“Overdose of Awesomeness”: New Pluto Images Show Unpredicted Activity

first_imgMore images have been released from New Horizons’ July 14 flyby of Pluto, showing youthful mountains, glaciers and an escaping atmosphere.The following is just one of the new images making the New Horizons Twitter Feed erupt in WOW!!! exclamations:Pluto lookback image 15 minutes after closest approach July 14, 2015Dr. Phil Metzger’s tweet “Overdose of awesomeness!” sums up the feelings of scientists looking over the latest images posted by NASA’s New Horizons mission today. The stunning panoramas, taken just 15 minutes after closest approach last July 14, show mountains rivaling the Rockies or Sierras (about 11,000′ high) adjacent to the smooth plains of Sputnik Planum. Additional high-res images show nitrogen glaciers flowing from the mountains onto the plains, and shadows cast by the mountains onto apparent ground fog. The thin nitrogen atmosphere also shows unexpected structure, with over a dozen layers visible.Last week (Sept. 10), a press release from New Horizons summed up Pluto’s surface this way: “It’s complicated.”New close-up images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity.“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado. “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there.”New Horizons geologist Jeff Moore described Pluto’s surface as “every bit as complex as that of Mars” — a remarkable description for a body a third the diameter of Mars and 26 times farther from the sun. Laws of physics demand that smaller objects lose heat faster, and objects more distant from stars should be the coldest. Sources of heat are limited: radioactive elements should be depleted this late in Pluto’s assumed age, and Pluto is not subjected to significant tidal forces.New images also show the most heavily cratered — and thus oldest — terrain yet seen by New Horizons on Pluto next to the youngest, most crater-free icy plains. There might even be a field of dark wind-blown dunes, among other possibilities.“Seeing dunes on Pluto — if that is what they are — would be completely wild, because Pluto’s atmosphere today is so thin,” said William B. McKinnon, a GGI deputy lead from Washington University, St. Louis. “Either Pluto had a thicker atmosphere in the past, or some process we haven’t figured out is at work. It’s a head-scratcher.”  The surprise extends to the satellites of Pluto:Discoveries being made from the new imagery are not limited to Pluto’s surface. Better images of Pluto’s moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra will be released Friday at the raw images site for New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), revealing that each moon is unique and that big moon Charon’s geological past was a tortured one.Surprise, not vindication, is clear from quotes by the scientists. “Now we can study geology in terrain that we never expected to see,” John Spencer said on Sept. 10th. “Pluto is surprisingly Earth-like in this regard,” Alan Stern remarked today, “and no one predicted it.”Update 9/18/15: At The Conversation, David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at The Open University, discusses what the images mean. Sample:This is probably nitrogen snow covering water-ice terrain, and there are signs that nitrogen-ice flows glacier-like from the bright rigged terrain into the flat area. Why here? How recent? We don’t know….While the images tell us a lot about Pluto and Charon, they also raise a number of new questions. We simply don’t know what controls the localised nitrogen snowfall, the intricate haze layers or the old fractures that cut through the craters. We don’t know why Pluto’s surface is so diverse or its atmosphere so complex, or how much of this is driven by tidal interactions between Pluto and Charon. The list goes on.Additional images and data from the encounter will trickle down over the 10 months.Hey, Alan! We predicted it. On July 9, before the encounter, we predicted: (1) active geology and evidence of resurfacing, (2) atmospheric escape rates too rapid for billions of years, (3) moons that will challenge the idea they were formed by a collision, (4) reporters would leap from evidence of water ice to speculations about life.  We haven’t found the L-word life in the press releases yet (at least since 7/27/11), but our first 3 predictions have been confirmed.Why were we successful? The reason: we don’t bow down to the A.S.S. (age of the solar system, 4.5 billion years), the Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions that Cannot Be Altered. Openness to younger ages has a long track record of success explaining youthful features on Enceladus, Titan, Saturn, Mars, Mercury, comets, Io, Earth, etc. etc.Resource: Jason Lisle’s report, “New Horizons at Pluto” at ICR posted August 2015. (Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Without a nation there is nothing to brand

