Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Killer Whales Can 'Talk' Like Dolphins

Killer Whales Can 'Talk' Like Dolphins When The Two Species Spend Time Together: Orcas Imitate Sounds To Help Them Communicate -- Daily Mail

* Killer whales can engage in cross-species ‘vocal learning’ by matching the types of sounds made by bottlenose dolphins when spending time with them
* Results suggest vocal imitation may enable social interactions in cetaceans
* Killer whales make clicks, whistles and pulsed calls, which are repeated brief bursts of sound punctuated with silence
* When they spent time with dolphins they altered these noises to make more dolphin-like clicks and fewer pulsed calls, which dolphins don't make
* Study was conducted by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego

Most animals make noises that are innate, not learned.

But scientists claim killer whales can learn to ‘talk’ like dolphins when the two species spend time together.

This means the ocean predators join the likes of bats, some birds and humans that each copy sounds and use them in appropriate social contexts.

Read more ....

My Comment: I always find it amazing that we are still making discoveries even though we have been studying animals .... like killer whales .... for years.

A Means To Harness Wind Energy At 2,000 Feet

Altaeros' Buoyant Air Turbine: Last year, Altaeros tested a prototype of the turbine at a height of 500 feet in Maine, where it flew in 45mph winds. courtesy Altaeros

The Quest To Harness Wind Energy At 2,000 Feet -- Popular Science

High-altitude wind contains enough energy to power the planet. A Boston start-up wants to be the first to bring it down to Earth.

Nothing about the grooved, inflatable body taking shape inside Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts, resembles a wind turbine. It looks more like a jetliner's emergency ramp, or something you'd tie behind a boat and cling to desperately while bumping across the surface of a lake. But the 14-foot-long structure most resembles what it actually is--an air-filled wing.

To be more precise, it's a stabilizing fin, part of a tube-shaped, robotic airship designed to tap the power of high-altitude winds. The blade tips of today's tallest conventional wind turbine, installed at a test center in Denmark this year, stretch to 720 feet. The fully autonomous, lighter-than-air BAT (short for buoyant airborne turbine) will climb as high as 2,000 feet, where winds blow stronger and steadier.

Read more ....

My Comment: People are protesting windmills on the ground .... I expect the same protests for these wind turbines 2,000 feet in the air.

'Tyupkin' Malware Lets Criminals Steal Millions From ATMs Around The World

Infected Cash Machines Are Giving Away Money: 'Tyupkin' Malware Lets Criminals Steal Millions From ATMs Around The World -- Daily Mail

* Malicious software allows thieves to visit cash machines and empty them
* Money has been stolen from machines in Latin America, Europe and Asia
* ATMs are deliberately infected with so-called Tyupkin malware by criminals
* They then visit the machines at night and enter codes to access the cash
* Security experts have warned banks to boost the security of ATMs

Computer viruses may make your laptop run slower and even steal personal details such as passwords, but they can also attack cash machines - with expensive results.

Experts have forensically investigated cybercriminal attacks targeting ATMs around the world and have discovered a piece of malware called 'Tyupkin' that is leaving hundreds of machines at risk.

This malicious software allows thieves to visit cash machines and empty them – stealing millions in the process - without the need for a card.

Read more ....

My Comment: Not so secure after-all.

Everything Is CGI

This Is CG -- Techcrunch

This is your semi-regular reminder that CGI is at or beyond the point of absurdity, that everything on the Internet is fake, that there is no spoon, etc.

Because seriously. Look at that. Look at it.

I think this is the first time I’ve watched a video like this and wandered right on past the uncanny valley, only to plummet backwards into it when I realized — about halfway through, mind you — that it was rendered.

Read more ....

My Comment: It fooled me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Spain Has 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Spain Has Outbreak's 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa -- CNN

(CNN) -- A nurse's assistant in Spain is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa in the current outbreak.

Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday that a test confirmed the assistant has the virus.

The woman had helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa.

Both died after returning to Spain.

Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was hospitalized Sunday.

An investigation is under way to find everyone she may have had contact with while contagious. So far, there are no other known cases.

She was one of about 30 health professionals in Spain who helped to treat the Ebola patients.

Read more ....

More News On The Ebola Epidemic: Spain Has 1st Known Case Of Contracting Ebola Outside Of Africa

Spanish Nurse Is Suspected of Ebola Infection -- AP
Nurse at Spain hospital contracts Ebola -- AFP
Nurse in Spain tests positive for Ebola in first infection outside west Africa -- The Guardian
Ebola outbreak: Nurse infected in Spain -- BBC
Spanish health-care worker contracts Ebola in first transmission case outside of Africa -- Washington Post
Health-Care Worker Contracted Ebola in Spanish Hospital -- WSJ
Spanish nurse tests positive for Ebola -- Al Jazeera
Spanish nurse tests positive for Ebola after treating victim in Madrid -- RT
Hospital Nurse in Spain Gets Infected With Ebola: Reports -- RIA Novosti
Spanish nurse infected with Ebola in Europe -- Deutsche Welle

The Whale Who Thought He Could Fly

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Hello there: A humpback whale threw itself out of the water off the eastern coast of South Africa, waving to amazed onlookers in a tour guide's boat

The Whale Who Thought He Could Fly: Amazing Moment Humpback Is Captured Leaping Out Of The Water (And Even Manages A Wave) -- Daily Mail

* Marine tour guide Steven Benjamin captured the spectacular sight while whale-spotting off the coast of South Africa
* The 31-year-old was 'blown away' by the humpback, which disappeared for 20 minutes before leaping from the water
* The majestic animal even 'waved' his fin at the stunned onlookers in a rare close encounter with the huge creatures

These jaw-dropping images show the moment a humpback whale leapt majestically from the ocean, 'waving' to a tourist boat before crashing back down with an almighty splash.

The photos, taken off the coast of South Africa by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin, captured a sight rarely seen at such close proximity.

The 40 ton humpback put on an incredible aerial display, soaring through the air just yards from a boat as shocked onlookers screamed.

