The short videos provide a glimpse at some of the new Ad-Ons, including the mail (Avery) and email (MailChimp) MERGE features. Yes, this is what Cloud Productivity has been waiting for; mail merge and data merge that the Office desktop productivity suites first featured in 1992!
Still, better late than never. MERGE is a critical feature for office productivity, and now the Cloud has it in a general purpose productivity platform. Good stuff. Now, how about getting a Diigo Ad-On for the Bibliography MERGE feature set!!!!
Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the authority or the responsibility to be involved in the health insurance business?
we need to focus on is the fundamental truth that the federal government has no right to be involved in the health insurance business. That prerogative is left to the states, as set forth in the 10th Amendment. If the states want to get involved with health care reform, let them do it. But the federal government has no right to mandate anything in this field.
"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today advocated “a straightforward and bold, positive agenda to inspire the young, to inspire women, to inspire Hispanics, to inspire everybody” during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Here are the ten items he called on Americans to do going forward:"
1. “Defend the constitution. All of it.”
2. “We need to abolish the IRS. We need to adopt a simple flat tax that is fair [so] that every American can fill out his taxes on a postcard.”
3. “We need to expand energy in this country and create high-paying jobs all over America.”
4. “We need to expand school choice. Every child deserves an opportunity to have an excellent education, regardless of your race, your class, your creed, where you come from – every child deserves a fair chance at the American Dream.”
5. “We need to repeal Dodd-Frank.”
6. “We need to audit the Federal Reserve
Unaccountable power in Washington debasing our currency, driving up the cost of food and gas and the basic stuff of life is hurting Americans who are struggling across this country. And I’ll tell you what else it’s doing: It’s fueling the abuse of power by petro-tyrants like Putin.”
7. “We need to pass a strong balanced budget amendment. We need to stop bankrupting our country.”
8. “We need to repeal every single word of Obamacare.”
This President of the United States is the first President we’ve ever had who thinks he can choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. He announces just about every day one change after another after another in Obamacare. It is utterly lawless. It is inconsistent with our Constitution, and it ought to trouble everyone – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians.”
9. “We need to stop the lawlessness.
10. “We need to end the corruption.
We need to eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying. And we need to pass a strong constitutional amendment that puts into law term limits.”
Static blocks of text like the one you’re looking at now are an antiquated and inefficient way to get words into your head. That’s the contention of Boston-based startup Spritz, which has developed a speed-reading text box that shows no more than 13 characters at a time. The Spritz box flashes words at you in quick succession so you don’t have to move your eyes around a page, and in my very quick testing it allowed me to read at more than double my usual reading pace. Spritz has teamed up with Samsung to integrate its speed reading functionality with the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone.
The written word, after 8,000 or so years, is still an extremely effective way to get a message from one mind into the minds of others. But even with the advent of the digital age and decades of usability work, font and layout development, we’re still nowhere near optimal efficiency with it yet.
Take this article – I’ve written it in easily digestible chunks, and we’ve presented it in nice, thin, 10 to 14 word columns that should make it easy to scan. But pay attention to what your eyes are doing while you try to read it. Chances are, even if you’re a quick reader, your eyes are jumping around all over the place.
In fact, according to Boston-based startup Spritz, you spend as little as 20 percent of your reading time actually taking in the words you’re looking at, and as much as 80 percent physically moving your eyes around to find the right spot to read each word from. So, the Spritz team decided, why not eliminate that time altogether?
The Spritz reader is a simple, small box that streams text at the reader, one word at a time. The words are presented in a large, very reader-friendly font, and centered around the "optimal recognition point" of each word. In fact, the box will only display a maximum of 13 characters, so larger words are broken up.
What’s really interesting is just how quickly this system can pipe information into your brain. I did a couple of online reading speed tests and found my average reading speed for regular blocks of text is around 330-350 words per minute. But I can comfortably follow a Spritz box at up to 500 words per minute without missing much, losing concentration or feeling any kind of eye strain. In short stints I can follow 800 words per minute, and the team says it’s easy to train yourself to go faster and retain more.
Try it yourself. Here’s 250 words per minute:
Spritz claims that information retention rates on "spritzed" content are equal to or higher than that of traditional text block reading, and that some of its testers are now comfortably ingesting content at 1000 words per minute with no loss of information retention. That’s Tolstoy’s 1,440 page behemoth War and Peace dispatched in a single 10 hour sitting, if you had the concentration for it, or Stieg Larsson's Girl with a Dragon Tattoo in two and a bit hours.
