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Glenn Vance Posts

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Meet the future of teleportation

Well, Wallace and Gromit are the inspiration for it at least.

Professors Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein of Carnegie Mellon University came up with an interesting take on teleportation based on stop-action clay animation.

“We thought that a good analogy for what we were going to do was claymation – something like the Wallace and Gromit shows,” Dr Mowry told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

What these two guys dreamed up was a novel solution to a sci-fi problem.

(The professors) think that, within a human generation, we might be able to replicate three-dimensional objects out of a mass of material made up of small synthetic “atoms”.Cameras would capture the movement of an object or person and then this data would be fed to the atoms, which would then assemble themselves to make up an exact likeness of the object.

Professor Goldstein has envisioned that, eventually, the objects will be built with “nano-dust” – tiny objects that can be programmed to bind to each other and move – but currently they are trying to build at a much larger scale, working with objects the size of table-tennis balls.

Their original plan was for the application to work in face-to-face interaction.

The technology mirrors that used to create the character of Gollum.
“I’m in Pittsburgh, and you’re in London. How do we make that happen?” Dr Mowry said.

“We can’t teleport somebody – nobody’s going to travel anywhere – but if we’re in our own rooms a system of cameras will capture exactly what’s in each room.”

Interesting. And very cool.

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Electronic Paper

I’d read about E-Paper a couple of years ago, but this is nice tech. A micro-thin Citizen clock.

It utilizes E-Ink, which relies on negatively charged black particles and positively charged white particles. When a backing layer of circuitry either charges negatively or positively, it will draw or repel the particles based on their charge. The display also has an inherently stable “memory effect” which requires no power to maintain the image, drastically increasing the battery life. The result is 1/100 the power consumption of traditional display options.

Citizen has not yet announced a launch date for the product, but it is expected to be sold in Japan starting this year. Plans for the international launch are under consideration, along with other design interpretations.

Give. Me. One. Now.

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Tiles That Reduce Pollution

An Italian tile manufacturer known as Gambarelli has definitely been thinking outside of the box with a new kind of tile they’ve developed. Called the Oxygena line, the new tile, when exposed to sunlight activates a reaction similar to that of chlorophyll photosynthesis in plants. In lab tests one square meter of tile has been able to purify 72 cubic meters of air.

Coated in titanium dioxide, the tile’s photocatalytic properties cause a reaction between air and sunlight where active oxygen is produced which, when it comes in contact with pollutants such as nitrogen monoxide and dioxide (found in vehicle emissions) activates a chemical reaction which destroys the pollutant, transforming it into harmless salts.

So, could you season a tenderloin with some pollution? Pretty cool.

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Say… That’s a Nice Bike…

Look at this bad boy. It’s called the EMBRIO (what it stands for is a mystery to me) and it’s being designed by some Canadian company called Bobadier. From Gizmag-

This hydrogen fuel cell powered, gyroscopically balanced, one-wheeled recreational and commuting vehicle provides an extraordinary vision of the kind of personal transport we could be using 20 years from now. The design brief for Bombadier EMBRIO Concept was to “create highly innovative, functional and exciting products to exceed people’s recreational needs” and find the “next thing” in recreational vehicles. The result is a futuristic and minimalistic one-wheeler that is as about far away as you can get from the conventional image of a uni-cycle – a mode of transport normally associated with circuses and street parades. The riding position will be similar to a motorcycle with a complex series of sensors and gyroscopes balancing passengers on the single wheel. The rider activates a trigger on the left handlebar to accelerate and turns are made by shifting body-weight rather than actually steering.

Sweet. I’d ride one. Very “Minority Report”.

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Space-Based Weaponry

What kind of weapons? Lasers? Rail guns? Missile pods? Tell me tell me tell me!

Anyway, before I have a geekasm, the Air Force is asking the President for permission to put weaponry in space. It’s like that movie Meteor, only in the 21st century!

Of course, some people are mad and don’t want us to do this. From the NYT story-

Senior military and space officials of the European Union, Canada, China and Russia have objected publicly to the notion of American space superiority.They think that “the United States doesn’t own space – nobody owns space,” said Teresa Hitchens, vice president of the Center for Defense Information, a policy analysis group in Washington that tends to be critical of the Pentagon. “Space is a global commons under international treaty and international law.”

No nation will “accept the U.S. developing something they see as the death star,” Ms. Hitchens told a Council on Foreign Relations meeting last month. “I don’t think the United States would find it very comforting if China were to develop a death star, a 24/7 on-orbit weapon that could strike at targets on the ground anywhere in 90 minutes.”

The big thing here is to not follow the lesson of the US/USSR space race back in the 1960’s. We need to be first, or else we’re all going to be looking up at the sky looking for that Chinese Space Peace Death Platform hovering over Kansas.

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Hollywood Likes the Big Hits – Lewis, Tyson and the A List

This past Saturday (6/8/02), Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson attempted to beat the holy hell out of each other in Memphis, Tn., to see who would be the new heavyweight champion of the world. Naturally, Hollywoodites couldn’t resist the temptation to follow the herd to the city that Elvis once called home. According to a story by Reuters, the celebrities that were in town for the fight included the illustrious likes of Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Britney Spears, Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, The Rock, Hugh Hefner and Leonardo Di Caprio. Many were hosting or attending parties the night before to commemorate the event, living it up and getting ready for two men to climb into a boxing ring and lock horns the next day.

It may be called the “sweet science” by the likes of Jimmy Breslin, but before it was over Lewis had bloodied both of Tyson’s eyes and his nose before delivering the final blow and knocking the man to the mat in the eighth round of the match. But before you feel bad for Tyson you should know that this is the man who said he’d give Lewis a lobotomy and eat his children. A man who seems to be unable to keep himself from having his way with women and/or beating them. What a charming fellow.

I’m sure you can tell I love boxing. Even though my love for it abounds and pours forth from all orifices, my real problem with this whole thing is the Hollywoodites. For a crowd of people who champion the causes of minority groups this seems pretty hypocritical to me. Two black men beating each other? One of them a convicted rapist who seems to suffer anger and/or mental problems. Why does the Hollywood jet set keep supporting this sport? To me boxing is a trash sport just a rung above “professional” wrestling, not something that people should be paying thousands of dollars for ringside seats too.

Halle Berry, as you read above, was at the fight. About a week before the Academy Awards she gave an interview to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying that if she didn’t win the award for Best Actress then it was more than likely because of racism. Could Halle tell me if watching two men beat the garbage out of each other lifts up African-Americans? Rather than pay thousands to attend this trashy sport, these A-list actors should speak out against boxing and the thug mentality it seems to bring out in its participants.

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