Future Science & technology

[790] Of the death of telephone?

Earlier today, Nokia launches a product that might trigger the death of phone. According to Reuters:

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, unveiled a new version of its Internet tablet device running Google Talk communications software on Tuesday.

The deal between Nokia and Web search leader Google Inc. allows people to chat with other users of instant-messaging software via the Nokia Wi-Fi device, which relies on short-range wireless networks.

The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, introduced last year, offers wireless access to digital music and video, as well as access to e-mail.

But it is not a phone, and relies on unregulated local wireless connections rather than cell-phone networks.

Over four years ago, I blogged about the internet is replacing the phone.

If I remember correctly, a person disagreed and said that in emergency, the phone will still be in need. Well, what he didn’t consider was the fact that computers are becoming smaller, becoming more versatile than convergences, introduction of VoIP and proliferation of Wi-Fi.

The Nokia tablet, which is a computer, equipped with Google Talk, which allows voice communication over the internet, is justifying that four years old entry of mine.

Future Science & technology

[401] Of 640K ought to be enough for anybody

I bought a Seagate 160 Gigabytes Barracuda ATA 7200 RPM hard drive for $116 yesterday. The original price was $150 but an instance rebate brought the price down tremendously. The end price should hover around $60 after a mail in rebate that I plan to send out later this week.

160GB for $60 is a bargain I tell you. That is about 60% discount and price per space ratio is less than 30 cent per gig. Usually, the ratio would be more than a dollar per gig.

Despite the excitement of finding a great bargain with a help of a friend, I think I will encounter a possible problem.

On the manual, it says somewhere that my BIOS and OS need to support 48-bit addressing if I want to use more than 137GB. After spending some time on the net researching, I found out that it is related to Bill Gates’ infamous “640K ought to be enough for anybody”.

640K. Yeah. Right.

Anyway, what I do know is that this addressing stuff seems to put a limit on the volume of space that can be made available to the system regardless the physical size of the hard drive. I wonder why do that want to limit it anyway?

I am not sure whether my current system supports 48-bit or 24-bit addressing and I have no idea how to find it out. I honestly however, have not really made a thorough search on the internet about this addressing stuff. Any l33+ out there? Help this poor n00b out will ya?

But man, I did not even use all of my old 40 GB hard drive and now, with this new 160 GB hard drive, I don’t know what I want to do.

200 GB definately sounds like great way to piss RIAA. 200 gigs dude. 200 gigs. Dude, this is better picking my nose, that’s for sure.

Maybe I should start uploading part of myself into my hard drive. Yeah, I’ll do just that!

Economics Environment Future Kitchen sink Liberty Sci-fi Society

[199] Of if I ruled the world…

If everything in this world rested on me, I will make sure that the world will be a greener place to live in. All of my policies will be based on three of the Green Four Pillars – okologisch (ecological sound), sozial (social stability) and basisdemokratisch (democratic society).

The economy will not be based simply on capitalism. There are more to life than just capitals. Though free trade is important, certain things will be given some leeway, of such as subsidies so important industries to the green ideology may flourish for the benefit of the whole. Taxes and tariffs will still play an important role in a laissez faire market.

The most important thing that will be made compulsory is the pollution market. Each firm will have its own amount of pollution allowed to be produced. Of course, the amount of pollution it is entitled to will vary according to its size and sector. In this way, the firm will be allowed to do whatever it wants with the permit as long as the activity is within the boundary of the law. Furthermore, the firm will need to pay for each extra ton of pollution it makes as a fine. The amount fine will be large enough as to offset the violating firm profit. In this, it is hoped that the fine will be a sufficient deterrent without hurting the industry greatly.

The only way to produce more products is to obtain pollution permit first. However, it cannot obtain such permit directly from the government but rather, it needs to buy the extra privilege from other firm that uses only partially of their share. Despite this, the government still has the ability to issue such permit as it deems necessary for a sustainable economic growth of a particular sector and not of a particular firm. It is important to state that the permit transaction between firms will still be needed to be approved by the government. In a way, this is similar to the coupon system when in the market, both monetary and coupon units are used for transaction activities. Through this, carbon based economy or rather green economy will be born.

