HTC has just announced the Vive, a virtual reality headset developed in collaboration with Valve. It will be available to consumers later this year, with a developer edition coming out this spring. The company has promised to have a significant presence at the Game Developers Conference next week, where devs will have a chance to play with Valve’s VR technology.
The Vive Developer Edition uses two 1200 x 1080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second, “eliminating jitter” and achieving “photorealistic imagery,” according to HTC. The displays are said to envelope your entire field of vision with 360-degree views. The company says in a press release that it’s the first device to offer a “full room-scale” experience, “letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings.”
Almost everyone who has health insurance in the United States gets help from the government to afford it. For the elderly, that’s Medicare. For the disabled and the poor, that’s Medicaid. For full-time workers it’s the tax subsidy for employer-provided health insurance.
In it’s never ending quest to provide “Fair and Balanced” “reporting” Fox News bring on the air all manner of talking heads. This one is a gem. Yes, she actually said that. Who books these nimrods? Stupid ‘splaining shit to the stupid 24/7. Girls just want to have guns. And know nothing about them. At all. A few fries short of a happy meal. She’s armed? Whoa…..Video
Somewhere way back when I wrote a few posts mentioning how bad measurements of internet authority & trust were. They are based on numerical counts of links, good or bad, and I proposed that authority should instead be measured on real trust of real facts. E.G. right now if you Google “FEMA” or “Vaccination” you will find several clearly crazy kookspiracy posts within the first couple of pages of results.
This is because gaining bad notoriety on the Web is sometimes better for traffic than gaining good, or trustworthy notoriety. Being right gains you little but trust from folks who care about such things as truth, but being wrong can get you an avalanche of eyes and ad revenue. Go viral with your bad, and hey, there’s this month’s beer money.
In a case of bad notoriety the kooks link the perpetrator to back up their claims, while the non-kooks link them to point out how [awful, wrong, bad, crazy, evil,] they are. The more outrageous the grenade tossed, the more links the kooks are likely to get. This is how internet bottom feeders like Jim Hoft, Pamela Geller, and Chuck C. Johnson survive, and it’s a business model that works for them.
It’s good to see that Google might finally be getting around to improve that, however I won’t for a moment pretend that they are going to actually fix anything here, because they are dependent on those kooks and internet grenades for revenue as well.
The trustworthiness of a web page might help it rise up Google’s rankings if the search giant starts to measure quality by facts, not just links
THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix - rank websites according to their truthfulness.
Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.
A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system - which is not yet live - counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team (arxiv.org). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.
In Boston this winter, jail inmates have been shoveling out fire hydrants, streets, and buried train lines in the face of historic snow. Clearly, Massachusetts needs the help. But instead of using current inmates for the task, Boston would be better served to employ newly released inmates desperate for cash. It’s just one example of how public officials tend to focus on those currently behind bars, instead of placing their emphasis on reintegrating former prisoners into society.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has actually praised the use of current inmates as “an important component to successful re-entry.” There’s no question that it’s a cheap solution. After all, the median wage in state prisons is 20 cents per hour. Those who have already paid their time, by contrast, would need to be paid the prevailing wage. And the union workers performing the same tasks are paid $30 an hour.
It’s a single study, so it will need to be both validated and replicated before it becomes proof of anything, however this link to cytokine levels is truly worthy of much more investigation.
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease. The findings could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.
These immune signatures represent the first robust physical evidence that ME/CFS is a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder, and the first evidence that the disease has distinct stages. Results appear online in the new American Association for the Advancement of Science journal, Science Advances.
With funding to support studies of immune and infectious mechanisms of disease from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative of the Hutchins Family Foundation, the researchers used immunoassay testing methods to determine the levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples collected through two multicenter studies that represented a total of 298 ME/CFS patients and 348 healthy controls. They found specific patterns in patients who had the disease three years or less that were not present in controls or in patients who had the disease for more than three years. Short duration patients had increased amounts of many different types of immune molecules called cytokines. The association was unusually strong with a cytokine called interferon gamma that has been linked to the fatigue that follows many viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of infectious mononucleosis). Cytokine levels were not explained by symptom severity.
Just add methane.
Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth. But in other, much colder worlds, life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry.
Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, Cornell chemical engineers and astronomers offer a template for life that could thrive in a harsh, cold world - specifically Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. A planetary body awash with seas not of water, but of liquid methane, Titan could harbor methane-based, oxygen-free cells that metabolize, reproduce and do everything life on Earth does.
Their theorized cell membrane, composed of small organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees below zero, is published in Science Advances, Feb. 27. The work is led by chemical molecular dynamics expert Paulette Clancy, the Samuel W. and Diane M. Bodman Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, with first author James Stevenson, a graduate student in chemical engineering. The paper’s co-author is Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Astronomy.
Immigration officials are moving to deport at least 150 Bosnians living in the United States who they believe took part in war crimes and “ethnic cleansing” during the bitter conflict that raged in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
In all, officials have identified about 300 immigrants who they believe concealed their involvement in wartime atrocities when they came to the United States as part of a wave of Bosnian war refugees fleeing the violence there. With more records from Bosnia becoming available, the officials said the number of suspects could eventually top 600.
“The more we dig, the more documents we find,” said Michael MacQueen, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement historian who has led many investigations in the agency’s war crimes section. The accused immigrants, many of them former soldiers from Bosnia, include a soccer coach in Virginia, a metal worker in Ohio and four hotel casino workers in Las Vegas.
It seemed as if the Ebola crisis was abating.
New cases were plummeting. The president lifted travel restrictions, and schools were to reopen. A local politician announced on the radio that two 21-day incubation cycles had passed with no new infections in his Freetown neighborhood. The country, many health officials said, was “on the road to zero.”
Then Ebola washed in from the sea.
Sick fishermen came ashore in early February to the packed wharf-side slums that surround the country’s fanciest hotels, which were filled with public health workers. Volunteers fanned out to contain the outbreak, but the virus jumped quarantine lines and cascaded into the countryside, bringing dozens of new infections and deaths.