Air passengers have been reminded yet again why lithium-ion batteries aren’t allowed inside checked baggage.Fortunately, SkyWest flight 3879 was yet to begin its journey from New York City’s LaGuardia airport to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday.But the unnerving episode was nevertheless serious enough for Delta to switch aircraft, resulting in a flight delay of several hours.The fire was caused by a vape pen battery that overheated before igniting, SkyWest told Digital Trends.Videos of the incident were quick to land online, with one (below) clearly showing flames inside the bin.There were no reports of any injuries.
BuzzFeed News cited anonymous sources who said the event would take place at Steve Jobs Theater and focus on the news service.If all this happens, Apple will suddenly be in a position to offer its hundreds of millions of users boundless quantities of music, videos, movies, TV shows, and news for a fee.Meanwhile, several reports over the past few months have claimed that Apple executives have discussed bundling these services together with iCloud, creating a new sort of Apple Prime subscription.We don’t yet know exactly how these new streaming services will work, and we certainly don’t know what a new Apple bundle might look like.The video streaming service will undoubtedly include a host of new Apple-produced content, which so far involves major entertainment names like J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston—all of whom will reportedly attend next month’s event.The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple signed a production partnership with Oprah Winfrey for the streaming video service.
Execs, experts hope this cooperation continues to hold for the next big bugA panel of eggheads from Intel, the US government, and academia held court this week to figure how they can keep the likes of El Reg from spoiling their next major bug reveal.The talk centered on the CPU speculative execution holes that sent chip designers back to the drawing board, and kernel and toolchain programmers back to their IDEs, to solve and come up with mitigations.At the time, he was working in the White House, and had to actually play up the risk of the bug until it got the right attention.The crisis of Heartbleed seemingly trained the tech giants on how to handle mass disclosure and patching of major security holes that affect the entire industry.Companies would learn how to cooperate with one another and set aside competitive differences for the greater good.
AURORA, Colo. (Feb. 15, 2019) - Scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have implicated a largely hidden part of the human genome in the severity of autism symptoms, a discovery that could lead to new insights into the disorder and eventually to clinical therapies for the condition.The researchers found the critical genes are part of the human genome that is so complex and difficult to study that it has been unexamined by conventional genome analysis methods.In this case, the region encodes most copies of the Olduvai (formerly DUF1220) protein domain, a highly duplicated (~300 copies in the human genome) and highly variable gene coding family that has been implicated in both human brain evolution and cognitive disease.The researchers, led by James Sikela, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the CU School of Medicine, analyzed the genomes of individuals with autism and showed that, as the number of copies of Olduvai increased, the severity of autism symptoms became worse."It took us several years to develop accurate methods for studying these sequences, so we fully understand why other groups have not joined in.""We hope that by showing that the link with autism severity holds up in three independent studies, we will prompt other autism researchers to examine this complex family."
Airbus has announced it will stop making the A380, the world’s largest passenger plane.The final one will roll off the production line in 2021.Distinctive for its double-decker design and sheer enormity, the plane has proved popular with those who fly on it, but sadly not so popular with airlines that consider it pricey and now prefer smaller, more efficient aircraft built by both Airbus and Boeing.The European aviation giant still has orders to fulfill, but not enough to justify long-term production.The A380 has a wingspan of 80 meters (262 feet) and is 73 meters (239 feet) long.Depending on how an airline configures it, the aircraft can carry as many as 850 passengers, though most carriers fit it with a mixture of seat types, bringing the number down to just over 500.
Welcome back to your guide to finding out what's new online.Every week, we put together a podcast that lets you know what's been added to services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now.The audio is about a minute or two long.The clock is ticking for Disney/Marvel stuff to disappear from Netflix, but Netflix has some new non-Marvel superhero programming.Say hello to The Umbrella Academy, which is based on the Dark Horse comic book series.The series focuses on children being adopted by an eccentric to become superheroes.
Ride-hailing giant Go-Jek is looking for an advisor to assist with fundraising efforts as it expands in Southeast Asia, people with knowledge of the matter said.The Indonesia-based company has asked investment banks to pitch for a role in its ongoing series F round.The startup may look to raise up to US$2 billion in extra funds from investors, the sources said.Go-Jek has already raked in a little over US$1 billion in the round’s first close, led by existing investors Google, JD, and Tencent.Last month, rival Grab said that it raised US$3 billion in 2018 as part of its series H round.
Facebook, under more pressure from lawmakers and health experts to combat misinformation about vaccinations, said Thursday it's looking at ways to tackle the problem.A Facebook spokesperson said the social media company is exploring "potential approaches to making educational information about vaccines more easily available and minimizing harm caused by misinformation about vaccines and other important health issues."The company hasn't finalized what it plans to do, but confirmed that it was looking at reducing or removing recommendations for anti-vaccine content.Bloomberg reported earlier that the company was also looking at demoting anti-vaccine content in search results and recommendations for groups Facebook users should join.We believe removing provocative thinking does little to build awareness around facts and different approaches to health," a Facebook spokesperson said in an e-mail."Counter-speech in the form of accurate information and alternative viewpoints can help create a safer and more respectful environment."
A Columbia researcher affiliated with the Data Science Institute has created a data-visualization tool that shows the carbon footprints of hundreds of consumer products.The tool makes it easy for everyone to explore the products' carbon-emission levels and the various strategies that companies are employing to reduce emissions.The visualization tool, called Carbon Catalogue, breaks down the carbon footprint of a product during its entire life cycle, illustrating the carbon it emits during the raw material, manufacturing and later downstream phases.The data show that several companies have made vast improvements in reducing their products' emissions.Some have instituted sustainable practices such as reducing packaging for food and beverage products, while others replaced fossil fuel with bio energy or lowered the energy consumption of computers."This free tool can serve as an inspiration for other companies to reduce their products' emissions, especially since smaller carbon footprints often correlate with reduced production costs," says Christoph Meinrenken, an associate research scientist at The Earth Institute and chief data scientist at CoClear, an environmental analytics firm.
The company was supposed to introduce around 25,000 new employees and a multi-billion-dollar headquarter site to Long Island City, Queens.Over the last three months, many New Yorkers have vocally opposed HQ2, citing concerns that it could have aggravated subway congestion, increased rents, and induced overcrowding in schools.In November, protests led by Senator Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer featured signs reading "Scamazon" and "Rent hikes now with two-day shipping."In a statement, the company said that dissent from local and state politicians prevented them from "go[ing] forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."Many New Yorkers feared that an influx of 25,000 Amazon employees would place additional strain on the city's already crowded subway system.Some locals were also concerned that housing and rental prices could have skyrocketed.
Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a multi-billion dollar fine to settle an investigation into the social network's privacy practices, The Washington Post reported Thursday.It would be the largest fine ever imposed by the agency, according to the Post, though the exact amount hasn't yet been determined.Facebook was initially concerned with the FTC's demands, a person familiar with the matter told the publication.If the two parties don't come to an agreement, the FTC could reportedly take legal action.A Facebook representative said the company isn't commenting on The Washington Post report, but added: "We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK, and beyond.We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues."
Protecting the 2020 election from hackers and foreign influence campaigns is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency said Thursday.Christopher Krebs, director of the DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, held a press briefing to detail the DHS' efforts on election security.The story raised concerns that the DHS was not providing resources to adequately protect the election.Krebs denied the report on Thursday, and said the agency plans to expand its election security efforts for 2020.He noted that the DHS' funding for election security increased from $26 million in 2018 to $33 million this year."Despite what some of the reporting might be, election security and countering foreign influence efforts aren't going anywhere, and we're doubling down for 2020," Krebs said.
Amazon will still build HQ2 in Crystal City, Virginia, where it can focus on hiring talent there and amplifying its federal presence near Washington, DC.Analysts believe that building a headquarters near Washington, DC is also a strategic move to win a $10 billion cloud contract with the Pentagon called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.Analysts say canceling its plans for a New York headquarters will not affect the near term or long term outlook on Amazon, nor will it impact its business strategy, especially since Amazon already has a presence in New York.Amazon is pulling out of its plans to build its second major headquarters in New York, but an arguably more important piece of the HQ2 strategy remains intact, as it still plans on coming to the Washington DC area.It does plan to continue building out a headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, as well as another office in Nashville.It's important to Amazon's business, say analysts, as it makes the company more competitive for large government contracts — particularly in the case of Amazon Web Services, the company's market-leading and very profitable cloud computing arm.
Until relatively recently, most researchers thought that breast milk was sterile.The composition of its microbiome varies based on a number of factors—including whether the milk was pumped, or fed to an infant directly from the breast, according to a study published this week in the journal Cell.The differences contribute to our understanding of pumped milk, which has usually been grouped in with breastfeeding.Researchers stress, though, that just because pumped milk is different doesn’t mean that it’s bad—work is still in early stages, and it’s not clear how these findings should inform infant feeding strategies.“The study shows that pumping and breastfeeding aren’t equivalent, and there are different effects,” says study author Meghan Azad, a research scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.“It’s not to alarm mothers as to how they’re feeding, but to say that the question is open.”
The new 2020 Kia Soul EV will offer a 243-mile driving range, according to the EPA.That makes it one of the longest-range affordable electric cars on sale today, and marks a huge improvement over the last-generation Soul EV's 93-mile range.The new Soul Electric debuted alongside the standard, internal-combustion 2020 Soul at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.The cars have a striking new look inside and out, as well as new features.For the Soul EV, the biggest news is a bigger battery pack.It now has a 64-kilowatt-hour capacity, compared to the old Soul EV's 27-kWh pack.
The 3 million or so travelers from China who visit the U.S. each year will be able to use mobile payment app Alipay at 3,000 Walgreens in cities like New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas—with 4,000 additional U.S. locations expected to be added by April.Walgreens joins Guess stores and the shops at San Francisco’s Pier 39—such as Bubba Gump Shrimp and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream—as the U.S. vendors accepting payments via Alipay’s mobile wallet.(According to Alipay’s figures, roughly 4 million of its 1 billion users are in the U.S. each year.However, despite studies that projected China to be the second-largest market for U.S. tourism by 2019, new reports say the trade war between Washington and Beijing is starting to diminish enthusiasm among business and leisure travelers from China.)Alipay is an online payment service created by ecommerce giant Alibaba Group and run by its subsidiary, the fintech company Ant Financial.In addition to facilitating payments, it is what Alibaba calls a “lifestyle super app” used by more than 5 percent of the world’s population to find nearby retailers and restaurants, manage finances, split bills, pay utilities, transfer money, plan travel, hail taxis and book movie tickets and food deliveries.
As a woman just starting a career in tech, having empowering female role models helps to navigate what can sometimes be a tough industry.I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that provides them in spades, whether it’s through inspiring colleagues, or at TNW2019 – where our lineup of speakers includes some powerhouse women paving the way for people like me.If you’re always on the lookout for your next source of inspiration or hands-on learning, our tech conference in Amsterdam is where to find it.Here’s a list of just some of the exceptional women who will be speaking about the future of tech at TNW2019:Corinne Vigreux, Co-Founder of TomTomBack in 1991, Corinne Vigreux co-founded TomTom.
Every few months like clockwork, it happens again: the never-ending debate over Strong Female Characters.Most recently, this excellent piece by Kellie Herson at The Outline talks about the idea of women’s “agency” and whether it’s always a reliable yardstick of whether a story is feminist.When I think about the characters I love as an audience member or reader, they’re always the flawed, conflicted, messy characters, who sometimes go off half-cocked or make a bad situation worse.If there’s any point to this conversation around strong characters who aren’t cis-men, then it’s got to be about equal opportunities to add the “anti” to “hero.”Showing a character screwing up is hard work—usually harder than showing them making the “right” choice right off the bat.We’re living in the era of Killing Eve, Pose, The Magicians, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Supergirl—TV shows which feature women who are allowed to be misguided and/or short-sighted.
Google still faces accusations of being lax with security in its quest to keeping malicious apps off its Play Store, but in the last few years it’s been making increasing efforts to improve the safety of its digital distribution outlet.In a post on the Android Developers Blog this week, Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn said that in 2018 the company worked on enhancing its abuse detection technologies and machine learning systems, while at the same time expanding its team of product managers, engineers, policy experts, and operations leaders to tackle nefarious app developers.Ahn said the extra effort resulted in rejected app submissions increasing by 55 percent compared to 2017, while those that did get through were spotted and removed more quickly than ever before — often before anyone even had a chance to install them.“These increases can be attributed to our continued efforts to tighten policies to reduce the number of harmful apps on the Play Store, as well as our investments in automated protections and human review processes,” the product manager wrote in the post.Google declined to reveal how many dodgy apps it turfed out of the Play Store last year, though we do know that in 2017 the figure reached 700,000, with a sizable 100,000 developers banned from submitting any future apps.Fifty billion apps scanned every day
Instagram has always been very much a mobile-focused offering, though it’s true to say that in recent years the team has shown a little more love for the web version of the photo-sharing service.The latest feature that could be on its way to Instagram’s web interface is direct messaging.High-profile app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered this week that the Facebook-owned company is now conducting internal testing of private messaging for its website.If it goes live, Instagrammers will be able to send and receive direct messages via their desktop or laptop (or a mobile browser), giving the company a better chance of becoming the messaging service of choice for its community, which currently stands at more than a billion people globally.Wong’s grabbed images (below) were taken from the mobile version and show the screens where users would view and manage their private messages.In 2017, the company launched a standalone messaging app called Direct, which it’s still testing with its community in six countries.