sciencealert.com
Chernobyl could soon find a second life as a giant solar farm
Revitalising a wasteland.
By Josh Hrala

The Ukrainian government has announced a plan to turn the area surrounding Chernobyl - the site of one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in history - into a solar energy farm, by constructing a series of solar panels inside the exclusion zone.

Not only would this plan - which is currently seeking investment - allow the country to use a giant chunk of radioactive land that’s unfit for human settlement, it would also provide a cheaper source of reusable energy that might decrease the country’s reliance on Russia.

“The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy,” Ukraine’s environment minister Ostap Semerak said in an interview in London. “We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants.”

Continue Reading.

4

Mixed Reality videos with the HTC Vive

Technical guide from Austin Hooper on how to put together mixed reality videos capturing HTC Vive experiences. The following video is from Kert Gartner discussing how he started with the idea:

Here is an example from Austin using mixed reality filmmaking in his webshow on VR experiences - this one is Minecraft VR:

Austin’s guide (along with other examples of the process) can be found here

silentdrifting  asked:

Hi! Would you mind maybe doing a compare/contrast with the surface pro and the cintiq 13hd? (Ignoring the fact that the surface is a full computer and the cintiq isn't. Unless you've used one of the cintiq companions.) I have a 13 hd and a samsung galaxy note 10.1, which is an android tablet with a pen, so I'm interested in the comparison.

Sure no problem!!

Okay so just to preface, I’ve only had the Surface for a short while. I’ve had the Cintiq 13HD for a bit longer, and use it more regularly for work.

Also, for those of you who don’t know, the Surface Pro is a windows device that runs Windows 10, and functions as both a laptop and a tablet. So yes, you can get photoshop, Manga Studio, Flash, and any other art program you want on it! HOWEVER, if you have these programs on one computer, in most cases you will have to purchase them again. (TIP FROM much-ado-about-mothing: As long as you have your registration key, you can install MS/CSP on multiple devices.  I’ve got mine on 3 computers with the same registration key, one purchase!)

The Cintiq 13HD functions as a 2nd monitor for the most part. (NOTE: if you know your way around computers you may be able to hook your surface up to make it work as a 2nd monitor. I’m not sure? But I will say it doesn’t come with a lot of ports, just USB and SD card, so hooking up HDMI might be a bit of an undertaking.)

There’s also the Cintiq Hybrid which runs android and the Cintiq Companion2 which runs windows. Both can also be used as a monitor as well. (I don’t think the Cintiq Companion 1 has that functionality)

Cintiq Pros:

  • the screen! This is a big one for me, and I think most people would agree. The cintiq screen is matte and smooth and oh so nice to draw on. I prefer the cintiq screen to the surface screen, because the surface screen feels more like a regular computer screen, and the tip of the stylus creates a bit of resistance when drawing. This might not bother some people, but I find I prefer the screen of the cintiq.
  • Can use it with your pre-existing computer. Obviously this only matters to you if you have a pre-existing computer. I have a Mac I’m used to working on, has 16 GB of RAM, has all the programs I need on it already, whereas the surface requires me to find a way to download photoshop again, which as many people probably know, is a big pain in the ass , haha.
  • HOT KEYS! / easy access to your keyboard. This is also huge for me. The surface is wonderful to cozy up with, but because I like to curl up and draw on it, I end up without access to my keyboard, which makes me unable to hit my hotkeys. Cintiq has built in assignable buttons, and if you work with it upright sitting at a desk you can easily hit your keyboard, which makes workflow a lot more seamless , at least for me.

Cintiq Cons:

  • tend to be fragile, in some cases? I say this hesitantly because I haven’t had a problem yet (KNOCK ON WOOD), but when I was doing my research before I got one, I heard plenty of horror stories of the machine crapping out within a year or two years of use, requiring it to be shipped back to Wacom, and you’re left high and dry while you wait for your baby to come back.
  • Bulky. It’s not the coziest to curl up with, and there are a lot of wires involved. Also as an extra tip I prefer THIS STAND over the stand the cintiq comes with.


I WAS GOING TO PUT PRICE AS A CINTIQ CON- but comparatively they’re actually pretty similar in price? The cintiqs range from 2000 to 800 (The 13HD is actually a LOT cheaper now that they came out with some new models), and the surface’s range from 1300-900.  

