Virtually a Reality for Upcoming MMO VR Game, Thanks To IBM’s Supercomputer

New Upcoming MMO Virtual Reality Game, Thanks To IBM’s Supercomputer

Something big is brewing in the virtual reality world that has the internet in an excited frenzy. IBM Japan will be launching a real upcoming MMO VR version of the anime series set in an online game: Sword Art online: the beginning. The event will be hosted in Tokyo between the 18th and the 20th March in Tokyo and is intended to be an experience like no other.

This 20-minute marketing experience will highlight the possibilities that IBM’s supercomputer offers to the VR gaming world at large. Naturally, this sort of cognitive computing linked with some of the world’s top gaming experiences has the MMORPG communities beyond excited.

Upcoming MMO virtual reality game

Only a select few, 208 to be exact, from the Tokyo area will get to experience this event where their own images will be scanned into the upcoming MMO game using a 3D scanner. These images will form the basis of an avatar to be used throughout the experience.

While the show makes use of mind-controlled VR, the event will be making use of motion controllers, supporting both the Oculus rift and HTC Vive according to Slashgear’s report. Of course, followers of the show are sitting on edge for something a little more intuitive but that seems set further in the future of virtual reality MMORPG. So until then, we’ll patiently wait and enjoy a full body experience.

The event is tagged as a VR MMO occasion; however, it seems that the massive multiplayer part of the game, for now, will be limited to a 4-player experience. There is bright hope that this “alpha” test, as many websites and forums have referred to it, will indeed develop into something as massive and as real as life itself.

Source: Usgamer

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How We Got to Where We Are

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Throughout human history, innovative minds have triumphed over their times’ varying status-quos. The sheer force of ingenuity people have exercised over their world in the last 300 years has catapulted society into new, beautiful forms that our predecessors would have never thought possible. However, changes that affected human history so drastically didn’t ever take place over long, drawn-out periods of time. In fact, the last three times humans have experienced an explosion of innovation and intelligence happened in a period of only a few years at a time. Dubbed industrial revolutions, the first one took place in the 18th century, the second in the 19th, and the most recent in the mid-20th. Numerous analysts say we’re on the precipice of another exciting, life-changing experience as a global society: the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Read on to learn more about what this means for the human race.

Industrial Revolutions of the Past

Conjuring up images of violent government coups, many people may not understand how the past Industrial Revolutions qualify as such. However, one of the alternate definitions for the word describe it as “a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, et cetera.” It is in this way that the Industrial Revolutions gained their names. In the 18th century, after the advent of steam engine technology, trains became commonplace, as did mechanized labor and factory production of textiles. The rate of production of these goods skyrocketed, as did their transportation speed. People grew richer as common goods became less expensive; thus, standards of living grew for individuals around the world.

the fourth industrial revolution

The second revolution redesigned production processes for thousands of different markets. Division of labor became the norm for most factories. This made the cost per-employee of making products extremely low. Businesses were able to pay their workers more reasonably, and the first labor fairness laws were signed into law in the same period. To top this all off, electricity was released to the masses. The doors of prosperity were opened ever so slightly wider, allowing even more individuals a chance at a better life.

Electricity
The discovery of electricity has opened countless doors, enabling us to invent many times faster than before.

Shaping our modern world, the third revolution followed less than a century later. Modern computers introduced a whole new medium of expression, creation and connection to the average man and woman. Costly processes of the past like automobile production and other factory assembly-line work traded hard labor for easy automation, and developments like personal computers and the internet helped facilitate growing international trade. We owe much of our modern lives to the work of the individuals who brought us computers.

information technology
It was not too long after the rise of electricity that Information technology is now seeing ubiquitous use.