first_imgNation branding challenges and successes faced by Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria and Kosovo, in the wake of political and social change in the region since 1989, were held up as lessons in nation branding.Professor Nadia Kaneva offered the analysis in a presentation titled “The branded national imagination and its limits: Insights from the post-socialist experience” given at a Brand South Africa Competitiveness Forum for South African academia. Held at the University of Pretoria, Tshwane, on 5 October 2016, the forum aimed at in-depth analysis of global and domestic issues influencing the reputation and competitiveness of the nation’s brand.“As communism was ending, the Romanian flag allowed for a discourse around the future of the Nation” says Dr. Nadia Kaneva @Brand_SA forum pic.twitter.com/31tJ98AQhF— Guido van Garderen (@GuidovGarderen) October 5, 2016Presenting at the event were key academics in the fields of business, humanities and political science, from a host of South African universities and tertiary institutions.The goal of the dialogue is to compile all presentations and contributions into a peer-reviewed journal, with a view to positioning South Africa as a thought leader in nation branding. Key to the success of that journal will be the keynote contribution from Kaneva.Bulgarian-born Kaneva is an associate professor in the University of Denver’s media, film and journalism faculty. She is a globally respected and widely published researcher who uses critical sociology and media studies to dissect the commercialisation of politics and culture in Eastern Europe through nation branding and reputation-building.Kaneva’s ultimate conclusion – that in order to be more effective, an imagined nation brand should align closer to and more realistically to the changes in the nation and its people – was honed through extensive research on radical changes in Romania after the fall of communism, post-conflict Kosovo during the 2000s and the relationship between Ukraine and Russia as recently as three years ago.The lessons learnt in the research can be just as easily applied to any nation brand, especially for emerging economies like South Africa, she says.In introducing Kaneva, University of Pretoria deputy dean of humanities Professor Maxi Schoeman highlighted the importance of getting an outsider view on building South Africa’s brand internationally, someone objective enough to weigh up the differences and similarities between the country and nations with similar histories.The science and application of nation branding was now very much part of mainstream academia and an essential tool for governance, Kaneva said at the start of her presentation. As a legitimate interdisciplinary field, the study of nation branding included elements of media and marketing ideas, anthropological study, business theory and sociology.Yet, Kaneva argued, developing and managing a national brand and reputation would always be a highly political and therefore delicate process, the success of which did not always lie in the area of savvy marketing or critical theory.This was evident in post-socialist Eastern Europe countries experiencing the swift changes of political and economic experiments, Kaneva said.Extensive global multichannel marketing campaigns by Romania and Kosovo highlighted each country’s promise in its people and economics in a vastly depoliticised way, focusing on things such as tourism and investment and replacing a more realistic national identity with something more market-oriented, in other words, what “the outside world wanted to see”.In 2009, two years after gaining independence, Kosovo’s first attempt at marketing the country to the outside world was in the form of a television commercial, The Young Europeans. While carrying a positive message of reconciliation and cultural tolerance as well as an eagerness to partake economically in the European Union, it told little about the country and its people to outsiders (investors, tourists) that would differentiate it from any other European nation.While initially successful, there was a negative reaction from citizens, who felt misrepresented by this imagined nation brand. As Kaneva says, a rejection of idealised, imagined branding is ultimately counter-productive to what a country brand really wants to achieve.Watch The Young Europeans:At the crux of the argument, Kaneva says, is honesty with the nation brand, creating an identity that can actually be recognised by the people it is supposed to be representing.Offering solutions to link the imagined nation brand closer to reality, Kaneva highlighted the following:Recognise that nation branding has a political element and embrace it, with all its shortcomings and diversities.Invest in programmes and policy that encourages and grows both citizen engagement and development in the nation and its brand: let people inform the national message.Look beyond the data of perception ratings to formulate effective nation brand evaluation and measurement: outside views, particularly those formulated with data, are important, but other research models are necessary to get the complete picture of a nation.Diminish the focus and use of transnational mass media nation brand advertising; look to niche marketing opportunities for creating a truer, most consistent national image and reputation.Concluding her presentation, Kaneva said that reconstructing and refreshing national identities, particularly for nations with a history of significant political and societal transformation, should always consider the transformations of the people it represented, adding that, “without a nation there will be nothing to brand”.Download full presentationSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Why BlackBerry Will Beat Windows Phone: It’s Cool Again!

