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Jun 21, 2016

Measuring Planck’s constant, NIST’s watt balance brings world closer to new kilogram

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics, quantum physics

A high-tech version of an old-fashioned balance scale at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has just brought scientists a critical step closer toward a new and improved definition of the kilogram. The scale, called the NIST-4 watt balance, has conducted its first measurement of a fundamental physical quantity called Planck’s constant to within 34 parts per billion — demonstrating the scale is accurate enough to assist the international community with the redefinition of the kilogram, an event slated for 2018.

The redefinition-which is not intended to alter the value of the kilogram’s mass, but rather to define it in terms of unchanging fundamental constants of nature-will have little noticeable effect on everyday life. But it will remove a nagging uncertainty in the official kilogram’s mass, owing to its potential to change slightly in value over time, such as when someone touches the metal artifact that currently defines it.

Planck’s constant lies at the heart of quantum mechanics, the theory that is used to describe physics at the scale of the atom and smaller. Quantum mechanics began in 1900 when Max Planck described how objects radiate energy in tiny packets known as “quanta.” The amount of energy is proportional to a very small quantity called h, known as Planck’s constant, which subsequently shows up in almost all equations in quantum mechanics. The value of h — according to NIST’s new measurement — is 6.62606983×10−34 kg?m2/s, with an uncertainty of plus or minus 22 in the last two digits.

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Jun 21, 2016

Using Enzymes to Enhance LEDs

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Robert Dunleavy had just started his sophomore year at Lehigh University when he decided he wanted to take part in a research project. He sent an email to Bryan Berger, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, who invited Dunleavy to his lab.

Berger and his colleagues were conducting experiments on tiny semiconductor particles called quantum dots. The optical and electronic properties of QDs make them useful in lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), medical imaging, solar cells, and other applications.

Dunleavy joined Berger’s group and began working with cadmium sulfide (CdS), one of the compounds from which QDs are fabricated. The group’s goal was to find a better way of producing CdS quantum dots, which are currently made with toxic chemicals in an expensive process that requires high pressure and temperature.

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Jun 21, 2016

DARPA Launches Program to Help Data Science Through Automated Empirical Modeling

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, science

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched its Data-Driven Discovery of Models program that aims to automate aspects of data science to help non-experts construct their own empirical models.

DARPA said Friday D3M looks to address a data science expertise gap the agency says is reflected by lack of results for predictive questions among popular search engines.

“The construction of empirical models today is largely a manual process, requiring data experts to translate stochastic elements, such as weather and traffic, into models that engineers and scientists can then ask questions of,” said Wade Shen, a DARPA program manager in the information innovation office.

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Jun 21, 2016

Why a major newspaper publisher renamed itself “Tronc” and released a silly video

Posted by in category: futurism

Tronc’s mockable, buzzword-laden video actually makes an important point.

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Jun 21, 2016

Particles That Tunnel Together, Stay Together

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

This is excellent; being able to ensuring that 2 particles can act as 1 molecule through tunneling.


Researchers have theoretically shown that in certain conditions, two particles will begin to act as if they are one molecule and undergo quantum tunneling together.

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Jun 21, 2016

Techshot accomplishes 3D bioprinting in zero gravity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, space travel

NASA contractor Techshot have become the first to 3D print a heart structure in zero gravity using human stem cells. Together with 3D bioprinter developers nScrypt and bio-ink specialists Bioficial Organs they have successfully printed cardiac and vascular structures, and believe this could further 3D bioprinting efforts on solid ground.

Techshot have been developing technologies for NASA, SpaceX and other partners for more than 25 years. They have tech aboard the International Space Station among other places, and are also known for combining their aerospace specialism with the medical sector, having built the Bone Densitometer zero-gravity X ray machine.

NScrypt are responsible for building the world’s first 3D bioprinter back in 2003, and have been working on micro-dispensing and 3D printing systems for years. Also in the team was Bioficial Organs, which has grown out of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, and specializes in organ 3D printing innovations.

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Jun 21, 2016

Voice: How To Architect A Cognitive Future For Business

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, computing, education, finance, mobile phones, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Whether referred to as AI, machine learning, or cognitive systems, such as IBM Watson, a growing cadre of business leaders is embracing this opportunity head on.

That’s because their consumers are using cognitive applications on a daily basis — through their phones, in their cars, with their doctors, banks, schools, and more. All of this consumer engagement is creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. And thanks to IT infrastructures designed for cognitive workloads — that can understand, reason, and learn from all this data — organizations and entire industries are transforming and reaping the benefits.

What’s important to remember is that this sci-fi-turned-reality-show of cognitive computing cannot happen without the underlying systems on which the APIs, software, and services run. For this very reason, today’s leading CIOs are thinking differently about their IT infrastructure.

Continue reading “Voice: How To Architect A Cognitive Future For Business” »

Jun 21, 2016

You may soon be dating a sex doll

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI, sex

Your next sex-buddy may be made of silicone, designed to your specifications and willing to put up with even your most outrageous quirks – much to Noel Sharkey’s chagrin. The emeritus professor of robotics at Sheffield University in the UK is blowing up over the proliferation of realistic sex dolls.

According to the Daily Mail, Sharkey and other academics are voicing concern about the dolls and a new generation of sex-bots that may one day have full-blown speech recognition.

At that point, the profs warn, fabricated mates may become as prevalent as Internet porn and wreak havoc with our love lives. “What if it’s your first time? Your first relationship?” Sharkey asks. “What [will] you think a man or woman is? It will get in the way of real life, stopping people from forming relationships with normal people.”

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Jun 21, 2016

Tech Companies Mull Storing Data in DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science

As conventional storage technologies struggle to keep up with big data, interest grows in a biological alternative.

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Jun 21, 2016

Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful

Posted by in category: business

I wanted to share this article because I am hearing this brought up again a lot lately across the US and the current political climate plus if we have a Trump Whitehouse what could this mean for big tech?


We’re not creating the new businesses we should be, and these giants have to be broken up.

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