Thursday, March 30, 2017

UBER and You Are Out

Uber and You Are Out

Uber has certainly revolutionized the taxi and “for hire” industries. It has made going from point A to point B a little more interesting. In fact, your UBER driver could be anyone and eventually anything.

But what has and what will UBER ultimately accomplish? 

With driverless vehicles just around the technological corner, UBER is poised to take total control of the transportation industry. While “joe & mary public” can benefit and even earn a competitive wage, “joe and mary” are destined to become obsolete in the not to distant future.

UBER is building the ultimate technological platform in transportation services. Driverless, highly efficient and industry specific modes of transportation (vehicles, public transit, handicap-equipped units, delivery trucks etc) will all become automated.

In fact, if one applies common sense, UBER will not only offer a transportation platform/interface, but will ultimately own the very vehicles that will transport you and all forms of goods and services. Private ownership of vehicles over the next decade will become less and less necessary.

Driverless vehicles will substantially reduce the need for vehicle insurance, as the presumption is that these vehicles will avoid collisions and road hazards. Electric and hybrid vehicles will all require less and less mechanical repairs and the corner dealership may simply become a sales depot for UBER owned automobiles and trucks.

This technological revolution is impacting the motorcycle world as well. LIT Motors has created the perfect motorcycle - it can’t tip over no matter how hard it tries. It has developed some form of anti-gravitational mechanism which keeps the motorcycle erect at all times. This technology will allow most people to go two wheel driving ala UBER as well.

The greatest paradigm shift in 2000 years is upon us and no one is paying attention. We should not be focusing on jobs but rather how to elevate the human condition without destroying its main ingredient - humans. 

From neural lace, to CRISPR, to Chimeras, to trans-humanism, to nanotechnology, to synthetic DNA, to immortality and beyond Mankind will become the ultimate guinea pig. Agenda 2030 is just around the corner, and politicians are no different than the hookers standing at the same corner peddling their jollies.

Thank you,
Joseph Pede

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Photon Rockets Might Make Mars A Three Minute Trip

Photon Rockets Might Make Mars A Three Minute Trip

Planck photon rocket drives --- which in theory could hit velocities equal to 99.999 percent the speed of light --- might eventually offer propulsion engineers a way to drastically reduce interstellar travel times without trashing the laws of physics as we currently understand them. A hypothetical photon rocket’s directional thrust would come from photons (or electromagnetic radiation in the form of light) and turn a one-way journey to Mars into a three-minute and four second trip.

In a forthcoming paper in the journal Acta Astronautica, a Norwegian professor argues that the theoretical ultimate speed limit of any spacecraft falls just below lightspeedin a vacuum, or 186,282 miles per second   But that's also still considerably beyond the limits of what can currently be achieved in today's particle accelerators.

“The fuel is converted into light which leads to radiation pressure that drives the rocket forward ,” said Haug, who teaches quantitative finance at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He admits that’s an unconventional background for rocket science but says a lot of the math used in contemporary physics directly overlaps with finance option theory, so photon rockets are not that much of a stretch.
Blue Fiber Credit: Michael Wyszomierski/Flickr Creative Commons.
Blue Fiber Credit: Michael Wyszomierski/Flickr Creative Commons.

Haug used such math to combine contemporary conventional rocket theory with the theories of the pioneering theoretical physicist Max Planck’s work on the nature of fundamental mass, length and time intervals. Using these calculations, in his paper, Haug shows that in theory two Planck masses of fuel would be needed for every fundamental particle in a rocket’s payload. (One Planck mass is theorized to have about the same mass as a flea egg.)

“Laboratory experiments show that the concept of driving an object forward by using only photons is clearly possible,” said Haug. “But there is still a long way to go in developing large photon rockets that could send materials or people into outer space.”

Haug speculates that any given fundamental particle should in theory turn into a hypothetical Planck mass particle as soon as it reaches its maximum velocity. Theorized to be micro-sized black holes by some physicists, including Stephen Hawking, Planck mass particles are thought to be more massive than any known observed fundamental particle, but as yet have never been detected. Some theorists reason they may have been prevalent in the first moments after the cosmological Big Bang.

