[Popular STEM] Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for June 6, 2020
A Steem essay tells us about Uganda's electricity powered buses; IEEE Spectrum's weekly selection of awesome robot videos; The longest running experiment in computer science involves research into computer chess programs; Reliance on infrared temperature scanners will make the pandemic more dangerous; and Researchers develop a technique to produce hair-producing skin from human stem cells
Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for June 6, 2020
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Straight from my RSS feed
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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt.
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- Steem @yohan2on:Uganda made Electricity powered buses - "A Sustainable mass mobility solution for Africa" - Manufactured by Uganda's Kira Motors Co-operation(KMC), the country's Kayoola EVS electric buses can carry up to 90 passengers for distances up to 300 km. They have special seats and a ramp for people with disabilities and also carry automated hand sanitizing technology. They are also equipped with USB power outlets and wifi capabilities, and they provide a high return on investment for their owners. Drawbacks, however, include that they take longer to recharge and the company that produces them has low production capacity. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @yohan2on.)
- Video Friday: Jet-Powered Flying Humanoid Robot Gets One Step Closer - Subtitle: Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos - This week, the videos include: A simulation of a jet-powered flying humanoid and discussion of jet-powered robotics; Soft robots that are learning to see and classify the objects that they interact with; A promo video for anti-epidemic robots from UBTECH; A sensorized foot on a legged robot that can assess the quality of subterranean concrete;and more...
Here is a granular robot that can walk on uneven terrain at speeds up to 40% faster than previous designs:
Discuss in comments, which video is your favorite?
- Computer Chess: Longest-Running Experiment in Computing Science - The longest running experiment in Computer Science was launched on August 31, 1970 and continues to this day and into the foreseeable future. The goal was to build a chess program that was capable of meeting and exceeding human abilities. Many people think that the history of computer chess ends in 1997, when IBM's Deep Blue achieved a victory over chess grandmaster, Gary Kasparov. This is far from the truth, however. In fact, computers started in 1970 with ratings estimated at around 1400, whereas today's programs achieve scores up to 4000. For comparison, Gary Kasparov's chess rating was scored at 2851 in 1999, and he eventually retired with a rating of 2812. In 2018, Magnus Carlson's rating was 2835. -h/t Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence
- The Public Is Being Misled by Pandemic Technology That Won’t Keep Them Safe - Subtitle: Technology like thermal imaging is little more than security theater - This essay argues that, as a pandemic response, thermal imaging represents a form of solutionism where people demand solutions, whether or not they are possible or useful. In fact, it says, thermal imaging - like other forms of security theater - make things more dangerous because people trust in a solution that solves nothing. Problems with using thermal imaging for pandemic prevention include that (i) It is not calibrated for medical use; (ii) the accuracy reduces with distance; (iii) they are imprecise when used in crowds, where precision is most important; (iv) False positives will stigmatize people and reduce productivity; (v) False negatives will put people at risk. -h/t Bruce Schneier
- Hair-bearing human skin generated entirely from pluripotent stem cells - Researchers were able to culture fully functional skin cells, complete with hair-bearing capability from human stem cells. The incubation period is reported to be four or five months, and the authors suggest that this technique can be used for disease modelling and reconstructive skin surgery. It seems likely that the technique can also be used, eventually, to reverse baldness. -h/t Daniel Lemire
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