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Mark Bruce has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
NASA2,233,807The most advanced robot ever sent to another world is set to land on Aug. 5, 2012 (PDT). Will you be watching? Mars Science Laboratory will deliver the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT and 5:31 a.m. UTC on Aug. 6). Curiosity, carrying laboratory instruments to analyze samples of rocks, soil and atmosphere, will investigate whether Mars has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. NASA TV will broadcast live from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., during Curiosity’s critical entry, descent and landing phase. Two live feeds of video during key landing activities from mission control rooms at JPL will be carried on NASA TV, NASA TV online http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html and Ustream http://www.ustream.tv/ between 8:30 and 11:00 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (11:30 p.m. Aug. 5 to 2:00 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT), and between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. PDT on Aug. 6 (3:30 to 4:30 a.m. EDT). The NASA TV Public Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl will carry a feed including commentary and interviews. The NASA TV Media Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 will carry an uninterrupted, clean feed. Follow the mission on Facebook and on Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity.NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Landing2012-08-06 02:00:002200  

Mark Bruce has been shared in 209 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Volkan DOBRİCELİ15Mobile PhotographersMobile Photography -- or as I call it  #Mobilography  -- is an artform that, happy to report, has flourished here on Google+. This circle of mobile photographers is not food and cats. It is art, it is creativity, it is beauty and content. Some of the individuals in this circle are film and DSLR photographers as well. The phone camera though is a regular and equally legitimate camera to use in their photography and documentation of their worlds.If you have been notified of this post, you are in the circle.Crowd SourcingI am taking suggestions for people to add to this circle for the future. If you are a mobile photographer, or know a mobile photographer, that isn't in this circle, please mention them here and include a link to a gallery of work.You are not required to share this circle to get into it. I can't stand that gimmick. Share it if you want people to know about our work.#MobilePhotography   #Mobilography   #Mobilographers   #MobilePhotographers   #CircleShare   #SharedCircle  2015-03-26 15:02:26471000
Camila Pedraza0Great people who love to like and have friends,this is my elite circle and i want to shared with you.2015-03-22 13:48:15110000
Robert Best2,617Google+ Relevance CircleWhat people of "relevance" do we have in common? Care to share?This big shared circle contains my most "relevant" circles according to G+. It also only contains people/profiles who post publicly (Either occasionally or prolifically).Do you recognize others in the list? (I think the probability is high)As far as I know, the visual beside the "Add people" button below shows you the 8 people from this circle who are most "relevant" to you. Also, if you click that add people button, the list inside is also ordered by "relevance".Some people in this circle I know very well... others I haven't met at all (Besides interfacing with what they share publicly on G+) I'm curious, what circles do we share of high relevance? Give a few people shout outs! Let's have a random chat.You were likely notified of this post... I normally don't share to any of my specific circles, so as to avoid sending out unwanted notifications... But since I have you and your attention here... HELLO! Have we talked before? Why do you think I have you circled? What's of relevance for you? (Besides people on G+) If we do know each other... Have we been in touch lately? If not, let please catch up!2015-03-03 01:03:39455000
Noah Wesley20,488Great circle to find many interesting and interactive people!!! If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#circle #circleshare #uk #business #unitedkingdom #ireland #publiccircles #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #ukcircles #irishcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #hk #china #face #book #link #travel #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle2015-02-25 08:21:55498223
Charles Payet6,779A VERY Rare Shared Circle: My Absolute Favorite PlussersAs many of those whom I know on Google+ are aware, it can be kind of daunting at times to keep up with a G+ Stream when you follow several thousand people.  Thanks to the wonderful education by people in the +Plus Your Business! Academy last year, I did learn a lot more on how to manage my Stream, but I still need to work more on refining my Circles.  Still, I've made some slight progress.  Obviously, +Circloscope is a very helpful tool for this.But for whatever reason, I decided to Share this Circle.  This is my ONLY Notification Circle, to avoid Notification Overload.  :-)  Some of them are quite prolific posters, some are moderate, and some only post rarely.  They generally fall into the following categories:(1) Social media(2) Deep thinkers(3) Science(4) Photography(5) Curmudgeon (had to include this category specifically for Vincent LOL  But he's my kind of curmudgeon.)There are obviously a LOT more people worth following on G+, and by no means do I intend any slight to anyone not included.  I had to be VERY picky about this list.+Chrysta Rae +Sanjiv Manifest +Vincent Messina +Lauri Novak +Craig Szymanski +Gina Fiedel +Kalebra Kelby +Alexandra Riecke-Gonzales +Mark Metternich +Don Komarechka +Athena Carey +Mark Bruce +2015-02-22 14:31:3519000
Crazy Cats29 Public #circleshare   January 20, 2015Hope that you have been having a great week on Google+. Thank you for sharing and promoting this and for connecting up with all the great accounts I have included. Great With This #cirlce  !!!***************************************************************Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!Follow me here : http://goo.gl/7rWIEVTo be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 Include me in your circles2 Click add people and create your circle3 +1 this circle4 Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles. ( dont forget share the circle and include yourself )5 If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above (I say "if possible" as my circle comments more often than not hit the 500 comment limit).6  So I can easily find your share, always publicly share my original shared circle. You'll know if you're sharing the original one because you won't see "Jason Levy originally shared" above here. If you do see it, click on "originally shared" and it will bring you to this post.Special Invite :+A Tech Buzz +Axel Kratel +Andrea Gervasi +Andrew Sowerby +Anette Mossbacher +Brett Szmajda +Andrew Sowerby +Irina Sadokhina +Sean Carroll +Michael Sonntag +Mighty Dragon Studios +Eric Delcour +2015-02-01 10:25:324744411
Circles Circles Circles49,036SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/fVX5bZPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/GNkGJhPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/s9RkeEMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/W8VDbBPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD: http://goo.gl/5mr38oOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/9c5A3XSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/4UAeINTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/whvLzNG+ Pages: http://goo.gl/jNZdWf#circleshare   2015-01-22 16:19:121067218
Natasha Velicia475Get More Google+ Follower with  +TubeDEVILZ  January 15, 2015*****************************************************************HERE'S OF MY SHARED PUBLIC CIRCLE*****************************************************************Hope that you have been having a great week on Google+. Thank you for sharing and promoting this and for connecting up with all the great accounts I have included. Great With This Cilcle!!,Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 Include me in your circles2 Click add people and create your circle3 +1 this circle4 Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles. ( dont forget share the circle and include yourself )5 If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above (I say "if possible" as my circle comments more often than not hit the 500 comment limit).6  So I can easily find your share, always publicly share my original shared circle. You'll know if you're sharing the original one because you won't see "Jason Levy originally shared" above here. If you do see it, click on "originally shared" and it will bring you to this post.**************************************Follow Me Here : http://goo.gl/c18bpxAnd Subcribe : http://goo.gl/NT0MCkSpecial Invitation (Please +1 and Share) :+Alfina Dewi +Agus Septiann +Dini Ashanti +Amy Cesario +Sergii Daniloff +Danis Sanju +Lieven Damman +dini iftita +Lincoln Harrison +Riskhha Nur Hayati +Nanang Hendro +Hanste2015-01-16 20:15:35473419
Xtreme Videos0#CircleSharing#SharedCircles#Circle#CircleOfTheDay#SHARE#SharedPublicCircles#TeamElite#circlesdiscovery#Shared#ADD#Friends#Google#PublicCircle#teamelitecircle#teameliteengagercircle#dontconfusethecircles#SocialMedia#SocialMediaMarketing#EliteInnerCircle#Engagement#love#couple#cute#adorable#TagsForLikes#kiss#kisses#hugs#romance#forever#girlfriend#boyfriend#gf#bf#bff#together#photooftheday2015-01-16 16:26:1950161410
Ryan Johnson23,295This circle contains people who are very active on Google+If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#circle #Sharedcircles #circleshare  #sri_lanka #colombo #australia #adelaide #australia #cairns #australia #darwin #australia #hobart #new_zealand #auckland #new_zealand #wellington #papua_new_guinea #papua_new_guinea #awesome #AwesomePeople #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing #publiccircle #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles #weeklyreview #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday 2015-01-16 13:00:35472236
RuMuZ NeYiMe1,336good morningadd friends list..#addcircle #addcircles #addpeople #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besharable #besocial #bestcircle #bestcircles #bestengagers #circleadd #circleall #circleme #circlemenow #circlemeup #circlenetwork #circleplus #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circleshares #circlesharing #circleup #circleyoushare #coolpeople #engagerscircle #engagerscircles #findcircle #findcircles #follow4follow #followback #followme #fullcircleshare #influencermarketing #internetmarketing #morefollowers #networkcircle 2015-01-12 08:56:27466002
John Sean10,506This circle contains people who really are interesting and active people on Google Plus.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing #philadelphia #phoenix #san_antonio #san_diego #san_francisco #san_jose #seattle #tampa #washington #american_samoa #american_samoa #pago_pago #fiji #fiji #nadi #fiji #suva #argentina #argentina #buenos_aires #argentina #cordoba #argentina #iguaza #argentina #mendoza #argentina #rosaio #argentina #san_carlos_de_bariloche #bolivia #bolivia #cochabamba 2015-01-12 06:41:19465171632
Norman E Grant2,529Share this Circle of passionate people and grow your network. 2014-12-08 20:18:364787312
STEM on Google+ Community18,387The STEM Community Active User Circle!Here's the latest circle of people who are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fans.  Some post great original material, some are great commenters, and some re-post interesting things from others into the community. There are a good number of newer G+ users here, and if you add them they will likely add you back.  Share this circle with people you know like science topics!While this circle has been selected based on activity and topic, there's no guarantee you will like everyone.  It's advised to add any new circle to a 'temporary name' circle and browse the content for a few weeks.  Add the people/pages that you find interesting to other circles you maintain as you go.  This makes deleting the rest easier in the future! #STEM   #sciencecircle   #publicsharedcircles   #science   #technology   #engineering   #math   #community   #welcometogplus   #newtogoogleplus   #curatedcircle  2014-12-05 10:44:062018111
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov2,751SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FRIENDS : Circle V.1.11. Link to my own scientific research topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212005/  To be included in future circle-editions, please ENGAGE: add me to your own circles/+1/re-share/comment on the original circle-post, or on some of the other science-related posts on my wall (this is needed since the number of people that could be circled is limited from Google – and therefore I am forced to keep included just the most active users). Currently featured science-related GOOGLE PLUS post:https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/8LU6LVz75jxI would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #nutrition    #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology    #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   #artists   #foodies   #cars   2014-11-27 06:30:22451423271
Amaresh Singh11Circle Of the DayTo be considered for this circle, please:1- Share this circle in your stream.2- Ask to be included in the comments section of the original post.3- Make sure you've added our page to your circles.4- You must post your own original work in your stream.2014-11-21 09:58:32238231124
Circles Circles Circles45,721SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles   Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/pOzhN7Published Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/mlXh9WPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/DgeQIAMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/hhJPlSPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/Ik2RfOOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/Ahy2X9SCIENCE: http://goo.gl/pzaC4yTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/a1jWG6G+ Pages: http://goo.gl/9v2o43        #sciencecircle   #circleshare   #sharingcircles  2014-11-19 18:04:35106205
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,950SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.8; maintained by +Atanas Georgiev Atanasov  ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   2014-11-17 05:24:2236226837
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,633SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.7; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   #cars2014-11-13 05:47:40346101
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,550SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.6; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   2014-11-10 06:22:16330123
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,294SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.5; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   2014-11-06 08:10:3436954038
Sharon Caroline1,691Hello my friends, good morning/evening for you all!Boost Your visibility On Google+!Shared and be shared. :)Thank you for sharing and promoting this.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedcircleoftheday2014-11-05 08:31:58463203
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,228SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : Circle V.3, maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies 2014-11-05 07:02:42362515
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,127Science and Technology +Friends: Circle 2014 V.2 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies #cars 2014-11-04 06:51:44407103
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,054Science and Technology Circle 2014 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA   #Space #Innovation   #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists 2014-11-02 08:37:19453526
Becky Collins17,500Top Active Engager's Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-10-13 05:05:404783111
John Nuntiatio48,007#newcircle   #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small #smallcircle #photography #health2014-10-12 14:20:47149011
RokSimec.com7,554To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-10-01 11:44:4749811914
RokSimec.com7,248 To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-09-26 10:33:5149813920
Becky Collins16,609Science Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-09-16 05:24:00459102
Amazing Circles790Amazing BigCircle updated. 2014-09-01 19:35:12500123
Carlos Esteban50,970ENGAGERS and other INTERESTING PEOPLE Here you will find a sample of recent and repeat engagers, people that include me in shared circles, and people that publish interesting, useful or amusing posts. Add the circle and check them out. Maybe you like some of them! Feel free to re-share the circle :) Have a great week!2014-08-11 15:57:3149910779158
Circles Circles Circles37,983SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/o82s0mPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/IkCTLPPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/nFCsGwMEN ARE FROM MARS :  http://goo.gl/tID4ZmPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/E6v81LOthers CirclesSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/xXWLPtTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/z3z8lh#science       #scienceeveryday       #sciencecircle       #circlesharing  2014-07-17 04:08:1710691432
khairul efendi0 Keep this simple!1. ADD the circle2 Share the post3. Plus the post.4. Comment to be added. BAM that is all easy right!? #circleshare  #circlesharing #sharedpubliccircles #snowballcircle #hyberballcircle #publicsharedcircles      #ownsocialmedia   #socialmediamarketing   #circlesharingpages   #sharingcircles   #whatshot   #followers   #googleplustips #CircleSharing #CircleShare #CircleOfTheDay #Circle #SharedCircles #Google #Google+ #GooglePlusTips #AddCircle #ADD #SharedPublicCircles #SharedCircle #Circles #Shared #Friends #Blogging #SharingCircles #CircleofFriends #Blogger #Engagers2014-06-20 07:31:49501215
Circles Circles Circles35,732SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/RPEbdlPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/fmOadpPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/Oyg8RBMEN ARE FROM MARS :  http://goo.gl/9NT51gPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/5mT3s0Others CirclesSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/AV4WvdTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/YANzuo#science     #scienceeveryday     #sciencecircle     #circlesharing  2014-06-19 02:05:331065924
Maria Morisot32,548Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle15 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-15 11:11:532988283105
John Nuntiatio38,202#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small #smallcircle #photography #health2014-06-15 06:01:32319368
DEVILZART2,249 This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and +1 'sBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post +DevilzArt More you share more you get!#circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #share   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #engagers   #engagerscircle   #engagerspeople   #engagersshowcasecircle   #publicsharedcircles   #wordpress   #seo   #affiliatemarketing    #googleplus   #googleplusupdate   #blogger   #bloggers   #blogging     #internet   #socialmedia   #socialmediatips   #socialnetworking   #internetmarketing   #seo   #seotips   #bloggingtips   #bloggingforbusiness   #bloggingforbusiness   #bloggingtipsandtricks   #googleplustips   2014-06-15 02:13:005014415
Becky Collins10,439Super Science Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-05-31 05:09:154901211
Circles Circles Circles33,758SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/WbY7NSPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/XPSnHVPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/itFj7ZMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/uBBxgdPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD: http://goo.gl/f1wz2IOthers CirclesSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/MOGsxGTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/bDcYF4#science     #scienceeveryday     #sciencecircle     #circlesharing  2014-05-28 20:17:02102101219
Farid Shaikh171Google Friends! - You're in this   #Circle   -   #Share the circle *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:* Share and Be   #Shared   :¦:-•::••-:•:''''*                                              This is a super   #Circle   and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   #Google + users that share unique and original contents.#Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:#boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 -   #Follow   your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!#circles       #circleshare       #circlesharing       #sharedcircles                 #addcircles     #addpeople       #addcircle     #addfriends      2014-05-18 17:00:275015011
Farid Shaikh171No strings attached circle!If you want to be in the #circle  then let us know if you want to be in the circle! That's it! If you got notified, then you are in this one!2014-05-18 02:16:335017310
Farid Shaikh65Google Friends! - You're in this  #Circle   -  #Share   the circle *'"*:•:•* •-::-•:*:•-:¦: Share and Be  #Shared   :¦:-•:*:•.::• •-:•:''''*                                              115This is a super  #Circle   and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   #Google + users that share unique and original contents.#Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:#boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 -  #Follow   your dreams and smile to life.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#circles      #circleshare      #circlesharing      #sharedcircles                #addcircles    #addpeople      #addcircle    #addfriends      2014-05-17 06:20:0550110811
Circles Circles Circles32,435SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/Hev5GIPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS: http://goo.gl/Nqll1yPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/olCV0EMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/l58RRiPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD: http://goo.gl/oIXG1ROthers Circles:SCIENCE: http://goo.gl/voKgBxTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/bDcYF4#science   #scienceeveryday   #sciencecircle   #circlesharing  2014-05-16 02:10:07103141426
Carlos Esteban45,152ENGAGERS and other INTERESTING PEOPLE Here you will find a sample of recent and repeat engagers, people that include me in shared circles, and people that publish interesting, useful or amusing posts. Add the circle and check them out. Maybe you like some of them! Feel free to re-share the circle :) Have a great week! #circles #circlethis #circleyoushare #sharedcircles #addcircle #sharedpubliccircles #growfollowers #circleshare #publicsharedcircles #circleoftheweek #circlesharing #publiccircle #findcircles #circlemeup #sharedcircle #circleshare  #thursdaycircle   #thursdaycircleshared   #circlethursday #circle 2014#82014-05-12 13:43:52499150111187
Charles Barouch5,184G|+|ost Town #1 Circle of Awesome!http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/g+ost-town/2014-05-03 06:56:1143416
Adam Black6,732Transhumans CircleBy popular Demand,  I am sharing some of my Circles. This is +Mark Bruce  Transhumans Circle  Plus Others Ive been adding.If you are tagged,  you are in it.Web Link for Mobile https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdamBlack/posts/6iQmLpEj1Zm #sharedcircles   #GeekCulture   #ScienceSunday #Transhumans #Transhumanism #HumanPlus  2014-04-13 06:25:0424521733
steph wanamaker101,611#followfriday   #australianpeeps  thanks very much to paul sneddon for sharing his circle with me ! any australians I didn't include let me know!Happy Friday!2014-04-11 20:35:49202407
DEVILZART1,310#sharedcircle #publiccircleshare   #circleshare   #circleoftheday #circleshares   #circlesharing   #circlesshare   #publicsharedcircle #publicsharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleoftheweek #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircle #todayspublicsharedcircle #todayssharedcircle   #publiccircle #circle   #circles   #awesome #awesomeness #awesomepeople #shareyourcircle   #bestengagers #followers   #followback #paulaawesomecircle   #awesomecircles #paulateshima #topsharedcircle #topsharedcircle   #myseoissocial #besocial   #socializethesocial   #trust #circles #sharedcircle 2014-04-04 17:15:22500141023
STEM on Google+ Community14,148Here are the "Movers & Shakers" in the STEM Community!February--March, 2014!Here's the latest updated edition of people & pages whose posts and comments appeared in the STEM on Google+ Community.  There are both science content creators and science readers here, and they are all active and interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math.  Add this circle to your stream!Click here to enter the community >>https://plus.google.com/b/112166434848553337850/communities/110555615319066448343  Get involved in science discussions in the STEM community and you'll be in the next circle!If you received notification for this post, you are included in the circle!  If you do not wish to be notified, or shared in this (or other) circles, please let me know.~+Malthus John #sciencecircle   #stemcircle   #publicsharedcircles   #scienceeveryday   #sciencessunday   #stem   #gpluscommunities   #science   #technology   #engineering   #mathematics   #engagement  2014-03-24 17:43:08235232369

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Most comments: 48

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2015-01-26 13:42:07 (48 comments, 42 reshares, 112 +1s)Open 

Travelling Faster than the Speed of Light.
There exist natural phenomena in our Universe that will allow you to do just that; so long as it is your local spacetime moving and you're just along for the ride.

Massive rotating black holes exhibit frame-dragging on an unimaginable scale. Frame-dragging is a prediction from General Relativity that rotating massive objects literally drag spacetime around themselves in the direction of rotation and cause nearby orbiting objects to precess; this dragging of spacetime around the Earth, while a small effect, has been confirmed by the Gravity Probe B experiment. The more massive the object and the faster it rotates, the more severe this dragging of the surrounding spacetime becomes. 

Most popular discussion on black holes tends to concern non-rotating black holes, also known as Schwarzchild black holes, which are characterised by... more »

Most reshares: 50

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2015-02-15 05:13:16 (12 comments, 50 reshares, 90 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 07/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html

CRISPR via light, Volume graphene production, Spot the robot, Printed DNA hydrogels, Implanted artificial organs, Printing via spinnerets, Scanadu tricorder, Prosthetic arms, Contact lens telescope, GMO apple approval. 

