Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 08:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's genetically-modified department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species. The scientists used the revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to engineer mosquitoes with a "gene drive," which rapidly transmitted a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito's species. After mosquitoes carrying the mutation were released into cages filled with unmodified mosquitoes in a high-security basement laboratory in London, virtually all of the insects were wiped out, according to a report in Nature Biotechnology. The mosquitoes were created in the hopes of using them as a potent new weapon in the long, frustrating fight against malaria. Malaria remains one of the world's deadliest diseases, killing more than 400,000 people every year, mostly children younger than 5 years old. What's encouraging is that the mosquitos reportedly did not appear to further mutate in a way that would diminish the effectiveness of the engineered mutation. "But the researchers stressed that many years of additional research are needed to further test the safety and effectiveness of the approach before anyone attempts to release these mosquitos or any other organisms created this way into the wild," reports NPR.

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Uber Drivers and Other Gig Economy Workers Are Earning Half What They Did Five Years Ago
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 07:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cheaper-by-the-dozen department:
According to a new study by the JPMorgan Chase Instittue, drivers who transport people via apps (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, Postmates) made 53 percent less in 2017 than they did in 2013. Recode reports: The average monthly payments to those who worked for a transportation app in a given month declined to $783 from $1,469. Meanwhile, people working for leasing apps -- Airbnb, Turo, Parklee and other apps that let you rent assets like your home, car or parking space -- saw their incomes from those platforms rise 69 percent to $1,736 on average.

This is happening as online gig work has become more popular, thanks in large part to the growth in the number of transportation jobs. The share of the working population that has participated in the online gig economy at any point in a year rose from less than 2 percent in 2013 to nearly 5 percent in 2018. There are a number of potential reasons why the average pay for gig economy drivers has gone down. It could be any or all of the below, according to JPMorgan: drivers on average are working fewer hours; demand hasn't increased to meet the increased number of drivers; trip prices have fallen; or platforms are paying drivers lower rates.

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Greece Uses High-Tech Drones To Fight Tax Evasion In Holiday Hotspots
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's eyes-in-the-sky department:
Greece is reportedly using drones to fly over boats running day trips on the Aegean in an effort to crack down on rampant tax evasion at holiday hotspots. Channel NewsAsia reports: With the black economy by some accounts representing about a quarter of national output in a country which depends hugely on tourism, Greek authorities are turning to high-tech to stamp out undeclared earnings. Finance ministry tax inspectors and the coast guard launched the drones project on Santorini, an island highly popular with tourists, to check on whether operators offering short day trips were issuing legal receipts to all their passengers. Based on data from the drones, authorities were able to establish how many passengers were on board, then cross-referenced it with declared receipts and on-site inspections. Nine tourist vessels checked were alleged to have not issued a number of receipts, totaling about $29,460. Their owners now face fines.

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Tech Giants Spend $80 Billion To Make Sure No One Else Can Compete
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's big-spenders department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Google parent Alphabet and the other four dominant U.S. technology companies -- Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook -- are fast becoming industrial giants. They spent a combined $80 billion in the last year on big-ticket physical assets, including manufacturing equipment and specialized tools for assembling iPhones and the powerful computers and undersea internet cables Facebook needs to fire up Instagram videos in a flash. Thanks to this surge in spending -- up from $40 billion in 2015 -- they've joined the ranks of automakers, telephone companies, and oil drillers as the country's biggest spenders on capital goods, items including factories, heavy equipment, and real estate that are considered long-term investments. Their combined outlay is about 10 times what GM spends annually on its plants, vehicle-assembly robots, and other materials. The splurge by tech companies is behind an upswing in capital-goods spending among big U.S. companies, which is seeing its fastest growth in years, according to a Credit Suisse analysis. The $80 billion tab also is a snapshot of why it's tough to unseat the tech giants. How can a company hope to compete with Google's driverless cars when it spends $20 billion a year to ensure it has the best laser-guided sensors and computer chips? There are a lot of physical assets behind all those internet clouds.

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Apple Completes Shazam Acquisition, Will Make App Ad-Free For Everyone
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 04:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's free-for-all department:
Apple has successfully completed its $400 million acquisition of Shazam, and the company announced it will be removing all ads from the app "soon." The Verge reports: The acquisition was temporarily held up because of an investigation by the European Union, which scrutinized the deal over potential antitrust concerns. But regulators gave it the thumbs up earlier this month. Shazam has been downloaded over 1 billion times around the world and is used over 20 million times every day, according to Apple's press release. The app has been around since the beginnings of the App Store and was one of the coolest early demos of what a mobile app could do. You'd hold up your phone, let it listen to a song playing nearby for a few seconds, and the track and artist information would just pop up on screen like magic. All these years later, it's now a feature that's available on many platforms and one we take for granted.

