Nearly a quarter of current iPhone users already plan to buy Apple’s next smartphone — even before they know what new features it will bring. That’s the most surprising finding from a new poll, which also shows demand for iPhone upgrades has stabilized at a high level. Heavy demand for an unannounced product shows trust […]
Resource-draining currency miners are a regular part of the Google Play market, as scammers pump out apps that covertly harness millions of devices, in some cases with malware so aggressive it can physically damage phones. A popular title in the Mac App Store recently embraced coin mining openly, and so far Apple gatekeepers haven’t blocked it.
The app is Calendar 2, a scheduling app that aims to include more features than the Calendar app that Apple bundles with macOS. In recent days, Calendar 2 developer Qbix endowed it with code that mines the digital coin known as Monero. The xmr-stack miner isn’t supposed to run unless users specifically approve it in a dialog that says the mining will be in exchange for turning on a set of premium features. If users approve the arrangement, the miner will then run. Users can bypass this default action by selecting an option to keep the premium features turned off or to pay a fee to turn on the premium features.
Feels like the first time
If Calendar 2 isn’t the first known app offered in Apple’s official and highly exclusive App Store to do currency mining, it’s one of the very few. The discovery comes as sky-high valuations have pushed the limits of currency mining and led to a surge of websites and malware that surreptitiously mine digital coins on mobile devices, personal computers, and business servers. Calendar 2 is slightly different in the sense that it clearly discloses the miner it runs by default. That puts it in a grayer zone than most of the miners seen to date.
HomePod may leave a lot to be desired in its current state (and the occasional wood-stained ring), but we’ve seen no reports of Siri spontaneously laughing for no apparent reason. The same can no longer be said for Amazon Echo’s Alexa…
Hall One at Mobile World Congress – a single space more massive than most conference centers in major cities – contained only a few displays. Although a quarter of the room housed small phone and mobile manufacturers, Huawei controlled the rest, creating a walled-off compound patrolled by women in folk costumes from many lands. The Small World After All jollity stopped at the gates. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch
Apple has just confirmed that it’s using Google servers as part of its storage solution for some of iCloud data. Here are the details.
[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]
Files Go made an unplanned debut back in November, and it’s since been updated with a couple of new features, including Drive backup integration and better SD card support. Google still appears to be hard at work with Files Go, as is evident from the beta channel that has just been opened for it. It’s very easy to join, and the first beta release is already live.
left: Apparently I’m a beta tester. right: Note that two filters are selected simultaneously.
Google Files Go now has a beta channel, and there’s a new search function in the first release [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Like most people, I hate advertising. I hate it because of its manipulative nature, its constant nagging, the off-target communication, and for trying to literally follow you everywhere and trampling your privacy along the way. Luckily some companies are trying to do things differently. They try to earn a spot in your life. By sharing knowledge, giving guidance, and actually becoming relevant in your life. But first I’ll explain why I hate advertising, and why it deserves it. All ads contain a form of deceitfulness and have an imbalance between what the product actually is and what absurd or exaggerated…
Climate change is responsible for altering sea turtles’ genders, acidifying our lakes, and pushing clouds away from tropical forests. In the future we’ll also have to deal with rising temperatures, extreme weather, and massive flooding.
Climate change is also responsible for melting permafrost, the frozen soil found in colder regions around the globe. When that frozen soil thaws, it releases all sorts of hidden nastiness — everything from ancient infections to trapped greenhouse gases that make their way into the atmosphere.
If you’re already sick of hearing about climate change impacts, or perhaps think it couldn’t get any worse, brace yourself. New research published in Geophysical Research Letters suggests that the permafrost in Alaska conceals more than 15 million gallons of natural mercury. That’s nearly twice the amount of mercury stored in other soils, oceans, and the atmosphere put together.
Yikes. So what happens when the Alaskan permafrost thaws and all that mercury escapes?
When the permafrost’s mercury is released, it could dissolve into freshwater or saltwater and be ingested by fish and other animals. That mercury is so poisonous that it can cause birth defects and motor impairment in nearby wildlife.
