Friday Futures: Creepy robots and artificial moons

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: Creepy robots; an artificial moon; NotPetya; machine learning; spying detergent: the saving of Apple; and the music of the universe.

First, here’s where you can find the coolest and creepiest robots

Introducing a new massive guide to all things robotic, with over 820 photos, 680 videos, and 40 interactives. It’s a fun site designed for robot enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. Read more…

Night into day: a Chinese city plans to launch an artificial moon

On Tuesday, media platform CIF News reported that the Chinese city plans to launch an illumination satellite into the sky in 2020. This “artificial moon” will be eight times as bright as the Earth’s natural one, according to the report — bright enough to replace all the streetlights currently illuminating the city at night. Read more…

Here’s the full story on NotPetya

On the machines’ screens were messages in red and black lettering. Some read “repairing file system on C:” with a stark warning not to turn off the computer. Others, more surreally, read “oops, your important files are encrypted” and demanded a payment of $300 worth of bitcoin to decrypt them. Read more…

How machine learning is battling cancer

Soon, even your detergent will spy on you

It’s the future. You’re running low on dish detergent, so the container starts bugging you to buy more. Maybe it even cuts you out of the process by ordering more soap online on its own. Read more…

The story of how Apple was saved is still fascinating

Twenty-five years ago, the computer revolution’s marquee company was in decline. Back then, it was just settling into shiny new headquarters, a campus of six buildings that formed a different kind of ring. Called Infinite Loop. Read more…

Asian elephants really are excellent mathematicians

In this study, the researchers aimed to replicate the results of previous research that already showed that Asian elephants have exceptional numeric competence. Read more…

Here is how to smell (wine) better

Improving your ability to smell various aromas in a glass of wine is not a major concern for most people. Correcting your friends by saying, “That’s not blackberry you’re smelling, it’s blackcurrant” is less likely to engender respect and more likely to guarantee your disinvitation from the next soirée. Read more…

A musical tour of the universe as it actually sounds

(Compiled by Alex Leslie; Edited by John C Tanner)

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