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7-30-07: Some feeds were removed. PHP RSS ReaderChemical & Engineering News: Nano SCENE

Welcome to Chemical & Engineering News's Nano SCENE, an up-to-the-minute collection of news about nanoscience and nanotechnology, including coverage of nanofabrication and assembly, characterization of nanostructures, bionanotechnology, organic and inorganic nanomaterials, and nanodevices.

Paperthin device produces electricity from the slowest human motionsThe device could someday be integrated into fabric to power electronic devices

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How to create materials that mimic Mother NatureHarvard materials chemist Joanna Aizenberg says there’s been an evolution to her approach

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Frozen fish embryos warm up better with nanorodsNew technique uses gold nanoparticles to improve viability of frozen zebrafish embryos

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Nanocrystals surprise with superlattice formationMaterials have applications in magnetics, electronics, and catalysis

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Self-driving vesicles penetrate blood-brain barrier Potential drug carriers follow glucose gradients in mice

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Permeable polymer is choosy about what gases it passesAdvance may broaden application of low-cost polymer membranes for gas separation

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Photolithography method creates complex patterns using inorganic nanocrystals as colorful inksProcedure leads to patterned thin films of metals, semiconductors, and oxides without the need for organic photoresists

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Gold nanomesh creates a breathable electronic skinMesh design allows airflow through skintight, stretchable gold electronics

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Gold nanomesh creates a breathable electronic skinUn diseño reticular permite el paso del aire a través de una capa electrónica ajustada a la piel y elástica

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Polymer ‘pulleys’ could boost Li-ion battery performanceMechanical polymers prevent silicon anode disintegration

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Antioxidant nanoparticles could treat sepsisCeria-zirconia nanoparticles combat reactive oxygen species and reduce inflammation

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Lithium-sulfur batteries benefit from MoS2 encapsulationCoating sulfur particles with thin flakes of the dichalcogenide provides physical and chemical protection, leading to durable batteries

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Plants inspire exceptionally strong and elastic graphene aerogelsThe new superlight, conductive materials could make better flexible electronics

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Thirsty MOF sucks more water from airA high-capacity, water-adsorbent metal-organic framework could help improve the performance of both water capture and adsorption cooling devices

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IBM researcher unveil first 5-nm chipThe breakthrough could help pave the way for cognitive computing and more efficient cell phones

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Artificial melanin gets into the skinPolydopamine nanoparticles could protect skin cells from DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation

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PHP RSS ReaderYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines  Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.

Total solar eclipse 2017: How to make a pinhole projector from a cereal box

Total solar eclipse 2017: How to make a pinhole projector from a cereal boxHow to make a pinhole projector from a cereal box to safely view the total solar eclipse. You don't need fancy equipment to watch the celestial event.

Fallen forensics: Judges routinely allow disavowed science

Fallen forensics: Judges routinely allow disavowed scienceJudges continue to allow questionable forensic science at trials even though the reliability of many practices have been challenged

40 Years After NASA Launched Voyager 1 and 2, Its Golden Record is Getting a Box Set

40 Years After NASA Launched Voyager 1 and 2, Its Golden Record is Getting a Box SetWhen NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 deep into space 40 years ago, each spacecraft brought along a golden record with sights and sounds from Earth, just in case any aliens were to stumble across it.

China's solar panels shine spotlight on North Korea trade

China's solar panels shine spotlight on North Korea tradeTraders from North Korea visit Yuan Huan's shop in the Chinese border city of Dandong several times a month to place orders, bringing their own translators and wads of cash. Yuan, manager of Sangle Solar Power, said sales to North Koreans have soared in the past two years, one of the border businesses still thriving despite growing US pressure for China to limit commerce with the Stalinist regime. Since North Korea mostly relies on outdated generators, blackouts are common and solar panels are prized for their role as backup power.

Danish Authorities Say Missing Journalist Is Dead

Danish Authorities Say Missing Journalist Is DeadMadsen has changed his story about where Wall was last seen and details around her disappearance.

