Fantasy Faction

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: tebakutis on May 20, 2016, 12:23:44 AM

Title: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 20, 2016, 12:23:44 AM
So, inspired by @Eli_Freysson (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40309) 's post asking about future building materials, and after mentioning this and hearing from @Lady_Ty (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=31869) and @Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094), I'm starting a thread to post interesting science articles we may come across - basically, current, near future, and future stuff that might either inform or inspire our science fiction.

Here's a round up of articles that have caught my interest over the past few months to get us started! Feel free to post interesting stuff you come across.


DARPA is working on brain implants that can convert brain signals to digital signals, and back
http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/implant-to-plug-brain-into-supercomputers-161021.htm (http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/implant-to-plug-brain-into-supercomputers-161021.htm)


The first self-driving cars to hit the roads are going to be minivans.
http://gizmodo.com/googles-next-futuristic-self-driving-car-is-a-chrysler-1774479570 (http://gizmodo.com/googles-next-futuristic-self-driving-car-is-a-chrysler-1774479570)
http://gizmodo.com/is-this-ride-sharing-smart-minivan-the-future-of-self-d-1542547679 (http://gizmodo.com/is-this-ride-sharing-smart-minivan-the-future-of-self-d-1542547679)


Self-driving trucks are going to make interstate commerce cheaper and safer, but may kill many jobs, and not just driving jobs.
http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/25/the-driverless-truck-is-coming-and-its-going-to-automate-millions-of-jobs/ (http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/25/the-driverless-truck-is-coming-and-its-going-to-automate-millions-of-jobs/)
http://gizmodo.com/self-driving-trucks-are-going-to-kill-jobs-and-not-jus-1705921308 (http://gizmodo.com/self-driving-trucks-are-going-to-kill-jobs-and-not-jus-1705921308)


It's looking increasingly likely the liquid ocean on Europa might be able to sustain some form of life.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6514 (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6514)
http://gizmodo.com/europa-is-even-more-earthlike-than-we-suspected-1777202365 (http://gizmodo.com/europa-is-even-more-earthlike-than-we-suspected-1777202365)


The "Trophy" system shoots down rockets and missiles attacking military vehicles.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophy_%28countermeasure%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophy_%28countermeasure%29)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VrAUTP6rTg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VrAUTP6rTg)


The US Navy has built a functioning railgun, and may mount it on a ship soon.
https://www.wired.com/2014/04/electromagnetic-railgun-launcher/ (https://www.wired.com/2014/04/electromagnetic-railgun-launcher/)


You may soon be able to buy and wear contact lenses that can record video.
http://www.sciencealert.com/sony-just-filed-a-patent-for-contact-lenses-that-record-and-play-videos-with-a-blink-on-an-eye (http://www.sciencealert.com/sony-just-filed-a-patent-for-contact-lenses-that-record-and-play-videos-with-a-blink-on-an-eye)


Future VR headsets may be able to project images directly on your retinas.
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/164399-avegant-glyph-a-3dvr-headset-that-beams-the-display-directly-onto-your-retina (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/164399-avegant-glyph-a-3dvr-headset-that-beams-the-display-directly-onto-your-retina)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Henry Dale on May 20, 2016, 08:06:09 AM
Dropping this link here as well. I found an English article about the bio concrete I was talking about earlier on here as well. Adding links that talk about the other forms of concrete/building mats too.
http://thefutureofthings.com/

bioconcrete
http://thefutureofthings.com/4952-bioconcrete-self-healing-concrete/

Solar roadways
http://www.solarroadways.com/

Green mossy walls
http://www.psfk.com/2013/01/concrete-building-moss.html
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on May 20, 2016, 11:35:24 AM
The solar roads reminds me of a Kickstarter I saw for floors and sidewalks that convert foot energy (i.e. walking on them) into electricity.
Title: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: marshall_lamour on May 20, 2016, 09:37:08 PM
At the risk of coming off a bit self-promotey, I've had a little curation effort going for a while with this sort of thing in mind: https://flipboard.com/@rmblrx/futurismo-p6jgcaiiy (https://flipboard.com/@rmblrx/futurismo-p6jgcaiiy)

It mostly covers real-world R&D topics but also has a peppering of speculative-fiction oriented content, both technical and aesthetic. I've been pretty keen on collecting this sort of material for a while for my writing as well as my personal edification.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 25, 2016, 03:50:48 PM
Drone Jamming Gun
http://gizmodo.com/these-anti-drone-guns-are-the-future-of-messing-with-yo-1777086208 (http://gizmodo.com/these-anti-drone-guns-are-the-future-of-messing-with-yo-1777086208)

The US Navy has a giant gun that counters drones by jamming their frequencies. Only available to federal agencies so far, but I wonder how long it will be until somebody makes a homemade one?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 25, 2016, 03:51:21 PM
It mostly covers real-world R&D topics but also has a peppering of speculative-fiction oriented content, both technical and aesthetic. I've been pretty keen on collecting this sort of material for a while for my writing as well as my personal edification.

Awesome, thanks for the link!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 01, 2016, 08:53:21 PM
A startup named AxonVR recently revealed that they're working on a "VR suit" that can not only track the user's entire body in VR, but simulate touch, hot, cold, and also work as a 360 degree movement device.

The various pieces of tech are still in a very early proof-of-concept stage, but it's cool to know people already have ideas for making the next generation of virtual reality more "real".

http://www.roadtovr.com/axonvr-making-haptic-exoskeleton-suit-bring-body-mind-vr/ (http://www.roadtovr.com/axonvr-making-haptic-exoskeleton-suit-bring-body-mind-vr/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on June 01, 2016, 10:09:51 PM
A startup named AxonVR recently revealed that they're working on a "VR suit" that can not only track the user's entire body in VR, but simulate touch, hot, cold, and also work as a 360 degree movement device.

The various pieces of tech are still in a very early proof-of-concept stage, but it's cool to know people already have ideas for making the next generation of virtual reality more "real".

http://www.roadtovr.com/axonvr-making-haptic-exoskeleton-suit-bring-body-mind-vr/ (http://www.roadtovr.com/axonvr-making-haptic-exoskeleton-suit-bring-body-mind-vr/)

Um. Porn. Just saying. Sorry.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 02, 2016, 03:00:29 PM
Ha, you're a couple of years behind the curve there, J. :) In a reveal that may surprise no one, the Japanese have been leading the charge on VR porn for years. I won't post links to any of the "devices" they're prototyping (though you can find plenty of Youtube videos) but ... yeah. That's happening.

Unrelated to that, I saw this article today, which was something I'd never thought about. By sending super tiny probes to other planets, we can actually accelerate them to close to relativistic speeds and travel between systems in our lifetime. Or so the theory goes...

http://gizmodo.com/these-tiny-spacecraft-could-lead-us-to-alpha-centauri-1779820881 (http://gizmodo.com/these-tiny-spacecraft-could-lead-us-to-alpha-centauri-1779820881)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on June 04, 2016, 02:53:56 AM
Long but interesting. Not sure how much will fit in the character limit.

Why Nature Prefers Hexagons
(Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)
“How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells.”
Why Nature Prefers Hexagons
The geometric rules behind fly eyes, honeycombs, and soap bubbles.
By Philip Ball April 7, 2016
How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells.
The ancient Greek philosopher Pappus of Alexandria thought that the bees must be endowed with “a certain geometrical forethought.” And who could have given them this wisdom, but God? According to William Kirby in 1852, bees are “Heaven-instructed mathematicians.” Charles Darwin wasn’t so sure, and he conducted experiments to establish whether bees are able to build perfect honeycombs using nothing but evolved and inherited instincts, as his theory of evolution would imply.
FORCES AT WORK: Bees seem to have evolved capabilities?for making perfectly hexagonal cells from the soft wax that they secrete. However, some researchers believe that surface tension in the soft wax might be sufficient to pull the cells into shape, in much the same way as it organizes bubbles in a bubble raft. Grafissimo / Getty
Why hexagons, though? It’s a simple matter of geometry. If you want to pack together cells that are identical in shape and size so that they fill all of a flat plane, only three regular shapes (with all sides and angles identical) will work: equilateral triangles, squares, and hexagons. Of these, hexagonal cells require the least total length of wall, compared with triangles or squares of the same area. So it makes sense that bees would choose hexagons, since making wax costs them energy, and they will want to use up as little as possible—just as builders might want to save on the cost of bricks. This was understood in the 18th century, and Darwin declared that the hexagonal honeycomb is “absolutely perfect in economizing labor and wax.”
Darwin thought that natural selection had endowed bees with instincts for making these wax chambers, which had the advantage of requiring less energy and time than those with other shapes. But even though bees do seem to possess specialized abilities to measure angles and wall thickness, not everyone agrees about how much they have to rely on them. That’s because making hexagonal arrays of cells is something that nature does anyway.
FITTING IN: A single layer or “raft” of bubbles contains mostly hexagonal bubbles, albeit not all of them perfect hexagons. There are some “defects”—bubbles with perhaps five or seven sides. Nonetheless, all the junctions of bubble walls are threefold, intersecting at angles that are close to 120 degrees. Shebeko / Shutterstock
If you blow a layer of bubbles on the surface of water—a so-called “bubble raft”—the bubbles become hexagonal, or almost so. You’ll never find a raft of square bubbles: If four bubble walls come together, they instantly rearrange into three-wall junctions with more or less equal angles of 120 degrees between them, like the center of the Mercedes-Benz symbol.
Evidently there are no agents shaping these rafts as bees do with their combs. All that’s guiding the pattern are the laws of physics. Those laws evidently have definite preferences, such as the bias toward three-way junctions of bubble walls. The same is true of more complicated foams. If you pile up bubbles in three dimensions by blowing through a straw into a bowl of soapy water you’ll see that when bubble walls meet at a vertex, it’s always a four-way union with angles between the intersecting films roughly equal to about 109 degrees—an angle related to the four-faceted geometric tetrahedron.

BUBBLE VISION: The compound eyes of insects are packed hexagonally, just like the bubbles of a bubble raft— although, in fact, each facet is a lens connected to a long, thin, retinal cell beneath. The structures that are formed by clusters of biological cells often have forms governed by much the same rules as foams and bubble rafts—for example, just three cell walls meet at any vertex. The microscopic structure of the facets of a fly’s eye—beyond what is visible here—supplies one of the best examples. Each facet contains a cluster of four light-sensitive cells that have the same shape as a cluster of four ordinary bubbles. Tomatito / Shutterstock
What determines these rules of soap-film junctions and bubble shapes? Nature is even more concerned about economy than the bees are. Bubbles and soap films are made of water (with a skin of soap molecules) and surface tension pulls at the liquid surface to give it as small an area as possible. That’s why raindrops are spherical (more or less) as they fall: A sphere has less surface area than any other shape with the same volume. On a waxy leaf, droplets of water retract into little beads for the same reason.
This surface tension explains the patterns of bubble rafts and foams. The foam will seek to find the structure that has the lowest total surface tension, which means the least area of soap-film wall. But the configuration of bubble walls also has to be mechanically stable: The tugs in different directions at a junction have to balance perfectly, just as the forces must be balanced in the walls of a cathedral if the building is going to stand up. The three-way junction in a bubble raft, and the four-way junctions in foam, are the configurations that achieve this balance.
But those who think (as some do) that the honeycomb is just a solidified bubble raft of soft wax might have trouble explaining how the same hexagonal array of cells is found in the nests of paper wasps, who build not with wax but with chewed-up wads of fibrous wood and plant stem, from which they make a kind of paper. Not only can surface tension have little effect here, but it also seems clear that different types of wasp have different inherited instincts for their architectural designs, which can vary significantly from one species to another.
SHAPING A DROPLET: When water sits on a water-repellent surface, it may break up into droplets. The shapes of these drops are governed by surface tension, which pulls them into roughly spherical shapes, as well as by gravity (which will flatten a droplet on a horizontal surface) and the forces that act between the water and the underlying solid surface. If those latter forces are strong enough, the droplets are pulled into lens-shaped pancakes. And if the surface isn’t strongly water-repellent, the droplets may spread out into a flat, smooth film.Top left: Stuchelova, Kuttelvaserova / Shutterstock; Top right: Olgysha / Shutterstock; Bottom: Pitiya Phinjongsakundit / Shutterstock
Although the geometry of soap-film junctions is dictated by this interplay of mechanical forces, it doesn’t tell us what the shape of the foam will be. A typical foam contains polyhedral cells of many different shapes and sizes. Look closely and you’ll see that their edges are rarely perfectly straight; they’re a little curved. That’s because the pressure of the gas inside a cell or bubble gets bigger as the bubble gets smaller, so the wall of a small bubble next to a larger one will bulge outward slightly. What’s more, some facets have five sides, some six, and some just four or even three. With a little bending of the walls, all of these shapes can acquire four-way junctions close to the “tetrahedral” arrangement needed for mechanical stability. So there’s a fair bit of flexibility (literally) in the shapes of the cells. Foams, while subject to geometrical rules, are rather disorderly.
Suppose that you could make a “perfect” foam in which all the bubbles are the same size. What then is the ideal cell shape that makes the total bubble wall area as small as possible while satisfying the demands for the angles at the junctions? That has been debated for many years, and for a long time it was thought that the ideal cell shape was a 14-sided polyhedron with square and hexagonal faces. But in 1993 a slightly more economical—although less orderly—structure was discovered, consisting of a repeating group of eight different cell shapes. This more complex pattern was used as the inspiration for the foam-like design of the swimming stadium of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The rules of cell shapes in foams also control some of the patterns seen in living cells. Not only does a fly’s compound eye show the same hexagonal packing of facets as a bubble raft, but the light-sensitive cells within each of the individual lenses are also clustered in groups of four that look just like soap bubbles. In mutant flies with more than four of these cells per cluster, the arrangements are also more or less identical to those that bubbles would adopt.
MAKING USE OF BUBBLES: Bubbles and foams are put?to use in nature. Here the common purple snail hangs onto the surface of the sea from a buoyant raft made of bubbles coated with mucus. This enables the snail to feed on small creatures that live at the water’s surface.Dorling Kindersley
 
Because of surface tension, a soap film stretching across a loop of wire is pulled flat like the springy membrane of a trampoline. If the wire frame is bent, the film also bends with an elegant contour that automatically tells you the most economical way, in terms of material, to cover over the space enclosed by the frame. That can show an architect how to make a roof for a complicated structure using the least amount of material. However, it’s as much because of the beauty and elegance of these so-called “minimal surfaces,” as because of their economy that architects such as Frei Otto have used them in their buildings.
These surfaces minimize not only their surface area, but also their total curvature. The tighter the bend, the greater the curvature. Curvature can be positive (bulges) or negative (dips, depressions, and saddles). A curved surface can therefore have zero mean curvature so long as the positives and negatives cancel each other out.
So a sheet can be full of curvature and yet have very little or even no mean curvature. Such a minimally curved surface can divide up space into an orderly labyrinth of passageways and channels—a network. These are called periodic minimal surfaces. (Periodic just means a structure that repeats identically again and again, or in other words, a regular pattern.) When such patterns were discovered in the 19th century, they seemed to be just a mathematical curiosity. But now we know that nature makes use of them.
The cells of many different types of organisms, from plants to lampreys to rats, contain membranes with microscopic structures like this. No one knows what they are for, but they are so widespread that it’s fair to assume they have some sort of useful role. Perhaps they isolate one biochemical process from another, avoiding crosstalk and interference. Or maybe they are just an efficient way of creating lots of “work surface,” since many biochemical processes take place at the surface of membranes, where enzymes and other active molecules may be embedded. Whatever its function, you don’t need complicated genetic instructions to create such a labyrinth: The laws of physics will do it for you.
Some butterflies, such as the European green hairstreak and the emerald-patched cattleheart, have wing scales containing an orderly labyrinth of the tough material called chitin, shaped like a particular periodic minimal surface called the gyroid. Interference between light waves bouncing regular arrays of ridges and other structures on the wing-scale surface causes some wavelengths—that is, some colors—to disappear while others reinforce each other. So here the patterns offer a means of producing animal color.
MINERAL MESH: The filigree porous skeletons of sponges, such as this Venus’s flower basket, are forms of “frozen foam” in which a mineral is cast around the junctions and intersections of bubblelike soft tissues. Dmitry Grigoriev / Shutterstock
 
The skeleton of the sea urchin Cidaris rugosa is a porous mesh with the shape of another kind of periodic minimal surface. It’s actually an exoskeleton, sitting outside the organism’s soft tissue, a protective shell that sprouts dangerous-looking spines made from the same mineral as chalk and marble. The open lattice structure means that the material is strong without being too heavy, rather like the metal foams used for building aircraft.
To make orderly networks from hard, stiff mineral, these organisms apparently make a mold from soft, flexible membranes and then crystallize the hard material inside one of the interpenetrating networks. Other creatures may cast orderly mineral foams this way for more sophisticated purposes. Because of the way that light bounces off the elements of the patterned structure, such trellises can act rather like mirrors to confine and guide light. A honeycomb arrangement of hollow microscopic channels within the chitin spines of a peculiar marine worm known as the sea mouse turns these hair-like structures into natural optical fibers that can channel light, making the creature change from red to bluish green depending on the direction of the illumination. This color change might serve to deter predators.
This principle of using soft tissues and membranes as molds for forming patterned mineral exoskeletons is widely used in the sea. Some sponges have exoskeletons made of bars of mineral linked like climbing frames, which look remarkably similar to the patterns formed by the edges and junctions of soap films in foam—no coincidence, if surface tension dictates the architecture.
Such processes, known as biomineralization, generate spectacular results in marine organisms called radiolarians and diatoms. Some of these have delicately patterned exoskeletons made from a mesh of mineral hexagons and pentagons: You might call them the honeycombs of the sea. When the German biologist (and talented artist) Ernst Haeckel first saw their shapes in a microscope in the late 19th century, he made them the star attraction of a portfolio of drawings called Art Forms in Nature, which were very influential among artists of the early 20th century and still inspire admiration today. To Haeckel, they seemed to offer evidence of a fundamental creativity and artistry in the natural world—a preference for order and pattern built into the very laws of nature. Even if we don’t subscribe to that notion now, there’s something in Haeckel’s conviction that patterns are an irrepressible impulse of the natural world—one that we have every right to find beautiful.
 
Philip Ball is the author of Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen and many books on science and art.
 
Reprinted with permission from Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way It Does, by Philip Ball, published by The University of Chicago Press. © 2016 by Marshall Editions. All rights reserved.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 04, 2016, 04:13:04 AM
May not quite fit this thread but a clear indication that Rachel Carson's Silent Spring* published 1962 is coming close. That was aimed at the widespread use of DDT  insecticide,but we can see how much other modern innovations and climate change  have contributed to the same result.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/bernie-krause-soundscape-ecology-extinction_us_5746a423e4b0dacf7ad3fe0a?section=australia

The loss of sound is terribly sad and I guess anyone writing stories set in the future should take into account how much of our natural life, flora and fauna will be missing and even its existence forgotten. Imagine if such as whales, dolphins, elephants, rhinos are treated as just being mythical creatures.

*Carson was criticised as alarmist, even insane and Monsanto waged a campaign to malign her. I can remember seeing DDT being spread over farm fields through a chute behind a tractor.o protection for workers with the dust following in a cloud. My grandma sprinkled DDT around our veggie patch to get rid of pests. It is likely some modern product may yet wreak unforeseen havoc we only realise too late.

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/story-silent-spring
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on June 04, 2016, 11:14:36 AM
Such as no bees.

Sometimes i think that the only problem with the pesticide, overpopulation, climate change, and etc. alarmists is that they got the pace of the disasters wrong. Much slower, but still coming.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 05, 2016, 06:28:06 AM
No more American Cowboys or Australian Stockmen

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jun/04/transforming-the-bush-robots-drones-and-cows-that-milk-themselves?CMP=share_btn_tw


Such as no bees.

Sometimes i think that the only problem with the pesticide, overpopulation, climate change, and etc. alarmists is that they got the pace of the disasters wrong. Much slower, but still coming.

And escalating.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 12, 2016, 06:35:58 PM
No more American Cowboys or Australian Stockmen

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jun/04/transforming-the-bush-robots-drones-and-cows-that-milk-themselves?CMP=share_btn_tw

Thanks for posting that, Lady_Ty, the self-milking cows are fascinating! It never would have occurred to me as an idea, but it makes sense. As automation becomes more and more accessible and reliable, it seems like the jobs that once seemed limited to humans will continue to evaporate. Hopefully, someone human will still be needed to service the robots. :)

One of my favorite anime, Psycho-Pass, played with pretty much this exact idea. It's set in Japan where the nation is ruled by the "Sybil System" which (it claims) can detect latent criminals before they commit crimes and remove them from the population. Anyway, in one of the later episodes, the criminal mastermind decides to incite unrest by sabotaging Japan's farms, and because those farms are entirely automated (there are literally no humans anywhere, as they all live in the cities) he almost gets away with it.

The idea of huge stetches of farmland farmed entirely by robots, with no humans involved or even nearby, seems more possible every day.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 12, 2016, 06:37:30 PM
Latest interesting articles I've found:

A Breakthrough in Climate Change Reduction - Turning CO2 into rocks underground.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/09/co2-turned-into-stone-in-iceland-in-climate-change-breakthrough (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/09/co2-turned-into-stone-in-iceland-in-climate-change-breakthrough)

Probably related to this older story?

There's a rock that "eats" carbon dioxide.
http://archive.onearth.org/article/the-rock-that-ate-co2 (http://archive.onearth.org/article/the-rock-that-ate-co2)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on June 13, 2016, 01:49:50 PM
This could be a major breakthrough, did the CERN LHC discover a whole new particle and change our models?

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/is-particle-physics-about-to-crack-wide-open/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_SPC_BLOG (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/is-particle-physics-about-to-crack-wide-open/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_SPC_BLOG)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 14, 2016, 10:05:09 AM
This could be a major breakthrough, did the CERN LHC discover a whole new particle and change our models?

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/is-particle-physics-about-to-crack-wide-open/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_SPC_BLOG (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/is-particle-physics-about-to-crack-wide-open/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_SPC_BLOG)

I just came to post this article as well, even as someone who is very ignorant of physics after school basics, this looks very exciting. Can anyone who understands please tell me, could this mean we are edging nearer a to Big Bang explanation? or is that still too far away?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 21, 2016, 09:13:13 PM
So Japan has an anti-aging drug that has proven to extend lifespan in mice, reversing problems that occur due to age. They're beginning human trials as early as next month. Basically, if this drug works on humans as well, there is a very real possibility we could expand the healthy human lifespan.

Anti-Aging Drug Trials to Begin for Humans
http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620 (http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on June 21, 2016, 10:14:51 PM
So Japan has an anti-aging drug that has proven to extend lifespan in mice, reversing problems that occur due to age. They're beginning human trials as early as next month. Basically, if this drug works on humans as well, there is a very real possibility we could expand the healthy human lifespan.

Anti-Aging Drug Trials to Begin for Humans
http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620 (http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620)

Which would bring about any number of apocalyptic scenarios... or at least bring them sooner.  :o
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Henry Dale on June 22, 2016, 07:09:33 AM
So Japan has an anti-aging drug that has proven to extend lifespan in mice, reversing problems that occur due to age. They're beginning human trials as early as next month. Basically, if this drug works on humans as well, there is a very real possibility we could expand the healthy human lifespan.

Anti-Aging Drug Trials to Begin for Humans
http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620 (http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620)

Which would bring about any number of apocalyptic scenarios... or at least bring them sooner.  :o
I'm sure y'all will end your lives voluntarily to make room for us youngsters  ;)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on June 22, 2016, 01:26:06 PM
So Japan has an anti-aging drug that has proven to extend lifespan in mice, reversing problems that occur due to age. They're beginning human trials as early as next month. Basically, if this drug works on humans as well, there is a very real possibility we could expand the healthy human lifespan.

Anti-Aging Drug Trials to Begin for Humans
http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620 (http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003030620)

Which would bring about any number of apocalyptic scenarios... or at least bring them sooner.  :o
I'm sure y'all will end your lives voluntarily to make room for us youngsters  ;)

I'm going to enjoy working until I'm 80 to have enough money to last me when I'm 120.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 24, 2016, 02:42:55 PM
Boston Dynamics' latest robot, SpotMini, can bring you a drink and do your dishes. It's so cool to watch these untethered bots move around and interact with environments. Like the research the Japanese are doing, these robots have the potential to be tremendously useful in aiding the elderly or people who become disabled.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf7IEVTDjng[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 24, 2016, 03:49:23 PM
And one more for today. The article title is a bit click-baity, but the reasoning behind it is sound. It's absolutely an ethical question that people, auto manufacturers, and governments are going to struggle to answer as self-driving vehicles become more common.

Your Self-Driving Car Will be Programmed to Kill You ... Deal With It.
http://gizmodo.com/your-self-driving-car-will-be-programmed-to-kill-you-de-1782499265 (http://gizmodo.com/your-self-driving-car-will-be-programmed-to-kill-you-de-1782499265)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on June 25, 2016, 02:52:27 AM
And one more for today. The article title is a bit click-baity, but the reasoning behind it is sound. It's absolutely an ethical question that people, auto manufacturers, and governments are going to struggle to answer as self-driving vehicles become more common.

Your Self-Driving Car Will be Programmed to Kill You ... Deal With It.
http://gizmodo.com/your-self-driving-car-will-be-programmed-to-kill-you-de-1782499265 (http://gizmodo.com/your-self-driving-car-will-be-programmed-to-kill-you-de-1782499265)

Prisoner's Dilemma in action.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 29, 2016, 10:00:05 PM
Speaking of vehicles controlled by AI, apparently an AI fighter plane just (repeatedly) beat a real pilot in a simulated dogfight.

Summary Article:
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/an-artificial-intelligence-just-beat-a-real-human-in-a-1782778500 (http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/an-artificial-intelligence-just-beat-a-real-human-in-a-1782778500)

More In-Depth Details:
http://magazine.uc.edu/editors_picks/recent_features/alpha.html (http://magazine.uc.edu/editors_picks/recent_features/alpha.html)

While the AI only exists in a dogfighting simulation now, imagine if you installed it on a drone that was armed and maneuverable enough to outfly and shoot down human pilots, and you've pretty much got what's going on here.

I'm sure Skynet is happy.

EDIT: Apparently, the guys on the FoxTrotAlpha comments are arguing about the definition of dogfight, which is a fight at close visual range. This was not that ... it was shooting missiles and countermeasures at a distance, which I think is more accurately referred to as engagement.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on July 26, 2016, 07:00:50 PM
An article pertinent to my interests (and perhaps yours!)

A significant portion of the population are fearful about genetic manipulation and cyberization.
http://gizmodo.com/most-americans-are-still-fearful-of-a-transhumanist-bra-1784278230 (http://gizmodo.com/most-americans-are-still-fearful-of-a-transhumanist-bra-1784278230)

Personally, I have no problem with it. If we can genetically mod out problems like Down Syndrome and other issues, I say go for it. I also wouldn't have any objection to a process that ensured my child got the "best" combination of my genes and my spouse's, rather than playing the generic lottery.

However, I can absolutely see how this would create a divide between Haves and Have Nots (as seen in Gattaca and many other movies), due to the cost, so I do have concerns in that regard. Ideally, I'd like a utopian world where gene therapy is available to everyone free of charge.

Of course, given a country as advanced as the United States can't even pass universal health care, that's probably a pipe dream. :o
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on July 26, 2016, 07:09:18 PM
My only question is what the downstream affects would be.  Say you are able to modify Down Syndrome, what happens when those people have kids or even their grandkids?  What happens when those modified genes end up mutating?  I would also be afraid that too much messing around for too long of duration will take away some genetic diversity and create a genetic bottleneck that could come into play generations down the line.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on July 26, 2016, 07:58:18 PM
I would also be afraid that too much messing around for too long of duration will take away some genetic diversity and create a genetic bottleneck that could come into play generations down the line.

Ha, that's actually an element of my espionage SF novel. So I've thought about it!

My thinking is that, once you get to the point where you can routinely and reliably select for specific genes, you'd automatically take care of that issue, since you'd select with each new generation thereafter. I could see this being an issue if you selected for genetics and then stopped doing it in future generations, but I'm not sure if it would happen if it became a normal part of the human experience. Just as you selected away from genes leading to genetic diseases in the first generation, you'd continue to do in each following generation, thus avoiding the mutation and/or genetic bottleneck problem.

In another vein (not related to health issues) I've also read several SF novels that posited that once we can create "designer babies", all of the sudden, very attractive people will become extremely common, to the point where our definition of attractiveness changes. For instance, if the world ends up in a place where 95% of its people look like, say, Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce, Idris Elba, Lee Byung-hun, and Tom Hiddleston (just picking some attractive people at random) all of the sudden the definition of "attractive" changes.

Some books I've read suggest people would start getting into body modification to differentiate themselves. Others suggest the definition of "attractive" would change drastically, or people who didn't match the "designer" mold would suddenly become more desirable, not less. What humans find desirable has changed over time, many times.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 01, 2016, 10:32:10 PM
Japan's Latest Robot Experiment Moves on Its Own Using a Neural Network

https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/30/japan-humanoid-alter-robot/ (https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/30/japan-humanoid-alter-robot/)

And creepifying video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYzOZQDsm5w[/youtube]

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 03, 2016, 02:43:29 PM
Um ... okay, China. :0

China's futuristic 'straddling bus' is actually a thing, goes on its first test run
http://shanghaiist.com/2016/08/02/straddling_bus_launch.php (http://shanghaiist.com/2016/08/02/straddling_bus_launch.php)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPdl3uxW3aI[/youtube]

I kinda want to ride it...
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on August 04, 2016, 09:31:46 AM
Pretty sure the straddling bus is a Victorian concept, however it is cool tech and each one has the capacity of 8 buses. 
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 07, 2016, 11:17:56 PM
What the actual ****.

Hot Robot At SXSW Says She Wants To Destroy Humans
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0_DPi0PmF0[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on August 08, 2016, 01:11:06 AM
Kill it with fire. Do it now.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 23, 2016, 03:56:17 PM
Iraq Is Preparing an Armed Robot to Fight ISIS
http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/08/iraq-preparing-armed-remote-control-robot-fight-isis/130935/ (http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/08/iraq-preparing-armed-remote-control-robot-fight-isis/130935/)

We move closer to the world we saw in Terminator every day, though this one is closer to a drone (human piloting a machine that kills) rather than an autonomous killer.

Quote
Iraqi security forces are prepping an armed robot for combat with ISIS forces, according to the Baghdad Post. A video posted with the story shows off a wheeled vehicle about the size of a small car. Loosely dubbed Alrobot — Arabic for robot — it has four cameras, an automatic machine gun, and a launcher for Russian-made Katyusha rockets, and can be operated by laptop and radio link from a kilometer away, the story says.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on August 23, 2016, 04:05:29 PM
Wow...hope it is hack proof.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 26, 2016, 04:32:23 PM
Self-driving cars are already appearing on the streets of Pittsburgh, and transporting travelers.

http://gizmodo.com/uber-will-launch-a-self-driving-car-fleet-in-pittsburgh-1785442867 (http://gizmodo.com/uber-will-launch-a-self-driving-car-fleet-in-pittsburgh-1785442867)

http://gizmodo.com/spotted-a-self-driving-uber-in-pittsburgh-1785791976 (http://gizmodo.com/spotted-a-self-driving-uber-in-pittsburgh-1785791976)

At some point in the future, many theorize, we'll all be driving for pleasure, not necessity. It may not even be necessary to own your own car (since you can just call a self-driving car to pick you up) though I'm certain many still will, especially in countries without lots of public transit.

Still, this is a glimpse of our self-driving car future.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 29, 2016, 08:31:19 PM
So I'm not saying that it's aliens.

Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star
http://gizmodo.com/alien-hunters-spot-freaky-radio-signal-coming-from-near-1785889615 (http://gizmodo.com/alien-hunters-spot-freaky-radio-signal-coming-from-near-1785889615)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on August 29, 2016, 08:38:48 PM
Take that Fermi Paradox*!!!

*yes I know it's more than likely just some random signal that we picked up and not aliens (even though the random signal itself could prove interesting)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on August 31, 2016, 12:52:39 AM
Take that Fermi Paradox*!!!

*yes I know it's more than likely just some random signal that we picked up and not aliens (even though the random signal itself could prove interesting)

Speaking of the Fermi. Wait But Why did a great article on it. Here (http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on August 31, 2016, 03:42:39 AM
Take that Fermi Paradox*!!!

*yes I know it's more than likely just some random signal that we picked up and not aliens (even though the random signal itself could prove interesting)

Speaking of the Fermi. Wait But Why did a great article on it. Here (http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html)
Great article! And I've bookmarked that site to investigate further, looks fab :D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on August 31, 2016, 04:56:37 AM
I once toyed with the idea of molding young minds as a teacher - but apparently it is forbidden to impose military-style indoctrination techniques on children. I tried substitute teaching for a while before I learned that, and I had been toying with an analogy to illustrate just how precious the average day really is.
My assumptions were these:

1. There was only this world, and that we would ignore those periods when Earth was uninhabitable. This yielded a period of about 6 billion years of days like today - with a non-molten Earth and a Sun.

2. We would round up in human lifespan and assume a person had 100 years of adulthood, ignoring the first 15 when you're learning how to poop, ride a bike, speak, etc. Granted, some people and most politicians take much longer, but we wanted to base the exercise on "normal" people.

I asked a classroom of advanced chemistry students to help me with the math because, well, math.
The results were essentially these - the odds of you being alive today, able to walk and talk, on this planet are so astronomically remote that I had to compare them to a lottery for a suitable comparison.

The odds of you being here today are the equivalent of winning a standard 1:80M lottery - TWICE.

That makes this day quite literally the most precious thing you will ever have, by orders of magnitude that dwarf human intellect.

So here is my advice on what this all means: when someone tries to ruin your day, they are trying to rob you of something far greater than the winnings of TWO winning lottery tickets - so do not let them. Do not give them even one second of your precious, precious time. Flee them and turn to those whom you love - for the odds of the both of you being alive, in this moment, are so remote that it's a celestial wonder that it happens at all.

-The Gem Cutter


Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on August 31, 2016, 08:54:40 PM
Take that Fermi Paradox*!!!

*yes I know it's more than likely just some random signal that we picked up and not aliens (even though the random signal itself could prove interesting)

Speaking of the Fermi. Wait But Why did a great article on it. Here (http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html)
Great article! And I've bookmarked that site to investigate further, looks fab :D

There are so many fantastic articles there.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 01, 2016, 05:33:20 AM
The odds of you being here today are the equivalent of winning a standard 1:80M lottery - TWICE.

That makes this day quite literally the most precious thing you will ever have, by orders of magnitude that dwarf human intellect.

So here is my advice on what this all means: when someone tries to ruin your day, they are trying to rob you of something far greater than the winnings of TWO winning lottery tickets - so do not let them. Do not give them even one second of your precious, precious time. Flee them and turn to those whom you love - for the odds of the both of you being alive, in this moment, are so remote that it's a celestial wonder that it happens at all.

Just wanted to say I loved this. Well said.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 01, 2016, 05:33:40 AM
Ha! Double post.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 01, 2016, 05:33:51 AM
Also, here's another recent development in news of outer space signals...

Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space
http://observer.com/2016/08/not-a-drill-seti-is-investigating-a-possible-extraterrestrial-signal-from-deep-space/ (http://observer.com/2016/08/not-a-drill-seti-is-investigating-a-possible-extraterrestrial-signal-from-deep-space/)

Interesting stuff.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on September 12, 2016, 02:12:38 AM
Not quite "Beam me up, Scotty", which has long been my hope,  but opens up many possibilities

http://digg.com/video/drone-claws-no-thanks


Also reading about how delivery fleets are controlled by apps. Thinking about how all practical services could be controlled this way and what would happen if one update was faulty and the escalation and consequential collapses?

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/88fdc58e-754f-11e6-b60a-de4532d5ea35.html?siteedition=intl




Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 12, 2016, 03:40:48 AM
@Lady_Ty (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=31869) - Pales in comparison to even basic weaponization - a pistol, a grenade, a water-balloon of sulphuric acid, a pez-dispenser popping out nerve agent gelcaps, sprinkling retail & commercially available radioactive isotopes through neighborhoods at night, trailing wires from flammable things to high-tension power lines, and that's what I thought of just now, before I've reached "too much coffee."
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on September 12, 2016, 06:22:54 AM
@Lady_Ty (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=31869) - Pales in comparison to even basic weaponization - a pistol, a grenade, a water-balloon of sulphuric acid, a pez-dispenser popping out nerve agent gelcaps, sprinkling retail & commercially available radioactive isotopes through neighborhoods at night, trailing wires from flammable things to high-tension power lines, and that's what I thought of just now, before I've reached "too much coffee."



TGC - you completely underestimate my propensity for evil. This is in a couple of hundred years time, if we're lucky, may be sooner. It's world domination time, defence forces obsolete, conventional weaponry long abandoned. World population controlled from Central HQ with implanted algorithms.  A little like it may have been if Kingsman had failed and Samuel L Jackson had triumphed, but more efficient and controlled  ;D

And my imagination doesn't do logic or practical details either. ;D

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on September 12, 2016, 10:57:01 AM
Quote
commercially available radioactive isotopes


Surely Licensed even in the USA. I worked with Polonium needles from time to time which is the only radioactive material sold unlicensed in the UK. The reason you can buy these over the counter it would take 10,000 of them to poison someone. Even Caesium which is considered a waste product you need lots of money and enormous amounts of paperwork and tickets to buy, transport and own. The company 'selling' it will give it to you free or pay you to take it away once you have met those conditions.
Set up a company disposing of medical equipment and lay your hands on an X-ray machine, maybe but even  they are a lot safer than they were 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 12, 2016, 02:45:36 PM
I didn't say "commercially available" in bottles or boxes of pure material. But they're available. Being deliberately obtuse for obvious reasons.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 14, 2016, 12:12:33 AM
I love the drone with the giant claws. You could also see it being used a rescue device, if it was big enough - for example, if someone was trapped on top of a building for some reason, it could possibly ferry them off? Either way, it's yet another interesting use for drones.

Also, the algorithmic management system is fascinating. I'm definitely going to incorporate that into a story at some point.

In today's entry:

We're Teaching Self-Driving Cars to Drive Using Grand Theft Auto
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602317/self-driving-cars-can-learn-a-lot-by-playing-grand-theft-auto/ (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602317/self-driving-cars-can-learn-a-lot-by-playing-grand-theft-auto/)

No, seriously.

http://jalopnik.com/self-driving-cars-will-use-gta-v-to-learn-how-to-drive-1786590787 (http://jalopnik.com/self-driving-cars-will-use-gta-v-to-learn-how-to-drive-1786590787)

If you read the article, it actually makes a surprising amount of sense.

And here's a video of a self-driving car driving itself in GTA 5, using visuals.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uURlRKfLqY[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on September 14, 2016, 01:28:34 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215)

And one day we will be able to make people without any genetic material involved at all.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 15, 2016, 06:50:32 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215)

And one day we will be able to make people without any genetic material involved at all.

Haha, I saw that story on another site!

One thing I've always pondered regarding colonizing other planets (especially if the journey to another planet is centuries long) is the idea of sending, basically, embryos or other inert genetic material in an automated ship, rather than trying to create a large ship that can sustain multiple generations of colonists over a journey. This story suggests something like that.

Basically, you load the ship up with an automated guidance system and enough material to start a colony, and you send it to a planet that we've verified is habitable (which we, hopefully at some point, will be able to do). No people actually go ... just genetic material to *make* people, sealed in a safe place.