Read more ....

My Comment: These people were lucky .... to see something like that in front of them .... it must have been incredible.

How Memories Are Formed

3D image of the hippocampus of a rat. Credit: © M. Pyka

A Glimpse Into The 3-D Brain: How Memories Form -- Science Daily

Summary: People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: Researchers have developed a new method for creating 3-D models of memory-relevant brain structures.

People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: RUB researchers have developed a new method for creating 3D models of memory-relevant brain structures. They published their results in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Read more ....

My Comment: A first step (among many) on how memories are formed.

A New Underwater Robot Could Be Used To Sniff Out Smuggled Drugs, Weapons

The oval-shaped submersible robot is half waterpoof to keep electronic components safe from damage. Credit: Sampriti Bhattacharyya/MIT

Underwater Robots Could Sniff Out Smuggled Drugs, Weapons -- Live Science

A warning to all smugglers: A new underwater robot could be used to sniff out contraband — including weapons and drugs — hidden aboard ships.

Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the new, oval-shaped robot may be small (it's slightly smaller than a football), but it features some big crime-stopping abilities. One side of the bot is flat, which enables it to slide along the bottom of a ship to perform ultrasound scans of the vessel's hull.

Read more ....

My Comment: I can see this being deployed in war zones ... or potential war zones like the Persian Gulf.

You Can Now Make A Metal Gun In Your Home

The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home -- Threat Level/Wired

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.

Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

Read more ....

My Comment: This technology is only going to develop and expand with time.

The Science Of Sharpening A Knife

How To Sharpen Any Knife -- Gizmodo

A sharp knife isn't just sharper, it's a safer, more efficient, more precise tool. And, like most people, your knives are probably dull. Here's how to fix that quickly, easily and cheaply.

Why do you need to sharpen knives? A sharp knife stands less chance of slipping on the material being cut and, because it requires less effort and force to use than a dull knife, you're less likely to cut yourself. Working with a sharp knife is faster and easier, too. It also damages the material being cut less — ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? It doesn't exactly produce clean results.

Read more ....

My Comment: For those who love to cook .... a sharp knife is essential. This is a good summary on how to have one.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Better Map Of The Ocean Floor Has Been Produced

The new gravity data gives us our clearest view yet of the shape of the ocean floor

Satellites Detect 'Thousands' Of New Ocean-Bottom Mountains -- BBC

It is not every day you can announce the discovery of thousands of new mountains on Earth, but that is what a US-European research team has done.

What is more, these peaks are all at least 1.5km high.

The reason they have gone unrecognised until now is because they are at the bottom of the ocean.
Dave Sandwell and colleagues used radar satellites to discern the mountains' presence under water and report their findings in Science Magazine.

Read more ....

My Comment: The oceans are still a mystery .... but more is being discovered about the oceans everyday.

Security Officials: Ebola Pandemic Should Be Treated 'The Same Way' As Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons

Ebola Virus: Pandemic Should Be Treated 'The Same Way' As Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons, Security Officials Say -- The Independent

Special report: The Government has admitted that the virus spreading across Africa will 'get worse'

The Ebola virus spreading exponentially across Africa and killing thousands of people “will get worse”, the Government has admitted, amid calls for the full involvement of the international military to contain the disease.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said that ministers had been shocked by a prediction from the US public health institute that 1.4 million people may be infected by the virus by January if it continues unchecked.

As ministers, diplomats and humanitarian organisations from 20 different countries pledged a further £79 million to control the outbreak, which has already killed more than 3,000 people, a group of 35 European security officials issued a joint declaration suggesting that Ebola should be treated in the same way as the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Read more ....

My Comment: Is it me .... or am I starting to sense panic among our government officials?

UN's Ebola Response Chief Warns Of A 'Global Nightmare' On The Prospect Of The Virus Mutating And Becoming Airborne

A burial team remove a Ebola victim's body from isolation in Sierra Leone

Doomsday Warning: UN Ebola Chief Raises 'Nightmare' Prospect That Virus Could Mutate And Become Airborne - Making It Much More Infectious -- Daily Mail

* UN warns Ebola virus currently plaguing West Africa could become airborne
* The longer it moves between human hosts the greater possibility of mutation
* The risk grows the longer virus is living within the human 'melting pot'
* NGOs have said the Ebola virus is currently infecting five people every hour
* More than 3,300 people have died from Ebola since the outbreak first began
* Officials call for 1,000 new Sierra Leone isolation centres to contain virus
* British survivor says 'horror' of children dying from disease must be avoided
* Will Pooley was first Briton to contract virus after working in Sierra Leone
* Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S.
* He flew into Texas from Liberia, touching down in Brussels and Washington
* Up to 100 people in Texas are feared to have come into contact with him
* Doctors at the hospital in Texas said he was in a serious but stable condition

The longer the Ebola epidemic continues infecting people unabated, the higher the chances it will mutate and become airborne, the UN's Ebola response chief has warned.

Anthony Banbury, the Secretary General's Special Representative, has said there is a 'nightmare' prospect the deadly disease will become airborne if it continues infecting new hosts.

His comments come as organisations battling the crisis in West Africa warned the international community has just four weeks to stop its spread before it spirals 'completely out of control'.

And the British nurse who survived the disease said the 'horror and misery' of watching young children die from the disease must be avoided 'at all costs'.

Read more ....

My Comment: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is giving the world has only four weeks to stop the crisis from spiraling out of control .... 1 month to stop Ebola before it's 'totally out of control' - global aid NGO -- RT

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A New Way To Store Oxygen

Photo: The Oxygen-Absorbing Material. U. of Southern Denmark

Weird Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later -- Popular Science

This could potentially make fuel cells, space travel, and scuba diving a lot more efficient.

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark say they’ve invented a crystal that pulls oxygen out of the air and even water. Apparently, just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a room.

The crystal is a salt made from cobalt*, and it appears to be capable of holding oxygen at a concentration that is 160 times higher than the air we breathe. The paper notes that "an excess" of the substance would bind up to 99 percent of the oxygen in a room.

