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Posts Tagged ‘Newton’

New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

December 13th, 2012 12:12 admin View Comments

Iphone

turbosaab writes “A woman who said she was asked to leave New Hampshire’s Pheasant Lane Mall because she wanted to buy too many iPhones was pinned down by Nashua police and zapped by a Taser (video) as she shrieked in front of crowds of shoppers Tuesday. The Chinese woman from Newton, Mass blamed a language barrier for the confrontation outside the Apple Store in the Pheasant Lane Mall Tuesday afternoon. Police say Li knew exactly what they were telling her and simply refused to comply. Police said Li had $16,000 in cash in her purse at the time of her arrest and may have been purchasing the phones for unauthorized export resale.”

Source: New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow

July 4th, 2012 07:12 admin View Comments

Transportation

wisebabo writes “I think it was Newton who said if you knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future down to the effect the flutter of a sparrow’s wing would have on the weather. Aside from quantum indeterminacy (which, of course, he knew nothing about) and questions of free will, it is clear we are a long long way from getting even close to the theoretical limits of prediction. Still, here’s something that, to me, is very impressive. Some researchers manage to track raindrops (or snowflakes) in front of a light and, in real time, change the beam so that they are not illuminated! This drastically reduces glare. The obvious application is for driving cars in inclement weather. I’m hoping we’re entering a new age where computers (and cheap sensors) have become so powerful as to make possible a whole host of ‘magical’ (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications.”

Source: Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow

Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow

July 4th, 2012 07:12 admin View Comments

Transportation

wisebabo writes “I think it was Newton who said if you knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future down to the effect the flutter of a sparrow’s wing would have on the weather. Aside from quantum indeterminacy (which, of course, he knew nothing about) and questions of free will, it is clear we are a long long way from getting even close to the theoretical limits of prediction. Still, here’s something that, to me, is very impressive. Some researchers manage to track raindrops (or snowflakes) in front of a light and, in real time, change the beam so that they are not illuminated! This drastically reduces glare. The obvious application is for driving cars in inclement weather. I’m hoping we’re entering a new age where computers (and cheap sensors) have become so powerful as to make possible a whole host of ‘magical’ (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications.”

Source: Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow

350-Year-Old Newton’s Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old

May 27th, 2012 05:31 admin View Comments

Education

First time accepted submitter johnsnails writes “A German 16-year-old, Shouryya Ra, solved two fundamental particle dynamic theories posed by Sir Isaac Newton, which until recently required the use of powerful computers. He worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance. Shouryya solved the problem while working on a school project. From the article: ‘Mr Ray won a research award for his efforts and has been labeled a genius by the German media, but he put it down to “curiosity and schoolboy naivety.” “When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself, ‘well, there’s no harm in trying,’” he said.’”

Source: 350-Year-Old Newton’s Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old

Isaac Newton’s Notes Digitized

December 12th, 2011 12:01 admin View Comments

Math

First time accepted submitter nhstar writes with an excerpt from an article in the Register: “If you’re looking for a bit of light reading this holiday season, Cambridge University is here to help: they’ve digitized and made available online over 4,000 pages of the pioneering scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton’s most important works. ‘Anyone, wherever they are, can see at the click of a mouse how Newton worked and how he went about developing his theories and experiments,’ Cambridge University Library’s digitization manager Grant Young told the BBC.”

Source: Isaac Newton’s Notes Digitized

More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

August 26th, 2011 08:30 admin View Comments

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ attention to the finest of details is well known throughout the tech world, the latest testament to that is Google VP Vic Gundotra’s recollection of his phone call with Jobs in 2008 about an imperfection in the Google logo on the iPhone when pinned to the homescreen.

Another example of Jobs’ immense attention to the finer aspects of product design and everything else is Apple’s patents, 313 out of which list Jobs as an inventor.

These patents cover a broad range of products including Desktop Computers, iPods, iOS devices, product packaging, power adaptors and even the glass staircases you would find in Apple stores.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates has 9 patents to his name while Google’s Larry and Sergey have a dozen patents, which is nowhere near Steve’s 313.

Some of the filings date back to the 1980s, when Apple was a relatively young company, which was about to challenge the might of IBM, and in the future a lot of other companies as well. We have a look at some of Jobs’ most remarkable patent applications, some of which made their way into the consumer market while some stay buried inside Apple’s offices.

Jobs’ First Patent Filing – The Design For A Personal Computer

Apple I

This patent covers the design of the Apple I, the company’s first product which was hand built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, which sold for $666.66 because Woz liked repeating digits. The patent claim reads “The ornamental design for a personal computer, substantially as shown”. To get an idea of how complicated the process of getting the Apple-I to work as compared to present day computers was, have a look at the Apple-I manual (PDF link), which also features the earliest Apple logo with Newton sitting under an Apple tree.

