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Yearly Archives: 2014

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Unlocking Big Data: Lessons Learned From The God Particle

It’s a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a symphony. It’s the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, the greatest physics find of the 21st century, turned into music. Chamber music, to be exact. Admittedly—and...

A Blood Test for Depression Moves Closer to Reality

With the recent and highly publicized death of actor Robin Williams, depression is once again making national headlines. And for good reason. Usually, the conversation about depression turns to the search for effective treatments,...

New Artificial Materials Open Possibilities for Manned Space Exploration

Space exploration has many challenges, but one inconvenient fact in particular - the lack of oxygen in much of the universe - poses a real challenge to making offworld exploration and living a reality. Here...

Elon Musk Is Right: Colonizing the Solar System Is Humankind’s Insurance Policy Against Extinction

Why blow billions of dollars on space exploration when billions of people are living in poverty here on Earth? You’ve likely heard the justifications. The space program brings us useful innovations and inventions. Space exploration...
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Cute Robot Searches Post-Apocalyptic Paris for Friends in Short Film “L3.0”

Dystopian visions of the future often explore post-apocalyptic scenarios where life on the surface is rare or extinct. If robots are commonplace when life were to disappear, what would their existence be like? Would they continue to carry out their...

What We’re Reading This Week (Through Oct 4, 2014)

Here at Hub, we're thinking deeply about all the changes happening in the world, thanks to some great articles published this week wrestling with the implications of technology's progress. Just scan the headlines and you'll agree, we are...

Promising Method for Detecting Pancreatic Cancer Years Before Traditional Diagnosis

In cancer diagnosis, earlier is better—treatments are more effective and so survival is more likely too. Some forms, like skin or breast cancer, lend themselves to early detection with regular checkups as they can be...

Drones Portray Flying Lampshades in Cirque du Soleil’s Short Film “Sparked”

The Flying Machine Arena is a drone wonderland. Researchers have used the sensored space to make quadcopters build structures with ropes and bricks, perform balancing acts, synchronize with music—they’ve even run tests allowing humans to...

How Long Would It Take to Mine Bitcoin by Hand?

Bitcoin is a decentralized, digital currency. It was invented by a mysterious individual known by the handle, Satoshi Nakamoto. A bitcoin is volatile but is currently worth about $380; regulators are increasingly interested; retailers too—true believers...

Bill Clinton Discusses “Moonshots” with Peter Diamandis, Endorses Abundance

“Why are you so optimistic about the future...don’t you read the papers?” President Bill Clinton recently pitched this playful question to Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, in an on-stage interview at the...

Virtual Reality May Become the Next Great Media Platform—But Can It Fool All Five Senses?

Jason Silva calls technologies of media “engines of empathy.” They allow us to look through someone else’s eyes, experience someone else’s story—and develop a sense of compassion and understanding for them, and perhaps for...
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Short Film “Envoy” Showcases Amazing Visual Effects at the Cost of a Recycled Storyline

In Stephen King's story Low Men in Yellow Coats, an older man offers some advice to a boy about reading books: "Read sometimes for the story...read sometimes for the words--the language...but when you find a book that...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Sept 27, 2014)

This week, we saw history in the making as the first 3D printer arrived at the International Space Station. The stories we've been passing around cover a range of topics, from robots in seminaries to open...

This Algorithm Finds the Safest Neighborhood Close to a McDonald’s Just From Photos

The list of things computers can do better than humans is already long, and it’s getting longer every year. Now, you can add making environmental inferences. We pride ourselves on the ability to read between...

Lego-Like Blocks Connect to Form Microfluidic Mini-Laboratories

Some illnesses, like the common cold, are so familiar we don’t need a doctor to diagnose them. Give it a few days in bed binging on Netflix and fruit juice. Other illnesses take a...
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3D Printer Delivered to Space Station Launching New Era of Space Manufacturing

If space is the final frontier, we pilgrims have a lot to learn. To date, we’ve rarely ventured far beyond the thin envelope of Earth’s atmosphere. Why? Because we can’t yet survive long in...

Futuristic Chinese Megastructure Would Include Soaring Towers, Massive Skyways, Urban Farms

Many of the world’s cities are hundreds, even thousands of years old. They evolved from the bottom up as populations changed and demanded change. A new road here, new building there. The result is...

