Bricklaying Robot


Tue, Jun 30th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Proving that no job is safe from automation, Fastbrick Robotics introduces Hadrian, a machine capable of bricking a new home in two days.

It works by creating a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) laying program of a house or structure, then calculates the location of every brick and creates a program that is used to cut and lay the bricks in sequence from a single, fixed location.

A 28m articulated telescopic boom goes to work and mortar or adhesive is delivered under pressure to the robotic laying head and applied to the brick which is then laid in the correct sequence as per the program. The robot de-hacks, measures, scans for quality and cuts to length the bricks and routs for electrical and other services.


A Brief History of the Confederate Flag


Mon, Jun 29th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While by no means justifying the violent shooting that took place in a church in South Carolina, this video by CGP Grey explains the brief and tumultous history of the confederate flag we know today. And while there is talk of change over racial issues which has caused the removal of the Confederate flag from toys, schools, and public buildings, some argue it's just politics.

For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry.

Ah, the traditions of heritage. The legacy of inheritance. The folkways of culture.

For a single word, “heritage” does a lot of heavy lifting with the racist crowd, since “HERITAGE NOT HATE” has been a decades-long weasel explanation for venerating a flag carried by armies that kidnapped free…


"How we make our cars is actually a bigger environmental issue than how we fuel our cars."

Current manufacturing process makes electric vehicles worse for the environment


Sun, Jun 28th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to O'Reilly's Radar, a vehicle's environmental impact is far greater during manufacture than what comes out of its tailpipe. Ironically, a gasoline-powered car has, overall, a far less damaging effect on the environment than the manufacture of an all-electric vehicle. The article suggest switching to a localised dematerialized type of production to reduce the energy requirements for manufacturing.

An 85 kWh electric SUV may not have a tailpipe, but it has an enormous impact on our environment and health. A far greater percentage of a car’s total emissions come from the materials and energy required for manufacturing a car (mining, processing, manufacturing, and disposal of the car ), not the car’s operation. As leading environmental economist and vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences Maureen Cropper notes, “Whether we are talking about a conventional gasoline-powered automobile, an electric vehicle, or a hybrid, most of the damages are…


"We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

Humans among first casualties


Sat, Jun 27th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Researchers at the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley have released a report noting that Earth has entered a new period of extinction. Reportedly, vertebrates are disappearing "at a rate 114 times faster than normal," with humans expected to be "among the first casualties."

The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history. Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years. If the currently elevated extinction pace is allowed to continue, humans will soon (in as little as three human lifetimes) be deprived of many biodiversity benefits. On human time scales, this loss would be effectively permanent because in the aftermath of past mass extinctions, the living world took hundreds of thousands to millions of years…


"London is quite simply taking the fucking piss."

On leaving capital cities to live an affordable life


Sat, Jun 27th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

If you live in London, where all the action is, you might be the envy of your outsider friends — yet the cost of living in London is so astronomically high that actually being able to afford any of the things it offers would require a six-figure income at the very least. Sami Mikhail explains why London is "taking the fucking piss" and why he's moved out of his city of birth for good.

Granted, London has museums, theatres, restaurants, bars, and some other stuff that Time Out likes. But so do a lot of other places. My new hometown is Cupar, in the Kingdom of Fife (Scotland). It is much smaller and has far fewer, if any, world-renowned attractions. But we are a short train ride or drive from Edinburgh, a slightly younger and vastly more attractive city - that also has museums, theatres, restaurants, bars, and some…


"Luddites weren’t wrong, just premature."

The end of work


Fri, Jun 26th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With automation slowly replacing human workers more and more each day, The Atlantic explores what "the end of work" actually means when the consumer is removed from the consumer economy. Amusingly, while humans have always wanted machines to free them from labour, people are "considerably more miserable doing nothing."

