The Science & Technology Thread

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:07 am

Buc2 wrote:
RedLeader wrote:Try to guess before clicking...

https://www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com/



I was surprised.

Before looking, I will say 7.

Spoiler:
Okay...so that was way off. I guess the end of the space shuttle program put a huge damper on the number of people going up there to do science. That's a real shame. Hopefully SpaceX can up that ante again if/when the Falcon Heavy is cleared to begin manned flights.


Ya, way lower than I would’ve guessed.... And only one American.


82 days, though! God bless those crazy fuckers.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:01 am

A trip through the solar system using the moon as 1 pixel for scale.

http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bahamian:bucfan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:36 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:A trip through the solar system using the moon as 1 pixel for scale.

http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu


WOW! That was VERY interesting........................

"The fact that you're here, in the midst of all this nothing, is pretty amazing when you stop and think about it." When he said that, I could not agree more.

Cudos to Josh Worth for putting that together because that must have took a VERY LONG time to put together.
Last edited by bahamian:bucfan on Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Noles1724 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:49 am

I'm sure many here have seen this already but I always revert back to this when I think of the solar system and it's actual size.

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:25 pm

Will hyperloops become the next big transportation reality? Imagine zipping along at 760 mph from DC and arriving in NYC a half hour later for a little day shopping trip or to attend your company's monthly sales meeting. That would be pretty awesome.

Elon Musk's hyperloop dream may come true — and soon
'It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world.'
by Kate Baggaley / Mar.11.2018 / 5:38 AM ET

Image
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies capsule.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Elon Musk first described his idea for a futuristic transportation system that would send passenger pods through tubes at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour back in 2013. At the time, the idea of actually building and operating a so-called “hyperloop” seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

But hyperloops are no longer quite so hypothetical. A handful of firms are now competing to develop the necessary technology. And in addition to designing the magnetically levitated pods and testing them on small-scale tracks, the firms are taking preliminary steps to set up hyperloop routes in the U.S. and abroad.

“It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world,” said Dr. David Goldsmith, a transportation researcher at Virginia Tech.

One of the biggest players is Musk himself. His whimsically named Boring Company is planning to dig a hyperloop tunnel that would make it possible to travel from Washington, D.C. to New York City in half an hour (the fastest Amtrak trains make the trip in just under three hours). Meanwhile, a pair of California-based startups, Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are developing routes in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Image
An electric skate will carry between 8 and 16 passengers. Boring Company

Many engineering and regulatory hurdles must be crossed before the first paying customer boards a hyperloop pod and zooms off down a tube — and not everyone shares Goldsmith’s rosy outlook. “I wouldn’t plan to take your next vacation on them,” Juan Matute, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, said of the pods. “It’s going to take a lot of time to get implemented, if they ever are.”

But with roads in many areas badly congested and air travel subject to weather delays, high-speed tube travel sounds appealing to many. In addition to shaving hours off of intercity trips, hyperloops promise to be less polluting than planes and cars. And hyperloop travel could even transform the morning commute, potentially allowing workers to travel comfortably to worksites hundreds of miles away from their homes.

THE HYPERLOOP EXPERIENCE
Hyperloop routes would consist of steel tubes roughly 11 feet in diameter that would be positioned on the ground or, in Musk’s vision, in underground tunnels. Either way, the routes would have to be picked carefully both to avoid existing infrastructure like roads and buildings and to make sure the routes take no sharp turns that could subject passengers to unpleasant jolts.

As for the pods, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies envisions 100-foot-long models fitted with virtual windows — video screens that would recreate the scenery outside — and capable of seating 40 passengers. Virgin Hyperloop One, meanwhile, has already built prototype pods fitted with leather seats and armrest-mounted entertainment screens.

The pods would accelerate and decelerate gradually, moving from one station to the next without stopping.

“The actual experience of riding in one of these things would be very serene,” Goldsmith said of the pods. “You’re sealed up in something like an airplane fuselage but without the air running past you,” he said, a reference to the fact that the tubes would be maintained at a partial vacuum to reduce air resistance that would slow the pods. (The pods themselves would carry their own air supply.)

