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Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Google's going to build the perfect human, and it might save your life

Google may have history's greatest vehicle for exploring the web, but its latest project is much, much more ambitious: it wants to explore the human body. And we mean fully explore it.
Google is setting out to collect genetic and molecular information from 175 people (and thousands more after, we're told) in order to create a picture of a perfectly healthy human being, according to the The Wall Street Journal.
The project is called Baseline Study and is being headed up by Google X's Dr Andrew Conrad, with the objective to collect data that will help to detect things like heart disease and cancer much earlier on.
Witness the fitness

Needless to say, this could potentially play a big part in Google's wearable tech plans too. Currently that exists at the humble Google Fit platform, which comes packed with Android Wear. It's basic, but a clear indicator that bigger plans are in motion.
But it's not the only one with this idea. Apple is also on a massive health kick right now, announcing its Health Kit app at WWDC, which will not only keep an eye on users' health but allow for that information to be shared their doctor.
And how could we forget the ongoing rumours of Apple's fitness-focussed iWatch?
At the same time, Google is also working on a smart contact lens that won't just make you look like rad cyborg, but will monitor your glucose levels too.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

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60-inch rollable TVs coming up... seriously!

Forget curved TVs – you will be able to roll this one in your suitcase and take it with you on your vacations. That’s a promise that South Korean giant LG has just made to the world.
The company today announced that it has been able to create an 18-inch OLED panel that has enough flexibility to roll into a tube of 3cm radius without affecting the function of the display.
“This proves that LG Display can bring rollable TVs of more than 50 inches to the market in the future,” the company claims. That isn’t all – LG Display has promised that it is working on a 60-inch panel now, and it should be able to roll out the bigger rollable (pun unintended) panels by 2017.
“We are confident that by 2017, we will successfully develop an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches, which will have transmittance of more than 40 per cent and a curvature radius of 100R, thereby leading the future display market,” In-Byung Kang, Senior Vice-President and Head of the R&D Center at LG Display, said.
The 18-inch flexible OLED panel that the company unveiled today has an HD resolution of 1200 X 810 with almost 1 million mega-pixels. The panel’s curvature radius is 30R.
LG says it used high molecular substance-based polyimide film as the backplane of the flexible panel instead of conventional plastic, which afforded it the maximum curvature radius. In addition, the polyimide film helps keep the display really thin and really flexible.
The transparent OLED panel currently boasts 30 per cent transmittance (the transmittance of existing transparent LCD panels is around 10 per cent) – which means that the pictures look much better and less hazy. The company says it has lowered the haze of the panel which is generated by using circuit devices and film components to a level of 2 per cent.
Calling the tripling of transmittance and lowering of haze a ‘breakthrough development’, LG has significantly managed to improve the technology level of the transparent display.

Friday, July 25, 2014

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GTA 5 for PS4, Xbox One and PC tipped to arrive on 7 November

GRAND THEFT AUTO V (GTA 5) might arrive for Playstation 4 (PS4), Xbox One and PC gamers on 7 November, if a UK retailer is to be believed.
Rockstar still has yet to cough on a release date for GTA 5 for PCs and next generation consoles, but said at this year's E3 conference that the titles will tip up "this fall".
However, UK retailer Gameseek is claiming that the PC version, along with PS4 and Xbox One versions, will start shipping on 7 November. It is so confident that it has even started taking pre-orders for the games, with the PC version priced at £36.75, and the PS4 and Xbox One versions at £44.75.
We have little reason not to believe the leaked release date, as the 7 November release date falls on a Friday - typical for a UK game release, and also would see the title arrive on shelves in time for Christmas, with Rockstar no doubt looking to cash in on holiday sales.
Rockstar has yet to comment on Gameseek's release date.
The firm has released some vague information about the new versions of GTA 5, though. Speaking at E3 in June Rockstar said, "Grand Theft Auto V will take full advantage of the power of the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC with across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail.
"Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions all work together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans of Rockstar North's epic reimagining of Southern California."
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Apple-IBM deal will save the iPad

