Funny movie reviews by Siri – Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien

Laura June picked up on Siri’s interesting thoughts on certain movies. She loves those with robots and artificial intelligence…

 

 

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Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

With the announcement of Amazon’s new Cloud Player iPhone app, the Universal Music Catalog is one step closer. For years I have dreamed of this Star Trek-like device, where I can find any song I want and listen to it, from anywhere. Preferably this will be an app on a device I already own (smartphone), rather than a new iPod or something.

Though, I would buy an iPod that had the Universal Music Catalog on it.

You may be skeptical but let’s work through this.

First, all three major online music retailers, Apple/Amazon/Google, give you the ability to upload thousands of songs to their cloud for free or at nominal costs. Which means that each of them has the most massive music catalog you can possibly imagine. They also highly promote the “matching” ability of these mega-drives, which means that they probably already have the song you’re uploading so don’t worry, you can just use their copy.

But, if they don’t have your song then they will store a copy on their drive, a brilliant way to continue growing their catalog.

Second, the details here are awesome. Amazon just announced that if you pay $20/year you have unlimited storage space for music. Google offers space for 20,000 songs for free and Apple is charging $25/year for storage of 25,000 songs. This even includes those mixtapes you’ve been carrying around, rare CD’s, and even live recordings.

Yeah, the piracy debate is dead in the water here. Theoretically, one person could pirate 20,000 songs and then upload them to Google for free, with forever storage.

Continue reading Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

Transparent Aluminum from Star Trek – yeah we’ve had that since 1981

The material, called aluminum oxynitride (AlON), or transparent aluminum is used to make bulletproof windows in armored cars.

Here’s the story:

The scene, as written, seems to imply that Scotty is talking about some fancy way of making metallic aluminum into a transparent form. Which ain’t happening. What has happened, however, (and in fact what was happening in research circles at least as far back as 1981) is the development of a transparent aluminum-based ceramic called aluminum oxynitride, aka “AlON,” that sounds a heckuva lot like the stuff Scotty is peddling. In fact, Star Trek IV came out in 1986, and it’s entirely likely that one of the film’s six (!) credited writers got wind of transparent aluminum from then-ongoing publicity about AlON, and decided to use it in the script.

AlON can do amazing things. Here, for instance, a 1.6″ thick AlON plate successfully resists a huge, powerful .50 AP bullet that smashes easily through more than twice that thickness of conventional laminated glass armor:

Continue reading Transparent Aluminum from Star Trek – yeah we’ve had that since 1981

The 100 Year Starship: My Three Ideas

It’s the end of an era. The space shuttle was retired last month (July 2011) after 30 years and 135 missions. Now NASA becomes a massive data collection organization.

Which allows us, as a nation, to pivot and move in a new direction. A worldwide call for ideas is on the table and it sounds like fun.

DARPA is in the game with the 100 Year Starship symposium asking the world’s researchers to submit abstracts.

Which is where I get really excited. Here we sit on the brink of a new era. The field is wide open and the opportunity to create the future is upon us.

Or, at least my amateur fanboy-ism thinks so. Still it is fun to share ideas, even crazy ones. So here is my attempt at space domination.

Please, feel free to share your own sci-fi ideas.

Space Ship not Space Shuttle

I think space travel involves two different kinds of travel: planetary and galactic.

Planetary travel involves moving around with all the gas, gravity, and debris of planets. To which we seem to have mastered.

We have innumerable methods for getting around like cars, planes, and boats, and not forgetting a shuttle to get us out of the planet and into space.

We can travel faster than sound and pretty much get anywhere on the planet in a matter of hours. The only real next step here is to develop some “beaming” technology, not to improve our travel, rather to cut down on the time of the journey (or the traffic).

On the other hand, we have yet to do any serious work on travel in the galaxy. Do we actually build engines for the vacuum of space? Is it possible to build a galactic engine from within a planet?

If it were up to me I would make building space ships, not space shuttles, a priority. Perhaps, this will have to wait a few decades while the private sector lowers the cost of these shuttles. But, eventually, we will have to get down to the business of building space engines in space (not in office cubicles).

Gravity

I really want to know what gravity is. I generally understand that it’s something magnetic and the force of which gets exponentially stronger as mass increases. To which I equate, “everyone likes to look at a car crash”.

That’s the best I can do.

And, I’m not sure the best and brightest can do any better.

Something tells me this is important for our future in space travel. Men and women are going to be spending a lot of time up there and we will need a way to mimic Earth so that we don’t damage our bodies in any way (so it becomes more like riding the bus than NASCAR).

Also, the force is so strong that it can keep a moon hanging around. Maybe we can harness it?

In order to travel in space and get anywhere we will need to travel at very high speeds. Which will mean creating a way to not kill humans going at death-defying speeds, and finding energy powerful enough to move that fast.

I just feel like this mystical gravity holds the answer..

Satellites like cell towers

I think it would be awesome if every planet in our solar system had a satellite in orbit around it. One that could take pictures and send/receive messages.

The ability to monitor our surroundings and communicate between them seems critical. Like if we send a ship to Mars it can communicate with satellites back on Earth and the Moon.

Or, maybe I’m just a kid who grew up in a cell phone world and think’s its scary to travel in space unless you’re always connected 🙂