cloud tech

Coming to you live from space radio.

Deep space radio signals might be trying to tell us something. IBM and the SETI Institute are working together to analyze six terabytes of these complex signals to listen for patterns of life. Researchers are using IBM Analytics on Apache Spark to sift through signals gathered by the Allen Telescope Array, and cognitive machine learning to determine which signals are from humans, and which might be from aliens. Maybe they’ll ask us to call-in.

Learn more about listening for aliens →

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Flying the world’s first single-engine private jet

We got to go in the new Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet—the world’s first single-engine private jet. It has a top speed of 345 MPH, has a max distance of 1380 miles, and even comes equipped with its own parachute on the top of the plane (!!). You read that right. And how much does it cost, you ask? It’ll only set you back a cool $1.96 million. If only we had $1.96M lying around. 😂 😂 😂 

Watch the full video of our test flight here

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The Levitating Cloud Bluetooth Speaker

We’ll go ahead and add this to the list of the things we never knew we needed until right now. Design studio Richard Clarkson Studio joined forces with Crealev to create a the coolest floating mini-cloud, a cloud that hovers indoors while both playing your favorite music and lighting up in tune to the beat to replicate a storm. Watch it in action here

Instagram.com/WeTheUrban

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Hello new friend, my name is death, some still call me Crystal Meth.
I’m easy to find, and a breeze to make, just ask around, I make you feel great. Try me for free, I can afford one hit,
I know if you do, I am hard to quit. Forget those who love you,
I am all you will need,
take my hand, to your death I will lead.
I have no conscience, grief is my soul,
I will not leave you, until your body is cold.
You will meet new people, I am social you see,
I’ll teach you to lie, steal, and cheat. Your new group of friends,
they know me well,
and if we get caught, they will leave you in hell.
I am important, I am the best,
I make some rich, then I destroy the rest.
I’ll keep you awake, unable to work,
I make mothers cry, some call me a jerk. If you have children, or someone you love,
I can destroy them, remember, I am Meth, the Death Drug.
Don’t look in the mirror, you won’t believe what you see,
the reflection looking back, some say it is me.
I’ll rot your teeth, I’ll destroy your gums, but just remember, you are having fun. One important thing, you may not even notice the change,
your mind will not function as it did before I came.
Once you are mine, and you have lost everything,
don’t curse my name, you came looking for me.
I’m very possesive, I’ll take your life,
and if you don’t believe me, Keep doing ice.
Now that you know me, and we are friends,
know I am death, will you love me to the end?

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Somewhere along the way, the new basecom has gained somewhat of a reputation. He had become Someone-You-Don’t-Fuck-With. Because if you do, you can be sure there would be people after you. It didn’t matter who. If you were lucky, you got a group of Thirds still learning the limits of their new strength. If you were unlucky, you got a thorough lecture from Zack Fair, followed by a visit from one of the Generals.  

For the fics: up-sideand-down’s Cloud with Glasses

Other characters with glasses:

Sephiroth
Genesis

Angeal

Zack

Unflappable clouds - IBM Patent 9329908

People depend on the cloud for pretty much everything. But clouds get busy. Now when you’re uploading all those videos from vacation, Patent 9329908 will help by spreading the work around so no one part of the cloud is overloaded. So yeah, go ahead and sync those playlists. Which playlists? All of them.  


This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received this year. Explore the latest IBM patents. →

Video Game High School

At one high school in Austin, Texas, students spend class time playing video games! But not just any game, it’s one the students built on IBM Bluemix® and IBM Watson™, with the help of their teacher, David Conover. The result is a serious game called Medical Mindcraft where Watson interacts with students through gameplay to make medical research entertaining. Modeled after popular world-building games, this cognitive game is designed to inject lessons on health science, pharmacology and other challenging subjects into the action. It seems child’s play has grown up a bit.

Voltron Season 3 Review - CAUTION: RANT INBOUND

I just finished watching the newest season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, and holy cheeseballs on a cracker I need to get some of these emotions out because I was NOT. READY.! 

I never use Tumblr. In fact, I make an effort to steer away from it. But with such a large fanbase, it’s hard to find anywhere else to rant in such detail. So, here we go.

WARNING: As you might expect, this contains extreme spoilers. Look away now!


