13 January, 2016

Gravitational Waves: Why detecting them would open sight through new eyes to the Universe around us.

New tantalizing reports of gravitational waves being detected hit the web recently.

So if it does detect them I'd imagine it would detect distal waves with high periodicity rates. The proximal waves are going to have very long wave length and I don't know how they'd disambiguate those without making very long observation windows.

Proximal sources of such waves are:

a)  the Sun itself ...very very tiny micro shedding as it gives up mass to energy. These are likely to be super super weak and likely not capturable by current generation technology.

b) the Sun - Mercury transit , though Mercury is tiny compared to the sun both do distort space time and sit in mutual wells...which should create a very tiny wake (a GW) that has periodicity matched to the rotation rate of Mercury around the Sun. This being a longer wavelength it would require a long observation window and it is also abysmally tiny. So again ...unlikely to be captured with current tech.

c) the Sun - Venus transit , though Venus is a bit bigger than Mercury it is still small and any emerged wake will be super tiny....however...the combination of the Venus - Sun wake and the Mercury - Sun wake may realize very distinctive interference fluctuations that will clearly identify the signal as the local distortion signature for those planets - sun system. I am still not sure a first generation detector is able to detect these.

So what will likely be first detected IMO?

We'll detect large amplitude and high frequency waves generated from "nearby" binary stars.

even better if they are neutron stars ...

even better still if they are rotating black holes or black hole / star systems...

 We should also detect a GW noise or background from the vicinity of the core of the galaxy toward Cigna X1. This may be irregular and hard to pin down as the gravitational dynamics in the core are complex but they should shed off a roughly gaussian background signal.

The cool thing about all of this is that knowing the mass attributes of nearby systems of these various types we should be able to precisely calculate how big the GW's they shed off will be, what their periodicity will be. So we'll be able to check reality off of the equations (or rather reality would be the check OF the equations prediction).

It would REALLY be interesting if the equations make predictions that are off by some consistent degree...indicating GR would need some kind of correction. I don't anticipate that...I think when we do find them ...we are going to find exactly what the equations predict. Though all the other major predictions of GR's capability have been performed and tested to high degree GW's stand apart as one of the most important ones should it be revealed to be real.

The main reason is highlighted by my explanation above. We will be able to pick up new signals from far away systems that can help unravel various mysteries about those systems that our optical, radio , micro wave and infrared observations can't tell us.

For example having GR detection will allow us to refine a host of calculations regarding the attributes of remote systems. Like their mass shedding rates. We'll also have a new tool (in addition to the very useful transit, transit spectral[doppler] and transit wobble methods) to help identify star systems with planets by measuring the gravitational wave beat patterns that emanate from remote systems....though I think there will present a problem of filtering all the waves that are coming from every where....disambiguating the universes GW background from the foreground will be necessary.

At least this is what my intuition tells me based on what I know about General Relativity. Any GR experts feel free to correct or elaborate on anything I wrote above that doesn't make sense. ;)


(Mass shedding)
(Ways to discover exoplanets)

12 January, 2016

Global Ride Sharing proliferation, consolidation and a future low to no cost transport fabric. The story thus far...

"Uber has been investing heavily in China, and the service is growing there like crazy. Uber’s service is taking off in China much faster than it did in the United States. Nine months after launching in Chengdu, Uber had 479 times the trips it had in New York after the same amount of time.

Uber is also putting a lot of money into its Chinese growth. Uber's China branch has closed a funding round that values it at $7 billion.  In total, Uber has raised more than $6 billion in several funding rounds, including a $600 million investment from Chinese search engine company Baidu."

--- And yet , combined we are still talking about 4 major markets. US, Europe, China and India. South America , Africa , South East Asia are also all ripe for entry. This quote comes from this article.
He with the most funding has the best chance of radically innovating fast enough in the space to grab market share from the others, so far on a global basis Uber has executed brilliantly. They didn't nurse the US market before expanding realizing that the type of technology they were presenting would commoditized quickly (as it has). 

So exploding on the back of the unique margin proposition of their business (of being a lite weight middleman) was exactly the right approach. So here they are with a 62 billion dollar  valuation and there the other global players are needing to partner to attempt to eat into Uber's growth. It's quite an amazing thing to watch play out....still nothing is set in stone, if Uber fails to execute in the markets of greatest potential they can piss away their funding advantage and fall behind in other markets as people become accustomed to one verb or another when trying to get a ride. 

Of course the long term trend is what I've described in the past, the proliferation of services will continue...as other regions enter the fray that are currently not served by the expansion strategies of these big for players (Didi Kuaidi and Ola are still tightly focused on their host markets) the same will happen all over the rest of the world. 

