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Rodgers aims to maintain momentum

first_img “It’s early stages but it keeps the momentum going and in the next couple of weeks we have one of the best strikers in the world coming back. “You can’t look too much at it (being top). But you’d rather be there than be at the bottom and what it does is that the more you are up there the more aggression and will and desire you have to stay there. “It’s only four games in, but we’ve had four tough games and we have only lost once in the last 16 odd games so we are getting a level of consistency and that was the biggest thing for me. “Coming here there was no consistency in the performance and now we are just churning out wins and if we can’t win we are drawing games with resilient performances like in the last 25 minutes here. “But I believe we will get better and more fluent as the season goes on so we are happy to be there and it gives us the fight to stay there.” For Swansea, the meeting with Liverpool kicked off a testing week which includes a Europa League trip to Valencia and Sunday’s league visit to Crystal Palace. But Rodgers believes his former club can cope with the demands of fighting in four separate competitions. He said: “It is a tough ask but the one thing I’d say Swansea have which we did not have last year is a strong squad. Monday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea, dominated by Jonjo Shelvey as the former Liverpool midfielder had a hand in all four goals, sent the Reds back to the summit of the standings by a single point as the Merseysiders continue the fine run of form they put together towards the end of last term. Few are expecting the Anfield side to launch a fully-fledged title assault, but Rodgers believes they have shown they can keep themselves in the picture with Uruguay international Suarez returning from his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic later this month. Press Association “Our squad was very thin last year and we were trying to operate on four fronts. You look through this squad and there is a strong squad here and some of the players have been here for a while and others that are new in. “The Europa League certainly tests your squad. It will be a tough game against Valencia but I am sure Michael will want to do well in the competition, but then they come back and have got another tough game at the weekend. “But I am sure they will cope. They have got a good squad and I hope they do well.” Swans boss Michael Laudrup is well aware of the demands his team face, but felt their performance against Liverpool was an encouraging start to a congested run of fixtures. He said: “The second half was our best performance so far this season. It was very important for us to produce that as it is the first of seven games in less than three weeks. “We have the four Premier League games, two in the Europa League and a Capital One Cup game as well. So to start like this with a good result against a good team and an excellent performance is great for us to build on.” Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side are capable of maintaining their challenge at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, particularly with Luis Suarez close to a return to action.last_img read more

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Biological Systems Provide Infinite Design Inspiration

