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We’re at least a one step closer to creating the “Star Trek”-style Teleportation. The concept of Quantum teleportation, the act of reconstructing quantum data somewhere else, is impressive just by itself. A team of  scientists at the US’ National Institute of Standards and Technology have managed to one-up that feat. They’ve shattered the distance record for quantum teleportation.

Sounds like a real time Sci-Fi

The team successfully  managed to transfer the information from one photon to another across 63 miles of optical fiber. That may not sound like much, but it’s a remarkable achievement as 99 percent of photons would never make the complete trip. It was only possible thanks to newer detectors that could pick up the faint signal of the lone light particle.

Real time teleportation, as seen in sci-fi movies, is still a long way to go, but the achievement does open the door to many possibilities in quantum computing. You could use unbreakable quantum encryption at inter-city distances, for instance. Imagine a future with more instantaneous communication with astronauts in space or rovers on Mars alongside unprecedented network speed and security thanks to quantum encryption.

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ironman-suit

The first prototypes for the US military’s Iron Man armor will be ready for testing by this summer, said the head of US Special Operations Command today. At a special conference in Washington DC, Defense Tech reports, Navy Admiral William McRaven stated that currently three prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit – TALOS  are being assembled, with an expected delivery by June.

A revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators.

“That suit,” McRaven emphasized, “if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators.” The TALOS was commissioned last October, and may one day be armed with its own on-board computer, health monitors, and MIT-developed liquid armor that can harden in a matter of milliseconds which will allow the wearer to walk through a stream of bullets.

There are 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories working together to develop this armor. McRaven wants to up involvement to include mechanics and craftsmen on the project, and may seek the authority to approach the Pentagon to distribute prize money for interested experts. The suit will undergo an evaluation period and hopefully be field-ready by August 2018.

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sheerwind

SheerWind, a company based in Minnesota, claims to have a new technology for wind power generation that can alleviate most of the world’s concerns. The technology called Invelox system can operate in a wider variety of conditions and is claimed to have an efficiency up to 600% than traditional wind turbines.

Traditional wind turbines you’re used to see rely on fairly swift winds to function. However the Invelox system can generate power from winds as gentle as 1-2 MPH.

invelox

How it Works | Image Credit : Sheerwind

 

HOW IT WORKS

“It does this by capturing passing breezes in large scoops at the top of its 40-50 foot tower. The wind is funneled down toward the ground through an increasingly narrow space. When the air is compressed, it speeds up and is used to power a small turbine generator.”

Invelox efficiency

Image Credit : Sheerwind

 

SheerWind is trying to prove that the system is 6 times more efficient than the traditional wind turbines, but it’s currently doing so with internal testing. The company tested its turbine both with and without the Invelox cowling. When it compared the values over time, that works out to energy production improvements anywhere from 81-660%. The average was 314%.

The company says it has been able to produce wind power at a cost of $750 per kilowatt, including installation. This brings it in-line with the final cost of energy from natural gas and hydropower. The energy industry is all about cost effectiveness and efficiency, so if the Invelox technology is legit, it’s going to be huge. Invelox takes up much less space than traditional windmills, and it poses little to no risk to birds or curious children.

 

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Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed research robots for the Pentagon, has been acquired by Google. It is the eighth robotics company that Google has acquired in the last half-year.

Boston Dynamics and its range of robots bring significant cachet to Google’s robotic efforts, which are being led by Andy Rubin, the name behind the development of Android, the world’s most widely used smartphone software.

As per the New York Times

“This deal is the clearest indication yet that Google is intent on building a new class of autonomous systems that might do anything from warehouse work to package delivery and even elder care.”

Boston Dynamics was  founded in 1992 by Marc Raibert, also known as the father of walking robots in the United States. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is one of the most renowned clients of Boston Dynamics. Boston Dynamics’ walking robots have an amazing reputation for being extraordinarily. They are able to walk over rough terrain and surfaces that in some cases are challenging even for humans.

Google executives said the company would honor existing military contracts, but that it did not plan to move toward becoming a military contractor on its own.

Under a $10.8 million contract, Boston Dynamics is currently supplying Darpa with a set of humanoid robots named Atlas to participate in the Darpa Robotics Challenge, a two-year contest with a $2 million prize. The contest’s goal is creating a class of robots that can operate in natural disasters and catastrophes like the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.

“Competitions like the Darpa Robotics Challenge stretch participants to try to solve problems that matter and we hope to learn from the teams’ insights around disaster relief,” Mr. Rubin said in a statement released by Google.

“computers are starting to sprout legs and move around in the environment. – Andy Rubin”

Boston Dynamics has also designed robots that can climb walls and trees as well as other two- and four-legged walking robots. Mr. Rubin has called his robotics effort a “moonshot,” but has declined to describe specific products that might come from the project. However, he does not expect initial product development to go on for years.

