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11
Jan

Implantable miniature robot helps correct defects in internal organs


An implantable robot that helps stretch body tissue has been developed by a team of physicians and engineers at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

By slowly tugging on the tissue in question, the miniature robot is designed to lengthen tubular organs that exhibit stunted growth, offering a solution for rare birth defects affecting the esophagus and bowel, which can be debilitating to children and challenging to address surgically.

In the current standard of care for long-gap esophageal atresia, a rare defect in which part of the esophagus is missing, a child must be put into an induced coma and kept in intensive care for one to four weeks as the esophagus is manually lengthened.

In the robotic design, two rings are attached to the esophagus, which has been sewn together. A motor slowly tugs the rings apart, lengthening the esophageal tissue in the process. One of the main advantages of the new technique is that a child wouldn’t have to be sedated during the procedure.

In a recent study published this week in the journal Science Robotics, the researchers tested the device on the esophagi of pigs, who were able to eat normally and displayed no signs of discomfort while the robot was implanted.

“It’s hard to interview a pig to get all the details,” Pierre Dupont, head of the pediatric cardiac bioengineering lab and one of the authors of the paper, told Digital Trends, “but we would adjust the tension while we were there observing the pig or feeding it treats, just to make sure they weren’t in discomfort. We couldn’t notice anything. We had the option to turn the tension off while they were eating but they just weren’t bothered by it.”

Esophageal atresia is a rare defect that occurs in about 1 in 4,000 children in the United States. But treatment is complicated and requires specific surgical skills.

By designing a robot to do much of the work, Dupont and his colleagues hope to provide an automated solution that can treat patients irrespective of a surgeon’s technical proficiency with this exact procedure.

The researchers are now looking into whether their device could be used to treat the more common short bowel syndrome, which can inhibit a child’s ability to get nutrients from her food.

“If you’re bowel isn’t long enough you can’t absorb nutrients as well,” Dupont said.

The bowel is a more complicated organ than the esophagus however, so more research is needed to tailor the robot this specific procedure.

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11
Jan

Screen-sporting LaCie DJI Copilot hard drive enables on-site backups sans laptop


Seagate wants photographers and videographers to ditch the laptop — at least for on-site backups anyways. During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Seagate announced a handful of storage solutions, including the LaCie DJI Copilot, a portable hard drive with a built-in screen for backing up media without a computer.

The Copilot can copy files from memory cards or USB-based devices. And while DJI is right in the name, the portable hard drive can back up files from DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and action cameras as well as drones. An included cord allows users to organize and access data on the drive using a smartphone or tablet and the Copilot Boss app. The cable attachment allows creatives to view the content without downgrading the resolution for a wireless transfer.

The built-in screen at the top of the Copilot allows uers to check the status of file transfers, and provides quick access to how much space is left on the 2TB drive and the remaining battery life. Along with powering on-site transfers, the built-in battery can also be used to charge any device that uses a USB-based charging cable.

The drive is encased in a body that’s splash-, dust- and drop-resistant, Seagate says. The Copilot is expected to launch this spring with a $349 list price.

The LaCie DJI Copilot joins a new and expanding line of options that allow creatives to back up their files on site, including options like the Gnarbox, which uses wireless connectivity and doesn’t integrate a screen. Seagate also introduced the LaCie Rugged Secure. Building on the tough exterior of previous rugged options, the model is the first in the line to use hardware encryption. After disconnecting the device, Seagate says the content is automatically locked and password protected through a system the user sets up with included software. The 2TB drive is also expected to ship in the spring with a $139 list price.

CES also announced the Seagate Fast SSD, a portable drive with up to 540MB/s transfer speeds. Available in 250GB, 500GB and 1 TB capacities, the SSD ranges between $99 and $349.

Seagate will also test a new type of drive with a launch in China and Indonesia only, with the potential of bringing it to additional markets if the drive is successful in the countries with the largest number of smartphone users. The Seagate Joy Drive expands both the capacity and battery life of Android devices, all without using a Wi-Fi connection. Seagate hasn’t said if the tech will come to the U.S., but it sells for the equivalent of $99 in China.

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11
Jan

Screen-sporting LaCie DJI Copilot hard drive enables on-site backups sans laptop


Seagate wants photographers and videographers to ditch the laptop — at least for on-site backups anyways. During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Seagate announced a handful of storage solutions, including the LaCie DJI Copilot, a portable hard drive with a built-in screen for backing up media without a computer.

