Posts

September 29, 2014

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1:36 PM | Map Monday: Will Global Warming Drown Your Hometown?
You may recently have read about climate change and North Carolina for all the wrong reasons, entailing laws designed to forbid the mentioning of the term “climate change” as well as outright banning... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:00 PM | 'Anti-Facebook,' Pro-Privacy Website Goes Viral
New website, Ello, states that the practice of collecting and selling personal data for profit is both creepy and unethical.
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12:28 PM | Superpowers for baristas
There’s reported progress in the struggle to give baristas (and their bosses, and their boss’s vendors, too) more reliable info about the identities of their coffee beans. Details are in the study “Voltammetric Electronic Tongue and Support Vector Machines for Identification of Selected Features in Mexican Coffee,” by Rocio Berenice Domínguez, Laura Moreno-Barón, Roberto Muñoz, […]
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6:04 AM | Image Classification with A Deep Network Model based on Compressive Sensing
Using compressive sensing to build the first layers of a neural network, we are getting there. Image Classification with A Deep Network Model based on Compressive Sensing by Yufei Gan, Tong Zhuo, Chu HeTo simplify the parameter of the deep learning network, a cascaded compressive sensing model "CSNet" is implemented for image classification. Firstly, we use cascaded compressive sensing network to learn feature from the data. Secondly, CSNet generates the feature by binary hashing […]
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5:40 AM | Determining Temperature Boundary of the A1→(A1+B2) Phase Transformation in the Copper-55 at% Palladium Alloy Subjected to Severe Plastic Deformation
The changes in phase state, electrical properties and microhardness of copper-55 at% palladium alloy samples with different initial states (as-quenched and deformed via severe plastic deformation (SPD)) were studied during isothermal annealing. Ordered B2-phase formation in the disordered (A1) matrix was found to occur at a significantly higher temperature than is indicated in the generally accepted phase diagram of the Cu-Pd system. Corresponding electrical resistivity is also lower than […]

September 28, 2014

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2:50 PM | When good chat bots go bad
Allow me to start off by expunging any possible notion that what you will read in the following post has anything to do with Sky Net-like types of robotic systems. There will likely come a day when I will write further on the topic of artificial intelligence. Today however, it seems that the subject at hand is more aptly described as artificial ineptness.Last week I started writing code for an open-source chat-bot program. My goal was to create something that was basically an open-source […]
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12:02 PM | Concocting pulp covers: The journal Inadvisable Science
No summary available for this post.
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5:01 AM | Ten to the Fifth!
Congratulations! Synthetic Daisies has just garnered 100,000 all-time views. Just two years since the 20,000 mark, and a bit less than a year after 50,000 readers. Daily readership has been increasing steadily from the early years of the blog (2009-2011). Below is an analysis of the top 10 posts by readership and their frequency of readership.

September 27, 2014

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7:15 PM | Scientists, We Do Trust You, Even If You Could Be a Little Warmer
In a study published online before print in PNAS on September 15 this year, Susan Fiske and Cydney Dupree from the psychology and public affairs department at Princeton University explore how credible, warm and competent Americans find scientists. Why? Because in their expanding role as communicators, scientists need to engage people’s emotions and values as well as their ‘brains.’ And to do so, scientists as communicators need the public’s trust. “Science […]
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3:47 PM | On shellshock
The 'net is currently focused on Shellshock, leading to interesting discussions of the responsibility for the problem. Recently, someone posted Not a bash bug, which was linked on Hacker News. The argument there is that: I would argue that the bash security concern is not a bug. It is clearly a feature. Admittedly, a misguided and misimplemented feature, but still a feature.... It is an old precept for security on unix systems, that environment variables shall be controlled by the parent […]
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1:08 PM | Dropping in on the Ig Nobel after-party
The Ig Nobel after-party, each year, is a chance for the new Ig Nobel Prize winners and the other ceremony participants to get together and let their hair (if they have any) down. Journalist Carmen Nobel came to this year’s party, and wrote about that experience, for Science Friday. Here are snippets of her entire report: […]
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11:00 AM | Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (Sept 28)
This week we feature glowing, flying, gooey tech.

September 26, 2014

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8:57 PM | Science Blogging Tips from Mass Communication Students
Paige Brown Jarreau: This is a guest post by Maddie Duhon, Kathryn Courtney and Savanna Ronco, students of #SciCommLSU, a coastal environmental communication course I currently co-teach at the Manship School of Mass Communication. These students are mass communication undergraduates interested in learning how to communicate about science. This week, they were tasked with surveying a sample of blogs/posts from the science blogosphere and coming up with their own tips to engage readers. […]
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8:18 PM | Should Silicon Valley Hire Microbes?
Companies truly committed to diversity in the workplace could learn a lot from bacteria. Continue reading →
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7:20 PM | Meet Jeff Potter: The Computer Software Engineer With Culinary Science Smarts!
The ‘Nifty Fifty (times 4)’, a program of Science Spark, presented by InfoComm International, are a group of 200 noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, D.C. area in the 2014-2015 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Jeff…
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6:37 PM | Next Floor, the Moon: Space Elevator Going Up By 2050
It will take about seven days to transport people or cargo along the 59,651-mile journey. Continue reading →
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3:26 PM | Sunflower-Shaped Dish Makes Power, Fresh Water
Each flower is a parabolic dish comprised of 36 mirrors that convert 80 percent of the sunlight harvested into useful energy. Continue reading →
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1:26 PM | Compressive Earth Observatory: An Insight from AIRS/AMSU Retrievals (and a comment)
This is exciting but I have included my thoughts below: Compressive Earth Observatory: An Insight from AIRS/AMSU Retrievals by Ardeshir Mohammad Ebtehaj, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Gilad Lerman, Rafael Luis Bras We demonstrate that the global fields of temperature, humidity and geopotential heights admit a nearly sparse representation in the wavelet domain, offering a viable path forward to explore new paradigms of sparsity-promoting assimilation and compressive retrieval of spaceborne earth […]
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1:10 PM | Further dramatic readings from bizarre studies, Friday night
We’ll be doing some more Improbable Dramatic Readings — brief public readings from bizarre — yet genuine — scientific studies, this Friday night, September 26, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, starting at 7:00 pm. The studies — which we will treat as if they are dramatic literature written for actors to perform — […]
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1:08 PM | Rain, Cricket, Probability, Victory, and You
If you are fascinated by rain, cricket, probability and/or victory, give a glance to this study, which ties them all together: “Rain Rules for Limited Overs Cricket and Probabilities of Victory,” Ian Preston [pictured here] and Jonathan Thomas, The Statistician (Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series D), vol. 51, 2002, pp. 189-202. The authors, at […]

September 25, 2014

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8:59 PM | Potato-chip-sound-modifier Ig Nobel Prize winner profiled
Charles Spence, 2008 Ig Nobel nutrition Prize winner (for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is) profiled in The Guardian: …How to make bug-eating acceptable to westerners is one of the many gustatory challenges that he and his […]
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7:22 PM | Cirque de Soleil Deploys Drones for Art
A short film incorporates UAV quadcopters dressed as colorful lamp shades. Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | 5 Cool DIY Tech Trends from World Maker Faire
The two-day event, nicknamed the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, celebrates science, technology and the creative spirit.
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5:10 PM | DNews: Young Minds Dazzle at Google Science Fair
The winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair have just been announced, so Trace takes a look at some of the amazing ideas created by teenagers.
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2:54 PM | Determining Temperature Boundary of the A1→(A1+B2) Phase Transformation in the Copper-55 at% Palladium Alloy Subjected to Severe Plastic Deformation
The changes in phase state, electrical properties and microhardness of copper-55 at% palladium alloy samples with different initial states (as-quenched and deformed via severe plastic deformation (SPD)) were studied during isothermal annealing. Ordered B2-phase formation in the disordered (A1) matrix was found to occur at a significantly higher temperature than is indicated in the generally accepted phase diagram of the Cu-Pd system. Corresponding electrical resistivity is also lower than […]
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1:54 PM | Alcohol is not an Excuse.
Drunk people do terrible things. We’ve all experienced this. Whether because we’ve done something stupid and horrible while drunk, or because we’ve been harmed by a drunk person whom we know. And we know these people, or we are these people, and so we also know that they, or we, would never do such things […]
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1:00 PM | Robot Octopus Swims Faster Than Ever
A soft and supple silicone web has nearly doubled the speed of the roboctopus.
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12:37 PM | Alternating proximal gradient method for sparse nonnegative Tucker decomposition - implementation -
Alternating proximal gradient method for sparse nonnegative Tucker decomposition by Yangyang XuMulti-way data arises in many applications such as electroencephalography (EEG) classification, face recognition, text mining and hyperspectral data analysis. Tensor decomposition has been commonly used to find the hidden factors and elicit the intrinsic structures of the multi-way data. This paper considers sparse nonnegative Tucker decomposition (NTD), which is to decompose a given tensor into the […]
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12:02 PM | Comparative ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles
If one could know for sure how iffy things are for English-speaking doctors compared to how iffy things are for French-speaking doctors, one might reach the same conclusions as are reached in this study: “The ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles —A comparison of English if and French si,” Shirley Carter-Thomas [pictured here], in Language and […]
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10:44 AM | Bent IPhone 6+, the fault of the aluminum body? Maybe not…
There seems to be a lot of buzz around the IPhone 6+ getting bent (literally) in owner’s pockets (Bentgate!). Lewis from Unbox Therapy even followed up by performing a series […]
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