Sunday, December 30, 2012

3D Television-The Next Step in Home Entertainment


I've mentioned before in articles that 3D televisions are a giant step in entertainment. When movies began to be viewed on TV, it was hugely successful to say the least. Since entertainment is all about communication, movies on the TV hit the spot. But now the latest trickle down from movie theaters is coming into the home. Three-dimensional visual information, otherwise known as 3D, is the use of special glasses to make imagery look 3-Dimensional. The actual idea of just 3D in TVs is in itself possibly a colossal change for all humans. Picture this, originally, before television, people could not process all the information we do now as easily as we do, thus advancing our brain's screen processing capabilities. For some people, 3D is difficult to watch because it hurts their eyes, but in a few decades, people might not have that issue at all. That is pretty awesome.  

The awesomeness doesn't stop there though, the next advancement after is even cooler. Holograms are supposedly the next stage after 3D. Holograms just change everything  Ads, TV, movies, etc. But that's an article for another day... Anyways, 3D could also become like flat-screen, which is now a rather common sight in an average home. So, regardless, 3D television could change the way we entertain ourselves forever.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can Anyone Still Hear Me?-The Future of Radio

(Hover over image to reveal more)

The Radio. It's a machine that has changed the entertainment business. It was a like a personal reporter for those in the Second World War. And helps thousands of companies everyday inter-communicate. It has created major turmoil like the "War of the Worlds" report. It's no doubt that radio has left an unmistakable mark on society, but where does it go from here?

Television all but trumps radio in home entertainment now, and the internet has also somewhat pushed out radio for company communication. Since television has more variety of channels as well as having the visuals advantage. So, radio has lost the home entertainment market, and possibly soon the company communication one soon as well, so where does it go? The one place radio seems to have completely locked up is the in-car market. Since using TV in cars is illegal, radio is going to be almost impossible to kick out of this spot, because for the daily commuter who travels to work in solidarity, radio is a real savior, so there is a niche for radio in people's daily lives. Hopefully for radio, car makers do not develop a new entertainment method, as has happened will all of radio's other former niches. (Although iPod integration is a possible alternative).

Other than the car market, radio is all but gone. There are still radio icons that are reasonably well know such as Howard Stern and Elvis Duran, however, there is a decreasing amount of them. Radio really headed the movement of electronic entertainment/news, but it is becoming older. Music radio channels are also under attack from personal internet-based radio stations such as Pandora and Grooveshark. Even the talk shows are going away, because the last major host was Oprah Winfrey, but now, when's the last time a radio show host made the news headlines? While it isn't gone, it's on it's way out, unless a new option arrives for car riders.

Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Coolest Inventions of 2012

 #5 The Deepsea Challenger Submarine

Designed by director James Cameroon for filming, this rugged submarine can reach the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, at 7 miles deep. It was made to withstand the pressure of 3 SUV's put on your toe. It is fully equipped with  3-D cameras. Pretty darn cool.  

#4 Tesla Model S

The next step in green motoring, the American car manufacturer Tesla is really blazing the trail in performance electric automobiles. This means that the dream of racing and exotic cars doesn't have to become depleted with gasoline. It goes 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, but also has the electric charge equivalent of 89 MPG, and so far, electricity is the favorite form of alternative energy.

#3 Women's Body Armor

Finally, women can fulfill their dreams of serving their country on the front lines. Not that women dying is a good thing, but many women would love to help their country by protecting its freedom. For 85% of women in the U.S military, a men's X-small is too big for them, so the armor has been specially developed to fit women's bodies. It is going to be tested by 101st airborne's first brigade in the Middle East very soon.

#2 Wingsuit Racing

This year, the first ever Wingsuit Racing World Championship was held in China. Descending from a 5,000 foot cliff, they glided and then parachuted to the finish. The winner was South African Julian Boulle with a world record time of 23.41 seconds. That's pretty awesome, and man's dreams of self-dependent flight takes a huge leap and it most be a blast to watch.

