Space storms could cause mass blackouts and destroy computers, gov't agency warns

FOX News

Huge solar storms could cause electricity blackouts, destroy computers and bring down the Internet and all communications, a study has found. The Met Office has told U.K. ministers a flare up of the kind that has hit Earth two or three times in 200 years would cost the country 16 billion pounds ($20.5 million) in catastrophic damage. Such flares generate intense magnetic fields over Earth, which in a flash could burn out delicate electronics and even set them on fire, The Sunday Times is reporting. Britain risks being crippled by huge electrical disturbances caused by storms in space, unless a satellite network is built that can detect them coming. The Met Office study said: "We find that for a one-in-100-year event, with no space weather forecasting capability, the gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as 15.9 billion pounds.

Go grab our favorite SSD, the 1TB Samsung 860 Evo, for less than $150 at Amazon today


Our favorite SSD for most people is available today at its cheapest price for a whole lot of capacity. The 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD is $148 at AmazonRemove non-product link right now. The last time we looked at this drive it was on sale for $199, so if you've been waiting for the best possible deal, now's the time to act. Of course, we don't know what Black Friday will bring, but it's hard to go wrong with $148 for 1TB of awesome SSD storage. The reason we like the Samsung 860 Evo so much is that it's a perfect mix of price and performance.

Robot Design Goes Back to Nature

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

For millions of years, as animals have evolved to take myriad shapes and forms, they have adapted to solve a variety of physical challenges. Many have overcome obstacles that humans face as well. With the rise of new technologies to measure and analyze their movements, we can now see animals with more clarity and precision than ever before. The research is having a significant impact on robotics, materials science and a range of other fields. Jerry's fellow dogs and a number of other species have flexible spines supported by pliable back muscles and controlled by a network of neurons called the central pattern generator; this combination allows them to turn, twist, run, swim and recover from a trip or misstep without the lag time of waiting for commands from the brain.

How Boston Dynamics' Robot Videos Became Internet Gold


Boston Dynamics' videos aren't just famous, at this point they are almost a staple of the internet--typical stuff like robots doing backflips and opening doors for their friends. But the machines only became a YouTube phenomenon because someone grabbed the first video from Boston Dynamics' website and uploaded it themselves. "We just had it on our website and someone stole it and posted it," Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, told us during a rare on-camera interview at the WIRED25 festival earlier this month. A few weeks later, the video had amassed 3.5 million views. "The light went on--this matters."

Artificial Intelligence Controls Quantum Computers


Quantum computers could solve complex tasks that are beyond the capabilities of conventional computers. However, the quantum states are extremely sensitive to constant interference from their environment. The plan is to combat this using active protection based on quantum error correction. Florian Marquardt, Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, and his team have now presented a quantum error correction system that is capable of learning thanks to artificial intelligence. In 2016, the computer program AlphaGo won four out of five games of Go against the world's best human player.

Mr. Robot goes to Washington: How AI will change democracy


Increasingly, digital technology is eroding the assumptions and conditions that have underpinned democracy for centuries. By now, fake news and polarization are familiar subjects to those interested in democracy's health. Just last week Facebook announced that it was doubling its'security and community' staff to 20,000. But in the future, we'll have to grapple with the much more significant idea of AI Democracy, asking which decisions could and should be taken by powerful digital systems, and whether such systems might better represent the people than the politicians we send to Congress. It's a prospect which holds possible glories but also terrible risks.

Go grab an 8GB Radeon RX 570 for $160 at Newegg and get three free games too


Sometimes you find a graphics card deal that's just too good to pass up. Today's that day: Newegg is selling the 8GB MSI RX 570 Armor OC for $160Remove non-product link. As with most Newegg graphics card deals, you'll need to remember to apply for a $30 rebate, but it's still one of the best prices we've ever seen for an 8GB RX 570 card. In fact, it's just $10 more expensive (after the rebate) than a $150 4GB RX 570 deal we recommended earlier in October. Today's deal ends on Wednesday, October 24.

Reinforcement Learning: Super Mario, AlphaGo and beyond


You might not be able to totally recall the first time you ever played Mario, but just like any other game, you might have started with a clean slate, not knowing what to do. You see an environment in which you as Mario, the agent, have been placed that consists of bricks, coins, mystery boxes, pipes, sentient mushrooms called Goomba, and other elements. You begin taking actions in this environment by pressing a few keys before you realized then you can move Mario with the arrow keys to the left and right. Every action you take changes the state of Mario. You moved to the extreme left at the beginning but nothing happened so you started moving right.

Google Pixel Slate: The top features, specs, and highlights


The Google Pixel Slate isn't the first Chrome tablet, but it's setting new standards for what a Chrome tablet can be. Announced Tuesday at Google's Made By Google Launch event in New York, the Pixel Slate "isn't a laptop trying to be a tablet," said Google's Trond Wuellner, "or a tablet that's really a phone pretending to be a computer." The Pixel Slate shows how Google's trying to evolve Chrome OS from its original desktop aspirations. The Pixel Slate brings together touch, pen, and voice input in a compact, versatile form factor. The Pixel Slate also looks as gorgeous as an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S. We've highlighted below the important specs and most intriguing new features that we know so far.

Robot Restaurants: The Good Versus the Gimmicks

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The Verdict: The human chefs hired to consult on the menu at Creator seem almost superfluous; their powerful and pungent house sauces overshadow the excellent grass-fed patty, which is ground to order, loosely packed and expertly seared by the machine. With its copper conveyor belts, sculptural blond wooden base and glass tubes stacked with fresh buns and gleaming produce, the burger bot is a marvel of engineering and aesthetics capable of churning out 120 burgers an hour. The room is clean and bright; the sourcing of ingredients is aggressively local. But the real promise of Creator is its value proposition: At $6 a pop, it offers a truly great burger at a fast-food price. The Experience: The first robot-staffed bar in the world, inside the Miracle Mile Shops on the Las Vegas Strip, is a twinkly-lit, garage-chic space.