Author Topic: živimo SF  (Read 168536 times)

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zakk

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živimo SF
« on: 24-01-2009, 02:17:12 »
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/135726.php

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Ever since the 1966 Hollywood movie, doctors have imagined a real-life Fantastic Voyage a medical vehicle shrunk small enough to "submarine" in and fix faulty cells in the body. Thanks to new research by Tel Aviv University scientists, that reality may be only three years away.

The blueprints for the submarine and a map of its proposed maiden voyage were published earlier this year in Science by Dr. Dan Peer, who now leads the Tel Aviv University team at the Department of Cell Research and Immunology. The team will build and test-run the actual "machine" in human bodies. Dr. Peer originally developed the scenario at Harvard University.

Made from biological materials, the real-life medical submarine's Fantastic Voyage won't have enough room for Raquel Welch, but the nano-sized structure will be big enough to deliver the payload: effective drugs to kill cancer cells and eradicate faulty proteins.

A Nano-GPS System

"Our lab is creating biological nano-machines," says Dr. Peer. "These machines can target specific cells. In fact, we can target any protein that might be causing disease or disorder in the human body. This new invention treats the source, not the symptoms."

Dr. Peer's recent paper reported on the device's ability to target leukocytes (immune cells) in the guts of mice with ulcerative colitis. Calling his new invention a submarine, Dr. Peer has developed a nano-sized carrier which operates like a GPS system to locate and target cells. In the case of Crohn's disease, for example, it will target overactive immune system cells in the gut. In other diseases such as cancer, the submarine can aim for and deliver material to specific cancer cells, leaving the surrounding healthy cells intact.

While other researchers are working in the area of nano-medicine and drug delivery, Dr. Peer's submarines are among the first to combine a drug candidate with a drug delivery system. As the submarines float through the body, they latch onto the target cell and deliver their payload, a drug based on RNAi. This new kind of drug can affect faulty RNA machinery and reprogram cells to operate in normal ways. In essence, RNAi can essentially restore health to diseased cells or cause cells to die (like in the case of cancer cells).

Learning from the Body's Own System

Large pharmaceutical companies have already expressed interest in this research and in the area of RNAi in general. Currently, the Tel Aviv University lab is pairing its medical submarine with different RNAi compounds to target different pathologies, such as cancer, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases.

"We have tapped into the same ancient system the human body uses to protect itself from viruses," says Dr. Peer, who is also investigating a number of topical applications for his medical subs. "And the beauty of it is the basic material of our nano-carriers is natural," he says.

The Tel Aviv University team plans to launch their medical submarines, following FDA regulations, within three to five years. Their immediate focus is on blood, pancreatic, breast and brain cancers.

The researchers are currently collaborating with a number of teams around the world. In the area of breast cancer, they are working with researchers from Harvard University and MIT. In blood cancers, collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School is already progressing towards clinical trials.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Josephine

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #1 on: 14-11-2011, 15:07:01 »


Melkor

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"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #4 on: 13-02-2012, 16:12:21 »
 :lol:   Upravo sam došo da i to okačim.

Melkor

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #5 on: 13-02-2012, 16:20:06 »
Moje vreme je brze od tvog  :!:
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #6 on: 05-08-2012, 07:55:58 »
Tokelau to shed diesel dependence
 
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Diesel-dependent Tokelau is still on track to become the first entirely solar-powered places on Earth in a project led by a New Zealand solar company.
All three atolls in the South Pacific dependency, a New Zealand territory, will have their own solar power system by the end of October, despite a slight delay switching on the first system.
Once the project is complete, Tokelau will be the first country to meet 100 per cent of its climate change obligations and will only need fossil fuel to power its fleet of three cars.
Lead contractor Powersmart Solar is helping Tokelau replace its diesel generators - which burn about 200 litres of fuel daily - with 4032 solar panels, 392 inverters and 1344 batteries.
Powersmart Solar director Mike Bassett-Smith said the company was proud to be leading the project because of the impact it would have on the well-being of the people of Tokelau.
"All across the Pacific there are clear issues with the current and expected future costs of electricity generated using diesel, not to mention the environmental costs and risks of unloading diesel drums on tropical atolls," he said.
"Energy costs underpin the economic and social development of these nations and making a positive impact on these issues is the single most important reason we started this business."
Tokelau has a population of about 1400 and they have access to electricity for between 15-18 hours a day.
The solar power systems will be capable of providing 150 per cent of the annual electricity demand without increasing diesel demand.
Companies from all over the globe tendered for the project and it was a "big win" for the Mount Maunganui-based company, Bassett-Smith said.
The first solar system on the atoll of Fakaofo was due to be switched on this week but had been postponed for up to two weeks.
Bassett-Smith said the delay would not affect the schedule of the installations on the other atolls, with the next system to be switched on in about six weeks.
Tokelau's isolation and the scale of the project meant the system required significant testing and development in Mt Manganui before it could be moved to the atolls.
The system would be able to withstand cyclone force winds of up to 230kmh.
Bassett-Smith said Powersmart Solar could monitor how it was performing remotely and work with the Tokelauans to diagnose any issues.
 

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #7 on: 07-08-2012, 09:49:30 »
Oh, znao sam da ćete u budućnosti jesti bube:
 
Future foods: What will we be eating in 20 years' time?
 
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Volatile food prices and a growing population mean we have to rethink what we eat, say food futurologists. So what might we be serving up in 20 years' time?
It's not immediately obvious what links Nasa, the price of meat and brass bands, but all three are playing a part in shaping what we will eat in the future and how we will eat it.
 
 
Rising food prices, the growing population and environmental concerns are just a few issues that have organisations - including the United Nations and the government - worrying about how we will feed ourselves in the future.
In the UK, meat prices are anticipated to have a huge impact on our diets. Some in the food industry estimate they could double in the next five to seven years, making meat a luxury item.
"In the West many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat," says food futurologist Morgaine Gaye.
"Rising prices mean we are now starting to see the return of meat as a luxury. As a result we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap."
So what will fill such gaps and our stomachs - and how will we eat it?
 
   Insects, or mini-livestock as they could become known, will become a staple of our diet, says Gaye.
It's a win-win situation. Insects provide as much nutritional value as ordinary meat and are a great source of protein, according to researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. They also cost less to raise than cattle, consume less water and do not have much of a carbon footprint. Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man.
 
Gaye is not talking about bushtucker-style witchetty grubs arriving on a plate near you. Insect burgers and sausages are likely to resemble their meat counterparts.
"Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers."
The Dutch government is putting serious money into getting insects into mainstream diets. It recently invested one million euros (£783,000) into research and to prepare legislation governing insect farms.
A large chunk of the world's population already eat insects as a regular part of their diet. Caterpillars and locusts are popular in Africa, wasps are a delicacy in Japan, crickets are eaten in Thailand.
But insects will need an image overhaul if they are to become more palatable to the squeamish Europeans and North Americans, says Gaye, who is a member of the Experimental Food Society.
"They will become popular when we get away from the word insects and use something like mini-livestock."
 
 Insect nutritional value /100g 
Food source Protein (g) Calcium (mg) Iron (mg)
Source: Montana State University
Caterpillar 28.2 n/a 35.5
Grasshopper 20.6 35.2 5
Dung beetle 17.2 30.9 7.7
Minced beef 27.4 n/a 3.5
 
 Sonic-enhanced food 
It's well documented how the appearance of food and its smell influence what we eat, but the effect sound has on taste is an expanding area of research. A recent study by scientists at Oxford University found certain tones could make things taste sweeter or more bitter.
"No experience is a single sense experience," says Russell Jones, from sonic branding company Condiment Junkie, who were involved in the study. "So much attention is paid to what food looks like and what it smells like, but sound is just as important."
 
The Bittersweet Study, conducted by Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, found the taste of food could be adjusted by changing the sonic properties of a background soundtrack.
"We're not entirely sure what happens in brain as yet, but something does happen and that's really exciting," says Jones.
Sound and food have been experimented with by chef Heston Blumenthal. His Fat Duck restaurant has a dish called the Sound of the Sea, which is served with an iPod playing sounds of the seaside. The sounds reportedly make the food taste fresher.
But more widespread uses are developing. One that could have an important impact is the use of music to remove unhealthy ingredients without people noticing the difference in taste.
"We know what frequency makes things taste sweeter," says Jones, also a member of the Experimental Food Society. "Potentially you could reduce the sugar in a food but use music to make it seem just as sweet to the person eating it."
Companies are also increasingly using the link between food and sound in packaging. One crisp company changed the material it used to make packets as the crunchier sound made the crisps taste fresher to consumers. Recommended playlists could also appear on packaging to help enhance the taste of the product.
Jones says the use of sound is even being applied to white goods. Companies are looking into the hum fridges make, as a certain tone could make people think their food is fresher.
 
 Lab-grown meat 
Earlier this year, Dutch scientists successfully produced in-vitro meat, also known as cultured meat. They grew strips of muscle tissue using stem cells taken from cows, which were said to resemble calamari in appearance. They hope to create the world's first "test-tube burger" by the end of the year.
The first scientific paper on lab-grown meat was funded by Nasa, says social scientist Dr Neil Stephens, based at Cardiff University's ESRC Cesagen research centre. It investigated in-vitro meat to see if it was a food astronauts could eat in space.
 
Ten years on and scientists in the field are now promoting it as a more efficient and environmentally friendly way of putting meat on our plates.
A recent study by Oxford University found growing meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals would significantly reduce greenhouse gases, along with energy and water use. Production also requires a fraction of the land needed to raise cattle. In addition it could be customised to cut the fat content and add nutrients.
Prof Mark Post, who led the Dutch team of scientists at Maastricht University, says he wants to make lab meat "indistinguishable" from the real stuff, but it could potentially look very different. Stephens, who is studying the debate over in-vitro meat, says there are on-going discussions in the field about what it should look like.
He says the idea of such a product is hard for people to take on board because nothing like it currently exists.
"We simply don't have a category for this type of stuff in our world, we don't know what to make of it," he says. "It is radically different in terms of provenance and product."
 
Algae
 
 
Algae might be at the bottom of the food chain but it could provide a solution to some the world's most complex problems, including food shortages.
It can feed humans and animals and can be grown in the ocean, a big bonus with land and fresh water in increasingly short supply, say researchers. Many scientists also say the biofuel derived from algae could help reduce the need for fossil fuels.
 
Some in the sustainable food industry predict algae farming could become the world's biggest cropping industry. It has long been a staple in Asia and countries including Japan have huge farms. Currently there is no large-scale, commercial farm in the UK, says Dr Craig Rose, executive director of the Seaweed Health Foundation.
"Such farms could easily work in the UK and be very successful. The great thing about seaweed is it grows at a phenomenal rate, it's the fastest growing plant on earth. Its use in the UK is going to rise dramatically."
Like insects, it could be worked into our diet without us really knowing. Scientists at Sheffield Hallam University used seaweed granules to replace salt in bread and processed foods. The granules provide a strong flavour but were low in salt, which is blamed for high blood pressure, strokes and early deaths. They believe the granules could be used to replace salt in supermarket ready meals, sausages and even cheese.
"It's multi-functional," says Gaye. "And many of its properties are only just being explored. It such a big resource that we really haven't tapped into yet."
With 10,000 types of seaweed in the world, including 630 in the UK alone, the taste of each can vary a lot, says Rose.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #8 on: 07-08-2012, 09:51:38 »
A ovo?
 
