Scalar Energy

Quantum Science, Scalar Energy Pendant, Nikola Tesla & More

November 28, 2014

Petrobas, un scandale de corruption brésilien de plus de 3,5 milliards

De notre correspondant à Rio de Janeiro

Le scandale Petrobas a été révélé par l’opération de police Lava Jato (Karcher en français). Cette opération des policiers fédéraux brésiliens a démontré l’implication des principales entreprises de construction du pays, de Petrobras et de grands partis politiques brésiliens ; ils sont accusés d’avoir touché pendant des années un pourcentage fixe des sommes volées, dont une infime partie a été jusqu’à présent retrouvée par la police fédérale brésilienne. C’était un système de blanchiment d’argent très bien organisé. L’enquête de la police fédérale, dont la presse brésilienne révèle régulièrement les avancées, permet de s’en faire une idée très précise.

Des contrats artificiellement gonflés

En cause, les dizaines d’entreprises de construction et sous-traitants pétroliers qui ont truqué en les surévaluant les contrats passés avec Petrobras, comme ceux qui concernaient la construction de raffinerie, par exemple. A chaque fois, la valeur du contrat était artificiellement gonflée, de plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros parfois, et les responsables de ce système se partageaient les bénéfices. L’enquête est en cours, et vendredi dernier, la police a encore interpellé une trentaine de personnes dont un ancien directeur de Petrobras.

Tous les jours, de nouveaux éléments sont dévoilés dans la presse. Une sorte de feuilleton incroyable, d’autant le juge en charge du dossier incite certains accusés à collaborer avec la justice, en dénonçant leurs complices, en échange de réduction de peine. Alors les langues se délient, et la police fédérale enchaîne les arrestations.

Des politiques impliqués

Désormais, plusieurs partis politiques, dont celui de la présidente Dilma Rousseff, sont impliqués dans le scandale. Selon la police et les témoignages de certains accusés, le Parti des travailleurs percevait 3% des montants détournés, un pourcentage inférieur était alloué au parti social-démocrate, celui de son concurrent Aecio Neves, lors du deuxième tour de la présidentielle.

Aujourd’hui, toute la classe politique brésilienne tremble. Car un nombre sans cesse grandissant de dirigeants semblent mouillés jusqu’au cou. Alors tout le monde s’interroge : jusqu’où ira le scandale Petrobas ? Dernier épisode en date, la révélation dimanche, dans l’hebdomadaire Veja, d’un email qui date de 2009. A l’époque, Dilma Rousseff occupait le poste de Premier ministre du président Lula. Dans ce courrier électronique, l’un des directeurs de Petrobras avertit Dilma Rousseff des malversations en cours. Ce même directeur a d’ailleurs été arrêté durant l’opération Karcher, et il est en résidence surveillée.

Récemment, on a appris que l’ancien président Lula conseillait à l’actuelle présidente Dilma Rousseff d’attendre encore avant d’officialiser la composition de son gouvernement, afin d’être sûre qu’aucun membre n’apparaitra dans le scandale Petrobras.

November 28, 2014

Scientific Kickstarter project $220 shortly after fun potato salad raised more

My Kickstarter project has closed having raised  $220 out of the needed $2500 to help me either publish some scientific papers or to buy a telescope for astronomy students to use. Instead of money I got discounts on the publication fees from the journal Science Open Research, I was invited to publish for free in The Winnower, and the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics. So my Kickstarter got one of my papers published, and the other two closer to being published. In that sense my project was also a success.

Many people are surprised to find out that it in fact cost money to publish in scientific journals. Most scientist are insulated from this by their government grant funding, or funding provided by the institution they work for. Usually lining up grant funding to pay for these things falls to one or two people at those institutions. I am a mere Adjunct Professor of Physical Science and have almost zero seniority. If I had been working for either the College of DuPage or Richard J. Daley College one of the City Colleges of Chicago for a few years I would be in the adjuncts unions. As a member of the unions perhaps then some money would be available to me for a paper or two. As things are, I was on my own.

This left me with a number of bad options. I could use credit to pay the publication fees. I could ask family for money. I could sell some things to try and raise the money. Then I heard of “Potato Salad” by Zack Danger Brown . About a month ago that Kickstarter project made $55,000 from 6000 donations for Zack to make a batch of potato salad. I wanted to see if I could raise any money by a Kickstarter. 

Results beyond money.

 Instead of money I got effectively $1600 in discounted publishing fees.  The International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where “Disk-outflow models as applied to high mass star forming regions through methanol and water maser observations” (arXiv:1311.3983) reconfirmed a discount I had earlier.  This is based on my Masters Thesis “Insights into High Mass Star Formation from Methanol Maser Observations” completed at DePaul University in Chicago.  The subject is massive star formation.   

