Leon Rhodes

Leon Rhodes

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All today's commercial drones use GPS, which works fine above building roofs and in high alti-tudes.But what, when the drones have to navigate autonomously at low altitude among tall buildings or in the dense, unstructured city streets with cars, cyclists or pedestrians suddenly crossing their way?Researchers of the University of Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR Robotics developed DroNet, an algorithm that can safely drive a drone through the streets of a city.Designed as a fast 8-layers residual network, it produces two outputs for each single input image: a steering angle to keep the drone navigating while avoiding obstacles, and a collision probability to let the drone recognise dangerous situations and promptly react to them."DroNet recognises static and dynamic obstacles and can slow down to avoid crashing into them.Instead of relying on sophisticated sensors, the drone developed by Swiss researchers uses a normal camera like that of every smartphone, and a very powerful artificial intelligence algorithm to interpret the scene it observes and react accordingly.
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The results of this research have been recently presented in the scientific journal Nature Methods, in an article that gathers data from the last three editions of the Cell Tracking Challenge.This competition, which invites scientists from all over the world to include videos on cellular migration, has registered participation from 21 research groups throughout 18 countries.In total, 52 videos with 92 GB have been analyzed.Some are synthetic, that is, they are created through software that simulates cells, while others are real, mainly obtained through bidimensional and tridimensional microscopy."In addition to the videos, this new database provides the code to interpret them, that is, the segmentation algorithm and the cellular tracking and the tools to evaluate these algorithms in an objective manner," explained one of the study's authors, Arrate Muñoz Barrutia, professor in the UC3M Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering department and HGUGM researcher.These cells must migrate to different parts of the human body to carry out their functions.
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Forensic researchers at North Carolina State University have found a more accurate way to assess an individual's age at death, based on the bone mineral density of the femur.The technique could be used to help identify human remains."Current techniques for assessing an individual's age at death rely on reviewing the wear and tear on a skeleton's joint surfaces," says Ann Ross, a professor of biological sciences at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work."But there is a lot of variability there, based on an individual's lifestyle and how a forensic practitioner interprets those skeletal features.Depending on the method being used, current approaches could list a deceased individual in his or her 40s as being anywhere from 27 to 70 years old."However, bone mineral content and density increase as we grow, then decline at a fairly steady rate once we reach adulthood - making it a potentially useful way of assessing age," Ross says.
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When unexplained delays pushed Apple’s debut smart speaker back from a 2017 release, Apple said it needed “a little more time before it’s ready” and promised an “early 2018" release.Now it seems Apple is making good on its revised launch window, as the HomePod will officially go on sale on February 9th.Initially, the £319 smart speaker will be available in the US, UK and Australia, with pre-orders going up on Friday, January 26th, before expanding to other countries including Germany and France later this spring.When it was first unveiled back in the summer, the HomePod’s main marketing advantage was allegedly superior audio.The device features a large woofer and seven beam-forming tweeters arrayed 360 degrees around the HomePod’s body.However, in the time since its announcement, both Amazon and Google have released their own premium smart speakers with high quality audio, which puts Apple in the awkward position of having to play catch-up.
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‘Tis the season to hit the gym and atone for the past year’s various and sundry transgressions.The challenge, as always, comes in maintaining that physical fitness regime well past the repentance period that your mind feels your body deserves.This workout playlist has been audio-engineered to get you on that (insert your cardio vascular machine of choice) and keep you keeping on while simultaneously inspiring you to return again at another date.As beats- and bass-driven music lends itself to a heart rate-increasing activity, the mission of this mix is take you through the journey of your exercise with fitness-related tunes.The intention is to get you going right out the gate, build up the tempo with the intensity of the thump, sustain that thumping stride to help you push through “the wall,” and then slowly let you down gently on the other side by fading ever so peacefully into your post-workout stretch.This track has a good bouncy groove to help ease you into the shock of aggressively moving your body.
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The great cull of Toys R Us branches is about to get under way, with the financially besieged retailer starting the clearing out process at the 25 locations it's about to board up for good.This sale only covers items being sold in-store, with the advert promising "up to" 30 per cent off everything.So that's maybe five per cent off the good Lego, and 30 per cent off the crappy Barbies in bent boxes.The company's web site has the full list of doomed branches, with the likes of Plymouth, Watford, Exeter and Tamworth about to see their toy warehouses ransacked and shut down.The branches have only been given a vague closing date of "spring" at the moment, so don't go mad just yet.It could be 40 per cent off your dream play kitchen by March.
