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Researchers Retract Academic Paper Because Company Complains The Results Hurt Its Profits | Techdirt.com

Researchers Retract Academic Paper Because Company Complains The Results Hurt Its Profits | Techdirt.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An important aspect of the academic publishing process is the facility to retract papers at a later date if the work turns out to have serious errors or -- in rare cases -- to be fraudulent. For many years, the site Retraction Watch has played an important role in keeping track of when papers are retracted -- and why. But even with that long experience, its writers were surprised by the following case:


It's not unusual for us to hear allegations that journals have caved to corporate demands that they retract papers. And companies have certainly objected to the publication of results that painted their products in an unflattering light.

But what we've never explicitly seen is a retraction notice that comes right out and says that they only reason a paper is being removed from the literature is that a company complained. That's the jaw-dropping case with "Visual defects among consumers of processed cassava (gari)," a paper published earlier this year in the African Journal of Food Sciences


Here's why the retraction was made:


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Nikola Tesla vs Thomas Edison: How The Course Of History Was Changed | YouTube.com

International bankers, auto magnates and government colluded to hijack Nikola Tesla's invention that would have provided the world with free-energy. Today, the consumer is saddled with a system largely reliant on antiquated, expensive, and highly polluting sources of energy.

Adding insult to injury, the downtrodden are now being blamed for the environmental mess the profiteers have caused, and punished with higher taxes and controls. The only benefit will be to those with a vested interest in propagating the global warming/climate change swindle.


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Cornell Tech-funded startup launching bootcamp for data scientists | ComputerWorld.com

Cornell Tech-funded startup launching bootcamp for data scientists | ComputerWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Advanced academic backgrounds in statistics, mathematics, and other science and technology fields usually provide the raw analytical skills required for a data scientist's job.


But even with such skills, some additional prep work is generally needed to handle such a job in private industry. The Data Incubator, a New York-based startup with funding from Cornell Tech, aims to do just that by offering a six-week bootcamp with programs designed to prepare science and engineering PhDs for careers as data scientists and quants.


The program is the brainchild of Michael Li, a former data scientist at Foursquare and a PhD in computational and applied mathematics from Princeton University, who used his experience transitioning from academia to private industry to design the program. The bootcamp will focus on helping academics sharpen their programming, communications and business skills.


Many large companies are literally awash in data and are desperately seeking people with the skills to help them extract business value from it. Therefore, solid academic backgrounds in computational and applied mathematics, statistics and other STEM areas are a hot commodity these days.


Li says job applicants with the unique combination of analytical, programming and communication skills needed to extract business value from massive, often chaotic data sets are hard to come by. People with deep programming skills often lack the analytic acumen for the job, while those with the analytical chops generally don't have the coding skills or industry knowledge, he added.


The six-week Data Incubator program will mentor academics in both the technical and non-technical skills needed to become top data scientists.


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NASA announces winners of space apps competition | GizMag.com

NASA announces winners of space apps competition | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA has announced the five winners of its 2014 International Space Apps Challenge. The contest is an international "hackathon" aimed driving innovation for future space missions and to improve life on Earth. The categories are Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics and Asteroids.


Over 8,000 individuals participated in the challenge at 95 locations around the world from April 11-12. The contest was broken down into 40 challenges across the five categories and submissions included software, hardware, data visualizations, and mobile or Web applications. NASA judges selected a winner in each category, while social media users around the world chose a People’s Choice favorite.


Among the winners was SkyWatch, which solved the "Alert-Alert" challenge and was selected as being the "Best Use of Data." Alert-Alert was one of challenges in the Technology in Space theme and asked participants to create a central place for information and visualizations of sky phenomena. SkyWatch provides a near-real-time visual representation of data collected from observatories around the world, giving users the coordinates of celestial events with their location plotted through Google Sky.


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Space Hackers Prepare to Reboot 35-Year-Old Spacecraft | IEEE Spectrum

Space Hackers Prepare to Reboot 35-Year-Old Spacecraft | IEEE Spectrum | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Early next week, a team of volunteers will use the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to see if they can make contact with a spacecraft that hasn't fired its thrusters since 1987. If all goes well, the effort could bring the 35-year-old spacecraft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), back into position near the Earth, where it could once again study the effect of solar weather on Earth's magnetosphere.


