• Cryo-Pet™ Ensures Your Animals Won't Mind Extended Travel

    November 20 2008 / by John Heylin
    Category: Technology

    Worried about how Fluffy will handle being in the cargo hold at 35,000 feet? For just $1,780 you can purchase a Cryo-Pet™ which uses the latest cryonic technology to put your pet into a gentle slumber.

    Although the operation of such a device may seem rather daunting, Cryotranz™ hopes that by combining their newest cryo-breakthroughs with eye-appealing design that cryonics will move past the image the industry has of just freezing the heads of the rich and break into the mass consumer world.

    How does it work?

    On the side of Cryo-Pet™ you’ll find a “Pre-Cryo Preparation Kit” which contains all you need for putting your animal into a suspended state.

    First, a breathing nozzle is used to deliver two different chemicals to your animal. One is a drug which will knock your pet out for easy handling, the second is a chemical which enters into the blood stream and begins slowing the metabolism of your animal. The effects only last for about thirty minutes in case you change your mind.

    After your animal is asleep, place him or her into the chamber and close the door. A button will light when the door has been locked and his or her metabolism and breathing has stopped. Cryo-Pet™ is then ready to begin the freezing process.

    What happens during the freezing process?

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  • Is Turning to the Open Sea the Future of Freedom?

    November 13 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: The Home

    As technology makes communication and perhaps even sovereignty more fluid will humans flock to the sea to realize such benefits?

    Parti Friedman, Executive Director of the Sea Steading Institute, paints a future scenario in which modular ocean-based living transforms government, democracy and, most importantly, quality of life.

  • Sarah Palin & The Singularity

    November 07 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Technology

    What would Sarah Palin do in the event of a sudden unexpected Singularity?


    This is Part 2 of the Scenario Land Singularity Series, animated through Xtranormal. Part 1 can be found here .

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  • Ray Kurzweil: The Singularity is Not a Religion

    November 06 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Technology

    At last week’s Singularity Summit, Future of Gadgets Editor John Heylin had the opportunity to ask a swarmed Ray Kurzweil, the face of exponential change and the Singularity, one question. As I scrambled to pull out my flip cam to capture the moment, he cut straight to the heart:

    Do you feel the Singularity has become its own religious movement inside the science community?

    Kurzweil began his response by acknowledging that though there are some people who seek the rapture according to their own preferences, that “the idea of the Singularity did not start from religion.” Instead the concept sprang from “over 30 years of technology trends research.”

    But he did admit that it can seem similar to some of the concepts contained in religion:

    “Some of the ideas look like a way of transcending our limitations. You can argue that’s what technology does in general, and given that it’s exponential it ultimately feels supposedly transcendent, so people use words like rapture.”

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  • How Many Pardons Will George W. Bush Award in the Coming Months?

    November 06 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Government

    Now that the 2008 U.S. presidential election has been settled it’s time to turn our attention to not just the next four years, but also the next 2 months. During this span the White House and Vice President’s Mansion will be non-stop flurry of activity. Documents will be stored, or shredded. New executive orders and signing statements will be generated. And presidential pardons and commutations will be awarded.

    To date, George W. Bush has issued 157 pardons and commuted 6 people, including the infamous Scooter Libby. This already places him ahead of nine U.S. Presidents, mostly single-termers, on the list, but well behind Ulysses S. Grant (1332) and war-time leaders such as Harry Truman (2044), Woodrow Wilson (2480), and the all-time leader FDR (3687).

    So how many pardons will W. award when all is said and done? It seems very likely that he will exceed his predecessor, Bill Clinton’s 456. But is it possible that he will eclipse FDR’s mammoth total? Judging by the way this administration has danced with the law (for good or for ill), is such a final flourish all that unthinkable?

    Edit: Thanks to Will for pointing out that Grant was not in fact a war-time President, though he did serve as general during the Civil War.

  • Looking Back: How the Nanobama Administration Accelerated Technology

    November 06 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger
    Category: Technology

    Ever since buckyballs were discovered in 1986, an event that liberated nanotechnology from being an on-paper-only concept and graduated it into a hands-on (or at least electron microscope-on) practice, nanotechnology has been gaining momentum exponentially, despite aggressive anti-tech litigation.

    In 2009 the EPA was sued by a collection of tech corporations for failing to enforce federal restrictions on the import and development of carbon nanotubes imposed one year earlier, and for completely failing to make any laws whatsoever regarding other similar carbon-based materials or those of other metals like titanium-dioxide and silver. Although the EPA was cleared of any wrong-doing, the following year three more laws were initiated, and several companies and research facilities were fined.

