When the US Navy started talking about using electromagnetic catapults to launch planes, I distinctly remember someone saying that if Disney was having issues with similar tech, the Navy had absolutely no hope. While this might have been hyperbole, it is also true that Disney is regularly pushing the edges of technology in order to bring a better experience to park goers. The latest of these innovations is the Magic Band. Wired has a wonderful article this week about both the tech and process that went into making the magic, as well as the extensive, untapped potential that exists within the current hardware. I had no idea the amount of work that went into the development, or the one BILLION dollar price tag that went along with it. Then again, Disney never does things in half measures.
Of all the corporations following my every move, I find Disney much less worrisome than most. Continue reading
Today is the launch of Amazing Spider-Man #1 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out in theaters tomorrow. How fitting, then, that Wired gives us a great article about the physics behind Spidey’s most famous piece of paraphernalia, his webs. Being an engineer, I’m familiar with most of the equations used in the article, but I had never put much thought into what the physical requirements must be for the webs. To pull of some of Spidey’s more impressive feats, the webs would need to be five times stronger than a steel cable.
Nobody draws Spider-Man’s webs quite like Todd McFarlane.
I also really enjoyed the preemptive comment responses. This man has dealt with the internet before.
Observing un-contacted native tribes has always been a tough thing to do. Frequently contact eventually results the destruction of the very culture that is being observed. In an effort to prevent this from happening but still learn about the tribes, researchers are turning to Google Earth to monitor the behavior and activity of some tribes. This form of observation will also help set up buffer regions around the tribes to prevent inadvertent contact.
I see you…
While this is a pretty great use of technology, it’s also a high tech form of voyeurism. Just a little creepy.
NASA has chosen to honor none other than William Shatner with their highest award, the Distinguished Public Service medal. This is a real no brainer. I’d bet considerable amounts of money that you couldn’t walk twenty feet in a NASA building without finding someone who has been inspired by the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his successors. Shatner has also been a vocal supporter of the NASA and of space exploration in general.
William Shatner with Ricardo Montalban in the episode “Space Seed”.
I had no idea he was Canadian. Guess I’m not quite the trekkie I thought I was. 😦
Wired brings us a great video about the making of Daenerys Targaryen’s trio of dragons. I love this show, and the dragons are one of the coolest parts. It’s pretty amazing how much work goes into making these creatures, especially since there aren’t any references to which artists can compare the dragons.
It’s time for another awesome Friday’s Around the Web wrap up.
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is not impressed with the Iron Throne depicted on the HBO series. While I still think it looks pretty badass, George disagrees and he is, of course, the expert.
Please don’t kill another Stark because of me! Please!!!!
An announcement from the co-founder of Pirate Bay. Peter Sunde is now working on an encrypted messaging app that will supposedly make messages unreadable to the Big Brother folks over at the NSA. At least in concept this is pretty cool. The end-to-end technology is fascinating.
I will admit to being a bit skeptical though. This is all coming from one of the founders of Pirate Bay, a site which is used to trample on copyright law all the time. I hate to say it but while it may be more disturbing when the government does it, it doesn’t matter if it’s a private person or a government agency, breaking the law is still a problem.
Lastly, a rather interesting article from Wired.com talking about people shopping from that place we all go to from time to time.
Not surprisingly, more and more people are shopping from their toilets and those online retailers who are working to improve their tablet/phone apps are the ones best able to take advantage of those shoppers in the “thinker” position. This is the kind of thing that worries me a little (ok, a lot!) about the future of the human race.