Alex Torex Blog

SciTech oriented blog

Nokia’s latest 4G smartphone Lumia 1520 uses Assertive Display by Apical

Apical announces that the Nokia Lumia 1520 4G Windows Phone 8 smartphone is the first smartphone from Nokia to feature its revolutionary Assertive Display technology, a result of over a decade’s research and development into modelling human vision.

By digitally modelling the way the eye adapts to virtually any ambient light, rather than simply adjusting the display, Assertive Display delivers a seamless viewing experience to the user from a dark room to bright outdoor light. Further, colour and contrast ratio are preserved delivering TV-like video quality without the familiar washout of earlier technologies.

This new capability ensures that content previously unwatchable in daylight, such as premium sports, games, movies and photos, can be clearly viewed. Ultimately this means a more immersive, natural and comfortable experience where the display is always adapted to the user’s own eyes.

Surprisingly, this increased viewability does not come at the expense of display power –in fact display power can frequently be reduced using Assertive Display, extending battery life.

Read more: Nokia’s latest 4G smartphone Lumia 1520 uses Assertive Display by Apical | Apical

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

Do black holes EXPLODE when they die? Theory claims they become white holes

A new theory suggests black holes might die by transforming into a ‘white hole,’ which theoretically behave in the exact opposite manner as a black hole.

Rather than sucking all matter in, a ‘white hole’ is thought to spew it all out.

The theory is based on the speculative quantum theory of gravity and scientists believe it may help determine the great debate about whether black holes destroy the things they consume.

Read more: Do black holes EXPLODE when they die? Theory claims they become white holes | Mail Online

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Cosmology | Leave a comment

Has the mystery of proton ‘spin’ been solved?

The new research shows that gluons, which have a spin of 1, contribute as much as half of the proton’s spin.

This was based on proton-proton collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

When protons are smashed together their interaction is controlled by the strong force.

This is determined by gluons, meaning they are intricately involved in the collisions of protons.

The orientation of the protons’ spins was then used to determine that gluons must indeed have an effect on spin.

More data is needed from collisions at lower momentum to confirm the result, but for now it looks like one of the great mysteries in subatomic physics might finally be solved.

And doing so will enable scientists to better understand how particles get their mass.

One of the other unsolved mysteries of subatomic physics is that of confinement – why quarks, gluons and so forth are only ever found within other subatomic particles like protons, and not by themselves.

Solving this would help explain how quarks and gluons in turn get their own spin.

This result could be an important factor in determining where proton mass comes from.

Read more: Has the mystery of proton ‘spin’ been solved? | Mail Online

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Physics | Leave a comment

Google Now reigns triumphant in virtual assistant battle with Siri

Apple’s Siri virtual assistant is getting better all the time, but Google Now still takes the biscuit, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Munster ran both virtual assistants through a battery of tests, and shared the results in a new research note, published Tuesday. He concluded that Android’s voice search correctly answers questions asked 84 percent of the time, while Apple’s Siri follows up behind with a still impressive 82 percent correct rate.

Notably, Munster points out that both platforms have come on in leaps and bounds since he first ran the virtual assistant test back in December 2012. Even as recently as last December, Munster graded both Siri and Google Now with identical C+ grades. In his latest rankings, Siri has worked her way up to a B-, while Google Voice is doing better still with a firm B grade.

Cult of Android – Google Now reigns triumphant in virtual assistant battle with Siri | Cult of Android

July 23, 2014 Posted by | AI | Leave a comment

Has the mystery of proton ‘spin’ been solved?

  • Researchers using a collider in New York say they have solved ‘spin’ mystery
  • Since an experiment in 1987 the origins of proton spin have been unknown
  • It had once been thought to be cause exclusively by quarks
  • But this was proved to be wrong in the failed experiment 27 years ago
  • Now a new study says gluons play an important role in proton spin
  • Could bring to a close one of the greatest mysteries of subatomic physics

Read more: Has the mystery of proton ‘spin’ been solved? | Mail Online

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Physics | Leave a comment

Lasers make fibre optic tubes out of thin air

Optical fibres made from thin air could transmit data to and from hard-to-reach places.

