Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Five cheap smartphones with a fingerprint sensor (mid-2017)

Five cheap smartphones with a fingerprint sensor (mid-2017)

Modern smartphones look a bit different than ones from just a few years ago: there's the double rear cameras, of course, but more pervasive is the fingerprint sensor. A fingerprint sensor built into a phone offers a highly convenient form of security, but is also becoming an important component in making mobile payments. While a fingerprint sensor is included on all the big flagship handsets, those tend to cost $600 or more. Can you get fingerprint sensor on a (much) cheaper phone? Yes, yes you can.

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GSK and Exscientia team to develop new drugs using supercomputers

GSK and Exscientia team to develop new drugs using supercomputers

Two companies have teamed up to utilize machine learning for drug development. Exscientia has announced a new collaboration with GSK that will involve using supercomputers to develop new molecules that may one day be used to treat up to ten difference diseases. Exscientia's own artificial intelligence-enabled platform will do the hard work, utilizing GSK 'expertise' in the hunt for 'novel and selective small molecules' designed to address up to ten targets related to diseases of GSK's choice.

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NASA will test Earth defense by slamming a spaceship into an asteroid

NASA will test Earth defense by slamming a spaceship into an asteroid

NASA has been working with agencies around the globe to develop a space defense technology that would be used to protect Earth from anticipated asteroid impacts. Though there's no expected impacts in our relatively near future, such a technology may prove vital for protecting humanity in the future, and as such work is underway now to test possible defense methods. One of these tests will be carried out by NASA , and it'll involve slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid to divert its course.

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YouTube for Android TV app gets a major UI overhaul

YouTube for Android TV app gets a major UI overhaul

If you're both a YouTube and an Android TV user, it has been a while since you've felt any love from Google's video platform. The YouTube app for Android TV went a long while without any updates, but that has finally changed; the new version brings a major overhaul of the user interface, adding some new features into the mix. If you've used the newer YouTube app on some other streaming devices, you'll have a good idea about what to expect.

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Aztec skull tower reveals big new mystery about ancient culture

Aztec skull tower reveals big new mystery about ancient culture

In 2015, researchers unearthed a huge 'tower' made by the ancient Aztecs out of human skulls. The skulls would, per everything we know about the Aztecs, be ones that had belonged to warrior men from opposing groups who died young as sacrificial victims. Over the past couple years, though, archaeologists have discovered something they didn't expect to find in the tower: skulls belonging to women and children, ushering a big new mystery about what, exactly, the skull tower was for.

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Samsung’s standalone VR headset just got revealed

Samsung’s standalone VR headset just got revealed

Samsung has long offered a VR headset, but one that utilizes a smartphone as its 'brain' and display, requiring the user to insert their handset and then remove it after they're finished. While the Gear VR is excellent at what it does, there are many downsides to this kind of headset, ones that make the PS VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive more attractive in certain circumstances. The Korean company was rumored earlier this year to be working on its own standalone headset, and now we have all the details.

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Charter testing Spectrum Stream live streaming TV service

Charter testing Spectrum Stream live streaming TV service

Charter is currently testing an online streaming television service that could soon launch for customers across the nation. The service is billed as a cheaper alternative to traditional cable, one that comes with the convenience of online streaming versus using a satellite dish or a cable box. The service is called Spectrum Stream, and it competes with things like DirecTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and Hulu Live TV.

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DirecTV NOW is adding a bunch of local affiliate stations next week

DirecTV NOW is adding a bunch of local affiliate stations next week

AT&T has announced a big upcoming expansion to its DirecTV NOW television service, adding a large number of local affiliate stations. This channel expansion will take place starting next week; once it happens, DirecTV NOW's local station offerings will cover nearly 70-percent of households in the US with television. The local stations, of course, are the same as the local FOX and similar stations you get through traditional cable and satellite, bringing local news and more.

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Moto E4 released as Android’s sweetest deal

Moto E4 released as Android’s sweetest deal

Motorola is back with yet another budget phone, the Moto E4 unveiled earlier this month. This is the latest budget-friendly phone in Motorola's Android lineup, and it is available as of today from a couple budget carriers: Ting and Republic Wireless. As we reported the other day, Amazon is also offering the phone unlocked through its special discounted phone lineup, shaving a decent chunk of money off the already cheap phone's price tag. What's there to like about this handset? A whole lot.

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Samsung is developing solid-state phone batteries that won’t explode

Samsung is developing solid-state phone batteries that won’t explode

Samsung is taking steps to ensure another Galaxy Note 7 fiasco doesn't happen: it is developing solid-state batteries for smartphones, something that could be available to consumers within the next handful of years. The tip comes from an unnamed Samsung executive who recently spoke to a Korean publication anonymously, saying that the technology is only one or two years away.

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Samsung wants to patent magnetic VR controllers that track hand position

Samsung wants to patent magnetic VR controllers that track hand position

A newly surfaced patent indicates that Samsung could be working on new magnetic VR controllers for its Gear VR headset. The patent was filed back in December and published earlier this week, and in it we see details about controllers that utilize a magnetic field to determine the position of the user's hands. Virtual reality usage scenarios are specifically discussed in the patent, though the details mention using the controllers for multiple devices and not any single one in particular.

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Gut bacteria pathway may be key to treating obesity: study

Gut bacteria pathway may be key to treating obesity: study

Yet another study has found a link between obesity and gut bacteria, shedding light on a possible treatment option that excludes surgery. The findings were made by researchers with the Cleveland Clinic, which reports that a specific chemical called trimethylamine oxide -- TMAO for short -- is the potential key to this treatment. The chemical results from gut bacteria; mice without it demonstrated obesity protection even when consuming high-calorie diets.

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