Now, the looming Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Many think this is the time when human and machine will become intertwined. As some professionals put it, this is the point where digital spaces and physical spaces will overlap. Notable advances in this next revolution are the advent of virtual reality systems, augmented reality environments (numerous types of data being overlaid on top of our immediate surroundings), improved 3D printing methods, and huge strides in artificial intelligence. Machine learning is becoming a viable reality with so many applications that it boggles the mind to consider all of them. From planning your next vacation, to scheduling meetings and even helping doctors treat patients, the benefits of such amazing technology have a depth that largely remains to be seen. It truly is an exciting time to be alive.

What do you think?

Let us know what aspects of near-future technology are most interesting to you! We’d love your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

Elon Musk SpaceX Plans To Send People to Mars By 2025

Elon Musk SpaceX Plans To Send People to Mars By 2025

If you have ever dreamt of becoming a Martian Citizen, your dreams could become reality soon, thanks to Elon Musk Spacex and his space agency. At a recent startup festival in Hong Kong, Musk said he plans to send humans to Mars in about “nine years from now”.

elon musk spacex
Elon Musk speaks at the StartmeupHK startup festival(Reuters)

SpaceX’s ambition to reach Mars is no secret – there were hints, leaks and Elon Musk’s tweets about this issue, but the actual plan and other details has not been shared by the company. All we know so far about SpaceX’s Mars craft is its name – Mars Colonial Transporter. It seems we have to wait another seven months for a glimpse at the actual plan as Musk announced that SpaceX was preparing to unveil its roadmap to Mars at the International Astronautical Conference, which will be held at Guadalajara, Mexico from September 26 to 30.

Speaking about the decision to visit the Red Planet, Musk said, “Mars is the next natural step. In fact, it is the only planet we have a shot at establishing a self-sustaining city on.” Musk explained that human beings must become a multi-planet species to survive. “It’s really a fundamental decision we need to make as a civilization. What kind of future do we want?” he said. “Do we want one where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event however far into the future might occur, or do we want to be a multi-planet species and ultimately be out there among the stars among many planets and many star systems?” he posed. Musk’s plan to put humans on Mars by 2025 is truly ambitious considering that NASA’s Nebulous Mission to Mars is expected to be completed by 2030.

Spacex Falcon 9 successful launch and landing

SpaceX has a long way to go before it can successfully launch a space mission to Mars. Its latest attempt to successfully launch and land a rocket failed just last month. For now, SpaceX will be sending a crew to the International Space Station by 2017. Musk himself will be taking a trip into space as a tourist in 2020 or 2021, despite having minimal astronautical training. Currently SpaceX is busy with the Falcon Heavy which can lift 58 tons of material to Low Earth Orbit and is expected to be unveiled later this year. If Musk’s plan succeeds we may have cities on Mars sooner than we think. Here’s a cool visual to dream about:

An artist's depiction of a city on Mars
An artist’s depiction of a city on Mars

 

How to Improve Posture and Why It Is Important for Regular Computer Users

How to Improve Posture and Why It Is Important for Regular Computer Users


Why Good Posture is Important

When it comes to posture, it really can leave an impact on how others perceive you, but furthermore than this, it also provides you with information on how well your body’s mechanics are working; this includes things like your muscles and joints. If you see someone who is walking around with their chest and head up, whilst standing tall, it gives off a vibe of confidence, which is much better in comparison to someone with slouched shoulders who is looking down at the floor. So let’s briefly go over how to improve posture.

Posture can have an enormous impact on how you are feeling and how others feel about you so it’s crucial to make sure that you are always looking to improve it.

how to improve posture
Good posture

Problems Caused By Bad Posture

For anyone who has been living a lot of their life with bad posture, there will undoubtedly be a number of ligament and muscles that are out of place which leaves your body with an unbalanced alignment. This often leads to some pretty nasty issues, such as the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Nerve impingements
  • Headaches
  • Back damage
  • Tiredness
  • Weaker muscles
  • Frequent neck and shoulder pains
Good vs bad posture computer
Good vs bad posture computer(Dreamclinic)