1. Light-Induced CRISPR for Custom Tissue Architectures 
By attaching light sensitive proteins from plants to a specific CRISPR sequence and to gene activation proteins a new controlled gene regulation system has been engineered that enables any desired gene to be switched on and off by simply shining light of a particular wavelength onto the cell http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/controlling-genes-light. The proof-of-concept showed a dish of cells expressing fluorescent proteins only on those areas thath... more »

Most plusones: 177

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2015-02-22 08:02:14 (21 comments, 42 reshares, 177 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 08/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/autonomous-atom-assembly-human.html

Autonomous atom assembly, Auto face detection, Human epigenome map, DNA data storage, UberBlox modular tools, Ultrasound vs brain barrier, Strong limpet teeth, Measuring synaptic transmission, Early cancer tests, Silicon nanofiber batteries. 

1. Autonomous Assembly of Atoms into Nanostructures
NIST researchers have developed a new system that enables the computer-controlled autonomous assembly of individual atoms into precisely defined nanostructures on a copper surface using a scanning tunnelling microscope http://www.nist.gov/cnst/automated_atom_assembly.cfm. The system first scans the surface to determine the precise locations of the atoms available for assembly, calculates the coordinate transformations necessary to... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-03-25 10:30:14 (35 comments, 48 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

I've Been Wearing These Every Night for Two Weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I started a little experiment with the light exposure my eyes received before going to bed. I can't remember exactly what the trigger was but I recall an article loosely about the effect of blue light before going to sleep and the impact that had on the quality of sleep and sleep hygiene in general. 

The theory is that the blue light emitted by artificial lighting before bed, such as from the screens of electronic devices including TVs, computers, and phones, stimulates the brain like early-morning light, triggering alertness and altering fundamental circadian rhythms. Over the last few years I have become hypervigilant about pursuing healthy sleep hygiene habits and quality uninterrupted sleep, because bad sleep results in a build-up of molecular waste products in the brain, poor / handicapped... more »

I've Been Wearing These Every Night for Two Weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I started a little experiment with the light exposure my eyes received before going to bed. I can't remember exactly what the trigger was but I recall an article loosely about the effect of blue light before going to sleep and the impact that had on the quality of sleep and sleep hygiene in general. 

The theory is that the blue light emitted by artificial lighting before bed, such as from the screens of electronic devices including TVs, computers, and phones, stimulates the brain like early-morning light, triggering alertness and altering fundamental circadian rhythms. Over the last few years I have become hypervigilant about pursuing healthy sleep hygiene habits and quality uninterrupted sleep, because bad sleep results in a build-up of molecular waste products in the brain, poor / handicapped cognition, and a general brain phenotype that might best be described as prematurely aged (see: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3956).

I decided to invest in two pairs of glasses designed to block blue wavelengths of light:
1. Generic Uvex safety eyewear (pictured) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000USRG90/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and 
2. BluBlocker sunglasses http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DE0MVD2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The BluBlockers are obviously more stylish but they let in external light from the sides / periphery and so the generic - and much cheaper - glasses, which wrap around the head are better and provide better light blocking properties.

My experience has been very positive. In general I've been donning the glasses about an hour or two before bed and only take them off after the lights have been turned off. I'd say that 99% of the time at this time of day I am consuming information or media through a bright screen of one type or another, most often my home computer. Yes, image quality as regards colour saturation and richness suffers.

But I cannot remember falling asleep so quickly, nor sleeping so solidly - not that I'd classify my sleep beforehand as bad at all, just room for improvement. I feel fresher and more active in the morning and more alert during the day. A proper experiment will demand that I stop using the glasses for two weeks in order to compare the effects. The only drawback I've noticed, aside from the obvious loss of visual richness while wearing the glasses, is that my performance while trying to play first-person-shooters like Titanfall suffers considerably, which is interesting in and of itself. 

Finally, most importantly, and the reason for this post is that by coincidence I came across this article today http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2015/03/lighting-adjustments-necessary-for-better-health-researchers-say/ about the latest experiments and research that suggests adjustments to modern lighting are necessary for better sleep and health by restoring our bodies' natural circadian rhythms - essentially preventing blue light from suppressing our natural production of melatonin. 

Another option I wouldn't mind exploring in future is house-wide Philips Hue lighting automatically set up to not emit blue light after a certain time of night. And emitting extra blue light in the mornings of course. 

This is just my experience and if you suffer from poor sleep and, like me, are immersed in a screen of some sort most nights before bed, you might want to conduct this little experiment yourself. The glasses are only $10 after all. 

#sleep   #light   #circadianrhythm  ___

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2015-03-23 13:33:03 (16 comments, 0 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

I Did A Lot of Rooting on the Weekend.

I was looking forward to the Android 5.1 OTA update that is starting to roll out to devices but with a rooted Nexus 6 running a TWRP custom recovery there was no way I was ever going to get this update automatically. For the first time in a long time I had to manually side-load the minor OS update. Thought I may as well do the other rooted devices lying around too. 

Two Nexus 7's
* Went with my old Nexus 7 first, just in case I stuffed something up. Which I did. Had to unroot, flash a complete 5.1 stock image instead of just the update, factory reset with complete wipe, re-root, and set up as new device with app downloads and Tasker profiles. 
* Elise's unrooted Nexus 7 updated itself to 5.1 nicely, then rooted, factory reset and wipe, set up as new recommissioned device with downloads and Tasker profiles. ... more »

I Did A Lot of Rooting on the Weekend.

I was looking forward to the Android 5.1 OTA update that is starting to roll out to devices but with a rooted Nexus 6 running a TWRP custom recovery there was no way I was ever going to get this update automatically. For the first time in a long time I had to manually side-load the minor OS update. Thought I may as well do the other rooted devices lying around too. 

Two Nexus 7's
* Went with my old Nexus 7 first, just in case I stuffed something up. Which I did. Had to unroot, flash a complete 5.1 stock image instead of just the update, factory reset with complete wipe, re-root, and set up as new device with app downloads and Tasker profiles. 
* Elise's unrooted Nexus 7 updated itself to 5.1 nicely, then rooted, factory reset and wipe, set up as new recommissioned device with downloads and Tasker profiles. 
* Both Nexus 7s (instead of just mine) now running as automated digital photoframes in high-traffic areas of house. 

Nexus 5
* Stuffed this one up too. Again, had to unroot, flash a complete 5.1 stock image instead of just the update, factory reset with complete wipe, re-root, and set up as new device. 

Nexus 6
* Finally realised what I was doing wrong: had to uncheck that one little checkbox in the first image below so that the device didn't connect as a media device. Box checked allowed everything else: rooting, flashing, installing a complete image, etc but for some reason not the OTA update, which needed this unchecked. Bizarre. 
* Side-loaded the 5.1 OTA update smoothly as planned.
* But only after unrooting and going back to a stock recovery of course.
* Re-root and done.

I appreciate the new volume controls and a few other tweaks. But mainly, for the Nexus 6, the performance improvements are major. And noticeable; using the device it is much smoother and feels like an even newer, snappier device. Some details are here http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/03/a-look-at-android-5-1-speed-security-tweaks/. 

The whole process took ages and was a general pain in the ass. Even though I was being lazy using Wugs Nexus Toolkit (I've used cmd + adb before too). Issues with drivers, waiting for gigabytes of app updates to download, gigabytes of stock images and updates to download, boot-looping at least once, etc. But everything is good and now I know better for next time. 

Sorry about the title; I just couldn't resist :P___

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2015-03-22 14:03:09 (5 comments, 30 reshares, 59 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 12/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/consciousness-is-global-clip-3d.html

Consciousness is global, CLIP 3D printing, Neuromorphic optical computing, Silicon photonic switches, DNA molecular transport, Magnetised graphene, More drone advances, Robotic arms, Targeted nucleic acids, Nanoparticles click. 

1. Network Theory and Global Consciousness.
Recent brain imaging studies strongly suggest that consciousness, our rich conscious experience, is indeed a global rather than local phenomenon in the brain http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/213466/. Network or graph theory was used in this case to examine the links between various parts of the brain that were related to conscious awareness; in this case subjects reported when they were aware of a small disk flashed briefly on a screen while anf... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 12/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/consciousness-is-global-clip-3d.html

Consciousness is global, CLIP 3D printing, Neuromorphic optical computing, Silicon photonic switches, DNA molecular transport, Magnetised graphene, More drone advances, Robotic arms, Targeted nucleic acids, Nanoparticles click. 

1. Network Theory and Global Consciousness.
Recent brain imaging studies strongly suggest that consciousness, our rich conscious experience, is indeed a global rather than local phenomenon in the brain http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/213466/. Network or graph theory was used in this case to examine the links between various parts of the brain that were related to conscious awareness; in this case subjects reported when they were aware of a small disk flashed briefly on a screen while an fMRI scanner imaged the activity of their brains. The data suggested that the whole of the brain became more functionally connected following reports of awareness. This would also appear to provide experimental support for Tononi’s Integrate Information Theory of Consciousness. 

2. CLIP Optical 3D Printing Technology.
If you missed this one this week you were living under a rock - everyone was sharing and watching the amazing new 3D printing technology unveiled by Carbon3D this week http://3dprint.com/51566/carbon3d-clip-3d-printing. CLIP stands for Continuous Liquid Interface Production and involves the use of a projector to programmably solidify discrete regions of a UV-curable liquid resin as the growing part is pulled out of the resin bath. This is forming solid structures in three dimensions continuously, without a print-head, and is 25x to 100x faster than conventional approaches on the market. A potentially transformative technological evolution, only now emerging from stealth-mode after heavy venture backing. Oh, and it does 1 micron resolution too; be sure to watch the videos if you haven’t already. In related news commercial interests develop open-source algorithms for better 3D printing https://www.llnl.gov/news/america-makes-taps-lawrence-livermore-ge-develop-open-source-algorithms-3d-printing. 

3. Brain-Like Computing with Light.
Microofibers produced from chalcogenide glasses possess a range of optical properties that allow them to be used to replicate a range of equivalent neuron and brain functions and signal protocols http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2015/mar/15_45.shtml#.VQo1Qv4mmyc. These can be thought of as photonic neurons that might one day enabled neuromorphic hardware with ultrafast signal transmission speeds, higher bandwidth and lower power consumption than their biological and electronic counterparts. The paper concluded: “we implemented an optical axon in an amorphous metal-sulphide microfiber that enables photonic synapses to perform analogues of fundamental neurophysiological functions of the mammalian central nervous system.” 

4. Large-Scale Silicon Photonic Switches.
In related photonics news the largest-ever silicon photonic switch has been developed, which enables higher bandwidth and lower energy losses http://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2015/largest-scale_silicon_photonic_switch_to_be_presen/. Previous photonic switches incorporated just 64 switching elements but the new design manages 2,500 and 10k should be feasible. Existing architectures would never be able to scale to this level due to optical losses, but the new architecture circumvents this problem by incorporating new MEMS switching element that can switch states 1,000 times faster than existing MEMS switches. Applications include computing, networking, data transmission and routing. 

5. Tethered DNA Origami for Molecular Transport.
Advancing on the work of DNA origami “walkers” to transport molecular cargo across a surface this latest work simplifies and accelerates the process by using a tethered DNA origami molecule that is free to swing around and facilitate rapid molecular transport across surfaces in conjunction with natural diffusions processes http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=39476.php. The concept here is to use partial compartmentalisation that is able to rectify and utilise brownian motion to advantage, and the embodiment was a 30nm atomically-precise DNA arm swinging a molecular cargo around on a 90nm x 60nm platform.  Future hurdles to overcome include interfacing with the outside world and other applications include structured DNA sensing and computing arrays. 

6. The Benefits of Magnetised Graphene.
A simple and robust method for magnetising graphene with hydrogen has been developed http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2015/nrl-researchers-pattern-magnetic-graphine. The magnetism can be controlled by adding or limiting the amount of hydrogenation, and a commercial electron-beam process can then etch away hydrogen to produce precisely defined magnetic patterns on the graphene. Applications include magnetic data storage of course, but it will be quite a stretch to see if they can actually achieve the million-fold improvement over current hard drives that they claim as “possible”. Tightly packed magnetic graphene might also make for much more powerful permanent magnets and this would also be worth exploring. In related news graphene quantum dots get better http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/optoelectronics/new-production-twist-for-graphene-quantum-dots-opens-up-applications. 

7. More Drone Advancements.
A few of interesting drone developments this week. First, drones can now be used to build high-resolution 3D scans of landmarks and larger areas http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535596/high-resolution-3-d-scans-built-from-drone-photos/, and as drone traffic and capabilities increase this might lead to high resultion 3D maps of the entire planet. Second, a new hybrid gas-electric drone has 13 times the range of a battery electric drone http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/03/hybrid-gas-electric-drone-has-13-times.html, with a flight time of 2.5 hours and a range of 100 miles, which is pretty damn amazing when you think about it. Finally, leading on from last week’s cockroaches, other researchers are flying beetles via remote control http://www.gizmag.com/remote-control-giant-flower-beetles/36588/. 

8. Easy-to-Program Robotic Arms Take Another Step.
A couple of important robot arm advances this week. First, Universal Robotics launched its new UR3 robotic arm in three different sizes http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/universal-robots-ur3-robotic-arm. This is an easy to program multi-articulated robotic arm for a wide range of repetitive tasks that is safe to work near humans. Rethink Robotics also followed up its previous Baxter robot by launching the new Sawyer Robot which is again an easy to program multi-articulated robotic arm (unlike Baxter’s two) that incorporates a range of improvements to make it smaller, faster, stronger, and more precise http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/sawyer-rethink-robotics-new-robot. It’s great to see competition heating up in this area and ongoing technical improvements delivering ever-better robotic capabilities. 

9. Targeted Nucleic Acid Drugs.
Nanoparticles (of gold or lipid in this case) that are coated with 100+ strands of DNA of specific sequence have been termed “spherical nucleic acids” and recently demonstrated very effective immunomodulatory properties http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/03/spherical-nucleic-acids-set-stage-for-new-paradigm-in-drug-development.html. The DNA is designed to target different cell receptors and in the this “spherical” form proves to be one of the most simple, efficient, and potent immunomodulators to be developed, with significant promise against cancer and autoimmune disorders. And also this week we had specific microRNAs being used in tissue regeneration, effectively - and temporarily - boosting cell proliferation to take the place of damaged tissue http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2015/03/morrisey/. 

10. Nanoparticulate Click Chemistry.
A tough choice for number ten this week, but I went with the deceptively simple and innocuous click chemistry technique developed for easily and controllably joining nanoparticles together and to other surfaces http://phys.org/news/2015-03-click-modern-chemistry-bonds-nanoparticles.html. Click-chemistries are usually used to precisely control the chemical connection of one molecule to another as part of a defined synthetic step, but in this work the concept was adapted to nanoparticles and allowing the quick and permanent bonding of nanoparticles together and to solid substrates. Think ordered arrays of different nanoparticles, even quantum dots, in defined patterns working to perform some function. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/consciousness-is-global-clip-3d.html ___

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2015-03-19 13:00:57 (14 comments, 4 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Absolute Velocity Thought Experiment.

Here's a little thought experiment that I had a while ago for you to critique. 

You should all be somewhat familiar with the general concepts of absolute and relative velocity in the sense that (i) in a featureless Universe there would be no way to tell if you were moving or stationary - the question doesn't make sense, and (ii) if you and a friend were some distance apart in this Universe and apparently stationary there would be no way to tell if you were really stationary or moving at constant velocity along parallel vectors. 

But

In the latter situation you both still have mass and so will both still exert a gravitational attraction one towards the other - and if you each had a laser and a mirror you could measure this pretty precisely. However if you were travelling along parallel vectors at somev... more »

Absolute Velocity Thought Experiment.

Here's a little thought experiment that I had a while ago for you to critique. 

You should all be somewhat familiar with the general concepts of absolute and relative velocity in the sense that (i) in a featureless Universe there would be no way to tell if you were moving or stationary - the question doesn't make sense, and (ii) if you and a friend were some distance apart in this Universe and apparently stationary there would be no way to tell if you were really stationary or moving at constant velocity along parallel vectors. 

But

In the latter situation you both still have mass and so will both still exert a gravitational attraction one towards the other - and if you each had a laser and a mirror you could measure this pretty precisely. However if you were travelling along parallel vectors at some velocity (what would that even mean in a featureless Universe) then Relativity shows that the mass of both of you will have increased - bigger increase for bigger velocities up to an infinite increase at the speed of light - and so you will both exert a stronger gravitational force on the other and therefore fall towards each other at a greater rate . . . certainly more than you would at rest. And with an accurate enough laser and mirror you should be able to infer your velocity or lack thereof.

This also works in our real Universe, so long as you put both you and your friend in a featureless box that is travelling through space (or at rest) and which allows no transfer of information or energy from the outside. Think about it. 

In the former situation, again if you have a laser and a mirror, you could place the mirror in front of or to the side of you and point your laser at it. If you are moving Relativity shows us that your mass will cause an inherent frame dragging effect that will compress space towards you in the direction of motion and expand it behind you and if you have an accurate enough laser you should be able to measure this effect and infer your velocity. 

But this can't be, can it? Haven't we always been taught that you can't infer your velocity from an independent reference frame; that you need another reference frame as . . . reference? What's going on here? 

I came up with this little thought experiment paradox when I was preparing the black hole post a little while ago. Doing some digging to see if others had also posed this question I came across this interesting page where a guy discussed this at some length: http://www.perkel.com/nerd/relativity.htm 

It is worth a read even if you don't agree with some of the conclusions and examples, but his reasoning was that in order to resolve this apparent paradox you had to abandon absolute mass and absolute gravity. I.e. the mass and gravitational field possessed by an object is a relative value that depends on your reference frame, just as distance and time are relative values. There is actually quite a bit to this - the more you dig the more there is to consider. 

#relativity   #observers   #gravity  ___

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2015-03-15 13:08:32 (15 comments, 31 reshares, 79 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 11/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html

Editing mammalian memories, Clearing sensecent cells, Interesting nanobacteria, Better cyborg cockroaches, Printing custom molecules, AFM neuron imaging, Magnetic brain stimulation, Flexible colour changes, Silicon fullerane, Farm in a box.

1. Editing Memories While Animals Sleep.
This week researchers demonstrated how to controllably modify certain memories stored in the brains of mice while they sleep http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/bionics/how-to-insert-a-memory-into-the-brain-of-a-sleeping-mouse. They accomplished this by (i) implanting electrodes into the hippocampus of the mouse and measuring the electrical activity while the mouse explored a new environment, correlating particular patterns of... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 11/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html

Editing mammalian memories, Clearing sensecent cells, Interesting nanobacteria, Better cyborg cockroaches, Printing custom molecules, AFM neuron imaging, Magnetic brain stimulation, Flexible colour changes, Silicon fullerane, Farm in a box.

1. Editing Memories While Animals Sleep.
This week researchers demonstrated how to controllably modify certain memories stored in the brains of mice while they sleep http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/bionics/how-to-insert-a-memory-into-the-brain-of-a-sleeping-mouse. They accomplished this by (i) implanting electrodes into the hippocampus of the mouse and measuring the electrical activity while the mouse explored a new environment, correlating particular patterns of activity with particular locations in the environment, and (ii) when the mouse slept and these particular patterns were again activated as part of sleep activity, the researchers stimulated another set of electrodes in another part of the brain responsible for reward and pleasure. This directly modified the memory and resulted in the mouse seeking out only those areas of the environment that were now associated with reward and pleasure. 

2. Senolytic Drugs for Clearing Senescent Cells.
Senescent cells that have stopped dividing accumulate with age and accelerate aging and healthspan in many animal models is enhanced by removing these cells. Two compounds - the cancer drug dasatinib and and natural compound quercetin - have been tested for this purpose in mice and resulted in a significant boost to healthspan http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2015/20150309agingcell.html. The mice benefited from a range of benefits including improved cardiovascular function, better exercise endurance, reduced osteoporosis, lower frailty, and typically with just a single dose - and with the benefits lasting seven months. Very keen to see this tested in humans as soon as possible. 

3. Confirming the Existence of Nanobacteria.
For the first time the existence of nanobacteria has been conclusively proven with demonstration of nanobacteria isolation, imaging, and sequencing http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/27/ultra-small-bacteria/. These functional bacterial species, which probably rely on other organisms for nutrients to some extent, were isolated from groundwater and found to measure just 200nm or less across; 150 of these could fit inside an E. Coli bacterial cell, and over 100,000 or more might fit inside a human cell. I read this and think of 100,000 little DNA computers churning along in just one of my cells; incidentally the genomes of the nanobacteria measure about one million basepairs in length. Might be a nice little hardware template for engineering to perform other functions within our bodies, entering and exiting cells - also wonder what overlap there is to Craig Venter’s minimal cell? 

