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Oct 26, 2016

There May Be A Loophole in the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Posted by in categories: futurism, mathematics

In Brief:

  • Scientists have formulated a mathematical theorem which shows that Newton’s Second Law may, at least, have a loophole.
  • The finding may provide the foundation for future discoveries that may allow us to power devices remotely.

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Oct 26, 2016

Google’s neural networks invent their own encryption

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, robotics/AI

Using machine learning, computers have come up with codes that let them send secret messages to each other – but they’re still a long way off humans.

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Oct 26, 2016

Play the PC game Elon Musk wrote as a pre-teen

Posted by in categories: alien life, Elon Musk, internet, military, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk is obsessed with space. At age 30, he founded SpaceX. At age 41, he oversaw the first cargo mission to the International Space Station by a private company. And at age 12, as a kid living in South Africa, he made a space-themed PC game called Blastar. Now, thanks to the power of the internet, you can play that game.

Musk sold the code for Blastar for $500 to the magazine PC and Office Technology, and a reproduction of the page it appeared on was published in Ashlee Vance’s biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. From there, Tomas Lloret Llinares — a software engineer at Google — took the code and rebuilt the game to work in HTML5.

Your mission, as the game’s lonely space pilot, is to “destroy [the] alien freighter carrying deadly hydrogen bombs and status beam machines.” Blastar is mostly a mix of Space Invaders and Asteroid, though it’s much more basic. There is never more than two ships on the screen, there are few sound effects, and — like many games of its time — it really has no ending. It’s almost unimpressive; that is, until you remember that it was made by a 12-year-old in 1984.

Continue reading “Play the PC game Elon Musk wrote as a pre-teen” »

Oct 26, 2016

Elon Musk just shared his 4-step plan for Mars — colonists should be “prepared to die”

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Elon Musk wants to launch a million people to Mars in the event some apocalyptic disaster eventually ruins Earth. And he wants it to be somewhat affordable — US $200,000 or less per person.

To that end the SpaceX CEO outlined his plan to colonise Mars on September 27, including how his Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) of rockets, spaceships, fuel pods, and other crucial components would get the job done.

Still, the full presentation at the International Astronomical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, barely scratched the surface.

Continue reading “Elon Musk just shared his 4-step plan for Mars — colonists should be ‘prepared to die’” »

Oct 26, 2016

This Might Be Our Best Shot at Finding That ‘Alien Megastructure’

Posted by in category: alien life

Since it was first suggested that the flickering star known as KIC 8462852 might be a Dyson Sphere, telescope-toting astronomers associated with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) have been scouring the system for signs of aliens. Now, the most well-funded SETI program on Earth— UC Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen —is getting in on the hunt, too.

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Oct 26, 2016

Google Jamboard Is a Huge 4K Screen You Can Scribble On — By Tim Moynihan | WIRED

Posted by in categories: business, hardware, innovation

Google is off to a solid start with the “we make hardware now” thing.”

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Oct 26, 2016

The Beauty and Total Illegibility of Extreme Metal Logos — By Liz Stinson | WIRED

Posted by in categories: fun, media & arts

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Christophe Szpajdel, a Belgian designer who has crafted more than 7,000 logos for bands since the 1980s, explains that, just like any other form of design, a good metal logo relies on basic principles like symmetry, visual harmony, letter height, and precision.”

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Oct 26, 2016

AI Pioneer Yoshua Bengio Is Launching Element AI, a Deep-Learning Incubator — By Cade Metz | WIRED

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

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“For researchers given the right guidance, the market for their skills is enormous. Deep learning is now technology that every big company needs. And there are only so many researchers to go around.”

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Oct 26, 2016

New metamaterial shrinks when the heat is on

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

It’s one of the basic facts of science: Heat something and it expands. But a team of US scientists has gone counterintuitive and invented a 3D-printed material that shrinks when heated. Developed as part of DARPA’s program to study materials with controlled microstructure architecture, the lightweight metamaterial exhibits what the researchers call “negative thermal expansion.”

Metamaterials are one of those things that come out of the lab with an air of enchantment about them. Basically, they’re made up of composite materials, like metals, plastics, or ceramics, engineered into repeating, microscopic structures. Depending on how these structures are designed, they can give the metamaterial properties that aren’t found in nature and may not even be derived from the source materials themselves.

The study by a team from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Additive Manufacturing Initiative in partnership with the University of Southern California, MIT, and the University of California, Los Angeles, used a 3D printing process called projection microstereolithograpy to form a polymer and a polymer/copper composite into a highly complex 3D bi-material microlattice structure. To put it more simply, they printed a material made of two substances to form a pattern by printing out the polymer in a layer, cleaning the surface to avoid contamination, then printing the polymer/copper composite, then repeating.

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Oct 26, 2016

Due to aging, South Korean population headed for structural reversal

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, government, life extension

The decline of birth rate is causing a switch in society between younger workforce and the elderly. The Silver Tsunami is a real issue and one that rejuvenation biotechnology can potentially solve.


Data show productive population age group becoming smaller than the majority, and inadequate government preparation for slew of effects.

Residents of Sinpyeong township in Uiseong County, North Gyeongsang Province, were getting ready for their autumn harvest on Oct. 12. Cutting rice plants was an urgent task, they said — and all of the work is done by local village women in their seventies and older.

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