Dr. Bill.TV #297 – Video – “The Warp Drives and Wormholes Edition”

Why Warp Drives aren’t just Science Fiction, Google to make an Android-based watch and game console, GSotW: StreamFile, Ubuntu on tablets, a YouTube video!

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TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

http://www.streamfile.com


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Dr. Bill.TV #297 – Audio – “The Warp Drives and Wormholes Edition”

Why Warp Drives aren’t just Science Fiction, Google to make an Android-based watch and game console, GSotW: StreamFile, Ubuntu on tablets, a YouTube video!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

http://www.streamfile.com


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Geek Software of the Week: Streamfile!

Have you ever wanted to email someone a file, but it was just too big to email? Well, now you can! With a free account from Streamfile, you can send up to 4 Gig files via a link and your friend, associate, etc. can download the file in a completely secure, encrypted method! Cool!

http://www.streamfile.com

Choose Recipients & Upload Files

Our web interface makes it easy to share your files. Just click on Send a New Stream, add recipients, and select the file you want to send from your computer. Once you’ve picked out your file, you can add enhancements like custom messages, password protection, mobile notifications, and data center mirroring.

Share Your Files Via Email

We’ll deliver your files to the recipients you specified in a secure email. They’ll receive a notification that a file has been shared along with any messages you’ve included or options to enter a password. This keeps your files easy to share, but safe and sound on our servers.

Extra Features

In addition to secure file transfer between yourself and others, we also offer file tracking, API access, Glacier archiving, and custom upload sites (with custom URLs).

Professional and secure file transfers

Streamfile allows you to setup a custom, branded, password-protected space in the cloud where you can exchange files with clients securely.

Whether you need to send files too large to email, conduct an encrypted file transfer, or just require a space where project-related files can be accessed, Streamfile can help you.

File encryption

Streamfile helps you to easily distribute encrypted files without the need to install any 3rd party software. We support file encryption up to 1024-bit AES. Our private keys are distributed via SMS.

All communications with Streamfile and the user are encrypted using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This is the same functionality used by online banks and to transmit credit card details. Streamfile also offers the ability to store your files encrypted before they are uploaded to us, adding an additional layer of security.

Control and track every file activity

Streamfile provides you with an extensive audit trail. With our File Center you can check who has downloaded your files and when. You can also set a file expiration date or archive any files to never expire with AWS Glacier.

You can easily flag a Streamfile transfer to be replicated across AWS CloudFront network to maximise bandwidth access to a specific file set across the world.”

Google to Make a Watch and a Game System using Android

A “Google Watch” and a “Google Game” system? We live in an odd world. What does the game system mean for the Ouya?

Google And Apple May Bring Us A Console War We Didn’t See Coming

Forbes: “Last night, the Wall Street Journal brought us news that Google GOOG -0.18% has now set its sights on making its own Android-based video game console. The kicker? This is supposed to be in response to Apple AAPL -0.67% doing the very same thing.

Google and Apple video game consoles? Are the Xbox One and PS4 dead already? No. Though this would change the game to some degree, it’s more like Google and Apple are creating an entirely new league for themselves.

Consoles theoretically released by Google and Apple would likely not be the kinds we see in our living rooms now. They’d be specifically designed to play all those massively popular Android or iOS handheld games on a big screen, rather than running the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and the endless array of triple A titles available on traditional game consoles like the Xbox and Playstation.

Rather for now, this is competing with the little guy. Though ‘destroying’ might be a better descriptor than competing. I’m talking about the Ouya, of course, the Kickstarted, hack friendly Android based console that may have been the inspiration for both Google and Apple’s console dreams.

Once the Ouya racked up $8.5M in Kickstarted donations, blowing away their expectations, that told Google and Apple that people were indeed interested in a cheap console that plays phone games on their TV. There’s no way to know if the Ouya was the actual spark behind this movement, but the relative success of the console, at least conceptually, was probably enough to make both brands seriously consider the possibility.

The chief complaint with the Ouya, which was just released this week, is that despite there being a good selection of games, the whole package can feel a bit cheap and hacked together, like it was built on a budget (because it was). It’s hard to imagine Google and Apple not delivering a product with ten thousand percent more refinement, so it may be the case the Ouya won’t be long for this world.

This would be the initial phase of a new console war that few saw coming, except our own Erik Kain of course, months ago:

‘And Ouya? Well, it was a nice thought. It could have been disruptive. The problem is, aiming to disrupt the console business misses the point. Your real competitors are the big players in mobile, not in video games.’

