Pahndeepah Perceptions
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What Matters to Adrian Chen This Week — Matter — Medium

What Matters to Adrian Chen This Week — Matter — Medium | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
The last word of @everyword
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It began as kind of a snarky stunt—a parody of (what I perceived to be) the needless verbosity of Twitter,” Parrish told me back in 2011. “’You like posting words on Twitter? Well, here’s a thing that is posting EVERY word! ha HA!’”

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What Warner Bros/DC Comics Is Planning At Comic-Con In July - NikkiFinke.com

What Warner Bros/DC Comics Is Planning At Comic-Con In July - NikkiFinke.com | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
We know that Warner Bros Pictures is way behind Marvel Studios when it comes to making movies out of its comic book properties. But I have intel on what is coming up at this July’s  Comic-Con from the studio. A lot of stuff remains in flux  but my sources have so far: May 2016 – Batman v Superman July 2016 – …
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Freed from Gubment, Slaves to Gawd

Freed from Gubment, Slaves to Gawd | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Libertarianism is a form of anarchism. As an anarchocynic, I am fine with certain forms of American libertarianism. I've had very productive dialogs with more than a few very thoughtful folk who ha...
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It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun

It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
My wife and I got into an argument last night over a dead man. His name was Joseph Robert Wilcox. He was 31 on Sunday, the day he tried to stop cop-killer Jerad Miller in a Las Vegas Walmart and was shot by Miller's wife Amanda. Wilcox was a good guy with a gun. It cost him his life.
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No, A 'Supercomputer' Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better | Techdirt

No, A 'Supercomputer' Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better | Techdirt | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
So, this weekend's news in the tech world was flooded with a "story" about how a "chatbot" passed the Turing Test for "the first time," with lots of publications buying every point in the story and talking about what...
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Woops! Let myself get taken in for a few hours. Thanks to Brady M. for pointing out this article.

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Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Listen to episodes of Welcome to Night Vale on podbay.fm.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

If you have not given yourself the pleasure, go listen to some podcasts from "Welcome to Night Vale."


From Wikipedia: Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and is published by Commonplace Books. Cecil Gershwin Palmer, the host, main character and narrator, is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, while secondary characters are sometimes voiced by guest stars. The podcast typically airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town, located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States".

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A fuel cell for home? A miniature power station for home use is based on a solid fuel cell

A fuel cell for home? A miniature power station for home use is based on a solid fuel cell | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
It converts chemical energy directly into electrical energy. Still, there hadn’t been a market breakthrough for the fuel cell. The systems were too complex. Now, Fraunhofer and Vaillant have developed a simple device for home use.


Together with the heater manufacturer Vaillant, the IKTS has developed a compact, safe and sturdy fuel cell system that generates electricity and heat in private households from natural gas. The researchers were particularly responsible for the construction of the prototype, the design of the overall system, the design of the ceramic components and the development of the reformer and the afterburner. The devices are currently being tested in private households in the Callux practice test (www.callux.net). 

They are as compact as classical gas heaters that only produce heat. Moreover, they can comfortably be mounted on the wall and easily be maintained. With an output of one kilowatt, they cover the average current consumption for a four-person household. The Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure BMVI is promoting Callux. Currently, in the European demonstration project ene.field (www.enefield.eu), about 150 further units are being installed in several European countries. In addition, Vaillant started the production of a small-scale series in early 2014. Parallel to the practical test, the two partners are already working on new models. „Now, it’s all about decreasing production costs and increasing the lifetime of the equipment,“ says Jahn. 

The principle of the fuel cell has been known for over 175 years. So far, however, there has not been a market breakthrough. The main reason was the invention of the electric generator. It knocked the more complex fuel cell out of the running. Only in the 1960s was the technology put into practice by NASA in some Apollo moon missions. In the late 1990s, there were other projects in the automotive industry, which have so far not been able to prevail. The reasons are that the fuel cell is too complex, too expensive, and too unreliable. „In our project with Vaillant, we have made great strides to bring the technology close to the market. Vaillant is already producing a small-scale series, which is sold in funded projects to customers,“ says Jahn. „For the market breakthrough, the costs still have to be decreased significantly.“ 

The miniature power station for home use is based on a solid fuel cell (SOFC). SOFCs operate at a much higher temperature in comparison to competing approaches, such as the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), which is used in cars, for example. While PEMFCs only reach 80 degrees, SOFCs can reach up to 850 degrees. „This allows the SOFCs to be built much more simply and cheaply,“ says Jahn. 

