The future of space travel started today

The first reusable spacecraft – Falcon-9R – successfully took off today. Here is a video of what this type of rocket will provide us.

And here is a recent test flight if the compete Facon-9R:

From almost 1000 feet the rocket returned to the same place it took off from. When this becomes routine, Space-X homes to reuse it up to 100 times. This will greatly lower the price of space travel.

Mankind just entered a new age a few minutes ago, thanks to Space-X


We just had the successful launch of a Space-X Falcon 9 to resupply the ISS. The reason this is a new age is that this is a newversion of the Falcon 9 – it has retractable landing legs!

This will allow the first stage to be brought back to Earth safey, to land on a landing pad and to be reused. On this flight, they will not try to land the first stage, But they will soon.

Yes, for the first time in human history, a rocket that can be reused. Space-X- hopes to be able to do this perhaps 100 times. This reduces the cost of getting tnto space a lot if it can be done routinely.

Perhaps down to $10 a pound! That will change everything.

But we need to see some successful experiments with the technology. They expect only a 30% chance of success today. Keep your fingers crossed.

Samsung even copied its April Fool’s joke

Astronaut Gloves 

Like a glove: April Fools efforts from Samsung, HTC & Toshiba all share the same punchline
[Via AppleInsider]

With accusations of copying and commoditization already rife within the smartphone and tablet industries, three of the market’s biggest names — Samsung, HTC and Toshiba –?all showcased similar glove-themed prank products on Tuesday for April Fools’ Day. Hilarity ensued.


How very interesting that all these companies came up with the same idea. For a non-existent prank.

Not very original.

Congress wants us dependent on Russian rockets by cutting commercial space projects

Expedition 39 Launch (201403260005HQ) 

Space debate: Bolden vs. House Space Committee |
[Via  The Space Reporter]

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden testified Thursday before the House Space Science Committee, regarding NASA’s 2015 budget request.

During his testimony, Bolden argued for “the critical need for this nation in space.” He stated that granting what NASA has requested for the next year would aid in keeping a program on track that supports American companies developing spaceships to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

Currently, American astronauts have been hitching expensive rides aboard Russian spacecrafts.


So, in order to keep the cash going for the Orion project, they want to cut the commercial space program, the only real hope to provide American access to the ISS.

And they cannot understand why the administration blames Congress for us being dependent on paying the Russians for access to space.The inability to understand cause and effect is telling.

Why in the world are we nickel and diming NASA to death, making all its efforts subject to such stupid political games? Yet we are paying billions for military hardware the military does not even want?

Because we keep electing so many idiots and anti-science representatives? Soundslike a reasonable hypothesis.

Live ISS feed about to go dark because NASA does not have the money

 GOES Full Disk Shows First Day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere

Help Save NASA’s ISSLive! Website!
[Via Dear Astronomer | Bringing space back down to earth!]

Frequent visitors to the NASA Live ISS Telemetry website ( ) have spotted an official notice stating the site will be shutting down in two weeks.

I can’t stress how incredibly awesome the ISS live site is. With a few clicks of a mouse, visitors can get real-time telemetry from the solar arrays, communications systems, propulsion, and other systems. It’s kind of like looking at the bridge displays on Star Trek!


So a resource accessible to the public that provides real time data from the ISS will disappear because there is not money to support it any longer.

We are watching the space program simply die because Congress does not give a crap. Better to spend billions on fighter planes that no one wants than actually support NASA.

An iPad, a couple of mikes and a mixer – Musical magic

Inside the iPad rig Jimmy Fallon used to duet with Billy Joel on ‘The Tonight Show’
[Via AppleInsider]

Apple’s iPad was the centerpiece of a live performance this week featuring the legendary Billy Joel and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, and AppleInsider has learned exactly what hardware and software producers utilized to make the memorable duet happen.


Another demonstration of how technology can create magical moment.s Those who thought an iPad was just for consuming content were just plain wrong.

Here we see two very talented gentlemen creating an entire do-wap group with just some software and some hardware.

No need for a recording studio. Just a demonstration of sheer talent.

Disruptive? One woman brilliantly doing the work of tens, if not hundreds

Doing the entire band, recording, producing, filming (by her husband, Paul), distribution and marketing. Paying for it all by using crowdfunding approaches.

Here is how she describes the creation on her Facebook page:

You know, I was just sitting at the table, practicing my live set for Austin next week, having a glass of wine (or five) and Paul came in and decided to break out his new Black Magic Design Cinema Camera and test it while I was testing this song out, figuring out how to loop it live….I got drunk and we ordered pizza and the next day we put this up. No tricks, just a girl making live music. 

It took about 2 weeks for it to break out like this (and she did one performance at a bar during SXSW.

She is in control of virtually all elements of her art.

All from Kansas!

Kawehi raised almost $30,000 on the Kickstarter project for this. From just 407 people. 