Image
Virgin's DevLoop in North Las Vegas Kyle Cothern / Virgin

In short, hyperloop trips promise to be quiet and smooth — and very fast. Ultimately, hyperloop developers aim to develop systems that will move pods along at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. So far, the fastest any prototype pod has traveled is 240 miles per hour. That came last December during a test run that Virgin Hyperloop One conducted in the Nevada desert.

TESTING AND CONSTRUCTION
Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to begin testing full-sized hyperloop systems in 2021 and then to build hyperloops in the United Arab Emirates and India, among other countries. The company is also conducting feasibility studies for routes in Missouri and Colorado. Musk’s Boring Company has received a permit to begin excavating a possible hyperloop station in Washington, D.C. And Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is carrying out a feasibility study for a hyperloop linking Chicago and Cleveland and is considering routes in Europe, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Image
Bird's eye view of the Virgin Hyperloop One looking deep into the North Las Vegas desert. Virgin

Among other things, the tests will show whether it’s possible to maintain the partial vacuum within the tubes over hundreds of miles and if airlocks can quickly and fully seal off the tubes when passengers exit a pod.

Once construction of commercial hyperloop routes begins, it’s likely to prove very costly. Some estimates suggest one mile of a hyperloop route could cost up to $121 million, Forbes reported.

Obtaining land rights and environmental approval will complicate matters. So will the need to develop regulations and safety standards for a new form of transportation. “We really need to know a lot more about the safety features and what would happen if something went wrong,” Philippa Oldham, head of technology and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, told The Guardian.

The price of hyperloop fares is uncertain. But as with existing modes of transportation, hyperloop travel will be more expensive at certain times and dates. As Matute put it, “It could be that if you want to go up to San Francisco [from Los Angeles] for cheap, you leave at 3 a.m., but if you want to go at 7:30 a.m. and have this life where you’re living in one city and working in the other, it will be a lot more expensive.”

When will commercial hyperloops begin operation? “Possibly, in a few years a few single lines can be in operation,” Kees van Goeverden, a transportation researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told NBC News MACH in an email. ”But I do not expect that a coherent system will be operated before 2030.”
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Phantom Phenom » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:21 pm

Buc2 wrote:Will hyperloops become the next big transportation reality? Imagine zipping along at 760 mph from DC and arriving in NYC a half hour later for a little day shopping trip or to attend your company's monthly sales meeting. That would be pretty awesome.

Elon Musk's hyperloop dream may come true — and soon
'It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world.'
by Kate Baggaley / Mar.11.2018 / 5:38 AM ET

Image
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies capsule.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Elon Musk first described his idea for a futuristic transportation system that would send passenger pods through tubes at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour back in 2013. At the time, the idea of actually building and operating a so-called “hyperloop” seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

But hyperloops are no longer quite so hypothetical. A handful of firms are now competing to develop the necessary technology. And in addition to designing the magnetically levitated pods and testing them on small-scale tracks, the firms are taking preliminary steps to set up hyperloop routes in the U.S. and abroad.

“It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world,” said Dr. David Goldsmith, a transportation researcher at Virginia Tech.

One of the biggest players is Musk himself. His whimsically named Boring Company is planning to dig a hyperloop tunnel that would make it possible to travel from Washington, D.C. to New York City in half an hour (the fastest Amtrak trains make the trip in just under three hours). Meanwhile, a pair of California-based startups, Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are developing routes in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Image
An electric skate will carry between 8 and 16 passengers. Boring Company

Many engineering and regulatory hurdles must be crossed before the first paying customer boards a hyperloop pod and zooms off down a tube — and not everyone shares Goldsmith’s rosy outlook. “I wouldn’t plan to take your next vacation on them,” Juan Matute, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, said of the pods. “It’s going to take a lot of time to get implemented, if they ever are.”

