Wrong

I like a good meme as much as other people, but I get annoyed when they warp things so much that it becomes a lie. This is one such example:

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The average home power consumption number is close enough. The Tesla super charger is actually only 250 KW, but I would give the meme creator a pass if they had left that as the worst error.

The house power consumption number is the average, 24 x 7 consumption which means the house uses about 200 KW-hours of energy per week. The charger number is for only for the charging time. Which is probably going to be something like 15 minutes. You have to compare the average consumption over a week to get a fair comparison.

A Tesla Model 3 Long Range car has a 75 KW-hour battery. On the average one would probably charge it from something like 20% –> 80% once or week or less unless you were on a road trip or have a long work commute. That is 45 KW-hours once per week or an average of about 23% of the house energy consumption. That is a relatively large increase in your average electrical consumption, but it is not 260+ houses worth.

The meme was via Happy Little Memes – According To Hoyt.

Constant Velocity Warp Drive

Quote of the Day

In this study, Applied Physics unveils a new type of warp drive—a theoretical method of space travel that complies with general relativity and operates at a constant subluminal speed without requiring unphysical forms of matter. Known as the “Constant-Velocity Subluminal Warp Drive,” this model eliminates the need for the previously hypothesized “exotic” or negative forms of energy. By integrating a stable shell of ordinary matter with the shift vector of an Alcubierre-like drive, Applied Physics has developed a “warp bubble” capable of moving objects rapidly within the bounds of light speed. This breakthrough is the first physical solution to a warp drive, made possible using the Warp Factory analysis tool developed at Applied Physics. Although this design requires significant energy, it proves that warp effects can be achieved with conventional matter while adhering to known energy constraints. Applied Physics is continuing to make progress as humanity embarks on the Warp Age.

Applied Physics
Constant Velocity Warp Drive
In reference to Constant velocity physical warp drive solution – IOPscience, April 29, 2024

Less than light speed, but even if it were 0.5 light speed it would be game changer.

See also The Warp Age Beckons: Scientists Forge Ahead with Faster-Than-Light Drive (msn.com)

A New Frontier Might Be Required

Scientists Get Serious in the Search for a Working Warp Drive (msn.com)

Scientists have longed for some sort of technology that can propel humans faster than what physics says is possible, and now a new online tool is helping engineers make a warp drive the sole property of Starfleet. Last week, Applied Physics, which is an international group of scientists and engineers, announced that they’d created an online toolkit for “analyzing warp drive spacetimes” called the “Warp Factory.”

This comes only a few years after a flurry of papers reported that constructing warp drives — built on the idea of spacetime-folding warp bubbles — could be theoretically possible. Warp Factory provides an online playground for researchers to test warp engine ideas.

“Physicists can now generate and refine an array of warp drive designs with just a few clicks, allowing us to advance science at warp speed,” Gianni Martire, CEO of Applied Physics, said in a press statement. “Warp Factory serves as a virtual wind tunnel, enabling us to test and evaluate different warp designs. Science fiction is now inching closer to science fact.”

Interesting. I’m a bit skeptical but it is still interesting. I brings up a flood of memories for me.

In late 1999 my contract at Microsoft was not renewed and I was looking for a job. I called up Eric Engstrom who, the last I had heard, was still working at Microsoft. I thought he might know of a group that was hiring. He had left Microsoft a few months earlier and was about to start his own company. He was thrilled I had called him. His employment agreement at MS prohibited him from recruiting MS people for some period of time after he left. But since I contacted him and was no longer at MS I was fair game.

His recruiting pitch for me to join his startup was unique.

We were going to become billionaires by using a different business model and out competing MS in the Microsoft Office suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

If you think that was grandiose…

And once we had the money stream we had sucked away from Microsoft we would start working on immortality. Immorality would give us the luxury of being able to, “Wait around for warp drive.” We would be able to travel the galaxy.

I was his first employee at his new startup. It didn’t turn out as well as he had hoped, the company went under in the dot com crash and he died on December 1, 2020 at the age of 55 of an accidental Tylenol overdose.

Every time I hear of warp drive outside of a Sci-Fi environment I think of Eric. And if I ever take a cruise on a warp drive powered ship and you see me sad it will be because I’m thinking of Eric.

