Search Box

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What Happens When You Need To 3D Print Really Large Objects?

3D Printer Array Can Create Huge Objects in a Single Print (Tomorrow Daily 338) (+Video)

Autodesk's experimental 3D printer network can make large objects in a fraction of the time; also, Microsoft unveils a demo for what it's calling "Holoportation."

C|Net | March 28, 2016

On today's show, we discuss Microsoft's Holoportation demo, which could revolutionize the way we communicate using scanning technology and Hololens.
We're also discussing Autodesk's Project Escher, which consists of a scalable array of 3D printers. Can you imagine future car prototypes being churned out of a massive network of 3D printers?

Escher2. Source:

<more at; related links and articles: (Autodesk’s new 3D printer uses 5 print heads simultaneously to make gigantic objects. March 24, 2016) and (Autodesk’s Project Escher Uses Multiple 3D Print Heads for Massive Jobs. March 24, 2016)>

Shorter Waiting Lines For 3D Prints: International Space Station (ISS) Gets A New 3D Printer

Cargo Ship Reaches Space Station on Resupply Run

AFP Wire Service via Daily Mail | March 26, 2016

An unmanned cargo ship packed with science experiment materials plus food, water and clothes successfully docked at the International Space Station on Saturday, NASA partner Orbital ATK said.
The cargo ship, Cygnus, which blasted off Tuesday on the resupply run, was carrying 7,900 pounds (3.6 metric tons) of supplies to the station for the ISS crew of six astronauts, as well as components to support dozens of science and research probes.
Cygnus was captured by the space station's robotic arm, operated by crew members, and guided into its berthing port. The operation was over by 1452 GMT.
It was also carrying a new 3D printer and another scientific highlight includes a so-called Gecko Gripper, a mechanism similar to the tiny hairs on the feet of geckos that makes it possible for them to stick to surfaces.

This is the original ISS 3D pritner, not the new one just delivered.

<more at; related links and articles: (3D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration (3D Printing In Zero-G) - 03.30.16) and (3D Printing In Space: 21st Century Space Manufacturing and Technology. The rise of 3D printing technology is not confined to Earth. Private companies, NASA and other groups are quickly developing new concepts to launch 3D printing into the final frontier. See the latest news, videos and photos of 3D printing in space here.)>

Microsoft Edge Will Offer Ad Blocking

Microsoft's Edge Browser Will Offer Ad Blocking

The next version may stop ads without using third-party extensions.

Steve Dent | March 31, 2016

Ad blockers continue to go mainstream as Microsoft revealed its Edge browser will soon have the tech built right in. The feature was spotted by ZDNet during a Build 2016 presentation, where a slide showed that the software giant will "build ad blocking features into the browser" in the next release. The wording implies that the feature may work natively without third-party extensions, which is a good thing since Edge only just started supporting those. However, the same slide also shows that Microsoft plans to "provide a modern extension/plug-in model," complete with a store, for the next Edge release.

From earlier software. Source: Published August 1, 2015.

<more at; related links; (Latest Windows 10 preview brings Edge browser extensions. It's also testing a newly refreshed version of Maps on PC and mobile. March 17, 2016) and (Google backs away from banning dedicated Android ad blockers. They should be easier to find in the Play Store from now on. February 9, 2016)>

Live Operation To Be Broadcast In Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality Meets the Operating Room: Live Operation to be Broadcast Next Month

Ed Oswald | March 25, 2016

If you’ve wanted the chance to watch an operation as though you were in the operating room itself, on April 14 you’ll get the opportunity. Doctors at The Royal London Hospital, in partnership with virtual reality company Medical Realities and live-streaming service Matavision, will perform the first operation to allow viewers to participate using virtual reality.
The patient is a man in his 70’s who is suffering from colon cancer. He is said to be “excited” about participating in the groundbreaking broadcast.

Hospital Will Livestream Cancer Surgery in VR... Source:

<more at; related links and articles: (UK cancer surgery to be live-streamed via virtual reality technology. Surgeon Shafi Ahmed will carry out procedure for viewers to watch using mobile phone and VR headset. March 25, 2016) and (British patient to undergo world's first virtual reality cancer operation. March 25, 2016)>

Coursera: An Affordable Online Master's

Coursera is Offering a Way to Get a Real Master’s Degree for a Lot Less Money

Amy X. Wang | March 31, 2016

Digital learning company Coursera, which has over 15 million people around the world taking its massive online open courses (MOOCs), markets itself to a wide demographic— from curious middle schoolers to mid-career professionals seeking promotions at work.
The company thinks it can do more to help out the latter.
Coursera yesterday (March 30) announced a new program that curiously departs from its prior offerings: a MOOC curriculum that leads to an actual degree. 


<more at; related links and articles: (Coursera launches Data Science Masters program for a fraction of university prices. March 30, 2016) and (Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS). [About the Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS). With a full tuition under $20K, the MCS-DS is the most affordable gateway to one of the most lucrative and fastest growing careers of the new millennium. The MCS-DS builds expertise in four core areas of computer science: data visualization, machine learning, data mining and cloud computing, in addition to building valuable skill sets in statistics and information science with courses taught in collaboration with the University’s Statistics Department and ISchool (ranked #1 among Library and Information Studies Schools.) This degree will go far beyond recorded classroom lectures to offer the same educational rigor as the Illinois on-campus program. Anyone who registers on Coursera will have access to all of the courses that make up the degree, including lessons, activities and projects developed by award-winning Illinois faculty. In order to earn the University of Illinois degree, learners who are accepted into the program will also be expected to complete additional course assessments with access to guidance, feedback and support from Illinois faculty and staff.])>

Ubuntu (Linux) Will Be A Part Of The Windows 10 Distribution

Bringing Ubuntu to Windows is a Step in the Right Direction for Microsoft

Brank Bi | March 30, 2016

Ever since college, the way that I've been told to study computer science was to avoid Windows for writing code. In class, we used Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux to complete our assignments. Students who showed up to class on the first day with a Windows laptop (myself included), were told to install Ubuntu as a second operating system or face a semester of hardship. Simply put, no one wanted to be partnered with a person who was adamant about sticking to his or her Windows dev environment.
But with today’s announcement of Ubuntu on Windows at Build, the belief that Windows is a bad operating system for developers is coming to an end. At the surface level, this means you’ll be able to run a Bash shell on Windows 10, without having to install a third-party interface like Cygwin, which many seasoned veterans remember as a nightmare.


<more at; related links and articles: (+Video) (Microsoft and Canonical partner to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10. You'll soon be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10. March 29, 2016) and (Ubuntu’s bash and Linux command line coming to Windows 10. Rising from the ashes of Project Astoria. March 30, 2016)>

A Clever Music Machine

This Incredible Music Machine is Powered by 2,000 Marbles (+Video)

Michael Rundle | March 2, 2016

The internet is no stranger to ridiculously complex attempts to make music with technology. But this might be one of the most purely spectacular attempts yet to take something which is now incredibly easy, and make it virtually impossible to comprehend.
The Wintergartan Marble Machine, built by Swedish musician Martin Molin and filmed by Hannes Knutsson, is a hand-made music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles.


<more at; related links and articles: (Incredibly complex machine plays music with marbles. It's as if Rube Goldberg made a musical instrument. March 2, 2106) and ( March 2, 2016)>

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

We're Getting Close To "Tron"

Samsung's Smart Windshield Gets Us Closer to Tron (+Video)

Sam Rutherford | March 29, 2016

Distracted driving in a car causes accidents; distracted driving on a motorcycle turns people into organ donors. That’s why when you’re riding a motorbike, it’s even more important to have some way of staying connected without putting your life at risk. Samsung's new Smart Windshield looks like a futuristic solution to the problem.

