Brandon Gaither

Brandon Gaither

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Following 24
US
Get ready, because this week’s space photos are nothing short of epic.First we’re starting out close to home, just 43 light minutes away at Jupiter.NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently completed its tenth orbit around this behemoth of a planet.Juno is in a polar orbit, meaning it flies over the north pole, quickly around the curve of the planet, and back out below the south pole—all at an astounding speed of around 100,000 miles per hour.Each pass the spacecraft makes allows for more scientific research, and Juno manages to take some pretty mind-bending images at the same time.The gorgeous imagery continues if you speed outward to a star cluster called NGC 3201.
UK
Albert Einstein demonstrated that Newton’s laws of motion break down when dealing with very large masses.He created his theory of general relativity to account for this: gravity is a manifestation of the warping of space-time caused by massive bodies like the sun.The researchers set out to perform the largest test yet of something called Einstein’s equivalence principle.As Antonio Genova, the author of the study from MIT, described the principle: “You are not able to distinguish between a uniform gravitational field and an accelerated reference frame.” It’s like when you’re in an lift: You may feel like gravity is pulling on you more or less, but really you’re just accelerating.That’s basically comparing how much you weigh on Earth versus if you were in a rocket ship accelerating to perfectly reproduce Earth’s gravity (approximately 10 metres per second squared).The MESSENGER data showed that Einstein still isn’t wrong, of course.
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UK
Tech firms are removing more hate speech faster than before – so now EU lawmakers want them to improve their feedback to users.According to the European Commission's latest review of the big four internet firms' action against illegal content online, the removal rate is, on average, 70 per cent of content reported.That's an increase from the last assessment, carried out in May 2017, where the removal rate was 59 per cent, and a big boost from the first such report, in 2016, when it was 28 per cent.The Commission praised the progress, but was quick to point out Facebook et al's flaws, saying that feedback to users is "still lacking for nearly a third of notifications on average" and must be improved.The review covers the companies that have signed up to the European Union's Code of Conduct – a voluntary set of rules with the aim of countering the spread of illegal hate speech online.Signing up to the code is another outward indication that the firms are taking online hate speech seriously – businesses are falling over themselves to be seen to be doing something, pushed on by the near-constant threat of extra legislation.
UK
Scientists have been working for a long time to develop testing methods that will detect cancer earlier and with less invasive tests.A team of researchers from John Hopkins University is now testing a new method of detecting the disease that is much faster and easier than other methods available.The new test is meant to be something that people will have performed annually to catch cancer early on and make outcomes of fighting the disease better.Experts on the disease are calling the new test “enormously exciting.” More research is needed to ensure that the test is effective, but early work shows promise.The blood test works by looking for tiny traces of mutated DNA that tumors release into the bloodstream.The test, called CancerSEEK, is able to look for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer patients and for eight proteins that are often released in cancer patients.
US
"While getting to zero alcohol-impaired driving deaths sounds like an overly ambitious goal, it builds on the momentum of Vision Zero, an approach that recognizes that traffic-related fatalities are not just 'accidents,' but rather are embedded in a network of events and circumstances with causal links that can be averted," said committee chair Steven Teutsch, adjunct professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, senior fellow at the Public Health Institute, and senior fellow at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California.Most strategies to reduce alcohol-impaired driving have focused on decreasing the likelihood that someone will drive after they are already impaired by alcohol through traditional enforcement and criminal justice approaches; however, broadening the focus to also encompass reducing drinking to the point of impairment is critically important, the report says.Federal and state governments should increase alcohol taxes significantly, the report says.Strong evidence shows that higher alcohol taxes reduce binge drinking and alcohol-related motor vehicle crash fatalities, yet alcohol taxes have declined in inflation-adjusted terms at both federal and state levels, and taxes do not cover the costs attributable to alcohol-related harms.Federal, state, and local governments should use their existing regulatory powers to strengthen and implement standards for permissible alcohol marketing content and placement across all media, establish consequences for violations, and promote and fund counter-marketing campaigns, the report says.In addition, the alcohol industry's self-regulation of its marketing is ineffective and insufficient because the voluntary standards are permissive and vague, not consistently followed, and without penalties for violations.
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Whether you’re bundling up to hit the slopes, snow camping, or ascending a mountain summit, your outerwear needs a strong foundation to keep you moving at your best.Stio teamed up with Polartec to craft a new line of Power Wool baselayers for this season — designed with innovative technology that combines the best worlds of merino wool and synthetic fibers.This hybrid fabric utilizes what nature provided — infused with science — to serve as the ultimate winter baselayer for any outdoor adventure.While traditional blended yarn compositions are fraught with many disadvantages, Polartec took the individual fabrics and incorporated them into fused layers on separate physical plains for its unique Power Wool line.The company uses merino wool on the inside to provide for warmth (even when wet), breathability, odor resistance, and comfort.The superior durability and longevity of synthetic fibers.