 “A Lagrangian which models Lambda CDM cosmology and explains the null results of direct detection efforts.” Which I was to give a talk at the April 2014 meeting of the American Physical Society.  Is slated to appear in Science Open Research.    They also gave me a deep discount.  

So I changed the goal from publishing to using the money to buy a telescope which my astronomy students could use for simple projects.    Sadly they will have to make due with my old telescope with some pieces missing. 

One paper published. 

One paper was actually published for free on “The Winnower” after I got invited to do so.  Quantum gravity by relativization of Quantum Field Theory., The Winnower 1:e140751.17561 (2014). DOI: 10.15200/winn.140751.17561 .  Their platform is in the beta test stage that’s why it was free for me. 

Overall the experience was good.  I posted the paper there and got feedback here from two people who I thanked in the acknowledgements of the revised version.  There were some kinks in the latex system but the final result of their approach is beautiful. 

Two of the commentators there  seem to have an axe to grind and have harassed me in real life.  

When reading their words consider the sources.  

One Stephen McCormick (@quasilocal )  from Australia  wanted to write something asinine while being anonymous and actually tweeted @thewinnower about wanting to comment anonymously.  As it turns out my work would invalidate his work if it’s proven correct.  By being anonymous Mr McCormick also did not have to state his conflict of interest.     The other is a supposed “John Lee” who commented  in ways that I thoroughly rebutted there.  The erstwhile Mr Lee, then wrote to my bosses from a Yahoo email address to call me a crakcpot and say that I am fraudulently calling myself an Adjunct Professor.  Mr Lee commented here  to the effect that one is “only an adjunct professor if one is tenured somewhere else”.  That is the standard in places like Australia and the UK.    An official from one of the colleges I teach at informed me of this and was so disturbed by the contents of “John Lee”‘s email that he thought I should alert authorities.   

Once corrected by my employers this person did donate money to my kick-starter. 

His conduct serves to illustrate some of what is wrong with the traditional anonymous pre publication peer review system.  Either he did that on purpose or not.  So thanks to him either way.  

Consider that over 300 readers have read my paper and only “two” (or just one with two email addresses or sock puppet identities.) have had a problem…then cyber stalked me.

An Aside on Academic titles in the United States of America

Since titles matter to people in countries where they have Dukes, Viscounts, Barons, Lords, and a Queen let me make something clear about the professoriate in the United States of America.

Here in the United States of America  an Adjunct Professor is just a type of professor who works part time and is not up for tenure.   Adjunct Professors like me also don’t have the administrative and service duties of tenured faculty.   No professor be they Adjunct, Assistant, Associate, Full, or named chair EVER uses “Professor” before their name outside a very limited set of circumstances.  

Here in the United States of America the faculty is a bit more democratic.  What matters are publications, seniority, and measures of ones past and current merit, not titles.   Here an Assistant professor can be the department head if they are a great teacher and a good administrator.  Here a Dean can run both a math and science branch of a school.  Here the president of the university will greet you like an equal.  According to just those people the common US English title for what I do  is Adjunct Professor.  

To us in the US it is just a job description not an honor like Knighthood or something.  That said I am honored to work for the institutions that I do.  

I urge our cousins in the UK and Australia to remember, this happened. 

Then this happened. 

So now us rabble and peasants do things very differently than in the British Commonwealth. 

The bottom line:

My papers are now closer to being published, or published.   The general public meanwhile does not seem to care much about funding science even though their tax money is used for it anyway. 

Updated to add. 

I retract but do not apologies for concluding that “John Lee” was a sock puppet of Steven McCormick.  Mr McCormick who’s working on a PhD  in the subject of quantum gravity anonymously posted a short  but not very illuminating review on my paper without disclosing his conflict of interest.  See below that he did own up to said COI.     I do not regret pointing out what he did, but I do retract the leap of logic that he was they mysterious Mr Lee.  

As for those who keep on 

A)  Confusing the hilbert space in my model with the space it is defined over.  I don’t know what to say.  You have confused one thing with the other.  

b). In their confusing claim that a quantum mechanical Hilbert space cannot have such vectors and scalars in it apparently they’ve never seen this. 

Which contains the product of one of the gamma matricies with the gauge covariant derivative.  Which is just D slashed which is also a four vector.  Why?  One way to represent four vectors is using gamma matirices as a basis, no different than x y z and t.  This works. It is used all the time and I will not listen for one more second to people who don’t under stand simple QED. 

The most twisted part of this is I report that someone basically cyber stalked me  and harassed me in real life.  Only one person who commented it seems even acknowledged that.  Most of the comments are about a paper posted on another thread where the same conversation could go on almost forever, or better yet where the paper is posted online. 

Discussion closed, I will blog about this no more.  

November 27, 2014

Glassbeam SCALAR – analysis of the internet of things

The Founder and CEO of Glassbeam, Puneet Pandit, came by to introduce his company and Glassbeam Scalar. The company is focused on the analysis of machine data and making the internet of things (IoT) useful and understandable to organizations.

The company is building its machine learning and predictive analysis tools on top of the Apache Spark in-memory, highly scalable, distributed database engine to provide extremely fast data analysis. The goal is to provide organizations with real-time analysis of just about any type of data their devices might be generating.

Here’s what the company has to say about its product

Specifically, the new version of Glassbeam SCALAR will provide:

  • Superior performance and scalability: Apache Spark is a fast in-memory distributed compute architecture. When combined with Glassbeam SCALAR, it is the best of both worlds as Glassbeam SCALAR was architected with Cassandra as a distributed data processing architecture that not only scales linearly but also horizontally across thousands of nodes.
  • Advanced analytics: With MLlib library integration from Apache Spark, Glassbeam SCALAR now has the industry’s best machine learning algorithms to perform predictive analytics on large sets of machine data in the cloud.
  • Real-time analytics: Implementing Apache Spark SQL directly on Cassandra data will allow real-time analytics on data as it is streaming in and getting parsed and transformed through the Glassbeam SCALAR platform.

Glassbeam’s patent-pending, cloud-based technology enables customers to reduce costs, increase revenues, accelerate product time to market, and improve customer satisfaction and retention. Glassbeam customers and partners include Fortune 500 companies and enterprises across a variety of markets including storage, wireless, networking and medical devices.

Snapshot analysis

We’re hearing more and more about the internet of things computing environment and how it is likely to impact the IT organization. Some of the real effects IT will experience remain to be seen. What is clear is that staff and customers are using more and more different types of devices to access the organization’s workloads and those workloads are being hosted on a growing array of different types of systems, networks and storage devices.

IT is expected to be able to quickly detect performance and security anomalies and get to the root cause. Wading through all of the log files produced by all of the devices, their operating systems, the application frameworks and the databases in use could easily become a time-consuming chore that would prevent a timely discovery and resolution response.

Many performance monitoring and management companies have jumped into the market with their own approach to turning what appears to be a huge, growing mass of different type of structured and non-structured data into something useful to IT administrators. Glassbeam believes that its approach will be the best.

I’d suggest taking the time to speak with other suppliers of tools, such as Splunk, Sumo Logic, LogLogic, Loggly and a few others before making a selection. It may turn out that Glassbeam will be the best fit to address your organization’s needs. It also may turn out that one of the others will be a better fit.

November 27, 2014

The 1,001 faces of Nikola Tesla

It was the three-year-old Nikola Tesla’s cat that famously first introduced him to the marvels of electricity. “In the dusk of the evening, as I stroked Macak’s back, I saw a miracle that made me speechless with amazement,” he remembered later. “Macak’s back was a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks loud enough to be heard all over the house. My father was a very learned man; he had an answer for every question. But this phenomenon was new even to him. ‘Well,’ he finally remarked, ‘this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see through the trees in a storm.’”

Over a century later, and Macak the cat has his own Facebook and Twitter accounts and Tesla (1856-1943), the father of the modern alternating current electricity supply system, is a pop icon. The Fundación Telefónica’s new exhibition, Tesla. Suyo es el futuro (or, Tesla: His is the future), which runs until February 15 and claims to be the biggest to date on the scientific genius, reveals both the iconographic face and the many others of this celibate inventor who has captured the collective imagination.

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A model of the Wardenclyffe tower.

“We wanted to show Tesla as a living person, not as a historical fact,” says exhibition curator Miguel Ángel Delgado, who has also written several books on Tesla. A stroll round the display highlights the prophetic side of the inventor, with each of the 13 sections making up the display – “The archeologist of light;” “Tesla pop;” “Tesla, ideas like lightning” … – introduced not with a text by the curators, but in Tesla’s own words: “The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention;” “The future, for which I have really worked, is mine;” “It should be possible to project on a screen the image of any object one conceives and make it visible.”

Tesla’s most radical predictions come in the section devoted to Wardenclyffe, the first of the innumerable towers he built in order to try to generate a “World System for the transmission of electrical energy without wires.” His own description of the project makes it sound like a carbon copy of the modern internet: “It makes possible not only the instantaneous and precise wireless transmission of any kind of signals, messages or characters, to all parts of the world, but also the inter-connection of the existing telegraph, telephone, and other signal stations without any change in their present equipment. […] An inexpensive receiver, not bigger than a watch, will enable him to listen anywhere, on land or sea, to a speech delivered or music played in some other place, however distant.” The exhibition also includes a model, graphic archive and a three-dimensional recreation of the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade.

