By Hamzat Sani, Special to the AFROLast week five fellow journalists were taken from us in the line of duty at the Capital Gazette. Gerald Fischman, Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were all a part of the community of journalist dedicated to bringing the truth to light no matter how gritty or polished. Their loss is a reminder that their work often comes with danger present. Some have a view of journalist always busily hunched over a computer tapping away frantically at their keyboards hoping to communicate the depth of a story before deadline.? However, getting to the point where you have facts to actually report takes a great deal of legwork, research and sometimes pestering people that most would give a very wide berth. Journalist ask very dangerous people the questions we have but ofen fear the answers to.Marcus K. Dowling and Kristin Jeffers are among the journalists who shared their reactions post the shooting at the Capital Gazette. (AP Photo)In the wake of the Capital Gazette shooting The AFRO?queried fellow journalists on the following questions related to the safety of their work and ours.Camielle Lawson-Livingstone Do you feel unsafe after the shooting at the Capital Gazette given it happened so close to D.C.?Yes, though proximity is the least relevant factor, this is America. Guns are everywhere and accessible by nearly everyone.Do you feel gun reform will prevent more mass shootings?Yes, though I do not believe the current reform options being tentatively suggested are likely to do much.Do you feel that the media is literally under attack?Yes, from both the inside and outside.Have there ever been times where you felt unsafe doing your work as a journalist?Yes, of course.Kristen Jeffers Do you feel unsafe after the shooting at the Capital Gazette given it happened so close to D.C.?No more than I do on a daily basis, considering we’ve started to see mass shootings in every context and every place imaginable.Do you feel gun reform will prevent more mass shootings?It depends. There are a lot of people who own guns, but never think to use them to shoot up masses of people. Also, guns may go away, but we haven’t discussed bombs and other chemical attacks, as well as other attacks such as theft and other means of terrorizing people.Do you feel that the media is literally under attack?No more than it has been. I think this is yet another case of a long string of attacks on the media. As I’ve seen on several other journalist social media pages and in articles, this is a lot of folks’ worst fears. There’s always someone who’s hypercritical of the work and sometimes that person is more than willing to threaten death or extreme violence. Sadly, in Annapolis, that person decided to show up.Have there ever been times where you felt unsafe doing your work as a journalist?Yes, even just being online and knowing that women tend to be harassed or questioned more than men and that alone can cause more mental terror than necessary.Jamaal Abdul-Alim Do you feel unsafe after the shooting at the Capital Gazette given it happened so close to D.C.?I still feel safe because I work from home but even if I didn’t what happened is an aberration that appears to be based on a dispute between the newspaper and the aggrieved perpetrator.Do you feel gun reform will prevent more mass shootings?I honestly don’t know but some weapons appear to have no legitimate purpose in a civil society.Do you feel that the media is literally under attack?No. This was a unique situation not related to political bent or bias but a personal dispute.Have there ever been times where you felt unsafe doing your work as a journalist?Yes as a crime reporter I’ve had some precarious situations but for the most part I feel safe.I don’t think I’d feel safe at some of these rallies though.Marcus K. Dowling Do you feel unsafe after the shooting at the Capital Gazette given it happened so close to D.C.?I’ve always regarded Annapolis as close, but separated by say, Route 50. Dr. King said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” though. Thus, I feel like this is the type of issue that “inspires” manic individuals to acts of madness pretty much anywhere.Do you feel gun reform will prevent more mass shootings?Gun reform will not. Individuals who are passionate about their guns and their rights to bear arms will always have both, plus be willing to follow regulations. Also, because freedom and equality are what they are in how they encompass ALL viewpoints, if angered, gun owners CAN respond violently.Do you feel that the media is literally under attack?I feel like that’s an apt statement.Have there ever been times where you felt unsafe doing your work as a journalist?I believe that if a perspective is presented honestly and with significant evidence to support it, that there’s enough protection offered by information. Of course, given that we’re so diametrically opposed, what’s required to create that evidence is more considerable than it has ever been.We honor the life and work of those lost reporting the truth here and in other parts of the world and do not take for granted the privilege of having journalists ask the hard questions we struggle to find the language for. Rest in power and print.
Popular on Variety Facebook-owned Instagram is considering the addition of long-form video uploads, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. The service has been working on a feature that would allow users to post vertical videos up to an hour length, according to the report.An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment.Up until now, Instagram has limited the length of videos posted to a user’s timeline to 1 minute. Videos posted to Instagram Stories have to be even shorter, and are capped at 15 seconds. Users can already stream live videos for up to an hour, but the WSJ report suggests that the service is considering to extend this time limit to content that isn’t broadcasted live.Adding long-form video could help Facebook to further monetize Instagram’s sizable audience. The service surpassed 800 million monthly active users last September, 500 million of which visit the service every single day. Instagram Stories are being viewed by 300 million users every day. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 At the same time, adding long-form video could also help Instagram make inroads against YouTube. The Google-owned video sharing site is the most popular internet service among teens, according to a recent Pew Research study. The same study had Instagram on second place, but Facebook trailing fourth behind Snapchat.
Former President Barack Obama is using digital-media company ATTN: as a mouthpiece to reach millennials — with a new video aimed at getting young Americans to the polls for the Nov. 6 midterm elections.“Look, a lot of our elected officials are misinformed,” Obama says in the video.At another point, Obama ribs?Republican senators who questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “like they’d never used the internet before… because they haven’t.”“Here’s your chance to vote for people who actually know what the internet is,” Obama says. “You wouldn’t let your grandparents pick your playlist. Why would you let them pick your representative who’s going to determine your future?”The full Obama get-out-the-vote video is available on ATTN:’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel, with a shorter version available on Instagram. ATTN: said the Obama video is not a paid political ad, and that the 4.5-minute segment was entirely funded and produced by the company. He’s the second high-profile Democrat that ATTN: has worked with on a get-out-the-vote initiative: Last month, it launched a new weekly political-issues series hosted by former VP Joe Biden?on Instagram’s IGTV and other platforms, set to run through the November elections.True, the former president’s message is not overtly pushing a political agenda. But by aligning itself with Obama and Biden, ATTN: is showing its left-leaning sympathies — and making no bones about the fact that the media outlet “that entertains and informs” is dedicated to promoting progressive policies. And that’s on-brand for ATTN:, which co-founder Matthew Segal recently told Variety is aspiring to be “the HBO of mid-form content.”“We’re thrilled to have worked with President Obama on this video that also happens to have a critically important message for young voters,” Matthew Segal, ATTN:’s co-founder, said in a statement. “Public officials who understand the way media has evolved know that they need to get their message out to young voters on social media, and often through shareable, mobile-friendly videos.”In the new video, Obama shoots down seven common excuses for not voting, including “my vote doesn’t matter” and “midterm elections are boring.”Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said the stakes are high in this year’s midterms elections, and “that’s why President Obama is delivering a message directly to young voters in this light-hearted, millennial-focused video: that contrary to internet myths, voting is the easiest and most powerful way for them to hold our elected officials accountable.”ATTN:, founded in 2014, has raised about $24 million from investors including Evolution Media Capital, Main Street Advisors, Marc Rowan and Paul Wachter.Listen to?Variety’s?“Strictly Business” podcast with ATTN:’s Matthew Segal: Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
