Nanotechnology: Armed resistance Reply

DGR in Mexico.

Nature assesses the aftermath of a series of nanotechnology-lab bombings in Mexico — and asks how the country became a target of eco-anarchists.

By Leigh Phillips

Under attack: policemen stand guard outside the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education after a letter bomb exploded there in August 2011.
A. FRANCO/AP/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES

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Debate around gun rights/gun control will eventually be irrelevant Reply

When decentralized desktop manufacturing achieves the successful and widespread production of a workable, reliable weapon then the world as we know it will be effectively over. It may be a gun. It may be a drone. It may be a cruise missile for all we know. Technology may make anarchy more than an ideological struggle; it may make anarchy a necessity for human survival. Whether you call it a resilient community, a commune, or a tribe; the future belongs to decentralized, autonomous cells capable of insulating themselves from violence through peer to peer, networked alliances.


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Visions Of The Future: ‘DR0NE’, A Webseries About Autonomous Humanoid Super Soldiers Reply

by David J. Hill
singularityhub.com

Consider, for a moment, the rising use of drone technology by the military. In light of how years of advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will transform drones, imagine how warfare will look in merely one decade. That’s the subject of a recently released webseries called DR0NE that is both intellectually intriguing and fricking awesome. Episode 1, released on Aug 30, paints a picture of how far technology might evolve in just one decade.

The beginning of the episode sets the stage of the series by showing the struggle of a drone identified only as “237″ on the run:

“By the early 21st century, the nature of warfare had changed. Unmanned drones patrolled the skies about the battleground. In the year 2023, humanoid drones were deployed to the front lines — a new breed of solider; stronger and faster than their human counterparts. Autonomous by design, they operate by a code — a code of war.”

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Australians implant ‘world first’ bionic eye Reply

brecorder.com
Agence France-Presse

Australian scientists said Thursday they had successfully implanted a “world first” bionic eye prototype, describing it as a major breakthrough for the visually impaired. Bionic Vision Australia (BVA), a government-funded science consortium, said it had surgically installed an “early prototype” robotic eye in a woman with hereditary sight loss caused by degenerative retinitis pigmentosa.

Described as a “pre-bionic eye”, the tiny device is attached to Dianne Ashworth’s retina and contains 24 electrodes which send electrical impulses to stimulate her eye’s nerve cells. Researchers switched on the device in their laboratory last month after Ashworth had fully recovered from surgery and she said it was an incredible experience. “I didn’t know what to expect, but all of a sudden, I could see a little flash – it was amazing,” she said in a statement.

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Artificial limbs, controlled by thoughts Reply

salon.com

The idea that paralyzed people might one day control their limbs just by thinking is no longer a fantasy

By , Scientific American

Artificial limbs, controlled by thoughts

This article originally appeared on Scientific American.

In 2014, billions of viewers worldwide may remember the opening game of the World Cup in Brazil for more than just the goals scored by the Brazilian national team and the red cards given to its adversary. On that day my laboratory at Duke University, which specializes in developing technologies that allow electrical signals from the brain to control robotic limbs, plans to mark a milestone in overcoming paralysis.

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The Bright Future of Post-Partisan Social Psychology Reply

Has social psychology become a Tribal Moral Community since the 1960s? Are we a community that is bound together by liberal values and then blind to any ideas or findings that threaten our sacred values? I believe the answer is yes, and I’ll make 3 points to support that claim.

A transcribed speech by Jonathan Haidt

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Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics Reply

New Scientist
Will Ferguson

They beat like real heart cells, but the rat cardiomyocytes in a dish at Harvard University are different in one crucial way. Snaking through them are wires and transistors that spy on each cell’s electrical impulses. In future, the wires might control their behaviour too.

Versions of this souped-up, “cyborg” tissue have been created for neurons, muscle and blood vessels. They could be used to test drugsMovie Camera or as the basis for biological versions of existing implants such as pacemakers. If signals can also be sent to the cells, cyborg tissue could be used in prosthetics or to create tiny robots.

“It allows one to effectively blur the boundary between electronic, inorganic systems and organic, biological ones,” says Charles Lieber, who leads the team behind the cyborg tissue.