In the past few years, even as the United States has pulled itself partway out of the jobs hole created by the Great Recession, some economists and technologists have warned that the economy is near a tipping point. When they peer deeply into labor-market data, they see troubling signs, masked for now by a cyclical recovery. And when they look up from their spreadsheets, they see automation high and low—robots in the operating room and behind the fast-food counter. They imagine self-driving cars snaking through the streets and Amazon drones dotting the sky, replacing millions of drivers, warehouse stockers, and…


Toyota Builds a Working Hoverboard

First steps towards the floating car


Thu, Jun 25th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Using liquid nitrogen to cool the superconductors and magnets involved, Toyota has built a working hoverboard reminiscent of those seen in Back to the Future. While experimental trains in Japan already use the technology, Toyota wants it inside a car.

“It’s very confidential information but we have been studying the flying car in our most advanced R&D area,” Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, a managing officer in Toyota’s Technical Administration Group, said in June 2014 at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Sausalito, California. “Flying car means the car is just a little bit away from the road, so it doesn’t have any friction or resistance from the road.”


Google's War on the Homeless

#Google World Domination

Wed, Jun 24th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Pando, after opening their new offices in Los Angeles' Skid Row, Google started to aggressively drive the homeless population out of the area using security guards armed with pitbulls and sticks.

At first, Google didn’t seem to mind. The company initially operated only one property — the famous Frank Gehry “Binoculars Building.” Like other Google locations, it is a self-contained ecosystem; an office bio-dome: Delicious food service, snacks, coffee, surfboards, games, a top-of-the-line gym, a climbing wall, a cool roof deck, periodic food truck lunch parties, and an underground gated parking lot. With so much stuff to do inside, Googlers rarely ventured outside and didn’t have to see or interact with the homeless population that was camped out just beyond its walls.

But this live-and-let-live attitude changed after Google leased a second giant property — a series of warehouse compounds that take up almost an entire block…


"For years John Deere has been selling tractors that practically drive themselves."

Google is not the self-driving vehicle leader


Tue, Jun 23rd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

No matter the fanfare behind Google's self-driving car, for farmers this level of automation is no novelty. According to the Washington Post, John Deere has been selling self-driving farm equipment for years in part thanks to the lack of regulations.

The systems come with their own risks, including concerns that they could be hacked. But because farm-equipment makers operate almost exclusively on private land, they've been able to bring products to market much quicker than consumer automakers - and without the same level of regulatory scrutiny.

There are no federal rules specifically addressing self-driving tech for tractors, largely because farm equipment is designed for use in fields where it doesn't pose the same level of risk to other vehicles or people as a self-driving vehicle on a public road. The closest thing to national regulations are safety standards set by the…


Supercomputer Links Cancer to DNA Crosses


Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to a study by the University of Texas at Austin, supercomputers linked non-inherited human cancer with "cross-shaped (or cruciform) pieces of DNA." Researchers believe that these particular strands of DNA "mark the spots for chromosome breaks, mutations, and potentially initiate cancer development."

DNA double-strand breaks can increase the risk of cancer because they can result in translocations, deletions, and other mutagenic events that disrupt the coding properties of genes. ‘These modifications of the DNA can lead to cancer,’ Vasquez said. According to Paul Okano, program director at the Division of Cancer Biology of the National Cancer Institute, ‘The focus of Dr. Vasquez’ research on the mechanisms of alternate DNA structure-induced mutations, DNA breaks, and chromosome translocations is a novel and significant aspect of NCI grant supported studies on mechanisms of genomic instability. Dr. Vasquez’ studies on the role of non-B DNA sequences in these mechanisms can contribute to…


"Swimming nanorobots that deliver drugs where they’re needed."


Sun, Jun 21st, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Using an oscillating magnetic force, the American Chemical Society shows off nanorobots capable of swimming through the blood in order to deliver drugs in the areas where needed.

The researchers strung together three links in a chain about as long as a silk fiber is wide. One segment was a polymer, and two were magnetic, metallic nanowires. They put the tiny devices in a fluid even thicker than blood. And when they applied an oscillating magnetic field, the nanoswimmer moved in an S-like, undulatory motion at the speed of nearly one body length per second. The magnetic field also can direct the swimmers to reach targets.


