"60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035
Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?
The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.
The report spends 350 pages laying out a detailed case for this device, called a space elevator. The central argument — that we should build a space elevator as soon as possible — is supported by a detailed accounting of the challenges associated with doing so. The possible pay-off is as simple as could be — a space elevator could bring the cost-per-kilogram of launch to geostationary orbit from $20,000 to as little as $500.
Kid logic works better for learning new gizmos
University of California, Berkeley Original Study
Preschoolers can be smarter than college students at figuring out how unusual toys and gadgets work because they’re more flexible and less biased than adults in their ideas about cause and effect, according to new research. The findings suggest that technology and innovation can benefit from the exploratory learning and probabilistic reasoning skills that come naturally to young children, many of whom are learning to use smartphones even before they can tie their shoelaces. The findings also build upon the researchers’ efforts to use children’s cognitive smarts to teach machines to learn in more human ways. (via Kid logic works better for learning new gizmos | Futurity)
(Source: cosmicwolfstorm, via church-of-cyberpunk)
These water bottles can be mailed to a recycling plant for free
Bottles water has become an environmental concern over the past couple of decades, even leading to organizations such as Ban The Bottle. While an outright ban is unlikely to materialize any time soon, a new startup called Treeson Spring Water is aiming to make its bottles as eco as possible, including a free mail-back system to ensure they get recycled. READ MORE…
Mailing empty bottles does NOT sound Eco-friendly.
Read more about ‘transhumanism’.
Doctors’ #1 Source for Healthcare Information: Wikipedia
In spite of all of our teachers’ and bosses’ warnings that it’s not a trustworthy source of information, we all rely on Wikipedia. Not only when we can’t remember the name of that guy from that movie, which is a fairly low-risk use, but also when we find a weird rash or are just feeling a little off and we’re not sure why. One in three Americans have tried to diagnose a medical condition with the help of the Internet, and a new report says doctors are just as drawn to Wikipedia’s flickering flame.
According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics’ “Engaging patients through social media” report, Wikipedia is the top source of healthcare information for both doctors and patients. Fifty percent of physicians use Wikipedia for information, especially for specific conditions.
Generally, more people turn to Wikipedia for rare diseases than common conditions. The top five conditions looked up on the site over the past year were: tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, pneumonia, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. Patients tend to use Wikipedia as a “starting point for their online self education,” the report says. It also found a “direct correlation between Wikipedia page visits and prescription volumes.”
Read more. [Image: Shutterstock]
42% said they believed a “motherboard” was “the deck of a cruise ship.” A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer. — 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD, study finds - latimes.com (via infoneer-pulse)
Google has always said that the input for Project Glass would be voice recognition, but now it looks like they may be using projected interfaces as well.
I’m not sure why, but projected interfaces seem ‘cheap’ to me..
"The “Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device” patent that Google filed last year describes a system wherein a combination of projector and camera are used to create and detect inputs. In theory, this could allow Google Glass to make up for its lack of a keyboard by making the whole world its keyboard.
The idea itself isn’t particularly new. Researchers at Microsoft have been working on a similar concept, dubbed “OmniTouch,” since at least 2011. Like Google’s patent, OmniTouch lets users interact with their devices using ad hoc input interfaces projected onto their hands, arms, and environment.”
(via Lasers will let Google Glass project a keyboard onto your palm | VentureBeat)
Your Next Massage May Come from a Robot
Robots are quickly making their way out of the factories into situations where they may have more contact with us in our everyday lives. And by the looks of it, this may be your next trip to the spa.
Currency of China Continues to Decline
The value of China’s currency, the renminbi, continued to slide against the United States dollar on Friday, rattling investors by falling to its lowest level in nearly a year before closing higher.
Full Story: NYT
#Philoselfie: Science behind selfie-expression
Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year is also one of the most fascinating movements in social is that of theselfie. Part vanity, part communication, part fun, and part absurdity, selfies represent a new generation of #selfieexpression cum egotistical emoticons…but not necessarily in a bad way. Nevertheless, the psychology and science behind selfies are strangely fascinating and therefore I continue to study and report on its evolution.
Selfiecity, a new research project, studies Instagram data from five cities around the world including Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Sao Paulo. Wired initially reported on Selfiecity’s initial findings
Full Story: Brian Solis