<more at,news-22480.html; related links and articles: (Samsung's Smart Windshield is the worst good idea. With its built-in head-up display, this smartphone-connected motorbike windscreen presents more problems than it solves. March 29, 2016) and (Samsung's smart windshield concept seems cool but potentially dangerous. March 28, 2016)>

Browse The Internet In Virtual Reality (VR)

Best VR Web Browser: How to Browse the Internet in Virtual Reality

Add another dimension to your browsing

Ben Stinson | March 29, 2016

After years of trials, tribulations and terrible failures, VR is finally becoming a reality. Whether you are eying up an Oculus Rift or getting the vibes for HTC's Vive, it's not just the inevitable avalanche of VR games and video content that are suitable for virtual reality viewing - now you can browse the 2D web in 3D, too.
For those after that total immersive experience, we've rounded up the best VR web browsing options currently available.

Virtual Reality Web Browsing. Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Hands on with Samsung’s web browser for virtual reality. December 4, 2015) (VR Web browsing might ultimately be one of Samsung and Oculus’ best tricks. December 5, 2015)>

Remote Control Of The Brain

Genetically Engineered 'Magneto' Protein Remotely Controls Brain and Behaviour

Mo Costandi | March 24, 2016

Researchers in the United States have developed a new method for controlling the brain circuits associated with complex animal behaviours, using genetic engineering to create a magnetised protein that activates specific groups of nerve cells from a distance.
Understanding how the brain generates behaviour is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience – and one of its most difficult questions. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of methods that enable them to remotely control specified groups of neurons and to probe the workings of neuronal circuits.

Scientists were able to introduce a protein called Magneto2.0 into the neurons of mice. This responded in a magnetic field by opening a channel that allowed electrically charged ions to rush in, activating the cell. The picture above shows how cells with Magneto2.0 were more active in a magnetic field than other cells. Source:

<more at; related links and articles: (Real-life 'Magneto' uses MAGNETS to control the behaviour of mice and fish. Researchers introduced proteins containing iron into the neurons of mice. Brain cells of the genetically modified mice responded to a magnetic field. Scientists could control where the animals moved in a chamber. It may eventually be possible to use the technique to treat human patients. March 9, 2016) and (Remote control of ion channels and neurons through magnetic-field heating of nanoparticles. Heng Huang, Savas Delikanli, Hao Zeng, Denise M. Ferkey and Arnd Pralle. Nature Nanotechnology, 5, 602–606 (2010). doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.125. [Abstract: Recently, optical stimulation has begun to unravel the neuronal processing that controls certain animal behaviours. However, optical approaches are limited by the inability of visible light to penetrate deep into tissues. Here, we show an approach based on radio-frequency magnetic-field heating of nanoparticles to remotely activate temperature-sensitive cation channels in cells. Superparamagnetic ferrite nanoparticles were targeted to specific proteins on the plasma membrane of cells expressing TRPV1, and heated by a radio-frequency magnetic field. Using fluorophores as molecular thermometers, we show that the induced temperature increase is highly localized. Thermal activation of the channels triggers action potentials in cultured neurons without observable toxic effects. This approach can be adapted to stimulate other cell types and, moreover, may be used to remotely manipulate other cellular machinery for novel therapeutics.])>

Machines That Read Harry Potter

Software That Reads Harry Potter Might Perform Some Wizardry

Maluuba is training deep-learning algorithms to answer questions about small amounts of text. The technology might eventually read user manuals so you don’t have to.

Will Knight | March 28, 2016

Teaching a computer to play Go at a superhuman level is cool, but not especially useful for you or me. But what if a computer could read a few dozen pages of text, like the manual for a new microwave, and then answer questions about how it works? Sign me up.
Reading and comprehending text is incredibly difficult for computers, but a Canadian company called Maluuba has made progress with an algorithm that can read text and answer questions about it with impressive accuracy. Most importantly, unlike other approaches, it works with just small amounts of text. It might eventually help computers “comprehend” documents.


