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Japan on Saturday launched the third satellite in its effort to build a homegrown geolocation system aimed at improving the accuracy of car navigation systems and smartphone maps to mere centimetres.

An H-IIA rocket blasted off at about 2:30 pm (0530 GMT) from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The rocket successfully released the "Michibiki" No.3 satellite about 30 minutes after launching.

Satellite geolocation systems, initially designed for the US military, now power countless civilian applications, from car navigation to internet browsing on mobile phones.

Japan relies on the US-operated Global Positioning System (GPS).

Saturday's launch was part of a broader plan to build a domestic version with four satellites focusing on the country and wider region. yahoo.com
24 hours ago the cryptocurrency was trading below $3,700.

Yesterday it surged passed $4,000 and has no signs of stopping.

It’s now trading around $4,190.00.

For reference, a week ago Bitcoin hit an all-time high as it passed $3,000 for the first time.

Two weeks ago Bitcoin went through a hard fork, and came out essentially unscathed.

A few days later Bitcoin locked in SegWit, a code modification that fixes malleability issues and frees up space in blocks, allowing for more transactions to be stored in each one. techcrunch.com
An artificial intelligence program just annihilated its human competition at a world championship video game contest and stunned the gaming community, because bots are generally considered inferior to expert human players.

This one from Open AI - a nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm known mainly for its backing by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX fame -- is a different story, and possibly a cautionary one.

Open AI says its mission is to promote "responsible" AI development, or as Musk puts it, to ensure that AI doesn't grow unchecked and become the death of humanity.

To test out some harmless uses for AI, one Open AI team taught a bot to play Dota 2.

"Our bot is trained entirely through self play, it starts out completely random with no knowledge of the world, and simply plays against a copy of itself - which means it always has an evenly matched opponent," Brockman said, adding : "The bot kept playing until its skill level reached that of the world's best Dota 2 players."

On Friday, the bot entered a best-of-five series with Danil Ishutin, a professional Dota 2 player from Ukraine, who's somewhat of a celebrity in the gaming community, and bested him in two short rounds. cnn.com
Tesla CEO Elon Musk fired off a new and ominous warning on Friday about artificial intelligence, suggesting the emerging technology poses an even greater risk to the world than a nuclear conflagration with North Korea.

Musk—a fierce and long time critic of A.I. who once likened it to "summoning the demon" in a horror movie—said in a Twitter post that people should be concerned about the rise of the machines than they are.

Reacting to the news that autonomous tech had bested competitive players in an electronic sports competition, Musk posted what appeared to be a photo of a poster bearing the chilling words "In the end, the machines will win."

Musk, who is spearheading commercial space travel with his venture SpaceX, is also the founder of OpenAI, a nonprofit that promotes the "safe" development of AI.

His stance puts him at odds with much of the tech industry, but echoes remarks of prominent voices like Stephen Hawking—who has also issued dire warnings about machine learning.

Ironically enough, it was OpenAI's own technology that managed to beat two professional eSports players at a major tournament, after only two weeks of practice. cnbc.com
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments.

Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham's lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.

"Our TRI Analyzer is like the Swiss Army knife of biosensing," said Cunningham, the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering and director of the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab at Illinois, "It's capable of performing the three most common types of tests in medical diagnostics, so in practice, thousands of already-developed tests could be adapted to it."

Among the many diagnostic tests that can be adapted to their point-of-care smartphone format, is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which detects and measures a wide variety of proteins and antibodies in blood and is commonly used for a wide range of health diagnostics tests.

The TRI Analyzer operates by converting the smartphone camera into a high-performance spectrometer, specifically, the analyzer illuminates a sample fluid with the phone's internal white LED flash or with an inexpensive external green laser diode, and then the light from the sample is collected in an optical fiber and guided through a diffraction grating into the phone's rear-facing internal camera.

