NASA-Backed Fusion Drive Could Get Us To Mars In 30 Days

In Jules Verne’s classic book, the eccentric Phineas Fogg leaves his peers gobsmacked when he bets them that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, and then does exactly that. Now University of Washington researchers have a proposal that would undoubtably put a smile on Mr. Fogg’s face: they’re working on a fusion engine that they suggest could cut the travel time to Mars down to a mere 30 days. That’s genuinely jaw-dropping when compared to NASA’s estimated travel time for a round-trip journey using conventional rockets: a whopping four years.

One of the biggest obstacles to expanding further into our own solar system is the sheer cost and the amounts of fuel required to get you from here to wherever you’re going. But the proposed fusion-powered vessel wouldn’t require the massive payload of fuel, and the key process could be powered by solar energy collected during the voyage.

Fusion ship

Concept art of a solar-powered, fusion-driven craft


EyePlus Gives Any Room A Breathtaking View


For many people, living somewhere with a fantastic view just isn’t an option. From the mediocrity of suburbia to high-rise apartment buildings surrounded by more high-rise apartment buildings, you usually need deep pockets to secure an abode that is as attractive looking out as it is looking in. A good scenic view is what separates a $200 hotel room from a $500 hotel room. That, and all the mini-bourbons.

The Italian company EyePlus — or Eye+, since they’re not too picky about their trademark — wants to give every room a view with its innovative display system that could, in the future, let someone feel like they’re anywhere in the world. Or at least let them know how it feels to look out of a window anywhere in the world. It looks like a TV, and actually is a TV when not being used for display purposes, but a USB attachment allows you to pick between various locations that you’d like to look at and experience. From a window.

And no, it isn’t just a simple picture. After all, you could just go out and buy a picture for that. The EyePlus features an optical sensor that tracks the onlooker’s movements, adjusting the angles to give the full view of a location from that particular vantage point. Say you’re looking out over a cityscape; as you get closer to the “window,” you can look down to the ground below and see cars moving, or look up to the sky and see the birds. The following video showcases quite a number of these video loops.


Joseph Kosinski On The Direction Of Tron 3, Confirms IMAX

Tron: Legacy

With less than a week and a half before Oblivion is released in theaters in the U.S. (it will be released internationally this Friday), director Joseph Kosinski is one of Hollywood’s rising stars. His directorial debut, Tron: Legacy, grossed $400 million, while his sophomore effort stars Tom Cruise; Kosinski’s career can only get brighter with his next film Tron 3.

In an interview with Empire Magazine, Joseph Kosinski briefly talked about Tron: Legacy‘s sequel film, and how it will continue what was established in the previous Tron films:

‘Tron 3 delivers on the promise of Tron Legacy, particular the final scenes,’ elaborates the director. ‘There’s a big clue there as to where we’ll go with the next one. There’s some characters we establish at the beginning of Tron Legacy who have a much larger role in Tron 3.

The character Kosinski is mentioning could be Edward Dillinger Jr., the head of the software design team for ENCOM and the son of former ENCOM Senior Executive Ed Dillinger (David Warner) from the original Tron film. Actor Cillian Murphy played Edward in Tron: Legacy, which seemed odd because Murphy is a very notable actor and he was only featured in one scene at the very beginning of the movie. While Murphy was uncredited in Tron: Legacy, it seems likely that he’ll have a bigger role in the upcoming sequel.


Brian K. Vaughan’s Banned Issue Of Saga Available For iOS Devices After All

SagaLast night we reported the disappointing news that issue #12 of Brian K. Vaughan’s brilliant space opera comic series, Saga, would not be available in its digital version on iOS devices. The ban was allegedly due to two small panels within the book which depicted gay sex…in spite of the earlier issues of the series, which is not intended for children, having included sexual scenes before without any problems. Creator Brian K. Vaughan spoke out about the ban, standing behind his work and pointing out other ways readers could get their grubby mitts on a copy. Now, the very next day, Saga #12 will be coming to iOS devices after all, and it also turns out that Apple wasn’t the culprit behind this after all.

According to Cult of Mac, digital comics distributor Comixology — an otherwise great company, and the one I purchase all my comics from these days — made the decision to keep the Saga issue off of iOS devices on their own, following what they believed to be Apple’s policies for content released in apps. Comixology CEO David Steinberger released a statement that said the following:

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify. As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.


Navy Got Lasers! Navy Got Lasers!

navy laserThe U.S.S. Ponce is an amphibious transport and docking ship in the Persian Gulf, where the Iranian navy hasn’t exactly been forthcoming in their pleasantries. Iran’s navy tends to fall between two camps: one comprised of older, larger ships; and a guerilla-style fleet of speedboats equipped with machine guns. And so what will the U.S.S. Ponce have installed on it at some point in 2014? Oh, nothing, just a fucking fully-functional laser is all. And it’s probably a tad more powerful than the one curing addiction in rats.

The announcement was made by the chief of naval operations, Adm. Jonathan W. Geenert, whose intentions were probably two-fold, if not more so. Give the American people something as cool as lasers to look forward to, and give Iran something to hesitate over.

The laser is multi-functional. It can burn its way through those fast-attack boats, as well as the unmanned drones that Iran is currently producing. The laser burst doesn’t have to be lethal, however, and also can perform a “dazzle” attack that will cause sensors to go haywire while everything else stays intact. “Whoa, why is that picture frame floating across the room? Is it a poltergeist?” Nah, dude, the Navy got lasers. Check it out in action below and imagine how much damage 21-laser salutes will cause in the future of military mourning.


Firefly Folks Sound Off On The Jayne’s Hat Controversy

Jayne's hatCurse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! Browncoats the world over got their dander up yesterday when word broke that Fox was sending cease-and-desists to Firefly fans who had been knitting and selling replicas of Jayne’s stylish hat on ETSY and similar sites. See, Ripple Junction just bought the licensing rights to sell the hat, so they’ve been trying to stamp out the unlicensed versions out there. That move has been met with irritation and outrage by some die-hard Firefly fans. Now a couple of the folks involved with the beloved series have addressed the issue via Twitter.

First up was the improbably named Shawna Trpcic, the Firefly costume who actually created the “Jayne hat” in the first place. While she didn’t directly address the controversey herself, she did retweet the following not once, but twice: