I wish everyone who passes by this blog (and those who don't!) the most fruitful year of their lives yet. Onward to 2011. Happy New Year!
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Here's a more interesting ranking than the previous one. Wired.com has presented technologies featured in various Science Fiction stories that (supposedly) CAME TRUE in 2010.
1) Walk-through X-Rays at Airports - Featured in the movie TOTAL RECALL
2) Video Phones
3) Alien Life - Not the complex kind, but just tiny micro-organisms supposedly based on arsenic discovered by NASA. This one feels like a stretch since most of the scientific community says it never happened.
4) 3D Televisions
5) Big Brother - Featured in George Orwell's 1984. Thanks to the internet we can be spied upon 24/7 or nearly so. Eh, this one's a stretch also, buddy.
6) Telepathy - This one's a reach. Wired says Mobile Phone + Bluetooth = Telepathy. I guess...maybe in the same way that "a Thought that Counts" + "Empty Christmas Box" = Great Holiday Gift. Ho ho ho. Not buying this one either.
7) A ...read more
Time for another 2010 list! Yes, we all love lists here at Logic-Cool, it's so much easier to copy/paste them then actually compose readable content. All throughout the year, you've seen them on Yahoo News, on Google, on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX; headlines of top-paid scientists given millions of dollars in grants to research the most ridiculous things.
This ranking is presented by LiveScience, and features a number of fairly obvious "scientific" conclusions we are now absolutely, positively, double-dog sure about.
1) Using crystal-meth while pregnant is bad for the baby!
2) Kids without friends are sad!
3) School bullies target unpopular kids!
4) Women watch out, 'cause men prefer casual sex to dating!
5) Sitting in front of the TV all day can make you fat!
6) Eating less and exercising more helps you lose weight!
7) Smoking massive amounts of weed is bad for ...read more
Well, here we are, folks. Only a few hours away from singing "Auld Lang Syne". Time to finish off the year with "the best of". New Scientist has rounded up the 10 Most Popular Space stories of 2010. Read 'em, they're a blast...or a bang rather (a big one).
Featured stories include: how Neptune ate a rogue planet, Star Trek warp speed is lethal, life possibly found on Saturn's moon, the Sun going crazy, and yes black holes, black holes and BLACK HOLES.
In general, boys like running these kinds of fantasy military scenarios in their heads. Over at Popular Mechanics, they decided to publish their musings. The most likely flashpoint between China and the U.S. is over the fate of Taiwan. The name of the game for China would be to deny American forces access to launch points around the island long enough for them to storm it. Once Taiwan has been conquered, America would have to launch its own all-out invasion to recover the island, which would be extremely costly. So, the initial defense of Taiwan will be of critical importance. In particular, the Popular Mechanics article believes the survival of the two U.S. aircraft carriers will determine the outcome of the entire battle.
Current projections by most think tanks have the U.S. losing an air war over Taiwan, due to China's bolstered aerial fleet, their new ...read more
This is news only a true geek can get excited over. Several months ago, a researcher at the University of Amsterdam named Erik Verlinde presented the idea that gravity is a manifestation of entropy in the universe. This idea is taking the world of physics by storm because it finally allows Quantum Physics to explain gravity for the first time ever. Gravity has always been the big bugaboo in creating a Grand Theory of Everything.
One of the more mind-blowing ramifications of this idea is that it implies the universe is not made up of subatomic particles (photons, electrons) which carry information. Instead, it could be the other way around, that the core fabric of the universe is actually information, which carries or floats the subatomic particles.
And again, U.S. News & World Reports has another article, this time showcasing a movie called TURBULENCE, created by Israeli Prof. Nitzan Ben Shaul of Tel Aviv University's Department of Film & TV. The movie boasts the ability for user, either singularly or voting as a group, to determine the story's plotline.
To be honest, this idea is nothing new. The 80's and 90's of the last century contained several big failures of people attempting the exact same thing. However, what makes this project different is the available technology. Back in the 80's, you could only watch a movie like this in a special theatre with a voting system wire-rigged into the audience seats. They were a fairly clunky experience.
Today, you can watch the movie on your iPad. Who knows, maybe fluidity will make all the difference. However, I'm still skeptical projects like this ...read more
U.S. News & World Reports has an article on North Carolina State University researcher Jay Narayan, who authored the research. The new chip can literally store an entire library, fulfilling the longstanding Sci-Fi vision of just such a device. The technology is complete, the only thing remaining now seems to be the creation of an interface for everyday users.
Here's a game show clip that's been making the blog rounds. I finally gave in and decided to post it myself. Any culture that thinks to combine donuts, treadmills, drinks and a dunking pool for losers is ace in my book.
My personal favorite is still Human Tetris though. You can just see it on the contestants' faces, the "we're so f**ked* expression when their turn is up.
The city of St. Cloud in Minnesota is experimenting with a new kind of internet connection...ceiling lights. In theory, they intend to equip rooms with special LED's that strobe faster than the human eye can detect. Below the lights will be computers with special sensors to interpret the flickering lights. This will enable a new kind of internet connection, dubbed LVX, that works without the use of wireless.
