Author Archives: Michalewicz Zuzanna

“Ideal Plant”: solution for global warming

Climat change is happening. It is one of the most important problems that the humanity is dealing with. No wonder that many scientists dedicate their time and effort in order to find the most efficient solution of this problem. It wasn’t otherwise at the Salk Institute, California. A group of genius scientists decided to deal with a different spectrum of life than disease. The leader of the project, Joanne Chory, has made groundbreaking discoveries on photosynthesis process. Now she wants to make a difference in one more field she cares about.

 

Ideal Plant isn’t any kind of new, sci-fi plant invented in the laboratory. The main purpose of creating one is to transform the ability of the most popular plants, like wheat, soya or cotton, to be able to store more carbon dioxide in their roots. If the experiment succeeds, the plants will literally “suck out” the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  This way, planting regular crops we would be able to slow down the processes responsible for climate change. Carbon footprint is an inseparable part of our lives  and thanks to this initiative, maybe we could decrease our bad influence on the planet just a bit.

This project is exceptional regarding the fight against climate change. Scientist from Salk Institute were the first ones to think about the solution with the use of what we already know well: plants. But they are not the only ones thinking of plants as a solution of different problems. There are plants identified as a great neutralisers of harmful smog. Keeping one next to your bed will help you sleep better and breathe cleaner air. Hopefully, plants will eliminate most of the pollution inside of our houses so we can be safe.

The plants are copies of one another so the experiments won’t have different result because of their varieties. The idea of ideal plants seems to be promising. Thanks to the hard work of Californian scientists a step towards better future will be taken. Without further engagement of the third side parties, we will be able to clean our air as we seed our plants. It is surprisingly simple mechanism which can prevent us from what’s about to come: more pollution. Except for the long waiting time for the experiment to become true, I have no objections on this project. It is amazing how simple yet powerful some solutions can be.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/aa055276-2419-11e9-8ce6-5db4543da632

Never seen a shooting star? Astro Live Experience has the solution.

Have you ever seen a shooting star? It is a marvellous phenomenon that can be enjoyed on the suburbs, away from the city lights. They are believed to bring luck to anyone who sees one. In this case, we can say that the participants of “Sky Canvas” in 2020 will be very lucky. Astro Live Experience wants to launch a satellite to help perform artificial meteor-shower. The experimental satellite will be launched today, on 19th of January 2019. It is loaded up with 400, 1-2cm spherules, made of metal and filled with chemical substance, which composition is kept a secret. They are supposed to catch fire when entering the atmosphere and leave long, luminous tail. A first meteor-shower will be performed on the suburbs of Hiroshima, Japan.

Behind the idea of artificial meteor-shower, there is hidden a personal story. Lena Okajima, chief executive officer of ALE, as a young girl used to watch shooting stars in her village. She was truly fascinated in meteor-showers. When she moved to Tokyo, due the light pollution, she was unable to watch them. That’s what inspired her to dedicate 19 years of her research to create an artificial shooting stars. She has been working on her idea since 2009. 10 years later, her dream might become true.

ALE Prospect

The price of one man-made meteor-shower is around 1 million dollars. Therefore, the client pays for some improvements compared to the traditional meteor shower. The meteors’ tails will have different colours: blue, green and orange. Their light will last as long as it lasts for a real meteors: just a few seconds. The company states, that the load placed in the satellite will be enough for 20/30 shows. Shooting stars produced by ALE can be seen from 120 mile distance. They are also made form non-toxic for environment products, which minimises the influence of the shower on the environment. Lena Okajima believes that artificial shooting stars can help scientists find out more about meteors. On the website of the company is stated: “By studying the path of artificial shooting stars where the angle of incidence, velocity and materials are known, we hope to be able to better understand the mechanics of naturally occurring shooting stars and meteorites”.

 

Colours of ALE Shooting Stars

Meteor-showers can be a wonderful experience, whether you are a child or an adult. Astro Live Experience hopes, that their shooting stars can be a cheaper replacement for the firework or laser shows during many events. They are especially hoping to provide the pyrotechnics at the Summer Olympic Games, held in Japan in 2020. For now, we can only wait until the first “Sky Canvas” to see, what happens.

