All posts by robotchampion

Apple Maps workaround – maps.google.com – get the features of Google Maps

From David Pogue:

You can still use Google’s maps — on the Web. Visit maps.google.com…You won’t get spoken directions, but you’ll get written directions, public transportation details, live traffic reports and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data.

He also says Google’s Street View will be coming to iOS devices, and for local restaurants there is the app – Google+ Local. And that should make this a complete workaround.

iPhone owners are rooting for Apple Maps to be a winner, but in the meantime we need to get where were going.

Visit Google Maps for more features available in this workaround.

 

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China launches its first aircraft carrier

But it’s used and has no planes. China bought the vessel in 1998 from Ukraine and had it refurbished – few details of its capabilities are known. But, from Reuters, “defense experts say it lacks the strike aircraft, weapons, electronics, training and logistical support it needs to become a fighting warship.” And so it will stay in the training fleet until they figure out how to land a plane on it.

The response has largely been mocking, from the Brisbane Times, ”if it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbours, it’s a sign of bullying.” And those neighbors are the ones in the crossfire. Japan has disputed territory with China in the East China Sea and the Philippines are arguing over a shoal in the South China Sea.

Still, it is a sign of the rising military power of the Chinese – after all, only 9 countries have an aircraft carrier. Seven of them only have one, Italy has two, and the United Kingdom only uses theirs for helicopters. So the launch could be a symbol of pride, that the Chinese are equal to the other powers. But they have a long journey ahead to challenge the United States and our 11 aircraft carriers.

 

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New papryus shows Jesus had a wife, female minister – and it’s been proven authentic

A Harvard researcher, Karen King, has a tiny piece of papyrus – no bigger than a credit card – that is sure to shock the Christian world. It is barely readable and only fragments of sentences are available, but like a politicians gaffe on CNN, it is enough to draw attention. Jesus says “my wife” and, from Smithsonian:

The “wife” Jesus refers to is probably Mary Magdalene, and Jesus appears to be defending her against someone, perhaps one of the male disciples.

“She will be able to be my disciple,” Jesus replies. Then, two lines later, he says: “I dwell with her.”

Wow, so Jesus was married and living with his wife and had plans to make her a minister. How’s that for upsetting the balance – Catholics and celibacy, all Christians and female preachers – and the inevitable Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code, references.

Did he get it right?

It’s possible, but the papyrus was written a century or so after Jesus’ crucifixion and could be as much fiction as Dan Brown’s novel. But the age and authenticity of the text has been verified and so this story is ready to explode into the Christian mind.

As long as it isn’t proved to be a fake…

The Smithsonian has the inside story on this controversial text.

 

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Legoland shuts down for day – time for some cleaning (in pictures)

Every year Legoland gets dirty and it has to shut down for some toothbrush scrubbing. Getting all that grime off those blocks isn’t easy, but neither is dusting the top of the House of Parliament. And while it’s quiet we might as well trim the hedges.

For more pictures – The Guardian

 

source: The Guardian

 

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StumbleUpon gets new design for website and iOS devices…do you Stumble?

StumbleUpon was once just a browser add-on in Firefox. Then it became internet famous and was bought by eBay – only to be sold back the founders two years later. And today it is humming along with 25 million users and two bold new designs for its website and iOS – iPhone, iPad.

 

The new design for iPhone, iPad (source: TheNextWeb)

 

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Tumblr blog – celebrities reading poetry

It’s that subject no one wants to study in English class. It’s that aisle in the bookstore that’s always empty. It’s that stuff that star-crossed lovers spout at each other through open windows.

Explains the author of this Tumblr, called SpeakCelebrity. Offering that poetry isn’t scary, “it’s exciting, and comforting, and new, and old, and it can be clear-cut or all jumbled up, but most of all, it’s human.”

I couldn’t agree more and it’s a delight to browse through the celebrities:

  • Al Pacino reading – “Sonnet 150″ by William Shakespeare
  • Meryl Streep – “In Vain” by Emily Dickinson
  • Morgan Freeman – “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
  • Ralph Fiennes – “Ode to the Sea” by Pablo Neruda
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
  • Johnny Depp – “The Girl of the Ghetto” by Jim Morrison

My favorite so far is Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series – and Johnny Depp. Both invite you into the poem and let you forget the world around you.

Dig-in and enjoy - SpeakCelebrity.

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Occupy Asia – there are more millionaires in East Asia than North America

There are now more rich people in East Asia than in North America. Both have around 3 million millionaires and there are 11 million worldwide.

But don’t forget about the little countries. Japan still has three times as many millionaires as China.

 

Millionaires in Asia Pacific. (source : Quartz)

 

And, if the rest of Asia were to unite they would outnumber China too. Perhaps, a strategic partnership could counter-balance the Rising Tiger.

Looking at the rest of the world, North America still has more money and really rich people – more billionaires than anyone lese. Europe is solidly in third place, while the Middle East is tied with Latin America. But only tied in terms of people, not overall wealth. I guess Latin Americans can buy bigger boats than Middle Easterners.

 

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20 of the world’s most remote islands

If you want to get away from it all – here’s the book for you. Roger Lovegrove has visited – and photographed – 20 of the world’s most remote islands. From the far south Atlantic to the viking north, these are forbidding places.

The book is called, Islands Beyond the Horizon, and here are three of those desolate realms. You can find all twenty at The Telegraph.

 

Islands Beyond the Horizon

 

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Hubble photographs the farthest-ever view of the universe – it’s amazing

Prepare to be blown away with this short video and the images from Hubble. We are a pale blue dot.

 

 

And the original story from NASA:

Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of Hubble photographs taken of a patch of sky. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon…and contains about 5,500 galaxies. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.

 

The NASA images they reference:

 

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Child obesity and soda – science says it’s a problem, soda companies say it’s not

Here is the perfect example of the obesity debate in America. Last Friday, the New England Journal of Medicine published the following:

The increase in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among both adults and children in the United States and other countries is considered a potential contributor to the obesity pandemic. Sugar intake from sugar-sweetened beverages alone, which are the largest single caloric food source in the United States, approaches 15% of the daily caloric intake in several population groups. Adolescent boys in the United States consume an average of 357 kcal of the beverages per day. Sugar-sweetened beverages are marketed extensively to children and adolescents, and large increases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages have occurred among black and Mexican-American youth

Which prompted a response from the American Beverage Association (ABA):

The fact remains:  sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving obesity.  By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet:

  • While Americans consume about 617 more calories today than they did in 1970, more than 90 percent of those incremental calories come from sources other than beverages.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute about 7 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet.
  • Caloric intake from sugar-sweetened beverages declined by more than 20 percent between 2001 and 2010, yet obesity rates continued to rise.

And the most interesting part is the disputed fact – is soda 7% or 15% of the American diet? The answer – it depends. The Journal said 15% in “several population groups” and hinted at children, minorities, and adolescent boys as those groups. While the AMA did not give details and so we can only assume 7% is for all population groups.

This type of confusing disagreement is common in the food industry. One obvious statement is blurred by a logical response, and the argument that wins isn’t the science – it’s the commercials on TV and packaging on food.

The best thing we can do is become more educated eaters and support scientific studies that can explain the truth. In the end, this may be like the smoking and cancer debate of the 1980s – where multiple attempts were made to confuse the public, but in the end the truth came out.

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You can read the full piece in the New England Journal of Medicine or a summary at Time.com - and here is the ABA Press Release.

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