24 Mar 15:55

Nano-Raman Scattering Microscopy: Resolution and Enhancement

by Satoshi Kawata, Taro Ichimura, Atsushi Taguchi and Yasuaki Kumamoto

TOC Graphic

Chemical Reviews
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00560
25 Mar 00:54

#997 – the dreamers

by meredith

I’ll be exhibiting at MoCCA Fest in NYC on April 1-2! I’ll have all 4 OP Image volumes plus some minis and B9 Kingdom books! As always you can bring stuff you’d like me to sign. Hope to see you there!

24 Mar 11:56

Friday Link Pack

by swissmiss

(Phases of the Moon, animated with Virtual Moon Atlas)

DIY Shows How to Make Your Kid a Cardboard Knight in Armor

– This color fold poster is stunning.

– Put that Lacoste logo in a fish tank with this brooch.

Hazel, a nifty app for keeping your desktop tidy. (via)

– FUN: Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape

– This Wristwatch baby rattle made me laugh.

– The Noun Project put together this “Icons for Change” collection of progressive posters.

– I really really want a stump stool.

– One of my favorite Instagram accounts: Aesthetics of Joy. I especially love the idea of the hashtag “joyspotting”. We should all have our radars out for moments of joy.

Rainbow Neon Light.

– I want to live here.

– I love chickens. And I like this Chicken Run Print.

– Don’t miss the massive Spring Sale over at Tattly: Get 40% off until end of day Monday EST with discount code 40SPRING.

– My kids would approve of this pencil porcupine.

The world’s coolest passports (via)

Envelope Template. Love love love.

– This German Wall Calendar won my heart.

Modern By Dwell Magazine, Furniture and accessories at Target (via)

– Sometimes things that scare you aren’t actually all that scary.

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

– Season 3 of the CreativeMornings podcast is in full swing.

24 Mar 21:24

Bear Is the Perfect Balance Between the Bloat of Evernote and the Simplicity of Plain Text

by Thorin Klosowski

When it first launched, Bear was an intriguing alternative to bloated note-taking apps like Evernote and OneNote, but it was still a little too new to dive into. After a couple minor iterations, I’m convinced it’s a worthy alternative for those sick of the bloat of other notes apps and for those who like the take-home…


25 Mar 21:49

Palladium-Catalyzed Enantioselective Synthesis of 2-Aryl Cyclohex-2-enone Atropisomers: Platform Molecules for the Divergent Synthesis of Axially Chiral Biaryl Compounds

by Chongqing Pan, Zixi Zhu, Mingkai Zhang, Zhenhua Gu


The palladium-catalyzed asymmetric synthesis of enone-based atropisomers from 2-iodo-3-methylcyclohex-2-enones and aryl boronic acid is reported. BoPhoz-type phosphine–aminophosphine ligands showed superior enantioselectivity over other ligands. These cyclohexenone-based atropisomers are useful compounds for further elaboration. The divergent synthesis of biaryl atropisomers with different ortho substituents was demonstrated.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A platform to improve the outlook: The palladium-catalyzed asymmetric coupling of 2-iodo-3-methylcyclohex-2-enones and aryl boronic acids provided axially chiral enone–arene systems with several potential sites for further transformation (see scheme). In particular, these cyclohexenone-based atropisomers serve as a valuable platform for the synthesis of biaryl atropisomers with different ortho substituents.

24 Mar 16:40

How ISPs can sell your Web history—and how to stop them

by Jon Brodkin

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | KrulUA)

The US Senate yesterday voted to eliminate privacy rules that would have forced ISPs to get your consent before selling Web browsing history and app usage history to advertisers. Within a week, the House of Representatives could follow suit, and the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year would be eliminated by Congress.

So what has changed for Internet users? In one sense, nothing changed this week, because the requirement to obtain customer consent before sharing or selling data is not scheduled to take effect until at least December 4, 2017. ISPs didn’t have to follow the rules yesterday or the day before, and they won’t ever have to follow them if the rules are eliminated.

