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Current Affairs Posts - Page 31

The Oatmeal's campaign to raise $850,000 for a Tesla museum hits $500k in under 48 hours

The Oatmeal, a popular web comic site, seems to be drawing on its success in dealing with that 9gag lawyer. In that campaign, he raised over $200,000 for charity, more than 10 times what the lawyer was demanding from him. This campaign appears to be a similar idea, using his audience to spread the message far and wide.

 

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And it appears to be working. In under 48 hours since the campaign went live, The Oatmeal's IndieGoGo campaign has raised more than $500,000 towards its goal of $850,000. The money is being raised to purchase the land where Nikola Tesla's laboratory, which was supposed to provide free power to the masses, was constructed.

 

Once the land is built, it will be cleaned up and a museum will be built on top. The Oatmeal is not actually the one behind this plan. Instead, they are just helping raise funds for the 501(c)3 charity Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. The charity has received a matching grant from the state of New York of up to $850,000.

 

The asking price for the property is $1.6 million, so between the two they should have no issue obtaining the property and starting the clean up. Any extra beyond the goal goes to the eventual mission of building a "GODDAMN TESLA MUSEUM" on the site. More information can be found on TheOatmeal's website.

Continue reading 'The Oatmeal's campaign to raise $850,000 for a Tesla museum hits $500k in under 48 hours' (full post)

American teens prefer YouTube over iTunes, radio & CDs according to latest Nielsen survey

Times are changing, and the way American teens digest digital content, more specifically, music, is changing in strides. According to a new study from Nielsen Music 360, American teenagers are using Google's YouTube to listen to music compared to radio, iTunes or CDs.

 

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Radio still remains the biggest music discovery option, but when it comes to listening, YouTube is out in front. The study reveals that nearly 50% of teens have radio apps on their smartphones and that digital music has passed physical CDs in terms of perception of value.

 

This study from Nielsen is based on results from 3,000 online consumer surveys conducted in the US. This would be why YouTube drives so much traffic, and I personally have young nieces and nephews who use YouTube to stream music all the time. They're finally getting onto the bandwagon with me and Spotify, though. I think the 'fads' these days will change quicker, as music discovery applications such as Spotify become more well-known.

Teenager dies after 40-hour Diablo III marathon

Taiwan-based United Daily News has reported that a Taiwanese teenager collapsed and died at an Internet cafe after an insane 40-hour Diablo III marathon. The man was only 18 years old, and identified by last name only, Chuang.

 

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Chuang booked a private room at the Internet cafe in Tainan, southern Taiwan, at around 12pm on July 13. He proceeded to play for 40 hours straight without eating. On the morning of July 15, an attendant entered the room and found Chuang resting on the table. The attendant then woke Chuang, who stood up, took a few steps and then collapsed.

 

He was taken to the local hospital, and pronounced dead shortly after. Police are investigating the cause of death, with an autopsy being carried out. The report speculates that the long hours in a sedentary position created cardiovascular problems for Chuang. The people behind Diablo III, Blizzard, have come out and said that it's important that people play in moderation.

Watch the 2012 Olympics live on your iOS or Android-based device if you're in the U.S.

If you want to check out the 2012 London Olympic games, and don't fancy sitting in front of your TV, or want to take the games with you at all time, then here's your chance. Thanks to the technology improvements in mobile devices, apps, and everything in between, this year you can stream the games live to your smart device.

 

 

All you need is an iOS or Android-based device, and you can stream the entire London Olympics to your device. NBC and Adobe have announced a partnership which will see them bringing the Olympics to mobiles. There is one problem, you have to be in the United States.

 

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If you're based in the U.K., don't worry, the BBC has 24-hour streaming. The apps are very social, where you can share things with Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

WikiLeaks set to unleash 2.4 million Syrian e-mails

WikiLeaks are back in the news this week, with reports saying the whistle-blowing website is set to unleash 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian officials and government accounts. The e-mails would likely reveal communication between the Syrian government and Western companies, that would put them in a spot of controversy over the alleged collusion between the Syrian regime and its supposed "enemies".

 

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Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks told journalists that the leak will cause embarrassment to both Syria and its opponents, with e-mails dating back to as far as August 2006, and as recent as March of this year, with some of the e-mails originating in Syria's Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

 

Of course, the source of the leak hasn't been confirmed, but Harrison claims that WikiLeaks is confident that they are genuine. WikiLeaks have begun posting some of these e-mails online, with the rest of them to follow.

Facebook adds gay marriage icons, Apple follows suit with iOS 6

Up until the weekend, if you were to declare you were married on Facebook, it would show the traditional cake-topper style icon of a male and a female together. Well, with the whole gay marriage debacle going on across the world, Facebook have gotten with the times and updated the options for marriage.