But with roads in many areas badly congested and air travel subject to weather delays, high-speed tube travel sounds appealing to many. In addition to shaving hours off of intercity trips, hyperloops promise to be less polluting than planes and cars. And hyperloop travel could even transform the morning commute, potentially allowing workers to travel comfortably to worksites hundreds of miles away from their homes.

THE HYPERLOOP EXPERIENCE
Hyperloop routes would consist of steel tubes roughly 11 feet in diameter that would be positioned on the ground or, in Musk’s vision, in underground tunnels. Either way, the routes would have to be picked carefully both to avoid existing infrastructure like roads and buildings and to make sure the routes take no sharp turns that could subject passengers to unpleasant jolts.

As for the pods, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies envisions 100-foot-long models fitted with virtual windows — video screens that would recreate the scenery outside — and capable of seating 40 passengers. Virgin Hyperloop One, meanwhile, has already built prototype pods fitted with leather seats and armrest-mounted entertainment screens.

The pods would accelerate and decelerate gradually, moving from one station to the next without stopping.

“The actual experience of riding in one of these things would be very serene,” Goldsmith said of the pods. “You’re sealed up in something like an airplane fuselage but without the air running past you,” he said, a reference to the fact that the tubes would be maintained at a partial vacuum to reduce air resistance that would slow the pods. (The pods themselves would carry their own air supply.)

Image
Virgin's DevLoop in North Las Vegas Kyle Cothern / Virgin

In short, hyperloop trips promise to be quiet and smooth — and very fast. Ultimately, hyperloop developers aim to develop systems that will move pods along at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. So far, the fastest any prototype pod has traveled is 240 miles per hour. That came last December during a test run that Virgin Hyperloop One conducted in the Nevada desert.

TESTING AND CONSTRUCTION
Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to begin testing full-sized hyperloop systems in 2021 and then to build hyperloops in the United Arab Emirates and India, among other countries. The company is also conducting feasibility studies for routes in Missouri and Colorado. Musk’s Boring Company has received a permit to begin excavating a possible hyperloop station in Washington, D.C. And Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is carrying out a feasibility study for a hyperloop linking Chicago and Cleveland and is considering routes in Europe, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Image
Bird's eye view of the Virgin Hyperloop One looking deep into the North Las Vegas desert. Virgin

Among other things, the tests will show whether it’s possible to maintain the partial vacuum within the tubes over hundreds of miles and if airlocks can quickly and fully seal off the tubes when passengers exit a pod.

Once construction of commercial hyperloop routes begins, it’s likely to prove very costly. Some estimates suggest one mile of a hyperloop route could cost up to $121 million, Forbes reported.

Obtaining land rights and environmental approval will complicate matters. So will the need to develop regulations and safety standards for a new form of transportation. “We really need to know a lot more about the safety features and what would happen if something went wrong,” Philippa Oldham, head of technology and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, told The Guardian.

The price of hyperloop fares is uncertain. But as with existing modes of transportation, hyperloop travel will be more expensive at certain times and dates. As Matute put it, “It could be that if you want to go up to San Francisco [from Los Angeles] for cheap, you leave at 3 a.m., but if you want to go at 7:30 a.m. and have this life where you’re living in one city and working in the other, it will be a lot more expensive.”

When will commercial hyperloops begin operation? “Possibly, in a few years a few single lines can be in operation,” Kees van Goeverden, a transportation researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told NBC News MACH in an email. ”But I do not expect that a coherent system will be operated before 2030.”


interesting, thanks for sharing
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:33 am

Not quit Space Taxi, but pretty exciting none the less.

Larry Page’s Flying Taxis, Now Exiting Stealth Mode
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK MARCH 12, 2018

Need a Lift? Check Out This Flying Taxi

Since October, a mysterious flying object has been seen moving through the skies over the South Island of New Zealand. It looks like a cross between a small plane and a drone, with a series of small rotor blades along each wing that allow it to take off like a helicopter and then fly like a plane. To those on the ground, it has always been unclear whether there was a pilot aboard.

