January 17, 2015

Baidu image recognition has fewer errors than Google and is close to human level

Baidu has a computer vision system that is better than Google and close to human accuracy

Baidu has a state -of-the-art image recognition system, Deep Image, developed using end-to-end deep learning. The key components are a custom-built supercomputer dedicated to deep learning, a highly optimized parallel algorithm using new strategies for data partitioning and communication, larger deep neural network models, novel data augmentation approaches, and usage of multiscale high-resolution images. On one of the most challenging computer vision benchmarks, the ImageNet classification challenge, our system has achieved the best result to date, with a top - 5 error rate of 5.98% -a relative 10.2% improvement over the previous best result.

Chinese search engine company Baidu says it has built the world’s most-accurate computer vision system, dubbed Deep Image, which runs on a supercomputer optimized for deep learning algorithms. Baidu's 5.98 percent error rate on the ImageNet object classification benchmark is better than Google's 2014 ImageNet competition winning 6.66 percent error rate.

In experiments, humans achieved an estimated error rate of 5.1 percent on the ImageNet dataset.

A sample of the effects Baidu used to augment images. Credit Baidu

Elon Musk will make global internet satellite network and use it to fund cities on Mars and then he will expand it

Elon Musk plans to launch a network of hundreds of communication satellites to orbit earth. The network would do two things: speed up the general flow of data on the Internet and deliver high-speed, low-cost Internet services to the three billion-plus people who still have poor access to the Web. “Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date,” Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek ahead of the announcement.

Hundreds of satellites would orbit about 750 miles above earth, much closer than traditional communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit at altitudes of up to 22,000 miles. The lower satellites would make for a speedier Internet service, with less distance for electromagnetic signals to travel. The lag in current satellite systems makes applications such as Skype, online gaming, and other cloud-based services tough to use. Musk’s service would, in theory, rival fiber optic cables on land while also making the Internet available to remote and poor regions that don’t have access.

FGFA fighter is an upgraded T50 and should be deployed in 2022 by Russia and India

The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) or Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF) is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by India and Russia. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA (T-50 is the prototype) being developed for the Indian Air Force. FGFA was the earlier designation for the Indian version, while the combined project is now called the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF).

The completed PMF will include a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics.

Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India.

The aircraft is expected began testing in India in 2014, with introduction into service expected by 2022.

Biochar could boost agricultural yields and control pollution

Across the United States, sales of biochar, a long-lasting soil additive, have surged over the past few years. Biochar sales have tripled annually since 2008, according to some estimates. The Biochar Company in Berwyn, Pennsylvania — which supplied Flanner's Brooklyn farm — sells it both wholesale and direct to consumers, through outlets including Amazon and some Whole Foods stores. And countries ranging from China to Sweden are using biochar on agricultural fields and city lawns.

Proponents see big potential for the soil enhancer, which is produced by heating biological material — such as husks and other agricultural waste — in a low-oxygen chamber. Biochar can be made as a by-product of biofuel generation, so some companies are hoping to cash in on both products as demand grows for greener forms of energy.

Nextbigfuture had reported on the potential for major CO2 mitigation back in 2009 There have been calculations that widespread use of biochar could remove about 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year.

Gene in fruitflies eliminates bad cells and extends lifespan

Viable yet damaged cells can accumulate during development and aging. Although eliminating those cells may benefit organ function, identification of this less fit cell population remains challenging. Previously, we identified a molecular mechanism, based on “fitness fingerprints” displayed on cell membranes, which allows direct fitness comparison among cells in Drosophila. Here, we study the physiological consequences of efficient cell selection for the whole organism. We find that fitness-based cell culling is naturally used to maintain tissue health, delay aging, and extend lifespan in Drosophila. We identify a gene, azot, which ensures the elimination of less fit cells. Lack of azot increases morphological malformations and susceptibility to random mutations and accelerates tissue degeneration. On the contrary, improving the efficiency of cell selection is beneficial for tissue health and extends lifespan.


•Fitness-based cell culling maintains tissue health
•Azot ensures the elimination of less fit cells
•Lack of azot accelerates tissue degeneration
•Improving the efficiency of cell selection extends lifespan

Japan's ATD-X Stealth fighter software glitch and comparison of 5th Gen Fighters

Japan's Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter test platform will not fly until at least late 2015 due to issues with the software that controls automatic engine restarts, according to officials at the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The first test flight was scheduled to take place before the end of the current financial year in March, but the problems affecting the engine control unit (ECU) will require several months to resolve, the officials said.

