Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Projects in my Future

Here are projects I'm actively working on in 2016.  All of these designs will end up open-sourced.

Cambucha Blocks 

  • Lightweight, insulating, modular concrete blocks which can be filled with structural, reinforced concrete
  • 30 pounds/cu. foot density
  • Uses non-toxic protein-based foam
  • Aggregate contains shredded plastic bags for tensile strength
  • Low-tech: build your own blocks on-site with open source formulae and form plans
  • Blocks integral to design-your-own/build-your-own modular building system, which favors modular units using standard sized material, and minimizes cutting and customization.
  • Can be used as insulating/solar sink blocks, as shown in composite panel design, above.

Votey McVoteFace

"You can COUNT on me
... because you can COUNT MY VOTE."

  • Online voting app
  • Merges voting and poling
  • Security Features
    • Every vote visible and countable
    • Every voter gets one anonymized, unique identity
    • Voter may optionally declare anonymized identity corresponds to their own public identity
  • Voting available for entire campaign season, and votes may be changed up to the deadline, which is the end of "voting day" for that issue or candidate.
  • Voters may submit percentage choices for funding of budgets, e.g. on the Federal budget, the voter may declare how much of his taxes go to each line item.
  • All votes are visible, but many may just show the voter anonymous ID, such as "Voter 12345 voted for Franken in seat /us/congress/house/district/123".
  • Each voter may see his cast vote at any time, and may validate or tabulate their own vote in perpetuity.
  • Registration Details
    • Each real, human voter goes to a state-approved local precinct facility, 
      • such as a library, town hall, post office, or county voting or records office, 
    • and there receives one anonymous voterID.  
    • That person's central, shareable personID based on name, place of birth, and parents name, is marked as having received a virtual voterID,
    • and the voterID is given a "current residence precinct" designation, 
    • but storing/publishing the relationship between personID and voterID is not legal,
    • nor is storing/publishing any information associating the "current residence precinct" with the personID.  
    • Every virtual voterID gets a "current residence precinct", and submits all votes as though they were legally residing there.  
    • Voters are responsible for registering with precincts, but in any event their vote is cast and cannot be denied by a precinct.
    • Voters may "out" their voterID by declaring the association between voterID and personID in any public, private, or government database or network, such as a town registry, national census database, personal website, or social media profile page.
    • Voters may claim to re-anonymize their voterID, and their old voterID is then "retired", which is visible, but blocked from any future elections.
  • Each watchdog group may download the entire election at any time and tabulate the anonymous, precinct-grouped votes.
  • All source code for the database and document schemae, voting page templates, and test data will be stored in GitHub
  • An example server will be stood up where people can register test accounts, and can prototype elections.
  • As the system reaches viability, policy activists can move to promote the results of the system's elections, and propose adoption of the open-source technology by election officials.

Rooftop Gardens Co-housing

Ongoing project to promote co-housing and rooftop gardens, using an owner-occupant/manager and Airbnb-style rooms to rent in the shared community.
  • Community:
    • Kitchens
    • Common bathrooms
    • Rooftop Gardens
    • Land Gardens
    • Parking
    • Bike Parking
    • Recycling and City Services
    • Building energy: solar, wind
    • Building grey-water system, and plant irrigation
  • Private: 
    • Bedrooms
    • Sitting Rooms/Living Rooms
    • Bathrooms
    • Balconies

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We are from the Future!

Ok, usually I blog about things I'd like to invent, etc., but this post is about things I thought I'd only see as science fiction in my lifetime, so they show the importance of dreaming in sci-fi. As far as I know, these things are real, to some extent. 

Neil Stephenson -ish flying spy-bots (eeek!)

 Robots that can juggle and play catch :

Warp speed:

 Mind Uploading:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The TV Box - art installation? app?

It's an old TV from the 60's. It is small. It is black and white. Its cathode ray is driven by analog signal as usual, but that analog signal comes from a small computer with a hard-drive full of clips from 60s TV. You can change the channel. The "episodes" don't necessarily finish. Maybe they are YouTube, tagged shorts, so that on 10 channels, you get 10 shows with original commercials. YOu can move it, change channels, change volume, or turn it off.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

ReverseCGI (tm)

In the future...

CGI will advance to the point where movie stories will be complete scripts: action, motion, blocking, dialog, facial expressions, intonation--all will be captured and digitized, parameterized, and stored.

In the same way that the character Woody in Toy Story is generated from scripts, all characters will be scripted. But with ReverseCGI (tm), those scripts can be back-calculated from any performance. And, in fact, all the great Hollywood movies will be parsed. These will be fed into vast libraries of actions, characters, and scenes. To build a movie, then one just needs to annotate the script with necessary blocking and expression. Then, you select your actors, scenes, and voila! A new movie is generated. Or with RoundTripCGI (tm), an old movie is edited with new dialog, plot, replaced actors, etc.

At first, only high-end shops will be able to do this, but eventually, it will be simple enough to do by casual users, like mix tapes.

Since the algorythm will know how to parse Elizabeth Taylor's facial expressions as she delivers line X, her tone, inflection, and expression can be cast on any line of dialog. It will be possible to pair her young self with a young Brad Pitt in a remake of Sleepless in Seattle. Egad!

Computer-Routed Modular Rail Transportation and Shipping

This is more of a wish/invention, because I don't actually believe Americans will ever get their act together enough to implement anything this socialist. Perhaps if you can view it in the most exploitable, free-market way, then that could actually be the future.
The nation's rail lines are updated to connect every district in the country via the main trunk lines, and some high-speed lines are installed in major corridors. Freeways are converted to have rail lanes. Personal vehicles ride double-decker along with frieght on the train, all routed by computer.
Personal vehicles are lightweight, and have little electric, direct-drive motors. Each vehicle holds two people and a few packages. If you need more space, you hook up two vehicles. If you want a mini-van, you hook up three. Once you get to a main arterey, you hook up to other cars. Anywhere you need to go that goes over 25 MPH, your car gets loaded onto a train. All the cars are small -- about the size of a box that has a two-person bench seat in it. So the loading on the train compartments is fast and efficient. You program your destination and preferred route into the console of the car or your PDA or home terminal before your trip. When you leave, your trip hooks up with other compatible trips on the grid, and you can physically hook up with other cars as you approach, thus, you only need one fail-safe driver for a string of cars all hooked up in an ad hoc train, and the hooked up cars become more efficient and safe. When you approach a divergence in your route, your car un-hooks at stopping points or intersections. The network would be able to optimize car hook-ups and trips for short distance (and long distance over real trains).
Shipping items have similar motorized carts, and are accumulated at shipping points, and motored over to the train pickups. Chips in the carts help to route the carts via the train system country-wide, unattended. Communities get larger carts and then distribute the contents like a food co-op or book co-op. Standard shipping containers will come in modular sizes (1x1, 1x2, 1x4, 2x4, 4x4, etc.) and will have tracking chips built-in. The containers will have hard plastic shells and have built-in padding inside. You just grab the container you need, put your stuff in it, and wheel it or carry it to the nearest container-accepting bin, which securely and automatically accepts the containers. The containers are then picked up by truck, and routed, possibly in larger containers, to the train system, and routed all the way to last-mile delivery.

(First published in 2007 here: )

Computers to be Monitored

All work computers will be monitored. The idea of personal privacy on a work-provided machine will be gone. Currently, scanning of eMail is allowed and practiced. And currently the trend in Corporatia is the house workers in "bullpens" -- areas with all the computers facing outward from a central mega-cube. Thus all workers and anyone walking through the space may see everyone's desktop at all times, and the worker's back is to everyone else, so the worker can't really tell who is watching. Also, corporate firewalls are getting more restrictive in what sites they allow. At one employer, I was not allowed to visit any site that is a discussion forum, or any site that is webmail. These policies will be extended to monitoring the virtual desktop via remote control software and keyloggers, such that at any time throughout the day, someone, maybe your boss, maybe a security person, will be seeing your virtual desktop on his desktop. You won't know when, so you'll behave as though it is omnipresent. From there, video recognition, API level monitoring, and keylogging will be used by datamining applications to recognize patterns of behavior, under the guise of "security," but extending to protections against "insubbordination," "inappropriate use of work resources," "harassment," and eventually chilling any expression (eMail, discussion, chat, blogging) or privacy (surfing, personal files) on computers for the vast majority of workers.

(First published in 2007 here: )

Human Brain Project

There will be a massive Human Brain Project, similar to the Human Genome Project. It will involve massively parallel computer processing, and a distributed group of people mapping out all the neurons, pathways and connections in the brain. Amazing things will be discovered about human thought and human need for certain types of thought and experience, in areas of music, art, learning, religion, philosophy, dreams, metaphysics, telepathy and social relationships.

(First posted in 2007 here: )