A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
All Media Network
RhythmOne is an American company that owns and maintains AllMusic, AllMovie, AllGame, SideReel and Celebified. The company was founded in 1990 by popular-culture archivist Michael Erlewine. RhythmOne offices are located in San Francisco and Ann Arbor, United States, several other locations across the country. All Music Guide was launched in 1991. In 1994 the All Movie Guide was launched and in 1998 the All Game Guide; the company was founded in Michigan in 1990 by Michael Erlewine. With the All Music Guide the aim was to " discographic information on every artist who's made a record since Enrico Caruso gave the industry its first big boost", which launched in 1991, they expanded with the All Movie Guide in 1994, the All Game Guide in 1998. Moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1999 to take advantage of the "rich talent pool". AMG was a business unit within Alliance Entertainment Corporation from 1996 until early 2005. Alliance was acquired in 1999 by a multibillion-dollar fund based in California. Macrovision announced on November 6, 2007 that it had agreed to purchase All Media Guide for a reported $102 million.
For a time, all of the guides were controlled by Rovi's nameservers and combined access to the All Music and All Movie Guides was provided via AllRovi.com from 2011 until 2013. In 2013, Rovi sold consumer access of the content to the newly established All Media Network, LLC, but retained control of licensing the content to other businesses; the overall website is allmedianetwork.com. Rovi sold the consumer access to them to newly established All Media Network, LLC in 2013, while retaining ownership and maintenance of the content itself; the AllGame section of the site was shut down on December 12, 2014. On April 16, 2015 Blinkx Plc acquired All Media Network and rebranded the website under the new unified RhythmOne Group banner. AllMusic is an online database which provides access to information about songs, musicians and musical styles alongside staff-authored news, biographies and recommendations; the content was published in book form in 1991 as the All Music Guide, is now available to the public for online reference and information as well as available via licensing for point-of-sale systems, media players, online music stores.
RhythmOne produces the AllMusic guide series that includes the All Music Guide to Jazz and the All Music Guide to the Blues. Vladimir Bogdanov is the president of the series. AllMovie, launched in 1994 as the All Movie Guide, provides access to information about actors and filmmakers with staff-authored news, reviews and recommendations, it offers limited information about Television productions, focused on those released on DVD. Like AllMusic, this content is available via licensing to point-of-sale systems, media players, online stores. AllGame was active between 1998–2014 as the All Game Guide, it offered information and reviews about many console, hand held, PC games released in the US; the site started in February 1998 with the goal of becoming the most comprehensive game database available. In a farewell message on their site, the staff noted that they "didn't all know what we were doing in those early days but it was an exciting time to be helping build an online game database before the Internet exploded with numerous websites dedicated to video games."
SideReel, launched in 2007, is a TV community site which provides information about TV shows and episodes. Celebified offers celebrity news and interviews and started in 2012. RhythmOne's database was set up by Vladimir Bogdanov to hold the information of Erlewine's many lists. Information in the database is licensed and used in point-of-sale systems by some music retailers, includes the following: Basic data: names, credits, copyright information, product numbers. Descriptive content: styles, moods, nationalities. Relational content: similar artists and albums, influences. Editorial content: biographies, rankings; the company claims to have the largest digital archive of music, including about six million digital songs, as well as the largest cover art library, with more than half a million cover image scans. The AllMusic database is used by several generations of Windows Media Player and Musicmatch Jukebox to identify and organize music collections. Windows Media Player 11 and the integrated MTV Urge music store have expanded the use of AllMusic data to include related artists, reviews and other data.