<more at; related links and articles: (Maluba website) and (A Parallel-Hierarchical Model for Machine Comprehension on Sparse Data. Adam Trischler, Zheng Ye, Xingdi Yuan, Jing He, Phillip Bachman, and Kaheer Suleman. arXiv:1603.08884 [cs.CL]. [Abstract: Understanding unstructured text is a major goal within natural language processing. Comprehension tests pose questions based on short text passages to evaluate such understanding. In this work, we investigate machine comprehension on the challenging {\it MCTest} benchmark. Partly because of its limited size, prior work on {\it MCTest} has focused mainly on engineering better features. We tackle the dataset with a neural approach, harnessing simple neural networks arranged in a parallel hierarchy. The parallel hierarchy enables our model to compare the passage, question, and answer from a variety of trainable perspectives, as opposed to using a manually designed, rigid feature set. Perspectives range from the word level to sentence fragments to sequences of sentences; the networks operate only on word-embedding representations of text. When trained with a methodology designed to help cope with limited training data, our Parallel-Hierarchical model sets a new state of the art for {\it MCTest}, outperforming previous feature-engineered approaches slightly and previous neural approaches by a significant margin (over 15\% absolute).])>

GMO Labeling

GMO Labeling Laws Promote Fear and Misinformation
Boston Globe Editorial | March 29, 2016
A bill that would require labeling of food that has genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs, cleared a legislative committee on Beacon Hill early this month, moving it one step closer to passage. That’s good news for food purists, but it’s an impractical and potentially burdensome solution that will cause unwarranted alarm and needless expense. Lawmakers should reject the bill.
Genetically modified seeds are engineered in laboratories so crops yield certain desirable features, such as virus-resistant papayas or apples that don’t brown. GMOs have been around for more than two decades. Most of the soybean and corn crop in the US is genetically altered, producing popular ingredients in processed food such as corn syrup and canola oil. It is estimated that two-thirds of all food sold in the US contain GMOs.


<more at; related links and articles: (What Are We Eating? March 6, 2016) and (Label Thumpers. The GMO movement is about faith, not facts. March 27, 2016)>

China And Foreign Websites

China’s Latest Proposed Internet Regulations Would Make Foreign Websites Impossible to Reach

Josh Horwitz | March 29, 2016

China’s list of blocked websites and internet services is already big, and it continues to grow. But a potential new law could make it far larger.
On March 25, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which oversees China’s internet and telecommunications sectors, publicly released a draft regulation that outlines rules on domain name registrations for websites.
The majority of the document elaborates on existing regulations—introduced in 2004 and updated regularly—about operating domain name registrars. Much of it is expected. For example the draft states that all registrars issuing domain names from China must obtain a license from the MIIT or another government body, set up “a management system” from within the nation’s borders, and obtain the personal information of a domain name’s operator.


<more at; related articles and links: (Internet Domain Name Management Rules (Opinion-seeking Revision Draft). March 29, 2016) and (A brief history of China’s campaign to enforce real-name registration online. February 5, 2015)>

Throttling Netflix To Serve AT&T And Verizon

Netflix is Making Videos Look Like Garbage on AT&T and Verizon

Romain Dillet | March 25, 2016

If you’ve tried streaming Master of None from your tablet running on Verizon or AT&T, chances are it looked like a big pile of unwatchable pixels. It turns out Netflix is quietly capping videos on these networks so that you don’t burn through your entire data cap in just a few hours.
How bad do these videos look? Netflix is streaming videos at a resolution of 360p with a bitrate of 600kbps on AT&T and Verizon’s wireless networks (side note: Verizon owns AOL, and AOL owns TechCrunch). In other words, even on a normal smartphone with a 5-inch display you’re going to see that it looks bad.


