Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Wave Power Fails to Live Up to Promise->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "One of the leading companies developing wave power devices, Ocean Power Technologies, has dramatically scaled down its ambitions. The company had planned to install the world's first commercial-scale wave farms off the coast of Australia and Oregon, but has now announced that it's ending those projects. Instead it will focus on developing next-gen devices. Apparently the economics of wave power just don't make sense yet."
Link to Original Source

+ - How a Super-Intelligent AI Could Wipe Out Humanity->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Oxford University futurist Nick Bostrom thinks we're doomed. It's his job to contemplate existential threats to the human species, and he predicts that a super-smart artificial intelligence program will be the end of us.

His new book, Superintelligence, outlines AI takeover scenarios, discusses what might motivate a superintelligent AI, and lays out reasons why the AI’s pursuit of its goals would likely lead to our extinction. This excerpt from the book imagines a situation in which a developing AI lulls humans into complacency before making a "treacherous turn.""

Link to Original Source

+ - A Better Way to Make Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "To make a brain-machine interface, you need a way to capture neurons' electric signals. The most precise and most invasive way uses implants that are stuck in the gray matter. The least precise and least invasive way uses EEG sensors stuck to the scalp. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University say there's a third way that gets the best of both worlds, which is not too invasive and fairly precise. They use ECoG systems, in which a mesh of electrodes is placed under the skull, draped over the surface of the cortex.

They're testing their systems on epilepsy patients, who have these ECoG systems inserted anyway while they're waiting for surgery (the electrodes record the source of their seizures). The researchers are capturing these patients' movement commands from their brains, and using them to control robotic limbs. Someday such a system could be used by amputees to control their prosthetic limbs."

Link to Original Source

+ - Open-Source Gear for Making Mind-Controlled Gadgets->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "If you've been hankering to control a robotic battle spider with your mind but haven't known how to begin, you're in luck. A startup called OpenBCI is now selling an Arduino-compatible board that any reasonably competent DIYer can use to build a brain-computer interface. The board takes in data from up to 8 EEG scalp electrodes, and hackers are already using it to pull of some good tricks. There's the guy with the battle spiders, for one. And there's a crew in L.A. building a paint-by-brain system for a paralyzed graffiti artist."
Link to Original Source

+ - Was America's #1 Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI thought so.

Submitted by IMissAlexChilton
IMissAlexChilton (3748631) writes "Frank Malina masterfully led the World War II effort to build U.S. rockets for jet-assisted takeoff and guided missiles. As described in IEEE Spectrum, Malina’s motley crew of engineers and enthusiasts (including occultist Jack Parsons) founded the Jet Propulsion Lab and made critical breakthroughs in solid fuels, hypergolics, and high-altitude sounding rockets, laying the groundwork for NASA’s future successes. And yet, under suspicion by the Feds at the war’s end, Malina gave up his research career, and his team’s efforts sank into obscurity. Taking his place: the former Nazi Wernher von Braun. Read “Frank Malina: America’s Forgotten Rocketeer”. Includes cool vintage footage of early JPL rocket tests. Disclosure: I am a staff editor with IEEE Spectrum."

+ - A Brain Implant for Synthetic Memory->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "People who have experienced traumatic brain injuries sometimes lose the ability to form new memories or recall old ones. Since many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered TBIs, the U.S. military is funding research on an implantable device that could do the job of damaged brain cells."
Link to Original Source

+ - Can Computers Beat the Game of Go?

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Artificial intelligence programs seem to eventually beat humans at every game we've taught them to play: checkers, chess, Jeopardy, etc. But the ancient game of Go remains a challenge, and lately there's been a lot of attention paid to the AI researchers trying to master it. Wired recently described the tense man vs machine Go matches, and IEEE Spectrum explains the statistics-based algorithm that may soon allow Go programs to triumph over human grandmasters."

+ - Smartphones to Monitor Schizophrenics -- All the Time->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Is this creepy or a breakthrough in mental health? Psychiatrists have realized that they can collect vast amounts of data about their patients using smartphone apps that passively monitor the patients as they go about their daily business. A prototype for schizophrenia patients is being tested out now on Long Island. The Crosscheck trial will look at behavior patterns (tracking movement, sleep, and conversations) and correlate them with the patient's reports of symptoms and moods; researchers hope the data will reveal the "signature" of a patient who is about relapse and therefore needs help."
Link to Original Source

+ - Open-Source Hardware for Neuroscience->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "The equipment that neuroscientists use to record brain signals is plenty expensive, with a single system costing upward of $60,000. But it turns out that it's not too complicated to build your own, for the cost of about $3000. Two MIT grad students figured out how to do just that, and are distributing both manufactured systems and their designs through their website, Open Ephys. Their goal is to launch an open-source hardware movement in neuroscience, so researchers can spend less time worrying about the gear they need and more time doing experiments."
Link to Original Source

+ - A Brain-Reading Bike Helmet ->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Put together an EEG sensor and a GPS sensor and what do you get? A helmet that maps your "psychogeography." The helmet registers some simple metrics of brain activity and overlays the information on a map, letting wearers see how they're responding to their environments. According to the Kickstarter campaign, the designers developed the MindRider helmet with bicyclists and skateboarders in mind, but they've also received inquiries from skiers, paragliders, and climbers."
Link to Original Source

+ - Can Cyborg Tech End Human Disability by 2064? ->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "As part of a 50th anniversary celebration, IEEE Spectrum magazine tries to peer into the technological future 50 years out. Its biomedical article foresees the integration of electronic parts into our human bodies, making up for physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities.

The article spotlights the visionaries Hugh Herr, an MIT professor (and double amputee) who wants to build prosthetic limbs that are wired directly into the nervous system; Helen Mayberg, who has developed brain pacemakers to cure depression; and Ted Berger, who's working on neural implants that can restore memory function."

Link to Original Source

+ - DIY Lab Tests for Extreme Quantified Selfers->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "People who are into the quantified health trend can already measure and chart a wide variety of metrics — steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, etc can all be tracked using new gadgets. Now a new device called Cue lets people track their biochemical stats, too. Cue offers five DIY lab tests, automates the testing procedure, and sends the results to the user's smartphone. It lets guys check their testosterone levels, ladies check their fertility status, and also offers tests for the flu virus, vitamin D levels, and an inflammation-marker protein. Apparently more tests are expected down the line. The gizmo is available for pre-order now at the price of $149, but shipping doesn't start till spring 2015."
Link to Original Source

+ - How Japan Plans to Build Orbital Solar Power Stations->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Solar power stations in orbit aren't exactly a new idea — Asimov set one of his stories on such a space station back in 1941. Everyone thinks it's a cool idea to collect solar power 24 hours a day and beam it down to Earth. But what with the expense and difficulty of rocketing up the parts and constructing and operating the stations in orbit, nobody's built one yet. While you probably still shouldn't hold your breath, it's interesting to learn that Japan's space agency has spec'd out such a solar power station."
Link to Original Source

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

Working...