This eliminates so many of the needs of century long trips - you no longer need to worry about air, life support, food, water, waste elimination, radiation, degeneration due to zero-G, or anything. Basically, the ship flies to the planet, lands (just like the automated Mars landings have gone) and then, once it's on the ground, the AI/robots do their magic and use the generic material to "make" people and raise them.

Assuming there's an automated nursery, you could basically birth first generation humans at the planetary landing site, in gravity, and start a colony literally from scratch (this, of course, assumes our robots and AI are advanced enough to raise children - which seems plausible in 100 years). You could even send multiple ships to the same planet, with the assumption that each would start a different colony.

Anyway, random thoughts, but definitely worth thinking about for a story.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Raptori on September 15, 2016, 06:56:08 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37337215)

And one day we will be able to make people without any genetic material involved at all.

Haha, I saw that story on another site!

One thing I've always pondered regarding colonizing other planets (especially if the journey to another planet is centuries long) is the idea of sending, basically, embryos or other inert genetic material in an automated ship, rather than trying to create a large ship that can sustain multiple generations of colonists over a journey. This story suggests something like that.

Basically, you load the ship up with an automated guidance system and enough material to start a colony, and you send it to a planet that we've verified is habitable (which we, hopefully at some point, will be able to do). No people actually go ... just genetic material to *make* people, sealed in a safe place.

This eliminates so many of the needs of century long trips - you no longer need to worry about air, life support, food, water, waste elimination, radiation, degeneration due to zero-G, or anything. Basically, the ship flies to the planet, lands (just like the automated Mars landings have gone) and then, once it's on the ground, the AI/robots do their magic and use the generic material to "make" people and raise them.

Assuming there's an automated nursery, you could basically birth first generation humans at the planetary landing site, in gravity, and start a colony literally from scratch (this, of course, assumes our robots and AI are advanced enough to raise children - which seems plausible in 100 years). You could even send multiple ships to the same planet, with the assumption that each would start a different colony.

Anyway, random thoughts, but definitely worth thinking about for a story.
Congratulations! You have just described Arkwright (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25659450-arkwright) by Allen Steele.  ;D


Decent book. Interesting premise (building/launching/monitoring the spaceship is central to the story, and it follows exactly the scenario you mentioned), let down by slightly flat characters. Worth a look regardless!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Arry on September 15, 2016, 07:01:22 PM
Decent book. Interesting premise (building/launching/monitoring the spaceship is central to the story, and it follows exactly the scenario you mentioned), let down by slightly flat characters. Worth a look regardless!
I think the characters may have seemed flat just because the book spanned generations, so they had less page space.

I loved the book though, so maybe I am biased.  And agree, the plot for Arkwright is pretty much what tebakautis just described.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on September 15, 2016, 07:02:32 PM
From a chemical perspective the protein blocks needed to make life are available mail order. That life would be single cell and unlikely to sustain itself but keep trying eventually you will create one thing which can change itself sufficiently to become something else. You are going to need a lot of petre dishes though.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 15, 2016, 07:02:55 PM
Decent book. Interesting premise (building/launching/monitoring the spaceship is central to the story, and it follows exactly the scenario you mentioned), let down by slightly flat characters. Worth a look regardless!
I think the characters may have seemed flat just because the book spanned generations, so they had less page space.

I loved the book though, so maybe I am biased.  And agree, the plot for Arkwright is pretty much what tebakautis just described.

Haha, that's hilarious! I'm glad I didn't actually write it, otherwise it might be another one for the "Author Tears" thread. :p
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Raptori on September 15, 2016, 07:54:01 PM
Decent book. Interesting premise (building/launching/monitoring the spaceship is central to the story, and it follows exactly the scenario you mentioned), let down by slightly flat characters. Worth a look regardless!
I think the characters may have seemed flat just because the book spanned generations, so they had less page space.

I loved the book though, so maybe I am biased.  And agree, the plot for Arkwright is pretty much what tebakautis just described.
I think it was more that each generation had more or less the exact same character development, IIRC. The first and last ones were much more interesting, because they were less copy/paste than the others. I loved the science bits though, that whole side of the book was riveting.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 21, 2016, 01:39:37 AM
Back on the subject of the self-driving cars that may be driving us all around in a few decades, Jalopnik (as ever) has a great article digesting the 116 pages of federal guidelines for self-driving cars into a quickly readable article.

http://jalopnik.com/governments-self-driving-car-rules-dont-say-when-your-c-1786866789 (http://jalopnik.com/governments-self-driving-car-rules-dont-say-when-your-c-1786866789)

The levels (0-5) are particularly interesting, especially seeing that the Tesla is already at Level 2.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on September 21, 2016, 04:24:56 PM
We are resigned to these horrors happening whether we like it or not in the name of progress.
Autonomous Automation is the biggest threat to future employment. Cars, lorries and buses is the least of it.
I don't like driving but I do like riding bikes, or at least I do now I don't have to do hundreds of miles a week.
I don't particularly wish to be driven round by a clever machine. I certainly see no point in being driven round on a robotic bike. It would either be deathly dull or terminally dangerous.

Currently my 20 year old workhorse does a sub 4 second 0-60mph and goes faster than I am allowed to go on the roads. In other words a very unremarkable commuting bike. A £2000 second hand bike will outperform a £150,000 super car. I mostly ride like a nun looking for an address. I have a clean license and the greatest hazard I have to deal with is the utter lack of attention from a surprisingly high number of drivers more concerned with playing with their phones than the business of driving or taking whatever the satnav says as an immediate instruction and not as a guide. Distracted and unwilling to use their own senses to determine what they should be doing. At least a real driver can be shocked back into paying attention. These machines react on data input at speeds a driver could never manage. Yet every owner of a modern car will tell you that half the problems they have with their vehicles are sensor faults. Tesla have a problem at the moment with speculation over two deaths. Jeep and Tesla both have had remote hacks against moving vehicles highlighted this year. I believe autonomous vehicles will work perfectly right up to the point they don't. At some point the correct combination of factors will align themselves and the situation will be much worse than having a driver at the wheel.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 21, 2016, 04:42:44 PM
Great discussion! And you brought up some great points @Rostum (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40251) that I want to add to:

1. Tesla have a problem at the moment with speculation over two deaths.
While true, the real issue has been testers treating the system as if it were not in development and not prone to potentially dangerous issues. Darwin at work for them (and us). I think it's unfair for stupid misuse of prototype systems to weigh against those systems.

2. Jeep and Tesla both have had remote hacks against moving vehicles highlighted this year. This is really a cyber security issue that is ridiculous in comparison to identical-form but radically worse-in-scope analogs: railway centers are run by non-secure WI-FI - think of the potential of huge HAZMAT issues in urban areas... so while I agree this is an issue, it's a different and far more important one that is outside the realm of AI/AA cars.

3. I believe autonomous vehicles will work perfectly right up to the point they don't. This is true of all technology, and should be something addressed in the systems. At a minimum, a variety of "drive-ending" protocols would seem essential IMHO, where there are redundant safeguards in place to get the car to a "safer" state in the event of catastrophic failure. That'd be the feature I'd look for above all others.

4. At some point the correct combination of factors will align themselves and the situation will be much worse than having a driver at the wheel. This is true, but misleading. The risk of death, as you mentioned, due to someone's inebriation, distraction, poor judgment, incompetence, and/or inexperience is far greater - if we assume the system can be raised to a reasonable level of reliability. This is reminiscent of the phenomenon of mass transit - which is safer than driving everywhere, all the time - but when it fails, it fails bigger. And yet, overall, it remains a safer choice.

I am not ready to leap into an auto-driving car ... but I think it is doable and would bring a lot of benefits to a lot of people - impacts of disrupting technologies aside. Those impacts are something humanity needs to get better at foreseeing and managing - our current approach of "Screw 'em, let them find something else to do" lead to a variety of other societal problems above and beyond the terrible situations that real people face all the time.
My two cents,
Gem Cutter
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 26, 2016, 05:37:52 AM
I clicked on this link in the comments section of another article, and ended up spending more than 30 minutes reading the whole story. I'd heard a bit about the "Silk Road" and how it was eventually taken down, but they were really just bits and pieces out of context, and I paid little attention. I had no idea it was so involved.

If you read this story about how the Silk Road (a marketplace founded for anonymous trading that eventually ended up becoming one of the biggest online markets for illegal goods) came into being, and how it was eventually seized by the FBI after they arrested its creator, it's like the online version of Breaking Bad. Fascinating stuff, and absolutely something that could inspire plenty of near future science fiction.

Part 1 is here, and you can find Part 2 at the end of it, if it intrigues you.

https://www.wired.com/2015/04/silk-road-1/ (https://www.wired.com/2015/04/silk-road-1/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 26, 2016, 05:42:22 AM
The risk of death, as you mentioned, due to someone's inebriation, distraction, poor judgment, incompetence, and/or inexperience is far greater - if we assume the system can be raised to a reasonable level of reliability. This is reminiscent of the phenomenon of mass transit - which is safer than driving everywhere, all the time - but when it fails, it fails bigger. And yet, overall, it remains a safer choice.

This is where I stand as well. Ultimately, there will always be a chance of accidents or problems with a system of self-driving cars, but overall, they will still (if ever implemented to a large degree) decrease overall deaths and accidents by an order of magnitude over flawed human drivers.

However, I totally understand the reason people hesitate ... loss of control. That's why an airplane crash is so terrifying, in comparison to a car crash. You are probably 100 times more likely to be involved in a crash while driving a car than flying on a plane, but

1) You are in control in a car crash.

2) You are more likely to survive a car crash than a plane crash.

The biggest impediment to adoption of self-driving cars will not be the technology or securing it. It will be convincing people to willingly give up control and allow themselves to be driven by machines. Because even though the chances of you being killed will be drastically lower in comparison to driving yourself (among other people who are driving themselves) the rare case where an accident does occur will occur with no input on your part, which is an innately terrifying concept.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on September 26, 2016, 11:15:08 AM
Quote
The biggest impediment to adoption of self-driving cars will not be the technology or securing it. It will be convincing people to willingly give up control and allow themselves to be driven by machines. Because even though the chances of you being killed will be drastically lower in comparison to driving yourself (among other people who are driving themselves) the rare case where an accident does occur will occur with no input on your part, which is an innately terrifying concept.

Maybe it will be a fast ban and suddenly you are not allowed to drive any more or they may stop issuing licences and the kids have to be passengers in their own cars. Either way its about profits for companies and not about peoples choices.

I actually think the real danger will be when you have real drivers and autonomous in the same road space.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on September 28, 2016, 12:52:45 AM
Anyone else watch the announcement from Elon Musk about SpaceX today? A 2018 rocket to Mars is still on target.Very exciting! (http://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk-just-unveiled-a-critical-piece-of-his-plan-to-save-humanity-by-colonising-mars)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Raptori on September 28, 2016, 09:11:40 AM
Anyone else watch the announcement from Elon Musk about SpaceX today? A 2018 rocket to Mars is still on target.Very exciting! (http://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk-just-unveiled-a-critical-piece-of-his-plan-to-save-humanity-by-colonising-mars)
Nope, but I did read this well-reasoned article (http://www.hughhowey.com/the-woman-in-the-red-dress/) by Hugh Howey on why going to Mars is completely the wrong thing to do!  :P
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on September 28, 2016, 11:14:05 AM
Anyone else watch the announcement from Elon Musk about SpaceX today? A 2018 rocket to Mars is still on target.Very exciting! (http://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk-just-unveiled-a-critical-piece-of-his-plan-to-save-humanity-by-colonising-mars)
Nope, but I did read this well-reasoned article (http://www.hughhowey.com/the-woman-in-the-red-dress/) by Hugh Howey on why going to Mars is completely the wrong thing to do!  :P

A few good points, but the moon is not viable as as actual colony. The day/night cycle is 29 days each. That would be brutal extended conditions, including temperature. Gravity is only around 17% that of earth, while Mars is 38%. Imagine what that would do to human growth development should we have full time colonization of the moon. Not to mention, Mars' resources are far superior and offer more options for long term colonizarion, which is Musk's goal.

Baby steps, certainly, but the moon is a dead end. As far as a massive space station, that is not a viable option and won't be for a looong time.

We could use mars as our platform for multiplanetary habitation as well as using it, as Musk says, a backup drive for the human race. It needs to,be able to have independence from earth in case of an extinction event. Having a colony on on the moon would always be dependent on the earth for resources.

Edit: mars is 38, not 62....because i cant math

Edit 2: Musk plans to make a ticket to Mars 200k. If you imagine early New world colonists, it's very feasible comparison to selling your possessions and heading west. The new world developed shockingly fast. No reason to think it wouldn't be similar on Mars with our technogival capabilities.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 28, 2016, 03:54:50 PM
An exciting time!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 28, 2016, 04:00:37 PM
Baby steps, certainly, but the moon is a dead end. As far as a massive space station, that is not a viable option and won't be for a looong time.

One bit of conventional (I guess?) wisdom I've heard is that a moon base would be a good thing for further exploration of the solar system, not as a colony. For instance, it's a lot easier to build a large ship and launch it off the moon (with its lower gravity) than to catapult one off the earth. So one argument I've heard is that establishing a moon base would be a stepping stone to other planets, like Mars. But I'm not sure if that's still the thinking.

We could use mars as our platform for multiplanetary habitation as well as using it, as Musk says, a backup drive for the human race. It needs to,be able to have independence from earth in case of an extinction event.

One thing I've heard (and agree with) is that we shouldn't send humans to Mars *first*. We should send drones/robots to establish a livable colony and make sure it is habitable before sending live human colonists. Of course, I haven't read the article yet (I will shortly!) but sending humans first seems like a very risky idea.

Also, I've always been interested in how people would process that this is a one-way trip. I imagine anyone with family on Earth would be hesitant to leave, since they could basically never see their loved ones again. I think even when people were colonizing new continents, there was always the understanding they might be able to travel home one day ... I'm not sure if that's true of Mars colonization.

I do, however, think we're rushing things. Colonizing Mars is a good idea, in theory, but I think we should do far more preparation than we have before attempting it. But then again, this is just one non-scientists opinion...
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 28, 2016, 04:16:58 PM

One thing I've heard (and agree with) is that we shouldn't send humans to Mars *first*. We should send drones/robots to establish a livable colony and make sure it is habitable before sending live human colonists. Of course, I haven't read the article yet (I will shortly!) but sending humans first seems like a very risky idea.

Also, I've always been interested in how people would process that this is a one-way trip. I imagine anyone with family on Earth would be hesitant to leave, since they could basically never see their loved ones again. I think even when people were colonizing new continents, there was always the understanding they might be able to travel home one day ... I'm not sure if that's true of Mars colonization.

I do, however, think we're rushing things. Colonizing Mars is a good idea, in theory, but I think we should do far more preparation than we have before attempting it. But then again, this is just one non-scientists opinion...

Three great points.
First, I agree that not only would drones and robots make colonizing Mars safer, faster, and more successful - using drones and robots to colonize Mars would speed their development and discovery/advancements in general. The distances, environments, and mission demands are daunting - and whenever we face these, we overcome them, and when we overcome them, we advance.

This is more important than it looks, because many of the other challenges of Mars colonization have to do with the distance and its orders of effect. When we went to the moon, practically everything we did was an innovation - and everything from concentrated foodstuffs to Velcro to computers were spurred by the venture. Going to Mars has fewer challenges - not to say they're easier, just fewer, and it is the staying there part where we'll see advances.

As for rushing things - I disagree, but not in the way you might think. The venture itself is irrelevant in the big scheme of things - it will impact the lives of very few humans for the foreseeable future. The lightning in this bottle is the spirit of adventure and progress and practical, mission-oriented international coalitions of scientists and explorers - the mood and spirit of the Apollo missions - the risk and the fame - these are things humanity and America in particular desperately needs - NOW. And the heightened risks to individuals only feeds that fervor.  There is wisdom in a slow, steady, measured course - but we're not going to Wal-Mart. We're going to Mars faster than a bullet from a gun...



Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on September 28, 2016, 04:46:06 PM
Baby steps, certainly, but the moon is a dead end. As far as a massive space station, that is not a viable option and won't be for a looong time.

One bit of conventional (I guess?) wisdom I've heard is that a moon base would be a good thing for further exploration of the solar system, not as a colony. For instance, it's a lot easier to build a large ship and launch it off the moon (with its lower gravity) than to catapult one off the earth. So one argument I've heard is that establishing a moon base would be a stepping stone to other planets, like Mars. But I'm not sure if that's still the thinking.

We could use mars as our platform for multiplanetary habitation as well as using it, as Musk says, a backup drive for the human race. It needs to,be able to have independence from earth in case of an extinction event.

One thing I've heard (and agree with) is that we shouldn't send humans to Mars *first*. We should send drones/robots to establish a livable colony and make sure it is habitable before sending live human colonists. Of course, I haven't read the article yet (I will shortly!) but sending humans first seems like a very risky idea.

Also, I've always been interested in how people would process that this is a one-way trip. I imagine anyone with family on Earth would be hesitant to leave, since they could basically never see their loved ones again. I think even when people were colonizing new continents, there was always the understanding they might be able to travel home one day ... I'm not sure if that's true of Mars colonization.

I do, however, think we're rushing things. Colonizing Mars is a good idea, in theory, but I think we should do far more preparation than we have before attempting it. But then again, this is just one non-scientists opinion...

A big factor most, at least from what I have heard, favor the moon over mars is that it only takes 3 days to reach, instead of 6 months in a best case scenario to mars. Definitely the near non-existent gravity would favor launching massive rockets and would make perfect sense to establish a ground-like ISS on the moon to aid in earth or solar system projects like satellites, etc.

There are some private companies that are working toward establishing a base on the moon, but SpaceX is looking at long term colonizing of mars over everything. Its their main goal as a company. Moondust is a major hazard to mechanical parts, so that could be a heavy impact for not housing massive mechanicals there, but I suppose hangars could be build to shield the development of rockets and such.

If the moon were a launching point, we could have an easier path to getting ships through the universe absolutely, but still we are so far from developing a decent method for deep space exploration. I think it has to be looked at in terms of goals.

The moon is not good for colonization, but is excellent for having a ground space station for the earth, with potential for developing and launching rockets, satellites and any other cargo. With that said, not many would disagree that the moon has very little long term potential to maintain extended periods of occupation, and would require return trips and rotation of his astronauts and inhabitants.

Mars is the closest earth-like planet with plentiful resources, which also has potential for terraforming(don't shake your head!). It is our best opportunity as it stands now to begin long term colonization. SpaceX has a long term goal of colonization, and like you said, more preparation is needed, but we have to start progressing toward that eventuality.

So in terms of goals, I fully support that SpaceX starts to send rockets to Mars, and hopefully, leaving undamaged cargo for manned large scale missions. Hopefully there is a company that will carry through with developing some kind of base on the moon, which it would also make sense that multiple countries join together to do so as a single unit.

Working on both projects seems like the best course of action, though that means one of those private companies needs to take the lead.

That is true about a one-way ticket. Even at 200k, that is quite the sum. And until a launching site is built on mars that could house and launch the same bus style rockets, they may not get the opportunity to do so even if they wanted, at least not for the commoner. A home-trip seat would probably cost closer to the $10 million range that it stands at currently. That would likely reduce the number of early volunteers.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 28, 2016, 06:49:20 PM
Pardon the conjecture, but here's my thoughts on the moon.

Bases on the moon would allow the permanent establishment of a variety of instruments ranging from telescopes of various kinds, all of which would benefit from the moon's lack of atmosphere, shielding from RF noise, etc., in addition to its utility as a source of minerals.

It's main minerals include aluminum, iron, and titanium - all utilized in space craft and SC support equipment, and comprising the bulk (by weight) of space cargoes and vehicles. The primary costs of any space endeavor is currently spent in getting there, development of specific payloads not withstanding. The relatively tiny weight increments that are feasible in standard rockets and shuttles conceived of to date greatly inflates the cost and time required to launch and then assemble large space vehicles and space stations.

