23 September 2015 The new minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, will be sworn into office today at the Union Buildings.This comes after President Jacob Zuma announced a minor cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday evening.Ngoako Ramatlhodi will take the role of Public Service and Administration minister which became available after Minister Collins Chabane died in a motor accident in March.Zwane is a Member of Parliament who has previously served as MEC in the portfolios of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Free State provincial government.It means that Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who had been the acting Minister for Public Service, will now step down as Ramatlhodi takes up the position.President Zuma thanked Mthethwa for temporarily filling the post and wished both Zwane and Ramathlodi well in their new portfolios.Mining in South AfricaAs minister of mineral resources, Zwane’s role will be central to keeping stability in an industry that increases South Africa’s global competiveness. The country produces the highest amount of manganese in the world, and South Africa remains the largest gold exporter on the continent.Mining plays a vital role in the country. According to business news website, Moneyweb: “Mining accounts for more than half of the nation’s exports and employs about 440 000 people.”Source: SAnews.gov
Microsoft 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 App
Halifax musician Asif Illyas (right) hosts the online talk show “Live On The Flight Deck” in a home-built flight simulator. Here he is shown interviewing musician Joel Plaskett (left). THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Asif Illyas MANDATORY CREDIT Illyas said he had long wanted to host a music show, and he had finally found the perfect setting. This week, Illyas is in Barbados to film an episode on a real tarmac. On another episode, Halifax musician Dave Carroll relives the United Airlines flight that inspired the trio of protest songs “United Breaks Guitars” about how his guitar was damaged by reckless baggage handlers. Illyas, the 45-year-old former frontman of Halifax alt-rock group MIR, said the concept for the web series came to him while he was watching Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” in which the legendary comic drives around with his famously funny friends to talk shop over caffeinated beverages. Illyas said some of the most interesting tidbits from the interviews are unrelated to music, like learning that Newfoundland singer-songwriter Amelia Curran is named after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. He said his passion for aviation stayed with him through adulthood, and he became eventually interested in recreating the rush of flying through digital simulations on his laptop. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In each episode, Illyas and his co-pilot travel the world in a digitized plane. The flight path is usually of some significance to the guest, he said, such as Plaskett’s voyage over the suburb of Mesa, Ariz., where he recorded his acclaimed 2005 album “La De Da.” “Sometimes, the best conversations happen when you’re travelling,” he said. “For me, it was just a no-brainer. This is where we’re going to get to know these people really well.” “It was just like this light bulb moment,” said Illyas. “I think I could finally find a way to bring these worlds together, because these are the two things that I love — music and flying.” HALIFAX — Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett croons about Arizona over what appears to be an aerial view of the desert landscape near the Grand Canyon — but in reality, he is sitting in a cramped corner of Asif Illyas’s Halifax home. But with two kids, Illyas said his days on the road are over for the most part, which is why he is excited to have found a way to take to the skies without leaving his own home. Twitter Advertisement Growing up in England, Illyas said he used to sit on the roof of his family’s car and watch the planes take off from Heathrow Airport while he waited for his father to get off work as a pilot. Often, he said, musicians who seem fearless on stage are revealed to be nervous fliers. Halifax’s Ria Mae has a strong distaste for takeoffs, he said, and Alan Doyle of Newfoundland’s Great Big Sea gets claustrophobic in close quarters. “It’s also such an atypical thing for people to try and fly a plane,” said Illyas. “We go on airliners all the time, but when you’re actually in the front, it’s just so weird that a lot of fun happens.” A longtime musician who now works primarily as a film score composer, Illyas said he had been saving up money to record another album, but instead spent roughly $20,000 to convert his home office into an cockpit-like shell outfitted with instrument panels, switch plates and thrust levers. Plaskett was the inaugural guest on Illyas’s new online talk show “Live On The Flight Deck,” where he chats with fellow East Coast musicians as they soar through computer-generated skies in his home-built flight simulator. When the plane reaches cruising altitude, the captains pull out their instruments and jam out amid the virtual clouds. The web series premiered last week after about a year in production, and Illyas said upcoming shows feature some of the biggest names in East Coast music. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement “I needed to be able to travel because it’s so much a part of being a musician,” he said. “I needed to have a way to get places, even if it was with pixels.”Adina Bresge | The Canadian Press