How to tell if you damaged your eyes by looking at the solar eclipse without glasses

How to tell if you damaged your eyes by looking at the solar eclipse without glassesEveryone watching the US solar eclipse today (Aug. 21) was warned again and again: Wear certified protective glasses. But if you forgot to buy glasses, or you left them at home, or your name is Donald Trump, then it was near-impossible to ignore the temptation of staring directly at the sun. (And if you did,…

Cloud cover will vary across the US during Monday's total solar eclipse

Cloud cover will vary across the US during Monday's total solar eclipseMonday's total solar eclipse will come to Americans in varying degrees of visual clarity, according to ABC News meteorologists, who say that the clearest skies are likely to appear in the Northwest in cities like San Francisco, Salem and Seattle. NASA has published an interactive map that shows the times for the partial and total eclipse anywhere in world. What happens during a total solar eclipse?

Black hole in a 'bathtub' makes waves for UK scientists

Black hole in a 'bathtub' makes waves for UK scientistsBritish-based scientists have recreated the conditions around black holes using a water bath, shedding new light on the extraction of energy from the astronomical phenomenon. Matthew Stock reports.

Lifesaving smart fabric can detect and neutralize deadly nerve gas

Lifesaving smart fabric can detect and neutralize deadly nerve gasAs part of the fight against deadly chemical weapon attacks, researchers have developed a new smart fabric that is capable of not only rapidly detecting nerve gas, but also of neutralizing it.

U.S. farmers confused by Monsanto weed killer's complex instructions

U.S. farmers confused by Monsanto weed killer's complex instructionsBy Tom Polansek and Karl Plume CHICAGO (Reuters) - With Monsanto Co's latest flagship weed killer, dicamba, banned in Arkansas and under review by U.S. regulators over concerns it can drift in the wind, farmers and weed scientists are also complaining that confusing directions on the label make the product hard to use safely. Dicamba, sold under different brand names by BASF and DuPont , can vaporize under certain conditions and the wind can blow it into nearby crops and other plants. To prevent that from happening, Monsanto created a 4,550-word label with detailed instructions.

Love beckons for recovering chimp in Brazil refuge

Love beckons for recovering chimp in Brazil refugeMarcelino is calling to her, but Cecilia cannot be with him. Luckily she is now in the best place to have her depression treated: the Sorocaba Great Primates Sanctuary. Cecilia came to Sorocaba four months ago from Mendoza in Argentina, after making legal history in a case brought by animal rights' groups.

Oh great, a giant asteroid is set to pass by Earth next month

Oh great, a giant asteroid is set to pass by Earth next monthOkay, you might want to put your solar eclipse glasses on and sit down for this one: Scientists say a giant asteroid…

Fairy Tales Are Full of Lies: Unicorns Were Real, Lived with Humans and Weren't that Cute

Fairy Tales Are Full of Lies: Unicorns Were Real, Lived with Humans and Weren't that CuteNew research has found that the Siberian unicorn lived at the same time as prehistoric man

You may know more about the brain than most science majors. Take this quiz to find out

You may know more about the brain than most science majors. Take this quiz to find outWhen making decisions about education, management, or other policies, it’s wise to draw on facts about how the human brain works. And chances are that many of the things you think you know about neuroscience aren’t facts at all, just “neuromyths”: widely held, stubbornly persistent misconceptions. These myths are typically over-simplified interpretations of research findings,…

Can't see the solar eclipse? Tune in online or on TV

Can't see the solar eclipse? Tune in online or on TVMonday's solar eclipse is set to star in several special broadcasts on TV and online

We don't want AI that can understand us – we'd only end up arguing

We don't want AI that can understand us – we'd only end up arguingAsking whether machines can really understand us is meaningless.

China’s Bitmain dominates bitcoin mining. Now it wants to cash in on artificial intelligence

China’s Bitmain dominates bitcoin mining. Now it wants to cash in on artificial intelligenceTwo years ago, a Chinese chip-design expert named Micree Zhan was reading China’s seminal science-fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, while wrestling with how to create a new processor. He had already designed custom chips for the company he co-founded, Bitmain, that had made it into the world’s leading bitcoin miner, allowing it…

This animated globe showing animal migration routes is mesmerizing

This animated globe showing animal migration routes is mesmerizingIt shows migration routes for about 150 species based on tracking data shared by over 11,000 researchers from around the world. The pink lines follow the movement of animals covering at least 310 miles in one direction for at least 45 days, combining about 8,000 tracks collected over a period of about 10 years. Tracking devices have been used by scientists for a long time to study how animals move within local regions and migrate across oceans and continents.

