Biologists have successfully extended the life spans of some mice by as much as 70%, leading many to believe that ongoing experimentation on our mammalian cousins will eventually lead to life-extending therapies in humans.
A group at Tokyo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. Osamu Hasegawa, has succeeded in making further advances with SOINN, their machine learning algorithm, which can now use the internet to learn how to perform new tasks. The system, which is under development as an artificial brain for autonomous mental development robots, is currently being used to learn about objects in photos using image searches on the internet. It can also take aspects of other known objects and combine them to make guesses about objects it doesn't yet recognize.
Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses?
Twitter, Facebook, Google… we know the internet is driving us to distraction. But could sitting at your computer actually calm you down? Oliver Burkeman investigates the slow web movement
Back in the summer of 2008 – a long time ago, in internet terms, two years before Instagram, and around the time of Twitter's second birthday – the US writer Nicholas Carr published a now famous essay in the Atlantic magazine entitled Is Google Making Us Stupid? The more time he spent online, Carr reported, the more he experienced the sensation that something was eating away at his brain. "I'm not thinking the way I used to think," he wrote. Increasingly, he'd sit down with a book, but then find himself unable to focus for more than two or three pages: "I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text." Reading, he recalled, used to feel like scuba diving in a sea of words. But now "I zip along the surface like a guy on a jetski."
In the half-decade since Carr's essay appeared, we've endured countless scare stories about the life-destroying effects of the internet, and by and large they've been debunked. No, the web probably isn't addictive in the sense that nicotine or heroin are; no, Facebook and Twitter aren't guilty of "killing conversation" or corroding real-life friendship or making children autistic. Yes, the internet is "changing our brains", but then so does everything – and, contrary to the claims of one especially panicky Newsweek cover story, it certainly isn't "driving us mad".
Lending Club, the peer-to-peer loan firm, recently announced Google and Foundation Capital bought $125 million of the firm’s shares on secondary markets (that is, from previous investors—not newly issued stock) for three times the stock’s valuation...
Like other advocates of 3-D printing, Cody Wilson foresees a world in which anyone can make almost anything at home. It’s just that for Wilson, this extends beyond toys, musical instruments, and glasses to drugs, guns, and advanced electronics.
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