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Infinite Us

from The Next Web

Meet the scientist who thinks we all exist in multiple universes

by CARA CURTIS

Meet the scientist who thinks we all exist in multiple universes

Have you ever laid wide-awake in the late hours of the night wondering what your life would look like if you took that other job, moved countries, or ended up with someone else? While there’s no definite answer — and probably never will be — the idea that there’s multiple versions of you, living in various universes, isn’t as make-believe as you might think. 

According to Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, the theory of Many Worlds Interpretation suggests every important event has multiple possible outcomes and splits the world into alternate realities. 

This mind-bending idea originally came from Hugh Everett, a graduate student who wrote just one paper in the 1950s. Everett’s theory describes the universe as a changing set of numbers, known as the wave function. According to Many Worlds, the universe continually splits into new branches, to produce multiple versions of ourselves. Carroll argues that, so far, this interpretation is the simplest possible explanation of quantum mechanics. 

[ click to continue reading at TNW ]

Posted on November 9, 2019 by Editor

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It’s Not What It Was Meant To Be, But Then Again Yes It Is

from Greenwich Time

How the Internet lost its soul

by Janet Abbate, The Washington Post

This week, we celebrate what many consider the 50th birthday of the Internet. The underpinnings of the World Wide Web originated in an American communications network built for national defense and the pursuit of knowledge: ARPANET. Funded by the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, the network was designed so that scientists could share computer hardware, software and data.

It worked. In the ensuing decades, the ARPANET, and after the 1980s, the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), did indeed allow scientists to collaboratively build knowledge around networked tools and information. But expanding access to the Internet, combined with looser government regulations, ultimately produced a situation no one foresaw or intended. On today’s Internet, conspiracy theories run rampant, identities can be faked and our real-life elections are vulnerable to manipulation. A network designed for spreading truth became a profit-driven industry, a public sphere that threatens to undermine the public good.

[ click to continue reading at Greenwich Time ]

Posted on November 1, 2019 by Editor

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Dark Side IRL

from AFP via Yahoo! News

50 years after internet conception, dark side stirs fear

by Glenn CHAPMAN

The internet has grown to connect billions of users around the world, as seen in this Facebook map from 2010, but has also allowed malicious actors to operate on a wide scale (AFP Photo/HO)
The internet has grown to connect billions of users around the world, as seen in this Facebook map from 2010, but has also allowed malicious actors to operate on a wide scale (AFP Photo/HO)

San Francisco (AFP) – On October 29, 1969, professor Leonard Kleinrock and a team at the University of California at Los Angeles got a computer to “talk” to a machine in what is now known as Silicon Valley.

The event gave birth to a network that later became known as the internet — hailed at first as a boon to equality and enlightenment, but with a dark side that has emerged as well.

As UCLA marks the anniversary, Kleinrock is opening a new lab devoted to all things related to the internet — particularly mitigating some of its unintended consequences on the internet which is now used by some four billion people worldwide.

“To some point it democratizes everyone,” Kleinrock told AFP.

“But it is also a perfect formula for the dark side, as we have learned.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on October 29, 2019 by Editor

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Here Comes The Hive

from The Guardian

What happens if your mind lives for ever on the internet?

by Michael Graziano

Scene from The Lawnmower Man
FacebookTwitterPinterest The Lawnmower Man (1992) stars Pierce Brosnan as an unethical scientist who traps the consciousness of his gardener (Jeff Fahey) inside a computer. Photograph: Allstar/New Lin/Sportsphoto Ltd

Imagine that a person’s brain could be scanned in great detail and recreated in a computer simulation. The person’s mind and memories, emotions and personality would be duplicated. In effect, a new and equally valid version of that person would now exist, in a potentially immortal, digital form. This futuristic possibility is called mind uploading. The science of the brain and of consciousness increasingly suggests that mind uploading is possible – there are no laws of physics to prevent it. The technology is likely to be far in our future; it may be centuries before the details are fully worked out – and yet given how much interest and effort is already directed towards that goal, mind uploading seems inevitable. Of course we can’t be certain how it might affect our culture but as the technology of simulation and artificial neural networks shapes up, we can guess what that mind uploading future might be like.

