Ceres Shows Serious Youth

first_imgThe latest high-resolution images from asteroid Ceres show “mysteries” including surprisingly young features.A year in orbit, the Dawn spacecraft has reached an orbital elevation above Ceres closer than the International Space Station is to Earth. Those puzzling bright spots in Occator Crater are now coming into sharp focus.Ceres bright spots in Occator Crater“Scientists think the bright spots are deposits of epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), the trace remains of briny water-ice that at one time became exposed on the surface,” the BBC News says. “With no atmosphere on the dwarf planet, the water content would have rapidly vaporised, leaving only the magnesium sulphate spots.” But there’s a problem. Space.com says, “But Occator is about 80 million years old, and bright material should not have lasted nearly that long on the surface, researchers said.” Deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond remarked in a press conference on March 22, “It’s hard to keep things bright on a planetary surface over time.”Another crater named Oxo shows evidence of water ice that should long be gone. New Scientist reports:Seeing water ice anywhere on Ceres is a surprise as the surface is generally warm enough that any ice should evaporate into space. That means it must have been exposed recently, said Jean-Philippe Combe of the Bear Fight Institute in Winthrop, Washington. “This area is possibly a cold trap where H20-rich materials could be preserved for at least some time,” he said.But 4.5 billion years? If the salt deposits at Occator cannot last 80 million years, much less should water ice persist for even a fraction of that time. The ice appears to be exposed, not locked in hydrated minerals.Other “puzzling” features are bright walls on some craters, and a three-mile-high mountain named Ahuna Mons. Standing next to a crater with vertical slopes, it looks out of place out there all by itself. These and other distinctive features on Ceres can be seen clearly in a video clip embedded in coverage by Astrobiology Magazine.Planetary scientists are not completely lacking in speculations about why these features exist. But when upper limits of a few tens of million years can be put on them, one has to wonder what was going on billions of years before that. What happened recently such that we can see them now? “Clearly, we have a lot of work to do to put together a self-consistent story,” Raymond said.Slavish devotion to moyboy timeframes is the mother of planetary mysteries. We’re not asking them to downgrade their timelines from billions of years to thousands. If they would just be open to questioning the consensus timeline, kicking a little A.S.S., it would be a refreshing change toward transparency that might open up new vistas of understanding. Unfortunately, since Darwin needs the time, his mafia are forever on the prowl for dissenters. (Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More »

Orggit’s iPhone App: Your Wallet in the Cloud

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… dana oshiro Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting If you’ve ever needed to access medical information, accounts and codes while on the go, then Orggit’s new iPhone application might be your answer. For a $50 dollar annual fee, the company stores user info and lets them share their vital information with up to 10 others. This means that one account can house an entire family’s passport, insurance and medical records. Accounts also come with an “in case of emergency” card in order for medics to access records via a 1-800 number. The service offers emergency professionals an instant look at pre-existing conditions, immunizations and allergies before they treat you. Orggit’s parent company Morgan Street Document Systems has a history of providing digital archives for businesses. The group has provided insurance carriers, wealth advisors and banks with digital document retrieval for their clients. Orggit is the company’s second consumer-focused product and is described as allowing users to “share and protect life’s essential information”. Nevertheless, it’s hard to tell if the general public will see this as adding or detracting from their information security. The issue may be that Orggit’s storage capabilities are too comprehensive. Below are some of the company’s data storage categories:1. Wallet: Users store Information about their passport, driver’s license, social security card, credit cards and club memberships in an online archive. If your physical wallet is stolen, you can cancel all of your cards at once. 2. Medical: As described above, users store family medical information in one convenient place. Puff Idea’s Medical Records application is free and appears to offer similar health-related information. However, the emergency card is unique to Orggit. 3. Accounts and Codes: Users store and access their user names, passwords and account codes from this section of the application. According to the company, “account numbers and pass codes are encrypted at rest”. 4. Filing Cabinet: This section allows users to check their household documents from the cloud. Mortgage, insurance and legal information is easily accessible via the Orggit dashboard. A complete list of Orggit’s information safety policies are available in the company’s security page. Given what you already know about freemium cloud-based personal finance sites like Mint.com and health services like Google Health, how much do safety and cost matter in your decision to use this service? center_img Related Posts Tags:#start#startups 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Read More »