The ECU is a critical safety and power management system that automatically reactivates an engine if it shuts down in flight.

Here is a Japanese site on the project

January 16, 2015

Russia's unmanned next generation fighter is being based off the MIG Skat Stealth UCAV prototype

Russian designers are proceeding with development of an unmanned "sixth-generation" fighter jet, according to former Air Force chief Pyotr Deinekin.

"The sixth generation of aircraft will most likely be pilotless. Naturally, we are actively working on this, "Deinekin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Russian military aircraft maker MiG said in May it was ready to go ahead with a research and development project for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) based on its Skat prototype, after signing a deal with the Trade and Industry Ministry.

Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the holding that unites the Russian aerospace industry, said last November that Sukhoi would focus on creating reconnaissance and strike unmanned air vehicles (UAV) in the near future.

Google confident regulatory barriers can be overcome and self driving cars will be on streets by 2017-2020

Google says its self driving cars should be on public roads within five years without having to drive through a thicket of regulatory red tape.

Speaking at a conference in Detroit, the chief of the software giant’s autonomous-car project, Chris Urmson, indicated widespread auto industry concern about regulation of self-driving cars is overblown. The onus, he said, is on developers of these vehicles to tackle safety challenges and work to boost public acceptance.

“We believe there are places in the U.S. where this is legal,” Mr. Urmson said, declining to elaborate further, such as how the cars are licensed

Amazon Japan selling Giant 12.5 feet tall, 5 ton Mechbot

Amazon Japan has a $1 million mech robot

* Weight about 5 tons, height 3.8 meters
* humanoid four-legged giant toy robot
* Unlike normal riding toy, safety and comfort is not guaranteed
* It will be the starter kit without arms, forearms, please purchase separately option.

Elon Musk will be Hyperloop test track and could have annual Hyperloop pod racing

Elon Musk announced the development of a test facility for the innovative air-rail system with a five-mile track.

Pictures of the Spacex crash on the barge

China signs more high speed rail deals for Africa and is in talks for Asian projects

China has signed a deal to build a 480km railway link between Kenya's largest seaport of Mombasa and the capital Nairobi — the first stage of a line that will eventually link Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The railway, built at a cost of US$3.8 billion, is the first to be built in Kenya in a century and will be designed with a transportation capacity of 25 million metric tons, based on China's rail standards.

January 15, 2015

China's electricity consumption increased 3.8% in 2014

January 16, 2014 the National Energy Board released China's total electricity consumption and other data.

2014, total electricity consumption 5.5233 trillion kwh, an increase of 3.8%.

Sub-industries, the first industrial power 99.4 billion kwh, down 0.2%;
second industrial electricity consumption 4.065 trillion kwh, an increase of 3.7%;
the tertiary industry 666 billion kwh of electricity consumption, an increase of 6.4 %;
urban and rural residential electricity consumption 692.8 billion kwh, an increase of 2.2%

2014, 6000 kilowatts and above the national power generation equipment cumulative average utilization hours for 4286 hours, down 235 hours. Among them, the average utilization hours of hydropower equipment for 3653 hours, an increase of 293 hours; thermal power equipment, the average utilization hours of 4706 hours, down 314 hours.

2014, the national power capacity additions (put into) 103.5 million kilowatts, of which, 21.85 million kilowatts of hydropower, thermal power 47.29 million kilowatts.

Pentagons $1.5 trillion mistake is one of many because of corrupt procurement

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do a bit of everything, as James Fallows explains in "The Tragedy of the American Military". Instead, the aircraft can barely do anything: it has trouble flying at night, its engines have exploded during takeoff, and early models suffered structural cracks. There's no end in sight, either. The all-in costs of this airplane are estimated to be as much as $1.5 trillion. (That's approximately the same price as the entire Iraq War.) In an Atlantic magazine video, Fallows explains how such a disastrous project came to be—and why it can't be stopped.

Nextbigfuture has pointed out that an F35 made of pure gold would be cheaper.

Others have noted that skyrocketing military procurement costs would lead to the entire US military budget being able to afford one plane in 2054.