But in Haug’s theory, such Planck mass particles would be generated basically at the instant two photons collide. However, just as quickly, these particles disappear after dissolving into energy.
Haug says the fuel for such a rocket could take any form as long as its technology allowed for 100 percent conversion into light energy, where all of the fuel’s mass could be converted for directional thrust.

As for faster than light travel?

Even large space rockets must ultimately follow the ‘’laws” of subatomic particles, says Haug.

“If no subatomic particle can move faster than my derivations predict, then this must also be the absolute maximum speed limit for a rocket,” said Haug.

But hopes of testing his theory in the near term are pretty slim, he says. That would require particle accelerators far stronger than Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

As for making quick trips to Mars?

At this stage, it’s unrealistic to think about full-scale spacecraft traveling at velocities a tiny fraction below lightspeed itself, says Haug. The technology might best be used to enable travel at a fraction of the speed of light --- still much faster than current feasible velocities.

What would photon rockets ultimately do for launch costs?
If one really were able to build rocket propulsion technology where almost all of the fuel mass was converted to energy, he says, this would dramatically reduce the need for large fuel payloads and launch costs.

But Haug says this would also require a major breakthrough in particle physics.


Saturday, March 25, 2017


Connected Air: Smart Dust Is The Future Of The Quantified World1

This article is part of ReadWrite Future Tech, an annual series in which we explore how technologies that will shape our lives in the years to come are grounded in the innovation and research of today.
The year is 2035, and Sgt. Bill Traverse and his team of commandos are performing a “sweep and clean” operation through a portion of the war-torn Mexico City. Their job is to find any hidden pockets of resistance and flush them out and back through the neutral zone or eliminate them. The drones that provide surveillance overhead cannot offer much support in the twisting alleys and passageways of the sprawling metropolis and the helmet-based HUD systems that soldiers are equipped with are useless in a city where all technical infrastructure was destroyed years ago. 
Sgt. Traverse isn’t navigating blind, though. He and his team use Dust, portable packets of sensors that float in the air throughout the entire city and track movement, biometric indicators, temperature change and chemical composition of everything in their city. The Dust sensors send information back to their HUD displays through a communications receiver carried1 by a member of the team. Traverse can tell, from the readings that Dust gives him, if there are people around the next corner and if they are holding weapons. His team can then proceed accordingly …
This scene of Sgt. Traverse and his merry men is a fiction. The concept of Dust is not.

Smart Dust: The Sensors That Track Every Thing, Everywhere

The idea of the Internet of Things is so passé. The general concept of the Internet of Things is that we can put a sensor on anything and have it send data back to a database through the In1ternet. In this way we can monitor everything, everywhere and build smarter systems that are more interactive than ever before. 
Putting sensors on stuff? Boring. What if the sensors were in the air, everywhere? They could monitor everything—temperature, humidity, chemical signatures, movement, brainwaves—everything. 
The technology is called Smart Dust and it’s not quite as crazy (or as new) as you might think. 
Smart Dust as a concept originated out of a research project by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Research And Development Corporation (RAND) in the early 1990s. We use the military anecdote above because it was these military research groups that first conceptualized Smart Dust but the practical application of the technology can be applied to almost any industry. Dust in the fields monitoring the crops. Dust in the factories monitoring the output of machines. Dust in your body monitoring your entire state of well being. Dust in the forests tracking animal migration patterns, wind and humidity. 
The entire world could be quantified with this type of ubiquitous sensor technology. But how does it really work?

What Is Smart Dust?

