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Soulskill

littlekorea writes "Mining companies are developing new systems for automating blasting of iron ore using the same open source physics engines adapted for games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption. The same engine that determines 3D collision detection and soft body/rigid body dynamics in gaming will be applied to building 3D blast movement models — which will predict where blasted materials will land and distinguish between ore and waste. Predictive blast fragmentation models used in the past have typically been either numerical or empirical, [mining engineer Alan Cocker] said. Numerical models such as discrete element method, he noted, are onerous to configure and demanding of resources — both computing and human — and are generally not appropriate for operational use at mines. 'The problem with empirical models, by contrast, is that they tend to operate at a scale too coarse to give results useful for optimizations,' he added, noting typical Kuz-Ram-based fragmentation models (PDF) (widely used to estimate fragmentation from blasting) assume homogeneous geology (the same type of materials) throughout a blast."

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Original author: 
Kara Swisher

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Earlier today, Yahoo said it had acquired the trendy and decidedly stylish news reading app Summly, along with its telegenic and very young entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio.

Yahoo said it plans to close down the actual app and use the algorithmic summation technology that the 17-year-old D’Aloisio built with a small team of five, along with a major assist from Silicon Valley research institute SRI International, throughout its products.

While Yahoo did not disclose the price, several sources told me that the company paid $30 million — 90 percent in cash and 10 percent in stock — to buy the London-based Apple smartphone app.

And despite its elegant delivery, that’s a very high price, especially since Summly has been downloaded slightly less than one million times since launch — after a quick start amid much publicity over its founder — with about 90 million “summaries” read. Of course, like many such apps, it also had no monetization plan as yet.

What Yahoo is getting, though, is perhaps more valuable — the ability to put the fresh-faced D’Aloisio front and center of its noisy efforts to make consumers see Yahoo as a mobile-first company. That has been the goal of CEO Marissa Mayer, who has bought up a range of small mobile startups since she took over nine months ago and who has talked about the need for Yahoo to focus on the mobile arena above all.

Mayer met with D’Aloisio, said sources, although the deal was struck by voluble M&A head Jackie Reses.

Said one person close to the deal, about the founder: “Nick will be a great person to put in front of the media and consumers with Mayer to make Yahoo seem like it is a place that loves both entrepreneurs and mobile experiences, which in turn will presumably attract others like him.”

Having met the young man in question, who was in San Francisco in the fall on a fundraising trip, I can see the appeal. He’s both well-spoken and adorkable, as well as very adept at charming cranky media types like me by radiating with the kinetic energy of someone born in the mobile world (you can see that in full force in the video below with actor and Summly investor Stephen Fry).

Still, D’Aloisio is very young and presumably has a lot of other entrepreneurial goals and that’s why he agreed as part of the deal to only officially stay 18 months at Yahoo, multiple sources told me. In many cases, startup founders strike such short-term employment deals with big companies, agreeing to stay for a certain determined time period.

He will also remain in England, where he lives with his parents, said sources. In addition, only two of Summly’s employees will go to Yahoo with D’Aloisio.

That’s $10 million each, along with a nifty app Yahoo will not be using as is (too bad, as it would up the hip and fun factor of Yahoo’s apps by a factor of a gazillion if it were maintained).

“It works out on a lot of levels,” said another person close to the situation. “Nick is a founder that will make Mayer and Yahoo look cutting edge.”

Cue the parade of PR profiles of the young genius made millionaire, helping Yahoo become relevant again.

I have an email for comment into the always friendly D’Aloisio. But I don’t expect a reply, since he has apparently been specifically instructed by the martinets of Yahoo PR not to talk to me any longer — well, for 18 months at least! (Don’t worry, Nick, I don’t blame you and will still listen to whatever you are pitching next, since you are so dang compelling and I enjoyed using Summly!)

Until then, here’s the faboo Summly video, with the best chairs ever:

Summly Launch from Summly on Vimeo.