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Scientists Clear Path to the Fountain of Eternal Youth Reply

gizmodo.com
Jesus Diaz

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered an efficient and totally safe method to turn adult blood cells “all the way back to the way [they were] when that person was a 6-day-old embryo.” The discovery could be the key to cure the incurable—from heart attacks to severed spinal cord to cancer—and open the door, some day, to eternal youth.

Scientists believe that stem cell therapy could change medicine forever. However, these therapies are impossible to implement on a large scale because you can’t acquire embryonic stem cells without having to use actual human embryos—an extremely controversial undertaking. The alternative has always been to use the stem cells found in umbilical cords—which is why rich people use umbilical cord storage facilities to guarantee future treatments for their kids—or use viruses to reprogram adult cells. These viruses can successfully return adult cells to their stem cell state, but the procedure opens the door to numerous complications as a result of potential DNA mutations. And those mutations could lead to cancer.

The key to keeping the posts lined up at ATS is to post articles in pairs. For example if you post two articles at a time all the other posts will not be affected by your two new posts. The other posts will simply drop down, remaining organized in pairs. Everything works in pairs.

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Cyborg America: inside the strange new world of basement body hackers Reply

theverge.com
Ben Popper

grinders_lead

Shawn Sarver took a deep breath and stared at the bottle of Listerine on the counter. “A minty fresh feeling for your mouth… cures bad breath,” he repeated to himself, as the scalpel sliced open his ring finger. His left arm was stretched out on the operating table, his sleeve rolled up past the elbow, revealing his first tattoo, the Air Force insignia he got at age 18, a few weeks after graduating from high school. Sarver was trying a technique he learned in the military to block out the pain, since it was illegal to administer anesthetic for his procedure.

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Tech elites dominate Forbes list of 100 most powerful women Reply

theregister.co.uk
Iain Thomson

The latest list from Forbes of the 100 most powerful women on the planet suggests that the technology industry is leading the way in promoting sexual equality, contributing 15 per cent of the spots overall and a quarter of the top 20 positions.

The technology industry contributed more names to the list (see below) than any other business sector, and includes the heads of some of the biggest firms in the hardware, software, and services sectors. Google was the only company to have two women on the list.

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Hackers backdoor the human brain, successfully extract sensitive data Reply

stratrisks.com

Source: Gizmag

Hackers backdoor the human brain, successfully extract sensitive data

Once the preserve of science fiction, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have advanced to the point where they can even be found in novelty headwear, which only makes an achievement of an international team of scientists more frightening. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv BCI costing only a few hundred dollars, the team has shown that it’s possible to “hack” a human brain and pull things like bank details straight out of your skull.

For their experiment, researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Geneva and California (Berkeley) called in a group of Computer Science students. The students knew they were part of a security-related experiment but did not know the objectives or that they were being “hacked.” Each of these students put on a Emotiv BCI and were sat down in front of a computer that displayed a series of images such as maps, banks, card PINs, and so on.

This graph shows the P300 signal that results from a target stimulus verses the signal fro...

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Chinese man blows off hands, builds new pair Reply

theregister.co.uk
Phil Muncaster

Iron-Man style DIY effort has man grasping again

Back to work: Sun Jifa, lost both his hands when a bomb he was creating for blast fishing in Guanmashan, Jilin province, northern China, exploded prematurely

Plucky Chinese gent Sun Jifa showed the world exactly what persistence, and a rudimentary knowledge of welding and prosthetics, can do when it emerged this week that he built his own bionic hands after accidentally blowing the originals off.

The 51-year-old from Guanmashan, in the northern province of Jilin blew off his hands and lower arms when explosives he was fiddling in preparation for a blast fishing trip went off prematurely, according to the Daily Mail.

Unable to pay the local hospital an arm and a leg for a professionally made prosthesis, Sun was apparently forced to go it alone and set about fashioning his own from scrap metal over a period of eight years.

A rudimentary system of pulleys and wires inside the metal casing allows his bionic hands to grip and hold objects, although there is no information from the Daily Fail on exactly how he managed the herculean task of making the false limbs without any hands.

