Jan. 4, 2023

S26E02 - Where Did the First Quasars Come From? // Why the Southern Hemisphere is Stormier than the North // LeoLabs New Radar Station

S26E02 - Where Did the First Quasars Come From? // Why the Southern Hemisphere is Stormier than the North // LeoLabs New Radar Station

SpaceTime Series 26 Episode 2 *Where did the first quasars come from? New computer simulations reported in the current issue of Australian sky and Telescope Magazine suggest the universe’s first quasars probably originated from supermassive black...

SpaceTime Series 26 Episode 2 *Where did the first quasars come from? New computer simulations reported in the current issue of Australian sky and Telescope Magazine suggest the universe’s first quasars probably originated from supermassive black holes formed from the collapse of massive clouds of gas. *Why the Southern Hemisphere is stormier than the North For centuries, sailors who had been all over the world knew that the most fearsome storms of all lay in wait in the Southern Hemisphere – now we finally know why. *LeoLabs new Western Australian radar station Silicon Valley based orbital radar mapping start up LeoLabs has completed construction of their sixth and newest space radar facility near Collie in southern Western Australia. *The Science Report The right food could play a major role in stopping the growth of some cancers. Illicit drug use is higher among Australia’s LGBTIQA community than the general population. New computer program can determine whether a video is real or deep fake. Alex on Tech: the biggest tech stories of the past year.

The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.



[0:01] This is Space Time Series 26 Episode 2 for broadcast on the 4th of January 2023. Coming up on Space Time, where did the first quasars come from?
Why the Southern Hemisphere is so much stormier than the North and Leo Lab's new radar station in Western Australia?
All that and more coming up on Space Time.
Welcome to Space Time with Stuart Gary.

[0:28] Music.

[0:45] New computer simulations reported in the current issue of Australian Sky and Telescope magazine magazine suggested the universe's first quasars, probably originated from supermassive black holes formed directly out of the collapse of massive clouds of gas.
Quasars are powerful beams of matter and energy shooting out from a black hole's accretion disk at close to the speed of light.
They're generated by material on the accretion disk heating up through friction and being torn apart at the subatomic level by the black hole's powerful gravitational forces.
The process, releasing massive amounts of energy. While most of this material will eventually be consumed by the black hole, some of it is captured by powerful magnetic fields before reaching the black hole's event horizon.
It's then fired out into space perpendicular to the black hole's secretion disk, forming a bright beam, so powerful it can be seen across on the other side of the universe.
Analysis shows that these quasars can be over 13 billion years old, making them some of the earliest, oldest and most distant objects ever seen. It would take a supermassive black
hole a billion times the mass of our sun to generate that much power. And that raises the question, how can something so big and so powerful have already been in existence so early in the history of the universe?

[2:08] To try and resolve the problem, Daniel Whelan from the University of Portsmouth and colleagues developed new computer simulations of the very early universe, when it was just 100 million years old.
They followed the growth of a small foaming sea of matter being fed by torrents of inflowing gas.
And within the sea, they observed a clump take shape, then another and another.
But the influence of the inflowing gas was preventing the clumps from collapsing into stars, instead allowing them to continue growing until there were tens of thousands of solar masses in size.
Their findings, reported in the journal Nature, suggest that these massive clumps would eventually compress into the first massive stars, living for maybe two billion years before collapsing to form black holes between 30 and 40,000 solar masses each, something unheard of in today's universe.

[3:03] But the intense turbulence seen in this model still prevented some of these clumps from ever forming into stars. Jonathan Alley, the editor of Australian Sky and Telescope magazine,
says some of these massive clouds of gas, these clumps, would have instead collapsed directly into black holes, providing the power needed to drive these first ancient quasars.
For quasars, it's a funny word, Q-U-A-S-A-R, and it stands for quasi-stellar object because when they were first spotted by big professional telescopes, they just looked a bit like stars, right?
But it was soon realized when astronomers worked out what their red shifts are that they couldn't possibly be stars because they're so far away and so far back in time that at those distances, individual stars would be simply invisible.
But these things to be that bright, that far away and that far back in time must be very, very, very bright.

