Posted 6 days ago

Deep Freeze - long a main stain of scifi movies, NASA is getting serious about suspended animation for long duration spaceflight. If successful, the work has profound implications not just for space exploration, but the possibility of prolonging your life span here on Earth (although, it’s more like time skipping than true longevity). It is however, not for the squeamish, requiring some serious plumbing between man and machine.

Flying people to another planet poses a ton of technical and logistical challenges. One of the largest hurdles is figuring out how to fit a crew on a spaceship with enough food, entertainment, and amenities to last for the estimated 180-day journey to Mars.

NASA is bankrolling research into the technology necessary to put people to sleep for months at a time via SpaceWorks. According to the company, inducing torpor in a crew of astronauts would eliminate the need for space-wasting accommodations like food galleys, exercise equipment, and large living quarters. Robots that electrically stimulate key muscle groups and intravenously-delivered sustenance will take care of all that.

Check out the original post for all the gory details (literally) of how the system might work. Considering all the prodding and probing astronaut candidates have to go through as part of the selection process, I guess this additional bit of discomfort is just a splash in the ocean anyway.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Cliffhanger - a modular house for the world’s smallest property, while still giving you absolutely spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. If you always wanted that ocean front property but couldn’t afford the land, this might be the solution (as long as you’re not afraid of heights that is). Many more amazing images on the original article.

Australian prefab architecture specialists Modscape Concept have designed an exciting five story home that clings to a cliff’s edge. Aptly called Cliff House, the design was created in response to a growing number of clients exploring design options for living on extreme coastal plots in Australia.

The modular home was inspired by the shape of barnacles clinging to a hull of a ship, and it extends off the side of a cliff, rather than sitting upon it.

Although still a concept, Cliff House could provide efficient and innovative housing in rocky areas deemed unlivable.



Posted 4 weeks ago

Shatter Me - my favorite Lindsey Stirling video to date; pairing Lindsey’s trademark dubstep violin with Lzzy Hale’s powerhouse rock vocals. Not to mention the video is drop dead gorgeous. Perfect 5 minute break to recharge on a busy day. If you haven’t heard of Lindsey yet (you do have electricity right?), here’s some background for you:

Lindsey Stirling is one of the biggest artist development breakthrough stories in recent years. A classically trained violinist from Gilbert, AZ, Lindsey has entered a futurist world of electronic big beats and animation, leaping through the music industry with over 675 million views on YouTube, Billboard chart-topping hits and sold out tours worldwide.

On April 29th, 2014 Lindsey released her new album Shatter Me, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, her highest charting album to date. The album features 12 new songs written by Lindsey and includes collaborations with lead singer Lzzy Hale from the Grammy winning band Halestorm and The Voice runner-up Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia.

“I really dug deep and poured my heart into Shatter Me,” said Lindsey. “Everything from the artwork to the music shares a cohesive message that I hope will inspire others to push their own boundaries.”

Posted 1 month ago

Heads Up - riding a bike just merged with being a fighter pilot. Meet the World’s Smartest Motorcycle Helmet (according to the people making it). With integrated smartphone tech, voice commands, rear view cameras, a headsup display, GPS navigation, and electronically adjustable visor tint, I’d have to agree. The only question that comes to mind is why aren’t F1 racers using this thing?

Dubbed the world’s smartest motorcycle helmet, the Skully AR-1 is a mean-looking Android-powered lid that has a number of tricks including a rear-facing camera that projects onto the visor what’s going on behind. This means riders will be able to pre-empt any upcoming hazards or change lanes without having to glance away from the road; a split second look that could otherwise be costly.

Apart from this wide-angle camera, GPS navigation is also projected onto the visor as well as speed and music and mobile phone functions, which can be controlled by voice command. Adding to its cool credentials is the electrochromic e-tint feature, which lets riders combat glaring sunlight by electronically making the visor darker at the press of a button.

If you’re raring to get the AR-1 to protect your melon, you’ve got a wait. It’s being put through the crowd-funding circuit on Indiegogo with a plan to ship in May 2015. It’s raised $836,000 of its $250,000 goal and there are a number of pre-orders available if you’re happy to put your money down. So, the price? It’ll cost a cool $1500 to get this tech on your head.

Posted 1 month ago
My Boss is a Robot - Hong Kong’s subway has 10,000+ maintenance engineers, and one AI manager. If you’ve been wondering about the notable lack of updates recently, that’s because I’ve gone back to school at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business MSx program, and they’re keeping us rather busy. Ironically, while I’m working hard to further improve my management skills, this article describes humans who conceded this task altogether to an artificial intelligence algorithm, simply because it does a much better job.

JUST after midnight, the last subway car slips into its sidings in Hong Kong and an army of engineers goes to work. In a typical week, 10,000 people carry out 2600 engineering works across the system – from grinding rough rails smooth and replacing tracks to checking for damage. People might do the work, but they don’t choose what needs doing. Instead, each task is scheduled and managed by artificial intelligence. Hong Kong has one of the world’s best subway systems. It has a 99.9 per cent on time record – far better than London Underground or New York’s subway.
[…]
The main difference between normal software and Hong Kong’s AI is that it contains human knowledge that takes years to acquire through experience, says Chun. “We asked the experts what they consider when making a decision, then formulated that into rules – we basically extracted expertise from different areas about engineering works,” he says.

Manufacturing and administrative office work are already highly impacted by automation; are middle managers next in line? Even engineers have nothing to be smug about, as their expertise seems slated to be captured, repackaged, and automated. Next time you’re arguing to get a raise, you just may have to put that in binary.

My Boss is a Robot - Hong Kong’s subway has 10,000+ maintenance engineers, and one AI manager. If you’ve been wondering about the notable lack of updates recently, that’s because I’ve gone back to school at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business MSx program, and they’re keeping us rather busy. Ironically, while I’m working hard to further improve my management skills, this article describes humans who conceded this task altogether to an artificial intelligence algorithm, simply because it does a much better job.

JUST after midnight, the last subway car slips into its sidings in Hong Kong and an army of engineers goes to work. In a typical week, 10,000 people carry out 2600 engineering works across the system – from grinding rough rails smooth and replacing tracks to checking for damage. People might do the work, but they don’t choose what needs doing. Instead, each task is scheduled and managed by artificial intelligence. Hong Kong has one of the world’s best subway systems. It has a 99.9 per cent on time record – far better than London Underground or New York’s subway.

[…]

The main difference between normal software and Hong Kong’s AI is that it contains human knowledge that takes years to acquire through experience, says Chun. “We asked the experts what they consider when making a decision, then formulated that into rules – we basically extracted expertise from different areas about engineering works,” he says.

Manufacturing and administrative office work are already highly impacted by automation; are middle managers next in line? Even engineers have nothing to be smug about, as their expertise seems slated to be captured, repackaged, and automated. Next time you’re arguing to get a raise, you just may have to put that in binary.