Lenovo&#039s new push into VR starts with this Legion laptop

The Legion Y720 retains the look of Lenovo’s Ideapad Y-series, but ditches that milquetoast branding in favor of one thing a little more exciting — greater for competing with other Pc makers’ gaming brands, or so I am told. The $ 1,399 base model comes with a 15.six-inch show and an Intel i5-7300NQ processor, with options for up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB of storage (if you happen to be down with classic challenging drives) NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060. If you require much more pixels, you can move up into a complete 4K show as well, though Lenovo didn’t mention how considerably more that upgrade would cost.. The list of add-ons are fairly fascinating, as well: there’s an Xbox One particular controller receiver built-in so you can ditch that pesky dongle, and the Y720 is the initial Pc with Dolby Atmos sound, which is not a surprise if you have kept tabs on Lenovo’s tablets. And the pièce de résistance? You can shell out a small additional money for multicolor backlighting for these exceptional keys. (Those keys, by the way, have some seriously superb travel.)

Lenovo's VR Future: Hands On

Throw in a trio of USB 3. ports, a Thunderbolt/USB Sort-C port and a four-cell battery that is rated for about five hours on a single charge, and you’ve got a nicely place collectively package. What makes the Y720 such a potentially excellent VR machine is what Lenovo calls the Entertainment Hub. Long story quick, it’s a bit of software that acts as a media library where you can upscale motion pictures and games for use in VR. I strapped on a Vive headset to put the Entertainment Hub by means of its paces, and the final results were greater than anticipated… even if the approach is a little unorthodox. After you’re all strapped in, videos play in a virtual theater of sorts, exactly where you happen to be surrounded by empty seats (comprehensive with cup holders). Your “seat” is a number of rows back, offering a strong vantage point as the film of your decision unfolds. The impact fits effectively adequate when you happen to be watching correct films but I could see it being a tiny weird for other sorts of video.

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VW to pour $200 million more into an anti-pollution fund

It really is not certain what will take place to the vehicles themselves, although a judge has given a December 19th deadline. VW may possibly end up acquiring back 20,000 of the three-liter cars and fixing the emissions of the remaining 60,000.

These autos (which consist of Audi and Porsche models) never violate American emissions laws really so egregiously as the 2-liter models. They “only” exceed the limits by up to nine occasions versus 40 instances on the two-liter machines. Nevertheless, it really is clear that regulators want to account for every single instance of emissions abuse, not just the most apparent examples.

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Nanoloop&#039s cartridge turns your Game Boy into an analog synth

The Nanoloop Mono packs in 3 analog filters and a noise generator on its hybrid sound chip. There’s also a step sequencer with per step control of the parameters and eight memory banks than can each hold 15 patterns per channel. Whilst the card works very best with the OG Game Boy, it will also offer some noise when utilised with the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Colour. Nevertheless, Nanoloop says sound good quality suffers with these gadgets. It doesn’t perform at all with the Game Boy Advance, but the company makes an additional card for that handheld: the Nanoloop two.. While you decide regardless of whether or not to turn your collector’s item into a music making machine, the video below shows the Mono in action.

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Falling Into the Wormhole Connecting Physics and Education

Ahead of Helen Quinn was a well-known theoretical physicist, she believed about becoming a teacher. Now, in the second act of her career, she has come full circle, helping to craft the Next Generation Science Standards, which have been adopted by 17 states plus the District of Columbia. But her path to becoming each a globe-class physicist and a leader of science education reform was one particular she practically didn’t take.

Quanta Magazine


Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent division of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences

Quinn, who is now 73, grew up in Australia, where she had to decide on an academic concentrate by her sophomore year in higher college. Her father was an engineer, and family conversations usually revolved around how factors work. “The kind of dilemma solving that I advocate as valuable for learning science was part of our family members culture,” she said.

She recalled how a high school teacher encouraged her to turn into a mathematician, telling her, “Because you’re so lazy, you will never ever resolve a problem the difficult way. You usually have to figure out a clever way.” But in the 1950s, she said, “the concept that a lady could be an engineer was nonexistent. I as soon as walked into the engineering college at the University of Melbourne, and 1 guy stated, ‘Look what’s got in here,’ and the other 1 says, ‘You consider it’s real?’”

Following Quinn transferred to Stanford University in 1962, her adviser encouraged her to contemplate graduate college, even although, as he explained, “graduate schools are generally reluctant to accept females since they get married and they don’t finish. But I don’t believe we want to worry about that with you.” Which made her wonder: “Is he telling me I’m never ever going to get married?”

Helen Quinn in her Stanford Linear Accelerator Center office around 1977.Helen Quinn in her Stanford Linear Accelerator Center workplace around 1977.Courtesy of Helen Quinn

Quinn applied to graduate college, but she hedged her bets. “There have been no women in the faculty at Stanford at that time in the physics division,” she said. “I didn’t see myself there.” She believed she would “apply for Ph.D. programs because very good universities do not offer master’s degrees in physics, but truly I’d do a master’s degree and then go take education courses and be a higher school teacher.”

Instead, she went on to make seminal contributions to our understanding of basic particle interactions. In the 1970s, she worked with Roberto Peccei on a proposed answer to the robust charge-parity (CP) issue. The puzzle has to do with why a kind of symmetry amongst matter and antimatter is broken in weak interactions, which drive nuclear decay, but not in robust interactions, which hold matter together. Peccei and Quinn’s resolution, known as the Peccei-Quinn mechanism, implies a new kind of symmetry that predicts the existence of an “axion” field, and hence a hypothetical axion particle. Axions have been invoked in theories of supersymmetry and cosmic inflation, and have been proposed as a candidate for dark matter. Physicists are looking high and low for the elusive particle.

Her work on the robust CP problem and other contributions to particle physics have been recognized with prestigious awards which includes the Dirac Medal, the J.J. Sakurai Prize, the Klein Medal and the Compton Medal. Meanwhile her attention has shifted back to science education. Beginning in the late 1980s she led the science education outreach effort at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and she later chaired the National Investigation Council’s Board on Science Education, which created the framework that led to the Subsequent Generation Science Requirements. Quanta Magazine caught up with Quinn at final year’s International Teacher-Scientist Partnership Conference in San Francisco. An edited and condensed version of the conversation follows.

QUANTA MAGAZINE: What was it like entering the field of particle physics in the 1960s?

HELEN QUINN: It was a quite exciting time. The issue we now get in touch with the Regular Model was just starting to take shape, and SLAC had just been constructed at Stanford. In truth, the explanation I became a particle physicist is most likely since there had been so a lot of people around me who had been so excited about the science. But I never at any point stated, “I’m going to be a physicist. That is what I want to do.” It just sort of grew on me as I discovered much more about it.

You did a year of student teaching.

I did my Ph.D. in 4 years, and it was an exciting piece of function that got noticed. In the course of graduate school, I’d married. My husband was one more physicist, and we took postdocs in Germany. Coming back, my husband was presented a faculty position at Tufts, and I stated, “Well, if there’s any town in the country where there ought to be yet another job, it’s Boston because there are seven universities in the Boston location, or possibly more.” But I didn’t get a job.

I believed, “OK, I’ll fall back and I’ll be a teacher,” and I took education courses at Tufts and did the student teaching.

Then what happened?

For the duration of that semester when I was carrying out the student teaching, I occurred to run into a single of my graduate school friends, Joel Primack, who was then a junior fellow at Harvard, and he stated, “Why do not you come talk to us at Harvard sometime?” At that moment, a piece of research came along which was really basic to the development of the Common Model. Gerard ’t Hooft and Martinus Veltman [who shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in physics] supplied a technique for calculating the mathematics in gauge theories, which underlie the Common Model. So I began working with my pal and 1 other junior faculty member at Harvard, Tom Appelquist, on applying that strategy to what we contact one particular-loop calculation.

Before the Regular Model, there was a problem with weak interaction theory. You could do the very first-order calculation, but the next order (the one particular-loop calculation) was infinite. So the theory was not well-defined and not steady. We did the very first finite a single-loop calculation of weak interactions using the new theory. At that point I realized this is drawing me in a lot more than the teaching.

You didn’t like teaching?

I loved the teaching. I hated supervising study hall and the intellectual atmosphere of the high college. So it was not the teaching that put me off as considerably as it was the intellectual draw of anything truly thrilling going on straight in my field, in my location of interest in physics, that essentially was the beginning of the improvement of the Regular Model. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.

Later in your career, why did you become involved in trying to repair science education?

Right after I was elected to the National Academy of Sciences my background in education outreach work meant I was invited to join the Board on Science Education. The opportunity this offered to be involved with science education a lot more broadly was appealing, but a lot more than that it was a likelihood to discover some exciting things about teaching and learning. As a scientist, if you believe you know anything without obtaining carried out any study on it, you most likely do not know. So I mentioned, “Who does understand what’s effective in teaching science?”

There was a study named “Taking Science to School” for which I was portion of a committee with folks who research understanding. I was able to find out how they studied the query: What is most efficient in teaching science? That was the beginning of my education about research on studying.

The challenge for me was to recognize what the other people in the room have been arguing about. At the beginning of that study, I was the physicist, and these have been education researchers. And they were obtaining an argument, and I did not know what they were arguing about. I couldn’t discern the differences in their positions since I didn’t know the history.

Later, after the Common Core came along and 47 states adopted widespread requirements in math and language arts, the Carnegie Corporation of New York came to the Board on Science Education and said, “We should be performing this for science, too.” If numerous states are performing common issues in math and language arts, why not think about what they could do in common in science?

You have been the chair of the Board on Science Education by that time. What locations of science education did you consider needed to increase?

The common conclusion genuinely is embodied in the “Framework for K-12 Science Education” we developed: You have to engage the students in undertaking items in order for the studying to turn into meaningful. Just memorizing the knowledge that other individuals have produced doesn’t genuinely lead to transferable knowledge. The big issue is information that you can apply.

The question is: How do you alter understanding so that the expertise becomes a lot much more integrated into the way a particular person approaches troubles outdoors of college?

What was the greatest challenge for you in developing these requirements?

The challenge, but also the enjoyable, of undertaking it is to try and take a group of people, all of whom have knowledge in diverse areas, and come up with a frequent view that is primarily based solidly adequate on everyone’s experience that other people will get into it and carry it forward. And I consider we succeeded with the Framework. Science teachers are typically enthusiastic about the picture we’re placing just before them. When I speak to scientists, they’re generally enthusiastic about this way of describing science. So the synthesis operates, but reaching it is a group work. Chairing such a group and bringing it to consensus is a challenging but rewarding procedure.

And so in some sense, the typical view that came out of the Framework became the Next Generation Science Standards.

The standards are based on the Framework, and it assists to study the Framework to understand the intent of them. Requirements are, by their quite nature, understanding in pieces. A standard has to be some thing exactly where you can say: Can the student do that or not?

Primarily, requirements are the basis on which you build assessments, and they’re a set of guideposts for teachers and curriculum developers. So requirements are in reality not the way to convey the bigger vision. They’re all the little bits and pieces students need to know or be capable to do, and in and of themselves, they don’t make sense. Unless they’re constructed on a bigger vision and unless you have some idea of what that vision is, reading the standards is confusing.

So the Framework is the vision.

The Framework is the vision. The requirements are a set of stakes in the ground. If students can do this in third grade, if students can do that in fifth grade, if students can do that in 12th grade, then they have discovered enough science.

Helen Quinn giving her Dirac Medal lecture in 2000.Helen Quinn providing her Dirac Medal lecture in 2000.Courtesy of Helen Quinn

You describe the Next Generation Science Requirements as three-dimensional science finding out. What does that imply?

What I imply is that to find out science, you have to find out core concepts from the disciplines of science. [In physical science, these concepts incorporate matter and its interactions, motion and stability, and power.] But you also have to learn how these ideas were arrived at, what scientists do, the practices of science, and the practices of engineering, each in order to recognize the nature of science and in order to engage in those practices to make the learning your personal. That is a second dimension to science understanding. And finally, the third dimension is that there are some massive concepts which you want in order to know exactly where you’re going and to know which types of concerns to ask when you are looking at a new issue. These are concepts such as the reality that explanations in science are about cause and impact mechanisms, or that, in order to decipher these mechanisms, it is beneficial to define and make a model for the technique in which a phenomenon occurs. And these huge concepts are really often not taught. Students are sort of expected to get them as a side effect of performing factors more than and more than once again.

And you call that third dimension “crosscutting.” Is that meant to imply that you’re cutting across distinct disciplines?

Proper. These are the concepts which apply no matter whether you’re carrying out physics, chemistry, biology, earth science or any other area of science. These will be valuable lenses to appear at a issue with.

Is not it harder to assess no matter whether students have learned crosscutting concepts and the procedure of science?

Queensland and other states in Australia in fact do this. Some part of the state assessment is an external exam, but portion of it is overall performance assessments in the classroom that are graded by the teachers. First of all, this strategy trusts teachers as experts, but secondly, it has a cross-verify technique. If there’s an imbalance among the external testing portion and the teacher’s grading of the in-class element, then inspectors come and they watch. So there’s a entire structure created about possessing the teachers be component of a expert technique and monitoring that program.

In the US, we have adopted a method of drop-in-from-the-sky external testing exactly where the teachers play no role in it. That is actually a extremely inefficient model since the teachers know a lot more about the students than any drop-in test can uncover. Assessments that drop in from the sky are made to be low-cost and to be scored by machine it’s really restricted. Largely it just tests what has been memorized. And getting our whole education program developed to have students be able to get higher scores on these tests is counterproductive. It drives all the incorrect behaviors into the classroom. So we need new varieties of testing tasks to test regardless of whether students have accomplished these new three-dimensional standards and to drive the teaching and understanding behaviors that we know are more productive.

Now that the requirements are out there, what are you focusing on?

My term on the Board on Science Education is up, so I no longer have that distinct platform to work from. I go exactly where I’m invited to give talks, to sort of wave the flag and talk at the county level or the state level about what the standards are and why they were developed, and to aid men and women understand how to implement them.

When you talk to teachers, what suggestions do you give them about creating science more fascinating for students?

There are two factors: first, developing studying around observable events or phenomena. And, second, acquiring students engaged with a question prior to you give them the answer. We all get considerably much more interested in issues if we have a question about it than if somebody is telling us anything that we haven’t any reason to know we want to know.

What’s the endgame?

I want educated individuals. I want citizens who can appear at a issue in their community and feel like a scientist about the component of the dilemma that is science. I want high school and college graduates with capabilities that employers want, whether or not they come from well-educated families or not. I want them to be capable to take on a problem and resolve it because that is what employers are looking for. They want you to be able to work on a team to be provided some details, interpret it and use it to not have to be told: “This is what you do tomorrow.” And all of these issues require anything far more than just becoming in a position to repeat back what you have been told. So that is exactly where I’m going. I consider it is a massive equity problem.

Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to boost public understanding of science by covering investigation developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.

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Disney&#039s 1-legged robot will hop its way into your heart

Tigger-bot, nonetheless, can naturally bounce on its personal. The secret lies in its leg mechanism that the researchers call “Linear Elastic Actuator in Parallel” or LEAP. It uses compression springs to help the structure’s weight and a voice coil that pushes against the ground. We’re positive it aids that the entire leg can move forward, backward, proper and left alternatively of staying rigid.

It will most likely take a extended, extended time just before you can get an actual bouncy Tigger toy based on this style, even though. Disney hasn’t even admitted that it’s creating a robotic version of the friendly feline. For now, you can watch the video under and picture the hopping machine as Pooh’s friend, happily bouncing on his tail.

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Will the coming robot nanny era turn us into technophiles?

Robots intrigue us. We all like them. But most of us do not enjoy them. That may significantly modify more than the subsequent 10 years as the “robot nanny” makes its way into our households.

In as little time as a decade, inexpensive robots that can bottle-feed babies, change diapers and place a youngster to sleep may be right here. The human-machine bond that a new generation of youngsters grows up with may possibly be unbreakable. We might finish up actually loving our machines nearly like we do our mothers and fathers.

I’ve currently noticed some of this bonding in action. I have a four-foot interactive Meccanoid robot aboard my Immortality Bus, which I’ve occasionally utilized for my presidential campaign. The robot can do about 1,000 functions, such as basic interaction with folks, like speaking, answering queries and producing wisecracks. When my five-year-old rides with me on the bus, she adores it. Right after getting introduced to it, she obsessively wanted to watch Inspector Gadget videos and read books on robots.

My two daughters (the other one particular is two years old) have always been near technology, and each were able to successfully navigate YouTube watching videos on iPhones by the time they had been 12 months old. But, although my youngsters enjoy the iPhone, and they want to use it often, it doesn’t bond them to technology in a maternal sense like the Meccanoid robot does. More importantly, the smartphone does not bond them to technology in an anthropomorphic sense — where one provides technology human attributes, like personalities.

Robot nannies will replace genuine nannies like the automobile replaced the horse and cart.

My kids instinctively know the iPhone is a tool. But Meccanoid is a friend. If you kick the robot, leave it in the rain or lock it away in the closet, my kids will freak out. To them, the robot is individual — and the adore is true.

If some of this reminds you of Rosie the Robot — the cleaning, cooking nanny robot from the Jetsons — you’re not alone. Humans will quickly frequently engage with machines as fellow companions in life, giving psychologists, anthropologists and Congress new tips to contemplate. There is currently chatter all across the internet in the transhumanist neighborhood about humans wanting the right to marry machines — and all that goes with that. In fact, in the Transhumanist Bill of Rights I delivered to Washington, DC, we explicitly aim to give future conscious beings personhood — as nicely as other rights covered by the 1948-adopted United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In spite of the thorniness of some of the concerns amongst humans and robots, the explanation we are entering this robot age is due to the fact of 1 simple reality: functionality. Robots will make our lives far easier. In fact, the robot nanny is a prime example: It will be adored by parents — and most likely considerably much more so than the human nannies who are recognized to contact in sick, show up to work late and, on occasion, sue their employers when they hurt themselves on the job. Robot nannies will replace actual nannies like the automobile replaced the horse and cart — enabling parents a lot new cost-free time and opportunity to pursue careers.

One major aspect going for the development of robot nannies is their cost effectiveness. I’ve been either watching my youngsters or hiring nannies for the final 5 years. About $ 200,000 later (which is what 8-hour weekday childcare fees in San Francisco for five years), it’s protected to say a robot nanny is not going to cost as significantly as I’ve spent. And when my youngsters are old sufficient and no longer want instant supervision, I’ll be left with the robot to sell or give to a loved ones in need.

But important questions stay: Will some robots be permitted to watch youngsters when parents go out for the evening or off to perform — and other robots not? Who will make that determination? The parent? The manufacturer? The government?

Will robots that can execute CPR, place out fires, squish poisonous spiders and perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking kid be authorized even though other people are not? Will robots that can detect smoke and carbon monoxide, where other folks can’t, make the “nanny-worthy” grade?

And then come the queries ethicists and programmers are already facing with driverless vehicles. If an autonomous vehicle is forced into a option to hit a young household of 5 or an old man, what does it decide on? Nanny robots may 1 day be programmed with equivalent guidelines and values.

But what if a robot nanny is watching twins, and each start off choking at the same time? Which youngster will it decide on to aid very first? Will programmers allow parents to program which kid need to be helped very first?

The queries are endless. I suspect, like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Site visitors Security Administration’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations, a robot equivalent will have to be established.

It’s been years given that the American household has gotten a new fixture that all households have to have. One particular of the final major ones was the pc — and now nearly 85 percent of American households have 1. I suspect nanny robots will be a single of the next commonplace products we have in our properties. And our love for them will develop as they influence and play an integral part of the next generation’s upbringing.

Featured Image: artisticco/Getty Photos

Futuretown&#039s modular platform turns VR into simulator rides

Futuretown 5D Totalmotion official trailer

Even although Futuretown — backed by former HTC CEO Peter Chou — started off as a studio dedicated to the HTC Vive platform, its 5D Totalmotion is open platform and supports two other VR systems out of the box: Oculus Rift and 3Glasses from China. In truth, the company’s making use of the Rift for its 5D Totalmotion demos at the Tokyo Game Show, in order to maximize the amount of usable space at the booth. CTO Justin Liebregts explained that if all the games ran on the Vive, his team would want to set up partitions amongst each setup due to prospective interference from the passive Lighthouse trackers, whereas the Rift doesn’t have this concern because it makes use of active trackers that are plugged into the Computer.

Yang said he’s aiming to launch the 5D Totamotion within the initial half of 2017. That stated, all four of the aforementioned titles have been playable at the show. I began off with Wave Breaker: Surf VR which got me surfing from a rapidly-flowing river all the way to the big waves on the sea. It was, to my surprise, physically intense. I wrongly assumed that I would not require the handlebar, but sooner or later I learned that I required to do a lot of twisting, which is a excellent factor that the standing module comes with shoe bindings à la snowboards. I was also offered a Woojer haptic sensor vest to place on in order to simulate the sensation of rush, which Certain, I kept missing the balloons, but it was nonetheless fun and proved to be fantastic way to operate out. I was already sweating a bit after just this 1 game.

I was then provided a possibility to recover by riding on a horse and an eagle in Stallion Adventures: Horse Riding VR. Admittedly, I freaked out a small when the 1st cheetah briefly chased me, but it turned out that the horse and the eagle had been on a fixed track due to the game’s early-stage development. The only handle I had over was the horse’s speed: I merely had to tug the riding module’s rope and bob in sync with the horse’s movement to accelerate, and then pull the rope back to slow down. Hopefully the final game will allow more freedom to discover the virtual globe.

Later on I checked out Whiteout: Ski VR which let me ski down a mountain in any way I wanted (and also knock out other virtual skiers for a laugh). Even though I’m no professional in skiing, I want the game had a devoted module that would permit my feet to move separately like in real life, rather than using the identical module I employed for surfing earlier. But that’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable.

Last but not least, I hopped on the motorcycle module for Infinity Rider: Motorcycle VR. I appreciated how this module provided a realistic handlebar with brake handles and acceleration grip on the right, but the all round body did not give sufficient tilt for turning (Chou assured me that this will be addressed in an upcoming iteration of hardware). Also, for some explanation, I swiftly felt sick and had to hop off as soon as the game ended. My guess is it was to do with a combination of visual delay and motion delay, but there was also the possibility of me not acquiring sufficient rest following the three earlier games. Hopefully Futuretown can repair these troubles, as this distinct ride has a lot of potential — just envision riding a speeder bike in a Star Wars VR games.

It’ll naturally be a although before we see the 5D Totalmotion in public locations. Whilst there are already other types of VR rides in malls and arcades across Asia, Chou, who also serves as the Honorary Chairman at Futuretown, claims the 5D Totalmotion is already far more compelling — even much more so than these at Tokyo’s VR Zone, according to feedback he received — and is also significantly less complicated to deploy. He isn’t worried about getting comparatively late nor potentially becoming copied by other individuals. “We have soul. Men and women who copy have no soul… By the time we ship the products, they will be so much far better [than other individuals].”

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