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God Number Is Now 20: How Did Google Solve it?

Posted on 17 August 2010 by pinoytutorial

Two long years Rubik’s cube fans have been dazed with the God’s number 22 (as made possible by Tomas Rokicki and John Welborn in August, 2008) and believed that the puzzle has been solved the fastest way that one could—and so they thought.

Every Rubik’s solver uses algorithms in order to solve the mind-spinning cube puzzle. There are algorithms that use sequences that solves the top face of the cube, some use sequences to fix the middle portion, and so on. There are a lot of algorithms that may differ in complexity and the number of moves it requires.

God Himself must have a better, easier and faster algorithm in which to solve the Cube. And this is where the term “God’s algorithm” came from, and the number of moves it would require to solve a really difficult positioning of the puzzle is called “God’s number.”

And yes, thanks to Google’s computers, the newest God’s number is now 20.

For about 35 CPU-years of inactive computer time provided by Google, researchers have eventually solved all the possible positions of the Rubik’s cube, and they proved that each one of these positions could be solved in no less than twenty moves!

But how did they exactly do it?

They divided the positions into 2,217,093,120 sets of 19,508,428,800 each then decreased the count of sets they needed to work out to 55,882,296 utilizing symmetry and set covering. However, they did not find ultimate solutions to each position but instead they found solutions of length 20 or less. Then, they recorded the program that solved one set for about 20 seconds. Ultimately, Google has used 35 CPU years in order to find the solutions to all positions in each of the 55,882,296 sets.

Still sound complicated? Here’s how they did the partitioning part. They broke the trouble down into 2,217,093,120 smaller troubles. Each of these comprised 19,508,428,800 different positions. These smaller troubles were small enough to fit in a modern PC’s memory, and the way Google has broken it down made it possible for them to solve every set faster.

It is said that if you take a mixed up Cube and position it upside down, you will not make it any more difficult—it will still also take the same number of moves to bring to original position again. Instead of trying to find a solution to both of those positions, you can actually solve just one.

Now Rubik patrons could have another God’s number to focus on to. And it’s not 22—but a whopping God’s number 20!

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Internet Addicts Are More Prone To Depression?

Posted on 08 August 2010 by pinoytutorial

Internet has made its way into most of our house today. It is a valuable asset for research, news, communication, leisure and learning. With online video games, social networking sites, chat rooms, everyone especially the teenagers are getting addicted to it. Unfortunately, internet surfing can be a very bad habit.

Internet addiction is a very destructive problem faced by many teenagers today. Spending too much time with the internet can prevent teenagers from social and educational progress. Additionally, severe addiction to online surfing can distract one person from performing his/her responsibilities.

A research in china showed that internet-addict teens are more likely to develop depression. The study involved 1,041 teenagers who are free from depression at the start of the research. 9 months later their psychological states were reassessed. Researchers found out that 84 of them were suffering from depression and those who were excessive internet users were one-and-a-half times more prone than moderate users.

Researchers believed that the reasons behind the depression were the direct effect of lack of sleep due to late night surfing and stress from playing online games. The result suggests that a normal teenager free from mental health problems, but uses the internet excessively could develop depression in the long run.

According to the background information of the study, pathological use of the internet is identified as a problematic behavior with signs and symptoms similar to those of other addictions. In other studies, they found out that teenage boys are usually the pathological user of the internet, but the author said that the number of girls who shows addictive internet behavior is on the rise.

Internet is a two-edged sword; it can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. The internet is a great place for learning and researching new things. And though it is considered a safe and easy way of keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s very clear that internet addiction is a very bad and unhealthy habit. It can promote a sedentary lifestyle that might lead to other illnesses -aside from depression.

Furthermore, it limits the social growth of a person, depriving a person to experience new things and to spend time with family and loved-ones. It can also expose teenagers in horrific activities like sex and drug-addiction. With these favorable and unfavorable consequences, it is important that we fully understand the risks and dangers of the internet for us to find a well-balanced real and virtual life.

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Telenoid R1: Hiroshi Ishiguro Creates his creepiest Robot?

