Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Researchers map individual words to specific brain regions

Researchers map individual words to specific brain regions

Researchers with the University of California, Berkeley, have detailed how the so-called “semantic system” in the human brain works, and their work could one day help form treatments for injuries and diseases that affect one’s ability to speak. The study’s lead author Alex Huth was one of several volunteers who listened to more than two hours’ worth of radio shows while positioned inside an fMRI machine, shedding light on how the brain reacts to words and, eventually helping create a map of sorts.

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Peacocks’ special feather structure creates trippy, hypnotizing ‘dance’

Peacocks’ special feather structure creates trippy, hypnotizing ‘dance’

Peacocks, perhaps nature's most trippy bird, shake their tail feathers when it's time to attract a new mate. Why? Shaking those feathers -- called "train-rattling" -- causes an illusion where the eye-like circles on the feathers become more prominent, seemingly floating outward and hanging in the air. Those circles exist to lure in peahens, but have fascinated more than a few humans, too. Now a new study has taken a closer look at this 'train-rattling' dance and uncovered a few equally fascinating secrets about how it works.

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Harman Kardon GO + Play next-gen speaker sports steel handle

Harman Kardon GO + Play next-gen speaker sports steel handle

Harman Kardon has taken the wraps off its next-generation GO + Play, a wireless speaker that supports three devices at once and includes a built-in handle for easily toting it around. The company boasts ‘premium’ materials in its construction, including stainless steel for the handle and fabric for the finish. The speaker will be launching in May for $299 USD with a bunch of other features rounding it out.

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X-Doria Defense Lux Impression cases launch for iPhone 6s

X-Doria Defense Lux Impression cases launch for iPhone 6s

X-Doria has announced that its Defense Lux line has expanded with new Impression cases for the iPhone 6s. The cases are minimalistic in design, but constructed to keep the phone safe in a variety of situations, featuring MIL-STD-810G military grade durability. These cases join the maker’s Gear and Defense Shield cases to offer protection for Apple’s smartphone.

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DirecTV adds live out-of-market games for NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers

DirecTV adds live out-of-market games for NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers

DirecTV has announced that NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers will soon be able to stream out-of-market regular season football games on Sunday afternoons, removing the need to upgrade to an NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscription. Subscribers will be able to stream the games live on their favorite devices -- tablets, smartphones, and other connected gadgets. The new season of live NFL games starts September 11.

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TiVo Roamio OTA 1TB DVR records local over-the-air channels

TiVo Roamio OTA 1TB DVR records local over-the-air channels

TiVo has taken the wraps off its new TiVo Roamio OTA 1TB, a DVR that doesn’t require any sort of monthly subscription fees and that, says the company, has a new 1TB hard drive (able to record up to 150 hours of high-definition content). The DVR can be used to record content from local channels available via an OTA HD antenna, giving cord-cutters a way to record episodes and movies available freely over the air

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Facebook saw big advertising, mobile increases in Q1 2016

Facebook saw big advertising, mobile increases in Q1 2016

Facebook’s first quarter 2016 financial report is in, and the numbers are fantastic across the board. In the quarter ending on March 31, Facebook saw its year-on-year total revenue increase 52-percent, hitting $5.3 billion in comparison to the same quarter last year ($3.5 billion). “We had a great start to the year,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “We’re focused on our 10 year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone."

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Samsung developing VR headset that doesn’t require a Galaxy phone

Samsung developing VR headset that doesn’t require a Galaxy phone

Samsung is working on another virtual reality headset, and it may not require one of the maker’s Galaxy smartphones to work. Company R&D head for software and services Injong Rhee revealed the project at a conference today, saying, “We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone.” The future VR devices may have gesture and hand tracking and compete with high-end VR devices like the Oculus Rift.

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SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to land on Mars as early as the year 2018, the company announced in a tweet today. Mars has become the newest goal for space agencies around the world, and companies like SpaceX are helping develop the technology necessary to get humans there. According to the tweet, SpaceX plans to “send a Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come.”

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Sources say FTC is expanding its Android investigation

Sources say FTC is expanding its Android investigation

Sources say the Federal Trade Commission is expanding its investigation into Google and whether it is using Android’s dominance to throw around its own weight. The investigation started in 2015; according to one source, the FTC wants a look at the evidence gathered by European regulators in their own case against Google and Android. Reportedly, FTC personnel have asked two companies for data recently, hinting at an expanded data gathering phase.

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‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ R-rated animation revealed in first trailer

‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ R-rated animation revealed in first trailer

Late last year, Warner Bros revealed plans to create ‘Batman: The Killing Joke,’ an animated R-rated movie with Mark Hamill back as the Joker. The project has been underway since then, and the company has just revealed it in its first trailer. By all accounts, it appears the movie will stay true to its polarizing graphic novel foundation, and it brings with it a solid R-rating.

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NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA has a new pair of training simulators courtesy of Boeing, and they’re designed to train astronauts on how to control the space agency’s next-generation spacecrafts. A pair of crew astronauts tried out the simulators yesterday, with NASA saying they offering realistic simulations of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Astronauts will also be training for the SpaceX Crew Dragon for future International Space Station runs.

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