<more at; related links and stories: (Netflix And Buffer? Service Admits To Throttling Video On Mobile Devices. March 28, 2016) and ( March 24, 2016)>

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PC Gaming With Oculus Rift

The Ars Review: Oculus Rift Expands PC Gaming Past the Monitor’s Edge (+SlideShow +Video)

Despite first-gen roughness, PC virtual reality is finally—incredibly—real

Kyle Orland | March 28, 2016

It took me a few days with an Oculus Rift before I really felt comfortable swiveling my head around while playing a video game. Sure, I’d gotten somewhat used to the idea in years of trade show VR demos or while playing around with my own Oculus Rift development kits and Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR. But those experiences were fighting with decades of gaming experiences where my head generally stayed glued to one spot, pointed at the center of a TV or monitor, and tilted only occasionally to maybe get a better view of something in the corner.
It can be easy to fall back into the “look straight ahead” habit when you first start playing many Rift games.


<more at; related articles and links: (PC Gamer UK December [2013] issue: Oculus Rift. October 23, 2016)> and (The VR games we can't wait to play in 2016. December 18, 2015)>

Should You Send Your DNA to Or

Law Enforcement Investigators Seek Out Private DNA Databases

Paul Elias | March 26, 2016

Investigators are broadening their DNA searches beyond government databases and demanding genetic information from companies that do ancestry research for their customers.
Two major companies that research family lineage for fees around $200 say that over the last two years, they have received law enforcement demands for individual's genetic information stored in their DNA databases. and competitor 23andme report a total of five requests from law agencies for the genetic material of six individuals in their growing databases of hundreds of thousands. turned over one person's data for an investigation into the murder and rape of an 18-year-old woman in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 23andme has received four other court orders but persuaded investigators to withdraw the requests.

DNA Fingerprinting
Presented By: Disha Bedi
Class XI B
Roll no. 10
<more at; related links and articles: (23andMe, Inc. Know more about you. $199) and (Discover the family story your DNA can tell. $99); further: (23amdMe Resists Law Enforcement Requests. October 23, 2015)>

New Crime? Texting While Walking (New Jersey, USA)

Texting While Walking Could Be Banned in New Jersey under New Rules Being Proposed by US [New Jersey] Officials

The number of people dying while walking is swiftly increasing, and thousands of people are being injured while walking with their phone

Andrew Giffin | March 28, 2016

Lawmakers are hoping to ban people from walking while they were distracted, including while texting.
The bill, which would bring the rules for walking along into line with drivers, and force pedestrians to make sure that they are concentrating on the path in front of them, would fine people who engage in “distracted walking”.
People could even face jail time if they are using their phone while also walking along outside, under a new bill proposed by a state assemblywoman in New Jersey.


<more at; related articles and links: (State lawmaker seeks to ban texting while walking. Distracted walking leads to falls, and a lucky 9% "strike a motionless object." March 28, 2016) and (New Jersey bill would jail you for texting while walking. The proposed law wants you to keep your eyes on the path ahead. March 28, 2016)>

Google Search In China

Google Search Returned to China This Weekend—But Not for Long

Josh Horwitz | March 28, 2016

Google search has been blocked in mainland China since 2010, but yesterday it made an unexpected return—a brief one, as it turned out.
According to the South China Morning Post, around 11:30pm local time on March 27, social media users reported that they had no trouble accessing Google search (paywall). By 1:15am, commenters were reporting it had been blocked again.
Beijing-based tech blog Pingwest estimated that access began at around 8pm or 9pm (link in Chinese), and adds that Google Inbox, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Play were also useable. Other services like Gmail and YouTube remained inaccessible.

<more at; related articles and links: (Why Google Quit China—and Why It’s Heading Back
When American Internet companies do business abroad, they are sometimes forced to do a repressive government’s dirty work. January 19, 2016) and (Google is going on a hiring spree in China. January 7, 2016)>

Are You A Novice With Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR)?

A Beginner's Field Guide To Augmented And Virtual Reality

Paul Teich | March 28, 2016

Today Facebook-owned Oculus begins consumer shipments of their Rift VR headset, in many ways marking the beginning of a wave of dedicated consumer virtual reality (VR) products. Two weeks ago TIRIAS Research critically examined the VR and augmented reality (AR) product landscape at SXSW’s VR/AR convergence track (Interactive, Film and Music festival badge holders could all attend), AR/VR Austin (held offsite during SXSW Interactive) and the Game Developer Conference (GDC). We’ll take a step back here and look at look at the dynamics of the nascent AR and VR markets.

