Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Slews - July 8th - Pooky & Hydra

Lights dim music swells..from the top of my head to the tip of my tongue,,covering this
Once in a lifetime..beat that will go on in ways too persistent to remember…this….is….The….Slews
P: And good evening Second Nation, Here now The Slews!

H:A boa noite, e é aqui os pântanos

P: Scientists use the Big Byrd Green Bank Telescope to go fishing in a rich molecular cloud in our Milky Way. Seeking to discover new, complex molecules in interstellar space that may be precursors to life. Always that search for life, why don’t they try Google?

H: As molecules rotate and vibrate, they emit radio waves at specific frequencies. Each molecule has a unique pattern of such frequencies, called spectral lines, that constitutes a “fingerprint” . We tune in, and gotcha!

P: For centuries, sailors in the Indian Ocean have told stories of seas glowing with a dim, white light at night. Satellite images now confirm the appearance of what seem to be bioluminescent bacteria, right where a ship’s crew reported seeing the “milky seas” 11 years ago.

H: Scientists say this rare phenomenon could be a way for the bacteria to attract the attention of fish so they can enter their guts and live there. I don’t know about you Pooky, but I don’t eat anything that glows in the dark.

P: Plotting the ship’s course, and then, there it was on the satellite image… “It was one of those chill-down-the-spine moments that you hope to get once or twice in your career,” Scientests said.

H: Yeah like when you eat something that glows in the dark How many bacteria would it take to light up the seas?

P: Four billion trillion.

H: Lets just say a Google. Letting your imagination run away with you may actually influence how you see the world. New research from Vanderbilt University has found that mental imagery—what we see with the “mind’s eye”—directly impacts our visual perception.

P: Imagery leads to a short-term memory trace can bias future perception, definitively showing that imagining something changes vision both while you are imagining it and later on.” Top-down expectations or recollections of previous experiences might shape perception itself.”

H: As long as you didn’t say topless Pooky. And this just in… “Animals wings, unlike propellers, have to keep stopping and starting in order produce lift”" (animals have forgotten to invent propellers, just as they forgot wheels), New research is centering on the compromise winged creatures face between meeting aerodynamic requirements and overcoming inertia in order to generate lift.

P: In the name of science researchers in England are loading wings of racing pigeons with lead fishing weights. This, Dr. Underwood believes should act as a reminder to be cautious in copying nature. There is lots of interest in making micro/unmanned air vehicles that flap, hoping they present all sorts of advantages in terms of maneuverability, speed and so on.

H: He also goes on to say there is a tendency to presume that biology is efficient, and I would say that, even at very small sizes, if you want to hover efficiently, be a helicopter not a flapper…” I would like to see someone put lead weights in his underwear and see how far he gets.

P: In Einstein’s relativistic universe, matter curves space and slows down time, and the speed of light remains the only constant. But those are the big effects. The theory of relativity also includes some more esoteric details, one of which is called spin precession.

H: The idea goes like this: Two massive bodies orbiting near each other will warp space enough to disturb the central axis around which both are moving, causing them to begin wobbling just like spinning tops. Strong gravity creates this so-called precession, and the more massive the objects, the easier the precession is to observe.

P: It’s not an easy theory to test. The lack of candidates and telescopic power had frustrated astronomers for years, until the discovery in 2003 of a particular pair of pulsars. Most important in this case, one pulsar eclipses the other briefly every couple of hours. That’s key to detecting precession, because during each eclipse astronomers can determine the precise angle of the radio signal and therefore the pulsar’s wobble over time.

H: Calculations based on Einstein’s theory predicted it should advance by 5.07 degrees per year, well within the margin of error. “It’s bang-on,” says astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Joseph Taylor of Princeton University. “Einstein’s theory passed the test this time,” agrees astrophysicist Fotis Gavriil of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who praises the study’s “amazing high-precision measurement.” So is Einstein’s reputation secure? Says Gavriil, “Only with experiments like this will we know for sure.”

P: Put some lead weights on him…and see if he flys…Martian soil data collected by five robotic missions indicates that rain fell on the Red Planet billions of years ago. The findings provide no new insight into the possibility of Martian life,(again) but they do suggest that further clues to Mars’s past could be found right here on Earth.

H: There’s little doubt now that Mars once was wet. Yes but did it glow in the dark? less than 2 weeks ago, the Phoenix Mars Lander struck water ice while digging at the north polar region. What remains to be determined is where this wetness came from and how long it lasted.

P: Preliminary investigations by Mars mission scientists, as well as high-resolution images taken by orbiters, have suggested that water on Mars surged up from deep below the surface, sometimes carving extensive channels and gullies, However ther are also indications of rain by studying our own planet’s geochemistry.

H: Analyzing soil samples show a distinctive pattern of chloride and sulfate deposits. In all of the samples, the data show that the sulfates tend to stay nearer to the surface, whereas chloride concentrations increase with depth. That’s the same pattern found in extremely arid places on Earth such as Antarctica’s dry-valley regions and Chile’s Atacama Desert.

P: More than a year after taking a hallucinogenic drug in a carefully controlled experiment, most people rate the experience among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives, researchers reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Such findings are helping to renew interest in research with hallucinogens, a field whose reputation long suffered from the psychedelic excesses of the 1960s. When people glowed in the dark with alarming frequency.

H: The researchers monitored the mostly middle-aged subjects while they took a strong dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms. All of the volunteers had indicated at least some participation in religious or spiritual activities–such as meditating or going to church–and the researchers instructed them to direct their attention inward while under the drug’s sway.

P:None had previous experience with hallucinogens. Over a year later, people continued to rate their 8-hour experience in the lab as similar in significance to life events such as the birth of a first child.

H: A giant rubber snake could be the future of renewable energy. The rippling “Anaconda” produces electricity as it is squeezed by passing waves. Its developers say it would produce more energy than existing wave-energy devices and be cheaper to maintain.

P: I think it might have been part of that Pslocybin experiment. Retired physicist Francis Farley and Rod Rainey dreamed up a flexible tube filled with seawater and sealed at both ends like a giant sausage. The structure streams out in the waves like a windsock pushed by the wind.

H: The passage of each wave squeezes the rubber and produces a bulging pressure wave that travels down its length. When the bulge reaches the end it sets turbines spinning to generate electricity. That reminds me of something but I am not going to say what.

P: IF YOU were unfortunate enough to experience one of the universe’s most powerful explosions up close, you would certainly be doomed. But would the blast obliterate you with jets like something from a flamethrower or with cannonball-like projectiles of plasma? We thought we knew the answer, but now the picture is not so clear.

H: Gamma-ray bursts the most violent explosions in the cosmos, are intense flashes of high-energy radiation. The shorter bursts probably happen when a neutron star collides with another neutron star or a black hole. More protracted bursts release so much energy that only one type of event is thought capable of producing them - the collapse of a massive star’s core to form a black hole or neutron star
P: Or the collapse of the news as we knew it. The value of 11 newspaper groups that have traded publicly since 2005 plummeted a combined $23.7 billion in the first half of this year. The value fell nearly as much in six months as it had in the three previous years put together,

H: But there is hope in the newspaper galaxy because, In developing countries, newspapers are booming, with circulation increasing in some cases in the double digits, despite the fact that the medium faces near-constant predictions of doom in the U.S. and Europe.

P: Rising literacy rates and an increase in disposable income are helping boost newspaper readership. Anyone who can read or write is still looked at with a bit of awe [in many markets in India.] When people first learn how to read, they want to let people know, and the first thing you want to do is be seen to be reading a newspaper.

H:’s traffic soared an impressive 94 percent in June compared to the same month last year, according to the company’s internal traffic numbers.Rupert Murdoch plans to make access to the Wall Street Journal’s website free. The move will be able to bring in more advertising, as instead of having 1 million subscribers, it will have “at least 10 million to 15 million, in every corner of the earth,” he said.

P: At a meeting with about a dozen senior members of AOL’s staff very recently, Jeff Bewkes, CEO left at least one member of management with the impression that the company is for sale, a source close to the company says.

H: If Twitter had a P2P payments system in place today, it would become the most used mobile payments system overnight. Having the ability to send a message like “p innonate $5″ for that beer I just bought you”, would integrate seamlessly with the way Twitter’s users already interact with their system.

P: Layering on a payments system would not only make the feature instantly used, it would position Twitter to revolutionize how money is collected and exchanged on the Internet. (Think of what Twitter’s done for flashmobs and how it could effect fundraising.)

H: The Senate Commerce Committee’s has rescheduled its online behavioral targeting hearing for July 9. On the eve of the hearing, Public Knowledge, Free Press and the Center for Democracy and Technology will hold a debate contesting the safety of behavioral targeting, It might be putting the Cart before the horse though.

P: One-third of marketers say there are no written goals of any kind guiding marketing strategy. But as marketers begin developing metrics that help plan for future marketing, they are focusing on a variety of measures: brand and customer equity models, predictive models for direct response, working to understand the offline impact of online advertising, and working to understand the impact of experiential marketing.

H: Stop the presses! Word-of-mouth (WOM) happens during actual conversations! Those taking place in person and over the phone are overwhelmingly more prevalent than those online Specifically, content from a spouse, relative or best friend is rated more believable when it is shared offline, either by phone or face to face, than online - via email, text messaging or blogs.

P: Apparently, the value of eye contact, voice and perhaps even nonverbal communication provides a boost to credibility and to the likelihood that we’ll do something about what we’ve learned,” I wonder how the metetrics track for WOM on SL?