But what’s more remarkable is that the crystal can later release the oxygen when exposed to heat or low-oxygen conditions. In a press release, study author Christine McKenzie likens it to the hemoglobin in our blood, which uses iron to bind and release oxygen in the human body.

Read more ....

My Comment: Space travel, underwater use, energy systems/fuel cells, the applications are endless.

A Blast From The Past: A 1981 News Report On The Internet

1981 News Report On The Internet is Now Hilarious -- Neatorama

There are so many amusing things in this 1981 television report about getting newspaper content from the Internet that it's hard to keep track. The smirk and smug tone of voice of the reporter, as if she's informing the public of a quaint yet ridiculous idea that stands no chance of ever being embraced by the public. The opening line: "Imagine if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee and turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper." Mind boggling! The CRT screens, dial-up connections using a phone receiver and hours of download time for a text file.

Read more ....

My Comment: We have certainly gone a long way in 33 years.

The Real Story Of The U.S. President's 'Nuclear Football'

From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the nuclear "football." (Jamie Chung)

The Real Story of the "Football" That Follows the President Everywhere -- Michael Dobbs, Smithsonian Magazine

Take a peek at the mysterious black briefcase that has accompanied every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy

It is the closest modern-day equivalent of the medieval crown and scepter—a symbol of supreme authority. Accompanying the commander in chief wherever he goes, the innocuous-looking briefcase is touted in movies and spy novels as the ultimate power accessory, a doomsday machine that could destroy the entire world.

Officially known as the “president’s emergency satchel,” the so-called nuclear “Football”—portable and hand-carried—is built around a sturdy aluminum frame, encased in black leather. A retired Football, emptied of its top-secret inner contents, is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “We were looking for something that would demonstrate the incredible military power and responsibilities of the president, and we struck upon this iconic object,” says curator Harry Rubenstein.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The below video describes how important the 'nuclear football' is.

This Is The Greatest Paper Map Of The United States

Left: Imus map of Cincinnati. Right: National Geographic map of Cincinnati

The Greatest Paper Map Of The United States You’ll Ever See -- Seth Stevenson

Made by one guy in Oregon.

American mapmaking’s most prestigious honor is the “Best of Show” award at the annual competition of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. The five most recent winners were all maps designed by large, well-known institutions: National Geographic (three times), the Central Intelligence Agency Cartography Center, and the U.S. Census Bureau. But earlier this year, the 38th annual Best of Show award went to a map created by Imus Geographics—which is basically one dude named David Imus working in a farmhouse outside Eugene, Ore.

At first glance, Imus’ “The Essential Geography of the United States of America” may look like any other U.S. wall map. It’s about 4 feet by 3 feet. It uses a standard, two-dimensional conic projection. It has place names. Political boundaries. Lakes, rivers, highways.

Read more ....

My Comment: Yup ... this is proof that you can always make something better .... even a better map.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Amazing Video Of What A Nuclear Explosion Looks Like

One Of The Most Amazing Nuclear Explosions Ever Recorded On Film -- Sploid

As things get hotter between Russia and NATO, Putin is waving his nuclear dick around. Russia plans to conduct massive nuclear war maneuvers. Yesterday it successfully tested its new Bulava ("Mace") submarine launched nuclear missile, hitting its target with complete accuracy with its dummy warheads.

The Red Fleet's Commander-in-Chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that it blasted off from the White Sea, hitting its objective in the Russian Federation's far east minutes later. The Bulava can travel for 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) to rain nuclear death in the form of six to ten warheads.

Let's pause a bit, look at this video, and reflect on this.

Read more ....

My Comment: I have seen this video before .... it is a testament to how inventive and destructive man can be at the same time.

Millions Across Africa Are Now At Risk In The Latest Ebola Outbreak

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Millions More At Risk In Ebola Outbreak, British Study Finds -- The Telegraph

Research by the University of Oxford reveals how 15 more countries across Africa could be hit by the Ebola virus

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history could spread to a further 15 countries in West and Central Africa, putting up to 70 million people at risk of infection, a ground-breaking study has found.

Research by the University of Oxford compared historic outbreaks to the virus’ possible transmission in bats and chimpanzees to predict how the disease could spread through its vast animal reservoir.

It is the first time scientists have attempted to explain how the virus, which is contracted through contact with infected bodily fluids, has travelled westward across Africa.

The resulting map shows how the populations of the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Ghana and a dozen more countries could be hit by the outbreak, which has already killed nearly 2,300 people in 2014.

Read more ....

More News On The Ebola Crisis

Ebola virus: 'Biological war' in Liberia -- BBC
Ebola is ‘devouring everything in its path.’ Could it lead to Liberia’s collapse? -- Washington Post
Virologist: Fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia is lost -- Deutsche Welle
Ebola outbreak a 'war with an enemy that we don't see' -- AP
Ebola death toll rises to at least 2,296, WHO says -- FOX News/Reuters
35 Deaths Attributed to Ebola Outbreak in Congo -- AP
Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response -- Reuters
Official: U.S. military’s response to Ebola hampered by lack of expertise with virus -- Washington Post
Photos: Ebola, the Invisible Threat -- WSJ
The reason Ebola isn't being stopped -- Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield, CNN

Update: The crazy conspiracy theories are now making the rounds .... Largest Liberian Newspaper: US Government Manufactured Ebola, AIDS Virus (CBS)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

182 Billion Emails Sent Daily Worldwide

My Comment: And how many are span?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Doctors Without Borders: Ebola Virus Is “Totally Out Of Control” In Western Africa

Doctors Without Borders: Ebola Virus Is “Totally Out Of Control” In West Africa -- Legal Insurrection

The international volunteer medical organization Doctors Without Borders has issued a chilling warning — that the deadly Ebola virus is “totally out of control.”

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with infected people and causes internal bleeding and organ failure. There is no cure or vaccine so infected patients must be quarantined to stop the rapid spread of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, an Ebola outbreak can result in over 90% fatality rates.

Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said Friday that the international community must send in more resources to stop the current Ebola epidemic.

Read more ....

More News on reports That The Ebola Virus Is “Totally Out Of Control” in Western Africa

Doctors Without Borders: Ebola Out Of Control In West Africa -- IBTimes
Doctors Without Borders: Ebola outbreak 'out of control' -- AP
Ebola outbreak is 'out of control' in West Africa, says medical expert -- Tech Times
Ebola Outbreak 'Tip of the Iceberg,' Experts Say -- NBC

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Look At The U.S. Navy's 'Area 51'

The Navy's Acoustic Research Detachment is located on the banks of Lake Pend Oreille, which provides the perfect conditions for testing new submarine advancements as conditions closely mimic the ocean

The Navy's Most Vital And Secretive Submarine Base Is In... Idaho?!? -- FOXtrot Alpha/Jalopnik

From Foxtrot Alpha: The US Navy's submarine bases are some of the most high-security installations in the world, but one of their most important and shadowy submarine outposts is not in the middle of an ocean, but rather in a lake in landlocked Idaho.

The US Navy's submarine bases are some of the most high-security installations in the world, but one of their most important and shadowy submarine outposts is not located along the ocean, but rather in a lake in landlocked Idaho.

The Navy's Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) at Bayview, Idaho, which is some 375 miles from the ocean, is where new submarine and surface ship shapes and subsystems are tested in a sub-scale environment that closely mimics the ocean. In other words, ARD Bayview is the Navy's lower-key subsurface Area 51, and massive Lake Pend Oreille is a water based, smaller, and more outsider friendly Nellis Range Complex.

Read more ....

Update #1: The Navy's top secret submarine base in land-locked IDAHO where its new stealth technology -- Daily Mail
Update #2: The Navy's 'Area 51' in North Idaho -- Boise Weekly

My Comment: Forget about the US Navy testing it's newest equipment .... I would love to have a cottage on that lake .... the view looks awesome.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Are French Spies Responsible For Creating Mysterious YouTube Videos?

Are French Spies Creating Mysterious YouTube Videos? Bizarre 11-Second Shorts Could Be Encrypted Codes, Claim Conspiracy Theorists -- Daily Mail

* Unexplained clips appeared on Webdriver Torso's account in September
* Clips were posted for seven months, stopped three weeks ago but then started again today
* Each upload has 10 slides with blue and red rectangles of different shapes
* A BBC report has suggested the videos were likely uploaded in France
* Theorists claim it could be a modern-day equivalent of a numbers station used by spies during the Cold War

For seven months, a YouTube user posted a series of bizarre videos one after the other in quick succession before suddenly stopping.

Almost every clip on the Webdriver Torso channel lasts for 11 seconds and features ten slides, each one showing a blue and red rectangle of different sizes and shapes.

These were posted approximately every hour until three weeks ago, when they just stopped.

However, a new video has appeared today – causing conspiracy theorists to speculate on what the clips are.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That French Intelligence Is Responsible For Creating Mysterious YouTube Videos?

Webdriver Torso YouTube mystery clips' French connection -- BBC
Are French spies creating mysterious YouTube videos? -- Digital Trends
Is this espionage or an art project? -- Globe and Mail
Could This Mysterious 'Number Station' YouTube Account Be A Message Board For Spies? -- Huffington Post
The truth behind one YouTube account's 77,000 mysterious videos -- The Guardian

WNU Editor: Here are some more mysteries on the web .... Five of the Internet’s eeriest, unsolved mysteries -- Washington Post

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dolphin Wars?

NATO Military Dolphins to Roam Black Sea – Media. © Photo public domain

NATO Military Dolphins to Roam Black Sea – Media -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – US military-trained dolphins and sea lions will participate in upcoming NATO military exercises in the Black Sea, the Russian Izvestiya newspaper reported Monday.

The paper, citing a spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program, said some 20 dolphins and 10 sea lions will participate in exercises.

The exercises will test new equipment designed to "disorient enemy sonars, while sea lions and dolphins are looking for mines and military divers," the newspaper wrote.

Read more ....

More News On NATO Exercises To be Conducted In The Black Sea Using Dolphins

US Navy to deploy combat dolphins for Black Sea military drills – report -- RT
Dolphins 'to Take Part' in NATO Black Sea Drills - Report -- Novinite
US, Russian military dolphins may face off in Black Sea -- News.com.au
US Military Dolphins to Participate in Black Sea Nato Drill -- IBTimes
Russian and American Military Dolphins Might Face Off This Summer -- Government Executive
Will U.S. and Russian Dolphins Face Off? No Way, Navy Says -- NBC

The Future Of Surveillance Will Be On Display In Today's Boston Marathon

Creepy Autonomous AI CCTV Surveillance Network Watches All Of Boston -- Daily Caller

Following the Boston Marathon bombings almost one year ago, the Boston Police Department started looking toward more high-tech means of securing the city against future attacks. They found the solution in the form of an artificially intelligent, self-learning surveillance network that now watches the entire city, and all of its inhabitants.

The Texas-based Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc. (BRS Labs) headed by former Secret Service special agent John Frazzini has a reputation for developing advanced, AI-based surveillance platforms. The system the company built for Boston after the bombings is on the bleeding edge of such technology, and not only watches and analyzes human behavior, but learns from it to identify suspicious or abnormal activity.

It actually predict threats by itself, completely free of additional human programming, guidance or monitoring.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is cutting edge technology that is just as disturbing as the NSA's ability to monitor our communications networks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A 'Radiation Belt' For Nuclear Emergencies

Israeli Company Develops 'Radiation Belt' For Nuclear Emergencies -- Jerusalem Post/Reuters

Called the "StemRad 360 Gamma" belt, it shields the body from the effects of gamma radiation.

"It may look simplistic on the outside but the structure inside is three dimensional and very unique. The idea here was to create a product that on the one hand protects but on the other hand is not over burdened weight."

Oren Milstein is co-founder of Stemrad, the company behind the belt. He won't give much away about its key technology, but says it's partially comprised of lead and has been designed to protect the pelvic area, where most of the the body's renewable bone marrow is concentrated.