Automobile brands once again (as they did with SL marketing) appear to be leading the pack in terms of adopting AR into their marketing arsenals... Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Beginner's Guide to AR, VR and What's in between. April 26, 2015) and (Posts in category Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR). [various dates])>

Who Are The Best Entrepreneurs?

Why ‘C’ Students Make The Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Alejandro Cremades | March 28, 2016

Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs were not A+ students while in school. In fact many of them either never attended college or dropped out.
Take Steve Jobs, notorious for being disengaged in most of his college classes but deeply passionate about typography. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates both dropped out of Harvard to pursue their businesses. Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, focused on revolutionizing medicine, also dropped out of Stanford.
Arguably, one of the most recognized entrepreneurs out there is Sir Richard Branson. His case is very interesting and very well suited for this discussion as Branson suffered from dyslexia and dropped out of high school at 15.


<more at; related links and articles: (Why ‘C’ Students Usually End Up Being The Most Successful In Life. May 19, 2015) and (Why You Must be a “C” Student. July 16, 2013)>

Blood Test For Concussions

This New Blood Test Could Detect Concussions

With greater awareness about the dangers of head blows, researchers say a blood test may diagnose more serious traumatic brain injuries

Alice Park | March 28, 2016

There’s growing evidence that concussions may have more lasting effects than previously thought, and that monitoring people with head injuries, no matter how apparently minor, is crucial to ensuring they receive proper treatment and minimize the effects of the trauma.
But there aren’t good ways to distinguish between mild blows that don’t require additional care and mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), which could have more serious consequences. 

Blood test detects concussion up to a week after impact. Source:
<more at; related links and articles: (Blood test detects concussion up to a week after impact. March 28, 2016) and (+Video) (New blood test could offer better detection of concussions in children. March 29, 2016)>

Monday, March 28, 2016

Season Premiere: America's Greatest Makers (April 5, 2016) TBS (9:00 pm ET/PT)

America's Greatest Makers

TBS | April 5, 2016 (9:00 pm ET/PT)

This spring, tune in every week for a new reality TV challenge where teams of makers invent game-changing technology all for a chance at $1 million prize.


<more at; related links: (America's Greatest Makers: The Next Survivor Might Be a Genius. August 19, 2015) and (Intel and TBS Announce America’s Greatest Makers Reality Show, $1 Million. August 19, 2016>

Leaving Some Gifted Kids Behind

The US Leaves Some of Its Most Gifted Kids Behind in Education, Because They’re Poor

Jonathan Wai and Frank C. Worrell | March 25, 2016

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, which documented widespread academic underachievement at every level, concluding:
For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents.
In 1996, education researchers Camilla Benbow and Julian Stanley published a paper reviewing decades of evidence showing the achievement of students with high intellectual potential had markedly declined, building upon A Nation at Risk by arguing:
Our nation’s brightest youngsters, those most likely to be headed for selective colleges, have suffered dramatic setbacks over the past two decades. This has grave implications for our country’s ability to compete economically with other industrialized nations.
Oxford University has found that just 35% of bright but disadvantaged students who were identified as able at the age of 11 went on to get three A-levels compared with 60% of their wealthier counterparts.

