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Jul 8, 2016

Introducing robo-ray: part animal, part machine

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The tiny artificial stingray is the first step to bigger, more complex tissue-engineered robots, scientists say. Belinda Smith reports.

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Jul 8, 2016

Microsoft Testing DNA’s Data Storage Ability With Record-Breaking Results

Posted by in categories: computing, genetics, information science, internet, quantum physics

Biocomputing/ living circuit computing/ gene circuitry are the longer term future beyond Quantum. Here is another one of the many building blocks.

The tiny molecule responsible for transmitting the genetic data for every living thing on earth could be the answer to the IT industry’s quest for a more compact storage medium. In fact, researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington recently succeeded in storing 200 MB of data on a few strands of DNA, occupying a small dot on a test tube many times smaller than the tip of a pencil.

The Internet in a Shoebox.

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Jul 8, 2016

Aerospace-industry mavens discuss Boeing’s next 100 years

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Interesting and plausible perspective about the future of air travel.

The Boeing Co. is turning 100 on July 15. Throughout the year, The Daily Herald is covering the people, airplanes and moments that define The Boeing Century. More about this series.

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Jul 8, 2016

Flipping Crystals Improves Solar-Cell Performance

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

New method for solar cells.

New solar cells could lead to improved light-emitting diodes, lasers and sensors.

Mercouri Kanatzidis Mercouri G. Kanatzidis.

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Jul 8, 2016

Hanergy claims solar cars need 5 hours of sun for 50 miles of range

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Glad that I hadn’t plan to buy one of these cars.

A Chinese company is hoping to bring the solar-powered car to market, showing off four new “zero-charge” EVs that get all their range from the sun.

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Jul 8, 2016

Your cat probably understands basic physics

Posted by in category: physics

Cats are definitely smarter than dogs if this is true. Guess I should change my cat’s name from Dusty to Einstein or maybe Julius.

New research suggests that your cat might actually have a handle on some very basic physics, and can use it to help them hunt down hidden prey.

If the thought of your cat being better than you at physics — as well as being allowed to sleep all day — is getting you down, don’t worry, because we’re talking very simple cause-and-effect concepts here, and they only work when paired with cats’ extraordinary hearing and eyesight.

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Jul 8, 2016

Illegal gold mining causing mercury contamination in indigenous groups

Posted by in category: futurism

Serious and bad.

Research finds high, unsafe levels of mercury contamination in Brazil’s Yanomami and Ye’kuana peoples, almost certainly due to illegal gold mining on indigenous lands in the Amazon.

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Jul 8, 2016

Era of conventional wars over: Russia scientist

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI, space

Definitely could be tied to and explain some of IARPA’s investment in predictive systems “Robots to determine outcome of future wars: Russian army’s tech chief”

Robots will replace conventional soldiers on the battlefield in the future, says the Russian military’s tech chief.

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Jul 8, 2016

In-Ear EEG Makes Unobtrusive Brain-Hacking Gadgets a Real Possibility

Posted by in category: neuroscience

DARPA has been doing some interesting things in BMI already. Nice to see others onboard as well.

Earbud-like doodads can pick up brainwaves with surprising fidelity.

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Jul 8, 2016

The mind isn’t locked in the brain but extends far beyond it

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, robotics/AI

There is a lot of truth to this article especially as you look at how the mind responds/ reacts to situations, ideas, etc. has also other factors involved such as how a person overall immune system is responding, chemical balance of a person’s system, etc. So, this reconfirms that thinking and being human goes far beyond a replica of a brain in a system.

Where is your mind? Where does your thinking occur? Where are your beliefs? René Descartes thought that the mind was an immaterial soul, housed in the pineal gland near the centre of the brain. Nowadays, by contrast, we tend to identify the mind with the brain. We know that mental processes depend on brain processes, and that different brain regions are responsible for different functions. However, we still agree with Descartes on one thing: we still think of the mind as (in a phrase coined by the philosopher of mind Andy Clark) brainbound, locked away in the head, communicating with the body and wider world but separate from them. And this might be quite wrong. I’m not suggesting that the mind is non-physical or doubting that the brain is central to it; but it could be that (as Clark and others argue) the mind extends beyond the brain.

To begin with, there is a strong case for thinking that many mental processes are essentially embodied. The brainbound view pictures the brain as a powerful executive, planning every aspect of behaviour and sending detailed instructions to the muscles. But, as work in robotics has illustrated, there are more efficient ways of doing things, which nature almost certainly employs. The more biologically realistic robots perform basic patterns of movement naturally, in virtue of their passive dynamics, without the use of motors and controllers. Intelligent, powered control is then achieved by continuously monitoring and tweaking these bodily processes, sharing the control task between brain and body.

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