You are currently browsing the archives for September 2018.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 entries.

Canadian university students would prefer MP3 players over car radios

  • Posted on September 14, 2018 at 1:42 am

Friday, March 30, 2007

At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, students are finding that popular MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, are very convenient devices for listening to music at the gym, while traveling on foot, and in the car.

In a recent ad-hoc survey conducted by Wikinews contributor Darren Mar, 150 students were randomly pulled aside in the hallways of the university, and asked if they own an MP3 player. 94 of the 150 students (62.66%) did in fact own MP3 devices, most of who were found to be carrying it on them when questioned. There was one simple follow up question for those who had a player: “If it were possible to have complete and safe control of the device on the steering wheel of a car, would you rather listen to your device, or the radio?” There were three answers possible, yes, no or both. Of the 94, 78 (82.98%) said yes, eleven (11.70%) said no, and five (5.32%) said both. The reporting took place primarily on March 16, 2007. The reasons for those who would listen to their device were commercial free music, personalized choice of music, and complete control of what you are listening to.

This study was motivated by the new design of 2006+ model cars. Many are being built with auxiliary jacks for the stock radio, allowing the driver to easily connect any audio playing device to the car’s sound system with a simple 3.5mm plug. What’s more, cars in the upper price echelon are being built with (1) a custom made area in the dash for MP3 players (iPod’s being the most popular), and (2) implementing audio device control right onto the steering wheel. A good example of this is the Ford Fusion or the 2007 Lexus IS250: “The centre console input port allows an iPod, MP3 or Windows Media Audio player to be plugged into the IS audio system.”

Canadian university students would prefer MP3 players over car radios
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

LA Clippers owner receives lifetime ban from NBA for racist comments

  • Posted on September 14, 2018 at 1:39 am

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

File:Donald Sterling.jpg

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has received a lifetime ban from the NBA (National Basketball Association) and has been fined $US2.5million for his racist comments this week. Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, was overheard telling a woman, identified as girlfriend V. Stiviano, not to bring black people to games or associate with them.

The comments have caused an uproar, not just in the NBA, but within the Clippers team. In protest, players wore their warm-up jerseys inside out before their Game 4 playoff loss against the Golden State Warriors, while in other games throughout the league the San Antonio Spurs played in black socks and the Miami Heat practiced with their warm-up shirts inside out to mimic the LA Clippers.

Former NBA player Kevin Johnson, now mayor of Sacramento, said the league needed to hand out the maximum possible penalty. While NBA legend Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats said there is no room in the NBA, or anywhere, for this kind of hatred.

The conversation took place on April 9, when a man’s voice, later identified as Sterling’s, told the woman not to pose for photos with black men, including Hall of Famer Ervin “Magic” Johnson. Sterling goes onto say it annoys him that she has to promote her association with black people.

It isn’t the first time Sterling has caused controversy with racist comments. Back in 2009 he was sued by his former General Manager Elgin Baylor who criticised Sterling’s attitude and quoted him as saying “I’m offering you good money for a poor black kid” when negotiating a contract with Danny Manning.

The situation is far from over as Sterling is refusing to sell the team, and the other teams have lobbied against him to force him to sell. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs 75% support, or 23 out of the 30 teams, to force Sterling out of the league permanently.

“The fine will be donated to organisations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players’ Association” Mr Silver said.

LA Clippers owner receives lifetime ban from NBA for racist comments
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

New Zealander on oxygen machine dies after power disconnection

  • Posted on September 14, 2018 at 1:08 am

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Zealander Folole Muliaga died Tuesday morning after Mercury Energy cut off the power in her household due to $168.40 of unpaid bills. Mrs Folole Muliaga was seriously ill and dependent on an oxygen life support machine that required electricity to run.

The 44-year-old died two and a half hours after the power was cut by a contractor, working for State Owned Enterprise, Mercury Energy. A spokesperson for Mercury Energy has said that they are devastated and deeply sympathetic by the news, but state they did not know that the power was needed to run the oxygen machine. They have stated that discretion is exercised in cases of extreme hardship or when medical conditions make it appropriate and that the same contractor had done so the previous day. However, relatives claim that the contractor was told that the power was needed by family members present, was invited into the house and talked to Mrs Folole Muliaga, but showed no discretion or compassion under the circumstances.

The power was cut at about 11am. Brendan Sheehan, spokesperson for the family, said that after the power was cut, Mrs Muliaga suffered from breathing difficulties. During this time Mrs Mulianga declined an offer for an ambulance from family members. At about 1pm she informed her sons that she was feeling dizzy and asked for hymns to be sung. Her condition quickly deteriorated until she couldn’t speak. When she passed out at 1:32pm, an ambulance was called but Mrs Mulianga could not be revived when it arrived 12 minutes later.

That same evening remaining family members claim they had to grieve in the dark, power was only reconnected after the outstanding amount of $168.40 was paid to Mercury Energy. Mercury Energy claim that the were initially only made aware that a funeral was going to take place and attempted to reconnect the supply at midnight once the full circumstances were made clear but were unable to contact the family. They state the supply was eventually reconnected before 8am the next day. Evidence has been provided by family members to show that they had made two payments to Mercury Energy in the same month trying to clear their outstanding bill, $61.90 on 1 May 2007, and $45 on 17 May 2007.

Trevor Mallard, minister of State Owned Enterprises, said, “I do think it is important that the facts are established before people rush to judgement.”