To start off, I just want to congratulate the Voltron team on creating yet another amazing addition to the series, even if it’s only 7 episodes long. This was probably the most heart-wrenching, scream-inducing, absolutely bonkers and overwhelming season to date, and I commend you for managing to make me feel approximately 543859746 emotions in the space of a few seconds constantly throughout. These 7 episodes - these nuggets of purest space-tastic beauty - are simply glorious..

..and here are my reasons why. My long, long reasons why.



1. Strap yourselves in boys, this is going to be a long one.
The raw emotion in every. single. scene. - in every single character - is indescribable. The Paladins are adjusting to things they never thought would happen, and you can see it taking a toll on each character right from the get go. 

Keith - precious, upset, amazing Keith - oh boy.. I need to hug this kid and never let him go. He lost his role model and basically best friend all in one go, and he’s so caught between anger and grief and anguish he doesn’t know what to do with himself! He is thrust into this new position with the force of an ion cannon and you can visibly see it in his eyes; the fear, the uncertainty, as he tries to take on the role that Shiro left behind. His anger overtakes him on so many occasions, and so many times we think he’s going to lose it completely! (Which, in all fairness, he might as well have). And every time he’s brought back by his team (bless Lance and his perfect face - I’ll get to him later) or shut down by somebody, you can see the emotional frustration. You can feel it. I certainly felt it. This boy is not experienced as a leader, but he is sure as hell trying. 

Although, I am extremely surprised about the lack of discussion about his time with the Blade of Marmora. It is undeniable that he is part Galra, but this was not addressed at all in season 3. Whether this was because the team have simply accepted and adapted to it now, or whether the Voltron crew are holding back some serious angst in preparation for season 4, I am looking forward to seeing where they go with it.

Lance. My goodness. I was expecting some kind of character development this season, but not at all in this direction. He is, undoubtedly, the sharpshooter the team needs, and he’s also the comedic emotional support that keeps Keith and the others from falling apart. Meanwhile, he must abandon the blue lion, who we know he had a strong connection with ever since the beginning, and become the right-hand of Voltron - of Keith. There is hesitation abundance here, but he takes it in his stride and pilots the red lion with confidence. He’s watching out for Keith more, ready to step up and take charge or defend when he needs to, and I think that says a lot about their relationship development. He confides in Keith, something he would never have considered under different circumstances, and bares himself as someone who doesn’t feel needed anymore once Shiro returns. Lance is ready to give up his position to let Keith back in and ‘make the team stronger’, but Keith won’t give up on him, and we can see it means a lot to him to have his old rival, his leader, his friend?, believe in him. I think we’re going to see a much more self-conscious Lance as time goes on, but also a much more stable and prepared one in the aftermath.

Shiro. Need I say more? Yes, because this man has been through hell and back twice now at the hands of the Galra empire, and he deserves a hecking nap. He is captured, again, escapes, again, has to survive on his own, again, and is captured a further time - only to find new allies within the depths of a frozen tundra-like planetoid. There’s a moment during that episode where he takes shelter within the remains of an unknown monster, and I couldn’t help but remember the phrase ‘into the belly of the beast’. He is literally in the belly of a strange beast, but figuratively, he is right back where he started; stuck in a domain where he is alone and must fight to survive. He hijacks a Galra fighter and has Voltron within his grasp, but they’re too fast for him, and the utter despair on his face is heartbreaking. I almost cried. I thought he was done. But the relief on his expression minutes later brought everything back and reminded me how strong of a person he is, but also shows how much he relies on his team - on Keith - who clearly shares a bond with him deeper than we could have expected. The thing is, with two leaders now ready to take command, Shiro finds he cannot pilot the black lion anymore; a moment which in itself was also considerably upsetting. He leads Voltron from the castle, despite Keith’s attempt to make decisions himself, and we’ve come to a crossroad where they will have to decide who is the ultimate voice of command.

Allura has far more development in this season that I ever would have expected. With Shiro gone, the team in shambles, and the Galra threat still imminent, the struggle to make decisions and direct the Paladins is visible in every shot. The blue lion chooses her, and she doesn’t know how to handle it. She doesn’t want to be a disappointment, because everyone is counting on her, but she has to stop thinking like a princess and start thinking like a Paladin in order to get things done. Her crying broke my heart - it’s hard to witness. She’s put through so much within this time and is forced to make horrible choices, but she emerges from them stronger. Uncertain, and still a little inexperienced, but stronger. 

There are real similarities here between her and Keith; both of them must step up to their new positions, to walk in their role model’s footsteps, but both are scared. It’s a side of them I love seeing, but also hate seeing because of how much pain these characters and their fight make me feel.

