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Jason Dorrier

Jason Dorrier

Jason is managing editor of Singularity Hub. He did research and wrote about finance and economics before moving on to science and technology. He is curious about pretty much everything, and sad he'll only ever know a tiny fraction of it all.

From This Author

Diamandis: Tricorder X Prize Offers $10 Million to Build Star Trek Inspired Health Scanner

It’s hard to imagine a Star Trek away team without their tricorders waving back and forth, scanning for life forms. Was there anything those things couldn’t do, and might we primitive 21st century humans develop a similarly powerful handheld diagnostic technology? The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, announced in 2012, officially opened registration in early 2013 to find out.

Interview: Diamandis’ Planetary Resources To Claim High Value Asteroids With Robotic Beacons

Once Planetary Resources has figured out how to get to an asteroid and how to mine it—what will they mine? Near-Earth asteroids contain abundant iron, nickel, platinum group metals, and water. If space is to be the “final frontier,” we’ll need to live off the land—and asteroids are a low gravity (in other words, cheap) way to harvest materials.

Veebot’s Needle Wielding Robot to Automate Blood Draws

Taking blood is a fine art. Even the most experienced practioner may require more than one stab to find a vein—seems only natural to wonder, might a robot do the job better? Mountain View’s Veebot thinks so. Veebot wants to take the art out of needlework with their robotic venipuncture machine.

AutoDesk and Organovo Team Up To Bring Printable Human Organs Closer

Bioprinting firm, Organovo, isn’t anywhere near 3D printing a hand or heart. But a recently announced partnership with 3D modeling software giant Autodesk (maker of AutoCAD) might speed things up a bit. As Autodesk’s Carlos Olguin says, “Life is becoming a nascent design space in an engineering sense. It’s subject to specs, subject to QA, it’s repeatable. Biology is becoming an engineering discipline.”

Are Humans Causing Oceanic Jellygeddon? The Jury’s Still Out

Tied tight with advancing technology are concerns human development is irrevocably damaging the planet. Back in 2001, one theory warned warmer oceans and overfishing would spawn jellyfish at an alarming rate. Throughout the next...

US Unemployment Is 7.9%—Are Robots to Blame?

Robots want to invade your home, take your job, and steal your wife. Maybe not that last one (yet). But as unemployment remains stubbornly elevated (7.9%) people are searching for answers. Among the usual...

Google Wants to Ditch the Password – Sounds Lovely

Memorizing numerous passwords is inconvenient. This is known. To counteract said inconvenience, many people use memorable (read: hackable) passwords on multiple sites. Which is a shame because security experts advise that, at a minimum, we use different, random, alpha-numeric strings for every website and switch them out every few months. Kind of the opposite of convenient. And even this method provides but a fig leaf of security.

Autonomous Healthcare Robot, RP-Vita, Gains FDA Approval

Bringing iRobot and InTouch Health's core technologies together gives medical telepresence robots more range, flexibility, and automation. Doctors need only note on an iPad where the robot should go, and RP-Vita takes it from there. It navigates the hall, avoiding humans and other obstacles, and enters the requested room to begin the session—where the doctor can talk to the patient and even plug in various monitoring devices to check their vitals in session.

Our Singularity Future: Overfished Bluefin Tuna Sells for Record $1.76 Million

In early 2013, a single 489 pound bluefin tuna sold in Japan for a record $1.76 million. That’s roughly two homes in San Francisco and a Ferrari for each driveway—two and half times last year’s record $736,000. It makes a shocking headline. But notably the price is not representative of the market. Buyers traditionally compete to attract headlines in the first auction of the new year. Although current prices aren’t anywhere near $3,500/lb, it is true bluefin tuna are getting more expensive. (See here for Tokyo fish market wholesale prices back to 1997.) Rising demand from sushi restaurants combined with diminishing supply has led to fewer fish and higher prices.

2.5 Million Computers Give PetaFLOP/s Power to Einstein@Home, Other Projects

As home computers have become near ubiquitous, unused computing power has risen in tandem. Just think how often your laptop is asleep on your desk. So, why let all those idle processors go to waste? Einstein@Home—a web of over 335,000 private personal computers—and other projects like it aim to put lazy machines to work.

Can Twitter Tell You When to Buy and When to Sell?

For Twitter sentiment to be a useful barometer, you needn’t require Tweeters be professional investors. But you do need them to actually care enough about stocks, commodities, or currency trading to Tweet key words about them. How many actually do that isn’t clear. The number is far from zero—but is it enough to be meaningful?

Tablet Sales to Trump Laptops in 2013 – That Was Fast!

After a few early-2000s misadventures in Microsoft tablet PCs—the tablet was effectively re-introduced by Apple’s iPad in early 2010. And just two years on, global tablet sales are projected to overtake laptop sales. That was fast!