Suppose one day you go into an uploading clinic to have your brain scanned. Let’s be generous and pretend the technology works perfectly. It’s been tested and debugged. It captures all your synapses in sufficient detail to recreate your unique mind. It gives that mind a standard-issue, virtual body that’s reasonably comfortable, with your face and voice attached, in a virtual environment like a high-quality video game. Let’s pretend all of this has come true.

Who is that second you?

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 20, 2019 by Editor

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Naked Dreaming

from Nautilus

Why You Keep Dreaming About Being Naked

Are the common elements in our dreams the result of basic biology, or something deeper?

BY ELIZABETH SVOBODA

Svaboda_BOOK
JUNG’S PHANTASMS: On page 125 of his Red Book, Jung depicts a golden mandala above a landscape depicted in folk art style. Between them is a levitating yogi. Jung believed that all humans and animals share a collective unconscious, from which we draw much of the imagery that appears in dreams across cultures. Reprinted from The Red Book by C. G. Jung. Copyright © 2009 by the Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

I was naked. So was Laura,” begins one dream of the more than 20,000 collected in G. William Domhoff’s DreamBank. “I was re-stringing an unvarnished electric bass, so I guess it was naked, too. At one point I put a screw in to secure a string, but then realized I wasn’t holding the bass but Laura…” The dream is one of many “naked” entries in the database, and Domhoff says dreams about being naked or exposed in public in ways that betray a fear of embarrassment are widely reported. But why?

Domhoff, a distinguished professor emeritus specializing in psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz, has spent years collecting self-reported dreams in journals and laboratory settings, meticulously tagging and cataloguing each one. An outdoor setting, for example, is marked with an OU, a familiar character with a K, and physical activity with a P. Individual dreams can then be described with their own idiosyncratic combination of labeled elements. Domhoff calls this coding system “quantitative content analysis.” He’s concluded that at least some dreams have universal elements related to common human preoccupations and concerns.

The psychoanalysts have a vested interest in destroying my argument.

Some “typical” dreams long studied for their figurative meaning—such as dreams where you fly under your own power, or where your teeth fall out—don’t occur nearly as often as people think (flying dreams, for example, make up only about one-half of 1 percent of all dreams). But many people dream about being naked, or about physical journeys that might stand in for fraught everyday dilemmas, such as being thwarted in a quest for success. “We are walking down hall after hall,” one of the dreams in Domhoff’s database reads. “We are looking for a restaurant. We climb laboriously up ladders and get to a top floor to find out the restaurant is closed. I am upset and afraid of going back down.”

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Editor

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Duh.

from CNN

Former NASA scientist says they found life on Mars in the 1970s

By Jessie Yeung

We may have already discovered the essence of life on Mars 40 years ago, according to a former NASA scientist.

Gilbert V. Levin, who was principal investigator on a NASA experiment that sent Viking landers to Mars in 1976, published an article in the Scientific American journal last Thursday, arguing the experiment’s positive results were proof of life on the red planet.

The experiment, called Labeled Release (LR), was designed to test Martian soil for organic matter. “It seemed we had answered that ultimate question,” Levin wrote in the article.

In the experiment, the Viking probes placed nutrients in Mars soil samples — if life were present, it would consume the food and leave gaseous traces of its metabolism, which radioactive monitors would then detect.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on October 16, 2019 by Editor

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Dr. Psycho

from The Daily Star

Psychopaths make the best doctors because they can switch off emotionally

Psychopaths’ ruthless nature and emotional detachment are perfect attributes for medicine

By Alex Brown

Experts have revealed their ruthless nature and emotional detachment are the perfect attributes for medicine. 

Leading cardiac surgeon professor Stephen Westaby claimed he developed his own appetite for risk after fracturing his skull playing rugby.

“I changed and I enjoyed the change.

“I could cope with anything in terms of the misery you face when you first start in heart surgery.

“When I first went to the Royal Brompton [in London] in 1974 operating on the children, one in four died.

“I think we are talking about selected tendencies that represent psychopathy.”

