Smart Batteries Could Make Gadgets and Electric Cars Last Longer | MIT Technology Review
One test was intended to determine how a smart watch could benefit from having a flexible battery in its strap as well as a conventional battery in its body. Bendable batteries are not very efficient at providing a lot of power at once. So the researchers programmed their software to carefully balance the work of the two batteries during a simulated day of activity that included checking messages and going for a run. In the test, that balancing act extended battery life by more than an hour.
THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL LENDING: 2015 [SLIDE DECK]
The lending industry is undergoing a major transformation driven by digital. A new class of companies called peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders are creating online marketplaces that are pulling both borrowers and investors away from traditional banks.
Your Boarding Pass Barcode Can Reveal Your Future Flight Schedule
When you pick up a boarding pass, it has many of your personal details splashed all over it. But the innocuous-looking barcode contains an even richer seam of information about your travel plans and habits — and it may pay to keep it hidden away from prying eyes.
Facebook Messenger launches on Apple Watch, gains iPad multitasking & Spotlight support
Facebook today issued a notable update to its Facebook Messenger iOS app today, bringing three major iOS 9 and watchOS 2 enhancements. Most importantly, today’s update includes the native Apple Watch application introduced at Apple’s September 9th event. The app has support for viewing and responding to conversations as well as sending stickers. Specific to the iPad, Facebook Messenger’s interface is now dynamic so it can support split-screen apps in the updated multitasking view. Across all iOS 9 devices, Facebook will now show conversations and contacts in the Proactive Spotlight screens.
Gorgeous Aurora Borealis puts on show over Scotland in timelapse video
Spectators hoping to see the aurora borealis were handsomely rewarded on Wednesday night across the UK and Ireland. This stunning timelapse shows the phenomenon lighting up in the skies over Ardersier, a small town in Scotland. [Additional reporting by Storyful]
How Does Life For Working Parents In Finland Compare To Those In The U.S.?
Donna Morris, Adobe’s senior vice president, global people and places, says, "It’s pretty sad to hear stories of the average American working somewhere who has a child and is back to work in six weeks after giving birth. As a mom myself, it would be pretty hard to rebound after six weeks and be back at work. What we want to do is support our employees so that they are really able to be at their very best, and I think it is hard to be at your very best in the event that you just brought a new baby home."
Lightroom mobile app for iOS is now a standalone image editor free for everyone
Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile app for iPad and iPhone has generally been known as a companion app for the company’s desktop photo management tool. While it was always available free for download, it required the desktop app — and a subscription to Creative Cloud — to achieve a meaningful workflow.
The City-Sculpting Buildings of Chicago’s Biggest Architect
Just look at Gang’s Aqua tower. The 82-story high-rise looms over the Cultural Center, its undulating concrete balconies serving not only as a sculptural statement, but as a multi-tiered venue for outdoor socializing among neighbors—including ones on different floors. Down the street she is planning Vista Tower, which is actually three adjacent undulating skyscrapers (the tallest is 93 stories), stepping down like cell phone bars and clad in a progressing gradient of glass patterns, each responding to the buildings’ varying floor plates. She’s moving ahead with a 400-foot skyscraper next to San Francisco’s Embarcadero, with projecting bays shifting from floor-to-floor to disperse views and form a spiraling shape. She’s got an 180,000 square-foot office tower in construction in New York with a faceted glass skin whose shape was carved out dramatically to receive adequate sunlight while also not crowding the adjacent High Line. And she just opened Northerly Island, a former man-made peninsula on Chicago’s lakefront that she helped transform into a vibrant park incorporating several types of habitats and cultural facilities.
Everything Amazon announced at AWS re:Invent 2015
AWS today announced the launch of new database tools to run production databases on its public cloud. There’s now a Database Migration Service that allows companies to easily move databases to AWS that takes 10 to 15 minutes to set up. The promise here is to run the same databases in the cloud at a lower cost. But databases are complicated pieces of software. To make things simpler, AWS today introduced a free Schema Conversion Tool that automatically changes up schema and database code so that existing databases can work with the ones available on Amazon’s public cloud.
