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Dec 31, 2017

Some Things About Tech Were Good in 2017. No, Really

Posted by in category: futurism

But tech wasn’t all bad this year. As many of Silicon Valley’s largest companies were wreaking havoc, numerous people and organizations used technology to advance important causes and address large-scale problems.

These projects do not always make headlines, but they show what’s possible when technologists use their powers for good. So I’m presenting the first-ever Actually Good Tech Awards, to highlight a handful of tech efforts that produced real societal benefits this year.

Amid a series of scandals and sins, a few righteous tech innovators actually brought positive change this year.

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Dec 31, 2017

Russian Billionaire Sets up an Alien-hunting Mission to Saturn Moon

Posted by in categories: alien life, innovation

Russian tech tycoon turned-ET wayfarer Yuri Milner says he intends to beat NASA to a mission to the Saturn moon Enceladus looking for alien lifeforms.

The one overarching question we are asking at our foundation is: ‘Are we alone in the universe?’” said Milner, who has swore over $200 million to the Breakthrough Initiative, an association he established in 2015 that observes space, and grows new methods for infinite travel.

Talking at a Seattle gathering, ‘A New Space Age’, Milner said his science group agrees there are three potential areas for additional earthly lifeforms in our close planetary system: under the surface of Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa, and “the most encouraging competitor,” Enceladus.

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Dec 31, 2017

Progress to turning silicon transistors into qubits which could enable billion qubit quantum computers

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, quantum physics

Japanese RIKEN researchers are trying to adapt existing the silicon metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) to integrate qubits with current electronics, offering the potential for scaling up quantum devices and bringing quantum computing closer to becoming a reality.

Keiji Ono and colleagues from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science and the Toshiba Corporation in Japan, in collaboration with researchers from the United States, are investigating the properties of qubits produced by imperfections or defects in silicon MOSFETs. In particular, they are exploring their potential for developing quantum computing devices that are compatible with current manufacturing technologies.

“Companies like IBM and Google are developing quantum computers that use superconductors,” explains Ono. “In contrast, we are attempting to develop a quantum computer based on the silicon manufacturing techniques currently used to make computers and smart phones. The advantage of this approach is that it can leverage existing industrial knowledge and technology.”

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Dec 30, 2017

Report Examines Benefits of Settling Space Using NEO Resources

Posted by in categories: economics, transportation

TransAstra Corporation recently completed an in-depth study of how to use resources from near Earth objects to facilitate space exploration and settlement.

The 82-page report, “Stepping Stones: Economic Analysis of Space Transportation Supplied From NEO Resources,” was funded with a $100,000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.

“The Stepping Stones economic analysis of space transportation supplied from near-Earth object (NEO) resources demonstrates the potential to break the tyranny of increasing space transportation costs created by dependence on Earth-based resources, particularly propellant,” the report states.

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Dec 30, 2017

A 360-degree rotation hinge design teases hopes for Microsoft phone win in 2018

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Remember when Microsoft was actually aspiring to be mobile phone players? It seems like yesterday—but actually it was not so long ago. With the rise of the iPhone and flashy Android launches, the world got used to unsightly stats showing the Windows Phone dip.

While its drop of market share became evident, there is keen interest in whether or not Microsoft has ambitions as a comeback kid, not with a Windows Phone but with something now being rumored by watchers as a “Surface Phone”.

That probably explains why the “Hinge with free-stop function” filed this year has drawn a lot of interest among tech watchers when it surfaced on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website.

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Dec 30, 2017

Top 7 Books in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

The recent explosion of interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning has led to writing many books about these subjects. These 7 Best Sellers Books ranked by Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Books category as of Dec 30, 2017.

1. Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems by Aurélien Géron

Through a series of recent breakthroughs, deep learning has boosted the entire field of machine learning. Now, even programmers who know close to nothing about this technology can use simple, efficient tools to implement programs capable of learning from data. This practical book shows you how.

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Dec 30, 2017

The Quest for Immortality, Rebooted

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, life extension, neuroscience, singularity, transhumanism, virtual reality

Shermer’s journey into the present-day search for human domination over death and society’s ills introduces readers to all forms of what he calls “techno-optimism,” meaning the belief that technological progress means an end to death — or, at the very least, to aging and social decay. There are the cryonicists who want to freeze us, and those who want simply to freeze our brains, with all their neural connections and associated memories (the connectome). The transhumanists want to enhance us so thoroughly — through means both natural and artificial — that we become godlike, “taking control of evolution and transforming the species into something stronger, faster, sexier, healthier and with vastly superior cognitive abilities the likes of which we mere mortals cannot conceive”; the Omega Point theorists think we will all one day be brought back to life in a virtual reality. Believers in “the singularity” contend that it is possible to upload the human brain to a server without losing the essence of what makes you you. And, of course, there are those who try to cure us of aging, so that our bodies and minds will cease to deteriorate and our life spans will increase ad infinitum. Shermer visits each of these and other utopian theories with detail and considered analysis, drawing readers along increasingly unrealistic (or are they?) possibilities for our future evolution. It’s a journey as boggling as it is engrossing.

In “Heavens on Earth,” Michael Shermer explores the lengths to which mankind will go to ensure our souls’ survival beyond existence on this mortal coil.

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Dec 30, 2017

Deadpool in real-life: Humans might one day be able to re-grow missing limbs, scientists claim

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Could we be like Deadpool in real-life? Scientists claim that humans might one day be able to re-grow missing limbs.

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Dec 30, 2017

Meet the AI startup that wants to make a digital copy of every person in the world

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

“Oben,” in German means “above,” or to be on top. That, in a nutshell, is also the vision Nikhil Jain has for the AI startup ObEN, of which he’s CEO and co-founder. The company raised $5 million from a group led by Tencent this summer and has an ambition in keeping with the meaning of its name.

Nikhil is working to advance technology that gives ultimately everyone in the world — the famous, the infamous, the ordinary and everyone in between — a 3D avatar that looks and sounds like them. ObEN, in that scenario, would power an AI level that sits, in other words, “above” physical, face-to-face interactions, opening up a new way of interacting with technology. And each other.

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Dec 30, 2017

Report on Doctor’s Healthiest Diet

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

The report shows a surprising diet to be healthy and live longer.

Summary: Comparing the Atkins, Rosedale, Paleo, Mediterranean and DASH Diet plans, researchers report on the healthiest options. [This article first appeared on the LongevityFacts website. Author: Brady Hartman.]

Despite all the advances made with lifespan-extending drugs, a healthy diet remains as one of the best ways to stay healthy and live longer. While many dietary regimens can help us lose weight, few people recognize that some of these are downright unhealthy. However, given the multitude of meal plans – such as the Atkins, Rosedale, Paleo, DASH, Mediterranean and the ‘USDA MyFoodPlate’ – which diet is the best for a slim figure and optimal health?

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