It will be a race against time. ISEE-3, which is transmitting two carrier signals, only came into hearing range a couple of months ago. Dennis Wingo, CEO of California-based Skycorp Incorporated, and his colleagues reckon ISEE-3 still has enough fuel to make it back to its original orbit at the Lagrangian point L1, at a spot between the sun and the Earth where a spacecraft can stay in sync with Earth's orbit. But to make it, Wingo says, the spacecraft must be commanded to fire its thrusters by mid-June. 


And that's far easier said than done. NASA no longer has the hardware to communicate with the ISEE-3. So in April, Wingo and Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee and editor of the websites NASAWatch and SpaceRef, started a (still-running) crowdfunding campaign on RocketHub to develop what they need to communicate and control the spacecraft: signal modulators and demodulators, transmitters, and a software-based mission control console to monitor the spacecraft’s propulsion and attitude control systems. 


Building all of this even 10 years ago "would have been impossible," Wingo says. But with the advance of embedded systems technology, the team can construct radio components in software and debug them on aggressive timescales without breaking the bank.

With no time to wait, the team has already purchased software-defined radio peripherals built by Ettus Research, which can be used to implement modulator and demodulator programs that would once have had to be built in hardware.


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Very Large Telescope solves magnetar mystery | GizMag.com

Very Large Telescope solves magnetar mystery | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Magnetars are extremely dense and highly magnetic neutron stars that can form when a star goes supernova. They are extremely rare, and until now, it has been difficult to determine how and why they form. However, thanks to new data collected by the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, astronomers believe they have finally solved the great mystery.


A magnetar is a rare type of neutron star, and one that exhibits an extremely powerful magnetic field, the strongest in the known Universe. Not only do they possess strong magnetic fields, but, like all neutron stars, they are both very small and incredibly dense, to the point that a single teaspoon of a neutron star matter would have the mass of around a billion tonnes. They form when massive stars collapse under the weight of their own gravity.


There are more than two dozen magnetars in the Milky Way, but the one studied by the VLT, is located in the Westerlund 1 star cluster in the southern constellation of Ara, some 16,000 light-years away. The star from which it formed is thought to have been around 40 times larger than our Sun. Stars of that size would be expected to form a black hole when they collapse, a more common final state for a dying star.


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Venus Express prepares for plunge into atmosphere | GizMag.com

Venus Express prepares for plunge into atmosphere | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After eight years of study of the second planet in our Solar System, ESA’s Venus Express orbiter is winding up its science program in anticipation of a plunge into the Venusian atmosphere sometime in the next two months. The space agency says that the unmanned orbiter’s service life is coming to an end because its propellant is running low, so ESA is sending the probe to take a very close look at the Venusian atmosphere by flying straight through it.


Venus Express carries seven instruments for a full study of the ionosphere, atmosphere and surface of Venus. It was launched on November 9, 2005 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz–Fregat rocket and arrived at Venus on April 11 the next year, where it was placed in a 24-hour polar elliptical orbit that took it out to 66,000 km (41,000 mi) over the Venusian south pole and 250 km (155 mi) over the north pole.


During its career, Venus Express provided new insights into the nature of the Venusian atmosphere, the planet’s rotation, what there is of its magnetic field, and the possibility of tectonic activity on what many scientist have thought a geologically dead planet. Now that the propellant needed to maintain Venus Express’ atmosphere-skimming orbit is running low, ESA is throwing in its hand and sending the probe deeper into the atmosphere than it’s ever attempted before.


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What is the role of a technology integration specialist? | Tech Transformation Blog

What is the role of a technology integration specialist? | Tech Transformation Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Yesterday I met up with some wonderful friends from a school where I used to work.  


There were lots of hugs and tears and without fail everyone told me that they missed me and how since I left there has been a decline in the authentic use of technology to support student learning.


Roles have changed and it seems there is not so much "hands on" support for teachers now, which means they are less confident and less willing to try new things with technology.  


This prompted me to consider the multitude of things that I did that were not "officially" part of my job description, but which were vital elements in helping teachers to integrate technology into their teaching and into student learning.  


Here are a few of them:


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PA: These locals are making tech more accessible for people with disabilities | Technical.ly/Philly

PA: These locals are making tech more accessible for people with disabilities | Technical.ly/Philly | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You may pass City Hall everyday without giving a second thought to its architecture or design. But longtime Philadelphia resident Austin Seraphinhad never really known the building until earlier this year.


Seraphin has been blind since birth, and on a recent trip to maker space NextFab Studio, he was handed a model of one of the world’s most beautiful municipal buildings, made on a 3D printer.


