Shane Higgins

Shane Higgins

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Following 5
UK
Researchers have developed a new method of freezing lithium batteries that could make them safer and increase their shelf life.The technique could also make batteries more flexible, raising the possibility they could be used in the bendy smartphones of the future.Known as 'ice-templating', or freeze-casting, the technique is used to control the structure of the solid electrolyte for the lithium batteries used in portable electronics such as phones, tablets and cameras.Lithium batteries are also used in electric vehicles and for grid-level energy storage.Commercial lithium batteries currently use liquid electrolyte, which as the recent exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga highlighted, is highly flammable.As a safer alternative, researchers at Columbia University explored the idea of using solid, rather than liquid, electrolyte in order to make safer, solid-state lithium batteries as part of a study published in the journal Nano Letters.
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UK
The ransomware that drove last year's boom in file-encrypting malware is back, and this time it's even harder to detect.Ransomware cost its victims some $1bn during 2016, with Locky one of the most widespread variants, infecting organisations across the globe.However, the start of 2017 saw a sudden decline in the distribution of Locky, to such an extent that another form of ransomware -- Cerber -- has usurped Locky's dominance.But after being all but written off, Locky is staging a comeback.Cybersecurity researchers at Cisco Talos have observed a surge in emails distributing Locky, with over 35 thousand emails sent in just a few hours.This time, however, the Locky campaign is harnessing an infection technique associated with the Dridex botnet, in an effort to boost the chance of compromising targets.
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UK
Why buy a thousand-dollar suit when a hundred-dollar one serves the same function?Today’s top executives are devoted work-worshippers, nearly to the point of perversity.Apple CEO Tim Cook told Time that he begins his day at 3.45am.Not to be outdone, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told Bloomberg News that she used to work 130-hour workweeks.The vast majority of Americans work because their survival depends on a wage.The irony is that grueling workweeks aren’t exclusively an elite phenomenon.
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US
Facebook held their annual F8 Developer conference earlier this week, where they announced a heap of new products and tools, many of which hold truly mind-boggling potential.But with so many F8 sessions (there were more than 60 separate talks on the schedule), it was hard to keep track of everything, and to get enough time to process all the information and consider the full impacts.And with more than a billion people getting their news and insights from the platform each day, and with Facebook driving more referral traffic than any other source, this is key information to have - Mosseri can’t offer any magic tricks or shortcuts to suddenly and radically increase your organic reach, but understanding the fundamentals of how the system works is crucial info for anyone looking to get the most out of The Social Network.This year, Mosseri again provided a great overview of the basics of News Feed, while he also detailed some of the key initiatives they’re looking to implement moving forward – here’s a full overview of Mosseri’s session, which you can watch yourself at this link.These are the core factors which govern the content each user sees.“The likelihood that you’ll comment on this story, share this story, how much time you might spend reading this story, even more qualitative things like if we’d asked you, would you say this story is informative – what’s the probability of that?”
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UK
As your mind wearily contemplates being exposed to yet another political campaign, are your dreams haunted by battle buses, billboards and TV debates?On the evidence of last year’s EU referendum, much of the campaigning, and much of the money spent on political advertising, will be online.Two other campaign groups – both of which received large donations from the Leave campaign - gave Aggregate IQ a further £765,000, taking the total pumped through the company to almost £3.5m.Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings is quoted on the company’s website saying “We couldn’t have done it without them.”Yet the invoices for the money they paid to Aggregate IQ, which were handed to the Electoral Commission, list vague jargon-filled specifications with little indication of how the ads were delivered.It may tell us Aggregate IQ were running a “targeted video app installed and display media campaign” but gives no clue about where those ads appeared or who saw them.
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Finland
the cycling of the work almost halved cancer risk, says comprehensive british research, which is published in the British Medical Journal.the five-year study followed 250 000 britons commuting to work.according to the Study, also walking, had some advantages in a bus or car to sit in front.the Study told the BBC:according to the research team noticed that cycling requires will power, when it has become routine, unlike the gym to leave.a Total of 2 430 investigated the death, 3 748 received a diagnosis of cancer and 1 in 110 has found heart problems.Research has shown that regular cycling lowers the risk of death by 41 percent, cancer risk by 45 percent and heart disease risk by 46%.