ABC News Will Now Hold Just a One-Night Democratic Debate Related Zuckerberg’s comments are a continuation of the position he outlined in a March 30 op-ed in the Washington Post calling on governments to enact laws addressing how internet companies treat harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability. Critics derided Zuckerberg’s suggestions as self-serving, saying such regulations would give Facebook legal cover for the problems on its platform.Asked by Stephanopoulos how he would respond to critics who argue that policing its own platform is Facebook’s responsibility, Zuckerberg said, “I think setting the rules around political advertising is not the company’s job.”For the 2020 elections, Facebook is better equipped to combat potential election interference from Russia and other countries, according to Zuckerberg. “We learned a lot since 2016,” he said, referring to the revelation that Russia used Facebook to spread propaganda designed to divide U.S. voters and swing the presidential election.Zuckerberg also addressed the mass shooting in New Zealand last month, during which one of the terrorists live-streamed the attack on Facebook Live in a 17-minute video.The live video itself was seen by about 200 Facebook users, according to Zuckerberg, although the video was also uploaded and viewed by several thousand more people. “We need to build out systems to be able to identify terrorist events more quickly, as it’s happening,” he said. “One of the things this flagged for me overall was the extent to which bad actors are going to try to get around our systems.”The ABC News interview is the latest plank in Zuckerberg’s PR strategy aimed at rehabilitating Facebook’s tarnished image after a series of damaging disclosures and headlines over the past year about the social giant — which have led to calls for more government regulation of Facebook and even Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to dismantle the company (for example, by forcing Facebook to separate from WhatsApp and Instagram) and other tech giants like Google and Amazon.“I think in a lot of ways, over the last few years, we have changed significantly how we’ve run the company,” Zuckerberg told Stephanopoulos. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Facebook Reportedly Working on New Snapchat-Like Messaging App for Instagram Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated his call for governments to step in with new regulations governing internet platforms, saying in an ABC News interview that his company needs laws regulating political speech.“We need new rules,” Zuckerberg said. He?was interviewed by ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. The interview, recorded Wednesday, aired on “Good Morning America” Thursday morning.“The current laws around what is political advertising don’t consider discussion issues to be political,” Zuckerberg said, referring to attempts by Russia and others to disrupt elections with misinformation campaigns on social media. “It’s not clear to me that we want a private company to be making that kind of a fundamental decision about what is political speech and how should that be regulated. That seems like something there should be a more democratic process around.” The scandals besetting Facebook have included revelations about questionable business practices, a string of user-data privacy breaches, and ongoing issues about the platform’s role in the spread of hate content and misinformation including its potential for interference in elections.In Facebook’s latest privacy gaffe, researchers at a security firm said Wednesday that they discovered about 540 million Facebook user records — including names, passwords and comments — publicly exposed on Amazon cloud servers. Facebook said it worked with Amazon to remove the data after being alerted about the breach; Zuckerberg told Stephanopoulos the company was “still looking into” the incident. And the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week sued Facebook, alleging it violated the Fair Housing Act by letting advertisers buy targeted housing ads based on race, gender and other criteria.Last month, Zuckerberg outlined a new privacy vision for Facebook’s portfolio of apps, pledging that the company will make changes to keep users’ messages private and introduce mechanisms to let shared content expire. With the new focus, chief product officer Chris Cox exited the company after 14 years at Facebook.Zuckerberg admitted in the ABC News interview that he was “more surprised than I should have been” about the criticism Facebook has taken over the last few years.“I’m a very idealistic person. I built this because I believe that giving everyone a voice is going to be a positive thing,” Zuckerberg said. “But now I think have a little more awareness that if you’re serving 2 billion people, you’re going to see a lot of amazing things that people are capable of — but you’re also going to see people try to abuse those systems.”ABC News touted Zuckerberg’s appearance as his first network TV interview since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March 2018, in which the political-consulting firm illicitly obtained info on millions of Facebook users that it used to place targeted ads during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, Zuckerberg has sat for several other interviews over that time, including two last year with CNN’s Laurie Segall. Popular on Variety
As if 2016 hasn’t been rotten enough we’ve just heard Carrie Fisher has suffered a major heart attack. If you follow her on twitter like I do you know she’s been in Europe with Gary on her book tour. Earlier today on a flight from London to Los Angles Fisher went into cardiac arrest.The legendary actress and activist recently?turned 60, which we celebrated joyously here at Geek. It’s being reported that passengers gave her CPR until a paramedic on the?flight was rushed to help her.The plane luckily was only 15 minutes from LAX, and she was rushed to the hospital?immediately?upon an emergency landing. She is currently listed in critical condition.We here at Geek are wishing her the very best and hoping she recovers quickly. Carrie is one of our absolute favorites and is loved dearly by us and millions. During this festive season, please keep Miss Fisher in your thoughts and well wishes.Get better soon Carrie. Gary & the Galaxy need you!We will keep you informed of any updates here on this page.UPDATE: 6:12PM EST – Carrie is at the UCLA Medical Center on a ventilator. No other news has been reported.UPDATE: 9:12PM EST – Carrie is in ICU but stable!
Stay on target Look, we all knew going in that this wasn’t going to be the end of the Cicada arc. As much as we want to know what’s really going on with Eobard Thawne, Cicada is still the big bad of the season. At least for now. The bright side is the way The Flash?extended this story wasn’t at all the cop-out it could have been. It didn’t feel like the only reason Team Flash failed was because there’s a full third of a season that needs filling up. It was a logical and exciting escalation of the story. One that was set up by a past episode as well as? the plot of this one.Now that the moral of last week’s King Shark episode has sunk in, Barry is dead set on convincing Cicada to take the metahuman cure willingly. The only question is how. Nora is racing to figure out a solution because, as she learned in her most recent conversation with Thawne, they don’t have much time left. There is a new timeline emerging, probably due to XS meddling in her past. A new timeline brings uncertainty and unpredictability which, according to Thawne, could be bad. Why do I get the feeling the new timeline is probably good for The Flash/XS, and only bad for whatever Thawne’s real plan is? This is the real downside of not being done with Cicada just yet. I’m incredibly curious to know what Thawne’s up to, but the show only has time for one scene of him per episode.Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West Allen and Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West – Allen — Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CWThe Flash and XS are called to the scene of a metahuman robbing a science lab. Once there, they find he has acid powers. XS recognizes the burn marks he leaves in the floor instantly. They’re from The Flash’s last appearance before his final battle with Cicada. If he’s going to change history, today is the day. Most of the episode follows the?Flash?formula to the letter. Only this time, The Flash is not trying to defeat a metahuman, but make him see reason. And that’s the goal from the beginning, not one that emerges over a lengthy heart-to heart. (That comes in the B-plot.)That’s actually what this episode does really well. It merges the B-plot into the main story, making it truly feel like it matters. The episode feels so much more eventful and important because every scene feels necessary. There’s very little that could be considered filler. While Barry’s attempt to appeal to Cicada’s legacy fails (turns out the serial killer doesn’t care about his legacy), Joe investigates from a different angle. He and Cecile put together that there must be someone patching him up, and they figure out a likely suspect: Dr. Ambres. Cecile joins up with him to interrogate the doctor. She’s so excited to use her empath abilities in an interrogation, she intimidates Joe. He’s used to going by his gut, not trusting someone else’s abilities. Yes, it’s kind of a contrived problem, but I can forgive it. It makes a certain amount of sense that Joe would want to prove he can still be a good cop by himself after being away so long. (And again, I’m so happy to see Jesse L. Martin back in an active role on this show.)Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West — Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CWJoe and Barry take turns giving each other advice and both come away with an understanding of how to do better. Joe realizes that Cecile’s strengths are his own, and she can enable him to do his job better. The second interrogation goes well. Not only does Dr. Ambres agree to set up a meeting with Cicada, she gives up a crucial piece of information. One that not even Cicada knows. Grace is a metahuman. Her powers appeared only recently. At the meeting, Barry convinces Orlin to go through with the metahuman cure. He takes off his mask at tells Orlin that Grace wouldn’t want to grow up in a world where someone is hunting down people like her.That turns out to be a dangerous assumption. Orlin agrees to take the cure, and Team Flash agrees to his conditions. He has his knife by his side in case they turn out to be lying, and Dr. Ambres is the one to suture him up. The procedure goes well, and the metahuman cure begins to work. Then, right as Ambres is patching up Orlin’s freshly opened wound, the lights go out. There’s an intruder in S.T.A.R. Labs. Team Flash assembles to find out who it is. To their surprise, it’s Cicada. How is this possible. If you’ve been paying attention this season, it should click at this point that the episode where XS went inside Grace’s mind was? foreshadowing. We learned that Grace’s view towards metahumans align pretty closely with Orlins. We also saw an older version of her as Cicada.Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Frost — Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CWWell, guess who came to the surgery. Nora isn’t the only one who found a way to travel back in time. As Team Flash tries to figure out what to do about this newly appeared Cicada, she easily dispatches all of them. With a blast of energy, she ties flash to the wall, before systematically knocking out the rest of the team with objects around the room. As fight scenes go, this one was exactly as shocking and demoralizing as the show wanted it to be. Even knowing logically that we wouldn’t be done with Cicada’s story this early, the episode did a good job of building up just enough hope for this moment to knock the wind out of us. This was an impressively well-put together episode of?The Flash.?The new Cicada kills Dr. Ambrose right as she’s trying to escape with Orlin. She takes the unconscious Orlin back to his house where she reveals what we’ve suspected for an entire scene now. She is Grace from the future. The real question is, how did she get here? It’s an exciting cliffhanger that raises the stakes of the overall story arc. Rather than giving us an artificial extension of the story,?The Flash?carefully set up the events of this episode to give us a satisfying and surprising outcome.Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CWThe only part of the episode that didn’t quite fit in was the Iris-Nora story. The whole episode, Iris is desperately trying to check off a list of fun things to do with Nora before she goes back to her own time. It felt out of place with the importance of everything else going on. It didn’t really go anywhere either. Just a brief argument followed by an admission that mother-daughter time is important too. I realize Iris needs something to do in these episodes, but couldn’t it be something a little more? urgent than this? That’s just a minor quibble with what was otherwise an especially strong episode of?The Flash. I never thought I’d be excited to see more Cicada but after that ending, I can’t help it.The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.Previously on The Flash:The Flash Season 5 Episode 15 RecapThe Flash Season 5 Episode 13 RecapThe Flash Season 5 Episode 12 Recap Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis
There were some very promising games among the tables, though. XGen Studios’?The Low Road stood out as both the most mechanically interesting and the most polished presentation. It’s a point-and-click adventure game that takes place in the 1970s, following corporate spies digging for secrets. The main gameplay looked very Sierra-like, but I saw a fascinating first-person section where the player rifles through documents while talking to a contact to figure out the best way to get information from them. New York Comic-Con was over a month ago, PAX East isn’t until the Spring, and I’ll be waiting until the summer to shlep out to E3, but there was still a pretty good little game convention in New York last weekend, and considering recent events it was pretty on-point. GaymerX is an annual independent video game convention in San Francisco. After four years on the eh-est coast, it spin off to the beast coast for the first time this year as GaymerX East.The event was held at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square, with the space helpfully donated for the weekend by Microsoft. It’s an office building, not a convention space, so the layout and feel was markedly different, and smaller, than most gaming cons. GaymerX East took place across two floors of the Microsoft Technology Center, with expo halls, panel rooms, arcades, and tabletop areas spread out over multiple conference rooms.Hundreds of LGBT and supportive gamers attended the con, which included panels, indie developers, merch vendors, and tons of games. Local retro/import gaming standby Video Games New York set up the largest arcade room, making available several RetroN 5 systems, displays, and cartridges for anyone who wanted to play. It wasn’t a huge event, but it was a very positive one. I sat in on the “Gaming Journalism from the LGBTQIA Perspective” panel, moderated by?The New York Times‘ Jude Biersdorfer and featuring?Kotaku managing editor Riley MacLeod, writer and I Need Diverse Games founder Tanya DePass, and NYC Gaymers organizer James Nieves. I’m primarily a tech writer rather than a game critic, and it was pretty interesting getting perspectives of people in the industry who are both LGBT and focus almost entirely on games in their coverage. There’s a great deal of discontent regarding representation of minority and LGBT people in both games and game media.Mafia 3 was brought up as a game with a very racially and socially charged premise, and the panel discussed the necessity of coverage written by people with perspectives that can more personally understand the points of that premise. The game raises some very valid questions of who should cover what games how, when the reaction and interpretation of characters using racist epithets heavily varies changes a great deal depending on whether the writer has personally dealt with those epithets.The indie games showed off at GaymerX East looked generally promising, but they largely suffered from the same problem many indie developers showing off their upcoming projects at less-than-huge events suffer: a lack of commercial polish. Many of the games I saw looked overly simple and unfinished, but that’s common for events of this scale regardless of social themes. And, while the games shown off all included LGBT developers, they weren’t all focused on LGBT perspectives in their themes and concepts. Escape From Clowntown was another good-looking game at GaymerX East, though it isn’t nearly as interesting in concept as?The Low Road. It’s a mobile action/puzzle game where you jump between spinning wheels to reach the end of the level. The art is what really makes it stand out, with bright, surreal, very dense art evocative of grafitti, Giger, and Bratz. I’m not a fan of the character designs, but the levels are all stunning murals filled with strangeness. The gameplay left a lot to be desired, though, and I really hope Seagull Fish Entertainment can tighten up the jumping, since it’s basically the only mechanic you have control over.GaymerX East wasn’t a big event, and I’m curious to see just how larger the west coast version is. It was, however, very positive, bringing together a large segment of gamers and developers that are largely underserved by the industry.View as: One Page Slides1. Geeks Out’s merch booth at GaymerX East.2. Midboss’ Read Only Memories3. Of course there were cosplayers.4. The GaymerX East expo hall, the largest conference room available at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square.5. 6. The “Gaming Journalism from the LGBTQIA Perspective” panel, moderated by The New York Times’ Jude Biersdorfer and featuring Kotaku managing editor Riley MacLeod, writer and I Need Diverse Games founder Tanya DePass, and NYC Gaymers organizer James Nieves.7. Yes, they had them. Wasn’t a problem.8. Tabletop gaming room.9. One of the arcades at GaymerX East. This one was set up by Video Games New York.10. 11. 12. XGen Studios’ The Long Road.13. 14. 15. 16. Abigail Corfman’s Open Sorcery17. Seagull Fish Entertainment’s Escape From Clowntown.18.
