Apple has ‘fundamentally changed’, while the smartphone market is now ruled by design trends, rather than raw tech innovation

To many people around the world, innovation and gadget-induced adrenaline have plateaued in the last few years, as new smartphone models seem to offer little exciting new stuff that their predecessors didn’t have. Nowadays, silicon inside handsets is relatively standard for most brands, and customers’ purchases are largely based on a phone’s image, looks and feel, rather than on a new piece of tech it rocks. According to a recent WSJ report, smartphone design accounts for up to 50% of a customer’s decision to buy or not to buy, while it was previously believed that the figure …


Deal: Sony Xperia X is on sale for just $230 (27% off) in the U.S.

Sony Xperia X, the smartphone that’s been at the center of the Concept project, is once again on sale in the United States. Although most retailers in the country claim the phone’s suggested retail price is $400, few sell the Xperia X for more than $300.

Even so, B&H has a much better deal on the Sony Xperia X, which is supposed to end in about 8 hours from now. For a limited time, the Xperia X is up for grabs at B&H for just $230 outright, so you’ll save at least $70 when you buy the phone.

The retailer has the Xperia X available in three color options …

Smartphones: Cell Phones With Higher Education

Way back in the 1980s the cell phone was revolutionizing business and communication with its amazing ability to make calls no matter where you were. Since then, the world has changed a little bit and cell phones are looking a little bit different as well. Ok, so maybe they’re more than just a little bit different-they’re almost a completely different device! Now not only can you talk anywhere, but you can text and send a picture as well. However, cell phone innovation doesn’t stop there but recently has gone even further to become so much more than a cell phone.

Introducing, the smartphone. It’s a cell phone but with computer like capabilities. Talking and texting are a thing of the past for the smartphone which is busy listening to music and watching videos. The smartphone allows you to access the internet, send e-mails, works as a personal organizer, and drives your car. So maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but if the smartphone got together with your navigation system, who knows what could happen.

The first smartphone was created in 1992 by IBM and was dubbed “the Simon”. Since then, there have been dozens of other smartphones following in Simon’s footsteps. Generally the smartphone is thought to be a cell phone with advanced capabilities, often times working like a PC. However, it seems not everyone can agree on exactly what defines a smartphone and the definitions have changed over time. Some see a smartphone as simply a cell phone with some extra cool stuff added, but others say smartphones are only those phones with the capability to add applications.

Regardless of the definition, many smartphones have certain things in common. Most have e-mail capabilities, cameras, built in keyboards and/or a touch screen. These phones work as personal organizers and hold hundreds of contacts at a time. Most smartphones play music and videos and can read documents created in Microsoft Office as well as PDF files. But the most important feature in a smartphone is its unique ability to sync with your computer and its own programmable operating system.

Although there are now dozens of smartphones out there, here are examples of a few. These phones have all the same features as normal cell phones (such as voice dialing and cameras), but kick it up a notch with some added features.

1.) AT&T Tilt: offers a QWERTY keyboard (standard PC keyboard), tilting touch screen allowing for better visibility, wireless options, 3-megapixel camera, and AT&TMusic and Video

2.) Nokia N95: Adds high-speed 3G support, long battery life, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options

3.) RIM BlackBerry Gold: Uses T-Mobile’s HotSpot@Home services to find Wi-Fi virtually anywhere, QWERTY keyboard and 2-megapixel camera

4.) Motorola Q9m: QWERTY keyboard, runs Windows Mobile 6, Bluetooth capabilities, works with Verizon’s V Cast Music Store

5.) Apple iPhone 3G: Has a touch screen, supports 3G networks, can add third-party applications, expanded e-mail, excellent for music and video

These are only some of the phone offering the smartphone capabilities, and some are becoming outdated quickly. Smartphones are improving at a rate so fast that it seems soon they will lose their smarts and just be a cell phone once again. Already most normal cell phones have cameras, originally a smartphone feature, so it may seem some smartphone are now simply “averagephones”.

