I support clean energy and would really like to see research expanded into fusion energy. However not a week goes by I don’t see someone preaching doom and gloom about Peak Oil. Even if these methane hydrate deposits don’t pan out (which actually they probably will) Oil Shale deposits have proven reserves of over 1 Trillion Barrels equivalent using current technology (and an insane potential with future advances) and the U.S. has the largest reserves worldwide. This is equivalent to approximately to all the known reserves for conventional oil and we have hardly begun to exploit it. Check out this link on Wikipedia for the numbers : Oil Shale Reserves.
Energy may become (slightly) more expensive in the future, there may temporary shocks from transition periods as we go to new hydrocarbon sources, but in the long run usable energy is there for the extraction in an economically viable fashion. If anything all this PEEK-OIL talk over inflates the value of energy. One has to wonder about agendas here. The only thing PEEK-OIL is doing is selling a lot of books for scare-mongers.
Perhaps we should go slow on utilizing these sources because of the environment, but even so I don’t see why prices are so high when every indicator seems to suggest there are massive new sources at hand. On the other hand if prices where low would we continue our slow march toward efficient use of what we have (LED replacement bulbs for instance and better insulated houses).
This end should point toward ground if you want to go to space.
If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.
The future is automated or remote controlled killing machines -- bank on it.
Likely the car will not self-drive if the sensors are not clear. A whole windshield will not be needed for the sensors, their port/lenses will be small and likely they will largely self-clear of ice and water. The occasional leaf may cause a warning light and instruct you to clear it from the sensor. Redundant sensors will allow safe opperation should some fail while in drive, but will probably demand rider/driver intervention.
We use it mostly for watching Blu-Rays in a home theater system. We have not gotten many games for our daughter and have tried to steer her to the more puzzle solving or physically active ones. She has not been much of a gamer, but the Playstation Move works good enough (though expect to do a lot of fiddling every time to get the camera and wands working just right) and they do tend to her favorite games.
It has been a good investment, though mostly we use it for entertaining when we have company. We hadn't been firing it up more than about once a week.
That has all changed for my Daughter, who is age 9 now. She is an avid Harry Potter fan, has read all the books. I bought her the Wonderbook with Harry Potter for here birthday last week and she is addicted. To be honest I was underwhelmed by the Blue-Bar coded Wonderbook when it arrived a week ago, but when used with the Move system this thing finally offers an augmented reality home run of entertainment for kids. PS3 owners shouldn't have to look sheepish when taking to Wii or Kinect users if you have one of these. I always preferred the more accurate Move tracking, but lamented the Party appeal of the Wii and Kinect. The Wonderbook does not solve the Party solution, but it does make a solid rejuvenation of our game system for our daughter.
Someone should make a bar-coded Move dance pad version of DDR (perhaps there is one I'm unaware of) instead of the flaky DDR pads we have tried to use. This would be a more Kinect like experience and potentially more accurate. With bar-coded props Sony could create a new genre of gaming. How-about bar coded steering wheels or space ship controls, fold out cardboard spaceship bridges that morph into Enterprise like helms on-screen? The Wonderbook definitely shows this is possible.
In any event all the next gen systems are coming out next Christmas, milk another year and half from the system you have now and get what ever seems best come the summer of 2014. I'll probably get an Xbox 720 with next gen Kinect then, you know, for parties.
I'd hate to think it all comes down to how good your IT team is (even though I'm on one).
Then again, perhaps it is some comfort to the Republican's -- "All we have to do is better IT next time" -- and not bother to change the message.
Yes people will balk at first, but this really is a task humans are REALLY bad at. We may be wonderful at discriminating a dog from a cat or recognizing a pizzeria from the pizza shaped sign, but the self driving car will be hugely better at determining that there is an object at of size X at distance X traveling Z miles per hour towards us. It doesn’t need to understand what every object on the road or side of the road is to operate, it won’t be distracted by video billboards or scantily clad persons of the opposite sex – it is just obsessively crunching data on position and moving object hazards all the while confirming the road ahead is true drivable pavement.
This is a hugely complicated problem, but it is well constrained with clear rules. There is nothing new about driving the self driving car needs to figure out each time. Until streets are better designed for autonomous vehicles they may be overly cautious, but I doubt hazardous, and as streets become optimized for self driving vehicles and as the vehicles themselves improve, they will be able to tear around at incredible speeds safely – if we decided we wanted to let them off the leash so to speak.
With higher framerates producers could use faster pans which totally suck at 24fps. 3D will also look much better. When scenes are in motion in 3D the lower framerate causes the target image to be different for each eye and the 3D effect breaks down -- sometimes painfully so, this maybe at least one reason so many complain that 3D causes headaches.
Sadly this article will be linked to a thousand times by the ID crowd shouting we need to stop wasting all this money looking for ET and realize how special and God chosen we are.
I’d also add Bayesian analysis sucks when it comes to these all or nothing analysis with such a small sample size. Bayesian analysis can be used to say we have approximately 50-100 years of civilization left. HOWEVER the same analysis 200 years ago would have given roughly the same result. These kinds of statistics mean nothing until you have a large data set that is properly categorized. We don’t even know for certainty our next nearest planetary neighbor is lifeless. Finding life on Mars would sudden explode Bayesian stats to near certainty that life is everywhere.
At sometime in the future I anticipate getting 3D. That said most 3D to date has been bad or unneeded. I could go on for some time about bad 3D, but even good 3D is still deficient at its current frame rate ESPECIALLY with LCD shutter glasses. If you watch fast motion scenes like those in sports with LCD glasses you see the most annoying stutter artifact from both eyes not seeing that same object at the same position in space at the same time. In low motion shots this is less annoying, but even with polarized glasses and seeing two images at the same time 3D seems to exaggerate stuttering. I have heard that the Avatar sequel will use 48 or 60fps 3D. Perhaps we will finally see true 3D nirvana when it arrives (plot not withstanding).
Even without 3D I would love to see frame rates pumped up. Despite what I hear over and over again about a “Movie Feel” at 24fps, I want as close to reality as possible for optimal suspension of disbelief. One fine note about 24fps and the “Movie Feel” there are lots of panning effects movie producers would probably use to enhance movies if the stutter from rapid panning at 24fps didn’t look so God awful.
20 years or more ago we could have speculated that planetary systems were rare, thus life had few places to evolve on and that could have been a possible solution to the Fermi Paradox -- finding so many worlds deepens the Fermi Paradox.
Let us hope Fred Saberhagen doesn't have the correct answer to the question with his Berserker series of novels.