Tag Archives: control

Aircon Watch promises to keep you cool around the clock

Can you control your whole body's temperature by heating or cooling just one small part of ...

Can you control your whole body’s temperature by heating or cooling just one small part of it? More specifically, the wrist? It seems a little far-fetched, but the makers of the Aircon Watch certainly believe you can, and if their early crowdfunding success in anything to go by, they are far from alone.

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Category: Good Thinking

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Tacita set to unveil the T-Cruise electric motorcycle

The T-Cruise is the sixth model in Tacita 's lineup and the first to veer from ...

Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Tacita has announced its plans to expand its lineup with a new model. Scheduled for official introduction at the upcoming AIMExpo 2017, the T-Cruise deviates from the off-road variants that make up Tacita’s current fleet, aiming squarely at the American market.

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Category: Motorcycles

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Cassini mission comes to a fiery end

Artist's concept of Cassini burning up above Saturn

After 20 years and countless orbits, NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn has come to its fiery end. The space agency has confirmed that its Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking station at Canberra lost all radio contact with the unmanned deep space probe today at 7:55 am EDT as the spacecraft hit the atmosphere of the giant ringed planet at 70,000 mph (113,000 km/h), tumbled out of control and burned up like a meteor.

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Category: Space

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Amazon’s next Fire TV box may have Alexa built in

Apple may not be the only one with a new 4K HDR streaming box on the way. Amazon is reportedly working on two new Fire TV devices, both supporting 4K HDR video, according to AFTVNews. The cheaper of the two may be a streaming dongle like the Fire TV Stick, but with more processing power. Amazon could announce it this month and launch it next month.

More intriguing, however, is the next Fire TV box. The box itself will reportedly have a microphone array for hands-free Alexa voice commands, along with an infrared emitter for controlling televisions and sound systems. This would allow users to launch videos, control playback, and adjust volume without ever touching the remote control. Amazon may launch this device later in the year, but could delay it into 2018.

It’s unclear how much either device will cost, but Amazon sells its current Fire TV Stick for $40 and its Fire TV box for $90. AFTVNews speculates that the new devices will cost a bit more than the current ones.

For Apple TV, The Price Is The Problem

To understand Apple TV’s struggles, it’s instructive to look at the Roku Express.

Roku’s humble $30 streaming TV device is mediocre at best. It stutters and lags while moving through menus and apps, its single-band wireless connection is a generation old, and its remote control uses clunky infrared technology that requires a clear line of sight to the box. Given that Roku’s Streaming Stick eliminates all those problems for just $20 more, it’s hard to imagine many people buying the Express instead.

Yet Roku is having no trouble selling its cheapest streaming device. In its recent IPO filing, Roku said the Express drove a 37% year-over-year increase in device sales during the first half of this year. Devices under $50 now make up more than two-thirds of Roku’s U.S. sales, and the company’s average selling price is down to $47 in the United States, according to the NPD Group.

At $150, the current Apple TV costs more than three times what people pay for a Roku player on average. But while Apple’s streaming box is miles ahead of the Roku Express in performance and polish, the experience isn’t much different once video starts rolling in an app like Netflix. That may explain why Apple TV is bleeding market share to Amazon and Roku. People just don’t have much incentive to pay a premium for a streaming box.

Next week, Apple is rumored to announce a 4K HDR Apple TV, which should at least help the company reach feature parity with its competitors’ streaming boxes. But don’t expect the new format alone to drive a turnaround in market share. For Roku, the $75-and-up price categories that includes its Premiere+ and Ultra 4K HDR players only makes up 22% of sales, according to NPD. And while Amazon has offered a 4K Fire TV box since 2015, the cheaper stick has only gained share since then.

The notion that Apple must respond to low-cost competitors with its own cheap products is one of the most banal arguments in tech punditry, and Apple is usually wise to ignore it. But the business model that has worked so well for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac–differentiated software enabled by premium hardware–doesn’t translate to the streaming TV business, where content is king. Without either drastically lower prices or a breakthrough advantage in content, the Apple TV will continue to struggle.

A Stingy Set-Top Market

Roku isn’t the only one whose sales are dominated by cheap hardware.

In late 2014, Amazon launched the Fire TV Stick for $40. Compared to the $100 Fire TV box that launched earlier that year, the Stick had significant performance hiccups, and the first version of its remote control didn’t support voice commands.

But again, consumers didn’t mind. Within a year, Amazon’s stick was outselling its box 3 to 1, according to Parks Associates. A spokeswoman for Parks says the Fire TV Stick now makes up 81% of all Amazon Fire TV devices owned in U.S. broadband homes.

The success of cheap streaming TV devices is now having a profound impact on the Apple TV business. Both Parks Associates and ComScore show Apple TV in fourth place among U.S. broadband customers, behind Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google’s Chromecast.

