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Archive for the ‘law’ category

Aug 5, 2018

Facebook’s chief AI scientist says that Silicon Valley needs to work more closely with academia to build the future of artificial intelligence

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, robotics/AI

That’s what we are after, with AI. Understanding intelligence in machines, animals and humans, is one of the great scientific challenges of our times and building intelligent machines is one of the greatest technological challenges of our times. No single entity in industry, academia or public research has a monopoly on the good ideas that will achieve these goals. It’s going to take the combined effort of the entire research community to make progress in the science and technology of intelligence.


Facebook is taking an unusual recruitment model championed in law and medicine and applying it to artificial intelligence — and it’s working.

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Aug 4, 2018

Scale-invariant magnetoresistance in a cuprate superconductor

Posted by in categories: evolution, law, quantum physics

Cuprate superconductors have many unusual properties even in the “normal” (nonsuperconducting) regions of their phase diagram. In the so-called “strange metal” phase, these materials have resistivity that scales linearly with temperature, in contrast to the usual quadratic dependence of ordinary metals. Giraldo-Gallo et al. now find that at very high magnetic fields—up to 80 tesla—the resistivity of the thin films of a lanthanum-based cuprate scales linearly with magnetic field as well, again in contrast to the expected quadratic law. This dual linear dependence presents a challenge for theories of the normal state of the cuprates.

Science, this issue p. 479

The anomalous metallic state in the high-temperature superconducting cuprates is masked by superconductivity near a quantum critical point. Applying high magnetic fields to suppress superconductivity has enabled detailed studies of the normal state, yet the direct effect of strong magnetic fields on the metallic state is poorly understood. We report the high-field magnetoresistance of thin-film La2–xSrxCuO4 cuprate in the vicinity of the critical doping, 0.161 ≤ p ≤ 0.190. We find that the metallic state exposed by suppressing superconductivity is characterized by magnetoresistance that is linear in magnetic fields up to 80 tesla. The magnitude of the linear-in-field resistivity mirrors the magnitude and doping evolution of the well-known linear-in-temperature resistivity that has been associated with quantum criticality in high-temperature superconductors.

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Aug 3, 2018

Why the world should adopt a basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, law, robotics/AI, security

A BASIC income (BI) is defined as a modest, regular payment to every legal resident in the community, paid unconditionally as a right, regardless of income, employment or relationship status.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.

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Aug 3, 2018

Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty ‘Inadmissible’ For Catholics

Posted by in category: law

Pope Francis has declared the death penalty ‘inadmissible’ for Catholics.

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Aug 1, 2018

The Universal Church: An Obscure Rule Puts This Bishop in Charge of the Moon

Posted by in categories: law, space

Bishop on the Moon?


It might sound strange, but in addition to encompassing nine counties and hundreds of cities, the Diocese of Orlando, Florida also has jurisdiction over an otherworldly object: the Moon. Why might you ask? The answer involves an obscure rule from 1917 and the Apollo 11 space mission.

On June 18th, 1968 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Florida was established. It would encompass much of the greater central Florida area, along with Cape Canaveral (We’ll get back to that later). William Donald Borders was ordained the first Bishop of Orlando. One year later, Bishop Borders would also become the first Bishop of the Moon.

Continue reading “The Universal Church: An Obscure Rule Puts This Bishop in Charge of the Moon” »

Jul 26, 2018

Ion Engine Startup Wants to Change the Economics of Earth Orbit

Posted by in categories: alien life, economics, engineering, finance, habitats, information science, law

For as long as she can remember, she’s puzzled over what’s out there. As a kid drifting off to sleep on a trampoline outside her family’s home near Portland, Ore., she would track the International Space Station. She remembers cobbling together a preteen version of the Drake Equation on those nights and realizing that the likelihood of intelligent alien life was something greater than zero. Star Trek marathons with her father catalyzed her cosmic thinking, as did her mother’s unexpected death when Bailey was 8. The house lost some of its order—some of its gravity—which led to more nights gazing skyward on the trampoline.

In college, Bailey got a hard-won paid internship at the now-merged aerospace giant Hamilton Sundstrand and joined a team repairing turbine engines. She hated it. “It was the opposite of pushing the envelope,” she says. “Nothing new ever went into that building. Nothing new ever left that building.”

By the time she set off to get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Duke University, the idea of logging 30 years at a place like Boeing Cor NASA had lost all appeal. She tried her hand at finance and later law, and was unlucky enough to excel at both. “I made it pretty far down that path, but then I thought, Wait, if I become a lawyer, then I’m a lawyer and that’s what I do,” she recalls. “What if I don’t want to do that on Tuesdays?”

Continue reading “Ion Engine Startup Wants to Change the Economics of Earth Orbit” »

Jul 23, 2018

Designer babies on horizon as ethics council gives green light to genetically edited embryos

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, genetics, law, neuroscience

Designer babies are on the horizon after an influential group of scientists concluded that it could be ‘morally permissible’ to genetically engineer human embryos.

In a new report which opens the door to a change in the law, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, said that DNA editing could become an option for parents wanting to ‘influence the genetic characteristics of their child.’

Although it would be largely used to cure devastating genetic illnesses, or predispositions to cancers and dementia, the experts said they were not ruling out cosmetic uses such as making tweaks to increase height or changing eye or hair colour, if it would make a child more successful.

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Jul 21, 2018

Who owns the moon? A space lawyer answers

Posted by in categories: education, law, space

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

When people hear for the first time that I am a lawyer practicing and teaching something called “,” the question they ask most frequently, often with a big smile or a twinkle in the eye, is: “So tell me, who owns the moon?”

Of course, claiming new national territories had been very much a European habit, applied to non-European parts of the world. In particular the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the French and the English created huge colonial empires. But while their attitude was very Europe-centric, the legal notion that planting a flag was an act of establishing sovereignty quickly stuck and became accepted worldwide as part and parcel of the law of nations.

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Jul 16, 2018

British caver considering legal action after Elon Musk ‘pedo’ tweet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, law

A British caver who helped rescue 12 boys from a Thai cave said Monday he may take legal action against Elon Musk after the entrepreneur called him a “pedo.”


Tesla CEO Musk launched the extraordinary tirade against Vernon Unsworth without providing any justification or explanation, after the cave expert slammed his offer of a miniature submarine to extract the footballers from the Tham Luang cave as a ‘PR stunt.’ Current top breaking Philippine headlines regarding the nation, world, metro manila, regions and exclusive special investigative reports.

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Jul 16, 2018

Aston Martin

Posted by in categories: law, policy, security, transportation

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