How Magic Leap Is Secretly Creating a New Alternate Reality
"Remember when Mark Zuckerberg justified Facebook's $2B purchase of virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR by calling it the next great communication platform? It sounds like Magic Leap wants to do the same thing—only layered on top of the real world.
It sounds like they hope to do that with a lightweight headset mostly indistinguishable from eyeglasses, save a fiber optic cable running down to a pack where the projector (and possibly the battery and other processing components) are housed. It sounds like that device will be absolutely jam-packed with cameras and sensors to exactly know where it is, and which direction it's pointing, inside a depth-mapped recreation of the real world. It sounds like it will run Android, have its own app store, and focus on games and interactive comic books to start.
In other words, it sounds absolutely bonkers. But $542 million in funding and Google on the board of directors suggests it's pretty damn real, and that it might only be a matter of time until Magic Leap can make it small enough to comfortably wear. Which could put Facebook and Google in one heck of a battle for the future of wearable computing, I imagine."
Essential Math for Games Programmers
Blue Peacock was a British tactical nuclear weapon project in the 1950s. One technical problem was that during winter buried objects can get very cold, and it was possible the mine's electronics would get too cold to work after some days underground. One particularly remarkable proposal suggested that live chickens be included in the mechanism. The chickens would be sealed inside the casing, with a supply of food and water; they would remain alive for a week or so. Their body heat would, it seems, have been sufficient to keep the mine's components at a working temperature. This proposal was sufficiently outlandish that it was taken as an April Fool's Day joke when the Blue Peacock file was declassified on April 1, 2004. Tom O'Leary, head of education and interpretation at the National Archives, replied to the media that, "It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes."
Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True
Released on January 29, 1964, the film caused a good deal of controversy. An expert at the Institute for Strategic Studies called the events in the film “impossible on a dozen counts.” A former Deputy Secretary of Defense dismissed the idea that someone could authorize the use of a nuclear weapon without the President’s approval: “Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth.”
In retrospect, Kubrick’s black comedy provided a far more accurate description of the dangers inherent in nuclear command-and-control systems than the ones that the American people got from the White House, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media.
Philosophical Science Fiction / Speculative Fiction: Recommendations from 36 Philosophers
Most recommended author: Ursula K. Le Guin (Nine Lives, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, The Dispossessed, The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics, Always Coming Home, Changing Planes).
Second place: Philip K. Dick (The Defenders, Autofac, Time out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ubik, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, Radio Free Albemuth, A Scanner Darkly).
Third place: Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others) and Greg Egan (Learning to Be Me, The Infinite Assassin, Permutation City, Diaspora, Axiomatic, Reasons to be Cheerful).
The Internet’s First Family
A nice overview of Metafilter, one of the very best websites out there.
"If Twitter is people you don’t know at their wittiest, and Facebook is people you do know at their most mundane, then MetaFilter, I would say, is a family of strangers."
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