Spritz is also clearly developed to excel on mobile and handheld reading devices, and as such, the company has announced that Spritz will make its mobile debut on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 release. Smartwatch and Google glass-type implementations are also on the radar.
The mobile angle will have to be strong as there are numerous free tools for desktop browsers that can replicate a similar reading experience for free. If you’re using a Chrome browser, check out Spreed as an example.
Perhaps the most significant move for Spritz will be bringing this speed reading technology to bear on your Android e-book library. Anything that can help me get through my reading backlog quicker will be most welcome!
"To understand Spritz, you must understand Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP). RSVP is a common speed-reading technique used today. However, RSVP was originally developed for psychological experiments to measure human reactions to content being read. When RSVP was created, there wasn’t much digital content and most people didn’t have access to it anyway. The internet didn’t even exist yet.
With traditional RSVP, words are displayed either left-aligned or centered. Figure 1 shows an example of a center-aligned RSVP, with a dashed line on the center axis.
When you read a word, your eyes naturally fixate at one point in that word, which visually triggers the brain to recognize the word and process its meaning. In Figure 1, the preferred fixation point (character) is indicated in red. In this figure, the Optimal Recognition Position (ORP) is different for each word. For example, the ORP is only in the middle of a 3-letter word. As the length of a word increases, the percentage that the ORP shifts to the left of center also increases. The longer the word, the farther to the left of center your eyes must move to locate the ORP."
Therein lies one of the biggest problems with traditional RSVP. Each time you see text that is not centered properly on the ORP position, your eyes naturally will look for the ORP to process the word and understand its meaning. This requisite eye movement creates a “saccade”, a physical eye movement caused by your eyes taking a split second to find the proper ORP for a word. Every saccade has a penalty in both time and comprehension, especially when you start to speed up reading. Some saccades are considered by your brain to be “normal” during reading, such as when you move your eye from left to right to go from one ORP position to the next ORP position while reading a book. Other saccades are not normal to your brain during reading, such as when you move your eyes right to left to spot an ORP. This eye movement is akin to trying to read a line of text backwards. In normal reading, you normally won’t saccade right-to-left unless you encounter a word that your brain doesn’t already know and you go back for another look; those saccades will increase based on the difficulty of the text being read and the percentage of words within it that you already know.
And the math doesn’t look good, either. If you determined the length of all the words in a given paragraph, you would see that, depending on the language you’re reading, there is a low (less than 15%) probability of two adjacent words being the same length and not requiring a saccade when they are shown to you one at a time. This means you move your eyes on a regular basis with traditional RSVP! In fact, you still move them with almost every word. In general, left-to-right saccades contribute to slower reading due to the increased travel time for the eyeballs, while right-to-left saccades are discombobulating for many people, especially at speed. It’s like reading a lot of text that contains words you don’t understand only you DO understand the words! The experience is frustrating to say the least.
In addition to saccading, another issue with RSVP is associated with “foveal vision,” the area in focus when you look at a sentence. This distance defines the number of letters on which your eyes can sharply focus as you read. Its companion is called “parafoveal vision” and refers to the area outside foveal vision that cannot be seen sharply.
"Why it Works:
Reading is inherently time consuming because your eyes have to move from word to word and line to line. Traditional reading also consumes huge amounts of physical space on a page or screen, which limits reading effectiveness on small displays. Scrolling, pinching, and resizing a reading area doesn’t fix the problem and only frustrates people. Now, with compact text streaming from Spritz, content can be streamed one word at a time, without forcing your eyes to spend time moving around the page. Spritz makes streaming your content easy and more comfortable, especially on small displays. Our “Redicle” technology enhances readability even more by using horizontal lines and hash marks to direct your eyes to the red letter in each word, so you can focus on the content that interests you. Best of all, Spritz’s patent-pending technology can integrate into photos, maps, videos, and websites to promote more effective communication."
Congressional testimony concerning IRS Targeting of Conservative Tea Party Patriot Groups. Heart breaking stuff. The IRS and US Government targeted this woman's family and business because her political beliefs and belief in the USA Constitution run counter to the needs of Obama and his army of big government bureaucrats.
"While the FT promptly retracted an article on precisely the topic of gold manipulation from earlier this week (recorded for posterity here), Bloomberg appears to not have had the same "editorial" concerns and pressures, and today released an article once again slamming the final conspiracy theory that while every other asset class is manipulated, gold is in a pristine class of its own, untouched by close-banging, price fixing traders or central bankers, and reports that "the London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say."
Of course, over the past 5 years we have reported time and again how official gold manipulation started in earnest some time in the 1960s (who can forget the "reshuffle club") but we will start with a decade.
Here is what BBG finds:
Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper.
“The structure of the benchmark is certainly conducive to collusion and manipulation, and the empirical data are consistent with price artificiality,” they say in the report, which hasn’t yet been submitted for publication. “It is likely that co-operation between participants may be occurring.”
The paper is the first to raise the possibility that the five banks overseeing the century-old rate -- Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale SA -- may have been actively working together to manipulate the benchmark. It also adds to pressure on the firms to overhaul the way the rate is calculated. Authorities around the world, already investigating the manipulation of benchmarks from interest rates to foreign exchange, are examining the $20 trillion gold market for signs of wrongdoing.
Tell us something we didn't already know. Then again, this time may be different, because one of the authors, Abrantes-Metz, advises the European Union and the International Organization of Securities Commissions on financial benchmarks. According to Bloomberg, her 2008 paper “Libor Manipulation?” helped uncover the rigging of the London interbank offered rate, which has led financial firms including Barclays Plc and UBS AG to be fined about $6 billion in total. She is a paid expert witness to lawyers, providing economic analysis for litigation. Metz heads credit policy research at ratings company Moody’s.
By way of background, the history of gold price fixing is well-known and is one of the longest running traditions in banking:
The rate-setting ritual dates back to 1919. Dealers in the early years met in a wood-paneled room in Rothschild’s office in the City of London and raised little Union Jacks to indicate interest. Now the fix is calculated twice a day on telephone conferences at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. London time. The calls usually last 10 minutes, though they can run more than an hour.
So what exactly did this "erudite" authority on manipulation uncover?
Abrantes-Metz and Metz screened intraday trading in the spot gold market from 2001 to 2013 for sudden, unexplained moves that may indicate illegal behavior. From 2004, they observed frequent spikes in spot gold prices during the afternoon call. The moves weren’t replicated during the morning call and hadn’t happened before 2004, they found.
There’s no obvious explanation as to why the patterns began in 2004, why they were more prevalent in the afternoon fixing, and why price moves tended to be downwards, Abrantes-Metz said in a telephone interview this week.
“This is a first attempt to uncover potentially manipulative behavior and the results are concerning,” she said. “It’s down to regulators to establish why there are such striking patterns but banks have the means, motive and opportunity to manipulate the fixing. The results are consistent with the possibility of collusion.”
And the punchline:
Large price moves during the afternoon call were also overwhelmingly in the same direction: down. On days when the authors identified large price moves during the fix, they were downwards at least two-thirds of the time in six different years between 2004 and 2013. In 2010, large moves during the fix were negative 92 percent of the time, the authors found.
Unpossible - the bank prop traders manipulating gold and the central banks for whom precious metals are the holy water that can destroy their fractional reserve ponzi scheme would never lie. Because otherwise the historic silver slam from May 1, 2011, in which silver cratered by $6, or about 15%, in milliseconds and ended the parabolic rise higher in the metal could be... gasp... criminal."
As my friend Jim Barksdale says, “There are two ways to make money in business: You can unbundle, or you can bundle.”
On the Internet, there is no limitation to the number of outlets or voices in the news chorus. Therefore, quality can easily coexist with crap. All can thrive in their respective markets. And, the more noise, confusion, and crap — the more there is an increase of, and corresponding need for, trusted guides, respected experts, and quality brands.
Remember: Most great businesses are not big businesses. This market is plenty big enough for thousands of high-margin, small to medium-sized businesses.
"Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a hot topic. Scientists around the globe are searching for ways to store, dispose of, or prevent the formation of the greenhouse gas, which is a major driver of global climate change. Liquid Light hopes to take this concept one step further and harness waste CO2 as a source of carbon to make industrial chemicals and fuels.
The technology behind the process is simple: Take CO2 and mix it in a water-filled chamber with an electrode and a catalyst. The ensuing chemical reaction converts CO2 into a new molecule, methanol, which can be used as a fuel, an industrial solvent or a starting material for the manufacture of other chemicals.
