"...an artificial intelligence called WaveNet that can mimic human speech by learning how to form the individual sound waves a human voice creates..."
Which brings up a question. When computers are able to create human sounding voices, and maybe even reproduce actual human voice prints, should they, by law, be forced to include a specific "flaw" so that the listener will know it is a computer generated voice?
The Nerd take: "We demonstrate reversible cycle stability for up to 200000 cycles with 94–96% average Coulombic efficiency for symmetrical -MnO2 nanowire capacitors operating across a 1.2 V voltage window in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) gel electrolyte."
When researchers applied a plexiglass-like gel to gold nanowires in a manganese dioxiode shell, it increased that number to over 200,000 and the battery didn’t lose any of its power or storage capacity over a period of three months. Link to Original Source
sycodon writes: It was revealed Saturday that Google, in 2012, sought to help insurgents overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to State Department emails receiving fresh scrutiny this week.
But, in a case of What Could Possibly Go Wrong, some suggest that the effort to overthrow Assad helped spur the rise of the Islamic State, which eventually filled the vacuum resulting from Assad's loss of control over of Syria.
sycodon writes: Abbott Labs, a global healthcare company, is laying off about 180 IT employees after signing an agreement with Wipro, a major India-based IT services firm, to take over some IT services. The employees were told about the planned cuts on Feb. 22; their last day will be April 22.
sycodon writes: André Füzfa, a math professor at Namur University in Belgium, wants researchers to take a more aggressive approach toward the study of gravity.
In a new paper, accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review D, Füzfa calls for scientists to use magnetic fields to make, measure, manipulate and use gravitational fields — both for scientific study and technological innovation.
sycodon writes: The "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures is the single most influential icon in the global-warming debate, promoted by the UN's transnational climate bureaucracy, featured in Al Gore's Oscar-winning movie, used by governments around the world to sell the Kyoto Accord to their citizens, and shown to impressionable schoolchildren from kindergarten to graduation.
And yet what it purports to "prove" is disputed and denied by many of the world's most eminent scientists. In this riveting book , Mark Steyn has compiled the thoughts of the world's scientists, in their own words, on hockey-stick creator Michael E Mann, his stick and their damage to science. From Canada to Finland, Scotland to China, Belgium to New Zealand, from venerable Nobel Laureates to energetic young researchers on all sides of the debate analyze the hockey stock and the wider climate wars it helped launch.
sycodon writes: A new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645.
sycodon writes: Facebook, which has spent millions trying to get massive amnesty legislation that would include huge increases in the number of guest-worker permits that would lower the wages of tech workers, cannot cite any definitive evidence pointing to a shortage of American high-tech workers.
I know..."Breitbart!". Well here it is from a left leaning source...The Atlantic
sycodon writes: Naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century, a study has found.
Changes in ocean circulation as a result of weaker winds were the main cause of about 1 degree Fahrenheit of warming in the northeast Pacific Ocean and nearby coastal land between 1900 and 2012, according to the analysis of ocean and air temperatures over that time.
The study, conducted by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington, was published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
sycodon writes: Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air that is responsible for trapping the sun's rays and raising global temperatures.
sycodon writes: Scientists at Ohio State University have announced the discovery of a new process that takes the energy from coal without burning it – "and removes virtually all of the pollution."
The technology, known as Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CCDL) , captures more than 99 percent of coal's carbon dioxide emissions based on laboratory research. The team of scientists led by Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Clean Coal Research Laboratory at Ohio State University, has been working on this and other clean coal technologies for 15 years with funding by the Department of Energy.
This new technology virtually eliminates pollutants and "could reduce the cost of carbon dioxide capture by more than half if implemented on a commercial scale," according to the OSU research team.