Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Music, books, movies, TV, games, hobbies, food, and potent potables. And forum games! Pour a drink, put on your smoking jacket, light a pipe (of whatever), and settle in.
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 18424
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Jan 2013, 11:10

The only electric car I'd be remotely interested in owning is a Tesla, roadster or sedan.

User avatar
Highway
Posts: 13185
Joined: 12 May 2011, 00:22
Location: the Electric Ocean

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Highway » 16 Jan 2013, 11:52

D.A. Ridgely wrote:The only electric car I'd be remotely interested in owning is a Tesla, roadster or sedan.
I actually saw a Leaf on Monday, and in person, it's a very attractive car, airy and stylish and a good size, with very futuristic cues, but nothing too over the top. It looks far less like a penalty box than Honda's or Toyota's hybrid offerings.

Edit: I meant to add that in contrast the Chevy Volt looks like a plastic cladding nightmare, with a giant ass and stupid grill, and huge slab sides that make the overall car look like it weighs about 4 tons.
"Sharks do not go around challenging people to games of chance like dojo breakers."

User avatar
lunchstealer
Posts: 16919
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:25
Location: The Local Fluff in the Local Bubble

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by lunchstealer » 17 Jan 2013, 14:51

Sandy wrote:
Highway wrote:If electric cars get more cost competitive, that's really something I'd be interested in. My commute is under 10 minutes. 90% of my trips are under 10 minutes, shorter than 5 miles. We're going to have two cars anyway. Having a plug-in hybrid would be ok, except I can't see myself ever using the gas in the tank, so it'd get nasty and ruined. So it's either pure electric or not a plug-in for me.

I also want small scale solar generation to get more efficient and cheaper, so I can put that on my house.
I'm only going to have one car, so I'd like a plug-in hybrid. But given the power reliability around here, some solar generation would be the market.
There's a Ford plug-in hybrid now. It's a slightly oversized Focus called a C-Max. They're aiming to compete with the Prius-V.
"The constitution is more of a BDSM agreement with a safe word." - Sandy

"Neoliberalism. Austerity. Booga booga!!!!" - JasonL

"We can't confirm rumors that Lynndie England is in the running to be Gina Haspel's personal aide." - DAR

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 13279
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Eric the .5b » 18 Jan 2013, 22:01

I don't get what's so ugly about a Prius. Most modern cars are ugly and same-y to me, and Priuses look much like other Toyotas.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Timothy
Posts: 3321
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 18:41
Location: Standing By Your Manatee

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Timothy » 18 Jan 2013, 23:12

Highway wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:The only electric car I'd be remotely interested in owning is a Tesla, roadster or sedan.
I actually saw a Leaf on Monday, and in person, it's a very attractive car, airy and stylish and a good size, with very futuristic cues, but nothing too over the top. It looks far less like a penalty box than Honda's or Toyota's hybrid offerings.

Edit: I meant to add that in contrast the Chevy Volt looks like a plastic cladding nightmare, with a giant ass and stupid grill, and huge slab sides that make the overall car look like it weighs about 4 tons.
Agreed on the Volt, somebody in the faculty lot near the chem building has a Leaf, and I think it's too small and ugly as sin. I drive an old, shitty-looking Civic so it's not like I am king of stye or anything, but still.
"i say make some popcorn and give me a blanket to hide this six foot boner i have." --dhex

"The difference between Hodor! and Jeb! is that at the end of the day, one of them gets to stop pretending he's retarded." -- Jasper

User avatar
lunchstealer
Posts: 16919
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:25
Location: The Local Fluff in the Local Bubble

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by lunchstealer » 19 Jan 2013, 13:17

Timothy wrote:
Highway wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:The only electric car I'd be remotely interested in owning is a Tesla, roadster or sedan.
I actually saw a Leaf on Monday, and in person, it's a very attractive car, airy and stylish and a good size, with very futuristic cues, but nothing too over the top. It looks far less like a penalty box than Honda's or Toyota's hybrid offerings.

Edit: I meant to add that in contrast the Chevy Volt looks like a plastic cladding nightmare, with a giant ass and stupid grill, and huge slab sides that make the overall car look like it weighs about 4 tons.
Agreed on the Volt, somebody in the faculty lot near the chem building has a Leaf, and I think it's too small and ugly as sin. I drive an old, shitty-looking Civic so it's not like I am king of stye or anything, but still.
Yeah, they're trying to make the Volt the Camaro Jr. Bad plan.