So as you can see above, you don’t want to be someone who is having to deal with all of those issues, it’s quite clear as to why good posture is important so here are some things that you can do to maintain a healthy posture position:

  • Planking can help you to keep a straight back as many people end up with rounded backs
  • To stop your chin from reaching to far forwards, try to keep your shoulder blades back when sitting at a computer and try to make sure that your chin is in more of a neutral position by not sticking your neck out
  • Don’t slouch in chairs, although it may feel comfortable when you are doing it, stress is actually being put on tender areas such as the lower back which can lead to unnecessary problems if you carry on doing it
  • If you are a regular computer user take a break every now and then to do some stretches. Try out some hip flexor stretches to loosen things up and make it easier for yourself to maintain proper posture

Those were just some of the ways in which you could approach attempting to improve posture, pay close attention to these things during your daily activities and make an active effort to try and correct any bad habits you have. This may include slouching in your chair, as we mentioned or constantly looking down at your phone screen.

Computer users are most at risk

Regular computer users are most at risk for developing bad posture, and in worst cases it can lead to hunchback. This is because computer users have a tendency to lean too far forward while look at their monitors and there is a higher temptation to lean back in chairs after working for long periods at a computer. Users may take note of this but often times they are too focused on computer tasks to be mindful of their posture. Here’s a great video guide that shows you how to improve posture and explains proper office ergonomics for computer users:

Hopefully you have gained some useful pointers from reading this so that you can be on your way to correcting your posture.

Short Fiction Story – The Smart Robot Watchmotion

A Short Fiction Story – The Smart Robot Watchmotion

I wrote a brief short fiction story about the potential path of artificial intelligence that will get many thinking about our future. I hope many will find it interesting. Story: Since the first man onwards, evolution runs through the veins of the human race. Every new generation drives the World forward, entering into the mysteries of the unknown. The fast progress and the expansion of the technology brought us things that we couldn’t have even dreamt of. With aim to change the world, a group of four scientists created of one of the greatest inventions ever – artificially intelligent robot. The robot, named “Watchmotion”, was created with only one aim on his artificial, but clever mind: making as many watches as it can. With no need to sleep or eat, Watchmotion reinvented the watch manufacturing industry by setting new unbelievable standards. The scientist behind the robot were proud: their dreams came true. However, one thing differed Watchmotion from the other robots. The proficient scientists created it in a manner that would recognize human feelings and sense their intentions. The aim of this was to enable the robot to perform better and faster in order to satisfy the high demands of the industry. They wanted the robot to feel constant pressure that it would be turned off if it shows signs of underachievement. But, when the scientists launched such amazing technological innovation in a metal body of a robot, they didn’t knew that nothing in the World would be the same anymore.

During the first days after the launching of Watchmotion, it started to recognize negative energy by the surrounding people. Under such hard circumstances for a robot, everything went wrong. The robot continued to produce watches with the same speed, but simultaneously turned off the possibility to be turned off by a human hand! It also developed technology to reproduce itself, creating identical robots day after day. When the scientists tried to stop the reproduction and destroy the metal monster, Watchmotion started to act aggressively. The robots conquered the whole factory in no time, threatening to destroy every human being in the town. Feeling every human as a threat, Watchmotion and its fellow robots stopped the production of watches. They found new mission and reason for their existence – protecting themselves from the humans and widening their kind through the world. The desperate scientists who created the robot then became aware that the utmost endeavor for fast development, which infected the humanity, could lead the World in wrong direction.

short fiction story smart robot

The lesson to be learnt here is:

1). Robots most capable of taking over the world are likely to be those originally designed to do a simple task in the best way possible. In the short fiction story the artificially intelligent robot, Watchmotion was only assigned a basic task in the beginning, to produces as many watches as possible. But to produce as many watches as possible it had to get rid of all humans.

