Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Now I have done telemarketing and I want to tell you I thought 30 seconds between calls was too little time. Here is an article that describes a scenario much much worse.
Shaun writes: You read it in my story 79.9 (in 2005, and now included in 'Navigating in The New World'), now read the actual occurrence in the 'real world'.....
Click here for the article
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Heroes was a bit of a mixed bag....Don't get me wrong, it really is the 800 pound guerrilla of sci-fi shows this season. Heiro has gone back in time to find out that his childhood hero is a drunkard Englishman....that might have a comical twist in future episodes.....Mohinder and Claire's father are plotting against the "company" - that came across as pretty weak. Claire and family are trying to fit in hiding out in Texas. Claire has to prove to herself that she still has the mojo? Oh come on! LAME! Now I was just waiting for the moment that Claire's father did some violence on the big box geek manager. That my friends was a creepy / scary 10 minutes that still goes to show that for all his "I love you Claire bear" face giving, this guy is is just seconds away from being your worst nightmare. Nathan self destructing?!!! WTF?! Though kicking his mother out calling her evil made points with me. And Peter showing up inside a cargo crate chained to the wall with amnesia? I am sorry, but just how does that happen. So, a bit of a mixed bag, but all in all well worth watching again next week.
thanks to slashdot.com for the original article
Monday, September 24, 2007
SFSignal.com blog ran a poll asking "Is a remake of TRON a good idea?
Is a remake of Tron a good idea?
|I don't know||17.1% (19)|
|I don't care||29.7% (33)|
Total votes: 111
The parallel universe theory, first proposed in 1950 by the US physicist Hugh Everett, helps explain mysteries of quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for decades, it is claimed. In Everett's "many worlds" universe, every time a new physical possibility is explored, the universe splits. Given a number of possible alternative outcomes, each one is played out - in its own universe. The number of alternative scenarios is endless. It is a bizarre idea which has been dismissed as fanciful by many experts. But the new research from Oxford shows that it offers a mathematical answer to quantum conundrums that cannot be dismissed lightly. According to quantum mechanics, nothing at the subatomic scale can really be said to exist until it is observed. Until then the object can have several different states or appear to be in different places at the same time. Unobserved particles then are then described as having the aspect of a wave or multiple "probable" states. The Oxford team showed mathematically that the branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Thanks to Shaun Saunders for the post
image: Courtesy of the MIT Media Lab
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Well, it garnered some interest from Jesse Willis' very entertaining blog sffaudio.com!
Here is the link
Friday, September 21, 2007
* Chuck: NBC, 8pm
a one-hour, action-comedy series about Chuck Bartowski -- a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent.
* Heroes: NBC, 9pm
Ordinary people discover they have extraordinary powers
* Jouneyman: NBC, 10pm
a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives.
Tuesday, Sept. 25
* Reaper: The CW, 9pm
Everything in Sam's slacker world changes on the day he turns 21 and discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Sam must now serve as Satan's bounty hunter, tracking down evil souls that have escaped and returning them to Hell.
Wednesday, Sept. 26
* Bionic Woman: NBC, 9pm
A remake of the seventies spin off of the bionic man. Jaime Sommers didn't think life could get much harder. But when a devastating car accident leaves her at death's door, Jaime's only hope for survival is a cutting-edge, top-secret technology that comes at a hefty price. With a whole new existence and a debt to re-pay, Jaime must figure out how to use her extraordinary abilities for good, while weighing the personal sacrifices she will have to make.
Thursday, Sept. 27
* Smallville: The CW, 8pm
Now beginning its seventh season, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series.
Friday, Sept. 28
* Moonlight: CBS, 9pm
Mick St. John a captivating "undead" private investigator who uses his acute vampire senses to help the living... instead of feeding on them.
* Stargate Atlantis: Sci Fi, 10p
As they explore the distant Pegasus galaxy, the Atlantis Expedition encounters great challenges, great friends — and great foes. Often, their adventures begin in their home base, Atlantis itself, a city built thousands of years ago by the highly evolved and mysterious Ancients. Atlantis is a treasure trove of strange technology, all of it wondrous and some of it downright lethal.
Wednesday, Oct. 3
* Pushing Daisies: ABC, 8pm
chuck has the power to bring back the dead. However its not permanent, If chuck touches those that he has raised, then they die again, permanently....but if he does not touch them, then to balance the scale, someone else must die.