[3:57] What on earth, but what in space could possibly produce that amount of energy in what seemed to be a fairly condensed area, like a small area or small volume back then in the distant reaches of time back towards the Big Bang.
So they called them quasars and they're obviously around in the early universe, couldn't be stars, far too big and bright for that.
But the consensus form was that the only thing known that could produce this kind of energy was black holes.

[4:24] Now, black holes themselves don't give off that kind of energy, but any gas and stuff that's swirling around near them, as it speeds up, it will give off a lot of life. That's what we would be seeing in the form of these quasars.
To get that sort of amount of energy, these black holes would have to be super duper big.
Not the sort of small black holes you get when an individual star goes bang at the end of its life and its core compresses down into a tiny thing.
These would have to be black holes that weigh thousands, at least thousands of times the mass of our sun. So there are big, huge black holes.
So scientists have now done some computer simulations looking at what would have happened to the gas clouds that they think populated the early universe.
And their calculations have shown that clumps would form within these clouds.
But instead of these clumps going on to form individual stars, the clumps sort of joined together and they just kept growing and growing, getting bigger and bigger like topsy.
And when they became big enough, some of these clumps joined up and then their combined mass made them gravitationally collapse into very big black holes. This is what was happening in this computer simulation.
So there all of a sudden you've got big black holes, very big black holes and there would still be remnant gas going around.

[5:30] That gas would be sort of sucked in towards the black holes, start swirling around and the faster the gas goes the more light it gives off. And bingo, you've got a quasar and lots of quasars.
Their calculations show that you would get lots of quasars. And this is really early on in the age of the universe, not long after the Big Bang in sort of space terms.
So this could explain why you would have quasars, which are thought to be powered by big black holes fairly early on.
It would be these big gas clouds forming individual clumps and the clumps just joining together and eventually collapsing from their own gravity and becoming big black holes.
So interesting stuff. You know, with the James Webb Space Telescope up there now, with its view optimized for infrared, which is going to be brilliant for looking back through the age of the universe,
back towards the big bang, we should start to get some really good imagery and data.
Of what was going on there better than we've had so far. So we may be able to confirm or refute this hypothesis from this computer simulation. So again, we're living in a really exciting time.
We've got the technology out there and hats off to the people who make these telescopes, design the things and run the mission because it's just going to answer these questions. So.

[6:42] These scientists have done computer simulations, calculations of what might happen. The telescope out there, James Webb, is going to show us what did happen. For the last 50 years, one of the big debates in astronomy has been which came first the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy or the galaxy.
It sounds like this computer simulation has reached a conclusion. Yeah, yeah.
Well, if it's correct and if it can be verified, then yeah, maybe the black holes were the sort of the seeds or the nucleus that then gathered in material around which then formed this swirling galaxy, these beautiful galaxies that we see.
So as I say, the James Webb Space Telescope is going to be able to show us these at least in some detail so we'll be able to verify this particular idea or any of the other ideas that have been proposed over the years.
So it's an exciting time. Bill, we just had the announcement of the discovery of glass Z12 which is possibly the earliest fully formed galaxy ever seen just 300 million years after the Big Bang which means the stars would have started forming just 100 million years after the Big Bang which means the cosmic dark ages were really short.
He lasted 100 million years before the epoch of realisation.
Yeah, so evidence is sort of accumulating, you might say, that things got going really quickly in the early part of the universe. And this is the great thing about science is that, you know, we had, for all these years, we've had a certain amount of data, we've had certain observations and we couldn't get anything better.
So people have had to form hypotheses based on that.

[8:10] You know, we get more data, we get more observations.

[8:13] Bigger and better telescopes to show us more clearly what exactly was happening. And that way you can sort of drop off the hypotheses that don't match it.
And the hypotheses that do match, well, one of them may end up being right. It's a sort of a, that's the process of scientific discovery. That's Jonathan Alley, the editor of Australian Sky and Telescope magazine.
And this is Space Time.
Still to come. Why the southern hemisphere is so much stormier than the north and Leo Labs knew with the Australian radar station, a sort of traffic control centre for satellites.
All that and more still to come on Space Time.