Even though the artificial shooting stars might not seem to be a life-changing invention, it can be a complementary part of many events in the future. Maybe it will turn out as a great source of entertainment, gathering people under the night sky, just as Lena Okajima wishes.

https://futurism.com/launch-satellite-fake-shooting-stars

https://www.geekinsider.com/japanese-company-developing-man-made-meteor-showers/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/991978/japan-news-shooting-star-meteor-shower-japanese-technology

http://star-ale.com/en/

IBM Q System One – Quantum Computing System is here

Quantum Computing has been a dream humanity pursued since 1980’s. Rumour has it that they were available not very much later, for scientific purposes only. Even tough Q System One isn’t the first Quantum System on the market (there are many speculations about whether the D-Wave is an actual quantum computing system), it certainly is a breakthrough. It’s a first of its kind system which will be available to a commercial purposes. IMB says it’s “World’s first fully integrated universal quantum computing system”. It has unveiled Q system during Consumer Electronics Show which is now held in Las Vegas.

                                        This is how IBM Q System looks like

 

While it does not look very accessible, it doesn’t have to be. The use for commercial purposes will be delegated through the Cloud. This means that for now, Q System stays in IMB’s hands only. No wonder, though. The volume of a glass cube around the computer is almost 20m3. Also, very specific conditions have to be maintained, in order for the Quantum System to work properly. The complete isolation from electromagnetic radiation, no vibrations and the below zero degree temperature are essential .Even the slightest deviation can lead to cubits loosing its properties.

 

IBM Q System One also isn’t the biggest Quantum System created. In “classic” computers, data is stored in a form of binary code: which simply means 1s and 0s. Quatum system uses qubits, which which allows the existence of 1s, 0s and all numbers between them simultaneously. In IMB itself created another, 50 qubit machine in 2017 while Q system is only 20 qubit one.The company ensures, that System One is the symbolic step into Quantum Systems and that the system is constructed so it can be developed and used easily. Later this year, the IBM Q Quantum Computation Center is to be opened. It is the bow towards the clients interested in using IMB’s system. It will be located in Poughkeepsie, New York.

 

Quantum Systems can be very significant in many areas of life. This kind of technology can lead to many breakthroughs, from those in medicine, through material engineering, ending on business and stock operations. Cures for diseases we cannot cure, less risk of collapse of buildings, more accurate forecasts on the stock market. Development of AI and new scientific discoveries. Those are all benefits that can be obtained with quantum system’s help. They have the potential to solve problems way beyond reach for the traditional computers.

 

There are much more companies working on their own quantum systems. For example Intel has announced testing 42 qubit system while Google works on 72 qubit one, while focusing on much more stability of the system. They have also created the processor operating on qubits. There is a lot happening in the field of quantum systems and that is a good thing. As long as it’s for the right purposes.

 

 

https://futurism.com/alzheimers-drug-memory-loss

https://tvn24bis.pl/tech,80/ibm-q-system-one-pierwszy-komputer-kwantowy-do-uzytku-komercyjnego,898725.html

https://www.focus.pl/artykul/pierwszy-komercyjny-komputer-kwantowy-wchodzi-na-rynek?page=2

 

 

 

 

 

Netflix’s Christmas Gift: Interactive episode of “Black Mirror”

Everyone who is a bit interested in SciFi or future prospectives for the humankind has heard about “Black Mirror”. It’s a British anthology series, which means that every episode has its own characters and plots. The episodes are not connected in any way. Black Mirror foretells human behaviours in the future or alternative present, especially the ones connected with usage of new technologies. This year, the creators of the show went a bit further and created a new, special episode called “Bandersnatch”.

Poster promoting “Bandersnatch” episode

“Bandersnatch” is in some way a pioneer of interactive entertainment. Netflix has experimented with child’s interactive entertainment more than a year and swore to stop, if it didn’t work with kids. Last year, HBO has released an interactive movie called “Mosaic”, the viewers could only choose what parts of the history they want to explore. New episode of “Black Mirror” gives opportunities of many choices, starting from the kind of cereals you want the character to eat, ending on.. Well, let’s say much harder choices.

