Sunday, August 23, 2015

There Is Bollywood And Then There's Sports

U.S. Navy personnel using a VR parachute trainer
U.S. Navy personnel using a VR parachute trainer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What Bollywood is in India, sports is in America. Because Hollywood, big as it is, is not in America what Bollywood is in India.

How You Watch Sports Is About to Change Forever With Virtual Reality
We live in an era of unprecedented global interest in live sports. .... The Summer Olympics holds the highest estimated total viewership, with almost 5 billion people tuning in at some point—approximately 70% of the world’s population.

The entire sports market is worth $700 billion per year, or 1% of global GDP.

...... Sport has a unique, almost unparalleled power to permeate boundaries and bring people together. ..... Yet, the viewing choices for fans are essentially binary: to watch sporting events on TV, or go to a stadium and watch the game live. The former lacks the energy of a live event, while the latter can be expensive and, for most games, is too far away to attend. ..... an exciting new alternative emerging. Virtual reality offers fans the best of both worlds — delivering the electricity of a live game at home (or wherever they are) — and a growing number of new entrants are working to make VR the next big thing in sports. ....... The San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium boasts WIFI thirty times faster than any other stadium. The soon-to-be-opened Sacramento Kings Arena promises to be at the cutting-edge of sports experiences. ...... The Pacquaio v Mayweather boxing fight sold out in minutes, with tickets changing hands for upwards of $13,000. ...... VR levels the field, enabling the masses to experience what only a minority might otherwise experience. For live sports broadcasters, virtual reality offers the holy grail of sports fan engagement and monetization —

to be able sell the same seat infinite times.

Broadly, these break down into three categories:

  • Stitched 180- and 360-degree film companies using an array of high resolution, often 4K cameras to give an immersive visual experience, coupled by a layered audio experience. Examples of such companies include Jaunt, Next VR, 3D-4U.
  • Player training and performance improvement technology, which enables elite players to run plays repeatedly, improving their knowledge, understanding and execution of those plays. Examples include EON Sports, SIDEKIQ and STRIVR.
  • Immersive social networking for VR, focused around embedded filmed content. Examples include AltspaceVR and LiveLike.
We are not seeking to build a better camera; we are building a new medium. We believe people go to stadiums for more than just the view; they go for the atmosphere, the social interaction, the electricity, the sense of being there. .....

Our mission is to recreate the magic of live events for people around the world.

........ Fans can pick any viewing position, move around and talk to other fans. ..... Primary limitations include the accuracy and depth of 3D data (as gathered by cameras or sensors) and the quality of the virtual reconstruction of the game being tracked (which in turn depends on both high-quality graphical rendering and clever AI). ..... ever improving cameras and methodologies) as well as technological leaps being made in graphics. Virtual experiences are becoming photo-real. The line between filmed and virtual broadcast is narrowing. ...... the recent Jurassic World movie, which features largely CGI landscapes .... A fan can pick any seat in the stadium, but can also experience the game from new perspectives — such as on the field, or watching from the viewpoint of a particular player. They can even float above the field and watch from viewing positions that are very difficult to capture using cameras...... Emotions are difficult to capture using facial tracking. There is a small latency when rendering the event (roughly six seconds). There are technical challenges in dealing with multiple concurrent conversations between fans. ..... We believe the future of live sport viewing will be a combination of actual footage and virtual reconstruction, and that our approach provides that real sense of being there at the game.
I think the idea of recreating "the magic of live events for people around the world" is an exciting proposition.

What if a stadium were to be built catering primarily to the VR experience? Trying to add the VR experience to existing stadiums is the second best option. The best option is where you put the VR experience at the center of it all.

This has use for many things other than live sports. This has use for MOOCs, for example, Massively Open Online Courses. Because, so far, social has been the hard part. How do you do social online? This could be put to use for political gatherings and protests. Egypt might have had a different outcome if a global audience had participated in Tahrir Square.

Done right VR is a richer experience than getting a seat at the stadium. I think you could use this VR thing for extended family gatherings with disastrous effects.

