40. UK’s Nuclear Powered Spacecraft, AR Glasses at CES 2021, Skynet Would Definitely Win
40. UK’s Nuclear Powered Spacecraft, AR Glasses at CES 2021, Skynet Would Definitely Win
Recorded on Jan. 15th, 2020
Cool STEM News:
The dire wolf was a distinct species, different from the gray wolf, biologists discover |Phys.Org (01:22)
- The iconic, prehistoric dire wolf, which prowled through Los Angeles and elsewhere in the Americas over 11 millennia ago, was a distinct species from the slightly smaller gray wolf, an international team of scientists from UCLA, reports on Jan. 13th in the journal Nature.
- I had NO CLUE dire wolves actually existed, I just assumed it was a made-up animal in D&D
- More than 4,000 dire wolves have been excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits, but scientists have known little about their evolution or the reasons for their ultimate disappearance
- La Brea Tar Pits is located in Hancock Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S. The area was the site of oozing crude oil that was used by local Indians for waterproofing.
- Scientists have known about Dire wolves’ role in the ice age, but have still yet to figure out the full picture of their evolutionary history.
- The bones they initially had prior are now revealing a lot more information thanks to scientific innovation.
- Using cutting-edge molecular approaches to analyze five dire wolf genomes from fossil bones dating back 13,000 to 50,000 years ago, the researchers were able to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the long-extinct carnivore for the first time.
- When analyzing the genome they found no evidence of gene flow between dire wolves and gray wolves around now. That also includes coyotes.
- Gene flow: exchange of genes between populations, which is usually the same species.
- “We have found the dire wolf is not closely related to the gray wolf. Further, we’ve shown that the dire wolf never interbred with the gray wolf,” said co-lead author Alice Mouton
- The gray wolves & coyotes evolved in Eurasia, while dire wolves evolved in America.
- The scientists were surprised at how different their genetic makeup differed, which according to the last author, Laurent Frantz, indicates that these dire wolves were isolated for a long enough time in North America.
- “The ancestors of dire wolves likely diverged from those of gray wolves more than 5 million years ago—it was a great surprise to discover that this divergence occurred so early,” Mouton said. “This finding highlights how special and unique the dire wolf was.”
- The UK Space Agency announced on Tuesday, Jan. 12th, it will be teaming up with the aerospace company Rolls-Royce plc to explore nuclear-powered propulsion for space exploration.
- Rolls-Royce plc is an aerospace company that manufactures aero, marine, and industrial gas turbines for civil and military aircraft.
- “The announcement made today presents a new and exciting opportunity for us to explore how we can leverage our terrestrial capabilities,” Hannah Wood, Rolls Royce External Communications and Marketing Manager
- Now, what does this study entail? Let’s see what the UK gov says about this study partnership
- They state that this new research contract will work to explore a plentiful energy source known as nuclear power, which they hope will revolutionize spacecraft propulsion and allow deeper space exploration in the future.
- By some estimates, this kind of engine could be twice as efficient as the chemical engines that power our rockets today. Spacecraft powered by this kind of engine could, conceivably, make it to Mars in just 3 to 4 months
- Right now, with the best travel plans, it would take roughly 9 months with our current rocket propulsion technology.
- Other benefits of the improved propulsion from nuclear energy:
- Reduced amount of radiation during the flight
- It becomes important in deep space travel when Solar power becomes less and less useful.
- Dr. Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, provides a quote to wrap this whole endeavor up:
- “Space nuclear power and propulsion is a game-changing concept that could unlock future deep-space missions that take us to Mars and beyond.”
The realization of a single-quantum-dot heat valve | Phys.Org (15:58)
- Just like conventional computers, quantum computers can heat up significantly as they are operating, which can ultimately damage both the devices and their surroundings.
- There are researchers out there trying to control the flow the heat
- Researchers at University Grenoble Alpes in France, have developed a single-quantum-dot heat valve
- A device that can help to control the flow of heat in single-quantum-dot junctions.
- The importance of looking at controlling the flow of heat for these quantum computers can not be understated and needs to be addressed as one of the researchers, Nicola Lo Gullo states:
- “This is especially true when one wants to preserve the quantum nature of a device; the increase in temperature does typically result in the degradation of the quantum properties.”