Mercedes and Other Carmakers Are Building Increasingly Autonomous Autos

While Google and Stanford build robot cars from the top down, mainstream automakers are building autonomous autos from the base up. Before too long, the two will meet—at the least, relieving humans from an hour of stop-and-go traffic and maybe even taking over the entire commute.

Stanford Group Successfully Fabricates ‘Peel and Stick’ Solar Cells

In a December paper published in Nature’s preliminary research online publication, Scientific Reports, Stanford researchers announced a fabrication process that makes thin-film solar cell (TFSC) stickers. The resulting TFSCs are thinner and lighter than today’s solar panels. And according to the researchers these “peel-and-stick” solar cells can be stuck just about anywhere—no surface is too curvy or uneven.

Kamen and Coca-Cola Take On World’s Clean Water Shortage With Slingshot Purifier

Singularity Hub chatted with Paul Lazarus about his award-winning short film "Slingshot" and the film's namesake invention. Lazarus told us about the agony of condensing a grand challenge and potential solution to three minutes—and what he thinks the future promises for both.

Blueseed Secures Initial Funding for Visa-Free Tech Center of the Sea

Want to bring international expertise to Silicon Valley without the hassle of getting a visa? You may soon get that chance. Tech startup Blueseed wants to open a floating office park for non-US tech entrepreneurs off the California coast. And while the idea has its naysayers—it also recently secured a $300,000 infusion of capital from respected Silicon Valley investor, Mike Maples.

LG’s 55” OLED Television Is Thin As a Pencil and First to Market

To kick off 2013, South Korean electronics firm LG launched the world’s first commercially available 55” OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television. And according to LG, it’s “as thin as three credit cards.” Which is both jaw dropping and an entirely appropriate unit of measurement. If you want thin, expect to pay. The model’s $12,000 US price tag will have you handing over those credit cards in short order.

IBM Predicts Computers Will Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear and See In 5 Years

IBM's 2012 "5 in 5" list is all about the senses. Computers can already see and hear by way of microphone and camera. And plenty of apps use these senses for fun, like recording music, and more serious purposes, like monitoring moles for skin cancer. But why not go further? The “5 in 5” visionaries predict we’ll have touch screens that not only sense our fingers but give back subtle vibrations to simulate how certain items feel—from a silk shirt to a cotton pillow. Or devices that will smell our breath to see if we have diabetes, cancer, or a cold.

Forecasting the Future: Ray Kurzweil, Nate Silver, and—the Market?

If you're a futurist, chances are you have a favorite oracle or uncanny prediction. Maybe it was John Paulson’s bet against the housing market in 2007-08, or Nate Silver’s spot on election call in...

Leap Motion ‘Minority Report’ Computer Interface Preps For Big 2013

Mid-2012, Leap Motion unveiled the most accurate motion sensing technology on the market to date. The Leap detects every subtle finger flick and hand gesture with up to 1/100th of a millimeter precision and...

A Vision of the Future in 2013? Flexible Phone Rumors Continue Apace

At the giant electronics convention, CES 2011, Samsung showed off their flexible AMOLED displays to great fanfare. Soon after, rumors ran rampant flexible displays would be available in 2012. The year brought many things, but a...

Nikon Photomicrography Competition: It’s a Small World After All

Why do we love the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition? Because it gathers art, science, and technology into one tiny room and reminds them how much they have in common. And of course,...

Star Wars Fans Building a Full Scale Replica of the Millennium Falcon

Headed to Tennessee a decade from now? If you're a Hubber, you might consider demoting Graceland. Star Wars geek extraordinaire, Chris Lee, is building a full scale replica of the Millennium Falcon an hour...

Ray Kurzweil Teams Up With Google to Tackle Artificial Intelligence

Think we’ll have artifical intelligence by 2029? Ray Kurzweil does. He is simultaneously idolized and infamous for saying so. And now he will put his ideas to the test. On Friday, Kurzweil announced he’s...

Telepresence Robots Invade Hospitals – “Doctors Can Be Anywhere, Anytime”

A disembodied human face hangs atop a robot chassis next to a Redmond, Oregon hospital bed (not pictured). The doctor on the screen is 20 miles distant, in Bend. But from there he is...

Australian Outback Launches Fastest Radio Telescope in the World

Radio telescopes have been sifting the stars since 1937. Most slowly scan a small percent of the sky. But that’s about to change. A new radio telescope will be the fastest sky surveyor yet—and it’s part...

$25 Million Michigan Project Hopes to Add Cars to Internet of Things

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is conducting a 12-month, $25 million study to see if cars sending data to each other over Wi-Fi can make driving safer. Cars talking to each other and maybe braking...

America’s Titan Surpasses Sequoia as World’s Fastest Supercomputer

Last week, a throng of computer geeks descended on snowy Utah to show off, admire, and debate the future of the fastest computers on the planet. And of course, to find out which Boolean...

Space Exploration on the Cheap: Kickstarter Sensation NanoSatisfi Launches in 2013

While information technology may be advancing exponentially—the pace of the space race has seemed glacial since the 1970s. By now, most of us are used to a top-down, monolithic model of space exploration with...