Apple isn’t just a victim of low-cost competitors, though. According to The NPD Group, the company’s tailspin began in fourth quarter 2015 with the launch of its fourth-generation Apple TV, which at $150 is pricier than its predecessor, as well as anything offered by Amazon, Roku, or Google. At the time, Apple made up 32.3% of U.S. streaming device sales, excluding Amazon’s Fire TV devices (which NPD doesn’t track). Since then, Apple’s share has consistently slipped, and now sits at 13.5%. And the biggest quarter-to-quarter decline came in fourth quarter 2016, when Apple discontinued the older Apple TV that it had been selling for $69. For Apple, the damage was at least partially self-inflicted.

Content Conquests

The natural rebuttal to these figures is that Apple isn’t overly concerned with market share, so long as it can hold the premium end of the market and maintain a vibrant ecosystem for apps and services.

On the ecosystem side, Apple TV is doing fine. It’s not starving for any major streaming services (except for Amazon Prime Video, which is coming), and it’s been among the initial launch platforms for several new streaming video apps, including Hulu, with Live TV, DirecTV Now, Twitter, and Facebook. Because Apple’s developer tools are powerful, and its customers have a reputation for spending more money, streaming providers may be willing to support the platform even as its market share sinks.

Still, it’s unclear if the premium end of the market is holding up. In January, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told the Financial Times that Apple TV’s 2016 holiday sales declined year-over-year. That was one of the reasons why revenue in Apple’s “other” product category–which also includes iPods and standalone Mac displays–fell by 8% in an otherwise record quarter.

Either way, weak market share gives Apple less leverage to accomplish what it really wants, which is to reinvent TV. The company reportedly walked away from trying to build a streaming TV bundle in 2015, and more recently has butted heads with studios over the price of 4K HDR movie purchases. As Recode’s Peter Kafka has pointed out, Apple used to win these kinds of content battles, but Hollywood studios have little incentive to budge when most streaming TV watchers are using Rokus, Fire TVs, and Chromecasts. Launching a live TV bundle still seems like Apple’s best shot at widespread success, but getting the channels and prices it wants might be easier with more market share.

All of this means that Apple has a tough decision ahead: The company could join Roku, Google, and Amazon in offering the cheaper hardware that consumers overwhelmingly prefer, or it can accept a life of low market share and the reduced bargaining power that goes with it. All available data shows a slim chance of Apple having it both ways.

Why Americans resist higher taxes for the wealthy

Americans may resist raising taxes on the wealthy as a way to address inequality due to our beliefs in “equal treatment,” say political scientists.

“If many US voters don’t support higher tax rates, it’s not because they are uninformed, distracted, or confused,” explains David Stasavage of New York University, coauthor of the paper with Stanford University’s Kenneth Scheve. “It’s for a more simple reason: they don’t think this would be fair.”

Many have wondered, in an era of increasing inequality, why there hasn’t there been more support for raising taxes. Many progressives have concluded that voters are uninformed or distracted by other issues—or that money in politics allows the rich to buy the policies they want.

An alternative, and long-standing view, stretching from Renaissance Florence to today, argues against progressive taxation, positing that just as everyone in a democracy should have the same vote, everyone should also pay the same tax rate.

To address the validity of this latter view—that many people may not want to raise taxes on the rich because they think it would violate a norm of equal treatment in a democracy—the researchers examined US survey data from 2014 and 2016.

They also conducted a survey in 2017 that had a unique experimental component. In it, some respondents were randomly assigned to receive a question about the importance of equal voting rights (e.g., “How important is it that the government guarantees equal voting rights?”) while others were asked a “control” question (e.g., “How important is it that the United States government celebrates Thanksgiving?”).

The 2017 results showed that those who received the equal voting rights question were substantially less likely than those in the control group to say that the wealthy should pay higher tax rates than everyone else. In other words, the equality prompt was associated with opposition to progressive taxation—regardless of how respondents answered the equality and control questions.

The authors note that in spite of the link between equal treatment and opposition to progressive taxation, there is support for changing the tax code in ways that would, in effect, raise taxes on the wealthy.

WWI and WWII led to higher taxes for the rich

Specifically, many respondents who opposed progressive taxation still said that they care about inequality. Moreover, they indicated that they would also support tax reform that reduces loopholes that currently allow the wealthy to pay lower effective tax rates than everyone else.

“There are competing standards of fairness when it comes to tax policy, and voters who oppose higher taxes on wealthy subscribe to a norm of equal treatment,” observes Stasavage, professor in NYU’s political department. “However, those who believe in equal treatment don’t want to see the wealthy pay lower rates than everyone else, as is now often the case.

“For this reason, there would be very substantial support today for tax reform that cuts loopholes used by the wealthy. More generally, those who support doing something about inequality need to consider how policies that address this problem can be framed so as to bring proponents of ‘equal treatment’ on board.”

In their book Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe (Princeton 2016), Scheve and Stasavage explored related tax matters. In it, they considered evidence from 20 countries covering the past 200 years in offering an in-depth account of progressive taxation.

They found that governments don’t tax the rich just because inequality is high or rising—rather, they do it when people believe that such taxes compensate for the state unfairly privileging the wealthy.

The new research was presented at September’s Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association.

Source: New York University

The post Why Americans resist higher taxes for the wealthy appeared first on Futurity.