$5 Million Grant Awarded by Private Foundation to Study Immortality
 
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — For millennia, humans have pondered their mortality and whether death is the end of existence or a gateway to an afterlife. Millions of Americans have reported near-death or out-of-body experiences. And adherents of the world’s major religions believe in an afterlife, from reincarnation to resurrection and immortality.
Anecdotal reports of glimpses of an afterlife abound, but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior. That will change with the award of a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. It is the largest grant ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.
“People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,” said Fischer, the principal investigator of The Immortality Project. “Much of the discussion has been in literature, especially in fantasy and science fiction, and in theology in the context of an afterlife, heaven, hell, purgatory and karma. No one has taken a comprehensive and sustained look at immortality that brings together the science, theology and philosophy.”
The John Templeton Foundation, located near Philadelphia, supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will.
Half of the $5 million grant will be awarded for research projects. The grant will also fund two conferences, the first of which will be held at the end of the project’s second year and the second at the end of the grant period. A website will include a variety of resources, from glossaries and bibliographies to announcements of research conferences and links to published research. Some recent work in Anglo-American philosophy will be translated for German philosophers who, in the last 30 years, have been increasingly studying the work of American philosophers.
UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White said Fischer’s research “takes a universal concern and subjects it to rigorous examination to sift fact from fiction. His work will provide guidance for discussion of immortality and the human experience for generations to come.  We are extremely proud that he is leading the investigation of this critical area of knowledge.”
Noting Fischer’s renown as a scholar of free will and moral responsibility, Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, said, “There is perhaps no one better suited to lead a multidisciplinary research project on the question of immortality and its social implications. The Templeton Foundation’s generous support will enable scholars from across the world to come to UCR to investigate how the question of immortality affects all cultures, albeit in different ways.”
Anecdotal reports of near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences and past lives are plentiful, but it is important to subject these reports to careful analysis, Fischer said. The Immortality Project will solicit research proposals from eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians whose work will be reviewed by respected leaders in their fields and published in academic and popular journals.
“We will be very careful in documenting near-death experiences and other phenomena, trying to figure out if these offer plausible glimpses of an afterlife or are biologically induced illusions,” Fischer said. “Our approach will be uncompromisingly scientifically rigorous. We’re not going to spend money to study alien-abduction reports. We will look at near-death experiences and try to find out what’s going on there — what is promising, what is nonsense, and what is scientifically debunked. We may find something important about our lives and our values, even if not glimpses into an afterlife.”
Fischer noted that while philosophers and theologians have pondered questions of immortality and life after death for millennia, scientific research into immortality and longevity are very recent. The Immortality Project will promote collaborative research between scientists, philosophers and theologians. A major goal will be to encourage interdisciplinary inquiry into the family of issues relating to immortality — and how these bear on the way we conceptualize our own (finite) lives.
One of the questions he hopes researchers will address is cultural variations in reports of near-death experiences. For example, the millions of Americans who have experienced the phenomenon consistently report a tunnel with a bright light at the end. In Japan, reports often find the individual tending a garden.
“Is there something in our culture that leads people to see tunnels while the Japanese see gardens?” he asked. “Are there variations in other cultures?” What can we learn about our own values and the meanings of our finite lives by studying near-death experiences cross-culturally (as well as within our own culture)?
Other questions philosophers may consider are: Is immortality potentially worthwhile or not? Would existence in an afterlife be repetitive or boring? Does death give meaning to life? Could we still have virtues like courage if we knew we couldn’t die? What can we learn about the meaning of our lives by thinking about immortality?
Theologians and philosophers who examine various concepts of an afterlife may delve into the relationship between belief in life after death and individual behavior, and how individuals could survive death as the same person.
“Many people and religions hold there is an afterlife, and that often gives people consolation when faced with death,” Fischer said. “Philosophy and theology are slightly different ways to bring reason to beliefs about religion to evaluate their rationality. If you believe we exist as immortal beings, you could ask how we could survive death as the very same person in an afterlife. If you believe in reincarnation, how can the very same person exist if you start over with no memories?
“We hope to bring to the general public a greater awareness of some of the complexities involved in simple beliefs about heaven, hell and reincarnation, and encourage people to better understand and evaluate their own beliefs about an afterlife and the role of those beliefs in their lives.”
For example, “We think that free will is very important to us theologically and philosophically. And heaven in the Judeo-Christian tradition is supposed to be the best place. Yet we arguably wouldn’t have free will in heaven. How do you fit these ideas together?”
At the end of the project Fischer will analyze findings from the Immortality Project and write a book with the working title “Immortality and the Meaning of Death,” slated for publication by Oxford University Press.
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers and theologians, and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights. The foundation’s vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton’s optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information” and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The foundation’s motto, “How little we know, how eager to learn,” exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #9 on: 08-08-2012, 10:41:07 »
Možda je ovo neko već okačio drugde na forumu al evo:
 
 Sci-Fi writers of the past predict life in 2012 
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As part of the L, Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award in 1987, a group of science fiction luminaries put together a text “time capsule” of their predictions about life in the far off year of 2012. Including such names as Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson, Algis Budrys and Frederik Pohl, it gives us an interesting glimpse into how those living in the age before smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi and on-demand streaming episodes of Community thought the future might turn out.
Written during the Cold War, many of the predictions reflect the anxiety of a time when universal nuclear armageddon was still a daily threat. In fact, Isaac Asimov began his prediction with what was a standard preamble of the time.
“Assuming we haven't destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, there will be 8-10 billion of us on this planet – and widespread hunger.”
It’s some small comfort to know that the Earth today is neither a radioactive wasteland, nor is it yet as crowded as Asimov feared – although he wasn't far off. With most of us now living in cities, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the world's population hit seven billion in March of this year, (although the UN put the estimated date at September 2011). Unfortunately, he was on the money the latter prediction, with people in many parts of the world continuing to go hungry.
Meanwhile, Gregory Benford predicted that the population would never reach 10 billion, with negative consequences.
“There will have been major "diebacks" in overcrowded Third World countries, all across southern Asia and through Africa. This will be a major effect keeping population from reaching 10 billion.”
On the other hand, Benford was more optimistic regarding advances in manned spaceflight.
“Bases on the Moon, an expedition to Mars … all done. But the big news will be some problematical evidence for intelligent life elsewhere.”
It’s ironic that Benford's prediction of Moon bases and manned Mars expeditions happening 25 years in the future is still pretty close to how we see it today.
Algis Budrys submitted a dense prediction that revolved around a post peak-oil world.
“Because we will be in a trough between 20th-century resources and 21st-century needs, in 2012 all storable forms of energy will be expensive. Machines will be designed to use only minimal amounts of it.”
Cutting the power requirements of all manner of electronic devices – from light bulbs to supercomputers – has indeed become a major concern for manufacturers and consumers. Budrys believed the need to conserve energy would lead to an information-based society. This idea of an information society that is, in some ways, very like our own is echoed by Roger Zelazny in a sentence of herculean proportions.
“It is good to see that a cashless, checkless society has just about come to pass, that automation has transformed offices and robotics manufacturing in mainly beneficial ways, including telecommuting, that defense spending has finally slowed for a few of the right reasons, that population growth has also slowed and that biotechnology has transformed, agriculture and industry – all of this resulting in an older, slightly conservative, but longer-lived and healthier society possessed of more leisure and a wider range of educational and recreational options in which to enjoy it – and it is very good at last to see this much industry located off-planet, this many permanent space residents and increased exploration of the solar system.”
The world is certainly is going toward a cashless society, and biotechnology has seen huge advances in recent decades. Thanks to advances in medicine, populations in the developed world now live longer, healthier lives and population growth has indeed slowed in most developed countries. Defense spending has also declined (relatively speaking), but in response to financial pressures rather than a more conservative society.
Sadly, Zelazny's prediction of more leisure time hasn't eventuated. Instead of cutting working hours, technologies such as wireless Internet, smaller and more powerful laptops, tablets and smartphones now allow us to work anywhere and everywhere, so that work now encroaches on our so called leisure time more than ever before.
And while the whole space industry thing has yet to take off to the extent Zelazny predicted, recent developments from the private sector with commercial spaceflights set to launch in the near future and continuing exploration of the solar system, it appears he may only have been a little too optimistic in terms of time-frame.
However, Zelazny did hit the nail on the head with his foreseeing the e-book.
“I would like to take this opportunity to plug my new book, to be published in both computerized and printed versions in time for 2012 Christmas sales – but I've not yet decided on its proper title. Grandchildren of Amber sounds at this point a little clumsy, but may have to serve.”
Unfortunately, Zelazny died in 1995, but his books – including his popular The Chronicles of Amber series – are readily available in electronic format.
Jerry Pournelle missed the mark by not predicting that the Deep Blue computer would defeat world chess champion Garry Kasparov, but he did present this frightening prognostication – for writers, anyway.
“A computer will win the (John W.) Campbell (Jr.) and (L. Ron) Hubbard Awards.”
Tim Powers had an interesting take that is wrong on every count.
“Probate and copyright law will be entirely restructured by 2012 because people will be frozen at death, and there will be electronic means of consulting them. Many attorneys will specialize in advocacy for the dead.”
However, Russian media magnate Dmitry Itskov is attempting to make Powers' prediction a reality by 2045 with the "Avatar" Project.
A particularly interesting prediction comes from Frederik Pohl.
“(Y)ou live in a world at peace. Something like the World Court, as an arm of something like the United Nations, resolves international disputes, and has the power to enforce its decisions. For that reason, you live in a world almost without weaponry; and, because you therefore do not have to bear the crippling financial burden of paying for military establishments and hardware, all of you enjoy and average standard of living about equal to a contemporary millionaire's. Your health is generally superb. Your life expectancy is not much less than a century. The most unpleasant and debilitating jobs (heavy industry, mining, large-scale farming) are given over to machines; most work performed by human beings is in some sense creative. The exploration of space is picking up speed, both by manned colonization and robot probes, and by vast orbiting telescopes and other instruments. Deforestation, desertification and the destruction of arable land has been halted and even reversed. Pollution is controlled, and all the winds and the waters of the Earth are sweet again.”
Pohl goes on to call this an extremely improbable outcome, but he argues that if anyone is reading his predictions, that’s what happened. What’s interesting here is that some of what Pohl predicted did, to one degree or another, come to pass. Life expectancy is longer, standards of living did rise, robots are becoming more common in industry and agriculture, and the Hubble telescope and its successors are orbiting as you read this.
However, the collapse of the Soviet Union, which even the CIA missed predicting, made the whole U.N. running the world to avoid nuclear war thing moot. Meanwhile, the current situation in Syria and the ineffectiveness of the U.N. in dealing with it only illustrates how far off the mark he was in predicting a world at peace.
A prediction by Gene Wolfe sounds very familiar to any film-goer.
“Sports and televised dramas are the only commonly available recreations. The dramas are performed by computer-generated images indistinguishable (on screen) from living people. Scenery is provided by the same method. Although science fiction and fantasy characterize the majority of these dramas, they are not so identified.”
While we still have plenty of activities to partake in other than plonking ourselves down in front of the TV, – with technology even providing new ways to enjoy old ones – CGI characters, ubiquitous use of green screen and stories that are sci-fi, but not called that have all come to pass.
But of all the predictions, Gregory Benford’s is probably the most apt.
“I will be old, but not dead. Come by to see me, and bring a bottle.”
Benford is still alive and continues to write. He has a new novel coming out later this year, with more to follow.
Source: Writers of the Future
 

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #10 on: 17-10-2012, 10:09:51 »
19th Century French Artists Predicted The World Of The Future In This Series Of Postcards 
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If you’ve ever struggled to imagine how life will change over the next century thanks to technology, take comfort — you’re not alone. Over 100 year ago, some French artists tried to do the same thing.
  French science fiction novelist Jules Verne During that time, one of the most influential science fiction writers ever had been busy letting his imagination run wild with all the possibilities that the age of science was opening up. That writer was Jules Verne, whose collection called Voyages Extraordinaires contained 55 novels, including the well known  ”20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” and “Around The World In 80 Days”. He even wrote a short work imagining what life would be like a millennium in the future called In The Year 2889.
Verne’s stories were popular among the French, and their imagination swooned with the endless possibilities of the future.
Starting in 1899, a commercial artist named Jean-Marc Côté and other artists were hired by a toy or cigarette manufacturer to create a series of picture cards as inserts, according to Matt Noval who writes for the Smithsonian magazine. The images were to depict how life in France would look in a century’s time, no doubt heavily influenced by Verne’s writings. Sadly, they were never actually distributed. However, the only known set of cards to exist was discovered by Isaac Asimov, who wrote a book in 1986 called “Futuredays” in which he presented the illustrations with commentary.
What’s amazing about this collection is how close their predictions were in a lot of cases, and how others are close at hand.
To begin, technological strides were made in electromagnetism and wireless communication that led to the invention of the telephone and radio during the latter decades of the 19th century. To the artists, these technologies must play an important part in the future, so a machine was imagined that would transcribe spoken language into print, something that automated audio transcription services like Dragon Dictate or voice recognition with Google Search now make possible:

Another card shows video calls imagined from the technology of the day (a projector), but functionally the same as Apple’s FaceTime, Google Hangout, or any other standard video conferencing software:

Other types of advances in projection were expected as well, allowing microscope or telescope images to be much more visible. While projection technologies like these were developed, today digital instruments and monitors are the workhorses for microscopy:

In light of the Industrial revolution that occurred in France in the early part of the 19th century, automation would have been rife with possibilities. Among the collection, personal automatons — or robots as we call them — showed up prominently. Clearly, the artists felt they would be a big part of the future, taking care of many of the mechanical tasks used in daily life, such as robot barbers:

For women, the vision was more extensive, including an all-in-one robotic make-up artist and hairdresser:

Technological advances in robotics is seriously on the move, so while we have robots to wash hair, service bots in hospitals and cleaning bots like the Roomba to help in small ways, bots to take care of all our personal needs are probably only years away. Whether we’ll have a robot that can custom tailor clothes for us at will, as shown in the following illustration, is debatable, however:

One card shows all the instruments of an orchestra being controlled by the conductor, which isn’t too far off from the robotic instruments designed by Festo:

But the scope of using machines to do work wasn’t seen to be limited to smaller scale activities. Why not use machines to allow a single person to construct buildings? We aren’t there yet, but recent advances in 3D printing almost beg for houses and other buildings to be printed out, if the technology could be worked out.

The artists also imagined how robots would have an even bigger impact on society, as in helping farmers plow fields. Robots on farms are on the rise, as bots have been developed to milk cows, pick only ripe strawberries, and even kill weeds.

The possibilities of science must have seemed endless, and technologies that would fundamentally change society would seem all but likely, as in one illustration that shows books being ground up and fed directly into the ears of schoolchildren. While it may seem a bit to Matrix-like to become a reality, one could argue that this is fundamentally what an audiobook is or what the Internet does with information. We may not be at the point where information is fed directly into our brains, but reality isn’t that far off.

In what some French people might consider an abomination, one illustration depicted the modern kitchen as a place of food science. While synthetic food in commercial products is sadly more common today than we’d like to admit (sorry Easy Cheese lovers, but I’m calling you out), the rise of molecular gastronomy in fine dining has made food chemistry a modern reality. It may seem like food science has its limitations, but one only needs to consider efforts to grow meat in a laboratory to see how far technology may go.

As incredible as it is that Côté, Villemard, and others were able to envision some of our modern technologies, one would expect more misses than hits. They are, after all,  making fantastical predictions about technological progress over a century’s time, and it’s challenging to be accurate (unless you are Ray Kurzweil).
Making predictions in the shadow of Verne’s body of work, one would take for granted that the sea and the air would be open to all.
For instance, the artists were fascinated by the possibilities of flight. This makes sense, considering that powered gliders were in development during the 1890s, the first Zeppelin was being constructed in 1900, and the Wright brothers made their historic flight in 1903. But personal flight was envisioned to be much more integrated into daily life, envisioning that wings would help people do all sorts of things like delivering mail…physics be damned!

Air transport was also imagined, and though they didn’t quite capture modern air travel, they weren’t too far off:

The artists also seemed to believe that people would be interacting with ocean life as a part of their daily lives, perhaps because of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Everything from fish races complete with jockeys to travelling underwater by whale were seen as inevitable. It’s sad that the ocean is still such a mystery, but perhaps Google’s efforts to allow underwater exploration in Google Maps will begin to help:

Finally, there are some illustrations that we look at today and know they are bad ideas, such as rapid biological development of eggs into chicks:

Or using radium in the fireplace to warm a house:

Imagining the future is vital to progress, as it means technological advances are the result of deliberate efforts to make ideas reality, rather than simply humans reacting to their surroundings like animals. These illustrations are a testament to a handful of very creative artists who tried to bring a vision of the future to the masses.
How unfortunate that the people of the time never got to seem them.
 

Father Jape

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #11 on: 17-10-2012, 10:23:58 »
Ovo uopšte nije toliko impresivno za 1899. godinu, tj. praktično početak 20. veka. Imali su valjda ljudi još luđe i tačnije premonicije i pre toga.
Blijedi čovjek na tragu pervertita.
To je ta nezadrživa napaljenost mladosti.
Dušman u odsustvu Dušmana.

https://lingvistickebeleske.wordpress.com

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #12 on: 19-10-2012, 10:18:21 »
 :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
 
Hacked terminals capable of causing pacemaker deaths
 
Quote

IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to deliver deadly electric shocks to pacemakers within 30 feet and rewrite their firmware.
The effect of the wireless attacks could not be overstated — in a speech at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne today, Jack said such attacks were tantamount to “anonymous assassination”, and in a realistic but worse-case scenario, “mass murder”.
In a video demonstration, which Jack declined to release publicly because it may reveal the name of the manufacturer, he issued a series of 830 volt shocks to the pacemaker using a laptop.
The pacemakers contained a “secret function” which could be used to activate all pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in a 30 foot -plus vicinity.
Each device would return model and serial numbers.
“With that information, we have enough information to authenticate with any device in range,” Jack said.
In reverse-engineering the terminals – which communicate with the pacemakers – he discovered no obfuscation efforts and even found usernames and passwords for what appeared to be the manufacturer’s development server.
That data could be used to load rogue firmware which could spread between pacemakers with the “potential to commit mass murder”.
“The worst case scenario that I can think of, which is 100 percent possible with these devices, would be to load a compromised firmware update onto a programmer and … the compromised programmer would then infect the next pacemaker or ICD and then each would subsequently infect all others in range,” Jack said.
He was developing a graphical adminstration platform dubbed “Electric Feel” which could scan for medical devices in range and with no more than a right-click, could enable shocking of the device, and reading and writing firmware and patient data.
“With a max voltage of 830 volts, it's not hard to see why this is a fairly deadly feature. Not only could you induce cardiac arrest, but you could continually recharge the device and deliver shocks on loop," he said.
Jack said his goal was not to cause harm, but to help manufacturers secure their devices.
“Sometimes you have to demonstrate the darker side," he said.  Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

scallop

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #13 on: 19-10-2012, 14:53:11 »
Pa, šta ja sad da radim? :-?
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #14 on: 19-10-2012, 16:11:37 »
Ne znam  :(  Ovo je zastrašujuće.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #15 on: 21-10-2012, 08:31:10 »
Ali, uskoro: benzin iz vazduha!!!!!!!!!! Naravno, za sada skup u smislu energije koju valja uložiti i sve to, ali opet, to je obnovljiv izvor itd. itd.
 
Exclusive: Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol in massive boost in fight against energy crisis
 
Quote

 
A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour.
The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.
 
Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work."
Although the process is still in the early developmental stages and needs to take electricity from the national grid to work, the company believes it will eventually be possible to use power from renewable sources such as wind farms or tidal barrages.
"We've taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol," said Peter Harrison, the company's chief executive, who revealed the breakthrough at a conference at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.
"There's nobody else doing it in this country or indeed overseas as far as we know. It looks and smells like petrol but it's a much cleaner and clearer product than petrol derived from fossil oil," Mr Harrison told The Independent.
"We don't have any of the additives and nasty bits found in conventional petrol, and yet our fuel can be used in existing engines," he said.
"It means that people could go on to a garage forecourt and put our product into their car without having to install batteries or adapt the vehicle for fuel cells or having hydrogen tanks fitted. It means that the existing infrastructure for transport can be used," Mr Harrison said.
Being able to capture carbon dioxide from the air, and effectively remove the principal industrial greenhouse gas resulting from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, has been the holy grail of the emerging green economy.
Using the extracted carbon dioxide to make petrol that can be stored, transported and used as fuel for existing engines takes the idea one step further. It could transform the environmental and economic landscape of Britain, Mr Harrison explained.
"We are converting renewable electricity into a more versatile, useable and storable form of energy, namely liquid transport fuels. We think that by the end of 2014, provided we can get the funding going, we can be producing petrol using renewable energy and doing it on a commercial basis," he said.
"We ought to be aiming for a refinery-scale operation within the next 15 years. The issue is making sure the UK is in a good place to be able to set up and establish all the manufacturing processes that this technology requires. You have the potential to change the economics of a country if you can make your own fuel," he said.
The initial plan is to produce petrol that can be blended with conventional fuel, which would suit the high-performance fuels needed in motor sports. The technology is also ideal for remote communities that have abundant sources of renewable electricity, such solar energy, wind turbines or wave energy, but little in the way of storing it, Mr Harrison said.
"We're talking to a number of island communities around the world and other niche markets to help solve their energy problems.
"You're in a market place where the only way is up for the price of fossil oil and at some point there will be a crossover where our fuel becomes cheaper," he said.
Although the prototype system is designed to extract carbon dioxide from the air, this part of the process is still too inefficient to allow a commercial-scale operation.
The company can and has used carbon dioxide extracted from air to make petrol, but it is also using industrial sources of carbon dioxide until it is able to improve the performance of "carbon capture".
Other companies are working on ways of improving the technology of carbon capture, which is considered far too costly to be commercially viable as it costs up to £400 for capturing one ton of carbon dioxide.
However, Professor Klaus Lackner of Columbia University in New York said that the high costs of any new technology always fall dramatically.
"I bought my first CD in the 1980s and it cost $20 but now you can make one for less than 10 cents. The cost of a light bulb has fallen 7,000-fold during the past century," Professor Lackner said.
   

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #16 on: 21-10-2012, 08:43:40 »
A takođe:
 
Society of Automotive Engineers announces electric car charging plug standard
 
Quote

The electric and plug-in hybrid car industry is learning the lesson of the mobile phone makers. Instead of allowing a plethora of incompatible charging plugs to sprout up, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International hopes to forestall confusion by settling on one charging plug design for North America. SAE has selected the J1772 combo plug as the standard, which uses paired couplers to allow for both AC and DC charging using the same plug.
   Published this week, the SAE International decision marks the first official charging standard for North American cars. According to SAE, it was the result of consultation with 190 “global experts” from the automotive, charging equipment, utilities industries and national laboratories.
 The combo plug is based on the 2009 SAE J1772 (Photo: Michael Hicks) The J1772 has two charging plugs incorporated into a single design and is said to reduce charging times from as long as eight hours to as little as 20 minutes. It’s based on the 2009 J1772, which had only an AC charging plug. The current version includes a DC plug underneath the AC plug, which means that not only are both options available, but cars with the older J1772 couplings, such as the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2013 Chevrolet Volt, can still use the new plug.
The dual capability is because AC and DC each have their strengths and weaknesses. AC is easier to access, since it’s mains current and the car's on-board system can rectify it into DC to charge the battery. The problem is that beyond a certain point AC has heating problems for the car, so charging is inherently slow. DC is much faster – theoretically limitless, but it requires an external charging station. The choice of currents means that car makers don’t need to choose between plentiful but slow, and fast but scarce.
 The J1772 combo plug pushed out its rival, the pictured CHAdeMO plug (Photo: C-CarTom)  The J1772 combo plug pushed out its rival, the pictured CHAdeMO plug (Photo: C-CarTom)  The new standard also sets charging levels and safety features for the plug – those features include its ability to be safely used in all weather conditions, and the fact that its connections are never live unless commanded by the car during charging.
J1772 beat out its main rival, the Japanese CHAdeMO plug (which is also available as an option for the Nissan Leaf and is used in over a thousand chargers installed in Japan), along with Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger system. Whether the SAE standard will see an end to these rival plugs or the beginning of an automotive version of VHS versus Betamax remains to be seen.
Source: SAE International

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #17 on: 27-11-2012, 11:42:09 »
Universe, human brain and Internet have similar structures 

Quote
The structure of the universe and the laws that govern its growth may be more similar than previously thought to the structure and growth of the human brain and other complex networks, such as the Internet or a social network of trust relationships between people, according to a new study.
“By no means do we claim that the universe is a global brain or a computer,” said Dmitri Krioukov, co-author of the paper, published by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego.
“But the discovered equivalence between the growth of the universe and complex networks strongly suggests that unexpectedly similar laws govern the dynamics of these very different complex systems,” Krioukov noted
Having the ability to predict – let alone trying to control – the dynamics of complex networks remains a central challenge throughout network science. Structural and dynamical similarities among different real networks suggest that some universal laws might be in action, although the nature and common origin of such laws remain elusive
By performing complex supercomputer simulations of the universe and using a variety of other calculations, researchers have now proven that the causal network representing the large-scale structure of space and time in our accelerating universe is a graph that shows remarkable similarity to many complex networks such as the Internet, social, or even biological networks
“These findings have key implications for both network science and cosmology,” said Krioukov.
“We discovered that the large-scale growth dynamics of complex networks and causal networks are asymptotically (at large times) the same, explaining the structural similarity between these networks,” the researcher asserted
SDSC Director Michael Norman added, “This is a perfect example of interdisciplinary research combining math, physics, and computer science in totally unexpected ways.”
“Who would have guessed that the emergence of our universe’s four-dimensional spacetime from the quantum vacuum would have anything to do with the growth of the Internet? Causality is at the heart of both, so perhaps the similarity Krioukov and his collaborators found is to be expected.
Of course the network representing the structure of the universe is astronomically huge – in fact it can be infinite. But even if it is finite, researchers’ best guess is that it is no smaller than 10250 atoms of space and time. (That’s the digit 1 followed by 250 zeros.) For comparison, the number of water molecules in all the oceans in the world has been estimated to be 4.4 x 1046
Yet the researchers found a way to downscale this humongous network while preserving its vital properties, by proving mathematically that these properties do not depend on the network size in a certain range of parameters, such as the curvature and age of our universe
After the downscaling, the research team turned to Trestles, one of SDSC’s data-intensive supercomputers, to perform simulations of the universe’s growing causal network. By parallelizing and optimizing the application, Robert Sinkovits, a computational scientist with SDSC, was able to complete in just over one day a computation that was originally projected to require three to four years
“In addition to being able to complete these simulations much faster than previously ever imagined, the results perfectly matched the theoretical predictions of the researchers,” said Sinkovits
“The most frequent question that people may ask is whether the discovered asymptotic equivalence between complex networks and the universe could be a coincidence. Of course it could be, but the probability of such a coincidence is extremely low. Coincidences in physics are extremely rare, and almost never happen. There is always an explanation, which may be not immediately obvious,” said Krioukov.
“Such an explanation could one day lead to a discovery of common fundamental laws whose two different consequences or limiting regimes are the laws of gravity (Einstein’s equations in general relativity) describing the dynamics of the universe, and some yet-unknown equations describing the dynamics of complex networks,” added Marian Boguna, a member of the research team from the Departament de Física Fonamental at the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.


Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #18 on: 28-11-2012, 11:40:14 »
Matriks!!!!!!
 
 Human body could power smartphones, pacemakers and other devices 
Quote

Imagine a world with no wall chargers. People power might just make that world a reality.
That's because our own bodies just might be the sustainable energy sources of the near future, generating electricity from our own body heat, physical movement and vibrations.
Roger Highfield of the Science Museum Group writes that scientists are already at work on a number of such devices, with the first wave of human-powered generators hitting the market in the next two years.
The applications would range from personal health to entertainment. For example, pacemaker batteries must be replaced every few years. But a pacemaker running off a piezoelectric current could provide a permanent energy source, reducing the need for risky and expensive operations.
The word piezoelectricity means to generate energy from pressure and can be derived from a number of sources, including ceramics, crystals and even biological material, such as DNA and bone.
Researchers have spent years attempting to derive energy from nontraditional sources. For example, the East Japan Railway Company has experimented with using train gates to generate electricity as commuters pass through them.
And researchers at MIT have been working on creating a "crowd farm" that would generate electricity from human movement in public spaces.
University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor Tom Krupenkin told Highfield that placing a salty liquid within the soles of shoes could generate enough electricity to power many of the devices used by millions of consumers around the world.
"This is more than sufficient to power such common devices as smartphones and tablets," he said. "We expect the first product prototype to be available in one to two years."
However, don't start planning to charge your Kindle with an after-dinner walk around the block just yet. Laurie Winkless of the U.K.'s National Physical Laboratory says that piezoelectric devices could prove to be more trouble than they are worth, unless used properly. For example, "thermoelectric" clothing may be able to draw energy from the body but could leave the wearer feeling uncomfortably cold. And those saltwater shoe batteries may prove to be painful for people walking long-distances.
Still, even skeptics like Winkless see a promising future around the corner for these alternative energy generators.
"Energy harvesting pots could mean that boiling your pasta charges your mobile phone," she said. "The vibrations of your washing machine could power wireless sensors—or your TV remote could be powered just by you pressing the buttons."
   

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #19 on: 29-11-2012, 11:22:38 »
Izgleda da su svi oni koji su tvrdili da nas video igre pripremaju za ratovanje bili u pravu:
 
  What’s it like to pilot a drone? A lot like 'Call of Duty' 
Quote

Teenagers raised on "Call of Duty" and "Halo" might relish flying a massive Predator drone -- a surprisingly similar activity.
Pilots of unmanned military aircraft use a joystick to swoop down into the battlefield, spot enemy troop movements, and snap photos of terror suspects, explained John Hamby, a former military commander who led surveillance missions during the Iraq War.
“You’re always maneuvering the airplane to get a closer look,” Hamby told FoxNews.com. “You’re constantly searching for the bad guys and targets of interest. When you do find something that is actionable, you’re a hero.”
Yet a new study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found real-life drone operators can become easily bored. Only one participant paid attention during an entire test session, while even top performers spent a third of the time checking a cellphone or catching up on the latest novel.       That’s a problem, said Mary Cummings, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Not being cognizant of the battlefield means drone operators could miss important mission objectives.
Fortunately, there’s an answer: making the actual drone mission even more like a video game.
“When there was a lot going on, people did very well,” she told FoxNews.com. “When there was nothing going on they did much worse. When it’s boring most of the time, most do not pay attention.”
Cummings -- who goes by the name Missy -- is a former F-18 pilot herself, and was surprised by the results of the drone study, which was sponsored by the U.S. Navy. She pointed out that the FAA insists all aircraft personnel doing monitor and surveillance work should be in a sterile environment, without any distractions. Yet, drone reconnaissance mission can last up to 24 hours, and a sterile environment could be making things worse.
She says those who had more to do during the study performed better. Interestingly, she also found operators who had more experience playing video games did worse -- they could not deal with the boredom as easily, particularly during long missions.
And a drone pilot clearly has to pay attention. There are long periods when an operator might not see anything, and those types of missions could become dull. “Someone has to watch that camera or you won’t catch the bad guys before they catch us,” Hamby told FoxNews.com.
Cummings says the secret could be to make drone missions work more like a video game. That’s the opposite of the trend in the automotive industry, where distracted driving can lead to more frequent accidents and higher fatalities.
“We need to rethink this, because some level of distraction actually helps,” she said. The lessons about providing more to do when flying a drone can also translate to other fields, she said. For example, those in charge of nuclear safety at power plants might be better off not staring at a bland screen all day. Even those in the medical field could benefit from having objectives akin to a video game.
Hamby said the younger generation of video gamers is well-suited for real military combat. In fact, the controller for some surveillance drones is modeled after a video game controller. He also says many of the objectives look and function the same. The real military use a touchscreen notebook to control drones; you can land one by touching an airstrip, and the drones essentially fly on their own.
Travis Getz, a spokesperson for Tom Clancy Games and the company’s liaison with the U.S. military, said games like “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier” are not designed to simulate real drone missions. But they do have the same ambiance as a theater of war: finding the enemy, relaying strategic initiatives.
“The result of interacting with drones for gamers and trained military operators is the same – they get more ways to view and interact with an area or situation from multiple angles or with vision enhancements like thermal or infrared,” he told FoxNews.com. The benefit might not be more busy work for an operator, but would increase the thoroughness of the surveillance and the results.
For now, the MIT findings are too new for any immediate action – there are no plans to start porting the military’s drone control screens to the Nintendo Wii. But Cummings says we know more about how to make sure people are paying attention, and not just visiting the snack room.   

Gaff

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Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.

Gaff

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #21 on: 21-02-2013, 18:06:16 »

Tedd Roberts - On the Road to the Brainships: A look at the Current Science of Interfacing the Brain

(via Baen)


tl;dr:

Quote
Science fiction is around us every day. Neuroscientists are probably halfway to the technology required for BrainShips and Cyborgs. Fortunately for those of us in the field, we have both the optimistic and cautionary tales of SF to guide us. Once we accomplish these goals, we'll just have to rely on SF to establish the next set of goals – a bit further out!


Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.


дејан

  • омнирелигиозни фанатични фундаменталиста
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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #23 on: 18-04-2013, 10:53:23 »
да не бих сад отварао нову тему, ово је блиско у будућности па може и бити део теме:

Deep Space Industries to begin asteroid prospecting by 2015, mining by 2020


у другом пасусу још и каже:
Quote
The news brief will be broadcast from the Santa Monica Museum of Flying via Spacevidcast and will detail DSI’s plan for a two-pronged approach. Initially, 55-pound (25kg) “FireFly” cubesats will be launched on journeys lasting from two to six months


 :lol:
...barcode never lies
FLA

Gaff

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Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.

Gaff

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #25 on: 02-05-2013, 11:25:13 »

A šta reći na ovo:

A Boy And His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie



i kako je napravljen:

Moving Atoms: Making The World's Smallest Movie


+ ekstra

IBM Atomic Shorts: Ripples on the surface




(ako sam dobro shvatio, koristili su molekule ugljen-monoksida (možda i grešim), a svugde pominju atome. To na stranu, i dalje je kul)
Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.

zakk

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Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #27 on: 23-06-2013, 00:02:35 »
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57590253/deaf-boy-with-auditory-brain-stem-implant-stunned-after-hearing-dad-for-first-time/

 3-year-old boy is hearing the world for the first time, thanks to an auditory brain stem implant. "He likes sound," young Grayson's mom Nicole Clamp, said to CBS affiliate WBTV in Charlotte, N.C. "He enjoys the stimulus, the input. He's curious, and he definitely enjoys it."
Grayson Clamp was born without his cochlear nerves, or the auditory nerve that carries the sound signal from the cochlea in the inner ear to the brain. His parents tried giving him a cochlear implant, but it did not work.
They then enrolled Grayson in a research trial at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. Three weeks ago, he became the first child in the U.S. to receive an auditory brain stem implant.
The procedure involves placing a microchip on the brain stem to bypass the cochlear nerves altogether. The person perceives and processes sound, which travel through tubes in his ear.
  Grayson Clamp after his procedure at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. Grayson was the first child in the U.S. to receive anauditory brain stem implant.
 /  Len Clamp/UNC School of Medicine   Dr. Craig Buchman, Grayson's head and neck surgeon at UNC, explained to CBSNews.com that the devices were made several years ago for adults who have tumors in their cochlear nerves, but it has never been approved for use in children in the United States.. While the implants were able to give back some hearing to the adults that received them, they were not as effective as cochlear implants.
However, Buchman's team's theory was that if the auditory brain stem implant was put in a young child, they may be better at processing the sounds.
"One of the reasons we really were interested in this study, children have enormous potential because of their brain plasticity," he said. "They have enormous potential to interpret sounds.... I don't know what he hears and how he's going to use it, but only time will tell."
Grayson was the first chosen because he had high cognitive abilities and used cued speech, a visual system based on phonetics used to communicate. That way, doctors could see if he was hearing anything and responding to sound stimuli.
When he heard his father calling him for the first time, his face lit up with shock. Buchman said he was pleased with Grayson's responses.
The child still has to go in for frequent checkups to fine tune the device in order to give him the best hearing possible.
"We don't know exactly what it's like for him," Nicole explained. "We don't know exactly what he hears. His brain is still trying organize itself to use sound."
In total, Buchman's team has evaluated 10 children who all have similar problems with missing nerves. Right now, they're limiting the study to younger children who don't have that many additional health or cognitive issues to see what the potential of the device is. If they are successful, they are hoping that older children who haven't learned how to speak because of their hearing problems may be given a chance to finally hear and talk.
As for Grayson, he's already benefiting from his new hearing abilities.
"It's been phenomenal for us," his father Len Clamp said to WBTV.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #28 on: 23-06-2013, 00:21:25 »
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/these-self-assembling-nanoflowers-are-as-beautiful-as-they-are-tiny




A nanorose may not smell as sweet as an organic one, but the red petals on this micron-scale flower are unquestionably just as beautiful. At Harvard University, materials scientists have perfected an underwater chemical reaction that results in these gorgeous, self-assembling nanoflowers.
The microscopic structures are crystals that build themselves, one molecule at a time, on a glass surface submerged in a beaker of water, barium chloride, and sodium silicate. When carbon dioxide from the air naturally dissolves in the water, it sets off the chemical reaction that causes the crystals to form.
Though the colors in these images are artificial, the intricate shapes of the nanoflowers are very real. The twists, curves, and ruffles are created when the scientists shift the components of the chemical reaction; the crystals naturally "grow" toward or away from various chemical gradients. For example, the broad-leaf shapes you'll see in the gallery formed in solutions with extra carbon dioxide.
"When you look through the electron microscope, it really feels a bit like you’re diving in the ocean, seeing huge fields of coral and sponges," says Wim L. Noorduin, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and lead author of the paper in Science. "Sometimes I forget to take images because it's so nice to explore."
Click here to see more of these amazing creations.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Biki

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #29 on: 23-06-2013, 00:24:16 »
Pokojni Steva se prevrce u grobu  xwink2

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #30 on: 23-06-2013, 00:29:39 »
http://localflux.net/PostView.aspx?id=365

SPACEY MUSIC

Astrophysics graduate student Wanda Diaz-Merced has been converting x-rays from a distant star into blues, jazz and classical music, with the work of her 'Star Music' project.


