Dwight Black

Dwight Black

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US
Bouldering traditionally means traveling a short distance off the beaten path, laying down crash pads, and attempting to navigate routes to the top of large rocks.Its overwhelming appeal is often bolstered by a short approach you could manage in your flip-flops — as opposed to rock climbing or mountaineering, which often requires long-distance travel to far away places.Because of this, most bouldering pads are big and bulky with harness systems designed for carrying short distances.But for those who want to seek out the remote boulders of the backcountry, Organic Climbing has teamed up with Mystery Ranch to design the perfect pad for you — the Backcountry Pad.The pad is based on Organic Climbing’s popular Big Pad and measures 46 inches by 58 inches when laid flat.It provides about as much landing support a single pad is capable of providing, comprising one inch of top-layer memory foam, one inch of urethane rubber closed-cell foam to prevent users from bottoming out, and three inches of open-cell foam to provide for a cushy landing.
China
360 Enterprise Security Group, also known as Qihoo 360, is running China’s newly opened and first cybersecurity innovation center.The company has been in the news recently both at home and abroad for helping out the FBI but causing upset with its security camera spying platform.China opened its first cybersecurity innovation center on Tuesday which aims to use civil-military integration as part of the country’s cyber defenses, the People’s Daily reported.To begin with the center will build systems to protect military-related internet services and a mechanism for sharing threat intelligence.It will encourage private sector involvement, working with small and medium companies to cooperate on RThe center will also set up a fund for cybersecurity innovation investment and may even look into how to assemble cyber militia and teams to monitor and analyze ongoing threats.It was established by the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development and “related military bodies”.
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There were supposed to be two, but it seems there can only be one, at least for now.HTC has backed out of making Google’s daydream of a standalone Daydream VR headset but Lenovo has not.Being an FCC entry, there isn’t much to be gleaned from the docs, but at least we now have a name: the Lenovo Mirage Solo.Nothing in Daydream’s design requires it to be powered by a phone, only that it be powered by Android, which practically means running on phone-like hardware.Of course, Android has been made to run on more than just those, so a standalone Daydream VR headset isn’t exactly far-fetched.It only needs someone to make one.
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In fact, Asian airlines have occupied the top spot since 2007.Every year, consumer aviation website Skytrax releases its list of the best airlines in the world.Why it's awesome: Once again, South Korea's Asiana earns high marks from Skytrax for its cabin crew, cleanliness, and economy class products.Reviewers on Skytrax praised Japan's second largest airline for its attentive service, well-coordinated ground staff, and comfortable cabin.Economy fliers on Skytrax also noted the crew's friendly demeanor and delectable dining options.In 2017, Thai Airways took home the award for the World's Best Economy Class, the World's Best Economy Class Onboard Catering, and the World's Best Airline Spa Facilities.
US
Fans of comedian Dave Chappelle will have a particularly good kick-off to the new year, thanks to Netflix.The streaming video service will premiere not one but two stand-up comedy specials featuring Chappelle on New Year’s Eve this year, according to an announcement.Along with the previously announced Equanimity special, Netflix will also debut Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation that same day.Netflix announced the double bill of Chappelle comedy via a video teaser for the shows, which offered a preview of both specials.Equanimity and The Bird Revelation are Chappelle’s third and fourth stand-up specials for Netflix this year, following Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits and The Age of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live at the Hollywood Palladium.The specials are part of a deal that initially had Chappelle release three stand-up shows exclusively to Netflix in 2017, only to have the fourth show announced this week.
UK
Last week, we published a report on using data science in policy.The report covers eight exemplar projects from our new data science team, ranging from improving school and GP inspections to avoiding road traffic collisions.In all of these cases, we found that using machine learning on publicly available data means we can spot struggling institutions sooner, and help them to improve.The report has spurred a lot of interest, discussion and debate.We believe it’s vital that we make the most of emerging technologies to improve the lives of citizens.But using data science in areas this complex and varied is always going to present challenges.
