“Robots should be fitted with an 'ethical black box' to keep track of their decisions.”

Autonomous robots need a way to record and explain their decision making


Thu, Jul 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With AI rapidly improving and Musk saying that robots will kill us all, researchers are asking that autonomous robots be equipped with a "black box" so that their decisions can be recorded and examined in the event of an accident.

The need for such a safety measure has become more pressing as robots have spread beyond the controlled environments of industrial production lines to work alongside humans as driverless cars, security guards, carers and customer assistants, they claim.

Scientists will make the case for the devices at a conference at the University of Surrey on Thursday where experts will discuss progress towards autonomous robots that can operate without human control. The proposal comes days after a K5 security robot named Steve fell down steps and plunged into a fountain while on patrol at a riverside complex in Georgetown, Washington DC. No one was hurt in the…


Fast, Clean, Cost-Effective Metal 3D-Printing

Desktop Metal


Wed, Jul 19th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

TechCrunch reports that Desktop Metal, a company founded by four MIT professors, while not the first to work with 3D printers capable of using metal is by far the most efficient, churning out objects "at up to 100-times the speed of their competitors." The printed objects, with a quality level comparable to injection molding, allows to create shapes not possible in a traditional manner.

“You don’t need tooling,” he tells TechCrunch. “You can make short runs of production with basically no tooling costs. You can change your design and iterate very fast. And now you can make shapes you couldn’t make any other way, so now you can lightweight a part and work with alloys that are very, very hard, with very extreme properties.”

The list of companies that have embraced the $50,000+ Surface is pretty diverse.…


Typewriter Guns

Turning old typewriters into convincing looking machine guns


Tue, Jul 18th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

French artist Éric Nado takes ordinary typewriters and turns them into convincing looking weapons. See more of his work here. Website is in French.

32 typewriting machines are transformed into evocative Typewriter Guns by reassembling every piece of the original machines. The series triggers the idea that words are stronger than arms and shape history.


"You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States."

Elon Musk wants to power the U.S. entirely on solar


Mon, Jul 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Inverse, at the National Governors Association Elon Musk informed the state governors that the United States could be powered by solar alone, and that doing so would only require a small amount of land. The batteries require even less, just one square mile.

“The Earth is almost entirely solar-powered today, in the sense that the sun is the only thing that keeps us from being at the temperature of cosmic background radiation, which is 3 degrees above absolute-zero,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the sun, we’d be a frozen, dark ice ball. The amount of energy that reaches us from the sun is tremendous. It’s the 99 percent-plus of all energy that Earth has.”

After all the sun’s a mind-bogglingly big energy ball, anyway: “People talk about fusion and all that, but the sun is a giant fusion reactor in the sky. It’s really reliable.…


Iron Star Civilizations

Thriving in the Black Hole era of the Universe


Sun, Jul 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Isaac Arthur argues that during the Black Hole Era of the Universe — a period when all the stars have died — civilization may not only survive but actually thrive.

In the previous episode we saw how civilizations might not simply survive after all the stars in the Universe had died, but might indeed thrive far better during the Black Hole Era of the Universe. Today, we will go beyond even the Dark Era to examine the concepts or Iron Star Civilizations, Boltzmann Brains, Reversible Computing, and even reversing Entropy itself.


"State borders are a lot weirder than they first appear."

Weird American borders


Sat, Jul 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, VanDeGraph looks at the strange borders U.S. states share and explains the bizarre history behind them.

Ever wondered why Michigan has two pieces? How about why Alaska isn't connected to the rest of the United States?

The state borders are a lot weirder than they first appear, and often simple river borders will have crazy zig-zags that seem to arbitrarily cross the river.

When rivers shape, borders don't, leaving states with strange pieces on the wrong side of the river.

Some states like Oklahoma and West Virgina have bizarre panhandles, and Kentucky even has a part cut off my Missouri. Its a strange border situation called an exclave, which is when a part of a the state is only reachable by land through other states or countries.

Virginia also has the…


"A real-time surveillance machine that has been developed for online advertising is rapidly expanding into other fields."

How corporations monitor and influence people everyday


Fri, Jul 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Cracked Labs has this report explaining how digital tracking is being used by thousands of corporations to monitor, influence, and analyse individuals with the personal data they collect and share between brokers.