Wanda grew up with an enthusiasm for science and space, but in her early 20s, as a physics student at the University of Puerto Rico, her vision swiftly deteriorated due to diabetes. When she spent time in an astrophysical observatory, though, and inadvertently heard the hiss and pops of the signals collected by a radio telescope, she realized that there might be a way she could rely solely on her hearing to interpret data.

Since, she’s teamed with computer scientists to use NASA-developed software called xSonify—which converts scientific data of all kinds into synthesized musical sounds, a process called sonification (PDF)—to analyze solar flares on the sun, as well as X-rays coming from the EX Hydrae star system. This software allows users to customize how the data are represented, using pitch, volume, rhythm and even different types of instruments to distinguish between different values and intensities in the electromagnetic spectrum detected by spacecraft over time.

Diaz-Merced listens to these data streams to pick out irregularities and changes in the sounds, and has even convinced some colleagues to adopt the software, because listening while watching data in chart form can help them become more attuned to subtle patterns in the data. “I can listen for harmonics, melodies, relative high- and low-frequency ranges,” she told Physics Today last year. In one case, she said, “I was able to hear [previously overlooked] very low frequencies from gamma-ray bursts. I had been listening to the time series and said to the physicists in charge, ‘Let’s listen to the power spectra.’”

In its raw form, the sounds she listens to seem more like noise than music:

Blues - Project X-Ray Hydra

However, check out the textured completed blues track:

Komposition Blues - Project X-Ray Hydra

Of course, there’s an element of abstraction in all these tracks, and with even the raw sounds produced by xSonify that Diaz-Merced uses to conduct her research. But that doesn’t mean that her research—or Studtrucker’s music—is any less representitive of phenomena in space than the work of conventional astronomers.

As Ari Epstein put it in a terrific Studio 360 segment on Diaz-Merced’s research, “Stars and planets don’t give off sounds as they move through the sky. But they don’t draw lines on graphs either. All of these things—graphs, numbers, music—they’re all just tools we can use to understand a complicated universe.”
 
Source: blogs.smithsonianmag.com
 
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #31 on: 26-06-2013, 01:09:04 »
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #32 on: 26-06-2013, 11:20:08 »
Uzgred, meni nije najjasnije zašto i kuda je Gaff nestanuo, ali ako ovo čita, ja ću ceniti da se vrati na forum i nastavi da nas snabdeva korisnim linkovima.

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #33 on: 26-06-2013, 12:46:07 »
Živi bili pa videli.


Nego, kako vam se čini ovo sa NeverWet-om. Ludačka stvar. Naprskaš nešto, i voda ne prilazi. A izgleda ni uljaste stvari.


Zbogom brisači, zamagljene naočari, i ko zna šta sve još...
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Mouchette

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #34 on: 26-06-2013, 12:51:14 »

'I will always remember the exact spot I sprayed my boots with NeverWet'

http://mouchetteblog.blogspot.com/
''Ma jock, ona, u stvari, želi nasmejan svet. Ili lud.''

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #35 on: 29-08-2013, 09:41:21 »
 August 16, 1964Visit to the World's Fair of 2014By  ISAAC ASIMOV

Quote
The New York World's Fair of 1964 is dedicated to "Peace Through Understanding."  Its glimpses of the world of tomorrow rule out thermonuclear warfare.  And why not?  If a thermonuclear war takes place, the future will not be worth discussing.  So let the missiles slumber eternally on their pads and let us observe what may come in the nonatomized world of the future.
 What is to come, through the fair's eyes at least, is wonderful.  The direction in which man is traveling is viewed with buoyant hope, nowhere more so than at the General Electric pavilion. There the audience whirls through four scenes, each populated by cheerful, lifelike dummies that move and talk with a facility that, inside of a minute and a half, convinces you they are alive.
 The scenes, set in or about 1900, 1920, 1940 and 1960, show the advances of electrical appliances and the changes they are bringing to living.  I enjoyed it hugely and only regretted that they had not carried the scenes into the future.  What will life be like, say, in 2014 A.D., 50 years from now? What will the World's Fair of 2014 be like?
 I don't know, but I can guess.
 One thought that occurs to me is that men will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better.  By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use.  Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button.
 Windows need be no more than an archaic touch, and even when present will be polarized to block out the harsh sunlight.  The degree of opacity of the glass may even be made to alter automatically in accordance with the intensity of the light falling upon it.
 There is an underground house at the fair which is a sign of the future.  if its windows are not polarized, they can nevertheless alter the "scenery" by changes in lighting.  Suburban houses underground, with easily controlled temperature, free from the vicissitudes of weather, with air cleaned and light controlled, should be fairly common.  At the New York World's Fair of 2014, General Motors' "Futurama" may well display vistas of underground cities complete with light- forced vegetable gardens.  The surface, G.M. will argue, will be given over to large-scale agriculture, grazing and parklands, with less space wasted on actual human occupancy.
 Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs.  Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare "automeals," heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on.  Breakfasts will be "ordered" the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning.  Complete lunches and dinners, with the food semiprepared, will be stored in the freezer until ready for processing.  I suspect, though, that even in 2014 it will still be advisable to have a small corner in the kitchen unit where the more individual meals can be prepared by hand, especially when company is coming.
 Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.  The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English.  If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence?  It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots.  In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid*large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances.  It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into "throw away" and "set aside."  (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)
 General Electric at the 2014 World's Fair will be showing 3-D movies of its "Robot of the Future," neat and streamlined, its cleaning appliances built in and performing all tasks briskly.  (There will be a three-hour wait in line to see the film, for some things never change.)
 The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes.  The isotopes will not be expensive for they will be by- products of the fission-power plants which, by 2014, will be supplying well over half the power needs of humanity.  But once the isotype batteries are used up they will be disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.
 And experimental fusion-power plant or two will already exist in 2014.  (Even today, a small but genuine fusion explosion is demonstrated at frequent intervals in the G.E. exhibit at the 1964 fair.) Large solar-power stations will also be in operation in a number of desert and semi-desert areas -- Arizona, the Negev, Kazakhstan.  In the more crowded, but cloudy and smoggy areas, solar power will be less practical.  An exhibit at the 2014 fair will show models of power stations in space, collecting sunlight by means of huge parabolic focusing devices and radiating the energy thus collected down to earth.
 The world of 50 years hence will have shrunk further.  At the 1964 fair, the G.M. exhibit depicts, among other things, "road-building factories" in the tropics and, closer to home, crowded highways along which long buses move on special central lanes.  There is every likelihood that highways at least in the more advanced sections of the world*will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation  that makes the least possible contact with the surface.  There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air*a foot or two off the ground.  Visitors to the 1964 fair can travel there in an "aquafoil," which lifts itself on four stilts and skims over the water with a minimum of friction.  This is surely a stop-gap.  By 2014 the four stilts will have been replaced by four jets of compressed air so that the vehicle will make no contact with either liquid or solid surfaces.
 Jets of compressed air will also lift land vehicles off the highways, which, among other things, will minimize paving problems.  Smooth earth or level lawns will do as well as pavements.  Bridges will also be of less importance, since cars will be capable of crossing water on their jets, though local ordinances will discourage the practice.
 Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with "Robot-brains"*vehicles that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver.  I suspect one of the major attractions of the 2014 fair will be rides on small roboticized cars which will maneuver in crowds at the two-foot level, neatly and automatically avoiding each other.
 For short-range travel, moving sidewalks (with benches on either side, standing room in the center) will be making their appearance in downtown sections.  They will be raised above the traffic. Traffic will continue (on several levels in some places) only because all parking will be off-street and because at least 80 per cent of truck deliveries will be to certain fixed centers at the city's rim. Compressed air tubes will carry goods and materials over local stretches, and the switching devices that will place specific shipments in specific destinations will be one of the city's marvels.
 Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone.  The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books.  Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica (shown in chill splendor as part of the '64 General Motors exhibit).
 For that matter, you will be able to reach someone at the moon colonies, concerning which General Motors puts on a display of impressive vehicles (in model form) with large soft tires*intended to negotiate the uneven terrain that may exist on our natural satellite.
 Any number of simultaneous conversations between earth and moon can be handled by modulated laser beams, which are easy to manipulate in space.  On earth, however, laser beams will have to be led through plastic pipes, to avoid material and atmospheric interference.  Engineers will still be playing with that problem in 2014.
 Conversations with the moon will be a trifle uncomfortable, but the way, in that 2.5 seconds must elapse between statement and answer (it takes light that long to make the round trip).  Similar conversations with Mars will experience a 3.5-minute delay even when Mars is at its closest. However, by 2014, only unmanned ships will have landed on Mars, though a manned expedition will be in the works and in the 2014 Futurama will show a model of an elaborate Martian colony.
 As for television, wall screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible.  In fact, one popular exhibit at the 2014 World's Fair will be such a 3-D TV, built life-size, in which ballet performances will be seen.  The cube will slowly revolve for viewing from all angles.
 One can go on indefinitely in this happy extrapolation, but all is not rosy.
 As I stood in line waiting to get into the General Electric exhibit at the 1964 fair, I found myself staring at Equitable Life's grim sign blinking out the population of the United States, with the number (over 191,000,000) increasing by 1 every 11 seconds.  During the interval which I spent inside the G.E. pavilion, the American population had increased by nearly 300 and the world's population by 6,000.
 In 2014, there is every likelihood that the world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000.  Boston-to-Washington, the most crowded area of its size on the earth, will have become a single city with a population of over 40,000,000.
 Population pressure will force increasing penetration of desert and polar areas.  Most surprising and, in some ways, heartening, 2014 will see a good beginning made in the colonization of the continental shelves.  Underwater housing will have its attractions to those who like water sports, and will undoubtedly encourage the more efficient exploitation of ocean resources, both food and mineral.  General Motors shows, in its 1964 exhibit, the model of an underwater hotel of what might be called mouth-watering luxury.  The 2014 World's Fair will have exhibits showing cities in the deep sea with bathyscaphe liners carrying men and supplies across and into the abyss.
 Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be "farms" turning to the more efficient micro-organisms.  Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors.  The 2014 fair will feature an Algae Bar at which "mock-turkey" and "pseudosteak" will be served.  It won't be bad at all (if you can dig up those premium prices), but there will be considerable psychological resistance to such an innovation.
 Although technology will still keep up with population through 2014, it will be only through a supreme effort and with but partial success.  Not all the world's population will enjoy the gadgety world of the future to the full.  A larger portion than today will be deprived and although they may be better off, materially, than today, they will be further behind when compared with the advanced portions of the world. They will have moved backward, relatively.
 Nor can technology continue to match population growth if that remains unchecked.  Consider Manhattan of 1964, which has a population density of 80,000 per square mile at night and of over 100,000 per square mile during the working day.  If the whole earth, including the Sahara, the Himalayan Mountain peaks, Greenland, Antarctica and every square mile of the ocean bottom, to the deepest abyss, were as packed as Manhattan at noon, surely you would agree that no way to support such a population (let alone make it comfortable) was conceivable.  In fact, support would fail long before the World-Manhattan was reached.
 Well, the earth's population is now about 3,000,000,000 and is doubling every 40 years.  If this rate of doubling goes unchecked, then a World-Manhattan is coming in just 500 years.  All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that!
 There are only two general ways of preventing this:  (1) raise the death rate; (2) lower the birth rate. Undoubtedly, the world of A>D. 2014 will have agreed on the latter method.  Indeed, the increasing use of mechanical devices to replace failing hearts and kidneys, and repair stiffening arteries and breaking nerves will have cut the death rate still further and have lifted the life expectancy in some parts of the world to age 85.
 There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect.  The rate of increase of population will have slackened*but, I suspect, not sufficiently.
 One of the more serious exhibits at the 2014 World's Fair, accordingly, will be a series of lectures, movies and documentary material at the World Population Control Center (adults only; special showings for teen-agers).
 The situation will have been made the more serious by the advances of automation.  The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being.  Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders.  Schools will have to be oriented in this direction.  Part of the General Electric exhibit today consists of a school of the future in which such present realities as closed-circuit TV and programmed tapes aid the teaching process.  It is not only the techniques of teaching that will advance, however, but also the subject matter that will change.  All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary "Fortran" (from "formula translation").
 Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity.  This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014.  The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.
 Indeed, the most somber speculation I can make about A.D. 2014 is that in a society of enforced leisure, the most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work!