The electrolyte of an SOFC only transfers oxygen ions, not electrons. Otherwise, there would be a short circuit. „Ceramic is particularly well suited as a material for the electrolyte. It has the desired conductivity and can also endure high temperatures,“ says Jahn. As a result, even without the use of precious metals, all reactions proceed smoothly, which is necessary for the direct conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy: If the fuel cell heater is connected to the gas network, a reformer initially converts the natural gas into a hydrogen-rich gas. This then reacts in the stack with the oxygen of the air in a noiseless „cold combustion“, producing power and heat.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Strange, Secret History of Isaac Newton’s Papers | Science | WIRED

The Strange, Secret History of Isaac Newton’s Papers | Science | WIRED | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

An interview with the author of a new book, The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts, which traces the mysterious and precarious history of Newton's works--not only on science but a great many on Biblical prophecy, heretical notions of God, and alchemical experiments. It is a tale of many "lucky twists" and "purposeful turns" that allowed for the papers to survive for posterity.

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Dead or Meditating? Court to Rule

Dead or Meditating? Court to Rule | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A court has been called to rule on whether a wealthy guru is dead or in a transcendental meditative state.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

"...Maharaj's family has filed a court application for further investigation and release of the body for last rites and cremation. Police initially agreed with the physicians that Maharaj was dead, and the Punjab High Court corroborated in April that Maharaj died a natural death, but Nelson reports that local government officials say as a spiritual matter, the guru's followers cannot be forced to believe that he is dead..."

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Re-Visioning the Masculine and Feminine Side of Men and Women - SOLAR LUNAR

Re-Visioning the Masculine and Feminine Side of Men and Women - SOLAR LUNAR | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A core Jungian concept proposes that men develop their feminine side (anima) and women their masculine side (animus); this constrictive terminology confines us to rigid ideas of gender. However, Jung’s rediscovery of alchemical mythology, which uses imagery of the sun … Continue reading →
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Moon and sun, Yin and Yang... While they can be thought in terms of female and male, they need not be reduced to our heteronormative duality. Rather, we should recognize the power of the dyad without succumbing to the temptation to create fixed dualities. In this way, we can make full use of the flowing power of existential possibility.

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The Inclusive Capitalism Initiative is Trojan Horse to quell coming global revolt

The Inclusive Capitalism Initiative is Trojan Horse to quell coming global revolt | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

"...Central to the proceedings was an undercurrent of elite fear that the increasing disenfranchisement of the vast majority of the planetary population under decades of capitalist business-as-usual could well be its own undoing...

"...Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who co-hosted yesterday’s conference, told the NY Observer why she was concerned:

'I think that a lot of kids have neither money nor hope, and that’s really bad. Because then they’re going to get mad at America. What our hope for this initiative, is that through all the efforts of all of the decent CEOs, all the decent kids without a job feel optimistic...'”


As my good sister Jenny K-R put it, Does that sound like a conversation about solutions, or a conversation about spin?

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Gauguin: Metamorphoses review – 'Forceful, disturbing, obscene'

Gauguin: Metamorphoses review – 'Forceful, disturbing, obscene' | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A new exhibition at New York's MoMA totally rethinks Gauguin's work by focusing on his drawings – dark, bizarre and much more challenging than his lush Tahitian paintings, writes Jason Farago
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

What more, you may ask, can there be to learn about Paul Gauguin: the self-styled savage of French painting, who abandoned Europe but revolutionised European art? Quite a bit, it turns out.

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The top 10 backs in art

The top 10 backs in art | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Jonathan Jones: Man Ray's violin woman, a masterpiece of Japanese erotica and David Hockney's most liberating pool painting ... check out these choice rear views
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The Future of Technology Isn't Just a Rich Man's Game - SERIOUS WONDER

The Future of Technology Isn't Just a Rich Man's Game - SERIOUS WONDER | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
While many still fear of a wealth gap in technology, history shows a different story for our future! - B.J. Murphy for Serious Wonder
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#DontNeedFixin, #DontNeedStonin

#DontNeedFixin, #DontNeedStonin | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
As I pointed out earlier today, Oklahoma Tea Party candidate Scott Esk favors stoning LGBTQ to death... you know, like God tells us to do in the Old Testament. Last week, the Texas Republican party...
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Hubble finds mysterious disk of blue stars around a black hole

Hubble finds mysterious disk of blue stars around a black hole | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have identified the source of a mysterious blue light surrounding a supermassive black hole in our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Though the light has puzzled astronomers for more than a decade, the new discovery makes the story even more mysterious.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

The blue light is coming from a disk of hot, young stars. These stars are whipping around the black hole in much the same way as planets in our solar system are revolving around the Sun.


