Want a new iPhone? It’ll cost a lot more
Since last September, we’ve experienced a kind of revolution in wireless plans here in the US. Following T-Mobile, the big carriers have essentially jettisoned contracts and contract pricing for most of their new customers (though you can find them if you know where to look). So Apple probably can’t put up that traditional $199 on-contract starting price up on the big screen. Instead, it may have to put up the full price, or maybe the cost of the full price divided by 24. Or maybe something else entirely.
Our whole concept of how much an iPhone — or any phone — costs is getting blown up here in the US. Or better said: it’s getting normalized, so that we know the actual cost of a phone instead of having it hidden in the depths of monthly service plans.
The brain of a fetus has been grown from human skin cells
Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old fetus, could potentially be useful for scientists who want to study the progression of developmental diseases. It could also be used to test drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, since the regions they affect are in place during an early stage of brain development.
The brain, which is about the size of a pencil eraser, is engineered from adult human skin cells and is the most complete human brain model yet developed, claimed Rene Anand of Ohio State University, Columbus, who presented the work today at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Scientists Think They Know the Year Computers Will Render Our Brains Obsolete
This week, the greatest minds in science and technology pleaded with the world to prevent an artificial intelligence “arms race” — an apocalyptic scenario in which terrorists would have access to highly advanced weapons like killer robots.
The issue arose back in April when representatives from Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School wrote a paper calling for the United Nations to ban “killer robot” production until regulation and legal stipulations — for instance, who’s at fault when a robot shoots an unassigned target — could be put in place.
We should be listening when some of the most trusted minds in tech, including Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Stephen Hawking, are warning the world about letting AI weapons go off the rails. But history and science demonstrate that their predictions for hyperintelligent computers aren’t as far-fetched as they sound. Computers could soon “think” faster than human beings too.
“The problem is, when the machine realizes it can do anything and grow in terms of speed, capacity and memory, it might learn to deceive us very quickly.” — Zoltan Istvan
Megacool! 360° Aerial Panorama, 3D Virtual Tours Around the World
AirPano is a not-for-profit project focused on high-resolution virtual tours from a bird’s eye view. AirPano has already photographed over two hundred most interesting locations on our planet and it is the largest resource for 360° aerial panoramas in the world. There are more than two thousand spherical panoramas on THE website at the moment.
Russia hacks Pentagon computers: NBC, citing sources
U.S. officials tell NBC News that Russia launched a “sophisticated cyber attack” against the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system, which has been shut down and taken offline for nearly two weeks. According to the officials, the “sophisticated cyber intrusion” occurred sometime around July 25 and affected some 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Sources tell NBC News that it appears the cyber attack relied on some kind of automated system that rapidly gathered massive amounts of data and within a minute distributed all the information to thousands of accounts on the Internet. The officials also report the suspected Russian hackers coordinated the sophisticated cyber assault via encrypted accounts on social media.
Google’s Search Algorithm Could Steal the Presidency
Google’s ranking algorithm for search results could accidentally steal the presidency. “We estimate, based on win margins in national elections around the world,” says Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and one of the study’s authors, “that Google could determine the outcome of upwards of 25 percent of all national elections.”
But what if—as Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain has proposed—Facebook didn’t push the “vote” message to a random 61 million users? Instead, using the extensive information the social network maintains on all its subscribers, it could hypothetically push specific messaging to supporters or foes of specific legislation or candidates. Facebook could flip an election; Zittrain calls this “digital gerrymandering.” And if you think that companies like the social media giants would never do such a thing, consider the way that Google mobilized its users against the Secure Online Privacy Act and PROTECT IP Act, or “SOPA-PIPA.”