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Tesla’s shoes, hat and gloves.

But the curators also wanted to show his fallibility. “In his later years his mind went and he said absurd things,” says Delgado. “Tesla is someone who is very human.” Among those foibles was his way of dressing. As soon as you enter the show you’re presented with a glass case containing his shoes, bowler hat and gloves – all made to measure and ready to be thrown away. He was obsessed with neatness, forever replacing barely worn gloves with new pairs: “He used 20 napkins per meal,” says co-curator María Santoyo.

Tesla was also obsessed with the number three and, despite his success with women, became voluntarily celibate so as to be able to carry out his research peacefully. “He was pigheaded. He never believed in the theory of relativity,” says Delgado. Oddly, though, Einstein never held it against him: on the occasion of Tesla’s 75th birthday the German genius devoted these words of praise to him: “I congratulate you on the great successes of your life’s work.”

The exhibition mixes the fruits of that devotion to invention with details from Tesla’s biography, age and legend. “We have laid out the show from a conceptual point of view, making it clear that Tesla was a man of his time, not isolated from it.”

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Tesla on the cover of ‘Time’ magazine in 1931 in celebration of his 75th birthday.

That aim is best displayed in the most important section of the exhibition: the one devoted to Tesla’s inventions, “The laboratory.” A circular cell, which evokes his laboratory in Colorado Springs, plays host to an overview of his inventions: a remote-controlled steam boat, his induction motor, his alternating current research, the Niagara hydro-electric power plant, his designs for a vertical take-off aircraft … But there, too, are his excesses, which include a death ray, which he announced in 1934 and offered to the US government, prompting a The New York Times front page.

Concluding the show is the “Tesla Pop” section, an anything-goes collage that surveys how he has been represented in films and videogames and how he has been reinvented by multiple fans. Everything from cupcakes to interviews with the likes of director Terry Gilliam and Christopher Priest, author of the novel that filmmaker Christopher Nolan adapted into the movie The Prestige, is here. Nevertheless, the curators are keen for visitors not to lose sight of the gap separating myth from reality: the second section, “The archeologist of light” features a sand pit with several light bulbs that turn on in front of numerous mirrors that multiply their shine – a recreation of a famous scene in The Prestige that features in the film’s trailer. Next to them, though, is a photograph showing what really happened: Tesla did indeed manage to send a current through the earth to illuminate some light bulbs – but just three of them.

Nikola Tesla. Suyo es el futuro. Until February 15 at Espacio Fundación Telefónica, C/ Gran Vía, 28, Planta 7ª, Madrid (entrance at C/ Fuencarral, 3, Madrid).

November 27, 2014

Cloud Peak Energy’s 3Q14 cash flows and liquidity

Key takeaways from Cloud Peak Energy’s 3Q14 earnings (Part 7 of 9)

(Continued from Part 6)

Termination of agreement impacts cash flows

As we discussed in the previous part of this series, Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) paid $45 million to Rio Tinto (RIO) to terminate the tax liability agreement with RIO. The payment of $45 million impacted the company’s cash flow to a great extent.

The company generated cash of $6.7 million from operations in 3Q14 after deducting the $45 million payment to RIO. The company incurred $7.5 million capital expenditure during the quarter. After deducting the capital expenditure from cash from operations, the free cash flows came in at negative 0.8 million.

During the first nine months of 2014, the company generated $42 million in cash from operations. After deducting $14.7 million capital expenditure during the period, the free cash flows stood at $27.4 million.

Liquidity position

The company had available liquidity of $660 million as of September 30, 2014, including cash and cash equivalents of $120 million. The company made a few large payments during the quarter, including $69 million towards mine lease payment, $45 million towards termination of contract with RIO, and $37 million towards buying port capacity at Westshore. As a result, the cash balances have reduced from $226 million as of June 30, 2014. However, the company is in a comfortable position with respect to debt.

Low leverage

Low leverage is what separates Cloud Peak Energy from larger peers (KOL), including Peabody Energy (BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), and Arch Coal (ACI). As of September 30, 2014, the company had debt of $498 million, less than total available liquidity. $298 million of the debt is maturing in 2019, and the remaining portion will mature in 2024. Thus, leverage is not a major concern for the company.

How did the market react to Cloud Peak Energy’s 3Q14 earnings? We’ll discuss this in the next part of the series.

Continue to Part 8

Browse this series on Market Realist:

November 27, 2014

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November 27, 2014

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November 26, 2014

Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul and Body.

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November 26, 2014

Psychic Desire

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November 26, 2014

How To Pray Effectively

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