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Eli Fennell
Living La Vida Científica
Living La Vida Científica

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Where You Can Find Me After Google+ (and Why)
A Survival Guide for Connecting with Me After the Pluspocalypse
Check Back Regularly for Updates

Rather than shoot out a new Post each time I test out a post-Google+ social network, I'm going to Pin this Post to my Profile, with links to the networks I am currently committed to or testing where you can find me. I will also include, in some cases, resources for Tips, Tricks, those sorts of things for these networks. Eventually, I will expand this to a full review and comparison.

I will Update this Post whenever necessary, and Reshare it, but you can also check the top of my Google+ Profile Page for the Pinned Version, which will always be Up-To-Date for as long as Google+ allows Post Updates.

Here is where you can find me, ranked in-order of Committed, meaning I am as committed to remaining on it unless and until it closes down as I have been to Google+; Active, meaning I am Posting to it actively but not Committed; Signed Up, meaning I have an account, so you can find me there, but I may not be at all active or at best slightly active in using it and may not commit to it.

Disclaimer: I cannot and will not be held responsible should you encounter anything by other users of this network that you don't like or is unwholesome. I am not seeing much to bother me, or am good at ignoring it, but your mileage may vary from mine.


ETER9 - -
User Guide: _

Google+ - Like Features: Public Posting, Collections (Preset Categories; No Ability To Follow or Unfollow Collections and no Asynchronous Following; Assign Any Post To Multiple Collections; Add Other User Posts to Your Collections without Resharing); Verified Accounts for Passionate Users. Vanity URL's.

Special Features: Optional Artificially Intelligent Sharing When You Are Inactive or Become Deceased; Multiple Stream Display Settings, Chronological-for-Connections by Default; Followable A.I. User(s).

Advertising: None (Unpledged)

Apps: Web App. Works Well But No Push Notifications

I've put 3-years into ETER9 and written a User Guide. I will definitely stay put.


MeWe -

Google+ - Like Features: Easy To Connect with Other Google Contacts Who Join (Including Google+ Contacts) by Linking Your Google Account (But No Asynchronous Following; Said To Be In Development.); Contact Suggestions (Similar To But More Manual and Less Categorical Than Circle Sharing); Use Your Existing Profile and Cover Images; Text Formatting (with WYSIWYG Editing) for Posts (But No Public Posting; Said To Be In Development); Fairly Clean White Layout, Reminscent of Google+; Community-Like Groups; Quasi-Vanity URL's.

Special Features: Privacy Oriented By Design. Emoji Reactions, Once You Get Used To Them, Are the Best Social Media Reaction System In My Opinion.

Advertising: None (Pledged)

Apps: Native Mobile App. Works Decently. ; Web App. Works Well.

I am slightly active here and want to like this place, so I will give it time to evolve, but will not commit deeply until they add Public Posting at least. I am active in helping onboard new users from Google+ with Contact Suggestions, Tips, etc...

Signed Up

Pluspora -

Google+ - Like Features: Public Posting, Text Formatting (with WYSIWYG).

Special Features: Open Source and Decentralized

Advertising: None (Pledged)

Apps: Dandelion (Android; Requires FDroid or Side Loading). Works Well. ; Diaspora Native WebApp. At-A-Glance-Good.

I don't really like this very much in its current state, and I have long-term fears that it is deliberately a niche, to the point of being a mere lifeboat for former Plusers, but I do have an account, so if it just be a lifeboat, you can Follow me there until you join me somewhere else or it grows more on me.

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I'm hugely, inordinately excited for the CW Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths.

For those who never read the comics, Crisis on Infinite Earths began as a way for D.C. to consolidate, streamline, and simplify their roster of characters and their backstories (as well as adding some characters acquired by takeovers of other companies into Continuity). Prior to the Crisis storyline, D.C. had paid little attention to any sort of larger Continuity within their stories. Thus, if it was thought that a female Superman would attract readers, Supergirl was created with no regard to how to this disrupted the Canon of Superman's origins. Or consider Superboy and his childhood adventures with his Super Dog Krypto, which in no way fit the Superman Canon even if Supergirl could.

Borrowing from and expanding on an idea already present in their comics of a Multiverse, Crisis on Infinite Earths brought together versions of the heroes and villains from many worlds, in an event that would ultimately leave only one world, one Earth, consolidated from parts of the many others, intact.

Interestingly enough, both Supergirl and Barry Allen (the original Flash, though Wally West's Flash would take his place for a while) died. It's probably safe to assume this won't happen in the CW Arrowverse's take, since neither Supergirl nor Flash seem near cancellation nor is Barry Allen likely to step aside. Anyhow, Supergirl and Barry Allen did eventually rejoin the main Continuity.

