June 8, 2015


Ok, this is more practical. Again, assuming it’d work at all. Multiple devices are needed because the eye of a hurricane is typically about 20-40 miles in diameter. The idea for this is exactly like a fleet of drones, but water-based.

Take this (note the scale, and the design itself) and add this and this to it (think functionality for the latter two links). Make it submersible. Have autonomous tech built-in (see below), because it would not require people to operate.

Once they surface, have them synced with live satellite data of the storm’s predicted path around the perimeter of the eye of the hurricane. Then, turn them on - running in reverse of the storm system.

For storage of the devices (something on the coast, obviously), design a structure resembling a rack of telecommunications equipment in a data center. Unload the devices (from the structure) by dropping them from the bottom of the stack into the ocean, and so on and so forth (until empty). “Upload” the devices (back into the structure); similar to how a car elevator works.

And then you’d have an infrastructural approach/solution to dealing with hurricanes. How many devices would one need? You’d have to calculate that shit out. Sounds far-fetched, but actually practical because the mechanisms by which this is conceptually based are performing very simple operations.

Final note: You could take this design and make its inner components interchangeable (see: exhibit a, exhibit b). You would just be using the shell of the design, treating it like a "universal framework". You could theoretically fix a variety of environmental ills with one (albeit very large) device. Taking this a step further, you could make the shell in different sizes, depending on the task at hand. To be clear, you'd have to have an "industrial park" of factories, with each factory responsible for producing the inner components of whatever the desired device is.

For example (stretching into fantasyland here): you could stack these devices (skyscraper high - to clean the air of pollutants), by building the skeleton of a "skyscraper", "upload" them into the skeleton (see example above regarding storage), and then have them interconnect. Essentially, they'd become one really, really big machine. The same concept, with different inner components, could also be put into the ocean. (See: exhibit c, exhibit d.) The device would just need to come up to recharge (via large charging/cleaning barge).

*These may provide better context: Sir James Dyson explains his bladeless fanSpinning mechanism explained.
**I think I’m officially finished thinking about this idea, so it’s: vimeo.com/50600813?ref=tw-share.
***I might have been trying to solve a problem for which there is no solution, which is fun to think about.

(Images: 1234)

May 29, 2015


A hypothetical (because this is how I picture it - originally had tornadoes in mind): Take this (or some version of the concept). It’d obviously have to have a rotating mechanism built-in + this technology, fly over hurricane, drop device in eye.

Once it lands, have this tech built into device (synced with live satellite data of storm’s predicted path), and then turn it on (running in reverse of the system). Would probably work particularly well, assuming it worked at all, if storm system was in its infancy.

(Or, I suppose, if this device is too large for a flyover, you could drop pieces of it into eye of storm, with same technology - as previously stated - built into each piece, and then have them come together and interlock.)

April 23, 2013


“We need a group of the major economies – call it “G Major” – that announces monetary policies in a coordinated fashion.”

(Images: 1, 2, 3)

August 8, 2012


I'm testing an embeddable Tweet here. Yes, I realize this is exciting stuff. Some may even consider it mind-blowing. Anyway, the link in the embedded Tweet is fascinating. 
Here's my favorite paragraph:
Traffic control: if we have metre-level resolution in our monitoring, we can not only optimize our vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow (to the extent possible, within the hard limits of routing algorithms), we can also handle emergencies more effectively. A six-year-old chasing a ball towards a street may result in the local nodes notifying the autopilot of an approaching car to apply the brakes before the child runs out from between the row of parked vehicles ahead. Alternatively, automated vehicles can be diverted away from potential congestion choke-points before they develop, rather than blindly following a route in a map database.

April 26, 2012


(Image) This post is borderline science fiction. But no worries… Mankind is now attempting to mine asteroids. Need I say more? No? Ok then. Whew! I feel better already!! Now, let’s get down to business.
First, though, we’re going to need a couple of ingredients. First: a national high-speed rail infrastructure. Second: a national broadband network, capable of 100 megabit per second connections. Third: we have to jump a few years in to the future. Now, let’s cook.
The idea is this: A national high-speed rail infrastructure that doubles as a computer - a massive computer. I’ve written about this before (The World’s Most Powerful Computer?), but failed to explain the idea in any kind of detail. When I originally came up with this concept, one of the reasons behind wanting to place the Internet fiber in the high-speed rail infrastructure, itself, was to protect the fiber from an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). Though thoroughly unscientific, I assumed the fiber would be safe by encasing it with steel (the steel tracks of the rail system). Turns out, that’s not the case. I’m not an expert on what type of material could stop an EMP, so I won’t attempt to solve that here.
For a serious breakdown of why this stuff (EMP) matters (excerpt provided by: The EMP Commission - established pursuant to title XIV of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (as enacted into law by Public Law 106-398; 114 Stat. 1654A-345)):
The physical and social fabric of the United States is sustained by a system of systems; a complex and dynamic network of interlocking and interdependent infrastructures (“critical national infrastructures”) whose harmonious functioning enables the myriad actions, transactions, and information flow that undergird the orderly conduct of civil society in this country. The vulnerability of these infrastructures to threats — deliberate, accidental, and acts of nature — is the focus of heightened concern in the current era, a process accelerated by the events of 9/11 and recent hurricanes, including Katrina and Rita.
…to set the stage for understanding the potential threat under conditions in which all infrastructures are under simultaneous attack, it is important to realize that the vulnerability of the whole — of all the highly interlocked critical infrastructures — may be greater than the sum of the vulnerability of its parts. The whole is a highly complex system of systems whose exceedingly dynamic and coordinated activity is enabled by the growth of technology and where failure within one individual infrastructure may not remain isolated but, instead, induce cascading failures into other infrastructures.
So, why in the Hell would I even worry about an EMP? Because Vint Cerf sent me a link about the greatest potential threat to our infrastructure: an electro-magnetic pulse. And I wanted to learn more about the subject.
He wrote (via email):
As to EMP - it’s more than the Internet that would be wiped out – so would the mobile network. A 50 MT blast at 60,000 feet would be massively devastating. It would probably wipe out a lot of home electronics as well since the power system wiring would act as an antenna to pick up and propagate the signal. The power systems would also likely be blown.
Earlier this week, I emailed Vint, explaining that I wanted to revisit an old blogpost (and reminded him of his statement – “As to EMP…”). He replied, “The burst would actually do more damage simply from the blast if it were as close as 60,000 feet. However, at 250 miles, the EMP effect would be the primary one.” “As to enclosure - actually we found at MCI that putting fiber in trenches near railroad tracks invited disruption due to train wrecks! We had to trench pretty deep (more than 6 feet?) to eliminate that problem. The problem is that EMP penetrates and propagates…”
Now, I’ve thought about the possibility of train wrecks, it’s just hard to fathom that we haven’t been able to come up with a solution to prevent them yet. So, I took train wrecks out of the equation - thinking, we’d have a solution by the time a high-speed rail infrastructure was in place. Another reason for wanting to place the fiber in the rail system, itself, stems from the idea of using the motion of the train to compute. The tracks of a high-speed rail system would be designed to serve as a circuit board - or something similar. I suppose, though, with proper wireless transmission technology, the fiber could be buried and provide similar results (if train wrecks are the main concern) - if it’d be possible to accomplish a feat like this to begin with. Again, we are attempting to mine asteroids. 
So, that’s the idea. 
I’ll leave you with a line from “Maybe There Really Will Only Be Five Computers" (a blog post by John Battelle):
“We may access these brands through any number of interfaces, but the computation, in the manner [Thomas J.] Watson would have understood it, happens on massively parallel grids which are managed, competitively, by just a few companies.”