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October 1, 2021 Archives

Friday, October 1, 2021

CONTINUITY: Navigating Virtual Worlds

The second part of Raph Koster's series, “How Virtual Worlds Work” (read Part 1) discusses the nature of maps of real versus imaginary spaces, moving around the map vs. a map tracking your movement, and the need for standards that treat maps in a compatible way that represents connectiivity, nor just artwork, as is so often the case.

It's easy to imagine a metaverse where “it's all connected, and you can go anywhere preserving your identity”, as envisioned in Ready Player One. But how will this really work and feel in practice?

By definition though, any multiverse (and remember, a metaverse is just a more advanced version of a multiverse) is going to involve many very different places. You don’t want those all to exist on one map. You’d end up with Fairyland butting up against World War II.

Aesthetics isn’t the main reason this is bad. The real issue is that players won’t be happy if they were expecting a nice peaceful tea party with talking flowers, but they took one step too far, and were run over by a Sherman tank.

For a glimpse of artificial reality as it might actually look if implemented by today's creators of “social media” with the underlying quality and respect for the customer we've come to expect from outfits such as Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, see the short video cited in the paper, “Hyper-Reality” by Keiichi Matsuda.

Posted at 14:27 Permalink

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Intel Announces Neuromorphic Chip with One Million Neurons, 4 Nanometre Process

Here is an interview with Mike Davies, director of Intel's Neuromorphic Computing Lab, on the architecture of the Loihi 2 chip, applications of neuromorphic (biomimetic) technology, and how such systems are interfaced to conventional computers. Here is a technical brief [PDF] on Loihi 2 and the Lava software framework that supports it, which allows simulation of neuromorphic systems on conventional hardware. Lava is available for free from GitHub.

Posted at 12:29 Permalink

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Soyuz MS-18 Repositioning at International Space Station—Onboard TIme Lapse

Posted at 11:55 Permalink

CONTEXT: Solar Observation Spacecraft Discover Sun-Grazing Comets

Prior to the advent of space-based solar observatories, a multitude of small comets plunged in from the outer solar system and closely approached the Sun without being observed—astronomers may have suspected they existed, but there was no way to see them in the glare of the Sun. After the launch of the SOHO spacecraft in 1995 and successors since then, more than four thousand sungrazing comets have been observed, most of which disintegrate when they pass close to the Sun and do not emerge from their perihelion passage. Many of these are of the Kreutz sungrazer family, which are believed to have originated from a single large comet which broke up when passing near the Sun several centuries ago.

Posted at 10:38 Permalink