The puzzle is 170 years old, first posed in 1850. It simply involves a chessboard and eight queen chess pieces. And it actually is a tactile version of an ancient theoretical problem (P vs NP). The original puzzle is simple: place eight queens on a standard chess board in such a way that no one piece can attack another piece.
This puzzle is actually pretty easy to solve if you use simple mathematical principles. In fact, there are several possible ways to place the queens on the chessboard to reach the solution; and none of these solutions is worth $1 million.
The one-million-dollar question is whether or not a human can design a computer program (an algorithm) to do this on a much larger scale. Just how large? Well, a chess board is 8×8 squares, and you must place 8 queens, if you recall. The prize-winning algorithm, though, will place 1,000 queens on a 1,000×1,000 square chess board.
You see, computers seem to be able to handle this problem as you slowly increase the variables but, apparently, 1,000 is the threshold.
University of St. Andrews professor, Ian Gent developed this idea after a friend challenged him to solve the puzzle on his own. This led to a discussion with colleagues—Dr. Peter Nightingale and Dr. Christopher Jefferson—which led to the prize offer.
Gent comments, “If you could write a computer program that could solve the problem really fast, you could adapt it to solve many of the most important problems that affect us all daily. This includes trivial challenges like working out the largest group of your Facebook friends who don’t know each other, or very important ones like cracking the codes that keep all our online transactions safe.”
Dr. Nightingale adds, “In practice, nobody has ever come close to writing a program that can solve the problem quickly. So what our research has shown is that – for all practical purposes – it can’t be done.”
Now, the big reason why this problem is so hard to solve—even for our best and brightest super computers—is that the variables are so massive it could still take years to figure them all. And the reason for this is because even our best computers use an algorithm called “backtracking” which looks at every possible solution and then backs away until reaching the final solution(s). Its kind of like narrowing down from a large pile.
13 Best Video Streaming Sites As Youtube Alternatives
YouTube is becoming too big for its own good, but where else can we watch great content on the internet? We are going to show you 13 different places across the internet and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of each. These are the 13 Best Video Streaming Sites As Youtube Alternatives .
ESPN is a great place if you are looking for sports highlights and analysis. It is not focused just on videos thought so it is not the best place if you are looking for a pure YouTube alternative. ESPN’s interface is a bit outdated and it could be completely revamped. ESPN has been known for biased commentary which could annoy some potential viewers. ESPN still uses YouTube for most of their highlights so if you are looking for sports videos ESPN might not be the best place to check out.
Highlight Hub is a YouTube rip off that focuses only on sports highlights but they have several issues. One of the most obvious issues is that a lot of their recent content is from months ago. They do not have any recent content from this NFL season yet. From the looks of it the site seems to mostly be dead at this point. There is no active content on any of their social media accounts and it does not look like there is any way for users to submit their own content. They do have a nicely formatted website and all of their videos are in HD which is a plus. But, if you are looking for sports highlights then you should look elsewhere.
Vimeo was the first video upload service that offered high definition videos to its users. Vimeo has a decent amount of user uploaded content but its focus is on high quality content created by film-makers and other quality producers. It can be difficult to break into Vimeo if you are just starting off as a content producer. Vimeo does offer a good amount of tools to its content producers but you have to pay for them which can be prohibitive to people who are just starting out. Vimeo produces great content but the content is focused on short films which requires more time commitment. But, there are great videos worth checking out.
Metacafe used to be like Youtube and Vimeo but after about 9 years in business they found their focus. They specialize in short form video content in everything from video games, music labels, sports leagues, product reviews and how to defeat an incredibly difficult video game level. Metacafe gets significantly less users and views than YouTube which makes the content less high quality. Metacafe’s website is clunky and outdated; it needs a facelift if it ever hopes to compete with the likes of YouTube.
Crackle focuses on original content and was the birthplace of the extremely popular series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. They are attempting to compete with the giants of the industry with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon all creating amazing content as well. They also focus on shorter length videos that are 5 minutes or less to try and compete with the likes of YouTube. Crackle is free if you live in the United States which is great for now but they will most likely be switching over to a paid model once they gain enough users.
6) Roar Tube
Roar Tube is the perfect place on the internet if you are looking for sports highlights. All of their highlights are incredibly in depth and they do not miss an important play in a game. One of the great things about the site is when a video is playing you can scroll down on the page and the video will follow you down the page so you can continue to watch it while you read comments. The site is relatively new so there is not much historical footage but I am sure a user will end up uploading a good amount of old content. Another great benefit is that the website is completely ad free and will not be changing that anytime soon. So, if you are looking for any sports highlights go to Roar Tube to see what they have to offer.
Instagram just recently launched a new service in their own app that is called Instagram TV or IGTV; and they also released a stand alone app for IGTV. Instagram had their biggest stars start creating video content for IGTV so if you cannot get enough of your favorite Instagram stars you should check out IGTV for even more content. IGTV has a limit of one hour videos which could limit the type of videos that are shown on the application.
Dailymotion is one of YouTube’s biggest competitors as it is huge in Europe and Asia and for good reason. They focus their content on the cultural aspects of the countries that YouTube has failed to capitalize on. Dailymotion more or less looks like a YouTube clone and has HD videos with a very similar layout and similar categories. Dailymotion offers a good amount of content that you cannot find anywhere else so you should check out the videos that they offer.
Sport.Video is an interesting service that allows users an easy way to upload their own sports highlight clips from anywhere. This is wonderful for parents and small teams to upload high quality content for anyone who wants to see it. This way they can share it with family members or their fans. This website fills a great need in the market and they have plenty of users all around the world. You can find plenty of interesting sports highlights and full games on the website. But, if you are looking for sports highlights from the biggest leagues then you will have no luck here.
Twitch is a live streaming service that specializes in live video game streams. Twitch has been focusing on eSports recently as the market is growing at an extremely rapid pace and there is great potential for eSports to rival even leagues like the NFL. Twitch unfortunately does not save any of its live streams so you would have to go to somewhere like YouTube to watch old streams. Still, Twitch is growing to be one of the most visited places on the internet during peak internet hours and they are a force to be reckoned with. Twitch is owned by Amazon so there is a lot of Amazon advertising which is unfortunate.
11) Bleacher Report
Bleacher Report has quickly become one of the leaders in the new digital age, especially when it comes to sports. Their website is focused on news and analysis and not highlights or videos so this site is not the best one to check out if you are looking to just watch videos.
12) Yahoo Sports
Yahoo Sports is very similar to Yahoo’s normal page, which is both good and bad. It will be familiar to users of Yahoo but the page looks outdated and could use some work. Yahoo Sports is great for fantasy sports but if you are looking for highlights it can be difficult to find on the website. Yahoo’s content is not the best as they are focused on news and their fantasy leagues.
Sports Illustrated concentrates on commentary and it does not concentrate on actual sports highlights. Sports Illustrated has great content in their writing and videos but there is a limited number of them and a user will easily get bored on their website. Still, their website is worth checking out if you are a sports fan and want to catch up on the latest news and analysis.
YouTube is still the king of content and video platforms but there are several contenders that are gaining steam and could pose a threat to YouTube in the coming years. There is so much good content on the internet that you should check out these other sites just to enjoy all of the content that they have to offer.
Ex-CIA Officer Charged Over Hacking Tools Leak
A former software engineer at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been charged with sealing national defense information that was classified. Joshua Schulte was charged with various Espionage Act violations including leaking source code and hacking tools to Wikileaks. The top-secret files that Schulte leaked to Wikileaks were published by the website last year in March.
According to prosecutors Schulte made modifications to a computer that was operated by the U.S. spy agency between March and June in 2016 with a view of preventing his activities of leaking from being discovered. By making the modifications to the computer he also consequently caused others to be denied access to the computer.
Betrayal of the country
“As alleged, Schulte utterly betrayed this nation and downright violated his victims. As an employee of the CIA, Schulte took an oath to protect this country, but he blatantly endangered it by the transmission of Classified Information,” said William F. Sweeney, Jr., the assistant New York Federal Bureau of Investigations field director, in a statement.
Schulte was identified as the figure behind the ‘Vault 7’ leak which was one of the biggest leaks in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency last month. According to existing and ex-intelligence officials the leak exposed spying techniques and secret cyber-weapons which could one day be used to serve the interests of enemies of the United States.
Bigger than Edward Snowden leak
It is understood in some quarters that the ‘Vault 7’ leak could have a bigger impact and do more damage to the intelligence efforts of the United States than the leak which was done by Edward Snowden, the former contractor of the National Security Agency. While Snowden disclosed extraordinary details with regards to the capabilities that the United States possesses pertaining to spying on phones and computers across the globe, the ‘Vault 7’ leak went further and demonstrated how the spying is carried out.
Schulte’s residence in New York was searched last year by federal authorities and handwritten notes, notebooks and personal computer equipment seized. At the time the evidence was insufficient to result in the indictment of Schulte though the prosecutor argued that investigations were ongoing.
According to one of the prosecutors at the time the investigation was also focusing on analyzing whether Tor, a technology which allows users of the internet to mask their location and identity, was utilized in leaking the classified information. From the seized personal computer equipment the prosecutors alleged that Schulte had been using Tor.
JUMP Bicycle-Sharing Startup Acquired By Uber Technologies
Uber has announced that it has reached a deal to acquire JUMP Bikes, an electric bicycle service. This allows the ride-hailing firm to offers passengers in the United States an alternative to cars while consolidating the highly crowded bike-sharing sector. According to a spokesperson for the ride-hailing service around 100 employees of JUMP will join Uber. Terms of the agreement including the financial details were however not disclosed.
JUMP is headquartered in New York and offers a service where rides can rent bikes which are electric-powered through an online platform. The bicycles are dockless and therefore there is no specific place that they have to be returned to as riders can leave them at any convenient public bike rack. The position of the bikes is tracked through GPS and this eliminates the infrastructure cost which other bike-sharing firms incur. Uber already has a partnership with JUMP in the city of San Francisco and will now roll out the service across the globe.
“We’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app – so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more,” said the chief executive officer of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi.
Originally known as Social Bicycles JUMP was founded in 2010 and during its eight years of existence has sold bikes as well as operated its own fleet. Since it was started JUMP has raised from investors approximately $11 million.
For some time the bike-sharing craze was mostly an Asian phenomenon but has since caught on in the United States. Chinese bike-sharing startups such as Ofo and Mobike recently entered the U.S. market and are now taking on services that are sponsored by the likes of Ford Motor and Citigroup. The bike-sharing startups have recently become a target of acquisitions with Mobike for instance being acquired by Meituan Dianping, a Chinese internet company.
According industry experts more consolidation is to be expected in the U.S. especially since regulatory limits are being introduced on the number of bicycles that a bike-sharing company can be allowed to have in a particular city. There are also challenges with popularizing the services especially since Americans are not as accustomed to driving as they are to pedaling.
It is estimated that the bicycle-sharing market is growing annually at a rate of 20%. By 2020 this market is expected to be worth between 3.6 billion euros and 5.3 billion euros.
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