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Aug 6, 2016

USC quantum computing researchers reduce quantum information processing errors

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum computing remains mysterious and elusive to many, but USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers might have taken us one step closer to bring such super-powered devices to practical reality. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Information Sciences Institute is home to the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center (QCC), a super-cooled, magnetically shielded facility specially built to house the first commercially available quantum optimization processors — devices so advanced that there are currently only two in use outside the Canadian company D-Wave Systems Inc., where they were built: The first one went to USC and Lockheed Martin, and the second to NASA and Google.

Quantum computers encode data in quantum bits, or “qubits,” which have the capability of representing the two digits of one and zero at the same time — as opposed to traditional bits, which can encode distinctly either a one or a zero. This property, called superposition, along with the ability of quantum states to “interfere” (cancel or reinforce each other like waves in a pond) and “tunnel” through energy barriers, is what may one day allow quantum processors to ultimately perform optimization calculations much faster than is possible using traditional processors. Optimization problems can take many forms, and quantum processors have been theorized to be useful for a variety of machine learning and big data problems like stock portfolio optimization, image recognition and classification, and detecting anomalies. Yet, exactly because of the exotic way in which quantum computers process information, they are highly sensitive to errors of different kinds.

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Aug 5, 2016

We just got even weirder results about the ‘alien megastructure’ star

Posted by in category: alien life

Last year, the world freaked out over the discovery of a star that was dimming and flickering so erratically, it couldn’t be explained by any known natural phenomenon — prompting one scientist to actually go there and suggest it could be evidence of some kind of alien megastructure.

Follow-up studies have revealed no signs of alien behaviour, but NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has just spent around 1,600 days observing the star, and things have gotten a lot weirder.

“We spent a long time trying to convince ourselves this wasn’t real,” one of the researchers, Ben Montet from Caltetch, told Maddie Stone over at Gizmodo. “We just weren’t able to.”

Continue reading “We just got even weirder results about the ‘alien megastructure’ star” »

Aug 5, 2016

New particle hopes fade as LHC data ‘bump’ disappears

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Hopes for the imminent discovery of a particle that might fundamentally change our understanding of the Universe have been put on hold.

Results from the Large Hadron Collider show that a “bump” in the machine’s data, previously rumoured to represent a new particle, has gone away.

The discovery of new particles, which could trigger a paradigm shift in physics, may still be years away.

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Aug 5, 2016

WATCH: US Marines Are Getting Land Drones With Heavy Machine Guns and Tiny UAVs

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

For the future: After years of developing unmanned combat #robots, U.S. Marine Corps was finally able to test drive one… at last.

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Aug 5, 2016

AT&T commercials 20 years ago successfully predict the future

Posted by in category: futurism

AT&T commercials 20 years ago successfully predicted the future.

We now live in the future once imagined in AT&T commercials 20 years ago.

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Aug 5, 2016

I Worked in a VR Office, and It Was Actually Awesome

Posted by in categories: business, computing, virtual reality

Consider the paradox of the modern business office: It’s a place of productivity where busy people meet deadlines, yet it’s teeming with distractions.

Companies are loading up on game rooms and snack bars, while 70 percent of American offices have adopted an open-office floor plan. The hope for open offices was to encourage random hallway banter, which can lead to innovation, but it’s not working out so great. Turns out privacy is a necessary condition for supporting productive people.

To end the oppression of open offices, several startups are building workstations of the future: software that pulls everything we normally do on a computer inside of virtual reality (VR). After all, what’s more private than a VR display around your head?

Continue reading “I Worked in a VR Office, and It Was Actually Awesome” »

Aug 5, 2016

Facebook Live: Deus Ex 3D Printed Bionic Arm

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs, transhumanism

Open Bionics prosthetic arm.

We’re live with Open Bionics and we’re checking out their insanely cool Deus Ex prosthetic arm.

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Aug 5, 2016

Turned off by Trump and Clinton? Vote for a Transhumanist for President!

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, transhumanism

A new story by Scientific American on transhumanism:…resident/#

Transhumanist candidate Zoltan Istvan urges spending less on war and more on the scientific quest to defeat death.

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Aug 5, 2016

E-government a powerful tool to implement global sustainability goals, UN survey finds | UN News Centre

Posted by in categories: government, information science

Sustainable Development Goals_E_Final sizes

“A new United Nations report has found that e-government is an effective tool for facilitating integrated policies and public service by promoting accountable and transparent institutions, such as through open data and participatory decision-making …”

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Aug 5, 2016

This startup uses machine learning and satellite imagery to predict crop yields — By Alex Brokaw | The Verge

Posted by in categories: big data, business, machine learning, satellites, space


“Instead, Descartes relies on 4 petabytes of satellite imaging data and a machine learning algorithm to figure out how healthy the corn crop is from space.”

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