Category Archives: Uncategorized

2017.05.08

Why Do Gas Station Prices Constantly Change? Blame the Algorithm.  Retailers are using artificial-intelligence software to set optimal prices on thousands of items a day, sometimes as often as every hour. Watch This Robot 3D Print a Building Out of Spray Foam.   … Continue reading

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2017.02.17

DESIGNER DRUGS, MICRO ROBOTS, DEEP SPACE MISSIONS.  The Origami Revolution. THE OPEN DATA SCIENCE CONFERENCE is coming to Boston on May 3.  

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If a Driverless Car Goes Bad, We May Never Know Why

Will Knight comments on how the recent Tesla autopilot crash highlights that  the increasing complexity of modern AI systems potentially outstrips our ability to comprehend them: Tesla hasn’t disclosed precisely how Autopilot works. But machine learning techniques are increasingly used to train automotive systems, … Continue reading

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New data and commentary on clinical research productivity

From BIO (a biotech trade organization), new data shows that over all trials, the 2006-2015 clinical development success rate was only 9.6% for phase I through approval.  Some disease areas have had better luck than others, but overall the report is a … Continue reading

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The Economy is not a car, and fiscal stimulus is not a gas pedal

Great observations from Arnold Kling, promoting his new ebook, Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics. I don’t buy into everything Arnold writes, but I do agree that there are problems with the paradigm of macroeconomists treating the economy like a homogenous GDP factory … Continue reading

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The knowledge economy is a myth. We don’t need more universities to feed it | Andre Spicer

Interesting take on the somewhat overhyped knowledge economy.  It’s a pretty accurate assesment in terms of the types of jobs we have in the economy (even in the 21st century) — but it neglects that fact that knowledge management and data analytics … Continue reading

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SpaceX plans a reusable booster landing test …

… on Saturday.  If all goes well, the SpaceX booster will land on a sea-based autonomous landing platform built from deep sea drilling rig components!

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Rosetta mission succeeds in landing on a comet

Really cool seeing the first ever images of the surface of a comet from the Rosetta mission, courtesy of the ESA. It really does look like a dirty snowball. Unfortunately it seems that the lander ended up in a shady … Continue reading

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Assorted Links

U.S. Treasury clampdown on tax inversions continues to ripple through industry: The AbbVie and Shire merger may be off.. The EU’s investigation of Apple’s Irish tax breaks probably had an influence as well. Shenzhen tech ecosystem disrupts Samsung and other … Continue reading

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Engineers use LEGOs for cheaper, flexible plant research

As reported by Mike Krapfl-Iowa State at Futurity.org, scientists have been constructing high-tech apparatus for conducting plant research using LEGO bricks: Ludovico Cademartiri, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University, was looking for something modular, scalable, and structurally precise. … Continue reading

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