    But then, in 2010, President Obama reversed the ban on stem cell research enacted by former president George W. Bush, stating, “The potential benefits greatly outweigh the moral dilemma. It is not for me to say whether God would have us utilize a dead fetus. But I do believe God would ask us to help to save the sick and dying, if there was any way we could.”

    In his famous 2012 re-election speech that earned him the nickname Nanobama, he said:

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  • Intel CTO Rattner: Wireless Power Likely to Produce Devices that Run Infinitely

    November 04 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Energy

    Intel CTO Justin Rattner paints a scenario in which humans have access to “computers, and cameras, and phones that run infinitely”, relating that the feasibility and demand for such devices has spurred Intel to seriously research the underlying technologies that could spawn such a future reality.

    Rattner says Intel has been coming at wireless power “in a number of ways”, first from this notion of “scavenging free energy … from the environment to power all sorts of sensing devices” that broadcast data as they filled up with sufficient energy, but more recently through “injecting energy into the environment … particularly at this idea of coupled magnetic resonance circuits as a way to transmit power in a perfectly safe way.”

    With such a heavyweight company devoting real-deal R&D dollars to wireless power one has got to wonder when well start seeing some serious breakthroughs and if, eventually, pervasive power that enables always-on pervasive computing, sensing, and production could become a human reality.

  • Virtual Going Out is the New Going Out

    November 03 2008 / by StuartDobson
    Category: Culture

    Crossposted from SuperConcepts.

    A ‘Virtual’ Escape From Economic Pain: Forbes

    It seems that in these times of economic decline, people don’t want to forgo the luxuries that they’ve grown accustomed to over the years, so are choosing to indulge themselves in a virtual manner instead. There’s certainly a lot to be said for staying home surrounded by cheap entertainment compared with going out and being ripped off and mugged. Could this be the future? As Virtual Reality improves, we’ll be finding it replacing more and more of the “Real Life” things we currently take for granted.

    Why travel on dangerous, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly airlines when you can immerse yourself in a Virtual holiday? Google Earth and Google Street, not to mention other “virtual sightseeing” options have recently taken a lot of big steps towards this. Although virtual reality interfaces have a long way to go before we can experience all the delights of a trip to somewhere beautiful, in the next few years it will be possible to walk down a foreign street on your computer screen, with the realism of a TV documentary. You’ll be able to go into a real shop, select a real item from a real shelf, and make real purchases from the shops on this street, to be delivered to your door. In Second Life, you can already wander around the accurately recreated streets of Dublin and other major cities. Primitive as it is now, we’ll soon be taking it for granted.

    In the very distant future, personal nano-fabrication devices could allow us to recreate the exact tastes and textures of foods available anywhere on Earth. And if not, computer interfaces to our brains will merely simulate the feelings and tastes of eating these exotic cuisines. Whether as part of a virtual reality interface or not, the ability to remotely indulge our senses will surely come from somewhere.

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  • X-Prize CEO Peter Diamandis Envisions a Race to Claim the Moon

    November 03 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Space

    As the costs associated with orbital escape and space flight continue to drop the stage will be set for a daring new company to lay claim to parts of the moon and nearby asteroids, posits X-Prize CEO Peter Diamandis.

    Diamandis envisions that such a future could produce a “land rush” for rights to lunar surface area, as in this future fiction piece, and asteroid mining rights which could be valued at “hundreds of billions of dollars”. He believes such a resource race is likely to “drive huge investments in launch vehicles, brings the cost down, and open up the future in space that all of us can enjoy.”

    Do you agree with such a scenario? Might space industry drive massive economic growth and get us up there along the way?

  • Robotic Pursuit Squads are a Forgone Conclusion

    October 28 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
    Category: Technology

    How likely is it that 5 years from now, sometime in 2013, the U.S. government will employ a pack of search robots to track human fugitives, enemy combatants or other persons of interest?

    Though such an endeavor would mark a serious increase in up-front and maintenance cost, it could also make operations safer for pursuing officers or soldiers and gradually increase the capture success rate. At the same time such a scenario would also thoroughly freak-out an American population increasingly on edge about government intrusion and technological capabilities.

    Here’s an example of what such a future might look like, drawn by MemeBox illustrator Lars Olson:

    As it turns out, just a few days ago the U.S. Army put out this call for bids on exactly such a project. Their desired outcome is for some smart folks to:

    Develop a software and sensor package to enable a team of robots to search for and detect human presence in an indoor environment. [and] Develop a software/hardware suit that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject.

    If in fact you doubt the near-term likelihood of such a technology suite and program, then look no further than nascent functional technologies such as the surprisingly agile and stable Big Dog robot and already marketed aerial microdrone cameras.

    A quick look at these prototype vids should quickly get you on the path to belief:

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