The Science & Technology Thread

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby PanteraCanes » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:46 am

Corsair wrote:Image


But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.


(I know its late, but my middle school english teacher had us memorize and recite the entire soliloquy and not just that snippet, along with other similar soliloquies and excerpts from famous works so it is sadly stuck in my head)
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:34 am

Anyone planning to use the latest Firefox browser? If so, please report what you think of it here.

Firefox Quantum challenges Chrome in browser speed
A beta version lets you test whether Mozilla's newly named web browser, replete with changes built over more than a year, is a match for Google.

The speed boost and new features coming to the next version of Firefox are dramatic enough that Mozilla has given it a brand-new name: Firefox Quantum.

The idea, of course, is that the upcoming version 57 is a quantum leap over predecessors -- or, in the words of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, a "big bang." Company executives acknowledged they let Firefox languish, but now Mozilla is fighting back against the dominance of Google Chrome.

More...
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:48 am

Buc2 wrote:Anyone planning to use the latest Firefox browser? If so, please report what you think of it here.

Firefox Quantum challenges Chrome in browser speed
A beta version lets you test whether Mozilla's newly named web browser, replete with changes built over more than a year, is a match for Google.

The speed boost and new features coming to the next version of Firefox are dramatic enough that Mozilla has given it a brand-new name: Firefox Quantum.

The idea, of course, is that the upcoming version 57 is a quantum leap over predecessors -- or, in the words of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, a "big bang." Company executives acknowledged they let Firefox languish, but now Mozilla is fighting back against the dominance of Google Chrome.

More...

Interesting. I actually finally quit using Firefox completely a couple years ago because it kept leaking memory.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:58 pm

A discussion about the future of AI?

CAMERON: One of the scientists we just met with recently, she said: "I used to be really, really optimistic, but now I'm just scared." Her position on it is probably that we can't control this. It has more to do with human nature. Putin recently said that the nation that perfects AI will dominate or conquer the world. So that pretty much sets the stage for "We wouldn't have done it, but now those guys are doing it, so now we have to do it and beat them to the punch." So now everybody's got the justification to essentially weaponize AI. I think you can draw your own conclusions from that.


Nope! A discussion with James Cameron & Tim Miller about taking the Terminator franchise back and bringing it into the 21st Century.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/featur ... ry-1043027

MILLER: When it happens, I don't think AI's agenda will be to kill us. That seems like a goal that's beneath whatever enlightened being that they're going to become because they can evolve in a day what we've done in millions of years. And I don't think that they have the built-in deficits that we have, because we're still dealing with the same kind of urges that made us climb down from the trees and kill everybody else. I choose to believe that they'll be better than us.

CAMERON: At the very least, they will reflect our best and worst nature because we make them and we program them. But it's going to take a lot of money. So who's got the money to do it and the will to do it? It could be business, so the Googles and the other big tech companies. And if you're doing it for business, you're doing it to improve your market share or whatever your business goals are. So you're essentially taking a machine smarter than a human and teaching it greed. Or it's for defense, in which case you're taking a machine smarter than a human and teaching it to kill. Neither one of those has a good outcome in my mind.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:47 pm

Long article, so I'm not going to post it all here. You can click on the link if you'd like to read all of it.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/everythi ... 27321.html

Everything SpaceX revealed about its updated plan to reach Mars by 2022

At the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Australia, SpaceX founder Elon Musk laid out some exciting changes to his vision for helping make humans an interplanetary species, with a presence on Mars and potentially beyond.

"The future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we're a space-faring species than if we're not," Musk said as he took the stage. "It's about believing in the future and thinking the future will be better than the past."

This plan will obviously be very expensive, and Musk led with that since it was a considerable criticism of what wasn't addressed in his last talk at IAC last year. Musk said that he believes SpaceX has figured out how to pay for it now, and much of his talk was given over to what SpaceX intends to do to achieve cost efficiencies, and potentially open up new revenue streams to fund Mars missions.

