Tag Archives: Gizmodo

12 Sci-Fi Stories Written Before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

The Modern Prometheus is a bit too modern to have solely created science fiction, although it did revolutionize it.

By Rob Bricken, published March 21, 2023

F. H. van Hove’s frontispiece for a 1687 edition of Cyrano de Bergerac’s Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon.
Image: Public Domain

Like her titular protagonist, when Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818, she knew not what she had wrought into the world.

Her tale of science taken too far birthed what many consider the first science fiction novel… and what some don’t.

As it turns out, there are several tales told before the 19th century that could also be considered sci-fi stories about aliens, spaceships, time travel, and more. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of proto-science fiction written when science itself was practically fiction.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item...

Source: 12 Sci-Fi Stories Written Before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Is ChatGPT Closer to a Human Librarian Than It Is to Google?

A search engine researcher explains the promise and peril of letting ChatGPT and its cousins search the web for you.

By Chirag Shah, Published March 19, 2023

Illustration: Phonlamai Photo (Shutterstock)

The prominent model of information access and retrieval before search engines became the norm – librarians and subject or search experts providing relevant information – was interactive, personalized, transparent and authoritative. Search engines are the primary way most people access information today, but entering a few keywords and getting a list of results ranked by some unknown function is not ideal.

A new generation of artificial intelligence-based information access systems, which includes Microsoft’s Bing/ChatGPT, Google/Bard and Meta/LLaMA, is upending the traditional search engine mode of search input and output. These systems are able to take full sentences and even paragraphs as input and generate personalized natural language responses.

At first glance, this might seem like the best of both worlds: personable and custom answers combined with the breadth and depth of knowledge on the internet. But as a researcher who studies the search and recommendation systems, I believe the picture is mixed at best.

Source: https://gizmodo.com/chatgpt-ai-openai-like-a-librarian-search-google-1850238908

Geeky Hallmark: Our 30 Fave Sci-Fi Christmas Ornaments

From Star Wars and Spider-Man, to Aliens and Mario, we’re having a pop culture Christmas.

By Germain Lussier, Published December 6, 2022

This ornament is definitely not a piece of junk.
Photo: io9/Germain Lussier

When we bought a second tree, it was officially a problem. I’ve loved sci-fi and pop culture my entire life. So, when I was young, my mom started taking me to Hallmark each year to buy a few of the latest Keepsake ornaments. Even after I moved out, each year I’d give her a list and that year’s ornaments were part of my Christmas presents. Sadly, my mom passed away in 2020, but our tradition for pop culture Christmas ornaments continues. In fact, it may have gotten worse.

After completely covering a 7.5-foot tree for the past several years, this year my wife and I decided to buy a 10-foot tree to go along with the 7.5-footer. And, even though I’d estimate 100 or so ornaments are still in my childhood home where I left them, we were still able to fill the big tree, with the smaller one reserved just for ornaments I bought this year.

What follows is a slideshow of my favorites from this emotional but obviously expensive obsession. Some of these were released by Hallmark this year and are still in stores. Others are long retired. But there’s a little bit of everything in here. Check it out.

[Editor’s Note: See slideshow on the link below… ]

Source: Geeky Hallmark: Our 30 Fave Sci-Fi Christmas Ornaments

How People From 1955 Imagined Technology of the Future | Gizmodo

From atomic-powered cars and trains to an ‘electronic eye’ grocery checkout, these technologies were the promises of yestermorrow.

By Matt Novak, Saturday 8:00AM

Image: Gizmodo / Getty (Getty Images)

In 1955, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together a slide show film titled “People, Products and Progress: 1975″ to show off what American industry had in store for the technologies of the future.

What did the companies of 1955 imagine they’d be able to deliver twenty years into the future?

Sleek streamliner trains, easy electronic checkouts at the grocery store, and even nuclear-powered automobiles. See slideshow of images.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item...

Source: How People From 1955 Imagined Technology of the Future

Click & Grow 25 Indoor Garden Brings Growing Into Your Kitchen

By John Biggs, Tuesday 5:30PM

Photo: Click & Grow

Click & Grow 25 is the latest project by former orchestra conductor Mattias Lepp who felt that the idea of indoor gardens—essentially, a farmer’s market in a box—would be just the tool for staving off future food shortages.

His company, founded in 2009, raised $11 million in 2018 to develop new materials and hardware technologies for indoor gardens.

Now, he and the Click & Grow team are taking the tools they used to build large-scale gardens and bringing them into the home.

Source: Click & Grow 25 Indoor Garden Brings Growing Into Your Kitchen

Climate Change Has Knocked Earth Off Its Axis

Brian Kahn, Friday 5:12PM

A 3D portrait of methane concentrations and a slightly wobblier Earth.
Image: NASA

Of all the things attributable to climate change, the rotational poles moving differently is definitely one of the weirder ones. But a new study shows that’s exactly what’s happening. It builds on previous findings to show that disappearing ice is playing a major role, and shows that groundwater depletion is responsible for contributing to wobbles as well.

The findings, published last month in Geophysical Research Letters, uses satellites that track gravity to track what researchers call “polar drift.” While we think of gravity as a constant, it’s actually a moving target based on the shape of the planet. While earthquakes and other geophysical activities can certainly play a role by pushing land around, it’s water that is responsible for the biggest shifts. The satellites used for the study, known as GRACE and GRACE-FO, were calibrated to measure Earth’s shifting mass

Source: Climate Change Has Knocked Earth Off Its Axis