The big question now is who will be the new genius on the cell phone block? What will be the new features? It all makes you wonder what the next step will be with the mixing of computers and cell phones as the lines blur with smartphones’ computer-like capabilities and programs such as Skype offering phone calls on your PC. I’ll leave you to ponder that on your own as I have to go for now -my phone just received an e-mail and my computer is ringing.

Source: Melissa Mashtonio
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OnePlus Weather app now available from the Google Play Store

OnePlus has just released its custom Weather application in the Google Play Store. The app has been installed on the OnePlus smartphones after some of the newest OxygenOS updates rolled out by the Chinese company.

In order to make it possible for its engineers to update the app without having to push a new OxygenOS build every time, OnePlus has decided to release it in the Google Play Store.

Unfortunately, if you don’t own a OnePlus smartphone, you won’t be able to install it via Google Play. In any case, you won’t be losing much since OnePlus Weather is kind of barebone when it comes …

The future of Bluetooth Advertising (proximity marketing) in 2011

After the release of smartphone statistics reports of 2010 that showed that the smartphones that support Bluetooth Marketing was the most common smartphones in the world:

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SMARTPHONE MAKERS

1 – Nokia, Finland 24.0 million for 39%

2 – RIM, Canada 11.2 million for 18%

3 – Apple, USA 8.4 million for 14%

4 – HTC, Taiwan 4.5 million for 7%

5 – Samsung, South Korea 3.0 million for 5%

6 – Motorola, USA 2.7 million for 4%

Rest of smartphone makers 7.9 million

TOTAL smartphones in 2010 Q2 61.7 million _ data is provided by “Tomi Ahonen Consulting”

SMARTPHONE OPERATING SYSTEMS

1 – Symbian (Nokia) 27.0 million for 44%

2 – Android (Google) 11.4 million for 18%

3 – Blackberry (RIM) 11.2 million for 18%

4 – iOS/iPhone (Apple) 8.4 million for 14%

5 – Windows Mobile (Microsoft) 1.6 million for 3%

Rest of Operating systems 2.1 million

TOTAL smartphone OS devices in Q2 61.7 million _ data is provided by “Tomi Ahonen Consulting”

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Almost all Symbian phones (near 44% of the global markets) supports/accepts receiving files sent by Proximity Advertising devices.

Nielson Company releases stats on smartphone usage in October 2010  showing that only 3.5% of smartphone users use Symbian Devices, this means that US markets is no more a good market for Bluetooth Advertising.

StatCounter Global Stats claims that near 75% of Africa’s smartphone users use Symbian OS smartphones, and near 57% of Asia’s smartphone users use Symbian OS smartphones and near 52% of South America’s smartphone users uses Symbian OS smartphones.

These smartphones that supports Bluetooth Marketing technology are mainly concentrated in Africa, South America and Asia.

Based on these data iBlue -the leading core Bluetooth advertising software provider for mini PCs and thin clients- iBlue board of directories announced its main target markets for 2011 will be advertising agencies companies in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Advertising agencies and mobile marketing companies will be targeted with iBlue’s latest Bluetooth Advertising core software, that converts mini PC and thin clients to a fully functioning Proximity Advertising system.

Dr.Khaled Awad the CEO of iBlue stated that “iBlue market share increased in Mexico, Middle East, Latin America and Africa due to the usage of compatible smartphones in these countries and our cost efficient custom Bluetooth Advertising Solutions that we offer for companies that would like to start their Bluetooth advertising Business.” Dr.Awad is expecting a very bright future for Bluetooth Advertising in 2011.

Source by: Khaled Awad
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UFOs Not, Because E.T. Isn't

Some people say that terrestrial life is the only life in the cosmos, therefore, whatever UFOs are, they can’t have anything to do with aliens. That’s despite the fact that there are ‘billions and billions’ of possible sites in the Universe where life could take hold, evolve and ultimately boldly go.

A few UFO skeptics do tone down that argument by acknowledging that extraterrestrials exist as in extraterrestrial microbes, plants and multi-cellular animals but extraterrestrial intelligence doesn’t. That still means that UFOs have bugger-all to do with aliens. Even if intelligence exists, only humans have invented technology, and even if aliens have invented technology, well those dumb bastards exterminated themselves within a short time frame after discovering chemical, biological and radiological warfare technology. The upshot, E.T. isn’t; UFOs therefore aren’t.