Three more flu deaths brings death toll to 67, flu cases decline KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 6:35 PM KUSI Newsroom Posted: April 25, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – County health officials reported three more flu-related deaths today, while confirming that overall flu cases continue to fall.The three residents who died last week ranged in age from 55 to 96 and had additional medical issues. The three deaths bring the county’s flu season death toll to 67 through April 20, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. The county recorded 341 flu deaths at this point last season.The county also confirmed 171 flu cases last week, which is down from a revised total of 243 cases the previous week. Countywide confirmed flu cases have now fallen for four consecutive weeks.The county has confirmed 9,174 flu cases to date this season compared to 20,640 at this point last flu season.“While the number of flu cases continues to drop, influenza is still making San Diegans sick,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public healthofficer. “People should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventative measures to avoid getting the flu.”County health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly advise the annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, especially in demographics with a heightened risk of serious complications, such as pregnant women, people older than 65 and people with chronic conditions.Flu shots are available at doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, community clinics and the county’s public health centers.Residents also can call 211 or visit the county’s immunization program website, sdiz.com, for a list of county locations administering free vaccines. Categories: Health, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter April 25, 2019
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment to a two-bill spending package allocating $20 million to the new authority allowing DOD to provide funding to state and local governments for off-base infrastructure projects, bringing the opportunity for communities to obtain funding under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program in the new fiscal year one step closer. By Thursday evening, the chamber approved the underlying $857 billion minibus made up of the defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measures.The Senate’s approval of the fiscal 2019 defense spending bill in August positions Congress to possibly avoid starting the new fiscal year with a series of continuing resolutions to fund the Pentagon. The path to working out a compromise spending bill with the House that could be sent to the president is uncertain, however. The House passed its FY 2019 defense spending bill in June, but its Labor-HHS-Education measure has not been debated on the floor. One option is for the chambers to hash out a conference report for the defense bill by itself, but that’s not the first choice of Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “We’d like to go to conference as soon as we can with the House with the bills coupled together,” Shelby said, reported CQ.The chairman of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee also indicated he would like to see the two spending bills move together as a way to gain House Republicans’ support for a large domestic spending measure. Attaching the two, though, likely would complicate the path toward a House-Senate compromise, slowing enactment of the defense title. The good news is there are five weeks before the new fiscal year gets under way.At this point, passage of the Senate amendment funding the defense community infrastructure initiative represents a significant achievement for ADC, with much of the credit going to Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), co-chair of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus, and the association’s Federal Outreach Advisory Committee.The provision was included in a package of non-controversial amendments that passed by unanimous consent. Another provision, offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would allocate $45 million to clean PFOA and PFOS contamination at military bases.The defense spending bill would provide about $675 billion for military and intelligence programs, including almost $68 billion for the overseas contingency operations account, matching the topline in the House version. Still, there are considerable differences in funding for individual programs between the two versions that need to be reconciled.
