Move Over Oil, Big Data Is the New Fuel to Run the World

Drugs tailored to a person’s genetics don’t appear to have a lot in common with airplane assembly line simulations or smart devices that monitor tree cutting in remote forests.

But all three technologies are among the first to get funding from British Columbia’s digital technology supercluster, one of five innovation hubs the federal government is investing $950 million in over five years in hopes of spawning world-leading technologies and companies.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development granted the B.C. hub $153 million, with 29 members pitching in another $200 million. An additional 500 organizations including non-profits have signed on as associates without making a financial commitment.

The West Coast cluster is an amalgamation of post-secondary institutions and large and small businesses from sectors including health care, mining, forestry and aerospace.

What unites these disparate players is big data and, more critically, a need to analyze the huge volumes of information being collected. Some say the ability to analyze this data could become the currency that fuels every element of the economy, much like oil was the currency of the last century.

“Just like oil coming out of the ground is not a very useful resource, data that’s swirling around in big pools is not a very useful resource,” Sue Paish, chief executive of the digital technology supercluster, said. “But if you can actually extract the data that you need, analyze it, refine it, leverage it, deploy it, monetize it, it becomes an incredibly powerful part of society.”

Paish knows she’s not the first to make the analogy between oil and data, a comparison often drawn by major tech executives despite the former’s finite nature and the seeming limitlessness of the latter, but she believes the digital technology supercluster can unlock big data’s potential.

The cluster formed after the federal government announced its supercluster funding plan in the 2016 budget. It anticipated a regional distribution of money, Paish said, and wanted to have a strong proposal for B.C.

Realizing that the province has a depth of digital knowledge in sectors ranging from entertainment and gaming to health care and resource extraction, Paish said the group decided to focus on “harnessing the power of the data that’s being created, but not leveraged.”

Only 0.8 per cent of all data collected is ever analyzed, according to a 2018 white paper by research firm IDC. That amount is expected to go up to one per cent by 2020, IDC senior vice-president John Gantz said in an email.

But that still leaves an almost unfathomable amount of untouched data, since the overall amount of data collected is expected to hit 175 zettabytes (one ZB is a trillion gigabytes) in 2025 from 33 ZB in 2018, according to IDC estimates. (One zettabyte is enough data to stream one trillion movies.)

Paish said there’s a competitive advantage to be had for the first jurisdiction that becomes known for successfully analyzing big data. Collaborating across industries is expected to help B.C.’s supercluster do just that.

“The best innovation and the best deployments of innovation come from different perspectives coming together around a table,” she said. “It’s harder to come to a final product or a final plan, but that final plan is richer.”

More specifically, the digital technology supercluster intends to develop data visualization tools such as mapping and virtual reality; data analysis tools like cloud and quantum computing; and data collection tools such as the Internet of Things and data repositories. It will apply these tools in the precision health, natural resources and industrial sectors.

Over the next five to 10 years, the supercluster hopes the projects it funds will create 13,000 jobs and increase Canada’s gross domestic product by $5 billion.

One of the supercluster’s major players is Telus Corp. The telecom, which has a health division that serves 22,000 physicians and 6,300 pharmacies, is involved in a pharmacogenomics project that is studying how genetics affect a person’s reaction to different drugs. Other partners in the project include GenXys Health Care Systems Inc., LifeLabs BC LP and Genome B.C.

The supercluster’s mix of big and smaller companies is important, because it gives large organizations a chance to focus on new ideas around the common theme of data, said Ohad Arazi, Telus Health’s chief strategy officer, while also giving smaller players the ability to strike deals that could help commercialize their research.

“The reality is that innovation is very difficult for big companies,” he said. “They have to continue delivering value; it’s hard to step back and pursue innovative ideas.”

Arazi sees the supercluster as an opportunity for B.C. players to band together and develop global ambitions, a goal echoed by other members including the University of British Columbia.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for post-secondary and industry to come together to build disruptive technology to really help make sure Canada is at the lead creating the knowledge economy,” said Gail Murphy, UBC’s vice-president of research and innovation.

UBC is participating in a digital twin project, which is creating a simulation of two complex industrial production lines used to make Boeing Co. aircraft parts. This “learning factory” will enable Boeing and partners — including AMPD Game Technologies Ltd., a Vancouver-based video-game company; Avcorp Industries Inc., an aircraft supply chain company in Delta, B.C.; and LlamaZOO, a Victoria-based 3D data visualization company — to test new factory processes in real time.

On top of the learning factory’s industry applications, Murphy said it can give students a chance to develop the talent and skills that companies are looking for. Projects such as these also show the value in sharing ideas and collaborating, something she said would be very hard to do without supercluster funding.

“It’s breaking down barriers,” she said. “Having Microsoft and Finger Food Studios at the same table as Canfor and TimberWest and Telus, that kind of cross-sectoral discussion, in my experience, doesn’t happen a lot in regular life.”

Collaboration across industries is part of what drew mining giant Teck Resources Ltd. and space robotics company MDA Corp. to the supercluster. Both have pledged funding, although neither is participating in one of the initial projects.

“We see there being tremendous opportunity,” said Victoria Sterritt, Teck’s lead of technology and innovation.

Teck already uses data extensively, such as getting information from X-ray sensors on its shovels to distinguish between ore and waste, and from remotely operated bulldozers, which use automation to extract coal from otherwise unstable areas of a pit.

Industries can be fairly insular, Sterritt said, but Teck sees an opportunity to share knowledge across sectors rather than talk only to other miners.

“We understand we just can’t get to as good of a result on our own,” she said.

Chris Pogue, president of MDA Government and a veteran of the Canadian Air Force, agreed that having variety around the table is more effective, even if it is messier.

“A certain amount of chaos is healthy, to be quite frank,” he said.

Given MDA’s line of work, it is well aware of the challenges of analyzing vast amounts of data. “We’ve been dealing with the big data problem as a space agency before anyone called it big data,” Pogue said. The company plans to work on virtual and augmented reality projects as part of the cluster.

Joining together to grapple challenges that companies such as MDA previously tackled alone is the crux of the strategy behind the supercluster since researchers believe in cross-pollinating ideas.

Catherine Beaudry, Canada Research Chair on the Creation, Development and the Commercialization of Innovation at Polytechnique Montréal, said innovation often results from combining knowledge pools that already exist.

“Mixing and matching from different sectors can be highly beneficial,” she said. “Learning from one another and not having to do everything from scratch within a silo, I think that’s very, very important.”

As an example, Beaudry pointed to the aerospace industry’s link to the gaming community through the use of technologies such as flight simulators.

As for the risks in collaborating, she said partners have to be careful with intellectual property management, but could potentially benefit from casting a wider geographical net beyond B.C.

“Our superclusters are very much seen as a Canadian experiment,” she said.

Of course, the idea of concentrating regional players to spark innovation isn’t new. It dates back to U.S. economist Michael Porter’s theories from the 1990s, but it has become a buzzword as politicians around the world strive to create their own Silicon Valleys.

Rune Dahl Fitjar, a professor at the University of Stavanger Business School in Norway who studies what types of interactions lead to innovation, said he has found very little evidence about the effectiveness of cluster policies, but said they continue to appeal to policy-makers trying to stimulate industry development.

“It’s the need to appear to be doing something,” he said.

Fitjar said companies that look beyond a particular region to find international partners tend to find the most success.

“The wisest way to go is trying to improve diversity,” he said, adding that a multi-industry approach may help develop new ideas closer to home. “Going across sectors is helpful, because it then makes it easier to find emergent industries that can benefit and can also participate. It helps companies go beyond the networks they develop anyway.”

