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31
Mar

Snapchat hides a million Easter eggs on the Snap Map in a geocaching game


Cue that inner child because Snapchat just launched a grownup Easter egg hunt with more than a million eggs. Only instead of elbowing out other kids for candy-filled plastic eggs, Snapchat wants you to compete with friends to find the unlock the most World Lenses in an augmented reality geocaching game.

Snapchat has hidden eggs all over the Snap Map in the U.S. and Canada (from the home screen, pinch to zoom out to enter the map). Eggs are scattered throughout public locations. Once you are close to that egg on the Snap Map, tapping the egg will unlock a new World Lens, using the rear-facing camera and not the selfie one.

Plain eggs are worth one point, while the harder-to-find golden eggs are worth five points. And Snap Maps will be keeping track of those scores so egg hunters can try to beat out their friends or even the entire Snapchat community.

The hunt launched Friday, March 30, and will continue until the end of the day on Easter, April 1, at midnight ET. Unlike a real egg hunt, however, you and your friends can go find the same egg and tapping on that egg won’t prevent other egg hunters from also “scooping” up that same egg. All the eggs will remain in place until the end of the hunt.

Of course, any Snap Map feature usually comes with privacy concerns, but Snapchatters can still play the game while in Ghost Mode. Without sharing your location with friends, you won’t share your score with friends, however. Sharing the location with friends only or publicly is required to display your score to friends.

While Snapchat is a network focused, in part, on augmented reality, the Easter egg hunt is the first time the platform has launched a holiday hunt. The game mixes augmented reality with geocaching, similar to the popular Pokémon Go app. With the app’s augmented reality features and Snap Map, a virtual scavenger hunt game could make a lot of sense for the app if users decide to participate. Who knows, maybe if enough Snapchatters find those virtual eggs, other similar games could roll out too — but that is speculation since Snapchat hasn’t released an official statement about the game yet.

Now if only there was a way to get chocolate inside a virtual egg…


31
Mar

Nvidia CEO maintains that cryptocurrency mining “is not their business”


With interest in cryptocurrency and crypto mining at an all time high, some were surprised that NVIDIA didn’t focus on that segment at its annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The company has had a rocky relationship with crypto-miners, who have in recent years intensified demand for NVIDIA’s GPUs. While this is good for the bottom line, it also makes it hard for NVIDIA to keep its graphics card in stock for gamers and other users.

After noting that cryptocurrency mining represents only a small fraction of NVIDIA’s GPU business, CEO Jensen Huang distanced himself from the Bitcoin market, stating, “We’re not involved in Bitcoin at all. Bitcoin [mining] is done largely by ASICs today.” Unlike the GPU, which can handle a range of high-level computing power from deep learning to artificial intelligence, ASICs are efficient application-specific integrated circuit designed for a single task.

It is estimated that cryptocurrency mining accounted for at least six percent of GPU sales last year, and that number is poised to grow this year. Where NVIDIA has a prominent role in the cryptocurrency market is Ethereum, a competing type of cryptocurrency.

“What uses our GPU is Ethereum,” Huang said. “Ethereum ‘ether’ was designed as an algorithm to ensure that no singular entity or a few entities has the power to control the ether. It was designed so that the algorithm requires the type of computing capabilities — the type of processing capabilities — that are made possible by the use of GPUs in a distributed system.”

Huang didn’t bother with a mention of cryptocurrency at the company’s keynote earlier this week, despite that many gamers assume mining is to blame for the rising prices of GPUs.

“The reason why the GPU is so popular with Ethereum is because the GPU is the single largest distributed supercomputer in the world,” he said. “It is the only supercomputer that is literally in everyone’s hands. And as a result, no single entity can control currency.”

Ahead of the start of GTC earlier this week, a Susquehanna market analyst raised some concerns that NVIDIA and rival AMD may encounter increase competition in the cryptocurrency mining market as Bitmain may soon release an ASIC that is capable of mining Ethereum.

However, Huang appeared unphased. While promoting the benefits of GPUs for the cryptocurrency market, he maintains that cryptocurrency mining is not NVIDIA’s business. Instead, GTC’s major focus is to leverage the power of the GPU in systems like the newly launched DGX-2, Tesla, Drive, and GV100s to make advancements in gaming, workstation, artificial intelligence, healthcare and cloud computing.

“Quite frankly, I prefer that our GPUs are available to be used in those areas,” Huang stated, referring to AI and gaming. “And the reason is that there is so much shortage of GPUs at the moment. It’s hard for us to keep it in stock.”

