A slowing rate of improvement hints at a looming asymptote, at least on a population-wide basis
SpaceX just received approval from the FCC to launch 4,425 satellites into space to build a low earth orbit network of satellites to sell home Internet. Unlike current satellite Internet, these devices will be in a far lower orbit and offer far faster speeds without the data caps current satellite systems use.
An asteroid slammed down and did away with all the dinosaurs, paving the way for such developments as the human race, capitalism, and posting on the internet: it’s the story we all know and love. Yet if things had shaken out differently—if the asteroid had stayed in its place, and the dinosaurs allowed to proceed with their business—what would things have looked like?
Over the past six decades, 12 people have walked on the moon, spacecraft have visited every planet from Mercury to Neptune, and four rovers have racked up more than 60 kilometers traveling on the surface of Mars. And yet, despite the billions of dollars spent on the world’s civilian space programs, never has a probe journeyed very close to the sun. The nearest approach, by the Helios B probe in 1976, came no closer than 43 million km.
Boys ages 10-17 killed themselves at a much higher rate in the month after Netflix's show about suicide was released in 2017. Researchers attribute an extra 195 deaths that year to the series.
SpaceX has received Federal Communications Commission approval to halve the orbital altitude of more than 1,500 planned broadband satellites in order to lower the risk of space debris and improve latency. SpaceX's satellite project, named Starlink, aims to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband around the world. In a statement on the new FCC approval, SpaceX said that "Starlink production is well underway, and the first group of satellites have already arrived at the launch site for processing."
A team of researchers at NTT Corporation has developed a way to use light-based computer hardware that allows it to compete with silicon. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, the group describes their research, the devices they created and how well they worked.
Computer scientists and engineers shouldn’t be the only people shaping the future of artificial intelligence, according to a group led by researchers from MIT’s Media Lab. “We’re seeing the rise of machines with agency, machines that are actors making decisions and taking actions autonomously,” MIT’s Iyad Rahwan said in a blog post. “This calls for a new field of scientific study that looks at them not solely as products of engineering and computer science, but additionally as a new class of actors with their own behavioral patterns and ecology.”
Supposedly ‘eco-friendly’ biodegradable and compostable plastic bags exist in the environment for three years, littering scenery and potentially trapping animals, new research has found. Single-use plastic bag use in the UK has been cut from 8 billion a year in 2014 to just over a billion in 2018, but the research from the University of Plymouth has raised serious questions over the sustainability of alternatives which claim to be better for the environment.
Are you a lover of sushi, shrimp cocktail and other sea-related foods? Then you’ll love to hear that in a recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, they found that eating seafood does not only improve sexual life but also go a long way to improve fertility.
A recent study is suggesting employers should rethink policies encouraging workers to offer "service with a smile." The study published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found employees who force themselves to smile or evoke or positive emotions in front of customers are more likely to drink heavily after they clock out.
Many pet owners consider their animals to be a member of the family much like a son or daughter. But what if we could take our relationships a step further by using technology to communicate with animals? This may soon become a reality as scientists implement artificial intelligence to decode the disparate dialects of our zoological friends.
Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. But what about optimism? New research published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science offers an in-depth look at how our sense of optimism evolves as we age. To study this question, researchers at the University of California Davis analyzed data from a large sample of Mexican-Americans between the ages of 26 and 71. At four time points across a seven-year period...
Internet blackouts deprive people of impartial information and crucial connections with loved ones, without delivering improved safety or stability.
The Hirslanden Clinic looked at the “bacterial load in colony-forming units (CFU) of human-pathogenic microorganisms” in swabs taken from 18 men’s beards and 30 dogs’ necks. All of the guys with beards had high microbial counts, but only 23 of the 30 dogs had the same high count.
Greater diversity of gut bacteria has been associated with better gut health, although the mechanisms are still not well understood. Less diversity has been linked to conditions including irritable bowel, diabetes and obesity.
or all the innovation and choice that define the food and drink industries, if you want to make money, you could do a lot worse than bung some water in a bottle and flog it. A litre of tap water, the stuff we have ingeniously piped into our homes, costs less than half a penny. A litre of bottled water can cost well over a pound, especially for something fancy that has been sucked through a mountain.
China aims to complete and start generating power from an experimental nuclear fusion reactor by around 2040, a senior scientist involved in the project said, as it works to develop and commercialize a game-changing source of clean energy.
Less than two weeks after the infamous reactor meltdown at Chernobyl, officials decided to risk the lives of three men to potentially save millions of lives. A larger disaster could have spread radioactive fallout across Europe.
Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid is believed to have crashed into Earth. The impact wiped out huge numbers of species, including almost all of the dinosaurs. One group of dinosaurs managed to survive the disaster. Today, we know them as birds.
Online shopping and the gig economy haven't just disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar business, they're disrupting the way U.S. job growth, wage data and inflation are tracked, asserts a new paper from the Dallas Federal Reserve. What it means: There has been an increase in the number of workers in the gig economy who are either working as contractors or are self-employed, but report themselves as employed. These workers often have less bargaining power and lower wages than full-time employees.