Milstein says protecting that bone marrow can be crucial to ensuring survival after radiation exposure.

Read more ....

Update #1: Nuclear Accident? Fasten Up Your 'Radiation Belt' -- NextGov
Update #2: ‘Anti-radiation belt’ developed by Israeli firm for nuclear emergencies -- RT

My Comment: There are three Nobel laureates on-board, and they are vouching for it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Scientists Reconstruct Asteroid Impact To Have Hit Earth 3.26 Billion Years Ago

The massive asteroid was almost as wide as Rhode Island and about three to five times larger than the rock thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs.

Scientists Reconstruct Asteroid Impact SIX TIMES Bigger Than The Blast That Wiped Out The Dinosaurs Which Boiled Oceans, Burned The Sky, And Shook The Earth For Thirty Minutes -- Daily Mail

* 36 mile wide asteroid is believed to have hit Earth 3.26 billion years ago
* Collision punched a crater into the planet’s crust 300 miles across
* Atmosphere filled with dust and the tops of oceans boiled

cientists have reconstructed one of the biggest asteroid impacts ever to hit Earth - and say it was six times as big as the blast than wiped out the dinosaurs.

The 36 mile wide asteroid is believed to have hit Earth 3.26 billion years ago, creating unique geological features found in a South African region known as the Barberton greenstone belt.

Researcher say the impact would have boiled oceans, burned the sky, and cause the planet to shake for 30 minutes.

Read more ....

My Comment: That must have been one hell of an impact 3.26 billion years ago.

Boeing's 'Phantom Swift' Vertical Take Off And Landing Craft


Boeing Going Vertical with 'Phantom Swift' Military X-Plane (Video) -- Yahoo News/Live Science 

Aerospace giant Boeing is designing a new type of aircraft capable of taking off, hovering and landing vertically, the company says. Such vehicles are essentially hybrids of helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes, and could one day be used by the military to transport troops, weapons or cargo to and from the battlefield. 

Boeing was one of four companies recently selected to receive funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — the arm of the U.S. Department of Defense charged with developing new technologies for the military — to design new, unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Boeing will receive $17 million as part of the agreement, which is part of DARPA's VTOL Experimental Plane, or X-Plane, program.  

Read more ....

My Comment: The above Live Science article provides a good description of DARPA's X-Wing Competition.

For One Day Only Next Week, Google Will Let Anyone In The US Buy Glass

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For One Day, Google Will Let Anyone In The US Buy Glass -- The Verge

Google is about to make its biggest push yet to get Glass in the hands of as many people as possible. The Verge has obtained documents indicating that the company will open up its "Explorer Program" and make Glass available to anyone who wants to purchase a pair, possibly as soon as next week. It’ll be a limited-time offer, only available for about a day, and only US residents will be eligible to purchase the $1,500 device. Google will also include a free sunglass shade or one of its newly-introduced prescription glasses frames along with any purchase. An internal Google slide shows that the promotion may be announced on April 15th, though all the details of this program have yet to be finalized.

Read more ....

Update: Google Glass available to anyone for one day only -- CNN

My Comment: Rats .... it will only be available in the U.S. .... and I live in Canada.

U.S. Air Force To Test Google Glass For Combat And Intelligence Missions

Above: Airforce test dummy wearing Google Glass. Image Credit: Rick Eldridge, 711 Human Performance Wing, U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force Is Testing Google Glass & Building Apps For Battlefield Use (Exclusive) -- Venture Beat

The U.S. Air Force’s “BATMAN” research team at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is beta-testing Google Glass for possible use on the battlefield.

And so far, it likes what it sees.

The positive attributes “are its low power, its low footprint, it sits totally above the eyes, and doesn’t block images or hinder vision,” said 2nd Lt. Anthony Eastin, a behavioral scientist on the BATMAN team testing the glasses.

The BATMAN evaluation group is part of the U.S. Air Force’s 711th Human Performance Wing and is one of the military’s most distinguished research and development groups. It comprises both military and civilian behavioral and technology scientists. The BATMAN acronym stands for Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided (K)nowledge.

“We borrowed the “N,” Eastin said.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Air Force To Test Google Glass For Combat And Intelligence Missions

The US Air Force is testing Google Glass for use on the battlefield -- The Verge
Air Force researchers test Google Glass for combat, intelligence missions -- RT
Holy Smokes! BATMAN Tests Google Glass for the U.S. Military -- NBC
Google Glass testing begins with the US Air Force -- Android Community
US Air Force takes a look through Google Glass -- CNet
U.S. Air Force’s ‘BATMAN’ team tests Google Glass for combat use -- Guns.com
U.S. Air Force Reportedly Assessing Disruptive Technology Like Google Glass -- Wall Street Pit

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Astronomers Believe They May Have Found Evidence Of A Potential Exomoon

Image Caption: Researchers have detected the first "exomoon" candidate -- a moon orbiting a planet that lies outside our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers Say They May Have Found Evidence Of A Potential Exomoon -- Red Orbit

Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system’s pantheon of moons. Are there are other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun?

NASA-funded researchers have spotted the first signs of an “exomoon,” and though they say it’s impossible to confirm its presence, the finding is a tantalizing first step toward locating others. The discovery was made by watching a chance encounter of objects in our galaxy, which can be witnessed only once.

Read more ....

More News On Astronomers Believing That They May Have Found Evidence Of A Potential Exomoon

Faraway moon or faint star? Possible exomoon found -- Phys.org
Out of This World: Astronomers May Have Spotted First 'Exomoon' -- NBC
NASA-funded researchers spot first possible 'exomoon' -- FOX News

Take A 'Global Selfie' When Celebrating Earth Day

A “Blue Marble” image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's Earth-observing satellite — Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on Jan. 4, 2012. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Celebrate Earth Day With NASA By Taking A 'Global Selfie' -- Space.com

NASA is asking everybody on Earth to help create a new image of the planet composed entirely of selfies taken during Earth Day on April 22.