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Samsung confirms it’s working on chips for cryptocurrency mining
  • Nvidia shows off the world’s largest GPU at its GTC conference
  • The best bitcoin alternatives
  • Become a cryptocurrency master with these online Bitcoin courses
  • Nvidia’s GTC keynote was big on business, but ignored gamers and miners


31
Mar

All you need for a Volvo XC40 subscription is your iPhone


Getting a new car is getting even easier these days. BMW, Lexus and Volvo have all started selling cars via subscription. The Care by Volvo program gives you an all-wheel drive XC40, insurance, routine maintenance, roadside assistance and no money down for $600 a month. That sounds pretty great, but it’s also super easy to sign up. Now you can sign up and pay for your monthly car sub via an iOS app and Apple Pay.

You can use any iOS device to run the Care by Volvo app, of course, and bot Touch ID and Face ID work to authorize the payment. The app allows you to take a virtual tour of the XC40, configure your own with options and fill out your details for the subscription. All of this right from the app — no need to visit the website. Once you submit all your details, a Volvo concierge will get in touch to coordinate delivery.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Source: Volvo/App Store

31
Mar

Autoblog’s 2018 New York Auto Show roundup


We’ve seen all that there is to see at the 2018 New York Auto Show, and we won’t be walking away disappointed. We saw pure concepts, concepts that clearly point the way for future production models, and comprehensive refreshes of some of the best-selling vehicles in America.

We’ve already picked our favorites, but there were a whole heck of a lot more vehicles worth talking about. See everything we published from New York right here, and stay tuned for more as news continues to flow out of the halls of Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

This article originally appeared on Autoblog, the complete authority for news, reviews and car-buying research.

31
Mar

Google is shutting down its goo.gl URL shortening service


URL shorteners can be both useful and fun. Google’s take on the tech launched in 2009, and added a third-party API, the ability to create QR codes and the power to link right to iOS and Android apps. Even Keanu Reeves has a URL shortener named in his honor. Unfortunately, Google is replacing its own service, goo.gl, with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL) as of April 13th. These new smart URLs let you send folks to any location within iOS, Android or web apps.

You won’t be able to create new goo.gl short links after the 13th, but existing users can manage them via the goo.gl console for the next year. After that, all the links will still work, but you won’t be able to access the console itself after March 30th, 2019. Google suggests creating FDLs from now on, or using other shortening services like Bitly and Ow.ly.

Via: 9to5Google

Source: Google

31
Mar

Japan Display to Raise $517 Million to Supply Apple With LCDs for 2018 Low-Cost iPhone


Japan Display is planning to raise $517 million through third-party share allocations and asset sales so it will have the funds to supply LCD screens for new iPhones, reports Nikkei.

Last year, Japan Display lost business because of Apple’s shift to OLED, so the company sought partnerships to begin producing OLED displays, but with Apple planning to continue to use LCDs for some devices, Japan Display is in need of working capital to purchase inventory and to begin production on the LCDs Apple now needs.

Rumors have suggested Apple is planning on introducing two OLED iPhones (5.8 and 6.5 inches) and one 6.1-inch LCD iPhone next year, with the LCD device to be positioned as a low-cost option alongside the two more expensive OLED devices.

With Japan Display again planning to invest in LCDs, it could be in trouble in the future should Apple opt to abandon LCD technology for OLED technology entirely, says Nikkei.

Expecting the U.S. tech company to keep shifting toward OLEDs, the supplier began exploring capital partnerships to obtain the massive funds necessary to invest in producing the advanced tech.

However, the iPhone X has proven a flop, and Apple appears to be sticking with LCDs for some models due out this fall, leaving Japan Display in need of working capital to secure inventory and production capacity to supply those screens.

Previous rumors have suggested Apple is interested in Japan Display’s Full Active LCDs, which are said to match or exceed some of the advantages of OLED at a lower cost.

Full Active panels have a smaller bezel around the screen than traditional LCDs and they have enough flex that they can be used in curved or angled designs.

All three of Apple’s rumored 2018 iPhones are expected to adopt full-screen designs with minimal bezels, much like the iPhone X. The Home button will be eliminated in each, with Apple adopting Face ID across its 2018 iPhone lineup.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones
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31
Mar

Czech Republic extradites suspected Russian hacker to the US


The Czech Republic has extradited Russian national Yevgeniy Nikulin to the United States, where he’s accused of several hacking attempts dating back to 2012. A US federal grand jury had indicted him in 2016 for breaking into DropBox, Formspring and LinkedIn. The latter breach potentially exposed the information of 100 million of users.

