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Gundega Dekena
Works at Udacity
Lives in Riga, Latvia
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I did not know that LoL championship had higher viewership than NBA finals. That is.. impressive. #esports are becoming very popular.

On that note, I will go to the largest DotA2 event to date, ESL One in Frankfurt Commerzbank-Arena (maximum capacity of over 35,000). Looking forward to that!
Super Data Research and Newzoo say that worldwide viewership for eSports has doubled in the past year, now reaching over 70 million people.
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League of Legends is very popular and Riot Games is doing an excellent job on venues, tournaments, etc.

All Stars is coming :P sure will be great (on Paris btw)
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Crunch time for me before the launch!
I think the course will be interesting and useful for people who want to enter the field. I certainly had (and still have) fun helping to develop it.

Shoutout to +MongoDB!
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Looking forward to taking this course after finishing web Dev courses at Udacity.
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I think I haven't had to deal with these systems since ROME.
Not missing it a tiny bit.
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Looking forward to see how much progress they will make. Looks like a challenging course. Also nice examples of non-military applications of robots. It's surprising how many people can't even imagine ways to use this kinds of robots for good.

/via +Matthew J Price 
 
This week, Darpa’s robotic gladiators will descend upon Florida to battle on this disaster course: http://wrd.cm/18UN2FX
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Lovely work! It's a bit mind-frying how much data and simulation we're looking at with these tests.
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Have her in circles
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My thoughts these days are with #ukraine.
What is happening there somewhat reminds me of the Singing Revolution in Baltic states ~25 years ago. I was a kid back then, bringing tea and pancakes to the people who were guarding the barricades in my city, but I remember adults quietly talking about what will happen if Russia decides to send their tanks and troops to suppress the revolution. The hope was that they wouldn't kill unarmed civilians, but it was just a frail hope - "Prague Spring" was on the mind of everybody.  We were lucky tho, we lost less lives than Ukrainians.

The propaganda war that is happening now on Russian TV channels is just insane. It's sad and frightening to think that many people in Russia actually believe their own media and support what their government is trying to do in #crimea.

I hope that this time will actually unite Ukraine and the next presidental election will be less polar. Don't let anyone to intimidate you!

And to end the post with something slightly nicer -  song from the Baltic Way in 1989. I read that #euromaiden did something similar, just on a smaller scale last fall. Maybe you need to do it on a bigger scale now.
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+Mykola Aleshchanov, guessing one of those who "spreads hatred in the internet" type of guys and can't tell difference between celebration and remembrance days. Protip: we know the difference and we don't "celebrate" Legion day.

Better use your energy fighting in the iBattlefield the rise of neo-nazis in Russia which should be a bit more pressing (and kinda ironic) issue.
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Looks like a fun project! I would like to see the next level, adding one dimension and playing.. lets say table tennis? It adds a lot of degrees of freedom and complexity, but would be fun to watch. Maybe in 10 years or so we will see robots compete in olympic games :-)
 
Air hockey robot build using standard RepRap 3D printer parts: electronics, motors, drivers, bearings, belts. OpenCV libraries capture the video from the ceiling, and once the puck is detected in two two consecutive frames the trajectory is calculated, taking into account that the puck could bounce off a side wall. Then a strategy system decides how to react.
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Really interesting chart. I have to remember to show this to people who think that Latvian is basically the same as Russian, or is a Slavic language, or is very similar to Lithuanian. What surprises me here is the relatively small lexical distance from Latvian to Estonian and especially to Hungarian.
 
Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe
http://goo.gl/9xtRwT

This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe.

The size of each circle represents the number of speakers for that language. Circles of the same color belong to the same language group. All the groups except for Finno-Ugric (in yellow) are in turn members of the Indo-European language family.

English is a member of the Germanic group (blue) within the Indo-European family. But thanks to 1066, William of Normandy, and all that, about 75% of the modern English vocabulary comes from French and Latin (ie the Romance languages, in orange) rather than Germanic sources. As a result, English (a Germanic language) and French (a Romance language) are actually closer to each other in lexical terms than Romanian (a Romance language) and French.

So why is English still considered a Germanic language? Two reasons. First, the most frequently used 80% of English words come from Germanic sources, not Latinate sources. Those famous Anglo-Saxon monosyllables live on! Second, the syntax of English, although much simplified from its Old English origins, remains recognizably Germanic. The Norman conquest added French vocabulary to the language, and through pidginization it arguably stripped out some Germanic grammar, but it did not ADD French grammar.

The possible original research data for the chart comes from K. Tyshchenko (1999/2000), Metatheory of Linguistics. (Published in Russian or Ukrainian )

Here is a rare English source about the author:
http://tyzhden.ua/Culture/65223

His Ukrainian Wikipedia page:
http://goo.gl/7Def13

Related paper in Ukrainian:
http://linguist.univ.kiev.ua/museum/book/index.html
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The Dutch have to learn English in school and get compulsory French and German for at least 1-2 years (at certain levels anyway). The amount of overlap with those three English, Dutch and German always surprised me. We also borrowed a lot of French words, possibly because Napoleon ruled around here for some time. Whatever the heck the Dutch connect to Greek is, I have no clue
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LEGO, stop taking my money...
On a second thought, nevermind, never stop taking my money!

/via +Claudia W. Scholz
 
Soon you will be able to buy your LEGO copy of MSL

Hailed by NASA as a “miracle of engineering” when it landed on Mars in August, 2012, we’re thrilled to present a LEGO set based on this historic spacecraft. The fifth LEGO CUUSOO set, 21104 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, will be available in the LEGO Shop online for $29.99 from January 1st, 2014.

full details -http://blog.lego.cuusoo.com/2013/12/18/lego-nasa-mars-curiosity-rover/
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This is related to education. Riiight?
 
Professors vs. Ninjas

http://tapastic.com/episode/24831

This week's Best of PHD Theme: Elusive Faculty
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Have her in circles
2,132 people
Steve Mayne's profile photo
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  • Udacity
    Course Developer, 2012 - present
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Life is a challenge, meet it...
Introduction
Nickname Pytonc since circa 1996

Geek, gamer, science and science fiction fan.

The most important word for me is "interesting". And almost everything becomes interesting if you learn enough about it.

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When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

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Understood the true meaning of the famous Nietzsche quote "That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
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