Neurosurgeon Emad Eskandar Thinks He Can Cure Complex Psychiatric Disorders Using Implanted Electrodes | MIT Technology Review
Deep brain stimulation has been used for almost two decades to treat patients with severe forms of Parkinson’s (and since 2009 to treat a far smaller number of patients with OCD). As many as 125,000 people are living with electrodes implanted in their brains. As part of President Obama’s Brain Initiative, Eskandar is co-leading a team of doctors, scientists, and engineers that is one year into a five-year, $30 million effort to use DBS to treat severe psychiatric disorders, most of which have been considered too complex and mysterious for any such system currently on the market. Conditions like schizophrenia, PTSD, and depression are characterized by unpredictable changes in the brain that lead to intermittent episodes. Taming them will require a new kind of device capable not just of stimulating the brain but of monitoring brain activity in real time and detecting anomalies that, in many cases, neuroscientists have not yet identified.
Can We Shape the Robot Revolution? | MIT Technology Review
“It meant one person could produce 50 pounds of cotton per day instead of one pound,” Brooks said. “That made cotton a worldwide export business in the U.S., and it has been well argued that without the invention of the cotton gin we never would have had the civil war, and slavery would have died out much earlier.”
Apple Pay to expand to Starbucks, Chili's, KFC
KFC and Chili's restaurants also will begin accepting Apple Pay in 2016, she said at the Re/code technology conference in Half Moon Bay, California.
Eerie Photos Trace the Strange History of Nukes
Photography was vital in the development of nuclear weapons, helping scientists understand how they behave, and what impact they have. Images were also important in gaining widespread public support for nuclear testing. In 1947, the US Department of Defense hired the Hollywood production company Lookout Mountain Studios to record its activities. Photos of the tests were published in Life magazine, and one detonation was even broadcast live in 1951. “Nuclear tests [were] almost always represented as spectacles of transcendent nature—divine and benign—rather than as planned events that include scientific evaluations of manufactured weapons produced by human engineering,” O’Brian says.
Exclusive: Uber checks connections between hacker and Lyft
After Uber discovered the unauthorized download, it examined the Internet Protocol addresses of every visitor to the page during the time between when the key was posted and when the breach occurred, according to court documents. The Uber review concluded that "the Comcast IP address is the only IP address that accessed the GitHub post that Uber has not eliminated" from suspicion, court papers say.
Samsung may be ruining your iPhone 6s' battery life | Cult of Mac
Based on some early metrics, it appears that nearly 70 percent of iPhone 6s Pluses have a TSMC processor, while only 40 percent of iPhone 6s units have the TSMC A9. Apple’s website claims that iPhone 6s users can expect 14 hours of talk time on 3G and up to 11 hours of video playback. However, it fails to mention that your battery experience could be radically different based on which processor you randomly receive.
Video game voice actors union SAG-AFTRA approves strike in a vote
At issue is a collective bargaining agreement that's been in place since the 1990s. The union feels that this agreement is outdated, and doesn't appropriately address the modern-day realities and stresses of video game voice acting. Among SAG-AFTRA's proposed changes is stunt pay for recording sessions that put a strain on the actor's vocal chords and a desire to have a stunt coordinator available during performance capture sessions.
Designers can now find freelance work via Toptal, just like developers have been
Toptal , which pairs freelance software developers with businesses that can use their talents, has added designers to the mix.
Brace yourself: Verizon is ready to show off its sexy side
The fall TV season just kicked off, but people under the age of 25 seem not to have noticed. The ratings for that crucial demographic dropped 20 percent compared to last year, just another data point in a much broader sea change that has seen the audience for traditional TV unravelling at a rapid pace. Verizon, which sells a lot of cable TV subscriptions, knows this all too well. And while it's not exactly a youthful brand, it does provide the mobile data network that powers the smartphones of millions of millennials. In an attempt to evolve, Verizon has just launched a new service called Go90 , a mobile video app it hopes will appeal to the generation that is leaving traditional television behind.
