tech and geek stuff
IBM commits $240 million to fund an MIT A.I. lab
IBM on Wednesday said it will spend $240 million to open a Watson-branded artificial intelligence research lab in collaboration with a long-time partner, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. IBM...
Giant X-ray camera takes photos of atoms
The X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) can flash 27,000 laser beams per second - each one a billion times brighter than that of conventional X-Ray sources. Scientists from eleven countries will use it to...
China's artificial intelligence technology is fast catching up to the US, Goldman Sachs says
Goldman identified four key areas where development is needed to create value in AI: talent, data, infrastructure and computing power. The bank concluded China has the talent, data and infrastructure...
Yawning: Why is it so contagious and why should it matter?
Feeling tired? Even if we aren't tired, why do we yawn if someone else does? Experts have published research that suggests the human propensity for contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive...
New research on fossil whales' teeth shows they were ferocious predators
The feeding habits of the whale -- the world's biggest animal -- have evolved to filter feeding, shows new international research. Ancient whales appear to have been ferocious predators, investigators...
Doing meth raises the risk of strokes in young people
Bad for the brain as well as teethLarry W. Smith/Getty ImagesBy Jessica HamzelouPeople who use methamphetamine are almost five times more likely to have a stroke caused by a bleed in the brain, many of...
Meet the turtles surviving an invasion of enormous tractors
On the trail of turtlesNathan T. SimmonsBy Wendy Mitman Clarke in MarylandCrouching in the woods, amid a tangle of fallen trees and brush, greenbrier, probably poison ivy and who knows what else, I am...
23andMe is recruiting 25,000 people for a study on depression and bipolar disorder
At-home DNA-testing company 23andMe is recruiting 25,000 people for a study to determine how genes influence brain functions in people diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorders. The Google-backed...
Tesla gets hacked (again) by Chinese research group
For the second time, Chinese security researchers were able to hack a Tesla Model X, turning on the brakes remotely and getting the doors and trunk to open and close while blinking the lights in time...
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg clash over AI
Mr Musk was responding to the Facebook chief's suggestion he was "irresponsible" for making public statements about his concerns about AI.In a Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday, a user who said he had...
'Sound' research shows slower boats may cause manatees more harm than good
Slower boat speeds reduce risks to manatees. Or do they? Not exactly, according to new research. In fact, the very laws enacted to slow down boats in manatee habitats may actually be doing more harm than...
Trump’s plan to cut global health research may cost US billions
Less help from US research?Ed Jones/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Debora MackenzieUS government proposals to spend less on global health research will be bad for many countries – but perhaps worst of all for the...
Here's another sign that Apple wants to be seen as an A.I. powerhouse
Apple on Wednesday introduced the Apple Machine Learning Journal, a website for highlighting its artificial intelligence research. In contrast to academic research papers -- the conventional format for...
People are pretty bad at spotting Photoshopped images
Can you tell when an image has been digitally manipulated? Only about two-thirds of the time do people manage it, according to new research from psychologists at the University of Warwick.A team led by...
Microsoft introduces AI for Earth to help the planet with machine learning
Hot off Google announcing its own initiative for improving artificial intelligence's impact on humanity, fellow AI research giant Microsoft has announced a program dedicated to improving the planet through...
Microsoft has a new app that tells the visually impaired what's in front of them
Microsoft is putting its artificial intelligence technology to work to help the visually impaired. The company said on Wednesday that it's releasing an iOS app called Seeing AI that uses an iPhone's camera...
Google launched an initiative to improve how users work with artificial intelligence
Alphabet on Monday said it has kicked off a new research initiative aimed at improving human interaction with artificial intelligence systems. The People + AI Research (PAIR) program currently encompasses...
Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research
Stock research analyst Ronnie Moas said he bought bitcoin this weekend and thinks it could reach $5,000 within a year. "$5,000 could happen in a few months. It's only starting to gain traction right now,"...
Op-ed: While my son battles leukemia, the health care system is under assault
For Dr. Golden, who has spent decades working in cancer research, the attempted health care legislation is just the latest effort to set her industry back. In mid-March, three weeks after Theo's diagnosis,...