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Using Blockchain to Monetise Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Advertising
Using Blockchain to Monetise Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Advertising
Virtual reality and augmented reality monetisation platform Gaze Coin has announced the launch of its blockchain token for VR and AR, based on gaze control/eye tracking, alongside plans for a public Initial Coin Offering set for the 28th of November 2017. The platform offers a monetisation, adtech and DRM solution for VR and AR, measuring and employing user gaze as a unit of exchange and digital record among advertisers, content owners or creators and users.By combining gaze control and eye tracking with blockchain, Gaze Coin calculates the exact amount of time users spend looking at, interacting with, or being immersed inside VR and AR content. It then creates a micro-transaction that charges the advertiser for that time, pays the content owner or creator, and rewards the user for consuming the content. The mechanic also works without an advertiser, in which case it incentivises content owners, creators and users from the Gaze Coin user growth pool. The transactions are handled using blockchain technology, with the unit of currency GazeCoin token (GZE) being an Ethereum-based token which can be bought and sold in or out of VR and AR, and will be able to be exchanged for other Ethereum tokens. Founder of Gaze Coin, Jonny Peters remarked: For too long, VR/AR monetisation has been constrained by last-century models that work for web and mobile, but miss the mark terribly in VR/AR, where literally everything you see or touch can be monetised. We designed Gaze Coin to bridge the gap between the promise of virtual worlds and the ability for brands and content owners to capitalize on it, at the heart of how the medium is actually consumed.The company believes this overcomes many of the major current hurdles for advertisers in VR and AR, including the ability to calculate precise ROI on branded campaigns, collect consumer behaviour data in VR or AR, and evolve the ad format from interruptive ads that obstruct immersion to more native, engaging formats. Gaze Coin can also solve copyright tracking issues for content rights holders in VR and AR, allowing owners to track content throughout its lifecycle as it is consumed, changed, licensed, transferred or ended.Gaze Coin has also built a functional proof of concept and working demonstration of the platform within its interactive virtual world experience, Dream Channel VR, which featured at the Cannes Film Festival in May and will be available on Vive/SteamVR, Oculus Rift and Gear VR later this year.To coincide with the ICO, Gaze Coin has welcomed blockchain and cryptocurrency experts Evan Luthra, George Samman and Bok Khoo to its advisory and executive team who join media producers and adtech/fintech executives including Landon Curry and James Sugrue. Peters added: As consumers increasingly embrace VR and AR, they expect brands and media companies to be there with innovative content to capture their imagination. Gaze Coin provides the infrastructural backbone of the VR/AR creative economy, delivering the security, parity, exchange mechanisms and material incentive for all stakeholders to ensure creativity can flourish. RELATED QUESTION Is it possible to compete with the major VR companies? That depends on what you want to do. When it comes to the actual VR hardware, I would have to assume no. But many companies are getting creative with their VR products. I'm answering from my phone so finding links is too much of a pain in the ass, but there are compabies releasing VR gloves, special 360-degree "treadmills" so you can run in VR, a special VR chair that lets you use your feet to move in VR and swivels, and even an excercise bike designed for VR. When it comes to software development, you could potentially compete. Unity and other platforms have begun releasing tools for VR software developers, so it should be relatively cheap and easy for you to get started.
Virtual Reality Characters
Characters has a major part in all media types since the beginning of storytelling. Virtual reality medium is definitely included. Directors and game designers use methods found in traditional media to create empathy and plot progress with VR characters. But in this article, I want to take a step back and ponder on the VR characters concept.What is a VR Character?Well, it's not an inanimate, still object. It does not have to move, although viewers might expect characters to be able to. In any case, characters has to interact or communicate with the viewer, another character or an object. An NPC (non-player character) talking to a tree can still be considered as a character.Some VR characters are NPCs who has the goal to advance the plot, cooperate, compete or create a more immersive environment. Other characters, usually in multiplayer online games, represent REAL human players. Experiences and games choose various body parts as the best way to represent players and their actions.Here are some examples:Rec Room VR — uses head, body and hands (or controllers). Oculus Toybox — uses head with headset and hands.Paddle Up — uses head, body (only for NPC), hands (only for NPC) and a paddle.AltspaceVR — most skins show full body characters. Warhammer:Vermintide VR — uses helmet and 2 hands (or weapons).Currently, even top tier VR systems can track only the headset and controller positions. To provide a full character representation, the experience must use a headset, controller position and action indicators. Experiences that choose to show head, body or feet do it by estimating their positions in relation to the tracked parts. Keep in mind, that there are devices which track only the headset, or one controller. This can lead to mistakes in estimation of body and hand positioning due to lack of information. In some VR experiences, player body parts are an essential part of the gameplay. Rec Room's paintball game and Valiantrelies on players targeting and hitting their opponents body parts to score points.Soon, haptic vests (eg. Hardlight VR) and full body skeletal tracking will enable experiences to show player characters accurately. This opens up the sensitive subject of personal space and harassment on VR. Recently I've encounter a troubling article dealing with VR sexual harassment. The issue occurred with the representation of a headset and 2 controllers. Imagine the issues that arise once an accurate full body representation is available.Interacting with a Virtual CharacterFor me, interacting with the environment and virtual characters is the core essence of VR. Here are some ideas you can use when designing a virtual reality experience. TouchTouch is the basic interaction with virtual items and characters. You can touch an NPC to start a conversation, or equip them with an item. Yet, as described above, touching can be controversial when dealing with human players. The feeling of someone invading the personal space (starting at 30cm from the body) is very real in VR. Try to avoid personal space invading behaviors from your NPC and players, if possible.MovementNPCs can move freely without any limitations. Yet, human players can either move using their controllers, or walk around the room using a room-scale VR kit. Regardless of moving method, you should prevent characters from moving through each other or the viewer. First, as said, personal space invasion is wrong. Second, it could feels unnatural and might break immersion.Another way of moving around is Teleporting. When there are multiple human players in an experience Teleporting can be used very often. As you are not expecting characters to disappear into thin air in the real world, you should either have a good excuse or an animation to support it. Excuse can be that the character is a wizard and can disappear and reappear. Animation show the character would ashing' to a new position. This way the viewer will have a hint where to look and continue the experience.AudioWhile speech recognition by NPCs is still far from perfect, talking with human players feels natural in social VR experiences. Make sure the audio origin is positioned near the character's mouth or relative headset position. For multiplayer experiences, you may include the option to mute a player to prevent harassment or awkward situations.Interaction ThemesHere are some examples for interaction themes you can find in today's VR experiences.CompetitivePlaying Rec Room Paintball with real human players is a great competitive-social experience (and quite intensive). Competing with AI in Paddle Up can be hard, both physically and mentally.CooperativePlaying endless games in Oculus Toybox sandbox with another human players.The Lab's robo-dog is glad to play fetch with you. Always. SocialTalking and sharing experiences with other viewers in AltspaceVR.Hanging around the inn and talking to NPCs in Warhammer: Vermintide VR.EpilogueThis is still the beginning, but having unique and versatile experiences with characters in VR will deem this medium's faith. The memorable moments in VR (as in real-life) are interactions with other characters — competitive, cooperative or social. Design them wellThis or that survey? [20 characters]?Silver. Jacob Black. Ice cream. Apples. Soccer. Computer. Italy. David Cook. iPod. They both suck. Crayon. Moon. Black. Vegetarian :]
Where Will Virtual Reality Take Human Beings
The rapid expansion of market scale has brought more technical challenges and future expectations to the whole VR field.On May 24, 2019, Hao Aimin, director of VR / AR National Laboratory (Beihang) and vice president of Qingdao Research Institute of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, gave a lecture on VR technology at Qingdao Research Institute of Beihang. As one of the most senior experts in virtual reality research and application in China, Hao Aimin expounded VR from three aspects: current situation, application and future, and brought in-depth interpretation beyond the technical category.Hao Aimin believes that virtual reality has changed from the past exploration of immersive experience to intelligent exploration. Virtual reality technology has increasingly become a new way for human beings to "expand and visit" the world, and is rapidly entering all walks of life. In the next five years, virtual reality technology will continue to enter everyone's life.Virtual reality technology shows its core value in these aspects: the sense of immersion breaking the boundaries of time and space. Change from passive to active interaction. It is a virtual reality integration that integrates and links the physical world, human and information world. Construct multiple virtual twins of "Id". Build a general platform for mobile phone, TV, PC and other tools. Enhanced perception will greatly enhance human ability.Based on these core values of VR, virtual reality technology may bring three disruptive changes:1 construct the virtual twin of physical world affairs in arbitrary time and space.2. New experimental and verification platforms have emerged in various industries.3. New entrance to the Internet and new social environment.When virtual reality develops to an ideal state, VR technology will act the information world on the physical world and people in a more transparent way, greatly enhance the abilities of people in the physical world and in the digital world, and will bring about the transformative development of all walks of life and public life.At present, in terms of the current development of global VR, it is difficult to call it successful in technology and industry. Technically, immersion needs to be broken through, let alone others.According to Tuopu interactive data, from 2016 to 2017, 70% of VR experience hall franchise stores in China ushered in a wave of closure, and more than 80% of VR development teams either closed or turned to other fields. 2017 has also become the trough of VR industry. Everyone's attention and heat to the industry have decreased significantly, but the scale of the whole industry continues to expand."VR companies can raise money in 15 or 16 years, but now many companies are gone," said Jia Yan, who once worked for a famous VR application system development company in China. For the current situation of the domestic VR industry, Jia Yan answered with four words and a full stop: it's difficult. He believes that VR technology is currently applied more in the fields of education and medical treatment, and it is also easy to cut in. Most of the early VR industry in China came from the game industry, with immature technology and high training cost, resulting in the slow overall process of industrial development.The constant demise of start-ups cannot stop domestic technology giants from entering VR.In December 2017, Tencent launched the vrsdk and developer support program. In the same month, baidu video also launched VR channel that month. In March 2018, Alibaba announced the establishment of VR laboratory and revealed its development strategy of "giving full play to the advantages of the platform and simultaneously promoting VR content cultivation and hardware incubation". Bat's large-scale development in VR field has not brought major breakthroughs to the industry. At present, there are few relevant news about the progress of VR in China.It seems that the VR trip of foreign technology giants is not smooth. At the end of 2017, Google, the first company to join the game, announced the end of its cooperation project with IMAX in developing high-end VR cameras for film shooting. In March 2019, Google announced the closure of the VR film department spotlight stories. The other two giants Facebook and Microsoft are still sticking to it, and the results are shown to the public from time to time. For example, the "virtual avatar" launched by Facebook Reality Lab (FRL) on March 15, 2019 and the tactile feedback physical device torc (touch hard controller) launched by Microsoft on May 12, 2019.Jia Yan, who believes that the domestic VR industry is "difficult", left the VR industry in 2018 and is now engaged in the development of blockchain wallets.VR will essentially change the relationship between people and information.More than 100 years ago, when the world's first film was released, people were surprised that the content of the film reproduced their living space, and even panic when they saw the locomotive coming towards them on the screen. At that time, the level of film technology was far from being able to achieve real reproduction, but the "smoky locomotive" still frightened the audience at that time.In a sense, film is a virtual reality more than 100 years ago. It can provide human beings with strong sensory stimulation similar to reality. In the new century more than 100 years later, will people only regard VR as a spiritual enjoyment after they are initially frightened by the scene created by VR? Obviously, it's not that simple.Through VR technology, people no longer contact information through the screen, but put real life into the information world to experience information. It will change people's underlying cognitive psychology and subvert the existing forms of all industries such as games, social networking, media, medical treatment and education.Cost saving and democratization, presenting knowledge and data in front of us, improving efficiency, promoting connections, improving health and life expectancy, enhancing intelligence, and even building a virtual economic system similar to that in second life. These are the advantages of VR in the future.The epistemology, values, ethics, psychology and cultural traditions involved in VR world will also have a positive and negative impact on human psychology, cognition and behavior, and even subvert the existing cognition accumulated in human long-term life.A recent study by the University of British Columbia shows that there are differences between people's thinking and behavior in the virtual world and the real world. This research result puts forward new challenges to people's morality, ethics and law in the virtual world. Other topics such as unresolved VR motion sickness may affect users' health, VR space compression may affect users' visual development, and social software based on VR technology is more likely to induce violence are also worth discussing.The history of philosophy is like a colorful tapestry, in which materialism and idealism run through the top and bottom like thick meridians, and dialectics and metaphysics are intertwined like weft. In the world constructed through VR, the confrontation boundary between material first and consciousness first is blurred. The theory of materialism based on "matter is moving" is difficult to find support in the VR world, and it is not impossible to produce a new "virtual philosophy" based on the change of human cognition.Neo, the hero in the matrix, has a fateful moment: swallowing the red pill will return to the real world, and swallowing the blue pill will continue to live in the constructed virtual world. He chose the red pill. Although virtual reality has made a revolutionary breakthrough in the level of "natural interaction", this revolution is still incomplete. So we still have enough time to build a correct understanding of virtual reality and make the right choice.According to the Huayan Sutra:   All sentient beings have the wisdom and virtue of the Tathagata, but they can't prove it with delusion; If you are free from delusion and persistence, all wisdom and natural wisdom will come into being.Now, we are rebuilding a set of "six eight senses" system based on our innate "eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind" to pursue the VR world representing "paranoia and persistence".And where will it eventually take us?
Things to Do in London with Kids This Summer: 20 Highlights for the Holidays
From toddlers to teens, keep your children occupied and entertained throughout the holidays with our selection of the best family-friendly days out in the Capital.The recently rebooted epic space franchise has captured the imagination of a whole new generation of youngsters. This interactive exhibition at the O2 gives fans of all ages the opportunity to delve deeper into the concept of identity across the movie series. Visitors are invited to go on their own identity quest and leave with a personalised Star Wars character.starwarsidentities.com Constructed for the 2012 Olympics, Lee Valley's White Water Centre, is fast becoming a must visit for families. This new attraction features a host of inflatable activities to keep young ones entertained for hours. A giant bouncy castle and huge assault course, plus a Toddler Zone complete with squeaky stones and slotting shapes, are just some of the activities on offer.gowhitewater.co.uk North London's Chickenshed brings David Walliams' best-selling book The Midnight Gang to the stage for the very first time. Running until August 6, the tale features five children who find themselves in hospital for various reasons. They soon discover that something far more exciting is happening beyond the confines of the children's ward. This is a must-see, heart-warming family show of friendship and fun.chickenshed.org.uk If eating the delicious stuff is not enough for your chocolate-obsessed youngster, why not give them a chance to learn how to make it? Held at the R Chocolate store in Belgravia, this two-hour course includes learning about the history of chocolate, how it's made from bean to bar, and a look at different making techniques.There are plenty of yummy samples to try along the way and youngsters will get to take their delicious creation home for family.rchocolatelondon.co.uk Space enthusiasts will be in for a real adventure as astronaut Tim Peake narrates and guides them on this breathtaking virtual reality mission. Using the latest state-of-the-art virtual reality technology, children aged 13 and over can take a 360-degree look inside a Soyuz capsule and experience the thrill of being an astronaut, as they retrace Peake's 400km journey back to Earth from the International Space Station.sciencemuseum.org.uk Admire stunning views of the Capital before hurtling down the UK's tallest artwork. ArcelorMittal Orbit had an exhilarating 178 metre slide installed last year and it is rapidly proving to be a hugely popular attraction for thrill seekers of all ages. Visitors must be at least 1.3 metres tall or aged eight and over to enjoy the 40 second descent.arcelormittalorbit.com A stay at The Langham - one of London's grandest hotels will make a fun night away from home for the entire family. With charming views across Regent Street, the comfy and spacious family rooms can sleep up to five people. This family-friendly getaway includes a guided tour of Hamleys, which is just a short walk away. If you really want to spoil your tots, book the hotel's Hamleys themed afternoon tea. Designed for under 12s - it includes treats like carousel cup cakes, cookie monster macaroons, Maltesers chocolate mousse and they also get a complimentary Hamleys teddy bear.langhamhotels.com Young golf enthusiasts will be kept entertained all day at the high-tech, Topgolf junior camp. Kids are taught golfing basics such as pitching and chipping by an experienced coach. They also have the chance to play fun games like adventure and Wii golf. Serious little golfers can benefit from computer-based driving analysis to help further perfect their technique.topgolf.com/uk Gruffalo fans can embark on this mini adventure, as the characters from the stories lead them through the forest. There are plenty of activities along the way and they will also pick up fun facts about nature and animals. Don't forget to download the recently-launched Gruffalo Spotter app, which really brings the trail concept to life. Families can follow clues on the interactive trail and track signs of their favourite characters. Once spotted, use the app to bring the 3D character animation to life and take photos alongside them.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo Ideal for budding Lewis Hamiltons, these full motion racing car simulators will bring kids as close to the action as they can possibly get. Watch them unleash their inner driver with speeds of up to 200mph and a sound system that will make them feel like they are at the wheel of their own Ferrari or McLaren. The height limit for the junior driving experience is 1.5m.letsrace.co.uk Take your baby for a boogie at London's Southbank. Complete with disco ball and booth, the in demand kids' DJ Monski Mouse and her entertaining dancers will encourage under fives to get their groove on at this popular, fun-filled disco. Tracks played range from popular nursery rhymes to tunes such as 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams.underbellyfestival.com In an aim to highlights the importance of forests and the role they play in our lives, Westfield have teamed up with culinary architects Bompas & Parr to host a spectacular indoor forest, that will appeal to all ages. Adventure is at the heart of the multi-sensory event. Senses will be stimulated as you enter the experience through a flavourful walk-in mist. You can also sample edible fog and delve into the Forest Zorb Lagoon, where you can walk and jump on water.uk.westfield.com Kids can get in touch with their inner Augustus Gloop at an indulgent afternoon tea at One Aldwych. Based around Roald Dahl's timeless classic, enjoy high tea with delicious and imaginative additions such as golden chocolate eggs, chocolate caramel milk, home-made candyfloss and blueberry brioche.onealdwych.com A whopping three million bricks take centre stage at UK's largest Lego event taking place from the July 27th to 30th at London's Excel. From Star Wars, Ninjago to Minecraft, LEGO fans of all ages can see enormous sculptures created by the world's finest builders. There is plenty more on offer - from diving into giant brick pits to making your own creations at the free build and interactive zones.www.bricklive.co.uk Let your little Tarzans loose at one of the Go Ape centres in the Capital. Children can enjoy a thrilling tree-top adventure course, which involves scrambling around a challenging series of obstacles, wobbly crossings, climbing high nets and experiencing a heart-thumping zip wire.The forest adventure company have just launched their first Nets Kingdom at Black Park in Uxbridge. Kids can spend hours bouncing, crawling and clambering through an expansive network of tree top bounce nets, giant ball nets, walkways and slides - all while 30 feet up in the leafy forest canopy.www.goape.co.uk The Birmingham Stage Company - the people behind the ever-popular Horrible Histories Barmy Britain series bring David Walliams' popular children's book Gangsta Granny to London's West End. Set to run until September 3, the production follows lead character Ben, who is once again staying in with his granny on a Friday night. What Ben doesn't realise, is that his Granny has her very own secret. Kids can watch the two of them embark on an adventure of a lifetime in this exciting, two-hour show.garricktheatre.org If your little one has ever wondered what happens in a museum when everyone has gone home, this is their opportunity to find out. This rare sleep over at the Natural History Museum includes an action-packed night of discovery. Children can wonder the galleries as night, explore a torch-lit trail, get creative with a dinosaur t-shirt-making workshop and dig deeper with an educational science show. In the morning, breakfast is served and they also get to experience a live animal show.nhm.ac.uk Based on the ever-popular animated TV series on Nickelodeon, Paw Patrol Live brings your tot's favourite pups to the stage. Join Ryder, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and the newest pup for an exciting, high-energy, musical adventure.The performance features up-tempo music and a cleverly written script. Classic theatrical scenery along with a high-tech video wall visually transports you to popular locations from the show, like Adventure Bay and The Lookout. This is a great introduction to live theatre for young ones.ssearena.co.uk Quentin Blake is best known for illustrating Roald Dahl's books. This rare exhibition held at the House of Illustration in Kings Cross, gives fans a chance to see original drawings from the illustrator's personal archive of birds - a subject he has been fascinated with for years.houseofillustration.org.uk Take your kids back in time, to a prehistoric world where they can come face-to-face with moving dinosaurs - from the giant Brachiosaurus to the humongous Tyrannosaurus Rex. You'll be handed your own passports and transported to the Mesozoic era (around 65 million years ago). Tour guides educate kids on what conservationists are doing to help prevent today's animals from becoming extinct, while helping them spot their favourite dinosaurs.zsl.org
theBlu: Explore Ocean Depths at the Virtual Reality (VR) Booth  Virtual Reality (VR) Review
theBlu: Explore Ocean Depths at the Virtual Reality (VR) Booth Virtual Reality (VR) Review
Charles McLaughlin, Maverick VRExperience the wonder and majesty of the ocean through a series of habitats and come face to face with some of the most awe inspiring species on the planet, all from the Virtual Reality (VR) Booth during your next event, conference, convention, trade show, or brand activation.Fully Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) ExperiencetheBlu is a Maverick VR Virtual Reality (VR) booth staple. It is a Virtual Reality (VR) experience suitable for all guests: VR newbies and pros alike. The various different animal encounters in stunning high-definition, room-scale view make theBlu in unforgettable experience guaranteed to make a positive impact on your guests.A Sundance Film Festival Selection At Your Virtual Reality (VR) BooththeBlu is an underwater series consisting of three Virtual Reality (VR) vignettes designed as beautiful moments in passing that powerfully tap into the vast potential of Virtual Reality (VR). The debut episode, featuring an incredible close encounter with an 80 foot whale, is already recognized as one the most iconic room scale Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to date (a Sundance Film Festival 2016 selection). theBlu contains three different Virtual Reality (VR) experiences that showcase different marine environments. They are:Whale EncounterAn undersea encounter with the largest species on earth. This room-scale encounter of a massive 80ft wale is awe inspiring and guaranteed to pack a lot of wow factor at the Virtual Reality (VR) booth. Reef MigrationWitness the magnificence of an undersea migration on the edge of a coral reef. This environment features a bright colorful world filled with diverse wildlife guaranteed to impress guests at the Virtual Reality (VR) booth.Luminous AbyssVenture into the deepest region of the ocean to discover the iridescent abyss. It can get pretty dark down there, so be sure to use your flashlight to look flow the strange-yet-majestic bioluminescent wildlife.Game HighlightsSuitable for guests at all ages and gaming experience levelsGreat for first time users of Virtual Reality (VR)Encounter dozens of different wildlife including a massive 80 ft whale.Great graphics and very polished experience (Sundance Film Festival 2016 Selection)Looking to add a unique, immersive, and exciting new experience to your event? Skip the boring photo booth and choose an amazing experience that your guests will be talking about for years to come with virtual reality!Click here to watch a video and see what guests think of Maverick VR:Get a quoteFollow us: Facebook, InstagramService areas: New Orleans, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Indiannapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Orlando, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, Minneapolis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington D.C., Miami, Raleigh, Milwaukee, Savannah, Cincinnati, Spokane, Boise, Tuscon, Memphis, San Jose, Long Beach, Anaheim, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Austin, Mobile RELATED QUESTION Is it possible to compete with the major VR companies? That depends on what you want to do. When it comes to the actual VR hardware, I would have to assume no. But many companies are getting creative with their VR products. I'm answering from my phone so finding links is too much of a pain in the ass, but there are compabies releasing VR gloves, special 360-degree "treadmills" so you can run in VR, a special VR chair that lets you use your feet to move in VR and swivels, and even an excercise bike designed for VR. When it comes to software development, you could potentially compete. Unity and other platforms have begun releasing tools for VR software developers, so it should be relatively cheap and easy for you to get started.
