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GM to launch in-car app shop and support it with 4G

GM to launch in-car app shop and support it with 4G | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
GM's next-generation of technology is set to include vehicle-specific apps and 4G connectivity.
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Robots Get a Grip on Meat and Vegetables | MIT Technology Review

Robots Get a Grip on Meat and Vegetables | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Advances in robotics make it possible to automate tasks such as processing poultry and vegetables.
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Dinosaurs wiped out rapidly 66 million years ago

Dinosaurs wiped out rapidly 66 million years ago | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Dinosaurs flourished in Europe right up until the asteroid impact that wiped them out 66 million years ago, a new study shows. The theory that an asteroid rapidly killed off the dinosaurs is widely recognized, but until recently dinosaur fossils from the latest Cretaceous--the final stanza of dinosaur evolution--were known almost exclusively from North America. This has raised questions about whether the sudden decline of dinosaurs in the American and Canadian west was merely a local story.

 

The new study synthesizes a flurry of research on European dinosaurs over the past two decades. Fossils of latest Cretaceous dinosaurs are now commonly discovered in Spain, France, Romania, and other countries. By looking at the variety and ages of these fossils, a team of researchers led by Zoltán Csiki-Sava of the University of Bucharest'sFaculty of Geology and Geophysics has determined that dinosaurs remained diverse in European ecosystems very late into the Cretaceous.

 

In the Pyrenees of Spain and France, the best area in Europe for finding latest Cretaceous dinosaurs, meat and plant-eating species are present and seemingly flourishing during the final few hundred thousand years before the asteroid hit.

 

Dr Csiki-Sava said "For a long time, Europe was overshadowed by other continents when the understanding of the nature, composition and evolution of latest Cretaceous continental ecosystems was concerned. The last 25 years witnessed a huge effort across all Europe to improve our knowledge, and now we are on the brink of fathoming the significance of these new discoveries, and of the strange and new story they tell about life at the end of the Dinosaur Era."

 

Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences (UK), an author on the report, added: "Everyone knows that an asteroid hit 66 million years ago and dinosaurs disappeared, but this story is mostly based on fossils from one part of the world, North America. We now know that European dinosaurs were thriving up to the asteroid impact, just like in North America. This is strong evidence that the asteroid really did kill off dinosaurs in their prime, all over the world at once."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Google files patent for creepy teddy bear

Google files patent for creepy teddy bear | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Google filed a patent for a toy that will have sensors and cameras, and can control connected devices.
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33rd Square: A Smarter Calendar With The AI Powered Tempo

33rd Square: A Smarter Calendar With The AI Powered Tempo | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Tempo AI, a startup spun out of Silicon Valley’s SRI International research center where Siri was developed, recently launched Tempo, a Smart Calendar on the iPhone.
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11 Awesome Apps To Take And Make Perfect Videos On Your Phone

11 Awesome Apps To Take And Make Perfect Videos On Your Phone | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
These are the 11 best apps for iPhone and Android that will help you take perfect videos in your phone.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , DennisOwen1, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
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BitWhisper: Stealing data from non-networked computers using heat - ExtremeTech

BitWhisper: Stealing data from non-networked computers using heat - ExtremeTech | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
BitWhisper could snatch data from secure computer networks by monitoring heat output with a second, unassuming computer.
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The Dirty Secret Behind Real Innovation: How Our Urge To Play Invented The Future

The Dirty Secret Behind Real Innovation: How Our Urge To Play Invented The Future | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
if you peer under the hood of human innovation, the urge to play is often the first driver one encounters.
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LG Display shows off press-on 'wallpaper' TV under 1mm thick - CNET

LG Display shows off press-on 'wallpaper' TV under 1mm thick - CNET | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Before you get too excited, it's only a proof-of-concept display. The unveiling is part of a broader announcement to showcase the company's plans for the future, which center on OLED tech.
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Sensorimotor Learning Biases Choice Behavior: A Learning Neural Field Model for Decision Making

Sensorimotor Learning Biases Choice Behavior: A Learning Neural Field Model for Decision Making | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