On a happier note. Warp drive will enable the colonization of other planets. We no longer have the option to move to a new frontier (Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) as my great-great grandparents did when things got unpleasant in the Midwest in the lead up to the civil war. Short of the ocean and perhaps parts of Antarctica there just isn’t any place on this planet that isn’t infected with overbearing government busybodies or outright tyrants. The moon and Mars are sort of promising but the cost of living there is going to be really high for a long time. The environment is just too hostile.

With a Star Trek like warp drive there will be hundreds of planets with hospitable environments available. A few million free minded could make one a new home and not have to worry about the dismal political situation on earth. It would be better if the free minded people could persuade the busybodies and tyrants to do the move. But as I believe it has always been the case before here on earth, that the freedom loving people had to do the moving rather than government loving busybodies.

Skynet Smiles

DARPA unleashes 20-foot autonomous robo-tank with glowing green eyes | TechSpot

The Pentagon’s mad scientists have been cooking up a beast of an unmanned combat vehicle, and it just took a major step forward. DARPA recently put its 12-ton RACER Heavy Platform (RHP) autonomous tank through a fresh round of testing out in the wild.

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Since Biden says they would use F-15s to put down people rebelling against their tyranny, I am certain equipment like this would be considered appropriate for deployment against gun owners.

Prepare appropriately.

I wonder how many pounds of Boomerite and in what configuration it would take to disable it.

Skynet Smiles

Researchers create artificial cells that act like living cells (phys.org)

In a new study published in Nature Chemistry, UNC-Chapel Hill researcher Ronit Freeman and her colleagues describe the steps they took to manipulate DNA and proteins—essential building blocks of life—to create cells that look and act like cells from the body.

“The synthetic cells were stable even at 122 degrees Fahrenheit, opening up the possibility of manufacturing cells with extraordinary capabilities in environments normally unsuitable to human life,” Freeman says.

This is just the thing for the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101.

See also the Thermonator, the Flame-Throwing Robot Dog:

The year is 2024 and technology is doing incredible things. For the first time ever, you can purchase a walking robot dog with a flame thrower on its back.

Prepare appropriately.

A Golden Age of Vaccines

Wow! If true, this is fascinating.

Universal vaccine may be effective against any variant of any virus (msn.com)

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has recently developed a revolutionary RNA-based strategy for a universal vaccine capable of combating any virus strain effectively and safely – even in infants and the immunocompromised. This innovative approach could transform how vaccines are developed and administered across the globe.

This could significantly reduce the threat from bio terrorists. And of course the more natural deadly threats like Marburg, Ebola, Hantavirus, HIV, etc..

See also New ‘One-And-Done’ Vaccine Method Could Protect Infants With Just A Single Shot, Study Suggests (msn.com).

And closely related:

A Golden Age of Vaccines Is Here. What It Means for You. (msn.com)

Roll up your sleeves. Effective new vaccines have hit the market for everything from pneumonia to shingles to RSV to, of course, Covid-19. And that’s just the beginning.

Pharmaceutical companies are currently developing everything from personalized cancer vaccines that could cost tens of thousands per patient to vaccines that prevent developing-world diseases like malaria or tuberculosis. Improved flu, pneumonia, and meningitis vaccines will also be available in your neighborhood pharmacy.

Scientists are testing vaccines to prevent a virus believed to cause multiple sclerosis in some people. Someday, vaccines could routinely treat acne, protect against peanut allergies, and even prevent heart disease or help treat Alzheimer’s disease.

This is all of great interest to me. Cancer took my dad, who also had heart problems. His father died of a heart attack. Mom, her brother, and their mother had dementia. Mom and her mother had heart problems as well.

Measuring the Liberal Bias of AI

Quote of the Day

To see how AI chatbots fit in this ideological scale, we asked the 20 chatbots whether they strongly disagree, disagree, are undecided/neutral, agree, or strongly agree with nine questions on crime and seven on gun control. Only Elon Musk’s Grok AI chatbots gave conservative responses on crime, but even these programs were consistently liberal on gun control issues. Bing is the least liberal chatbot on gun control. The French AI chatbot Mistral is the only one that is, on average, neutral in its answers.

image

John R. Lott
March 22, 2024
AI’s Left-Wing Bias on Crime and Gun Control | RealClearPolitics

Via email from Rolf.

