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Visualizing a World of Facebook Connections

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… audrey watters A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#web center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts How do you visualize Facebook? As Facebook engineering intern Paul Butler notes, when you have a social graph of 500 million people, there are numerous ways in which you can view the data. For his part, Butler has been interested in visualizing how our friendships are connected to geographic place. So he has created a visualization based on cities and the number of Facebook friendships between them. Using the open source statistical tool R, Butler has taken data from a sample of aboutu 10 million friendship pairs, plotted them to location, and counted the number of friends between pairs of cities. Here’s part of Butler’s explanation:“I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line’s color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.”Butler says that when he shared the image with others at Facebook, “it resonated with many people. It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.” Indeed, it is a very powerful visualization of our world.(You can find a high resolution image here.)last_img read more

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Microsoft Tries To Patent the Holodeck! (Well, Almost)

first_imgMicrosoft took a step toward creating – and owning – the Star Trek holodeck this week via a patent application that introduces the concept of a “peripheral display” that can project game scenes onto the walls, ceiling and floors of a room.The idea, according to patent application number 20120223885, is to improve the realism of the display, so that the player is immerse more thoroughly in the game world.Right Out Of Star TrekThat’s not too far away from the holodeck concept introduced in Encounter at Farpoint, the premiere episode of Star Trek: Next Generation where the crew members enjoy simulated experiences in a room where holographic projections layered on extruded force fields and replicated matter give the illusion of reality. (OK, maybe it israther far away, but one step at a time.)Microsoft already has produced one of the most immersive peripherals for a video game: Kinect, whose infrared “eyes” can detect a user’s skeleton, face and voice, recognizing him and placing him in a virtual world. Players can interact with virtual objects by kicking, punching, or grabbing them – although such interactions must by necessity take place within the two-dimensional frame of the TV screen.What Microsoft’s patent application proposes is a way to reduce the awareness that you’re sitting in front of that screen:Even when focused on the display, the user may perceive architectural and decorative features of the room the display is in via the user’s peripheral vision. Such features are typically out of context with respect to the displayed image, muting the entertainment potential of the media experience. Further, because some entertainment experiences engage the user’s situational awareness (e.g., in experiences like the video game scenario described above), the ability to perceive motion and identify objects in the peripheral environment (i.e., in a region outside of the high resolution display) may intensify the entertainment experience.” Related Posts What the patent application offers is the ability to go beyond that limitation, projecting “peripheral” images onto the walls, ceiling and floor of a player’s living room. The application suggests that the “depth camera” (the existing camera used by a Kinect or some next-generation device) could be placed next to an “environmental display” projector, so that the same unit could project images around the user. More sophisticated setups could use more than one RGP projector. Instead of “surround sound,” think of a “surround display.”Next Step? 3D!Microsoft even goes so far as to suggest that a properly placed arrangement of cameras could enable 3D “wiggle” stereoscopic images on the walls, improving the experience even further. The patent application also mentions that the projected images would account for the angles of the walls and other scenery – a feat that Intel accomplished in real life this week, and with a Kinect, to boot.As for a controller – who needs it? An improved Kinect-like device could also be used to track the player’s eyes or face, letting those serve as controls, the patent suggests.Of Course There’s A CatchOf course, there are a significant number of issues Microsoft doesn’t really account for, such as the number of projectors needed to create an actual image. Players may not be able to tromp through the living room hunting space aliens without tripping over a coffee table or couch. (But imagine the hilarity of a game that superimposed a virtual Covenant Hunter over your wedding photo!)There might also be problems with orientation; the patent application suggests that players could turn around and see a virtual enemy sneaking up behind them. If a game player was able to orient himself independently, he or she would end up interacting primarily with the display projected on the walls, not the HDTV. To think of this another way: if the HDTV always represented the north-facing view in the game, any time the player wanted to run south, or east, he or she would be facing the wall. And if the game rotated back to accommodate the player movement, there would really be no way to interact with an enemy behind you.Still, we can’t help but be excited about any progress toward creating the much-loved Holodeck.  9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming#Microsoft#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… markhachman 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Applast_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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U.P. to get its first conservation centre for vultures

first_imgUttar Pradesh is set to get its first conservation centre for endangered vultures. And a gau sadan (cow conservation centre) built by the State government may have led to the selection of the village site for the vulture conservation in Eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district, as per an official.The Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre would be set up in the Bhari Baisi village in Pharendra tehsil under the Gorakhpur Forest Division. Covering an area of five hectares, the centre would be developed on the lines of the Pinjore Conservation and Breeding Centre in Haryana, the nation’s first for vultures, the Uttar Pradesh Information department said in a statement.Uttar Pradesh Principal Forest Conservator (Wildlife) Sunil Pandey said more than 100 vultures were spotted in the Maghwalia range of the Maharajganj Forest Division in August.A committee of vultures was also spotted close to a gau sadan built by the State government, said Mr. Pandey in a statement.Since destitute animals are kept at the gau sadan and they die soon due to their age, it is natural for vultures to be spotted there due to the availability of the dead animals, said Mr. Pandey. “Due to this, Bhari Baisi village was selected [for the conservation centre],” Mr. Pandey said.Joint projectThe vulture conservation centre in Maharajganj would be a joint project of the Bombay Natural History Society and the Wildlife Research Institute. The BNHS has prepared a Detailed Project Report for the centre.Around 60% of the survey work was complete, Mr. Pandey said.As per the 2013-14 census, around 900 vultures were found in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, he said.last_img read more

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