At the World Maker Faire, we got to see DJ Qbert & Yogafrog’s new high tech DJ mixer, the Thud Rumble Invader. Combining micro controllers, turntables, digital music libraries and time coded vinyl, DJ’s can leave behind their record crates and laptops. It’s where old school meets the next school.
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Tech is great, but are we kidding ourselves? So far, the best applications of Artificial Intelligence are for scheduling meetings and identifying when you’re using passive voice. Chat bots are basically newsletters. And voice assistants are hands free stereos.
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In our second podcasting experiment, two inveterate nerds (Neal & Steve) lament the grim reality of space travel. Physics, space junk, time, money, technology—everything seems stacked against long term journeys. We’re optimistic about the future of Von Neumann probes, 3D printing ships, etc. - but probably not in our lifetime. The difference between landing on the moon and reaching another solar system is HUGE. Podcast Liftoff in 3…2…1…GO!
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In this special episode, Steve steps out from behind the camera to chat with Neal about emissions regulations and the true cost of clean air. Clean air is so important that it's the entire point of _Space Balls_. Yep, your third favorite Mel Brooks movie is a scorching satire of a dystopian future where we've backed ourselves into a corner, ecologically. Which brings me to my real point: why was it so hard for car manufacturers like VW and Fiat/Chrysler to comply with emissions regulations without cheating? As an engineer with a little experience in this area - I worked on Caterpillar's Tier 4 & 2007 On-highway Truck Emissions Control program - the answer is two fold: 1. We had to invent, test, and build entirely new technology in very short time frames. 2. We had to convince people to pay for new equipment they didn't value in a margin sensitive business.
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Unlike Norman Rockwell, artist & geographer Trevor Paglen isn’t interested in classic Americana. In fact, his subjects—top secret military and government projects—don’t officially exist. Paglen’s most popular works explore uniform patches worn by test pilots at Area 51 and the hidden orbits of spy satellites. Is it crazy to look for beautiful in the military industrial complex? We don’t think so.
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