Death of the smartphone and what comes after – Business Insider

Still, all those decade-plus investments in the future still rely on gadgetry that you have to wear on you, even if it’s only a pair of glasses. Some of the craziest, most forward-looking, most unpredictable advancements go even further — provided

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@GrantDuffy: “Amazing video of #CycloneDebbie taken from ISS @Space_Station…”

Amazing video of #CycloneDebbie taken from ISS @Space_Station. Beautiful yet ferocious, stay safe QLD @ForceThirteen — Grant Duffy (@Grant_Duffy) March 27, 2017 From: Grant Duffy on Twitter: “Amazing video of #CycloneDebbie taken from ISS @Space_Station. Beautiful yet ferocious,

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Nuke test films digitized in the nick of time –

Over a period of about 20 years after the end of World War II, the US conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests. Each was captured by multiple cameras, rolling at around 2,400 frames per second.A handful of the estimated 10,000 mesmerizing

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

Sharon Weinberger: How nuclear fears helped inspire creation of the internet – Aeon Essays

‘How much money do you need to get off the ground?’ Herzfeld asked. ‘A million dollars or so, just to get it organised,’ Taylor replied. ‘You’ve got it,’ Herzfeld replied. And that was it. The conversation to approve the money

Posted in Internet, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

NASA proposes building artificial magnetic field to restore Mars’ atmosphere – ExtremeTech

Green notes that advances coming out of plasma physics could allow for the future development of inflatable structures that can generate a magnetic dipole of 1 or 2 tesla. That could [be] enough to shield Mars against the solar wind,

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Stuff in Space – h/t @pbump

Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. The website updates daily with orbit data from and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions. From: Stuff in Space

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Kim Stanley Robinson: Our Generation Ships Will Sink – Boing Boing

With the enormous successes of Star Trek and Star Wars, the idea was firmly planted in the popular imagination: if we survived as a species, we would be moving out into the galaxy. This awesome diaspora would mark our maturity

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Jordan Belamire: My First Virtual Reality Groping – Athena Talks

“Stop!” I cried. I must have laughed from the embarrassment and the ridiculousness of the situation. Women, after all, are supposed to be cool, and take any form of sexual harassment with a laugh. But I still told him to

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Casey ex Australia: Confronting the Credibility Gap for Crewed Exploration of Mars

To what extent are we responsible for the credibility gap? We should know better than anyone that there are real challenges that can’t be wished away, that Mars is hard, and that “all you gotta do” doesn’t really cut it

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What NASA plans to do if an astronaut dies in space – 3tags

Since the body would need to be isolated within 24 hours to avoid contamination, it would be immediately placed into a GoreTex bag that would be inflated into a type of sarcophagus. Funeral rites would be performed very quickly, in

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Noted & Quoted

This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance.  They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.

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One seasoned Democrat told me that among the reasons Trump won in 2016 was that a long year of Crooked Hillary talk, about emails and Goldman Sachs and the like, had steadily demoralised and demobilised the liberal base. If sustaining fury at Trump helps keep those same voters energised, so they eventually turn out to defeat him, it’ll be worth it, he says.

But it can’t just be in the form of world-weary, if witty, tweets. What’s needed is a coherent argument, one that explains why Trump’s repulsive behaviour matters. For Americans, that will surely centre on the state of their society. The civic realm is being degraded by Trump’s lies, vanities and insults. The national conversation is being coarsened. The basic democratic assumption, that disagreements can be resolved through discussion rather than coercion and violence, is being eroded from the very top. Note the language of Scaramucci’s outburst: “I want to fucking kill all the leakers.”

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[C]limate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

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+ BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

For WordPress self-hosted people, there is already a "restore legacy editor" plugin, even though Gutenberg hasn't been installed yet as the default.

Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress
+ I thought you were on, not self-hosted WordPress. I can't find any info on and Gutenberg or Gutenbergerish editing, so I don't know [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

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