US prosecutors had been vying with Russia to extradite Nikulin ever since the FBI cooperated with Czech authorities to arrest him in 2016. After he was taken into custody, a court in Moscow issued its own arrest warrant for allegedly electronically stealing several thousand dollars within Webmoney back in 2009. The Czech courts ruled extradition to either country was permissible, and the country’s President Milos Zeman predictably called for Nikulin to be transferred to Russia, but the country’s Justice Minister Robert Pelikan chose the US. He is allegedly already en route:

“We confirm extradition to the United States,” a Justice Ministry spokeswoman said in a text message, according to Reuters. “He has already flown out.”

Via: DW

Source: Reuters

31
Mar

Best high-tech April Fools’ jokes


April Fool’s is the one day a year it’s generally acceptable to prank people, so hopefully you’ve been plotting. If you don’t have the time or resources to fill your coworker’s office with balloons or buy an evil clown costume, you can still get into some low-grade mischief with tech-related pranks. By just fiddling with the settings on someone’s phone or computer, you can induce annoyance or mild panic!

Note: Some people are more open to pranks than others. Don’t cause an HR incident by indiscriminately pranking people at the office!

Mouse tricks

The simple tape trick

Photo credit: Overclock.net

As the name denotes, this is the laziest and easiest prank on the list. It takes absolutely not time at all. For beginning pranksters only.

Step 1: Find clear tape or a sticky note.

Step 2: Put it over the laser on your victim’s mouse.

Step 3: Enjoy the frustration.

This is the modern day version of stealing the ball from someone’s mouse. It’s an easy thing to figure out, so don’t expect all day laughs.

The Ghost Mouse

You will need two identical wireless mice and the desire to confuse a friend.

Step 1: Replace their mouse with one that looks exactly like it.

Step 2: Take the actual mouse to your desk and wreak havoc.

Step 3: Enjoy as the confusion eats away at them.

There are two ways to execute this prank. You can move it around wildly so they catch on immediately and you both chuckle. Or you can watch them very carefully and work to move when they move, only messing up every so slightly. It is up to you how much time you want to put into this particular joke.

Pointer Problems

Another mouse prank will test the patience of those around you.

Step 1: Open the control panel on your computer.

Step 2: Find the “Mouse” settings.

Step 3: Change the icon from a pointer to an hourglass or rainbow wheel of death.

Your victim will think something is continuously loading on their computer even though nothing is happening. This will soon turn into a psychological study of your desk mates when you see how long they will wait for something to happen. You can also change the direction of the mouse so it goes the wrong way no matter what they do. That is equally as enjoyable.

Screen tricks

The Broken Screen Surprise

This shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t actually break someone’s screen. There’s an app for that.

Step 1: Get a hold of your friend’s phone.

Step 2: Download the broken screen app for iOS or Android.

Step 3: Tell them you accidentally dropped their phone and see the reaction.

You will have to know their password to download the app so start work on that well before April Fool’s Day. The perceived loss of property could lead to some unpleasant reactions, so only try this on your most mellow of friends.

The Frozen Desktop

This prank is incredibly easy and is guaranteed to frustrate your victim.

Step 1: Take a screenshot of their desktop

On Windows, open the Snipping Tool (open the Start menu and search for Snipping Tool), and drag the cursor to highlight their current desktop.

On Mac, press Shift + Command + 4 to open the screenshot tool, then click and drag to highlight their desktop.

Step 2: Set the screenshot as their desktop background (By right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Personalize in Windows or by navigating to System Preferences followed by the Desktop & Screen Saver panel in MacOS.)

Step 3: Move all the icons to a folder hidden at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Watch as your coworker struggles to open application after application to no avail.

The Frozen Desktop will cause a decent amount of frustration for minimal work on your part.

The broken monitor

There’s a good chance your target may see through the blue screen of death wallpaper (or maybe they have a Mac and find it odd that they’re getting a Windows error message). For something that might not be so obvious at first — and certainly more panic-inducing — swap their desktop background out for one that makes it look like their screen is broken.

Just remember to come clean before they order a new monitor.

The blurry morning

The ultimate prank is one that makes someone doubt not only their sanity but also their physical health. Blurry Morning does both of those things with minimal effort.

Step 1: Go into your victim’s control panel.

Step 2: Turn the brightness down slightly and the contrast up slightly, but not enough to be obvious.

Step 3: Every time they leave the room, repeat Step 2.

Step 4: By the end of the day they should have a completely wacky screen.

If you do this the right way, your victim will think they are losing their vision during the day. The key is to make little adjustments so they can’t detect it immediately.

Computer tricks

The Tower of Babel

Nothing will make you question your sanity like having your keyboard fight against you. That’s exactly the situation this prank creates.

On Windows:

Open Settings.