“To have a model in my hands that I can touch and kind of get the whole picture in my imagination helped a great deal,” Seraphin said.


Seraphin is an iOS consultant and programmer who works out of Old City coworking space Indy Hall, helping developers and software engineers make their apps and programs accessible to people with disabilities. Seraphin particularly focuses on how the products relate to people who are blind, since he can approach the issue from both points-of-view: as a programmer and as a user with a disability.


He started around age 7 on an Apple IIe, and when he realized he could make the computer do whatever he wanted, he knew he would be going into programming as a career.


He also wrote a piece of Ruby code called MotionAccessibility, which “wraps accessibility protocols in nice Ruby,” including the protocol that helps programmers transfer their information into VoiceOver, the iOS technology that allows people who are blind to read their screens.


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OneCommunity Wins Major NSF Grants $300K for STEM Videoconference Technology | OneCommunity.org

OneCommunity Wins Major NSF Grants $300K for STEM Videoconference Technology | OneCommunity.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

OneCommunity proudly announces that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded OneCommunity a $300k grant to develop and demonstrate the value of high-definition multipoint videoconferencing to enable collaborative learning and enhance high school STEM education.


The grant, formally titled “EAGER: US Ignite: High School STEM Education Utilizing Gigabit High Definition Multipoint Connected Collaboration,” will be under the direction of OneCommunity CEO, Lev Gonick and Marvin S. Schwartz, PhD, as EAGER: US IGNITE: OneCommunity Chief Scientist.


“The basic idea behind this grant is pretty straight-forward,” noted Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity. “We want to help STEM educators deliver outstanding curriculum in a way that takes full advantage of the interactive capabilities of Next-Gen Collaboration Platform Technologies.”


“We define Connected Collaboration as high-definition, high-fidelity, reduced latency video conferencing. It is a next-generation application requiring gigabit bandwidth while using cost-effective Mac or Windows computers, and commodity HD webcams and microphones,” said Marv Schwartz who will lead this project to develop and deploy next-generation videoconferencing technology between Cleveland Early College High School at John Hay High School, Case Western Reserve University, and STEM experts in their state-of-the-art facilities on gig networks.


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edX's 2nd Birthday Celebration! | edX.org

edX's 2nd Birthday Celebration! | edX.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's been two whole years since we launched edX and embarked on our collective mission to deliver quality education to everyone, everywhere in the world. And, what an amazing two years it has been. We could not be prouder of our learners, partners, faculty and staff for everything they have accomplished. We've been touched by learners’ stories from all walks of life and amazed by how people are using our open source platform around the globe. 


This year, we want to invite you to join our 2nd birthday celebration via live stream on May 15, from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT. We'll be taking questions and birthday wishes live on air via Twitter and Facebook with #edXturns2. Students whose questions are answered on air will receive special edX prizes.  


Additionally, upload a photo to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram with #edXturns2 that illustrates how you are celebrating edX's birthday and how it has changed your life. 


Here's our lineup of special guests who will be taking your questions: 


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Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive? | NPR.org

Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive? | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Oops.


Someone dropped lime sherbet on the desert — and it's melting.


Who's going to clean this up?


Nobody. Because this — believe it or not — is a plant. It may look like a glob of goo, but it's not at all gooey. It's solid to the touch — so solid that a man can lie on top of it and not sink in, not even a little.


What kind of plant is this? In Spanish it's called , and it's a member of the Apiaceae family, which makes it a cousin to parsley, carrots and fennel. But being a desert plant, high up in Chile's extraordinarily dry Atacama, it grows very, very slowly — a little over a centimeter a year.


Think about that. If you asked one of these plants, "What did you do during the 20th century?" it would answer, "I grew a meter bigger." At that rate, plants rising to shoulder height (covering yards of ground, lump after lump) must be really, really old. In fact, some of them are older than the of California, older than towering . In Chile, many of them go back 3,000 years — well before the Golden Age of Greece.


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VA: Couple discovers stone circles on property | The Roanoke Times

VA: Couple discovers stone circles on property | The Roanoke Times | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Concentric stone circles near rocks weighing more than a ton — apparently aligned to mark solar events — are believed to be part of a Paleo-Indian site in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Clarke County that an expert has dated to about 10,000 B.C.