I bet she has a lot more for the next one. She doubled her Facebook likes in one day because of Esquire’s article.

She may never have the millions of sales that big music stars get but she does not need to support the hundreds required for that business model.

She is using technology in a way to sustain he own livelihood. All in her own control.

This is a perfect example of how technology destroys authoritarian hierarchies. No studio manager telling her what she can and cannot sing, who her producer is or where she  will perform.

She connects directly with the people who like her music and will support her as an artist.

The authoritarians are on their way out and they are scared.

Would we have developed electrical power lines if we could see in the UV like many animals?

power to the people!

Animals Avoid Power Lines Because of Frightening UV Sparks
[Via D-brief]

Researchers know that high-voltage power lines have some strange influence on animals. Creatures from reindeer to elephants to birds tend to avoid the areas around power lines. This was mysterious because the structures seem passive and simple to walk or fly past.

However, scientists now say this may be because power lines emit ultraviolet light, invisible to human eyes, that appears as frightening flashes to animals that can perceive ultraviolet light.

This paper is the first to offer a simple explanation for the power line-avoidance behavior. If true, the theory could explain fragmentation of wild habitats.


Nice explanation. And it helps support why these power lines are helping create fragmentation of local animal populations.

The herds avoid the lines, which now act as physical barriers like mountain ranges, to prevent groups from crossing over to other ones.

I wonder if we would have developed a different system if we could see in the UV also?

Could Healthbook change everything, once again?

Blood Pressure Monitor 

This is Healthbook, Apple’s major first step into health & fitness tracking
[Via 9to5Mac]

Seven years out from the original iPhone’s introduction, and four years past the iPad’s launch, Apple has found its next market ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking industry. Apple’s interest in healthcare and fitness tracking will be displayed in an iOS application codenamed Healthbook. I first wrote about Apple’s plans for Healthbook in January, and multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development have since provided new details and images of Healthbook that provide a clearer view of Apple’s plans for dramatically transforming the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking space…


Personalized health is one of the changing aspect of medicine. For example, being able to test blood sugar before and after every meal can provide data regarding exactly which foods are a problem or not for the individual.

Now, Apple needs to sell hardware ot really make its profits so I expect the Healthbook to work with products Apple will sell – like a wristband that provides much of the physical data.

I know just having a lot of data showing how my weight fluctuates has helped me understand my metabolism more.

Having more data could tell us each a lot more about ourselves.

Of course, the FDA will have something to say about al this.

$1000 genome sequence actualy costs $15,000 and misses perhaps 20% of known inherited disease genes

Illumina MiSeq 

Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time?
[Via DNA Science Blog]

When I posted “Why I Don’t Want to Know My Genome Sequence here in November 2012, I got a lot of grief. Still do.

Now researchers at Stanford University have put whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genetically healthy folks to a limited but telling test, and the results appear in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. (My version’s at Medscape.)

I can’t improve on the clear and compelling language of the JAMA article:

“In this exploratory study of 12 volunteer adults, the use of WGS was associated with incomplete coverage of inherited disease genes, low reproducibility of genetic variation with the highest potential clinical effects, and uncertainty about clinically reportable WGS findings.”

I’m not surprised. DNA science, any science, is by nature uncertain.


One of the reasons we are not yet to the point of sequencing everyone’s genome is not due to the ability to generate the sequence data.

It comes from assembling the individual DNA sequences of each patient and annotating just what genes are there, in what forms and doing what.

This is what adds so much cost to getting a detailed genome report for each patient.

We will get there. It’ll just take a little more time.

$10 – what it may soon cost to get a pound into space

 SpaceX Grasshopper

SpaceX to launch amazing rocket that lands itself on legs | 
[Via Fox News]

In the early morning hours of March 16, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral to  deliver 8,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. What’s most remarkable isn’t what’s going up, but what’s coming back down?

Like a panel from a sci-fi comic strip of the ’30s (think “Buck Rogers in the 25th century AD”), the first stage of the newest rocket from SpaceX – the stage that has always been used once and then discarded soon after launch, becoming a $100 million piece of scrap metal — will unfold a set of spindly metallic legs as it screams back through the atmosphere and fire a set of retro rockets to halt its descent.


It is like a science fiction movie, with a rocket landing on its tail.

Watch this video of a test flight of the grasshopper where it lifted off to over 700 meters and then safely returned to the launch pad.

A reusable rocket will change everything. They already expect the capsule to be reused also.

Space-X has innovations in place that will lower the cost to $1000 or so per pound without thinking of reusing the rocket.

But if they can reuse the rocket up to 100 times, as they hope, then the costs can drop to $10 a pound.

That is cheaper than overnight delivery. That means that w could get into space for about the same price as a first class ticket across the country.

This changes everything.

Newsweek’s Bitcoin cover – authoritarian broadcast journalism vs crowdsourced factfinding

 'Newsweek' (EE.UU.)