The aim is not only to raise awareness about Earth and climate change, but also to advertise the five Earth-gazing satellites that NASA will launch this year. That's the highest launch count for the agency in more than a decade.

"Designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize the agency's ongoing work to protect our home planet, NASA's 'Global Selfie' event asks people everywhere to take a picture of themselves in their local environment," the space agency said in a statement.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is something that I will support.

One More Step Forward To The Development Of A Quantum Computer

Photo: In this experiment, an atom is sandwiched between mirrors, forming half of the quantum switch. Graphic: Andreas Reiserer, MPQ, Quantum Dynamics Division

Two Big Steps Toward The Quantum Computer -- Popular Mechanics

With lasers and mirrors, researchers develop clever quantum versions of key computer components.

It's a machine that could calculate solutions to problems so impossibly time-consuming that even the most powerful supercomputers could never handle them. And it would do so in an instant. This is the quantum computer, made possible by the bizarre nature of quantum mechanics. And though the idea is still in its infancy, it's no fantasy.

Two research teams, at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany, have just announced that they have independently forged the building blocks for tomorrow's quantum computers. As they published today in the journal Nature (1, 2), the scientists discovered a way to hook up atoms and particles of light to create a new type of switch and logic-gate‚ quantum versions of the connecting structures that link bits of data in modern computers.

Read more ....

More News On Developments Towards A Quantum Computers

Atom-Photon ‘Switch’ Heralds Quantum Networking Advances -- Time
New “switch” could power quantum computing -- R&D
New ‘switch’ brings scientists one step closer to quantum computing -- Science Recorder
New 'Switch' Could Bring Scientists Closer To Highly-Anticipated Quantum Computing -- HNGN
New Atom And Photon 'Switch' May Bring Quantum Computers Closer to Reality -- Counsel & Heal
Atom-Photon switch: Quantum computing looks closer than ever -- NVO News

Human Organs: The The Next Frontier In 3-D Printing

The Next Frontier In 3-D Printing: Human Organs -- CNN

(CNN) -- The emerging process of 3-D printing, which uses computer-created digital models to create real-world objects, has produced everything from toys to jewelry to food.

Soon, however, 3-D printers may be spitting out something far more complex, and controversial: human organs.

For years now, medical researchers have been reproducing human cells in laboratories by hand to create blood vessels, urine tubes, skin tissue and other living body parts. But engineering full organs, with their complicated cell structures, is much more difficult.

Enter 3-D printers, which because of their precise process can reproduce the vascular systems required to make organs viable. Scientists are already using the machines to print tiny strips of organ tissue. And while printing whole human organs for surgical transplants is still years away, the technology is rapidly developing.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is exciting stuff .... and will impact all of us in the years to come.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How To Levitate And Melt An Aluminum At The Same Time

An Aluminum Slug Melts And Levitates At The Same Time -- io9

Run an alternating current through a coiled length of copper and you'll create a levitation cylinder. Drop a bar of aluminum in and you've got yourself some hovering metal. But leave the metal there too long...

The thing about this levitation cylinder is that it doubles as an induction heater. In a nutshell: the current coursing through the copper (which has been coiled to form a solenoid) creates an alternating magnetic field. The magnetic field induces a special form of electrical current (known as eddy currents) in the hovering piece of aluminum. These eddy currents give rise a phenomenon, called Joule heating, that, with enough power, can cause the metal to become very, very hot, as it does here.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is so cool.

What Is The Mystery Light On Mars?

Life on Mars? In this photo taken by the Curiosity rover a light of unknown origin can be seen in the distance

What Is The Mystery Light On Mars? Distant 'Glow' Seen In Curiosity Rover's Latest Photo -- Daily Mail

* A new Nasa photo appears to show an artificial light on the Red Planet
* The image was taken by the Curiosity rover
* One UFO blogger claims it ‘could indicate there is intelligent life below’
* But it is more than likely just an anomaly in the photo
* Many false detections of life on Mars have been claimed before
* Meanwhile, Curiosity is set to study a fascinating Martian region

A strange white speck of 'light' on a recent photograph taken by Curiosity rover has led some to believe that life is thriving on Mars.

UFO blogger Scott Waring claims that the new photograph taken by the rover suggests there are intelligent creatures living underground.

But Nasa, perhaps rather unsurprisingly, are not quite heralding it as the discovery of the century just yet.

Read more ....

My Comment: It's probably an anomaly in the photo ... but man-o-man ....  the speculation on the web is overwhelming.

The British Military Introduces Their 'Porton Man' Robot To Test Clothes

Britain Builds Robot To Test Military Equipment, Suits For Armed Forces -- FOX News

A $1.8 million robotic mannequin that can run, kneel and lift his arms to sight a weapon like a soldier will help test the latest in military equipment, Britain’s government says.

The Ministry of Defence says its newest recruit, “Porton Man,” is made out of lightweight materials used to build Formula One racing cars, some of the fastest vehicles on Earth.

The robot, designed by the British company i-bodi Technology, is named after the home of the Ministry’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dtsl).

Read more ....

Editor: The U.S. military's equivalent is "Pet Man". The video is below.

The Pentagon's X-37B Has Now Been In Orbit For 500 Days

Will The Pentagon’s Secret Space Plane Ever Return To Earth? -- Kyle Mizokami, Daily Beast

Nearly 500 days into its mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what its drone space shuttle is doing in orbit, or when it might come back.

The Air Force’s secret space plane has been up in orbit for nearly 500 days—a space endurance record. But nearly a year and a half into the mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what the X-37B is doing up there, or when it might come back.

The U.S. Air Force boosted the robotic X-37B atop the nose of an Atlas-5 rocket in December 2012. Since then it’s orbited the Earth thousands of times, overflying such interesting places as North Korea and Iran.

Similar to the Space Shuttle in appearance, the diminutive X-37B is about a quarter the size of the old shuttles. But there are major differences. Lacking a crew, the spacecraft has no cockpit windows. The X-37B has a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed.