Why I think it is exciting that the CW is planning their own version of the story, is that not only does this seem like a clear set up to collapse the worlds of Supergirl and Flash/Arrow into a single world (thus eliminating the need for multidimensional travel for crossovers), but they have a real possibility here to use Crisis to do for D.C. TV what the comic did for, well, the comic books: consolidate a bunch of separate Continuities into one.

Right now, D.C. not only has the Arrowverse shows, and Supergirl set in a different dimension but the same Multiverse, but they also have Gotham, Titans, and other shows, present and past, set in different Continuities.

It may be too much to hope for, but might the CW Crisis event do more than merge Supergirl and Flash/Arrow's worlds, but perhaps also loop in other current D.C. shows that are presently outside the Arrowverse entirely, and perhaps even other past shows besides the 90's Flash (which was recently looped into the Arrowverse Continuity)? If so, D.C. could be setting up a 'TV Multiverse' to rival Marvel's cinematic one in scale and ambition.
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'The Mother of All Demos' Previewed 2018 Tech in 1968

Precisely half a century ago (in 1968), computer researchers at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) showed off a vision of the future of computing technology that would earn the moniker 'Mother of All Demos'.

The name was well earned. Presented at a computing meetup via videoconferencing, itself an essentially unprecedented move at the time, this merely 90-minute long presentation of the computing future would be shockingly familiar to almost anyone living today.

Beyond video conferencing itself as a means of multimedia communication, the demo also revealed the beginnings of technologies we now take for granted such as the Internet itself (then ARPA), a bitmapped screen, Pointer (i.e. 'Mouse') input, keyword searching, smart list making, hypertext linking, and even Google Docs-like document collaboration.

The demo itself would ultimately vault SRI into prominence in the world of computing research, and helped set the stage for Xerox PARC, Apple Computers, and in short the computing revolution that transformed it from little more than number crunching tech to become the automagical platforms we now enjoy and use for most everything from serious business productivity to casual video viewing, music playing, and gaming.

#Technology #Disruption #MotherofAllDemos
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I actually don't doubt Google has done some hanky panky optimizing their sites for Chrome. Heck, some of their web services have launched as Chrome-first, although they seem to be steering away from that these days. So, yeah, Google has totally 'Optimized for Chrome'/'Deoptimized for Other Browsers'.

The problem here is, Consider the Source: Microsoft. On the one hand, they invented 'Our Browser Only' with Internet Explorer, all the way back in the 1990's. Yet Mozilla and later Google and to a lesser degree (due to platform lock-in) Apple succeeded nonetheless, so one may postulate that Edge simply wasn't good enough to overcome its disadvantages, while Internet Explorer wasn't good enough despite its many advantages. Edge also had the advantage of being pushed front-and-center to the user in Windows 10.

Which brings up the second issue: this is like the kid who says 'I would have totally passed my courses this term, but the Professors were out to get me' when his GPA is something like 1.37. Sure, Professors can be out to get people, it's possible one or more even were out to get the student, but the argument loses plausibility as the number of failures compounds, and looks more damning if they also enjoyed advantages that should have helped them to become Head of the Class. Microsoft had nearly 100% Browser Market Share, once, and still commands the Easily #1 Desktop OS in Windows, with no shortage of effort to promote Edge as the Native Browser of Choice. Not only can they not simply dismiss their own failings here, but they're complaining that, "Google cheated better than we did!"

And then, finally, the third issue: they're saying Google cheated them, yet rewarding Google by adopting Chromium. Why Chromium? Why not switch to the Rendering and Javascript Engines and Add-Ons (what Chrome calls Extensions) of Mozilla Firefox? There may be short term advantages to choosing Chromium for Microsoft, I will grant, but longer term, surely it makes more sense to help build up a competitor, and keep web developers optimizing for multiple web browsers?

They raise valid points, and I don't actually want to see Chromium approaching 100% Market Share, but not only are they bad Spokesmen for the Cause, but they're actually working against the Cause!
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Scientists Leave Their Jobs Sooner and Spend More Time in Supporting Roles

In the 1960's, half of Scientists spent 35-years or more professionally in their chosen discipline. Nowadays, that 'half life' is a mere half a decade. In addition, the number of Scientists who never become lead authors of a paper has risen from about a quarter to about 6 in 10, with many Scientists increasingly spending their (generally shorter) careers entirely in supporting roles.

While there are likely many reasons for this development, it is in many ways unfortunate, as decades of hands-on experiences in ones chosen field are invaluable for mastering and advancing within it. If no one stays in their jobs for long enough, then the Sciences are certain to suffer a Talent Gap.