Thursday, Oct. 4
* Supernatural: The CW, 9pm
Follow two brothers who follow in their father's footsteps by hunting demons and destroying them.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The US and UK governments are developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep individuals under their surveillance. When it comes to technology, the US is determined to stay ahead of the game. At Maryland University just outside Washington DC, where Professor Challapa and his team are inventing the next generation of citizen surveillance. They are writing a program called Gait DNA. Their goal is to invent a system whereby a facial image can be matched to your gait, your height, your weight and other elements, so a computer will be able to identify instantly who you are. "As you walk through a crowd, we'll be able to track you," said Professor Challapa. "These are all things that don't need the cooperation of the individual." Since 9/11, some of the best scientific minds in the defence industry have switched their concentration from tracking nuclear missiles to tracking individuals such as suicide bombers. BBC's Hawksley
next travels to the Pentagon in Washington DC.
Click here for the complete story
Definitely worth a look with a strong recommendation like that!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Antipodean SF has posted its September-October 2007 issue, #112. The magazine's focus is Australian science/speculative fiction, and they publish mostly short-short stories.
The current issue has several book reviews and fiction. This issue, the fiction includes:
"Waiting for the Silence" by Steve Duffy
"Susan" by David McVeigh
"The Blood Choice" by Adrian Gibb
"Space Drinks are Really Cheap" by Augusto Corvalan
"Scarcity" by Shaun A. Saunders
"Access" by Mark Tremble
"Love Story" by Marcelo Rinesi
"An Unexpected Solution to an Unexpected Problem" by Wes Parish
"Deathmask" by Neil Cladingboel
"The Colossal War" by Miles Hurt
"A Universal Hole in One" by David Kernot
Jordan, whose real name was James Oliver Rigney Jr., died Sunday at the Medical University of South Carolina of complications from primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy. The disease attacks the body's major organs; in Jordan's case, it caused the walls of his heart to thicken.
Jordan was 58
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Director Joseph Kosinski is in final negotiations to develop and direct "Tron,". The original movie was about a computer game programmer (Jeff Bridges as the programmer and Bruce Boxleitner was Tron), gets sucked into a computer game and forced to fight in games he helped create. Tron is remembered for its sci-fi over the top battles and groundbreaking special effects. Tron was the first movie to use computer-generated images instead of models and other optical effects in conjunction with live action. The arcade game based on the movie was so popular that it earned more than the movie. Kosinski, who last month signed on to helm the remake of "Logan's Run" for Warner Bros. Pictures, will oversee the visual development of the project.
Also check out SyFy Portal's article
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I read the book, and this is only the start. For a piece of fiction, it is hitting way to close for comfort! (pac)
The article is and should be a warning of things to come. The cancer scare is obviously not putting off too many plans.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post
Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post
(Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
There are many more stunning pictures online, click the article title or this link for more of the story and more pics!
Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post
Shaun Saunders has sent in an article from New Scientist online magazine that explores some of the most interesting and practical methods that could make a trip to the stars closer.
Monday, September 10, 2007
pb n 316 pp Tor
Descended from the islanders of lost Earth The Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers. Plying the lonely space ways around a dead wormhole. For years the Satraps have tolerated the Raga But no longer. Now the Satraps are bent on extermination.
Over all, this latest from Buckell moves along fairly well. I get the feeling though that Ragamuffins is in reality two separate books. The two never really blend until close to the end and from there all hell breaks loose. It is almost like Tobias had one novel in mind or more ideas than could be integrated into the first novel, but placed in the same universe as Crystal Rain but not enough to fill out a complete novel. So in truth, I felt a bit lost until I read Crystal Rain. Then I was introduced to the primary characters in the second half of Ragamuffin. My recommendation for this second novel by Buckell is to read Crystal Rain first and then Ragamuffin. Not that Ragamuffin can't stand on its own, oh no, there is plenty of independent story line to hold your interest. It's just that there is no real segway to the second part of the book. So your introduced to a whole new bevy of characters who's motivation is a bit opaque. But I can see, after reading Crystal Rain that the reintroduction of some of the characters from this novel into Ragamuffin is indeed a smart and welcome addition to the second work. I would think that Ragamuffin will be a welcomed work for those that cut their teeth on Buckell's Crystal Rain. In that light I would strongly recommend this book.