Ribbit Launches Google Voice Challenger

first_imgVoicemail TranscriptionsRibbit offers two levels of voicemail transcriptions. Free accounts come with automated transcriptions. Users with professional accounts – which are free during the beta period – can also choose to have ‘business-class’ level transcriptions, where a human checks the computer-transcribed text and edits it.Ribbit for DevelopersBecause Ribbit is an open platform, developers can use the service in their own applications. Ribbit already features five apps in its app store, including an SMS widget, an Adobe AIR app for checking voicemails and a conference widget. Ribbit also plans to launch its own mobile applications for the iPhone and Blackberry platforms soon. Developers are free to charge for their applications and Ribbit also offers a profit-sharing program where developers will be paid if users use their applications.Joining the BetaRibbit will slowly scale the service up over the next few weeks. The company will hand out new accounts on a first come, first serve basis. You can sign up for an account here. All service levels are available for free during the beta period, though Ribbit plans to charge for the pro accounts later on. Tags:#NYT#voice#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Besides call chains, another nice feature of Ribbit Mobile is that you can choose which number will appear on your contacts’ phones when you call, even if you are calling from your computer. Once you are on a call, you can also easily transfer calls from any device to another. Because of this, you can start a call in the web interface or iGoogle and then continue the call on your cell phone. Just like Google Voice, Ribbit gives users the option to set up a new phone number for their Ribbit accounts. Users can search for a specific number and letter combination in these numbers. For now, Ribbit only offers numbers in select cities such as California and New York.A service like Ribbit Mobile wouldn’t be very useful as you couldn’t easily import your contacts. Thankfully, users can import contacts from Plaxo and as an Outlook CSV file (Google Contacts can export an Outlook CSV file). Caller ID 2.0As Ribbit’s CEO Ted Griggs and co-founder Crick Waters told us yesterday, the company wants users to look at Ribbit Mobile as a “personal customer relationship management (CRM) platform.” To do so, Ribbit Mobile doesn’t just display a caller’s name and phone number. Users can also add notes to every call and connect their Ribbit address book with their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr accounts. Through this, the Ribbit team noted, conversations can now take place within a context.center_img frederic lardinois Ribbit just announced the launch of Ribbit Mobile. Ribbit Mobile is a cloud-based VoIP telephony service that brings together web-based calling, smart call routing and voicemail transcriptions.It is hard to look at Ribbit Mobile without comparing it to Google Voice. Just like Google Voice, Ribbit gives users a new phone number or they can use call forwarding to transfer calls from their mobile phones to Ribbit’s platform. Ribbit Mobile also has quite a few features that Google doesn’t offer, including the ability to make calls from within the browser.Update:in an earlier version of this article we stated that Google Voice can’t ring multiple phones simultaneously. This is indeed a feature of Google Voice and we stand corrected.More Features than Google VoiceAs Ribbit Mobile is part of Ribbit’s open VoIP platform, the service can even forward calls to your Skype, MSN or Google Talk account if you don’t pick up your mobile phone. Whenever you miss a call or when a new voicemail arrives, Ribbit can also ping you by email, Skype, Google Talk or SMS. Through its partners, Ribbit offers widgets for popular start pages like iGoogle and social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Through these – as well as on the service’s homepage – users can receive and place calls from their browsers. This is a feature that Google Voice doesn’t offer yet.GrandCentral, which Google bought and then transformed into Google Voice, offered some of the features that Ribbit Mobile now offers. Google dropped quite a few useful features like call chains from Google Voice’s feature line-up, however. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Read More »

