As 2018 comes to a close, Apple has released a list of the best media and apps that people watched, played and listened to on its devices over the year.Note that these weren’t the top-downloaded apps.Instead, this is a curated selection of the best that came out this year for a global audience, according to Apple.Top apps for all platforms included the artsy & creative Procreate Pocket on iPhone, the educational AR app Froggipedia on iPad, image editing software Pixelmater Pro on Mac, and the fitness app Sweat on Apple TV.You guessed it: Battle Royale.Apple’s editorial wisdom has deemed Drake artist of the year, with Juice WRLD coming in as its top breakout artist with his debut album “Goodbye & Good Riddance” released back in May.
Shayla Bruyneel, a 40-year-old Michigan mom, recalls how she used to pick up a phone to call her friends when she was younger.Today, her two sons use a kid version of Facebook Messenger.They send selfies and emojis to their grandparents, aunts and uncles.When Bruyneel went shopping on Black Friday, her oldest son sent pictures of the family putting up the Christmas tree.She limits the children's time on a tablet or Wi-Fi-only phone to 20 minutes per session from Friday to Sunday."One of the things we've heard from parents over and over is they're looking for the ability to have their kids edge out and move beyond family and into more close friendships," said Jennifer Billock, who heads Messenger Kids at Facebook.
Razer is updating one of its most recognizable laptops, the 13.3-inch Blade Stealth, with a new chassis and specs.The updated Blade Stealth can be configured as a full HD, battery-conscious laptop or a 4K touchscreen machine with discrete graphics.At first glance, I thought the new Blade Stealth was smaller than the previous generation, until I placed them side by side.In reality, the 2.82-pound laptop is actually four-tenths of an inch thicker, with thinner 4.9mm bezels flanking the screen (which are 60 percent thinner than the last gen’s) that make it appear to have a smaller footprint.It also has a smaller power brick for charging over USB-C.Razer revamped the Stealth’s speaker setup, with four Dolby Atmos tuned speakers (two more than before) on both sides of the keyboard.
Specs at a glance: Helm Personal ServerQuad-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A72 w/TrustZone crypto module128GB NVMe SSD w/256-bit AES-XTS encryption802.11ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB-C 3.0111.1mm x 180.9mm x 130.1mm (4.375" x 7.125" x 5.125")$499.99 at the Helm store (plus $99/year subscription, waived for first year)
The research team at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology has reported that adding water into electrolyte improves the function of vanadium oxide, which is one of positive electrode material in calcium-ion batteries.Although water in electrolytes is known to produce many negative effects, it has now been found to bring about a phenomenon that speeds up the conventionally slow reaction of calcium-ion batteries.The results of the present study indicate that this phenomenon is caused by changes in the electrolyte structure.It is believed that this discovery will greatly benefit the development of electrolytes for implementing calcium-ion batteries in the future.Secondary batteries are valuable resources that support various industries.However, in recent years, the safety of secondary batteries has been brought into question with countless reports citing combustion.
Russian researchers announced the development of a combined action drug based on ionizing radiation and bacterial toxin.The drug affects tumor cells selectively providing better diagnostics and treatment of malignant tumors.These advances were reported in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.However, it is associated with severe side effects (hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, oedema, anemia, memory disorders, and so on) as the drugs affect the body in total and are accumulated throughout normal tissues.A perfect anti-cancer drug should provide a powerful impact to all tumor cells at once to prevent their recovery.The combined therapy proposed and realised by the Russian scientists appeared to be successful.
That's honestly the first thing I thought when Doug Griffin, the CEO of Nomadic, told me he'd struck a deal with Paramount and developer VRWERX to create a Mission: Impossible-inspired VR experience.Of course, the best part of virtual reality is you don't have to be an action star like Mission: Impossible's leading man to have a thrilling time."It's going to be about the adventure," Griffin told me.While many of Nomadic's experiences so far have been about zombies or stopping a drone invasion, the Mission: Impossible experience, which is still in development, won't be as focused on shooting enemies.For years, VR makers have promised to transport us to fantastical computer-generated worlds, from epic spaceship battles to massive movie theaters on the moon to scuba diving with a giant blue whale.Facebook's $399 Oculus Rift and HTC's $499 Vive still requires a high-end computer to play, pushing the costs beyond most casual players.
The company found that two of the leading machine-to-machine (M2M) protocols have inherent design issues, and are frequently deployed in an insecure manner.According to Trend Micro’s report, The Fragility of Industrial IoT’s Data Backbone, the issues lie with two popular M2M protocols — Message Queueing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) and Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP).These are frequently used in IoT devices, particularly those found within an industrial context.The report, which was written by researchers Federico Maggi and Rainer Vosseler, states that using simple keyword searches, attackers have been able to locate exposed IoT servers and brokers, and leak over 200 million MQTT messages and 19 million CoAP messages.Trend Micro was able to find messages relating to agriculture and healthcare.The researchers found 4,310 agriculture-related records from smart farms.
“NHSmail is completely down on all platforms.A complete outage of the NHS’s email system on Saturday has been blamed on provider Accenture, with the company now facing a substantial fine from regulators.The outage of the NHSmail system, which is run by the company on behalf of NHS Digital, was first reported by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).It lasted six hours, with redundancy features failing to kick in.NHS Chief Clinical Information Officer Simon Eccles confirmed the outage on Twitter over the weekend, describing it as “exceptionally unusual”.The team and supplier are investigating.
The head of MI6 has said the UK should carefully consider the role of Chinese firms in the nation’s telecoms infrastructure.In only his second speech since he assumed his position four years ago, Alex Younger discussed a range of national security issues – including the role of technology in protecting the UK against threats.When asked about Chinese firms such as Huawei and ZTE providing equipment for UK mobile operators’ rollouts of 5G, he suggested that caution should be exercised."We have got some decisions to take here," Mr Younger is quoted as saying."We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a quite definite position."We need to have a conversation.
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update’s problems rumble on, with Microsoft once again pausing the rollout of the update to certain PCs due to software incompatibility.The issue arises with people who have Morphisec Protector or another application that uses the Morphisec Software Development Kit (SDK) software installed on their PC.Apparently, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update’s incompatibility with this software is preventing people from saving Microsoft Office documents.This is a pretty major problem for those affected, which is why Microsoft has paused the rollout of the October 2018 Update to PCs that have the incompatible software installed.According to Microsoft, “Microsoft and Morphisec have identified an issue on devices that have installed Morphisec Protector or another application that uses the Morphisec Software Development Kit (SDK) including: Cisco AMP for Endpoints.These applications may impact customers’ ability to save Microsoft Office documents.”
Finally, it looks like electronic SIMs are starting to actually happen.When you think about it, there's really no reason getting connected to your phone network should require a little piece of plastic: why can't you just sign in with your credentials like every other digital service?Google has been leading the charge towards eSIMs, as they're called: the Pixel 2 was the first big smartphone to offer eSIM capability, and now the Pixel 3 has followed suit.Google has announced in a blog post that the Pixel 3 and 3XL will soon be available with eSIM support (hard luck to anyone who's already bought one, then).The new eSIM Pixels will only be available on certain carriers, and in the UK it's just EE.The Pixel ThrEE with EEsim (sorry – there's a reason we don't work in marketing) will be available "in the coming months."
Yang Weidong, head of Alibaba-backed video platform Youku and CEO of Alibaba Music is under investigation for “economic issues,” Alibaba has confirmed to media including Tencent Tech (in Chinese).The company said the investigation was due to evidence reported to police by sources, without giving other details.The official confirmation has quickly attracted attention from China’s general content, culture, and entertainment industry.It is still unclear to what extent Yang’s case will influence Alibaba’s recent operations in related fields.During an event Youku organized in Shanghai in 2017, Yang publicly said that there’s no ceiling to Alibaba culture and entertainment units’ investment in content.According to Chinese media Huxiu (in Chinese), the investigation lasted for more than a month.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft is working on a replacement for its Edge web browser – which is the default option in Windows 10 – that will use Google’s Chromium base under the hood.If that’s legit, it’ll see Microsoft swap out the EdgeHTML engine it built from scratch for the one that’s part of the open source Chromium base, and powers Google Chrome, Opera, and Brave.Besides what Windows Central has heard, the rumor is supported by code contributions made to the Chromium project by Microsoft engineers.The new browser is said to have been codenamed ‘Anaheim.’The move could help fix some of the performance issues that have plagued Edge for some time now – though it’s possible that, like Chrome, Microsoft’s browser could eventually become a memory hog with its new underlying platform.It’s still unclear as to whether the new browser will be called Edge or get a whole new brand, and whether it’ll get a different user interface.
Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, is to testify before Congress for the first time this week, following in the footsteps of other internet firms including Facebook and Twitter.He faces questioning on Wednesday before the House judiciary committee, in an event observers have suggested is likely to be taken as an occasion to put Google on the hot seat.The testimony is to be followed on Thursday by a meeting at the White House that Pichai is scheduled to attend along with other technology chiefs.Wednesday’s grilling comes as US politicians are increasingly leaning in favour of enacting the US’ first federal data privacy law, and in an atmosphere of hostility against Google by US President Trump.Google has made efforts to avoid being seen in the same light as other internet media companies, and in September was represented by an empty chair after Pichai refused to testify before the Senate intelligence committee along with Jack Dorsey, chief executive of, Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook.Pichai reportedly agreed in principle to this week’s appearance in a private meeting with politicians that followed the September hearing.
AIKEN, S.C. (December 4, 2018) - Savannah River National Laboratory, in collaboration with Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and Savannah River Consulting LLC, has demonstrated the use of electrochemical techniques to monitor the growth status and energy levels of microorganisms used in biotechnology industries.As published in a recent Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Express article, the techniques monitor the microbes in real time, improving the cost-effectiveness of the results compared to conventional sampling and analysis.Microorganisms are used in many industrial applications, including production of fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and foods (e.g., ethanol, acetate, biodegradable plastics, penicillin, and yogurt).Like all organisms, microorganisms use food sources such as sugars, proteins, and lipids to obtain organic carbon for growth as well as energy from electrons released during break-down of food sources.A decline in the vigor of a microbial culture could be caused by a diminishing food source, presence of a growth inhibitor, or contamination from another culture.To ensure the microbes are performing optimally, their cell numbers and / or chemical byproducts must be monitored.
With the exception of Thor, most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’ superheroes, spandex-clad or not, are Earthbound.Of course, there’s the Guardians, but that’s a different story.With Captain Marvel, we’re getting our first real outer space superhero.If you didn’t get that vibe with the first official trailer, then fret not.Trailer 2 has finally landed it’s finally giving some space action worthy of a Kree noble warrior hero.It is the studio’s first standalone film with a female lead, who happens to be (arguably) the strongest woman in the galaxy.
Meituan Dianping, a Chinese mega lifestyle app, has sent 89 people to the police as part of an internal anti-corruption campaign.Since February, the company’s investigation division, dubbed “Major Crime Unit Six,” a name borrowed from a famous Chinese police and crime TV series, has closely examined the company’s operations.The alleged suspects include staff members and others who were involved in nearly a dozen crimes against internal business operations.According to an official release, the company also sent 59 individuals from partner companies, who were involved in 18 corruption crimes, to the police.Meituan declined to comment on the nature of the alleged wrongdoing but said that a senior channel director at its food delivery unit was fired for violating an internal must-obey regulation that prohibits taking bribes from partners.In an official anti-corruption notice, Meituan said it has a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption for both its staff and partners.
Google finally took action after eight Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech apps were allegedly involved in ad fraud last week.The search giant removed CM File manager and Kika keyboard apps after an internal investigation.The company found that these two apps contained code which can be used to execute ad fraud through various techniques.“We take these allegations very seriously and our Google Play Developer policies prohibit deceptive and malicious behavior on our platform.If an app violates our policies, we take action,” it said in a statement.According to app analytics company AppBrain, CM File Manager has more than 50 million downloads, and Kika Keyboard has over 100 million downloads.
Russia returned to crewed spaceflight today, sending a fresh complement of crew to the International Space Station (ISS) following a successful launch of the venerable Soyuz-FG booster.The lift off occurred at 11:31 UTC today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and was the first with crew since October’s attempt to get two new crew members to the ISS, which memorably ended with an abort that sent the crew capsule safely back to earth as things went wrong on the fiery end of the rocket.The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle together with Soyuz MS-11 manned spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonurcosmodrome at 11:31 UTC.Live broadcast → https://t.co/tL30gTow3Y pic.twitter.com/371jmpfq2s— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) December 3, 2018There was no repeat of the incident, which saw one of the Soyuz’s strap-on boosters make contact with the vehicle and rupture a fuel tank.