Last of the ‘Navajo Code Talkers’ has died aged 93

Chester Nez

Chester Nez, the last surviving member of the ‘Original Navajo Code Talkers’ has died at the age of 93. He was a great man. Navajo, artist, writer, Marine, graduate of University of Kansas. He was one of the 29-member Navajo team that created a unique code language out of their own mother tongue. This new unbreakable code helped in defeating Japan on some very crucial fronts.

Rest in Peace Chester!

Read the full story at War History Online.

 

Planting A Billion Trees

biocarbonengineering

Ex NASA man wants to plant a billion trees every year…with drones. The drone start-up is will counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation.

Here’s a description of the technology they’re using:

We use emerging technologies to deliver precision planting and mapping to increase the uptake rates and the likelihood of healthy forest development.

There are a variety of tree-planting techniques, including planting by hand and delivering dry seeds by air. However, hand-planting is slow and expensive, and spreading dry seeds results in low uptake rates.

Our solution balances these two methods. First, by planting germinated seeds using precision agriculture techniques, we increase uptake rates. Second, our scalable, automated technology significantly reduces the manpower requirements and costs. Finally, our mapping UAVs will also provide invaluable intelligence on planting patterns, landscape design and appropriate timing.

Get The Tech Edge When You’re Betting

For anyone who places bets frequently, the best choice for where to get those bets is online. Not only do you cash in on free bets occasionally, but you’ll also find the best odds that are available. It’s convenient and you can bet as easily on your phone as on the PC, so wherever you are, you can get a bet on at a moment’s notice.

Betting exchanges such as Betfair make even more sense if you want to cut out the middle man, as there is no bookie, just a commission to pay on winning bets. Using an exchange also allows you to take a contrarian position and make a profit when there are lots of sentimental bets backing England to win the next international football match, or hopes are high (unrealistically so) for England’s chances in the upcoming Rugby World Cup, for example.

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CC by Unofficial England Rugby

But there is a way to improve your profit margins even further, and that’s through the use of the betting apps that have been designed work in tandem, such as BBS Schedule or MarketFeederPro which can scan the market for the best margins. There are lots of different apps available, and they all facilitate your betting system through a number of different features, such as one-click betting, charting, ladder trading and fast price refreshes.

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CC   by stacey.cavanagh

Some apps also feature a triggered betting function. Using the function of triggered betting you can save both money and time as you have much greater control over the staking plans and systems you’re employing. At a superficial level, triggered betting means you can set a stake limit, meaning that your stake remains the same whichever sports market you’re betting on. Similarly, you can set the app to only back or only lay outcomes in particular markets. Another way you can set triggered betting is to always back the favourite, regardless of which sport, or set it so that bets are only triggered when a selection falls into a certain range. Triggered betting reacts more quickly than you would be able to when there is a sudden market change. This is often particularly relevant in a big horse race, such as The Grand National or the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

If you’re interested in moving your betting up a few gears, then a small investment in a betting app subscription could be really helpful. There are plenty of tutorials on how to get the most out of a betting app, and many have simulation mode so that you can test out different systems or triggered betting plans without risking real cash. Then, whenever you’re ready, you can switch to placing real money bets and, hopefully, watch your profits soar.

Five Hottest Mobile Startups to Watch In 2015

Not all of the mobile startups launched last year were warmly met by users. Of course, developers will not stop experimenting and presenting new applications. So, there is no doubt that 2015 will explode with new inventions.

Here are 5 mobile startups to watch in 2015.

Slack

This startup will be interesting for enterprises looking for an innovative communication and messaging app. Slack allows workspaces sharing files, sending private messages and using group chat rooms. This communication app has quickly gained recognition in the business world and is already used by many big and small enterprises. In fact, this is one of the fastest developing enterprise applications ever created. There is no doubt that the demand for Slack will grow this year.

The startup has raised $180 million in funding. Among its world-famous investors are: Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins.

Wish

This is a real catch for shopaholics. This mobile shopping application is somewhat similar to Pinterest. The app exhibits items you wish buying. The startup founders are pretty sure in their success and hope their pet project will raise 100 million dollars and will later be evaluated in 1 billion dollars.

