“No centralised control, no single point of failure, no fixed shape…”MIT researchers have developed Particle Robotics, a new form of simple robotics that do not need to communicate directly with each other to move in unison and will continue to move even if a large portion of the system is destroyed.The system comprises individual cells or disc-shaped “particles” that interconnect to form a larger system of devices that can transport objects.When several devices are side by side their expansion and contraction is timed so they move like a wave in a chosen direction, in this case towards a light source which is integral to the synchronised motion of the particles.With this data an algorithm programmed into each device times an expansion and contraction which propels the mass of robots towards the light source moving any object along with them.Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia Engineering, commented in a blog on the technology that: “The key novelty here is that you have a new kind of robot that has no centralized control, no single point of failure, no fixed shape, and its components have no unique identity.”
A former Amazon warehouse employee has filed a complaint against the company claiming he was fired for speaking out about its working conditions.Rashad Long worked at the Staten Island warehouse, and in December participated in a protest over Amazon's planned HQ2 expansion.An Amazon spokeswoman said Long was fired because he violated a "serious safety policy," a claim Long says is "bogus."A former Amazon warehouse worker has filed a complaint against the tech giant, saying he was fired as retaliation for speaking out about its working conditions.It follows his appearance at protests against Amazon's HQ2 plans in New York.On Wednesday, New York labour union, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, filed a complaint on Long's behalf with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the retailer has violated federal law.
Redmond's anti-malware now coming to a Mac near youMicrosoft nudged the Windows brand further out of the limelight today by thwacking its anti-malware package with the rebranding stick.The change is necessary, as Microsoft is unleashing its endpoint protection platform onto the hitherto virgin territory of macOS.Windows Defender first put in an appearance in Windows XP as an anti-malware component, evolving over the years until being renamed Windows Defender Antivirus as the software dug itself deeper into the Windows 10 operating system.The Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) incarnation extended the functionality for Microsoft 365 customers, adding in detection and exploration over devices and identities, as well as automation to clean up the messes inflicted by miscreants where possible.In February the gang added "Microsoft Threat Experts" into the mix, to speed up the response to threats.
MMR boosting exists mainly in multiplayer games where high rankings serve as badges of honor and give players the opportunity to face more skilled opponents, with multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games being a prime example.In addition to suspending more noncompliant accounts, the gaming giant released a new set of rules last month stating that livestreamers are not allowed to spread information about software and services that could damage the integrity of its games.MMR boosting services, known as dailian in Chinese, is available for several Tencent games on platforms such as Dailiantong and Dailianmao.Between March 1 and 19 of this year, the top four Tmall stores that offer MMR boosting for “League of Legends” sold more than RMB 6.7 million worth of boosting services.In June 2018, Tencent released an official announcement explaining MMR boosting in “League of Legends” on its game security website and outlining the punishment for the behavior: First-time offenders’ accounts would be suspended for a week, second-time offenders will receive a one-month suspension and have their season-end prize canceled, and repeat offenders will be banned permanently from the game.If a repeat offender registers other accounts and continues violating the rules, the company will also consider issuing a hardware ban on their device, a Tencent spokesperson told TechNode.
Microsoft today made a slew of announcements to help IT pros reduce costs, increase security, and boost employee productivity.The headline items are the launch of Windows Virtual Desktop in public preview and Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for macOS in limited preview.But there are also updates around Office 365 ProPlus, Windows 10, Configuration Manager, Intune, and Microsoft 365.Microsoft announced Windows Virtual Desktop in September, but only made it available as part of a private preview.Now in public preview, the Azure-based service provides a virtualized multi-session Windows 10 experience and Office 365 ProPlus virtual desktop on any device.It supports Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps in a shared public cloud and will even include free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) until January 2023.
Tencent has on Wednesday launched a website for its cloud gaming service named “Start,” allowing users to apply for slots in a closed beta that will be available in Guangdong province and Shanghai.Users can only log in on the website with their QQ accounts, and need to provide information including their phone numbers, broadband providers and bandwidth.They can choose any number of the five available platforms on which to experience the service: Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and TV.The website also asks users to show their “most unique side” in the “reasons for application” section, stating that the closed beta has limited slots.There doesn’t seem to be a word limit for this section.Users not in Guangdong and Shanghai can still submit applications but won’t be able to trial the service until its open beta.
