An Obituary From The Future

Yesterday on Reddit, user NoFlag posted an obituary he wrote for himself as part of a project for his journalism class: John X. Noflag was pronounced dead at the age of 225 this Thursday at the Mons Olympus Medical Combine, following complications with a voluntary nanotech experiment.

Observers say a procedure to fully immerse Noflag within a nanotech swarm ended abruptly as his body dissolved before their eyes. Due to the failure, most of the nanotech was collected and deactivated, although some escaped. The escaped sample is not believed to be self-replicating, but it could not be confirmed.

Born on Earth in Somecity, California, Noflag was one of the later immigrants to Mars after the Earth ban of age enhancement technologies and strict regulation of nanotechnology, being commonly heard to say “Earth will pay for its lack of vision.” He is survived by two fully mature clones and a youngling.

A public funeral and ceremonial burial is planned on the grounds of the Noflag Estate.

In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to send money or weapons to the Nanotech Defense Front.

He's seems like a pretty smart kid, and I'm sure  he can probably see far enough into the future to know that he probably won't be a journalist when he graduates.



Parker's post-mesh Thoughts

I debated long and hard with myself about whether or not I should post about the recent mesh conference. It was a great experience and I feel I should share it with BlogCampaignign readers (meaning: my mom wants to know why I haven't emailed her in so long), but at the same time blogging about an event where everyone spoke mostly about blogging and social media is starting to feel a bit self-referential for me. In the end, Heather took the burden off my shoulders by writing a great post about the lessons she learned at the conference. We didn't go to the exact same sessions, but you get the idea.

To add my own personal touch, I will say that I left the conference feeling incredibly inspired. Despite the economy, there was a sense of optimism at the MaRs centre last week. Every room I was in was full of smart people. Social media junkies, webheads and the technologically inclined have known that the old guard has been on its deathbed for years now. In this respect, the mesh conference was almost a celebration for the attendees. Not only are they poised to take control of the world in the next few years, but its something they've been looking forward to for a long time.

The future is going to be amazing.


Videogames on Wheels

One of the more interesting pieces of technology depicted in Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End is that which allows users to put a skin over reality, just as we currently choose different themes for our operating systems and web browsers. Thanks to some smart people working out of the Universität der Künste Berlin ("The Berlin University of the Arts"), we're one step closer to making that happen.

From the description of their project: Carcade is a concept for an in-car videogame for the passengers, which captures the landscape and uses it as a videogame environment. Existing objects, for example trees and architecture, are recognized by the camera and enhanced by videogame assets. The game is influenced by the manner of driving of the car. If the driver accelerates, the game becomes increasingly difficult. If the car comes to a stop a different game situation evolves. We developed a small game concept and a functional prototype, with which we did a test drive on the street. A webcam is connected to a laptop running camera tracking software which recognizes the horizon and objects in the environment. The player has to maneuver a spaceship and collect points whilst trying to avoid crashing into oncoming enemies.

It is still early days, but watching their video will help you understand the technology a bit better. As it advances, that boring prairie drive between Calgary and Edmonton could become a lot more interesting if it took the form of a space battle, jungle cruise or otherwise more-scenic route instead.

In order to further cement the relationship between videogames and driving, iTWire reports (via /.) that a car designed for the Playstation 3 game Gran Turismo 5 Prologue has made into real life and was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. It isn't just a fantasy car, either. Apparently the GTbyCITROËN handles the same in real life as in the the game.

If you've played the Gran Turismo series of games, you'll know exactly how hyper-realistic they are. In fact, I'm pretty sure I learned more about driving through the original Gran Turismo for PS1 than I did from the driving lessons I took when I was sixteen.

I'm probably not the only one that thinks that way, either. According to this CNN story, Allstate insurance will start offering specialized computer games to older drivers and that this could end up lowering their rates.


The Future Of Newspapers

You absolutely have to watch this video about Microsoft's Photosynth if you want to understand what Mark Evans is talking about when he says that will be the way we can browse through an online newspaper in much the same manner we do a paper newspaper. (watch the video before reading more!)

However, I think that Photosynth will be much more than that. I think that it will probably revolutionize the way we do any of our online work. Done correctly, ordinary websites wouldn't require any clicking in order to navigate them. Users would simply zoom in and out, and I'm sure that it would even be able to add fields. One corner of a giant 'image' could be a users inbox, while another could be Wikipedia. There is a lot of possibility here.

I realize that a Photosynth-style web is probably still a long way off (as most computers probably don't have the processing power or connection speeds necessary to make it work) but we all know how quickly technology is changing.

I'm probably going to be dreaming about some sort of Photosynth-Facebook super-mashup tonight...