X Prize to Sequence Genomes of World’s Oldest People. Hopes To Unlock Secrets of Longevity

Toni Balcean turned 101 in September. How’d she beat a century? Simple. “Clean living and good Italian wine.” Case closed! Unless, of course, you like science. A retooled Archon Genomics X PRIZE aims to help scientists better understand...

Paging Dr. Watson: IBM and Cleveland Clinic Collaborate to Train Watson in Medicine

Can you imagine telling someone a century ago that a hundred years hence a stack of electrified silicon would be studying for its medical exam? It’s the stuff of Star Trek. (“Computer? Early Grey,...

Curiosity Game Goes Viral! Millions Want to Know What’s Inside Giant Cube

Video game developer 22Cans’ Curiosity—What’s Inside the Cube has the net all a-twitter. What is inside the cube? The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? Or better still, the question? An all expenses paid trip to Disney...

Traders Employ Choppers, Satellites, and Infrared Telephoto Lenses to Gauge Food, Oil Supply

Spies snapping pics with infrared telephoto lenses. 24/7 helicopter and high def satellite surveillance. Special forces in Afghanistan? The latest espionage thriller? Hardly. Just oil data providers gathering information in Cushing, Oklahoma to give...

Bionic Limbs Step Up – Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Leg Climbs 2,100 Stair Building

On November 4, Zac Vawter climbed 2,100 steps to the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower. Vawter made the climb on a prosthetic leg. Neither of these facts would be particularly notable but for one...

Saudi Arabia’s “Magic Powder” Freezing Water Droplets

Our hunt for intriguing new tech research recently turned up a mini-buzz about some so-called “magic powder” freezing water droplets. Following are some cool high-speed photographic sequences in a video from King Abdullah University...

Campaigns Embrace Big Data, Algorithms, Mobile Tech…They Know Who You Are

Otto von Bismarck said, “Politics is not a science, as the professors are apt to suppose. It is an art.” Truer words there never were. Even modern polling requires a healthy dose of interpretation...

The Race to a Billion Billion Operations Per Second: An Exaflop by 2018?

Control Data Corp’s (CDC) first supercomputer, the CDC 6600, operated at a speed of three megaflops (106 floating-point operations per second).  A half century on, our most powerful supercomputers are a billion times faster....

New Upper Body Bionic Suit Uses Air to Lift Loads of 50 Kilograms

The University of Tokyo’s latest robot suit can help humans lift heavy loads using naught but air. How exactly? Instead of complex, heavy electronic actuators, the suit uses simpler pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs). These rubber bladders...

IBM’s Watson Expands Commercial Applications, Aims to Go Mobile

In the past couple years, we’ve watched IBM’s supercomputer Watson mature at an alarming rate. A mere concept birthed five years ago, the cybernetic prodigy is now Jeopardy! champ and doctor in training. Up...

Kickstarter Funding Success LIFX Proposes Networked LED Smartbulbs

Ever wish you could network all your devices, toaster to television, and manage them on your smartphone? Well, that vision just edged closer with the LIFX LED WiFi enabled smart light bulb. Using your smartphone...

Surging Solar in 2011 Proof of Ray Kurzweil’s Bold Prediction?

A recent report by British Petroleum (BP) found solar power generating capacity surged 73.3% last year. If you’re a dedicated fan of the singularity, statistics like that are reminiscent of Ray Kurzweil’s solar dictum—that solar...

Free 123D Catch App Makes Your iPhone a 3D Scanner

In three years 3D scanners have gone from $30,000 to $3,000 to—$0.00?! AutoDesk’s free 123D Catch app is now available for the iPhone and iPad. Users can take up to 40 pictures, upload them...

RFID Tracking Of Students? Electronic Roll Call in Texas Stirs Debate

The eyes of Texas are upon you—if you happen to be a student from San Antonio that is. John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in the Northside Independent School District are...

Liquid Robotics Aims to Usher in Era of Smart Oceans With Autonomous Robots

When Liquid Robotics’ Ed Lu dreams, he sees thousands of his firm’s Wave Gliders blanketing the sea—a smart grid for the ocean. It may yet be a dream, but Lu’s vision isn’t terribly far...

Boston Dynamics Robot Cheetah Outruns Swiftest Human

Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history, has been outpaced by a robot. Catchy hook, huh? Fact is, Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah was outrunning the rest of us six months ago when it clocked its then...

Tech Billionaire Milner Aims to Accelerate Progress by Bankrolling Science

Ever imagine you’d see $27 million in physics prizes awarded in one fell swoop? Me either. Reportedly, Alan Guth was likewise “knocked off his feet” after receiving one of nine inaugural Fundamental Physics Prizes...

3D Printed Homes? Here’s The Scoop

In a recent TEDx presentation, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, a USC engineering professor, showed off a prototype 3D printer he says may one day construct buildings in 20 hours. In the presentation, the printer extrudes...

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