I’m a bit disappointed as to how little development there is for Pidge and Hunk, but then again, there is only so much they can put into these episodes when they’re already chock-full. Besides, I think Pidge in particular will be getting a lot of screen time in the upcoming season 4 if the pictures and hints we’ve seen are anything to go by.


2. Lore galore. If I weren’t a lover of backstories and intense information-dumps and theorizing, this season would have caught me extremely off-guard. But I loved every single second of it. We learn more about the Paladins of old and how their fate came to be; we learn about Zarkon and Alfor and their relationship, in addition to Haggar; we learn about Lotor and his crew of incredible, strong, and frankly beautiful Galran fighters; we discover the creation and evolution of the lions – there’s SO MUCH to consider here! 

Lotor is not your regular Galra leader, or at least, not in comparison to Zarkon. He is delightfully cunning and uses tactics that his father may not have even considered in order to get what he wants. He commands troops that most Galra would not even consider giving a place in their ranks (according to Throk - rip). They have abilities other, regular Galra don’t seem to posses - mind control, for one thing - and I feel as though these skills will be shown off more as their battle against Voltron continues. Unlike his father, Lotor believes in alliance rather than destruction. It’s an entirely new take on the Galran conquering system. However, he is also absolutely brutal, as shown when he throws another commander’s severed, robotic arm at Haggar’s feet. He recognizes Voltron’s change and uses it to his advantage. In short, Prince Lotor is a new, fabulous challenge I cannot wait to see more of. 

On a separate note.. To be completely honest, I feel kind of bad for Zarkon, at least when he was younger and, y’know, not evil. He loved working and fighting with the Paladins; he loved his wife; he cared more sincerely about his empire. In reality, I think he just wanted to keep his wife alive, but it developed into more than that, and I think that’s the saddest thing about his situation. Haggar doesn’t remember who he is until the last moments, but this could mean a shift in their dynamic too in the upcoming season; especially with the knowledge that Lotor is Zarkon’s son, but we have no idea who else helped bring him into this world. There was no hints that Haggar - or Honerva, as we discover - ever had a child, or that either of them were caring for a child at the time of their homeworld’s destruction. So, is Haggar Lotor’s mother? Will Haggar resent Zarkon for having Lotor when the two of them are married, even if neither of them remembered? Who knows. I want to find out! But this is one of those things we might never see purely because it’s not yet plot-related, and I accept that. For now.  (I also loved seeing baby Allura and young Coran - I need more of that purity in my life).

Voltron is far more powerful and indestructible than I first thought, and I’ve got to tell you King Alfor; you did an awesome job sweetie. The lions are so complex that they can not only adapt themselves to make them stronger, but also adapt to their Paladin, and in this case, adjust to whole new Paladins! Blue connects to Allura and helps her save the team from the depths of a cloud-covered, tech-jarring storm planet. Red, although subtly, waits for Lance to learn the ropes as he comprehends the increased speed of his lion. The black lion still senses Shiro as he’s drifting in space, perhaps channeling Keith’s desire to locate him, and immediately alerts his pilot of this fact. They’re all learning and forming a new Voltron dynamic; one that I think will change the entire image and perception of the Paladins for the rest of the Universe.


Ok, I think that’s enough for now. I am exhausted and I need some time to go over everything again! It’s just- (ok, fangirl time) such a GOOD SHOW!! It’s crazy, it’s inspiring, it’s beautiful, it’s well-written, well-choreographed, well-animated, has an amazing plot-flow, and the characters are so gosh darn relatable sometimes I want to cry!

Thank you Voltron team for giving us this fantastic show. I’m going to go put up a pinboard and create crazy theories now. 

Bye!~ <3

You wouldn’t expect to pay a local tax when you stream a movie on Netflix, but Chicago has decided that such cloud-based services should be taxed just like tickets for live entertainment.

There was no debate or public hearing over the city’s “cloud tax” — a 9 percent tax on streaming entertainment like Netflix and Spotify.

The city says that’s because the tax isn’t new and is actually a clarification — not an expansion of two taxes that have long been in effect. One is called the Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax, and the other is the Amusement Tax, which has traditionally been tacked onto tickets for concerts and sporting events.

But now just about everybody who pays to stream a video or television show will have to pay more.

Chicago’s ‘Cloud Tax’ Raises The Cost Of Streaming Videos

Illustration: Tang Yau Hoong/Getty Images/Ikon Images