#1 The Civilization Starter Kit

Marcin Jakubowski has created a blueprint for a DIY civilization. He identified the 50 most important machines for creating a brand new country today. That's pretty cool, and it is actually applicable in real life, like if in Antarctica, scientists want to create a quick civilization to observe the continent, or even if people actually want to settle there. Or even, for the sci-fi dreamers, in the far future, humans that go to settle other planets, can use it to do it more quickly.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

5 Most Important Discoveries of 2012

5. Paedophryne amauensis

On January 12th Scientists discovered the smallest vertebrate in the world. while not useful for human use, it is important to know about.

4.  Spidersilk

On January 4th, scientists create genetically engineered silkworms that create super-strong spidersilk. The created substance is stronger than steel, but is also as light as regular silk. The uses for this are immense, because it could help build stronger buildings, lighter, more fuel efficient cars, and many more possibilities  Also, it marks a big step in genetic engineering possibilities, it could be used on other small animals to create more efficient materials like spidersilk in the future.

3. Honey Bee Parasite

While it doesn't have a name, its discovery could save a possibly future endangered species. Since Honey Bees have been dying out and the cause has been a mystery, but the answer could lie in this unnamed parasite. If it is the cause of the dying of the honey bees, it could potentially save a species, even if it does mean killing another....

2. CCTV 

China launched the World's first commercial 3DTV channel (CCTV). 3D is the future of the television, so this is a big step, possibly the next big step in home entertainment. Eventually, this could lead to hologram television movies, which has huge potential for every part of everyday life.

1. Longevity gene

Discovered on November 13th, scientists discovered a longevity gene that made a small water-born organism virtually immortal and that could eventually trickle down to humans. It doesn't require much explanation to show how that is an interesting discovery, but because of the mega possibilities of this, it gets the honor of 2012's most important discovery. (Longevity gene pictured above).

Monday, December 24, 2012

5 Most Influential Political People of 2012

#5 Mohamed Morsi (Egyptian President)

By far this is probably the most different of the people on this list but his actions are no less influential. Coming off a recent violent revolution, he is put in an important situation. He has the influential position of trying to rebuild a whole nation. As well as controlling the biggest shipping canal in the world.

#4 Kim Jong Un (North Korean Leader)

This award would have gone to his father had his father been... well alive.  Anyways, the inheritance to the leader of North Korea almost automatically gets a mention here being that it is such a controversial country. So, why is he here? Well, being that he governs one of the possibly most hostile nations in the world, he is pretty influential.

#3 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iranian President)

Again, more infamous than famous, because of the Iranian missile crisis, his every move is extremely important. Also very watched, he basically defines foreign policy for many major nations. Meaning the dealing with the Iran situation is a huge part of foreign policy for many major countries. Also, if he is producing nukes, that will certainly change the world because he has already made the threat of nuking Israel. That would certainly be influential. Even if it's not for the better.

#2 Hu Jintao (Chinese President)

Being that China is possibly the biggest influence on the global economy, his actions couldn't have more influence. China has pretty much blackmailing material for every country, like when Japan detained a Chinese captain. China just put in an embargo, and Japan returned the captain immediately. That is the power of China, and the leader heads this power.

#1 Barack Obama (American President)

Recently elected, he has the duty of guiding America which is certainly no small task. America, like China has huge effect on the global economy. The other huge effect is on the global energy state. If you look back at almost all of the alternative energy sources, they have a major footing in America, and most are almost only available in the United States, so his actions could decide the future of alternative energy for a long time to come.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

5 Most Influential Non-Political People of 2012

#5: Terry Mcdermott (The Voice)

While it might not seem to big, Terry Mcdermott was the first contestant on American Television to sing the Beatles on the show. (Him Singing) While this isn't insanely influential, it means the rights to sing their song on television are fair game, and considering they're some of the most influential people of all time I felt this guy deserved a mention. Also, he has created quite a buzz and has sold huge amounts of singles and might bring back classic rock according to many.

