Author Archives: Lindsey Caldwell


Microsoft Office finally comes to Android phones

Microsoft Office finally comes to Android phones

Microsoft Office for Android phones is here. At last, Android users can maximize productivity as well as iOS and Windows Phone users. Until now, if Android users had Office 365 they could use Office Mobile, which was pretty basic. With the new apps, Office 365 users still get an advantage. (Otherwise what would be point of the subscription fee?) While the apps are free to all users, the people without 365 accounts will be limited to opening, editing, and saving files. 365 members will have functionality that almost mirrors the full PC versions. For example, subscribers get a button in the Word for Android app that brings up a pop-up tool tray where you can make changes to layout, format, paragraphs, headers, footers and more without ever having to leave the document.

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Google pairs with scientists to make genetic analysis cloud service

Google pairs with scientists to make genetic analysis cloud service

Human DNA may be small, but it packs a lot of information--so much, that it can take time for genetic researchers to pore over data in hopes of making the connections that could one day find cures to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Google Cloud Platform puts the same technologies that are behind Google Search and Google Maps into genetic data organization with its Google Genomics project. The project's newest partner is the Broad Institute which is a genetic research center that specializes in biomedical discoveries and maintains partnerships with renown research groups such as Harvard and MIT.

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Roost smart battery for smoke detectors now up for pre-order on Amazon

Roost smart battery for smoke detectors now up for pre-order on Amazon

The era of the Internet of Things (IoT) is upon us. Roost's new smart battery gives you a chance to jump on the interconnected band wagon without having to buy entirely new smart appliances. Roost's smart battery is designed to give a new dimension to an ordinary smoke or carbon monoxide detector, letting you monitor your alarms from anywhere via wi-fi. The smart batteries are also designed to last five times longer than ordinary 9V batteries, so you'll only need to change them once every five years.

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Apple Music renegotiates contract terms, luring independent labels

Apple Music renegotiates contract terms, luring independent labels

Apple Music launches in less than one week, on June 30th. The streaming service is making itself attractive to customers by offering a three-month trial period, hoping that users from established rivals like Spotify drop by and stick around for the premium subscription service. At first, Apple's plan was to forgo paying artists during this trial period. It was a huge blow to independent labels as they are the ones who can't risk giving up a quarter of a year's worth of revenue. Thankfully for artists, Taylor Swift called Apple out on its practices in an open letter, swaying Apple Music to change its tune.

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Researchers create creepy, hyperrealistic CGI skin

Researchers create creepy, hyperrealistic CGI skin

A newly developed CGI rendering technique is about to take CGI renditions of human skin to an "uncanny valley" level of creepy. Until now, rendering only created "mesoscale" details such as pores and wrinkles. This new CGI method captures details on a "microscale" which includes the texture within pores and extremely fine lines. Normally, skin microstructures that are under one-tenth of a millimeter are not reconstructed in CGI, even though they have a large impact in the way we perceive facial expressions.

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Ford jumps in the race to develop self-driving cars

Ford jumps in the race to develop self-driving cars

Ford is amping up its research into autonomous technologies in the hopes of creating a self-driving car. The company is a bit of a late-comer to the emerging market of autonomous vehicles. Auto industry competitors such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are already well on their way past proof-of-concept. (We even took a spin in the autonomous Mercedes F 015!) Tech industry giants like Google and newcomer, Uber, already have prototypes on the road.

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NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA is has developed a new sense-and-avoid system that will let unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) fly routine operations. The technology is currently undergoing its third round of testing. The researchers will use live data to validate the aircraft's trajectory, sensor, and other simulation models. The real-time data collection is designed to help the UAV move out of the path of incoming hazards like other aircraft.

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Tidal fires CEO amid fears of competition from incoming Apple Music

Tidal fires CEO amid fears of competition from incoming Apple Music

Tidal has just let go of its CEO, Peter Tonstad. As Tonstad was only the interim CEO, it's natural that his time with Tidal would come to an end. But, Tidal doesn't have anyone stepping in to take over as CEO, indicating the change is abrupt. Tonstad had only been with Tidal since April when he replaced the previous CEO, Andy Chen. This juggling act of power positions comes as Tidal gets a new competitor on the streaming scene, Apple Music.

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Facebook doesn’t need your face to recognize you

Facebook doesn’t need your face to recognize you

Facebook has developed the next level of facial recognition software that is so clever, it can identify you even if your face is obscured. If you were paranoid about being auto-tagged in pictures before, Facebook's new recognition capabilities won't do anything to allay those fears. This new algorithm removes any residual layers of privacy a user would have from photographing themselves from the neck down, or covering their face. The AI behind the development seems human-like its ability to identify a friend from the back of their head.

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Polish airline victim to DDoS attack, U.S. planes could be susceptible

Polish airline victim to DDoS attack, U.S. planes could be susceptible

A cyber attack grounded a fleet of aircraft in Poland on Sunday. All the planes were part of the Polish national airline, LOT. although the Polish domestic intelligence agency is being stingy with details, they claim the 1,400 passengers who were stranded were never actually in any danger. The flight plan systems that were affected are not used not used during actual flight. Therefore, none of the planes already en route were affected, only those on the ground at Chopin airport in Warsaw.

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NASA’s Cassini captures rare, triple crescent moon on Saturn

NASA’s Cassini captures rare, triple crescent moon on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997, is on a mission to study Saturn and its mesmerizing rings and moons. Saturn has nine named moons and a total of fifty-three natural satellites in its orbit. As the multiple moons wax and wane in light, they create an image that looks like it belongs in a science fiction movie instead of our own solar system. This triple crescent moon sighting was captured by Cassini in March, but has just now been released by NASA.

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U.S. Army and Air Force build laser-blasting bomb-disposal vehicle

U.S. Army and Air Force build laser-blasting bomb-disposal vehicle

The latest technology from the U.S. Air Force and Army that could head into the battlefield involves harnessing laser power to destroy fields of landmines from a safe distance. The Air Force-built laser will be incorporated into the Army's mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs). The specific prototype is known as RADBO which stands for Recovery of Airbase Denied by Ordinance. It's a lengthy moniker, but it accurately describes the missions in which the laser should be used--turning an airfield that is littered with landmines into a usable airbase with as few casualties as possible.

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