APPLE'S LATEST RESULTS were met with the predictable rush of criticism generally aimed at large firms that everyone can't wait to see toppled from their pedestals.
Apple posted another set of impressive financial results for its fiscal third quarter, with revenue of $37.4bn, up from $35.3bn in the same quarter in 2013, and a whopping $7.7bn in profit - around $85m each day - up from $6.9bn. But all the focus was on the firm's slight dip in iPad sales, which has been hailed by some as the beginning of the end for Apple.
While the iPad decline is an area that needs to be addressed by Apple, it's clearly winning in other parts of the business. iPhone sales for the quarter came in at 35.2 million - down from the record 43.7 million handsets the firm sold in its second quarter, but up 13 percent compared with the 31.2 million Apple shipped for the same period in 2013.
Speaking on a conference call to release the latest results, CEO Tim Cook also noted impressive 55 percent growth in the BRIC countries over the same period, and it's in these regions that Apple still has the potential to see further growth, both for smartphones and tablets.
Apple also did well on the Mac side, boasting an increase in sales from 3.8 million in the third quarter of 2013 and 4.1 million in the second quarter this year to 4.4 million of its desktops and laptops, an impressive feat when the PC market is generally on the decline.
Cook held off mentioning the iPad sales until the end of the call, as the 13.3 million sold fell short of analyst expectations by more than one million units. iPad sales were down eight percent from the 14.6 million tablets Apple shifted in the same quarter last year, and dropped off significantly from the 16.3 million sold in the second quarter this year.
While Apple was keen to point out that the iPad is seeing growth in developing markets - for example a 64 percent year-over-year increase in the Middle East, 51 percent in China and 45 percent in India - this can't hide the overall headline decline.
Cook predictably blamed the decline on external circumstances, rather than anything Apple is doing wrong with its tablet strategy.
"iPad sales met our expectations but we realised they didn't meet many of yours," he told investors on the call. "Our sales were gated in-part by a reduction in channel inventory and in part by market softness in certain parts of the world."
Cook also cited IDC's latest estimate of a five percent overall decline in the US tablet market across the quarter, accompanied by a drop in the Western European tablet market, as evidence that this isn't an issue with the iPad per se, but a market conditions problem.
The iPad numbers would be worrying for investors if the firm was resting on its past glories in tablets and assuming sales will pick up based on ongoing love for the Apple brand and slightly cheaper price tags on offer via the iPad Mini. But Apple is clearly aware of the situation and has already signed an enterprise deal with IBM, which will see the iPad further embedded in the workplace. The importance of this recent deal now seems even clearer, as Apple attempts to reinvigorate its tablet business.
As Cook explained: "We think our partnership with IBM, providing a new generation of mobile enterprise applications, designed with iPad's legendary ease of use and backed by IBM's cloud services and data analytics will be one such catalyst for future iPad growth.
"We're very bullish about the future of the tablet market and we're confident that we can continue to bring significant innovation to this category through hardware, software and services."
So while some analysts are focused on the future threat a larger-sized iPhone might have on tablet sales, noting this could further decrease iPad sales, Apple has sensibly realised that its best potential for iPad growth lies in the enterprise. The two examples of iPad use the firm highlighted during the conference call were both firmly non-consumer. Apple instead chose to point out that Qantas Airlines has more than 15,000 iPads deployed, while the Swedish government has more than 100,000 iPads in use at local government offices across the country.
Apple also talked up its tablet's popularity in the education sector, where the iPad has an 85 percent share of the US tablet market, with 13 million iPads sold to education customers globally.
Enterprise mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) are still huge drivers for business IT spend, with thousands of companies still in the process of shifting to this new way of working. The reality is that business users want the mobility aspect, but they also want screens large enough to support their standard productivity and enterprise apps. Anyone who has tried to work on a spreadsheet or CRM system via a 5in device will no doubt agree with this point.
And by teaming up with IBM, which will start selling iPads into business markets like retail and health, bundled with apps to cover the security, device management and business analytics side of things, Apple is ensuring that wherever a BYOD tablet sale is up for grabs, it's in the prime position to snatch that deal from the likes of the Microsoft Surface.
So don't expect the iPad to go the way of the iPod just yet; the Apple-IBM deal looks even cannier in light of this latest set of results and could be the remedy Apple needs to turn around sales for its upcoming quarter.
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Skype will go through your Android address book

