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Scientists at the University of Ottawa have developed a way of growing human cells and tissue on apples.

MWC 2017: Wikipedia goes data free in Iraq

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 12:18 am
[syndicated profile] bbc_technology_news_feed
People will not have to pay mobile data charges to access the online encyclopaedia.

SpaceX to fly two tourists around Moon in 2018

Monday, February 27th, 2017 11:48 pm
[syndicated profile] bbc_technology_news_feed
The US rocket company says the customers have already paid for the flight planned for late 2018.
[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by David Kravets

(credit: Andrew Turner)

The operator of a drone that knocked a woman unconscious was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail, Seattle prosecutors said. The woman was attending a local parade when the drone crashed and struck her.


Skinner (credit: KomoNews)

Paul Skinner, a 38-year-old man from Washington state, was charged with reckless endangerment in connection to the 2015 incident, in which an 18-inch-by-18-inch drone collided into a building before falling into a crowd. The authorities said the 2-pound drone struck the 25-year-old in the head and gave her a concussion. Her boyfriend caught her before she fell to the ground. Another man suffered a minor bruise. The accident took place during during the city's Pride Parade.

Skinner, who had turned himself in, plans to appeal the sentence. His attorney, Jeffrey Kradel, said the punishment was "too severe." His client remains free pending the appeal's outcome. A misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge—one that poses "substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person"—carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

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Posted by Shalini Saxena

(credit: John Timmer)

Plastics do not readily break down naturally, so there has been no great way to dispose these materials in an environmentally friendly manner. Advances such as the development of recycling streams have improved plastic waste management, but it's not always easy to find uses for the recycled material.

One weakness of the current recycling infrastructure is the reliance on separate recycling streams for different materials. This careful sorting of materials is necessary due to differences in chemical structures of polymers that make them poorly compatible. For example, if we were to combine two of the most ubiquitous plastics in the world, they wouldn't even mix when in a liquid phase. Recently, however, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed an additive that enables these two polymers to be recycled together.

The plastics in question are polyethylene (PE) and isotactic polypropylene (iPP). Materials produced from a mix of these polymers exhibit two distinct phases; at the interface of the phases, the polymers adhere poorly to one another, resulting in materials that are mechanically weak compared to the individual components. General municipal waste typically has a 70/30 ratio of PE to iPP, so there's a significant amount of material to separate out.

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SpaceX to fly two tourists around Moon in 2018

Monday, February 27th, 2017 11:48 pm
[syndicated profile] bbc_science_news_feed
The US rocket company says the customers have already paid for the flight planned for late 2018.

Book Log 2017 - #7 - Chronicles Of Conan 1

Monday, February 27th, 2017 11:30 pm
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
[personal profile] lonemagpie
I've been at Redemption 17 since Thursday, but before that finished The Chronicles Of Conan 1: Tower Of The Elephant And Other Stories. This is a collection (by Dark Horse) of the first 8 issues of Marvel's Conan The Barbarian from back in the day ( written by Roy Thomas, with Barry Smith's art nicely upgraded for smooth modern paper by Digital Chameleon). It was good fun, apart from Conan's silly two-horned helmet. The writing takes a strange tone of telling us what's happening in the panels, as if we couldn't see, and is filled with REH-style florid voerbosity - and somehow it works, even though we an see what's happening. So, good fun.

It's cold, wet and decidedly south...

Monday, February 27th, 2017 10:44 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

Posted by Mark Valladares

It was time to leave the warmth of Santiago behind, for the next stage of the adventure had arrived, and a three hour flight brought me to Punta Arenas, the major town of Chilean Patagonia.

The vista was, in truth, a bit bleak and austere, as the mountains are running out by this point, and the endless wind tends to discourage anything taller than a shrub. But then, it's the furthest south that I've ever been, beating Invercargill, New Zealand, and remembering what Orkney is like, there is something of a similarity there too.

The hotel was an oddity, looking like a small piece of Las Vegas, casually dropped on the edge of the Straits of Magellan, all glass and steel, with a casino bolted on. It was very nice though, and the room was comfortable, looking out across the Straits. I had to go out though, as I was short on steps for the day. And, in a light drizzle, Punta Arenas on a Sunday afternoon was not a sight to warm the cockles.

The next day was dedicated to some light tourism, with a call into the Regional Museum. Set in a nineteenth century mansion, it's not a huge exhibit, but with some preserved rooms, it does give you an idea as to how the wealthy lived in such a remote place. In those days, Punta Arenas was only really accessible by ship, and given how volatile the oceans are around Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego, it wouldn't always have been easy to make the journey.