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Are We Still Evolving? Pam Oslie at TEDxAmericanRiviera 2012

Science states that humans have evolved over thousands of years. So have we reached the pinnacle of our abilities and our mind's potential? Do Quantum Physics and consciousness hold the key to our evolution? Pam Oslie will explore the answers to these questions and will reveal how electro-magnetic fields, non-local mind, and parallel universes play key roles in our development. AboutTEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
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Physicist: Not with any current, or remotely feasible technology.  The method in use by the universe today; get several Suns worth of mass into a big pile and wait, is a pretty effective way to create black holes.

In theory, all you need to do to create an artificial black hole (a “black faux”?) is to get a large amount of energy and matter into a very small volume.  The easiest method would probably be to use some kind of massive, super-duper-accelerators.  The problem is that black holes are dense, and the smaller and less massive they are the denser they need to be.

A black hole with the mass of the Earth would be so small you could lose it pretty easy.  Except for all the gravity.

But there are limits to how dense matter can get on its own.  The density of an atomic nucleus, where essentially all of the matter of an atom is concentrated, is about the highest density attainable by matter: about 1018 kg/m3, or about a thousand, million, million times denser than water.  This density is also the approximate density of neutron stars (which are basically giant atomic nuclei).

When a star runs out of fuel and collapses, this is the densest that it can get.  If a star has less than about 3 times as much mass as our Sun, then when it gets to this density it stops, and then hangs out forever.  If a star has more than 3 solar masses, then as it collapses, on it’s way to neutron-star-density, it becomes a black hole (a black hole with more mass needs less density).

The long-winded point is; in order to create a black hole smaller than 3 Suns (which would be what you’re looking for it you want to keep it around), it’s not a question of crushing stuff.  Instead you’d need to use energy, and the easiest way to get a bunch of energy into one place is to use kinetic energy.

There’s some disagreement about the minimum size that a black hole can be.  Without resorting to fairly exotic, “lot’s of extra dimensions” physics, the minimum size should be somewhere around 2\times 10^{-21} grams.  That seems small, but it’s very difficult (probably impossible) to get even that much mass/energy into a small enough region.  A black hole with this mass would be about 10-47 m across, which is way, way, way smaller than a single electron (about 10-15 m).  But unfortunately, a particle can’t be expected to concentrate energy in a region smaller than the particle itself.  So using whatever “ammo” you can get into a particle accelerator, you find that the energy requirements are a little steeper.

To merely say that you’d need to accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light doesn’t convey the stupefying magnitude of the amount of energy you’d need to get a collision capable of creating a black hole.  A pair of protons would need to have a “gamma” (a useful way to talk about ludicrously large speeds) of about 1040, or a pair of lead nuclei would need to have a gamma of about 1037, when they collide in order for a black hole to form.  This corresponds to the total energy of all the mass in a small mountain range.  For comparison, a nuclear weapon only releases the energy of several grams of matter.

CERN, or any other accelerator ever likely to be created, falls short in the sense that a salted slug in the ironman falls short.

There’s nothing else in the universe the behaves like a black hole.  They are deeply weird in a lot of ways.  But, a couple of the properties normally restricted to black holes can be simulated with other things.  There are “artificial black holes” created in laboratories to study Hawking radiation, but you’d never recognize them.  The experimental set up involves tubes of water, or laser beams, and lots of computers.  No gravity, no weird timespace stuff, nothin’.  If you were in the lab, you’d never know that black holes were being studied.

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Lovers of film are likely lovers of Takeshi Kitano. Sometimes billed as Beat Takeshi, he’s not only the evil star of Battle Royale, he’s the talented director of films like The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi and Fireworks. In 2010, he directed and starred in Outrage, a twisting, turning crime drama in the vein of Martin Scorsese. It played several festivals, spawned a few trailers and was successful enough that a sequel, Outrage 2, is on the way. However, most fans haven’t had a chance to see the original because its U.S. release date was way off. Finally, Outrage is schedule to hit U.S. screens on December 2 and on-demand next week, October 28. There’s a brand new red band trailer for the film after the jump.

Thanks to Hulu for this trailer. (That means people outside the US probably can’t see this embed.)

Here’s the official plot description.