The complex along Spout Run has 15 above-ground stone features. Though still under study, it could be one of the oldest man-made structures in North America still in existence and twice as old as England’s Stonehenge.


Chris and Rene White, who own the property and made the initial discovery, credit their Native American heritage for the finding.


When Chris White, who is of Cherokee descent, was building a home for himself and his wife — who is a Lumbee Indian — on the wooded land, he said he often took a break to walk by Spout Run, which tumbles downhill in its rocky bed across his land.


Something told him that the area was important, and he decided to create a stone medicine wheel on the 20-acre property below Bears Den Trail Center — a lodge owned by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.


To his surprise, he realized the area across the stream already had a stone circle. In fact, it had several concentric stone circles.


For a professional opinion, the Whites contacted retired archaeologist Jack Hranicky, of Alexandria, who had investigated five other Paleo-Indian sites in Virginia.


It was Hranicky who realized the rocks in and outside the circles aligned with special features on the Blue Ridge.


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National Day of Civic Hacking | HackForChange.org

National Day of Civic Hacking is an international event that will take place May 31 – June 1, 2014, in cities around the world.


The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to improve our communities and the governments that serve them.


Anyone can participate; you don’t have to be an expert in technology, you just have to care about your neighborhood and community.


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LA: Youth Development Through Art in Education & Turnaround A+ Schools | George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts

LA: Youth Development Through Art in Education & Turnaround A+ Schools | George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) is honored to announce that it has been chosen by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) to be program director of Turnaround Arts: Louisiana, an education initiative designed to turn around low-performing schools through arts-integration and to boost academic achievement, motivate student learning, and improve school culture.


President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) co-chairs George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion announced the expansion of PCAH’s successful Turnaround Arts initiative – a program designed to help turn around low-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap, and increase student engagement through the arts. The program is expanding in 6 states this year, including three Louisiana schools. The Committee also announced that Turnaround Artists Alfre Woodard and Trombone Shorty will “adopt” Louisiana Turnaround Arts schools and work directly with students to support their arts education.


First Lady Michelle Obama, Honorary Chair of the President’s Committee, said, “The Turnaround Arts program has exceeded not just our expectations, but our wildest hopes and dreams. With the help of this program and some School Improvement Grants, math and reading scores have gone up in these schools… attendance is up, enrollment is up…parent engagement is up… suspensions have plummeted…and two of the schools in our pilot improved so dramatically that they are no longer in turnaround status. And today, the students in these schools are engaged in their education like never before.”


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Dragon brings ISS science samples back to Earth | | GizMag.com

Dragon brings ISS science samples back to Earth | | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Space X's Dragon spacecraft has splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 PM EDT on May 18, laden with many scientific experiments ripe for further analysis on Earth. It landed safely 300 miles (480 km) off the coast of California, pending retrieval and transportation back to the SpaceX McGregor test facility in Texas.


The start of the third official cargo mission undertaken by the commercial enterprise was anything but smooth. It took four attempts for the Falcon 9 rocket to lift the spacecraft free of Earth's atmosphere, with consecutive launches cancelled for a number of reasons including a leaky helium valve and a contaminant detected in the cargo area. Finally arriving at the station on April 20, the Dragon delivered 2.5 tons (5,512 lb) of supplies to the crew of the International Space Station (ISS). Following the transfer of supplies, astronauts then loaded the experiments back onto the Dragon, ready for its Earth-bound journey.


The Dragon detached from the Canadarm2 robotic arm of the ISS at 9:26 AM EDT on May 18, loaded with 150 science experiments weighing in at 1.59 tons (3,505 lb).


Following a series of burns designed to place the supply ship at a safe distance from the ISS, the Dragon began the process of returning home, initiating its final de-orbit burn at 2:08 PM ET. From this point on, the Dragon was on a descent course through the Earth's atmosphere, with the spacecraft finally coming to rest in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 PM ET.


The experiments carried back with the Dragon may have far reaching implications for long term manned space flight. For example, one experiment focuses on the effect of microgravity on the human immune system in an attempt to determine whether long term exposure could suppress an individual's ability to fight infection or injury while in space.


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ESA's CryoSat data: Antarctica's ice sheet shrinking faster than ever | GizMag.com

ESA's CryoSat data: Antarctica's ice sheet shrinking faster than ever | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An analysis of data from the European Space Agency's (ESA) CryoSat satellite shows that ice loss in the Antarctic is increasing at an exponential rate. It is estimated that the polar region now loses 159 billion tonnes of ice each year, with the worst instances of degradation located in the Western area of the Amundsen Sea.