Click Time & Language, then Region & Language.

Under the Languages field, click Add a language.

On MacOS:

Open System Preferences, then choose Language & Region.

On the left, under the section titled Preferred languages, click the + button to add a new language.

Choose a language and click Add.

We recommend Romanian because only a few characters are different, so it will take them a while to figure out what’s happening.

The Curious Autocorrect

This prank takes more work than most of the others on the list, but provides no end to hilarious moments. This can be done on smartphones or Microsoft Word but messing with someone’s email is the ultimate prank, so here is how to change autocorrect in Outlook.

Step 1: Open Outlook and Click File.

Step 2: Go to Mail.

Step 3: Click Spelling.

Step 4: Click Autocorrect.

Step 5: Go to Autocorrect Options.

Step 6: Replace whatever word you want with another word.

Some fun ones include replacing their name with something inappropriate or replacing “at” with “t.” Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless! Explore other platforms to really ruin their day.

The Speaker Switch

The Speaker Switch is a brilliant prank if your victim has external speakers.

Step 1: Connect their speakers to your computer.

Step 2: Play something.

You can choose something subtle for this like a distant scream every once in awhile or you can do it big and blast your favorite TLC song. It’s up to you to decide which will have the most impact and garner the most laughs.

Fun with Chrome extensions

Chrome extensions aren’t just for productivity. The Google Play store is rife with novelty extensions, and installing some on a friend or coworker’s browser can lead to some confusing moments for them. Try, for example, installing an extension that rewords Wikipedia articles to be about Nic Cage, or one that replaces every instance of the word “Millennial” with “snake people.”

Be careful with that last one, however; as demonstrated by a minor snafu at the New York Times, such text-swapping can bleed over into their work. Note that there have been incidents in which certain Chrome extensions have contained malware, so vet any extensions you want to install.

Adventures in Photoshop

Photo credit: Oli + Alex (oliandalex.com)

This is what you would call a “long-con” because it will take a little while for your victim to realize what has been done, and by that time you could have messed with many of their photos.

Step 1: Get your friend’s Facebook username and password.

Step 2: Download a few of their photos from their profile.

Step 3: Change the photos slightly using Photoshop.

Step 4: Replace the old pictures with those you’ve tampered with.

The key to Photoshop follies is to stay subtle. Add a droopy eye or a funky lip so people won’t notice immediately. Once they notice something is off they will begin to question every photo they’ve ever taken.

The iPhone Typing Tease

Though wonderful, this prank only works if two iPhones are both using iMessage.

Step 1: Go to this site on your phone.

Step 2: Hold your finger down on the gif and click “save image.”

Step 3: Send the image to your friends.

It will give the illusion that you are typing when you’re not and drive people crazy. We recommend sending it after a text that says “The funniest thing just happened,” or “We really need to talk.”

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31
Mar

Scientists hunt meteorites in Antartica with metal-detecting snowmobiles


University of Manchester

On the hunt for lost meteorites in Antarctica (which totally sounds like a mission straight out of Tomb Raider), researchers from the U.K.’s University of Manchester have turned to innovative metal-detecting technology to help them.

With that driving mission, they have developed a purpose-built detector unit which can be towed behind a Ski-Doo snowmobile. This metal-detecting device is based on tech optimized by University of Manchester researchers for airport security scanning, landmine removal, recycling, and non-destructive testing. In this specific case, the researchers hope to use it to discover iron meteorites which are hidden mere centimeters beneath the surface of the ice but are nonetheless difficult to discover.

The researchers have yet to face the chilly climes of the most remote parts of Antarctica, however. Instead, their recent small-scale test mission testing was carried out at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Arctic research station at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard — on the Norwegian archipelago between continental Norway and the North Pole.

“I’m thrilled our testing at Ny-Ålesund worked,” applied mathematician Dr. Geoffrey Evatt, who led the team, said in a statement. “We now have the opportunity to commence on a truly exciting scientific adventure. If successful, our expeditions will help scientists to decode the origins of the Solar System and cement the U.K. as a leader in meteoritics and planetary science.”

The reason the researchers are so interested in these meteorites is because they may hold important information about the formation of the Solar System. Iron meteorites were formed from the cores of small planets, which were later destroyed by other planetary impacts. The best place to find these meteorites is in Antarctica since their dark color shows up easily against the white background of snow and ice. However, iron-based meteorites are in short supply. One hypothesis for this is that they are more easily warmed by the sun and this causes them to melt the ice around them, and subsequently become trapped beneath the surface.