All Media Network licenses large databases of metadata about movies, video games, audio books, music releases from Rovi Corporation and publishes them online for consumer use. This includes credits, staff-written biographies, reviews and recommendations as well as categories such as theme or mood. Rovi makes this content available for point of sale systems in stores globally, for CD and DVD recognition in software media players such as Windows Media Player and Musicmatch Jukebox, for providing content for a variety of websites including iTunes and Spotify. All Media Guide sold print compilations of its information. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor of AllMusic List of online music databases Official website
Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, other information such as train tables, road signs, official communications with foreign countries. Based on English writing conventions, consonants correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation; the Hepburn style was developed in the late 19th century by an international commission, formed to develop a unified system of romanization. The commission's romanization scheme was popularized by the wide dissemination of a Japanese–English dictionary by commission member and American missionary James Curtis Hepburn, published in 1886; the "modified Hepburn system" known as the "standard system", was published in 1908 with revisions by Kanō Jigorō and the Society for the Propagation of Romanization.
Although Kunrei romanization is favored by the Japanese government today, Hepburn romanization is still in use and remains the worldwide standard. The Hepburn style is regarded as the best way to render Japanese pronunciation for Westerners. Since it is based on English and Italian pronunciations, people who speak English or Romance languages will be more accurate in pronouncing unfamiliar Japanese words romanized in the Hepburn style compared to Nihon-shiki romanization and Kunrei-shiki romanization. Hepburn is based on English phonology and has competed with the alternative Nihon-shiki romanization, developed in Japan as a replacement of the Japanese script. In 1930 a Special Romanization Study Commission was appointed to compare the two; the Commission decided in favor of a slightly-modified version of Nihon-shiki, proclaimed to be Japan's official romanization for all purposes by a September 21, 1937, cabinet ordinance. The ordinance was temporarily overturned by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan, but it was reissued with slight revisions in 1954.
In 1972 a revised version of Hepburn was codified as ANSI standard Z39.11-1972. It was proposed in 1989 as a draft for ISO 3602 but rejected in favor of the Kunrei-shiki romanization; the ANSI Z39.11-1972 standard was deprecated on October 6, 1994. As of 1978 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, many other official organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki. In addition The Japan Times, the Japan Travel Bureau, many other private organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki; the National Diet Library used Kunrei-shiki. Although Hepburn is not a government standard, some government agencies mandate it. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires the use of Hepburn on passports, the Ministry of Land and Transport requires the use of Hepburn on transport signs, including road signs and railway station signs. In many other areas that it lacks de jure status, Hepburn remains the de facto standard. Signs and notices in city offices and police stations and at shrines and attractions use it.
English-language newspapers and media use the simplified form of Hepburn. Cities and prefectures use it in information for English-speaking residents and visitors, English-language publications by the Japanese Foreign Ministry use simplified Hepburn as well. Official tourism information put out by the government uses it, as do guidebooks, both local and foreign, on Japan. Many students of Japanese as a foreign language learn Hepburn. There are many variants of the Hepburn romanization; the two most common styles are as follows: The Traditional Hepburn, as defined in various editions of Hepburn's dictionary, with the third edition considered authoritative. It is characterized by the rendering of syllabic n as m before the consonants b, m and p: Shimbashi for 新橋. Modified Hepburn known as Revised Hepburn, in which the rendering of syllabic n as m before certain consonants is no longer used: Shinbashi for 新橋; the style was introduced in the third edition of Kenkyūsha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, was adopted by the Library of Congress as one of its ALA-LC romanizations, is the most common version of the system today.
In Japan itself, there are some variants mandated for various uses: Railway Standard, which follows the Hyōjun-shiki Rōmaji. All Japan Rail and other major railways use it for station names. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism Standard, how to spell Roman letters of road signs, which follows the modified Hepburn style, it is used for road signs. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Passport Standard, a permissive standard, which explicitly allows the use of "non-Hepburn romaji" in personal names, notably for passports. In particular, it renders the syllabic n as m before b, m and p, romanizes long o as oh, oo or ou. Details of the variants can be found below; the romanizations set out in the first and second versions of Hepburn's dictionary are of historical interest. Notable differences from the third and versions include: エ and ヱ were written as ye: Yedo ズ and ヅ were written as dzu: kudzu, tsudzuku キャ, キョ, キュ were written as kiya, kiy
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are crossover fighting video games developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game consoles. The 3DS version was released in Japan in September 2014, in North America and Australia the following month; the Wii U version was released in North America and Australia in November 2014, in Japan the following month. Like the rest of the Super Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are non-traditional fighting games where players use different attacks to weaken their opponents and knock them out of an arena. The games are crossover titles that feature characters, items and stages from various Nintendo franchises, as well as from several third-party franchises; the games began development in 2012 and were announced at E3 2013. The gameplay was tuned to be between that of the more competition-oriented Super Smash Bros.. Melee and the slower, more casual-friendly Super Smash Bros.