According to a prominent view of sensorimotor processing in primates, selection and specification of possible actions are not sequential operations. Rather, a decision for an action emerges from competition between different movement plans, which are specified and selected in parallel. For action choices which are based on ambiguous sensory input, the frontoparietal sensorimotor areas are considered part of the common underlying neural substrate for selection and specification of action. These areas have been shown capable of encoding alternative spatial motor goals in parallel during movement planning, and show signatures of competitive value-based selection among these goals. Since the same network is also involved in learning sensorimotor associations, competitive action selection (decision making) should not only be driven by the sensory evidence and expected reward in favor of either action, but also by the subject's learning history of different sensorimotor associations. Previous computational models of competitive neural decision making used predefined associations between sensory input and corresponding motor output. Such hard-wiring does not allow modeling of how decisions are influenced by sensorimotor learning or by changing reward contingencies.

 

We present a dynamic neural field model which learns arbitrary sensorimotor associations with a reward-driven Hebbian learning algorithm. We show that the model accurately simulates the dynamics of action selection with different reward contingencies, as observed in monkey cortical recordings, and that it correctly predicted the pattern of choice errors in a control experiment. With our adaptive model we demonstrate how network plasticity, which is required for association learning and adaptation to new reward contingencies, can influence choice behavior. The field model provides an integrated and dynamic account for the operations of sensorimotor integration, working memory and action selection required for decision making in ambiguous choice situations.


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: The Sensorimotor Approach to Consciousness

The sensorimotor approach invokes a two-level mechanism to explain phenomenal consciousness: (1): attention to (2): the exercise of a skill. If attending to something can be considered to be a form of cognitive access to that thing, the theory might be considered to be related to the higher order thought theory of consciousness: it could be said that under the sensorimotor approach, having a feel is: having a higher order thought about the fact of exercising a skill. But the main ingredient of the theory are the skills themselves, since their similarities and differences allow similarities and differences in phenomenal experience (including the difference between feel and no feel) to be explained in a natural way.
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When the brain can't make its own maps

When the brain can't make its own maps | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

People with a rare neurological condition called Developmental Topographical Disorientation, or DTD, can even get lost inside their own houses.


Via Luca Baptista
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BCDALAI's Free Tech. Support Blog: IT Career - Microsoft ICT Curriculum Roadmap

BCDALAI's Free Tech. Support Blog: IT Career - Microsoft ICT Curriculum Roadmap | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
If you have experience in computing, the roadmap helps you identify the learning path in preparing for the ICT career of your choice. Determine your starting point by reviewing the prerequisites necessary for each knowledge point in the curriculum. Then use the roadmap's resources to test your readiness, using assessment exams or a self-assess option to check your skills against the skills measured. If you need more training, choose training resources that suit your learning style: classroom courses, e-learning, or independent study. 
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how to teach yourself into a career in Microsoft ICT

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Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called 'Jahn-Teller metals'

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called 'Jahn-Teller metals' | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

An international team of scientists has announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one, saying that it could lead to the development of more effective high-temperature superconductors.


Why is this so exciting? Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) - "high" as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.


As Michael Byrne explains, when we talk about states of matter, it’s not just solids, liquids, gases, and maybe plasmas that we have to think about. We also have to consider the more obscure states that don’t occur in nature, but are rather created in the lab - Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, and quark-gluon plasma, for example. 


By introducing rubidium into carbon-60 molecules - more commonly known as 'buckyballs' - a team led by chemist Kosmas Prassides from Tokohu University in Japan was able to change the distance between them, which forced them into a new, crystalline structure. When put through an array of tests, this structure displayed a combination of insulating, superconducting, metallic, and magnetic phases, including a brand new one, which the researchers have named 'Jahn-Teller metals'. 


Named after the Jahn-Teller effect, which is used in chemistry to describe how at low pressures, the geometric arrangement of molecules and ions in an electronic state can become distorted, this new state of matter allows scientists to transform an insulator - which can’t conduct electricity - into a conductor by simply applying pressure.


There’s a whole lot of lab-work to be done before this discovery will mean anything for practical energy production in the real world, but that’s science for you. And it’s got people excited already, as chemist Elisabeth Nicol from the University of Guelph in Canada told Hamish Johnston at PhysicsWorld: "Understanding the mechanisms at play and how they can be manipulated to change the Tc surely will inspire the development of new superconducting materials".