Smart Dust is made of “motes” which are tiny sensors that can perform a variety of functions. They are made of “microeletromechanical systems” known as MEMS. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technology describes the functionality of these motes:
A single smart dust mote typically contains a semiconductor laser diode and MEMS beam-steering mirror for active optical transmission; a MEMS corner cube retro reflector for passive optical transmission; an optical receiver, signal processing and control circuitry; and a power source based on thick-film batteries and solar cells.
Smart Dust is made capable by these MEMS as well as advances in digital circuitry and wireless communication. The advances in digital circuitry are what enable the motes to become so small while still having the ability to have a battery, a nominal amount of RAM and a wireless transmitter, likely powered by RFID (but perhaps Bluetooth or some as-yet-to-be identified future wireless communication protocol). The goal is to make the entire package as small as possible and last as long as possible, while being able to support a microscopic operating system that enables the whole thing to run. 
The challenges for Smart Dust are to create a package that includes all the elements needed to perform sensory measurements, while also being able to communicate back to a base station to gather the data. Solutions for optical transmission of data or using radio frequency have been discussed by researchers such as Kristofer Pister, Joe Kahn and Bernhard Boser at the University of California at Berkeley. 
Pister has been one of the leading researchers and proponents of Smart Dust and was the co-founder and CTO of Dust Networks, a company founded in 2004 to bring the concept of Smart Dust to reality. Linear Networks—a company that focuses on integrated circuits—acquired Dust Networks in 2011. 

Controlling Dust With TinyOS

If a developer is working with a mix of open source hardware and software, there is a good chance that she is working within one of two operating platforms: Arduino or TinyOS.
The primary difference between Arduino and TinyOS is that the latter is designed for lower-power sensors that support wireless communications standards. Arduino is much easier for a developer to learn and use, but TinyOS provides a fuller feature set. Hence, TinyOS is almost perfectly designed to run the Smart Dust motes.
Stanford provides much the development of TinyOS. Its wiki on the operating system describes its properties. 
TinyOS is an open-source operating system designed for low-power wireless devices, such a sensor networks, ubiquitous computing, personal area networks, smart buildings and smart meters. TinyOS provides useful software abstractions of the underlying device hardware: for example, TinyOS can present a flash storage chip, which has blocks and sectors with certain erase/write properties, as a simple abstraction of a circular log. Providing useful, well-designed and heavily tested software abstractions greatly simplifies the job of application and system developers. 
TinyOS’s primary drawbacks are that it cannot run functions that are heavily processor intensive. While TinyOS is a full-featured operating system, its purpose is very defined. It runs code in very short snippets to perform a singular function as opposed to running long strings to perform more complex actions. This makes it very good for the purpose of a Smart Dust mote’s capabilities of gathering and passing along data in high-frequency bursts but not powering an object like the base station that collects that data. 

Worlds Of Dust

Creating more advanced ways of conducting war has given humanity some of its biggest technological breakthroughs. Nuclear power, jet engines, radar and even the foundation of the Internet have been researched, developed and inspired by militarily focused groups. Dust sprung from this well. But it is by no means limited to military actions.
With respect to the future Sgt. Traverse, the scenario in which he and his men use Dust will hopefully never come to be. It is much more fascinating to imagine planetary exploration: using Dust to monitor the environmental conditions of potentially habitable worlds. Or to monitor the inner processes of the human brain.
Pister and Kahn elaborate some potential uses in their research paper on the potential of Smart Dust.
Smart Dust may be deployed over a region to record data for meteorological, geophysical or planetary research. It may be employed to perform measurements in environments where wired sensors are unusable or lead to measurements errors. Examples include instrumentation of semiconductor processing chambers, rotating machinery, wind tunnels and anechoic chambers. In biological research, Smart Dust may be used to monitor the movements and internal processes of insects or other small animals. 
Pister and Kahn may only be hitting the top of the iceberg with the potential use of Smart Dust. The world may soon be quantified by sensors, floating on the winds to everywhere. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hydrogel Fabric That's 5 Times Stronger Than Steel

Scientists Have Invented a Hydrogel Fabric That's 5 Times Stronger Than Steel

But you can still bend and stretch it.

Scientists have created a new hydrogel material reinforced with fibres that they say is up to five times harder to break than carbon steel – but still easy to bend and stretch.
That combination of properties means the new fabric could be used as the basis for artificial ligaments and tendons designed to help the body heal – or in manufacturing or fashion where a very tough but elastic material is needed.

Researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan developed the fabric, called fibre-reinforced soft composite(or FRSC), by combining hydrogels containing high levels of water with glass fibre fabric.
"The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility," says one of the researchers, Jian Ping Gong.
Putting two natural materials together to combine their properties is a trick people have been pulling off for a very long time – straw and mud go together to make bricks, and paper and glue gives you papier-mâché.
The idea is you end up with a new super-material that combines the best parts of both your source materials.
The scientists set out to create a substance that could bear heavy loads and was also very fracture-resistant, taking the best characteristics of hydrogels, but adding extra durability and toughness through the glass fibre fabric.
The team says the incredible strength of the composite material comes from dynamic ionic bonds – atoms attracted to each other as electrons get swapped – acting between the fibre and the hydrogels, and within the hydrogels themselves.

As the scientists increased the toughness of the hydrogels in the lab, the overall toughness of the composite material went up too.
These same principles could also be applied to add toughness to other soft components, such as rubber, the researchers say, building on previous studies of hydrogels carried out at Hokkaido University.
The end result is a material that's 25 times tougher than glass fibre fabric; 100 times tougher than hydrogels; and five times as strong as carbon steel, in terms of the energy required to break them.
While hydrogels have already been touted as suitable materials for healing wounds and building soft robots, their lack of toughness has previously limited their usefulness – something which the new research could change.
"This work provides a good guide toward the design of FRSCs with extraordinary fracture resistance capacity," the researchers write in their paper.
The findings are published in Advanced Functional Materials.

OPERATION INDIGO SKYFOLD — The Most Secret Covert Black Operation In World History

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Yemen - 7 Million Close to Famine

Yemen at 'point of no return' as conflict leaves almost 7 million close to famine

Governments have been warned they face enduring shame should famine take hold in Yemen, where two-thirds of the population face severe food shortages

Aid agencies have warned that Yemen is “at the point of no return” after new figures released by the UN indicated 17 million people are facing severe food insecurity and will fall prey to famine without urgent humanitarian assistance.
A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency – one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure – with a further 10.2 million in crisis. The numbers reflect a 21% increase in hunger levels in the Arab world’s poorest state since June 2016.
Taiz and Hodeidah governorates, home to almost 25% of Yemen’s 28 million-strong population and the scene of intense conflict since the outbreak of civil war in 2015, are at particularly heightened risk of famine.
“The numbers affected are absolutely extraordinary,” said Mark Kaye, Save the Children’s Yemen spokesperson.

“We keep on talking about a country that’s on the brink of famine, but for me these numbers highlight that we’re at the point of no return. If things are not done now we are going to be looking back on this and millions of children will have starved to death, and we’ll all have been aware of this for some time. That will shame us as an international community for years to come.
“The problem is that you see the numbers but you don’t see the people behind it,” he said. “I’m always concerned when we’re waiting for a tick-box to happen before we say, ‘This is famine.’
Emphasising the role of conflict in the escalation of the crisis, Kaye said funding for Yemen – subject of a Disasters Emergency Committee appeal that has raised more than £20m as well as a call for $2.1bn (£1.6bn) by the UN – was only part of the solution.

“This crisis is happening because food and supplies can’t get into the country. Yemen was completely dependent on imports of food, medicine and fuel prior to this crisis. You have one party delaying and significantly preventing food from getting into the country, and another on the ground who are detaining aid workers or preventing aid and food from getting to areas they don’t want it to go to.
“As much as funding – and obviously we do need money to do all the work that needs to be done in Yemen – the political track is the one that really needs working on. There needs to be a significant game change from the UK government, the US government, who have influence over the Saudi-led coalition and can say, ‘You need to open up the ports, you need to ensure that enough food and aid is getting in.’
“Also, those on the ground – the Houthis, for example – need to ensure that aid can get to hard-to-reach areas, because you can throw money at this all day but ultimately it’s about people being able to access what we are trying to provide.”
Saudi sources said Houthi rebel fighters were using the Yemeni port of Hodeidah to import munitions and other goods for its war effort, and for raising cash through extortion from traders. They also claimed Houthis have destroyed key infrastructure at the port, worsening the food shortages.