[8:49] Music.

[9:04] For centuries, sailors who have been all over the world knew that the most fearsome storms of all lay in wait in the southern hemisphere.
In fact, one passenger on an 1849 voyage around the tip of South America wrote how the waves ran mountain high and threatened to overwhelm the ship at every roll.
Many years later, scientists pouring over satellite data have now finally put the numbers behind the sailors' stories together, finding that the southern hemisphere is indeed far stormier than the northern hemisphere, by about 24% in fact, but still no one knew why.
Now a new study led by University of Chicago climate scientist Tiffany Shaw lays out the the first concrete explanation for this phenomenon.
Schur and colleagues found two major culprits, ocean circulation and the large mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere.
The studies also found that the storminess asymmetry has actually increased since the beginning of the satellite era in the 1980s.
And they say the increase is quantitatively consistent with climate change forecasts from physics based models.
For a long time, scientists didn't know much about weather in the Southern Hemisphere. That's because most of the ways they observed weather was land-based,
and the Southern Hemisphere has an awful lot more ocean than the Northern Hemisphere, and consequently far less land. But with the advent of satellite-based global observing in the 1980s, scientists could finally quantify how extreme the difference was.

[10:34] It turns out the Southern Hemisphere has a far stronger jet stream and more intense weather events. Lots of ideas have been circulated about why, but no one's actually established
a definitive explanation for this asymmetry. The study's authors brought together multiple lines of evidence from observations, theory and physics-based simulations of Earth's climate,
and they developed new climate models to test various hypotheses. They then began removing different variables one at a time and codified each one's impact on storminess. The first of Most of the variables they tested was topography.
After all, large mountain ranges disrupt airflow in a way that reduces storms. And there are far more mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere.
Indeed, when they flattened every mountain on Earth in their simulations, about half the difference in storminess between the two hemispheres disappeared.
But the other variable had to do with ocean circulation. Water moves around the globe like a really slow but very powerful conveyor belt.
It sinks in the Arctic, travels along the bottom of the ocean, rises near Antarctica and then flows up near the surface carrying energy from the Sun with it.
And this creates an energy difference between the two hemispheres.
When scientists tried to eliminate this conveyor belt, they saw the other half of the storminess suddenly disappear.

[11:55] Having answered the fundamental question regarding why the Southern Hemisphere is stormier than the Northern Hemisphere, the authors moved on to examine how storminess has changed since scientists have been able to track it.
They found that looking over the past decades of observations, the storminess asymmetry has increased during the satellite era beginning the 1980s.
That is, the Southern Hemisphere is getting even more stormy, while any change on the average in the Northern Hemisphere has been fairly negligible.
They found the southern hemisphere's storminess changes were connected to changes in the ocean.
There was a similar ocean influence occurring in the northern hemisphere, but its effect was being cancelled by the absorption of sunlight in the northern hemisphere
due to the loss of sea ice and snow. The authors found that models used to forecast climate change as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment report were showing the same signals, increasing storminess in the southern hemisphere but negligible changes in the northern,
which serves as an important independent check on the accuracy of these models.
This is climate change. And this is space-time. Still to come.
Leo Lab's new Western Australian Radar Station, and later in the Science Report, a new computer program designed to determine whether a video is real or deep fake.
All that and more still to come on Space Time.

[13:18] Music.

[13:33] Silicon Valley-based orbital radar mapping startup LeoLabs has completed construction of their sixth and newest space radar facility near Colley in southern Western Australia.
The LeoLabs network is used to monitor low Earth orbit, a region of space which has become increasingly crowded in recent years.
The company's new facility, named WAZA, the Western Australian Space Radar, will go online in the next few weeks, operating as LeoLab's ninth and tenth space radars.
Construction of the new radar facilities only began last April, and they'll form an important part of LeoLab's integrated global network.
The new Waza facilities follow the recent addition in August of another new site in the Azores.
The new Kohli facility will join LeoLab's Kiwi Space Radar Complex on New Zealand's South Island to undertake a significant portion of the Southern Hemisphere's space surveillance
Combining data from the two facilities will allow far more accurate tracking of spacecraft and debris in low-Earth orbit, acting as a sort of satellite air traffic control center.
So the industry is going through an inflection point that you rarely see.
Three years ago, there were 800 satellites operating in LEO.
Now there are close to 4,000 satellites operating there, and in the next few years it'll be close to 50,000 satellites. So the traffic's ramping up dramatically.

