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Jun 30, 2018

Human Civilization is our Second Womb for Birthing Transhumans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, food, genetics, mathematics, sustainability, transhumanism

A being that can consciously alter its own DNA via technological intervention (i.e. cybernetic means) is what our Second Womb has been nurturing. We have used civilization to protect ourselves while we crack the code of our biological being. We started in the womb of the cave. Then moved on to the womb of the hut. Then the village, the city, and the state. All thew hile, we have been tinkering with our own DNA and the DNA of other species. To me, this is the real posthuman or transhuman — it is the creature that is actively editing its own biological blueprint through tech. This is what we’ve been doing since we started augmenting our bodies with clothing and animal skins. We’ve been modifying our ability to endure the slings and arrows of the cosmos.

What is human civilization? It is difficult to assert that other animals do not create their own civilizations — termites for instance meet some criteria for being categorized as cyborgs (building temperature-controlled mega structures). Animals communicate, express feelings, and have personalities. Octopi arrange furniture for would-be mates. Others engage in mating rituals. Some mourn the dead. Birds can solve simple math. Critters scheme, enterprise, forge bonds, and even produce art. What do we do that animals do not?

To our credit, we are the only animals that record, share, and develop history upon structures and materials outside of our bodies. We harness energy for massive projects. We farm, but again, so do leaf-cutter ants. But we create genetically novel vegetables and animals. We alter the global climate. Our enterprises are global, and given time and opportunity, our projects will eventually become exostellar. We do all this rather ferociously. Human history is a rather short explosion of civilization-building activities, and yet it might already have irrevocably altered the future of all life on this planet. No other creature has created a circumstance quite like that of human beings and our anthropocene project. For instance, unless we clean up the environment, the next few generations of plant and animal life are going to have be extremely resilient to radiation, Styrofoam, plastics, and other run-offs squeezed out from the human project. That is just a fact of life now on earth.

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Jun 30, 2018

Saturn’s moon Enceladus is now the likeliest place to find alien life

Posted by in category: alien life

When a massive saltwater ocean was found hidden beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus back in 2015, astronomers were cautiously optimistic that this watery world could have just the right conditions to host life. Now, thanks to a new study, Enceladus’ stock has gone up — way up.

Using data from a dead spacecraft, an international team of astronomers has for the first time discovered complex organic (carbon-containing) molecules — the building blocks of life — spewing from Enceladus. The new finding, described in a paper published online June 27 in the journal Nature, makes the small icy moon the most promising place beyond Earth to find life in the solar system.

“Enceladus’ subsurface ocean is a habitable place. The big question is if it is inhabited,” Frank Postberg, a planetary scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the study’s lead author, told NBC News MACH in an email.

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Jun 30, 2018

At Asteroid Ryugu, Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Preps for Exploration

Posted by in category: space

The probe will map the surface, deploy rovers and collect pristine samples that could contain clues about the origins of life on Earth.

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Jun 30, 2018

Meet the creepy new AI system designed to help astronauts in space

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Scientists are sending up the new tool, called CIMON, in order to help astronauts on the International Space Station.

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Jun 30, 2018

New form of gold is much golder than normal gold

Posted by in category: futurism

Gold never loses its lustre because it is so chemically unreactive, and now microscopic gold crystals have been made that are even less reactive.

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Jun 30, 2018

Astronomers observe the magnetic field of the remains of supernova 1987A

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

For the first time, astronomers have directly observed the magnetism in one of astronomy’s most studied objects: the remains of Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), a dying star that appeared in our skies over thirty years ago.

In addition to being an impressive observational achievement, the detection provides insight into the early stages of the evolution of supernova remnants and the cosmic magnetism within them.

“The magnetism we’ve detected is around 50,000 times weaker than a fridge magnet,” says Prof. Bryan Gaensler. “And we’ve been able to measure this from a distance of around 1.6 million trillion kilometres.”

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Jun 30, 2018

Bulldozer drives itself

Posted by in category: futurism

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Jun 30, 2018

Time Split to the Nanosecond Is Precisely What Wall Street Wants

Posted by in categories: computing, finance

Driven by the needs of the financial industry, researchers are working on ways to manage vast computer systems down to 100 billionths of a second.

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Jun 30, 2018

Extra PCs laying around? Why not mine Bitcoin?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, internet, supercomputing

I get this question a lot. Today, I was asked to write an answer at, a Q&A web site at which I am the local cryptocurrency expert. It’s time to address this issue here at Lifeboat.


I have many PCs laying around my home and office.
Some are current models with fast Intel CPUs. Can
I mine Bitcoin to make a little money on the side?


Other answers focus on the cost of electricity, the number of hashes or teraflops achieved by a computer CPU or the size of the current Bitcoin reward. But, you needn’t dig into any of these details to understand this answer.

You can find the mining software to mine Bitcoin or any other coin on any equipment. Even a phone or wristwatch. But, don’t expect to make money. Mining Bitcoin with an x86 CPU (Core or Pentium equivalent) is never cost effective—not even when Bitcoin was trading at nearly $20,000. A computer with a fast $1500 graphics card will bring you closer to profitability, but not by much.

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Jun 30, 2018

Kroger will use autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries this fall

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

Gradually automating the entire grocery store process. From initial delivery of products to the store/warehouse. To a store that will be optional to go to, but if you do want to go into the store it will be almost fully automated, to delivery drones and self driving vehicles that will bring you your order in under an hour. That is what Amazon is really up to.

Self-driving delivery startup Nuro scores major deal with Kroger.

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