Diet that Mimics Fasting Helps Lose Fat, Get Smarter and Live Longer


Sat, Jun 20th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Since fasting is "hard for people" and "can also be dangerous," researchers led by University of Southern California's (USC) Valter Longo developed a "complex diet" which mimics fasting and "triggers the same effects in the body." The test, performed on middle aged mice, showed a variety of benefits including "starving out cancer cells."

Bimonthly cycles that lasted four days of an FMD which started at middle age extended life span, reduced the incidence of cancer, boosted the immune system, reduced inflammatory diseases, slowed bone mineral density loss and improved the cognitive abilities of older mice tracked in the study. The total monthly calorie intake was the same for the FMD and control diet groups, indicating that the effects were not the result of an overall dietary restriction.


Retro-Looking Modular Miniature Camper

Happier Camper


Sat, Jun 20th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Happier Camper announces the HC1 a retro-looking camper packed with modern-day features. Albeit small, its unique modular design allows it to be reconfigured to accommodate five adults. Comes with a remarkable amount of add-ons.

Our highly flexible Adaptiv™ modular interior system allows you to easily customize your trailer on-the-fly to suit a variety of needs. From camping, to hauling, to guest quarters, create the layout you want in just minutes. Configuring and reconfiguring is a snap, and the possibilities are limitless.


It Might Be Time to Uninstall Google Chrome

Google quietly installs software that listens to every word you say


Fri, Jun 19th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Privacy Online News, a recent update in Google Chrome (and its derivatives, like Chromium), downloaded and installed without notice Ok Google, effectively monitoring every conversation you have near your computer.

Obviously, your own computer isn’t the one to analyze the actual search command. Google’s servers do. Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by… an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions.

Google had two responses to this. The first was to introduce a practically-undocumented switch to opt out of this behavior, which is not a fix: the default install will still wiretap your room without your consent, unless you opt out, and more importantly, know that you need to opt out, which is nowhere a reasonable requirement.…


NASA to Explore Europa

Quest for alien life sees spacecraft launched in 2020


Fri, Jun 19th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

NASA announced that a new mission to explore whether life exists on Jupiter’s moon Europa, went from concept review to development, with a spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2020.

The mission plan calls for a spacecraft to be launched to Jupiter in the 2020s, arriving in the distant planet’s orbit after a journey of several years. The spacecraft would orbit the giant planet about every two weeks, providing many opportunities for close flybys of Europa. The mission plan includes 45 flybys, during which the spacecraft would image the moon's icy surface at high resolution and investigate its composition and the structure of its interior and icy shell.


Handmade Full-Size Coin-Op Arcade Cabinet

Pixel Kabinett 42


Sat, May 23rd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Pixel Kabinett 42, a very retro looking arcade system, is the brain child of Swedish designer and craftman Love Hultén. Only 50 are being made.

A unique handmade full-size coin-op arcade cabinet for two players, inspired by old industrial cabinets, vintage mixing consoles and early space travels. The retro futuristic body stands on four unique rocket nozzle like feet. These can be removed or replaced. The cabinet is decorated by a glowing planetarium on the front and an engraved saturn speaker grill. The folding top keep dust away when not in use.

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"By changing the spacing of atoms on one surface, they observed a point at which friction disappears."



Mon, Jun 8th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

One of the roadblocks in building nanobots is the higher rate of wear and tear miniature motors encounter versus their large size counterparts. Physicists at MIT have reportedly developed a technique which allows them to tune the friction between two surfaces, to the point where it disappears.

The group continued to stretch and squeeze the ion crystal to manipulate the arrangement of atoms, and discovered that if the atom spacing is mismatched from that of the optical lattice, friction between the two surfaces vanishes. In this case, the crystal tends not to stick then suddenly slip, but to move fluidly across the optical lattice, much like a caterpillar inching across the ground.

For instance, in arrangements where some atoms are in troughs while others are at peaks, and still others are somewhere in between, as the ion crystal is pulled across…

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"Travelers don’t just want access to Uber at airports, they have come to expect it."