4. Improved Interfacing and Control of Cyborg Cockroach Robots.
The development of cyborg insects took another step this week with a new system that improves over the method of inserting electrodes into insect antennae http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/105/20141363. The system still utilises a “backpack” containing communications, power, and computation, but now involves inserting electrodes far more intimately into the prothoracic ganglia of the prototype cockroaches, and allows remote operation and locomotion control. Limitations include line-of-sight operation but the group hopes to overcome this by incorporating additional sensors and on-board directional error-correction. 

5. 3D Printing Customised Small Molecules.
A new automated 3D printer is able to synthesise small molecules in a modular fashion - such devices are also known as chemputers or chemprinters http://www.hhmi.org/news/3d-printer-small-molecules-opens-access-customized-chemistry. As part of the proof-of-concept the team used a common set of chemical building blocks to controllably synthesise 14 distinct classes of small molecules. The work drew inspiration from cellular synthesis processes, and resulted in collection of hundreds of different, simple chemical building blocks that can be combined together repeatedly to produce more complex molecules; a company has been founded to commercialise. The promise is to one day have a chemical printer in your house able to synthesise any molecule on demand. In related news another new set of chemistries may expand these possibilities even further http://phys.org/news/2015-03-meta-technique-possibilities-molecular.html. 

6. Dynamic Imaging of Neurons with AFM.
A new long-tip atomic force microscopy technique has been developed for live-cell imaging at extremely high resolutions http://phys.org/news/2015-03-scientists-atomic-microscopy-imaging-nanoscale.html. The new device was used to produce images and movies of nanometer-scale morphological changes occurring in living cells, and showing structural changes in cells after exposure to insulin, as well as growing protrusions from hippocampal neuronal cells. Pretty mind-blowing stuff - movies of phenomena I never expected to be able to see. 

7. Stimulating the Brain with Magnetic Nanoparticles.
A new brain stimulation technique involves injecting iron oxide nanopaticles measuring 22 nm in diameter into the brain and then exposing specific regions to focused alternating magnetic fields http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/magnetic-brain-stimulation-0312. The applied magnetic field causes the nanoparticles to heat up, which quickly leads to activation of nearby neurons. This was a basic proof-of-concept study that originally emerged from cancer research that was using the nanoparticles to kill cancer cell in related regions; the nanoparticles can be heated to an amount sufficient to activate the neurons without harming them, and indeed have been used as MRI contrast enhancement agents for many years. A lot more work to be done however. 

8. Precise Forces on New Materials Produce Precise Colour Changes.
A new flexible materials reflects different wavelengths of light depending on how it is stretched and flexed http://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2015/engineers_create_chameleon-like_artificial_%E2%80%98skin%E2%80%99/. Taking inspiration from how some insects are coloured via nanoscale structural features that reflect certain wavelengths of light, this new material is a thin layer of silicon etched with rows of ridges that has been embedded into a silicone film. The ridges only reflect certain wavelengths of light and by flexing the material the distance between the ridges changes, as does the wavelength of light reflected - with 83% efficiency and able to convert green light to red for example. Further developments should improve this and allow for some pretty interesting applications. 

9. Mimicking Carbon Structures with Silicon: Fullerane.
The two-dimensional silicon analogue of graphene - known as silicene - has been previously demonstrated and is a hot area of research. Now silicon analogues of other three-dimensional carbon molecules have been demonstrated http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/materials/carbon-buckyballs-have-a-new-silicon-rival. Christened “fullerane” this molecule is comprised of a lone chlorine ion inside a cage of 20 silicon atoms that are attached to and surrounded by a halo of 12 other silicon atoms that are linked to a trio of chlorine atoms. The interesting thing here is that the chlorine-silicons provide functionalisation sites that can allow linking of other molecules or indeed to joining the silicon cages together in two- and three-dimensional arrays.

10. Latest Farm in a Box.
The latest farm-in-a-box builds on other farm-in-a-shipping container projects to create a very attractive unit http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/farm-box-produces-acres-worth-crops-shipping-container.html. The system uses 90% less water and 80% less fertiliser in a complete hydroponic growing and monitoring system that houses 2,800 growing spots in its 30 square meters, which might produce as much food as an entire acre of farmland. I’ve long been a fan of modular, automated food growing solutions such as this that, with the help of a few more technological iterations and cost reductions might really take off to enable more distributed, decentralised, and personal food production.  

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/editing-mammalian-memories-clearing.html ___

2015-03-09 11:33:57 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Our Personal Content Horizon.

+iPan Baal's post reminded me of an article I read on cracked.com a few years ago that stated that with regards to the Internet, and I quote, "Titties are post-scarcity." http://www.cracked.com/article_18817_5-reasons-future-will-be-ruled-by-b.s..html and this crude, flippant quote is really just a humorous stand-in for content in general.  

Making the analogy between the Internet and our Universe, which has the subset that we are familiar with, the Observable Universe, which is bordered by the ever-expanding Cosmological Horizon beyond which we can never see . . . one might postulate a Content Horizon as enclosing that subset of content (or information) that one might ever be able to consume, that subset itself being a tiny Observable Bubble within the accelerating expansion of the Universe of Content that will ever exist. 

Regardingc... more »

The size of the internet - it's content - grows so quickly that it is literally impossible for any human to see all of it.

That is, at the speed you currently browse, it wouldn't even be possible to browse all the internet sites and their pages, even if you only saw them for a fraction of a second, because new information is being put up faster than you can navigate to it.

This means, in effect, that some portion of the internet is actually growing away from you and will never be seen by you - unless somehow we upgrade ourselves and manage to become faster than the pace the internet grows (for a period of time, but will then see the pace of the net grow even faster).

This also means that the internet (saying nothing for quality) is essentially a place where you can experience endless content. No matter how fast you surf, no matter how many hours you spend on it, you couldn't possibly see all of it (in your current state) and so you live in a world without end - a world that grows bigger the longer you live in it.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that despite it's size, vast swathes are wastelands (just like the 'real' world with it's deserts and wastelands) - and thus we find ourselves populating the densest areas, both in people and content. Just like we do in real life (cities).

It's more interesting here (for me) - but if I wanted, I could find a corner of the internet where no one could ever find me - just as I could find a corner of the world where no one could find me.

It's amazing just trying to visualize that.

World without end. It's here, inside this machine. Right now.___Our Personal Content Horizon.

+iPan Baal's post reminded me of an article I read on cracked.com a few years ago that stated that with regards to the Internet, and I quote, "Titties are post-scarcity." http://www.cracked.com/article_18817_5-reasons-future-will-be-ruled-by-b.s..html and this crude, flippant quote is really just a humorous stand-in for content in general.  

Making the analogy between the Internet and our Universe, which has the subset that we are familiar with, the Observable Universe, which is bordered by the ever-expanding Cosmological Horizon beyond which we can never see . . . one might postulate a Content Horizon as enclosing that subset of content (or information) that one might ever be able to consume, that subset itself being a tiny Observable Bubble within the accelerating expansion of the Universe of Content that will ever exist. 

Regarding content and information-based resources in general online, not all such resources are increasing at the same rate of course. But as iPan points out the web as a whole certainly is increasing far faster than any human could ever hope to observe. I guess that is why we should be grateful for the machines we have built to go and observe "all" of it for us, like little interstellar probes shot out into the darkness of space to record and catalog what they find, reporting back to help narrow down the list of locations that are worthy of our attention and giving us personal Content Horizons that are hopefully filled with more worthwhile things than they otherwise would be. But we have our limits and there will be false negatives, things that we would have liked to see had we known they existed that were otherwise blocked from view.  

The proposed corner of the Internet that one might inhabit where none will find you is like an intergalactic void betwixt the vibrant network of gaseous galactic filaments. 

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2015-03-08 10:26:29 (11 comments, 25 reshares, 59 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 10/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/virtual-simulated-mouse-mind-controlled.html

Virtual simulated mouse, Mind controlled flight, Tensegrity robot, Amazing drones, Printable skin sensors, Biological quantum criticality, Conducting microbial nanowires, CRISPR germline engineering, Quantum error correction, Graphene. 

1. Simulated Mouse Brain in Virtual Mouse Body
A new neurorobotics platform developed by the Human Brain Project involves a single simulation that houses both a model mouse brain and model mouse body that interact with each other https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/-/a-simulated-mouse-brain-in-a-virtual-mouse-bo-2. To build the virtual mouse brain the team integrated data from the Allen Brain Institute and the Blue Brain Project, which included the positions of the 75 millionn... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 10/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/virtual-simulated-mouse-mind-controlled.html

Virtual simulated mouse, Mind controlled flight, Tensegrity robot, Amazing drones, Printable skin sensors, Biological quantum criticality, Conducting microbial nanowires, CRISPR germline engineering, Quantum error correction, Graphene. 

1. Simulated Mouse Brain in Virtual Mouse Body
A new neurorobotics platform developed by the Human Brain Project involves a single simulation that houses both a model mouse brain and model mouse body that interact with each other https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/-/a-simulated-mouse-brain-in-a-virtual-mouse-bo-2. To build the virtual mouse brain the team integrated data from the Allen Brain Institute and the Blue Brain Project, which included the positions of the 75 million neurons in a mouse brain plus neuron shapes, sizes, and connectivity patterns, and mapped this to different parts of the mouse body. This is a prototype of course, a simplified version with just 200,000 neurons, but still very exciting to see such a platform demonstrated and especially to see it develop into the future. 

2. Intimate Mind Control Over Plane Flight
A woman with electrodes implanted into her brain who previously demonstrated the ability to control a robotic arm by thinking, has now demonstrated the ability to fly a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter simulator with her thoughts http://defensetech.org/2015/03/02/this-woman-flew-an-f-35-simulator-with-her-mind/. The team claims an important distinction: in this case the woman wasn’t thinking about controlling a joystick or robotic arm, but rather more naturally thinking about controlling the plan directly, in a seemingly far more intuitive fashion. If true this marks a fairly significant development for seamless brain computer interfaces. 

3. A Whole Bunch of Freaking Amazing Robots & Drones
First, check out this amazing tensegrity robot developed by NASA, called the Super Ball Bot, and consisting of an array of rods connected by an array of cables http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robots/nasa-super-ball-bot. Check out the video; this thing looks ungainly but comes with a range of design benefits and I’ve been waiting to see more tensegrity principles incorporated into robotics for a while now. The latest robotics Video Friday is also a gem http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/video-friday-drones-3d-printed-arm-atrias-biped, with my favourites being first-person-view drone racing crashes, “weaponised” drone dog fights, robotic Oculus Rift surrogate telepresence, and the Taurus II telepresence manipulation system. 

4. More Drones: Bug Vision & Object Tracking
Leading on from some of the cool drone demonstration videos of existing capabilities in the last item I couldn’t help but include some new drone technological developments from this week. First, the development and demonstration of drones with biomimetic insect vision capable of autonomous navigation without on-board inertial control systems http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/aerial-robots/a-drone-with-bug-vision; the system is powered by optic-flow sensors that measure changes in the surrounding environment. Second, Perceptiv’s Shift technology represents a new level in autonomous drone autopilot capabilities for easy-to-use and seamless tracking of moving objects and smooth, stabilised video recording http://www.forbes.com/sites/frankbi/2015/02/25/perceptivs-shift-kit-helps-amateur-drone-pilots-shoot-professional-quality-video/; the team is working on advanced object-sense-and-avoid technology. Be sure to check out the video. 

5. Printable Skin Sensors
New conductive bio-inks have been developed that can be applied with an ordinary pen to create sensors on a variety of surfaces including human skin and leaves, and which can measure the presence of different molecules http://www.gizmag.com/bio-ink-sensors/36363/. Using fairly standard materials, in the demonstrations so far the inks could measure glucose beneath the skin and pollutants on leaves provided a reading device is brought in contact with the sensor. In related news a new flexible sensor material has been developed called iSkin intended for people to wear as multi-purpose customisable computer touch interfaces https://embodied.mpi-inf.mpg.de/research/iskin/. 

6. The Edge of Conduction: Quantum Criticality in Biological Molecules
A new discovery seems to show that most biomolecules are quantum critical conductors whose electronic properties are precisely tuned to the transition point between a metal and an insulator https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552. The electronic states of these molecules are balanced between conduction and insulation and typified by unpredictable currents that flow in avalanches whose size can vary significantly. The insight was enabled by new molecular measurement and modelling tools able to analyse the charge and energy distribution, which revealed that a few biomolecules are conductors and a few are insulators but the vast majority are quantum critical conductors, which was a significant surprise, considered statistically very unlikely and implying that these properties were selected by evolution. A fascinating result and implications. 

7. Conducting Microbial Nanowires
In news perhaps related to biological quantum criticality we have the latest experimental evidence suggesting that protein-based microbial nanowires do indeed possess metal-like conductivity http://phys.org/news/2015-03-theory-debate-microbial-nanowires.html. There has been a lot of debate over the last few years whether this is indeed the case. But if this is indeed true then the promise is that these protein-based conductive nanowires are now a tool that might be added and engineered into other cells in order to perform useful functions for example, converting chemical energy into electricity, using electricity to power related or re-engineered enzymes such as artificial photosynthesis, and interfacing with our electronic technologies and devices. 

8. Riding the Slope Towards Germline Engineering
This week we had a fascinating article exploring the rise of CRISPR technology and the fact that it is the easiest germline engineering tool we have ever developed http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/535661/engineering-the-perfect-baby/. Germline engineering refers to altering the genetic material that will develop into an embryo and subsequent human baby, whether for purposes of fixing disease-causing mutated genes, or for making genetic enhancements. This is already being done in animals, will soon be done in monkeys, and is a matter of when not if it will be done in humans, and could well form a standard part of IVF procedures; a number of companies are already pursuing opportunities in this space that are already tinkering with human egg cells. Personally, I believe we have a moral obligation to correct disease-causing genes for new people if it is possible to do so, and I support the pursuit of human enhancement using these technologies for a range of reasons within certain constraints. 

9. Google’s Quantum Computing Error Correction
Research supported by Google has resulted in the development of the ability to program qubits to detect certain types of quantum error and prevent these errors from ruining a quantum calculation http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535621/google-researchers-make-quantum-computing-components-more-reliable/. The proof-of-concept only used nine qubits, but successfully demonstrated the ability to monitor and prevent bit-flip errors (a 1 flips to a 0) caused by environmental noise from contaminating the calculation. Future work will focus on other errors caused by environmental noise such as phase alterations and also demonstrate error correction larger arrays of qubits. 

10. Some Interesting Graphene Developments
First, graphene nanoribbons formed into a three dimensional aerogels turn out to be excellent catalysts for fuel cells http://news.rice.edu/2015/03/02/aerogel-catalyst-shows-promise-for-fuel-cells/. Second, when graphene is stretched or strained, external electric and magnetic fields can precisely control and switch the movement of electrons that exhibit almost photon-like behaviour in graphene http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/electrons-are-snake-charmed-across-graphene. Third, graphene seems to form one of the most efficient thermionic energy conversion materials ever discovered, in which a heat source evaporates electrons that are collected on a condenser anode http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=39283.php. Finally, modified buckminsterfullerene might produce high-energy buckybomb explosive materials http://phys.org/news/2015-03-buckybomb-potential-power-nanoscale-explosives.html. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/virtual-simulated-mouse-mind-controlled.html ___

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2015-03-07 07:54:00 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Two Liters of Fresh Juice

- 2 pineapples
- 1 beetroot
- 2 lemons
- 4 oranges
- 4 green apples
- 4 large carrots

Delicious when chilled. We make a different one every weekend; last weekend was a surprisingly refreshing green juice with spinach. This juice is only frothy on top - I've only just given it a stir and will skim most of the froth off. The colour of this juice (beneath the froth) is dominated by the smallest ingredient by volume, the beetroot. The two of us usually finish this over 2 days. 

Two Liters of Fresh Juice

- 2 pineapples
- 1 beetroot
- 2 lemons
- 4 oranges
- 4 green apples
- 4 large carrots

Delicious when chilled. We make a different one every weekend; last weekend was a surprisingly refreshing green juice with spinach. This juice is only frothy on top - I've only just given it a stir and will skim most of the froth off. The colour of this juice (beneath the froth) is dominated by the smallest ingredient by volume, the beetroot. The two of us usually finish this over 2 days. ___

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2015-03-03 12:25:11 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Brain in a robot FTW!

I've often thought that given the simulation abilities and virtual worlds we will create in future it is likely, at some point, that we will get to explore and re-live a great many different lives; both possible forks of our own journey, and those of others past, future, and fantastical. 

Perils of being tied in half dimension of time.___Brain in a robot FTW!

I've often thought that given the simulation abilities and virtual worlds we will create in future it is likely, at some point, that we will get to explore and re-live a great many different lives; both possible forks of our own journey, and those of others past, future, and fantastical. 

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2015-03-01 09:12:19 (18 comments, 28 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 09/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/dna-nanotubes-injected-hydrogels-super.html

DNA nanotubes, Injected hydrogels, Super atomic bonds, Quicker multicore chips, DeepMind plays games, DNA minicircle applications, Optogenetic pain control, Superatom superconductors, 5G at 1Tbps, New agricultural tools. 

1. Self-Assembled DNA Nanotubes
Continuing the development and evolution of DNA origami techniques we saw the demonstration of a new method of directed DNA self-assembly to produce DNA nanotubes http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/building-tailor-made-dna-nanotubes-step-step-243039. The new method adds modular block subunits iteratively, results in fewer errors, and by incorporating fluorescent tags the group were able to observe the addition of successive blocks to the nanotube. The prototype... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 09/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/dna-nanotubes-injected-hydrogels-super.html

DNA nanotubes, Injected hydrogels, Super atomic bonds, Quicker multicore chips, DeepMind plays games, DNA minicircle applications, Optogenetic pain control, Superatom superconductors, 5G at 1Tbps, New agricultural tools. 

1. Self-Assembled DNA Nanotubes
Continuing the development and evolution of DNA origami techniques we saw the demonstration of a new method of directed DNA self-assembly to produce DNA nanotubes http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/building-tailor-made-dna-nanotubes-step-step-243039. The new method adds modular block subunits iteratively, results in fewer errors, and by incorporating fluorescent tags the group were able to observe the addition of successive blocks to the nanotube. The prototype DNA nanotubes constructed with the technique reached about 20 units, or 450nm in length. I imagine such structures being used as atomically precise scaffolding in future. 

2. Drug Delivery via Injected Self-Healing Hydrogel
A new self-healing hydrogel comprised of a mesh of nanoparticles and polymer strands can be implanted into patients simply by injecting through a syringe http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/self-healing-nanogel-drug-delivery-0219. Such gels might carry one or more drugs at a time that are released at a controlled rate over a defined period of time; the prototype performed successfully in mice and released both a hydrophobic and hydrophilic drug over several days. I’d also be interested to see if such a gel could be loaded with functional cells - either bacterial or modified versions of the patients own - and protect such cells from the immune system as they respond to the environment and produce useful biochemical factors.

3. Confirmation of Metastable Innershell Molecular States
Metastable Innershell Molecular States were a theoretical prediction of short-lived molecules formed by high-energy collisions and bound together by deep electrons in the inner, as opposed to outer, shell or orbital. Bond strengths for these short-lived molecules are up to 1,000 times stronger and lengths 100 times shorter than normal molecules, and their dissociation would produce high-energy X-rays http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metastable_inner-shell_molecular_state. New work seems to confirm that these entities do in fact exist http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/02/confirmation-of-ultra-high-energy.html. Possible future applications include high intensity X-rays, advanced lithography, superexplosives, and inertial fusion.

4. Boosting the Speed of Muticore Chips
A new scheduling technique distributes data and computation throughout multicore chips with such efficiency that a test 64 core chip realised a computational speed increase of 46% and a power consumption decrease of 36% https://gigaom.com/2015/02/20/mit-researchers-claim-they-have-a-way-to-make-faster-chips/. The advance addresses problems in communication and memory access in increasingly parallel systems by trying to co-locate data and the associated computation. That’s a pretty decent contribution; one piece of work from one team produces the equivalent of an additional full year of Moore’s Law type increases. 

