Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for April 21st, 2017

In these divisive times, a new controversy emerges: is Starbucks’ limited-edition unicorn frappuccino fun and exciting, or a dangerous sugar bomb? It’s a little of both. It’s a slightly watered down milkshake. Read more…

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Diet Sodas May Be Tied To Stroke, Dementia Risk

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

Gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain, a new study suggests. From a report: Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke on Thursday. The study sheds light only on an association, as the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Therefore, some experts caution that the findings should be interpreted carefully. No connection was found between those health risks and other sugary beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Somali pirates VS cargo ship’s security guards

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

I subscribe to the Humans at Sea YouTube channel because it often has interesting videos like this one about a cargo ship’s security team firing on Somali pirates trying to board.

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Lawyers Fight to Block Terrible NYPD Body Cam Policies

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

On Thursday, the Center for Constitutional Rights challenged the NYPD’s body camera polici es , asking a judge to block the city’s forthcoming pilot program, which is slated to outfit 1, 000 officers with body cameras as early as next week. The cameras were supposed to be a step forward for police accountability and… Read more…

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The next version of uTorrent will run in your browser

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

uTorrent is the most popular Bittorrent client in the world, but it’s clearly getting a bit long in the tooth. You can expect some big changes soon, though. TorrentFreak reports that the app will eventually run in your web browser, based on comments from BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen in an interview with the Steal This Show podcast. The move will allow uTorrent the offer better streaming support — something the current client has always struggled with — and it’ll also give its developers access to more modern technology to add even more features. And, surprisingly enough, you’ll likely see elements from the company’s defunct Maelstrom browser in the new client too. uTorrent will take its time before forcing the client on users, though. “We know people have been using uTorrent for a very long time and love it, ” Cohen said. “So we’re very, very sensitive to that and gonna be sure to make sure that people feel that it’s an upgrade that’s happening. Not that we’ve just destroyed the experience.” Via: TorrentFreak

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Do the new McDonald’s uniforms remind you of anything ? If you answered “every dystopian sci-fi movie ever, ” you’re correct. To me, they invoke a very Logan’s Run future. But mandatory gray-on-gray with a dash of black is pretty much universally recognized as the standard uniform for bleakest of futures. Read more…

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Mathematical conjecture generates beautiful lifelike form

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

The deceptively simple Collatz Conjecture is one of mathematics’ most difficult puzzles. Alex Bellos shows off a cool rendering by Edmund Harris that looks like a beautiful life form from the sea. (more…)

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Smart card Plastc goes under despite $9 million in preorders

Posted by kenmay on April - 21 - 2017

Plastc , a smart payment card that can store all your CC details, promised to be the only plastic you’ll ever need to bring when it started taking pre-orders in 2014. Now, almost three years and countless shipment delays later, the company threw in the towel. In a statement posted on its website, Plastc says it has officially shut down on April 20th and will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. According to a Magnify Money editorial, Plastc raised $9 million from 80, 000 pre-orders. It wasn’t and will not be able to fulfill any of them. The company apparently expected to raise $3.5 million in February, but the investment group ended up backing out. It found another investor willing to sink $6.75 million into the venture, but it backed out at the last minute. Plastc says it needed the money to start its cards’ production — with no funds to keep it going, it had to quickly shut down everything and let all its employees go. It’s not entirely clear why $9 million wasn’t enough to ship even one wave of cards to its very first customers. Now customers are bombarding the company with requests for a refund. They paid for pre-orders, after all, and didn’t back a crowdfunding campaign that they knew could fall through. With no money left to Plastc’s name, though, they might have to chalk it up to experience. Plastc isn’t the only smart card that failed to deliver on its promise. Another one called Coin also stopped making cards in 2016, though it was at least able to ship some orders. Swyp was plagued with issues, as well, while Stratos almost shut down until it found a new owner . Via: The Verge Source: Plastc

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Enlarge / From the new cover created by Dan Dos Santos for The Fires of Heaven , book 5 of Wheel of Time . (credit: Dan Dos Santos / Tor Books) Though it has been in the works for years, there is at last solid news on what’s happening with the TV series based on Robert Jordan’s bestselling fantasy series Wheel of Time . Now Variety is reporting that Sony has bought the rights and hired Rafe Judkins ( Agents of Shield , Hemlock Grove , Chuck ) to write and executive produce it. Jordan’s 14-book epic first hit bookstores in 1990 and has become one of the biggest selling series of all time, by some counts even outselling George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire . It’s a classic tale of good and evil, full of a mixture of mythologies from Western and Eastern lore. And, of course, there is a mystical dragon-related quest. But that just scratches the surface of these intricate novels, famous for their deep worldbuilding and dramatic turns. The last book in the series was published after Jordan died, and it was written from Jordan’s notes by bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. The TV series has had a very weird history, with a seemingly unauthorized pilot airing early one morning at 1:30am in 2015 on FXX, starring Max Ryan and Billy Zane. There was no publicity about the airing, and it was apparently a surprise to Jordan’s widow and editor Harriet McDougal. In a statement , she wrote that she was “dumbfounded” and had no idea a pilot was being made. Now, she says, the rights issues have been worked out, and the new deal with Sony is the real thing. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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NASA As it continues to make some of its final flybys of the Saturn system, the Cassini spacecraft hasn’t entirely forgone looking back toward its home planet, Earth. And last week the spacecraft’s camera snapped a shot of Earth and the Moon (visible in a close-cropped view) from a distance of 1.4 billion km away. Some of Saturn’s rings are also visible in the new images, including the A ring (at top) with the Keeler and Encke gaps visible, and the F ring (at bottom). The Sun is behind the disk of Saturn from Cassini’s perspective, so the rings are backlit in this view. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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