Not everyone is an Apple, Google, or Samsung fan.There are those that swear by other phone manufacturers, including one of the most controversial ones of late.The hype and excitement around Huawei’s upcoming new flagships are starting to rise and some retailers may have gotten swept up by the Huawei P30 fever.With a week left before its scheduled event, two European retailers have accidentally pushed the “Publish” button, revealing the last piece of the puzzle that we needed: the price.It’s not that unusual from some retailers to jump the gun though some did make such moves to generate site traffic with unverified and sometimes incorrect facts.But when Huawei’s own Amazon Italia account makes such a “blunder”, you can’t but assume some credibility.
Intel came to GDC 2019 with Command Center, a sleek and modern new interface for its aging graphics software.Available now from the Microsoft Store, Command Center revises the look, feel, and feature set available to anyone using Intel graphics hardware.It might seem a tepid announcement at first.But a discrete graphics card won’t be great if it’s not supported by solid drivers and good software for controlling the GPU’s features.Chris Hook, Intel’s Graphics and Visual Technologies Marketing Chief, says the design was a balancing act.And the gamer is going to care the most about things like, where is my V-Sync.” Offering all things for all people is never easy, but the Command Center seems to pull it off well, and it looks distinct from the competition.
Inspired by the original Versa, Fitbit’s new Versa Lite is an affordable smartwatch that keeps it simple by cutting the fluff and retaining only the main health and fitness tracking features people use the most.If you’ve just got your own Versa Lite, we’ll walk you through some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you use your new smartwatch to its fullest potential.How to set up the Fitbit Versa LiteBefore you can begin using your Versa Lite smartwatch, you need to take a few minutes and run through the setup which connects the device to your account and configures some basic settings.Once you install the app on your device, open it and either tap Join Fitbit to create a new account or log in to an existing account if you already have one.Use the toggle to turn the All-Day Sync feature off or on.
You're free to bash the BishapBishap Mittal, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, copped to one count of conspiracy to access a protected computer in a federal district court in the west of the US state.A sentencing date has yet to be set.Earlier this month, Mittal was charged regarding his role in the running of Capstone Technologies, a US-based company that, through a call center in New Delhi, India, ran a highly lucrative tech support scam.According to prosecutors' filings [PDF], Mittal and an unnamed coconspirator ran the business side of the operation, including handling bank accounts and setting up aliases for the organzation.The scam itself involved the use of pop-up messages on webpages or in adware to scare victims into calling a support number.
Intel didn’t announce the graphics card at GDC 2019, but the company has announced yet another platform in preparation for them as well as its incoming family of 9th Generation mobile processors.Meet the Intel Graphics Command Center, Team Blue's equivalent of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and AMD’s Radeon Software.Like other graphics software focused suites, Command Center’ s features include automatic game detection and one-click game optimization.To help users understand how specific settings are affecting in-game graphics, the software will show before-and-after images.Initially the Graphics Command Center will only support integrated Intel graphics inside the brand's processors – with the exception of Intel's new KF-series CPUs, of course – because it's the only type of graphics Intel currently offers .However, considering how few users play games with integrated graphics only, we suspect Intel is laying the ground work for its eventual steps into the dedicated GPU market as well as the company's highly anticipated Gen11 graphics, which are said to give iGPUs a real shot in the arm.
Motorola’s big 2019 splash so far has been limited to its mid-range Moto G family.It still hasn’t announced a high-end flagship from the Moto Z series, the line of smartphones that are promised to be compatible with the extremely few Moto Mods available in the wild.It will probably launch one soon if this lone render of a Moto Z4 is any indication.That said, its appearance and its naming are already causing some confusion, raising questions about Motorola’s strategy for this year.Renders of what was then called the Moto Z4 Play appeared at the start of the year, giving hope that a new Moto Z phone was just around that corner.That, of course, never happened.
There are a lot of different Bluetooth speakers on the market, but only a few brands that managed to get it just right.You will always be able to pick up a cheap Bluetooth speaker from Amazon for less than $25, but if you want something with a bit more boom, it starts to get pretty expensive.In fact, we actually gave the UE MegaBoom 3 a nearly perfect 9 out of 10 in our review.With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, it’s no surprise we decided to give these speakers such high marks.So if you’ve been looking to snag a great deal on Bluetooth speaker as we head into spring, now is a great time to do so.Whether you’re relaxing by a pool, enjoying a barbecue, or just feel the need to take your music on the go, the UE MegaBoom will not disappoint.
