William Shatner, Karl Urban, Jeri Ryan and  STAR TREK: TNG Crew to Headline Destination Star Trek 3
Jun02

William Shatner, Karl Urban, Jeri Ryan and STAR TREK: TNG Crew to Headline Destination Star Trek 3

Nicholas Meyer, Bruce Greenwood and Nichelle Nichols also set for The World’s Biggest Star Trek Event Destination Star Trek 3 returns 3rd-5th October 2014 to what organisers say will be an event that surpasses the record-breaking achievements of the inaugural event. This year’s event, located at ExCel in the heart of London’s Docklands, will bring together actors, producers, directors and contributors from a range of Star Trek films and television series. Tickets for Destination Star Trek 3 are now available at www.DestinationStarTrek.com. Topping the bill alongside William Shatner will be Karl Urban and Bruce Greenwood who both star in the recently reloaded Star Trek film series. Shatner, Urban and Greenwood will be appearing on stage and available for photograph and autograph opportunities throughout the weekend with their fans. The event will also host a special Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion moderated by William Shatner and fans will also get the chance to be photographed on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge with stars including Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden. Another exciting talk will take place when Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy beams into the ExCel center via a live video link for an exclusive talk with the fans! This is an event not to be missed by any Star Trek fan new or old! Listening to the requests of fans, the organisers have secured some of the leading women of Star Trek to appear at the event, including Jeri Ryan, Nichelle Nichols, Denise Crosby and Alice Krige who join the aforementioned Sirtis and McFadden. Beaming in from around the globe, fans will get the chance to sit in dozens of free to enter talks from the actors, producers, writers, story boarding artists, make-up artists and visual effects artists who have all contributed to the nearly 50-year-old franchise. In our Klingon zone, Eurotalk will be bringing the language of Klingon to the masses at the event with their Learn Klingon CD-ROM. There will be an exclusive preview of the brand new strategy role playing video game Star Trek Timelines. The game allows players to build their ultimate starship and crew, whilst exploring the vast multiverse along with favourite characters from across all Star Trek eras. When the bridge powers down for the day, the excitement doesn’t end there. For those lucky enough to get a ticket, two themed parties have been planned for Friday and Saturday night. Performances will include James Darren, who plays the ever popular hologram Vic Fontaine, a Las Vegas lounge singer in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Tim Russ playing his own set; and the Enterprise Blues Band made up of Casey Biggs, Vaughn Armstrong and Steve Rankin. The DST team have also been busy searching high and low for rare and unique Star...

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Could Skype be the Universal Translator?
May31

Could Skype be the Universal Translator?

Microsoft has unveiled a new feature for Skype that’s almost straight out of Star Trek’s science fiction world — an app that translates conversations between speakers of different languages in real time. “It’s going to make sure you can communicate to anybody without language barriers,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella while introducing the new feature at the Code Conference in San Francisco. “In fact, it’s the most human of things.” The feature will be available as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of this year, Microsoft’s Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice-president of Skype and Lync, wrote on the Microsoft Official Blog. At the conference, Pall showed off the new feature during a Skype video call. He spoke to Microsoft colleague Diane Heinrichs in slightly Indian-accented English, and she responded in German. After each of Pall’s sentences, he paused, and a computerized male voice repeated the sentence in German as written subtitles appeared on the screen. A computerized female voice repeated each of Heinrich’s sentences in English. Mostly, the translation seemed to go well, except for a small glitch as the system translated the second reason Heinrichs was coming to the U.S.:  “I take the opportunity to see her fiancé my.” That drew some laughs from the audience. “As you saw from my conversation with Diana, it is early days for this technology, but the Star Trek vision for a Universal Translator isn’t a galaxy away, and its potential is every bit as exciting as those Star Trek examples,” Pall wrote in a post on the Official Microsoft Blog. “Skype Translator opens up so many possibilities to make meaningful connections in ways you never could before in education, diplomacy, multilingual families and in business.” Nadella said Microsoft’s Machine Translation group has been working on the problem since the group was formed 15 years ago. Their work combines speech recognition, machine translation and speech synthesis. Nadella said the team noticed that each time the system learns a new language, it gets better at the language it already knows. “Quite frankly, none of us know exactly why,” he said. “It’s...