For the moment, Wish was funded $78.7 million by Jared Leto, GGV Capital and Legend Capital.

Headspace

Many enterprises across Silicon Valley are obsessed with meditation nowadays. They believe, meditation is the best method of helping employees boost their productivity. Headspace founders decided to snatch good money on this trend and created an application that allows users meditating on their own time. More than one million users in over 150 countries are already meditating with Headspace.

Funding capital of the meditation app is equal to 4 million dollars. The names of investors are kept under wraps.

Instacart

Want to buy groceries and have them delivered to your door, without leaving the comfort of home? This is not a dream, as with Instacart you can purchase groceries online or from your mobile phone.

Instacart has a decent funding capital – $154.8 million. The main startup investors are Sam Altman, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Aaron Levie.

Yik Yak

This gossip applications with a fancy name has taken college and high school students by storm. Yik Yak allows posting anything you want absolutely anonymously. Being a location-based app, it enables watching information posted by the nearby people only. To stop the spreading of rumours, some schools have blocked Yik Yak.

The app has raised $73.5 million in funding.

If you have your own startup idea in mind, however you do not know how to put it to life, Lezgro team is ready to help you. This is a company with an excellent experience of custom software and application development. High-end web and mobile applications created by Lezgro are highly prized by their customers across the world.

LINEAR ACTUATORS IN ROBOT’S MOTION

Linear Actuators in Robot’s Motion   

Introduction

A robot motion can be controlled by Linear Actuators (for example www.progressiveautomations.com/track-linear-actuator). A linear actuator is an electric device that used in converting the revolving motion of a DC motor into linear movements. Linear movements refer to the pull and push movements that make it possible to lift, push, tilt or pull objects simply by using a remote. Linear actuators are useful in robotic applications to help them in performing such movements.

Methods

There are multifaceted methods of using linear actuator to perform robotic motions. However, a simple method requires an external source of power popularly a DC motor which is attached with a gearbox. One can use an external control box such as PLC where one plugs in the actuator’s plug into a control box. If one does not wish to use a control box they can cut the plug and stick the two wires into a battery or switch.

Requirements

The general tools required include an aluminum sheet, a driller, fasteners, and two sets of small wheels. The aluminum sheet is used to install the motor to the robot’s body by drilling two holes into the bottom right and top left of the aluminum sheet. The fasteners on the other hand are used to install the motor onto the robot by drilling two holes into the motor’s installation panel.

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How It Works

The first step involves connecting the servo motor controller to the Direct Current motor and connecting the servo motor controller to the micro controller. This ensures that power is supplied to the actuator and the robot. The servo ensures the correct voltage is supplied to the linear actuator while the micro controller also helps on determining the amount of power needed to run the robot and the actuator. The wheels are then installed on the robot to provide motion to the robot. The wheels are attached to the robot and the motor by drilling holes on them and fastening them properly onto the devices using the fasteners. After the motor is turned on, the amount of power required to run the application should be adjusted. The control boxes and remote controls allow a person to control the movement of the linear actuator.

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New Machine Learning Course on Coursera

machine learning

Coursera has just opened a new version  of the course “Machine Learning” in the on demand format.

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Machine learning is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI. In this class, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself.

The on demand format allows you to work through the materials at your own pace. All materials are available at any time, and there are no deadlines for exercises or assignments.

Gambling Research Reveals the Psychology of Expertise

The psychology of gambling – what it is that makes it so appealing – is a little understood phenomenon. Some things, of course are self-evident: we all like easy money; we all enjoy the sensation of winning, and we all enjoy a sense of playful recreation. These simple explanations hold good for just about every human society that we have any knowledge of. People like gambling – but that doesn’t explain why we seem to like it so much.

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Creative Commons courtesy of  Images_of_Money 

Increasingly, research into what it is that people find so attractive is adding to our understanding of this seemingly universal human impulse. In the process, we are learning more and more about the fundamental drivers of our more general behaviour. In this sense, studying gambling offers a window into the psychology of market behaviours and other mass phenomena.

