Friday, September 26, 2014

The 5 Step Program


Yours truly saw Transcendence, a flick that makes one think about AI and the melding of organic intelligence with artificial. Back in 2013, BRT talked about the potential dangers of AI in Start Point for the Terminator as our near future invention's eventual relationship to us is something we haven't a clue about when super AI happens, as it  most certainly will, whether we like it or not. INHO, the beginning of the movie works as the science and tech were properly articulated as to how a mind meld could actually happen while the last part resembled the Middle East fubar, muddled and ridiculous to a fault but that's not the raison d'ete for this blurb but rather about how super intelligence could come to pass as stated in Physorg.

The 5 ways are:
  1. Biological
  2. Mathematical
  3. Brute Force
  4. Plagiarizing Nature &
  5. Competent humans - first phase


Ubiquity looms :)


Graphene, the wonder material, has a new trick up it's sleeve, touchscreens.





Boggles the mind, doesn't it. :)


This is what's coming, courtesy graphene, the business end of pencils us rubes have been using since the 1500s.

The Morality Equation :)


I knew it all along. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

117K


BRT has talked about the disaster known as healthcare in America numerous times as my loyal readers know. From insurance company screwups to gross inefficiencies in the it component of HC, the situation is dire and only getting worse. In Why?, BRT discussed the issue of our medical records and why we don't have them, a situation yours truly finds absolutely unacceptable. Now, in the NY Times article titled After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn’t Know, a guy gets hammered by Dr. Anonymous.




Out of control kind of says it all in this fubar known as healthcare in America. Seen below are some price points for relatively common out of network surgical procedures.

Single payer anyone?


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Splitting H2O


Splitting water, something expensive and difficult at best, just got easier, a development that could change how we power the world.

A cheap, emissions-free device that uses a 1.5-volt AAA battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis has been developed by scientists at Stanford University.

Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made of inexpensive, abundant nickel and iron.

“This is the first time anyone has used non-precious metal catalysts to split water at a voltage that low,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford. “It’s quite remarkable, because normally you need expensive metals, like platinum or iridium, to achieve that voltage.”

Seen below is the proof of concept device, the start point of tech manifesting itself into form factors we cannot yet imagine.  The next step is to scale it to real world levels, something that will definitely happen, thanks to innovative research showing how to split water at a price point society can afford.


Stanford scientists have developed a low-cost device that uses an ordinary AAA battery (or a solar cell) to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. Gas bubbles are produced by electrodes made of inexpensive nickel and iron. (Credit: Mark Shwartz/Stanford University)

Unit 8200


James Bamford's a guy yours truly respects to the max. He gets tech in a big way, particularly when it comes to the NSA, surveillance and the impact both have had on the behavior of mankind. His extensive interview with Edwin Snowden is the only writing, IMHO, that delves deeply into the raison d'ete as to why Snowden became a whistleblower at the level of a Daniel Ellsberg

To add fuel to the fire, Bamford, via Snowden, reveals just how exclusive the relationship truly is with Israel, a relationship Founding Fathers Jefferson and Washington would have prohibited, without question, back in the day.





" by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments."
George Washington

"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none." 
Thomas Jefferson


Addendum: Check out Bamford's The Secret War, a piece on Keith Alexander, the former head of the NSA. Interesting to say the least. 





Into the Night


Enough said. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Randomly Scary Stuff


Viruses are nano size machines that often take the shape of spheres, spirals and crystals as all three form factors can easily house and deliver viral DNA/RNA to host cells as needs warrant. To live, said viruses must invade host cells using a wide variety of interesting mechanisms, like the one seen above, in order to find a friendly place to replicate, with sometimes catastrophic results i.e Smallpox, 1918 flu etc., etc. or die a lonely and unmourned death. In this vein, BRT talked about viruses in the context of Ebola, the devastating hemorrhagic fever variant, in Something is different this time, a quick take on why the current outbreak raging in West Africa is different, something potentially as terrifying as depicted in 12 Monkeys , a movie of undeniable power if the unthinkable happens, something not to be taken lightly given the quantum-driven probabilistic/random reality in which we all live.





