Brave New Interface: A Fleet of Dust-Sized Sensors Embedded In Your Brain Gizmodo Scientists have been experimenting with brain-embedded sensors for decades. ...
Miro Svetlik's insight:
Idea of the nanobots we would inject in our body has been here in sci-fi for a while but it seems that now it slowly takes more realistic shape. Though it can be a little bit scary at first I think we need to start realizing that this will be the next big revolution in the medicine.
Dan Saffer, like many designers, likes to quote Charles Eames. But unlike many designers, Saffer--Director of Interaction Design at Smart Design--wrote a whole book inspired by one of his favorite Eames quotes: "The details are not the details.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
I love the quote, also article is touching on many important aspect what is a good design and what makes it. I think this would be one of my choices for the summer reading.
EARLIER this month, at a symposium at the University of Southern California film school, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicted the collapse of most megabudget movies, and with it the end of Hollywood as it now exists. This sounds like bad news for popcorn sellers. But Mr. Lucas and Mr. Spielberg had intriguing ideas about what might come next.
Mr. Lucas predicted that blockbusters would eventually become big-ticket events, like ballgames and Broadway plays, and that the rest of the movie business would migrate to online video — a trend that’s already begun to happen.
Mr. Spielberg offered a more radical vision. At a time of ubiquitous screens — video, movie and computer — he predicted an end to on-screen entertainment. Instead, he said he thought we’d have a kind of enveloping, wraparound entertainment.
“We’re never going to be totally immersive as long as we’re looking at a square, whether it’s a movie screen or whether it’s a computer screen,” Mr. Spielberg said. “We’ve got to get rid of that and put the player inside the experience, where no matter where you look you’re surrounded by a three-dimensional experience. That’s the future.”
Though most people treat screens as a window, Mr. Spielberg seems to understand them as a barrier, one that prevents viewers — now “players” — from being fully, actively engaged in their entertainment.
The idea of immersive entertainment — in which you can lose yourself and in which the line between fiction and reality blurs — isn’t new at all. And its impact can be disorienting.
The title character in Cervantes’s 17th-century satire, “Don Quixote,” went tilting at windmills, for example, because he had immersed himself in the practice of reading. “He read all night from sundown to dawn, and all day from sunup to dusk until with virtually no sleep and so much reading he dried out his brain and lost his sanity.” Quixote’s endearing madness suggests the degree to which art in general and reading in particular might literally derange one’s faculties.
Centuries later, Orson Welles showed that radio could have similarly disturbing powers. When Welles broadcast a live radio dramatization of “The War of the Worlds” in 1938, thousands of listeners believed Martians had actually invaded New Jersey. Despite repeated announcements that the radio play was fiction, panicked listeners phoned police stations, rushed into churches to pray, even volunteered to take up arms. Some listeners packed their belongings and prepared to evacuate.
Today, of course, losing oneself in a book or broadcast is familiar and feels safe and even old-fashioned. And immersive entertainment has moved into the realm of video games and beyond, making strides in the direction Mr. Spielberg envisions.
The most advanced immersive entertainment on the horizon now may be the Oculus Rift, a strap-on virtual-reality headset. Virtual reality, a catchall term for digital simulations that can be experienced with goggles, earphones and, in some cases, gloves, enjoyed a brief vogue in the late 1980s; now, with far more advanced computer capabilities, it seems on the verge of a comeback. To demonstrate the Oculus Rift’s capacity, developers created a “guillotine simulator” that, even in its primitive form, seems to be a big — frightening — hit with those who have tried it. Twist your neck and you see crowds of spectators; look down and you see the basket waiting for your head. But at the end of the day, you’re just lying there with a box strapped to your face, staring into a pair of screens.
No one has yet managed to invent a technology that dispenses with screens entirely, as Mr. Spielberg envisions.
But Gene Roddenberry, who created “Star Trek,” offered a blueprint for this kind of entertainment in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the 1987 follow-up to his original series. In the pilot episode, the first officer of the Starship Enterprise enters the ship’s “holodeck,” a chamber specially outfitted to project a holographic simulation of reality; the first officer, for example, walks into the room and experiences a verdant woodland.
The fictional holodeck in “Star Trek” didn’t depend entirely on holographic illusion; it also relied on fanciful “matter replicators” capable of transforming energy into a chair you could sit in or tea you could drink. Thanks to sophisticated programming, it provided an extraordinary range of entertainment possibilities for the Enterprise crew: they could, for example, enjoy a simulated ride on the Orient Express or fight a simulated Battle of the Alamo.
