360

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I am still in Paris. Been in France for over 3 weeks and in Paris for 2 weeks. I know it well now! If you need any advice on where to go or stay, ask me!

Among many of the ways we’ve been finding to kill ourtime before we can return is looking at the different photography apps that are available.

My favourite, without question, is 360!

As its name suggests, it lets users take a panoramic photo of your surroundings but the way it works is so cool. It connects with your gyroscope so that when you scan over your environment it fills in all the gaps above or below the horizontal shot. When viewed, everything appears 3D!

Its free but to get the best 3D experience out of it you need to view the photos on their website or on your phone, otherwise it is simply a 2D panoramic.

Here is the link to the web version with full functionality.

Also, the company need to add an upload to Facebook option to make the app go viral.

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Give robots a soul

Should we work on giving machines a consciousness now?

Look at history: when Pizzaro found the Incas, Peary and the Japanese, Europe and Africa. What happened in each case? The dominant culture subjugated the other.

If we upskill robots too much before they have a consciousness, when they do develop it and discover humans- wasteful, cruel, inefficient, humans- maybe they will subjugate us!

To Be or Not To Be?

To “be” is to let your mind run free and pour out it’s musings, impulses, or creative urges. It is for yourself, for pleasure, for art. It can be pointless, varied, off the wall. It can be anything.

“Not to be” is to write for an audience or on a specific subject matter. It is writing about technology, fashion, or sport or whatever subject on repeat. Using this method you build a reputation as an expert in a field, you become followed as a source of advice and knowledge.

All the blogs I read are about specific subjects. I go there for that reason. If the writer decided to write about something else, I would probably not read it.

However often I read books by specific authors, no matter the subject. So why not a blog? Is the medium different? Are the readers different?

I Be, with an slant towards Not Being by writing largely about science, entrepreneurship and history. I will likely never build up a large reader base but I will be more free.

Our trip to France

We used TripAdvisor.com to book our holiday recently. We didnt want to stay in just one place so this is a great way to read reviews and boom places quickly and easily.

First stop Paris.

Paris is a cool city. We saw the sites and soaked up the distinct atmosphere. Very different than London. It’s architecture is very uniform throughout and on every street you will find cafes, restaurants and tabacs. I cant imagine much change happens here. I like the fact that the streets were about twice as high as the roads were wide which made you feel enclosed and involved.

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A 3 hr train ride to the heat of the south of France to Nimes, which is a beautiful historic city combined with modern artistic landscaping. And it so happened that Radiohead (one of my favourite bands from my youth) were playing a gig in the most well kept Roman ampi-theatre that exists. Well we had to really!

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Via an evening in Aix-en-Provence which is a lovely, atmospheric town, we went to a small village called Villecroze in the hills of Provence. Our hotel was an idyllic, green, relaxing, secluded retreat with the nicest French cuisine. Close by was Gorges du Verdon with lush lakes and scenary. I love this part of the world.

Down the road to the large, bustling city of Nice. We got lucky again because we landed on the national France day so we got the most amazing fireworks I’ve ever seen. Other than we weren’t that impressed as it was big, busy and had some dodgy characters.

We had time to take a day trip to Monaco first where I have never seen so much wealth. Outside the casino was a selection of the best cars ever- Ferraris, Aston Martins and Bentleys just looked normal there. Monte Carlo is nice for a day.

We stayed a couple of nights in Toulon mainly just to escape Nice. It was big but quiet and we got a nice beach to lay on and lovely seafood.

And now we’re back in Paris waiting on replacement travel documents. We used http://www.airbnb.com to rent a room from a lady. It’s gorgeous, in a lovely part of Paris and so much better value than a hotel. I am now sitting on a glorious day, in a chic urban garden, working from my iphone.

France is a cool place. I understand why it’s economy is struggling so much as it all looks the same throughout and I imagine rocking the boat is not the done thing. They seem to replace creativity with high class culture: opera, art and philosophical conversation. This is fine but where does technology fit into this? The internet signal here has been terrible. Websites are weird and all French style rather than simple and funnel based user experience that we are advised to adhere to.

I will add the rest of the photos when I get better internet conection.

The Higgs Boson is found.. then what?

What does it mean if, as all the buzz is saying, the scientist at CERN confirm the finding of the Higgs Boson and the Standard Model is complete?

I went to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland earlier in the year and this was one of the questions I asked. The answer: “they build a new particle collider!”.

The new collider would be a straight line and would study the Higgs Field (name subject to change) interactions with other particles that give them their mass. Some particles are bigger and plodge their way through the field. Other particles, such as photons, glide through effortlessly. The effects of the interactions with the Higgs field define how each particle can interact with other, which decides what kind of physical matter they become. Well, that’s my limited understanding of it.

I also asked another question to our guide who was obviously a some kind of genius and a professor of experimental physics at a top British university. The question I asked was: What do you, as a top phyicist, think created the Universe? Do you believe in a God?

His answer, which was given with a kind of bored and almost sympathetic look (poor dum mere mortal) was (and I am both dimming and paraphrasing down): “It’s funny that the amount of energy and dark energy (it might have been matter or anti-matter, I can’t remember) in the universe is exactly equal, and so the Universe could have been caused by a random fluctuation”.