Research on male animals prevents women from getting best drugs
Test biasAdam Gault/GettyBy Alice KleinWomen are missing out on optimum medical treatment because most pre-clinical drug research is done in male animals, a new study suggests. New drugs must be evaluated...
Frequent sexual activity can boost brain power in older adults
Researchers found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between...
Twitter shares pop 6.5% on report of strong advertiser outlook
Twitter shares popped Wednesday after a research firm said advertisers gave "more constructive" feedback on the social media company's strategy. Twitter shares briefly climbed more than 6.5 percent and...
Scientists find clouds full of 'ice-lollies'
The researchers from the University of Manchester have been working on their discovery for quite a while - but details of it arrives in time to complement a long spell of hot weather.Led by Stavros Keppas,...
A growing number of Silicon Valley bigwigs are fasting for days to lose weight
He learned about the trend through other tech entrepreneurs in his network. The most notable example is Kevin Rose, an investor at True Ventures, who got interested in intermittent fasting after learning...
Snakes hunt in packs, study finds
It's rare for animals to engage in what's called "coordinated hunting" — but that's exactly what Cuban boa snakes do, according to new research published in the journal Animal Behavior and Cognition.Coordinating...
Robot co-pilot 'flies and lands Boeing 737'
The automated system was designed by Aurora Flight Sciences and is part of a research project which would promote more automation on existing aircraft.Civilian and military aircraft are expensive to operate...
Snap has hired one of Facebook's machine learning stars
Snap has hired one of Facebook's machine learning stars. The move comes as Snap staffs up its research and development division while it deals with Facebook copying some of its features. Last month Hussein...
Snap underwriter Goldman Sachs defends social network as a 'unique asset' as shares crater
The research arms of Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, both underwriter firms of Snap's initial public offering, told investors to focus on the long-term potential of the social media company and reiterated...
UC Davis sues strawberry scientists over fruits of research
FRESNO — Plant scientist Douglas Shaw spent his career toiling in the fields in California to grow the perfect strawberry, one that was plump and bright red yet remained sweet even after the long trip...
How to prepare for an automated future
The logical response seems to be to educate people differently, so they’re prepared to work alongside the robots or do the jobs that machines can’t. Pew Research Center and Elon University surveyed 1,408...
Student creates first synthetic retina for the visually impaired
A synthetic, soft tissue retina could offer fresh hope to visually impaired people. Until now, all artificial retinal research has used only rigid, hard materials. The new research is the first to successfully...
Facebook will research you at the request of marketers
Companies looking to get an edge in their use of advertising on Facebook can ask the social network to conduct research and compile reports about its users' online activities, Facebook acknowledged Monday...
Facebook can tell when teens feel insecure
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook knows when teens are feeling "insecure," "worthless," "stressed" or defeated" — and it quietly shared that information with an advertiser. The social media company says it made...
Scientists march against looming post-fact age
Several celebrities joined the March for Science in London as it passed a series of the capital's most celebrated research institutions.It follows the mushrooming of fake news stories and others that...
Twin research reveals which facial features are most controlled by genetics
New research uses computer image and statistical shape analysis to shed light on which parts of the face are most likely to be inherited. The study examined 3-D face models of nearly 1,000 UK female twins,...
VR haptic feedback hits a brick wall, thanks to new tech advancements
Another day, another potential VR advancement ready to make the virtual world a more immersive, lifelike experience.Today it’s the turn of haptic feedback, with a research team at Germany’s Hasso Plattner...
China is beating the US at innovation, here's why
For decades, America lost factories and jobs to China but retained a coveted title: the world's leader in inventing and commercializing new products. Now, even that status has been eroded, and it's hurting...
Nanoparticle research tested in locusts focuses on new drug-delivery method
A team of engineers has combined nanoparticles, aerosol science and locusts in new proof-of-concept research that could someday vastly improve drug delivery to the brain, making it as simple as a sniff....
Does Uber really prevent drunken driving? It depends on the study
People will be less tempted to drink and drive if they have an easier, safer way to get home after a night out. Uber has plenty of incentive to make this case and has reported on declines in drunken-driving...
How sloppy science creates worthless cures and wastes billions
Enlarge / A mouse.sean dreilinger reader comments 4 Share this story Richard Harris titled his book Rigor Mortis, referring to the stiffening of the body after death, to convey that biomedical science...
