Phone(y) Robots

 

A health insurance company is using a high-tech robot telemarketer to harass potential customers, and attempting to pass the charming female voice off a real person.

‘Samantha West’ from Premier Health Plans Inc. called TIME magazine reporter Michael Scherer on his cell recently and doggedly refused to deviate from her script, even when he asked point blank if she was a robot.

Her goal was to ask a series of questions about health coverage such as ‘Are you on Medicare?’ and then transfer the call to an actual person to close the sale.

But, while insisting multiple times  that she herself was ‘a real person,’ something wasn’t quite convincing  about her bright, engaging voice, and scores of comments have cropped up on internet chatrooms, complaining of the persistent lady who keeps  calling them. read more

A Cybernetic Implant That Repairs Brain Damage

A Cybernetic Implant That Repairs Brain Damage

There may be an answer for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. It’s a device called a brain-machine-brain interface — and it has the potential to revolutionize the way brain damage is treated in humans.

As it stands, there is no effective way to treat damage and improve function after someone experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is a problem for the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from TBI and the 800,000 stroke victims who suffer weakness or paralysis in the U.S. annually. read more

Nothing Creepy About Facebook Plan

Facebook wants to become your new best friend by knowing everything about you – and it’s going to happen whether you like it not.

From the bottles of beer you drink, to the places you visit on vacation, the social networking site will compile everything there is to know about you (and the billion other people online) – and then make sense of it with the hope of selling better, targeted advertising in your news feed.

The social networking giant has teamed up with New York University to set up a research lab designed to learn about artificial intelligence.

Making sense of it all: Facebook unveiled plans on a partnership with New York University for a new centre for artificial intelligence, aimed at harnessing the huge social network's massive trove of data
Making sense of it all: Facebook unveiled plans on a partnership with New York University for a new centre for artificial intelligence, aimed at harnessing the huge social network’s massive trove of data read more

Higgs Couldn’t Get a Job

Peter Higgs: 'Today I wouldn't get an academic job. It's as simple as that'.

Peter Higgs: ‘Today I wouldn’t get an academic job. It’s as simple as that’. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

 

Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today’s academic system because he would not be considered “productive” enough.

The emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or even made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers after his groundbreaking work, which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass, was published in 1964. read more

Yellowstone Supervolcano ‘Even More Colossal’

Yellowstone hot spring
Hot springs are surface evidence of the huge magma chamber that sits beneath Yellowstone

 

The supervolcano that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in the US is far larger than was previously thought, scientists report.

A study shows that the magma chamber is about 2.5 times bigger than earlier estimates suggested.

A team found the cavern stretches for more than 90km (55 miles) and contains 200-600 cubic km of molten rock.

The findings are being presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco. read more

Back to the Moon

America is to pay the moon a visit for the first time since Apollo 17 touched down there more than 40 years ago.

The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals.

The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing.

 
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
 
 
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals read more

Where’s All the Global Warming?

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

I don’t normally like to bash others just because they have a different point of view. However, regarding this topic, I take pleasure in verbally beating up on those members of the Church of Perpetual Heat; the man-made Global Warming nuts.

 

We in realville, as Rush calls it, realize that a cold winter does not equal a global cooling trend, but neither does a hot summer prove global warming.

 

Yet that is exactly what we hear from the so-called warming experts whenever the temperature drifts above 100°F. When the temperature dips, the same fools either ignore it or call it climate change.

 

We don’t normally hear from the “true believers”. We hear mostly from those who have and continue to benefit financially from the warming farce and those who just want control.

 

One can’t really blame the ignorant true believer. They have been pummeled, year after year, with the propagandist threats of “change your lifestyle to save the planet and reduce your carbon footprint”.

 

Yet here we are setting negative temperature records across the United States and it’s not even winter.

 

The city of Portland Oregon, with its record-setting cold temperatures, opened warming shelters this past weekend. The director of a local Portland nonprofit said his main job was just to keep people alive.

 

At the same time we in the United States are freezing our backsides off, the UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, is busy trying to shut down coal-fired power plants worldwide.

 

As we know, coal is dirty and icky and pollutes mother Earth. It causes excess greenhouse gases which leads to global warming, don’t you know. Tell that to Portland’s homeless, dying in the streets from exposure.

 

The head of the World Coal Association, Milton Catelin said Figueres is, “ignoring reality. She comes from a perspective where the only challenge in the world today is global warming”.

 

Figueres is a man-made global warming nut, who just happens to come from tropical Costa Rica, where the high temperatures year-round are in the mid-80s and the lows in the high 60s, so naturally she has experienced nothing but warming.

 

A few days ago Rush Limbaugh mentioned a ridiculous article written in 2000 by Charles Onians. It appeared in the UK independent and was entitled: “Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past”.

 

He wrote that warming, “is now accepted as reality in the international community”. He claimed that warming manifests itself in warmer winters and hotter summers. Brilliant!

 

The money quote is: “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”. I guess “the children” didn’t attend any NFL games this past weekend or end up in a multicar pileup due to excessive ice and snow.

 

So here we are, a mere 13 years after Mr. Onians wrote his dimwitted article, and what do we hear?

 

A new cold temperature record has been set in East Antarctica. Although when all there is is ice and snow, how does one tell East Antarctica from West? Just asking.

 

Anyway, the temperature recorded was… are you ready for this?… -135.8°F. What does the U.N. have to say about that, Ms. Figueres?

 

Makes one wonder just how cold it would be without all this man-made global warming?

Freshwater Reserves Discovered

Vast freshwater reserves have been discovered under the ocean floor which scientists believe could sustain future generations.

Australian researchers claim to have found 500,000 cubic kilometres (120,000 cubic miles) of freshwater buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

The discovery comes as United Nations estimates suggest water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population of the world over the last century. read more

Revolutionary Way To Let Amputees Feel

 

Researchers in Ohio have found a revolutionary way to let amputees feel what they’re touching with prosthetic hands.

The team from Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University has created a means of letting users feel more sensations, better, and with more sustained results than ever before.

While others have hade lukewarm success at connecting nerves with electrodes, this team’s special technique has created remarkable results.

Scroll down for video…

Common problem: Test subject Igor Spetic demonstrates his inability to pluck the stem from a cherry without crushing it when the sensors in his hand are turned off
Common problem: Test subject Igor Spetic demonstrates his inability to pluck the stem from a cherry without crushing it when the sensors in his hand are turned off read more

Global-Warming ‘Proof’ is Evaporating

The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way.

Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed. read more