5. Google DeepMind Learns to Play Many More Games
Originally demonstrating the ability to independently learn to play and master a couple of very simple computer games, the team behind Google-acquired DeepMind has successfully developed the system further to the point where it has now taught itself to play and master a much wider range of more complex 1980s Atari games http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/artificial-intelligence/google-ai-learns-classic-arcade-games-from-scratch-would-probably-beat-you-at-them. The system, known as a deep Q-network, the result of the evolution of deep learning techniques, and running on a single GPU-equipped desktop computer achieved impressive results in the games. The team next hope to address requirements for sophisticated exploration and long-term planning, and plan to move onto games from the 1990s. 

6. Cancer Detection and Cell Manipulation with DNA Minicircles
DNA minicircles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minicircle) are short plasmid derivatives about 4,000 basepairs long able to function as transgenic elements to get DNA inside cells, but lack bacterial DNA and so less likely to be recognised as foreign, and can also be made to replicate or not (and degrade) in the host cell. By injecting into mice DNA minicircles (in a carrier), that encode a gene only active during embryonic development, and controlled by a promoter region that is only active during embryonic development and in most (all?) cancer cells (never in healthy adult cells), researchers have caused mice with cancer (but not those without) to express a protein that can be easily detected in blood within two days to diagnose the presence and approximate amount of cancer http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/02/customized-dna-rings-aid-early-cancer-detection-in-mice.html. Other applications include producing fluorescent proteins to image cancer cells directly, using different elements able to respond & manipulate different cells behaviour in different ways, and ideally via oral delivery. 

7. Controlling Pain via Optogenetics
By shining specific wavelengths of light onto the anterior cingulate cortex of mice brains modified by optogenetics (certain neurons producing light-sensitive channel proteins) researchers were able to controllably stimulate inhibitory neurons to drastically reduce the experience of pain for the mice http://www.uta.edu/news/releases/2015/02/mohanty-pain-inhibition.php. This was far more effective than electrode-based stimulation, which leads to activation of both inhibitory and excitatory neurons involved in these circuits. The group has also built up considerable expertise in near-infrared two-photon stimulation to allow deeper and more precise targeting and activation of optogenetically modified neurons. 

8. Superconductivity in Superatoms
Superatoms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superatom) made of a homogenous cluster of aluminium have been found to form cooper-pairs and superconduct at a temperature of 100 Kelvin http://news.usc.edu/76293/these-superconductors-are-just-getting-warmed-up/. Contrast this to bulk aluminium, which superconducts at 1 Kelvin. Another impressive feat demonstrated by the group was the ability to construct superatoms with a defined number of atoms, from 32 all the way up to 95 atoms and to precisely probe the electron energy levels of each. The hope is that further research on other types of elemental superatoms might reveal far higher superconducting temperatures, always striving for room temperature, and fabricating tracks of connected superatoms on circuits might enable nanoscale superconducting paths for a range of applications. See also superatom crystals http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2013/06/artificial-superatoms-new-periodic-table. 

9. 5G Cellphone Speeds of 1 Terabit per Second
New prototype wireless transmitters and receivers were demonstrated for future 5G networks that successfully facilitated data transfers of 1 terabit per second over a distance of 100m http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/02/5g-cellphone-wireless-speeds-of-1.html. The group ultimately hope to bring the end-to-end latency of the system down below one millisecond. This compared to Ofcom, which hopes to have 5G networks offering 50 Gpbs across the UK by 2020. 

10. A Trio of Agricultural Developments
There were a few interesting agricultural projects this week. First, vertical farming continues to spring up around the world with a new facility next to a Wyoming parking lot called Vertical Harvest able to produce 37,000 pounds of greens, 4,400 pounds of herbs, and 44,000 pounds of tomatoes http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/26/8112889/vertical-farm-wyoming-hydroponics-grow-food. Second, we saw a new beehive design called the Flow Hive demonstrated that automatically extracts honey via tap without disturbing the bees http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/02/honey-on-tap/. Finally, new company Afforestt offers a new system for regrowing forests that can produce a mature forest in just ten years http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/02/growing-mature-forest-in-ten-years.html. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/03/dna-nanotubes-injected-hydrogels-super.html___

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2015-02-28 13:04:32 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

Nature Chemistry's Coverage of the Latest in Molecular Electronics.

I just came across the latest Nature Chemistry journal with its focus on molecular electronics - seriously, what else would I be doing on a Saturday night!?

http://www.nature.com/nchem/focus/molecular-electronics/index.html#ed

It's pay-walled of course, but just the list of article titles and abstracts is pretty damn mind-blowing. There is the effect of molecular length on charge carriers in single molecules, single molecular switching, DNA charge transport, DNA molecular electronics, single molecule diodes, molecular rectifiers, currents through molecular wires and others. 

#molecular   #electronics   #chemistry  

Nature Chemistry's Coverage of the Latest in Molecular Electronics.

I just came across the latest Nature Chemistry journal with its focus on molecular electronics - seriously, what else would I be doing on a Saturday night!?

http://www.nature.com/nchem/focus/molecular-electronics/index.html#ed

It's pay-walled of course, but just the list of article titles and abstracts is pretty damn mind-blowing. There is the effect of molecular length on charge carriers in single molecules, single molecular switching, DNA charge transport, DNA molecular electronics, single molecule diodes, molecular rectifiers, currents through molecular wires and others. 

#molecular   #electronics   #chemistry  ___

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2015-02-26 12:24:06 (9 comments, 11 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

Drone Delivery.
Ever hear about the Amazon delivery drones and think Naaah, no way! 
Ever hear about delivering packages via drones and think Not going to happen by 2020 or even 2025! 
Then check this out, and be sure to read the video description afterwards. 

#drone   #delivery   #quadcopter  

Drone Delivery.
Ever hear about the Amazon delivery drones and think Naaah, no way! 
Ever hear about delivering packages via drones and think Not going to happen by 2020 or even 2025! 
Then check this out, and be sure to read the video description afterwards. 

#drone   #delivery   #quadcopter  ___

2015-02-24 12:41:21 (14 comments, 7 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Might 100% of Your Memories be at Least Partly Fictitious?
Latest research suggests yes.

The latest You Are Not So Smart podcast about the science of misremembering, memory, and confabulation is well worth a listen. The key feature of this episode is the interview with psychologist Julia Shaw and the discussion of her latest research (which I covered in a recent SciTech Digest [1]) showing that it is possible to implant false memories into people and convince them that they committed crimes that they did not commit. 

Julia kicks off with the statement that 100% of human memories are at least partially fictitious and as the talk delves into the nature of the memory implantation work one can't help but consider the nature and meaning of human memory, personal identity, and life narratives. Pretty fundamental stuff. 

At the end we get a discussion on recento... more »

Might 100% of Your Memories be at Least Partly Fictitious?
Latest research suggests yes.

The latest You Are Not So Smart podcast about the science of misremembering, memory, and confabulation is well worth a listen. The key feature of this episode is the interview with psychologist Julia Shaw and the discussion of her latest research (which I covered in a recent SciTech Digest [1]) showing that it is possible to implant false memories into people and convince them that they committed crimes that they did not commit. 

Julia kicks off with the statement that 100% of human memories are at least partially fictitious and as the talk delves into the nature of the memory implantation work one can't help but consider the nature and meaning of human memory, personal identity, and life narratives. Pretty fundamental stuff. 

At the end we get a discussion on recent optogenetics work trying to engineer memory and directly implant false memories (into mice for now) via light-induced neuronal activation, which was also covered in the SciTech Digest about five months ago [2]. 

Finally, during the interview a TED talk by psychologist Elizabeth Loftus is referred to. Elizabeth is one of the leading researchers world-wide in the field of false memories and confabulation. The talk is brilliant in its own right and induces fascination, wonder, anger, injustice, and sadness, and all because of the pervasive ignorance throughout society regarding the true nature of very fallible human memory. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2OegI6wvI 

And, just by coincidence, tonight we happened to watch the new movie Before I Go To Sleep. It's a pretty good psychological thriller about a woman who has lost her memory following an accident and forgets the previous day's memories after falling asleep. I thought of a few different possible twists while watching but was completely surprised by the one they went with; I didn't see that coming! Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtSzAEvBIK0 

[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150115102835.htm
[2] http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/devices/lasers-switch-memories-from-bad-to-good 

#memory   #identity   #fallibility  ___

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2015-02-24 02:54:26 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

My 2014 Year in Photos.
Sharing mainly so I have a publicly accessible link. 

My 2014 Year in Photos.
Sharing mainly so I have a publicly accessible link. ___

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2015-02-22 08:02:14 (21 comments, 42 reshares, 177 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 08/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/autonomous-atom-assembly-human.html

Autonomous atom assembly, Auto face detection, Human epigenome map, DNA data storage, UberBlox modular tools, Ultrasound vs brain barrier, Strong limpet teeth, Measuring synaptic transmission, Early cancer tests, Silicon nanofiber batteries. 

1. Autonomous Assembly of Atoms into Nanostructures
NIST researchers have developed a new system that enables the computer-controlled autonomous assembly of individual atoms into precisely defined nanostructures on a copper surface using a scanning tunnelling microscope http://www.nist.gov/cnst/automated_atom_assembly.cfm. The system first scans the surface to determine the precise locations of the atoms available for assembly, calculates the coordinate transformations necessary to... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 08/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/autonomous-atom-assembly-human.html

Autonomous atom assembly, Auto face detection, Human epigenome map, DNA data storage, UberBlox modular tools, Ultrasound vs brain barrier, Strong limpet teeth, Measuring synaptic transmission, Early cancer tests, Silicon nanofiber batteries. 

1. Autonomous Assembly of Atoms into Nanostructures
NIST researchers have developed a new system that enables the computer-controlled autonomous assembly of individual atoms into precisely defined nanostructures on a copper surface using a scanning tunnelling microscope http://www.nist.gov/cnst/automated_atom_assembly.cfm. The system first scans the surface to determine the precise locations of the atoms available for assembly, calculates the coordinate transformations necessary to move the atoms to new locations, then instructs the STM tip to move the atoms as desired. As a possible application the group quote the production of tailored quantum states for information processing and nanophotonics.

2. Face Detection Algorithms at Human Performance Levels
Deep Sense Face Detector is a new face detection algorithm, built on a deep convolutional neural network, that is able to quickly and accurately spot human faces at any angle and orientation in an image, even when partially occluded http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535201/the-face-detection-algorithm-set-to-revolutionize-image-search/. Key applications of course include image search and robotics, particularly robotic interaction with humans. Such detection capabilities combined with ever-better face recognition capabilities provide a glimpse into the near-future capabilities we’ll have for searching for people through both personal images and surveillance footage. In related news software is being developed to determine where a video was shot based based on the scenery and ambient sound http://www.gizmag.com/video-geolocation-algorithms/36172/. 

3. First Human Epigenome Map
A map of the human epigenome has been generated for the first time, and in the process creating a valuable tool that embodies genomic epigenetic changes, their regulatory effects, and comparisons across a wide range of cell and tissue samples http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/human-epigenome-map-0218. The data generated involved 150 billion sequencing reads and 3,174-fold coverage of the human genome and relied heavily on machine-learning algorithms to translate these massive datasets. The goal here is to understand the dynamic epigenetic code and how it might be manipulated; how it relates to cell and tissue specialisation and gives rise to various traits. 

4. Very Long Term Data Storage via DNA Encoding
Digital data can typically be encoded into DNA for short term applications. But by taking the digitally encoded DNA strands and encapsulating them in silica glass spheres measuring 150 nm researchers created a fossilised storage medium able to potentially preserve the digital information for a million years or more https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2015/02/data-storage-for-eternity.html. The information is retrieved by breaking down the glass with fluorine chemistry and sequencing the DNA found within, but the key enabling development was the addition and use of error-correction codes to handle the inevitable errors that are present. The proof-of-concept successfully stored and retrieved the Switzerland Federal Charter and an Archimedes text. 

5. UberBlox: Modular Components for Tools and Devices
UberBlox is a new modular construction set and prototyping system with a standard connection and locking mechanism between units and a variety of control systems for computer enabled automation of a wide variety of tools and devices http://www.gizmag.com/uberblox-modular-construction-set-lego-maker/36006/. UberBlox can be assembled into a range of devices including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC millers and routers, manipulator arms, rovers, robots, and all compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other systems. Modularity enables familiar standards, ease of use, lower costs, and faster evolution of designs; we just need to reach the point of creating something like an UberBlox that can create more UberBoxes.

6. Applications for Opening the Blood Brain Barrier with Ultrasound
Magnetic resonance imaging has previously been used to guide focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood brain barrier to allow desired drugs to pass through. In a recent study this technique was used on the hippocampus of animal models of Alzheimers disease, and was found to assist with the reduction of plaques, increase neuronal plasticity, and improve cognition and spatial learning, and all without tissue damage or behavioural changes http://www.nibib.nih.gov/news-events/newsroom/attacking-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-ultrasound. Early days but with such a relatively simple technique and promising animal results I’m thinking human tests will be good to see. 

7. Limpet Teeth: New Strongest Natural Material
Limpet teeth are made of geothite and recent tests suggest the fibrous structure of this material in limpet teeth may be the strongest known natural material http://www.port.ac.uk/uopnews/2015/02/18/scientists-find-strongest-natural-material/. Interestingly the strength of the limpet teeth was found to be somewhat scale-invariant, with the same relative strength over different length scales - a counter-intuitive finding given larger structures tend to have more defects and so less relative strength. Finding a synthetic process to mimic the fabrication of this material on a large scale would have obvious applications across a wide range of areas. 

8. Measuring Synaptic Transmission in Live Animals
For the first time the synaptic transmission between neurons in live animals has been recorded with the aid of optogenetics http://actu.epfl.ch/news/controlling-brain-cells-with-light/. Using optogenetically engineered mice that produce neurons sensitive to certain wavelengths of light, researchers activated a subset of neurons in the sensory cortex with flashes of blue light while simultaneously using implanted microelectrodes to record electrical signals in neighbouring neurons, and used this to directly observe the activation of one neuron from another. Developing this technique the group showed that synaptic transmission differs depending on the type of neuron receiving the signal, and ultimately hope this can be used to build larger pictures of connectivity between other types of neuron across the brain. 

9. Developing Liquid Biopsies and Early Cancer Tests
A nice overview article gives an update of the rapid development of liquid biopsies and testing for early stage cancers via DNA sequencing a drop of blood from patients http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/534991/liquid-biopsy/. The technique, originally developed for testing a drop of a pregnant woman’s blood to sequence DNA determine whether her fetus has Down Syndrome, is now making big strides in testing for the presence of early stage cancers with numerous clinical studies underway. The benefits of such a technique being rolled out would have a profound impact on patients as the prognosis for early, pre-symptomatic, cancer detection is much better. The the rapidly declining cost of DNA sequencing strongly suggests that before too long we might all have a weekly or monthly sequencing test. 

10. Silicon Nanofibers Enable Better Batteries
I don’t often cover battery technologies because they’re announced all the time with usually little result. But this new paper-like material composed of a high-density matrix of silicon nanofibers as an anode for lithium-ion batteries looks quite promising http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/27263. Silicon can pack 10 times the electrical charge per unit weight compared to typical graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries and should enable similar-sized batteries with several times the storage capacity. Produced via electrospinning the new material solves existing problems of scalability and volume expansion. Multigram amounts were fabricated for prototyping and testing and the group next plans to fabricate a standard pouch-cell lithium-ion battery for testing with real devices. Doubling or quadrupling lithium-ion battery capacity impacts everything from smartphones to drones to electric vehicles. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/autonomous-atom-assembly-human.html ___

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2015-02-19 13:54:53 (28 comments, 4 reshares, 59 +1s)Open 

Current VR Setup

Naturally, getting a new phone with a big 6" QuadHD / 2K display demanded I get my hands on a new, bigger Google Cardboard with which to view virtual reality content. The new phone certainly wouldn't fit in the old cardboard, and to really appreciate that pixel density you're going to have to strap it to your face. And after playing around with this a few times I'm convinced I need a 4K screen in my next device, and hopefully an 8K screen after that; pixel density is still not good enough. Also looking forward to a dedicated, comfortable, robust headset at some point. 

A few other necessities:
- Wad of Blu Tack on the nose-rest to prevent sore crease forming on nose.
- Headphones are a must; this phone has great speakers but you need dedicated in-ear audio for best effect.
- Turn the lights off; a darkened room is best to... more »

Current VR Setup

Naturally, getting a new phone with a big 6" QuadHD / 2K display demanded I get my hands on a new, bigger Google Cardboard with which to view virtual reality content. The new phone certainly wouldn't fit in the old cardboard, and to really appreciate that pixel density you're going to have to strap it to your face. And after playing around with this a few times I'm convinced I need a 4K screen in my next device, and hopefully an 8K screen after that; pixel density is still not good enough. Also looking forward to a dedicated, comfortable, robust headset at some point. 

A few other necessities:
- Wad of Blu Tack on the nose-rest to prevent sore crease forming on nose.
- Headphones are a must; this phone has great speakers but you need dedicated in-ear audio for best effect.
- Turn the lights off; a darkened room is best to prevent light leakage from the bottom / sides destroying the feeling of immersion.
- A bluetooth controller compatible with your smartphone. I previously hacked a PS3 controller to work with the old system but decided to get a dedicated one this time around and chose the new Asus Game Pad that was launched for the Google Nexus Player. 

Tonight I:
- Went back to the abandoned spaceship I'd first visited with cardboard and despite the fact that I knew the aliens were there, and I knew they came after you, and I knew they surprised you . . . still experienced that visceral feeling of terror, surge of adrenaline, hair standing on end, sick in the pit of my stomach at the sight of one and being pursued by one. 
- Rode on a wild roller coaster around a tropical island.
- Shot zombies while walking down dark abandoned subway lines. 
- Orbited a planet while dodging debris and space junk and shooting weird aliens. 
- Did a vertical drop from orbit, avoiding obstacles, but managing to die multiple times.
- Bounced around a simulated mountain landscape.
- Floated on a serene lake at night, the waves lapping and crickets chirping, as candle-lanterns drifted by, past a bridge, and off towards the mountains. 
- Explored a level from the FPS game Shadowgun but wasn't able to shoot anything unfortunately (needed controller). 
- Sat in a dark creepy room with a low power torch looking around for murder clues as the door slammed shut, foot prints appeared on the floor, a bloody hand on the wall, and a girl in a chair scurried off.
- Watched parts of three different VR movies including "The Mission" set in WW2, "Kaiju Fury" set in a city under attack from a giant monster, and "Black Mass" which was pretty damn creepy. 

And there are of course "other" VR content genres emerging for your ahem discrete consumption. 

Not Just Video
Audio is becoming an increasingly important aspect of a good VR experience as evidenced by the resurgence of 3D Audio, which is not to be mistaken with surround sound which is very different. +The Verge had a great, recent article on 3D Audio or Binaural Audio and I'd recommend you checking it out here http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/12/8021733/3d-audio-3dio-binaural-immersive-vr-sound-times-square-new-york but even if you don't you should definitely watch this accompanying video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd5i7TlpzCk from the article with headphones in to see (and hear!) what it is all about. 

#cardboard   #virtual   #reality  ___

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2015-02-18 10:44:27 (42 comments, 0 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Caffeine Abstinence. 

I've only had caffeine once in the last two and a half weeks. This from a usual routine of two cups of coffee each day and a coke most nights. But I hadn't been sleeping well: difficulty falling asleep, a long time to fall asleep, very light sleep and easily woken, waking up earlier than expected and earlier than the alarm. Insomnia at some point along the spectrum. 

I have generally good sleep hygiene - good room environment - but knew it had to be something. I've also been rather paranoid about getting enough sleep ever since reading this study about sleep being critical for cleaning the brain of waste products and maintaining good mental health http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3956. First thing to try was cutting out caffeine; cold turkey. 

Within days I was sleeping solidly again and have only had one badnig... more »

Caffeine Abstinence. 

I've only had caffeine once in the last two and a half weeks. This from a usual routine of two cups of coffee each day and a coke most nights. But I hadn't been sleeping well: difficulty falling asleep, a long time to fall asleep, very light sleep and easily woken, waking up earlier than expected and earlier than the alarm. Insomnia at some point along the spectrum. 

I have generally good sleep hygiene - good room environment - but knew it had to be something. I've also been rather paranoid about getting enough sleep ever since reading this study about sleep being critical for cleaning the brain of waste products and maintaining good mental health http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3956. First thing to try was cutting out caffeine; cold turkey. 

Within days I was sleeping solidly again and have only had one bad night in the last two and a half weeks. I'm also more alert during the day than when I was consuming coffees and cokes and have probably consumed 50 or so teaspoons of sugar less than I otherwise would have, which adds up pretty quickly when you think about it. 