It is not about national security. The military industrial complex makes choices for their own profit and not for the defense of the United States. 1200 suppliers and 9 international partners are profiting from the F35. The merging of requirements of the airforce, navy and marines means an expensive, compromised hodge podge that is inferior for each of the three tasks.

It is not a gold plated military program... it is pure solid gold.

Diamandis wants you to think exponential, think like a billionaire and create Moonshot businesses that go ten times bigger

Peter Diamandis started or co-founded the Xprize foundation and Singularity, Planetary Resources (asteroid mining), Longevity Inc (Radical life extension). He has a new book and videos to get more people in the right mindset and with some skills and resources to deal with an age of rapid exponential change.

The books and video are an attempt to encapsulate the core concepts of Singularity University into a book and videos.

In the three part training video series, you'll learn How to Predict the Future by understanding the 6 Stages of Exponential Growth, the Thinking Strategies used by today's Billionaires, and the Secret to Finding Your Massively Transformative Purpose

To Become a Billionaire, Help a Billion People.
Technology is democratizing the power to change the world. BOLD spells out how you can spy the opportunities and put your vision into action, blazing a path from mind to market.

Diamandis is offering-
FREE BONUS #1 — Bold Chapter 1 Audio
FREE BONUS #2 — Exclusive Webinar (March 14)
FREE BONUS #3 — Digital Copy of Abundance
FREE BONUS #4 — Equity Crowdfunding Guide

Introduction - The world has fundamentally changed. Agility trumps size. Today the world’s biggest problems are the world’s greatest opportunities.

Chapter 1 — Goodbye Linear Thinking... Hello, Exponential

40 percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be gone in ten years. Products and services are being dematerialized and demonetized. The entrepreneurs who win are those who can think exponentially.

Chapter 2 — Exponential Technology

Reading an exponential roadmap is key to your success. Understanding when technology is going from deceptive to disruptive. 3D printing is just one example that will disrupt a trillion dollar industry.

Google offers instant translation in 36 languages

Google updated the Translate app on Android and iOS to transform your mobile device into an even more powerful translation tool.

Instant translation with Word Lens

The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don't have an Internet or data connection.

Elon Musk donated $10 million to develop safer and beneficial Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk, creator of Tesla and SpaceX, has decided to donate $10 million to the Future of Life Institute to run a global research program aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity.

Future of Life is a volunteer-run research and outreach organization working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity. We are currently focusing on potential risks from the development of human-level artificial intelligence.

Navy Railgun will be on public display at Future Force Expo Feb 4th

The Electromagnetic Railgun — a weapon that will play a significant role in the future of the U.S. Navy — will be on display to the public for the first time on the East Coast Feb. 4-5 at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) EXPO in Washington, D.C., officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today.

With Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert set as the event’s keynote speaker on Feb. 4, the EXPO promises to be a window into the future of the U.S. Navy, showcasing the latest advances in power projection and force protection.

“This year’s Expo will showcase the naval portfolio of innovative breakthrough technologies that are shaping our warfighting tactics today and changing the way our Sailors and Marines will operate in the future,” said Chief of Naval Research (CNR) Rear Adm. Mat Winter. “The Electromagnetic Railgun is among several disruptive capabilities that the Naval Research Enterprise is championing to ensure a dominant, capable and relevant naval force for the future.”

Experts from ONR, Naval Sea Systems Command and BAE Systems, Inc., will be on hand at the display and in breakout sessions to address the technical developments of the weapon.

Alexa ranks Nextbigfuture as the second Science news and media weblog

Japan should launch second Izumo class aircraft carrier August 2015

The Izumo-class helicopter destroyer or 22DDH is a type of new helicopter carrier class being constructed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). If Izumo-class ships were to operate fixed-wing aircraft, it would be limited to STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) aircraft, which Japan recently acquired F-35A and a possible of F-35B.

At 250 meters (820 feet) long, and reportedly displacing 19,000 tons [empty, but 27000 loaded], the ship can carry 14 helicopters. It is the largest warship Japan has fielded since WWII, and about 50 percent bigger (in terms of displacement) than Japan’s current largest ship, the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer.

Japan can also fly unmanned surveillance drones from these "helicopter" carriers. Japan has two of the smaller Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers.

January 14, 2015

Elon expects a few million annual Tesla electric car sales by 2025 and a self-driving Tesla approved around 2023

Elon Musk said Tesla will be making a few million electric-cars a year by 2025 — up from about 33,000 last year. And about all those high-powered rivals at the door like the Chevy Bolt ? They should, he said, invest even more toward electric cars. In other words: Bring it on.