Nearby human populations that rely on that wildlife for food would be affected too. But don’t think you’re safer if you don’t live in the Northern Hemisphere. The team that conducted the study suggests that mercury could be released into the atmosphere and carried thousands of miles away, to other communities and ecosystems.
Nice to know that we can add mercury poisoning to the list of things to worry about the next time scientists note an uptick in Arctic temperatures.
At this point, think of climate change as being really dedicated to its job: To radically impact our lives for the worse, whether we want it to or not. It’s also really good at constantly reminding us of the cost of our prior reliance on fossil fuels. The shift to clean energy can’t happen soon enough.
As such, we have to be aware of the consequences of making our planet any hotter — like the potential for 15 million gallons of mercury to hit the atmosphere.
“Twenty-four percent of all the soil above the equator is permafrost, and it has this huge pool of locked-up mercury,” said Paul Schuster, a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Boulder, Colorado and lead author of the study, in a press release. “What happens if the permafrost thaws? How far will the mercury travel up the food chain? These are big-picture questions that we need to answer.”
Hopefully the answers to Schuster’s questions will be discovered before climate change can do anymore damage. What we need now, though, is an effective plan to offset climate change impacts, not more evidence of how life-threatening it can be — we’ve got a pretty clear picture of that already.
The post Oh, Great: There’s Lots of Mercury in the Thawing Permafrost appeared first on Futurism.
Mars and Beyond
It’s been barely two weeks since SpaceX successfully launched the first Falcon Heavy into orbit, and many are curious as to where it and its unconventional passenger are right now. Instead of sending something boring as the Heavy’s first payload, SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk launched his own Tesla Roadster. On board is a mannequin affectionately called “Starman.”
Starman, who is dressed in a SpaceX suit, was supposedly en route towards the orbit of Mars and then towards the asteroid belt, to the tune of David Bowie’s music. In any case, Musk has said that Starman’s trajectory after launch had gone a bit off from its intended path.
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
It turns out, it might not have veered off that far, at least according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which released information as to the Roadster’s whereabouts. Now, you can keep track of the Roadster and Starman using NASA’s data, which engineer Ben Pearson has wonderfully put into a website called Whereisroadster.com.
A Lonely Starman
Pearson was so fascinated by the Falcon Heavy launch that he made his own calculations for Starman’s trajectory, partially because he’s always been a fan of the SpaceX CEO. “I like that he’s willing to take risks and do cool stuff that people just keep saying it’s not possible and he figures out a way to make it possible,” Pearson told The Verge
However, Pearson noticed his results were different from what Musk announced. This made Pearson unease, but NASA’s data ended up showing that he was right.
“I was just relieved to know that I wasn’t doing anything critically wrong,” Pearson said in his interview with The Verge. “Elon Musk is a visionary man, incredibly far forward, but there’s a reality distortion field when it comes to him.”
In case you’re wondering, Pearson’s website shows that Starman is now 3,609,979 km (2,243,136 miles) from Earth, moving away from Earth at a speed of 10,844 km/h (6,738 mph), as of writing. It’ll continue to move in orbit around the Sun, making a close pass to the Earth on 2091, said Pearson. That is, of course, assuming that Starman’s Roadster survives in space for that long.
At any rate, at least we know where it is, which is more than what we can say for the Falcon Heavy’s Center Core. For now, SpaceX is barreling ahead with their other projects, including their latest Falcon 9 mission that will launch two of their first internet satellites into space.
The post Want to Follow Elon Musk’s Roadster Through Space? There’s a Website for That. appeared first on Futurism.
Following its iOS launch last December, Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is now available on Android. It’s like Messenger, except it comes with parent-friendly features like the ability to manage your child’s contact list, a registration process that’s independent of the social network, and persistent messages so you can keep an eye on conversations. There’s also group video chat, as well as a bunch of stickers, frames, and interactive masks to add some fun to your calls. That sounds like a fun tool for getting the kids to ping grandma every once in a while, but you should know that Facebook funded…
This story continues at The Next Web