[14:57] Launches are more frequent and there's a underpinning of lack of regulatory rules. It's still sort of the wild, wild west out there.

[15:04] So what that means is as companies are launching all these new satellites, they need infrastructure and services to ensure that their businesses are safe, their satellites are safe and they're operating effectively and responsibly.

[15:15] The problem that LeoLabs is solving is tracking and knowing where everything is in space that's orbiting the earth so that we.

[15:24] Allow greater use of space, greater profits to be had in space by the various companies moving into space, and greater security in space.

[15:34] Leo Labs is the only company that's pursuing the end-to-end solution. We start by generating the data by running this worldwide network of radars located in the northern and the southern hemisphere.
We then run many layers of software, so digital signal processing, orbit determination, conjunction, alerting, and a whole set of AI ML tools, and that generates real-time information.

[16:04] We have built and we operate a modern space infrastructure stack that consists of phased array radars on the ground, looking up into space, tracking thousands of objects in low-Earth orbit every hour. So that includes live satellites that are maneuvering,
dead satellites that have been up there for decades, old tumbling rocket bodies that have been around for a long time, and thousands of pieces of space junk.
Getting hit by something is still really bad.
Something, you know, as small as two centimeters across.

[16:32] Because remember that those objects can be moving relative to you up to 14-15 kilometers per second. So that's in the range of 30-35,000 miles per hour.

[16:45] So even getting hit by something as small as two centimeters across will totally ruin your day.

[16:51] And perhaps the day of your business or the year of your business. If you have a primary object and a secondary object that are on risk of collision, we are running algorithms that would tell us where they might meet in space and at what time.

[17:04] And so with that we create reports that we can then tell the customers, hey, here's what's happening.

[17:09] Can actually take action to avoid, of course, a space collision or something like that happening. We're layering on top of that decades of experience in the space industry to be able to not only bring,
the community the best content through these radar measurements, but the best context.

[17:28] Perspective of what does this data really mean for the immediate space safety, but also long-term space sustainability. We have teams located around the world. We have a team in the U.S.,
We have a team in Australia and a team in Japan and every single day they are handing off operations between time zones so that we maintain a continuous watch over space.
Essentially you can think of it as like a living map of space. The trajectories and coordinates of all the objects up there, the satellites, the debris, updating continuously every second throughout the day. LeoLab serves 60% of all the active satellites in low-earth orbit.
We're putting out over 400 million conjunction data messages every single month, and we've supported the launch of over half of all the active satellites in LEO, locating those satellites within hours after they reach orbit to help the operators move them safely into full operations.
LEO's going through a once-in-a-generation transformation.
It used to be all about exploration and militaries.
This new space race is all commercial. Commercial innovation is driving the large numbers of satellites, it's driving the new human space flight, and it's connecting space back down to the ground in a way that's never been seen before.

[18:45] We are rapidly expanding our radar network. So we have radars located in the U.S., in Alaska, and Texas, a radar site in New Zealand, in Costa Rica, in the Azores, as well as West Australia and another undisclosed location.

[18:59] Over the next few years, we plan a quite enlarged number of new radars that will give us worldwide coverage of areas above the Earth, which is Missington.

[19:08] Among the other things that we've done that are really notable are that we've improved the sensitivity of our radar so that we can track smaller and smaller objects. Objects smaller than anybody else in the world is tracking.

[19:18] And we've built the systems that allow that data to be served up to customers so that they can be protected from these smaller objects, which are out there, but which nobody else is tracking.

[19:31] Flown in space, I know that the greatest danger to astronauts in space in the long term is space debris. And we're the only company, the only organization, that's actively working to reduce,
that risk in a meaningful manner. And that's because we're working to build a tracking network,
that will protect the astronauts from objects which are too small to be tracked by other networks.

