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Rodriguez-Sanz L.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Mortyn P.G.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Herguera J.C.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | Herguera J.C.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Zahn R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Paleoceanography | Year: 2013

Fine-scale, paired Mg/Ca-δ18O profiles (Globigerinoides ruber white, sensu lato) from the San Lázaro Basin (SLB) at 25°N in the Northeast Pacific reveal a transition from a predominant presence of tropical/subtropical waters during the last glacial termination (T1) to an increasing influence of fresh and cold California Current waters toward the Holocene. Changing atmospheric circulation patterns over the Northeast Pacific in step with the demise of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and/or with a shift from El Niño- to La Niña-like conditions toward the Holocene are prime candidates to explain this water mass change. δ 18OSW-IVC increases of ~0.5-0.7‰ during the Younger Dryas (YD) and Heinrich stadial 1 (HS1) at the SLB are observed in a number of δ18OSW-IVC records from the tropical Pacific, more directly influenced by changes in the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Conditioning by ITCZ migration of the tropical Pacific Ocean towards salinity increase during YD and HS1, and the subsequent advection of those water masses as far north as 25°N likely accounted for the reconstructed hydrographical changes at the SLB. A larger influence of tropical water masses as far north as 25°N plausibly contributed to changes in the atmospheric moisture transports to western North America and affected the regional hydrological cycle across T1. Finally, the fine-scale resolution of our δ18OSW-IVC record allows pinpointing a shift from relative salty to fresh surface conditions at ~16.2 ka, signaling that the two-phase structure of HS1 is plausibly a ubiquitous feature of the northern tropical to extratropical ocean-atmosphere dynamics. Key Points California Current weakening at 25ºN during T1Tropical-Northeast Pacific salinification during North Atlantic cold episodesTwo phases of Heinrich Stadial 1 in the 18OSW-IVC record ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Du Z.,Tsinghua University | Yahyapour R.,University of Gottingen | He Y.,Microsoft | Koziris N.,National Technical University of Athens | And 4 more authors.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

Despite significant effort parallel and distributed systems available today are still not fully utilized and exploited. Scheduling and load balancing techniques remain crucial for implementing efficient parallel and distributed applications and for making best use of existing parallel and distributed systems. The need for such techniques intensifies with the foreseen advent of exa-scale computer systems with many core and accelerator architectures. Similarly, cloud computing became a viable paradigm for some applications. Scheduling includes planning and optimization of the resource allocation as well as coping with the dynamics of the systems. These topics have been subject for research for many decades but remain one of the core topics in parallel and distributed computing. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

News Article | January 28, 2011
Site: arstechnica.com

Those who know me or follow my coverage know that I tend to take an interest in fitness-related gadgets and software. If it provides me data about myself and my activities, I'm on board. The BodyMedia FIT that I reviewed last year and RunKeeper on the iPhone are two of my favorites for this reason, but there's always more to be learned—if I can do that without having to do any of the dirty work, even better. That's where the Withings body scale comes in. It's not a brand new gadget, but it recently came into my life as a result of a disturbing increase in chatter among my peers. You could say that the peer pressure got to me, and now I'm a Withings convert. What's so special about a scale that comes equipped with WiFi? It's not just so you can tweet your body weight every day (though you could if you really wanted to). The scale allows you to track trends in your weight as well as body composition changes over time—graphs and all—and you don't even have to lift a finger to enter that data into WeightBot or PhysicsDiet to get them. Not only that, but the free service that comes with your physical scale integrates with a plethora of other services (including WeightBot, in fact) so that your data is everywhere you want it to be. And all you have to do to get it is step on the scale. At $159, the Withings scale isn't exactly something you'll find in the bargain basement bin at Walmart. It's not a cheap scale, and if all you want is a device to spit a number back at you before your morning coffee, then there are thousands of other options that are more affordable. It's even a bit expensive if you compare it against some of the basic body-fat-analyzing scales out there (the old one that I retired after getting the Withings scale probably cost me about $90 back in 2004). But for a WiFi-equipped gadget that comes with free support, a free Web service, and free mobile apps, the price of the Withings scale is not all that terrible. It gets a bonus, too, because it looks nice; the scale has a smooth glass surface and there are white and black options—very Apple-like. The scale requires four AA batteries to operate, and it reports its own battery life back to you via the Web (which we'll get to in a second). Based on our own experience, a set of batteries will certainly last more than a month for two people weighing in every day, and sometimes twice a day (hey, we like data points, okay?). According to the battery indicator, it took four weeks for our scale to go down from 100 to 94 percent battery. Others have reported anywhere from 3 weeks to several months when it comes to battery life, which is still shorter than what you'll get with a less feature-rich scale (I don't think I have ever changed the batteries in my old scale in seven years). But if you rotate out a set of rechargeable batteries, you'll at least be able to live with yourself a little better than if you're constantly tossing four AAs at a time. In order to set up the scale, you must first connect it to a computer via USB and download an application from Withings' website. Once downloaded, the program will connect to your scale and allow you to set up things like your WiFi network and input the users who will be weighing themselves, as well as an account that you'll use online to track your data. If there are any firmware updates available for your scale, the application will make sure your scale has the most recent version. The reason you should input the users before starting is because the scale can automatically tell different people apart based on weight and body composition, but it needs something to go off of for the first weighing (plus you can give yourselves names so you know who's who when you weigh in). It's pretty good at detecting which user is which, even if the weight you enter yourself doesn't quite match up with what the scale sees for you—as long as you're different enough, it'll figure out that the male who weighs 210 pounds is a different person than the female who weighs... less than that. Once you have the device set up, you can configure how you want it to work via the account preferences on the Withings website. This is where you'll be able to see your scale's battery life, serial number, and software version, and you'll be able to change things like the language, whether you want it to send anonymous debug data, and whether you want it to ask you to force zero at weigh-in. You can change these things at any time without throwing off what's already been recorded for you, but the changes won't go into effect until your next weigh-in since the device is essentially sleeping between uses.

Escobedo L.,Autonomous University of Baja California | Tentori M.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | Quintana E.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | Favela J.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | Garcia-Rosas D.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education
IEEE Pervasive Computing | Year: 2014

Children with autism have difficulty sustaining their selective attention during therapy sessions. Attention management techniques involve the use of verbal and visual prompting, annotated on top of the physical objects used during therapies. Here, the authors explore how augmented reality helps integrate the physical and digital worlds, mimicking current strategies for attention management in autism. They describe their design decisions when developing the Mobile Object Identification System (Mobis), a mobile augmented reality application that lets teachers superimpose digital content on top of physical objects. The results of a five-week deployment study demonstrate that Mobis is useful and easy to use, increases the sustained and selective attention of children with autism, and elicits positive emotions during therapies. This article is part of a special issue on managing attention. © 2002-2012 IEEE.

Ringland K.E.,University of California at Irvine | Escobedo L.,Autonomous University of Baja California | Zalapa R.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | Tentori M.,Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | And 2 more authors.
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings | Year: 2014

Natural User Interfaces (NUI) offer an innovative approach to sensory integration therapies. We designed and developed SensoryPaint, a NUI with the capability of superimposing the user's reflection on a projected surface and "painting" this surface with balls of different textures and colors. We conducted a preliminary lab-based evaluation with 15 children with neurodevelopmental disorders in which they used the system for one hour. Our results demonstrate that whole-body interactions, such as those used in SensoryPaint, are promising as therapeutic tools for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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