One big part of the plan is to essentially render all current SpaceX vehicles redundant by focusing in the so-called BFR rocket. This will be scaled down from its initial huge concept design, and will instead be one booster and ship that replaces Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon, with capabilities both in terms of servicing the International Space Station and SpaceX's current Earth orbital satellite customers, as well as reaching Mars and helping establish a moon base.

Musk also detailed progress on some of the more concrete aspects of the plan it showed off last year.It showed a stress test of its large cryo fuel tank, which you can see above. The explosion came only after the tank endured beyond the limits of SpaceX's anticipated field conditions.

SpaceX also showed off the company's rocket engine tests, noting that the longest continuous burn test for the so-called Raptor engine is 100 seconds, but that 40 seconds will be typical for Mars landing requirements.

Regarding the propulsive landing required for landing on Mars, Musk noted that SpaceX has been perfecting that with Falcon 9 - "That's what they've been doing across 16 successful landings in a row," he said.. "And that's really without any redundancy. The Falcon 9 lands on a single engine, he added and when you have high reliability with single engine, then you can land with either of two engines (which the BFR will have), and you probably can achieve landing reliability on par with most commercial airlines.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:53 pm

It looks like a new Space Race is well underway. Things are going to get very interesting over the next few years.

Lockheed Martin unveils Mars space station and surface lander
The company claims its spacecraft will venture to the Red Planet in the next decade.

Image

Elon Musk wasn't the only one dishing new details on a mission to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Lockheed Martin, which too plans to send humans to the Red Planet in the next decade, also dropped a bunch of new info about its ambitious project. The defense and aerospace company is currently building the command module for NASA's Orion spacecraft. The vessel will eventually make the trip to Mars carrying four astronauts, but it won't be alone. The shuttle will be attached to Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp (MBC) orbiting mission. And, on Thursday, the company laid out the design of the larger spacecraft, designated to carry crew, supplies, and scientific equipment. Along with a sleek Mars lander concept capable of carrying astronauts to the planet's surface from orbit.

Elon Musk wasn't the only one dishing new details on a mission to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Lockheed Martin, which too plans to send humans to the Red Planet in the next decade, also dropped a bunch of new info about its ambitious project. The defense and aerospace company is currently building the command module for NASA's Orion spacecraft. The vessel will eventually make the trip to Mars carrying four astronauts, but it won't be alone. The shuttle will be attached to Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp (MBC) orbiting mission. And, on Thursday, the company laid out the design of the larger spacecraft, designated to carry crew, supplies, and scientific equipment. Along with a sleek Mars lander concept capable of carrying astronauts to the planet's surface from orbit.

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The company claims the initial crewed expeditions to the planet's surface will be "relatively short-duration, science-focused missions." In order to make the trip from MBC down to Mars, up to four astronauts will be able to hop into the company's reusable Mars Base Cape lander. The shuttle will use supersonic retropropulsion (the same approach used by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket boosters) in order to make the journey. Lockheed Martin claims that each surface mission could last up to two weeks without the need to return to the orbiting spacecraft for refueling.

MBC will be dependent on NASA's recently-announced Deep Space Gateway at the moon. The orbiting space station will serve as a pitstop for astronauts on longer journeys. Whilst there, they'll be able to tinker with (and get accustomed to) the MBC spacecraft before deploying to Mars. Lockheed Martin was one of six companies chosen by NASA to create a Mars habitat design as part of its NextSTEP program.


SpaceX unveils Mars city plan, will fly two cargo missions by 2022
The company hopes to colonize Mars by 2024.

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SpaceX hopes to land at least two cargo missions to Mars a mere five years from now. The aerospace company's chief, Elon Musk, discussed its plans at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Australia. He talked about how SpaceX intends to use the BFR, the massive rocket it's developing, to fly Martian settlers to their new home and to take people anywhere on Earth in under an hour. In addition to landing two cargo missions on the red planet by 2022, it hopes to be able to confirm sources of water and potential hazards by that time. SpaceX also plans to start building mining, power and life support infrastructure that year to prepare for the first settlers that could arrive as soon as 2024.

