I never believed the Fermi paradox was interesting. It seems clear that traveling between stars may be prohibitively difficult even for "advanced" civilizations. To me that alone would explain it. Add to that some of the filters, for example that evolution tends to create short sighted, greedy, and competitive species good at accidental mass suicide, and you're done.
Bysshe writes: "In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science, physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology reported that they were able to reliably teleport information between two quantum bits separated by three meters, or about 10 feet."
Which, given that the Dutch also invented the stock market, means we can welcome our klomp-wearing overlords in the near future.
I look forward to an era of actual autonomous vehicles, but I think it may never happen at least on roads as they are now. Won't the driver have to constantly attentive in case he or she has to suddenly take over manual control? If not why not and if so then what's really the point?
from the no-place-to-run-or-speed dept.
A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The "Speedspike" system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: "Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled 'number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.' It also referred to the system's 'low cost' and ease of installation." I can't wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.
from the wait-till-the-bayonetta-guys-get-ahold-of-this dept.
The Digital Foundry blog took an in-depth look at how Sony is introducing 3D technology to PlayStation 3 games. They give a step-by-step description of how the system generates a 3D frame (or rather, a pair of frames), and the graphical hurdles that need be to overcome to ensure the games look good. The article also discusses some of the subtle effects 3D technology can have on gameplay:
"'One interesting thing came through in the immersion aspect was that in the first-person camera view, it felt so much more like being there. Typically when most people play MotorStorm, something like 90 per cent play in the third-person view,' Benson explains. 'As soon as we put the 3D settings in place, the first-person view became a lot more popular, a lot more people were using that view. This could indicate that 3D could perhaps change the standards, if you like.' ... 'We found that in the first-person view the game is giving you all the sorts of cues that you're used to in normal driving: speed perception, the ability to judge distances, things like that. It's far easier to avoid track objects.' The insertion of true stereoscopic 3D into MotorStorm also brings about a new sense of appreciation of the scale and size of the game world and the objects within it."
from the phone-011-then-home dept.
astroengine writes "A new radio telescope is under construction, consisting of 44 stations (each consisting of several antennae) spread across Europe. The pan-European Low Frequency Array is half built and already returning unprecedented observations of cosmic radio sources. The best thing is, when it's complete, SETI will be able to use the array to seek out transmitting extraterrestrial civilizations in these untapped low radio frequencies."
from the you-must-become-the-frozen-water dept.
ccktech writes "As reported by NPRand Chemistry world, the journal Science has a paper by David Ehre, Etay Lavert, Meir Lahav, and Igor Lubomirsky [note: abstract online; payment required to read the full paper] of Israel's Weizmann Institute, who have figured out a way to freeze pure water by warming it up. The trick is that pure water has different freezing points depending on the electrical charge of the surface it resides on. They found out that a negatively charged surface causes water to freeze at a lower temperature than a positively charged surface. By putting water on the pyroelectric material Lithium Tantalate, which has a negative charge when cooler but a positive change when warmer; water would remain a liquid down to -17 degrees C., and then freeze when the substrate and water were warmed up and the charge changed to positive, where water freezes at -7 degrees C."
andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms."
In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."