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon's X-37B Being In Orbit For 500 Days

Endurance record in the books, Air Force's secret space plane continues its mystery mission -- al.com
Plane Sets Record in Space, But Mission Still a Mystery -- Newsmax
The Pentagon's Space Plane nears 500 days in the air, no one knows why -- The Celebrity Cafe
Mysterious Space Plane Has Been In Orbit For 500 Days, And The Pentagon Won't Say Why -- Bustle
Op-Ed: Secret U.S. space drone orbits Earth thousands of times -- Digital Journal

WNU Editor: The above video is a compilation of military experts speculating on the X-37B space plane.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Is This The 'End Of Days'?

APOCALYPSE NOW: Why A Rare Astrological Event TONIGHT Could Herald The 'End Of Days' -- Express

IF YOU'RE feeling out of sorts today don't worry, it isn't just you.

Mars, Earth, and the Sun will all align tonight, a rare 'opposition of the planets' that only happens once every 778 days.

But what makes this so remarkable is that it comes precisely a week before everyone on earth will see the first of FOUR dark red 'blood moons', an extraordinary event some Christians believe represents the End of Days and the second coming of Christ.

The King James Bible predicts: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes," [Joel 2:31].

And, according to NASA, a highly unusual 'Tetrad' - four successive total 'blood-red' lunar eclipses each followed by six full moons - will, indeed, start a week today and finish on September 28 next year.

Read more ....

My Comment: As a lifelong amateur astronomer .... I love these events. Unfortunately .... it has been cloudy in my neck of the woods all day and now all night. As to the "End of Days" .... I suspect that I am still going to be blogging in the weeks/months/and years ahead.

U.S. Navy To Test It's Newest Laser Weapon In The Persian Gulf This Summer

U.S. Navy To Test Laser Weapon Aboard Ship In Persian Gulf -- L.A. Times

The Navy plans to install a laser weapon prototype on a ship this summer for at-sea testing in the Persian Gulf.

The technology, called the Laser Weapon System, will be the first of its kind to be deployed, the Navy said.

The idea is that the laser could zap dangerous swarming small boats and flying drones while on the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. Its power also can be scaled down, presenting the Navy a non-lethal alternative to ward off threats such as pirates, terrorists and smugglers.

Read more ....

More News On U.S. Navy Preparing To Test It's Newest Laser Weapon In The Persian Gulf This Summer

Navy laser weapon with 'video game-like controller' set to deploy -- CNet
NNS: Navy's Laser Weapon Ready for Summer Deployment -- Pacific News Center
U.S. Navy to Test New Laser Weapon at Sea This Summer -- PC Magazine
Navy Engineers To Deploy Laser Weapon Later This Summer -- Ubergizmo

U.S. Navy To Test It's Electromagnetic Gun Aboard A High-Speed Vessel In 2016

U.S. Navy to Test Futuristic, Super-Fast Gun at Sea in 2016 -- Newsweek/Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is planning sea trials for a weapon that can fire a low-cost, 23-pound (10-kg) projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy, a "Star Wars" technology that will make enemies think twice, the Navy's research chief said.

Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research, told a round table group recently the futuristic electromagnetic rail gun had already undergone extensive testing on land and would be mounted on the USNS Millinocket, a high-speed vessel, for sea trials beginning in 2016.

"It's now reality and it's not science fiction. It's actually real. You can look at it. It's firing," said Klunder, who planned to discuss progress on the system later on Monday with military and industry leaders at a major maritime event - the Sea-Air-Space Exposition - near Washington.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Navy To Testing It's Electromagnetic Gun Aboard A High-Speed Vessel In 2016

Navy to test electromagnetic gun without gunpowder -- USA Today
U.S. Navy unleashes newest weapon: an electromagnetic rail gun that shoots missiles at seven times the speed of sound -- New York Daily News
'Not Science Fiction': Navy to Test Futuristic Gun at Sea in 2016 -- NBC
Navy to unveil railgun in San Diego -- UT San Diego
Navy to test electromagnetic gun aboard high-speed vessel in 2016 (VIDEO) -- RT
US Navy to Trial 'Star Wars' Weapon that Fires at Seven Times the Speed of Sound -- IBTimes
NNS: Navy to Deploy Electromagnetic Railgun Aboard JHSV -- Pacific News Center
Navy prepares to take railgun to sea -- Ars Technica
U.S. Navy's New Weapon Fires at 7 Times the Speed of Sound -- Mashable
The U.S. Navy’s 32-megajoule rail gun is one step closer to blue water -- Guns
How BAE's electromagnetic rail gun will save the Navy millions -- Washington Business Journal

Robots Getting Ready For Dull, Dirty And Dangerous Jobs (Video)

From VOA: Robotic house helpers may still be a long way off but robots that can replace humans in hazardous environments are closer and closer to becoming a reality. Roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University are designing advanced robots for dull, dirty and dangerous jobs. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Monday, April 7, 2014

U.S. Navy Testing Drone Helicopters

U.S. Navy Testing More Sophisticated Pilotless Helicopters -- Reuters

(Reuters) - The helicopter kicked up a cloud of freshly fallen snow that partly obscured the ground below, but despite the poor visibility, it gently touched down in a landing that was unremarkable except for the fact no one was at the controls.

The helicopter, filmed during testing by the Naval Research Laboratory, was piloted by a 100-pound (45-kg) sensor and software package that officials said can turn any rotary-winged aircraft into a virtually autonomous drone able to fly with minimal input from the Marine Corps troops it was designed to serve.

Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of Naval Research, said the sensor and software pack is "truly leap-ahead technology" that will let a Marine with no flight experience issue landing instructions to a cargo helicopter via tablet computer after just a few minutes of training.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Navy Testing Drone Helicopters

Navy to fly full sized drone helicopters by tablet APP to deliver food, water and weapons to troops -- Daily Mail
Navy unveils new program to create drone-like autonomous aircraft -- FOX News
Navy Drones With a Mind of Their Own -- WSJ
Navy’s Future on Video: Fly Choppers With Tablets, Blast Enemies With Rail Guns -- ABC news
Navy unveils ‘leap-ahead technology’ that turns choppers into drones -- Washington Times
U.S. Navy Funds Development of Next-Level Helicopter Drones -- Aviation Today

My Comment: The above video is a must see on how far they have advanced in this technology.