[ click to read full article at The Daily Star ]

Posted on October 12, 2019 by Editor

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Wrinkles The Clown

from The Daily Beast

by Nick Schager

s your child misbehaving? Well, if you’re a demented mother and father interested in traumatizing your little one for years to come, you can follow in the footsteps of a shocking number of other American parents and dial 407-734-0254—the phone number for Wrinkles the Clown, a Naples, Florida, creep who, for a small cash fee, will lurk around your kid until they get the message and straighten themselves out.

This is both not a joke and a hilarious gag, as detailed by Wrinkles the Clown (in theaters Oct. 4). Michael Beach Nichols’ simultaneously spooky and amusing documentary concerns the notorious circus weirdo, who became an internet sensation in 2015—and inspired a rash of nationwide copycat dangerous-clown sightings in 2016—thanks to a series of online videos (beginning with this one) and stickers featuring his name, face and phone number that he posted around his hometown. In an age of viral horror fads (Slenderman, Momo, etc.), Wrinkles, bolstered by local news coverage and, then, a 2015 story in The Washington Post, was a standout star, not least because you could actually call him and either leave a voicemail or, if you were lucky, chat with the gruff, curt clown himself.

[ click to continue reading at TDB ]

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Editor

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No. Yes. Maybe. Dead or Alive, regardless.

from NBC

We may be closing in on the discovery of alien life. Are we prepared?

New robotic craft bound for Mars should give us our best shot at finding life on the Red Planet.

Image: The Mars Helicopter
The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet. NASA

By Seth Shostak

In the next decade or so, it’s entirely possible that you’ll see a headline announcing that NASA has found evidence of life in space.

Would that news cause you to run screaming into the street? An article that appeared recently in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph hints that Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, thinks the public might be discombobulated by the discovery of biology beyond the bounds of our own planet. But that’s not really what Green believes. He’s concerned that we haven’t thought much about the next steps by scientists, should we suddenly confront the reality of Martian life.

Here’s the backstory: In 2020, Mars and Earth will once again be relatively close to each other in their adjacent orbits around the sun. To take advantage of this fortuitous orbital circumstance, space agencies will be lobbing a small brigade of spacecraft toward the Red Planet. Unlike the robotic explorers now prowling Mars’ dusty landscapes, these new craft — launched by both NASA and a European-Russian collaboration — will be engaged in a type of reconnaissance that hasn’t been tried since NASA’s Viking landers set down there in the mid-1970s. The new craft will go beyond merely scouting for locations that were once suitable for life. They’ll be on the hunt for life itself. Dead or alive.

[ click to continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on October 5, 2019 by Editor

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Getting closer…

from The Sun

Mystery object approaching us from interstellar space could be ALIEN spacecraft, top scientist admits

by Harry Pettit

That’s the shock claim made by one space scientist, who has exclusively revealed to The Sun that our incoming visitor could be piloted by hyper-intelligent beings.

Last week, scientists in Germany announced they were tracking a distant object heading in our direction.

Dubbed “C/2019 Q4”, the high-speed body appears to be on a path originating from another star system that will see it fire past Mars in October.

Despite numerous attempts to study C/2019, scientists remain clueless as to what it is. Many speculate the distant mass is a comet.

According to prominent astronomer Dr Seth Shostak, while this is the interstellar traveller’s most likely identity, we can’t say for sure it’s not a flying saucer.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Editor

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Water, water, everywhere.

from NBC News

Strange alien world found to have water vapor and possibly rain clouds

Exoplanet K2-18 b lies in the habitable zone of its host star some 110 light-years from Earth.

By Chelsea Gohd, Space.com

This artist's impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system.
This artist’s impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system. M. Kornmesser / ESA/Hubble

In a major first, scientists have detected water vapor and possibly even liquid water clouds that rain in the atmosphere of a strange exoplanet that lies in the habitable zone of its host star about 110 light-years from Earth.

A new study focuses on K2-18 b, an exoplanet discovered in 2015, orbits a red dwarf star close enough to receive about the same amount of radiation from its star as Earth does from our sun.

Previously, scientists have discovered gas giants that have water vapor in their atmospheres, but this is the least massive planet ever to have water vapor detected in its atmosphere. This new paper even goes so far as to suggest that the planet hosts clouds that rain liquid water.