Regular optical fibres are made from two transparent materials that slow light down by different amounts. The difference in materials lets light reflect along the length of the cable without leaking out – perfect for sending a signal over long distances.

But it’s hard to put fibres in some places, like the upper atmosphere or inside nuclear reactors. And signals sent through open air often degrade because the light spreads out.

Now, Howard Milchberg of the University of Maryland, College Park, and his colleagues have come up with a way to mimic a fibre in the air itself.

Read more: Lasers make fibre optic tubes out of thin air – tech – 22 July 2014 – New Scientist

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Scientists ‘delete’ HIV virus from human DNA for the first time

  • Scientists used a DNA-snipping enzyme called Cas9 to cut out the virus
  • The cell’s gene repair machinery then takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in a virus-free cell 
  • Process could also be a cure for other latent infections, researchers say
  • ‘It’s an exciting discovery, but not ready to go into the clinic,’ said Dr Khalili

Read more: Scientists ‘delete’ HIV virus from human DNA for the first time | Mail Online

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Noninvasive retinal imaging device detects Alzheimer’s 20 years in advance

Cedars-SinaI Medical Center researchers have developed a noninvasive retinal imaging device that can provide early detection of changes indicating Alzheimer’s disease 15 to 20 years before clinical diagnosis.

“In preliminary results in 40 patients, the test could differentiate between Alzheimer’s disease and non-Alzheimer’s disease with 100 percent sensitivity and 80.6 percent specificity, meaning that all people with the disease tested positive and most of the people without the disease tested negative,” said Shaun Frost, a biomedical scientist and the study manager at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency.

Read more: Noninvasive retinal imaging device detects Alzheimer’s 20 years in advance | KurzweilAI

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Chinese Researchers Stop Wheat Disease with Gene Editing

 

Researchers have created wheat that is resistant to a common disease, using advanced gene editing methods.

Advanced genome-editing techniques have been used to create a strain of wheat resistant to a destructive fungal pathogen—called powdery mildew—that is a major bane to the world’s top food source, according to scientists at one of China’s leading centers for agricultural research.

To stop the mildew, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences deleted genes that encode proteins that repress defenses against the mildew. The work promises to someday make wheat more resistant to the disease, which is typically controlled through the heavy use of fungicides. It also represents an important achievement in using genome editing tools to engineer food crops without inserting foreign genes—a flashpoint for opposition to genetically modified crops.

The gene-deletion trick is particularly tough to do in wheat because the plant has a hexaploid genome, that is, it has six copies of each of its seven chromosomes, multiple genes must be disabled or the trait will not be changed. Using gene-editing tools known as TALENs and CRISPR, the researchers were able to do that without changing anything else or adding genes from other organisms.

“We now caught all three copies, and only by knocking out all three copies can we get this [mildew]-resistant phenotype,” says Caixia Gao, who heads a gene-editing research group at the State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in Beijing.

Read more: Beijing Researchers Use Gene Editing to Create Disease-Resistant Wheat | MIT Technology Review

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Genetics | Leave a comment

Western Digital Unveils Affordable 6TB Red & Green Hard Drives

Western Digital has released two new 6TB hard drives as part of their Red and Green lineup. If you need the drive for more enterprise purposes with more NAS and error correction features, then the WD Red model will be the one for you, and for 6TB it will only set you back $299. As for the WD Green, which is aimed at those looking for lower power consumption, it will retail for $279.

Granted it’s still more expensive than regular hard drives but for 6TB, we reckon it’s quite a steal. To put it into perspective, Western Digital’s HGST unit has a 6TB drive called the Ultrastar HE6 which is priced at $477. Seagate’s own 6TB hard drive is also priced at $299, but with Western Digital you get the option of the Green model which is $20 cheaper.

Western Digital Unveils Affordable 6TB Red & Green Hard Drives

July 22, 2014 Posted by | IT Hardware | Leave a comment

Western Digital Unveils Affordable 6TB Red & Green Hard Drives

If you’re the sort that needs a lot of storage and you’d rather just buy one big hard drive as opposed to multiple hard drives, then you might be pleased to learn that Western Digital has begun shipping two new 6TB hard drives. Now we know what you’re thinking, 6TB is going to be expensive, and normally you would be right, except that in this case they’re not.

