Gold Reset To $10,000/oz Coming “By January 1, 2018” – Rickards

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Gold Reset To $10,000/oz Coming "By January 1, 2018" – Rickards

– Trump could be planning a radical “reboot” of the U.S. dollar
– Currency reboot will see leading nations devalue their currencies against gold
– New gold price would be nearly 8 times higher at $10,000/oz
– Price based on mass exit of foreign governments and investors from the US Dollar
– US total debt now over $80 Trillion – $20T national debt and $60T consumer debt
– Monetary reboot or currency devaluation seen frequently – even modern history
– Buy gold eagles, silver eagles including monster boxes and gold bars 

– Have a 10% allocation to gold, smaller allocation to silver

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Source: Agora Financial

A new monetary standard which will see the dollar "reboot" and gold be revalued to $10,000/oz according to best-selling author and Pentagon insider Jim Rickards.

A monetary ‘reboot’ is not unprecedented

Articles about an imminent return to the gold standard are not exactly infrequent in the gold world and it can be easy to become immune to them and dismiss them without considering the facts and case being made.

Many of the articles are not just based one ever-wishful daydreams. Much of it comes from information that is true about today and is then applied to situations that we have seen in the past.

Rickards makes this point himself. A monetary reset is not unheard of. Since the Genoa Accord in 1922 there have been a further eight reboots. The most recent was in 2016 in what Rickards refers to as the Shanghai Accord which purportedly saw deals done that would allow China to ease without leading to a sharp correction in the US stock market.

Rickards isn’t the only one who is speculating that there could be some big monetary changes on the horizon. In March intelligence service Stratfor wrote:

Trump may consider unilateral or, failing that, multilateral currency interventions to bring it back down…Negotiating a new coordinated monetary intervention

Stratfor’s analysis was considering the threat of a strong dollar on Trump’s plans to reduce the trade deficit. We have recently discussed the danger of political deadlock and uncertainty on the US Dollar and how this will benefit gold.

Rickards’ comments come from a similar viewpoint in that there is decreasing faith in the US dollar. This lack of trust is mainly driven by the more than $100 trillion debt ($20 trillion national debt and another $100 trillion in off ‘balance sheet’ liabilities) in the country and the ongoing dedollarisation by major economies.

Should Trump continue to stumble, disappoint and provoke then we will no doubt see this issue snowball even faster.

No longer banking on debt

The Federal Reserve — America’s central bank — has lowered interest rates and printed nearly 4 trillion new dollars out of thin air since the economic crisis in 2008.

That’s equivalent to nearly one quarter the size of the entire U.S. economy.

The number one consequence of all of this money printing so far hasn’t been inflation at all…

It’s been debt.

Total U.S. debt — across all private sectors — has risen to nearly $60 TRILLION…

That’s over three times as big as the entire U.S. economy.

If you add the federal debt to that number, you get $80 trillion! That’s more than four times the size of the U.S. economy.

Source: Jim Rickards via Agora

In fact, the Government Accountability Office just reported this year that the U.S. is at risk of “fiscal failure.”

And Harvard Economics Professor Kenneth Rogoff says, “There’s no question that the most significant vulnerability… is the soaring government debt. It’s very likely that will trigger the next crisis as governments have been stretched so wide.”

And Investor’s Business Daily reports that: “Current total debt, at roughly 105% of GDP, is already in the danger zone — and based on historical economic studies, this is where nasty things can happen.”

All of this is the result of too much debt… too many Obama policies… and too much meddling by the Federal Reserve.

But what happens when there is too much debt? The dollar is still relatively strong so does it matter? Yes, says Rickards, ‘many countries are relentlessly abandoning the dollar.’ 

Too much debt to make America Great Again

Countries aren’t sticking around to figure out whether the U.S. can really pay back its debt or wait to see if their dollar reserves are going to keep losing their value…

Like billionaire investor Warren Buffett said

“People are right to fear paper money… it’s only going to be worth less and less over time…”

And he’s right. The U.S. dollar has lost 96% of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. Meanwhile the national debt has skyrocketed!

The dollar and debt are two sides of the same coin:

Source: Jim Rickards via Agora

That’s why many countries are relentlessly abandoning the dollar.

Typically most foreign governments invest their surplus or savings in U.S. financial assets.

Global trade is typically conducted in U.S. dollars, too.

The dollar is what’s called the “world’s reserve currency.”

As one Forbes columnist put it, “ There is a global currency. It’s called the ‘U.S. dollar.’”

But all of that is about to change if the dollar is not rebooted.

The dollar is getting dumped around the globe because of our debt, spending and money printing.

The total amount of “de-dollarization” is at least: $1.14 TRILLION…

But it’s not just the “de-dollarization” of the world that’s making this so urgent. You see, countries have not only stopped buying U.S. Treasuries… but they’re selling them at a record clip.

