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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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Aug 23, 2017

New Recipe For Heating Nuclear Fusion Plasma Boosts Ion Energy Output 10 Times

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, particle physics

Extracting useful amounts of energy from the merging of atoms is tricky business, not least thanks to the challenges of controlling squirming clouds of ultra-hot plasma.

Our clean power fusion goals could be a step closer now researchers have tweaked their fusion recipe to add a new ion to the mix. This allows researchers to get a better grip on how high-energy charged particles move not just inside reactors on Earth, but potentially provide insights into how they behave in stars.

A team of researchers at MIT have used data from experiments conducted on a type of fusion reactor called a tokamak to explore how adding a third ion to the more traditional two-ion plasma mix shakes things up.

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Aug 23, 2017

139 Countries Could Move to 100% Clean Energy Under Researchers’ Plan

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

A research group based at Stanford University has drawn a plan for nations to reduce global warming by relying on solar and wind power.

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Aug 23, 2017

Colorado School of Mines plans to launch space mining graduate program

Posted by in categories: economics, education, law, policy, space

You can go to school for space mining.


GOLDEN, Colo. — The Colorado School of Mines plans to launch a new graduate program that could help people inhabit other planets some day.

The school is working to launch the space resources graduate program that will teach students how to explore, extract and use resources not only on Earth but also on the moon, Mars, asteroids and more.

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