The Copilot can copy files from memory cards or USB-based devices. And while DJI is right in the name, the portable hard drive can back up files from DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and action cameras as well as drones. An included cord allows users to organize and access data on the drive using a smartphone or tablet and the Copilot Boss app. The cable attachment allows creatives to view the content without downgrading the resolution for a wireless transfer.

The built-in screen at the top of the Copilot allows uers to check the status of file transfers, and provides quick access to how much space is left on the 2TB drive and the remaining battery life. Along with powering on-site transfers, the built-in battery can also be used to charge any device that uses a USB-based charging cable.

The drive is encased in a body that’s splash-, dust- and drop-resistant, Seagate says. The Copilot is expected to launch this spring with a $349 list price.

The LaCie DJI Copilot joins a new and expanding line of options that allow creatives to back up their files on site, including options like the Gnarbox, which uses wireless connectivity and doesn’t integrate a screen. Seagate also introduced the LaCie Rugged Secure. Building on the tough exterior of previous rugged options, the model is the first in the line to use hardware encryption. After disconnecting the device, Seagate says the content is automatically locked and password protected through a system the user sets up with included software. The 2TB drive is also expected to ship in the spring with a $139 list price.

CES also announced the Seagate Fast SSD, a portable drive with up to 540MB/s transfer speeds. Available in 250GB, 500GB and 1 TB capacities, the SSD ranges between $99 and $349.

Seagate will also test a new type of drive with a launch in China and Indonesia only, with the potential of bringing it to additional markets if the drive is successful in the countries with the largest number of smartphone users. The Seagate Joy Drive expands both the capacity and battery life of Android devices, all without using a Wi-Fi connection. Seagate hasn’t said if the tech will come to the U.S., but it sells for the equivalent of $99 in China.

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11
Jan

‘Adversarial glasses’ can fool even state-of-the-art facial-recognition tech


You may have heard about so-called “adversarial” objects that are capable of baffling facial recognition systems, either making them fail to recognize an object completely or prompting them to classify it incorrectly — for example, thinking that a rifle is actually a 3D-printed toy turtle. Well, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have just found a practical, scaleable, and somewhat scary application — anti-facial-recognition glasses.

Building on previous work by the same group from 2016, the researchers built five pairs of adversarial glasses, which can be successfully used by 90 percent of the population, making them a nearly “universal” solution. When worn, the glasses render wearers undetectable (or, as the researchers describe it, “facilitate misclassification”) even when viewed by the latest machine intelligence facial recognition tech. And far from looking like the kind of goofy disguises individuals might have worn to avoid being recognized in the past, these eyeglasses also appear completely normal to other people.

The eyeglasses were tested successfully against VGG and OpenFace deep neural network-based systems. Although the instructions for building them have not been made publicly available, the researchers say that the glasses could be 3D-printed by users.

Facial recognition has no problem identifying the Owen Wilson on the left. The one on the right? Not so much.

Whether the technology is good or bad depends largely on how you perceive facial recognition. On the one hand, it’s easy to see how privacy advocates would be excited at the prospect of glasses that can help bypass our surveillance society, in which we’re not only photographed 70 times per day, but can also be readily identified through facial recognition. (There are already examples of similar facial recognition disguises available on the market.)

On the other hand, facial recognition is frequently used to keep citizens safe by identifying potentially dangerous individuals in places like airports. For this reason, the researchers have passed on their findings to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and recommended that the TSA consider asking passengers to remove seemingly innocuous items like glasses and jewelry in the future, since these “physically realizable attack artifacts” could be used to beat even state-of-the-art recognition systems.

A paper describing the researchers’ work was recently published online, titled “Adversarial Generative Nets: Neural Network Attacks on State-of-the-Art Face Recognition.”

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11
Jan

Google purchased a company that turns displays into speakers


Is this a sign of things to come on the Pixel 3?

Right ahead of the Pixel 2’s unveiling last fall, it was announced that Google purchased a heap of smartphone engineers from HTC to spearhead smartphone projects for the coming years. According to a report from Bloomberg, Google made another purchase about a month before this for UK-based company Redux.

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If you haven’t heard of Redux, you’re not alone. The company hasn’t actually released any consumer-facing products, but the tech it’s developed is awfully intriguing. Redux’s technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers.