Bloomberg reports, “ America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump .”

The Economist says, “As America’s economic supremacy fades, the primacy of the dollar looks unsustainable.”

Trump to call global summit and take control

Rickards believes that the situation of dedollarization will get so bad that the US President will be forced to call a summit of world leaders and monetary authorities.

Using his stature as leader of the free world, he’ll bring the financial leaders of the globe together.

This would include delegates from the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the UK and the International Monetary Fund.

Then, they’ll agree to simultaneously revalue all of their currencies against gold until the price reached $10,000 per ounce.

Will Trump really call a global summit? Who knows. His own team probably won’t know until he tweets about it.

But you should consider one element that Rickards mentions. Aside from a new monetary order, Trump is about to become the most powerful US president when it comes to looking after the US Dollar.

You see, there are seven total seats on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. That’s the group that makes our central bank’s decisions.

The president appoints each governor.

That means Trump could be able to appoint five governors in the coming months, including a chair and two vice chairs.

Trump will have six out of seven board seats in Republican hands.

In effect, Trump will own the Fed!

The Republicans will also have the White House…

And a majority in the House of Representatives and Senate…

Conservatives will soon be a majority on the Supreme Court, too.

And there are more Republican state legislatures and governors in the state mansions than at any time since Civil War reconstruction.

This means President Trump could have zero resistance to changing the debt-dollar system we have.

Whether Trump ‘owning’ the Fed means he would seek to upend the international monetary order is one thing. But, even if he doesn’t do that, investors would be wise to consider what impact a Trump-controlled Federal Reserve would have on the world.

Why $10,000 per ounce?

It’s the gold price Donald Trump will need to use to “reboot” the U.S. dollar and the world’s international monetary system.

This isn’t a far-fetched concept, by the way…

Since the world financial crisis in 2008, many of the world’s governments have been buying physical gold in record amounts.

In fact, according to a recent report by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), world central banks have been buying gold at a rate of 385 tons per year since the 2008 crisis.

Those are levels last seen when the world was on the gold standard pre-1971.

Why are they buying so much gold?

Because they know gold is going to be money again…

And the more gold they own, the more leverage they’ll have when Trump calls the world’s financial powers together to reform the monetary system at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

As with chat surrounding soon-to-be gold standard, calls for $10,000/oz gold (or more) are also not uncommon in precious metal spheres. Since I began in the gold industry I have been reading about the imminent rise of the gold price to $30,000 even $40,000.

In truth, I believe such outlandish predictions are damaging for the long-term reputation of the gold and silver investment community. Regardless of where you think the gold price and gold standard could head to, it is all relative to your own situation, your own portfolio and the currencies you buy it in.

At the same time, while gold at $10,000 per ounce seems outlandish now, it is not impossible and indeed the scale of the levels of debt in the U.S. and internationally make it quite possible. When gold was trading at $250/oz in 2002, a rise of more than seven times and gold at $1,900 seemed outlandish to most.

Whether or not you believe Trump will ever achieve a new gold standard in a currency reset, it is vital to consider the point that central banks have been net buyers of gold for some time. A lesson for all investors.

And the most important nugget to takeaway from pieces such as this is that governments are in a completely unsustainable, debt-laden position. The current state of the global economy is unprecedented. We are also in unknown times when it comes to technology, cyber threats and nuclear sabre rattling. Governments buying gold is sensible portfolio diversification.

Buying gold coins and bars a prudent way to hedge coming currency devaluations

Rickards, Stratfor and even us here at GoldCore cannot predict what will happen in terms of the gold price. What we do know is that gold has played a very important role throughout history – especially as a hedge against currency devaluation.

Currency devaluations are coming and currencies are set to fall in value against gold as they have done throughout history. The only question is how much fiat currencies will fall versus gold and silver.

History has taught us that governments rarely know what they are doing when it comes to financial and monetary planning. It has also taught us that when times are tough countries turn on one another and war becomes common. Trade wars lead to currency wars lead to real wars. We are seeing that today.

Investors and savers are wise to think small. They should consider their own form of gold standard and how they can protect themselves. Buying gold bars, gold eagles and silver eagles including monster boxes is a prudent way to hedge the real risk of global currency debasement today.

The extracts are taken from an article which originally appeared on Agora Financial.

Gold eagles can currently be acquired from GoldCore at record low premiums of 3%.
Please call to secure coins as this is a phone call offer only and not available online.

