Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Twitch TV

Until the news broke that Amazon had acquired Twitch for $970 million, I had had no idea that watching other people play video games was such a big business.

Twitch is a company that lets you watch video gaming as a spectator sport — it live-streams gamers gaming and allows viewers to interact during the games, to enormous success.

Twitch now boasts 55 million monthly active users, a count that's only growing. A recent graph of the peak Internet traffic in the U.S. puts Twitch ahead of Hulu, Valve and Amazon, behind just Netflix, Google and Apple.
The natural question :
Why would Amazon pay almost a billion dollars for a start-up that allows people to watch others play "Pokémon"? Johnson says the numbers explain it all.

"Twitch had 43 percent of the live video streaming traffic by volume in a given week," says Johnson. "That’s above ESPN’s website, MLB.com, CNN."

Last year during a championship for the game "League of Legends", 32 million people were reportedly watching live.

"That’s more than the audience for the finales of Breaking Bad, 24 and The Sopranos combined," adds Johnson.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Juice vendor cart using solar power

This picture is making the rounds, said to be one Mr. Ramados,  who came up with this solar power vendor card.  I'm wondering how much power he averages.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Obama answers a question

(via dailykos.com)

Context:
This weekend a lazy, seemingly gullible reporter asked President Obama if he regretted not leaving troops in Iraq. That is a question based on Republican talking points and not journalistic inquiry. The reporter should have known that the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement was signed by President Bush which specifically said all combat troops would leave Iraq in December of 2011. President Obama attempted to negotiate keeping more soldiers in Iraq but could not come to an agreement with the Iraqi government who wanted the soldiers out.
Question:
Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq? And does it give you pause as the U.S. -- is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?
Obama:
What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.

Retrospective: MJ Akbar

MJ Akbar (from before the Indian elections) on why he joined the BJP and endorses Modi.

Can somebody give the young a job, the child an education, the elderly peace? Vote for them.


The text is here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Arif Jamal: Call for Transnational Jihad - LeT 1985-2014

The book: (amazon.com)
The book discussion at the Hudson Institute, June 30, 2014, in Washington, DC.

The parent organization of the LeT has penetrated all sections of Pakistani government; and has cells all over the world. The author, Arif Jamal, believes that it is next to impossible to prevent these jihadis from taking over Pakistan and declaring another Caliphate.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hummingbird Moth

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Last Rose of Summer

Wiki: The Last Rose of Summer is a poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore, who was a friend of Byron and Shelley. Moore wrote it in 1805 while at Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is set to a traditional tune called "Aislean an Oigfear" or "The Young Man's Dream",[1] which had been transcribed by Edward Bunting in 1792 based on a performance by harper Donnchadh Ó hÁmsaigh (Denis Hempson) at the Belfast Harp Festival.[2] The Poem and the tune together were published in December 1813 in volume 5 of a collection of Moore's work called A Section of Irish Melodies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seen on the street


Seen at New Hope, PA. 

Only in Florida

The Court of Appeals reinstated Florida's law that makes it illegal for doctors to talk to their patients about guns (previously struck down by a lower court).

From an OpEd in today's NYT:
In Florida, in 2011, a law was signed that made it illegal for doctors to ask patients if they owned a gun. If doctors violate this law, they can be disciplined, leading to fines, citations and even a loss of their license.

A lower court struck down the law in 2012. But last week, a panel of judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld it. In their ruling, the judges declared that the law regulates physician conduct “to protect patient privacy and curtail abuses of the physician-patient relationship.” The clear assertion of the judges is that there is no legitimate health reason to be asking about gun ownership.

Almost 20,000 people committed suicide in the United States with firearms in 2011. More than 11,000 were killed by firearms that year, and more than 200 were killed in accidents with guns. In 2009, almost 7,400 children were hospitalized because of injuries related to guns.
Doctors who ask about guns aren’t doing so because they’re nosy. They’re doing so because the vast majority of those deaths and injuries are preventable.