The government on the other hand distributes the permits that in turn given by a world body that regulates the permit circulation internationally. Each country will receive a particular amount of permit after that particular country’s industry, population, resources and area size are considered. A world body, perhaps a neo-WTO will be given the power to make sure that the carbon trading will run smoothly on the international level.

Reward and punishment philosophy will be upheld in order to convince countries to accept this economy. Economic sanction will be imposed on countries that commit serious environmental breach. Most common sanction will be the withdrawal of pollution permits. The heaviest penalty would be an economic isolation on all sorts of goods save essential such as food and medicine. However, environmental violation does not include environmental accidents though inaction may lead to moderate punishment. Through this, it is hoped that pollution problem will be reduced significantly.

Furthermore, developed countries will be demanded to commit a small portion of its income, if it could be afforded, to contribute to global organizations such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the UN to fight hunger and poverty. The contributors will be rewarded with extra pollution permits at a discounted price.

Income originated from the sale of pollution permits will be used as near free aids to the third world nations. The aid however will be given as long as the receiver commits itself to green economy. At the first sign of diversion from green economy, the receiver will need to repay the aid in full plus backdated interest.

Politically, countries’ traditional borders will be preserved due to cultural difference but within countries, a new kind of political lines will emerge – the ecoregions. Ecoregions are, as stated in Wikipedia, area that has strong ecological connection to other area. These areas will be considered as one political unit. As a simple example, Southeast Asia will be considered as one ecoregion due to its vegetation similarity throughout the region. In introducing new political border, it is hoped that problem such as polluted river or burning forest will be able to be fought effectively. Though this seems to be difficult and annoying redistribution, such method has already been carried among the great lakes states such as Michigan, Illinois and Ontario (3 of the 11 members of the Great Lakes Commission) in order to manage the administrative matters concerning the great lakes. Note that this caucus crosses the US-Canada border.

Free will and democracy will be paramount in governance though it will not be as free as the libertarians would like. Minimal restrictions will be applied in order to maintain social order. Then again, freedom of expression will be observed to almost the fullest extend.
Socially, recycling will be the way of life. To make it a reality, Californian styled system will be practiced. Recyclable consumer products (i.e. cans, bottle etc.) will be sold a little bit higher than its market price. The additional cents will be returned to the buyer once the post-consumer product is returned back to any recycling center. Of course, the price of recyclable product will be lower than any non-recyclable counterpart so as to encourage consumer to buy recyclable product.

Population will be redistributed to various areas so one area will not have too dense with Humans. Also, population control will be enforced through. By doing this, not only could the government prevent overstraining the ecosystem but the social standard including the health system could also be maintained with high standard. Draconian population control however will not be allowed in the constitution because of the observance ofhuman rights.

The opening of new lands will be minimized. Land will only be allowed to be opened for essential activities when it is needed. Land opening for holiday resort, golf course and such will be made difficult if not impossible. Also, to reduce environmental impact due to development, tight Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be made compulsory to every project without exception.

Transportation also plays an important role in pollution control. To combat pollution, public transportation will be the main method of moving around and the vehicles ownership will be discouraged by the introduction of special tariffs and taxes. Regular public transportation users (including carpoolers) will be rewarded with various schemes such as privilege in government and privately controlled services. In addition, car manufacturers will be needed to meet high environmental standard (engine efficiency and such) before their products are allowed to hit the street.

Area on land and in the water (the Amazon, Great Coral Reef etc.) that are recognized as essential to biodiversity will be preserved aggressively. No development will be tolerated in the area and violation will be met to the fullest extend of the law.