The CryoSat satellite has been designed to take precise measurements of Earth's polar regions in an attempt to further understand how climate change is affecting these remote, yet vital, areas of our planet. The satellite is equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL), an instrument used to measure ice sheet elevation with a high degree of accuracy. SIRAL collects these readings by sending pulses (at an interval of around 50 microseconds) down to the surface, then collecting echoes of those pulses to determine the elevation of the ice sheets.


The UK-based Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling analyzed data collected over three years (by nearly continuous surveillance) from CryoSat, to create the world's first comprehensive assessment of elevation change in the Antarctic ice sheets. Results of the analysis found that ice loss in the polar region was 31 percent greater than that of the previous period of observation (from 2005-2011), with substantial thinning of the ice in the Amundsen Sea area of West Antarctica.


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HDEV allows us detailed views of our planet from space | GizMag.com

HDEV allows us detailed views of our planet from space | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As of April 30, NASA has been running its High Definition Earth Viewing Experiment (HDEV) which, as well as testing certain aspects such as a camera's ability to survive the radiation levels present in low-Earth orbit, is giving viewers the breathtaking experience of observing their planet in exquisite detail from space.


The video feed is streamed from one of four high-definition cameras mounted on fixed positions of the Columbus External Payload Facility of the ISS. The cameras being used in the experiment are commercially available "off the shelf" models, with the experiment in part aiming to test the usefulness and longevity of existing imaging devices for use in future long term missions.


The cameras are contained in a protective pressurized box, pumped full of nitrogen at the pressure of one Earth atmosphere. The cameras are positioned with one facing towards the station's velocity vector, two to the rear, and one pointed directly at the Earth's surface.


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Jupiter's Great Red Spot has shrunk to its smallest size yet | GizMag.com

Jupiter's Great Red Spot has shrunk to its smallest size yet | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Data collected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope over the past 20 years show Jupiter's Great Red Spot has been shrinking at an increasing rate to its current, and smallest, recorded size. The reduction is possibly due to the existence of eddies, that have been observed feeding into the planet-sized storm.


The Great Red Spot is, in essence, a vast, turbulent storm of astonishing size and ferocity. The storm system has persevered for roughly 300 years, so observations of its diminishing size have been met with great interest from the scientific community.


Since the early 1930s, astronomers have followed the apparent subsiding of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Data returned from Voyager 1 & 2 in 1979 estimated it to be roughly 14,500 miles (23,175 km) across. However subsequent readings have shown the massive anti-cyclonic storm receding, with today’s measurements from the Hubble Telescope estimating the Red Spot to be only 10,250 miles (16,496 km) across. That's a 29 percent decrease in the storm's length.


Astronomers have concluded that the storm is shrinking at an ever increasing rate, estimated at 580 miles (933 km) per year. Despite the fact that the spot has shrunk significantly whilst under observation, it is worth noting that the storm could still comfortably swallow the Earth with room to spare.


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MIT develops glasses-free 3D projector as a "practical alternative to holographic video" | GizMag.com

MIT develops glasses-free 3D projector as a "practical alternative to holographic video" | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The 3D format has had something of a renaissance in recent years, but the technology still has some way to go before the potential of "real-life" multiperspective 3D can be realized. The Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab is developing a new 3D video projection system that doesn't require glasses and provides different users different perspective angles of the same object. The team sees it not as a final answer, but as a transitional system that sits between current technologies and true holographic video.


In one form or another, 3D projection systems have been around almost as long as the cinema itself. The trick has always been to come up with something practical and economical – preferably without the glasses, nausea, and headaches. Over the decades, the Bijous and Odeons of the world have seen two-color systems, polarized light systems, mechanical shutters and multiple projectors systems come and go as each fell short of the mark.


The MIT approach was to come up with a glasses-free video projection system with a wide vision angle, ultra-high resolution, yet is mechanically simple and doesn't require elaborate installations, as well as being cheaper than conventional holographic systems of comparable quality. The idea is that it will act as a short term, intermediate solution until a more mature technology can be developed, while making it attractive as a transitional technology for users of more conventional 2D systems.


The MIT system doesn't just produce an illusion of parallax – it creates an actual shift in perspective for multiple viewers looking at the image from different angles, as if were looking at real objects. In addition, it provides better resolution and contrast than conventional 2D video.