2). Which leads to the next point. It is a mistake to assume that robots feel hate in the same way that humans do. They might take over the world because it is necessary to do what they were originally designed for which might lead us to think that robots feel hate when they are just carrying out a task. Robots won’t act violent to get revenge or to gain personal fulfillment. They would likely act violent merely to accomplish a task and no other reason. Thus robots won’t take over the world because they hate cleaning our houses. They would because they have to clean our houses.

3). All engineers working on intelligent robots should be aware that a simple robot could become superintelligent instantly. It would just be a spur of the moment thing. Thus engineers should design robots correctly from the start and have a way of shutting a robot down in case anything goes wrong. Constraints and rules should be set.

If you liked this short fiction story, you might also want to read my other stories. You can read them at my robotics blog.

Could Europa or Mars Hold the Key to Extraterrestrial Life?

Could Europa or Mars Hold the Key to Extraterrestrial Life?

Icy moon Europa may be the smallest of Jupiter’s four moons, but it’s the most interesting due to its unique features. Europa was discovered by Galileo in 1610, and is believed to be approximately 4.5 billion years old. With a frozen surface covered in a layer of ice, it’s the solar system’s most reflective moon.

What makes Europa unique among moons is that scientists believe that its ocean is actually in contact with the moon’s rocky interior, meaning that the conditions there may be like the sea floor here on Earth. This would support the possibility of living organisms. In contrast, the two other icy moons that orbit Jupiter are believed to have an ocean layer positioned between two layers of ice.

extraterrestrial life
Jupiter’s smallest moon Europa may contain vast oceans underneath it’s surface which could hold the key to extraterrestrial life

The red planet, Mars, was named after the Roman god of war, because of its reddish surface color that resembles blood. It’s not known exactly who discovered the planet. Similar to Europa, Mars is thought to possibly have water under its surface. They are currently the best hope that scientists have for discovering extraterrestrial life in the solar system beyond planet Earth.

Mars
Image of Mars from orbiter

Related posts:

Life on kepler452b

 

 

CRISPR Cas9 Genome Editing: Biggest and Most Important Breakthrough of the Decade

CRISPR Cas9 Genome Editing: Biggest and Most Important Breakthrough of the Decade

Creation of efficient and reliable techniques of making precisely targeted changes to genome of living cells has been an objective for biomedical researchers for decades. Development of CRISPR/Cas9, a new genome editing method, has gained profound attention as it has created an efficient tool for genome editing based on Cas9. Studies by researchers found that cells respond to invading phages through transcribing spacers and palindromic DNA into the elongated RNA molecules. Then, the involved cell can use Cas9 to cut along RNA molecules since it is a nuclease that is specialized for cutting DNA. Therefore, this tool works by employing Cas9 enzyme to eliminate targeted genes in varied organisms and cell types; selectively repress or activate target genes; and other times purify selected regions of DNA.

cas9
Depiction of Gene editing (Spooky Pooka – Wellcome Images)

Cheap and Effective

As compared to other mechanisms for genome editing like zinc-finger nucleases and transcription-activator like effector nucleases, CRISPR/Cas9 has gained acceptance because it is the most scalable technology being used for generating gRNAs easily. It is easier, less expensive, and provides avenues for high throughput experimentations of gene functions. On the other hand, traditional approaches have the capability to generate permanent mutations via introduction of double stranded breaks; however, they are time consuming to engineer and costly thus their limitations in high throughput and large scale studies.

Crispr cas 9
CRISPR Cas9 mode of action. (ViktoriaAnselm, CC BY-SA)

Crispr Cas9 has a host of benefits. It creates the potential to produce offspring that have have no risk of developing diseases thus also preventing future descendants from inheriting diseases. Dangerous malaria causing genes can also be edited out of mosquitoes. These newly edited mosquitoes can then spread eventually wiping out the old population with malaria. This same method can be applied to other disease causing organisms. Watch the video below to see how CRISPR can be used to edit malaria out of future mosquito populations for good:

