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Monday, February 29, 2016

Four Short Takes

#1 - Supercharged Raspberry Pi 3 adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more speed, but still costs $35

Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton says Pi 3 is up to 60 percent faster than the Pi 2, warns of possible shortages

Agam Shah

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Raspberry Pi has an in-store treat on its fourth anniversary.
It is now shipping the Raspberry Pi 3 computer, which at the same $35 price as its Pi 2 predecessor packs a more powerful 64-bit CPU, and for the first time, has built-in wireless capabilities.
The credit-card sized  Pi 3 is up to 60 percent faster than its predecessor, which has shipped in the millions.


#2 - Potential Treatment for Huntington's Disease Enters Clinical Testing | February 29, 2016

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A drug that would be the first to target the cause of Huntington's disease (HD) is found effective and safe when tested in mice and monkeys.
The supporting data released today will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, April 15 to 21, 2016. A study to test the drug in humans has begun.
Huntington's disease is a rare, hereditary disease that causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual abilities, emotional problems and eventually death. The disease is passed from parent to child through a mutation in the huntingtin gene. The mutation results in the production of a disease-causing huntingtin protein. Each child has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene mutation. Everyone who inherits the mutated gene will eventually develop the disease.


#3 - Google's Artificial Intelligence Gets Its First Art Show

Cade Metz | February 29, 2016

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On Friday evening, inside an old-movie-house-cum-art-gallery at the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district, Google graphics guru Blaise Agüera y Arcas delivered a speech to an audience of about three hundred geek hipsters.
He spoke alongside a series of images projected onto the wall that once held a movie screen, and at one point, he showed off a nearly 500-year-old double portrait by German Renaissance painter Hans Holbein. The portrait includes a strangely distorted image of a human skull, and as Agüera y Arcas explained, it’s unlikely that Holbein painted this by hand. He almost certainly used mirrors or lenses to project the image of a skull onto a canvas before tracing its outline. “He was using state-of-the-art technologies,” Agüera y Arcas told his audience.


#4 - NASA Wants to Send Your Artwork to an Asteroid.

To infinity, and Bennu [the asteroid]

Marty Beth Griggs | Februaryt 22, 2016

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Even if you weren't one of the record number of people to apply for NASA's astronaut program, you can still leave your mark on the cosmos.
As a part of the OSIRIS-REx (sic) mission to sample the asteroid Bennu (185911.61 miles away from Earth at its closest point), NASA will send along artwork from Earth loaded onto a hard drive.

Illustration showing OSIRIS-REx in orbit around asteroid Bennu. Source:

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