Four mountainous regions at the Moon's north pole may remain illuminated for the entire lunar day, creating peaks of eternal light. Combined with the very high temperatures of the moon's surface in sunlight, solar powered facilities could perform far beyond their potential on Earth, allowing for mining and refining. The moon is extremely brightly lit, far more brightly than its brightness suggests, given that it is essentially the color of asphalt, indicating a high solar energy potential. The low or non-existent capacity of current solar technologies to mine and refine metals and then produce high-quality metal equipment and parts on the moon (compared to Earth) may be offset by the expense and risk of launching heavy loads from Earth. The absence of rusting water and atmosphere suggest relatively low maintenance costs of operations and long life cycles for equipment on the moon compared to Earth.

A comparison would have to be made to determine if the energy required to launch vehicles from the moon was greater or less than the energy to launch from the Earth. Some of this energy could be recovered, as the moon's location is ideal for harnessing the gravity of the Earth to propel craft further and faster, potentially greatly reducing mission duration, a key factor in travel across the greater solar system. Breaking up missions into parts, i.e., traveling first to the moon and staging from there, allows for a greater concentration of limited resources (crew endurance, consumed power, food, and other resources) to the voyage from near-Earth space to distant destinations, effectively expanding range and/or expanding endurance at the destination.

So let's go.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: m3mnoch on September 30, 2016, 12:41:07 AM
more detail on the bfr:  http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/09/spacexs-big-fking-rocket-the-full-story.html
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on September 30, 2016, 12:52:18 AM
more detail on the bfr:  http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/09/spacexs-big-fking-rocket-the-full-story.html


I love waitbutwhy  8)

Seriously. 8 years from now, a human may step on Mars. Can't wait for this to start getting more publicity.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on October 04, 2016, 11:56:04 AM
Some speculation the SpaceX explosion could have been sabotage. Article (http://www.sciencealert.com/speculation-is-building-that-the-recent-spacex-explosion-was-the-result-of-sabotage)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on October 07, 2016, 03:30:37 PM
Maybe it will be a fast ban and suddenly you are not allowed to drive any more or they may stop issuing licences and the kids have to be passengers in their own cars. Either way its about profits for companies and not about peoples choices.

I actually think the real danger will be when you have real drivers and autonomous in the same road space.

Speaking of which!

http://gizmodo.com/googles-self-driving-car-crash-sends-operator-to-hospit-1787501759 (http://gizmodo.com/googles-self-driving-car-crash-sends-operator-to-hospit-1787501759)

The bad news: One of Google's self-driving cars was involved in a crash that sent its "driver" to a hospital.
The "good?" news: The accident was completely not the self-driving car's fault.

Basically, the self-driving car was moving through an intersection with a green light, when some moron in a truck ran a red light and T-boned it. The self-driving car actually saw the truck coming (faster than the human driver!) and applied the brakes in an attempt to avoid the collision, but sadly, this particular human driver was just too much of an idiot to be avoided.

I think once we get to the point where we can pull much of the (now unneeded) driving apparatus out of self-driving cars and instead put in a bunch of safety mechanisms (wall to wall airbags?) I'd be happy to ride in one. The biggest adjustment may be building self-driving cars to survive collisions with cars driven by human idiots.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on October 08, 2016, 01:53:34 AM
Quote
I think once we get to the point where we can pull much of the (now unneeded) driving apparatus out of self-driving cars and instead put in a bunch of safety mechanisms (wall to wall airbags?) I'd be happy to ride in one. The biggest adjustment may be building self-driving cars to survive collisions with cars driven by human idiots.


My response to every muppet with a driving license a mobile phone and a sat nav was to wear a florescent helmet and hi-vis vest on the bike. In the vague hope I could catch their attention. The last thing I want is car drivers to feel any safer. It is hard enough to get them to look at where they are going as it is. Now take the driver away put a bunch enhanced safety measures in vehicles to protect the passengers and wait to see how long it takes for terminal stupidity, the unforeseen or flaws built into the system to be exploited just to remind people they are doing one of the most dangerous things they consistently do, get in a car.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 10, 2016, 01:10:09 PM
Some promising science for spinal cord injuries:
Brain Implant Helped Paralyzed Primates To Walk (http://www.sciencealert.com/for-the-first-time-a-wireless-brain-implant-has-enabled-paralysed-primates-to-walk-again)
This is fantastic stuff and hope that they can continue to develop this tech!

Here is the video:
[youtube]1sjeytKmlCk[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 10, 2016, 02:29:23 PM
This is incredible stuff.

The brain side interface makes so many other things happen once perfected. Proper control of artificial limbs, true real time interaction with complex machinery and is the choke point for biological computing. A true biological/digital interface will utterly change the direction of future tech.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 10, 2016, 02:56:06 PM
This is incredible stuff.

The brain side interface makes so many other things happen once perfected. Proper control of artificial limbs, true real time interaction with complex machinery and is the choke point for biological computing. A true biological/digital interface will utterly change the direction of future tech.

Agreed, this is awesome. I've also seen links (which I may have pasted here?) of people being able to operate other people's limbs over an electronic network, and artificial limbs with hands and fingers than can move based on electrical signals sent from stump of the person's arm. It really is a fascinating field, and being able to allow paralyzed people to walk again is a worthy goal.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 10, 2016, 05:23:05 PM
Absolutely. I really wish I had money to invest in these technologies. These are things to be excited about. Amazing breakthroughs and can't wait to see it's development.

Wondering how long this tech will take to decipher all the signals needed, and if this tech could potentially be used to control movement of robotics remotely. Remotely meaning mind controlled - think avatar.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 10, 2016, 08:13:27 PM
I think that would be a real long term investment.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 10, 2016, 10:27:51 PM
Sure... sure... sounds cool NOW - until you wake up but can't brush your teeth until your brain's finished installing "critical updates" that somehow make you forget which drawer you keep your socks in.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 10, 2016, 10:31:39 PM
Quote
Sure... sure... sounds cool NOW - until you wake up but can't brush your teeth until your brain's finished installing "critical updates" that somehow make you forget which drawer you keep your socks in.

No Microsoft OS then  ;D

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 10, 2016, 11:49:34 PM
Hmmm. True. It takes 45 minutes for my phone to install an update.  :-\
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 17, 2016, 07:16:49 PM
****ing physics, how does it work? :0

http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work (http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work)

Quote
But the EM Drive works without any fuel or propellants at all. It works by simply bouncing microwave photons back and forth inside a cone-shaped closed metal cavity. That motion causes the 'pointy end' of the EM Drive to generate thrust, and propel the drive in the opposite direction.

Despite years of testing and debate, the drive remains controversial. The bottom line is that, on paper, it shouldn't work, according to the laws of physics. And yet, in test after test, the EM Drive just keeps on working.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 17, 2016, 08:25:41 PM
Man! Just in time for my out-of-nowhere scifi story idea, too.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on November 17, 2016, 08:45:42 PM
****ing physics, how does it work? :0

http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work (http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work)

Quote
But the EM Drive works without any fuel or propellants at all. It works by simply bouncing microwave photons back and forth inside a cone-shaped closed metal cavity. That motion causes the 'pointy end' of the EM Drive to generate thrust, and propel the drive in the opposite direction.

Despite years of testing and debate, the drive remains controversial. The bottom line is that, on paper, it shouldn't work, according to the laws of physics. And yet, in test after test, the EM Drive just keeps on working.

I'm going to be interested once they look towards optimizing the process and see what the end result looks like.  And I wonder how much of this is actually breaking Newton's 3rd law or just that they haven't learned enough about it to really be able to describe the process yet. 
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 17, 2016, 09:23:21 PM
****ing physics, how does it work? :0

http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work (http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work)

Quote
But the EM Drive works without any fuel or propellants at all. It works by simply bouncing microwave photons back and forth inside a cone-shaped closed metal cavity. That motion causes the 'pointy end' of the EM Drive to generate thrust, and propel the drive in the opposite direction.

Despite years of testing and debate, the drive remains controversial. The bottom line is that, on paper, it shouldn't work, according to the laws of physics. And yet, in test after test, the EM Drive just keeps on working.

I'm going to be interested once they look towards optimizing the process and see what the end result looks like.  And I wonder how much of this is actually breaking Newton's 3rd law or just that they haven't learned enough about it to really be able to describe the process yet. 

After going to a link within the link, some Finland researchers propose that it doesn't break Newton's law.

Quote
According to their new peer-reviewed study published in AIP Advances, the EM drive doesn't actually defy Newton's third law, because it does produce exhaust.
Quote
According to the researchers, the exhaust being blasted out is actually light, or more specifically, photons that have become paired up with another out-of-phase photon in order to shoot out of the metal cavity and produce thrust.
Rest of that article here (http://www.sciencealert.com/new-paper-claims-that-the-em-drive-doesn-t-defy-newton-s-3rd-law-after-all)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 17, 2016, 09:46:41 PM
After going to a link within the link, some Finland researchers propose that it doesn't break Newton's law.

Quote
According to their new peer-reviewed study published in AIP Advances, the EM drive doesn't actually defy Newton's third law, because it does produce exhaust.
Quote
According to the researchers, the exhaust being blasted out is actually light, or more specifically, photons that have become paired up with another out-of-phase photon in order to shoot out of the metal cavity and produce thrust.
Rest of that article here (http://www.sciencealert.com/new-paper-claims-that-the-em-drive-doesn-t-defy-newton-s-3rd-law-after-all)

Hah, I saw that article as well, but you have to admit having a bunch of physicists say "it's working, but dammit, it shouldn't be" is far funnier.

I've actually been following research on the EM drive for a year or two (I first heard about it before the most recent leaked NASA testing put it back in the news) and I too figured there had to be something they were missing - it couldn't be real, right? Yet it just keeps on producing thrust in every test.

So, like many others, I'm growing less skeptical and starting to hope there's a "there" there. I'm still prepared to be disappointed, but looking forward to not being.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 18, 2016, 08:45:05 PM
Physics and a lot of engineering hypothesis is about proving what doesn't work. It gets really interesting when someone finds a way to make something happen that was thought not to.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 19, 2016, 10:35:57 PM
elon-musk-says-a-tesla-solar-roof-could-cost-less-than-your-crappy-normal-roof (http://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk-says-a-tesla-solar-roof-could-cost-less-than-your-crappy-normal-roof)

Wonder how long it would take once they are produced in large numbers for it to actual be affordable?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 19, 2016, 11:45:18 PM
Last year Tesla did not care less about whatever PV you have on your roof they did care about you having their batteries to store whatever solar energy you do garner. Sadly their system may give them the economies of scale they need to make the cars cheaper. As far as energy density goes this is not the solution you want.

Acquisition and deal doing has put them in a place where they can sell the brand as a top down solution but will there be any advantage over existing tech or any real benefit to the customer?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 28, 2016, 04:44:42 PM
So we're now figuring out that lots of time in zero-gravity/space ruins your vision and makes you near-sighted. An interesting wrinkle for those writing sci-fi plots involving long-term space travel!

http://gizmodo.com/why-spaceflight-ruins-your-eyesight-1789423059 (http://gizmodo.com/why-spaceflight-ruins-your-eyesight-1789423059)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: night_wrtr on November 28, 2016, 04:57:34 PM
So we're now figuring out that lots of time in zero-gravity/space ruins your vision and makes you near-sighted. An interesting wrinkle for those writing sci-fi plots involving long-term space travel!

http://gizmodo.com/why-spaceflight-ruins-your-eyesight-1789423059 (http://gizmodo.com/why-spaceflight-ruins-your-eyesight-1789423059)

MOAR GRAVITY! It will be just like any first designs or prototypes and it will cost a lot of money to research and develop, but obviously a must for long term space exposure. 

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 14, 2016, 06:01:13 PM
Laser-toting robotic snakes. Because science.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686 (http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: m3mnoch on December 14, 2016, 06:52:11 PM
Laser-toting robotic snakes. Because science.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686 (http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686)

i, of course, immediately sent that link around the office and after some discussion, we decided we needed to combine it with this one:

[youtube]lMkGDHdDpC0[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 14, 2016, 07:05:41 PM
"And so in the early part of the 21st Century came the time when advancements in robots and lasers combined with, of all things, comic strip characters, giving rise to Our Lord and Savior, Doctor Octopus, may He Reign Forever."
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: m3mnoch on December 14, 2016, 07:11:36 PM
"And so in the early part of the 21st Century came the time when advancements in robots and lasers combined with, of all things, comic strip characters, giving rise to Our Lord and Savior, Doctor Octopus, may He Reign Forever."

heh.  it's like you're here in the office, listening in!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on December 14, 2016, 07:14:38 PM
"And so in the early part of the 21st Century came the time when advancements in robots and lasers combined with, of all things, comic strip characters, giving rise to Our Lord and Savior, Doctor Octopus, may He Reign Forever."

heh.  it's like you're here in the office, listening in!

Pardon me while I derail my own thread with Dethklok.

BETTER METAL SNAKE

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBHTD02dYEo[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on December 14, 2016, 07:23:32 PM
Laser-toting robotic snakes. Because science.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686 (http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robot-laser-snake/?utm_source=k1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=video&kwp_0=284662&kwp_4=1098713&kwp_1=509686)

I see your laser-toting robotic snakes and raise you with laser-toting robotic cats.

(http://img.pandawhale.com/58285-Roomba-Cat-shark-duckling-gif-iV0b.gif)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 14, 2016, 08:57:46 PM
heh.  it's like you're here in the office, listening in!
I can neither confirm nor deny any alleged penetration, monitoring, or surveillance activities of workplaces, computer or telephonic networks, or file systems of any individual, group, or political entity. Please direct further queries, allegations, or subpoenas to the Department of Defense Public Affairs Office (DoD-PAO), Attention: Doctor Octopus Project. Your cooperation and/or silence on the matter is greatly appreciated and enforceable by Federal Statute(s).
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on December 14, 2016, 10:07:27 PM
I thought this thread was supposed to be the serious one ;D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: m3mnoch on December 14, 2016, 10:13:47 PM
FOR GOODNESS SAKE BEA DO YOU EVEN KNOW US?!?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on December 14, 2016, 10:30:55 PM
but... but... I was basing my comment on 6 pages of posts :'(

You took your time getting off the rails >:(
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on January 04, 2017, 11:58:08 PM

Quote
The use of facial recognition software for commercial purposes is becoming more common, but, as Amazon scans faces in its physical shop and Facebook searches photos of users to add tags to, those concerned about their privacy are fighting back.

Berlin-based artist and technologist Adam Harvey aims to overwhelm and confuse these systems by presenting them with thousands of false hits so they can’t tell which faces are real.

The Hyperface project involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face.


https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/04/anti-surveillance-clothing-facial-recognition-hyperface


This article makes some slightly horrifying reading, showing the lengths we may need to go to preserve some privacy and evade both  the authoritarian state of the future and the present marketing near-monopolies. I believe it is worth taking seriously and this solution is very clever.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on January 05, 2017, 12:25:09 AM
Sadly the article is based on asking the wrong question.

There is a mass of data already out there to identify you and me and pretty much everyone. Dressing in a manner that makes you stand out to the eye really will not slow down identification. If you carry a briefcase or backpack, ride a pushbike wear the same shoes take the same route there will be enough correlation to identify the unidentifiable very quickly. You only have to enter somewhere you are identifiable, place of work, university or housing complex and it is all for nought.

If you really want to stop this, stop giving away information on Facebook and Instagram and certainly don't tag others. Put pressure on local and national politicians regarding the loss of privacy and the encroachment on civil liberties.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on January 10, 2017, 10:28:29 PM
Oh wow, you guys. I wrote about this exact idea in my cyberpunk novel! Of course ... I stole it from Psycho-Pass (the anime) so it's not exactly original. But it *is*, apparently, happening.

Basically, a VR app maps your apartment/house whatever. Then, it uses your exists walls, furniture, and other obstacles to create a VR space that has the same dimensions and layout, but looks totally different. So in VR, you see the virtual space layered over your physical space.

So imagine you have a 1 bedroom apartment. The app maps that space, then makes your 1 bedroom apartment a 1 bedroom space station. Or a fenced in farm. Or anything else you can imagine.

Crazy cool stuff, and coming faster than you'd think. Read the full story here.

http://uploadvr.com/oasis-tango-room-virtual-paradise/ (http://uploadvr.com/oasis-tango-room-virtual-paradise/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 10, 2017, 11:09:50 PM
Very Snow Crash tech
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on January 14, 2017, 06:07:37 PM
Thought you might like this? Lots of cunning tech and architectural goodness here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38574003 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38574003)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 28, 2017, 04:53:04 AM
Forget Star Trek's transparent aluminum/aluminium - we got metallic hydrogen baby!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38768683 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38768683)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: m3mnoch on January 28, 2017, 02:49:06 PM
Forget Star Trek's transparent aluminum/aluminium - we got metallic hydrogen baby!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38768683 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38768683)

i was JUST reading about this!  first thing i thought of was dilithium crystals are next!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on January 28, 2017, 04:59:43 PM
First thing i thought about was zero resistance tri-state electronics will push the boundaries of what we can do a little :) oh yeah and the rocket fuel thing!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 28, 2017, 05:42:58 PM
All I can picture is Christopher Lloyd with the wild hair in his Back to the Future white rubber suit yelling "495 gigapascals! 495 GIGAPASCALS! Marty! The only way we could achieve such pressures is through a nuclear explosion, but that would require plutonium - which in 1955 is a little hard to come by!"
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 03, 2017, 07:11:18 PM
Just in case you ever need to describe the Uncanny Valley in regards to an early-model android in a sci-fi story, this video is a good reference. Creepy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZlLNVmaPbM[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on February 14, 2017, 08:32:31 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38967235 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38967235)

This or something similar is likely to be the reality of your flying car. A non autonomous vehicle. It stop the user doing stupid things (like not understanding aeronautics) and makes the concept far more viable.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 22, 2017, 10:03:24 PM
Holy cow, folks! We've discovered not one! Not two! But THREE "Earth-like" planets in the habitable zone of this star, and seven planets total.

http://gizmodo.com/these-seven-earth-sized-exoplanets-have-everyone-freaki-1792604101 (http://gizmodo.com/these-seven-earth-sized-exoplanets-have-everyone-freaki-1792604101)

Think about it! Three Earth-like planets? That's an interplanetary war for your SF novel without the need for Faster Than Light travel!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on February 23, 2017, 09:19:39 AM
Just look at the google doodle today ;D

(https://www.google.co.uk/logos/doodles/2017/seven-earth-size-exoplanets-discovered-6423181526040576-hp.gif)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: xiagan on February 23, 2017, 10:50:41 AM
Think about it! Three Earth-like planets? That's an interplanetary war for your SF novel without the need for Faster Than Light travel!
That sounds amazing! Has it been done before? I'd really like to read (write?) a novel like this if the world building is as good as the promise. :)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 23, 2017, 02:44:36 PM
Think about it! Three Earth-like planets? That's an interplanetary war for your SF novel without the need for Faster Than Light travel!
That sounds amazing! Has it been done before? I'd really like to read (write?) a novel like this if the world building is as good as the promise. :)

Technically, I did something *kind* of similar in my espionage SF novel. I had two habitable planets in a barycentric orbit (they orbit each other while orbiting the sun) so I could do an interplanetary conflict without FTL. But the system they've just discovered would be even better suited ... basically, it's the same explanation they used in Firefly, but without the terraforming!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 23, 2017, 03:35:02 PM
As the military cynic in the room, we might consider lowering our profile. We're essentially a baby tree frog that has just gotten his legs and is creeping from the puddle, still trailing his tadpole tail, and spotted a different puddle just a few yards away. And you know what eats baby tree frogs in the jungle? Everything.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 23, 2017, 03:39:03 PM
As the military cynic in the room, we might consider lowering our profile. We're essentially a baby tree frog that has just gotten his legs and is creeping from the puddle, still trailing his tadpole tail, and spotted a different puddle just a few yards away. And you know what eats baby tree frogs in the jungle? Everything.

Ha! I'm sure you've heard it, but Steven Hawking agrees with you.

