Archive for November, 2019

Never Surrender is a heartfelt tribute to sci-fi action comedy Galaxy Quest

November 30th, 2019

Trailer for Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary.

Galaxy Quest, the glorious 1999 science fiction action comedy starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver (among others), will turn 20 on December 25 of this year. And what better way to celebrate this important milestone than with a documentary feature? Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is an entertaining, heartfelt tribute that comes to us (believe it or not) from the same folks behind the wildly popular online Honest Trailers series.

(Spoilers for Galaxy Quest below.)

The premise of the movie is deceptively simple: what if aliens watched transmissions of a popular science fiction TV show from Earth and thought it was real? An alien race called the Thermians model their entire society on the principles of a fictional Galaxy Quest TV show, building real, functional versions of the spaceship and much of the technology from the series. When their very existence is threatened by a reptilian humanoid general from another species named Roth'h'ar Sarris, they travel to Earth to ask their heroes for help—arriving in the middle of a Galaxy Quest fan convention.

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Posted in documentary, Entertainment, film, galaxy quest, Gaming & Culture, IGN | Comments (0)

Cyber Monday Deal: The New iPad 10.2 Is Just $229 ($100 off)

November 30th, 2019
If you're in the market for a tablet, this Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 deal is probably the best you'll find this holiday season.

Posted in Gear, Gear / Deals | Comments (0)

Hack The Box – Heist Write-up by 0xRick

November 30th, 2019
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Quantum computing’s also-rans and their fatal flaws 

November 30th, 2019
Extreme closeup of computer chip.

Enlarge / IBM's 16-qubit quantum computer from 2017. (credit: IBM quantum experience)

Last month, Google claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy—the overblown name given to the step of proving quantum computers can deliver something that a classical computer can't. That claim is still a bit controversial, so it may yet turn out that we need a better demonstration.

Independently of the claim, it's notable that both Google and its critics at IBM have chosen the same type of hardware as the basis of their quantum computing efforts. So has a smaller competitor called Rigetti. All of which indicates that the quantum-computing landscape has sort of stabilized over the last decade. We are now in the position where we can pick some likely winners and some definite losers.

Why are you a loser?

But why did the winners win and the losers lose?

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Posted in Bose Einstein condensates, nitrogen vacancy centers, photonic qubits, quantum computing, Rydberg atoms, science, transmon qubits | Comments (0)

Space Photos of the Week: Eyes in the Sky

November 30th, 2019
New satellite imagery of the Milky Way, plus an astronaut-shot photo of Earth.

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The 25 Most Dangerous Software Vulnerabilities

November 30th, 2019
DMV privacy, a password ruling, and more of the week's top security news.

Posted in security, Security / Security News | Comments (0)

Scott Adams Has Some Ideas for a Calmer Internet

November 30th, 2019
A new book from the 'Dilbert' creator, who came under fire for supporting Donald Trump in 2016, lays out some ground rules for online civility.  

Posted in culture, Culture / Culture Podcast | Comments (0)

Google attempts to protect users from sketchy stem cell clinics

November 30th, 2019
Google logo seen during Google Developer Days (GDD) in Shanghai, China, September 2019.

Enlarge / Google logo seen during Google Developer Days (GDD) in Shanghai, China, September 2019. (credit: Lyu Liang | VCG | Getty Images)

Transplanted stem cells can be as lifesaving as donated organs, but the Food and Drug Administration in September warned consumers that some stem cell clinics only pretend to be in the business of miraculous recoveries.

Now, Google is attempting to protect its users after years of showing ads for questionable stem cell treatments. The company stated that it will stop allowing "bad actors" to post Google ads that "take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments." Enforcement of the new policy started at the end of October, said Google spokesperson Alex Krasov. That change, while helpful, is unlikely to shutter clinics that cloak themselves in a façade of reputable science in order to peddle questionable stem cell treatments.

The risky business of unproven treatments

Different types of stem cell treatments are at varying stages of development. Transplants of bone-marrow stem cells are well-established treatments for a number of cancers. But the identification of other types of stem cells has allowed researchers to develop new therapies that are just beginning to enter clinical testing. Unfortunately, many stem cell clinics have latched on to the hype and are offering unapproved treatments for which there is no experimental evidence.

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Posted in Biology, bogus therapies, clinical trials, google, medicine, Policy, science, stem cells | Comments (0)

How Overexcited Neurons Might Affect How You Age

November 30th, 2019
New research makes a molecular connection between the brain and aging—and shows that overactive neurons can shorten life span.

Posted in science, Science / Physics and Math | Comments (0)

This Is an Extinction Crisis, and Some Species Are Loving It

November 30th, 2019
A controversy over how many species are disappearing is raising questions about how species adapt, and which ones are the ultimate winners and losers.

Posted in science, Science / Environment | Comments (0)