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  • February 15, 2021

    Men of the Line———

    In honor of Super Bowl LV and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs (and former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 7th Super Bowl ring as the QB for the Bucs), I thought it would make for an interesting post about how that magic 1st and 10 yellow line is created on our TV screens every February at “The Big Game!” And, during every game in the NFL among other sports broadcasts. The names of: James R. Gloudemans, Richard H. Cavallaro, Jerry N. Gepner, Stanley K. Honey, Walter Hsiao, Terance J. O’Brien, and Marvin S. White are the Men Behind the Yellow Line. That is, the yellow First Down Line you see on NFL broadcasts! What started out as project for Fox Sports to aid viewers watching NHL games over the airwaves blossomed into a new company called Sportvision, Inc. And in 1998 they debuted the First and 10 Line on ESPN. Using a combination of field cameras, 3D models of the field, powerful computers and algorithms, and the field itself as a kind of green screen, they are able to draw the line in virtual real‐time as the players move up and down the field; as well as, simultaneously remove parts of the line to make it appear that it is literally underneath the players. It’s truly digital magic! It was a such a huge success that Sportvision won an Emmy for its technology. “Winning our 10th Emmy Award is a great honor, and truly validates the impact our technology has had in the growth and popularity of a wide spectrum of sports. We are thrilled to share this Emmy with the America’s Cup Event Authority, who has been a wonderful and inspired partner throughout this effort.” Mike Jakob, President, Sportvision, Inc., 2012 They then...
  • February 4, 2021

    Science of the Heart and Stars

    In honor of Black History Month, I very much wanted to profile two wonderful Black American scientists who have greatly contributed to the advancement of humanity’s health and well-being and to our understanding of the universe! I’m speaking of none other than Progressive Pioneers Doctors Marie M. Daly and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Let’s take a look into the lives of these great Americans who make us all proud—for we are all one color: beautiful. Dr. Marie Daly STEM Revolution of Equal Opportunity When the 45th president signed into law the Hidden Figures Act honoring the four African‐American women who were instrumental in the success of NASA’s space race to the moon, we should not forget other accomplished women who have also contributed our nation’s scientific knowledge. One such venerated pioneer is Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. Dr. Daly was born in Queens, NY on April 16, 1921. She was the daughter of Ivan Daly (an immigrant from the British West Indies) and Helen Page of Washington DC. Her parents settled in the New York City area where Mr. Daly attended Cornell University in pursuit of a chemistry degree. Like her father, Dr. Marie Daly also chose to pursue a career in chemistry. She was spurred on by her grandfather’s extensive library of books about scientists and their scientific achievements. Dr. Daly graduated from Queens College magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Due to labor shortages and the need for scientists during World War II, she was able to garner fellowships to study at both New York and Columbia Universities earning her a master’s and a Ph.D. (respectively). Daly’s first major publication was her thesis on the formation of pancreatic amylase on corn starch. From there, her scientific career soared. She was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society...
  • April 15, 2020

    IDIC Personified

    Today’s Progressive Pioneer comes from far away—not a galaxy far, far away (that’ll be in another TenthSphere.com post)—but from far in the future, about 300 years. Yep! That’s right. I’m talking about the one and only Mister Spock! A Starfleet captain before his retirement, a United Federation of Planets Ambassador to the Romulan Star Empire, and a lauded scientist. Ever since Zefram Cochrane’s first contact with the Vulcans on April 5, 2063 (A.K.A. First Contact Day), humans have been in awe of their outstanding scientific prowess that stems from their almost completely logical minds. Born on Vulcan in 2230, Spock son of Sarek son of Skon, had achieved the level of accolades in the sciences as well as in other disciplines few in the Federation have been able to match. Half Vulcan and half human, Mr. Spock is truly a Progressive Pioneer. Here are some of his more notable accomplishments during his time as first officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701, NCC 1701‐A): Made first contact communication via the Vulcan Mind‐Meld with a remarkable alien species known as the Horta Successfully implemented the Cold Matter/Anti‐matter startup equation saving the Enterprise from certain destruction Successfully plotted time‐travel slingshot path around the sun bringing Humpback Whales back to the future to save Earth Solved inter‐dimensional space crisis rescuing both his commanding officer, Captain James T. Kirk, and the ship Reconfigured Warp Drive engines on refitted Enterprise to enable ship and crew to intercept the VGER threat to Earth Built a quantum computer out of antiquated 1930s technological resources in an effort to restore the prime timeline Survived encounter with giant Space Amoeba in order to take vital readings that in turn helped save the ship and potentially the galaxy Devised a way to beat an attacking rogue Klingon Bird of Prey’s...
  • January 3, 2020