Virtual Reality Content Creators and Studios Join Blockphase PhaseRight VR Beta
Virtual Reality Content Creators and Studios Join Blockphase PhaseRight VR Beta
Denver-based Blockphase, a blockchain content distribution company, has announced that over 50 content creators and studios have registered to be a part of the upcoming beta of its PhaseRight VR platform, set to begin in the second quarter 2017.Blockphase CEO, Steven Austine said: We are excited that these talented virtual reality and 360 video content creators have offered to join our PhaseRight VR beta. As we look to build our decentralized blockchain distribution platform, their participation will be vital to us delivering a top quality product. Founded in mid-2016, Blockphase is harnessing the power of blockchain and smart-contract technology to build the PhaseRight VR platform, a digital content distribution system for virtual reality and 360 video creators that will allow artists to secure digital copyright proof, ensure proper participation credits, utilize cutting edge distribution technology and have the ability to receive immediate micro transaction payments from users RELATED QUESTION Is it possible to compete with the major VR companies? That depends on what you want to do. When it comes to the actual VR hardware, I would have to assume no. But many companies are getting creative with their VR products. I'm answering from my phone so finding links is too much of a pain in the ass, but there are compabies releasing VR gloves, special 360-degree "treadmills" so you can run in VR, a special VR chair that lets you use your feet to move in VR and swivels, and even an excercise bike designed for VR. When it comes to software development, you could potentially compete. Unity and other platforms have begun releasing tools for VR software developers, so it should be relatively cheap and easy for you to get started.
Dutch mattress company is offering virtual reality experiences to enhance sleep
Dutch mattress company is offering virtual reality experiences to enhance sleep
A Dutch mattress company is beginning to offer virtual reality experiences to enhance sleep.Starting this December Radium Foam, producer of the Vita Talalay latex foam brand will distribute virtual reality googles in its retail stores.According to a company statement, the VR googles will be given with the purchase of Vita Talalay products. The aim is to provide a state of relaxation by simulating the experience of being in a forest or in an ocean through 360 videos.So far, the company produced several 360 videos in Indonesia and Netherlands. These videos contain a time lapse of the sunrise in a Bali beach in 1 minute, 15 minute, and 30 minute versions. There is also another video series showing the beautiful nature around Maastricht.Vita Talalay disrupts the industry by creating a natural virtual reality experience for the bedroom, said Cees Zielman, the brands general manager. It is an innovative way to bring people into the right state of relaxation before sleeping. Amazing virtual reality experiences for relaxation and meditationThe experiences to take us out in the space or to get relaxed with music, games and meditation.haptic.alLike what you read? Share with others! Follow us on Medium to discover the latest trends on Virtual Reality RELATED QUESTION Which brand is suitable for hotel interior design and repair? Acoustical Sliding Hotel Room Divider Conference Movable Partition AcousticPartitionWall is a professional manufacturer of all types of hanging and sliding partition wall, integrating development, production and marketing together. Our company covers an area of 5,000 square meters, located in Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province. 150 kilometers away from Hong Kong, and Shenzhen airport. Acoustic Sliding Hotel Room Dividers Conference Movable Partitions 1.Simple fitting to ceilings 2.Age resistant 3.Easy to handle after installation 4.Less than 80mm loss of wall space At present, we are engaged in producing: Acoustic Mobile Partition Wall Soundproof Movable Partition Fabric for Office for Concert Hall Free Standing Mobile Partition Panel Acoustic Movable Partition for Banquet Hall MDF Exhibition Partition Wall Acoustic Movable Partition for Banquet Hall Movable Partition With Different Finish Choice for Conference Room Phenolic Wall Partition Interior Wall Partition Conference Hall Wood Movable Partition Veneer Factory Aluminum Movable Partition 100 Thickness Building Construction Our acoustic folding wall products are far sold to Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, United States, Vanuatu, Russian Federation, India, South Korea, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Bermuda, etc. Projects Asia Bank, Singapore; Hanyuan Conference Center; Museum of Nanyue King in Guangzhou; Health Department of Hunan Province; Huiyang Stadium in Huizhou City; Stadium of Southwest University of Finance; Gymnasium of South China Normal University in Guangzhou University Town, etc. Our URL:
Speed of Includegraphics Seemingly Dependent on How Many Packages Are Loaded!
This was quite a puzzle.This answer will be long, to match the long time it took me to get to the bottom of this, but the sections are titled and numbered so you can skip over the ones you don't care about. You can even skip to the one-sentence summary at the end. :-)This will describe how I arrived at the answer. If you don't care, and only want the answer, you can skip to the next section.I took the file at the top of the question, saved it into a file jfbu1.tex, also created foo.pdf by copying it as cp $(kpsewhich example-image-a.pdf) foo.pdf, then ran pdftex jfbu1.tex, and sure enough, saw output like:where the numbers are increasing.As what was being measured involved includegraphicsfoo.pdf, I tried to unpack the definition of includegraphics to see if it could be further simplified. (I also tried other things, like replacing D with 10000 occurrences of the expansion of A directly, but that didn't make a difference.) Well, showincludegraphics shows that its definition is leavevmode @ifstar Gin@cliptrue Gin@i Gin@clipfalse Gin@i , so let's replace includegraphics in our file with that, see if the phenomenon is still observed, and then try removing parts of it. (E.g. the first case of the @ifstar conditional is probably irrelevant, as we don't have a * in this example, so we won't take that path.)I did this a little, mostly relying on show, and cursing the complexity of LaTeX (just writing out the full definition of includegraphics in terms of TeX primitives would be immense). (Small tip: next time use the LaTeX source code rather than show; it's a bit easier to read.)Anyway, after a few steps of this (a few steps deep into the definition of includegraphics), I observed that we could replace the original file'swith (using just an early part of the definition of includegraphics):and the phenomenon of time increasing as we load more packages was still observed (though it ran faster). In fact, proceeding a bit, this was sufficient: apparently, simply testing whether a file exists takes longer as we load more packages!A few more steps, and we can get down to TeX primitives (no loading of graphicx necessary): which simply opens and closes the file (apparently this is part of how IfFileExists works internally).After making a few more changes  for example, we don't need the trick to convert pdfelapsedtime into seconds(?) as we care more about the fact that it's increasing than about its actual value, and the phenomenon is consistently observed even with much fewer repetitions instead of 10000 (say 81, replacing 10 with 3)  we arrive at the following slightly simpler file jfbu2.tex, where the phenomenon is still observed:and this still prints output like (not always the same numbers, but the pattern of increase is consistent):(About the useless thepdfelapsedtime before the D, which simply inserts "0" into the typeset output, I'll say more below.)And the mystery remains: the A above seems like it should just do a constant number of operations, why does it take longer as more packages are loaded?Now that we're down to TeX primitives, there's nothing further to unpack at the macro (the TeX programming) level, and we need to look into the TeX program itself.We can step through the TeX program with a debugger like gdb.To do this it would usually be easier to work with the LuaTeX source code, as that's (sort of) written directly in C, rather than the source code of TeX/pdfTeX/XeTeX, as they undergo several rounds of mangling from the .web source to the C code before being compiled. (So the C code that is finally compiled is more readable in the case of LuaTeX.) But it turns out (after appropriate definitions of pdfelapsedtime) that this phenomenon we're interested in does not happen in LuaTeX, so we're stuck with pdfTeX. (It does happen in TeX / XeTeX, where without the convenience of pdfelapsedtime we can just observe visually that it takes longer.)To use gdb, the program needs to be compiled with -g, and also binaries shouldn't be stripped. Fortunately I'd done this before: the trick is, when building from TeX Live sources (see here and here), instead ofto useand update $PATH to use the new binaries appropriately. (Or, if using make install strip, should replace with make install.)One can start gdb with a command like gdb pdftex (make sure PATH is right, or else specify the full path to our specially compiled pdftex binary). Then, one can set breakpoints, before running the program (as if we'd run pdftex jfbu2.tex on the commandline) with run jfbu2.tex.Which breakpoints to set? We'd like to stop when some particular function is called, which doesn't get called too often. My choice was the function called by pdfelapsedtime (though in hindsight I guess using the one for pdfresettimer would have been better) which with some looking at the source code and/or gdb, happens to be (or call) getmicrointerval. (This is the reason for the extra thepdfelapsedtime in the file above, because I want to break there.)So we can start gdb, set break getmicrointerval, and run the program, and it will stop after reaching the place where the function is called. Then we can type continue to continue until the next breakpoint (or end of program), or type next to invoke the next statement of the program (stepping over function calls, i.e. not descending into them) or step to do the same while stepping into function calls. As you keep hitting Enter, it will show you each function that's called, and each line of source that's executed.After doing this a little, it's clear that it will take a long time to do this manually.Long story short: put the following in /.gdbinit:This is like typing "step" and hitting Enter a few million times manually until the program finishes, and everything that gdb outputs will be written to file gdb.txt.With this, the whole thing ran for a few hours, and produced a gdb.txt that was over 700 MB in size, from over 20 million lines.The start of the file looks something like this:(The first Breakpoint 1 at 0x84bad: file pdftex0.c, line 3471 is printed when we set the breakpoint; we had continue after the first time gdb paused at the breakpoint so there's no output until the next.) The part shown in the output above is common to each time pdfelapsedtime is called (we haven't even got to the D part yet).Of course we can't process this 20-million several-hundred-megabyte file by reading through it manually. In fact, grep --line-number Breakpoint gdb.txt can be used to see the number of program steps executed between successive occurrences of pdfelapsedtime (calls to getmicrointerval):This shows thatwhere we can see the increase in the numbers in bold above. (Missed the first D because of the continue.)The main idea is that although the file is 20 million lines long, the set of different lines executed is much smaller, and what we want to compare is which lines were executed more frequently between each successive pairs of breakpoints.We can keep counters of which lines were executed how many times between successive occurrences of Breakpoint 1, getmicrointerval in the file. Used the following Python script:This is the first few lines of output for 2 (the second occurrence of D). The first column is the number of times executed, then what's printed by gdb (usually the line number and source line).Compare with that for 4 (the third occurrence of D, after tikz is loaded):and for 6 (the last one, after xlop is loaded):We can just do this visually, by say opening each in a separate tab and switching between them. For example, the (most frequent) while ( s > 255 ) loop or test is performed 2502900 times after tikz.tex is loaded, compared to 975726 times before. Everything after (less frequent than) zsearchstring is run the same number of times (among statements executed at least 500 times say), and everything above that is from inside the zsearchstring function, or from the zstreqstr function just above (called from zsearchstring). So the culprit is entirely this zsearchstring function in pdftex0.c.If we understand what this zsearchstring is and why it's called, it concludes the debugging process.If you skipped the previous section: so far we've found that all the additional work between different calls of D happens in the function zsearchstring in pdftex0.c, which seems to be invoked more times (and executes a lot more operations) as more packages are loaded. Why?We can see the entire definition of zsearchstring in pdftex0.c or for that matter in tex0.c (which are both inside Build/source/Work/texk/web2c/ in the texlive directory):But at first glance it does not appear to be used anywhere else in the file. That's because in pdftexcoerce.h (or texcoerce.h) you'll find a declaration and a macro defined as it:and you can indeed find searchstring used a few times in pdftex0.c or tex0.c.This C code is somewhat harder to read than necessary though. In fact, the list of files where searchstring is found includes tex.p, which is presumably the result of tangling tex.web. Yet if you look in the TeX source code (with texdoc tex say), you will not find this function, as it's not part of the code that Knuth wrote. It's instead part of the system-dependent changes  changes made in web2c to produce a working TeX program. Instead you need to look at the complete (pdf)TeX source, with the change files too. Something like the following (assuming that texlive is the texlive directory):to produce a pdftex.tex file, followed by pdftex pdftex.tex (after optionally changing the input webmac to input pdfwebmac). (One could also look in the .ch file directly, but WEB code is ugly and is best not looked at directly.)Now we can look in the resulting PDF for search_string.Here's the definition of search_string; compare with our earlier zsearchstring C code above (generated from this):This finally explains what search_string is and why it exists. (We'll say more below.) Looking at places where it's used makes things even more clear. It's used in three procedures: end_name, start_input, and slow_make_string. Let's look at the first two:Compare with the corresponding sections in the TeX program: 517 and 537, which don't use search_string after calling make_name_string. It's worth looking at the definition (at least the documentation / context) of that too:We saw above that these functions are called when scanning a filename in an input, openin or openout operation. This of course includes the includegraphicsfoo.pdf example in the question, and the openin in the reduced example.Note that sometimes scanning does not require creating a string: we can see this by changing the test case to:where the phenomenon is not observed. (Well I haven't run it through gdb, but the numbers do not increase.)Also see why working with filenames required system-dependent changes in the first place  at the time TeX was developed, file names were very inconsistent across operating systems; in fact in the place where TeX was developed (SAIL), file names consisted of a base, extension and an area that included the user's initials and project (or something like that).Some background, for understanding the context of the code we saw above. At the time Knuth was originally (re)writing TeX (19801982), the programming language Pascal (at least the version available to him and at many places where TeX was going to be used) did not have good support for strings. So TeX basically takes care of allocating all strings manually: there's a giant array of characters called str_pool, initialized at the start of the program, and whenever TeX needs to store a new string, it stores the characters of the new string (as it's being built up, e.g. scanned from the input file) at successive indices into this array. For example, the kth string starts at str_poolstr_startk and goes up to str_poolstr_startk1-1. Or you can read this in the program:Note that the string pool is just an array, and is not optimized for finding strings in it: the TeX program as originally written saves references to whatever strings are needed (e.g. it will save k, and thereby know where to find the kth string). It never needs to look through all strings in the array for a particular string, any more than it's reasonable to search through all bytes of a computer's memory looking for a particular value.But when the system-dependent changes for web2c were made (a long time ago), a function slow_make_string was introduced which before saving a string, searches the entire string pool(!) to see whether it's already present under some other name (number). If so, the same string (number) is reused. This explains the very frequent (executed millions of times) loop ofthat we saw in gdb: it's searching through all string numbers s, starting at the largest (most recent) value.It appears that this may have made sense when memory constraints were tighter than time constraints (you can always wait longer), especially as it would also mean the string pool was small so there was a smaller limit on how much time would be spent searching through the entirety of it. At current memory sizes (and memory access times, which have over the last many decades consistently become more expensive relative to (arithmetic) CPU instructions) it may be worth reconsidering...(TeX as originally written does not do this. From some of the documentation it's worded as though TeX simply creates this new string, stores no reference to it, and moves ahead, which sounds like a typical memory leak bug  possibly worthy of one of those reward cheques from DEK? :P  but from looking at some of the code it seems rather that TeX unconditionally flushes the string, so it's rather the case that the changed (web2c) TeX wants to preserve a reference for some reason, so it needs this workaround... it's not clear to me which is the case.)Apart from TeX Live, I took a look at MiKTeX, and it has nearly identical code for these sections. (Just renamed from 54/web2c-string to 54/MiKTeX-string.) I have not been able to look at other less common (not based on web2c) TeX distributions, like KerTeX or TeX-gpc, nor of course of closed-source (commercial) distributions like BaKoMa TeX or Texpad.At the end of a TeX run, if tracingstats1, the program prints statistics to the log file (Here is how much of TeX's memory you used). These are the results by moving the bye to different places in the above file (after adding tracingstats1):At the top of the file (just after tracingstats1):After A, B, C, D have been first defined:(Doesn't change because single-letter names are not stored separately.)After those and also filename has been defined:(Makes sense: filename is one string, and 8 characters long.)Just before the first D:(The two strings of 19 bytes total are not the primitives pdfresettimer and pdfelapsedtime (those would be already stored), but rather something created by thepdfelapsedtime. Not sure of the details.)Just after the first D, or just after the first message:After input xintexpr is loaded (and any place before input tikz):After input tikz:(Note the large increase compared to earlier.)After input xlop (or end of file):These relative