Is this instant death for the Ouya? It seems clear cut when going up against giants like Apple and Google, but it could have one thing going for it. Intentional or not, the Ouya is a piracy goldmine, allowing even users with a fractional amount of tech knowledge to get access to emulator roms of nearly every old video game in existence. You can bet that’s a service Google and Apple won’t offer. And the general hackability of the box is something the larger companies will shy away from too.

But let’s say the Google and Apple boxes kill the Ouya. Then they face off against each other alone, and people have to decide whether they’d rather play iOS or Android games, nearly all of which would likely be available across both platforms. This is where the two boxes would have to differentiate themselves from one another. Is one cheaper? Does one have bonus app capability like Netflix NFLX +0.02% or Skype? Does the other have such a great design that people buy it as a decoration for their coffee table?

If Apple and Google slug it out in this ‘lower’ tier of console wars, it’s unclear what direct impact that would have on the likes of Sony , Microsoft and Nintendo, currently about to begin waging their next great console melee. I don’t believe an Apple or Google box would at all be a replacement for a traditional video game console. A console that plays phone games on a TV and one that plays actual games are not in the same league. They may share a customer base to some degree, but someone shelling out $99 for an Android console that doesn’t play major releases is still going to buy an Xbox One or a PS4.

It is worth wondering what would happen if things continued to evolve from there, however. What if Google or Apple did set their sights on the larger prize, an actual video game console, just as powerful as its top of the line competitors?

It may sound ridiculous, and in truth, I’m not sure how terribly likely it is, but it shouldn’t be ruled out. Once upon a time the idea that Microsoft would debut a video game console was laughable.

This would make the field exceptionally crowded, and some would say that’s the case already with three major consoles and the Oculus Rift on the horizon. If there were ever five true video game consoles competing in the same sphere, there would be causalities. They would struggle to differentiate themselves from one another, and someone would have to bit the dust. It could be the newcomers, as Google and Apple wouldn’t be trusted as console manufacturers. Or it could be a veteran like Nintendo, their struggling Wii U crushed by even more competition. The Xbox One and PS4 wouldn’t necessarily be safe either. In short, such a development would result in a complete upheaval of the entire industry.

But let’s dial back. A Google or Apple phone game console could fail from the get-go. I’m still not convinced there’s that big of a market for such a device. The now-famous comment about the Ouya is that people were excited about an Android console that plays phone games on their TV, then were disappointed when it turned out to be just an Android console that played phone games on their TV.

And as for breaking into the next-tier market, facing off against Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo? That would be an even bigger gamble, and one I’m not sure either Google or Apple would want to make. The market is crowded already. No one is floundering enough to even being close to dropping out of the game just yet, and as I said, it’s doubtful the industry could sustain four or five consoles. It remains to be seen if it can even support three in this next generation.

Still, it’s an exciting thought to hear that Google and Apple are thinking about getting into the console game, in whatever capacity. More competition and choice is a great thing for the industry. Not being particularly loyal to either brand, I’d love to see what Google and Apple’s vision of a video game console would even look like, from the controller to the box to the OS. It’s a rather fantastic notion, and I welcome hearing more news on this front.”

Warp Speed Travel is REAL?!?

Warp Speed!

So, science is now saying warp drive space travel is real! How cool is that!?

Why Warp Drives Aren’t Just Science Fiction

Live Science – “Astrophysicist Eric Davis is one of the leaders in the field of faster-than-light (FTL) space travel. But for Davis, humanity’s potential to explore the vastness of space at warp speed is not science fiction.

Davis’ latest study, ‘Faster-Than-Light Space Warps, Status and Next Steps’ won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) 2013 Best Paper Award for Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion.

TechNewsDaily recently caught up with Davis to discuss his new paper, which appeared in the March/April volume of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and will form the basis of his upcoming address at Icarus Interstellar’s 2013 Starship Congress in August.

‘The proof of principle for FTL space warp propulsion was published decades ago,’ said Davis, referring to a 1994 paper by physicist Miguel Alcubierre. ‘All conventional advanced propulsion physics technologies are limited to speeds below the speed of light … Using an FTL space warp will drastically reduce the time and distances of interstellar flight.’

Warp speed: a primer

Before delving into Davis’ study, here’s a quick review of faster-than-light space travel:

According to Einstein’s theory of special relativity, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. However, some scientists believe that a loophole in this theory will someday allow humans to travel light-years in a matter of days.

In current FTL theories, it’s not the ship that’s moving — space itself moves. It’s established that space is flexible; in fact, space has been steadily expanding since the Big Bang.

By distorting the space around the ship instead of accelerating the ship itself, these theoretical warp drives would never break Einstein’s special relativity rules. The ship itself is never going faster than light with respect to the space immediately around it.