The Leaf suffers from the fact that it's awfully difficult to make a car that small due to the proportionality. The Fiat 500 barely manages to look OK, and even so it strikes me more as a pastiche of a car, than a car. Most attractive small cars in recent years are the re-launched Ford Fiesta, the Scion xA and iQ, the Aston Martin version of the iQ (the Cygnet, maybe?) and the first generation of the revamped Mini. Oh, and the Lexus hybrid, that's basically an attempt (reasonably successful) to make a Prius look like a sporty hatchback. Apparently it's not quick, but it is agile in the corners.

The Prius is significantly more attractive than the original, which was based on the Echo body style. That was a dreary looking econobox. The newer one has a certain modest grace. Perhaps that of a ladybug. Sure, it doesn't say evoke speed or agility, but that''s probably a good thing.
"The constitution is more of a BDSM agreement with a safe word." - Sandy

"Neoliberalism. Austerity. Booga booga!!!!" - JasonL

"We can't confirm rumors that Lynndie England is in the running to be Gina Haspel's personal aide." - DAR

User avatar
Stevo Darkly
Posts: 7242
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 19:13

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Stevo Darkly » 31 Jan 2013, 15:19

I wasn't sure whether to post this in Mo's sci/tech thread or DB's sci/tech thread. I decided to post it here because this thread is more of an underdog, which tends to draw my sympathies. Plus this news item has Middle Eastern content, so the guy named Mostafa gets dibs.

Anyway, I found this at least moderately interesting: an architectural defense against drones:

http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/ ... _city.html
Drones work by detecting patterns, identifying individuals, and extracting data. I dreamed up Shura City (named in honor of Farah Jan’s photoessay on Quetta) to fight against drones with humanity and community. The city is a “black box” impenetrable to data miners and military-trained individuals but it is not a prison. It is instead a gated community, providing its society with sunshine and safety from the scary world outside.

It is at best expensive and at worst impossible to build armor that can deflect any American bomb. Shura City instead uses inscrutability as its armor, finding more solace in Said than in Vauban. Though its outer shell is fixed, Shura City’s inner walls can be moved to provide for growing families, heated feuds, or just for the change of it when Farah Abla decides she wants to be an interior designer. Its windows are protected by computerized mashrabiyas that blink and recombine into various QR codes to jam leering cameras. Its expansive courtyard is protected by latticework with backlit (by color-changing LED) windows that allow for sunshine for children and stars for young lovers, but also make face detection tricky with color blocks and changing shadows. The zebras know each others’ names, but the lion only sees stripes.

Badgirs and minarets do their part to provide wild fluctuations of temperature (so that individual bodies are difficult to identify with infrared) and to provide high-wattage radio towers to interfere with wireless communication...

Ever since Napoleon entered Egypt, “Westerners” have found the “Eastern” city impenetrable. My goal was to armor Shura city in Orientalism and to turn the empire’s strongest weapons: technology, reorder, and arrogance, against themselves.... Shura City is not a finished product (as if the sketches fooled you) but an idea, celebrating collective effort, organic change, and insider humor – in other words, society – in the face of a binary code that only sees us in binaries. Shura City is a hope. I hope it will work.
Also, check out the pix.

I like that the city is reconfigurable (within certain bounds) to allow for organic change and growth (as well as being a security feature), rather than requiring every detail of life to be planned and rigidly set by a central planner.

The solution still seems to require more central planning than I'd like, although I don't mind that as much if it's a private community with other competing communities nearby. This could even be scaled down to the level of an apartment/condo community, or several smaller competing private neighborhoods within a city. I am also mindful of the problems of overbearing homeowners' associations, which could potentially be even worse here. ("You can only paint your house light gray, dark gray, light tan or dark tan, in the approved patterns -- it's a matter of neighborhood security!")

However, this intrigues me as a solution to a security problem that is nonviolent, and seeks to reconcile safety with a certain level of flexibility, individuality, humanity and fun.
"I don't know if you can call it a stereotype when I was in a room full of people actually doing it." -- Keith S.

