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Fear of thinking war machines may push US to exascale

Tianhe 2 (credit: National University of Defense Technology, China) China’s retaking of the global supercomputing crown was discussed at a congressional forum this week on cognitive computing, Computerworld reports. Unlike China and Europe, the U.S. has yet to adopt and fund an exascale development program. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), who talked about China’s new 33.89-petaflop system, Tianhe-2, is finalizing a […]

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do

Author: Daniel Berleant Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (4/28/2013) Who doesn’t wonder about the future… what things will be like some day, how long it might take, and what we can do about it? This book gives possible answers, spanning from the current century to nearly eternity. Imaginative yet scientifically plausible, most chapters offer a concluding section […]

XPrize After Earth challenge

The XPrize Foundation has teamed up with  Sony Pictures Entertainment and Overbrook Entertainment to launch a robotics competition celebrating the release of After Earth, in theaters May 31. In Phase 1 of the challenge, teams will create a 2–3 minute video essay that answers targeted questions and describes their thinking on the importance of space exploration, […]

Harnessing the energy of 2,000 suns

Rendering by Airlight Energy of the prototype HCPVT system under development The Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation has awarded scientists a $2.4 million (2.25 million CHF) grant to develop an affordable photovoltaic system capable of concentrating solar radiation 2,000 times and converting 80 percent of the incoming radiation into useful energy.* The system would also provide […]

The Limits of the Earth — Part 2: Expanding the Limits

by Ramez Naam (Credit: NASA) This is part two of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth.  Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, here, looks at the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems.  Both parts […]

Pentagon says nuclear missile is in reach for North Korea

North Korean test site where a nuclear test took place February 12, 2013 (credit: Google Earth) A new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has concluded for the first time, with “moderate confidence,” that North Korea has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile, according to The New York […]

White House petition proposes space solar power as national energy and space goal

Would task the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy A NASA SPS-ALPHA space-solar-power design concept (artist’s impression). It would capture power from the Sun and send it to Earth. (Credit: NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program) A petition to the White House to task the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy […]


by Peter A. Garretson Edge-on view of our solar system with Sun (white) in the center, showing the population of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) that scientists think are likely to exist based on the NEOWISE survey. Positions of a simulated population of PHAs on a typical day are shown in bright orange, […]

DARPA Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine With Secret ‘Plan X’

(Col. Todd Wood (right), commander of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, briefs National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander at Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Photo: Sgt. Michael Blalack/U.S. Army) The Pentagon’s top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But it’s not about building the next […]