The voices over the rating of episode are rather divided. Some opinions found on the internet were about boredom, lack of exciting twists but many of them also gave the impression, that this episode is worth to spent time with. Some say it’s too violent, some that there is no breakthrough in it. I believe there is. “Bandersnatch” has been compared to the game called “Heavy rain”, where one of the the main characters, the father, has been looking for his child. The main characters could be killed during the game and it changed the history, which the player explored, forever.

A part of “Bandersnatch” episode

What’s interesting, the episode is only 90 minutes long, but depending on decisions made by person watching it, there is 5 hours of footage prepared to fulfil any kind of decision desire you have. Director of the show, David Slade, shared, that there are some scenes called “the golden eggs” which are so hard to find, that they may not be uncovered. Ever. They were hidden so well, he couldn’t access them himself. A clue to get to know every “golden egg” is behind the scenes footage, which seems to be a kind of a hint.

I believe “Bandersnatch” is giving viewers an opportunity to create sort of unique, handwritten story. The psychological effect this kind of entertainment brings, adds a lot to think about when creating a society, as we do every day. During the 70’s, Marina Abramović held an experiment, where she called herself an “object”. During 6 hours, having 72 objects to avail, the volunteers could do anything. It started out with tickles. Ended with rape and the gun at her temple. It turns out, that knowing there will be no consequences, we get violent and brutal.

There are many computer games (like “Heavy Rain” or “Life is Strange”),where you can decide, what do you want the character to do. My question is: do we really feel capable to play the Gods?

 

 

 

https://www.ft.com/content/f75bee74-048c-11e9-99df-6183d3002ee1

https://io9.gizmodo.com/we-may-never-see-all-of-black-mirror-bandersnatch-1831402962

BeiDou might be your new GPS

Each of us have at least once used such apps as Google Maps, Jak Dojadę or Snapchat. Their functions relay on geolocation. GPS is present in our lives and so do Chinese want. Late in November this year, China’s state space agency confirmed that Long March 3B rocked has been launch. On board: another two satellites for BeiDou, new global navigation system. China has been working on the system from 2000, launching new satellites from 2017. Only in 2018 the orbit has gained 11 new Chinese satellites. There are 19 of them total, which gives China possibility to start offering the global navigational services. CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration) has announced that the target number of satellites is 35. 5 geostationary and 30 non-geostationary satellites is enough to achieve the worldwide coverage.

Ilustration by Insights India

BeiDou in Chinese means Big Dipper, which is the name of one of the astronomical constellation. The system firstly was created to decrease dependence on American GPS system, especially when it comes to the military needs. Later on, CNSA decided to use it on commercial purposes and it will be available for private customers from 2020. The accuracy of restoring the location for private purposes will be about 10 meters. Interestingly, for military purposes, this accuracy will be only 10 centimeters. This approximation will also be maintained for authorized governmental purposes. In August this year, the BeiDou system was installed in around half of Beijing’s taxis. Chinese government’s goal is to have all of them guided by BeiDou by 2020. It also measures the speed within 0.2 millionth of thons per second and is able to provide clock synchronization accurate to 0.02 millionths of a second.

Launch of the latest two satellites in the Long March 3B rocket

This is just the beginning of gaining an influence in the world. The creation of this system is considered crucial for China in order to control the perception of the world. No wonder that companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei or OnePlus have decided to make their products compatible with the BeiDou system. Although Apple has not decided to become BeiDou friendly while launching the new products on September 12th, it is only a matter of time.In 2014 the suggestion appeared, that the system can be also able to navigate the drones to destroy foreign forces in case of the attack. It seems to me that CNSA has created a “rival” to the GPS but is it going to be as much successful? We are about to find out.

 

 

References:
1.Data references
https://www.ft.com/content/3c2ca48e-f2eb-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d
https://futurism.com/china-just-moved-one-step-closer-to-completing-a-global-satellite-network
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-16337648
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45471959
2. Photos
http://www.insightsonindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BeiDou.jpg
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/china-launches-latest-beidou-3m-satellite-duo/
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