So what will happen is transport will find lots of people providing it in many regions...there is lots of money to be made. Margin per ride goes up by eliminating the costs associated with each ride. The biggest of which is having a human sitting in the machine driving it about...Uber is on this having set up a lab to research self driving cars...but they are too far behind in that endeavor to field their own option in time to match what the traditional car makers are planning. 

Another interesting development I've mentioned and which already seems to be in software form is the development of real time ride comparison apps. That submit requests for estimates from multiple local ride sharing providers and then selects the most proximal , cost effective and otherwise optimal for the passenger service. There really is no reason to have a dozen apps. one ones phone...particularly if one is moving from region to region...so having an app. that can automatically query services for their availability profile in real time and get estimates will be optimal from a user perspective. 

This will mute the importance of branding on the part of the services...but one wonders how the consolidating app. would make money (ads? seem like an interesting touch point to exploit...when ordering ride one is a bit captured to that experience and while waiting one may be more likely to click on an ad). Just thinking out loud here...

In an article I posted a few days ago the ambitions of Ford were made plain ....they aren't resting on their laurels. The rumored Google Ford combination didn't happen ...for the obvious reason that even in SDV's the technology will rapidly transition to commodity....in fact Nvidia PROVED as much during CES last week when they announced their incredibly mature platform for teaching cars, as well as anything else (robots, drones) how to ambulate the world. This is game changing as they set themselves up to be the Google ...google should have been with their SDV program. Now Google risks being left out in the cold without a manufacturing partner or a similar kit to Nvidia for drop in AI. 

I mention Nvidia in context to the car companies because many of them were no where with SDV...the fear of God has been put into them thanks to Google and Tesla's advances in autopilot tech. and here ready for them to use is Nvidia. Long term winner for sure will be Nvidia as they win no matter which car maker buys their kit...so for investment purpose I would definitely be LONG Nvidia right now....they are in an interesting role for SDV enabled AI as Android was for enabling smart phones from multiple manufacturers to have a drop in OS they could use to get into competition with IoS quickly and they did...and 2 years later Android was selling more units than IoS. Except unlike Android which makes zero direct dollars for each license used by phone makers....the Nvidia kits all bring direct revenue into their coffers.

And Apple hasn't even entered the ring yet!

It's going to be a chaotic and exciting time watching this all play out over the next few years.

11 December, 2015

Virtual characterization before real colonization. A glimpse at how sentient variants will people the stars.

The year is 2560,

A colonization star ship is on its way to a planet in the Trapezium open cluster in the Orion Nebula...discovered over a hundred years earlier. It was characterized to detail a few years later via autonomous systems.

The planet was found to be not quite human 1.0 habitable...but we weren't going to be sending human 1.0's there.

See in 2560, gene editing has been a routine and common practice in human populations going back 540 years. Humans have been thus able to radically conform themselves and their flora and fauna to the environs often far more inhospitable to human 1.0 life than Mars.

Evaluation of a trip to Orion Trapezium planet beta3 had been a 10 year affair once it was stamped as worthy of exploration. 10 years ago in 2350, most people hadn't heard of the system ...by this point in time there are several billion recorded and characterized exo planets and humans have only gotten to a few dozen of them with our advanced but sub light drives.

One of the first steps for exploration plans for new planets is virtual characterization.

In 2550, virtual reality has achieved levels of cognitive integration that would seem like magic to us today. Rather than wear goggles and gloves ...in 2550, virtual experiences are beamed into our brains and bodies using advanced modulating beams that allow us to go into an "inner sleep".

Construction of virtual experiences then proceed via this non invasive cognitive modulation. ESA not only trains interstellar astronauts using these systems but designs and builds the tools and equipment that will be used on a target planet.

Since beta3 had been fully characterized we knew everything about it's surface conditions, atmospheric gas percentages and geological formations. It was sort of like a planet Venus just a bit before the runaway green house took effect so like Venus was in the 2450's could be terraformed and harnessed readily.

Teams of astronauts would go into inner sleep and live on the virtual planet...these astronauts would not be the ones to actually visit the planet....those guys would be genetically enhanced to deal with the initial planetary conditions...or if the conditions were not to extreme could actually be designed to fit the planet ....since transexospermia had been embraced as a valid means of propagating Earth genetic information to remote worlds...even if the genetically "fitted" life forms propagated dramatically departed from what human 1.0's required to survive.

