Will the Warriors’ youth movement eventually pay off?

first_img* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *OAKLAND – As the Warriors have navigated through a grind otherwise known as the regular season, they drove through various speed bumps.They have handled complacency. They have faced every opposing team’s best effort and scouting report. They absorbed two overlapping injuries to their All-Stars in Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. They even had some in-fighting …last_img read more

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Japan hails South African space tech successes

first_imgThe infrared survey facility (IRSF) became operational in November 2000, and since then has played a key role in the advancement of our space knowledge.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Large Magellanic Cloud is a nearby irregular dwarf galaxy that was the subject of the IRSF’s first research mission.(Image: Wikipedia) An aerial view of the site, with the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) on the left and the IRSF on the far right.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Salt is the largest such instrument in the entire southern hemisphere.(Image: Flickr)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Anacletta Koloko  Science communication unit, South  African Agency for Science and  Technology Advancement  +27 12 392 9338 RELATED ARTICLES • Eye in the sky benefits society • Space science thriving in SA • SA’s space capabilities set to grow • SKA: who gets whatJanine Erasmus Scientists from Japan, South Africa and other African countries came together in early October at the Space Science Colloquium to share the latest developments in the fields of astronomy, space science and satellite applications. The event was co-hosted by the national Department of Science and Technology, with the Japanese Embassy in South Africa. Dr Takahiro Nagayama of Nagoya University filled attendees in on the infrared survey facility (IRSF), a joint Japan-South Africa project located in Sutherland, Northern Cape province, at an altitude of 1 761 metres. Nagayama is the manager of the facility and has been involved with it since its inception in 1998. The IRSF is situated on the same site as the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) – the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere – and a number of other instruments including the Alan Cousins telescope, the Elizabeth telescope, and the Korean Yonsei telescope. This makes the site one of the best places in the world to conduct advanced astronomy, according to Nagayama. The IRSF is a 1.4m telescope with an infrared (IR) camera. It was developed by scientists at Nagoya, with the help of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. It’s Japan’s first southern hemisphere IR telescope. The country decided on South Africa as a host for several reasons. “We knew we had to build a telescope in the southern hemisphere, because there are many important celestial objects that are only visible in the southern sky,” explained Nagayama. South Africa was chosen from an initial group of three candidates, with Chile and Australia. It was selected as the best of the three because it had excellent weather as well as an extremely competent astronomical community, and there was no language barrier, as there was in South America. “The South African people are also very friendly and good to work with. South Africa was the best site for us at that time, and I believe it still is now.” Japan entered into the agreement with the SAAO in 1998 and soon afterwards, the project received a grant from the Japanese ministry of science and technology, to the tune of some US$7-million. “The SAAO has provided the infrastructure, including power, water, internet, and the site itself,” said Nagayama. “The local astronomical community built the dome and building.” Nagoya provided the telescope and near-IR camera known as Sirius, which was developed by graduate students. “You won’t find any big names – Sony, Nikon – in this project,” said Nagayama.Surveying our skies Initially, the main function of IRSF was to conduct a thorough study of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds – small irregular galaxies that lie close to the Milky Way – using a tri-wavelength observation technique.The Magellanic Cloud survey was completed in 2007 and then the Indian Department of Space used the telescope to survey the central region of the Milky Way. There are other research projects ongoing. The presence of the IRSF in South Africa has brought the world’s best astronomers to the country and helped to develop its scientific talent. In the 12 years since the telescope came into operation, 142 observers, of whom 81 were Japanese and 61 foreign, have visited from 31 institutes – 13 from Japan, six from South Africa and 12 from other countries including Korea, the UK and US. Also, studies have resulted in 87 refereed papers, 11 of them with South Africans as the first author. Finally, 19 PhDs have been awarded for research carried out at IRSF, to 16 Japanese scholars and three from the University of Cape Town. “We hope the collaboration will continue,” said Nagayama. “The IRSF is so far the most successful science collaboration between South Africa and Japan.”Uncovering the secrets of the universe Nagayama explained the reasons for choosing to work in infrared instead of visible light. “Astronomers are interested in concepts such as the possibility of a second earth beyond our solar system, dark energy, black holes, and the dawn and end of the universe,” he said. “Traditionally we have observed these things with visible light, but today we can use the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays to radio.” Probably the most well-known example of this technology, he said, is the Hubble telescope, which has a 2.4m primary mirror and captures images in the near-ultraviolet to near-infrared bands. The Hubble is in a low earth orbit and because it is not subjected to atmospheric turbulence, said Nagayama, its images are sharp. However, when taking images of objects that are very far away, visible light does not produce the best pictures. Interstellar dust results in a phenomenon known as scattering of visible light, and the picture that is finally received is degraded, but this doesn’t affect IR as much. “Also, visible light can’t penetrate the interstellar dust to see into and behind the Milky Way, but IR can,” said Nagayama. “The centre of our galaxy is hidden to visible light, but we can see it clearly in IR because the dust is invisible at these wavelengths.” Sirius can take simultaneous images in three different bands – wavelengths of 1.2µ (micron), 1.6µ and 2.1µ respectively – because of its special mirrors. The optics are cooled by a closed-cycle refrigerator to about 100 kelvin, or -173 degrees Celsius. “We can also create a false-colour composite image by colouring the three bands blue, green and red respectively.”Complementing each other Nagayama described another major Japanese astronomical project, the Subaru telescope, which is an 8.4m single mirror telescope built on the summit of the volcanic Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii. “Although Subaru has a bigger mirror than Hubble and takes good pictures, Hubble is better because it is in space,” said Nagayama. Other Japanese large projects include the Akari (IR), Suzaku (x-ray) and the Alma radio telescope, while South Africa has the Salt, whose aperture is larger than Subaru, and the KAT-7, MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array, all of which are projects involving radio telescopes. Altogether, said Nagayama, this means that the Japanese and South African projects have an observation range from gamma or y-ray, through x-ray, UV, visible light, IR, and radio. “These projects complement each other,” he said, “meaning that the coverage between Japan and South Africa is effective across the full spectrum of electromagnetic waves.”last_img read more