Steve Jobs as a myth: an interview with Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle
Listening to Sorkin and Boyle talk, it's easy to understand why Laurene Powell Jobs and Apple execs like Tim Cook and Jony Ive who worked closely with Jobs are so angry about this movie — they still remember Jobs as a man, not as a myth. Reorganizing the elements of his life into an expressionistic narrative that attempts to highlight specific themes at the expense of literal truth has to be infuriating. It's infuriating for me to watch this film claim that Jobs launched NeXT with no OS and no plan to accomplish anything besides selling the company back to Apple so he could take over, and I didn't even know the man — I just know it isn't true.
Marketing people are generally bullish on Jack Dorsey as CEO of Twitter
The appointment of Jack Dorsey as CEO of Twitter makes a difference to marketing people, as many believe he represents their best hope for a more brand-friendly platform.
These FX Wizards May Have Solved VR Films’ Biggest Problem
What Marino has managed to do, along the rest of his fledgeling VR company Uncorporeal, is solve in a very real way the cardinal problem that plagues the prospects of virtual filmmaking. And what’s even more astonishing is that he and his two co-founders—whose careers encompass decades of wizardry at Lucasfilm/ILM, WETA, the Euro Space Agency, Google X, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts—have done it in stealth mode. They provided the company’s seed funding themselves, they’ve never shown up at a VR conference, and they’ve used email accounts belonging to a holding company so that no one caught wind of the name Uncorporeal. “The number of people that have seen our stuff,” Marino says, “you can count on your fingers and toes.”
Microsoft Developer Division Chief Somasegar to leave after 27 years | ZDNet
Twenty-seven-year Microsoft veteran Soma Somasegar is moving on from heading Microsoft's developer division to pursue the next phase of his career.
Trove uses 3D printing technology to create customized jewelry
It’s easy to write off 3D printing as an enthusiast’s hobby — one that is reserved for those with enough skill to work in design software or enough of a budget to purchase their own printer. But the cool thing about it is its consumer applications, and the way it makes objects accessible to a mainstream audience.
Fantastical 2 for iOS now supports 3D Touch and split-screen mode
Fantastical 2 is again distancing itself from the competition. With updates to its iPad and iPhone apps, users are getting access to 3D Touch and multitasking features, as well as a new Apple Watch complication.
India Tries to Electrify without Creating an Emissions Disaster | MIT Technology Review
Such growth would easily swamp efforts elsewhere in the world to curtail carbon emissions, dooming any chance to head off the dire effects of global climate change. (Overall, the world will need to reduce its current annual emissions of 40 billion tons by 40 to 70 percent between now and 2050.) By 2050, India will have roughly 20 percent of the world’s population. If those people rely heavily on fossil fuels such as coal to expand the economy and raise their living standards to the level people in the rich world have enjoyed for the last 50 years, the result will be a climate catastrophe regardless of anything the United States or even China does to decrease its emissions. Reversing these trends will require radical transformations in two main areas: how India produces electricity, and how it distributes it.
Ad-block software is approaching 200 million users — here's how publishers are reacting
That represents a big uptick in ad-block usage from just one year ago. The software, which blocks ads from appearing on websites, search, and social networks, is also catching on in the US. Ad-block MAU totaled 45 million in the US as of June 2015, increasing nearly 50% from last year, according to PageFair and Adobe.
A to Z: Google just bought the ‘full alphabet’ dot com
Google has acquired a new 26-letter domain name, but this one shouldn’t be too tough to remember. Yes, the Internet giant has bought abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com , according to Whois records .
The 9 Email Mistakes That Make People Ignore Your Messages
Schwalbe also says it’s a good idea to establish some ground rules about who should respond to messages. Typically, a good rule of thumb is if you’re in the "To" line, feel free to answer. If you’re in the "CC" line, your response is not needed. And while you’re at it, establish some ground rules for copying coworkers, since not everyone needs to be copied on every email. It just clogs up inboxes. That goes for replies, too—don’t use the Reply All button unless it’s truly necessary, and feel free to write, "No reply necessary," if you’re sending a message that doesn’t require one.