MICROSOFT'S SKYPE DIVISION has announced the latest version of its Android Skype client.
Skype for Android 5.0 is a major release that introduces a proactive scan of contacts to find others who use the service and list them as contacts.
This will raise concerns for some people about privacy, however Microsoft is keen to assure us that this is not an issue. On the Skype blog, Pierre-Eric Jacoupy told users, "As we add this new feature to Android, we remain dedicated to making sure you're in total control of your Skype experience.
"In your settings, you can easily choose whether you want your address book contacts to be automatically added to Skype or not. And don't worry, your number will not be a public part of your profile. You can modify the phone number associated with your account or deactivate it completely, if you don't want to be found by your phone number."
As well as trawling your phone's directory, the new Skype for Android will also search within your Microsoft account, covering contact lists in Outlook.com and its predecessor Hotmail.
At the moment, Android is the only operating system with this feature, however Microsoft said that it is planning to introduce it to other versions soon.
Last week Microsoft introduced free group video calling to Windows and Mac users, but this feature is yet to arrive on Android. Android users shouldn't feel too downhearted, however, as the uptake of video calling in its first half century has been slow.
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Galaxy S4 catches fire under teenage girl's pillow

A TEENAGE GIRL'S Galaxy S4 smartphone caught fire beneath her pillow while she was sleeping, it has been reported, but Samsung has blamed the incident on a replacement battery.
Fox News has the scoop on the latest Galaxy S4 fire. It reports that 13-year-old Ariel Tolfree of North Texas had her Galaxy S4 underneath her pillow while she slept, and was woken up by the smell of burning.
Tolfree said, "I didn't think much of it, so I went back to sleep, and then I woke up again and it was more prominent."
It turned out that the smell came from the melted Galaxy S4 that was underneath her head. While it's unclear exactly what happened, Ariel's father Thomas thinks he has the answer, saying he suspects that the phone overheated, causing the battery to swell and start a fire.
"The whole phone melted," Thomas said. "The plastic, the glass. You can't even really tell that it was a phone."
"We have a reasonable expectation that the products we buy are going to be safe," he added.
However, as it turns out, the whole fiasco isn't Samsung's fault, as Ariel had kitted out her Galaxy S4 with a replacement battery from a third-party manufacturer - something taht the company says it advises against doing. What's more, Samsung's warning specifically states that covering covering one of their devices with bedding or other material could restrict airflow and cause a fire.
This warning apparently wasn't very prominent, though, with both Ariel and her dad claiming that they didn't see it.
"If anything, they should put a big warning on it, like a cigarette label, if that's the case." Thomas said.
Although it isn't taking the blame, Samsung has said that it will replace Ariel's smartphone, bedding, mattress and pillow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

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45 Years Ago, Humans Took One Small Step On The Moon

45 years ago today - that is, July 20th - the human race left its first bootprint on a planetary body other than the Earth we'd been treading for the last few million years, as Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle lunar module's ladder and onto the dusty regolith of the Moon.

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong insisted he said, although the message back to Earth was slightly garbled.
It was an astounding achievement - coming less than 66 years after the Wright Brothers had made their first powered flight and less than a decade after President Kennedy had made his famous declaration at Rice University that the US would put a man on the Moon. It was such an achievement that even now some refuse to believe it took place.

