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Incredible before and after images of Houston neighborhoods hit by Hurricane Harvey

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The first cloudless day after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston was Thursday (Aug. 31), and the clearing of the skies gave even greater visibility to the damage and flooding caused by the storm. Below are images of the Houston area by Planet’s satellites captured before the storm, and after it hit.

Near the Addicks Reservoir

Neighborhoods near the Addicks Reservoir flooded as the Army Corps of Engineers released water into the Buffalo Bayou. The most obvious signs of flooding in the satellite images are the roads turning from asphalt-grey to a muddy brown.

Near the Barker Reservior

A similar situation was captured at Barker Reservoir.

Along the Buffalo Bayou

These images show an area about 6 mi² (16 km²), a little downstream from the Barker Reservoir.

The West Houston Airport

A general aviation airport, it was one of the last to close during the storm. It is now underwater.

Texas state prison units near Otey, Texas

About 4,500 inmates in three prison units were evacuated ahead of the storm.

The Omni Hotel

The 378-room hotel was evacuated as floodwaters rose. At least one staff member is still missing.

Missouri City, Texas

Missouri City, which is southwest of Houston, weathered high winds that damaged 50 homes just days before Harvey. The area is now inundated with flood waters from the Brazos river. A local shelter has registered more than 600 people, according to the Community Impact newspaper.

Homes on Lake Houston

When Lake Houston swelled, the homes on its banks suffered, as did the boathouses which sit at the end of long piers.

Humble, Texas

The Flooded Sam Houston Tollway

Part of the second-ring belt highway that circles the city, photos of this flooded road and the surrounding neighborhood were circulated widely.

Cypress Creek

Cypress Creek brought flood waters into nearby neighborhoods and forced the evacuation of CHI St. Luke’s Health-Vintage Hospital (paywall), which is circled above.

Kingswood

The golf courses are the most noticeable flooded areas in these images (due to their tree- and building-less landscapes), but nestled between them are dozens of homes, as well as apartment complexes and shopping centers, that were surrounded by floodwaters.

Read Next: Houston’s flooding shows what happens when you ignore science and let developers run rampant



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'Montreal would be an English-speaking city': The effects of Quebec's Bill 101 after 40 years

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MTL Saint Jean 20170624

​It has been 40 years since Quebec adopted its landmark Charter of the French Language — Bill 101 — on Aug. 26, 1977. It was a decision that would forever change the linguistic makeup of Quebec.

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Killings of blacks by whites ruled “justified”

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In a collaboration between The Marshall Project and The Upshot, Daniel Lathrop and Anna Flagg analyzed data for 400,000 homicides between 1980 and 2014.

In almost 17 percent of cases when a black man was killed by a non-Hispanic white civilian over the last three decades, the killing was categorized as justifiable, which is the term used when a police officer or a civilian kills someone committing a crime or in self-defense. Overall, the police classify fewer than 2 percent of homicides committed by civilians as justifiable. The disparity persists across different cities, different ages, different weapons and different relationships between killer and victim.

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Catalog of visualization types to find the one that fits your dataset

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There are a lot of visualization methods to choose from, and it can be daunting finding the right visual for your data, especially for those just starting out. The Data Viz Project by ferdio is a work-in-progress catalog that aims to make the picking process a bit easier. Start with a bunch of chart types and filter by things like shape, purpose, and data format. If you’re stuck, this should help get the juices going.

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AMD Releases Beta Graphics Driver for Better Cryptocurrency Mining

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AMD miner

A few days ago, AMD released the “Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute” driver. According to the release notes on the tech giant’s website, the software optimizes the performance for “Blockchain Compute Workloads,” thereby boosting the efficiency of cryptocurrency mining rigs that are using a GPU for mining (eg., Ethereum mining rigs).

Currently, the graphics driver can be downloaded from AMD’s official website. The beta software supports desktop GPUs from AMD Radeon HD 7700, and it can be installed on 64-bit Windows 7 (Service Pack 1 or higher required) and 64-bit Windows 10 systems. AMD highlighted in the release notes that the graphics driver is not intended to boost users’ gaming performance. The company added that since this is a beta software, it will not be “supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes.”

AMD’s new beta driver is designed to fix an issue related to the DAG (directed acyclic graph) size. As the number of blocks in the Ethereum blockchain increases (taking roughly 14 seconds to generate a block), so does Ethereum’s epoch (a 100-hour window). For every epoch, or 30,000 blocks, a DAG is generated. As the DAG size grows, the memory requirements for mining Ethereum increase. Since the memory footprint of the workload is increasing, it will, at a certain time, overflow from the graphics card’s memory and will be stored in the main system memory. The main system memory is much slower than accessing the GPU’s VRAM. If a mining rig is slower to access the memory, it will result in performance penalties concerning the miners’ hashrate.

AMD’s new beta driver appears to have fixed the DAG issue. According to TechPowerUp, there is only a minimal difference between mining different DAG sizes with the beta software. Compared to the old driver, the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB (1546 MHz/945 MHz) experienced an 81 percent increase in the hashrate mining DAG 199.

The Reddit community has also confirmed that AMD’s new update is resulting in greater hashrates for their GPUs.

“My RX Vega went from 31 to 37Mh/s mining ETH only. Very nice improvement,” wrote a user named “Hot-Diggity-Daffodil.”

“Just got these new drivers installed on one of my 6 gpu rigs. MSI RX 580 8GBs confirmed back up to 29.5 from 27.5. Installing on other rigs now. Using BBT modded ROMs,” another user called “TheHansGruber” wrote in the /r/EtherMining subreddit.

AMD’s beta driver will boost the performance of Ethereum mining rigs for a while. However, if Ethereum evolves from proof of work to proof of stake, with a first step toward this model expected on November 1, GPUs will be less needed over time. At the instance of proof of stake, the mining is based on coin ownership rather than hash power.

The post AMD Releases Beta Graphics Driver for Better Cryptocurrency Mining appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Visualizing the Massive $15.7 Trillion Impact of AI

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For the people most immersed in the tech sector, it’s hard to think of a more controversial topic than the ultimate impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on society.

By eventually empowering machines with a level of superintelligence, there are many different possible outcomes ranging from Kurzweil’s technological singularity to the more dire predictions popularized by Elon Musk.

Despite this wide gap in potential outcomes, most technologists do agree on one thing: AI will have a profound impact on the society and the way we do business.

The Economic Impact of AI

Today’s infographic comes from the Extraordinary Future 2017, a new conference in Vancouver, BC that focuses on emerging technologies such as AI, autonomous vehicles, fintech, and blockchain tech.

In the below infographic, we look recent projections from PwC and Accenture regarding AI’s economic impact, as well as the industries and countries that will be the most profoundly affected.

Visualizing the Massive $15.7 Trillion Impact of AI

According to PwC’s most recent report on the topic, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) will be transformative.

By 2030, AI is expected to provide a $15.7 trillion boost to GDP worldwide – the equivalent of adding 13 new Australias to the global economy.

A Geographic Breakdown

Where will AI’s impact be most pronounced?

According to PwC, China will be the region receiving the most economic benefit ($7.0 trillion) from AI being integrated into various industries:

RegionEconomic Impact of AI (2030)% of Total
China$7.0 trillion44.6%
North America$3.7 trillion23.6%
Northern Europe$1.8 trillion11.5%
Developed Asia$0.9 trillion5.7%
Southern Europe$0.7 trillion4.5%
Latin America$0.5 trillion3.2%
Rest of World$1.2 trillion7.6%
Total$15.7 trillion100.0%

Further, the global growth from AI can be divided into two major areas, according to PwC: labor productivity improvements ($6.6 trillion) and increased consumer demand ($9.1 trillion).

Industries Most Affected

But how will AI impact industries on an individual level?

For that, we turn to Accenture’s recent report, which breaks down a similar projection of $14 trillion of gross value added (GVA) by 2035, with estimates for AI’s impact on specific industries.

Industry2035 GVA (Baseline)2035 GVA (AI steady state)
Manufacturing$8.4 trillion$12.2 trillion
Professional Services$7.5 trillion$9.3 trillion
Wholesale & Retail$6.2 trillion$8.4 trillion
Public Services$4.0 trillion$4.9 trillion
Information & Communication$3.7 trillion$4.7 trillion
Financial Services$3.4 trillion$4.6 trillion
Construction$2.8 trillion$3.3 trillion
Transportation & Storage$2.1 trillion$2.9 trillion

Manufacturing will see nearly $4 trillion in growth from AI alone – and many other industries will undergo significant changes as well.

To learn more about other techn that will have a big impact on our future, see a Timeline of Future Technology.

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The post Visualizing the Massive $15.7 Trillion Impact of AI appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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