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Truong-Hong L.,University College Dublin | Laefer D.F.,UMG
Automation in Construction | Year: 2013

In tunneling, attempts at using remote sensing as a less expensive alternative to traditional surveying for creating computational models of masonry buildings for better damage prediction raise fundamental questions as to the necessary data quality, as there is a direct relationship between quality and acquisition costs. To understand the implications of such choices, 16 finite element models were devised to investigate the impact of window shape, brick orientation, window size, and the presence of lintels. Responses were considered with respect to gravity loads and excavation-induced subsidence. Permutations of three common window shapes were modeled as representative of Georgian brick structures. The base model was benchmarked against large-scale experimental work using non-linear analysis. This study proves that a few simple assumptions can be used in reducing the complexity of building façades for computation without generating major errors in structural response prediction. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Laefer D.F.,University College Dublin | Truong-Hong L.,UMG | Fitzgerald M.,UMG
Recent Patents on Computer Science | Year: 2011

With the rapidly increasing availability of laser scanning data and the growing pressure to use it as the basis for computational models, there has been heightened interest in quickly, cost-effectively, and accurately processing the resulting point cloud data sets so that they are compatible for importation into computational models. This paper presents traditional strategies for solid model generation and examines in detail innovations and continuing limitations of recent patents, newly published research, and some currently available commercial programs for the transformation of laser scanning point cloud data into solid models appropriate for finite element method meshing. The focus is on building facades. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source

Laefer D.F.,University College Dublin | Akter S.,UMG | McHale C.,UMG
Geotechnical Special Publication | Year: 2011

This paper is an investigation of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funding trends within America's research-active tenured and tenure-track, civil engineering community from 50 major, doctoral-granting institutions, with 5 schools examined in detail. Important questions are raised as to how funding patterns relate to rank and sub-discipline within Civil Engineering, and whether there is a causal link with publication rates. The paper presents key parameters with respect to issues that may be critical for tenure decisions at some institutions. They include total average number of awards per individual, the size of those awards normalized by named participant, and how these values have changed over the past nearly 40 years. These issues are considered for Geotechnical Engineering in comparison to other sub-disciplines within Civil Engineering. Funding breakdowns shows a higher reliance of Geotechnical engineers on traditional funding programs within NSF with a profoundly greater capacity to raise money at more senior levels, although these additional resources do not necessarily translate into increased journal publication rates. © 2011 ASCE. Source

Laefer D.F.,University College Dublin | Erkal A.,Post Doctoral Researcher | Cording E.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Long J.H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Hong L.T.,UMG
Journal of Testing and Evaluation | Year: 2010

Reduced-scale masonry testing offers advantages of lower costs and shorter schedules compared to full-scale testing, but achieving results reflective of full-scale behavior requires development and fulfillment of appropriate scaling relationships. In many model-scale experiments, geometric scaling occurs, but kinematic and/or dynamic similitude is not fully satisfied. This paper describes the theoretical basis and evolution of the equations necessary to achieve kinematic similitude for soil-structure testing at one-gravity for unreinforced masonry. Critical considerations relate to preventing the soil from being overloaded. By adopting a standard linear relationship of increased soil stiffness with depth, the controlling principle becomes the application of restricted scaled-loads throughout the entirety of the structure-soil system. As such, material strength and stiffness must be scaled accordingly to respond appropriately under the reduced stress.An example is provided for an adjacent excavation experiment with related empirical verification and computational quantification. © 2010 by ASTM International. Source

News Article | January 18, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/internet.xml

Now that SoundCloud has agreed in principle to a licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), the company appears to be on the road to take on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Tidal and other streaming subscription services in the fierce war for music streaming dominance. Can SoundCloud really compete? Last year, SoundCloud, the Berlin-based music streaming service essentially became a victim of its own success. Previously under the radar, the streamer hit it big, doubling the number of year-on-year streams accessed by listeners in 2015. The big three major music labels took notice and applied serious pressure on SoundCloud to ink licensing deals or face their legal wrath. The first of the big three to come on board was Warner Music Group (WMG), way back in November 2014. Those negotiations were facilitated by the fact that one of SoundCloud's chief executives was a former WMG bigwig, and the two sides quickly struck a deal that included a 5 percent equity stake for the label. Talks with UMD and Sony didn't go as smoothly, however, and last year the latter began actively removing its content from the service, including songs that were uploaded by Sony artists themselves. Meanwhile, UMG applied extra pressure on SoundCloud toward the end of 2015, threatening legal action if a deal wasn't done. Now UMG is finally in the fold, reportedly complete with an equity stake. With all the major publishers and big indies on board as well, Sony remains the lone holdout. Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud co-founder and CEO, says "we have no deal today with Sony and no timescale for when we will." Assuming a deal is eventually reached, the question is still "What's next for SoundCloud?" The company has experienced exponential user growth, but the same can't be said for its financial position, as it continues to bleed money. The plan is to launch a subscription service and to introduce advertising to the platform. But will SoundCloud's users accept the commercialization of a service that built its reputation by functioning as an artist-friendly underground music community? The company has already alienated many of its core users through its 2015 purging of content for licensing reasons. The move, however, seemingly overreached into recordings that were fully owned by the posters themselves. Some of those users have already turned to alternatives like Mixcloud, and once the big three labels start making changes, it appears that the underground electronic dance music (EDM) community - who arguably put SoundCloud on the map - may abandon ship and move en masse to a less commercial, and probably less legally sound alternative. Will listeners be willing to pay for a service they have grown accustomed to receiving for free? While subscription services receive a lot of media attention, the reality is that paid music streaming only accounts for a mere 6 percent of all current music listening. SoundCloud listeners are an especially tech savvy and active listening group. It appears that SoundCloud has a huge challenge on its hands, balancing the interests of various corporate entities without alienating its current user base, whose fickleness has left former Web giants like Napster and MySpace in the dust for the next big - or free - thing.

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