Planetary Resources… “The Asteroid Mining Company”

28 April 2012

“We’re going to change the way the world thinks about natural resources.” — via Website Asteroid Mining Mission Revealed by Planetary Resources, Inc..

“Planetary Resources’ mission is mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals.”

Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson are the co-founders and co-chairmen of Planetary Resources Inc.

Hmm… From Ross Perot (my dad’s generation) to Ross Perot Jr. (my generation)…

“I am an investor in Planetary Resources, first and foremost, because I believe in the team behind it. I’m honored to be on the ground floor with a team that possesses this caliber of expertise, vision, drive and history of success.” — Ross Perot, Jr.

The investors in Planetary Resources Inc. is impressive: Eric Schmidt, K. Ram Shriram, Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., Larry Page, and Ross Perot, Jr. Asteroid Mining Company

A Couple Turing Test Moments

25 April 2012

I use a service called Timehop that sends me an email message everyday containing the tweets that my @nanofoo character tweeted one year ago. Today, 25 April 02012, Timehop reminded me that I tweeted the following on 25 April 02011.

#TuringTest RT @factlets: Software produced original music in style of great composers fools experts.

Notice the use of the #TuringTest hashtag in the tweet.

Yesterday, my @compufoo character tweeted the following.

#TuringTest RT @MachinesLikeUs Can computers pass as human?

Notice the use of the #TuringTest hashtag in the tweet. 2029 no computer – or “machine intelligence” – will have passed the Turing Test

Learning About the Future From 24 February To 20 April

22 April 2012

On 20 April 02012 I gave my “Learning About the Future in 50 Minutes” for a second time. I thought it went well, but only ten people were in attendance. I gave this talk for the first time 56 days earlier on 24 February 02012. I created a web page to capture what I’ve been learning over the span of the last 56 days.

56 Days Since My First “Learning About the Future in 50 Minutes” Talk

Why HPC? Weather Prediction is One of the Many Whys

16 April 2012

Inevitably, when I speak about HPC (supercomputing [petaflops and exaflops], visualization systems, Infinite Computing, etc.), I am asked the following question: Why? (i.e. Why as in why do we need so many flops?) My response always starts with “weather forecasting…” with an emphasis on forecasting such things as hurricanes and tornadoes. Accurate storm predictions can save lives.

The following is a headline from the Friday, 13 April 02012, Arizona Republic: Saturday storms ‘life threatening’.

“We’re quite sure tomorrow will be a very busy and dangerous day in terms of large swathes of central and southern plains.” — National Weather Service ( via the Arizona Republic

Various news sources reported the following.

National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., which specializes in tornado forecasting, took the unusual step of warning people more than 24 hours in advance of a possible “high-end, life-threatening event.”

The predictions ended up being extremely accurate: Tornadoes hit the midwest part of the United States hard on Saturday and Sunday.

The accuracy of weather forecasting is important because it can save lives. But right now the accuracy is critically important because of the need to establish trust among the populous.

The ‘C’ in SCREAMers

13 April 2012

The STEM and STEAM acronyms have become popular acronyms here in the early part of the 21st century. [If I’ve said this n times, I’ve seen it ++n times.]

I’ve never liked the STEM acronym. The first time I saw it I immediately asked “Where’s the Computing?” [And this is said out loud mimicking the way the old Wendy’s lady said “Where’s the Beef?” in those old Wendy’s commercials.] The same “Where’s the Computing?” question applies to the STEAM acronym. Sometime not that long ago I subjected the STEM and STEAM acronyms to the following question: “Where’s the Robotics?”

21st STEM and STEAM depend on Computing, so I originally proposed changing STEM and STEAM to CSTEM and CSTEAM, respectively. There three immediate problems: (0) CSTEM and CSTEAM are not really acronyms. (1) STEM and STEAM are too embedded in our society to change them (i.e. they’re immutable). (2) Where’s the Robotics?

Problem (1) might be impossible to repair, so I’m going to ignore that it exists. Problems (0) and (2) are eliminated with use of the SCREAM acronym. Let the Technology morph into technologies and bury it in the sciences (e.g. biotechnology and nanotechnology), the computing, the robotics, the engineering, the art and the mathematics.

I recently used STEMers and STEAMers to refer to scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians. SCREAMers include those plus roboticists and… oops… computerists? computists? compueers? computicians? computerologists? In those infamous grunts of Homer Simpson… D’oh! Hmm… It would be fun to be able to rewind to when there were no non-human computers and refer to the ‘C’ in SCREAMers as computers. SCREAMers are scientists, computers [humans], roboticists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.

The ‘C’omputing in SCREAM includes both human and non-human computers. 21st century STEM, STEAM and SCREAM depend on all of us being “computers.”

The following was copied from…

The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.

SKA Radio Telescope I Get, But Why Megadata?

12 April 2012

DOME: IBM and ASTRON’s Exascale Computer for SKA Radio Telescope contains a picture that in turn contains the word megadata. My last posting focused on an article that used the word nanodata. I just didn’t get what nanodata meant, but I sort of understand megadata. The following is a quote from the posting:

The SKA is an international consortium to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Scientists estimate that the processing power required to operate the telescope will be equal to 100 million of today’s fastest desktop computers.

I understand the use of megadata to describe lots of data, but I would have used yottadata.

Borrowing from Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”… Is there anybody out there?

Ubiquitous Sensing I Get, But What’s Nanodata?

11 April 2012

The Computing Trend that Will Change Everything had the sub-title “Computing isn’t just getting cheaper. It’s becoming more energy efficient. That means a world populated by ubiquitous sensors and streams of nanodata.

Ubiquitous sensors imply streams of data. That I get. But what’s nanodata?

Harvesting background energy flows, including ambient light, motion, or heat, opens up the possibility of mobile sensors operating indefinitely with no external power source, and that means an explosion of available data.

An “explosion of data” implies to me yottadata (as in yottagoo). Again, what’s nanodata?

According the MIT Technology Review article, nanodata is “customized fine-grained data describing in detail the characteristics of individuals, transactions, and information flows.” To me it seems as if nanodata is a form of metadata (i.e. data about data).

I still don’t get the term nanodata, but I consider that okay. Bottom-line: It’s possible ubiquitous sensors is our future and that implies infinite data being piped into an Infinite Computing environment.