A Thorny Debate in Plate Tectonics May Finally Be Resolved

A Thorny Debate in Plate Tectonics May Finally Be Resolved“In the grand scheme of things, plate tectonics is a young theory,” says Brian Savage, a seismologist at the University of Rhode Island. “The plate-tectonic theory is 50 or 60 years old. That’s not old. I always tell my students to compare it to evolution—that’s 150 years old, about as old as electricity and magnetism.”

This Stock Could Be the Tesla of Healthcare

This Stock Could Be the Tesla of HealthcareA little-known gene-editing pioneer, Editas Medicine, could have what it takes.

Bill Nye the Science Guy on Fashion’s Obsession With Space

Bill Nye the Science Guy on Fashion’s Obsession With SpaceWhy is everyone from Karl to Kanye suddenly inspired by NASA?

The Weirdest Marvel Character Origins

The Weirdest Marvel Character OriginsComic characters are known for sometimes having cliché origins -- lab accidents, childhood traumas, etc. -- but these 5 characters easily steer clear of that.

How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse If You Can’t Go Outside Today

How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse If You Can’t Go Outside TodayYou might even get a better view.

America’s solar eclipse might have been the most watched in history

America’s solar eclipse might have been the most watched in historySee Vox’s collection of photos of the solar eclipse and the people who watched it around the country. Monday’s solar eclipse was truly an American experience, visible as a partial eclipse from all 50 states and as a total eclipse from a 70-mile-wide sliver of 14 states. While total solar eclipses occur somewhere on Earth about every 18 months, it has been 38 years since the last total solar eclipse passed through the United States, and 99 years since the last coast-to-coast eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse Transforms Illinois Town Into a Celestial Super Bowl

Total Solar Eclipse Transforms Illinois Town Into a Celestial Super BowlFor the first time since 1918, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the contiguous U.S. — from Oregon to South Carolina — and cities along a 70-mile-wide (113 kilometers) "path of totality" will witness the strange effect of seeing the skies go dark in the middle of the day. For many people, today's event will be their first time witnessing a total solar eclipse. "I've seen partial eclipses before, and that really left an impact, so I really wanted to experience a total [eclipse]," said Brian Pietrzak, who traveled to Carbondale with his wife and two young sons from Wheaton, Illinois.

How to view the solar eclipse safely - and without glasses

How to view the solar eclipse safely - and without glassesSolar eclipses have captivated and mystified mankind for centuries. But what's the safest way to view one? FOLLOW THE SOLAR ECLIPSE WITH OUR LIVEBLOG NOW! The most important message is never to look directly at the Sun, even through sunglasses or dark material such as a bin liner or photographic negative. Makeshift filters may not screen out the harmful infrared radiation that can burn the retina of the eye. Here are some of the best safe methods of observing the magical moment when the Moon moves in front of the Sun. Great American eclipse, in pictures Using a mirror People watch a total solar eclipse from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, an archipelago administered by Norway in 2015.  Credit: AFP Cover a small flat mirror with paper that has a small hole cut in it. The hole does not have to be circular but should be no wider than 5mm. A larger hole will produce a brighter but fuzzier image. Prop up or clamp the mirror so that it reflects the sunlight onto a pale screen or wall, ideally through a window. A projection distance of five metres (16.4 feet) will produce an image of the Sun just over 5cm across. The eclipse can be seen in the image as the Moon starts to take a "bite" out of the Sun, appearing upside down compared with its position in the sky. If clouds move across the face of the Sun, they can be seen as well. The smaller the mirror and further away the wall, the sharper the image will be. Experiment with the distances and mirror size. Do not look into the mirror during the eclipse as this is just as dangerous as looking directly at the Sun. A big advantage of this method is that it allows a number of people to watch the eclipse at the same time - ideal for schools. 10 amazing places in America to watch the 2017 solar eclipse Make a pinhole viewer Pinholes allow light through them and can create an image like a lens. Make a small hole in a piece of card using a compass or other sharp-pointed implement. Standing with your back to the Sun, position another white card behind the one with the pinhole so that the Sun projects an image onto it. An alternative method uses a cereal box or something similar. Make a pinhole in one edge, point it towards the Sun, and a tiny image will be seen projected onto the inside of the box. A piece of white paper or card placed inside will make it easier to see. Never look through the pinhole at the Sun. Projection from binoculars or a telescope Cover one eyepiece of a pair of binoculars with a lens cap and face the "big" end of the binoculars towards the Sun. The uncovered lens will project an image of the Sun that can be cast onto a plain card held about a foot away. Use the focus wheel to sharpen the image. Ideally, the binoculars should be fastened to a tripod or stand. A cardboard "collar" with holes cut to fit the large lenses will shade the card on which the image is projected. A small telescope can be used the same way. Eclipse enthusiasts, photographers and television crews gather to watch a solar eclipse in Washington, US, 1979.  Credit: Randy Wood/The Oregonian via AP Colander method Take an ordinary kitchen colander and stand with your back to the Sun holding it in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. The holes in the colander can be used to project multiple eclipse images onto the paper. An ordinary kitchen colander can be used to see an eclipse safely. Eclipse viewing glasses These are the only way of viewing the eclipse directly, other than through a telescope fitted with a professional filter. Similar to 3D glasses, eclipse viewers are made from card and inlaid with a special material that cuts the Sun's light down 100,000 times. If using a viewer, check for holes or scratches as it is only safe if undamaged. Eclipse viewers are being given away free with the Society for Popular Astronomy's members' magazine and the BBC's Sky at Night magazine. Watch the footage of the eclipse on TV It might sound boring but the safest way to see an eclipse is to view it indirectly from the comfort of your home.

