Like the Goths sacking Rome, the 3-D invasion has arrived. No longer a kitschy gimmick, the technology has matured, and the leading consumer manufacturers are banking on it. Indeed, 3-D was the unofficial theme of CES 2010—3-D demos littered the show floor, and all the big players (with notable exceptions) unveiled 3-D products. Could 2010 be the year that 3-D finally takes off?
The Russian Space Agency is considering a plan that evokes the 1998 disaster flick, Armageddon. The head of the agency, Anatoly Perminov, mentioned that Russia is assessing a mission to Apophis, a 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid. The difference between Hollywood and real life is that Apophis stands minimal chance of hitting Earth...
Here’s another example of life imitating art—SPELCO (Special Parachute Equipment and Logistics Consortium) is working on a personal glider that looks straight outta Science Fiction. With its glide ratio of 5:1 and self-propulsion system, the “Gryphon” could become an invaluable tool in the future warfighter’s arsenal.
40 years ago, Neil Armstrong emerged from the Lunar Module Eagle, and stepped into history. He became the first human being to step foot on the moon, forever changing the scientific and engineering communities. And yet, 40 years later, the space program is a shell of its former self. Public enthusiasm is at an all-time low. How did we get to this point?
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) has introduced a bill designed to combat "cyberbullying.” And in a rare instance of bipartisan solidarity, the left and the right stand opposed. Make no bones about it—the proposed legislation is a serious assault on first amendment rights.
Global investments in renewable energy technology dipped 40% from 2008-09—this according to United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director, General Kandeh Yumkella. “Due to the current economic crisis we have seen almost a 40 percent decline in 2009 alone in these investments,” said Yumkella...
Back in March, we reported on the California Energy Commission’s proposal to set a cap on the maximum active mode power usage (watts) for TV’s. All units above the maximum would be banned for sale in California—this would preclude the vast majority of Plasma, DLP, and Rear-projection TV’s.
True robot “consciousness” may be eons away, or impossible, but that hasn’t stopped its development. The end stage includes robots acting as “full ethical agents,” i.e. “those that can make explicit moral judgments”. Some feel this is unnecessary. The benefits are clear: robots wouldn’t experience the “fog of war,” or fall prey to emotions.
Collateral damage has become synonymous with modern urban warfare. In fact, the concept of “total war,” where there is “less (or no) differentiation between combatants and non-combatants (civilians),” has existed since The Peloponnesian War. As far back as 431 BC, civilian casualties were considered an acceptable (and often desirable) outcome of total warfare.
These are the voyages of the VSS Enterprise. To ferry civilians into space. To collect $200,000 a head. To boldly go where few space tourists have gone before! On Monday, December 7th (an “infamous” date, to be sure), Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline.
The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guidance platform from BAE Systems, scored four hits in four shots during the final phase of testing. APKWS adds precision laser guidance capabilities to 2.75 inch rockets—specifically, those found in attack helicopters.
Geeks, the most misunderstood of all species (yes, I’m a member), are notoriously difficult to shop for. We don’t bow to the fashion gods (to put it kindly), our literary tastes are unpredictable, and as for electronics, forgetaboutit—only geeks know what other geeks want. Thus, I present Gifts for Geeks. If you’re a parent/friend/relative with one of these eclectic individuals on your shopping list, take note.
Holidays in New York City are beautiful. The lights, the people, the excitement. However, Christmastime in the city is also a constant reminder that you have gifts to buy for people, regardless of your particular secular rationale. For the style-conscious, the E Ink Digital Calendar Watch from Phosphor is both attractive and cutting-edge...
The mad scramble to obtain incandescent bulbs ahead of the EU ban highlights a controversial practice—the forced obsolescence of old technologies. R&D, combined with market forces, often collude to bury legacy tech. But should government speed up this process? How important is consumer choice?
Recently the number of book-related applications in the iPhone App Store has surpassed the number of game apps in sales, sending rumbles throughout the nascent eBook reader marketplace. Will the smartphone unseat the e-reader before it can even begin its reign?
Recently I posted a reference item on the term “Bunny Suit” to www.everything2.com (participating in sites like that is how I “doodle in the margins” during my work day), and the essay made me think of other terms we use, and why we have so many unimaginative words for such exciting technology.
Even tennis isn’t sacrosanct—competitors in the US Open are being warned to watch what they tweet. The warning is purportedly to ensure compliance with tennis’ “Anti-Corruption Program Rules.” Posted in conspicuous locations, the warning reads: "Many of you will have Twitter accounts in order for your fans to follow you and to become more engaged in you and the sport...
The UK is considering a law that would force ISPs to cut off service to those accused of illegally downloading movies and/or music. This has the potential to reignite an old debate—one that’s persisted since the term “digital media” was invented. Our handling of this issue has profound ramifications for the future of the entertainment industry.
On October 20, 2005 Congress passed the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. The act mandated the cessation of analog broadcasting by February 18, 2009, and the subsequent reign of digital. The program floundered, leaving the public woefully unprepared for the February deadline. This example illustrates how badly the government can mangle an enterprise.
While a student at Susquehanna University for the past 3 years I have often had reservations regarding my decision to major in creative writing. The inevitable question ‘What am I going to do with my degree?’ has been on my mind more intensely as I approach my senior year.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) have filed a legal challenge against a New York City law mandating door-to-door collection of e-waste. Local Law No. 13, taking effect July 31st, forces all electronic manufacturers doing business in NYC to provide free door-to-door collection services for covered equipment.
The Amazon Kindle fiasco brings up a host of issues related to digital property management and individual rights. For those with a personal (read: financial) stake in E-reader technology, it’s a shot across the bow. It puts them on the defensive, as one company (that would be Amazon) has unwittingly put out a negative ad campaign against E-readers.
“Do you own your books?” sounds like a stupid question, doesn’t it? It’s like asking “do you own your socks?” Yet the recent actions by Amazon to reclaim books literally from their owner’s hands have demonstrated that in the digital economy, it isn’t a stupid question at all. We are giving up our ownership of information for temporary ethereal possession, and are at the mercy of those who “rent” that content to us.
America finds itself at a juncture of many roads, with no clear map on which way to turn. The role of government, health care, energy, race, and disruptive technology have presented us with a myriad of choice on which road to take to the future. The important thing to remember is that we are all in the same boat together.
The wonderful communications technology infrastructure we have created has given everyone the power to communicate with anyone else on the planet at a moments notice with images, text, voice, and video. All of the focus is on the software tools such as Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube that are at the forefront of the societal sea change, but it is the newly-risen global information network that is the real hero.