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Jul 15, 2018

On this day: 15 July 1799

Posted by in category: space

On this day: 15 July 1799, as French soldiers were strengthening the defences of Fort Julien, just north-east of the Egyptian port of Rosetta (Rashid), Lt Pierre-François Bouchard spotted a slab of stone with inscriptions on one side that his soldiers had uncovered. This slab was named the Rosetta Stone, and a few hundred years later, the name would be carried by ESA’s Rosetta Mission, hoping to unlock the secrets of a comet… More at…1&partId=1

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Jul 15, 2018

All Ears: Always-On Listening Devices Could Soon Be Everywhere

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Kind of think it would be a dumb idea to try and make every separate device smart. Focus on an AI assistant for the house that can manage all of the devices.

Tiny microphones are moving us toward a world in which all gadgets can respond to a voice command. For those worried about privacy: meet a $200 trash can.

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Jul 15, 2018

A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, government, law

Defense Distributed, the anarchist gun group known for its 3D printed and milled “ghost guns,” has settled a case with the federal government allowing it to upload technical data on nearly any commercially available firearm. Read the full story on WIRED:

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Jul 15, 2018

Amazing Facts About Nebulae

Posted by in category: futurism

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Jul 14, 2018

How Nantes team’s 3D printing may alter shape of homes to come

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

For some months now, a 3D printed house in Nantes has drawn lots of attention, not just because a printer was involved but also because it went up from start to finish so quickly (54 hours to print, then add some more time for the windows and roof). Interesting Engineering said it took some more time to add the roof, windows and doors.

A robot printer was used to print layers from the floor upwards to form the walls, and videos show a beautiful result of five rooms with rounded walls.

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Jul 14, 2018

Synthetic surfactant could ease breathing for patients with lung disease and injury

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Human lungs are coated with a substance called surfactant which allows us to breathe easily. When lung surfactant is missing or depleted, which can happen with premature birth or lung injury, breathing becomes difficult. In a collaborative study between Lawson Health Research Institute and Stanford University, scientists have developed and tested a new synthetic surfactant that could lead to improved treatments for lung disease and injury.

Lung surfactant is made up of lipids and proteins which help lower tension on the ’s surface, reducing the amount of effort needed to take a breath. The proteins, called surfactant-associated proteins, are very difficult to create in a laboratory and so the surfactant most commonly used in medicine is obtained from animal lungs.

London, Ontario has a rich legacy in surfactant research and innovation. Dr. Fred Possmayer, a scientist at Lawson and Western University, pioneered the technique used to purify and sterilize lung surfactant extracted from cows. Called bovine lipid extract surfactant (BLES), the therapeutic is made in London, Ontario and used by nearly all neonatal intensive care units in Canada to treat premature babies with respiratory distress.

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Jul 14, 2018

Elon Musk has a new interest group that could be added to his list of enemies: Cabbies

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

A nightmare on the roads here. And, proof that anyone who tries to make it better will be seen as a bad guy.

Elon Musk’s ambitions often come under attack from entrenched interest groups. Now Musk’s Boring Company has a deal with Chicago to build a high-speed tunnel train to O’Hare Airport. Cabdrivers, already stinging from Uber and Lyft, could become the next “unfriendly” force for the billionaire entrepreneur.

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Jul 14, 2018

Space Cruise Reflections: Exploring Sea and Space Aboard the Viking Orion

Posted by in category: space travel

Throughout history, humans have shared an innate interest in exploration — to travel to new reaches of our planet, and even our universe.

Last month, I sailed with the Viking Orion for its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean. Traveling to new places served as a reminder of the deeply curious human nature that continues to inspire space exploration.

The ship is named after the prominent constellation and NASA’s Orion spacecraft — the first crewed capsule designed to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit. The name also honors retired NASA astronaut Anna Fisher, who was recognized as the ship’s “godmother” during the ship’s naming ceremony on June 14. The Orion spacecraft is the last project Fisher worked on before she retired in May 2017. [Photo Tour: All Aboard the Space-Themed Viking Orion Cruise Ship!].

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Jul 14, 2018

New Quantum Computer Milestone Would Make Richard Feynman Very Happy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, quantum physics, robotics/AI

A commercially available “quantum computer” has been on the market since 2011, but it’s controversial. The D-Wave machine is nothing like other quantum computers, and until recently, scientists have doubted that it was even truly quantum at all. But the company has released an important new result, one that in part realizes Richard Feynman’s initial dreams for a quantum computer.

Scientists from D-Wave announced they have simulated a large quantum mechanical system with their 2000Q machine—essentially a cube of connected bar magnets. The D-Wave can’t take on the futuristic, mostly non-physics-related goals that many people have for quantum computers, such as finding solutions in medicine, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. Nor does it work the same way as the rest of the competition. But it’s now delivering real physics results. It’s simulating a quantum system.

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Jul 14, 2018

NASA director reverses on climate change, after 1 month

Posted by in categories: astronomy, climatology, education, environmental, ethics, existential risks, governance, government, lifeboat, science, space, sustainability

For millennia, our planet has sustained a robust ecosystem; healing each deforestation, algae bloom, pollution or imbalance caused by natural events. Before the arrival of an industrialized, destructive and dominant global species, it could pretty much deal with anything short of a major meteor impact. In the big picture, even these cataclysmic events haven’t destroyed the environment—they just changed the course of evolution and rearranged the alpha animal.

But with industrialization, the race for personal wealth, nations fighting nations, and modern comforts, we have recognized that our planet is not invincible. This is why Lifeboat Foundation exists. We are all about recognizing the limits to growth and protecting our fragile environment.

Check out this April news article on the US president’s forthcoming appointment of Jim Bridenstine, a vocal climate denier, as head of NASA. NASA is one of the biggest agencies on earth. Despite a lack of training or experience—without literacy in science, technology or astrophysics—he was handed an enormous responsibility, a staff of 17,000 and a budget of $19 billion.

In 2013, Bridenstine criticized former president Obama for wasting taxpayer money on climate research, and claimed that global temperatures stopped rising 15 years ago.

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