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Nov 1, 2016

Physicists might have found a way to break the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics, space

The laws of thermodynamics are some of the most important principles in modern physics, because they define how three fundamental physical quantities — temperature, energy, and entropy — behave under various circumstances.

But now physicists say they’ve found a loophole in one of these laws, and it could create scenarios in which entropy — or disorder — actually decreases with time.

Thanks to modern physics, almost everything in the Universe can be explained according to two theories: general relativity for the big stuff like stars, galaxies, and the Universe itself; and quantum mechanics, for behaviours on the atomic scale.

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Nov 1, 2016

The future of America is driverless — By Tamara Warren | The Verge

Posted by in categories: policy, transportation

“In his final months on the job, US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has been vocal about the pressing need to repair America’s broken infrastructure, and all the ways in which technology will fundamentally change the way we move.”

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Nov 1, 2016

Google’s A.I. Learns How to Encrypt Itself

Posted by in categories: education, encryption, robotics/AI

And how to keep secrets.

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Nov 1, 2016

Can you judge a person

Posted by in category: computing

First impressions count, but they’re notoriously subjective. Now computers have learned to make snap judgments just like humans do.

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Nov 1, 2016

What the Transhumanist candidate learned from the election

Posted by in categories: policy, transhumanism

My new interview on Engadget, which goes over a lot of transhumanist and political policy terrain:

Zoltan Istvan wants to create a movement, not a moment.

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Nov 1, 2016

Fixtureless smart panels illuminate with Lego-like construction

Posted by in category: internet

When it comes to the placement of interior lighting, much of the thought involved tends to relate to reaching nearby outlets. But the latest lights Toronto-based Nanoleaf may end up providing creative individuals one extra element to puzzle over. The Nanoleaf Aurora Smarter Kit is designed to be a modular lighting solution, featuring WiFi-controlled, color-adjustable, triangular panels that snap together like Lego.

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Nov 1, 2016

Dinner: 2036

Posted by in categories: food, government

Food is one of life’s absolute necessities and one that people take great pleasure from, so it’s no surprise that the future of food is one of those topics that always draws significant interest. So what will we be tucking into in the year 2036? A plate of bugs with a side order of seaweed? A glass of milky liquid? Cajun Swedish fusion cuisine? Or will it be a world of shortages where we munch on government issue Soylent Green and try not to think about where it came from? Take your places at table and join us as we take a look at what mealtimes in the future might look like.

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Nov 1, 2016

How nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, nanotechnology, transhumanism

The strength of spinach isn’t only in its nutrients, but also in its ability to be hacked to function as a sensor, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An MIT team used wonder-material carbon nanotubes to give the greens the ability to detect explosives and wirelessly transmit information to a mobile device.

MIT engineers applied a solution of nanoparticles to the underside of the leaves, allowing them to be taken up into the mesophyll layer where photosynthesis takes place. The embedded nanotubes then acted as sensors able to detect nitroaromatic compounds – which are often used in explosives like land mines – in the groundwater taken up by the plants’ roots.

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Nov 1, 2016

Scientists have built a Nightmare Machine to generate the scariest images ever

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, information science, robotics/AI

We’re supposed to be building robots and AI for the good of humankind, but scientists at MIT have pretty much been doing the opposite — they’ve built a new kind of AI with the sole purpose of generating the most frightening images ever.

Just in time for Halloween, the aptly named Nightmare Machine uses an algorithm that ‘learns’ what humans find scary, sinister, or just downright unnerving, and generates images based on what it thinks will freak us out the most.

“There have been a rising number of intellectuals, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, raising alarms about the potential threat of superintelligent AI on humanity,” one of the team, Pinar Yanardag Delul, told Digital Trends.

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Nov 1, 2016

Over The Last 2,000 Years, Humans Have Evolved In Some Surprising Ways

Posted by in category: genetics

Genetic traits ranging from height to lactose tolerance and menopause onset have changed in the blink of an evolutionary eye.

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