Musk said SpaceX aims to take the first settlers aboard two crewed flights to the red planet by 2024. Their supplies will be loaded onto two separate cargo flights also slated to land within that year. The first wave of settlers will have to set up the base to prepare for future waves who will work on expanding it further and terraforming their new home. These are, however, very ambitious goals -- we could probably expect delays as SpaceX develops the technologies needed to make them happen.

Supporting the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars.

BFR is capable of transporting satellites to orbit, crew and cargo to the @Space_Station and completing missions to the Moon and Mars.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:33 pm

There is no such thing as race as it relates to skin color, so can we all just get along now?

A new scientific study challenges the use of skin color as a classifier for race

At the heart of white supremacist ideology is the belief that people of different races are biologically distinct, and people with very pale skin colors belong to a superior race that evolved from people with darker skin.

But findings from a recent scientific study strike a powerful blow to this myth. The study, published in Science, challenges the use of skin color as a classifier for race at all.

Nicholas Crawford and Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia studied the genetics of skin color in over 1,500 African participants and compared the results to the hundreds of studies of skin color in Europeans. Researchers recruited volunteers from 10 ethnic groups living in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana and took their DNA samples and measured their skin pigmentation.

Once researchers combined and combed through the data, they were able to find eight sites in the human genome that are associated with skin color. These eight sites accounted for nearly 30% of the variation in skin color among the volunteers. Researchers found variants associated with paler skins and those associated with darker skin.

The study showed that seven paler skin variants are thought to have arisen at least 270,000 years ago; with four emerging more than 900,000 years ago. These variants for pale skin predated the arrival of Homo sapiens (who are estimated to have emerged from Africa 300,000 years ago).

The findings may come as a surprise to some. Researchers have long believed that variants for darker skin color are somewhat fixed for people of African descent, while variants for lighter skin color emerged later on once humans settled outside of Africa. But the study points at what may seem obvious; skin color in Africa can vary widely, with lighter or darker skin pigments found across the continent. While the San hunter-gatherers of Botswana have lighter skin variants comparable to some East Asians, the Nilo-Saharan pastoralists from East Africa have some of the darkest skins around.

When looking at the darker-skin variants, researchers found that some variants evolved much more recently than initially thought. That is to say that participants with particularly dark skins may have gained the trait more recently from paler ancestors. Once again, this challenges the view that paler skin variants are more recently evolved, whilst darker skin variants remained constant and fixed in Africa. The study also suggests that some people with darker skin also carried a gene for lighter skinned variants, but though they don’t show it, they still carry a trait found within their population.

For researchers, the study blows away the biological concept of race all together. These variants for lighter or darker skin color don’t neatly fit into discrete groups or boundaries.

Most interestingly, researchers say they wouldn’t have been able to come to this conclusion had they not made the conscious decision to carry out their study in Africa. Researchers have previously focused predominantly on European descent—it wasn’t until they broadened their scope that they were able to piece together the puzzle of what unites us.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Caradoc » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:12 pm

Buc2 wrote:There is no such thing as race as it relates to skin color, so can we all just get along now?


This isn't exactly news.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:02 pm

Just got back from watching Neil deGrasse Tyson speak in Orlando. His overacting bothers me a bit, but I still loved the Cosmos series and I really enjoyed myself tonight. Very good/interesting talk and the QA portion was awesome. Definitely recommend.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby paco74 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:34 am

One of those, wow that's just neat kinda things. Don't know if someone posted this already but we recently had a interstellar visitor whiz past us and it is on its speedy way to Pegasus.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/us/mystery-object-solar-system-trnd/index.html
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:12 pm

I just came in here to post a story about it. Pretty cool. If/when confirmed, it will be the first proof of extraterrestrial visitation. :lol:

Oct. 26, 2017
Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System

Image
This animation shows the path of A/2017 U1, which is an asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- as it passed through our inner solar system in September and October 2017. From analysis of its motion, scientists calculate that it probably originated from outside of our solar system.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.