Well, it turns out that the airborne vehicle has been part of a series of “stealth” test flights by a company personally financed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google and now the chief executive of Google’s parent, Alphabet.

The company, known as Kitty Hawk and run by Sebastian Thrun, who helped start Google’s autonomous car unit as the director of Google X, has been testing a new kind of fully electric, self-piloting flying taxi. This is an altogether different project from the one you might have seen last year in a viral video of a single-pilot recreational aircraft that was being tested over water, and it’s much more ambitious.

Imagine starting a network of autonomous air taxis, as Uber is planning to, but long before Uber actually does. That’s what Mr. Page is trying to do.

Until now, you wouldn’t know the air taxis in New Zealand had anything to do with Mr. Page: The planes operate there in what has been a covert project, under a company called Zephyr Airworks.

Now that project is about to go public: On Tuesday, Mr. Page’s company and the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, will announce they have reached an agreement to test Kitty Hawk’s autonomous planes as part of an official certification process. The hope is that it will lead to a commercial network of flying taxis in New Zealand in as soon as three years.

Image
Cora, an electric air taxi that can carry two passengers, in flight in New Zealand. Credit Richard Lord, via Kitty Hawk

The move is a big step forward in the commercialization of this technology, which even the most optimistic prognosticators had recently bet would take another decade to achieve.

The decision to embrace the commercial use of flying taxis offers New Zealand an opportunity to leapfrog many developed countries in this area, and perhaps give it a head start over Silicon Valley, where much of the most innovative work has been taking place.

In an email, Ms. Ardern said the decision to work with Kitty Hawk was “about sending the message to the world that our doors are open for people with great ideas who want to turn them into reality.” She added, “We’ve got an ambitious target in New Zealand of being net carbon zero by 2050,” and given that the Kitty Hawk vehicle is fully electric, “exciting projects like this are part of how we make that happen.”

Back here in the United States, the move stands as a major challenge for our regulators, in particular the Federal Aviation Administration. While the F.A.A. allows test flights of autonomous vehicles, there is no path to certify and commercialize them despite a constant stream of headlines about efforts from Uber, Airbus and others. Thus far, the agency, which oversees much busier skies than New Zealand and has long been underfunded, has been slow to adopt rules for new technologies.

Other countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa, have been more aggressive about allowing unmanned flights and appear willing to be some of the first places where this technology will be used. But those countries have never been seen as models for aviation regulators in the rest of the developed world.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has long been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime. That means that the rules it develops may become a template for other nations, including the United States.

Image
Kitty Hawk, the company testing Cora, is personally financed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google. Credit Thomas Heinser, via Kitty Hawk

Story continues (including a video I couldn't embed)...


Here's a youtube video I found...
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:00 am

Eh, I'm in the aviation industry and I gotta say that as nifty as the concept is, I wouldn't be comfortable riding in something like that without someone or myself being able to manually override the computer for things like bad weather or some other malfunction.

the #1 reason why so few people fly is is cost. It's a VERY expensive hobby. Both to get into and do.

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This is a Diamond DA40. Pretty much the best entry level aircraft you could ask for. Very stable, 180hp engine that gets good fuel economy, glass cockpit, great airplane to learn to fly on and a 10 year old one can run you $180,000. If you hangar it with me it's gonna run you $250 a month and as of this morning my fuel for it is $5.30 a gallon.

And we haven't even gotten into the cost to learn to fly yet.

Still. I'm not getting in that damned drone.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:45 am

Like it or not, autonomous vehicles is going to be the future. Whether or not it's a ground or air vehicle isn't going to matter.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:24 am

Looks like touchscreens and two-screen laptops are the future of computing and it's ready to happen now.

What everyone gets wrong about touchscreen keyboards
Think you’ll hate laptops with screens instead of keyboards? Here are 5 reasons why you’ll love them.

By Mike Elgan
Contributing Columnist, Computerworld | MAR 17, 2018 3:00 AM PT

I’ve got good news and bad news about the future of laptops.