Drone used to smuggle meth across US-Mexico border

Drone used to smuggle meth across US-Mexico border13 pounds of drugs seized, worth an estimated $50 thousand

How to watch a livestream of the solar eclipse

How to watch a livestream of the solar eclipseIf cloud cover, work or geography stand in the way of witnessing Monday's solar eclipse, don't despair. There are plenty of other ways to bear witness to the first total solar eclipse to cross the North American continent in 99 years.

Illinois town gears up to become heart of U.S. eclipse

Illinois town gears up to become heart of U.S. eclipseBy Elly Park CARBONDALE, Ill. (Reuters) - The small southern Illinois town of Carbondale was revving up on Sunday to become eclipse central on the eve of a total solar eclipse that will traverse the continental United States for the first time in 99 years.     Carbondale is a few miles north of the point of greatest duration of the celestial event and will have a total eclipse for two minutes and 38 seconds on Monday. Many residents of Carbondale, a town of 26,000 people 70 miles (112 km) southeast of St. Louis, have been capitalizing on the celestial blackout, from renting out their homes to creating eclipse-themed merchandise.     Artist Matt Sronkoski has been selling hand-painted eclipse T-shirts for months and said he had created hundreds of individual designs.

Millions pour into US towns in path of total eclipse

Millions pour into US towns in path of total eclipseOn Monday, when a total solar eclipse sweeps across the United States for the first time in 99 years, people gathering in Charleston, South Carolina, will be the last on the continent to experience it. Historic Charleston, with its cobblestone streets and elegant antebellum mansions, was clearly a-bustle on Sunday, in full pre-eclipse mode. Its restaurants were packed and downtown parking was at a premium as excited locals and tourists -- possessors of the prized solar glasses that make eclipse-viewing safe -- strolled cheerfully along the seafront Battery promenade.

Eclipse science: From galloping giraffes to solar wisps

Eclipse science: From galloping giraffes to solar wispsNASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — The giraffes ran in circles. The flamingos huddled together. And the rhinos just looked confused.

Everything you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

Everything you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipseOn August 21, 2017, parts of the United States will be treated to a total solar...

Why You Shouldn’t Take A Total Solar Eclipse Selfie

Why You Shouldn’t Take A Total Solar Eclipse SelfieEclipse selfies, and selfies with the sun in general, are not wise decisions. Here's why.

People Need to Calm Down About Their Pets and the Solar Eclipse

People Need to Calm Down About Their Pets and the Solar EclipseDo your cat and dog need glasses? We asked an expert.

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News for nerds, stuff that matters

iPhone 8's 3D Face Scanner Will Work In 'Millionths of a Second'