Life-size holograms and energy-to-matter converters are probably a ways off. For the moment, the closest we have come to a holodeck-like experience may be immersive theater.
“Sleep No More” and “Then She Fell” are two current theatrical productions that dispense with the traditional stage and dissolve the barrier between performer and viewer. Instead, the audience interacts directly with the characters in the play.
It is not surprising that such productions have been called “theater for the video game generation.” They combine the first person engagement of video games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “BioShock” with the warmth and emotional engagement of flesh-and-blood interactions.
“Sleep No More” is presented in a series of interconnected rooms, and it is viscerally engaging to stand a few feet away as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth hurl each other against the walls, or later as Macbeth cringes naked in a bloody bathtub. It feels personal and intimate in a way that conventional plays or movies cannot — and in a way that digital simulations can’t either.
In that sense, at least, the future Mr. Spielberg imagined is already here — at least in a limited way that is available just to a small group of people who can attend the performances. Now, if we just had some technology that would scale things up. Mr. Spielberg, we’re ready.
Frank Rose is the author of “The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories.”
I have been dreaming of my virtual-reality-holographic-matter-transformation-holodeck already for some time so Mr. Spielberg you did not invent anything new :). No seriously if this is the natural progression of entertainment industry then Holywood have something to fear. In many such productions there will be no possibility to retouche and cut. Because immersive reality show is a reality after all.
Benefits of electrical brain stimulation lasted months but critics point to study's small size as a weakness.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
Oh if I would of known about this when I was in college, my math results would be certainly different ;). No seriously the brain stimulation in learning is quite a open market for coming years. With robot revolution, a demand for educated individuals will be only rising
A Chinese supercomputer known as Tianhe-2 was today named the world's fastest machine, nearly doubling the previous speed record with its performance of 33.86 petaflops. Tianhe-2's ascendance was revealed in advance and was made official today with the release of the new Top 500 supercomputer list.
Tianhe-2 was developed at China's National University of Defense Technology and will be deployed in the country's National Supercomputing Center before the end of this year. "The surprise appearance of Tianhe-2, two years ahead of the expected deployment, marks China’s first return to the No. 1 position since November 2010, when Tianhe-1A was the top system," the Top 500 announcement states. "Tianhe-2 has 16,000 nodes, each with two Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge processors and three Xeon Phi processors for a combined total of 3,120,000 computing cores."
The combined performance of the 500 systems on the list is 223 petaflops, up from 162 petaflops in the previous list released six months ago. A petaflop represents one quadrillion floating point operations per second, or a million billion.
26 systems hit at least a petaflop. IBM's Blue Gene/Q accounted for four of the top 10, while Intel provided the processors for 80.4 percent of all Top 500 systems. 39 systems use Nvidia GPUs to speed up calculations, and another 15 use other accelerator or co-processor technology such as AMD's ATI Radeon and Intel's Xeon Phi.
252 of the 500 are installed in the US, 112 are in Europe, 66 are in China, and 30 are in Japan. The slowest computer on the list hit 96.6 teraflops, compared to 76.5 teraflops for the slowest computer on last November's list.
Besides Tianhe-2, the only new entrant in the top ten is a Blue Gene/Q system named Vulcan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
ChronoZoom is an interesting online project aiming to visualize complete history. It is in Beta but already looking brilliant. For coders with some spare time there is even opportunity to help. I strongly believe that this sort of projects will accelerate learning and spun more interest for science in kids.
In a move that would make the Alchemists of King Arthur's time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal. This makes cement a semi-conductor and opens up its use in the profitable consumer electronics marketplace for thin films, protective coatings, and computer chips.
"This new material has lots of applications including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment," said Chris Benmore, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory who worked with a team of scientists from Japan, Finland, and Germany to take the "magic" out of the cement-to-metal transformation. Benmore and Shinji Kohara from Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 led the research effort.
This change demonstrates a unique way to make metallic-glass material, which has positive attributes including better resistance to corrosion than traditional metal, less brittleness than traditional glass, conductivity, low energy loss in magnetic fields, and fluidity for ease of processing and molding. Previously only metals have been able to transition to a metallic-glass form. Cement does this by a process called electron trapping, a phenomena only previously seen in ammonia solutions. Understanding how cement joined this exclusive club opens the possibility of turning other solid normally insulating materials into room-temperature semiconductors.