Big Brother Is Feeling You: The Global Impact Of AI-Driven Mental Health Care

Big Brother is feeling you—literally. A few months back, I wrote about Ellie, the world’s first AI-psychologist. Developed by DARPA and researchers at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, Ellie is a diagnostic tool capable of reading 60...

Our Growing Addiction to “Cognitive Ecstasy” Drives Technology’s Progress…And That’s Okay

Why are humans so damn curious? Because discovery is pleasurable. Jason Silva, in his latest video, says humans don’t care about spectacle—what we care about is ecstatic understanding: “In other words, cognitive ecstasy defined as...
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What We’re Reading and Watching This Week (Through Sept 20, 2014)

In the midst of all the technological progress being made globally on a daily basis, sometimes it's tough to appreciate how we're changing as humans. This week, we've been exploring articles and videos from around...

Know What Chemical Elements Are Inside Your Smartphone? A Good Chunk of the Periodic Table

Ever wonder what that mini monolithic-shaped computer you carry around in your pocket is made of? Gallium? Check. Arsenic? Check. Lead and tin? Check and check. Good thing all that is safely housed inside and you're not...

Predicting and Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease with Google Earth

In the film Minority Report, PreCrime police combine psychic premonitions with search and surveillance technology to prevent murders before they occur, resulting in a homicide-free society. Could a similar approach ultimately eradicate infectious diseases like malaria? A recent project at UC San Francisco to leverage Google Earth is aiming to do...

US Navy Tests Exoskeleton to Boost Worker Strength and Productivity

Exoskeletons have made news in recent years for creating super-soldiers and allowing wheelchair users to walk again. Now, the US Navy will test and evaluate Lockheed Martin’s FORTIS exoskeletons for industrial applications at Navy...
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Crowdfunding Begins for Documentary Film Charting the Birth of Singularity University

Matt Rutherford, filmmaker and former producer of Charlie Rose, first met Salim Ismail at a birthday party in San Francisco. Over a beverage and some tech talk, the conversation turned to a new project...

This Week’s Best Stories from Around the Web (Through Sept 13, 2014)

While much of the media this week was obsessing over the latest gadget rollout from Apple, a handful of great stories made their way through the noise and showcase how technology is shifting the cultural fabric in surprising ways. Enjoy our favorites from this week. Gig Economy...

Robot Bartender to Set Sail On Cutting-Edge Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

There’s a new bartender set to sail on Royal Caribbean’s next-generation cruise ship—a robotic bartender, to be precise. The Makr Shakr, created by designers at MIT Senseable City Lab, may not indulge stories of your...

When Do We Get Catbots? We Have the Technology

We can all use an animal companion from time to time—a comforting presence that’s relatively low maintenance, warm, and furry. Pets offers no-drama company that’s hard to find in humans. Still, they come with a...

Artificial Cells Created that Change Shape and Move On their Own

In the future, tiny machines may swim through our bloodstream repairing damage, attacking invaders, or taking real-time readings. We might even model such machines on biology. But biological cells are incredibly complex microscopic machines—and the...

New Apple Watch and Other Smartwatches Merely a Step In Technology’s Great Disappearing Act

When the first Samsung smartwatch was released last year, there was a collective groan. It looked like a smartphone for your wrist, boasting a fraction of the capability. It was huge, heavy, and ugly....

Atlas Robot Slaves Away in MIT Lab, Hauling Metal Scaffolding for Us Humans

The humanoid robot, Atlas, stands six feet tall and weighs three hundred pounds. The bot is built like an NFL offensive lineman, only substitute muscle, ligament, and bone for steel and hydraulics—and swap speed...

What We’re Reading Across the Web This Week (Through Sept 6, 2014)

It's September and that means we're on the cusp of seasonal change. So as you take time to reflect on the changes happening in the physical world, here's a list of excellent articles around the...

Experimental Rat ‘Brain’ Fighter Pilot May Yield Insights Into How the Brain Works

In an experiment to study how neurons form networks and compute, Thomas DeMarse, a University of Florida professor of biomedical engineering, says his lab-grown rat “brain” in a dish can fly a simulated F-22...

Neuromodulation 2.0: New Developments in Brain Implants, Super Soldiers and the Treatment of Chronic Disease

Brain implants here we come. DARPA just announced the ElectRX program, a $78.9 million attempt to develop miniscule electronic devices that interface directly with the nervous system in the hopes of curing a bunch of...

Google Glass App Uses Facial Recognition to Read People’s Emotions

It's no secret that in the digital age, social relationships are changing. The rise of social media has forced us to rely on the ability to read between the lines more than ever as tweets and Facebook posts...

