Check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/teded View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-can-t-some-birds-fly-gillian-gibb Though the common ancestor of all modern birds could fly, many different bird species have independently lost their flight. Flight can have incredible benefits, especially for escaping predators, hunting and traveling long distances. But it also has high costs: consuming huge amounts of energy and limiting body size and weight. Gillian Gibb explores what makes birds give up the power of flight. Lesson by Gillian Gibb, directed by Anton Bogaty. Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! Paul Beard, Deepak Iyer, Markus Goldhacker, Mihai Sandu, Keven Webb, Hendrik Mueller, Maurice Castonguay, Kristiyan Bonev, Maryam Dadkhah, Joshua Wasniewski, Michał Friedrich, Arlene Spiegelman, Doug Henry, Alick Au, denison martins fernandes, Daniel Nester, Richard A Berkley, Benjamin Chan, Dee Wei, Abdallah Absi, Denise A Pitts, Pi Guanghui, Doris, Kurt Almendras, Raymond Lee, Nicolas Silva, Melvin Williams, Tirath Singh Pandher, Terry Minion, Mauricio Basso, Jamesbo87, Karlee Finch, Chumi Ogbonna, Barthélémy Michalon, Lefty McGoo, Anonymous, Chris Thompson, Derek Drescher, Karisa Caudill, Christina Salvatore, Brady Jones, Todd Gross, Alexis Hevia, Heidi Stolt, Robert Seik, Coenraad Keuning, Charles A Hershberger, Laura Cameron Keith, Max Ngomane and Rafael Kato.From: TED-Ed

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A 4chan poster may have solved part of a very tricky math problem that mathematicians have been working on for at least 25 years. The user was just trying to figure out the most efficient way to watch episodes of a nonlinear anime series, but the result has generated considerable interest from mathematicians around the world who have no way to identify the anonymous user.
Yesterday, Robin Houston, a computer scientist and mathematician tweeted about the bizarre intersection of 4chan and mathematics, inadvertently setting off a wave of public interest in the story. Within hours of his tweet, his phone was vibrating constantly. “It started to go mad,” he says. “My phone started going crazy.”
The 4chan part of this saga began on September 17th, 2011, when a poster posed a question: if you wanted to watch 14 episodes of the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in every possible order, what’s the shortest string of episodes you’d need to watch?
if you wanted to watch 14 episodes of ‘Haruhi’ in every possible order, what’s the shortest string of episodes you’d need to watch?
There are 14 episodes in the first season of Haruhi, a 2006 anime based on a series of Japanese light novels. The episodes, which feature time travel and are otherwise chronologically challenging for the viewer, originally aired in a nonlinear order. When the series went to DVD, the episodes were rearranged, and it’s become something of an obsession for fans to rewatch the series over and over again, going through as many chronologies as possible.
An anonymous poster figured out one possible way to solve to the 4chan problem, satisfying the more mathematically inclined Haruhi fans. But in the process, they also helped puzzle out an issue that mathematicians have been working on since 1993. The anonymously authored proof (which was recently reposted on a Fandom wiki) is currently the most elegant solution to part of a mathematical problem involving something called superpermutations. It’s an enigma that goes well beyond anime.
In mathematics, a permutation is the order of a set of numbers. In anime terms, one permutation of Haruhi would be watching all 14 episodes in the order that they aired. But what if you’re a Haruhi superfan and watching the season once isn’t enough for you? In that case, you might be interested in a superpermutation, or all of the possible permutations of a set strung together. Think of it as the ultimate Haruhi marathon.
Think of it as the ultimate ‘Haruhi’ marathon
The branch of math that deals with permutations and superpermutations is called combinatorics. It doesn’t require years of study to be good at it, either. “It’s more accessible to amateur and casual mathematicians,” Houston says.
The poster’s anonymity doesn’t invalidate the solution for the mathematicians. “What’s beautiful about mathematics is that it’s a proof that starts with your hypothesis and leads to your conclusion,” Jay Pantone, a mathematician at Marquette University says. “You have to convince a skeptical reader that you’re correct. That doesn’t rely on your identity being known.”
Pantone was that skeptical reader for the 4chan proof. This week, he translated it from the more informal 4chan posting into a more formal layout that mathematicians like himself could more easily understand. He says the proof holds up.
With the Haruhi problem, people were looking for the shortest possible superpermutation for the 14-episode set. But no one has found a formula that would actually solve that problem. The 1993 paper suggested one part of that solution. But in 2014, Houston figured out that the math used in the 1993 problem didn’t work for sets containing more than six numbers. The result got mathematicians really excited about the problem again after it had languished in the literature for a quarter century. Eventually, one of them found the 4chan proof, and all those numbers and symbols started to fall into place.
The 4chan proof outlines how to find the smallest possible number of episodes for the solution. But that doesn’t fully solve the problem. An even bigger breakthrough came earlier this month when sci-fi author and mathematician Greg Egan wrote up a proof that outlined how to find the largest possible number for any given superpermutation problem.
Pantone crunched the numbers of the Haruhi problem for The Verge and found that you’d need to watch at least 93,884,313,611 episodes to watch the season in any possible order. At most, you’d need to watch 93,924,230,411 episodes to accomplish the task. There’s still a ways to go to narrow down the exact answer, but they’re getting there.
Now, mathematicians have a way to figure out the range of answers, and a group of them — including Houston and Pantone — are actively working to figure out a formula that combines Egan’s work and the anonymous proof into a cohesive formula. “It might be possible to crack the thing completely open,” Houston says.
Beyond answering obscure anime questions, there are no known applications for the formula
Beyond answering obscure anime questions, there are no known applications for the formula, which isn’t unusual in the field. It often takes decades, Pantone says, for formulas that are discovered in pure mathematics to make their way into real-world applications. But the 4chan episode does show that math can be accessible to anyone.
“This proof shows that you don’t need to be a professional mathematician to understand mathematics and advance the frontier of knowledge,” Pantone says. “That’s the beautiful thing about math, is that anyone can understand the questions.”

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Apple’s streaming television service, which is said to resemble Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, will launch in the first half of next year, according to a report today from The Information. The service, which may exist as a standalone app or within the existing TV app, will launch in the US first and become available in more than 100 countries after a few months of availability, the report says. It will feature a mix of original programming, access to third-party services, and the ability to subscribe directly to channel packages offered by network and cable providers, similar to Amazon’s Channels feature.
For years, Apple has been trying to crack streaming like it did digital media and smartphone apps. But due to complex licensing deals and media conglomerates’ tight control on pricing and bundling, the iPhone maker has been less successful than competitors like Amazon and Netflix, both of which have built strong ecosystems mixing licensed content and original programming. And although Apple has sold its own set-top box since 2006, the device has largely remained a conduit for other companies’ media, and it lags behind Amazon and Roku hardware in market share.
Apple lags far behind Amazon and Netflix in the streaming market
Apple appears ready to try and change that with the launch of its official streaming TV service, which will be free for iOS device owners and exist as the home interface of its Apple TV line, reports The Information. One snag is that Apple doesn’t appear willing to let the software exist outside its own hardware, which may limit its ability to expand. Both Amazon, through its Prime Video app, and Netflix exist as mobile apps, built-in native smart TV apps, and streaming set-top box apps. In the case of Amazon, which produces the Fire TV line, its software is the entire home interface on its devices. That means consumers have numerous access points to Prime Video and Netflix, while Apple will necessarily limit its own service’s reach.
Still, this mirrors Apple’s approach to many of its other hardware and software products, and it could prove to be irrelevant if the company’s free service gets millions of iOS and Apple TV users signing in. (Notably, Prime Video requires you pay Amazon’s $119 annual fee, while Netflix costs $7.99 a month.)
The obvious solution there is original programming, which Apple has reportedly set aside $1 billion for in 2018 alone. So far, Apple has put its original shows, like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, on Apple Music. But this new service would be home to a dizzying number of in-the-works projects that have been confirmed in the last couple of years. As my colleague Andrew Liptak put it, there’s a lot Apple is working on:
So far, Apple has signed a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to develop new shows, ordered a pair of children’s shows from the creators of Sesame Street, a reboot of the science fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, a Hunger Games-style dystopian show called See, a series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle, a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, a drama about a morning show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novel Foundation. There are also reports that it’s working to acquire the rights for an animated film.
We have no idea if this programming will be any good. Considering it took years for Amazon and Netflix to find their footing in Hollywood and start turning out Emmy- and Oscar-winning projects, it could be a while before Apple attracts the same level of talent and creates a production environment where high-quality television and film can succeed. But Apple clearly has the money to spend and the desire to compete.
Fifteen years ago, iTunes dominated the digital media landscape as the place where you went to browse, purchase, and play music, TV, and movies on your computer and MP3 player. Despite the dominant position of the iPhone in the age of the smartphone, Apple missed the boat on streaming video and is still playing catch-up with Spotify on streaming music. With the launch of a successful TV service, however, the company could start making up for lost time.

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Check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/teded View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-can-t-some-birds-fly-gillian-gibb Though the common ancestor of all modern birds could fly, many different bird species have independently lost their flight. Flight can have incredible benefits, especially for escaping predators, hunting and traveling long distances. But it also has high costs: consuming huge amounts of energy and limiting body size and weight. Gillian Gibb explores what makes birds give up the power of flight. Lesson by Gillian Gibb, directed by Anton Bogaty. Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! Paul Beard, Deepak Iyer, Markus Goldhacker, Mihai Sandu, Keven Webb, Hendrik Mueller, Maurice Castonguay, Kristiyan Bonev, Maryam Dadkhah, Joshua Wasniewski, Michał Friedrich, Arlene Spiegelman, Doug Henry, Alick Au, denison martins fernandes, Daniel Nester, Richard A Berkley, Benjamin Chan, Dee Wei, Abdallah Absi, Denise A Pitts, Pi Guanghui, Doris, Kurt Almendras, Raymond Lee, Nicolas Silva, Melvin Williams, Tirath Singh Pandher, Terry Minion, Mauricio Basso, Jamesbo87, Karlee Finch, Chumi Ogbonna, Barthélémy Michalon, Lefty McGoo, Anonymous, Chris Thompson, Derek Drescher, Karisa Caudill, Christina Salvatore, Brady Jones, Todd Gross, Alexis Hevia, Heidi Stolt, Robert Seik, Coenraad Keuning, Charles A Hershberger, Laura Cameron Keith, Max Ngomane and Rafael Kato.From: TED-Ed

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Fallout: New California, an enormously ambitious mod for Fallout: New Vegas, is now out, finished and ready to play.New California—built from the bones of an older mod called Brazil— is set in between the events of Fallout 2 and Fallout New Vegas, and to simply call it a “mod” is to sell it short. This is practically a brand new, fan-made Fallout game, that’s even got voice acting and takes place on a new map, with the game set in the Black Bear Mountain National Forest in California.AdvertisementIts release is timed well; Fallout 76 is out soon, and anyone disappointed that it’s a multiplayer affair, and not the traditional epic singleplayer RPG, can just try this out instead.You can download the mod here. As for how good it is, Nathan is playing it right now, and will have some impressions up on Kotaku soon!AdvertisementUPDATE: This post’s headline earlier referred to the mod being nine years old. It’s actually been in active development since 2012.

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