In a ruthless battle for power, several yakuza clans vie for the favor of their head family in the Japanese underworld. The rival bosses seek to rise through the ranks by scheming and making allegiances sworn over saké. Long-time yakuza Otomo has seen his kind go from elaborate body tattoos and severed fingertips to becoming important players on the stock market. Theirs is a never-ending struggle to end up on top, or at least survive, in a corrupt world where there are no heroes but constant betrayal and vengeance.

I saw Outrage at AFI Fest 2010 and enjoyed it immensely. It’s filled with the kind of kinetic energy that fuels the first 90 minutes of Casino or the last 30 minutes of Goodfellas with enough double crosses, great kills and evil characters to delight all lovers of crime and violence. Check it out when it’s available.

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Starring: Martin Compston, Felicity Jones, Alfie Allen
Director: Shimmy Marcus

Summary: Joe McCain (Martin Compston) is bored of a life that is going nowhere. Enter hair-dresser Jane (Nichola Burley) - blonde, brassy and moving to the beat of a whole new sound, all night dancing at the Wigan Casino - home of Northern Soul…

Opening with a promotional video for Stoke-on-Trent circa 1974, you could be forgiven for thinking Soulboy is simply a rehash of feel good British comedies from the 90s which has arrived 15 years too late, but give it your time and you'll soon realise that this sweet natured coming of age drama is something much more.

Sure it's got the usual "grim up north" aesthetic of The Full Monty or Brassed Off but it's able to lift itself out of the doldrums with the injection of a young, up-and-coming British cast who convincingly deliver sweat and tears through a hopeful hormonal haze. Leading man Martin Compston exudes all the boyish charm and brash nature of a youngster trying to find his feet in a world of routine binge drinking, whilst Felicity Jones, as the lovelorn girl next door, has the right measure of sweetness and anger to make us all nostalgic for the one that got away. With the cast playing so well off each other, the familiar boy meets girl narrative is played out with the renewed vigour that the genre deserves and sadly most of the time is bereft of in mainstream cinema.

If the simplicity of Soulboy's romantic plot seems too familiar to invigorate a well worn audience then the music and dance scenes are filmed and choreographed with such a kinetic energy that you can't help tap your feet - the cast again showing their versatile talents in and amongst the authentic dance hall of the Wigan Casino. As the classic American soul records are consumed to the rapturous applause and swivel spin moves of the pubescent masses, Soulboy takes a rare wrong turn by attempting a drug dealing subplot which feel out of place when everything else feels comfortingly familiar. Luckily this is simply a Macguffin to bring our feuding lovers together and the pace is changed as quickly as the strap on a Gola record bag - which looks like it was the must have accessory in 1974.

Soulboy may be seen as too twee, and dare I say it too British, when compared with recent hyped, steroid injected 3D dance extravaganzas like Step Up, but it has more honesty and realism in one finger click than they do in a row of body pops. The industrial towns of Stoke and Wigan may be as romantic as a power station chimney stack but Soulboy is destined to be a cult hit with audiences and young lovers for years to come.

Trailer

Out 3rd September
www.soulboythefilm.com

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 Posts Post Full 1281657631Turbine

This is a photo of the Atlantis AK1000, a 130 ton, 74-foot-tall tidal turbine that will be installed underwater off the cost of Scotland. It is designed to supply electrical power for 1,000 households.

Sea water, which is 832 times denser than air, gives a 5 knot ocean current more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind; therefore ocean currents have a very high energy density. Hence a smaller device is required to harness tidal current energy than to harness wind energy.

Tidal current energy takes the kinetic energy available in currents and converts it into renewable electricity. As oceans cover over 70% of Earth’s surface, ocean energy (including wave power, tidal current power and ocean thermal energy conversion) represents a vast source of energy, estimated at between 2,000 and 4,000 TWh per year, enough energy to continuously light between 2 and 4 billion 11W low-energy light bulbs.

Both the U.S. and the U.K., for example, have enough ocean power potential to meet around 15% of their total power needs.

Good: The World's Largest Tidal Turbine, Unveiled

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