“I am excited by Andy and Google’s ability to think very, very big, with the resources to make it happen.” said Dr. Raibert.

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DARPAMOIRE

Image Credit : DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the military’s futuristic research agency, is ready to “break the glass ceiling” of space telescopes by aiming for a new design into orbit that’s made of plastic instead of traditional glass and unfolds into a mammoth space telescope.

DARPA’s new program is called Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE). The new orbital telescope will be bigger and lighter than previous imaging satellites, making it easier to spy on larger areas and for longer periods of time.

DARPA’s MOIRE CONCEPT

This giant telescope could view approximately 40 percent of the earth’s surface at once.

It will be a tightly packed cluster of petals having diameter of 20 feet. MOIRE stretches to 68 feet across. After its launch it will be placed 22,000 miles above the earth. From orbit, this giant telescope could view approximately 40 percent of the earth’s surface at once. It will be able to record high resolution images and video, making it the ultimate spying satellite. However it could also be beneficial in weather forecasting and disaster response.

High resolution imagery was not possible with the traditional large diameter mirrors because of its thickness and weight. Also it was quite expensive to implement such technology in Space Telescopes. According to DARPA – “The glass mirrors are rapidly approaching the point where they will be too large, heavy and costly for even the largest of today’s rockets.”

“Membrane optics could enable us to fit much larger, higher-resolution telescopes in smaller and lighter packages,” said Lt. Col. Larry Gunn, Darpa program manager, in a statement. “In that respect, we’re ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ that traditional materials impose on optics design.”

DARPAMOIRESIZECOMPARISON

Size Comparison of Different Telescopes | Concept Image | Image Credit : DARPA

Instead of reflecting light with mirrors or refracting it with lenses as traditional space telescopes do, MOIRE’s membrane uses concept of optics diffraction. And because MOIRE is so much lighter and smaller at launch, budget wise it will be much more efficient.

“We’re hoping our research could also help greatly reduce overall costs and enable more timely deployment using smaller, less expensive launch vehicles,” said Gunn.

According to DARPA, the MOIRE program is in its second and final phase and recently demonstrated a ground-based prototype.

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international space station

Renowned security expert Eugene Kaspersky reveals that the International Space Station was infected by a USB stick carried into space by a Russian astronaut.

According to Kaspersky, The international space station’s computer systems were infected by an unspecified virus this year. The malware spread through a removable device carried by Russian astronauts, and though the extent of the damage hasn’t been specified, it has been revealed that on occasion, the station has suffered “virus epidemics”.

The virus surfaced before May 2013 during a transition by the United Space Alliance over to Linux. Before converting the international space station’s control systems from Windows over to Linux, scientists were used to bring USB drives with them into space, and such was how the malware was transferred.

Reports have shown that in the past, a Russian astronaut brought a laptop that harbored a W32.Gammima.AG worm, something that ended up spreading to other laptops running Windows XP. Now that the ISS has been migrated from the Windows to Linux, the instances of these infections are likely to decrease.

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Google's Mystery Barge

According to documents revealed by San Francisco Chronicle, the Google’s mystery barge taking shape in San Francisco Bay will eventually be a 50-foot-tall, 250-foot-long structure made of recycled shipping containers and fish fins resembling sails. According to these documents the barge is intended as a “studio” and “temporary technology exhibit space” that will drive tourism along the waterfront. By and Large is assumed to be connected with Google, given that the company acknowledged this week that is planning to use its barges to showcase new technologies.

The striking glass-and-steel design shown in an artist’s rendering looks similar to the structure raised by Google Last week. According to documents, the barge will be able to host up to 1,000 visitors a day during month long residencies. Locations proposed so far include Fort Mason, along with Angel Island, Redwood City, and Rosie the Riveter Historical National Park in Richmond. Eventually it will sail to San Diego and other West Coast ports, according to the Chronicle.

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Two engineering students from the University of Florida have put their brains together to come up with a solution to a serious problem: warm beer. They have created a portable device with a basic power drill and chill bit that can spin the container. By spinning the container, convection is introduced to both the inside and outside of the container increasing the rate of heat transfer by a minimum of 20 times faster.

HOW COLD:

“Since ice water is always 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Spin Chill can only chill a beer to 32 degrees in ice water.  However, ice that hasn’t melted yet is below freezing so Spin Chilling in fresh ice can get a beer colder than 32 degrees and create a beer slushy.  Get your beer as cold as you want!” It said.  Setting a can or bottle in the freezer takes 20-30 minutes to become drinkable. Putting it in ice water take 10-20 minutes. Using The Chill Bit it takes 30-60 seconds.

Its an awesome idea isn’t it? As they said “necessity is the mother of invention.”

 

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