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May 7, 2016

IBM’s Watson has been sending me weird but wonderful personalized fitness tips

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI


When Under Armor released a new, free fitness app, Record, last January, which uses IBM Watson to send you personalized fitness tips, I was pretty excited about it.

Under Armor owns some of my favorite fitness-tracking apps, especially MyFitnessPal.

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May 7, 2016

Get mom a life-size 3D-printed replica of yourself for Mother’s Day

Posted by in category: 3D printing


Nothing says “I love you” like dumping an obscene amount of money on a Groupon so you don’t actually have to spend any real time with your mother.

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May 7, 2016

Purdue technology revolutionizes future of artificial limbs

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, transhumanism

Expansion of BMI and Bionics has now come to Purdue University.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Researchers at Purdue have been working on technology that will help pave the way for the future people who use artificial limbs.

“The point of these research labs is to discover new technologies that we can translate into the real world and make the world a better place,” Purdue Center for Implantable Devices Director Pedro Irazoqui said.

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May 7, 2016

An elastomer that behaves like an artificial muscle

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

(—Animal muscle needs to be strong enough to endure strain; it must also be flexible and elastic; and it is self-healing. Finding a polymer that has all of these properties has proved challenging. However, researchers from Stanford, Nanjing University, UC Riverside, Harvard, and the University of Colorado have reported the synthesis of an elastomer that mimics the properties of animal muscle. Their polymer, is also stable at room temperature and not sensitive to water. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry.

Efforts to create polymers that mimic the properties of biological muscle have come short of being practically useful. Often the bonding involved in making these polymers must be sufficiently strong to serve as actuators, but weak enough for reversible self-healing. Many models, to date, involve hydrogen bonding, but are sensitive to water. Li, et al. have, instead, exploited metal-ligand interactions as a way to mimic muscle properties.

The ligand 2,6-pyridinedicarboxamide (pdca)binds to Fe(III) via the pyridyl nitrogen and the nitrogen and oxygen on the carboxamides. Two pdca molecules coordinate to one Fe(III) atom through six coordination sites. Two of the sites are strong bonds (the pyridyl), two sites are “medium” strength bonds (the amides), and two are weak bonds (the carboxyl). Calculations of bond strength show that the strong bonds are similar to covalent bonds, while the weak Fe-O bonds are similar to hydrogen bonding. This multi-bonding structure, as it turns out, provides an excellent framework for making an elastomer.

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May 7, 2016

When 3D Printing Gets Into The Wrong Hands

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, habitats, transportation

Don’t tell Forbes; but I believe it is too late given that 3D Printing has already been available to be purchased for some time now. In 2012, for $15K or even $32K you could get a 3D Printer why several jewelry houses had them to mass produce custom jewelry, etc. based on your online order request.

I am just amazing that we haven’t seen mass production of drugs, and other weapons and black market items developed by Cartels, and other criminals.

It’s only a matter of time until 3D printing begins to revolutionize how things are made — the technology, for example, is already being used to produce airplane parts and medical devices. The 3D printing market is projected to jump from $1.6 billion in 2015 to $13.4 billion 2018, per research firm Gartner.

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May 7, 2016

New ‘smart threads’ can change the colour of your clothes instantly

Posted by in category: futurism

Ever left the house and immediately regretted your choice of pastel shirt? Well, a new colour-changing thread developed by researchers in the US could soon make that feeling a thing of the past — and could also open up the possibility of using our garments as tactile displays we wear on our bodies.

Not only could you switch from a black t-shirt to a green one, you could also change the logo on your top. We’re still a long way from that, but this new technology, called Ebb, is showing plenty of promise, and could eventually lead to brand new types of smart clothing.

The colour-shifting threads change their hues in response to electrical charges. It’s being developed as part of Google’s Project Jacquard — one of the company’s spin-off endeavours that’s looking into the potential of making our clothing touch-sensitive and interactive.

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May 7, 2016

Google is quietly making progress on one of its most jaw-dropping tech projects

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Google’s Project Soli was one of the highlights of the company’s developer conference last year, but there’s been little news about it since then.

The technology uses special radar-sensors packed in a tiny chip to detect a person’s physical movements (such as rubbing two fingers together), letting a person do things like turn the volume up on a radio without actual touching anything.

The recent news that Regina Dugan, the head of the Advanced Technology and Projects lab at Google that oversaw Soli, jumped ship to go work at rival Facebook, did not seem like a good sign for the future of Soli. And with Microsoft’s recent unveiling of similar technology, Google’s impressive product demo last year seemed like it might not make it out of the lab.

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May 7, 2016

Here’s the 411 on the EmDrive: the ‘physics-defying’ thruster even NASA is puzzled over

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

Despite the fact that they’re still unsure of how it works exactly, NASA scientists have confirmed once again that the seemingly impossible EmDrive is legit.

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May 7, 2016

The World’s Smartest People Speak on Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, supercomputing

Michio Kaku.

The 69-year-old bestselling author, theoretical physicist and futurist takes a longer, more pragmatic view, calling AI an end-of-the-century problem. He adds that even then, if humanity’s come up with no better methods to constrain rogue AI, it’ll be a matter of putting ‘a chip in [artificially intelligent robot] brains to shut them off.’

Artificial intelligence (AI) will end us, save us or—less jazzy-sounding but the more probable intersection of both—eventually obsolete us. From humbling chess grandmaster losses at the hands of mathematically brilliant supercomputers to semantic networks with the linguistic grasp of a four-year-old, one thing seems certain: AI is coming.

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May 7, 2016

Life In A Lunar Lava Tube: Nearside Tunnels As Ready-Made Moonbases

Posted by in categories: education, habitats, space

New reports that Russia is considering lava tubes as habitat; here’s one from my lava tube archives…

Nearside of Moon, by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With only a trace of an exosphere, future lunar astronauts working nights outside will likely feel as if they are walking a catwalk through space itself.

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