Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm back.

So, after s 6 week break I am back. Looking forward to blogging!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Japan creates world's fastest supercomputer which is as quick as one MILLION desktop PCs

A Japanese supercomputer has snatched the title of the world's fastest machine, ending China's brief reign at the top after six months.

The K supercomputer, built by the Fujitsu Company, is as fast as one million desktop computers connected together.

It has more than three times the power than the previous title-holder and is capable of performing eight quadrillion calculations each second.

A quadrillion is one followed by 15 zeroes and in computer jargon the speed is known as 8.2 petaflops.

The previous fastest machine was the Chinese computer Tianhe-1A, which was clocked at 2.507 petaflops and highlighted the emergence of China's growing technological and economic power.

The Tianhe- 1A machine was the first time China had topped the speed list, wrestling the title from the U.S. who had four of the top ten supercomputers.

Experts said the development of the K machine, which is faster than five of its closest competitors combined, marks a giant leap forward in technology.

'It's a very impressive machine - it's a lot more powerful than the other computers,' said Professor Jack Dongarra, who releases a six-monthly list of the world's top supercomputers.

The speed rankings are based by running a standard mathematical equation.

The bragging rights for Japan's K computer, which has cost $1.2bn to develop, marks a return to the top for the first time in seven years.

Developed at RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, the giant computer is housed in a climate-controlled, warehouse-like structure.

It consists of 672 cabinets filled with circuit boards containing almost 70,000 processors. A family computer or laptop uses a single processor.

The K supercomputer uses enough energy to power 10,000 homes and although its creators claim the machine is energy efficient, its running costs are put at £6m a year.

'Use of the K computer is expected to have a groundbreaking impact in fields ranging from global climate research, meteorology, disaster prevention, and medicine, thereby contributing to the creation of a prosperous and secure society,' a spokesman for the RIKEN institute said.

Fujitsu and RIKEN chiefs say the project had overcome difficulties posed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country's northeast Tohoku region.

There are five U.S. supercomputers in the top-10 rankings, including the third-ranked Jaguar system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Others in the top ten include two machines from China, two from Japan and one from France.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Armchair astronaut discovers Mars 'space station' using Google earth

We have all heard of little green men from Mars.

But now an American 'armchair astronaut' claims to have discovered a mysterious structure on the surface of the red planet - by looking on Google earth.

David Martines, whose YouTube video of the 'station' has racked up over 200,000 hits so far, claims to have randomly uncovered the picture while scanning the surface of the planet one day.

The white dot in the centre of the screen has set the blogosphere alight with rumours of a secret base

Describing the 'structure' as a living quarters with red and blue stripes on it, to the untrained eye it looks nothing more than a white splodge on an otherwise unblemished red landscape.

He even lists the co-ordinates 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W so others can go see the anomaly for themselves.

In a pre recorded 'fly by' video of the object, Mr Martines describes what he thinks the station might be.

He said: 'This is a video of something I discovered on Google Mars quite by accident.

'I call it Bio-station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it.

NASA and Google have both yet to respond to the 'finding', circled here

'It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders.

'It could be a power station or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage - hope it's not a weapon.

'Whoever put it up there had a purpose I'm sure. I couldn't imagine what the purpose was. I couldn't imagine why anybody would want to live on Mars.

'It could be a way station for weary space travellers. It could also belong to NASA, I don't know that they would admit that.

'I don't know if they could pull off such a project without all the people seeing all the material going up there. I sort of doubt NASA has anything to do with this.

'I don't know if NASA even knows about this.'

The 'discovery' is similar to that of the infamous 'face on Mars'

Uncovered by the Viking 1 probe in 1976, a quirk of geography threw shadows over a small hill on the Cydonia region of Mars, making the inanimate rock look like a carved face.

The picture was heralded as proof of an alien civilisation by some but was dismissed as a mere trick of the light by scientists at NASA.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The new Pagani Huayra ( Still don't know how to pronounce that )

When Pagani builds a new car, we jump to attention, but not because it comes from a brand that carries the momentum of glorious heritage or racing success or the patronage of royalty and stars. Pagani doesn’t have those things to fall back on. The non-petrolhead world doesn’t know about Pagani. It’s our secret, and absent all that branding stuff, it’s the car itself that has to do all the work.

Shouldn't be a problem. The new Huayra (the main syllable is wire, with an ‘h' before and an ‘a' after) is a substantial step upward from the only Pagani so far, the Zonda. Just let's think about that extraordinary idea for a moment. When it began life, the Zonda was a Ferrari 550 competitor. In its more powerful mid-decade F form, it went up a gear. Because it was so light, it comfortably outperformed a MurciĆ©lago and hit the stratosphere occupied by the headbanging razor hardcore like the Enzo and Carrera GT. But unlike them it didn't demand your mortal remains in return - it was refined and easy, and a breathtakingly extravagant luxury good. Then it hit another level with the end-of-line Cinque versions. The potential of the Zonda's original concept meant it could evolve far beyond even what its creator Horacio Pagani himself had envisaged. So there was no need to rush the Huayra.

