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Apr 4, 2019

Exclusive: Google cancels AI ethics board in response to outcry

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

Instead of just getting rid of the regressive element from the Heritage Foundation, Google just cancelled the whole thing.


The controversial panel lasted just a little over a week.

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Apr 4, 2019

Scientists Say They Can Make Light Travel 30x Faster Than Normal

Posted by in category: space travel

“This is the first clear demonstration of controlling the speed of a pulse light in free space,” Abouraddy said in the statement. “And it opens up doors for many applications, an optical buffer being just one of them, but most importantly it’s done in a simple way, that’s repeatable and reliable.”

READ MORE: Researchers develop way to control speed of light, send it backward [Phys.org]

More on light: New NASA Animations Show How Slowly Light Travels Through Space.

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Apr 4, 2019

Russia Says “Super Soldiers” Can Crash Computers With Telepathy

Posted by in categories: computing, military, neuroscience

According to a report in the official magazine of its Defense Ministry, Russian “supersoldiers” are able to use “parapsychology” techniques to crash enemy computers, access the minds of foreign soldiers, and read documents inside locked safes — abilities they gained, according to the article, from telepathic dolphins they can now communicate with.

The report is almost certainly nonsense. But it does raise questions about the ambitions — and perhaps dysfunctions — of Russia’s military.

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Apr 4, 2019

Building a Hardware Store Faraday Cage

Posted by in categories: habitats, health, mathematics

Most Hackaday readers are no doubt familiar with the Faraday cage, at least in name, and nearly everyone owns one: if you’ve ever stood watching a bag of popcorn slowly revolve inside of a microwave, you’be seen Michael Faraday’s 1836 invention in action. Yet despite being such a well known device, the average hacker still doesn’t have one in their arsenal. But why?

It could be that there’s a certain mystique about Faraday cages, an assumption that their construction requires techniques or materials outside the realm of the home hacker. While it’s true that building a perfect Faraday cage for a given frequency involves math and careful attention to detail, putting together a simple model for general purpose use and experimentation turns out to be quick and easy.

As an exercise in minimalist hacking I recently built a basic Faraday cage out of materials sourced from Home Depot, and thought it would be interesting to not only describe its construction but give some ideas as to how one can put it to practical use in the home lab. While it’s hardly a perfect specimen, it clearly works, and it didn’t take anything that can’t be sourced locally pretty much anywhere in the world.

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Apr 4, 2019

This Jacket’s Faraday Cage Conveniently Silences Your Phone

Posted by in categories: entertainment, mobile phones

Circa 2012


Switching your phone off for important meetings or trips to the cinema can be a pain in the ass. Victor Johansson has a solution, though: he’s designed the Escape Jacket, which features a Faraday cage in the inside pocket to immediately take your phone off the grid.

UK-based designer Johansson says that the concept is all about you-time. He explains:

Continue reading “This Jacket’s Faraday Cage Conveniently Silences Your Phone” »

Apr 4, 2019

Identifying Cancer Cell Types in a Hurry

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Cancer cells are generally much more metabolically active than healthy cells, so some insight into a cancer cell’s behavior and type can be gathered by analyzing its metabolic activity. But getting an accurate assessment of metabolic activity has proven difficult. Several methods, including position emission tomography (or PET) scans, fluorescent dyes, and contrast agents have been used, but each is limited it is usefulness.


Researchers combine PAM and OCR to more quickly measure cancer-cell metabolisms.

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Apr 4, 2019

GQ talks to Luc Besson, the director who got inside Scarlett Johansson’s brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Circa 2014


French director, Luc Besson, talks to GQ ahead of the UK release of action-thriller Lucy.

Continue reading “GQ talks to Luc Besson, the director who got inside Scarlett Johansson’s brain” »

Apr 4, 2019

Freaky Eight-Letter DNA Could Be the Stuff Aliens Are Made Of

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, genetics

Conventional DNA is comprised of the familiar A, C, G, and T base pairs, but a newly created genetic system is packed with eight, thus doubling the number of letters normally found in self-replicating molecules. Intriguingly, the new system, dubbed “hachimoji,” could resemble the building blocks of extraterrestrial life.

New research published yesterday in Science describes the hachimoji, which means “eight letters” in Japanese. In addition to the conventional four base pairs, this genetic system has an extra four building blocks, dramatically increasingly the information density compared to regular DNA. The scientists behind the work, led by Steven Benner from the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida, said the new system may be robust enough to support life, that is, to support the processes required for Darwinian self-replication.

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Apr 4, 2019

UCI Student ‘Accidentally’ Invents a Rechargeable Battery That Lasts 400 Years

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space travel

A University of California Irvine student may have stumbled upon an invention to end your phone-charging woes for good. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of where that could take us as a society. Forget about your phone; the world would be a different place without ever having to worry about replacing car batteries, and imagine the uses that it could have in space exploration. Technology is the ultimate wildcard.

A battery that lasts a whole lifetime is now one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to Mya Le Thai, a PhD student who’s been researching how to make better nanowire rechargeable batteries. In theory, her discovery could lead to a battery that lasts centuries—as long as 400 years.

Continue reading “UCI Student ‘Accidentally’ Invents a Rechargeable Battery That Lasts 400 Years” »

Apr 4, 2019

Quantum Immortality: Does Quantum Physics Imply You Are Immortal?

Posted by in categories: alien life, life extension, quantum physics

What other ramifications to follow? Your subjective quantum immortality coupled with soon-to-be discovered indefinite life extension at the civilizational level would spell out that YOU ARE ACTUALLY TO LIVE FOREVER! One can also see a viable resolution to the so-called ‘Mind-uploading’, or Star Trek ‘Teleporter dilemma’, questioning whether in those instances you create a copy of yourself but kill yourself in the process. By analogy to the previous deliberations, it follows that your consciousness has to “migrate” to your living self, thus making the case for successful consciousness transfer in both methods of disembodiments.

On this note, my friend, I’d like to conclude and profess that you are to live forever as an individuated evolving consciousness in this illusory Matrix-like universe where nothing is what it seems.

-by Alex Vikoulov, futurist, digital philosopher.

Continue reading “Quantum Immortality: Does Quantum Physics Imply You Are Immortal?” »