geek science tech

What is noise cancellation?

Noise cancellation is the ability of certain headphones to cancel out background noise so that you can hear the song or the guy you’re talking with much better.

Since sound is actually a sound wave with peaks and troughs the physics of waves is simple: if a wave encounters another wave with the same wavelength,the distance between two peaks, and same amplitude, height of the peak, but out of phase so that a peak in the first wave matches a trough in the second wave, then the waves cancel each other.

And there you have it: the headsets monitor the background sound and then create waves which interfere with that sound and cancel it. Brilliant!

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The REAL jetpack is here now: Jetpack Aviation’s JB-9

Jetpacks are not a cool scifi thing anymore. They are real and have gotten to the point of being practical. Jetpack Aviation’s JB-9 is a true jetpack in the sens that you can walk around with it, you can fly and steer it quite nicely and it offers you a nice landing. And no, you won’t burn because of the device.

It actually uses real jets, like the ones from the airplanes in order to propel you forwards. The next version, JB-10 will achieve flights of over 10,000 feet altitude, speeds of 100 mph and it will be able to do this for about 10 minutes.

JB-9 eats up around 4 litres of fuel per minute and the actual turbojets are quite small. You can carry about 38 litres of fuel and the controls are mechanical. Costwise it is possible that such a jetpack might cost around $10k mark when it will be available to the public.

Via Spectrum IEEE.

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IT: what is virtualization

Virtualization is the ability to create a virtual environment in which you can install several OSs in your machine. Basically you can use Windows and, using a virtual machine (ie such a program) you can also install MAC or Linux. Learn more about virtualization from Linus from TechQuickie.

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In a true world Asimov’s Laws of Robotics fail

Rob Miles, from the University of Nottingham, AI researcher, explains why Asimov’s Law of Robotics are nothing else than good writing material. When it comes to the true nature of computers and robots Rob Miles tells us that AI doesn’t work like that and the hardest part is to teach machines what a “person” is.

A ton of ethics need to be inserted in what a human being, a person is in a computers mind. Yes, the Laws of Robotics sound nice, but practice is way more complicated. This is why AI researchers refer to these laws as theoretical play, with no real stakes in what a true AI will ever be.

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Case fans: do they help when using a gaming pc?

Yes, they do help, not even the gamers, but anyone else too. You need to use at least 2-3 fans inside the computer case in order to provide a steady flow of new, cooled air so that the motherboard, CPU and video card can run at lower temps.

In the video from above you will notice that when you do not use case fans the temps are as following CPU @ 71 degrees C, GPU @ 92 degrees C.

With 1 front + 1 back, you already win a lot: CPU 61deg + GPU 79.

With 2 front + 1 back + top, you win more: CPU 55deg + GPU 76.

After a while you can as many fans as you wish, but the effect won’t be noticeable.

The sweet spot seems to be when using at least two fans. Make sure you use case fans, people!

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History of the iPhone

The iPhone is an iconic device that shaped the current generation of smartphone users. Basically, smartphones started their age when the iPhone was launched, so Apple can be proud of being a road opener.

Linus goes through a short history of the iPhone:
– 2007: first iPhone; touch, multitouch, a better mobile browser
– 2008: iPhone 3G; added 3G networks to its belt,
– 2009: iPhone 3Gs; S stands for “speed”,
– 2010: iPhone 4; aluminum materials, retina display, front facing camera
– 2011: iPhone 4s; Full HD recording, 64GB storage, Siri
– 2012: iPhone 5; LTE support, lighter aluminum body, wider screen,
– 2013: iPhone 5s; fingerprint verification (TouchID)
– 2014: iPhone 6; slo-mo recording at 240fps, NFC for ApplePay
– 2015: iPhone 6s; 4K video recording, 3D Touch.

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TED-Ed: How do hard drives work?

This is computer hardware 101, but many think that some occult thing is going on inside the hard drives. Nothing short of science, we all can say. The data is stored as a string of bits, 1s and 0s, which are, in fact, small patches of magnetic material magnetized in one way or the other.

The magnetic patches for bits have continually decreased over time and now you can store TBs of data on a platter as opposed to the 5MB on a half of ton hard drive IBM first invented.

The way the manufacturers have increased the number of bits on a platter is also closely related to the usage of smaller read/write heads which are also way closer to the platters. On some high end hard drives a laser is also used to help in writing data on the disk. Technology is awesome 😀

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Learn about Acer Predator X34 Gaming Monitor from Linus

When it comes to gaming hardware I always look up to Linus and Jay to get all the updated info and reports on upcoming video carts, motherboards, CPUs and overall advice on how to use them.

In the video from above you Acer Predator X34 Gaming Monitor Linus explains why he likes this piece of hardware so much:
– cable management
– 34″ curved display
– IPS panel
– 3440x1440px rezolution
– G-Sync
– it can be overclocked from 60Hz to 100Hz
– DP and HDMI ports
– good color accuracy
– anti-glare coating

The price is about $1300 so you need to think this through very very carefully. 😀

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Buy used PC parts? Why not?

Usually I’d refrain from buying used PC parts. You never know when they will fail. If I buy something for my PC, then I’ll get them from the store.

In any case, if someone is in dire need of money and wants to dive into buying used PC parts then Jay has a couple of pieces of advice in the video from above. It is mainly about making sure the parts look ok, are doing ok in initial testing.

Some info from the video:
– overclocking CPU/video cards is a-OK since the life reduced by overclocking is really tiny
– when you buy from the forums, make sure they have a lot of posts and that they are highly rated
– make sure it has documents and warranty
– make sure you choose brands which allow you to transfer warranty
– check to see if the owner is the first owner of the card
– ask why they are selling it
– request the picture of the socket if you buy motherboards (check for bent pins)

Happy gaming.

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Undersea fiber optics cables: the backbone of the internet

Since fiber optics was invented in the 60s the world changed incredibly. We send lots of data via copper wires, like 100+ MB/s, but sending data via fiber optics can reach up to 1 TB/s which is a huge improvement.

In order to connect all the countries within the internet we use undersea cables from one continent to another one. The first such cable made specifically for the internet and which used fiber optics was TAT8, in service between 1988 and 2002.

Before that, we have been using undersea cables for the telegraph since the 1850s. You gotta love tech 😀