Interesting Reading #601 - White holes, Digg's apology, Sony's Google TVs, Killer robots and much more...

by | Oct 13, 2010 08:21 PM ET

How to Stop Robots From Killing Us - "There was a conference out of Sylmar that made headlines around the world. The brightest minds of artificial intelligence converged onto Sylmar and a reporter asked them a question" "When will this fabled singularity take place? When will the machines take over? When will machines become smarter than us?" Well the answer was quite interesting...."

Mozilla Foundation Responds to Net Neutrality Threats with Daring Open-Web Initiative - "Mozilla believes that the open web is “the most powerful communication tool in the history of humanity,” and is concerned about growing threats to net neutrality. So the Foundation recently asked itself: What can we do, beyond offering a web browser, to keep the internet open and free? Their answer is Drumbeat..."

Triple-mode transistors show potential - "Rice University research that capitalizes on the wide-ranging capabilities of graphene could lead to circuit applications that are far more compact and versatile than what is now feasible with silicon-based technologies..."

Facebook Dramatically Upgrades Comments Plugin Features - "As part of a subtle change, Facebook has made a number of upgrades to their comments plugin. The changes include a new voting feature, the inclusion of a user's network (their work place or location), as well as the percentage of likes a comment gets on a thread, and most significantly: threaded comments..."

Facebook 'Delete' Can Take 16 Embarrassing Months - "Facebook allows you to click "delete" on any humiliating picture in your profile. But don't be fooled: A photo you think is gone can linger on Facebook's servers for nearly a year and a half..." See also: Facebook keeps 'deleted' user photos for years

Sony LCDs build in Google TV, cost $599 and up - " The promise of Google TVs is to integrate all available video content--regardless of whether it comes from cable, satellite, antenna, or the Internet (like Netflix or YouTube)--onto one screen that you can search as easily as searches the Web. The Sony TVs and Blu-ray player come with a special remote control with a keyboard, can control other devices in your AV system, and even enable you to surf the entire Web with a built-in Chrome browser. Aside from actually hooking a PC to your TV, it's the closest you likely come to converging the two devices..." See also: Sony's Internet TV with Google TV hands on

In New Attempt to Build a Practical Military Laser Weapon, Lockheed Inverts a Prism - "Lasers can be powerful weapons — they can take down an aircraft at long ranges and in unstable conditions, for instance. But they are hampered by power and size limits, so they're not widely used by the military (yet). Lockheed Martin has a solution: a fiber laser that basically works like a backward prism..."

Is killing yourself adaptive? That depends: An evolutionary theory about suicide - "Most psychological science is the science of being and feeling like a human being, and since there is only one human being that I have or ever will have experience in being, it is not always clear to me where my career ends and my personal life begins. And this is especially salient to me right now because, like many other adult gay commentators and horrified onlookers, the raft of gay teen suicides in recent weeks has reawakened memories of my own adolescent battles with suicidal thought. There is so much I want to say about this, in fact, that I'll be breaking this column up into two separate posts, for I'm reminded of the many illuminating theories and studies on suicide I've come across over the years that helped me to understand—and more importantly to overcome and to escape from—that frighteningly intoxicating desire to prematurely rid myself of a seemingly interminable hell..." See also: Mental health groups call on President Obama to recognize military personnel who commit suicide

Bacteria can communicate and exchange energy via nanowires - "Some bacteria can grow electrical nanowires that let them link up in biological circuits to communicate and share electrical energy, according to University of Southern California (USC) biophysicist Mohamed El-Naggar, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at USC College, and collaborators..."

Mountain gorillas embrace coalition politics to survive - "Modern day politics might seem a long way from the forested slopes of the Virunga volcanoes in Rwanda. But on these slopes the largest group of mountain gorillas in the world is now ruled by a coalition government..."

Scientists propose 'hidden' 3D optical data storage technique - "By using a laser to reversibly combine and separate molecules, scientists have demonstrated a new optical data storage technique. Because the data can be read by only one kind of imaging technique (second-harmonic generation-assisted imaging), the new method could be used for hidden 3D data storage..."