#4: Psy (Gangnam style)

While it may seem quite silly, there is an importance to his achievements  It has really showcased the power of the internet. The first Youtube video with 1,000,000,000 views, it is also the most watched video on Youtube. Still not convinced? Well consider this. He has sent a message that has been viewed 1 billion times. Take any important document or idea and give it 1 billion views. That can change the world. Consider giving  documents like The Communist Manifesto or Conspicuous Consumption one billion views. That can truly change everything.

#3: LGBTQ Rights leaders

While there isn't just one that I can pick out, anyone pretty much fits the reason for these people getting #3. LGBTQ is a huge issue, it is like the civil rights movement of this generation. It has been part of civilization since the beginning of civilization (most likely). It also gains influentiality because it goes against religion. While not necessarily a good thing, it does shake the roots of society. It also has become a huge part of television and is a big part of many big shows currently running. The last part is that it further creates debate in religion, does homosexuality agree with the ideals of the bible, or do the two clash? Needless to say, the leaders of this movement are very influential.

#2: Chuck Hall

Never heard of him? You're not alone, but very soon his name could become known across the world as possibly the biggest inventor of all time. He invented the 3-d printer. (More on 3-D Printing) The possibilities of that are immense and will probably be fully explored within the next 20 years, so not only will it be huge, but it will be huge very soon.

#1 Larry Page/Sergey Brin

The co-founders of Google, they already own the most viewed website in history, and the biggest website sharing website of all time as well. However this year, they made a huge leap in futher becoming part of everyday life. Android sales are up seriously, and they are gaining a big following. They also now own Motorola, and even though it isn't a very popular cell provider, it has potential. And if that wasn't enough, they introduced Google Wallet, which means Google can know your buying info, and possibly sell it to companies. That is pretty scary, but it is also revolutionary, because that changes everything for retailers, because they know alot more about what you want and like, so they can strategically purchase and place items by trends in communities near stores. Because of these contributions these two are my most influential people of 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Alternative Energy 2-Alcohol

Background: While it's probably not the the alcohol you're thinking of, it is a type of alcohol called Methanol. It comes from trees and is made from a variety of sources.

Pros: Because it can be made from natural gas (and it often is) it shares the pros of the land owning that comes with natural gas (for more on the pros and cons of natural gas: Click here). Methanol is very available, recently, some companies came together and aim to inject over 100,000 barrels into the U.S market by next year. The other advantage of that is that bigger oil companies will be able to see it's market value without investing. So, they will be able to make a smoother and better educated transition. Methanol is currently the official fuel of Indycar, for a few positive reasons. Firstly  because it is made of less components, it doesn't vary so much from batch to batch like in gasoline. That can potentially increase fuel mileage. The next advantage is that it is not flammable like gasoline so it is safer for transporting and in military situations. The final is one is shares with its sister fuel, Ethanol, ans that is because it is natural, it is not that dangerous if spilled.  

Cons: Another possible way to get ethanol is through wood fermentation, hence trees would have to be chopped down, which is already an issue just for paper. It is also seriously toxic to the human touch, and if it does burn, it is hard to detect through a regular human eye. The mileage could also be lessened possibly, because it has never been tested thoroughly for road cars, but for Indycar, the range was decreased.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Alternative Energy 2-Ethanol

Background: Ethanol is an alcohol fuel sourced from corn or other plants like grass and/ or certain types of trees.

Pros: Ethanol is a rapidly growing fuel in popularity and is even featured in some commercials for gasoline companies like Exxon Mobile and Shell. Switching to ethanol (blend E85) sees no drop in engine performance. The unique benefit for ethanol is that it sees a very low addition onto vehicle price, meaning the transition could be smoother than other fuels. For any gearheads, you should know that it reduces engine knock (for those who are not car enthusiasts, here is an explanation: Engine Knocking Explained). And the final advantages are more common, they are that it is mainly domestically produced (U.S), and that it releases less pollutants.