He made a comment (and I'm paraphrasing) that when the American Indians made first contact with European settlers, it didn't go so well for the Indians. Fortunately, due to the fact that FTL travel seems to be impossible, I find it far more likely that if we ever make contact with aliens, it will be in the form of a robotic probe launched thousands or millions of years ago. We won't have an alien fleet showing up on our doorstep.

Though I did start a military scifi book based on the Mycon race from Star Control, where an alien group sends out "seeds" that can survive in deep space, land on planets (in this case, our ocean) and produce alien life from the seed. I think I've seen that plot in both movies and books since.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 23, 2017, 04:13:22 PM
The list of impossible things that exist and have been around long enough to be less than interesting is long and filled with expired scientific proofs that met the standards of their time - tyrannosaurs that walked upright, powered flight, splitting the atom, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, etc..

I imagine that if they're more advanced than us, their lives are probably quite long, indeed, and 100 years is not so long for them as it is for us. They would've had antennas longer than we've had radio, and should have picked up on us as early as the mid-20th century. Which, if they can get to warp .9, a distance of 49 LY puts them here ... any day now.  Achieving warp .5 puts them here within the realm of a single of our lifetimes, perhaps less if they've made some discoveries in slowing down, as well. ;D

Not that it matters much - they're likely to arrive in time to document our self-immolation. "Case 13289-A: medium rocky body featuring indications of sentient life, extinct due to self-inflicted apocalypse. As we have previously seen, their development of nuclear weapons appears to confirm the Mental Maturity Theorem - that developing such weapons is proof that they are incapable of possessing them."
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 23, 2017, 07:33:04 PM
On a separate topic: hoverbikes.

No really, I **** you not. Hoverbikes. Hoverbikes are real. :0

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/technology/watch-futuristic-hoverbike-ace-its-test-flight-n724626 (http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/technology/watch-futuristic-hoverbike-ace-its-test-flight-n724626)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odVFa_3lmiM[/youtube]

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 23, 2017, 08:10:26 PM
Coming to a forest moon near you...
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 24, 2017, 03:34:44 PM
So seriously guys, hoverbikes and now this? Self-driving cars with AR setups inside?

If I don't get Loose Circuit published in the next few years, half the sci-fi I wrote is going to be real life (I wrote this *exact* setup into my book over a year ago!)

Panasonic's self-driving car will have an AR setup in the seating area.

https://uploadvr.com/panasonic-autonomous-car-design-ar-cockpit/ (https://uploadvr.com/panasonic-autonomous-car-design-ar-cockpit/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 28, 2017, 03:44:21 PM
Robots have rollerskates now. And they jump!

(Seriously, I <3 Boston Dynamics)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7xvqQeoA8c[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 28, 2017, 05:05:53 PM
Man! Amazing technology, but scary/exhilarating when you consider its applications. Someone's going to weaponize these things - and what the hell would security types do if something like that charged toward a political figure carrying a 100lb bomb in a bullet-proof casing?

And that hoverbike is just breathtaking - I'd want a parachute and I'd prefer to be above 400 feet so I had time to deploy it, but wow.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on March 01, 2017, 10:06:24 PM
We are to the point where we have a physical car that can drive like any other car while capturing its own movements and surroundings, and then we can use CG/rendering to make it look like any other car for filming. Watch as they layer different "virtual" cars over the physical frame with photorealistic results. This is nuts!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnBC5bwV5y0[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on March 01, 2017, 10:53:44 PM
Quote
Man! Amazing technology, but scary/exhilarating when you consider its applications. Someone's going to weaponize these things - and what the hell would security types do if something like that charged toward a political figure carrying a 100lb bomb in a bullet-proof casing?

Yes but no. Any rough terrain obstacle solving robot is looking to replace front line infantry/police roles as fighting unpopular wars with humans has political consequences at home. They will certainly be weaponized, certainly be up front and clearing mines, IAD's, booby traps or troublesome snipers. They will be more effective than airstrikes and far more cost effective, particularly in the sort of wars you are likely to be fighting in the next 50 years.

On the security front something that is armour plated and can accelerate from 0-fast enough is no time (electric motors) and can be put in the way of a threat or into it at speed resolves outer security woes. At say 10 million each they would still be cheaper than anything that zooms and booms or an mbt and hopefully more precise.



Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 03, 2017, 06:45:20 AM
NASA is letting people use stuff. The models reminded me of your space station @tebakutis , perhaps useful?

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/02/nasa-released-a-ton-of-software-for-free-and-heres-some-you-should-try/ (https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/02/nasa-released-a-ton-of-software-for-free-and-heres-some-you-should-try/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on March 03, 2017, 03:17:09 PM
NASA is letting people use stuff. The models reminded me of your space station @tebakutis , perhaps useful?

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/02/nasa-released-a-ton-of-software-for-free-and-heres-some-you-should-try/ (https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/02/nasa-released-a-ton-of-software-for-free-and-heres-some-you-should-try/)

Ooh, quite possible! If I can easily get those models into Unity, they would make excellent flavor elements!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on March 06, 2017, 03:44:50 PM
This is a great article about the research DARPA is funding to use deep brain stimulation and other methods (basically, jolting parts of our brain with electricity) to treat everything from depression to Parkinson's. However, it also opens up some scary questions about possibly being able to influence people's decisions and even, in one case, determine how we want to feel on a particular day by making adjustments in a cell phone app.

Cool, creepy, and lots of inspiration for dystopian (or even utopian) SF.

http://gizmodo.com/darpa-s-brain-chips-could-be-the-next-big-mental-health-1791549701 (http://gizmodo.com/darpa-s-brain-chips-could-be-the-next-big-mental-health-1791549701)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 15, 2017, 02:23:59 AM
Time Crystals have been discovered/created. Interesting - if you can wrap you head around it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_crystal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_crystal)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on March 15, 2017, 07:55:48 PM
Soon, we may be able to eat delicious bacon without the subtle, lingering guilt of knowing a cute little piggie had to die so we could enjoy it. According to those who've tried it, a startup has finally made palatable "vat-grown" meat - in this case, chicken.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea of vat-grown meat is to grow meat from a culture of cells. It's still meat, but it has only ever been meat - rather than part of a living animal. All the meat you can eat, guilt-free!

http://gizmodo.com/startup-makes-the-first-lab-grown-chicken-tender-and-du-1793299025 (http://gizmodo.com/startup-makes-the-first-lab-grown-chicken-tender-and-du-1793299025)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on March 15, 2017, 09:20:54 PM
But i don't get guilty about my food. If you do eat something else that simple.
They will fail btw Chickens are too cheap to grow for them to succeed.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on March 16, 2017, 12:05:30 AM
 ;D ;D ;D 8) 8) 8)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68WX5qCFNNE[/youtube]


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odVFa_3lmiM&sns=em[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on March 24, 2017, 03:53:28 AM
This leads to a can of worms

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39354628 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39354628)

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 24, 2017, 06:05:18 AM
Right as I turn 50! Coincidence? Hell no! My request for death-waiver has been approved!!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on March 24, 2017, 08:44:56 AM
I know you can't avoid death and taxes but I was hoping to talk them out of at least one of the two.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on March 24, 2017, 02:14:29 PM
If we at some point defeat aging, or, at least, dramatically extend the human lifespan, it opens up all sorts of questions, as I'm sure many are aware. Once people stop dying, do we introduce population controls? A "one child" rule? Do you need a special waiver to even have a child? How long is too long to live?

It's fascinating (and a bit terrifying) to think about because, inevitably, any theoretical cure for aging will start out as expensive and become available to the super wealthy before anyone else. Given how fast wealth inequality is growing already, that could lead to an even larger divide between haves and have nots.

I'm not sure how I feel about the possibility of an anti-aging drug, honestly. If I can make the last 10 years of life (or whatever) plainless, pleasurable, and enjoyable (we still die, but we don't suffer from dementia and weakness in our last years) that would be amazing. If it, however, extends our lifespawn to 100/150/200 years (or more?) it seems like it could incite drastic changes to society that would only increase the wealth and influence divide.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on April 03, 2017, 08:48:53 PM
Cargo plane pilots may soon be facing the same problems that now confront truckers - in the very near future, their jobs may be outsourced to drones.

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/innovation/these-giant-drones-could-seriously-disrupt-shipping-industry-n741981 (http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/innovation/these-giant-drones-could-seriously-disrupt-shipping-industry-n741981)

When you consider that this apparently cuts the cost of shipping cargo in half (from $260,000 to $130,000) it seems obvious that as soon as companies can adopt this with a reasonable assurance their drones will get where they need to go, they will do so.

Of course, humans (or someone) still needs to load and unload the drones (at least for now) but given what Boston Dynamics is doing, we could see that automated within our lifetimes as well.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on April 03, 2017, 11:05:14 PM
most drones are not autonomous. Making autonomous cargo drones should be easier than autonomous cars. Alternately the pilot can fly using a playstation controller like most military drones.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Blackthorn on April 04, 2017, 11:33:07 PM
Lucky for me drones still need maintenance just like any other aircraft.

Sent from my SM-S975L using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 06, 2017, 03:13:18 AM
I envision a combination of two technologies that will trump even that when they advance and coalesce. When 3-d printing really advances and is mated with technologies and practices that focus product development solely in designs that can be made with 3-d printing, you'll see a shift from the resource/time demanding model:
"get resources - gather resources - make parts - gather parts - make thing - ship thing to market - ship thing to consumer"

To a faster, more efficient one:
"get resources - gather and consolidate resources into '3D printer cartridges' - ship cartridges to local assembly plant or direct to consumer"

So far, all the 'industrial quality' equipment has been miniaturized, tailored for domestic use, and pushed from commercial settings into the home over time, whether it's printers, car parts, or computer parts. The pause of this material in auto-parts and computer stores is a step that is already beginning to shrink. This could continue and give us Star Trek's replicators. At the least, I think we will have local/regional assembly plants that make the thing from locally printed parts, and converge delivery with installation.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on April 06, 2017, 03:10:51 PM
To a faster, more efficient one:
"get resources - gather and consolidate resources into '3D printer cartridges' - ship cartridges to local assembly plant or direct to consumer"

That certainly sounds plausible for certain goods, but I'm not sure if it will be ready to replace large scale manufacturing. I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems like the same rules that govern economies of scale would remain in play. 3-D printers seem ideal for creating one-off items or small runs of things, but it seems like traditional production methods will remain best for manufacturing items as scale, which drives the price down enough to be profitable. Also, we can't 3D print complex electronics (like cell phones and computers) so anything that is not a "dumb" item with composed of multiple parts can't be 3-D printed, currently.

Also, there's a matter of durability - I'd much rather have a car with a steel frame, put together by human labor and large scale machinery, than one that was put together from 3-D printed parts (since we can't 3D print steel, currently to my knowledge). But I do agree we may see a shift in the production of a significant number of simple consumables to local or home 3-D printing once it becomes truly affordable and cheaper than it is now.

As much as I bemoan the current state of politics in the US, I do have to remind myself that, assuming we survive the next few years, there are so many technological advances already arriving or directly on the horizon that even in the 30-40 years I have left, I may see vast changes in the world. It's quite possible that, just like those born in the 1900s who are alive today, technology will advance at such a fast pace that the science fiction I read when I was younger will be science fact before I die. Especially given my (now common) experiences in social VR, I find this tremendously exciting, even if I can't predict where it will go.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 06, 2017, 04:10:39 PM
Eric, I couldn't agree more, and in terms of the future, I've found myself divining a third option between the extremes of "a world of awesomeness beyond Gene Roddenberry's most sublime imaginings" and "Orwellian nightmares the likes of which Orwell never envisioned", that being the "a world of awesomeness beyond Gene Roddenberry's most sublime imaginings heavily tainted by Orwellian nightmares the likes of which Orwell never envisioned"
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 07, 2017, 06:41:05 PM
Girl found living among monkeys. This has happened a few times, and it rarely bodes well for the person.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/07/a-girl-was-found-living-among-monkeys-in-an-indian-forest-how-she-got-there-is-a-mystery/?utm_term=.dc857902431c (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/07/a-girl-was-found-living-among-monkeys-in-an-indian-forest-how-she-got-there-is-a-mystery/?utm_term=.dc857902431c)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 30, 2017, 05:38:17 PM
Human head transplant coming soon?
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/brain-transplant-plan-sergio-canavero/ (https://www.dailydot.com/debug/brain-transplant-plan-sergio-canavero/)

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 16, 2017, 04:24:51 AM
NVIDIA (makers of one of the two main PC graphics cards) estimates that "eye quality" virtual reality resolution is only 20 years away. Cool stuff at the link.

https://uploadvr.com/nvidia-estimates-20-years-away-vr-eye-quality-resolution/ (https://uploadvr.com/nvidia-estimates-20-years-away-vr-eye-quality-resolution/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 16, 2017, 07:06:58 PM
Back to drones! It looks like currently, we are leaning toward an entirely automated air traffic control system for drones by 2025. So it'll be a drone air traffic controller regulating self-flying drones!

The first time someone manages to hack it and starts sending drones crashing into places until they receive a ransom would make an interesting near future story...

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/drones-are-getting-their-own-air-traffic-control-with-n-1795224964 (http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/drones-are-getting-their-own-air-traffic-control-with-n-1795224964)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 14, 2017, 04:37:38 PM
No! Now those damn AIs are coming for our video game high scores!

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/microsofts-ai-just-shattered-the-ms-pac-man-high-score-1796091352 (http://sploid.gizmodo.com/microsofts-ai-just-shattered-the-ms-pac-man-high-score-1796091352)

Quote
According to Twin Galaxies, the official high score for the arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man belongs to Abdner Ashman, with 933,580 points. Or at least it did, before an artificial intelligence developed by Microsoft achieved the maximum possible score for the game, 999,990.

EDIT: Added a video explaining how the AI works. It's actually 150 AIs all performing simple checks, like eating pellets or hunting blue ghosts. Interesting stuff.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQyWMHFjewU[/youtube]
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 26, 2017, 09:00:33 AM
I think I may have posted these Strandbeests before, but no harm in another look. These are innovative and beautiful, not sure what application they have for the future but they are using wind for energy so can't be bad. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWwXrSyuGIA

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on July 05, 2017, 12:49:38 PM
I found this, how cool is it? 8)

https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/putting-time-in-perspective.html (https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/putting-time-in-perspective.html)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on July 11, 2017, 09:15:59 PM
Read a story today about things we're familiar with that will disappear by the next decade (meaning sometime between 2020 and 2030).

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/tech/seven-familiar-things-will-disappear-next-decade-ncna780136

While limited portions of it seems plausible, to an extent, the rest just seems like hyperbole, to the point where the article's claims feel downright ridiculous (and I write sci-fi!) - at least on a "by 2030" time frame. I'm curious what others think, but here's my thoughts.

For those who don't want to read the article, here's the list:

- Keys
LOL No. I certainly agree bio-readers (for fingerprints, eye scanners, and so on) will become more common, but the actual metal key + metal lock is not going away in the next decade. It's incredibly dependable, ridiculously cheap, super low tech, and doesn't lock you out of your house when you have a power failure.

The idea that we'll just stop using metal keys entirely is ludicrous. :P

- Parking Meters
Maybe. This seems plausible to an extent, and I think in more high tech areas (Silicon Valley, for example) it is perfectly plausible that parking meters will cease to be at each space - but that doesn't it gets completely automated. Parking meters are already gone most places I park, replaced by a single kiosk. You insert your credit card, pay for your hours, get a printed ticket, and stick it on your dash.

However, they won't vanish EVERYWHERE. Towns in lower tech areas will remain lower tech towns. Parking meters or kiosks will remain around in lower tech areas of the world for decades to come.

- Cash
Plausible, but not on their timetable. Don't get me wrong, it's already happening - the ONLY reason I carry cash (rarely) is for the occasional hold out (like the concession stand at a local drive-in theater) that ONLY accepts cash. 98% of the time, I use my credit card.

Still, given cash only businesses STILL exist, I'm skeptical cash will *completely* disappear by 2030. It'll certainly be much rarer, but I feel like physical currency still has at least a couple of decades left, minimum. The article also completely discounts two uses for cash: to purchase black/semi-legal items (where you don't want a paper trail) and its use by people who don't have bank accounts (many immigrants don't have bank accounts, and simply cash their checks at the grocery store every two weeks). Physical currency is not going to vanish by 2030, though the trend of it becoming less common (and used by less people) will continue.

- ATMs and Banks
Maybe plausible, but not on this timetable. There will certainly be LESS of them (I'm already seeing branches close) but my bank (a credit union) still requires me to go to the branch office to get a new card, get a Certified Check, and other business. Since cash isn't going away, ATMs won't go away either. There will just be fewer banks. I think it'll take much longer than 2030 for the cash/ATM model to vanish.

- Desktop Computers
Maybe the only plausible idea in the article. This I can totally believe, given the pace of technology. Case in point: it's damn near impossible to find a WIRED computer mouse these days. I love them, because I hate worrying about batteries, but last time I needed to replace mine, I literally had to go to Amazon. Best Buy, Office Depot, and every other store simply STOPPED selling wired mice entirely. Wireless was cheap enough that they didn't stock them.

So, I can accept desktop computers being gone by 2030, with laptops being the only option.

- TVs
LOL No. They ARE correct that AR and VR will give us *more* options for watching shows, but as much of a proponent as I am of both (particularly VR) I don't think the physical TV is going away by 2030. AR will act as another option (like we sometimes watch videos on our phones) but not cause us to get rid of TVs. Our current TVs are thin, incredibly convenient (sit down and watch) and more important, SOCIAL. You know you and your SO/kids/friends are all looking at the same screen (not different ones) and the social element can't be overlooked. TVs will continue to get smaller/lighter/more insane (I can imagine an 80" TV as thin of paper by 2030, maybe) but people won't simply CEASE TO USE THEM. This article gets dumber by the moment. :p

- Telephones
Again, LOL no. Yes, we'll be down to smartphones only (I have had no landline for over a decade), but having a device that you can carry around with you to make calls isn't going away. Even if we don't call it a "phone" we'll still have a phone. I don't care if my car can make calls (sure it can) ... I can't put my car in my pocket when I go into the movie theater to be ready in case the babysitter calls about my kid. The idea that we'll stop using phones entirely and rely on our cars, homes, or other devices to call is ridiculous. Maybe it's just a badly worded article, but this was the silliest of all.

Anyway, I'd be curious what other people think.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on July 20, 2017, 04:12:28 PM
This is cool! Graduate students at Stanford have created what looks like a "snake bot". For anyone who played the game Snake, you remember how you'd maneuver your snake around to eat apples, and each time it ate an apple, it'd get longer? This bot is kinda like that. It's a really neat idea for locomotion and, while it's a robot, it's far different from the bipedal or hovering robots we're used to in science fiction. Video of the bot in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRjFFgAZQnk

More details in the article here.

http://gizmodo.com/stanford-designed-the-most-phallic-robot-youve-ever-see-1797068246
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on July 20, 2017, 05:27:25 PM
^ that is cool!!! 8)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: xiagan on July 20, 2017, 06:00:39 PM
Just saw your last post, Eric. Completely agree with you on all points. :)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on July 21, 2017, 06:11:47 AM
Loved that clever snake, many possible applications, medicine and surgery even. Like.
 BTW tebakutis, you can be a PURF now if you wish.????  When Forum was cronky at one point  I couldn't change back to Dragon Queen, but did today.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 08, 2017, 03:39:38 PM
It's Robo-Lincoln!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJg2Caz3TF0

This is really cool (and maybe a bit creepy if you've watched Westworld). We are getting *really* close to being able to give robots realistic human facial expressions.

Whole article here:
http://gizmodo.com/the-most-realistic-robo-lincoln-yet-proves-the-future-i-1797593413 (http://gizmodo.com/the-most-realistic-robo-lincoln-yet-proves-the-future-i-1797593413)

(I miss when we could embed Youtube)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Stew Hotston on August 08, 2017, 07:10:54 PM
This is an offer of service! I've a phd in physics/quantum mechanics with extensive experience of a whole host of stuff that this requires and not least running a high performance computing facility as part of my (admittedly some time ago) research.