Buzz Aldrin takes a hands-on approach to a Moon hoax moron.
If truth be told the Apollo 11 crew took risks that would probably not even be allowed by NASA today. On its way to the landing site Eagle missed its target, the guidance computer overloaded, and landed just within the allowable limits for fuel. Even getting out of the module was a squeeze, since the engineers hadn't taken into account the width of a redesigned spacesuit.
The Apollo missions took men further from Earth than they'd ever traveled before. Only men mind you – despite female pilots like Jerrie Cobb showing just as much proficiency in tests as the male astronauts NASA insisted that only military pilots could become astronauts back then. We've not sent humans of any gender any further since.
At the time of the Apollo 11 landing science fictions authors like Arthur C. Clarke were predicting lunar colonies by the 1980s and manned missions to Mars at the turn of the millennium. But these failed to come off thanks to a mixture of budget cuts, politics and advances in robotics.
One of the things NASA learned from the Apollo program was how difficult and costly it is to put humans into space and get them back safely. At the same time advances in computer technology and robotics made it cheaper than ever to replace fleshy explorers with digital ones, and that has been the path NASA has taken ever since for exploration.
Sure we had the space shuttle, and astronauts have been orbiting the Earth in low orbit on the International Space Station for nearly 14 years, and on US and Russian space stations before that. But that's been it for humans in space, now the machines have taken over.
There's a certain amount of sense in this approach. You can get a lot more science for your buck using machinery to do your exploring and there have been some notable successes, most recently the Curiosity rover that is currently meandering across Mars. Sending manned missions means less time on the surface than a robot, and a hell of a lot more risk.
It's unlikely that NASA will be putting men back on the Moon any time soon. It would be massively expensive to set up and even more so to supply, and there's not a lot of support for spending a few billion dollars on the project when we could be having foreign wars or banking bailouts delivering vital infrastructure on Earth instead.
That could change if China is serious about setting up a moon base. It's possible that's just chest puffing, but if it is true US politicians are likely to stump up the funding in the spirit of geopolitical competition. The same is true for Mars, particularly with players like Elon Musk getting in the game.
Musk said recently that SpaceX wouldn't exist without NASA and isn’t in competition with the agency. He wants to walk on the sands of Mars himself, and looks likely to do so. But he'll be relying on data from NASA to both land safely and stay alive once there.
The big advantage private operators like Musk have is that they can take a more relaxed view of human life. NASA will not countenance one-way missions, but the private sector will and there's a long list of people willing to make the trip already, not least former Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
You'd think that 45 years after the Moon landings humanity would have taken further strides into space, but 45 years from now it is perfectly possible that mankind will have established a colony on another planet or planetoid. It's certainly needed - you can't have a long-term civilization that stays on one planet after all – but it looks likely that the driving force behind such exploration won’t come from NASA. ®

Sunday, July 20, 2014

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Jaguar Introduces Virtual Windscreen Concept With Ghost Cars And Virtual Driving Lanes

What are the differences between real driving and the driving you do in a video game? Well, for starters; the way that you look at the road varies greatly. Take out your car for a ride and then compare it to driving a car in Gran Turismo. What feels cooler and more interactive? Yeah, we thought so and so did Jaguar when they started working on what is being termed as ‘virtual windscreen concept’.

So what is this concept really about? In a nutshell; this will allow you to experience real life driving from a gamer’s perspective. The concept entails hazards cautions, speed and navigation icons all displayed on the screen. However, the best part of this concept comes into play when the performance drivers employ this technology on the track to enjoy the privileges of virtual racing lines, brake guidance, ghost cars and virtual cones all being projected on the windscreen for the driver to use.

Research and Technology Director at Jaguar, Dr. Wolfgang Epple, says; ‘Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for everyday driving on the road or the track.’

Sounds cool, right? Well check this awesome feature out too; gesture control system to free the driver from remembering the controls and reaching for them. The concept employs a technology known as e-field sensing that relies on capacitive discharge touch screens. The e-field sensing is responsive to a distance of 15 cm and for comparison’s sake; a smartphone’s screen is responsive to a distance of 5mm.

Dr. Epple says; ‘Gesture control has become an accepted form of controlling anything from TV sets to games consoles. The system is currently being tested on a number of features including sun blinds, rear wipers and sat nav maps. It has the potential to be on sale within the next few years.’
There are also plans to introduce technology that will replace rear view mirrors along with external mirrors by making use of virtual displays coupled with cameras. However, although it may look like a video game, but remember; you won’t be able to hit retry and start over if you hit the car into another car or a barrier!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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Bill Gates Is Backing A Microchip Birth Control That You Can Turn Off & On That Lasts For 16 YEARS! Welcome To The Future!