: Why Newsweek isn’t convincing |
[Via  Felix Salmon]

I had a 2-hour phone conversation with Leah McGrath Goodman yesterday. Goodman wrote the now-notorious Newsweek cover story about Dorian Nakamoto, which purported to out him as the inventor of bitcoin. At this point, it’s pretty obvious that the world is not convinced: in that sense, the story did not do its job.

As Anil Dash says, the geek world is the most skeptical. Almost all of the critiques and notations attempting to show that Dorian is not Satoshi are coming from geeks, which makes sense. If the world is what you perceive the world to be, then there is almost no overlap between the world of geeks in general, and bitcoin geeks in particular, on the one hand, and the world of a magazine editor like Jim Impoco, on the other hand. As a result, there’s a lot of mutual incomprehension going on here, which has resulted in an unnecessarily adversarial level of aggression.


Another demonstration of the battle between top-down authoritarians and the bottom-up crowd.

Very obviously Newsweek is living in the 90s using a model for journalism that is pretty much gone.

They expect people to believe them because … of their reputation. They do not have the room to publish ALL their data so just trust them. They are the authorities here so value their reputation.

Of course, none of that means that they are right. In the last 10 years, crowdsourced fact-finding is the norm.

Newsweek needs millions of people to read them in order to survive. It needs to be seen as a top-down authority to be trusted.

That is simply not a sustainable business model in the current world. The online community decimated their article, reducing the authority of Newsweek in hours and damaging its reputation.

Maybe 25 years ago, Newsweek and others could have used their authoritarian power to stifle the debate. But not today.

Then they could get away with”I have so much more data but there is not any room. Trust me. I’m a reporter is a great reputation,” Now, put the damn data up on the Internet and let us see for ourselves.

Authoritarians so often fall into Cargo Cult Worlds because of confirmation bias and epistemic closure. They so surrounded by the model they like that they have to make it be true.

.For example:

Towards the end of Goodman’s investigation, when she was preparing to try to meet with Dorian Nakamoto in person, Goodman told Impoco that if it didn’t turn out to be Dorian, then “we’ve got nobody”. That’s what Impoco was most likely talking about, when he talked about eliminating people. Goodman — and Impoco, more recently — was just saying that this was her last open thread, and that if Dorian didn’t pan out as the guy, then they didn’t have a story.

So, if they did not get the quote they wanted, all their work and the cover story would have been gone, worthless. Gee, do you think they might have had some impetus then to find some way to make the sotry come out the way they wanted, no matter what?

It happens all the time in reserhc. Why not in journalism? Even with people that have great reputations.

Making your own wine in 3 days – how does it taste?

 Wine bottle glass and chocolate

Miracle Machine Turns Water To Wine
[Via Discovery News - Top Stories]

This this tabletop appliance promises to turn $2 into a $20 bottle of wine in three days. Continue reading →


I’m not expecting a complex wine but I m not hopeful it will be worth drinking. We shall see.

An iPhone case that measures your health – HP, BP, lung fucnton, temperature, EKG

Wello brings health data to the humble iPhone case
[Via PandoDaily]

Health monitoring is leaving the doctor’s office and heading to the smartphone.

Azoi today announced an iPhone case that can measure its owner’s blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature after just a few seconds of contact. The device will also ship with a free peripheral that allows owners to measure their lung functions. It’s called Wello, and it’s now available for pre-order in the United States, China, Canada, and other countries.

Wello is the latest example of the shrinkage of health monitoring. Companies like Jawbone and Fitbit are turning their wrist-born fitness trackers into intelligent health monitors. Scanadu is trying to condense the equipment found in a doctor’s office into a thumb-sized device.

Health monitoring is getting easier than ever. Now we’ll just have to see if that makes people care more about their well-being or if these devices will receive about the same amount of attention as the decades’ worth of fitness tools collecting dust in closets around the world.


We will see many more of these soon. Assuming the FDA can deal with the deluge.

This will be out “pending FDA approval.” Hope it is soon (they say Fall 2014) because it is really kinda cool.

Check out the video.

I want one. Or maybe Apple will be making a purchase  soon.

Taser-proof clothing – outlawed in 3, 2, 1…


Make taser-proof clothing with carbon-fiber linings
[Via Boing Boing]

On Hackaday, Shenzhen demonstrates some proof-of-concept “taser-proof clothing” created by adding carbon fiber to the clothes’ lining. The carbon fiber textile can be procured in a variety of forms, including upholstery fabric (58″ wide, $19.50/yard) and peel-and-stick 50cm tape rolls. Shenzhen claims this will work even if the taser’s prongs get to the wearer’s body: “Electric current flows through the carbon tape and not through the human body. Always. Even if the taser’s needle pierced the skin.”


Of course, the next step if this works would apparently be to simply shoot you. But I expect efforts by the authoritarians to make it very hard to get this material if it actually works.

We shall see how this plays our.


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