World Cup closer dominates Twitter and Facebook

first_imgThe World Cup final, which saw Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina, broke global records on Twitter and also marked the biggest sporting event in the history of Facebook.Twitter said that yesterday’s game peaked at 618,725 tweets a minute, smashing the previous record of 580,166 set during Germany’s triumph over Brazil in the semifinal. There were 32.1 million tweets sent in total during the game.On Facebook, 88 million global users made a record 280 million interactions (posts, likes, comments) during the final game. This broke the previous record held by the Super Bowl in 2013 of 245 million interactions.A record 34.65 million German viewers tuned in for the game on Sunday, which aired on the pubcaster ARD. This beat the previous all-time record of 32.57 million viewers, which was set by the German semifinal against Brazil. This represents a market share of 86.3 percent.last_img read more

Lightning Cooks Up Weird Science

first_imgGet a charge out of this headline from New Scientist.  A couple of scientists from University of Arizona studied fulgurites, the structures formed in sand by lightning strikes.  They found that they contain phosphites (oxidized phosphate molecules).  They theorized that lightning strikes could have provided phosphites which the primordial soup used to build RNA and DNA.  The way New Scientist put itLightning may have cooked dinner for early life.Early microbes may have relied on lightning to cook their dinner, say researchers.When lightning strikes sand or sediment, the path followed by the bolt can fuse into a glassy tube called a fulgurite.  A new analysis of these remnants suggests that lightning fries the nutrient phosphorus into a more digestible form.Today bacteria can get all the phosphites they want from steel corrosion, the article said.New Scientist seems determined to win Stupid Evolution Quote of the Year at all costs.  They’ll toss out any weird idea that comes along as long as it is something about evolution.  So now, lightning may not have only zapped life into being, it could have fed its new creations (see “Chef Charlie” in the 08/22/2005 commentary).  Our intelligently-designed dumbmeter was not made for this rate of farcical fatuous flapdoodle.  Their latest concoction would need another full serving of wit to be called half-witted.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Draw sets stage for magical 2010

first_img26 November 2007One hundred and seventy teams were given the route they will have to follow to reach the 2010 Fifa World Cup when the preliminary draw took place at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Sunday, in a dazzling ceremony that gave a foretaste of the magical tournament South Africa promises to deliver.The draw, beamed to a television audience of millions across the globe, went off successfully as the first major Fifa event on African soil, with a stunning line-up of artists mixing African colour and rhythm in with the serious business of lining up the teams contending for a place at the 2010 tournament.On a spectacular stage with three rotating sections for the performers, an orchestra and the draw itself, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Fifa President Sepp Blatter – accompanied by a host of Fifa delegates and soccer greats of yesteryear – welcomed the world to the start of the race to the 2010 finals.‘A sport that touches the whole world’Mbeki said the game had the amazing ability to promote unity through its educational, cultural and humanitarian values.“Football is a sport that touches the whole world,” Mbeki said, adding that South Africa aimed to “stage an event that will send ripples of confidence from the Cape to Cairo – an event that will create social and economic opportunities throughout Africa.“We want to ensure that one day, historians will reflect upon the 2010 Fifa World Cup as a moment when Africa stood tall and resolutely turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict.”Blatter said the decision to bring the World Cup to Africa for the first time would give the world the opportunity to give back to Africa. “The continent has done so much for this sport in terms of players and clubs, and it is justice that Africa hosts the World Cup,” Blatter said.“There is no doubt the World Cup will be held here and it will be a success. No doubt.”The football world then watched in earnest as Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke and his draw assistants – George Weah, Ali Daei, Marcel Desailly, Kasey Keller, Kaizer Motaung, Abedi Pele, Doreen Nabwire, Jomo Sono, Lucas Radebe and Christian Karembeu – guided 170 teams into their respective qualifying pools.Fascinating duelsAs Fifa.com reports, some will have a tough road to travel. These include Croatia, England and Ukraine, who will compete against one another in the European zone’s group 6, as well as group 1 rivals Portugal, Sweden and Denmark.Bulgaria and Ireland must tackle reigning world champions Italy, while Romania and Serbia have to navigate Germany 2006 runners-up France.Australia, who narrowly missed out on a quarter-final place in Germany last year, will face reigning Asian champions Iraq, China and Qatar in their pool, from which two teams will advance to the concluding stage of Asian qualifying.South Africa, who qualify automatically as 2010 hosts, will nonetheless compete in the preliminaries, which double up as qualifiers for the 2010 African Nations Cup, in a group that includes African powerhouse Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.In the Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) region, Canada landed the stiffest stage 2 challenge in the form of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who impressed during the qualifying rounds for the 2002 World Cup.“Perhaps the most intriguing development was how the Stage 4 groups will appear if the favourites avoid upsets,” Fifa.com reports. “Indeed, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica and Honduras could do battle for two places in the deciding phase, while USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Guatemala may have to do the same.“In the Asian zone, Korea Republic and Korea will clash, with the latter looking to reverse two unanswered losses to their neighbours in Fifa World Cup preliminaries. Kuwait will also be out to upset a trend: in six qualifiers for the competition against Iran they have failed to win.“Over in Europe, Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two sides that formerly made up two-time Fifa World Cup finalists Czechoslovakia, will face off, and memories are bound to resurface when Scotland take on Netherlands, whom they beat 3-2 in a memorable match at Argentina 1978.”These are just some of the fascinating duels lined up for football fans around the world as the journey to South Africa 2010 gets under way. For more information, check out Fifa.com.SAinfo reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