Posted on 05 August 2010 by pinoytutorial

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, a director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan has teamed up with ATR or Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International to create modern android robots. They are famous for creating humanlike robots that are designed to transmit presence of an actual person. Some of their models are the Geminoid HI-1 that looks like Hiroshi Ishiguro and the Geminoid F that looks like a woman.

Their newest model is the Telenoid R1, a minimalist humanoid robot that mimics the presence of its distant user. Telenoid R1 is a portable telephone-operated android robot, it only measures 80 centimeters and weighs for only 5 kilograms. It has a minimum design that can distinguish it as human-like robot. Actually the appearance of this newly made android is quite disturbing. It looks like an undeveloped child with no gender.

According to the developers of this telenoid the idea in this project was to create a teleoperated robot that can be female or male, an adult or a youngster, that can be easily transferred, making it suitable for a wide-range of users. The system works by capturing the voice and tracking the head movements of the operator via a computer webcam. An operator sits with a computer with a webcam that sends the voice and head movements to the telenoid. These movements are then being imitated by the telenoid which is sitting beside the messages recipient. The operator can also push buttons to activate different behavior of the telenoid.

The Telenoid R1 robot is designed to improve long-distance communication. Even from its weird-looking appearance Telenoid R1 is sure to add an element of realism when talking to a person in long-distance. Telenoid R1 is really portable due to its small-size body and simple internal structure. The Telenoid R1 only uses 9 dc motors as actuators compared to other Ishiguro’s android which uses 50 pneumatic actuators for Geminoid HI-1 and 12 pneumatic actuators for Geminoid F. Its simplified body helped the developers to cut production cost. The research version of the robot is estimated to cost for about $35,000 and the commercial version is about $8,000. These friendly-creepy robots are expected to hit the market this August.

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Slavery Bill: HR 5741 – Worst Bill of All?

Posted on 01 August 2010 by pinoytutorial

The House of Representatives is presently debating on HR 5741 also known as the Universal National Service Act and Slavery Bill for others. This bill was introduced last July 15 by Congressman Charles Rangel. The HR 5741 apparently will give the president the power to require all able-bodied citizens aged 18-42 to render national service either as a member of the uniformed service or in civilian service for the purposes of national defense and homeland security and these services will run for about 2 years.

hr 5741 slavery bill

This bill was first introduced by Rangel in 2003 during the time that the US is preparing for the invasion of Iraq. It was offered again in 2004, 2006 and 2007 respectively. Basically HR 5741 provides mainly for the following points:

a) It is a national service obligation for able-bodied citizens of the US both male and female ages 18-42 to render either military or civilian service

b) A military service may only be required if (1)a declaration of war is in effect ,and (2) the President declares national state of emergency which requires the need for such services and with an immediate information given to the Congress for the reasons for such declarations

c) Gives the President the authority to establish the required number of persons needed for military services and the procedures to be implemented for such selection

d) Defines the term “national service” as either military or civilian service

e) Requires those people not selected for military service to render civilian services for 2 years

f) Directs the President to carry out the act based on the prescribed regulations

g) Deferments may be made for people with mental or physical disability as well as deferments for education which is only allowed through completion of high school education or at a maximum age of 20.

As of present, this bill doesn’t have a co-sponsor yet. This bill which is popularly called the “Slavery Bill” is still on debate at the House of Representatives chaired by Rep Skelton, a democrat from Missouri.

slavery bill

This has been a hot topic anywhere and as expected many citizens of the country dislikes it. With this negative reactions coming from majority of the people, surely it will be very hard for this bill to pass. The members of the House of Representatives must look into this bill very carefully and consider the welfare of their constituents.

Here’s a video showing some of the opinions of Americans

This bill might be good for the government but how about its citizens. A bill which will require people to render force labor looks not good at all. Instead of making it mandatory why not consider making it voluntary. So members of the House of Representatives please think a number of times before passing a bill like this.

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Most viewed youtube video of all time goes to Bieber!

Posted on 22 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

There seems to be a raging knock-down war happening nowadays which is stirring people up. The arena: Youtube. The raging parties: fans of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. And the glorious prize: The Youtube most-watched video award.

During Thursday last week, Youtube officially announced through their Tweeter account that Bieber’s video of Baby featuring Ludacris toppled Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance from being the most streamed video of Youtube. The news immediately started a clicking and streaming battle for the fans of Gaga as Youtube tweeted again that she was able to claim back her throne as number one. However, Lady Gaga’s little monsters seem to be fighting a losing battle as Bieber’s fans won the race again with a whopping 250.7 million views over the female singer’s 247.6 million streams.

Now, the reigning video on the Youtube realm features Bieber crooning to his swooning fans in a skating rink. The artist was first discovered by bigwigs of the music industry after his mom Pattie uploaded a video of him in the same leading video sharing website. Upon hearing of his win, Bieber tweeted his heartfelt thanks to those who made his video’s success possible. The young music icon stated that he was grateful to hear that his music is now number one in the website that also jumpstarted his career.

(Oh 4chan!)

Bieber also complimented Lady Gaga by expressing that she is one of his most respected artists. He also said that Gaga’s video of Bad Romance is incredible and it does not matter who between them has the most views. For him, the cherry on top is that they both have amazing fans which they are both thankful and proud of.

Setting the figures aside, Youtube supremacy definitely does not happen overnight. Bieber’s “Baby” was first released on February 19 and also fought tooth-and-nail against other party and pop music from artists such as Miley Cyrus and Pitbull for five months. Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, on the other hand, was first released November 10, 2009 and was able to grab the Youtube crown five months later last April.

Lost in this uproar of battle is the third most-watched video in Youtube which, ironically, features real life babies. The video is titled “Charlie bit my finger-again!” and has garnered over 211 million views ever since it has been uploaded back in 2007.

Gaga’s little mosters still isn’t waving the white flag yet and is rallying their browsers again to claim back their spot. The good thing is, even though fans of both singers are already involved in a death-lock fight, both artists still stay sport and professional to each other. Checkout the 3 Most Viewed Youtube clips to date.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”395″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kffacxfA7G4[/youtube]

[youtube width=”500″ height=”395″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I[/youtube]

[youtube width=”500″ height=”395″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM[/youtube]

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i-Dosing aka Digital Drugs: Same Effect of Drugs From Listening To Music?

Posted on 21 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

Kids around the country have an even more heightened interest on the internet not because of the current fad on social networking but due to another more serious trend: Digital Drugs. A segment on News 9 reported a phenomenon tagged as ‘i-dosing’ which refers to the use of digital drugs played through MP3s or IPods that can put someone in a state of ecstasy. Customers only need to contact an online dealer who will provide digital drugs to be listened through the headphones while sitting or laying motionless.

Those who want to get hooked up to these drugs only need to purchase the digital tracks together with a 40-page manual instructing the steps on how to get high with the music. These digital drugs claim that they can cause the same effects that opium, peyote, marijuana, and cocaine brings to their users. An example of a track is ‘Gates of Hell’ which is even available in Youtube.

According to the reports, these digital drugs implement a two-toned or binaural technology which affects the mental state and brain waves of the individual listening to it. Fortunately, studies claim that these sounds, which mostly resemble droning noise, do not have the ability of chemically altering the brain.

Psychology Today even countered the claimed effects of these music drugs by claiming that even though these binaural beats are used for anxiety therapy, they do not exactly pose any danger to children and teenagers. This was supported by a research conducted by the University of South Florida which aimed to identify whether these binaural beats can help people with ADHD focus more on their activities. Based from the results, the beats do not bring any alarming causes at all.

However, despite the fact that these music does not actually alter the brain, officials, parents, and school administrations are still worried that these tracks can be a ‘gateway drug’ to actual substance abuse. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs fear that the popularity of the websites advertising this type of music can tempt people to explore the idea and end up taking real drugs. Mark Woodward, the spokesman of the Bureau also expressed his concern regarding this type of music which can lead children to more serious situations.

The Mustang Public School District in Oklahoma also shares the same concerns and even sent out warning letters to parents regarding the new trend. Educators even implemented a ban of iPods and MP3s at school in order to prevent their honor students from becoming cyber-drug addicts.

The concern and precautionary measures expressed by these bodies is a good thing because there is a very high chance that these digital drugs are only the tip of the iceberg and used only as cover-up for a new method of selling drugs. See related clip below (Warning: This is not intended for minors and should be viewed with adult supervision)

image via flickr

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The Real Deal About Bullies and their Victims: Are Geeks Always the Preys?

Posted on 20 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

Common notion has it that bullies and their victims come from hugely different social groups. Though this may be true in some ways, a bully and his victim actually has more characteristics in common according to a study done by the Louisiana State University and the University of California Riverside.

Researchers from these two universities reviewed 153 cases with participants spanning from ages 3 to 18 years old and with sample sizes ranging from 44 to 26,430. They used data such as peer, teacher, and self-reports in order to measure the aggressiveness and social competence of the participants. They also studied and considered other factors such as academic performance, school, home, and family environment. All of the cases were from Europe and USA.

Most people have the view that popular kids often bully the geeks due to their weird view of things that they cannot quite understand and appreciate. However, contrary to this notion, the study showed that the victims of bullying do not necessarily have higher IQs than the bullies. In fact, the School Psychology Quarterly journal released that both victims and their bullies suffer from academic problems and have poor problem-solving capabilities.

This study is the first research which concentrated on the individual and environmental factors which can predict the probability of being a bully or a victim of it. According to the lead author of the Louisiana State University Clayton R. Cook, these two groups share some characteristics but also possess some traits unique to them. For example, researchers found that a normal bully nurses some negative attitudes and often suffers from family conflict. Surprisingly, victims of bullying have similar characteristics as well because they also tend to be aggressive, pessimists, lacking in social skills, and comes from a negative family environment. Due to their hostile view and attitude towards the world, they are often isolated and rejected by their peers which results to bullying.

This new data serves to contradict the normal view that geeks or smart people are the only ones most prone to being bullied. However, people still cannot deny the fact that there are still nerds who get persecuted because of their intelligence. Moreover, the inverse relationship between intelligence and popularity studied at a closer scale may seem confusing for some. If nerds are so smart, they are ought to be envied and admired by people, right? Why then are they being laughed at instead of being loved? Aren’t they the ones who possess more characteristics which can make them popular instead of the bullies?

The answer to this is quite simple. Since geeks are smart, they prioritize more important things than popularity. Of course there are also nerds who want a taste of popularity. However, when it all comes down to a choice between being academically exceptional and being a school status, their instincts always call for the former. And the rest is up to the workings of student stratification in schools. Since typical bullies have nothing to brag about, they compensate their losses by pushing other people around to make them look special.

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Bina48: Most Advanced Robot in the World?

Posted on 20 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

Have you ever imagined yourself having a robotic counterpart? Have you heard of Bina48? Well, Bina48 is an interactive robotic head which is especially made based on the personality and appearance of Bina Rothblatt who happens to be a real person. This robot is believed to be the most advanced humanoid robot to date.

David Hanson of Hanson Robotics created this robot for Bina Rothblatt’s husband, millionaire and businessman Martine Rothblatt. The Bina48 is estimated to be around $125,000.Bina48 was created because of his husband’s intention of giving Bina some degree of immortality.

The Bina48 can be found in the Terasem Movement Foundation in Bristol Vermont. Bina Rothblatt’s husband is believed to be involved in this organization. The said foundation aims to prolong life via personal cyber-consiousness as well as geoethical nanotechnology.

Bina48 may not be the first android which was based on a real woman but surely it is one of the best. Japan has the Actroid and Geminoid project which has also the same concept as Bina48. The said androids were also based in real people.

The Bina48 has 30 servomotors and covered with a material called frubber. The Bina48 doesn’t have a body though it can show facial expressions like smiling, frowning and to look like a little bit confused. It has the ability to link to the internet to retrieve information as well as chat with users.

Accordingly, the Bina48 was designed to be a friendly robot which is someone whom you can easily start a conversation with. It feels like talking with a real person. But some say that Bina48 has its flaws like any other robot that is trying to replicate a real human being’s appearance as well as its behavior.

According to those people who have seen the New York Times video interview, it seems that the Bina48’s conversational skills are a little bit weak. Its movements are a little bit rough and similar to that of a zombie.

