5:1 Odds the Amsterdam Drone Show will be the Launch of Skynet

AIR Drone Show Amsterdam

Okay, so there’s a chance that the odds might not be that close, but you never know. Amsterdam will be the home of the first drone air show, AIR, and the accompanying video is pretty breathtaking.

Drones have been in the news more lately as an increased perception of privacy concerns puts many people off. Drones are used by the military to kill people. They’re used by government agencies to spy on people. They’re used by teen boys to get pictures of people at the beach or through their bedroom windows.

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Captain America Ring Pop. Nailed it.

Captain America Ring Pop. Nailed it.

It’s hard to tell whether this is just poor craftsmanship on behalf of the ring pop maker or a political statement about truth in advertising and the state of affairs in American politics.

Probably the Best Tilt Shift Picture You’ll See All Day

Giant Coin

The art of Tilt Shift Photography has had a damper put over it the last few years. The rise of software that can take any image and make give it a tilt shift effect has taken a cool process in the darkroom and turned it into a cheap series of button clicks.

Tilt shift uses depth of field simulation by blurring parts of an image to make it seem more distant or closer, giving the illusion of making an image look like a miniature representation. The image above produced by an unknown photographer is brilliant because he/she uses a prop, the giant coin, to give it that extra special awesomeness.

The Real Reason New England Must Be Punished for #DeflateGate

Bill Belichick DeflateGate

Whether or not you believe that the deflated balls used by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game is worth punishment or not relies on two factors: whether you have a passionate feeling (positive or negative) about the team and whether you believe in following rules strictly. Neither of these should have as much impact on the final resolution as one other major factor.

Personally, I’m a fan of the team and specifically of Tom Brady. He has to be in the discussion as a top 3 quarterback of all time based upon his longevity of success; this would be his 4th Super Bowl victory out of 6 appearances spread across 14 years if they win. I’m not a fan of Bill Belichick for the same reason that they should be punished for their actions.

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IBM’s Watson could help veterans suffering from PTSD

IBM’s Watson could help veterans suffering from PTSD

IBM’s artificially intelligent computer system, which goes by the name of Watson, has been making waves across numerous fields since it first gained international attention by beating the odds on Jeopardy! back in 2011. The potential for this kind of technology in everything from enterprise to medicine is virtually limitless.

This potential is why the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is turning to IBM to help them address the issues that have plagued the department for the past couple of years. From underreporting veteran complaints to slow response times, things have been so bad for the VA that the head of the department, Eric Shineski, eventually resigned.

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Russia is considering building its own space station

Russian Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) was created thanks to a combined effort from the United States, Europe, and Russia. For years it has served as example of the amazing things that the nations of the world can achieve when they set aside their difference and work together. Unfortunately, growing political tensions between Russia and the West could mean that another space station could be brought into the mix, except that this one would be exclusively Russian.

Russia’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis has caused the country’s relations with the West to be stretched to a near breaking point, and the trade sanctions that the West has imposed on the nation haven’t exactly calmed things down. With crumbling relationships impacting all areas of government, including the departments that’re working on space technology, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is seriously considering it’s own alternative to the ISS.

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Poisonous mushrooms could help create side effect-free drugs

Poisonous mushrooms could help create side effect-free drugs

While there are plenty of species of mushroom that are perfectly edible, there are even more that can make ill or even kill you if you eat one. In the process of studying how these fungi manage to be so poisonous, a team of researchers at Michigan State University may have discovered a way to create a new generation of pharmaceuticals with highly targeted side effects, according to Geek.

The study, which is available in the journal Chemistry and Biology, talks about a previously undiscovered enzyme that’s behind the deadliness of poisonous mushrooms. The study also reveals how the enzyme contributes to the manufacture of chemical compounds known as cyclic peptides, which is a type of molecule that many pharmaceutical companies favor.

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New calculations suggest aliens are most likely everywhere

New calculations suggest aliens are most likely everywhere

While it’s, statistically speaking, extremely unlikely that we aren’t the only intelligent life forms in the universe, the chances of us making contact with extra-terrestrials are slim. This according to the finding of the astrobiologist that provided a major update to the Drake equation, which is the key formula that scientists use to search for interstellar life, according to Motherboard.

The Drake equation was developed over six decades ago in order to give scientists a clue as to where life might exist in the universe. Up until now, however, the formulation has been limited by one major flaw, according to Engadget: its parameters aren’t constrained by any actual data.

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German police are testing out crime-predicting software

German police are testing out crime-predicting software

The spirit of Minority Report is alive and well inside the police of Berlin, who recently announced that they’re considering deploying advanced software that’s able to predict crime, according to the Daily Mail. The police have even dubbed the project “Precobs” in a nod to the term that was used in the Steven Spielberg film.

Minority Report, which was set in 2054, revolved around police officers that used a system known as the “precogs” that were able to predict crimes, and then prevented them before they ever happened. It seems like the world is a few decades ahead of schedule, as police officers in two American states and London’s Metropolitan Police are testing similar systems.

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Discarded laptop batteries could bring power to impoverished homes

Discarded laptop batteries could bring power to impoverished homes

Researchers at IBM claim that 70% of the world’s discarded laptop batteries cold be used to power lighting in locations where electricity supplies are unreliable, such as slums and other impoverished areas. Their study suggests that these batteries could make LED lighting much more affordable than either solar panels or rechargeable batteries.

The groups of scientists, who’re based in Bangalore, managed to develop some prototype devices that can be used to provide several hours of light to people who aren’t connected to an electrical grid, according to Popular Science. The prototypes are called UrJar, a combination of the Hindi words for energy (urja) and box (jar).

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