Tech

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Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are basically everywhere, powering everything from smartphones to notebooks, earbuds to gaming devices, and so much more. But while the convenience of this ubiquitous (and Nobel Prize-winning) battery chemistry has radically changed the way we use and charge portable technology, lithium-ion is far from perfect.   The performance of lithium-ion batteries degrades
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Greenhouses fitted with semi-transparent solar cells can generate electricity without affecting the growth and health of the plants inside, according to a new study, suggesting we could build energy-neutral greenhouses without harming crops.   Researchers tested groups of red leaf lettuce under different types of glass and different wavelengths of light, keeping all other variables
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Scientists may have finally made a complete digital model for the Cosmos panel of a 2,000-year-old mechanical device called the Antikythera mechanism that’s believed to be the world’s first computer.   First discovered in a Roman-era shipwreck by Greek sponge divers in 1900, the fragments of a shoebox-size contraption, once filled with gears and used to predict
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In the struggle to slow the runaway freight train of humanity’s destructive impact on Earth, scientists are increasingly looking at the role our oceans can play. Teaming up with industry, scientists from the University of Southern California have discovered a ‘kelp elevator’ technique that produces ample seaweed, potentially providing a high-yield biofuel to help wean
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is learning more about how to work with (and on) humans. A recent study has shown how AI can learn to identify vulnerabilities in human habits and behaviours and use them to influence human decision-making.   It may seem cliched to say AI is transforming every aspect of the way we live
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In a significant move, Facebook has announced it will remove any misleading claims and misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines from both Facebook and Instagram. It’s part of a broader move to help combat fake news about the pandemic. Since December, the platform has been removing claims about the coronavirus that have been debunked by health
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Scientists have developed a new kind of cryogenic computer chip capable of functioning at temperatures so cold, it approaches the theoretical limit of absolute zero. This cryogenic system, called Gooseberry, lays the groundwork for what could be a revolution in quantum computing – enabling a new generation of machines to perform calculations with thousands of
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The idea of artificial intelligence overthrowing humankind has been talked about for many decades, and scientists have just delivered their verdict on whether we’d be able to control a high-level computer super-intelligence. The answer? Almost definitely not.   The catch is that controlling a super-intelligence far beyond human comprehension would require a simulation of that
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Scientists have just set a new world record for high-temperature sustained plasma with the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) device, reaching an ion temperature of above 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit) for a period of 20 seconds.   Known as Korea’s “artificial sun”, the KSTAR uses magnetic fields to generate and
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Within the next few decades, according to some experts, we may see the arrival of the next step in the development of artificial intelligence. So-called “artificial general intelligence“, or AGI, will have intellectual capabilities far beyond those of humans.   AGI could transform human life for the better, but uncontrolled AGI could also lead to
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A team of Chinese scientists have developed the most powerful quantum computer in the world, capable of performing at least one task 100 trillion times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputers.   In 2019, Google said it had built the first machine to achieve “quantum supremacy,” the first to outperform the world’s best supercomputers at quantum calculation, Live
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A long-standing and incredibly complex scientific problem concerning the structure and behaviour of proteins has been effectively solved by a new artificial intelligence (AI) system, scientists report.   DeepMind, the UK-based AI company, has wowed us for years with its parade of ever-advancing neural networks that continually trounce humans at complex games such as chess
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The Virgin Hyperloop made its first journey carrying passengers Sunday, in a test the company claimed represented a major step forward for the “groundbreaking” technology capable of transporting people at 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) an hour.   The Hyperloop is intended to carry passengers in small pods through a vacuum tube, with proponents arguing it
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A major renewable energy project in Australia billed as the world’s largest solar farm in development has had its proposed location revealed. The AUD$20 billion facility – the heart of an ambitious electricity network called the Australia–ASEAN Power Link – will be built at a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory, roughly halfway between
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Scientists in Japan have developed a paper-based sensor equipped with an array of extremely tiny microneedles, which they say can painlessly penetrate human skin for a quick and easy method of conducting diagnostic tests for conditions like pre-diabetes.   Microneedles are super tiny-spikes so small they’re measured in micrometres (one thousandth of a millimetre), designed
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Plants have a seemingly effortless skill – turning sunlight into energy – and scientists have been working to artificially emulate this photosynthesis process. The ultimate benefits for renewable energy could be huge – and a new approach based on ‘photosheets’ could be the most promising attempt we’ve seen so far.   The new device takes CO2, water, and