July 05, 2014

Is Age Discrimination better than Youth Unemployment for a Stable Society if there are more pressures from Technological Unemployment ?

There was demographic information available about rioting in the UK in 2011. ABout 1300 people were arrested for rioting in the summer of 2011 in North London. Statistics confirmed that the accused were overwhelmingly young, male and often unemployed. According to the data collected 66% of those who have appeared in court are aged under 25 – with 17% aged between 11 and 17. Only a very small number in our data were aged over 30. More than 90% were male. The majority of people who have appeared in court live in poor neighborhoods, with 41% of suspects living in one of the top 10% of most deprived places in the country. The data also shows that 66% of neighborhoods where the accused live got poorer between 2007 and 2010.

If we assume that technological unemployment will be increasing and structural unemployment will increase then how can societies best manage this situation with less violence and more stability ?

In Silicon Valley there is age discrimination. This is where older workers are shoved out in favor of younger workers. Younger workers will in general work harder and for less money. In Europe there is a lot of Youth unemployment. There have been cases where the problems in Europe have led to rioting in the UK, France and other places. The United States has had the Occupy movement and there was some violence at times.

Older workers tend to have families and houses. They have more to lose if they were arrested for serious criminal offences.

Old and sick people are less able to mount a violent revolution. The US policies tend to screw those who will not be effectively violent. Ideally society should work to achieve better policies that achieve higher employment and more productivity. However, if the system is breaking down then it needs to do so in a semi-controlled way where violence is minimized.

Technological Unemployment Background

For four decades, even in stronger economic times, USA wage gains have not kept pace with economic growth. Wages and salaries peaked at more than 51 percent of the economy in the late 1960s; they fell to 45 percent by the start of the last recession in 2007 and have since fallen to 42 percent.

Various reports indicate that automation and process changes are enabling greater productivity with fewer workers.

There is more coming with self driving cars and improved natural language understanding and better artificial intelligence. New categories of jobs will replace workers or reduce the demand for workers.

July 04, 2014

Youth and longterm unemployment is a test for the developed world to learn to promptly solve future large scale job displacement

In May 2014, 5.187 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.356 million were in the euro area. Compared with May 2013, youth unemployment decreased by 464 000 in the EU28 and by 205 000 in the euro area. In May 2014, the youth unemployment rate was 22.2% in the EU28 and 23.3% in the euro area, compared with 23.6% and 23.9% respectively in May 2013. In May 2014, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.8%), Austria (8.9%) and the Netherlands (10.8%), and the highest in Greece (57.7% in March 2014), Spain (54.0%) and Croatia (48.7% in the first quarter of 2014). Youth unemployment is 43% in Italy.

Youth unemployment in the US had been about 17% but is about 15% now.

Average overall unemployment is about 12% in the EU. This does not count underemployment.

Youth unemployment has been over 50% in Spain and Greece since late in 2011 and will soon reach 3 years. In several other EU countries youth unemployment has been 30%.

Eurostat definitions on youth unemployment are here

People are classified as being employed or unemployed irrespective of whether they are in education or not. In other words, Eurostat unemployment statistics, in line with ILO standards, do not exclude students from unemployment just because they are students. The same criteria that apply to the rest of the population also apply to them. This means that the fact that someone is in education is irrelevant for his/her status regarding employment or unemployment. However, participation in education of the population as a whole has an indirect effect on youth unemployment indicators.

In the EU-28 in 2012 there were 57.5 million persons aged 15-24, of whom 5.6 million were unemployed. This gives a youth unemployment ratio of 9.7 %.

Rapid reeducation is needed and a culture of making and entrepreneurship - employment and skill retooling and career relaunching

Students are coming out "qualified" and educated but not work ready. They do not have the desired skills and experience. The difficult economic times has meant that companies are unwilling to spend the resources to bring anyone up to speed.

