Sophomore Dev
The Dev You Say

Pokemon Go! Killer

August 27th, 2016

Alright, you got me. I played Pokemon Go like there was no tomorrow for about a day. I have something like a hundred and twenty pokemon since my last count. But those days are over. I actually broke out the GBA and Saphire just for the prosperity of it.

Now there is a new game on the market, and it comes out of Belgium.

A Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. Players post pictures and hints about where they have hidden a book and others go to hunt them down. Once someone has finished reading a book, they “release” it back into the wild.

“While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn’t have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokemon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature,” Gregoire told Reuters.

Though it was only set up a few weeks ago, more than 40,000 people are already signed up to Gregoire’s Facebook group.

If you need help creating the app you know where to find me.

SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS

August 27th, 2016

Great, success!

A SpaceX Dragon capsule that helped prepare the International Space Station for future commercial astronaut flights has returned to Earth after a stay of more than month-long mission. A robotic arm released the unmanned capsule packed with 3,000 pounds of cargo at 6:11 a.m. EDT, then fired thrusters several times to move a safe distance away from the station orbiting about 250 miles up. The departure began a less than six-hour journey that culminated in a Pacific Ocean splashdown at 11:47 a.m. EDT, about 300 miles southwest of Baja, California. The Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral early July 18 on a Falcon 9 rocket and berthed at the station two days later. Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment — the first brought home alive in a Dragon. Samples from mice euthanized as part of an experiment by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly also were on board. Results were returned from an experiment that studied the behavior of heart cells in microgravity, and from research into the composition of microbes in the human digestive system, NASA said. Findings from both could help keep astronauts healthy during deep space exploration missions.

But SpaceX hopes to kick off Labor Day Weekend early next Saturday (September 3rd) with a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This is a big deal if you have been following SpaceX news in recent months.

Floating Solar Device Boils Water Without Mirrors

August 27th, 2016

The search for better/cheaper methods of distilling water or generating steam has been ever on going. Now researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, led by George Ni, describe a prototype design that boils water under ambient sunlight.

Central to their floating solar device is a “selective absorber”—a material that both absorbs the solar portion of the electromagnetic spectrum well and emits little back as infrared heat energy. For this, the researchers turn to a blue-black commercial coating commonly used in solar photovoltaic panels. The rest of the puzzle involves further minimizing heat loss from that absorber, either through convection of the air above it or conduction of heat into the water below the floating prototype.

But it’s probably not a last. The researchers used computer modeling to look for factors they could optimize, and they calculated that the device should make steam even at about half of direct sunlight’s full intensity. With that much wiggle room, they say that a cheaper, less effective absorber material could bring the cost down even more. The current design should only cost about $6 per square meter to make, and the researchers think they could reduce that to $2 per square meter. At that price, they estimate you could produce steam for about five percent of the cost of a system that has to concentrate sunlight.

You can read the article in its entirety on arstechnica.com.

HAARP Under New Management and You’re Invited to an Open House

August 27th, 2016

There have been rumors about HAARP since news broke about a year of two ago that people thought it was used in some sort of mind control array or whatever. Well it s now under new management.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks now owns and operates the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program and invites the public to an open house Saturday. This is interested visitors’ chance to learn about the scientific mission and research at the Gakona facility, which was transferred last year from the U.S. Air Force to UAF.

HAARP’s original purpose was to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. But now that the University of Alaska Fairbanks has taken control of the station they intend to make the facilities available for researchers on a pay-per-use basis.

If I actually lived in Alaska (yeah, I know it’s big, let’s say Gakona) I would have considered spending my day there. The reason? They are holding an open to the public to an open house. This is gives interested visitors’ a chance to learn about the Gakona facility.

For nerdy Gakona residents this your chance to see the station for yourself. A chance I am betting doesn’t happen all that often.

“We hope that people will be able to see the actual science of it,” said Sue Mitchell, spokesperson for UAF’s Geophysical Institute, which operates the facility. “We hope to show people that it is not capable of mind control and not capable of weather control and all the other things it’s been accused of.”

And if you’re uncertain about attending, well let’s just say that the station isn’t capable of mind control else you wouldn’t have had a choice when it came to attending the open house.

25-Core Processor and it’s Open Source

August 27th, 2016

Researchers at Princeton announced at Hot Chips this week their 25-core Piton Processor. The processor was designed specifically to increase data center efficiency with novel architecture features enabling over 8,000 of these processors to be connected together to build a system with over 200,000 cores. Fabricated on IBM’s 32nm process and with over 460 million transistors, Piton is one of the largest and most complex academic processors every built. The Princeton team has opened their design up and released all of the chip source code, tests, and infrastructure as open source in the OpenPiton project, enabling others to build scalable, manycore processors with potentially thousands of cores.

See it for yourself.

Yum Cha Where Were You All My Life?

August 26th, 2016

Alright, before you get the wrong idea about the title. I was introduced to yum cha by a friend. She and I decided to get something to eat between courses and ended up going to a teahouse she knew.

While she was quite familiar with yum cha, it was a new experience for me. Though I will admit that I am getting quite accustomed to it now.

Yum cha is sort of like tea time, at least that is how it was explained to me. But doing a little research on my own I learned that it came from the silk road. Travelers and those that worked the farms along it would go to teahouses for a break. Dim sum is a part of the experience which I am totally down with.

When we got a set served to our table I was a little weary. I’m not a food snob by any means and I will eat just about anything but the thing about the dim sum was, well, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

And that is probably why it blew my mind. Combine with the yum cha it made for the perfect experience.

You should give it a try.