R-House is Still a Passivhaus Contender

first_imgLast spring we mentioned that construction was about to begin on the winners of a green-home competition called “From the Ground Up: Innovative Green Homes.” The contest was intended to showcase high-quality design, sustainability, and cost-effective building practices for single-family homes.The contest was established by Syracuse University’s School of Architecture in partnership with the Syracuse Center of Excellence and nonprofit housing and community groups Home HeadQuarters and the Near West Side Initiative. One of the key competition rules: limit construction costs to $150,000. The competition attracted entries from 52 design teams.The winning projects, which were sold before they were completed last summer, all came in close to 1,100 sq. ft. (excluding unconditioned basement space). For example, the single-story, flat-roofed Live Work Home, designed by Cook + Fox of New York City and Terrapin Bright Green of Washington, D.C., was built with structural insulated panels and an interior that can be modified to offer 1,100 to 1,363 sq. ft., depending on what combination of residential, small-business, and/or studio uses are required by the occupants.TED, another flex-space structure, was designed by Onion Flats of Philadelphia and built to 1,130 sq. ft. over three stories, with 2×6 stick construction and insulation to R-40 for exterior walls and R-60 for the roof.Airtight and on budget A recent post by Jetson Green brought our attention back to the contest’s remaining winner, R-House, a 1,100-sq.-ft. dwelling with a corrugated aluminum skin and design and construction details intended to bring it to the Passivhaus performance standard. Architecture Research Office and Della Valle Bernheimer, both in New York City, collaborated on the design, and HomeHeadquarters handled the construction.Dana Frankel of Della Valle Bernheimer noted in an e-mail to GBA that the house has not yet been through the Passivhaus certification process. Frankel did, however, provide a few performance details. The foundation – a slab over 8 in. of extruded polystyrene – is rated at R-44. The thermal resistance of the exterior walls and roof is R-66, with airtightness at 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure difference. (The annual heat requirement, based on Passive House Planning Package calculations, is 15 kWh/m2∙a and the heat load is 16 W/m2.)The project team went with Thermotech R-5 Plus triple-pane windows, with glazing-only U-factors of 0.16 for the south-facing windows and 0.12 for all others. The glazing-only SHGC value is 61% on the south side of the house, 31% elsewhere.Even though Passivhaus certification has not yet been assured, R-House did attract the attention of the American Institute of Architects’ Housing Awards jury, which in 2010 honored the project with an AIA Award of Merit. “We were so happy to see that a Passive House entered,” wrote one juror. “It is strengthened by its highly functional and compact plan.”last_img read more

Read More »

Masterful Venus oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LONDON – Venus Williams became the oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years on Thursday as the American star ended Johanna Konta’s history bid with a masterful 6-4, 6-2 win.Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut, five-time champion Williams is into her ninth final at the All England Club and her first since 2009.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The 37-year-old’s sublime display of power-hitting on Centre Court stopped Konta becoming the first British woman to make the final for 40 years and set up a title match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars LATEST STORIES Venus Williams of the United States returns to Britain’s Johanna Konta, during their Women’s Singles semifinal match on day nine at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Muguruza reaches another Wimbledon final  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucenalast_img read more

Read More »

