Showing posts from January 6, 2018

Key CRISPR gene editing methods might not work for most humans

At first glance, CRISPR gene editing looks like the solution to all the world's ills: it could treat or even cure diseases, improve birth rates and otherwise fix genetic conditions that previously seemed permanent. You might want to keep your expectations low, though. Scientists have published preliminary findings indicating that two variants of CRISPR Cas9 (the most common gene editing technique) might not work for most humans. In a study, between 65 percent and 79 percent of subjects had antibodies that would fight Cas9 proteins.The potential reaction isn't shocking. Both Cas9 variants are based on common bacteria, S. aureus and S. pyrogenes, that tend to infect humans. However, that could also produce reactions that would be... unpleasant. At the least, they could "hinder the safe and effective use" of CRISPR to treat disease. And in the worst cases, they could result in "significant toxicity" for patients.It's important to stress that the research h…

Amazon folds its little-known anime service into Prime Video

Amazon has killed off the anime streaming platform it launched merely a year ago, according to Kotaku, and we're not exactly surprised. Anime Strike required an additional $5 a month on top of Prime Video membership fees, after all, which might have been a bit too much for subscribers already paying $99 a year. Amazon has already incorporated its shows into Prime Video -- yes, including its exclusives -- and we'll bet a lot of people would say that that should've been the case from the start.Strike had exclusives (such as Inuyashiki and Re:CREATORS) you couldn't find on Crunchyroll and Funimation, but they clearly weren't enough to convince people to sign up. Fans likely spent their five bucks a month on a Crunchyroll subscription, which had more titles to offer, instead. It also didn't help that Strike was only available in the US, thereby limiting its potential audience.Amazon told Kotaku that it has decided to "move the curated catalogs of Anime Strike&…

LG Display delivers a 65-inch rollable OLED

Four years ago LG Display showed us an 18-inch OLED screen capable of rolling up like a newspaper and promised larger versions in the future. Now it's delivering, with a 65-inch OLED that's flexible enough to roll up and store when not in use. Besides this TV and its 88-inch 8K OLED, it's also back with an upgraded version of its Crystal Sound tech (seen in Sony's OLED TVs) that embeds speakers directly into the screen. Not only is it ready to embed speakers in LCDs used for desktop monitors and laptops, it's also going to show off an OLED TV that upgrades over the original's 2.1 channel audio to 3.1 -- no extra speakers necessary.Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018. via Engadget RSS Feed ""

Epic pins 'Fortnite' server woes on Meltdown patches

The Meltdown vulnerability is bound to have far-reaching effects on the computing industry, but it's having a very tangible effect right now: it's causing chaos for multiplayer gaming. Epic Games has blamed Meltdown patches for login problems and downtime in Fortnite, pointing to the increased processor use at the third-party cloud services the battle royale game needs to run. There may be other "unexpected issues" over the next week as other services are updated, Epic said.The company has promised to do whatever it can to "mitigate and resolve" problems as they come up.Like virtually every other internet-dependent firm, Epic doesn't have much choice but to patch Meltdown and accept slowdowns. Even if it were in full control of Fortnite's cloud services, it wouldn't want to leave its systems vulnerable to serious attacks. However, this suggests that online game providers (and really, online service providers as a whole) may have to scramble if t…

LG Display has made a 65-inch rollable OLED

Why is Google taking over Vegas for CES 2018?

Google doesn't usually have a big presence at CES, but that's changed in a big way this year. You can't help but notice that the monorail circling the Las Vegas Convention Center bears huge letters saying "Hey Google!" Just below, Google has set up a huge, multi-story monument to the Google Assistant booth in convention center parking lot. It's still under construction so it's hard to say exactly what's going on in there. (Also, there's a superfluous spiraling slide on the side of the booth and a weird Google Assistant ball pit game near the convention center's main entrance.)Even though Google hasn't done much at CES in recent years, it makes sense for it to make a big splash this year. (We've reached out to the company to ask about its showy CES display this year and will update when we hear back.) Earlier this week, the company announced that it has sold "more than one" Google Home device per second since the Home Mini lau…

US border guards searched 60 percent more devices in 2017

In 2017, the US Customs and Border Protection searched 30,200 electronic devices. That's over 60 percent the number of searches its personnel conducted the year before to the dismay of privacy advocates. Some also view the rise in searches as a product of the administration's stance on immigration. "[I]t goes against the very thing the 4th Amendment was designed to protect against, which is arbitrary dragnet surveillance," University of Washington in Seattle law professor Ryan Calo told Los Angeles Times. The agency has revealed those numbers in an announcement, along with changes to its directives that could be both good and bad news for travelers.The good news is that customs agents will now need to have "reasonable suspicion" to perform a thorough search on your phones. Usually, an advanced search on electronic devices in airports means connecting them to an external gizmo that can analyze or copy their contents. Border guards can still manually search y…

Here comes faster 802.11ax Wi-Fi

HP updates its Chromebook lineup with 11- and 14-inch models

HP is adding two Chromebooks to its lineup, which are essentially refreshed versions of its Chromebook 11 G5 that debuted in June 2016. While both new models feature the same processor, storage and memory options, they differ in size: The Chromebook 14 G5 has a 14-inch screen, while the Chromebook 11 G6 Education Edition caters to the school crowd with an optional HD touchscreen on a 180-degree hinge that lets users fold the screen flat. Both will be out in February 2018.No, it's not a 360-degree hinge that turns the computer into a pseudo-tablet, as last year's Acer and Asus Google for Education Chromebooks were (or HP's own convertible x360). But both the Chromebook 11 G6 Education Edition and Chromebook 14 G5 have modest improvements over older models, with the choice of an Intel Celeron N3350 or N3450 processor, 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage. They're not the thinnest machines at just below 19mm thick, but that's what keeps their costs low. Speaking of, HP d…

Original Space Shuttle commander John Young dies

Spaceflight just lost one of its better-known icons: NASA astronaut John Young has died at the age of 87. He was best known as the commander of the first Space Shuttle mission, taking Columbia into orbit in 1981. However, that was just one of a series of achievements. He flew on the first manned flight of the Gemini spacecraft in 1965 (and led a flight in 1966), traveled to the Moon twice (including a moonwalk during Apollo 16) and played a key role in the rescue of Apollo 13 by helping to stretch out its resources. On his record-setting sixth and last spaceflight, when he flew the first Spacelab module into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle, he both avoided a mid-flight disaster and landed while an auxiliary power unit was on fire.Young was also one of NASA's longer serving astronauts. He spent 42 years at the agency, retiring in 2004. In other words, he saw dramatic changes to spaceflight throughout his career -- he'd started during the Space Race and finished when the Internat…

Acer launches a new Chromebook 11 with USB-C

Acer is releasing a new version of the Chromebook 11, which is a pretty standard low- to mid-range addition to its array of Chromebooks.Acer claims the new Chromebook 11 CB311 gets up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also has a fanless design aimed at making the laptop quieter so that you can finally visit peaceful locales like a “family room, library, or coffee shop.” There are two USB 3.0 ports and, for the first time, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports. There’s a touch display version of the Chromebook 11 and a non-touch display option. It can also run Android apps.Unfortunately, the Chromebook 11 has a terrible resolution for a modern laptop — its 11.6-inch display only has a 1366 x 768 resolution, like its predecessor, the...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts ""

Acer’s updated Swift 7 Ultrabook is once again the ‘thinnest computer in the world’

Acer's new gaming PCs include an 18-core liquid-cooled desktop

It wouldn't be an Acer CES event without some gaming PCs, and this year the focus is on the desktop crowd. The PC maker is unveiling two systems headlined by the US release of the Predator Orion 9000, a spare-no-expense tower for dedicated gamers. If you can get past the over-the-top "look ma, I'm a gamer" styling, you'll find a lot of power under the hood. The system uses a combination of liquid cooling and a partitioned airflow system to drive some seriously high-end components with little noise and some room for overclocking, including up to an 18-core Intel Core i9, twin GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards and as much as 128GB of RAM.The case is also tailor-made for LAN parties with handles and wheels, while the tool-free window can help with quicker part upgrades. There's also no shortage of ports, although the array is slightly confusing: there are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (one each of Type-C and Type-A), eight USB 3.1 ports (one Type-C and seven Type-A),…

Acer’s latest Chromebook offers 10 hours of battery for $250

Acer has been releasing Chromebooks balancing speed with affordability. The company introduced its latest Chromebook 11 at CES as a fanless, small-form laptop with touch and non-touch screens that boasts up 10 hours of battery life.While Acer didn't release exact specs for the models -- we only know they'll sport the 'latest Intel Celeron processors,' for example -- but did note they'll come with 4GB of memory and either 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage. The laptops will have a pair of USB 3.1 Type-C and two USB 3.0 ports as well as a MicroSD card reader. Its 11.6-inch IPS 1366 x 768 pixel display comes in either touch or non-touch variants, though it's unclear how much the difference will affect the price (previous Acer Chromebooks saw a $50 bump for a touchscreen). It will also have support for the Google Play store and get access to Android apps.We do know that those lower-performance options have dropped the Chromebook 11's starting price to $250, which is …

Acer adds three thin, powerful laptops to its lineup

Like most PC makers, Acer is no stranger to new hardware, with pretty regular reveals happening all year long. At CES this year, then, the hardware manufacturer is showing off the latest additions to its lineup with the Acer Swift 7, Swift 7 Black Edition and Acer Spin 3 laptops. Each is super thin and light with newer Intel chips to power your computing life.The company claims that its Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest computer in the world at 8.98mm. It's got an Intel Core i7 chip and integrated LTE connectivity, all-black unibody construction and a 14-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen. Acer says it will give you 10 hours of battery life and will be available in March of this year starting at $1699.The previously announcedAcer Switch 7 Black Edition will be available starting this month for the same starting price point. It's got an 8th-generation Intel Core processor and a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card, along with a fingerprint reader and a stylus made by Wacom.The up…

Google sold a Home speaker every second since the Mini launch

It's been difficult to gauge how well smart speakers are selling outside of unofficial estimates, but Google just provided a clearer picture. The search firm revealed that it has sold "more than one" Home speaker per second since the Home Mini started shipping on October 19th. If you perform some back-of-the-napkin math, that suggests Google sold at least 6.4 million speakers between the Mini's debut and the end of 2017. Google hasn't split those sales by device, but it's safe to say that many (if not most) were Minis.The company added that Google Assistant is available on more than 400 million devices, including its own products as well as third-party Android phones, smart speakers, TVs and iOS devices. Also, Home usage increased a whopping nine times year-over-year during the holidays. Google didn't explain what prompted the surge, but the uptick in sales and greater familiarity no doubt helped.As for how this compares to Amazon's Echo sales? Unfort…

Google is gearing up for an Alexa fight at CES

We’re still a ways away from the official start of CES 2018, but the news is already starting to trickle out and everybody is setting up for the big show. And if the parking lot outside of the Las Vegas convention center is any indication, one of the biggest shows this year is coming from a company that has historically stayed quiet at CES: Google.Last night we watched as Google began setting up an seriously massive installation, complete with the classic Google slide that you normally only see at its headquarters in Mountain View. The branding is all “Hey Google,” which is a pretty good indication of what’s getting pushed this year, the Google Assistant.Our best guess is that this isn’t so much about pushing the Google Home, Google...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts ""

Daily Deal - Streets of Rogue, 50% Off

Today's Deal: Save 50% on Streets of Rogue!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
via Steam RSS News Feed ""

Epic Games blames Meltdown CPU performance issues for Fortnite downtime

As the technology industry continues to react to two major CPU bugs, we’re starting to see early signs of performance issues from security patches designed to fix the problems. Epic Games has released a chart of CPU usage after it patched its back-end services to address the Meltdown vulnerability. It shows a roughly 20 percent increase in CPU utilization, immediately after the patches were applied. The company released the chart to “provide a bit more context” around recent login issues and stability with its Fortnite game.“All of our cloud services are affected by updates required to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability,” says an Epic Games spokesperson in a forum post. “We heavily rely on cloud services to run our back-end and we may...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts ""

How do fireflies power their blinking butts?

Animals The bioluminescent dating game going on in your backyard.On warm summer nights, fireflies home in on the blinking light of their crush’s derrière. Which makes it almost heartless to ask: What makes their bums blink? via Popular Science ""

Recommended Reading: Must-see TV in 2018

36 TV Shows to Watch in 2018
Sophie Gilbert,
The Atlantic2018's television slate is already off to a solid start, but there's a lot more good stuff to come before the year is out. The Atlantic breaks down three dozen shows to watch this year, including streaming selections from the likes of Netflix, Amazon and many more."Oh My God, This Is so F---ed Up:" Inside Silicon Valley's Secretive, Orgiastic Dark Side
Emily Chang, Vanity FairThis adaptation from Chang's new book, Brotopia, is an inside look at Silicon Valley party culture.How 'Warframe' Built an Ethical Free-to-Play Economy
Ben Kuchera, PolygonPolygon offers a detailed look at what it calls "one of the few non-abusive free-to-play systems in the industry." via Engadget RSS Feed ""

Cassette tape sales had their best year since 2012

Nielsen Media Research released its annual Music Year-End Report for 2017. It found that audiences are increasingly turning to on-demand streaming to get their music, while sales in physical media is declining. But some formats are experiencing a boost: sales of cassette tapes have increased, hitting their best year since 2012.Cassette Tapes are in the midst of a revival: Nielsen reported last year that sales rose 74 percent to 129,000 units sold. That uptick was led by albums such as the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, which featured the classic cassette tape prominently in the 2014 film. This year, those numbers rose further: Nielsen says that retailers sold 174,000 units, up 35 percent from last year’s numbers.Nostalgia seems...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts ""

Apple AirPods, Sonos speakers, and more of the week’s best tech deals

Two popular audio products are headlining this week’s tech deals: one that’s back after leaving us for a while, and another we featured last week that’s still on sale — the Apple AirPods and the Sonos Play:One, respectively. After being sold out for the bulk of the holiday season, AirPods are back at select retailers, like Target and Best Buy. They might not be on sale, and they’re already backordered at places like B&H, so get them while they last.The Sonos Play:One is still on sale on Amazon and Best Buy for $139.99, down from $199.99. This deal was extremely popular with our readers last week, and we don’t know how long they’ll be available at this price, so take advantage while the deal is here.AUDIOSonos Play:One on Amazon and...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts ""

The best dishwasher

By Liam McCabeThis post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.After putting more than 100 hours of research into 210 models over three years, we've learned that most dishwashers are good cleaners. But getting one that's quiet, reliable, and easy to load is also worth paying a little more. That's why we think the new Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N is the best dishwasher for most people right now.How we pickedDating back to 2014, we've investigated 210 dishwasher models. To find the best, we considered only models with the must-have features that experts told us to look for:Nylon-coated racksA soil sensor. Also known as a turbidity sensor, it tells your dishwasher to extend or end the cycle depending on how much gunk is floating in the wash water.A stainless steel tubWe also prior…