Facebook Google YouTube A memorial for victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. A gunman stormed two mosques in the city and shot worshippers, live streaming one of the shooting sprees. Marty Melville/Getty Images Australia’s biggest telecommunications carriers have blocked “dozens” of websites that continue to host footage of the mosque shooting in New Zealand. Australia’s largest carrier Telstra issued a statement on Tuesday local time saying it had blocked a number of sites still hosting the footage, which shows a gunman storming a mosque in central Christchurch and gunning down worshippers as they prayed. Australia’s other major carriers Optus and Vodafone confirmed they had also blocked a number of sites. “We understand this may cause inconvenience for some legitimate users of these sites but these are extraordinary circumstances and they required an extraordinary response,” said Nikos Katinakis, Telstra group executive of Networks and IT. “We appreciate that it is necessary to ensure free speech is carefully balanced against protecting the community, but with these sites continuing to host disturbing content we feel it is the right thing to do to block them.”Vodafone issued a similar response, saying it blocked dozens of sites to stop the further spread of the video and that it was lifting the blocks once it became aware the footage had been removed. The move follows swift action taken by New Zealand carriers in the aftermath of the shooting to temporarily block sites hosting the footage and request it be taken down. 2 While Telstra didn’t name the blocked sites, CNET was able to confirm that message board sites 8chan, 4chan and Voat were longer accessible through the Telstra network. The alleged shooter behind the attack, an Australian national living in New Zealand, posted links to the livestream of the shooting as well as a lengthy screen justifiying his actions, on 8chan before the shooting. The extraordinary decision by Australian carriers follows powerful statements from the country’s top politicians on Tuesday, criticising social media networks such as Facebook for allowing footage of the shooting to spread. US lawmakers have also ordered companies including Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, to appear before the House Committee on Homeland Security. The companies have been asked to explain their responses to the events on Friday and their plans to tackle the spread of extremist content on their networks. Related Stories Share your voice Tags Comments Tech Industry Internet New Zealand mass shooting shows tech companies can’t control viral tragedies Facebook, YouTube called to meet lawmakers about New Zealand shooting video Facebook has removed 1.5M videos of New Zealand mosque massacre
Citation: Carbon-Nanotube Toxicity Test Tricks Scientists (2006, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-09-carbon-nanotube-toxicity-scientists.html Recent research has revealed that a standard cell-viability test may be causing carbon-nanotubes to “fake” toxicity. This work may explain why some studies have concluded that carbon nanotubes – which are being studied for their potential to improve building materials, drug-delivery systems, and electronics, to name a few applications – are dangerous to human health while others have not. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at the Karlsruhe Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, exposed human lung cells to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) – large cylindrical carbon molecules – and conducted several tests to determine the nanotubes’ effect on the cells’ viability. Three tests showed the nanotubes to be non-toxic, but a fourth curiously produced the opposite result.“Each of the four tests gauges the toxicity of the SWCNTs in a different way, using different indicators, but we would expect them to yield the same result,” said the study’s lead scientist, Harald Krug, to PhysOrg.com. “The fact that one test appears to produce a ‘false positive’ in terms of toxicity suggests that past carbon-nanotube toxicity studies may be flawed.”The first test, known as the MTT assay, works by measuring how a salt, methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT), is chemically converted to formazan, a purple dye, after being applied to nanotube-exposed cells. This conversion only takes place when certain cell mitochondria enzymes are active – that is, if the cell is alive and well. According to the results of the MTT assay, the nanotubes compromised cell viability.Krug and his colleagues attempted to verify the results of the MTT assay using another salt-based viability test, the water-soluble tetrazolium (WST) assay. According to this test, the nanotubes had no negative effect on the cells. Two other tests also showed no reduction in cell viability.Why the discrepancy between the MTT assay and the other tests? The answer seems to be due to the non-soluble nature of MTT and formazan. Using an electron microscope, the researchers saw that MTT-formazan crystals had covered the nanotubes, clumping everything together. The nanotubes were reacting with the MTT, causing the formazan to withdraw from the assay. This made the formazan undetectable and, as a result, made the nanotubes appear toxic. Several attempts to dissolve the crystals, as well as heat treatments, were unsuccessful.“In these studies, the viability assay of choice really needs to be double-checked, since interferences and disturbances are likely,” said Krug. “Further, we think our work demonstrates that standards should be established when testing the toxicity of carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials.”An in-depth paper on this work can be found in the June 2006 edition of Nano Letters.Citation: Nano Lett., Vol. 6, 1261-1268 (2006)By Laura Mgrdichian, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com