VR is changing the video game industry in a big way, and it’s time to get with the times or be left behind. That’s why you should seriously consider picking up an Oculus Rift along with its brand new Oculus Touch controllers when it launches next week.There’s a whopping 53 titles that will support Oculus Touch at launch, with several different games for you to try out and determine your favorite, including hilarious titles like Job Simulator or the harrowing The Climb. There’s a little something for everyone here, whether you prefer to be scared out of your mind or if you want to party with friends. Even if you’re not much of a gamer, there’s plenty here to try out and experiment with. The full list is below:Arizona Sunshine (Vertigo Games)Bigscreen Beta (Bigscreen)Carnival Games VR (2K Games)The Climb (Crytek)Cosmic Trip (Funktronic Labs)CRANGA!: Harbor Frenzy (HandMade Game)Dead and Buried (Oculus Studios)Dead Hungry (Q-Games)DEXED (Ninja Theory)Dig 4 Destruction (COLOPL, Inc.)Enigma Sphere (YOMUNECO)Fantastic Contraption (Radial Games and Northway Games)Final Approach (Phaser Lock Interactive)Fly to KUMA MAKER (COLOPL, Inc.)Fruit Ninja VR (Halfbrick Studios)Galaxy Golf (Liftoff Labs)The Gallery Episode 1: Call of the Starseed (Cloudhead Games)Gary the Gull (Limitless Studios)Grav|Lab: Gravitational Testing Facility & Observations (Mark Schramm)HoloBall (TreeFortress)Home Improvisation: Furniture Sandbox (The Stork Burnt Down)I Expect You To Die (Schell Games)Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)Kingspray (Infectious Ape)Medium (Oculus)Music Inside (Reality Reflection)NBA 2KVR Experience (Visual Concepts / 2K)Ocean Rift (Llyrap Cenydd)Oculus First Contact (Oculus Studios)Pierhead Arcade (Mechabit Ltd)PLANNES (Tricol)Please, Don’t Touch Anything (Escalation Studios)Pro Fishing Challenge VR (Opus)Proton Pulse Plus (Zero Transform)Pulsar Arena (Zero Transform)Quar: Battle for Gate 18 (Steel Wool Games)Quill by Story Studio (beta) (Oculus Story Studio)Rec Room (Against Gravity)Rescuties VR (mode of expression, LLC)Ripcoil (Sanzaru Games, Inc.)Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope (Croteam VR)Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions)Sports Bar VR (Perilous Orbit and Cherry Pop Games)Super Kaiju (Directive Games)Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality (Bossa Studios)theBlu (WeVR, Inc.)Toybox (Oculus Studios)The Unspoken (Insomniac Games)Viral EX (Fierce Kaiju)VR Sports Challenge (Sanzaru Games, Inc.)Windlands (Psytec Games Ltd)ZR: Zombie Riot (PlaySide VR)If you only play a couple of the titles listed above, make sure you nab Job Simulator, which is a hilarious rumination on human careers in various fields. You’ll be making copies, pressing buttons, throwing donuts and a whole lot of other bizarre things rather than actually performing tasks, however. Not only is is giggle-inducing, but it’s a great meter for showing off exactly what VR is capable of.It’s also worth trying Superhot VR, which takes an already excellent shooter and turns it into an expansive, transformative experience worth investigating. The game only moves when you move, making for some gorgeous minimalistic puzzles in a first-person space.The Oculus Touch controllers themselves are poised for launch on December 6, so if you’re interested in nabbing a few for yourself, you’ve still got a few days left. Hurry up and get it in!
Samsung’s 108MP Camera Sensor Is Coming to a Smartphone Near YouHuge Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Doesn’t Have Room For Headphone Jack Just in case you didn’t think the $2,000 price tag Samsung slapped on the still-unreleased Galaxy Fold wasn’t already high enough, the masters of excess at Caviar have something special for you.They’ve cooked up a limited edition inspired by George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Caviar is planning to sell it for a little over four times the price of the retail Galaxy Fold.Yes, for just shy of $8,200 you can own one of these stunning works of ostentatiousness. Caviar’s upgrades to the Fold’s outer shell include carbon fiber, leather, and gold.AdChoices广告This doesn’t seem like a particularly prudent time to go pitching pre-orders for an ultra-high-end version of the Galaxy Fold. Samsung has postponed the device’s launch indefinitely after its review units suffered a series of spectacular failures.The debacle prompted Samsung to cancel all pre-orders from would-be buyers unless they specifically opted in. Best Buy has now announced that all pre-orders placed at their stores have been canceled, too.But hey, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t see spending $8200 on a phone as a big deal then maybe you’re not all that concerned with potential pitfalls like screens that fail after a day or protective coatings that peel off.You could always just prepare for the worst and buy all six of the caviar version that are available to the public. Not the seventh one, however. Caviar has promised to ship that one to Martin.You’ll have to wait until Caviar puts the page back up to place a pre-order, however. It was unceremoniously yanked offline shortly after the YouTube teaser was uploaded.For those who aren’t familiar with Caviar, this is what the Russian company is known for. Their candy bar-style Tsarphones start at around $2900 and that’s for the least gaudy model that features an alligator leather back cover.At the other end of the spectrum you’ll find a diamond-encrusted iPhone XS Max that’s currently sale priced at $22,510 (down from Caviar’s original price of $24,880).More on Geek.com:The Samsung Galaxy A80 Has a Camera That Does BackflipsWatch: Robots Fold Samsung Galaxy Fold Phone 200,000 Times in Durability TestLego Pokes Fun at Samsung’s Foldable Phone With Its ‘Lego Fold’ Pop-Up Book Stay on target
IceCube: Sketchup Array and IC79 Events (PhysOrg.com) — Physicist Nathan Whitehorn and a team of researchers with the IceCube collaboration have failed to come up with evidence to prove that neutrinos come from, or are caused by, gamma ray bursts, (cosmic explosions) after a year of study. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: IceCube researchers come up empty on first neutrino test (2011, April 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-icecube-neutrino.html IceCube neutrino observatory nears completion More information: Limits on Neutrino Emission from Gamma-Ray Bursts with the 40 String IceCube Detector, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 141101 (2011) DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.141101 Neutrinos are neutral particles that travel through space and pass through any object (such as the Earth) in their path. They are able to do so because they have an avoidance property which for the most part keeps them from running into the atoms that make up matter.The IceCube station was built near the South Pole specifically to capture evidence of the existence of high intensity neutrinos after they’ve passed through the Earth. Many scientists have wondered if they are the result of gamma ray bursts, as some theories predict, but have until now, been unable to test those theories. The IceCube was built to house 5,160 sensitive photon detectors that are able to capture the minute traces of blue light that appear when a neutrino does actually crash head-on into an atom (a very rare occurrence) spraying surrounding ice or water with atomic particles. The idea has been that if such a station were to be built that could capture enough of these collisions before, during and after a gamma ray burst, then it would be possible to see if there was a spike, which would lend credence to the theory that the neutrinos do in fact come from such bursts.Unfortunately, at least so far, things have not worked out that way. During the period of April 5, 2008, through May 20, 2009, nearly 117 gamma ray bursts were detected, but not once did the researchers see any sort of spike, which has led Whitehorn to concede that the amount of neutrino’s that come from gamma rays, if they do at all, is likely smaller than has been theorized.Granted, the statistics published in Whitethorn’s paper in Physical Review Letters, come from a time period where the station was still being built and thus didn’t have enough sensors to gather as much evidence as needed, but the worry is if after further research (at least two more years), there is still no conclusive evidence, researchers such as Whitehorn, will be left with little more than some very serious head-scratching questions for which they, nor anyone else, will likely have any answers. ? 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further