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Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 04:22 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
A visual prank exposes an Achilles' heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can't do a double take. From a report: In a new study [PDF], computer scientists found that artificial intelligence systems fail a vision test a child could accomplish with ease. "It's a clever and important study that reminds us that 'deep learning' isn't really that deep," said Gary Marcus, a neuroscientist at New York University who was not affiliated with the work. The result takes place in the field of computer vision, where artificial intelligence systems attempt to detect and categorize objects. They might try to find all the pedestrians in a street scene, or just distinguish a bird from a bicycle (which is a notoriously difficult task). The stakes are high: As computers take over critical tasks like automated surveillance and autonomous driving, we'll want their visual processing to be at least as good as the human eyes they're replacing. It won't be easy. The new work accentuates the sophistication of human vision -- and the challenge of building systems that mimic it. In the study, the researchers presented a computer vision system with a living room scene. The system processed it well. It correctly identified a chair, a person, books on a shelf. Then the researchers introduced an anomalous object into the scene -- an image of an elephant. The elephant's mere presence caused the system to forget itself: Suddenly it started calling a chair a couch and the elephant a chair, while turning completely blind to other objects it had previously seen. "There are all sorts of weird things happening that show how brittle current object detection systems are," said Amir Rosenfeld, a researcher at York University in Toronto and co-author of the study along with his York colleague John Tsotsos and Richard Zemel of the University of Toronto. Researchers are still trying to understand exactly why computer vision systems get tripped up so easily, but they have a good guess. It has to do with an ability humans have that AI lacks: the ability to understand when a scene is confusing and thus go back for a second glance.

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Implanted Device Helps Two People With Paralysis Walk Again
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's medical-advances department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: At least five people whose legs were completely paralyzed are walking again, two of them with no outside help, thanks to a specialized program of therapy and a pain stimulator implanted in their spines, researchers reported Monday. It's the latest and most dramatic advance in a new approach to treating spinal cord injuries developed at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The reports show that electrical stimulation of the spine, when combined with a very intense and specialized training program, can re-educate the body and help move the legs even though signals from the brain are cut off.

The stimulator is implanted into the epidural layer surrounding the spinal cord, and sends controlled signals into the bundle of nerve tissue. The team also employs intense training techniques to try to get the body to make sense of the signals. "There were three types of training sessions: stepping on a treadmill, over-ground standing, and over-ground walking, with each type of session performed daily," the team wrote in their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Two still need support and help from human trainers, but Marquis and another patient, 23-year-old Kelly Thomas of Citrus County, Florida, can walk alone using a walker or a cane. A second team at the Mayo Clinic reports somewhat similar results using the Louisville approach. In their study, published Monday in Nature Medicine, they report on one of two patients they have treated, who can walk with the assistance of physical trainers.

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Slack Buys and Shuts Down Intelligent Email App Astro
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department:
Slack has acquired email app company Astro to incorporate it into Slack channels. As a result, Astro is shutting down its Mac, iOS, Android, Alexa and Slack apps. They're no longer taking new users and existing ones will lose access on October 10th. Engadget reports: The company said that with over 50 million channels created to date, they're increasingly becoming the platform through which teams collaborate. "But we all know that email is still a very important tool in business communication," said Slack. "We've taken some steps to make it possible to integrate email into Slack, but now we're in a position to make that interoperability much simpler and much, much more powerful."

Last year, Astro launched its Astrobot Slack app, which let users manage their emails and check their Office 365 or Google calendars from within Slack. It also allowed them to do one search to pull up results from both Slack and email. "As we explored with Slack how to bring together messaging, email and calendar, it became evident that we would have the biggest impact on workplace communications and realize our original vision by joining Slack," the company said.

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GTLive: What We NEVER Told You!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 02:41 PM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:


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Prime 1 Studio Bumblebee Movie (VW Beetle) Statue Sneak Peek
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 02:20 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="480" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/Prime-1-Studio-Bumblebee-Movie-Statue.jpg" alt="" />

Great timing of Prime 1 Studios to share their first Sneak Peek of their upcoming Bumblebee Movie (VW Beetle) Statue after the reveal of the new Bumblebee Movie trailers this morning. Our first image surfaced via Prime 1 Studio Instagram and Facebook accounts. We see a very detailed gray prototype of Bumblebee’s head which features light-up eyes. Still no information of size, price or release date, but we are sure this statue would be as impressive as other Prime 1 Studios products. You can check out the mirrored image after the jump and then sound off on the 2005 Boards! » Continue Reading.