Cons: While this can also be a pro, the cost is know to vary per area, so some places might have to pay more than expected, but then again gasoline is the same. On top of costs, like the other plant-based fuels like Biodiesel, it has a very low energy content, so the mileage is somewhat poor. The mileage drop is estimated to be somewhere from 25-30%. Ethanol also requires a certain type of motor types like flex-fuel vehicles. It is currently not too attractive to smaller gasoline companies because it is expensive to produce, with the costs of growing, special storage needs, extra staff etc. Finally, the biggest con to switching to ethanol is that it has limited availability. There is only so much space to have corn fields in the world, so it would be difficult to keep up with global increasing demand.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Alternative Energy 2-Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a fuel produced from vegatable oil, it contains fatty acids.

Pros: Because it is a plant-based fuel source, it has a tremendous amount of energy output. In fact, it gives 3.2 times what it take to produce. So, it's profitable in that respect. It is also largely domestically produced in America; it has a much smaller toxin output compared to gasoline. With the different forms of Biofuel, it can reduce carbon emissions by 15-75 percent. Biodiesel has a very high lubricity rate, so it lessens the need for oil and also keeps engine running more smoothly for longer. Being that it is a plant-based liquid, it is also biodegradable, so it won't destroy the environment if spilled. It is also generally safer, it is less flamable, but is also safe to the touch and to store in relatively dangerous areas. Finally, it is also very easy to use and can be used in any regular diesel engine.

Cons: Blends over B5 are currently not approved by many automakers. Also, it has less fuel economy and also currently costs more than gasoline. The particular blend of B100 is problematic, it is not suitable for low temperatures and it also possibly has negative effects on engine durability. Lastly, there is a possibility of a nitrogen oxide increase in biodiesel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alternative Energy Contd.- Propane

Pros: Propane, otherwise known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas is another fossil fuel. It is clean-burning which means not only less CO2, but less Carbon Monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbon. Which basically translates to plain English as less toxins. Propane is also highly available and is already sold in many stores worldwide for grill-powering purposes. It is also much cheaper and is sold for about an average of $2 per gallon. While that isn't a major difference, it does add up over time. Also, for all the Americans, 90% of propane is domestically sourced in the U.S.

Cons: In other ways however, propane availability is limited. It is not recognized yet as a major player of alternative energy, probably because it's also a fossil fuel, and hence it has the same issue of there being a finite amount and hence it will naturally run out. And hence, because of that there are not many purpose-built engines for propane. And there aren't many conversion places out there, unless you know how to do it yourself. The last issue is that the mileage isn't great, so in total, the price might even out, because even though it's cheaper, you have to refuel more often.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun Control-NEEDED NOW

Firstly, I would like to dedicate this to the victims of the horrible crime committed in Sandy Hook Connecticut earlier last week. Following that unfortunate incident, people are complaining about the lack of control in gun possession abilities. So lets look at the facts.

Well, originally, the right to bear arms will part of the Bill of Rights, introduced not long after the Constitution. The idea was that since America had no official comparable army when placed in a situation where there were still massive empires. So, like what occurred during the American Revolution, they would need the citizens to take up arms if attacked. Currently, the American Government spends about half of its annual revenue on the military. Well, my take is obvious, seriously limit the availability of guns. According to laws, purchasing a gun is less dangerous than drinking, less dangerous than medical marijuana. In most states by the age of 18 you are able to buy guns, but not alcohol or medical marijuana. Maybe even if total banning is too intense, just limiting it to people without mentally infringed people in close relation with them. Some of the biggest arguments against gun control is that people kill people, guns don't kill people. Well in a similar situation to Sandy Hook in China, a man armed with only a knife attacked 22 children in an elementary school. All of them survived. As opposed to in Connecticut where none of the victims survived. That, speaks for itself. Even if that isn't included, the fact that he had an assault rifle is insane. An assault rifle is not needed to hunt, for personal defense, or for anything for that matter.