NSA Concedes Hadoop Beats Its Pricey Alternatives

first_imgThe U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting terrorists. Ironically, however, the best technology available to fight terror likely isn’t a line item on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) $8 to $10 billion budget. More probably it’s Hadoop, which is open source and 100% free.This is a big deal, because it suggests that technology has finally become democratized. When an interested 10-year old programmer has access to the same heavy-duty Big Data technology as the budget-rich NSA, we have arrived. And we have open source to thank for it.(See also Just How Closely Can The NSA Really Watch You?)Not that the NSA necessarily is using stock Hadoop. As ReadWrite‘s Brian Proffitt points out, “the agency quite likely has code in its servers that makes Hadoop, Accumulo and a lot of open source NoSQL technology do tricks that commercial users can only dream of.”Maybe.NSA Concedes: Open Source Is BetterBut as The Wall Street Journal points out, the NSA actually turned to Hadoop precisely because it couldn’t out-innovate the open-source community. So while it may change the Hadoop code to make it more applicable to the NSA’s needs, doing so establishes a fork that takes it beyond the mainline community code, making it harder for these government agencies to leverage the apparently superior efforts of the open-source community.That said, the U.S. government hasn’t been content to sit back and wait for the open-source community to build out Hadoop. In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) investment arm, is an investor in Hadoop vendor Cloudera. (Disclosure: In-Q-Tel is also an investor in my company, 10gen.)Private Industry Leads The WayBut the U.S. government needn’t worry. With or without Federal investment, Hadoop development is extraordinarily well-funded by private industry in ways that would warm a spy’s heart.Google, after all, inspired Hadoop with a research paper years ago that gave the world a peek into MapReduce. Yahoo! may have taken that work and run with it to actually release Hadoop as an open-source project, but Google’s research then and now regularly pushes the industry forward.Facebook, which once claimed in 2011 to have the world’s largest Hadoop cluster at 30 petabytes, uses Hadoop to store data and Hive to analyze billions of pieces of content daily on Facebook, looking for ways to present users with the most relevant content. This process of making inferences about interests and behavior is likely at least as sophisticated as what the NSA does. If Facebook’s security is good enough to convince the NSA to hire its chief security officer, it’s not unreasonable to assume the social network has something to teach the spy agency about gleaning information about personal relationships with Hadoop, too.Then there’s Apple. Hadoop is the brain behind Apple’s Siri, performing the heavy lifting behind Siri’s voice-activated artificial intelligence. It’s doubtful that the NSA work around natural language processing and associated information parsing will be any more advanced than that of Apple’s own gaggle of Hadoop engineers.The list goes on, from Yahoo, which arguably runs the world’s largest Hadoop cluster, to EMC’s Greenplum (now Pivotal), which runs the world’s largest publicly available Hadoop cluster. In fact, the NSA actually used EMC’s cluster to test and optimize its own NoSQL database, Accumulo. Or if the government wants to leave Silicon Valley and instead talk to one of its big suppliers, General Electric, it might learn a bit about applying Hadoop to the “Internet of Things.”We Are All “In Cahoots” With The NSAIn short, while Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, insists that Google “is not in cahoots with the NSA,” the reality is that everyone in the Hadoop and related open-source communities is. Not by choice or nefarious design, but simply because the open-source community now regularly writes better software than billions of dollars in government money can buy, and agencies like the NSA recognize this.The next phase is for such government agencies to start participating actively in the communities from which they derive so much benefit. Accumulo is a start, but if the government is serious about pushing the state of the art with Hadoop and other Big Data technologies, it needs to contribute code, not just cash. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Matt Asay IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Tags:#Big Data#Hadoop#nsa#Open Source 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts last_img read more

Video Production: Create Flares with a DIY Crystal Filter

first_imgAdd flares to your video shots using this simple in-camera DIY solution.There’s a ton of ways to add flares to your videos in post, but there’s no substitute for achieving this organic effect in-camera. We’re digging this DIY technique by recent creativeLIVE presenter Lindsay Adler.In the short video below, Lindsay demonstrates how she created a custom flare filter using a cheap crystal (bought online) and a simple lens filter (a low cost UV filter does the trick). By gluing the crystal to directly to the filter, you can create unique refracted light effects that give the video image a dream-like quality. This DIY solution, is super cheap and easy to create.This isn’t a technique that you’ll use on a ton of shots – but given the right subject matter (fashion or weddings, for example) it’s one that can be really impactful.Check out the quick tutorial and example shots below – a snippet from Lindsay’s full creativeLIVE workshop “Keep it Simple: Video for Photographers“.Thanks to DIYPhotography.net for tipping us off to this video.last_img read more

Asian Games: Swarn Singh bags bronze for India in rowing

first_imgSwarn SinghYoung rower Swarn Singh brought some cheers back to the Indian contingent as he clinched the bronze medal in men’s single sculls final at the 17th Asian Games.Singh needed 1 minute 43.86 seconds in the 500m, took 3 minutes and 30.25 seconds to complete 1000m before the 1500m and 2000m race in 5 minutes 18.36 seconds and 7 minutes 10.65 seconds respectively at Chungju tangeumho on the sixth day of competitions.The 24-year-old Singh finished behind Iran’s Mohsen Shadinaghadh, who won the gold medal and silver medallist Kim Dongyong of hosts South Korea.On Wednesday, another rower Dushyant Singh was the only athlete to manage a podium finish for India as he grabbed a bronze in the men’s lightweight single sculls.Meanwhile in men’s double sculls, the Indian team of Om Prakash and Bhokanal Dattu Baban finished fifth.India’s Amanjot Kaur, Sanjukta Dung Dung, Lakshmi Devi and Navneet Kaur finished second in women’s quadruple sculls final B.last_img read more