Imagine being alone, in space. Just you and your shiny spacesuit and your tiny metal capsule, the world splayed beneath you in swaths of blue and swirls of white. The only immediate link to the humans below you being a faint, crackling radio line back to Earth.
It sounds kind of amazing, right?
The first fortunate human to experience this most sublime of plane rides was Yuri Gagarin, just over 52 years ago. And the last person to experience it -- for the U.S., at least -- was Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., who piloted NASA's final Mercury mission, Atlas 9, 50 years ago this week.
Cooper, who was a little more commonly and a lot more awesomely known as "Gordo," wasn't merely the last American to make a solo journey into space. His trip also set a new record for the longest amount of time spent in space. He was, for a stretch of minutes that must have felt at once impossibly long and frustratingly short, the first American to really travel to space.
Intel’s former chief architect Bob Colwell delivered the keynote address at the Hot Chips conference on Sunday, in a speech I personally wish I’d been able to attend. Colwell, who served as a senior designer and project leader at Intel from 1990 to 2000, was critical to the development of the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, P3, and P4 processors before departing the company. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him before, and his speeches on processor technology and the evolution of Intel’s most successful designs are always fascinating. The Pentium Pro’s architecture (also known the P6) is arguably the most successful design in the history of microprocessing — echoes of its design principles persist to this day in the latest Haswell CPUs.
Today, Colwell heads up DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office, where he works on developing new cutting-edge technologies across a variety of fields. In his talk at Hot Chips, he faced up to a blunt truth that engineers acknowledge but marketing people will dodge at every opportunity: Moore’s law is headed for a cliff. According to Colwell, the maximum extension of the law, in which transistor densities continue doubling every 18-24 months, will be hit in 2020 or 2022, around 7nm or 5nm.
New Zealand has finally passed a new Patents Bill that will effectively outlaw software patents after five years of debate, delay, and intense lobbying from multinational software vendors.
An IITP poll of members at the time showed that 94 percent of those with a view were in favour of banning software patents.
"The patents system doesn't work for software, because it is almost impossible for genuine technology companies to create new software without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents that exist, often for very obvious work," Matthews said.
"Today's historic legislation will support our innovative technology industry, and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that New Zealand won't tolerate the vexatious practice of 'patent trolls'."
Police are trying to find the owner of a drone that crashed into a crowd during a running of the bulls event in Virginia over the weekend.
A video captured a spider-like drone flying above Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, Va., when it suddenly dipped and crashed into the grandstand.
The Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office says several people had very minor injuries.
Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Major William Knott says the drone that crashed was one of two carrying cameras over the event and he says they don't know yet who was operating the drones. They also don't know if any laws or regulations were broken.
Books: Daemon and Freedom TM by Daniel Suarez - A movie coming?
How the Self-Published Debut Daemon Earned Serious Geek Cred - Wired
Silicon Valley isn't usually where aspiring authors go to kick-start a literary reputation. But for first-time novelist Leinad Zeraus, it proved the ideal launching pad: Sans publicist, promotional budget, or even publisher, Zeraus scored encomiums for his debut work, Daemon. How'd he do it? By courting bloggers and influential techies like Joi Ito, Stewart Brand, and Craig Newmark — demonstrating that if you can get the geek grapevine on your side, you don't need Random House.
The fast-paced technothriller tells the story of a terminally ill game designer who unleashes a diabolical, self-replicating Web entity that enlists disaffected Netizens in its mission to destroy civilization.
As any anagram enthusiast (or mirror gazer) will have deduced, the author's real name is Daniel Suarez. Wired tracked down the 43-year-old database consultant at his home in Glendale, California. Why the pseudonym? "Part of it is that I have a day job, and I wanted to keep the two worlds separate," he says. "Also, a Google search returns any number of Daniel Suarezes, but as far as I can tell I'm the only Leinad Zeraus."
Suarez finished Daemon in late 2004, then submitted it to dozens of literary agents. "Three actually read it," he says. "One thought it was too long for the thriller genre, and the other two thought it was too complex."
Tech thriller 'Daemon' rises from the underground - USAToday
You may never have heard of Daemon author Leinad Zeraus, but get ready to hear a lot about Daemon author Daniel Suarez.
A computer systems consultant and fan of computer games, Suarez self-published his debut techno thriller in 2006 using a pseudonym he created by reversing the spellings of his first and last names.
Thanks to Daemon's growing underground popularity with techies and bloggers, followed by an April 2008 Wired magazine article about Daemon's snowballing fan base, Suarez got a two-book contract with a major New York publishing house. Dutton will publish Daemon on Thursday.
Daemon is the story of a billionaire computer game designer who plans to take over the world — after his death. As soon as his obituary is posted online, a dormant computer program (a "daemon") sets in motion a dastardly plot involving identity theft, financial crises and murder.
The action takes place in the world of multi-player online games and incorporates existing technology including laser-beam weapons that deliver lethal electrical charges, unmanned vehicles used as killing machines, zombie computers and Web bots.
"I was really keen on using real technology," says Suarez, 44, who lives in Los Angeles. "To me, that was the whole point."