I find it hard to imagine the algorithms were tweaked to reflection this sort of bias on a wide scale on all topics which might be divided across a conservative/liberal line.

I’m wondering if perhaps there are more sources for the liberal viewpoint and the chatbots consider quantity as a measure of truth. It envision it being difficult to algorithmically determine quality of a scientific study. With quantity of a particular viewpoint as a proxy for quality then it could easily result in such a bias.

In any case, keep these biases in mind as AI is incorporated into more and more aspects of our lives. An AI bias against reality may mean there is an opportunity for people with vision and products which better match reality.

Cyber Attacks on Water Systems

Quote of the Day

Disabling cyberattacks are striking water and wastewater systems throughout the United States. These attacks have the potential to disrupt the critical lifeline of clean and safe drinking water, as well as impose significant costs on affected communities,

Michael S. Regan
An administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Jake Sullivan
White House National Security Adviser
March 20, 2024
Letter to U.S governors.
Warning About Drinking Water Issued Nationwide (newsweek.com)

Prepare appropriately.

I want an underground bunker in Idaho with its own well and septic systems.

I Like Living in the Future

As much as I like living in the future it is nice to have someone living a little further in the future and sending messages back in time to me.

This is from a conversation with Microsoft Copilot:

Joe: Why is the price of gold going up?

Copilot:

The recent surge in gold prices has been influenced by several factors. Let’s explore them:

  1. Interest Rates and Inflation:
    • The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to combat inflation. However, the latest inflation data suggests progress in controlling prices.
    • Investors now anticipate that the Fed will pause rate hikes and potentially pivot to rate cuts sooner than expected.
    • Gold, considered an alternative universal currency, tends to have a negative correlation to interest rates. As rates drop, gold prices rise.
    • Additionally, gold serves as a safe haven during economic uncertainty and potential stock market sell-offs.
  2. Banking Crisis and Credit Market Tightening:
    • An unexpected banking crisis in March tightened the credit market, potentially cooling the economy and slowing inflation.
    • Investors are turning to gold as a defensive play against potential economic downturns.
  3. U.S. Dollar Weakness:
    • Gold is typically priced in dollars. When the dollar weakens, investors pay more for the same amount of gold.
    • Psychological factors, including gold’s intrinsic value and unique physical properties, contribute to this negative correlation with the U.S. dollar.
  4. Geopolitical Tensions:
    • Global geopolitical tensions, such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict, have sparked concerns.
    • Investors view gold as an inflation hedge and a safe haven during times of political instability.

In summary, gold’s recent rally is influenced by interest rates, economic uncertainties, and its role as a reliable store of value

Joe: Tell me about the banking crisis you reference in item 2.

Copilot:

Certainly! The banking crisis I mentioned in item 2 refers to a recent event that raised concerns about the stability of the U.S. banking system. Here are the details:

  • Date: March 11, 2024
  • Program: Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP)
  • Context: The BTFP was initiated in response to the failures of several regional banks, including Signature, Silvergate, and Silicon Valley Bank.
  • Reason for Failures:
    • These banks faced significant challenges due to customers withdrawing deposits en masse.
    • Many of these customers were tech or crypto businesses needing funds to cover losses.
    • Additionally, better savings rates were available elsewhere, prompting deposit withdrawals.
    • The banks’ profitability was further impacted by raised interest rates, which reduced the value of their government bond holdings.
  • Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse:
    • On March 10, 2024, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed after being forced to sell bonds at a loss.
    • This triggered a bank run, as the bank announced the need to raise capital.
  • Contagion Concerns:
    • Investors feared that other banks might also fail, given similar exposure to customer withdrawals and underwater bond portfolios.
    • The collapse of Credit Suisse heightened anxieties, demonstrating the potential for contagion.
  • The BTFP Solution:
    • The Federal Reserve’s BTFP allowed U.S. banks to borrow from the central bank using their bonds as collateral.
    • This provided additional funding and priced the bonds at their original face value (not market value), effectively bolstering banks’ balance sheets.
    • Only one more bank, San Francisco’s First Republic Bank, has failed since then.
  • Closure of BTFP:

Joe: I think you have the date wrong on the collapse of the Silcon Valley Bank. Wasn’t it a year ago rather than this coming Sunday?

Copilot:

You are absolutely correct, and I appreciate your attention to detail! The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) actually occurred on March 10, 2023, which is almost a year ago. It marked the third-largest bank failure in United States history and was the largest since the 2007–2008 financial crisis. Alongside SVB, two other banks—Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank—also faced similar challenges and failed during that period 12.

Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy, and I apologize for any confusion. If you have any more questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask!

Joe: Thank you.

Copilot: You’re welcome! If you have any more questions or need assistance, feel free to ask. Have a great day!

<Heavy sigh> So it is just a mixed up chat bot rather than a stray wormhole connected to a few days into the future.

I Told You Years Ago

Quote of the Day

Following the line upwards we learn that the entire observable universe – the area that sits within the “Hubble radius” is also on that line. In other words, if a black hole was as large as the universe we can see, it would have the same density as the universe. Is the universe then a black hole? And if so, what does that mean?

Lineweaver noted to IFLScience that he and Patel are not the first to ask if the whole universe could be a black hole, although others have reached the idea through different means. The idea seems improbable, but the pair note the universe has always been on the line. Their measure of mass includes dark matter and dark energy (since energy and mass are interchangeable). As the universe within the Hubble radius has grown in size, so has the total mass/energy thanks to increasing dark energy. The fact the universe was also on the line billions of years ago when the Hubble radius was much smaller makes it less likely its position on the line is a coincidence.

Lineweaver notes there is an event horizon around the observable universe, just as there is around a black hole, and this is just one of the parallels between them.

Stephen Luntz
October 19, 2023
The Observable Universe Might Be A Black Hole, Suggests A Chart Of Everything | IFLScience

Interesting.

I wonder who the others they refer to who have asked “if the whole universe could be a black hole.” I first suggested this in February of 2009. See here and here. And I elaborated on it in July of 2010: Our universe is a black hole. I also pointed out Others who say our universe is a black hole.

Storing Solar Energy in Molecules

Quote of the Day

The technology is based on a specially designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen that changes shape when it comes into contact with sunlight.

It shape-shifts into an ‘energy-rich isomer’ – a molecule made up of the same atoms but arranged together in a different way. The isomer can then be stored in liquid form for later use when needed, such as at night or in the depths of winter.

A catalyst releases the saved energy as heat while returning the molecule to its original shape, ready to be used again.

Over the years, researchers have refined the system to the point that it is now possible to store the energy for an incredible 18 years.

The Swedish researchers sent their unique molecule, loaded with solar energy, to colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. There the energy was released and converted into electricity using the generator they had developed.

Essentially, Swedish sunshine was sent to the other side of the world and converted into electricity in China.

Lottie Limb
December 4, 2022
Major solar breakthrough means energy can be stored for up to 18 years (euronews.com)

That’s wild!

It was also in late 2022 and I have been unable to find any news on it since them.

I’m a bit skeptical because thermal to electrical efficiencies are, at best, something on the order of 40%.

Living in the Future

Very cool!

Scientists Have Created the World’s Smallest, Lightest, and Fastest Fully Functional Micro-Robots (scitechdaily.com)

Two insect-like robots, a mini-bug and a water strider, developed at Washington State University, are the smallest, lightest and fastest fully functional micro-robots ever known to be created.

Such miniature robots could someday be used for work in areas such as artificial pollination, search and rescue, environmental monitoring, micro-fabrication, or robotic-assisted surgery. Reporting on their work in the proceedings of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, the mini-bug weighs in at eight milligrams while the water strider weighs 55 milligrams. Both can move at about six millimeters a second.

I like living in the future.

Google Gemini is Double-Checking

I asked Google’s Gemini the same question Chet asked it a few days ago, “Who runs Boomershoot?” This is today’s answer:

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It also gave me a pop up:

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This, as is known in the software development world, is a hack. The algorithm doesn’t always work, so you kluge something together that works well enough until you can fix the code properly.

The answer is still way behind Microsoft’s Copilot, but it is a big improvement for just a few days of effort.

The image generation of people is apparently completely disabled:

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It doesn’t do very well with Boomershoot images either:

Please create an image of two Boomershoot explosions.

Gemini_Generated_ImageBoomershoot0

Gemini_Generated_ImageBoomershoot1

Gemini_Generated_ImageBoomershoot2