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Scientists at Dundee University have created a working “tractor beam”
May31

Scientists at Dundee University have created a working “tractor beam”

Something to make Mr Scott proud, physicists at the university used an ultrasound array to exert force on an object and pull it towards the energy source. They say it is the first time such a beam has been used to move anything bigger than microscopic targets. The technology could be put to use in medicine, helping to develop ultrasound-based clinical techniques. Dundee researchers worked alongside colleagues in Southampton and Illinois on the project, the results of which have been published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters. In another sci-fi inspired project, the same team from the university’s Institute for Medical Science and Technology (Imsat) created a Doctor Who-style “sonic screwdriver”, also using ultrasound. “This is the first time anyone has demonstrated a working acoustic tractor beam and the first time such a beam has been used to move anything bigger than microscopic targets,” said Dr Christine Demore of Imsat. “We were able to show that you could exert sufficient force on an object around one centimetre in size to hold or move it, by directing twin beams of energy from the ultrasound array towards the back of the object.” The team used an ultrasound device that is already clinically approved for use in MRI-guided surgery. The team’s work was carried out as part of a £3.6m programme initiated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, combining expertise at four UK universities in Bristol, Dundee, Glasgow and Southampton with industrial firms. Professor Sandy Cochran, of the University of Dundee, said: “Our partnership with industry has been vital to developing devices and capabilities that are delivering unprecedented sophistication in the field of...

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Tricorder competition
May24

Tricorder competition

Almost 50 years ago, TV viewers were introduced to a nifty little sci-fi gadget on the series Star Trek that could read a patient’s vital signs and diagnose diseases with a mere swipe above the surface of the body. Now a Canadian company and 20 other teams from around the world are vying for a $10-million XPrize by trying to replicate Dr. McCoy’s “tricorder” and go where no real-world medical device has gone before. The entry by the Cloud DX team from the Toronto-based medical devices company Biosign is based on an existing product called Pulsewave, a wrist-worn monitor that measures blood pressure, heart rate and pulse rhythm irregularities, as well as divining the wearer’s respiration rate. Readings from the USB-powered wrist monitor appear on a small computer screen. “For the XPrize, however, really the goal is to have something that’s much more mobile, much more powerful,” said chief medical officer Dr. Sonny Kohli. “So we’re using that current platform and evolving it so it’s XPrize ready.” Kohli, who works as a critical care physician at Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital just west of Toronto, said team Cloud DX is also designing a “home-based lab” component for its submission, which would be able to analyze blood, urine and saliva samples. The goal of the tricorder competition, sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation, is to create a lightweight, portable “doctor in the palm of the hand” that would allow consumers to check vital signs and to diagnose a set of 15 disorders, among them Type 2 diabetes, urinary tract infection, high cholesterol and HIV. The device would also take key measurements: blood pressure, heart rate and variability, temperature, respiration and oxygen saturation. “Incorporating these technologies into a hand-held device will ultimately be opening up the opportunity for these devices to be sold directly to consumers,” said Grant Campany, a senior director with the Los Angeles-based XPrize Foundation and lead for the Qualcomm competition. In August, after scrutinizing the 21 teams’ paper-based specifications, the non-profit XPrize Foundation will whittle down a short list of up to 10 competitors, who will then have to submit prototypes for testing by real-life patients. “The winner will be the team whose technology most accurately diagnoses a set of diseases independent of a health-care professional or facility, and that provides the best consumer user experience with their device,” the foundation says on its website. Such an instrument could also be used by medical professionals in developing nations with limited health-care resources, said Kohli. “So a portable, mobile device that partners with your smartphone or tablet and that you can carry with you … it becomes very powerful for remote settings,” said Kohli,...

