A fascinating article about an art exhibition featuring daguerreotypes, a 19th-century photography technology.

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AMSTERDAM — At first glance, the pictures look like something recovered from the bottom of a Dumpster. They are pitted and scuffed, covered with rust spots that resemble blooms of algae or craters on the surface of the moon. Only close up can you glimpse an image of a city, almost too murky to see: the outlines of an apartment building, a scattering of roofs and chimneys. Whatever was originally depicted has left only the ghostliest of imprints.

These works, by the German artist Sylvia Ballhause, are in fact photographs of photographs: faithful replicas of a piece by the pioneering scientist, painter and printmaker Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. Made in 1839, “The Munich Triptych” was Daguerre’s three-part demonstration of an image-making technology he had invented and named, immodestly, after himself — two “daguerreotype” photographs of a Paris boulevard, which he framed alongside a domestic still life. Keen to attract publicity, Daguerre presented the triptych to King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Read Article:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/arts/foam-amsterdam-back-to-the-future.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

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Armed with tough computer chips, scientists are ready to return to the hell of Venus

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CLEVELAND, OHIO—In an underdog city, at an underdog NASA lab, researchers are thinking hard about an undeservedly neglected planet. Venus is Earth’s cousin, closest in composition and size, but for decades it has remained veiled. NASA hasn’t sent a mission there since 1989; more recent European and Japanese orbiters have made halting progress that stops largely at the planet’s thick sulfur clouds. No craft has touched down since 1985, when the last of a series of advanced Soviet landers clad in armored pressure vessels endured a couple hours before succumbing to the deep-ocean pressure and furnacelike temperature of the planet’s surface. The baleful conditions and lack of funding have made Venus, Earth’s closest neighbor, feel more distant than ever. That is, except here.

Read Article:  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/11/armed-tough-computer-chips-scientists-are-ready-return-hell-venus

A fascinating article about a new satellite which will greatly improve weather predictions.

 

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In the wee hours of Saturday, a fastidiously clean scanning machine named VIIRS launched into orbit on a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, just one instrument outfitting a next-generation weather satellite. The Visible Infrared Radiometer Suite is a washing machine-sized sensor, built to capture light and other waves that bounce off the surface of Earth. It collects those reflections, turning them into data about our planet, the oceans, land and vegetation cover, ice caps, volcanic plumes, and global temperatures—allowing accurate weather forecasts, wildfire and fishing fleet tracking, and climate monitoring.

Read Article:  https://www.wired.com/story/nasa-noaa-jpss-next-gen-satellite-will-scan-for-storms-like-never-before/

A Complete Beginner’s Guide To Blockchain

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You may have heard the term ‘blockchain’ and dismissed it as a fad, a buzzword, or even technical jargon. But I believe blockchain is a technological advance that will have wide-reaching implications that will not just transform the financial services but many other businesses and industries.

A blockchain is a distributed database, meaning that the storage devices for the database are not all connected to a common processor.  It maintains a growing list of ordered records, called blocks. Each block has a timestamp and a link to a previous block.

Cryptography ensures that users can only edit the parts of the blockchain that they “own” by possessing the private keys necessary to write to the file. It also ensures that everyone’s copy of the distributed blockchain is kept in synch.

Read Article:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/01/24/a-complete-beginners-guide-to-blockchain/#471ca66e6077