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The Science, Technology and Futurism Thread
#36
The Hubble Repair Mission, backdropped by the sun...

http://gizmodo.com/5255723/amateur-a...ace-of-the-sun
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#37
This is as good a thread as any for this.

According to Nature scientists at Manchester University managed to create RNA molecules in the lab using conditions that existed in early Earth. One step closer to proving experimentally that abiogenesis (the creation of life from inorganic materials) is possible. If my bilogy knowledge isn't failing it is pretty huge news.
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#38
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eyeball Kid
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Wolfram|Alpha launches today. The bombs should start falling by morning once it becomes self-aware. Oh well, it's been a good run.

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_Alpha

Thinks that is a cool engine.
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#39
Awesome, DARPA is prepping our troops for telepathy:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009...elepathy-push/

Bring it machines/monkeys/aliens!
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#40
Quote:

Originally Posted by stelios
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This is as good a thread as any for this.

According to Nature scientists at Manchester University managed to create RNA molecules in the lab using conditions that existed in early Earth. One step closer to proving experimentally that abiogenesis (the creation of life from inorganic materials) is possible. If my bilogy knowledge isn't failing it is pretty huge news.

That IS fucking huge news. And we hear about it on CHUD & not the evening news. Our priorities as a nation are so out of whack. . .

Or maybe it's the creationist nutjobs intimidate everyone: "Ya'll say yuh kin create Laff in a PEE-TREE dish!? Buh-LAS-Phemy!"
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#41
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eyeball Kid
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Wolfram|Alpha launches today. The bombs should start falling by morning once it becomes self-aware. Oh well, it's been a good run.

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_Alpha

Well, so far I'm more afraid of my neighbor's robot vacuum than Wolfram Alpha. Nice launch Wolfram, blech.
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#42
Quote:

Originally Posted by JudgeSmails
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Well, so far I'm more afraid of my neighbor's robot vacuum than Wolfram Alpha. Nice launch Wolfram, blech.

After playing with it a bit, it's cool, but it's basically a homework machine. Teachers, especially math/science/physics teachers, ought to be pissed.
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#43
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eyeball Kid
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After playing with it a bit, it's cool, but it's basically a homework machine. Teachers, especially math/science/physics teachers, ought to be pissed.

I put in 4 searches. None worked. Twice the system only pulled up financial companies when I did City searches by name. When I attempted to pull up information on some Native American tribes it got confused and couldn't find a single site. Not impressed. I know its early but this is piss poor.
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#44
I asked for the meaning of life, and got "42".
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#45
The missing link apparently has been found?

EDIT: Also enjoy/frustrate yourselves at what the paragon of scientific thinking Rapture Ready thinks about it.
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#46
Quote:

Originally Posted by stelios
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The missing link apparently has been found?

EDIT: Also enjoy/frustrate yourselves at what the paragon of scientific thinking Rapture Ready thinks about it.

Wow. Now that's a find. 95% complete? Incredible. I hope this awakens something, as the diligence on this monkey seems extremely thorough and exacting. The next few months should be interesting.

But yet, I can't help but read that Rapture Ready site (thanks for the link!) and chuckle.
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#47
Just read an article at Slashdot about Wolfram's terms of service:

Quote:

Wolfram|Alpha's terms of use are completely different in that it is not a search engine, it's a computational service. The legalese says that they claim copyright on the each results page and require attribution. So for you academics out there, be careful. Groklaw notes this is interesting considering some of its results quote 2001: A Space Odyssey or Douglas Adams. Claiming copyright on that material may be a bold move.

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#48
Quote:

Originally Posted by stelios
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The missing link apparently has been found?

More: http://www.revealingthelink.com/
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#49
Quote:

find me a monkey with a human head or a human with a monkey head then I just might believe!!!

From the comment section on the article's site. It's maddening there, I can't look away. The logical abyss some of these people live in is quite crazy.
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#50
US lab debuts super laser

by Glenn Chapman Glenn Chapman – Sat May 30, 4:23 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – A US weapons lab on Friday pulled back the curtain on a super laser with the power to burn as hot as a star.

The National Ignition Facility's main purpose is to serve as a tool for gauging the reliability and safety of the US nuclear weapons arsenal but scientists say it could deliver breakthroughs in safe fusion power.

"We have invented the world's largest laser system," actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a dedication ceremony attended by thousands including state and national officials.

"We can create the stars right here on earth. And I can see already my friends in Hollywood being very upset that their stuff that they show on the big screen is obsolete. We have the real stuff right here."

