Elon Musk Launches Neuralink, a Venture to Merge the Human Brain With AI

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and has no public presence whatsoever, is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence. These enhancements could improve memory or allow for more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Musk has hinted at the existence of Neuralink a few times over the last six months or so. More recently, Musk told a crowd in Dubai, “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” He added that “it’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.” On Twitter, Musk has responded to inquiring fans about his progress on a so-called “neural lace,” which is sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface humans could use to improve themselves.

These types of brain-computer interfaces exist today only in science fiction. In the medical realm, electrode arrays and other implants have been used to help ameliorate the effects of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative diseases. However, very few people on the planet have complex implants placed inside their skulls, while the number of patients with very basic stimulating devices number only in the tens of thousands. This is partly because it is incredibly dangerous and invasive to operate on the human brain, and only those who have exhausted every other medical option choose to undergo such surgery as a last resort. (Read more from “Elon Musk Launches Neuralink, a Venture to Merge the Human Brain With AI” HERE)

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Something Disgusting Was Just Found in These Coca Cola Cans

Police have launched an investigation after what appears to be human waste was found in a shipment of drinks cans at a Co Antrim factory.

Multinational Coca-Cola said it was probing the matter with the PSNI. It added products currently on sale were not affected.

The night shift at Lisburn’s Coca-Cola plant was disrupted last week when a container of cans thought to have arrived from Germany clogged up the machines – only for workers to discover a number were filled with what looked like human waste.

“It was absolutely horrible, and the machines had to be turned off for about 15 hours to be cleaned,” a source said. “It was unusual because normally the cans come from somewhere else in the UK, but this time they apparently came from Germany.

“The rumour is that some poor immigrants could have made that long journey in the lorry and that in their desperation were forced to use the cans instead of a toilet. (Read more from “Something Disgusting Was Just Found in These Coca Cola Cans” HERE)

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Bigfoot Blamed in Idaho Car Crash

A northern Idaho woman told police she crashed into a deer because she was distracted by a sasquatch in her rearview mirror.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that the 50-year-old Tensed woman was driving south on U.S. Highway 95 on Wednesday when she struck a deer near Potlatch.

The woman told Benewah County Sheriff’s officials that she saw a sasquatch chasing a deer on the side of the road while driving. She says she checked one of her mirrors to get a second look at the beast and when she looked up, the deer ran in front of her. (Read more from “Bigfoot Blamed in Idaho Car Crash” HERE)

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In an Unexplained Case, Brain Activity Has Been Recorded as Much as 10 Minutes After Death

Doctors in a Canadian intensive care unit have stumbled on a very strange case – when life support was turned off for four terminal patients, one of them showed persistent brain activity even after they were declared clinically dead.

For more than 10 minutes after doctors confirmed death through a range of observations, including the absence of a pulse and unreactive pupils, the patient appeared to experience the same kind of brain waves (delta wave bursts) we get during deep sleep. And it’s an entirely different phenomenon to the sudden ‘death wave’ that’s been observed in rats following decapitation.

“In one patient, single delta wave bursts persisted following the cessation of both the cardiac rhythm and arterial blood pressure (ABP),” the team from the University of Western Ontario in Canada reports.

They also found that death could be a unique experience for each individual, noting that across the four patients, the frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of their brain activity displayed few similarities both before and after they were declared dead.

“There was a significant difference in EEG amplitude between the 30-minute period before and the 5-minute period following ABP cessation for the group,” the researchers explain. (Read more from “In an Unexplained Case, Brain Activity Has Been Recorded as Much as 10 Minutes After Death” HERE)

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Rogue Factory Robot Blamed for Death of Human Colleague

A rogue robot has been blamed for the death of a woman killed in an accident at an auto-parts factory in Michigan.

Wanda Holbrook, who worked as a maintenance technician at the Ventra Ionia Mains plant for 12 years, was “trapped by robotic machinery and pronounced dead at the scene” in July 2015.

The 57-year-old’s widower, William Holbrook, has filed a wrongful death complaint seeking damages from five robotics companies responsible for manufacturing, installing and testing the robotics: Lincoln Electric, Flex-N-Gate, Prodomax, FANUC and Nachi.

