Gene editing records ‘memories’ in human DNA

Scientists have been recording data in DNA for a while, but it has usually involved bacteria and other simple organisms. MIT, however, just took a big leap forward. Its researchers have used the CRISPR gene editing technique to record histories in human cell DNA for the first time. They’ve crafted a gene circuit that only expresses an enzyme when it’s near a key immune cell molecule, building up mutations the more it’s exposed to that molecule. All you have to do to extract “memories” is to sequence those genes. They’ll tell you whether or not there was a lot of inflammation, for instance.

It’s not limited to one input, either. The MIT team found that they could produce multiple RNA strands in response to specific conditions, such as the presence of a certain medicine.

You probably won’t see this approach used in humans any time soon. Sorry, your medical history won’t be written in your genes. However, it could be extremely helpful for studies. Scientists could better track the development of an animal from embryo to adulthood, and understand the advancement of cancer or infections. Think of this more as a stepping stone for other discoveries than anything else.

[Source: Engadget]

Gene-modified soil bacteria promise eco-friendly computing

You normally need non-renewable elements or minerals to create nanowires. However, the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research may have a better solution: the life living in the dirt under your feet. Its sponsored researchers have crafted nanowires from genetically modified Geobacter, a bacteria you find in soil just about everywhere on Earth. The team altered the bacteria so that it would replace amino acids with tryptophan, which is a much better electrical conductor (2,000 times) at the nanoscopic scale. String enough of those bacteria together and you suddenly have wiring that’s virtually invisible to the human eye. They wires are tougher and smaller, too, so they stand a better chance of surviving inside electronics.

If and when scientists refine the technology, it could help shrink computing power beyond its current limits. It would also help produce extremely sensitive bomb and pollution detectors, or help produce alternative fuels like butanol. And importantly, you could produce these nanowires using natural resources like plant waste and solar energy. You could produce computing devices that are eco-friendly right down to the materials in their processors.

[Source: Engadget]

NASA regains contact with spacecraft after a 2-year silence

When mission crews lose contact with a spacecraft or lander for a significant amount of time, that’s usually a bad sign… ask the European Space Agency if you want to know why. However, NASA just showed why you shouldn’t always give up hope. It reestablished contact with STEREO-B, one of two probes studying the Sun and solar weather, after nearly two years of communications silence. The team had lost its connection during a test of the ship’s command lost timer on October 1st, 2014, but kept trying numerous recovery strategies (most recently using the Deep Space Network) until they heard back early on August 21st.

So what’s next? It’ll be a while before STEREO-B is back in action, and there’s no guarantees that it’ll pick up where it left off. The crew wants to check all of the craft’s subsystems, regain attitude control and determine the state of its observational skills before giving it a clean bill of health. Whatever the outcome, the contact itself is good news — both for science and for the mission members worried that they’d never again hear from their pride and joy.


[Source: Engadget]

Facebook Flexes Ad Blocking Muscles; Counters AdBlock Plus’ Solution

After Facebook altered its code to bypass ad-blocking software from keeping ads at bay, within 48 hours, Adblock Plus found a way to push it back to square one of this cat-and-dog fight. However, the social media giant is not the one to back off from a battle as it launched another workaround to AdBlock Plus’ remedial situation. Facebook spokesperson, said in an interview withTechCrunch’s Josh Constine, the AdBlock Plus solution did not just remove ads, but also Facebook posts by Pages and friends.

According to the statement, Facebook said that ad-blocking software only ended up “punishing” users by removing relevant content from its social network. Understandably, that takes something away from the Facebook experience, and the company intends to do something about it. The social media titan recently introducedad preferences to give users more control over the kind of advertisements they want to see.

Ultimately, Facebook does not want to do away with advertisements altogether. The social network instead hopes that giving users more control over what they see will make them accept ads. If the alternative is to have legitimate Facebook posts removed with ads, some users might even accept having ads instead. It is important to note that ads on Facebook are not as intrusive and detrimental to the overall experience as they are on other websites. They are neatly tucked away, and the platform has already stated that it wants its users to see informative and useful ads. This makes sense, given that Facebook does not need advertising revenue so badly that it will accept just about anything.

It is rather interesting to note that Facebook’s plan to block ads was foiled just a few days after it first introduced it. AdBlock Plus found one way and other ad-blocking companies are bound to find other loopholes in its code. The social media giant, however, can find comfort in the fact that it can counter any measures taken by ad blocking companies fairly quickly, as was evident by its most recent counter-measure. It took Facebook less than a day to fix the loophole exploited by AdBlock Plus.

Ad blocking companies also require users to update their software to the latest version for the changes to take effect. Facebook, on the other hand, can revamp its coding with immediate effect. In theory, this means that some users might not even have had a chance to update to the new AdBlock Plus version before Facebook’s counter-measures were already put in place.

It is also interesting to note that Facebook’s new bypassing method for ad blockers is what caused problems for AdBlock Plus. It has mixed the coding for the ads with the content, which is why AdBlock Plus ended up blocking posts from friends along with ads. This interesting combination might perhaps deter ad blockers from messing with the biggest social network. It makes no sense to employ ad blockers on such platform if it means missing out on important posts from friends.

Interestingly enough, ad blocking software is often needed on websites where clicking anywhere results in a dozen popup windows. That problem does not persist with Facebook, so ad-blocking companies might even consider white listing the social network. It is highly unlikely that small companies will be able to keep pace with the acumen of Facebook’s elite team of software engineers. Facebook can also arguably be considered among websites and companies which deserve ad revenue to keep the free product up and running. News and social sources might hence be allowed to keep ad revenue running.

It will be interesting to see if ad blocking companies end up whitelisting such sources. If that happens, the impact of this on ad-tech revenue will have to be monitored. For example, if Facebook and news sources eventually become the only sources allowed to freely place ads, they might be tempted to charge more of a premium for ad placement services. This might lead to a different kind of ad-revenue model in the future, one that might not sit well with all parties. Having that said, it is highly unlikely that either Facebook, ad-blocking companies, or advertisers will face this problem anytime soon.

 [Source: Technewstoday]

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 And New Gear VR Specs As It Stands

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was recently spotted in a listing on Best Buy before the link was pulled down. The phablet is expected to be unveiled at “Unpacked” to be held on August 2 in New York City, while pre-orders are expected to start from August 3. It is unclear why Best Buy jumped the gun and put the Samsung device up on its website early.

Samsung’s flagship phablet is expected to be in stores in the US from August 19 onwards. The specs of the new device are hardly a secret given that leaks have pretty much revealed all the information. 9to5Google posted information regarding the device and its colors. The Note 7 will be available in onyx, silver titanium and blue coral. Information regarding the new Samsung Gear VR have been leaked as well.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Galaxy Note 7 will measure 153.5mm by 73.9mm by 7.9mm, boasting a 1440×2560 resolution on a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display. A 12MP rear shooter will also record 4K videos with built-in image stabilization. The device also has a 5MP selfie camera with flash. The phablet will come with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Other storage options are yet to be revealed.

The device is expected to be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 823 chip, while versions of Samsung’s proprietary Exynos chip will also be incorporated into some models. The Galaxy Note 7 will execute data transfer and charging duties via a USB-C port. A USB-C to microUSB adapter is expected to be shipped with the device to ensure compatibility with older charging cables. An iris scanner is expected to beef up the security aspect of the Note device.

The device comes with a 3,500 mAh battery but we don’t know whether it will be removable yet. Given the furor over the non-removable batteries in the S6 handsets, Samsung is likely to opt for removable batteries this time. The device also has an IP68 rating, which helps the device withstand depths of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) for around 30 minutes.

Samsung Gear VR

Following the successful rollout of its first VR device, Samsung is all set to release a second iteration. The device is expected to be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 7, and improves upon its predecessor by expanding the field-of-view offered. The new Gear VR will provide 110 degrees of viewing angles as opposed to the 96 degrees offered by the present version. It will also feature a USB-C port to help pair it with the Galaxy Note 7.

All in all, Samsung has confirmed that its phablet will skip the number 6 to adopt the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 moniker. Samsung substantiated speculation when it said that the Note 7 will fall in line with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, ensuring that its tablets and smartphones are on the same page. The Galaxy Note 7 name is also expected to allay fears regarding the relevance of the new technology; customers may otherwise have thought that a Galaxy Note 6 device was not as advanced as the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge mobile phones.

Best Buy managed to get some attention by temporarily enabling the pre-order option on its website. It is not clear whether the mess-up was intentional, but details regarding the Samsung Galaxy device should be unveiled in a few days. Given the success of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, it is likely that the Note 7 will also be well-received when it is launched.


[Source: Technewstoday]

PS4 Bows Down to Xbox One in July 2016

It’s news as usual, when we read about the PS4 outselling the Xbox One on a year-on-year or month-on-month basis, but in July, we saw the tables turned. Xbox One outsold the PS4, according to the latest NPD reports. It’s interesting as more people would want to wait until August to get the Xbox One S Launch Edition that’s sold out in the UK and perhaps close to being so in the US. And we had some exciting PS4 games to play recently, but the Xbox One sold more than the PS4.

Now, we have a theory for this and it could be true. Microsoft was phasing out the regular VCR-style Xbox One units that we have seen since launch, so with prices as low as $249.99, it’s clear gamers would take advantage of the low price. At the end of the day, the differences compared to the Xbox One S are apparent, but the most important new feature is the 4K video playback via Blu-ray or streaming. However, you would need a 4K television set, so that’s another expense.

Regardless of whether the Xbox One S is better than the original, it was Microsoft’s month and Xbox boss Phil Spencer couldn’t be any happier. The statement from Microsoft concerning the NPD report stated that “total gaming hours on Xbox consoles globally were up 18 percent over last year, reaching 1.55 billion hours.”

That’s a whole lot of gaming hours, which is interesting as the best Xbox One exclusives are not even out yet. Gears of War 4, Scalebound and even ReCore are yet to be released, but we may see momentum swing Microsoft’s way further when they do. However, the PS4 received No Man’s Sky this month and it’s buzzing like wildfire. That’s one intense space exploration game where you check out 18 quintillion planets and it could take us several generations, not even lifetimes, to fully explore.

Should Sony be concerned? One battle doesn’t win a war and Sony is winning this war hands down. Good on Microsoft to own Sony in July, but will it keep it up in August and beyond? That remains to be seen.



[Source: Technewstoday]

Phone 7 Plus Leaks Show 3GB of RAM, Dual-Core A10 Chip

Images have been leaked from Geekbench test results showing that the iPhone 7 Plus is set to feature a 3GB RAM and 2.37GHz dual-core ARM processor. MacRumors picked up on images that were originally found on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo for the hardware string “iPhone9,2”. According to the post, the iPhone has scored 3548 for the single-score and 6430 for the multi-core version.

As pointed out by MacRumors, this beats the score obtained by the A9 processor; the old chip managed a score of 2490 for the single-core version and 4341 for the multi-core variant. The iPhone 6s Plus, which is identified by the hardware string “iPhone8,2”, features 2GB of memory and a 1.84GHz dual-core A9 chip. The A10 also beats the 2.2GHz A9X chip – used in the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The A9X chip scored 3224 and 5466 for the single-core and multi-core respectively.

It is interesting to note that Apple might still want to differentiate between the iPhone 7 Plus and the basic 4.7-inch version by giving them different RAMs. The iPhone 7 Plus is bound to get 3GB of RAM due to its dual-lens rear camera, but it is not clear whether Apple will do the same with the iPhone 7. However, given that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were both allotted 2GB of RAM, there is a possibility that Apple might give both smartphone variants 3GB of RAM to clearly show the upgrade in smartphones. Rival Samsung offers 4GB of RAM with the Galaxy S7, so Apple might feel tempted to offer a memory range closer to its rivals.

Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets are expected to be released on September 16, with the press event set to take place on September 6. The various leaks show that the new iPhone will not differ markedly from the iPhone 6s variants, at least on the outside. This is why Apple might focus on internet upgrades such as better cameras. A 3D Touch Home button is expected to be used, which will effectively port trackpad technology from the MacBooks to Apple’s popular flagship smartphone.

Among other rumors, Apple is expected to ditch the 3.5 mm headphone port to introduce its own Lightning-equipped EarPods. Users will get one of these headphones with the iPhone box, but should they happen to lose or break the earphones, they cannot replace them with any standard headphones. This can be a headache for some users, particularly if they preferred using their own headphones. If users are fans of Beats headphones, they might be able to get their hands on Beats Lightning headphones. Understandably, those will not come cheap.

All in all, it will be interesting to see if the rumors are true. Given how most of the rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 7 were on point, one can expect similar results for the iPhone. Apple needed to innovate to recapture the interest surrounding Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones, with the S7 believed to be the best smartphone out there. The press event in September should shed some more light on whether Apple has provided significant upgrades to beat its rivals.

 [Source: Technewstoday]

Death star Kitchen Timer

Death Star Kitchen Timer 3

Product Description

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Assassin's Creed Neon Light Glowing

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Laser Keyboard

Laser Keyboard Lifestyle 2

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