The-Human-Aura-300x150

general design discussion • The Human Aura

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Since ancient times we have seen images and paintings of diverse spiritual leaders crossways various traditions however one thing that is common amongst all of them is the halo that environs their head which is recognized as the Aura- energy arena. It not only surrounds just the head however also extends all round your body. This aura signifies your physical, emotional mental, as well as divine energies.

The aura is frequently seen a mix of fine colored frequencies wherever each color defines its own distinct nature plus characteristics. The shaking of this aura is actually fine and delicate so we need very fine tools to detect it otherwise may be we can use our inborn instinctive mechanism plus our latent psychic perspective to train ourselves not merely to see the aura however also to interpret the diverse colours and forms in the aura which can disclose us a lot of unspoken information

What Is the Human Aura?

The human aura is an area of subtle, glowing radiation adjacent us and spreading outer from our physical form. Auras are connected to the electromagnetic area of the body plus serve as a visual amount of our mental, expressive, physical plus spiritual states.

Everything that we do otherwise think touches the aura so it is typically in a state of flux, always changing, founded on our mental meanderings plus physical health. The aura is moreover affected by the energies of the atmosphere, the force fields of the world and the radio frequencies that interpenetrate all methods of a matter. The aura is an electric signature of who we are.

The Color of the Human Aura

The colors of the aura might glow and discharge with joy and energy as we keep a state of holiness in God. Or the colors might become dull, constructed and stultified once we are gloomy, while we allow ourselves to be unhappy when we criticize or see life as less than lovely.

Appreciation strengthens the aura as the heart originates a pink plus golden sun-like happiness. And at other times while we put ourselves down otherwise enter into the criticism of others, the size and happiness of our auras lessen. Holding imageries and ideas of ourselves as well as others as less than entire also impinges on our aptitude to send out auric areas of light energy that bless plus uplift.

Thoughts, Feelings, Diet as well as the Human Aura

Diet has an influence on the aura. But more prominently, what we take in with our eyes and ears and whatever we think affects the power and pattern of the aura. While we put our courtesy upon God and all that this period represents for us, the rotating of our chakras quickens and a resonance with the potentials of God starts to cleanse the aura plus expand it.

The Human Aura as well as the Chakras

The chakras are similar generating stations inside us. Alike to the mitochondria, those organelle control houses which reside inside each human cell, these places of light can be an excessive self-regenerating emphasis.

We can imagine our chakras every day. And as we emphasis on a precise chakra, we see its petals rotating and then quickening in perfect balance and equilibrium. We see the entire radiance of these seven main generating stations increasing and blessing ourselves as well as all those who drive within our range of influence.

The excellence of our prayers is reliant on the excellence of our heart, our awareness…and, so, our aura. If we wish to be of superior service and efficacy, if we wish to perform alchemical feats for the good of manhood, we must first go inside, self-assess as well as get in balance. We must appear to our chakras and wash them every day in the light of God. In order, their acceleration will make a rise and expansion in an awareness that is transformational.

The entirety of who we are is transmission to the world over the aura that discharges out from us, even though maximum persons do not see this aurora borealis-similar light show around themselves and others. And if we wish to upsurge the beauty, intensity as well as a size of our aura, it will definitely occur as we emphasize more and more on all that is optimistic, kind, considerate, forgiving, and just as well as loving.
spirit Secret


A Simple Design Flaw Makes It Astoundingly Easy To Hack Siri And Alexa

Hackers can take control of the world’s most popular voice assistants by whispering to them in frequencies humans can’t hear.

Chinese researchers have discovered a terrifying vulnerability in voice assistants from Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei. It affects every iPhone and Macbook running Siri, any Galaxy phone, any PC running Windows 10, and even Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

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Alexa and Cortana get chummy

Amazon's Echo will now be able to talk to, and receive commands from, Microsoft's Cortana virtual ...

Amazon and Microsoft have revealed that their voice assistants are set to become acquainted with one another. Cortana will soon be able to talk to Alexa, and vice-versa, opening up new voice-controlled possibilities for users of Echo and Windows 10 devices.

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Category: Computers

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sketching • Re: Looking For Feedback

Hi Sumistha

Your work has improved greatly!
Your sketches have become a lot better, material renditions are almost flawless and good shading as well.
I like the Adidas sketch in your last post because it shows more looseness – this is your single point of struggle.

I understand how you want it to come out perfect but Yo in July gave a very good example with the drill sketch.
The sketcher completely loosened it up and it’s not pretty, but it has character and speaks, while still communicating form.
This is about giving the form a space to evolve, get out of the 2D projection mode and work more into the space.
While sketching, don’t end the movement at the end of the line – it will come out cartoony and a bit too flat. Instead, draw through – compare it to a good golf swing. Also graffiti artists are good examples because they have to work swiftly, with their entire bodies and control line width as well. Look at this guy:

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Also your glass renditions need work – also look at the other side of glass and how it reflects and refracts in complex areas such as the bottom. Start by drawing what you see from real life, then start understanding why the light behaves that way. With some more work you are ready to take your sketches further into the digital media, if that is your ambition.

Keep posting!