Hyperloop One wants to help your self-driving car go the speed of sound

by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

When it comes to outlandish transportation ideas, go big or go home

Imagine a future where you tap an app on your smartphone to summon a self-driving car. Heard this one already? Okay, what about when your robot car drives into an airless tube hundreds of miles long and careens across country at close to the speed of sound? Now are you impressed? Continue reading Hyperloop One wants to help your self-driving car go the speed of sound

Who needs asteroids? Earth makes its own water deep within the mantle

by Peter Dockrill, Science Alert

Our planet could be self-sufficient

Life on Earth depends on the existence of water, but despite it covering some 70 percent of the planet’s surface, scientists have never really been sure where it all comes from.

While the popular view has been that icy asteroids or comets could have brought water to Earth billions of years ago in an epic collision that filled the planet’s oceans, a new study shows Earth’s inner regions had the necessary ingredients to make water all along, hidden deep underground. Continue reading Who needs asteroids? Earth makes its own water deep within the mantle

SuitSat Might Be The Creepiest Satellite Ever

by Amy Shira Teitel, Popular Science

WHY A WORN OUT SPACE SUIT GOT AN ORBITAL BURIAL

On February 3, 2006, commander Bill McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev stepped outside the ISS for a spacewalk. Cameras gave audiences watching the live feed on NASA TV a view of the men working, half obscured by solar panels. Then the cameras showed a body floating off into space. Tokarev nonchalantly bid adieu to his untethered colleague with an unceremonious “Goodbye, Mr. Smith.” The figure might have looked like a man, but it wasn’t. It was Suitsat, which is perhaps the creepiest satellite of all time.

The story of Suitsat can’t be told without the story of the Orlan spacesuit. Continue reading SuitSat Might Be The Creepiest Satellite Ever

Study reveals substantial evidence of holographic universe

by Niayesh Afshordi, PHYS.ORG

A sketch of the timeline of the holographic Universe. Time runs from left to right. The far left denotes the holographic phase and the image is blurry because space and time are not yet well defined. At the end of this phase (denoted by the black fluctuating ellipse) the Universe enters a geometric phase, which can now be described by Einstein’s equations. The cosmic microwave background was emitted about 375,000 years later. Patterns imprinted in it carry information about the very early Universe and seed the development of structures of stars and galaxies in the late time Universe (far right). Credit: Paul McFadden

A UK, Canadian and Italian study has provided what researchers believe is the first observational evidence that our universe could be a vast and complex hologram. Continue reading Study reveals substantial evidence of holographic universe

D-Wave’s quantum computers take a quantum leap forward, now offer 2,000 qubits

by Joel Hruska, ExtremeTech

Over the past few years, quantum computer manufacturer D-Wave has been rolling out hardware capable of increasingly complex tasks and solving more advanced types of problems. This week, it unveiled a new system capable of entangling up to 2,000 qubits.

The D-Wave 2000Q has 2,048 qubits; a substantial increase over the 1,000-qubit D-Wave 2X. Equally important, the $15 million-dollar computer has a first customer — Temporal Defense Systems, which will use the machine “to solve some of the most critical and complex cyber security problems impacting governments and commercial enterprises.” The terms of the deal also give TDS an upgrade path to future “QPUs” (quantum processing units, natch). Continue reading D-Wave’s quantum computers take a quantum leap forward, now offer 2,000 qubits

Fooling The Machine

by Dave Gershgorn, Popular Science

The Byzantine Science of Deceiving Artificial Intelligence

In the early 1900s, Wilhelm von Osten, a German horse trainer and mathematician, told the world that his horse could do math. For years, Von Osten traveled Germany giving demonstrations of this phenomenon. He would ask his horse, Clever Hans, to compute simple equations. In response, Hans would tap his hoof for the correct answer. Two plus two? Four taps. Continue reading Fooling The Machine

These artificial cells are not alive – but they just passed the Turing test

by Bec Crew, Science Alert

They’re communicating with bacteria

Scientists have built artificial cells that are so life-like, they’ve tricked natural cells into thinking they’re communicating with one of their own.

This twist on the classic Turing test means that not only can our robots fool humans into thinking they’re one of us – scientists can now make artificial cells that act so real, living organisms can’t tell the difference. Continue reading These artificial cells are not alive – but they just passed the Turing test