The Earth will be given time to adapt to us and repair herself. We as Humans will not only give the Earth time, we will also be proactive in repairing her. In this, the hope of a peaceful coexistence between Humans, other biotics, abiotics and Gaia will come to reality.

Future Sci-fi

[90] Of I dream of an utopia IV

Space Lanes and Spaceports

Once the Solar System or at least the inner region of the system is populated, there will be space lanes, much as the present shipping lanes transporting goods and people across vast distance. Although it will take sometimes before lots of lanes to be defined and accepted among the public, the only lanes that will be accepted will be the safest or the fastest route. Once the space lanes are defined, space buses will be the main vehicle transporting Human back and forth from Earth to other colonies. The existence of the lanes is vital to Human expansion in space. It will enable ship pilots to save time instead of trying to figure the best way to navigate their ships.

These lanes or sort of course will not be built with similar fashion as the tube. It would be ridiculously stupid to buill a tube from one place in space to another. By the way, the hazard of meteor shower or the same sort prevents such idea to be implemented.

Instead, a buoy will be placed after every certain among of distance along the lanes. The buoys will transmit some kind of signal to traveling ship. The signal gives out useful information regarding navigation.

One would argue that these buoys be effectively be replaced by a space station placed in a quadrant or so. However, communication between a ship and the station will take time. The buoys effectively tell ship pilots.

Buoys nevertheless do not dismiss the importance of a space station. It must be stressed that these buoys will be under the jurisdiction of the station.

There will at least space station in every planet’s orbit, controlling the space traffic of a particular planet. These space stations will usually act as spaceports, a commercial center of a planet. This will allow space traders to sell their goods at the spaceport instead of descending to the planet and waste precious energy.

There will also be stations built in the middle of space, especially in the middle of a long space lane. The station will act as a pit stop and an entreport station.

Back to the orbit, the spaceport will possibly have an extra feature, or at least a spaceport with a solid planet rather than the gaseous Jupiter or Saturn. The feature will accelerate the economic growth of a planet rather dramatic and check the demand for fuel effectively. Spaceports in Earth’s and Mars orbit will be the upper part of a space elevator. For more information on space elevator, read a past posting in The __earth Inc. here.

To be continued…

Future Sci-fi

[89] Of I dream of an utopia III

The Minerals and Space Colonization

Currently, crude oil reserve will only sustain us barely through half of the 21st century and it is only the matter of time until all of the minerals will finally be exhausted.

Nevertheless, Human will develop a way to dig even deeper to obtain more mineral. Mines will be built deep in the dark sea trenches. These mines will sustain Human needs when all ground mines are rendered useless.

Although these underwater mines will be prominent in the future scenario, with the ongoing developing aerospace technology, there will be no doubt that future minerals will be mined in outer space, both on Earth’s natural satellite and beyond. These mines will be the foundation of future space cities.

The need of more minerals will lead to the colonization of the Moon. The colonization of the Moon will without doubt be expensive but the advantage of it, by far suppress the economic burdens. During the “Age of Lunar Colonization”, there will be a point where the idea of transporting the water supply from Earth to Moon bases (that will become Moon cities) is unfeasible. In the end, the mining of water will be one of the main agenda. It is known now that there is ice cap somewhere at one of Moon’s poles. If this is not enough, perhaps Human will have to resort to technology that fusions hydrogen and oxygen together to produce the most precious elixir in the universe.

Once science allows Human to explore and travel farther in the cold space, the asteroids will be heavily mined. The asteroid belt will become the place for major mines in the Solar System.

Mars, Earth’s twin will also be the victim of Human expansion because the colonization of the fourth planet will promise a non-stop supply of resources. As time passes by, the notion of terraforming will come to mind. The process of terraforming will consume many years but the possibility of a new Earth will not stop Human from continuing with the process.

The other main reason for space exploration will be Earth inability to support Human’s exponential growth. With open space far becoming scarce, the only way to avoid conflict among the Human is a habitat expansion outside of Earth.

To be continued…