Posts tagged philosophy
One of the twin Space probes from the Voyager mission is now close to exiting our solar system.
The original mission was to investigate Jupiter and Saturn, but over 33 years it has achieved far more than that.
Now, Voyager 1 is nearing the edge of our solar system, the farthest out we have ever recorded, I’ll use a direct quote from the official NASA Voyager website to truly describe this landmark.
December 13, 2010: The 33-year odyssey of NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind.
Now hurtling toward interstellar space some 17.4 billion kilometers (10.8 billion miles) from the sun, Voyager 1 has crossed into an area where the velocity of the hot ionized gas, or plasma, emanating directly outward from the sun has slowed to zero. Scientists suspect the solar wind has been turned sideways by the pressure from the interstellar wind in the region between stars.
I’ll be very interested in seeing what, if anything, its leaving the solar system reveals. My money is on it revealing nothing at all, but such simple things often have the potential to … Read More
Google Zeitgeist is when Google releases it’s search statistics at the end of the year for the terms that were most popular in searches, and how quickly the search numbers for specific targets spiked and fell.
Here’s the link to take a look at them for yourself:
It’s always interesting to search through the different regions to see what the top searches are, and it’s amazing how much can be gleamed into a nation’s overall interests and priorities from a simple top 10 list of search engine queries.
What’s most noticeable for the UK is just how similar at first glance it is to the US’ results, with chatroullette, Justin Beiber and iPad all in the top 4 fastest rising search queries; just as in the US. Many of the number 1 search terms are for ‘facebook’. Surely this should strike a cord that the vast majority of people using the net that want to look at Facebook don’t actually know how to use a web browsers features to their advantage. Simply adding ‘.com’ at the end would have saved them time, or presumably pressing ‘down’ on the keypad and hitting ‘enter’ would … Read More
So I’ve theorised before about humans reaching the pinnacle of understanding, and needing to follow in the footsteps of how we created computers in order to increase intellectual power.
Here’s another step towards that:
A team of UCSF researchers has engineered E. coli with the key molecular circuitry that will enable genetic engineers to program cells to communicate and perform computations.
Basically what they’ve done is give E. coli cells logic gate-like circuitry, you may remember images like this from school:
Putting this sort of programmable, and controllable capacity into cells is similar to the first forms of programming, and pretty much forms the basis of languages today.
If this can be expanded upon, the mind boggles with the capabilities for eradicating cellular disease and providing cures.
Read up on Physorg for a full breakdown of the story and a link to the full publishing.
Why do we take the photo’s we do? Almost everyone except for the youngest of children has a camera; a tool to capture a visual representation of a particular place and time. What is it that makes people take pictures? To capture a feeling, to help remember what something looked like, or simply to commemorate an occasion?
At first glance it may seem that cameras serve as a virtual eye to take a replica-snapshot of whatever data flashes along an individual’s optic-nerve at a given moment, but cameras can do many things our eyes cannot; what is considered to be a good photograph typically amazes because of techniques that have been applied to the capturing process. They can capture beauty in the most basic and mundane of everyday objects, tell a story when there is nothing to be told, and evoke a whole spectrum of emotion individual to the viewer.
Equally, a photograph can mean nothing at all; it’s true when they say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, a landscape photograph for sale in an art shop may seem pointless to one person, and be the perfect image for the living room wall of another. A … Read More
Tonight on BBC’s Panorama programme they’ll be taking a look at the notion of being addicted to games.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to point back to an article written in the first few days of my opening this website, regarding games addiction and how the design process of some games can be likened to that of a Skinner box.
I have a pretty big hunch that a theory like this will underpin the programme. It’s interesting that the programme should run the day before a new World of Warcraft expansion is released.
Panorama airs tonight at 8:30pm on BBC 1.… Read More