The rest HERE
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#51
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cylon Baby
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US lab debuts super laser

by Glenn Chapman Glenn Chapman – Sat May 30, 4:23 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – A US weapons lab on Friday pulled back the curtain on a super laser with the power to burn as hot as a star.

The National Ignition Facility's main purpose is to serve as a tool for gauging the reliability and safety of the US nuclear weapons arsenal but scientists say it could deliver breakthroughs in safe fusion power.

"We have invented the world's largest laser system," actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a dedication ceremony attended by thousands including state and national officials.

"We can create the stars right here on earth. And I can see already my friends in Hollywood being very upset that their stuff that they show on the big screen is obsolete. We have the real stuff right here."

The rest HERE

Sure as shit beats mutated seabass.

Im wondering if they can make a condensed version of one of these that I could purchase.
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#52
Army exoskeletons. Real ones. With video. http://singularityhub.com/2009/06/11...uman-strength/
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#53
Quote:

"We have invented the world's largest laser system," ... Arnold Schwarzenegger said...

I can die now.
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#54
I really hope we can get our heads out of our collective asses and get going on a Manhattan Project scale program to get fusion going as a power source. Practically infinite, clean power will advance our civilization's capabilities by at least an order of magnitude.
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#55
In this video Jamais Cascio talks about Mobile Intelligence (”Your Brain’s Future, Mobilized”). This is about the Augmented Future: augmented awareness, augmented society, augmented environments… He sketches 3 possible futures: participatory, interconnected and leapfrog - all with different features and also why it is matters to be aware of this.
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#56
They been talking about this since the 60s, watch the The President's Analyst (1967). Brain augmentation is like fusion, until it happens it just talk.
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#57
Quote:

Originally Posted by eenin
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They been talking about this since the 60s, watch the The President's Analyst (1967). Brain augmentation is like fusion, until it happens it just talk.

Dude, did you even watch the video? The phone in your pocket, the computer you typed your post on, ARE brain augmentations. They're just external. Did you see the part about augmented reality apps on location aware phones?

He even argues that cities are a form of intelligence augmentation. He's not talking about a device that you insert into your brain, necessarily.

Take the time to actually watch the entire video before you just reflexively dismiss it out of hand.

Anyway.

More from Cascio: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200907/intelligence

Here's a snippet that explains better:
Quote:

WHEN PEOPLE HEAR the phrase intelligence augmentation, they tend to envision people with computer chips plugged into their brains, or a genetically engineered race of post-human super-geniuses. Neither of these visions is likely to be realized, for reasons familiar to any Best Buy shopper. In a world of on going technological acceleration, today’s cutting-edge brain implant would be tomorrow’s obsolete junk—and good luck if the protocols change or you’re on the wrong side of a “format war” (anyone want a Betamax implant?). And then there’s the question of stability: Would you want a chip in your head made by the same folks that made your cell phone, or your PC?

Likewise, the safe modification of human genetics is still years away. And even after genetic modification of adult neurobiology becomes possible, the science will remain in flux; our understanding of how augmentation works, and what kinds of genetic modifications are possible, would still change rapidly. As with digital implants, the brain modification you might undergo one week could become obsolete the next. Who would want a 2025-vintage brain when you’re competing against hotshots with Model 2026?

Yet in one sense, the age of the cyborg and the super-genius has already arrived. It just involves external information and communication devices instead of implants and genetic modification. The bioethicist James Hughes of Trinity College refers to all of this as “exo*cortical technology,” but you can just think of it as “stuff you already own.” Increasingly, we buttress our cognitive functions with our computing systems, no matter that the connections are mediated by simple typing and pointing. These tools enable our brains to do things that would once have been almost unimaginable:

• powerful simulations and massive data sets allow physicists to visualize, understand, and debate models of an 11‑dimension universe;

• real-time data from satellites, global environmental databases, and high-resolution models allow geophysicists to recognize the subtle signs of long-term changes to the planet;

• cross-connected scheduling systems allow anyone to assemble, with a few clicks, a complex, multimodal travel itinerary that would have taken a human travel agent days to create.

If that last example sounds prosaic, it simply reflects how embedded these kinds of augmentation have become. Not much more than a decade ago, such a tool was outrageously impressive—and it destroyed the travel-agent industry.

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#58
Forbes (of all places) has a really good selection of short articles about the past, present, and future of Artificial Intelligence.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/22/sin...?feed=rss_news

They included at least one naysayer, so it's not all just gung-ho teh robutz r coming optimism. Good stuff.
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#59
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eyeball Kid
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I read that article from Cascio the other day, and the one thing that stuck out is this (probably unitentional) thread of celebrating intellectual laziness running under it. He seems to believe that, while intelligence augmentation devices won't be implanted in us, external technology will somehow be able to make qualitative decisions about the validity of retrieved data.

