Articles by moezilla

Lou Cabron writes on 10 Zen Monkeys: Mother’s Day lets you recognize mom’s good qualities — like her saint-like patience for your jackass sensitivity. Or, to put it another way — her…


Via h+ magazine:

TimeFuturist Alex Lightman unveils eight new rules for fighting cancer. Among them: “There are dogs that, if they see or smell cancer, will snarl, bark, and try to bite off the cancerous skin. Strange as it sounds, you actually want to get one of these dogs, and you want your friends to get one too. You want to let the dog sniff you and see you slowly twirl around in all your naked glory at least once a week. Even more importantly, you want a dog that can sniff your urine and bark if you have cancer.”

Other rules:

— “The more obese someone is, the more likelihood he or she will get cancer, particularly cancers of internal organs.” (Though you still need enough fat to absorb essential vitamins…)

— After your mid-60s, you’re less likely to die of cancer each year. “A study of centenarians revealed that fewer than 4% died of cancer…”

— “The sun on your body is your friend for up to 10 minutes a day. After that, it’s trying to kill you.”

Lightman believes cancer should be fought by each of us as individuals. “Cancer is a tax on fat people, lazy people, smokers, and people who consume processed meats and coat their bodies with lots of chemicals. You don’t have to pay this tax, but it does mean changing or eliminating what you eat, drink, smoke, or rub on your skin.”


Via h+ magazine:

Japan has announced a goal of commercial mind-reading devices and helper robots within the next 10 years. “While the U.S. Army actively pursues ‘thought helmets’ that might someday lead to secure mind-to-mind communication between soldiers, the Japanese are going after the consumer
market.”

The “brainwave initiative” involves the government and private sector collaborating on electronics that can be controlled by thought alone. (Several years ago, Hitachi announced the goal of a commercial brain-machine interface by 2011, and they’re already actively pursuing thought-controlled TV.)


Graphene (the carbon found in pencils) can be used to create circuits that are almost superconducting, potentially speeding electronic components by as much as 1000 times, researchers have discovered. (That’s three terahertz…


It’s the 80th anniversary of Nancy Drew, but a funny thing happens when you read the original 1930 editions of her mysteries. There’s outrageously outdated choices of words (“‘What!’ the men ejaculated…


The NIH is funding a $30 million project “using cutting-edge brain imaging technologies to map the circuitry of the healthy adult human brain.”

Besides circuits, the project will map different connection types, neurotransmitter levels, mRNA, neurotropins, and biochemical and biological variables, and gather demographic data on sensory, motor, cognitive, emotional, and social function. But here’s the best part. “Eventually the data might be used to construct human brain circuits — as well as to reconstruct damaged circuits.”


Science author Kyle Munkittrick notes that science fiction “is no more limiting than period dramas” like Mad Men and Rome, “which also require extensive costumes, elaborate sets, and an extra level of…


A Senior Fellow at George Mason University’s Institute for Advanced Studies describes robot labor of the
future and an easy way to transition to a work-less economy!

“Goods and services are provided primarily by automated factories, transportation facilities, and retail suppliers,” and “to benefit everyone and threaten no one, we will need to devise a new form of capitalism that
provides an alternative to jobs as the primary source of income.”…


Will space exploration ultimately use robots or humans? NASA predicts a 300-pound humanoid robot that they’re building for the International Space Station will help open up the solar system, “and will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today,” while the U.S. Air Force also plans to launch its first robotic X-37B space plane. One science reporter even suggests a brain implant linking us to robots, “greatly reducing communication time across the vast expanse of space,” using though-controlled communication, for example with lasers.

But President Obama has announced human astronauts will still continue to be transported into space…





Via h+ magazine:
Robot Expo

More than 100 university robotics labs around the world have created a giant robot expo online, including MIT, Cambridge, Carnegie-Mellon and Oxford.

It includes the University of Reading’s robot, which uses a biological brain, and humanoid robots from Osaka University, which can interact with humans.

The University of Michigan contributed its OmniTread snake robots, which can crawl through small holes, and the University of Zurich’s ECCEROBOT (funded by the EU) even has human-like cognition.

And the expo also features MIT’s robotic flower gardens and robot technology embedded into lamps and clothing, plus Leonardo, a socially intelligent animatronic robot capable of near-human facial expression that learns from natural human interaction.




The “Neuophone” app allows iPhone commands through telepathy! An EEG headset wirelessly sends signals to an iPhone, making it possible to “think dial” friends when their photo appears on your iPhone.

EEG electrodes monitor brainwaves (with a gyroscope to detect the head’s position) using Emotiv’s EPOC headset, interpreting brain signals with algorithms developed from MRI brain scans…



New research identifies how patterns of electrical activity create the inner state known as “consciousness”!

Using EEG (brain-wave sensing) and MRI measurements, researchers found evidence for the “global workspace theory” that pre-conscious perceptions are then broadcast into the brain’s neural network. Researchers correlated activity there with known levels of brain functioning observed in both healthy volunteers and those with brain damage. Among other applications, this research could eventually be used to predict who will recover from a coma.


Via h+ magazine:

A new “Augmented Reality” app uses facial recognition software to instantly match faces viewed through an Android smartphone camera to that person’s social network profiles.

“Point your phone’s camera at someone nearby, and Recognizr measures facial features, builds a 3-D model, and sends the resulting signature to a server. If your subject has uploaded their photo and profile information, you’ll see their name and icons that link to their profiles on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Twitter, Flickr, etc., all floating around their face!”



“Reality is broken,” but “game designers can fix it.”

So says Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND corporation’s Institute for the Future, who has created a game described as “a crash course in changing the world.” Developed for the World Bank’s “capacity development” branch, “EVOKE” has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft.

“She takes threats to human existence – global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis…



The military is using video game design theory for some training programs, not just “the fancy, realistic, virtual world experiences, but also the built-in use of frustration and reward.” (And similar training…