So are we alone in the Universe? That’s a question that’s been asked by millions over the eons, without, to date resolution. Of course the word ‘alone’ implies alone in the sense of whether or not there exists elsewhere in the cosmos our rough equals; more likely as not betters. We want to get to know our neighbours across the street, not their pets, or their plants. The standard gut-feeling answer to the question usually revolves around how vast the Universe is, and surely, given the billions and billions of stars in our galaxy and the existence of billions and billions of galaxies each with billions and billions of stars, etc. and the vastness of time, surely we can’t be the proverbial ‘It’.

There’s unfortunately one slight flaw in that statistical approach. There’s a rather long chain of events that have to happen, hurdles to be jumped, in order to get from the elements of star-stuff to biological cosmic neighbours. Depending on whom you talk to, that chain can be extremely long indeed. The point is, if any one factor in that chain of causality has a very low probability of coming to pass, it matters not one bit whether or not all the other factors are extremely probable. The overall result is going to be low. If any one factor is as close to zero as makes no odds, then the overall answer will also be as close to zero as makes no odds. Certainty multiplied by certainty multiplied by certainty multiplied by certainty multiplied by zero multiplied by certainty multiplied by certainty multiplied by certainty ultimately equals zero!

It’s been pointed out by others, and I tend to have to agree, that astronomers (being physical scientists) tend to be much more optimistic and supportive of the notion that advanced life forms in the Universe – extraterrestrial intelligences – are a dime-a-dozen. That’s relative to biologists (being life scientists), who considerably hedge their bets and who it must be said are presumably better qualified to pass judgments. So, taking things from a more biological perspective, what’s what?

With 13.7 billion years to play with since the origin of our Universe (that Big Bang event); with billions and billions of stars in our own galaxy alone; with billions and billions of galaxies scattered throughout the cosmos each with billions and billions of stars therein, with extra-solar planets being discovered around many of those stars in our own galaxy at a rapid rate of knots, (and by implication planetary systems exist in other galaxies as well); with the chemical elements required for life commonplace throughout the Universe; with the principles of Darwinian evolution given as universal, what odds that we are really the proverbial ‘It’? And what are the implications for extraterrestrial UFOs?

When it comes down to the UFO extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH), it’s only our own Milky Way Galaxy we need concern ourselves with. Even I acknowledge that though extraterrestrial civilizations exist in other galaxies, travel times between galaxies quickly exceed any logical transit times available, even when invoking a “Star Trek” warp drive. Interstellar travel, travel within the confines of our own galaxy, however is quite another matter. Still, our own galaxy gives us some ten billion years to play around with; billions and billions of stars and no doubt planets, those abundant chemical elements, and Darwinian principles. Again, it would be a very brave soul to suggest, given those sorts of statistics, that we are, even in our own galaxy, the proverbial ‘It’; not just the new kid on the block, but the first and only kid on the block.

Not even a UFO ETH skeptic like a certain SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) scientist of my acquaintance would argue we’re the proverbial ‘It’ – it would make a mockery of his own chosen career path.

So in summary to that first objection that only terrestrial life exists: 1) The Universe is a bio-friendly Goldilocks Universe – we’re here after all. 2) There is plenty of real estate in the cosmos that could give rise to and host hardy microbial life forms. 3) The appropriate chemicals, organic chemicals, and biochemicals; appropriate life producing and sustaining chemistry full stop, are present throughout the cosmos. 4) There’s been a massive amount of time for life to originate, evolve, survive, thrive and migrate.

Ultimately, what this all boils down to; the three key points here, are whether or not extraterrestrial intelligence exists, and if so, does extraterrestrial technology, technology that can get E.T. from there to here, evolve of necessity? Lastly, having evolved a sophisticated advanced boldly going technology, how long do you have it? Translated, we need to answer whether or not Darwinian evolution, natural selection, will favor intelligence, technology and long-term survival.

