Friday, March 22, 2013

X Lab releasing secret invention this month...

It's another beautiful day up here in Southern Maine. The heavy snow of two days' past is half-melted and glimpses of last year's field grass are peeking up--

What the hell am I doing?!

If I know one thing about my audience, it's that you're impatient like me. You're not here for long and boring stretches of personal exposition. Instead, you want to know what's up with this X-lab and whatever-the-hell secret invention they're talking about. So, let's get into it.

For those of you who haven't heard, the massively successfully and always-swimming-in-money Google has a real X-men style secret laboratory that's called Google X or Google X Lab. It was originally believed to be somewhere in the Bay Area of Northern California but recent reports suggest it may now be spread across several locations, all of which are under close supervision of Sergey Brin, one of Google's co-founders.

The new driverless cars under development and Google Glass, the company's virtual reality glasses, are both brainchildren of the X Lab. The lab also has the dubious distinction of having invented Google Maps' blue dot, which shows your location inside of a building.

A few days ago, at this year's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, Google spokesperson and "Captain of Moonshots" (I kid you not, that is his real title) Astro Teller (and his real name) made the announcement that the lab plans to unveil its latest secret product within the next month.

So what can we expect?


I have scoured the internet and conferred with all my secret sources (of which I honestly have zero) to discover absolutely nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Not a wisp, not a rumor is afoot about whatever those secretive X scientists are about to announce, which leads me to believe that this will probably be a relatively modest "blue dot." However, rest assured I'll have my ears to the ground.

Before we leave our X Lab discussion, however, I do want to mention that this blog is NOT about pseudo science or pie-in-the-sky, wacky possibilities. Unless I'm talking about a fictional work, the science we discuss here is real and underway. I do not chase UFOs or crazy Bigfoot theories. Our world is swirling with enough real discoveries and new technologies to make the science fiction of just a few decades ago seem quaint. We do not need to invent or exaggerate anything to be awestruck at the futuristic events taking place.
All of that said, I would like to talk about an X Lab rumor. In 2011, it was believed that the lab was working on a space elevator. Now, if that were true it would put the company directly in competition with  the Obayashi Corporation, which last year announced that in 38 years it planned to build a space elevator using carbon nanotube technology. The passenger and load delivery system would travel at 124 miles per hour for 7 1/2 days to reach a geostationary orbit (GEO) of at least 22,236 miles above earth, where presumably a receiving orbiting platform or space station would be positioned. 
The Captain of Moonshots, however, has completely refuted the notion that Google is working on a space elevator. I only mention it to illustrate what kinds of really huge ideas may well come out of X Lab in the future.
More secret laboratory news to come SOON!

If you've heard any great science news, I'd love to hear from you. Maybe you could become my very first secret source :-)


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