“The water vapor detection was quite clear to us relatively early on,” lead author Björn Benneke, a professor at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal, told Space.com in an interview. So he and his colleagues developed new analysis techniques to provide evidence that clouds made up of liquid water droplets likely exist on K2-18 b. “That’s in some ways the ‘holy grail’ of studying extrasolar planets … evidence of liquid water,” he said.

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Posted on September 18, 2019 by Editor

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We Shall Be Enslaved

from RT

Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek

Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek
© Getty Images / Donald Iain Smith

Technologies linking human consciousness to any sort of a cloud computing service could not just open the way for totalitarian mind control, but destroy the very essence of human relations, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says.

A computer that can read the thoughts of many people at once would make normal human life impossible, the Slovenian cultural philosopher told RT in the wake of the World Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference in Shanghai, which saw Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma and Tesla CEO Elon Musk clashing over the future of AI.

While the two technopreneurs engaged in a heated discussion over the possibility of humans being controlled by machines in the future, the senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana shared his thoughts on the issue with RT.

Our brain being connected to a machine is not a utopia

What I am studying now is the so-called phenomenon of wired brains, a possibility of our brains being connected with strong digital machines. And that is not a utopia. In the media lab at MIT, Massachusetts, they already have simple machines like that. It is like a helmet, nothing intrusive, they put it on your head.

And then something horrible happens – I saw the video – you think certain thoughts, you do not say anything, and the machine reproduces them either in writing or with artificial voice.

[ click to continue reading at RT ]

Posted on September 17, 2019 by Editor

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Almost…

from The Express

Asteroid collision with Earth ruled out by NASA – breaks up in atmosphere above Caribbean

AN ASTEROID which came crashing into Earth and NASA had no idea it was coming reiterates the need to keep a closer eye on the sky in case a massive space rock comes hurtling towards our planet.

By SEAN MARTIN

asteroid
NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour” (Image: GETTY)

“This was roughly the equivalent of spotting something the size of a gnat from a distance of 310 miles (500 kilometres).”

Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object (NEO) Studies, said: “Asteroids this size are far smaller than what we’re tasked to track.

“They’re so small, they would not survive passing through our atmosphere to cause damage to Earth’s surface.”

The problem was, NASA said, the space agency could not determine where the space rock was heading.

NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour, which was not enough information to determine where the object came from or exactly where it was headed.”

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on September 16, 2019 by Editor

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Tesla Serta Version

from CBS Boston

‘Bizarre’ Video Shows Tesla Driver Apparently Asleep On Mass Pike

by Tiffany Chan

NEWTON (CBS) – It was a frightening scene for one witness on the Mass Pike Sunday – a Tesla driver apparently asleep at the wheel. Video posted to Twitter seems to show the car on auto-pilot, without an alert person in the driver’s seat.

“It was just so strange and baffling” said Dakota Randall, who shot the video while driving through Newton on the highway. “I thought I saw somebody asleep at the wheel, but I wasn’t sure so I did a double-take. Sure enough there was somebody with his head right between his legs.”

In the video, the driver is hunched over and seemingly fast asleep. A person in the passenger seat doesn’t look to be awake either.

Randall said he tried to wake them up by honking his horn, but it didn’t work.

[ click to continue reading CBS Boston ]

Posted on September 13, 2019 by Editor

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Decoding Space Bursts

from MSN

Mysterious radio bursts from space may soon have an explanation

by Seth Shostak

The CHIME telescope
© CHIME The CHIME telescope

Just when you think you’ve cataloged all the beasts of the cosmos, a new one howls to us from the celestial savanna. Fast radio bursts are now one of the hottest topics in astronomy. In less time than an eye blink, these mysterious objects can release enough energy to power the world for three centuries.

And the race is on to figure out what the heck they are.

Last month, a consortium of five dozen astronomers reported the discovery of eight new bursts that may lead to an answer. The objects were found with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME. This unusual-looking radio telescope, about the size of a football field, consists of four metal mesh cylinders — like skateboard half-pipes — that collect and focus incoming radio waves. CHIME is in a sparsely populated, mountainous region of British Columbia about 30 miles north of the U.S. border.

