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Beyond Blue – Ocean Exploration

Beyond Blue looks like a fantastic ocean adventure game. It’s set against the near future backdrop of Earth’s oceans. Beyond Blue will offer scientific support of real world exploration and outreach initiative, Ocean X, embracing it’s minimally invasive exploration techniques.

Beyond Blue will tell the story of a crew of scientists, led by oceanographers Mirai and Andre. They are keen to test their Ocean Sense Network. This holds the power to literally shine a light on the unexplored depths of the ocean.

The game will also focus on the Western Pacific ocean amid a large multispecies gathering of cetaceans and other creatures. You will play as Mirai to use the technology to better understand the urgent threats that our oceans face. Beyond Blue will also feature never before seen footage licensed from BBC Studios’ Blue Planet II. Furthermore it will help to expand upon the game’s story, educating players on the social and emotional lives of whales.

Beyond Blue Development Team Says….

“We are extremely excited to share Beyond Blue with everyone,”

“We have taken care to craft a visual and audio experience that immerses players in the beauty of the ocean and the amazing creatures that inhabit it, while hopefully doing so with some interpretation and artistry.”

“Players will explore diverse environments ranging from a sun-dappled, oasis-like atoll down through the gauzy blue ‘twilight’ zone where only the faintest amount of light reaches to the midnight of the abyssal zone, where rarely seen creatures produce their own light in an environment otherwise devoid of light.” Michael Angst, CEO, E-Line Media, Creative Director for Beyond Blue.

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Episode 342 Top Gear


Exoskeleton helps man walk again!


Technology is amazing. A paralysed man has been able to move all of his limbs for the very first time in 4 years. All thanks to a mind controlled exoskeleton suit French researchers are reporting.

Thibault, 40, said that his first steps felt like “the first man on the moon”. While his movements, are far from perfect, the robo-suit can only be used in the lab. While researchers are saying that this could one day improve patients quality of life.

Thibault had surgery to place two implants on his brain. Which cover part of the brain that control movement. A total of 64 electrodes on each implant read brain activity and beam instructions to a computer nearby. Software on the computer then reads the brainwaves and sends the instructions back to the exoskeleton. The exoskeleton isn’t light, Thibault has to be strapped into the exoskeleton to use it. All he has to do is think “walk” and it will set off a chain of movements in the suit to move his leges forward. He can even control each of the arms too!

Ease of use

Thibault fell from 15M at a nightclub 4years ago, this left him paralysed. He spent the following 2 years after the accident in hopsital. However, in 2017 he took part in an exoskeleton trial with Clinatec and the University of Grenoble.

At first he used the brain implatns to control a virtual character in a computer game. Before moving on to walking in the suit.

“It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. I didn’t walk for two years. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room.

It took a lot longer to learn how to control the arms.

“It was very difficult because it is a combination of multiple muscles and movements. This is the most impressive thing I do with the exoskeleton.”

The exoskeleton

The exoskeleton weighs 65kg and is very sophisticated, however it won’t completely restore function just yet. Yet it displays an advance on similar approaches which allows people to control a single limb with thoughts.

Thibault needs to be strapped in and attached to a ceiling harness. This minimises the risk of him falling over. Therefore while amazing, the device needs a lot of work before can be used outside the lab.

“This is far from autonomous walking,” Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, the president of the Clinatec executive board, told BBC News.

“He does not have the quick and precise movements not to fall, nobody on earth does this.”

Thibault was successful 71% of the time where he needed to use the exoskeleton to move his upper and lower arms and rotate his wrists to touch specific targets.

“We have solved the problem and shown the principle is correct. This is proof we can extend the mobility of patients in an exoskeleton….This is in [the] direction of giving better quality of life.”

Prof Benabid, who developed deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, speaking to the BBC.

What next?

French scientists say they’ll continue to refine the tech, at the moment they’re limited by the amount of data that they can read from the brain. Send to a computer, interpret that data and then send it back to the exoskeleton.

The amount of time they have is very miniscule. They’ve got 350 milliseconds to go from thought, to movement. Otherwise operating the system becomes difficult to control.

The good news is that out of the 64 electrodes available on each implant to the researchers, they’re only using 32. This means that there is a lot of potential to read the brain in much more detail. Using more powerful computers and sophisticated AI to interpret the data from the brain.

While it’s not possible to move fingers with the exoskeleton, they hope to advance it to such a stage they can move and pick up objects. While he has already used the implant to control a wheelchair.


Transhumanism is ways of using exoskeletons to enhance human abilities. This includes military applications.