When e-beam lithography was first discovered, it was widely panned as being too slow to work in a manufacturing environment. Write times were on the order of a whole day, which was seen as more than enough time for all manner of defects to creep into the process. Thus, companies, such as TSMC have continued to use the tried and true EUV method.Lithography is a type of printing technology. Originally it was a way to make a stamp out of a stone or metal plate without resorting to etching. Wax was applied to the plate and images were etched into it. Ink was then applied and the plate pressed against paper to produce the final product.Modern lithography follows much the same principal to make integrated circuits, except that ultraviolet light is used to chemically alter the material or film which is known in the industry as a resist. Afterwards, those parts of the resist changed by the light can be removed, leaving behind a structure that can be used as part of a wafer. E-beam lithography tool produced by MAPPER and tested by TSMC would replace EUV with 110 electron beams focused on the resist allowing for the creation of much smaller circuits.Lin says that advances in micromachining technology as well as those in chip performance have improved with e-beam lithography and that changing from a 300mm wafer size to 450mm could make e-beam lithography the way to go in the future. He says doing so would allow manufactures to reduce costs by fifty seven percent. He also said he believes the process would be capable of producing 150 wafers per hours, which is comparable to EUV systems. Significant Achievements in Intel’s EUV Lithography Program ? 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Micropatterning Director at TSMC suggests e-beam lithography may replace EUV (2012, February 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-micropatterning-director-tsmc-e-beam-lithography.html Explore further More information: via IEEE and Semimd (PhysOrg.com) — Most integrated circuits today are made by using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology, but that could change, according to Burn Lin, Micropatterning Director at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd (TSMC) who was speaking at a SPIE Alternative Lithography Conference in San Jose last week. He says that as manufactures seek to make ever smaller and denser chips, EUV could lose its edge in allowing the industry to follow Moore’s law. The answer he says, may turn out to be switching to electron beam (e-beam) lithography. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen (Phys.org)—Magnetism may be one of the most fundamental concepts in physics, but under the surface, magnetism holds complex secrets that scientists are still trying to unravel. One of these areas involves the dynamics of magnetic topological defects in thin films of ferromagnetic materials. In a new study, physicists have demonstrated that magnetic topological defects called skyrmions, which resemble swirling eddies or bubbles, behave differently than do other magnetic defects. The scientists show that skyrmions’ unusual behavior arises from the strange occurrence of waves on the bubbles’ edges that travel with different speeds in opposite directions. Play Model of a skyrmion bubble with propagating waves on its edges. The dashed line is the undisturbed bubble in its lowest-energy state. The scientists then created a deformation of a specific form, in this case a wave that fits three times on the circumference, and let it go. On a skrymion bubble, the waves traveling left and right have different speeds, unlike standing waves, which are made of waves that have equal speeds even when traveling in opposite directions. If the same deformation were created on a regular taut string instead of a skyrmion bubble, it would result in two running waves traveling in opposite directions with equal speeds. Their superposition would be a standing wave that is going nowhere and merely oscillates in place, keeping its shape. The behavior of the waves on the skyrmion bubble changes in time because the faster wave decays faster. As time goes on, its amplitude diminishes and by the end of the movie you are only seeing a single running wave traveling clockwise. Credit: Oleg Tchernyshyov Journal information: Physical Review Letters Model of a skyrmion bubble (dashed line) with propagating waves (red line) on its edges. See movie below for wave dynamics. Image credit: Oleg Tchernyshyov PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: Magnetic bubbles behave differently than other magnetic defects (w/ video) (2012, December 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-magnetic-differently-defects-video.html When skyrmion bubbles are modeled as objects with mass that contain propagating waves on their edges, the equations accurately describe the observed motion. This understanding of the dynamics of these odd magnetic entities is not only interesting from a basic physics perspective, but also for potential applications.”Magnetic bubbles and other topological defects can be used as memory or logic elements,” Tchernyshyov said. “Stuart Parkin at IBM has made some waves with his concept of racetrack memory, in which he uses domain walls in magnetic nanowires for computational purposes. Whether skyrmions will be eventually used in technological applications is anyone’s guess. Our work is directed more at understanding the basic physics of magnets.” Play Model of a fast counterclockwise traveling wave. The superposition of this wave and a slow clockwise traveling wave (see other movie) results in the wave that forms on a skyrmion bubble. Movie credit: Oleg Tchernyshyov Tchernyshyov added that this investigation of the dynamics of skyrmion bubbles is just one part of the researchers’ broader goals of better understanding magnetic defects in general.”This work was part of a larger scheme,” he said. “The motion of topological defects in magnets is a complex phenomenon. A few years ago we came up with a new approach to its theoretical description. We proposed a simple and economical theory to describe the most important aspects of their motion [Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 127204 (2008)]. The current paper is one of the applications of this new language. We are currently working on classifying magnetic textures by topology in three-dimensional magnets, as opposed to two-dimensional thin films.” The physicists, Imam Makhfudz and Oleg Tchernyshyov at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US, and Benjamin Krüger at the University of Hamburg in Germany, have reported their discovery of some intriguing dynamics of skyrmion bubbles in a study recently published in Physical Review Letters.Scientists have previously known that skyrmions aren’t like other magnetic defects that exist in thin-film ferromagnets. The dynamics of a more typical defect, a vortex, has been described as resembling the motion of charged massless particles in a magnetic field. Scientists originally expected skyrmions to move in a similar way. However, recent simulations have shown that the behavior of skyrmion magnetic bubbles significantly deviates from this model. Whereas vortices displaced from an equilibrium position follow a circular trajectory, the trajectory of the center of a skyrmion bubble follows roughly a more complicated curve, namely a hypocycloid. To explain this puzzling trajectory, the physicists here have shown that skyrmion bubbles must possess inertial mass. The mass is generated not at the center of a bubble but rather at its edge. According to the physicists’ equations, waves on the boundary of a bubble travel left and right at different speeds. While the slow waves are insensitive to inertia, the fast waves involve magnetic oscillations, giving the bubbles mass. “The greatest significance of our work, in my view, is the existence of these funny waves that travel back and forth with different speeds,” Tchernyshyov told Phys.org. “This is very unusual, as normally waves travel with equal speeds in opposite directions. There are a few examples of physical systems where that happens, e.g., the edge of a Quantum Hall liquid, where electrons move in one direction only. Such systems know right from left, so they are called ‘chiral.’ Ours is another example of waves in chiral systems.” Play Model of a slow clockwise traveling wave. The superposition of this wave and a fast counterclockwise traveling wave (see other movie) results in the wave that forms on a skyrmion bubble. Movie credit: Oleg Tchernyshyov More information: Imam Makhfudz, et al. “Inertia and chiral edge modes of a skyrmion magnetic bubble.” Physical Review Letters, 109, 217201 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.217201 . Also available at arXiv:1208.3123 [cond-mat.mes-hall] http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.3123 Explore further Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Manipulating the texture of magnetism