Granted, few people expect LVX to replace Wi-Fi, the latter already being so much faster. Still, researchers hope to unclog the already crowded Wi-Fi frequency space by developing niches where speed isn't a factor and LVX could dominate, such as indoor advertising displays. Also, I imagine there are security benefits as well. Data-transmitting light can be contained by walls, but Wi-Fi signals can often be picked up from outside a building.
The alternate title to this post is probably, "So What Else is New?"
Damn it, people. We all went to see the movie. It was crap. And crap again. And now the TRON writers think they're validated somehow purely on dollar success. On the off chance, Disney finds this blog...look, we went for the hype. Plenty of people did, who aren't going to be fooled again. We bought tickets to relive an experience we had in the 80's. YOU DIDN'T DELIVER IT TO US. I freely confess there might be enough young suckers who bought into this latest version of TRON. Oh well, more power to you, Dis. Maybe you'll create something special for this generation instead.
Here's one of those "life is stranger than fiction" stories. A married couple trying to conceive a baby used fertilized eggs from 11 years ago. Their first attempt yielded twin sisters. Then, 11 years later, they decided to have another baby using the same fertilized eggs. Things like this make you wonder about the resilience of human life. I mean, I can place a TV dinner in the freezer for 11 years, and I'm pretty sure it would be inedible...or would it?!
PLOT SUMMARY: A tough, determined teenage girl hires a has-been, out-of-shape U.S. Marshal to hunt down the man who killed her father.
REVIEW: First, I’ve never seen the 1969 original TRUE GRIT starring John Wayne. I suppose at some point I should, but I’m willing to bet I’d still prefer this update by the Coen Brothers to it’s predecessor. I simply can’t imagine TRUE GRIT being executed any better.
The Coen Brothers have made some real stinkers recently. I wasn’t a fan of A SERIOUS MAN. And although NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN had it’s moments, I felt that movie was highly overrated. Oh and BURN AFTER READING? Remember that one? Nah, me neither.
I would venture to say that TRUE GRIT is the best Coen Brothers film since O’ BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. The story is a paint-by-numbers plotline. However, they ...read more
Here's a fascinating article at Wired.com which summarizes the current state of AI. Basically, computer intelligence is already everywhere and we didn't even realize it was happening.
When most people think of Artificial Intelligence, they think of scientists trying to create whole minds. In reality, most researchers have long ago abandoned such grand attempts. Instead, they aim to make systems that can perform discrete tasks. Each level of progress builds upon the last.
In a way, you could say an entire ecosystem of AI already exists in the world...different species that perform different tasks. Whether its Google's AI trying to interpret your search intentions, Netflix's AI recommending movies you might like, or VISA/Mastercard's AI keeping watch over potential criminal infiltrations of your accounts, you are already being served by an entire race of programs...certainly not sentient ones, but ones that are ...read more
IBM has released its annual “Next Five in Five” list, where the company attempts to predict the next five transformational technologies that will appear over the next 5 years. These predictions are made using observable marketing and social trends.
1) 3-D Telecommunications
Scientists and engineers are already working on ways to allow everyday people to interact holographically on the Internet. In particular, they want to give users the ability to interact with 3-D avatars of their friends. Your current iPhone will soon seem like a primitive stone wheel compared to what's coming down the pipe.
2) Batteries Will Breathe Air to Power Our Devices
IBM researchers are aiming to reduce the power a transistor uses to less than 0.5 volts. Under these conditions, a smartphone could theoretically lose its batteries and still power itself through energy scavenging, similar to how some wrist watches power themselves from energy gained ...read more
PLOT SUMMARY: Based on the folklore tale of Rapunzel, a teenage girl with 70-foot long hair is kept captive by a witch in a tower until a gallant rogue arrives to rescue her.
REVIEW: To be honest, TANGLED was originally one of those movies I was just going to let pass by. However, exciting word-of-mouth reviews started trickling into my awareness through my wife and friends. Earlier today, I finally gave in and decided to see it. All I have to say is...
WOW. That's right, I said WOW. TANGLED is probably Disney's very first 3D classic on par with its 2D classics made during its golden age. It's a real shame that this movie is flying under the radar to some degree due to Disney's looong train of releasing mediocre animated films.
As a piece of entertainment, it's hard to point out what TANGLED ...read more
Just something I stumbled upon in my insomniac hours. This is amazing footage of a wingsuit glider Jeb Corliss coming down a mountain (and risking a frontal head-on collision with a rock surface or tree at ~100 to 120 mph). From what I understand, the rate of descent is extremely fast...1 foot down for every 2 feet flown forward. This makes the wingsuit glider's trajectory tilt downward by roughly 30 degrees.
The sport is considered so dangerous that in order to make your first wingsuit glide, you are required by the United States Parachute Association (in their information manual) to make no less than 200 freefall skydives within a prior 18 month period, and then be guided by an instructor on the first wingsuit jump. If you feel especially lucky, you may perform your first wingsuit glide without an instructor...at the paltry price of doing 500 jumps ...read more
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