Growing Metal, Printing Humans And Repairing Robots

By August 30, 2015Bitcoin Business
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In the early part of last week it was like whack-a-mole. Every time it looked as though stocks might see the light of day and pop higher they were pounded lower yet again as investors worried about the ever-shrinking Chinese economy… The situation got so desperate Tuesday that Apple chief executive Tim Cook even went so far as to email TV stock market personality Jim Cramer to tell him investors have it all wrong: Apple’s business in Chinese is strong. Apparently, the chief’s glitchy watch did not tweet him that a selective disclosure like that may not have been legal. Of course, by the end of the week Chinese markets had reversed amid rumors of more intervention and US indexes actually finished the week with modest gains following better than expected second-quarter GDP… On a somewhat related note, NASA says the world is not going to end in September as had been previously reported on the Internet. Just when it seemed safe to believe the stuff posted on Facebook… Google’s director of engineering expects within the next 10 years engineers will be able to 3D print human organs using stem cells, program human biology away from diseases like cancer and even retard the aging process. If that’s the case, Google will next need to fix the problem of human over-population. Hope they have an algorithm for that too…. Self driving cars are coming sooner and they are likely to be a bigger business opportunity than most anyone is predicting – if you exclude all of the car companies, Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber and the insurance industry.… Samsung may be finally getting design right with its new Gear smartwatch. Is it folly to hope there is no catch, no fatal Samsung flaw? … Mike Tyson is the official face of a Bitcoin ATM. This is a good time to recall some past quotes from Mike Tyson, philosopher. ‘I just want to conquer people and their souls.’ … And: ‘Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.’ … And: ‘My biggest weakness is my sensitivity. I am too sensitive a person.’ … Which leads inevitably to: ‘I try to catch them right on the tip of his nose, because I try to punch the bone into the brain.’ … My free suggestion for an advertising slogan for Mike’s new gig: ‘Bitcoin. Pay til it hurts.’ …. A Chinese chef/inventor wants to replace human noodle makers with a robot and the slowing economy patrons don’t seem to mind. The red unibrow, twinkling yellow eyes and metallic trim is a nice touch…

Could This Man Hold The Secret To Human Regeneration?

Medium: Modern medicine clutches at a number of dreams. Some, like developing an AIDS vaccine, can seem tantalizingly close. Others, like curing cancer, have frustrated so many minds for so many years that we’ve learned to temper our expectations. Then there’s regeneration. A future in which humans regrow lost or diseased body parts feels like a mirage. But why? After all, many species can accomplish the task with ease. A decapitated flatworm, for example, will grow a new head, replete with a new brain. For the first week of their lives, tadpoles can replace lost tails. And the axolotl, or Mexican salamander, has the ability to regenerate everything from its limbs and tail to its spinal cord and skin, all without any evidence of scarring. Read

Robots Will Steal Our Jobs, But They’ll Give Us New Ones

Wired: At the Dusseldorf airport, robotic valet parking is now reality. You step out of your car. You press a button on a touch screen. And then a machine lifts your car off the ground, moving all three tons of it into a kind of aerial parking bay. Built by a German company called Serva Transport, the system saves you time. It saves garage space, thanks to those carefully arranged parking spots. And it’s a sign of so many things to come. But the one thing it doesn’t do, says J.P. Gownder, an analyst with the Boston-based tech research firm Forrester, is steal jobs. In fact, it creates them. Before installing the robotic system, the airport already used automatic ticket machines, so the system didn’t replace human cashiers. And now, humans are needed to maintain and repair all those robotic forklifts. “These are not white-collar jobs,” Gownder tells Wired. “This is the evolution of the repair person. It’s harder to fix a robot than it is to fix a vending machine.” Read

Honda And Audi Show The Future Of Driving At Nvidia Conference

Cnet: Over the past decade, new in-car electronics have helped us navigate and made more music easily available while driving. But if the work shown at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) is any indication, bigger and better changes are in store. Among the many automotive seminars at this year’s GTC, Honda showed off its development of a head-up display, while Audi discussed its initiatives to make urban driving safer. In Honda’s seminar, Victor Ng-Thow-Hing, principal scientist at the Honda Research Institute in Mountain View, Calif., showed head-up display technology that makes current production examples look extremely primitive. Instead of simply projecting a speed readout or turn-by-turn directions on the windshield, Ng-Thow-Hing demonstrated work in augmented reality, projecting location sensitive information useful to drivers. Read

This Startup Can Grow Metal Like A Tree, And It’s About To Hit The Big Time

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Fortune: A Seattle startup has found a way to grow high performance metals in a cheap and energy efficient way, marking an important breakthrough for industries like construction, automotive, and oil and gas. You can already find some of the metals from seven-year-old company Modumetal on oil rigs off of the Australian and African coasts, as well as the U.S., off of Texas. Those metals can withstand the ocean’s corrosive power for up to eight times longer than conventional materials, according to the company. On Tuesday, Modumetal took a big step towards its goal of gaining a bigger market for its innovative recipe. The company said that it had raised $33.5 million in funding that will go to increasing production and sales along with developing new uses for its metals. Read

Researcher Demonstrates How To Suck Carbon From The Air, Make Stuff From It

MIT Review: A new method for taking carbon dioxide directly from the air and converting it to oxygen and nanoscale fibers made of carbon could lead to an inexpensive way to make a valuable building material—and may even serve as a weapon against climate change. Carbon fibers are increasingly being used as a structural material by industries like aerospace and automotive, which value its strength and light weight. The useful attributes of carbon fibers, which also include electrical conductivity, are enhanced at the nanoscale, says Stuart Licht, a professor of chemistry at George Washington University. The problem is that it’s very expensive to make carbon fibers, much less nanofibers. Licht says his group’s newly demonstrated technology, which both captures the carbon dioxide from the air and employs an electrochemical process to convert it to carbon nanofibers and oxygen, is more efficient and potentially a lot cheaper than existing methods. Read

Inside The ‘League of Legends’ Championship At Madison Square Garden

Wall Street Journal: Madison Square Garden this weekend was packed just like for a New York Knicks game. Only this time, the 11,000 fans turned out to watch a regional championship match for the video game “League of Legends.” The two-day “e-sports” event was a sign of the sport’s rising professional status. The dimly lit stadium was arranged around a stage featuring 10 chairs specially designed for gamers. The historic arena began to look and sound more like a major league sports event as fans started pouring in, waving blue and red plastic batons and munching on popcorn and other snacks. Their cheers overpowered blaring music, as they shouted the names of their favorite teams and players. Read

Jon Markman is president of Markman Capital Insight, a Seattle-based investment research firm. Sign up for a free two-week trial of his daily letter Strategic Advantage.

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