This unusual object – for now designated A/2017 U1 – is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), was first to identify the moving object and submit it to the Minor Planet Center. Weryk subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS image archive and found it also was in images taken the previous night, but was not initially identified by the moving object processing.

Weryk immediately realized this was an unusual object. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," he said. Weryk contacted IfA graduate Marco Micheli, who had the same realization using his own follow-up images taken at the European Space Agency's telescope on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. But with the combined data, everything made sense. Said Weryk, "This object came from outside our solar system."

"This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen," said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back."

The CNEOS team plotted the object's current trajectory and even looked into its future. A/2017 U1 came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, cruising through interstellar space at a brisk clip of 15.8 miles (25.5 kilometers) per second.

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A/2017 U1 is most likely of interstellar origin. Approaching from above, it was closest to the Sun on Sept. 9. Traveling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second), the comet is headed away from the Earth and Sun on its way out of the solar system.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The object approached our solar system from almost directly "above" the ecliptic, the approximate plane in space where the planets and most asteroids orbit the Sun, so it did not have any close encounters with the eight major planets during its plunge toward the Sun. On Sept. 2, the small body crossed under the ecliptic plane just inside of Mercury's orbit and then made its closest approach to the Sun on Sept. 9. Pulled by the Sun's gravity, the object made a hairpin turn under our solar system, passing under Earth's orbit on Oct. 14 at a distance of about 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) -- about 60 times the distance to the Moon. It has now shot back up above the plane of the planets and, travelling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second) with respect to the Sun, the object is speeding toward the constellation Pegasus.

"We have long suspected that these objects should exist, because during the process of planet formation a lot of material should be ejected from planetary systems. What's most surprising is that we've never seen interstellar objects pass through before," said Karen Meech, an astronomer at the IfA specializing in small bodies and their connection to solar system formation.

The small body has been assigned the temporary designation A/2017 U1 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where all observations on small bodies in our solar system -- and now those just passing through -- are collected. Said MPC Director Matt Holman, "This kind of discovery demonstrates the great scientific value of continual wide-field surveys of the sky, coupled with intensive follow-up observations, to find things we wouldn't otherwise know are there."

Since this is the first object of its type ever discovered, rules for naming this type of object will need to be established by the International Astronomical Union.

"We have been waiting for this day for decades," said CNEOS Manager Paul Chodas. "It's long been theorized that such objects exist -- asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system -- but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it."

The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is a wide-field survey observatory operated by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The Minor Planet Center is hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and is a sub-node of NASA's Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland (http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/ ). JPL hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). All are projects of NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program, and elements of the agency's Planetary Defense Coordination Office within NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:35 pm

SpaceX launches a reused Dragon atop a reused Falcon 9 for the first time

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SpaceX has moved one step closer to its dream of affordable, efficient reusable space flight: Today for its CRS-13 resupply mission for the International Space Station it managed to launch a previously flown Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket with a flight-proven first stage booster. That’s the first time it’s flown both types of reused equipment at the same time.

The mission, which was delayed from its original target date of December 12 after the SpaceX team decided to take more time to verify proper operation of its second stage full system, took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at SpaceX’s newly refurbished SLC-40 in Florida at 10:36 AM EST. Its purpose was to deliver over 4,800 pounds of supplies to the ISS, and the Dragon capsule with those supplies on board should now dock with the ISS on Sunday if all goes to plan.

