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Nick Benik (HackerCEO)
Works at Harvard Medical School
Attends Autodidactic Polymath
Lives in Boston
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Nick Benik (HackerCEO)

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Ok, so finally something that is more creepy than a CIA/Homeland Security #drones   overing over our cities collecting our #metadata  
 
RoboRoach

You can now make your own cyborg roach for just $100.   Just buy this kit developed by the company Backyard Brains:

Are you a teacher or parent that wants to teach a student about advanced neurotechnologies? You are in luck! After 3 long years of R&D, the RoboRoach is now ready for its grand release! We are excited to announce the world's first commercially available cyborg! With our RoboRoach you can briefly wirelessly control the left/right movement of a cockroach by microstimulation of the antenna nerves. The RoboRoach is a great way to learn about neural microstimulation, learning, and electronics!

We are recently ran a successfully-funded kickstarter campaign to fund the release of our new RoboRoach! The hardware and firmware development are complete and we are now shipping!

Product Details

The RoboRoach "backpack" weighs 4.4 grams with the battery, and each battery will last over a month! Following a brief surgery you perform on the cockroach to attach the silver electrodes to the antenna, you can attach the backpack to the roach and control its movement for a few minutes before the cockroach adapts. When you return the cockroach to its cage for ~20 minutes, he "forgets" and the stimulation works again. Once you receive your RoboRoach in the mail, follow our online surgery instructions and videos and you will soon be on your way to becoming an expert in neural interfaces. After about 2-7 days, the stimulation stops working altogether, so you can clip the wires and retire the cockroach to your breeder colony to spend the rest of its days making more cockroaches for you and eating your lettuce.

Technical Specs

1x Free iOS or Android 4.3+ application for remote control
1x Bluetooth Roboroach backpack control unit
1x 1632 RoboRoach Battery
3x Electrode Sets (to implant 3 Roaches)

View our RoboRoach Ethics Statement

Backyard Brains has developed ethical guidelines for all our products. You can read more in our statement regarding our use of insect for experiments at:

http://ethics.backyardbrains.com

I feel ethical qualms about taking away the autonomy of an animal this way, and their ethics statement doesn't really address that.  This is the closest they come:

Criticism: Modifying a living creature to make a toy is wrong.

The RoboRoach circuit is not a toy. This new bluetooth version is a powerful low-cost tool for studying neural circuits, allowing for students to make discoveries. High school students in New York, for example, have discovered random stimulation causes much slower adaptation times. We have scientist and high school educator colleagues who are mentoring students in novel behavioral experiments using the RoboRoach circuit. Some highlights will be posted on our website soon.

By focusing on the question of whether the RoboRoach is a "toy", they dodge the harder question of when it's okay to override the nervous system of an animal and make it do what you want.  Perhaps feeling a bit nervous about this, some of the cyborg roach developers say they want to use it as a "rescue robot" that can crawl around and hear people trapped under collapsed buildings.  I think most people would say this is okay, at least if it actually works.

For a critical view on the ethics, see:

http://www.livescience.com/40821-roboroach-is-inhumane.html

http://www.care2.com/causes/the-do-it-yourself-cyborg-cockroach-educational-or-cruel.html

For more on how to actually make a RoboRoach, go here:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/how-build-your-own-cockroach-cyborg
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Nick Benik (HackerCEO)

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5 Quantum Computing Super Apps To Change Our World For The Better? http://ow.ly/MjBjZ

Things get so weird at the atomic scale, that the rules of classical physics governing the objects we can see and touch break down. Particles can occupy two places at once or connect across vast distances, conditions known as superposition and entanglement or what Albert Einstein dramatically described as “spooky action at a distance!”

Conventional computers solve one problem at a time, but Quantum computers -- by virtue of working at the atomic scale -- can solve multiple problems at the same time, as if, in parallel universes.  That kind of Quantum Supremacy has the potential to revolutionise entire industries.  It's not just their speed, Quantum computers can solve the kind of complex problems that regular computers are really bad at solving. They're more human-like in their problem solving approach, and that makes them better able to complement human tasks.

Quantum computing and quantum information are two of the fastest growing and most exciting developing fields in the technology world.  The possibilities of using the non-local behavior of quantum mechanics to factor integers in random polynomial time have also added to this new interest.  The key lies in identifying a collection of problems in quantum computing and quantum information together with their detailed niche solutions, which will prove to be invaluable because there is likely to be quantum supremacy over classical computing only in niche areas. 

