Giants play like they did in April and May in rare July loss to Cubs

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Since the calendar turned to July, the Giants have played with such a high level of confidence that they arrive at the park on a daily basis with certainty.The Giants have started to believe it’s no longer a question of if they’ll take over a ballgame and emerge victorious, but rather when they’ll do so.On the rare day when a game-winning rally doesn’t materialize, when they turn in the kind of flat performance that was a staple of the first half of the season, it defies their …last_img read more

SA to build 200 000 houses in two years

first_img27 February 2014 The South African government will build 216 000 houses and connect 905 000 households to electricity over the next two years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament on Wednesday. This is in addition to other housing schemes the state has embarked on in partnership with the private sector and public-private development institutions. Delivering his fifth Budget speech in Cape Town, Minister Gordhan said the housing budget for the 2013/14 financial year was R143-billion. Between 1994 and 2013, the government built over 2.7-million houses across South Africa. The National Development Plan (NDP) recommends that responsibility for housing shift to the country’s municipalities in order to improve coordination. All metro municipalities have been directed to implement housing programmes. The Human Settlements spending focus over the next two years will be on transferring grants to provinces and municipalities to fund the delivery of low-income housing, the purchase of land to upgrade informal settlements, and the upgrade of some informal settlements, Gordhan said. The urban settlements development grant is expected to deliver more than 215 000 housing units and upgrade 92 000 services sites in informal settlements. The integrated city development grant, which is being introduced in this year’s Budget, will ensure that large, low-income communities on the urban edge are better connected to centres of economic and social activity through investments in public transport. The Treasury says municipalities will receive the grants on condition that they produce built environment plans and that these plans support better coordination of investments and are aligned to national development plans. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Off-The-Shelf Products Fuel The Future Of Tech At MIT

first_imgdan rowinski Epicenters of geekdom, where the future of technology are being built, exist in pockets across the United States. Yet, none drive the future quite like the geeks at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Media Lab, powered by students and professors often working on sponsorships by large brands or government grants, delves deep into aspects of technology that promise to fundamentally change the future. From 3D printing to the future of optics, holographic imaging to socially aware robots, there is a little something for everybody at one of MIT’s most progressive research centers. This 3D printer creates a foam-like material that could one day be the structural foundation of buildings.Yet, even in technology wonderland like the Media Lab, the innovation of the future is steeped in the building blocks of today. Robots, are powered by Android smartphones. Arduino processors for the do-it-yourself technologist are being built from textile materials, like fabric or paper. Cloud technology enables researchers to analyze large datasets with a speed and clarity never before available. Stereoscopic hologram images are built on the concepts like Pepper’s Ghost, developed in the 19th century. 3D image fields are being created by hacking Microsoft’s Kinect because they are cheap to acquire and implement.  Meet The DragonbotFor instance, take the Dragonbot (pictured right). This fuzzy little guy is an attempt towards a “socially aware robot” and its entire system, including its eyes and face, are powered by Android smartphones. By using a smartphone, researchers can leverage various sensors inside the device, like the camera and the touch screen interface, the microphone and the cellular connection. The Dragonbot could have many different purposes, including helping children learn a second language or assisting autistic kids with their speech issues. Imagine this scenario: you have a conversation with a Dragonbot in San Francisco (yes, you will be able to converse with these things eventually). It uses the camera in its smartphone brain to recognize your face and upload that recognition to a cloud server. You tell the Dragonbot something, perhaps that you are happy the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series. A month later you come to Boston and see a different Dragonbot. It can use its cellular connection to retrieve information from the cloud, recognize your face and ask about your feelings for how the Series turned out. That would be one smart little robot. Creepy Dragonbot prototype being developed at the mobile, dextrous, socially aware robotics department at MIT Media LabOff-The-Shelf ComponentsLet’s dig a little deeper: What functions currently available off-the-shelf from commercial companies make this robot possible?First, the smartphone and all the sensors and computing power that goes behind it. A quad-core smartphone is as powerful as the best laptop of 2000, not even including the sensors inside. The facial and speech recognition that the smartphone uses is available from companies like Google, Nuance and Facebook. The cellular connection that enables the Dragonbot to send and store information comes from the big mobile operators, like AT&T or Verizon. The cloud storage could come from any number of providers, such as Google, Apple, Oracle, Facebook or Amazon. Put all this together with the right algorithms and applications and you have the potential for an affordable robot with its own artificial intelligence that could provide distinct value to the world. This is no ordinary poster. Paper-based circuitry with conducive ink printed in silver could have a multitude of applications.The Dragonbot is just one example. All over the MIT Media Lab, off-the-shelf commercial technology is being used to create on futuristic concepts that promise to revolutionize our lives. The impact of innovations like smartphones and pervasive cloud computing are seen everywhere in the Media Lab. They are the building blocks of the next generation of technology, available simply by logging onto the Internet or walking down to your local Best Buy. Images by Dan Rowinski. Related Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#Future Tech#robotics center_img Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more