[19:55] As we build out our global network and we mature our discovery of small, lethal, non-trackable debris, what we're really going to be able to do is provide services that will enable better design,
better manufacture, better deployment, better operations, and more reasonable retirement process so that the whole life cycle will really bring much more benefit to the industry.

[20:18] Than just keeping you safe for that one conjunction event.

[20:22] When you see the ultimate outcome, which is, you know, we're actually helping keep space safe, that is a reward that it's just hard to describe. It feels good.

[20:35] To work here and it feels good to work with a team that connects well with each other because I feel like teamwork is what makes it a success and I think that's a very strength of LeoLabs.

[20:46] Music.

[21:05] This is Space Time. And time now to take another brief look at some of the other stories making news in science this week with a science report.

[21:12] New research has found that food may play a major role in stopping the growth of some types of cancers.
A study reported in the journal Cancer Discovery suggests that a low-fat diet could be key to stopping cancer growth.
The authors showed that cancers with IDH1G mutations can't grow without lipids, a group of naturally occurring molecules, namely fats, contained in various foods such as butter an ice cream.

[21:39] A new study has confirmed that illicit drug use is higher among Australia's LGBTIQ-plus community than the general population.
The findings reported in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Review are based on the survey of some 6,000 young people in the gay community.
The authors found that 1 in 4 LGBTIQ-plus people aged 14 to 17 reported drug use.

[22:04] And at 2 in 5, the numbers are even higher for those aged 18 to 21. 28.3% reported using cannabis, while MDMA was the second most popular drug at 7.1%.
The researchers say that cisgender men and those who had experienced recent homelessness or sexual harassment were more likely to report illicit drug use.

[22:27] As we've all seen online, artificial intelligence is now able to create incredibly convincing deepfake videos. And these videos are being used to fool people into thinking that politicians or celebrities are saying or doing things that they simply haven't said or done.
To help people sort out this misinformation from the truth, researchers have now created a computational model that can be trained using video footage to recognise an individual's very distinctive facial, gestural and vocal mannerisms.
A report in the journal PNAS says researchers tested their model on deepfake videos of Ukraine in President Zelensky finding a 99.9% accuracy rate.

[23:09] 2022 was a massive year in technology, not just for the technological advances that happened, but also because of the real world events which were interplaying with it.
Technology in 2022 was rocked by Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter and his subsequent exposure of how the White House and the FBI manipulated and censored free speech to bury and hide the truth for political gain.
The evidence has also shown how corrupt journalism has spread like a cancer through legacy media from once trusted names in news.
Despite their denials, the Twitter files have proven beyond any doubt that these are no longer trusted institutions for sources of news and information, but instead they've become instruments for churning out fake news in support of politically biased viewpoints.
There's the multi-billion dollar black hole created by Sam Bankman-Freed and his cryptocurrency trading exchange FTX, which will now play out through the courts. 2022 was also the year that
artificial intelligence bots began seriously fooling their creators into thinking they may have achieved consciousness and become sentient. But the year 2022 ended the same way it began,
with China and Covid.

[24:22] With the details, we're joined by technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reit from ITY.com. Well, one of the big ones, of course, was COVID still causing problems, especially in China,
with factory shutdowns and Foxconn being shut down because of COVID, people trying to leave.
And now that the Chinese government has ended the COVID lockdowns, there's reports of tens of millions of infections a day, which could see further factory shutdowns and logistics
problems into 2023. We don't know quite if that's going to happen yet. All these infections might end up being quite mild or there is talk of some of those Omicron style mutations getting worse.
We don't know yet. But at the moment, COVID still is causing us problems. And most of our tech comes from China. And that's where we're seeing the mother of all COVID waves. Yeah, it's something like 230 million infections in this month alone. That's got to affect all of the different, not not just retail stores, but all the different...
Everything. It affects everything about it.
That's right. Because China is so vital to the world's economy.

