Real Soldier Offensive Capability Will Exceed Science Fiction

Science Fiction had the Armored Personnel Units of the Matrix. Reality has the Auto Assault-12 (AA-12) shotgun (originally designed and known as the Atchisson Assault Shotgun). The AA-12 can fire in semi-automatic or fully automatic mode at 300 rounds per minute (5 every second) and has a magazine of 32 rounds. The AA-12 can fire …

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Materials to Scale Solar Power to Terawatt Levels

A new research paper evaluates material extraction costs and supply constraints for 23 promising semiconducting materials that could be used to afford ably scale solar power to terawatt levels. Iron pyrite, copper sulphide and copper oxide were at the top of the list of potential silicon and thin film replacements, with iron pyrite – more …

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Google Experimenting with Quantum Computers for Machine Learning

Hartmut Neven of Google is mapping important machine learning problems to D-Wave’s flavor of Adiabatic Quantum Computer. Binary Classification is described at wikipedia Binary classification is the task of classifying the members of a given set of objects into two groups on the basis of whether they have some property or not. Some typical binary …

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Brain Scan Mind Reading of Spatial Information Progress

New Scientist reports : Scans of the part of the brain responsible for memory have for the first time been used to detect a person’s location in a virtual environment. Using functional MRI (fMRI), researchers decoded the approximate location of several people as they navigated through virtual rooms. The work is continuing to use scans …

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Brain Performance Enhancement Targets

From New Scientist: Intelligence is strongly genetic, that doesn’t mean it cannot be improved. “It’s just the opposite,” says Richard Haier, of the University of California, Irvine, who works with Thompson. “If it’s genetic, it’s biochemical, and we have all kinds of ways of influencing biochemistry.” Myelin integrity is an especially promising target for manipulation, …

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Nanotechnology and Technology Acceleration Buzz is Higher Because Actual Developments Are Showing Pessimists Were Wrong

J Storrs Hall has another excellent article, this one on validity of the molecular manufacturing vision and the usefulness of futurists in tough economic times. Josh states that the job of a futurist is to turn on the lights, to show what paths could actually lead to prosperity. I would say it is necessary to …

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Nanyang Technological University and Rice University Develop Probabilistic’ logic allows computer chip: 7 faster times, 30 times less power

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Rice University, United States, have successfully created a microchip that uses 30 times less electricity while running seven times faster than today’s best technology. The Rice-NTU team plans to follow its proof-of-concept work on encryption with proof-of-concept tests on microchips for cell phones, graphics cards and medical implants. The microchip …

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Dwave Quantum Computer is Cooling Its 128 Qubit Chips For Testing

Dwave System reports that three Rainier (128 qubit) 1st silicon chips are on their way to 10mK. On two of them we are doing device-level testing, the third has a full 8-qubit unit cell with all the programmable control circuitry bells and whistles. From the last coverage on Dwave D-Wave plans to have a 1,000-qubit …

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Geoengineering Proposals Analyzed and Compared for Cooling Potential

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have carried out the first comprehensive assessment of the relative merits of different geoengineering schemes in terms of the climate cooling potential. Their paper appears in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. [H/T Greencar congress Using a mix of these geoengineering techniques and mitigating production of …

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Cambridge Making Carbon Nanotubes Ribbons at Centimeter Lengths with 9 Gpa Strength, Which is Four Times Stronger than Kevlar

The Times UK reported claims that Alan Windle’s team at Cambridge University had created the world’s strongest ribbon. I finally tracked down specifics of this work. UPDATE: Details on hypersonic skyhooks/rotovators [orbital ropes] that would be enabled with these materials as well as lunar and Mars space elevators. Background on strength of materials, units of …

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Stem cell blood supply breakthrough and other stem cell breakthroughs

Human blood have been grown from embryonic stem cells for the first time during research that promises to provide an almost limitless supply suitable for transfusion into any patient. This could lead to trials of the blood within two years, and ultimately to an alternative to donations that would transform medicine. If such blood was …

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