Alex Torex Blog

SciTech oriented blog

Sony Xperia Z3X Specifications Rumored

An AnTuTu listing for Sony Xperia Z3X has surfaced online. According the specifications mentioned in this listing the Xperia Z3X will have a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with a whopping 4GB of RAM and equally powerful Adreno 430 graphics processor. A 6.2-inch 1,600×2,560 pixel resolution Quad HD display is also mentioned in the specs.

Rumor has it that this will be the first smartphone to come with Sony’s curved camera sensors, a relatively new technology which apparently simulates curvature of a human eye to provide more realistic pictures. It is reportedly going to be a 2/3″ sensor with a wide F1.2 aperture.

Sony Xperia Z3X Specifications Rumored | Ubergizmo

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

Everyday drugs could give extra years of life

Evidence is emerging that some widely used drugs can prolong lifespan for well people – and insiders have started taking them off-label

MILLIONS of people are taking anti-ageing drugs every day – they just don’t know it. Drugs to slow ageing sound futuristic but they already exist in the form of relatively cheap medicines that have been used for other purposes for decades.

Now that their promise is emerging, some scientists have started using them off-label in the hope of extending lifespan – and healthspan. “We are already treating ageing,” said gerontologist Brian Kennedy at the International Symposium on Geroprotectors in Basel, Switzerland, last week, where the latest results were presented. “We have been doing ageing research all along but we didn’t know it.”

Last year Google took its first steps into longevity research with the launch of Calico, an R&D firm that aims to use technology to understand lifespan. Geneticist Craig Venter announced he is pursuing a similar goal via genome sequencing. Now pharmaceutical companies look set to join in. At the conference, the head of Swiss drug firm Novartis said research into “geroprotectors” or longevity drugs was a priority.

Google and Venter’s plans may have injected an over-hyped field with a measure of credibility but they are unlikely to bear fruit for some time. Yet evidence is emerging that some existing drugs have modest effects on lifespan, giving an extra 10 years or so of life. “We can develop effective combinations for life extension right now using available drugs,” says Mikhail Blagosklonny of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York.

One of the most promising groups of drugs is based on a compound called rapamycin. It was first used to suppress the immune system in organ transplant recipients, then later found to extend lifespan in yeast and worms. In 2009, mice were added to the list when the drug was found to lengthen the animals’ lives by up to 14 per cent, even though they were started on the drug at 600 days old, the human equivalent of being about 60.


This led to an explosion of research into whether other structurally similar compounds – called rapalogs – might be more potent. Now the first evidence has emerged of one such drug having an apparent anti-ageing effect in humans. A drug called everolimus, used to treat certain cancers, partially reversed the immune deterioration that normally occurs with age in a pilot trial in people over 65 years old.

Immune system ageing is a major cause of disease and death. It is why older people are more susceptible to infections, and why they normally have a weaker response to vaccines.

That weak response, however, has proved useful for studying ageing, as it provides an easy read-out of immune system health. “In humans you can’t do decades-long clinical trials,” says Novartis researcher Joan Mannick. Instead, the company looked at a proxy that would quickly show results.

They gave 218 people a six-week course of everolimus, followed by a regular flu vaccine after a two-week gap. Compared with those given a placebo, everolimus improved participants’ immune response – as measured by the levels of antibodies in their blood – by more than 20 per cent, to two out of the three vaccine strains tested.

Of the three everolimus doses tested, the highest caused fatigue and mouth ulcers, while two lower doses had no apparent ill effects. Previous experiments in mice with rapamycin suggest this class of drug acts by inhibiting a protein called mTOR. mTOR also seems to be affected by calorie restriction – the strategy of trying to live longer by eating less.

mTOR is involved in sensing the level of nutrients available within cells, so one idea is that when times are scarce, cells shift into energy-conserving mode, which has knock-on anti-ageing effects, including on the immune system.