US
With each orbit, it swoops lower and lower, skimming through Saturn’s rings while sinking towards the gas giant’s crushing atmosphere.After passing Titan one last time on April 22nd, the mission will enter its final stage: diving through the unexplored, 1,500 mile-wide space between Saturn and its famous rings.And by mid-September, Cassini’s signal will go silent for the first and final time.But Cassini’s team is also sacrificing the orbiter to avoid contaminating anything living in the Saturn system.Cassini’s discoveries on Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus—everything from complex organic materials to methane lakes to liquid oceans to hydrothermal reactions— are not only interesting points of comparison to Earth’s systems, but also make those moons look a lot more habitable.In its 20 year space journey, the Cassini mission rarely found the things it expected to.
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US
AS THE CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER of Airbnb, the home-sharing platform valued at $31 billion and climbing, Joe Gebbia, 35, shapes the company’s visual aesthetic and gauges growth opportunities beyond the core travel-rental business.It’s a few steps up from the early days, in 2008, when he and his co-founders, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk, were building on the original idea of renting out air mattresses on living room floors.Since last summer, Gebbia, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate, has been channeling many of his efforts through Samara, a division he launched to serve as Airbnb’s design innovation...
UK
Mega load of updates lands for tons of Big Red gearOracle today emitted a huge batch of 299 security fixes for its software – including a patch for a vulnerability exploited by a leaked NSA tool that can hijack Solaris systems.Among the trove is a patch for CVE-2017-3622, a local privilege escalation hole in the Common Desktop Environment on Solaris 10 that is exploited by the NSA's now-public EXTREMEPARR tool to seize control of vulnerable machines.That leaves Solaris 7 to 9 potentially vulnerable on Sparc and x86; these operating systems are not supported by Oracle, so you're on your own with those.Another leaked NSA tool, EBBISLAND aka EBBSHAVE, attempts to exploit a kernel RPC vulnerability (CVE-2017-3623) in Solaris 6 to 10, on x86 and Sparc, to give the attacker a remote root shell.This flaw is not present on Solaris 11 nor on Solaris 10 with critical patches installed since January 21, 2012, nor systems running Solaris 10 Update 11.
US
If you always wanted to choose what songs you listen to on Pandora, now you can with its Premium service.Now, everyone who uses Pandora can enjoy having zero ads and the ability to select specific songs.Pandora’s $10 per month on-demand subscription Premium is now available to anyone in a country where the stream service is available.When Pandora Premium debuted in March, only users who requested an invite were able to sign up for the service and its 40 million song catalog.Now, you can simply go to Pandora Premium site and sign up with your credit card or PayPal account as your payment method.For mobile devices, you can access the upgrade option on Pandora Premium by going to the settings section of the Pandora app.
US
(For the record, it's the tech created by Pied Piper, the startup at the center of the popular comedy show.)HBO threw its fourth-season premiere party last week at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco's Presidio neighborhood, where (real) Silicon Valley elite like Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield mingled amid the backdrop of Darth Vader suits and Yoda fountains.CNET sat down with Amanda Crew (who plays Monica), Thomas Middleditch (Richard Hendricks), Kumail Nanjiani (Dinesh), Martin Starr (Gilfoyle) and Zach Woods (Jared Dunn) to talk about season 4, President Donald Trump and the real tech world.He didn't say which women will join the cast but said there will be three female coders, including one big role that lasts throughout the season.Crew, the only regular female cast member, said she's felt pressure to represent all women in the real Silicon Valley.It was all this pressure and all this focus."
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US
Ubicquia is making cities across the globe smarter with Kairo, a customizable, light pole-based router that takes advantage of existing city infrastructure.The inspiration for Kairo came from a street light outside of co-founder Tre Zimmerman’s house.The biggest issue they had was keeping the devices on 24 hours a day to record data they needed.“The cost of lithium-ion batteries, the cost of cabling, the cost of fiber, all of these things started to create a big impetus on the platform,” says Zimmerman.Then he spotted a street light outside his son’s room, still on at 2:00 pm.Kairo allows cities to monitor air quality, detect gunshots, automate EMS response, remotely control lighting platforms and more.
UK
With tensions rising between the US and North Korea, as well as Donald Trump's military escalation in Syria, it seems an air of concern has spread across the globe.Fittingly, Google searches for 'World War 3' have reached a record high.The search term has rocketed during April 2017, hitting its all-time spike since Google started collecting trending records for search back in 2004.The snapshot below from Google Trends shows what the world is searching for and an indication that people are seeking answers on whether we're on the brink of seeing World War III breakout.With the recent US airstrikes on Syria, it appears many have asked this exact question.In the past 30 days residents of the United States and UK top the list as the most interested region about the topic with related searches including 'has World War 3 been declared?'
US
Buying a piece of software via digital download can be a very different experience depending on the platform and the digital store.The Google Play Store and Apple App Store have their own limited return policies, while the Windows 10 and Xbox Stores have had a very limited refund policy that required jumping through some processing hoops.Microsoft is changing all that for Windows 10 and Xbox buyers, however, with a new policy that’s making its way from the Xbox Alpha group of beta testers to everyone else.Now, users will be able to process their own digital app purchase refunds in a manner that’s not only faster and easier but a bit more liberal as well, as Ars Technica reports.The news came first to gamers signed up for the Xbox One “Alpha” preview ring, with an announcement that promised a new refund program for both Xbox One and Windows 10 users.As Ars Technica notes, Microsoft’s new policy is similar to Steam’s, namely that buyers have 14 days to return a title after purchase and as long as they haven’t used an app or game for greater than two hours in total.
US
Spring is sprung in the UK city of Hull.A field of 1,700 cheery yellow daffodils popped up almost instantaneously in Hull's King Edward Square this week, but the blooms aren't real plants.They're made from 146,400 plastic Lego pieces.The festive spring display is the work of Bright Bricks, a Lego-creations company headed up by Duncan Titmarsh, the only Lego Certified Professional in the UK.The field of fake flowers is part of Hull's festivities celebrating its status as the 2017 UK City of Culture, a designation designed to highlight the city's art and cultural activities.The Lego flowers will stay up until April 22.
US
It doesn’t make me think any less of them or that I should seek an alternative, far from it, I am happier than ever with the service, because I don’t have to speak to them at all.Finance has moved a long way in the last few years from the traditional, regulatory strangled approach to a far more fluid customer focused attitude that means I am not only fully ‘locked in’ more importantly I don’t want to leave.Interestingly I don’t have the same opinion about the other financial services companies I deal or in the same vein the utility companies that offer a not dissimilar undifferentiated offering where service is key.Indeed social has evolved into the glue that binds to the customers not only keeping existing but also attracting new helping deliver commercial returns way beyond the investment.So what are the some FS companies doing right in social that other less savvy FS and broader utility service companies can learn from that help them commercially?When a service is so undifferentiated people expect speed and efficiency and it has fast become the norm that a speedy response is expected.
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UK
Sure, it's free and easy to use, but independent tests show its protection rates regularly dip below 90%, compared to 99.x% for the leading competition.Commercial packages often (although not always) deliver the best protection, and sometimes include extras like password managers, web filtering, antiphishing tech and more.If you're looking for the maximum security, at least consider parting with some cash.Browse the lengthy feature list of Avast Free Antivirus (v17.3.2291) and it might sound complex: antivirus, password auditing, a secure browser, software updater, network vulnerability checker, and more.Fortunately, the program bundles everything into its 'Smart Scan'.Launch this with one click and you'll soon get a report listing any malware it has uncovered, software patches you're missing, potentially risky browser add-ons, weak or duplicate passwords, and more.
US
One of the primary struggles Facebook advertisers face is ad fatigue.They'll run a campaign that works great for a while, but then it suddenly stops working.The evergreen Facebook ad campaign is a technique that can help.I first wrote about this process more than a year ago.
UK
Apple’s 10th anniversary smartphone, unofficially dubbed the iPhone 8, could be facing long delays due to technical “challenges,” according to a report on Friday.One analyst says the heavily-tipped 3D sensor technology expected to sit within both of the device’s cameras could hold up proceedings beyond the traditional September launch window.Brian White of Drexel Hamilton believes this tech, as well as the OLED displays, will be exclusive to the 5.8-inch iteration of 2017’s flagship.In a research note (via CNBC), White suggested it could arrive as late as December, but still make it in time for the Christmas surge.He wrote: "First off, our smartphone contact believes the 3D sensing technology and OLED displays will only be offered with the 5.8-inch iPhone 8."However, our contact strongly believes the 5.8-inch iPhone will be delayed by several weeks due to challenges around the 3D sensing technology but still in time for the December holidays."
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UK
The feature makes suggestions based on the users’ conversations.Social media giant Facebook has announced the launch of an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant to its Messenger chat app in the US.The feature will help users by giving suggestions based on the their conversations.Immediately available for iPhone and Android users in the US, the AI-based tool was tested by Facebook with a small percentage of users for the past few months.The new assistant will make suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities.Facebook said: “When we announced M over a year ago, it was a small AI experiment powered by humans that could fulfill almost any request.
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