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Google Revamps Search Engine To Include New Cards and Tags As It Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 01:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's like-it-or-hate-it,-it's-coming department:
As Google celebrates its 20th anniversary, it announced a range of new updates to its namesake search engine. The Mountain View company announced it was drawing on its artificial intelligence capabilities to provide smart videos in Google search with a new "Featured Videos" card. It will start to play videos in results, one after another -- but only show the short parts of videos that are relevant to your search. Google, the parent company of which is Alphabet, also introduced an activity card which would show pages a user has visited, at the top of search results. Users will have the ability to delete items from this activity card. The company also introduced "Collections," through which it will let users save content from the activity card to their collections. Google will then use things you've saved, and your history, in order to recommend new content for your collections. CNBC adds: Additionally Google is enhancing topics for certain things you search for. If you search for "pug," for example, you'll see a card where you can find little things to tap, like names, training details and how to buy or adopt a pug. Google will make sure that these cards at the top of search results will stay fresh based on what people publish online, Google vice president of product management Nick Fox said. Google is also redesigning its feed for recommended content, which appears in places like the Google app or the homescreen of Google's Pixel devices. It will now be called "Discover," and it will show videos, among other things, for the first time. [...] Google is bringing the Discover feed to the Google homepage on all mobile browsers in the next few weeks Moxley said. The Discover feed will remember preferences for the language you like different types of content to be in. For example, if you like recipes in Spanish, it will only show pages with Spanish-language recipes, but if you like your news in English, news articles will be in English. Google's image search is getting enhancements. There will be tags that show products, and other kinds of images, like stock images and do-it-yourself tutorials, so you'll be able find the sort of thing you're looking for faster. Google Images will get its new look on desktop computers starting this Thursday.

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Web-Based Office Suite Zoho Taken Offline By Registrar After Alleged Phishing Complaints
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 01:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's outage-reports department:
New submitter atxlakeshore writes: On Monday, ICANN-approved domain registrar Tierra.net turned off access to all Zoho domains, affecting 40 million customers worldwide. Zoho, a web-based office suite company, which provides customer relationship and invoicing services to small businesses, tweeted that the site was 'blocked' earlier in the day by Tierra.Net, which administers its domain name. Zoho customers affected by the disruption reached out to the registrar's support chat and email. Tierra.net then discussed Zoho's account details with these third parties, claiming that phishing attempts were originating from Zoho's webmail service, and these attempts necessitated blocking the company's domains. Zoho is a privately held India-based competitor to Google's G Suite platform, and maintains US offices in Austin, Texas. The dispute has resulted in calls for censure from ICANN. In a series of tweets, Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu said TierraNet blocked the domain without "ever notifying us of any issue." He also expressed frustrations at not being able to easily reach out to TierraNet executives.

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Bumblebee Greatest Hits Cassette Pack Found At Target
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 01:00 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="595" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/01-Bumblebee-Cassette-Pack.jpeg" alt="" />

A few days ago we could report that the Target Exclusive Bumblebee Movie Soundwave & Doombox was found at US Retail. It was just a matter of time for the Bumblebee Cassette Pack to hit Target shelves. These figures are part of the “Bumblebee Greatest Hits” sub-line imprint which is exclusive to Target in the United States. This Bumblebee Cassette Pack is an interesting 4-pack which includes a redeco of Age of Extinction One-Step Changer High Octane Bumblebee, and three new redecos of Titans Return Legends Class Rumble, Laserbeak and Ravage, now presented as Decepticon Frenzy (in blue color), Buzzsaw (toy-accurate deco) and Howlback (homage to the G1 E-Hobby » Continue Reading.

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Transformers Cyberverse Deluxe Wave 3 Spotted In US Retail
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 01:00 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/Cyberverse-Acid-Storm.jpg" alt="" />

Courtesy of 2005 Boards member PoweredConvoy for sharing images of the Transformers Cyberverse Deluxe Wave 3 toys at US retail. Cyberverse Deluxe Acid Storm and Windblade were spotted at Walmart in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Their wave partner: Megatron should surface any time soon. We are missing Wave 2 Thundercraker which has been available online only on Toys”R”Us Hong Kong Website and found as a Toys”R”Us Singapore exclusive. Happy hunting!

The post Transformers Cyberverse Deluxe Wave 3 Spotted In US Retail appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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iPhone XS and XS Max Users Are Reporting Poor Cell and Wi-Fi Reception
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 12:23 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's holding-it-wrong department:
Some users who upgraded to an iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max over the weekend have reported poor cell and Wi-Fi reception and noticeably slower speeds when comparing their new phones to their older models. The Verge: According to users on Apple's support forum, MacRumors forums, and Reddit, the issue appears to be widespread across the country and not limited to any specific carrier. It's a frustrating issue, especially considering that the iPhone XS is supposed to have significantly faster data speeds on Wi-Fi and LTE compared to the iPhone X, according to data tests conducted by SpeedSmart. There's even a new antenna line running along the bottom of the phone as discovered by a recent iFixit teardown, which should have helped with reception. Additionally, folks at r/Apple, the most popular subreddit for iPhone and other Apple related discussions on the site, have corroborated the claims.

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SiriusXM Is Acquiring Pandora in $3.5 Billion Deal To Create the 'World's Largest Audio-Entertainment Company'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 12:23 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's big-bets department:
Sirius XM has agreed to buy online-music service Pandora for $3.5 billion, as the satellite-radio company looks to add streaming services in the increasingly competitive fight for listeners. From a report: According to the announcement, the deal will create "the world's largest audio-entertainment company," with more than $7 billion in projected revenue in 2018 and more than 100 million monthly listeners, combining SiriusXM's 36 million subscribers and Pandora's 70 million-plus monthly active users. It also moves SiriusXM and its parent company, Liberty Media, aggressively into the streaming market. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and is subject to approval by Pandora stockholders; expiration or termination of any applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and certain competition laws of foreign jurisdictions; and other customary closing conditions. On a call with analysts, Jim Meyer, Sirius XM's chief executive, said that the acquisition would enable Sirius to try to keep listeners who did not want to pay for music by diverting them toward Pandora's free ads-based model.

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A Brand New Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Website Now Live
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 11:40 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="366" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/Transformers-Bumblebee-Movie-Website.jpg" alt="" />

A brand new Transformers: Bumblebee movie website titled ‘Who is Bumblebee?‘ is now live. At the moment, there’s nothing much you can do other than to look around Charlie Watson’s garage with Bumblebee’s yellow VW Bug in it. You can also watch a couple of clips from the movie, but nothing we haven’t seen before via trailers. What’s interesting is the background music of the site. If previous movie websites are of any indication, then this music just may be a sample from the Bumblebee movie score by Dario Marianelli. The music does seems to changing randomly when we visit » Continue Reading.

The post A Brand New Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Website Now Live appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Transformers Studio Series Deluxe Cogman Listed?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 11:40 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="338" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/Transformers-Studio-Series-Cogman.jpg" alt="" />

A new Amazon listing for Australia seems to be revealing a new Studio Series figure for Cogman of Transformers: The Last Knight. The only information we have right now is the model number which is E4700. Also listed is the previously discovered Studio Series ROTF Hightower and a new Generations Siege figure titled Flywheels. You can check out the link at Amazon Australia.

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Transformers: Bumblebee Trailer Breakdown With Director Travis Knight
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 11:40 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="402" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/09/Transformers-Bumblebee-Movie-Trailer-Travis-Knight.jpg" alt="" />

Director Travis Knight is breaking the silence to let us in on the scoop following two successful trailer releases with largely positive reactions across the globe. Transformers: Bumblebee Trailer #2 and Trailer #3 are full of nice little surprises and many blink-and-you-miss-it moments. As the director explains, we not only saw G1 inspired Shockwave, Soundwave, Ravage and Starscream, we will also get to see characters such as Wheeljack on the big screen as well. This Autobot engineer made his Live Action debut with Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. However, director Michael Bay opted to keep his temp name (given to avoid » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers: Bumblebee Trailer Breakdown With Director Travis Knight appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Stuck Pigment
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '18 at 11:20 AM
By Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
Mike and I receive Tattoos very differently. This fact is discussed in today’s strip, but there is another way you can become acquainted with it, and that is to watch the video embedded tastefully below these words. The tattoo artist terminology for someone who takes a tattoo in this way is “A Box Of Cats.” Watch G & T: Tattoos from PennyArcade on www.twitch.tv I have a different reaction. Which is to say, not much of one. I’m nowhere near as entertaining as Gabe is. I “go remote” when subjected to various kinds of stress…

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