The European Space Agency (ESA) member nations have approved an additional $425 million dollars to complete the ExoMars mission, a two-part multi-year Martian astrobiology life searching project and joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). ESA asked for the additional funds after their Schiaparelli lander crashed onto the surface of Mars in October.
The member nations held a two-day meeting in Switzerland where it has been announced that they will provide extra funds.
The European-Russian ExoMars project have sent an orbiter and a test lander to Mars, which were supposed to lay groundwork for the next part of the mission scheduled in 2020 when they planned to send a rover to Mars.
However, while the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) successfully entered orbit around Mars, contact was lost with the Schiaparelli lander, and it has later been confirmed that it crashed.
"The Christmas tree is filled with flowers. I swear it's Christmas Eve", might not sound like a typical Christmas carol, it certainly won't make it to the top of the charts, but this is how an AI-generated song sounds.
The song, if we can call it that, was created with a program named "neural karaoke." Scientists uploaded a Christmasy image to the program and let it do its magic. The program then analyzed the photo and came up with words and a melody. The result is...unique.
After three and a half months, SpaceX could launch a new rocket this December. SpaceX grounded its rockets for more than three months after September's Falcon 9 explosion. The company struggled to determine the cause of the accident with Elon Musk stating that the explosion was caused by a "really surprising problem that's never been encountered before in the history of rocketry."
Musk later said that the cause of the accident was "a combination of liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen." He also expressed his hope that SpaceX will launch their next Falcon 9 rocket in December.
It seems that might happen on December 16th when SpaceX should launch satellites for Iridium Communications, a company that provides communications services through a constellation of more than 60 satellites.
The second day of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) was dedicated to one of the most interesting technology topics and breakthroughs in recent years - artificial intelligence. The main speaker was IBM's Peter Hedges, one of the main experts in charge of the development of the famous Watson and head of IBM's cognitive computing in Europe.
Hedges started his keynote by saying that they started the Watson project ten years ago because they wanted to develop a system that can understand natural language. Just five years later, Watson has beaten the best players in Jeopardy.
"That was just the beginning. We later went on to teach Watson about medicine, finance, law...not so it could replace doctors or lawyers, but because it could be a great help to them", said Hedges, who has worked at IBM for over thirty years and still talks with the same enthusiasm like it's his first day at work.
I can only imagine those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are reading news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of MDMA (ecstasy) in large-scale trials.
The new Phase 3 research will see 230 patients involved, funded by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), an organization that pushes for the medical use of marijuana, LSD, and MDMA. MAPS funded the Phase 2 studies of MDMA with 130 PTSD patients. One study showed that out of 19 patients, 56% said that their PTSD symptoms weren't as strong after taking ecstasy with just three doses of MDMA - by the end of the study, two-thirds of them no longer met the criteria required for having PTSD - impressive.
Andrew Parrott, a psychologist at Swansea University in Wales said: "It sends the message that this drug will help you solve your problems, when often it just creates problems. This is a messy drug we know can do damage". But it's not as cut and dry as that, with a C.J. Hardin - a veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, said: "I just felt hopeless and in the dark. But the MDMA sessions showed me a light I could move toward. Now I'm out of the darkness and the world is all around me".
The ESA's Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) arrived in Mars' orbit on October 19th as a part of ExoMars mission. The European Space Agency has now published a video compiled of a series of images taken in November by the TGO.
The first image sequence shown was taken at a distance of 5300 km, followed by a sequence acquired during closest approach of 235 km altitude. The video shows the Hebes Chasma region and Arisa Chasmata, which is located on the flanks of a large volcano on Mars named Arsia Mons.
The ExoMars mission will help us get a closer and better look at Mars and its regions, which should be favorable in our plan to colonize Mars.
NVIDIA announced its Xavier processor not too long ago, but now the company has officially launched its AI supercomputer chip - the first of its kind, ever.
The new Xavier board is a single-chip computer with over 7 billion transistors, with NVIDIA securing bragging rights of Xavier being capable of pushing over 20 trillion operations per second, at just 20W. Better yet, Xavier can be put together with a total of 50 boards, capable of driving up to 1 quadrillion operations per second, using 1kW of power - not too damn bad at all, if I might say so myself.
NVIDIA CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang sees a fast-approaching golden age of computing, with advances and leaps coming so quickly that it will pass our expectations. AI and supercomputing codes can be merged, and will see the offloading of traditional coding to technologies like neural networks - where we can expect things to get very, very interesting.
Just a month after their costly module crashed onto the surface of Mars, the European Space Agency (ESA) asked member nations to provide an additional $425 million dollars to complete the ExoMars mission.
ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) is a two-part multi-year Martian astrobiology life searching project and joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The first part of the mission was executed in October when the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) successfully entered orbit around Mars.
However, ESA lost contact with its Schiaparelli lander shortly before it was supposed to land on Mars and it has later been confirmed that the 577 kg heavy module crashed onto the surface.
You'd think that by spending $4.4 billion on something, it would work... right? The US Navy has built its new destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, with an expensive receipt to cry over - and only weeks after it was officially commissioned, it has been put out of action.
The US Navy said it was their most technologically advanced destroyer, with hidden weapons and sharp angles that make it hard to spot on radar. Engineering problems persisted, and when the USS Zumwalt attempted to join with the US Third Fleet in San Diego, it only made it as far as the Panama Canal, reports Engadget.
The ammo for the $4.4 billion ship is also expensive, sitting at $800K per round, and with a purported 30 Zumwalts in development, the US Navy would be spending some big bank on these ships. The total cost for developing just three Zumwalts is already past $22 billion.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hasn't been seen in over a month, and just like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden - who knows what's really going on. We can't question anything anymore without being attacked by someone, so now that I've triggered half the world - TITANPOINTE.
Titanpointe is the name of the NSA's new Spy Hub in New York, Hidden in Plain Sight, reports The Intercept. Project X is what Titanpointe is known as, and is a 29-storey building in NYC that is "capable of withstanding an atomic blast". The building has no windows, three basement levels, and enough food and supplies to see 1500 people survive two weeks "in the event of a catastrophe".
But it's not like the US government, or whoever the hell funded this massive All Seeing Eye in the middle of New York City cares much about the survival of the people inside - the heavily fortified building is made this way to keep its powerful computers, cables, and switchboards safe. Titanpointe houses "one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States - the world's largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T". You know, the same AT&T that just acquired Warner Bros., CNN, and HBO for $80 billion.
The Intercept's report is a massively detailed one, if you want to check it out in full, prepare yourself for a very interesting and insightful read. The codename Titanpointe is featured "dozens of times in the NSA documents, often in classified reports about surveillance operations" reports The Intercept. They continued: "The agency uses code names to conceal information it deems especially sensitive - for instance, the names of companies it cooperates with or specific locations where electronic spying is carried out. Such details are usually considered "exceptionally controlled information," a category beyond top secret and thus outside the scope of most of the documents that Snowden was able to obtain".
If you're based in New York City and can get a selfie in front of the building, which is located at 33 Thomas Street, virtually next door to the FBI's New York field office, which is over at Federal Plaza, we'll give you one free internet hug.