The oceans hide all kinds of secrets and unknowns in the deep – like the 195,728 viruses that scientists just found lurking underwater, during the course of a pole-to-pole expedition carried out to survey marine life. The researchers say the vast m
China plans to build a scientific research station on the moon in "about 10 years," according to the state news agency Xinhua. The China National Space Administration (CSNA) intends to build the research station in the region of the moon's south pole, Zhang Kejian, head of CSNA, said in a public statement, Xinhua reported. That's a bit of a departure from the six successful NASA Apollo moon landings, which took place closer to the moon's equator between 1969 and 1972.
When navigating through dark environments, rats swish their whiskers against nearby objects to figure out where they are. As the animals explore, they use this sense of touch to build maps of unfamiliar places. Cockroaches and blind crayfish use their antennae in a similar approach. Now, the go-by-feel strategy has inspired the creation of a robotic catheter capable of finding its way through the beating heart of lives pigs during a surgical procedure without the help of a surgeon’s guiding hand.
Some food plants can indeed cause problems in some humans.
Explaining a discrepancy between what was happening 13 billion years ago and now may require new physics.
The ‘smoker’s disease’ is affecting more and more people who have never lit up in their lives – and it is a particular problem among women. What do experts think is going on?
Now that they’ve identified the Higgs boson, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have set their sights on an even more elusive target. All around us is dark matter and dark energy—the invisible stuff that binds the galaxy together, but which no one has been able to directly detect. “We know for sure there’s a dark world, and there’s more energy in it than there is in ours,” said LianTao Wang, a University of Chicago professor of physics who studies how to find signals in large particle accelerators like the LHC.
Three papers from influential economists cast doubt on the idea that there are beneficial aspects to automation. Beneficial aspects to workers, that is.
The discoveries of thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has made questions about the potential for life to form on these planets fundamentally important in modern science. Fundamentally important for the habitability of a planet is whether or not it can hold onto an atmosphere, which requires that the atmosphere is not completely lost early in the lifetime of the planet.
A Vancouver woman is sounding the alarm for millions of Canadians who have credit and debit cards, after her financial information was shared without her realizing it. Turns out, some cards have “updating services” that allow banking information to be shared with other companies — a little-known fact for most customers, and something a privacy expert says needs to change.
NASA’s Mars InSight lander has measured and recorded for the first time ever a likely “marsquake.”
The long read: For a century, the humble paper towel has dominated public toilets. But a new generation of hand dryers has sparked a war for loo supremacy
Last year, I participated in a discussion of The Human Use of Human Beings, Norbert Weiner’s groundbreaking book on cybernetics theory. Out of that grew what I now consider a manifesto against the growing singularity movement, which posits that artificial intelligence, or AI, will supersede and eventually displace us humans.
Life demands flux. Every living organism is constantly changing: cells divide and die, proteins build and disintegrate, DNA breaks and heals. Life demands metabolism—the simultaneous builder and destroyer of living materials—to continuously upgrade our bodies. That’s how we heal and grow, how we propagate and survive.
People with neurological conditions who lose the ability to speak can still send the brain signals used for speech (such as the lips, jaw and larynx), and UCSF researchers might just use that knowledge to bring voices back. They've crafted a brain machine interface that can turn those brain signals into mostly recognizable speech. Instead of trying to read thoughts, the machine learning technology picks up on individual nerve commands and translates those to a virtual vocal tract that approximates the intended output.
America's couch potatoes are becoming ever more deeply rooted, and computers are the reason why. The amount of time people spend sitting around has increased in recent years, driven largely by more leisure time spent with a computer, federal survey data shows. Total daily sitting time increased about an hour a day for teenagers and adults between 2007 and 2016, the researchers found. Teens spend an average 8.2 hours a day plopped down, and adults about 6.4 hours.
The discovery of the Americas has for centuries been credited to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, but ancient markings carved into rocks around the US could require history to be rewritten. Researchers have discovered ancient scripts that suggest Chinese explorers may have discovered America long before Europeans arrived there.
T-Mobile CTO says 5G's high-frequency spectrum won't cover rural America.
A recently published study found that Facebook users over 65 years old were far more likely than other adults to share disinformation on social media. Researchers at both Princeton and New York University concluded that though the practice of spreading so-called fake news was rare overall, a person's likelihood of sharing it correlated more strongly with age than it did education, sex, or political views.
Summary: Study reports people with insect phobias reported a 20% reduction in symptoms following seven-seconds of exposure to the superhero movies Spiderman and Antman.Source: Bar-Ilan University
New research examines how five major dietary patterns may affect the risk of developing heart failure among people without heart disease.
There can be few more damning or more useless terms than “the Dark Ages.” They sound fun in an orcs‐and‐elves sort of way and suggest a very low benchmark from which we have since, as a…
Researchers studying Great White sharks have found lethal levels of mercury and arsenic
In Ecuador, cameras capture footage to be examined by police and domestic intelligence. The surveillance system’s origin: China.