Intelligence first: 

Some people object to the UFO ETH on the grounds that we (humans) are the proverbial be-all-and-end-all of the cosmos in terms of overall smarts and being tool makers – there are no other advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, therefore UFOs can not have anything to with extraterrestrial intelligence. Translated, they adopt the more religious point of view that humans (and human intelligence) were created in the image of God and therefore no other intelligences can exist. No alien intelligence means no-go to the UFO ETH.

The answer to that issue, that extraterrestrial life exists, but not extraterrestrial intelligence (for religious reasons or otherwise), well, the answer is yet again that not even respectable SETI scientists would propose this as an objection to the UFO ETH since again that would undermine their own work. Clearly the evolution of intelligence, albeit being just one of many competing traits for biological survival-of-the-fittest, does have ultimate survival value. The Earth provides a practical example of that. Many species can be attributed to having a reasonable degree of ability to figure things out, and that it is possible to evolve extremely high levels of intelligence is witnessed by us existing. If Mother Nature can evolve one biological highly intelligent species, She can do it again, and again, and again on other worlds. 

Now based on a statistical sample of one, it’s been a long tough road to get from microbes to ferns to jellyfish to sharks to newts to crocodiles to crows to cattle. Once you have multicellular critters (like ferns and cows) that have survived and thrived in a reasonably stable part of the Universe over many generations, will they evolve into intelligence? I mean finding an extraterrestrial equivalent of a trilobite is all well and good, but we want to find beings more like ourselves. Again, no alien intelligences translate into UFOs having zip to do with aliens.

The issue now is having evolved to a multicellular stage (like magpies and buffalo), will organisms develop some higher brain function? Is there any further evolutionary advantage towards increasing one’s intelligence? By going back to our sample of one, if Earth is any guide, the answer is roughly ‘not likely’. There are millions of multicellular species that have existed, and do exist, on Planet Earth. There are apparently only a very few species that have evolved something beyond the minimum level of brain power required for their day-to-day survival. That doesn’t inspire confidence that intelligence has inevitable value as a means of survival.

By far and away, most multicellular critters just operate on pure instinct and don’t (can’t) stop to figure things out (far less stop to smell and appreciate the roses) – but, there are a few exceptions.  Many wild birds would put our everyday companion animals to shame in the IQ department. I mean I adore my cats, but a little Einstein they’re not. Whales and dolphins have also been credited with being in the higher IQ bracket; ditto our close primate cousins. In the invertebrate kingdom, the octopus is pretty smart – by invertebrate standards (and then some if one is honest). However, on balance, most multicellular critters put their evolutionary strategies into something other than higher brain functions. Take my cats. Is it to their survival advantage to ‘figure things out’ or to  just be a bit faster afoot, have a bit more acute hearing, have sharper vision? Nearly all organisms put their survival abilities into something other than pure brain-power. Clearly brain-power has survival-of-the-fittest attributes. But, intelligence is not the only game in town, and therefore doesn’t have what I’d call any evolutionary ‘certainty’ or destiny.  However, it would be illogical to say that developing intelligence, the ability to figure things out, isn’t valuable and doesn’t have any survival value; it’s just that if you were to list all the multicellular animal species on Planet Earth, very few would have an IQ of even one (the human average is 100). So, let’s say intelligence is somewhere between near certainty and highly improbable. That’s a rather ‘have your cake and eat it too’ position.

IMHO, the bottom line is that intelligence, the ability to figure things out, has evolutionary survival value and will tend to be selected for, and thus over time, there will tend to have life forms that have evolved ever higher IQ’s. Here on Earth, just about all mammals and birds, and some exceptional invertebrates (the cephalopods like squid and the octopus), have reasonable IQ’s at least when compared to bacteria, plants, insects, fish, etc. Of course just as some kinds of organisms are faster than others, or have keener senses of sight or smell or hearing, not all advanced organisms are going to end up equal in the IQ stakes. But, the fact remains, the ability to think, to figure things out, can only increase your odds of survival and leaving behind more offspring.

