Quote of the day—MN Gordon

We know from the executive order released by the Biden administration on March 9, which required several federal agencies to study digital currencies and to identify ways to regulate them, that CBDCs and other policies governing digital assets must mitigate “climate change and pollution” and promote “financial inclusion and equity.

What does this mean, exactly?

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) earlier this year, one zealous central planner clearly stated that the intent of traceable and programmable CBDCs is to monitor, “where you are traveling, how you are traveling, what you are eating, what you are consuming – individual carbon footprint tracker.

MN Gordon
December 2, 2022
Will Your State Reject the Fed’s Digital Dollar?
[They make it so appealing. Why would anyone reject it?

See also here and here for additional benefits.—Joe]

State of the art in quantum computing

The media claims less that a 100 qubits is really good for quantum computers:

Prototype quantum computers made of a few dozen qubits have materialized in the last couple of years, led by Google’s 54-qubit Sycamore machine.

And 433 is the world record:

IBM has built the largest quantum computer yet. Dubbed Osprey, it has 433 qubits, or quantum bits, which is more than triple the size of the company’s previously record-breaking 127-qubit computer and more than eight times larger than Google’s 53-qubit computer Sycamore.

Just as you know the media gets almost everything wrong about guns, they don’t know quantum computing either. This is what one company is saying publicly:

Photonic is producing 2cm square silicon chips capable of holding a million+ qubits.

I won’t tell you how long ago I knew this, what they are saying now, and what hints have been dropped about the future other than what I said yesterday. But the business model will be, basically, a “mainframe which you can rent time on.” The computer languages already exist to write quantum programs.

I recently asked another source with in depth knowledge of the state of the art in quantum computing, “I know about decryption, but what are going to be the other ‘killer apps’ for quantum computing?” The answer was, “Solutions to logistics problems, weather and climate modeling, and anything with really large numbers of variables.”

Something to think about

Quantum computing will have the ability to break most existing encryption methods. People and, in particular, governments are collecting encrypted messages/files/etc. for decryption in the future.

These saved “messages” will include traffic to websites. This will include commerce (think gun and ammo purchases), blogs (this one is not encrypted), forums, etc.

A reliable source recently told me to expect RSA encryption to be broken in three years and government entities are preparing for that.

Interesting problem

Capitol Police, FBI uncover new potential deadly risk to female officers from body armor

The U.S. Capitol Police alerted its rank-and-file this month that FBI lab testing of long-approved body armor has uncovered a previously unknown flaw that can subject female officers to deadly ricochets from bullets.

The advisory, obtained by Just the News, revealed that the FBI first detected the problem, known as the “skip effect,” when it “departed from legacy testing protocols in a desire to test body armor in an ‘as worn’ condition, and to account for various body shapes and sizes.”

“The testing revealed that when a projectile strikes the female body armor at an extreme angle on the upper chest area, the projectile does not penetrate the body armor, but rather, skips or deflects off the surface of the armor into the neck region,” the advisory explained. “Because of the angle at which female body armor lays when worn, projectiles may skip off the top center of the female armor and travel to the area of the jugular notch” in the neck where the jugular vein passes.

This will be an interesting problem to solve. How can the body armor be made to not deflect the bullets into the head and neck and still conform to the shape of women’s bodies enough to be comfortable?

This also points out an weakness of the armor for men as well. With the proper angle of incidence bullets can funneled into areas like the arms. Aim for the “arm area” and the shooter gets a disabling hit even if they miss the arm itself.

Quote of the day—Tom Gresham @Guntalk

Mental Health Reminder: Before you get into an online shouting match with someone, remember that it’s quite likely that there is no one there. It’s a bot. Often best to move on, putting your efforts into something that’s actually productive. Like reloading. 😉

Tom Gresham @Guntalk
Tweeted on October 21, 2022
[This is probably good advice.

Reloading, practice, and building your underground bunker.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Lori Glaze

Let’s all just kind of take a moment to soak this in … for the first time ever, humanity has changed the orbit [of a celestial body].

Lori Glaze
Director of planetary science at NASA
October 11, 2022
Smashing success: NASA asteroid strike results in big nudge
[It is a remarkably big deal. Imagine firing a bullet even one 1/1000th of that distance at an object about 500 feet in diameter and moving thousands of miles per hour and hitting it. Now think about what this technology could mean for our planet. It could save millions or even billions of lives and prevent incalculable amounts of property damage. It could even prevent the extinction of hundreds or thousands of species.

Now NASA should contract with private enterprise to put a bunch of rock pushers on the moon or in orbit and be ready to push threats away from us on short notice.—Joe]

Plastic eating

For years I have expected some sort of bacteria would be created which would digest waste plastic. It would be tricky because what if it escaped the waste plastic treatment plant and the milk jug in your refrigerator turned into a sieve overnight?

This is probably a better solution:

Two substances in the saliva of wax worms — moth larvae that eat wax made by bees to build honeycombs — readily break down a common type of plastic, researchers said on Tuesday, in a potential advance in the global fight against plastic pollution.

The researchers said the two enzymes identified in the caterpillar saliva were found to rapidly and at room temperature degrade polyethylene, the world’s most widely used plastic and a major contributor to an environmental crisis extending from ocean trenches to mountaintops.

The study builds on the researchers’ 2017 findings that wax worms were capable of degrading polyethylene, though at that time it was unclear how these small insects did it. The answer was enzymes — substances produced by living organisms that trigger biochemical reactions.

For plastic to degrade, oxygen must penetrate the polymer — or plastic molecule — in an important initial step called oxidation. The researchers found that the enzymes performed this step within hours without the need for pre-treatment such as applying heat or radiation.

The idea would be to produce the worms’ saliva enzymes synthetically, which the researchers succeeded in doing, to break down plastic waste. Bertocchini said the use of billions of wax worms to do the job has drawbacks including generating carbon dioxide as they metabolize the polyethylene.

“In our case, the enzymes oxidize plastics, breaking it into small molecules. This suggests alternative scenarios to deal with plastic waste in which plastics can be degraded in controlled conditions, limiting or eventually eliminating altogether the release of microplastics,” said study co-author Clemente Fernandez Arias, an ecologist and mathematician at CSIC.

Hypersonic bullets

These are believed to be good for anti-material. Not so good for animals you plan to eat:

China is working to downsize its hypersonic weapons program to the small arms level, as seen in recent tests of prototype hypersonic bullets on live targets.

Researchers from an army medical center in Chongqing recently fired 5-millimeter steel projectiles at Mach 11 speeds against sedated live pigs to understand the effects of hypersonic bullets on human targets, the South China Morning Post reported this week.

Citing a paper from the Acta Armamentarii peer-reviewed journal of the China Ordnance Society, the South China Morning Post report noted that hypersonic bullet shots to the thigh did not instantly kill the pigs but caused severe injuries throughout their bodies.

The news report said that the pigs sustained extensive internal damage, mainly bone fractures and bleeding in the intestine, lung, bladder and brain.

It said that the bullets penetrated the thigh at speeds between 1,000 to 3,000 meters per second, but at 4,000 meters per second, the rounds instead left a large wound cavity at the point of impact.

The report also said such hits resulted in crater-like wounds, liquefying both bullet and flesh.

4,000 m/s is 13,123 f/s. A typical 9mm handgun bullet is typically traveling about 1,100 f/s at the muzzle. A 5.56 NATO bullet fired from “weapon of war” which “explodes the heads of children”* is typically a little over 3,200 f/s at the muzzle.

I expect they will, or perhaps already have, done testing on human targets as well as pigs. The CCP is like that.


* Registered trademark of the Gifford’s Group.

I love living in the future.

This was from the SpaceX + T-Mobile Update a few minutes ago but it is not the main message for today.

We would love to have T-Mobile on Mars.

Elon Musk
August 25, 2022
SpaceX + T-Mobile Update

The real message wasn’t quite as cool, but it was still awesome stuff.

Sometime late next your existing T-Mobile phone will have messaging (not necessarily voice or data until later) connectivity anywhere in the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, large portions of Alaska, and wide areas of U.S. territorial waters.

The vision is no more cell phone dead zones. Emergency services in your most remote areas anywhere in the country and eventually the entire world. The price? Free for most existing T-Mobile service plans.

There were some interesting technical problems which had to be solved. It works in the lab and they are confident it will work in the real world.

Among the problems are:

  • The satellites are traveling at 17,000 MPH and compensated for the doppler effect is required.
  • The satellites are 50 miles away and the satellite antennas need to be about five meters by five meters to receive and transmits signals to the cell phone antennas.
  • Because of the larger antennas they plan to use SpaceX Starships rather than Falcon 9s..

I love living in the future.

Free stage design tool

This stage design tool is cool:

image

This is a web application. No installing on your local machine is required.

Other features (from an email I received from them):

  • Easy to use – Simply drag and drop the props onto the stage and arrange how you like. 
  • My Stages Library – By creating an account in our Stagebuilder software, you will be able to save stages in your own “My Stages” library to come back to later.
  • Custom Props – We have included a wide selection of props to use in your stages, and you can even upload your own images to use as props. You can also add a text box to the stage to include specific instructions or notes if needed.
  • Stage Descriptions – You are able to include: a stage name, start position, stage number, round count, number of strings, number of paper targets, type of scoring, procedure notes, and setup notes. This description is added to the bottom of the page when you print or save your stage.

If you scroll down while on the web page there are a lot more target types to chose from.

You can save your stages online, include a stage description, print them out.

25 years ago when I was working for Microsoft on Direct X I fantasized about writing an application like this but with the added feature of using 3D and allowing you to walk through the stage and visualize it from any angle.

There are many other stage design tools. Some even use augmented reality which would be cool because you could superimpose your stage over your shotting bay using your phone camera.

Another type is, basically, Legos for stage designers.

With my own range now I think just the simple web app works for me. I can do the 3D visualization in reality rather than virtual space.

The physics of heat transfer

When I was going to college thermodynamics was dreaded by many engineering students. Apparently, it involved concepts difficult for many to grasp. For some reason it made perfect sense to me. Compared to most of my other engineering classes it was easy. I got a very high A in the class. That was decades ago, and I have forgotten a lot of it but I do have a good recollection of heat transfer.

That bright engineering students find it challenging means it should come as no surprise that people with little or no training in the subject would have misconception about how certain thermodynamic related physical phenomena occur. There have been many times on this blog I have made statements, or linked to articles, which described perfectly obvious observations. Some commenters declared them obliviously false. I didn’t want to take the time to explain why they were in error. It was just too much work for that particular situation.

It is now time to attempt explain certain things to people in terms and examples that will help them understand the physics of heat transfer. There are other sources on the web as well. But I will include example directly applicable to material on this blog.

The three* classic methods of heat transfer are:

  1. Thermal conduction (also called diffusion).
  2. Thermal convection.
  3. Thermal radiation.

The first two are relatively well understood at an intuitive level by nearly all functional people. It is the thermal radiation that I most want to address because of the clear lack of understanding I see in the comments here. I will explain the items 1 and 2 first to make the distinction from thermal radiation clearer. Please either stick with me or skip ahead if excessive boredom occurs.

Thermal conduction occurs when two objects of different temperature touch. Your finger touching an ice cube initiates the transfer of heat from your finger to the ice. The ice warms and when it reaches the melting point it changes phase from solid to liquid water.

If your finger is in a glass of liquid water and an ice cube thermal convection occurs**. Via conduction your finger warms the water touching your finger and because the warm water is slightly less dense than cold water*** the warm water rises. If the warm water is rising, then the cold water must be sinking. This creates a loop of water flow in the glass. It is slow enough that you cannot easily see it or feel it. If you were to put a drop of food coloring in the water, you probably could. The coldest water is next to the ice cube and the warmest is next to your finger. The water leaving the ice cube is replaced by water that recently left your warm finger. The warm water touching the ice cube conducts heat to the ice cube. This warms and melts the ice and cools the water causing it to sink. Heat is thus transferred from your finger to the ice.

Thermal convection occurs in gases as well as liquids. If you open a hot oven door with your face over the opening, you will feel an almost blast of hot air. No similar blast occurs at the crack at the bottom of the oven because cool air is rushing in. The hot air rises near a wood stove and cool air near the floor replaces it and forms a slow-moving loop of air. Soaring birds “ride the thermals” when different portions of the earth absorb more energy from the sun that others (for example dirt versus plants). This creates an updraft of air over the hotter earth which allows the birds to stay aloft with greatly reduced effort.

Thermal radiation occurs at all temperatures above absolute zero (-273.15 C or –459.67 F). But in our normal earthly circumstances most people are unaware of it because conduction and convection tend to dominate everyday life thermal transfers. Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of particles in matter.

  • Thermal radiation occurs across empty space as in from the sun to the earth.
  • Thermal radiation occurs through gases as in from the sun to the surface of the earth.
  • Thermal radiation occurs though solids as in the sun through glass.

The sun is not some magical generator. Microwave ovens emit a very specific frequency of identical electromagnetic waves which also transfer heat. The difference is only in the means by which the EM waves are creates, not in the nature of the waves.

The leaves of plants will sometimes get colder than the nearby air because they radiate their heat into outer space on a cold clear night when the air is still. Hence the air may be 35 F but the plant leaf can lose heat and drop to below 32F and get frost damage.

Orchard owner sometimes protect their crops by “heaters” which produce smoke to block the thermal radiation. The heaters do not produce enough heat to significantly heat the air. Owners also sometimes use large fans which move warmer air over the leaves. Via conduction the warmer air restores the heat lost by radiation.

The temperature of the sun is extremely high, and the thermal radiation occurs at high levels across a broad spectrum which includes the visible spectrum. The visible spectrum is what we call light. At the low frequency end of light, we call this thermal radiation red and even lower infrared. At the high frequency of light, we call this thermal radiation blue and even higher is ultraviolet.

Glass is not a magical solid conductor of thermal radiation. When exposed to thermal radiation all substances will do the following three things in various degrees with the incoming thermal radiation

  1. Transmit it through to the other side.
  2. Absorb it.
  3. Reflect it.

The amount of transmission, absorption, and reflection depend on the substance and frequency of the thermal radiation. These differing amounts are each described by a number between 0.0 and 1.0 inclusively. These numbers are called coefficients. The sum of all these numbers will always be equal to 1.0 (conservation of energy). Hence clear glass, for visible light, may have a transmission coefficient of 0.90. That is, 90% of the thermal radiation in the visible spectrum passes through the glass. The reflection coefficient may be 0.08 and the absorption coefficient 0.02 for a total of 1.0. Colored glass absorbs and/or reflects some energy at certain frequencies and transmits most of the energy at other frequencies.

Clean water has a high transmission coefficient for visible light but is highly absorbing of a certain frequency in the microwave region of the spectrum. This is why microwave ovens can heat a cup of water. The water absorbs nearly all the microwave frequency thermal radiation which the water intercepts.

Brick, wood, and other common house construction materials transmit thermal radiation at frequencies we know as radio waves. You can easily listen to your radio and make cell phone calls inside your brick building. At visible light frequencies and normal wall thickness there is no human perceptible transmission.

Thermal radiation is also why a vacuum is not a perfect insulator. Even in the hard vacuum of deep space, far from stars or any other object a warm object will radiate its heat into the surrounding empty space as lower and lower frequencies of electromagnetic radiation until it approaches a temperature of absolute zero.

This is also why the earth cools at night. It radiates heat into outer space. If it didn’t get rid of heat at the same average rate at it absorbed, it from the sun it would either get warmer or colder until the thermal radiation at night increased or decreased to match the visible light (as well as thermal) radiation absorbed from the sun.

Absorption and retransmission is where things get most obscure in our ordinary life and is where the commenters have been going astray.

Taking the example of an ordinary brick in the sunlight. It transmits none of the light, reflects some of the light in the red region of the spectrum and absorbs the rest. The absorbed the light causes the brick to warm. Some of that thermal energy is transferred to it’s surroundings via conduction and convection. But some of it is emitted as thermal radiation. This thermal radiation will be at various frequencies depending upon the exact chemical composition of the brick, but most will be in the infrared region of the spectrum.

This change of frequency is how certain gases get classified as “greenhouse gases”. This is how paint can actually cool the substance it is painted on below the ambient air temperature.

I’ll explain the paint first since it is simpler and has less emotional content.

The back side of the paint receives thermal energy via conduction. Suppose this paint is on a building at 75 F. It emits thermal radiation out into its exterior environment with the clear empty (sun and moon transmit their own thermal radiation) sky being a very cold (many degrees below zero) heat sink. Normal paints absorb significant light energy as well as conduction gains from the air. But what if the paint had very low conduction ability on the outside but high conduction ability on the inside, and the paint also reflecting almost all light? The outgoing thermal radiation would dominate the incoming heat transfer from the air and sunlight. Hence, the paint would literally cool the building it was painted on without the use of any external power source.

Now let’s consider the case of water vapor in the atmosphere. This is transparent to visible light. Clouds are condensation and/or ice. This water vapor transmits visible light to the earth which absorbs it and retransmits infrared thermal radiation just like our brick. The water vapor in the atmosphere, just like our colored glass, blocks the thermal radiation via reflection and absorption. If the incoming high frequency energy zips through the water vapor in the atmosphere and the retransmitted low frequency outgoing energy is reflected back to earth and/or absorbed, then the earth will get warmer.

That is the extremely simple version of greenhouse gases. Things get really complicated when you throw in things like clouds which reflect significant portions of visible light as well as whether they are clouds of ice crystals or water droplets and their presence during the day versus night, the latitude, the type of surface (earth, water, forest, ice, etc.) they are shading, and probably many other things. Does water vapor and/or CO2 really cause “global warming”? I don’t know. I am skeptical of manmade changes of CO2 in earth’s atmosphere causing heating and I think water vapor is complex enough that modeling it accurately is probably currently impossible.

Venus, almost for certain, is far hotter because of its mix of atmospheric gases than it would be if the composition were something like 80% nitrogen (earth) instead of about 3.5% nitrogen.and 96.5% CO2. So, I believe greenhouse gases can be a real thing.

Summary: Thermal radiation is not as well known by the general public as thermal conduction and convection. But it is real and easily observed if it is pointed out to you. Thermal radiation becomes the dominate heat transfer mechanism when long distances are involved. Thermal radiation exists at different frequencies. Substances have different absorption, reflective, and transmission characteristics at the different frequencies. Because of these different characteristics at different frequencies, it is possible to create one-way “heat valves”. Cooling paint and “greenhouse gases” are possible and exist because of these thermal dynamic “valves” utilizing thermal radiation.


* I won’t directly cover transfer of energy by phase changes or transfer of mass of differing chemical species.

** I’m not going to address the case of a zero-gravity environment.

*** Yes, I know, at temperatures between 0 and 4 C this is not true. Let’s not complicate things. But it is interesting to note this anomaly is why ice generally forms on the top of a body of water rather than on the bottom then floating to the surface.

The second 100 years*

I like living in the future.

I suspect this is the same or nearly the same technology I have referenced before.

Scientists are working on a drug that lets you live for 200 years

Adding another 100 years to your lifespan might be the stuff of science fiction but scientists are working on a miracle drug that would make it a reality.

The drug, taken in pill form, works by eliminating cells that contribute to the ageing process in the human body, thus potentially doubling our lifespan.

Human ageing is hurried along by cells called ‘zombie cells’, scientifically known as senescent cells. These cells stop dividing over our lifespan, accumulate inside our bodies, and eventually release compounds that speed up ageing.

The drug has been tested on mice in a 2020 trial and the result was improved physical function and extended health and lifespan. Scientists are now working on replicating the result in humans.

The pills are reportedly already in the human trial stage and could very well hit the market within the next ten years.

Revolutionary technological development is frequently “ten years” away for several decades. I’m hoping I live long enough to hitch a ride but it may not be ready until my children ready to taken advantage of it.


* Deliberate reference to an obscure television show I used to watch

Gene editing in people

We live in interesting times:

Edits to a cholesterol gene could stop the biggest killer on earth

A volunteer in New Zealand has become the first person to undergo DNA editing in order to lower their blood cholesterol, a step that may foreshadow wide use of the technology to prevent heart attacks.

The experiment, part of a clinical trial by the US biotechnology company Verve Therapeutics, involved injecting a version of the gene-editing tool CRISPR in order to modify a single letter of DNA in the patient’s liver cells.

According to the company, that tiny edit should be enough to permanently lower a person’s levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, the fatty molecule that causes arteries to clog and harden with time.

The patient in New Zealand had an inherited risk for extra-high cholesterol and was already suffering from heart disease. However, the company believes the same technique could eventually be used on millions of people in order to prevent cardiovascular disease.

the technology is substantially similar to mRNA vaccines for covid-19. Just like the vaccines, the treatment consists of genetic instructions wrapped in a nanoparticle, which ferries everything into a cell.

While the vaccine instructs cells to make a component of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the particles in Verve’s treatment carry RNA directions for a cell to assemble and aim a base-editing protein, which then modifies that cell’s copy of PCSK9, introducing the tiny mistake. 

That is both very cool and very scary at the same time.

What else will they have “treatments” for which are a single injection and make irreversible changes to your genes? Homosexuality? ADHD? Excessive aggression? Authority defiance disorder?

At what point will such treatment become mandatory or even given by a black ops team. They pull you into a van for a few seconds and give you another drug that causes you to not remember it even happened?

I like living in the future

Amazing:

  • For the very first time, an augmented reality (AR) contact lens was worn on the eye of a human subject.
  • AR contact lenses pose wildly difficult engineering challenges, the biggest of which is finding a way to provide these tiny devices with power. A company called Mojo Vision has done that.
  • One day, we will look back at the years when people walked down the street, necks bent, staring down at little screens in their hands as an absurdly primitive way to interact with information.

According to the company, the Mojo Lens has a 14,000 pixel-per-inch MicroLED display with a pixel pitch (the distance between adjacent pixels) of 1.8 microns. For context, an iPhone 13 with a Super Retina XDR Display has 460 pixels per inch resolution. In other words, the Mojo Lens hardware has about 30 times the pixel density of a current iPhone. In addition, these lenses include an ARM processor with a 5GHz radio transmitter, along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to track eye movements. And all of this sits directly on the human eye.

I knew glasses were capable of similar functionality. I expected the next stage in the evolution would be brain implants. Contact lens? I would have never imagined it was possible.

I want a development kit. I’d combine the GPS and other capabilities of your cellphone to give you ranging and windage targeting adjustments corresponding your current rifle and ammo for anything you looked at.

Fusion reactors soon?

When I was in undergrad school I took several classes related to energy conversion, generation, and transmission. I ended up not getting a job in that field but I still have some interest in the topics. Hence, I sort of follow what’s happening with fusion reactors.

So what is going on? I’m seeing two divergent stories in the media. This is the long running, slow progress, version:

ITER announced last year that it hopes to complete the construction of the world’s largest tokamak nuclear fusion reactor by 2025. The goal of the project is to prove that commercial nuclear fusion is possible by demonstrating that a reactor can produce more energy than it consumes. But even if the ITER experiment is successful, it would likely take until at least 2050 for a nuclear fusion power plant to come online.

And another:

A PROTOTYPE nuclear fusion plant with a value predicted value of £1billion has been tipped to generate £11billion and create thousands of jobs as the UK races to create limitless clean power and solve the energy crisis.

So far, no fusion reactor has been able to use up less energy than it produces.

But the UK is racing to crack the code, and the prototype for a proposed site to host a nuclear plant near Goole in East Yorkshire has been given the green light by the Government.

This is the programme, which was supported by an initial £222million by the Government, to construct a prototype fusion energy plant that will one day create limitless clean energy.

This is the version from some alternate reality:

The U.S. government wants to send a tiny nuclear fusion reactor into space, and it has partnered with a private company to get a prototype operational by 2027.

