Long before Stanford University was considered a technology powerhouse, its most lucrative patent came from an under-spoken composer in its music department. Over the course of two decades, his discovery, "frequency modulation synthesis," made the school more than $25 million in licensing fees.
But more importantly, FM synthesis revolutionized the music industry, and opened up a world of digital sound possibilities. Yamaha used it to build the world’s first mass-marketed digital synthesizer — a device that defined the sound of 80s music. In later years, the technology found its way into the sound cards of nearly every video game console, cell phone, and personal computer.
Despite the patent’s immense success, its discoverer, Dr. John Chowning, a brilliant composer in his own right, was passed over for tenure by Stanford for being “too out there.” In Stanford’s then-traditional music program, his dabblings in computer music were not seen as a worthy use of time, and he was largely marginalized. Yet by following his desire to explore new frontiers of audio, Chowning eventually recontextualized the roles of music and sound, found his way back into the program, and became the department chair of his own internationally-renowned program.
This is the story of an auditory pioneer who was unwilling to compromise his curiosity — and who, with a small group of gifted colleagues, convinced the world that computers could play an important role in the creation of music.
A gasoline powered car turns about 75% of the energy you buy into waste heat. Electric cars are much more efficient - something like 20% of the energy is lost at the car (ignoring the efficiency of gasoline and electricity production). The concentration of cars in cities can be high enough to raise the temperature - on warm days that can increase cooling costs.
In a paper published in Nature's Science Reports the impact of moving from internal combustion to electric cars is studied to Beijing. (of course you do better moving to even more efficient transit - public transit and cycling)
Hidden Benefits of Electric Vehicles for Addressing Climate Change
1College of Electrical and Information Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China,
2Centre for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, RM 115, S. Harrison RD, East Lansing, MI, 48823, USA,
3Centre for Energy, Environmental and Economic Systems Analysis, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Bldg. 221Argonne, IL 60439, USA.
There is an increasingly hot debate on whether the replacement of conventional vehicles (CVs) by electric vehicles (EVs) should be delayed or accelerated since EVs require higher cost and cause more pollution than CVs in the manufacturing process. Here we reveal two hidden benefits of EVs for addressing climate change to support the imperative acceleration of replacing CVs with EVs. As EVs emit much less heat than CVs within the same mileage, the replacement can mitigate urban heat island effect (UHIE) to reduce the energy consumption of air conditioners, benefitting local and global climates. To demonstrate these effects brought by the replacement of CVs by EVs, we take Beijing, China, as an example. EVs emit only 19.8% of the total heat emitted by CVs per mile. The replacement of CVs by EVs in 2012 could have mitigated the summer heat island intensity (HII) by about 0.946C, reduced the amount of electricity consumed daily by air conditioners in buildings by 14.44 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), and reduced daily CO2 emissions by 10,686 tonnes.
Despite the issues yet to be overcome, Microsoft is making progress toward getting the technology behind HoloLens into a device you can actually wear. That’s not the same, though, as making an augmented reality device that is so useful and slickly packaged that millions of consumers will want to buy it. To do that, HoloLens, Magic Leap, and any other competitors must do much more.+
It’s impossible to compare HoloLens and Magic Leap at this stage and declare one winner, at least given what I’ve seen in two very different demonstrations. What I can say is my experiences illustrate the enormous challenge of creating a truly engaging augmented reality experience in a practical, consumer-ready device.+
It’s clearly incredibly hard to make this kind of stuff work in a convincing way on a headset—once you’ve figured out how to make good-looking virtual images, there’s the task of cramming all of the necessary computer hardware into a wearable device, making sure it looks good as the wearer is walking around, and figuring out a way to power it. This raises big questions about how good augmented reality can really get, and how useful it will be in the near future. If it doesn’t wow you, both in form and function, why would you buy it?
LED streetlights produce a different looking light than conventional street lamps - some might argue an unhealthy one as it is towards the blue end of the spectrum. Some people have problems with them.
As Nigeria’s middle and upper classes have grown, so has the appetite for foreign goods. But few stores sell them, and when they do, the selections are often paltry, Chris Folayan says. “When you go into a store, you might only find three colors of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts in three sizes.”