While CHIME is leading the pack today in discovering radio bursts, the first such burst was found a dozen years ago by a West Virginia University astronomer sitting at his desk in Morgantown. Duncan Lorimer was combing through data obtained from a radio telescope in Parkes, Australia — half a world away — when he noticed a short burp of static, the kind of signal you’d produce by firing up a transmitter and then turning it off a few milliseconds later.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on September 8, 2019 by Editor

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Space Chicken

from Fast Company

SpaceX is playing a game of chicken with its Starlink satellites

BY MICHAEL GROTHAUS

SpaceX is playing a game of chicken with its Starlink satellites
[Photo: Flickr user Official SpaceX Photos]

Elon Musk’s SpaceX apparently doesn’t play well with others when it comes to space traffic. As Forbes reports, on Monday the European Space Agency (ESA) said it had to perform collision avoidance maneuvers with its Aeolus Earth observation satellite when it detected that it had a 1 in 1,000 chance of hitting “Starlink 44,” one of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

While those odds of a collision might seem slim, they were actually 10 times higher than the threshold that requires a collision avoidance maneuver. The thing is, when the ESA realized its satellite was on a potential collision course with Starlink 44, the agency contacted SpaceX and asked it to move its satellite out of the way. But SpaceX refused to, turning the incident into a game of chicken in space.

[ click to continue reading at Fast Company ]

Posted on September 5, 2019 by Editor

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The Novacene Coming

from NBC News

Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says

‘Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end.’

By Corey S. Powell

Illustration of robots and human walking together in a futuristic city.
Tim Peacock / for NBC News

For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet’s only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely.

That’s the jarring message of a new book by James Lovelock, the famed British environmentalist and futurist. “Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he says in the book, “Novacene.” “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Posted on September 3, 2019 by Editor

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Cyborg Pole Dancing – Yea, Novacene!

from The Daily Mail

Gyrating ROBOTS debut at French pole dancing club, with the androids performing alongside human counterparts

By SOPHIE TANNO

A French nightclub has caused a stir after it exhibited pole-dancing robots donning high heels.

The gyrating robots had CCTV cameras for heads and were interspersed among their human counterparts at the Strip Club Cafe (SC-Club) in Nantes on Friday night. 

The androids moved their hips in time to the blasting music while on elevated platforms, in front of a male-dominated audience. 

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on September 2, 2019 by Editor

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Not with a whimper…

from Greenwich Time

The many ways our world could end

by Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

The man-made fires ravaging huge expanses of the Amazon rainforest have – if only for a brief moment – trained global attention on a looming calamity facing the planet. More people now understand that a series of alarming environmental developments are all linked: A spike in carbon emissions, the rapid melting of Arctic ice, the steady rise of global temperatures, the increasingly erratic and extreme storms assailing coastlines. Every day, we are living in a “dramatic climate emergency,” declared U.N. Secretary General António Guterres this week.

But it’s not just an evolving climate that poses an existential challenge to humanity. “End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World,” a new book by veteran science writer Bryan Walsh that published this week, is a harrowing chronicle of a range of threats that could bring about human extinction in the not-so-distant future. These include eternal dangers to the planet, such as supervolcanoes and asteroids, but also distinctly modern perils – from killer robots and artificial intelligence to civilization-ending nuclear war to weaponized bioengineered super viruses. And then, of course, there’s the inexorable toll of man-made global warming, whose effects we’re already feeling around the world.

Walsh’s book isn’t all gloom, taking us to the front lines where researchers and scientists are seeking new ways to protect humanity. 

[ click to continue reading at Greenwich Time ]

Posted on September 1, 2019 by Editor

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The Person With a Phone on Their Face

from c|net

The fantasy of being disconnected

An overactive world is hard to break away from.

by SCOTT STEIN

Scott Stein/CNET

It takes a boat ride, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, to get me to finally feel offline. Which makes me feel pretty sad. But it reminds me of the impossible goal I keep failing to attain: staying away from screens. Or, more accurately, the internet.

It feels impossible to disconnect because I work in tech. I review phones. I wear headsets (sometimes on vacation). I have watches on my wrists. What absurdity am I discussing, me being disconnected from tech? It’s more that I’ve realized my attention being sapped away. Or my kid saying to me, hey, spend less time on the screen. Which only proves that I’ve become known as the Person With a Phone on Their Face.

