Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One now available

DNP Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One claims to

If you picked up an HTC One and found that its battery isn’t quite cutting it, Mophie may have a solution for your dilemma. The accessory maker is now offering its popular extended battery line for HTC’s crown jewel. In addition to its slim protective casing, the freshly minted Juice Pack keeps the party going with an embedded 2,500mAh backup cell. Mophie claims that its added pick me up can increase the One’s battery life by two-fold, placing its performance on a par with the marathon-ready RAZR MAXX HD. Available in two colors to match whichever hue you’re sporting, the $100 Juice Pack is a surprisingly attractive backup plan for HTC’s aluminum marvel.

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Source: Mophie

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit.

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit. Our condolences go out to his family.

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit.

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit. Our condolences go out to his family.

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit.

One man killed in yesterday’s terrible Afghan plane crash had just gotten married in Detroit. Our condolences go out to his family.

What Is This $2 Million Porsche Doing At VIR?

This is a 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, valued somewhere between $1.5 and $2.0 million. And here it is going out onto Virginia International Raceway. Oh yes.

Reader Suneil spotted this car just last week and believes that it was out for a Porsche commercial shoot, and we’re inclined to believe him. He said there was a 959 and a Carrera GT at VIR as well, but "those were worth nothing next to this rare bird with only 6000 miles on it!" There are only two of these things in the country and the other one is owned by Jay Leno.

Suneil put the experience of seeing and hearing the little 1,966cc flat-four rumble around simply and elegantly. "I experienced heaven on earth, thought I’d share with others."

Tracking Tremors: A Brief History of the Richter Scale

In the study of natural disasters—be they tornadoes, hurricanes, snowpacolyses, or Florida on a weekday—the event’s magnitude is just as vital to our understanding as its duration and frequency. Hurricanes and tornadoes are measured by class, blizzards along the Winter Wonderland-Killstorm demarcation. Earthquakes, of course, are measured by how much energy they release—a system better known as the Richter Scale.

How It Works

Officially known as the Richter magnitude scale, the Richter scale is used to measure the strength of a quake and assign it a single quantifiable number indicating its relative magnitude. The system operates on a base-10 logarithmic scale, measuring the amplitude of seismic waves recorded upon a seismograph. Basic seismographs, or seismometers, use a dampened inertial mass held in place relative to the rest of the instrument (think: a hanging pendulum, suspended over a recording surface). This weight is less likely to move when the ground trembles on account of its inertia so seismologists can measure the motion of the ground by comparing the movement of the frame versus the weight along three axis—North-South, East-West, and vertical.

Being logarithmic, each incremental number on the scale denotes a 10x increase in magnitude—that is, a shaker measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale is ten times larger, and releases 31.6 times as much kinetic energy, as one measuring 4.0. A quake doubles in strength every 0.2 increment. For reference, a 1.0 seismic wave is about as strong as detonating six ounces of TNT, an 8.0 seismic wave is about as strong as detonating 6,000,000 tons of TNT.

Richter’s Scale

The dawn of the 20th Century was an exciting and terrifying time for seismology. The same year that Richard Dixon Oldham first identified the independent parts of an earthquake—P-waves, S-waves and surface waves—was the same year that an 8.0 leveled most of San Francisco. Just four years later, Harry Fielding Reid laid the foundation for modern tectonics with his "elastic rebound theory" based on his study of the San Francisco quake. And in 1935, Charles Richter and Beno Gutenberg of the California Institute of Technology, devised a means of measuring an earthquake’s intensity: the local magnitude scale (ML).

The pair developed the ML scale to measure medium-strength earthquakes in Southern California, near the university campus, and compare their relative magnitudes. The scale rated magnitudes by the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by (and only by) Wood-Anderson seismographs 100km (62 miles) from the epicenter. Richter assigned the scale baseline (Magnitude 0) as any event that caused the seismographs needle to move 1 µm (0.00004 in) laterally along the seismogram. Quakes need to be roughly 1000 times that powerful, registering Magnitude 3 (480 kg of TNT), for people to even notice, 10,000 times that (Magnitude 5) to cause significant damage, and 10,000,000 times that (Magnitude 7 – 480 kilotons of TNT) to be considered a major earthquake. The largest ever, the 9.5 that hit Valdivia, Chile with 950,000,000 times that force (equivalent to 2.7 gigatons of TNT) in 1960, killing 1,900 and causing $4 billion in damages.

Since the ML scale was really only designed to study the local Southern California quakes, there are limitations to what it can measure. On the lower end, Magnitude 0 was set specifically to prevent the system from returning negative magnitude results. However, more-sensitive modern equipment can detect microquakes small enough to register negative values. The upper end of the scale is also limited. Since the system was built to study quakes between Mag 3 to 7, all sufficiently large shakers register about 7.0, regardless of their actual energy output. What’s more, the system is limited by a maximum distance to the epicenter—readings beyond 600 km simply aren’t strong enough to provide a reliable magnitude estimate—and by the length of the impacted fault line—quakes that broke along 1000 km fault lines like the the 1952 Aleutian Fox Islands quake and the 1960 Chilean, were simply too big to be accurately characterized.