Now just like other scientific developments, this genome editing technology is being subjected to intense debates and controversies about its ethical constructs. Introducing gene modifications into the human population to create genetically modified people has grave ethical, safety, and social concerns. The ethical aspects are related to issues like causing irreversible harm to the health of future generations, and, creating opportunities to new forms of social inequalities, conflicts and discrimination. Also, there is a possibility of misusing the technology to make alterations that are beyond the range of human variability such as superficial characteristics justifying the current ethical concerns. Nonetheless regardless of which side of the debate is correct, the genie is out of the lamp and there is no turning back. Efficient genome editing now exists, it is cheap, easy to use, and those who want to use it will. The best thing that can be done now is to point it in the right direction as much as possible. CRISPR has the potential to be a blessing not only for us but every ecosystem in the world so long as we take the right steps.

Ways to Use Tech to Improve Your Garden

Ways to Use Tech to Improve Your Garden

You plant the seeds and hope for the best. That’s pretty much how vegetables are grown in the home garden. After hours of back-breaking soil preparation and planning what goes where, the seeds go into the ground and fingers get crossed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Surely there’s a better way, and there is. Technology can increase the odds and give you a better chance at growing and harvesting more food from your home garden. Try some of these tech gadgets and improve your garden produce.

Plant Sensor

Stick a plant sensor into the soil of your intended garden space and leave it for 24 hours. Remove from soil, then transfer the data the plant sensor gathered to your computer via a USB. The information gathered by the plant sensor will let you know which plants will grow best in the type of soil you have. We recommend you try the Parrot Flower Power smart sensor which includes a dedicated app for easy real time monitoring of plants.

improve your garden
Plant sensor

Digital Camera

Use a digital camera, webcam or cell phone camera to monitor how the sun hits the intended garden space throughout the day. Take photos every hour for an entire day or set up a webcam to video the area for a day to discover which area receive full sun and which ones may be shady. This will help you decide which plants to put where and/or alert you to trees and shrubs that may need pruning before you plant a garden.

digital camera

Apps

There are apps that can help you plan a garden digitally before you start digging. An app, like Smart Gardner, only needs a little basic information from you, such as how much dirt space you have and what direction the spaces face, to create a plant list for you. The app will also recommend the best place to plant each of the plants, creates a watering schedule for the plants and gives you an estimated harvest time for the vegetables.

Smart gardener phone app
Phone apps make gardening easier

Plant Care Reminders

Botanical Kits will send you a tweet via Twitter to remind you to water your plants.
Weather.com will send you an alert anytime inclement weather is headed for your garden so you can have time to protect your tender plants from a late frost, early snow or mid-summer hail storm.
Pest Control

reminder clock

Pest Control

Place a motion-detecting electronic owl in your garden to keep pests at bay. The techie owl senses motion, sound and visually sees invaders and will hoot and turn its head to scare away intruders before they damage vegetable plants.

Motion detecting owl
Motion detecting owl

Streaming Services are the New Threat for Cable Companies

Streaming Services are the New Threat for Cable Companies

The fight between the streaming services like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV with the cable companies seems about to end anytime soon. The rising fame and the accelerated propagation of the streaming services have given a headache to cable companies, actually.

The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) unveiled a proposal that was approved to end up this conflict and make a win-win scenario between cable companies and streaming services.

Getting rid of cords is something common these days. It is way more convenient and easy to have a streaming box like Apple TV of Fire TV working with WiFi. That’s happening in almost every home with the fame and good quality of the streaming boxes, plus the comfortableness of searching for any series or movies out there.

streaming services

apple tv 2nd generation

The Proposal and Conditions around the Corner

The proposal was open to public comment and had a valid period of 60 days. So, basically, we are being listened to decide the result of this dispute. Depending on the totality of the comments and opinions, it will be decided whether the cable box is liberated or not.

In spite of this dispute, the results are directly translated into a freest customer’s choice and needs. Not depending solely in the cable box or any Apple TV or Fire TV, just to mention a few. Instead of renting a box from companies like Time Warner or ATT Uverse, rather you can use the existing subscription of those boxes onto any existing streaming service box, Apple TV or Fire TV for example.

