Google rolls out April 2018 Android security update, includes functional improvements for Pixel and Nexus devices

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Google has started rolling out new over-the-air (OTA) update for Pixel and Nexus devices and also posted factory images as part of monthly Android Security release. The update for this month also includes a lot of functional improvements for these eligible Pixel and Nexus smartphones. Functional improvements for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X in April 2018 security update References Category Improvements Devices A-35963245 Performance Enable Assisted Dialing support Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-37681923 A-68215016 Logging Improve anomaly detection metrics All A-63908720 Logging Improve diskstats logging All A-64101451 Performance Improve handover from VoLTE to VoWi-Fi during Emergency calls on certain carriers Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-64586126 Camera Improve microvideo performance in Google Camera Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-64610438 Performance Reduce delays upon opening specific apps Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65175134 Video Improve decoding of certain video streams Pixel, Pixel XL A-65347520 Performance Improve fingerprint and keyboard latency in certain situations Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65490850 UI Adjust notifications when entering or exiting Wi-Fi coverage during a video call Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65509134 Connectivity Enable IMS911 on certain networks Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL A-66951771 Logging Detect Wi-Fi Passport statistics for developers All A-66957450 Performance Improve lock screen performance All A-67094673 Logging Improve start time logging All A-67589241 Performance Improve magnetic sensor performance on Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-67593274 Battery Reduce battery drain after modem issues Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-67634615 Stability Improve modem stability on Pixel and Pixel 2 phones Pixel, Pixel …
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Review: Pionears Are Fun & Functional True Wireless Earbuds

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One of the coolest gadgets I saw CES, according to myself, my friends, and my family, was the Pionears Wireless Earbuds ($ 69.99) from Origaudio. At first glance, it looks like an oversized Zippo lighter (about the size of a deck of playing cards), but it’s really a charging case for two remarkably tiny earbuds. And the lid snaps open and closed (thanks to magnets) just like a lighter, but for a much healthier use case! The storage case itself has a 4,400mAh battery; and what is really cool is that it slips into a charging dock with integrated A/C wall plugs, so no cables are needed.

Related: Top 10 Bluetooth Speakers for Wireless Listening at Home and on the Go

The unit is sold in Silver or Silver with Black, but I think the all-silver version looks the best. The compact earbuds can be adorned with several sizes of ear tips. They only get three hours of battery life; but when it’s that fun whipping out your charger, maybe that’s part of the charm.

Origaudio

The earbuds list for $ 119.99, but as I write this, they are on sale for $ 69.99. Origaudio is generous with sales and discounts, so check its website often.

Pros

  • Clever design
  • Integrated A/C wall plugs
  • Silver or Silver with Black models
  • Remarkably compact earbuds
  • Several ear tip sizes

Cons

  • Three hours of battery life

Final Verdict

If you don’t want to be a sheep with boring earbuds, check out the Pionears Wireless Earbuds from Origaudio.

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Google rolls out March 2018 Android security update, includes functional improvements for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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Google has started rolling out new over-the-air (OTA) update for Pixel and Nexus devices and also posted factory images as part of monthly Android Security release. The update for this month also includes functional improvements for both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. Functional improvements for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in March 2018 security update Improve screen wake performance with fingerprint unlock (Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL) Improve audio performance when recording video (Pixel 2 XL) Improve crash reporting (Pixel 2 and  Pixel 2 XL) New builds for the Pixel and Nexus devices with March 2018 Android Security update: Pixel,  Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL (OPM1.171019.021) Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X (OPM3.171019.016 and OPM5.171019.017) Pixel C has not received the latest security update yet. Check out the complete set of issues that are fixed in the latest update in the Android Security Bulletin here and download full factory images or OTA images for these Pixel and Nexus devices from the Google Developers website, if you don’t have the over-the-air (OTA) update yet.
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Google posts system images and OTA files for March 2018 patches, including functional Pixel improvements

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Another month is just starting, and that means it’s time for the latest round of Pixel and nexus patches to roll out. Google has posted both the system images and the OTA files, so you can get the latest version on your device without waiting for the update. You might actually want to go out of your way this time as there are some functional updates for Pixel devices.

As usual, you’ve got your choice of OTA files or system images.

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Google posts system images and OTA files for March 2018 patches, including functional Pixel improvements was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hackers have turned the Nintendo Switch into a functional Linux tablet

There are two major reasons I can think of to hack a game console. The first one is obvious: so you can play cracked copies of games. That’s why modern consoles are so difficult to hack, because millions of dollars are on the line.

But some people just want to run any software they choose on the hardware they own. And for those people, Linux on the Switch is a huge achievement.

A couple of weeks ago, the fail0verflow hacking collective showed a still image on Twitter of a Nintendo Switch booting Linux. They’re one of a small handful of hacker teams who are teasing exploits of the Nvidia Tegra hardware inside the Switch.

But now fail0verflow has video of a full-on Linux distro running on the hacked Switch, complete with touchscreen…

Continue reading…

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You’ll Never Regret a Futuristic, Functional Tattoo Like This One

These tattoos change colors based on the body’s conditions. They could be tremendously helpful for people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

The post You’ll Never Regret a Futuristic, Functional Tattoo Like This One appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Genetically Modified Beetles Grew a Fully Functional Third Eye

The concept of a “third eye” is usually associated with perception beyond the physical world, but in a new scientific case, it provides insight into evolutionary development.

Researchers have intentionally genetically modified a common beetle to develop a third functional eye, right in the middle of its forehead.

It builds on previous research in which they caused a beetle to grow a third eye accidentally. Both studies were led by Indiana University postdoctoral researcher Eduardo Zattara.

“Developmental biology is beautifully complex in part because there’s no single gene for an eye, a brain, a butterfly’s wing or a turtle’s shell,” explained researcher Armin Moczek of Indiana University.

“Instead, thousands of individual genes and dozens of developmental processes come together to enable the formation of each of these traits. We’ve also learned that evolving a novel physical trait is much like building a novel structure out of Lego bricks, by re-using and recombining ‘old’ genes and developmental processes within new contexts.”

This means that evolving new features may not be as complicated as scientists previously thought, requiring fewer genetic changes.

genetically modified scarab beetle thirs eye full inset
(Eduardo Zattara/Indiana University)

In the original research, the team switched off a gene that is involved in the development of the heads of dung beetles, which caused quite drastic changes to the structure of their heads.

The beetles lost their horns – and developed a compound eye in the middle of their heads. Moreover, it only worked in horned beetles, not other kinds.

“We were amazed that shutting down a gene could not only turn off development of horns and major regions of the head, but also turn on the development of very complex structures such as compound eyes in a new location,” Zattara said last year.

“The fact that this doesn’t happen in Tribolium is equally significant, as it suggests that orthodenticle genes have acquired a new function: to direct head and horn formation only in the highly modified head of horned beetles.”

The development of organs in an abnormal place – called ectopic organs – is a technique scientists use to try and understand how new physical traits evolve.

This has been done in fruit flies – in 1995, a team of scientists published a paper that described how they’d managed to grow ectopic eyes on the wings and legs of fruit flies.

The work of Zattara’s team, by comparison, was much simpler. They set out to intentionally grow a third eye in two types of scarab beetle, Onthophagini and Oniticellini, by wiping out just a single gene, the same head development gene from their earlier research.

genetically modified scarab beetle third eye control comparison
Control (left) and genetically modified scarab (right). (Zattara et al./PNAS)

The third eyes the beetles developed actually resulted from fused pairs of eyes. They also lost their horns, or grew much smaller horns, consistent with the earlier research.

The team then conducted multiple tests to confirm that the new eye had the same cell types, genes, nerve connections and behavioural responses as a normal eye.

“This study experimentally disrupts the function of a single, major gene. And, in response to this disruption, the remainder of head development reorganizes itself to produce a highly complex trait in a new place: a compound eye in the middle of the head,” Moczek said.

“Moreover, the darn thing actually works!”

The research could help understand how organs develop and become part of a body – which knowledge, in turn, could prove useful in the development of artificial lab-grown organs, for both research and medical purposes.

The team’s paper has been published in the journal PNAS.

The post Genetically Modified Beetles Grew a Fully Functional Third Eye appeared first on Futurism.

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Android’s monthly security bulletin now details functional updates for Pixels and Nexus phones

Google has been publishing its security bulletin for the monthly Android patches for a long time, but starting October 2017 (last month), it created a special bulletin for Nexus and Pixel devices. With the newly released November patch, Google has started populating one new section in the bulletin that details “Functional updates.”

Google has recently started using the monthly patches not just for security fixes, but also as an opportunity to fix functional bugs on Nexus and Pixel phones and add really urgent features that could not wait until a full system software update.

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Android’s monthly security bulletin now details functional updates for Pixels and Nexus phones was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Scientists May Have Discovered a “Functional Cure” for HIV

Suppressing HIV

Science has proposed multiple ways to rid the body of HIV, such as through careful surgery or gene editing, but a new study published this week offers a treatment for the disease unlike anything before it.

Researched by a team of scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the method involves the use of a novel compound capable of suppressing the HIV virus and preventing its resurgence. TSRI Associate Professor Susana Valente calls it a “Block-and-Lock” approach meant to stop the “reactivation of the virus in cells, even during treatment interruptions, and locks HIV into durable state of latency.”

The compound used to subdue HIV-infected cells is known as didehydro-Cortistatin A (dCA), and it’s based on another natural compound. When introduced to the body, dCA stops the virus’s production, activation, and the replenishment of other infected cells that would contribute to the spread and growth of HIV.

Authors of the recent study (From left to right): Susana Valente, Cari F. Kessing and Chuan Li. Image Credit: The Scripps Research Institute
Authors of the recent study (From left to right): Susana Valente, Cari F. Kessing and Chuan Li. Image Credit: The Scripps Research Institute

“No other anti-retroviral used in the clinic today is able to completely suppress viral production in infected cells in vivo,” explained Valente. “When combining this drug with the standard cocktail of anti-retrovirals used to suppress infection in humanized mouse models of HIV-1 infection, our study found a drastic reduction in virus RNA present—it is really the proof-of-concept for a ‘functional cure.’”

Test Phase

Using lab mice to study the effects of dCA combined with anti-retroviral therapy, the team observed the virus did not reactivate for 19 days. For mice that only received anti-retroviral treatment, the virus returned in just 7 days. Prior to halting treatment, the mice were given a single month’s course using “the maximum tolerable dose of the drug—with virtually no side effects.”

It’s unclear how long HIV could be subdued, though Valente and her team think longer treatments could result in a longer period of time before the virus reappears. It could also result in a permanent suppression. There’s also the matter of hindering the virus again after it rebounds, and taking note of the reduced effects of the initial treatment. The team has already started on the additional research needed to address these questions.

“This is the only class of drugs that stops infected cells from making viruses outright,” continued Valente. “All current antivirals work later in the viral lifecycle, so only a HIV transcriptional inhibitor like dCA can stop the side effects of low-level virus production.”

A timeframe for when dCA could be tested on humans was not given, however its development is sure to bring hope to those studying, and living with, HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1.1 million people in the U.S were living with HIV in 2014, with 40,000 people being diagnosed in 2015.

Science isn’t close to being done with HIV, and it’s hopefully only a matter of time before we have improved ways to fight back against it.

The post Scientists May Have Discovered a “Functional Cure” for HIV appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple’s AirPlay 2 not currently functional in iOS 11 devices connected to tvOS 11

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Apple’s AirPlay 2 discussion at the 2017 WWDC promised streaming support to multiple targets from an iPhone or iPad — but initial testing seems to suggest that the feature is not currently enabled in iOS 11, tvOS 11 or both.
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