Futurology ~ Gravitational waves source, Quantum Tech, Apple and your data, pink snow bodes ill, robotic quadruped


Pink snow is making glaciers melt even faster (Image: Liane G. Benning / GFZ)
Pink snow is making glaciers melt even faster (Image: Liane G. Benning / GFZ)

Computer simulations point to a source for gravitational waves — On February 11th, scientists at the LIGO observatory made history when they announced the detection of the first gravitational waves. A new study says the gravitational waves likely came from two massive suns that formed about 12 billion years ago, or two billion years after the Big Bang. The researcher’s calculations have been published in the journal Nature, and were determined by running a complex simulation called the Synthetic Universe: a computer model that simulates how the Universe may have evolved since the start of the Big Bang.
~ Suns of Big Bang.

Europe will spend €1 billion to turn Quantum Physics into Quantum Technology — European quantum physicists have done some amazing things over the past few decades: sent single photons to Earth orbit and back, created quantum bits that will be at the heart of computers that can crack today’s encryption, and ‘teleported’ the quantum states of photons, electrons, and atoms. Now 3400 scientists have signed the Quantum Manifesto which calls for a big European project to support and coordinate quantum-tech R&D. The European Commission heard them, and answered in May with a €1 billion, 10-year-long megaproject called the Quantum Technology Flagship, to begin in 2018.
~ Except the British scientists may no longer be involved. 

Apple won’t collect your data for its AI services … unless you let it — Apple doesn’t like collecting your data – one of the company’s biggest selling points. But this approach has arguably acted as a major roadblock for Apple in its AI and bots efforts. With iOS 10, the latest version of company’s mobile operating system, Apple announced it will begin collecting a range of new information as it seeks to make Siri and iPhone as well as other apps and services better at predicting the information its owner might want at a given time. But Apple announced it will be collecting data employing something called ‘differential privacy’, and now it is offering more explanation.
~ Apple makes money from selling you products and services – not from selling your data, like Google and Facebook, which is ironic since Mark Zuckerberg is that paranoid about his own privacy, he covers his laptop’s camera

Pink snow for unattractive future — Your first thought on seeing this weird pink snow (main picture, above) might be an industrial accident or a nearby Big Foot massacre. But it’s just a perfectly natural, snow-dwelling algae and it’s causing glaciers to melt faster.
That’s the startling conclusion of a study just published in Nature Communications which suggests that we may have seriously underestimated the ability of tiny red algae to screw with Earth’s ice caps. And their so-called ‘bio-albedo’ feedback is only expected to grow as the planet warms up.
~ If only we could curtail the albedo libido. 

Robo-Quadruped — Boston Dynamics has done it again: in a YouTube video posted today, one of the coolest robotics companies in the known universe is introducing a fun-sizeified version of their Spot quadruped called SpotMini. SpotMini is all electric, quiet, comes with a very capable googley-eyed face-arm, and is terrible at bringing people beer.
~ Well, count me out, then. 

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