The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million prize purse. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.
Well this is just cool, a $30 million dollar (US) prize may not sound like all that much when your talking about going to the moon but the money isn’t what is at stake here. CharlesLindbergh didn’t set out to win the Orteig prize (Started in 1919 by a wealthy hotel owner, it offered $25,000 for the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York NY to Paris France vice-versa) just for the cash. I’m sure the money was part of the incentive, but the achievement of winning was it’s own reward. When Lindbergh finished his 30 plus hour flight his accomplishment ushered in a new age for aviation. I can see No one has eve said that space travel is easy. It may possibly be the single hardest task to accomplish in the world. It’s full of risks, high costs, the potential for catastrophic disaster is high. But the long term rewards are fantastic. The knowledge gained by undertaking such a task could benefit mankind for years to come. If your one of those people that think that thing like the exploration of space and a contest to get robots to the moon is just a waste of time and money I’d like you to give a long hard look at what your reading this on. If it’s a computer, and I bet I’m right, then you yourself have already reaped the rewards of technology that was pioneered for space exploration. No matter how you slice it, setting a mark and offering people a chance to excel breeds innovation and advancements that the entire world benefits from.
If your looking for decorating ideas that are a little out of the norm…
I believe that Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It’s finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic pleasing yet still punkish way. It’s living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It’s taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things. Join me as I search for items for my house that combine the scientific romanticism of the Victorians with our real present and imagined future.
David Pouge, New York Times technology writer, gives a brief overview of the pros and cons of the upcoming uber phone from Apple. This a quick run down of what he said: Pros: Interface is slick, it’s an iPod, screen is great, feature integration is fantastic, WiFi, Apple logo Cons: No memory slot, can’t replace the battery yourself, service through AT&T only, EDGE data speeds suck.
Chilling photos of the recovered Russian Oscar-II class nuclear submarine Kursk. In 2000 the submarine was destroyed by a tragic accident during a training mission in the North Atlantic where it is believed that an experimental type of torpedo caused a chain reaction that detonated the equivalent of over three tones of TNT. The boat was recovered in 2001 by a team of divers from a Dutch salvage company. The destruction caused by the torpedo explosion can be seen in these photos.
Special agent Greg on detachment in the Interzone had this to say recently:
It has begun: this link is to a site that is ostensibly to sell Sodium Dichloroacetate for experimental use in pets with terminal cancer. This compound has received much press recently due to some encouraging preliminary lab test results. Obviously, desperate people are going to be purchasing and using this compound long before clinical trials even begin. It may very well interfere with conventional treatments, be harmful in itself, or be ineffective. DCA is known to cause peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness of the extremities) with chronic use. On the other hand, if it proves to be the miracle cure that some are hyping, we will begin hearing reports in the next couple months of people with untreatable conditions making miraculous recoveries.
I think he is absolutely right. Expect to see more and more people rolling their own treatments with DCA in the near future. For better or for worse.