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On the second day of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, one of its secretive research arm announced an intriguing project that hopes to create conductive fabrics that can be entwined into everyday clothing. The project called Project Jacquard, is named after French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard who revolutionized textile manufacturing and ushered in for modern computing with Jacquard Loom. Similar to screens on mobile phones, these conductive fabrics can register the user’s touch and transmit the information somewhe...
We spend a lot of time staring into an abyss, waiting for the person on the other end to IM. Don't we? Well, a group a researchers at MIT are tinkering away to make that inefficacious time more productive for us. A team of PhD students at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has created an app, WaitChatter that basically teaches you a foreign language in that standby time when you wait for IMs from your friends. WaitChatter teaches you basic words in foreign languages like Spanish and French while you w...
The grandeur of mankind’s ambitious plans of space travel and settlement has us reaching for the outer planets. A month ago, the White House earmarked over $17.7 billion for unmanned space missions that might answer the existential question about life beyond Earth. This comes two years after the U.S. National Research Council’s Planetary Science Decadal Review put out its 10-year recommendation for NASA’s planetary exploration program. The report had ranked exploration of Jupiter’s icy Moon Europa as the highest-priority mission. From...
Ransomware can be a pain in the butt. The deceitful vex of a program accuses you of cheese pizza (=child pornography), pedophilia, zoophilia or sending out bulk spam. It is thought to infiltrate your computer when you click on a legitimate-looking attachment or read any junk email or through existing malware creeping around in your hard drive, and once it’s let loose, it straightaway encrypts all your files, and locks you out until you pay an astronomical sum in ransom. A dark web hacker has embraced the crowdsourced approach to ge...
Recently, Congress gave the green light to a bill that will most likely make it legal for US companies to mine asteroids for minerals, in spite of the fact that it could be a breach of an international treaty that the U.S. had written years ago. As stated in the bill, Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015, "any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto." The bill is explicitly contrived to protect the ...
In April 2015, a prototype known as FINDER, NASA’s long-range heartbeat detector was used to find and save four men under ten feet of rubble in Nepal. A month later, an improved version of the detector was tested by Virginia Task Force one. NASA is banking on hopes of using the technology in outer space and in hospital emergency rooms on the planet. The technology behind the detector has been around for quite some time. It relies on microwave radar signals to detect motion by analyzing the resulting patterns that arise when signals...
Earlier this month, Qumulo (pronounced as cume-u-low), a Seattle-based stealth storage startup not so secretly announced a $40 million B round investment to its gilded, rich coffers. The smart storage company grabbed a healthy from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), with participation from existing inventors Madrona Venture Group, Highland Capital and Valhalla Partners who had previously added $27 million in a Series A funding round. Company co-founder and CEO Peter Godman had previously cut his smart storage teeth dur...
About a year ago, Facebook noticed a massive, one-of-a-kind botnet-powered malware slinging campaign that used various social networking services to push malicious software onto the machines of as many users as possible. The flagship social networking site couldn’t stop it then, without help from Pinterest, Tumblr and others. The botnet-powered malware used jagged web properties to host content or propagate or simply to obscure the nature of the attack. Fast forward a year, andFacebook has partnered with Bitly, Dropbox, Pinteres...
A team of Google researchers recently unwrapped the first computer program capable of learning largely impressive tasks independently, in what can be contemplated as a radical accomplishment in the field of artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence system spends all of its time playing dozens of Atari videos games from the 80s like a crazy teenager. GAME-PLAYING ALGORITHM OUTPLAYS HUMANS AT ATARI GAMES The research project carried out by DeepMind Technologies, the British startup that Google acquired last year for $400...
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), a research company committed to building the revolutionary Hyperloop transit system, inspired by Elon Musk’s idea of making people travel in high-speed tubes, has secured a target launch date of 2016 to build a working full-scale demo version of the Hyperloop. It has signed a deal to build a five mile facility in New Central, California, which is a model town that was envisioned to be a 150,000-resident solar-powered city. The Hyperloop facility will be developed by a local developer Qwa...