    Top Five Must-Haves of 2019!

    Now that we have said, “Goodbye,” to 2019, we should take a moment to look back on the top must-haves for the decade-ending year. Since this list is completely arbitrary, Digital Batman will weigh in on what I found to be the most popular gadget, item, digital something, and whatever. Oh, and this list does not put items in any particular order of importance. Enjoy! 1. Disney+ – Yep! The highly anticipated, hugely successful, and most extensive streaming video service from the “House of the Mouse” easily makes this list. Not only does Disney+ have hundreds of movies and thousands of hours of television series, it is now home to the most popular sci-fi show on the small screen, The Mandalorian. This new live-action genre show set in the Star Wars universe is arguably better than the recently released final chapter of the Star Wars/Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker. And there’s more to come with a limited Obi Wan Kenobi series and potential Darth Maul or Darth Vader series. And let’s not forget the new Marvel superhero shows like Falcon and Winter Soldier and WandaVision. Plus, a whole host of kids programming that is way too extensive to go into here. With over 20M (that’s million) subscribers on its launch day, this is definitely a must- have in 2019 (and now)! 2. The Impossible Burger – Why is this on the list? Well, Digital Batman could cite a bunch of health- related reasons why you should give this burger a try. However, the biggest reason is that this new type of plant-based food that mimicks real animal meat (including it protein content) actually made it to market! Giant restaurant chains like Burger King and Dunkin are now sporting Impossible Burger variants on their menus. You can also purchase this...
  • December 13, 2019

    Lucky Number 13!

    Happy Friday the 13th Everyone! Why do I mention this? Well, it seems to be an old American tradition that if a Friday happens to fall on the 13th day of any given month, then strange and unexpected things are supposed to happen. The number 13 is often regarded as unlucky; furthermore, in Italian culture Fridays are considered an unlucky day. Therefore, when the famous Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini passed away on Friday, November 13, 1868, it came as no surprise that the fateful calendar day played a part in his untimely demise—of course it had nothing to do with him suffering from an incurable illness at the time. Some sources also say that this unpopular day may also have some historical precedence with Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion on what is referred to in Christendom as Good Friday. Regardless, popular culture has also played apart in fostering this notion that a specific date on the Gregorian calendar can cause so much grief. For example, authors like Dan Brown and John J. Robinson mentioned a rather bleak historical episode concerning the arresting and subsequent execution of Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France. Of course, there’s the ever-popular Friday the 13th series of horror-genre films that certainly help to perpetuate this superstition. And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Black Cat. Heaven forbid one should cross your path! That’s a trip to “Bad-Luck-Ville” right there. LOL! The ominous mystique of black cats can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian times when they were worshipped at emissaries of the Gods. Anyone who killed a cat would have been severely punished or even killed back then. Later, during the Dark Ages through to the Pilgrims of the New World, black cats were considered familiars to witches and agents of...
  • December 13, 2019

