Monthly Archives: June 2015

When movies predicted the future in tech

A Trip to the Moon” was released in 1902 and was one of the first if not the first science fiction movies. In it a group of scientists are shot out of a cannon the size of World War II railway gun “Schwerer Gustav” right into the eye of the moon. The scientists explore the moon and even have an encounter with the moon’s inhabitants. It wasn’t until 1969 that Neal Armstrong would actually step foot on the moon. I’m sure that in 1902 a trip to the moon in the literal sense was an incomprehensible journey. It took 67 years for the movie to become a reality when Armstrong took his first step—and that giant leap for mankind.

Let’s take a look back at what other movie tech was far-fetched for the time but has become a reality today.

Although the 1980’s television series “Knight Rider” only lasted four seasons, KITT—the crime-fighting talking car—has since become a pop culture icon. It’s said that KITT contained a cybernetic processor that was created by the U.S. government but was then used in the iconic Pontiac Trans Am. Comparable to KITT’s capabilities is Apple’s CarPlay, which allows drivers to interact with Siri. Because of cloud computing, the processor can reside in a data center far away and isn’t required in the car. With the introduction of self-driving cars and the great strides that AI has made, look for a real KITT in the near future.

And let’s not forget about the Batmobile! If I had a bank account similar to Bruce Wayne’s (aka Batman), I would definitely fund the research for a few of those cool toys that he relies on, especially the Batmobile. Think of the convenience of having a car pick you up at the airport terminal rather than trying to remember where you parked it in the acres and acres of parking lot. That idea may not be so far-fetched. The Audi A7 is a prototype that is essentially waiting to go through a few legal hurdles before it can be released. Using sensors, cameras and GPS, the car can navigate itself through your daily commute and can even pick you up. Right off the bat you may need a few bucks from your rich Uncle Bruce, but as with all new technology, such a car should be affordable in a few short years.

Although Alderaan—the fictional “Star Wars” planet—wouldn’t be excited for this new advancement in technology, the U.S. Navy has developed a “directed-energy weapon,” otherwise known as LaWS. LaWS is a defense system that the Navy uses to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—otherwise known as drones—and small boats. It’s less expensive and faster than using guns or missile systems and minimizes collateral damage. The system focuses six high-energy lasers on the target—much like the Death Star did in “Star Wars” to blow up Alderaan.

I am Iron Man!!! Or at least I wish I could be. Although Iron Man is a fictional superhero, the U.S. military has been working on a usable, non-clunky, exoskeleton for its soldiers during combat. Tony Stark would be impressed by the recent advancements in exoskeleton technology, which has allowed these exo suits to become a reality, even if only in experimental form. In 2010, defense contractor Raytheon demonstrated XOS 2, which is essentially a robot guided by the human brain. This suit allowed the user to lift two to three times as much weight than what the user could have without the suit. Exo suits can also be used to protect soldiers from shrapnel and bullets. These suits will not only help us feel more super-heroish, they will also allow people with spine injuries or muscle-deteriorating diseases to get around easier.

The future is exciting and the sky is the limit when it comes to advancements in technology. Send us your thoughts on what you would like to see down the road.

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

Mozy is for real, Martians are not

The other day I watched a rerun of the 1960’s sitcom, “My Favorite Martian.” The TV show was about a Martian (who looks like a human) who crashes his spaceship near Los Angeles. He ends up rooming with newspaper reporter Tim O’Hara, who is the only human who knows of this extraterrestrial’s true identity. O’Hara passes off the Martian as his “Uncle Martin” and keeps his identity secret, hoping to avoid a panic that earth has been invaded by Martians. When he’s not trying to avoid a nosey neighbor, Uncle Martin spends his time trying to repair his spaceship.

If you didn’t know that Uncle Martin was a nice guy, you might be afraid. After all, he could raise two retractable antennae from his head and then disappear. Uncle Martin was also telepathic and could levitate things just by moving his finger. And he could freeze people.

A lot has happened since those Uncle Martin days. In 1975, the Viking 1 and Viking 2 probes were launched into space to a 140,000,000 destination: Mars. First the probes orbited the planet for more than a month, sending images back to earth. About a year after their journey began, Viking 1 and Viking 2 touched down on the Mars surface. Mankind had finally put something human-made on the second-smallest planet in our solar system. Uncle Martin might have been jealous that Viking 1 and Viking 2 arrived before he did.

The Viking probes did not encounter Martians, but they did discover geological shapes that seemed to indicate they were formed by water. Information from each Viking was stored in data storage memory, which had a storage capacity of 8,200 words. Data would be transferred daily to a tape recorder, which could store a whopping (in those days) 40 million bits of information.

In mid-2003, two “MERs” blasted off into space. Their mission: to explore the surface and geology of Mars and determine whether life ever existed on the planet. The Mars Exploration Rovers landed on the Red Planet in January the following year. (Tim O’Hara would never have imagined this happening outside of sitcom TV.) Just a few weeks after landing, the MERs—Spirit and Opportunity—discovered that at least some areas of Mars were once water-soaked. In fact, scientists later concluded that Mars may have had lakes or even an ocean. There is much data still to be studied.

All of this talk of Mars and probes got me thinking about Mozy and the Mozy Data Shuttle service. When you need to back up your servers, the Mozy Data Shuttle can do it quickly. No telepathy or levitation required. If you have a server with 100 GB of data or more, the initial upload can seem to take forever, as if it’s 140,000,000 miles away. The Mozy Data Shuttle service provides a super-fast way of getting your data to Mozy’s data centers. Here’s how it works:

You order a Data Shuttle device from Mozy. We’ll overnight it to you (in a really cool box). You do the initial backup to the shuttle device. Put it back in the box and ship it to our data center (note: no propellant required—our shuttle is postage-paid). That’s it! You’ve skipped the initial upload over the wire. Incremental backups can even occur before the shuttle arrives to Mozy, so long as the initial backup to the Data Shuttle is complete. Shuttles are available from 1.8 TB to 7.2 TB.

We may not be able to read your mind, but we can back up your files quickly, without raising antennae.

For more information about Mozy’s space program, visit our Mozy Data Shuttle Service page.