The bad news: We’re all getting laptops that have a touchscreen on the bottom instead of a keyboard. I know. You hate the idea. That’s why it’s the bad news.

The good news is that these touchscreen keyboards won’t look, act or work the way you think they will. In fact, I think you’ll love these devices. That’s why it’s the good news.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which it said this week will take place starting June 4 in San Jose, the company could announce an all-screen keyboard for the iPad — a replacement for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard — and possibly a two-screen laptop.

But even if it doesn’t, I believe Apple and other major laptop makers will evolve toward two-screen laptops over the next three years.

5 reasons why two-screen laptops will be better than you think

I get it. You love typing on a real keyboard. So do I.

In fact, I think just about everyone who’s heard about this idea hates it.

But people are thinking about today’s on-screen keyboards and today’s laptops, powered by today’s technology.

They’re not thinking about technology they haven’t seen or other ways of working with a device they haven’t tried.

Another reason for the opposition is that two-screen laptops aren’t new. We’ve seen the idea tried in the past ten years in the form of Canova’s Dual-Screen Laptop, the Acer Iconia 6120 Dual Touchscreen Laptop, the Toshiba libretto W105-L251 7-Inch Dual Touchscreen Laptop and others.

These devices were unpleasant to use and were rejected by laptop buyers.

Future two-screen laptops will be the opposite.

Here are five reasons why you’ll love two-screen laptops.

1. Touchscreen keyboards will feel like physical keyboards.

Apple has been filing patents in this category for years. Two more Apple dual-screen laptop patent applications have been published in the past three weeks.

As mere patent applications, they don’t reveal Apple’s actual plans. However, they do serve as an example of how companies want to use advanced technology to make all-screen keyboards far more appealing.

The most recent patent details different methods for making an on-screen keyboard feel like a physical one.

Image
Apple’s most recent two-screen laptop patent shows how flexible displays will enable on-screen keyboards with raised keys that can be physically pressed.

Apple achieves this in part by using a flexible display, with a keyboard-like structure underneath. The on-screen keyboard would actually have key travel. In other words, it would be a hybrid of an on-screen keyboard and a physical keyboard.

The “virtual” keys can be physically pressed, and they can also raise bumps on the screen when the virtual keyboard is on the screens. You’ll be able to feel where the keys are before you press them.

It also describes the use of next-generation haptics that vibrate keys when they’re pressed with the simulated feeling of a physical keyboard. No doubt sound would be added as well to further simulate the experience of using a physical keyboard.

Haptics can be convincing.

Apple has for three years sold MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops that feature a “Force Touch” trackpad. Apple uses a “Taptic engine” (Apple’s branded haptic part) and electromagnets to simulate physical movement and trackpad clicking.

A majority of users no doubt believe this trackpad moves, tilts and clicks. But it doesn’t move at all. Apple is using haptics to simulate movement.

It can do the same thing with an on-screen keyboard, according to the patent application.

Next-generation touchscreen laptop keyboards will have keys you can feel, press and hear.

2. Sometimes you don’t need a keyboard.

Steve Jobs detailed the benefits of replacing physical keyboards with virtual ones in his 2007 introduction of the iPhone. The main benefits, of course, are that you get more screen real estate and also more flexible interface options.

Apple’s patents show an iTunes and Apple Music interface that replaces the on-screen keyboard with music controls, such as an equalizer, when one of these applications is running.

It’s easy also to imagine what kind of interfaces third-party developers could build: turntables for DJs, drawing pads for illustrators, advanced calculator keyboards for eggheads, speech notes for business presentations and game-specific game controls for games.

During videoconferences, the keyboard could have chat windows and other data so the meeting could be full-screen.

Musical applications such as Apple’s own Garage Band could get piano keyboards, drum kits, strings and more on the bottom of the screen.

The most recent patent shows how the bottom screen can also display application-specific content or interfaces but instantly turn into a keyboard when you place your hands on it.

I mentioned at the top that I think Apple’s first all-screen keyboard might be an even smarter iPad Pro Smart Keyboard than the company currently sells. Apple’s recent patent specifies an all-screen version for iPad. I also said it might announce a two-screen laptop.

It would make sense for Apple to announce all-screen iPad keyboards and two-screen laptops at a developer event, because the value of this kind of laptop lies in what third-party developers do with them. The main benefit is custom, application-specific interfaces. So when Apple starts working on the manufacturing of such devices, it makes sense that we’ll hear about it in advance at a developer event so applications will be ready when they ship the hardware.

Custom software keyboards, by the way, might prove especially powerful for enterprises that are doing in-house development of custom apps.

There’s even a security element to this scenario. Locking down a system to reduce the attack surface might actually involve the removal or addition of keyboard interface options.

3. A.I. will augment your typing

As artificial intelligence (A.I.) evolves and is intelligently applied to future versions of Autocorrect, you’ll be able to get away with an increasing number of errors that will be accurately and instantly fixed. Browser plugins such as Grammarly show how writing can be improved with A.I. as you type.

The frustration of using today’s on-screen keyboards will be replaced with the thrill of quickly typing on-screen without leaving errors behind.

4. Voice input and A.I. will reduce your typing

While dual-screen laptops will enable countless new options, the centrality of keyboards to our work will decline. Over time, we’ll get used to talking to our virtual assistants, and their agency will extend to the typing we do.

Instead of sending and specifically wording an email, we’ll be able to talk and tell the assistant our intention and let A.I. do the actual crafting of the email. In fact, this is how business used to work when executives had secretaries. They didn’t type anything. They talked, and an assistant did the writing.

A new Chrome extension that works with Gmail shipped this week that hints at the future of automated writing. Called EasyEmail, the extension uses machine learning to scan your previous writing and imitate your writing style. Then, when you’re writing an email, EasyEmail guesses what you’re going to write and offers those guesses as options to select. It often guesses entire sentences after you type the first word.

EasyEmail is just an example of what’s emerging for automated writing.

A.I. predictive writing will reduce the amount of typing we’ll do.

5. You’ll still be able to use a physical keyboard as a peripheral

Journalists and developers tend to be the most vocal critics and haters of the two-screen concept. But they should be the most enthusiastic.

When doing serious writing or coding, you’ll always be able to choose any keyboard on the market and use it as a peripheral to your laptop.

While you’re not using the bottom screen keyboard, that screen can be put to use displaying notes or any other content. For a writer, for example, having your prose on top and notes and resources on bottom is a better way to write. And developers can never get enough screen real estate while coding.

In other words, a laptop without a physical keyboard does not mean you can’t use a physical keyboard. It simply means you have more keyboard choice and more screen real estate.

Why two-screen laptops are inevitable

Sooner or later, two-screen laptops are going to happen.

One mechanism for this change is generational. Members of the so-called iGen generation, born between 1995 and 2012, have never known a time before smartphones. People now entering the workforce are iGens. They live on their phones, are more comfortable typing on a smartphone screen than a laptop physical screen, and will easily adapt to using two-screen laptops and on-screen keyboards at work.

Every year, people more comfortable with physical keyboards will retire, and those who prefer screen keyboards will enter the workforce.

But the biggest driver will be competitive advantage.

In general, companies with the most advanced technologies benefit from shifting buyer expectations to products that require those advanced technologies. This increases barriers to entry by smaller competitors.

After all, any two-bit, third-rate, bargain-basement company can build a mechanical keyboard. But only the top companies such as Apple, Google and a few others will be able to combine patented actuators, patented haptics and advanced A.I. to construct a keyboard. The main companies we buy laptops from have a powerful incentive to move into two-screen laptops.

And finally, software is eating the world. As a rule of technological advancement, physical contraptions are generally replaced by software versions when the technology is ready.

And guess what? It’s ready.

Are you?
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Nano » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:30 pm

I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm

Nano wrote:I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.

Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby terrytate » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:25 pm

Buc2 wrote:
Nano wrote:I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.

Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.



The dominance of touch screens and apps that only use them is really going to screw blind people.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:08 am

terrytate wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.



The dominance of touch screens and apps that only use them is really going to screw blind people.

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:44 pm

“Technology is the answer... but what was the question?”



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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:33 am

321 LAUNCH app: What it is and why you need it
Emre Kelly, FLORIDA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 28, 2018 | Updated 10:07 a.m. ET March 28, 2018

Over the past couple months, teams from USA TODAY and FLORIDA TODAY have worked non-stop to blend technologies that will put you in control of a rocket launch from anywhere in the world.

It arrives Thursday afternoon as 321 LAUNCH, a free app for iOS and Android that fuses traditional Space Coast rocket launch coverage with augmented reality, or the overlaying of digital objects onto the real world.

The app leverages cameras available in smartphones and tablets to pull in a live feed of your surroundings while dropping spaceflight hardware – in this case, launch pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – on any flat surface. Tables, floors, books, even a pizza – as long as it's flat, the app will render high-definition 3D models of launch pads and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket so you can learn, explore and, ultimately, follow live as a mission lifts off from the Space Coast.

The first section of the app is an educational experience that runs through the pre-launch procedures and allows you to build a Falcon 9, drag it out to Launch Complex 40, learn about the hardware and launch it on a mission to the International Space Station. After liftoff, the experience shifts focus to landing the booster back at Cape Canaveral.

The second – and the core component – of 321 LAUNCH is an augmented reality-powered live experience that will only occur on launch days. You'll be able to follow live as SpaceX teams count down to launch, all while staying tuned into:

* Live text updates from Space Reporter James Dean and myself.
* Live video: Either ours viewing the pad or SpaceX's webcast.
* Live telemetry data to include altitude and speed after liftoff.
* And, using cutting-edge GPS and compass mapping technology, a projection of the actual flightpath over your sky.

But the app isn't finished – we're still working hard on producing even more interactive content. You can expect a brand new section that focuses on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and its various configurations at Launch Complex 41 for our next update.

Why you need it:

When you move your device to get a close-up view of the launch complex and Falcon 9 rocket, you're using cutting-edge AR technology to do something no other app currently does. From the Dragon spacecraft to the nine Merlin main engines, the hardware and surrounding pad is rendered out in incredible detail – and you can do it anywhere.

Full-fledged teams of developers, journalists and editors were involved in the production process, so we're proud to give you the opportunity to watch live as you bring rocket launches into your everyday life.

And I can almost guarantee that everyone will learn at least a thing or two from the educational experience. I know I did.

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Keep in mind:

Augmented reality on mobile devices is still a cutting-edge technology that is actively being ironed out by Apple, Google and others. You'll need a newer device to pull this off and possibly even a backup battery to feed energy-intensive AR processes.

Here's a system requirements list:

Apple:
* iPhone 6S or newer with iOS 11 or newer
* Fifth-generation iPad (2017) or newer

Android's AR capabilities are limited to the following models:
* Google Pixel, Pixel XL or newer
* Samsung Galaxy S7 or newer
* Samsung Galaxy Note8
* LG V30 and LG V30+
* Asus Zenfone AR
* OnePlus 5

Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly.

Next Space Coast launch: Monday, April 2
Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
Mission: International Space Station resupply
Launch Time: 4:30 p.m.
Launch Window: Instantaneous
Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Weather: Forecast expected three days before launch
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:59 pm

NASA Hires Lockheed Martin to Build Quiet Supersonic X-Plane
By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer | April 3, 2018 02:05pm ET

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Illustration of NASA's Low-Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft as outlined during the project's preliminary design review in 2017.
NASA has selected Lockheed Martin to build the new supersonic jet.
Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin


NASA has taken a huge leap forward in its quest to create an aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound without causing the ear-splitting sonic boom.

The space agency announced today (April 2) that it has awarded the aerospace company Lockheed Martin a $247.5 million contract to design and build a new X-plane, known as the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD), which may soar silently over the U.S. by 2022.