Dinner was taken at a restaurant called Los Ganaderos. A parrilla, the prime attraction is meat, and in particular beef and lamb - there are a lot of sheep in Chilean Patagonia. It was excellent, the only problem was that there was too much meat, and I couldn't even begin to contemplate the third course that completed the trio of lamb.

Replete, it was time to get some sleep, for tomorrow would see a very early start...
[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Ars Staff

Enlarge (credit: Ron Amadeo)

CES is still the biggest consumer tech showcase in the early part of the year, but if you're a smartphone company, you increasingly save your big announcements for Mobile World Congress in February. We're on the ground at the show this year, and we've already been busy. For those looking to find a TL;DR version of the biggest happenings, we've rounded up all of the major announcements on day one to help you keep up.

  • The biggest phone announcement so far is probably the LG G6. LG usually plays second fiddle to Samsung, and it's too bad to see the G6 saddled with last year's Snapdragon 821 SoC. Still, the tall screen is a neat design touch.
  • Sony's phones still have their fans, and the XZ Premium offers a better SoC than LG along with an impressive-sounding camera.
  • Decent budget phones abound! The newest Moto G5 phones add better specs and metal backs to Lenovo/Motorola's longrunning line of midrange handsets. Meanwhile, the Nokia 6 looks like a surprisingly competent newcomer, and Nokia is making the right noises about a clean build of Android and speedy updates. We'll need proof first, but we can always dream.
  • Speaking of Nokia, did you know that old-school feature phones like the 3310 still exist?
  • Samsung's flagship Galaxy phones usually skip MWC in favour of doing their own thing, but the company still has a couple Android and Windows tablets for you to look at: the Tab S3 and Galaxy Book.
  • The long-irrelevant BlackBerry continues to release phones without really paying attention to industry trends or anything its competitors are doing. The £500 KeyOne attaches a physical keyboard to a decidedly mediocre-looking and overpriced midrange phone.
  • Huawei's P10 flagships look OK, if a little too familiar. The Huawei Watch 2 looks... less good.
  • Google doesn't have much of a formal presence at MWC, but the show basically runs on Android, and Google often puts out a minor announcement or two to coincide with everyone else's announcements. To that end, Google says that its heretofore-Pixel-exclusive Google Assistant software will soon begin rolling out to all Android phones running version 6.0 (Marshmallow) and up.
  • PC companies are the busiest at CES, but they often release a couple things at MWC, where they'll have a bit more room to breathe. The HP Pro x2 tablet is a repairable, business-friendly riff on Microsoft's Surface, and Lenovo's newest Yoga laptops offer a good blend of features and performance.

We'll have more coverage for you as the week rolls on. Follow our MWC 2017 landing page for all the latest updates.

This post originated on Ars Technica

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Highland Park Police rock yet again

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:02 pm
missdiane: (SW Mace will kick yo ass)
[personal profile] missdiane
They caught the dirtbag that attacked the woman

Unfortunately it looks like the SOB is a serial attacker but I'm thinking he decided to mess around in the WRONG community since I don't see Highland Park folks putting up with him getting a slap on the wrist, not with the laundry list of charges they have against him now.
[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Eric Berger

Enlarge (credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX announced Monday that it plans to send two private individuals around the Moon by the end of 2018, a highly ambitious flight that would mark the first human return to deep space in nearly 50 years. During a teleconference with reporters, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the two people would fly an approximately week-long mission in a “long loop” around the Moon, to about 400,000 miles from Earth, before returning home.

Musk said the company would launch its Dragon 2 spacecraft on top of a Falcon Heavy rocket, and that the two passengers would be flying solo, without the assistance of professional astronauts. Dragon 2, he said, is designed as an autonomous vehicle. The paying customers would not be blind to the risks, he added. "I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing there is some risk here," Musk said. "They’re not naive. We’re going to do everything we can do to minimize our risk, but the risk is not zero."

This story will be updated with additional details

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Posted by Valentina Palladino

Enlarge (credit: Samsung)

There haven't been many major updates to Samsung's Gear VR headset since its debut in 2014. But at MWC in Barcelona, Samsung announced an updated version of the headset that includes an all-new handheld controller. Equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetic sensors, the controller will let users interact with VR content without fumbling for the headset's onboard controls.

According to the announcement, Samsung worked with Oculus to make the device. In addition to the round, clickable touchpad at the top of the controller, there are also home, back, and volume buttons; a trigger; and an included wrist strap. The controller isn't rechargeable; it takes two AAA batteries that you'll have to replace occasionally. According to a report from Engadget, at least 70 new controller titles are in development for the Gear VR.

The controller doesn't seem as intricate as those accompanying the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but simply placing crucial buttons in the user's hand will make it much easier for them to control in-game experiences. Samsung is likely playing catch-up to competitors like Google's Daydream headset, which already comes with a handheld controller.

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[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by David Kravets

(credit: scot2342)

Creative Commons, the free culture licensing scheme, has survived a far-reaching legal challenge to its "noncommercial" licensing platform. It was a first-of-its-kind dispute, one that threatened Creative Commons' purpose of fostering the sharing of content, both online and offline.

Creative Commons, often known as CC, allows content creators to share their works with various licenses. The license at issue here is known as BY-NC-SA 4.0. Content under this license can be freely used by anybody for "noncommercial" purposes if the original source is credited. There are more than 1.1 billion works within the CC licensing umbrella, and 150 million licensed for noncommercial use.

However, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit educational stalwart called Great Minds (GM) tried to turn the CC noncommercial licensing scheme on its head. Great Minds develops K-12 curriculum for schools throughout the US and licenses its product under the CC noncommercial license. The nonprofit sued FedEx for profiting when school representatives used FedEx to duplicate the materials so they could be distributed in class. Great Minds demanded royalties from FedEx, which refused. Great Minds sued last year, claiming FedEx was infringing its content, which also enjoys US copyright protection.

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Bread's environmental costs are counted

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:26 pm
[syndicated profile] bbc_science_news_feed
The environmental impact of producing a loaf of bread has been analysed in depth - from the farm to the supermarket shelf.

Nobel winner: Attack on experts 'undermines science'

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:19 pm
[syndicated profile] bbc_science_news_feed
One of UK's top scientists, Sir Paul Nurse, says experts are being "derided and pushed back".
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Posted by Mike Smithson

A seat where 62.1% voted REMAIN should in theory be challenging for Corbyn’s LAB

Yesterday I Tweeted expressing the wish that the next by-election along would be somewhere that voted to stay in the EU last June 23rd. Sadly that has come about following the death of the long-standing Labour MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, at the age of 86.

As can been seen by the map the seat is rather odd shaped covering an area to the south of Manchester city centre and the university area. Thousands and thousands of students live there as well as many who work at the city large universities. Between GE1997 and GE2010 the LDs were in a strong second place at every general election.

At one stage after the Iraq War in 2004 the yellows held 19 of the 21 council seats in the constituency and in the following two general elections had vote shares of 30% plus.

The seat is just to the north of Manchester Withington and close to Hazel Grove which until GE2015 were held by the LDs. There is a largish activist base close by.

If it wasn’t for their disastrous GE2015 performance the LDs would fancy their chances in Manchester Gorton.

Unfortunately for them it was the Green who came second at GE2015 which makes it very much harder for the LDs to establish themselves as the tactical anti-LAB choice.

We could see a debate between the Greens and the LDs over who should fly the Ant-BREXIT flag.

The Tory vote could be interesting.

A lot depends on who gets selected by Labour. They need an unequivocal remainer who is prepared to disagree with Corbyn’s parliamentary BREXIT strategy.

Mike Smithson

Doing enough

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:55 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Having one of those "I'm not doing anything" days because I slept or lazed around all morning.

But since then I've
  • gone to WI craft group where I learned a whole new kind of craft (book folding)
  • a bit of Lib Demmery, including inviting a new Lib Dem to local #libdempint, passing on important e-mails to the people who can do things about them, and agreeing to go to a meeting in a few days
  • e-mailed Metrolink & Northern to try to set up a meeting about how inaccessible Manchester Victoria is (as leader of the VI Steering Group)
  • e-mailed the council guy and the RNIB about the taser thing
  • printed off stuff I need for my book
  • did an update (accidentally two updates) for my Kickstarter backers. The previous update hadn't worked (not surprising when these two nearly didn't either) so the poor fuckers hadn't heard from me since June!
  • ordered new printer ink when I didn't have enough to print off what I needed
I think I still have to convince myself it is okay not to go to yoga tonight. I keep forgetting I have a yoga mat of my own now so I might do a bit here but I think I am still too sinus-infected to go to the class I usually do.

Nintendo Switch will support “portable-only” games

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:33 pm
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Posted by Sam Machkovech

Nintendo's attempt to define its new Switch game system as a portable-cum-home-console hybrid grew a little more confusing on Monday. A Japanese rhythm-tapping game that might have otherwise flown under the radar was spotted by a user at the NeoGAF gaming forum because of one unexpected feature: a "portable-only" mode.

If the developer's listing is indeed accurate, that would make the game in question, called Voez, the first Switch game to officially forbid docking to its TV stand. In some ways, that restriction makes sense, as the game is all about tapping buttons that appear on the screen to the beat of the music, much like games in the Elite Beat Agents and Hatsune Miku series.

