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David Alan Gilbert
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The last ice age was close to being too cold for penguins...brrrr.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-03/uos-grw022715.php

+ScienceSunday +ScienceSunday 
A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 years found that only three populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations.
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All these stories of TVs and laptops sending your data to random third parties to do image and audio recognition make me think that if the CPU power is available there is the opportunity to have recognition/AI boxes in your home to handle it all. I wonder how much CPU it actually takes?
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Internet connected devices should have hardware on/off switches for mic and webcam.

Plain old electric conductors for on/off, not some SPI to blackbox platform microcontroller that may or may not do as you say.
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MADDOG ON LINUX  Jon 'maddog' Hall, Executive Director of Linux International and author of various acclaimed Linux books will be sharing his expert knowledge at UKFast Campus on the 4th of March. Maddog will be covering two main topics over the course of the evening, outlined below. The first talk will be about Project Cauã, a program to help CS students cope with the financial pressures of university.  As many young people and their families st...
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I've followed +Mark Bruce's weekly science roundup for a while now - a very nice selection this week; check out some of the videos in the articles linked, 'spot' robotic dog, an unusual 3d robotic printer and some impressive prosthetic arms..
 
SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 07/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html

CRISPR via light, Volume graphene production, Spot the robot, Printed DNA hydrogels, Implanted artificial organs, Printing via spinnerets, Scanadu tricorder, Prosthetic arms, Contact lens telescope, GMO apple approval. 

1. Light-Induced CRISPR for Custom Tissue Architectures 
By attaching light sensitive proteins from plants to a specific CRISPR sequence and to gene activation proteins a new controlled gene regulation system has been engineered that enables any desired gene to be switched on and off by simply shining light of a particular wavelength onto the cell http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/controlling-genes-light. The proof-of-concept showed a dish of cells expressing fluorescent proteins only on those areas that had been exposed to light. Future applications include light-induced control over the variable differentiation of stem cell cultures to facilitate better and more realistic tissue engineering, or even skin-based cell therapies that allow you to activate a particular pathway at will.

2. Towards Volume Production of Graphene
An alteration to conventional chemical vapour deposition techniques has resulted in a new method to enable the scalable production of graphene sheets http://www.rug.nl/news/2015/02/0210-publ-grafeen. The key insight was simply to grow the graphene on a copper oxide substrate; the process of removing or decoupling the graphene from this substrate preserves the graphene structure and properties and circumvents the risks of breakage or contamination. In related graphene fabrication news, 3D printing of complex 3D graphene-based structures is being facilitated by better graphene-loaded inks http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=38965.php

3. Spot, by Boston Dynamics
Leading robotics company Boston Dynamics showed off a new mid-size quadruped robot weighing 160 lbs called Spot this week http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/spot-is-boston-dynamics-nimble-new-quadruped-robot. Smaller but faster and more agile than its big brother Big Dog, Spot is battery powered and actuated by hydraulics, and can recover quickly from even severe knocks - as can be seen in the embedded video and which will test your anthropomorphic tendencies. In other robotics news new flying drone designs prove almost indestructible in most situations http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots/gimball-drones-for-good-competition

4. 3D Printed Self-Assembled Hydrogel Structures
Complementary DNA strands loaded into a gel enable the gel to carry live cells and be 3D printed into custom structures http://phys.org/news/2015-02-synthetic-dna-gel-artificial.html. The complementary DNA self-assembles to impart the mechanical characteristics of the gel, which can be altered as needed by changing the sequence of DNA; this self-assembly obviates the need for high temperatures and so better facilitates the handling of live cells through a print nozzle for tissue engineering applications. In other biological self-assembly news the self-assembled protein coats some microbes use to protect themselves is offering insights for engineering artificial variants for a range of purposes http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/11/bacterial-armor/

5. Artificial Organs in Implantable Capsules
Pancreatic precursor cells loaded into a flexible, biocompatible mesh capsule that blocks white blood cells but allows the passage of nutrients, oxygen, waste products, proteins, and secreted factors, successfully treats diabetes in animals for long periods of time and has already been implanted into one person to kick off clinical trials http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535036/a-pancreas-in-a-capsule/. The device was developed by Viacyte and they aren’t the only group developing similar technologies; future work will improve the life of the device and create full differentiated islet cells rather than a mix. It’s fascinating to think how the function of artificial organs can be provided in this way, or even other custom biological functions perhaps; combined with the light-induced CRISPR you could have a subdermal patch that you switch on when needed to pump out some enzyme like alcohol dehydrogenase for example. 

6. Robotic Bio-Mimicking Spinnerets for Amazing 3D Printing
A new 3D printer demonstration combines a robotic arm and an innovative 3D printer that includes multiple dynamically moving print heads that each continuously extrude print filament in a system that mimics a spider’s spinnerets extruding silk fibres http://gizmodo.com/this-incredible-robotic-arm-prints-plastic-like-a-spide-1685397572. The machine can extrude or “print” custom 3D fibres or structures, suspended in space, on the go and results in fibres comprising an internal core fibre surrounded by three looping fibres that help convey structural strength and flexibility. Check out the video; it’s pretty amazing. Think of this attached to a mobile robot or mobile swarm of robots. 