SpaceX also successfully recovered its Falcon 9 first stage booster again, with a controlled descent and landing at its Cape Canaveral-based LZ-1 landing facility in Florida. This is the 17th launch SpaceX has conducted this year, and the 20th successful first stage recovery overall for the company. It also means this booster could potentially get a third use, after originally having launched during the CRS-11 mission this past June.

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Interestingly, SpaceX hasn’t repainted or resurfaced the first stage, meaning that the soot resulting from its previously launch was still visible on its external surface prior to launch. The company clarified that this is what it’ll be doing going forward as a matter of course, unless refinishing the outside is deemed beneficial for performance. That’s another way to save on costs when relying on used rocket hardware.

Eventually, SpaceX hopes to be able to land and turn around rockets for reuse in under 24 hours, to help it service commercial clients quickly and effectively. Long-term, this will also service CEO Elon Musk’s goals of reaching and colonizing Mars, and potentially parts of space beyond, as well.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby paco74 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:55 pm

Google, 2-D graphene ripples and be amazed....
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:29 pm

paco74 wrote:Google, 2-D graphene ripples and be amazed....

Help us out here, professor. I googled as suggested, but most everything I pulled up required a degree in physics to make sense of what I was reading.
What is the significance of 2D graphene ripples and of what practical use are the good for?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:24 pm

If I still lived in Florida, I'd definitely try to go watch this baby launch. Watching the Saturn V's launch was absolutely amazing. While the Falcon Heavy isn't quite as big as the Saturn V, it's still going to be awesome to watch in person.

Elon Musk Unveils Falcon Heavy Rocket Photos Ahead of Maiden Flight

SpaceX founder Elon Musk unveiled a tantalizing first glimpse at his company's new megarocket — the Falcon Heavy — which is expected to launch on its maiden flight next month.

In an early morning Twitter post, Musk revealed several views of the new rocket under assembly inside SpaceX's hangar at Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The images show stunning views of the Falcon Heavy from above and one imposing shot of the rocket's 27 first-stage engines, nine on each of its three main boosters. [SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket in Images]

"Falcon Heavy at the Cape," Musk wrote in the Twitter post.

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SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket, a massive heavy-lift launch vehicle, is seen during assembly ahead of its first test flight from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket's first flight is expected in January 2018.
Credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk


SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is a heavy-lift launch vehicle powered by two first-stage boosters from the company's Falcon 9 rockets and a central core booster that itself is a modified Falcon 9. The rocket will stand 230 feet (70 meters) tall when complete and is designed to launch payloads of up to 119,000 lbs. (57 metric tons) into space.

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The 27 engines of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket are front and center during assembly in this photo tweeted by Elon Musk on Dec. 20, 2017.
Credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk


The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful U.S. rocket since NASA's Saturn V moon rocket and is capable of launching twice as much payload as the current record-holder, the Delta IV Heavy built by United Launch Alliance. SpaceX's rocket is also designed to be reusable, with the three core boosters built to fly back to Earth and land like SpaceX's current Falcon 9 rockets. The company test-fired the Falcon Heavy's core stage for the first time earlier this year, in May.

Musk has said that Falcon Heavy's first payload will be his own midnight-cherry-red Tesla Roadster, launched on a trajectory aimed for Mars orbit. However, Musk has said that there's a fair chance the rocket could fail on its debut test flight. The Falcon Heavy is expected to perform its first static-fire test on Pad 39A by the end of 2017, SpaceX representatives have said.

SpaceX also plans to use a Falcon Heavy and Dragon space capsule to launch two passengers around the moon by the end of 2018.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby paco74 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:33 am

Buc2 wrote:
paco74 wrote:Google, 2-D graphene ripples and be amazed....