Some airports now allowing pick-ups by Uber and Lyft


Thu, May 28th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Called by some an unfair advantage, Uber and Lyft are now being allowed to pick-up passengers from airports, a realm that once belonged solely to licensed taxi operators.

In San Francisco, where Mr. McGinnis lives, “it would be unusual to take a cab to the airport these days,” he said.

In March, Uber and Wingz broke into the crowded Southern California market by striking deals with John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. Los Angeles International will join in when limitations are lifted this summer, Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged, though some City Council members have voiced objections over what they see as an uneven playing field.

At La Guardia and Kennedy International Airport in New York, drivers for UberX, Uber’s lower-cost service, can pick up passengers if they are licensed by the Taxi & Limousine Commission. It is the only market where all drivers are required to obtain…

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Free Heating Forever If You Have a Fibre Optic Internet Connection

Data servers as heat radiators


Fri, May 29th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

For about $1,000 in installation costs, Dutch company Nerdalize will offers free heating forever. The heaters, which require a "fibre-optic connection" and "an external wall" for venting, are actually servers that produce about 1,000W of heat. Although questions arise about "control over the access network," the driving force behind this idea may be the financial gains of not having a centralised data centre.

In exchange for free heating (after the €400-500 setup cost), Nerdalize uses the network of eRadiators to provide a cloud computing service. Because the company doesn't run a centralised data centre, operating costs are much lower, which means the "cost-per-job [to the customer] is up to 55% lower." The quality-of-service will be be lower than centralised cloud compute, too—Nerdalize won't have any control over the access network (what if the home owner decides to do…

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Mud Hero Urban 2015


Sun, May 24th, 2015 11:00 by Leonard Ramos ARTICLE

Canada’s premier mud/obstacle event series is going decidedly urban this spring with a race at Toronto’s Ontario Place.

Held on May 22nd to 23rd, thousands will have the opportunity to participate in Canada’s only true urban obstacle event “Mud Hero Urban” right in the heart of the city! Over six kilometers participants will climb, crawl, jump, slip and slide their way to the muddy finish line.

Unlike some events Mud Hero is not punishing – offering participants the option to tackle easy or difficult variations of some obstacles. “It really is a race for everyone,” said Adam Rupple, co-founder. “Our participants are not elite athletes. They are people who want to challenge themselves a bit, get muddy and have a great time with their friends. It’s all about the accomplishment.”


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Robots Master Motor Skills by Trial and Error


Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

By mimicking the process in which humans learn, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed algorithms that allow robots to master their motor skills by trial and error. The idea is that when the robot is faced with a new task, it won't need to be programmed, but will instead figure it out on its own.

“What we’re reporting on here is a new approach to empowering a robot to learn,” said Professor Pieter Abbeel of UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. “The key is that when a robot is faced with something new, we won’t have to reprogram it. The exact same software, which encodes how the robot can learn, was used to allow the robot to learn all the different tasks we gave it.”

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Kung Fury is Out


Sat, May 30th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

As promised, Kung Fury is out. The trailer was awesome, but barely scratches the surface of what the movie offers.

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SpaceX's Vintage Mars Travel Posters


Tue, May 26th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Motherboard brings to attention a series of retro looking Mars travel posters created by SpaceX and available in the public domain.

SpaceX has released some vintage-style posters that are undoubtedly breaking hearts everywhere that we can’t hop on a spaceship to Mars for a vacation.

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Miniature Eco-Friendly Low-Energy Home



Mon, Jun 1st, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Ecocapsule offers a bed, a working/dining area, a kitchenette, and a bathroom, in a miniature egg-shaped enclosure, big enough to provide for the needs of two adults. The eco-friendly home is the brainchild of Nice Architects.

Even though small in size, each Ecocapsule comfortably houses two adults. Its efficient spatial layout allows you to enjoy convenience of household facilities in off-grid conditions. Built-in kitchenette with running water, flushing toilet and hot shower are luxuries of a hotel room that are now also available in wilderness.