Davis’s paper examines the two principle theories for how to achieve faster-than-light travel: warp drives and wormholes.

The difference between the two is the way in which space is manipulated. With a warp drive, space in front of the vessel is contracted while space behind it is expanded, creating a sort of wave that brings the vessel to its destination.

With a wormhole, the ship (or perhaps an exterior mechanism) would create a tunnel through spacetime, with a targeted entrance and exit. The ship would enter the wormhole at sublight speeds and reappear in a different location many light-years away.

In his paper, Davis describes a wormhole entrance as ‘a sphere that contained the mirror image of a whole other universe or remote region within our universe, incredibly shrunken and distorted.’

Sci-fi fans, for warp drives, think ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Futurama.’ For wormholes, think ‘Stargate.’

Mirror, mirror on the hull

The next question is: how to create these spacetime distortions that will allow vessels to travel faster than light? It’s believed — and certain preliminary experiments seem to confirm — that producing targeted amounts of what’s called ‘negative energy’ would achieve the desired effect.

Negative energy has been produced in a lab via what’s called the Casimir effect. This phenomenon revolves around the idea that vacuum, contrary to its portrayal in classical physics, isn’t empty. According to quantum theory, vacuum is full of electromagnetic fluctuations. Distorting these fluctuations can create negative energy.

According to Davis, one of the most promising methods for creating negative energy is called the Ford-Svaiter mirror. This is a theoretical device that would focus all the quantum vacuum fluctuations onto the mirror’s focal line.

‘When those fluctuations are confined there, they have a negative energy,’ said Davis. ‘You could have types of negative energy that could make a wormhole that you could put a person through and, if you make a bigger mirror, put a starship through. The [mirror] is scalable … that’s the beauty of it.’

Davis described a theoretical configuration of Ford-Svaiter mirrors that could enable FTL spaceflight: ‘For a traversable wormhole, it’ll have to be separate Ford-Svaiter mirrors [arranged] in an array to create the wormhole and then a ship with mirrors attached to it to extend the wormhole to the destination star.’

The concern there is how to target the wormhole’s exit.

‘We don’t know the answer to that question yet,’ said Davis. ‘Einstein’s theory of general relativity doesn’t answer it.’

That’s the difference between the fields of physics and engineering, Davis explained. According to our current understanding of physics, targeting the wormhole’s exit is possible, but engineers have yet to figure out how to achieve it.

‘On screen, Number One.’

Another issue addressed in Davis’ paper is how to navigate an FTL starship.

‘If you’re in a wormhole, you don’t go faster than light — you’re going at normal speeds, but your visualization and stellar navigations are all gone [because] … there are no stars to navigate by.’

The iconic image of stars streaking by a spaceship viewscreen popularized by franchises like ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ simply isn’t accurate, said Davis. ‘The light that goes through the wormhole gets distorted … you’re going to have a very weird visual display.’

This is because the negative energy necessary to create a wormhole or warp drive creates a repulsive gravity that distorts light around the ship.

So ships moving at faster-than-light speeds will not be able to observe their surroundings to calculate their location. Astronauts will have to rely on sophisticated computer programs to calculate their probable location. ‘You’ll need something on the order of a supercomputer equipped with parallel processing,’ said Davis. ‘[The computer is] going to have to do all the figuring out … [using] input data from the last position and estimating.’

This is more of a concern with warp drives, which are actively reshaping space as they travel, but not as much with traversable wormholes, whose entrances and exits will probably be preset before flight. ‘You can only go one way through the wormhole, so it’s not like you’re going to get lost,’ said Davis

It’s also important for the computer to be able to produce some kind of visual representation of its flight plan and spatial location. These images would then be rendered and displayed in the starship’s cockpit or bridge for the crew to see and study. ‘It’ll help the human psychological need for understanding, in real time, what the position changes of the stars are going to look like,’ said Davis.

Where no one has gone before

At the heart of Davis’ paper is the principle — supported by rigorous scientific theory — that faster-than-light travel is a real and even tangible possibility. The last section of the paper proposes nine ‘next steps’ that would push the field toward engineering prototypes and other practical tests of faster-than-light theories.

These steps include creating computer simulations to model the structure and effects of space warps. Davis also calls for more rigorous exploration of the Ford-Svaiter mirror, which is still a largely theoretical device. The mirror is just one possible way to generate negative energy; further study is needed to determine whether there are any other practical methods of achieving the same effect.

Davis describes the development and implementation of space-warp travel as ‘technically daunting’ in his paper, but in conversation, he said he has no doubt that faster-than-light travel will someday be not only possible, but necessary.