For example, a study published in the journal Psychopathology, by Professor Pinhas Dannon and Doctor Ronen Huberfeld of the Beer Yaakov Mental Health Centre in Tel Aviv showed that when it comes to betting on sports there is little or no advantage to be gained from ‘expert’ knowledge of the sport itself. This is obviously a finding that will have sports fans scratching their heads. How can this be?

The researchers had three groups of subjects place bets to predict the outcome of 16 second round Champions League soccer games. One group comprised professional sports gamblers, the second comprised knowledgeable soccer fans who did not ordinarily bet and the third was made up of people with no prior interest in either betting or soccer.

The results were surprisingly even. When it came to the crunch all three groups were comparable in their success rates. In fact, the two highest performing subjects came from the third – ‘ignorant’ – group. The researchers concluded that there is a mythical quality to ‘expert knowledge’ which aficionados get a kick out of.

What that means in practical terms is that if you are tempted to back a horse on the basis of its name – if you are attracted to Irish Saint at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival for example – then you can put your money down safe in the knowledge that in reality you know every bit as much as the next man or woman. And much as they will be getting a kick out of thinking that they know something the rest of the world has missed – and we all know that feeling – you will be enjoying a taste of schadenfreude on a grand scale.

Research elsewhere however has shown that there is a peculiarly shared, social aspect to gambling that was previously unrecognised. Professor Josep Marco-Pallarés, a psychologist at the University of Barcelona, writing in BMC Neuroscience, suggests that when we watch others gamble, our brains respond as though we are gambling, too. His research used EEG brain wave technology to measure respondent’s neural reactions to other people’s gambling. He found that even if a subject was not betting themselves, they experienced the same mental response as gamblers they were watching closely.

So much for the schadenfreude!

What this points to an innate herd instinct to share in the emotional reactions of others. And this, perhaps takes us back to where we started. Gambling, like sport, is a fundamentally social activity. It’s appeal lies in the ability to generate that deep social connection between people. It may pit them into adversarial but, like boxers who embrace at the end of a gruelling bout, they will fundamentally recognise the profound value they see in coming together in the first place – however confrontational that might appear at first glance.

As numerous sages down the years have noted, the business of gambling and the gamble that is business are much the same thing. Difficult as it may be to swallow, the research into gambling poses some searching questions for anyone who takes their professional expertise too seriously.

Professor Pinhas Dannon’s and Doctor Ronen Huberfeld’s findings concerning the ‘mythical quality’ of expert knowledge are summarised here.

John P. Craven, 90, Pioneer of Spying at Sea, Dies

john p craven

I served on submarines in the US Navy during the cold war. John P. Craven, a former Navy scientist whose innovations in ocean technology and exploration led to some of the nation’s most celebrated feats of espionage, died on Feb. 12 in Hawaii. He was 90. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his family said.

From 1959 to 1969, as chief scientist of the Special Projects Office, Dr. Craven led the Navy’s drive to expand its presence into the crushing depths of the sea. Among other things, he turned submarines into spy machines that could reach down miles to inspect and retrieve lost enemy matériel, including nuclear arms.

Read the full story on NYTimes.

RIP John.

Scanaflo Home Urine Testing via Iphone

Scanaflo™ is a urine test kit in development that will empower people to monitor their health at home.

Health tech startup Scanadu is working on the cutting-edge of a new type of medical technology that could one day put the hospital in the palm of our hands. Scanadu is now in the testing phase with Scanaflo. This is an iPhone-ready urinalysis strip that, with just one pee, knows if you are pregnant, diabetic or have been smoking weed.

Found via TechCrunch

Hawk-Eye Technology to Quell Italian Football Angst

Italian Football
Common Criteria by olaszmelo

E-sports are on the rise, but the impact of digital technology is also being felt in the traditional sporting arena. Hot on the English Premier League’s adoption of goal-line technology to establish whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the line in those instances where the award of a goal is in doubt, the Italian top division has announced that it is to follow suit.

There has been a long-standing objection to the introduction of optical technologies by traditionalists in both the UK and Italy who have insisted that the matter of human error is an integral part of the game. More practical objections on the basis of cost have also been aired.

However, as in England, the demands of television and club managers – neither of which are ever content with officials’ mistakes – combined with the overflowing riches of the top clubs have seen those objections overcome. From the start of next season the Italian Serie A will adopt the same Hawk-Eye technology as was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2014/2015 campaign.

Recent seasons in Italy have seen a number of controversies erupt as to whether the ball has – or has not – crossed the goal line in matches. AC Milan have twice been at the centre of such rows, on one occasion in 2012 with serious implications: an incorrectly disallowed goal was adjudged to have cost them a victory. The resulting points ‘loss’ inevitably impacted their final tally for the season.

With so much money at stake in terms of direct winnings, and indirectly from the revenues that derive from Champions’ League qualification, it was entirely logical that the means to eliminate human error from the equation should be adopted. Likewise, the considerable interest in Serie A betting put a high premium on teams competing for major honours being able to have complete faith in the accuracy of referees’ decisions.

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Common Criteria by MULADAR NEWS 
Hawk-Eye represents a network of high-speed video cameras to track and triangulate a ball’s position to within a 3.6mm margin of error. Because the system is able to accurately identify the ball’s position in relation to the goal-line, Hawk-Eye can tell when it has actually crossed the line. When it does so, an automated alarm alerts the match officials via a radio transmission to the referee’s watch.

Hawkeye has already been widely used in tennis and cricket, and therefore represents a well tried and tested solution to one of football’s perennial bugbears. AC Milan’s recent sense of grievance and the 1966 World Cup final are by no means the only instances where a dubious decision has had far reaching consequences.

It is unlikely that the technology will be extended to less wealthy leagues, but the news that Germany’s Bundesliga is also to adopt the technology  shows that it is more than just a short-term experiment for the bigger clubs.

The next step, now that the principle of human error has been punctured, will be the development of a software package capable of determining the equally vexed question of precisely when a player steps offside. Given the universal confusion on that point, that could take some time to deliver. Needless to say, it is an issue that does not arise in E-sports.

The Internet of Sheep

Internet of Sheep

The Internet of Things is the idea that all physical objects could communicate data over the internet to other connected devices.

In rural Wales, researchers have begun a study into the Internet of Sheep, attaching devices to livestock to gather information. Researchers say the beauty of sheep is that they stick together — easily transmitting data between the flock.

When the flock comes close to an internet receiving station it would transmit data to researchers at Lancaster University.

CNN has the full story on these connected sheep.

Avalon II Slot Game Review

Whats changed in Avalon II Slot

Be ready to be taken on a memorable and unique quest with the famous King Arthur together with other characters. Avalon II consists of 8 bonus games, cinema-quality 3D animation and a fantastic soundtrack. If you thought Avalon I was outstanding then you will be blown away by Avalon II which offers you 243 ways to win!

This is a 150 coin slot game that has five reels, wild, scattered and expanding wild symbols as well as three additional features, called merlin, grail and pay-table achievements. The aim is to get the winning string on one of 243 pay ways. How much will a player win? This is directly linked to the combo type he gets.

Avalon II consists of the standard features that one would expect to find with a micro gaming slot. There is a wild symbol that will take the place of all regular game icons to help create combinations and there is also a scatter icon that can offer instant pay-outs when three or more appear anywhere on the reels. While these features can get one excited, the main highlight of the game is the Grail Bonus, which is triggered with three scatters. You can also read a more detailed review of the slot game at Casino UK.

During the free spin game, players who are betting five coins will have the chance to win as much as 2,430,000 coins and during the bonus rounds, a 25,495 coin pay-out is highly possible.

How to Play Avalon II?

• -and+ keys next to the coin size field adjust the coin size.
• -and+ keys next to the coins field adjust the betting amount.
• Spins starts the game.
• Win box shows the pay-outs per winning combo.
• The winning combos are highlighted.
• The highest winning combos are set as achievements and are not cleared after exiting the game.

Be prepared to get sucked in by Avalon II slot game!

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