    The Man Who Captured Lightning in a Bottle

    In modern times, no one man has been more revered as the greatest technological scientist and visionary as Nikola Tesla. This consummate inventor of dreamlike machines, whose reach sometimes exceeded his grasp, has been so highly regarded by society as the scion of invention that whole streets, songs, companies (like Elon Musk’s futuristic electric car company), awards, measures, holidays, places, schools, and more have been named after him. He was even famously portrayed by punk rock legend David Bowie in Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film The Prestige. Of course, in that fictionalized version of Tesla, we find him inventing a trans-dimensional duplicator used by Hugh Jackman’s character for the purpose of inexplicable magic showmanship. However, in real life, Tesla was so far beyond his contemporaries such as Thomas Edison or George Westinghouse that both of them had employed Tesla in their companies at one point. In fact, it is said that Westinghouse even paid Tesla a life-long stipend of a $1000 a month long after he left the company due to his patents making Westinghouse a fortune. Nikola Tesla’s life began in Croatia (the Austrian Empire at the time) on July 10, 1856. His father was an Easter Orthodox priest and his mother was so talented in the making of craft tools and mechanical devices—along with a photographic memory—that Telsa credited her for all of his genius and gifts. Tesla had some troubled years in his youth dealing with a gambling addiction and never completing his engineering studies at Austrian Polytechnic. However, that did not stop him from making his way through Europe, devising patentable inventions, and making a name for himself in engineering circles. Eventually, he would find his way to New York City in 1884 where his advancements in Alternating Current (AC) technology, and an induction motor that was...
  • In the battle of the Virtual Assistants (VA), it seems like everything else, there are too many choices. Alexa, SIRI, Google Assistant, and Cortana are practically household names at this point. While each has their particular set of benefits, no one AI (i.e. Artificial Intelligence, because that’s what we’re really talking about here) can fulfill every request made of it. With next year’s pending launch of my company’s (PTC) flagship PLM platform, Windchill (integrated with Microsoft Azure’s cloud solution)—facilitating manufacturers’ efforts to rollout NPIs (i.e. new product introductions)—I thought it would be interesting to explore some aspects of where VAs/AIs are these days in a practical sense from home to business. I’d venture to guess that most homes feature more than one VA. The Digtal Batman household runs both SIRI on our iPhones/iPod and AppleTV 4K, and we run an Echo Dot featuring Alexa. It’s interesting to note the significant differences for our needs. For example: Alexa comes in handy when playing music from Amazon Music Unlimited and radio broadcasts over IHeartRadio. Whereas, SIRI dials our phone numbers, reads our texts, provides us with navigation, and helps us search/navigate our Apple TV 4K streaming device. Conversely, like most PTC employees running Windows 10 on their laptops, Cortana can easily be enabled. But I think it would be a little weird if everyone in the open seating at Seaport HQ started talking into their computers all at once! Though I haven’t used “Okay Google” in a while, it does come in handy for general searches and navigating the plethora of online/cloud‐based productivity, calendar, and meeting tools available—especially if you’re using Google Chrome. And what’s really interesting is now each of these separate VA platforms are starting to work together: organizing calendars across different devices (like cell phones), providing email from multiple...
  • July 3, 2017

    What Gets You Up in the Morning?

    Sometimes I have too much time on my hands; sometimes I never seem to have enough. I don’t know, I can be a big procrastinator. But I can be so crazy-focused on the job at hand that I won’t rest until it’s done. Go figure. I love to exercise, and I love to write. And most of the time I get to do both. But there are times when I go through periods that I won’t do both. I don’t know why. Anyway, I wake up one morning and all of a sudden I’m driven again to work on my body and my books! I know it may seem weird but it’s me. What can I say? And when the writing gets ratcheted up, I feel amazing. I like that amazing feeling. I suppose that’s what gets me up in the morning. That promise that today I will create something new and awesome! With that in mind, here are few things you can do to help motivate you in the morning to be productive: Get up early. Yep! That’s a oldie but a goodie. Getting up early will always make you feel more alive and in touch with the day to follow. Even if you stayed up late, it’s better to sacrifice a little sleep for a more productive day. And, you will “hit the sheets” a little earlier that night! Have your coffee before your morning workout. That’s what I do. Some people will hold off until after their workout but I really need a jolt of java to get me going, and get me downstairs to my home gym. Also, get a coffee maker with a auto-timer/brew function. You’ll be so glad that you came out to the kitchen with a hot freshly brewed pot of JOE waiting for...