Liquid Light's founders include Bocarsly and his former graduate student Emily Cole, who earned her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2009. Cole helped revive efforts in Bocarsly's lab to study the conversion of CO2 into usable fuels, which led to the launch of Liquid Light and an ongoing collaboration that Bocarsly said has been extremely positive for his research team at the University.
"We've made some discoveries that wouldn't have been made in a university setting, and this has really accelerated the research," Bocarsly said. "It is a very productive relationship."
Back in the 1990s, a former Ph.D. student of Bocarsly's named Chao Lin conducted some of the earliest experiments on turning CO2 into methanol. He used palladium metal as the electrode and pyridinium, an inexpensive ring-shaped molecule, as the catalyst. By plugging the electrode into an electrical outlet, he could drive an electrochemical reaction that converted CO2 into methanol.
As Bocarsly recalled, Lin was quite excited about his success. However, said Bocarsly, "We published that finding in 1994 and there was approximately zero interest in it."
The work languished until 2005 when Cole, then a new graduate student, told Bocarsly she wanted to work on a clean-energy project. She took up the challenge of reproducing Lin's results, but this time using sunlight instead of electricity to drive the reaction.
Cole set up a flask containing a solution of CO2 and a pyridinium catalyst dissolved in water. In place of sunlight, which emits a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light, she shined on the flask a blue light-emitting diode (LED) because it gives off certain wavelengths that are highly efficient at driving the reaction. In the flask she placed an electrode that is activated by particles of light, or photons. "We used a semiconductor electrode that would allow us to substitute light for electricity," said Cole.
In Cole's setup, photons hit a gallium phosphide semiconductor and excite its electrons to travel to the semiconductor's surface and into the surrounding water. The catalyst then shuttles the electrons to the CO2. Those electrons attract hydrogen from the surrounding water to turn CO2 (one carbon and two oxygens) into methanol (one carbon, one oxygen and four hydrogens) with the release of oxygen.
Bocarsly likes to call the process "reverse combustion" because it is like running a burning reaction backwards. Instead of burning fuel and oxygen to produce CO2, the CO2 converts back into fuel and oxygen. This time, when the team published in May 2008 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the results generated a lot of interest.
Taking the idea into industry
One person who read that paper was Kyle Teamey, an entrepreneur who was representing a venture capital firm that wanted to invest in clean-energy technologies. He was attracted to the idea that waste CO2 could be put to use as a starting material for making fuels and industrial chemicals that could be sold at a profit.
"Everyone had been talking about burying CO2 underground," said Teamey. "Why not instead turn carbon dioxide into something valuable?"
After months of talks with Bocarsly and Cole as well as other advisers, Teamey and Cole co-founded Liquid Light. The company licensed the technology from the University. Teamey serves as company president, while Cole and her team of chemists tackle the practical issue of how to scale up a laboratory invention to an industrial scale. Bocarsly serves as chair of the company's scientific advisory board."
summary: This photoelectrochemical cell contains a solution of carbon dioxide and pyridinium as a catalyst dissolved in water. A low-power blue light-emitting diode (LED) provides light, which activates the semiconductor, causing the conversion of the CO2 and water to methanol and oxygen with the help of the pyridine catalyst. This cell is highly efficient, with greater than 95 percent of the electrons generated by the illumination going into the formation of methanol. Credit: Andrew Bocarsly
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-06-startup-carbon-dioxide-fuels.html#jCp
The research has received funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSOR), the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy (DOE). The collaboration between Liquid Light and the University was supported by the DOE Small Business Innovation Research program and the AFOSR Small Business Technology Transfer program.
Princeton's agreement with Liquid Light allowed the company to continue to collaborate with Bocarsly and his research team. Before long, new discoveries were emerging. "They started noticing interesting chemistry that we wouldn't have predicted," said Bocarsly.
The Princeton scientists did some additional studies, and made a surprising discovery: They could turn CO2, which contains only one carbon, into a compound with a carbon-carbon bond, which vastly increases the possibilities for creating commercial applications. This was radical because although the reaction is certainly possible, it is highly unlikely to happen because so many other competing reactions are occurring.
"Everyone who electrochemically reduces CO2 today makes compounds with only one carbon," said Bocarsly. "Nobody makes things with carbon-carbon bonds." He paused. "But we can."
"That was a very 'wow' moment," recalled Cole, "because we thought that our process could only make methanol. But now we were finding that we could make a variety of products, and that is what makes this technology commercially interesting." She said Liquid Light scientists can now make more than 20 different products from CO2.
One of the chemicals Liquid Light can make is isopropanol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol and an important industrial chemical. Another is butanol, which could be commercially important as a fuel. Liquid Light's technology offers the potential to make these chemicals at lower cost than today's methods, which involve starting with fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas.
Why does pyridinium work so well as a catalyst for the reaction? Based on its structure, the ring-shaped molecule is an unlikely catalyst for this reaction because it shuttles just one electron at a time. But to convert CO2 to methanol requires six electrons, and to make higher-carbon molecules takes even more electrons.
Bocarsly and his team — in collaboration with Steven Bernasek, professor of chemistry — are doing studies to understand the steps in the chemical reaction, and they are making rapid progress. "There are clearly some intermediate products formed during the reaction that do not sit around for a long time and are not there in very high concentrations," said Bocarsly.
The Princeton team also is studying the factors that determine which products can be made from CO2. The researchers have found that very subtle changes in the electrode surface can lead to production of different chemicals. For example, CO2 plus a pyridinium catalyst and a platinum electrode make methanol. However, the same catalyst and a different electrode give a different product. The team published its findings on how the reaction is affected by catalyst concentration, temperature and pressure in the journal ChemSusChem last year.
Citing government statistics that the United States generates about 5.5 billion metric tons of CO2 per year, Teamey said it will not be hard to obtain the starting materials for this new industry. However, the CO2 needs to be relatively pure, a requirement that rules out gasoline tailpipes and coal-fired power plants. Instead, said Teamey, the CO2 could come from manufacturing facilities, such as fertilizer manufacturers and cement plants, which according to Teamey emit some 100 million tons of high-purity CO2 each year.
"Simulated sun, authentic opportunity"
At the University's Solar Energy Laboratory, the process begins with an indoor solar simulator in the form of seven mirrored, 6,500-watt lamps that concentrate the light on a 10-centimeter spot with an irradiance of 3,000 suns. (One "sun" equals 1,000 watts of solar energy falling per square meter of surface.) With this concentrated radiant energy, one can generate temperatures of more than 3,600 F in a chemical reactor. There, carbon dioxide and water are split to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen, the two components of syngas.
Davidson, along with mechanical engineering professor Tom Chase and their students, have developed two prototype reactors to split water and CO2. Deploying these technologies in the Earth's sunbelt could yield enough renewable energy to significantly exceed the world's current needs, the researchers say.
"More sun falls on Earth in one hour than is consumed globally in a year," Davidson notes. "Harvesting the sun to meet our energy needs is a challenge with a huge payoff."
Of course, it's a little more complicated than focusing concentrated sunlight into a reactor filled with carbon dioxide and water. The key to the technology rests with using metal oxides in a reduction/oxidation cycle to reduce the temperature required to split water and carbon dioxide.
"Metal oxides allow you to split water and carbon dioxide at temperatures achievable with modern solar concentrating devices," Davidson explains.
In the reactor, the metal oxides go through cycles in which they strip oxygen alternately from carbon dioxide or water—forming carbon monoxide or hydrogen, respectively—then release the oxygen as a byproduct. The syngas formed from the carbon monoxide and hydrogen can be converted into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, methane (natural gas), or other products.
Davidson and her colleagues have produced syngas this way in their laboratory. They have moved from bench top experiments to demonstration in prototype reactors. While Davidson and Chase concentrate on designing reactors, University chemistry professor Andreas Stein and colleagues at Caltech and UCLA are researching new materials that could increase the efficiency and ease of operation.
If adopted, a "sunlight to synfuels" process would be an energy supply system in which the same amount of carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere and locked into the fuels is released when the fuels are burned. Thus, it would be carbon neutral. And because synfuels can be the same as the conventional fuels, they won't require a new infrastructure.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Gary Edwards's Public Lists (19)
- Age of Collaborative Computing
- Cloud Computing
- Coast to Coast
- Compatibility matters
- Edit Tools
- Federal Gestapo
- Interoperability and The Quest For A Universal File Format
- Mobile Computing
- Socialism and the End of the American Dream
- WebKit and the Future of the Open Web