Have you figured out that nausea thing, though?
“One day Amitabh (Bachchan) came to me with a box full of sweets. When I enquired about the occasion, he said his daughter had delivered a baby and that he had become a ‘nana’. I jokingly remarked,’it took you so long to become a Nana. Look at me. I am Nana since my birth,” laughed Nana Patekar.



The Times Of India: 14 uses of microwave no one told you
It becomes very easy to peel garlic if you microwave it for a few seconds as the skin comes off very easily. ...... You can toast nuts and almonds faster in the microwave, rather than doing the conventional way which is time consuming. Spread the nuts on a microwaveable plate, set the heat on high, and let it sit for 1 minute, stir and microwave again. Repeat this process for 4-5 minutes or till done. ....... You can make clarified butter or ghee in microwave in an effortless and fuss free manner. .....

Microwave lemon for 20 seconds and you will be able to extract more juice

. ..... It becomes easier to peel fruits like tomatoes, apricots and prunes if you microwave them for 1-2 minutes.

Top Unicorns

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Touch Of Autism

Major brain structures implicated in autism.
Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Touch Of Asperger's

“There is no black and white dividing line between mild autistic traits and having a label of autism, and geeks and nerds in Silicon Valley” ....... “Mild autism can provide some intellectual advantages and severe autism is a great handicap” ...... “If all the autism traits were removed, we would lose many creative minds in music, art, math and science.” ..... It’s possible that some people with autism may focus intensely on their own thoughts, to the exclusion of listening to others speaking to them, and this might lead autistic people to generate less conventional thoughts and expressions ...... “The finding that people with high levels of autistic traits offer fewer responses to creative questions, but more original ideas does not surprise me”
Study says individuals with autism are more creative
312 participants who were found to have “subthreshold autistic traits”, or those who were categorized under borderline autism but were not actually diagnosed with autism. ..... an autism spectrum disorder. ..... participants who answered with four more unusual responses had more traits of autism than those who gave common answers. .... were asked to interpret abstract drawings in as many ways as they could, the researchers found that those found with autism traits came up with more creative but lesser number of answers. .... “People with high autistic traits could be said to have less quantity but greater quality of creative ideas.”

Friday, August 14, 2015

Elon Musk, Talulah Riley

Larry Ellison on stage.
Larry Ellison on stage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have a theory or two about self made billionaires doing exciting work. If the work is exciting, they get interesting. The billions are just tools they need to do what they need to do. Plus, I guess you can buy things with the money.

Elon Musk seems to have had some bad experiences growing up in apartheid era South Africa. Looks apartheid was not just hard on the black people. That can impact you. And I am not sure therapy helps, although it might. But if you are simply focused on your work and are obviously good at it, is that focus a problem? Something that needs to be "cured" through therapy? I think not.

A prior billionaire also all over the map in terms of private life is Larry Ellison. So he is with his first wife. And they barely get by. She has a job. He does barely enough work to be able to help with the bills. And one day he goes ahead and puts a down payment on a boat. For a future billionaire, that is no big deal. But that sends the wifey into therapy. During one of the therapy sessions, when he realizes, maybe money is one of the issues why his marriage is so obviously breaking down, he blurts out he is going to "make a million dollars." The wife bursts out laughing. She thinks he is making it up to impress her. That was not his first divorce.

Both Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs were adopted. If you think that is emotionally vexing, there are always hungry children in Somalia, but I guess that does not help.

So Elon Musk's first wife goes on this tangent where basically she is invading his privacy. She blogs every detail of their life. Elon compares that to having to "eat glass."

His second wife I think is very, very pretty. They met in a bar. She approached him. She actually supposedly likes talking about electric cars and space travel. Maybe the guy talks about little else. He is in this zone. You have to be. Or you can't perform at those levels.

The entrepreneur is the ultimate minority person who qualifies for minority rights. There ought to be a Bill Of Rights for entrepreneurs. As in, if you work for Elon, and he fires you, no hard feelings. It was a work relationship. He was not trying to bond, exactly. No hard feelings. You perform, and you last.

I am intrigued by the home school Elon has designed for his kids.

I am happy for him that his second wife decided to come back to him because "there is no one out there even remotely close to like him." Better than one of Ellison's wives (ex) boasting that her divorce was better than her friends' marriages. She might have been talking money. I don't know.

Madonna said at one point, "My life is not a democracy."

An entrepreneur takes huge risks. People who go to work for them know what they are getting into. Especially for someone like Elon who is out there at the far cutting edges, he's got to push people so they do their very best and then some. This is not a Soviet job. You are not pushing paper, and digging trenches.

And to think he came so close to losing it all. That dip might have cost him his first marriage. The wife should not have blogged. Or she could have blogged about her hobbies, whatever. If the only reason you want to be close to him is so you can destroy his privacy, you don't deserve to be close to him.

One of Larry Ellison's wives, at around divorce, had a choice between Oracle stocks and the family pickup truck. She went for the truck! I guess Larry must have gone for her looks or something. She sure was not seeing anything in him.

My advice to Elon, if you have a wife who makes you ride planes, keep it. I mean, keep her. You like risks? Here we go. Seems to be the message.

Elon Musk: Myths And Legends: Be That As It May

Sustaining marriage for the 44-year-old billionaire entrepreneur and innovator is almost as challenging as developing his electric car Tesla, designing rockets that deliver supplies to the space station- SpaceX, or founding PayPal. ....... Silicon Valley tycoon, Elon Musk, called the Thomas Edison of our time, remains married to his second wife, Talulah Riley, after divorcing her once, marrying her twice and tearing up the second set of divorce papers........ Talulah met her man at London's West End club, Whisky Mist, in Mayfair in 2008 when he was trying to clear his head after divorcing his first wife, Justine Wilson, after a six-year marriage that produced five children. ........ Introduced by the club's promoter, Musk was aroused by the curvy, sultry-eyed actress who arrived with a girlfriend, wearing a full-length, flowing gown showing her 'dazzling figure' ....... 'She did look great, but what was going through my mind was 'Oh, I guess they are a couple of models. You know, you can't actually talk to most models.' But Talulah was really interested in talking about rockets and electric cars.' ..... They had lunch the following day and Musk told Talulah, still a virgin at 22, that he wanted to show her his rockets....... They met up again in Beverly Hills several weeks later and lying in bed together at the Peninsula Hotel, he asked her to marry him. He didn't have a ring so he suggested they shake on it and they did. ...... 'I remember him saying, 'Being with me was choosing the hard path'. I didn't quite understand at the time, but I do now. It's quite hard, quite the crazy ride'.......It turned out to be a baptism by fire. His divorce was not final from Justine, he was short on cash and his two big investments, SpaceX and Tesla desperately needed cash infusions. ......

He had intense nightmares that made him yell out, climb on her and start screaming in his sleep.

....... She saw him through a very rough period of borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, burning through $4 million a month to keep his projects alive, borrowing from friends to make payroll and negotiating with investors. ..... He retreated within himself. He lost a lot of weight, bags formed under his eyes and 'he looked like death itself', Riley said. ...... 'I remember thinking this guy would have a heart attack and die. He seemed like a man on the brink' – that is until SpaceX metamorphosed from the joke of the aeronautics industry into one of its most consistent operators.' ..... she came back to Elon because of 'the lack of viable alternatives'. ........ 'I looked around, and there was no one else nice to be with. Number two is that Elon doesn't have to listen to anyone in life. No one. He doesn't have to listen to anything that doesn't fit into his worldview. But he proved he would take s**t from me'. ........

'Elon does what he wants and he is relentless about it', Justine said. 'It's Elon's world and the rest of us live in it.'

..... Justine knew all about Elon's miserable childhood and brutal upbringing in South Africa by his father who exerted some unidentified form of psychological torture. ........ Justine walked into their marriage knowing he was a tortured soul. ....... Growing up with a sister, Tosca, and brother, Kimbal, Elon wasn't interested in sports in an athletics-obsessed culture........ He spent his time reading. He often drifted off into trances and read too many comic books and then two books a day. He became the classic know-it-all who abrasively enjoyed correcting people, happily showing them that their thinking was flawed. ...... His classmates didn't let him get away with that. They loved to beat him up.
He was kicked in the head, shoved down a flight of stairs, kicked in the side, his head bashed against the ground until he passed out. It took a week to recover. ........ 'For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That's what made growing up difficult. For a number of years, there was no respite. ....... 'You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the s**t out of me, and then I'd come home, and it would just be awful there as well. It was just like nonstop horrible'. ....... He escaped South Africa and landed in Canada where he had an uncle in Montreal. He worked his way across Canada and ended up at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. ........ Justine Wilson was a fellow student who 'radiated romance and sexual energy'. She had dumped an older man to go to college and figured that her next conquest would be a damaged James Dean sort...... Elon saw her on campus and went to work on winning her affections. ...... 'She looked pretty great. She was also smart and this intellectual with sort of an edge. She had a black belt in tae kwon do and was semi-bohemian and, you know, like the hot chick on campus.' ...... But she wasn't dating Musk exclusively and that drove him nuts. He wore her down, calling her insistently sending flowers, handwritten romantic musings........ By the year 2000, living together in Silicon Valley, she thought if she was going to put up with all his drama, they should be married and she suggested that he propose to her. He got down on his knee and did so on the spot....... They vacationed in December in Brazil and then South Africa at a game reserve near the Mozambique border........ Elon contacted the most virulent form of malaria that was misdiagnosed and mistreated which nearly killed him. A day later without the proper treatment he would have been dead. Six months passed before he was well again. ..... The couple decided on a change and to begin the next chapter of their lives in Los Angeles where Justine got pregnant. .......... She gave birth to a son, Nevada, who tragically died of sudden infant death syndrome at ten weeks. It broke Elon's heart and he grieved in private. ........ Justine gave birth to twins and then triplets within the next five years but that didn't temper Elon.
He was tough on the people who worked for him. If marketing people made grammatical mistakes in emails, they were let go..... Intimidating, he told employees, 'I want you to think ahead and think so hard every day that your head hurts. I want your head to hurt every night when you go to bed'. ...... He had tirades at suppliers who let him down and talked of balls being chopped off or and other violent or sexual acts....... He spit coffee across a conference room table because it was cold....... To dig Tesla out of its financial problems, he had to lose his entire fortune and almost have a nervous breakdown....... Leonardo DiCaprio begged for a free Tesla Roadster but Musk turned him down. ......... All the while, Justine blogged about the party scene, turning it into a nightmare for Elon who was called 'part playboy, part space cowboy'.......... By spring of 2007, the marriage was in trouble and Justine was suffering postpartum depression...... She felt she was treated like 'an arm ornament and couldn't possibly have anything interesting to say'. Elon had no respect for her writing. ....... She felt like a trophy wife with her team of nannies taking care of their five children........

By June of 2008, Musk was out of money and filed for divorce. Moving in with Justine's parents was not a viable option.

..... Justine went house hunting with Sharon Stone and blogged that the marriage was 'a good run'. ...... 'We married young, took it as far as we could and now it is over.' ........ The morning that Elon filed for divorce, he cut off Justine's credit card....... She continued blogging and fought for more money in their divorce settlement. She appeared on CNBC's Divorce Wars, and wrote a story for Marie Claire, 'I Was A Starter Wife'........ Elon didn't have any liquid assets at the time but she ended up with $2 million in cash, $80,000 a month in alimony, child support for seventeen years and that coveted Tesla roadster....... Justine continued to work out her revenge in her blog, even giving her views on Musk's new girlfriend and future second wife, Talulah........ It was the first time, the public got some insight into Musk's hardline behavior........ 'We were at war for a while, and when you go to war with Elon, it's pretty brutal'.
According to the author, 'the pair have continued to have their difficulties.'