coondoggie writes: "Artificial intelligence, a field of programming employed by video game developers to make characters smarter and improve their decisions, still has a ways to go before it actually yields intelligent characters. "There are AI games with very little 'I' in them," said Brian Schwab, senior AI and gameplay engineer at Blizzard Entertainment, which has published the hugely successful "Warcraft," "StarCraft" and "Diablo" series of strategy games."
coondoggie writes: "Researchers at DARPA want to take the science of machine learning — teaching computers to automatically understand data, manage results and surmise insights — up a couple notches. Machine learning, DARPA says, is already a the heart of many cutting edge technologies today, like email spam filters, smartphone personal assistants and self-driving cars. "Unfortunately, even as the demand for these capabilities is accelerating, every new application requires a Herculean effort. Even a team of specially-trained machine learning experts makes only painfully slow progress due to the lack of tools to build these systems," DARPA says."
coondoggie writes: "The event certainly would be momentous for the space exploration world — the first spacecraft to actually leave our solar system — but NASA says despites reports to the contrary its Voyager 1 has not left our realm — just yet that is. "The Voyager team is aware of reports today that NASA's Voyager 1 has left the solar system," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space."
coondoggie writes: "The researchers at the government's "high-risk, high-payoff research" group, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) want to know how alternate reality environments such as games in particular can help it develop “high-quality behavioral and psychological research in near real-world contexts.”"
coondoggie writes: "One of the chief goals of NASA's Mars Science Lab and its Curiosity rover was to determine if the Red Planet could have supported life in some fashion and now comes news that apparently it could have. Confirmation of that major discovery came today as NASA said analysis of a rock sample collected by Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. NASA said its scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon — some of the key chemical ingredients for life — in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in what's known as Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month."
coondoggie writes: "Sandia National Laboratories said today it has completed over 90% of what it calls the largest fiber optical local area network in the world. $15 million fiber optic network project could save $20 million over five years through energy and equipment savings"
coondoggie writes: "It did not light up the sky like real aurora borealis can but researchers with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory said they have created an artificial version that can be used to explore ionospheric occurrences and their impact on communications, navigation and space weather. Specifically what the researchers did was produce what they called a "sustained high density plasma cloud in Earth's upper atmosphere," using the 3.6-megawatt High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter facility, Gakona, Alaska."
coondoggie writes: "Engineering an aircraft that can go fast, carry usable amounts of equipment and people and hover has always been one of aviation's greatest challenges. Sure there are plenty of fast helicopters but they are usually limited in the amount of weight they can carry. And there have been a few successful vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jets — the AV-8 Harrier is the industry standard — and while it is fast, it can carry one person, the pilot. The future-looking folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to change all that with a project they call the VTOL X-Plane program."
coondoggie writes: "Researchers have morphed computer algorithms used by astronomers to pick out hard-to-distinguish planets and galaxies into a system that can help medical researchers spot hard to find breast cancer cells."
coondoggie writes: "The US Food and Drug Administration today approved what it says is the first bionic eye, or retinal prosthesis, that can partially restore the sight of blind individuals after surgical implantation. pecifically the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted artificial retina. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."
coondoggie writes: "The asteroid NASA say is about the half the size of a football field that will blow past Earth on Feb 15 could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant. That's what the scientists at Deep Space Industries, a company that wants to mine these flashing hunks of space materials, thinks the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is worth — if they could catch it."
coondoggie writes: "The US Department of Energy today said it would spend $20 million on the development of advanced cybersecurity tools to help protect the nation's vulnerable energy supply. The DOE technologies developed under this program should be interoperable, scalable, cost-effective advanced tools that do not impede critical energy delivery functions, that are innovative and can easily be commercialized or made available through open source for no cost."
coondoggie writes: "With only a certain amount of truly useable radio spectrum it is inevitable that more battles of the use of that space become more frequent. Deflecting such battles will perhaps be the end result of a new program researchers at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will detail later this month. DARPA's Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program has a goal of boosting radar and communications capabilities for military and commercial users by creating technical ways to enable spectrum sharing."
coondoggie writes: "Distances in space are usually impossibly large and hard to get a handle on but this week astronomers said as many as six percent of stars known as Red Dwarfs have planets around them in the habitable zone and may only be 13 light years away from Earth."