Several key developments in recent years have rapidly introduced unprecedented new qualities to ubiquitous corporate surveillance. These include the rise of social media and networked devices, the real-time tracking and linking of behavioral data streams, the merging of online and offline data, and the consolidation of marketing and risk management data. Pervasive digital tracking and profiling, in combination with personalization and testing, are not only used to monitor, but also to systematically influence people’s behavior. When companies use data about everyday life situations to make both trivial and consequential automated decisions about people, this may lead to discrimination, and reinforce or even worsen existing inequalities.

In spite of its omnipresence, only the tip of the iceberg…


"Warp drives could become a real technology within the lifetimes of today’s toddlers."

Really close yet really far from warp drive technology


Thu, Jul 13th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Rantt, Greg Fish explains current technological progress in developing a warp drive. While a feasible functioning spacecraft is still a long way to go, energy requirements have been brought down from "more than the energy of literally everything that exists in the universe" to "69% of America’s annual energy generation." Even with that great progress, there are some minor issues that need to be resolved.

If we can really lower the amount of energy we need to harness it for warp travel by close to 39 orders of magnitude, there are some very pressing and fundamental questions about physics that will have to be raised. And when you mess with the balance of virtual particles, some very strange things will happen involving exotic terms like “information paradox” and “monogamy of entanglement,” resulting in a very special form of radiation…


Teleportation Achieved

Photon entanglement from Earth to space


Wed, Jul 12th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The MIT Technology Review reports that China has successfully created the first Earth-to-space quantum network, which will allow scientists to start experimenting with entanglement, cryptography, and teleportation.

Back in the 1990s, scientists realized they could use this link to transmit quantum information from one point in the universe to another. The idea is to “download” all the information associated with one photon in one place and transmit it over an entangled link to another photon in another place.

This second photon then takes on the identity of the first. To all intents and purposes, it becomes the first photon. That’s the nature of teleportation and it has been performed many times in labs on Earth.


“An unfolding 'Cambrian Explosion' in robotics.”

Machines are learning to see the world they live in


Tue, Jul 11th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Calling it a "Cambrian Explosion" in robotics, the ability for machines to see is opening up a whole new world of applications. And while the article notes that not all jobs may be affected by automation, data shows wages are stagnating as a result of it.

One of the most important enablers of the Cambrian Explosion was vision — the moment when biological species first developed the ability to see the world. This opened up a massive new set of capabilities for our ancestors. Pratt makes the point that we are now at a similar threshold for machines. For the first time in history, machines are learning to see, and thereby gain the many benefits that come with vision.

A gyrosensor made in the 1990s cost $10,000 and was 1 inch in diameter and 3 inches long (larger than D size battery). Now many gyrosensors fit…

Jun 16“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.” #Environment
Jun 15"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply." #War
Jun 24Schools Monitoring Students' Social Media Feeds #Internet
Jun 18“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.” #Future
Jun 23WannaCry is Childsplay Compared to This #Computers
Jun 12It's a Commercial About a Sweater #Advertising
Jun 11“Lights-out factory devoid of human labor” #Future
Jun 21"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes." #Future
Jun 17“Making paper out of stone.” #Products
Jun 26"The world has lost its last shot at staving off dangerous global warming." #Environment
Jun 13"Technological transformation first reduced the income of the populations for decades, although societies became wealthier in the long term." #Future
Jul 07"Not because people are environmentally conscious, but simply because it will make more economic sense." #Environment
Jul 19Fast, Clean, Cost-Effective Metal 3D-Printing
Jul 18Typewriter Guns
Jul 20“Robots should be fitted with an 'ethical black box' to keep track of their decisions.”
May 27Making a Movie Inside a Video Game
Jul 14"A real-time surveillance machine that has been developed for online advertising is rapidly expanding into other fields."
Jul 17"You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States."
Jul 13"Warp drives could become a real technology within the lifetimes of today’s toddlers."
Jul 12Teleportation Achieved
Jul 15"State borders are a lot weirder than they first appear."
Jul 16Iron Star Civilizations
Jul 11“An unfolding 'Cambrian Explosion' in robotics.”
Jan 26Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World