increases in the size of the string pool roughly match the relative increases in the time for executing D.In the common implementations of TeX, commands in which TeX scans for a file name (as in the case of includegraphics) involve searching through the entire string pool, and this gets slower as more packages are loaded because the packages define control sequences (macros) whose names are stored in the string poolHere is test file for (Plain) pdftex. To test it, you need some graphics file foo.pdf in working repertory. Mine is a copy of the file found via kpsewhich example-image-a.pdf. Call the following testspeedgraphics.tex and execute pdftex testspeedgraphics on command line.input graphicx.texdefBnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandA% noexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandA%edefCBBBBBBBBBB% 100 AdefAnoexpandC%edefDC% 100 C, each one expanding to 100 AdefAsetbox0hboxfoodeffooincludegraphicsfoo.pdfpdfresettimerD % 10000 usage of includegraphicsedefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput xintexpr.stypdfresettimerD % 10000 usage of includegraphicsedefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput tikz.texpdfresettimerD % 10000 usage of includegraphicsedefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput xlop.texpdfresettimerD % 10000 usage of includegraphicsedefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^JbyeThis file will do 4 times 10000 includegraphicsfoo.pdf in box0. We load more and more packages. On a 2.8GHz computer I get this typically in the console output:**** 1.12306pt****(loading of xintexpr)**** 1.19366pt****(loading of tikz)**** 1.36714pt****(loading of xlop)**** 1.40392pt****Hence there is increase of timings, and one feels the bigger the package the more the impact.Now comment out all loading of extra packages in test file above and repeat experiment. I get typically**** 1.13177pt******** 1.12141pt******** 1.14122pt******** 1.12416pt****i.e. there no timings drift...Now another test file, where we still include graphicx.tex but do no usage of includegraphics, rather we expand a dummy macro foo. This being much faster we do 1000000 repetitions.input graphicx.texdefBnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandA% noexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandAnoexpandA%edefCBBBBBBBBBB% 100 AdefAnoexpandC%edefDC% 100 C, each one expanding to 100 AdefAnoexpandD%edefEC% 100 D, each one expanding to 100 CdefAsetbox0hboxfoodeffoofoopdfresettimerE % 1000000 "foo"edefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput xintexpr.stypdfresettimerE % 1000000 "foo"edefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput tikz.texpdfresettimerE % 1000000 "foo"edefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^Jinput xlop.texpdfresettimerE % 1000000 "foo"edefzzzthedimexprpdfelapsedtime spmessage^^J^^J**** zzz ****^^J^^JbyeThis test file does all the input's of extra packages. Typically I get from pdftex testspeedfoo.tex:**** 0.48016pt****(xintexpr)**** 0.49115pt****(tikz)**** 0.48283pt****(xlop)**** 0.47798pt****i.e. no impact at all.Now, why is there impact with includegraphics. Is it simply because its expansion is much more complex, and if yes what is explanation? or is it something specific related to includegraphics dealings and then again what is explanation?Perhaps something having to do with hash-table? the more macros are defined the less efficient TeX is in expanding macros? (then the thing would be not includegraphics specific, I stopped my testing there, leaving the experts to express their intuitions first).Originally, this question arose in the context of a Joseph answer using xfp and includegraphics. I wanted to test if using draft option of includegraphics had an impact and then realized that loading or not xfp changed the timings. Then I realized it had nothing xfp specific, but any big package would do.I also tested with this variant of foo:defAsetbox0hboxfoodeffoofooadeffooafoobdeffoobfoocdeffoocfooddeffoodfooedeffooefoofdeffooffoogdeffoogfoohdeffoohfooideffooifoojdeffoojfookdeffookfooldeffoolfoomdeffoomfoondeffoonfooodeffooofoopdeffoopfooqdeffooqfoordeffoorfoosdeffoosfootdeffootfooudeffooufoovdeffoovfoowdeffoowfooxdeffooxfooydeffooyfoozdeffoozfooAdeffooAfooBdeffooBfooCdeffooCfooDdeffooDfooEdeffooEfooFdeffooFfooGdeffooGfooHdeffooHfooIdeffooIfooJdeffooJfooKdeffooKfooLdeffooLfooMdeffooMfooNdeffooNfooOdeffooOfooPdeffooPfooQdeffooQfooRdeffooRfooSdeffooSfooTdeffooTfooUdeffooUfooVdeffooVfooWdeffooWfooXdeffooXfooYdeffooYfooZdeffooZfooaadeffooaafoobbdeffoobbfooccdeffooccfoodddeffooddfooeedeffooeefooffdeffoofffooggdeffooggfoohhdeffoohhfooiideffooiifoojjdeffoojjfookkdeffookkfoolldeffoollfoommdeffoommfoonndeffoonnfoooodeffoooofooppdeffooppfooqqdeffooqqfoorrdeffoorrfoossdeffoossfoottdeffoottfoouudeffoouufoovvdeffoovvfoowwdeffoowwfooxxdeffooxxfooyydeffooyyfoozzdeffoozzfooAAdeffooAAfooBBdeffooBBfooCCdeffooCCfooDDdeffooDDfooEEdeffooEEfooFFdeffooFFfooGGdeffooGGfooHHdeffooHHfooIIdeffooIIfooJJdeffooJJfooKKdeffooKKfooLLdeffooLLfooMMdeffooMMfooNNdeffooNNfooOOdeffooOOfooPPdeffooPPfooQQdeffooQQfooRRdeffooRRfooSSdeffooSSfooTTdeffooTTfooUUdeffooUUfooVVdeffooVVfooWWdeffooWWfooXXdeffooXXfooYYdeffooYYfooZZdeffooZZfooto try to emulate the case with expansions of many distinct macros. But this does not show any drifting when loading packages, i.e. I don't reproduce with that the includegraphics situation: all four executions of 1000000's A take each about 2.9s--3s on my 2.8GHz computer.
How Much Does a Hamster Cage Cost?
Getting hamster for your child involves finding the right hamster cage and the feeding and bedding accessories that go with it. Before you bring the hamster, check out the costs of ownership.Hamster  CageThe most important thing that you will need is the hamster cage. This will be where your hamster will live. There are lots of different types of cages. These can be purchased for anywhere between $10 for a small plastic cage up to $100 for a larger cage made of metal or wood.BeddingBedding material is important as it will make your hamster cage comfortable for the hamster. This will cost between $2 and $10 depending on whether you choose basic bedding, or whether you prefer the scented varieties. Prepare to replace bedding weekly as part of your cleaning regimen.Dish and FoodA dish to put food in is a very good idea, it's best to buy a ceramic bowl so that hamsters can not chew and eat it. This should only cost up to a maximum of $10.Food is also necessary and you can buy lots of different mixes of hamster food at your local pet shop. These should not cost any more than a few dollars for a small bag to try out.BottleAll animals need to drink and hamsters are no exception. Expect to pay up to $5 for a water bottle. A bowl of water could be used instead however bottles are much cleaner and less likely to make a mess.Can guinea pigs eat hamster food?Ignore that person above! I feed my guinea pigs hamster food because I have like 7 hamster lol :) they are perfectly fine and I've won loads of pet shows XD they've been alive for years too :PI lost the tablespoon i use to measure my hamster food?Hi Yes, that's ok. It would be just like you hamster chewing his/her cage or plastic igloo, or any other toy or item that's plastic. It is 100% safe if your hamster has chewed the measuring tablespoon. If I were you I would clean the cage to find it. If it's not in the cage do not worry, just look around the cage, in the floor, under the bed, just any place like that. I would also ask your mom where she put it because it might not be in the cage at all. Hope I have helped you!Is it possible to make homemade hamster food? If so do you have any recipes?I have one! Ingredients: Diffrent types of seeds(unsalted) honey put some of the seeds in a bowl. put honey and form balls. let the honey dry for it hardens. put one ball at a time in!is it okay to feed pet mice hamster food?Hamster food is different. Maybe post on craigslist if someone is willing to tradeWhat foods (other than hamster food) can i give to my hamsters?A hamsters diet mainly consists of a dried mix that can be bought in pet stores. This will contain all the vitamins and minerals a hamster needs. Make sure the mix you buy does not contain too many seeds or nuts because too many of these can make your hamster fat. One thing to note when feeding dwarf hamsters is not to feed too many sugary foods as this could lead to diabetes. You should provide two teaspoons of the dry mix each day. Any food that your hamster does not eat should be thrown away. Along with the normal hamster mix you can also feed your hamster fresh fruit and vegetables once or twice a week. Be careful you do not feed too many of these as it may cause the hamster to get diarrhoea. The following is a list of some foods you can feed your hamster: Banana Sweetcorn Cucumber Apple Cheese Turnip Raisins Peas Carrot Celery Bread Grapes Melon Chicken Never feed your hamster these foods: Chocolate Raw Kidney Beans Garlic Onions Raw Potato Sweets Hope this helps.Hamster Food, Treats & Diet: What Types, How Much & OftenFeeding your hamster is going to be relatively easy considering all the food options that are available to you. With that said though, not every type of hamster food is good for them. Some of your options include carefully formulated ingredients that will provide your hamster a well-balanced diet while others do not provide any nutritional value and are loaded with nothing but sugars or fats. The hamster food you should look for includes 12-24% protein and 3-6% fat. For Pregnant or baby hamsters, you should get hamster food that contains 18-40% protein and 7-9% fat. The reason pregnant mothers and babies need more protein is that they need all the protein to grow. It's during the first month of a baby hamster's life that does most of it's growing; additional protein will help. In addition to the protein and fats, they need a diet high in carbohydrates. Since they burn so much energy when they are active, hamster food with some needed carbs will give them the energy to do their nightly exercise on the hamster wheel or through their tubes and tunnels. Round out the diet with greens in the forms of lettuces, grasses, fruits, and vegetables. What is in Hamster