Aug 21, 2015

The Next Frontier in Space: Necessary Technology

There is a difference between science and engineering. Nothing illustrates this better than the Manhattan Project, where some of the greatest minds of the century turned theoretical physics into an engineering reality. Space travel is currently undergoing the same disruptive shift in technology. Some things sit on the science side and others are now on the engineering side. The new version of space travel needs to be able to sit firmly on the fence between the two.

3D Printers And A Scoop

Carrying all of the supplies that may ever be needed is a problem for space travelers. It gets worse the farther from Earth we travel. A trip to Mars would take nine months one way, making a trip home to grab things that were forgotten out of the question. So manufacturing what we need while away is mandatory for space travel. Engineering has caught up with science in the form of 3D printing.

According to an article for manufacturer Apple Rubber, the international space station will be receiving a portable 3D printer and raw materials that will allow the astronauts the ability to create almost any device that they may need. For longer trips, like a Mars mission, harvesting raw materials from the planet’s surface will let would-be terraformers create structures and machines without needing a propulsion payload.

Field Propulsion

Warping space, faster-than-light travel, and worm holes are all theoretically possible deep space travel methods that are a long way off of the practical engineering front. Field propulsion systems look like they may make the cut into engineering practicality. Following the same idea of using the resources available in space, field propulsion moves a spacecraft by riding the high and low cosmic pressure waves like a surfer on the ocean. This reduces the need for solid propellant which is heavy and non-renewable.


Humans are social creatures, so communication is obligatory to tether space travelers to their home planet. We are already accustomed to social media networks to make friends and stay connected with loved ones. The problem is that, as we get farther away, it takes more time for the messages to get to the intended target. An engineering solution is to use quantum communication and a trail of bread crumb style relays. Quantum communication uses paired vibrations between quantum particles to transmit a message at instantaneous speeds and the relays help reduce degradation of the signal.

Somewhere To Sleep

For travel into deep space, some crew may live, breed, and die in space during a normal life cycle. Others may need to sleep for a good portion of the dull travelling part. Hibernation technology is becoming more and more realistic, both for space travel and Earth-bound medicine. Scientists have found that animals that hibernate have built in approaches to prevent bone loss, muscle atrophy, and cardiovascular issues.

A Really Good Doctor

Systems theory is applied over the sciences from psychology to biology to physics. The concept is that we are part of a system and that tweaking any one part will affect all of the others. In a confined space where gravity, environment, and nutrition are altered, there will be natural stresses on the system, especially the organism of communicable disease. Like any pioneer, the greatest technology that we will bring with us is our human ingenuity and the ability to fix problems when they happen.

Aug 14, 2015

How to turn off the annoying Facebook Browser on the Facebook App in Android

If you are like me you find the built in Facebook browser on the Android Facebook app annoying and buggy as hell. It doesn't load pages correctly, and trying to watch embedded videos on it makes me want to kick a cat across the room. Well, it turns out you don't have to put up with it!

If you click on the three horizontal lines on the top right of the app and scroll down to app settings you can set the option "Links open externally".

Once that is on, all links will either open in your default browser, or the appropriate app (Like Youtube for example).

Now if only we could get rid of Facebook Messenger!

Aug 7, 2015

Keep That Off the Cloud: 5 Things That Require Secure Local Storage

From it inception in the 1960s to now, cloud technology has evolved into a ubiquitous beast that few understand but most use. Smartphone packages automatically come with cloud storage and an app to help you upload files and images easily. This simplicity is not always to the user’s best interest. From the advent of central servers, the hacker is born, making some items best kept locally and in paper form.

Star Pics

Intimate pictures and videos have made some people famous but, unless you want this kind of fame, dirty pictures should never be uploaded to your cloud. In an article by the Washington Post on sexting, the moral and ethical ramifications of digital intimacy are pushed aside, leaving only the practical advice on how to send a risqué photo. These kinds of pics should be sent one-to-one using a system that will destroy the image after a period of time and should never be stored on permanent storage like a cloud server. The CoverMe app works well for this purpose.

Jackpot PINs

Storing passwords and personal identification numbers on the cloud is akin to writing your PIN on the back of your ATM card. According to identity theft protection company LifeLock, staying proactive about security breaches is one step to keeping you data safe. A little rational paranoia goes a long way. When uploading files to the cloud, assume that hacking is a possibility. By placing passwords on the cloud, you turn one hack into a very lucrative score. Instead, memorize your passwords, having different ones for various situations, and change them regularly.

A Treasure Trove of Info

Think of the cloud like a bank vault. The vault that is most at risk is the one with the most valuable goods. Account numbers are the diamonds of the Internet world. In a worst case world, the theft of your account numbers and your passwords could strip you of your money and your identity. Account numbers are hard to remember so store them locally one your computer. Make sure that your computer is locked, encrypted, and protected with a strong and up-to-date virus security program.

Anything HIPAA

Medical records can be incredibly damaging in the wrong hands. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created from the understanding that medical records carry a huge amount of important data, often including a social security number, age, and illnesses that a person may want to keep secret. Cloud facilities are not bound by HIPAA but your doctor is. Instead of maintaining these records yourself, let the doctor’s office hold them as well as the legal ramifications of proper storage.

Things You Need Now

Some of us rely on cloud storage to do business. If your company depends on the information that is on the cloud to do business then make sure to have a backup on hand. Cloud storage services go down from time to time. You can see these online on the cloud research site Cloud Harmony which offers the user real time statistics on cloud server outages across companies. Most servers have a 98 percent up rate but that two percent downtime can kill a business meeting. Always carry a flash drive with mission crucial documents in the event of a cloud outage.

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