But now it's here, the Huayra leaves even the Cinque in the dust. Let some raw numbers set the scene. Beneath a pair of golden-finned intercooler covers and carbon-fibre intake boxes, there lives and breathes a brand new 6.0-litre AMG V12 making 730bhp, and a mountainous 811lb ft of torque. All this to propel a car of just 1,350kg. That's slightly lighter than the most powerful Porsche ever, the certifiably insane 911 GT2 RS, but with rather more than one-and-a-half times the torque. Or the same torque-to-weight as a Veyron. Veyron Super Sport, that is. Right, now we've got your attention...

This car is, like the Zonda before it, the obsessive work of an individual, company founder Horacio Pagani. He says he started work on the Huayra in 2003, because he feared the Zonda would seem old beside the Carrera GT and Enzo and Veyron. It didn't, so while the Zonda kept growing up, he continued to whittle away on the Huayra. Perfection won't be rushed.

                                                                                                                 Taken from: Top Gear news

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nanotechnology Rejuvenates the Heart

What's the Latest Development?

Experimenters at Brown University and the India Institute of Technology Kanpur have created a small mesh of carbon nanofibers that, when placed on dead heart tissue resulting from a heart attack, regenerates the dead tissue. The device, which looks like a small black band-aid and measures 22 millimeters long by 15 microns thick, works by drawing cardiomyocytes—specialized cells that form heart muscle—to the dead tissue area. After reaching the nano-surface, the heart cells begin to spawn, effectively regenerating the heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack.

What's the Big Idea?

The new technology is most applicable for patients who have suffered a heart attack and who are therefore at higher risk of another. Because a heart attack kills heart tissue, one-time heart attack victims are at a higher risk of having a second heart attack. "In 2009, some 785,000 Americans suffered a new heart attack linked to weakness caused by the scarred cardiac muscle from a previous heart attack, according to the American Heart Association." The same nanotechnology that enabled this heart patch has wide application in other fields. Research is currently being conducted to develop bendable laptops, new drug delivery systems and novel diagnostic tools.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eurovision song contest.

So, Azerbaijan won with this.

Which was decent, but not nearly as good as the French entry:

Or the Hungarian one:

And the Estonian:

Quite sad really, that the countries were awarding points to their closest neighbors or the countries they are tied to politically, so the points were just given to the countries liked the most, not the songs. Azerbaijan was supported by Russia, Turkey ( Azerbaijan's permanent best ally) , and the majority of the former Soviet countries participating in the contest. 

I will conclude this post with a nice poster of the Estonian singer ;D I find her very cute.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A chance to walk around the outside of CN Tower

Toronto's CN Tower is a test for even the most extreme adrenaline junkies.

But budding daredevils now face a new challenge, as the tower's operators plan to let people walk hands-free around the outside of the 116-storey structure - held in place by only a cable.

For $175 (£107), thrill-seekers can stroll around the top of the tower with no guard-rail and just a 5ft (1.5m) wide see-through ledge underneath.

High life: Visitors to the new EdgeWalk experience at the top of the CN Tower will have unparalleled views of Toronto

At 1,167ft (356m) above the ground, the EdgeWalk will reward the brave with some breathtaking open-air views of Canada’s largest city, Lake Ontario and Buffalo, NY.

The first attraction of its kind in North America, EdgeWalk claims to be the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk.

Wearing safety harnesses attached to an overhead rail, trained guides will lead adventurous walkers in groups of six to eight around the top of the tower's main pod.

The entire experience will last about 90 minutes, with the walk itself running 20 to 30 minutes.

Exciting: The entire experience will last about 90 minutes, with the walk itself running 20 to 30 minutes

Walkers will have to meet height and weight requirements, and officials say the attraction was designed with the utmost safety and security in mind.

‘EdgeWalk is both thrilling and unique and will push visitors to their limits - literally and figuratively,’ CN Tower President Mark Laroche said.

‘This will be among Toronto's, if not the world's, greatest attractions.'

Completed in 1976, the CN Tower became the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower, holding both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Canton Tower in China.

It remains the world's 4th tallest free-standing structure at 1,815ft high and attracts more than 1.5million visitors ever year.

‘We're extremely proud of the records the CN Tower has held throughout the years, including our strong safety record,’ said Jack Robinson, CN Tower's chief operating officer.

‘Our facilities and engineering team supervised the EdgeWalk project design and build to ensure that it is both exciting and safe.’

The attraction surpasses the Sky Tower walk in Auckland, New Zealand, at 629ft (192m) high and the Macau Tower Skywalk at 764ft (233m) above the ground.

EdgeWalk is set to open August 1 and advance ticket sales begin in June. I'm looking forward to it as I live in Toronto and am something  of an adrenaline junkie myself.