Hands-on with the sci-fi game that falls apart as you play

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You're never going to play Clunker Junker in your living room or on your desktop PC, no matter how many GPUs it has. Hardware is the issue here, but it's not a matter of processing power — Clunker Junker requires two LED-adorned arm cranks, plus fou…
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After a Year Away from Earth, Scott Kelly’s “Space Genes” Set Him Apart From His Twin

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Scott and Mark Kelly are identical twin brothers. They’re also both former astronauts. Scott spent a year living in the International Space Station, while Mark was here on Earth. The Twin Study, as it was called, was an effort to help scientists understand the effects of extended time in space. NASA already has as pretty good grasp of what happens to the body after six months on the ISS. But the effects after a year are far more important if we’re going to eventually send people to Mars, and beyond.

Though Scott Kelly returned to Earth in March 2016, scientists are still running the data to figure out the effects on his body and mind. At the 2018 Investigator’s Workshop for NASA’s Human Research Program in January, NASA released its findings, revealing that Scott returned safely, but something about his gene expression had changed.

NASA measured Scott’s metabolites, cytokines and proteins before, during, and after his mission. Researchers learned that spaceflight is associated with oxygen deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression.
Furthermore, Scott’s telomeres (the ends of chromosomes that shorten as people get older) become longer while in space, but shortened again within 48 hours of Scott returning to Earth.

Perhaps the most interesting discovery is the change to Scott’s genes. 93 percent remained unchanged after the year-long stay in space, but the remaining 7 percent — referred to as “space genes” — were expressed differently (the DNA itself wasn’t fundamentally altered, as some headlines stated and The Verge notes). These changes might have long-lasting effects on the immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in tissue), and hypercapnia (an abundance of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream). 7 percent might sound insignificant, but in fact it amounts to several hundred of genes.

Expect more findings from the Twin Study in the near future, starting with an integrated summary paper NASA will publish later this year. NASA states a “series of smaller papers grouped by related research areas” will also be released this year.

The results of Scott Kelly’s year-long mission will help space agencies all over the world prepare astronauts for longer stints in space. NASA says Kelly’s work is a “stepping stone” to a three-year mission to Mars.

Hopefully, by the time the mission begins, NASA’s Mars lander will have told us much more about the Red Planet. That way, the astronauts will have a better idea of what to expect.

The post After a Year Away from Earth, Scott Kelly’s “Space Genes” Set Him Apart From His Twin appeared first on Futurism.

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Two Sirocco editions, twelve years apart – Nokia 8800 vs. Nokia 8

This Nokia/HMD event at the MWC in Barcelona was an emotional trip down memory lane. The Nokia 7 Plus may have stolen the show, but the Nokia 8 Sirocco and the Nokia 8110 4G have stolen our hearts. The banana phone and the famous Matrix handset – the Nokia 8110 – was brought back from the dead with a modern chip, LTE support, and everything. The 8810 4G will be available at just €79 and Banana Yellow is one of the two color options. But HMD is decided to keep those blasts from the past coming. After the iconic 3310 revival followed by this cult 8110 sequel, HMD dusted off yet another…

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The Morning After: Apple’s HomePod gets hacked apart

Morning there! Apple's technically impressive HomePod has literally been hacked into pieces, we get a taste of Qualcomm's potent smartphone chip (coming soon) and strap an editor into an Iron Man toy mask in the interests of Journalism with a capital…
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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Hardware and Software Integration Will Set HomePod Apart From Competitors

Apple CEO Tim Cook is spending some time in Canada this week, and yesterday he attended a hockey game and visited the Eaton Centre Apple Store in Toronto.

Cook today stopped by the offices of Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify, where he spoke to the Financial Post about augmented reality apps and the HomePod.


On the topic of the HomePod, Cook said that Apple’s deep integration between hardware and software will help to differentiate the smart speaker from competing products like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home.

“Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it,” Cook said. “(But) if you are both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.”

Cook also said a quality, “very immersive audio experience” was one thing missing from the smart speaker market, which Apple is aiming to fix. “Music deserves that kind of quality as opposed to some kind of squeaky sound,” he said.

The HomePod, which, at $349 in the United States is more expensive than competing products, features a 7 tweeter array, an Apple-designed 4-inch upward-facing woofer, and spatial awareness, all of which is designed to provide the best possible sound.

During his interview with the Financial Post, Cook also spoke about augmented reality, a topic he’s covered many times in the past. Cook said AR is “the most profound technology of the future” that’s able to amplify human experience instead of substitute it.

Cook said developers across Canada are adopting AR at a “very fast rate” and that he “couldn’t be happier” with developer interest in ARKit.

Cook’s full interview, which includes additional comments on augmented reality and details on features coming to Shopify, can be read over at the Financial Post website.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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Tim Cook explains what sets HomePod apart from existing smart speakers

As part of his one-day tour of Canada yesterday, Tim Cook offered an interview to the Financial Post following his visit to e-commerce platform Shopify’s headquarters. Cook used the interview as an opportunity to tout Apple’s efforts in augmented realty, as well as talk about the HomePod…

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Tim Cook talks about how the HomePod sets itself apart from Amazon and Google

During Tim Cook’s visit to Toronto, Apple coincidentally dropped news that its delayed home assistant speaker, the HomePod, is going to be available for pre-order on Friday in the US, UK, and Australia with units arriving on February 9. Also during the visit, Financial Post held an interview with Cook to discuss the HomePod and what the current home speaker competitors (Amazon and Google) aren’t quite doing right. Tim Cook explained that Apple’s integration between hardware and software services (and iOS) are what will set the HomePod apart from other speakers that are currently…

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Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society

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Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions…

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Amazon patents self-destructing drone that falls apart in an emergency

One of the big worries about delivery drones is what happens if something goes wrong mid-delivery? We don’t want people’s parcels (or the drones carrying them) falling from the sky, causing damage and injury. Well, Amazon thinks this might not actually be a bad idea — as long as the drones fall safely. Earlier this week, the company was granted a patent for the “direct fragmentation for unmanned airborne vehicles.” In other words: a drone that takes itself apart midair if something goes wrong.

The patent describes how an onboard “fragmentation controller” would take charge in the event of a catastrophic failure, like a battery exploding or propellor failing. The computer would quickly study the drone’s flight path, weather conditions,…

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