Elon Musk Tesla Model almost ready for next step toward driverless cars

Elon Musk has tweeted that the Tesla Model S is almost ready to have highway autosteering and automatic parking. Musk also said that one of the challenges of going driverless had been making the car’s software recognize roadway markings that are faded, and the need to recognize the difference between proper markings and skid marks …

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Researchers find 509 qubit Dwave System performs as well or better than simulated quantum annealing

Arxiv – Quantum Optimization of Fully-Connected Spin Glasses The Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model with random couplings is programmed on the D-Wave Two annealer featuring 509 qubits interacting on a Chimera-type graph. The performance of the optimizer compares and correlates to simulated annealing. When considering the effect of the static noise, which degrades the performance of the annealer, …

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Integration of two atomically thin materials – molybdenum disulfide and carbon nanotubes into nanoscale electronics

Northwestern University researchers have now taken a significant step toward fabricating complex nanoscale electronics. By integrating two atomically thin materials – molybdenum disulfide and carbon nanotubes—they have created a p-n heterojunction diode, an interface between two types of semiconducting materials. Among the most widely used electronic structures, the p-n junction diode forms the basis of …

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Middle-income Trap – Which countries are in it and why ?

There is a working paper from the Levy Institute which provides a clear definition of the middle income trap and a systematic analysis. ABSTRACT -This paper provides a working definition of what the middle-income trap is. We start by defining four income groups of GDP per capita in 1990 PPP dollars: low-income below $2,000; lower-middle-income …

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Sanmen Westinghouse AP1000 reactor connected to offsite power for testing

World Nuclear News – Unit 1 of China’s Sanmen nuclear power plant has been connected to a nearby substation to provide offsite power for testing electrical systems. The reactor is set to begin operating next year. The Westinghouse AP1000 reactor in Sanmen, China is still on schedule. China’s other AP1000 reactors also appear to be …

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New iPad will be $499-829 and Apple iPad 2 will be $399

CNET – Apple unveiled the iPad HD (aka iPad 3). In January 2012, Nextbigfuture covered the correct rumors of screen resolution and 4G data. New iPad (aka iPad 3 aka iPad HD) screen resolution to a 2048×1536 resolution that exceeds any current tablet or laptop. New iPad minor upgrades are a faster processor, the upgrade …

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Ten million dollar Qualcomm Medical Tricorder Xprize has been officially launched

A few days ago, Nextbigfuture has reviewed the Life sciences related Xprizes that were under development of consideration. The $10 million Qualcomm Medical Tricorder xprize was officially launched at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Introducing the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE. Imagine a portable, wireless device in the palm of your hand that monitors …

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D.C. gets 100 gigabit network

Washington D.C. went live with the first link of a 100-gigabit network Wednesday. The new network, called the D.C. Community Access Network (DC-CAN), will provide links out to communities east of the Anacostia River, but the ultra-high-speed network will soon serve the entire District. However, the pricing for the service still looks expensive with 1 …

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Power Generation Costs in China

China’s renewable and nuclear energy targets have recently been updated by the NEA (National Energy Agency). They now stand at 150 gW of installed wind capacity by 2020, along with 20 gW of solar, 380 gW of hydro and 80 gW of nuclear. The NEA plans to increase non-fossil fuel energy to 15 percent of …

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First controlled vertical flight of a biologically inspired microrobot

Bioinspiration and Biomimetics – First controlled vertical flight of a biologically inspired microrobot In this paper, we present experimental results on altitude control of a flying microrobot. The problem is approached in two stages. In the first stage, system identification of two relevant subsystems composing the microrobot is performed, using a static flapping experimental setup. …

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