Astronomers are perplexed about how the pancake-shaped disk of stars could form so close to a giant black hole. In such a hostile environment, the black hole's tidal forces should tear matter apart, making it difficult for gas and dust to collapse and form stars. The observations, astronomers say, may provide clues to the activities in the cores of more distant galaxies.


By finding the disk of stars, astronomers also have collected what they say is ironclad evidence for the existence of the monster black hole.

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Does Fox News Cause Ignorance, or Do Ignorant Viewers Prefer Fox News?

Does Fox News Cause Ignorance, or Do Ignorant Viewers Prefer Fox News? | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Fox News viewers are not moderate Republicans. They're right wingers.
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A Computer Program Has Passed the Turing Test For the First Time

A Computer Program Has Passed the Turing Test For the First Time | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
This is big. A computer program has successfully managed to fool a bunch of researchers into thinking that it was a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman. In doing so, it has become the first in the world to have successfully passed the Turing Test.
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New Report Documents How Privatization Steals Wages, Harms Communities

New Report Documents How Privatization Steals Wages, Harms Communities | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A new report from the nonprofit research group In the Public Interest shows that outsourcing public services hurts middle and working class communities as well as workers.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Habibi noted that there was a growing body of evidence that outsourcing leads to a downward spiral as that ladder of opportunity disappears. Reduced wages and benefits not only make it harder for working people to enter the middle class, they also hurt local economies as those workers have less to spend, reducing the stability of working and middle class communities.

As the report notes, government is becoming a major source of low-wage jobs. Rather than helping to raise living standards for all, privatization and subcontracting is becoming a force in growing inequality. By 2013, according to a study by Demos, the number of contracted employees working on behalf of the federal government who earned less than $12/hour had already reached 2 million--more than the number of low-paid workers at Walmart and McDonald's combined.

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Programming matter by folding: Shape-shifting robots

Programming matter by folding: Shape-shifting robots | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Self-folding sheets of a plastic-like material point the way to robots that can assume any conceivable 3-D structure.


Programmable matter is a material whose properties can be programmed to achieve specific shapes or stiffnesses upon command. This concept requires constituent elements to interact and rearrange intelligently in order to meet the goal. This research considers achieving programmable sheets that can form themselves in different shapes autonomously by folding. Past approaches to creating transforming machines have been limited by the small feature sizes, the large number of components, and the associated complexity of communication among the units. We seek to mitigate these difficulties through the unique concept of self-folding origami with universal crease patterns.


This approach exploits a single sheet composed of interconnected triangular sections. The sheet is able to fold into a set of predetermined shapes using embedded actuation. To implement this self-folding origami concept, we have developed a scalable end-to-end planning and fabrication process. Given a set of desired objects, the system computes an optimized design for a single sheet and multiple controllers to achieve each of the desired objects. The material, called programmable matter by folding, is an example of a system capable of achieving multiple shapes for multiple functions.


As director of the Distributed Robotics Laboratory at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Professor Daniela Rus researches systems of robots that can work together to tackle complicated tasks. One of the big research areas in distributed robotics is what’s called “programmable matter,” the idea that small, uniform robots could snap together like intelligent Legos to create larger, more versatile robots.


The U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a Programmable Matter project that funds a good deal of research in the field and specifies “particles … which can reversibly assemble into complex 3D objects.” But that approach turns out to have drawbacks, Rus says. “Most people are looking at separate modules, and they’re really worried about how these separate modules aggregate themselves and find other modules to connect with to create the shape that they’re supposed to create,” Rus says. But, she adds, “actively gathering modules to build up a shape bottom-up, from scratch, is just really hard given the current state of the art in our hardware.”


So Rus has been investigating alternative approaches, which don’t require separate modules to locate and connect to each other before beginning to assemble more complex shapes. Fortunately, also at CSAIL is Erik Demaine, who joined the MIT faculty at age 20 in 2001, becoming the youngest professor in MIT history. One of Demaine’s research areas is the mathematics of origami, and he and Rus hatched the idea of a flat sheet of material with tiny robotic muscles, or actuators, which could fold itself into useful objects. In principle, flat sheets with flat actuators should be much easier to fabricate than three-dimensional robots with enough intelligence that they can locate and attach to each other.


So they designed yet another set of algorithms that, given sequences of folds for several different shapes, would determine the minimum number of actuators necessary to produce all of them. Then they set about building a robot that could actually assume multiple origami shapes. Their prototype, made from glass-fiber and hydrocarbon materials, with an elastic plastic at the creases, is divided into 16 squares about a centimeter across, each of which is further divided into two triangles. The actuators consist of a shape-memory alloy — a metal that changes shape when electricity is applied to it. Each triangle also has a magnet in it, so that it can attach to its neighbors once the right folds have been performed.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Transformers--more than meets the eye!