Help us out here, professor. I googled as suggested, but most everything I pulled up required a degree in physics to make sense of what I was reading.
What is the significance of 2D graphene ripples and of what practical use are the good for?



https://www.sciencealert.com/graphene-levy-flights-limitless-power-future-electronic-devices

[youtube]https://youtu.be/wrleMqm3HiU[/youtube] don't know why the youtube thingy won't work
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:11 pm

paco74 wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Help us out here, professor. I googled as suggested, but most everything I pulled up required a degree in physics to make sense of what I was reading.
What is the significance of 2D graphene ripples and of what practical use are the good for?



https://www.sciencealert.com/graphene-levy-flights-limitless-power-future-electronic-devices

[youtube]https://youtu.be/wrleMqm3HiU[/youtube] don't know why the youtube thingy won't work


WOW

also, here you go bud:


(I think you are on mobile and it butchered your youtube link - cheers!)
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:56 pm

Awesome stuff, Paco! Thanks for posting that follow-up.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bucfanclw » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:24 pm

On that topic, check out the new "Emotion" that Fisker just announced. Solid state graphene batteries that provide a 500 mile range on a full charge and can get 125 miles off a 9 minute charge. That's game-changing.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/fisker-emotion-first-pic-new-ev-can-charge-nine-minutes
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:48 pm

Should be a good show for you Florida folks. Looks like partly cloudy skies for most of the viewing area from the Cape to Tampa tonight.

SpaceX to Launch Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Tonight: Watch It Live
By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | January 7, 2018 08:00am ET

SpaceX plans to launch for the U.S. government this evening (Jan. 7), after a nearly two-month delay.

Zuma is scheduled to lift off atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station tonight between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST (0100 to 0300 GMT on Jan. 8). You can watch it live , courtesy of the company. You can also watch the liftoff directly from .

Sunday's launch will also include a landing attempt by the Falcon 9's first stage, which will come back down to Earth at Landing Zone 1, a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral. To date, SpaceX has pulled off 20 such first-stage landings, which are part of its push to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets.

Zuma is a U.S. government spacecraft headed to low-Earth orbit. But that's pretty much all that outside observers know about it; everyone involved with the mission has remained pretty tight-lipped.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:13 pm

A couple of interesting Mars stories...

Thick Layers Of Ice Water Discovered Below Surface Of Mars ~ click on link for more of the article
13 January 2018, 7:00 am EST By Maui Hermitanio Tech Times

Geological features comprising 300 feet of thick ice was exposed in the surface of Mars.

Eroded slopes of pure water ice called scarps were scanned by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. At least eight scarps were found in both northern and southern hemisphere of Mars' middle latitudes.

Pure Water Ice Discovered From Mars' Surface
The pictures sent back to Earth by MRO showed a more detailed cross-section view of thick ice sheets below a layer of ice-cemented rock and dust on Mars' surface. The 3D images were studied by scientists using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera.

In 2001, the Mars Odyssey spacecraft discovered that a third of Mars' surface is covered in shallow ice. Also, its poles are full of ice deposits through the detection of hydrogen using gamma rays.

In 2008, the Phoenix lander analyzed and confirmed the Odyssey findings as it discovered buried water ice at 68 degrees north latitude or about one-third into the planet's pole. However, previous scans using the MRO's Shallow Radar instrument were not enough to determine the extent and makeup of ice on the Red Planet.

Scientists were astonished to discover that Mars' mid-latitudes contained pure water ice.

"It was surprising to find ice exposed at the surface at these places. In the mid-latitudes, it's normally covered by a blanket of dust or regolith," loose bits of rock atop a layer of bedrock, said Colin Dundas, research geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The ice sheets appear bluish in the high-resolution images and look like steep cliffs of glaciers, up to 100 meters tall. The discovery points to a vast area of underground ice buried only a meter or two below Martian ground surface. The location of the scarps was at 55 to 58 middle latitudes or the equivalent of Scotland or the tip of South America on Earth.

Shayne Byrne of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson said the discovery was like looking at an ant farm from a glass on the side and seeing what's hidden beneath the ground.