The ads indicate that these representations of remote conference attendees are on Microsoft’s virtual conferencing technology agenda. One of the two ads posted was for a Software Development Engineer, Principal. The ad asked: “Want to be responsible for redefining how people telecommute, communicate and work? Not just getting them connected, but truly bringing them together with cutting edge software and hardware.” Microsoft said it is now developing the hardware and software necessary to have a realistic physical body-double or proxy taking part in a remote meeting.Microsoft said the remote worker will have a “true seat at the table, the ability to look around the room, turn to a colleague and have a side conversation. Longer-term, this same platform will enable high-definition communication scenarios for consumers over Skype.” That wording indicates the new technology, once ready for release, would take videoconferencing beyond talking heads and into the realm of communications capturing dynamic exchanges of multiple conversations. The frequently heard reservation by business managers about tele-meetings has been how in-person meetings generate more substantive idea-swaps and better collaborations. Should the technology enable a true seat at the table, as described by Microsoft, then businesses may be far more amenable to teleconferencing.Microsoft’s ad called on experienced developers (C/C++/C#). The leader is expected to not only lead the project but also contribute to the architecture and hands-on coding. The ad called for expertise in “any of the following,” WinRT, Win 8, mobile applications, communication applications, distributed systems, Lync/Skype, video & audio codecs; image/video processing, computer vision, embedded systems, firmware, sensing, robotics, control systems, and hardware products.The other job listing was similarly for a software development engineer, and this ad referred to a “Microsoft Mesa project.” According to the ad, “The Microsoft Mesa project is creating immersive telepresence products that will change the way remote workers experience and are experienced in meetings.”The ad mentioned how Microsoft builds on technologies like Lync and Skype and also “emerging” ones like Windows 8 and Surface, with the additionof “unique Mesa specific technologies (like video processing).” According to the ad, experience with “XAML, MVVM and property models is a plus.” Explore further Skype jacks ads into free Internet phone calls Citation: Microsoft job ads for engineers show body-double plans (2013, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-microsoft-job-ads-body-double.html ? 2013 Phys.org More information: Viewport: A Fully Distributed Immersive Teleconferencing System with Infrared Dot Pattern: research.microsoft.com/pubs/16 … 5/msr_tr_2012-60.pdf (Phys.org) —The buzz around new happenings at Microsoft stems from two job ads posted last week. The ads reveal that Microsoft means serious business about working on telepresence technology that will enable body doubles, in the next wave of business conference calls. Microsoft seeks two software development engineers, and the job ad wordings reveal Microsoft’s research goals: Microsoft plans to deliver a telepresence technology system that can depict a person on the other end of a business conversation. Fully distributed 3-way videoconferencing that preserves the relative seating geometry as a face-to-face meeting. Credit: Microsoft Research This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Here, the engineers have first theoretically determined the general conditions to control and mold the transmitted light at will, ensuring at the same time zero reflections and large efficiency. Then, the researchers designed and simulated thin, patterned metasurfaces, realizing meta-transmitarrays that can control light with unprecedented efficiency over subwavelength distances. Each array consists of a symmetric stack of three ultrathin metasurfaces made of building blocks containing two alternating materials: silicon and aluminum-doped zinc oxide. By locally controlling the filling ratio of these two materials in the building blocks, the researchers could design meta-transmitarrays with a wide range of phase patterns. When these patterns are imprinted on the impinging light wave, they can manipulate the wave in one of many ways, such as by bending, focusing, or collimation. (Phys.org) —The ability to guide, bend and focus light at the nanoscale is a highly sought-after goal in the field of nano-optics. Precise and efficient light control has direct applications in solar cells, holography, nanoscale signal processing, CMOS cameras, and many other areas. In a recent study, a team of engineers has proposed a new technique for controlling light at deeply subwavelength scales using a thin stack of patterned surfaces that the engineers call a “meta-transmitarray.” The underlying physics of the new concept is very different from any conventional lens and offers greatly improved efficiency and flexibility for manipulating light transmission at the nanoscale. The researchers, Francesco Monticone, Nasim Mohammadi Estakhri, and Assistant Professor Andrea Alù at The University of Texas at Austin, have published their paper on the meta-transmit-array concept in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, and their work has been selected as an “Editor’s suggestion.”On large scales, light can be controlled in a fairly straightforward way by using conventional dielectric lenses. But since a dielectric lens’ properties are dependent on its thickness, these lenses are generally too thick to work well for controlling light at subwavelength scales, preventing their integration into nanophotonic and optoelectronic systems. At radio frequencies, one alternative to dielectric lenses for achieving subwavelength wave control is represented by transmitarrays, which are made of ultrathin sheets called frequency selective surfaces. These surfaces can be locally modeled with circuit concepts, and can shift the phase of incoming waves at will when combined in transmitarrays. So far, transmitarrays have been demonstrated only at radio frequencies.In the new study, the researchers have integrated the concepts of transmitarrays and metamaterials, or more precisely, metasurfaces, which are the two-dimensional version of metamaterials. While bulk metamaterials are intriguing for their exotic, engineered properties that are not found in nature, they are difficult to fabricate. On the other hand, metasurfaces are planarized versions of metamaterials, with equally intriguing properties, but much easier to fabricate. Previous research has suggested that metasurfaces may be used as planar lenses to extend the concept of frequency selective surfaces beyond radio frequencies to optical frequencies, but the proposed designs had limited efficiency and applicability. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ? 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. More information: Francesco Monticone, et al. “Full Control of Nanoscale Optical Transmission with a Composite Metascreen.” PRL 110, 203903 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.203903 Explore further (a) (Left) A basic building block of the metasurface made of silicon and aluminum-doped zinc oxide, and (right) a meta-transmitarray made of three stacked metasurfaces. (b) Graph showing the degrees of freedom necessary to independently control the phase of the transmission coefficient while minimizing reflection. (c) Amplitude and (d) phase of the transmission coefficient variation, with the eight circles in (d) indicating eight different configurations used to cover almost 360° of phase shift. Credit: Monticone, et al. American Physical Society ?2013 Citation: Meta-transmitarray offers unprecedented control of light on subwavelength scales (2013, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-meta-transmitarray-unprecedented-subwavelength-scales.html Light propagation through the meta-transmitarray for the eight designs identified in part (d) of the figure above. The phase of the transmitted wave can be shifted from 0 to 360°. Credit: Monticone, et al. American Physical Society ?2013 Journal information: Physical Review Letters ‘Metasurfaces’ to usher in new optical technologies “Recent works have proposed metasurfaces to manipulate wave refraction at the nanoscale,” Alù told Phys.org. “First, we proved that designs based on a single surface are inherently limited in efficiency. We then proposed a realistic solution to the problem, showing that with a subwavelength stack of three metasurfaces it is possible to fully control light transmission in amplitude and phase at the nanoscale, with large efficiency and zero reflections. The paradigm we put forward is general, and can be applied to many possibilities for manipulating light, with the important further advantages of being based on CMOS-compatible materials and relative ease of fabrication.”The proposed device also provides good flexibility since its features can be tailored by modifying point-by-point the ratio of the building block materials. The researchers think that these advantages will contribute to making meta-transmitarrays an attractive way to manipulate nanoscale optical transmission for a variety of applications.”There are many applications out there that can greatly benefit from our findings,” Alù said. “The meta-transmitarray idea can have an impact in the many practical scenarios that require an efficient manipulation of the transmitted light with subwavelength resolution and within a planarized, integrated technology. Some relevant examples are holography, photovoltaics, optical tweezers, and imaging. Imagine if we could integrate one of these meta-transmitarrays on top of the CCD of a pocket camera to manipulate the impinging signal pixel by pixel. In addition, our concepts may open and foster new research areas, such as processing optical signals at the nanoscale with subwavelength resolution.”In the future, the researchers plan to work on further bringing these concepts to life.”We are working full force on seeing how we can bring this concept forward, and in what deep ways we can manipulate the optical signals over subwavelength scales using these concepts,” Alù said. “We are also working toward the experimental realization of some of these and related concepts for nanophotonic metamaterials.”