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UK
A scant couple of weeks after Facebook revealed its in-house music library for budding content creators, the social media site has announced a partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), a conglomerate that owns the souls of hundreds of popular performing musicians.According to UMG, the company will license its music catalogs for “video and other social experiences across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus.” I’m not sure what “other social experiences” could mean, but the inclusion of Oculus makes me wonder if UMG’s music will be available to VR game developers.UMG is one of the big three record companies which dominate music, the other two being Sony and Warner Bros.Rumor has it Facebook is in talks with the other two as well, it might not be long before you can use almost any song in existence in a Facebook video.Note, though, that nowhere in the announcement does it say the music will be free.It wouldn’t surprise me if some more popular songs (or any of them, really) cost money to use in videos or “other social experiences.”
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British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has spent more than 18 months in an Iranian prison, could be ‘eligible for early release’.According to her husband Richard Ratcliffe, the 37-year-old charity worker was told the news by her Iranian lawyer, with her case marked on the Iranian judiciary database as “eligible for early release”.He told Sky News this morning: “Nazanin was yesterday visited by her lawyer and her lawyer said that on the database - a kind of electronic case management system that they have in the judiciary - it now marks her case as being eligible for release.That’s happened in the last couple of days.”Ratcliffe added: “It [her return home] feels a lot closer today than it did yesterday.”Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested as she waited for a return flight to Britain after a holiday in Iran in April 2016 after being accused of spying, which she denies.
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An iPhone 6, which Apple released in 2014.Flickr/Yanki01Replacing an older iPhone's battery can help it perform better on speed tests.That's because Apple is using a new power-management feature to prevent iPhones with older batteries from suddenly shutting off, the company told Business Insider on Wednesday.Apple says it isn't purposely slowing down older iPhones to encourage customers to buy new models, debunking a popular conspiracy theory.Over the past few months, people have discovered that older iPhones curiously become faster after the battery is replaced.That, of course, has fueled conspiracy theories that Apple slows down older iPhones when a new model comes out.
US
Niantic Labs, the developer of mobile augment reality hit Pokémon Go, today announced that an update of its iOS version out later this week will optimize the game with Apple’s ARKit framework.The framework, part of iOS 11, will allow the developer to add an all-new AR+ mode with far more advanced augmented reality features.ARKit lets iOS developers take unique advantage of iPhone and iPad hardware and software advancements to intelligently place virtual objects in the real world.Prior to AR+, Pokémon Go would use rough approximations of where objects were to try and place the pokémon in your environment, but it was mostly a clunky workaround that functioned mostly as a novelty feature.The experience, demoed by Niantic employees in a grassy park near its sleek new office at the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco, made a strong case for iPhone owners to keep the game’s AR mode all the time, and perhaps even for lapsed players to give the game a shot again.“But a lot of people did turn it off, in part because it was so limited.” He added that the primary focus of the new mode is to make AR “part of the gameplay in a way that is unique and fun.”
US
Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap, told Rolling Stone that the Light Field is “[…] the photon wavefront and particle light field everywhere in the universe.Instead, it can serve up only a limited selection of visuals, and rely on our brains to work through the rest.Nearly all the players in the VR space have plans to implement foveated rendering, a technique that lowers the detail of areas you’re not looking towards.Magic Leap claims it won’t tire you and looks more convincing that existing competitors, but that remains to be seen.Its design is a sci-fi take on steampunk goggles.That suggests the rounded design is exactly that, and the internal hardware might look like the HoloLens.
US
Coinbase stunned the cryptocurrency world on Tuesday evening by announcing that it would add full support for Bitcoin Cash, a payment network that split off from the mainstream bitcoin network in August.Coinbase users can send and receive Bitcoin Cash coins, and they'll soon be able to buy and sell them as well.The news sent the value of Bitcoin Cash soaring more than 30 percent, from $2,800 to $3,800 per coin.Bitcoin Cash supporters have been arguing with supporters of the conventional bitcoin network over whose version of bitcoin better reflects the vision of bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto.The scaling debate that fractured the bitcoin worldThe bitcoin community has fractured into two rival camps with dramatically different visions for bitcoin's future.
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Samsung has announced the latest Galaxy A models: the A8 and A8 Plus.The A8 has a 5.6-inch AMOLED display, while the A8 Plus is the same but larger, at six inches.Both new devices feature a 16MP and 8MP F/1.9 dual front camera, a 16MP F/1.7 rear camera, an infinity display, a display ratio of 18.5:9, and 32GB or 64GB storage that’s expandable up to 256GB with a microSD card.The A8 comes with 4GB of RAM, while the A8 Plus comes with both 4GB or 6GB of RAM.It’s also dust and water resistance and compatible with Samsung Pay.The devices are the first in Samsung’s A series to support Gear VR.
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Investigators are not sure of the exact cause of the derailment.An Amtrak train derailed in Washington state on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring dozens more.The train was going 80 mph in an area with a 30 mph speed limit when it derailed.The National Transportation Safety Board expects to investigate the scene for about a week before beginning to determine the exact cause of the derailment.An Amtrak train derailed in Washington state on Monday killing at least three people and injuring dozens more.The train was making its first trip on a new section of a route between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, that was part of a $181 million project to cut travel times.
UK
The Equifax hack affected 694,000 UK consumers and 145 million US consumers, but what’s really shady is that the credit report company suffered another breach months before the one they disclosed in September.And trying to keep users in the dark for the sake of optics isn’t an uncommon move.My point is, when you sign up for an account online, your information is at the mercy of the service you joined, and you shouldn’t assume that every company will let you know they’ve suffered a security violation.But a prototype tool created by researchers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) aims to bring greater transparency to such breaches.The system, called Tripwire, detects websites that were hacked, as is detailed in this study.Here’s here how it works: To detect breaches, the researchers created a bot that automatically registered accounts on thousands of websites.
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Indie studio EightyEight Games is best known for frenetic mobile games like 10,000,000 and You Must Build a Boat — but Photographs shows a softer, more introspective side.It’s a puzzler that eschews the action role-playing game aspects of the previous two to explore five different short stories.It’s slated for release in 2018 for PC, iOS, and Android.While 10,000,000 is all about busting through dungeons and fighting enemies using a hybrid puzzle-action mechanic, Photographs is quite the change of pace.EightyEight founder Luca Redwood said that he wanted to explore something “dark and tragic,” something the story hammers home.“I feel like my niche is creating games that sit right on the line between casual and hardcore, so both parties can enjoy them,” said Redwood in an email to GamesBeat.
UK
Exactly when the update will be landing on those watches is still currently unclear, and if your device isn't listed you may want to contact the manufacturer directly to find out if it will get the upgrade.Devices that seem like they won't be getting the upgrade include the Moto 360, Moto 360 Sport, Asus ZenWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3, original Fossil Q Founder and the LG G Watch range.Update: The Asus ZenWatch 3 has been out almost a year now, but an update to Android Wear 2.0 and a small price drop (details of which you'll find below) ensure it's still worth considering, even in the face of newer competition.The Asus ZenWatch 3 marks a change in direction for the Taiwanese firm and its smartwatch line, and its timing couldn't be better.One of the most obvious alternatives for Pebble lovers is the vast array of Android Wear smartwatches.While the long-awaited update to Android Wear 2.0 left many adopters with a sour taste in their mouths, Asus has finally made good on its promise by delivering the latest wearable software.
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Google said Wednesday that the two top trending topics of 2017 in the US were "Hurricane Irma" and "Matt Lauer."In Google parlance, "top trending" means they had the highest spike in traffic over a certain period of time this year compared to last year.Hurricane Irma was the storm that ravaged the Caribbean and Florida Keys in September.Matt Lauer is the former co-host of NBC's "Today" show, who was fired last month amid allegations of sexual harassment.So popular search queries give us a good look into what people were thinking about over the past year.Last year, people mourned Prince, got lottery fever and, not surprisingly, searched all about the US election.
US
It's all very well deciding to cut the cord.But what are you going to cut it with?Which of these little sticks and boxes will work for you: Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire TV?Still, Amazon is desperate for you to put your hand into its Fire.It's just released not one, but 12 new ads to inspire you.You're watching a well-known TV show or video and then something happens that requires you to pause it and interact with Alexa, who lives in your Fire.
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We have over half our population using the internet, and some of the highest daily internet usage in the entire world.I want to help you understand why.In Brazil, we’ve faced chaotic interest rates — though our selic rate is down to 7.5 percent now, it was previously as high as 15.45 percent in 1999 (and 14.25 percent in 2015).In Brazil alone we are personally hit with an endless stream of taxes for businesses, and our consumer electronics are taxed, sending prices skyrocketing — like a PlayStation 4 costing $1845 USD!Consumer adoption of technology is slowerDespite being the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, Latin America suffers from multiple luxury taxes.
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