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Jul 14, 2018

First color images of Earth

Posted by in category: space

This was what it was like to see Earth from space in color for the first time.

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Jul 14, 2018

Wall Street’s Big Banks Are Waging an All-Out Technological Arms Race

Posted by in category: finance

But constraints brought about by the financial crisis ended the leverage that had fueled the boom. Fixed-income traders felt the brunt of the changes, and in the years since, equities traders —especially those with a technology background—have enjoyed a renaissance. Their rise has touched off a battle for supremacy that’s come down to only three companies: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase. These rivals are now locked in a technological arms race to control a $58 billion-a-year industry. As they each jockey for an edge over the other, no one who trades on Wall Street is safe.


Dimon, Blankfein, Gorman: Three great rivals are battling to control the $58 billion-a-year equities industry.

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Jul 13, 2018

Nuclear excitation by electron capture seen at long last

Posted by in categories: innovation, nuclear energy

Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source.

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Jul 13, 2018

First global maps of Pluto and Charon show the worlds’ highs and lows

Posted by in category: space

New charts of Pluto and its moon Charon, compiled using New Horizons’ data, reveal high peaks, deep depressions and strange ridges.

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Jul 13, 2018

Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space travel

In the new study, the researchers dropped the full experimental set up for photocatalysis down a 120m drop tower, creating an environment similar to microgravity. As objects accelerate towards Earth in free fall, the effect of gravity diminishes as forces exerted by gravity are cancelled out by equal and opposite forces due to the acceleration. This is opposite to the G forces experienced by astronauts and fighter pilots as they accelerate in their aircraft.

The researchers managed to show that it is indeed possible to split water in this environment. However, as water is split to create gas, bubbles form. Getting rid of bubbles from the catalyst material once formed is important – bubbles hinder the process of creating gas. On Earth, gravity makes the bubbles automatically float to the surface (the water near the surface is denser than the bubbles, which makes them buyonant) – freeing the space on the catalyst for the next bubble to be produced.

In zero gravity this is not possible and the bubble will remain on or near the catalyst. However, the scientists adjusted the shape of nanoscale features in the catalyst by creating pyramid-shaped zones where the bubble could easily disengage from the tip and float off into the medium.

Continue reading “Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel” »

Jul 13, 2018

Can We Measure Our Own Galaxy Speeding Through Space?

Posted by in categories: physics, space, transportation

You’re probably sitting still, right? Wrong, absolutely wrong. Not only are you on a spinning orb, but you’re also traveling around 70,000 miles per hour around a star, in a galaxy that, observations imply, is sailing through space at over a million miles per hour.

If the above numbers seem shocking, they shouldn’t be. The laws of physics look and feel the same for any object so long as it’s not accelerating, the way you can’t feel that a car is traveling at a steady 60 miles per hour unless you look out the window. But that also makes our galactic speed hard to measure from here on Earth. The million-plus mile per hour number is based on measurements of how the most distant objects in the Universe appear to move in comparison to us, but scientists want to try to measure our acceleration by looking at more nearby objects.

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Jul 13, 2018

President Donald Trump assigned a task force to investigate cryptocurrency fraud

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, cybercrime/malcode, finance, government

Cryptocurrency fraud and other kinds of cyber-fraud, too.


President Donald Trump has assigned an official task force to investigate the pervasive fraud within the cryptocurrency industry.

On Thursday, the president signed an executive order for a new task force within the Department of Justice with a mandate “to investigate and prosecute crimes of fraud committed against the U.S. Government or the American people, recover the proceeds of such crimes, and ensure just and effective punishment of those who perpetrate crimes of fraud.”

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Jul 13, 2018

An AI learnt to drive an autonomous car in 20 minutes

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Like DeepMind and OpenAI, Wayve’s new autonomous vehicle learns to drive using “reinforcement learning” to stay within a lane.

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Jul 13, 2018

How to predict the side effects of millions of drug combinations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

An example graph of polypharmacy side effects derived from genomic and patient population data, protein–protein interactions, drug–protein targets, and drug–drug interactions encoded by 964 different polypharmacy side effects. The graph representation is used to develop Decagon. (credit: Marinka Zitnik et al./Bioinformatics)

Millions of people take up to five or more medications a day, but doctors have no idea what side effects might arise from adding another drug.*

Now, Stanford University computer scientists have developed a deep-learning system (a kind of AI modeled after the brain) called Decagon** that could help doctors make better decisions about which drugs to prescribe. It could also help researchers find better combinations of drugs to treat complex diseases.

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Jul 13, 2018

Nanomaterials that mimic nerve impulses (spikes) discovered

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Nanomaterials that mimic nerve impulses (credit: Osaka University)

A combination of nanomaterials that can mimic nerve impulses (“spikes”) in the brain have been discovered by researchers at Kyushu Institute of Technology and Osaka University in Japan.

Current “neuromorphic” (brain-like) chips (such as IBM’s neurosynaptic TrueNorth) and circuits (such as those based on the NVIDIA GPGPU, or general purpose graphical processing unit) are devices based on complex circuits that emulate only one part of the brain’s mechanisms: the learning ability of synapses (which connect neurons together).

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