Moreover, those Scientists who do remain in supporting roles cannot count on earning much esteem or professional stability, or to be seen as much other than a failure within a publish-or-perish, advance-or-die world.

#BlindMeWithScience #ScienceEducation #ScienceJobs
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"When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else."David Brin
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Watched this one last night. It's actually free (with ads) on Crackle, surprisingly enough. Excellent movie. It takes a common trope of Time Travel SciFi, and just follows it through to its (il)logical conclusion, and Ethan Hawke sells the character completely with his performance.

This is one of those movies (like Inception) where paying very close attention to every seemingly throwaway line or bit of background detail will, in fact, pay off for the viewer.
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HTC's Vive Studios Thinks Christ Can 'Save' VR

For all its advancements in technology, and the availability of platforms at all price points including entry level platforms costing as little as a few dollars and powered by smartphones all the way up to high end standalone systems, Virtual Reality remains a promising technology awaiting a Killer Use Case, such as a Must Have App, Game, or Immersive Content.

HTC's Vive Studios thinks they may have identified a key market that hasn't yet been targeted: religion. Specifically, Christianity. Given the importance of the Gutenberg Bible in the history of the Printing Press, it makes a certain sense to suppose that they may be a key group of early adopters. There are also a couple billion Christians globally, who share a lot of basic source material in common, thereby enabling wide reach.

The studio recently previewed a VR Film called 7 Miracles, which consists of seven 10-minute segments, each focusing on one of the Miracle Stories of Jesus, e.g. the turning of water into wine. These are straightforwardly presented, without commentary or interpretation (beyond visual effects).

Whether it will appeal to its target audience even among those who have already adopted VR, let alone attract new users, will remain to be seen, but there can be little doubt that whatever role religion continues to play through the rest of the 21st Century will both influence and be influenced by any and all new mainstream media platforms, and VR will be no exception to this.

If such efforts do manage to attract a new class of users, it should be noted, this will be to the benefit of all users of VR technology, attracting more developers, content creators, performers, and other talent to the medium.

#VR #VirtualReality #7Miracles
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Tornadoes May Form Ground-Up Rather Than Cloud-Down

Picture the formation of a tornado, and you may imagine a twister forming high up in the clouds of a supercell storm, then diving down to the ground below to wreak havoc and devastation. When Movies and TV depict the event, this is inevitably how they depict it happening. Early radar studies of tornado formation also seemed to confirm this idea.

New research presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union is now challenging this view. Using more advanced radar imaging allowing 30-second windows of observation rather than the 5-minute windows of earlier studies, and by limiting themselves to four tornadoes for which sufficiently precise detail could be determined without contamination by local sources such as power lines, telephone poles, houses, and trees interfering with radar readings, they found that all of the tornadoes formed ground-up.

Unfortunately, with only four tornadoes making the final sample cut, the sample size of the study leaves open the possibility that tornadoes may form in both directions. Even if cloud-down tornadoes occurred most of the time, in fact, it is by no means statistically inconceivable that four tornadoes in a study would all form ground-up instead of cloud-down, just as gambler might win four straight bets even if the odds strongly favor the house.

Nonetheless, this has the potential to reshape our understanding of their formation and, by extension, how to predict them. It also makes a certain amount of sense when one compares this finding with other predominantly-ground-hugging whirlwind activities like dust devils and fire whirls.

This is not to say that the storm cloud itself plays no part in the process, as clearly the wind rotation of the storm would promote such ground-level whirlwind formations, but simply to say that the formation of a tornado as we know it may result, at least in some cases, from ground-level activity nurtured by cloud-driven forces to swell in size and strength until it reaches into the sky.

#BlindMeWithScience #Meteorology #Twister
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Live Science
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Infinity Wars nitpick: by snapping half of all sentient beings out of existence at random, Thanos actually kills way more than half the population of any planet.

Think about it. Just limit ourselves to Earth. How many nuclear plants would melt down because critical personnel suddenly vanished? How many leading medical experts would no longer be around to treat disease? Hell, how many companies would shut down because their most critical leaders and talent vanished? What about aircraft in flight? The post credits show a chopper crashing. Left Behind, anyone? Or trains in locomotion? I could go on. Tons of things millions of lives depend on could not function if a huge chunk of personnel vanished randomly right now. You can't just Pinch Hit half the population.

Now, maybe he wants to really kill more than half the people, because half isn't enough to ease resource consumption. But the movie really fixates on that half number, as if the one half in no way needed the other half.
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