“Wanda was working in either section 140 or 150 within the ‘100’ cell, when a robot from section 130 took Wanda by surprise, entering the section she was working,” the lawsuit alleges . . .

“A failure of one or more of defendants’ safety systems or devices had taken place, causing Wanda’s death.” (Read more from “Rogue Factory Robot Blamed for Death of Human Colleague” HERE)

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Revolutionary 3D-Printed House Takes Less Than a Day to Build and Only Costs $10,000

A groundbreaking potential solution to homelessness and poverty is now a reality thanks to a company called Apis Cor. The company, based in Russia and San Francisco, has developed the capability to 3D-print an entire house in just 24-hours.

As the Telegraph reports, Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the inventor of the mobile printer and founder of Apis Cor, explained his desire is “to automate everything.”

“When I first thought about creating my machine the world has already knew about the construction 3D printing,” he explained, “But all printers created before shared one thing in common – they were portal type. I am sure that such a design doesn’t have a future due to its bulkiness. So I took care of this limitation and decided to upgrade a construction crane design.”

What sets Apis Cor’s product apart from the rest is that its mobile printing technology can print everything right on site. Prior to this method, portions of the house had to be made off-site and then transported. However, thanks to Apis Cor, that costly process is now a thing of the past.

“Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours,” the company said.

Once the printer finishes the house, it is removed with a crane and the roof is then added, followed by interior fixtures, fittings, and paint.

As ZeroHedge points out, the initial house consists of a hallway, bathroom, living room and kitchen and is located in one of Apis Cor’s facilities in Russia. The company has claimed that the house can last up to 175 years.

For now the technology is in its infancy, however in a few years, the deflationary pressures unleashed by Apis-Cor and its competitors could results in a huge deflationary wave across the construction space, and would mean that a house that recently cost in the hundreds of thousands, or millions, could be built for a fraction of the cost, providing cheap, accessible housing to millions, perhaps in the process revolutionizing and upending the multi trillion-dollar mortgage business that is the bedrock of the US banking industry.

This incredibly cheap and efficient home only costs $10,134.

Below is a brief video of this amazing process. The 400-square-foot home is breathing new life into the industry of 3D printing. Imagine the capabilities this technology when applied to poverty-stricken areas throughout the globe. The implications are nothing short of revolutionary.

(For more from the author of “Revolutionary 3D-Printed House Takes Less Than a Day to Build and Only Costs $10,000” please click HERE)

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Artificial Human Life Could Soon Be Grown in Lab After Embryo Breakthrough

Artificial human life could soon be grown from scratch in the lab, after scientists successfully created a mammal embryo using only stem cells.

Cambridge University mixed two kinds of mouse stem cells and placed them on a 3D scaffold. After four days of growth in a tank of chemicals designed to mimic conditions inside the womb, the cells formed the structure of a living mouse embryo.

The breakthrough has been described as a ‘masterpiece’ in bioengineering, which could eventually allow scientists to grow artificial human embryos in the lab without the need for a sperm or an egg.

Growing embryos would help researchers to study the very early stages of human life so they could understand why so many pregnancies fail, but is likely to prove controversial and raise ethical questions about what constitutes human life.

Currently scientists can carry out experiments on leftover embryos from IVF treatments, but they are in short supply and must be destroyed after 14 days. Scientists say that being able to create unlimited numbers of artificial embryos in the lab could speed up research while potentially removing some of the ethical boundaries. (Read more from “Artificial Human Life Could Soon Be Grown in Lab After Embryo Breakthrough” HERE)

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Is Something Strange Happening Inside the Earth?

Why are “giant fountains of lava” suddenly pouring out of some of the most dangerous volcanoes on the entire planet, and why are so many long dormant volcanoes suddenly roaring back to life? The spectacular eruption of Mt. Etna in Italy is making headlines all over the world, but it is far from alone. According to Volcano Discovery, 35 major volcanoes either are erupting right now or have just recently erupted, and dozens of others are stirring. So what is causing this upsurge in volcanic activity? Is something strange happening inside the Earth?

According to the USGS, magma is “molten rock underground”, and lava is molten rock “that breaks through the Earth’s surface”. Right now, something is pushing magma up through the crust of the Earth at a number of key spots around the planet. On the island of Sicily, the “giant fountains of lava” that are coming out of Mt. Etna can be seen 30 kilometers away…

Giant fountains of lava could be seen sprouting from the volcano, located on the isle of Sicily, as far away as Catania, around 30 kilometres away, and the resort town of Taormina.