Despite these drawbacks, the Richter scale provides an agnostic measure of earthquake strength and provides a rough comparison of its impact—one that doesn’t rely on eyewitness testimony or vary depending on soil composition and architecture as the earlier Mercalli system, devised by Italian volcanologist, Giuseppe Mercalli in 1902, did. The ML scale allowed for the development of stronger building codes. For example, you won’t find an un-retrofitted brick foundation within San Francisco city limits anymore. And even as refinements to the scale system have surpassed it in accuracy, the original ML scale remains the most widely-known version and is regularly used to calculate a tremor’s severity immediately following quake.

Improvements to the Scale

By the 1970s, our understanding of seismology had advanced enough for Richter and Gutenberg to rethink the local scale system. The pair devised a new Ms magnitude scale based on both surface waves, seismic waves that move like rippling water along the surface, and mb for body waves, those that move through the Earth’s interior. Since both of these waves can be measured from more than 100 km from the epicenter, neither method is distance-limited as the original ML scale though they are adjusted to provide consistent results with the earlier form.

These scales were not perfect, they both top out at Magnitude 8, hence the development of the Moment Magnitude scale, Mw. While most people mistakenly refer to it as the Richter scale, the Moment Magnitude scale is based on a different tectonic theory—that of elastic dislocation, first put forth by F. A. Dahlen in 1972, which posits that the energy released by a tremor is proportional to the surface area that breaks free, the average distance of displacement (how far the fault moves) and the structure of the ground surrounding the faultline. That is, the magnitude is derived from the rigidity of the Earth times the average amount of fault slip times the amount of area that moved. This system was based on years of seismic readings and marked a huge advancement in our understanding of seismology. The USGS (US geological Survey) now measures all large earthquakes using the MMS scale.

[Wikipedia 1, 2, 3howstuffworksMichigan TechBritannicaUSGS – Top Image: AP Images: top: AP Images, pendulum: Jorg Hackemann / shutterstock, Richter: US State Dept]

Google starts including activity from select apps in search results

Google starts including activity from select apps in search results

Well, it looks like you can soon expect to see yet more information to the right of your Google search results. The company’s announced today that it has begun integrating activity from certain apps into its results, with a number of music and movie apps the first in line. Expectedly, the common denominator among them is that they all use Google+ as a sign-in option, which lets Google pull together things like aggregate user activity and the most popular movies and music from Fandango, Deezer, Flixster and SoundCloud and a handful of other apps. As usual, those features are getting rolled out gradually, with the initial batch of app results said to be rolling out to desktop search over the next few weeks, and additional apps and improvements promised over time.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: Google+ Developers Blog

Sadly, People Who Walk and Text Could Actually Use This

Anyone who has tried to navigate down a busy sidewalk while dodging people who are obliviously looking down at their phones will appreciate this latest prank by ImprovEverywhere. Their latest mission in New York City was to pose as municipal workers, with orange "Department of Transportation" vests, and act as "Seeing Eye People" for texting-obsessed pedestrians. In the first part of the day’s performance, the "texters" are also in on the shtick, but later, ImprovEverywhere (in collaboration with Buzzfeed) provided the service for real people! Hey, it’s an idea—and you know Mayor Bloomberg is obsessed with New Yorkers’ health and safety. [ImprovEverywhere]

How Do They Hoon Mustangs In Iraq?

We can’t imagine how cool you would be if you were a native Iraqi dude who owned a new 5.0 Mustang. We can, however, see how big a skid you could pull off.

This skid session was shot at ساحة باريس, which Google translates to "Paris Square." I think it’s somewhere near Basra, but I’m really not sure.

Are there any members of the Babylon Car Club reading Jalopnik who can fill me in?

Kingston SSDNow V300 (120GB & 240GB) Review

Kingston's SSD lineup is as follows: they have HyperX-branded SSDs for enthusiasts and the mainstream market is catered by SSDNow brand. The HyperX SSDs have been fairly popular from what I've seen but the SSDNow brand has been rather inconsistent. Kingston has used controllers from multiple manufacturers in the SSDNow lineup and the naming system has been confusing to say the least. Kingston has been using a plus sign (e.g. V+200) to separate their higher-end offerings from the slower non-plus version (e.g. V200). However, the plus sign has never had any definite meaning and at least I've always found it to be very confusing.

With the V300, there's hope that the SSDNow lineup will be simplified and consumers will no longer have to look for (or avoid) the "better" plus sign version. The V300 is based on (surprise!) SandForce's SF-2281 controller and uses Kingston packaged (but Toshiba/SanDisk manufactured) 19nm MLC NAND. Kingston has used SF-2281 in some of their HyperX drives and it's a generally known quantity, but let's see how Kingston's newest mainstream SSD performs.