Bacteria from New Residents Populate Homes Within One Day, According to Study

Worried about leaving a digital footprint behind? Your bacterial footprint could be much worse and even incriminating. Recently, researchers traced the microbes that live on and around people within their homes. Findings from the study showed that the composition of...

DARPA’s New Initiative Aims to Make Nanoscale Machines a Reality

For much of history, builders and makers fixated on the monumental—pyramids, cathedrals, skyscrapers, aircraft carriers. Increasingly, however, the cutting edge focus is smaller. Much smaller. The field of nanotechnology aims to build components or...
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Visualizing the Future of Food, Well-Being, and Work with Three Incredible RSA Videos

Powerful lectures chock full of information sometimes can be challenging to process and the need for visualization is so great that ultimately it takes an organization like the RSA to find a highly creative way to illustrate this...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Aug 30, 2014)

What's the most gripping, mind-bending story you've read this week? The Hub team has put together the week's most intriguing stories from around the web. Did we miss anything? If so, add it to the comments. Singularity or...

Singularity University’s GSP Class of 2014 Blasts Off to the Future

Last week, Singularity University hosted the Closing Ceremony of its 2014 Graduate Studies Program, the pinnacle of an annual program that brought 80 entrepreneurs and visionaries from 35 countries to Silicon Valley for an intense 10-week crash course...

Can You 3D Print Emotions? New “Love Project” Uses Biometric Sensors to Create Household Objects

Everyone has knick-knacks of sentimental value around their home, but what if your emotions could actually be shaped into household things? A project recently unveiled at the Sao Paulo Design Weekend turns feelings of love into physical objects using 3D...

How to Plan a Revolution (an Excerpt from Abundance)

How did a simple Facebook group mobilize 12 million people in 40 countries in just one month? That's exactly what Oscar Morales accomplished when, in 2008, he created a Facebook group called A Million Voices...

Steve Jobs, Larry Page And Rush Limbaugh Walk Into A Bar: A Look At The Future of Truth

This is a tale of memory, truth, technology, and, well, the future of humanity—but it starts in high school. If you went to high school in America, there is a pretty good chance you learned...

Unlocking the Mystery of Limb Regeneration: Genes for Lizard Tail Regrowth Determined

For people who've lost a limb, advances in materials and 3D printing have produced a slew of new prosthetics that deliver greater mobility, custom fitting, and sleek designs. Yet the ability to completely regrow a lost limb remains daunting, despite...
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Sci-Fi Short “Restitution” Explores Whether Humans Are Ethically Ready for Cloning’s Consequences

Among the spectrum of technological innovations that are potentially forthcoming, human cloning is among the most debated and ethically ambiguous. In his award-winning sci-fi short, Restitution, writer/director Justin Miller explores human cloning and the lengths a...

What We’re Reading This Week (Through Aug 23, 2014)

It's Friday and that means it's time to share stories and tech that we've been reading, thinking about, and passing round within the Singularity Hub team this week: Omote: Real-time Face Tracking and Projection Mapping | Vimeo "Project Omote is a...

Your Legacy: Getting Off This Rock

We just celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The fact that we went to the Moon with 1960s technology is extraordinary. The fact that we never went back is shameful. Should we send...

Skully Motorcycle Helmet Not Quite Iron Man, But a Taste of Our Augmented Reality Future

If Tony Stark designed a motorcycle helmet, it might look a little like Skully. Sleek black (or white) with an aerodynamic fin. A visor that changes tint at the touch of a finger. A rear...

3D Scanner Digitally Immortalizes Invaluable Masterpieces in Five Minutes Flat

Last year, the Smithsonian opened a virtual museum. With Smithsonian X 3D Explorer users can take a virtual tour of (and even 3D print) high-definition digital models of artifacts like Lincoln’s life mask or the...

Thousand-Robot Swarm Hints at Future Car, Drone, Even Nanobot Collectives

When you think nanorobot, you don’t think just one. Or ten. You think millions or billions. Huge swarms of nanobots may work in concert with each other to accomplish tasks on tiny scales, perhaps in the...

We Justify Human Suffering Because We’ve Never Had a Choice in the Matter

Buddha believed the way to end human suffering was the regular practice of meditation and introspection. But Buddha didn’t have biotech. If our suffering stems from biological and genetic factors and a cocktail of bodily substances...

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