Musk has long criticized his compatriots in the auto world for their sluggishness in developing battery-powered cars en masse. That criticism, and many others, have made Musk the man the auto establishment loves to hate, the ultimate outsider in a car-making capital of insiders who think he’s overhyped or hate his guts.

Now that automakers are starting to push back with designs that could give Tesla a run for its money, the South African-born firebrand isn’t backing down. In fact, Musk is chalking it up as a new victory for his mission to accelerate the advent of electric cars and, as he said, “make a difference in the world.”

Cigar Lake to produce 3000-4000 tons of Uranium in 2015

Cameco expects that the Cigar Lake mine will produce between 6 and 8 million pounds of uranium oxide (2308 to 3077 tU) this year. The mine produced 340,000 pounds U3O8 in 2014, its first year of operations.

Cameco said it was providing its 2015 forecast for Cigar Lake production in order to co-ordinate with the disclosure of information by Denison Mines Corp.

Mining commenced at Cigar Lake in 2014. The proven and probable ore reserves at Cigar Lake are extremely large and very high grade. A 480-metre-deep underground mine was developed in very poor ground conditions – the orebody is actually in the soft Athabasca sandstone. Hence it uses ground freezing and remotely-controlled high pressure water jets at this level to excavate the ore. Known resources are 130,000 tonnes U3O8 at about 17% average grade, and with other resources the mine is expected to have a life of at least 30 years. Production is expected to ramp up to 8,200 t/yr U3O8 (7,000 tU/yr) over four years from late 2014.

Russia will deploy innovative special ammunition for better penetration of fortification and armor

Russia’s intendsto modernise much of its military in the coming years. Russia will spend about $600 billion from now to 2020 upgrading tanks, planes, missiles and ships.

The commander of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RBhBD) troops, Maj. Gen. Eduard Cherkasov, announced a focus on so-called ‘flame weapons’ – incendiary, thermobaric and fuel-air explosive (FAE) weapons – describing a program of modernisation and development.

Russia is creating special ammunition that will hit highly secure defense constructions. Shortly, infantry flame units will receive new weaponry with higher fire precision and the penetration before exploding effect, ability to destroy fortified emplacements, armoured equipment, and personnel in trenches.”

“Flame weapons are very efficient in close combat and have not only physically destructive but also psychological effect on an enemy.”

Some examples of existing flame based weapons and special ammunition

The RPO-A is a shoulder-fired recoilless weapon in a 93 mm calibre, with an effective range of approximately 200 meters. It enteredservice in Soviet times and remains in production today, however it has been supplemented in Russian service by the MRO-A. The MRO-A is a 72.5 mm rocket launcher with a total weight of 4.7 kg, and an effective range of around 90 meters.

What would be the most efficient and effective way to apply the Wyatt Earp Strategy to Extreme Islam ?

The Wyatt Earp approach would certainly be the most satisfying approach to the problem of extreme Islam. What would be the most effective and efficient methods for implementation ?

The West would seem to have the technology and capability to implement a larger scale version of the Mossad response to the Munich Olympic attack.

Operation "Wrath of God" was a covert operation directed by the Mossad to assassinate individuals suspected of being involved in the 1972 Munich massacre in which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed. The targets were members of the Palestinian armed militant group Black September and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operatives. Authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the autumn of 1972, the operation is believed to have continued for over twenty years.

France backing up war on extreme Islam with air strikes and aircraft carrier deployment

The French Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is deploying with its battlegroup to the Gulf, and is understood to be preparing to contribute to coalition air strikes against Islamic State.

Sailing on 13 January, the carrier battlegroup - which includes a nuclear-powered attack submarine - will head from Toulon through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf on Operation 'Arromanches'. The deployment is scheduled to last until May at the earliest.

While there has been no confirmation from French authorities, the carrier - with about 20 combat aircraft embarked - is likely to support air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq. The strikes would take place under Operation 'Chammal', the French contribution to the multinational operation 'Inherent Resolve'.

US crude oil production hits 9.192 million barrels per day for another post-1973 record

US crude oil and all liquids oil production continue to reach new post-1973 highs

Low oil prices are closely only the worst wells and slowing new drilling capital investment. Any decent oil wells that are already producing will keep producing as the owner has to try to pay down the debt. Wells will keep running for months to years and an oil company goes bankrupt and then they will try to sell the well.