H: Especially now that our lips move? Google scored a legal victory in keeping its search source code secret from Viacom, but YouTube users were not so fortunate with their privacy. Well if you put it on youTube, how private is it?

P: A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the search giant doesn’t have to turn over the code to Viacom, which filed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google in 2007. In granting Google’s motion for a protective order, U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton in Manhattan agreed with Google’s characterization of the source code as a trade secret that can’t be disclosed without risking the loss of business.

H: New research from Nielsen tracks the top ten sites in the UK in average monthly minutes. There aren’t any virtual worlds on the list–MSN Search, eBay, and Facebook take the top slots–but Club Penguin and Second Life make the up-and-coming list.

P: Tracking their usage minutes from May 2007 to May 2008, Nielsen reports that Club Penguin grew 82% from 23 million minutes to 42 million while Second Life grew a whopping 137% from 125 million minutes to 296 million. My Club Penguin account is UberWaddle.

H: We’ve previously heard about A-SpaceX, a virtual world for intelligence agency collaboration and analysis that lets agents look at data from around the world and across different time frames, but it looks like the project is picking up steam.

P: The Office of the Director for National Intelligence, IARPA, and the Air Force Research Laboratory recently announced an Industry Day for A-SpaceX, that happened today with a simulcast in Second Life & it was all too hush hush to mention.

H: “A-SpaceX is seeking to create an analytic environment where the workspace becomes an enabler for the analytic process – fostering creativity between two key emerging technologies: Virtual worlds, and Workflow management.” a press release stated.

P:In this case, A-SpaceX is planned to include multiple virtual worlds, each targeted at specific kinds of decision making, though the goal is to make them interoperable to allow analysts to jump from one hoop through another.

H: Habbo Hotel announced a partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to bring the “Erase Hate” project to the InfoBus. Foundation staff will lead two discussions each week in the virtual bus on bullying, discrimination and hate–both on- and offline.

P:I remember Sulka Haro explaining that the company had problems opening up its Hotels to international audiences, though, since “only 44% of teenagers had positive attitudes toward foreigners.” Regardless, it sounds like an interesting project and a nice indication of nonprofits reaching out to the youth audience through their increasing involvement in virtual worlds.

H: On24 focus is on events with corporate webinars, but announced yesterday that it had expanded to include virtual worlds for trade shows, conferences, and events with ON24 Virtual Show. Virtual Show targets users looking to avoid travel costs and time as well as extending physical events’ reach with networking, virtual booths, webcasts, and a customizable interface.

P: And San Jose State University, in the heart of Silicon Valley, has built a campus at Second Life, . “I can send a student in to have an experience in an unstructured environment, and then come out and have a conversation about it.” professor Kemp said.

H: Thirty students signed up for Kemp’s 15-week virtual-world class, which includes learning about the application driving the Second Life program.

P: On the 4th Americans celebrate Independence Day, but five years ago, July became a significant month for everyone in Second Life. That’s when outrage against the Linden’s tax policy, which penalized excessive building by deducting L$ from the creator’s account, began festering toward open revolt,

H: Buildings were razed, giant tea crates were deployed, declarations were written (by Fleabite Beach, and within the year, the Lindens had canceled the policy, replacing monthly subscriptions with what we have now: land use fees where building is no longer taxed. Sounds effective-

HP This week Master of Puppets Meets Hands Free: Dorkbot Presents Top Avatar Control Innovators Avatar Puppeteering introduces a completely physics-based means of naturalistically animating the avatar,

H: in which every joint can be pushed, pulled, or rotated in real time for maximum expressivity and responsiveness.

P: Demonstrated this Sunday in a fantastic open comment no=holds barred environment It was a great debut for a possibley soon to be seen flexibility. Every joint has a position and a rotation in 3D space.

H: In the early 1980s, NSF put together NSFNet as a network connecting regional computer networks around the country. The Department of Defense had already created the Arpanet network, which gave birth to many of the tools and techniques used on the modern Internet, but Arpanet traffic was limited to Defense-sponsored research. NSFNet was designed to be open to all users. Happy Birthday Modern Internet

P: & Happy birthday Hydra too! That was Hydras big event this past weekend. CIGNA, , is announcing the development of a virtual health care community. situated on a Second Life® island, where seminars, interactive displays, educational games and virtual health consultations help foster real and sustainable behavior change that improves health.

H: Developed by Method, a brand experience agency, will help us develop nutrition knowledge, learn how to make healthier food choices, manage our weight and understand portion sizes and food labels - Stress, physical activity and sleep zones within the community will be developed following an evaluation of people’s experience with the nutrition zone.

P: Sleep zones ???? Don’t be foolish! – everyone knows that Sl stands for Sleep Less!

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