Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
Apple has taken over the front of its homepage to highlight a new section on its website rounding up photos taken around the world by the iPhone 6/6 Plus’s camera. The website highlights several photographs taken across the globe, from places like Halong Bay (Vietnam), Pamplona (Spain), and The Cairngorms (Scotland). Alongside each piece of media, Apple includes a brief blurb describing the photo as well as the name of the application in which the photo or video was taken. Most of the photos were taken in the iPhone’s bundled Camera application, but the website notes some edits made in Instagram, Snapped, and Adobe Photoshop Express. The entire gallery is well worth a visit. Apple has also published a new page in the App Store to highlight photography apps. Of course, this new iPhone 6 promotion has coincidentallylaunched on the same day as the Galaxy S6.
Originally posted on TEAM YELLOW:
Wall Street Journal: (by Josh Chin)
Chinese Internet companies have deleted tens of thousands of user accounts as the country prepares to enforce new registration rules that will further cement government control over online discourse.
A total of more than 60,000 accounts across a number of Chinese Internet platforms were deleted in recent days, chiefly because of misleading or harmful usernames, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement dated Thursday. Among them were accounts that masqueraded as government departments, carried commercial names such as “Come Shoot Guns” and “Buy License Plates,” spread terrorist information or sported erotic avatars.
Unverified accounts falsely claiming to represent state media were also shut down, the agency said, adding that it covered everything from microblogs to chat accounts to online discussion forums. Companies listed as having taken part in the cleanup included top U.S.-listed Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , Tencent…
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‘You’re really going with that title?’ The Boston Globe’s ridiculous Elizabeth Warren headline is ‘low hanging fruit’Posted: March 1, 2015
Marcus Woo writes: On February 28, 1998, the eminent medical journal The Lancet published an observational study of 12 children: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive development disorder in children. It might not sound sexy, but once the media read beyond the title, into the study’s descriptions of how those nasty-sounding symptoms appeared just after the kids got vaccinated, the impact was clear: The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine can cause autism.
“All of the incentives in science are aligned against publishing negative results or failures to replicate.”
This was the famous study by Andrew Wakefield, the one that many credit with launching the current hyper-virulent form of anti-vaccination sentiment. Wakefield is maybe the most prominent modern scientist who got it wrong—majorly wrong, dangerously wrong, barred-from-medical-practice wrong.
“People are forced to claim significance, or something new, extravagant, unusual, and positive.”
But scientists are wrong all the time, in far more innocuous ways. And that’s OK. In fact, it’s great.
When a researcher gets proved wrong, that means the scientific method is working. Scientists make progress by re-doing each other’s experiments—replicating them to see if they can get the same result. More often than not, they can’t. “Failure to reproduce is a good thing,” says Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retraction Watch. “It happens a lot more than we know about.” That could be because the research was outright fraudulent, like Wakefield’s. But there are plenty of other ways to get a bum result—as the Public Libary of Science’s new collection of negative results, launched this week, will highlight in excruciating detail.
You might have a particularly loosey-goosey postdoc doing your pipetting. You might have picked a weird patient population that shows a one-time spike in drug efficacy. Or you might have just gotten a weird statistical fluke. No matter how an experiment got screwed up, “negative results can be extremely exciting and useful—sometimes even more useful than positive results,” says John Ioannidis, a biologist at Stanford who published a now-famous papersuggesting that most scientific studies are wrong.
The problem with science isn’t that scientists can be wrong: It’s that when they’re proven wrong, it’s way too hard for people to find out. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
Apple today released an updated aerial shot of the construction progress of its Campus 2 project in Cupertino, California. The new shot was made available on the City of Cupertino’s official website and continues to show the steady progress including more groundwork made on the future headquarters.
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‘BEAM HIM UP’ Spock Dead at 83, Boldly Goes to Final Frontier’ New York Post Saturday, February 28, 2015Posted: February 28, 2015
[VIDEO] Flying Over Beijing: What Does it Look Like When Most of the Population of a Vast Metropolis Sets Off Fireworks at Once?Posted: February 28, 2015
What does it look like when most of the population of a vast metropolis sets off fireworks at once? YouTube contributor Parelius was flying into Beijing at midnight last week on Chinese New Year and captured this awesome footage of his view through his window on the plane: fireworks, both large and small, going off all over the city. It’s such a dazzling sight, we feel like we should be holding sparklers while watching.
Apple hiring hardware engineers to work on display & projection systems for virtual reality environmentsPosted: February 27, 2015
Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
We discovered late last year that Apple was hiring software engineers with experience in virtual reality gaming and user interfaces, but new job listings this week point to Apple’s interest in the development of hardware for virtual reality.
Apple is seeking a Senior Display Systems Engineer for “display systems design and development related to VR environments.” More specifically, Apple is looking for someone experienced in monitor and projection technologies to help it with “extremely high fidelity VR environments.” From the job listing:
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Originally posted on Twitchy:
You knew it was coming … and here it is:
Can we talk about how Leonard Nimoy doesn’t appear anywhere in that “tribute”?
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Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
After Smartflash successfully convinced a court that Apple devices infringed three of its patents relating to downloading and storing content, winning a $532.9M award for its trouble, the company is coming back for more–despite the fact that Apple is appealing the original award.
Smartflash filed its original case before the iPhone 6/Plus and iPad Air 2 were launched, so the company now wants extra cash for these, reports Reuters.
“Smartflash filed the complaint to address products that came out too far into the last proceedings to have been included,” Smartflash’s attorney, Brad Caldwell, told Reuters on Thursday.
The company reached settlements with a number of game developers, and has also filed lawsuits against Samsung, Google and Amazon.
Smartflash is the very definition of a patent troll, settlements and awards from its seven patents providing its only form of income. The company makes no products and provides no services.
Apple has previously spoken out against patent…
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Originally posted on Twitchy:
Once the federal government controls something, it seldom cedes any power. It usually leads to more and more of a stranglehold on whatever is being controlled. Is it unreasonable to think that more government control of the internet could lead to infringement of individual rights? If the IRS can be used to target political opponents, why not the FCC? American Commitment’s Phil Kerpen reminds us that there are people on the Left who are already considering the possibility.
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Originally posted on Deadline:
Denis Villeneuve is in negotiations to direct the sequel to Blade Runner, with Harrison Ford previously asked but now confirmed to be reprising his role as Rick Deckard. Ridley Scott, who directed the iconic 1982 sci-fi pic for Warner Bros, is aboard to executive produce for Alcon Entertainment.
The film is scheduled to start principal photography in summer 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original with David Peoples) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Scott. The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original, which was based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Alcon acquired most franchise rights to Blade Runner in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels. Scott said in an MTV News interview over the winter that Ford was keen on the script but didn’t…
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This isn’t a stained-glass sculpture or piece of delicate jewelry – it’s a real live spider. These spiders, called mirror or sequined spiders, are all members of several different species of the thwaitesia genus, which features spiders with reflective silvery patches on their abdomen.
The scales look like solid pieces of mirror glued to the spider’s back, but they can actually change size depending on how threatened the spider feels. The reflective scales are composed of reflective guanine, which these and other spiders use to give themselves color.
Not much information is available about these wonderful spiders, but the dazzling specimens in these photos were photographed primarily in Australia and Singapore…(read more)
Surgeon Sergio Canavero will be embarking on a project to implement the world’s first human head transplant
Sarah Zhang reports: An Italian neuroscientist who has been advocating for head transplants now wants to make one actually happen. He’ll be announcing a project at a surgical conference later this year. Here’s how the proposed human head transplant will work—supposedly.
“Canavero’s plan sounds pretty absurd, but the science of head transplants—at least in animals—is not as sparse as you might first think. The first head transplant in monkeys was done back in the 1970s, and the monkey lived for nine days…”
In 2013, Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group proposed that human head transplants could soon be possible. Since then, he’s heard from several transplant volunteers, and New Scientist reports that Canavero will make a call to arms to find other interested surgeons at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting this June.
Canavero’s plan sounds pretty absurd, but the science of head transplants—at least in animals—is not as sparse as you might first think. The first head transplant in monkeys was done back in the 1970s, and the monkey lived for nine days. Its immune system eventually rejected the transplanted head, which is a major problem with such large transplants.
An even bigger problem, though, is how to fuse the spinal cords so brain and body are actually connected. (The monkey with a transplanted body—or was it a transplanted head?—couldn’t move.) Canavero recently published more details what he calls the GEMINI spinal cord fusion protocol. Here’s how New Scientist summarizes it:
The tissue around the neck is dissected and the major blood vessels are linked using tiny tubes, before the spinal cords of each person are cut. Cleanly severing the cords is key, says Canavero.
The recipient’s head is then moved onto the donor body and the two ends of the spinal cord – which resemble two densely packed bundles of spaghetti – are fused together. To achieve this, Canavero intends to flush the area with a chemical called polyethylene glycol, and follow up with several hours of injections of the same stuff. Just like hot water makes dry spaghetti stick together, polyethylene glycol encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh…(read more)
Of course, this protocol is mostly theoretical. (A Chinese neuroscientist will be attempting it for the first time in mice and monkeys.) Even Canavero’s paper states that only 10 to 15 percent of the neurons will likely fuse. Yet he tells New Scientist that people could walk again a year after the procedure.
Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
Okay, so you’ve heard by now that Apple is having a ‘Spring forward’ special event on March 9th (just a day after the clock springs forward in the US for DST), and Tim Cook has pinned the Apple Watch debut down to sometime in April, so it’s a no-brainer that we’ll be filling in lots of blanks about the device then.
Apple already publicly unveiled the Apple Watch last September including an hour of on-stage time, though, so aside from more demoes, pricing, and availability specifics, what do you expect from Apple’s upcoming event?
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Yes, Reaganomics Needs a 21st Century Update
“The GOP is debating whether Reaganomics needs an update” is a must-read piece by Washington Post reporter Jim Tankersley. One side answers the “What would Reagan do?” question by offering a nostalgic return to the 1980s Reagan agenda. Another prefers to apply the Reagan principles — a dynamic private sector, strong families and neighborhoods, upward mobility, work — to modern economic reality with different conservative policy results. Tankersley:
Leading Republicans are clashing over a signature issue the party has treated as gospel for nearly 40 years: the idea that sharply lower taxes and smaller government are enough by themselves to drive a more prosperous middle class — and win national elections. That simple philosophy has been the foundation of every GOP platform since the days of Ronald Reagan. Now, some of the party’s presidential hopefuls — along with some top conservative economists and strategists — are sending strong signals that they believe today’s beleaguered workers need more targeted help, even if growth speeds up.
For some context, here are a few then-and-now stats:
1.) When Reagan was elected president in 1980, the top income tax rate was 70%. Today, the top income tax rate is 40%.
3.) When Reagan was elected, the bottom 90% paid just over half of all federal income taxes. Today it’s around 30% with 40% of households paying no federal income taxes.
5.) When Reagan was elected, 8% of national income went to the top 1%. Today, it’s nearly 20%.
6.) When Reagan was elected, inflation had averaged nearly 9% over the previous eight years. Today, inflation is less than 2% and has averaged around 2% the past 15 years.
7.) When Reagan was elected, US publicly held debt was 26% of GDP. Today, it’s 74% of GDP with a whole lot of entitlement spending quickly headed our way.
8.) When Reagan was elected, more than 19 million Americans worked in manufacturing. Today, just under 12 million Americans work in manufacturing.
9.) When Reagan was elected, health care spending was 10% of GDP. Today, it’s 17% of GDP.
10.) When Reagan was elected, China’s GDP, in nominal terms, was 3% of America’s. Today, China’s GDP is over half of America’s and about the same based on purchasing power.
Let me also add (a) there is good reason to believe that faster GDP growth is not lifting all boats, (b) upward mobility is stagnant, (c) slowing labor force growth and productivity suggest it will be harder to generate fast growth in the future than in the past, (d) automation has taken a toll on middle-class income and jobs, (e) labor force participation by high school-only graduates has fallen by 10 percentage points over the past 25 years, and (f) inflation-adjusted market income for the top 1% has risen by 174% since 1979 vs. 16% for the bottom 80%. Read the rest of this entry »
Lisa de Moraes reports:
Gutfeld will continue to serve as co-host of The Five, airing weekdays at 5 PM ET, and will keep make his weekly appearance on The O’Reilly Factor. During this transition, a variety of rotating guest hosts will substitute host Red Eye. Gutfeld will address his sign-off from the show on tomorrow’s edition of Red Eye, which airs at 3 AM ET.
The pilot will focus on Gutfield’s “strong libertarian values, and social commentary,” the network said, highlighting Gutfield’s “whimsical nature and political satire.” Read the rest of this entry »