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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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Nicaragua Canal and Fourth Locks for Panama Canal

1. Nicaragua’s 6 million people are among the poorest, with as many as a quarter living on less than two dollars a day, which makes subsistence farming all the more important. President Ortega has described the canal, which would dwarf the old Panama Canal and the new one under construction as well, as “phase two” …

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Second open thread for November

Please provide any interesting links or discussion topics. Remember to be poli polite and courteous. Thanks Brian WangBrian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial …

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Inflatables can make exoskeletons ten time lighter while maintaining strength

Slashdot TV has a feature on Tim Swift at Otherlab Orthotics. Otherlab is developing a new generation of robotic orthotics that are constructed entirely out of fabric. These devices omit the rigid materials used in traditional exoskeleton designs for inflatable structures using high-strength fabrics to greatly reduce part count and costs without sacrificing performance. The …

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Big Hero 6 Inflatable Robot and Google Solve For X Inflatable Robots in fiction and reality

The Number one box office movie this weekend was Big Hero 6 which stars an animated inflatable robot. Google Solve For X had a proposal for inflatable robots Problem: Actuators in robots are heavy and clunky and limit mobility, dexterity and speed. Solution: Create materials and actuators that are soft – that act more like …

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India will have a credible nuclear triad capability in about 2015

India will probably have a credible nuclear strategic triad capability in 2015. India’s first ballistic nuclear submarine (SSBN), the INS Arihant (which means destroyer of enemies), has been moved out of harbor for sea trials. The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently tested a 3,000 km range submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) named K-4, …

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800 MW fast neutron russian breeder reactor is fully powered up

Rosenergoatom engineers brought to criticality Beloyarsk 4 – a 789 MWe fast-neutron reactor of the BN-800 design – while its parent Rosatom honoured the operators who commissioned the 5 MWe Obinsk reactor on the same day in 1954. Beloyarsk 4 is fuelled by a mix of uranium and plutonium oxides arranged to produce new fuel …

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Josh Hall gave a talk on the history of Cold Fusion

Josh Hall [J Storrs Hall] gave a recent talk and went into the history of cold fusion at a level of detail that most people are not familiar with. For example: he recounted how when Fleischmann and Pons were experimenting with their device they had been using .75 amps for over a month to load …

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