Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Uber’s using hi-res satellite images to identify pickup locations

Uber’s using hi-res satellite images to identify pickup locations

Uber has struck a global multi-year deal with DigitalGlobe in order to use its high-resolution satellite images for better identifying pickup and drop-off locations. DigitalGlobe announced the new partnership today, saying it will provide Uber with satellite photos of cities around the globe. Access to such information is no doubt vital to Uber as it continues work on developing self-driving technologies and eventually replaces its drivers with autonomous vehicles.

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Researchers map another 180 areas of the human brain

Researchers map another 180 areas of the human brain

A research project funded by the National Institutes of Health has identified 180 new distinct areas of the human brain, specifically of the brain’s outer mantle. According to the NIH, this number is more than double that of the previously mapped brain areas. In addition to identifying these new regions, the researchers behind it also created a new type of software able to find each of these areas’ ‘fingerprints’ automatically, doing so using brain scans.

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Firefox will block some Flash content starting next month

Firefox will block some Flash content starting next month

As of next month, Mozilla will have its Firebox browser block some Flash content, following the same trend we’ve seen with the other major Web browsers. Only non-essential Flash content will be blocked; this includes Flash elements that aren’t visible to the end user. As a result, says Mozilla, users will experience less issues with Flash crashing or causing the browser to hang. Battery life, page load speeds, Firefox’s responsiveness, and overall security will all be improved as a result.

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DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA has a new program called CHIPS, which is short for Common Heterogenous Integration and Intellectual Property Reuse Strategies Program. A mouthful, right? CHIPS seeks innovation as complex as the name behind the acronym: the taking of modern printed circuit boards and doing away with them via the development of miniature, modular “chiplets.” Says DARPA, it wants “an entire PCB” to be condensed down into a single device that is about the size of one present-day chip.

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NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA says a pair of exoplanets may have habitable atmospheres based on an atmospheric study researchers recently performed. The scientists focused on exoplanets similar in size to Earth that are described as being ‘temperate.’ The study was done using the Hubble Space Telescope, and found that the exoplanets TRAPPIST-1c and TRAPPIST-1b have atmospheres that could possibly support life.

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Sony Z Series 4K TVs launch with ultra-contrast and HDR

Sony Z Series 4K TVs launch with ultra-contrast and HDR

Sony has taken the wraps off its new line of premium 4K-resolution televisions, the Z Series. This line, which is currently comprised of three models ranging from 65-inches to 100-inches, offers high-contrast and High Dynamic Range image quality in an Ultra HD resolution, as well as thin bezels, Backlight Master Drive technology, the 4K Processor X1 Extreme, and more. Two of the three new models are available for preorder now and will be launching some time this summer.

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Apple Pay goes live in France and Hong Kong

Apple Pay goes live in France and Hong Kong

Apple Pay is now available in France and Hong Kong, allowing Apple users in both countries to use the company’s mobile payment system. As with Apple Pay in other supported countries, those in France and Hong Kong can use certain banking cards to make payments using their Apple Watch or iPhone; in France, MasterCard and Visa debit cards can be used, while in Hong Kong some MasterCard and Visa payment cards are supported, as well as American Express credit cards.

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Obi robot helps disabled diners eat

Obi robot helps disabled diners eat

Robotics company Desin has introduced a device called Obi, and it’s designed to help disabled individuals eat independently. Using a robotic armature with a spoon attached, a bowl with four sections, and some carefully designed buttons, the contraption serves as a diner’s hands when his or her own may have failed them. Obi was created to help individuals with conditions like multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinsons, and other conditions.

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Duolingo Tinycards for iOS take learning beyond languages

Duolingo Tinycards for iOS take learning beyond languages

Duolingo is known for its language-learning app, but soon enough it'll be known for its more general educational offerings, too. The company has launched a new iOS app called Tinycards, which will be heading to other platforms in the near future, and it expands beyond languages to help users memorize all sorts of things. The app is currently available for both iPhone and iPad.

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LG Action Cam LTE to arrive in ‘key markets’ soon

LG Action Cam LTE to arrive in ‘key markets’ soon

If you feel like you've heard about the newly announced LG Action Cam LTE before, it's probably because you have. The company first took the wraps off its camera back in May, and today it has re-introduced it to coincide with the device's launch in South Korea. If you live elsewhere and aren't content with the action cameras already available, however, LG says it will be bringing the action camera to 'key markets' beyond Korea in the coming weeks.

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‘Harpoon’ device eliminates open heart surgery for mitral valve repairs

‘Harpoon’ device eliminates open heart surgery for mitral valve repairs

A new device may revolutionize the world of mitral valve repair, making it possible for surgeons to fix this particular heart problem without having to perform open heart surgery. According to researchers investigating the device, which is called ‘harpoon,’ it has shown 100-percent performance and safety for this medical purpose. Unlike open heart surgery, using the image-guided contraption is safer for the patient, less physically taxing, and requires much less recovery time. In fact, the researchers estimate someone could leave the hospital the day after a mitral valve repair is performed with Harpoon.

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Golfer Bubba Watson shows off a 200hp jetpack ‘golf cart’

Golfer Bubba Watson shows off a 200hp jetpack ‘golf cart’

Golf carts are now officially old news thanks to professional golfer Bubba Watson and his newly showcased jetpack. It's a legit strap-yourself-inside-it-and-hold-on jetpack, only designed for whizzing around a golf course rather than battling fires or dealing with super villains. It's bizarre upon first glance, but entirely practical if you're crunched for time; while a golf cart has to drive around water traps, a jetpack can merely zoom above them, no detour necessary.

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