Scientific American Frontiers garners admiration

I am currently watching Alan Alda on PBS, he is at the MIT media lab talking with developers of wearable computers, which have went from bulky cumbersome helmets, belts, backpacks, and visors to an overcoat and glasses. | More on garments via boingboing

Previously they were demonstrating fabricating machines that could create things quickly from a simple template, and the idea that these fabricating machines could proliferate and become common. Then when you wanted a knew bicycle it would be emailed to your GE home fabricator and be made in minutes. It also briefly touched on how this could become an "open source" direction for product development. Real time input from users. Imagine.

The next segment is a piece about a backpack that records in "360 degree" "panoramic" shot of a students entire life. The student has rewound the stored video and audio date through computer algorithms searching for the rhythms in life and using the oddities as searchable benchmarks. Your whole life on a hard drive, mobile computing with head mounted screens? Have they been reading my blog? Or Cory Doctorows book?

The final segment is robots-Blah blah blah. I am tired of robots. I want to see more exoskeletons, that seems neat. Maybe one that is cheap, simple, and low powered that can help the average construction worker, or fruit harvester.

Seeing the MIT media lab workshop reminds me of visiting the San Francisco museum as a child, there were spinning stools that held you on by gravity, Laserbeams set in sand creating lighted paitings, and giant rooms covered in tinfoil and lit with strobelights, (Dad do you remember that? *auto email here.) My question is why don't highly creative environments like MIT create miniature development labs that visit every school every year?

*How could you flag a post on your blog and when it is published the flag sends and email requesting input or information from someone simultaneously, and copies the post to the email? This could be useful and seems like a logical step in the free flowing think environment of weblogs.



All you mobile programmers out there wanting to get more mobile, can compete for cash or Segway human transport. I remember when mountain bikes were cool. Recently, I went to buy a new set of forks for mine, and the guy told me it would be cheaper to just buy a whole new bike. Contest here programmingcontest.com (What will they do when the contest is over sell the domain?) via k10k

Game of Life

Why haven't any aspiring gamers created elementary or highschool level video games, that let players compete in a pseudo real life situations, giving youngsters an advantage in preparedness and some benchmark for their futures? I would have appreciated that as a youngster. Take that a step further to consider a super mainframe that literally creates a video game based on any new venture you are embarking upon? Or how about video games that take your psychological profile and uses gaming situations to challenge your weak areas, or even heal those who are depressed or mentally ill? I am sure these items have been developed in different applications that are not main stream enough to have reached my observation. (I created a CD-ROM for a company who did virtual reality games teaching history to kids some time ago.)
I am by no means a video game freak. When I was in my teens I could be found at the local bowling alley or arcade playing games like Asteroids, Joust, Defender, Space Invaders, and Galagha. I had a friend who worked for Adobe, who had multiple computers networked and would have late night Doom parties. Of course he had figured a way to make the bad guys have faces of the players, so killing yourself all night in a dark spooky labyrinth got old. I have even sat in on 48 hour games of D&D where the participants got a little to "into" the game. But they don't hold my attention. Especially once I conquer them. One of my favorites games is Flying Nightmares, a flight simulator that allows you to fly a Harrier jump jet. It took me about a month to figure out how to take off and land on the carrier. It does get really cool when you add the fact that is also a battle plan simulator. The closest I will get to flying a 17 million dollar jet. We are not talking a hi end simulation, everything is square and pixilated. But once you start playing your brain doesn't care, it becomes a virtual reality. I remember flying a 2:00am mission over Timor when I was jumped by f-14's, I was genuinely spooked, and after dropping my payload, I high tailed it back to the ship. I also found it quite relaxing to drink a glass of Cabernet and fly my f-22 raptor simulator over the Gulf. They had even included dolphins playing in the water. Until my game flipped out, my pilots head would always turn backwards in the middle of a dogfight which became a real problem. But that is it, I don't play generally play video games.
This NYT article talks about electronic war gaming for the military and questions if simulations do not now or in the future cause soldiers to see real life war as a mere game. Which leads me to some thoughts about artificial memory like that talked about in Doctorow's book Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom. At what point would induced memories become familiar enough to seem real? I recall my folks showing me photographs of my childhood that I can now visualize as memory, but I think it is just the photo that is a memory.
Another story about gaming via Linkfilter