I’ve tried screen-time limitations, cutting off notifications and being in the present moment like Sherry Turkle, who’s studied online behavioral psychology for years, wrote about back in 2015 in her excellent book Reclaiming Conversation. I’ve never found screen timers to work. Not for me. They feel like fitness trackers without the coaching.

What has worked? Spending a week and a half, roughly, where I go as offline as I ever can. It’s become a tradition each summer: I’ve joined my in-laws to go across the Atlantic. I’ve done this, now, six times. 

I didn’t expect to be this person who cannot unplug. And you don’t need to be this person, either. But I’ve come to realize, the more I take this trip, that I love being forced to live without the internet.

[ click to continue reading at c|net ]

Posted on August 28, 2019 by Editor

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My Little Porny

Posted on August 19, 2019 by Editor

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O Youth!

Posted on August 16, 2019 by Editor

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Plants Are Clocks

from Yahoo! News

Plants can tell time even without a brain – here’s how

Anyone who has travelled across multiple time zones and suffered jet lag will understand just how powerful our biological clocks are. In fact, every cell in the human body has its own molecular clock, which is capable of generating a daily rise and fall in the number of many proteins the body produces over a 24-hour cycle. The brain contains a master clock that keeps the rest of the body in sync, using light signals from the eyes to keep in time with environment.

Plants have similar circadian rhythms that help them tell the time of day, preparing plants for photosynthesis prior to dawn, turning on heat-protection mechanisms before the hottest part of the day, and producing nectar when pollinators are most likely to visit. And just like in humans, every cell in the plant appears to have its own clock.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on August 15, 2019 by Editor

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Neuralink

from The Observer

Elon Musk’s ‘Brain Chip’ Could Be Suicide of the Mind, Says Scientist

By Sissi Cao

Elon Musk
Elon Musk says merging biological intelligence and artificial intelligence is important to help human beings deal with the AI apocalypse. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Almost exactly a month ago, Elon Musk introduced a room of engineers and curious consumers to a sci-fi-sounding invention made by his neurotechnology startup Neuralink: an implantable “brain chip” that will “merge biological intelligence with machine intelligence.”

Per Musk’s description, this chip will be installed in a person’s brain by drilling a two-millimeter hole in the skull. “The interface to the chip is wireless, so you have no wires poking out of your head,” he assured.

Musk argued that such devices will help humans deal with the so-called AI apocalypse, a scenario in which artificial intelligence outpaces human intelligence and takes control of the planet away from the human species. “Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind,” Musk warned. “But with a brain-machine interface, we can actually go along for the ride. And we can have the option of merging with AI. This is extremely important.”

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on August 14, 2019 by Editor

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Home Movies, sigh…

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Editor

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FRBs IRT

from c|net

Mysterious deep-space signals can now be picked up in real time

Artificial intelligence has been able to tune in to the odd energy known as Fast Radio Bursts and observe them as they reach Earth.

by ERIC MACK

frb-capture-molongo
An artist’s impression of the fast radio burst detected at the Molonglo Radio Telescope.
James Josephides/Swinburne

Over the past dozen years, scientists have been finding enigmatic, fleeting signals called fast radio bursts, or FRBs, by poring over previous observations for the bright blips that come from the other side of the cosmos. Now, for the first time, the powerful flashes of radio waves have been picked up the moment they arrive at Earth.

Doctoral student Wael Farah at Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology developed an automated system that uses machine learning to capture FRBs in real time. The very first FRB was detected in 2007 within observations from 2001, and most other detections have also been made by reviewing data after the fact.

Exactly what FRBs are and where they come from remains one of the newest and most intriguing mysteries in space science. What we know is that they originate from very powerful sources on the other side of the universe — we’re talking billions of light years from us — and last just milliseconds. Only a handful of FRBs so far have been observed to repeat themselves, a characteristic that makes them easier to trace to a source galaxy. 

Farah said part of his motivation for studying FRBs is that they can be used to study the darker parts of the cosmos between galaxies that are otherwise almost impossible to see.

[ click to continue reading at c|net ]

Posted on August 5, 2019 by Editor

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Ball Juice

from USA Today

These scientists may have solved MLB’s ‘juiced’ baseball problem

by Josh Peter

PULLMAN, Wash. — In cardboard boxes and plastic bins.