The world had thankfully four centuries ago, shed it's vestiges of bias regarding the equivalence of all sentient cognition regardless of substrate. On the trip to beta3 would be humanX.0's, enhanced helper species (genetically advanced dogs , bears mostly) plain old sentient Androids and even some human 1.0's all working together to ensure the planet could be properly "harnessed" for the needs of at least several populations of Earth sentients.

The particular qualities of beta3 made it open for colonization by multiple sentient forms explaining why so many varieties were involved. In the last 500 years such planets are rare...which the bulk of harnessed systems requiring either all of one type or another (though the Androids being mostly non bio tended to always accompany what ever enhanced biogenetic sentient that was conformed to the target planets environs).

All the details of harnessing the planet were figured out and tested in virtual inner sleep and then 3D printed on the edge of the solar system using materials mined from the ample distal mining facilities dotting the outer dwarf planets.

This star ship in fact was on it's way from Sol System Egress base 5 on Pluto and had been in transit for the last 35 years (ship time). A blink of an eye for all of the sentients on board which being all super mortal did not concern themselves with the 20th century fears of limited life span due to progressing senescence!

What a time of darkness that must have been!

09 December, 2015

Proof of Record, copyrights and patents. Facebook's sleeping revenue stream.

When I first started blogging at sent2null space one of the main reasons for doing so was to record sketchy thoughts into a public medium where there would be a record of the act of having presented the idea.

This would serve as a proof of record of sorts to the origination of a given concept. The idea being that in the future when the question comes up of "who wrote about x or y first?" the answer can be found definitively by searching several sources with such proofs of record.

A few hours ago I posted an idea for a new company name to a thread. After joking about the fact that some one may be stealing the idea to attempt implementing something similar I realized that some aspects of that post would be ideally protected via Facebook itself.

If any service will likely be with us for decades if not centuries to come I'd pin it on Facebook, the main reasons I've posted about before.

1) network connection effects. Facility to build social connections on the service.
2) network stickiness. The resistance of those networks to falling apart or being migrated to other services. (See: the mostly failed attempt many on FB had in trying to go over to G+)
3) network scale. Facebook now has 1/7th of the human population logging into its service. This is astonishing...over 1 billion people...it is going to take a very long time for people to disinvest and will require a lot of epic mistakes on FB's part to happen.

All that said, Facebook makes a great medium for enabling proofs of record to be created. It has a history of that can extend as far back into your life as you wish, capturing your every event and post if you wish...but this history can be searched and correlated against similar human histories now and going forward. The recent addition of edit histories or thread life cycles ensures that even edits to commentary are stored preventing retroactive revision of published streams of content.

Though Facebook uses an asynchronous post update algorithm they can readily disambiguate temporal events down to minutes and seconds which should be more than enough resolution to ensure precedent far beyond the ability of most nations copyright and patent systems.

So I see this as a novel opportunity for Facebook to start offering such services.

Imagine the ability to post something that you know is novel or simply suspect may be novel and then tagging it with "proof of record" what this would do is flag to Facebook your intention to file for protection of the described content or simply to have Facebook serve as a vector agent for your posting. In this case a vector agent is basically a witness that can attest to the content and temporal presentation of that content to legal entities across any nation that wishes.

This way Facebook could do things like charge for engaging mechanisms for automatic copyrighting images , music, poetry by users simply posting those novel works and then tagging them as "proof of record" items.

Facebook can then provide services around protecting the submitted content that spans nations. For patentable concepts it could engage an online peer vetting of submitted events that would allow them to quickly be searched for possible infringement of claims by existing patents and if found free of violation, serve as a mechanism to trigger filing for formal patents.

I can see this as a potentially huge and profitable new revenue stream for the social network because of the aforementioned unique attributes.

I share this idea ironically with Blogger here, just remember this article is "proof of record". ;)

28 September, 2015

Cosmecuticals to come: Asian flush cured.

With recent news that yet another new method for performing in vivo gene editing has been discovered the landscape of possibilities looms beyond just the superficial.

"Asian flush" is the term used to describe a condition that effects a large population of people of Asian descent which is a genetic mutation that prevents proper processing of one of the caustic by products of alcohol ingestion. This leads to an inflammatory response in the system which leads to dilated blood vessels and the "flushed" appearance.

Aside from this superficial result it also means that generally Asians with this mutation need to be very careful with the amount of alcohol they are ingesting as they don't process it as efficiently as those without the mutation.

Enter gene editing:

The gene mutation is well known so this would be an ideal 'low hanging fruit' target for an edit. A targeted Asian Flush cure could be effected with a germ line edit or a temporary one could be effected with a non germ line mutation. Obviously the latter provides a continuous line of business but the former ends up over time eliminating the mutation from the population should many people with it seek to have it dealt with.