It Will Be Easy to Brew Beer While Living on Mars ~ click on link for more of the article
Science Space
Matthew LoffhagenSaturday, 13 January 2018 - 10:54AM

From the sound of it, traveling to Mars is going to be an absolute (and possibly literal) nightmare. After years of cramped conditions on a spaceship, forced cryosleep that lasts for weeks at a time (woe betide anyone prone to bad dreams), and heavily regimented exercise, by the time anyone gets to the Red Planet, they'll be in need of a good drink.

While previously, we could have assumed that there'll be nothing on Mars to drink but potato juice, a new study undertaken by students of Villanova University has proven that hops, the grain used to create beer, grows perfectly well in Martian soil.

Of course, the study wasn't conducted in actual Martian soil; we don't have a sample of that just yet. Instead, the researchers created a version of soil based on samples that have been obtained of what's mixed up in the dirt on Mars, going off the plentiful samples that NASA has taken from Martian dirt and analyzed over the years.

The aim of the study was, primarily, academic - it was undertaken by astronomy and astrophysics professor Edward F. Guinan, as a way to teach students about life on Mars and the conditions there. Students were allowed to select different plants in order to see how well they'd grow if planted on Mars by future colonists.

Naturally, the students chose to grow hops in order to see how beer would do on the Red Planet. In fairness, this is more than just a silly student question, as the possibility of home-grown alcoholic beverages will no doubt be an important part of life for colonists who might one day make Mars their home.

It's worth noting that Professor Guinan vetoed hopeful student plans to grow marijuana in Martian soil, which is a bit of a shame, but thankfully, another group of scientists are already hard at work on this particular challenge.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:48 am

This could get messy.

Everyone Is Making AI-Generated Fake Porn Now
A user-friendly application has resulted in an explosion of convincing face-swap porn.
Samantha Cole
Jan 24 2018, 1:13 pm

In December, Motherboard discovered a redditor named 'deepfakes' quietly enjoying his hobby: Face-swapping celebrity faces onto porn performers’ bodies. He made several convincing porn videos of celebrities—including Gal Gadot, Maisie Williams, and Taylor Swift—using a machine learning algorithm, his home computer, publicly available videos, and some spare time.

Since we first wrote about deepfakes, the practice of producing AI-assisted fake porn has exploded. More people are creating fake celebrity porn using machine learning, and the results have become increasingly convincing. Another redditor even created an app specifically designed to allow users without a computer science background to create AI-assisted fake porn. All the tools one needs to make these videos are free, readily available, and accompanied with instructions that walk novices through the process.

These are developments we and the experts we spoke to warned about in our original article. They have arrived with terrifying speed.

Shortly after Motherboard published its story, deepfakes created a subreddit named after himself dedicated to his practice two months ago. In that short time, it has already amassed more than 15,000 subscribers. Within the community, the word “deepfake” itself is now a noun for the kinds of neural-network generated fake videos their namesake pioneered.

Another user, called 'deepfakeapp,' created FakeApp, a user-friendly application that allows anyone to recreate these videos with their own datasets. The app is based on deepfakes' algorithm, but deepfakeapp created FakeApp without the help of the original deepfakes. I messaged deepfakes, but he didn’t respond to a request for comment on the newfound popularity of his creation.

Deepfakeapp told me in a Reddit direct message that his goal with creating FakeApp was to make deepfakes’ technology available to people without a technical background or programming experience.

“I think the current version of the app is a good start, but I hope to streamline it even more in the coming days and weeks,” he said. “Eventually, I want to improve it to the point where prospective users can simply select a video on their computer, download a neural network correlated to a certain face from a publicly available library, and swap the video with a different face with the press of one button.”

In early January, shortly after Motherboard’s first deepfakes story broke, I called Peter Eckersley, chief computer scientist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to talk about the implications of this technology on society at large: “I think we’re on the cusp of this technology being really easy and widespread,” he told me, adding that deepfakes were pretty difficult to make at the time. “You can make fake videos with neural networks today, but people will be able to tell that you’ve done that if you look closely, and some of the techniques involved remain pretty advanced. That’s not going to stay true for more than a year or two.”