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"Getting Netflix’s seal of approval is not a simple affair."

Netflix helps create the perfect television


Mon, May 25th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With the idea that a smartphone is technically always on and ready, a small tap away from launching the Netflix app, televisions from different manufacturers are being judged the same way. Not that many pass, but it seems that we're almost there, the era of the perfect television set.

To illustrate how quickly things have progressed, Gunderson — who is joined by his colleague David Holland, a director of business development at Netflix — stage a competition between last year’s crop of smart TVs to this year’s, some of which have been designated with the new standard. In each case, the newer set handily beats the old one on things like turning on, locking onto a Wi-Fi signal, keeping users from digging to find the Netflix app, and eventually starting up a show. In one particular matchup between Sony’s old Bravia TV set and its newer one running Google’s…

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Javascript Gameboy Advance Emulator


Wed, May 27th, 2015 09:51 by capnasty NEWS

I can't find much detail about this GitHub project other than the fact that you can load all your favourite Gameboy Advance games and play them.

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"Being anonymous in public might be a thing of the past."

Facial recognition is everywhere


Sun, Jun 14th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Washington Post, while facial recognition technology is already being deployed by stores and is actively being used by social media giants like Facebook and Google, its use may actually be illegal.

You may not be walking by ads that address you by name, but odds are that your facial geometry is already being analyzed regularly. Law enforcement agencies deploy facial recognition technology in public and can identify someone by searching a biometric database that contains information on as many as one-third of Americans.

Companies like Facebook and Google routinely collect facial recognition data from their users, too. (Facebook’s system is on by default; Google’s only works if you opt in to it.) Their technology may be even more accurate than the government’s. Google’s FaceNet algorithm can identify faces with 99.63 percent accuracy. Facebook’s algorithm, DeepFace, gets a 97.25 percent rating. The FBI, on the other hand,…

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Singing Happy Birthday in Public is a Copyright Infringement

Unhappy Birthday to You


Mon, May 25th, 2015 23:05 by capnasty NEWS

If you witness anyone singing Happy Birthday in public, it is your civic duty to immediately notify the copyright holders so that the felons shamelessly pirating copyright material can be fined or charged the appropriate licensing fees.

According to United States copyright law in United States Code, Title 17 § 106, authors of works such as musical compositions have the exclusive right "to perform the copyrighted work publicly." In United States Code, Title 17 § 101, the law defines publicly performing a work as "to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered."

Additionally, United States Code Title 17, § 110(4) states that singing the song among a group of people "without any…

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Light-Based Computers

Replacing wires with optical circuits


Fri, May 29th, 2015 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

By using an "inverse design algorithm," Stanford engineers believe they have created a system that allows them to economically design optical interconnects, allowing for wires to be replaced with optical circuits. Light, unlike electrons travelling through wires, would use less power and produce less heat while making computers faster.

The Stanford work relies on the well-known fact that infrared light will pass through silicon the way sunlight shines through glass.

And just as a prism bends visible light to reveal the rainbow, different silicon structures can bend infrared light in useful ways.

The Stanford algorithm designs silicon structures so slender that more than 20 of them could sit side-by-side inside the diameter of a human hair. These silicon interconnects can direct a specific frequency of infrared light to a specific location to replace a wire.

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Self-Driving Cars Will Make You Sick


Tue, Jun 2nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

If you have ever been a passenger in a car and have tried to read or use your mobile phone, you've probably experienced nausea. On Quartz, John McDuling warns that with the advent of the self-driving car, all we might be able to do is to simply stare at the road in front of us.

But there are other, simpler reasons why we should be cautious about self-driving cars: they could make you sick. At least that’s if people end up doing what they say they will do in them. Surveys indicate that while the most common thing people expect to do in self-driving cars is (amusingly) stare at the roads, perhaps due to aforementioned nervousness, most people also think they will be able to do things like watch videos, read, play games, work, text, and browse the internet. For this reason, lots of people already think content companies…

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