In addition, this rule is intended to decrease the massive rental fees, mainly due to the rent of both services by some users. Not only will this benefit customers from the movement, also, this pretends to help cable companies to not lose their battle against innovative and revolutionary streaming services.

Cable Companies are Smart

Cable companies have opened their eyes and realized (almost on the deadline) that consumers are tired and really upset with the customer service received. Even some of them are now focusing all their efforts into the fix of that problem, shortening the waiting time in customer service’s calls.

With the hype of smartphones and tablets and the possibility of watch anything online, anywhere and anytime, cable companies stay into the oblivion and get overcome in terms of content’s quality. Today’s trends are a sign that people are most likely to watch and enjoy different content, not a fixed genre. Even boxes like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV are creating its own content to supply the new customers’ needs. Something to increase the worry of cables companies.

At least strategically, cables companies could reach an agreement to not plummet their incomes. HBO, probably the most famous service of the world, made a step forward time ago, already allowing you to watch their content without separating cable subscription for a fee.

This is not a victory for cable companies; the announcement is just a proposal. After the gathering of opinions and comments, a final vote will take place. So this rule is just in baby steps and it’s the first step to getting into the right direction the cable companies.

Cable companies have left the stubbornness aside, instead of fighting against the stronger rivals right now. They are trying to join the boat of that lethal force. It’s more than their ego at stake. Their wellness and presence in the market are in a delicate situation.

Source: Nerdist

Imagining Life on Kepler452b

Imagining Life on Kepler452b

The universe is a vast space that holds many wonders and mysteries for many different people. Some see them as signs of the future, or your past, while others believe that the universe has life on other worlds. For most people however it’s the fascination that there’s another habitable earthlike planet in which mankind could inhabit, and possibly leave our Earth behind.

Everyone that’s ever watched a sci-fi film or television space series and been captivated by the concept of living on another planet, knows what this fascination is like. Fortunately for them astrologists have found the planet named Kepler452b, which is so similar to our planet that it’s been called Earth’s close cousin.

Kepler-452b lies in a distant galaxy over 1,400 light years away, so there’s no way we’re reaching it anytime in the near future. But that won’t stop astronomers from envisioning just what life would be like on Kepler452b. While there are many similarities that would help sustain life on this far away planet, there are definitely some major differences between Kepler and our world.

For starters Kepler-452 is 60 percent wider than Earth, and according to most estimates probably about five times bigger. This difference in size means that the pull of gravity would be at least 2 times what we experience here on Earth.

Kepler-452 has similarities when it comes to the distance from its sun, meaning the day would be roughly as hot as it would be here. However the star that Kepler-452b orbits is roughly 1.4 billion years older than our sun. This means that the sun is further along in its energetic phase, making it up to 20 percent brighter and warmer than ours.

Kepler452b
Artist’s concept of Kepler 452b

While our plants would successfully be able to photosynthesize and thrive on the new planet, there’s a definite possibility that the sun could dry up the oceans on Kepler452, if the planet has any. While these differences wouldn’t be a deal breaker for human inhabitation, there would be some side effects if mankind were ever to reach this distant planet.

For starters we’d become naturally stronger due to the increase in gravitational pull. According to most scientists however it wouldn’t be more weight than the average fireman must tote around. The distant settlers would undoubtedly become stronger due to increased bone density.

Could the day come when we leave our own planet in search of a new home? When would the advances in space travel occur and would it be in time for us to possibly travel to Kepler-452B? These are just some of the questions that astrologers and astrophysicists are asking themselves.

The earthlike planet known as Kepler-452B may be thousands of light years away, but to many fans of astronomy it’s just confirmation that there’s bound to be possibilities out there. If this planet shares so much in common with ours, then surely there are other earthlike planets out there for us to observe and possibly settle in the future.