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May 6, 2016

Amazon nabs Xerox artificial intelligence exec for Alexa R&D

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

I will admit that was a smart move for Amazon.


Amazon has hired an artificial intelligence executive from Xerox’s Parc to head artificial intelligence research and development for its Alexa interactive voice technology.

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May 6, 2016

Air Force wants swarms of small ‘kamikaze’ drones to defeat missiles

Posted by in categories: drones, economics, military, neuroscience, surveillance

Nice; let’s hope they hit the right target.


“I need a stealth bomber that’s going to get close, and then it’s going to drop a whole bunch of smalls – some are decoys, some are jammers, some are [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] looking for where the SAMs are. Some of them are kamikaze airplanes that are going to kamikaze into those SAMs, and they’re cheap. You have maybe 100 or 1,000 surface-to-air missiles, but we’re going to hit you with 10,000 smalls, not 10,000 MQ-9s. That’s why we want smalls.”

SAMs stands for “Surface-to-Air Missile,” and they’re one of the reasons that the Air Force has invested so much in stealth technology over the years: if a missile can’t see a plane, it can’t hit it. The problem is that the economics don’t quite work that way: it’s easier to make a new, better missile than it is to make an existing airplane even stealthier, and modern Air Force fighters serve for around 30 years each—longer if they’re bombers. Missiles are generally cheaper than airplanes, so anyone who wants to protect against aerial attack just needs to invest in a lot of missiles.

Continue reading “Air Force wants swarms of small ‘kamikaze’ drones to defeat missiles” »

May 6, 2016

IARPA funding brings ideas ‘from disbelief to doubt’

Posted by in categories: innovation, neuroscience

Hmmm;


The intelligence community’s research arm released its annual solicitation looking for the most innovative ideas the private sector has to offer.

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May 6, 2016

Mobile phone use not causing brain cancer, University of Sydney study claims

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mobile phones, neuroscience

Cell phones do not cause brain cancer.


Mobile phone use has not caused a rise in brain cancer in Australia, says a new study led by the University of Sydney.

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May 6, 2016

Declassified US Nuclear Targets

Posted by in category: military

1100 Declassified U.S. Nuclear Targets from 1956 on the interactive NukeMap. How many nuclear weapons do you think are necessary for deterrence?

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May 6, 2016

Bitcoin Pundicy: A Lifeboat Perspective

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, encryption, government, internet

Here in the Lifeboat Blog, I have the luxury of pontificating on existential, scientific and technical topics that beg for an audience—and sometimes—a pithy opinion. Regular Lifeboat readers know that I was recently named most viewed Bitcoin writer at Quora under a Nom de Plume.

Quora is not a typical Blog. It is an educational site. Questions and numerous answers form the basis of a crowd-sourced popularity contest. Readers can direct questions to specific experts or armchair analysts. A voting algorithm leads to the emergence of some very knowledgeable answers, even among laypersons and ‘armchair’ experts.

During the past few weeks, Quora readers asked me a litany of queries about Bitcoin and the blockchain, and so I am sharing selected Q&A here at Lifeboat. This is my professional field—and so, just as with Mr. Trump, I must resist an urge to be verbose or bombastic. My answers are not the shortest, but they are compact. Some employ metaphors, but they explain complex ideas across a broad audience.

Continue reading “Bitcoin Pundicy: A Lifeboat Perspective” »

May 6, 2016

The transhumanist presidential candidate wants you to live forever

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension, transhumanism

New story and video on transhumanism from Vocativ:


His name is Zoltan Istvan, and he’s running on the Transhumanist ticket.

Continue reading “The transhumanist presidential candidate wants you to live forever” »

May 6, 2016

Luxembourg reaches for the stars with asteroid mining deal

Posted by in categories: government, space travel

Still trying to figure out how Luxembourg got a space program.


(AFP) Luxembourg has staked its claim to the final frontier with an ambitious plan to profit from the mining of asteroids, the government said Thursday.

The Grand Duchy has joined forces with American company Deep Space Industries (DSI) to cash in on the wealth of natural resources thought to exist on asteroids.

Continue reading “Luxembourg reaches for the stars with asteroid mining deal” »

May 6, 2016

Facebook Loses Virtual-Reality Innovator — By Deepa Seetharaman | Wall Street Journal

Posted by in categories: business, virtual reality

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“Facebook Inc. will soon lose a high-profile player in its virtual-reality push.”

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May 6, 2016

A New Device Stimulates The Brain To Boost Athletic Performance — By Christina Farr | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

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“Daniel Chao, a Stanford-trained neuroscientist, and Brett Wingeier, a biomedical engineer, founded Halo Neuroscience in 2013. … Halo Sport uses electrodes to stimulate the brain’s motor cortex, which controls planning and voluntary movements. Energized motor neurons send stronger signals to athletes’ muscles, which Chao says allows them to reap greater rewards from every rep.”

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