7. Scanadu Personal Medical “Tricorder” Ships
Starting out as a successful Indiegogo crowd-funding project Scanadu has finally launched and shipped their Scout product, a small round device that is held to the forehead and very quickly sends readings to your smartphone with measurements of heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, oxygen level, and ECG http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/12/tech/mci-scanadu-tricorder/index.html?eref=edition. Early users will help with real world calibration and testing and if the measurements are confirmed as accurate (an FDA submission is also in the works) then this would be a pretty powerful consumer device and one I’d definitely buy. They are also working on a “Scanaflo” product, intended to be a urine test kit for measuring  wide range of metabolic factors.

8. Prosthetic Arms by DARPA & OSRF
DARPA and its partners including the Open Source Robotics Foundation continue to develop advanced prosthetic arms and hands for amputees http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/medical-robots/darpa-and-osrf-developing-nextgen-prosthetic-limbs-in-simulation-and-reality. In a couple of recent demonstrations of the ongoing work we can see a man using a prosthetic arm to climb a rock wall, while other amputees use the prosthetic arms to pick grapes, spoon-feed themselves, “hand” objects between each other, pour drinks into glasses and other feats. The ultimate goal of the program is to create artificial limbs that behave like, are controlled like, and for the user feel like, a normal biological arm. 

9. Telescope in a Contact Lens
Another DARPA collaboration, this time with the EPFL, has resulted in the production of a new type of contact lens embedded with thin aluminium mirrors that, in conjunction with a pair of LCD glasses function as a telescopic lens http://gizmodo.com/this-contact-lens-can-zoom-in-with-a-wink-of-the-eye-1685695869. Light passing through the LCD in one polarisation appears normal and conveys normal vision, but switch the LCD to produce a different polarisation that interacts with the contact lens and the result is telescopic magnification. Future work will improve the oxygen permeability of the lens for greater eye comfort and perhaps seek incorporate the switchable liquid crystal elements directly. 

10. Genetically Modified Apples Approved by Regulators
For the first time genetically engineered apples have been granted regulatory approval by the US Department of Agriculture http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8035775/gmo-apples-usda-commercial-farming-genetically-modified. The genetic modifications are pretty simple, and involve altering the activity levels of a particular gene / enzyme to ensure the apples will greatly resist browning when cut or dropped. I can only hope that this paves the way for greater varieties and greater numbers of different GM foods that convey a range of different nutritional benefits such as more vitamins, etc as opposed to the usual pesticide resistance that we usually see with staple crops. 

Archived: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/02/crispr-via-light-volume-graphene.html
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I've just found the option in LibreOffice to stop it autocorrecting VMs to Vms, which since I tend to mostly write about doing stuff with VMs is annoying.

Tools->Autocorrect options
  Exceptions tab
     Words with Two initial capitals
        Type VMs into it's entry box
        Hit New
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I could never stand (La)TeX.
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At a cafe scientifique talk by Dr Simon Harper on human computer interaction and disability.
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Just flipped to KDE5 on my main home desktop;  almost got it usable - fonts/sloppy focus/short cuts etc.   At first glance it does seem to have cured a very annoying bug I used to hit on KDE4 where when switching desktops on a multihead machine it would focus the window on the wrong monitor.
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Well yeh; mostly it's worked OK; there's the normal fight of getting fonts that look nice etc; and there's some stuff I haven't found yet - like wth the thing is to mark a particular device mounted when I log in.
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Sitting down to a Cafe Scientifique on the evolution of monogamy with cake and hot chocolate.

http://www.meetup.com/Manchester-Activities-Social-Group/events/220307226/
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I noticed my laptop fan churning, and Firefox using 100% cpu - firefox's profiler says it's mostly in .prototype<.handleLoad_.value container.html#xpc=sf-gdn-exp-1&p=http%3A//m.theregister.co.uk:93 tpc.googlesyndication.com

I closed theregister's page a while ago!
does anyone else see this?  I'm not sure if it's google, theregister or firefox's fault.
(and yes, I'm using m.theregister.co.uk because I didn't like the redesign of their desktop site).
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OK, it's not theregister's fault - I've seen it on a second tpc.googlesyndication.com case, and one other.
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Lovely set of videos from NASA from the Solar dynamics observatory - lots of sun.
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I'm starting to use 'ag' instead of grep; it's got two primary advantages; 1) It's a lot faster, 2) It's half as many characters so I don't end up running gerp.

http://geoff.greer.fm/ag/
The Silver Searcher is a tool for searching code. See the GitHub page for more info. Release tarballs are signed with my public key (3F0A04B6). To verify a release, first download my public key and import it: gpg --import ggreer_gpg_key.asc. After downloading the tarball and signature, run: ...
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I've been using ag for the last year, it's great especially when your dealing with mahoosive trees like Android.
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