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Embracing ‘The Third Wave’

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via Inquirer.net:

One night saw me watching and listening to the performance videos of Charice Pempengco. I realized that Charice, being “the YouTube sensation” that she was once known for, would not have been possible without the Internet. Her success, which is due largely to the exposure that social media has given her, would not have been possible, say, in the 1980s, or even in the early 1990s.

Charice is indeed sensational, one of the few singers who can leave musical greats like David Foster in awe and admiration. And I am obviously a fan, not just of Charice but, as important, of her story. Hers is not the usual Cinderella, rags-to-riches tale, like that of Manny Pacquiao. My admiration for her story stems basically from the fact that whatever she has reached and achieved at this point was made possible by the Internet.

I should hate globalization. That is how I have been taught by dear mentors in the social movements.

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William Gibson interview: time travel, virtual reality, and his new book

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Verge:

Our geography is dissolving into the digital.

Science fiction author William Gibson’s work, from cyberpunk classic Neuromancer to his more recent, less overtly futuristic novels, is usually more concerned with smart cultural analysis than plotting the mechanics of new technology. Gibson has given us a lens to see everything from high fashion to virtual reality, coining the term “cyberspace” to refer to what would soon become a ubiquitous computer network in the real world (“And they won’t let me forget it,” he quipped after being introduced with that factoid in the TV show Wild Palms.)

But time travel is one of the most mechanical genres around — not necessarily in scientific rationale, but in the rigorous attempt to fit together pieces of the past, present, and future without leaving loose ends or, at worst, unresolved paradoxes. And Gibson’s latest novel, The Peripheral, fits at least a few of its tropes.

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This Is Your Brain on Drugs

A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience

A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience

Want to know what your brain looks like when you smoke weed? If so you’re in luck because some scientists at Harvard and Northwestern University have taken photographs of marujuana-affected brain scans and analyzed what happens. Report via the New York Times:

The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to marijuana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug?

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GDS Technologies (water generator) is not ready to go yet

Greg Potter with his GDS3000, which they will not be selling. The 5kW system will be the smallest output they will sell.

Greg Potter with his GDS3000, which they will not be selling. The 5kW system will be the smallest output they will sell.

via PES Network:

I just got off the phone with Gregory Potter, the inventor of the technology so many of you have seen by now, as we announced it as follows in our news, night before last:

Wow, it looks like the day has finally come that we get to make the big announcement that one of the exotic free energy generators has made it to market. Patrick Flanagan, who just purchased a 5kW system, brought this one to our attention.

GDS Technologies LTD, out of Ontario, Canada, has a water-powered, portable genset available for sale on their website, in output sizes of 5 kW, 10 kW and 15 kW, at a price of around $1000/kW. They say they can also custom build these in sizes up to 50 kW.

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Scientists Discover Huge ‘Bathtub Ring’ Of Oil On Sea Floor From BP Spill

Louisiana GOHSEP (CC by-sa 2.0)

Louisiana GOHSEP (CC by-sa 2.0)

More bad news.

via Think Progress:

Scientists have discovered yet another unforeseen effect of BP’s historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: a 1,235-square-mile “bathub ring” of oil on the deep ocean’s floor.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on Monday showed that approximately 10 million gallons of oil settled and coagulated on the floor of the Gulf near the Deepwater Horizon rig, which spilled a total of 172 million gallons of oil into the ocean in April 2010. That oil left a footprint on the ocean floor about two times the size of the city of Houston, Texas, and approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island, the study said.

Study author David Valentine told the Associated Press that tests to determine the oil’s chemical signature were not performed because the oil has degraded in the four and a half years since the spill occurred, but also said it’s obvious where the oil is from, since it settled directly around the site of the damaged rig.

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Guidestoned 2014 Documentary Kickstarter

“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”
– Oscar Wilde

Help us dig up the Time Capsule.

Let’s dig up the Time Capsule together.

Guidestoned 2014 Kickstarter

Over the past 2 years some fellow filmmakers and I have been filming a documentary surrounding the Georgia Guidestones that we have appropriately dubbed Guidestoned. What has interested us more than the monument and its designers is people’s collective perception of its message. Which was surprisingly positive in person, something I admit was unexpected. Throughout filming the documentary we met groups of people ranging from Mormon Missionaries that travel the world, to a crystal ball stealing Nazi biker gang, and everything in between. Mostly all were welcoming and kind, save a few. This documentary is filled with so many different perspectives. Folks show their true character, which the Guidestones tend to bring out in people.… Read the rest

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The Replicator Is Still Sci-Fi, But Here’s A Start

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via Gizmodo:

The dream of the Replicator-a machine that can create or copy any object-has mesmerized us ever since Star Trek used one to conjure a glass of water out of thin air. Yet, like so much other sci-fi tech invented by show business, it’s always been just out of reach. The 3D printer company XYZ Printing wants to change that.

What Is It?

XYZ is a one-year-old Taiwanese company that has found a niche in offering 3D printers at bargain-basement prices ($500 for a one-color model). But today, the company is launching its ambitious next step: The Da Vinci 1.0 AiO-or All-in-One. For $800, you get the bones of XYZ’s Da Vinci 1.0 model 3D printer, which prints one color of ABS or PLA filament on a bed that can fit objects up to 6 inches by 6 inches. But in addition to the printer, the AiO includes laser scanner at its base that lets it record and digitize objects as well as print them.

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Terms of Service: Al Jazeera’s Cool Web Comic About Big Data

Could you see any stalwart of the mainstream media in America using the medium of an online comic to address the tensions that so-called Big Data present? Upstart Al Jazeera America commissioned cartoonist Josh Neufeld and reporter Michael Keller to create a graphic novella that you can read here online and you’ll also find download links for iBooks, ePub and PDF versions. This is the first page:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.06.04 PM

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My Brief and Curious Life As a Mechanical Turk

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via Gizmodo:

As accomplished as modern-day computers are, there are some very basic things even the smartest machines have yet to master: tough judgment calls, advanced image recognition, making goofy faces, conducting psychological surveys. These are an assortment of tasks we humans can still claim as our own. Or at least, that we can outsource to other, less fortunate humans. Like me.

In Amazon’s words, Mechanical Turk is “a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence.” But in reality it’s even simpler than that description implies: It’s a job board where the pay is low and the jobs are dumb. If you have a functional cerebral cortex, an internet connection, and a few minutes to spare, you can pick up a handful of odd jobs—the oddest of jobs—and make a few bucks, pennies, and nickels at a time. But what’s it like to be that “human intelligence?” As I found out last year, it’s weird, fascinating, perplexing, and a little depressing, all at once.

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