December 21, 2014

Nextbigfuture will change discussion system and UI tonight

Nextbigfuture will be changing its discussion system and UI tonight.

Hopefully this will done with minimal disruption.

A new logo will also be implemented in a few days.

Terminator: Genisys will be first of reboot trilogy and then rights revert to James Cameron

Paramount Pictures is amping up its rebooted “Terminator” franchise, dating two sequels to “Terminator: Genisys,” [aka Terminator 5] which opens July 1.

The studio has dated “Terminator 2″ for May 19, 2017, and “Terminator 3″ on June 29, 2018.

A spokeswoman for Annapurna said in 2012 that under new copyright rules, North American rights to The Terminator franchise could revert back to creator James Cameron in 2019 — 35 years after the original “Terminator” was released.

James Cameron is getting writing credits for the trilogy of terminator reboots. However, it is not clear if he was only involved in some writing brainstorming sessions.

Baidu Deep Speech system 81% accurate in noisy environments compared to 65% for best commercial systems

Arxiv - DeepSpeech: Scaling up end-to-end speech recognition

Baidu researchers present a state-of-the-art speech recognition system developed using end-to-end deep learning. Our architecture is significantly simpler than traditional speech systems, which rely on laboriously engineered processing pipelines; these traditional systems also tend to perform poorly when used in noisy environments. In contrast, our system does not need hand-designed components to model background noise, reverberation, or speaker variation, but instead directly learns a function that is robust to such effects. We do not need a phoneme dictionary, nor even the concept of a “phoneme.” Key to our approach is a well-optimized RNN training system that uses multiple GPUs, as well as a set of novel data synthesis techniques that allow us to efficiently obtain a large amount of varied data for training. Our system, called DeepSpeech, outperforms previously published results on the widely studied Switchboard Hub5’00, achieving 16.5% error on the full test set. DeepSpeech also handles challenging noisy environments better than widely used, state-of-the-art commercial speech systems.

In restaurant settings and other loud places where other commercial speech recognition systems fail, the deep learning model proved accurate nearly 81 percent of the time. Commercial speech-recognition APIs against which Deep Speech was tested, including those for Microsoft Bing, Google and Wit.AI, topped out at nearly 65 percent accuracy in noisy environments. Those results probably underestimate the difference in accuracy, said Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng, who worked on Deep Speech along with colleagues at the company’s artificial intelligence lab in Palo Alto. His team could only compare accuracy where the other systems all returned results rather than empty strings.

Mars Curiosity Rover measures a tenfold spike in methane which could mean life on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory's drill.

"This temporary increase in methane -- sharply up and then back down -- tells us there must be some relatively localized source," said Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a member of the Curiosity rover science team. "There are many possible sources, biological or non-biological, such as interaction of water and rock."

Researchers used Curiosity's onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, in late 2013 and early 2014, four measurements averaged seven parts per billion. Before and after that, readings averaged only one-tenth that level.

This illustration portrays some of the reasons why finding organic chemicals on Mars is challenging. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Science Express - Mars Methane Detection and Variability at Gale Crater

Science Express - The Imprint of Atmospheric Evolution in the D/H or Hesperian Clay Minerals on Mars

December 20, 2014

Recent Mach Effect Theory and Experimental Work from presentation to NASA

Theory and Experimental Work on Mach Effect Thrusters (MET) presentation.

How do METs Mach Effect Thrusters work?

• METs depend on “Mach’s principle” being correct.
• Mach’s principle is the proposition that all inertial forces – the forces of reaction in Newton’s third law of mechanics – are produced by the gravitational action of all of the “matter” (everything that gravitates) in the universe.
• In our universe, the conditions needed for this to be true in general relativity are those in fact observed – spatial flatness at cosmic scale.
• When the action of gravity on accelerating local objects is analyzed in relativistically correct fashion, it is found that the rest masses of accelerating objects that are also changing their internal energies (being squished) change. They fluctuate.
• If these rest mass fluctuations are produced periodically, and a second periodic force is brought to bear, you can push heavy, pull light on the fluctuating mass and produce a steady thrust.

The gravitational/inertial effects in question are transients; fluctuations in the rest-masses of objects accelerated by external forces that undergo changes in their internal energies as they are accelerated.


Experimental Conclusions
• The experimental results suggest that Mach effect exists [3-4 micronewton signal looks clear].
• The thrusts are closer than order of magnitude to those predicted.
• The experimental program aims to increase thrust to commercial levels for satellite station-keeping.

The new experimental results of the previous 6 months. The emphasis has been on a new construction using a single central bolt and annular Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) disks. This arrangement closely resembles the readily available tonpilz transducers.
Results obtained by varying the reaction mass, the pre-tensioning of the bolt and also the arrangement of the PZT crystals in the stack.

Thanks to DeltaV at Talkpolywell for the links

December 19, 2014

Theory of a Mach Effect Thruster

Theory of a Mach Effect Thruster

The Mach Effect Thruster (MET) is a device which uses Machs principle in Einsteins general relativity to produce a constant acceleration in a device which is undergoing internal energy changes and mass fluctuations. Machs principle is a statement that the inertia of a body is the result of the gravitational interaction of the body with the rest of the mass-energy in the universe. The MET device requires no fuel as a propellant, it just needs electric power of 100-200 Watts to operate. The thrusts at the present time are small of the order of a few micro-Newtons. The first part of the paper is devoted to experiment and a description of the MET device and apparatus for measuring thrusts. The second half of the paper, we re-introduce the idea of advanced waves, by summarizing Dirac, Wheeler-Feynman and Hoyl-Narlikar. We show how Woodward’s mass fluctuation formula can be derived from first principles using the Hoyl-Narlikar (HN) theory which is a fully Machian version of Einstein’s relativity. HN theory reduces to Einstein’s field equations in the limit of smooth fluid distribution of matter and a simple coordinate transformation.

Dr Sonny White updates on space warping and emdrive experimental work

NASA Ames Research Director’s Colloquium, August 12, 2014. Human space exploration is currently still in Low Earth Orbit. But what would it eventually take for humans to explore the outer solar system? If the ultimate objective is the stars, then what might that look like? How hard is interstellar flight?

Dr. Harold White, Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate, discusses a couple of advanced propulsion concepts that may one day be useful for helping us reach the stars.

The NASA Ames Director's Colloquium Summer Series was presented by the Office of the Chief Scientist as part of the Center's 75th anniversary celebration.