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Chomsky on Rationality and Science Reply

Here’s the money quote:

In fact, the entire idea of “white male science” reminds me, I’m afraid, of “Jewish physics.” Perhaps it is another inadequacy of mine, but when I read a scientific paper, I can’t tell whether the author is white or is male. The same is true of discussion of work in class, the office, or somewhere else. I rather doubt that the non-white, non-male students, friends, and colleagues with whom I work would be much impressed with the doctrine that their thinking and understanding differ from “white male science” because of their “culture or gender and race.” I suspect that “surprise” would not be quite the proper word for their reaction.”

By Noam Chomsky

THIS DISCUSSION involves people with a large range of shared aspirations and commitments; in some cases at least, friends who have worked and struggled together for many years. I hope, then, that I can be quite frank. And personal, since to be honest, I don’t see much of independent substance to discuss.

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New flat-faced human species possibly discovered Reply

By Charles Choi

Photo by Fred Spoor

Four decades ago, in 1972, the Koobi Fora Research Project  discovered the enigmatic fossilized skull known as KNM-ER 1470, or “1470” for short, which ignited a now long-standing debate about how many different species of early Homo lived alongside Homo erectus during the Pleistocene epoch. Shown here, 1470’s cranium combined with the new lower jaw KNM-ER 60000; both are thought to belong to the same species. The lower jaw is shown as a photographic reconstruction, and the cranium is based on a computed tomography scan.
By Charles Choi

New fossils from the dawn of the human lineage suggest our ancestors may have lived alongside a diversity of extinct human species, researchers say.

Although modern humans, Homo sapiens, are the only human species alive today, the world has seen a number of human species come and go. Other members perhaps include the recently discovered “hobbit” Homo floresiensis .

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Inconsistency Quotient 2

by Daniel Acheampong

Two weeks back, the state of Texas sent convicted murderer Marvin Wilson on a KCI-addled one-way trip to oblivion. News of this came to my attention via the Huffington Post, which made a big how-to about the potassium-punctured perp’s IQ. Leading with the headline “Texas Puts Man with 61 IQ to Death”, HuffPo made mention of a variety of testimonies regarding Wilson’s intelligence…

The Supreme Court late in the afternoon rejected without comment… More…

Japan Develops Fully Functional Human Piloted Mecha Robots Reply

jpopasia.com
Aysohmay

Japan Develops Fully Functional Human Piloted Mecha Robots

Japan has taken robotics to the next level. Suidobashi Heavy Industry has developed a fully functional mecha robot named Kuratas that can shoot rockets and 6,000 bullets per minute.

The mecha unit was debuted at Wonder Fest 2012 in Tokyo. It is about 4 meters high, weighs 4,500 kg and cost about $1.4 million USD.

Kuratas can be controlled by stepping into the one-man cockpit or on a smartphone using a 3G connection.

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The New Homesteaders: Off-the-Grid and Self-Reliant Reply

From Popular Mechanics 

By James Vlahos

The phone rang when I was shoeless and only a couple of sips into my morning coffee. “Hi, it’s Novella Carpenter,” the caller said. “My goat is giving birth.”

Twenty minutes later I was crouched in the hay at Ghost Town Farm, pushing away chickens and peering into the pen that housed the expectant mother, Bébé. Her udder was so swollen she couldn’t get her hindquarters down. Bleating, she clawed at the dirt with her right front hoof as if searching for a stash of Vicodin. “Pass me the iodine,” Carpenter said. “We better wash up.”

Similar birthing scenes have unfolded countless times in America’s agrarian past, but none, I suspected, had the soundtrack of the Ghost Town neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. As Bébé’s cries reached an apex they were matched by the caterwauling of a police car siren on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Then came the intestine-undulating bass of hip-hop from a passing car. Residents disagree on how Ghost Town got its name—for the isolation created when freeways cleft the neighborhood from the rest of the city in the 1950s? For the appallingly high murder rate? For the casket companies that used to be located here? More unanimously accepted is that Ghost Town is a singularly odd location for a homestead that hosts pigs, goats, geese, peaches, potatoes, spinach and bees. Carpenter is living a version of the Laura Ingalls Wilder fantasy all right, but hers is Little House in the ‘Hood.
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