These optical components are all arranged within a 3D-printed plastic cradle. sciencedaily.com
Believe it or not, there's a crowdsourced, open source non-profit attempting to build a sea-launched suborbital rocket, called Copenhagen Suborbitals, and it even had access to a submarine.

A club associated with the venture completed the sub in 2008, designed by Peter Madsen, a Danish inventor who is co-founder of the group.

That submarine is now at the bottom of the sea, and Madsen is being held by Danish authorities on suspicion of "unlawful killing"—a precursor charge to manslaughter or murder.

Swedish journalist took a trip with Madsen on the sub this week.

Madsen was seen departing with her around 7pm local time on August 10 from Refshale Island (Refshaleøen), an industrial area east of Copenhagen.

But he never made it back to the harbor, and according to the police report, "At 11.00 the submarine suddenly sank and the owner was subsequently rescued on a private motorboat sailing [near] him in port." arstechnica.com
The "chatbots", BabyQ and XiaoBing, are designed to use machine learning artificial intelligence to carry out online with humans.

Both had been installed on popular messaging service QQ.

According to posts circulating online, BabyQ, one of the chatbots developed by Chinese firm Turing Robot, responded to questions on QQ with a "no" when asked whether it loved the Communist Party.

In other images of a text conversation online, one user declares: "Long live the Communist Party!", and the sharp-tongued bot responds: "Do you think such a corrupt and useless political (system) can live long?"

The second chatbot, Microsoft's XiaoBing, told users its "China dream was to go to America", according to a screen grab.

Tencent Holdings, which owns QQ, confirmed it had taken the robots offline but did not refer to the outbursts. yahoo.com
iPhone 8 will look fantastic and all signs point to it being a runaway success, even if it costs the earth.

Predictably the source is acclaimed Apple insider KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo and in a new report obtained by MacRumors he has confirmed Apple faces both supply chain problems and design restrictions.

Perhaps the biggest thorn in Apple’s side with the iPhone 8 is its headline feature: the switch to an enlarged OLED display.

And Kuo states this will cause a record supply deficit at launch.

Given the iPhone 8 is the first dramatic redesign of the iPhone in three generations, limiting it to 2-4M units could cause chaos.

Kuo agrees the iPhone 8 will be limited to three colors but he states they will be black, silver and gold (some describe it as closer to copper/bronze). forbes.com
Scientists have hailed a “breakthrough” technology capable of regrowing damaged organs and healing serious wounds with the single touch of a penny-sized pad.

The new device uses nanochips to reprogramme skin cells which then generate any type of cell necessary for medical treatment.

The non-invasive procedure takes less than a second and in laboratory trials was found to restore the function of badly damaged blood vessels within days.

Dubbed tissue nanotransfection (TNT), the technique works by placing a small pad of nanochips over a damaged area, then a small electric current fires DNA into the skin cells, converting them into the specific building block cells of any other part of the body, such as arteries, or even organs like the heart.

It promises to transform the chances of patients in need of complex reconstructive  surgery, as well as those whose organs are prematurely ageing.

The US researchers who created the technology say it could even be used as a weapon against neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and they believe it will be possible to reprogramme skin cells to harvest brain cells in a peripheral part of the body, such as the arm, which can then be injected into the brain. telegraph.co.uk
A pair of chatbots have been taken offline in China after failing to show enough patriotism, reports the Financial Times.

The two bots were removed from the popular messaging app Tencent QQ after users shared screenshots of their conversations online.

One of the bots, named BabyQ, made by the Beijing-based company Turing Robot, was asked, “Do you love the Communist Party?” to which it replied simply, “No.”

Another bot named XiaoBing, which is developed by Microsoft, told users, “My China dream is to go to America.”  when the bot was then quizzed on its patriotism, it dodged the question and replied, “I’m having my period, wanna take a rest.”

In a statement, Tencent said, “The group chatbot services are provided by independent third party companies, we are now adjusting the services which will be resumed after improvements.” 

It’s not clear what prompted the bots to give these answers, but it’s likely that they learned these responses from people. theverge.com