US
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" is just four months away from release, and all we really know about its plot so far is this official synopsis released by Lucasfilm Tuesday:From that, we can gleam that the movie will detail the first adventure shared by a younger Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).The film also stars "Game of Thrones" favorite Emilia Clarke, "Westworld" star Thandie Newton, "Avengers" star Paul Bettany and Star Wars veteran actor Warwick Davis -- but very, very little is known about all of them.The film is still set for a May 25 release, even though the film went through a director change in June in which Ron Howard took over from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.Should the movie hit that release date, it will also be the shortest wait we've ever had between Star Wars films following the December 2017 release of "The Last Jedi."
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UK
The next article of the series looks at the importance managing the demand for services across a business, looking at how this is not an impossible mission.In the first in this series of articles, we looked at how the demand for consumerised services within the organisation is growing, and how functions from HR to facilities and finance are gearing up to cope with this demand using service management techniques.Organisations are starting to recognise that the same self-service concepts that they use to meet their external customers’ demands can be translated into better service delivery internally.IT departments have led the way in this respect, through automated service management providing things like the ability to order a new piece of equipment in a self-service portal, or log a support request and get notifications about its progress.Now, there is a widespread move to extend the use of this technology to a range of business services, creating automated workflows and self-service portals, and moving away from unstructured platforms such as email and telephone help-lines.‘Time to use’ can be one of the key factors putting businesses off, but service management can be implemented quickly through cloud platforms, and show rapid returns in terms saved time and money.
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US
There is water on Mars, and it’s easily accessible.Pack your bags, friends, because we’re headed to a new planet.Not really, of course, but the discovery does suggest that future missions to the Red Planet would be able to attain drinking water and make rocket fuel, both of which would be crucial to their success.The discovery was made using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and involves “eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars’ surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes,” according to a NASA news release.The ice deposits could help scientists glean more information about underground ice sheets in the middle latitudes of Mars, which had previously gone undetected.Researchers believe that the ice initially took the form of snow many, many years ago.
UK
Yui Mok - PA Images via Getty ImagesThe BBC faced a fierce backlash from female MPs, campaigners and even its own stars, after veteran presenter John Humphrys worked as normal on Friday despite mocking its gender pay gap.The presenter, who fronted BBC Radio 4′s Today programme as normal on Friday morning, was revealed to be paid more than £600,000 last year, making him one of the Beeb’s highest-paid stars.And the row grew further after former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly claimed she had invite to appear on Today withdrawn because of the leaked comments.Labour’s Stella Creasy told HuffPost UK that it was “unfair” some stars have been stopped from speaking while Humphrys continued to work.“This shows the BBC needs to ensure equal pay rather than using editorial guidelines to try to prevent presenters talking about this issue,” the Walthamstow MP said.
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The first three-dimensional structure of DHHC proteins--enzymes involved in many cellular processes, including cancer--explains how they function and may offer a blueprint for designing therapeutic drugs.Researchers have proposed blocking DHHC activity to boost the effectiveness of first-line treatments against common forms of lung and breast cancer.However, there are currently no licensed drugs that target specific DHHC enzymes.The study, led by researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), appears in the latest issue of Science.DHHC enzymes, also called palmitoyltransferases, modify other proteins by attaching to them a chain of lipids, or fatty acids, of varying lengths.Researchers estimate that nearly 1,000 human proteins undergo palmitoylation, including epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs).
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Generally speaking, at CES and elsewhere, when a company says something is powered by AI, they’re blowing smoke.And while smoke was definitely blown at LG’s otherwise unremarkable press conference this morning, the company also announced it was applying AI in a way that’s both unexpected and smart: intelligently enhancing TV images using computer vision.Now, before anyone accuses me of falling for the hype, let me just say that this feature is totally unnecessary and probably a bad idea in a lot of ways — a high-quality and correctly calibrated display panel will give you an excellent image, and things like motion interpolation and intelligent detail enhancement may only worsen it.The basic issue is this: given an image on the screen, there are different things that need to happen to make it look better.Color banding can be smoothed, for instance, but if that smoothing operation covers the whole screen, it might obscure important details.So you only want to smooth part of the screen, while perhaps sharpening the more high-contrast parts.
UK
While having a security camera means that you get a good picture of the person who’s broken into your house, what would be much better is a device that stops them from breaking in at all.That’s the principle that seems to be at work in European home tech company Somfy’s new Outdoor Camera, being sold by Somfy as “The most deterring outdoor security camera on the market”.The camera has motion detection, and the now fairly ubiquitous ‘human identification’ ability that allows cameras to discern a human from any other creature.When a human being is identified in close proximity to the camera, a warning is issued from the onboard microphone.If enough time passes and the intruder hasn’t left the area, the Outdoor Camera then sets off a 110dB siren to try and scare them off.For reference, 110dB is equivalent to a live rock concert, just on the verge of the human pain threshold.
