Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Plant Breeders Release First ‘Open Source Seeds’

technoccult:

Klint Finley

NPR reports:

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They’re releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new “open source pledge” that’s intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. […]

These days, seeds are intellectual property. Some are patented as inventions. You need permission from the patent holder to use them, and you’re not supposed to harvest seeds for replanting the next year.

Even university breeders operate under these rules. When Goldwin creates a new variety of onions, carrots or table beets, a technology-transfer arm of the university licenses it to seed companies.

Full Story: NPR: Plant Breeders Release First ‘Open Source Seeds’

As the article notes, seed companies also often sell hybrid seeds, which don’t produce identical offspring — think of it as a biological “DRM” system for seeds. It’s sad that “open source” isn’t the norm in agriculture.

A $50 3D-Printed Prosthesis aka Cyborg Beast compared to a $42,000 Myoelectric Prosthesis

From Jeremy Simon on 3D Universe:

I recently had the opportunity to work with a great guy named Jose Delgado, Jr., a 53-year old who was born without most of his left hand. I made a 3D printed prosthetic hand for Jose and, after using it for a while, I asked him to give me some honest feedback about how it compares to his more expensive myoelectric prosthesis. This is obviously not an “apples to apples” comparison in terms of the devices, but the real value of a prosthesis comes from how useful it is on a day-to-day basis, and that is the focus of the comparison here.

This 3D printed prosthesis is a completely mechanical design. There are a series of non-flexible cords running along the underside of each finger, connecting to a “tensioning block” on the top rear of the device (the “gauntlet”). The tension is caused by bending the wrist downward. With the wrist in its natural resting position, the fingers are extended, with a natural inward curve. When the wrist is bent 20-30 degrees downward, the non-flexible cords are pulled, causing the fingers and thumb to bend inwards. A second series of flexible cords run along the tops of the fingers, causing the fingers to return automatically when tension is released.

3D printers are coming down in price rapidly. As of today, you can get a self-assembly kit starting at around a few hundred dollars, and a fully assembled “prosumer” level printer is going for around $1000-$2000. In other words, this kind of technology is becoming very accessible, and it’s opening up some very exciting possibilities!

A big thanks to the great work of those who contributed to the e-NABLE Hand prosthesis (aka the “Cyborg Beast”), including Jorge Zuniga, Frankie Flood, Ivan Owen, David Orgeman, and others in the e-NABLE community.

[read more] [download the Cyborg Beast]

hitrecordjoe:

CALLING ALL ARTISTS! 

I’m starting a collaboration RE: The Future, which will be a potential theme for one of our Season 2 episodes - RECord your thoughts, write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

==

ALL ARTISTS: Write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

EVERYONE W/ A CAMERARECord a video testimonial regarding this theme, or specifically answer:

  • "Do you have a fear of the future? If so, why?"
  • "Do you envision the future being positive or negative, and why?"
  • "Do you think the technology of the future will bring us together or make us disconnected?"
  • "How much control do you think we each have over our own individual futures?"
  • "What are the differences between a Child, Teenager, and Adult’s perspective of the future?"
  • "What are some examples of false predictions of the future throughout history? How has the Media affected our expectations of the future?"
  • "Has a decision you’ve made affected your future in a way you never predicted?"

==

Contribute to the “RE: THE FUTURE” collab HERE!

(Source: hitrecord)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scattered - Marvellous What-If-Scenario

This scifi-short - based on a Ken MacLeod story from the sci-fi anthology TFSF - imagines a world without paper. Well done.

scatteredfilm.com
facebook.com/scatteredfilm
twitter.com/ScatteredFilm

This atmospheric film is the first ever screen-adaptation of the work of award-winning sci-fi author Ken MacLeod. Scattered examines society’s relationship with its past through a son’s relationship with his father, and challenges our established ideas of destruction and terrorism through a crime that is as surprising as it is all-consuming. As all great sci-fi should, Scattered offers a vision of the future that illuminates the present.

After a 15 year wait, Conal is going to meet his father for the first time. His father Keith is the world’s most notorious criminal, convicted of a crime which changed history itself. Convinced of his father’s innocence, Conal needs Keith’s help to set the record straight. But his quest for justice takes an unexpected turn and Conal soon finds himself confronted with the unimaginable.

Ken’s original story, “The Surface of Last Scattering”, was published in an anthology by TRSF, who have kindly permitted us to adapt it for the screen.

Scattered is an official selection of the 2013 Sci-Fi London Film Festival, The Lighthouse Film Festival and Cinema at the Edge.

[via boingboing]

Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces

The ability to stick objects to a wide range of surfaces such as drywall, wood, metal and glass with a single adhesive has been the elusive goal of many research teams across the world, but now a team inventors describe a new, more versatile version of their invention, Geckskin, that can adhere strongly to a wider range of surfaces, yet releases easily, like a gecko’s feet.

Envisioning - Horizons

I love the work from Envisioning. High information density, beautiful visuals and great topics. Must follow, if you are interested in emerging technologies and our technological future.

Technology is one of the most reliable, persistent and underestimated drivers of future change. This technology futures map offers a detailed look at potential technological advances in six key areas, chosen for their likelihood for significant disruptive potential on work, life, firms and policy over the next 15 years.

This piece of research was conducted jointly between Envisioning and Policy Horizons Canada. To conduct the research we scanned the horizon of emerging technologies, deduced probable future developments, speculated about implications and collectively opined about likely timeframes.

