OnePlus system app accused of sending data without asking [UPDATED]

Update: After a few other knowledgeable Redditors chimed into a Reddit thread discussing these accusations, the original poster of the tweet that accused OnePlus posted the following: If you head to this Reddit thread you can see a breakdown that proves that OnePlus doesn’t send information if the user has opted out of usage logging and crash reports. The phone will log SOME stuff locally (which is true of many other smartphone manufacturers), but it is not sent if the “Join User Experience Program” box is unchecked. The blatant accusation that OnePlus “is still sending logs…

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The first asteroid we’ve seen from outside our Solar System is totally bizarre

Astronomers have confirmed that an object that recently passed by our planet is from outside our Solar System — the first interstellar asteroid that’s ever been observed. And it doesn’t look like any object we’ve ever seen in our cosmic neighborhood before.

Follow-up observations, detailed today in Nature, have found that the asteroid is dark and reddish, similar to the objects in the outer Solar System. It doesn’t have any gas or dust surrounding it, like comets do, and it’s stretched long and skinny, looking a bit like an oddly shaped pen. It’s thought to be about a quarter-mile long, and about 10 times longer than it is wide. That makes it unlike any asteroids seen in our Solar System, none of which are so elongated.

Continue reading…

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Google adds Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor to the Google Store

When Google recently decided to sell only company-made hardware in the Google Store, Nest products were kept in stock. That’s not exactly a surprise, given that it’s a subsidiary of Alphabet, just like Google. Now the lineup of Nest security cameras, thermostats, and other smart home security accessories sold in the Google Store is expanding.

The Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor have been added to the Google Store – with varying availability, of course:

The Nest Cam IQ outdoor is the only one of the four newly added Nest products that has a live “Buy” link.

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Google adds Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor to the Google Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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MIT Researchers Develop a System That Can Store Thermal Energy for Hours

Canned Heat

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have produced a battery-like system capable of storing thermal energy and releasing it when needed.

The MIT system hinges upon the use of a phase change material (PCM). When exposed to heat, the substance takes on a liquid form in which it stockpiles energy. When it cools enough to return to a solid state, that energy is released.

Typically, the biggest drawbacks of PCMs are their need for a great deal of insulation to hold onto the energy and the uncontrollable rate at which they turn back into a solid. To tackle those issues, the MIT researchers combined their PCM with molecular switches that change shape when exposed to light.

The blue LED lamp setup triggers the heat discharge from the PCM. Image Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT

After ultraviolet light is applied to the material, it remains in a liquid state even in the absence of heat. A second pulse of light prompts the compound to change into a solid once again and release the energy.

“What we are doing technically is installing a new energy barrier, so the stored heat cannot be released immediately,” Grace Han, an MIT postdoc who contributed to the project, explained in an MIT news release.

The system stores around 200 joules of energy per gram and can withstand a temperature change of around 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit). It can retain heat for 10 hours, which is a major improvement over the current standard of just minutes. The system’s creators expect that it will be refined even further with continued study and development.

Storage Space

The MIT team’s design for storing thermal energy has a wealth of potential applications, and eventually, the technology could provide a solution for people in developing countries that don’t have a traditional power grid.

Not only can the system absorb heat from the Sun, it’s also capable of harness waste energy from industrial processes. That means it could absorb the energy emitted as heat from heavy machinery and then release that energy later to heat a living space.

The system could help people in urban areas limit their energy usage, and the team behind the project has already been contacted by people interested in implementing the technology as a means of cooking food in rural India.

It also has the potential to provide more modular energy infrastructure than a power grid. That would simplify the rebuild process in the wake of a natural disaster, something that could help dramatically in situations like the one currently ongoing in Puerto Rico.

In essence, it’s a method of storing thermal energy — be it from the Sun or another source — that’s otherwise going to waste. If we can find a way to implement the system on a large scale, it could help chip away at our reliance on fossil fuels.

The post MIT Researchers Develop a System That Can Store Thermal Energy for Hours appeared first on Futurism.

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Huawei gives update on smart cities ‘nervous system’ initiative

Huawei says its ‘nervous system’ implementation for smart cities has helped more than 100 areas.

The company compares the concept of a smart city to a living organism that works continuously to enhance the services of the city. Using new ICT, such as cloud computing, big data, IoT, and AI, drive unified coordination, cross-sector collaboration, and intelligent analysis for effective management of services in a smart city, Huawei says.

Participating at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2017 (SCEWC) in Barcelona, Spain, under the theme "Leading New ICT, Creating a Smart City Nervous System”, Huawei demonstrated the new ICT solution, together with its global partners, to connect the digital and physical worlds. Regular readers of this publication will already be aware of the ‘nervous system’ concept, having first been reported in September.

Huawei also exhibited some other comprehensive smart city solutions such as smart rubbish bins, smart streetlight, smart watering, smart building, smart metering, and smart healthcare. Huawei’s IoT platform, LiteOS operating system, and advanced technologies helps the company formulate ubiquitous sensing systems.  The Smart Campus Solution was also launched to drive industrial evolution and development.

“Huawei is committed to creating a strong nervous system that powers smart cities,” said Yan Lida, president of Huawei enterprise business group. “With our innovations and investment in various technologies, we develop an open platform for smart cities, which is compatible with various devices and supports a wide range of applications. We aim to be the rich soil that supports the robust and sustainable development of smart cities.

“Huawei is one of the few ICT solution providers in the industry that can offer end to end cloud-pipe-device solutions, leading the way to connecting the physical and digital worlds,” added Yan. “We will continue to work together with our ecosystem of partners to create top-level designs addressing city administrators’ needs and achieving the ultimate goals of a smart city – to enable good governance, promote industry development and deliver benefits for the people.”

Elsewhere, Inseego has announced integration with Current, powered by GE to deploy 3,200 intelligent CityIQ sensor nodes in San Diego, CA. The deployments, considered to be world's largest smart city IoT sensor platform installation, will help optimise traffic and parking as well as strengthen public safety and environmental awareness.

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