In the past few years we’ve learned a lot about how plants communicate with each other. The first such communication to be discovered was through volatile organic compounds that plants secrete in order to notify each other of predators. This is known as hormonal sentience.
First of all, congratulations to India for launching 104 satellites in one shot. Congratulations also to the various organizations that will advance science through the various experiments on board them satellites. However…
I have said it in the past as well. We’re being careless with our orbital activities. It’s not only our forests and seas that we’re spoiling, but also our lovely planet’s orbital space. And like the environment down here, there’s only one up there and once we’ve ruined it, it’ll take a long time to fix.
It’s quite well known by now that our oceans are slowly turning into a toxic stew of plastic with sauce of life-threatening industrial residues. I recently read about why birds are attracted to plastic residue.
Amazon’s latest forays into robotics have left me thoroughly impressed. Take a look at this awesome presentation of one of the company’s most modern order fulfillment centers.
Now combine this with the company’s obvious direction of turning into a delivery behemoth. Amazon is rather coy about this aspect, but why else would it be buying up planes and making airport investments? This is only the beginning I believe. I see the company making use of robotic planes and a massive fleet of self-driving trucks in the near future.
Here’s a touching, beautiful video about how to understand and appreciate a multicultural society.
Even though this is a commercial for a Danish TV channel, it is simply too good not to share. I wish that the spirit of this message will spread far and wide and those that see only the bad parts of multiculturalism will connect to its positive aspects. There is endless potential in the richness of diversity.
It’s been quite some time since the last major breakthrough in computer graphics. For the past few decades, graphics quality has been steadily improving, but this has been mainly due advances in semiconductor technology and secondly due to software evolution. Little has changed when it comes to the way images can be efficiently rendered. Ray-tracing has been around for a while but it is too computationally-intensive to match rasterisation.
At long last, an evolutionary leap might soon be upon us thanks to quantum computing. There are myriad applications for this emerging branch of technology, but one of the most interesting I’ve learned about lately is this fascinating proposal called quantum super-sampling. It’s a process combining ray-tracing with quantum computation. Here’s a (long) video presentation describing the process, by the author himself.
The age of interconnected devices and gadgets is slowly dawning. This category of communications-capable electronics has been labeled “the Internet of Things” – somewhat of a misnomer now-a-days when it is obvious that the security threat of any machine reachable from the Internet is enormous. Perhaps quantum cryptography will one day address this issue. Until then, home owners will probably be safer by using offline “smart home controllers” with manually-upgradeable firmware in what will be an Intranet of Things.
Irrespective of the name, this new wave of electronics is still barely in its infancy. Any company worth its salt has to prepare for how business will change in the coming decades. And there’s nothing more disruptive than what is basically the rise of the first mainstream generation of highly task-optimized robots. Indeed, a smart refrigerator is basically a robot focused on a certain task.
While the first robots accessible to everybody will still function very much like our current appliances, their smarts will open up a myriad opportunities for ground-breaking innovation.
Because the attention span of the average Internet denizen has decreased a lot, especially during these times of information overload, new ways of presenting information are always welcome. Enter 60 seconds documentaries.
In the past few years we’ve witnessed the launch of more than a dozen HMDs (Head Mounted Displays). Several of them are already available in large numbers. HMDs focused on entertainment (Oculus, Vive) rely on taking over visual perception completely via Virtual Reality. HMDs focused on productivity (HoloLens) mix real life with computer generated imagery drawn upon a transparent display. There are other combinations and means of mixing visual information, so all of this technology has recently been put under the umbrella term Mixed Reality.
Here are some of the things that may be accomplished in the future (productivity-wise) using Mixed Reality
The fact that empathy is a career-enhancing skill should give parents enough reason to instill it in their children. The fact that empathy can also stimulate a social group’s technological progress through increased collaboration and innovation should give governments enough reason to implement it throughout the educational system.
Even though we evolved emotionally quite a bit in the past centuries our society continues to often exhibit a severe lack of empathy, especially when it comes to the male demographic. Perhaps it’s time for governments to realize that empathic men are more useful than those whose emotions were twisted in order to condition them to become obedient soldiers, ready to slaughter each other to fill somebody’s coffers. Perhaps that made sense last century, but we’re past the point where we can survive a third world war, so any investment in that sort of competition is a recipe for social bankruptcy.