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Search for life on Europa: Nasa chooses tools that will look for living things on Jupiter’s moon

Search for life on Europa: Nasa chooses tools that will look for living things on Jupiter’s moon | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Nasa has picked out the toolbox that it will load up onto a probe and send to one of Jupiter’s moons in search of life.


Via Luca Baptista
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Artificial Intelligence for Research, Analytics, and Reasoning

Artificial Intelligence for Research, Analytics, and Reasoning | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Artificial Intelligence for Research, Analytics, and Reasoning http://t.co/gxXxqdrZ7T
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The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web | Dictionary.com Blog

The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web | Dictionary.com Blog | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Dictionary.com’s latest update contains many terms ushered into existence because of technological advancements. Two of these new entries, deep web and dark web, are so technical in nature that we came across a lot of confusion as to what they actually mean in our research. More tech-savvy publications generally have a disclaimer when discussing the dark web, pleading with their readers that this is not to be confused with the deep web, which is related, but not at all the same thing. So, what exactly are the dark web and the deep web, and why are technology reporters so wary when using either term?
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Do We All Have Multiple Selves? How to Build a More Dynamic You

In this way, one could say we put on different “selves” or “personas” depending on who it is we are interacting with and where we are.
Sharrock's insight:

A book I need to read.

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Mysterious space plane blasts off for secretive US air force mission

Mysterious space plane blasts off for secretive US air force mission | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
X-37B craft launched from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, its fourth long orbital flight in five years – but many details of the trip are being kept secret
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What innovations have been achieved in the cooling of homes in the past century or two?

What innovations have been achieved in the cooling of homes in the past century or two? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The history of home cooling in the last two centuries starts with the invention of the fan. In 1886, Schulyer Wheeler invented the electric fan, which was the primary form of home cooling till after the second World War. The first air conditioner built for the home was created in 1914. Units were room air conditioners designed to sit on a window ledge. Frigidaire made the first room cooler to be available on the market for homes in 1929. They created year round Hot-Kold central air conditioner in 1931. Philco Air invented an air conditioner that used freon, that could be plugged into an electrical socket, and set in a window to cool homes in the late 1930's. New Smart Technology development will help further increase the efficiency of our home cooling systems. I hope these resources will give you the answers you are looking for, and please feel free to send another question if you need more specific info about this or any other subject!

 

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How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science | Randy Schekman

How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science | Randy Schekman | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
It is common, and encouraged by many journals, for research to be judged by the impact factor of the journal that publishes it. But as a journal's score is an average, it says little about the quality of any individual piece of research. What is more, citation is sometimes, but not always, linked to quality. A paper can become highly cited because it is good science – or because it is eye-catching, provocative or wrong. Luxury-journal editors know this, so they accept papers that will make waves because they explore sexy subjects or make challenging claims. This influences the science that scientists do. It builds bubbles in fashionable fields where researchers can make the bold claims these journals want, while discouraging other important work, such as replication studies.
Sharrock's insight:

The author suggests solutions: "There is a better way, through the new breed of open-access journals that are free for anybody to read, and have no expensive subscriptions to promote. Born on the web, they can accept all papers that meet quality standards, with no artificial caps. Many are edited by working scientists, who can assess the worth of papers without regard for citations. As I know from my editorship of eLife, an open access journal funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Max Planck Society, they are publishing world-class science every week."

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Molecules that amaze us | Chemistry World

Molecules that amaze us | Chemistry World | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In the mid-1990s researcher Paul May founded the Molecule of the month website. Starting with an article on mauveine, ‘the first industrial organic fine-chemical’, in January 1996, the blog series has been running ever since, and still retains some of its early world wide web flavour today – I’m talking coloured backgrounds and comic sans, with a few broken links. However, the blog article formats varied – a mixture of encyclopaedia-style entries and narrative-driven pieces – an issue addressed in May and Simon Cotton’s book Molecules that amaze us, which is based on the website.
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Sophisticated worms: In a new study of worm locomotion, researchers show that a single type of motor neuron drives an entire sensorimotor loop.