New Theories Test Our Understanding of Nature's Most Elemental Force - "No one has ever quite nailed down gravity. Newton saw that bodies appeared to attract each other even at a great distance, and from this observation was able to construct a mathematical formula that predicted the motion of the planets with astonishing accuracy. Einstein improved on that definition by stating that massive objects attract lesser ones by bending the space around them—like how a bowling ball deforms the surface of a trampoline so that a marble will roll toward it—and based on this insight was able to construct his theory of general relativity, which proved to be even more elegant and predictive..."

The Question: Should gay couples be allowed to marry? - "Gay marriage is such a hot button because it brings core American values into conflict with each other. Doesn't respect for equal rights require the government to recognize gay marriages? But what about democracy? Majority votes in many states have indicated that the will of the people is that gay marriage should not be recognized. And what of freedom of religion? Should the government really force through social change that most faiths reject? On the other hand, what about the separation of church and state? Who cares what Leviticus says about homosexuality; why should that have any impact on secular law?"

Be Critical of Critics - "Of all the inane arguments made against the phenomenon of anthropogenic global climate change, the strangest – in my opinion – are the conspiracy theories..."

White Holes And Kitchen Sinks - "Today, Gil Jannes at the Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis in France et amis provide exactly the proof that everyone has been looking for. A white hole exists if the water flow across the hydraulic jump is faster than waves can travel. This means the waves can escape from the hole but cannot enter it against the flow..."

The world is full of interesting things

The Google business model

The Pirate Bay

How not to act like a tourist in a foreign country


Physicists observe electron ejected from atom for first time - " Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, became the first researchers to observe the motion of an atom's valence or outermost electrons in real-time by investigating the ejection of an electron from an atom by an intense laser pulse. .."

Good for something: tracking social influence through Farmville - "Everything from ideas to communicable diseases spread through social networks, so understanding the processes that enable and influence this spread has immense practical value, even if the research involves... Facebook apps like Farmville..."

Canon blocks copy jobs by keyword - "Canon has demonstrated Uniflow 5, the latest version of its document management system that can prevent users from printing or copying documents containing specific words..."

How to Make an Artificial Cell - "Last month, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute announced that they had made the first synthetic cell by piecing together a genome made from bottled chemicals and transplanting it into a recipient cell. The landmark accomplishment represents a new level of control over the substance of life at the molecular level and one that could lead to ways to make cells that produce vaccines in large quantities and cleaner fuels..."

Really? People actually like Windows Phone 7? Really? - "Our bloggy friends actually seem to like the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 operating system for smartphones, after getting up close and personal with it. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers welcome more competition in the smartphone space..."

iPad earns title of fastest selling gadget ever - "As if selling 300,000 iPads on day one and two million of them in two months weren't evidence enough that Apple had a hit on its hands with the iPad, it seems the supertablet has recently been elevated to an even higher status: the fastest-selling gadget ever..."

EA Artist, Soon To Be Laid Off, Burns EA Management - "An anonymous artist at Electronic Arts dishes the dirt on why Warhammer Online was a failure and who exactly in upper management is to blame. Oh, yes, let the flame-throwing begin!"

Iranian, Chinese Computers Also Discovered to Have Been Hacking D.C. Internet Voting System - "Startling testimony offered by the U. of Michigan computer science professor whose team penetrated D.C.'s 'pilot program' server for what was to have been a live election beginning in just days..."

New Digg CEO apologizes to site's fans - "Some six weeks after he was hired to be the new chief executive of news aggregator, Matt Williams greeted community members for the first time today, apologized for the site's botched attempt at a redesign, and announced officially that several old features would be returning..."

Shooting for the Sun - "From his childhood in segregated Mobile, Alabama, to his run-ins with a nay-saying scientific establishment, the engineer Lonnie Johnson has never paid much heed to those who told him what he could and couldn't accomplish. Best known for creating the state-of-the-art Super Soaker squirt gun, Johnson believes he now holds the key to affordable solar power..."

[[[Jump to - Interesting Reading #600 – CPU Walls, Shweebs, Vexel art, NASA's future, Super WiFi and much more...]]]

If you would like to follow Brainstuff on Twitter or Facebook, here are the links:

More To Explore