Feb 21, 2017

Color changing hair dye responds to temperature

posted by Larra Morris

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The Unseen, a company founded by Lauren Bowker has developed FIRE, a hair dye that changes colors based on temperature. When cool, the hair appears dark, and the hotter it gets, the lighter and more vibrant the color gets. The dye will be available in a variety of vibrant and subtle colors, and is semi-permanent so it should last through a few washes.
via Geekologie

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Feb 20, 2017

Bill Gates wants a robot tax to compensate for job losses

posted by Larra Morris

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How would you deal with the likelihood that robots and automation will likely lead to many people losing their jobs? For Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the answer is straightforward: tax the robots. In an interview with Quartz, Gates argues that taxing worker robots would offset job losses by funding training for positions where humans are still needed, such as child and senior care. It could even slow automation to a more manageable rate, if necessary.
via Engadget

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Feb 20, 2017

Scientists use facial recognition software to identify wild lemurs

posted by Larra Morris

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The lemur situation in Madagascar is nothing short of a crisis. Ninety-four percent of the population is threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with habitat loss caused by the clearing of Madagascar's forests a big reason why. Researchers now have a new tool at their disposal, however, in the form of facial recognition software that can identify individual lemurs and inform long-term conservation strategies.
via New Atlas

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Image: Stacey Tecot/University of Arizona

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Feb 17, 2017

Introducing The Beast, a 839-foot inflatable obstacle course for adults

posted by Laura Domela

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For some kids, no backyard birthday celebration is complete without a bounce house. Since an inner child lurks inside every adult party guest, Travel + Leisure reports that a Belgian company called V-Formation has created what’s billed as the world’s biggest inflatable obstacle course, designed for grown-ups.

Called The Beast, the course features 839 feet (that’s longer than two football fields combined) of inflatable plastic fun, with 32 different obstacle course pieces—think bouncy balls, air-filled walls, nets, and other soft barriers—that can be assembled according to personal preference. via Mental Floss

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Feb 16, 2017

Robot butters toast

posted by Larra Morris

 

William Osman built a toast-buttering robot. It's really something: "I'm not sure how to mount the butter to the jigsaw."
via Boing Boing

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Feb 16, 2017

Magnetic control could help robots navigate inside your body

posted by Larra Morris

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There are two options for controlling a robot inside of the human body: Either you try and build some sort of intricate and tiny robot submarine with self contained propulsion and navigation, which would be really really hard to do, or you just make the robot with a tiny bit of something that responds to magnetic fields, and control it externally with some big magnets. The latter approach is vastly less complicated, but it has one major drawback, which is that it’s very hard to manage multiple robots.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Image: Science Robotics

 

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Feb 15, 2017

Genome-edited humans get green light from expert panel

posted by Larra Morris

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Editing the genomes of human embryos should be allowable to treat or prevent serious diseases and disabilities—but only amid stringent oversight and safety protocols and only if no reasonable alternatives exist—according to a report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. 

The endorsement, however cautious, is a reversal from some previous recommendations from experts and ethicists, who have considered making heritable alterations to humans unequivocally off-limits.
via Ars Technica

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