President Obama Comes Out Strongly Against Patent Trolls; Here Are The Details | Techdirt

President Obama Comes Out Strongly Against Patent Trolls; Here Are The Details | Techdirt

A video showing new features coming in Windows 8.1, such as better multitasking, better customization for the start screen (animated backgrounds, using the desktop background and more tile sizes) and improved search. Mostly focuses on the start screen, but does contain a glimpse of the desktop and the start button.

The ability of use the desktop background on the start screen should make the transition between the two less jarring.

(via Ars Technica)

As Vandals Deface U.S. Parks, Some Point to Online Show‑Offs –

As Vandals Deface U.S. Parks, Some Point to Online Show‑Offs –


How you and I could become nodes in the internet of things

A group of French researchers believe that the sensors and transmitters we wear will route and relay data, not just collect it. We won’t just be connected to the network. We’ll be the network.

Ever wonder what the network infrastructure of the future will be? Try looking in the mirror.

Some day our bodies — or at least the clothing or accessories that adorn them — could become key network nodes in the internet of things. European researchers think that sensors and transmitters on our bodies can be used to form cooperative ad hoc networks that could be used for group indoor navigation, crowd-motion capture, health monitoring on a massive scale and especially collaborative communications. Last week, French institute CEA-Leti and three French universities have launched the Cormoran project, which aims to explore the use of such cooperative interpersonal networks.

fitbit oneThe concept of wireless body area networks (WBANs) isn’t a new one. WBANs could be used to sever the cord between patients and their monitoring equipment. Companies like Apple and Heapslylon are exploring the possibility of connected clothes with embedded sensors. We’ve already begun embracing a new era of wearables, such as Google Glass to Fitbit (see disclosure), designed to become extensions of our senses and movements.


Cygnus Constellation

The image depicts part of Cygnus, a northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way.

Cygnus is one of the most recognizable constellations of the northern summer and autumn, featuring a prominent asterism known as the Northern Cross (in contrast to the Southern Cross), dominated by Deneb (Alfa Cygni), a blue-white supergiant star of visual magnitude 1.3, very bright despite its distance of some 3,200 light years from Earth. [**]

Davide De Martin; Data credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey

From Astrophotographer Davide De Martin:

“There is no way to properly present a 2.5 gigapixel image on a computer screen (I am talking about 2.5 billion pixel, or 2500 megapixel, one thousand times higher than a modern digital camera, which can take pictures containing around 20-25 megapixel). For this reason,I thought a videoclip could do a better work showing how much there is in the image. My advise is to watch it with quality set at 720p or 1080p and on full-screen.”


Chandra, Spitzer study suggests black holes abundant among the earliest stars

The cosmic microwave background, shown at left in this illustration, is a flash of light that occurred when the young universe cooled enough for electrons and protons to form the first atoms. It contains slight temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all cosmic structure we see around us today. The universe then went dark for hundreds of millions of years until the first stars shone and the first black holes began accreting gas. A portion of the infrared and X-ray signals from these sources is preserved in the cosmic infrared background, or CIB, and its X-ray equivalent, the CXB. At least 20 percent of the structure in these backgrounds changes in concert, indicating that black hole activity was hundreds of times more intense in the early universe than it is today.

By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe.

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s , which observes in the infrared, researchers have concluded one of every five sources contributing to the is a black hole.

Full Article

Credit: Karen Teramura, UHIfA

You’re Too Cheap to Fly Faster — Lift and Drag — Medium

You’re Too Cheap to Fly Faster — Lift and Drag — Medium