[Envisioning] [Horizons] [tumblr:fuckyeahfutureshock]

Monday, April 21, 2014
new-aesthetic:

Twitter / contagious: “Hmm, nobody is clicking our banner ads. Let’s try them on print. (via @spencerholladay)”

new-aesthetic:

Twitter / contagious: “Hmm, nobody is clicking our banner ads. Let’s try them on print. (via @spencerholladay)”

fuckyeahfutureshock:


The future of screens everywhere.
popmech:

Google announced their smart contact lens a couple months ago – one that could measure glucose without the need to prick the skin, a huge boon for those with diabetes. Not the sort to pause and take a breath after a win like that, the mad scientists of Silicon Valley already have version 2.0 on deck at the patent office, and, like every good piece of wearable tech, it’s got a camera attached. This means that soon you could be snapping selfies in every reflective surface you walk by with just a whim and a blink. Or, better yet, you could take a picture of literally anything else. Of course, bear in mind these are just patents - it could be a little while before you’re trolling South Beach winking at every bikini you see.
Google Is Making Your Eyeball A Camera

fuckyeahfutureshock:

The future of screens everywhere.

popmech:

Google announced their smart contact lens a couple months ago – one that could measure glucose without the need to prick the skin, a huge boon for those with diabetes. Not the sort to pause and take a breath after a win like that, the mad scientists of Silicon Valley already have version 2.0 on deck at the patent office, and, like every good piece of wearable tech, it’s got a camera attached. This means that soon you could be snapping selfies in every reflective surface you walk by with just a whim and a blink. Or, better yet, you could take a picture of literally anything else. Of course, bear in mind these are just patents - it could be a little while before you’re trolling South Beach winking at every bikini you see.

Google Is Making Your Eyeball A Camera

neurosciencestuff:

In a cloning first, scientists create stem cells from adults
Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient’s DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men. 
The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved “therapeutic cloning” of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease.
Read more

neurosciencestuff:

In a cloning first, scientists create stem cells from adults

Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient’s DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men.

The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved “therapeutic cloning” of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease.

Read more


Where everyone in the world is migrating—in one gorgeous chart Nick Stockton, qz.com
It’s no secret that the world’s pop­u­la­tion is on the move, but it’s rare to get a glimpse of where that flow is hap­pen­ing. In a study released in today’s Sci­ence, a team of geo­g­ra­phers used data snap­shots to cre­ate a broad analy­sis of…

Where everyone in the world is migrating—in one gorgeous chart
Nick Stockton, qz.com

It’s no secret that the world’s pop­u­la­tion is on the move, but it’s rare to get a glimpse of where that flow is hap­pen­ing. In a study released in today’s Sci­ence, a team of geo­g­ra­phers used data snap­shots to cre­ate a broad analy­sis of…

joshbyard:

FBI Facial Recognition Database to Include 52 Million People Whether Or Not They are Criminals

The FBI’s growing collection of facial recognition data inside its Next Generation Identification (NGI) database already includes 16 million images as of the middle of 2013, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)… The agency’s goal of expanding to 52 million images by 2015 also includes a possible 4.3 million images taken for non-criminal purposes such as applying for a job.
For the first time, U.S. law enforcement could run searches on both criminal and non-criminal faces simultaneously in the hunt for suspects. That may provide a huge boost for law enforcement. But it also means that anyone submitting a photo as part of a background check for a job, applying for a driver’s license or getting a passport could end up on a ranked list of faces when an FBI agent searches for suspects in the database.
The EFF posted records detailing NGI’s plans after obtaining them through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. NGI’s database assigns a “Universal Control Number” to every criminal or non-criminal record on file. Each record could contain fingerprints, palm prints, iris scans and facial recognition data linked to individual information such as name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc. NGI is built upon the FBI’s legacy fingerprint database that already includes over 100 million individual records, but previous FBI databases never combined criminal records with the records of ordinary citizens.

(via FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Will Include Non-Criminals - IEEE Spectrum)

joshbyard:

FBI Facial Recognition Database to Include 52 Million People Whether Or Not They are Criminals

The FBI’s growing collection of facial recognition data inside its Next Generation Identification (NGI) database already includes 16 million images as of the middle of 2013, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)… The agency’s goal of expanding to 52 million images by 2015 also includes a possible 4.3 million images taken for non-criminal purposes such as applying for a job.

For the first time, U.S. law enforcement could run searches on both criminal and non-criminal faces simultaneously in the hunt for suspects. That may provide a huge boost for law enforcement. But it also means that anyone submitting a photo as part of a background check for a job, applying for a driver’s license or getting a passport could end up on a ranked list of faces when an FBI agent searches for suspects in the database.

The EFF posted records detailing NGI’s plans after obtaining them through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. NGI’s database assigns a “Universal Control Number” to every criminal or non-criminal record on file. Each record could contain fingerprints, palm prints, iris scans and facial recognition data linked to individual information such as name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc. NGI is built upon the FBI’s legacy fingerprint database that already includes over 100 million individual records, but previous FBI databases never combined criminal records with the records of ordinary citizens.

(via FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Will Include Non-Criminals - IEEE Spectrum)

Sunday, April 20, 2014
fuckyeahfutureshock:

Simulated open-source kickstarted worm that runs in your browser. Lobsters next?
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/openworm/openworm-a-digital-organism-in-your-browser

fuckyeahfutureshock:

Simulated open-source kickstarted worm that runs in your browser. Lobsters next?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/openworm/openworm-a-digital-organism-in-your-browser