One third of NIH grants contribute to commercial patents
Sarah Laszlo puts an EEG headset on a research participant's head.Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University reader comments 0 Share this story In recent years, funding for research provided by the National...
Rare sighting of giant octopus reveals surprise
This week journal Scientific Reports revealed that a seven-armed octopus was observed clutching an unusual type of prey: an egg-yolk jellyfish, Phacellophora camtschatica.Jellyfish is generally thought...
Trump flips science the bird with new budget
Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: US President Donald J. Trump (C) delivers brief remarks before signing an executive order entitled, 'Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch', beside...
DeepMind's new AI learns like a human
We have plenty of AIs that are better than humans at specific tasks (like playing chess, for example), but none that have the breadth of ability that the human mind does – a phenomenon that researchers...
Snap has fallen enough for a Wall Street firm to almost recommend the stock
Snap popped. Then it sank, and much of Snapchat's parent's IPO excitement began to fade. Now, though, the outlook might be a little better, one Wall Street research group believes. On Tuesday New York-based...
Trump’s assault on climate science will not make America great
America lastJim Lo Scalzo/EPAA CHILL wind of change is blowing through climate research. To nobody’s great surprise, given President Trump’s rhetoric to date, the White House is said to be ready to gut...
Squid, eyes, and blood, oh my! 2017’s best biology images
reader comments 6 Share this story The Wellcome Trust is a major funder of biomedical research in the UK. But part of its remit is improving the public's understanding of health and medical research....
Can renaissance in psychedelic drug research survive Trump era?
1960s LSD research fell foul of the “war on drugs”AP PhotoResearch into psychedelic drugs has been undergoing a renaissance. In the past decade, preliminary trials with the likes of LSD have shown their...
Brain cells show teamwork in short-term memory
Nerve cells in our brains work together in harmony to store and retrieve short-term memory, and are not solo artists as previously thought, new brain research has determined. The research has implications...
Deep cuts to environmental research in Trump’s budget proposal
US agencies doing climate research see concerning budget proposal that would eliminate funding for government science on air, energy and water within EPA, and slash satellite and coastal research at N...
A Facebook-style shift in how science is shared
That is what Ijad Madisch, who founded the social network ResearchGate with three partners in 2008, had in mind when he ditched his budding scientific research career in Massachusetts to return home to...
The value of duck sex research versus a skeptical Congress
Enlarge / You don't want to know what this guy's been evolving.Washington Fish and Wildlife reader comments 20 Share this story BOSTON—"The national debt is a big structural problem," former Representative...
Snap's IPO is based on the idea that teens don't watch TV — but they do
Snapchat is telling investors that TV viewership is plummeting among teens — but one analyst said that's not the full story. Snapchat's parent company, which plans to trade on the stock exchange, told...
We need slow science to sow the seeds of future prosperity
Easy does itJason Edwards/GettyA SCIENTIST’S work is never done. They build on the work of others, and leave their own work for others to build on. Scientific progress is a bit like a tree with deepening...
Is eco-tourism the future of science funding?
ANTARCTICA -- There are things you can do as a tourist here that you can’t do anywhere else. A plunge into the freezing Antarctic Ocean water is something you may only want to try once.A tourist reacts...
German carmakers invest in surfing a digital wave
[...] he packed up and took his team to new digs in Berlin, where increasingly urgent attempts to tap into a growing tech scene are part of German carmakers’ efforts to ride a digital wave sweeping the...
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announces $50 million research program
The $600 million scientific research initiative announced last year by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, has named a team of 47 researchers and engineers to study the prevention...
Social environment has sizable impact on health of mice
For the first time, research in mice shows that the genetic makeup of an individual's social partners contributes to their state of health. Unexpectedly, the genetics of social partners were found to affect...
Newly discovered Mac malware found in the wild also works well on Linux
reader comments 15 Share this story A newly discovered family of Mac malware has been conducting detailed surveillance on targeted networks, possibly for more than two years, a researcher reported Wednesday....
“OK Facebook”—Why stop at assistants? Facebook has grander ambitions for modern AI
Enlarge / Even as the rare tech company without one of these on the market, Facebook could be pioneering everyday AI for users.Nathan Mattise reader comments 1 Share this story Facebook will one day have...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark