The Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) and US military researchers claim they’re in the process of developing a new brain implant that shows promise in restoring certain mental faculties. Although this could appear like a miracle to millions of people around the world, it does not go without raising ethical concerns.
It’s now possible to hide an object from being felt, thanks to research by scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Planets orbiting double stars have been a favorite of science fiction writers. Until now, astronomers did not know that a double sunset like that made famous by the movie Star Wars was possible. The Kepler telescope is a game changer.
Could we make the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just disappear? What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions while replacing up to 30 percent of the world’s plastics with a biodegradable substitute?
Quantum dots are nanocrystals made out of a semicondutor material that is small enough to take advantage of the laws of quantum mechanics. At the center of a very new and rapidly evolving field of research, they offer promise for applications in highly efficient solar cells, transistors and lasers, among other things.
Pepper the robot is touted as the world’s first with the ability to read emotions. Pepper doesn’t look much like its name. Standing under four-feet tall with a tablet computer mounted to its chest, it has human-like hands and a mermaid-like lower torso — though its toddler-like voice seems incongruous with this state-of-the-art facade. Despite the high-pitched voice, Pepper is able to converse about everything from the weather, to more sophisticated topics like the latest fluctuations in the stock markets. Yet the great differentiator is the fact Pepper is fully interactive, making eye contact when meeting people. In addition, Pepper is “the first robot to read human emotions,” said Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son.
In the future, virtual reality won’t require strapping a bulky contraption to your head. Instead, imagine stepping into an empty room and then suddenly seeing life-size, 3-D images of people and furniture. Or looking down at a smartwatch and seeing virtual objects float and bounce above the wrist, like the holographic Princess Leia beamed by R2-D2 in the movie “Star Wars.” A key to this future may lay in Carlsbad, Calif., where startup Ostendo Technologies Inc. has spent the past nine years quietly working on miniature projectors designed to emit crisp videos and glasses-free 3-D images for smartphones and giant screens.
Some 200 websites have joined the #ResetTheNet campaign, urging internet users, developers and content providers to use “NSA-resistant” software and tools to protect the global net against intrusive government surveillance. The sites, which vary from individual pages to internet giants like Reddit, Imgur and Boing Boing, various rights groups, including Amnesty International and Greenpeace will place an internet “splash screen” on Thursday in support of the campaign.
Home-helper robots are a few years off, military robots are imminent, and self-driving cars are already here. We’re about to see the first generation of robots working alongside humans in the real world, where they will be faced with moral conflicts. Before long, a self-driving car will find itself in the same scenario often posed in ethics classrooms as the “trolley” hypothetical — is it better to do nothing and let five people die, or do something and kill one?
“A sizable coalition of technology companies has today taken a stand in favor of net neutrality in the form of a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The group, led by giants including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo, challenges a proposal the FCC is considering that threatens net neutrality.” Read more from The Verge here: http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/7/5692…
Imperial College London physicists have discovered how to create matter from light – a feat thought impossible when the idea was first theorized 80 years ago. Three physicists worked out a relatively simple way to physically prove a theory first devised by scientists Breit and Wheeler in 1934. Breit and Wheeler suggested that it should be possible to turn light into matter by smashing together only two particles of light (photons), to create an electron and a positron – the simplest method of turning light into matter ever predicted. The calculation was found to be theoretically sound but Breit and Wheeler said that they never expected anybody to physically demonstrate their prediction. It has never been observed in the laboratory and past experiments to test it have required the addition of massive high-energy particles. The new research, published in Nature Photonics, shows for the first time how Breit and Wheeler’s theory could be proven in practice.