In Defense of Apple Pay and Its Promise to Change Buying Habits | MIT Technology Review
Apple’s focus on chain stores such as fast-food restaurants and grocery stores where people shop frequently could pay dividends, too. Once people build up a habit of using Apple Pay every day, they may increasingly try it at other stores as checkout terminals get upgraded—or shop instead at stores that do. The company also has been focused on small businesses, which are starting to come on board in bigger numbers. On the company’s third fiscal quarter conference call in July, CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay was adding 80,000 small and midsize businesses a month. That could accelerate as less expensive terminals start to roll out, such as Square’s $49 wireless reader.
Apple TV & iPad Pro to hit stores early November after late October online launch
The revamped Apple TV set top box and iPad Pro will both begin showing up in Apple Retail Stores for sale during the first week of November after going on sale via Apple’s website in late October, according to reliable sources. It is also likely that the first online orders of both products will reach customers in early November.
Lyft amps up partnerships to keep drivers happy
Lyft is angling to be the most flexible, benefit-focused ride-sharing platform out there. Their ‘kill them with kindness’ tactic to woo drivers away from competitors has gone next-level today, in a live announcement from the company’s San Francisco office.
Amazon launches QuickSight, a cloud-based business intelligence tool
The tool is meant to be very easy to use — providing visualizations in as little as 60 seconds, Jassy said — and comes powered with Amazon’s new proprietary Super-Fast Parallel In-Memory Computation Engine (dubbed SPICE). The tool can automatically figure out which type of visualization to show first. And of course, it’s integrated with other AWS services. “As soon as we recognize an AWS customer and we take all of their data and store it in the various AWS stores,” Jassy said, “we move it to our query engine.”
The first private moon-landing moves a step closer as Google Lunar Xprize dishes out its first contract
While SpaceIL is the first of the Lunar Xprize contestants to win a “verified launch contract,” there may be more to follow. The competition remains open to 15 other Google Lunar Xprize participants from around the world, who have until the end of 2016 to win their own contracts. However, all missions must be complete by the end of 2017, which doesn’t leave an awful lot of time.
Elon Musk says that Apple only hires Tesla's worst engineers
On the concept of Apple building a car at all, he agreed it was "the next logical thing" for the iPhone giant. But he didn't seem to take Apple's plans too seriously as a threat to Tesla.
Google's new Android app helps Delhi's commuters get around
Google has launched Delhi Public Transport Offline an Android app that helps users in the Indian capital of New Delhi get around town using public transport, without the need for an internet connection.
Arrow: "Green Arrow" Review - IGN
Given the terrifying nature of Damien Darhk and his H.I.V.E. agents, it’s impressive that this episode was able to juggle the light and dark elements so well. On one hand, we saw clearly just how badly the city is suffering. The population is dropping, businesses are shutting down, and there’s a general sense of desperation in the newly christened Star City. Yet there was also a sense of optimism that came with the emergence of Green Arrow. As stupid as it is that Ollie is trying to convince the city that he’s a different vigilante from that other guy, I’m glad to see him falling more in line with the classic incarnation of the character. He’s stepping out of the shadows and becoming more of an inspiration to those he defends. Even his costume is sleeker and more comic accurate. Now he just needs that goofy Robin Hood goatee.
Dremel's New Rotary Tool Is Cheap Because It's Powered by a Vacuum Cleaner
So why would you ever opt for a standard Dremel rotary tool then? While the company claims the VRT1 can still hit speeds of up to 35,000 revolutions per minute, the torque on this tool will still pale in comparison to a Dremel with its own electric motor inside. So if you’ve got some heavy grinding or sanding to do, and don’t have access to a jet engine to provide a significant source of airflow, you’ll probably find its performance lacking. But that’s why Dremel is selling it so cheap.
'Back to the Future' gear for right now (pictures) - CNET
It's a big year for "Back to the Future Part II" geeks, so start your celebrating with a cold glass of Pepsi Perfect, a pair of Nike Mag replicas and a working hoverboard.
Medium Doubles Down on Mobile With New App And Commenting, Sharing Tools
Medium knows that its readers and writers like to give and receive feedback. Now, it has launched a new feature known as Highlights. With this, anyone can select a passage of text, which then appears green to anyone else who encounters it. By clicking on the section, you can see who left the highlight. As well, writers are automatically notified whenever someone highlights their writing.
Windows 10 will start rolling out to phones in December
Microsoft's new Windows 10 flagship phones, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL , are coming next month — and they'll be the only way to experience the mobile version of Windows 10 for a while. In comments on the official Lumia Facebook page, Microsoft says that Windows 10 will begin rolling out to phones in December. How long that process takes is likely to depend on carriers as much as Microsoft.
Inside The Bizarre Battle To Make Marijuana Legal In Ohio
The plan, designed and spearheaded by an Ohio political consultant named Ian James, would work like this: An amendment to the state constitution would permit commercial marijuana growing on 10 predetermined plots of land, each owned by a different company. The companies would be competing with each other, but together they would have exclusive access to a market that ResponsibleOhio estimates will top $1 billion annually. To get in on the action, each company had to contribute $2 million to ResponsibleOhio’s campaign to get the proposal on the ballot—it needed more than 300,000 signatures—and be approved by voters. (This provides the bulk of the campaign's funding, though they've received contributions from other supporters.)
El Capitan beta code hints at new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2
Several websites, including 9to5Mac and French site Consomac , have spotted code in OS X 10.11.1 beta 3 suggesting that Apple is planning to release a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 in the coming months. The 10.11.1 beta 3 was originally released to developers this week, and 9to5Mac has confirmed that the Magic accessories code is not present in the current OS X 10.11 release.
The BBC will stream the League of Legends World Championship online
The League of Legends championship tournament is spread out across multiple European cities this year, and for the next leg — which takes place in London's iconic Wembley Arena — none other than the BBC will be streaming the proceedings. Starting October 15th, BBC Three will be offering live coverage of the quarterfinals online. This portion of the tournament will last for four days, and the broadcaster has enlisted the help of League casters Leigh "Deman" Smith and James "Stress" O'Leary, who will provide commentary during the matches.
Don't Put Pictures Of Your Boarding Pass On The Internet
The data, in addition to the flyer's first and last name, also includes the traveler's origin and destination airports and frequent flyer number -- and all it takes for an enterprising thief to access it is a quick visit to a free online barcode reader.
It Just Got a Lot Harder for Big Tobacco to Defend Itself
But this week, the Trans-Pacific Partnership—the largest regional trade agreement in history—slapped tobacco back down. The TPP, which includes the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries, singles out tobacco as the one industry in which ISDS rules no longer apply. Tobacco companies won’t be able to use the the TPP to block public health-minded tobacco regulations.
Burner's disposable phone numbers save everything in the cloud
Thanks to The Wire (one of the greatest TV shows ever), we know all about burner phones. These cheap and quickly discarded phones are an easy way to communicate without sharing your permanent number with random folks (or the police). The Burner app for iOS and Android works under the same concept. It creates temporary numbers to hand out to people while keeping your main digits a secret. To add value to those short-term (and in some cases long term) numbers Burner is adding integration with Dropbox, Soundcloud, Evernote and Slack. Linked numbers can auto-save texted photos and voicemails to Dropbox. Slack can route messages from a channel to a number and accept replies. While Evernote can create an auto-response bot that replies to texts with pre-determined messages.
Amazon's Snowball is a smart box for shipping tons of cloud data
You probably aren't going to use Snowball unless you're with a company that uses AWS, and it'll probably be a big company at that. That's doubly true when it'll cost $200 plus shipping every time you want to move terabytes of data across the country. You might notice its impact even if you never see it in person, though. You may spend less time waiting for your favorite cloud service to roll out updates, recover from outages and otherwise keep itself in top shape.
Netflix Raises Price of Most Popular Plan by $1 per Month
Netflix Inc., the world’s dominant paid online video service, is raising the price of its most popular streaming subscription by $1 a month to $9.99 for new customers in the U.S., Canada and parts of Latin America following a similar move in Europe this year.
The Not-So-Far-Off Future
This is the most exciting time to get in, before anyone has figured it out—not just the storytelling but the design, interaction, navigation, interface, all of it. There are more developers working in VR now than ever before. There are teams all over the world, from people who left Pixar to join Oculus Story Studio— they’re doing real-time animation and character-driven storytelling—to a two-man outfit in the Czech Republic with no previous VR experience but who think natively in VR. They’re not waiting for someone else to lead the way.