Gold and Silver Bullion – News and Commentary

Gold slips on stronger dollar; geopolitical risks support (Reuters.com)

Asian markets rebound, shrugging off North Korea tensions (Marketwatch.com)

Crude slips, gasoline jumps as storm shuts a fifth of U.S. fuel output (Reuters.com)

ICE to take over London silver benchmark on Sept. 25 (Reuters.com)

Wall Street insiders sell bank shares as Trump rally reverses (Irish Times)

Source: GoldCore

Gold to surge to $1,400 by early 2018 as rates stay low – BoA (Gulf News)

The Battle for India’s $45 Billion Gold Industry Has Begun (Bloomberg)

Stevenson-Yang Warns "China Is About To Hit A Wall" (Zerohedge)

U.S. may revalue gold if debt ceiling isn’t raised – Rickards  (Daily Reckoning)

Gold may assume traditional role as "risk mitigator" … Cryptocurrencies "vulnerable" – El-Erian (Bloomberg)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

30 Aug: USD 1,310.60, GBP 1,014.93 & EUR 1,096.71 per ounce
29 Aug: USD 1,323.40, GBP 1,020.34 & EUR 1,097.36 per ounce
25 Aug: USD 1,287.05, GBP 1,003.90 & EUR 1,090.90 per ounce
24 Aug: USD 1,285.90, GBP 1,003.26 & EUR 1,090.44 per ounce
23 Aug: USD 1,286.45, GBP 1,004.33 & EUR 1,091.68 per ounce
22 Aug: USD 1,285.10, GBP 1,000.71 & EUR 1,091.95 per ounce
21 Aug: USD 1,287.60, GBP 999.82 & EUR 1,096.52 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

30 Aug: USD 17.44, GBP 13.49 & EUR 14.60 per ounce
29 Aug: USD 17.60, GBP 13.59 & EUR 14.62 per ounce
25 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.26 & EUR 14.40 per ounce
24 Aug: USD 16.93, GBP 13.20 & EUR 14.36 per ounce
23 Aug: USD 17.06, GBP 13.32 & EUR 14.48 per ounce
22 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.27 & EUR 14.48 per ounce
21 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.20 & EUR 14.48 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

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– Cyberwar Risk – Was U.S. Navy Victim Of Hacking?
– Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Gold Rises 100% from $650 to $1,300
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– Gold, Silver Consolidate On Last Weeks Gains, Palladium Surges 36% YTD To 16 Year High
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– World’s Largest Hedge Fund Bridgewater Buys $68 Million of Gold ETF In Q2
– Diversify Into Gold Urges Dalio on Linkedin – “Militaristic Leaders Playing Chicken Risks Hellacious War”
– Gold Has Yet Another Purpose – Help Fight Cancer

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

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FDA Approves Futuristic New Cancer Therapy, To Cost $475,000, Sending Biotechs Surging

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The FDA on Wednesday opened a new era in cancer treatment, when it approved a landmark, futuristic new gene therapy-based approach to treat childhood leukemia, one which has produced unprecedented results in patients with the deadly cancer. Even the FDA called the approval "historic."

"We’re entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient’s own cells to attack a deadly cancer," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

The CAR-T cell treatment, developed by Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania, is the first type of gene therapy to hit the U.S. market, and one in a powerful but expensive wave of custom-made "living drugs" being tested against blood cancers and other tumors. The therapy is made by harvesting patients’ white blood cells and rewiring them to home in on tumors. Novartis’s product is the first CAR-T therapy to come before the FDA, leading a pack of novel treatments that promise to change the standard of care for certain aggressive blood cancers.

"This is a brand new way of treating cancer," said Dr. Stephan Grupp of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia quoted by the AP, who treated the first child with CAR-T cell therapy — a girl who’d been near death but now is cancer-free for five years and counting. "That’s enormously exciting."

This first use of CAR-T therapy is aimed at patients ill with a common pediatric cancer — acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL — that strikes more than 3,000 children and young adults in the U.S. each year. While most survive, about 15 percent relapse despite today’s best treatments, and their prognosis is bleak.

The therapy will be marketed as Kymriah.

The price tag: $475,000 for a course of treatment. While the amount sounds staggering to many patients, it was far less than many analysts had expected. Still, David Mitchell, president of advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs, met with Novartis yesterday to talk about "how to arrive at a fair price for its new CAR-T drug," but said the meeting was "disappointing."

While the treatment’s approval had been seen as a foregone conclusion for months according to Stat News, its potential price has been the subject of speculation and debate. On Wednesday, Novartis revealed that it would charge $475,000 for a course of treatment, a price Bruno Strigini, the company’s head of oncology, said would allow (a few very wealthy) patients to access Kymriah while providing Novartis a return on its investment. The cost is well below Wall Street analyst expectations, which reached as high as $750,000 for a dose. And it’s cheaper than the roughly $700,000 price tag that U.K. regulators said would be fair considering Kymriah’s benefits.

In an attempt to make the drug more affordable, Novartis said it was working with Medicare on a system in which the government would only pay for CAR-T treatment if patients respond within a month.