Okay, now onto the surface

Surface Pros:

  • Small! Portable! Lightweight! Compared to the Cintiq, the surface is a joy to carry around. No extra wires needed, the keyboard acts as a screen cover and pseudo case (I’d still recommend getting a case to keep it in ), and while it’s small, it’s not too small. I think this is something the Surface does really well. It has a great screen size, while also being small enough to travel with easily.
  • Screen Resolution. I’m not an expert on laptops by a long shot, but from a completely amatuer perspective, the screen looks pretty dang nice. Bright and crisp and the colors look great.
  • It’s just cozy to use! Okay, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out. One of the things I like about cintiqs is you can really lean right on them and get intimate with the surface you’re drawing with. I think the surface captures this too, but with the added portability of not needing it to be hooked up to another device. You can curl up just about anywhere and doodle, with your full digital drawing arsenal at your fingertips.

Surface Cons:

  • Stylus As I said above, personally, I don’t feel like the screen / stylus of the surface beats the cintiq. The glossy screen paired with the tip of the surface pen gives a little bit of friction when drawing,  so it’s not as smooth. Also, unlike the cintiq the Surface’s stylus is battery powered, so you’ll have to deal with that, eventually. 
  • HOT KEYS! - Even if you’re not curled up drawing on the surface, having the keyboard inbetween you and the screen makes for a pretty difficult (AND HUNCHED OVER… OUCH, YOUR POOR BACK) drawing experience.

Anyway. I could go on further, but I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot and I think you get the idea. Let me know if you have any more questions! I hope this was helpful!

eggymod

2

Spector by Fiana O’Leary

As her graduation project from the Royal College of Art, designer Fiona O’Leary invented a device that scans and identifies typeface and colours — beaming the samples directly to a nearby computer or storing the information for later.

While currently only a prototype, it’s clear that Spector could become wildly popular with graphic designers and typophiles. Wired referred to it as “Shazam for fonts” but also pointed out that one major obstacle in its development may lie in its ability to aid in design theft. Check out the video of it in action below.

http://www.fionaoleary.ie/

(via booooooom)

sciencealert.com
This cheap material can purify dirty water and make it safe to drink
Graphene power.
By David Nield

Biofoam sheets based on graphene can be laid on top of dirty or salty bodies of water to purify them and make the water safe to drink, scientists in the US have discovered.

The process – the latest awesome example of what wonder material graphene can do – has huge potential as a cheap, electricity-free water purification method for developing nations.

These dual-layer biofoam sheets work by drawing up water from underneath and then causing it to evaporate in the uppermost layer, releasing fresh water as condensation on the top and leaving particles and salts stuck in the foam.

“The process is extremely simple… the entire thing is produced in one shot,” said one of the researchers, Srikanth Singamaneni from Washington University in St. Louis.

“We hope that for countries where there is ample sunlight, such as India, you’ll be able to take some dirty water, evaporate it using our material, and collect fresh water.”

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2

NOVA Next: Can self-driving cars learn to be moral?

Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab put a futuristic twist on a classic thought experiment in ethics known as the trolley problem: a self-driving car must decide whether to stay its course and hit the five people standing on the road directly ahead, or swerve out of the way, killing a single pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Bonus - A simulation of a what a fully automated intersection might look like:

Read more at NOVA Next

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lifehacker.com
Build Your Own Adobe Creative Suite with Free and Cheap Software
Adobe's Creative Suite is one of the best software packs out there for professionals, but the suite is prohibitively expensive for most people. If you can't drop the cash, you can still get a similar experience with free or cheap software. Here's how to build your own Creative Suite.
By Thorin Klosowski

This website has some really good options to build your own Adobe Creative Suite!

An Ode to the iPod Classic

Wow,” a man said to me recently on the subway, “I haven’t seen one of those things in years.” He gestured toward the scuffed-yet-still-sleek, aluminum-colored rectangle in my hand — a 160GB sixth generation iPod Classic. I blinked for a moment. We were not talking about, say, a quill pen, a monocle, or a bottle of Crystal Pepsi, but an electronic device I had purchased in 2010.

5

Wynd Personal Air Purifier

Previously featured on Kickstarter, a Personal Air Purifier called Wynd. What Wynd does is it monitors and cleans the air in areas you put it in. Probably the first thing to notice is how small it is. It looks just like a small fan that’s the size of a water bottle. This helps it being portable so you can easily move it from place to place, where you want the air to be cleaned.

5

Colorful Smart Lights Controlled by Your Phone 

Smartphones let you control your decor like never before, and the DOTTI Smart Pixel Art Light is one fun way to light up your room in new and exciting ways. Controlled by an app, it allows you to create your own designs and animations in a variety of colors. In addition, DOTTI acts as a boombox, clock, and notification system to alert you when you have a text message or phone call. The device is currently available on Amazon.