Val Strefeler

Val Strefeler

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Following 20
US
Researchers at Aalto University and Cambridge University have made a significant breakthrough in computational science by combining atomic-level modelling and machine learning.For the first time, the method has been used to realistically model how an amorphous material is formed at the atomic level: that is, a material that does not have a regular crystalline structure.The approach is expected to have impact on the research of many other materials.In this way, we have obtained a more accurate model', explains Postdoctoral Researcher Miguel Caro.The prevailing understanding over the last 30 years of the formation mechanism for amorphous carbon film has been based on assumptions and indirect experimental results.The new method has now overturned the earlier qualitative models and provided a precise atomic-level picture of the formation mechanism.
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Sony’s little-loved handheld, the Vita, is rumored to be winding down, and the gaming world will be lesser for its absence.Earlier today, TechSpot reported the Spanish PlayStation Twitter said the Vita had been discontinued in its region.If the device isn’t dead already, the prospects of the now-seven-year-old handheld are certainly looking grim.Compared with the industry-altering success of the Nintendo 3DS and Switch, the Vita hasn’t had the same lasting impact.In 2016, TechRadar reported the console enjoyed more popularity in Japan, but I suspect that has dwindled with the release of the Switch, of which 3.4 million units were sold in 2017 in that country alone.But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern.
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UK
Towards the start of the year leaks claimed that Apple had reduced the production of iPhone X handsets by 50 per cent due to slow sales over the Christmas period.Now something similar seems to be happening with the HomePod, Apple's Siri-powered smart speaker.This news comes courtesy of Bloomberg which notes that while the HomePod performed well during the pre-order phase, it hasn't performed quite so well after it launched.According to figures given to the site by Slice Intelligence the speaker claimed about a third of US smart speaker sales during the last week of January, though sales quickly tanked.Over the first 10 weeks of sale the speaker only managed to claim 10 per cent of the smart speaker market, compared to 14 per cent from Google and 73 per cent from Amazon.In fact, three weeks post-launch the HomePod was only averaging 4 per cent of the market share in weekly sales.
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UK
As you might well have noticed, Microsoft’s next big update for Windows 10 – thought to be called the Spring Creators Update – didn’t emerge yesterday, and has apparently been delayed due to the presence of a significant bug.As we previously reported, the Spring Creators Update was expected to debut on April 10, but according to sources who spoke to Windows Central, Microsoft found a ‘blocking bug’ over the past weekend which needs to be fixed before the big rollout begins.A blocking bug simply refers to a problem which is serious enough to halt the progress of deployment until a solution is found and implemented.So when will we see this next big update for Windows 10?The fix is likely to take another couple of weeks, so in other words, the Spring Creators Update may now have been pushed back to the last week of April.The update contains some major changes to Windows 10 including work to the interface, revolving around Microsoft’s fresh Fluent Design look, alongside a new Timeline feature which allows for seamless working across multiple devices.
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UK
In recent years, the notion of true artificial intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly surpassed merely a scientific abstraction.A number of weeks ago, the European Commission announced plans to investigate the ethics of AI via the launch of a new group.Tasked with assessing the benefits of the technology and its potential impact on the future of work, the group’s ultimate goal will be to make informed policy recommendations to facilitate the right kind of deployment.By the close of 2018, the expectations are that the group will have drafted a thorough set of guidelines for ethical advancements in the field across Europe.Specifically, its work will focus on fairness, transparency, the role of AI in the workplace, democracy, and whether or not the technology infringes upon the Charter of Fundamental Rights.At this moment in time, tech firms globally are pulling away from regulators in the race to shape the future of AI as it becomes more deeply embedded in our daily lives.
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US
I just heard that Uber bought the Jump bike-sharing service today.The company dots the streets of Washington DC, San Francisco and Sacramento with rentable, electric-assist bikes that zip along at breakneck speeds.It's cheaper, easier, healthier and faster than hiring an Uber -- and comes with 100 percent less awkward conversation with your Uber driver about being an Uber driver.Now it's owned by Uber.Sure, Jump bikes have been available to rent from the Uber app ever since the companies partnered to launch the "Uber Bike" program earlier this year, but they were still Jump bikes.Now I'm worried the company is going to go all-in on that pilot program, paint the bright-red bicycles black and call them Uber Bikes.
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UK
The Pokemon roster is getting another mythical creature later this year.Today, The Pokemon Company released a trailer for the franchise’s 21st movie (yes, there have been that many), which gives us the briefest of glimpse at this new Pocket Monster.This electric Pokemon goes by the name of Zeraora, and as you’d imagine, details on it are fairly slim at the moment.Here’s what we know so far, thanks to Pokemon’s US site.Zeraora is known as the “Thunderclap Pokemon” and is a single-type electric monster.Unlike most of the other electric Pokemon out there, Zeraora doesn’t generate electricity within its body, instead gathering and storing electricity from the world around it.
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The scientists have analyzed the mechanisms which reside behind the phenomenon of dynamic fragmentationof ductile metallic materials, that is, those that exhibit large permanent deformations when they are subjected to severe mechanical loading (steel, aluminum, tantalum...).Previously it was thought that dynamic fragmentation was basically triggeredby the inherent defects of the material (pores).What this research suggests is thatthe key mechanism which controls dynamic fragmentation may not be the porosity of the metallic material (defects), but the inertia effects.One of the authors of the study, Komi Espoir N'Souglo, pointed out that "we have developed a simple analytical model to shed light into the mechanisms which control dynamic fragmentation in porous metals used in the aerospace industry and the civilian-security sector".This scientist works in this research line at UC3M within the European research project OUTCOME."This work provides a new approach for analyzing and designing structures for which it is important to predict and control the size of the fragments that form when a metallic material fractures under impact loading," added OUTCOME project coordinator, José Antonio Rodríguez, from the Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis, and coauthor of the paper recently published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
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UK
Apple update will make it easier for users to understand privacy information, get copies of their data and also deactivate account.Apple has unveiled new privacy features to comply with the implementation of GDPR, which comes into effect on 25 May.CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, said that the tech giant will roll out four privacy management tools that will provide users the ability to obtain a copy of their data, request a correction of data and deactivate account or delete the account.The tools, which will be available on the Apple ID account page, will be introduced in the EU in May and later rolled out globally.Apart from deactivating the account, all other three tasks can be done already by filling online forms or calling AppleCare, he said.Implementing GDPR aims to give citizens within the EU more control over their information and how companies use it.
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US
The Easter Bunny came to Snapchat and brought a taste of Pokemon Go with him.Snapchat Friday introduced The Great Snapchat Egg Hunt, a Snap Map-based game that gives users until April Fool’s Day—9 a.m. PT April 1/midnight ET April 2—to collect as many eggs as they can.Error loading player: No playable sources foundSnapchat Friday introduced The Great Snapchat Egg HuntHere’s how it works: Starting Friday, users in the U.S. and Canada will start seeing decorated eggs on their Snap Maps, “hidden” in public locations such as coffee shops, shopping centers, airports, college campuses and amusement parks.More than 1 million eggs will be hidden.
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UK
Russia has said it will expel the same number of diplomats from the US and other nations that expelled Russian diplomats and will close the US consulate in St Petersburg.Last week, Western countries announced more than 100 agents were being sent home from around 20 countries in what Theresa May called the “largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history”.This is a breaking news story and will be updated.Check back for the fullest version.Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.
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US
Google Maps is one of the most-used apps in America; the fifth-most used, actually, according to comScore.Google will now attempt to broaden the reach of one of its most successful properties with 39 new languages just added to the Google Maps app.However, if you were looking forward to hearing turn-by-turn directions in Icelandic, it doesn’t appear that the audible languages have expanded.Google doesn’t explicitly say as such, but from the GIF it supplied in its press release on the matter, it appears the new languages are only for on-screen text, not voice.Still, there are a lot of widely-spoken languages on the list, some of which it’s surprising weren’t already supported, like Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.The full list of the 39 new languages is below.
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UK
The US military’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, or JNLWD, is experimenting with a prototype that uses nano lasers to manipulate air and sound, creating noises that, they hope, will eventually mimic human speech.Defense One’s Patrick Turner explains:The weapon is composed of two parts: first, a femtosecond laser, which shoots a burst of focused light for 10−15 seconds, just long enough to rip the electrons from air molecules and create a ball of plasma.(Sometimes called the fourth state of matter, plasma is a field of electrified gas, highly responsive to electromagnetic effects.)The scientists then hit that plasma field with a second nanolaser, tuned to an extremely narrow range of wavelengths.They use that to manipulate the plasma field in a way that can produce light and noise.
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YouTube wants a larger piece of the streaming music pie than it’s currently earned, so it’s come up with an audacious plan that you’re going to hate – and it involves more ads.In an interview at SXSW, YouTube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, said that people who listen to plenty of music on the platform will encounter more ads between tracks.The idea is to annoy users by bombarding them with ads, so that they consider subscribing to the upcoming music service it’s working on.Cohen noted that this is part of a larger strategy to get people to pay for music, and improve monetization for record labels and distributors.Of course, there’s money in it for YouTube too, and plenty of it.Bloomberg reported that Youtube raked in $10 billion in revenue in 2017, mostly from ads; drawing subscribers in could earn it even more cash in the future.
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UK
The latest development in the Samsung Galaxy X story isn’t the best news for those hoping to get hands on the anticipated foldable smartphone in 2018.In an exclusive interview with Salman Saeed, Qualcomm’s product manager of display technology, TechRadar was told we might not see the phone arrive as soon as recent rumors have teased.In fact, it might be years until something along the lines of the foldable phone, like what we’ve seen in leaked Samsung patents, actually comes to fruition.Beyond the fierce challenge of fine-tuning the user experience across multiple displays to justify their existence, durability continues to be the main issue."They [phone manufacturers] haven’t cracked the material science right now to produce electrodes that can repeatedly withstand bending and folding."Specifically, Saeed points to the transistors in the display architecture as being the weakest link, pointing out that the components responsible for powering individual pixels “are not flexible enough today” to withstand frequent bending.
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UK
3D printers haven’t quite ushered in a new industrial revolution, but every day it seems there’s another irrational reason why you might consider buying one.As this soothing timelapse reveals, if you’ve got the patience to wait almost ten days, you could 3D print yourself an impressive replica of the Millennium Falcon in a single pass.Typically, when we see 3D-printed replicas as large as this 2.3-foot long Millennium Falcon, they’re assembled from hundreds of smaller 3D-printed parts.But YouTube’s stonefx83 didn’t want to go to all that trouble, so he simply scaled up Andrew Askedall’s 3D model of the Falcon, and then let his printer run for over nine days and 21 hours straight.The machine consumed over six-and-a-half pounds of plastic filament in the process, and thankfully didn’t screw up once, which would have required the entire print to be restarted from scratch.Oh, that’s why no one 3D-prints giant models like this in one pass.
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More recently, the company has been on a mission to try to set this aright by taking down more of the bad stuff — be it malware-laden sites, get-rich-quick schemes, offensive content, or fake news — and today it’s publishing the latest of its annual “bad ads” reports to chart that progress.Overall, it appears that Google has been nabbing more violating content than ever before — a result, it says, of new detection techniques and a wider set of guidelines over what is permissible and what is not.Google last year also introduced page-level enforcement — a way of evaluating content not just on an overall site but on specific pages within it, and then removing ads on violating pages.The new process has led to more than 2 million pages each month getting blocked from using Google ads.It also broke out how it performed across specific categories of violations.And 79 million ads were blocked because clicking on them led to sites with malware, while 400,000 sites containing malware were also removed as part of that process.
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But this is a high-end smartphone and most of us will just fear our eyes on it.That’s why even more people are interested in another handset that is set to launch along with this handset on March 16.As you guess, we are talking about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, which has been launched a bit earlier in India as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.The only thing remaining unknown has been the price.But today we have got a certain information how much this phone will cost.Most of the hardware of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will be identical to the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
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Intel's launched new and low-ish end versions of its Optane solid state disks based on 3D XPoint non-volatile memory.The new Optane SSD 800P comes in 58GB and 118GB variants, both in the M.2 2280 form factor and requiring an NVMe PCIe 3.0 x2 interface.Intel's advised the product can be used "as a standalone SSD, in a dual drive setup or in a multiple SSD RAID configuration".Given the small capacities, The Register imagines the 800P will hardly ever be used alone, although perhaps the 118GB model could power a MacBook-Air-esque laptop as Apple ships that computer woith just 128GB of flash storage.The new products are also happy in the low-power states used by laptop computers, or Intel's own NUC mini-PCs.Given the devices' keen prices - US$199 for 118 GB and and $129 for 58GB.
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The cryptocurrency mining malware epidemic is getting out of hand: nearly 50,000 WordPress sites have been surreptitiously infected with crypto-jacking scripts, according to security researcher Troy Mursch from Bad Packets Report.Relying on source-code search engine PublicWWW to scan the web for pages running crypto-jacking malware, Mursch was able to identify at least 48,953 affected websites.The researcher notes that Coinhive continues to be the most widespread crypto-jacking script out there, accounting for close to 40,000 infected websites – a stunning 81 percent of all recorded cases.It is worth pointing out that Mursch was able to find at least 30,000 websites running Coinhive back in November last year.For the rest, Bad Packets Report indicates the remaining 19 percent are spread between various Coinhive alternatives, like Crypto-Loot, CoinImp, Minr and deepMiner.His research suggests there are 2,057 sites infected by Crypto-Loot, 4,119 by CoinImp, 692 sites by Minr, and 2,160 by deepMiner.
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