Category Archives: Technology/Innovation

Old Inventions You Wont Believe Happened

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#1 This Handy Face Protector

These aren’t for cosplaying Spy vs. Spy. And although they look ideal for maintaining a healthy anti-social distance, they’re not for that either. They’re actually face masks to protect your face from the ravages of snow storms. When those razor sharp flakes come hurtling through the air at gale-force speeds, your delicate skin will be protected.

#2 These Reading Glasses

These reading glasses were invented in England in 1936. Was reading in bed a lot harder back then? Was sleeping on your side illegal? Maybe an inter-war pillow shortage made propping yourself up impossible. Whatever the reason, we’re sure these were totally necessary.

#3 This Piano

Well this is specific. It’s a piano made specifically for the bedridden. Is there a specific type of being bedridden that precludes you from being propped up in front of a regular piano? Yes? Well that small subsection of humanity must be really happy.

#4 The Extensible Caravan

Camping in close quarters is the pits. Why not give your next camping trip a little more room with the extensible caravan? We’re sure it’s much easier to drive than it looks. Spending your vacation stuck on the side of the road is sort of like spending it in the woods, right?

#5 The Radio Hat

The “radio hat” was invented in 1931 by an American inventor. It was the world’s first boom box and it sold like gangbusters. Unfortunately, almost everyone who bought one was physically assaulted by their roommates or while riding public transportation. Coincidentally, 1931 was also the year that the word “douchenozzle” was invented. We’re not sure if any of that is true.

#6 Wooden Bathing Suits

These are wooden bathing suits. The principle underlying them is pretty sound. Wood does float and floating does make swimming easier. Unfortunately every decision after that was all wrong turns and crotch splinters.

#7 Radio Stroller

This elaborate contraption is called a “radio stroller”. It was invented in 1921 for busy moms. The patent says it’s designed to keep the baby calm and quiet. But it looks more like it’s designed to drown the baby so it just sounds like he’s quiet.

#8 A New Type of Motorcycle

This one-wheeled motorcycle was invented in Germany in 1925. It’s inventor was looking for a way to make motorcycles more difficult to ride and more dangerous. Despite it’s improvements on the original, the one-wheeled motorcycle never took off. We guess the world just wasn’t ready.

Here’s What Wi-Fi Would Look Like If We Could See It

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Images via Nickolay Lamm. Captions by M. Browning Vogel, Ph.D.

Wi-fi. It’s all around us, quietly and invisibly powering our access to the world’s information. But few of us have a sense of what wi-fi actually is, let alone what it would look like if we could see it.

Artist Nickolay Lamm, a blogger for MyDeals.com, decided to shed some light on the subject. He created visualizations that imagine the size, shape, and color of wi-fi signals were they visible to the human eye.

“I feel that by showing what wi-fi would look like if we could see it, we’d appreciate the technology that we use everyday,” Lamm told me in an email. “A lot of us use technology without appreciating the complexity behind making it work.”

To estimate what this would look like, Lamm worked with M. Browning Vogel, Ph.D., an astrobiologist and former employee at NASA Ames. Dr. Vogel described the science behind wireless technology, and Lamm used the information to create the visualizations.

Dr. Vogel provided captions for each illustration explaining the science of wi-fi. The caption for the illustration at the top of the article describes the size of a wi-fi energy field, and how a signal is transmitted. It says:

Wifi is an energy field that is transmitted as waves. The waves have a certain height, distance between them and travel at a certain speed. The distance between wifi waves is shorter than that of radio waves and longer than that of microwaves, giving wifi a unique transmission band that can’t be interrupted by other signals. Wifi waves are about 3 to 5 inches from crest to crest. The crests of waves is translated to a 1 by a computer, and the the troughs equal a 0. Chains of 1s and 0s that can be translated into the letters, numbers and codes that make up websites, email and other internet content. Typical wifi waves decrease in amplitude as they travel further from the source which is why the waves are larger to the right and smaller to the left, assuming the source is somewhere near the right of the image. This image shows an idealized wifi data transmitted over a band that is divided into different sub-channels, which are shown in red, yellow, green and other colors.

The wi-fi visualizations are set in Washington, DC. Lamm used data from a map on DC.gov to approximate the size and shapes of wi-fi networks over the National Mall.

Below are Lamm’s images, with Dr. Vogel’s captions underneath.

Wifi waves travel through space as rapid, data encoded pulses or waves. A freeze frame of these pulses would show that the pulses are about 6 inches apart (as shown by the lightly colored bands traveling through space in this image). Wifi routers are basically antenna that can send data over multiple frequencies all at the same time. These multiple frequencies are shown as blue, green, yellow, and red colors that pervade the space around the mall. The data from these multiple frequencies swirls around in space as shown here, but can be translated using a common tag system understood by wireless devices.

Wifi occupies the radio frequency band of the electromagnetic spectrum between actual radio waves and microwaves (used to listen to the game, and cook your dinner, respectively). This frequency band means that wifi boxes and computers can send and receive data as electromagnetic wave that have a 3 to 5 inch distance distance between each pulse of the wave. The wifi pulses are shown here as multicolored spheres radiating out from the source, near the right of the image. Wifi transmitters are basically an antenna equipped with a transmission protocol that splits the frequency band into several segments, referred to as channels. Data can be transmitted over each channel or in order to send and receive greater quantities of data at faster rates. Although color represents its own unique, visible segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, we use red, orange, yellow and other colors to show the invisible wifi channels that make up the overall wifi signal. Wifi fields are usually spherical (like the one here) or ellipsoidal and extend about 20-30 meters, assuming a typical off the shelf wifi box.

Wifi routers or antenna can be attached to trees, buildings, lamp posts and other structures. A typical outdoor router can project its signal 300 feet or more from its location. Objects such as trees can obstruct the signal such that it has to be augmented by multiple wifi routers placed in different positions. Multiple routers can create a field that extends all the way across Washington DC’s National Mall as shown here.

Wifi routers affixed to buildings, lamp posts and other object create a circular data field around them. These antenna have an omnidirectional signal that extends equally in all directions, shown as the circular bands. Wifi broadcasts at a frequency between radio and microwaves, meaning that the waves or pulses are about six inches apart, as shown by the colored, circular bands.

Lamm, a 24-year-old student from Pittsburgh, is focused on using illustrations to bring attention to topics that are otherwise overlooked, he writes on his website. His projects combine art and research, and he often collaborates with other artists, including his mother.

In the last couple months, his projects have visualized what Barbie would look like as a normally proportioned woman, what the average human might look like in 100,000 years, and what New York City would look like on other planets.

As far as wi-fi goes, he’s not the first artist whose curiosity was piqued by the invisible force.

Early this year, Austrian artist and architect Peter Jellitsch measured radio waves to record the wifi activity in a New York apartment over 45 days. (You know, the maddening pattern of how it cuts out and then comes back and is really strong and then is barely working again.) He used the data to sculpt an object that’s a physical depiction of a wifi signal.

A couple years before that, a team from the from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design visualized wifi signals in a Norwegian town by “light painting” them. They created a long rod with 80 lights that lit up according to the signal strength of the wifi network, and filmed the result.

Lamm’s depiction might be the most comprehensive, though. It’s the first to incorporate shape, size, and color into the image, he told me. “I was surprised, wi-fi isn’t as simple as I thought it would be.”

A Russian Billionaire Planning To Become Immortal By 2045

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You have probably stumbled upon a page describing how to become immortal, you have seen movies about it and you have read books.  But if a person says that it’s possible you would just laugh and call him stupid, but that’s not the case for Dmitry Itskov.

Dimitry Itskov, a 32 year old Russian billionaire is planning on living forever. He plans to achieve this feat by the year 2045, which gives the name of his idea-“Initiative 2045”

 

He has a simple idea- To build an android body for himself.

As simple as it may sound it’s really complicated in reality. The idea aims to create the technology enabling the transfer of a person’s personality into an advanced non-biological carrier and extending life, including to the point of immortality.

Itskov has named his “advanced non biological carrier” “an avatar” (some inspiration from a Hollywood movie!!), which is regulated by a brain computer interface. Itskov says that it function somehow like the 2009 James Cameron movie Avatar.  No matter how dubious it sounds but Itskov has put a lot number of world class experts to work on his idea.

 

We are facing the time where the unconscious evolution period has almost finished, and we come to the new era, a new period of controlled evolution,” says Itskov in a video interview.

“Initiative 2045” wants to make the Avatar technology available by the year 2020.

Itskov also says that by the year 2025 he expects autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, which means he will be on a hold of technology that could implant the human brain into a robot. By the year 2035 a human should be able to upload there brain into a robot and by the year 2045 we will be replaced by holograms or our body will be. “We will transform into a new species, when this will happen” says Itskov.

 

To make these goals a reality, the Global future Congress held its first meeting in Moscow last year. The Congress has promised that it will reveal the most human like robot the world has ever seen when they will meet in New York in June this year.

There are a few flaws to Itskov’s idea, but many believe that it can happen. Itskov’s initiatives 2045 has lead almost twenty thousand people supporting his idea. Many folks are also calling for the year 2045 as a new religion and set of ethics because they don’t believe any of the current ones can handle the societal implications of living forever. This in turn has lead Itskov to form his own political party in Russia called “Evolution 2045.”

