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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Leaving Computers On Helps Them Last Longer - Scientific American

Amazon Kindle Voyage review: the best way to read since books - Features - Gadgets and Tech - The Independent

5his is a wonderful device,  I love it.  "The display on the Voyage is sensational, easily the best I’ve seen on an ebook reader. At 300 pixels per inch, it’s the highest-resolution eink screen yet, beating even the Kobo Aura HD. That’s still not quite as pin-sharp as ink on paper, but it’s pretty good.

And unlike paper, this ereader incorporates Amazon’s Paperwhite technology. Where conventional colour tablets have backlights which are tiring on the eyes after a while, this has a frontlight that comes from one side instead of shining in your eyes. Even better, there’s an auto brightness setting which measures the ambient light and adjusts the brightness accordingly. This works well and the light is reasonably power-stingy – even with the light on the battery lasts a good month between charges.
Like other eink readers, it has the considerable advantage over backlit colour screens that it’s easy to read in bright sunlight, even through sunglasses."

Monday, December 08, 2014

'Cosmos' host Neil deGrasse Tyson's scope set on scientific literacy

"Well, I don't have to imagine what it is. There have been international tests to assess where our students are on various objective scales. And among industrialized nations we're consistently near the bottom of the list in every way that matters. That's just the fact. So the next question is: Does being so low on those lists come with consequences that matter...We've been very economically competitive even through several decades of these very low scores so maybe the scores are not the best indicator of what we are or what we will become in the future.

"However, some things are happening. I think we've lost our exploratory mojo. So, for example, my hat's off to the European Space Agency for landing a space probe on a comet. That is a space feat without precedent. But I grew up in an era when NASA was doing all of the space feats that had no precedent. So little signs like this are indicators that we are not on the frontier anymore. The Higgs boson, which received banner headlines in The New York Times, was discovered in Switzerland in a particle accelerator built by a European collaboration. And we would have discovered it back in the 1990s because we had a particle accelerator (partially built, then canceled by Congress)."