The folks at Mashable got a chance to go hands-on with a tablet demoing this at MWC last year, and in the video you see below, all the sound is coming from the display – not a traditional external speaker.

Redux tech turns the screen into a speaker, and a haptic surface. Trying it out here. The sound is actually coming from the screen. pic.twitter.com/VPAi6TzKk9

— Stan Schroeder (@franticnews) February 28, 2017

Along with this, Redux can also use these vibrations to create haptic feedback when interacting with a display that tries to mimic the feel of touching buttons and moving sliders/dials. This sounds an awful lot like what Apple’s been doing with its Taptic Engine, and if you’ve ever messed around with a device that uses it, you know just how awesome it really is.

It’s unclear if/when Google will integrate this tech into products of its own, but there’s a very real possibility we could see a Pixel 3 next year with a display that acts as a speaker and some of the best haptic response yet on an Android device. We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves with that thought, but only time will tell where Google ends up going with this.

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11
Jan

OnePlus wants to begin talks with U.S. carriers


The next OnePlus phone will also be here in late Q2.

Ever since the launch of the OnePlus One in 2014, OnePlus has always sold its phones unlocked through its website to customers in the United States. Buying unlocked typically makes the most economic sense in the long run, but there’s no doubt that availability on wireless carriers results in greater visibility and considerably more sales.

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In an interview with CNET, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company is interested in beginning talks with U.S. carriers this year and that “if the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment.” Along with this, Lau also said that the next OnePlus phone is scheduled for a release at some point in late Q2 2018.

Huawei, another China-based company that’s much older than OnePlus, recently tried launching its Mate 10 Pro smartphone on U.S. carriers and was met with less than desirable results. AT&T was the first to back out of the deal, and Verizon shortly followed suit.

OnePlus already sells its devices on wireless carriers in other countries (such as O2 in the United Kingdom), but following the recent Huawei situation, OnePlus could be faced with a similar uphill battle.

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11
Jan

Everything you need to know about Google Play Music


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There is more music than you can imagine right at your fingertips.

While there are many apps that stream music, and stream it well, Google Play Music is Google’s music service, and as such is an app that comes on millions and millions of devices. While the app has gotten clunkier in recent years, the app is still undoubtedly one of the most useful on the Android scene, and with generous benefits to both paid and free users, it’s an app worth getting to know.

Getting started

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Google Play Music is a streaming service that allows users to stream up to 50,000 of their own songs for free across most platforms, in addition to allowing free users to listen to curated stations and paid users to stream up to 40 million songs in their streaming library. It’s an app with a lot of functions, so finding your way around can be a bit of a task. Here’s how to get what your want out of Google Play Music:

Getting started with Google Play Music

The best deal in music — and video

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There’s a lot of music services out there that want your money and your music habits. Unfortunately for most of them, Google’s got a secret weapon in their music subscription: YouTube Red. That’s right, the best feature of Google Play Music’s subscriptions isn’t even in the Play Music app: it’s getting rid of commercials in YouTube.

Google Play Music and YouTube Red are the best deal in streaming

Putting your music into Google Play Music

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Whether you’re a free user just looking to get your music into the cloud to stream or you just want to get the music you purchased in Google Play Music out of an encrypted cloud and into your hard drive, there’s a few tricks to getting music in and out of Google Play Music’s online locker. Here’s what you need to know before you burn a device authorization downloading or uploading music.

Downloading and uploading music in Google Play Music

Google Play Music needs a change…

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No service is perfect, but if anyone tries to tell you Google Play Music, give them a firm smack on the arm, because they’re either lying or delusional. Google Play Music has more than a few flaws that need fixing, from a skewed device policy to an outdated and clunky UI. Before you become chained to Google Play Music and flaws, see what they are and how those flaws could impact your use.

Fixing Google Play Music

…And change is on the horizon

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Even with Google currently offering three subscriptions in one with Google Play Music, YouTube Red, and YouTube Music, there’s been speak of yet another streaming service based on YouTube. Rumor has it that with how scattered Google’s current music offerings are, this new service would wrap everything together into one encompassing offering rather than piecemealing it. We’re not sure what’s on the horizon, but we can only hope that whatever comes, Google’s music services only improve in value and experience.

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Updated January 2018: This guide was rewritten and updated to make the guide easier to read and include a wider variety of information on Google Play Music’s current standing and possible future.

11
Jan

Apple Accidentally Allowed Downgrades All the Way Back to iOS 6 Early Today


Apple has quickly corrected a mistake that allowed iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to downgrade to older software versions on early Thursday.

The situation began on late Wednesday when Apple suddenly stopped signing all iOS versions for select devices, including the iPhone 4s and some very old iPad and iPod touch models, according to the website IPSW.me.

Next, it appears that when Apple went to flip the switch back on, it accidentally began signing several older software versions between iOS 6 and iOS 11.1.2 for any compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models.

Not entirely sure why the signing window has opened for iOS 6–10 on various iOS devices, but not gonna complain. Have some iOS 6 pic.twitter.com/Ixfpn8waU6

— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) January 11, 2018

Apple routinely stops signing older iOS versions, which effectively closes the window on downgrading. The company stopped signing iOS 11.1.2 in December, for example, while many older versions haven’t been signed in years. Yet, suddenly, users found themselves able to downgrade to over five year old software.

They opened up iOS 6.1.3 shsh signing 😝 pic.twitter.com/FV2watYKxi

— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) January 11, 2018

Many users turned to Reddit to discuss the bizarre turn of events, which transpired briefly during the early morning hours in the United States.

I literally ran into my parents room to grab my dad’s poor old iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2, both of which were suffering on iOS 11. Now I managed to downgrade them to iOS 7.1.1. I then downgraded my old iPhone 5 to iOS 7.1.1 as well and now my iPhone 7 to iOS 10.3 to jailbreak. I’m so happy right now!

While some users rushed to downgrade for the nostalgic factor, the mishap provided others with an iPhone 6 or newer a brief opportunity to revert to iOS versions that aren’t affected by Apple’s power management changes introduced in iOS 10.2.1 and/or iOS versions that have a publicly released jailbreak.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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11
Jan

Boeing’s prototype cargo drone can haul 500-pound loads


In the future, autonomy won’t just mean you can relax in the passenger seat on your drive home from work. Driverless vehicles of all kinds are set to revolutionize the cargo industry, too, from delivering a pizza or dropping off an Amazon package, to hauling much larger shipments across continents and the high seas. Naturally, Boeing is one of many companies investing in cargo planes of tomorrow, and is keen to show off some of its early work in the form of a huge octocopter capable of carrying loads of up to 500 pounds (over 250kg). In less than three months, engineers at Boeing built and carried out successful test flights of the all-electric prototype, possibly (but unofficially) breaking a Guinness world record in the process.

The rough-and-ready concoction of metal and batteries measures 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall, weighing in at 747 pounds (nearly 339kg). In other words, it dwarfs the consumer DJI drone you got for Christmas. Obviously Boeing’s prototype is far from a commercial product, but the firm says it’ll be used “as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.”

Boeing’s work in the realm of cargocopters is running alongside that of Aurora Flight Sciences, a company with a particular focus on autonomous drones and planes that Boeing announced it was buying last October. Aurora is working with DARPA to develop some zany vehicles and technologies, as well as with Uber on its flying taxi project. And most recently, Aurora demonstrated how unmanned resupply missions could support troops on the ground using a US Marine UH-1H helicopter retrofitted with autonomous systems.

Via: The Verge

Source: Boeing

11
Jan

Google shares which Chromebooks won’t get a Meltdown fix


Google has published a list that includes every Chromebook model, which are vulnerable to Meltdown and the patch status of each one. You can check out the list here. The column you’ll most want to pay attention to is the one titled “CVE-2017-5754 mitigations (KPTI) on M63?” If the device has a “Yes” or a “Not needed” in that column, it’s safe and if you own it, you have one less thing to worry about. A “No” in that column means the device will need an update to be protected against Meltdown. But if the device is listed as “EoL,” there will be no patches for it because it’s an end of life product and is no longer supported. EoL devices include Samsung Chromebook Series 5, Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550, Cr-48, Acer C7 Chromebook and Acer AC700.

The Meltdown and Spectre exploits were revealed earlier this month and a number of updates to address the security issues have already been released by Intel, Apple, Microsoft and NVIDIA. Intel, which says it will patch all affected chips produced in the last five years by the end of the month, is now facing multiple lawsuits over its chips’ security flaws.

Via: The Verge

Source: Google

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