<more at; related articles and links: (Helping Disadvantaged and Spatially Talented Students Fulfill Their Potential Related and Neglected National Resources. Johnathan Wai and Frank C. Worrell. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, March 2016 vol. 3 no. 1 122-128. doi: 10.1177/2372732215621310. [Abstract: For at least the last half-century, we have underserved advanced learners, losing countless minds and corresponding innovations. The scientific evidence is clear on educational interventions that are most effective and relatively easy to implement for this population. Despite this, such educational opportunities are not readily available to all students. Whereas financially advantaged students can access opportunities outside of school that develop their talents, financially disadvantaged students cannot, and their talents largely go underdeveloped. Another underserved population is spatially talented learners, who can reason by using well-structured visual images. They are often underidentified and neglected in standardized tests and school systems that emphasize verbal and mathematical skills. Although all advanced learners deserve to have their talents developed to the fullest, a policy focus on the financially disadvantaged and spatially talented would be an actionable and effective strategy to quickly level the playing field. Because spatial reasoning is less correlated with socioeconomic status than are math and verbal reasoning in the population, identifying spatial talent will also identify more students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds. A policy focus on helping and challenging such disadvantaged students would contribute to fulfilling their talent and increasing their well-being; it also would increase demographic and intellectual diversity among the ranks of the highest achievers and benefit society. The current K-12 federal educational allocation to advanced learners is currently near zero. Research suggests a small early investment in advanced learners would pay off in intellectual and technological innovations, as well as GDP.]) and (The Missing "One-Offs": the hidden supply of high-achieving, low income students. Caroline M. Hoxby and Christopher Avery. NBER Working Paper Series 18586. December 2012, Revised December 2012 JEL No. I21,I23,I24 [Abstract: We show that the vast majority of very high-achieving students who are low-income do not apply to any selective college or university. This is despite the fact that selective institutions would often cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the resource-poor two-year and non-selective four-year institutions to which they actually apply. Moreover, high-achieving, low-income students who do apply to selective institutions are admitted and graduate at high rates. We demonstrate that these low-income students' application behavior differs greatly from that of their high-income counterparts who have similar achievement. The latter group generally follows the advice to apply to a few "par" colleges, a few "reach" colleges, and a couple of "safety" schools. We separate the low-income, high-achieving students into those whose application behavior is similar to that of their high-income counterparts ("achievement-typical" behavior) and those whose apply to no selective institutions ("income-typical" behavior). We show that income-typical students do not come from families or neighborhoods that are more disadvantaged than those of achievement-typical students. However, in contrast to the achievement-typical students, the income-typical students come from districts too small to support selective public high schools, are not in a critical mass of fellow high achievers, and are unlikely to encounter a teacher or schoolmate from an older cohort who attended a selective college. We demonstrate that widely-used policies–college admissions staff recruiting, college campus visits, college access programs–are likely to be ineffective with income-typical students, and we suggest policies that will be effective must depend less on geographic concentration of high achievers.])>

New Email Encryption Protocol

Microsoft, Google, Comcast, LinkedIn Join Forces to Work on New Email Encryption Protocol

Leading tech companies including Microsoft, Google, Comcast, LinkedIn has come together to devise new email encryption protocol that would thwart MITM hacking attempts.

Julia Martin | March 27, 2016

Some of the world’s biggest tech companies have now woken up to the need to make something as basic and essential as the email a lot more secure than it currently is.
Among the companies that have joined forces to make new email protocol follow advanced encryption techniques include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Comcast, LinkedIn, and 1&1 Mail & Media Development.
Although everything is still in the planning phase with the only progress made so far include a proposal submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force that outlines how these companies wish to achieve their goal.

Anatomy of the MITM ("Man in the Middle) Attack. This is what the joint effort of Google, Microsoft, Comcast and LinkedIn is addressing. Source:

<more at; related links and articles: (Microsoft, Google, Comcast, LinkedIn and more join forces to work on encrypted email. March 20, 2016) and (Gooogle, Mircosoft, and Yahoo are collaborating to improve email encryption. March 20, 2016)>

Ray Kurzweil On Living 'Indefinitely'

Inventor Ray Kurzweil Believes We’ll Be Able to Extend Our Lives ‘Indefinitely’ (+Video)

Ken Yeung | March 27, 2016

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil thinks that technology will eventually help us reach immortality, at least in some form. He considers death to be “a great robber of meaning, of relationships, of knowledge” and believes that, over time, the human race will overcome disease and aging to allow us to live on “indefinitely.”
Appearing on PBS’s News Hour program this week, the author of “The Singularity is Near” and “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed” offered brief thoughts about life and the exponential growth of technology. As an inventor, he created a computer that recognizes patterns in melodies from famous composers to create original music, another one aimed at recognizing printed letters from any font for the blind, and more.