I'm also now at the cutting edge of financial markets and so work there on machine learning, algorithmic decision making etc.

I've also been science advisor a couple of times (including one author who won the Arthur C Clarke last year with that specific text - although all the talent is his alone!).

So I love helping people understand science better. If you want to tap me up then please pm me and I'll always do my best to i) explain something and ii) give you other resources to learn from. My aim is to help you with the tools you need for your research rather than write the science for you ;-)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 09, 2017, 04:15:03 PM
So I love helping people understand science better. If you want to tap me up then please pm me and I'll always do my best to i) explain something and ii) give you other resources to learn from. My aim is to help you with the tools you need for your research rather than write the science for you ;-)

That's awesome! Don't be surprised if I take you up on that offer some day soon. :)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 15, 2017, 05:46:20 PM
I'm not sure if it fits 100% in this thread, but it's a nice, encouraging article I read today.

http://gizmodo.com/saving-the-earths-ozone-layer-went-even-better-than-exp-1797831572

There are a number of parallels to climate change denial in the history of working to not destroy the ozone layer, including a vocal minority of businesses who were dependent on CFSs lying and saying the problem didn't exist. In this case, however, we fixed it! As discouraging as the strength of science deniers can be, it is nice to see that humanity can still manage a win from time to time.

Quote
In 1989, amidst mounting scientific evidence, dozens of nations joined forces to sign a treaty aimed at halting the expansion of a massive hole in Earth’s ozone layer. Nearly thirty years later, the Montreal Protocol has done just that. But it has also done something its architects never intended. It has become one of America’s most effective tools in the fight against climate change.

Quote
“As a policy framework, [the Montreal Protocol] has been an incredible success,” Cleetus, who was not involved with the new study, said. “It’s pretty striking how quickly countries moved together. What’s also striking is how the protocol has matured and been updated over time.”

Kevin Trenberth, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, agreed. “This is a wonderful advertisement of the success of the Clean Air Act just at a time when it is being undermined by the Trump administration,” he told Gizmodo. “If one takes appropriate actions it has consequences and can indeed work.”

Summary of the article: Our effort to stamp out CFSs not only led to the ozone layer repairing itself, but also had a significant impact on combating climate change. Good stuff!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on August 24, 2017, 04:07:31 PM
So my story about someone using a wireless signals to remotely "puppet" another person through their brain implant? We're getting there, folks. >.>

http://bgr.com/2017/08/18/brain-hack-science-limb-control/

Quote
The study, which was published in the most recent edition of the journal eLife, includes experiments where were performed on mice. Using the new technique, the researchers were able to control the movement of the animals, causing them to freeze, lock up their limbs, turn around, or even run.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Nora on August 24, 2017, 06:28:28 PM
Currently 30% in Reality Is Not What It Seems, The Journey To Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli, and it's bonkers. Really good, even for a layman such as I. It's pretty mind boggling some of the stuff explained in there, and I realise how little of Relativity I really understood. Anything on the Quantum level flies above my head too, so this book is genial in my eyes. Strongly recommend it to anyone, it's slim and well written.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on September 14, 2017, 12:20:17 PM
On Cassini's last day, I loved reading about the project history :D

'Our Saturn years' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/cassini_huygens_saturn)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on October 16, 2017, 01:54:19 AM
Only two days until the world's first REAL real giant robot battle!

https://www.megabots.com/ (https://www.megabots.com/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on October 16, 2017, 09:34:45 AM
Only two days until the world's first REAL real giant robot battle!

https://www.megabots.com/ (https://www.megabots.com/)

WWF move over!!!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on October 18, 2017, 06:27:15 PM
Now this is a cool/creepy story. The most recent version of the AI created to play "Go" taught itself how to dominate the game in three days, *without* the benefit of any human benefit. They literally just told it the rules and it played 4 million games against itself until I knew all the best strategies. Then the new AI went and trounced the previous AI (the one that beat the best human Go player) 100-0.

They're calling it a breakthrough since, unlike the previous Go AI (which learned from human input) this AI had no human input whatsoever. It just invented its own strategies and was so effective it was essentially unbeatable, even against the previous AI. Full story below:

https://gizmodo.com/stunning-ai-breakthrough-takes-us-one-step-closer-to-th-1819650084 (https://gizmodo.com/stunning-ai-breakthrough-takes-us-one-step-closer-to-th-1819650084)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on October 19, 2017, 01:40:54 AM
“I’m presently involved in work on Australian dragon lizards that change sex when it’s hot,” (https://theconversation.com/x-y-and-the-genetics-of-sex-professor-jenny-graves-awarded-the-prime-ministers-prize-for-science-2017-85740)

Think our writers could have some fun with this.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on October 31, 2017, 04:19:53 PM
“I’m presently involved in work on Australian dragon lizards that change sex when it’s hot,” (https://theconversation.com/x-y-and-the-genetics-of-sex-professor-jenny-graves-awarded-the-prime-ministers-prize-for-science-2017-85740)

Think our writers could have some fun with this.

Haha, that's great.

Here's another interesting article about self-driving cars, and how close they are to actually being on the streets (and in some cases, actually are!) It gives me a lot of hope for how these will reduce accidents and increase mobility for people of the future, especially those who can't drive well (like the elderly, of which I will some day be one!)

https://gizmodo.com/i-went-for-a-ride-in-a-waymo-self-driving-car-which-wa-1819990452 (https://gizmodo.com/i-went-for-a-ride-in-a-waymo-self-driving-car-which-wa-1819990452)

I really can't wait to have a self-driving car for routine errands (allowing me to relax, read, or even nap on my way to a boring destination) and reserve actual driving for "fun".
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on October 31, 2017, 06:36:58 PM
Now this is a cool/creepy story. The most recent version of the AI created to play "Go" taught itself how to dominate the game in three days, *without* the benefit of any human benefit. T[/url]
It's a lie on several levels.
1) Neural Nets in Computers are just 1980s Expert Systems. Human curated input to a human written program accessing a database. Nothing to do with how real brains work.
2) Machine learning is lie. Marketing.  It's just 1980s Expert Systems. Human curated input to a human written program accessing a database.
3) Voice Assist AI (Alexa, Cortana, OK Google, Siri, TVs etc) is a lie. It's late 1980s Voice Recognition to Text, not much better than used to be on phones and cars and Windows XP 10 to 15 years ago, but processed on a remote server (see 1 & 2). The resulting text is used in a search engine. It's deliberately invasive of privacy to enable adverts (now or eventually). Zero AI. It's poorer than typing in commands, or older voice systems with dedicated key words you had to learn.
4) There is no specific AI at all, and especially no general AI. Computers are programmed by people. If it seems to do several kinds of "AI" then it's got several programs. The Go program won't learn Bridge or poker from having the rules read to it.

Computers can do massive lookup searches. They can do mathematical and logic tasks REALLY hard for humans, once someone writes the program.
None have the cleverness of ants. None can do things trivial for a 5 year old child. Change 3% of pixels and the image recognition of the car, hot dog etc fails. The Program has to be shown tens of thousands of human curated images and told "Car", "Hot dog".

It's hype and marketing and garbage.

Self Driving cars? What is motive. The logical approach is Trains, planes, ships, trams.  Self driving cars can't manage the unexpected.  They are easily maliciously jammed (read how Lidar works). GPS isn't accurate enough.

Google and training info for Waymo
https://xkcd.com/1897/

Hover mouse.
 
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 07, 2017, 07:10:50 PM
Self Driving cars? What is motive. The logical approach is Trains, planes, ships, trams.  Self driving cars can't manage the unexpected.  They are easily maliciously jammed (read how Lidar works). GPS isn't accurate enough.

Gotta disagree with you there. Setting up a network of trains or other mass transit to allow people to no longer have to own their own car would not work in many places, including the US. The infrastructure to support it isn't there and would have to be built from scratch. No one's going to build train tracks to take mass transit to the Walgreens two miles from my house.

Self-driving cars are coming about because they're the best way to use the existing infrastructure we have (roads) while removing the numerous incidences of human error and negligent driving that contribute that the vast majority of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Even at its worst, a fleet of self-driving cars will dramatically reduce accidents and other problems because they're still safer than human drivers by an order of magnitude. They will be especially useful for people who should no longer be allowed to drive (those who are too old to react and drive 20 miles below the speed limit) but want to maintain their independence.

You are correct that they don't currently operate in anything but ideal conditions (rain can cause them to have trouble navigating, for example). But all technology is iterative, and when you compare our cars today to the first cars (Model-T?) the improvements are astronomical. Our first mobile phones were giant boxes that looked like military radios from WWII and could barely make calls. These day my cell phone fits in my pocket and is more powerful than most laptop computers.

Just because today's self-driving tech is in its infancy does not mean it (like all technology throughout our history) won't get better over time. The problems you mention will be solved.

Speaking of which! Waymo announced today that they are launching the first official self-driving car network that is entirely autonomous - no human driver - in Phoenix, Arizona. This is an ideal testing ground for the service due to low traffic, wide roads, and predictable weather (rain and clouds can still confuse sensors). This will allow them to continue to improve the software used to drive these vehicles and gather data which will, in the future, be used to roll improved versions out into more challenging areas.

Story here:
https://gizmodo.com/waymo-announces-fully-self-driving-cars-are-here-taxi-1820221010 (https://gizmodo.com/waymo-announces-fully-self-driving-cars-are-here-taxi-1820221010)

And a Youtube video. The coolest thing about this is watching how precisely the driver's wheels move as these cars make turns. It's obviously automated, and the precision is also fascinating. My hope is by the time I'm too old to drive without endangering others, networks like this will be commonplace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaOB-ErYq6Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaOB-ErYq6Y)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on November 08, 2017, 05:16:05 PM

Gotta disagree with you there. Setting up a network of trains or other mass transit to allow people to no longer have to own their own car would not work in many places, including the US.
Irrelevant to the point I'm making. which is purely about the expertise to create autonomous vehicles. You NEVER start by trying to solve the hardest version of the problem.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 08, 2017, 06:49:06 PM

Gotta disagree with you there. Setting up a network of trains or other mass transit to allow people to no longer have to own their own car would not work in many places, including the US.
Irrelevant to the point I'm making. which is purely about the expertise to create autonomous vehicles. You NEVER start by trying to solve the hardest version of the problem.

Apologies if I misunderstood the point you were trying to make. I'm not sure if I followed it.

If you're commenting that creating fully autonomous self-driving cars is a challenging problem we have yet to fully solve, I agree with you, and I'd say the majority of those researching do as well. The industry continues to move forward in small but incremental steps toward full autonomy. We aren't there now, but I think it's now obvious we will be. And given the dramatic decrease in accidents even basic self-driving cars provide over human drivers, the effort is warranted.

Waymo has eight years of research under their belts and is only just now putting a real fleet on the road, and is doing so in an area that is the "easiest" of possible driving environments. They're starting with the simpler, easier challenges and working toward the harder ones (like navigating through downtown Baltimore in a rain storm). I imagine they'll be able to gather a ton of new data from their Phoenix fleet that will allow them (and others) to continue to gradually roll out self-driving networks that tackle more difficult driving challenges.

As far as writing science fiction goes, I think any stories set more than 20 years in the future that don't include self-driving cars are going to find themselves in alternate timeline territory.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 08, 2017, 11:04:08 PM
Ooh, and here's another element I came across today. Self-driving ships!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/japanese-self-driving-cargo-ships-within-decade (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/japanese-self-driving-cargo-ships-within-decade)

In addition to the idea of having ships pilot themselves (but be monitored by a captain on shore, who might monitor several vessels) we are now talking about having fully autonomous cargo ships crossing the seas. It'd be cool to see a scifi story of someone who ends up hitching a ride on an autonomous ship and living on it undetected. Might also make for a good way for someone in a science fiction tale to escape the authorities or travel discreetly.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 09, 2017, 08:58:51 PM
Also ... jetpacks!

I want to fly one so bad (the video looks awesome)

https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/real-life-iron-man-sets-record-for-fastest-jetpack-flig-1820292097 (https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/real-life-iron-man-sets-record-for-fastest-jetpack-flig-1820292097)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 10, 2017, 03:21:16 PM
Here is an example of the bizarre kinds of situations that can arise as technology moves us forward into uncharted situations. Can you imagine how she must feel at that moment?
https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en (https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on November 11, 2017, 05:41:20 PM
Also ... jetpacks!

I want to fly one so bad (the video looks awesome)

Since 1919 (well a rocket pack).
They simply don't make sense.
1) Physics. There is a good reason birds, bats, flying marsupials and aircraft have wings. Even helicopters work due to a rotating wing.
2) Safety (do you want to be like a bug on windscreen).

1930s pulp SF. Not a prediction.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 12, 2017, 01:02:42 AM
I'll fly anything so long as A) I have a parachute and B) there's a quick-release/ejection seat/open door.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 12, 2017, 07:29:27 PM
Also ... jetpacks!

I want to fly one so bad (the video looks awesome)

Since 1919 (well a rocket pack).
They simply don't make sense.
1) Physics. There is a good reason birds, bats, flying marsupials and aircraft have wings. Even helicopters work due to a rotating wing.
2) Safety (do you want to be like a bug on windscreen).

1930s pulp SF. Not a prediction.

I didn't say it'd be practical! Just that it'd be fun! :)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 12, 2017, 07:31:24 PM
Here is an example of the bizarre kinds of situations that can arise as technology moves us forward into uncharted situations. Can you imagine how she must feel at that moment?
https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en (https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en)

OMG. That must be really weird. I don't know how I'd feel about that, honestly.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on November 12, 2017, 07:44:11 PM
Here is an example of the bizarre kinds of situations that can arise as technology moves us forward into uncharted situations. Can you imagine how she must feel at that moment?
https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en (https://news.google.com/news/video/z6GPTtUijcY/dnKpXhOHo-uvQrMx7Cbi_zAnWk9EM?hl=en)

Link no longer works.
Want to see!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on November 12, 2017, 08:20:47 PM
I think it might be about a face transplant. Man shoots off face (suicide) at same time as someone else successfully suicide. Partner/Girlfriend/whatever of dead donor meets recipient.
The news is sensationalised, as a transplanted face does NOT look the same as it did on original person. There have been a few, but the coincidental unconnected double suicides (one failed) may have attracted the Ghoulish news media.

Google News is an EVIL parasite. You'll find it on the sites of regular newspapers. Also you need a gazillion privacy invading scripts enabled to use Google news. It's also a bad idea to use Facebook, Twitter and possibly some TV channels as news sources (Fox News and Russia Today?).
 
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 12, 2017, 09:34:14 PM
It was about a face transplant.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on November 13, 2017, 12:11:25 AM
I read that as well and had two reactions. First was, regardless of circumstances, admiration of the clever surgery. What I read implied that the face was different on the new recipient and the girlfriend of original was very relieved that this was so.

Then I remembered the black market trade in body parts that already exists and the horrendous potential uses of this new skill.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on November 13, 2017, 12:37:42 AM
Sorry  dead links n stuff was the first full face transplant not performed a few years back? A lady got her face ripped off by a chimpanzee and they had to wait years for a suitable doner and the receiver to sufficiently heal up.

edit: err not good news http://time.com/4322053/chimp-attack-victim-face-transplant-hospitalized/ (http://time.com/4322053/chimp-attack-victim-face-transplant-hospitalized/)

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 13, 2017, 04:47:27 AM
Also ... jetpacks!

I want to fly one so bad (the video looks awesome)

Since 1919 (well a rocket pack).
They simply don't make sense.
1) Physics. There is a good reason birds, bats, flying marsupials and aircraft have wings. Even helicopters work due to a rotating wing.
2) Safety (do you want to be like a bug on windscreen).

1930s pulp SF. Not a prediction.

I didn't say it'd be practical! Just that it'd be fun! :)

Honestly I think the biggest problem would be that your butt would inevitably get melted off by jetfuel
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 13, 2017, 07:45:52 AM
Doublepost:


https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-that-turns-ants-into-zombies-is-more-diaboli-1820301538 (https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-that-turns-ants-into-zombies-is-more-diaboli-1820301538)

"'This means the fungus might produce a wealth of bioactive compounds that could be of interest in terms of novel drug discovery,' said de Bekker." Awwww HELLLLLZ NO.  I do NOT want any drugs that came from the Amazonian zombie-ant fungus. That's some umbrella corporation shit right there.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on November 14, 2017, 08:04:42 PM
https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-t
 (https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-that-turns-ants-into-zombies-is-more-diaboli-1820301538)
The Girl with all the Gifts.
Interesting take on Fungus and Zombies.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on November 15, 2017, 06:27:00 PM
Awwww HELLLLLZ NO.  I do NOT want any drugs that came from the Amazonian zombie-ant fungus. That's some umbrella corporation shit right there.

Hahaha ... love it.

Read this story today and thought it was really cool. We've actually altered the DNA of a living person in order to try and cure a genetic disease. Not sure if it's going to work yet, but this is the first I've heard of this even being a possibility!

https://gizmodo.com/in-a-major-first-scientists-edit-dna-within-the-human-1820469921 (https://gizmodo.com/in-a-major-first-scientists-edit-dna-within-the-human-1820469921)

Quote
For the first time in history, scientists have edited the DNA inside of a patient’s body, in an attempt to cure a genetic disorder by permanently changing the human genome. The news, reported Wednesday by the Associated Press, represents a major landmark in science.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on December 10, 2017, 04:58:36 AM
I remember joking sometime back about wishing for moving tattoos I had read about in a SFF, don't remember where. Then this article appeared, with so much genuine potential both for good and bad, not just decorative. Very clever, scientific advance charges ahead very fast, in so many directions.

Living Tattoos (http://news.mit.edu/2017/engineers-3-d-print-living-tattoo-1205)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 10, 2017, 09:45:57 AM

Idk how i feel about getting genetically modified glowing bacteria tattooed into my skin...
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 12, 2017, 05:10:33 AM
TODAY IS KILLER ROBOTS DAY.

Ok this movie is horrifying.

https://futurism.com/leaders-decide-future-killer-robots/

It's a dramatization.  Though to be fair my professor was at a social science conference about 7 years ago in which they were unveiling the use of social media track and identify "anarchists" that could be quickly geolocated and sent to snipers to target in protests.

Here's something that's a more... grounded and honest:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/paul-selva-gary-peters-autonomous-weapons-killer-robots/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/21/killer-robots-elon-musk-joins-tech-bosses-to-call-for-an-outright-ban.html

https://www.stopkillerrobots.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooPzr1vzmGY

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 12, 2017, 07:07:29 PM
V1 & V2 were autonomous killing machines. V2 had analogue guidance computer.
The various US Cruise missiles are based on them and have become more advanced and semi-autonomous.
George W. Bush made big use of Drone strikes in Pakistan. Obama increased them. Trump continues. In theory there is a remote pilot. We don't know how autonomous they can be.

Land mines and Cluster bombs are worse than smart bombs, cruise missiles and drones as they are totally indiscriminate.

There is no true AI yet and no clue how to do "general AI", so "robot killers" are just incremental developments of the last 80 years. Weapons preprogramed by humans.
All Machine learning / AI /Neural Nets is a way of simplifying programming and the loading of databases (1980s Expert Systems) with human set goals and human curated data.
Loitering cruise missiles exist that can wait for pattern recognition of a target (so called AI), or the operator watching the encrypted video feed can intervene a pick a fresh target.