Technology second:

Okay, we have lots of widely separated planetary abodes throughout the cosmos that have an intelligent species of critter on them. Since we assume your intelligent neighbours are fairly far away and you want to discover, and then maybe communicate with them, that poses a problem. If you want to find them, you or your surrogate, has got to go to them, and/or they (or their surrogate) have to come to you. In a terrestrial analogy, you have a barrier like an ocean or vast desert or mountain range separating you from them so it’s difficult to hike or swim the distance. The surrogate mentioned earlier could be a smoke or radio signal or laser beam, but if you want something more up-close-and-personal then you tend to need boats or planes or four-wheel drives or covered wagons, or in our interstellar scenario, rocket ships, etc. Once you do establish ‘first contact’, you’d like to keep in touch. On Earth, the usual means of keeping in touch other than by face-to-face communication is by snail mail, phone, or email – snail mail apart, its radio or electromagnetic communications in general that’s usually employed (even smoke signals use reflected light waves to deliver the message).

That introduces one additional complication for the UFO ETH; it’s not enough to just be intelligent. You need to have technology (and even snail mail as noted above is still a form of technology). Then, and only then, will the ‘are we alone?’ question be answered to our absolute satisfaction. We need technology if we are to find (maybe communicate with) extraterrestrial intelligence(s); and/or extraterrestrial intelligence(s) will need technology to find us. One or both of us has to have invented engineering to a somewhat sophisticated level – maybe rocket ships, maybe radio telescopes, but something technological is required.

There’s also a hidden assumption here – you actually want to seek out new civilizations. It matters not one jot if you have all the required technology but care not to use it for the purpose of answering that question – ‘are you alone in the Universe?’ I’ll assume here that if you have intelligence, and you’ve been able to construct appropriate technology, then part of your intelligence is devoted to being a curious critter who wants to know and find out things – so that’s a certainty of one. Curiosity and associated intelligence, or intelligence and associated curiosity are two sides of the same coin.

But what’s the level of certainty of developing appropriate technology in the first place? Rather poor judging from all those terrestrial species that have a somewhat reasonable degree of smarts to their credit. There’s the human species of course, and though while we’re not quite a sample of one, there having been other hominoid species with some IQ capacity (like Neanderthals), its pretty close to being a sample of one. There are documentary observations of some animals (primates mainly) not so much manufacturing, but making use of existing ‘tools’ to assist in their survival. Alas, most intelligent species lack the anatomy and/or the right environment to manipulate objects. In the case of dolphins and whales, their ocean environment stymies any way and means of constructing things and making use of fire, for example. So, developing technology has to be rated, judging from our terrestrial sampling, as rather low; otters using rocks to break open clams not withstanding. 

So, for UFOs to be alien spaceships, one needs an extraterrestrial intelligent species to develop appropriate technology, and here’s where I see a bit of a bottleneck. The evolution of technology isn’t inevitable and has a lot of just-so factors attached.

Firstly, your home planet has got to come equipped with the right sorts of materials like oxygen and metallic ores and other objects (rocks, wood, etc.) than can be turned into useful tools, and of course most important a suitable supply of energy sources. That you’ll have at your disposal all the required material and energy resources is not a given.

Water worlds are out of the running since it’s difficult to discover and utilise fire in that sort of environment.

You can’t have all your required locomotive appendages (legs) in contact with the ground – some limbs have to be free to manipulate objects in your environment. Birds have wings that are off the ground, but since wings aren’t good at making tools, that seems to rule out wings, and all birds of a feather, pretty much as well as tool makers.

So, I’ve already ruled out dolphins and whales and the cephalopods (like the octopus) being water based creatures; the birds with their useless wings as far as building things is concerned; and all the four-footed walking mammals (or reptiles or amphibians).

It might be conceivable that you can build up a technology using your mouth parts and/or using a tail (if you have one) to manipulate and build things, but we don’t have obvious terrestrial case studies, although you might argue that bees, wasps, termites, ants and birds can build elaborate structures using just their mouths. So that’s in the ‘maybe’ basket.