Caught in the slips

first_imgRavindra Jadeja drops Alastair Cook off Pankaj SinghThere are no easy catches in the slips, Rahul Dravidonce said. But do not try con-soling Pankaj Singh so. He’d had a sleepless night before his debut, India’s third Test against England at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl. On the morning of the Test, Sourav,Ravindra Jadeja drops Alastair Cook off Pankaj SinghThere are no easy catches in the slips, Rahul Dravidonce said. But do not try con-soling Pankaj Singh so. He’d had a sleepless night before his debut, India’s third Test against England at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl. On the morning of the Test, Sourav Ganguly calmed his nerves while handing him the India cap. “Keep it simple and enjoy your first day in Test cricket,” Sourav told the 6′ 5″ Rajasthan-based pacer.Pankaj’s 13th was a delivery that had long been Alastair Cook’s nemesis, pitching short of length, seaming away and almost, as if dutifully, kissing the edge of Cook’s bat. It flew to left-handed Ravindra Jadeja at third slip, coming to his natural catching side at a comfortable knee-height. Into his hands it went. And instantly out.Jadeja’s drop may not acquire the dramatic recall of wicketkeeper Kiran More’s off Graham Gooch at Lord’s in 1990. Gooch had been on 36 when dropped; he ended his innings on 333. But it was no less inconsequential. Cook, then on 15, had been going through a bad run with the bat, and the reprieve allowed him to prod his way to 95, perhaps marking a durable change in fortunes. And for England, that drop lifted the pressure India had been trying to sustain for the first hour of the Test. India lost their momentum, the Test and a vital lead in the series too.And Pankaj, India’s 282nd Test cap, his big chance.In the series, by the time the fourth Test began, India had missed eight chances behind the wicket. At the second Test at Lord’s, Gary Ballance was batting on 28 when neither keeper M.S. Dhoni nor first slip Shikhar Dhawan went for the catch. Ballance went on to make a century. India eventually won the Test, but a big frailty in their fielding had been exposed.advertisement”Wrong fielder at the wrong place,” Kapil Dev says about Jadeja in the slips. “Have you ever seen Jonty Rhodes in the slips? He may have been the greatest fielder of our generation but ones like him, Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh and even Virat Kohli are hyper, with a lot of body movement. While fielding in the circle or in the outfield, their instinct is to rush and grab at the ball. This technique fails in the slips as you have to let the ball come softly into your hands. I feel sorry for Pankaj. Maybe, if that catch had been taken, he could have picked more wickets. India would have done better. That one moment cost them.”Fact is, India have not been able to plot their field placements after the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, exemplary slips fielders both, with 210 Test catches (a record) and 135, respectively. The team have tried as many as five in the first slip, a fort so well guarded by Dravid in the past. Almost 10 have been tried in the slip cordon, but the gap is now showing badly.Recall the Auckland Test earlier this year when New Zealand were shaky at 30 for 3 and Murali Vijay dropped Kane Williamson off Mohammad Shami. He scored 113, added 221 with Brendon McCullum for the fourth wicket, and India had another away defeat.There are conspicuous technical faults in the Indian cordon, putting more strain on the already-weak Indian bowling-not grooming specialists and trying out too many fielders, imbalanced stance and body position, wrong hand positions and lack of slip temperament in some cases. In this series, for example, a few slip fielders have been seen resting their hands on the knees (a posture made famous by Ian Botham, but not successfully emulated by others). Most mystifying is the distance-or the lack of it-between the slips. As Sunil Gavaskar noted, they were standing too close to each other and hindering movement. (The original Mr First Slip, Gavaskar once won the Man of Match award in a low-scoring India-Pakistan ODI in Sharjah, 1985, for the four slip catches he took.)In England’s second innings at Southampton, when Dhawan, at first slip, dropped Joe Butler, another debutant, he was standing too deep as the ball fell short by a few inches, not a lone occurrence in that Test. Mohammad Azharuddin, who used to swoop such catches, diving in front rather than wait to see if the edge would carry or not, says: “You have to anticipate and adjust and go for any half-chance that comes along. Nothing lifts a team more than a fielder converting a half-chance.””Soft hands and cool mind,” is Laxman’s mantra. He says: “When Sourav was captain and John Wright coach, they told Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and me to man the slips. We would practise only in the slips and knew our roles well. Sachin was first, me second and Dravid third slip but when finger injury forced Sachin out of the slips, Rahul went to the first, I stayed at second and Virender Sehwag came into the third slip. We had a plan and we would switch on for less than 3-4 seconds every ball. The rest of the time we would chat about other things. That helped sustain longer periods of concentration.”advertisementThat slip cordon was crucial for India’s newfound success abroad in the noughties, with pacers Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan (followed by R.P. Singh, Munaf Patel, S. Sreesanth) and spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh getting the support they needed. They won Port of Spain (2002) and Jamaica (2006), Headingley (2002) and Nottingham (2007), Adelaide (2003) and Perth (2008), Multan and Rawalpindi (2004), Johannesburg (2006) and Durban (2010) and many more. “Couldn’t have been possible if we didn’t have good hands in the slips. They made our seamers more effective,” says Ganguly, India’s most successful captain away.Put it to muscle memory, but experience is essential. The ball flies at such speed to slips after taking a deflection off the bat that to take the right call on which way to reach the ball, the fielder must rely on a mind map of all the trajectories he has dealt with. Ingrained instinct plus instant judgement. Great bowlers have inevitablyfound their success in part because they found the right man to be at first slip. In fact, bowler-slip fielder is a key hyphenation of Test cricket. Think Anil Kumble-Dravid, Shane WarneMark Waugh, Kapil-Gavaskar, Muralitharan-Mahela Jayawardene.It is strange the Indian slip is showing, especially when the demands of modern day cricket have ensured better fielding standards. “Earlier Indians were average fielders but good catchers,” says Kapil. “It’s the other way now. Too many ODIs and T20s have made them very good fielders, but I have the sense they don’t practise too much slip catching as slips are rarely used in ODIs and T20s. Like Azhar used to in our time, today’s slip fielders should take at least 100 catches a day in practice. How else will you get 20 wickets in a Test?”From what he has seen while commentating on the Indian team, Ganguly feels the only way up is to identify three-four slip fielders and back them for a year: “Let them know they will stand in the slips. They must practise doing different simulations. They must watch the ball from every possible angle. If India continue to drop slip catches, the bowling will suffer more.” That’s something for Dhoni to think about as he tries to regroup his side for the remaining play in India’s first fiveTest series in more than a decade.Followthe writer on Twitter @vikrantgupta73To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

Read More »