Mannick stresses that the study needs repeating, and the big question, of whether the drug keeps the participants healthier, can only be settled by long-term follow-up. There’s also the issue of side effects beyond those seen in the trial. High doses of rapamycin used in organ transplants seem to nudge the recipient’s metabolism into a prediabetic state – a harm that might outweigh its anti-ageing effect.

For now, it is an encouraging sign that rapalogs have similar effects in people as in mice, at least on the immune system, says Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of biotech firm InSilico Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Everyday remedies

And rapalogs are not the only game in town. The most commonly used medicine for type 2 diabetes, metformin, also seems to extend the lifespan of many small animals, including mice, by around 5 per cent.

There have been no trials of metformin as a longevity drug in people, but a recent study hinted that it might have a similar effect. The study was designed to compare metformin with another diabetes medicine, using records of 180,000 UK patients. To tease out the differences between the drugs, people who started taking them were compared with people without diabetes who had been closely matched for age and other health factors, and tracked over five years.

Surprisingly, diabetics taking metformin were not only less likely to die in that time than those on the other medicine but they were also about 15 per cent less likely to die than people without diabetes who took neither drug. “This shows we already have a drug that we can potentially use in humans,” says Nir Barzilai, who heads the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Other familiar drugs might also fit the bill. Low-dose aspirin and statins are widely taken by healthy people to reduce their risk of heart disease. Both extend lifespan in animals and seem to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Inflammation is one of the proposed mechanisms behind ageing, so aspirin and statins could be effective heart drugs in part because they slow ageing, says Kennedy, who heads the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California.

The fact that common mechanisms seem to be behind the major diseases of ageing, like heart disease, stroke and dementia, is good news, as it suggests we should be able to extend our lifespan while also extending healthspan, according to many conference speakers. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine an effective longevity agent that worked without alleviating or delaying such conditions. Rapamycin, for instance, has been found to reduce the cognitive decline that accompanies ageing in animals.

Some researchers are already convinced and have started taking various combinations of drugs – including low-dose rapamycin. Blagosklonny is one such convert, and he’s not alone: “I know many people at this meeting who are taking it,” he said. No doctor would advise such a move, though, as rapamycin’s potential for causing diabetes could well outweigh its anti-ageing effects.

Nevertheless, the fact that anti-ageing prescription drugs are being developed at all is a measure of how far the longevity field has come, says Zhavoronkov. “It’s the first time pharma has embraced ageing.”

This article appeared in print under the headline “Elixir of youth? It’s already here”

Leader:Life-extending drugs take humanity into new territory

The disease of ageing

While some existing medicines have the potential to extend our lifespan by a few years, drug companies want to develop more potent longevity agents that can be patented.

But getting the drugs approved could be a challenge, as regulatory bodies in the US and Europe do not currently recognise “ageing” as a medical condition that needs treating.

The answer is for firms to initially seek approval of their drug as a treatment for a specific age-related condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, and only then seek to demonstrate their broader powers, says Dan Perry of the US-based non-profit organisation the Alliance for Aging Research. “They’re going to fly under the radar.”

Novartis is currently exploring if its cancer drug, everolimus, can reinvigorate the immune system in older people (see main story). If it is canny, it will seek regulatory approval of the drug as an immune booster, rather than a longevity agent, predicts Alex Zhavoronkov of biotech firm InSilico Medicine.

Everyday drugs could give extra years of life – health – 01 October 2014 – New Scientist

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Health - Anti-aging | Leave a comment

Massive electrode array system will do first large-scale network recording of brain activity

The Neural Technology Group will work with UCSF researchers to design and build electrode arrays that can record hundreds to thousands of brain cells simultaneously. Their goal is to develop 1,000-plus channel arrays that can eventually be expanded to 10,000 channels.

These arrays will use new microchips designed at Intan that will send data to a system developed at SpikeGadgets. UCSF will coordinate these efforts and test the technologies. The arrays will penetrate multiple regions of the brain without interfering with normal functions during the experiments, allowing for detailed studies of brain circuits that underlie behavior.