User avatar
Number 6
Posts: 3015
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:41

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Number 6 » 31 Jan 2013, 15:26

Kolohe wrote:
Jadagul wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Mo wrote:The Pebble watch is an interesting concept, but looks atrocious. It's like someone thought the Casio calculator watch had clean lines.
This. Plus we just got rid of watches. Unless that thing's also a phone, I don't see it catching on. And even then...do you want earbuds going to your wrist?
Watches are so much more convenient than cell phones as time pieces. And also prettier.
I know what to say to that Jadagul

+1
+2
" i discovered you eat dog dicks out of a bowl marked "dog dicks" because you're too stupid to remember where you left your bowl of dog dicks."-dhex, of course.
"Come, let us go forth and not rape together"-Jadagul

User avatar
Mo
Posts: 24192
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:08

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Mo » 31 Jan 2013, 16:09

This is one way to revive interest in horse racing, turn it into a Zynga game.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/31/derbyj ... s-sketchy/
While you don’t quite get the sense of the track – the manure, the sadness, the joy of fleeting victory – you can, however, spread some straw on your couch, pour a Miller Lite, and live out your dreams of betting glory online.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

User avatar
Kolohe
Posts: 13857
Joined: 06 May 2010, 10:51

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Kolohe » 31 Jan 2013, 16:12

Shura city is more thought out than Idaho citadel town, but not by much.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

User avatar
tr0g
Posts: 6754
Joined: 11 May 2011, 10:21
Location: At the shop

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by tr0g » 31 Jan 2013, 16:28

Kolohe wrote:Shura city is more thought out than Idaho citadel town, but not by much.
It requires an infrastructure that doesn't exist in the places drones are most likely to be.

I think giant geodesic dome cities are the answer against drones. Mainly because I like geodesic domes.
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
Nothing you can say is as important as the existence of a functioning marketplace of ideas, go set yourself on fire. - JasonL

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 13279
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Eric the .5b » 31 Jan 2013, 16:42

Wow, that "Chris" guy in the comments of the Shura City article is something else.

All the countermeasures described, however, don't seem to amount to anything if the military uses infrared or just opts to bomb the whole building flat.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
Ayn_Randian
Posts: 10727
Joined: 08 May 2010, 14:58

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Ayn_Randian » 09 Feb 2013, 19:11

It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L

User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 18424
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 09 Feb 2013, 19:40

Ayn_Randian wrote:About that Tesla: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/au ... ighway.xml
I'd still like to own the roadster.

And this reminds me of something that has always bothered me; namely, where the hell did early automobile owners find gas stations, especially out in the boondocks? And what sort of mileage did they get? Every once in a while there will be a turn of the century western where someone in a car or on a motorcycle rides merrily through the unpaved wilderness and I always think to myself, no, I'd much rather have a horse back then.

User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 17802
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 09 Feb 2013, 20:38

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Ayn_Randian wrote:About that Tesla: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/au ... ighway.xml
I'd still like to own the roadster.

And this reminds me of something that has always bothered me; namely, where the hell did early automobile owners find gas stations, especially out in the boondocks? And what sort of mileage did they get? Every once in a while there will be a turn of the century western where someone in a car or on a motorcycle rides merrily through the unpaved wilderness and I always think to myself, no, I'd much rather have a horse back then.
Image
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

User avatar
JD
Posts: 10733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:26

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by JD » 11 Feb 2013, 13:05

Somebody invented a robotic...lump of fur, basically, which can recognize nine different ways in which someone is touching it. And it purrs when you pet it. The inventors think they might be able to get it to recognize different people based on their touch.
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/51 ... -your-cat/
"Millennials are lazy. They'd rather have avocado toast than cave in a man's skull with a tire iron!" -FFF

User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 23752
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by JasonL » 11 Feb 2013, 13:14

Ayn_Randian wrote:About that Tesla: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/au ... ighway.xml
I got the full pitch at a tesla dealership they have in Miami Beach. As it turns out, a car salesman may have exaggerated the capabilities of his inventory. What is the world coming to when you can't trust a car salesman?

User avatar
Highway
Posts: 13185
Joined: 12 May 2011, 00:22
Location: the Electric Ocean

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Highway » 20 Feb 2013, 15:54

I don't know if it rises yet to the level of "Lust to Acquire", but this video showing off Google Glass is something I find compelling. I don't know if it would change my life, and I don't know if I would really use it to the same extent that other people would, but it seems like something pretty neat, and not nearly as stupid as the idea would sound.

