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Algorithm spots abnormal heart rhythms with doctor-like accuracy

While not all arrhythmias are fatal or even dangerous, it’s still a cause for concern. Some, after all, could cause heart failure and cardiac arrest, and a lot of people with abnormal heart rhythms don’t even show symptoms. A team of researchers from Stanford University might have found a way to effectively diagnose the condition even if a person isn’t exhibiting symptoms and even without a doctor. They’ve developed an algorithm that can detect 14 types of arrhythmia — they also claim that based on their tests, it can perform “better than trained cardiologists.”

See, an ECG doesn’t always show the presence of arrhythmia, so doctors sometimes order patients to wear a wearable ECG device to monitor their heartbeat for two weeks. The researchers took advantage of that practice to create their algorithm. They used the massive dataset provided by heartbeat monitor company iRhythm to train a deep neural network for seven months until it’s capable of detecting 14 types of arrhythmia by looking at ECGs.

To ensure the results’ accuracy, the team had six cardiologists look at the data and diagnose each individual. They found that the algorithm was able to compete with the cardiologists, and in some cases, it was even able to differentiate between two very similar types of arrhythmia, something that could mean the difference between life and death.

Pranav Rajpurkar, the paper’s co-lead author, said:

“The differences in the heartbeat signal can be very subtle but have massive impact in how you choose to tackle these detection. For example, two forms of the arrhythmia known as second-degree atrioventricular block look very similar, but one requires no treatment while the other requires immediate attention.”

The scientists are hoping for their creation to lead to a diagnostic tool people in developing nations and remote areas can use if they don’t have immediate access to a doctor. They also believe it could be used on a wearable device to pick up signs of stroke, heart failure or cardiac arrest in at-risk patients.

Source: Stanford


Ever-changing memory could lead to faster processors

Virtually every central processor in your devices uses a tiered set of memory caches to speed things up by fetching commonly used data. But it’s not very efficient — in trying to accommodate everything, it’s rarely the fastest at anything. MIT’s CSAIL researchers want to fix that. They’ve developed a cache system (appropriately named Jenga) that creates new cache structures on the spot to optimize for a specific app. As Jenga knows the physical locations of each memory bank, it can calculate how to store data to reduce the travel time (and thus lag) as much as possible, even if that means changing the hierarchy. Whether an app would benefit from multiple cache levels or one gigantic cache, this system would be ready.

The gains could be huge. A simulated 36-core chip ran up to 30 percent faster just by adopting Jenga, and could use up to 85 percent less power. You wouldn’t necessarily face a penalty for having many cores in a chip, even in laptops and smartphones where every watt counts.

Of course, there’s one major problem: Jenga is just a simulation. It could take a while before you see real-world examples of this cache, and longer still before chip manufacturers adopt it (assuming they like the idea, that is). This also assumes that Jenga scales neatly across different core counts. Will you see similar gains with ‘just’ an 8-core chip? It’s easy to imagine CPU giants like Intel or Qualcomm leaping on this concept, though. Chip makers frequently boost performance by moving to ever-smaller manufacturing processes, but they’re gradually running into physical limits. So long as there’s software to take advantage of it, Jenga could wring extra performance out of chips with relatively little effort.

Source: MIT News


Singer sues ‘Fallout 4’ publisher over use of a classic song

The Fallout game series is legendary for its use of music to set the post-apocalyptic mood, but it might have been a little too eager when creating the tone for Fallout 4. Singer Dion DiMucci has sued Fallout’s publisher, ZeniMax, for allegedly using his 1961 hit “The Wanderer” for ads without verifying that he approved of the content. The artist contends that ZeniMax didn’t bother honoring contract terms that let him refuse the use of his song in the promos, which he finds “morally indefensible.” He’s not objecting to the game itself — rather, it’s that the ads glorify the protagonist’s violence “as sport” instead of focusing on the “struggle for survival.” Clearly, he’s not a fan of seeing his cherished, upbeat pop song playing as someone guns down mutants.

The lawsuit calls on ZeniMax to both take the ads down and pay $1 million in damages. DiMucci says he was also denied a right to negotiate a licensing fee.

We’ve asked ZeniMax for its take on the lawsuit and will let you know if it can comment. Whatever happens, the lawsuit might have game publishers treading more carefully when they license music. The further video games venture into mainstream culture, the more likely it is that musicians will care about how their music is represented in games. And just as with movies and TV, they’ll sometimes care more about preserving their public image than receiving a big royalty check.

Source: Polygon


Tesla makes its first Model 3

After months of waiting and no shortage of hype, Tesla’s first Model 3 is finally rolling off the production line. Elon Musk has revealed that the initial production unit is ready (not pictured as of this writing) pending a “final checkout.” It’s not clear who gets this inaugural electric car, but they’ll definitely be part of an exclusive club given that a mere 30 Model 3s will reach buyers by the end of July.

It’s not certain just how much has changed on the Model 3 since it was unveiled back in 2016. You likely won’t get the full scoop on that until a handover party scheduled for July 28th. However, Musk has already hinted that there shouldn’t be any dramatic changes versus the release candidate prototypes that appeared in March. The past few months have largely been spent tweaking and testing components to ensure the Model 3 is ready for the road.

It’s a largely symbolic announcement when most Model 3 pre-order customers won’t even get their vehicles until 2018. Production is only slated to ramp up to 20,000 cars per month by December, which hardly puts a dent in the hundreds of thousands of reservations made since last spring. With that said, you really are looking at the start of Tesla’s next chapter. Musk and crew can now say they’re producing EVs aimed at the mainstream (albeit the higher end), not just a subset of the luxury car crowd.

Production unit 1 of Model 3 is now built and going through final checkout. Pics soon.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2017

Source: Elon Musk (Twitter)


Your GaymerX Foundation donations are now tax deductible

Indie gaming company MidBoss formed the GaymerX Foundation in 2016 after years of running an annual convention for LGBTQIA game developers and fans. According to its website, it’s “focused on the preservation and celebration of queer geek and gaming culture, through supporting current developers and archiving historically significant achievements in this field.”

Now, the foundation has announced that it’s officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, opening new opportunities to further its mission to promote diversity and to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s place in the video game industry. For you, that means being able to write off donations made through the foundation’s website or through its Patreon page.

501(c)(3) non-profit orgs don’t have to pay federal taxes, and they may also be exempted from paying sales and property taxes. In addition, the status makes the foundation eligible for grants or government funding and for free or discounted rates from media outlets when making announcements or distributing press releases. In exchange for all those perks, GaymerX can’t engage in business that benefits individuals in the organization and must stay true to its purpose, or else it will lose its status.

As the group said in its announcement:

“Being a non-profit allows for certain donations to be tax-deductible, gives us access to more resources, and allows you better transparency and confidence in where your money is going.

In the future, we hope to be able to expand upon our goals and vision with GaymerX Foundation — beyond just organizing queer events for ga(y)mers of all kinds — we also want to help catalogue, support, and provide resources to queer devs and queer game communities…”

Via: VentureBeat

Source: MidBoss


SHIELDON Galaxy S8 Genuine Leather Wallet Case Review

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been out for a few months now and that means there has been plenty of time to test our some cases for the device to see what offers the best balance of practicality against aesthetics.

SHIELDON have releases a case format that is often very popular with those who don’t necessary want to carry separate items to house both your smartphone and bank cards. The Galaxy S8 wallet case is perfect for those who want their bank cards close at hand with their device.

Made from genuine cowhide leather which is imported from the U.S, the case can hold up to 2 cards and also cash. Not only that but with magnets to keep the case secure, there’s also a kickstand to prop up your Galaxy S8 when you want to watch some videos.

The SHIELDON Galaxy S8 Genuine Leather Wallet Case – SAMSUNG S8 Case Details:

  • – Handcrafted from premium leather. Leather has stood the test of time as one of the most durable and reliable crafting materials known to man
  • – The stitching is bold and reliable, creating a case that won’t fray or pull apart over time
  • – Featuring multiple slots for cards and cash. Carrying around your ID, credit and debit cards, and cash without having to take your wallet with you
  • – Full degree of protection: Covers all four corners and includes raised edges and keeps the screen from scratching or touching the ground
  • – Convenient kickstand lets you watch videos or browse the web without having to hold your phone
  • – Full access to ports and control allows quick and easy access to all buttons and port openings.

The case is extremely well made and feels very high quality. It fits the Galaxy S8 well and provides access to all the important ports as you would expect. The case offers good protection to the device and would offer basic protection to the sides and rear of the device. The magnets help keep the front cover secure and offers good protection to the screen.

The kickstand feature is very useful but I found the case quite stiff to position in place to a point where the weight of the Galaxy S8 would just collapse the case. I’m sure with continued use this would become more flexible and easier to position.

The packing of the case, although not directly related to the performance of the case, was extremely well presented. The case is shipped in a nice bag with very satisfying packaging that looks fantastic and represents the high quality nature of the product.

While the case offers the facility to combine your wallet with your phone case, it does obviously add bulk that may not necessarily be desirable to those that like a minimalist design. However, for maximum efficiency, it doesn’t get much better than the SHIELDON Galaxy S8 Genuine Leather Wallet Case. It’s worth noting that this will only fit the regular Galaxy S8, not the S8+.

If you want to get your hands on the SHIELDON Galaxy S8 Genuine Leather Wallet Case then head on over here to pick one up. Better yet, there’s a special 10% discount for AndroidGuys readers’ using the code SDCODE10.


AI vision can determine why neighborhoods thrive

It’s relatively easy to figure out whether or not a neighborhood is doing well at one moment in time. More often than not, you just have to look around. But how do you measure the progress (or deterioration) a neighborhood makes? That’s where AI might help. Researchers have built a computer vision system that can determine the rate of improvement or decay in a given urban area. The team taught a machine learning system to compare 1.6 million pairs of photos (each taken several years apart) from Google Street View to look for signs of change on a pixel-by-pixel, object-by-object basis. If there are more green spaces or key building types in the newer shot, for instance, that’s a sign that an area is on the up-and-up.

The technology has been trained to ignore changes that could skew the results, such as parked cars or seasonal differences in trees.

The results at once supported some existing theories and challenged others. A neighborhood’s chances have little to do with housing prices, income levels or cultural demographics. Instead, it comes down to the density of well-educated residents, access to key business districts (or other pretty neighborhoods) and a safety score generated from the initial snapshot. Those aren’t completely surprising by themselves, but the rate of growth is: while an already safe neighborhood was likely to see more improvement than a dangerous one, the growth didn’t accelerate like some theorists suggested. Also, a neighborhood isn’t guaranteed to enjoy a revival just because its buildings are old enough to warrant renovations.

The AI-guided approach isn’t completely reliable at the moment. When the scientists asked reviewers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to take a look, the safety assessments only lined up 72 percent of the time. Disputes mainly arose over areas where there was relatively little change, though, so the machine learning system can at least pinpoint improvements. It’s entirely possible that a refined version of this technology could be used to inform city governments’ decisions. They could find out whether or not a district is benefiting from municipal funds, or spot signs of decay before a community reaches a crisis point.

Source: MIT News


Windows 10 giving you trouble? Here’s how to boot into safe mode

Safe Mode is the famous (or perhaps infamous) method of opening up a limited version of Windows to get around bugs or avoid viruses while troubleshooting problems and finding solutions. Traditionally, you could boot into Safe Mode in Windows by starting up and pressing F8 when the operating system first loads. However, Microsoft‘s latest iteration of Windows doesn’t follow this rule, so let’s go over how to boot into Safe mode in Windows 10.

Note: On Windows 10, there are a few different types of Safe Mode you can choose from, so it’s important to know which you need.

Safe Mode: This is the basic version that strips away all unnecessary programs and only autostarts a few chosen files and drivers to get the basic system running. It doesn’t allow for many advanced features, including connections with other computers or devices. That makes the computer safer from malware that may be able to move through local networks (like the WannaCry ransomware appeared capable of doing).

Safe Mode with Networking: This is a mode that adds on the necessary drivers and features to access networks. It’s not quite as safe, but it’s useful if you only have one computer and need to get online to look for help or see if connections to other devices still work.

Safe Mode with Command Prompt: This option may not be available on all versions of Windows 10, but if it is you can enter this mode to bring up a big command prompt screen. This is good for more badly damaged operating systems or technical work where you know the precise command lines necessary to find a problem or launch a specific service.

From the login screen or when frozen

If you are still on the login screen, this is an effective way to quickly boot into Safe Mode — and it may also work if Windows has suddenly frozen or programs like Outlook have become unresponsive.

Step 1: From the log-in screen, hold down Shift, and then click the power button on the screen (not your physical power button on the PC or laptop). A small box should pop up with a few different shut down options. Choose the Restart option.

Step 2: Windows should revert to a window that says “Choose an option” (it may take a little time so don’t try anything until you see this). From here you will need to go through a few different menus to find the right restart option. First choose Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and then Restart.

Step 3: Windows should now now open up to a new window that says Startup Settings and includes a list of different options. The first Safe Mode options should be 4, with the other Safe Mode options following after. Press the number key for the Safe Mode that you want.

When you’re already in Windows 10

There’s a slightly more roundabout way to boot into Safe Mode from inside Windows 10. This method may be more useful if you want Windows to shut down and restart safely while preserving as much data as it can — while avoiding complex command lines.

Step 1: Head to your Start menu, and then choose or search for Settings.

Step 2: In Settings, look for Update & Security and select it. This will open a new window with a sidebar on the left side. In this sidebar, look for Recovery, and select that.

Step 3: Under the Advanced startup option, you should see a Restart now button. Choose it. This will take you to the same selection screen as the first method of entering Safe Mode.

Step 4: Move through these menus by selecting Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and then Restart.

Step 5: Give Windows time to load your selection of Startup settings. The Safe Mode options start at number 4. Press the number key for the Safe Mode you want.

Exiting Safe Mode

Once you have fixed your Windows problem, it’s time to restore original settings. Exiting Safe Mode from Windows 10 is a little more complicated. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Click the Start button and, in the search box, type (without quotation marks) “msconfig” and press Enter. This should open or show you the System Configuration feature.

Step 2: Go to the Boot tab. In the lower right corner you should see, under Boot options, a number of choices for Safe boot, which should be selected (yes, this is a third option for activating Safe Mode if you prefer to do so from this window). Make sure that “Safe boot” is not checked.

Step 3: With Safe boot unchecked, select OK, and then Restart Windows 10 as you normally would. It should now open in its full mode.


Intel made a VR tie-in for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’

Movie and TV tie-in books and games are a thing of the past — these days, it’s all about virtual reality. Fox made one to go with The Martian and HBO created a VR Castle Black to promote Game of Thrones. We even got to explore Westworld’s and The Man in the High Castle’s universes through their VR experiences at New York Comic-Con. Now, Warner Bros. has given Christopher Nolan’s action flick Dunkirk the same treatment by teaming up with Intel, Microsoft and Dell to create an experience that shows you what it’s like to be trapped on a beach while being attacked by enemy soldiers during World War II.

360-degree VR videos like this are typically optimized for standard HD and 4K media, but Practical Magic (the company that created it) had to stitch images 40 times that resolution. To make that possible, the team used Dell blade servers and workstations powered by Intel Xeon processors. While the movie itself won’t be out until July 21st, the experience, which will drop you straight “into each of the movie’s three key perspectives — land, sea and air,” is now available for the HTC Vive, Oculus and Samsung Gear VR. Although not as immersive, you can also watch it on your computers through YouTube and Facebook 360.

Source: Intel


Gear Up: IFROGZ latest wireless earbuds are great summer workout accessories

If you’re in the market for a new set of wireless earphones, you may want to consider checking out the new releases from IFROGZ. Announced just last month, both the InTone Wireless earbuds and the Impulse Duo Wireless earbuds offer great value for the money.

The pair share a number of traits together, including the general design and functionality. They both offer up 10 hours of battery life on a full charge; the included microUSB cord juices them back up in next to no time. We found that each can be fully charged in around an hour or less. Battery life varies depending on how loud you like your music, but 10 hours seems to be a reasonable claim.


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Impulse Duo

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Although they are wireless, the earbuds do connect to the middle component. It’s here where you’ll find the mic and remote buttons. Each button serves two purposes, one of which is enabled by a quick press and the other which comes by long pressing. Listeners can pause, play, advance and back up tracks, and control volume. The magnetic storage clip ensures that the unit doesn’t slip from your shirt collar or sleeve.

Both models are sweat resistant and come with an IPX-2 rating; this means it will withstand dripping water or sweat from a vigorous run/workout.

There are a couple of reasons, however, you may want to make the jump from the InTone to the Impulse Duo. For about fifteen more bucks you end up with a more premium sound and personalized fit. The latter comes with three sizes of ear tips, giving you a more comfortable overall fit. What’s more, the Impulse Duo is also backed by the Earbud Tips for Life warranty. Should your earbuds get worn down or damaged, IFROGZ will replace them at no cost.

We’ve been a fan of IFROGZ and its parent company ZAGG for some time now and always look forward to testing out new models. If you’re looking for an affordable pair of wireless headphones to help train for a half marathon or just need something to listen to music while playing Pokemon Go, either of these will do the trick.

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