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MWC 2017: DJI drones use plane avoidance tech

Monday, February 27th, 2017 04:58 pm
[syndicated profile] bbc_technology_news_feed
DJI's latest industrial drones use technology that warns if larger aircraft are nearby.

(no subject)

Monday, February 27th, 2017 05:29 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
It's nearly Lent, which means that I am seeking recommendations for good vegetarian recipes! I'd love any suggestions you might have.

Chalk and Saucer State

Monday, February 27th, 2017 04:00 pm
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Posted by Paul Cornell

Everyone, I’m very proud to present the start of the publicity build-up to my standalone horror novel Chalk, out on March 21st from Tor.com Publishing.

As I’ve said, this is my most important book, the one I’ve been trying to write for over twenty years, and now you can read the first three chapters, for free, with an introductory letter from myself, here at Tor.com.

Please note: we’ve put up serious warnings about graphic depictions of violence and sexual assault.

My letter, though, comes before the excerpt, and if you don’t feel you can read the book, at least that’ll let you see where I’m at.

‘Andrew Waggoner has always hung around with his fellow losers at school, desperately hoping each day that the school bullies—led by Drake—will pass him by in search of other prey.  But one day they force him into the woods, and the bullying escalates into something more; something unforgivable; something unthinkable.

Broken, both physically and emotionally, something dies in Waggoner, and something else is born in its place.

In the hills of the West Country a chalk horse stands vigil over a site of ancient power, and there Waggoner finds in himself a reflection of rage and vengeance, a power and persona to topple those who would bring him low.

Paul Cornell plumbs the depths of magic and despair in Chalk, a brutal exploration of bullying in Margaret Thatcher’s England—available March 21st from Tor.com Publishing.’

You can pre-order Chalk at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Au and every serious supplier of reading materials.  (Some of those places are still displaying the wrong launch date.)  There’ll be an audiobook release simultaneously with the ebook and print versions.  More details on that nearer the time.

Chalk, by Paul Cornell, US Large (trade) Paperback

Meanwhile, my other passion project, Saucer State #1 is going to be out on May 10th, and has appeared in Previews, where you can note that the Diamond Order Code is: MAR170564.  (And if you want to pre-order, you have to do it before APRIL 17th.)

I note that especially because how many times to comic writers hear ‘I went into my local comic book store to buy your issue, but it was sold out!  Well done!’  When that actually means the poor put-upon store owner (and I really mean that) only ordered a few copies, and if the customer in question had just ordered it in advance, they’d have had a copy waiting for them, and the store owner might have been willing to take a bet on ordering some more.  You don’t need to remember the Diamond Code to order a comic, you just need the title.  But, please, please… IF YOU WANT IT, ORDER IT!

‘She was abducted by aliens. Now she’s the President. She’s going to use the power of that office to find out what really happened. But will they let her? Saucer State is the sequel to and the conclusion of the Hugo Award nominated Saucer Country.  It’s House of Cards does The X-Files.  It’s a bulletin from the brightest timeline.  She will break the world to find who hurt her.  And new readers can start here.’

It’s told in the form of two 6-issue mini-series, with a break in-between to let our wonderful returning artist, Ryan Kelly, recover.

Here’s the main #1 cover, by Ryan …

Saucer State 1

And here’s the variant by the hugely talented Jeffrey Veregge.

Saucer State 1 variant

It’s brilliant to have two projects I’ve desperately wanted to see completed finally getting to the finish line, but I do kind of wish they weren’t both gearing up at the same time.

In other news, as a loyal member of the Wild Cards Collective, I’d been letting the side down if I didn’t inform you that Tor.com have embarked on a re-read of the whole series.

It’s very rarely I link to reviews here, but I was very pleased by this piece that puts my Doctor Who: The Third Doctor in context with my other work. It’s so rarely a critic puts everything I do together like that.

And finally, my old friend from the Doctor Who New Adventures days, Martin Day, has launched a Patreon in support of his new novel, which he’s aiming to release chapter by chapter.  Checking it out is surely worth your while.

Thanks for your time, everyone!  This year, these two big projects finally land, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Please Feel Free to Share:

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Posted by Beth Mole

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Michael Bradley )

Dangerous multidrug-resistant infections are surging in children across the country, researchers report in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

From 2007 to 2015, the number of kids treated in hospitals for certain types of multidrug-resistant infections rose 750 percent, researchers found. Though overall incidence is still low, researchers say the study’s findings are pointing to worry trends—namely, silent spreading within communities, and severe, potentially life-threatening infections becoming common.

"The rate of rise was very rapid," the study’s lead author, pediatrician Sharon Meropol of Case Western Reserve University, told CIDRAP News. "And if that continues it's not going to be long before we get much higher rates."

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About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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