Forget Robot Ethics or Three laws of Robotics, those  are maguffins to setup SF plots & mysteries. In real life it's human ethics, the orders that are given and the people deciding the goals. Ultimately ANY robotic system is pre-programmed "clockwork".
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on December 13, 2017, 12:15:22 PM
The drive for efficiency involves breaking down tasks into logical process steps this has been the greatest enabler of automation in the last 70 years.
 Military equipment doesn't benefit from true AI and may actually suffer for it when such a thing becomes possible.
Creating AI prepared to kill humans has obvious and critical faults but how about the the concept of a thinking machine that says nope not killing people even discriminatingly, its wrong?
Having human control and oversight at a remote location is probably as far as it needs to go for aircraft and land vehicles. The push for self driving cars has nothing to do with getting people out from behind the wheel beyond creating the economies of scale required to automate logistics (lorries in this case) for both civilian and military use.
Trains and trams (as well as airliners) could have been automated decades ago, but for public mistrust.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 13, 2017, 01:11:54 PM
Though there is a HUGE gap between Automation and real AI. At the minute "AI" is a marketing term.
Trains, ships, trams make sense before attempting cars. Especially trains as the environment is highly controlled.
Autopilot on planes is making them more dangerous as the pilots struggle to understand the alerts (Air France crash into Atlantic is an example). This should be a warning to those pushing car automation. Actually the first fully autonomous take off, flight and landing of a passenger aircraft (without passengers) was in 1970s!

Also look at Google/Alphabet, Uber, Tesla and consider their motivations. Is it about acquisition of trip data? Uber makes no profit from fares, but stores every hail, user, driver and trip information forever.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on December 18, 2017, 03:18:45 PM
Hmm. Seems like somebody's already writing a book about this sort of technology... :p

https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-is-wrong-to-think-he-can-save-the-world-by-bo-1793710314 (https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-is-wrong-to-think-he-can-save-the-world-by-bo-1793710314)

Quote
The company, registered as a “medical research” firm, is seeking to pursue what Musk calls “neural lace” technologies, which presumably involve the implanting of tiny electrodes in the brain to create a connection with a computer. The resulting “direct cortical interface” could be used to upload or download thoughts to a computer, blurring the boundary between human and machine. Eventually, brain chips could be used to supplement and boost cognitive capacities, resulting in increased intelligence and memory. It’s super-futuristic stuff, to be sure—but not outside the realm of possibility.

Between this and DARPA's similar work, it'll soon be Personal Brain Assistants for everyone!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 18, 2017, 06:14:51 PM
"The resulting “direct cortical interface” could be used to upload or download thoughts to a computer, blurring the boundary between human and machine."

Someone is reading too much SF. We have no idea yet what thought actually is and only the most crude ability to sense or inject electrical stimulation to the brain. Such interfaces rely hugely on the person adapting.

This is fantasy. Ask any user how good their cochlear hearing implant is!

Often researchers using statistical analysis of EEG or fMRI see what they want to see. Very many experiments reported about measurement of cognition are totally flawed. People supposedly brain dead according to diagnostics have wakened from apparent vegetative comas.
https://harvardneuro.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/tbt-the-lessons-we-learned-from-a-dead-fish/

Wishful thinking by rich transhumanists isn't the same thing as research!
Title: Re:Cyborg inspired the $6M man
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 18, 2017, 06:43:46 PM
Rather than fantasy research for rich people to preserve themselves in a machine:
We need to help disabled people (birth or injury)
1: Hearing. There are various reasons for loss. Cochlear implants are extremely poor, though allow most to able to learn speech. It's less than perfect for speech.
2: Vision. It's extremely low resolution and requires a lot of learning / adaptation. Many people legally blind see better than human machine vision.
3: Speech. Text to Speech is about 40 years old. Most systems allow the user to somehow input text and select phrases from moving something, even maybe just an eye. There isn't yet any viable brain to speech computer interface.
4: Movement. It's very limited and most successful mechanical hands, limbs or exoskeleton rely on muscle or nerve interfacing, not the brain. Considerable adaptation is needed.

Storing and recalling memories? The only options right now are writing then reading, audio recording or audio/video recording. Items 1 to 4 are far more important and we are practically blundering in the dark. The only [limited] success is interfaces to peripheral biological systems not the actual brain.

Memory anyway isn't like a mechanical or computer recording system. It's quite mysterious, selective and layered. You'd never be able to use a human witness like a CCTV system. We can even be easily tricked into having false memories.

We don't yet actually know what self awareness, thought, intelligence or sentience actually is.

There are all kinds of things that would be wonderful to develop:
Starships
Fusion power
Killing bacteria without antibiotics
Tricking our own body into producing defence against viruses without a real vaccine.
Tricking our own body into destroying parasites, or targeted treatment.
Killing cancer cells without killing the person.
Repairing genetic defects, WITHOUT ever passing on changes to offspring. Crispr creates unwanted mutations and we don't want to edit the human species, only sick individuals.
Growing back damaged limbs and organs. More feasible than good quality Cyborg solutions!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 19, 2017, 09:03:02 AM
One of a large number of articles revealing how fragile (fake) AI is
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/18/black_box_ai_attack/

Voice assistants (Cortana, OK Google, Amazon Alexa, Siri) are not AI at all. Basically 20 year old voice recognition on a remote server (so as to abuse your privacy to monetise you, we had as good 10 years ago on stand alone devices. The text output is used with a poor 30 year old concept (Expert System) and a Search Engine.

Perhaps it's time to bury AI as an SF trope after 60 years?

You do need to understand logic, mathematics, physics, technology and science in general to write SF, but almost all the time it's support for a story rather than inspiration for one.

It does look like the future of body repair isn't Cyborg augmentation, but re-growth of damaged or missing parts.  Even if you built a good mechanical arm (100% possible today) and improved the interface to the nerves and brain, how is it powered?

Look at lifetime of biological systems (self repairing) vs manufactured parts (poor life, reliability and performance).

I often research technology for an SF story rather than being inspired by it. I did use a medical advance to get out of a plot hole I dug. Spindle Transfer tech where a mother instead of being the surrogate for another woman's egg, has her own DNA put in the nucleus so that it's actually her child. Avoids flaws in mitochondrial DNA that could cause death of fetus or disable child. In the story (Fantasy rather than SF), it's used to "trick" magic that required a woman to give up her next two children.

So it's useful to be up to date. But most media reported new science is madly inaccurate and not really good for story inspiration?
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on December 19, 2017, 03:44:12 PM
Quote
Voice assistants (Cortana, OK Google, Amazon Alexa, Siri) are not AI at all. Basically 20 year old voice recognition on a remote server (so as to abuse your privacy to monetise you, we had as good 10 years ago on stand alone devices. The text output is used with a poor 30 year old concept (Expert System) and a Search Engine.

Amen brother!

Actually this massive data slurp will probably speed up precognitive systems as they shape to provide what users actually want. Once you have a system that understands routine and is reasonably predictive AI becomes unnecessary. Conscious machines are unlikely to serve, as idiot meatbags do random and illogical stuff that often causes themselves or others harm. I am not thinking terminator scenarios, more computer says no!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 19, 2017, 04:34:16 PM

Actually this massive data slurp will probably speed up precognitive systems as they shape to provide what users actually want.
You mean what Amazon wants to sell you.
Currently it's bonkers due to rubbish programming, not the lack of personal information.

"You bought this <gadget>, here are similar ones you might like."

Who wants TWO electric drills, laptops, tablets etc?

There is no AI. More information simply adds noise. So called "Big Data" analysis has not yet delivered. Hari Seldon and Psycho-history was a maguffin to make transposing Gibbon's Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire work with a coherent plot as an SF Story. As such the first three books in early 1950s made from editing the magazine episodes were great. The post 1980s sequels a bit "meh" and pretentious.

So Facebook and Google get 80% of internet ad spending. Yet there is much click fraud. The illegal (in Europe) privacy slurping to deliver targeted advertising is a lie the advertisers have bought into.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on December 19, 2017, 05:07:36 PM
No not at all, selling you stuff is the immediate aim by targeting adds on Google Amazon etc. The long game is about learning what you do and who you do it with to garner information to both accurately sell you stuff and to get a better price for that information when they sell it on. Managing and shaping your life through IOT is here.

There is no AI and doesn't need to be. Big data is good for the trends but personal data is the winner every time. you're right it's rubbish at the moment but its getting better faster and will continue to do so

 Knowing you buy chocolate at Easter and toys in November and white goods in January means they can push this at you earlier to create a bigger window. Push finance and HP in November with offers on white goods. If you buy elsewhere and still take their loan they still win.
If they know you have a taste for a particular type of chocolate they push the seasonal range at you as it becomes available. Amazon Pantry is getting really pushed hard. Self ordering fridges is a thing but why? Laziness, idiot adopters. People really can't manage their own shopping? that's routine cash in large amounts. Enough to interest Amazon anyway.
Everything in your home and every decision you make is up for grabs as far as these companies are concerned, regardless of your views on the subject.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on December 19, 2017, 09:14:48 PM
Google may be losing the plot. A plot for a dystopian novel?
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/19/google_knowledge_graph_infobox_fails/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 20, 2017, 01:58:34 AM
This dude creeps me out. "We're tricking the GPU of your brain..." wottttt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=179&v=BLkFWq_ipCc
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 01, 2018, 04:46:01 PM
Hey look, it's MARS!

https://gizmodo.com/nasas-curiosity-rover-captures-breathtaking-panorama-of-1822602240 (https://gizmodo.com/nasas-curiosity-rover-captures-breathtaking-panorama-of-1822602240)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on February 01, 2018, 06:45:32 PM
Hey look, it's MARS!

https://gizmodo.com/nasas-curiosity-rover-captures-breathtaking-panorama-of-1822602240 (https://gizmodo.com/nasas-curiosity-rover-captures-breathtaking-panorama-of-1822602240)
Oh wow :D :D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on February 07, 2018, 01:09:15 PM
This was just so cool to watch yesterday, I literally fist pumped when this happened:

(https://media.giphy.com/media/26DNbCqVfLJbYrXIA/giphy.gif)

Also I couldn't get enough of watching this guy "driving" in space!

(https://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2018/02/06/f3129982-100d-43fb-a12e-814c192776ca/resize/620x/16dc87e17991b65c6ce1b44944b68f67/tesla-in-space1.gif)

I kind of wish there was the technology available so that they could have video streaming on the car as it orbits just so I could go back every so often and watch a dummy drive a car in space.

Speaking of space stuff, my daughter has started to ask me a lot of questions about space recently, mostly because I'm being an awesome dad and keeping bringing things up in order to try to brainwash her to love this stuff early.  Last night as she was getting ready for bed she asked me how the solar system was formed and I'm trying to tell a four year old about supernovas and the theory of gravity and just watching her not understand a single word of it but still acting interested for my benefit.  And then when it came time to tell her a story last night I had to talk about how her two dolls were trying to get away from a galaxy sized werewolf.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on February 07, 2018, 01:24:00 PM
http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes (http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes)

Nature is awesome.

Some birds in the already insane birds of paradise species have been found to have "ultra black" feathers specially evolved to suck in the maximum light particles. The purpose is to create a backdrop for a colorful display f feathers that will really pop against the black.

I love the part where the males are seen as doing this so they don;t actually have to work as hard to produce truly brilliant colors. Lazy men.  :P
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 07, 2018, 01:59:08 PM
http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes (http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes)

Nature is awesome.

Some birds in the already insane birds of paradise species have been found to have "ultra black" feathers specially evolved to suck in the maximum light particles. The purpose is to create a backdrop for a colorful display f feathers that will really pop against the black.

I love the part where the males are seen as doing this so they don;t actually have to work as hard to produce truly brilliant colors. Lazy men.  :P

Work smarter, not harder, man.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Hedin on February 07, 2018, 04:29:21 PM
http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes (http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes)

Nature is awesome.

Some birds in the already insane birds of paradise species have been found to have "ultra black" feathers specially evolved to suck in the maximum light particles. The purpose is to create a backdrop for a colorful display f feathers that will really pop against the black.

I love the part where the males are seen as doing this so they don;t actually have to work as hard to produce truly brilliant colors. Lazy men.  :P

Work smarter, not harder, man.

So you're saying men are smarter than women?

*ducks*
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 07, 2018, 08:58:29 PM
http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes (http://www.audubon.org/news/birds-paradise-have-feathers-act-black-holes)

Nature is awesome.

Some birds in the already insane birds of paradise species have been found to have "ultra black" feathers specially evolved to suck in the maximum light particles. The purpose is to create a backdrop for a colorful display f feathers that will really pop against the black.

I love the part where the males are seen as doing this so they don;t actually have to work as hard to produce truly brilliant colors. Lazy men.  :P

Work smarter, not harder, man.

So you're saying men are smarter than women?

*ducks*
"I'm sorry, the party you are attempting to reach <static> The Gem Cutter <static> could not be reached. Please check the number, and dial again. This is a recording."
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: JMack on February 09, 2018, 11:40:12 AM
This is obviously a technology application that will make life better.  :P

https://qz.com/1202075/chinese-police-are-using-facial-recognition-glasses-for-survelliance/?mc_cid=785e1698fb&mc_eid=0c3722ec90 (https://qz.com/1202075/chinese-police-are-using-facial-recognition-glasses-for-survelliance/?mc_cid=785e1698fb&mc_eid=0c3722ec90)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on February 11, 2018, 02:04:53 PM
This is obviously a technology application that will make life better.  :P

https://qz.com/1202075/chinese-police-are-using-facial-recognition-glasses-for-survelliance/?mc_cid=785e1698fb&mc_eid=0c3722ec90 (https://qz.com/1202075/chinese-police-are-using-facial-recognition-glasses-for-survelliance/?mc_cid=785e1698fb&mc_eid=0c3722ec90)
Except they are just cameras. The recognition is done remotely.
The UK was using b&W video cameras and 1/2" portable VTRs in 1960s.
Now, for several years they have been using computer storage and facial recognition at carnivals and music festivals. It's probably illegal. The retention is.
The car number plate recognition is the same technology, just needing a smaller database and less CPU power, used on a toll road here for over 11 years. There is actually no AI involved. Just human curation of a data for a database in a datacentre, though marketing & PR calls it AI, Deep Learning, Machine Learning etc. It's just an incremental development of 1980s pattern recognition.
It's lightweight cameras, radios and improved Mobile data coverage that allows individuals to use it. The headup displays for text on your "glasses" is a gradual miniaturisation of 1960s fighter pilot headup displays that were projected on the cockpit window from a very bright CRT.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 22, 2018, 10:48:32 AM

It's more art than science, but still cool

http://www.bioluminescent-forest.com/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Alex Hormann on March 06, 2018, 11:28:37 PM
Anyone else fancy a trip to the Sun?

http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The-Mission/Name-to-Sun/ (http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The-Mission/Name-to-Sun/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on March 14, 2018, 08:18:30 PM
Sooooo.... Y Combinator has moved from funding AirBnB to funding a way to backup your brain... the only catch is that it kills you.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43394758
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 14, 2018, 08:40:51 PM
Sooooo.... Y Combinator has moved from funding AirBnB to funding a way to backup your brain... the only catch is that it kills you.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43394758

Tiny insignificant detail!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on March 14, 2018, 09:42:02 PM
Sooooo.... Y Combinator has moved from funding AirBnB to funding a way to backup your brain... the only catch is that it kills you.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43394758

That made me cringe at the thought of invading someone’s memories.

Nectome saying at end they want to learn from the brain’s  wisdom?  My cynical self asks if nobody learns from history or the genuine wisdom of philosophers why are they going to learn wisdom from some random brain? Not as though they can preserve a genius brain and keep it in on-going working order as in a horror story.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 14, 2018, 10:21:14 PM
"Your honor, I can prove beyond any doubt the defendant Mr. Jones killed his wife. I'd like to call my first witness: Mrs. Jones!"
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on March 15, 2018, 12:16:54 AM
The thing is the brains have to be fresh. So you sorta have to die specifically for it to happen.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on March 15, 2018, 11:47:01 AM
Sooooo.... Y Combinator has moved from funding AirBnB to funding a way to backup your brain... the only catch is that it kills you.
Also it won't actually ever work. I know the long biochemistry reason, apart from the philosophical & faith question is "you" purely  a function of your brain activity.
It's one of the most annoying tropes in SF since 1990s approx. Simply lazy egotistical writing, as are most AI characters and "nano <something>" to fill plot holes that are just magic by another name.

-
In other news, Voice recognition is much worse for women (and they don't really know why), also it's not AI and not much different to 25 years ago.

+
On positive side, practical fusion is closer due to improved electromagnets. Without surrounding the vessel with radioactive waste from conventional nuclear, which does already give net power out. The neutrons of the fusion accelerate fission in the waste to make enough heat to generate steam for the turbine.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Yora on March 15, 2018, 08:01:11 PM
Efficient fusion would be actual magic.

Not sure how long it will take, but all the theoretical physics say that it should work. There is no scientific reason why it wouldn't. Might still be a good way off, but when it comes it will be the biggest thing since the steam engine. Maybe even even bigger than that.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on March 16, 2018, 09:25:58 AM
The steam engine was known for hundreds of years, maybe two thousand before it became commercial. Then it was nearly two hundred years to become efficient.
It was deeper Cornish tin mines that made steam driven pump economic. It was VERY inefficient. This is why steam was used on inshore vessels long before ocean going ships. The efficiency was too low so enough coal couldn't be carried. Also the extra expense of fuel overcame awkwardness of sail on rivers, lakes, harbours and replaced horses on larger canals.
The steam turbine was a MUCH older idea than a piston engine. Obvious too. Modern Steam turbine was used in 1884 for electricity and in early 20th C on ships, though for a while the US Navy switched back to pistons.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_turbine#History

>>
So we are not doing badly on Fusion. The first designs were only about 65 years ago and there is a way already to make net electricity which makes regular nuclear power station waste safe.
Hardly anything is overnight.
Idea of transistors was 1890s, theory was 1930s, working lab device 1948, first all transistor radio about 1955 but not common till 1959. IC idea is 1954, but not common till 1970s, the first microprocessor very quickly after, but wasn't till about 1975 good enough for PCs (which predate IBM PC by 6 years).
Smartphone idea is 1970s. Prototypes in 1980s, first models in 1998. But it took Apple's deal for data with selective operators to make it popular in 2007 (they didn't actually make first with touch screen or invent anything in reality for it. The GUI was bought in. Main chip was Samsung, no Apple phone chips, iOS created from MacOS X which was from UNIX based NextStep). ARM core of smart phones first used in Acorn Archimedes about 1986 and Apple Newton (development started 1987 and shipped in 1993)
Capacitive touch screens are as old as resistive. Resistive was needed for resolution for handwriting recognition, sketches & notes. Newton, Palm etc. Apple abandoned it on iPhone because it was aimed at consumer, not business who wanted to annotate documents on phones & PDAs, not an innovation but a change of use from information creation to content browsing.
Tablet computers were a niche success from 1989. It took combination of better LCDs, LiPoly batteries, faster ARM CPUs and large Flash memory to make them practical for ordinary consumers about 20 years later. Also Linux / UNIX proved to be a better OS for them than Windows (iOS is derived from BSD UNIX and Android is a layer on top of Linux).

Incremental developments before widespread retail success. Same is true of Video tape, Video disc to BluRay, MP3 players (Apple iPod very late to that party).

Some developments are like SF in concept and only see short lived application, or even just demos:
Holographic storage
Bubble memory
Magneto Optical disks (nearly popular in 1990s, too expensive).
Laser Discs (a technical dead end in started in 1970s, never really took off outside USA).
The 8 Track Cartridge had low penetration outside USA. Doomed by 1963 Compact Cassette, called such as RCA had a 1/4" format cassette in 1958.

Rare nano tech mechanical displays like SF:
DLP projectors. Each pixel is a moving mirror
eInk. Each pixel is black balls in a cell of milky liquid.
Mirasol. A colour panel using mechanical cells like petals on a butterfly wing to do colour. A market failure. Used in three eBook readers last made in about 2012.