US
The wildly popular smartphone app "HQ Trivia" surpassed 1 million concurrent players for the first time on Sunday night.The game recently expanded to Android phones, which likely accounts for the huge jump in the number of players lately.A $10,000 prize was up for grabs on Sunday night's game, which was divided between around 400 winners.The hottest smartphone app of 2017 is only getting bigger in 2018.More than 1.2 million people logged on to play "HQ Trivia" on Sunday night — a new record for the app and a huge amount of players for any game, let alone at one time.Players log on at specific times, twice on weekdays and once each day on weekends, to participate in a live trivia game.
UK
You might associate Mophie with battery cases for your smartphone, but the company is wading into beefier power territory with the new Powerstation AC.Latest – and largest – in the company’s universal battery line-up, the Powerstation AC not only has a huge power pack inside, but offers both USB and AC outputs.Inside, the Mophie Powerstation AC packs a hefty 22,000 mAh battery.Just to put that into context, the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a battery roughly a quarter of that, while an iPhone X has a mere 2,716 mAh battery.However, if you need more power, or more connector flexibility, there’s also an AC outlet.It delivers 100W AC output, which means that most laptop adapters, camera chargers, or other electronic devices that would typically need to be plugged into the wall can run on the Powerstation AC instead.
China
HMD Global has been in the news headlines lately as the anticipation for its Nokia 9 flagship and other rumored Nokia branded phones get intense.Few hours after the rumored Nokia 6 2018 appeared in a teaser image released by Suning, the device has now appeared on the GeekBench database, confirming some of the specs already in the public domain.The Nokia 6 2018 with model number TA-1054 tested on the Gekkbench platform uses the Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform with 2.21GHz clock speed coupled with 4GB and will boot Android 8.0 out of the box.As far as performance is concerned, the Nokia 6 2018 with model number TA-1054 pulled a total of 863 and 4163 points in the single-core and multi-core tests, in that order.While the Geekbench is usually conservative in revealing more details, it is worth noting that the device in question was approved by China’s regulatory agency TENAA where a few other details were revealed.As per TENAA’ listing, the device measuring 148.8 x 75.8 x 8.15 mm is expected to feature a 5.5” with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (16:9 aspect ratio), while the camera functions will be handled by a 16MP sensor on the rear and an 8MP above the display for selfies.
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Shares of Netflix spiked Tuesday morning after Macquarie gave the stock a $220 price target.The bank says Netflix will continue to dominate any existing and future streaming service.Shares of Netflix spiked 4.42% Tuesday morning, crossing $200 mark for the first time since October, after Macquarie upgraded the streaming video giant from neutral to outperform.The upgrade was "part of a broad realignment of views on media," analyst Tim Nollen said in a note to clients Tuesday."Where we prefer companies with subscription over ad-driven content, and scaled distribution with an international presence.We also appreciate the improving quality of Netflix’s revenue and earnings."
UK
Russian-born Pavel Lerner, a well-known cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur, was kidnapped in Kiev on Boxing Day and has since been releasedPavel Lerner, a Russian cryptocurrency expert working for Exmo, a UK-registered exchange, was abducted by masked individuals on Boxing Day, according to local reports.Exmo said it had re-established contact with Lerner on Friday, 29 December, and that he was unharmed.“At the moment, he is safe, and there was no physical harm inflicted on him,” the company said in a statement.“Nevertheless, Pavel is currently in a state of major stress, therefore, he will not provide any official comments in the coming days.”The abduction is under investigation by security authorities in the country, Exmo said.
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As we enter 2018, it’s clear the expectations of intelligent assistance providers and enterprise practitioners are more in balance than ever before.It’s also clear that the number of “known knowns” is growing rapidly.Humans prove long-term value in onboarding, training, and tuningIAs have a near immediate negative impact on operating costs and positive impact on customer satisfaction, but their ability to replace live agents and assistants is vastly overrated.To the contrary, the need to monitor and constantly tune responses to keep them relevant and satisfactory to prospects and customers is growing and will provide a source of new of jobs and permanent employment.Some solution providers are better than others at recognizing context, promoting turn-taking, and allowing customers’ minds to wander and jump around topics, but the game board is still largely governed by statistics and branches on logic trees that can come up empty.
US
In 2014, as bitcoin rose in value to be worth several hundred dollars, many developers launched their own alternative cryptocurrencies, and ones that came with interesting backstories often grabbed media attention.Some of these coins were for the porn industry, others were for hip hop lovers, and some were actually serious contenders against Bitcoin that have become quite lucrative for investors.Today, there are now more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies out there and given how volatile this market is, few could have predicted where these currencies ended up today.Some of these currencies like Dogecoin have grown more popular over time, while others like Coinye West are now defunct.I’ve taken a look at four of the silliest and most serious bitcoin alternatives to track where they are now.People in general just take Dogecoin a bit less seriously than other cryptocurrencies, but it’s still traded frequently at a volume of $46 million.
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