Brawl. New features include having up to eight players fighting at a time on the Wii U version, support for Nintendo's line of Amiibo, using custom Miis as playable fighters, post-release downloadable content including additional fighters and stages, customizable special moves; some features from previous games in the series were removed, such as the story mode from Brawl. Critics applauded the fine-tuning of existing Super Smash Bros. gameplay elements, but criticized some issues with online play. Both versions sold well, with the 3DS version selling over nine million copies worldwide by December 2017, the Wii U version selling over five million during the same period, it was followed by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Like in previous games in the series, Super Smash Bros. is a multiplayer fighting game where players use various attacks and items to deal damage to their opponents and knock them out of the arena. As a character's damage percentage increases, they fly back further when attacked, may be knocked far enough out of the playing field to be knocked out.
To assist players during battle, items sometimes appear on the battlefield, most of which represent the various video games represented in the series. An item called a Smash Ball allows players to use a powerful, character-specific attack known as a "Final Smash". Another item is an Assist Trophy, which summons various non-playable characters from a represented series onto the field to assist the summoner. Like its predecessors, Super Smash Bros. features collectible in-game trophies based on characters or items seen in various Nintendo or third-party games. Each stage now features an alternate Omega form, which replaces the stage's layout with a flat surface with ledges on both sides and removes all stage hazards, similar to the stage "Final Destination", a flat, medium-sized stage with no hazards. Certain stages, collectible trophies, game features are exclusive to each version, with the Wii U version featuring elements taken from home console titles and the 3DS version taking elements from handheld titles.
Both games feature revisited stages from past entries in the series and new stages representing newly introduced properties or recent entries in existing ones. New to the series is the ability to customize both existing characters and custom Mii Fighters, altering their attacks and giving them unique power-ups; these characters can be transferred between the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game, as well as certain items earned in specific modes. Additionally, players can use Amiibo to train computer-controlled players and import them into a match. Both versions of the game support online multiplayer. Whereas local and online matches with friends have customizable rules, online matches with strangers are divided into two modes: "For Fun" and "For Glory." For Fun features random stages and items, with time matches only and Omega stages omitted, while For Glory features stock matches with no items on Omega stages and features both standard Smash and 1-on-1 battles, all of which the player's wins and losses are recorded from For Glory.
Customized characters, Mii Fighters, Amiibo cannot be used in online matches against strangers. Additionally, solo play once again features Classic mode, which features an intensity setting directly influenced by Masahiro Sakurai's previous project Kid Icarus: Uprising, in which players can make the game more difficult by spending in-game currency to earn greater rewards. Both versions share two new modes. Target Blast has players beat up a ticking bomb before launching it into a set of targets, with the goal of earning as many points as possible by causing chain reactions. Trophy Rush has players clear out falling crates to build up a Fever meter and earn new trophies and customization items. In addition to a moderation system to prevent griefing, the game features an online ranking system called "Global Smash Power" for a player's solo mode score, which shows how many other players someone has outscored, rather than listing their position on a leaderboard. Although the game does not feature a ranking system for online matches, matchmaking between players of similar skill levels was introduced.
Online features Spectator Mode, where spectators can place bets on other players to win more gold, Conquest, in which players can support selected characters by playing as them online, earning rewards if their supported team wins, earning bonus rewards for going on a win streak. The Nintendo 3DS version features stereoscopic 3D graphics with optional cel-shaded outlines to make the characters more visible; the game fea
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water