<; related links and articles: (Want to Live Forever? Ray Kurzweil thinks that may be possible very soon. March 27, 2016) and (+Video) (Two of the smartest people in the world on what will happen to our brains and everything else. January 18, 2016) and (Google's genius futurist has one theory that he says will rule the future — and it's a little terrifying. May 27, 2015)>

Synthetic Life

This Bare-Bones Synthetic Cell Has World's Smallest Genetic Code

​Syn 3.0 has what it needs to survive and replicate, and absolutely nothing else.​

William Herkewitz | March 24, 2016

Today a team of synthetic engineers has unveiled an entirely new life-form. It's a bacterium called Syn 3.0. No, the new organism won't dazzle you with any new or special tricks. In fact, just the opposite. It's the most stripped-down form of life ever created.
Scientists led by J. Craig Venter at his namesake nonprofit institute in La Jolla, California, genetically trimmed, clipped and pared down to only the barest essentials for independent, self-sustaining life on a Petri dish. Like a survivalist's bare-bones knapsack, any DNA not absolutely necessary for this living cell's survival has been junked. With a mere 473 genes, the new synthetically engineered bacteria has the smallest genetic code on Earth for a self-sufficient creature. The new cell is outlined today in the journal Science

J. Craig Venter Institute scientists have created a stripped-down life form. Electron micrographs of clusters of JCVI-Syn 3.0 cells magnified about 15,000 times. This is the world's first minimal bacterial cell. Its synthetic genome contains only 473 genes. Source;

<more at; related links and articles: (Scientists identify minimum set of genes needed for life. March 27, 2016) and (Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome. Clyde A. Hutchison III, Ray-Yuan Chuang, Vladimir N. Noskov, Nacyra Assad-Garcia, Thomas J. Deerinck, Mark H. Ellisman, John Gill, Krishna Kannan, Bogumil J. Karas, Li Ma, James F. Pelletier, Zhi-Qing Qi, R. Alexander Richter, Elizabeth A. Strychalski, Lijie Sun, Yo Suzuki, Billyana Tsvetanova, Kim S. Wise, Hamilton O. Smith, John I. Glass, Chuck Merryman, Daniel G. Gibson, and J. Craig Venter. Science  25 Mar 2016, Vol. 351, Issue 6280, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253. [Abstract:  Designing and building a minimal genome. A goal in biology is to understand the molecular and biological function of every gene in a cell. One way to approach this is to build a minimal genome that includes only the genes essential for life. In 2010, a 1079-kb genome based on the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides (JCV-syn1.0) was chemically synthesized and supported cell growth when transplanted into cytoplasm. Hutchison III et al. used a design, build, and test cycle to reduce this genome to 531 kb (473 genes). The resulting JCV-syn3.0 retains genes involved in key processes such as transcription and translation, but also contains 149 genes of unknown function.])>

Miniature Mobile Phones

Mini Mobile Phones Are Bestsellers for Inmates As They Are Small Enough to Be Stored 'Internally' and Made of Plastic So Don't Get Picked Up by Scanners 

LONG-CZ handset is 68mm long and 23mm wide - barely bigger than a finger. It is also almost entirely made of plastic so can't be detected BOSS scanners. £25 phones are even being advertised as 'beat the BOSS'  when sold online. Irish prison bosses say they being bought and 'stored internally' by inmates.

James Dunn | March 27, 2016

A tiny mobile phone made of plastic are now bestsellers among inmates as they can be smuggled into prisons and stored 'internally' without being detected by scanners.
The LONG-CZ handset weighs just 18 grams [0.63 oz.], is 68mm high and 23mm wide, so is small enough to be smuggled in and stored by inmates.
It is available online for just £25 and is made almost entirely made of plastic, so is not detectable by the machines used in Irish jails. 


<more at; related links and articles: (World's smallest mobiles) and (Best mini smartphones: the top 5 to choose. October 24, 2016)>