English Chinese (Traditional) French German Italian Japanese Russian Spanish
  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

A Rare Glimpse Into the Eye of Typhoon Dolphin

To remote sensing scientists, peering directly into the eye of a tropical storm is like hitting a hole in one. That’s exactly what NASA’s CloudSat satellite did on May 16th, completing a stunning overpass of Typhoon Dolphin as the category 4 storm churned across the west Pacific.

Image: NASA Earth Observatory

CloudSat, which comprises part of NASA’s Earth-orbiting observatory, sends pulses of microwave energy through our planet’s atmosphere, some of which is reflected back to the spacecraft. Conceptually, CloudSat is similar to another tool we looked at last week, RapidScat, which NASA uses for mapping wind speed and direction. The strength of the signal CloudSat receives is related to the amount of ice or water in a cloud, while the time delay can be used to calculate the distance between the cloud and the Earth’s surface.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 38 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
Space-Saving Furniture for Small Rooms | Digital Trends
Home > Home > Short of space? Make room for transformable…

We have all felt the desire, or need, to manage our living space. Whether that be wanting to open up more livable area in a small room or create an understated sense of compact organization, finding functional, attractive furniture that that doesn’t crowd the room can be tricky. That said, here are five pieces of space-saving furniture that will open up your rooms and allow you to look cool at the same time. The extra functionality may cost a pretty penny, but it’s a small price to way for maximizing your living area and your piece of mind. After all, hidden ironing boards only go so far.

Related: 7 insane pieces of transforming furniture that make Optimus Prime look lame

Collapsible Dining Table

SpanGatelegTableBlackSHS15_16x9

What if you could take one of the largest pieces of furniture in your home, the dining room table, and make it easily movable and collapsible? This table from Span Black does exactly that. It can seat up to four people — six if you squeeze — taking up just shy of 5½ feet of space when open. But once you’ve finished with dinner, the table quickly collapses to a mere 9½ inches, allowing you to easily store it in a closet, behind the couch, or along an adjacent wall. And if you pair it with a nice set of folding chairs, you’ll have yourself an entire dining room set that breaks down in a matter of seconds.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 108 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
Instagram from one Mr. Steele

Instagram's photographic social feed isn't as novel as it once was, and you may be tempted to stop using it if you're overwhelmed by that never-ending stream of square pictures. How is the company supposed to keep you coming back for more? Though regular email blasts, apparently. TechCrunch has confirmed that Instagram is now sending "Highlights," email digests that showcase some of the better photos from those you follow. While this see-what-you're-missing strategy isn't new (Facebook and Twitter have done this for a while), it acknowledges that only some of Instagram's 300 million users are active shutterbugs -- this could help you remember the service and catch photos that would otherwise slip under the radar. Yes, the highlights are ultimately meant to get you viewing more ads, but they may be useful if you'd rather not spend every day wading through an image stream.

Last modified on
Hits: 75 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0

Play

...
Last modified on
Hits: 73 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

Spaces Manages Chrome Windows, Saves Tab Layouts For Later

Chrome: The person who invented browser tabs was obviously a genius, but it left us with the problem of managing multiple open tabs. Spaces makes it easier by allowing you to save and jump between open windows of various tabs.

The extension will show you a list of all the open Chrome windows you have at a time, show you which tabs you have open in each one, and quickly jump between them. Perhaps best of all, you can open a few tabs in a window, give the space a name, and then you can quickly open them later. This is particularly handy when you have a few tabs you need for a given task, but don’t want to keep them open all the time.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 104 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

When law enforcement abuses citizens, some people choose to focus on any aspects of the citizen's behaviour that might have brought on the abuse. One such example happened this week when a woman was tazed by border patrol agents and a commenter accused her of asking for it, prompting JamesF to win most insightful this week with a reversed version of the comment:

Its so easy to just blame the civilian. If the cops would have just acted within the bounds of the law, she wouldn't have been tazed. They were confrontational, aggressive and generally behaved like asses.

Meanwhile, the FBI disappointed everyone this week by accusing the world's cybersecurity experts of being either uninformed or unfair on the subject of encryption, since "their letter contains no acknowledgment that there are societal costs to universal encryption". Ninja won second place for insightful with a thoughtful and sad response:

And pervasive surveillance has zero cost in his mind, it seems. I've seen and talked to people like him. They don't give a fuck about rights and the well-being of others as long as their narrow view of what is right is implemented. I've been in discussions with people that advocate dictatorships are good because people are too ignorant to be left free and allowed to choose things and otherwise live without some totalitarian ruling them. And I don't mean some crazy ass out there, oh no. One of them was in his 25's, about to become a father and is generally a good person. This is scary. He may actually be genuinely 'depressed' even if it's a consequence of his total ignorance of how encryption works. This is scary. And it's even scarier when you think that people have been trying to explain those types about encryption and why a 'golden key' destroys it for a while now and he simply refuses to learn. As I said, he is not alone out there.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start by looping back to the story about border patrol for an anonymous response to the idea that their victim's nervous behaviour was the problem:

...
Last modified on
Hits: 70 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

Posted by on in Slashdot
HughPickens.com writes: ABC News reports that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a list of English-language material recovered during the raid the killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011 including one document dubbed "Instructions to Applicants," that would not be entirely out of place for an entry-level position at any American company – except for questions like the one about the applicant's willingness to blow themselves up. The questionnaire includes basic personal details, family history, marital status, and education level. It asks that applicants "answer the required information accurately and truthfully" and, "Please write clearly and legibly." Questions include: Is the applicant expert in chemistry, communications or any other field? Do they have a family member in the government who would cooperate with al Qaeda? Have they received any military training? Finally, it asks what the would-be jihadist would like to accomplish and, "Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?" For the final question, the application asks would-be killers that if they were to become martyrs, who should al Qaeda contact?

The corporate tone of the application is jarringly amusing, writes Amanda Taub, but it also hints at a larger truth: a terrorist organization like al-Qaeda is a large bureaucratic organization, albeit one in the "business" of mass-murdering innocent people. Jon Sopel, the North American editor from BBC News, joked that the application "looks like it has been written by someone who has spent too long working for Deloitte or Accenture, but bureaucracy exists in every walk of life – so why not on the path to violent jihad?"

Last modified on
Hits: 105 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0

Editorial

Apple frequently introduces new technologies and features in a singular new product, then gradually brings them to other devices in its ecosystem, making for a more coherent user experience. With the recent launch of the Apple Watch, the company has begun offering smarter and more contextually aware locations — something we'd like to see on the rest of the company's platforms.

image

The Apple Watch must be tethered to an iPhone to fully function, and Apple takes full advantage of this with tight integration between the two devices. Perhaps the best example of this comes from notification alerts.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 444 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
Single-Site Wristed Needle Driver da vinci surger

Vintners beware, there’s a new robot out there that can stitch grapes back together! Won’t somebody please think about the wine?

Oh, wait, this is the latest in miniature robotic surgery methods from da Vinci Surgery, and it’s actually fascinating to watch. As you can see in the video below, the claw-like hands are used not just to lay a small piece of grape skin back on the piece of fruit, but to then use sutures to sew it back in place.

While the video shows off what the Single-Site Wristed Needle Driver can do, it also notes that the piece of equipment is pending FDA 510(k) clearance and does not yet have a CE mark. The disclosure at the end of clip states that the Single-Site instruments can be used for hysterectomies and the removal of ovaries and gallbladders.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 58 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

After a late Senate vote after midnight on Friday, the NSA is starting to take moves to shut down its bulk surveillance programs. With the legal foundation of those programs, the Patriot Act, set to expire at the end of the month, lawmakers have been working to agree on which parts of the mass surveillance systems should stay and which should go. The Senate failed to pass a replacement bill, the USA Freedom Act, and another measure proposed by Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) to extend the program as-is also did not pass.

"That process has begun."

In response to the news, officials said that the NSA would have to start taking action to prepare to shut down its bulk surveillance programs, like those that controversially collect "metadata" on millions of phone calls. According to The Los Angeles Times, an official now says that "that process has begun." If Congress can't agree to either limit or renew the Patriot Act, the NSA will have to end its programs that rely on the broad language of that bill, which was originally passed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 348 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

Unprecedented rainfall has led to deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma over the weekend, prompting numerous evacuations and rescues and killing one firefighter.

Heavy rains were pushing into eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma on Sunday morning, after dumping between five and 10 inches across parts of central Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday and Saturday night. The latest downpours pushed Oklahoma City into record territory, with 18.19 inches of rain so far in the month of May.

This not only makes May 2015 the wettest May on record, but also vaults the month to the top of the list of wettest months of all-time. This May handily beat the previous record-holder, which was June of 1989, when 14.66 inches fell — and the month is not over yet.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 121 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

Posted by on in RE/Code
Steve Case helps Walt Mossberg out for an Innovation Nation video.

Re/code

Steve Case helps Walt Mossberg out for an Innovation Nation video.

Last modified on
Hits: 90 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Wired

Video Credit: iRobot

The Internet of Things is plagued by communication breakdowns. While connected thermostats, egg trays, and even forks can beam data to apps and offer phone-based controls, this isn’t exactly what we were promised from this technology.

In order for the Internet of Everything to achieve its real promise of context-aware automation without much user input, disparate pieces of hardware must communicate with one another, understand what’s going on, and control themselves accordingly. Like a sentient being, your home should “know” when to preheat the oven, turn on a bedside lamp, or brew a fresh pot of coffee. If you’re using an app, you’re essentially using a remote control. There’s nothing particularly “smart” about that.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 81 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
image

Editor’s note: Leyla Seka is the SVP and GM of Salesforce Desk.