first_imgIt’s not likely engineers and biologists will run out of inspiration from biology anytime soon.  The source is infinite.We start with a quote from a commentary in PNAS by Michael H. Bartl about work on “butterfly inspired photonics” that applies to all bio-inspired research.  The word “design” is key to the story:Biological systems have been an infinite reservoir of inspiration ever since humans started to develop tools and machinery. Just as early scientists and engineers attempted to mimic birds and fish in the development of flying machines and submarines, today, new technologies find their inspiration from biology, such as gecko feet, antireflective eye lenses, iridescent insects, and water-repellant surfaces. Incorporating biological systems and concepts into technological design can happen in several ways: inspiration, mimicking, and replication. In the latter, entire organisms or body parts are directly used, and their structural features are replicated into another compound. Examples include 3D photonic crystals from iridescent beetle scales or antireflective microlens arrays from insect eyes. In contrast, in bioinspiration and biomimicry, a biological function or activity—rather than the organism itself—is converted into an artificial, human-made material or device. In PNAS, England et al. report an optical micrograting array inspired by a photonic structure found in iridescently colored butterfly wings. The authors demonstrate a micrograting array that not only mimics the unique diffraction properties of the biological structure with reversed color-order sequence, but also can be designed to tune these optical properties.Here’s more news about some of the latest applications coming out of biomimetics research.  The first examples show that robotics is especially keen on biological solutions.Inchworm robot :  “Robot that moves like an inchworm could go places other robots can’t” (PhysOrg).  Made in South Korea, it’s “simple, lightweight, and quiet.”  It may be useful for “rescue and reconnaissance missions, but also as a potential material for smart structures and wearable devices.”Muscle bots : “‘Muscles’ Triggered by Electricity Could Power Tiny Robots” (Live Science). Fibers that expand and contract like muscles could lead to electronics that could automatically rewire themselves—even though the force in the  artificial material is 1,000 times weaker than the power of human muscle.Downhill gecko robots : “What Goes Up Must Come Down: Biologists at UC Riverside show that geckos alter foot orientation during downhill locomotion” (UC Riverside). No one has really figured out how geckos move downhill till these scientists studied it.  They found that the forelimbs act as brakes, the hind limbs as stabilizers.  “The research has applications in robotics, specifically in how robots can be designed to move up and down complicated surfaces.”  Incidentally, geckos on the Australasia side of the Wallace Line grow about twice as big, PhysOrg reports, but scientists as yet do not know why, other than differences in predators.Bird bots :  “Running robots of future may learn from world’s best two-legged runners: birds” (Oregon State U). “Although birds are designed primarily for flight, scientists have learned that species that predominately live on land and scurry around on the ground are also some of the most sophisticated runners of any two-legged land animals.”  They’re even better than humans at leaping over obstacles without losing their speed or focus.  “The running robots of the future are going to look a lot less robotic,” robotics expert Jonathan Hurst said. “They will be more fluid, like the biological systems in nature. We’re not necessarily trying to copy animals, but we do want to match their capabilities.”Sparkling silver fish LED reflectors :  “Mechanism behind nature’s sparkles revealed” (BBC News). The silvery colors seen in schools of sardines and herring are due to disordered arrays of nanoscopic crystals in the scales that exploit light.  This is also true in unrelated species, like beetles, butterfly wings and birds.  Dr. Nicholas Roberts likes looking at nature for ideas we  never thought of; this is why he finds science exciting.  “He added that the structures could be copied to produce highly reflective surfaces to, for example, manufacture reflectors to make LED lights more efficient.”Why sea turtles are plump : “Plump turtles swim better: First models of swimming animals” (University of Wisconsin-Madison).  Modeling a biological system often precedes application.  Engineers at U of Wisconsin were surprised to find that plump turtles swam better than lean ones.  “We can literally design animals now and ask how are they going to function, just like a car or a rocket ship,” researcher Warren Porter said.Bird feather anti-turbulence : “Feathers in flight inspire anti-turbulence technology” (RMIT University).  Inspiration from feathers has “great potential for all sizes of aircraft and could not only reduce the effects of turbulence on passengers but also reduce loads on plane wings, leading to lower fatigue and hence longer life.”Ant electronics : “Ant behavior might shed insight on problems facing electronics design” (PhysOrg). “The swarm-intelligent framework at the heart of [Michael] Hsiao’s approach [at Virginia Tech] is based on long-term research he has conducted using algorithms that simulate the methods used by ant colonies to find the most efficient route to food sources.”Beetle wing deployable structures : “Asymmetric hindwing foldings in rove beetles” (PNAS).  “Rove beetles are known to fold their wings in the most complicated and sophisticated ways that have right–left asymmetric patterns. This asymmetric folding can confer both high deployment capability and high storage efficiency, and therefore has a great deal of potential for engineering applications.”  Examples include “design possibilities for all deployable structures, from space structures to articles of daily use.”Beetle anti-counterfeit ink : “Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting” (PhysOrg). The longhorn beetle can shift its color from red to black and back again.  Inspired by this feat, Chinese researchers have designed “responsive colloidal photonic crystals” into ink that would make money difficult to counterfeit.  And it’s not just for cash: designing controllable, responsive optical properties “is of great promise for developing advanced responsive … devices such as anticounterfeiting devices, multifunctional microchips, sensor arrays, or dynamic displays.”DNA cancer-fighting package : “Bio-inspired ‘nano-cocoons’ offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells” (PhysOrg).  At U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale “cocoons” made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs.”Parakeet drones : “Bird brains may help drones fly and avoid crashing” (PhysOrg). Starlings fly in formation, but so do budgerigars or budgies (what American consumers call parakeets). “Birds have a remarkable ability to fly through complex environments with incredible speed, rarely colliding.” That inspired tests with budgies in tunnels to see how they avoided objects. The study “has the potential for helping the design of navigation and guidance systems for autonomous drones – especially when you have a flock of delivery drones” like those Google and FedEx want to use to deliver packages to customers.  The article includes the famous video clip of a peregrine falcon at high speed and a goshawk navigating rapidly and flawlessly between trees in the forest.Protein carbon capture : “Inspired by nature, scientists design protein-esque molecules to lock up carbon dioxide” (PhysOrg).  Seashells capture dissolved carbon dioxide in the water through the use of specialized proteins.  Engineers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are using rational design to make “peptoids” (highly stable protein-like molecules), then “are studying the ability of peptoids to assemble into porous materials and mimic protein membranes in filtering out desired targets, such as carbon dioxide.”A-peeling food storage : “The Elixir of Life for Produce: Reducing waste by extending the life of produce” (National Geographic).  The Apeel Corporation is taking cues from the peelings of fruits and vegetables that reduce spoilage.  Keeping produce fresh twice as long would appeal to anyone with food in the frig.  With their new products Apeel, Edipeel and Florapeel coming to market, “Who says bioengineering isn’t romantic?” the article quips.Dog bomb sniffers : “Billions Have Been Spent on Technology to Find IEDs, but Dogs Still Do It Better” (National Geographic). Here’s a nature feat that engineers have not been able to copy yet.  As you remember soldiers on Veteran’s Day, don’t forget their canine companions.  “These working dogs have saved countless soldiers’ lives—and helped prevent PTSD.”  (Note: PhysOrg reports that fruit flies are also good bomb sniffers.)These are things the “Bioneers” have a jump on (see 10/29/05).  You’re missing out because you didn’t think of it first.  But don’t be dismayed; if there is truly an “infinite reservoir of inspiration” in biological systems, you can start looking around your yard right now for a creature to learn about.  Then find out how it solved a real world problem, figure out the principles, create an invention, obtain a patent, start a company, and make a lot of money – while helping humanity.  Did Darwinism ever give you that kind of inspiration?  (Answer: no.  It inspired things like genocide and world wars.)  Design science is on a roll, improving the world.  Nowhere is the contrast between the good fruit of good science and the evil fruit of bad science more apparent than in the contrast between evolution and biomimetics.  “You will know them by their fruits” Francis Bacon said.  Guess where he got that proverb. 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NSA, FBI Tapping Into Data Of Nine Major U.S. Internet Companies

