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Nic Johns
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Nic Johns

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Comets can’t explain weird ‘alien megastructure’ star after all

Given the vastness of time, it wouldn't be unreasonable for there to exist large numbers of dead civilisations scattered about the universe. They won't show up on our SETI; instead a search for Type II Dyson structures could reveal them.

In 20 years we may have a catalog of such long-dead civilisations, yet still be unable to reach any of them. Maybe that's the Great Filter: reaching the conclusion that we are all island civilisations, separated by untraversable swathes of space and time.

#KIC8462852 #Kardashev

Or perhaps it's just a dust cloud.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28786-comets-cant-explain-weird-alien-megastructure-star-after-all/
How digging through a century of glass photographic plates led to the latest twist in the quest to explain KIC 8462852.
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Maybe we've simply discovered an artifact from an ancient, disco loving civilization. Someone should check to see if the blinking synchs up to any old Donna Summer hits. 
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'Am I Going Down?' New app analyzes odds of your flight crashing

(CNN)If you're flying on a Boeing 777 Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles on any given day, there's a one in 4,068,434 chance that your plane will crash.

At least that's what a new app called "Am I Going Down?" says.

That means if you take that flight every day for the next 11,146 years, you'll be unlikely to experience an incident.
... 

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/22/travel/flight-crash-app/index.html
A new app aimed at easing the nerves of fearful fliers uses crash statistics and airline data to analyze the odds a flight will go down.
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Yet people will still fear the odds of 1 in 4,000.000 that lead to death far more than odds of 1 in 50 that they will get ill or die from being unvaccinated. That kind of irrational fear is what drives the anti-vax conspiracy movement, and that kind of logical fallacy applies to fear of flying too, odds are pretty much meaningless when fear comes into the picture. People will still quibble between the odds of 4,000.000/1 and 3.999.999/1 taking that one data point very seriously.
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Nic Johns

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Am I Going Down? 

A little side-project: I've just released a 'fear of flying' app to the iPhone appstore: http://appstore.com/amigoingdown

Yes, the timing is terrible - that wasn't deliberate. The app allows you to rank airlines and aircraft by historical safety records, and to calculate the overall risk of any given flight. 
I've removed AirAsia from the list of airlines, for now.

Anybody fancy downloading it? 

#iphone #appstore #aviophobia
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Does this App separate Pilot/Crew error from equipment failure?
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Pretty nice, actually #androidwear  
Google is finally ready to say what a smartwatch should look like. Earlier today, it gave a first peek at Android Wear, a version of its mobile operating system designed specifically for wearable...
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Eating dinner and realised I could hear All Along the Watchtower playing in the background.

My phone had started it spontaneously. Bizarre. #BSG  
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It's coming out of the FRACKING SHIP!
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Nic Johns

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http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2015/01/air-safety

So, The Economist disagrees with my calculation.
Any mathematicians willing to help out? 

Here's the problem: an event occurs with a chance of 1 in 5,371,369. I have stated that "You would expect this event to happen if you tried once every day for 14,716 years"

Am I correct? 
How would you interpret this statement? 

http://appstore.com/amigoingdown
#math   #mathematics   #probability  
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Thanks, +Deen Abiola. I've posted in The Economist comments and had some feedback on that. Guess I'll update the app with this clarification. :)
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Which are the safest airlines? 

These are the top 3 airlines in the world, based on flight safety & crash statistics: 

1. Southwest Airlines 
2. Ryanair 
3. Qantas 

None of them have recorded a major incident in modern times; Southwest edges it to the top due to the sheer number of trips they've flown. 

http://appstore.com/amigoingdown
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I would even give you a pass on the hijacked planes on 9/11 as not being a stain on the airline and crew safety record. The Midway incident is a stain on Southwest's record.
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Cult novel Good Omens has been adapted for radio. Here Neil Gaiman tells the story of how it came to be written.
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NASA Wants to Send Humans to Mars, But What About Venus?
Scientists from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA want to get a better idea about conditions on our nearest planetary neighbor Venus, so they have come up with HAVOC – High Altitude Venus Operational Concept, a lighter-than-air vehicle that would send two astronauts on a 30-day mission to explore the planet’s dense, corrosive atmosphere.

http://lightsinthedark.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/nasa-wants-to-send-humans-to-mars-but-what-about-venus/
NASA, SpaceX, Mars One... all (and others) are actively working on plans to send humans to the surface of Mars at some time within the next few decades. And while the first human exploration of the...
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Not a new idea, but granted that Venus deserves more attention!

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Infiltrating the hipsters #googlecampuslondon
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Nice tech, but a little wasted on a phone screen? Put this on an Oculus Rift and retexture the world! 

#oculusrift   #googleglass
 
We are excited to announce a new project from ATAP, something that we have been working quietly on over the past year.

As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We use our eyes to observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout over time almost effortlessly . This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other.  We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

Our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone.  Now, we’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help pull those ideas into reality. 

What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again?  What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.

We hope you will take this journey with us. We believe it will be one worth traveling.  To find out more, and apply for a development kit visit  http://g.co/ProjectTango.

The future is awesome. Let’s build it together.

-- Johnny Lee, and the ATAP Project Tango team
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Education
  • Computing
  • Mathematics
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Male
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Game Designer, Coder, Entrepreneur
Introduction
I have worked in the games industry for over 14 years, including developer, designer, and producer roles. 

Things I'm interested in and comment on or post about: 

• games
• game development
• astronomy / cosmology
• computer science
• singularity / transhumanism / artificial intelligence 
• science fiction / fantasy
• photography
• business startups / entrepreneurship
• web design / social / seo

Right now I'm working on an undisclosed project. 
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
London
Previously
Los Angeles - Sydney - Munich