According to a report by the Korea Herald, Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 will ditch the fingerprint identification in favor of 3D face recognition, which will work "in the millionths of a second." PhoneArena reports: The Samsung Galaxy series were among the first mainstream devices to feature iris recognition, but the speed and accuracy of the current technology leave a lot to be desired, and maybe that is why current phones ship with an eye scanner AND a fingerprint reader. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is expected to make a full dive into 3D scanning. Both Samsung and Apple are rumored to have tried to implement a fingerprint scanner under the display glass, but failed as the technology was not sufficiently advanced. The new iPhone will also introduce 3D sensors on both its front and back for Apple's new augmented reality (AR) platform. This latest report also reveals that Apple will not use curved edges for its iPhone 8 screen, but will instead use a flat AMOLED panel. The big benefit of using AMOLED for Apple thus is not the curve, but its thinner profile compared to an LCD screen.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DJI Spark Owners Must Update Firmware By September, Or Their Machines Will Be Bricked

garymortimer shares a report from sUAS News: News has arrived of a mandatory firmware update from DJI. Owners of DJI's latest and smallest quadcopter must update their firmware by September the 1st or their machines will automatically ground themselves. The Firmware update apparently is to stop in flight shutdowns that have been occurring. So no bad thing to fix, a safety issue. Perhaps questionable is DJI's ability to brick other peoples property if required. The "Kill Switch" option is already causing consternation in user groups.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Third Party Trackers On Web Shops Can Identify Users Behind Bitcoin Transactions

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Help Net Security: More and more shopping websites accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, but users should be aware that these transactions can be used to deanonymize them -- even if they are using blockchain anonymity techniques such as CoinJoin. Independent researcher Dillon Reisman and Steven Goldfeder, Harry Kalodner and Arvind Narayanan from Princeton University have demonstrated that third-party online tracking provides enough information to identify a transaction on the blockchain, link it to the user's cookie and, ultimately, to the user's real identity. "Based on tracking cookies, the transaction can be linked to the user's activities across the web. And based on well-known Bitcoin address clustering techniques, it can be linked to their other Bitcoin transactions," they noted. "We show that a small amount of additional information, namely that two (or more) transactions were made by the same entity, is sufficient to undo the effect of mixing. While such auxiliary information is available to many potential entities -- merchants, other counterparties such as websites that accept donations, intermediaries such as payment processors, and potentially network eavesdroppers -- web trackers are in the ideal position to carry out this attack," they pointed out.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Disney Will Price Streaming Service At $5 Per Month, Analyst Says

Earlier this month, Disney announced it would end its distribution deal with Netflix and launch its own streaming service in 2019. Now, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, we have learned that Disney's new streaming service will be priced around $5 per month in order to drive wider adoption. FierceCable reports: Nathanson said that the new Disney streaming service and the upcoming ESPN streaming service need a clear distinction. The ESPN service will likely test different prices as it prepares ESPN to be ready to go fully over-the-top, according to the report, but the Disney service is about building asset value instead of taking licensing money from SVOD deals. At $5 per month in ARPU, Nathanson sees revenues from the Disney streaming service ranging from $34 million to $38 million in the first year and more than $230 million by year three. But with the loss of Netflix licensing revenues and accelerated marketing costs for launching the new service, Nathanson predicted Disney's losses will increase by about $200 million to $425 million per year. If Disney's new streaming service does end up costing around $5 per month, could you justify paying for it?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Energy Firm Slapped With $65,000 Fine For Making 1.5 Million Nuisance Calls

A UK firm offering people energy-saving solutions has been fined after making almost 1.5 million unsolicited calls without checking if the numbers were registered on the UK's opt-out database. From a report: Southampton-based Home Logic used a dialler system to screen the telephone numbers that it planned to call against the Telephone Preference Service register, which allows people to opt out of receiving marketing calls. This system was unavailable for at least 90 days out of the 220 between April 2015 and March 2016 due to technical issues -- but that didn't stop Home Logic from continuing to make phone calls. Some 1,475,969 were made in that time. And, as a result, Blighty's data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office received 133 complaints about the firm from people who had registered with the TPS and did not expect to be picking up the phone to marketeers. It ruled that the biz had breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and duly fined it 50,000 pound ($64,500).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Scientists Create Smart Labels To Tell You When To Throw Away Expired Food and Makeup

At the 254th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers are presenting a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can let you know when to toss food and cosmetics. The sensor can detect antioxidants in tea and wine, and be used to explore remote locations, such as the Amazon rainforest, in search of natural sources of antioxidants. "I've always been interested in developing technologies that are accessible to both industry and the general population," Silvana Andreescu, Ph.D., says. "My lab has built a versatile sensing platform that incorporates all the needed reagents for detection in a piece of paper. At the same time, it is adaptable to different targets, including food contaminants, antioxidants and free radicals that indicate spoilage." Phys.Org reports: What sets Andreescu's sensors apart from others, she says, are the nanostructures they use to catch and bind to compounds they're looking for. "Most people working on similar sensors use solutions that migrate on channels," Andreescu says. "We use stable, inorganic particles that are redox active. When they interact with the substances we want to detect, they change color, and the intensity of the change tells us how concentrated the analyte is." Additionally, because all of the reagents needed to operate the device are incorporated in the paper, users don't need to add anything other than the sample being tested. The American Chemical Society has published a video detailing the sensor. Their paper has been published in the journal Analyst.