On shelving units and tabletops.

Even suspended in midair, as if by magic.

In the sprawling Sports Science Laboratory at Washington State University, baseballs are everywhere. In flight, too, when they’re fired out of air cannons at up to 90 mph.

“We have balls coming from all over the place,’’ Lloyd Smith told USA TODAY Sports, and he plucked one off a table in the lab where he was sitting last week.

Smith is a 55-year-old professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering who oversees the baseball madness inside the lab he started in 2003. For almost two years, he has been working for Major League Baseball to figure out if and why “juiced baseballs” have triggered a surge in home runs.

The mystery appears to be over.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on August 2, 2019 by Editor

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The Deadliest Killer Ever

from The New York Times

The Mosquitoes Are Coming for Us 

They are our apex predator, the deadliest hunters of human beings on the planet.

By Timothy C. Winegard

Credit: Armando Veve

It has been one of the most aggravating sounds on earth for more than 100 million years — the humming buzz of a mosquito.

She gently lands on your ankle and inserts two serrated mandible cutting blades and saws into your skin, while two other retractors open a passage for the proboscis. With this straw she sucks your blood, while a sixth needle pumps in saliva that contains an anticoagulant that prevents that blood from clotting. This shortens her feeding time, lessening the likelihood that you splat her across your ankle.

The female mosquito needs your blood to grow her eggs. Please don’t feel singled out. She bites everyone. There is no truth to the myths that mosquitoes prefer women over men or blondes and redheads over those with darker hair. She does, however, play favorites. Type O blood seems to be the vintage of choice. Stinky feet emit a bacterium that woos famished females, as do perfumes. As a parting gift, she leaves behind an itchy bump (an allergic reaction to her saliva) and potentially something far worse: infection with one of several deadly diseases, including malaria, Zika, West Nile, dengue and yellow fever.

Mosquitoes are our apex predator, the deadliest hunter of human beings on the planet. A swarming army of 100 trillion or more mosquitoes patrols nearly every inch of the globe, killing about 700,000 people annually. Researchers suggest that mosquitoes may have killed nearly half of the 108 billion humans who have ever lived across our 200,000-year or more existence.

Flying solo, the mosquito does not directly harm anyone. It is the diseases she transmits that cause an endless barrage of death. Yet without her, these pathogens could not be vectored to humans. Without her, human history would be completely unrecognizable.

The mosquito and her diseases have accompanied traders, travelers, soldiers and settlers (and their captive African slaves) around the world and have been far more lethal than any manufactured weapons or inventions.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on July 28, 2019 by Editor

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Cruise Clownpocalypse

from The Mirror

Clown ‘starts violent brawl on cruise ship as passengers use plates for weapons’

Families feared for their lives as chaos erupted on the P&O Britannia cruise following a boozy patriotic party where large amounts of alcohol were consumed

ByLatifa Yedroudj

A passenger dressed in a clown outfit sparked a massive brawl on a P&O cruise which left several staff members injured, according to reports.

The huge fight broke out on board a P&O Britannia cruise with families running to hide as passengers reportedly used plates as weapons.

Emergency services were called to the ship’s 16th floor restaurant at 2am on Friday morning.

Paramedics tended to the injured staff who tried to control the massive fight that erupted between passengers.

The guests allegedly threw plates and furniture at each other and there was “blood everywhere”, a witness said.

The fight broke out following a “patriotic” black-tie event on board the cruise ship on Thursday evening with “large amounts of alcohol consumed”, reporter Richard Gaisford said on Twitter .

According to a witness at the scene, passengers were upset after one guest dressed up as a clown despite the ship’s no fancy dress code.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on July 27, 2019 by Editor

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Uranium Super Snake Yeah!

from The Independent

Radioactive uranium, whiskey and rattlesnake found in stolen car pulled over by police

Stephen Jennings, 40, told officers he was trying to create a ‘super snake’

by Emma Snaith

Stephen Jennings, 40, was  found with a rattlesnake, uranium, a gun and an open bottle of whiskey in a stolen car
Stephen Jennings, 40, was found with a rattlesnake, uranium, a gun and an open bottle of whiskey in a stolen car ( Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office/AP )

A pair of alleged car thieves were found with radioactive uranium, whiskey and a rattlesnake in their vehicle when they were pulled over in a routine traffic stop, police said.

