Junking Earth's Orbit

Junking Earth’s Orbit

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.

Robotized Amazon

Amazon Is Well on Track to Become a Fully Robotized Retailer

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.

Quantum Supersampling

Quantum Supersampling

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.

Project Ara

Why Google Did Away with Project Ara

Project Ara was an ambitious venture to create a modular smartphone, featuring upgradeable components. And when I say ambitious, boy was it a moon shot.

It’s one thing to upgrade components in a desktop computer or a car, but the smaller the device, the trickier it is to engineer efficient connections between components whose bandwidth requirements and standards of communication vary wildly. Even notebook manufacturers struggle with this limitation as they attempt to engineer ever-thinner devices.

Car Pooling via Uber and Lyft

Carpooling Becoming More Effective with Every Passing Day

An interesting phenomenon is happening in Los Angeles. People are starting to realize that owning a car is not only stressful, but economically damaging. Thanks to companies like Uber, Lyft and others, the costs of movement have decreased drastically. An increasing amount of people is waking up to the fact that ridesharing has more advantages than disadvantages.

This is only the beginning. The self-driving vehicle revolution will increase the efficiency of transportation even further. We often hear that one cannot stand in the way of progress. With the help of software and the Internet, seems like progress is hitting the pavement of most major cities on the globe and will slowly but surely spread everywhere.

The Internet Diagram

The Internet Is 25 Years Old

Few discoveries have changed mankind so much in so little time. Even fewer have their future in as much doubt as the Internet. Even though the Internet is still technically open and anybody’s public thoughts can be accessed, it doesn’t mean that worthy information can actually reach the people that need it.

Search engines have become gate-keepers of sorts while social networks transform themselves into walled gardens. Mobile apps are also filtering out the open web into cute little boxes where companies keep their users enthralled.

Dark Window Tinting

The Danger Posed by Vehicles with Tinted Windows

“The need for the eye contact is something hard to do with tinted windows. As a pedestrian, before you step off a curb when you arrive at a four-way stop, the interaction with a driver requires a degree of not just acknowledgment, but trust. I have to know what you intend to do, and I have to know that you’ve seen me.”

Once we get thinking about the dangers of tinted windows, a lot of risks will immediately pop into a driver’s mind: dangers of changing lanes in the dark, parking in an insufficiently lit garage and so on.