January 13, 2015

Many things went right with Spacex landing attempt and gamechanging reusability seems likely in months

Rand Simberg describes the many things that went right with the Spacex attempted first stage landing.

Spacex understands that the key to reducing launch costs is to minimize the degree to which hardware is thrown way. The first stage, with its nine engines, is reportedly about 70% of the total vehicle cost, and the easiest part to recover, in theory.

What had to go right this weekend for them to land the stage intact? First, after stage separation, it would have to relight three of its nine engines to slow down from about 3000 mph to an entry speed that wouldn’t break up the vehicle. After entry, another three engine relight would have to occur to aim the vehicle toward the drone ship on which it was planned to land, and fins would be deployed to help steer it. Finally just before landing, a relight of a single engine would be required for a soft landing, with guidance continuing to be aided by the fins. It would be the most precise flight ever achieved (previous water landings hadn’t been particular about location).

With the exception of the final landing itself, almost everything went according to plan. The vehicle entered intact, flew to the ship, and (apparently literally) hit the deck, because the hydraulic fluid that controlled the fins ran short by 10% of that needed to control and softly land. But in so doing, it accomplished another major “first,” not just for a private company, but for any space ship. Previous Falcon flights had demonstrated the ability to enter the stage intact by retrothrusting (as opposed to simply braking against the atmosphere), but this was the first time such a vehicle had not only survived entry, but flown precisely to a pre-designated location, without wings.

Pictures of the drone ship being towed into port in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday showed some charring, and the company reported that while the ship itself was undamaged, some of the support equipment on the deck would have to be rebuilt or replaced.

Spaceflightnow had a picture of the damaged landing barge as it returned to port

Quantifying and defining hard versus soft takeoff of AGI

There was a survey of experts who work or have worked in the field artificial general intelligence and of people with some level of futurist prominence. They were asked to predict whether AI (actually AGI artificial general intelligence) would be hard takeoff or soft takeoff. However, there is no quantification or solid definition of hard versus soft.

There were some still imprecise definitions at lesswrong.

A soft takeoff refers to an AGI that would self-improve over a period of years or decades. This could be due to either the learning algorithm being too demanding for the hardware or because the AI relies on experiencing feedback from the real-world that would have to be played out in real time. Possible methods that could deliver a soft takeoff, by slowly building on human-level intelligence, are Whole brain emulation, Biological Cognitive Enhancement and software based strong AGI.

A hard takeoff refers to AGI expansion in a matter of minutes, days, or months. It is a fast, abruptly, local increase in capability. This scenario is widely considered much more precarious, as this involves an AGI rapidly ascending in power without human control. This may result in unexpected or undesired behavior (i.e. Unfriendly AI). It is one of the main ideas supporting the Intelligence explosion hypothesis.

It would appear that a "takeoff" of less than one year is hard and a takeoff of over one year is soft. Although some can put in a 1-10 year takeoff as semihard, over ten years as soft and less than one year as hard.

LPP Fusion improving design for micrometer accuracy in fitting key components

The LPP Fusion team has undertaken significant upgrades to the device, and started work on further ones while waiting for the Tungsten cathode. Other than a complete disassembly, cleaning and re-assembly of the vacuum chamber and drift tube to eliminate all sources of impurities, the team has improved assembly techniques to achieve greater symmetry in the device and greater protection for the new cathode itself.

One key improvement is in the process of centering the cathode, the outer electrode, on the anode, the inner electrode. Since there is a tight fit between the two electrodes and the insulator sandwiched between them, any slight asymmetry can affect the amount of plasma trapped in the small space between the parts, and thus potentially the speed of the rundown and the symmetry of the pinch. In the past, centering was done by shimming the part with plastic shims. Now, however, precision micrometer adjustment devices will be mounted on four sides of the steel plate that is attached to the monolithic tungsten cathode (see drawing). The micrometer will allow centering of the cathode on the anode to a precision of 25 microns or less and make the process far faster than the shimming. The design work was performed by Consulting Engineers Jonathan Klabacha and Tony Ellis and our new volunteer engineer, Marc-Antoine Legault.

Drawing of the precision micrometer adjustment device and cathode connection plate.