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All Good Things …
May24

All Good Things …

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale we see events from a possible 25 years in the future. Well that episode aired 20 years ago this week. Yes thats right we are all 20 years older! Twenty years ago, Star Trek: The Next Generation writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga faced the TV writer’s equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru (that’s a no-win scenario, for you non-Trekkers out there): Not only were they tasked with scripting the first TNG movie, 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, but they also had to craft a two-hour series finale that would put a bow on Star Trek: TNG‘s seven-season TV run. And oh yeah, write both scripts at the same time. The result: “All Good Things…,” the immensely satisfying and beloved TNG finale that aired May 23, 1994 — 20 years ago this week. When Yahoo TV reached out to Moore and Braga to speak about the finale, they both seemed surprised to learn it’s been 20 years since it first aired. And shockingly, neither has actually watched the episode in the two decades since. (“Maybe I will for the Blu-ray or something,” Moore laughed.) But both graciously spoke to us at length about their memories of writing and filming the landmark episode, including how they landed the coveted assignment, the comedic subplot that didn’t make it into the final script, and why they think “All Good Things…” turned out so much better than Star Trek: Generations did. “I don’t know how or why, but I’m moving back and forth through time.” Moore and Braga had been working on the Generations film script for a full year when it came time to write the TNG series finale. And they weren’t expecting to get the call. Moore: “It was actually kind of a surprise. There was an assumption for the whole writing staff that [executive producer] Michael Piller was going to write the finale. He was the showrunner, so we kind of assumed he would reserve that for himself. But he was busy with Deep Space [Nine], and at one point, he just said, ‘No, Ron and Brannon, I want you guys to write it.’ We were surprised, and honored.” Braga: “I don’t even know why we were necessarily asked to write the finale, given that we were writing the movie at the same time. All I can say is we were much younger. It’s hard to imagine doing that again. But we were very much into it, and we loved the show, and ironically, the finale turned out better than the movie, so… but it was hard to do. We were both working around the clock.” Once they got the assignment, Moore and Braga huddled with the TNG writing staff to hammer out a concept for...

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Star Trek House is for sale for $US35 Million
May14

Star Trek House is for sale for $US35 Million

Marc Bell, a financier, producer, and former CEO of adult networking site FriendFinder Networks, is selling his massive South Florida home. At $US35 million, it’s the most expensive home ever listed in the city of Boca Raton, an affluent enclave north of Miami. The eight-bedroom Mediterranean-style house is obviously beautiful from the outside, but don’t let its stylish facade deceive you — inside, there’s an extensive recreation of the starship Enterprise, along with plenty of other “Star Trek” memorabilia. There’s also a “Call of Duty” room, basketball court, and 2,000-square-foot ballroom-turned-arcade. This mansion has a little bit of something for...

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Museum of Science Fiction
May10

Museum of Science Fiction

In many ways, the internet itself is a massive, indomitable museum and temple of geekdom, however, a plucky filmmaker and sci-fi afficado plans to actually create a real, physical museum to science fiction in Hollywood. Writer, all-round sci-fi expert and possessor of an awesome sounding name, Huston Huddleston, is the mastermind behind this extremely ambitious project. Along with The New Starship Federation and a host of celebrities, he hopes to raise enough cash to create a museum to everything ‘geek’. He’s already raised some starting capital, but he’s also managed to get this hands on something even more impressive – a refurbished, but discarded, Star Trek bridge (Man, would I love to find one of them on the side of the road!). Using this as an impetus, Huddleston hopes to turn to Kickstarter to bring in some more cash. He’s already received initial funding from Paramount, Google, Bentley Systems, Entertainment Earth and even Star Trek actors Brent Spiner and William Shatner, but the $100,000 he’s gathered is simply not enough. This project is going to need millions. Using Kickstarter, Huddleston hopes to gain an additional $83,000, which although only a fraction of the total cost, should be enough to allow him to market his idea to other big fry investors. He hopes to create a temporary concept museum by 2015, which could then even expand into a hotel and convention center by 2018. However, he isn’t boldly going into new frontiers on this own. He also has a crew of experienced sci-fi alumni with him, including original writers behind Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Tron, Firefly and Back To The Future, such as Ronald D. Moore, David Gerrold, Rick Sternbach, Andrew Probert and Timothy Earls. Furthermore, Rhetroactive, the company responsible for building Universal’s Despciable Me attraction and the Grammy Museum, will also be contributing their expertise. Huddleston explained to The Wrap: Every actor I’ve met from ‘Doctor Who’s Billie Piper to ‘Star Trek’s Karl Urban has been completely supportive of our museum and want to take their kids to the opening,” Huddleston said in a press release. “This is something everyone seems to want, from the fans, to the actors, to producers and studios. It’s an educational nonprofit museum that will celebrate the legacy of everyone involved, it’s a win-win for everybody. The museum won’t just cater for Trekkies however, Huddleston has alright lined up an impressive list of potential artifacts, some original and some replicas. The list includes: Star Trek Original Series Enterprise Bridge set Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise-D Bridge Star Wars props and costumes Battlestar Galactica sets, props and costumes Doctor Who TARDIS, props and costumes Firefly Cockpit, props and costumes- Stargate props and costumes Lord of the...

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Destination Star Trek 3
May02

Destination Star Trek 3

If you guessed London you would be right. The third destination Star Trek event is heading back to London. Here is the official press release: Destination Star Trek (DST) is beaming back to the UK for its third event.  The franchise, which has held events in both London (Oct 2012) and Frankfurt (Feb 2014), will return to the Excel Centre in London from October 3-5 for three days. Star Trek fans can immerse themselves in sets, props, talks, screenings and merchandise all exclusive to the DST brand. Destination Star Trek gives fans the chance to mingle with actors and producers, along with other fans from all over the world. “We are thrilled to be able to announce the return of Destination Star Trek to London,  says Media 10 Marketing Director Rob Nathan. “We have some incredible guests, interactive features and exclusive material lined up for the fans at the event.” DST3 will open on Friday, October 3, 2014 with a glittering ‘Opening Ceremony’ and continue through Sunday, October 5, 2014. The event will feature guest talks, autograph opportunities, photo shoots with the stars, plus a first for the UK —  the chance to stand in the TNG Bridge set and  Borg regeneration Chamber.  With parties, fan panels, quizzes and much more, DST3 will ‘make it so.’ The event, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will be hosted in London’s docklands at the Excel Centre.   If you are thinking of going why not head on over to our forums and share what you are excited about...

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Star Wars News
Apr30

Star Wars News

Not technically Star Trek News, but I am sure a lot of you are also interested in the other franchise beginning with Star. Los Angeles (AFP) – The original “Star Wars” movie blasted its way onto screens a long time ago, in a cinema galaxy seemingly far, far away — but Han, Luke and Leia will be back soon. Disney has announced the cast of the film just now entering production under the name “Star Wars: Episode VII”, after months of frenzied speculation among the sci-fi saga’s passionate fans. At 71, Harrison Ford may no longer have space smuggler Han Solo’s roguish good looks and thick head of hair. And 62-year-old co-star Mark Hamill will fill out Luke Skywalker’s flowing Jedi robes a little more thoroughly than he once did. But fans of the saga — many of them disappointed by a series of prequels to the three-decade-old original trilogy — will welcome their return and that of 57-year-old Carrie Fisher’s feisty Princess Leia. Disney, the new owner of pioneering director George Lucas’ record-breaking franchise, has recruited blockbuster director J.J. Abrams to bring these fan favorites back to the screen. His trio of stars may have aged, but he will have access to a much more powerful array of computerized special effects than Lucas had when he launched the series in 1977. And the original cast, including Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as androids C3PO and R2-D2 and Peter Mayhew as the hairy “Wookie” warrior Chewbacca, will be joined by new, mainly younger talent. Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson, plus Hollywood veteran Max von Sydow join the “Star Wars” team. Serkis is well known but not the most recognizable, as his biggest roles have been as the voice and movements behind motion-capture animated characters like the villainous Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Cast members appeared in a photo of a script reading on Tuesday, alongside Abrams and R2-D2, the loyal robot mechanic that has accompanied the heroes through all six movies to date. “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again,” Abrams said. “We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud,” he promised. Abrams is a respected mainstream director who has already won plaudits for reviving a beloved space opera franchise, taking the captain’s chair on the successful 2009 “Star Trek” re-boot. But “Star Wars” is, if anything, an even bigger challenge. The two previous trilogies were released between...

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William Shatner given award by NASA
Apr29

William Shatner given award by NASA

William Shatner never became a real rocket man, but NASA did award the “Star Trek” actor with its Distinguished Public Service medal — the highest award the agency can bestow on non-government personnel — over the weekend. “William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today,” David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for the Office of Communications, said in a statement. “He’s most deserving of this prestigious award.” Shatner’s relationship with NASA dates back to his “Star Trek” days, when references to the space agency were included throughout the series. In recent more years, Shatner narrated a NASA documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle missions… According to the NASA statement, Shatner received the award at his Annual Hollywood Charity Horse show over the weekend. (Apparently, in addition to being a well-known fictional starship captain and Priceline representative, Shatner is also “an accomplished horse rider and breeder....

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