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Feb 22, 2017

Astronomers excited by bonanza of Earth-sized planets nearby

Posted by in category: alien life

Three of the planets fall within a temperature range that should allow water to exist on their surfaces – a placement that is sometimes referred to as “the Goldilocks zone” because it is neither too hot nor too cold. Given the right sort of atmosphere, water could also be present on three of the others.

Astronomers say a solar system 39 light-years from Earth’s harbours seven Earth-sized planets, at least three of which are in the temperature sweet spot where water (and potentially life) is possible.

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Feb 22, 2017

Only 6% of space enthusiasts would like to live in the first low-Earth orbit settlements

Posted by in category: space travel

Well I for one would be in the 6%.

A new survey has found that only 6% of respondents would be happy to live in a proposed Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (ELEO) settlement, where humans live in a small cruise ship-like space station at a similar orbit to the ISS.

Four conditions were set for respondents to assess and while at least 30% said they agree with at least one of them, the number shrank significantly when it came to those who could accept all the conditions.

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Feb 22, 2017

Astronomers discover 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby star

Posted by in category: alien life

It’s a trap(PIST-1)! 😉

“The seven exoplanets were all found in tight formation around an ultracool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1.”

Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The findings were also announced at a news conference at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

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Feb 22, 2017

You might not know what to do with it, but it’s time to save up for a quantum computer

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Advances at Google, Intel, and several research groups indicate that computers with previously unimaginable power are finally within reach.

Availability: 4–5 years.

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Feb 22, 2017

StarTram: MagLev creator wants to fire satellites into space through vertical hyperloop tube

Posted by in category: satellites

James Powell has filed a patent outlining how his theoretical StarTram system could work.

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Feb 22, 2017

Uber’s self-driving cars are now picking up passengers in Arizona

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Almost two months to the day after Uber loaded its fleet of self-driving SUVs into the trailer of a self-driving truck and stormed off to Arizona in a self-driving huff, the company is preparing to launch its second experiment (if you don’t count the aborted San Francisco pilot) in autonomous ride-hailing.

What’s different is that this time, Uber has the blessing from Arizona’s top politician, Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, who is expected to be “Rider Zero” on an autonomous trip along with Anthony Levandowski, VP of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group. The Arizona pilot comes after California’s Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of Uber’s 16 self-driving cars because the company refused to apply for the appropriate permits for testing autonomous cars.

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Feb 22, 2017

Methuselah Foundation making progress to make 90 the new 50 by 2030

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

The Methuselah Foundation wants to extend healthy life — By advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, they want to create a world where 90-year olds can be as healthy as 50-year olds—by 2030.

Donate to the Methuselah Foundation here at this link

Methuselah Foundation reviewed the progress they made over the past year. Much of what you’ll read in this year in review letter is very late-breaking, and leads us to believe that 2017 will be a very important year in medical developments. 2016 took us a broad step closer to fulfilling our mission statement to “Make 90 the New 50, by 2030”. Why can we say that? For starters, let’s look at several achievements to date that made this year so successful:

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Feb 22, 2017

A DARPA Perspective on Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

What’s the ground truth on artificial intelligence (AI)? In this video, John Launchbury, the Director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office (I2O), attempts to demystify AI–what it can do, what it can’t do, and where it is headed. Through a discussion of the “three waves of AI” and the capabilities required for AI to reach its full potential, John provides analytical context to help understand the roles AI already has played, does play now, and could play in the future.

Download the slides at:

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Feb 22, 2017

Seven Earth-Like Planets Have Been Spotted Around a Nearby Star

Posted by in category: alien life

And all of them are in the temperate zone.

In late 2015, in the Chilean desert, astronomers pointed a telescope at a faint, nearby star known as a red dwarf. Amid the star’s dim infrared glow, they spotted periodic dips, a telltale sign that something was passing in front of it, blocking its light every so often. Last summer, the astronomers concluded the mysterious dimming came from three Earth-like planets—and that they were orbiting in the star’s temperate zone, where temperatures are not too hot, and not too cold, but just right for liquid water, and maybe even life.

This was an important find. Scientists for years had focused on stars like our sun in their search for potentially habitable planets outside our solar system. Red dwarfs, smaller and cooler than the sun, were thought to create inhospitable conditions. They’re also harder to see, detectable by infrared rather than visible light. But the astronomers aimed hundreds of hours worth of observations at this dwarf, known as TRAPPIST-1 anyway, using ground-based telescopes around the world and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Feb 22, 2017

Star’s seven Earth-sized worlds set record

Posted by in category: space

Astronomers have discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star — a record number.

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