18 Jan 2012

One day you may walk into work, sit down on your cubicle and spin around to do note taking and other work on your very own Smart Window, rather than an old school whiteboard.  Perhaps you will hop into your car and augmented reality information will pop up on the screen as you are speeding down the highway at 55 mph.  You may just simply gaze out your window and information related to the weather and your days events will appear.

Samsung is hoping Smart Window technology will do all this and more.  They have increased the LCD transparency by 20 percent more.

Below are two links showing the technology.  Especially interesting is the ability to switch the window to shutter mode, blocking out light.  The technology can also work as a one-sided panel, preventing an outside user from seeing the person/display on the other.

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18 Jan 2012

There is another game in the growing list of Free-to-Play MMORPG's out there, a new trend that is catching on.  Star Trek Online is set in the year 2409 (for reference, Star Trek Nemesis was set in the year 2379).  You can captain a Starship as a Federation or Klingon captain and go on missions and combat.

I've played the game and can tell you that its really a lot of fun.  They have expanded the content over the years as well.  You will find mixed reviews out there, but now that it is free, nothing to lose in trying it.  So fire up your warp drive engine, set your mouse to stun and prepare to engage with Star Trek Online.

You can download the game to get started, from here.
As a side note, if you are interested in checking out the Star Trek Timeline, look at this link for details.

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18 Jan 2012

Windows 8 Server will feature a new file system, built from the ground up called “Resilient File System” or ReFS.  NTFS has been the gold standard for years, now ReFS expands on NTFS using it as the foundation.  By using NTFS’ API and semantics engine, it should maintain compatibility with NTFS features.

ReFS will have a new storage engine that should protect against latent disk errors, resist data corruption, uphold metadata integrity, have large volume, file and directory size support and have the ability for shared storage pools across machines for additional fault tolerance and balancing.

Windows Server 8 appears to be the main pilot program for ReFS initially.  Some other notes include the fact that Windows 8 Server, currently will not boot a ReFS partition, its meant more as a storage volume.  Microsoft does note that Windows 7 will have the ability to read a ReFS volume.  ReFS also doesn't support second level caching/hybrid storage using SSD is another thing that many may find disappointing as well, at least in this first iteration of the file system.  This approach of introducing a new file system is how Microsoft has done things in the past and with ReFS its long term goal is to replace NTFS, however NTFS won't be gone any time soon.

See this link if you want more on the gritty details.

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18 Jan 2012

Scientists are attempting to get to a lake that exists under 2 miles of Antarctica’s ice.  The lake is called Lake Ellsworth and is 7 miles long by 1 mile wide and 500 feet deep.  This lake is isolated from outside influence for hundreds of thousands of years.  They are expecting to find microorganisms.  Scientists say this is just one of many lakes that have been discovered in the region. 

They began drilling early this year, but work has since stopped and may not resume until November 2012.  They use a hot water drill, one of the largest ever built, with a hose 2.2 miles long.

It would seem logical, that such drilling could be used as a practice and a model for such drilling on many of the ice covered moons, such as Jupiter's Europa.  Europa's ice is actually much thicker at around 6 to 19 miles thick.  NASA hopes to explore and drill such locations via robotic instruments in the near future in similar searches for life, but budget cuts have prevented such missions from occurring, at least for now.

Further details on this topic can be found here.

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12 Jan 2012

According to Space.com and other sources, the Russian Agency is suggesting that failures such as the Mars probe Phobos-Grunt and other setbacks last year may be the result of foul play.

This Phobos-Grunt probe is due to enter the Earth's atmosphere Sunday, January 15th.  It was launched November 8th and became stuck in Earth orbit.  Apparently unnamed people may have brought it down and caused at least four other failures back in 2011.

It would seem that when the crafts enter the "dark" side of Earth, or areas where they can't see the craft and do not receive telemetry data, is when these failures occur.

There have also been other rocket failures in 2011, among them most recently on December 23, 2011, an unmanned Soyuz-2 rocket crashed shortly after liftoff.

These set backs are surely raising serious concerns from agencies like NASA who rely heavily on Russian spacecraft to help support the International Space Station (ISS).  NASA had recently retired the Space Shuttle fleet and it will be some time before the agency has new spacecraft to ferry astronauts to ISS.  NASA has been encouraging private companies to take on the space taxi service, such as agencies like SpaceX.  SpaceX is working on manned vehicles for the near future.  The hope is to have these up and running by 2015.

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12 Jan 2012

                                             2012 Apocalypse as depicted in the movie 2012
Well we have arrived in the year 2012, which many predict will be the last year for Earth, as it is supposed to end on December 21st, 2012.  Have you gathered up your paper products and canned foods yet?  Folks, rest assured that the rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.  We will most likely see December 22nd and 2013 so sleep easy.  The Earth is always under various threats from Mother Nature and space, but there are no known threats to this magnitude for 2012.

3 main reasons why there will not be an apocalypse in 2012:

  • The Earth has been around for 4 billion years, there is no known threats for 2012.

  • The origin of this theory for 2012 is related to a planet called Nibiru, a planet discovered (or claimed to have been) by the Sumerians.  This planet was to head for Earth and cause mass destruction (Sounds like a few movies doesn't it).  Originally predicted for 2003 it now got bumped up to 2012.  This was linked to the end of the Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012, so therefore arose the claims of a 2012 Apocalypse.

  • So, that brings us to the next question, does the Mayan calendar really end December 21st 2012?  No, this calendar does not just end and vanish on that date.  The date Dec 21st, 2012 is just the end of the Mayan long-count period, however, then a new long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar after this.

You can read more on this subject in greater detail in the article published by Space.com.

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12 Jan 2012

This video clip shows us what Skyrim may be like, set in the year 2012.. pretty entertaining.

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10 Jan 2012


Need a ton of space in a very small form?  At CES there is the Victorinox 1TB usb flash drive, that will come in two flavors, one as a Swiss Army Knife style or a regular USB stick appearance.  These also have an LCD display on the side, which appears as of now to just show the size of the device.  Its ETA to consumers is sometime in September or October.  Here comes the shell shock...  A price just under $3000.  Its worth a look, just for its intriguing design, but at that price you could buy a whole bunch of space in different formats for a lot less.

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