first_imgThat’s about three million units behind Nokia, which also still sells Symbian smartphones and the Asha series (which straddles the line between feature phone and smartphone). Granted, IDC’s numbers do not include Windows Phone sales from Samsung or HTC, but both of those are negligible according to earnings announcements from both companies. If you are rooting for Windows Phone to join Apple and Google on top of the smartphone heap, you might be a bit worried that a sleeping giant has just woken up. It may not be as big and bad as the Apple/Android giants, but its potential remains bigger than Microsoft’s on the global market.So let’s put aside the posturing and get to the nitty-gritty of why BlackBerry 10 will ultimately win out over Windows Phone:The Same, But DifferentBlackBerry 10 takes the things people like about the user experience on Android and iOS and makes them unique. The gesture-based control takes a while to figure out, but once you have it down, it is fairly intuitive. Windows Phone is a lot of scroll, scroll, go left to right and scroll some more. The BlackBerry 10 user experience is interesting and fluid, not stationary and flat like Windows Phone. What BlackBerry has done with its UI feels fundamentally different while also retaining certain similarities from the Android/iOS environment. This will help transition people to the operating system without the shell shock often felt when first encountering the Hubs & Tiles environment of Windows Phone. There is nothing wrong with Hubs & Tiles, but I have seen people on more than one occasion pick up the device, ask “What is this?” and then put it back down in bewilderment. Apps EcosystemsI am not going to spend a lot of time on this because, ultimately, it will be a non-factor between the two operating systems. Ultimately, the two app ecosystems will grow side by side with the winner (by volume, at least) determined by which devices sell better.In the meantime, essentially, it is a wash. Yes, 40% of BlackBerry apps are Android ports and BlackBerry encouraged developers to wrap their apps for its platform. Microsoft essentially did the same thing. There are very few mobile app developers that actively want to write in .NET and C# to build native apps for a platform that still has relatively few users. Most developers would rather write in a language where it can serve multiple purposes, and in that case the mobile-Web, HTML5/CSS and Javascript (through Android) support of BlackBerry 10 becomes a more viable alternative.The EnterpriseEnterprise mobility used to be synonymous with BlackBerry. That’s less true now, but very few large organizations have chosen Windows Phone as their primary mobile operating system. Government and enterprise users would either hang on to old BlackBerrys or go to the iPhone. You still see lots of people who carry two phones, one BlackBerry for work and one iPhone/Android for personal use.BlackBerry seeded BlackBerry 10 phones to large enterprises and federal government to rebuild the enterprise base that has to be the foundation of what it is built from. Enterprises still trust BlackBerry and are among some of the most relieved clients now that the company finally has some viable smartphone options coming down the pipe. DistributionDistribution is a critcal factor in the smartphone wars. One reason that Nokia and Windows Phone flounder in the U.S. is because of carrier exclusivity and the lack of cross-platform options. Nokia needs to be more like Samsung and use the shotgun approach to smartphone deployment. Instead, it dabbles with a Lumia 920 at AT&T, a Lumia 610 on T-Mobile. This approach is haphazard and ineffective.BlackBerry has tested BlackBerry 10 smartphones with 120 carriers worldwide. It has all four major U.S. carriers lined up to sell the Z10 (come mid-March) and likely the Q10 as well. BlackBerry did not get caught in the same distribution traps that Nokia did with Windows Phone. Why BlackBerry Will Beat Windows Phone 8The fact of the matter is that we are arguing over No. 3. Really, I could see either platform taking over the spot. Yet Windows Phone has been out since November 2011 and it still has not gained significant market share.Sorry Mark, BlackBerry has the upper hand in mobile over Microsoft. The device is unique but familiar, the distribution philosophy is better, it has an enterprise base and brand loyalty of millions of former users. What BlackBerry does not have that Microsoft does is money. BlackBerry cannot afford for BlackBerry 10 to fail, while Microsoft can do with Windows Phone what it did with Xbox and just keep pumping money into it until it is successful.But, if BlackBerry 10 does prove successful, the window for Windows Phone may just shut down.Photo by Dan Rowinski. Tags:#BlackBerry#BlackBerry 10#Windows Phone#Windows Phone vs. BlackBerry 10 Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … dan rowinski Related Posts Last week, in an attempt to get the contacts on my old Android transferred to the new BlackBerry Z10, I stopped at my local AT&T store to see if they could transfer them. It was like a rock star just walked into the room.The rock star wasn’t me. I am not that cool. It was the Z10. The AT&T employees (who couldn’t actually transfer the contacts since BlackBerry 10 is so new) fawned over the device like it was a favorite cousin come home after years lost at sea. They took pictures of it and sent them to a friend. They bet each other they could figure out how to use the gesture-based navigation. The reaction was a little surprising.BlackBerry Retains Brand LoyaltyI could have brought any number of unreleased smartphones in for the same purpose and not have elicited such a reaction. BlackBerry, as much or more than Android or iOS, still elicits excitement and loyalty. And here is the BlackBerry Z10, the prodigal son come back to the fold.People are so excited for the new BlackBerry smartphones that I found one selling on eBay for $1,500 last week. Outside of a pre-released iPhone, what other smartphone manufacturer can generate that kind of anticipation? Certainly not anyone building Windows Phone device. This brand loyalty, dormant for years while Research In Motion languished under its own ineptitude, is among the reasons that BlackBerry will firmly take the No. 3 spot behind the iPhone and Android in the smartphone wars. Despite the arguments of ReadWrite’s Mark Hachman, BlackBerry’s major competitor for that position, Windows Phone, can claim no such loyalty. (See also: Why Windows Phone Will Be No. 3: Apps & Microsoft.)In fact, BlackBerry has been keeping up with Nokia and Windows Phone in terms of global shipments even without BlackBerry 10.  Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Bihar constrained by low per capita income, needs special status: Nitish

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on July 12 told the assembly that his government felt hamstrung when it came to hiking the amount paid to beneficiaries of welfare schemes, a reason why he has been pressing for the special category status.Mr. Kumar also insisted that the State’s per capita income was “significantly lower” than the national average.“You talk about Haryana and Tamil Nadu. While comparing the amount paid (to beneficiaries of social welfare schemes) there, please also look at their per capita income vis–vis ours,” he said.“As a matter of fact, Bihar’s per capita income stands at less than Rs 40,000, which is significantly lower than the national average. This is the primary reason why we seek special status,” Mr. Kumar added, while responding to a calling attention motion introduced by a host of opposition leaders, including veteran Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA Abdul Bari Siddiqui. The motion had sought to draw the government’s attention towards the fact that the amount paid under welfare schemes in Bihar was far less than that doled out by the states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. For a pension scheme, the amount paid to beneficiaries in the state stood at ₹400 per month, while in Tamil Nadu and Telangana it was ₹1000, in Haryana it was ₹1800 and in Andhra Pradesh ₹2000, it said. Demand for special status for Bihar arose with the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, which deprived the state of its mineral-rich, relatively more industrialized and urbanized southern districts.It grew stronger in 2005 with ascendance to power of Mr. Kumar, who has often made the “special status’ issue a poll plank. After the 14th Finance Commission did away with the provision, the Chief Minister has, on many occasions, urged the Centre to make necessary amendments so that Bihar could get its due.“You (Siddiqui) have served as the state finance minister. I wish you had taken our financial situation into account before raising your question. You are comparing Bihar with states where the per capita income is higher than the national average,” Mr. Kumar said, turning towards the RJD leader.“Moreover, please do keep in mind that Bihar is the first state in the country to have introduced its own universal pension scheme – Mukhyamantri Vriddhajan Pension Yojana,” he added. Unlike other programmes, the pension scheme does not exclude those above the poverty line, he asserted.“All men and women, not drawing any other pension, shall be eligible to receive the benefit. This would put an annual burden of Rs 1800 crore and even though we need funds for development works, we are committed to implementing the scheme,” Mr. Kumar said. Talking to reporters outside the assembly, Mr. Siddiqui, however, appeared dissatisfied with the CM’s reply.“I am glad that the chief minister took seriously the issue raised by me. But his emphasis on the state’s financial situation leaves the basic question raised in our motion unanswered. The state’s budget this year stood at about Rs 2.05 lakh crore. This is a significant rise in comparison with what the size of budget was a few years ago,” he claimed.“There has not been a commensurate rise in the welfare benefits being extended to the vulnerable sections of the society. So, we had sought to know whether these matters were not high on the government’s list of priorities,” Mr. Siddiqui added.last_img read more

The BBCs commercial arm has selected six new star

first_imgThe BBC’s commercial arm has selected six new start-ups to take part in its BBC Worldwide Labs project, covering business areas including audience research, video search and advertising.BBCWW kicked off its Labs scheme in 2012 to offer new companies guidance from industry experts and mentors from around the business, securing commercial partnerships without taking an equity state in the companies.The six startups chosen this year include: Seenit, an app that lets brands launch video-filming campaigns; Rezonence, an ad format that allows publishers to monetise digital content by asking consumers to engage; and CrowdEmotion, a software firm that analyses facial expressions to measure emotions.The other three start-ups are: video and audio search firm OP3NVoice; real-time ad and e-commerce system Verticly; and Buddy Bounce, a platform designed to let celebrities and brands better connect with their fans.BBCWW said that this year’s new start-ups have been selected based on their “natural alignment” with Worldwide’s existing business units and international brands, and their potential global reach.last_img read more

BBC Radio 1 now has more than 2 million subscriber

first_imgBBC Radio 1 now has more than 2 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, and more than 2 million followers on Twitter and Facebook, the BBC Trust revealed as part of a radio service review.The review by the BBC’s governing body, which relates to BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3, 6 Music and Asian Network, called for BBC radio to “continue to develop its online strategy” and said it should engage on a regular basis with the UK music sector and commercial radio.“As the current definition of ‘new’ music is becoming invalid, the BBC should work with the music industry to find a more appropriate way to define new music on BBC radio,” according to the Trust.The review claimed that BBC Radio 1’s own website is used by around 2.5 million unique browsers each week. Though this is the highest of all the BBC’s network radio stations, it has not grown over the last few, the Trust added.In late 2014, Radio1 launched a branded space on the BBC’s TV iPlayer, marking an extension of its existing online presence.last_img read more