So what are the key problems and solutions for Quantum computing and Quantum information theory to address?  Whilst scientists and engineers definitely still have more technical challenges to work out before we have fully-functioning Quantum computers, yet Quantum technologies 2.0 based programmable machines could herald radical changes for humanity's future lifestyle as a species, to name a few significant quantum computing applications:

1. Develop more effective drugs — By mapping amino acids, for example, or analysing DNA-sequencing data, bio-medical scientists and doctors will discover and design superior drug-based treatments.  A quantum computer would be able to map out trillions of molecular combinations and quickly identify the ones that would most likely work, significantly cutting down the cost and the time of drug development.  Right now, many drugs don't make it to market because, for example, a small subset of people react particularly badly to it. So we usually kill that drug even though it might be helpful for some people. With personalised gene analysis and better drug knowledge we could predict these bad interactions in advance, creating the right type of filtered medical treatments and drug dosages even for existing drugs.  Quantum computational simulations and models will help determine how diseases develop and evolve including pandemics and cancers providing advance warning for preventive action.

2. Reduce weather and climate related deaths — Precision forecasting will give people more time to take cover.  Even with cutting edge instruments that analyse temperature and pressure, there are too many possible ways a given weather pattern can manifest itself, and current weather forecasting is an educated guess at best.  Quantum computing could analyse all that data at once and give us a better idea of when and where bad weather will strike. We would have advanced notice of major storms like hurricanes and the extra preparatory time could help save lives in the short term.  Quantum computers could help build better climate models that could give us more insight into how humans are influencing the environment amongst other factors. These models are what we build our estimates of future warming on, and help us determine what steps need to be taken now to prevent disasters later. Knowing more about how alternative climate scenarios will play out can only help us in the medium to long term.

3. Relax, cut back on travel time safely — No more traffic jams and flight delay nightmares plus safer cars and airplanes — Sophisticated analysis of traffic patterns in the air and on the ground will forestall bottlenecks and snarl-ups.  Quantum computers could streamline both air traffic and ground-based traffic control because they are so good at quickly calculating the optimal route.  A quantum computer could calculate the length of all the possible routes at the same time and arrive at the optimal route much faster taking present conditions into account — these are the exact kinds of calculations needed for directing airplanes or analysing traffic to make informed decisions in real time.  In order to help automobiles drive themselves safely, Google is using a Quantum computer to design software that can distinguish cars from landmarks as well as both fixed and moving obstacles.  Lockheed Martin is utilising its Quantum computing to test jet software and flight simulators that are currently too complex for classical computerst to factor in all the variables simultaneously.

4. Machine learning and automation — Machine learning is one of the most interesting things going on in computer science today. Artificial Intelligence 2.0 and useful AI have really revolutionised the way a lot of things are done at present.  Like humans, quantum computers can learn from experience. They can self correct. For example, a quantum computer could actually modify the code of a computer program that keeps messing up in the real world and in real time.  The machine learning of quantum computers could help us do a lot of things much faster and much more efficiently, and continued improvement of the functioning of quantum computers by quantum computers could lead to things like semi-automatic vehicles and other advanced forms of artificial intelligence.

5. Discover distant planets — Quantum computing is able to analyse the vast amount of data collected by telescopes and seek out Earth-like planets.  For example, astronomers have now discovered nearly 2,000 confirmed planets outside our solar system using the Kepler space telescope and need to find mechanisms to speed up the process of finding Earth-like planets.

The most important concepts and topics for Quantum computing to outperform classical computing include a deeper understanding and leveraging of:

a. Quantum gates and quantum circuits;
b. Quantum entanglement;
c. Quantum teleportation;
d. Bell states and Bell inequality; 
e. Schmidt decomposition; 
f. Quantum Fourier transforms;
g. Magic gate; 
h. Von Neumann entropy;
i. Quantum cryptography;
j. Quantum error correction; 
h. Coherent states;
i. Squeezed states; 
j. POVM or Positive-Operator Valued Measure measurement;
h. Beam splitter; and 
i. Kerr Hamilton operator. 

The Quantum computing revolution, when it comes, could yet rock the world, and that too in a very good way!

[ENDS]

Source: http://QiLabs.net
Things get so weird at the atomic scale, that the rules of classical physics governing the objects we can see and touch break down. Particles can occupy two places at once or connect across vast distances, conditions known as superposition and entanglement or what Albert Einstein dramatically described as “spooky action at a distance!”Conventional computers solve one problem at a time, but Quantum computers -- by virtue of working at the atomic s...
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Nick Benik (HackerCEO)

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IBM's AI computer Watson has helped publish a new cookbook based on its algorithms.
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Korg has released "#hacker friendly" consumer hardware. What exactly does hacker-friendly mean? Online schematics! Oversized and silk-screen labeled solder points on the PCB and more!

#Korg #Rules
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Nick Benik (HackerCEO)

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#Dove  does another amazing job at having us question our own perspectives! #beauty   #qotd   #potd   #wordsofwisdom   #wordstoliveby  
Dove's latest campaign asks women to #ChooseBeautiful
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Apple ][ emulated on an Arduino!

