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Oct 4, 2018

We’ve Just Found The Source of Some of The Most Powerful Light Beams Ever Detected

Posted by in category: cosmology

Matter ejected from a spinning disc of doom surrounding a black hole a mere 15,000 light years away has produced some of the most energetic rays of light ever witnessed from an object of its kind.

The insanely powerful photons of gamma radiation were produced by a never-before-seen phenomenon surrounding a miniature quasar. The discovery could help us better understand what goes on deep in the chaotic heart of the Milky Way.

SS 433 is a smaller version of the kinds of maelstrom of death you’d find lurking at the core of most galaxies. It’s also in our neighbourhood, more or less, making it relatively easy to study.

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Oct 4, 2018

The World’s Most Precise Clock Reveals the Nature of Time and the Universe

Posted by in category: space

Physicist Jun Ye built the world’s most precise clock and is part of the group of scientists who changed our understanding of time itself.

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Oct 4, 2018

Earth’s First Nuclear Reactor Is 1.7 Billion Years Old And Was Made Naturally

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space

Planets can ‘discover’ nuclear power on their own, naturally, without any intelligence. Earth did it 1.7 billion years before humans.

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Oct 4, 2018

Steve Wozniak: Don’t worry, AI won’t kill us all

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

AI still has a long way to go until it can topple humanity, says Woz.

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Oct 4, 2018

Neuton: A new, disruptive neural network framework for AI applications

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Deep learning neural networks are behind much of the progress in AI these days. Neuton is a new framework that claims to be much faster and compact, and it requires less skills and training than anything the AWSs, Googles, and Facebooks of the world have.

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Oct 4, 2018

Why we can’t treat all ovarian cancer the same way

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new discovery could add to a “checklist” of options to make sure women with ovarian cancer get the right treatment.

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Oct 4, 2018

First SpaceX commercial crew test flight could slip to 2019

Posted by in category: space travel

BREMEN, Germany — A SpaceX executive said Oct. 3 that the company’s first commercial crew test flight could be delayed until early 2019 because of paperwork issues.

In a speech at the 69th International Astronautical Congress here, Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of build and flight reliability for SpaceX, said launching an uncrewed test flight before the end of the year will be a “close call” even though the hardware itself should be ready.

“We’re working hard to get this done this year,” he said. “The hardware might be ready, but we might still have to do some paperwork on the certification side of it. It’s going to be a close call whether we fly this year or not.”

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Oct 4, 2018

A new brain-inspired architecture could improve how computers handle data and advance AI

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

General interest.


IBM researchers are developing a new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from artificial intelligence. Their designs draw on concepts from the human brain and significantly outperform conventional computers in comparative studies. They report on their recent findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Today’s computers are built on the von Neumann architecture, developed in the 1940s. Von Neumann computing systems feature a central processer that executes logic and arithmetic, a memory unit, storage, and input and output devices. Unlike the stovepipe components in conventional computers, the authors propose that brain-inspired computers could have coexisting processing and memory units.

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Oct 4, 2018

You’ll Be Using Quantum Computers Sooner Than You Think

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

There won’t be a single “winner” in the field.

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Oct 4, 2018

Mechanical engineers develop ways to improve windfarm productivity

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

You’ve probably seen them, perhaps on long roadtrips: wind turbines with enormous, hypnotic rolling blades, harnessing the clean power of wind for conversion into electric energy. What you may not know is that for the explosion in the number of wind turbines in use as we embrace cleaner sources of energy, these wind farms are quite possibly not as productive as they could be.

“We’ve been designing turbines for use by themselves, but we almost never use them by themselves anymore,” said UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineering professor Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz, whose specialty lies in fluid mechanics. Historically, he said, were used individually or in small groups, but as the world moves toward greener technologies, they are now found in groups of hundreds or thousands.

The problem with these large installations is that each machine, which has been designed to extract as much energy as possible from oncoming , may not “play well” with the others, Luzzatto-Fegiz explained. Depending on how the turbines are situated relative to each other and to the prevailing wind, those not directly in the path of the wind could be left to extract energy from significantly depleted airflow.

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