Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


August was the 16th straight month of record-breaking heat

August was the 16th straight month of record-breaking heat

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is back with its latest report on monthly global temperatures, and the news is exactly what we expected it to be: August 2016 was yet another record-breaking month, marking 16 straight months of steadily increasing global temperatures. This is the longest streak of increasing warmth in 137 years, and — speaking of August specifically — involves temps that are 1.66F degrees higher than the 20th century average. This is 0.09F higher than last year’s highest-August record.

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative commits $3bn to cure all diseases

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative commits $3bn to cure all diseases

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan have an undertaking called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and they’re committing a minimum of $3 billion through it over the next ten years in a bid to either “cure, prevent or manage” all types of disease by the century’s end. As such, the initiative says its second big focus is on science, and its President of Science will be The Rockefeller University neuroscientist Dr. Cori Bargmann. At the heart of this undertaking, the initiative says, is the goal of creating a strategy that will “unlock understanding of the human body down to the cellular level."

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Apple tipped in acquisition talks with Lit Motors

Apple tipped in acquisition talks with Lit Motors

Following a report earlier today suggesting Apple is in talks with McLaren, more sources have cropped up to say the company is also talking with Lit Motors, maker of an intriguing, atypically designed self-balancing motorcycle. A total of three sources spoke up about the rumored talks, saying they concern a ‘potential acquisition’ of the motors company. The move would be done to bolster Apple's troubled 'Project Titan' automotive project.

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Google Drive search refined with natural language processing

Google Drive search refined with natural language processing

Google Drive’s search has been refined with natural language processing, Google has announced. The functionality is currently only available for Google Drive search on the web, but it is joined by other improvements that make the searching process faster and more simple overall. Simply put, the addition of natural language processing means a user can type a search term phrased the same way they’d say it if they were talking, such as, “find my November 2016 budget."

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Microsoft Nokia 216 feature phone unveiled with dual SIM support

Microsoft Nokia 216 feature phone unveiled with dual SIM support

Microsoft has announced a new feature phone, the Nokia 216. As with other feature phones, you’re getting something less than a smartphone, but with more modern specs than feature phones of old and the perks these phones offer: long battery life and low cost, namely. The Nokia 216 looks similar to other Nokia feature phones that have been launched in recent times, including a clean design, pastel colors, and small size.

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Comcast WiFi-centric mobile phone service launches next year

Comcast WiFi-centric mobile phone service launches next year

Disappointed that you don't have more Comcast in your life? Starting mid-2017, you'll be able to get mobile phone service through the service provider, something that will reportedly rely heavily on WiFi but will utilize the Verizon Wireless network for times you're not near a WiFi network. The WiFi will be coming from the company’s own subscriber-based hotspots, something confirmed by company CEO Brian Roberts today. The move follows an increasingly large migration from traditional television services to online video streaming, prodding the company to seek out new ways to boost its revenues.

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Facebook will livestream election debates via ABC News deal

Facebook will livestream election debates via ABC News deal

If you don’t have cable but want to catch the general election presidential debates, Facebook is hoping you’ll tune into its livestreaming platform. Thanks to the deal with ABC News, Facebook will serve as a livestreaming platform for all four 2016 general election debates broadcasted by ABC; this is similar to Facebook’s previous streaming of the Democratic and Republican conventions.

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Polaroid Snap Touch instant camera boasts touchscreen

Polaroid Snap Touch instant camera boasts touchscreen

Leica recently introduced its “Sofort” instant camera, an offering that in some ways pales in comparison to Polaroid’s new Snap Touch instant camera. Unlike most instant cameras, the Snap Touch features a large 3.5-inch touchscreen on the back, blending the best elements of instant and digital cameras to make the process of near-analog photography all the more fun and convenient. The camera also supports recording video, offers Bluetooth, and more.

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Canary Flex is a small, smart outdoor security camera

Canary Flex is a small, smart outdoor security camera

Canary has launched a new security camera product called the Canary Flex; it is small, smart, and can be used outdoors, withstanding things like rain and wind to stand ever vigilant over your home. The camera sits idle, and starts recording when it detects movement. If something particularly odd — at least in the camera’s estimation — comes into view, it’ll fire off a push notification to its owner. Overtime, Flex will better understand what kind of things are worth sending notifications about and which ones are, while unusual, of no particular interest or importance.

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The CW prepares to launch subscription-free streaming

The CW prepares to launch subscription-free streaming

The CW is making a big move many of its peers are still too afraid to make: it is getting ready to launch subscription-free streaming across just about every major device, including Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Xbox, as well as on iOS and Android, and over AirPlay. Because it will be subscription-free streaming, you won't need an applicable for-pay cable plan in order to sign in and access the content.

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Google Trips app offers all your travel data with offline access

Google Trips app offers all your travel data with offline access

Google wants to make your next vacation a little less stressful, and it’s doing so with a new personal tour guide called Google Trips. This app aggregates all the important data about your trip — things like reservation info, your plans for the day, places to eat, and similar — and keeps them all in an easy-to-access place. Even better (and quite necessary for international traveling) is an offline option that allows users to make all of the data available even when you don’t have access to an Internet connection.

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Comcast X1 Netflix beta app will launch this week

Comcast X1 Netflix beta app will launch this week

Back in early July, an unlikely partnership was formed: Netflix and Comcast had struck a deal that would bring the streaming service to the latter company’s X1 set-top-box. As of today, the fruits of that partnership are now manifest: a beta version of the X1 Netflix app will be available via “Comcast Labs" in the next few days, giving users a chance to use the software. The beta will be available to customers across the nation.

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