For those that have not read either yet, Get or read Crystal Rain first and you will find Ragamuffin even more enjoyable.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.
AP Photo/Steve Mitchell
Friday, September 07, 2007
Aurora award nomination are out! These are the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association awards and a couple of my favorite authors Peter Watts and Robert Sawyer are in the running with Blindsight from TOR books.
2007 Finalists (book links)
Best Long-Form Work in English
- Regeneration : Species Imperative 3, Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books)
- Children of Chaos, Dave Duncan (Tor Books)
- Smoke and Ashes, Tanya Huff (DAW Books)
- Sun of Suns : Book One of Virga, Karl Schroeder (Tor Books)
- Blindsight, Peter Watts (Tor Books)
- Righteous Anger : Part Two of the Okal Rel Saga, Lynda Williams (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
Best Short-Form Work in English
- "All the Cool Monsters at Once", James Alan Gardner (Mythspring, Red Deer Press)
- "This Ink Feels Like Sorrow", Karin Lowachee (Mythspring, Red Deer Press)
- "Marked Men", John Mierau (Slipstreams, DAW)
- "Biding Time", Robert J. Sawyer (Slipstreams, DAW)
- "Lumen Essence", Hayden Trenholm (Neo-opsis SF Magazine 9)
The Aurora awards are closest to the style of the Hugo awards (which are presented by the SF Worldcon) in the method by which they are selected. First there is a nomination phase to select a short list. Then a voting phase to pick the winner from the short list using the Australian voting method (this method has the voter rank their choices in each category).
Writer Mike Adams points out that science primarily publicized today is science that supports the interest of business, most notably in medical and environmental science.
Under the Bush Administration, government-employed scientists are routinely told they cannot report results indicating the progression of global warming.
The clinical trials used by the Food and Drug Administration to make drug approval decisions are conducted almost entirely by the drug companies themselves. These companies go out of their way to hire scientists willing to design and run these studies to produces precisely the result that the drug companies want.
And there is so much more. Click the article title or this link for the comlete article.
The impactor believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs and other life forms on Earth some 65 million years ago has been traced back to a breakup event in the main asteroid belt. A joint team of researchers suggests that the parent object of asteroid (298) Baptistina (was) disrupted when it was hit by another large asteroid, creating numerous large fragments that would later create the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula as well as the prominent Tycho crater found on the Moon. At approximately 170 kilometers in diameter and having characteristics similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, the Baptistina parent body resided in the innermost region of the asteroid belt when it was hit by another asteroid estimated to be 60 kilometers in diameter. This catastrophic impact produced what is now known as the Baptistina asteroid family, a cluster of asteroid fragments with similar orbits. The team investigated the origins of the 180 kilometer diameter Chicxulub crater, which has been strongly linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Studies of sediment samples and a meteorite from this time period indicate that the Chicxulub impactor had a carbonaceous chondrite composition much like the well-known primitive meteorite Murchison. This composition is enough to rule out many potential impactors but not those from the Baptistina family.
Click the article title or here for the complete story (art by Don Davis)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Physicists at the University of Michigan have coaxed two separate atoms to communicate with a sort of quantum intuition that Albert Einstein called "spooky." Scientists used light to establish what's called "entanglement" between two atoms, which were trapped a meter apart in separate enclosures (think of entangling like controlling the outcome of one coin flip with the outcome of a separate coin flip). "This linkage between remote atoms could be the fundamental piece of a radically new quantum computer architecture," said Professor Christopher Monroe, the principal investigator. "Now that the technique has been demonstrated, it should be possible to scale it up to networks of many interconnected components that will eventually be necessary for quantum information processing." In their experiment, the researchers used two atoms storing a piece of information in their electron configuration. They then excited each atom, inducing electrons to fall into a lower energy state and emit one photon, or one particle of light, in the process. The type of photon released by each atom indicates the particular state of the atom. Because of this, each photon was entangled with its atom. By manipulating the photons emitted from each of the two atoms and guiding them to interact along a fiber optic thread, the researchers were able to detect the resulting photon clicks and entangle the atoms. Monroe says the fiber optic thread was necessary to establish entanglement of the atoms, but then the fiber could be severed and the two atoms would remain entangled, even if one were "taken to Jupiter."