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Leaked documents from the National Security Agency and the FBI have revealed a secret government program, code-named PRISM, that is “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time,” according to the Washington Post.The data was pulled from the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Dropbox, the Post reported, is supposedly “coming soon.”The NSA does not monitor every piece of data, the story reports, only that belonging to targeted individuals. But the capability to monitor the target within all of the companies’ data is there, according to the slides obtained by the Post.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#now#spying center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting readwrite Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

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The New DJI Phantom 4 Cuts Through the Sky on Its Own

first_imgThe DJI Phantom 4 (priced at $1399) has more built-in cameras and sensors, twice as many as the previous Phantom 3. Not only do these advanced electronics help avoid obstacles, they keep the Phantom 4 absolutely still when holding its position.The new magensium core makes the Phantom 4 a stronger, more rigid drone without compromising weight. The new shell is more aerodynamic, allowing you to cut through the sky. The weight and flight advancements have allowed DJI to increase the Phantom’s flight time to an average of 28 minutes. That’s 25% longer than the Phantom 3.The new Phantom 4 camera features 4K video up to 30fps and 1080p up to 120fps. The aspherical lens offers a 94-degree field of view, reduces distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% versus the Phantom 3. The shorter hyperfocal length will allow you to get closer to an object and keep them in focus.TapFlyImage via DJI The DJI Phantom 4 doesn’t even require the pilot to use the sticks on the radio controller anymore. In its simplest TapFly mode, you can just tap on your tablet and the Phantom 4 does everything for you.Want to fly between some trees, but you’re not confident in your piloting skills? Just open the live video feed, double tap a location on your tablet, and the Phantom 4 will start flying autonomously. The new Obstacle Sensing System will maneuver the Phantom 4 on its own, avoiding people, trees, buildings, etc. The new DJI Phantom 4 drone almost flies itself. Take a closer look at the the fastest and smartest Phantom yet.Top image via DJIThe leader in drone production, DJI, has packaged many of their best features (and those of competitors) into a new ultimate aircraft. If you are a beginner, this drone is perfect for you. If you are an advanced pilot, this drone still makes you want to reach for your wallet. Let’s take a look at the newest features. Image via DJIThe Verge got to talk to the DJI Phantom 4 development team about many of the latest features.It’s the first consumer unit that can see the world around it and adjust accordingly, the next big step towards a truly autonomous aircraft. Try and drive it into a wall, the Phantom 4 will put on the brakes. If you ask it to fly from your position to a spot across a river, and there is a bridge in between, it will make a judgement call: increase speed to clear the obstacle or, if that isn’t possible, stop and hover in place, awaiting your next command.The Phantom 4 accomplishes this feat with the help of five cameras: two on the front and two on the bottom, plus the main 4K camera that has always been onboard to capture video. The images captured by these cameras are run through computer vision software which constructs a 3D model of the world around it that the drone can intelligently navigate. Sport ModeSport Mode gives the Phantom 4 incredibly responsive controls. Using the controller, easily speed through the air and maneuver your craft with ease. The built-in gimbal and new battery are positioned near the aircraft’s center of gravity, offering more precise movements. The new raise motors increase torque, and offer a more reliable flight control and safer flight at high speeds.center_img ActiveTrackImage via DJIThe new ActiveTrack feature allows the Phantom 4 to track a subject automatically. With your tablet, trace around the subject you want to keep in frame. The onboard computer then builds a 3D model of the subject and begins following immediately.You can then use the remote controller to make small adjustments to the focus, framing, or camera settings. The Phantom 4 perfectly executes a 360-degree orbit with this new feature. Set the ActiveTrack border around your subject, and then just throttle the stick to the left or right. For more specs and more info, check out the Phantom 4 page on DJI’s website.last_img read more

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