NASA astronomers have discovered a pulsar zipping though space like a hyperspeed cosmic cannonball, travelling at 2.5 -- five times faster than your average pulsar.At that speed, it's travelling at a startling 694 miles per second.If you could somehow build a cannon capable of firing this pulsar from the starboard side of your pirate ship in the Atlantic Ocean, it would speed around the Earth and hit your port side 35 seconds later.Pirate ships aside, a pulsar is the rapidly rotating, dense star left behind in the wake of a massive supernova explosion.Astronomers believe that the explosion can send the pulsar hurtling through space like a cannonball.This one, named PSR J0002+6216, was discovered using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which originally launched to space in 2008, and a suite of Earth-based radio telescopes known as the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.
Last time we did one of these short film round-ups, we gathered 10 shorts all under 10 minutes.This time, we’ve got seven creator-submitted shorts, most of which run a little longer, but all of which tell some wonderfully twisted tales.So be careful who you go home with, beware that wormhole, and seriously...don’t eat that pizza!Everybody knows the exquisitely frustrating feeling of losing something you were just using.In Alex DiVincenzo’s horror short The Misplaced, an agitated woman realises too late that her mobile phone isn’t on the table, under the couch cushions, or even accidentally left in the freezer.The Worst Planet on Earth
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ll happily argue with you all day long that the new 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible is more of a looker than its coupe sibling.It also happens to be one of the best ways to spend $236,000 and change.Much as was the case with the coupe, though, you’d be entirely wrong for thinking that way.Shorter front and slightly longer rear overhangs emphasize that.The new car is 20-percent lighter and 5-percent stiffer than the car it replaces, and this is despite being equipped with a monstrous 6.0-liter W12 motor.You might think a smaller and lighter turbocharged V8 motor would be the order of the day, Bentley facing the weight and frugality pressures of the auto industry like just about everybody else, but then what would you do if a Rolls Royce Dawn pulls up beside you at a stop light?
The FDA teamed up with FCB New York, an advertising agency, to launch One Leaves, an anti-smoking Xbox and PC game targeted at teenagers.The game is offered under the tobacco prevention campaign “The Real Cost,” and is part of an initiative discouraging teens from picking up the habit.Players are introduced to a horror storyline, one involving, of course, the death and diseases caused by smoking.The premise behind One Leaves is that three out of four teenagers who start smoking will never stop.Smoking for even a short duration can pave the way for a number of diseases, and remains the number one cause of preventable death around the world.The idea is that only one teenager out of four “leaves” smoking, while the rest succumb to addiction.
That still has a Lightning port on the bottom, but the ability to drop your AirPods on a Qi-compatible pad – or the rear of your Samsung Galaxy S10 – and have it top up could be super-convenient to those who have embraced wireless charging.Being able to ask Apple’s assistant for help, to control your music, or just what the battery level of your AirPods is currently – without having to tap them first – could be a big boon, especially if you’re already in the habit of using Siri day to day.Listening time for music is the same as before, with up to five hours promised from a single charge of the earbuds, or more than 24 hours when the case is taken into account.They may not sound like much on paper, but collectively they could make a significant difference to everyday usability.The time it takes to transfer the earbuds’ connection from one device to another can, I’ve found, mean the difference between missing a call because you wanted to answer with AirPods but they were being used with your Mac.Alternatively, just getting them to connect to my MacBook Pro from my iPhone can be a chore, to the point where at times I wonder if I should keep a set of wired headphones to hand, just in case.
Epic Games is among the most profitable companies in the video game industries as the creator of the Unreal Engine and, of course, Fortnite.Its success has been so great over the last few years that Epic is pledging $100 million to help other developers create games — and there isn’t any catch.Called “Epic MegaGrants,” the program commits $100 million to not just game developers, but media creators of any kind, as well as students, teachers, and tool developers.Individual grants will be anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000, and Epic does not require that it is the publisher, nor does it take ownership of any created intellectual property.“At Epic we succeed when developers succeed,” CEO Tim Sweeney said in a press release.“With Epic MegaGrants, we’re reinvesting in all areas of the Unreal Engine development community and also committing to accelerate the open sourcing of content, tools, and knowledge.
Well, at least it’s not as bad as “Genisys.”Though it was previously reported to just be a working title, Deadline reports that the upcoming sixth Terminator film is now, officially, called Terminator: Dark Fate.We actually confirmed it with Paramount and the official Twitter account has already been rebranded.Directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by James Cameron, Dark Fate brings back franchise stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in what is being planned as the first in a new series of Terminator films.Which, it should be pointed out, is exactly what everyone said when both Terminator Genisys was released in 2015 and Terminator Salvation was released in 2009.This film will reportedly ignore those movies, though (as well as 2003's Terminator: Rise of the Machines).