Sophisticated worms:     In a new study of worm locomotion, researchers show that a single type of motor neuron drives an entire sensorimotor loop. | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

It’s one of the basic tenets of biological research — by studying simple “model” systems, researchers hope to gain insight into the workings of more complex organisms.

 

Caenorhabditis elegans — a tiny, translucent worm with just 302 neurons — has long been studied to understand how a nervous system is capable of translating sensory input into motion and behavior.

 

New research by the laboratory of Professor Aravi Samuel in the Harvard Physics Department and the Center for Brain Sciences, however, is uncovering surprising sophistication in the individual neurons of the worm’s “simple” nervous system.

 

Quan Wen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Samuel lab who spearheaded the research, has shown that a single type of neuron in the C. elegans nerve cord (the worm equivalent of the spinal cord) packs both sensory and motor capabilities. The locomotory systems of most creatures, including humans, use different neurons to gather sensory information about animal movement or to send signals to muscle cells. C. elegans encodes an entire sensorimotor loop into one particularly sophisticated type of motor neuron. The work is described in the journal Neuron.

 

“This type of circuit is completely new — this is not the way people think about any motor circuit,” Samuel said.

 

The discovery arose from researchers asking a simple question: How does C. elegans organize its movements?

 

“What sent us down this road was a phenomenon that we’ve observed in the lab,” Samuel explained. “If we place the worms in a wet environment, they will swim. On surfaces, however, they crawl. The question was how the animal ‘knew’ to do each. The answer had to be feedback: Something is telling the worm that it’s in a low-viscous environment here, and a high-viscous environment there.


Via Ashish Umre
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A Dynamical Systems Account of Sensorimotor Contingencies

A Dynamical Systems Account of Sensorimotor Contingencies | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
According to the sensorimotor approach, perception is a form of embodied know-how, constituted by lawful regularities in the sensorimotor flow or in sensorimotor contingencies (SMCs) in an active and situated agent. Despite the attention that this approach has attracted, there have been few attempts to define its core concepts formally. In this paper, we examine the idea of SMCs and argue that its use involves notions that need to be distinguished. We introduce four distinct kinds of SMCs, which we define operationally. These are the notions of sensorimotor environment (open-loop motor-induced sensory variations), sensorimotor habitat (closed-loop sensorimotor trajectories), sensorimotor coordination (reliable sensorimotor patterns playing a functional role), and sensorimotor strategy (normative organization of sensorimotor coordinations). We make use of a minimal dynamical model of visually guided categorization to test the explanatory value of the different kinds of SMCs. Finally, we discuss the impact of our definitions on the conceptual development and empirical as well as model-based testing of the claims of the sensorimotor approach.

Via Ashish Umre
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Electronic memory may bring bionic brain one step closer

Electronic memory may bring bionic brain one step closer | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Researchers claim to have constructed the world's first electronic memory cell that effectively mimics the analog process of human memory and may one day lead to the creation of the first bionic brain.
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3D reconstruction of neuronal networks uncovers hidden organizational principles of sensory cortex | KurzweilAI

3D reconstruction of neuronal networks uncovers hidden organizational principles of sensory cortex | KurzweilAI | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
An international research team has reconstructed anatomically realistic 3D models of cortical columns of the rat brain, providing unprecedented insight into how neurons in the elementary functional units of the sensory cortex called cortical columns are interconnected.

The models suggest that cortical circuitry interconnects most neurons across cortical columns, rather than within and that these “trans-columnar” networks are not uniformly structured: they are highly specialized and integrate signals from multiple sensory receptors.

For example, rodents are nocturnal animals that use facial whiskers as their primary sensory receptors to orient themselves in their environment. For example, to determine the position, size and texture of objects, they rhythmically move the whiskers back and forth, thereby exploring and touching objects within their immediate surroundings. Such tactile sensory information is then relayed from the periphery to the sensory cortex via whisker-specific neuronal pathways, where each individual whisker activates neurons located within a dedicated cortical column. The one-to-one correspondence between a facial whisker and a cortical column renders the rodent vibrissal system as an ideal model to investigate the structural and functional organization of cortical columns.

Via Wildcat2030
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