Lucidtouch - a touchscreen device with sensors in the back
...all these new developments and gadgets...yummy!
Read all about it here. Amazing as it may be, I have nothing further to add.
...'Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped this in 1963, at the climax of Guignol's "Saint George and the Dragon" in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Just as the dragon is slain, some children cry out in a combination of horror and delight, while others are taken aback in shock. Every child is consumed with emotion, masterfully captured by Eisenstaedt's camera'...
I've been browsing around myself. The picture to the left was made in 1862 in Antietam, US. It shows Maj. Allan Pinkerton, US Pres. Abraham Lincoln & Gen. John A. McClernand, in front of a pitched tent on the battlefield while the Civil War is taking place..
Just go to Google images and type something like this: 1860s US Civil War source:life
Lucky for us information addicts, there's more; Inspired by ancient Alexandria's attempt to collect the world's knowledge, the EU launched its Europeana digital library, an online digest of Europe's cultural heritage, last Thursday.
'The prototype launched Thursday contains around two million digital items, all of them already in the public domain. By 2010, the date when Europeana is due to be fully operational, the aim is to have 10 million works available, an impressive number yet a mere drop in the ocean compared to the 2.5 billion books in Europe's more common libraries. The process of digitalisation is a massive undertaking [Jarno says: Duuuh]' - check out the article here.
HaHaHa update: 'The Europeana site is temporarily not accessible due to overwhelming interest after its launch (10 million hits per hour). We are doing our utmost to reopen Europeana in a more robust version as soon as possible. We will be back by mid-December' >> typical... :)
May 5, 1880. A reporter from the San Francisco Call nearly went nuts when seeing Eadweard Muybridge's latest invention: the zoopraxiscope (watch video above).
'After two years deconstructing the movement of animals with his pioneering freeze-frame photographic sequences, he was now able to reconstruct that motion to make a life-size horse trot across a big screen' - [read more here]
Back then it was amazing to see 'real life'-motion on a screen. I mean, wow, what's next. Well, better screens, and color, and higher-definition and faster motion etcetera. The ability to capture nature's movement on a screen, that's what it is all about. But since many things in nature are much smaller than the eye can meet, mankind came up with microscopes. So we can zoom in, and see what's going on. Up to now however, we haven't been able to build a microscope powerful enough to capture the movements of individual atoms...
And there we go: Now Ahmed Zewail, a chemist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, has developed a way to do just that. Zewail's research team can generate movies showing the picosecond (millionths of a millionth of a second) motion of atoms.
Thank you Stanford University and goodmorning planet Earth. My brother likes making home videos. He's just been to Cameroon for a month and so I am eagerly awaiting his latest compilation. The fun part of course, video-editing gets easier and easier over time. I've personally always thought that by 2015 we would be making our own movies at home (I mean, with special effects and all that). Well, Stanford University researchers have now brought that day a little closer by developing software that allows anyone to insert a video or still photo on almost any planar surface in an existing video and it's called '3D Surface Tracker Technology'. A mouthful I know, just watch the video above or read all about it here.
Anyway, the Acceleration Studies Foundation was founded by John Smart, a 'developmental systems theorist', who's specifically intrigued by the implications of a hypothesis known in futurist circles as the technological singularity (see powerpoint slides above or download the entire presentation and once again: Thank you very much John). The idea is this: not only do things seem to accelerate, it all seems to move towards 'one point'. It's like spinning the wheel in a casino. Round and round the ball goes until it spins faster and faster in smaller circles. The location of the ball is completely random in the sense that I cannot predict where it will be after say, 3 seconds of spinning. What we CAN predict however, is where it will ultimately be - at the bottom (whatever the number). In the PowerPoint slide above (the Developmental Spiral) you can see how human development over time seems to follow 'that ball analogy'. Faster and faster, shorter and shorter, until we 'hit the bottom' (whatever specifically that will mean).
No we are not there yet, but we are definitely getting closer :) It seems this accelerating development curve/curse does not only apply to humans. Ever since this planet came into being 4.5 billion years ago things seem to have developed exponentially. Single cell organisms, multi-cell organisms etcetera etcetera. And now we are here.
