May 02, 2016

Bitcoin creator unmasked: Australian computer scientist Craig Wright says he is Satoshi Nakamoto

posted by Laura Domela

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After years of speculation, the search for the elusive creator behind the Bitcoin cryptocurrency may have reached a conclusion.

Revealing his identity to the BBC, among a handful of other publications, Australian entrepreneur and computer scientist Dr. Craig Wright today confirmed rumors that first surfaced in December, stating that he is, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous individual who introduced Bitcoin to the world way back in 2009.
via Venture Beat

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May 02, 2016

New data suggests you only have five close friends

posted by Larra Morris

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You’ve probably heard of Dunbar’s Number which suggests that human beings can only maintain meaningful relationships with between 100 to 230 other people, and that number is typically 150. It’s been demonstrated to hold true in all kinds of situations—from ancient armies to big business.

But you might not know that Robin Dunbar, the anthropologist behind the number, has since also suggested that those relationships are layered, like an onion. He argues that people typically have five ultra-close relationships, then 10 slightly less cozy companions, 35 at more distance, and then 100 in an outer circle. Now he and follow researchers have published data that appears to lend weight to the theory.
via Gizmodo

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May 02, 2016

Scientists create the world’s smallest thermometer out of DNA

posted by Larra Morris

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The world’s smallest thermometer is 20,000 times smaller than a single human hair. Oh, and it’s made out of genetic material.

Researchers from the Laboratory of Biosensors and Nanomachines at the University of Montreal report that they’ve created a thermometer out of DNA in a recent article in the journal Nano Letters.
via Mental Floss

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Apr 30, 2016

UC Irvine accidentally invents a battery that lasts forever

posted by Larra Morris

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What do Viagra, popsicles, Corn Flakes, Ivory soap, the kitchen microwave, and champagne have in common? They were all discovered by accident. Add ultra-long-lasting nanowire batteries to that list, thanks to a team of researchers at the University of California Irvine. The average laptop battery is rated anywhere from 300 to 500 charge cycles – completely full to completely empty to completely full again – longer if you don’t use it all up before recharging. The UCI nanobattery endured 200,000 charge cycles over three months “with 94–96% average Coulombic efficiency.” It was effectively still brand new at the end of the experiment.
via The Drive

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Apr 29, 2016

German city designs traffic lights for oblivious pedestrians

posted by Larra Morris

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The German city of Augsburg has taken a novel approach to dealing with pedestrians too buried in their smartphone screens to notice traffic signals. By embedding flashing red LEDs in the sidewalks at busy pedestrian crossings, the city has moved those signals right into their line of sight.
via Engadget

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Apr 29, 2016

Why do we forget what we’re doing the minute we enter a room?

posted by Larra Morris

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Left your keys on the kitchen counter again? No problem. Just go and get them. Walk through the house, into the kitchen, and—what was it you needed to do again? Why are you in here? In less than 30 seconds, you’ve managed to forget the entire purpose of your errand. But don’t worry. It’s not just you, and you’re not losing your marbles. It’s called the Doorway Effect, and it’s actually a sign that your brain is in fine working order. 

Scientists used to believe that memory was like a filing cabinet. You have an experience, and it gets its own little file in your brain. Then, later, you can go back and open the file, which is unchanged and where it should be. It’s a nice, tidy image—but it’s wrong. Your brain is much more complicated and sophisticated than that. It’s more like a super-high-powered computer, with dozens of tasks and applications running at once.
via Mental Floss

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Apr 28, 2016

These old black-and-white photos were colorized by artificial intelligence

posted by Larra Morris

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Researchers at Waseda University in Tokyo have created a way to realistically colorize black-and-white photos without any human intervention for the first time ever. The team's approach is based on convolutional neural networks — a type of machine learning originally inspired by the visual cortex of a cat.
via The Verge

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