Tech News Feed

Google Offers Retailers a New Way to Compete With Amazon

PCMag News - 9 min 38 sec ago
Retailers can work with Google to ensure a search doesn't end in an Amazon purchase.

Report: Apple Is Trying to Make its Own Displays

PCMag News - 9 min 38 sec ago
If successful, Apple will no longer have to rely on another company for its screens.

LG wants to take webOS beyond TVs with 'Open Source Edition'

Engadget - 26 min 45 sec ago
WebOS used to power HP's long-dead Palm devices and early tablets, but since LG got a hold of it in 2013, it's mostly been associated with smart TVs and refrigerators. LG is hoping to push the the platform beyond that, however, with a new release cal...

How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity

SlashDot - 40 min 45 sec ago
Kevin Hartnett, writing for Quanta magazine: Albert Einstein released his general theory of relativity at the end of 1915. He should have finished it two years earlier. When scholars look at his notebooks from the period, they see the completed equations, minus just a detail or two. "That really should have been the final theory," said John Norton, an Einstein expert and a historian of science at the University of Pittsburgh. But Einstein made a critical last-second error that set him on an odyssey of doubt and discovery -- one that nearly cost him his greatest scientific achievement. The consequences of his decision continue to reverberate in math and physics today. Here's the error. General relativity was meant to supplant Newtonian gravity. This meant it had to explain all the same physical phenomena Newton's equations could, plus other phenomena that Newton's equations couldn't. Yet in mid-1913, Einstein convinced himself, incorrectly, that his new theory couldn't account for scenarios where the force of gravity was weak -- scenarios that Newtonian gravity handled well. "In retrospect, this is just a bizarre mistake," said Norton. To correct this perceived flaw, Einstein thought he had to abandon what had been one of the central features of his emerging theory. Einstein's field equations -- the equations of general relativity -- describe how the shape of space-time evolves in response to the presence of matter and energy. To describe that evolution, you need to impose on space-time a coordinate system -- like lines of latitude and longitude -- that tells you which points are where. Another interesting read on Quanta: Why Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Puzzle Keeps Puzzling.

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Google plans to boost Amazon competitors in search

Engadget - 1 hour 25 min ago
Google may be assembling a supergroup of big retail brands to go to war with Amazon over the future of online shopping. Reuters is reporting that the search engine is teaming up with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and Ulta for the new project. T...

The Morning After: Facebook exploited, useless Japanese gadgets

Engadget - 2 hours 10 min ago
Good morning there! A new week starts, and we're headed to GDC: the biggest game development event out there. At the same time, we're embarrassing ourselves with chindogu, as seen above. Also: You've heard of Fortnite right? Where did it come from? A...

Japan's latest supercomputer is dedicated to nuclear fusion

Engadget - 3 hours 48 min ago
This year, Japan will deploy a Cray XC50 that will be the world's most powerful supercomputer in the field of advanced nuclear fusion research. It will be installed at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science (QST) and used for lo...

Postmodern dining with the Japanese art of useless gadgets

Engadget - 4 hours 40 min ago
The Japanese word "chindogu" covers a delightful range of terrible gadgets. It's about vaguely genius concepts, ruined either in their execution or ambition. If you've seen the baby-floor-mop onesie or the upside-down umbrella for capturing rainwater...

Mapping Apps Like Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps May Make Traffic Conditions Worse in Some Areas, New Research Suggests

SlashDot - 5 hours 10 min ago
From an Atlantic story, originally titled "The Perfect Selfishness of Mapping Apps": In the pre-mobile-app days, drivers' selfishness was limited by their knowledge of the road network. In those conditions, both simulation and real-world experience showed that most people stuck to the freeways and arterial roads. Sure, there were always people who knew the crazy, back-road route, but the bulk of people just stuck to the routes that transportation planners had designated as the preferred way to get from A to B. Now, however, a new information layer is destroying the nudging infrastructure that traffic planners built into cities. Commuters armed with mobile mapping apps, route-following Lyft and Uber drivers, and software-optimized truckers can all act with a more perfect selfishness. In some happy universe, this would lead to socially optimal outcomes, too. But a new body of research at the University of California's Institute of Transportation Studies suggests that the reality is far more complicated. In some scenarios, traffic-beating apps might work for an individual, but make congestion worse overall. And autonomous vehicles, touted as an answer to traffic-y streets, could deepen the problem. "This problem has been vastly overlooked," Alexandre Bayen, the director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies, told me. "It is just the beginning of something that is gonna be much worse." Bayen and a team of researchers presented their work earlier this year at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting and at the Cal Future conference at Berkeley in May 2017. They've also published work examining the negative externalities of high levels of automatic routing.

