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Kam-Yung Soh
Attended National University of Singapore
Lives in Singapore
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Kam-Yung Soh

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Short story writing contest by Amazing Stories. "Announcing the Judges for the Gernsback Science Fiction Short Story Writing Contest

Beginning on July 1st, Amazing Stories will open for submissions for the Gernsback Science Fiction Story Writing Contest.

Named for the Father of Magazine Science Fiction – Hugo Gernsback – our writing contest will be judged by three Active SFWA members –

Cat Rambo, Dave Creek and our own Jack Clemons.
[...]
ABOUT THE CONTEST

Amazing Stories’ Gernsback Science Fiction Short Story Writing Contest (quite a mouthful, so we’ll refer to it as the Gernsback Contest from here on out) was created to re-emphasize the short story’s import to the science fiction genre as well as to provide a home for positively oriented science fiction.

The Gernsback Contest will be accepting submissions of up to 100 short stories (2,000 words or less) starting on July 1st, 2015. (Submissions will close when 100 submissions have been received or on July 31st, whichever comes first.)

Each Gernsback Contest (this is only the first of many!) will feature a theme. Our inaugural contest’s theme is:

What will the Solar System look like 250 years from now?

Where will the current and on-going developments in private aerospace have taken us a quarter millennia from now? Will we have colonized Mars? Explored Europa? Be exploiting the resources of Ceres? Will the boundless resources of an entire solar system help build a society free from want? Will we be able to see Luna City’s lights from Earth? Will space elevators dot the globe? Will there be used spaceship dealers? Vacations to the Moon? New space-based sports? Will there be rest homes for those who can no longer tolerate gravity? Will we have eliminated discrimination? Poverty? Hunger?

Tell us a story. A positive one. Show us a future that everyone would want to inhabit, one that we can’t wait to see arrive!

(Ed. Note: We’re looking for SCIENCE FICTION short stories this time out.)"
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Kam-Yung Soh

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Interesting. A distributed network to back up parts of the Internet Archive. "A little over a month ago, I cooked up a grandiose plan with the Archive Team to back up the Internet Archive, and discussed what that might entail and how one might approach it.
[...]
Currently, the IA.BAK system stands at 27 terabytes backed up. To some, this might sound like a drop compared to the vast stores of the Archive, but that’s because they’re looking at it a different way than has emerged during the project’s research efforts.

For example:

- The IA.BAK project is housed on zero Internet Archive infrastructure.
- Only data and collections accessible to the public are backed up.
- Each item is backed up to three separate locations other than the Archive.
- Collections of items are hand-chosen for historical value/rareness on the net.

The result of many discoveries along the way, these sorts of choices came from discussion, testing, and some very smart volunteers throwing ideas back and forth at each other.
[...]
The system is built so you can choose to remove a collection you don’t want to back up (and it won’t return) and for you to be able to start using some of that provided disk space for your own uses, just leaving whatever gigabytes you have left for the project. In other words, you can make the same use of disk space that isn’t doing anything like you can use CPU time that wasn’t doing anything for SETI@HOME. We have people contributing half a terabyte drive they aren’t using, while others are going for the gusto and offering tens of terabytes.

So, if this intrigues you, please come visit the IA.BAK homepage [ http://iabak.archiveteam.org/ ], see how we’re doing (after just a month!) and learn how you might help."
A little over a month ago, I cooked up a grandiose plan with the Archive Team to back up the Internet Archive, and discussed what that might entail and how one might approach it. How's that thing g...
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More quantum weirdness. "Does a massive quantum particle – such as an atom – in a double-slit experiment behave differently depending on when it is observed? John Wheeler's famous "delayed choice" Gedankenexperiment asked this question in 1978, and the answer has now been experimentally realized with massive particles for the first time. The result demonstrates that it does not make sense to decide whether a massive particle can be described by its wave or particle behaviour until a measurement has been made. The techniques used could have practical applications for future physics research, and perhaps for information theory.
[...]
In 1978 American theoretical physicist John Wheeler proposed a series of thought experiments wherein he wondered whether a particle apparently going through a slit could be considered to have a well-defined trajectory, in which it passes through one slit or both. In the experiments, the decision to observe the photons is made only after they have been emitted, thereby testing the possible effects of the observer.

For example, what happens if the decision to open or close one of the slits is made after the particle has committed to pass through one slit or both? If an interference pattern is still seen when the second slit is opened, this would force us either to conclude that our decision to measure the particle's path affects its past decision about which path to take, or to abandon the classical concept that a particle's position is defined independent of our measurement."
Wheeler's "delayed choice" gedanken done with single helium atom
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Real life laser weapons. What I find amusing is adding Star Wars / Star Trek sound effects so people know they are in operation...};-) "On the desert floor, on top of a big, sand-coloured truck, a cubic mechanism pivots and fires an invisible infrared beam to zap one target after another. This High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is a prototype laser weapon developed for the US Army by aerospace giant Boeing of Chicago, Illinois. Inside the truck, Boeing electrophysics engineer Stephanie Blount stares at the targets on her laptop's screen and directs the laser using a handheld game controller. “It has a very game-like feel,” she says.
[...]
[T]he modern [...] weapons are on the brink of real-world deployment. Tests such as those of the Boeing system show that the lasers have enough power to overcome threats from terror groups — at a fraction of the price of conventional defences. “It's a very cost-effective solution to taking out cheaply made weapons like small mortars or rockets made out of sewer pipe,” says Blount.
[...]
Thanks to computerized aiming, HEL MD can operate in wholly autonomous mode, which Boeing tested successfully in May 2014 — although the trials uncovered an unexpected challenge. The weapon's laser beam is silent and invisible, and not all targets explode as they are destroyed, so an automated battle can be over before operators have noticed anything. “The engagements happen quickly, and unless you're staring at a screen 24–7 you'll never see them,” Blount says. “So we've built sound in for whenever we fire the laser. We plan on taking advantage of lots of Star Trek and Star Wars sound bites.”"
Long a staple of science fiction, laser weapons are edging closer to the battlefield — thanks to optical fibres.
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"How likely is it that the LHC will provide this support for string theory you want to know? Let me ask you in return: If you had a crush on Susy and she said she might come by after work, around 8pm, but she hasn’t shown up by 10, what are the chances she’ll be there by 10:05? Right. And them extra dimensions? Well, they never said they would come by, you just couldn’t exclude they wouldn’t."

The Large Hadron Collider has just been upgraded, and is now making the highest energy collisions of any human-made machine ever. But even at 13 TeV, what are the prospects for testing String Theory, considering that the string energy scale should be up at around 10^19 GeV or so? Surprisingly, there are a number of phenomenological consequences that should emerge, and looking at what we've seen so far, they may disfavor String Theory after all.
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"On Earth, the combined effects of the Moon and Sun cause modest tides, raising and lowering the oceans by ~1 meter at a time, and causing the crust to bulge and shrink by millimeters or centimeters with each rotation. But on Io, the tidal forces due to Jupiter are absolutely tremendous: some 10,000 times as strong as we experience here on Earth. And this is significant enough to literally rip Io’s surface apart with practically every orbit of the moon around its shepherding planet."

Every rocky world in the solar system is covered with craters. But while the ones on Mercury and the Moon might be many billions of years old, the craters on Earth are much younger, due to volcanism, plate tectonics and general geological activity. But one place in our Solar System — Jupiter's moon Io — has us totally beat. The reason why? Jupiter acts like a cosmic zamboni, completely resurfacing Io in lava every few thousand years.
How tides, gravity and lava give Io the youngest surface in the Solar System.
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A bunch of people have misinterpreted some excellent security research work as evidence of a widespread firmware backdoor, but that doesn't mean that there's no threat.
This is currently the top story on the Linux subreddit. It links to this Tweet which demonstrates using a System Management Mode backdoor to perform privilege escalation under Linux. This is not a story. But first, some background. System Management Mode (SMM) is a feature in most x86 processors ...
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Kam-Yung Soh

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Fascinating. How the social behaviour of fishes triggered more research into the social behaviour of primates. "As two of the region's top predators, groupers and morays might be expected to compete for their food and even avoid each other — but Bshary saw them team up to hunt. First, the grouper signalled to the eel with its head, and then the two swam side by side, with the eel dipping into crevices, flushing out fish beyond the grouper's reach and getting a chance to feed alongside. Bshary was astonished by the unexpected cooperation; if he hadn't had a snorkel in his mouth, he would have gasped.

This underwater observation was the first in a series of surprising discoveries that Bshary has gone on to make about the social behaviour of fish. Not only can they signal to each other and cooperate across species, but they can also cheat, deceive, console or punish one another — even show concern about their personal reputations. “I have always had a lot of respect for fish,” says Bshary. “But one after the other, these behaviours took me by surprise.”
[...]
The work has also destroyed the stereotypical idea that fish are dumb creatures, capable of only the simplest behaviours — and it has presented a challenge to behavioural ecologists in a different field. Scientists who study primates have claimed that human-like behaviours such as cooperation are the sole privilege of animals such as monkeys and apes, and that they helped to drive the evolution of primates' large brains. Bshary — quiet, but afraid of neither adventure nor of contesting others' ideas — has given those scientists reason to think again.

“Redouan [Bshary] has thrown down the gauntlet to us primatologists,” says Carel van Schaik, an expert in orang-utan culture at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “He has made us realize that some of the explanations of primate intelligence that we have cherished don't hold water anymore.”"
By revealing that fish cooperate, cheat and punish, Redouan Bshary has challenged ideas about brain evolution.
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"[Photographer Steve Axford] lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented."
Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world's most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard
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Free App Puts NASA Pluto Mission in Palm of Your Hand

The Pluto Safari app, which came out last month, keeps tabs on New Horizons, counting its close encounter down to the second, and teaches users about the frigid, distant realm the spacecraft is exploring.

Pluto Safari is available for Apple and Android devices, and it's free.

Read more: http://buff.ly/1J5wf7K

Download app for iOS: http://buff.ly/1dxSqrS

Download app for Android: http://buff.ly/1FDj0Zy
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Question of the Day! 
Where in the galaxy would you expect to find Type I and Type II supernovas?

Answer!
The two basic types of supernovas are Type Ia and Type II. Other types, such as Types Ib and Ic, are unusual supernovas that have most of the properties of type II supernovas.

Type Ia are believed to be triggered by a large transfer of mass from a companion star onto a white dwarf that pushes the white dwarf over the Chandrasekhar limit. A thermonuclear explosion follows, blowing the entire star apart, and sending material rich in iron and other products of the explosion rushing out into space. Since a white dwarf is involved, Type Ia supernovas are expected to be found among old star systems, such as globular clusters, the central bulges of galaxies and elliptical galaxies.

Type II supernovas are thought to result from the collapse of a massive star (ten or more times as massive as the Sun) that has reached the end of the red giant stage of evolution, and formed an iron core. The core collapses under the weight of the outer layers of the star. A neutron star is formed, lots of neutrinos and other radiation is emitted, and everything except the neutron star is blown away. Since massive stars are involved, Type II supernovas are found in the spiral arms and other star-forming regions of spiral and disk galaxies, which have lots of gas and dust for the formation of new stars.
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I know you've all seen the news about mr Riddell being forced out of Kubuntu, but maybe you missed that lwn's thread on the subject is downright awesome in giving all the angles you need. it is long, but it is heavy with content.
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Have him in circles
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Education
  • National University of Singapore
    Electrical Engineering, 1998 - 2002
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苏锦勇
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An explorer of nature, science and various forms of entertainment.
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Know me by what I post.

Regarding my avatar: I call it "Explorer Foxkeh" and I use it to show that I'm interested in exploring the world.

Foxkeh is the 'mascot' of Mozilla Japan, one of my favourite organisations. The avatar is used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.1 Japan (CC BY-NC 2.1 JP) [ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.1/jp/deed.en ] license.

Link to the Foxkeh webpage: [ http://foxkeh.jp/ ] (Japan) [ http://www.foxkeh.com/ ] (English)
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Software Engineer
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Singapore
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Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Malaysia
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