Macintosh

Apple Macintosh

This device, which was unshered in by the famous “1984″ commercial, was the first successful computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. The patent however doesn’t say anything about the GUI, it instead talks about the all-in-one design of the computer which can be found even in today’s iMac models.

The Dock

Dock

This patent was filed on behalf of NeXT Computer Inc., which later went on to merge with Apple. The patent, filed in 1991, describes the concept of a dock found in modern day operating systems like OS X and iOS. Although the idea of a dock may seem trivial right now, twenty years ago it wasn’t all that common. The patent has various flowcharts describing different tasks like launching applications, rearranging icons and adding new applications to the dock.

Power Adapters

Steve Jobs’ desire for perfection showed not just in software but even in accessory design. The iPad 2 smart cover, USB cables and power adapters are all examples of excellent design. (In some cases however the priority given to design makes the product more vulnerable to wear and tear, for example iPhone and iPod cables.)

Apple Adapters

Apple has multiple power adapter patents to its credit, each of which illustrate a different kind of design. The first patent filing showed a circular adapter, which later changed into a rectangular avatar and finally became the roundrect Magsafe adapters we all know of.

iPod

ipod patent

This was Jobs’ way of revolutionising the music industry. First a device, then a digital store both with a large number of users forced music companies to sell their songs for a dollar resulting in a win for customers. Steve’s name appears on 85 iPod patents, most of them dealing with the design of the product.

Pre-iPhone Patents

Pre iphone patents

A number of patents filed in 2005 give us a glimpse into the iPhone’s birth stages. The patent applications nowhere explicitly mention the iPhone, but familiar UI elements like table views, battery indicators and page indicators make an appearance in the images. One of these filings also reveal that at one point of time Apple envisioned an iPod clickwheel style of phone as well.

iPhone UI And Hardware Design

iPhone Patents

Numerous iPhone patents have been filed by Apple since its launch, perhaps foreseeing that it would have to battle out other hardware manufacturers in the future. An interesting image found in one of these patents, embedded above shows a trial option in a mockup of the AppStore.

Glass Staircases

Apple Glass Staircases

Like Apple’s products, its stores have been constant subjects of admiration. Turns out the glass staircases found in many Apple Stores has also been patented, with one of its inventors being Jobs himself.

Jobs has been named an inventor in more than 300 other patents pertaining to iPod headsets, packaging, laptops, displays and keyboards. While products like the “Clickwheel phone” didn’t hit the shelves, many of these inventions were and still are critical to Apple’s success. As New York Times points out, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design guru, shares more than 200 patents with Jobs hinting that Steve and Ive share the same design instincts.

The New York Times has a nice interactive feature on Steve’s patents, hit the source link to have a look at it.

[via NYT]

Source: More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

Using Neutrons To Precisely Test Newton’s Law of Gravity

April 18th, 2011 04:50 admin View Comments

Science

NotSanguine writes with this excerpt from the BBC: “The neutrons are shot between two parallel plates, one above another and separated by about 25 micrometres — half a hair’s width. The upper plate absorbs neutrons, and the lower plate reflects them. As they pass through, they trace out an arc, just like a thrown ball falling due to gravity. … The new work by the ILL team has added what is known as a piezoelectric resonator to the bottom plate; its purpose is to jiggle the bottom plate at a very particular frequency. The researchers found that as they changed the bottom plate’s vibration frequency, there were distinct dips in the number of neutrons detected outside the plates — particular, well-spaced ‘resonant’ frequencies that the neutrons were inclined to absorb. These frequencies, then, are the gravitational quantum states of neutrons, essentially having energy bounced into them by the bottom plate, and the researchers were able for the first time to force the neutrons from one quantum state to another. The differences in the frequencies — which are proportional to energy — of each of these transitions will be an incredibly sensitive test of gravity at the microscopic scale.”

Source: Using Neutrons To Precisely Test Newton’s Law of Gravity

Using Neutrons To Precisely Test Newton’s Law of Gravity

April 18th, 2011 04:50 admin View Comments

Science

NotSanguine writes with this excerpt from the BBC: “The neutrons are shot between two parallel plates, one above another and separated by about 25 micrometres — half a hair’s width. The upper plate absorbs neutrons, and the lower plate reflects them. As they pass through, they trace out an arc, just like a thrown ball falling due to gravity. … The new work by the ILL team has added what is known as a piezoelectric resonator to the bottom plate; its purpose is to jiggle the bottom plate at a very particular frequency. The researchers found that as they changed the bottom plate’s vibration frequency, there were distinct dips in the number of neutrons detected outside the plates — particular, well-spaced ‘resonant’ frequencies that the neutrons were inclined to absorb. These frequencies, then, are the gravitational quantum states of neutrons, essentially having energy bounced into them by the bottom plate, and the researchers were able for the first time to force the neutrons from one quantum state to another. The differences in the frequencies — which are proportional to energy — of each of these transitions will be an incredibly sensitive test of gravity at the microscopic scale.”