[25:20] And of course, it's not just what's happening in China that's affecting the world's economy. We can also look at the current situation in Ukraine with the Russian invasion of that country.
Yes, the loss of the Russian market to Western companies couldn't be doing anything good for their stock prices. You can't have McDonald's pulled out, the tech companies are pulled out, the car manufacturers, Hollywood can't air their movies there, at least not legally.
But that of course, pals into insignificance when you consider all of the lives that are being lost in Ukraine. And one of the things that Ukraine produces is neon gas that's used in chip production and that couldn't have helped the chip shortages we had this year.
They will be alleviated somewhat in 2025 with Samsung, TSMC, Intel and others open their plants in the States.

[26:03] But yeah, the Russian-Ukraine wars caused issues for tech companies globally as well. And of course, 2022 was the year of the hack.
Now, if you think about it, actually almost every year has been a year of attacks. We did have attacks from anonymous and we had all sorts of websites in the past leaking, that this year really came to a head.

[26:20] Tens of millions of accounts leaked from Optus users, from Medibank private users, which is a health fund in Australia.
We also had a supplier to the Department of Defense and a supplier to Telstra. And now we hear of Twitter as well having leaks.
Yes, 400 million accounts, although reports are saying that that was something that happened before Elon Musk's time.
But even so, 400 million accounts, it just brings into sharp focus that you must not use the same password across multiple sites.
I mean, there are people who still do that and that's crazy. You must use some sort of password manager, even if it's the one built into your browser or the one built into your iPhone or the one that's Android.
You should use something. You should not rely upon your memory because it'll fail you. And also they used to say, don't have a little black book.
Well, now do have a little black book.

[27:06] Write these passwords out if you wish to have a central location for them that isn't shared to the cloud.
And of course you don't. Yeah. And you don't have to share your passwords to the cloud with something like one password. If you don't want to, you can elect to not have it in the cloud.
We have to be very careful with passwords. And now that we have our phones that can act as second factors of authentication directly through Safari and through Chrome on various sites, we should be getting towards a zero trust passwordless society that should make some of these hack attacks a thing of the past.
But the bad guys are always thinking of ways of getting into computer systems and definitely 100% true as we go into 2023 that it is no longer a case of if you'll get hacked, but when.
In the year unveiled his latest version of the humanoid robot. Still not 100% there, but what do you think about it all? Well, I've been a big fan of the Asimov robot series of stories. And yes, we're far away from the humanoid Android that is indistinguishable from a human being. But we have seen some great strides. Now,
interestingly, this year, earlier this year in 2022, was the year that Honda.

[28:08] Retired its Asimov robot, which looked like a sort of a little boy in a spacesuit. It was kind of a spacesuit.
Encased robot. It didn't really do much. It was more for product demos to show off how cool Honda was. I guess they were a little bit before their time in a sense. One robot door
closes, but Elon Musk's door opens. A humanoid robot is a bit more useful in theory than some of those roving dog robots that we saw from Boston Dynamics and some of the larger robots that seem
to be more menacing than helpful. The one from Elon Musk looks a bit like those robots from the the iRobot. So look we're still a long way away from having proper humanoid androids helping us in our lives but the developments we've seen this year bode well for the future. How far are we from Westworld? Probably still decades.
There are robots out there or mechanical faces basically with servos and this and that that,
have sort of skin on them and they can pull different faces to show different emotions. But really, they're just sort of dressed up toys, dressed up dolls. They're
very primitive compared to where it's going to be in the future. So I think we're still decades away from having any kind of real robot. But given the life-size dolls that
are out there and the work that's supposedly being done in nanotechnology, there'll be a – just like we've seen a breakthrough this year with AI, which is future brains of a robot, I'm going to see more and more advances in the mechanics and the servo motors and the realistic skin and all the rest.