Today's announcement comes less than two weeks after President Donald Trump signed a federal budget for FY2019 that fully funds the LBFD. In his budget proposal, Trump noted that the X-plane "would open a new market for U.S. companies to build faster commercial airliners, creating jobs and cutting cross-country flight times in half." [Images: Airplanes of Tomorrow, NASA's Vision of Future Air Travel]

But don't expect to board a supersonic passenger jet anytime soon; Lockheed Martin's LBFD won't be built for transporting people. Before any supersonic planes will be allowed to fly over land, NASA and Lockheed Martin must prove that it's possible to break the sound barrier without the sonic boom.

"This piloted X-plane would be built specifically to fly technologies that reduce the loudness of a sonic boom to that of a gentle thump," Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, said during a news conference today.

Shin added that the LBFD will fly over select U.S. cities starting in mid-2022 and NASA will "ask the people living and working in those communities to tell us what they heard, if anything."

NASA will then send the "scientifically collected human response" data to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) "so they can use the data to change the current rule that completely bans civil supersonic flights over land," Shin said.

"When the rule is changed, the door will open to an aviation industry ready to enter [a] new supersonic market in our country and around the world," Shin said. "This X-plane is a critical step closer to that exciting future."

The LBFD aircraft will be 94 feet (29 meters) long, or about the size of a small business jet. It will fly at a cruising altitude of about 55,000 feet (17,000 meters) and reach a speed of 1.4 times the speed of sound (about 1,000 mph, or 1,600 km/h). This will "create a sound about as loud as a car door closing," NASA officials said in the news conference.

While NASA is working to reduce the sonic boom, other companies are working on their own supersonic aircraft designs — all of which will still create sonic booms during flight.

Virgin Galactic has partnered up with Boom Technology to build a supersonic passenger jet called "Baby Boom" that could fly across the Atlantic Ocean at twice the speed of sound, cutting flight times in half. Those test flights are scheduled to begin in 2020. Another company, Spike Aerospace, aims to test its S-512 Supersonic Jet by the end of 2018.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Close shave...

'Tunguska'-Size Asteroid Makes Surprise Flyby of Earth
By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer | April 16, 2018 01:00pm ET

An asteroid similar in size to one that exploded more than 100 years ago in Russia's Tunguska region in Siberia gave Earth a close shave on Sunday (April 15), just one day after astronomers discovered the object.

The asteroid, designated 2018 GE3, made its closest approach to Earth at around 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), whizzing by at a distance of 119,400 miles (192,000 kilometers), or about half the average distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

NASA estimated that this asteroid measures 157 to 360 feet (48 to110 meters) wide, making the space rock up to 3.6 times the size of the one that leveled 500,000 acres (2,000 square kilometers) of Siberian forest when it exploded over Tunguska in 1908.

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A diagram shows the orbit of asteroid 2018 GE3, which flew by Earth on April 15, 2018.
Credit: NASA JPL


This newfound asteroid is three to six times as big as another recent meteor, the one that broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That object injured more than 1,200 people and damaged thousands of buildings up to 58 miles (93 km) away from the impact site.

"If 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, it would have caused regional, not global, damage, and might have disintegrated in the atmosphere before reaching the ground," SpaceWeather.com reported. "Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise. 2018 GE3 was found less than a day before its closest approach."

Spaceweather.com
21 hours ago
SURPRISE ASTEROID FLYBY: With little warning, a relatively large asteroid flew through the Earth-Moon system on April 15th only 192,200 km (0.5 LD) from our planet. 2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th. Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock gliding through the southern constellation Serpens:
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https://www.facebook.com/spaceweatherdo ... 5404307174


The asteroid 2018 GE3 was first spotted on Saturday (April 14) at 5:23 a.m. EDT (0923 GMT) by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA-sponsored program based at the University of Arizona in Tucson. This first sighting occurred just 21 hours before the asteroid's closest approach to Earth.
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