Artificial Intelligence will be central to US Sixth Generation Fighter with Design analysis ramping up this year

Russia should start serial production of the T-50 PAK-FA air superiority fighter jet this year

The Russian T-50 PAK-FA appears to be optimized for the air-superiority role like the F-22 more so than the multirole, strike-optimized F-35. Like the Raptor, the PAK-FA is being designed to fly high and fast to impart the maximum amount of launch energy to its arsenal of long-range air-to-air missiles—which would greatly increase the range of those missiles.

Serial production of the T-50 is scheduled to start this year.

The PAK-FA places less emphasis of stealth, and much more emphasis on maneuverability. While it could compete with the Raptor in terms of raw kinematic performance, the PAK-FA greatly exceeds the F-35. And that performance margin might increase.

Elon says reusable rocket needed more hydraulic fluid and next one will have 50% more

A normal Spacex Falcon 9 launch costs roughly $65 million to $70 million—which is already about half the cost of competing services—but that price could drop to between $30 million $40 million, Caceres estimates, if SpaceX can learn to land the launch vehicle.

How many times the Falcon 9 could be reused is not known. It is highly unlikely that a Falcon 9 could be reused 10 times or more.

That would be especially true if SpaceX were to make a completely reusable launch vehicle. Right now, only the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is designed to be reusable. SpaceX hopes to eventually develop a reusable second stage booster.

5000 times more conductive 3D printer ink for printing parts with embedded functional electronics and wiring

Voxel8, creator of the world’s first multi-material 3D electronics printer and backed by Braemar Energy Ventures, announced pre-order availability of its initial product – the Voxel8 Developer’s Kit. Voxel8 also announced its partnership with Autodesk to develop a new design tool called Project Wire for creating 3D electronic devices printed on Voxel8’s platform. Together, Voxel8 and Autodesk are enabling designers and engineers to create three-dimensional parts with embedded circuitry for the first time.

Rapidly design novel devices, such as 3D printed antennas, electromagnetic coils, or stack ICs in ways that were previously impossible. Eliminate wire harnesses by combining them with 3D traces. No longer are you limited to planar PCBs - now you can design the electronics to fit your part, rather than designing the part around the electronics.

The Voxel8 Developer’s Kit will include the desktop 3D electronics printer, conductive ink cartridges, PLA filament, modeling software and software support. Voxel8’s desktop 3D electronics printer features dual material capabilities by combining a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printhead with a conductive silver ink printhead. A limited release of the Developer’s Kit will be shipped in late 2015

Voxel8 exists to disrupt the design and manufacture of electronic devices by providing new functional materials with a novel 3D printing platform. Desktop 3D printers today are constrained to printing thermoplastics or UV resins. Using Voxel8’s 3D printer, you can co-print matrix materials such as thermoplastics and highly conductive silver inks enabling customized electronic devices like quadcopters, electromagnets and fully functional 3D electromechanical assemblies.

January 12, 2015

Taiwan building a dozen aircraft carrier killing missile corvettes

Taiwan recently unveiled its first domestically-produced missile corvette, the Tuo Chiang, and the island nation plans to produce a dozen more.

The Tuo Chiang class corvette are a class of stealthy, multi-mission, and state-of-the-art 500 ton missile corvettes planned for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy. Taiwan media has dubbed the vessel as a "Carrier Killer". Given the ability to counter future Chinese aircraft carriers, the vessel is expected to be armed with its domestic subsonic Hsiung Feng II and supersonic Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles (ASM).

They have a maximum speed of 38 knots and a range of 2,000 nautical miles. It is 60.4 meters in length and 14 meters wide, carries a crew of 41 personnel, is armed with eight Hsiung Feng II sub-sonic anti-ship missiles, eight Hsiung Feng III super-sonic anti-ship missiles, a 76mm main gun and a 20mm CIWS

Broad Group built a 17 story building in 2 days and a 25 story building in 17 days in 2014

Broad Group did complete a couple of high rise buildings in 2014.

The premier project of a 202 story building and another 57 story building are on hold.

The same "95%-prefabricated modular technology" as Sky City was being used for the J57. Initially it was planned for 97 stories and accordingly named J97, the building was revised to 57 stories in 2014. They have completed about 20 stories but were forced to stop.

