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December 19, 2012

8 Math talks to blow your mind

Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathtaking life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzles both solved and unsolvable and even some still waiting for solutions.

Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs:
When Ron Eglash first saw an aerial photo of an African village, he couldn't rest until he knew - were the fractals in the layout of the village coincidence, or were the forces of mathematics and culture colliding in unexpected ways? Here, he tells of his travels around the continent in search of an answer.

How big is infinity?
There are more whole numbers than there are even numbers... right? Actually, they aren't. This TED-Ed talk makes it crystal clear why not, in a lesson on the infinite infinities and math's unanswerable questions.

Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic"
A whole team of calculators is no match for Arthur Benjamin, as he does astounding mental math in the blink of an eye. But he's not too worried you'll steal his show,  he says, and so he's willing to share his secret in this mesmerizing talk.

Scott Rickard: The beautiful math behind the ugliest music
What makes a piece of music beautiful? Pattern and repetition  says Scott Rickard, as he sets out to create just the opposite - a piece mathematically calculated to be totally devoid of repetition. Listen if you dare.

Magret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral
The intricate forms of a coral reef can only be expressed through hyperbolic geometry -- and the only way humans can model it is by crocheting  Margaret Wertheim and her crew of crocheters engage the abstract and turn this traditional feminine handicraft into a large-scale environmental statement.

Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals and the art of roughness
The world is based on roughness, explains legendary mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. From cauliflower to the human lungs, he shows us objects that defy traditional measurements and consistently inspire curiosity and wonder.

Michael Mitchell: A clever way to estimate enormous numbers
Have you ever tried to guess how many pieces of candy there are in a jar? Physicist Enrico Fermi was very good at problems like these. A guide on how to make reasonable guesses on huge numbers by using the power of 10.

Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations
Physicist Geoffrey West sees an urgent need for a scientific theory of cities, and he processes we look to biology. Using the scaling principles that govern living things, he plots the way that everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - increases as cities grow.

December 18, 2012

How Can An Electronic Device Charge Wirelessly?

Are you one of those users that are fed up with your smartphone's battery life depleting quickly with no power socket available to plug in your charger? Most of us will have heard of these power mat type devices, which allow you to place on the table and have it charge without needing to plug a cable in. There are new developments on this front - Witricity, are developing a new technology that can charge your electronic devices wirelessly. The creators of this revolutionary technology are claiming that you won't even have to remove your electronic device from your suitcase or handbag to charge! Furthermore, you will be able to charge multiple electronic devices at once. This article focuses on and explains the science that is leading to the creation of the wireless charger. 


Nikola Tesla, an inventor and electrical engineer, in the early twentieth century first postulated that it is possible to transmit electricity through the air. This scientific concept led to the formulation of the 'resonant magnetic coupling' or 'magnetic induction' process which the wireless charging technology is based on. For example, magnetic induction is utilized for recharging electric toothbrushes. The base of the toothbrush has a magnetic coil that creates a magnetic field. In the toothbrush, a second coil encapsulates some of the magnetic field which generates an electric current. However, in this particular scenario, the power transfer between primary coil to secondary coil needs to be performed at a close proximity for it to function.

Due to recent developments and practical applications of this science, the wireless charging technology has been designed to effectively charge objects that are around three or four feet away - even farther - from the primary source of electricity. Marin Soljacic, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is responsible for formulating Witricity's revolutionary technology. Prof Soljacic and his colleagues managed to extend the length of induction by amending the structure of the magnetic coils that create oscillating magnetic fields. They successfully engineered the magnetic coil that plugs into an outlet to resonate at the same frequency as the companion coil embedded in the electronic device. As a result static energy is transmitted from the wireless receptor pads in the charger through the air to effectively charge up batteries in nearby electronic devices. Professor Jason W. Fleischer who has no financial affiliation to Witricity  but has research is in electromagnetics and optics claims that this novel technology is a 'better form of induction'. Prof Fleischer elaborates that electronic devices will no longer have to be directly connected or placed in a certain position to recharge.

Now with the Science component figured out, how would the wireless charger work in a day life? In a typical scenario, a power transmitter could be installed in a room and started charging your device when you enter it. It could also be placed in a workplace, allowing numerous employees to keep their devices full of juice. Although there may be instances where an adapter capable of transmitting electrical energy wirelessly to the device. Furthermore, all electronic devices may not charge equally.

Wireless chargers will have far-reaching implications for our lives as it will make it everything that little bit easier. As the technology continues to improve to the point where you could be in any location and your electronic devices are able to charge wirelessly will be a magnificent achievement..

October 29, 2012

Survival Logic: Man Vs Woman...

October 27, 2012

Is Your PC Ready for Windows 8?

Windows 8 was officially released yesterday and it's now time to decide whether yo want to upgrade or not. If you have decided to upgrade a Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 machine to Windows 8, you probably want to make sure your system can support Windows 8 before you buy the upgrade.

To check if your PC is compatible with Windows 8, you can download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. The upgrade assistant will go ahead and scan your hardware, programs, and even any connected devices to make sure they will work with Windows 8. Windows 8 requires certain CPU features like PAE, NX, SSE2 etc, so it's good idea to use this tool if your computer is a bit on the old side.

This tool will also give you a compatibility report for your programs and let you know whether you need to uninstall the program before upgrading. Once you download it, install it and run it, the program will automatically start scanning your computer for apps and devices.

It will then tell you which apps are compatible and which apps you need to review.

There are some new features in Windows 8 like secure boot, snap, and fast start up. Upgrade assistant will notify you if any of those items are not supported by your system:

If you didn't already know, Windows 8 doesn't include built-in software to play DVDs. If you want that feature, you'll have to buy the pro pack and get Windows Media Center. Note that if you already have Windows 8 Pro, you can get Windows Media Center Pack for free until January 31st, 2013, so get it fast!!

Also, Microsoft Security Essentials is being replaced by Windows Defender in Windows 8. It's basically the same thing, but for whatever reason they are including Windows Defender built in Windows 8. So if you have Security Essentials installed on Windows 7, you'll have to remove it before upgrading.

You also get a list of compatible software and hardware that will work with Windows 8: 

 When you click Next, you'll be asked what you would like to keep. This will determine which version of Windows 8 will work best for you.

Note that depending on what version of Windows you have, you can only upgrade to certain editions of Windows 8. For example, if you have Windows 7 Ultimate, you can only upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. If you have Windows 7 Pro, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise. Check out the Wikipedia article for more details.

In my case, since I have Windows 7 Ultimate, any option I selected gave me the same result: Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 or Rs 1699.

That's about all there is to the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. It's mostly useful for figuring out which hardware and software will not work on Windows 8. It's also useful if you have an older PC and you're not sure if your CPU is going to be supported by Windows 8.  ENJOY!!!

October 26, 2012

Dat Laugh...!!!