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BBC Resurrects Early Sound-Effects Machines On The Web

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… No Flash RequiredFor each retro sound-making device, the site has historical information, a live simulator demo and the source code used to create it. The kicker? It was all built without a touch of Flash or anything other than open, cross-device-friendly Web standards. The team at the BBC utilized the Web Audio API, which uses JavaScript to process and synthesize audio in the browser. It’s the kind of thing developers once had no choice but to rely on Flash for, but is now easily achievable using lighter weight, more open technology.  As for the interfaces, those were done using frameworks like backbone.js and jQuery, alongside custom-built elements developed in house at the BBC. Each demo has a detailed technical breakdown showing how it was built. This is awesome. Not just because it gives us fun little browser-based synthesizers to play with, but because of what demos like this mean for the Web. For the last two or three years, developers have been moving away from clunky, proprietary technologies like Flash and Silverlight and, whenever possible, using HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build complex interfaces and embed multimedia. The result is a smoother experience that works across devices and browsers without the need for extra plugins. And yes, simulating old-fashioned gun shots using a graphical UI in the browser while you should be working? That’s cool too.  john paul titlow 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts We take our ability to create sounds for granted. Today’s software and synthesizers allow any teenager to take a sample of any sound, manipulate it any fashion imaginable, forming entirely new sounds. If they so desire, they can create their own album of electronic soundscapes. Today, anybody with even minimal training can be a sound producer, DJ or radio host. We’ve come a long way. Back in 1958, though, sound was not so easy to create and play with. But the then relatively young medium of radio demanded sound effects like gunshots and new music for a growing line-up of audio programs. To meet the needs of show producers, the BBC launched the Radiophonic Workshop, a sound effects lab where musicians and sound engineers created fake gun shots by slapping rulers on a table, used analog tape loops and built pre-synthesizer sound effects machines. Interactive, Web-based simulations of those early machines are now available, thanks to the BBC’s Research & Development Department, which recently launched a fascinating prototype showcasing four digital noisemakers. The fun site features a gun-shot sound effect generator, a pre-synthesizer “wobbulator,” a trio of tape loop machines and an early ring modulator, which was used to generate the robot voice on the original Dr. Who. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#audio#BBC#sound#web standards last_img read more

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HTC shows off the Vive Cosmos VR headset

