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Oct 24, 2015

Tesla’s Autopilot approved for international use

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

At the launch of its latest Autopilot features, Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted that it would roll out the new vehicle capabilities to nations outside the United States once it got regulatory approval. Today Musk tweeted that the company has gotten approval from all those countries (except Japan). Now Tesla owners around the world can enjoy the slightly unnerving feeling of letting their Model S drive itself on the highway. Musk also announced that Autopilot 1.01 would be coming soon with improved fleet learning, better lane tracking on poor roads, curved speed adoption and controller smoothness.

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Oct 24, 2015

Smart robot arm can follow your lead without coding

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, mobile phones, robotics/AI

You might not be able to control the 7Bot robotic arm with your mind or your eyes, but at least it’ll only cost you around $350 — cheaper than an iPhone, its creators point out — to get one. Even better, you don’t need to know how to code to program it: just physically guide the arm or use a gesture control device like a Kinect or a Leap motion sensor to make it mimic your movements. In the video below the fold and on its Kickstarter page, you can see it doing calligraphy after a team member’s grandfather physically taught it how. The team also managed make it paint cherry blossoms and do basic mathematics, and we’ll bet you can teach it other productive things, like how to terrorize your cat.

If you prefer the more hands-off approach, you can remotely control it using its 3D visualization app on a computer. And, in case you’re more tech-savvy than the average user, you can program it using the C and C++ open source APIs the 7Bot team provides. In addition to the basic model, the team also offers packages with more features, such as a version with two arms and one that comes with a 3D printer, though they’re also understandably more expensive. According to its campaign page, rewards should start shipping out as soon as January 2016, but as always, it’s best not to treat Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites as a store.

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Oct 24, 2015

How the Cutting Edge of Virtual Reality Is Making the Real World Seem Boring

Posted by in categories: computing, materials, virtual reality

In the television series Star Trek, virtual reality-chambers called “holodecks” take humans into computer-generated worlds where they interact with avatars — and with each other. Imagine being able to visit a distant planet or Tahiti during your lunch break. In Star Trek, holodecks come into existence in the 24th century and reproduce all sensory perceptions, including touch and smell.

Chambers that replicate the touch and feel of solid materials are still a decade or two away. But virtual reality worlds that are amazingly similar to what we saw in Star Trek are already here. Hundreds of companies are working on virtual reality hardware, software, applications and content. I expect that 2016 will be the year when we start visiting exotic lands from the comfort of our offices and living rooms.

There are several technology developments which are bringing the future to us ahead of the Star Trek schedule. For starters, there is what is called “full-immersion virtual reality.” These are systems that take us out of the real world, into an entirely different digital realm. We hear stereo sounds and see panoramic displays that are so convincing that users lose track of time and space (they also, until very recently, suffered from serious nausea and motion sickness). Facebook’s Oculus Rift is the leading immersive virtual reality (VR) system but numerous others are either on the market or in the works.

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Oct 24, 2015

Team hacks off-the-shelf 3-D printer towards rebuilding the heart

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, engineering, materials

As of this month, over 4,000 Americans are on the waiting list to receive a heart transplant. With failing hearts, these patients have no other options; heart tissue, unlike other parts of the body, is unable to heal itself once it is damaged. Fortunately, recent work by a group at Carnegie Mellon could one day lead to a world in which transplants are no longer necessary to repair damaged organs.

“We’ve been able to take MRI images of coronary arteries and 3-D images of embryonic hearts and 3-D bioprint them with unprecedented resolution and quality out of very like collagens, alginates and fibrins,” said Adam Feinberg, an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Feinberg leads the Regenerative Biomaterials and Therapeutics Group, and the group’s study was published in the October 23 issue of the journal Science Advances. A demonstration of the technology can be seen below.

“As excellently demonstrated by Professor Feinberg’s work in bioprinting, our CMU researchers continue to develop novel solutions like this for problems that can have a transformational effect on society,” said Jim Garrett, Dean of Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering. “We should expect to see 3-D bioprinting continue to grow as an important tool for a large number of medical applications.”

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Oct 24, 2015

Nanotechnology offers new approach to increasing storage ability of dielectric capacitors

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, time travel

Oct. 21, 2015, was the day that Doc Brown and Marty McFly landed in the future in their DeLorean, with time travel made possible by a “flux capacitor.”

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Oct 23, 2015

U.S. and China Seek Arms Deal for Cyberspace

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, treaties

New cybersecurity arms treaty compared unfavourably with nuclear treaties:

“In the Cold War and still today, nuclear arms remain in the hands of states, meaning they can usually be counted and their movements observed. Cyberweapons, too, are often developed by countries … but they can also be found in the hands of criminal groups and teenagers, neither of which negotiate treaties.”


The countries are discussing what could be the first arms control accord for cyberspace, and an agreement could be announced as soon as Thursday, according to officials.

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Oct 23, 2015

In 1,000 Years Humans Will Have Red Eyes, Dark Skin And Superhuman Powers

Posted by in category: futurism

But we could still have one weakness.
Rob Waugh

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Oct 23, 2015

Landmark Is Working On A Virtual Reality World’s Fair — By Stephanie Topacio Long | Digital Trends

Posted by in categories: business, education, human trajectories, media & arts, virtual reality

landmark-vr-theme-park-640x0

“Technology is finally catching up with Landmark Entertainment Group’s big ideas. The global entertainment design firm announced Thursday that it is collaborating with Pavilion of Me to create a virtual reality experience called the Virtual World’s Fair that will launch in 2017.”

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Oct 23, 2015

PostHuman — sci-fi action animated short film directed

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, entertainment, media & arts

Official video for PostHuman — produced by Colliculi Productions.
Animated sci-fi thriller short film featuring the voice of Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica). Directed by Cole Drumb. Produced by Jennifer Wai-Yin Luk.

Production company: Colliculi Productions.
Animation studio: Humouring The Fates.
Voice of Kali: Tricia Helfer.
Voice of Terrence: Ulric Dihle.
Original Music: Neill Sanford Livingston.
Post Production Sound: Kid Dropper Sound.
Final Post Production Sound: Bad Animals.
Final Video Post Production: Lightpress.

Continue reading “PostHuman — sci-fi action animated short film directed” »

Oct 23, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Is A Big Part Of Your Life, Just Don’t Buy The Hollywood Hype

Posted by in categories: automation, business, disruptive technology, economics, robotics/AI

Ask just about anyone on the street to describe artificial intelligence and odds are, they’ll describe something resembling the futuristic science fiction robot they’ve seen in movies and television shows. However, according to Mathematician, Linguist and Artificial Intelligence Researcher Dr. András Kornai, artificial intelligence is a reality right now, and its impact can be seen every day.

“I’d say 35 percent of the total commerce taking place on Wall Street (right now) is driven by algorithms and it’s no longer driven by humans,” Kornai said. “This is not science fiction. (Artificial intelligence) is with us today.”

What we’ve seen so far in the application of algorithm-based artificial intelligence in the financial sector is just the tip of the iceberg, Kornai said. In fact, you don’t even have to own stock to be affected by it.

“I have designed algorithms that will (determine) your creditworthiness, meaning your creditworthiness is now determined by an algorithm,” he said. “We have substituted human-decision making capabilities in favor of better algorithms to pursue this, and we have given up a huge area of human competence, and money is just one aspect of it.”

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