They were initially stopped after police noticed their vehicle’s licence plate had expired, but officers soon noticed the timber rattlesnake in a box on the backseat.

Mr Jennings, 40, then told police he had a gun in the vehicle and police discovered that the car was stolen.

“So now he’s got a rattlesnake, a stolen vehicle, firearm, and somebody under arrest,” Guthrie Police Sergeant Anthony Gibbs told local broadcaster KFOR-TV.

After a further search of the car, police found an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey and a container of “yellowish powder” that was labelled “Uranium”.

Mr Jennings told officers  he was trying to create a “super snake” after the uranium was discovered, ABC reported.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Editor

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Mysterious Mars Methane

from The Atlantic

A Startling Spike on Mars

Methane gas is a potential indicator of life on the red planet, but it’s proving difficult to track.

by MARINA KOREN

If humans ever discover life on Mars, this is how it might start: with a breaking-news alert heralding a startling development well beyond Earth.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, The New York Times sent a bulletin: “Mars is belching a large amount of methane gas. It’s a sign of possible life on the red planet.”

NASA quickly published a press release acknowledging the detection, which, the Times had reported, marked the largest amount of methane ever registered by the Curiosity rover, a NASA mission that touched down on the red planet in 2012. But after that, the agency went quiet. The news had come from an email between scientists on the Curiosity team that had been leaked to the Times. It wasn’t supposed to be known, at least not yet. And there’s no room for nuance in a breaking-news alert.

Like the Times, NASA provided an important caveat: Many things can produce methane on Mars. Alien life is on that list, but other sources are far more likely.

After decades of exploration, spacecraft haven’t found any evidence of life on the surface of Mars. But some scientists say it may lurk beneath the surface, in the form of tiny organisms. And that’s why methane is so noteworthy. On Earth, microbes pump the natural gas into the planet’s atmosphere. Perhaps a similar arrangement exists on Mars.

Methane doesn’t last forever in the Martian atmosphere, however. Exposure to the sun’s radiation, combined with reactions with other gases, breaks down the gas molecules within a few centuries. This chemistry is what makes the spike that Curiosity found so intriguing. If methane is present in the Martian atmosphere right now, it must have been released fairly recently. Detectable quantities might be a sign that something is alive on Mars, capable of replenishing the supply.

Or not. Natural interactions between rock and water can also produce the gas. The methane might have been forged deep beneath the Martian surface—where reservoirs of ancient water chafe against sediment—escaping into the atmosphere through a narrow crack in the ground. The whiff Curiosity caught might have been billions of years old.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on July 14, 2019 by Editor

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No Comment

from CBS Chicago

Mom Charged After Driving With Kids Inside Inflatable Pool On Roof

Credit: Dixon Police Department

CHICAGO (CBS)– A Dixon mom was arrested after she was found driving while her kids sat inside an inflatable pool on top of her car.

According to the Dixon Police Department, officers were alerted and later observed an Audi Q5 driving west on Illinois Route 2 shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, with a “blue inflatable pool on the roof with two juveniles inside of the pool.”

Officers made contact with the driver, who said she had her daughters ride inside of the empty pool to “hold it down on their drive home.”

[ click to continue reading at CBS Chicago ]

Posted on July 10, 2019 by Editor

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They’re Real

from The Wall Street Journal

The Asteroid Peril Isn’t Science Fiction

Even if we managed to spot a small but dangerous asteroid heading for Earth, we currently have no means to stop it

Gordon L. Dillow

In May, a group of international scientists assembled near Washington, D.C., to tackle an alarming problem: what to do about an asteroid hurtling toward Earth.

Astronomers at a mountaintop observatory in Hawaii had spotted an 800-foot-wide asteroid, dubbed 2019 PDC, when it was 35 million miles away. By asteroid standards, it was relatively small—not even close to the six-mile-wide piece of space rock believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Still, this asteroid was traveling at 31,000 miles an hour…

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on July 5, 2019 by Editor

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