Apology after Japanese train departs 20 seconds early

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Management on the Tsukuba Express line “sincerely apologized for the inconvenience” caused.

A rail company in Japan has apologised after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early.
Management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba say they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused.
In a statement, the company said the train had been scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time but left at 9:44:20.
Many social media users reacted to the company’s apology with surprise.

11光年先、地球に似た惑星=太陽系に接近中-生命存在か・国際チーム

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 おとめ座の方向に11光年離れた赤色矮星(わいせい)「ロス128」の周りで地球に似た惑星を発見したと、フランスのグルノーブル・アルプ大などの国際研究チームが15日発表した。太陽系外では4光年先の「プロキシマb」に次いで地球から2番目に近い惑星だが、太陽系に接近中のため、7万9000年後には最も近い惑星になるという。

 赤色矮星は宇宙に多数ある小さな恒星で、水素の核融合が穏やかなため暗い。ロス128は質量、大きさとも太陽の2割弱。発見された惑星「ロス128b」は赤色矮星の周りを1周約10日で回り、距離は太陽-地球間の20分の1、質量は地球の1.35倍で、温度は20度から零下60度と推定される。
プロキシマbも赤色矮星の周りを約11日で周回するが、紫外線やX線が強烈で生命が存在するには厳しい。ロス128bは水が液体で存在するか不明だが、紫外線などは穏やかと考えられる。

絶滅した洞穴ライオン 氷河期のミイラ シベリアで発見「クローン再生の可能性」

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今年9月、シベリア東部の川のほとりで、約5万年前の氷河期のネコ科のミイラが見つかった。永久凍土の中から発見されたミイラには全身に黄色っぽい体毛が残っていて、科学アカデミーは絶滅したホラアナライオンの赤ちゃんで、DNAの復元ができれば、将来的にはクローン技術で再生の可能性もあるとしている。

 このミイラは、今年9月、ロシア北東部に位置するヤクート・サハ共和国ティレキテ川岸の永久凍土に埋もれた状態で眠っているのを猟師のボリス・ベレズネフさんが発見。

首都ヤクーツクの科学アカデミーの分析の結果、絶滅したホラアナライオンの可能性が高いことが判明した。同アカデミーのアルベルト・プロトポポフ博士は今月9日の会見で「四肢は完全に揃っており、皮膚には傷もなく、保存状態が良好だ。将来的にはDNAからクローン再生させることも可能かもしれない」と抱負を述べた。

SCALABLE COMPUTING WITH RASPBERRY PI

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Come and visit us at Super Computing 2017 at Center for Advanced Research Computing Booth 535. We’re exhibiting one of five modules to be used at the New Mexico Consortium Ultrascale Systems Research Center as part of a pilot program led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory and The University of New Mexico.

The aim of the consortium is to engage universities and industry nationally in support of exascale research and the goal of the research is to investigate the challenges of computing at extreme scales – millions rather than thousands of computers.

Such large systems pose questions that have not yet been answered.

Boston Dynamics ‘new’ SpotMini robot looks ready for a walk

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The all-electric quadruped is built for “offices, homes and outdoors.”

Boston Dynamics isn’t a part of Google/Alphabet anymore, but that won’t stand in the way of new robot videos, like this latest teaser for a revamped version of its dog-like electric SpotMini robot. Described only as the “new SpotMini” it looks sleeker and more production ready than any version we’ve seen before. There’s no creepy manipulator arm mounted on top and it’s covered in plastic, revealing only a set of 3D vision cameras on the exterior.

Uber Releases Pyro: An Open Source Probabilistic Programming Language

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It’s not hidden that apart from working to make its existing product better and bring a reliable transportation service to the users, Uber is also investing efforts in autonomous cars and artificial intelligence. To give something back to the developer community and improve their products, Uber has announced the open source release of Pyro.
Pyro is Uber’s homegrown probabilistic programming language. The company says that it’s “a tool for deep probabilistic modeling, unifying the best of modern deep learning and Bayesian modeling.”

IEEE Pacific Vis 2018

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Welcome. The 11th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis 2018) will be held in Kobe, Japan during April 10 to 13, 2018. Visualization has become an increasingly important research area due to its wide range of applications in many disciplines. PacificVis is an IEEE sponsored international visualization symposium held in the Asia-Pacific region, with the objective to foster greater exchange between visualization researchers and practitioners, and to draw more researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to enter this rapidly growing area of research.
PacificVis is a unified visualization symposium, welcoming all areas of visualization research such as: information visualization, scientific visualization, graph and network visualization, visual analytics, and specific applications such as (but not limited to) security-, software- and bio-visualization. Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished research and application papers in all areas of visualization. We encourage papers in any new, novel, and exciting research area that pertains to visualization.

Bill Gates buys Arizona land — hilarity, or tragedy, ensues

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Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment recently purchased an $80 million stake in desert land west of Phoenix. Unless Gates plans to turn the land into a preserve, he might want to know a few things that the locals didn’t tell him.

The big news this week in metropolitan Phoenix is that Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment purchased an $80 million stake in desert land to the west of town. Boosters are excited because powerful development interests hope to turn this 24,000 acres into 80,000 houses, pushing sprawl farther into the pristine and threatened Sonoran Desert.

Unless BillG plans to turn the land into a preserve, he might want to know a few things that the locals didn’t tell him. (And to put my cards on the table, I am a fourth-generation Arizonan, former columnist for the Phoenix newspaper, and continue to write, pro bono, a blog on Arizona history and issues).

Nearly a Third of Millennials Say They’d Rather Own Bitcoin Than Stocks

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It’s become commonplace in news headlines to say millennials kill everything from romance to napkins, but now a survey shows they might be responsible for keeping the rally in bitcoin alive.

 A survey by venture capital firm Blockchain Capital found that about 30 percent of those in the 18-to-34 age range would rather own $1,000 worth of Bitcoin than $1,000 of government bonds or stocks. The study of more than 2,000 people found that 42 percent of millennials are at least somewhat familiar with bitcoin, compared with 15 percent among those ages 65 and up.
 Bitcoin rose more than 6 percent Wednesday to as much as $7,545, helping to push the value of the total cryptocurrency market above $200 billion for the first time, according to CoinMarketcap. The digital asset has soared more than 600 percent this year, compared with gains of 15 percent for the S&P 500 Index — which might explain millennials’ attraction.

安全運転で保険が最大2割引き トヨタが走行データ収集

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 トヨタ自動車とあいおいニッセイ同和損害保険は8日、安全運転の度合いに応じて保険料が安くなる自動車保険商品を開発したと発表した。急発進や急停止、走行速度のデータを分析。運転状況をリスク評価して保険料に反映させる。

 この仕組みは、トヨタが運転手のアクセルやブレーキ操作、走行速度といった情報を車載通信機で収集し、自社のデータセンターに送る。その上で、あいおいニッセイ同和損保が安全運転の観点から運転状況を評価し、毎月の保険料を3段階で算定する。

運転する都度に安全度を100点満点で算出し、1カ月間の総合評価に応じて保険料の一部が値引きされる。値引き率は走行距離によって変わるが、最大2割引きとなる。スマートフォンのアプリを使えば、運転ごとの採点結果を確認できるため、安全意識の向上に期待が持てるという。