Friday, March 29, 2013
Unreal Engine 4
I remember reading that by 2020 video games would be photo realistic. I'd say we are well on our way.
Labels: Video Games
Arena - One Last Au Revoir
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sean M Carroll on Origin of the Universe & the Arrow of Time
Friday, March 22, 2013
Death Grips - I've Seen Footage
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Behavioral Finance and the Role of Psychology: Robert Schiller
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Walid Shoebat: Bible Prophecy and the Islamic Antichrist
Friday, March 15, 2013
Ty Segall - You're the Doctor
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Socionomics Made Easy
If you understand socionomics, you may also know it can be a challenge to explain to others. In his presentation from the 2012 Social Mood Conference, Robert Prechter provides a simple and wonderfully effective explanation of the vital role social mood plays in human behavior.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Mitsubishi Discontinues DLP TVs: Consumer Alert
From my perspective, this is kind of sad, as DLP TVs provide consumers with much lower prices than equivalent large-sized LCD or Plasma TVs. For example, a 92-inch Mitsubishi WD-92742 DLP TV is priced at about $5,000 (compare prices), while the currently available largest LCD TV, the Sharp 90-inch LC-90LE745U, has a list price of $10,999.
In fact, the 73-inch WD-73C12 DLP set has been selling this holiday season for about $999.99 (compare prices). The least expensive LCD TV that is available closest to this screen size, the 70-inch Vizio E701i-A3, is twice as expensive (compare prices).
Not to mention the fact that it is a lot harder for a toddler to destroy a DLP screen than a LED, Plasma, or OLED.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Graphene super capacitor could make batteries obsolete
For instance, electronic devices such as cell phones and tablet computers can be charged in seconds and not for hours and would hold a charge for longer than devices with standard batteries. This will diminish those annoying instances when one’s device suddenly goes dead for lack of energy.
Eventually the technology can be scaled up for electric cars or storage devices for wind turbines and solar collectors. Currently it takes hours to charge up an electric car. Such vehicles would become more viable if one can “refuel” them as quickly as one can a gasoline powered car.
This is all predicated on the notion that the technology lives up to its promise and doesn’t have a flaw, as yet uncovered, that will undermine it. In the meantime the UCLA researchers are looking for an industrial partner to build their super capacitor units on an industrial scale.
Friday, March 08, 2013
Devin Townsend Project-Angel
Thursday, March 07, 2013
The Catholic Church: Smaller and More Conservative
Not a huge difference but still interesting considering the younger Catholics will likely get more conservative as they get older.
Younger Catholics are more “conservative” on many issues than their older counterparts, according to some data buried in a new NYT/CBS news poll. In absolute numbers the poll found that the majority of US Catholics want the next Pope to change Church teachings on hot button issues of gender and sexuality. But the really interesting news turned up when the numbers were broken down by age.
As other blogs have noticed, support for female priests is at 72 percent among Catholics aged 45-64, but at 68 percent among those 18-44. Only 11 percent of older respondents oppose birth control, but that number ticks up to 15 percent among the young. Support for eliminating the requirement for priestly celibacy falls by a whopping 15 percent from the older to the younger generation.
Labels: Youth more conservative
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
What is the purpose of the Universe? Here is one possible answer.
The more we learn about the universe, the more we discover just how diverse all its planets, stars, nebulae and unexplained chunks of matter really are. So what is all this matter doing in our universe, other than just floating in space?
Well, it just so happens that there is a theory that gives a kind of raison d'etre to our universe and all the objects flying through it. If true, it would mean that our universe is nothing more than a black hole generator, or a means to produce as many baby universes as possible. To learn more, we spoke to the man who came up with the idea.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
USA Today: Dow Jones high on Fed steroids
The turnabout is testament to healthy corporate profits and the resilience of America's free enterprise system. And it's a huge relief to workers whose 401(k) plans are tied to equities. But the risky little secret of the rebound is that it is powered in significant part by the easy-money policies of the Federal Reserve, which must one day end. [Emphasis added.]
To combat the Great Recession, the Fed has bought trillions of dollars of mortgage bonds and U.S. Treasuries to juice the housing market and the economy in general.
On balance these purchases — which go by the non-threatening name of "quantitative easing" — have been warranted, given the deep economic problems caused by the financial crisis. But the time is approaching to scale back the bond-buying spree and get ready to unwind some of the Fed's massive portfolio, which now tops $3 trillion. The longer the policy lasts, the more likely it will end unhappily.
The Federal Reserve's purchases have driven interest rates to near zero. This has stimulated the economy but not without cost. Savers, particularly older ones trying to live on income from their investments, are starved for safe options. They've been forced into stocks, which is one reason the market has been acting as if it's on steroids. Further, with borrowing costs low, Congress and the White House have less incentive to rein in the national debt. Rock-bottom interest rates have also distorted markets.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
The technology is controversial because of that key word "propellantless". Space drives rely on Newton's laws of motion: all are based on the principle of firing propellant out the back at high speed, pushing the spacecraft forward. Even with endless power from solar cells, thrust is still limited by the supply of propellant, even with high-velocity ion drives. Numerous attempts have been made to overcome this, from the infamous Dean Drive of the 1950's to Nasa's experiments with antigravity from spinning superconductors in the 1990's. All have failed, and the efforts of pseudoscientific cranks and scammers have left the field thoroughly discredited.
British engineer Roger Shaywer stepped into this dangerous field in 2001, after twenty years with European satellite firm EADS Astrium. He set up his own company, Satellite Propulsion Research (SPR) Ltd, with the aid of a modest grant from the UK's Department of Trade and Industry.Shawyer aimed to develop an EmDrive: a closed, conical container which, when filled with resonating microwaves, experiences a net thrust towards the wide end. It seems to violate of the law of conservation of momentum, implied by Newton, which says that no closed system can have a net thrust. However, Shawyer says net thrust occurs because the microwaves have a group velocity which is greater in one direction than the other and Einstein's relativity comes into play. Group velocity, the speed of a collection of electromagnetic waves, is a tricky business -- a pulse of light can even have a group velocity which is greater than the speed of light -- but can it really cause net thrust?