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Moneymen always ready to say: Icahn tell you what you're doing wrongActivist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deacon are linking arms to force Xerox to “explore strategic alternatives” for the business and squeeze out the “old guard” manning the fort should they resist change.Icahn and Darwin collectively own 40 million shares in photocopier and print giant Xerox - equating to a 15 per cent stake - making them the biggest and third biggest shareholders respectively.But the pair aren’t happy with the way the firm is being run and penned a letter to the Xerox board voicing their disapproval and making a series of demands:in light of the recent [September] accounting scandal at Fuji Xerox (which owns 75 per cent of a joint venture that sells photocopier and related services in Asia Pacific), the joint venture should be terminated or renegotiated to make it more favourable to Xerox;Xerox should immediately commerce a process with new independent advisers to explore strategic alternatives;
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New NHS Digital guidelines give broad approval to the use of cloud services for storing medical records – including facilities in Europe and the USThe NHS has published guidance on how health and care organisations can make use of cloud computing or data offshoring facilities for the storage of patient information, in a policy shift that has seen most bodies continue to use on-site IT centres until now.In this respect the NHS has lagged behind many parts of the UK government, for which cloud services have been prioritised since 2013 under the “cloud first” policy for public-sector IT.Organisations including NHS Choices and NHS England’s Code4Health already use the cloud, but this marks the first time the technology has been given the green light for broad adoption.The new national guidance requires data to be stored within the UK-European Economic Area, a country that meets the European Commission’s standards for data protection or US services covered by the Privacy Shield data-transfer agreement.But medical privacy campaign group MedConfidential pointed out the Privacy Shield agreement between the EU and the US has been criticised by many, including some European data protection regulators.
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Through blockchain, Roberto Galoppini sees an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: His organization, FileZilla, can offer users free online data storage while also allowing them to earn valuable cryptocurrency.Galoppini, director of strategy for FileZilla, the popular, open-source FTP client, said his service is planning to shift direction this year by using a peer-to-peer (P2P), distributed storage platform from Atlanta-based Storj Labs Inc. that will be managed via blockchain.FileZilla, which has been piloting the Storj decentralized storage for several months, had been making money through its free file-sharing service, which is hosted on SourceForge.net.The blockchain electronic distributed ledger is also used to pay farmers in cryptocurrency – digital tokens whose worth has grown 240 times since launching in 2014.Last year, when FileZilla's leadership was hunting for another storage method based on a secure cloud service, a token technology was key because it created a certain "stickiness" for users."It can finally bring us closer to avoid that one-on-one relationship with the end user that comes to us, downloads our software and goes away.
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There seems to be a new pattern among some of the newer and smaller players in the smartphone market.Launch a phone with “decent”, sometimes even dismal camera performance and then promise a firmware update that fixes it later.That fix does come, eventually, but sometimes the results are less than satisfying.Fortunately there are some rather devoted app developers, like XDA Senior Member txx1219, who develop some mods, like this OnePlus Camera M, that takes the disappointing stock OEM camera app and magically transforms it into something good.OnePlus’s performance in the smartphone photography category has been hit or miss, depending on who you ask.The company always teases and hypes its next gen phone’s camera but sometimes falls short of meeting user expectations.
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Joint statements from both the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have effectively put a freeze on cryptocurrency futures trading.The statements come after several crypto-based exchange-traded futures (ETFs) proposals were withdrawn last week, at the encouragement of the SEC.The SEC’s letter poses over 30 “significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules” to two trade groups representing fund sponsors, asking for answers to ensure they’re compliant.The subtext of many of these questions seem to be issues that the entire crypto space is currently grappling with, from ensuring investor protections and sufficient liquidity, to accounting for market manipulation.For many day traders in this space, the absence of such protections is its appeal.The letter opens with what reads as a reference to the peril faced by amateur investors who might sink their retirement funds or life savings into a coin or exchange that leaves them high and dry (emphasis ours):
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Regulator tells lawyers told to get off the fence or face unpleasant fallThe Chair of the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission has again taken aim at cryptocurrency speculators, this time warning companies thinking of adding “Blockchain” to their names that his agency is watching them.In remarks delivered at the Securities Regulation Institute, SEC Chair Jay Clayton said “I doubt anyone in this audience thinks it would be acceptable for a public company with no meaningful track record in pursuing the commercialization of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to (1) start to dabble in blockchain activities, (2) change its name to something like "Blockchain-R-Us," and (3) immediately offer securities, without providing adequate disclosure to Main Street investors about those changes and the risks involved.”Those words were a reference to the likes of Stapleton Capital, Long Island Iced Tea and UK company On-Line, all of which added a bit of Blockchain to their names and saw their share prices soar.The next company to ponder such a change may have to think again, as Clayton said “The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering.”Clayton also had some choice words for professionals advising cryptocurrency concerns.
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We spend a lot of time reading about the differences between display technologies like LCD and OLED, which, like all display technologies, are built to fool our eyes into seeing things that are only simulated, not real, like colors, or realistic movement.But it helps to see it in action.A video from YouTube channel The Slow Mo Guys (originally reported on by Motherboard) vividly illustrates how CRT, LCD, and OLED displays work by either zooming in very close or by recording in insane frame rates at ultra slow motion.You'll still find enthusiasts who insist that it's all been downhill since CRT monitors and TVs went sunset for most of the market.While this video doesn't make much of a case for CRT's relative quality, it does show that they were engineering marvels for their time.When the capture frame rate hits 380,000 frames per second while recording Super Mario Bros. playing on an NES and a CRT TV, the video shows the image drawing not just vertically, one scan line at a time, but one pixel at a time as it builds out each scanline from left to right.
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Oukitel had a great last year with many phones excelling in their categories and price tags.However their design wasn’t at par with their hardware and battery performance so the Chinese OEM tried their best to alter that.CPU: Mediatek MT6750 64-bit octa-coreDisplay: 5.7″ IPS, HD+ 720X1440 pixels, 282PPIFront Camera: 13.0MP ( SW 16.0MP ) Samsung S5K3P3Back Camera: 16.0MP ( SW 21.0MP ) Sony IMX135 Exmor RS, 1080P video recording
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As the third most-visited website in the world, Facebook’s influence is pretty far reaching these days.Its ambitions may be too big even for a company its size, though, as along with Oculus, it has defined a new unit of time called a “flick.” Yes, you heard right: Facebook has become so gigantic and monolithic that it is now attempting to influence time itself.Jokes aside, the word “flick” is actually short for “frame-tick” in this case.Facebook Open Source shared the news on its Twitter account today, pointing to a GitHub library that was published last week.It’s in that library’s Read Me document that we discover just what a flick is and why its definition was necessary.Simply put, a flick is a unit of time that is minuscule – nearly the size of a nanosecond.
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We previously talked about what differentiates the Elephone U and Elephone U Pro, with one of those differences being the material used for the frame of the phone.Today, Elephone released some more info regarding this detail; let’s hear them out.In the image above we can admire the Elephone U Pro or at least the render of it.We know it’s the Pro version because the company just stated that the more expensive and premium variant is coming with a polished aluminum frame which – according to Elephone – will “shine like a diamond”.Meanwhile the plain Ulefone U will be featuring a cheaper aluminum alloy with a “frosted” finish on top, making it look less shiny and thus less premium.Albeit they’re only renders, we can also enjoy the smartphones apparent thinness.
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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers at Oregon State University have designed and fabricated the world's smallest electro-optic modulator, which could mean major reductions in energy used by data centers and supercomputers.An electro-optic modulator plays the key role in fiber optic networks.Just as a transistor is a switch for electronic signals, an electro-optic modulator is a switch for optical signals.The new modulator is 10 times smaller and can potentially be 100 times more energy efficient than the best previous devices.It is roughly the size of a bacterium, measuring 0.6 by 8 microns."This is by far the most exciting research I have ever done because of the impact the device will bring and because of the challenge it was for design and fabrication," said Alan Wang, associate professor of electrical engineering in the OSU College of Engineering.
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Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corporation, today issued a statement calling for Facebook and Google to subsidize the news traveling through their platforms.In the statement, Murdoch calls on Facebook to pay a carriage fee, as cable companies do with pay TV, to trusted publishers that are posting their content on the social media platform:I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism.The time has come to consider a different route.If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies.The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services.
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Only last week we were checking out the specs of the upcoming Cubot X18 Plus – Cubot’s next flagship model featuring an 18:9 display aspect ratio display.Following the same 18:9 trend, the company now shows the Cubot R11 which is expected to come with less performing hardware and – of course – a lower price tag.Although the Cubot R11 is defined as a low-end phone by Cubot themselves, the device will still boast a nice 5.5-inch 18:9 full screen design with a screen-to-body ratio of around 83%.The screen size paired with the 18:9 design should make many lovers of smaller devices rejoice as it will be more comfortable to hold compared to the many 6-inch 18:9 display-equipped phones on the market.Under the hood, the Cubot R11 will be rocking a quad-core MediaTek MT6580P processor, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which should provide a smooth enough user experience for the low-end segment.Additionally, the smartphone is expandable to 128GB via microSD, so it could be a great media consumption device.
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Amazon Go, the cashier-free grocery store located at the base of the company's headquarters in Seattle, opens today, according to The Wall Street Journal.However, engineers needed time to let the system, which relies on hundreds of tiny cameras and machine-learning software, figure out how to best identify customers and process their orders.In an interview with the Journal, Amazon Go's head of technology said the e-tailer wants to expand the concept beyond this initial store, but has no plans to incorporate the technology into Whole Foods stores.At a time when grocers are speeding up checkouts with scanning apps, traffic light systems and other nifty technology, here's a system that could very well be the last word in frictionless front ends.Amazon Go was delayed for nearly a year, but early reports indicate it's performing as advertised.Shoppers scan their phones at subway-style gates at the front of the store, then fill up a bag with products and walk out.
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