first descriptions of it back in the day, but until around 2012 it was thought to be a series of separate structures keeping the intestines attached to the abdominal wall, like a series of support girders.

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Jan 3, 2017

Jurassic Farm: Scientists Are Planning to Resurrect an Extinct Cattle Species

Posted by in category: bioengineering

In Brief

  • The Rewilding Europe project seeks to bring back an extinct cattle species called aurochs which inhabited the wilds of Europe and Asia until 1627.
  • Using back breeding, scientists think in about seven to 10 years we will have a stabilized group of cattle, which will help shape the European landscape.

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Jan 3, 2017

What happens if we pay everyone just to live?

Posted by in category: economics

Think universal basic income is a pipe dream? Experiments all over the world are already showing its potential to transform society for the better.

Leader: “Why you should worry about intelligent machines

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Jan 3, 2017

Can Bitcoin Flourish with a Capped Supply?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, internet

The answer may be counter-intuitive: Not only can Bitcoin be widely adopted under a supply cap, its trust and integrity are a direct result of a provably limited supply. As a result, it will flourish because it is capped.

Everyone Can Own and Trade a Limited Commodity, IF…

…if it is both measurable and divisible. Bitcoin has a capped supply just as gold has a capped supply. Although both assets will be mined for some time into the future, there is only so much that will ever be uncovered. Thereafter, the total pie cannot grow.

But the transaction units will continue to grow as needed, because the pie is divisible into very, very tiny units:

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Jan 3, 2017

Israel’s ‘flying car’ passenger drone moves closer to delivery

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI

After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm is optimistic it will finally get its 1,500 kilogramme (1.5 tonne) passenger carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020.

The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting 500 kilogrammes (around half a tonne) of weight and travelling at 185 kilometres per hour. It completed its first automated solo flight over terrain in November. Its total price is estimated at $14 million.

Developers Urban Aeronautics believe the dark green drone, which uses internal rotors rather than helicopter propellers, could evacuate people from hostile environments and/or allow military forces safe access.

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