In fact, that barely stayed true for two months. We counted dozens of users who are experimenting with AI-assisted fake porn, some of which have created incredibly convincing videos.

Redditor UnobtrusiveBot put Jessica Alba’s face on porn performer Melanie Rios’ body using FakeApp. “Super quick one - just learning how to retrain my model. Around 5ish hours - decent for what it is,” they wrote in a comment.
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Deborah Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Applied Ethics at the University of Virginia’s school of engineering, told me there's no doubt this technology would get so good that it’d be impossible to tell the difference between an AI-generated face swap and the real thing.

“You could argue that what’s new is the degree to which it can be done, or the believability, we’re getting to the point where we can’t distinguish what’s real—but then, we didn’t before,” she said. “What is new is the fact that it’s now available to everybody, or will be... It’s destabilizing. The whole business of trust and reliability is undermined by this stuff.”
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:21 am

Messy indeed. And sticky
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:49 pm

Discovered that phenomenon on Reddit the other night. Some are poorly done and obvious, but a few are pretty convincing at a glance.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:52 pm

Seems to me that this should be pushing some sort of a legality line. Kinda like a copyright infringement. Let's call it a "faceright" for lack of a better term.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:55 pm

Someone will eventually get wrongly fired over something like this
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:59 pm

Not to mention, no one is going to believe anything they see or hear in the media anymore.

Media: We got you on tape!

Accused: That's not me! Someone doctored that video with my face.

Media Consumer: :?:
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:08 pm

what a time to be alive... shits about to get real weird.

think I posted this a while back, this is from 2 years ago:



it's impressive software. crazy implications.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:07 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:what a time to be alive... shits about to get real weird.

think I posted this a while back, this is from 2 years ago:



it's impressive software. crazy implications.

This power must only be used for good.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:20 am

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Scientists actually just figured out how to make real floating ‘holograms’

Mike Wehner @MikeWehner
January 26th, 2018 at 11:05 AM

We’ve seen countless science fiction technologies make their way to the real world over the past few decades, but one has always eluded us: holograms. Okay, just to clear things up, that floating Princess Leia in the first Star Wars film isn’t technically a hologram, since holograms are defined as giving the appearance of three-dimensional depth via a two-dimensional projection. However, the unrealistic depiction of holograms that we see in science fiction might actually become reality thanks to groundbreaking new research that was just published in Nature.

The technology, which researchers are calling a “photophoretic-trap volumetric display” does what previous attempts at creating true 3D projections have failed to do, which is to trap light in mid air in order to create a virtual object with all the depth of the real deal.

“Free-space volumetric displays, or displays that create luminous image points in space, are the technology that most closely resembles the three-dimensional displays of popular fiction,” the researchers write. “Such displays are capable of producing images in ‘thin air’ that are visible from almost any direction and are not subject to clipping.”

That’s a seemingly impossible thing to achieve, since it’s impossible to get light to just stop dead in thin air, and it has led many to declare that we’d never reach a point where true 3D projections were possible. However, the research team led by Daniel Smalley of Brigham Young University has managed to pull it off, and it’s all thanks to some very special lasers.

The system works by trapping a tiny particle of cellulose in a laser beam. This nearly invisible particle acts as the “canvas,” and can be manipulated by the laser to move at high speeds in a small area. Then, colored lasers illuminate the particle, creating what is effectively a single full-color pixel floating in mid air. That tiny point of light can move fast enough to create brightly lit patterns and shapes, including high-resolution images that hover effortlessly.

At the moment, the projections that are possible with the technology are extremely tiny, and are dwarfed even by a fingertip. However, this is really just the beginning. In the not-so-distant future, systems based on this tech could be used to create large-scale 3D projections for us in everything from advertising to entertainment.
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