 

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Considering the social networking site features more than 900 million users, it is a move that should've been done a while ago. In the U.S. over the weekend, users started to notice new icons, either two males, or two females. James Lazar, a 38-year-old Chicago man was married to a man, but refused to change his status due to the male-female cake-topper style icons. He says "I don't like being forced into typical gender roles -- because we aren't. I think it's offensive".

 

Eventually, he changed his relationship status on Facebook to married and shortly after his icon changed to two men. He said in an interview with CNN, "I honestly didn't realize it was going to show up in my feed. I have 80,000 people 'liking' it and congratulating me and I'm like, 'Well, it was seven years ago!'"

Continue reading 'Facebook adds gay marriage icons, Apple follows suit with iOS 6' (full post)

Anonymous announce #OpBlackout Phase 3

While most American's are sleeping off yesterday's July 4 festivities, Anonymous have just announced a new operation. Anonymous' goals aren't really known, but we're getting closer to their end game it seems with the newly-announced #OpBlackout Phase 3. I've just sat here and watched the 18-minute video, and it should really hit home for not just Americans, but for any human on this planet.

 

 

Anonymous use the video to reiterate that they do not want chaos, they do not want anarchy, they just want to restore power to the people. The power that has been taken out the American citizens' hands, and into the corporately-owned governments. Anonymous say that over the coming months, they'll be releasing videos detailing their reformation plans.

 

The video goes over various topics, with footage from various events, showcasing the power the police, military and government use to surpress the people. It covers the bankers, and Wall Street who have all but fleeced the United States, and even features celebrities chiming in with their words toward the end. Check it out and let us know what you think. #OpBlackout Phase 3 is a go.

Continue reading 'Anonymous announce #OpBlackout Phase 3' (full post)

Amazon EC2 outage happened because of the "leap second" bug, affected Netflix, Instagram and more

Over the weekend you might have noticed that a few of your popular sites weren't working, such as Instagram, Netflix, and more. This is thanks to a huge storm which took down most of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. Clients that are on this cloud are Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

 

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What caused the downtime? The "leap second" bug", which International time keepers adjusted, adding one second to the global time standards in order to offset differences between our ultra-precise atomic clocks and the natural rotation of our planet, a rotation which is ever so slightly irregular. Sometimes, such as back in 2008, there's a second that is added to adjust time as needed.

 

Amazon's servers weren't the only ones that were affected, Gawker (Lifehacker, Gizmodo and others), Reddit, Mozilla and many, many more fell prey to this leap second bug. During the update, some software can't handle the unexpected change in seconds, and the effects are, well, the events of the weekend.

Alan Turing's breakthrough machine gets a loving Lego tribute

Alan Turing, a man you've probably never heard of and you probably couldn't live without his work, would have celebrated his 100th birthday tomorrow. Mr. Turing was the man who basically invented modern computing. He was also significantly important during World War Two due to his work in cryptography and code breaking.

 

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Now, one of his inventions has been rendered in Lego form as a cerebration of his brithday, which, for inventors, is like an actor being parodied on The Simpsons. It's a sign that you have really made it. The machine is really simple and the heart of the machine is a Lego Mindstorms NXT set, but the soul is Alan Turing's genius.

 

The use of Legos demonstrates just how simple his machine was:

 

It's very simplr, but describes the fundamental capabilities of practically all computers in use today. This means that if something can be done on a computer, it can also be done on a Turing machine. This makes it a great model for scientists to use to discover the limits of computers (e.g. complexity theory) and also to show to a broad audience how a computer fundamentally operates.

 

The Lego model is on display at Asterdam's Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica's Turings Erfenis exhibit. The only difference in the Lego version is the lack of an infinite tape. The Lego Turing Machine only has 32 positions. If you aren't in Amsterdam and are unable to see it, you can check out the video in the source link.

Oracle chief Larry Ellison buys Hawaiian island, price between $500-600m

If you're wondering what to do when you're worth $36 billion, take a look at Larry Ellison for ideas. The co-founder of Oracle is listed as the sixth richest man on Forbe's list of global billionaires and seems as though he knows how to live life to the fullest. Err, at least spend money to the fullest.

 

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The Hawaiian governor has announced that Larry Ellison is buying 98% of Lanai, one of the Hawaiian islands. The final price is not known, but the asking price is said to have been somewhere between $500 and $600 million. The island is 141 square miles and is currently owned by David Murdock. Lanai is also known as "Pineapple Island" as it was formerly a pineapple plantation.

 

It's not exactly clear why Mr. Ellison wants the island as it currently has 3,200 residents and several luxury resorts. The current company running the resorts and power, water, and other utilities is losing somewhere around $40 million a year. The remaining 2% is not owned by the same company who sold the other 98%.

 

Confiming the successful bid, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said on Wednesday: "It is my understanding that Mr Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai. He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable. We look forward to welcoming Mr Ellison in the near future."

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