Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The College Of The Future

So, if you're like me you went to college, drank too much and then got expelled. What did I have to show for all my hard work? A mountain of debt (about $30,000). Now, I was a decent student don't get me wrong. However, dry campus plus kegger in the dorm equals academic probation. A little known equation I learned the hard way. Ever since that fateful day I have been committed to earning an education on my own accord for free. I'm not alone though roughly one out of five Americans are in debt due to student loans and the costs associated with earning a college education are rising. Hope is not all lost, however, thanks to a number of online sites like Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, and EDx who offer free online classes taught by some of the world's leading professors from top universities.

The style of all of these vary greatly and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, none of these have a complete course schedules or offer accreditation but many are working towards this. The Khan Academy, which has traditionally focused on Math, is expanding into Art, History and the Humanities. EDx, which started as MITx, joined with Harvard and most recently added UC Berkley and The University of Texas to its roster of Universities and offers classes from these schools. The scope of all of these sites are expanding greatly. In addition to offering video lectures EDx and Udacity offer course material and problem sets.

Khan Academy may have been the first to implement free online education but most certainly won't be the last. Recently Coursera and EDx has been of some particular note. I myself have just enrolled myself into three classes: CS550x: Introduction To Computers from EDx, Valuation & Investing from Khan Academy, and EP245: How To Build A Startup from Udacity. Throughout my next semester I will me giving you guys some updates into my progress. So far, I like the EDx setup the best; it offers course materials, syllabus, lectures, problem sets, tests, a final and I feel like it offers a more complete class offering than say Khan which mostly just provides videos and some tutorials with math. I will reserve my judgement until I finish my classes and will offer a brief overview as I go along.

I think this is just what our education system needs. Not just collegiate education but primary and secondary education as well. With the advances in technology I hope to see this integrated into more classrooms. Some teachers are actually using some of the Khan lectures in classrooms and their have been a lot of talks about 21st century education especially in developing countries. I hope my studeis go well and I hope that in the future these new free offerings from top educators can set the standard for education to come. As always, I would love to hear your opinion especially if you are an educator. What do you think the future holds for education?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

YouTube Going Viral In Europe

In a bid to expand their user base and capitalize on the success of original content in the US, YouTube is expanding into Europe with 60 new channels. The channels will largely be celebrity and personality driven with a couple large exceptions. The BBC and a few other large European Media Conglomerates will get their own channels to help push their own original content. Last year YouTube launched some 100 channels in the US in a successful bid to push their appeal past viral hits which have made the site popular.

YouTube has seen huge gains since the launch of their new channels in the US and advertise something for everyone from parenting and cooking to music, sports and comedy. The push has been a key development for YouTube in attracting greater ad revenue. With the success of the current channels and the likely success of those in Europe, YouTube could continue to deal a larger blow to cable and satellite providers as networks and viewers continue to embrace the digital revolution without them. It is reported that YouTube viewers watched 4 billion hours of original content a month. YouTube has also stated that it wishes to fund content creators in the over 49 nations where YouTube is present.

The company states it wants to move away from low quality user generated viral videos and into more professional content that can build sustained audiences. This is already opening huge doorways for networks like the BBC, FOX, CBS and others. This blog itself has its own YouTube channel! As of writing this we are in the process of developing our first video which will be released this weekend on YouTube and on Geeked Out Future as well so look forward to that. As always, what do you think about this? Feel free to comment, I’m always interested in hearing what my viewers think.YouTube Going Viral In Europe

Monday, October 8, 2012


Due to our ever constant work in keeping a fresh and up-to-date site chock full original content Geeked Out Electronics and Sister sites Geeked Out Politics and Future Shock have combined to bring you all new content, a new layout, and a new name Geeked Out Future. Throughout the week we will be working out the kinks and revamping the site to provide new and original content. we will also be expanding our content to include weekly podcasts and video.  We hope you enjoy and as always go forth and Geek!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pirate Bay Down But Not Out

Popular torrent site The Pirate Bay is down again. Over the last year the site has suffered numerous attacks in an attempt to shut down the site. Other sites such as Demonoid and MegaUpload suffered similar fates before ultimately being shut down. Will The Pirate Bay suffer a similar fate? Pirate Bay is currently down but promises to be up and running in a week. There have been multiple attempts at thwarting the site in the last year, including a DDoS attack, to no avail. Each time The Pirate Bay bounces back. The site has even dodged legal bullets in its home country of Sweden. The Pirate Bay claims it is currently down due to a power outage, the remains to be seen as torrent geeks and downloaders the world over commence to freaking out.