Meanwhile, trial results of the drug have shown unprecedented success: in a clinical trial, a single dose of Kymriah left 83% of participants cancer-free after three months, results oncologists have hailed as a major advance for patients with few other options. The most frequent side effect was an inflammatory storm called cytokine release syndrome, a reaction to CAR-T that can prove fatal in some patients but is commonly controlled with immunosuppressant drugs.

“I think this is most exciting thing I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Dr. Tim Cripe, an oncologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, at an FDA meeting on Kymriah in July.

Being truly revolutionary, the therapy has the price tag to justify it: the reason for the sky-high price of every treatment, unlike well-understood pills and commonly injected biotech drugs, CAR-T presents a radical new paradigm for doctors, regulators, and payers. CAR-T treatment uses gene therapy techniques not to fix disease-causing genes but to turbocharge T cells that cancer too often can evade. Researchers filter those cells from a patient’s blood, reprogram them to harbor a "chimeric antigen receptor" that zeroes in on cancer, and grow hundreds of millions of copies. Returned to the patient, the revved-up cells can continue multiplying to fight disease for months or years.

It’s a completely different way to harness the immune system than popular immunotherapy drugs called "checkpoint inhibitors" that treat a variety of cancers by helping the body’s natural T cells better spot tumors, according to the AP. CAR-T cell therapy gives patients stronger T cells to do that job. For some patients, the new CAR-T therapy might replace bone marrow transplants that cost more than half a million dollars, noted Grupp, who led the Novartis study.

"I don’t want to be an apologist for high drug prices in the U.S.," Grupp stressed. But if it’s the last treatment they need, "that’s a really significant one-time investment in their wellness, especially in kids who have a whole lifetime ahead of them."

It remains unclear how lucrative a business opportunity Kymriah presents. There are about 3,100 new cases of ALL each year, but roughly 70 percent can be pushed into remission by standard therapy. That could leave just a few hundred patients who might be eligible for Novartis’s therapy, casting doubt on whether the company can get an outsize return on what will be a substantial manufacturing investment. Bloomberg estimates that the gene therapy is expected to generate $111 million in 2018 revenue, reaching blockbuster status, and $1 billion in sales, by 2024

However, as Stat News points out, the potential of CAR-T – a hot research area across several drug companies – goes far beyond Wednesday’s approval. Novartis is developing Kymriah for use in lymphoma, and its pipeline includes other CAR-T therapies targeting an array of blood cancers. Kite Pharma, recently acquired by Gilead Sciences, is awaiting FDA approval for a lymphoma therapy and is, like Novartis, developing a bevy of cell therapies it hopes can treat tumors liquid and solid. Juno Therapeutics, which slipped into a third place after its lead CAR-T ran into safety problems, has a similar focus.

News of the CAR-T’s approval sent the Nasdaq Biotech index surging to its biggest gain since June 21, up as much as 2.3%. Two-thirds of the 160 stocks in the NBI are higher, with six names making new 52-week highs: PRTK, SGMO, BIIB, EXEL, FOLD, MYGN, while the IBB, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF, is within a few dollars of 18-month highs reached in late July.

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Researchers create a new fusion recipe that boosts energy output

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Nuclear fusion is an attractive way to create energy. It generates hardly any waste, doesn’t pollute the planet and takes advantage of elements that we have plenty of. But fusion takes a lot of work and the energy payout isn’t yet at the level that makes it suitable for producing power. But researchers at MIT have developed a new fusion recipe that boosts energy production by ten-fold.

Previously, the group was using a method that required two types of ions — deuterium and hydrogen — with deuterium making up around 95 percent of the mixture. With the ions contained in a fusion reactor called a tokamak, radio waves tuned to target only the less abundant hydrogen ions were used to heat them up. With all of the energy of the waves focused on just the hydrogen ions, the ions were able to reach very high energy levels, causing them to slam into the deuterium ions and generate heat and power through the resulting fusion reaction.

However, the researchers decided to try out a three ion solution, adding helium-3 ions at very small amounts into the mix. And when the waves were trained on to the few helium-3 ions, the ions were able to achieve energy levels that have only been generated in full, activated fusion reactors, not small experimental reactors like the one being used at MIT.

The results were so promising that researchers at Europe’s largest nuclear fusion device, the UK’s Joint European Torus, decided to try the method out themselves. They replicated the results successfully and the two groups were able to focus on and measure two different properties of the particles undergoing the reaction, meaning the two were able to get a fuller picture of how the experiment was working than either could have separately. "The fact that we had a basic theory realized on two different devices on two continents came together to produce a strong paper," John Wright, a researcher with the project, said in a statement.

The results paint an encouraging outlook for the future of nuclear fusion as a power generator and the method could also help researchers looking to better understand solar flares, which result from a similar process. The research was recently published in Nature Physics.

Via: Popular Mechanics

Source: Nature, MIT

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Biggest X-Ray Laser Gun on Earth Opens in September

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Image: European XFEL/Heiner Müller-Elsner

Even if you haven’t seen any James Bond films, you’re probably aware that the space laser battle depicted in Moonraker ranks among the stupidest scenes in the franchise’s history. But there’s a new laser gun in town that’s actually good and opening up for business. It is not a weapon.

The European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) will begin operating in September, and it will shoot 27,000 laser pulses per second, 200 times more per second than the next highest-performing gun in California. Scientists don’t often use laser guns to shoot astronauts, and only sometimes use them to direct PowerPoints. Instead, think of the European XFEL as an incredibly high-speed and detailed movie camera.

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“That sucks, and is not what lasers do in movies,” is a thought you might have. But bear with me, the European XFEL is actually kind of cool.

The 1.5 billion-euro laser replaces its predecessor, FLASH, in Germany. According to the experiment’s website, the system contains 768 cavities on a one-mile long pipe with alternating electromagnetic fields, sending the electrons back and forth in a wobble. Changing an electron’s direction causes it to shoot light forward, but then that light (which moves a little bit faster than the high-energy electrons), also influences how the electron moves and continues to radiate, in turn creating the x-ray pulses. The experiment dumps the electrons and keeps the x-rays.

A lot of high-energy, tiny x-ray pulses means the device can be used to take detailed pictures of cells or molecules like proteins down to their atoms. They can also capture really fast phenomena, like chemical bonds forming, according to the European XFEL website. The radiation can also be used to study individual atoms or molecules under extreme conditions. You may have seen some of the work done using synchrotron radiation—that’s the kind of stuff scientists might want to do with the European XFEL. This can help researchers understand the most basic physics, or help them develop new drugs based on the best possible knowledge of cells and their functions.

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There are other x-ray lasers in use, and they’re in high demand by scientists, but they don’t reach nearly the performance of the newest one; one in California pulses 120 times per second, while another in Japan runs at 60 pulses per second, according to a press release on Phys.org. But other advanced laser guns came online recently or will open soon, reports Nature, including one in Switzerland and another in South Korea.

Germany has been celebrating—lasers are shining over the nearby city of Hamburg to herald the experiment’s arrival.

But as good as XFEL is, it won’t reign supreme for long, writes Nature. The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will open a facility that can pulse a million times per second in the 2020s.

[Phys.org, Nature]

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Future Of Surf? We Ride NLand’s On-Demand Ocean

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Massive surfable waves every two minutes, all day long… that is reality at a one-of-a-kind venue in the hill country outside Austin, Texas.

nland surfing texas

Sun beats down on the lagoon. A pier stretches into the distance, wood decking and rails above still water. Below, the surfers float and wait for a wave.

I am on the outskirts of Austin, squinting through repressive Texas heat. It’s July at NLand, a wave-making venue unlike anything else in America.

The wave machine comes to life with a shudder under the pier and a low humming. Now it appears: A wall of water, energy incarnate, pyramidal and breaking, with surfers paddling to hop on for the ride.

NLand opened last year. Its founder and CEO, Doug Coors, believes the park is a look into the future of the sport. “It’s analogous to a climbing gym,” he said. “The environment is contained and the sport is distilled to its essence, allowing anyone to practice and learn.”

A pier traverses the 14-acre lagoon and hides NLand's 'wave machine'
A pier traverses the 14-acre lagoon and hosts NLand’s wave-making system

Indeed, in one afternoon at NLand I caught more waves than I would manage surfing the ocean. The setting offers a concentrated experience, a wave every two minutes, where you can learn and progress.

Spain-based Wavegarden provided the technology for Coors’ ersatz ocean. The water-moving unit looks like a submerged snowplow. A cable pulls it back and forth across the lagoon to create a wave-on-demand venue tuned for advanced and beginner surfers alike.

Lessons on shore before hitting the water
Lessons on shore before hitting the water

NLand Surf: ‘Great Urban Outdoors’ Video

Working with filmmaker Joshua Van Patter, I went to Texas to create a production on the NLand experience, a part of GearJunkie’s “Great Urban Outdoors” series, sponsored by YETI. The “future of surfing” angle intrigued me since I first heard of WaveGarden in 2013.

Joshua Van Patter (foreground with camera) films a surfer for 'Great Urban Outdoors' film
Filming a visiting surfer for GearJunkie’s ‘Great Urban Outdoors’ film

Consistent, contained waves have long been a holy grail in surfing circles. Wave pools and “standing wave” machines have existed for decades. But a technology that mimics long-breaking ocean waves never came to the mainstream.

WaveGarden, based in Spain, cracked the code with a proprietary, complex product. From its headquarters, the engineer-surfers who founded the company experimented for years.