The Meteorological Observatory in Nunziata said: “You can clearly see the lava fountains, although currently modest, as it escapes from the crater in the southeast.”

An orange air alert has been issued, meaning that airspace will remain open but authorities will continue to monitor the situation.

On the other side of the world, a constant stream of molten rock has been springing out of Guatemala’s “Volcano of Fire” since February 25th…

Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire erupted Saturday (Feb 25), spewing lava and sending up plumes of ash that rained down on nearby communities and could eventually reach the capital, civil protection authorities said.

The Volcan de Fuego, one of the country’s three active volcanoes, is located about 45km southwest of the capital Guatemala City. It was the volcano’s second eruption this year.

And in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a “firehose of lava” has been pouring out of the Kilauea Volcano since December 31st.

Meanwhile, a number of large volcanoes that have been dormant for a very long time all over the world have started springing back to life.

For instance, the only active volcano in India has suddenly started “spewing lava and ash” after being silent for 150 years…

Barren Islands volcano, India’s only active volcano, is reportedly spewing lava and ash after a gap of 150 years. It erupted for about four hours in January, scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) claimed.

The volcano is situated in Barren Islands in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. Some unsubstantiated reports even claim that it is South Asia’s only active volcano.

Its first recorded eruption dates back to 1787. Since then, the volcano has erupted more than ten times, including the one this year.

At one time scientists would speak of “dead volcanoes”, but now we learning that it really isn’t safe to speak of any volcano as being completely “dead”. So many of these long dormant volcanoes are roaring back to life, and why this is suddenly happening now is puzzling many of the experts.

And as you have seen, this isn’t isolated to just one or two geographic regions. It literally is happening all over the globe.

Last month, Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung in the southern hemisphere erupted seven times in the space of a single day, and meanwhile authorities in the northern hemisphere were warning us that four of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes are preparing to erupt.

Indonesia and Iceland are about as far apart as you can get, and yet they are both being affected by this worldwide phenomenon.

Without a doubt, something definitely appears to be causing a significant increase in worldwide seismic activity.

Let’s talk about earthquakes for a moment. A website known as the Big Wobble recently published an article that included two extraordinary maps. The first map showed the number of major earthquakes from January 1900 to January 1917, and the second map showed the number of major earthquakes from January 2000 to January 2017. The difference between the two maps was startling to say the least.

It is becoming extremely difficult to deny that something is happening to the crust of our planet, and many are becoming concerned about what we could soon experience if the level of seismic activity continues to rise.

We already talked about Mt. Etna, but a much greater threat in Italy appears to be awakening under the city of Naples. A massive supervolcano known as “Campi Flegrei” is close to a “critical state”, and if it erupts the consequences will be beyond catastrophic. The following comes from National Geographic…

A long-quiet yet huge supervolcano that lies under 500,000 people in Italy may be waking up and approaching a “critical state,” scientists report this week in the journal Nature Communications.

Based on physical measurements and computer modeling, “we propose that magma could be approaching the CDP [critical degassing pressure] at Campi Flegrei, a volcano in the metropolitan area of Naples, one of the most densely inhabited areas in the world, and where accelerating deformation and heating are currently being observed,” wrote the scientists—who are led by Giovanni Chiodini of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics in Rome.

If that supervolcano were to fully erupt, millions could die, the skies in the northern hemisphere would be darkened for months and the resulting “volcanic winter” would cause famines all around the globe.

And the same things could be said about the supervolcano that is awakening in North Korea too.

In the United States, we should be watching the volcanoes on the west coast for signs of trouble, and my regular readers know that I am particularly concerned about Mt. Rainier. There is an eruption of Mt. Rainier in “The Beginning Of The End“, and it is in there for a reason.

Someday Mt. Rainier will erupt, and the horror that this will mean for the Northwest is beyond anything that I could put into words for you right now.

We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and a major natural disaster could change all of our lives in a single moment.

