Tag Archives: science

Top Reads #Week 3

Im going to be posting links to some of the articles that I have been reading online. These articles are mainly from the world of Government, Technology, Photography, Films, Design, Environment, Marketing, etc. Basically things that caught my eye.

Notably, the Featured Image of each week’s post, will be from my favourite article. So keep guessing or get going!

Purpose: Be aware, and expand your consciousness reach.

JAAIFOTI– ‘Gangnam Style’ Didn’t Break YouTube’s Code

JAAIFOTI – ‘J’ust ‘A’nother ‘A’rticle ‘I’ ‘F’ound ‘O’n ‘T’he ‘I’nternet

Earlier this week, a brief but curious post appeared on YouTube’s Google+ account: “‘Gangnam Style’ has been viewed so many times we have to upgrade!” it said. The bizarre music video, in which a thirtysomething Korean rapper pretends to be a cowboy in a variety of inconvenient places, was an explosive worldwide smash when it landed in July 2012—but even though traffic leveled off after its viral phase, the views still continued to pile up slowly but steadily until it hit a critical 2,147,483,647 views.

So why was this particular number a problem?

Whenever a piece of data is created inside a computer, it must occupy a portion of the computer’s available RAM. This is true even for something as simple as an integer, which will start to require more and more memory bits as the number gets higher. The largest number that can be represented by a 32-bit integer is 2,147,483,647. (That’s 2^32, cut in half to allow an equal amount of negative integers, minus one spot which is used to represent 0). That’s more than sufficient for the majority of routine calculations—but it’s not enough to handle the online populace’s appetite for Psy.

In cases where even larger numbers are needed—calculations involving the many trillions of dollars of the U.S. GDP, for example, or astronomical measurements—it’s possible to use 64-bit integers instead. The memory footprint for each of these data points will be twice as heavy, but they can then be used to store far higher numbers. So what’s the new 64-bit limit? 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. And that, for those of you keeping track, is the new view count Psy’s music video will have to hit to outpace YouTube’s ability to track it a second time.

When “Gangnam Style” hit 2 billion views back in May, a record at the time, Google’s engineers noted that it might also soon overflow the limits of a 32-bit integer. That fix was as simple as changing the memory space allotted to that data point from 32 bit to 64 bit, which is actually a relatively small change. It didn’t actually “break YouTube’s code” in any meaningful sense, let alone “break the Internet.”

What’s mind-boggling about all this, though, is that the number that was pushing those limits loosely correlates with a quantity of people. It’s the play count, strictly speaking, but music video views don’t overflow theoretical mathematical boundaries unless a lot—like, a lot—of people are watching them. That number may be only implied, but it’s also huge. Thus, YouTube’s recent change to the view count limit is interesting not as a computational problem, nor as an example of a meme spinning out of control, but rather because we’ve just seen a population of active technology users overflowing the previously accepted limits of mathematics in computing; OS X only moved beyond 32-bit processors with version 10.7, which was released just one year before “Gangnam Style.” It’s not the height of the aggregate number that’s compelling, so much as the breadth of the user base that necessitated it.

All these people were interacting with a single technical platform—with a single item presented on that platform, even. In comparison, with around 1.35 billion users, Facebook still has plenty of headroom to continue to represent their User ID numbers with a 32-bit data point. But what happens as the world’s population continues to grow, and as previously dark parts of China and India start to come online permanently? The number of people in the world already exceeds the limits of 32-bit integers, and in the foreseeable future, a majority of them are probably going to possess some combination of phones, laptops, tablets, and wearable computing devices.

Already, the term “Big Data” has become a buzzword in the tech industry, denoting the study of data sets that are too large to be processed using conventional techniques. But maybe it’s those conventions that need to evolve, now that the number of people who substantively engage with technology is no longer a 32-bit matter. It’s probably time to buy some extra RAM, but feel free pause first to swoon at the growing scope of the world if you need to.

Courtesy: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/gangnam-style-youtube-math/

Solar Lunar Ring

One of the oldest and largest architectural and construction companies in Japan, the Shimizu, presented its vision for solving the energy problems of the world. The project suggests setting up a massive belt of solar panels on the Moon, which would turn our natural satellite into a giant power plant. Solar energy collectors would cover an area of 400 km, and would transfer the produced energy to the Earth by the means of laser beams or microwaves. The energy waves would be received by ground stations on Earth, making it a continuous power source, since there is no bad weather or darkness on the moon.

mooonnnThe idea of the Japanese company is to build a band of concrete covered with solar panels along the equator of the Moon, which is 11,000 km/6,800 miles long, in width of 400 km/250 miles. That is why the project was named “Luna Ring“. According to the initiators of the idea, the ring can produce 13.000 terawatts of energy daily, an amount three times greater than that produced by the US annually.

At the same time, the company plans to exploit the maximum of lunar resources. Concrete along with some other materials, such as ceramics and glass, can be made from moon soil. Even oxygen and water can be produced using the materials available on the moon.

Company executives claim that the construction of the solar power station on the Moon could be started as early as 2035 and would be carried out entirely by robots. However, it is still unclear how much money and resources such construction would require and what the operating costs would be, as no one has ever attempted to build a structure of this scale and from such a distance.

Shimizu is quite optimistic about its futuristic project, saying that “virtually inexhaustible, non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives. Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring for the infinite coexistence of mankind and the Earth.”

Courtesy: http://themindunleashed.org/