Obituary: Paul Walker (September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013)

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Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast & Furious series of action films, has been killed in a car crash in California.

Walker, 40, was a passenger in a Porsche sports car driven by a friend – who also died – when it crashed north of Los Angeles.

Walker was said to be attending a charity event at the time.

He starred in all but one of the films in the Fast & Furious franchise, the sixth of which opened in May.

Paul William Walker IV  was an American actor. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film Varsity Blues, but later garnered fame as Brian O’Conner in The Fast and the Furious film series. His other films include Eight BelowInto the BlueShe’s All That, and Takers. He appeared on the National Geographic Channel series Expedition Great White.

Walker’s first passion was marine biology; he joined the Board of Directors of The Billfish Foundation in 2006. He fulfilled a lifelong dream by starring in a National Geographic Channelseries Expedition Great White, which premiered in June 2010.He spent 11 days as part of the crew, catching and tagging 7 great white sharks off the coast of Mexico. The expedition, led by Chris Fischer, founder and CEO of Fischer Productions, along with Captain Brett McBride and Dr. Michael Domeier of the Marine Conservation Science Institute took measurements, gathered DNA samples, and fastened real-time satellite tags to the great white sharks. This allowed Dr. Domeier to study migratory patterns especially those associated with mating and birthing over a 5-year period of time.

In March 2010, Walker went to Constitución, Chile to offer his help and support to the people injured in the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on February 27. He flew with hishumanitarian aid team, REACH OUT Worldwide, to Haiti to lend a helping hand to the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims.

An avid car enthusiast, he competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series in which he raced a M3 E92 and was on the AE Performance Team. His car was sponsored by Etnies, Brembo Brakes, Ohlins, Volk, OS Giken, Hankook, Gintani, and Reach Out Worldwide. Walker had been preparing for an auto show prior to his death.


On November 30, 2013, at approximately 3:30 p.m. PST, Walker and Roger Rodas,age 38, left an event for Walker’s charity Reach Out Worldwide for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Shortly after leaving in Rodas’ red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, the driver lost control and crashed into a light pole and tree in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, and the vehicle burst into flames. Rodas was believed to be driving the car. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declared the two dead at the scene.Walker’s publicist, Ame van Iden, confirmed early reports of his death. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office stated that speed was a factor in the crash.

Rodas became friends with Walker after meeting at a race track. Rodas became Walker’s financial advisor in 2007 and helped to establish Reach Out Worldwide.Rodas was the CEO of Always Evolving, a Valencia performance shop owned by Walker for high-end vehicles.

Various friends posted tributes to Walker on social media.


Apple wins $1 billion in Samsung patent case

A California jury awarded Apple Inc more than $1.05 billion on Friday in its patent infringement claim that Samsung Electronics Co copied technology used in its iPad and iPhone. The nine-member jury in a federal court in San Jose, California, found overwhelmingly in Apple’s favour, saying Samsung had infringed on six of seven smartphone patents in question. The US lawsuit was one of several cases around the world between California-based Apple and South Korean Samsung over technology rights and innovation in the fast-growing mobile computing sector. Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, and Samsung countersued. The companies have also sued each other in Britain, Australia and South Korea. The California case was the first to go to a US jury.

Apple sought $2.75 billion for its claims that Samsung infringed four design patents and three software patents. Samsung demanded as much as $421.8 million in royalties for claims that Apple infringed five patents. The complexity of the case was compounded by Apple’s contention that nearly two dozen of Samsung’s devices violated its patents. The disputes date to 2010 when Samsung released its Galaxy smartphones. Apple immediately suspected that Galaxy phones copied the iPhone, which had been on the market for three years. Apple and Samsung are the world’s largest makers of handheld devices that blend phone and a computer functionality.

Sales of the iPhone totalled 47 billion dollars in 2011, while iPad sales totaled 20.4 billion dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Together they comprised 62 per cent of Apple’s sales in fiscal 2011. In smartphone sales, Samsung has a lead over Apple with about 32 per cent of the market to Apple’s 17 per cent, according to technology market researcher IDC.In a related decision, the US International Trade Commission ruled Friday that Apple did not infringe two patents owned by Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit for wireless technologies. The commission stopped short of resolving their dispute, ordering a trade judge to reconsider Motorola Mobility’s claim that Apple had violated another patent.





Take a look at World’s First Photo

One summer day in France in 1826, Joseph Niepce took the world’s first photograph. It’s a photo of some farm buildings and the sky. It took an exposure time of 8 hours. Voila! It had to feel pretty incredible, like magic.

No one’s exactly sure how he did this or what chemicals were used. All that’s known for sure is that the photo is on an 8″x 6.5″ pewter plate. It’s so faint it has to be tilted in order for the light to catch it just right, to see it. The Getty Museum in California did two weeks of tests in 2003 in a joint project involving the Rochester Institute of Technology and France’s Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques (try saying thatthree times fast). Then it went back on display at the University of Texas in a new air tight case, where it’s been on display since 1964. I’m not sure why we have it and the French don’t, but “hah”.

The current theory about how the photograph was taken is that Niepce coated the pewter plate with bitumen, a petroleum derivative sensitive to light. After it spent those 8 hours hardening, he washed the plate with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum. This dissolved the portions of the bitumen that didn’t ‘see’ direct light, so didn’t harden. Pretty damn clever. Niepce called his work a “heliograph,” in a tribute to the power of the sun.