Seen above is a hexagonally shaped virus while the well known tobacco mosaic virus, seen below, takes the shape of a spiral akin to that of DNA. 


As a refresher, here is the 12 Monkeys poster.



Friday, September 12, 2014

A 2 minute drill :)


Eye candy never disappoints. :)

A different perspective


Not a plug for Apple but rather an appreciation of tech being used in clever fashion. Enjoy.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Interesting Tale


BRT posted several pieces regarding the fubar known as the Middle East and how we created this ongoing disaster, in nefarious ways, with help from significant others. The map, depicted above, shows how the various warring groups could divide up territory into new regions of influence with clandestine help from the same parties that gave us IS






For more info on this most complex and interesting of topics regarding oil, internecine rivalries and clandestine operatives of the Great Game, click Nafeez Ahmed's Blog. You will not be disappointed.

Addendum or... Thru the Looking Glass.




Any questions?

Empathy


While nature itself just "is", a construct without empathy, creatures living in it do as seen by this squirrel keeping crows from munching on his buddy, a victim of too much intimacy with a passing car. Elephants also exhibit empathy to the nth degree as seen by this post in Daily Mail UK, something cameramen found heartbreaking without question.








Enough said.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Smiles "R" Us :)


In a very weird way, this wind loving dog reminds me of politicians virtual glad handing the crowd, complete with phony smiles, while riding in a stretch. :) Twisted Sifter strikes again.



Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What If...


Back in 2008, BRT posted a "review" :) of Religious, Bill Maer's  hilarious take on religion, a flick that has NEVER aired on mainline TV. As per BRT, an inquiry into the Jesus myth was undertaken with brief excursions into the Nicene Creed, the myth of Horus and the fact that all depiction's of JC center on the four New Testament gospels written 80 - 100 years after his death., so... did Christ exist akin to that of the once very popular Horus, who predated Christ by 2500 years, as the Hours story has all the particulars depicting the essence of Christ including:



Now comes more data, based on valid research, that may show that JC was an artificial construct, created by talented men who wanted to validate their religion to the great unwashed back in the day.


But there are problems with this narrative due to...
  1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef.  In the words of [10] Bart Ehrman: “What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing.
  2. The earliest New Testament writers seem ignorant of the details of Jesus’ life, which become more crystalized in later texts.Paul seems unaware of any virgin birth, for example. No wise men, no star in the east, no miracles. Historians have long puzzled over the “Silence of Paul” on the most basic biographical facts and teachings of Jesus.
  3. Even the New Testament stories don’t claim to be first-hand accounts. We now know that the four gospels were assigned the names of the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, not written by them. 
  4. The gospels, our only accounts of a historical Jesus, contradict each other.If you think you know the Jesus story pretty well, I suggest that you pause at this point to test yourself with the 20 question quiz [14] at ExChristian.net.
  5. Modern scholars who claim to have uncovered the real historical Jesus depict wildly different persons.  They include a cynic philosopher, charismatic Hasid, liberal Pharisee, conservative rabbi, Zealot revolutionary, nonviolent pacifist to borrow from a much longer list assembled by Price [16]. In his words (pp. 15-16), “The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage.  But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time.”  John Dominic Crossan [17] of the Jesus Seminar grumbles that “the stunning diversity is an academic embarrassment.” 
It's worth considering, don't you think?

Of cabbages & kings


Like Judge Crotty, Justice Richard Posner gets it regarding how law should work in applying common sense and fairness to complex issues affecting us all, i.e. separation of church and state, corporations as people etc., etc.,  while Anton Scalia doesn't as his penchant is to use his "immense" intellect for the sake of argument rather then getting to the heart of the issue at hand to arrive at a decision grounded on sound legal and moral principles. To whit.



If only he was one of the Supremes.