"Sharks do not go around challenging people to games of chance like dojo breakers."

User avatar
Ayn_Randian
Posts: 10727
Joined: 08 May 2010, 14:58

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Ayn_Randian » 20 Feb 2013, 16:06

I would definitely put Google Glass in Lust to Acquire territory.

And speaking of lust, guess what the first thing people are going to use Google Glass for? I bet it's not to record flying an airplane.

Like other major tech, porn is going to make this thing dirt cheap.

I also have to wonder how it will change academia. Are you going to check everyone's glasses in a room of 500 students taking Bio 100 to ensure that someone isn't just looking up the answers?
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L

User avatar
Ayn_Randian
Posts: 10727
Joined: 08 May 2010, 14:58

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Ayn_Randian » 20 Feb 2013, 16:08

The first thing I would do as a Google Glass owner would be to run around making Borg jokes for at least a couple of hours.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 27634
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau » 20 Feb 2013, 16:42

Ayn_Randian wrote:I also have to wonder how it will change academia. Are you going to check everyone's glasses in a room of 500 students taking Bio 100 to ensure that someone isn't just looking up the answers?
In terms of cheating, we'll fumble along like we always do: Pretending that we are able to do something about it. It isn't anti-cheating stuff that really gets academia into the "transformation" talk.

In terms of presentations, somebody will explain that this means we don't need in-person classes and other in-person experiences, because we can stream it to the glasses. I would argue that the merits of online vs. in-person should be debated in terms of something other than display technology. It has been pointed out that a lot of the technological buzzwords are new versions of old things, e.g. online classes are prettied-up correspondence courses, and "flipping" the classroom by having them read something digital before class and enforcing it with a quiz is not so different from the old school idea of having people read something on paper before class and enforcing it with a quiz. Somehow, though, when you pretty it up with display technology, people get all evangelical and say that This Will Change Everything.

If online teaching replaces us, it will be because it is scalable, not because there's a fundamental pedagogical difference between reading something on paper and reading it in some other medium.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

User avatar
Ayn_Randian
Posts: 10727
Joined: 08 May 2010, 14:58

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Ayn_Randian » 20 Feb 2013, 16:47

good response, but I was really hoping that you would expound more on Advanced Teledildonics and its place within the Google Glass paradigm.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L

User avatar
Andrew
Posts: 6521
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 21:52
Location: Vale of Eternal Fire

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Andrew » 20 Feb 2013, 17:19

Ayn_Randian wrote:good response, but I was really hoping that you would expound more on Advanced Teledildonics and its place within the Google Glass paradigm.
While sporting a bushy mustache and wearing a shirt that reveals too much chest hair.
We live in the fucked age. Get used to it. - dhex

The sun only shines when a woman is being sexually abused. - Warren

User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 13279
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Eric the .5b » 20 Feb 2013, 17:23

Judging by the field of education, plenty of people will come up with genuinely transformational uses of this technology and proceed to be ignored, dismissed, or cheered and then ignored by 99.99% of educators.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.

User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 27634
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau » 20 Feb 2013, 17:32

Eric the .5b wrote:Judging by the field of education, plenty of people will come up with genuinely transformational uses of this technology and proceed to be ignored, dismissed, or cheered and then ignored by 99.99% of educators.
I'll be honest, I'm probably one of the 99.99%. If they talk about using this to improve the lecture experience, most of the tech stuff is bells and whistles on top of the presentation. Adding media to a presentation is nothing new, nor is interacting with people and discussing during a presentation (although I concede that personal response systems add something, and I do use them). If the glasses mean that while you're listening to the professor and watching his powerpoint you're also pulling up data to compare with it, well, people brought books to lecture sometimes, and some of them bring laptops and tablets now.

OTOH, if the glasses get smart software that analyzes what you see and pulls up relevant data, I see real potential uses in labs. Not so much for freshman labs (those are, in the best case, focused on fundamentals, and in the worst case are irredeemable) but for advanced labs. Imagine an anatomy class where the glasses display information on whatever you're looking at in the cadaver, or an instrument design class that knows what component you're looking at.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests