Saturday, 25 October 2014

Famed Physicist Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook

stephen hawking
Status Update: Stephen Hawking has finally joined the world's largest social network.

World-renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking has joined Facebook.
Hawking became a member of the popular social networking site on Oct. 7, just weeks before the upcoming release of "The Theory of Everything," a biographical film about Hawking's relationship with his first wife Jane. The film will premiere in the United States on Nov. 7.
Hawking, who suffers from a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is best known for his work on gravitational singularities and black hole radiation. [Creative Genius: The World's Greatest Minds]

“I have always wondered what makes the universe exist. Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit," the astrophysicist wrote in his first post on Facebook. "Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I’m eager to share this journey with you. Be curious, I know I will forever be."
The Facebook page is maintained by Hawking's team, and posts from the astrophysicist himself are signed as "SH," according to the site.

The page includes photos of Hawking at various events and institutions, including one inside the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN particle physics laboratory, located near Geneva on the French-Swiss border. A video on the site shows Hawking's children taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Hawking did not take part himself. "Because I had pneumonia last year, it would not be wise for me to have a bucket of cold water poured over me," he said in the video.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rest In Peace Nokia, Microsoft Renames Lumia As Microsoft Lumia

Ever since Microsoft bought Nokia, rumors suggested that the name Nokia will soon be buried. Those rumors have just come true. In a latest development at Microsoft, the popular ‘Nokia Lumia’ series has been renamed as ‘Microsoft Lumia’. The transition though, according to Microsoft, will be a slow process. will be changed to Microsoft’s mobile website and Nokia France will be the very first to adopt the Microsoft Lumia on its social networks.
Rest In Peace Nokia, Microsoft Renames Lumia As Microsoft Lumia
© Reuters
FYI, Nokia’s Windows Phone apps have already been renamed to Lumia, shedding away the name Nokia. Nokia, on the other hand, will be an independent enterprise under Microsoft and will be involved in mapping and network infrastructure. The question that looms now is that how Microsoft will brand the new Windows phones. The existing units have Nokia holograms on the front and the back. So, Microsoft is now expected to use either Lumia in place of Nokia or simply, Microsoft.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Microsoft confirms it will buy 'Minecraft' for $2.5 billion

Microsoft is buying Minecraft maker Mojang. Reports of Microsoft’s plans surfaced nearly a week ago, and the software maker is making it official today. Microsoft is paying $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year. "Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms," says Xbox chief Phil Spencer. "Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to makeMinecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC."
Minecraft creator Markus Persson, known as Notch, will not be joining Microsoft as part of the acquisition. "He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance," says Mojang’s Owen Hill. "Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that." Notch has previously criticized Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, but in a revealing blog post he discusses his reasons for leaving Mojang and Minecraft. "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately," says Persson."Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big."
Microsoft Minecraft
While there are constant calls from investors for Microsoft to sell off its Xbox division and not focus on gaming at all, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently. "Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year," says Nadella. "Minecraft is more than a great game franchise — it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft."
There are a number of likely reasons why Microsoft is buying Minecraft, and some analysts believe the move could boost Windows Phone’s prospects. Minecraft has been a popular app on iOS and Android, but the game isn’t currently available on Windows Phone. It’s hard to imagine a version not existing on Windows Phone in future after today’s deal, but Microsoft may also choose to add additional features and benefits to its own Windows version to entice Android and iOS users.
Microsoft’s other interests with Minecraft are likely related to its huge following, and the ability to attract future developer talent to the Windows platform.Minecraft was originally released in test form five years ago as an indie game that allows players to shape an environment by crafting and building constructions out of blocks. A younger generation of players have flocked to the game, and videos of replica objects and tips on how to play Minecraft are regularly shared with millions of views on YouTube. More than 54 million copies of Minecraft have been sold across PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and other platforms, demonstrating its reach and success.
That popularity means Minecraft is essentially the digital equivalent of Lego blocks, allowing players to create their own worlds that can be shared and edited by others. If Microsoft can tap into that culture without upsetting the millions of devoted fans, then it could serve to open up Minecraftto even bigger audiences as a tool for building, education, and development.

Friday, 12 September 2014

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain
Old and new routes of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover
This image shows the old and new routes of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and is composed of color strips taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This new route provides excellent access to many features in the Murray Formation. And it will eventually pass by the Murray Formation's namesake, Murray Buttes, previously considered to be the entry point to Mt. Sharp.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination.
"Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "After a historic and innovative landing along with its successful science discoveries, the scientific sequel is upon us."
Curiosity’s trek up the mountain will begin with an examination of the mountain's lower slopes. The rover is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes. Both entry points lay along a boundary where the southern base layer of the mountain meets crater-floor deposits washed down from the crater’s northern rim.
"It has been a long but historic journey to this Martian mountain,” said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “The nature of the terrain at Pahrump Hills and just beyond it is a better place than Murray Buttes to learn about the significance of this contact. The exposures at the contact are better due to greater topographic relief."
After 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, NASA’s Mars Curiosity has arrived at the base of Mount Sharp.
The decision to head uphill sooner, instead of continuing to Murray Buttes, also draws from improved understanding of the region’s geography provided by the rover’s examinations of several outcrops during the past year. Curiosity currently is positioned at the base of the mountain along a pale, distinctive geological feature called the Murray Formation. Compared to neighboring crater-floor terrain, the rock of the Murray Formation is softer and does not preserve impact scars, as well. As viewed from orbit, it is not as well-layered as other units at the base of Mount Sharp.
Curiosity made its first close-up study last month of two Murray Formation outcrops, both revealing notable differences from the terrain explored by Curiosity during the past year. The first outcrop, called Bonanza King, proved too unstable for drilling, but was examined by the rover’s instruments and determined to have high silicon content. A second outcrop, examined with the rover's telephoto Mast Camera, revealed a fine-grained, platy surface laced with sulfate-filled veins.
While some of these terrain differences are not apparent in observations made by NASA's Mars orbiters, the rover team still relies heavily on images taken by the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to plan Curiosity’s travel routes and locations for study.
For example, MRO images helped the rover team locate mesas that are over 60 feet (18 meters) tall in an area of terrain shortly beyond Pahrump Hills, which reveal an exposure of the Murray Formation uphill and toward the south. The team plans to use Curiosity's drill to acquire a sample from this site for analysis by instruments inside the rover. The site lies at the southern end of a valley Curiosity will enter this week from the north.
Though this valley has a sandy floor the length of two football fields, the team expects it will be an easier trek than the sandy-floored Hidden Valley, where last month Curiosity's wheels slipped too much for safe crossing.
Curiosity reached its current location after its route was modified earlier this year in response to excessive wheel wear. In late 2013, the team realized a region of Martian terrain littered with sharp, embedded rocks was poking holes in four of the rover’s six wheels. This damage accelerated the rate of wear and tear beyond that for which the rover team had planned. In response, the team altered the rover’s route to a milder terrain, bringing the rover farther south, toward the base of Mount Sharp.
"The wheels issue contributed to taking the rover farther south sooner than planned, but it is not a factor in the science-driven decision to start ascending here rather than continuing to Murray Buttes first," said Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity Deputy Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. "We have been driving hard for many months to reach the entry point to Mount Sharp," Trosper said. "Now that we've made it, we'll be adjusting the operations style from a priority on driving to a priority on conducting the investigations needed at each layer of the mountain."
After landing inside Gale Crater in August 2012, Curiosity fulfilled in its first year of operations its major science goal of determining whether Mars ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. Clay-bearing sedimentary rocks on the crater floor, in an area called Yellowknife Bay, yielded evidence of a lakebed environment billions of years ago that offered fresh water, all of the key elemental ingredients for life, and a chemical source of energy for microbes.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project continues to use Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. The destinations on Mount Sharp offer a series of geological layers that recorded different chapters in the environmental evolution of Mars.
The Mars Exploration Rover Project is one element of NASA's ongoing preparation for a human mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s. JPL built Curiosity and manages the project and MRO for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For more information about Curiosity, visit:
Information about MRO activities is available online at:
Follow the Curiosity rover mission on social media at:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Difference between Power Transformer and Distribution Transformer

Difference between power and distribution transformer
Difference between power and distribution transformer (Large distributive transformer by 'Powertech Transformers' on pic)

Power transformers are used in transmission network of higher voltages for step-up and step down application (400 kV, 200 kV, 110 kV, 66 kV, 33kV) and are generally rated above 200MVA.
Distribution transformers are used for lower voltage distribution networks as a means to end user connectivity. (11kV, 6.6 kV, 3.3 kV, 440V, 230V) and are generally rated less than 200 MVA.

Transformer Size / Insulation Level:

Power transformer is used for the transmission purpose at heavy load, high voltagegreater than 33 KV & 100% efficiency. It also having a big in size as compare to distribution transformer, it used in generating station and Transmission substation .high insulation level.
The distribution transformer is used for the distribution of electrical energy at low voltage as less than 33KV in industrial purpose and 440v-220v in domestic purpose. It work at low efficiency at 50-70%, small size, easy in installation, having low magnetic losses & it is not always fully loaded.

Iron Losses and Copper Losses

Power Transformers are used in Transmission network so they do not directly connect to the consumers, so load fluctuations are very less. These are loaded fully during 24 hr’s a day, so Cu losses & Fe losses takes place throughout day the specific weight i.e. (iron weight)/(cu weight) is very less.
The average loads are nearer to full loaded or full load and these are designed in such a way that maximum efficiency at full load condition. These are independent of time so in calculating the efficiency only power basis is enough.
Power Transformers are used in Distribution Network so directly connected to the consumer so load fluctuations are very high. these are not loaded fully at all time so iron losses takes place 24hr a day and cu losses takes place based on load cycle. the specific weight is more i.e. (iron weight)/(cu weight).average loads are about only 75% of full load and these are designed in such a way that max efficiency occurs at 75% of full load.
As these are time dependent the all day efficiency is defined in order to calculate the efficiency.
Power transformers are used for transmission as a step up devices so that the I2r loss can be minimized for a given power flow. These transformers are designed to utilize the core to maximum and will operate very much near to the knee point of B-H curve (slightly above the knee point value).This brings down the mass of the core enormously. Naturally these transformers have the matched iron losses and copper losses at peak load (i.e. the maximum efficiency point where both the losses match).
Distribution transformers obviously cannot be designed like this. Hence the all-day-efficiency comes into picture while designing it. It depends on the typical load cycle for which it has to supply. Definitely Core design will be done to take care of peak load and as well as all-day-efficiency. It is a bargain between these two points.
Power transformer generally operated at full load. Hence, it is designed such that copper losses are minimal. However, a distribution transformer is always online and operated at loads less than full load for most of time. Hence, it is designed such that core losses are minimal.
In Power Transformer the flux density is higher than the distribution transformer.

Maximum Efficiency

The main difference between power and distribution transformer is distribution transformer is designed for maximum efficiency at 60% to 70% load as normally doesn’t operate at full load all the time. Its load depends on distribution demand. Whereas power transformer is designed for maximum efficiency at 100% load as it always runs at 100% load being near to generating station.
Distribution Transformer is used at the distribution level where voltages tend to be lower .The secondary voltage is almost always the voltage delivered to the end consumer. Because of voltage drop limitations, it is usually not possible to deliver that secondary voltage over great distances.
As a result, most distribution systems tend to involve many ‘clusters’ of loads fed from distribution transformers, and this in turn means that the thermal rating of distribution transformers doesn’t have to be very high to support the loads that they have to serve.
All day efficiency = (Output in KWhr) / (Input in KWhr) in 24 hrs which is always less than power efficiency.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Wanna Build a Rocket? NASA’s About to Give Away a Mountain of Its Code

Inside the Launch Control Center, personnel watch as the Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 astronauts lifts off the launch pad on July 16, 1969. Image: NASA
Inside the Launch Control Center, personnel watch as the Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 astronauts lifts off the launch pad on July 16, 1969. Image: NASA
Forty years after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, NASA open sourced the software code that ran the guidance systems on the lunar module.
By that time, the code was little more than a novelty. But in recent years, the space agency has built all sorts of other software that is still on the cutting edge. And as it turns out, like the Apollo 11 code, much of this NASA software is available for public use, meaning anyone can download it and run it and adapt it for free. You can even use it in commercial products.
But don’t take our word for it. Next Thursday, NASA will release a master list of software projects it has cooked up over the years. This is more than just stuff than runs on a personal computer. Think robots and cryogenic systems and climate simulators. There’s even code for running rocket guidance systems.
This NASA software catalog will list more than 1,000 projects, and it will show you how to actually obtain the code you want. The idea to help hackers and entrepreneurs push these ideas in new directions — and help them dream up new ideas. Some code is only available to certain people — the rocket guidance system, for instance — but if you can get it, you can use it without paying royalties or copyright fees. Within a few weeks of publishing the list, NASA says, it will also offer a searchable database of projects, and then, by next year, it will host the actual software code in its own online repository, a kind of GitHub for astronauts.
NASA's "space rose". Image: Courtesy NASA
NASA’s “space rose.” Image: Courtesy NASA
It’s all part of a White House-directed push to open up the federal government, which is the country’s largest creator of public domain code, but also a complete laggard when it comes to sharing software. Three years ago, President Obama ordered federal agencies to speed up tech transfer programs like this. And while the feds have been slow, the presidential directive is starting to bear fruit. In February, DARPA published a similar catalog, making it easier for entrepreneurs to get ahold of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s code too.
NASA has run a technology transfer program for over 50 years. It has given us everything from the Dustbuster to Giro bicycle helmets to “space rose,” a unique perfume scent forged in zero-Gs. But it’s high time the agency actively pushed out its software code as well. Increasingly, NASA’s research and development dollars are paying for software, says Daniel Lockney, Technology Transfer Program Executive with NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. “About a third of everything we invent ends up being software these days,” he says.

From Star Mapper to Bear Tracker

Already, NASA software has been used to do some pretty amazing stuff outside the agency. In 2005, marine biologists adapted the Hubble Space Telescope’s star-mapping algorithm to track and identify endangered whale sharks. That software has now been adapted to track polar bears in the arctic and sunfish in the Galapagos Islands. “Our design software has been used to make everything from guitars to roller coasters to Cadillacs,” Lockney says. “Scheduling software that keeps the Hubble Space Telescope operations straight has been used for scheduling MRIs at busy hospitals and as control algorithms for online dating services.”
All of the software that NASA writes is copyright free, and although the aforementioned rocket guidance system code and other software may be too sensitive to share, many other projects can be shared with anyone — in theory, at least. If the NASA software isn’t open-source, you need to get cleared by the space agency for a release. Sometimes, this is as simple as proving that you’re a U.S. citizen and signing a usage agreement. The problem is that with more than a thousand projects — coded by software developers at 10 different field centers — it has been tricky for outsiders to get an idea of what NASA has. That’s why Lockney and his staff built this master catalog.
It was no easy task. “The agency is so spread out that putting everything together…and making it all match has been one of the biggest challenges,” he says. By Lockney’s count, the agency has about 227 public projects, hosted on sites such as GitHub and Source Forge and even NASA’s own website. It had been sharing a lot more code via word of mouth, but putting the 1,000 projects he found in a single catalog will make it a lot easier to figure out what software NASA has.
Lockney expects the catalog to “grow significantly” after it gets released. “More code will come out of the woodwork. And we’ll process it, categorize it, write up a plain language explanation of what it is, and add it to the catalog.” It’s a daunting task, but there’s no better agency to pull off an open-source moon shot.