Leinad Zeraus/Leinad Zeraus aka Daniel Suarez/Daniel Suarez
Daemon by Daniel Suarez - Amazon
Daemon Preview Chapters
Freedom (TM) by Daniel Suarez - Amazon
Freedom (TM) Preview Chapters
The technology depicted in Daemon and FreedomTM may seem like science fiction, but it actually exists . . .
Movie(s) of Daemon and Freedom (TM)?
Daniel Suarez - Shared publicly - Nov 29, 2012 - G+
Status of 'Daemon' Movie
Lots of you have asked me what's going on with the motion picture adaptation of my book, Daemon. Here's an update: after having been optioned four years ago by a major studio, the film rights will likely revert back to me on December 8th.
I've been talking with several interested parties (not all of them in Hollywood), and I'll make a public announcement when a new agreement is reached.
I assume the film rights went back to him December 8th? I can't wait to see a technothriller from these books.
Make a movie from Daniel Suarez's Books Daemon and Freedom (TM) is on Facebook.
If you are on Facebook, you might want to add your 'like' to this one. Maybe on facebook and other places we can get enough interest for the books so someone picks up the option on the film rights again!
And Kill Decision too!
Linux-based supercomputers took 462 spots in the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers released this month, a whopping 92 percent of the list. Only two of the TOP500 supercomputers, a mere 0.4 percent, are Windows-based. China's Windows-based Magic Cube is ranked No. 94, and Australia's CSIRO GPU Cluster landed at No. 156. One BSD-based system, 11 mixed operating systems, and 24 Unix systems also made the list.
For the first time since November 2009, the United States has a top-ranking supercomputer. IBM's Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory bumped Japan's K Computer out of the top spot and into second place on the TOP500 List.
In all, the United States scored 278 spots in the TOP500, including spots No. 1 and 500. ...
It was August 25, 1991 when some Linus Benedict Torvalds sent an email introducing the world to some 'tiny' project he was working on. It's been 22 years and what Torvalds created back then is now the world's most popular and widely used operating systems.
How does he feel after 22 years? This is what Linus says:
It's been 22 years since (one of) the original announcement(s) so I wanted to try to come up with some interesting numbers...
But in the end, it's just that single number: 22 years. More than half my life, and things have certainly changed since then.
Now to be fair, today isn't the only birthday: Aug 25, 1991 was the date for that original pre-announcement, but there's a few other relevant dates that may be even more relevant as "birthdays of Linux".
The actual 0.01 code release was September 17. But while it was uploaded to a public site, there was no public announcement of it. So in that sense Oct 5 might be the true "coming out" date - that is when 0.02 was done, announcement and all.
But you know what? You can have cake on any of those three days (or eat it continuously for the whole range). Go wild.
[Shea's] son [Alejandro] was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy which limits his ability to move. The ability to explore one’s environment as a toddler is really important to development so [Shea] and his wife have been looking into assistive technology. Their health insurance paid for a medical stroller when he was nine-months old and has told the family they need to wait five years for a powered wheelchair. Rather than wait, [Shea] took it upon himself to hack a wheelchair his son could control.
... it’s fortunate that [Shea] has the skills to build something like this for his son. We hope this will inspire you to donate your time an know-how to help those in your own community who are in a similar situation. This really takes the concept of The Controller Project to the next level.
3D printing at home on a budget is great if you just want to print small objects. Even some of the top 3D printers don’t have large baseplates to maximize the build volume of your creations. But that’s starting to change with the gMax 3D printer.
The gMax is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and offers designers 16” x 16” x 9” of build volume, with a price tag between $1,095 and $1,295. For context, the Cubify CubeX, at $2,499 has a build volume of 10.8″x10.45″x9.5″, Fast Company reports.
Why so cheap? Many of the parts can be printed using another 3D printer, cutting manufacturing costs.
NVIDIA sends word this morning that they’re launching a new GeForce video card game bundle for the late-summer/early-fall timeframe. This time around NVIDIA is partnering with WB Games to get their latest Batman game, Batman: Arkham Origins, included with most desktop NVIDIA cards.
Just as the case was with the outgoing Splinter Cell: Blacklist bundle, the Batman bundle is for the GTX 660 and above, including the complete GTX 700 series, but still excludes NVIDIA’s most expensive cards, GTX 690 and GTX Titan. Meanwhile, as always distribution is being handled at the etailer/retailer level, with the usual cabal of participating etailer and retailers throwing in a voucher for the game with qualifying purchases.
This promo comes nearly two months before the game actually ships - Arkham Origins won’t be released until October 25th – so GeForce video card buyers will have to sit tight for a bit before they can playing the game. The promo itself will run until January 31st, 2014 or until NVIDIA runs out of codes; though it wouldn’t be unheard of for NVIDIA to try to squeeze in one more new bundle program before the year is out.
The Times got hacked via the one security flaw it's nearly impossible to avoid: Human gullibility
As you probably are aware, earlier this week the New York Times Web site got hacked. Actually, that's not quite accurate. It was the New York Times' domain registrar, IT Melbourne, that got hacked. Wait, sorry, that's not quite right either. It wasn't IT Melbourne but one of its domain resellers that got hacked. And they got fooled by one of the oldest tricks in the book.