Yes, you read that right. Damian Peckett turned an Adruino into an Apple ][ clone that even includes VGA output and 6502 emulation.

Depending on your age, you're going to be blown away when you realize either:
- How powerful today's micro-controllers are.
                       or
- How incredibly underpowered 8-bit computers were back in the day.

#Arduino   #Emulation   #Apple   #Apple][  
Emulated Apple ][ Running On a Stock Arduino Uno. I’ve always been fascinated by the early days of the computer revolution. Today we take tremendously powerful machines for granted but it was not always that way. As a personal project I decided to... | Damian Peckett | Software / Hardware / Bio Engineer
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Precision medicine requires a different type of clinical trial that focuses on individual, not average, responses to therapy, says Nicholas J. Schork.
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Evolution is in many ways similar to XP and continue integration software development... even still you get some crazy results.  Thanks for the find +Mark Bruce 
 
WTF, Evolution?!

I recently stumbled across what has become my favourite tumblr blog - WTF, Evolution?! http://wtfevolution.tumblr.com/ 

I like it because:

1. I get to be amazed by an extraordinarily diverse and baffling array of different creatures that I never knew could exist, let alone existed. 

2. The conversational commentary between the blogger and the "entity" that is evolution is pretty humorous at times :) E.g. criticising evolution for seemingly stupid design choices. 

* The latest entry on the comb duck reminds me of the bizarre head ornaments sported by the duck-billed dinosaurs. 

* An example of entries includes trap-door ants, penis-fencing flatworms, anus-dwelling pearlfish, sea-spiders with digestive organs in their legs. 

BUT IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING TODAY: Watch the giant red leech having a meal: http://wtfevolution.tumblr.com/post/98726965887/wait-what-is-that-giant-red-leech-doing-is-it

#evolution   #wtf   #wondrous  
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Semantic Web and data science folks - you will want to check this out. It isn't just another questionnaire - it's a stealth tutorial! Mouse-over the schemas and RDF data to see highlighted matches. Click on the live example s to dig in and enjoy. Want to see (and use) the equivalent validating query in SPARQL - it's there in the live example - just click on validating query. Also very useful is remaining triples to see what isn't matched by your Shape Expressions, by using the SPARQL query directly on the data in your triplestore. If this isn't fun, what is?
This is a public questionnaire to guide development of the ShEx (Shape Expressions) language. Your responses will be given as input to the RDF Data Shapes WG as requirements for SHACL (though this questionnaire is not a product of Working Group). Please indicate here if you would like to ...
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Advice for  #pitch ing your business. #businesstips   #entrepreneurship  
Pitching is an essential skill for every entrepreneur to master. A great pitch can inspire, bring in investment, win customers, and recruit talented people.With over 50 years in business, I’ve learnt that there is no right or wrong way to deliver a pitch, but the key is to keep things short and simple, and do something that sets you apart.This concept led to one of the more creative pitches I’ve heard. Throughout the year we host networking event...
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Work
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Technologist, Researcher, Businessman, Inventor
Employment
  • Harvard Medical School
    Sr. Web 2.0 Software Architect, present
  • Idiopathic Rebel (aka Iconoclast)
    Technologist, Businessman, Inventor, present
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Oracle
  • Colgate-Palmolive
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Boston
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Tagline
Autodidact Polymath and Iconoclast
Introduction
I'm a entrepreneurial businessman with many years of experience in Fortune 500 companies as well as several C-level executive and advisory positions at web startups. My primary focus is on Software Architecture and Electrical Engineering. I have invented and hold several patents (internationally) and am well versed in Patent & Copyright law. 

As a polymath and member of American Mensa my working knowledge within the STEM universe is extensive with specific spikes of high expertise. So go ahead and ask me about Carbonic Anhydrase ;) I've managed to have meaningful conversations with specialists in semiconductor physics, cellular biology, medicine/pharma, finance, gunsmithing and many other domains.

I am currently at Harvard Medical School involved in Bioinformatics, Bibliometrics, Social Network Analysis (of the worldwide medical research community), and the Semantic Web.

For fun I research random STEM topics, invent stuff, write my own patents, do photography and, of course, provide consulting and mentoring services.
Bragging rights
American Mensa (Performance IQ in top 0.13% percentile) - Holder of 5 patents with several pending internationally
Education
  • Autodidactic Polymath
    STEM-topics, 1979 - present
    If you aren't learning something new every day then you aren't living... Anything computers and electronics. Enough biomedical knowledge to understand most PubMed articles with the help of Wikipedia. Set and graph theory. A dash of classical and quantum physics theory (quantum computing). Some mechanical engineering (I own a metal lathe, 3-axis mill, and a 3D printer). Law, especially patent and copyright. Psychology. Marketing. Some economic theories. Some chemistry. Blah, blah, blah....
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Nicholas Benik