Source: Using Neutrons To Precisely Test Newton’s Law of Gravity

Tethered, Water-Powered Jetpack Provides Two Hours of Flight Time

February 6th, 2011 02:10 admin View Comments

Transportation

arshadk writes “Unlike ‘ordinary’ jetpacks, the JetLev is actually two vehicles, tethered by a hose the thickness of your thigh. On the water is a small speedboat-like unit which contains a 250 horsepower motor and a pump. This is connected to the pack — into which you strap your frail body — by a 10-meter hose. The water is pumped from the sea or lake below up to the nozzles on the jetpack, providing a 1,900-Newton thrust, enough to lift a human weighing up to 150 kilos.”

Source: Tethered, Water-Powered Jetpack Provides Two Hours of Flight Time

Study: Hyperactive Black Holes Aren’t Caused by Galactic Smash-ups

January 6th, 2011 01:40 admin View Comments

At the heart of most galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. And in some galaxies, the black hole is bigger and badder than usual. These raging overachievers, called active galactic nuclei, can be some of the brightest objects in space, sweeping up a huge amount of material from their local areas and emitting enough energy to outshine the galaxies around them. The question is, where do they get all the stuff to swallow? Not where scientists had expected, according to a new study.

An obvious answer—and the one that for years has seemed likeliest—is that these hyperactive black holes arise from the merger of galaxies. All the gas that comes together during a two-galaxy crash could feed a supermassive black hole, turning it from docile to brilliant. But there’s a problem.

“It’s totally intuitive,†said astrophysicist Knud Jahnke of the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, a coauthor of the new study. “But it was a gut-feeling idea. In court you would say there was some circumstantial evidence for it, but no proof.†Earlier studies looked only at galaxies with the brightest active nuclei, which could have biased their results, Jahnke said. They also didn’t compare active galaxies to those with quiet black holes. [Wired]

For a study coming out in the Astrophysical Journal, Jahnke and others tried to put the galaxy merger hypotheses through a true controlled test, and they found no solid evidence to back it up.

To get around the bias in some previous observations and studies, the team first needed to observe a large swath of the sky.

The new study relies on a single, massive survey called COSMOS. The same area of the sky was imaged by a number of space-based instruments (Chandra, GALEX, Hubble, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton) as well as a set of ground-based observatories. The authors use X-ray data (primarily from XMM-Newton) to identify active galactic nuclei in the field. They then match them to visible data on the galaxies taken by the Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. This helped provide their experimental population. [Ars Technica]

Those telescopes provided the team with 1,264 galaxies, including 140 with active nuclei. The task then became to compare those results to the shapes of the galaxies, to find out whether the ones with active nuclei truly matched up with the ones that went through mergers. (Galaxies that have undergone mergers may have tails or weird warped shapes.) That meant getting a little creative.

Recognizing galaxy shapes is the task for seasoned astronomers with an experienced eye; it’s sort of like CAPTCHA in that humans are better at recognition than computers. But the team didn’t want a galaxy’s brightness to effect the interpretation—they worried that astronomers would see a galaxy with a bright active nuclei and think, “must be a merger.” So when the researchers brought in 10 astronomers to interpret the galaxies’ shapes, they blacked out the bright spots in galaxies with active nuclei.

The results:

None of the experts’ findings established a significant link between a galaxy’s activity and its involvement in a major merger. The researchers concluded that the cause of at least three-quarters and possibly all of active galactic nucleus activity over the last 8 billion years must have a different explanation. “We do not rule out that mergers actually might cause AGN activity in some cases,” Jahnke told SPACE.com. “But they do not dominate the buildup of black hole mass over the last 8 billion years.” [MSNBC]

This line of questioning may even grow more complicated as scientists figure out how to look further back in time. Jahnke’s team picked out a population of galaxies that were no more than 8 billion years old, but he says that if it’s possible to study older ones—say, those that date from 10 billion years ago or so—results could be different because many more black holes formed at that time.

Image: NASA

Source: Study: Hyperactive Black Holes Aren’t Caused by Galactic Smash-ups

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