US fabricating 32 story modular high rise in 18 months

A factory in Brooklyn is churning out extremely precise, 450- to 950-square-foot apartments that will click and seal together to form the largest modular high-rise building in the world. At 32 stories of stacked modular apartments, developer Forest City Ratner's "B2" building will surpass in height the 24-story student dorm erected in Wolverhampton, England, in 2009, then hailed as the tallest modular building of its kind.

Inside Building 293, a massive, cadet blue shipping container of a warehouse, teams of 10 to 15 union workers are prefabricating one floor at a time. When completed, a finished module will include a kitchen stocked with new appliances and a full bathroom. In fact, the only unfinished elements after the "mods" are trucked two miles over to Dean Street will be the plumbing connections, which plumbers can simply snap together from a kit packed inside the walls. Everything else, including hallways, stairs, and five phases of modular construction from the inside out to the façade, will be done at the factory.

B2 will be built in 18 months, or two-thirds the time it would take for conventional construction. Stacking the mods onsite, like one might build a Lego tower, will happen on a speedy rolling basis: As metal chassis come into the factory, finished mods go out by truck, and are lowered behind the Barclays Center onto the new structure by crane. The group has also pledged that its prefab process will save money and reduce the construction waste that occurs when building from the ground up by 70% to 90%.

China's Broad Group had a 30 story building assembled in 15 days from factory produced parts. The factory produced parts took about 2 months to fabricate and the foundation and site preparation also took several weeks.

China's starting third aircraft carrier and new carriers should be better than regional rivals in about 2020 but lag USA

China will soon start building its second locally designed aircraft carrier in Shanghai. It would be China's third aircraft carrier.

The 60,000 ton Liaoning is an operational training aircraft carrier.

The first Dalian aircraft carrier is scheduled to be launched before 2017 according to China’s plan to produce two China-made 48,000 to 64,000-ton conventional carriers. It is already under construction.

The third aircraft carrier in Shanghai is expected to be completed around 2021.

New aircraft carriers will have electromagnetic catapults. The catapults will allow the J-15 fighter jets to lift off with full twelve tons of weapons, while currently they can only use the Liaoning ramp to lift off with 2 tons of weapons.

The J-15 may be descended from the Russian Su-27 basic design, but inside it’s Chinese. The AESA radar, avionics, infrared search and track system, and even the engines are of Chinese origin. The J-15 utilizes two WS-10 afterburning turbofan engines, the same used in the land-based J-10 fighter. Taking off from land, the J-15 is supposedly capable of carrying twelve tons of weapons.

If US achieves expected strong economy in 2015, it could edge out China in absolute growth

The U.S. could account for a larger share of nominal gross-domestic-product growth in 2015 than China, according to Bob Doll, Nuveen Asset Management’s chief equity strategist. Doll sees the U.S. eking out the victory in 2015, increasing GDP by $840 billion to China’s $810 billion

Growth from the two goliaths is likely to dwarf the contribution from everyone else. Under Doll’s scenario, the U.S. would contribute 38% of the world’s growth, while China chips in 36%. All of the other countries combined would account for 26%.

What’s more, Doll, who offers these thoughts as just one of 10 predictions for 2015, forecasts that the U.S. could account for more real GDP growth than the emerging-market economies for the first time since 1999.

China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year as policy makers seek to shore up growth that’s in danger of slipping below 7 percent.

Nextbigfuture over 1.5 million pageviews per month

Alexa is ranking Nextbigfuture in the top 60,000 websites worldwide and top 11,000 in the USA.

Nextbigfuture has over 85 million views at Google Plus

Nextbigfuture has almost 47.5 million pageviews on the main site.

With the redesign and increased Yahoo traffic we are over 1.5 million pageviews per month.

Thanks for the readership.

Implant mimicks spinal cord and brain membrane for long term spinal cord and brain repair

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale, in Lausanne, Switzerland, to design a soft, flexible electronic implant, which they say has the same ability to bend and stretch as dura mater, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The e-Dura implant developed by EPFL scientists can be applied directly to the spinal cord without causing damage and inflammation.

EPFL researcher's neural implant can make paralyzed rats walk again. Soft and stretchable, it is the first of its kind that can be implanted directly on the spinal chord, without damaging it. Described in Science, this new generation device called e-Dura combines electrical and chemical stimulation.