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Leading Chinese Bitcoin Miner Wants To Cash In On AI

hackingbear writes: Bitmain, the most influential company in the bitcoin economy by the sheer amount of processing power, or hash rate, that it controls, plans to unleash its bitcoin mining ASIC technology to AI applications. The company designed a new deep learning processor Sophon, named after a alien-made, proton-sized supercomputer in China's seminal science-fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem . The idea is to etch in silicon in some of the most common deep learning algorithms, thus greatly boosting efficiency. Users will be able to apply their own datasets and build their own models on these ASICs, allowing the resulting neural networks to generate results and learn from those results at a far quicker pace. The company hopes that thousands of Bitmain Sophon units soon could be training neural networks in vast data centers around the world.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Outlines the Upgrade Procedures For Xbox One X

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The easiest way to get all your games to the new system, as outlined by Microsoft Vice President Mike Ybarra, will be to just put them on an external USB hard drive and then plug that drive into the new console. "All your games are ready to play" immediately after this external hard drive move, he said, and user-specific settings can also be copied via external hard drive in the same way. If you don't have an external drive handy, "we're going to let you copy games and apps off your home network instead of having to manually move them or redownload them off the Internet," Ybarra said. It's unclear right now if Microsoft will mirror the PS4 Pro and allow this kind of system-to-system transfer using an Ethernet cable plugged directly into both consoles. For those who want to see as many pixels as possible as quickly as possible when they get their Xbox One X, Ybarra says you'll be able to download 4K updates for supported games before the Xbox One X is even available, then use those updates immediately after the system transfer. Microsoft also released a list of 118 current and upcoming games that will be optimized for the Xbox One X via updates, a big increase from the few dozens announced back at E3.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Android O Is Now Officially Android Oreo

Android O is now officially going by the name of Android Oreo. The operating system is available today via Google's Android Open Source Project. OTA rollout is expected to arrive first to Pixel and Nexus devices, with builds currently in carrier testing. The Verge reports: The use of an existing brand makes sense for Google here -- there aren't a ton of good "O" dessert foods out there, and Oreos are pretty much as universally beloved as a cookie can be. There's also precedent for the partnership, as Google had previously teamed up with Nestle and Hershey's to call Android 4.4 KitKat.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Does the World Need Polymaths?

Two hundred years ago, it was still possible for one person to be a leader in several different fields of inquiry. Today that is no longer the case. So is there a role in today's world for the polymath -- someone who knows a lot about a lot of things? From a report: Bobby Seagull's fist-pumping and natty dressing, and Eric Monkman's furrowed brow, flashing teeth, contorted facial expressions and vocal delivery -- like a fog horn with a hangover -- made these two young men the stars of the last University Challenge competition. [...] They're still recognised in the street. "People often ask me, do you intimidate people with your knowledge," says Monkman. "But the opposite is the case. I have wide knowledge but no deep expertise. I am intimidated by experts." Seagull, like Monkman, feels an intense pressure to specialise. They regard themselves as Jacks-of-all-Trades, without being master of one. "When I was young what I really wanted to do was know a lot about a lot," says Monkman. "Now I feel that if I want to make a novel contribution to society I need to know a great deal about one tiny thing." The belief that researchers need to specialise goes back at least two centuries. From the beginning of the 19th Century, research has primarily been the preserve of universities. Ever since, says Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, researchers have labels attached to them. "They're professor of this or that, and you get a much more self-conscious sense of the institutional divides between domains of knowledge."

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Meeting and Hotel Booking Provider's Data Found in Public Amazon S3 Bucket

Leaks of personal and business information from unsecured Amazon S3 buckets are piling up. From a report: The latest belongs to Groupize, a Boston-area business that sells tools to manage small group meetings as well as a booking engine that handles hotel room-block reservations. Researchers at Kromtech Security found a publicly accessible bucket containing business and personal data, including contracts and agreements between hotels, customers and Groupize, Kromtech said. The data included some credit card payment authorization forms that contained full payment card information including expiration data and CVV code. The researchers said the database stored in S3 contained numerous folders, below; one called "documents" held close to 3,000 scanned contracts and agreements, while another called all_leads had more than 3,100 spreadsheets containing critical Groupize business data including earnings. There were 37 other folders in the bucket containing tens of thousands of files, most of them storing much more benign data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cord-Cutting Still Doesn't Beat the Cable Bundle

I'd like to cut the cord, writes Brian Barrett for Wired, then, the very instant I allow myself to picture what life looks like after that figurative snip, my reverie comes crashing down. From an article: Cutting the cord is absolutely right for some people. Lots of people, maybe. But it's not that cheap, and it's not that easy, and there's not much hope of improvement on either front any time soon. Not to turn this into a math experiment, but let's consider cost. Assuming you're looking for a cord replacement, not abandoning live television altogether, you're going to need a service that bundles together a handful of channels and blips them to your house over the internet. The cheapest way you can accomplish this is to pay Sling TV $20 per month, for which you get 29 channels. That sounds not so bad, and certainly less than your cable bill. But! Sling Orange limits you to a single stream. If you're in a household with others, you'll probably want Sling Blue, which offers multiple streams and 43 channels for $25 per month. But! Sling Orange and Sling Blue have different channel lineups (ESPN is on Orange, not Blue, while Orange lacks FX, Bravo and any locals). For full coverage, you can subscribe to both for $40. But! Have kids? You'll want the Kids Extra package for another $5 per month. Love ESPNU? Grab that $5 per month sports package. HBO? $15 per month, please. Presto, you're up to $65 per month. But! Don't forget the extra $5 for a cloud-based DVR. Plus the high-speed internet service that you need to keep your stream from buffering, which, by the way, it'll do anyway. That's not to pick on Sling TV, specifically. But paying $70 to quit cable feels like smoking a pack of Parliaments to quit Marlboro Lights. You run into similar situations across the board, whether it's a higher base rate, or a limited premium selection, or the absence of local programming altogether. It turns out, oddly enough, that things cost money, whether you access those things through traditional cable packages or through a modem provided to you by a traditional cable operator.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Driverless Cars Need a Lot More Than Software, Ford CTO Says

In an interview, Ken Washington, Ford's Chief Technical Officer, shared company's views on how autonomy will change car design. From an article: The biggest influence will be how the cars are bought, sold and used: "You would design those vehicles differently depending on what business model (is being used). We're working through that business model question right now," he said. The biggest misconceptions about autonomous capabilities is that it's only about software: "People are imagining that the act of doing software for autonomy is all you need to do and then you can just bolt it to the car," he said. "I don't think it's possible to describe what an autonomous vehicle is going to look like," he added.

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Supreme Court Asked To Nullify the Google Trademark

Is the term "google" too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That's the question before the US Supreme Court. From a report: What's before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet." "There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine," according to the petition to the Supreme Court. It's perhaps one of the most consequential trademark case before the justices since they ruled in June that offensive trademarks must be allowed. The Google trademark dispute dates to 2012 when a man named Chris Gillespie registered 763 domain names that combined "google" with other words and phrase, including ""

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Intel Launches 8th Generation Core CPUs

Reader joshtops writes: Today Intel is launching its new 8th Generation family of processors, starting with four CPUs for the 15W mobile family. There are two elements that make the launch of these 8th Gen processors different. First is that the 8th Gen is at a high enough level, running basically the same microarchitecture as the 7th Gen. But the key element is that, at the same price and power where a user would get a dual core i5-U or i7-U in their laptop, Intel will now be bumping those product lines up to quad-cores with hyperthreading. This gives a 100% gain in cores and 100% gain in threads. Obviously nothing is for free, so despite Intel stating that they've made minor tweaks to the microarchitecture and manufacturing to get better performing silicon, the base frequencies are down slightly. Turbo modes are still high, ensuring a similar user experience in most computing tasks. Memory support is similar -- DDR4 and LPDDR3 are supported, but not LPDDR4 -- although DDR4 moves up to DDR4-2400 from DDR4-2133. Another change from 7th Gen to 8th Gen will be in the graphics. Intel is upgrading the nomenclature of the integrated graphics from HD 620 to UHD 620, indicating that the silicon is suited for 4K playback and processing.

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