Imagine 50 dollars a pop for a treatment for a quarter of the over billion people in China....and this is just one of thousands of little annoying mutations that we now can theoretically can edit out of existence once these gene editing technologies; Cas9 / Cpf1 / AAV and what ever new methods will be discovered are put to work on humans. The time is now...the "base nucleotide" rush has begun.

26 September, 2015

New Gene Editing tool: Crispr-Cpf1

new paper  published this week describes another bacteria associated system for gene editing, the CrispR-Cpf1 system.

As I've been covering this space for over a decade now and predicted in 2009 that gene editing would soon be a major innovation of the next 10 years you should be familiar with the progenitor systems discovered since that time. Zinc fingers, TALENS, AAV and CrispR-Cas9 via various articles of mine over the years.

Cpf1 appears to have complementary functionality to Cas9 but performs some things that Cas9 does not, allowing it possibly to be more "specific" in its ability to accurately target edits. Some of these advantages are indicated in the paper but this article is more about the fact that find new systems should be an expectation.

From an evolutionary perspective the fact that living processes under go cycles of change and growth requires that at some point they have detailed and accurate abilities to edit genetic information in various ways...either to repair faulty regions or to silence regions in order for engaging developmental change over time. So though there are several discovered systems at this moment in time there may be many more yet to be discovered with novel abilities to specify edits...this will mean that the coming age of gene editing will consist of harnessing these variably effective tools to perform desired in vivo modifications.

This is a good thing as with the discovery of these early systems patent battles have erupted between researchers which have the chance of marring wide application of some systems by gene hackers....this would be bad for Cosmecuticals which I've explained is a net good for humanity over time if we guide their development.

So more systems means more potentially patent free ways to make edits which liberates creativity in the type of edits and who can perform them. There is still much to be concerned about however as this technology has the power to make monsters (literally) but better to have this power working in the light rather than in the shadow.

23 September, 2015

Gene Editing for Cosmecutical purposes must trump all efforts to ban the technology.

The early rush to ban such use is going to fall by the wayside very quickly as governments realize that banning the technology for human use domestically will only put their people at a huge disadvantage going forward.

As I have been explaining at my blog for years and explained in my chapter of The Future of Business

:CrispR Cas9 will make all sorts new industries possible that are focused on genetic modification of superficial (phenotype) traits that are "low hanging fruit" modifications. It heralds the "cosmecutical" industry as I like to call it. I've written on this subject for quite some time having prognosticated its emergence going back a decade.

Research teams all over the world are probably already at work (bolstered by entrepreneurs and business people who have come across these ideas) will require a few months to years of focused research identifying the important gene networks, characterizing their variation and then will strike "gold" in the form of gene editing mods to switch individual network pathways to desired output forms either somatically (which isn't permanent nor does it transfer to progeny) or germ line (which is both).

The existing industry for cosmetics will flower with these new non invasive and extremely safe future means of effecting things like skin color change, hair color change, hair texture change and eye color change. Taken together I've researched that this industry is at least a trillion dollar potential.

Beyond the money however I see it as mans final domination of much of the source of xenophobia in human society. It is based on identification of apparent physical difference and creating arbitrary distinctions of ability, merit and association from them...what happens when technology can truly turn a black person white or a white person black?

All sorts of awakenings happen in the social landscape. The coming together of humans of shared experience which the internet started, the web accelerated and mobile web kicked into high gear...will be boosted yet again when superficial markers become totally and completely a fashion choice...an accessory to wear and take off ...not a symbol of identity to fight and kill and oppress over.
The dawn of the age of Neopolitan people:

http://sent2null.blogspot.com/2015/06/neopolitan-people-and-rachel-dolezal.html The obfuscation, if not end of skin based privileges and the attendant evils that they have created and maintain in many parts of the world is nigh using such technology and for that alone it may be worth all the risks.
For me this is the greatest power in the unleashing of such technologies and why it is CRITICAL we let it happen no matter what short term consequences result ....and be sure some will, teams will make mistakes in their characterizing of various pathways....teams will not produce guide RNA that are specific enough in their identification of extant pathways and result in undesired modifications. If testing (likely in animal models) is not fully performed, these may impact the deployment of the technology in the first nations to go live with human tests; so it is important that during this research process that it is: a) visible to regulation and b) complete to cover as many edge cases as possible.

Making such modifications illegal makes both a) impossible and b) unlikely (up to the ethical fiat of the "gene kiddies" running basement biolabs who would other wise be trying). So early embrace and control and guidance is the only rational choice for any government.