Friday, 12 March 2010

The First Question - 9 March 2010

This week's panel

Zen Paine, Kit Guardian, Madcow Cosmos, Emmo Wei


Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
-Jose Ortega y Gasset

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
-William James

There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

Word-UP of the week – Was a tie!!
“Primaholic” - Someone who shops too much and wants to have too many fancy detailed things in there home and on their avatar. . I am a primaholic.
-Kit Guardian
“Koalalumper” - Not the Malaysian city but what happens after a brutal opening act for the 1st question
-Emmo Wei

Audience Quote of the week-
Sunman Loring: I eat food fast not fast food


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) You or someone you know has wanted one of these since they saw James Bond's Thunderball, Developed by the U.S. military in 1961 with the aim of producing an all-terrain vehicle to move military commanders around a battlefield, the Bell Rocket Belt could only maintain flight for 26 seconds on a full tank of fuel. Sadly it’s limits meant consignment merely to film work and TV appearances. Now this country’s Martin Aircraft has announced production of 500 units a year whisking a pilot along at 63 mph and at 8,000 ft. with no pilot license required. It will set you back Roughly $75,000. Currently air traffic control technology is not yet advanced enough to cope with jetpacks, but the US Federal Aviation Administration is developing "highways in the sky" technology - 3D highways based on GPS tracks. Which country just might be delivering the JetPack of tomorrow today?

2) A finalist in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition, a kinetic mouse made from recycled materials has been unveiled –and wait there’s more - the energy to use it is captured form the clicking and scrolling of the mouse as it has an element within the body to harvest energy from movement, a similar setup is fitted to the scroll wheel and a piezoelectric element stores energy from each click of the left and right buttons. Regional material sourcing and assembly and end of life recycling add more green points to its credentials. The concept just missed the bronze medal in the audience category, but it is a winner in our mouse jockey race – what is it called?

3) By the age of six, he could exchange jokes in Classical Greek, memorize telephone directories, and displayed advanced mental calculation abilities, I was reading MAD magazine by the age of six myself, I recall. He was originally Hungarian, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians in modern history who delved into quantum mechanics, game theory and computer science. A principal member of the Manhattan Project he worked out key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb.& one of the first 4 people with Einstein selected for the Institute for Advanced Study – His first major contribution to economics was the minimax theorem of 1928. & His last book published was The Computer and the Brain. Who was this genius who bridged many systems and branched knowledge with mathematical theory?

4) Oh those pesky Paparazzi ! Sometimes you just can’t avoid them. What are outlets to do when they need fresh images all the time? Enter the Papraazzi Bot! Autonomous robotic camerabots, designed at Ohio State University are a tech-hybrid both camera, and cameraman. They move at the speed of a walking human, avoiding walls and obstacles. As the robots work the room, infrared sensors move them toward humans, with the single goal of taking photos of people, mimicking the frenzied paparazzi. Later the images of those they’ve chosen to stalk are published to the web, where did they recently make their debut, and no it wasn’t at a Lady Gaga concert?

5) "M3" is short for "man-made man & are robot babies are under development with Osaka University. And no the Japanese aren’t trying to develop robot babies to alter the low birthrate in that country……not yet at any rate- M3-neony has been developed to research the development of fine motor skills like crawling thus hoping to gain knowledge on how humans develop physical skills . M3-synchy is used to understand verbal and non-verbal communication, primarily with its expressive face and arm gestures. Of course when your computer can learn to walk off your desk it might go straight to hell. There might not be any robot babies (gosh I love saying that,) in science fiction literature but robot children did exist in the 1967 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long. Who wrote that?

6) This might come as a shock to our audience but there is pornography on the internet. The use of tricky or confusing URLs mean sometimes opening or downloading inappropriate images again VERY accidentally . And in some cases this material still exists on our computers…. Well folks fear no longer – this new USB stick is loaded with software designed to find and remove illicit images from your PC will protect your family, business or organization using a series of algorithms to analyze flesh tones, shapes, curvatures, and more What is this called?

7) More meatricity from the Greener Gadgets 2010 Conference... whose founder challenged designers to "put the sexy back into green. This won 2nd place – and is basically a portable rocking chair comprised of tubes and a sling seat that folds out to a bench-style glider seat. The rocking mechanism is linked to a gearbox, DC generator, voltage controller and lithium battery. it shows that kinetic energy is stored & that power is being generated. The energy is converted by means of a DC/AC inverter and accessed by a USB or standard power outlet so it can be hooked up to a laptop, mobile, MP3 player or other gadget. Perhaps it should have been called “Rocktricity” what is the name of this award winning char?

8) Cisco Systems, which is often referred to as the plumber of the Internet, announced today, a next-generation router for the world's largest ISP, the CRS-3. After weeks of hype about a major announcement that would change the Internet forever, it turns out the new product is basically an upgrade. The new router, which is sold to major Internet service providers, offers 12 times the traffic capacity and much faster too. John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, said this new router will serve as the foundation of the next-generation Internet that will see tremendous growth due to what?

9) The optical laser was deemed next to useless shortly after being invented 50 years ago. Two separate research groups have independently made important steps toward making - a type of laser that emits very high-frequency, coordinated sound rather than light waves. Despite some fundamental differences, light and sound waves are both formed by quanta, meaning that sound lasers are also possible. Sound propagates at a speed that is about 100,000 smaller than the speed of light, and therefore has a smaller wavelength & lower energy levels. Meaning sound lasers would allow extremely precise imaging of living tissue without damaging it in the process (as is often the case with optical imaging). What are high frequency sound lasers also referred to as?

10) The United Nations says that dirty water causes 80 percent of diseases in the developing world, killing 10 million people a year. What many people don’t realize, is that there are already naturally-occurring water filtration supplies available & remarkably In the form of a tree. Seeds from this tree, used as a paste will bind with impurities and can reduce bacteria in water over 90% . It also produces cooking and lighting oil, soil fertilizer, and highly-nutritious food in the form of its pods, leaves, seeds and flowers. It is drought-resistant & grows in Africa, India, South East Asia and Central and South America. What is the “world’s most useful” tree's name?

11) We spoke of Pranav Mistry’s breakthrough sixth sense last week and here is an outgrowth of that technology. A skin-based interface that effectively turns your body into a touchscreen. The system uses two technologies to turn your biggest organ into a workable input device with the ability to detect the ultralow-frequency sound produced by tapping the skin with a finger, and the microchip-sized "pico" projectors now found in some cellphones. The system beams a keyboard or menu onto the user's forearm, and hand from a projector housed in an armband.. Different combinations of the sensors are activated depending on where the arm is tapped. What is this system called which will be presented in April at the ACM Computer-Human Interaction meeting ?

12) It cost 5 Billion but oh dear missed its mark. Last May, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress that the Airborne laser's range was well short of the minimum requirement of 200 km. Future tests will try longer shots, but it looks like the chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) used just can't deliver death rays through the atmosphere. The laser's bulk has limitations and the nose on this transport only had Room for 6 of the 8 to 14 laser modules the design asked for. Oops. The project began in 1996 but just does not deliver. What was used to blast two missiles out of the sky?

13) A 4,000-year-old Greenland man just entered the scientific debate over the origins of prehistoric populations in the Americas. A nearly complete sequence of nuclear DNA extracted from strands of the long-dead man’s hair — the first such sequence obtained from an ancient person — highlights a previously unknown and relatively recent migration of northeastern Asians into the New World about 5,500 years ago, scientists say. His remains were found at a site from this culture, the earliest known people to have inhabited Greenland. What was this ancient Artic culture called?

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