The system also will be designed for compatibility with optogenetic stimulation, a technique that uses light sensitive proteins and light to manipulate neural activity. This technique allows researchers to target specific neurons or cells for recording.

Massive electrode array system will do first large-scale network recording of brain activity | KurzweilAI

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Neuroscience | Leave a comment

MIT researchers design ‘perfect’ solar absorber

MIT researchers say they have developed a material that comes very close to the “ideal” for converting solar energy to heat (for conversion to electricity).

It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is re-radiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.

The material is a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal, and has the additional benefits of absorbing sunlight from a wide range of angles and withstanding extremely high temperatures. It can also be made cheaply at large scales.

MIT researchers design ‘perfect’ solar absorber | KurzweilAI

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Technology - Green | Leave a comment

First Ebola case diagnosed in US confirmed by CDC

In the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today through laboratory tests that a person who had traveled to Dallas from Liberia  was hospitalized Sept. 28 for testing for Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

Local public health officials have begun identifying close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure, CDC said, adding that the ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring.

The World  Health Organization predicts numbers will continue to climb exponentially. More than 20 000 people will have been infected by early November, according to an open-access article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

First Ebola case diagnosed in US confirmed by CDC | KurzweilAI

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Is the cure for acne lurking in our ARMPITS? Sweat-eating bacteria could help clear complexions

The discovery of a sweat-eating bacteria may lead to better treatments from acne and serious wounds, researchers have claimed. 

Researchers found bacteria that metabolise ammonia – a major component of sweat – may improve skin health and could even be used for the treatment of skin disorders.

They say it could be particularly effective against acne – the most common skin disorder in the country, affecting 40 million to 50 million Americans. 

Is the cure for acne lurking in our ARMPITS? Sweat-eating bacteria could help clear complexions | Daily Mail Online

October 1, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Beer can make you SMARTER – but only if you drink 3,500 pints a day

  • Researchers have demonstrated that Xanthohumol – a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer – improved cognitive function in young mice 
  • Scientists think xanthohumol could be used to treat metabolic syndrome – associated with obesity – as well as age-related deficits in memory
  • Experts at Oregon State University believe they have taken a step to understanding the degradation of memory that happens with age 
  • Levels of xanthohumol used in the study were possible using supplements – so a human would have to drink 2,000 litres of beer to see any effect 

Beer can make you SMARTER – but only if you drink 3,500 pints a day | Daily Mail Online

September 30, 2014 Posted by | Health - Nutrition | Leave a comment

Swastika and rings among symbols etched into Khazakhstan landscape

  • Geoglyphs are large works of art made by etching shapes into the earth or arranging objects like stones
  • The latest geoglyphs range in size from 300 to 1300ft (90 to 400 metres), but who built them is a mystery
  • They were seen on Google Earth by Kostanay University in Kazakhstan and Vilnius University in Lithuania
  • Scientists believe the strange structures may have been used to perform ancient rituals or to mark territory

Swastika and rings among symbols etched into Khazakhstan landscape | Daily Mail Online

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Science | Leave a comment

Facebook’s internet-providing drones could be in use by 2018

  • Facebook’s drones are set to soar at 65,000ft (19,800 metres) 
  • They will provide web access to remote areas of the world
  • The crafts will be as large as Boeing 747 jet liners, but much lighter
  • They will be trialled over an unspecified location in the US next year
  • Drones could be fully operational and deployed within five years
  • Facebook has joined forces with other tech firms to help develop the planes 

Facebook’s internet-providing drones could be in use by 2018 | Daily Mail Online

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Is this our earliest ancestor? Bizarre round 600-million-year-old fossils may be the remains of the world’s oldest creatures

Spherical fossils in China dating back 600 million years could be the remains of the planet’s earliest animals.

The fossils are 60 million years older than the date skeletal animals appeared during a huge growth spurt of new life on Earth known as the Cambrian Explosion.

Virginia scientists claim the fossils are too complex to be bacteria, and may instead be the embryos of an ancient unidentified creatures.

