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Sep 25, 2016

Marshall McLuhan full lecture: The medium is the message — 1977

Posted by in categories: media & arts, theory

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Sep 25, 2016

Our Simulated Universe Is Just One Piece of a Matryoshka Doll of Annihilation

Posted by in category: computing

Perhaps a posthuman civilization running simulations self-destructs, or a lab assistant accidentally spills coffee on computer hardware. Simulations can collapse.

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Sep 25, 2016

NewWind Turbines

Posted by in category: sustainability

Here is a wind turbine for your own backyard.

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Sep 25, 2016

What if spacetime were a kind of fluid?

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

This is the question tackled by theoretical physicists working on quantum gravity by creating models attempting to reconcile gravity and quantum mechanics.

Some of these models predict that spacetime at the Planck scale (10^-33cm) is no longer continuous — as held by classical physics — but discrete in nature.

Just like the solids or fluids we come into contact with every day, which can be seen as made up of atoms and molecules when observed at sufficient resolution. A structure of this kind generally implies, at very high energies, violations of Einstein’s special relativity (a integral part of general relativity).

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Sep 25, 2016

Paralysed patient walks again thanks to virtual reality and brain-computer interfaces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, neuroscience, virtual reality

In an astonishing breakthrough, patients left paralysed by severe spinal cord injuries have recovered the ability to move their legs after training with an exoskeleton linked to their brain – with one even able to walk using two crutches.

Scientists developed the Walk Again Project, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, thinking that they could enable paraplegics to move about using the exoskeleton controlled by their thoughts. But they were surprised to discover that during the training, the eight patients all started to regain the sense of touch and movement below the injury to their spine. It was previously thought that the nerves in seven of the patients’ spines had been completely severed.

But the researchers now believe that a few nerves survived and these were reactivated by the training, which may have rewired circuits in the brain. Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, they said: “While patient one was initially not even able to stand using braces when placed in an orthostatic posture, after 10 months of training the same patient became capable of walking using a walker, braces and the assistance of one therapist. “At this stage, this patient became capable of producing voluntary leg movements mimicking walking, while suspended overground.

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Sep 24, 2016

Scientists just demonstrated internet speeds 1,000 times faster than Google Fibre

Posted by in category: internet

Scientists in Germany have achieved internet speeds averaging a sustained 1 terabit per second (1 Tbps) on an optical fibre network.

At that speed, you’re getting a data transmission rate that’s a whopping 1,000 times faster than services like Google Fibre, which delivers 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps).

While Google Fibre’s 1 Gbps itself might be considered sufficiently drool-worthy for those of us constrained to the even slower speeds of ADSL and cable, it can’t hope to compete to the almost ludicrously fast possibilities of an internet connection that’s 1,000 times faster, delivering 1 terabit per second.

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Sep 24, 2016

Decisions Are Emotional, Not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason, and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way the other person could say no to your perfectly constructed argument and proposal. To do so would be impossible, you figured, because there was no other logical solution or answer.

And then the other person dug in his heels and refused to budge. He wasn’t swayed by your logic. Were you flabbergasted?

This is similar to what many negotiators do when they sit down at the table to hammer out a deal. They come armed with facts, and they attempt to use logic to sway the other party. They figure that by piling on the data and using reason to explain their side of the situation, they can construct a solution that is simply irrefutable—and get the other party to say yes.

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Sep 24, 2016

BOLDLY GO: Elon Musk Wants To Be Captain Kirk and YOU Should Foot the Bill

Posted by in category: Elon Musk

Not my money.

Recent events can make one wonder if ELON MUSK is Playing Out a ‘Star Trek’ Fantasy on the Tax-Payers’ Dime?

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Sep 24, 2016

Memory speed is a vital component of technology

Posted by in category: materials

New phase-change materials make permanent storage up to a thousand times faster.

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Sep 24, 2016

HOIP’s ~ Columbia Chemists Find Key to Manufacturing More Efficient Solar Cells ~ Is this the Future of Solar?

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, policy, solar power, sustainability

In a discovery that could have profound implications for future energy policy, Columbia scientists have demonstrated it is possible to manufacture solar cells that are far more efficient than existing silicon energy cells by using a new kind of material, a development that could help reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The team, led by Xiaoyang Zhu, a professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, focused its efforts on a new class of solar cell ingredients known as Hybrid Organic Inorganic Perovskites (HOIPs).

Their results, reported in the prestigious journal Science, also explain why these new materials are so much more efficient than traditional solar cells—solving a mystery that will likely prompt scientists and engineers to begin inventing new solar materials with similar properties in the years ahead.

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