There are even stores about do it yourself nuclear fusion but I suspect these are probably getting radiation from something other than fusion. And if there are actually some fusion occurring it is producing less energy than the input to the reactor.

But the “tiny reactor going into space in 2027” story seems to be in a different class than the DIY reactors. My hunch is that it is just wishful thinking by someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing. But they managed to tell a good enough story to get a government grant from some agency that needed to get rid of some money before they lost it for lack of use.

Thoughts anyone?

Quote of the day—Marissa Edmund

The technology is there, and it’s pretty basic, standard. To not have it implemented is kind of mind-boggling.

Marissa Edmund
Gun violence analyst at the Center for American Progress
June 3, 2022
Gun control after Uvalde: What could work, what won’t work, and what we can learn from the world
[She is referring to “smart guns”.

For someone who claims to be a “gun violence analyst” she is mind boggled by the wrong thing. It’s mind boggling that anyone who has studied the topic believes they will ever be accepted on anything more than a gun used for hobby purposes.—Joe]

I like living in the future

Faster please:

“It’s a permanent reset, as far as we can tell, and we think it may be a universal process that could be applied across the body to reset our age,” said Sinclair, who has spent the last 20 years studying ways to reverse the ravages of time.

“If we reverse aging, these diseases should not happen. We have the technology today to be able to go into your hundreds without worrying about getting cancer in your 70s, heart disease in your 80s and Alzheimer’s in your 90s,” Sinclair told an audience at Life Itself, a health and wellness event presented in partnership with CNN.

“This is the world that is coming. It’s literally a question of when and for most of us, it’s going to happen in our lifetimes,” Sinclair told the audience.

Tyrant tool

Via Stephanie:

AI may be searching you for guns the next time you go out in public

When Peter George saw news of the racially motivated mass-shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo last weekend, he had a thought he’s often had after such tragedies.

“Could our system have stopped it?” he said. “I don’t know. But I think we could democratize security so that someone planning on hurting people can’t easily go into an unsuspecting place.”

George is chief executive of Evolv Technology, an AI-based system meant to flag weapons, “democratizing security” so that weapons can be kept out of public places without elaborate checkpoints.

Evolv machines use “active sensing” — a light-emission technique that also underpins radar and lidar — to create images. Then it applies AI to examine them. Data scientists at the Waltham, Mass., company have created “signatures” (basically, visual blueprints) and trained the AI to compare them to the scanner images.

This tool is worse than useless. It will create opportunities for more murders. That is, unless you are a tyrant intent on disarming your subjects.

First off, the mass shooter will start shooting before they pass through the detector, taking out the guards before they even had a clue a threat was present. And, since there is a “funnel” for people going through the detector there will be a group of people ready for “harvesting” by the perp. It also will make it difficult or impossible for people to defend themselves where these systems are deployed.

Hence, if your threat model is a mass shooter, the device will actually make things worse rather than better. Many other threat models suffer similar degradation of public security.

The threat model that doesn’t degrade is the one where you want your subjects to be more dependent on you for security and to make it difficult for them to threaten your position of power. In that case this system will be a useful asset to disarm your subjects.

Cool "solar” cells

This is interesting but I’m not sure I see a very big market for this:

New Kind of ‘Solar’ Cell Shows We Can Generate Electricity Even at Night

Conventional solar technology soaks up rays of incoming sunlight to bump out a voltage. Strange as it seems, some materials are capable of running in reverse, producing power as they radiate heat back into the cold night sky.

So far, the prototype only generates a small amount of power, and is probably unlikely to become a competitive source of renewable power on its own – but coupled with existing photovoltaics technology, it could harness the small amount of energy provided by solar cells cooling after a long, hot day’s work.

I could see potential in places where your conventional resources are scarce but have lots of open sky and very little or no sun. Winter in the extreme latitudes would be an example.Perhaps in some deep space applications. Waste heat (even inadvertent heat losses through a roof or walls) or geothermal sources could perhaps provide enough electricity to run an instrument package or something.