Just because our lives have been somewhat “normal” for an extended period of time does not mean that they will always be this way, and those that are ignoring the rumblings of our planet do so at their own peril. (For more from the author of “Is Something Strange Happening Inside the Earth?” please click HERE)

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Stingray Technology Shows Ongoing Tension Between Privacy Rights and Safety

Law enforcement is always looking for the best new technology to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated criminal agents, not to mention terrorist sympathizers.

In the pursuit of this goal, new surveillance equipment makes tracking actual criminal suspects easier and faster each year. Each advance in the field of surveillance stretches the boundaries of Fourth Amendment protections against undue search and seizure, creating grey areas where the legitimate pursuit of public safety may conflict with individuals’ immediate privacy and right to be presumed innocent. In these cases, there should be a robust public debate to decide where to set that line.

Enter the Stingray. Properly known as an international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) catcher, Stingray is the brand name of such a device that basically collects communications data over a wide area by tricking mobile devices into thinking that the Stingray is actually a cellphone tower. Stingrays can thus be used to track all nearby phones — and the creatures that carry them — in real time. Not only can this track your location, but it can also collect your metadata, such as what numbers are calling into the device. Furthermore, some Stingray devices appear to be able to collect actual content – i.e., your phone conversations, text messages, and the like.

Clearly this is powerful technology and was originally developed for military use overseas. However, the FBI began acquiring the devices for its agents as well as helping local and state law enforcement units acquire them, too.

It is not hard to imagine the legitimate usefulness of such a device in the case of an actual real-time crime investigation or a stakeout. However, the ability of these devices to track and intercept data from these devices en masse also raises due process concerns, especially if they are used for passive, ongoing surveillance. rather than targeted use at the behest of a court order.

Rather than have a debate over how these devices should be employed in public, a congressional inquiry released late in 2016 reveals that the FBI arranged for law enforcement to acquire these Stingray devices in secret. The FBI even conditioned the transfer of these devices on signing non-disclosure agreements — to the point of demanding that the departments using these devices refuse to acknowledge their existence in court!

As the Cato Institute’s Adam Bates documents in a major new study, many of the agencies that bought Stingrays did not have any formal guidelines for how to use them legally in the field until a series of leaks began tipping civil liberties activists to their existence. More disturbingly, there have been documented instances where law enforcement was forced to drop cases against a suspect to avoid revealing the evidence collected via Stingrays, and the FBI has even been caught directing police to invent alternate ways that Stingray data might have been collected constitutionally (a practice known as “parallel construction”).

Just as concerning is the acquisition and use of Stingrays by executive branch agencies outside of the FBI. The most ridiculous example pointed out by the Oversight report is the IRS, which owns two Stingray devices and admitted to using them in 37 investigations so far. Yep, the tax man can track you and listen to your phone calls. Interestingly, the IRS devices have thus far been used mostly in cases involving non-tax crimes, leading one to wonder why such investigations aren’t just being handed off to the FBI or other actual law enforcement bodies.

The combination of the massive potential for these devices to be used unconstitutionally to conduct mass surveillance, combined with the eyebrow-raising secrecy with which they have been acquired and used, merits congressional action.

It seems redundant to have to pass a federal law to specify that law enforcement needs to have a valid warrant to collect and use surveillance data against Americans in the U.S., but such is the state of the Fourth Amendment in the age of technology. Fortunately, a number of high-exposure uses of Stingrays, such as their use by the IRS and the revelation that the Baltimore police used airplane-borne cell tower simulators to monitor protest crowds, has ensured bipartisan interest in setting forth strong guidelines for their use.

It will be the task of lawmakers and civil liberties advocates to ensure that these guidelines are sufficient and that they do not continue to provide avenues for yet another form of legally justified, unconstitutional government mass surveillance. (For more from the author of “Stingray Technology Shows Ongoing Tension Between Privacy Rights and Safety” please click HERE)

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Robots Poised to Take Over Wide Range of Military Jobs

The wave of automation that swept away tens of thousands of American manufacturing and office jobs during the past two decades is now washing over the armed forces, putting both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.

“Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing,” said Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the globe’s foremost experts on weaponized robots.

“The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce ‘back-office’ costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation.”

Driver-less vehicles poised to take taxi, train and truck driver jobs in the civilian sector also could nab many combat-support slots in the Army. (Read more from “Robots Poised to Take Over Wide Range of Military Jobs” HERE)

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