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Jul 26, 2018

Scientists Are Finally Figuring Out Why We Dream, And It’s Probably Exactly What You’d Think

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Dreaming is one of the strangest things that happens to us, and for as long as we have been recording history, we have been puzzling over why our minds are so active while we sleep.

Finally, new research claims to have evidence as to what dreaming is all about — and it will probably surprise no one.

According to a team from The Swansea University Sleep Lab in the UK, dreaming really does help us process the memories and emotions we experience during our waking lives.

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Jul 26, 2018

Scientists Find Evidence of Liquid Water Below the Surface of Mars

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

Scientists announced Wednesday that they’ve found evidence of a large body of water beneath the surface of Mars. It may not be little green men, but it’s pretty darn cool.

The announcement, which comes less than two months after the Curiosity Rover found evidence of organic molecules on Mars, adds one more piece to the puzzle for scientists searching the planet for signs that it could support life — or at least could have in the past. And while scientists have long known that Mars used to have liquid water billions of years ago, the fact that it could still have water is a big deal since there’s a possibility that this water may host living organisms.

The researchers involved in the discovery, a team of Italian astronomers and physicists, published their findings in a paper in the journal Science. In the paper, the team presents evidence collected from May 2012 to December 2015 by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) experiment aboard the Mars Express spacecraft that shows evidence of a large body of liquid water.

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Jul 26, 2018

Ion Engine Startup Wants to Change the Economics of Earth Orbit

Posted by in categories: alien life, economics, engineering, finance, habitats, information science, law

For as long as she can remember, she’s puzzled over what’s out there. As a kid drifting off to sleep on a trampoline outside her family’s home near Portland, Ore., she would track the International Space Station. She remembers cobbling together a preteen version of the Drake Equation on those nights and realizing that the likelihood of intelligent alien life was something greater than zero. Star Trek marathons with her father catalyzed her cosmic thinking, as did her mother’s unexpected death when Bailey was 8. The house lost some of its order—some of its gravity—which led to more nights gazing skyward on the trampoline.

In college, Bailey got a hard-won paid internship at the now-merged aerospace giant Hamilton Sundstrand and joined a team repairing turbine engines. She hated it. “It was the opposite of pushing the envelope,” she says. “Nothing new ever went into that building. Nothing new ever left that building.”

By the time she set off to get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Duke University, the idea of logging 30 years at a place like Boeing Cor NASA had lost all appeal. She tried her hand at finance and later law, and was unlucky enough to excel at both. “I made it pretty far down that path, but then I thought, Wait, if I become a lawyer, then I’m a lawyer and that’s what I do,” she recalls. “What if I don’t want to do that on Tuesdays?”

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Jul 26, 2018

NASA-awarded ‘marsha’, a 3D-printed vertical martian habitat

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats, robotics/AI, space

3D printing refers to various processes used to manufacture three dimensional objects in successive layers of material formed under computer control.

NASA-awarded ‘marsha’, a 3D-printed vertical Martian habitat by AI spacefactory.

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Jul 26, 2018

Google wants you to use its new physical keys to secure your account

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, security

You should already be using two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your online accounts. While your phone is up to the task of helping you with that, Google believes it’s time for to take the next step: using a physical security key.

At its ongoing Google Cloud Next event, the company announced that it’s launched the Titan Security Key, which lets you log in to your account on your desktop by authenticating your identity with over USB or Bluetooth.

Check out TNW’s Hard Fork.

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Jul 26, 2018

Cities need to stop selling out to big tech companies. There’s a better way

Posted by in category: education

Giant technology companies in the US, which include some of the world’s most profitable firms, have been pledged at least $9.3bn in state and local subsidies over the last five years – much of it coming from the coffers of cities and states with failing infrastructure, struggling schools and broken budgets.

Fostering local hi-tech success doesn’t have to mean offering huge tax breaks to companies like Apple and Amazon. Here are some alternative strategies.

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Jul 26, 2018

Mexican company makes super-realistic prosthetics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

Click on photo to start video.

These prosthetics are so realistic that it’s hard to tell what is real or fake.

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Jul 25, 2018

Drilling deep to the Mars Lake

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Honeybee Robotics has been working on a Planetary Deep drill. It has been tested to a depth of about 100 feet (30 meters). The plan has to been to have the lightweight system reach kilometers of depth. This would be able to reach the liquid Lake on Mars.

The Planetary Deep Drill is a wire-line drill designed to reach miles below extraterrestrial surfaces. The lightweight drill meets the payload and excavation requirements required to reach far below the icy surface formations of Mars, Enceladus or Europa.

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Jul 25, 2018

Amazon will prevent command confusion on all Alexa devices

Posted by in category: futurism

Amazon’s Echo lineup, like some smart speakers, uses proximity detection to decide which device is best-suited to responding to your voice commands. It’s a clever way to prevent multiple devices from waking up at the same time. There’s just one problem: support in non-Amazon devices has been inconsistent at best, creating a mess if you have third-party gear that doesn’t use the feature. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be an issue from here on out. Amazon has moved its Echo Spatial Perception technology to the cloud, ensuring that all devices can use it.

The ESP upgrade is automatic and doesn’t require any changes on the part of hardware makers. It’s also more accurate, according to Amazon, and can change over time as Alexa receives upgrades.

This doesn’t change some limitations for multi-device households. Many commands still apply specifically to the device where they’re set, such as reminders and timers. Even so, this could be a crucial update for Amazon. If it’s going to bring Alexa to virtually every device it can, it has to create a harmonious ecosystem.

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Jul 25, 2018

A String of Earthquakes Off the West Coast of the US

Posted by in category: futurism

A series of earthquakes have shaken a region of ocean off the west coast of the UScientists have detected a cluster of 11 earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 2.8 to 5.6 on the Richter scale. The cluster occurred on the seabed at the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, around six miles (10km) underwater. This plate forms part of the Cascadia subduction zone, which runs from Northern California to British Columbia. Previous studies have warned this geological spot of weakness has the potential to deliver an earthquake much stronger than the infamous San Andreas fault. Seismologists say a full rupture along the 650-mile-long (1,000 km) …→

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