There has been some increase in entrepreneurship (8.2% increase in first half of 2013 over 2012) among young europeans

Would a widespread Maker and entrepreneurship culture (utilizing robotics, 3d printing and other science and technology) be enough to turn around this problem ? Can massively online open courses and augmented reality learning speed up and lower the cost of relevant training ? Solving youth and longterm unemployment in the developed world is an early test of systems and solutions that will be needed if there is more future job displacement from automation and streamlined business processes.

Youth Unemployment is staying quite high not just for 25 and under but up to 35

July 03, 2014

July 02, 2014

Crossbar on the way to delivery terabyte on a chip nonvolatile 3D RRAM technology

Crossbar announced it had demonstrated pre-production 1 megabyte arrays using its patented 1TnR (1 transistor driving n resistive memory cells) non-volatile resistive RAM (RRAM or ReRAM) for read/write operations. The company feels this is a major milestone toward commercializing terabyte-scale memory arrays on a postage-stamp-sized chip.

* 1 Terabyte of storage on a single chip
* 3D stacking on advanced nodes
* 20X faster write than NAND

The true transformation to next generation high capacity storage systems will require a revolutionary new approach to solid-state storage devices and their interconnected processors. This transformation will enable hundreds of terabytes, in a small form factor, to be accessed at high speed, high throughput and high IOPS (input/output operations per second), while consuming less power at lower cost. Many of these technical challenges have been overcome by Crossbar’s 3D RRAM technology, including:

* Cell physics – Traditional Flash memory materials wear out quickly after being accessed and rewritten too many times, leading to degrading performance, unrecoverable data loss and limited lifetime. RRAM solutions do not suffer similar wear-out issues due to the technology’s fundamental memory cell structure, based on metallic nano-filament in a non-conductive layer;

* Economics – Semiconductor manufacturing facilities for advanced NAND Flash require multi-billion dollar investments. Crossbar’s RRAM can be stacked in 3D directly on top of standard CMOS wafers, making it very cost effective to manufacture;
Super dense memory array architecture – The 1TnR selectivity feature, invented and patented by Crossbar, solves the fundamental problem of scalable high-capacity storage.

* Crossbar’s latest 1TnR RRAM technology is built upon the foundation of its one transistor per memory cell technology that has been validated in silicon using the company’s 1 Megabyte (MB) storage device for embedded code applications. This device features very low latency and very fast read performance, as required for code applications. Its simplicity, superior capabilities and CMOS compatibility enable logic and memory to be easily and cost-effectively integrated onto a single chip, at the latest technology node, on standard manufacturing processes. Together, the company’s 1TnR technology, ideal for high-capacity 3D RRAM data storage applications, and 1T1R technology for embedded code applications, forms the basis for the company’s IP licensing and standalone product line roadmap.

Propellantless propulsion with Electric solar wind sail for cheaper and faster space missions

A paper analyses the potential of the electric solar wind sail for solar system space missions. Applications studied include fly-by missions to terrestrial planets (Venus, Mars and Phobos, Mercury) and asteroids, missions based on non-Keplerian orbits (orbits that can be maintained only by applying continuous propulsive force), one-way boosting to outer solar system, off-Lagrange point space weather forecasting and low-cost impactor probes for added science value to other missions. We also discuss the generic idea of data clippers (returning large volumes of high resolution scientific data from distant targets packed in memory chips) and possible exploitation of asteroid resources. Possible orbits were estimated by orbit calculations assuming circular and coplanar orbits for planets. Some particular challenge areas requiring further research work and related to some more ambitious mission scenarios are also identified and discussed.

