Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump

  AT 10 AM the Saturday before inauguration day, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians were hunched over laptops, drawing flow charts on whiteboards, and shouting opinions on computer scripts across the room. They had hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day—all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the incoming Trump administration.

  By the end of the day, the group had collectively loaded 3,692 NOAA web pages onto the Internet Archive, and found ways to download 17 particularly hard-to-crack data sets from the EPA, NOAA, and the Department of Energy. Organizers have already laid plans for several more data rescue events in the coming weeks, and a professor from NYU was talking hopefully about hosting one at his university in February. But suddenly, their timeline became more urgent.
  On the day that the Inside EPA report came out, an email from O’Brien popped up on my phone with “Red Fucking Alert” in the subject line.“We’re archiving everything we can.”

Artificial-intelligence system surfs web to improve its performance

‘Information extraction’ system helps turn plain text into data for statistical analysis

Of the vast wealth of information unlocked by the Internet, most is plain text. The data necessary to answer myriad questions – about, say, the correlations between the industrial use of certain chemicals and incidents of disease, or between patterns of news coverage and voter-poll results – may all be online. But extracting it from plain text and organizing it for quantitative analysis may be prohibitively time consuming.

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Amplified quantum - IBM Patent 9455392

We’re making quantum computing a reality. Patent 9455392 improves our ability to dramatically scale up the number of superconductor quantum bits that make really powerful quantum computers really, really, really powerful. So powerful, that no other supercomputer can even compete with it. Not now and not ever.

This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received in 2016. Explore the latest IBM patents. →
Virtual Reality Can Leave You With an Existential Hangover
After exploring a virtual world, some people can’t shake the sense that the actual world isn’t real, either.
By Rebecca Searles

“What stays is a strange feeling of sadness and disappointment when participating in the real world, usually on the same day,” he wrote on the blogging platform Medium last month. “The sky seems less colorful and it just feels like I’m missing the ‘magic’ (for the lack of a better word). … I feel deeply disturbed and often end up just sitting there, staring at a wall.”

Tech 2016:

VR Headsets - PSVR brought motion sickness to the masses.

Snap Spectacles - Hard to get, easy to accidentally film yourself on the toilet.

Overwatch - Plz nerf Mei.

Smartphones - Now with less headphone jacks, more dongles and bonus explosions.

Laptops - Apple embraces USB C and users endure the dongle life.

Delivery Drones - Just in time to deliver more dongles!

Pokemon GO - Overcame early server issues to convince a generation to venture outside once again.

Contamination-seeking drones - IBM Patent 9447448.

Stay back and let the drones do the dirty work. Patent 9447448 makes cognitive drones able to inspect and decontaminate places so humans don’t have to. The drones’ on-board AI system can collect and analyze samples, so it can identify and clean up any bacteria or outbreak. Meanwhile you get to hang back, safely out of harm’s way.

This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received this year. Explore the latest IBM patents. →


Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

In 2015, scientists use CRISPR to cut the HIV virus out of living cells from patients in the lap, proving that it was possible  In a few decades , a CRISPR therapy might cure HIV and other retroviruses, viruses that hide inside human DNA like herpes could be eradicated this way.

It will start slowly:  the first designer babies will not be overly designed, its most likely that they will be created to elimenate a deadly genetic disease running in a family.  As the technology progresses and gets more refined, more and more people may argue that not using genetic modification is unethical, because it condemns children to preventable suffering and death and denies them the cure.
But as soon as the first engineered kid is born, a door is opened that can’t be closed any more.  Early on, vanity traits will mostly be left alone, but as genetic modification becomes more accepted and our knowledge of our genetic code enhances, the temptation will grow.

If you make your offspring immune to Altzheimer, why not also give them an enhanced metabolism?  Why not throw in perfect eyesight?  How about height or muscular structure?   Full hair?  How about giving your child the gift of extraordinary intelligence?  

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell


The Heralds of the Future

As seen in the latest Call of Duty:  Black Ops teaser

First image:  Lee Baugh uses two mind-controlled modular prostheses from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  I’ve posted about him before

Second image:  unknown (help me out here)

Third Image: TED talk by the great Hugh Herr on his fantastic BiOMs inspired by nature, and why his prosthesis are not a replacement, but an improvement over its organic counterpart.  I’ve posted about him before too

Fourth Image:  From this video of a girl getting a Cochlear Implant upgrade for her hearing

The toothbrush gets a power-up.

Chase monsters. Groom pets. Conduct music. With Grush, the gaming toothbrush, brushing teeth isn’t just about bristles anymore. It’s now a cognitive-powered game built on IBM Bluemix. The toothbrush connects brushing data to a cloud-based sister app, and that data is analyzed by cognitive technology to control gameplay and unlock rewards for good habits. Now brushing is just good, clean fun.  

Learn more about the gaming toothbrush →

We pulled together today’s’s top CES 2016 stories, just for you:

1. This transforming robot rolls around your home and shoots projections everywhere
Tired of lugging your TV from room to room? Hate having yards and yards of unsightly HDMI cords cluttering up your kitchen, bathrooms, and foyer? Now there’s a better way!
via: @mashable

2. Fisher-Price Now Has a Toy That Teaches Preschoolers How to Code
If you’re dreading the day your kid brings home math homework that reads like the control panels of a Vor’cha-class attack cruiser, just rip off the bandaid already.
via: @gizmodo

3. Wi-Fi Alliance introduces Wi-Fi HaLow technology for Internet of Things
It’s a good thing that only super smart people get to name new technologies. It’s pronounced like “halo,” right? In any case, it’s better than “Wi-Fi for stuff.”
via: FierceWireless

4. This is Faraday Future’s ridiculous 1,000-horsepower electric concept car
Now here’s a company that gets it. Living in the future is great and all, but what people really want is to look like they’re living in the future.
via: @theverge

5. LG Display brings rollable OLED newspaper to CES 2016
Who wouldn’t buy this awesome roll-up display? It could switch back and forth between the same two still images—or just stay on one! Admit it. Even if it claims the functionality of a laminated photograph, you would buy this. #LooksLikeTheFuture
via: @slashgearcom

Take us home, Olli. 

The next generation of self-driving cars is one you can talk to. Local Motors, creators of the world’s first 3D-printed cars, just launched Olli, the first talking shuttle bus to use cloud-based IBM Watson IoT for Automotive as a brain.

A combination of four Watson APIs (Speech-to-Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text-to-Speech) gives Olli the ability to recognize and react to things like “let’s go downtown” or “what’s good to eat around here?” as you and up to 11 other people go from point A to B.

If you’re looking to catch a ride with Olli, you can find it making the rounds in Washington, D.C. Next stops: Miami and Las Vegas.

Honk to learn more about Olli and Watson →


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