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Pay-per-gaze? Google patent proposes ad system (2013, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-pay-per-gaze-google-patent-ad.html (Phys.org) —Advertising models could in the future expand from clicks to pupil dilations. Google’s patent for a Gaze Tracking System became public last week. Originally filed in May 2011, the patent presents an idea for wearers of a head mounted device—and in 2013 observers are guessing this may be Google Glass—to have gaze tracked so that the system can pin down exactly what the user is looking at and even the emotional responses via pupil dilation. Information about where the user was gazing when viewing the external scene would be sent over to a server. Then the real work would start. An image recognition algorithm would be executed on the scene images to identify items within the external scenes viewed by the user. A gazing log tracking the identified items viewed by the user would be generated. Explore further Google patent suggests Google-Glass-ish control of appliances More information: Patent URLmarketingland.com/pay-per-gaze … g-google-glass-55714 What’s the benefit of translating images seen by the wearer of a head-mounted device into data logged on a server? “To date,” says the patent, “eye tracking systems have mostly been limited to research endeavors because of the intrusiveness, high cost, and reliability of these systems. A technique and system that can provide a reliable, low cost, and unobtrusive, eye tracking system could have a variety of useful everyday applications.”The usefulness is for Google and advertisers that flock to Google. Advertisers could be charged according to the number of views an ad received while wearing Glass, both offline and online. Google’s patent refers to the process as “pay-per-gaze” advertising.Of course, Google would not throw cereal boxes up on the screen each time a wearer tried to locate a restaurant, but instead would be setting up an advertising model of pay-per-gaze.The patent discusses how this would work: “Under a pay per gaze advertising scheme, advertisers are charged based upon whether a user actually viewed their advertisement. Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media.” The system would involve “determining which, if any, of the identified items within the external scenes viewed by the user are advertisements; and charging advertisers associated with the advertisements based at least in part on a per gaze basis.”Needless to say, the patent’s idea, if it were to fly on a device such as Google Glass, would unleash no small amount of conversation, from alarm, to spirited debate between privacy experts, industry marketing experts and Google. In anticipation of privacy concerns, the patent proactively faces the issues: anonymized data and opt-out privileges are two suggestions.”To protect individual privacy, personal identifying data may be removed from the data and provided to the advertisers as anonymous analytics. In one embodiment, users may be given opt-in or opt-out privileges to control the type of data being gathered, when the data is being gathered, or how the gathered data may be used or with whom it may be shared.”The patent also suggests that individually identifying data be encrypted for communication between device and server system, to further protect privacy. Debate at this stage, though, is premature. The patent, for one, filed in 2011, never mentions Google Glass, only with reference to a head-mounted gaze tracking device. Most important, this is a patent, not a product announcement. Patents at times do develop into real products and services but others do not. Time will tell if this patent evolves into advertising’s new relationships with Google Glass. ? 2013 Phys.org Google Glass
(Phys.org) —It was a big week for scientists studying the cosmos as a radio-burst discovery deepens astrophysics mystery—a very short burst of radio waves indicates a mysterious pulse came from the outer regions of space. And in a similar effort, physicists came a step closer to finding mysterious sources of energy bursts—researchers reported finding a burst beneath the Big Dipper that might lead to identifying the source of the energetic particles. Also an artificial spacetime experiment could show tantalizing effects of gravitational waves—physicists are finding ways to recreate spacetime geometries in labs that allow for better analysis. And despite its age, an old probe is still revealing new information as the sun sends more ‘tsunami waves’ to Voyager 1. Researchers monitoring the probe reported that it experienced a shock wave due to a burst from the sun approximately a year earlier, confirming that the probe is in interstellar space. And finally, Hubble sees a spiral bridge of young stars between two ancient galaxies—astronomers with the project report the discovery of a 100,000-light-year-long structure with a mysterious origin. Citation: Best of Last Week – Two mysterious bursts from space, new developments with batteries and fingertip reader for the blind (2014, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-07-week-mysterious-space-batteries-fingertip.html It was a pretty big week for researchers looking to make better batteries, too, as one team announced sand-based lithium ion batteries that outperform standard batteries by three times, while other engineering researchers developed a next-generation battery—a team at the University of Alberta described their research that involves using carbon nanomaterials to provide better power options to consumers. The hope is that soon we will all have batteries that charge faster and last longer than the lithium-ion based batteries of today.Also last week, a team of researchers tried to explain how antioxidants can accelerate cancers, and why they don’t protect against them—a number of clinical trials have dashed the hopes of health conscious individuals who have looked to antioxidants as a way to live longer, healthier lives. Now they have some idea why it hasn’t worked.In the really cool innovations department, an MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time. It fits on the end of a finger and as the finger moves over printed words on a page, the device reads out loud what is written giving those who cannot see the ability to read standard books, magazines, menus, etc. Might be helpful also for older people whose vision isn’t what it once was.And finally, in a bit of disturbing news, research finds an association between certain pain relievers and heart attack. A team at the University of Florida found that post-menopausal women taking NSAIDs (or non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) had an elevated risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Yikes. Explore further This map of the northern sky shows cosmic ray concentrations, with a “hotspot” with a disproportionate number of cosmic rays shown as the bright red and yellow spot, upper right. An international team of physicists using the University of Utah-operated Telescope Array near Delta, Utah, say their discovery of the hotspot should narrow the search for the mysterious source or sources of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, which carry more energy than any other known particle in the universe. Credit: Kazumasa Kawata, University of Tokyo Institute for Cosmic Ray Research. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Engineering researchers develop next-generation battery ? 2014 Phys.org
Credit: Nature Geoscience (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2894 Explore further Atmospheric rivers are streams of air containing very large amounts of moisture—they typically move through storms releasing very large amounts of water (or snow) to the ground over short periods of time—generally in the mid-latitudes. Meteorologists have known about them for several years, but up until now, it was believed that their major impact was the huge amount of precipitation they deliver. In this new effort, the researchers have found that they occur more often than was known, and that they also carry higher winds.In looking at the data, the researchers found that coastal areas are most likely to be hit by atmospheric rivers—approximately half of the top 2 percent of very strong coastal storms were found to be associated with atmospheric rivers. They also found that 40 to 70 percent of high wind and heavy precipitation events that occur along coastlines are at least partly linked to atmospheric rivers. Most surprising, they note, was the high winds that came with them—associated speeds were on average twice as fast as those with average storms. As an example, California has been hard hit this winter by multiple atmospheric river events—the huge amounts of rainfall have alleviated the drought that prevailed over the past few years, but there has also been a tremendous amount of flooding—and high winds have caused damage, perhaps most noticeably by the toppling of the iconic Tunnel Tree sequoia in Yosemite National Park.The researchers note that atmospheric rivers can be extremely costly—over the time period studied, they determined that 14 of 19 storms that caused billions of dollars of damage in Europe were atmospheric river events. They also point out that global warming, by its nature, will mean more water in the atmosphere, which likely will mean bigger and stronger atmospheric river events. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ‘Atmospheric rivers’ weather phenomenon soaks California Citation: Atmospheric rivers found to carry more wind than thought (2017, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-atmospheric-rivers-thought.html (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with the California Institute of Technology and the University of California has found evidence that suggests atmospheric rivers carry wind speeds higher than has been thought. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Duane Waliser and Bin Guan describe their analyses of atmospheric river events that occurred over the years 1997 to 2014. Journal information: Nature Geoscience More information: Duane Waliser et al. Extreme winds and precipitation during landfall of atmospheric rivers, Nature Geoscience (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2894AbstractAtmospheric rivers—long, narrow filaments of large integrated water vapour transport—are associated with weather and water extremes, such as precipitation extremes and flooding in western North America and northern Europe. Here we apply a global detection algorithm for atmospheric rivers to reanalysis data during 1997–2014 to investigate the impact of atmospheric rivers on wind extremes as well as precipitation extremes. We find that atmospheric rivers are associated with up to half of the extreme events in the top 2% of the precipitation and wind distribution, across most mid-latitude regions globally. Landfalling atmospheric rivers are associated with about 40–75% of extreme wind and precipitation events over 40% of the world’s coastlines. Atmospheric rivers are associated with a doubling or more of the typical wind speed compared to all storm conditions, and a 50–100% increase in the wind and precipitation values for extreme events. We also find that the majority of extreme wind events catalogued between 1997 and 2013 over Europe with billion US dollar losses were associated with atmospheric rivers. We conclude that landfalling atmospheric rivers can represent a significant hazard around the globe, because of their association with not only extreme precipitation, but also extreme winds. ? 2017 Phys.org
? 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National University of Singapore has found and studied a nest of Tyrannomyrmex rex, a first for the rare species of ant. In their paper published in the journal Asian Myrmecology, Mark Wong and Gordon Young describe how they found the ant nest and what they discovered after they brought it back to their lab for study. More information: Notes on the habitat and biology of the rare ant genus Tyrannomyrmex (Fernández, 2003), Asian Myrmecology, 9: e009007 (1-4) DOI: 10.20362/am.009007 , http://www.asian-myrmecology.org/doi/10.20362/am.009007.htmlAbstractThe rare myrmicine ant genus Tyrannomyrmex Fernández, 2003 comprises three species of tropical ants restricted to the Oriental region. This study presents information on worker size, specific habitat, food and behaviour of Tyrannomyrmex rex. In profile view, the largest T. rex worker (TL 4.52 mm) in the current collection. Credit: Asian Myrmecology, 9: e009007 (1-4) DOI: 10.20362/am.009007 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. T. rex, the ant, was first discovered back in 2003 in Malaysia—its name derives from the odd shape of its head and short forearms. That initial finding was a single dead ant. Since that time, other researchers have found examples on leaves, but until now, no one had ever found a nest. Wong and Young report that they found the nest after investigating a small piece of land that had recently been uprooted by military exercises in Mandai, a part of Singapore just north of the Singapore Zoo. They note that earlier in the century, the area had been used as a rubber plantation.After confirming that the species was, indeed, the elusive T. rex, the pair dug up the nest and brought it back to their lab for study. They found that it was made up of 13 worker ants, eggs, larvae and pupae—but no queen. They also found that the ants did not have metapleural glands, which other ants use to secrete an antiseptic compound, which was odd, considering the place where they lived—underground in some rotting wood, which also offered a clue as to why they have been so hard to find.Wong and Young report that the ants appeared to be nocturnal and non-aggressive—they froze when faced with other insects then ran away, though one of them did sting a millipede that attempted to enter the nest. Also, they could not figure out what the ants ate—other than a male that hatched—despite offering them a wide variety of options. The researchers studied the ants for 10 days and then killed them, preserving their bodies for further study. They also returned to the site where they found the nest looking for other signs of the ants, but found none. Fussy ants found to improve chances of finding better new nesting sites Explore further Play Responses of Tyrannomyrmex rex worker to a millipede. The worker curls up when the millipede crawls towards and over it; the worker then moves away quickly. Credit: Asian Myrmecology, 9: e009007 (1-4) DOI: 10.20362/am.009007 Citation: Nest of rare ant T. rex found in Singapore (2017, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-rare-ant-rex-singapore.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen
Explore further Journal information: Nature Physics Credit: CC0 Public Domain More information: Marc L?mmel et al. Aeolian sand sorting and megaripple formation, Nature Physics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-018-0106-zAbstractSand is blown across beaches and deserts by turbulent winds. This seemingly chaotic process creates two dominant bedforms: decametre-scale dunes and centimetre-scale ripples, but hardly anything in between. By the very same process, grains are constantly sorted. Smaller grains advance faster, while heavier grains trail behind. Here, we argue that, under erosive conditions, sand sorting and structure formation can conspire to create distinct bedforms in the ‘forbidden wavelength gap’ between aeolian ripples and dunes. These so-called megaripples are shown to co-evolve with an unusual, predominantly bimodal grain-size distribution. Combining theory and field measurements, we develop a mechanistic understanding of their formation, shape and migration, as well as their cyclic ageing, renewal and sedimentary memory, in terms of the intermittent wind statistics. Our results demonstrate that megaripples exhibit close similarities to dunes and can indeed be mechanistically characterized as a special type of (‘reptation’) dune. Curiosity rover’s sand-dune studies yield surprise Citation: A theoretical analysis of sand mega-ripples (2018, May 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-theoretical-analysis-sand-mega-ripples.html A team of researchers from several institutions in Germany and Israel has used theoretical analysis to explain the conditions under which mega-ripples form in areas where sand dunes rise. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, the group describes combining field measurements with theory to come up with an explanation for mega-ripples. N. M. Vriend and P. A. Jarvis with the University of Cambridge offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Most people have seen pictures, video or firsthand vistas of deserts with sand dunes. Such deserts, it has been noted, form dunes in just one average size, which are often characterized by ripples. However, the researchers note that there is an exception—sometimes, there are smaller, dune-like bedforms that are larger than ripples. They are called mega-ripples because some believe they are merely a larger version of the ripples that normally occur on dunes. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about mega-ripples through serious study.Prior study has shown that dunes and ripples form when wind blows sand around. Sand forms due to erosion. Dunes form when there is instability between the transport of sand, and the topography and the speed at which the wind blows. The variations between these factors is what causes the differences in size between dunes in different deserts. Ripples, on the other hand, are formed by more subtle forces, such as grains of sand that hop around rather than fly in the wind—ripple spacing is defined by hop length. The researchers wanted to know about mega-ripples. What causes them to form, and why are they so rare? To find out, they built a model to replicate what occurs naturally, and then changed factors until mega-ripples formed.The strongest factor influencing the development of mega-ripples, the team found, was grain size under erosive conditions. In areas where there is moderate but constant wind, grain sorting occurs, leaving coarser grains behind due to their weight. Those grains can pile up and develop into mega-ripples. But not for very long, because weather conditions change. For this reason, the researchers have declared mega-ripples to be a type of dune, not a large ripple. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ? 2018 Phys.org
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/atc/2019/08/20190822_atc_lack_of_diver… Yann Arthus-Bertrand Lack Of Diversity In Genetic Databases Hampers Research by NPR News Richard Harris 8.22.19 6:02pm When Lalita Manrai went to see her doctor for treatment of kidney disease, she noticed that some of the blood test results had different “normal” ranges for African Americans compared with everybody else. When she asked her doctor which range applied to her — a woman born in India — he said the “everybody else” category was actually based on a study of Europeans, so neither category was right.Instead, he said, he calculated “normal” for her by averaging the two values.”It’s ridiculous,” says Arjun Manrai, a medical researcher at Harvard Medical School, who recounted this story of his mother, who died in 2018. But there simply isn’t good information about a lot of medical information that may vary based on a person’s ethnicity. “In this vacuum of information, this was what [the doctor] was doing as his approach to staging her kidney disease,” Manrai says.It’s important to get those laboratory results right, because they influence a patient’s treatment, Manrai says. The same problem comes up in other common situations, such as the A1C test that is used to diagnose and manage diabetes, and in genetic variants that can identify people at risk of sudden death from heart disease.These factual gaps exist because much of the research used to understand these genetic tests and lab values comes from predominantly European populations. Manrai is part of a growing effort to correct the skewed picture that results.One of the most widely used resources for studying the genetics of disease is the U.K. Biobank, which contains samples from half a million middle-aged British people, 95 percent of whom are Europeans.”At the time they were recruited and the age group that were recruited, that largely reflected the average across the U.K.,” says Dr. Cathie Sudlow, the biobank’s chief scientist. “So because the study was in the U.K., that’s what we got.”The biobank has been a boon to scientists who want to identify the genes that are involved in disease. Genes are universal. But the ethnically skewed resource doesn’t work as well to identify the genetic variants that differ based on ancestry.”There is no one cohort anywhere in the world that can answer all questions for all people,” Sudlow says. So the biobank is working to help develop much more diverse resources.The U.K. Biobank has helped establish large repositories in Mexico and China. In the United States, Sudlow and her colleagues have been offering advice to the National Institutes of Health, which is gradually putting together a biobank that aims to have a diverse population of a million volunteers. There are dozens and dozens of collections like this scattered around the world, some in private hands and others accessible to scientists. Nobody knows exactly how many of these collections exist, but “broadly we’re talking about at least millions of people,” says Ewan Birney, co-director of the European Bioinformatics Institute.He is part of an effort to find ways to link some of these resources together so scientists can quickly see how a discovery in one group applies to people with different ancestries. Birney says even though most of the initial work has been in European populations, a lot of it is relevant to everybody.”How genetics works in different countries — sort of a surprise — is that very often the genetics is pretty much the same as you move between different countries,” Birney says.Where biobank study conclusions can be misleading is in the details. The same genes and proteins are involved in diseases such as diabetes, but the variants that can affect a person’s risk of disease differ based on a person’s genetic heritage. Birney expects that the new and linked databases not only will help identify issues of concern to a particular ethnic group but will identify genes that are important for everybody’s health. He’s particularly eager to learn what comes out of a biobank project taking shape in sub-Saharan Africa.”Because Africa is the birthplace of humans, there’s the highest amount of genetic diversity inside of sub-Saharan Africa,” he says. “And it’s really clear if you are a geneticist, we should be spending an awful lot more time studying humans there.”Birney is mindful of simply allowing scientists from rich companies to swoop in on this resource, so right now the African scientists developing biobanks will have an opportunity to study the data first. Birney says it’s “really important that we do that in a way that is empowering and enabling for the scientists who come from these different countries.”Manrai at Harvard is tapping into data that’s already available, including medical databases curated by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”I think understanding ancestry, race, ethnicity is an area that we’re going to see a tremendous amount of work in over the next 10 years,” he says.You can contact NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.