With the trial mission an apparent success, the researchers’ main mission will reportedly take place in early 2020. A preliminary visit to Antarctica will happen before then in 2019. On the Antarctic continent, the team will work at three different sites, transported using a specialized aircraft provided by the British Antarctic Survey.

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31
Mar

Resistance isn’t futile! 6 tips for keeping your job amid the robot takeover


Whatever you do at your job, chances are that you’ve considered the possibility that you could one day lose your livelihood to a robot. Until a system like universal basic income comes into play (and arguably even then!), the risk of A.I. stealing our employment is the existential threat of our age. But things don’t have to look so dismal.

As Terminator protagonist Sarah Connor once told us, we can make our own future. At the very least, we can configure it to our advantage. What tips can we pass on to ensure that you don’t find yourself downsized in favor of a robot? Read on to find out.

Get on the right side of disruption

You don’t have to be Clayton Christensen to know that technology is disrupting a bunch of industries right now. (Including the one you work in, most likely!) Whether this disruption is a good thing or not depends on which side of it you’re on.

If you’re one of the disrupted, there’s something like a 47 percent chance that your current job won’t exist for humans in the next 15 years. If, on the other hand, you’re one of the disruptors, you’ve got an amazing opportunity to get your hands on a larger-than-ever piece of the pie.

The single best way to make sure you’re not replaced by robots? Be the one who owns the robot, builds the robot, maintains the robot, or tells the robot what to do. Not all of us can be tech entrepreneurs, but learning to code and understand the new technologies which shape our lives is essential.

Pick an intersection and master it

A.I. and other forms of automation are taking over just about every area of employment. The bad part of that? No job — whether it’s being a lawyer, a pharmacist, a bricklayer or a journalist — is totally safe. The good part? A lot of the intersections between computer science and more established disciplines are still ripe for the picking.

If you’re just now choosing your career, don’t think that you have to limit yourself to a purely technical job like coding. Combining a subject like computer science with, say, law opens up a plethora of new specialisms that are still short on experts. That expert could be you.

The artisan economy

Artisans are workers who produce things by hand. Today, it’s most often used to describe high-quality, exclusive goods or services that are produced in small quantities or feature one-on-one interactions.

While it’s hard to predict which tasks will be automated in the years to come (tasks such as driving a car or translating a document seemed impossible just a few years ago), there’s a good chance that if you have a “high touch” job in which the human element is important, you’ll be safe.

For this to hold true, you need to be honest about how much or how little the human element adds to an experience. In some cases, it may be an unnecessary step which could be eliminated (see: the rise of the self-service checkout at supermarkets). In others, that human touch means a level of empathy, creativity and, frankly, humanness that you’ll never get from a robot.

Would you prefer that your elderly mom had a human caregiver or a robot? Would you rather hire a human math tutor for your kid than sign them up for a learning app? Now that robots and A.I. are capable of carrying out a growing number of tasks, it’s up to society to determine which jobs we want to be performed by humans and machines.

If you can become a genuine artisan in your chosen career, you’re onto a winner!

Know your enemy

This point builds on the one above and is about honing your skills for the digital age. Right now, machines can do a whole lot of tasks, but they can’t always do every aspect of every task. In factory work, for instance, robots frequently work side by side with humans, who can carry out some of the precise work that robot grabbers are not yet capable of.

Amazon’s factories use robots to bring shelves to human workers, who pick off the right items and box them up for shipments. Twitter, meanwhile, employs human “judges” to help make sense of certain trending topics for Twitter’s algorithms. Similar examples of skills A.I. is not yet capable of can be seen in every industry.

Knowing what skills A.I. and robots currently lack can help reveal where opportunities still lie — which brings us to our next point…

Stay vigilant

Technology changes all the time. Just because it wasn’t capable of carrying out certain tasks a decade ago (or heck, even just last month) doesn’t mean that the same will hold true in the future. Due to the rapid pace of technological advancement, new threats will almost certainly appear as time passes.

You might be aware of robots and machine learning, and how they could risk putting you out of a job. But knowing the current threats isn’t enough. Keep your eyes on the horizon, and not only can you pivot to avoid being hit by automation, you can hopefully take advantage of the new opportunities, too.

Keep on learning

“Just-in-time” manufacturing responds to the philosophy of producing goods to exactly meet customer demand, ensuring flexibility in the supply chain. Today’s learners need to be “just-in-time” learners, with a similar approach to picking up skills.

Because of the aforementioned shifts in technology, you’ll need to continually pick up new skills and areas of knowledge to best cope with the demands of the digital world. While that does mean is that you’ll never be able to really say your days of education are behind you, fortunately, the growing number of online training programs means that accessing learning is easier (and, in many cases, cheaper) than ever.

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