Technology is also a double-edged sword. The use of technology has had obvious survival value for the human species. You wouldn’t be hard-pressed to come up with dozens of technological inventions that have enabled us to survive longer and thrive better and be ever more fruitful and multiply. But, our technological genie is also out of the bottle, and unless you’re a hermit, you will have noted by now that technology can also reduce our quality of life, and no doubt you wouldn’t be equally hard-pressed to cite dozens of examples, from handguns to the automobile – which leads nicely into the last consideration. 

Longevity third:

Lastly, there’s the issue of longevity. If your neighbours buy up and move in, but then sell up and move out again in less than 24 hours, that doesn’t allow much time to meet and greet them and gossip over an afternoon cup of coffee – blink, and they’re gone. But if you’re both on the block for twenty years, that allows lots of time for afternoon teas, philosophical chats, bridge games, etc. So, how long do technological civilizations last?  

Well, the pessimist will look around and cite global warming, probably antibiotic resistant germs giving rise to pandemics, chemical, biological and radiological warfare and/or terrorism, the extinction of biological species, rampant industrial pollution, and in general an overall quality of life heading rapidly down the gurgler, right down to the point that the human race will probably go extinct by our own hand. But if you’re an optimist, then the sky’s the limit.

It’s not all that obvious that technology actually adds all that much value towards ultimate long-term survival. Lots of technological advancements have, like controlling energy sources such as fire, developing a sustainable food supply via agriculture, the rise of modern medicine and food preservation technologies. But then lots of modern technological wonders, the automobile, CDs, sofas, microwave ovens, and thousands of other consumer products don’t really contribute much to our overall survival – certainly cars don’t when considering the road toll! That brings up the fact that things technological can sometimes work in the opposite direction. Toxic this, pollutant that, nuclear the next thing; then throw in a bit of global warming; the rise of urban city living with overcrowding and in general overpopulation; chemical, biological and radiological warfare/terrorism; instruments of warfare in general, like guns; the overuse of antibiotics hence the rise of antibiotic resistant germs; exposure to electromagnetic fields – well, the list of horrors or potential horrors keeps on keeping on and on.

It makes for an interesting question: would mankind ultimately survive longer had technology never entered the equation, or not? It’s an unanswerable question in that 1) we can’t run the contrary as a controlled experiment, and 2) that the genie is well and truly out of the bottle and there’s probably no turning back now.

Assuming humanity as a collective whole doesn’t end up going the way of the Dodo within the next several generations, even centuries – whether it actually morally deserves to go extinct is another question – then what?.

It’s hard to imaging what human civilization, what humans themselves will be like 1000 years from now. If you could come back 1000 years hence, would you indeed find a human civilization, indeed find recognizable ‘humans’ at all? Once you have evolved to the stage of being a multicellular critter with intelligence and advanced technology, then physics, chemistry and plain everyday evolutionary biology are no longer in control of your evolution. You are now in control! You are in control not only over the future evolution of other species (artificial selection instead of natural selection) but of your own evolution. The age of the designer baby is already here, albeit still in its infancy (pun intended). What will another few decades bring to this now embryonic field; obviously one with an ever ongoing and continuing maturity? 

Humans will probably go kaput within 1000 years, not because of any global nuclear war, or pandemic, or asteroid strike, but because humans have by their own free will evolved themselves into something else, and the process has already started. In fact, it’s possible that in 1000 years time there could be two humanoid species on Earth. One will be an amalgamation of flesh-and-blood plus ‘iron-and-silicon’; the other pure ‘iron-and-silicon’ (artificial intelligence, perhaps in the form of robots).

The first is not too difficult a swallow. Just replace or augment flesh-and-blood bits with ‘iron-and-silicon’ bits (or wood bits, or ceramic bits, or plastic bits, etc.). Look at most pirate films and you’ll see those beloved peg-legs and hook-hands. Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? What about a hearing aid? Perhaps you have an artificial joint(s) or a heart pacemaker. You surely have a dental filling (or two), maybe even dentures. Then there’s artificial skin and all manner of other internal or external types of technology that have replaced your failed flesh-and-blood – like kidney dialysis. There’s now serious talk about the development of a bionic eye within a few years (to go alongside the bionic ear). What further artificial bio-bits will be available in another 20 years, another 50 years, or another 200 years? The era of “RoboCop” or a real life “Six-Million Dollar Man” (and “Woman”) is getting close to fruition.