Of course this is only a nice correlation at this stage; to really be sure caffeine was the culprit I'd have to repeat the experience. Regardless I plan to keep this new habit, but not exclusively - everything in moderation - and I'm happy to indulge on weekends and with others during social occasions. 

Everyone's metabolism is different of course, and I'd be interested to hear other people's relationship to the most popular and widely dosed stimulant drug in the world. How many coffees per day do you have and do you sleep well?

Caffeine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine 

#coffee   #caffeine   #sleep  ___

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2015-02-17 13:11:11 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

Celebrating One Million YouTube Views!
300,000 views ago :P

In recognition of passing what is, for me, the significant milestone of my first 1,000,000 views of my videos on YouTube I wanted to make a new and updated basic robots video with the new Lego EV3 set. This was chosen partly in homage to the original 4 Basic Robots video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85kI6oBSXHY) that has turned out to be my most popular video so far and earning me many 100s of dollars in ad income, and partly because it is fun as hell. 

The thing is, the event of buying my first house and other happenings in life kinda got in the way of my pursuit of personal projects like this and before I knew it four months and an additional 300,000 views had slipped by. 

And really, after using the NXT Lego kit to make a telepresence robot, a book-scanning robot, a keyless home entry system,a... more »

Celebrating One Million YouTube Views!
300,000 views ago :P

In recognition of passing what is, for me, the significant milestone of my first 1,000,000 views of my videos on YouTube I wanted to make a new and updated basic robots video with the new Lego EV3 set. This was chosen partly in homage to the original 4 Basic Robots video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85kI6oBSXHY) that has turned out to be my most popular video so far and earning me many 100s of dollars in ad income, and partly because it is fun as hell. 

The thing is, the event of buying my first house and other happenings in life kinda got in the way of my pursuit of personal projects like this and before I knew it four months and an additional 300,000 views had slipped by. 

And really, after using the NXT Lego kit to make a telepresence robot, a book-scanning robot, a keyless home entry system, and other things it was well past time to have a tinker and play with the newer EV3 Lego robotics kit. These 5 basic robots are the standard designs and programs that come with the kit and are models that everyone with an EV3 should be familiar with. The video is broken down as follows:

0:02 - Time lapse build
1:31 - Track3r Tank Bot
2:31 - Ev3rstorm Humanoid Bot
3:33 - Strik3r Scorpion Bot
4:36 - R3ptar Snake Bot
5:38 - Gripp3r Mover Bot

One thing that becomes abundantly apparent when building and programming these basic robots is that Lego designers are fricken geniuses. Generally the level of cleverness isn't obvious from just observing the robots do their basic things, but only becomes apparent when building the thing from scratch and seeing and understanding the constraints and other design choices made to enable a particular function. 

As always this is a creative endeavour: building these things inspires additional creativity and creative thinking, reinforces the power and importance of modularity in technology, and invariably leads to thoughts of what might be possible if you had swarms of programmable self-assembling bits. 

Other stats for the channel include:
- There are currently 1,900 subscribers
- Last month there were 70,000 views, which is slightly above average although this has been double at times
- Last month there were 184,000 minutes watched, which works out to be 3,066 hours or 127.8 days or 4.12 months
- i.e. there were a bit over 4 months worth of video watched last month, which means a bit over 4 sets of eyeballs are watching the videos at any given instant 
- This translates into about $95 in earnings
- 87% of the audience is male
- 33% are aged 25-34 yo, while 77% are aged 18-44 yo
- 52% of views are via computer, 25% via mobile

#lego   #ev3   #robots  ___

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2015-02-17 09:54:59 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Checking out Slickwraps.

I ordered some Slickwraps (slickwraps.com) the other week to try and give my phone a new look, and after a tricky application process involving repeated careful alignment and a blow dryer managed to get the result below. This is the white carbon fiber wrap.

Pros:
- Back plate looks great
- Textures feel great
- More grip and less slippery

Cons:
- Alignment isn't perfect, especially on curved surfaces
- Noticeably less travel for power and volume buttons
- Sharper feeling edges
- Front plate isn't the best

Still undecided whether I'll keep the wrap or not but probably leaning towards taking it off; glad I gave it a try in any case. Has anyone else given these a go?


Checking out Slickwraps.

I ordered some Slickwraps (slickwraps.com) the other week to try and give my phone a new look, and after a tricky application process involving repeated careful alignment and a blow dryer managed to get the result below. This is the white carbon fiber wrap.

Pros:
- Back plate looks great
- Textures feel great
- More grip and less slippery

Cons:
- Alignment isn't perfect, especially on curved surfaces
- Noticeably less travel for power and volume buttons
- Sharper feeling edges
- Front plate isn't the best

Still undecided whether I'll keep the wrap or not but probably leaning towards taking it off; glad I gave it a try in any case. Has anyone else given these a go?
___

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2015-02-15 05:13:16 (12 comments, 50 reshares, 90 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 07/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html

CRISPR via light, Volume graphene production, Spot the robot, Printed DNA hydrogels, Implanted artificial organs, Printing via spinnerets, Scanadu tricorder, Prosthetic arms, Contact lens telescope, GMO apple approval. 

1. Light-Induced CRISPR for Custom Tissue Architectures 
By attaching light sensitive proteins from plants to a specific CRISPR sequence and to gene activation proteins a new controlled gene regulation system has been engineered that enables any desired gene to be switched on and off by simply shining light of a particular wavelength onto the cell http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/controlling-genes-light. The proof-of-concept showed a dish of cells expressing fluorescent proteins only on those areas thath... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 07/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html

CRISPR via light, Volume graphene production, Spot the robot, Printed DNA hydrogels, Implanted artificial organs, Printing via spinnerets, Scanadu tricorder, Prosthetic arms, Contact lens telescope, GMO apple approval. 

1. Light-Induced CRISPR for Custom Tissue Architectures 
By attaching light sensitive proteins from plants to a specific CRISPR sequence and to gene activation proteins a new controlled gene regulation system has been engineered that enables any desired gene to be switched on and off by simply shining light of a particular wavelength onto the cell http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/controlling-genes-light. The proof-of-concept showed a dish of cells expressing fluorescent proteins only on those areas that had been exposed to light. Future applications include light-induced control over the variable differentiation of stem cell cultures to facilitate better and more realistic tissue engineering, or even skin-based cell therapies that allow you to activate a particular pathway at will.

2. Towards Volume Production of Graphene
An alteration to conventional chemical vapour deposition techniques has resulted in a new method to enable the scalable production of graphene sheets http://www.rug.nl/news/2015/02/0210-publ-grafeen. The key insight was simply to grow the graphene on a copper oxide substrate; the process of removing or decoupling the graphene from this substrate preserves the graphene structure and properties and circumvents the risks of breakage or contamination. In related graphene fabrication news, 3D printing of complex 3D graphene-based structures is being facilitated by better graphene-loaded inks http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=38965.php. 

3. Spot, by Boston Dynamics
Leading robotics company Boston Dynamics showed off a new mid-size quadruped robot weighing 160 lbs called Spot this week http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/spot-is-boston-dynamics-nimble-new-quadruped-robot. Smaller but faster and more agile than its big brother Big Dog, Spot is battery powered and actuated by hydraulics, and can recover quickly from even severe knocks - as can be seen in the embedded video and which will test your anthropomorphic tendencies. In other robotics news new flying drone designs prove almost indestructible in most situations http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots/gimball-drones-for-good-competition. 

4. 3D Printed Self-Assembled Hydrogel Structures
Complementary DNA strands loaded into a gel enable the gel to carry live cells and be 3D printed into custom structures http://phys.org/news/2015-02-synthetic-dna-gel-artificial.html. The complementary DNA self-assembles to impart the mechanical characteristics of the gel, which can be altered as needed by changing the sequence of DNA; this self-assembly obviates the need for high temperatures and so better facilitates the handling of live cells through a print nozzle for tissue engineering applications. In other biological self-assembly news the self-assembled protein coats some microbes use to protect themselves is offering insights for engineering artificial variants for a range of purposes http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/11/bacterial-armor/. 

5. Artificial Organs in Implantable Capsules
Pancreatic precursor cells loaded into a flexible, biocompatible mesh capsule that blocks white blood cells but allows the passage of nutrients, oxygen, waste products, proteins, and secreted factors, successfully treats diabetes in animals for long periods of time and has already been implanted into one person to kick off clinical trials http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535036/a-pancreas-in-a-capsule/. The device was developed by Viacyte and they aren’t the only group developing similar technologies; future work will improve the life of the device and create full differentiated islet cells rather than a mix. It’s fascinating to think how the function of artificial organs can be provided in this way, or even other custom biological functions perhaps; combined with the light-induced CRISPR you could have a subdermal patch that you switch on when needed to pump out some enzyme like alcohol dehydrogenase for example. 

6. Robotic Bio-Mimicking Spinnerets for Amazing 3D Printing
A new 3D printer demonstration combines a robotic arm and an innovative 3D printer that includes multiple dynamically moving print heads that each continuously extrude print filament in a system that mimics a spider’s spinnerets extruding silk fibres http://gizmodo.com/this-incredible-robotic-arm-prints-plastic-like-a-spide-1685397572. The machine can extrude or “print” custom 3D fibres or structures, suspended in space, on the go and results in fibres comprising an internal core fibre surrounded by three looping fibres that help convey structural strength and flexibility. Check out the video; it’s pretty amazing. Think of this attached to a mobile robot or mobile swarm of robots. 

7. Scanadu Personal Medical “Tricorder” Ships
Starting out as a successful Indiegogo crowd-funding project Scanadu has finally launched and shipped their Scout product, a small round device that is held to the forehead and very quickly sends readings to your smartphone with measurements of heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level, and ECG http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/12/tech/mci-scanadu-tricorder/index.html?eref=edition. Early users will help with real world calibration and testing and if the measurements are confirmed as accurate (an FDA submission is also in the works) then this would be a pretty powerful consumer device and one I’d definitely buy. They are also working on a “Scanaflo” product, intended to be a urine test kit for measuring  wide range of metabolic factors.

8. Prosthetic Arms by DARPA & OSRF
DARPA and its partners including the Open Source Robotics Foundation continue to develop advanced prosthetic arms and hands for amputees http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/medical-robots/darpa-and-osrf-developing-nextgen-prosthetic-limbs-in-simulation-and-reality. In a couple of recent demonstrations of the ongoing work we can see a man using a prosthetic arm to climb a rock wall, while other amputees use the prosthetic arms to pick grapes, spoon-feed themselves, “hand” objects between each other, pour drinks into glasses and other feats. The ultimate goal of the program is to create artificial limbs that behave like, are controlled like, and for the user feel like, a normal biological arm. 

9. Telescope in a Contact Lens
Another DARPA collaboration, this time with the EPFL, has resulted in the production of a new type of contact lens embedded with thin aluminium mirrors that, in conjunction with a pair of LCD glasses function as a telescopic lens http://gizmodo.com/this-contact-lens-can-zoom-in-with-a-wink-of-the-eye-1685695869. Light passing through the LCD in one polarisation appears normal and conveys normal vision, but switch the LCD to produce a different polarisation that interacts with the contact lens and the result is telescopic magnification. Future work will improve the oxygen permeability of the lens for greater eye comfort and perhaps seek incorporate the switchable liquid crystal elements directly. 

10. Genetically Modified Apples Approved by Regulators
For the first time genetically engineered apples have been granted regulatory approval by the US Department of Agriculture http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8035775/gmo-apples-usda-commercial-farming-genetically-modified. The genetic modifications are pretty simple, and involve altering the activity levels of a particular gene / enzyme to ensure the apples will greatly resist browning when cut or dropped. I can only hope that this paves the way for greater varieties and greater numbers of different GM foods that convey a range of different nutritional benefits such as more vitamins, etc as opposed to the usual pesticide resistance that we usually see with staple crops. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html___

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2015-02-08 13:43:52 (26 comments, 1 reshares, 80 +1s)Open 

Just finished a thoroughly awesome day

Just finished a thoroughly awesome day___

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2015-02-08 06:38:26 (13 comments, 35 reshares, 72 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 06/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/embryo-on-chip-multi-organ.html 

Embryo on a chip, Multi-organ microfluidics, 2D materials, Smartphone diagnostics, Videos & deep learning, RNA gene switch, Nano optics antennas, Rapid genome analysis, 1.5nm ruler, Aviation additive manufacturing. 

1. Embryos on a Chip
With the development of a new PDMS biomimetic system there is now such a things as an embryo-on-a-chip http://phys.org/news/2015-02-transparent-soft-pdms-eggshell-embryo.html. PDMS was used to create artificial transparent shells with the same shape and curvature of real egg shells within which it is possible to culture and grow embryos, which in the proof-of-concept were chick embryos, and allows new ways to study embryo development. Compounds of interest can be introduced as neededin... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 06/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/embryo-on-chip-multi-organ.html 

Embryo on a chip, Multi-organ microfluidics, 2D materials, Smartphone diagnostics, Videos & deep learning, RNA gene switch, Nano optics antennas, Rapid genome analysis, 1.5nm ruler, Aviation additive manufacturing. 

1. Embryos on a Chip
With the development of a new PDMS biomimetic system there is now such a things as an embryo-on-a-chip http://phys.org/news/2015-02-transparent-soft-pdms-eggshell-embryo.html. PDMS was used to create artificial transparent shells with the same shape and curvature of real egg shells within which it is possible to culture and grow embryos, which in the proof-of-concept were chick embryos, and allows new ways to study embryo development. Compounds of interest can be introduced as needed into the embryo by use of the device. I also wonder whether this will aid the development of artificial uteruses. 

2. Organism on a Chip and Microfluidics
In related news we had the latest development of microfluidic chips designed to host multiple organs at the same time connected with a circulatory system, and working towards a complete organism-on-a-chip http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2015/february/mini-synthetic-organism-instead-of-test-animals.html. The promise here is to greatly accelerate clinical drug development by allowing rapid chip-based testing of drugs instead of animal studies and lengthy human trials. A novel and very clever microfluidic pumping mechanism was also unveiled this week that involved a simple vibrating saw-toothed grating to propel fluids around the chip https://photos.aip.org/publishing/journal-highlights/industrial-pump-inspired-flapping-bird-wings. 

3. This Week in 2D Materials
First, transistors have been made from silicene for the very first time, proving various models and confirming ballistic electron transport, despite the technique currently being impractical for everyday use http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/transistor-made-from-silicene-for-first-time. Second, a new allotrope of carbon called penta-graphene has been discovered in theoretical models; comprised of tiled pentagons (instead of hexagons) it should be stable, strong, and naturally semiconducting but first they’ll have to synthesise it http://phys.org/news/2015-02-penta-graphene-variant-carbon.html. Third, and related to the second, it seems grain boundary defects in graphene sheets, which are usually comprised of 5 or 7 member rings appear to provide a nice semiconducting bandgap for graphene http://phys.org/news/2015-02-borders-graphene.html. 

4. Smartphone-Powered Diagnostic Testing
A new device that plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone for power and data transfer is able to accurately test a person’s blood sample to diagnose syphilis or HIV, and to top it off the device costs just $34 http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/diagnostics/34-diagnostic-tool-for-stds-plugs-into-smartphone-rivals-18000-lab-equipment. The test accuracy matches that of far more expensive equipment, and while it competes with cheaper paper-based tests it also might be easily expanded to handle a range of other diagnostics as well. The modular utilisation of smartphones is a big plus in my opinion, and marks yet another step towards portable, personal, tricorder-like medical devices.

5. Applying Deep Learning Analysis to Video Footage
A couple of new companies have launched new software, powered by deep learning techniques, to automatically analyse, breakdown, and characterise video footage http://www.technologyreview.com/news/534631/a-startups-neural-network-can-understand-video/. Videos lasting minutes can be processed in seconds to produce timelines for the appearance or presence of different objects, compositions, landscapes, or activity. Interesting applications for embedded video advertising, personal and public video search for short relevant sections of video buried in long videos, and also real-time analysis of surveillance footage. The capabilities are already impressive and can be expected to get much better. 

6. Genetic On-Off Switch Made of RNA
A new system allows controlled activation of desired genes simply with specific sequences of RNA; one sequence is tailored to bind to a region of DNA upstream of the gene of interest and block the transcription or activation of that gene, while a second sequence is tailored to the first and when present binds to and removes the first strand to allow gene activation to continue http://phys.org/news/2015-02-genetic-exclusively-rna.html. This sounds similar to CRISPR-style mechanisms. A nice and simple solution to control the activation of a particular gene, provided the RNA strands can be effectively and efficiently introduced / delivered into the cells of interest. 

7. Light Emission Gains on Light Stimulation for Applications
A new nano-scale antenna made of gold boosts the spontaneous light emission of a specific nanorod by 115 times, which is getting close to the 200-fold improvement that stimulated light (e.g. lasers) have typically enjoyed over spontaneous emission light http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/03/rediscovering-spontaneous-light-emission/. The group believe they can greatly improve this performance and this would make it possible to replace wires on microchips with LEDs for significant on-chip performance gains. As noted by the authors we’ve only just started to fabricate and utilise antennas in optics. 

8. Whole-Genome Analysis in 90 Minutes
The time taken to analyse a single person’s genome has been drastically reduced after the development and demonstration of new software called “Churchill” that is able to analyse a genome to find mutations and other differences of interest in under 90 minutes http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/news-room-articles/new-software-analyzes-human-genomes-faster-than-other-available-technologies-empowering-population-scale-genomic-analysis?contentid=137732. The accuracy of the software was demonstrated as 100% reproducible, and to have the highest sensitivity (99.7%), accuracy (99.99%), and diagnostic effectiveness (99.66%) compared to other competing computational genomic analysis techniques. Rapid personalised genomics takes another step towards realisation. 

9. 1.5 Nanometer Ruler for Extending Moore’s Law
 The finest ever nanoscale ruler has been fabricated with line measurements of just 1.5nm, and is intended to aid the development of the next semiconductor nodes at 11nm and 7nm required for the continuation of Moore’s Law http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1325587. The ruler will be used as a test pattern to calibrate and test the instruments used to fabricate next generation semiconductor technology. Measuring just 6x6 micrometers, samples of the new ruler will be critical not just for advanced semiconductor fabs but also for making better scanning microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and soft x-ray microscopes. 

10. Pushing Additive Manufacturing and New Materials
Aircraft and jet engine manufacturers continue to push additive manufacturing to enable transformative performance improvements in aviation by using laser or electron beam sintering of metal to make lighter, stronger parts http://www.technologyreview.com/news/534726/additive-manufacturing-is-reshaping-aviation/. In addition they are trying to transform engine design so that engines contain drastically fewer parts and are cheaper to make while performing better; the new technology allows the consideration of wild alterations such as many smaller engines embedded along the wings themselves. In related materials news, new iron-aluminium steel alloys overcome brittle problems to provide tensile strength and ductility performance greater than titanium alloys http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/02/ultrastrong-low-density-steel-with.html. 

Archived:
http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/embryo-on-chip-multi-organ.html___

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2015-02-07 13:31:37 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Smartphone Cosmic Ray Detector: Fake?

I'm calling B.S. on this one. You might remember some months ago the Deco app was launched by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Deco runs on your phone, running the camera with the lens covered, examining ostensibly dark images for signs of noise and relevant signals that are likely to have been produced by cosmic rays (and cosmic ray debris) passing through the camera's CMOS detector. 

I thought this sounded pretty cool and wanted to give it a try immediately. However:

* I've never been able to get it to work despite wasting time on three separate occasions trying. 
* The account / service registration process has failed every time, with the same error, across both mobile and desktop. 
* I've emailed the people involved on multiple occasions for assistance but not once received a reply orac... more »

Smartphone Cosmic Ray Detector: Fake?

I'm calling B.S. on this one. You might remember some months ago the Deco app was launched by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Deco runs on your phone, running the camera with the lens covered, examining ostensibly dark images for signs of noise and relevant signals that are likely to have been produced by cosmic rays (and cosmic ray debris) passing through the camera's CMOS detector. 

I thought this sounded pretty cool and wanted to give it a try immediately. However:

* I've never been able to get it to work despite wasting time on three separate occasions trying. 
* The account / service registration process has failed every time, with the same error, across both mobile and desktop. 
* I've emailed the people involved on multiple occasions for assistance but not once received a reply or acknowledgement of my inquiry. 

Which is weird because the group seem to have upgraded their website, see http://wipac.wisc.edu/deco, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Especially when they've apparently created a Google Group  for users and trouble-shooting and yet this is a private group and so is completely useless to help resolve any issues; you must be a member and I suspect that means you must have been registered - something they consistently fail to do. 