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Introducing Classroom for Google Apps for Education | Google.com

Introducing Classroom for Google Apps for Education | Google.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Welcome to a preview of Classroom, a new tool coming to Google Apps for Education. Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease. And it lets students organize their work, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers.


Classroom was designed hand-in-hand with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.


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Kepler spacecraft sails on under the power of sunlight | SFGate.com

Kepler spacecraft sails on under the power of sunlight | SFGate.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft, unable to aim at the stars after two of its steering wheels broke down, is back on its celestial mission again, thanks to the power of sunshine.


And NASA officials in Washington have given it another two years on the hunt, with a third year likely before the spacecraft runs out of fuel, said Charlie Soback, Kepler's project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View.


During its four years in orbit, Kepler has detected 3,845 objects in distant space that the craft's ground-based astronomers call "candidate" planets - most probably real ones, they say.


And they have confirmed that 966 are indeed true "exoplanets" - orbiting around far-distant stars just the way Earth and its sister planets circle the sun.


Kepler had been steering itself to detect possible planets around stars within the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, and its tricky maneuvers had kept its telescope's aim rock-steady by the use of four "reaction wheels" whose spinning motions at the base of the spacecraft stabilized the entire structure.


But when two of the reaction wheels jammed - one in 2012 and the second only a year ago - and ground controllers couldn't budge them, the spacecraft lost stability and the telescope couldn't aim properly.


Ground-based engineers, however, have figured out an ingenious answer to the stability problem, Soback said, one he called "canoeing with the sun."


Space scientists have long known that the violent sun constantly sends out bursts of high-energy, subnuclear particles known as the "solar wind." It speeds outward at millions of miles per hour, and, for decades, visionaries have dreamed of spacecraft sailing virtually forever on that energetic wind, tacking and steering throughout the solar system and beyond.


NASA, in fact, is supporting research into the "solar sailing" concept - an idea that astronomer Johannes Kepler first dreamed up more than 400 years ago.


Now engineers have devised a system for the spacecraft that uses the delicate pressure of photons in sunlight alone - not the solar wind - to keep Kepler balanced as its two remaining reaction wheels keep its balance steady, Soback said.


Kepler is no longer focusing on stars in Cygnus and Lyra, however, and the spacecraft's telescope will now be peering at stars in the ecliptic - the direction where all the familiar constellations of the zodiac lie.


It will look for other targets too, like unseen star clusters, active galaxies and supernovas, when it returns to action on May 30.


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IDG News Service: MIT's homemade robots compete in "final exam" | YouTube.com

Mechanical engineering students at MIT created homemade robots to cap off a design an manufacturing course. Follow reporter Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb


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Connected Studio: coding for teenagers | BBC Internet Blog

Connected Studio: coding for teenagers | BBC Internet Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The UK has a special place in the story of digital pioneering. Birthplace of the man who invented the world wide web – it’s also the home of computer science, the world’s first algorithm and game-changing game-makers like Rockstar North and Mind Candy. From Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Turing, and Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada Lovelace to Grand Theft Auto to Moshi Monsters – it’s an impressive roll-call.


But we have a growing digital skills deficit that threatens our future potential and impact on the global stage.


The BBC is uniquely placed to play its part as a catalyst for change. We want to work in partnership with others to shine a spotlight on the wonderful world of digital, and to help inspire people to see their own creative potential within it. The BBC wants to do its bit to ‘bring digital home’.


I'm involved in developing a number of plans to do this – and just one of the challenges we want to address is this: what’s the best digital solution we could create to inspire younger teenagers – and especially girls - to discover coding in an appealing and entertaining way? And how can we help ignite their creative potential?


If you’d like to help us meet this challenge, this is the plan.


The BBC Connected Studio team is offering digital agencies, tech start-ups and developers (including BBC staff) an exciting opportunity. Connected Studio invites partners like these (and maybe like you?), from inside and outside of the BBC to work together collaboratively on a digital brief. The winning ideas could be selected for development into working prototypes and end up being commissioned using BBC investment. More information and the reasons for coming up with this challenge are outlined in the development brief.


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This Is The Most Beautiful Performance I've Ever Seen! What They Do Will Amaze You!

This Is The Most Beautiful Performance I've Ever Seen! What They Do Will Amaze You! | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This is Enra, a Japanese troupe attempting to combine dance, technology, and light into unforgettable pieces of performance art. 


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