Is this our earliest ancestor? Bizarre round 600-million-year-old fossils may be the remains of the world’s oldest creatures | Daily Mail Online

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Origin of Life | Leave a comment

New breast cancer drug cocktail shows ‘unprecedented’ boost to patient’s lifespan

A new breast cancer drug from Roche has shown ‘unprecedented’ benefits in extending lives in a clinical trial.

Patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER2 positive, which makes up about a quarter of all breast cancers, who were given Perjeta on top of older medicine Herceptin and chemotherapy lived 15.7 months longer than those on Herceptin and chemotherapy alone.

Experts urged its widespread use for women with an aggressive form of the disease. 

New breast cancer drug cocktail shows ‘unprecedented’ boost to patient’s lifespan | Daily Mail Online

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Health - Oncology | Leave a comment

Samsung Launches SD590C 27-Inch Curved LED Monitor |

Samsung is building up its portfolio of curved screens and the latest addition to that list is a 27-inch curved LED monitor, the SD590C. The company says that its engineers conducted “extensive research” to ascertain the optimal monitor curve radius which is why the monitor’s 4000R curvature provides wider field of view than flat 27-inch panels.

Samsung Launches SD590C 27-Inch Curved LED Monitor | Ubergizmo

September 29, 2014 Posted by | IT Hardware | Leave a comment

Ultra-low-energy-consuming transistors and circuits

European project E2SWITCH is developing new electronic systems with ultra-low energy consumption, based on tunnel FET (TFET) heterostructures for switches (transistors) and circuits.

The idea is to design that will be built on silicon substrates but designed to operate at voltages that are up to five times lower than those used in mobile phones, while reducing thermal dissipation.

Transistors and circuits based on lower voltages result in reduced energy expenditures compared to current CMOS technology.

The EPFL is coordinating this new European research project, which involves six universities and research institutes, and companies IBM, CCS, and SCIPROM.

“Our objective is to make the next generation of transistors, [designed to] operate at voltages below 0.3 Volts and even as low as 0.1V,” explained Adrian Ionescu, an EPFL professor and the coordinator of E2SWITCH.

Mobile devices such as smart phones will be the first components to take advantage of such optimized electronics. along with sensors for gas and temperature and future computing systems, especially for cloud and big data applications using huge banks of servers, which represent a growing proportion of global electricity costs.

Ultra-low-energy-consuming transistors and circuits | KurzweilAI

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

David Lanz / Kristin Amarie – All is Calm

▶ David Lanz / Kristin Amarie ~ All is Calm – YouTube

September 28, 2014 Posted by | Music - Easy Listening | Leave a comment

Jupiter Ascending – New Trailer

▶ Jupiter Ascending – New Trailer – Official Warner Bros. In Cinemas Feb 6 – YouTube

September 27, 2014 Posted by | Movies | Leave a comment

Cosmic inflation is dead, long live cosmic inflation!

Inflation is dead, long live inflation! The very results hailed this year as demonstrating a consequence of inflationary models of the universe – and therefore pointing to the existence of multiverses – now seem to do the exact opposite. If the results can be trusted at all, they now suggest inflation is wrong, raising the possibility of cyclic universes that existed before the big bang.

In March experimentalists announced that primordial gravitational waves had been discovered. The team behind the BICEP2 Telescope in Antarctica had observed telltale twists and turns in the polarisation of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) – the remnants of the earliest light produced in the universe.

Physicists thought the discovery was preliminary confirmation of inflation: the idea that for a sliver of a moment after the big bang there was a blisteringly fast expansion of the universe. The theory, the most widely held of cosmological ideas about the growth of our universe after the big bang, explains a number of mysteries, including why the universe is surprisingly flat and so smoothly distributed, or homogeneous.

But very quickly, the BICEP2 finding was shrouded in doubt, as it was revealed that the polarisation pattern could have been caused by cosmic dust. Cosmologists are waiting for space-based Planck telescope to reveal whether the dust could really make that pattern, and preliminary results released last week suggest dust might be able to.

But this week a team of theorists decided to analyse the polarisation signature further and ask: if it isn’t completely caused by dust, what exactly does it say about inflation?

Rather than just looking at the polarisation to see if it suggests the existence of gravitational waves, David Parkinson at the University of Queensland in Australia and his colleagues decided to look at the nature of those apparent gravitational waves to see if they were the type of waves predicted by inflation. And they weren’t.

Counter to what the BICEP2 collaboration said initially, Parkinson’s analysis suggests the BICEP2 results actually rule out any reasonable form of inflationary theory.

Ruled out – possibly

Most inflationary models require that as you look at larger and larger scales of the universe, you should see stronger and stronger gravitational waves. Cosmologists call that a “gravitational wave spectrum”.

“What inflation predicted was actually the reverse of what we found,” says Parkinson. How many inflationary models does it rule out? “Most of them, to be honest.”

It’s not entirely impossible for inflation models to conform with what BICEP2 found if you do “really tricky” things to the mathematics, says Katherine Mack, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. But such tricky things would break something called the inflation consistency relation, she says, which is “something that’s considered pretty basic for inflation”. The inflation consistency relation links the amplitude of the primordial gravitational waves with the distribution of matter in the universe.

Alan Guth, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who pioneered the concept of inflation, says the new analysis is convincing, but not so convincing that he’s ready to give up on the possibility that BICEP2 has a signal of inflation in it. The paper by Parkinson and his colleagues is “certainly a negative indication for a signal”, he says, “but I will still reserve judgement until the joint analysis is released.”

Guth thinks there could still be a signal that supports simple inflationary models. And he emphasises that if the signal does end up being dust, that is not evidence against inflation, since most inflationary models predict a much smaller signal that would require more work to find. “If BICEP2 has not seen [evidence of] gravitational waves, then only certain inflationary models are ruled out, while the concept of inflation remains completely healthy.”

Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt at the Australian National University in Canberra, who has been critical of the theory of inflation, says he expects that further analysis will confirm that no gravitational waves were observed at all. “But on the other hand, if BICEP2 is shown to be correct, it’s exciting,” says Schmidt. “And it does potentially break standard inflation and therefore you are testing inflation and showing its wrong.”

Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who helped develop inflationary theory but is now scathing of it, says this is potentially a blow for the theory, but that it pales in significance with inflation’s other problems.

Meet the multiverse

Steinhardt says the idea that inflationary theory produces any observable predictions at all – even those potentially tested by BICEP2 – is based on a simplification of the theory that simply does not hold true.

“The deeper problem is that once inflation starts, it doesn’t end the way these simplistic calculations suggest,” he says. “Instead, due to quantum physics it leads to a multiverse where the universe breaks up into an infinite number of patches. The patches explore all conceivable properties as you go from patch to patch. So that means it doesn’t make any sense to say what inflation predicts, except to say it predicts everything. If it’s physically possible, then it happens in the multiverse someplaceMovie Camera.”

Steinhardt says the point of inflation was to explain a remarkably simple universe. “So the last thing in the world you should be doing is introducing a multiverse of possibilities to explain such a simple thing,” he says. “I think it’s telling us in the clearest possible terms that we should be able to understand this and when we understand it it’s going to come in a model that is extremely simple and compelling. And we thought inflation was it – but it isn’t.”

Bouncing universe

Steinhardt favours newer theories that don’t require inflation to smooth out the universe. Instead of relying on inflation, which would produce big gravitational waves in the CMB, Steinhardt suggests the universe might have existed before the big bang, and slowly collapsed in a big crunch, before bouncing back and expanding anew. He thinks that could explain the smoothness of the universe, without invoking multiverses. Not finding gravitational waves in the years to come will be the start of evidence for this theory, he says. Other observable predictions are being developed but it’s a relatively new theory and more work is needed.

Schmidt has also been critical of inflation but is more ambivalent. “It may well be that inflation does lead to a multiverse, but I would also say that I’m never sure of what we can and cannot predict. Ultimately it comes down to maybe there are things that are hard to know – like the multiverse. We may be in a shroud of ambiguity. But maybe not – we’re very, very good at coming up with things we never thought of before.”

The next step is to see what the Planck data – due in the next month – say about the exact nature of cosmic dust. With BICEP2 in place and several new instruments on their way, all the cosmologists New Scientist spoke to say it is an exciting time.

Cosmic inflation is dead, long live cosmic inflation! – physics-math – 25 September 2014 – New Scientist

September 27, 2014 Posted by | Cosmology | Leave a comment

Ultra-fast ‘phase-change materials’ could lead to 1,000-times-faster computers

Replacing silicon, new ultra-fast “phase-change materials” (PCMs) that could eventually enable processing speeds 500 to 1,000 times faster than the average laptop computer today — while using less energy — have been modeled and tested by researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Singapore A*STAR Data-Storage Institute, and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

PCMs are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states — one crystalline and conducting and the other glassy and insulating — in billionths of a second, increasing the number of calculations per second.

Also, logic operations and memory are co-located, rather than separated, as they are in silicon-based computers (causing interconnect delays and slowing down computation speed), and PCM devices can function down to about two nanometers (compared to the current smallest logic and memory devices based on silicon, which are about 20 nanometers in size). The researchers have also demonstrated that multiple parallel calculations are possible for PCM logic/memory devices.

Achieving record switching speed

The researchers used a new type of PCM based on a specific chalcogenide glass material that goes further: it can be melted and recrystallized in as little as 900 picoseconds (trillionths of a second) using appropriate voltage pulses.

PCM devices recently demonstrated to perform in-memory logic do have shortcomings: they do not perform calculations at the same speeds as silicon, and they exhibit a lack of stability in the starting amorphous phase.

However, the Cambridge and Singapore researchers found that, by performing the logic-operation process in reverse — starting from the crystalline phase and then melting the PCMs in the cells to perform the logic operations — the materials are both much more stable and capable of performing operations much faster.

The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Limits to miniaturization and speed 

The calculations performed by most computers, mobile phones, and tablets are carried out by silicon-based logic devices. The solid-state memory used to store the results of such calculations is also silicon-based. “However, as demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities,” said Professor Stephen Elliott of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research.

The primary method of increasing the power of computers has been to increase the number of logic devices that they contain by progressively reducing the size of the devices; but physical limitations for current device architectures mean this is quickly becoming nearly impossible to continue.

In addition, logic and memory devices are currently constructed in layers. As the devices are made ever smaller (to increase device density), eventually the gaps between the layers will get so small that electrons that are stored in certain regions of flash non-volatile memory devices will be able to tunnel out of the device, resulting in data loss.

New processor and memory-device materials

First developed in the 1960s, PCMs were originally used in optical-memory devices, such as re-writable DVDs. Now, they are starting to be used for electronic-memory applications and are beginning to replace silicon-based flash memory in some makes of smartphones.

The intrinsic switching, or crystallization, speed of existing PCMs is about ten nanoseconds, making them suitable for replacing flash memory. By increasing speeds even further, to less than one nanosecond (as demonstrated by the Cambridge and Singapore researchers in 2012), they could one day replace computer dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which needs to be continually refreshed, by a non-volatile PCM replacement.

“Eventually, what we really want to do is to replace both DRAM and logic processors in computers by new PCM-based non-volatile devices,” said Professor Elliott. “But for that, we need switching speeds approaching one nanosecond. Currently, refreshing of DRAM leaks a huge amount of energy globally, which is costly, both financially and environmentally. Faster PCM switching times would greatly reduce this, resulting in computers which are not just faster, but also much ‘greener’.”

Ultra-fast ‘phase-change materials’ could lead to 1,000-times-faster computers | KurzweilAI

September 27, 2014 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

AMD Radeon R9 390X Arrives In 1H 2015 With Liquid Cooling

According to digitimes the R9 390X will become available in 1H of 2015. This spans a six month period from January to June so it’s quite wide. It goes without saying that AMD will try to push the new card out as soon as it is ready.

The R9 390X is rumored to be based on the Fiji GPU core and is set to be a truly next generation product.
Built on TSMC’s 20m manufacturing process the new GPU will feature several new cutting edge technologies. In addition to being the first GPU to be built on the 20nm process the card is also rumored to be the first to utilize High Bandwidth Memory or HBM for short. Which is a 3D stacked memory technology that promises more than 2X the bandwidth of GDDR5 and at a considerably lower power envelope.

AMD Radeon R9 390X Arrives In 1H 2015 With Liquid Cooling

September 26, 2014 Posted by | IT Hardware | Leave a comment

Four ways you can see the multiverse

Every time you make a choice, you spawn a multitude of universes, leading to umpteen other yous – some of them living very different lives. This raises a myriad of moral conundrums, from what we owe our other selves to the death of hope.

Read more:Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves?

It sounds like a concept from a philosopher’s fevered imagination, but many physicists believe the multiverse is real. And they’ve got evidence – here are four here are four ways that multiverse may show itself in our everyday world.

1 The wave function

This mathematical entity describes the properties of any quantum system. Such properties –– an atom’s direction of spin, say –– can take several values at once, in what is known as quantum superposition. But when we measure such a property we only get a single value: – in the case of spin, it is either up or down.

In the traditional Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is said to “collapse” when the measurement is taken, but it isn’t clear how this happens. (Schrödinger’s famous cat, neither alive nor dead until someone looks inside its box, illustrates this.) In the multiverse, the wave function never collapses: rather, it describes the property across multiple universes. In this universe, the atom’s spin is up; in another universe, it’s down.

2 Wave-particle duality

In the landmark experiment, photons are were sent one at a time towards a pair of slits, with a phosphorescent screen behind them. Take a measurement at either slit, and you’ll register individual photons passing particle-like through one or the other. But leave the apparatus alone, and an interference pattern will build up on the screen, as if each photon had passed through both slits simultaneously and diffracted at each, like a classical wave.

This dual character has been described as the “central mystery” of quantum mechanics. In the Copenhagen interpretation, it is down to wave function collapse. Left to its own devices, each photon would pass through both slits simultaneously: the measurement at the slit forces it to “choose”. One way to explain the interference pattern through many worlds, by contrast, is that each photon only ever goes through only one slit. – Tthe pattern comes about when a photon interacts with its clone passing through the other slit in a parallel universe.

3 Quantum computing

Though quantum computers are in their infancy, they are in theory incredibly powerful, capable of solving complex problems far faster than any ordinary computer. In the Copenhagen interpretation, this is because the computer is working with entangled “qubits” which can take many more states than the binary states available to the “bits” used by classical computers. In the multiverse interpretation, it’s because it conducts the necessary calculations in many universes at once.

Four ways you can see the multiverse – physics-math – 25 September 2014 – New Scientist

September 26, 2014 Posted by | Physics | Leave a comment

Black holes DON’T exist and Big Bang Theory is wrong, Laura Mersini-Houghton claims

  • Scientist claims she has mathematical proof black holes cannot exist
  • She said it is impossible for stars to collapse and form a singularity
  • Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton said she is still in ‘shock’ from the find
  • Previously, scientists thought stars much larger than the sun collapsed under their own gravity and formed black holes when they died
  • During this process they release a type of radiation called Hawking radiation
  • But new research claims the star would lose too much mass and wouldn’t be able to form a black hole
  • If true, the theory that the universe began as a singularity, followed by the Big Bang, could also be wrong

Black holes DON’T exist and Big Bang Theory is wrong, Laura Mersini-Houghton claims | Daily Mail Online

September 26, 2014 Posted by | Cosmology | Leave a comment


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