Within 500 years or so, maybe less, I can envision that someone will be able to download the contents of their brain (their mind) into an ‘iron-and-silicon’ equivalent.  Why? Well, does the word ‘immortality’ (or as close to immortality as makes no odds) suggest a possible reason? You don’t think anything of endlessly replacing worn automobile parts for new parts to extend the useful lifetime of your car. Why not endlessly replace your worn parts? Your mind, that ‘inner you’ housed within your brain won’t last forever. Replace it – transfer it to a more durable technology. Do it again, and again and again as is necessary. In fact, one might create a mega-mind or super-mind by merging into an ‘iron-and-silicon’ body containing a lot of minds (in much the same way as computer hardware can have a lot of operating software programs. By merging the minds of say a cosmologist, general relativist, quantum physicist and mathematician, one might speed up the development of the Holy Grail of physics, the Theory of Everything (TOE) – which is as currently conceived, a theory of quantum gravity. 

Once your mind is contained in an ‘iron-and-silicon’ ‘head’, just attach that to an all ‘iron-and-silicon’ ‘body’. Then boldly go where no ‘iron-and-silicon’ human has gone before. Immortality indeed!

All of which leads to a future Earth inhabited by a humanoid robot species, artificially evolved from today’s human species. That process too has already started – robotic appliances, even artificial ‘iron-and-silicon’ ‘pets’ are now on the market. Research into artificial intelligence is ever ongoing. Watch that final minute of the final episode of the TV revision of “Battlestar Galactica’! How about those sci-fi “Transformers” or “Terminators”, or Data (from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)? Then there’s “Doctor Who’s” Cybermen or his main enemy, the Daleks (though Daleks are part machine; part organism).

Think of those robots from “Westworld” or the “Futureworld” sequel where nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong… Then there’s “The Stepford Wives”, “Cherry 2000”, the original Cylons from the original “Battlestar Galactica”, and many more. It might be just science fiction today – could it be science fact tomorrow? There doesn’t seem to be any violation of physics involved. In physics, everything not forbidden is compulsory! However, some of those sci-fi scenarios suggest that perhaps ultimately there might be a conflict between the (part) machines we become, and the (artificially) intelligent machines that we create!

We’re ultimately in control, so a quasi-robotic future isn’t of necessity compulsory. But I suspect it will happen. Why? There are rational reasons for humans deliberately abandoning their flesh-and-blood existence and evolving themselves, if not 100% into ‘iron-and-silicon’ then at least into something part flesh-and-blood coupled with part ‘iron-and-silicon’ – sort of like we have today (recall those now primitive dentures and peg-legs). 

Quite apart from immortality (well quasi-immortality anyway) arguments, its nice having more indestructible bodies and bodies that can be more easily repaired. Death won’t go away of course, not totally – accidents will still happen. Presumably, your mind will be able to absorb 10, 100, 1000 times the amount of experiences, memories, knowledge, etc. than is currently the case. You might be able to explore environments now closed to you, like taking a stroll across the sea bottom – many kilometres down – in your ‘iron-and-silicon’ robotic ‘birthday’ suit.

All of which then opens up the entire ‘boldly going’ experience hinted at above. What’s the hardest part of going to Mars? – it’s the flesh-and-blood frailty of the human body – the need for gravity, oxygen, organic food, water, space suits, and that you can’t carry spare flesh-and-blood parts along.  Extrapolate to our exploration of the entire solar system, then our stellar neighbourhood, eventually the galaxy. Even if you don’t want to go yourself, well, there’s artificial intelligence housed in perhaps nanotechnology bodies, spreading throughout the cosmos like so much a cancer analogy.  

The ultimate point of all of this is that if eventually us (humans), why not them (extraterrestrials) now? Translated, after a relative short period of biological development, a civilization can obtain longevity that evolutionary development into ‘iron-and-silicon’ provides, coupled with far easier expansion into the realm of outer space.

