The facial recognition system has come under fire from privacy groups for mixing traditional mug shot photos with non-criminal faces pulled from employment records and background check databases. The system is expected to collect as many as 52 million faces in total. Some in the industry have also called out the IPS as ineffective, based on its relatively low rate of success. For a given face, NGI returns a list of 50 candidates, and only promises an 85 percent chance that the suspect will be on the list.


Robots that will fold your laundry

This is “Brett” also known as The Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks.  This guy can do simple household chores. Specifically, the robot can fold laundry and is part of an ongoing project by UC Berkeley’s Pieter Abbeel.

Folding towels might seem easy to us humans, but this is actually quite complicated for a robot to do.  In fact it requires a method where the robot learns the tasks by seeing how humans do it.  Abbeel explains:

For robots to be integrated in unstructured or changing environments, such as a typical human household, they must develop the ability to learn from human experts and to even teach themselves.  

The hope is to have these robots perform everyday chores for the elderly or disabled so that they can live more independently.

You can watch more videos of this robot here



Synthetic Cells Move On Their Own

What look like animated illustrations that could easily spring from a child’s imagination are actually newly unveiled artificial cells under a microscope.

Biophysicists at Germany’s Technical University of Munich along with an international team developed simple self-propelled biomachines in a quest to create cell models that display biomechanical functions.

The researchers say their work represents the first time a movable cytoskeleton membrane has been fabricated.

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John Conway first theorized that it would be impossible to create a forever-expanding universe using these rules, which was proven wrong by a team at MIT, creating the “glider gun,” which is featured in the third gif. 

Since then, thanks to computers, people all over the world have added new designs to the database, creating amazingly complex designs.

For example Andrew J. Wade created a design which replicates itself every 34 million generations! Furthermore it is also a spaceship (permanently moving pattern) and not only that, it was also the first spaceship that did not travel purely diagonally or horizontally/vertically! These types of spaceships are now appropriately named Knightships.

The simulation has some interesting properties, for example it has a theoretical maximum speed information can travel. Or simply, light speed - as that is the limit in our own universe. The limit is set to 1 cell per generation - after all how can you create something further than 1 cell away in one generation if you can only effect your immediate neighbours? And yet you can get things like the ‘stargate’ (Love the name, huge SG fan here.) which allows a space ship to travel 11 cells in just 6 generations.

Some smart people have even designed calculators, prime number generators and other incredibly complex patterns.

You can create your own patterns here:

All gifs were made from this video:

On Thursday, 25-year-old Philip Danks was sentenced to 33 months in jail by a Wolverhampton judge for pirating a copy of Fast and Furious 6. Danks bragged that he was the first person in the world to seed the illicit recording, which he recorded from the back of a local cinema in May 2013. His upload was downloaded around 700,000 times.

British man sentenced to nearly three years in prison for movie piracy | Ars Technica (via infoneer-pulse)

The judge was particularly harsh on Danks because of his cavalier attitude. “This was bold, arrogant, and cocksure offending,” he said to Danks, as Sky News reports. “Your approach to the film industry was made clear in the posting you made on Facebook two days after your arrest. I accept the personal profit was modest, but the real seriousness of this case is the loss caused to the film industry as a whole.”

"I don’t like your shitty ‘tude, so here’s some more penalties, ya prick."

Yet viewing our genome as an elegant and tidy blueprint for building humans misses a crucial fact: our genome does not exist to serve us humans at all. Instead, we exist to serve our genome, a collection of genes that have been surviving from time immemorial, skipping down the generations. These genes have evolved to build human ‘survival machines’, programmed as tools to make additional copies of the genes (by producing more humans who carry them in their genomes). From the cold-hearted view of biological reality, we exist only to ensure the survival of these travellers in our genomes.