Both the New Zealand Police and Mercury Energy, the retail operating division of Mighty River Power, are conducting investigations into the events.

The mother-of-four school teacher lived in Mangere, South Auckland and had been suffering from a heart and lung condition, according to relatives of Mrs Muliaga, since February.

Hospital doctors have expressed surprise at the short length of time between when the supply was cut and the death occurred. They have also explained that relatives are trained what to do if the supply is lost, including to call for an ambulance if severe symptoms develop.

New Zealander on oxygen machine dies after power disconnection
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing

  • Posted on September 9, 2018 at 2:10 am

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

Contents

  • 1 On the alternative media and independent publishing
  • 2 On Christopher Hitchens, Orwell and 9/11 as inspiration
  • 3 On the future of the narrative
  • 4 On changing the literary canon
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On politics
  • 7 On self-destruction and survival
  • 8 On raising children
  • 9 On paedophilia and the death penalty
  • 10 On personal relationships
  • 11 Sources
  • 12 External links
John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

US military commander in Afghanistan dismissed by President Obama

  • Posted on September 9, 2018 at 2:05 am

Thursday, June 24, 2010

General Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander for the US army in Afghanistan, was dismissed by president Barack Obama Wednesday, over controversial comments he made in an interview with a magazine.

McChrystal will be replaced by General David Petraeus. The move was made after McChrystal and the president held a thirty-minute meeting Wednesday to discuss McChrystal’s comments to the Rolling Stone magazine, in which he was portrayed as dismissive about the administration’s handling of the Afghanistan war.

In one comment, when asked about vice-president Joe Biden, the general replied with “Are you asking about Vice-President Biden? Who’s that?”; in another remark, he mentions an email from the US’ special Afghanistan and Pakistan representative, Richard Holbrook, saying: “Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke […] I don’t even want to open it.” One of the McChrystal’s aides also described national security adviser James Jones as being a “clown… stuck in 1985”.

Obama commented that the move was “a change in personnel but not a change in policy”. “I believe it is the right decision for our national security. I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal […] nor do I make this decision out of any sense of personal insult,” he said, commenting also: “The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.”

McChrystal, meanwhile, released a statement regarding the incident: “I strongly support the president’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.”

The general’s assistant who organised the Rolling Stone interview, Duncan Boothby, also resigned over the article.

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, meanwhile responded to Obama’s move, saying he believed McChrystal was the best commander in the nine years since the US began operations in his country.

“General McChrystal was an important and trusted partner for the Afghan government and Afghan people and we hoped this wouldn’t happen,” said Waheed Omer, a spokesman for Karzai. “However, this is an internal matter for the US government and we respect the decision of President Obama. We are looking forward to working with General Petraeus, a very experienced soldier, who President Karzai knows well.”

US military commander in Afghanistan dismissed by President Obama
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Bolivian troops told to seize natural gas fields

  • Posted on September 9, 2018 at 1:35 am

Monday, May 1, 2006

Bolivian President Evo Morales has ordered that all foreign-owned natural gas fields be turned over to the national government of Bolivia.

President Morales signed a decree that orders troops to seize the fields “immediately” to ensure gas production. The decree also says that companies have 180 days to sign over their fields or leave the country.

The fields are owned by such companies as the United States‘ Exxon-Mobil Corporation, Brazil‘s Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA, and Great Britain‘s BG Group PLC and BP PLC.

“The looting by the foreign companies has ended. We are not a government of mere promises, we follow through on what we propose and what the people demand. We want to ask (the Armed Forces) that starting now, they occupy all the energy fields in Bolivia along with battalions of engineers,” said Mr Morales after signing the decree.

“The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources,” added President Morales.

One of Morales’ vows in his presidential campaign was to “recover” the country’s natural resources by renationalizing them. President Morales explained, on a visit to Brazil in January, that renationalising the industry would not mean expelling foreign companies or expropriating foreign property. “Foreign companies have every right to recover investments and make profits, but profits should be balanced”.

Bolivia has the second largest supply of natural gas in South America after Venezuela.

Bolivian troops told to seize natural gas fields
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

‘Jesus Camp’ shuts down

  • Posted on September 9, 2018 at 1:11 am

Thursday, November 9, 2006

The evangelical Christian summer camp “Kids on Fire ” featured in the documentary Jesus Camp will shut down for several years due to negative reactions to the film, negative e-mails, phone calls and letters. Many accuse camp leader Becky Fischer of “brainwashing” the children.

The documentary showed camp leader Becky Fischer acting as a “drill instructor” for young children preparing themselves for spiritual and political warfare. Fischer makes explicit comparisons between her camp and Islamist ‘jihad training camps’. It also shows children praying before a photograph of President Bush.

The film included scenes with disgraced preacher Ted Haggard, who resigned his leadership of the National Association of Evangelicals after he was accused of having sex with a male prostitute and using methamphetamine.

Haggard has criticized the film as mocking the evangelical movement and for using his statement that “If the Evangelicals vote, they determine the election.” The film makers responded that “Pastor Haggard is the only person in Jesus Camp who has a problem with how he was portrayed” and stated that they had been careful to avoid his more inflammatory and divisive comments.

‘Jesus Camp’ shuts down
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall

  • Posted on September 5, 2018 at 1:36 am

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Category:July 14, 2010

  • Posted on September 2, 2018 at 1:19 am
? July 13, 2010
July 15, 2010 ?
July 14

Pages in category “July 14, 2010”

Category:July 14, 2010
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized