Some Assembly Required: New Space Telescope Will Take Shape After Launch

by Joe Palca, NPR Minnesota Public Radio

The next generation of great space telescopes is heading into its final round of ground tests. The nearly $9 billion James Webb Space Telescope will replace the aging Hubble Space Telescope. It’s designed to provide unprecedented images of the earliest stars and galaxies that formed in the universe.

But before the telescope can get to work, there are still a lot of engineering challenges to overcome. Continue reading Some Assembly Required: New Space Telescope Will Take Shape After Launch

Machine learning can fix Twitter, Facebook, and maybe even America

by Chris Nicholson, TechCrunch

Quitting Twitter is easy — I’ve done it a hundred times. Someone called it “a clown car that drove into a gold mine,” and like all clown cars, Twitter makes the passengers get out once in awhile.

If I go back, it’s because I’m addicted. The tight news cycle, tweetstorms, gossip mongers, insight, argument, factoids, snark and one-liners. For an information junkie, that little bubble is hard to resist. Continue reading Machine learning can fix Twitter, Facebook, and maybe even America

Six unexpected sources of renewable energy

by Cat DiStasio, Engadget

Think: Las Vegas streetlights powered by footsteps

When it comes to discussions about renewable energy, solar and wind power often take center stage. To a lesser degree, other forms like geothermal energy and hydro-power also get some attention. But many people may not be aware that there are many other sources of renewable energy currently in use around the world, all helping to counterbalance the enormous carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Small projects are turning to dirt and microbes, underground stores of liquid magma and even pedestrian footsteps to harvest energy that would otherwise be wasted. Continue reading Six unexpected sources of renewable energy

Today, the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security professional worldwide

by Rick Falkvinge, Privacy News Online

Today December 1, the United States FBI is granted new powers to intrude into any computer anywhere on the globe, instantly changing the FBI from a random law enforcement agency to a global adversary. Law enforcement agencies are expected to be met with open arms and treated as good guys. There’s not going to be any good guy treatment of the FBI here, and for good reason. Continue reading Today, the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security professional worldwide

Twisted light could “revolutionize future data transmission” – New record shows its promise

Futuristech Info

The research team around Anton Zeilinger has succeeded in breaking two novel records while experimenting with so-called twisted particles of light. In one experiment, the scientists could show that the twist of light itself, i.e. the screw-like structure, is maintained over a free-space propagation of 143 kilometers, which could revolutionize future data transmission. Continue reading Twisted light could “revolutionize future data transmission” – New record shows its promise

How Pinterest Uses Machine Learning To Keep Its Users Pinned

by Steven Melendez, Fast Company

Five ways the image-sharing site is harnessing AI to keep people engaged

Thanks to recent gains in machine learning, computers are getting skilled at picking out patterns and features in text and images. That’s how e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay build sophisticated recommendation systems and how social networks like Facebook and Twitter are tweaking feeds to keep users hooked. Pinterest is no exception, with 30% of engagement tied to personalized real-time suggestions. Here’s how Pinterest engineers are leveraging artificial intelligence to keep the website’s 150 million–plus users pinning and sharing. Continue reading How Pinterest Uses Machine Learning To Keep Its Users Pinned

Morgan Stanley Report Predicts Electric Car Revolution Will Accelerate Soon

by Steve Hanley, GAS2

Morgan Stanley has released a new report estimating that electric car sales will increase become 10 to 15 percent of the global new car market by 2025. That is three time the rate the investment banking house has projected in the past. Why the sudden shift in its thinking? While the US is conveniently planning to reduce or eliminate fuel economy regulations, every other civilized country has rules in place that will require auto manufacturers to dramatically lower the emissions from their vehicle in just a few years time. Continue reading Morgan Stanley Report Predicts Electric Car Revolution Will Accelerate Soon

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