Western Digital has released two new 6TB hard drives as part of their Red and Green lineup. If you need the drive for more enterprise purposes with more NAS and error correction features, then the WD Red model will be the one for you, and for 6TB it will only set you back $299. As for the WD Green, which is aimed at those looking for lower power consumption, it will retail for $279.

Granted it’s still more expensive than regular hard drives but for 6TB, we reckon it’s quite a steal. To put it into perspective, Western Digital’s HGST unit has a 6TB drive called the Ultrastar HE6 which is priced at $477. Seagate’s own 6TB hard drive is also priced at $299, but with Western Digital you get the option of the Green model which is $20 cheaper.

Both drives have been designed to be used in 3.5-inch enclosures in desktops along with external storage systems. So if you’re looking for new hard drives with lots of storage capacity, perhaps Western Digital’s 6TB hard drives could be worth checking out.

Western Digital Unveils Affordable 6TB Red & Green Hard Drives

July 22, 2014 Posted by | IT Hardware | Leave a comment

Drug combo ‘game changer’ for drug-resistant TB

The first new medication in half a century for the widespread treatment of tuberculosis has also shown the potential to cure drug-resistant TB.

While only preliminary, the trial results of a triple-drug combination called PaMZ, unveiled at the annual International AIDS Conference, in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday, offer the best hope in decades of bringing under control a pernicious, drug-resistant form of the disease.

This could be a game-changer, says Mel Spigelman, director of the TB Alliance, a New York-based non-profit group that collaborated with universities in South Africa to carry out the trial. It raises the prospect of being able to treat all people with TB with the same inexpensive drugs, he says.

According to the World Health Organization, multidrug-resistant TB, or MDR TB, accounts for about 3.7 per cent of new TB cases globally, or 450,000 a year, and is undermining attempts to stamp out ordinary tuberculosis because treatments for it are so expensive they sap funds. These treatments are also so lengthy and harrowing – requiring people to take a nausea-inducing cocktail of pills, 14,000 of them, over two years – that many patients abandon them before being cured.

Read more: Drug combo ‘game changer’ for drug-resistant TB – health – 21 July 2014 – New Scientist

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Google’s augmented reality game Ingress finally launched on iPhone

Android device owners have been enjoying the augmented reality game Ingress for a long time and this app has now also made an appearance on the iTunes app store.  The app can be downloaded both on iPhone and iPad and is cross platform game that can be played with even Android device users.

Read more: Ingress, Google Ingress App | Top Apps

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

One injection stops type 2 diabetes without side effects

In mice with diet-induced diabetes — the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans — a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days. The discovery by Salk Institute scientists, published in the journal Nature, could lead to a new generation of safer, more effective diabetes drugs.

The team found that sustained treatment with the protein doesn’t merely keep blood sugar under control, but also reverses insulin insensitivity, the underlying physiological cause of diabetes. Equally exciting, the newly developed treatment doesn’t result in side effects common to most current diabetes treatments.

Read more: One injection stops type 2 diabetes without side effects | KurzweilAI

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Researchers at Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times — accurately identifying the composition and structure of individual molecules containing fewer than 20 atoms.

The new single-molecule imaging method, described  in the journal Nature Communications, uses a form of Raman spectroscopy in combination with optical amplifier, making the sensor about 10 times more powerful that previously reported devices, said LANP Director Naomi Halas, the lead scientist on the study.

“The ideal single-molecule sensor would be able to identify an unknown molecule — even a very small one — without any prior information about that molecule’s structure or composition. That’s not possible with current technology, but this new technique has that potential.”

Widespread uses; devices to be available with the year

LANP graduate student Yu Zhang told KurzweilAI in an email that the new molecule-sensor could be widely used anywhere sensitive chemical-composition analysis is needed, such as non-invasive investigation of archaeological materials, identification of pharmaceutical ingredients, environmental pollutant analysis, and detection of extremely low concentrated abused drugs in saliva.

“It could instantly diagnose some diseases based on just one drop of blood on the optical amplifier, in a very sensitive and accurate manner. For homeland security, it could be an effective technique to detect explosives with very fast speed (within around 1 second) and high accuracy (reduced false rates).

“The SECARS sensor could obtain the analysis results in a few seconds. In comparison, sensors using a technique called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) usually obtain results in minutes; sensors using surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) technique may obtain results in as long as a few hours.”

Zhang said devices based on the new sensor will be commercially available in the coming year.

Read more: Powerful new sensor identfies molecules containing fewer than 20 atoms | KurzweilAI

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Android Tablet Review

The GPU score of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 with the Tegra K1 is 80% higher the next closest competitor, which happens to be the Apple iPad Air. The next fastest Android-based platform is the Tegra 4-based Note 7 tablet, and the Mi Pad is 110% faster than it!

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Android Tablet Review – Utilizing NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC | GPU Performance

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

Whirlpool’s Swash Will Keep Your Clothes Fresh And Clean, For A Price

he Swash is basically a home appliance that will be able to freshen up your clothes one piece at a time. This means that if you have a huge laundry load to do, then perhaps this might not be the machine for you. However if you’re looking to get ready for a fancy dinner or a formal event and need to make sure your suit or dress is fresh, then Swash could be the answer.

Basically the machine will be able to help eliminate wrinkles and remove smells from your clothes. This is done through a special combination of heat and a special solution, and all of this is done in just 10 minutes. Sounds good and fast, doesn’t it? Unfortunately the Swash is pretty expensive at $499, and a pack of 12 pods of Swash solutions is priced at $7.

Whirlpool’s Swash Will Keep Your Clothes Fresh And Clean, For A Price

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

Quant’s Flow Cell Car Gets Ready For Real-World Testing

Quant e-Sportlimousine is pretty stunning in terms of design, and while that is definitely noteworthy, we guess the highlight of the car would be its flow-cell technology. Described as a cross between regular batteries and fuel-cells, flow-cell technology sees liquid electrolytes being circulated through two tanks, where electrical charges are passed from one cell to another, producer enough power for an electric drivetrain.

According to Quant, they boast that the company’s technology will feature five times greater performance than a lithium-ion battery of equivalent weight. They are also boasting a range of 600km and will be able to go from 0 to 62mph in an impressive 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of over 217mph.

It is unclear as to when the vehicle will actually go into mass production and be sold to the masses, but we guess one step at a time, assuming that its real-world road testing is successful.

Quant’s Flow Cell Car Gets Ready For Real-World Testing

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Technology - Green | Leave a comment

CO2 emissions reach historic levels as temperatures and sea levels continue to climb, new report from world’s top climate scientists shows

For climate change activists, this week was marked by an ‘I-told-you-so’ moment after a group of experts from around the world release their annual report indicating that the Earth is getting warmer.

The State of the Climate in 2013 report, published online Thursday by the American Meteorological Society, showed that greenhouse gases, sea levels, global temperatures and other key climate indicators were all on the rise last year.

The report, compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries around the world, provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on air, land, sea, and ice.

CO2 emissions reach historic levels as temperatures and sea levels continue to climb, new report from world’s top climate scientists shows | Mail Online

July 20, 2014 Posted by | Science | Leave a comment

NVIDIA SHIELD tablet full details leaked; arriving July 29 for $299

We already had a nice clean shot of NVIDIA’s upcoming SHIELD tablet, but the latest leak courtesy of VideoCardz.com strips away any remaining mystery surrounding the “newest member of the SHIELD family” just days before NVIDIA’s scheduled July 22nd announcement.

The spec highlight reel for the SHIELD tablet includes:

  • Tegra K1 Processor (192 core Kepler GPU, 2.2 GHz Quad Core A15 CPU)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8-inch Full HD IPS display (1920×1200)
  • Front facing stereo speakers and dual bass reflex port
  • 4K Ultra-HD ready
  • Micro SD slot
  • Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, dual-band a/b/g/n WiFI
  • Integrated Stylus
  • 19.75 WHr battery (up to 10-hours HD video playback)

NVIDIA SHIELD tablet full details leaked; arriving July 29 for $299 | Android and Me

July 20, 2014 Posted by | Gadgets | Leave a comment

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