- Key objective of the study: demonstrate the feasibility of controlling the amount of heat that flows across a quantum dot junction, while also enabling the flow of a set amount of electric current.
- Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor particles, a few nanometres in size, having optical and electronic properties.
- When illuminated by UV light, an electron in the quantum dot can be excited to a state of higher energy.
- Design of the single-quantum-dot heat valve: A gold nanoparticle between two metallic contacts.
- “By properly tuning the external parameters it is possible to allow the electrons in one of the contacts to flow through only one of the levels of this artificial atom and reach the other contact,” Lo Gullo explained. “The single-level quantum dot, therefore, acts as a bridge between the two metallic contacts.”
- In basic terms, that I understand, they were able to make multiple states that would allow electrons (energy) to flow across besides just one.
- Normally, electrons flow when in resonance, essentially, the frequencies of the objects need to match up
- Could open up interesting new possibilities related to an emerging field of study known as solid-state thermotronics.
- According to Phys.org, “Solid-state thermotronics research investigates the possibility of controlling heat flows through temperature gradients in a similar way to that in which electrical currents and voltages are controlled in existing devices.”
- Besides creating new opportunities in one field, this research development could improve the reliability and safety of quantum devices, reducing the risk of overheating.
Lenovo launches AR glasses for enterprise | Tech Crunch (24:23)
- Lenovo, normally known for their laptops, announced the impending arrival of the ThinkReality A3, a pair of enterprise AR glasses.
- Arrive at some point in the middle of the year 2021
- 1080p resolution, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 chip
- Fish-eye cameras providing motion tracking
- An Eight-megapixel RGB camera grabs video for remote use
- The device is designed to tether to a PC or a handheld of Motorola (owned by Lenovo) phones via USB-C
- “For use in scenarios from factory floors and laboratories to busy retail and hospitality spaces, certified turnkey applications on the Think Reality platform powers remote assistance, guided workflows, and 3D visualization,” the company writes. “Now, industrial workers have a light, flexible, and scalable set of smart glasses to increase productivity and safety while decreasing error rates in daily tasks.”
Vuzix’s new microLED-powered smart glasses will arrive this summer | Tech Crunch (26:59)
- Vuzix’s new microLED-powered smart glasses will arrive this summer
- These Vuzix smart-glasses are several months away but at least the design of them makes me slightly more intrigued since they used to look like crap.
- The module, which projects a monochrome stereoscopic image, is roughly the size of a pencil eraser, according to Vuzix’s description.
- The company says the glasses will be available in a number of configurations, including Wi-Fi and optional LTE. All will feature stereo speakers and noise-canceling mics.
- Additionally, the glasses are supposed to connect to your phone & recognize gestures.
- Would you be interested in these smart-glasses if they worked as smoothly as they claim? Or will they never become an actual thing? (I’m leaning towards the latter)
- Comment from Locals member @Benj_Amin:
- “As I wear glasses anyway, I would opt for smart glasses if they were as light and tough as my normal pair. Being able to take a picture or video without getting my phone out would be very handy though I would probably want to be the only one with that capability.”
- Join by going to http://thatscoolnews.com/locals
Calculations Show It’ll Be Impossible to Control a Super-Intelligent AI | Science Alert (32:48)
- First Reaction: Not surprised!
- Scientists have just delivered their verdict on whether we’d be able to control a high-level computer super-intelligence.
- “A super-intelligence poses a fundamentally different problem than those typically studied under the banner of ‘robot ethics’,” write the researchers.
- “This is because a superintelligence is multi-faceted, and therefore potentially capable of mobilizing a diversity of resources in order to achieve objectives that are potentially incomprehensible to humans, let alone controllable.”
- Could we make a program to control it?
- Study’s Answer: A truly super-intelligent AI would know every possible program that could be written, so our ability as humans to come up with some type of program that would control the AI would be impossible.
- Could we limit its intelligence? Cutting it off from areas of the network?
- Study’s Answer: We have already been pushing AI to solve problems for us, but we may not know then AI reaches “super-intelligence” because it is incomprehensible for us to understand when it would reach that point.
Follow/Support The Podcast:
Review The Podcast: thatscoolnews.com/review
Email: [email protected]
Listen to the news episodes by going to thatscoolnews.com/news
And check out Interview episodes by going to thatscoolnews.com/interviews
Join the Community:
Facebook Group: https://thatscoolnews.com/group