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Jun 20, 2018

5 biggest risks of sharing your DNA with consumer genetic-testing companies

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, genetics, health

Some individuals worry they will discover things about their DNA that will be frightening — namely, the risks they run of contracting various diseases — and not know how to move forward with the information. Professional scientific skeptics contend the information may not even be as accurate as claimed, and lead people to make questionable health decisions. But there’s another type of risk that consumers aren’t focusing on as much, and it’s a big one: privacy. There is nothing more private than your personal genetic information, and sending away for a personal genome kit means sharing your DNA with the testing companies. What do they do with it, beyond providing consumers with genetic and health assessments?


Consumer DNA genetic testing kits are a booming business, and the biggest risk isn’t necessarily uncovering a health scare; it’s what these companies may do, or be forced to do, with your genetic data.

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Jun 19, 2018

Will future war be about ultra-massive drones swarms and super-weapons somewhat like Ender’s Game?

Posted by in categories: drones, futurism

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fg3h-fzjxjQ

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Jun 19, 2018

Is Reliable Energy Storage On The Horizon?

Posted by in categories: energy, government, law, military, policy

He formerly headed the U.S. federal safety agency responsible for overseeing all energy & hazmat transportation by air, land, sea, rail and pipelines as the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). He also served as the federal government&s;s top trucking, bus, and moving industry attorney as the Chief Counsel of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), also at the USDOT.

A retired a commissioned officer and naval aviator, his military service included tours of duty in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. During his time he participated in military combat and humanitarian relief operations around the globe.

An avid traveler and student of history, he spends his time covering public policy impact issues for Forbes and other publications and provides legal and advisory services to public and private sector clients interested in matters pertaining to defense, energy, transportation, homeland security, and the environment.

Continue reading “Is Reliable Energy Storage On The Horizon?” »

Jun 19, 2018

AI Learns the Art of Debate

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Project Debater is the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics. The goal is to help people build persuasive arguments and make well-informed decisions.

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Jun 19, 2018

Waymo, Uber, Ford, and others are joining forces to explore the ‘human impact’ of self-driving cars

Posted by in categories: employment, food, government, robotics/AI, transportation

Driverless vehicles could eliminate millions of jobs in the future, from cabbies to truckers to food delivery workers. But the companies that are hoping to hasten the adoption of this disruptive technology don’t want to seem callous to this brewing labor crisis, so they are joining forces to study the “human impact” of robot cars.

The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) is a newly formed group comprised of most of the major companies that are building and testing on self-driving cars. This includes legacy automakers like Ford, Toyota, and Daimler; tech giants like Waymo (née Google), Uber, and Lyft; and logistics providers like FedEx and the American Trucking Association. The new organization is being formed as a 501©(6), which allows it to accept donations like a nonprofit and lobby government like a chamber of commerce.

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Jun 19, 2018

The U.S. Military Has Been in Space From the Beginning

Posted by in categories: military, space

Get the best of Smithsonian.com by email. Keep up-to-date on:

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Jun 19, 2018

Can Thousands of Smartphones Help Detect Cosmic Rays?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mobile phones, particle physics

Your smartphone has a particle detector on it, and scientists want you to help them uncover how the universe really works and maybe even discover the true nature of dark matter. There are just a few bugs to work out.

High-energy particles from space, called cosmic rays, constantly bombard the Earth. There are all sorts of things we might be able to learn about the universe by studying those particles. We’ve previously discussed high-tech, expensive equipment used to monitor them. But the physicists behind a new project want your smartphone to help gather data on these cosmic rays, hopefully revealing new insights into dark matter and other strange phenomena.

“This project can only be successful with a large number of people,” Piotr Homola, associate professor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Polish Academy of Sciences, told Gizmodo. “We need public engagement on an unprecedented scale.”

Continue reading “Can Thousands of Smartphones Help Detect Cosmic Rays?” »

Jun 19, 2018

Will governments ever approve of cryptocurrency?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, government, internet, policy

The question was asked of me as columnist at Quora.com: Will governments eventually ‘approve’ of cryptocurrency? First let’s agree on terminology…

  1. By “approve”, I assume that you are asking if governments will adopt or at least tolerate the use of crypto as legal tender in commerce. That is, not just as a payment instrument, but as the money itself—perhaps even accepting tax payments in cryptocurrency.
  2. The word “cryptocurrency” is sometimes applied to altcoins and even to ICOs. These are not the same. Many altcoins meet the criteria of the next paragraph, but none of the ICOs measure up (ICOs are scams). I assume that your question applies to Bitcoin or to a fair and transparent altcoin forked from the original code, such as Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin.

A blockchain-based cryptocurrency that is open source, permissionless, capped, fast, frictionless, with a transparent history—and without proprietary or licensing restrictions is good for everyone. It is good for consumers; good for business; and it is even good for government.

Of course, politicians around the world are not quick to realize this. It will take years of experience, education, and policy experimentation.

Many pundits and analysts have the impression that shifting to cryptocurrency—not just as a payment instrument, but as the money itself—will never be supported by national governments. A popular misconception suggests that a cryptocurrency based economy has these undesirable traits:

Continue reading “Will governments ever approve of cryptocurrency?” »

Jun 19, 2018

Baby monkeys cloned successfully, humans may be next

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Meet Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the first monkeys to ever be cloned 😱 🐵 🐵.

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Jun 19, 2018

Urgent need to prepare for manmade virus attacks, says US government report

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

Report warns that swift progress in our ability to manufacture viruses is making us vulnerable to biological attacks.

Science editor.

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