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Brisbane, Australia

McGregor G.B.,Information Technology
Phytotaxa | Year: 2013

This volume provides the first detailed account of the Chroococcales of north-eastern Australia. It provides keys, morphological and ecological data for 6 families, 33 genera and 112 species, and photomicrographs and original illustrations to enable the identification of natural populations based on stable and recognizable characters observable with the aid of light microscopy. Distributional data are based on extensive surveys at 270 sites representing the major freshwater habitats including rivers and streams, palustrine and lacustrine wetlands, thermal springs, and man-made reservoirs in Queensland and the Northern Territory as well as a review of the Australian phycological literature. © 2013 Magnolia Press.

De Causmaecker P.,K.U. Leuven Campus Kortrijk | Vanden Berghe G.,Information Technology
Journal of Scheduling | Year: 2011

Personnel rostering has received ample attention in recent years. Due to its social and economic relevance and due to its intrinsic complexity, it has become a major subject for scheduling and timetabling researchers. Among the personnel rostering problems, nurse rostering turned out to be particularly complex and difficult. In this paper, we propose a notation for nurse rostering problems along the lines of the α|β|γ notation for scheduling. The system allows extension as well as refinement. It is the aim of the notation to facilitate problem description, classification and systematic study. It enables authors to position the problems in the vaster body of research on the subject. By developing this notation for nurse rostering, we hope that an extension of it will be applicable to a broader domain of personnel rostering. © 2010 The Author(s).

Here, Cordula Robinson, associate teaching professor in the Geographic Information Technology program, who has worked at the German Aerospace Center and studied the crustal dichotomy of Mars, explains why we should all take note of our nearest interstellar neighbor—even if it might forever remain out of human reach. So far, astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 planets orbiting stars beyond our sun. What, then, makes the discovery of Proxima b so intriguing to astronomers, and why should all of us take note? It is Earth-like, rocky, perhaps with an atmosphere, and orbits our sun's nearest star. Most exciting of all is that it may be warm enough for liquid water to be stable. Liquid water means the planet may be habitable and that life outside of our solar system is a possibility. It says we really might not be alone. When we think about the cosmos—and the expansiveness of the universe—it almost defies intuition that the Earth is home to its only life form. Yet direct, tangible, and predictable evidence to support such speculation has evaded us until now. Proxima B has the potential to change that and open inquiry into extraterrestrial existence all with a scientific premise. It's quite thrilling. I suspect it will jump-start the search for other similar, new planets around stars close to us, with the idea of exploring the potential for life beyond Earth. As of now, a journey from Earth to Proxima b would take more than 80,000 years. And it wouldn't even be there by the time we arrived. As a New Yorker story explained, "in the next eighty thousand years, Proxima Centauri and its planet will have moved two light-years farther from Earth, adding another forty thousand years to the trip." Do you see a future for our species out there in the cosmos, a time when humans will live not on Earth but on another planet, out among the stars? Yes, it's a long way off but still quite close to us in astronomical terms. It is 4.2 light-years away, meaning when astronomers look at it they are seeing it as it was 4.2 years ago and not as it is today. That is how long it takes the light to reach us. By comparison, it takes eight minutes from the light of the sun to reach the Earth. Astronomy is so fascinating in that respect. It offers a way for us to look back in time. I think the idea of humans inhabiting other planets, and finding new neighbors, is what motivates and inspires laymen, scientists, and revolutionaries alike, from you and me to Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. It engages and excites the imagination. It can be humbling to realize that we are less than wee dots in the grander scheme of things and wonderful too. We shouldn't forget the critics, however, who recognize that such ideas should not come without reservation—for instance, that we recognize our footprint on the Earth before we venture forth with boundless enthusiasm and proliferation. In April, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking unveiled a $100 million initiative, called Breakthrough Starshot, to design a tiny, light-propelled spacecraft that could reach the Alpha Centauri system in 20 to 30 years. And The New York Times noted that Proxima b's discovery could provide the impetus for planet-finding telescopes. Even if humans never find out what it's like to live on another planet, isn't there value in harnessing scientists' cosmic curiosity to create new technology aimed at enhancing our understanding of the world around us? If Proxima b is a real planet, a trip there is not out of the question. It would certainly require technological advances to get there faster than what we're used to—it took a decade to reach Pluto and this is 8,000 times farther away. Let us see what the future holds. Scientific giants like Steve Hawking, with financial backing by Yuri Milner, who are pushing the envelope and pressing ahead may be sufficient impetus to leap forward and inspire a new space race into the "infinite universe." It may help to reinvigorate the energy of Apollo days that so inspired the world during the tumultuous times of the 20th century. The Apollo missions made staggering contributions to current-day technology, and with them brought huge added value, from Teflon and solar panels, to electronics and computing systems, to the development of liquid-cooled garments that firefighters use. Even Intel was founded. It was definitely one of the greatest engineering and scientific episodes of all time, when things never thought of before became realized. Our natural curiosity, alongside the implications that Proxima brings with respect to extraterrestrial life, may unleash such potential again and reinvigorate and inspire new "breakthroughs." Explore further: Hubble's new shot of Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighbor

Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. continues to be indignant about its flagship Freedom 251 device despite various accusations from different parties. Earlier controversies that surrounded the release of the $4 Freedom 251 smartphone include rebranded Adcom smartphones distributed to media personnel during the phone's debut and the company's rather ambiguous and vague way of explaining how their phones can be priced so cheaply, not to menion their company is in the government's Make in India initiative. Now, a first information report (FIR) has been filed against Ringing Bells by Kirit Somaiya, leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. The complaint accuses Ringing Bells of "cheating" as the company is allegedly violating Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology (IT) Acts. Somaiya believes the pricing of the phone is just not realistic and is accusing the company of committing fraud. The given specifications and features of the phone greatly exceed the selling price of the Freedom 251. Officials are assembling a team to investigate the matter after an initial report found the FIR had enough grounds to proceed. Ringing Bells has been required to submit documents for the inquiries pointed out in the FIR. The company states it is willing to oblige and it is in full cooperation with any government officials who need clarification from their side. Ringing Bells is seemingly ready to face and disprove any accusation. The company has also previously changed the mode of payments for preorders to a cash-on-delivery basis to further legitimize their business. Payments that had already been made were refunded. Such payments had been made through 3rd party banks and were held in escrow. In spite of these allegations directed at the company, not including all the assumptions and negative publicity, Ringing Bells seems unfazed. It promises to release the first batch of phones that will be delivered to users by the end of June 2016. Candidates were picked on a first come, first served basis and a status update on their company's Facebook page announced that they had sent out texts and e-mails to the users who had been picked. An estimated 50 lakh or 5 million units of the smartphone are expected to be sold both online and offline.

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Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« German team doubles activity of water electrolysis catalysts for H2 production with monolayer of copper on platinum | Main | Government of Alberta awarding $10M to SBI Bioenergy for production of drop-in hydrocarbon fuels; funds from carbon levy » Audi Electronic Venture GmbH (AEV), a fully owned Audi subsidiary, is holding the second Audi Autonomous Driving Cup from 22-24 March 2016. Eight university teams will take part in the competition at the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt. The 1:8 scale automated-drive Audi Q5 models will face a challenging circuit, with prize money of €10,000 awaiting the winners. Taking basic software supplied by Audi as the starting point, the teams have created their own software architecture to process the sensor data, interpret situations correctly and control the car accordingly. The aim is that the electric-drive model car should negotiate the circuit automatically as fast as possible, with a minimum of faults. The design of the circuit echoes the real-life conditions encountered on the road. The cars will have to avoid obstructions automatically, approach junctions with crossing traffic safely while observing the road signs, and follow other vehicles at a safe distance in flowing traffic. The challenges also include performing a left turn across oncoming traffic, precision parking maneuvers and an emergency brake application when obstructions suddenly appear. The students will be building on the findings and functions of the previous year’s competition. The complexity of the challenge will therefore rise year by year. Points are deducted for accidents, lost time and imprecise execution. The compulsory part is followed by a freestyle element; for the final day of the competition, the teams can present an additional task for their model auto. A presentation of the development philosophy also contributes to the final score. The team with the most points will receive EUR €10,000, the second-placed team €5,000 and the third-placed €1,000. Audi presented each of the university teams, comprising a maximum of five students, with the basic software and two identical model cars on 6 October 2015. The plastic body of the blue Audi Q5 conceals a huge amount of technology. The main sensor used for the high-tech model cars is a color camera with range imaging. As on a real automobile, it detects the road surface, traffic signs, obstructions and other road users in front of the model car. It is complemented by ten ultrasound sensors: five at the front, three at the rear and one on each side. Their detection range of between two centimeters (0.8 in) and four meters (13.1 ft) makes it possible to identify the surroundings precisely even when traveling at speed. An acceleration sensor registers changes of direction by the model car and, like all other systems, sends this information in real time to the central on-board computer with high-speed quad-core processor. This setup mirrors the future electronics architecture of Audi. A central driver assistance controller unit (zFAS) in it evaluates sensor data, computes a model of the driving environment and supplies the information to all assistance systems. The eight teams are: The participants are mostly masters students of Information Technology and Mathematics. The competition also gives the students an opportunity to establish initial contact with Audi as a potential employer. The company offers students internships, graduate thesis openings and attractive access schemes for graduates. Audi is cooperating with more than 30 partner universities worldwide and promoting highly qualified young talent: 140 doctoral candidates are currently pursuing their doctorates in research projects funded by Audi.

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