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Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Sharing Photos Online? Companies Are Tracking What You Wear and How You Feel

Ditto, a Boston-based social analytics company, is using emerging computer vision technologies to give corporations insight into what users are saying about them in photos shared online.

Can Graphene Oxide Filters Unlock Our Most Abundant Water Source?

Figuring out how to cheaply, efficiently remove salt from Earth’s ocean water would provide an nearly inexhaustible source of our most precious resource, and wouldn’t you know it? Graphene may present a solution to the problem.

Superstrong Artificial Muscles Developed From Fishing Line and Sewing Thread

We tend to dream of a future enabled by miraculous materials—nanoscale honeycomb lattices of strong, ultralight superconducting metals. Carbon nanotubes and graphene come to mind. Fishing line and sewing thread? Not so much. But recent research out of XX shows how miraculous outcomes can be firmly rooted in even the most mundane materials. By twisting fishing line and thread like a rubber band and selectively passing an electric current through it, they were able to produce artificial muscle 100 times stronger than human muscle.

Controversy Brews Over Role Of ‘Killer Robots’ In Theater of War

As the science advances, it’s becoming increasingly possible to dispatch robots into war zones alongside or instead of human soldiers. Several military powers, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and China, are already using partially autonomous weapons in combat and are almost certainly pursuing other advances in private, according to experts.

100% Renewable Energy Is Feasible and Affordable, According to Stanford Proposal

Stanford University researchers led by civil engineer Mark Jacobson has drawn up detailed plans for each state in the union that show how the United States could move to 100 percent wind, water and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available.

Cheap Devices, Like Mozilla’s $25 Smartphone, to Bring More of Developing World Online

More than ever, the Internet is connecting people to information—if you live in the developed world. According to a recent Pew survey, however, most people in many developing countries are still offline. Broadening Internet access isn’t about building more infrastructure or selling laptops, however. Just as developing countries leapfrogged landlines with cellphones, they'll tap the Internet on mobile connections and affordable smartphones.

In Depth With Jason Silva: Brain Games, Trance States, and The Abomination of Death

It’d been awhile, so we contacted Jason Silva to find out what gets him up in the morning these days. Though he’s added a mainstream audience, Silva seems eager as ever to chase the “adjacent possible” and leap over it into even dreamier domains. To learn why, among other things, he’s slightly disappointed Google Glass isn’t Scarlett Johansson, why privacy is malleable and mostly overrated, and how femto-scale computing at black hole densities accounts for the eery silence of the universe—read on.

Scientists Control Tiny Mechanical Probes Inside Human Cells

In what they claim is a first, researchers have navigated nanomotors inside living human cells in the lab. The motors — made from gold and ruthenium and ostensibly safe for use inside the body — derive power from ultrasound waves as the sound scatters off the ends of the rod-shaped devices. The ultrasound source can be turned down to pause the motors, and magnetism crudely controls their direction.

Self-Driving Cars Proposed as Solution to U.S. Highway Woes, Saving Money and Lives

Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $100 billion a year, according to Winston's research. Roughly 30,000 people die every year in car accidents, and many more are injured. Could self-driving cars bring those numbers down?

Expanded Google Fiber to Bring 10 Gigabit Internet in Coming Years

Google is on a mission to update the web's wiring—and they're not talking a decade or more to do it. The firm's CFO, Patrick Pichette, recently said his firm is working to boost internet speeds a thousand fold in the next three years. "That's where the world is going. It's going to happen." The project is called Google Fiber and, though it's in just three cities so far, an additional 34 cities in nine metro areas may be approved for Fiber by yearend.

From Scans, Doctors 3D Print Custom Heart Wraps to Deliver Treatments

Researchers used MRI and CT scans of rabbit and human hearts to 3D-print custom fitting flexible mesh sacs that fitted each heart perfectly and stayed in place as it beat. The mesh holds sensors and electrodes precisely in place and could deliver drug therapies.

Inside the Future of Healthcare With Singularity University’s Daniel Kraft

The benefits of modern medicine are clear. Lower infant mortality; longer life expectancy; a range of once killer diseases all but eradicated—fewer leeches. But challenges? Yes, there are still plenty of those too. In a recent conversation, Dr. Daniel Kraft, Medicine and Neuroscience Chair at Singularity University, told Singularity Hub that the US spends some 18% of gross domestic product on healthcare and yet, according to a 2013 report, ranks 17th on a list of 17 developed countries by outcome.

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