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New Device Makes It Possible to Take Pictures With Your Mind

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The technology of mind command recognition is coming to the market: A British company unveiled an application that connects Google Glass to a wearable electroencephalography (EEG) device, giving users the ability to take pictures with the power of thought.

The company This Place, based in London, offers free software called MindRDR to pique the interest of developers who could design new applications.

The application connects Google’s electronic glasses with another gadget, the Neurosky EEG biosensor that costs around 71 pounds (or 121$). This wearable, lightweight device consists of electrodes that touch the user’s head and reads the brainwaves associated with concentration and focus.

To take pictures, a user has to focus their mind on a white line that appears on the screen of  Google Glass. When the line rises up, the picture is taken by Glass’s camera.

However, the system is somewhat “primitive” and is a “minimum viable product, a first step that can be developed further,” as writes a TechCrunch reporter who attended the technology demonstration at the offices of This Place.

Electroencephalography devices, which are currently presented on the market, are mainly used in toys, while the equipment used in research on mind control of computers and prostheses is very expensive and bulky.

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However, technology is advancing rapidly and This Place is confident that in the future the software could be used by surgeons or patients with mobility problems.

While MindRDR’s current capabilities are limited to taking and sharing an image, the possibilities of Google Glass ‘telekinesis’ are vast,” said the company’s creative director Chloe Kirton to the BBC.

In the future, MindRDR could give those with conditions like locked-in syndrome, severe multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia the opportunity to interact with the wider world through wearable technology,” she added.

At the same time, Google made it clear that it does not support MindRDR, stating that it was not reviewed or approved by the company, that is why it will not be available in the Glass app store.

However, the spokesman of the company added, “Of course, we are always interested in hearing about new applications of Glass and we’ve already seen some great research from a variety of medical fields from surgery to Parkinson’s“.

Featured image credits: mindrdr.thisplace.com

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Corruption

Turns Out Schrödinger, the Father of Quantum Physics, Was a Shameless Pedophile

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Long hailed as one of the fathers of quantum physics, celebrated physicist Erwin Schrödinger is now being reevaluated after damning evidence was published that shows that the scientist was a pedophile and serial “sexual predator.”

Schrödinger, a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian-Irish scientist remembered for his 1935 thought experiment “Schrödinger’s Cat,” was exposed as a pedophile by The Irish Times in a December report detailing his unapologetic record as a serial abuser of young girls and women.

Since the report’s publication, academics and faculties across the globe have been distancing themselves from the physicist and launching petitions to remove his name from their facilities.

The physicist made foundational contributions to quantum theory and is largely responsible for the current craze for quantum computing, but his extracurricular activities have been exposed as being fundamentally exploitative and abusive toward girls and women.

According to 2012 biography Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin, which the Irish Times cited, the physicist became preoccupied with, and groomed, a 14-year-old girl named Itha Junger after becoming her math tutor. Schrödinger, who was middle-aged at the time, impregnated her when she was 17.

That year, Junger became pregnant and resorted to a horrific abortion that left her sterile, leaving the relationship in tatters.

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The physicist also kept a record of his sexual exploits, which included being “infatuated” with a 12-year-old girl named Barbara. He only relented from pursuing the child after her family members protested. He later wrote in his diaries that the child was “among the unrequited loves of his life”.

Schrödinger, Life and Thought author Walter Moore noted that the physicist’s scummy attitude towards women “was essentially that of a male supremacist.”

Students and lecturers are now rejecting the scientist. In his adopted country, Ireland, a petition has been launched to change the title of a facility at Dublin’s Trinity University that’s named after him.

 “It seems in bad taste that a modern college such as Trinity – one that holds lectures to both men and women, one that (hopefully) rejects the abuse of women, of young girls or, indeed, of anyone – would honour this man with an entire building,” the petition reads.

“We can acknowledge the great mark Schrodinger has left on science through our study, and this petition does not wish to diminish the impact his lectures or ideas had in physics.”

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China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Shatters Records, Burning Five Times Hotter Than The Real Thing

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Ready to have your mind blown? According to a report from Xinhua, China’s “artificial sun,” a nuclear fusion tokamak reactor that has the potential to produce practically endless quantities of emission-free energy, established a new record on Thursday by operating at a high-plasma temperature for 1,056 seconds.

The tokamak reactor is referred to as EAST, which is an acronym that stands for “Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak”. It is situated in Hefei, China, and it just set a new world record by running for 101 seconds at a temperature of 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius).

The EAST tokamak reactor.

Now THAT is HOT.

EAST is one of several global tokamak fusion experiments meant to imitate the sun and stars. Fusion occurs when two atoms collide to produce a heavier nucleus. When this happens, huge quantities of energy are released. Several high-profile fusion projects are attempting to harness this power that is released to remove the world’s dependency on fossil fuels.

According to CGTN, the EAST experiment has achieved a number of significant milestones on the path to commercially feasible nuclear fusion. These include attaining a one-million-ampere current and creating a one-hundred-million-degree temperature for a length of 1,000 seconds. Currently, the EAST engineers are tasked with meeting these two objectives at the same time.

The World is Watching The Fusion Race, But It Still Needs Work

To make fusion work, scientists must create more energy than fusion reactors use. Creating more energy than being used hasn’t been feasible yet (some Nikola Tesla theorists will debate that with you for days), but recent scientific advances are bringing the scientific community closer to this goal.

Commonwealth Fusion Systems is another example of a technology being developed to create more energy than it uses. They stated in September that they had successfully tested a magnet that could operate at 20 teslas of magnetic strength while requiring just 30 watts of electricity.

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These kinds of advancements will enable the scientific community to steadily increase the efficiency of these “artificial suns,” lowering the enormous amount of energy necessary to operate them in the first place.

Scientists may be able to soon unleash net-fusion energy on the planet soon as a result of their efforts, eventually leading to a world free from fossil fuels. Imagine that.

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NASA Releases Wild Footage of Its Solar Probe Actually ‘Touching the Sun’

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A NASA probe covered in an advanced carbon heat shell as well as ground-up animal bones has made the landmark achievement of actually“touching” the Sun’s atmosphere earlier this year, according to the space agency.

The tiny Parker Solar Probe traversed the treacherous environment of the star’s upper atmosphere known as the corona and “touched the Sun,” according to a statement by the agency, collecting important data on the solar atmosphere.

“Parker Solar Probe ‘touching the Sun’ is a monumental moment for solar science and a truly remarkable feat,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate admin of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

During the important trek, the probe also collected a trove of images that have since been compiled into a spectacular video that shows an unprecedentedly close look at the Sun:

The Solar Probe can be seen traversing the solar atmosphere known as a pseudostreamer, which are massive ribbon-like structures that can be seen during solar eclipses.

 “Passing through the pseudostreamer was like flying into the eye of a storm,” a statement reads on the NASA website. “Inside the pseudostreamer the conditions quieted, particles slowed and the number of switchbacks dropped — a dramatic change from the busy barrage of particles the spacecraft usually encounters in the solar wind.”

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As NASA explains, switchbacks are magnetic zig-zag structures in the solar wind that are plentiful within the solar atmosphere. While these were previously believed to be rare occurrences, the Parker probe found that they are rife throughout the solar wind.

 “We see evidence of being in the corona from magnetic field data, solar wind data, and visually in white-light images,” said Parker Solar Probe project scientist Nour Raouafi of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

The video’s capture is truly an amazing feat considering that it was blasting through the solar atmosphere at a withering speed of 142 kilometers per second, and scientists are optimistic that it will help us significantly advance our understanding of how the Sun works.

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