"You’re still on the Pill?? That is SO 2014!”
A glimpse into what girls are going to be talking about in the future, especially after this incredible medical breakthrough hits the market!
Bill Gates is backing a new birth control microchip that is implanted into women and can be turned off and on with a remote control!
How rad is that?!
The invention comes from a Massachusetts-based startup called MicroCHIPS. The company received a $4.6 million check from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in January in order to move the project along.
So how does it work?
The chip, which is placed under the skin, contains tiny reservoirs filled with pregnancy-preventing hormone levonorgestrel. An electric current melts through the hermetic seal and releases 30 micrograms of the drug per day.
If a woman decides she wants to have baby, she can easily flip a switch and start trying!
MicroCHIPS offers a diagram to show the step-by-step process (below)
Dr. Robert Farra discussed how easy this contraceptive is to use, explaining:
"The ability to turn the device on and off provides a certain convenience factor for those who are planning their family.”
The chip is also expected to last up to 16 years, longer than any other implantable contraceptive on the market today!
With the clinical trials still being arranged, MicroCHIPS says this futuristic contraceptive contraption should be available to purchase in 2018!
Thanks, Mr. Gates! First you give us computers, and now you’re giving us safer sex!
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iWatch price, release date, rumours and features

APPLE IS WIDELY EXPECTED to make its first foray into the wearables market this year with the launch of the so-called Apple iWatch.
The iWatch will look to challenge the Samsung Gear 2 and Moto G, and if speculation is anything to go by, Apple's debut smartwatch may just do that. 
We've rounded up everything we know so far about the device, including its rumoured specificatons, release date and pricing details. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked as we'll be updating it as soon as we learn more.
Release date
No release date for the iWatch has been leaked yet, but multiple sources have claimed that the device will make its debut at an Apple launch event in October.
While no details are yet known, Apple is expected to release the iWatch before Christmas, with analysts claiming that the firm hopes to sell 15 to 20 million units before the year is out.
Speculation regarding the iWatch’s pricing is mixed. Last year, we heard that the wearable will be priced at $199, but since, one analyst has since claimed that the most expensive iWatch model could fetch "several thousands of dollars." However, we'd take that remark with a hefty pinch of salt.
If anything like competing smartwatches, the Apple iWatch likely will arrive in the UK priced between £200 and £300.
Much like details regarding its pricing, specifications details for the iWatch are mixed.
Most recently, Reuters claimed that the Apple iWatch will launch with a "2.5in, rectangular screen", which when compared to the 1.84in display on the Samsung Gear 2, seems absurdly large for a wearable.
However, previous speculation - from multiple trusted sources - have said that the iWatch will launch in two versions, one with a 1.3in display, and the other with a 1.5in offering. These rumours have also claimed that the screen, much like that on the Moto 360, will be rounded, but adds that the device will be thinner than its Motorola rival. Other rumours have also claimed that the iWatch display will also be curved.
It seems the rumour mill cannot make its mind up, as new speculation out of Taiwan claims the iWatch will launch in three different versions - a 1.6in model, a 1.8in model, and a top-end 1.8in version with a sapphire display. 
It's likely the iWatch will be "Swiss-made" too, with Apple having poached Tag Heuer VP of sales Patrick Pruniax, who reportedly will head up marketing of the smartwatch device.
Under the hood, the iWatch is expected to feature a multiple sensors, with the WSJ noting recently that it will feature 10 different sensors, including some focused around health and fitness. It's presently unclear what the other sensors are, although some rumours have claimed that a UV sensor will feature in the watch.
Beyond that, not much is known about the iWatch hardware. There is chatter however that the device will feature a battery sized between 200mAh and 250mAh that will "outperform" rival smartwatch batteries, along with support for wireless charging.
It's thought that the iWatch will run a custom version of iOS 8, with a large focus placed on Siri and iCloud, along with Apple's Healthbook feature.

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