Scientists Apparently Taught Brain Cells How to Play Pong

The experiments provide a proof of concept for computers that can one day harness the unique power of the brain, the scientists say. In new research this week, scientists say they’ve been able to teach mice and human brain cells how to play one of the most enduring video games in history: Pong. The novel feat suggests that even neurons on an individual level can learn and exhibit a form of rudimentary sentience, the authors say.

Hugging Face and ServiceNow launch BigCode, a project to open source code-generating AI systems

Code-generating systems like DeepMind’s AlphaCode, Amazon’s CodeWhisperer, and OpenAI’s Codex, which powers GitHub’s Copilot service, provide a tantalizing look at what’s possible with AI today within the realm of computer programming. But so far, only a handful of such AI systems have been made freely available to the public and open-sourced — reflecting the commercial incentives of the companies building them. In a bid to change that, AI startup Hugging Face and ServiceNow Research, ServiceNow’s R&D division,

Better than JPEG? Researcher discovers that Stable Diffusion can compress images

Lossy compression bypasses text-to-image portions of Stable Diffusion with interesting results. Last week, Swiss software engineer Matthias Bühlmann discovered that the popular image synthesis model Stable Diffusion could compress existing bitmapped images with fewer visual artifacts than JPEG or WebP at high compression ratios, though there are significant caveats. FURTHER READING With Stable Diffusion, you may never believe what you see online again Stable Diffusion is an AI image synthesis model that typically generates images based on text descriptions (called “prompts”).

We Spoke With the Last Person Standing in the Floppy Disk Business

Turns out the obsolete floppy is way more in demand than you’d think Tom Persky is the self-proclaimed “last man standing in the floppy disk business.” He is the time-honored founder of, a US-based company dedicated to the selling and recycling of floppy disks. Other services include disk transfers, a recycling program, and selling used and/or broken floppy disks to artists around the world. All of this makes a key player in the small yet

Intel Teases 6 GHz Raptor Lake at Stock, 8 GHz Overclocking World Record

We’re here in Israel for Intel’s Technology Tour 2022, where the company is sharing new information about its latest products, much of it under embargo until a later date. However, the company did share a slide touting that Raptor Lake is capable of operating at 6GHz at stock settings and that it has set a world overclocking record at 8GHz – obviously with liquid nitrogen (here’s our deep dive on the 13th-Gen Intel processors). Intel also

No, you cannot trust third party code without reading it first

For more than a decade I have been thundering against a lot of the bad practices that have permeated the software development industry, one such practice is to blindly trust code when using third-party libraries, frameworks, or packages. For about the same amount of time I have listened to all the reasons why time is money and we need to build something quickly, and we haven’t got the time to do security or X, Y,


A few years ago, I managed to get myself on a mailing list from a fellow who fancied himself an expert on energy. Actually, it seemed that no area was beyond his expertise and the fact that EVERY EMAIL FROM HIM CAME WITH A SUBJECT LINE IN CAPS WITH A LOT OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! really sealed the deal on his bona fides. One of the facts he liked to tout was that natural gas was

Why Does Thinking Hard Make Me So Tired?

In 1998, researchers baked chocolate chip cookies in order to fill a laboratory with the aroma of freshly made treats. Then, they brought people into the lab, and sat them in front of a stack of aforementioned cookies, along with some chocolate candies, and a bowl of red and white radishes. People were put in either the radish group or the sweets group, and told to eat only the food that had been assigned to them, for

Lynk satellites connect with thousands of devices

SAN FRANCISCO – Lynk Global satellites have connected with thousands of unmodified smartphones, tablets, internet-of-things devices and vehicles, the Fall Church, Virginia, startup announced Feb. 8. The mobile devices required “zero modifications,” Lynk CEO Charles Miller told SpaceNews. “In fact, these devices did not know they were even participating in our test.” Lynk was testing the ability of its fifth satellite to connect with the company’s own smartphones, when thousands of other devices that lacked terrestrial network

World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say

The world’s first living robots — known as “xenobots” — can now reproduce, US scientists have revealed. Details about the robots, created using the heart and skin stem cells from the African clawed frog, were unveiled last year after experiments showed they could move and self-heal. Now, the scientists at Tufts University, the University of Vermont and Harvard who made the xenobots say the tiny blobs can also self-replicate. The results of the new research were published