A boat adorned with a Unicef flag is unloaded at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah
 A boat adorned with a Unicef flag is unloaded at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

“They are using the port as a military base to import guns, and rockets,” one Saudi source said.

Saudis said the UN should visit the port to inspect how Houthis in breach of UN resolutions are using it not only to allow the import of food, but also to strengthen their war effort.Aid groups and senior UN figures have repeatedly urged the Gulf States to acknowledge that any attack on the port would have devastating consequences for Yemen’s food crisis. Before the conflict began, 80% of imports to Yemen came through the port, and 90% of food was imported.
The Saudis also claimed many NGOs and UN agencies critical of the campaign waged by the Gulf States are over-reliant on Houthi sources for their information about the nature of Saudi air attacks.

Awad Ahamed Qasem al-Wesabi, a 26-year-old motorbike driver from Taiz, appreciates the impact of the conflict between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ousted president, as well as anyone.
After the outbreak of war, Al-Wesabi fled street fighting in Taiz with his wife and four-year-old son, Jamal, relocating to Ibb, a city 30 miles to the north.
“We ran from our home in Taiz’s al-Wazi’iyah district because of the conflict and because my motorbike had been bombed,” he said outside his tent in Ibb’s al-Qafr district.
Yet food proved hard to come by in Ibb, where makeshift tents house thousands of people displaced from elsewhere in Yemen.
Al-Wesabi lost his wife to the cold weather and is struggling to feed Jamal.
“We ran from the war to be in another city but yet my son and I suffer from malnutrition here on a daily basis.
“Our survival depends on what is left from other people. Sometimes we eat but other times we don’t find anything to eat, we eat only one meal a day, my son goes into the restaurant next to our tent and takes what is left from people’s food; some rice and bread.
“We eat corn with water and the water is not clean, we are suffering from water and food deprivation.”
Basmah Almolaiki, an activist who has been distributing food in Ibb for the past two years, warned that people in the city are facing starvation.
“The humanitarian situation in Ibb is very bad, 80% of people are suffering from lack of food and they are starving,” she said.
“It’s not only internally displaced people who need humanitarian aid, others who have been living in Ibb need that too. [But] 20% of people in Ibb feel shy to ask for food because they are used to not asking from others, they are dying in silence without anyone knowing. We started to know these people, we give them food at night so that no one finds that out.
“The situation is exacerbated by the increasing number of people who come here. The simplest daily life support does not exist in many houses. Humanitarian organisations left Ibb when the war began, and now only Unicef is distributing blankets, but no food.
“Please don’t forget people in Ibb city, because they are starving to death.”
Juma’n Abdullah Hasan, a 29-year-old former shoemaker, shares a tent in Ibb with his son, Ayad, who is three.
“My life was great, happy and full of peace. I used to stitch shoes and by the end of the day I earned about $10,” he recalled. “We used to eat three meals in the day and sufficiently, but these days we only eat bread.”

Juma’n Abdullah Hasan cradles his three-year-old son in Ibb city, Yemen
 Juma’n Abdullah Hasan cradles his three-year-old son in Ibb city, Yemen. Photograph: Rakan Hasan

Hasan and Ayad’s breakfast consists of a cup of tea and a piece of bread. “Other meals come from our neighbours who live in the next tent to us,” he said. “The war affected every angle of our lives, our situation is difficult to be written in words. Death is better than this hellish life.”
Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, head of Oxfam’s Yemen programme, said: “Urgent action is needed to get food into the country and move it from port to plate, along with vital fuel and medicines. All parties to this crisis must understand that the real enemy is famine. Efforts to avert a famine need to be backed up by political action to help end the fighting.”
Saud Abdo Ali was working as a cleaner in the port city of Mokha before the war began. In Ibb, she lives in a tent alongside her daughter.
“We live under the cold and the rain. Sometimes we eat from the garbage, my little daughter cleans the home of neighbours for only $0.5 to buy us some bread to feed ourselves,” she said. 
“There is no food, no pure water, no electricity, nothing. One day, a businessperson came to us and give us dishes and spoons but I told him sarcastically, ‘What should we do with these? Eat the soil?’”