Over the Summer the Pirate Pay was targeted by a particularly nasty DDoS,  distributed-denial-of-service, attack and was down off and on. The attacks were over June, July and August respectively. According to the hacker group Anonymous the attacks were likely perpetrated by the MPAA, RIAA, or a government agency. On August 8 the Ukranian government blocked the site. So with the most recent attacks it is natural for geeks the world over to suspect the worst. Fortunately, The Pirate Bay's home country of The Netherlands has mostly allowed the torrent server to continue operating. The most recently it is reported the Pirate Bay only suffered a power outage which took the site down. Suck on that RIAA! Torrent freak reports the site will be up and running in a week.

Pirate Bay Down But Not Out

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Next Space Race

Since I was a little boy I've always been fascinated by the Moon. I think it has always been one of my greatest lifes ambition to visit our closest celestial nieghbor. We may be closer today to those dreams than ever before. If anyone believed the predictions of futurists after Neil Armstrong's landing on the Moon, we would all be living on Moon colonies and vacationing in space by 1985. So what happened? Why are we no closer to these goals? After many successful Moon landings, it seems the U.S. kind of gave up. That is all about to change. China already has plans in the works to make their first journey to our closest satellite. Additionally scientists are discussing possibilities of large scale moon bases equipped with telescopes and supercomputers on the Moon. The next generation of space entrepreneurs all seem poised to stake their claims on Earth's Moon.

 China recently unveiled a five-year plan for putting astronauts on the moon, which would make it the first nation to visit since the U.S. last set foot there some 40 years ago. "China will conduct studies on the preliminary plan for a human lunar landing," according to the state council, also calling for deep-space exploration of other planets and asteroids. Though there is no deadline for the launch the announcement is seen as an official declaration of China's lunar goals. China is also building its own prototype space station, the Tiangong 1, before construction of a Mir-class station. It has already mapped the moon with the Chang'e-1 lunar probe, and the Shenzhou-9 docked with Tiangong-1 in June. "Since 2006, Long March rockets have accomplished 67 successful launches, sending 79 spacecraft into planned orbits and demonstrating noteworthy improvement in the reliability of China's launch vehicles." Although the space program is backed by the People's Liberation Army, the government asserts the program is entirely peaceful: "China always adheres to the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and opposes weaponization or any arms race in outer space."

Forget the U.S. data crunch. NASA admits their is an impending data crunch in space with the amount of data being processed by various satellites, shuttles and space stations the data traffic will become to much to handle. Enter Ouliang Chang, USC graduate student, who has developed a plan to solve this crisis by placing a supercomputer on the Moon to alleviate the coming crunch. The plan is likely to be vastly expensive and would be the most expensive supercomputer ever built. He is not alone, however, many scientists are advocating for an increased scientific presence on the satellite. NASA scientists are advocating placing Telescopes on the Moon. They say the absence of an atmosphere on the moon would allow astronomers to peer deeper into space than currently can be allowed. The base would even have advantage over satellites viewing into space as it would be much easier to repair and upgrade a telescope in a fixed location.

If their is money to be made someone somewhere is likely looking to profit. The Moon is no exception. Helium-3, also called tralphium, is widely sought for use as fuel in fusion generators. Helium-3 is extremely rare on Earth, but guess where it can be found readily? If you guessed the moon, bingo. Helium-3 is said to be three times less corrosive than hydrogen which would enable to fusion generators to run off the fuel three times longer. The possibilities this holds for making fusion energy a viable energy alternative could be huge. The results for those to capitalize off this would also be huge. The burgeoning private space industry could also be positively affected with increased travel to the moon. Already companies like Space X contract space flights to the ISS for the US government but as commercial development on the moon expands it grows the potential for their profit as well. Even James Cameron, Avatar Movie Director, seems ready to jump in, his project Planetary Resources has its sites on mining asteroids and possibly even the moon.

All this is, granted, years away but it seems the ideas are beginning to come together to start a major push for human interests on the moon. It was commercial and government interests that launched European exploration into the new world it will likely be a partnership between science, government and business that will launch our human civilization into the 21st century and begin our human transpermitaztion into space. 
The Next Space Race