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Samsung will drop its mobile movie editor when Android P arrives

Engadget - Sun, 2018-03-18 23:55
Samsung phones have long had a built-in Movie Maker app that lets you spice up your clips -- helpful if you'd rather not hunt down a third-party app just to do more than trim your footage. However, you'll soon have to kiss it goodbye. The latest vers...

Are Research Papers Less Accurate and Truthful Than in the Past?

SlashDot - Sun, 2018-03-18 23:30
An anonymous reader shares an Economist report: An essential of science is that experiments should yield similar results if repeated. In recent years, however, some people have raised concerns that too many irreproducible results are being published. This phenomenon, it is suggested, may be a result of more studies having poor methodology, of more actual misconduct, or of both. Or it may not exist at all, as Daniele Fanelli of the London School of Economics suggests in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. First, although the number of erroneous papers retracted by journals has increased, so has the number of journals carrying retractions. Allowing for this, the number of retractions per journal has not gone up. Second, scientific-misconduct investigations by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in America are no more frequent than 20 years ago, nor are they more likely to find wrongdoing.

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Apple reportedly invests in its own MicroLED screens

Engadget - Sun, 2018-03-18 22:25
Apple quietly acquired a company called LuxVue in 2014 that was working on low-power MicroLED display technology. A report by Bloomberg indicates that development has continued and that Apple is making a "significant investment" in the new technology...

After crazy NCAA win, Nevada's brilliant tweet baffles Twitter - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2018-03-18 21:48
Commentary: You want to see March Madness, click on the "translate tweet" button of this wonderful University of Nevada tweet.

NASA's portable antennas help bring space data back to Earth

Engadget - Sun, 2018-03-18 21:40
Spacecraft don't usually have much flexibility when it comes to sending data back to Earth: they either have to venture within range of a dedicated ground station or offload it by returning to the planet. NASA may soon have a more flexible option: it...

About a Quarter of US Adults Say They Are 'Almost Constantly' Online

SlashDot - Sun, 2018-03-18 21:30
As smartphones and other mobile devices have become more widespread, 26 percent of American adults now report that they go online "almost constantly," up from 21 percent in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018. From the study: Overall, 77 percent of Americans go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 26 percent who go online almost constantly, as well as 43 percent who say they go online several times a day and 8 percent who go online about once a day. Some 11 percent go online several times a week or less often, while 11 percent of adults say they do not use the internet at all.

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Tinder's parent company sues Bumble over patents

Engadget - Sun, 2018-03-18 20:07
It's no secret that Tinder (or rather, its parent company Match Group) and Bumble are arch-rivals in the swipe-right dating app space, and that battle just escalated. Match Group has sued Bumble for allegedly violating two patents, one for the "orna...

Facebook probes employee's ties to Cambridge Analytica - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2018-03-18 19:24
A current Facebook researcher formerly worked for a company that reportedly provided information to the controversial data firm.

New Study Which Made 90 Adults Play 'GTA' or 'The Sims 3' For At least 30 Mins Every Day For 2 Months Finds 'No Significant Changes' in Their Behavior

SlashDot - Sun, 2018-03-18 19:00
A new, longer-term study of video game play from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Germany's University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf recently published in Molecular Psychiatry found that adults showed "no significant changes" on a wide variety of behavioral measures after two straight months of daily violent game play. From a report: To correct for the "priming" effects inherent in these other studies, researchers had 90 adult participants play either Grand Theft Auto V or The Sims 3 for at least 30 minutes every day over eight weeks (a control group played no games during the testing period). The adults chosen, who ranged from 18 to 45 years old, reported little to no video game play in the previous six months and were screened for pre-existing psychological problems before the tests. The participants were subjected to a wide battery of 52 established questionnaires intended to measure "aggression, sexist attitudes, empathy, and interpersonal competencies, impulsivity-related constructs (such as sensation seeking, boredom proneness, risk taking, delay discounting), mental health (depressivity, anxiety) as well as executive control functions." The tests were administered immediately before and immediately after the two-month gameplay period and also two months afterward, in order to measure potential continuing effects. Over 208 separate comparisons (52 tests; violent vs. non-violent and control groups; pre- vs. post- and two-months-later tests), only three subjects showed a statistically significant effect of the violent gameplay at a 95 percent confidence level.

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Every photo from 'Westworld' season two - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2018-03-18 18:41
The HBO series begins season two on April 22. So until then, here's every image released and some ridiculous theories and speculation.

AR firm Avegant cuts half its workforce and picks new CEO

Engadget - Sun, 2018-03-18 18:34
Avegant has drawn a lot of attention in the wearable world between its Glyph personal screen and its light-field augmented reality headset, but it's facing uncertain times. The Verge has learned that the startup cut more than half of its workforce (i...