I understand what he's saying about the changing nature of intelligence to something that's more dynamic rather than storage-based, but the problem is that he puts utmost emphasis on information retrieval and virtually none on information evaluation. He alludes to it:

Quote:

Any occupation requiring pattern-matching and the ability to find obscure connections will quickly morph from the domain of experts to that of ordinary people whose intelligence has been augmented by cheap digital tools. Humans won’t be taken out of the loop—in fact, many, many more humans will have the capacity to do something that was once limited to a hermetic priesthood. Intelligence augmentation decreases the need for specialization and increases participatory complexity.

But exactly what are the digital tools that will enable a human to be more discriminating? This is left completely vague, and it's the single most important issue here to my mind. In information retrieval, we'll always be faced with the twin factors of precision and recall. One must always be sacrificed for the sake of the other. If you want all possibly valid information on a topic, you're inevitably going to end up with bum hits. If you want all information that's very likely valid about a topic, you'll end up with fewer hits.

The reason is that we can only access data by word searches, and syntax is inherently subjective. Ultimately, it will always be up to not machines, but people, whose uses of vocabulary in conducting searches will always be subjective and fallible, to decide whether information is a) relevant and b) accurate. Technology may give us the means to find information more quickly, but people (specifically, experts) are going to be required to make that information accessible (through classification systems, innovations in keyword searching, etc.), and, even more importantly, laypersons are going to need a hell of a lot more education in terms of information literacy than they have now.

You can't cure information illiteracy with a computer. We'll always need some level of acquired, as well as fluid, knowledge to be discriminating users of information.
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#60
Meant to link to this story yesterday but forgot.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31491804...ience-science/

Quote:

Amazing volcano photo shows shock wave

Quote:

An amazing new picture from space reveals a volcanic eruption in its earliest stage, with a huge plume of ash and steam billowing skyward and creating a shock wave in the atmosphere.

Sarychev Peak on Matua Island is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, northeast of Japan.

The new photo was taken June 12 from the International Space Station. NASA says volcano researchers are excited about the picture "because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption."

I can watch hours of volcano docs on NatGeo. Completely fascinates me (and the picture in the link above is amazing).
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#61
Quote:

Originally Posted by HBarr
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Meant to link to this story yesterday but forgot.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31491804...ience-science/





I can watch hours of volcano docs on NatGeo. Completely fascinates me (and the picture in the link above is amazing).

Completely fascinates me too, maybe it just the pyro in me, though.
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#62
To add on to what I was saying above, the very same issue of The Atlantic has a story on colleges, and it mentions (but doesn't cite*) a study that found "only 38 percent of graduating college students can successfully compare the viewpoints of two newspaper editorials." Holy shit.

I'm not so sure we're ever going to get to a point that technology can truly cover for a lack of interpretive and evaluative skills. Certainly not in the near future.

* Here's the source, I think. The Atlantic article simplifies the results a bit, but the point is more-or-less retained.
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#63
I thought this was an appropriate place to commemorate GMAIL finally leaving Beta, even if it effectively means nothing.
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#64
I only realized the other day that Gmail was still in it's Beta stage. Hilarious.
Anyway: sperm can be made! We have no purpose left beyond fixing cars and various other house hold maintenance chores, men.

http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...09164,00.html/
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#65
After I opened a thread about Google Chrome OS I remembered this thread.
Gmail added drag and drop labels BTW.
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#66
Quote:

Originally Posted by OCallaghan
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Anyway: sperm can be made!

What if the girls don't like the new flavor.
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#67
I always love guides to conceptualization, and this is a great one.

How large is a Petabyte?

(*spoiler alert* It's fucking big.)

http://gizmodo.com/5309889/how-large-is-a-petabyte
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#68
Did anyone watch that show on the History Channel last night about the invisibility cloaks? Pretty neat stuff.
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#69
Quote:

Originally Posted by Renn Brown
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I always love guides to conceptualization, and this is a great one.

How large is a Petabyte?

(*spoiler alert* It's fucking big.)

http://gizmodo.com/5309889/how-large-is-a-petabyte

Sadly, my first thought was: 'Holy hell, that's a lot of porn.'
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#70
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eric Cordo
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Did anyone watch that show on the History Channel last night about the invisibility cloaks? Pretty neat stuff.

Are you sure you weren't watching one of ABC Family's showings of Harry Potter? I've made that mistake a few times.
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