So, the final and most prudent reason for why guns should be regulated is because they are archaic. They are used to hunt from a legal perspective, and that in itself has become unnecessary with the invention of the supermarket. Hence, guns are no longer a necessary part of society, and as we have recently seen, they are only a danger.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The History/Future of Facebook

Facebook is a social networking site that encompasses the boom of the internet. As of September of this year, Facebook has generated over 1,000,000,000 (one billion) users from all around the world. It has an interesting future, but first, a look at its past. Facebook Inc. was established on February 2004 in Harvard University by Mark Zuckerburg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. I was originally only for students at Harvard, but then was expanded to eventually include the whole world.

Facebook currently is the most used social networking site on the internet. Widely ahead of its competition. Facebook has an annual revenue of about 3.7 billion dollars, which mainly stems from advertising and paying games on-site. It has revolutionized the idea of social gaming with hits like Mafia Wars and Farmville.

Finally, its future. It is interesting because the main question about Facebook is whether it will end up like Myspace, or is it too big to fail? Being that Facebook has about 1/7 of the world's population on its site, it would seem rather drastic for the majority of its users to switch. Even so, competitors like G+ have been gaining momentum and are introducing new ideas that Facebook doesn't have. So, Facebook is stuck in a bit of a standstill in where it can go. There isn't much to add on a social networking site, so it basically has to hope that its users stick to it loyally. However, that is only regarding the flagship site. Since it bought Instagram for 1 billion, it seems like a company that could be like the next google for social sites.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Martian Dilemma

Not to long ago, the Martian probe Curiosity found yet another sign that life could have existed on Mars. Even less than 1,000 years ago. The question is that if we discover life, what do we do next? What could happen? What will?

Firstly, what we should do. Hand it over to scientists that aren't effected by the government. But before I go off on a corruption rant, here's an example of why. When the Atomic Bomb was created, the theory of nuclear power was discovered by Albert Einstein. It had the potential to power the world and eliminate the oil problem. However, when politics became involved, it was used for highly destructive purposes. If we hand it over to top scientists from multiple countries, that eliminates the problem.

A lot could happen, and there are a ton of variables. In the very unlikely case that the life is new and has something new that could contribute to technology or science, then it would be very possible that it ends up like the colonial age where advanced countries fight to control the areas where the new life is abundant. Hopefully we've moved past that dark age. If the life is already discovered, then populating the new planet becomes a possibility that will lead to a possible second space race, but that would be difficult considering only one country has ever put a man on the moon, but still possible. What should happen, however is the planet should be equally distributed randomly on the planet.

In conclusion, the probability is unknown , it is a completely new idea, and people back in the 1790s probably could not have predicted the colonization of the 1800s and early 1900s. The same way now, it is difficult and dangerous to make a prediction now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And then there was none, the world after gasoline.

Gasoline is one of the most controversial substances that is used on a daily basis. It is projected that within the next 20 years, however, it will have run out. and there will be none left on planet Earth. So after that happens, what happens? Well lets look at the possibilities.

The cool parts about when gas leaves the energy scene is that theoretically, the price of everything should go down. Because the main cause of inflation is rising gas prices, so then in theory that increase should be deducted from all the products. This might seem far-fetched considering that if it does cost less and retailers have the opportunity to increase their profit margins, it would seems unlikely that they would turn that down. However, through competition, it my happen. Consider this: because retailers have more wiggle room to lower their prices, small businesses might lower because they are less profit driven, and to stay competitive, bigger retailer like Walmart and Kmart might need to lower their prices. Even without small businesses  bigger companies might compete with each other; kind of like how they competed to be the earliest opener on Black Friday, even though they opened at ridiculous hours. Again, as mentioned in previous articles, the alternative will have its own pros and cons, but mainly, they are all cleaner.

Some other effects that would be more conspicuous, the oil industry would be jumbled around. They might branch out and try different alternatives, they might all switch to one alternative. Regardless, it will be a pivotal moment in all of the oil companies' life. Finally, as a side note, there is a possibility that it won't happen. Some scientist are attempting to find a way to artificially create fossil fuels. Alchemy? Good idea? Only time will tell. The more probable idea is to take the materials for fossil fuels and put it underground and hopefully aid someone millions of years from now.