Tech News Feed

What's the best blender for smoothies?

Engadget - 10 min 34 sec ago
By Lesley Stockton This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here. A thick and vel...

'Snapdragon 1000' Chip May Be Designed For PCs From the Ground Up

SlashDot - 40 min 34 sec ago
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 processor may be intended for PCs, but it's still a half step -- it's really a higher-clocked version of the same processor you'd find in your phone. The company may be more adventurous the next time, though. From a report: WinFuture says it has obtained details surrounding SDM1000 (possibly Snapdragon 1000), a previously hinted-at CPU that would be designed from the start for PCs. It would have a relatively huge design compared to most ARM designs (20mm x 15mm) and would consume a laptop-like 12W of power across the entire system-on-a-chip. It would compete directly with Intel's low-power Core processors where the existing 835 isn't really in the ballpark. A reference design found in import databases might give a clue as to what you could expect: it'd have up to 16GB of RAM and two 128GB storage modules.

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Some Science Journals That Claim To Peer Review Papers Do Not Do So

SlashDot - 1 hour 40 min ago
A rising number of journals that claim to review submissions do not bother to do so. Not coincidentally, this seems to be leading some academics to inflate their publication lists with papers that might not pass such scrutiny. The Economist: Experts debate how many journals falsely claim to engage in peer review. Cabells, an analytics firm in Texas, has compiled a blacklist of those which it believes are guilty. According to Kathleen Berryman, who is in charge of this list, the firm employs 65 criteria to determine whether a journal should go on it -- though she is reluctant to go into details. Cabells' list now totals around 8,700 journals, up from a bit over 4,000 a year ago. Another list, which grew to around 12,000 journals, was compiled until recently by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado. Using Mr Beall's list, Bo-Christer Bjork, an information scientist at the Hanken School of Economics, in Helsinki, estimates that the number of articles published in questionable journals has ballooned from about 53,000 a year in 2010 to more than 400,000 today. He estimates that 6% of academic papers by researchers in America appear in such journals.

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DNA synthesis breakthrough could lead to faster medical discoveries

Engadget - 1 hour 50 min ago
For all of the advancements in genetic research, DNA synthesis hasn't changed much in over four decades. That could make it a serious obstacle to scientists who are otherwise racing to develop a new drug or understand the human body. It might final...

8 Months After a Surge of Complaints, Apple Announces a Repair Program For Its Flawed MacBooks and MacBook Pros

SlashDot - 2 hours 40 min ago
Casey Johnston, writing for The Outline: At long last, Apple admitted to its customers that its MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard designs are so flawed and prone to sticking or dead keys, as originally reported by The Outline in October, and that it will cover the cost of repairs beyond the products' normal warranty. The admission comes after the company has been hit with no fewer than three class action lawsuits concerning the computers and their ultra-thin butterfly-switch keyboards. While the repair and replacement program covers costs and notes that Apple will repair both single keys as well as whole keyboards when necessary, it doesn't note whether the replacements will be a different, improved design that will prevent the problem from happening again (and again, and again).

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Ben Heck's Alexa clock crane

Engadget - 4 hours 10 min ago
While the element14 Community is running a design challenge to help those with mental and physical impairments (which you can join in on), Sean and Connor Miller work with Ben, Felix and Karen to help a family member with multiple sclerosis. Watc...

Doctor Who: Season 11 release date, trailer, plot details and more - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 40 min ago
There's a new season on the way with a new Doctor. Here's what you need to know and what to expect.

eBay and Amazon Delist Faulty Carbon Monoxide Alarms

SlashDot - 5 hours 6 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Dozens of potentially deadly carbon monoxide alarms have been removed from sale by Amazon and eBay after a Which? investigation found some of them would not have protected their buyers. The consumer group tested four alarms that were on sale on both sites -- including an Amazon bestseller -- and found that they consistently failed to sound when the gas was present.... It said one of the alarms -- the Topolek GEHS007AW CO alarm (£14.99) -- was listed as a bestseller on Amazon. It failed to detect the gas in more than 80% of tests. Three other unbranded alarms that were made in China and sold through sellers on Amazon and eBay for under £10 also repeatedly failed to sound when there was carbon monoxide present... Which? said all four claimed to meet the British safety standard for detecting carbon monoxide. Both Amazon and eBay have now removed the alarms -- as well as "another 50 lookalike alarms."

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Google Pixel Wear OS smartwatch: rumored specs, price and release date - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 40 min ago
Google’s own smartwatch could arrive this year. Here’s what we know (or think we know) so far.

Google adds anti-tampering DRM to Android apps in the Play Store

Engadget - 8 hours 32 min ago
Google has made a small change to Play Store apps that could prove a significant help to the security of your Android phone. The company is now adding a "small amount" of security metadata to Android APKs to be sure that they were distributed throug...

NYT: 'Firefox Is Back. It's Time to Give It a Try.'

SlashDot - 9 hours 6 min ago
Another high-profile endorsement for Firefox -- this time from the lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times. (Alternate link here). The web has reached a new low. It has become an annoying, often toxic and occasionally unsafe place to hang out. More important, it has become an unfair trade: You give up your privacy online, and what you get in return are somewhat convenient services and hyper-targeted ads. That's why it may be time to try a different browser. Remember Firefox...? About two years ago, six Mozilla employees were huddled around a bonfire one night in Santa Cruz, Calif., when they began discussing the state of web browsers. Eventually, they concluded there was a "crisis of confidence" in the web. "If they don't trust the web, they won't use the web," Mark Mayo, Mozilla's chief product officer, said in an interview.... After testing Firefox for the last three months, I found it to be on a par with Chrome in most categories. In the end, Firefox's thoughtful privacy features persuaded me to make the switch and make it my primary browser. The Times cites privacy features like Firefox's "Facebook Container," which prevents Facebook from tracking you after you've left their site. While both Chrome and Firefox have tough security (including sandboxing), Cooper Quintin, a security researcher for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, tells the Times that Google "is fundamentally an advertising company, so it's unlikely that they will ever have a business interest in making Chrome more privacy friendly."

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How Should Open Source Development Be Subsidized?

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-06-23 23:34
"Open source maintainers are exhausted and rarely paid," writes TechCrunch's editorial manager. "A new generation wants to change the economics." An anonymous reader quotes their report: [Patreon] is increasingly being used by notable open source contributors as a way to connect with fans and sustain their work... For those who hit it big, the revenues can be outsized. Evan You, who created the popular JavaScript frontend library Vue.js, has reached $15,206 in monthly earnings ($182,472 a year) from 231 patrons... While Patreon is one direct approach for generating revenues from users, another one is to offer dual licenses, one free and one commercial... Companies care about proper licensing, and that becomes the leverage to gain revenue while still maintaining the openness and spirit of open source software... Tidelift is designed to offer assurances "around areas like security, licensing, and maintenance of software," CEO Donald Fischer explained... In addition, Tidelift handles the mundane tasks of setting up open source for commercialization such as handling licensing issues... Open Collective wants to open source the monetization of open source itself. Open Collective is a non-profit platform that provides tools to "collectives" to receive money while also offering mechanisms to allow the members of those collectives to spend their money in a democratic and transparent way. TechCrunch warns that "It's not just that people are free riding, it's often that they don't even realize it. Software engineers can easily forget just how much craftsmanship has gone into the open source code that powers the most basic of applications... "If you work at a for-profit company, take the lead in finding a way to support the code that allows you to do your job so efficiently. The decentralization and volunteer spirit of the open source community needs exactly the same kind of decentralized spirit in every financial contributor. Sustainability is each of our jobs, every day."

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Cell-sized 'microlasers' could regulate brain activity

Engadget - Sat, 2018-06-23 23:11
Scientists have spent years creating ever-smaller lasers. Berkeley Lab's latest invention, however, is something special -- and could lead to a significant change in medicine. An international team at the school has developed "microlasers" that are s...

George Lucas's Terrible Idea for Star Wars Episodes 7-9

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-06-23 21:36
In an interview with James Cameron, George Lucas reveals what he'd planed for the final three Star Wars films: "[The next three 'Star Wars' films] were going to get into a microbiotic world," he told Cameron. "There's this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force...." In terms of his storytelling, Lucas regarded individuals as "vehicles for the Whills to travel around in... And the conduit is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force." Lucas is confident that had he kept his company, the Whills-focused films "would have been done. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did 'Phantom Menace' and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told." Lucas acknowledges in the interview that "Everybody hated it in 'Phantom Menace' [when] we started talking about midi-chlorians," prompting one Ars Technica editor to add "Because it was a really dumb idea." He speculates that if the final three Star Wars movies followed Lucas's original plan, "Imagine, if you can, our heroes shrinking down like the Fantastic Voyage to go meet some midi-chlorians." Knowing Lucas's plans for the franchise "should make every Star Wars fan send a note of gratitude to whoever at Disney decided to buy the franchise and take it away and out from under Lucas' control."

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'Snapdragon 1000' chip may be designed for PCs from the ground up

Engadget - Sat, 2018-06-23 21:24
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 processor may be intended for PCs, but it's still a half step -- it's really a higher-clocked version of the same processor you'd find in your phone. The company may be more adventurous the next time, though. WinFuture say...

Scientists are building a DNA database to fight illegal logging

Engadget - Sat, 2018-06-23 19:42
DNA evidence could put criminals behind bars, but only if there's something to compare it to. That's why a project that aims to combat illegal logging is now building a DNA database of trees, which could help authorities determine if logs being sold...

Can Two Injections of Tuberculosis Vaccine Cure Diabetes?

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-06-23 19:37
An anonymous reader quotes Fortune: The causes of Type 1 diabetes can be significantly reversed over several years with just two injections of a common tuberculosis vaccine injected a few weeks apart, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital announced Thursday in a paper published in the journal Nature. Researchers found a substantial reduction in the blood-sugar marker HbA1c that is used to diagnose diabetes. All subjects with diabetes who received the vaccine had a 10% reduction after three years and 18% after four years, bringing them below the cutoff point for a clinical diagnosis. Those subjects followed for a full eight years retained most of the reduction. Participants who received a placebo or were in a reference group that followed normal diabetic management saw their blood sugar measurement rise by a few percentage points during the same periods followed... A 10% reduction in Hb1Ac reduces the risk of death as a result of diabetes by 21%, and drops by 37% other complications, like blindness and loss of feeling in hands and feet, according to a 2000 study.

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Carfection: For the love of cars Podcast, Ep. 2 - Le Mans, Miatas and more - Roadshow

CNET News - Sat, 2018-06-23 19:29
Follow the Carfection team on the road to Le Mans and take in predictions of the McLaren Senna

Tesla Autopilot Safety Defeat Device Gets a Cease-and-Desist From NHTSA

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-06-23 18:41
schwit1 writes: The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) is cracking down on a device that was designed to trick Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot feature into thinking a driver is paying attention, in order to extend the amount of time that it will operate without anyone touching the steering wheel. NHTSA announced on Tuesday that it has sent a cease and desist letter to the makers of Autopilot Buddy, and has given the company until June 29 to end sales and distribution of the $199 product. The device is a two-piece weighted hoop with magnets that wraps around a steering wheel spoke and registers with the car's sensors as a hand on the wheel. Autopilot is programmed to disengage after a short period of time if the driver is not touching the wheel and ignores a series of alerts to take control.unity.

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World Cup memes 2018: Mexico wins again, Germany hangs on - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-06-23 18:24
The momentum is with Mexico, which rolled to another victory, while defending champ Germany needed every second to win.