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Tekrighter's curator insight, June 3, 2014 8:30 AM

Awesome! This is right up there with 3-D printing as the technological advance of the decade...

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Wireless networks are getting a big upgrade for the smartphone generation: Multi-user beamforming

Wireless networks are getting a big upgrade for the smartphone generation: Multi-user beamforming | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Wireless networks are getting a big upgrade for the smartphone generation.


Beamforming was part of 802.11n, the previous Wi-Fi version, but 11ac defines it in more detail, making interoperability between access points and end-user devices more likely. Separately, beamforming plays an important role in "WiGig," which is based on the 802.11ad specification and can send up to 7Gbps transmissions over very short distances.


“Traditionally, access points have been equipped with omnidirectional antennas, which are so named because they send energy in all directions,” wrote Wi-Fi expert Matthew Gast in the book, 802.11ac: A Survival Guide. (Gast also oversees development of the software that powers Aerohive Networks’ equipment.) “An alternative method of transmission is to focus energy toward a receiver, a process called beamforming. Provided the access point (AP) has sufficient information to send the radio energy preferentially in one direction, it is possible to reach farther.”


The first 11ac products implemented single-user beamforming, sending one transmission to a single receiver. Multi-user beamforming, coming in the next wave of 11ac products this year and next year, enables MU-MIMO and its simultaneous transmission to multiple devices.


“Prior to the introduction of multi-user beamforming, all 802.11 devices could send a transmission to only one device at a time,” wrote Gast, who also led development of 802.11-2012.


The first 11ac access points could generally send 1.3Gbps over three streams of 433Mbps each. But as we mentioned, it could only send those three streams to one device, and only if that device could accept three streams. Thus, a 1.3Gbps access point can end up sending a 433Mbps stream to one device, a second 433Mbps stream to a second device, and a third stream to a third device, switching from one to another without ever transmitting to all three at once.


“Don’t get me wrong, 433Mbps is nice,” Gast told Ars in a phone interview. “But there's an unused capacity because the AP is capable of transmitting three 433Mbps streams, but my phone can only receive one. You lose two-thirds of the capacity when this happens.”


MU-MIMO should bring big improvements to public Wi-Fi networks that serve hundreds of people at a time, though. And in a few years, home networks could be serving surprisingly large numbers of devices.


“We can support up to 512 clients” with top-end gear designed for heavily used networks, Todd Antes, VP of product management for Qualcomm Atheros, told Ars. “If everybody's device was MU-MIMO-capable, our scheduling algorithm would serve them three at a time. It would go through that client population, in theory, 2.5 to 3 times faster in the same network capacity as would today's AP.”


Even devices that aren't MU-MIMO-capable could benefit, since MU-MIMO should free up more time and bandwidth for networks to serve older gadgets. Qualcomm announced its 802.11ac chips with MU-MIMO in early April. Quantenna, another chipmaker, announced silicon with MU-MIMO technology nearly a year ago, and Asus said in January that it would use Quantenna’s chips to offer a 1.7Gbps, four-stream home router. The Asus router isn’t for sale yet, but it's expected to come out in the middle of this year.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Reason & Existenz

Reason & Existenz | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Philosophizing as a Way of Life
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Reason and Existenz blog has been very active in the last few days with folks from France, Portugal, and Panama. :)

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, June 2, 2014 1:38 PM

This site has numerous interesting articles.

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The crab-castrating parasite that zombifies its prey

The crab-castrating parasite that zombifies its prey | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Meet Sacculina carcini – a barnacle that makes a living as a real-life body-snatcher of crabs. Unlike most barnacles that are happy to simply stick themselves to a rock and filter food from the water, Sacculina and its kin have evolved to be parasitic, and they are horrifyingly good at it.
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Connectivism: Informing Distance Education Theory, Pedagogy and Research

Connectivism: Informing Distance Education Theory, Pedagogy and Research | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
(Critical Review) George Siemens’ (2005) article “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” has sparked both innovation and controversy (Anderson, 2009; Kop & Hill, 2008; Bell, 2001)...
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A good first read for those wondering about connectivism

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Art in good health: how science and culture mix the best medicine

Art in good health: how science and culture mix the best medicine | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Why are so many health organisations funding art projects and what can artists and scientists gain from close collaboration?
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

There has, in recent years, been a surge in the number of projects, across all artforms, with a health or scientific issue at their heart, and a scientific or medical organisation as a key funding source.


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