The electric solar wind sail (E-sail) is an advanced concept for spacecraft propulsion, based on momentum transfer from the solar wind plasma stream, intercepted by long and charged tethers. The electrostatic field created by the tethers deflects trajectories of solar wind protons so that their flow-aligned momentum component decreases. The flow-aligned momentum lost by the protons is transferred to the charged tetherby a Coulomb force (the charged tether is pulled by the plasma charge separation electric field) and then transmitted to the spacecraft as thrust. The conceptis attractive for applications because no propellant is needed for travelling over long distances. The E-sail’s operating principle is different from other propellantless propulsion technologies such as the solar photon sail and the solar wind magnetic sail. The former is based on momentum transfer from sunlight (solar photons), while the latter is based on a large loop-shaped superconductive wire whose magnetic field deflects solar wind protons from their originally straight trajectories.

NanoTHOR: Low-Cost Multiuse Launching of Nanosatellites to Deep Space and near term 2016-2017 deployment and with future improvable performance with stronger carbon nanotube or graphene tethers

The full 72 page report and presentation on NanoThor - rotating tether launching of deep space nanosatellites

The rapid development of high performance nanosatellite platforms is enabling NASA and commercial ventures to consider performing missions to the asteroids, the Moon, and Mars at lower cost and on shorter timelines than traditional large spacecraft platforms. Currently, however, opportunities to launch secondary payloads to Earth escape are rare, and using chemical rockets to propel secondary payloads from LEO rideshares to escape is problematic due to the risks posed to primary payloads. The NanoTHOR effort has explored the technical feasibility and value proposition for using a simple momentum-exchange tether system to scavenge orbital energy from an upper stage in geostationary transfer orbit in order to boost nanosatellites to Earth escape. A NanoTHOR module will accomplish rapid transfer of a nanosatellite to an escape trajectory by deploying the nanosat at the end of a long, slender, high-strength tether and then using winching in the Earth’s gravity gradient to convert orbital angular momentum into rotational angular momentum. In the Phase I effort, we developed and simulated methods for controlling tether deployment and retraction to spin up a tether system, and these simulations demonstrated the feasibility of providing delta-Vs on the order of 800 m/s with a simple, low-mass tether system. Moreover, the NanoTHOR tether can act as a reusable in-space upper stage, boosting multiple nanosatellites on a single launch and doing so with a mass requirement lower than that of conventional rocket technologies. Serving as an escape-injection stage, NanoTHOR can enable a 6U CubeSat to deliver small payloads to Mars orbit, lunar orbit, and rendezvous with at least 110 of the known near-Earth asteroids. Evaluation of the technology readiness of the component technologies required for NanoTHOR indicate that the hardware required is all mid-TRL, and the lower-TRL controls and integration components can be advanced to mid-TRL with modest investment. By scavenging orbital energy from upper stages without any stored energy or propellant requirements, NanoTHOR permits deep-space nanosat missions to launch on rideshare opportunities, enabling NASA and commercial ventures to conduct affordable and frequent missions to explore deep space destinations.

Robert Hoyt, Tethers Unlimited, Inc, NanoTHOR: Low-Cost Launch of Nanosatellites to Deep Space

Watch live streaming video from niac2013 at livestream.com

July 01, 2014

Enablers and drivers for future superlarge 500 million person Metacities

President Xi Jinping has a signature project to link 130 million people across Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province into a single megalopolis, the so-called Jing-Jin-Ji region. Xi has held out the model as a template for China's urbanisation in the future. For the project to work, he will need to align policy and interests that are often in conflict - ones that touch on urban planning, industry, state and private enterprises, and environmental protection.

It's a potent challenge, but analysts say Xi's recent move to consolidate his power could give him enough leverage to rein in the competing interests, and see the vision realized.

Xi's plan calls for the three northern areas to be united into one economic sphere. The Bohai Bay area would become a key growth plank, similar to the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. Vice-Minister of Finance Wang Baoan has said the new metropolis would require an investment of 42 trillion yuan (HK$52.7 trillion) over the years. The region's gross domestic product was US$1 trillion last year, similar to South Korea's, and the 15th highest in the world. But wealth is spread unevenly: per-capita GDP of Beijing is US$15,000, while Tianjin's is US$11,500 and Hebei's only US$6,300.

