Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

US Military to Test Internet Router in Space

The Department of Defense is working on an Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) initiative, which plans to deliver military communications through a satellite-based router. This will eventually benefit civilian communications as well, allowing packets to be routed via satellite the same way that TV and phone signals are routed now.

Link

Posted in Computers & Internet, Space April 19th, 2007 by Chip
1 comment

Agreed

A post on Slumbering Lungfish that made me wince slightly.

Posted in Ephemera April 18th, 2007 by Chip
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I Can Actually Envision This on HGTV in About 20 Years

The latest Alt-Text column on body modification.

(I was going to title this post “Pimp My Body,” then realized that was too close to the actual meaning of the term.)

Posted in Humor April 18th, 2007 by Chip
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The Future of Spaceports

The latest issue of Air & Space Smithsonian takes a look at the future of commercial spaceports that cater to tourists. In addition to the one that Richard Branson is building in New Mexico, there have been several others proposed all over the globe.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Space April 17th, 2007 by Chip
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Signs of Water Found Outside of Solar System

Water vapor has been found in the atmosphere of HD 209458b, a Jupiter-type gas giant located in Pegasus (about 150 light years from Earth). While not particularly surprising from a chemical standpoint, this is the first evidence of water outside the solar system so it’s nice to know for sure it’s out there.

Link

Posted in Space April 16th, 2007 by Chip
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The X Prize for Cars

The X Prize Foundation, which awarded the Ansari X Prize for a privately funded spacecraft (won by SpaceShipOne in 2004) is now trying the same approach to spur invention of a super-efficient automobile.

The Automotive X Prize winner will not only have to meet stringent emissions standards and get 100 miles to the gallon, it will also have to be a “desirable mainstream vehicle that people want to buy.” That right there is the key; as Scott Adams recently commented on his blog:

Every time I see a hybrid car on the road I experience a weird mixture of love and hate. I love the concept and how it’s good for the environment. I hate that the car company is punishing the well-meaning customer by making him ride in a car that shouts to the world “I HAVE NEVER HAD SEX AND I NEVER WILL!”

He comments a bit further in his post, “I’m generally not one to subscribe to conspiracy theories. But I think it’s obvious that if the oil companies wanted the car companies to make fuel-efficient cars that also looked good, it would have happened by now.” I have to sort of agree with that; it’s kind of like hoping that Pfizer will research and market a cure for the cold virus that costs ten cents.

Link

Posted in News April 13th, 2007 by Chip
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Tastes Like…Oh, Forget It

You may remember the exciting news last year that some T. rex bones had been so perfectly preserved that some soft tissue was still intact. Some proteins have been extracted and sequenced, and guess what the T. rex is related to? G’head, guess. These jokes just write themselves.

Link

Posted in Science April 12th, 2007 by Chip
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Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

After suffering brain injuries from a recent fall, Kurt Vonnegut has passed away at the age of 84.

Link

Posted in Books & Authors April 12th, 2007 by Chip
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User Interfaces in SF Movies

The paper “Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies,” produced for the Instrumented Spaces computer seminar at Saarland University explores the way that people interface with computers in SF TV and movies, from Forbidden Planet to Johnny Mnemonic. Screen shots accompany a thoughtful analysis of the various categories of user interface.

How come I never got this kind of research project when I was in college?

Link (via We Make Money, Not Art)

Posted in Computers & Internet, Movies & TV April 11th, 2007 by Chip
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“Total Dick-Head,” New PKD Blog

Doing anything other than reporting the title seems superfluous somehow.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Books & Authors April 10th, 2007 by Chip
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