Items like Pulsar watches and Juicy Couture tracksuits aren’t any easier to come by. Many North American web merchants won’t ship to Nigeria or other African countries. (South Africa is an exception.)
“They get an order coming in from a Nigerian I.P. address and refuse to complete the order,” says Zia Daniell Wigder, who studies the globalization of e-commerce as a vice president and research director for Forrester Research.
Another barrier for American and European retailers is a lack of familiarity with Africa. “It’s just not a region that they’re comfortable with,” Mr. Folayan says. “They’ve never been there and they don’t have a sense of the economy.”
Mr. Folayan says he conceived of a service like MallforAfrica while working as an intern in Silicon Valley in the early 2000s. Whenever he was preparing to return to Nigeria to visit his family and friends, they would send him money to buy American products for them. He stuffed his suitcases with clothing, jewelry and electronics.
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story By 2010, when he founded a software application development and design company in Pleasanton, Calif., he could afford to fly back to Lagos five to eight times a year. Word of these journeys spread through his Nigerian network, and the number of courier requests ballooned.
We're going to see a change in the technology that is worn on the wrist along with its use. Currently the neologism smartwatch is being used, but it seems likely that will just revert to watch and what we currently call watches will need to be separately identified - probably as mechanical watches.
When a new name is applied to something to differentiate the original from a more recent form... Technology often forces it. Television split into color television and black and white television. Now television means color television unless you specifically say black and white television.
Safire, William (January 7, 2007). "Retronym". New York Times. The Merriam lexies, always strong on etymology, cite the earliest usage they can find of retronym in this column in 1980, which credited Frank Mankiewicz, then president of National Public Radio, as the coiner. He was especially intrigued by the usage hardcover book, which was originally a plain book until softcover books came along, which were originally called paperback and now have spawned a version the size of a hardcover but with a soft cover trade-named with the retronym trade paperback.
Why do we still use cable tv? A nice piece by Horace.
And so over a period of about 40 years, watching TV went from free to quite expensive. More expensive even than a family’s communications costs (i.e. telephone service.) That’s quite an achievement at a time when technology diffusions caused huge price reductions in other goods and services. Consider that the TV set used to watch the programming improved dramatically while decreasing in price over the same period.
Meanwhile, some of the benefits began to be less relevant. Commercials are more abundant than ever. Ad buyers spend about $60/month per household to deliver ads The quality of the TV picture is actually worse due to compression than one might get with over-the-air digital broadcast. Finally, the abundance of channels is beyond anyone’s absorption rate. Those channels which used to be “pure” became polluted and undifferentiated as each tried to be the other.
On top of these paradoxes is the fact that actual penetration of the service has been declining. As the graph above shows, Cable TV has declined (though Pay TV much less so). The industry has reached saturation decades ago and has not offered anything meaningful in terms of innovation.
This marriage of traditional aesthetics and cutting-edge technology is rare, but the brand’s principal selling point is the watches’ extreme accuracy, Dr. Hoptroff said.
To ensure that they meet brand standards, each watch’s movement is placed inside a “calibration unit” — a mass of wires and electronic paraphernalia centered on an inexpensive fridge/heater bought at the British retailing chain Argos. The unit measures the movement’s thermal expansion, enabling Dr. Hoptroff to devise a temperature compensation strategy tailored to each individual timepiece.
The company estimates its Classic quartz watches to be accurate to 0.3 second a year, “so we say 1 second a year to be on the safe side,” Dr. Hoptroff said. “The current equivalent is probably a Seiko, which is 5 seconds a year,” he said of the brand’s closest competition.
Hoptroff’s Classic watches are second in accuracy only to Hoptroff’s flagship atomic timepiece, a gold pocket watch known as the No.10.
Introduced in November 2013, the No.10 is the world’s first atomic timepiece and the most accurate watch ever produced. At its core is a Quantum SA.45s chip-scale atomic clock.
I'm familiar with the atomic clock module. It is quite an achievement and has some interesting, mostly military and oil exploration, uses. On the other hand it is far from the accuracy of conventional atomic clocks.