(cool! ftl communication anyone? ftl computer networks? Maybe even transporters! )
ok, well I have been trying to get my stuff together and get some of the stories that I read last year somewhere on the web so they could be listened to. Well my friend and part time host Ron Huber over at PenBayWatch kindly lent me a bucketload of space on his server and I returned the favor by filling it up!
Jesse Willis of SFFAudio blog fame just ran an article about it. (Click here for the SFFAudio article) and to be quite honest, Jesse was the one that broke out the whips to get me to get this done, so major kudos tot he folks over at SFF Audio for their continued support!
Here are my thoughts on E-books as a replacement for printed material in general.
hummm, electronic books are nothing new. Even the question itself is disingenuous. Look at the sales of just the Potter books to make my point. People take books for granted. You get a small faction that will tout that it saves trees. But books save trees. Think about it. Once you have a book, you never need that book again. You always have it. But every time you want to read an electronic page you must use energy. Some where there is something burning or turning to make that possible. Not so with the book. The book is not the lowest rung on the technology ladder, it is the peak of multimedia efficiency. Think of the book and the information analog of the bike. The bike is tech that is every bit as old as the book but shows no sign of being replaced any time soon. Augmented yes, replaced no. Why? Because its such a wonderfully efficient machine. It allows a person to move with very little energy, rivaling any animal in existence. The book is in the same class. It imparts information on several different levels and does it in a wildly efficient manner. Plus there has to be something to the pure tactile enjoyment of reading a book. Like a bike, a book is so much more than the sum of its parts. Until something comes along to make that moot, I don't see books going anywhere. Plus with a starting price of around $300 U.S. I am not rushing out to purchase one, no matter how much of a geek I am. 300 dollars to me is still at least 12 books on my worst days book buying. Nope, I don't see myself as a standard bearer of an antiquated tech either. For now and for the foreseeable future, I feel that I am getting the best bang for my buck and being pretty damn efficient at it as well.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Things are looking good for those setting up residence in the little town of "Eureka." Sources close to SciFi Channel say the show -- as expected -- is looking at an almost definite third season following strong viewership numbers in the first part of the show's second season which included some larger sets and new faces. The same can't be said about "Flash Gordon." canceled shows "Painkiller Jane." and the rebroadcast of "Doctor Who" has been generating higher ratings than "Flash Gordon".
Of course Mike does end with "Of course, none of this has been confirmed by SciFi Channel or NBC Universal, so treat this as any rumor should be treated."
But like I have been saying all along, Flash, was just that....a flash and nothing else. I suspect SciFi will give us Alien paint drying as a fill in any time now. (pac)
Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post
Monday, September 03, 2007
The Russian space agency announced a plan to send a man to the moon by 2025, to establish a permanent base there a few years later, and possibly even send a man to Mars by 2035, in an aggressive plan reminiscent of the 1960s space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
But Russia's plan to shoot for the stars is expensive, which is why it is looking for international assistance while relying on funding from its lucrative space tourism program.
"The Russians have some big ideas, but their space program is coming up slowly from being in a position bankruptcy," said Walter Cunningham, a former Apollo 7 astronaut.
Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post
The winners of the 2007 Hugo Award....
NOVEL: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge [see SF Signal review]
NOVELLA: "A Billion Eves" by Robert Reed [see SF Signal review]
NOVELETTE: "The Djinn's Wife" by Ian McDonald [see SF Signal review]
SHORT STORY: "Impossible Dreams" by Tim Pratt [see SF Signal review]
Howlett says "Ridley Scott thinks sci-fi films have entered a black hole. Maybe he's not watching the right ones,"
Agreed, Ridley's all-time favourite sci-fi film, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, is probably the supreme example of the genre, and maybe nothing has topped it in the four decades since its release, but that doesn't mean you can write off all modern sci-fi films ("yes, all of them," as Ridley put it) as "nothing original ... we've seen it all before"
But there are plenty of modern sci-fi movies in which a superior intelligence can be discerned alongside the computer-generated imagery: look at another Spielberg/Cruise project, Minority Report. Yes, it's a huge, glossy Hollywood production that basically sets a thrilling Hitchcockian chase movie in a future world - but what a superbly realised future world it is, complete with cyber-glove computers, creepy spider spy-robots, and individualised street ads that see you coming.
Click the title or here for the complete article
Thanks to SF Signal blog for the original post