[29:34] And hopefully it happens towards the end of this century. For me, one of the biggest stories of the past year has been the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

[29:45] It's really coming into its own now with Dali too, which we spoke about the other week.
Also some of these chat bots are getting harder and harder to tell apart from real people. Yes, I mean the authority and confidence with which they give their answers.
According to the reports I've read, The current chat GPT is using a thing called GPT 3.5, which has billions of pieces of information. There'll be a GPT 4.0 in 2023, which is supposed to have trillions of pieces of information.
And you can ask almost any question and get a pretty authoritative answer.
Occasionally, that can backfire because you can be given the wrong information with great confidence.
This would have to make people like Google afraid. Why would you need to have a whole bunch of links to sites that people have put up when you can have an AI bot that's giving you pretty good answers all the time?
Now, I have seen it reported in The Verge that you should treat at the moment, chat GPT more as a toy rather than a tool.
Clearly, it's only going to get smarter and better and then have to learn to live with this. It's a little bit like when kids could suddenly use calculators. your chatbot can create code for you, can write PhD thesis, give you answers about all sorts of things.

[30:51] Now, this brings into question the way that we have our current education system. So we've got to make sure that we become smarter from this and not dumber because we don't want to be living in an idiocracy, which of course is from that famous movie, but which some people think we're living in right now.
Certainly as the year drew to a close, the whole idea of cryptocurrency and FTX and of course Sam Bachman Fried has come to the floor.
What's your take on all this? Bitcoin is the one true cryptocurrency that is limited in nature. Every couple of years, the amount of energy and computational difficulties required to mine more coins,
doubles and it is truly limited. But a lot of the altcoins, the alternative coins that have come out, they're effectively little more than Ponzi schemes or penny stocks.
What Australians call pyramid schemes. Yeah, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes. Sam McManfrey was describing one time this box that hundreds of millions of dollars went into, people were putting money into this box, they were assigning value to this box and sort of finished off by saying that, you know, the box then goes to infinity and everybody makes money and the person interviewing him,
was sort of aghast and he said, well, he just described upon this game and he tried to backtrack and said, oh, well, you know, I was just sort of giving you the high level overview.

[31:58] But effectively, it's not possible for a box no matter how much money is put into it for it to go to infinity and for everybody to make money because that's just not the way the world works or the way the financial system works.
I mean, certainly if the amount of money does go to infinity, then you have the problem of inflation where the money is inflated away into valuelessness. So, it has no value.
Yeah, as I think it was Warren Buffett said, or it's a famous edict that when the tide is in, everything's fine, but when the tide goes out, you get to see who's wearing without their swimmers on.
It's time to make my trade.

[32:28] Wasn't wearing his swimmers. That's a horrible thought. Yes, yes. Okay, look, for me the big story of the year has got to be Elon Musk, his taker of Twitter and the release of the Twitter files and what that's exposed about the FBI and the American secret intelligence organizations,
and how they've been manipulating what was meant to be the public square. Yeah, and also how this is most likely has been happening and continues to happen with Google and Facebook and you know what's happening with our WhatsApp messages, all this stuff about, oh, it's encrypted and we can't,
tell and we don't tell the government. I mean, those are the things that Apple has been saying, but I don't know how many of those things Facebook's been saying or Twitter in the past.

[33:08] But yeah, it's been exposed. And you know, you think you live in a free society in a free world, but clearly we don't. I mean, it seems sometimes between the East and the West is that the West is
the West of better lives. It's so hard to fathom. And then you find out that the chief financial officer at Twitter was an ex-FBI agent and he had 87 of his mates working there with him at Twitter and they were just manipulating the entire thing.
They were actually campaigning on the taxpayer dime for one particular party. That's just so wrong.
Well, it's also fascinating to see that the mainstream media has not covered the Twitter files.
The Twitter files have been covered on Twitter and I guess it's been uncovered on alternative news sites, but if you're looking for it in the main media, it's just not there.
And you've got to wonder how much of the main media is also in bed with one or other sides of politics.
There needs to be some sort of great reckoning because otherwise we're going to end up in a George Orwell style 1984 world where we just have adherence to the party.
Yeah, 1984 was meant to be a warning, not a guide. Not an instruction manual, that's right. It's Alex Zaharov- Reutt from ITWIRE.com.

[34:11] Music.

[34:26] And that's the show for now. Spacetime is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Apple Podcasts, iTunes,
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[35:54] And space time is brought to you in collaboration with Australian Sky and Telescope magazine, your window on the universe. You've been listening to space time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com.

Alex Zaharov-ReuttProfile Photo

Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows.