Red Shirts cause state of emergency in Thai capital

by ~ September 20th, 2014

Friday, April 9, 2010 

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, Thailand and its surrounding areas today with the intention of combating anti-government protesters. The proclamation was made shortly after a group of Red Shirts, the common name for a political group in Thailand, stormed parliament. Senior officials were airlifted in a Black Hawk helicopter while other ministers were forced to jump over a wall at the back of the compound. The protesters left without violence after meeting opposition from members of parliament in the building.

The declaration of a state of emergency terminated military regulations and suspended certain civil liberties; one of these being the right to public gatherings of more than five people. This is the fourth state of emergency declared in Thailand because of political turmoil. Although the army has used violence in the past, they have been largely reluctant to attack or disperse large mobs. With a disabled military, one soldier carrying an M16 rifle was forced to flee from protesters; his weapon was stolen from him after being wrestled to the ground. Prime Minister Abhisit and army officials understand that a violent clash between authorities and anti-government protesters would worsen the political climate.

The military has been cautious about taking violent action against the people, but these feelings have not been reciprocated by Red Shirts. Two policemen were harmed by a grenade explosion at the central headquarters of the Abhisit’s Democrat party in an altercation on Tuesday. These protesters view their prime minister as an “Oxford-trained economist” being controlled by an unelected cabal. The protesters have resolved that if another election went underway they would respect the results and call off further disturbances.

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by ~ September 19th, 2014

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Red Shirts cause state of emergency in Thai capital

by ~ September 19th, 2014

Friday, April 9, 2010 

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, Thailand and its surrounding areas today with the intention of combating anti-government protesters. The proclamation was made shortly after a group of Red Shirts, the common name for a political group in Thailand, stormed parliament. Senior officials were airlifted in a Black Hawk helicopter while other ministers were forced to jump over a wall at the back of the compound. The protesters left without violence after meeting opposition from members of parliament in the building.

The declaration of a state of emergency terminated military regulations and suspended certain civil liberties; one of these being the right to public gatherings of more than five people. This is the fourth state of emergency declared in Thailand because of political turmoil. Although the army has used violence in the past, they have been largely reluctant to attack or disperse large mobs. With a disabled military, one soldier carrying an M16 rifle was forced to flee from protesters; his weapon was stolen from him after being wrestled to the ground. Prime Minister Abhisit and army officials understand that a violent clash between authorities and anti-government protesters would worsen the political climate.

The military has been cautious about taking violent action against the people, but these feelings have not been reciprocated by Red Shirts. Two policemen were harmed by a grenade explosion at the central headquarters of the Abhisit’s Democrat party in an altercation on Tuesday. These protesters view their prime minister as an “Oxford-trained economist” being controlled by an unelected cabal. The protesters have resolved that if another election went underway they would respect the results and call off further disturbances.

A Rage Like No Other: The John Carmack Interview

by ~ September 2nd, 2014

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Submitted by: Stu Horvath

Unwinnable recently had the pleasure of sitting down with legendary developer John Carmack to discuss his recent work on id Software s forthcoming first-person shooter, Rage, lauded by many as the best-looking shooter ever made. Carmack, who has a seemingly endless number of influential games on his resume, including Wolfenstein and Doom, proved to be a wellspring of effortless development wisdom.

Unwinnable: So how is Rage coming along?

John Carmack: We are essentially done, content complete, but we still have several more weeks of polishing and tuning to go. But the game is there and we got what we set out to do on it.

Rage is arguably the best-looking thing out there, but my personal point of pride is that it runs at twice the frame rate of almost all our competitors . It is a 60-frame-per-second (FPS) game that looks like nothing anyone has seen before.

I had the opportunity with this generation to push the graphics in artistic directions that could have been somewhat more exotic than what we chose here, but it would have been at the expense of being a 30 FPS game. I made the early decision that, if we pick this technical direction, we could have this environment that looks incredibly awesome, but can be done at 60 frames per second.

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Unwinnable: Has it been hard to stick to that decision?

J.C.: It has been a huge challenge. Rage wound up being twice as aggressive as I originally thought. When I laid the stuff down the first level that we built, I thought we could build it like this and it will be fine. But the later levels turned out to be twice as complex, twice as resource-intensive and it led to us sweating a lot over the last several months as we were packing it all into the final console builds. It s been a stretch, but those stretches always wind up giving you the best results in the end.

Unwinnable: How are you addressing scaling for multiple platforms on Rage?

J.C.: We had to make the game dominated by the console hardware trade offs. And the PlayStation 3 is, in some ways, the long pole there. They are close, the PS3 and the Xbox 360. You don t have to do radically different things, but the memory is a little tighter on the PS3 because it is segmented and Sony takes a little bit more off the top for their guide overhead than Microsoft does.

There is no doubt that decisions had to be based around what would work well on the consoles. Unfortunately, the PC suffers so much from API overhead. We have some systems with 10 times the raw horsepower of the consoles, and they are still struggling to maintain the 60 FPS rate. Now, PCs can render 10 times as many fragments, they can be running in 4xAA 1080p, but if I want to do all these things in 15 milliseconds, the PC is at a bit of a handicap and it has to make up for it with raw brute force.

Unwinnable: Where do you see innovation in game development going in the future?

J.C.: I am historically known as a graphics guy. I ve enjoyed all the different aspects of the development, but I m mostly tied up with building the 3D worlds and advancing the technology. Rage gets all its hype about mega-texture, but as a graphics guy I think we are past the curve of where the benefit really is. That s why, on Rage, I was happy to do the 60 FPS. Every game is better going 60 FPS.

As I look forward to the work for our next technical generations, I think we are going to make more of a difference by changing our development process. PCs have an order of magnitude far greater than consoles. We ve got 64 bit address spaces, you can put 64 gigs of RAM in these systems and terabyte solid-state drive arrays and 24 threaded processors. We have so much more power there, the marching orders going forward are: Leverage all these incredible super-computer resources in the PC space to allow us to create game more rapidly.

I would be happy if we made another game that looked just as good as Rage but was done in half the time or at twice the iteration.

Unwinnable: Why has speed in development become your focus?

J.C.: I m always thrilled at the end. I have a vision in my head of how things are going to work when I make a technology, but in recent generations the artists and designers have always surpassed what I think. That s the difference between the artists and programmers they have a higher-fidelity imagination.

I have this fuzzy view of what a mega-textured world will look like. You won t see any repeated textures anywhere and all that, but I can t imagine the things that the artists build when they spend a year working on something.

I m very much looking forward to that happening in the future. When I can double the rate at which they innovate these things, how much more is that going to let the great artists and designers contribute to the game?

About the Author: Stu Horvath is the man behind the geek culture website Unwinnable. Previously, Horvath has worked at the New York Daily News, Wizard magazine, Complex, Kill Screen Magazine and Joystiq. Check out Unwinnable at

unwinnable.com

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Electric vehicles can be less green than classic fuel cars, Norwegian study finds

by ~ September 1st, 2014

Sunday, October 7, 2012 

A Norwegian University of Science and Technology study released Thursday found electric vehicles have a potential for higher eco-toxicity and greenhouse impact than conventional cars. The study includes an examination of the electric car’s life cycle as a whole rather than a study of the electric car’s environmental impact during the use phase.

The researchers conducted a comparison of the environmental impact of electric cars in view of different ratios of green-to-fuel electricity energy sources. In the case of mostly coal- or oil-based electricity supply, electric cars are disadvantageous compared to classic diesel cars with the greenhouse effect impact being up to two times larger.

The researchers found that in Europe, electric cars pose a “10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles”.

The researchers suggest to improve eco-friendliness of electric vehicles by “reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure” and using the electric cars for a longer time, so that the use phase plays a more important role in the electric vehicle life cycle.

Electric vehicles can be less green than classic fuel cars, Norwegian study finds

by ~ August 30th, 2014

Sunday, October 7, 2012 

A Norwegian University of Science and Technology study released Thursday found electric vehicles have a potential for higher eco-toxicity and greenhouse impact than conventional cars. The study includes an examination of the electric car’s life cycle as a whole rather than a study of the electric car’s environmental impact during the use phase.

The researchers conducted a comparison of the environmental impact of electric cars in view of different ratios of green-to-fuel electricity energy sources. In the case of mostly coal- or oil-based electricity supply, electric cars are disadvantageous compared to classic diesel cars with the greenhouse effect impact being up to two times larger.

The researchers found that in Europe, electric cars pose a “10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles”.

The researchers suggest to improve eco-friendliness of electric vehicles by “reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure” and using the electric cars for a longer time, so that the use phase plays a more important role in the electric vehicle life cycle.

Australian man allegedly ignites carpet, plastic with static electricity

by ~ August 30th, 2014

Saturday, September 17, 2005 

A story about a man carrying over 30,000 (sometimes reported as 40,000) volts of static electricity in his body, allegedly generated by a wool sweater and nylon jacket combination, is circulating through major news outlets. The story, carried first by the Warrnambool Standard, says that the man, Frank Clewer, a 58-year old cleaner from Dennington, involuntarily created a scene by causing fire departments to evacuate three buildings where he had left his mark, before he realized he was causing the burn marks on carpets and allowed the fire department to help him.

The story has been picked up by The Register, Guardian, BBC, USA Today, Reuters, local agencies of ABC, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other news outlets.

Several unanswered objections mark the story as a possible hoax:

The equation for stored energy in capacitors is:

Where U = energy, C = capacitance, and V = voltage. A human body by itself typically has a capacitance of around 250 pF, which would mean a voltage of 30,000 V would produce energy of 0.11 joules. Even if Clewer’s possessions resulted in a parallel capacitance of 1 microfarad, this would still only result in an energy storage of 450 J. This amount of energy would be insufficient to burn carpet or char plastic, although a spark could ignite flammable vapor or gas.

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by ~ August 12th, 2014

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Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ commits suicide

by ~ August 12th, 2014

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 

Joseph Cerniglia, a chef who had appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s television show Kitchen Nightmares, has commited suicide. Cerniglia was the owner of Italian restaurant Campania. He jumped off a bridge into the Hudson river on the New York–New Jersey border. At the time of filming in 2007, Cerniglia owed suppliers $80,000.

Officials reported that 39-year-old Cerniglia had jumped off of the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson. His death has officially been ruled as suicide. His body was retrieved from the river after reports of a man jumping off of the bridge.

Ramsay released a statement to the Press Association saying “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares. Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Cerniglia told Ramsay about his personal debt when he came to the restaurant in 2007. He said “I am financially in trouble. The debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt — wife, kids, mortgage — that’s a lot of debt”.

Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ commits suicide

by ~ August 12th, 2014

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 

Joseph Cerniglia, a chef who had appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s television show Kitchen Nightmares, has commited suicide. Cerniglia was the owner of Italian restaurant Campania. He jumped off a bridge into the Hudson river on the New York–New Jersey border. At the time of filming in 2007, Cerniglia owed suppliers $80,000.

Officials reported that 39-year-old Cerniglia had jumped off of the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson. His death has officially been ruled as suicide. His body was retrieved from the river after reports of a man jumping off of the bridge.

Ramsay released a statement to the Press Association saying “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares. Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Cerniglia told Ramsay about his personal debt when he came to the restaurant in 2007. He said “I am financially in trouble. The debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt — wife, kids, mortgage — that’s a lot of debt”.