Father Jape

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #36 on: 29-08-2013, 09:48:59 »
Lol, fail.
Blijedi čovjek na tragu pervertita.
To je ta nezadrživa napaljenost mladosti.
Dušman u odsustvu Dušmana.

https://lingvistickebeleske.wordpress.com

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #37 on: 09-09-2013, 09:53:49 »
Videli ste kako Elon Musk korača u budućnost juzer interfejsa?

The Future of Design

Doduše, možda je trebalo da reč budućnost stavim pod navodnike. Ipak je jasno da bi čovek koji bi da osam sati radi ovo na poslu morao da ima proporcionalnu snagu king konga na steroidima...

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #38 on: 21-09-2013, 06:54:06 »
Hmmm, deluje kao da smo potrošili skoro sve rezerve Plutonijuma 238 a bez njega, uz sadašnju tehnologiju, možemo da se pozdravimo sa daljim istraživanjem kosmosa...
 NASA’s Plutonium Problem Could End Deep-Space Exploration
Quote
In 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft left Earth on a five-year mission to explore Jupiter and Saturn. Thirty-six years later, the car-size probe is still exploring, still sending its findings home. It has now put more than 19 billion kilometers between itself and the sun. Last week NASA announced that Voyager 1 had become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.
 
The distance this craft has covered is almost incomprehensible. It’s so far away that it takes more than 17 hours for its signals to reach Earth. Along the way, Voyager 1 gave scientists their first close-up looks at Saturn, took the first images of Jupiter’s rings, discovered many of the moons circling those planets and revealed that Jupiter’s moon Io has active volcanoes. Now the spacecraft is discovering what the edge of the solar system is like, piercing the heliosheath where the last vestiges of the sun’s influence are felt and traversing the heliopause where cosmic currents overcome the solar wind. Voyager 1 is expected to keep working until 2025 when it will finally run out of power.
 
None of this would be possible without the spacecraft’s three batteries filled with plutonium-238. In fact, Most of what humanity knows about the outer planets came back to Earth on plutonium power. Cassini’s ongoing exploration of Saturn, Galileo’s trip to Jupiter, Curiosity’s exploration of the surface of Mars, and the 2015 flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft are all fueled by the stuff. The characteristics of this metal’s radioactive decay make it a super-fuel. More importantly, there is no other viable option. Solar power is too weak, chemical batteries don’t last, nuclear fission systems are too heavy. So, we depend on plutonium-238, a fuel largely acquired as by-product of making nuclear weapons.
 
But there’s a problem: We’ve almost run out.
 
“We’ve got enough to last to the end of this decade. That’s it,” said Steve Johnson, a nuclear chemist at Idaho National Laboratory. And it’s not just the U.S. reserves that are in jeopardy. The entire planet’s stores are nearly depleted.
 
The country’s scientific stockpile has dwindled to around 36 pounds. To put that in perspective, the battery that powers NASA’s Curiosity rover, which is currently studying the surface of Mars, contains roughly 10 pounds of plutonium, and what’s left has already been spoken for and then some. The implications for space exploration are dire: No more plutonium-238 means not exploring perhaps 99 percent of the solar system. In effect, much of NASA’s $1.5 billion-a-year (and shrinking) planetary science program is running out of time. The nuclear crisis is so bad that affected researchers know it simply as “The Problem.”
 
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The required materials, reactors, and infrastructure are all in place to create plutonium-238 (which, unlike plutonium-239, is practically impossible to use for a nuclear bomb). In fact, the U.S. government recently approved spending about $10 million a year to reconstitute production capabilities the nation shuttered almost two decades ago. In March, the DOE even produced a tiny amount of fresh plutonium inside a nuclear reactor in Tennessee.
 
It’s a good start, but the crisis is far from solved. Political ignorance and shortsighted squabbling, along with false promises from Russia, and penny-wise management of NASA’s ever-thinning budget still stand in the way of a robust plutonium-238 production system. The result: Meaningful exploration of the solar system has been pushed to a cliff’s edge. One ambitious space mission could deplete remaining plutonium stockpiles, and any hiccup in a future supply chain could undermine future missions.
 
**********

The only natural supplies of plutonium-238 vanished eons before the Earth formed some 4.6 billion years ago. Exploding stars forge the silvery metal, but its half-life, or time required for 50 percent to disappear through decay, is just under 88 years.
 
Fortunately, we figured out how to produce it ourselves — and to harness it to create a remarkably persistent source of energy. Like other radioactive materials, plutonium-238 decays because its atomic structure is unstable. When an atom’s nucleus spontaneously decays, it fires off a helium core at high speed while leaving behind a uranium atom. These helium bullets, called alpha radiation, collide en masse with nearby atoms within a lump of plutonium — a material twice as dense as lead. The energy can cook a puck of plutonium-238 to nearly 1,260 degrees Celsius. To turn that into usable power, you wrap the puck with thermoelectrics that convert heat to electricity. Voila: You’ve got a battery that can power a spacecraft for decades.
 
“It’s like a magic isotope. It’s just right,” said Jim Adams, NASA’s deputy chief technologist and former deputy director of the space agency’s planetary science division.
 
U.S. production came primarily from two nuclear laboratories that created plutonium-238 as a byproduct of making bomb-grade plutonium-239. The Hanford Site in Washington state left the plutonium-238 mixed into a cocktail of nuclear wastes. The Savannah River Site in South Carolina, however, extracted and refined more than 360 pounds during the Cold War to power , spy satellites, and dozens of NASA’s pluckiest spacecraft.
 
By 1988, with the Iron Curtain full of holes, the U.S. and Russia began to dismantle wartime nuclear facilities. Hanford and Savannah River no longer produced any plutonium-238. But Russia continued to harvest the material by processing nuclear reactor fuel at a nuclear industrial complex called Mayak. The Russians sold their first batch, weighing 36 pounds, to the U.S. in 1993 for more than $45,000 per ounce. Russia had become the planet’s sole supplier, but it soon fell behind on orders. In 2009, it reneged on a deal to sell 22 pounds to the U.S.
 
Whether or not Russia has any material left or can still create some is uncertain. “What we do know is that they’re not willing to sell it anymore,” said Alan Newhouse, a retired nuclear space consultant who spearheaded the first purchase of Russian plutonium-238. “One story I’ve heard … is that they don’t have anything left to sell.”
 
By 2005, according a Department of Energy report (.pdf), the U.S. government owned 87 pounds, of which roughly two-thirds was designated for national security projects, likely to power deep-sea espionage hardware. The DOE would not disclose to WIRED what is left today, but scientists close to the issue say just 36 pounds remain earmarked for NASA.
 
That’s enough for the space agency to launch a few small deep-space missions before 2020. A twin of the Curiosity rover is planned to lift off for Mars in 2020 and will require nearly a third of the stockpile. After that, NASA’s interstellar exploration program is left staring into a void — especially for high-profile, plutonium-hungry missions, like the proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter. To seek signs of life around Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, such a spacecraft could require more than 47 pounds of plutonium.
 
“The supply situation is already impacting mission planning,” said Alice Caponiti, a nuclear engineer who leads the DOE’s efforts to restart plutonium-238 production. “If you’re planning a mission that’s going to take eight years to plan, the first thing you’re going to want to know is if you have power.”
 
Many of the eight deep-space robotic missions that NASA had envisioned over the next 15 years have already been delayed or canceled. Even more missions — some not yet even formally proposed — are silent casualties of NASA’s plutonium poverty. Since 1994, scientists have pleaded with lawmakers for the money to restart production. The DOE believes a relatively modest $10 to 20 million in funding each year through 2020 could yield an operation capable of making between 3.3 and 11 pounds of plutonium-238 annually — plenty to keep a steady stream of spacecraft in business.
 
**********

In 2012, a line item in NASA’s $17-billion budget fed $10 million in funding toward an experiment to create a tiny amount of plutonium-238. The goals: gauge how much could be made, estimate full-scale production costs, and simply prove the U.S. could pull it off again. It was half of the money requested by NASA and the DOE, the space agency’s partner in the endeavor (the Atomic Energy Act forbids NASA to manufacture plutonium-238). The experiment may last seven more years and cost between $85 and $125 million.
 
At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, nuclear scientists have used the High Flux Isotope Reactor to produce a few micrograms of plutonium-238. A fully reconstituted plutonium program described in the DOE’s latest plan, released this week, would also utilize a second reactor west of Idaho Falls, called the Advanced Test Reactor.
 
That facility is located on the 890-square-mile nuclear ranch of Idaho National Laboratory. The scrub of the high desert rolls past early morning visitors as the sun crests the Teton Range. Armed guards stop and inspect vehicles at a roadside outpost, waving those with the proper credentials toward a reactor complex fringed with barbed wire and electrified fences.
 
Beyond the last security checkpoint is a warehouse-sized, concrete-floored room. Yellow lines painted on the floor cordon off what resembles an aboveground swimming pool capped with a metal lid. A bird’s-eye view reveals four huge, retractable metal slabs; jump through one and you’d plunge into 36 feet of water that absorbs radiation. Halfway to the bottom is the reactor’s 4-foot-tall core, its four-leaf clover shape dictated by slender, wedge-shaped bars of uranium. “That’s where you’d stick your neptunium,” nuclear chemist Steve Johnson said, pointing to a diagram of the radioactive clover.
 
Neptunium, a direct neighbor to plutonium on the periodic table and a stable byproduct of Cold War-era nuclear reactors, is the material from which plutonium-238 is most easily made. In Johnson’s arrangement, engineers pack tubes with neptunium-237 and slip them into the reactor core. Every so often an atom of neptunium-237 absorbs a neutron emitted by the core’s decaying uranium, later shedding an electron to become plutonium-238. A year or two later — after harmful isotopes vanish — technicians could dissolve the tubes in acid, remove the plutonium, and recycle the neptunium into new targets.
 
The inescapable pace of radioactive decay and limited reactor space mean it may take five to seven years to create 3.3 pounds of battery-ready plutonium. Even if full production reaches that rate, NASA needs to squeeze every last watt out of what will inevitably always be a rather small stockpile.
 
The standard-issue power source, called a multi-mission thermoelectric generator — the kind that now powers the Curiosity rover — won’t cut it for space exploration’s future. “They’re trustworthy, but they use a heck of a lot of plutonium,” Johnson said.
 
In other words, NASA doesn’t just need new plutonium. It needs a new battery.
 
**********

In a cluttered basement at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, metal cages and transparent plastic boxes house a menagerie of humming devices. Many look like stainless-steel barbells about a meter long and riddled with wires; others resemble white crates the size of two-drawer filing cabinets.
 
The unpretentious machines are prototypes of NASA’s next-generation nuclear power system, called the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator. It’s shaping up to be a radically different, more efficient nuclear battery than any before it.
 
On the outside, the machines are motionless. Inside is a flurry of heat-powered motion driven by the Stirling cycle, developed in 1816 by the Scottish clergyman Robert Stirling. Gasoline engines burn fuel to rapidly expand air that pushes pistons, but Stirling converters need only a heat gradient. The greater the difference between a Stirling engine’s hot and cold parts, the faster its pistons hum. When heat warms one end of a sealed chamber containing helium, the gas expands, pushing a magnet-laden piston through a tube of coiled wire to generate electricity. The displaced, cooling gas then moves back to the hot side, sucking the piston backward to restart the cycle.
 
“Nothing is touching anything. That’s the whole beauty of the converter,” said Lee Mason, one of several NASA engineers crowded into the basement. Their pistons float like air hockey pucks on the cycling helium gas.
 
For every 100 watts of heat generated, the Stirling generator converts more than 30 watts into electricity. That’s nearly five times better than the nuclear battery powering Curiosity. In effect, the generator can use one-fourth of the plutonium while boosting electrical output by at least 25 percent. Less plutonium also means these motors weigh two-thirds less than Curiosity’s 99-pound battery — a big difference for spacecraft on 100 million-mile-or-more journeys. Curiosity was the biggest, heaviest spacecraft NASA could send to Mars at the time, with a vast majority of its mass dedicated to a safe landing — not science. Reducing weight expands the possibilities for advanced instruments on future missions.
 
But the Stirling generator’s relatively complicated technology, while crucial to the design, worries some space scientists. “There are people who are very concerned that this unit has moving parts,” said John Hamley, manager of NASA Glenn’s nuclear battery program. The concern is that the motion might interfere with spacecraft instruments that must be sensitive enough to map gravity fields, electromagnetism, and other subtle phenomena in space.
 