‘The Earth is subjected to natural and outer space and ecological disasters, so life is too fragile, while the planets in the solar system are not very hospitable to human life. So we need to explore extrasolar planets for alternative homes,’ Davis said.

‘This is all part of the growth and evolution of the human race.'”

Dr. Bill.TV #296 – Video – “The Phred Drinks Coffee Edition”

The first day of summer, a trailer for the Steve Jobs movie, Ben Heck builds a hand held Raspberry Pi, my take on Elon Musk, Tesla and New York trying to stop their sales, Incredipede celebrates Open Source, GSotW: BRL-CAD, a Cross Platform CAD program!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

BRL-CAD – Cross-Platform Open Source CAD


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Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/68924837


Dr. Bill.TV #296 – Audio – “The Phred Drinks Coffee Edition”

The first day of summer, a trailer for the Steve Jobs movie, Ben Heck builds a hand held Raspberry Pi, my take on Elon Musk, Tesla and New York trying to stop their sales, Incredipede celebrates Open Source, GSotW: BRL-CAD, a Cross Platform CAD program!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

BRL-CAD – Cross-Platform Open Source CAD


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Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/68924837


Geek Software of the Week: BRL-CAD – Cross-Platform Open Source CAD!

BRL-CADThis week’s GSotW is an Open Source Computer Aided Design (CAD) program that can be used like AutoCAD.

BRL-CAD – Cross-Platform Open Source CAD

BRL-CAD is a powerful cross-platform Open Source combinatorial Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) solid modeling system that includes interactive 3D solid geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, network-distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools, path-tracing and photon mapping support for realistic image synthesis, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, an embedded scripting interface, and libraries for robust high-performance geometric representation and analysis.

For more than 20 years, BRL-CAD has been the primary tri-service solid modeling CAD system used by the U.S. military to model weapons systems for vulnerability and lethality analyses. The solid modeling system is frequently used in a wide range of military, academic, and industrial applications including in the design and analysis of vehicles, mechanical parts, and architecture. The package has also been used in radiation dose planning, medical visualization, computer graphics education, CSG concepts and modeling education, and system performance benchmark testing among other purposes.

BRL-CAD supports a great variety of geometric representations including an extensive set of traditional CSG primitive implicit solids such as boxes, ellipsoids, cones, and tori, as well as explicit solids made from closed collections of Uniform B-Spline Surfaces, Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline (NURBS) surfaces, n-Manifold Geometry (NMG), and purely faceted mesh geometry. All geometric objects may be combined using boolean set-theoretic CSG operations including union, intersection, and difference.

BRL-CAD has been under active development with a portability heritage that includes systems such as a DEC VAX-11/780 running 4.3 BSD; DECStations running ULTRIX; Silicon Graphics 3030, 4D ‘IRIS,’ O2, Onyx, and Origin systems running various versions of IRIX; Sun Microsystems Sun-3 and Sun-4 Sparcs running SunOS; the Cray 1, Cray X-MP, Cray Y-MP, and Cray 2 running UNICOS; DEC Alpha AXP running OSF/1; Apple Macintosh II running A/UX; iPSC/860 Hypercube running NX/2; the Alliant FX/8, FX/80, and FX/2800; Gould/Encore SEL PowerNode6000/9000 and NP1; NeXT workstations; IBM RS/6000; HPPA 9000/700 running HPUX; Ardent/Stardent; Encore Multi-Max; and much more.

BRL-CAD is a collection of more than 400 tools, utilities, and applications comprising more than a million lines of source code. The package is intentionally designed to be extensively cross-platform and is actively developed on and maintained for many common operating system environments including for BSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Windows among others. BRL-CAD is distributed in binary and source code form as free open source software (FOSS), provided under Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license terms.

Open Source Appreciation Week from Incredipede

“Animal creation puzzler Incredipede is holding an ‘Open Source Appreciation week,’ in which Linux users are being rewarded with a free copy of the game. As users of the open-source OS crawl, roll and sproing away with their newly gifted present, there’s no need for other platform users to feel abandoned. You’re being given a not insignificant 50% off, instead.

‘I’m making it free because Linux users are such strong supporters of indie games and because I like Linux, and the philosophy behind it so much,” writes the game’s creator Colin Northway. In addition, a portion of the week’s Humble Store sales are being donated to the open source projects FlashDevelop and Box2D – both of which were instrumental in the creation of the game.

To claim your free copy, head to this page of the Incredipede site. There you’ll also find instructions for the game’s optimum set-up – a side-effect of the lack of Linux support from the decidedly closed-source Adobe Air.”

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