Anyway, I'm just disappointed in the group, the app, and the entire experience. Did anyone else give this a try and experience anything different? 

#deco   #cosmicrays   #app  ___

2015-02-05 13:29:13 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

The Individual and the Collective: Survival, Reproduction, Transparency, and Secrecy.

I've always enjoyed +Valkyrie McGill​'s (a.k.a. Valkyrie Ice) articles and writing over the years; as a transhumanist writer she is up there with Extropia Dasilva although her style is different. Broad scope, deep insight, and at times, expansive vision. Even when I've disagreed with a piece or a certain premise it has been undeniably thought-provoking and stimulating. Most of the articles have appeared on other, more mainstream sites and not this personal blog.

The following posts are from last year, and have been sitting in my ever-growing "To Post About" reminder note in Google Keep for over 9 months now. I was waiting for the third installment but alas I don't think it will be written and it ultimately isn't necessary. These posts are a lengthy, if notqu... more »

The Individual and the Collective: Survival, Reproduction, Transparency, and Secrecy.

I've always enjoyed +Valkyrie McGill​'s (a.k.a. Valkyrie Ice) articles and writing over the years; as a transhumanist writer she is up there with Extropia Dasilva although her style is different. Broad scope, deep insight, and at times, expansive vision. Even when I've disagreed with a piece or a certain premise it has been undeniably thought-provoking and stimulating. Most of the articles have appeared on other, more mainstream sites and not this personal blog.

The following posts are from last year, and have been sitting in my ever-growing "To Post About" reminder note in Google Keep for over 9 months now. I was waiting for the third installment but alas I don't think it will be written and it ultimately isn't necessary. These posts are a lengthy, if not quite meandering, examination of the basic structure of society from fundamental first principles. Keep an open mind and give the first post a chance, at least the first page or two, for it to kick in and grab you. 

You may not agree with the content, the conclusions, or the opinions but I think you'll find it thought-provoking, and I think you'll have a decent idea for the scenarios and future possibilities that would have made it into Part 3. 

The Individual and the Collective, Part 1
http://valkyrieice.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/the-individual-and-collective-part-one.html 

The Individual and the Collective, Part 2
http://valkyrieice.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/the-individual-and-collective-pt2.html 

#society   #transparency   #secrecy  ___

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2015-02-01 13:51:30 (8 comments, 30 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 05/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/mobius-of-light-probiotics-vs-diabetes.html

Mobius of light, Probiotics vs diabetes, Artificial organelles, Locking down GMOs, Neural imaging, Neural stimulators, Printing quantum dots, Drone commoditisation, False memories, and Haptic machine interfaces. 

1. Creating a Mobius Strip Out of Light
Researchers figured out how to twist the polarisation of a beam of light to create a structure with the same topology as a Mobius strip; a two dimensional surface twisted in a third dimension and possessing a single face or side http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/optoelectronics/a-mobius-strip-made-of-light. This was done by sending the light beam through a plate containing specially-ordered liquid crystals and then focusing onto a gold... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 05/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/mobius-of-light-probiotics-vs-diabetes.html

Mobius of light, Probiotics vs diabetes, Artificial organelles, Locking down GMOs, Neural imaging, Neural stimulators, Printing quantum dots, Drone commoditisation, False memories, and Haptic machine interfaces. 

1. Creating a Mobius Strip Out of Light
Researchers figured out how to twist the polarisation of a beam of light to create a structure with the same topology as a Mobius strip; a two dimensional surface twisted in a third dimension and possessing a single face or side http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/optoelectronics/a-mobius-strip-made-of-light. This was done by sending the light beam through a plate containing specially-ordered liquid crystals and then focusing onto a gold nanoparticle, on which they measured the oscillating electric field of the light, twisting around in a band with only one side. They created strips with 1.5 twists and 4.5 twists. An interesting new phenomena. 

2. Engineered Probiotic Bacteria Efficiently Combat Diabetes
A common gut bacterium has been engineered to secrete a protein called GLP-1; when secreted by the bacteria in the gut GLP-1 induces intestinal epithelial cells to become insulin-producing cells (similar to pancreatic cells) that result in a 30% reduction in blood glucose in diabetic animals http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/01/diabetes-rats-treated-engineered-probiotic. Future work will explore larger doses to see if complete treatment can be achieved and attempt via spin-out company to introduce the treatment to humans that might involve taking a probiotic pill each day. Such probiotic therapeutics are only scratching the surface and I think many more treatments and applications could be explored in this way. 

3. Engineering Artificial Organelles for Cells
By introducing engineered plasmid DNA vectors - that produce lipid-like proteins with hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends - into cells, the lipid-like proteins are produced and self-assemble into organelle-like compartments inside the cell http://phys.org/news/2015-01-genetic-blueprint-organelles-simple-cells.html. The structures can be further engineered to (i)  incorporate artificial amino acids to facilitate desired chemical functions, (ii) incorporate membrane proteins to bind to cell membrane and co-opt cellular metabolism, (iii) modify or add to cellular metabolism. This is an interesting technology platform for exploring applications in synthetic biology and nanotechnology. 

4. Locking Down Genetically Engineered Organisms
Continuing to build on work to reprogram the genetic code itself, new strains of bacteria have now been created that (i) are dependent on artificial amino acids (not produced in the environment) for building proteins and for the function of their proteins, (ii) will soon incorporate seven recoded codons instead of just one, and (iii) are dependent on synthetic chemicals for gene expression http://www.nature.com/news/gm-microbes-created-that-can-t-escape-the-lab-1.16758. Such organisms are resistant to viruses, are incapable of swapping genes with other bacteria, and in (i) and (iii) are dependent on synthetic chemicals and so cannot survive outside of controlled environments - a useful protection for biocontainment and controlling the function of the organism in the environment. 

5. Advances in Imaging Neural Activity
The neural activity of freely-moving nematode worms has been recorded for the first time http://www.technologyreview.com/view/534481/first-videos-created-of-whole-brain-neural-activity-in-an-unrestrained-animal/. Neural activity is captured by engineered fluorescent proteins that emit light when the neurons produce calcium, and the microscope automatically tracks and follows an individual worm as is moves; in this way the group seek to analyse neural activity in relation to movement. In related imaging studies separate functions have been observed for identical neighbouring neurons in certain cases http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2015/january/new-deep-brain-imaging-reveals-separate-functions-for-nearly-identical-neurons. 

6. Devices that Improve the Sensing and Stimulating of Neural Activity
On-going developments of neural polymer fibre technology have now resulted in complex multimodal fibres thinner than a hair that resemble neural tissue properties and can deliver both optical signals and drugs directly into the brain while simultaneously recording neural electrical activity http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/fibers-deliver-simultaneous-stimuli-0119. In related news we also had an excellent recent review of the field by three representatives of companies developing and selling products into this space http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/smart-neural-stimulators-listen-to-the-body, basically implanted devices that stimulate the nervous system, measure neural electrical activity and responses, and which can adapt their stimulus on the fly depending on feedback. 

7. High Resolution Printing of Quantum Dots
The light-emitting semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots can now be printed in high resolution to produce true quantum dot displays rather than the quantum-dot-enhanced back light currently available in high-end televisions http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/audiovideo/highresolution-printing-of-quantum-dots-for-vibrant-inexpensive-displays. Such a printed surface offers the promise of extremely high resolution, rich and vibrant, efficient and cheap displays for many different applications. The technique relies upon electrodynamic jet printing, which had been used previously to print patterns of DNA and nanotubes, and may offer some interesting cross-over applications. 

8. Drone Commoditisation Takes a Big Leap
A normal stock smartphone can now be used as the brains and sensor platform for full autonomous control of quadrotors and other drones http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots/a-smartphone-is-the-brain-for-this-autonomous-quadcopter. Install the software onto your phone and plug it into a drone body with a motor-controller and power supply for the rotors and away you go - either remote control via another device or set the parameters within which the phone is to pilot the drone autonomously; I’ve been waiting for this for a while now. Of course, drone applications are currently proliferating rapidly http://singularityhub.com/2015/01/27/drones-will-be-everywhere-watching-listening-and-planting-millions-of-trees/. 

9. Inducing False Criminal Memories in People
New psychological research suggests that innocent adults can be convinced after a few hours that they perpetrated crimes as a teenager http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150115102835.htm. Up to 75% of participants formed the false memories, but this required the interviewer to (i) possess knowledge of personal events in the participant’s past, (ii) construct the false event by linking it or constructing it with aspects of true events and memories, and (iii) actively encouraging participants to “try” remembering details they said they couldn’t remember. This sounds like induced confabulation of the person’s guilt for an event that never happened that, in up to 75% of cases is later retained as a genuine memory. I’d like to see this study repeated in multiple scenarios to see if this holds up. 

10. Haptic Interfaces as Motor Skill Teachers and Human-Machine Interfaces
In the continuing evolution of haptic robotic devices designed to assist humans in the acquisition of muscle memory to learn new motor skills we have a new family of devices created to teach people how to draw http://www.wired.com/2015/01/machine-guides-hand-teach-draw/. The main aim of the work however is to develop an understanding of how to better design human-machine interfaces with regard to how much control humans will tolerate a machine having over them, “to understand the negotiations people make when machine and humans have different perspectives and the same goal.” 

http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/mobius-of-light-probiotics-vs-diabetes.html___

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2015-01-31 06:33:14 (14 comments, 5 reshares, 74 +1s)Open 

Utterly indulgent chocolate degustation at +Koko Black Chocolate in Adelaide this afternoon.

* Mocha for me
* Hot chocolate for Elise
Plate with, from left to right:
* Belgian chocolate mousse
* Chocolate Alchemy Cake
* Raspberry chocolate dome
* Chocolate hazelnut layered stack
* Chocolate ice-cream with chocolate crumbs

Also left with two bags of chocolate bits and a tray of selected flavoured chocolates. Safe to say my sweet tooth is rather satisfied! The raspberry chocolate dome was our favourite - if we were forced to pick. Strongly recommend any fellow Australians visit a local Koko Black in their capital city :-D

#chocolate   #indulgence   #foodcoma  

Utterly indulgent chocolate degustation at +Koko Black Chocolate in Adelaide this afternoon.

* Mocha for me
* Hot chocolate for Elise
Plate with, from left to right:
* Belgian chocolate mousse
* Chocolate Alchemy Cake
* Raspberry chocolate dome
* Chocolate hazelnut layered stack
* Chocolate ice-cream with chocolate crumbs

Also left with two bags of chocolate bits and a tray of selected flavoured chocolates. Safe to say my sweet tooth is rather satisfied! The raspberry chocolate dome was our favourite - if we were forced to pick. Strongly recommend any fellow Australians visit a local Koko Black in their capital city :-D

#chocolate   #indulgence   #foodcoma  ___

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2015-01-29 13:02:35 (22 comments, 3 reshares, 60 +1s)Open 

Christmas arrived late this year.

Three new devices arrived yesterday, three that I've been hanging out to get for quite some time.

Chromebook
Elise and I got a great deal of mileage out of our first Chromebooks, the original Samsung Series 5 that, after 3 years, was showing definite signs of age. Elise used hers exclusively without a need for any other computer aside from her phone and tablet; I used mine far less often, mainly because I tended to default to the conventional beefy laptop for video editing, data management, and custom software applications. So this time around I opted just for the one device for us to share with separate login accounts as needed. 

Last year I was interested in getting the Samsung Chromebook 2 when it was announced but availability in Australia for these devices is rather poor at the best of times. Then the Acer... more »

Christmas arrived late this year.

Three new devices arrived yesterday, three that I've been hanging out to get for quite some time.

Chromebook
Elise and I got a great deal of mileage out of our first Chromebooks, the original Samsung Series 5 that, after 3 years, was showing definite signs of age. Elise used hers exclusively without a need for any other computer aside from her phone and tablet; I used mine far less often, mainly because I tended to default to the conventional beefy laptop for video editing, data management, and custom software applications. So this time around I opted just for the one device for us to share with separate login accounts as needed. 

Last year I was interested in getting the Samsung Chromebook 2 when it was announced but availability in Australia for these devices is rather poor at the best of times. Then the Acer Chromebook 13 came out and for me it edged out the competition at this point in time. Bought on Ebay from a reputable international seller this Acer Chromebook 13 as numerous advances and benefits over the old device:

* Vastly improved build quality; feels solid, track-pad is great, keys have a better feel.
* Screen is also very nice: moving from 720p to 1080p is extremely noticeable. Only drawback is effective viewing angles are a bit poor.
* Moving from 2GB to 4GB RAM and from a single-core 1.5 GHz processor to a Tegra K1 2.3 GHz quad-core provide a substantial performance boost. 

So far satisfied I made the right choice of Chromebook. 

Moto Hint
That little device in the image is a bluetooth headset ear-bud with dual microphones for audio communication to your phone . . . a la the movie her. Being a long-time user of bluetooth headsets (although less so in the last 6 months) the advanced design and features of the Moto Hint certainly caught my attention when it launched last year. Another Ebay purchase, I've only just set it up so don't really have a verdict at this stage, only a few thoughts for now:

* Still getting the hang of intuitively touching the touch-pad for the right amount of time to activate a "press".
* The inclusion of an inner sensor that detects whether or not the thing is in your ear, and routes calls to your phone or itself accordingly is pretty cool.
* Charging cradle is cute but very well implemented.
* Volumes seem to default to the lower end, and while your can still boost this substantially via the volume button on the device, it'd be nice to control the default volume.
* Ultimate utility and continuing of use will depend on call quality and, key, ease of frictionless voice commands to device and Google Now - something that I still need to test and set up properly.

Nexus 6
This is phone is ultimately a compromise for me. I've been wanting one ever since Google and Motorola launched the device at the end of October last year; I upgrade my phones every year and this is the longest I've had to wait due to what can only be called the worst disaster of a false-expectation-setting launch ever. Something has obviously gone very very wrong for Motorola on the production side of things. 

I would probably have been able to snap up a hard-to-get unit in December IF I was content to get the 32GB storage version, but I was holding out for the 64GB version. So I waited, and waited, and read rumours and ultimately the 64GB version never came to the Play Store, with indication this week from other retailers that it wouldn't be available until mid-March (unacceptably late given my upgrade cycle). I would have forked out the extra cash to get a unit from Hong Kong via Ebay but was dissuaded due to rumours of some production runs having problems with screen burn-in, battery expansion, and back plate separations. So I settled for a local retailer that happened to have a single 32GB unit in stock, given the lack of stock via Google Play, and guaranteed that if there were any issues I could go back to the store with my receipt to quickly have it replaced (I think this is unlikely). I wanted 64GB and ended up with 32GB. I wanted white and ended up with dark blue. A few thoughts:

* Immediately unlocked and rooted with the wonderful Wugs Nexus Root Toolkit. 
* It is big and not for everyone but personally I'm very happy with the size of the thing, and so is Elise with her's. After just 12 hours of using the device my old phone and any other smaller phone looks and feels like a cute little child's toy. 
* Screen is gorgeous, with vibrant colours and a resolution that makes it impossible for me to make out any sort of pixelation in any of the UI elements. I can't wait to get an upgraded version of Cardboard to again explore VR applications with this thing: double the resolution and bigger viewing angles should make for a better experience than the one I had with my Nexus 5. Downside: performance in bright sunlight outdoors is not the best.
* Still need to set up always-on voice, double-tap to wake, and a couple of other things. 
* One handed usage isn't too bad. Not perfect, not flawless, but manageable. Main issue is reaching across to "back" arrow of navigation bar. Hoping a software solution, like that for the Note 4, helps mitigate one-handed usage soon. But not a deal-breaker. 
* I don't expect to use my Nexus 7 tablet again; even reading books on this 6" screen is great. 
* Two-factor authentication is a pain when setting up a new phone for the first time: you login and get sent a code that you can't access because you haven't finished the setup process, so you have to go back, skip, finish set-up, and then dig in and add your account from scratch.
* Ambient display and ambient notifications are a nice touch. 
* Significant processing boost: tested a random Game of Life run at very high resolution and high speed, settings that would cause my Nexus 5 to stutter, and this thing crunched it smoothly without missing a beat. 
* Yet to test the camera properly but not expecting any issues. 
* Have noticed that sometimes, when calls come in, the screen doesn't immediately wake up and needs a press of the button to do so. This needs to be addressed with a software update. 
* Battery life doesn't seem anywhere near as good as what I was expecting - maybe I'm playing with it too much? - will see how battery life goes after a week of usage. Seem to be getting a full day but not the day-and-a-half others have reported; could be for any number of reasons. Quick-charge is a nice feature. 
* Qi charging works but it doesn't have the magnets the N5 had to lock the phone in place over the charger - a small annoyance. 

The price-performance of computing doubles every 18 months or so. Back then I was using another flagship, the Nexus 4, so how does my N6 compare to the N4 from 18 months ago?

* 4G/LTE instead of 3G+ mobile data connectivity.
* 2.7 GHz quad-core CPU instead of 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU.
* 170 GFlops GPU instead of 60 GFlops GPU.
* 3 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB. 
* 32 GB storage (I wanted 64 GB) instead of 16 GB. 
* 3220 mAh battery instead of 2100 mAh battery.
* 493 ppi display density instead of 318 ppi.
* Quad-HD (double 1080p) display instead of ~720p display. 
* 13 MP camera instead of 8 MP camera.
* 4K video recording instead of 1080p video recording.
* 802.11ac WiFi instead of 802.11n WiFi.

#chromebook13   #motohint   #nexus6  ___

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2015-01-26 13:42:07 (48 comments, 42 reshares, 112 +1s)Open 

Travelling Faster than the Speed of Light.
There exist natural phenomena in our Universe that will allow you to do just that; so long as it is your local spacetime moving and you're just along for the ride.

Massive rotating black holes exhibit frame-dragging on an unimaginable scale. Frame-dragging is a prediction from General Relativity that rotating massive objects literally drag spacetime around themselves in the direction of rotation and cause nearby orbiting objects to precess; this dragging of spacetime around the Earth, while a small effect, has been confirmed by the Gravity Probe B experiment. The more massive the object and the faster it rotates, the more severe this dragging of the surrounding spacetime becomes. 

Most popular discussion on black holes tends to concern non-rotating black holes, also known as Schwarzchild black holes, which are characterised by... more »

Travelling Faster than the Speed of Light.
There exist natural phenomena in our Universe that will allow you to do just that; so long as it is your local spacetime moving and you're just along for the ride.

Massive rotating black holes exhibit frame-dragging on an unimaginable scale. Frame-dragging is a prediction from General Relativity that rotating massive objects literally drag spacetime around themselves in the direction of rotation and cause nearby orbiting objects to precess; this dragging of spacetime around the Earth, while a small effect, has been confirmed by the Gravity Probe B experiment. The more massive the object and the faster it rotates, the more severe this dragging of the surrounding spacetime becomes. 

Most popular discussion on black holes tends to concern non-rotating black holes, also known as Schwarzchild black holes, which are characterised by a gravitationally dense point or singularity and surrounded or hidden by an event horizon, defined as the surface at which the escape velocity for the black hole reaches the speed of light. Given the movements that characterise stars and galaxies I’m not sure I’m convinced that non-rotating black holes can exist. In any case rotating black holes are known as Kerr black holes and have far more interesting characteristics. 

Rotating black holes collapse not to a point singularity but to a one-dimensional ring singularity, and as they do so they form a number of different event horizons and related surfaces. The first “surface” an external observer would pass through pertains to frame-dragging, is referred to as the edge of the ergosphere and is the point at which spacetime is being dragged around the black hole at the speed of light. Further out from the surface of the ergosphere spacetime is still being dragged around, but at a speed slower than the speed of light. 

Beyond this surface however and deeper towards the rotating black hole, spacetime is being dragged at a rate faster than the speed of light and the deeper you go the faster it gets. Although spacetime itself is being dragged faster than the speed of light, before you hit the first event horizon the escape velocity is still lower than the speed of light and so it is still possible to escape the black hole in this region, and indeed still possible to extract energy in this region that might be used elsewhere. 

A photon striking the edge of the ergosphere at a tangent and in opposite direction to the rotation will come to a stop relative to an external observer; its speed of light propagation will be matched by the opposite speed of light propagation of space itself. Although massive objects still cannot travel faster than light through space, when inside the ergosphere the rotating spacetime will necessarily transport them faster than the speed of light in relation to an external observer. The raw phenomenon to power your warp drive does indeed exist; whether we might ever harness it is another matter. 

Passing through the first event horizon your space-like path becomes time-like, and further inwards you’ll pass another event horizon and your time-like path will again become space-like; but it will have flipped this time and is now reversed with gravity near the ring singularity becoming repulsive. If this wasn’t mind-blowing enough, some paths through these horizons can comprise closed-timelike-curves and the ring singularities might be linked through spacetime to act as wormholes - although these more exotic predictions appear to demand perfectly stable inner regions for rotating black holes and the inner regions appear inherently unstable. 

The wikipedia pages for the main concepts and claims here provide good starting points for digging into more detailed references.


Unanswered Questions.

* Something I’ve always wondered when thinking about rotating massive stars in the process of collapsing to a black hole, and the massive speed-up in rotation rate due conservation of angular momentum as gravity crushes and shrinks the mass . . . is that simple calculations suggest that the rotation rate of the collapsing mass will quickly bump up against the speed of light long before it gets anywhere near infinitely dense singularity status. And as it bumps up near the speed of light it will appear to us to slow down and be frozen in time. Yet the maths suggest infinite density is the end result . . . but that would require speed of light violation? What am I missing? Can someone resolve this for me? 

* Related to above - how can a massive object, presumably not rotating faster than the speed of light, nonetheless cause the surrounding spacetime to be dragged around faster than the speed of light? Can anyone help me out here? 


Other Cool Concepts.

Linear frame-dragging - like rotational frame dragging but for a massive object moving rapidly with a large velocity and dragging spacetime along behind it. 

Gravitomagnetism - or gravitoelectromagnetism; related to frame-dragging. 

Mach’s principle - the idea that local inertial frames are determined by the large-scale distribution of matter; useful for thinking about the precessing that occurs for objects in the ergosphere. 


Item 5 from this short stimulating article served as the inspiration for me to go digging and looking into these topics in more detail: http://listverse.com/2010/11/04/10-strange-things-about-the-universe/ 

#blackhole   #spacetime   #framedragging  ___

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2015-01-25 10:20:30 (23 comments, 18 reshares, 62 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 04/2015.

First month done: please provide feedback on new format. Like? Hate? Keep? Go back to old?

Four weeks into 2015 and we had Parabiosis benefits, Accelerating without a force, Cosmological paradoxes, 2D Material analysis, Blockchains for IoT, Spacetime shape dynamics, Anti-aging advances, Advanced computing architectures, Many electrons from a photon, and Cheaper autonomous navigation.

Full archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 04/2015.

First month done: please provide feedback on new format. Like? Hate? Keep? Go back to old?

Four weeks into 2015 and we had Parabiosis benefits, Accelerating without a force, Cosmological paradoxes, 2D Material analysis, Blockchains for IoT, Spacetime shape dynamics, Anti-aging advances, Advanced computing architectures, Many electrons from a photon, and Cheaper autonomous navigation.

Full archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net ___

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2015-01-23 11:10:43 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Finally found a regular use for my buckyballs!

Finally found a regular use for my buckyballs!___

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2015-01-19 02:42:24 (14 comments, 2 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

A Coffee Mug Just For Me.

This coffee mug is a little gift I receive from my uncle over Christmas, who got me as his Kris Kringle (Secret Santa) person for our extended family's gift-giving. At first I was like Oh, that's pretty cool and then after checking out a binary-to-text converter I was like Aha! Now I get it! I received a matching T-shirt too :)

A Coffee Mug Just For Me.

This coffee mug is a little gift I receive from my uncle over Christmas, who got me as his Kris Kringle (Secret Santa) person for our extended family's gift-giving. At first I was like Oh, that's pretty cool and then after checking out a binary-to-text converter I was like Aha! Now I get it! I received a matching T-shirt too :)___

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2015-01-18 08:05:12 (8 comments, 25 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 03/2015.

The third week of 2015 gave us Wondrous 2D materials, DNA-assembled crystals, Extension microscopy, Neuroprotective Cold-Shock Proteins, Removing less functional cells to extend life, metasurface analogue computing, 3D printed electronics, Converting white to brown fat, Muscle engineering, and the Mechanism of olfaction identification. 

If you'd like notifications of these weekly Digests then just throw the SciTech Digest page into a notification circle: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105994073381308284341/+ScitechdigestNet/posts

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 03/2015.

The third week of 2015 gave us Wondrous 2D materials, DNA-assembled crystals, Extension microscopy, Neuroprotective Cold-Shock Proteins, Removing less functional cells to extend life, metasurface analogue computing, 3D printed electronics, Converting white to brown fat, Muscle engineering, and the Mechanism of olfaction identification. 

If you'd like notifications of these weekly Digests then just throw the SciTech Digest page into a notification circle: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105994073381308284341/+ScitechdigestNet/posts___

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2015-01-17 02:51:53 (35 comments, 4 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

Using a Mouse with your Phone!?

Elise dropped her phone the other day and completely shattered it - its the Nexus 4 on the right, which was my old phone. It wasn't just glass either but the underlying capacitive touch layer too. 

When I went to plug the phone into the computer to get the files and photos off, of course, the pattern unlock prevented the files from being accessible - and without the touch interface working I couldn't put the pattern in to unlock it. If it was rooted and had a custom recovery then I might have been able to set up an ADB interface to manually retrieve files from certain folders; but while the phone was rooted when I was using it I unrooted it when I gave it too Elise. 

Next thing to try was a different input method that didn't rely on touch. Enter the little $2 OTG cable I grabbed off Ebay that simply connects a standard USBp... more »

Using a Mouse with your Phone!?

Elise dropped her phone the other day and completely shattered it - its the Nexus 4 on the right, which was my old phone. It wasn't just glass either but the underlying capacitive touch layer too. 

When I went to plug the phone into the computer to get the files and photos off, of course, the pattern unlock prevented the files from being accessible - and without the touch interface working I couldn't put the pattern in to unlock it. If it was rooted and had a custom recovery then I might have been able to set up an ADB interface to manually retrieve files from certain folders; but while the phone was rooted when I was using it I unrooted it when I gave it too Elise. 

Next thing to try was a different input method that didn't rely on touch. Enter the little $2 OTG cable I grabbed off Ebay that simply connects a standard USB port to the micro USB on your phone, and into which I could plug in a wired mouse I had lying around. You can see it working perfectly on my current phone, the Nexus 5 to the left - look closely and you can see the little black mouse arrow that you control with the mouse, and which you can use to emulate touches on-screen, open apps, scroll screens, and even enter in pattern unlock patterns. 

Alas it didn't work on the smashed Nexus 4, for whatever reason including a possible broken micro USB port too, and so I'm still locked out of the phone and can't get the files off. Funny thing is Elise couldn't really care less because (i) most of her photos were automatically backed up to Google+ anyway, and (ii) we picked up a brand new Nexus 6 for her less than 48 hours later, which she loves. 

Now I'm not sure what to do with the device - it'll probably just sit in my desk draw with every other phone I've ever owned because I don't want to put much more effort into more time-consuming methods of getting into it. 

I'll finish by using this opportunity to shout-out +Google and +Motorola Mobility for their pathetically abysmal excuse for production and launch of the latest flagship device, the Nexus 6. Thanks for providing an abject lesson in how not to launch a device and piss off your loyal customers. 3 months after launch and I still can't get my hands on a 64GB Nexus 6 and irony of ironies my wife has a Nexus 6 before me because she was content with 32GB. If I haven't got one within the next 8 or so weeks then the window may well have closed for me upgrading at all this year because the launch of the next device will only be a little over 6 months away. #annnoyedcustomerrant  over. ___

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2015-01-16 02:07:40 (23 comments, 8 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Kickstarting A Civilisation Reboot.

Densely packed with lots of interesting concepts concerning society, civilisation, values, wealth, propaganda (a little conspiracy-ish perhaps) but stimulating and thought-provoking all the same. Worth a share and also to remind me to re-read in more detail before offering more structured thoughts and opinions on the piece. 

h/t to +Samuel Holmes and +Firas Hermez 

___Kickstarting A Civilisation Reboot.

Densely packed with lots of interesting concepts concerning society, civilisation, values, wealth, propaganda (a little conspiracy-ish perhaps) but stimulating and thought-provoking all the same. Worth a share and also to remind me to re-read in more detail before offering more structured thoughts and opinions on the piece. 

h/t to +Samuel Holmes and +Firas Hermez 

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2015-01-15 14:26:03 (10 comments, 7 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

A Chronic Case of The Fear of Missing Out.

H/t and thanks to +Kevin Kelly for recommending this recent Jason Silva clip that I'd missed. It's one of the best Shots of Awe I've seen in a while and presents some nice concepts concerning decisions and possibilities, etc that I enjoyed thinking about afterwards for quite some time. 

A Chronic Case of The Fear of Missing Out.

H/t and thanks to +Kevin Kelly for recommending this recent Jason Silva clip that I'd missed. It's one of the best Shots of Awe I've seen in a while and presents some nice concepts concerning decisions and possibilities, etc that I enjoyed thinking about afterwards for quite some time. ___

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2015-01-11 12:39:09 (18 comments, 31 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 02/2015.

The second week into 2015 gave us a new drug for weight loss, pistons and hinges made of DNA, promising antibiotics and methods for finding more, improved engineering of optogenetics, flexible neural implants, directional time dilation theory, movements of Cambrian Genomics, popup 3D microstructures, better perovskite materials, and ultrasound tactile interfaces. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 02/2015.

The second week into 2015 gave us a new drug for weight loss, pistons and hinges made of DNA, promising antibiotics and methods for finding more, improved engineering of optogenetics, flexible neural implants, directional time dilation theory, movements of Cambrian Genomics, popup 3D microstructures, better perovskite materials, and ultrasound tactile interfaces. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest ___

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2015-01-08 05:41:55 (10 comments, 13 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

Something You Don't See Every Day

* A Hedge Fund
* Using a 2012 change in law
* To take a portfolio of large pharmaceuticals companies to court
* To challenge and invalidate questionable patents on big drugs
* That if successful could halve the value of those companies
* AND reduce the costs of medications for everyone
* AND benefit the Hedge Fund's own investments thereby making them money in the first place

While this is all fair I strongly believe that if you're going to use the patent system in this way against large pharmaceutical companies, it should be backed up by simultaneous changes to the regulatory system to help lower the cost of drug development, which is arguably the primary cause of firms pursuing these questionable patents in the first case. 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102317621#. 

Something You Don't See Every Day

* A Hedge Fund
* Using a 2012 change in law
* To take a portfolio of large pharmaceuticals companies to court
* To challenge and invalidate questionable patents on big drugs
* That if successful could halve the value of those companies
* AND reduce the costs of medications for everyone
* AND benefit the Hedge Fund's own investments thereby making them money in the first place

While this is all fair I strongly believe that if you're going to use the patent system in this way against large pharmaceutical companies, it should be backed up by simultaneous changes to the regulatory system to help lower the cost of drug development, which is arguably the primary cause of firms pursuing these questionable patents in the first case. 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102317621#. ___

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2015-01-05 11:09:11 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

First day back at work after the festive break; new building, new office, new labs and the first Baxter I've seen in the flesh. 

First day back at work after the festive break; new building, new office, new labs and the first Baxter I've seen in the flesh. ___

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2015-01-04 10:43:07 (18 comments, 29 reshares, 72 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday  Digest - 01/2015.

The first week of 2015 gave us optogenetic control of REM sleep, acoustic 3D metamaterials, robots learning tool use from YouTube, resveratrol health benefits, new protein elongation mechanism, space telescopes made of dust, glass fibers stronger than steel, van der Waals investigations of nonlocal effects, robotic cuttlefish, and modular 3D toy design and printing. 

Full archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net 

SciTech #ScienceSunday  Digest - 01/2015.

The first week of 2015 gave us optogenetic control of REM sleep, acoustic 3D metamaterials, robots learning tool use from YouTube, resveratrol health benefits, new protein elongation mechanism, space telescopes made of dust, glass fibers stronger than steel, van der Waals investigations of nonlocal effects, robotic cuttlefish, and modular 3D toy design and printing. 

Full archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net ___

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2014-12-31 07:24:39 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

A coincidence, I swear! 
Drinking red wine while coming across a red wine resveratrol health benefits article :)

A coincidence, I swear! 
Drinking red wine while coming across a red wine resveratrol health benefits article :)___

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2014-12-28 10:58:09 (18 comments, 31 reshares, 71 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 52/14.
The 150th SciTech Digest, and the 68th consecutive weekly post; abridged for the holidays. Wishing you all a very merry, safe, and fun festive holiday season and an enticing start to 2015!

1. Capturing Synaptic Transmission in Live Mammalian Brains with Optogenetics.
http://www.cell.com/neuron/pdf/S0896-6273(14)01077-0.pdf 

2. New Evidence Suggests Long-Term Memories are Not Stored In Synapses; Despite Other Studies Contradicting This.
https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/12/preliminary-evidence-suggesting-long-term-memory-is-not-stored-in-synapses.php and also related: Preventing Memory Decline in Old Age: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2014/12/19/new-research-suggests-an-existing-drug-riluzole-may-prevent-foggy-old-age-brain/ 

3. Non-Invasive Brain Surgery via Focused,P... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 52/14.
The 150th SciTech Digest, and the 68th consecutive weekly post; abridged for the holidays. Wishing you all a very merry, safe, and fun festive holiday season and an enticing start to 2015!

1. Capturing Synaptic Transmission in Live Mammalian Brains with Optogenetics.
http://www.cell.com/neuron/pdf/S0896-6273(14)01077-0.pdf 

2. New Evidence Suggests Long-Term Memories are Not Stored In Synapses; Despite Other Studies Contradicting This.
https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/12/preliminary-evidence-suggesting-long-term-memory-is-not-stored-in-synapses.php and also related: Preventing Memory Decline in Old Age: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2014/12/19/new-research-suggests-an-existing-drug-riluzole-may-prevent-foggy-old-age-brain/ 

3. Non-Invasive Brain Surgery via Focused, Phased-Array Ultrasound.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/an-ultrasonic-scalpel-for-brain-surgery

4. Using Unique Recombinations of Three Viral Vectors to Tag Neurons and Other Cells with Individual Colours.
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2014/dec/14_238.shtml#.VJ_VoF4AEA

5. Constructor Theory: A Deeper Linking of Classical & Quantum Information.
https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/deeper-than-quantum-mechanics-david-deutschs-new-theory-of-reality-9b8281bc793a

6. Better Technique for Making Perovskite Nanowires & Ultimately Better Solar Cells.
http://actu.epfl.ch/news/building-a-new-nanowire-for-solar-cells/

7. Humans and Deep Learning Software Currently See Things Very Differently.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533596/smart-software-can-be-tricked-into-seeing-what-isnt-there/

8. Towards a Human Trial of DNA Nanobots.
Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnvY17U1lvw, via additional background and detail http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/12/ido-bachelet-announces-2015-human-trial.html 

9. The Benefits of Piezoelectricity in Two-Dimensional Semiconductors.
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/12/22/piezoelectricity-2d-semiconductor/

10. The Role of the Immune System in Tissue Regeneration.
https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/12/hair-regrowth-as-a-pointer-to-the-role-of-immune-system-activity-in-tissue-regeneration.php 

If you'd like notifications of these weekly Digests then just throw the SciTech Digest page into a notification circle: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105994073381308284341/+ScitechdigestNet/posts___

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2014-12-21 14:57:14 (7 comments, 35 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 51/14.
Causes from effects, controlling prosthetic arms, 3D computing, genomic loops, computer object recognition, automated skin cancer testing, smartphone medical devices, pulsed magnetic fields, save file boost memory, ibuprofen life extension.

1. Determining Cause and Effect from Observed Correlations.
A new statistical technique called the additive noise model can determine cause and effect relationships purely from observational data alone, something that was previously thought impossible https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cause-and-effect-the-revolutionary-new-statistical-test-that-can-tease-them-apart-ed84a988e. This works only for simple situations in which one variable causes another and is far less useful in situations involving more complex collections of variables. The technique proved accurate 80% of the... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 51/14.
Causes from effects, controlling prosthetic arms, 3D computing, genomic loops, computer object recognition, automated skin cancer testing, smartphone medical devices, pulsed magnetic fields, save file boost memory, ibuprofen life extension.

1. Determining Cause and Effect from Observed Correlations.
A new statistical technique called the additive noise model can determine cause and effect relationships purely from observational data alone, something that was previously thought impossible https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cause-and-effect-the-revolutionary-new-statistical-test-that-can-tease-them-apart-ed84a988e. This works only for simple situations in which one variable causes another and is far less useful in situations involving more complex collections of variables. The technique proved accurate 80% of the time when tested across 88 different datasets measuring different variables in different situations. There many more other situations in science where such techniques may prove to be powerful and offer additional, quicker insights that weren’t possible before. 

2. Duo of Human Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Demonstrations.
First, while not mind-control in the strictest sense, was the double prosthetic arms controlled by a double-amputee who had undergone a targeted muscle reinnervation surgical procedure to reassign nerves that formerly controlled the biological arms, but which can now coordinate the artificial arms http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2014/141216.asp. The patient was able to perform a range of complex movements after training. Second, using arms supplied by the same group as those that enabled the above advance, a quadriplegic patient fitted with an array of 96 electrodes implanted into her motor cortex was able to control the prosthetic arm to reach, grasp, and place a variety of objects http://www.upmc.com/media/NewsReleases/2014/Pages/pitt-team-publishes-new-findings-on-mind-controlled-robot.aspx. 

3. Three Dimensional Computing Architectures.
First, clearing three distinct technological hurdles allowed the creation of a new “high-rise” computer chip architecture whose prototype includes two layers of resistive RAM memory sandwiched between two layers of carbon nanotube logic processing and all connected by a dense array of interconnections http://engineering.stanford.edu/news/stanford-team-combines-logic-memory-build-high-rise-chip. Second, Crossbar revealed the latest advances for their ultra-high-density three-dimensional RAM technology, marking another definite step on the path to commercialising RRAM chips capable of storing one terabyte of data on the area of a postage stamp http://www.crossbar-inc.com/events/press-releases/crossbar-unveils-another-breakthrough-innovation-at-iedm-2014.html. 

4. Mapping the Structural Code in the Looped Human Genome.
The first high resolution 3D maps of entire folded genomes have been assembled and shown to represent a structural basis for additional gene regulation http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2014/12/scientists-map-human-loop-ome. This revealed thousands of genetic switches that weren’t known before and the work was made possible by new big-data processing capabilities of huge genomic datasets. The formation of loops in genomic DNA was found to be highly constrained and dependent on a single protein that binds to both specific DNA sequences and another copy of itself bound to a more distant spot on the genome - causing the string of DNA in between to form the loop. Different cell types probably have very different but distinct looping patterns in their genomes to keep key genes switched on and off. 

5. Deep Neural Network Matches Primate Brain in Object Recognition.
One of the latest generations of deep neural networks has succeeded in matching the primate brain in visual object recognition achieved during brief glances http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/computer-neural-networks-identify-objects-like-primate-brain-1218. One of the differences in this study compared to other recent ones in the field is the integration with neuroscientific studies that directly measured the primate brain’s object recognition ability via implanted electrode arrays that showed the population of neurons (neural representation) that responded for every object the animals looked at - and then compared this with the representations created by the deep neural networks as they looked at similar images. 

6. IBM Automates Visual Skin Cancer Detection.
In related news IBM has helped develop a computer vision system that was trained on a dataset of 3,000 dermoscopy images of different types of skin cancer and is able to correctly identify the correct diagnosis 95% of the time, compared with human experts who only manage to average 75% - 84% http://www.dotmed.com/news/story/24830. Instances like this will only become increasingly common (and increasingly accurate) and I think we will reach the point - if we haven’t passed it already - whereby not using these systems when they are available will constitute a form of medical negligence. 

7. Smartphone Medical Device Convergence.
Technologies like IBM’s above should, at some point, enable users to use smartphones to accurately diagnose skin cancers with a high degree of confidence. This week we caught another couple of smartphone medical devices such as (i) a smartphone microscope and fluorescence kit able to detect individual DNA molecules http://phys.org/news/2014-12-individual-dna-molecules-smartphone-microscope.html, (ii) a smartphone otoscope able to image inside the ear and eardrum and diagnose problems http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/devices/diagnosing-ear-infections-with-a-new-smartphone-gadget-, and (iii) a clip-on smartphone camera adapter being developed to image the back of a patient’s eye and retina for diagnosis https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/peek-retina-help-fight-avoidable-blindness. 

8. Pulsed Magnetic Fields Can Orient and Position Nanoparticles.
A new fast-pulse magnetic field technique is able to focus magnetic nanorods, control their orientation, and push the nanorods to precisely position them http://www.kurzweilai.net/new-pulsed-magnetic-method-uses-nanorods-to-deliver-drugs-deeply-in-the-body. I thought this was an interesting proof-of-concept as the group are proposing to enter in vivo studies to test the system in animals, which I something I think would be very difficult and dependent on an adequate real-time imaging system to keep track of the nanorods and the biological structures in which they are being moved. As an application the nanorods could carry drugs, etc. 

9. Memory Boost Observed from Simply Saving Files.
In an interesting little study people were shown to be significantly better at learning and remembering new information when they saved previous information to a computer for example http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/saving-old-information-can-boost-memory-for-new-information.html. The information used in the study comprised simple lists of words. The effect disappeared if the study participants were told that the saving or computer storage mechanism might not work correctly. The group suggest that the reason for the memory boost in subsequent information memorisation results as the act of saving is a form of offloading, knowing that the information will be accessible in future allows cognitive resources to be utilised elsewhere. 

10. Life Extension from Simple Ibuprofen?
In yet another life extension study with model organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies, this time with ibuprofen, we see a 15% increase in lifespan https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/12/so-does-ibuprofen.php - with the suggestion from the group that this is related to tryptophan metabolism. And yet, despite five decades of worldwide usage there is no indication that ibuprofen provides any sort of significant boost to lifespan in humans. Perhaps the message should be: as always, beware extrapolations from model organisms to complex organisms regarding numerous interventions such as boosts to lifespan, especially with regard to simple molecules and targets. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest ___

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2014-12-18 13:39:18 (6 comments, 8 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Tonotopy, Retinotopy, and Correlates of Consciousness.
A quick summary of closely related topics and concepts I’ve been delving into.

Tonotopy is a delightful word that I have +Rajini Rao to thank for teaching me some time ago. It simply refers to the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequency are processed in the brain; sounds that are close to each other in frequency are processed in close, or neighbouring, areas of the brain. This spatial arrangement of frequency processing can be traced from the brain to the cochlea, which is sensitive to different frequencies of sound along its length http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonotopy. 

Retinotopy is the related term for vision, and is the mapping of visual input from the retina to neurons in the visual cortex; these retinotopic maps in the visual cortex of the brain are representations of theinp... more »

Tonotopy, Retinotopy, and Correlates of Consciousness.
A quick summary of closely related topics and concepts I’ve been delving into.

Tonotopy is a delightful word that I have +Rajini Rao to thank for teaching me some time ago. It simply refers to the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequency are processed in the brain; sounds that are close to each other in frequency are processed in close, or neighbouring, areas of the brain. This spatial arrangement of frequency processing can be traced from the brain to the cochlea, which is sensitive to different frequencies of sound along its length http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonotopy. 

Retinotopy is the related term for vision, and is the mapping of visual input from the retina to neurons in the visual cortex; these retinotopic maps in the visual cortex of the brain are representations of the inputs received by the visual field of the retina. Visual inputs received by neighbouring regions of the retina are processed by neighbouring regions of the visual cortex. Such maps are typically determined by fMRI studies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinotopy. See the main image of this post for an example. 

Deeper layers of visual cortex get progressively more complex and are said to process second-order representations of visual field input. There are two main processing streams. One stream processes primary visual input to determine recognition and object representation, and also plays a role in long-term visual memory. The second determines motion, object location, and other factors. Your visual cortex contains about 140 million neurons. Cortical magnification is the phenomenon of a disproportionately large amount of primary visual cortex being mapped to a small, concentrated area of the visual field of the retina - namely the fovea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_cortex. 

A scotoma is an area of the field of vision that has been altered, but which is surrounded by an otherwise normal field of vision. The blind spot present in each of your eyes is a form of scotoma. I have experienced scintillating scotomas in my visual field as part of migraines in the past. Beyond this scotomas in the visual field typically arise due to damage or injury to either the retina, optic nerve, or visual cortex, for example, multiple sclerosis, tumour, stroke, substance abuse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotoma. 

Cerebral achromatopsia is a type of colour blindness caused by damage, such as head injury or stroke, to specific areas of cortex related to vision. Sufferers are unable to experience or perceive colour and describe the world in shades of grey. fMRI studies reveal this area is active in processing colour stimuli and direct electrical stimulation of the area induces conscious sensations of colour, at least according to subjective patient reports. There is dispute over whether this area is a processing center or pathway linking several important (integrated?) areas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_achromatopsia. 

Studies have shown that retinotopic maps and the neurons and brain regions that support them play an integral role in conscious visual sensation, and are neural correlates of visual consciousness. For example when a stimulus is consciously perceived at a particular location in the visual field, the corresponding location in the retinotopic cortex is activated even when there is no direct physical stimulation at that visual field location. For example, activity in the retinotopic cortex can be seen on the path of apparent motion where no stimulus is physically present, and this reflects top-down signals from higher visual areas involved in the processing of visual motion. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166676/. 

Other fMRI studies have concluded Whichever occipital area was responsible for the perceptual activity, our conclusion remains the same. It seems that when we see a contour at a particular spatial location, the activity underlying the seeing is tied to the representation of that spatial location and not a diffuse activation of the area involved. http://lnfp.dr18.cnrs.fr/publication_labo/Are_neural.pdf. And also The responses to subjective contours within primary visual cortex were retinotopically specific and analogous to that to real contours http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/neuro.09.002.2008/full. 

#consciousness   #brian   #topography  ___

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2014-12-16 12:56:11 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Never fails to make me feel omnipotent

Never fails to make me feel omnipotent___

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2014-12-14 11:22:48 (16 comments, 31 reshares, 77 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 50/14.
Artificial skin, APM nanoparticle clustering, wireless BCIs, solar technology advances, tiny computers, small particle accelerators, self-assembled optical memory, RoboBrain, laser graphene structures, entropy and life.

1. Better Artificial Skin.
Improved artificial skin has been developed by combining a new flexible polymer that mimics key properties of normal skin with a dense but flexible array of gold and silicon sensors http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533106/artificial-skin-that-senses-and-stretches-like-the-real-thing/. This is the most sensitive artificial skin yet, with 400 sensors per square millimeter, and is designed to facilitate the sensing of touch, pressure, temperature, and moisture. Immediate applications are of course for robotics, which need to be better able to sense and interact with the... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 50/14.
Artificial skin, APM nanoparticle clustering, wireless BCIs, solar technology advances, tiny computers, small particle accelerators, self-assembled optical memory, RoboBrain, laser graphene structures, entropy and life.

1. Better Artificial Skin.
Improved artificial skin has been developed by combining a new flexible polymer that mimics key properties of normal skin with a dense but flexible array of gold and silicon sensors http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533106/artificial-skin-that-senses-and-stretches-like-the-real-thing/. This is the most sensitive artificial skin yet, with 400 sensors per square millimeter, and is designed to facilitate the sensing of touch, pressure, temperature, and moisture. Immediate applications are of course for robotics, which need to be better able to sense and interact with the environment, and also for prosthetic limbs for amputees - although developing suitable brain- or nerve-computer-interfaces to convey this information to patients is a work-in-progress, even with promising proof-of-concept demonstrations evident. 

2. Fine Control Over Nanoparticle Scale and Clustering.
Combining specific DNA sequences with specific zinc-finger DNA binding proteins that also attach to specific nanoparticles allows fine control over nanoparticle clustering and the directed (self-assembled) fabrication of specific nanoparticle clusters http://phys.org/news/2014-12-nanoparticle-cluster-technique-dna-protein.html. The nanoparticle clusters created in the study contain magnetic nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, and quantum dots, different combinations and arrangements of which produce different physical and optical properties and so fine control of assembly is important; these clusters can be used as MRI contrast media, fluorescence imaging, and drug transport. The DNA and proteins are atomically precise structures and work like this represents promising baby-steps on the path to mature atomically precise manufacturing of materials. 

3. Wireless Brain Computer Interfaces.
There have been a number of approaches over the past couple of years to untether brain computer interfaces from the cables typically used to connect brain-connected devices to computers, and so enabled more natural freedom of movement and other experiments. This latest device sits on the head and connects via a small port in the skull to an implanted electrode array that records neuronal network activity https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/12/sensor. It’s battery allows WiFi data transmission for up to two days but at 5 cm and 46 grams it still needs another couple of generations of miniaturisation before it might be said to disappear and be genuinely unobtrusive. Demonstration experiments included motor cortex monitoring of monkeys while they walked and general cortical monitoring while monkeys progressed through sleep-wake cycles. 

4. Impressive Advances in Solar Cell Technology.
We had a couple of promising solar cell advances this week. First, we had the achievement of a 40% energy efficiency milestone using commercially available solar cells, bandpass filters, and light-concentrating optics http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-technology/unsw-researchers-set-world-record-solar-energy-efficiency. Second, we had yet another advance for spray-on solar cells using colloidal quantum dots and readily available and affordable parts that most people should have access to http://news.engineering.utoronto.ca/new-technique-offers-spray-on-solar-power/; this is intended to be used in a variety of manufacturing situations with roll-to-roll printing or spraying on firm, curved, or flexible substrates, and ideally will lead to a future ability to directly coat irregular roofs and other surfaces - it will also benefit from independent advances in quantum dot materials development. 

5. Cubic Millimeter Computers.
Full computer systems measuring one millimeter cubed have been developed that include wireless communications, computation and data storage, battery, photovoltaic recharging, and sensors such as pressure, temperature, and imaging for image and video capture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjLRNkNgJGU. The chips are assembled in layers with different sub-components layered on top of each other to form the whole unit. Just think: a tiny wireless camera only a millimeter in size, or a million of them (only a cube of material 10cm on a side) scattered around the environment to provide some impressive (and near invisible) surveillance capabilities. This is smart dust and we can only begin to imagine the applications that may be possible. The group ultimately wish to shrink the complete systems down to the micron-scale where individual units might fit inside cells. 

6. Milestone for Tabletop Particle Accelerators.
The most powerful tabletop particle accelerator in the world demonstrated the ability to produce electrons with an energy of 4.25 giga-electronvolts http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/12/08/world-record-for-compact-particle-accelerator/. While the system was hooked up to a much larger petawatt laser system, the laser-plasma accelerator comprising a 9cm long tube was able to induce an acceleration gradient 1,000 times greater than normal particle accelerators. For comparison the monumental LCH produced particle collisions measuring 4 terra-electronvolts and aims to achieve 14 TeV later next year. There are thoughts that such compact laser-plasma devices (or assemblies of them) may be able reach these energy levels in future. 

7. Self-Assembled Optical Memory.
A new molecular self-assembly system creates uniform surfaces comprised of precisely ordered arrays of identical, optically-sensitive molecules that switch between two different states http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/memory/selfassembly-technique-offers-potential-scalable-prodution-of-optical-memory. Not only are the molecules photochromic, meaning they change colour reversibly when irradiated with light, but they are electric dipoles, which helps with self-assembly and binding onto surfaces while still retaining their attractive optoelectronic properties. The group hope to develop the system into molecular-scale memory storage devices with data densities up to 1,000 times greater than what is possible today. 

8. Latest Developments on RoboBrain.
RoboBrain is intended to be a search and knowledge engine for robots, that robots and related devices can query for data and instructions and, importantly, send data back to RoboBrain as they carry out the task in order to help the system learn over time and make it better http://www.technologyreview.com/view/533471/robobrain-the-worlds-first-knowledge-engine-for-robots/. Given the many differences in robotic architecture this is a difficult problem and a difficult project. Beyond receiving feedback directly from robots themselves, RoboBrain is also designed to allow independent researchers to contribute knowledge to the system with hope being that a community network of developers and researchers will help the system grow quickly and become more broadly useful to more robots in more situations. Demonstrations have involved robots using the system to help navigate indoors or move cooking ingredients around but an important capability will be the application of knowledge learned in one situation to other situations. 

9. Graphene Structures Fabricated with Lasers.
A new room-temperature process can fabricate patterned, flexible, multilayered graphene microstructures out of a polymer with a computer-controlled laser http://phys.org/news/2014-12-defects-laser-induced-graphene.html. The material comprises a complex interconnected foam mesh of graphene flakes, and patterns can comprise discrete supercapacitor designs. The group claim the process is scalable, may eventually result in a roll-to-roll manufacturing process and so far produces functional structures that perform well even after 9,000 charge-discharge cycles. 

10. Entropy, Thermodynamics, and Life.
While this article was first presented at the start of the year I only stumbled across it this week thanks to +Samuel Holmes http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/. It concerns a recent, and ambitious theory linking entropy, thermodynamics, and the emergence and evolution of life; it is intended to underlie and support evolution via natural selection. Basically, systems with an external input of energy tend to evolve towards increasing their irreversibility, and towards increasing their energy absorption and subsequent dissipation into the local environment. The claim is energy dissipation and entropy increases drive the spark of matter into self-replicating life and the evolution of living systems. 

An archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net ___

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2014-12-12 11:43:05 (16 comments, 7 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Christof Koch: Here, There, but not Everywhere.
Christof is a great communicator and this is another excellent and accessible talk on consciousness. 

Part 1. For those who remain highly skeptical of Integrated Information Theory (and think I’m flogging a dead horse) you should still enjoy the first half of this lecture from Christof Koch, which discusses the basics of consciousness, illusions, attention or inattention, criteria for consciousness, designing scientific experiments for consciousness, behavioural correlates, neural correlates, the visual system, the cerebellum containing 66% of brain neurons and yet not contributing to consciousness, the critical importance of the claustrum, stimulating the claustrum to manipulate consciousness, and states important and unimportant to consciousness. 

A couple of paraphrased quotes: 

If science is toexpl... more »

Christof Koch: Here, There, but not Everywhere.
Christof is a great communicator and this is another excellent and accessible talk on consciousness. 

Part 1. For those who remain highly skeptical of Integrated Information Theory (and think I’m flogging a dead horse) you should still enjoy the first half of this lecture from Christof Koch, which discusses the basics of consciousness, illusions, attention or inattention, criteria for consciousness, designing scientific experiments for consciousness, behavioural correlates, neural correlates, the visual system, the cerebellum containing 66% of brain neurons and yet not contributing to consciousness, the critical importance of the claustrum, stimulating the claustrum to manipulate consciousness, and states important and unimportant to consciousness. 

A couple of paraphrased quotes: 

If science is to explain everything then surely it must tackle consciousness.

Philosophy has a bad historical track record of predicting things science can’t do.

Part 2. Starting from 39:00 we delve into the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness, it’s axioms and their meaning, prerequisites for the physical substrates of consciousness, cause-effect repertoires, basic introduction to the formalism underlying IIT, the importance of irreducible exchanges and maximal irreducibility, the relationship between the structure or shape of the processing and experience and changes over time, quantifying the shape and intensity of experience with Phi, graded consciousness, implications for feed-forward systems and simulations, measuring integration and Phi in sleeping and awake patients, using Phi to measure how conscious people are in various states such as locked-in syndrome and its clinical relevance, speculations into evolution and Phi, and some predictions made by IIT and proposed future experiments to test them e.g. by inducing anosognosia. 

#consciousness   #integratedinformationtheory   #theoryofmind  ___

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2014-12-11 08:26:39 (7 comments, 8 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Metzinger on The Self and Self-Consciousness.

This is a good and thorough talk given by Metzinger on consciousness with an emphasis on higher-level self-consciousness. Note that this is a philosophically-focused talk although there is mention (from memory) of neural correlates of consciousness and other neuroscientific studies. While he speaks clearly and articulately, I suspect this talk was presented to a particular audience actively working in the field and this might explain the somewhat heavy use of jargon that may make it more difficult for a lay audience to enjoy and conceptualise. 

That being said the key takeaways for me were Metzinger’s toolset of metaphors with which to think about, understand, and discuss consciousness and in particular self-consciousness. Also, while many of the clinical examples of brain-damaged patients he discusses are fascinating in their ownri... more »

Metzinger on The Self and Self-Consciousness.

This is a good and thorough talk given by Metzinger on consciousness with an emphasis on higher-level self-consciousness. Note that this is a philosophically-focused talk although there is mention (from memory) of neural correlates of consciousness and other neuroscientific studies. While he speaks clearly and articulately, I suspect this talk was presented to a particular audience actively working in the field and this might explain the somewhat heavy use of jargon that may make it more difficult for a lay audience to enjoy and conceptualise. 

That being said the key takeaways for me were Metzinger’s toolset of metaphors with which to think about, understand, and discuss consciousness and in particular self-consciousness. Also, while many of the clinical examples of brain-damaged patients he discusses are fascinating in their own right one must always beware inferring too much from N = 1 sampling sets. 

For me personally, nothing he discussed was particularly surprising and nor were the conclusions he reached; the benefit came with his descriptive rigour and the metaphors presented. The interplay between object models, self models, and environmental mapping powers a fascinating dialogue that concludes the experiencer is the experience and if the self is an illusion then it is an illusion for no-one. 

Remember that calling something an illusion doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, just that it is not what it appears to be. 

Thanks to +Mac Vogt for sending this my way. 

#consciousness   #philosophyofmind   #self  ___

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2014-12-10 23:16:51 (6 comments, 10 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Something Lighthearted: Friendship Tiers.

I thought you might enjoy this recent article Ten Types of Old Friendships You’re Probably Part Of from the brilliant Wait But Why that breaks down our personal friendship tiers, how those tiers were filled by historical accident, the types of people now populating those tiers, and thoughts on how to spend our precious time to get the most out of life and those friendships we cherish. While I didn't see a perfect overlap with my own situation many of the examples felt familiar and there were plenty of insightful gems and humour throughout to make this well-crafted piece worthwhile. A lighthearted and anecdotal bit of fun :)

Are you also a victim of the Perpetual Catch-Up Trap?

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html

Something Lighthearted: Friendship Tiers.

I thought you might enjoy this recent article Ten Types of Old Friendships You’re Probably Part Of from the brilliant Wait But Why that breaks down our personal friendship tiers, how those tiers were filled by historical accident, the types of people now populating those tiers, and thoughts on how to spend our precious time to get the most out of life and those friendships we cherish. While I didn't see a perfect overlap with my own situation many of the examples felt familiar and there were plenty of insightful gems and humour throughout to make this well-crafted piece worthwhile. A lighthearted and anecdotal bit of fun :)

Are you also a victim of the Perpetual Catch-Up Trap?

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html___

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2014-12-10 10:57:55 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

The Things I Find in My Pool Filter #3.

So I went to check on the pool filter today and found this little guy in there, stuck after falling in. I have no idea how long he was floating in there - could have been anywhere from 1 to 48 hours. He didn't put up much of a fight when I rescued him and set him free to go about his business. 

This is a Blue-tongue Lizard. 

The first thing I found in my filter: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarkBruce/posts/iQMQ3DeMSTu 

The second thing I found in my filter: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarkBruce/posts/eExv8Jx1jE7 

The Things I Find in My Pool Filter #3.

So I went to check on the pool filter today and found this little guy in there, stuck after falling in. I have no idea how long he was floating in there - could have been anywhere from 1 to 48 hours. He didn't put up much of a fight when I rescued him and set him free to go about his business. 

This is a Blue-tongue Lizard. 

The first thing I found in my filter: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarkBruce/posts/iQMQ3DeMSTu 

The second thing I found in my filter: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarkBruce/posts/eExv8Jx1jE7 ___

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2014-12-08 11:14:33 (17 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Poor Design on the Gear Live.

I'd heard about this happening on Gear Live units and after 5 uneventful months I thought I'd be safe. After removing the charging adapter one morning, gently as I always did, I noticed a tiny piece of plastic come away from one of the indents where the charging adapter clipped in. 

The first consequence of this is that the charging adapter no longer secures to the watch, which can no longer be charged. The second consequence is that it seems to have gone so far as to open a tiny cavity into the innards of the watch, and undoubtedly voided any water resistance (tiny black hole visible in first image, just to right of power button). The third consequence is that, in order to charge the oddly-shaped device, a heavy object needs to be balanced in a precarious position in order to use weight to force the pogo-pins to connect properly (see... more »

Poor Design on the Gear Live.

I'd heard about this happening on Gear Live units and after 5 uneventful months I thought I'd be safe. After removing the charging adapter one morning, gently as I always did, I noticed a tiny piece of plastic come away from one of the indents where the charging adapter clipped in. 

The first consequence of this is that the charging adapter no longer secures to the watch, which can no longer be charged. The second consequence is that it seems to have gone so far as to open a tiny cavity into the innards of the watch, and undoubtedly voided any water resistance (tiny black hole visible in first image, just to right of power button). The third consequence is that, in order to charge the oddly-shaped device, a heavy object needs to be balanced in a precarious position in order to use weight to force the pogo-pins to connect properly (see second image example). 

The fourth consequence is that this is now a pain in the ass and I now use the device less because I don't get around to recharging it as often. 

#gearlive   #flawed   #design  ___

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