Sunday, January 28, 2007

Now Mindark and Project Entropia take virtual economy to next level - Online Bank Charters to be auctioned off

Now that MindArk and Project Entropia have a real-cash economy there was one thing they were missing! An online virtual bank; now you can participate in their public auction forum to bid and win one of five, two-year virtual banking licenses.

That means you can open up your virtual bank and hand out loans, collect interest, advertising revenue, etc. Your bank will run 365 24/7 for two years.

You also can direct the design and name of your banking institution.

Another ground floor opportunity within Project Entropia, however, since recent VU's (version upgrades) I have talked with several long-term players and they claim the game has really slowed down. It seems a major upgrade around the end of November 2006 really took away a lot of the game's appeal. Mostly now people are complaining about the lack of "loot" (resources acquired while hunting, mining, etc) within the game.

It seems MindArk has decided to change the rules and algorithms used to determine loot allotments and needless to say hordes of users are complaining about the new upgrade.

Several societies have disbanded and rumors afloat as to the reasons everything from MindArk is getting greedy to they wanted to cull players to make room for their Asian expansion.

Will the virtual bank be enough to bring people back? There are several MMORPG's in the works (and in beta) that support a real-cash economy; it will be interesting to see what competition will do to improve the virtual online space.

Anybody interested in teaming up to buy a banking license?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Google to Help Film Entire Universe

Google has joined a group of 19 universities and national labs to assist with surveying space and assisting in turning the captured nightly data (images, video) into useful public information - can everyone say: Google Universe!

Google sits in an interesting position to assist efforts like this. The LSST project; which stands for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope; will produce about 30 terabytes of image information every night. Seagate and Hitachi better hurry up with their new drive technology!

Google should be applauded for assisting in projects like this. One of the biggest barriers for undertaking some of these scientific expeditions is how to manage the vast and I mean vast amount of data produced.

Google also recently announced a major partnership with NASA as reported on Joe Duck's blog, link here:

New molecules for a faster Internet

Chromophores which have been theorized by physicists at Washington State University have been synthesized by chemists in China and tested by chemists in Belgium. Chromophores are a new generation of optical molecules which interact 50% more strongly with light than any other molecules ever test.

End result some day, maybe we will see these molecules used in optical switches and Internet connections resulting in higher throughput.

The article has several links to other background information and scientific data.

It always amazes me how we are often reminded of how little we know about physics, science, our bodies, our world and universe. Sometimes it feels like we are all part of some kid's ant farm!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Interesting new development on the war on cancer - Cancer cure patented

A group of researchers is patenting an approach to potentially cure cancer. They are out of John Hopkins and they make it clear their approach has not been tested on animals or humans.

Their approach utilizes sugar and short-chain fatty acid. This isn't the first time a sugar approach has been used for fighting cancer.

This research has been going on for many years. Hopefully this will lead to something very useful in this ongoing battle!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

'Project Entropia' real estate sale fetches $179,000

Boy the times are a changing! Virtual real estate auction in an online game nets a total of $179,000 for three make believe virtual digital malls! The individual parcels didn't top the highest single price to date - that would be Neverdie's virtual space station he bought for a healthy $100,000.

Project Entropia can be a lot fun but after their November upgrade they seem to be losing a lot of players. It seems the VU (version upgrade) has made the playing space a lot more expensive.

UPDATE - British Teen Lands in Antigua After Record-Breaking Sail Across Atlantic

What an amazing story! A 14 year old crossed the Atlantic solo. Interesting how he used email and a blog to keep in touch with everyone.

His family has every right to be very proud of him.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Useful cloaking device is one step closer to reality

Now if you don't find this stuff fascinating I don't know about anything else that could!

In October Duke University discussed a device that enabled them the ability to cloak simple objects from microwave radiation. There are many requirements involving the materials used, etc to pull it off. Of course anything emitting electromagnetic waves (body heat, cellphone, light) would all still be visible. This is where the breakthrough has occured. They have figured out through a new mathematical theory that would support the "hiding" of EM emitting objects.

When you link to the article there are several other links that contain a lot more detail regarding the theory and its potential uses. Take your time and enjoy the fascinating material.

College Sophomore, 11, Is Campus's Youngest

Article extract...from The Associated Press...

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Terence Candell Jr. isn't your ordinary college student.

The Cal State-East Bay sophomore is a kid. Terence is just 11 years old.
He's the youngest student on campus and is interested in mass communications.

Terence was doing high-school level work by age 6 and took his SATs when he was just 9.

While his academic future looks bright, being a kid genius does have some drawbacks. Unlike
most of the other Cal State students, Terence needs to call his dad when he wants a ride home.

This is really amazing! You have to love over-achieving young adults! They are our best hope for a brighter future.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Fla. Man Develops GPS Shoes

Article excerpt...

MIAMI -- Global Positioning System technology is turning up in more and more devices, like watches and cellphones.

But a Miami company has used the technology to develop shoes that can be located anywhere in the world.

The shoes' developer Sayo Isaac Daniel said people can forget to carry their phones, but they can't leave the house without their shoes.

The design allows wearers to press a hidden button to send a distress signal.

The Quantum Satellite Technology shoes are planned to hit stores in March at a price of $325 to $350.

These sound like a really good idea. Hopefully the price will come down and the technology can be fitted into existing shoe lines.