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Aug 24, 2017

Will Gene Editing Allow Us to Rid the World of Diseases?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Scientists recently used a gene-editing tool to fix a mutation in a human embryo. Around the world, researchers are chasing cures for other genetic diseases.

Now that the gene-editing genie is out of the bottle, what would you wish for first?

Babies with “perfect” eyes, over-the-top intelligence, and a touch of movie star charisma?

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Aug 24, 2017

Experts warn of ‘third revolution in warfare’

Posted by in category: military

A letter to the UN warns the world is getting closer to a dangerous “third revolution in warfare”.

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Aug 24, 2017

Private firm puts $500K bounty on Signal, WhatsApp zero-day vulnerabilities

Posted by in categories: business, security

Zero-day vulnerabilities targeting popular secure messenger applications, like Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp, can fetch payments of up to $500,000 from Zerodium, a buyer and seller of zero-day research, based on a newly released list of available awards offered by the U.S. firm.

The market for zero-day vulnerabilities — an undisclosed software security hole that can be exploited by hackers — is notoriously rich and murky. Traders tend to operate away from public scrutiny for a number of reasons that make it difficult to learn about the market.

Although Zerodium isn’t known for the transparency of its business, the company’s listings for vulnerabilities provides a window into the supply and demand behind the vulnerability resale industry.

Continue reading “Private firm puts $500K bounty on Signal, WhatsApp zero-day vulnerabilities” »

Aug 24, 2017

People Versus Machines: The Impact of Minimum Wages on Automatable Jobs

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Automation, unemployment, & low wage workers


We study the effect of minimum wage increases on employment in automatable jobs – jobs in which employers may find it easier to substitute machines for people – focusing on low-skilled workers from whom such substitution may be spurred by minimum wage increases. Based on CPS data from 1980–2015, we find that increasing the minimum wage decreases significantly the share of automatable employment held by low-skilled workers, and increases the likelihood that low-skilled workers in automatable jobs become unemployed. The average effects mask significant heterogeneity by industry and demographic group, including substantive adverse effects for older, low-skilled workers in manufacturing. The findings imply that groups often ignored in the minimum wage literature are in fact quite vulnerable to employment changes and job loss because of automation following a minimum wage increase.

You may purchase this paper on-line in.pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

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Aug 24, 2017

Futurist Gray Scott: We are Part of a Technological Cosmos

Posted by in categories: biological, bionic, electronics, evolution, futurism, human trajectories, innovation, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI

How will our relationship to technology evolve in the future? Will we regard it as something apart from ourselves, part of ourselves, or as a new area of evolution? In this new video from the Galactic Public Archives, Futurist Gray Scott explains that we are a part of a technological cosmos. Do you agree with Scott that technology is built into the universe, waiting to be discovered?

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Aug 24, 2017

Crowdsourced Solar Eclipse Films

Posted by in category: entertainment

One would have to have been literally living under a rock to miss the recent solar eclipse, but for those who either didn’t have a great view or were far outside the path of totality, Google’s ‘Eclipse Megamovie 2017’ is a solid alternative. The video, available on YouTube, sources images of the eclipse shot by volunteers to create a timelapse of the total eclipse as it passed across the continental United States.

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Aug 24, 2017

Russian Defense Ministry develops electromagnetic gun to counter drones

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

According to a center spokesman, the gun emits separate electromagnetic pulses to suppress channels used to operate a drone. As a result, the drone loses contact with its operator, while its uncontrolled flight ends in a crash. The spokesman added that the Stupor gun had a range of two kilometers, covering a 20 degree sector.

Support documentation explains that the device is capable of suppressing navigation and transmission channels used by unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as their photo and video cameras within the electro-optical range of frequencies.

The gun can be charged from the grid, as well as from a car battery.

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Aug 24, 2017

Japan Unveils a Buddhist Funeral Robot

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

It’s pretty cheerful-looking for a robot that gives funeral services.

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Aug 23, 2017

This Robot Ship Experiment Could Disrupt the Global Shipping Industry

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Japan’s largest container line plans to test a remote-controlled vessel across the Pacific Ocean in 2019 as it pursues fully autonomous technology that could disrupt the global shipping industry.

Nippon Yusen K.K. is considering using a large container ship for the test from Japan to North America and a crew will be on standby for safe operations, Hideyuki Ando, a senior general manager at Monohakobi Technology Institute, said in an interview Wednesday. The institute, a unit of Nippon Yusen, conducts research and development in areas such as safe vessel operation, energy saving, and logistics.

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Aug 23, 2017

Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

This is in addition to 47 already known about and eruption would melt more ice in region affected by climate change.

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