It is really hard to completely imitate a real person. Robots will always be robots. It may have an amazing ability answering tough questions in almost all topics but when it comes to character and personality it may need some more time to work it out. But in time and with a more advance technology, who knows it could be perfect the next time around.

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Aimee Sword: Mom Having Sex With Son, Now Going to Jail For 30 years?

Posted on 18 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

Aimee L. Sword’s case is probably the most disturbing among the top searched news in the internet this week. A mother from Waterford, Michigan, Sword was sentenced with nine to thirty years of imprisonment at the Oakland Country Circuit Court last Monday after she pleaded guilty of having sex with her own son.

Sword gave her child away for adoption when he was only a few days old to a family situated in Grand Rapids. She received constant updates and letters from the adoptive family until the boy was 14 years old. However, the letters and pictures stopped coming so Sword decided to contact her son through Myspace for a personal meet-up.

Sword’s lawyer, Mitchell Ribitwer, released a statement narrating his client’s feelings for her estranged child. He said that the moment Sword saw the boy; there was something that clicked inside her which, strange enough, is not a mother and son relationship but a connection between lovers. Ribitwer stated that the boy is fully aware that Sword is his mother.

The physical interaction between mother and child started when the teenager got in trouble in Grand Rapids. The boy’s adoptive mother who is clueless about the relationship during that time agreed for him to temporarily stay with his biological mother in Waterford. Sword was married that time and shares her home with her husband and five children. Unfortunately, after returning to Grand Rapids, the boy talked about his special relationship with his councilor who then reported the incident to the police.

Sword, who was originally charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced by Judge Daniel O’ Brien after she pleaded guilty of having sex with her son at a Grand Rapids Hotel and her Waterford home back in 2008. Ribitwer stated that Sword, who was molested during her childhood years, is still searching for reasons as to why the situation unfolded that way. She announced that his client is left very confused and is planning to seek some counseling help while in prison. A former makeup counter clerk at Macy’s, Sword apologized for her actions after she was sentenced.

Sword seems to be have mistaken her feelings of longing as romantic interest for her child due to her own dark childhood past. Oakland Country Prosecutor Jessica Copper even stated that it was her first time to witness such a bizarre relationship between a mother and a child.

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UFO on China: UFO seen on Chinese Airport (Pics and video)

Posted on 17 July 2010 by pinoytutorial

A strange object spotted on sky causes the Xiaoshan Airport to shut down operations last July 7. Apparently, some witnesses and local resident have seen a strange ball of light headed westward directions over Zhejiang’s provincial capital, Hangzhou.

The said flying object is believed to be a UFO and it was detected around 9pm. A flight crew preparing for landing first detected the said UFO and notified the air traffic control department immediately. Aviation authorities after receiving the said information responded immediately. This UFO sighting has cause the diversion of flights to nearby airports and even the delay of some scheduled flights for about 2 to 3 hours during that day.

Around 18 flights were affected by this event. Some passengers were stranded while the Airport officials are trying their best to figure out what it is. The operation resumed after one hour but this incident last left many people wondering. A lot of speculations were made regarding this flying object. Some say that it might be an alien spacecraft or simply debris from the US Intercontinental ballistic missile. Although there is no certainty as to the real identification of this flying object in the sky, some UFO enthusiasts still finds this as the most reliable UFO sighting to date.

The Chinese government remained silent and did not give any official statement regarding this event. Some believe that the government has an idea what this object is but for some reasons, they cannot reveal what it is because it has to do something with a military mission.

Seeing this object flying in the sky puzzles a lot of people. I just wonder if we have something to be afraid of with this sighting. Does it give any warning of something big that might happen in the near future like a disaster or something?

Whether this UFO comes from a different world or simply a strange phenomenon is unclear as of this time. No one bothered to make an explanation about this incident that cause the operations of the Xiaoshan Airport to temporarily shut down operations for less than an hour.

There are a number of people who believes in aliens like in the movie ET. There has been some UFO sightings reported around the world but none has shown any concrete evidence that these are really alien spacecraft and that aliens really exist.

This incident still remains a mystery. Whatever that object is, whether it is an alien spacecraft or not, that we don’t know.

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