"This phenomenon of trapping electrons and turning liquid cement into liquid metal was found recently, but not explained in detail until now," Benmore said. "Now that we know the conditions needed to create trapped electrons in materials we can develop and test other materials to find out if we can make them conduct electricity in this way."
As we progress with modern 'Alchemy', more innovative materials will replace old conventional and expensive ways to build things. I believe that materials as this will bring real advances in stopping the world pollution materials which require toxic compounds.
A computer-simulated woman named Ellie is designed to talk to people who are struggling emotionally and take their measure — 30 times per second.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
This is quite a cool one. An shrink bot driven by AI and actually a current technology. Oh god next profession being in danger :P. Well I suppose this will be more used for data collection as a real treatment.
A group at Tokyo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. Osamu Hasegawa, has succeeded in making further advances with SOINN, their machine learning algorithm, which can now use the internet to learn how to perform new tasks. The system, which is under development as an artificial brain for autonomous mental development robots, is currently being used to learn about objects in photos using image searches on the internet. It can also take aspects of other known objects and combine them to make guesses about objects it doesn't yet recognize.
Once that all AI's will be able to not only parse and recognize data from internet but also efficiently communicate with each other and share the results programmers will become obsolete. Well let's have a good time while it lasts.
In a pair of recent papers, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have demonstrated that it is possible to write computer programs using ordinary language rather than special-purpose programming languages. A new algorithm can automatically convert natural-language specifications into "regular expressions" — special-purpose combinations of symbols that allow very flexible searches of digital files.
The work may be of some help to programmers, and it could let nonprogrammers manipulate common types of files — like word-processing documents and spreadsheets — in ways that previously required familiarity with programming languages. But the researchers’ methods could also prove applicable to other programming tasks, expanding the range of contexts in which programmers can specify functions using ordinary language.
“I don’t think that we will be able to do this for everything in programming, but there are areas where there are a lot of examples of how humans have done translation,” says Regina Barzilay, an associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering and a co-author on both papers. “If the information is available, you may be able to learn how to translate this language to code.”
I am really wondering how would my daily vocal output look like in form of RegEx. However it is a nice achievement that we can map human language to regular expression formula. Still I personally think that successful implementation of AI which will be able to foresee human mistakes will be necessary before such a conversions can take place in daily life.
Maybe it's a just because Elon Musk used to work there, but PayPal is kicking off a space payments program that's half stunt, half serious.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
PayPal guys have probably for the moment a hard time to find Intergalactic Bank premises but who knows what future brings. I would really like to see what sort of an encryption and currency they are going to use in space.
An interesting theory, even more interesting discussion in the comments. So where do we stand is hard to assess from our standpoint. I believe the universe have a structural pattern which repeats itself on several levels and the idea of selfsufficing universe feeding for matter on another adverse universes which may then collapse and create new universes seems to be fitting within that idea. However that is just a theory, until proven we know nothing.
Quantum Entanglement is widely regarded as one of the most prominent features of quantum mechanics and quantum information science.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
Videos published in this paper are really impressive, we all talk about the possibilities of quantum entanglement but to visualize it is a different story. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGkx1MUw2TU
Using only biomolecules (such as DNA and enzymes), scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed and constructed an advanced biological transducer, a computing machine capable of manipulating genetic codes, and using the...
Miro Svetlik's insight:
Programmable chemical events as a base for biological computer to manipulate living organisms, that sounds like cool methodology but how they are dealing with potential pollution which can disrupt chemical events. Well I do not think we'll have a debugger for these operations anytime soon.
Problem: Synthetic biology has the potential to create new organisms that could do an infinite number of things. But the cost of synthesizing DNA is currently prohibitively expensive.
Solution: Austen has developed a new technique to synthesize DNA 10,000 times cheaper than existing technology.
Technology: One of the big challenges with DNA synthesis is error correction during fabrication, fabricating the correct sequence of A, T, G and Cs. Austen solves this problem by fabricating billions of strands at once, quickly (and cheaply) optically sequencing them and then selecting the correct DNA sequences using a fast moving laser.
I would love to get my hands on programming reference for these monsters ;-). For the number crunching purposes this must outperform classical computing by a huge margin. In any case I hope there will be soon more info on the quantum computers.
Sphero Peacekeeper Edition is a super-sized, 3 foot tall version of Sphero - the world's first app-controlled robotic ball.
Miro Svetlik's insight:
Absolutely geeky :), well if this one get's built the DARPA will have to rethink its civilian combat strategies. Nevertheless I assume that development of this 'giant toy' will most certainly add some new inventions in robotics field.