Like it or not (and I don’t), Blockchain is the current hottest tech buzzword.Hundreds of products are being built around distributed ledgers, in fields as diverse as healthcare, finance, and even online gaming.To ensure that more developers can jump on this bandwagon, learning platform Udacity has launched a blockchain nanodegree program, which promises to teach coders everything they need to know to work in this growing niche.The course is spread over two three-month terms, and is focused on practical experience.According to Udacity, the course sees students build their own blockchain, learn about smart contracts using Solidity, the most popular language on Ethereum, and build a blockchain-powered web application.It also allows students to learn from experts in the field.
One of the earliest complex lifeforms to exist on Earth has been named in honor of Barack Obama, continuing a strong love affair between scientists and the former president of the United States.The ancient, disc-shaped animal has been dubbed and lived some 550 million years ago.The discovery, by researchers at the University of California-Riverside and the South Australia Museum, took place in a newly excavated fossil bed located in South Australia's Flinders Ranges that has been dubbed "Alice's Restaurant Bed", borrowing a lyric from the Arlo Guthrie song that says "you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."Professor of paleontology Mary Droser, who led the research, told the Washington Post that the Obama moniker was bestowed upon the creature because it reminded researchers of an ear, something that avid Obama watchers and cartoonists will know was one of the former president's more obvious characteristics.Alice's Restaurant Bed is teeming with prehistoric fossils from the Ediacaran Biota, a group of soft-bodied animals representing some of the earliest lifeforms on Earth.Scientists are able to visualize their traits and physiology in the Ranges due to their remarkable preservation in fine-grain sandstone.
Two weeks ago, BlackBerry decided to finally take the wraps off the successor of its most successful smartphone in years – The BlackBerry KEYone.The BlackBerry KEY2 bring some major improvements over its predecessors and according to TCL will be available for pre-orders in the United States on the next week.To be more precise, the smartphone should be widely available just on July 13, but those who are eagerly waiting for this newest QUERTY flagship can pre-order the device starting Friday, June 29 at a price tag of $649,99.Considering the price, the smartphone can easily be confused as a flagship device, well, it indeed brings some neat features and specifications such as 6GB of RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.Also, the smartphone carries a dual 12MP camera setup on the rear and an 8MP selfie snapper on the front.However, in the end, the smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 660, that is an excellent processor, of course, but it still isn’t comparable with the Snapdragon 845 that is equipped in most of the flagships that are in the same price-range of KEY2.
Amazon is rolling out Hub by Amazon across the US, after its apartment building delivery system began accepting packages in a limited roll-out last year.The computerized lockers are the private version of Amazon Locker, intended to be installed in apartment communities so that deliveries can be secured even when recipients aren’t home.Whereas the Amazon Lockers are only of use to Amazon itself, however, Hub by Amazon is package-agnostic.Boxes and other parcels can be left in the locked cabinets rather than left with a front office or concierge.When recipient gets back home, they punch in their access code and the cabinet opens.Installations of Hub by Amazon began last year, after the system was announced in July 2017.
IBM is offering a free certificate course on blockchain technology for students in India.The technology giant has partnered with Indian elearning platform National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) to offer a 12-week online course titled “Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases.”The enrolment for the course is currently open, but the coursework will not be available until July 30.Students will be required to submit weekly assignments and pass a final exam at the end of the course to successfully receive their certificate which will be co-signed by IBM.While anyone across the world can signup for the course and learn — the final exam will only be conducted offline in select Indian cities.The course will be taught by Praveen Jayachandran, Blockchain and Smart Contracts researcher at IBM India, and Sandip Chakraborty, a professor at IIT Guwahati.
A food-tech startup called Apeel Sciences debuted its avocados at every Costco and Harps Food Stores location in the US.So far, the startup has developed Edipeel products for more than three dozen crops, including asparagus, peaches, lemons, pears, and nectarines.( Harps Food Stores, a regional grocery chain, has 87 locations across the Midwest.After the coating dries, it locks in moisture and acts as a shield against natural gases (e.g.Slicing open an Apeel avocado will break the shield, and at that point it will brown just as fast as a normal avocado."Refrigeration has been used to increase produce quality during transportation and storage, but you lose the benefit of refrigeration when a fruit sits on a grocery store shelf or on a kitchen counter," CEO James Rogers told Business Insider.
iOS developer Guilherme Rambo has been poking around the new iOS 12 beta, and code contained within appears to confirm something that has been rumored multiple times: Face ID is coming to the iPad.Videos and screenshots tweeted by Rambo show that iOS 12 contains hidden references to Face ID on the iPad, including the setup UI and relevant section of the settings menu.It's possible that these references could pertain to a feature that lets you unlock an iPad with an iPhone X, like how you can unlock a Mac with an Apple Watch, but that seems unlikely.The inclusion of the setup UI suggests it's for a device actually equipped with the Face ID sensors, which is something that has been credibly reported as planned for this year, so it seems safe to say a iPad with Face ID is on the way.The Face ID setup UI is finally working on iPad.Clearly not done yet as can be seen by the descriptions mentioning "iPhone".
A couple of hours ago, Meizu held a conference to announce its next-gen Bleu Charm smartphone.Before the Meizu M6T was unleashed, Li Nan, senior vice president of Meizu Technology provided some interesting data concerning this series.The history of this brand starts from December 23, 2014.In more than three years, the company released 22 phones aiming at young customers.Though the Blue Charm smartphones were considered as thousand-yuan machines, there were some real advantages.Say, for the first time, a front fingerprint scanner was put on a device from this price category; a unibody metal housing appeared on an identical handset, and a phone with humble features supported the soft rainbow algorithm.
The Drum speaks to people across the global media and marketing sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us.This week's 10 Questions With... features Stein IAS chief, Rob Morrice.I interviewed Andy Gray at a Scotland training camp in Largs just after he moved from Dundee Utd to Aston Villa and he told me he was having trouble adjusting to the speed of the game in England.I packed in my job as a sports journalist in a fit of pique because the editor wouldn’t transfer me to the Newsdesk.Even then I realised there was no way I was spending the next 45 years writing ‘he shoots, he scores’ every day.Destitute, I took a job selling trendy clothes in a menswear shop until I saw an ad for an apprentice copywriter in a well-known Scottish Advertising Agency.
Around 100 million years ago, a tick ran into some bad luck.It had the misfortune of wandering onto a spider’s web, causing the proprietor to spring into action and wrap the interloping bug in a tomb made of silk.The situation then took a turn for the worse when the tick came into contact with tree sap, enveloping it even further.Prior to this discovery, scientists found traces of spider webs containing insects, and even a fossilised scene of a spider attacking a wasp.Fossils containing the preserved remnants of ticks are super rare (we know they tormented dinosaurs), so the discovery of a tick that just happens to be entombed in spider’s silk is an added bonus.This amber fossil shows that ticks were captured by spiders back in the Cretaceous Period, marking “the first time that this specific interaction between ticks and spiders has been documented in the fossil record,” write the authors of the new study, which now appears in Cretaceous Research.
In March, the female-led media company and newsletter provider TheSkimm reported it was raising a $12 million Series C from Google Ventures and Spanx founder Sara Blakely, along with several existing investors.Today, the company is confirming its Series C round has closed with a number of new, mostly female investors joining – including big names like Shonda Rhimes and Tyra Banks.Variety was the first to report the news of the new investors.The Series C’s additional investors include former TV journalist Willow Bay, now dean at the USC Anneberg School for Communication and Journalism; Jesse Draper of Halogen Ventures; Shonda Rhimes; CEO of GingerBread Capital, Linnea Roberts; CEO of GingerBread Capital, Hope Taitz; as well as the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; and Michael Karsch of Juice Press.Earlier Series C investors included GV (formerly Google Ventures); Spanx founder Sara Blakely; plus former lead investors 21st Century Fox, RRE Ventures and Homebrew Ventures.TheSkimm began its life as an email newsletter, founded by former TV news producers Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg.
A radical left-wing group of Jeremy Corbyn supporters have declared that they will oppose “any” expulsion of Ken Livingstone from Labour.The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), which has members who sit on the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, tweeted that its executive would fight any move to kick the former London Mayor out of the party.It also objected to a recent decision to expel activist Marc Wadsworth over his conduct at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into anti-semitism in 2016, where he accused Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth of colluding with the media.CLPD Executive yesterday voted to oppose any expulsion of Ken Livingstone.We also deplore the unjust expulsion of Marc Wadsworth— CLPD Labour (@CLPD_Labour) May 20, 2018
Every tech founder worth their title knows that investors, customers and media exposure form the life blood of every early-stage startup.And there’s no better way to place your startup in front of these three essential groups than to exhibit in Startup Alley at Disrupt San Francisco 2018.The conference takes place on September 5-7, but if you want to secure your spot you need to before the application window closes.Startup Alley at Disrupt SF ’18 will feature more than 1,200 highly vetted, early-stage startups showcasing the very latest in tech products, platforms and services spanning the tech spectrum.You can expect more than 10,000 attendees to pass through the Alley, including more than 400 media outlets.Exhibit your company in the Alley’s energetic atmosphere of networking, collaboration and possibility.
Every tech company is jumping on AI and machine learning these days and it’s no surprise that Samsung is as well.And in typical Samsung fashion, it has decided to strike off on its own with its (acquired) SmartThings IoT platform and its own Bixby assistant.Unfazed by the lukewarm, almost negative, reception of the latter, Samsung is forging ahead with an improved Bixby experience, Bixby 2.0, coming soon to a Samsung flagship and Samsung smart home appliance near you.Truth be told, it was indeed able to deliver on most of them, like hands-free voice control of apps and smart object recognition.The problem wasn’t in technical capability but in delivery.Samsung made users wait for months for Bixby’s most important features and practically tried to shove it down every Galaxy phone owner’s throat.
"Working with Eyewirers around the world, we've made a digital museum that shows off the intricate beauty of the retina's neural circuits," said Sebastian Seung, the Evnin Professor in Neuroscience and a professor of computer science and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI)."This museum is something like a brain atlas," said Alexander Bae, a graduate student in electrical engineering and one of four co-first authors on the paper."Previous brain atlases didn't have a function where you could visualize by individual cell, or a subset of cells, and interact with them.The neural maps were developed by Eyewirers, members of an online community of video game players who have devoted hundreds of thousands of hours to painstakingly piecing together these neural cells, using data from a mouse retina gathered in 2009.Humans are better at visually identifying the patterns of neurons, so every player's moves are recorded and checked against each other by advanced players and Eyewire staffers, as well as by software that is improving its own pattern recognition skills.Every cell is reviewed by between 5 and 25 gamers before it is accepted into the system as complete.
Streaming giant Netflix, which has been aggressively pursuing an original content strategy at the same time it’s lost a great deal of its licensed content, says it is on track to have created over 1,000 original shows and movies by the end of the year.According to Quartz, chief content officer Ted Sanders announced that Netflix will hit four-figure territory by the close of 2018 — and will only be speeding up the frenetic pace they’ve achieved since launching their first original, House of Cards, about five years ago.That doesn’t mean necessarily refer to shows and movies exclusively produced in house, as the tally includes exclusively commissioned or licensed material, but an astonishing 470 of the productions will be released this year alone:Roughly half of its originals — 470 series, films, and other productions—are slated to be released between now and the end of the year, the Netflix executive added at a MoffettNathanson investor event on Monday (May 15).More than 90% of Netflix subscribers watch its originals regularly, he said, though he did not define what that means.This is good news if you’re into Netflix’s originals, which have varied from critically acclaimed documentary series like Wild Wild Country to content that seems calculated more to suck up binge-watching hours, like Peaky Blinders, a show about British gangsters that tuck razor blades in their hats.
In fact, they’re already here thanks to Alphabet’s Waymo, Uber and smaller startups like Aurora, Embark Trucks and Voyage .Although there have a been a couple of fatal crashes involving autonomous software, the consensus seems to be that self-driving is still the way to go.Last year, 37,150 people died in car accidents nationwide, according to a statistical projection from the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.“The only plausible strategy that we have as a society to get to zero [fatalities] is driverless,” Embark CEO Alex Rodrigues told me at TC Sessions: Robotics last week.“It’s not plausible to get all the drunk or distracted or unsafe humans off the road.The only realistic way we can get to zero is driverless.”
Accessors of 'large amounts' of data pre-2014 get time-out pending probeFacebook has suspended 200 apps while it probes whether they misused people's information as part of its investigation into dodgy data dealings.The biz launched the probe after revelations about political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica hit the headlines back in March.They centre around apps that were accessing user data before the firm announced it was changing its Graph API use policies in 2014 – prior to that, apps could ask for permission to slurp up info on not just a user, but also all of their friends.This is what GSR, the company founded by Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan, used in order to gain data from about 87 million people – which it is alleged to have passed on to Cambridge Analytica.Although Kogan argued the developer policies were so incoherent they were effectively useless.
Up until January, Ring, a smart doorbell creator now owned by Amazon, didn’t revoke users’ access to its app when their account’s password changed.This allowed exes and other people to continue monitoring recorded video even after their permissions should have been removed, The Information reports today.Ring says it adjusted the app in January so that it now eventually revokes app access when a password changes, but that removal can take hours to set in.Although Ring doorbells are outside the house and not recording what goes on indoors, it still isn’t great for users to retain access to who’s entering and exiting a home at all times.Standard practice should be that once a password is changed, users should lose access to the app until they reenter the updated password, but Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff told The Information that immediately kicking users off would slow the app down.This password news isn’t good, and there’s nothing users can do to speed up the process, so if you change your Ring password, just be aware that other users might still briefly have access.
Elon Musk said Thursday that the first tunnel under Los Angeles dug by his Boring Company is almost complete.Musk, the brains behind SpaceX and Tesla, created the company to drill holes beneath Los Angeles to provide another means of transportation and alleviate the city's infamous traffic congestion.Godot, the company's first boring machine, began digging nearly a year ago in the parking lot of SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, near Los Angeles International Airport.Musk announced the tunnel's progress in an Instagram post that included a video of the route's progress (see below) and promised a treat for the curious."Pending final regulatory approvals, we will be offering free rides to the public in a few months," he wrote.The billionaire entrepreneur has famously complained about the traffic he faces on his commute from his Bel-Air home to his office in Hawthorne, leading to his tweeted promise to dig tunnels under Los Angeles.