NASA has launched the first interplanetary war by attacking Mars with a high-power laser beam for “target practice.” Some are blaming the “mohawk guy” at JPL, shown in disguise in this NASA photo. No word if Mars plans to return fire….
August 14, 2012 by Giulio Prisco
Is The God Problem a book on the history of science? No, more like a philosophical novel. Wait, perhaps an autobiography? Pop culture?
All of the above, and none. The God Problem defies categorization; it’s a cascade… read more
It’s an open-source, 18 ft. wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot. So yet another quirky Kickstarter project? Well, not exactly, read on….
“We dream of a world where imagination becomes reality simply because enough passionate people decide that an idea has merit.” So say the folks at Project Hexapod, based out of a makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts called Artisan’s Asylum.
OK, but what’s the purpose of… read more
They ranged from wildly utopian to prescient.
The utopian predictions included people living in space and on the Moon, an expedition to Mars, much industry located off-planet, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease effectively cured, a network of levitated superconducting trains under construction in Western Europe and in Japan,… read more
July 14, 2012 by James Iliff
At the recent E3 2012 show, I saw the future of virtual reality and gaming.
It’s a robust stereoscopic head-mounted display (HMD) called the Oculus RIFT from hardware pioneer Palmer Luckey, shown off by legendary computer graphics guru John Carmack, technical director of Id Software.
Using aspheric lenses and side-by-side stereoscopy, the Oculus RIFT boasts a wide field-of-view of 90 degrees horizontal and 110… read more
July 14, 2012 by James Iliff
It’s now obvious that immersive virtual reality is finally back in the consumer market — with a vengeance.
Especially with the recent advent of FOV2GO, a free DIY portable fold-out iPhone and Android viewer that turns the smartphone screen into a 3-D VR system.
You can create one with foamboard and 2 cheap plastic lenses, and downloadable software lets you create your own virtual worlds or environments to display.… read more
Cosmism, an emerging “religion 2.0” that is part of a radical futurist conception of the future development of humanity, can give us the positive optimism and “strenuous mood” to overcome our current problems and embark on our cosmic journey.
So say contemporary cosmists, who believe that the “manifest destiny” of our species is colonizing the universe and developing spacetime engineering and scientific “future magic” much beyond our current understanding… read more
Huh? Yep, you read it right.
We are bumping into a limit to increasing transistor speed, determined by the “electron transit time” — the time it takes an electron to travel, says Hong Koo Kim, a professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.
It’s back to the vacuum, folks.
Kim explains: electrons traveling inside a semiconductor device frequently experience collisions or scattering… read more
July 5, 2012 by Aubrey de Grey
Gerontologists and demographers have argued about this for a long time, with the balance of opinion heavily influenced by the changes seen in the wealthiest nations’ “survival curves” — graphs showing, broadly speaking, the proportion of an initial population that survived to a given age.
Until a couple of centuries ago, these curves looked very much like radioactive decay curves, because one’s chance of dying at any given age… read more
It was a mystery: sponges had evolved a protosynapse — the beginning of a nervous system — but never actually developed a real synapse.
It was the evolutionary period of time when virtually the rest of the entire animal kingdom branched off from a common ancestor it shared with sponges, the oldest known animal group with living representatives.
Ironically, sponges themselves have no nervous system. So what happened to… read more
When we last (virtually) visited the Personal Robotics Lab of Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell assistant professor of computer science, we learned that they’ve taught robots to pick up after you, while you sit around and watch Futurama.
But why stop there in your search for the ultimate slave robot? Now they’ve taught robots where in a room you might stand, sit, or work,… read more
Microsoft has announced a deal with Encyclopaedia Britannica to add entries from the prestigious reference work to Bing search results.
The deal appears related to Britannica’s decision in March to stop producing a print edition and Google’s “knowledge graph,” which consolidates search information about specific subjects.
Et tu, Bruno?
For example, a Bing search for Giordano Bruno would provide a quick overview of… read more