As a workaround, each generator uses two Stirling converters sitting opposite each other. An onboard computer constantly synchronizes their movements to cancel out troublesome vibrations. To detect and correct design flaws, engineers have abused their generator prototypes in vacuum chambers, assaulted them on shaking tables, and barraged them with powerful blasts of radiation and magnetism.
 
But NASA typically requires new technologies to be tested for one and a half expected lifetimes before flying them in space. For the Stirling generator, that would take 25 years. Earnest testing began in 2001, cutting the delay to 13 years– but that’s longer than NASA can wait: In 2008, only one of 10 nuclear-powered missions called for the device. By 2010, seven of eight deep-space missions planned through 2027 required them.
 
To speed things up, Hamley and his team run a dozen different units at a time. The oldest device has operated almost continuously for nearly 10 years while the newest design has churned since 2009. The combined data on the Stirling generators totals more than 50 years, enough for simulations to reliably fast-forward a model’s wear-and-tear. So far, so good. “Nothing right now is a show-stopper,” Hamley said. His team is currently building two flight-worthy units, plus a third for testing on the ground (Hamley expects Johnson’s team in Idaho to fuel it sometime next year).
 
For all of the technology’s promise, however, it “won’t solve this problem,” Johnson said. Even if the Stirling generator is used, plutonium-238 supplies will only stretch through 2022.
 
Any hiccups in funding for plutonium-238 production could put planetary science into a tailspin and delay, strip down, or smother nuclear-powered missions. The outlook among scientists is simultaneously optimistic and rattled.
 
The reason: It took countless scientists and their lobbyists more than 15 years just to get lawmakers’ attention. A dire 2009 report about “The Problem,” authored by more than five dozen researchers, ultimately helped slip the first earnest funding request into the national budget in 2009. Congressional committees squabbled over if and how to spend $20 million of taxpayers’ money — it took them three years to make up their minds.
 
**********

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about plutonium-238,” said Jim Adams, the former deputy boss of NASA’s planetary science division.
 
At the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Adams stares through the glass at the nuclear wonder that powered his generation’s space exploration. Amid the fake moon dust sits a model of SNAP-27, a plutonium-238-fueled battery that every lunar landing after Apollo 11 to power its science experiments. “My father worked on the Lunar Excursion Model, which that thing was stored on, and it’s still up there making power,” Adams said.
 
Just a few steps away is a model of the first Viking Lander, which touched down on Mars in 1976 and began digging for water and life. It found neither. “We didn’t dig deep enough,” Adams said. “Just 4 centimeters below the depth that Viking dug was a layer of pristine ice.”
 
One floor up, a model of a Voyager spacecraft hangs from the ceiling. The three nuclear power supplies aboard the real spacecraft are what allow Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, to contact the Earth after 36 years. Any other type of power system would have expired decades ago.
 
The same technology fuels the Cassini spacecraft, which continues to survey Saturn, sending a priceless stream of data and almost-too-fantastic-to believe images of that planet and its many moons. New Horizons’ upcoming flyby of Pluto — nine and a half years in the making — wouldn’t be possible without a reliable source of nuclear fuel.
 
The Viking lander needed to dig deeper. Now we do, too.
 

I Antrfile:
 
Quote
Is It Safe to Launch Nuclear Batteries?
Anti-nuclear activists often state that just one microscopic particle of plutonium-238 inhaled into the lungs can lead to fatal cancer. There’s something to the claim, as pure plutonium-238 — ounce-for-ounce — is 270 times more radioactive than the plutonium-239 inside nuclear warheads. But the real risks to anyone of launching a nuclear battery are frequently mis-represented or misunderstood.
 Statisticians compare apples to apples by looking at a threat’s severity, likelihood and affected population. An asteroid able to wipe out 1.5 billion people, for example, hits Earth about once about every 500,000 years — so the risk is high-severity, yet low-probability. Nuclear battery disasters, meanwhile, exist as low-severity and low-probability events, even near the launch pad.
Cassini, for example, left Earth with the most plutonium of any spacecraft at 72 pounds . Late in that probe’s launch there was about a 1 in 476 chance of plutonium release. If that had happened, fatalities over 50 years from that release would have numbered an estimated 1/25th of a person per the safety design of its nuclear batteries. The overall risk of cancer to a person near the launch pad during an accident was estimated at 7 in 100,000. Beyond that zone, risk was even lower.
Statisticians also considered a second hypothetical and potentially dangerous event with Cassini. To get to Saturn, the spacecraft swung back toward and flew within 600 miles of Earth, zooming by at tens of thousands of miles per hour. The chance of releasing plutonium then was less than 1 in a million. If a release of plutonium occurred, statisticians estimated it might cause 120 cancer fatalities — for the whole planet — over 50 years. By contrast, natural background radiation likely claims a million lives a year, and lightning strikes about 10,000 lives.
A launch accident with NASA’s Curiosity rover had a roughly 1 in 250 chance of releasing plutonium. But the low chance of cancer fatalities brought individual risk down to about 1 in 5.8 million. “I feel that they’re completely safe,” said Ryan Bechtel, DOE’s nuclear battery safety manager. “My entire family was there at Curiosity’s launch site.”
 

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #39 on: 22-09-2013, 08:03:51 »
Wired ima tekst o beskućniku koji živi od gledanja reklama po Internetu a zaradu uzima u bitcoinima.
 
Homeless, Unemployed, and Surviving on Bitcoins

 
Quote

Jesse Angle is homeless, living on the streets of Pensacola, Florida. Sometimes he spends the night at a local church. Other nights, he sleeps behind a building in the heart of the city, underneath a carport that protects him from the rain.
 
Each morning, he wakes up, grabs some food, and makes his way to Martin Luther King Plaza, a downtown park built where the trolley tracks used to run. He likes this park because his friends hang out there too, and it’s a good place to pick up some spending money. But he doesn’t panhandle. He uses the internet.
 
The park offers free wireless access, and with his laptop, Angle watches YouTube videos in exchange for bitcoins, the world’s most popular digital currency.
 
For every video he watches, Angle gets 0.00004 bitcoins, or about half a cent, thanks to a service, called BitcoinGet, that shamelessly drives artificial traffic to certain online clips. He can watch up to 12 videos a day, which gets him to about six cents.* And he can beef up this daily take with Bitcoin Tapper, a mobile app that doles out about 0.000133 bitcoins a day — a couple of pennies — if he just taps on a digital icon over and over again. Like the YouTube service, this app isn’t exactly the height of internet sophistication — it seeks to capture your attention so it can show you ads — but for Angle, it’s a good way to keep himself fed.
 
Angle, 42, is on food stamps, but that never quite gets him through the month. The internet provides the extra money he needs to buy a meal each and every day. Since setting up a bitcoin wallet about three or four months ago, he has earned somewhere between four or five bitcoins — about $500 to $630 today — through YouTube videos, Bitcoin Tapper, and the occasional donation. And when he does odd jobs for people around Pensacola — here in the physical world — he still gets paid in bitcoin, just because it’s easier and safer. He doesn’t have to worry as much about getting robbed.
 
Jesse Angle isn’t your average homeless person. But he shows that bitcoin is changing the world in more ways than you might imagine. Some believe it could provide a major boost to the country’s 640,000 homeless, not only in providing extra pocket change for those on the street, but by helping urban homeless shelters more quickly secure donations for hot meals, beds, and blankets.
 
Angle learned about bitcoin through Sean’s Outpost, a Pensacola charity that has raised about $32,000 through a program that solicits donations in bitcoins rather than American dollars. So far, it has received donations from 25 different countries, and this has bought almost 16,000 meals for Pensacola homeless.
 
“Bitcoin beats the shit out of regular money,” says Jason King, the founder of Sean’s Outpost. “We’ve resonated so well with people because it’s direct action. There’s no chaff between donation and helping people.” That could change, as regulators in the U.S. put the clamps on the use of bitcoin. But for now, in the world of the homeless, it reduces chaff in more ways than one.
 
Jesse Angle says bitcoins are harder to come by than spare change shared by people walking down the streets. But there are other reasons for him to go digital.
 
“It’s a lot less embarrassing,” he says. “You don’t have to put yourself out there.” And unlike panhandling in Pensacola, using an app like Bitcoin Tapper won’t put him on the wrong side of the law. This past May, Pensacola — where Angle has lived since April — passed an ordinance that bans not only panhandling but camping on city property.
 
Yes, you need a smartphone to earn bitcoins — or some other device that gets you onto the internet. But the homeless carry mobile devices more often than you might expect. Angle’s homeless friends Chris Kantola and Paul Harrison also have phones, and they aren’t unlike people living on the streets in other parts of the country. At San Francisco’s Tenderloin Technology Lab — a nonprofit that provides the city’s poor and homeless access to computers — organizers say that many of its clients use personal phones to connect to the net. Android is the mobile platform of choice.
 
You also need power, but that’s not that hard to come by. When Angle and his pals run out of juice for their phones, they walk from Martin Luther King Plaza to the local Pensacola library, where they can plug into outdoor outlets on the side of the wall.
 
The bitcoin system could become an equalizer for the country’s homeless, a place where the stigma of living on the streets isn’t as pronounced. “Homeless people don’t like to raise their hands and say they’re different,” says Mark Horvath, an advocate for using the internet and social media to help end homelessness. “Nobody does.” In the bitcoin world, they don’t have to.
 
If you’re homeless, the great thing about bitcoin is that you can set up a wallet without an ID or a street address. And once you start filling this wallet, there are plenty of ways of converting bitcoins into cash and food and other goods, all without identification.
 
After earning his money with apps like Bitcoin Tapper, Angle turns to another tool called Gyft, an Android app that converts his bitcoin reserves into gift cards for places like Papa John’s pizza. He can then buy a pie online, have it delivered, and share it with Kantola and Harrison.
 
The next day, his friends might return the favor. They too have their own bitcoin wallets. “We’re kind of the homeless geeks,” Angle says. “We all got laptops and smartphones.”
 
Angle used to work as a network engineer and a computer repair technician — as well as a carpenter and a pool cleaning guy, among other jobs — but the work eventually petered out, and he wound up homeless when his roommates moved out of his apartment and he couldn’t afford the rent on his own.
 
After a few months, he got back under a roof, but that didn’t last, so he decided to live on the street for a while, rather than yo-yoing between home and homelessness.
 
He was the first of his group to start using bitcoin. He became a regular at Sean’s Outpost, and one day, after Jason King, the organization’s founder, mentioned the digital currency, Angle pulled out his Android phone and asked King to help him set up a digital wallet. “When he left,” Angle remembers. “I showed my friends which app to get.”
 
King is a longtime fan of bitcoin and its mission to create an online peer-to-peer network for transactions. When he started Sean’s Outpost, he didn’t set out to help the homeless through the digital currency, but that’s what happened. As the value of a bitcoin topped $50, he saw the milestone as an opportunity to prove the nay-sayers wrong, to show them that bitcoin wasn’t just the latest geek fad, but something of real value.
 
In addition to helping people like Angle make their own money through bitcoin, King began soliciting bitcoin donations to Sean’s Outpost. “If you give me one bitcoin,” he’d say, “I can feed 40 homeless people in Pensacola. That’s proof that it has real value.”
 
He took to reddit to advertise this new model, promising to put donor names on each bagged lunch made possible through bitcoin donations. Within 12 hours of launching, he had given out 80 meals — something he couldn’t have done so quickly if he’d raised money through more traditional means. Even Paypal, he says, is a dinosaur compared to Bitcoin because it can take days to set up an account, and it saddles people with fees and restrictions. More recently, he started taking donations in Litecoin, a digital currency not unlike bitcoin.
 
Using these new-age money systems, King is also tapping into what you might call the digital nouveau riche — all those people that jumped on digital currency early, when it was dirt cheap, and quickly amassed fortunes. “Some tech guys and nerds like myself who got into it early now have millions,” King says. “For that group, it’s a very tangible concept to take virtual currencies and help people with it.”
 
Other charity organizations are working along similar lines. Bitcoin100 was started with the sole purpose of encouraging charities to accept bitcoins, and it now counts the Khan Academy and the Virtual Doctor Project among its success stories. A woman named Connie Gallippi has launched the first bitcoin-only charity — the BitGive Foundation — hoping to build a multi-million dollar fund for environmental and health-related causes. And in San Francisco, Project FEED is using bitcoin to accept donations for hoodies that can clothe the homeless this winter.
 
Meanwhile, Sean’s Outpost has opened something it calls BitHOC, the Bitcoin Homeless Outreach Center, a 1200-square-foot facility that doubles as a storage space and homeless shelter. The lease – and some of the food it houses — is paid in bitcoins through a service called Coinbase. For gas and other supplies, Sean’s Outpost taps Gyft, the giftcard app Jesse Angle and his friends use to purchase pizza.
 