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Comment Share your voice VR games you need to start playing right away 1 HTC Vive See It VR games on CNET Preview • Here’s what it’s like to use the HTC Vive, the $799 VR headset that you can preorder today Mentioned Above HTC Vive CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 9 Photos $499 $689 Walmart 1:47 See it Review • HTC Vive review: Yes, this is the best VR experience, if you’ve got the space The Vive Cosmos has six cameras. HTC HTC has unveiled the look of its next Vive virtual reality headset, with the Cosmos to have a flip-up design, six cameras, detachable headphones, a faceplate and a vented front. Billed as a premium PC VR system, the Cosmos, first teased at CES 2019 in Las Vegas in January, will have “striking graphics [and] lifelike sound,” HTC said Friday. HTC Vive Pro Eye tracks your eyes with pinpoint accuracy,… Mobile Gadgets Gaming Accessories Gaming Virtual Reality Apps Up close with the HTC Vive Pro Tags The Cosmos will have a “pixel-packed” display that minimizes the screen-door effect of using VR systems, HTC said. The company also touted its new tracking system.”With wide and accurate tracking, gesture controls and a six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) headset and controller setup, Vive Cosmos promises a deeply engaging VR experience,” HTC said.htc-vive-cosmos-vr-headset HTC The system can be used straight out of the box with minimal setup and also features a more comfortable headset with soft, light and breathable material, HTC said. The company also unveiled new Vive controllers that it called gamer friendly, versatile and practical.htc-vive-cosmos-controllerThe new Vive Cosmos controllers. HTC HTC said it’ll reveal the official specs next week.HTC’s Viveport Infinity unlimited subscription service launched April 2, with subscriptions costing $13 a month or $99 for an entire year. The service lets customers download more than 600 VR games and apps through the Viveport store. This morning we unveiled the HTC VIVE COSMOS, with 6 cameras, a flip up design, detachable headphones, faceplate & vented front. Next week, we’ll get into specs. Stay tuned. https://t.co/TSCJVM9eLs #HTCVIVE #HTCVIVECOSMOS— HTC VIVE (@htcvive) June 21, 2019 HTC had first looked to end the drought of VR content by launching the Viveport subscription service back in 2017, giving Vive headset owners up to five titles at a time for $9 a month. It then expanded the service in August 2018 to support rival Oculus Rift headsets. HTClast_img read more

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Facebooks Calibra cryptocurrency wallet already has competition

first_img Comments Mobile Tech Industry Share your voice 3 Tags Facebook plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra in the first half of 2020.  Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images Facebook doesn’t plan to launch its new Libra cryptocurrency and a complementary digital wallet until 2020. But that hasn’t stopped some startups from throwing their hats in the ring early. On Sunday, Israeli developer ZenGo said a cryptocurrency wallet it rolled out earlier this year will begin supporting Libra. Since Facebook and its 27 partners haven’t launched the cryptocurrency, ZenGo is letting users store a test version. The test Libra funds, unlike the version that’s coming, don’t have any real monetary value.libraZenGo is letting users experiment with a test version of a new cryptocurrency, called Libra, that’s expected to launch in 2020.  ZenGo “Getting to know it early might spark some new ideas and give you a head start for when Libra becomes truly operational,” ZenGo said in a blog post. You can experiment with Libra by going to your account tab in the ZenGo app, which is currently available for iPhone users. The wallet also lets you buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance Coin with your credit card or Apple Pay. Since Facebook announced Libra, the company has faced pushback from US lawmakers who are concerned that the cryptocurrency will be abused by criminals and negatively impact the US dollar. Facebook’s blockchain boss, David Marcus, said in a congressional hearing last month that the social network wouldn’t launch Libra until the company has addressed all concerns, but he stopped short of agreeing to a moratorium. Facebook took the wraps off Libra in June. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Libra will be pegged to a basket of assets that anchor its value, so that value won’t swing wildly. The Libra Association that’ll manage the currency hasn’t said what those assets will be, but it suggested they’d include major global currencies, like the dollar and the euro. The proposed crypto has been met with a chilly response from regulators and politicians around the world.ZenGo will compete with a digital wallet called Calibra that Facebook plans to introduce in 2020. The social network, though, has the advantage of already having 2.4 billion monthly active users. You’ll be able to download the Calibra app onto your iPhone or Android device, or add the wallet into the messaging apps Messenger or WhatsApp once it’s released. The Calibra wallet will also work with other wallets that accept Libra. Users need to verify their identity by uploading an ID such as a driver’s license.ZenGo, which plans to release an app for Android phones, said that users can create their digital wallet by downloading the app and providing their email. You also don’t need a private key, and ZenGo users scan their face to backup their wallet. ZenGo said it’s a “noncustodial” wallet for Libra, which means you have full control over your funds instead of having to rely on a third-party. Facebooklast_img read more

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12 Russian intelligence officers indicted for hacking US Democrats

first_imgDeputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice, Friday, 13 July 2018, in Washington. Photo: APTwelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a US grand jury on Friday, just three days before president Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.Announced by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the charges were drawn up by special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into Russian interference in the November 2016 vote.Rosenstein told reporters the Russian military officers were accused of “conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” including by hacking Democratic Party emails ahead of the vote.”Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election,” he said.”One of those defendants and a 12th Russian are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering elections.”Rosenstein said he had briefed Trump about the indictment before Friday’s announcement.Trump, who is currently visiting Britain, is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.last_img read more

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