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Oct 28, 2015

Why BPG will replace GIFs and not only

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science

This means that BPG not only is way smaller than JPEG but also delivers a better quality. And that’s not all! It also supports animations!

And when I say animation, I actually say GIF-like movies with MP4 quality that are actually smaller than the mp4 it was built from.

Let’s see an example (I have not included a GIF example because the same quality size and frame rate means that the GIF will have exactly 33.8MB)

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Oct 28, 2015

Free energy of Tesla. Film (Dubbed into English)

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, physics

Site — http://goo.gl/oORnr
IMDB — http://goo.gl/0PQvB
Instagram — http://goo.gl/JiyAC
Twitter — http://goo.gl/Ne8ZE
LinkedIn — http://goo.gl/myBN0
Vimeo — http://goo.gl/c57k6
Genre: docudrama
Type: documentary
Year: 2011
Director: Misha Kostrov
Creative director: Eugene Sannikov
Producer: Victor Mirsky, Sergey Sozanovsky
Creative producer: Oksana Maidanskaya
Director of photography: Vladimir Kratinov
Scriptwriter: Nataliya Doilnitsyna
Аwards: Platinum Remi Award, WorldFest Houston 2013

The film tacks together two tales: a historical account of Tesla’s eventful life and his pioneering research into physics and bold experiments with electricity.

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Oct 28, 2015

New silicon-based anode set to boost lifetime and capacity of lithium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, materials, nanotechnology

A new approach developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo could hold the key to greatly improving the performance of commercial lithium-ion batteries. The scientists have developed a new type of silicon anode that would be used in place of a conventional graphite anode, which they claim will lead to smaller, lighter and longer-lasting batteries for everything from personal devices to electric vehicles.

Graphite has served the lithium-ion battery world as material for negative electrodes well so far, but also presents something of a roadblock for improved capacity. This is due to the relatively small amount of energy it can store, which comes in at around 370 mAh/g (milliamp hours per gram). Silicon has become an increasingly popular substitute for battery researchers looking to up the ante, with a specific capacity of 4,200 mAh/g. However, it isn’t without its limitations either.

As silicon interacts with lithium inside the cell during each charge cycle, it expands and contracts by as much as as 300 percent. This immense swelling brings about cracks that diminish the battery’s performance over time, leading to short circuits and ultimately cell failure. Other recent attempts to overcome this problem have turned up battery designs that use sponge-like silicon anodes developed at the nanoscale, silicon nanowires measuring only a few microns long and ones that bring graphene and carbon nanotubes into the mix.

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Oct 28, 2015

A Simple Design Change Could Make a Thruster To Get Us to Mars

Posted by in categories: energy, particle physics, space travel

A Hall thruster is powering many of the satellites moving around Earth right now. It needs 100 million (yes, you read that right, 100 million) times less fuel than chemical thrusters. But it was never remotely sturdy enough to get anything to Mars—until now.

Typical chemical thrusters are pretty simple. Fuel combusts, gases shoot one way, and a rocket shoots the other way.

Ion thrusters are a little different. They contain charged electrodes, an anode and a cathode, and allow positively charged ions to shoot from the anode to the cathode. Thanks to momentum, the ions will “overshoot” the cathode. Under regular circumstances they’d be sucked back, but once they’ve cleared the cathode, they’re hit by a beam of electrons, neutralizing them and allowing them to go on their way without interference from the charged cathode. So the neutralized atoms shoot one way, and the rocket shoots another.

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Oct 28, 2015

Humanity on a Budget, or the Value-Added of Being ‘Human’

Posted by in categories: automation, economics, futurism, governance, human trajectories, law, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, theory, transhumanism

This piece is dedicated to Stefan Stern, who picked up on – and ran with – a remark I made at this year’s Brain Bar Budapest, concerning the need for a ‘value-added’ account of being ‘human’ in a world in which there are many drivers towards replacing human labour with ever smarter technologies.

In what follows, I assume that ‘human’ can no longer be taken for granted as something that adds value to being-in-the-world. The value needs to be earned, it can’t be just inherited. For example, according to animal rights activists, ‘value-added’ claims to brand ‘humanity’ amount to an unjustified privileging of the human life-form, whereas artificial intelligence enthusiasts argue that computers will soon exceed humans at the (‘rational’) tasks that we have historically invoked to create distance from animals. I shall be more concerned with the latter threat, as it comes from a more recognizable form of ‘economistic’ logic.

Economics makes an interesting but subtle distinction between ‘price’ and ‘cost’. Price is what you pay upfront through mutual agreement to the person selling you something. In contrast, cost consists in the resources that you forfeit by virtue of possessing the thing. Of course, the cost of something includes its price, but typically much more – and much of it experienced only once you’ve come into possession. Thus, we say ‘hidden cost’ but not ‘hidden price’. The difference between price and cost is perhaps most vivid when considering large life-defining purchases, such as a house or a car. In these cases, any hidden costs are presumably offset by ‘benefits’, the things that you originally wanted — or at least approve after the fact — that follow from possession.

Now, think about the difference between saying, ‘Humanity comes at a price’ and ‘Humanity comes at a cost’. The first phrase suggests what you need to pay your master to acquire freedom, while the second suggests what you need to suffer as you exercise your freedom. The first position has you standing outside the category of ‘human’ but wishing to get in – say, as a prospective resident of a gated community. The second position already identifies you as ‘human’ but perhaps without having fully realized what you had bargained for. The philosophical movement of Existentialism was launched in the mid-20th century by playing with the irony implied in the idea of ‘human emancipation’ – the ease with which the Hell we wish to leave (and hence pay the price) morphs into the Hell we agree to enter (and hence suffer the cost). Thus, our humanity reduces to the leap out of the frying pan of slavery and into the fire of freedom.

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Oct 27, 2015

Maybe It’s Time To Stop Snickering About Aliens

Posted by in category: alien life

This may be the moment for all of us sober, rational, boring scientists to stop with our quick dismissals, as beyond them hides a much more interesting reality, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.

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Oct 27, 2015

Rachel Rose: artist sets out on Gravity-inspired space odyssey — By Charlotte Burns | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: media & arts, space, space travel

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“Wolf went for a walk over the world from the Mir Space Station in the late 1990s and saw the Earth seemingly vanish. His recollection so moved New York-based artist Rachel Rose when she heard it on NPR that she went to considerable lengths to track him down for a personal retelling.”

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Oct 27, 2015

Picasso in a space suit: the astronaut artist orbiting Earth — By Jonathan Jones | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: media & arts, robotics/AI, space, space travel

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Photographs taken by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station are beautiful – but could a robot do better?

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Oct 27, 2015

World’s first sonic tractor beam lifts objects using sound waves

Posted by in category: tractor beam

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex, in collaboration with Ultrahaptics, have built the world’s first sonic tractor beam that can lift and move objects using sound waves.

Details of the device, published in Nature Communications, describe how the tractor beam uses high-amplitude sound waves to generate an acoustic hologram that is capable of picking up and moving small objects. The technique comes straight from the pages of a science-fiction novel.

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Oct 27, 2015

Chewbacca arrested, Emperor Palpatine wins in bizarre Ukrainian elections

Posted by in categories: internet, transhumanism

A funny article ending with transhumanism:


Ukraine’s Internet Party, which has been adding levity and subtle satire to the country’s tense politics for a few years now, is making a statement with sci-fi again. Yes, this is all true.

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