So, overall, UFOs might not be alien spaceships right here and now, because it’s 1) somewhat relatively hard to evolve multicellular organisms (but obviously not impossible); 2) will intelligence tend to have evolutionary survival? 3) Associated advanced technology isn’t inevitable and might even be counterproductive. 4) If counterproductive, longevity is at risk. Thus, Earth, with its multicellular critters and humanity with its technology, might be quite the rare planet within the Universe – according to some.

But, there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. What ultimately undermines the UFO ETH sceptics is that all you need is ONE boldly going, intelligent, advanced technological and long-lived extraterrestrial species and the galaxy is theirs for the taking and we’re in their sights. Few pundits would like to bet against that ONE, given, in the immortal words of the late Carl Sagan, a statistical possibility of ‘billions and billions’.   


Source by: John Prytz

Moto Z finally gets updated to Android 7.1.1

In Hong Kong and Indonesia today, Moto Z users are in the process of receiving the update to Android 7.1.1. The phone originally shipped last year with Android 6.0 pre-installed, and was eventually updated to Android 7.0. Once the notification is received that the update has hit your Moto Z, make sure that the device is connected to a Wi-Fi or strong cellular signal before continuing with the updating process. At the same time, the battery on the phone needs to be charged to at least 50%.

If the update has not been received yet, you can try to have it sent to you manually by going to Settings …

China reportedly prevents WhatsApp users from sending images and videos

Facebook’s WhatsApp could easily go as one of the last of the mohicans in China, a country where messaging services that don’t abide by the government’s restrictive cybersecurity laws have been blocked partially or entirely.

Unfortunately, WhatsApp seems to be the last victim of China’s “Great Firewall,” the country’s intricate system of internet filters and controls. NYT reports China has disrupted WhatsApp services in the country, as many users say they are now unable to send videos and images through the messaging app.

Some can’t even send text-based messages, which suggests the …

LG V30 appears on Geekbench?

The LGE LG-H932PR was discovered today on the Geekbench benchmark app. This could be the LG V30 getting sized up. We come to that conclusion because of the Snapdragon 835 SoC listed as powering the device. The latter is equipped with an octa-core 1.9GHz CPU. The LG Q6 is out of contention because that phone is powered by the Snapdragon 435 chipset.  Android 7.1.2 is pre-installed.

While not mentioned on Geekbench, we expect the phone to carry a 5.7-inch OLED display with the FullVision 18:9 aspect ratio. 4GB of RAM is said to be inside along with 64GB of native storage. A dual camera …

Electric Truck Conversion – 4 Tips For Conversion

Having made up your mind to do an electric truck conversion, a well detailed plan should be handy to get started. You can get started following these easy stages.

1.    Identify a small decent truck to convert.
2.    Get common home tools like sews, cordless drill, wrenches etc.
3.    Identify a work place- workshop, garage etc.
4.    A well detailed plans.

Good candidate for electric truck conversion plan is usually, small trucks because they are featherweight and strong. They also provide a enough room for D.C motor and better placement. Since the number of batteries determine your effective range this makes a small truck a good choice.

Just recently, l assisted a friend to complete electric truck conversion of his Toyota Tacoma. It was a miracle, all the functionality and its vintage feeling were still in tight.

I recommend standard transmission truck to be converted, automatic transmissions trucks will require high expertise to achieve. Don’t worry even though, you known only how to drive automatic vehicle, your truck will drive just like an automatic. I was stunt at its ability to accelerate; it has the keep up with any vehicle town and travel 50 mph on the highway. Not to mention the truck ability to go a range of over 200 miles for a single charge, just as stated in the detailed plan.

The principal author in electric truck conversion are batteries and D.C motor, they are attract the heaviest cost. It was stunting to known that the plan outline, even identify some sources of free deep cycle batteries we can use for electric truck conversion. I know this must be good news for budget minded family like me; I guess that is why you will like to embark on conversion, is to save money.

Source: Blessed Paul Nwogwugwu
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