google car

Nowadays, we are all pretty familiar with the term “cloud” as it relates to our Internet gadgets. Information is stored off of a device, with the device simply accessing it. So researchers on a multi-university team are taking this idea and looking into how to implement it on a massive scale. They are calling this the TerraSwarm.

Ambitious? Oh yeah. Risky? Of course. We already publish a ton of private information on the Internet. Mobile devices also have a ridiculous amount of access to your information: where you are, who you’re talking to and what you say. Being connected to a TerraSwarm — as the name suggests, an Earth-spanning network — may leave people vulnerable in ways we can’t predict.

But it also has the potential to improve everyone’s quality of life. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this ambitious research project led by campus EECS professor Edward A. Lee.

According to a press release from the TerraSwarm Research Center, sensors would collect data such as “embedded vision, audio, location, movement, temperature and air quality,” and actuators would put that information to work. These things could be used to “direct the control of physical devices in smart buildings, transportation systems, medical systems, security systems, and homes.”

Just think about it: fully automated transportation systems (coupled with Google’s self-driving car), houses that sense when you’re hungry and cook you a meal (maybe we’re taking this too far) and phones that sense when you’re drunk-dialing and call you a jackass.

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Concert Crowd
Music festivals are a fantastic way to revel in your favorite bands and stumble upon some brand new ones. There are even those huge outdoor ones that fill an entire three days with live music. It’s an exhilarating experience for sure, but it’s not for everyone. For one, you’re on your feet practically all day, sometimes in scorching temperatures (Coachella, eh?). And on the music side of the coin, some bands’ live shows just work better in an intimate indoor venue rather than in outdoor settings that could drown out the sound.

These festivals surely get more publicity in the long run, but if you’re looking for a different festival experience right here in the Bay Area, check out the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco! In its 21st year, the festival — happening from February 26th to March 6th — presents a plethora of shows in the city at a variety of different venues. You can attend as few or as many as you wish and with the festival pass you can score some sweet deals if you choose to milk the festival for what it’s worth. There are also some film, art and culture events as well! Here is a playlist highlighting some of the best of this eclectic shindig:

  1. Ramona Falls, “Fingerhold
  2. !!!, “Must Be the Moon”
  3. White Arrows“Get Gone”
  4. Toro y Moi, “New Beat” read more »

Have you seen people walking around with funky green plastic containers? Well, those are part of Cal Dining’s new Chews to Reuse system. Not only do you get to giggle over the adorable pun (or snort, whichever you prefer) but you get to save money while being told you’re saving the environment — one fabulous, innovative to-go box at a time.

Chews to Reuse

Here’s how it works. You walk into Crossroads, or any other dining hall for that matter. When you tell the cashier you want it to-go so that you can take food back to your room and chow down while watching Glee, she asks if you’d like regular or reusable. What’s this? Shiny new boxes that don’t look at all like the boring cardboard to-go containers you’re used to. Say you want the exciting shiny stuff and you’ll be charged three dollars instead of the usual seventy-five cents. But don’t worry, you’ll get that whopping investment back at the end of the semester. This is the part most students might actually care about, no offense to all avid recyclers.

Pay once for the box in the beginning, and every time you go back for food you simply drop the box off in bins by the cashier and pick up a new one. Then, once you’ve made your last drop off of the semester – most likely in a well-deserved jubilee of exams being over – you get that money back. So instead of wasting more valuable meal points/dollars (since, believe it or not meal points do stand for actual monetary values) and killing landfills with boxes that apparently take ages to decompose into healthy, sustainable gunk, you reuse! You have to clean the thing before giving it back instead of just tossing it in the trash like you used to, but hey, the Earth thanks you.

Next time the dining hall depresses you too much to actually want to eat within its hallowed halls, Chews to Reuse! Grab that pretty green box and bolt as far away as you can.

Image source: Erum Khan, Daily Cal


This Sunday will see the San Francisco 49ers pitted against the Baltimore Ravens, so whether you’re a football fan or not, you may want to come out and support our neighbors. San Francisco’s close enough to adopt for cheerleading, right? We’ve scoped out some places around Berkeley you can camp out, cheer for a team you care at least marginally about and — most importantly — scarf down food for hours.

49ers

Pappy’s Grill and Sports Bar. Right here on Telegraph Avenue, it’s an obvious choice for sports viewing. Lots of space, large screens and good ‘ol American/bar food will make for a good football Sunday.

Kip’s Restaurant. Head down Durant for another college bar if you didn’t like Pappy’s. Order pizza, burgers and more while you watch.

Café Durant. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food instead of American, stop by Café Durant. There’s also balcony seating outside if for some reason you need a break. (Especially from the overflow of excessive commercials.)

Brennan’s Bar. For an old-fashioned sports bar complete with darts and hot plates, there’s Brennan’s on University Avenue. Old style with new flatscreens, what could be better?

Bec’s Bar and Bistro. Offering more than just burgers and wings, this restaurant also has seafood and flatbreads to snack on.

La Val’s. Not a place one would immediately think of, but once again there are TV screens and awesome game food like pizza and sandwiches.

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Can you remember those days when you poured over college applications for days at a time, toiling away at every word to endear Freshman Admissionsyourselves to those almighty essay readers? Back then, you had to wake up earlier than 8 a.m., and you got to return to the bliss of your relatively spacious home at around 3 p.m. Try to recreate those emotions of frustration and anger at the incessant amount of work that you had to complete, and contrast them with the elation of getting into your dream school. It felt pretty good, right? You were on top of the world, one of those elite few thousand. Savor those feelings, because we’re going to crush them right about now.

From 2007-2011, about 11,000 students were invited to enroll in the world’s best public institution annually. So it may seem that you’re just as special as the rest of the field, even though the raw number of admits has gone up minimally by year. But the number of applicants keeps skyrocketing, as more and more hopeful high-schoolers vie for one of those coveted spots. For the 2012-2013 applicant pool, almost 20,000 more people applied. In case that hasn’t hurt your ego enough, we’ll also tell you that there was an 18% rate of admission, a pretty sharp drop from the 23.3% back in 2007.

Even though there’s a tradition of respecting one’s elders — a matter of class pride and seniority at most universities — there’s definitely respect for all the people these newbies have beaten out. Most of the Cali kids are homegrown in the Bay Area or from SoCal — concentrated in the greater Los Angeles area especially.

There are some bright spots for us old hats, however. The admits had a collective 3.89 GPA, a figure we all surely expect to decrease once they finish their first semester in a rigorous UC Berkeley curriculum. And all that unimpressive stuff they did as teenagers — you know, like being internationally ranked athletes, television actresses and professional dancers — probably has nothing on your glowing college resumes. So even though every successive class has to fight off more read more »


earthlike planet

It’s a perennial question: Are there other Earth-like planets – or planets full of life – out there?

New research suggests that Earth-like planets are actually pretty common, according to an analysis of the results of Nasa’s Kepler mission. As the diameter of a planet decreases, its frequency increases. Once the diameter reaches twice the diameter of Earth, it remains about the same.

If you love astronomy like we do, then this news should be exciting. The research focused on Earth-like stars in a similar orbit as Mercury, but the article noted that “further evidence suggests that the fraction of stars having planets the size of Earth or slightly bigger orbiting within Earth-like orbits may amount to 50 percent.”

This is timely news, especially as the availability of resources on our planet becomes more worrisome. We finally have new planets for us humans to dominate and exploit of resources. We can skip any lessons in moderation — our galaxy is a treasure trove of planets waiting to be harvested!

Not to mention all of the food. Orion’s baked space-beef. Soda made from corn starch from the corn planet Gliese 876 d.

And it only gets better if there is intelligent life. Let’s get some space wars going on. Finally something to unite the human race: killing other intelligent life. Think of the economic and social benefits of a totally awesome space war.

“The Earth Empire.” We like the sound of that.

read more »


sliver 2“Cheeseboard is too f**king far,” seems like a common mantra for Southside UC Berkeley students who just want a slice of that amazing vegetarian pizza that makes you forget it’s vegetarian and then have to resort to Fat Slice or something. And I don’t think it’s a matter of laziness here, but seriously, sometimes it’s just not worth going all the way to Downtown Berkeley for pizza when we’re so busy with doing schoolwork, procrastinating, being on the fringes of frat-boy alcoholism and reading the “Interest” sections of our current crushes on Facebook.

So, what’s your reaction when I say that since you won’t lug your butt to Cheeseboard, the essence and glory of Cheeseboard brought itself to you? I’m not even kidding. I think it’s time to welcome and try out a new pizzeria that has already stirred up a growing presence in Berkeley, and that popular baby is Sliver Pizzeria on Center Street.

Sliver is literally as if Cheeseboard popped out a kid, or if it learned it had a long-lost brother, because they are nearly identical in concept and pizza quality. read more »


2012-09-17 18.20.19

We at the Clog, like most, were ecstatic to leave the disaster that is CalMail behind for bMail. However, now that most Cal students have been moved over to bMail, many are finding that their @berkeley.edu email no longer syncs to their smartphones. If you are one of those students, or want to set up sync for the first time, then we have some steps to get your bMail properly synced to your phone.

1. Migrate to bMail
If you haven’t actually migrated to bMail yet, do it! You’ll be moved over to the gorgeous Gmail environment which is faster, cleaner and easier to use. All your past email will be moved over to your new account, and your CalMail will stop receiving new mail.

2. Create a Google key for your bConnected account
With the new system, you’re going to need to create a Google Key to sync any of your bConnected apps. You will use this as your password instead of your CalNet password when you set up bMail to sync on your phone. To set up your Google Key, you’ll need to go to the “Manage my keys page.” Log in with your CalNet ID and then select “bApps (Google).” Select the “Set Key” button. At this point you will see a randomly generated password. You can accept this password by selecting “Set Key” again, or you can choose the “Define your own tab” and set your own key.

3. Sync bMail with your iPhone or Android (Skip to step four for other third-party clients)
We’re almost there. If you’re using the Gmail app on iPhone or Android then all you have to do is sign in with your full @berkeley.edu email address and enter your Google Key as the password. It’s also just as simple if you want to use the iPhone’s mail app. Go to setting and select mail. Add a new account and choose Gmail, and then log in as if you were using the Gmail app. Gmail should sync, and you now have bMail on your phone!

4. How to log in with a third-party client
All third-party clients are a little different, but here’s the information you’ll need. When asked to log in, be sure to use your Google Key, not your CalNet ID password. When you are asked to chose a retrieval Protocal choose IMAP, not pop3 (IMAP allows you to view your emails on multiple devices much easier than read more »


Enjoy the music discovery of Pandora and the playlist creation capabilities of Spotify or 8-tracks, but want something new to spice up your music life, especially now that we’re in the hectic heyday of school life once again? Here’s this little gem: Songza. It will quickly become your best friend.

At its core, it’s a gigantic collection of playlists curated by all sorts of companies, important music people, users and of course, the self-proclaimed ‘music-experts’ of the Songza team. But the way they are indexed is just the niftiest thing. It’ll likely put all your other music-streaming sites to shame.

First, you can skim through the popular playlists of the year to see what everyone else has been enjoying. You can also skim through playlist indexed by genre, decade (well, that’s typical), and even by activities (driving in the left lane, breaking up, etc) and moods! But here’s the real kicker. The music concierge option takes all these options to the next level: they’re catered to you. Let’s take a look:

Right now it’s Tuesday evening. Songza thinks that, based on the day of the week and time of the day, we’re most likely be doing one of these activities.

songza
_______________________________________________________
You’re right Songza! We are working. You smart little thing, you. Since we’re writing, we’d prefer no lyrics.

songza2
_______________________________________________________

read more »


Name: Pocket
Platform(s): iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox
Price: Free
Mission: Save online articles (and other media) to read later

College students are busy, probably more so than most people. We don’t have much free time between trying not to fall behind in our studies and perhaps working a bit to help relieve our crushing debt. A lot of us like to read but often don’t have the time. But if you happen to find some free time in your day (perhaps on the toliet), Pocket can have the online articles you’ve been meaning to read lined up and ready to go.

What makes Pocket a breeze to use is the browser extension for Firefox or Chrome. The app makes it effortless to save online content to read when ever you have a spare moment. When you see an article you would like to read later, just hit the Pocket button on your browser, and the article will be sent to the Pocket app your phone. It reformats your articles to show only the article itself using a simple black font that is easy on the eyes. And if you prefer reading in this clutter-free environment, you can do it on your computer as well with Pocket’s Web app.

The app also makes it extremely easy to organize your articles. You can make tags of your choosing to put your articles into categories. You can also simply search for certain keywords or websites. And once you’ve read an article, you can mark it “read,” and it will be archived so it’s not causing clutter (but you can pull it up again later if you need it).

This alone is more than enough features. But if you’re the power-user type, Pocket is integrated with more than 323 apps. Some of the big names the app is integrated with include Twitter, Evernote and Flipboard.
Pocket makes catching up on your reading easy and elegant. It’s free and is waiting for you whenever you have a moment.

Image source: NS Newsflash under Creative Commons


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