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Oct 1, 2016

BlackBerry to quit making smartphones

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, business, mobile phones

Finally, they may have a chance as we have seen the prediction of the phasing out of smartphones by 2021. Although not all will be phased out by then; the continue struggle of companies trying to play catch up with smartphones is not an ideal route to take anymore especially with technologies such as the AR Contacts with Bluetooth headsets, other things such as BMI technology, etc. it is smart to focus in the next 3 to 5 years on these technologies instead of playing catch up with Apple.

He says the company’s “pivot to software is taking hold”, pointing to the recent launch of BlackBerry Radar, an asset tracking system, and BlackBerry Hub+ for Android, a set of productivity apps.

BlackBerry may not be designing its own smartphones anymore, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see new devices sporting the BlackBerry logo. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners.

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Oct 1, 2016

Scientists astonished to discover mysterious, extremely deep underwater cave

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A group of Polish cave divers have stumbled upon what would be the world’s deepest underwater cave. The cave is called Hranicka Propast, and it was recently examined with an underwater robot in the Czech Republic.

While scientists have always known this mysterious cave to be deep, it was until a team of spelunkers took a closer look that they realized just how astonishingly deep it was. They have measured it at 1,325 feet deep, which would make it the deepest cave yet discovered on Earth. The previous record holder is Pozzo del Merro, a cave in Italy that is 1,286 feet deep.

This isn’t your typical diving scenario, so the team needed a remote operative vehicle to access this cave. Still, scientists have dived their before — many times over the years, in fact. It has often been explored because it was formed from hot mineral water bubbling from the bottom, and not from rain coming down as is the case in most caves. It’s a very unusual geological feature.

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Oct 1, 2016

‘Sun and rain’ detail how nanoparticles can escape from plastic coatings into the environment

Posted by in categories: health, particle physics

If the 1967 film “The Graduate” were remade today, Mr. McGuire’s famous advice to young Benjamin Braddock would probably be updated to “Plastics … with nanoparticles.” These days, the mechanical, electrical and durability properties of polymers—the class of materials that includes plastics—are often enhanced by adding miniature particles (smaller than 100 nanometers or billionths of a meter) made of elements such as silicon or silver. But could those nanoparticles be released into the environment after the polymers are exposed to years of sun and water—and if so, what might be the health and ecological consequences?

In a recently published paper, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describe how they subjected a commercial nanoparticle-infused coating to NIST-developed methods for accelerating the effects of weathering from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and simulated washings of rainwater. Their results indicate that humidity and exposure time are contributing factors for nanoparticle release, findings that may be useful in designing future studies to determine potential impacts.

In their recent experiment, the researchers exposed multiple samples of a commercially available polyurethane coating containing silicon dioxide nanoparticles to intense UV radiation for 100 days inside the NIST SPHERE (Simulated Photodegradation via High-Energy Radiant Exposure), a hollow, 2-meter (7-foot) diameter black aluminum chamber lined with highly UV reflective material that bears a casual resemblance to the Death Star in the film “Star Wars.” For this study, one day in the SPHERE was equivalent to 10 to 15 days outdoors. All samples were weathered at a constant temperature of 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) with one group done in extremely dry conditions (approximately 0 percent humidity) and the other in humid conditions (75 percent humidity).

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Oct 1, 2016

‘Westworld’ ambitiously reboots sci-fi thriller into HBO series

Posted by in category: entertainment

‘Westworld’ review HBO remake of Michael Crichton movie stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris.

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Oct 1, 2016

Patagonia’s Ex-CEO Moves To Create Argentina’s Largest Nature Preserve — By Alexander C. Kaufman | The Huffington Post

Posted by in categories: environmental, government

** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 10 ** FILE ** A bird rests on a deer at the Esteros del Ibera, north of Argentina, in the area owned by U.S. businessman Douglas Tompkins, in this undated file photo. Tompkins now owns well over 1 million acres (400,000 hectares)  in Chile and Argentina, a combined area larger than Belgium he says he wants to save from agribusiness and development. (AP Photo/ Daniel Merle/La Nacion)  ** BUENOS AIRES OUT **

“The donation is part of an ambitious plan to preserve Argentina’s northeastern Iberá wetlands and restore populations of six species of wildlife, including jaguars, that had gone extinct in the region. Tompkins plans to donate about 341,350 acres, a spokeswoman from her nonprofit Tompkins Foundation told The Huffington Post.”

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Oct 1, 2016

How would sex work in space?

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sex, space travel

Elon Musk doesn’t want to simply send humans to Mars. The SpaceX CEO has bigger ambitions. He wants us to be an “interplanetary species,” which means creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars, which means living and dying on Mars — which at some point might mean sex and pregnancy on Mars.

So how would that work?

Given that Musk hasn’t figured out how to keep people alive on the trip to the Red Planet, it’s unlikely he has details on how people will make more people once they’re there. We don’t have any data on how human bodies will work on Mars specifically, but we have enough information to know that sex in space could be a real hassle.

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Oct 1, 2016

3D printing grows up: scientists are using the tech to make an earthmoving machine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, transportation

Scientists at the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory are assembling the world’s first 3D-printed hydraulic excavator, a prototype which they say will explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.

3D-printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), mostly uses plastics of some sort to create objects layer by layer. Plastics are cheap, light, and easy to melt, lending themselves to the process. Metals, on the other hand, are heavy, costly, and melt at much higher temperatures – making them a challenging material for 3D printing.

But metals are what is needed if truly useful machines like cars or tractors are to be 3D-printed.

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Oct 1, 2016

Controversial AI has been trained to kill humans in a Doom deathmatch

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

A competition pitting artificial intelligence (AI) against human players in the classic video game Doom has demonstrated just how advanced AI learning techniques have become – but it’s also caused considerable controversy.

While several teams submitted AI agents for the deathmatch, two students in the US have caught most of the flak, after they published a paper online detailing how their AI bot learned to kill human players in deathmatch scenarios.

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Oct 1, 2016

This device pulls clean drinking water out of thin air

Posted by in categories: education, sustainability

When kids learn about the planet’s water cycle, they’re taught a simple concept: our atmosphere is filled with water vapour that has evaporated from the bodies of liquid water we see around us. When the vapour’s temperature gets low enough, it gets turned back into water.

The presence of that vapour becomes especially apparent in the summer when droplets collect on glasses of ice water and air conditioning units drip onto unsuspecting passersby.

An Israeli company called Water-Gen does not think of that condensation as a byproduct; instead, it has built machines specifically designed to create and harvest as much condensation as possible.

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Oct 1, 2016

HBO’s Westworld Creators Talk AI, Sentience, And Surveillance

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI, surveillance

Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan explore dark sides of AI and humanity in series that reboots the 1973 film about a robotic theme park gone haywire.

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