The scientists, including Gregoire Courtine, have previously showed that implants can allow mice with spinal injuries to walk again. They did this by sending patterns of electrical shocks to the spinal cord via electrodes placed inside the spine. But the rigid wires ended up damaging the mice’s nervous systems.

EPFL scientists have managed to get rats walking on their own again using a combination of electrical and chemical stimulation. But applying this method to humans would require multifunctional implants that could be installed for long periods of time on the spinal cord without causing any tissue damage. This is precisely what the teams of professors Stéphanie Lacour and Grégoire Courtine have developed. Their e-Dura implant is designed specifically for implantation on the surface of the brain or spinal cord. The small device closely imitates the mechanical properties of living tissue, and can simultaneously deliver electric impulses and pharmacological substances. The risks of rejection and/or damage to the spinal cord have been drastically reduced.

Journal Science - Electronic dura mater for long-term multimodal neural interfaces

Journal Science - A soft approach kick-starts cybernetic implants

January 11, 2015

Radical Life Extension getting more mainstream and getting more funding

Joon Yun launched a $1 million prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years (the longest known/confirmed lifespan was 122 years).

The Palo Alto Longevity prizes are described below

A $500,000 Homeostatic Capacity Prize will be awarded to the first team to demonstrate that it can restore homeostatic capacity (using heart rate variability as the surrogate measure) of an aging reference mammal to that of a young adult.

A $500,000 Longevity Demonstration Prize will be awarded to the first team that can extend the lifespan of its reference mammal by 50% of acceptable published norms. Demonstration must use an approach that restores homeostatic capacity to increase lifespan.

In addition to the $1 million cash prize, the Palo Alto Prize is also working with a number of angel investors, venture capital firms, corporate venture arms, institutions and private foundations to provide access to additional capital to the teams during the competition. While the Palo Alto Prize will help facilitate introductions, all transactions and due diligence will be done privately between the teams and potential investors and philanthropists.

Dr Joon Yun's bio is at Palo Alto Investors

15 scientific teams have so far entered the Palo Alto Longevity Prize which will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%. But Yun has deep pockets and expects to put up more money for progressively greater feats. He says this is a moral rather than personal quest. Our lives and society are troubled by growing numbers of loved ones lost to age-related disease and suffering extended periods of decrepitude, which is costing economies. Yun has an impressive list of nearly 50 advisers, including scientists from some of America’s top universities.

Makerbot shows off new composite filament for limestone, wood and metal objects

In 2015, Makerbot is improving the overall 3D printing process to make it easier and more accessible for everyone. They are expanding what is possible with new composite filament to enable limestone, wood and metal objects to be 3D printed.

MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments, created in three categories: Metal, Stone, and Wood. These beautiful, realistic, and highly stabilized materials are slated to be released in late 2015, but were showcased at CES 2015.

You need to buy and swap extruder tips and have the composite filament

With these new materials, the potential of the swappable MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder will start to be realized. In just minutes, you will be able to swap in a new extruder optimized for these innovative filaments. Then you will be ready to create prototypes that look and feel like the real thing so that you can accelerate Real-Time Prototyping—without purchasing a new 3D printe - See more at: http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2015/01/06/makerbot-ces-2015-growing-makerbot-ecosystem/#sthash.EZyIWqXK.dpuf

China's J-20 stealth fighter may have started mass production

Russian sources report the start of J-20 mass production

Mass production of ready-to-fly J-20s, China's first fifth-generation stealth fighter, may have started after the sixth prototype aircraft was flown on Dec. 19, according to the Moscow-based Military Parade.

The J-20 is likely to begin regular training flights before the end of this year, according to the report, and may enter service with the PLA Air Force in 2017. Frontline PLA units will be flying the fighters by no later than 2020, according to Russian defense news site Foreign Military Analyst.

Even US aviation site assesses the J-20 as an effective threat to US navy ships and a leap forward for Chinese fighter jet technology

This large delta-wing canard aircraft is an impressive leap forward for chinese fighter jet technology. It might still be inferior to US jets in a dogfight, especially given known problems with its engines.

The J-20 aircraft was designed as a missile-launcher against U.S. aircraft carriers. In any other role it would prove inferior to even Western 4th gen fighters and their far more advanced electronics and weapons systems, however, it will still be a military game changer by effectively threatening US navy ships.

The J-20 is currently powered by Russian-built AL-31F engines. China is developing domestic engine production capability but this will take many more years in spite of the large development budget.

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