King has also started recruiting the homeless to build houses for other homeless people to live in, and whenever possible, he’s paying them in bitcoin. Just this month, Sean’s Outpost announced Satoshi Forest, which King calls a “sanctuary for the homeless.” The $90,000 nine-acre plot will contain multiple homes for the homeless, dubbed BitHouses.
 
In the first 18 hours after the announcement, redditors donated roughly 10 bitcoins, or two months‘ worth of mortgage payments, and King managed to convince Bob Dale, the property holder, to take the $600 mortgage in bitcoin. This is the only property for which Dale is currently accepting digital currency, but so far, he says, “it’s been a good experience because bitcoins have gone up in value, so it’s more than I would have gotten in regular dollars.”
 
In the long-term, King wants to morph this into a business in the “buy-one-get-one-free” spirit of Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, and rubberit. Jesse Angle and his friends Kantola and Harrison want to help with this new endeavor, but they may have trouble getting to the BitHouse location because they don’t own cars. Watching videos on YouTube earns you only so many bitcoins.
 
But it’s better than nothing. Much better than nothing.
 

 
Zaista, živimo SF.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #40 on: 23-09-2013, 10:13:44 »
Eh...

NASA gives up on Deep Impact comet probe

Quote

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. - NASA is calling off attempts to find its Deep Impact comet probe after a suspected software glitch shut down radio communications in August, officials said on Friday.
The spacecraft was launched in January 2005 for a close-up study of Comet Tempel-1.
It was not just a passive experiment. The probe released an 820-pound (372-kg) metal slug that crashed into the comet's nucleus, triggering a shower of particles for analysis by the mother spacecraft and remote observatories.
Deep Impact continued its comet quest with a flyby of Hartley 2 in November 2010 and long-distance studies of other bodies, including the approaching Comet ISON. The spacecraft was also used to look for planets beyond the solar system.
NASA last heard from Deep Impact on Aug. 8. Engineers suspect a software problem caused the spacecraft to lose its orientation system, cutting off radio contact with Earth in the process.
After a month of fruitless attempts to find the probe, NASA on Friday announced it was formally ending the mission.
"Despite this unexpected final curtain call, Deep Impact already achieved much more than ever was envisioned," Lindley Johnson, who oversees the program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.
University of Maryland astronomer Michael A'Hearn, who led the Deep Impact science team, said in a separate statement: "I'm saddened by its functional loss. But, I am very proud of the many contributions to our evolving understanding of comets that it has made possible."
"These small, icy remnants of the formation of our solar system are much more varied, both one from another and even from one part to another of a single comet, than we had ever anticipated," A'Hearn said.
NASA had hoped Deep Impact would play a key role in observations of the approaching Comet ISON, a suspected first-time visitor to the inner solar system that was discovered in September 2012 by two Russian astronomers.
The comet is heading toward a close encounter with the sun in November, a brush that it may not survive.
Later this month, NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will attempt to catch a glimpse of the comet as it flies by Mars.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #41 on: 28-09-2013, 07:38:35 »
Woo hoo!!!! Na korak smo od lightsaber tehnologije!!!!!!!!

 Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Quote
Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.
The discovery, Lukin said, runs contrary to decades of accepted wisdom about the nature of light. Photons have long been described as massless particles which don't interact with each other – shine two laser beams at each other, he said, and they simply pass through one another.
"Photonic molecules," however, behave less like traditional lasers and more like something you might find in science fiction – the light saber.
"Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other," Lukin said. "What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules. This type of photonic bound state has been discussed theoretically for quite a while, but until now it hadn't been observed.
"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to light sabers," Lukin added. "When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."
To get the normally-massless photons to bind to each other, Lukin and colleagues, including Harvard post-doctoral fellow Ofer Fisterberg, former Harvard doctoral student Alexey Gorshkov and MIT graduate students Thibault Peyronel and Qiu Liang couldn't rely on something like the Force – they instead turned to a set of more extreme conditions.
 
Researchers began by pumped rubidium atoms into a vacuum chamber, then used lasers to cool the cloud of atoms to just a few degrees above absolute zero. Using extremely weak laser pulses, they then fired single photons into the cloud of atoms.
As the photons enter the cloud of cold atoms, Lukin said, its energy excites atoms along its path, causing the photon to slow dramatically. As the photon moves through the cloud, that energy is handed off from atom to atom, and eventually exits the cloud with the photon.
"When the photon exits the medium, its identity is preserved," Lukin said. "It's the same effect we see with refraction of light in a water glass. The light enters the water, it hands off part of its energy to the medium, and inside it exists as light and matter coupled together, but when it exits, it's still light. The process that takes place is the same it's just a bit more extreme – the light is slowed considerably, and a lot more energy is given away than during refraction."
When Lukin and colleagues fired two photons into the cloud, they were surprised to see them exit together, as a single molecule.
The reason they form the never-before-seen molecules?
An effect called a Rydberg blockade, Lukin said, which states that when an atom is excited, nearby atoms cannot be excited to the same degree. In practice, the effect means that as two photons enter the atomic cloud, the first excites an atom, but must move forward before the second photon can excite nearby atoms.
The result, he said, is that the two photons push and pull each other through the cloud as their energy is handed off from one atom to the next.
"It's a photonic interaction that's mediated by the atomic interaction," Lukin said. "That makes these two photons behave like a molecule, and when they exit the medium they're much more likely to do so together than as single photons."
While the effect is unusual, it does have some practical applications as well.
"We do this for fun, and because we're pushing the frontiers of science," Lukin said. "But it feeds into the bigger picture of what we're doing because photons remain the best possible means to carry quantum information. The handicap, though, has been that photons don't interact with each other."
To build a quantum computer, he explained, researchers need to build a system that can preserve quantum information, and process it using quantum logic operations. The challenge, however, is that quantum logic requires interactions between individual quanta so that quantum systems can be switched to perform information processing.
"What we demonstrate with this process allows us to do that," Lukin said. "Before we make a useful, practical quantum switch or photonic logic gate we have to improve the performance, so it's still at the proof-of-concept level, but this is an important step. The physical principles we've established here are important."
The system could even be useful in classical computing, Lukin said, considering the power-dissipation challenges chip-makers now face. A number of companies – including IBM – have worked to develop systems that rely on optical routers that convert light signals into electrical signals, but those systems face their own hurdles.
Lukin also suggested that the system might one day even be used to create complex three-dimensional structures – such as crystals – wholly out of light.
"What it will be useful for we don't know yet, but it's a new state of matter, so we are hopeful that new applications may emerge as we continue to investigate these photonic molecules' properties," he said.
 

Za godinu dve, dakle:
 
gangster kills a guy in a fight caught on camera

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #42 on: 28-09-2013, 10:32:30 »
Počeću da sumnjam da pratiš LK na fb/tw ;)
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #43 on: 28-09-2013, 14:08:24 »
Ne, ne, većinu ovoga kupim preko Slešdota. Ipak sam ja star čovek okoštalih navika.

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #44 on: 28-09-2013, 16:47:29 »
Ha, neretko smo brži od slešdota  :!:
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #45 on: 28-09-2013, 19:10:00 »
Oh, nije to iznenađujuće, pošto slešdot ima celu proceduru oko toga da se nešto prvo podnese kao predlog pa se glasa, pa ako se izglasa onda bude fičrovano a ja ga tek onda vidim u njuzleteru, pošto nemam vremena da tamo visim ceo dan i čitam sve u realnom vremenu.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #46 on: 02-10-2013, 14:58:28 »
Gah! Ovi iz krekda su uspeli da nam ogade i putovanje u svemir!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.cracked.com/article_20644_6-reasons-life-in-space-sucks-that-sci-fi-doesnt-show-you.html

zakk

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #47 on: 02-10-2013, 15:40:30 »
Au.. za pola nisam ni čuo... oO
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #48 on: 09-10-2013, 09:27:33 »
A u današnjem izdanju rubrike "Živimo SF": kiborške bubašvabe!!!


Cyborg Cockroach Sparks Ethics Debate   



Quote
At the TEDx conference in Detroit last week, RoboRoach #12 scuttled across the exhibition floor, pursued not by an exterminator but by a gaggle of fascinated onlookers. Wearing a tiny backpack of microelectronics on its shell, the cockroach—a member of the Blaptica dubia species—zigzagged along the corridor in a twitchy fashion, its direction controlled by the brush of a finger against an iPhone touch screen (as seen in video above).
RoboRoach #12 and its brethren are billed as a do-it-yourself neuroscience experiment that allows students to create their own “cyborg” insects. The roach was the main feature of the TEDx talk by Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo, co-founders of an educational company called Backyard Brains. After a summer Kickstarter campaign raised enough money to let them hone their insect creation, the pair used the Detroit presentation to show it off and announce that starting in November, the company will, for $99, begin shipping live cockroaches across the nation, accompanied by a microelectronic hardware and surgical kits geared toward students as young as 10 years old.
That news, however, hasn’t been greeted warmly by everyone. Gage and Marzullo, both trained as neuroscientists and engineers, say that the purpose of the project is to spur a “neuro-revolution” by inspiring more kids to join the fields when they grow up, but some critics say the project is sending the wrong message. "They encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms" and "encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools," says Michael Allen Fox, a professor of philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.
“It’s kind of weird to control via your smartphone a living organism,” says William Newman, a presenter at TEDx and managing principal at the Newport Consulting Group, who got to play with a RoboRoach at the conference. At the same time, he says, he is pleased that the project will teach students about the neuroscience behind brain stimulation treatments that are being used to treat two of his friends with Parkinson’s disease.
The roaches’ movements to the right or left are controlled by electrodes that feed into their antennae and receive signals by remote control—via the Bluetooth signals emitted by smartphones. To attach the device to the insect, students are instructed to douse the insect in ice water to “anesthetize” it, sand a patch of shell on its head so that the superglue and electrodes will stick, and then insert a groundwire into the insect’s thorax. Next, they must carefully trim the insect’s antennae, and insert silver electrodes into them. Ultimately, these wires receive electrical impulses from a circuit affixed to the insect’s back.
Gage says the roaches feel little pain from the stimulation, to which they quickly adapt. But the notion that the insects aren’t seriously harmed by having body parts cut off is “disingenuous,” says animal behavior scientist Jonathan Balcombe of the Humane Society University in Washington, D.C. “If it was discovered that a teacher was having students use magnifying glasses to burn ants and then look at their tissue, how would people react?”
Gage says that in his experience, working carefully and closely with insects and other animals in experiments can sensitize students to the fact that roaches “are actually similar to us and have the same neurons that we have.” He also notes that the company doesn’t kill their own roaches after the experiments, but sends them to a “retirement” tank that the team calls Shady Acres. Although they may be missing legs or antennae, the insects tend to get on with their lives after the experiments, he says. “They do what they like to do: make babies, eat, and poop.”
“I try not to downplay the fact that in science we use animal models and a lot of times they are killed,” Gage says. “As scientists, we do this all the time, but it happens behind closed doors.” By following the surgical instructions, he says, all students learn that they have to care for the roaches—treating wounds by “putting a little Vaseline” on them, and minimizing suffering whenever possible. Still, Gage acknowledges, “we get a lot of e-mails telling us we’re teaching kids to be psychopaths.”
The RoboRoach “gives you a way of playing with living things,” like a short-lived version of the forbidden “Imperius Curse” in the Harry Potter novels, says bioethicist Gregory Kaebnick of the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York. He finds the product “unpleasant,” but adds that he won’t be calling for a boycott, either. “I’ll just be happy that I found a cleverly marketed consumer item that I am very happy not to own.”



Meho Krljic

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Re: živimo SF
« Reply #49 on: 25-10-2013, 12:30:53 »
Policija u Britaniji izvršila raciju na organizovanu kriminalnu grupu koja je koristila 3D printere da proizvodi vatreno oružje.  Naravno, ovo je Sky News pa treba očekivati ovakvo tabloidno izveštavanje. Jasno je da u ovom trenutku kvalitet 3D-štampanog oružja nije na nivou gde bi takvo oružje bilo iole pouzdano u realističnoj situaciji, da ne pominjemo da je još uvek nebezbedno i da cena produkcije jednog komada koji je neupotrebljiv posle desetak hitaca sve čini ekonomski prilično neisplativim za bilo kog ozbiljnog kriminalca. Ali opet, ovo je kao nešto iz Robokapa pa je adekvatno za ovaj topik.  :lol: