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How do we stop robots from killing us? Make them squishy

Killer robots are already among us. Not weaponized drones, but industrial robots working alongside humans in factories that can cause significant injuries and occasionally deaths if an accident occurs. In 2015, an employee at a Volkswagen factory in Germany was killed when a robot picked up and crushed him. Factory workers are typically separated from robots by a physical barrier to minimize accidents. But this prevents all except the most basic of cooperation. A simple way of trying to make robots less dangerous is to coat them in foam to absorb the impact of any collision. But this method has…

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The Next Web

Is Pollution Artificially Shielding Us From Climate Change?

An Unexpected Shade

Pollution and climate change both threaten our health as individuals and our survival as a species. Their mutual relationship may seem straightforward: since the industrial revolution, thick smoke belching from chimneys and cars has contributed to both warming the planet and clouding our streets in equal measure.

Now a new study, published in the journal Geophysical Letters, offers a different interpretation, suggesting that removing pollution from the atmosphere could significantly exacerbate climate change.

The team, led by climate scientist Bjørn Samset from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway, found that removing the tiny polluting particles caused by industrial activity could result in “a global mean surface heating between 0.5 and 1.1°C,” as well as a 2.0 to 4.6 percent rise in precipitation.

“This kind of air pollution, mainly in the form of sulfate particles, basically acts as miniature mirrors in the air. They reflect back some of the sunlight, cooling the Earth just like you can cool yourself by walking into the shade,” Samset told Futurism. “If we remove that, to clean up our air and reduce mortality due to respiratory and lung disease, we’ll also be giving global warming a boost, unfortunately.”

Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, one of the authors of the study who heads the Climate Science and Impacts division at Climate Analytics — a Berlin-based non-profit climate science and policy institute — said that while the warming impact of removing aerosols isn’t a new discovery, this study quantifies it for the first time.

For instance, he said, regions such as East Asia that are currently extremely polluted would likely experience severe consequences when anthropogenic aerosols are removed. “Our main finding is that there will be very strong regional effects,” Schleussner told Futurism. In East Asia, the impact of an accelerated climate change could lead to increased precipitation and extreme weather events.

Achieving the Paris Goal

By no means do the researchers suggest that we leave these pollutants be. But they want to get across the message that we are not going to curb climate change by combating air pollution alone.

Air pollution has spiraled into a public health crisis in megacities such as Beijing, London or New Delhi, and it needs to be addressed urgently. At the same time, as nations work together under the Paris Agreement to meet their respective emission targets, understanding the relationship between aerosol reduction and global warming becomes strategically important, the researchers say.

“The reason why the aerosol issue has become critical now, is that we’ve decided to seriously try for at most two degrees of global warming,” Samset explained. “If aerosol cleanup led to half a degree of warming or more, then we would have less room for greenhouse gases. We won’t be able to completely eliminate air pollution, so it’s very relevant to know just how sensitive the climate is to such cleanup.”

However Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy Program believes that a solution is already there. He told Futurism that “the best strategy from a health and climate perspective is to transition [to 100 percent clean energy] to eliminate greenhouse gases and all aerosol particles simultaneously.”

Jacobson, who wasn’t part of the study, also observed that it’s possible to reduce emissions selectively and “such targeted reductions would not only slow global warming but also improve human health,” as a Stanford study suggested.

In general, he believes that no sound climate change policy would focus solely on aerosol reduction. “The most likely policies going forward will result in a transition of all energy from combustion to electricity provided by clean, renewable energy,” he explained.

Answering Jacobson’s objections, Samset explained that while a balanced solution is the best way forward, it’s highly probable that it won’t occur in a controlled way. “Air pollution will be reduced — and is, in fact, already being strongly reduced — for health reasons, and we’ll just have to deal with the consequences of that,” he said.

While questions over the implementation of anti-pollution policies remain open, speeding up emission reduction is paramount, Samset said. “If we’re serious about mitigating climate change, we need to also reduce greenhouse gas emissions very rapidly. A very well-known point by now, of course, but here’s yet another reason to put force behind it.”

The post Is Pollution Artificially Shielding Us From Climate Change? appeared first on Futurism.


Hackers stole $400 million from cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck

One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has revealed that it’s lost nearly $ 400 million in a security breach. Coincheck says that it has restricted deposits and withdrawals for a cryptocurrency called NEM, and Bloomberg reports that 500 million NEM tokens have been sent from the company “illicitly,” and that it’s not sure how.

The company has since suspended most trading and withdrawals, and is working to trace where the missing digital currency ended up. In a Tweet, the exchange said that it was considering compensating those who lost money.

NEM is a digital currently like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, and is presently the eight largest cryptocurrency by volume. TechCrunch describes the currency as a “distributed ledger…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

[Deal Alert] Netgear Orbi mesh router with wall satellite is $194 ($55 off) from Amazon, $199 ($50 off) from Best Buy

Mesh routers make it easier to cover large areas with great Wi-Fi coverage. Think of each mesh station as a cell phone tower, where your devices automatically switch to whichever one has the best signal. No more upstairs-only networks, or $ 30 janky repeaters that interfere with other signals. If you’ve been itching to try one, Netgear’s Orbi system is on sale again.

This particular model is the router + wall satellite combo, which means you get one base station and one ‘satellite’ (basically just a less-powerful station that plugs directly into an outlet).

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[Deal Alert] Netgear Orbi mesh router with wall satellite is $ 194 ($ 55 off) from Amazon, $ 199 ($ 50 off) from Best Buy was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

These iOS apps from Microsoft all support iPhone X

Here we list all of the apps from Microsoft that are notch and Face-ID friendly.

Apple’s shiny new iPhone X has a couple of defining features that require specific support from app developers: The “notch” at the top of the display and Face ID.

Updating apps takes time, even for big developers like Microsoft. Right now if you’re using the iPhone X, you’ll have a mix of apps that look awesome and support the phone properly. Then there are the apps that are letterboxed as if they’re on one of the “normal” iPhones.

This list doesn’t include all of Microsoft apps, and there are some you’ll notice missing. But that’ll change eventually, and as apps are given support we’ll keep this list updated.

Below are the apps that currently support iPhone X and their download links for the iOS App Store.

If there are any we missed that were recently updated be sure to let us know in the comments.

iMore – Learn more. Be more.

Apple’s Grammy Ads Feature Animoji Singing Songs From Migos and Childish Gambino

Apple’s Animoji are starring in two new ads Apple created for the Grammys, with Apple using the popular Animoji karaoke phenomenon to promote the iPhone X.

The ads, shared by Apple on YouTube, feature the alien Animoji singing “Redbone” by Childish Gambino and the Animoji dog, fox, and poop singing “Stir Fry” from Migos. Other Animoji characters and emoji also make appearances in the two videos.

Animoji are 3D emoji characters that are designed to mimic your facial expressions and emotions using the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X. Shortly after the iPhone X launched, people discovered that you could use Animoji to record yourself lip syncing to a song and then overlay the original music, leading to the birth of Animoji karaoke.

Animoji karaoke is not as popular as it was following the debut of the iPhone X, but Apple has previously featured Animoji karaoke in iPhone X ads.

You can watch the two new Animoji ad spots on YouTube, or catch them during the Grammys on January 28. The “Alien” ad will air following Childish Gambino’s performance, while the “Amigos” ad will air right after the Best Rap Album category, which Migos is nominated for, according to Adweek.

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Ted Ullyot is retiring from Andreessen Horowitz after almost three years running the firm’s policy team

Ullyot previously served as general counsel at Facebook.

Ted Ullyot, the former general counsel of Facebook, is retiring from his post overseeing policy and regulatory affairs at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Ullyot plans to continue to advise tech companies as needed on political issues, he said in a note posted Friday on Facebook and shared early with Recode. Andreessen Horowitz, meanwhile, has no immediate plans to replace him, a spokeswoman said.

“After turning 50 this past year, I’ve decided to return to retired life (which I was doing before coming aboard at Andreessen Horowitz),” Ullyot wrote. “I recognize that I’m fortunate to have this flexibility, and want to take full advantage. Even though ‘re-retired,’ it won’t be ONLY golf, travel, and dealing with mid-life crises. I’ll continue to help out interesting companies as an advisor and board member; do some teaching; more volunteering on causes important to our family; and occasional commentary on tech policy issues.”

Ullyot joined Andreessen Horowitz in April 2015, as investors there sought to help their broad portfolio of companies — including Airbnb and Lyft — navigate regulatory hurdles around the country.

“The goal is to make sure we’re facilitating a dialogue between [regulators] and a lot of the early-stage tech companies we invest in,” said Scott Kupor, its managing partner, in an interview announcing Ullyot’s hire in 2015.

Those challenges certainly haven’t dissipated nearly three years later, particularly at a time when Andreessen Horowitz is doubling down on investments in areas like bitcoin and blockchain.

“We drafted Ted out of his first ‘retirement’ to help us as a firm build a bridge between Silicon Valley and D.C. He’s done just that to the benefit of both entrepreneurs and policy makers,” Kupor said in a statement to Recode today. “We look forward to continuing to work with Ted as he ‘re-retires.’”

Before joining the firm, Ullyot held a number of high-profile positions: Serving as a key aide to former President George W. Bush, a top official at the Justice Department, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and a five-year stint at Facebook as its general counsel, which he departed in 2013.

Recode – All

iOS 11.2.5 SEP Compatible With iOS 11.1.2, Which Means You Can Downgrade From It For Jailbreak Purposes

Want to jailbreak iOS 11.2.5? Well, the good news is that you can now downgrade from iOS 11.2.5 to iOS 11.1.2 provided you have SHSH2 blobs saved for it. Here are the details.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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