Professor Benabid told the BBC his thoughts on this:

“We are absolutely not going in the direction of these extreme and stupid applications..

Our job is to repair the injured patients who have lost function.”

The Experts…

Professor Tom Shakespeare from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was very complimentary of the technology. Stating that the study presents a “welcome and exciting advance”.

While also stating that the tech may be a while off before becoming a viable alternative:

“A danger of hype always exists in this field. Cost constraints mean that hi-tech options are never going to be available to most people in the world with spinal cord injury.”

Tom Shakespeare also said that only 15% of people with disabilites have a wheelchair or other assistive devices.

Details of the exoskeleton have been published in The Lancet Neurology journal.






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Teletext dies – Again.

Teletext died a long while ago, it was the BBC’s Ceefax service and got nixed way back in 2012. It was at the same time as analogue tv got switched off. The BBC continued a similar service through the ‘red button’ it was a news service that brought you more information than what was displayed on screen. Most recently it has been used to show other feeds of matches at Wimbledon or provide alternate commentary.

However it will kill off the “Red Button” news service from next year.

“It’s always a difficult decision to reduce services, and we don’t take decisions like this lightly, but we have taken it because we have to balance the resources needed to maintain and develop this service with the need to update our systems to give people even better internet-based services.” BBC spokesperson

(Gizmodo  / Guardian)

Do you remember Teletext. Did you use Teletext?

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Episode 164 Mastermind

Facebook Live Audio!?

As like most social media platforms in 2016 Facebook put a lot of time and effort into “LIVE” broadcasting. As of now the social media platform is launching LIVE AUDIO for a select few publishes and content creators with plans to open up the feature to a wider audience in 2017.

The audio only service could bring podcasts into peoples news feeds just like live video does for video. This could potentially help those in areas where broadband and internet speeds is incredibly poor or to those that require less heavy data efficient media.

Facebook sees LIVE AUDIO for other uses such as semi professional stage for events like book readings and interviews coupled with the services comments section this could create incredible amounts of creative content. As of yet the audio only live service is only open to the BBC World Service, Talk Radio’s LBC (Leading Britains Conversation) Book Publisher Harper Collins and authors Adam Grant and Britt Bennett.

Android users can keep listening to a LIVE AUDIO broadcast whilst doing other things though iOS users have to stay within the Facebook App.

To listen to the guys chatting about this please click here!

Episode 119 How Edith Bowman Kills Time

The Grand Tour

The wait is over.

The three musketeers of the motoring world are back and in a big big way! It feels like a lifetime since we have seen Clarkson, Hammond and May on our screens, since their dramatic departure from the BBC 18 Months ago (By sheer luck Clarkson hasn’t technically been fired from the BBC, which is made note of in the 10min introduction to the show) by boy was it worth it!

The show starts off with Clarkson leaving an office building in London in dark gloomy rain and handing a security guard an ID badge (metaphor for the BBC?) with radio clippings of a person leaving a show layered underneath. We are then presented with Clarkson getting a plane and traveling over to a colourful and vibrant LA and it is here where Clarkson looks happier and free from the doom and gloom, a metaphor for the shackles of the BBC? The Grand Tour is on the internet and you can get away with a lot more on the internet and his controversial phrases won’t harm his employers as evidently as he would if he was still on the BBC.  Again this is made note of within the first 10mins and he makes a joke about tents and gypsies.

Small jabs to the BBC and Top Gear are found throughout the show, such as The American, Conversation Corner and ‘Your Name Here Corner’ one can only assume that ‘Your Name Here Corner’ is a nod to ‘Gambon’ on the Top Gear’s track. But besides all of the sly digs toward their former employers the show is essentially Top Gear but with a lot more money thrown at it $13.3M approximately per episode ($160M for 12 Episodes) and it is shown throughout the show just where that money is going. Just in the first 10 minutes alone the hordes of cars driving through the desert would have cost a lot of money

If you liked Top Gear with the three friends mucking around, you’ll love The Grand Tour It is essentially their old show in a fancy new packaging. If you didn’t like them before you probably won’t like them now. If you’re a new customer to The Grand Tour and Clarkson, Hammond and May, they’re like marmite and the show isn’t as much a motoring show but more of an entertainment show. So don’t expect to see intricate reviews of cars, but more of three guys having fun with cars. From what I have seen we’re in for a ride over the next 12 weeks and I cannot wait.

To watch The Grand Tour click here!

To listen to the guys talking about The Grand Tour please click here!