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Stephen Hawking pledges support for $100 million fund to find aliens

Russian tech investor Yuri Milner is on a mission to answer a fundamental human question: are we alone in the universe. After putting money into projects like Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon among many others, Milner plans to spend $100 million on Breakthrough Listen, a project that will monitor space for messages or signals from extraterrestrial life.

Underwater farmers grow strawberries in balloon gardens - New Scientist

The transparent "biospheres" beneath the Bay of Noli, in Savona, Italy, are part of the three-year-old Nemo's Garden project, which aims to find innovative ways of growing crops in places that lack freshwater or fertile soil.

Resembling large balloons, the air-filled structures are anchored to the sea floor and float between 5 and 10 metres below the surface.

Inside, water condenses on the roof of the spheres, dripping back down to keep the plants watered, while the warm, near-constant sea temperature nurtures the plants.

Phys.Org Mobile: Microsoft age-estimate tool unleashed real-time virality

Microsoft has launched machine-learning APIs in beta under the "Project Oxford" moniker. Its How-Old.net demo for this service went viral, reported Frederic Lardinois in TechCrunch on Thursday. How-Old uses some—but not all—of the new developer services that are part of "Project Oxford," he said. Meanwhile, Microsoft engineers Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian on Microsoft's Machine Learning blog told the related story about running a test and expecting, with luck, to get as many as 50 users. Unraveling before their eyes came the nature of the draw; the test drew over 35,000...

Stephen Hawking: Humanity Won't Survive Another 1,000 Years Without Leaving Earth

Hawking delivered a somber message to the sold-out crowd, regarding humanity's future - or lack thereof - on this planet:

"We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet."

New project plans to plant one billion trees a year using drone technology - ScienceAlert

Led by ex-NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, the team looked at the issue of how rapidly trees are being felled, and reasoned that on their own, people aren’t able to combat the problem. So why not use technology to combat technology? "We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation," they say on their website. "Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale deforestation is best combated using the latest automation technologies."

HOW IT WORKS: THE OCULUS RIFT

After three years of development, the Oculus Rift—the most advanced virtual reality (VR) headset ever created—is nearly ready for its consumer release. The Rift is hardly the first VR headset (remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy?), but it’s set to succeed where others failed. Today’s displays are sharper and smaller, the processors are more powerful, and the head-tracking sensors are more accurate. For users, that translates into more immersive experiences from a more compact device.
The first VR demonstrations will probably be games. Imagine titles that plunge players into...

Impossible Rube Goldberg machine cleverly breaks the concept of reality

When you live in the carefully edited Vine world of magic and wizardry and spells and sorcery, you can make anything happen. Zach King is the master of flipping the construct of reality on its head and transforming things into something entirely different. Take this Rube Goldberg machine that starts out normally and then gets weird right before your eyes.

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