But the Senate vote is nonetheless one big step toward a major victory for ISPs, one that would give them legal certainty if they continue to make aggressive moves into the advertising market. The Senate vote invoked the Congressional Review Act, which lets Congress eliminate regulations it doesn't like and prevent the agency from issuing similar regulations in the future. For ISPs, this is better than the FCC undoing its own rules, because it means a future FCC won't be able to reinstate them.

Read 44 remaining paragraphs | Comments

24 Mar 09:16

Thunderbolting Your Video Card

by Jeff Atwood

When I wrote about The Golden Age of x86 Gaming, I implied that, in the future, it might be an interesting, albeit expensive, idea to upgrade your video card via an external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.

I'm here to report that the future is now.

Yes, that's right, I paid $500 for an external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure to fit a $600 video card, all to enable a plug-in upgrade of a GPU on a Skull Canyon NUC that itself cost around $1000 fully built. I know, it sounds crazy, and … OK fine, I won't argue with you. It's crazy.

This matters mostly because of 4k, aka 2160p, aka 3840 × 2160, aka Ultra HD.

4k compared to 1080p

Plain old regular HD, aka 1080p, aka 1920 × 1080, is one quarter the size of 4k, and ¼ the work. By today's GPU standards HD is pretty much easy mode these days. It's not even interesting. No offense to console fans, or anything.

Late in 2016, I got a 4k OLED display and it … kind of blew my mind. I have never seen blacks so black, colors so vivid, on a display so thin. It made my previous 2008 era Panasonic plasma set look lame. It's so good that I'm now a little angry that every display that my eyes touch isn't OLED already. I even got into nerd fights over it, and to be honest, I'd still throw down for OLED. It is legitimately that good. Come at me, bro.

Don't believe me? Well, guess which display in the below picture is OLED? Go on, guess:

Guess which screen is OLED?

There's a reason every site that reviews TVs had to recalibrate their results when they reviewed the 2016 OLED sets.

In my extended review at Reference Home Theater, I call it “the best looking TV I’ve ever reviewed.” But we aren’t alone in loving the E6. Vincent Teoh at HDTVtest writes, “We’re not even going to qualify the following endorsement: if you can afford it, this is the TV to buy.” Rtings.com gave the E6 OLED the highest score of any TV the site has ever tested. Reviewed.com awarded it a 9.9 out of 10, with only the LG G6 OLED (which offers the same image but better styling and sound for $2,000 more) coming out ahead.

But I digress.

Playing games at 1080p in my living room was already possible. But now that I have an incredible 4k display in the living room, it's a whole other level of difficulty. Not just twice as hard – and remember current consoles barely manage to eke out 1080p at 30fps in most games – but four times as hard. That's where external GPU power comes in.

The cool technology underpinning all of this is Thunderbolt 3. The thunderbolt cable bundled with the Razer Core is rather … diminutive. There's a reason for this.

Is there a maximum cable length for Thunderbolt 3 technology?

Thunderbolt 3 passive cables have maximum lengths.

  • 0.5m TB 3 (40Gbps)
  • 1.0m TB 3 (20Gbps)
  • 2.0m TB 3 (20Gbps)

In the future we will offer active cables which will provide 40Gbps of bandwidth at longer lengths.

40Gbps is, for the record, an insane amount of bandwidth. Let's use our rule of thumb based on ultra common gigabit ethernet, that 1 gigabit = 120 megabytes/second, and we arrive at 4.8 gigabytes/second. Zow.

That's more than enough bandwidth to run even the highest of high end video cards, but it is not without overhead. There's a mild performance hit for running the card externally, on the order of 15%. There's also a further performance hit of 10% if you are in "loopback" mode on a laptop where you don't have an external display, so the video frames have to be shuttled back from the GPU to the internal laptop display.

This may look like a gamer-only thing, but surprisingly, it isn't. What you get is the general purpose ability to attach any PCI express card to any computer with a Thunderbolt 3 port and, for the most part, it just works!

Linus breaks it down and answers all your most difficult questions:

Please watch the above video closely if you're actually interested in this stuff; it is essential. I'll add some caveats of my own after working with the Razer Core for a while:

  • Make sure the video card you plan to put into the Razer Core is not too tall, or too wide. You can tell if a card is going to be too tall by looking at pictures of the mounting rear bracket. If the card extends significantly above the standard rear mounting bracket, it won't fit. If the card takes more than 2 slots in width, it also won't fit, but this is more rare. Depth (length) is rarely an issue.

  • There are four fans in the Razer Core and although it is reasonably quiet, it's not super silent or anything. You may want to mod the fans. The Razer Core is a remarkably simple device, internally, it's really just a power supply, some Thunderbolt 3 bridge logic, and a PCI express slot. I agree with Linus that the #1 area Razer could improve in the future, beyond generally getting the price down, is to use fewer and larger fans that run quieter.

  • If you're putting a heavy hitter GPU in the Razer Core, I'd try to avoid blower style cards (the ones that exhaust heat from the rear) in favor of those that cool with large fans blowing down and around the card. Dissipating 150w+ is no mean feat and you'll definitely need to keep the enclosure in open air … and of course within 0.5 meters of the computer it's connected to.

  • There is no visible external power switch on the Razer Core. It doesn't power on until you connect a TB3 cable to it. I was totally not expecting that. But once connected, it powers up and the Windows 10 Thunderbolt 3 drivers kick in and ask you to authorize the device, which I did (always authorize). Then it spun a bit, detected the new GPU, and suddenly I had multiple graphics card active on the same computer. I also installed the latest Nvidia drivers just to make sure everything was ship shape.

  • It's kinda ... weird having multiple GPUs simultaneously active. I wanted to make the Razer Core display the only display, but you can't really turn off the built in GPU – you can select "only use display 2", that's all. I got into several weird states where windows were opening on the other display and I had to mess around a fair bit to get things locked down to just one display. You may want to consider whether you have both "displays" connected for troubleshooting, or not.

And then, there I am, playing Lego Marvel in splitscreen co-op at glorious 3840 × 2160 UltraHD resolution on an amazing OLED display with my son. It is incredible.

Beyond the technical "because I could", I am wildly optimistic about the future of external Thunderbolt 3 expansion boxes, and here's why:

  • The main expense and bottleneck in any stonking gaming rig is, by far, the GPU. It's also the item you are most likely to need to replace a year or two from now.

  • The CPU and memory speeds available today are so comically fast that any device with a low-end i3-7100 for $120 will make zero difference in real world gaming at 1080p or higher … if you're OK with 30fps minimum. If you bump up to $200, you can get a quad-core i5-7500 that guarantees you 60fps minimum everywhere.

  • If you prefer a small system or a laptop, an external GPU makes it so much more flexible. Because CPU and memory speeds are already so fast, 99.9% of the time your bottleneck is the GPU, and almost any small device you can buy with a Thunderbolt 3 port can now magically transform into a potent gaming rig with a single plug. Thunderbolt 3 may be a bit cutting edge today, but more and more devices are shipping with Thunderbolt 3. Within a few years, I predict TB3 ports will be as common as USB3 ports.

  • A general purpose external PCI express enclosure will be usable for a very long time. My last seven video card upgrades were plug and play PCI Express cards that would have worked fine in any computer I've built in the last ten years.

  • External GPUs are not meaningfully bottlenecked by Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth; the impact is 15% to 25%, and perhaps even less over time as drivers and implementations mature. While Thunderbolt 3 has "only" PCI Express x4 bandwidth, many benchmarkers have noted that GPUs moving from PCI Express x16 to x8 has almost no effect on performance. And there's always Thunderbolt 4 on the horizon.

The future, as they say, is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.

I am painfully aware that costs need to come down. Way, way down. The $499 Razer Core is well made, on the vanguard of what's possible, a harbinger of the future, and fantastically enough, it does even more than what it says on the tin. But it's not exactly affordable.

I would absolutely love to see a modest, dedicated $200 external Thunderbolt 3 box that included an inexpensive current-gen GPU. This would clobber any onboard GPU on the planet. Let's compare my Skull Canyon NUC, which has Intel's fastest ever, PS4 class embedded GPU, with the modest $150 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti:

1920 × 1080 high detail
Bioshock Infinite 15 → 79 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider 12 → 49 fps
Overwatch 43 → 114 fps

As predicted, that's a 3x-5x stompdown. Mac users lamenting their general lack of upgradeability, hear me: this sort of box is exactly what you want and need. Imagine if Apple was to embrace upgrading their laptops and all-in-one systems via Thunderbolt 3.

I know, I know. It's a stretch. But a man can dream … of externally upgradeable GPUs. That are too expensive, sure, but they are here, right now, today. They'll only get cheaper over time.

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26 Mar 05:15

Menage a 3 - Heal their pain

Menage a 3 - Heal their pain
24 Mar 16:49

Electrochemically Assisted Self-Assembly Technique for the Fabrication of Mesoporous Metal–Organic Framework Thin Films: Composition of 3D Hexagonally Packed Crystals with 2D Honeycomb-like Mesopores

by Saber Alizadeh and Davood Nematollahi

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b12564
24 Mar 17:07

A Few Things

by Design Mom

Hello, Friends. How are you? Are you ready for the weekend? I think we’re going to have a good one.

Ben Blair is at Stanford today, presenting on a panel about PhDs and entrepreneurship. Olive is on the hair and makeup team for the high school musical. We’ve got a Scout Pancake Breakfast in the morning for Oscar. Betty is planning a photoshoot. June has a birthday party to go to. And I have a haircut scheduled (nothing big, just my usual trim). How about you? Anything fun on your schedule?
I’ve got a great list of links for you today. Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:
– Strange, but oddly comforting and sweet.
Bootstrapping is a myth and lack of bootstrapping isn’t the reason for the racial wealth divide.
– Join the worldwide read-in for Refugees! Going until March 31st. #readforrefugees

– Have you tried the Diva Cup yet? These tweets made me laugh so hard.

– Bill Gates says cutting foreign aid makes American less safe. I agree. What’s your take?

– This cargo bin turns into a tent.

– This non-profit helps facilitate the international adoption of special needs kids.
– My dear friend Jane Mosbacher Morris is a 2017 Tory Burch Fellows finalist and needs votes! Jane is the founder of To The Market which sells survivor made goods from around the world. It’s super easy. Click here and enter your email. You can vote everyday!
– A Finnish-American perspective on paying for healthcare. (NYT)
– Hah! Adding this sentence makes any book instantly better.

– New research into the cause of OCD.

– Have you ever wanted to cut the size tag out of your clothes?

– This is what happened when a male and female co-worker swapped email signatures.

– Easy string-wrapped jars.

I hope you have a really good weekend. Like the best weekend ever! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. — If you like these Friday link lists, I think you’ll really enjoy following the Design Mom Facebook page. I share these types of links there all week long.

The post A Few Things appeared first on Design Mom.

25 Mar 00:35

Tandem Spirocyclopropanation/Rearrangement Reaction of Vinyl p-Quinone Methides with Sulfonium Salts: Synthesis of Spirocyclopentenyl p-Dienones

by Xiang-Zhi Zhang, Yu-Hua Deng, Kang-Ji Gan, Xu Yan, Ke-Yin Yu, Fang-Xin Wang and Chun-An Fan

TOC Graphic

Organic Letters
DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.7b00516
24 Mar 12:34

Enhanced Electrocatalysis via 3D Graphene Aerogel Engineered with a Silver Nanowire Network for Ultrahigh-Rate Zinc–Air Batteries

by Shang Hu, Ting Han, Chao Lin, Weikai Xiang, Yonghui Zhao, Peng Gao, Fuping Du, Xiaopeng Li, Yuhan Sun

3D graphene aerogel (GA) integrated with active metal or its derivatives has emerged as a novel class of multifunctional constructs with range of potential applications. However, GA fabricated by self-assembly in the liquid phase still suffers from low conductivity and poor knowledge related to spatial active phase distribution and 3D structure. To address these issues, a facile approach involving in situ integration of 1D silver nanowire (AgNW) during gelation of graphene oxide flakes is presented. AgNWs prevent the restacking of graphene sheets and act as an efficient electron highway and Ag source for deposition of ultrasmall Ag nanocrystals (AgNCs). When applied as the cathodic electrocatalyst in a zinc–air battery, the 3D GA integrated with 0D AgNCs and 1D AgNWs permit ultrahigh discharge rates of up to 300 mA cm−2. Moreover, for the first time, with the help of phase-contrast X-ray computed microtomography, the interconnected porous network of millimeter-sized GA and a full-field view of the macrodistribution of Ag is delivered, offering the vitally complementary macroscopic structure information, which has been missing in previous reports.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

X-ray computed microtomography (X-ray μCT) reveals the macrodistribution of active phase (i.e., Ag) and supermacroporous structure in the self-assembled graphene aerogel for the first time. The interconnected 3D Ag network is the key to achieve high oxygen reduction reaction activity and utrahigh rate performance in Zn–air batteries.

24 Mar 14:15

My Day With The Kids

by Brian
25 Mar 05:01

Comic for March 25, 2017

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
25 Mar 21:49

Elemental Boron for Efficient Carbon Dioxide Reduction under Light Irradiation

by Guigao Liu, Xianguang Meng, Huabin Zhang, Guixia Zhao, Hong Pang, Tao Wang, Peng Li, Tetsuya Kako, Jinhua Ye


The photoreduction of CO2 is attractive for the production of renewable fuels and the mitigation of global warming. Herein, we report an efficient method for CO2 reduction over elemental boron catalysts in the presence of only water and light irradiation through a photothermocatalytic process. Owing to its high solar-light absorption and effective photothermal conversion, the illuminated boron catalyst experiences remarkable self-heating. This process favors CO2 activation and also induces localized boron hydrolysis to in situ produce H2 as an active proton source and electron donor for CO2 reduction as well as boron oxides as promoters of CO2 adsorption. These synergistic effects, in combination with the unique catalytic properties of boron, are proposed to account for the efficiency of the CO2 reduction. This study highlights the promise of photothermocatalytic strategies for CO2 conversion and also opens new avenues towards the development of related solar-energy utilization schemes.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Four in one: Elemental boron is an efficient catalyst for direct CO2 reduction into CO and CH4 in the presence of water under light irradiation through a one-step photothermocatalytic process. The elemental boron material harvests the incident light, converts it into thermal energy, generates hydrogen, and catalyzes the overall process.

25 Mar 15:37

Stack Overflow Reveals Results From 'Largest Developer Survey Ever Conducted'

by EditorDavid
More than 64,000 developers from 213 countries participated in this year's annual survey by Stack Overflow -- the largest number ever -- giving a glimpse into the collective psyche of programmers around the world. An anonymous reader quotes their announcement: A majority of developers -- 56.5% -- said they were underpaid. Developers who work in government and non-profits feel the most underpaid, while those who work in finance feel the most overpaid... While only 13.1% of developers are actively looking for a job, 75.2% of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities... When asked what they valued most when considering a new job, 53.3% of respondents said remote options were a top priority. 65% of developers reported working remotely at least one day a month, and 11.1% say they're full-time remote or almost all the time. Also, the highest job satisfaction ratings came from developers who work remotely full-time. 62.5% of the respondents reported using JavaScript, while 51.2% reported SQL, with 39.7% using Java and 34.1% using C# -- but for the #5 slot, "the use of Python [32.0%] overtook PHP [28.1%] for the first time in five years." Yet as far as which languages developers wanted to continue using, "For the second year in a row, Rust was the most loved programming language... Swift, last year's second most popular language, ranked as fourth. For the second year in a row, Visual Basic (for 2017, Visual Basic 6, specifically) ranked as the most dreaded language; 88.3% of developers currently using Visual Basic said they did not want to continue using it."

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25 Mar 02:23

Solid-Solution Alloying of Immiscible Ru and Cu with Enhanced CO Oxidation Activity

by Bo Huang, Hirokazu Kobayashi, Tomokazu Yamamoto, Syo Matsumura, Yoshihide Nishida, Katsutoshi Sato, Katsutoshi Nagaoka, Shogo Kawaguchi, Yoshiki Kubota and Hiroshi Kitagawa

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b01186
25 Mar 01:47

Black Screen on a Red iPhone 7

by John Gruber

I’m 100 percent convinced this looks better than the white bezel.

25 Mar 16:01

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Star Wars

by tech@thehiveworks.com

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I'm suddenly realizing that someone out there has probably already had a Star Wars themed funeral.

New comic!
Today's News:
25 Mar 21:49

Iron(II)-Catalyzed Hydrophosphination of Isocyanates

by Helen R. Sharpe, Ana M. Geer, William Lewis, Alexander J. Blake, Deborah L. Kays


The first transition metal catalyzed hydrophosphination of isocyanates is presented. The use of low-coordinate iron(II) precatalysts leads to an unprecedented catalytic double insertion of isocyanates into the P−H bond of diphenylphosphine to yield phosphinodicarboxamides [Ph2PC(=O)N(R)C(=O)N(H)R], a new family of derivatized organophosphorus compounds. This remarkable result can be attributed to the low-coordinate nature of the iron(II) centers whose inherent electron deficiency enables a Lewis-acid mechanism in which a combination of the steric pocket of the metal center and substrate size determines the reaction products and regioselectivity.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Seeing double: Low-coordinate iron(II) complexes have been used in the hydrophosphination of isocyanates to produce mono- and/or diinsertion products yielding phosphinodicarboxamides, a new family of derivatized organophosphorus compounds. Small changes in reaction conditions drastically alter the product selectivity.

26 Mar 08:13

StarCraft remaster unveiled, and original SD version becomes free-as-in-beer

by Sam Machkovech

Enlarge / It finally exists. (credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

A long-rumored StarCraft remaster for computers was finally unveiled on Saturday by Blizzard Entertainment, set for launch in "summer 2017." No pricing info was announced, but Blizzard has confirmed quite a few other details about the 4K-friendly release.

For one, it will be preceded by a patch to the 19-year-old StarCraft: Brood War client, and this new 1.18a client will reportedly not change the mechanics of the game. To prove that out, this patched version will still be able to connect to players using the existing 1.16 patch (which came out all the way back in 2009). Among other tweaks, like better compatibility with newer versions of Windows, the new patch will include two important updates: the ability to connect to and play against owners of the upcoming remastered version, and the change to a wholly free product. Once the patch goes live, the original StarCraft Anthology will be free-as-in-beer to download and play in both single- and multiplayer modes.

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25 Mar 02:23

Expanded Rosarin: A Versatile Fullerene (C60) Receptor

by Xian-Sheng Ke, Taeyeon Kim, James T. Brewster, Vincent M. Lynch, Dongho Kim and Jonathan L. Sessler

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b00735
26 Mar 05:04

Comic for March 26, 2017

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
26 Mar 21:24

real reason, Overwatch, collapse, etc.

by Coelasquid

I had 30 minutes to write and draw a comic before I go to the airport and lose my internet connection and I spent 15 of them drawing those boots.

26 Mar 23:07

The Best Time to Poop on a Plane, According to a Flight Attendant

by Patrick Allan

While there’s never truly a “good time” to poop in a crowded, cramped metal tube hurling through the sky at 500 miles an hour, some times are more comfortable than others. Here’s what a professional flyer recommends if you’re worried about privacy and being considerate to other passengers.