Over the past few months there’s been a lot of discussion about whether women are positioned for success in Silicon Valley. The debate on empowering women in tech ranges from pay equality to increasing the number of women in the boardroom. Still, it’s encouraging to see many women who are driving their own success and supporting each other. There are a lot of positive things that we can start doing now to help ourselves, our children and each other.

Change your thinking

The chasm between men and women starts in childhood, with the messages that are given to girls. A lot of girls don’t think it’s cool to be smart, and especially not to be good at math. Most teenagers are desperate to fit in. Why else would I have curled my hair and opted for neon tops with Guess jeans?  When I got to college and had to make the choice between learning to code and taking an econ class, I practically ran to econ. Coding was for guys.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 99 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

At any given moment there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the Web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find there’s no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Sprite — Ultraportable canister drone

Sprite

Generally speaking, existing drones just aren’t that portable. You can’t put them in a backpack, and you can’t fold them up.  Sprite wants to change all that. It’s durable, water-resistant, and uses a coaxial rotor design (that’s two rotors stacked one atop the other), making it more compact than competitors. The entire cylindrical aircraft is just 3.8 inches in diameter, 13.2 inches long, and weighs 2.6 pounds.

The basic model Sprite will contain an onboard GPS, programmable autopilot controls, and a gimbal-stabilized HD camera capable of capturing 1080p video and still images (2,304 x 1,536 resolution). For those of you who already own action cams, the drone’s onboard camera can be interchanged for a GoPro or any compatible small camera purchased separately. The basic model doesn’t offer a video-audio transmitter for streaming live first-person video, but the platform is designed so that pilots can integrate their own transmitters if desired.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 270 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
$107.80
End Date: Wednesday May-27-2015 2:02:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $107.80
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
Last modified on
Hits: 84 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0

Ever tried looking at the sun with your bare eyes? Too bright, right? Now imagine looking at something with the brightness of 300 trillion suns. That's how intense "the most luminous galaxy found to date" is, so much so that NASA has created a new classification for it and the 19 other similar galaxies it has discovered: extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs. Scientists have recently spotted the ELIRGs in infrared images of the sky taken by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope in 2010. This particular one is located 12.5 billion light years away, which means it started forming soon after the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago. As for why it's so incredibly brilliant, NASA JPL scientist Chao-Wei Tsai says it "may be from the main growth spurt of the galaxy's black hole."

See, some galaxies have supermassive black holes in the center that actively absorb gas, dust and other matter that form a disc around them. These discs radiate a ton of energy and make the black holes look brighter than stars. Some black holes are a lot more ravenous than others, though, attracting more matter than their less voracious counterparts and, as such, are several degrees more luminous and massive. To wit: the bigger the black hole, the larger the disc and the brighter the whole galaxy.

There are several possible reasons why the black hole in this record breaker is so huge. According to the scientists' paper, it could have just been born big, so it's only natural for it to consume more food than usual. We might also just be seeing a period in its life -- remember, the light WISE spotted was from 12.5 billion light years ago! -- when it was bending the limit of black hole feeding. Finally, it might not be spinning as fast as other black holes, which allows it to go on a sustained binge eating, so to speak. One of the paper's co-authors, Andrew Blain, describes it as "winning a hot-dog-eating contest lasting hundreds of millions of years." You'd have a tough time eating hot dogs while whirling very, very fast, after all.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 85 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading
An anonymous reader writes: Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory have successfully uploaded and applied a software patch to NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars. The patch fixes a focusing problem that cropped up in November when the laser that helps to focus one of its cameras failed. "Without this laser rangefinder, the ChemCam instrument was somewhat blind," said Roger Wiens, ChemCam principal investigator at Los Alamos. "The main laser that creates flashes of plasma when it analyzes rocks and soils up to 25 feet [7.6 meters] from the rover was not affected, but the laser analyses only work when the telescope projecting the laser light to the target is in focus." Before the fix, scientists had to shoot images at nine different focus settings to distill a decent set of data. Now, they say the new software results in better images in a single shot than even before the laser broke down. The program that runs the instrument is only 40 kilobytes in size.
Last modified on
Hits: 120 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0

After Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote, Australian politicians and the public took to social media to express their opinion on the topic — with an overwhelming number calling for a similar change Down Under.

On Twitter, past and present Australian politicians from the traditionally left-leaning parties, including independents, the Australian Greens and the Labor Party, expressed admiration for Ireland and support for marriage equality in Australia.

Outstanding result for marriage equality in Ireland. If we can't break impasse in Oz parliament, perhaps time for referendum of our own. KR

...
Last modified on
Hits: 101 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading

Posted by on in RE/Code

BlackBerry confirmed on Saturday that it plans to cut jobs in the unit responsible for its smartphones as it seeks to make that shrinking business profitable.

The company said it has “made the decision to consolidate (the) device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world.”

BlackBerry did not quantify the number of workers that would be affected.

...
Last modified on
Hits: 85 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
0
Continue reading