Previously there had been talk of 260 million people getting integrated in the Bohai area by 2020. This would be if even more cities are merged into the Jing-Jin-Ji region. China is increasing from 50% urban now to about 70% in 2030 and could reach 90% urbanization in 2050.

Self driving cars could have wide adoption and eliminate traffic jams and allow for safe driving at higher speeds. This could enable cities that cover 80-100 miles of diameter that can be crossed in one hour. China is integrating cities with high speed rail.

Very low pressure tunnel trains could enable speeds of 600mph to even 3000 mph or more. This would expand the size of urban center integration. China plans to limit extending the Shanghai maglev line to approximately 200 million yuan per kilometer. $30 million/km. The very low air pressure tunnel is supposed to cost $1.5-2.95 million more per kilometer. So more than doubling the speed adds about 10% to the cost. In a worse case, where China is able to build new maglev for $16.5 million/km and the high end of the tunnel costs occurs then the current estimate would be a 20% incremental cost. If China is successful with the low are pressure tunnel maglev then this could replace air travel wherever there is a connecting tunnel maglev.

Metro Seoul has a population of about 20 million which is about 40% of the population of all of South Korea. Tokyo is about 36 million and is over 20% of the population of Japan.

Economic drivers are that doubling the population of a city boosts per capita income by 15%. If the infrastructure penalties (like traffic jams) can be eliminated and superfact intracity transportation can be achieved with robotic cars and low pressure tunnel trains then size limitations go away. China has the political, economic and social drivers for larger megacities. Only the Hukou system is preventing more people from moving to the biggest city where the best jobs are.

The centers of Beijing–Shanghai are 1,318-kilometers or 819 miles apart. Very low pressure tunnel trains could enable a less than one hour commute time. Merging those two megacities, and urbanization increasing to 80-90% would mean a huge future 500 million to 800 million person super metacity.

Indian Mangalyaan satellite mission to Mars is 9 times lower cost than NASA Maven Mars mission

India’s recently launch of a spacecraft to Mars with a mission cost of $75 million. Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.”

India’s 3,000-pound Mars satellite carries five instruments that will measure methane gas, a marker of life on the planet. Maven (for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution), weighs nearly twice as much but carries eight heavy-duty instruments that will investigate what went wrong in the Martian climate, which could have once supported life.

IBM says nanotube transistors chips could be five times faster and ready around 2020

IBM is now aiming to have transistors built using carbon nanotubes ready to take over from silicon transistors soon after 2020. According to the semiconductor industry’s roadmap, transistors at that point must have features as small as five nanometers to keep up with the continuous miniaturization of computer chips. “That’s where silicon scaling runs out of steam, and there really is nothing else,” says Wilfried Haensch, who leads the company’s nanotube project at the company’s T.J. Watson research center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Nanotubes are the only technology that looks capable of keeping the advance of computer power from slowing down, by offering a practical way to make both smaller and faster transistors, he says.

Each chip on this wafer has 10,000 nanotube transistors on it. IBM hopes to be able to put billions of the devices on a single chip soon after 2020.

The current best chips have 14 nanometer features, and by 2020, in order to keep up with Moore’s Law, the industry will need to be down to five nanometers. This is the point IBM hopes nanotubes can step in. The most recent report from the microchip industry group the ITRS says the so-called five-nanometer “node” is due in 2019.

IBM has recently made chips with 10,000 nanotube transistors. Now it is working on a transistor design that could be built on the silicon wafers used in the industry today with minimal changes to existing design and manufacturing methods. The design was chosen in part based on simulations that evaluated the performance of a chip with billions of transistors. Those simulations suggest that the design chosen should allow a microprocessor to be five times as fast as a silicon one using the same amount of power.

4D movie theater showing of Transformers 4 on the way to 12D movies

The first 4D theater in the United States opens on Thursday, with a late-night showing of “Transformers: The Age of Extinction.”

South Korea's CJ 4DPlex is launching the premium movie platform at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 Theater in Los Angeles, in conjunction with AEG Entertainment.

The company hopes the immersive experience — which via sensor-equipped motion seats adds effects like motion, bubbles, fog, lightning and scents to the visual and audio presentation — will become the next wave in moviegoing.

2:43 for the 12D reference

Transformers: The Age of Extinction has grossed nearly $97 million (600 million renminbi), a record three-day opening for any film ever in China, Artisan said. That’s nearly equal to its $100 million opening-weekend haul in the U.S.

June 30, 2014

$10 million startup developing bioprinted leather

Modern Meadow has $10 million in funding and is developing bioprinted meat and leather.

Modern Meadow’s scientific team pioneered some of the technologies behind medical tissue engineering and invented a tissue engineering technique based on bioprinting, the 3D assembly of tissues driven by computer controlled processes.

The are now applying the latest advances in tissue engineering to culture leather and meat without requiring the raising, slaughtering and transporting animals. From a technical perspective, our approaches integrate innovations in cell culture, biofabrication and bioreactors.

They are working with leading artists, designers and professional chefs to make early samples of cultured leather and meat of the highest quality.

Modern Meadow 3d printing tissue engineering approach has several compelling benefits:

99% less land required
96% less water consumed
96% fewer greenhouse gases emitted
45% less energy needed
No risk of livestock diseases
No animals harmed
At scale, cultured meat and leather can provide a safe, sustainable, economical and ethical alternative to the traditional livestock industry.

GFIA 2014 Closing Ceremony Same Day Edit from Ross Hockrow on Vimeo.

Google Internet Balloons are the poster child for the Google X lab and could provide internet for the last billion people and also fill deadzones in cities

Google reports since last year, they have been able to extend project Loon internet balloon flight times and add mobile connectivity to the service. As a result, Google’s expectations are flying even higher than the 60,000-foot strata where its balloons live.

“This is the poster child for Google X,” says Astro Teller, who heads the division. “The balloons are delivering 10x more bandwidth, 10x steer-ability, and are staying up 10x as long. That’s the kind of progress that can only happen a few more times until we’re in a problematically good place.” A year ago, balloons typically remained aloft for a few days at most, and download speeds averaged one or two megabits per second—comparable to the slowest wired Internet service.

Google bumped up flight durations by extensively analyzing its failures. Using former military operations people, it took pains to recover nearly every downed balloon. Google’s testing procedures also got a boost from winter’s polar vortex: Ground temperatures in South Dakota, where some of the balloons are manufactured, went as low as -40 degrees Celsius, about the same as what balloons encounter at 60,000 feet. So Google could test the inflated materials at leisure. Ultimately, Loon engineers concluded that one of the biggest factors in failure were small, almost undetectable leaks in the polymer skins that must withstand huge atmospheric pressure and up to 100 mph winds. Even a pinhole can shorten a balloon’s lifespan to a few days.

The Loon crew not only strengthened the fragile seams where leaks often occurred but took fanatic care in handling the envelopes. They used to walk on the flattened polymer in stocking feet. Now only super-fluffy socks will do. Google, being Google, tested this protocol before implementing it. Teams were created, one wearing conventional socks and the other donning fuzzy footwear. Both groups performed a rigidly proscribed line dance, as if the spread-out balloon polymers were Urban Cowboy-style dance floors. The fluffy-footed team created significantly fewer pinholes. “We’re getting the next five billion online through a line dance!” Teller says.

SENS life extension science conference - 2014 Rejuvenation Biotechnology is in Santa Clara and Nextbigfuture passcode provides 25% discount

The 2014 Rejuvenation Biotechnology conference is in the San Francisco Bay area this year. It is Aug 21-23, 2014 in Santa Clara.

Use the passcode NEXTBIGFUTURE25 for a 25% discount.