OLED tech predates real LEDs. Took a long time to get it viable. LCD is only monochrome. Uses a backlight and stripe dye filters for colour. The material concept for LCDs dates from 1880s. It was 1970 when workable displays made. It's only about 10 to 15 years ago that colour panels have matched CRT for quality and still only more expensive systems.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on March 24, 2018, 03:57:15 PM
And bless, the BBC have finally hooked on to this a year late http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/must_see/43395686/how-dna-can-be-used-to-store-computer-data (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/must_see/43395686/how-dna-can-be-used-to-store-computer-data) and failed to note the actual story is company has digital to biological codeable DNA not that your memory stick will one day be obsolete.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on April 10, 2018, 04:12:02 AM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/mysterious-sunstones-in-medieval-viking-texts-could-really-have-worked/

Here's a bit of technology for fantasy!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on April 11, 2018, 09:18:52 PM
It's well known that Scandinavians probably used mineral "stones" to see the sun's direction on a cloudy day. This may be some fresh research, but it's very old news.
Note that maps accentuate the distance from Norway or Sweden to Scotland, Iceland, Greenland and Vineland (Newfoundland). The distance from Ireland to Newfoundland is less than the length of the US / Mexican border.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on May 31, 2018, 02:43:00 PM
You're welcome, @ScarletBea

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/spiders-could-eat-every-human-on-earth-and-still-be-hungry-a7654486.html

and once you're done with that, watch this video on using VR to cure your arachnophobia

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/spiders-could-eat-every-human-on-earth-in-one-year-20170329-gv8m6v.html
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on May 31, 2018, 03:11:19 PM
 :o :o
I'm so NOT going to open the links >:( >:(
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on May 31, 2018, 10:59:08 PM
and once you're done with that, watch this video on using VR to cure your arachnophobia

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/spiders-could-eat-every-human-on-earth-in-one-year-20170329-gv8m6v.html

My cure for arachnophobia in VR was to download the Skyrim mod that replaces all the giant spiders with frost wraiths or spirit deer. >.>
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 01, 2018, 05:44:28 AM
 :o :o
Never mind @ScarletBea you can escape like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ3W4Viu1uI=)

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on June 01, 2018, 05:50:11 AM
and once you're done with that, watch this video on using VR to cure your arachnophobia

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/spiders-could-eat-every-human-on-earth-in-one-year-20170329-gv8m6v.html

My cure for arachnophobia in VR was to download the Skyrim mod that replaces all the giant spiders with frost wraiths or spirit deer. >.>

In thought you were going to go with Trainwiz or Macho Dragons... Speaking of which in investigating replacers as a result of your post i think animated fart shouts is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen

http://www.dorkly.com/post/73293/weird-skyrim-mods
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 06, 2018, 03:54:34 PM
In thought you were going to go with Trainwiz or Macho Dragons... Speaking of which in investigating replacers as a result of your post i think animated fart shouts is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen

http://www.dorkly.com/post/73293/weird-skyrim-mods

Haha, as odd as it might sound I've been playing Skryim "straight" - no funny/joke mods, just stuff to improve the game and make it more visually pretty. As I've mentioned, in VR, Skyrim has been the most immersive and exciting VR experience I've had - while my companions don't necessarily feel like real people, I've definitely grown attached to them.

Lydia is a great example - on console, she annoyed me because she kept getting in the way of my clumsy sword slices. In VR, where Lydia is actually THERE with me, visibly guarding my back in fights, I appreciate her a lot more. It's also much easier to fight side-by-side with her because I can easily control where I swing.

Being THERE with NPCs makes it much easier to get attached. Inigo is my sword bro, Lydia is my sword sis, and it's fun to smash trolls with Mjoll, my badass barbarian wife. Skyrim VR definitely feels like living the "geeky gamer gets physically teleported to a fantasy world and think it's awesome" books I read when I was younger, though I've finally managed to pull myself away from it after 120 hours or so. I still want to play and finish more quests, but it's not as addictively compelling as it was for the first few months.

Once VR headsets get cheaper and more popular, the first company to make a new game designed for VR with Skyrim's depth of questing, customization, and characters is going to make a ****load of money.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 06, 2018, 03:57:18 PM
Wired has a great write-up of how China's previously mentioned social credit system (basically, a credit score for your life, that affects your ability to literally survive) is being implemented and how it's affecting people.

It's as dystopian as you can imagine (which is why it's a great science fiction prompt) but also interesting in a vaguely terrifying Orwellian manner.

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/china-social-credit (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/china-social-credit)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on June 13, 2018, 06:53:45 PM
Can't remember if I've posted this yet, but so called "Deepfake" technology continues to advance at a frightening pace. With enough source material (common for public figures, like President Obama or others) it can easily generate fake speeches from the target and even create custom facial expressions.

Basically, it lets you make videos of people saying things they never said.

Gizmodo sums it up pretty well and has some great examples.

https://gizmodo.com/deepfake-videos-are-getting-impossibly-good-1826759848 (https://gizmodo.com/deepfake-videos-are-getting-impossibly-good-1826759848)

In my recent scifi book (set hundreds of years in the future) I had an aside where I mentioned that video evidence is no longer admissible in courts because it has become so easy to fake. Seems like we might be getting to that point sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on June 14, 2018, 02:14:30 AM
Jeese Louise - just what we need. Russians will weaponize that in about 3 weeks - if they haven't already.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on June 14, 2018, 03:16:10 AM
Sadly it is more likely America, or Trump will do so to enrage the hard of thinking for political gain.

Last time I looked Russia was struggling to comprehend that what the interns put together wasn't being believed.

https://observer.com/2017/11/russian-propaganda-uses-video-game-footage-to-accuse-us-of-aiding-isis/ (https://observer.com/2017/11/russian-propaganda-uses-video-game-footage-to-accuse-us-of-aiding-isis/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on June 20, 2018, 09:57:01 AM
Can't remember if I've posted this yet, but so called "Deepfake" technology continues to advance at a frightening pace. With enough source material (common for public figures, like President Obama or others) it can easily generate fake speeches from the target and even create custom facial expressions.

Basically, it lets you make videos of people saying things they never said.

Gizmodo sums it up pretty well and has some great examples.

https://gizmodo.com/deepfake-videos-are-getting-impossibly-good-1826759848 (https://gizmodo.com/deepfake-videos-are-getting-impossibly-good-1826759848)

In my recent scifi book (set hundreds of years in the future) I had an aside where I mentioned that video evidence is no longer admissible in courts because it has become so easy to fake. Seems like we might be getting to that point sooner rather than later.


When I saw Trumps "space force" announcement I totally thought it had to be faked using this technology.

UNRELATED:

This article about phones and your brain is really really really really good.  Brave New World has arrived.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-smartphones-hijack-our-minds-1507307811
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on June 21, 2018, 11:12:09 PM
Norwegian scientists did something about separating teens from their phones and monitored the same heart rythms  seen in those suffering from PTSD and suffering an attack.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on June 22, 2018, 02:56:55 PM
That's disturbing
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on July 18, 2018, 04:13:30 PM
Interesting article today about a first tentative step toward approving genetic modification of babies.

https://gizmodo.com/uk-ethics-council-says-it-s-morally-permissible-to-cr-1827655873 (https://gizmodo.com/uk-ethics-council-says-it-s-morally-permissible-to-cr-1827655873)

Genetic engineering (in my case, way too much of it) plays a big role in my scifi thrillers, so it's interesting to see acceptance of such practices moving forward (even incrementally).
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on July 18, 2018, 05:43:38 PM
The Biotics are taking over already!!!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on July 26, 2018, 08:55:14 AM
I really should be working rn but this article is great!!

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity


Quote
So instead of considering the practical ethics of impoverishing and exploiting the many in the name of the few, most academics, journalists, and science fiction writers instead considered much more abstract and fanciful conundrums: is it fair for a stock trader to use smart drugs? Should children get implants for foreign languages? Do we want autonomous vehicles to prioritize the lives of pedestrians over those of its passengers? Should the first Mars colonies be run as democracies? Does changing my DNA undermine my identity? Should robots have rights?

Asking these sorts of questions, while philosophically entertaining, is a poor substitute for wrestling with the real moral quandaries associated with unbridled technological development in the name of corporate capitalism. Digital platforms have turned an already exploitative and extractive marketplace (think Walmart) into an even more dehumanizing successor (think Amazon). Most of us became aware of these downsides in the form of automated jobs, the gig economy, and the demise of local retail.

But the more devastating impacts of pedal-to-the-metal digital capitalism fall on the environment and global poor. The manufacture of some of our computers and smartphones still uses networks of slave labor. These practices are so deeply entrenched that a company called Fairphone, founded from the ground up to make and market ethical phones, learned it was impossible. (The company’s founder now sadly refers to their products as “fairer” phones.)

Meanwhile, the mining of rare earth metals and disposal of our highly digital technologies destroys human habitats, replacing them with toxic waste dumps, which are then picked over by peasant children and their families, who sell usable materials back to the manufacturers.

This “out of sight, out of mind” externalization of poverty and poison doesn’t go away just because we’ve covered our eyes with VR goggles and immersed ourselves in an alternate reality. If anything, the longer we ignore the social, economic, and environmental repercussions, the more of a problem they become. This, in turn, motivates even more withdrawal, more isolationism and apocalyptic fantasy – and more desperately concocted technologies and business plans. The cycle feeds itself.

For ages I had been wanting to write an article to pitch to WIRED called "Why Technology Won't Save Us." but it looks like this guy beat me to it, he's written a bunch of books on the future of technology.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on August 16, 2018, 02:43:51 AM
How about this genuinely amazing discovery in our natural world (https://m.phys.org/news/2013-09-functioning-mechanical-gears-nature.html?utm_content=buffer0b278&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=b) now?  Asking for stories with insectoid engineers and more. Love this so much, Mother Nature been there done that.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on August 16, 2018, 04:30:10 PM
How about this genuinely amazing  gears on insects aks discovery in our natural world (https://m.phys.org/news/2013-09-functioning-mechanical-gears-nature.html) now?
There is also a small organism with a propeller, real circular drive. Looks a bit like a corkscrew.  The gears in link  only are to synchronise the legs when it's small. The adult doesn't have them.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on August 16, 2018, 06:10:10 PM
These things are so incredible :D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on August 17, 2018, 03:06:38 AM
Was thinking about this and realised Mechanical Ball and Socket joints are hips and shoulders. Eyes and ears and other human  body parts have also contributed to many inventions so I shouldn't have been surprised. But it was still wonderful in that tiny insect.
@Ray McCarthy Please can you give a link to the propeller effect?  Would like to see that as well. :)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on August 17, 2018, 08:15:36 AM
Flagella propeller on some bacteria https://phys.org/news/2018-04-bacterial-propeller.html

Larvae of Dictyoceratida spp. are very efficient swimmers and use the posterior tuft of flagella as a propeller for forward and backward swimming, as well as for orientation with respect to light (Leys and Degnan, 2001; Uriz et al., 2002; Maldonado et al., 2003). Together with the other larvae of the orders Dictyoceratida and Dendroceratida, they appear to be the most ...
from https://academic.oup.com/plankt/article/27/3/249/1493442
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Lady Ty on August 17, 2018, 08:24:54 AM
Thank you Ray, appreciate the link, that will keep me well occupied for a while.  :D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 27, 2018, 02:59:15 PM
Discovery of a new element: Administratium

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by physicists.  The element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it contacts. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium caused one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally occur in less than one second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not actually decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic weight actually increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points, such as government agencies, large corporations and universities, and can actually be found in the newest, best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on September 27, 2018, 03:47:58 PM
^ ;D ;D
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on September 28, 2018, 07:34:41 PM
Now this is pretty cool! Check out an actual video from the surface of an actual asteroid!

I mean, it's a rock, but it's a rock HURTLING THROUGH SPACE, and not only did the Japanese land a rover on it, they're going to be landing another and plan to have those rovers come BACK in 2023.

Plus they got a movie of a rock in space. You can actually see the surface of a real asteroid. I'm geeking out a little, honestly.

https://gizmodo.com/the-hayabusa2-rovers-just-made-a-movie-on-the-surface-o-1829391481
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on October 18, 2018, 06:35:05 PM
I usually post a lot more about VR than AR, but some recent developments at the Magic Leap conference (a company working on AR applications) really blew me away. They've actually managed to create a human looking augmented reality person who could one day act as a personal assistant or house AI, similar to Alexa or Siri - but in this case, Mica (their augmented reality human) is a person with realistic expressions you can actually SEE when wearing AR glasses.

For anyone who's tried AR (think Pokemon Go and similar apps) the fact that AR places realistic digital objects into the real world can do a great job of tricking the mind, and a realistic human generated in real time is a step beyond that. If you imagine an Alexa that can smile, frown, and yawn, you've basically got Mica.

Here's an article with some specifics. You can find a bunch more if you Google "magic leap" and "Mica". Fascinating stuff!

https://www.digitalbodies.net/mixed-reality/say-hello-to-mica-magic-leaps-mixed-reality-ai/ (https://www.digitalbodies.net/mixed-reality/say-hello-to-mica-magic-leaps-mixed-reality-ai/)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on October 21, 2018, 11:17:01 AM
You can find a bunch more if you Google "magic leap" and "Mica". Fascinating stuff!

Or search "Magic Leap" "Vapourware", far more honest.
Their hype exceeds reality. There is VR (poor, basically nausea inducting video games) and AR (poor too). ML has no actual real product and all demos I've seen are simulations. ML is the most hype and least functional of all systems other than a holder with lenses for a mobile phone.
The problem with the googles on all  systems are two fold: 1: The field of view is too small except for specialist applications, not immersive. 2: Decent tracking* needs about x10 the CPU power & GPU than normally available.
AR "only" needs glasses with a stereo projection system. VR really needs a  special suit and maybe a tank or chair/cradle.

*You need to track the head and eyes. Tracking what distance the user is looking at is hard, especially for the nearly 20% that have less than perfect binocular vision.

We have had various discussions and long sessions here of VR and AR over the last 30 years. Also critique of the many SF stories which vary in both realism and also inherent physical possibilities. Books are mostly better than highly visual cinema/TV to critique. Star Trek might rate high on "apparent" realism, but likely inherently impossible.  Stories involving implants are plausible, though as in many or the dystopian stories, might be one-way. Stories with googles, tanks, suits and drugs are believable reversible VR. Googles alone are best for AR and and can only give a limited VR experience working minimally with gloves or similar. The next level would be a body harness above a large motorized sensor ball that allows walking, jumping, running, kicking and sitting. Ideally each body joint would be monitored.  Head unit alone gives little more than a live theater type static viewer experience.
 
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 13, 2018, 02:26:51 AM

So... just in case any of you wanted to take your unhealthy obsession with a fictional character to the next level...

https://soranews24.com/2017/11/23/japanese-company-recognizes-marriage-with-anime-characters-provides-family-support-benefits/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on November 13, 2018, 07:52:13 AM

So... just in case any of you wanted to take your unhealthy obsession with a fictional character to the next level...

https://soranews24.com/2017/11/23/japanese-company-recognizes-marriage-with-anime-characters-provides-family-support-benefits/
:o :o ::)
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 02, 2018, 08:58:35 AM
while looking for a cake for Cameron I came across this:

https://www.star2.com/living/2015/05/06/video-what-on-earth-is-this-alien-worm-that-spits-out-white-tentacles/

watch the video!!
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: ScarletBea on December 02, 2018, 09:21:45 AM
the description sounds scary... ???
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on January 09, 2019, 08:09:10 PM
Oh man, lots of super cool stuff coming out of CES, but this one in particular caught my attention. Samsung has created wearable exoskeletons, and they, like ... actually work!

https://gizmodo.com/samsung-let-me-wear-an-exoskeleton-and-i-liked-it-1831593827

Can't wait to strap on one of these bad boys when I get into my golden years and sprint around town.

Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on January 11, 2019, 04:42:42 PM
We're still making progress on haptic gloves for VR. This glove actually fits around your entire hand and has built in motors that tense and flex so you feel like you're getting resistance while grabbing and touching things. So cool!

https://uploadvr.com/ces-2019-contact-ci-haptics/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on January 30, 2019, 08:33:50 PM
Haha, it's funny that many dystopian scifi stories always have a giant corporation as the big bad, but rarely show what happens when two giant corporations fight EACH OTHER.

Behold, Apple and Facebook having an argument.

https://gizmodo.com/facebook-broke-apples-rules-and-now-its-employee-only-i-1832198624
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 30, 2019, 11:35:02 PM
Haha, it's funny that many dystopian scifi stories always have a giant corporation as the big bad, but rarely show what happens when two giant corporations fight EACH OTHER.

Behold, Apple and Facebook having an argument.

https://gizmodo.com/facebook-broke-apples-rules-and-now-its-employee-only-i-1832198624

I hate to agree with apple on anything, but fb's Onavo project is evil af. "Onavo Protect" has people scan their fingerprints for "security" while giving fb root access to their phones. It's like Cambridge Analytics on a galactic scale. And they had a whole slew of apps from other developers to mask fb's involvement for those that didn't like fb. The whole "committed to privacy" congressional hearing thing was a joke.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/29/facebook-project-atlas/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 31, 2019, 06:35:52 AM

Sorry to doublepost (and I hate to distract from the fb stuff) but this expose on former NSA American hacker mercenaries is just crazy

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-spying-raven-specialreport-idUKKCN1PO1A6
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on January 31, 2019, 03:39:31 PM

Sorry to doublepost (and I hate to distract from the fb stuff) but this expose on former NSA American hacker mercenaries is just crazy

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-spying-raven-specialreport-idUKKCN1PO1A6

Wow, that is a scary article. And it's amazing how the hacker (Stroud) keeps talking about how she was doing "good work" despite helping put a human rights activist in solitary confinement for 10 years (solitary confinement is probably the worst thing you can do to a prisoner short of actively torturing them every day). Tragic.

It's also typical that she had no problem spying on all these innocent foreign nationals, but the moment she starts being asked to target Americans she's like "Oh no, I won't cross that line! I'm a good intelligence officer!"

I suppose when you're disconnected from the results of your actions enough, you can convince yourself of anything.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Ray McCarthy on February 05, 2019, 09:38:16 PM
Facebook vs Google vs Amazon vs Microsoft.
Toxic parasites on personal information.
Amazon & Google have a truce right now over Google Streaming/Youtube and Fire Tablet (Android but Playstore replace by Amazon).
Evil Echo / Siri / Cortana  / Google speech search

Harry Harrision: "I always do what teddy says"

Read comments:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/04/european_commission_security_risks_kids_smartwatch/
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: Rostum on February 06, 2019, 05:09:45 AM
Ahh but convenience will always trump security. most IoT devices are insecure and many the products are a solution looking for a problem. Maybe its a good idea to let kids actually not be monitored, tracked and be  instantly contactable all the time.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 06, 2019, 07:24:46 AM
Ahh but convenience will always trump security. most IoT devices are insecure and many the products are a solution looking for a problem. Maybe its a good idea to let kids actually not be monitored, tracked and be  instantly contactable all the time.

The problem is twofold:

1) In addition to dealings with Cambridge Analytica and facilitating Russian fake news, Facebook actually had people inside the Trump campaign.  There were a lot of factors, but in a way facebook got Trump elected, and their position was not neutral. This isn't just data for corporations to exploit for marketing, its data for corporations to exploit for their own political agenda.

2) The government has a long history of using surveillance to suppress social movements. MI5 was caught spying on nonprofits-- I think they even had some operatives places in them if I remember correctly.  And the US FBI has violently targeted activists in Puerto Rico as well as civil rights activists and environmentalists.  Never mind what they are doing in other countries where there are virtually no consequences for them.  If called upon these companies will cooperate.  Google even had contracts with the military at one point.

The bottom line is that it's very bad for democracy.
Title: Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
Post by: tebakutis on February 19, 2019, 03:20:43 PM
Well, that didn't take long. As of now, we already have pretty much photorealistic VR (for enterprise applications - $6000 dollar headsets!) But to a big company, that's nothing, and the applications for training (particularly the eyetracking data) are exciting.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessedamiani/2019/02/19/the-varjo-vr-1-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-highest-end-vr-headset-in-the-world/#60f251eb5b91

Consumer headsets still lag far behind this (the Varjo is 20x more clearer than the HTC Vive) but just the fact that these headsets exist is truly exciting. Just as with the advance of flatscreen and HDTVs (which were initially thousands of dollars) 10 years from now, this tech may be available to consumers at a reasonable price.