Has The U.S. Navy Found A Way To Make Fuel Out Of Sea Water?

Could You Soon Be Filling Up With SEAWATER? US Navy Reveals 'Game Changing' Fuel Created From Water -- Daily Mail

* Has flown radio controlled plane using 'sea fuel' in first test of new fuel
* New technique can capture 92% of CO2 in water to create jet fuel
* Could be used to create fuel for any vehicle without having to modify engines

The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel - and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the 'game changing' fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am always super-duper skeptical when I am reading reports like this one .... but these researcher believe that they have a winner.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Future Of Surgical Robotics Is Microscopic

The NeuroArm, a non-ferrous microsurgical robot—shown here with an electrified cutting tool and suction instrument—was used to remove a patient's brain tumor in 2008, while she was being scanned with an MRI. University of Calgary

The Microscopic Future of Surgical Robotics -- Erik Sofge, Popular Science

Chances are, you aren’t, and never will be, an astronaut. So the recent revelation that NASA is funding the development of a somewhat gruesome-sounding surgical bot—a fist-size contraption that would enter a patient’s gas-engorged abdomen to staunch bleeding or remove a ruptured appendix—isn’t exactly news you can use. The more relevant announcement might be from Intuitive Surgical, which announced that its newest robo-surgeon has been approved by the FDA. With thinner and more maneuverable arms, the da Vinci Xi will turn more open surgeries into minimally-invasive, robot-assisted procedures. Instead of requiring large incisions to get at various portions of a patient’s anatomy, the Xi will let surgeons reach essentially anywhere in the abdomen through smaller less traumatic punctures. With this clearance, the likelihood that you’ll one day be under the robotic knife just jumped significantly.

Read more ....

My Comment: A good review on robotic advances in microsurgery.

Global Warming Will Affect Your Beer

Growing Barle. Photo by Lucash on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

How Global Warming Will Affect Your Beer -- Popular Science

A pilot study examines how drought affects the quality of starch in barley.

There are many things that will change as Earth's climate warms. Doctoral student Peter Gous is worried about the price and quality of beer.

The aspiring plant bioengineer worked with a team of scientists to test how not getting enough water altered the quality of barley grains. In a small pilot study, the scientists found that the starches inside barley grains grown with too little water are different from starches found inside nicely-watered barley grains. The dryness-stressed barley had longer-chain starch grains and more protein than normally grown barley. From there, Gous made an interesting conjecture about the future—one we've never thought of.

Read more ....

My Comment: The beer will be fine.

The Future Of Public Transport?

A web developer from West Yorkshire created his vision for a global Underground network when visiting Australia and wanting to 'nip home' but one engineer said that tunnelling such distances is presently impossible. The style of the ‘Eurocentric’ world Tube map is inspired by the work of Harry Beck, who was the technical draftsman who created the present London Underground map in 1931. The 'Tri-Continental' line on the map is red, like London's Central Line, while the grey line is the 'U.S.' and the black line the'Australasia Pan-Pacific'.

The Future Of Public Transport? Map Reveals How The Entire WORLD Could Be Connected Using A Global Underground Network -- Daily Mail

* Chris Gray from West Yorkshire created his vision for a global Underground network when visiting Australia and wanting to 'nip home'
* His dream is thought to be currently 'impossible' because tunnels would have to be so deep beneath the waves and cross tectonic plates
* One expert thinks pneumatic tube systems like the proposed 'hyperloop' and floating tunnels could connect the world in the future
* The maps are inspired by Harry Beck's map of the London Underground

Some train journeys feel like they take forever - especially when there are numerous transfers and waits in between flights and trains. But what if you could board a train in Madras, India and travel to Boston with no changes?

One man has imagined the world as a giant London Underground map where people can travel freely between countries and traverse vast bodies of water from the comfort of their seat while vehicles speed through vast tunnels.

While his dream is currently ‘impossible’, engineers are constantly trying to develop new ways to connect countries.

Read more ....

My Comment: Not going to happen (a global network) .... but it is a good dream.

Will Robots Rule the World?

Photo Used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Antonis Lamnatos http://www.flickr.com/photos/lamnatos

Will Robots Rule the World? Find Out At Robo Madness Next Thursday -- Wade Roush, XConomy

An influential 1998 paper by Robin Hanson, an economics professor at George Mason University, asked what might happen to jobs and wages in a future with “mature machine intelligence”—computers and robots clever enough to take over most human jobs. The outlook is a little scary.

Hanson calculated that a world where machines could truly substitute for most human labor, would, at first, see unprecedented economic growth, including rising wages. But eventually, as machines became more numerous and more productive, they would push human wages down dramatically, leaving most people without the means to buy the stuff the machines were making. Hanson even threw around words like “Malthusian,” a term once reserved to describe catastrophic population growth and food shortages.

Read more ....

My Comment: What's my take .... robots may rule the world one day .... but not today.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

‘Bionic Olympics’ Coming In 2016

‘Bionic Olympics’ Coming in 2016 -- Defense Tech

Couple the Defense Research Projects Agency’s major and well-funded interest in prosthetics with the grit shown by amputee veterans to excel in sports and you’ve got a heck of start for building a U.S. team for the first-ever bionic Olympics.

The Cybathlon, an international competition for athletes using advanced prosthetics, is to be held in October 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland.

“The competitions are comprised by different disciplines that apply the most modern powered knee prostheses, wearable arm prostheses, powered exoskeletons, powered wheelchairs, electrically stimulated muscles and novel brain-computer interfaces,” according to the games’ official website.

The games are being organized on behalf of the Swiss National Competence Center of Research in Robotics.

Read more ....

My Comment: I predict that this will be well watched.