They have extended early bird pricing to July 14th so you can get the 25% on top of the early bird pricing until then.

Boeing making DARPA VTOL X-Plane with all electric drive that power ducted fans and it looks like Terminator movie Hunter Killers and Marvel Quinjets

DARPA will have conceptual design reviews for four vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) X-Plane contenders in the coming weeks.

The VTOL X-Plane programme is geared at demonstrating efficient hover and high-speed flight. The specific requirements are that the aircraft achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt to 400 kt; raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60% to at least 75%; present a more favourable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from the current 5-6; and carry a useful load of at least 40% of the vehicle's projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 lb (4,500-5,450 kg).

Of the four contenders, Boeing's Phantom Swift is currently the only one to have been built (as a 17% scale model) and flown. Boeing plans to achieve DARPAs goals through the use of ducted-fan technology.

In its full-sized configuration the Phantom Swift will measure 15.2 m (50 ft) from wingtip to wingtip, 13.4 m (44 ft) from nose to tail, and weighs in at to 5,450 kg (12,000 lb). With two downward facing fans in the main body of the aircraft for vertical lift, payloads would be housed in bays in the nose, mid-section, and tail of the Phantom Swift.

While the demonstrator will be powered by a conventional General Electric CT7-8 engine, the long-term plan is to incorporate an all-electric drive as soon as the technology makes it feasible. In high-speed cruise the lift fans are shut down and doors are closed for greater aerodynamic performance (forward propulsion is provided by the wingtip thrusters).

Boeing Phantom Swift
There is potential for the full-scale Phantom Swift to be manned, and that Boeing sees a whole family (manned and unmanned) of platforms based on the aircraft.

Terminator movie Hunter Killer

Playing with the emotions of 700,000 Facebook users and is Legal because Advertising and Movies play with your emotions all the time

Researchers from Facebook, Cornell and UCSF published a paper describing a mass-scale experiment in which [689,000] Facebook users' pages were manipulated to see if this could induce and spread certain emotional states. They say it was legal to do this without consent, because Facebook's terms of service require you to give consent for, basically, anything.

The Facebook users had the news from their contacts filtered to be all negative news or all positive news.

Legal scholar James Grimmellmann points out, there's a federal law that prohibits universities from conducting this kind of experiment without explicit, separate consent (none of this burying-consent-in-the-fine-print bullshit). Two of the three researchers who worked on this were working for federally funded universities with institutional review boards, and the project received federal funds.

The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, a/k/a the Common Rule, requires that informed consent include:

(1) A statement that the study involves research, an explanation of the purposes of the research and the expected duration of the subject’s participation, a description of the procedures to be followed, and identification of any procedures which are experimental;

(2) A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject; …

(7) An explanation of whom to contact for answers to pertinent questions about the research and research subjects’ rights, and whom to contact in the event of a research-related injury to the subject;

(8) A statement that participation is voluntary, refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled, and the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled.

PNAS - Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Carnival of Space 360

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 215

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 215 is up at Hiroshima Syndrome

Atomic Insights - Cheap, emission-free way to boil water

H2O had always been important for people, but when they learned to pump it as a liquid, heat it into a pressurized gas, and condense it back down into a liquid, H2O became the vital working fluid that could turn heat into work and force machines to become the drudges in service to human beings. It is not an exaggeration to note that without the act of boiling water to create and use steam, getting rid of serfdom and slavery would have been virtually impossible.

Atomic Insights-Fission is an elegant way to heat a gas

What if it was possible to combine low capital cost, reliability, and responsive operations of simple cycle combustion gas turbines with the low fuel cost and zero-emission capability of an actinide (uranium, thorium, or plutonium) fuel source? Machines like that could disrupt a few business models while giving the world’s economy a powerful new development tool. That would be especially true if the fuel source was in a form that could withstand all possible temperature and pressure conditions without being damaged.

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