 

There are still many years left to see if the age of immortality is here or not, but I would say the age of traffic jams is definitely here. What will happen if we all become immortal?

Are you an Indigo? 11 Traits of Indigo Children

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Are you an Indigo?

Indigo children is the name given to the new type of human being born in this generation. Displaying amazing feats of intuition and intelligence beyond their years, these indigos has begun more of a common concept within our lexicon.

This list is developed by play therapist  Jan Yordy , a former elementary school teacher and child counselor who’s been working with parents and children for 25 years.

As we go over the list, see if you resonate with any of these traits:

1. May be strong willed independent thinkers who prefer to do their own thing rather than comply with authority figures/parents

 

2. Have a wisdom and level of caring beyond their youthful experience

 

3. Traditional Parenting and discipline strategies don’t appear effective  with these children. If you try to force an issue, a power struggle is the typical outcome.

 

4. Energeticly, Indigos are vibrating at a much higher frequencey so they can get scrambled by negative energy (human or machine)

 

5. Emotionally they can be reactive and may have problems with anxieties, depression or temper rages if not energetically balanced

 

6. Are creative right brain thinkers, but may struggle to learn in a traditional left brain school system

 

7. Often Indigos are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD since they appear impulsive (their brain can process information faster) and they require movement to help keep them better focused.

 

8. Indigos are very intuitive, and may see hear or know things that seem unexplainable.

 

9. Indigos have more problems with food and environmental sensitivities, since their system is more finely tuned.

 

10. When their needs are not met, these children seem self centered and demanding, although this is not their true nature.

 

11. These children have incredible gifts and potential, but they may be shut down when not properly nurtured and accepted

Indigo Children

These kickass video games let you do real-life science

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Most of us would probably like to be citizen scientists, but we’re too busy — and yet we sink billions of hours into social gaming. So some savvy researchers are harnessing our love of gaming, to help advance the goals of science, using thousands of brains to sort through data. Here are eight games you can play… for science.

The idea of using games to conduct research is not new. One of the oldest research-oriented games, Foldit, has been online since 2008 — and has generated real, tangible results in the field of protein folding that could have applications in creating treatments for AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. The success of Foldit has spurred the development of a handful of other research-driven games.

It’s actually surprising how few games have been developed — in comparison to the reams of academic publications on the idea, and the encouraging results from existing projects. You have to wonder where the bottleneck in production is occurring. Are scientists and game developers not linking up? Is the funding not there? Is using games for research stigmatized? Maybe we are just now getting to the point of having mature, social gaming platforms and the associated buy-in by researchers and the public. One good sign is that more universities are adding programs and curricula that marry science and gaming. This — along with two new games slated for release this year, Brain Flight and GeneRun — bring hope that games for scientific research might be picking up traction.

But while we’re waiting for the next wave of games that blend science, technology and culture, here are some games you can play now to help advance scientific research. The projects in this list contain some identifiable element of gameplay, and don’t include other crowd-sourced projects like Planet Hunters — which might be interesting, but aren’t necessarily games.

-April 

Pictured: The Robot Graveyard on Forgotten Island

These kickass video games let you do real-life science

Most of us would probably like to be citizen scientists, but we're too busy — and yet we sink billions of hours into social gaming. So some savvy researchers are harnessing our love of gaming, to help advance the goals of science, using thousands of brains to sort through data. Here are eight games you can play... for science.

The idea of using games to conduct research is not new. One of the oldest research-oriented games, Foldit, has been online since 2008 — and has generated real, tangible results in the field of protein folding that could have applications in creating treatments for AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. The success of Foldit has spurred the development of a handful of other research-driven games.

It's actually surprising how few games have been developed — in comparison to the reams of academic publications on the idea, and the encouraging results from existing projects. You have to wonder where the bottleneck in production is occurring. Are scientists and game developers not linking up? Is the funding not there? Is using games for research stigmatized? Maybe we are just now getting to the point of having mature, social gaming platforms and the associated buy-in by researchers and the public. One good sign is that more universities are adding programs and curricula that marry science and gaming. This — along with two new games slated for release this year, Brain Flight and GeneRun — bring hope that games for scientific research might be picking up traction.

But while we're waiting for the next wave of games that blend science, technology and culture, here are some games you can play now to help advance scientific research. The projects in this list contain some identifiable element of gameplay, and don't include other crowd-sourced projects like Planet Hunters — which might be interesting, but aren't necessarily games.

-April 

Pictured: The Robot Graveyard on Forgotten IslandFind 10 more here: http://io9.com/these-cool-games-let-you-do-real-life-science-486173006