Food With all the options available and all the guidelines you need to follow, you are probably wondering what exact type of hamster food to get. The problem is, there is no one right answer. We can give you a recommendation on what we think makes a well-balanced hamster diet but by no means is this always going to be right for your situation. In addition to pregnant and baby hamsters, you might need to alter your diet formula for any obese, old, or diabetic hamsters. Obese hamsters should be limited in their fat intake, old hamsters can be fed what the babies eat and diabetic hamsters should have low sugar diets. In regards to prepackaged hamster chow, these should make up more than 50% of the overall diet. There are two main types to choose from; seed mixes and lab blocks of pellets. Variety is the spice of life so it's okay to use both in your hamster's diet. A bag of mixed seeds is a great choice if you want a large variety of options for your hamster to eat. Depending on the brand, theses mixes include not only seeds but also and other types of grasses/grains (oats, wheat) dried fruits and vegetables. If your hamsters ate a bit of all these ingredients, it would probably have a relatively balanced diet. However, just as you see in humans, hamsters will pick and choose what they want to eat. Often they will go for the more fatty foods like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds while not eating the other parts of the mix. Thus, they do not get a well-balanced diet. You can pick out the fatty seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds and only give them out every so often. You might consider removing some of the corn or alfalfa since some hamster owners say they can cause cancer or liver damage but there is little research to back this up from what we can find. Additionally, dehydrated fruits can get stuck in their mouths or cause a cheek impaction. Finally, avoid mixes that have a lot of molasses in them since they are full of sugar. Lab blocks were originally created as feed in laboratories for research animals. You can now buy these at pet stores but the best ones still come from manufactures that still sell to laboratories. A lab block usually contains a mixture of seed and grains and vitamins and minerals. These are a preferred type of hamster food if you want to make sure your little guys or girls are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. If you could only get one type of dry food, these would be them. You might think they would taste bad but your hamsters will most likely love them, especially the Syrian breeds. In addition to getting a well-balanced diet, these pellets and blocks will help wear down your hamster's teeth and keep them from becoming overgrown. Lastly, Block and pellets are easier to save while cleaning your hamster cage then the smaller seed mixes. Hamsters in nature rarely drink water but instead get their water from the things they eat (This does NOT mean you do not need a water bottle though). Fresh greens, fruits, and vegetables not only provide your hamsters with the water they need, but they also provide extra vitamins and minerals they need. With that said, you need to be careful how much greens you add into the hamster food; too many greens and they can get a case of diarrhea. A rough guide calls for only feeding it about one square inch (2.54cm) of greens per day. There are greens, fruits, and vegetables that are great for hamsters and there are also ones that should be avoided. The following are some of the greens that are acceptable and some of the greens to avoid (If you collect these from outdoors, make sure there are no pesticides or toxic chemicals that could be on them. Always thoroughly wash them before placing them in your hamster's cage.) • Corn (may or may not cause cancer) • Alfalfa (may or may not cause cancer) In their natural habitat hamsters are mainly herbivores but on occasion, if the opportunity arises, they will snatch up small insects or grubs. This means you will need to provide your pet with some food that contains protein. Many of the prepackaged mixes will have some protein so you wo not have to provide that much more. All you need is a small fingers worth every so often. Try to keep its protein intake down around 12-15% unless otherwise for reasons stated in this article (pregnant and baby hamsters). The following is a list of acceptable forms of protein that can be fed to them (It's best to get any of the live insects/bugs on this list from the pet store so no diseases get spread). Hamsters need access to a fresh source of water 24/7. The best way to do this is by providing them with a water bottle or two throughout their habitat. You need more than one if you have several hamsters or an expansive cage system. In the wild you could observe a hamster licking different rocks or minerals that contain salt. They need salt to help retain water and stay healthy. You can provide your hamster with a salt lick or a mineral salts. These come in various forms and are sometimes added to their accessories as a form of play. If you provide your little guy with a well-balanced diet you probably wo not need to get supplements to add extra vitamins and minerals into their food or water. However, if you want to play it safe and make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need, you can get vitamin and mineral supplements; it more than likely wo not do them any harm as long as you follow the directions. Occasionally a pet owner wants to spoil their hamsters by giving them some treats. For the most part, if you feed it a well-balanced diet it wo not need to be fed any treats. However, every so often it's okay to give your hamster something that is not the best for it in terms of nutritional value. If anything, if it does not provide any nutritional value, a tasty treat might improve their happiness which is a roundabout way can improve the little guy or girl's well being. There are a lot of options on the market these days and some are less unhealthy than others. Most of them come in flashy packaging and contain a lot of sugar. Here is a list of some of the treats that are available: Avoid any treat that contains a high amount of sugar. This means no cakes, cookies, or chocolates. If you only spoil your hamster every so often and do not fall for their tricks that they just have to have a treat, then you are being a good pet hamster owner and providing them with the proper care they need.
Why Didn't Noah Have Any Grandchildren in the Ark?
Come on, having one of every animal is one thing, but now having grandchildren on the Ark? That would just be too hard to believe.the more disturbing question is eventually he would have had them. Exactly who is having sex to produce said child? Kind of like, how did Adam and Eve become grandparents?.1. Mothers: what would you do if some other child hit your child?Why do not you bring this up to the apartment complex manager? If parents are not out there watching their children then their children should not be out there either! I would have been tempted to swat the kids butt, but of course I would not have. I would take it to the manager.2. Easter baskets... How do you fill them?I feel the same way you do. I make it a point to not over do it. My family never over did it, but I remember my cousin's family thought it was normal to spend $300 per child for Easter. They would spend almost a $1000 in total on Easter 'gifts'. Gift certificates, you name it. I always thought it was crazy. I got some great ideas from a question I asked the other day. What I plan on doing for my kids Easter 'Buckets' is: Getting a couple plastic pales that have the shovels, rakes and what not in them (cost $1.50 each at Toys'R'Us right now). In them I am going to put a coloring book ($0.50 each) crayon pack ($0.50 each). Going to add one of their favorite fruit juices, couple Kinder Surprise eggs (got a package of 12 for $2) and a chocolate bunny ($1 each). Then on the side I have picked them up a movie (Go! Diego Go! Dinosaur Adventures for $5). My mom always got a 'family movie' as a gift to the family. It was usually a Disney movie of some sort. She did it because it kept us busy while she was cooking our big Easter Dinner.3. Is this art or child pornography?Defiantly Child Porn. Most art containing children are not nude4. How is child support calculated if the father is not in contact with the child?it is based on income of both parents. Child support amounts can always be changed based on income or other factors related to bring up the child.. It does not matter if you see your child or not you are still responsible to help support the child5. Is this normal? Is your child like this? ?Oh, that will change, just wait!6. parents: if your child was atheist?This is not about atheism vs. christianity - it's about respect and family. It's the holidays and whether you believe in God, Jesus or whatever you can still gather with your family and visit. Obviously exchanging gifts does not seem to offend you (funny how that works) so what is the worst that can happen? You just stand there and bow your head while everyone else is praying - I doubt they will be watching to make sure EVERYONE is praying along with them. Go and have fun visiting with your family and politely decline to exchange gifts with them - you do not want to go against your principles afterall7. Is this child abuse? And I so I it legally considered child abuse in Ohio?I am not from Ohio, and I have never lived there. BUT I would consider it to be child abuse. Be brave and consult a higher authority about it. It will be hard and scary, but your parents are the ones who are suppose to protect you. Not harm you. Would you rather live in pain and fear from your own parents, or potentially live in a safe and relaxed home?8. Is this considered child abuse?No this is not child abuse, if this was happening on a daily basis then yes. Sometimes parents flip out I know my mom has beat my *** like that when I did some bad stuff, but obviously she loves me because she feeds me and gives me shelter. Same with your parents, they may flip out for bullshit reasons sometimes but they still love ya.
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