One WaveGarden employee came from Spain full time to oversee NLand’s launch. Ion Eizaguirre now lives in Austin, on leave from his home country and far from any ocean.

A water-moving foil hides underneath the NLand pier, creating long-breaking waves all day
A water-moving foil hides beneath the NLand pier, creating long-breaking waves all day

Eizaguirre talked for our film about the challenges and the rewards of NLand. Water is filtered and controlled. Windy days reshape the waves, but the staff can fine tune the shape of the break.

Computer programs work with the sprawling, multipart WaveGarden product. NLand keeps its control room locked, but anyone can see the pumps, cables, counterweights, and supine latticed structure stretching across the lagoon.

Head shooter Joshua Van Patter captures action with a motion-stabilized Red Digital camera
Head shooter Joshua Van Patter captures action with a motion-stabilized RED Digital camera

A massive submerged foil moves water to make the wave. It’s the heart of the system, building a breaking wall of water as it moves down a track.

The shape and design of the lagoon are critical. NLand excavated earth to make its massive venue. The lined lagoon holds millions of gallons of rainwater collected on the 160-acre property. It is bio-filtered in a pond and stored in a nearby reservoir.

It’s a strange site from above, a mirage of water and wave. The surfable body sprawls 14 acres, a massive rectangle amid the cattle and dry sprawl past the Austin airport.

NLand: Time To Surf

Surfers stream in and out for sessions in the water. When full, a couple-dozen aspirants bob on boards, waiting for a wave that boosts high, curling near the pier and breaking as a gigantic V outward toward shore.

Paddle hard, catch a wave...
Paddle hard, catch a wave…

Catch it right and you can shred for half-a-minute or more, surfing the whole length of the lagoon. It’s a bona fide ride, a wave you’d remember for a long time if caught in the ocean.

I paddled out to try the NLand experience one afternoon. A beginner surfer, I took a 12-foot foam board and got in line.

Lifeguards in the water shout instructions as the machine cranks on. The wave comes fast, breaking tallest near the pier. You look back, watch the water build, then paddle hard to catch a ride.

Carving a long-breaking wave, a surfer can stay up for 35 seconds at NLand
Carving a long-breaking wave, a surfer can stay up for more than 35 seconds at NLand

The first wave pummeled me. A caught edge or misplaced foot, and I was submerged and swirling — the power of the water is real.

I watched as more qualified surfers floated ahead. The wave petered out a few hundred feet beyond, and I swam back to position.

The foil runs in two directions, a wave generated both ways across the lagoon. You prep in formation, spacing out like in the ocean though tighter than when I have surfed.

Nland inland surf park austin texas

Energy builds behind me. I paddle and look ahead as bubbles and foam take over the board. A pop, and I am standing. NLand’s wave pushes my surfboard, floating fast on Texas raindrops toward a far, sandy shore.

– This article is part of ‘The Great Urban Outdoors’ series sponsored by YETI. Learn more about its Rambler Jugs and other new products here.

The post Future Of Surf? We Ride NLand’s On-Demand Ocean appeared first on GearJunkie.

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Experimenting with machine learning in media

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From the Gutenberg printing press in 1440 to virtual reality today, advances in technology have made it possible to discover new audiences and new ways of expressing. And there’s more to come.

Machine learning is the latest technology to change how news, entertainment, lifestyle and sports content is created, distributed and monetized. YouTube, for example, has used machine learning to automatically caption more than one billion videos to make them more accessible to the 300 million+ people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

While many media executives are increasingly aware of machine learning, it’s not always apparent which problems are most suited for machine learning and whose solutions will result in maximum impact.

Machine learning can help transform your business with new user experiences, better monetization of your content and reduce your operational cost.

Executives, here are three things to keep in mind as you consider and experiment with machine learning to transform your  digital business:

  1. The time to experiment with machine learning is right now. The barriers to using machine learning have never been lower. In the same way companies started thinking about investing in mobile 10 years ago, the time to start exploring machine learning is right now. Solutions like Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine have made powerful machine learning infrastructure available to all without the need for investment in dedicated hardware. Companies can start experimenting today with Google Cloud Machine Learning APIs at no charge—and even developers with no machine learning expertise can do it. For example, in less than a day, Time Inc. used a combination of Cloud Machine Learning APIs to prototype a personalized date night assistant that integrated fashion, lifestyle and events recommendations powered by its vast corpus of editorial content.

  2. Bring together key stakeholders from diverse teams to identify the top problems to solve before you start. Machine learning is not the answer to all of your business woes, but a toolkit that can help solve specific, data-intensive problems at scale. With limited time and people to dedicate to machine learning applications, start by  bringing together the right decision makers across your business, product and engineering teams to identify the top problems to solve. Once the top challenges are identified, teams need to work closely with their engineering leads to determine technical feasibility and prioritize where machine learning could have the highest impact. Key questions to answer that will help prioritize efforts are: Can current technology reasonably solve the problem? What does success look like? What training data is needed, and is that data currently available or does it need to be generated. This was the approach that was taken during a recent Machine Learning for Media hackathon hosted by Google and the NYC Media lab, and it paid off with clearer design objectives and better prototypes. For example, for the Associated Press, there was an opportunity to quickly generate sports highlights from analysis of video footage. So they created an automated, real-time sports highlights tool for editors using Cloud Video Intelligence API.

  3. Machine learning has a vibrant community that can help you get started. Companies can kickstart their machine learning endeavors by plugging into the vibrant and growing machine learnig community. TensorFlow, an open source machine learning framework, offers resources, meetups, and more. And if your company needs more hands-on assistance, Google offers a suite of services through the Advanced Solutions Lab to work side-by-side with companies to build bespoke machine learning solutions. There are also partners with deep technical expertise in machine learning that can help. For example, Quantiphi, a machine learning specialist, has been working closely with media companies to extract meaningful insights from their video content using a hybrid of the Cloud Video Intelligence API and custom models created using TensorFlow. However you decide to integrate machine learning technologies into your business, there’s a growing ecosystem of solutions and subject matter experts that are available to help.

We hope this provided some insight into ways media companies can leverage machine learning—and what executives can do to bring machine learning to their organizations. We look forward to seeing the full potential of machine learning unfold.

from Official Google Blog http://bit.ly/2vKr7Db
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Over 500 Years Later, Astronomers Solve an Explosive Stellar Mystery

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Image: Shara et al (2017)

On the night of March 11, 1437, Korean astronomers recorded a strange light low in the sky, in the tail of the constellation Scorpius. It must have been at least as bright as the North Star, Polaris, maybe even as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper. Fourteen days later, the light disappeared.

More than half a millennium has passed since that light flickered out, but after decades of searching, a team of astronomers has found it. A classical nova was the source; these explosions occur when one star in a binary sucks mass from a companion until it lets off a massive thermonuclear explosion on its surface. The team’s hunt has yielded an important new kind of accurate astronomical clock to measure the ages of certain stars.

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“You usually consider yourself lucky if you can age anything to 10 or 20 percent,” Michael Shara, Curator in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History told Gizmodo. “Here we have it to the day, which is unprecedented accuracy.”

Shara’s team began looking for the source of this nova 30 years ago to support whether or not these pairs of stars go into hibernation after letting off their bright explosions. Eventually, he called off the search after identifying the incorrect pair of stars. But 18 months ago, he said, he began looking through new databases not available to him during his earlier search for cataclysmic variables—astronomical sources that repeatedly flash and then dim again.

He noticed a pair he’d initially ignored in the ‘80s because he thought it was the wrong one—the stars were off-center from the shell of debris they could have created. Then he realized that the stars had just moved with respect to the other stars in the background. He located an image of the same patch of sky in 1923, and there was his source, just a smidgeon closer to the center of the shell. “If that plate had been lost or not digitized, all of those things would not have came together,” he said.

The 1923 plate with the cataclysmic variable in between the red lines

Through “proper-motion age dating,” accounting for the changing position of this stellar binary and dating backwards, this pair of stars would have been right in the middle of the shell in 1437. His team found the source of the nova, and published the results today in the journal Nature.

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So, how did these stars leave this ball of gas behind? “Imagine you’re diving in a convertible down the highway at 70 miles an hour,” and throw confetti out the window, he explained. “The confetti will stop quickly because it’s slowed down by the wind. That’s the shell that’s been thrown out of the central binary. The gas runs into the interstellar medium and gets slowed down, while the cataclysmic binary just keeps on going.”

One researcher noted that this wasn’t the first time astronomers have found the shell to accompany a cataclysmic variable. “For the first time, however, they could confirm the age of the shell from an independent measurement of the nova’s proper motion,” Przemek Mróz, a Ph.D student at the Warsaw University Observatory who knows a lot about these classical novae explained to Gizmodo. He found the results compelling.

This discovery has broader implications for the study of these temperamental stellar binaries. Scientists have observed these binaries with a high level of mass transferred from the companion star to the white dwarf—all but one of the novae observed in the 20th and 21st century are in this state currently, said Mróz, including the nova he observed and published last year. But this binary is instead what’s called a dwarf nova, flashing every so often with low levels of mass traveling between the stars. This implies that nova-producing pairs go into a slumber in the thousands of years between explosions.

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Shara had previously told me that an important step in understanding these cataclysmic variables would be measuring a nova going into hybernation—and that’s exactly what he’s done. “It’s something that was predicted 30 years ago: the hibernations scenario of cataclysmic binaries,” he said. “This is the strongest evidence in support of that scenario.”

[Nature]

from Gizmodo http://bit.ly/2wKfSzc
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First FDA-approved genetic therapy fights leukemia

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The first gene therapy treatment has been approved for use in the United States. The FDA greenlit a procedure that uses a patient’s own cells to combat a particular type of leukemia, but will only permit it for children and young adults up to age 25.

This procedure, known as Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), works to combat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer in the US with over 3,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Kymriah extracts a patient’s autoimmune T-cells and sends them to a facility, where they are modified to include a new gene that directs the T-cells to target particular leukemia cells. Then the genetically-modified cells are sent back to be re-inserted in the patient.

"Kymriah is a first-of-its-kind treatment approach that fills an important unmet need for children and young adults with this serious disease," said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), in the FDA’s post. "Not only does Kymriah provide these patients with a new treatment option where very limited options existed, but a treatment option that has shown promising remission and survival rates in clinical trials."

One study cited in the FDA’s announcement treated 63 children and young adult patients with Kymriah, which saw an 83 percent remission rate after three months. The agency granted approval of the gene therapy to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Source: FDA

from Engadget http://engt.co/2wTfrCX
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MIT’s new Ford-funded robot can deftly navigate pedestrian traffic

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Robots have a lot of challenges remaining before they become commonplace in our lives, and many of those are likely not even something you’d think about when trying to make a list. ONe good example is simply walking around among people, and keeping pace with pedestrians on streets and sidewalks. MIT engineers have created a new autonomous robot that can do exactly that, however, in a way that doesn’t impede or inconvenience the people it’s walking alongside.

Why is this important? Because future robots employed in service roles will have to navigate densely populated spots with a lot of foot traffic, including hospitals, malls, neighborhoods and campuses. That’s why an MIT team led by MIT researcher Yu Fan “Steven” Chen set out to create a robot that can move around completely on its own using “socially aware navigation” – in other words, following the unspoken social codes we all unconsciously observe when moving around together in shared space.

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The robot itself is not humanoid, but is instead just a few feet tall with wheels. It’s designed to resemble what eventual mobile service kiosks and delivery robots might look like, and it includes a LiDAR array on top for high-resolution environment sensing. The robot uses webcams, too, for visual input, and a depth sesnor, and it makes use of machine learning to deal with both a requirement to be continually moving, while at the same time dealing with the highly unpredictable movement of people moving around in crowds.

In tests, the robot proved able to drive on its own for up to 20 minutes at a time, smoothly navigating actual pedestrian groups without any collisions. This is key if we’re ever to actually have service robots interacting with us in the real world, the way you often see them depicted in fictional worlds like the Star Wars cinematic universe.

Just navigating pedestrian situations is tough enough, but what this project specifically sought to do was to accomplish this in a way that also left people around the robot feeling comfortable with its presence. Social norms are a huge, powerful unspoken element of interpersonal interaction, which you’ll recognize if you’ve ever tried walking down the street in a different part of the world where the unspoken codes of conduct might be subtly different.

MIT’s socially aware robot could be a big step towards workable real-life service bots, which is something research funder Ford and other automakers are very interested in.

from TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/2xxxrjo
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B&O and LG made a TV you can move with a remote control

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A partnership between Bang & Olufsen (B&O) and LG has long been in the offing, and now the fruits of its labor have been unveiled at IFA 2017, in the form of the BeoVision Eclipse. The AV lovechild blends B&O’s audio expertise and design craftsmanship with LG’s renowned OLED technology to create a top-of-the-line television that predictably boasts a raft of impressive specs, and perhaps less predictably, a fairly controversial design.

An OLED 4K screen, integrated 450-watt three-channel sound center and LG’s most recent webOS 3.5 platform means the Eclipse does its job as a TV and does it exceptionally well. And it’s helpful, too. The BeoRemote One BT has been updated with shortcuts, and the motorized floor stand not only swivels but actually moves the TV across the floor at the push of a button, where it can be adjusted for any seating position.

But no matter where you’re sat, you won’t be able to escape the Eclipse’s biggest design feature: the sound bar that’s been slapped right across the slim glass screen, extending beyond either side. Now, according to B&O vice president Stefan K, Persson, the TV’s name, Eclipse, was chosen to represent "two outstanding objects meeting and creating something even more spectacular and beautiful". It is certainly true that two objects have met here, but the result feels less like the beautiful creation of a partnership and more like two major companies jamming bits of technology together in a bid to create, well, something. Frankenstein’s TV, if you will. Still, its aesthetic will appeal to design fans, and you can’t argue with the goods inside it, which account for its (also) predictably high price tag. BeoVision Eclipse will be available in September as a 55-inch for $10,990/£8,920 and a 65-inch for $15,990/£11,590.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2017 here!

Source: Bang & Olufsen

from Engadget http://engt.co/2gqPtjk
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