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Oct 2, 2017

Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?

Posted by in category: futurism

“Facebook has grown so big, and become so totalizing, that we can’t really grasp it all at once. Like a four-dimensional object, we catch slices of it when it passes through the three-dimensional world we recognize. In one context, it looks and acts like a television broadcaster, but in this other context, an NGO.”

- “Not even Zuckerberg himself seemed prepared for the role Facebook has played in global politics this past year.”

- “In which case, how can we be assured that Facebook is really safeguarding democracy for us and that it’s not us who need to be safeguarding democracy against Facebook?”

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Oct 2, 2017

The New Monopolists

Posted by in category: innovation

While innovations in information technology have transformed how people live, work, and connect, the IT industry’s growth pattern has contributed to a widening gap between rich and poor. Addressing it will require new taxation schemes and modernization of antitrust legislation.

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Oct 2, 2017

The ability to create designer babies is here thanks to the gene therapy called CRISPR via

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics

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Oct 2, 2017

Color-changing tattoos monitor blood glucose at a glance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, wearables

Tattoos are fast becoming more than just a means of self-expression: soon they could be used for more practical applications, like tracking blood alcohol levels or turning the skin into a touchscreen. Now, a team from Harvard and MIT has developed a smart ink that could make for tattoos that monitor biometrics like glucose levels, and change color as a result.

Currently, bodily biomarkers can be monitored through a wardrobe-load of wearables, but they usually need batteries for power and wireless communication systems to transmit data. Using biosensitive inks (bio-inks), the Harvard and MIT design is self-contained, and since it works on simple chemical reactions it doesn’t require power for any data processing or transmission.

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Oct 2, 2017

Rio Tinto Steams Ahead With First Driverless Ore Train

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Trains autonomously hauling iron ore across Australia’s arid Pilbara region were meant to transform the mining industry, but the technology proved trickier than expected. Now, Rio Tinto says it has completed a driverless pilot run, operated by people hundreds of miles away.

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Oct 1, 2017

How Mozart Might Have Played Metallica, According to Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: media & arts, robotics/AI

This system applies subtle stylistic techniques gleaned from a musician’s work to samples of another artist, suggesting how one musician would likely have played another’s music.

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Oct 1, 2017

Scientists have found a way to potentially stop us ageing

Posted by in category: life extension

A study by a team from the Houston Methodist Research Institute showed the potential of a treatment that targets telomeres in chromosomes to reverse cellular aging.

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Oct 1, 2017

The Senate Is About to Approve Commercial Sale of Self-Driving Cars (But Not Trucks)

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Senators John Thune and Gary Peters reach a bipartisan deal.

By Minda Zetlin

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Oct 1, 2017

Microsoft’s new coding language is made for quantum computers

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, supercomputing

When one of the first personal computers, the Altair 8800 came along in 1976, Microsoft was ready with a programming language, Altair BASIC. It wants to be equally prepared when quantum computers go mainstream, so it has unveiled a new programming language and other tools for the futuristic tech at its Ignite conference. You’ll still need to understand Qubits and other weird concepts, but by integrating traditional languages like C# and Python, Microsoft will make it easier to do mainstream computing on the complex machines.

Quantum computing is famously difficult to grasp — even IBM’s “Beginner’s Guide” is laughingly opaque. In discussing Microsoft’s new initiatives, Bill Gates called the physics “hieroglyphics,” and when asked if he could describe it in one sentence, Satya Nadella said “I don’t think so. I wish I could.”

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Oct 1, 2017

Are preprints the future of biology? A survival guide for scientists

Posted by in categories: biological, futurism

Proponents of biology preprints argue they will accelerate the pace of science—and improve its quality—by publicizing findings long before they reach journals, helping researchers get rapid feedback on their work, and giving a leg up to young researchers who don’t yet have many publications. Some see little difference between posting a preprint and presenting unpublished findings at a meeting, except that the preprint audience can be far larger.

Many biologists remain wary, however. Some worry that competitors will steal their data or ideas, or rush to publish similar work. Others predict that preprint servers will become a time sink, as scientists spend hours trying to sift through an immense mishmash of papers of various quality. And some researchers fear that easy, rapid publication could foster preprint wars—in which the findings in one preprint are quickly attacked in another, sometimes within hours. Such online squabbles could leave the public bewildered and erode trust in scientists.

Biologists are posting unreviewed manuscripts in record numbers. But many are still not sure it’s a good idea.

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