The phishing email.
The New York Times website, nytimes.com, was hacked Tuesday, the site down for a second time in two weeks, with a group known as the Syrian Electronic Army believed to be behind Tuesday's hack, as well as an attack on short-messaging blog Twitter.
Choose your Facebook friends wisely; they could help you get approved -- or rejected -- for a loan.
A handful of tech startups are using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. Traditional lenders rely heavily on credit scores like FICO, which look at payments history. They typically steer clear of the millions of people who don't have credit scores.
But some financial lending companies have found that social connections can be a good indicator of a person's creditworthiness.
One such company, Lenddo, determines if you're friends on Facebook (FB) with someone who was late paying back a loan to Lenddo. If so, that's bad news for you. It's even worse news if the delinquent friend is someone you frequently interact with.
Researchers manipulate mouse neurons to create a false memory; the work could lead to a better understanding of how memories form.
Scientists have created a false memory in mice by manipulating neurons that bear the memory of a place. The work further demonstrates just how unreliable memory can be. It also lays new ground for understanding the cell behavior and circuitry that controls memory, and could one day help researchers discover new ways to treat mental illnesses influenced by memory.
In the study, published in Science on Thursday, the MIT scientists show that they can modify a memory and have a mouse believe it experienced something it didn’t.
Whether it's Popeye downing a can of spinach to transform into a fighting machine or Hit Girl injecting a dose of adrenaline to tackle a super villain, the idea of accessing some sort of instant energy boost is something that is increasingly moving from fictional device into the real world of body hacking. And while things like coffee and high-energy carbonated drinks are a staple for many coders and gaming geeks to enhance and prolong awareness, there are concerns about the long-term health effects of relying on such beverages too heavily.
A product called Sprayable Energy promises to deliver a caffeine boost from a bottle of liquid that you spray directly on your skin. According to its creators, the colorless and odorless liquid works by gradually entering your system rather than via beverages that produce a quick jolt and then a rapid loss of energy afterwards.
Facebook Groups are a haven for spammers
And the world's largest social network is doing almost nothing to stop them. It's time to take matters into your own hands.
Facebook changed its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities today to reflect new ways the social network can use your data. One of those ways? The network may now use your profile photos as more fodder for its facial recognition technology.
Facebook chief of privacy Erin Egan announced the changes in a post on the social network today, linking to the revised Statement and Data Use Policy. The changes are clear: The company will use your public information, so start accessing those privacy settings now. More specifically, Facebook now has the explicit permission to use your “name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content.”
It also added clearer language about how third parties can use your public information saying, “We may enable access to public information that has been shared through our services, or allow service providers to access information so they can help us provide services.”
Thanks to the Tech Staff at Apple Computers
Police throughout the globe have been embarrassed to see online videos of their officers pepper spraying tied captives. In our age of mobile gadgets the pictures can be uploaded online in seconds, making supervisors to answer the questions.
But now the police may not need to fear scrutiny anymore, because Apple has recently patented a piece of technology that would allow the authorities and police to block data transmission, including video and photos, whenever they like. All they need to do is decide that a public gathering or venue is deemed “sensitive” and needs to be protected from externalities. In this case Apple will enable them to switch off all its gear. The developers insist that the affected locations are normally cinemas, theaters and concert grounds, but Apple admits it could also be used in covert police or government operations that may need complete “blackout” conditions.
SanDisk today announced a line of wireless flash drives that can store up to 64GB of data.
The new drives include the Connect Wireless Flash Drive -- a thumb drive -- and the Connect Wireless Media Drive, a larger, but still pocket-sized storage device. The Connect Wireless Flash Drive comes in 16GB and 32GB capacities; the Connect Wireless Media Drive comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities.
The Connect Wireless Flash drive is 3.07-in. x 1.04-in. x 0.54-in. The Connect Wireless Media Drive is 2.6-in. x 2.6-in. x 0.52-in.
The Connect Wireless drive family allows users to not only store but share and stream files across multiple mobile devices. They offer up to eight simultaneous device connections and three media streams, and support separate streams of 720p video content at 2MB/sec to three or five devices concurrently (for the Flash Drive and Media Drive, respectively).
I have family members with diabetes. It seems like most of us do. Thankfully, they are all managing quite well, one of them uses an insulin pump and the other relies on daily injections. I know you get used to things, but it sure seems like a lot to deal with, especially for a child, between the testing and the insulin, she seems to be getting “stuck” a whole lot, and for someone that doesn’t like shots… I always wonder when someone will come up with a better way.
It seems like there are some promises on the horizon, but none that have yet come to fruition, like the glucose monitoring tattoo and contact lenses, but this time we might have a winner, researchers at North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Children’s Hospital in Boston, have developed a network of nanoscale particles ( size measurable in nanometers or microns) that can be injected into the body and release insulin when blood-sugar levels rise that will actually let you maintain normal blood sugar levels for more than a week.