Tech News Feed

The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Engadget - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:30
Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Welcome to the weekend! Before looking back at some highlights from the last few days we'll investigate the foibles of a few tech CEOs and take a ride in Porsche's hybrid wagon.

Comic-Con 2018: 24 hours, 5 lines, 1 plea for mercy - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
Standing. Sitting. Sighing. Here's what it's like waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) in line at Comic-Con.

The state of fandom at Comic-Con 2018: Love, inclusion, hate and toxicity - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
Comic-Con offers one of the biggest celebrations of fandom on Earth, but not all of fandom might be worth celebrating.

9 great reads from CNET this week - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
We travel to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con geekfest; take a peek at what sounds like an awesome fingerprint scanner; and face the future of passports in Australia.

What a streamlined HomeKit means for Apple's smart home ambitions - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
For starters, you can probably expect to see a lot more HomeKit gadgets.

Smart home gadgets aren't foolproof, even if you skip the installation - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
A shiny new home with a Nest thermostat and a Rachio sprinkler system! What could go wrong?

Funko Fundays is like Woodstock for pop culture geeks - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
One of the most exclusive parties at Comic-Con is a love letter to its most loyal fans.

The Ellipse smart bike lock in action - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 08:00
Does a smart bike lock make your bike more secure than a dumb one? Kinda.

Nanoengineer Finds New Way To Recycle Lithium-Ion Batteries

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-07-21 06:00
Zheng Chen, a 31-year-old nanoengineer at UC San Diego, says he has developed a way to recycle used cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries and restore them to a like-new condition. The cathodes in some lithium-ion batteries are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the world's more precarious countries. Los Angeles Times reports how it works: The process takes degraded particles from the cathodes found in a used lithium-ion battery. The particles are then pressurized in a hot alkaline solution that contains lithium salt. Later, the particles go through a short heat-treating process called annealing, in which temperatures reach more than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. After cooling, Chen's team takes the regenerated particles and makes new cathodes. They then test the cathodes in batteries made in the lab. The new cathodes have been able to maintain the same charging time, storage capacity and battery lifetime as the originals did. Details of the recycling method were recently published in the research journal Green Chemistry, submitted by Chen and two colleagues.

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Netflix and Shonda Rhimes reveal eight exclusive series in the works

Engadget - Sat, 2018-07-21 03:48
On Friday Netflix revealed the first eight series in the works as a result of its production deal with Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. They include a previously-announced show focusing on the exploits alleged con artist Anna Delvey, as well as...

Star Trek: Discovery's Season 2 Trailer Teases Spock, Christopher Pike, and Tig Notaro

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-07-21 03:00
CBS has released a "Season Two Premiere" for Star Trek Discovery, offering the first look at the upcoming season of the show on CBS All Access. The first season launched late last year and finished up in February after a brief hiatus. The Verge reports of what to expect from the upcoming season, which is expected to premiere sometime in early 2019: [It] appears to begin with Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) coming aboard and taking control of the USS Discovery after a series of mysterious "red bursts" are detected, simultaneously spread out across 30,000 light years. Burnham later claims "Spock is linked to these signals." New series guest star Tig Notaro makes a very Tig Notaro joke, Pike encourages the crew to "have a little fun," Tilly yells about "the power of math" -- a good time, in other words. (After all, the whole thing is set the tune of Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away," so you know it's real.) Bonus: at the end we meet another, very sniffly alien Discovery crew member, proving Saru and the bridge androids aren't the sole non-humans aboard the ship, as we once feared. At the Discovery panel at San Diego Comic Con's Hall H, a new Star Trek series was announced, called Star Trek: Short Treks. It is "a series of monthly short-form stories that will function like bonus content and air on CBS All Access in conjunction with the larger Star Trek: Discovery series," reports The Verge. "CBS says Short Treks, which will air in installments of about 10 to 15 minutes, is 'an opportunity for deeper storytelling and exploration of key characters and themes that fit into... the expanding Star Trek universe.'"

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Every Star Trek: Discovery season two photo so far - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 02:52
As Star Trek comes to Comic-Con, we finally have our first looks at season two of Discovery.

Venom, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse web up fans at Comic-Con - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-07-21 00:26
Fans see new raw Venom footage with Tom Hardy. Plus more on Spider-Pig and Nic Cage as Spider-Man Noir.

ADHD Drugs Aren't Doing What You Think, Scientists Warn

SlashDot - Fri, 2018-07-20 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Inverse: The study authors Lisa Weyandt, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island, and Tara White, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University, started out investigating the effects of ADHD medications in students that actually have a diagnosable attention deficit disorder. They showed that in these students, there is decreased activity in the areas of the brain controlling "executive functions," which can make it hard for them to stay organized or focused. But because both authors work with college students, they soon became more interested in the misuse of Adderall. In students whose brains aren't affected by ADHD, does Adderall act as a supercharger? Does it make those areas fly into overdrive and unlock otherwise untapped intellectual ability, as all pill-popping students hope? Weyant and White's double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 13 college students was a small sample, they admit, but their experiment had a rigorous study design. Neither the students nor the researchers knew who was getting Adderall and who was getting placebo sugar pill. The six tests evaluated different aspects of cognition, like working memory, reading ability and reaction time. While students on Adderall did make fewer errors on a reaction time test, it actually worsened working memory, as shown by a decline in performance on a task where they had to repeat sequences of numbers. In short, Adderall improved focus and attention -- but it didn't actually make anyone smarter. The research has been published in the journal Pharmacy.

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'Ghost Recon Wildlands' adds a hardcore permadeath mode

Engadget - Fri, 2018-07-20 22:47
Ubisoft isn't just relying on cameos from aliens and iconic game characters to inject extra life into Ghost Recon Wildlands. When the Special Operation 2 pack arrives on July 24th, it'll include a Ghost Mode that adds some high-stakes realism. For...

Social Media Manipulation Rising Globally, New Oxford Report Warns

SlashDot - Fri, 2018-07-20 22:05
A new report from Oxford University found that manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms is growing at a large scale, despite efforts to combat it. "Around the world, government agencies and political parties are exploiting social media platforms to spread junk news and disinformation, exercise censorship and control, and undermine trust in media, public institutions and science," reports Phys.Org. From the report: "The number of countries where formally organized social media manipulation occurs has greatly increased, from 28 to 48 countries globally," says Samantha Bradshaw, co-author of the report. "The majority of growth comes from political parties who spread disinformation and junk news around election periods. There are more political parties learning from the strategies deployed during Brexit and the U.S. 2016 Presidential election: more campaigns are using bots, junk news, and disinformation to polarize and manipulate voters." This is despite efforts by governments in many democracies introducing new legislation designed to combat fake news on the internet. "The problem with this is that these 'task forces' to combat fake news are being used as a new tool to legitimize censorship in authoritarian regimes," says Professor Phil Howard, co-author and lead researcher on the OII's Computational Propaganda project. "At best, these types of task forces are creating counter-narratives and building tools for citizen awareness and fact-checking." Another challenge is the evolution of the mediums individuals use to share news and information. "There is evidence that disinformation campaigns are moving on to chat applications and alternative platforms," says Bradshaw. "This is becoming increasingly common in the Global South, where large public groups on chat applications are more popular."

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Meet the kids joining Adam Savage for MythBusters Jr. - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2018-07-20 21:45
The former MythBusters co-host returns to TV with a new Discovery Channel science-centric competition for young whizzes.

FCC Opens Public Comments On T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

SlashDot - Fri, 2018-07-20 21:25
Now is your chance to voice your opinion on the $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The FCC is now accepting comments as well as formal petitions to deny the merger until August 27th. The companies and supporters of the deal can then file oppositions to those petitions by September 17th, while a final round of replies has a deadline of October 9th. Engadget reports: Anyone can file petitions to deny, and you might expect to see some from consumer advocacy groups and industry experts who may be concerned over the reduction in the number of national carriers from four to three. The FCC has laid out a 180-day review timeline to determine whether the merger is in the public interest, but that's more of a guideline and there's no required deadline for the agency to issue a decision.

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