Finally, my point: all the above cannot be true if evolution is purely random (or to put it differently: if evolution would be purely random, how come everything on this planet is getting more and more complex over time?). Since there is so much scientific evidence out there to back up this 'all encompassing notion of acceleration', apart from 'its randomness', evolution MUST also have 'some sense of direction'. Darwin is right, for half. You cannot specifically predict what species will evolve and disappear (Darwin was right about this), but just like that ball in the casino, it IS all going in one direction, towards ONE point (something Darwin didn't think of).
What a story. Halleluja, but Why, Jarno, why? Because this morning I ran into this article. Scientists of Princeton University have discovered that chains of proteins found in most living organisms act like adaptive machines, possessing the ability to control their own evolution. It turns out evolution is NOT RANDOM.
"The discovery answers an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a 'blind watchmaker'?" said Chakrabarti, an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton. "Our new theory extends Darwin's model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness."
"What we have found is that certain kinds of biological structures exist that are able to steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness. The data just jumps off the page and implies we all have this wonderful piece of machinery inside that's responding optimally to evolutionary pressure."
"Biological change is always driven by random mutation and selection, but at certain pivotal junctures in evolutionary history, such random processes can create structures capable of steering subsequent evolution toward greater sophistication and complexity."
Ha! I knew it! I knew it!
It looks a little funny to say the least, but according to Honda, this (see video above) wearable walking device is as easy to use as a bicycle.
"It reduces stress, and you should feel less tired. To wear it, you put the seat between your legs, put on the shoes and push the on button. Then just start walking around. The system has a computer, motor, gears, battery and sensors embedded in it so it responds to a person's movements" - read all about it here.
Earlier this year the Japanese company Cyberdyne started renting out its exoskeleton for $1000 a month. That's cool because of two reasons. One: things are getting real. Now you can rent 'm, soon you can buy 'm. Two: is this company really called Cyberdyne? Does anyone remember Terminator II? ... 'Cyberdyne Systems Model One O One. Negative, the T One Thousand will definitely try to re-acquire us there' ... Reality starts feeling more and more like a movie everyday...
"While flat electronic displays represent a majority of user experiences, it is important to realize that flat surfaces represent only a small portion of our physical world," the team explains on its Web site. "Our real world is made of objects, in all their three-dimensional glory. The next generation of displays will begin to represent the physical world around us, but this progression will not succeed unless it is completely invisible to the user: no special glasses, no fuzzy pictures, and no small viewing zones."
That's right. Imagine, poor suicide-bombers. Whoops, no virgins for you, you just 'blew up' a hologram. It's just not fair is it? You get filmed by robotic cameras, bombed by drones and when you finally find a real human being to get back at, he's not real. Yes yes, the Matrix is coming..
And no I'm not joking, This stuff is for real. They are working really hard on these virtual soldiers.
'We want to use massively multi-player online games as an experimental laboratory to see if they’re good enough to convince humans that they’re actually human, that can think on their own, have emotions and talk in local slang' - Dr. John Parmentola—Director of Research and Laboratory Management
Since I am Jarno it's quite easy to get me excited. I tend to think more often than not, that things go faster than expected. The statement above however, even to me, is a bold one. Because we're essentially talking full-blown artificial intelligence here. I wrote an article about that, two weeks ago, very extensive, in which I explain that I don't even believe anyone will be able to 'build' such a system by 2030 (there's a bet out there between two scientists that the Turing Test - the test for artificial intelligence - will be passed by 2029).
And that's just one part of the idea. Once the programs have been 'perfected' they want to deploy them (as you can see in the picture above, except for the fact that they won't look blue but real) by means of a technique called 'quantum ghost imaging' (pairing photons that do no reflect or bounce off an object, but off other photons >> I have no idea what that means).
Creating Artificial Intelligence and perfect holograms. And that's just ONE project. Several other projects they are CURRENTLY working on:
- Erasing bad memories
- Devices that will translate one soldier's thoughts into electrical signals that can be beamed to other soldiers
- Regenerating body parts on "nano-scaffolding"