General fusion building a larger plasma injector and engineering for a working prototype

General Fusion claims to have succeeded in sustaining plasma fuel with a small, prototype injector just 40 centimeters in diameter, a significant technical hurdle. They now plan to proceed with building a larger plasma injector and a working prototype of its unique, compression-based reactor under the leadership of Mowry, who has worked with GE Energy …

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Private Space telescope seeks to directly image earthlike planets around Alpha Centauri around 2019 to have an image similar to the Voyager 1 pale blue dot portrait of the Earth

A new initiative called “Project Blue” aims to spy on our interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, to capture an unprecedented visible-light image of any Earth-like planets that might orbit there. The project, which hopes to launch a lightweight telescope into Earth orbit by 2019, was announced today (Oct. 11). The two stars of Alpha Centauri, along …

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US Supercomputer Chip ban delayed China’s 100 petaFLOP computer by 8 months and contributed to Intel laying off 12,000 employees

In April 2015, the US government refused to let Intel help China update the world’s biggest supercomputer. The Tianhe-2 used 80,000 Intel Xeon chips to generate a computational capacity of more than 33 petaflops. In 2015, the Chinese machine was due to undergo a series of upgrades to boost its number-crunching abilities past 110 petaflops. …

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US Navy Zumwalt destroyer has entered the Atlantic for Sea Trials

The Navy’s futuristic destroyer Zumwalt traveled down the Kennebec River in Maine and entered the Atlantic Ocean this week. It’s a path that many vessels have taken after being built at the Bath Iron Works shipyard, but it also signals the start of something significant: sea trials that will begin to reveal the unusually designed …

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Facebook’s Internet Drone Team Is Collaborating with Google’s Stratospheric Balloons Project

Facebook and Google compete intensely for your time online and for the ad dollars of corporations. But now the two companies are collaborating on efforts to use balloons and drone aircraft to expand Internet access to the four billion people that don’t have it. Documents filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission show that both …

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Graphene with strontium titanium oxide able to convert 5% of waste heat of car engines into electricity

Graphene could lead to greener more fuel efficient cars in the future by converting heat into electricity. Harvesting heat produced by a car’s engine which would otherwise be wasted and using it to recharge the car’s batteries or powering the air-conditioning system could be a significant feature in the next generation of hybrid cars. The …

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Japan economic revitalization plan is to double manufacturing robots and increase service robots by 20 times by 2020

Japan’s revised revitalization strategy, the Robot Revolution Initiative, is to double the use of robotics in manufacturing, and increase by twenty-fold robotics use in other sectors, including service industries. In part this is an effort to deal with the country’s declining birthrate and aging population by providing robotic helpmates in industries such as healthcare, agriculture, …

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Progress to the Vertical Takeoff and Landing TF-X flying car

Development of TF-X is expected to last another 7-11 years. Terrafugia is pleased to announce the winner of their GrabCAD TF-X industrial design challenge. Vedran Martinek’s design was selected as having the best aesthetic improvement while remaining true to the baseline TF-X flying car concept. This industrial design concept will now go through a series …

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First Evidence for Water Ice Clouds Found outside Solar System at the Coldest Known Brown Dwarf Star

A team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets–Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune–but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. At …

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Curiosity Rover will being exploring a Mars Mount Sharp and a new phase of exploration

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA …

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Minerva project is revolutionizing education with a intense group based online system

Minerva Schools at KGI is a startup online for-profit university. [wikipedia] Its founders, who include former Snapfish president Ben Nelson, referred to it as “the first elite American university to be launched in a century”, and they began teaching students in the fall of 2014. Minerva’s policy is to admit students without regard to national …

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