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THE iPAD IS COMING FOR YOUR NOTEBOOK
THE 3D PRINTER AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE BURGEONING ‘MAKER CULTURE’
COMPLEXITY MAKES AIRLINE COMPUTER SYSTEMS VULNERABLE
76 CYBORG STINGRAY SWIMS TOWARD LIGHT, BREAKS NEW GROUND
FORMER BELL LABS SITE SEEKS TO INSPIRE NEW INVENTORS 08 APPLE TO OFFER CASH FOR REPORTING SECURITY FLAWS 36 GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: FACEBOOK BATTLES ‘CLICKBAIT’ 38 AT A GLANCE: LIVESTREAMING APPS BEYOND FACEBOOK LIVE 42 FACEBOOK HATES AD BLOCKERS SO MUCH IT NOW BLOCKS THEM 48 FBI CHIEF CALLS FOR NATIONAL TALK OVER ENCRYPTION VS. SAFETY 70 NBC SAYS RIO OLYMPIC VIEWERSHIP REACHES PARITY WITH LONDON 84 AMAZON UNVEILS CARGO PLANE AS IT EXPANDS DELIVERY NETWORK 90 BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘SUICIDE SQUAD’ DOMINATES WITH $133.7M 116 SCIENCE: RESEARCHERS ASK PUBLIC FOR OLD PHOTOS OF LAKE TAHOE ALGAE 132 HEALTH: PHELPS IS TOUTING THE BENEFIT OF CUPPING BUT DOES IT WORK? 138 HULU DROPPING FREE VIDEO AS IT PREPARES CABLE TV ALTERNATIVE 146 PLAY IT FORWARD: ‘POKEMON GO’ PLAYERS ENCOURAGING DONATIONS 152 UNIVERSITY COLLECTS MEDICAL SAMPLES VIA DRONES IN MADAGASCAR 166 THAI GOV’T PLAN WOULD TRACK FOREIGNERS THROUGH SIM CARDS 170 MISSOURI MAN: TESLA AUTOPILOT HELPED IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY 174
TOP 10 APPS 96 iTUNES REVIEW 100 TOP 10 SONGS 156 TOP 10 ALBUMS 158 TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEOS 160 TOP 10 TV SHOWS 162 TOP 10 BOOKS 164
FORMER BELL LABS SITE SEEKS TO INSPIRE NEW INVENTORS
The 2 million-square-foot building where Bell Labs scientists helped launch modern cellular networks before it became one of the country’s largest vacant office buildings is drawing companies with the lure of working at a complex surrounded by technological history. A water tower in the shape of a transistor, which the company’s scientists created in 1947 as part of their continuing mission to improve and expand communications, stands over the Bell Works complex in Holmdel, near the site where the Big Bang theory of the universe was proven. With that history, the developer who acquired the building in 2013 after it sat vacant for seven years is hoping to lure tech entrepreneurs and others to the glass and steel structure originally designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. 9
Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker envisions the office space as a “metroburb” anchored by tech companies that are joined by retail, entertainment, health care and nearby homes. “It’s an attractive building with an incredible history that was a cradle of many innovations,” said Zucker. Aside from the allure of being surrounded by history, the state’s Economic Development Authority also offered millions in tax credits to companies considering moving to the complex. Bell Works is about 60 percent full after last month’s lease signing by human resources software provider iCIMS as the anchor tenant. iCIMS received a 10-year, $38 million tax credit. Other tenants include the software company WorkWave, data storage startup Symbolic IO and cloud-based communications services designer Acacia Communications. Plans also call for Toll Brothers to develop up to 40 single-family homes and 185 age-restricted townhomes, as well as a field house for sports. Mayor Eric Hinds said the redevelopment will build on the work of the past, which itself transformed Holmdel from “a farm town into a corporate destination.” Bell Labs began in 1925 when AT&T and Western Electric consolidated engineering departments to solve the problems of a new telecommunications network, said Bell Labs archivist Ed Eckert. “It gathered a unique variety of research areas in one company,” said Eckert. “The scientists were really good at looking at the big problem and coming up with a solution and improving on it.” 10
The company operated out of offices throughout the New York area and scientists worked to link the nation by phone. The next step was bridging the Atlantic Ocean. Needing to conduct experiments away from radio static generated in the city, the company acquired land in Holmdel, about 45 miles from New York. It was there in 1932 that Karl Jansky, who was studying how to expand overseas calls, discovered radio astronomy by bouncing radio signals off the Milky Way. The mission to expand and improve telecommunications continued and researchers looked toward space when they developed the Telstar satellite communications system. It was also during the 1960s, Bell Labs scientists created the Unix computer still used today. The company has 14 Nobel Prize winners, including Steven Chu, who developed methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light when he worked in Holmdel. Bell Labs’ radio telephone division moved into the Holmdel research lab complex in 1962. It was put up for sale in 2006 and the breakup of AT&T in 1984 meant Bell Labs went through several evolutions. Despite perceptions, it never went away. Today, it is known as Nokia Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey. President Marcus Weldon said the mission to invent the future of communications remains the same. “The names of the labs have changed,” said Weldon. “But as we enter the network, we take on pre-eminence importance.”
Not so long ago, the notion of home-based 3D printing might have seemed fanciful... and yet, it now appears to be the ‘next big thing’ as far as many people are concerned. Certainly, here at Apple Magazine, we wanted to get a sense of what all of the fuss was about, so we decided to test for ourselves one of the musthave ‘beginner’ 3D printers on the market: the Printrbot Simple Metal. To explain the Printrbot Simple Metal, it’s perhaps worth giving a quick rundown of the history of Printrbot itself. It is - yes, you’ve guessed it - yet another of the burgeoning technology startups to have pretty much defined the 2010s, based in - yes, you’ve guessed it again - California. More specifically,
the firm is based in Lincoln in Northern California and is the lovechild of maker Brook Drumm, whose story reads like a typical allAmerican rags-to-riches tale. Formerly a pastor but later a web and app developer, Drumm established Printrbot in 2011. He used - what else - the now-ubiquitous crowdfunding portal Kickstarter to initially realize his dream, raising more than $830,000 through the site, and it seems that the force for the popularization of 3D printing that is Printrbot hasn’t looked back since. As Printrbot’s own website puts it, “Brook was catapulted to the white-hot intersection of crowd funding, 3D printing and the exploding maker-culture.”
LOTS OF PRIZES, BUT ALSO MAJOR REAL-WORLD IMPACT Printrbot is evidently a company that has arisen through a real passion for bringing 3D printing to the masses, with the basic principles of offering beginner home users printers that are not only affordable, but also modest in size and quick and easy to assemble. Sure enough, the company has attracted plenty of acclaim and accolades in just a few years, taking home awards in both the 3D printer and Large-Format CNC categories in Make magazineâ€™s 2015 Digital Fabrication Shootout. It would certainly be a mistake, however, to presume that Printrbot is merely beloved of already-seasoned 3D printing enthusiasts and industry observers. Nor has it shown any complacency in its mission, with the original Printrbot model having long left production and been replaced with a new line of similarly attainable - but more sophisticated - 3D printers for home use.
AN ACCLAIMED LINE OF 3D PRINTERS One of those aforementioned printers, the Play, is aimed at “beginners, kids and enthusiasts” and boasts an impressive specification in its own right for its $399 asking price, including an 80 cubic inch build volume, 50 microns resolution and 80mm/ sec maximum print speed. In keeping with Printrbot’s longstanding commitment to modest form factors, its build dimensions are a mere 100m x 105mm x 130mm. Then, at the other end of Printrbot’s price range, is the Plus, which offers the same 50 microns resolution and 80mm/sec maximum print speed for those prepared to fork out $1,199, but also boasts a heated bed as standard - with a maximum temperature of 80 degrees C - and build dimensions of 250mm x 250mm x 250mm. That leaves the not-insignificant matter of the present ‘middle’ model in the Printrbot product range - the $599 Simple Metal that also happens to be the strongest-selling 3D printer currently offered by the Californian firm. It shares much in common with the above models within its 150mm x 150mm x 150mm frame, including a 1.75mm PLA filament and Ubis hot end with 0.4mm nozzle - and much more besides. But what is the Simple Metal truly like to experience and use?
A BIG STEP FORWARD FROM THE PREVIOUS SIMPLE Having recently got hold of a Printrbot Simple Metal for ourselves here at Apple Magazine, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to start making a few pieces in the office to discover just how easy it was for us to do so even as complete novices, and our verdict on that one was: very easy indeed. Indeed, we’ll be adding videos and blog posts about our creations with the Simple Metal to our website at www.applemagazine.com, so we’d urge you to keep an eye out for them. It would be easy, as an utter beginner with 3D printers, to be wooed simply by the incredible specifications of the Simple Metal, which also include a stellar 216 cubic inch build volume and - as optional extras - a heated bed and ABS filament. There’s much else about the Simple Metal from the sheer specification point of view that is worth getting excited about, but it might be especially instructive to compare this metal model with its predecessor in the Printrbot range, the original wooden Simple. Those who have ever had the luxury of owning that older Simple, and who may therefore be able to compare the two models side-by-side, will probably get a sense of what we mean. The general look may be the same, but the wood has gone, as have the bed-leveling screws, string and small z-axis rods. In their place, we have additional metal along with an auto-leveling probe, rubber toothed belts and 12mm z-axis rods. Such upgrades are far from minor - they really do transform the already-impressive Printrbot Simple as a 3D printing experience, with the 24
rigidity of the z-movements having been much-improved by the aluminum body and thicker z-axis rods. This has enabled an increase in the z-height from four to six inches. There has also been a two-inch growth in the x and y-axes, which explains the astounding 238% increase in the machine’s build volume, from 64 to 216 cubic inches.
THERE’S PLENTY ELSE THAT MAKES THE NEW SIMPLE A STANDOUT One of the best things about the Simple Metal is that Printrbot hasn’t used the machine’s supposed status as a ‘beginner’ 3D printer as an excuse to offer only the bare minimum specifications. Even if you already have the previous wooden Simple, you may be tempted to upgrade, not just on the basis of the above improvements, but also because of the greater printing precision that the latest model enables, thanks to the new rubber toothed belts. Both print consistency and all-round quality are better on
the metal version of the Simple, with especially good results obtainable for those printing with resolutions between .1mm and .3mm. But there are various other lovely touches that help to make the Simple Metal the remarkable 3D printing machine that it is, with the utmost ease and efficiency of use made possible by the auto-leveling probe. This feature is highly effective in its setting of the nozzle height every time you use your printer, even in the event of the machine having been jostled around since your last print. Purchase the latest Simple, and you will also benefit from an aluminum extruder and an improved hot end, which would appear to offer slightly greater precision than previous Printrbot hot ends. But there’s another very significant dimension of the Printrbot Simple Metal: the considerable potential to expand its capabilities by taking full advantage of its open-source nature. As astonishing as the Simple Metal’s print quality is ‘out of the box’, it’s also the ideal home 3D printer for helping you to really get into the whole ‘maker culture’ that seems to be pervading many of our lives right now. The printer can be continually tweaked and upgraded with various add-ons and opensource software, and if you ever find yourself struggling - perhaps with the more advanced modifications that are possible - you can simply tap into the expertise of the thriving Printrbot community. Indeed, although Printrbot does not provide any software of its own for use with the printer, it recommends Cura v15.04, which you can download for free.
MANY GREAT REASONS TO INVEST IN A SIMPLE METAL All in all, itâ€™s clear that whether you are just looking to upgrade from the original Simple or would like to get into home-based 3D printing for the very first time, the Printrbot Simple Metal makes a huge amount of sense. Not only did we find it quick and easy to start using as absolute novices, but the machine also effectively grows with you, thanks to the considerable scope to undertake all manner of upgrades to expand its 3D printing capabilities. Really, we donâ€™t think you could choose a better platform for starting or even continuing your domestic 3D printing adventures than the 32
Printrbot Simple Metal. We certainly canâ€™t wait to share with you our own creations with this remarkable machine here at Apple Magazine so what more can we say? Keep your eyes peeled for our blog posts and videos to see for yourself just how astounding Printrbotâ€™s mid-range and most popular offering can be for really getting you into the ever-fascinating, stimulating and developing world of 3D printing.
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
APPLE TO OFFER CASH FOR REPORTING SECURITY FLAWS
Apple says it will start offering cash rewards of up to $200,000 to hackers who come forward with information about security flaws in the company’s software. The iPhone maker is joining other big tech companies that offer so-called “bug bounties” to people who discover vulnerabilities in their computer code. The goal is to encourage individuals to come forward so the company can fix the problem - and to discourage hackers from exploiting the flaw or selling the information to others. Google, Facebook and others have long offered such rewards. To start, Apple says it will offer rewards to a limited number of researchers it has worked with before, but it may expand the program. Apple announced the program at a computer security conference in Las Vegas. 37
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: FACEBOOK BATTLES ‘CLICKBAIT’
Facebook is taking another stab at ridding users’ news feeds of “clickbait,” the links and headlines that ask readers to “guess what happened next” but don’t provide any useful information, tempting people to click if they want to find out anything. The world’s largest social media company last tried this in 2014, when it announced that it was improving users’ news feed to help them find what was “interesting and relevant” and weed out “spammy” stories. It looks like that didn’t work as well as it should have. 39
Facebook Inc. said on Thursday it is now using a system that identifies phrases commonly used in “clickbait” headlines. These range from “... and his reaction was priceless!” to “... What happens next is hard to believe.” It will also consider items “clickbait” if a headline exaggerates information or is misleading. For example, Facebook notes that the headline “Apples Are Actually Bad For You?!” is misleading because apples are only bad if you eat too many of them every day. From there, Facebook built a system that determines what phrases are commonly used in clickbait headlines that are not used in other headlines.
“This is similar to how many email spam filters work,” wrote Alex Peysakhovich, research scientist, and Kristin Hendrix, user experience researcher, in a blog post. Links from websites and Facebook pages that are consistently posting clickbait will appear lower in users’ news feeds, so they are less likely to be seen. If a site stops posting such headlines, though, Facebook’s software will learn this, too, and the links will appear higher up. Will this new system work? It’s possible, though just as some spammers continue to evade spam filters, some clickbait factories are likely to continue getting around Facebook’s anticlickbait formulas.
Image: David Ramos
AT A GLANCE: LIVESTREAMING APPS BEYOND FACEBOOK LIVE
Live video is growing more popular as a way for families to share big moments with faraway loved ones and for artists and athletes to connect with fans. Livestreaming has also made the news in recent weeks as House Democrats used Periscope to broadcast a sit-in over gun control after the Republican majority cut off television cameras. It was also got attention when a Minnesota woman used Facebook Live to stream footage of her dying boyfriend after he was shot by police. And it might come up during the Olympics if spectators and athletes livestream events publicly - a violation of ticketing and Olympic rules and a challenge to the billions of dollars TV companies pay for rights. 43
Below are some of the most popular ways to livestream from your phone:
FACEBOOK LIVE Anyone with a Facebook account can livestream anything using Facebook’s app. To use it, tap the empty box where your status update would go. A menu should pop up with the option for “live video.” A couple of taps later, you are live, broadcasting to your friends. You can change the privacy setting to make your live video public, too. The video is available for replay once you are done. You can delete it or save it on your phone if you want.
PERISCOPE The Twitter-owned video-streaming app made its debut about a year ago, well-timed with the exponential growth of people watching and taking videos on their smartphones. You can broadcast to select followers or the broader public. You can share your precise location or keep it private. Viewers can send comments, and streams can be shared on Twitter, Facebook or other social media services.
MEERKAT Seventeen months ago, Meerkat was the darling of the South By Southwest Interactive tech confab, seemingly destined to make livestreaming the next hot thing. Then came Periscope and Facebook Live, and Meerkat’s popularity dropped. The company is no longer focused on livestreaming and has instead “pivoted” - Silicon Valley speak for shifting resources elsewhere when your first (or second, or third) idea doesn’t work.
YOUNOW You sign in with their Twitter, Facebook, Google or Instagram account to stream live videos. YouNow also lets you “discover talented broadcasters” and video chat live with people around the world, as its website touts. Music is an especially popular broadcast topic, but you’ll find the usual stuff as well, such as people livestreaming themselves as they sleep. Zzzzz.
TWITCH The Amazon-owned livestreaming service started off as a way for gamers to stream their gameplay and show off their skills. Now, Twitch is broadening its reach. It has added channels in its “creative” area for people to broadcast live music, drawing, programming and so on. You can pay a subscription fee for certain benefits on channels, and even tip performers. People can livestream from traditional computers, too - not just smartphones, as most other services require.
FACEBOOK HATES AD BLOCKERS SO MUCH IT NOW BLOCKS THEM
Facebook is blocking ad blockers on the desktop version of its service, saying well-made, relevant ads can be “useful.” At the same time, the world’s biggest social media company says it is giving users easier ways to decide what types of ads they want to see - unless, of course, the answer is “none.” Ad blockers filter out ads by refusing to display page images and other elements that originated with a known ad server. But Facebook has found a way around this. Beginning Tuesday, the desktop version of Facebook will show users ads even if they have ad blockers installed. The changes don’t affect the mobile Facebook app, which brings in the bulk of the company’s advertising revenue. As with most new Facebook features, the changes are being rolled out to users over time, so some people might see it before others. 48
FACEBOOK NEEDS ADS While couching its move in the language of customer service - primarily by reiterating its premise that ads serve a purpose if theyâ€™re relevant and well-targeted - Facebook is also upfront about needing them to make money. Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, pointed out in a blog post that Facebook is a free service thatâ€™s only able to operate because it makes money from advertising. In the most recent quarter , Facebook made $6.24 billion in advertising revenue, an increase of 63 percent from a year earlier. Mobile advertising (which is not affected by the changes) accounted for 84 percent of this. 51
CAT-AND-MOUSE BLOCKING Several publishers, such as The New York Times have tried to work around ad blockers by asking users with ad blockers installed to turn them off in order to be allowed on a website. Other technology can “reinsert” ads that have been blocked. But there are ways to configure ad blockers to stymie these efforts as well. Facebook’s ad-blocker blocker works by making it difficult for software to distinguish advertisements from other material published on Facebook, such as photos or status updates. But while users won’t be able to stop ads from showing up, Facebook says it wants to make it easier for people to control the types of ads they want to see. For example, if you don’t want to see ads from a specific business, or ads that target a specific category like travel, cat owners or wine lovers, you can say so. “We also heard that people want to be able to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists, and so we are adding tools that allow people to do this,” Bosworth wrote. 53
“What’s a computer?” For a company that has made its name on its MacBook and iMac range, asking such a question is quite a statement, but we all know that Apple doesn’t like to follow the rules. As part of a new advertising campaign for its iPad Pro range, Apple is taking shots at the Microsoft Surface and focuses on the functionality and performance of its latest blockbuster tablet device. In it, we see how the iPad can be used for a whole variety of uses – including in the office, as a replacement for a drawing pad, and on the go. It’s typical Apple – clean photography, a classic white backdrop and a confident statement, but can Apple really convince the general public to ditch their notebooks?
THE iPAD REMAINS THE TABLET WORLD LEADER According to a report on the tablet market from IDC, Apple is the world leader in the category with its iPad range. The report, which records worldwide shipments of tablets, slates and detachable technologies, stated that 38.7 million devices in these categories were shipped in the second quarter of 2016. Despite an impressive number, this figure represents a decline, with the market having dropped by 12.3% on a year-by-year basis. The report’s big reveal, however, was that Apple’s iPad remains the number one tablet in the world, perhaps bolstered further by the emergence of the iPad Pro last year. With steady sales figures and a price reduction on previous iPad models, the Cupertino firm has managed to retain its position as the tablet market leader. 57
But it’s not just in tablets where Apple has continued to excel. Despite some negative reports earlier in the year of Apple’s fall in sales, the firm is confident that it will continue to deliver results, and the numbers really do speak for themselves. Lucas Maestri, Apple CFO, told Forbes that the Cupertino firm “returned a total of over $13 billion to investors during the June quarter as follows. We paid $3.2 billion in dividends and equivalent. We spent $4 billion on repurchases of 41.2 million Apple shares through open-market transactions. And we launched a new $6 billion ASR, resulting in initial delivery and retirement of 48.2 million shares.”
THE NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN Despite positive sales and the maintenance of its market leader position, Apple wants to deliver more. The new campaign, which airs across American television networks and appears 58
iPad Pro — What’s a Computer?
online, represents a ballsy and confident approach to marketing. During the 30-second clip, a narrator says “just when you think you know what a computer is, you see a keyboard that can just get out of the way. And a screen you can touch—and even write on. “When you see a computer that can do all that, it might just make you wonder, ‘Hey, what else could it do?’. Imagine what your computer could do if your computer was an iPad Pro.”
PCS ‘BOTTOMING OUT’ Apple’s new iPad campaign could not have come at a better time for the firm. New research from IDC claims that hybrid computers, usually combinations of tablets and computers, are boosting a troubled PC market. In March this year, IDC even went as far as saying that the PC market was “bottoming out”. 59
For Apple, despite sales of its MacBook and iMac range remaining consistent, the real money comes from its portable devices, with the iPad and iPhone contributing a significant share of the firm’s profits. It makes sense that Apple wishes to continue its growth in this market and deliver even greater results, although the lasting effect of its latest advertising campaign obviously remains to be seen.
APPLE CALLED IT FROM THE START In typical Apple fashion, the firm has been predicting the downfall of the PC market for some time. In 2010, the company’s late and legendary co-founder Steve Jobs told Walt Mossberg that “PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around. They’re still going to have a lot of value,” but that they would be replaced by smaller devices in a post-PC era. Much more recently, Jobs’ successor as Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has confirmed that the iPad Pro is intended to be a replacement for the traditional PC, telling The Guardian that “the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”
...BUT THERE ARE SOME DRAWBACKS Despite the iPad offering some significant benefits over a traditional PC or notebook – notably its portability, convenience, touchscreen and weight – there are some limitations that continue to prevent some people adapting to a tablet. iOS, the operating system that continues to be used on all iPad and iPhone devices, has its Image: PRNewsFoto/Onshape
Steve Jobs Full Interview at 2010 D8 Conference w Mossberg
drawbacks, including an inability to run certain software - such as the fully-featured version of Photoshop - that can be easily installed on desktop machines; however, advancements in technologies are changing this. Personal and professional efficiency and productivity are other big concerns for those who may have otherwise been tempted to invest in a tablet like the iPad as a direct alternative to a desktop computer, laptop or notebook. For many, a computer with a physical keyboard and mouse is just easier to work from, even when the option of Appleâ€™s Smart Keyboard is considered. 64
A FUTURE THAT MANY WILL AWAIT WITH BATED BREATH With Apple clearly keen on expanding its iPad reach, the anticipation for the second iPad Pro is high. Despite some expecting a release along with the iPhone 7 in September, some reports are indicating that the iPad Pro 2 wonâ€™t be released until March, when it will purportedly appear alongside a new Apple Watch and other hardware. Features widely expected in the iPad Pro 2 include 64GB storage capacity, 3GB RAM and a Sapphire crystal lens cover akin to the 9.7inch version of the iPad Pro. Some reports are even suggesting that Apple may introduce an additional iPad, or a larger iPad Pro model, capable of running its macOS Sierra operating system. As aforementioned, iOS has some limitations in a professional 65
setting, so mixing the two operating systems together or offering customers chance to choose between the two could be a unique selling point that puts Apple ahead of its competitors. Microsoft, for example, runs its Windows 10 operating system on all of its tablet devices, which enables a more consistent user experience across tablet and desktop devices and allows users to run native desktop software on their tablets.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR iPAD MORE NOTEBOOK-LIKE If you are already using your iPad for work, then the likelihood is that you have invested in a detachable keyboard and accessories to make your tablet more like a desktop computer. Bluetooth iPad cases with built-in keyboards, for example, can completely transform the way you work and play. Or, if you would prefer to only invest in official Apple products, the Cupertino firm’s Smart Keyboard and $99 Apple Pencil are items that you may consider. Whether you are a fan of iPad or prefer to work using a PC, there’s no doubt that Apple is transforming the way we work and the notion of a post-PC era is becoming increasingly embraced by consumers. With a new iPad line-up set to be announced in the coming months and further developments to Apple’s core operating systems iOS 10 and macOS Sierra currently in public beta, the iPad vs. notebook saga is a fascinating story that we will continue to follow.
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
FBI CHIEF CALLS FOR NATIONAL TALK OVER ENCRYPTION VS. SAFETY
The FBI’s director said Friday the agency is collecting data to present next year in hopes of sparking a national conversation about law enforcement’s increasing inability to access encrypted electronic devices. Speaking Friday at the American Bar Association annual conference in San Francisco, James Comey said the agency was unable to access 650 of 5,000 electronic devices investigators attempted to search over the last 10 months. He said the problem is only going to get worse without a discussion about the technology. Comey says encryption technology makes it impossible in a growing number of criminal cases to search electronic devices. But he said it’s up to U.S. citizens, rather than the FBI or government officials, to decide whether to modify the technology to help law enforcement access the devices. 70
Comey’s concern with encryption emerged earlier this year when the FBI engaged in a highprofile legal fight with Apple over accessing data from a locked iPhone used by one of the two shooters in the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack. The legal fight remained unresolved because the FBI dropped its court challenge after it said it found a way to access the shooter’s iPhone. Silicon Valley companies say encryption safeguards customers’ privacy rights and offers protections from hackers, corporate spies and other breaches. “The San Bernardino litigation was necessary, but in my view, it was also counterproductive,” Comey said during his 20-minute speech. “It was necessary because we had to get into that phone. It was counterproductive because it made it very hard to have a complex conversation.”
Comey said he hopes a calmer conversation about encryption and its effects on public safety can be started in 2017 after the presidential elections pitting Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Comey chided Clinton on July 5 for being “extremely careless” in using private email servers for government communications while serving as secretary of state, but he recommended no criminal charges. On Friday, in response to a question about the decision, Comey said, “I don’t want to talk about the case itself anymore, after four hours and 40 minutes without a bathroom break” testifying before Congress about the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email practices while secretary of state. But he said that it was “unprecedented for the FBI to show the kind of transparency” it did in discussing its investigation of Clinton and recommendation to prosecutors to forgo criminal charges.
Image: Cliff Owen
COMPLEXITY MAKES AIRLINE COMPUTER SYSTEMS VULNERABLE
Twice in less than a month, a major airline was paralyzed by a computer outage that prevented passengers from checking in and flights from taking off. Last month, it took Southwest days to recover from a breakdown it blamed on a faulty router. On Monday, it was Deltaâ€™s turn, as a power outage crippled the airlineâ€™s information technology systems and forced it to cancel or delay hundreds of flights. Delta employees had to write out boarding passes by hand, and at one airport they resurrected a dot-matrix printer from the graveyard of 1980s technology. 76
Image: Carolyn Kaster
Why do these kinds of meltdowns keep happening? The answer is that airlines depend on huge, overlapping and complex IT systems to do just about everything, from operating flights to handling ticketing, boarding, websites and mobile-phone apps. And after years of rapid consolidation in the airline business, these computer systems may be a hodgepodge of parts of varying ages and from different merger partners. These systems are also being worked harder, with new fees and options for passengers, and more transactions - Delta’s traffic has nearly doubled in the past decade. “These old legacy systems are operating much larger airlines that are being accessed in many, many more ways,” said Daniel Baker, CEO of tracking service FlightAware.com. “It has really been taxing.” The result: IT failures that can inconvenience tens of thousands of passengers and create long-lasting ill will. It is unclear exactly what went wrong at Delta. The airline said it suffered a power outage at an Atlanta installation around 2:30 a.m. EDT that caused many of its computer systems to fail. But the local electric company, Georgia Power, said that it was not to blame and that the equipment failure was on Delta’s end. IT experts questioned whether Delta’s network was adequately prepared for the inevitable breakdown. “One piece of equipment going out shouldn’t cause this,” said Bill Curtis, chief scientist at software-analysis firm Cast. “It’s a bit shocking.” 79
Curtis said IT systems should be designed so that when a part fails, its functions automatically switch over to a backup, preferably in a different location. “And if I had a multibillion-dollar business running on this, I would certainly want to have some kind of backup power,” he added. Delta officials declined to say what kind of backup procedures they have. Most other airlines rely on one of a handful of specialty travel-technology companies to help with IT. Delta’s system, called Deltamatic, started as a joint venture with Northwest and TWA in the 1990s. It was later spun off into a separate company called Travelport, but Delta bought back its portion two years ago. “Delta has been so confident that it is as good at this as anybody that it took everything back in-house,” said Seth Kaplan, co-author of a book about Delta’s rise from bankruptcy to prominence in the industry. Kaplan said all airlines have some old components in their IT systems, including Delta. “But the front end is all very modern, and Delta is rather well-regarded” in the industry. IT problems are not unique to airlines. There have been high-profile breaches and breakdowns at banks and retailers, among others. Airlines have particular challenges because their systems are constantly undergoing changes and additions, including automation to handle the large volume of transactions with customers. When was the last time you called an airline on the phone?
Image: Lucas Jackson
That degree of automation hindered Delta’s ability to inform passengers, many of whom didn’t know about the outage until they got to the airport. In the first several hours after the outage, when planes were grounded, Delta’s website and other systems showed flights as being on time. Computer network outages have affected nearly all the major carriers in recent years. After it combined IT systems with merger partner Continental, United suffered shutdowns on several days, most recently in 2015. American also experienced breakdowns in 2015, including technology problems that briefly stopped flights at its big hub airports in Dallas, Chicago and Miami. Recovering from an outage can take several days, as Southwest proved last month. Southwest said it canceled 2,300 flights between July 20 and 24, about 12 percent of its schedule, and FlightStats Inc. said more than 8,000 flights were delayed. Until Monday, Delta had been considered among the leaders in operations and was thought to be immune to big IT problems. Mergers create many chances for things to go wrong, as airlines that may have incompatible software combine their systems. From an IT standpoint, the United-Continental merger was seen as particularly awful, while Delta’s 2008 acquisition of Northwest was seen as so smooth that American copied it when it combined with US Airways in 2013.
Image: Branden Camp
NBC SAYS RIO OLYMPIC VIEWERSHIP REACHES PARITY WITH LONDON
NBC said its Olympic audience reached parity with the London Games for the first time on the third night of competition. But there’s an asterisk involved in the claim. The network said that its “total audience delivery” was 31.5 million for the Olympics on Monday night in prime time, compared to the virtually identical 31.6 million who watched on the corresponding night in London in 2012. The “total audience delivery” figure is a statistic NBC hurriedly invented when it saw sharp declines in its traditional ratings for the first couple of nights of the Rio de Janeiro Games. The Nielsen company said the television audience on NBC on Monday was 28.9 million strong, but short of London levels. Image: Rachel Murray
But NBC is adding the viewership for primetime telecasts on cable’s NBCSN (1.6 million) and Bravo (720,000) and people who streamed video online (about 300,000) to boost the number to 31.5 million - its “total audience delivery.” NBC says the comparison is valid because even though the cable viewers weren’t watching the same thing as people tuned in to NBC, they were still watching the Olympics. There’s no comparable number from 2012, because the company didn’t allow its cable affiliates and website to compete with the prime-time NBC telecast four years ago.
Image: Alex Livesey
“One of the indicators of changing viewer habits, especially with these Olympics, is that our digital consumption has more than tripled from London in each of the first three days of full competition,” NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said. “We’ve also been pleasantly surprised that our multi-platform strategy is paying big dividends.” The new calculation is about more than bragging rights. NBC will use “total audience delivery” to convince advertisers that they’re reaching more viewers than the traditional Nielsen figures indicate.
Image: Phil Hillyard
Image: Ted S. Warren
AMAZON UNVEILS CARGO PLANE AS IT EXPANDS DELIVERYNETWORK
Seattle-based Amazon is unveiling its first branded cargo plane, one of 40 jetliners that will make up the e-commerce giantâ€™s own air transportation network as it takes more control of its delivery process. The latest push to speed delivery of its products comes as the company ships an increasing number of packages worldwide. Amazonâ€™s parcel volume was an estimated 1 billion packages in 2015. By way of comparison, in the 2016 fiscal year FedEx delivered about 3 billion packages for hundreds of thousands of customers. 91
Amazon has had issues with the reliability of air freight services. In 2013, it offered refunds to customers who received their Christmas orders late after bad weather and a jump in online shopping caused delays for UPS and FedEx. Analysts say it makes sense for Amazon to use an air fleet it controls as another way to get its products to online shoppers drawn to fast, noextra-cost delivery. “They’re such a big online retailer,” said Satish Jindel, president of shipping consultant ShipMatrix. “There’s so much volume that if you have to add transportation for yourself, why would you pay a retail price when you can get wholesale? It makes sense.” Amazon revealed its first branded “Prime Air” cargo plane, designated Amazon One, on Friday at the annual Seafair Air Show. The plane buzzed over Seattle’s Lake Washington just before the Navy’s Blue Angels took to the skies. Amazon leased 40 Boeing jets from Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Air Transport Services Group Inc., which will operate the air cargo network. Eleven of the planes already are delivering packages for Amazon’s annual Prime loyalty program, which offers free two-day shipping and other perks. The remaining freighters will be rolled out in the next couple of years. Aircraft like Amazon One allow the company to “continue to maintain our fast delivery speeds and lower our costs as our Prime base and our Prime member growth continue to soar,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.
Image: Ted S. Warren
Image: Ted S. Warren
Despite its growing fleet of aircraft, Amazon said it plans to continue to use FedEx, UPS and other transportation partners. “Because of our growth and the sheer amount of packages, we are supplementing our transportation needs,” Clark said. The company has been furiously building out distribution centers, where workers and robots pull products off shelves and package them for delivery, as well as smaller sorting plants, which arrange packages by ZIP code for faster delivery. It has a network of more than 125 fulfillment centers worldwide. Amazon recently reported a second-quarter profit of $857 million on $30 billion in revenue. The company doesn’t yet have plans to carry packages for others but says it’s constantly evaluating its situation. Amazon has not been shy about competing in businesses areas farflung from its e-commerce roots. “Once you have those planes, it certainly creates the opportunity for new products for customers,” Clark said, adding: “Stay tuned and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
#01 – Pokémon GO By Niantic, Inc. Category: Games Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – NBC Sports By NBCUniversal Media, LLC Category: Sports Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – Bitmoji Keyboard - Your Avatar Emoji By Bitstrips Category: Utilities Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – iTunes U By Apple Category: Education Requires iOS 8.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Snapchat By Snapchat, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – Messenger By Facebook, Inc. Category: Social Networking Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Mercari: The best shopping marketplace to buy & sell By Mercari, Inc. Category: Shopping Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – Instagram By Instagram, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – Go Radar - Live Map for Pokémon GO By Will Cobb Category: Utilities Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – YouTube By By Google, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – OS X El Capitan By Apple Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.6.8 or later
#02 – Xcode By Apple Category: Developer Tools Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later
#03 – App for Instagram - Instant at your desktop! By Joacim Ståhl Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
#04 – Kindle By AMZN Mobile LLC Category: Reference Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later
#05 – Microsoft Remote Desktop By Microsoft Corporation Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#06 – App for Youtube - Instant at your desktop! By Joacim Ståhl Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
#07 – Twitter By Twitter, Inc. Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – The Unarchiver By Dag Agren Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.6.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#09 – Microsoft OneNote By Microsoft Corporation Category: Productivity Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later
#10 – Slack By Slack Technologies, Inc. Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 97
#01 – Moji Maker™ By AppMoji, Inc. Category: Entertainment / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – Minecraft: Pocket Edition By Mojang Category: Games / Price: $6.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – SplitMoji By ScStan LLC Category: Utilities / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – Heads Up! By Warner Bros. Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Plague Inc. By Ndemic Creations Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – 7 Minute Workout Challenge By Fitness Guide Inc Category: Health & Fitness / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Geometry Dash By RobTop Games AB Category: Games / Price: $1.99 Requires iOS 5.1.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – Facetune By Lightricks Ltd. Category: Photo & Video / Price: $3.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – Poke Radar for Pokemon GO By Braydon Batungbacal Category: Utilities / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 8.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – Bloons TD 5 By Ninja Kiwi Category: Games / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – GarageBand By Apple Category: Music / Price: $4.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later
#02 – Notability By Ginger Labs Category: Productivity / Price: $5.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#03 – The Sims™ 2: Super Collection By Aspyr Media, Inc. Category: Games / Price: $29.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.9.2 or later
#04 – Final Cut Pro By Apple Category: Video / Price: $299.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10.4 or later, 64-bit processor
#05 – Logic Pro X By Apple Category: Music / Price: $199.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#06 – Disk Cleaner By Pocket Bits LLC Category: Utilities / Price: $5.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#07 – Magnet By CrowdCafé Category: Productivity / Price: $0.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – App for WhatsApp By Bastian Roessler Category: Social Networking / Price: $1.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later, 64-bit processor
#09 – OS X Server By Apple Category: Utilities / Price: $19.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.11.6 or later
#10 – Streaming for Netflix By Liu Bo Category: Entertainment / Price: $5.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 99
Criminal As a last resort to stop a diabolical plot, a death row inmate has the memories, secrets, and skills of a dead CIA operative implanted into his brain in the hope that he will complete their mission.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Nicolas Cage turned down a lead role. 2. Brian Tyler scored the movie, having previously worked on the likes of Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious, and Rambo (2008).
by Ariel Vromen Genre: Action & Adventure Released: 2016 Price: $14.99
3. In this movie, Reynoldâ€™s character dies and his memories are transplanted to another person. In Selfless, an old man was about to die and had a surgery to become younger person played by him. And in Deadpool, his character is terminally ill and has a procedure to become immortal. In RIPD, he dies and takes the form of another body. 4. Re-unites JFK actors Gary Oldman, Kevin Costner, and Tommy Lee Jones. 5. Kevin Costner has also starred in Waterworld, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and The Bodyguard.
Barbershop: The Next Cut The fourth movie in the Barbershop franchise sees the team band together to save their shop –and their neighbourhood – from trigger-happy gang members.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Though they co-star in this movie, Ice Cube and Common were the centre of a long and brutal feud in their rap careers during the 1990s. It was rumoured that Louis Farrakhan was consulted to bring about peace between the two men. 2. Took two months to film. 3. It’s been more than a decade since the last Barber Shop movie. 4. Deals with the current gang situation in Chicago.
by Malcolm D. Lee Genre: Comedy Released: 2016 Price: $9.99
5. Nicki Minaj’s third movie, after The Other Woman (2014) and Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012).
‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots
Suicide Squad: The Album Various Artists One of the most anticipated movies of the year gets a soundtrack to match, featuring artists such as Panic! At the Disco, Eminem, and Grimes.
FIVE FACTS: Genre: Soundtrack Released: Aug 05, 2016 14 Songs Price: $11.99 1489 Ratings
1. The first comic-based movie to feature a team of super villains as the main cast of characters. 2. It has been suggested that because of the dark and tormenting nature of this movie, an on-set therapist was hired to keep the cast grounded. 3. The soundtrack also features tracks from Queen, The White Stripes, and The Rolling Stones, although they are not featured on this album. 4. The first non-Batman movie to star The Joker. 5. The song â€œWithout Meâ€? by rapper Eminem was featured in this movie. In the music video of the song, Eminem and Dr. Dre, among others, parody Batman, who is in this movie.
‘Medieval Warfare’ by Grimes
Encore DJ Snake One of the decade’s hottest DJ’s, this much awaited debut album is a must-buy for any fans of popular dance music.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Started DJ-ing at age 14, and producing at 19. 2. Produced Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album, which earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. 3. . ‘Lean On’ – his collaborative track with Major Lazer and Mo – has became Spotify’s most streamed song ever, and has surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube. 4. Was formerly a graffiti artist in his hometown of Paris. 5. Has remixed everyone from Kanye West, to Major Lazer, to AlunaGeorge.
Genre: Dance Released: Aug 05, 2016 14 Songs + digital booklet Price: $9.99
‘Let Me Love You’
BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘SUICIDE SQUAD’ DOMINATES WITH $133.7M
DC Comics flashed the box-office might of Marvel at the weekend box office, where its “Suicide Squad” set a record for an August debut with $133.7 million, according to final tallies Monday. The Warner Bros. release, like March’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” was lambasted by critics. But David Ayer’s antihero team-up film nevertheless became one of the summer’s biggest hits. A steep slide on Saturday, after fans flocked theaters on Thursday and Friday, however, could signal further steep declines for the $175 million film starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. 117
The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:
“Suicide Squad,” Warner Bros., $133,682,248, 4,255 locations, $31,418 average, $133,682,248, 1 weeks.
“Jason Bourne,” Universal, $22,405,125, 4,039 locations, $5,547 average, $103,111,145, 2 weeks.
“Bad Moms,” STX Entertainment, $14,004,006, 3,215 locations, $4,356 average, $50,850,836, 2 weeks.
“Secret Life Of Pets, The,” Universal, $11,500,590, 3,417 locations, $3,366 average, $319,519,370, 5 weeks.
“Star Trek Beyond,” Paramount, $10,036,030, 3,263 locations, $3,076 average, $127,737,394, 3 weeks.
“Nine Lives,” EuropaCorp, $6,249,915, 2,264 locations, $2,761 average, $6,249,915, 1 weeks.
“Lights Out,” Warner Bros., $6,006,454, 2,581 locations, $2,327 average, $54,715,706, 3 weeks.
“Nerve,” Lionsgate, $4,861,528, 2,538 locations, $1,915 average, $26,850,322, 2 weeks.
“Ghostbusters,” Sony, $4,676,192, 2,545 locations, $1,837 average, $116,588,128, 4 weeks.
“Ice Age: Collision Course,” 20th Century Fox, $4,325,094, 2,738 locations, $1,580 average, $53,564,891, 3 weeks.
“Finding Dory,” Disney, $1,957,734, 1,122 locations, $1,745 average, $473,872,375, 8 weeks.
“Cafe Society,” Lionsgate, $1,605,786, 631 locations, $2,545 average, $6,695,597, 4 weeks.
“Hillary’s America: The Secret History Of,” Quality Flix, $930,025, 672 locations, $1,384 average, $11,120,971, 4 weeks.
“Legend Of Tarzan, The,” Warner Bros., $801,735, 648 locations, $1,237 average, $124,051,759, 6 weeks.
“Captain Fantastic,” Bleecker Street, $584,171, 363 locations, $1,609 average, $3,581,232, 5 weeks.
“Indignation,” Roadside Attractions, $420,266, 55 locations, $7,641 average, $560,512, 2 weeks.
“Don’t Think Twice,” The Film Arcade, $373,556, 57 locations, $6,554 average, $679,404, 3 weeks.
“Central Intelligence,” Warner Bros., $371,126, 266 locations, $1,395 average, $126,088,877, 8 weeks.
“Hunt For The Wilderpeople,” The Orchard, $335,494, 176 locations, $1,906 average, $3,469,227, 7 weeks.
“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie,” Fox Searchlight, $333,253, 226 locations, $1,475 average, $4,152,331, 3 weeks.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC
CYBORG STINGRAY SWIMS TOWARD LIGHT, BREAKS NEW GROUND
The idea of taking apart a rat’s heart and transforming it into a tissue-engineered stingray first came to Kevin Kit Parker during a trip to the New England Aquarium with his daughter. Four years later, a robotic ray that swims toward light has made the cover of Science Magazine and is pushing the limits of what’s possible in the design of machines powered by living cells. A research team based at Harvard University’s Disease Biophysics Group, which Parker directs, created the translucent, penny-sized ray with a gold skeleton and silicone fins layered with the heart muscle cells of a rat. It’s remote-controlled, guided by a blinking blue flashlight. Each burst of blue sets off a cascade of signals through the cells, which have been genetically-engineered to respond to light. The contraction of the tissue creates a downward motion on the ray’s body. When the tissue relaxes, the gold skeleton recoils - moving the fin upward again in an undulating cycle that mimics the graceful swimming of a real ray or skate. 127
Image: Jon Chase
Parker, whose research includes cardiac cell biology, launched the project as a method for learning more about the mysteries of the human heart and a step toward the faroff goal of building an artificial one. But the interdisciplinary project is also sparking interest in other fields, from marine biology to robotics. Parker is not a roboticist. But as an Army veteran who did two tours in Afghanistan, he welcomes any part his stingrays could play in advancing the development of machines able to perform dangerous jobs. “Bio-hybrid machines - things with synthetic parts and living materials - they’re going to happen,” Parker said. “I’ve spent time getting shot at and seen people getting shot. If I could build a cyborg so my buddy doesn’t have to crawl into that ditch to look for an IED, I’d do that in a heartbeat.” When he first asked postdoctoral researcher Sung-Jin Park to help him create the stingray four years ago, the bench scientist was doubtful. “I had this whole idea of a laser-guided, tissueengineered stingray made out of rat,” Parker said. “He looked at me like a hog staring at a wristwatch. He was like, ‘Have I trusted my career to this yahoo’? I think he thought I was unglued.” Indeed, the project to build the ray was more difficult and expensive - close to $1 million, according to Parker - than either of them imagined. A mechanical engineer by training, Park had to delve into molecular and cell biology. The team pulled experts from diverse fields, including an ichthyologist someone who studies fish - to understand and help replicate a ray’s muscle structure and 129
biomechanics. Their work was published in Science last month. Biologically-inspired robots aren’t new. A precursor to the stingray was a tissueengineered jellyfish Parker helped create in 2012, also with the aim of understanding the muscular pumping of a heart. But one of the robotic stingray’s most intriguing contributions is the way it shows a glimpse of autonomy, said John Long, a professor of biology and cognitive science who directs Vassar College’s Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory. “By putting in the light control they have a way of controlling the cell without a nervous system,” said Long, who was not involved in the stingray research. “We used to control puppets with strings. Now we can do it with light.” Long says the creation could spark new research into autonomous, part-living machines. He envisions a time when a packet of micro-rays could be unleashed into a busted sewage pipe with simple sensors to measure acidity. The stingrays in Harvard’s lab - Park and his colleagues built more than 200 of the tiny creatures during years of research - won’t be going into any pipe or ocean. They swim in a pool of warm liquid solution filled with sugar and salt. The cells couldn’t survive outside of a dish and weren’t designed to, though Long said it would be possible to give a similar creature a skin that wraps up the solution and creates a kind of circulatory system. Battery power is a big challenge for robots, especially for tiny, lightweight machines, Long said, but creating a living power system of glucose-fed tissue could extend a robot’s mission time. 131
With all their modern scientific equipment and state-of-the-art computer models, researchers trying to better understand the effect of algae growth in Lake Tahoe are searching for new tools to aid in their mission - old photo albums. Experts at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center said in an annual report last week that the mountain lake is still getting warmer, regional winters are still getting shorter and snowfall is still on the decline. Water quality also has worsened a bit. What is less clear, however, is the trend in longterm algae growth. “Everyone wants to know if there’s more of this stuff, but we don’t know,” said Geoff Schladow, a professor of water resources and environmental engineering at UC Davis. Researchers study algae growth because it is linked to high levels of nutrients, which enter the lake both atmospherically and through stormwater runoff. Fertilizer, for example, contains nutrients and can find its way into the lake when it rains, thus contributing to algae growth. “We have low rainfall and low sediments coming in. You would expect the clarity to be better,” Schladow said last week during a presentation on the campus of Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, according to the Sierra Sun (http://tinyurl.com/jbapc5y). But despite a reduction in the amount of sediment entering the lake last year because of the ongoing drought in the West, the concentration of nitrate is actually higher.
The problem is, scientists have already been measuring algae growth at Tahoe since the 2000s. “What we’re left to use is anecdotal data,” Schladow said. “We also ask for old photos, so if anyone has some they’d like to share, unfortunately that is the only older data we have.”
Scott Hackley, a staff research associate at UC Davis, said he’s worked with archivists at the University of Nevada, Reno, to find old photos, but he and his team are hopeful that the community can help as well. “It’d be nice to get some old photos with the year, time of year and the location . to fill in some of the historical gaps,” he said.
Information from: Tahoe Daily Tribune
Image: Robert Schnaible
Image: Michael Dalder
Michael Phelps woke up on the morning of the first race of his fifth Olympic Games with some soreness in his right shoulder. At 31 years old, the swimming superstar could not afford to have anything slowing him down. So he went to a Team USA athletic trainer for some cupping therapy, a treatment he has been receiving for years to help relax his muscles and ease soreness. “The trainer hit me pretty hard with one and left a couple of bruises,” Phelps said. With large purple circles dotting his shoulder and back, Phelps delivered a performance for the ages to lead the 4x100-meter freestyle relay team to victory, giving him his 19th career gold medal. Phelps swam the fastest 100 meters of his life, a blazing 47.12 seconds on the second leg of the relay that turned a slim deficit in the race against France into a comfortable lead that teammates Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian were able to hold the rest of the way. The stirring victory - televised in prime time back home in the United States - put Phelps back on the podium and thrust cupping therapy into the spotlight. It dates back centuries and has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance over the past decade after athletes like Phelps and NFL star DeMarcus Ware and actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston started touting its benefits. Researchers have traced cupping’s origins back to China and Greece somewhere around 1500 B.C., and Team USA gymnast Alex Naddour was among other Olympians who have been seen with the purple marks in Rio. And it’s not just for star athletes. Health spas often offer the service for a few hundred dollars and the cups can be purchased online for as little as $15 and applied at home.
Some in the medical community believe it’s nothing but hocus pocus, the latest form of snake oil that tricks patients into paying for it again and again. Others insist that it aids recovery, relaxes muscles and helps an athlete maximize performance. Phelps certainly believes in it. In the end, that may be all that matters. “I’ve done it before meets at pretty much every meet I go to,” he said. The treatment involves applying glass or plastic cups to the area of discomfort and either applying heat or suction to create a vacuum. The suction pulls the skin away from the muscle and draws oxygenated blood to the area. The suction also is what causes the bruising, like giant hickey without the fun that comes with it. “I haven’t had bad ones like this in in a while,” Phelps said on Sunday, a day after the relay. Steve Hamilton, a massage therapist for the Denver Broncos, has used the technique for years in working with players. He said the biggest benefits include increased circulation, decreased muscle tension, decreased inflammation, increased range of motion and improved blood flow. “Its effectiveness is because it’s all part of the body’s natural healing process,” Hamilton said. “But cupping helps the body recover faster by keeping the process moving forward. It’s awesome because it’s all natural.” But there is a scarcity of accredited studies to prove cupping’s efficacy, which has led to a fair amount of skepticism. Many doctors have called it nonsense, and others believe it is no more effective than a placebo. 142
Image: AAron Ontiveroz
Russian state TV, after watching more than 100 of its athletes become embroiled in a doping investigation that excluded them from the Rio Games, took a dig at Phelps when it branded cupping “as-yet legal doping” in a lengthy feature on the treatment. Hamilton said cupping is “no such thing.” “It helps enhance the body’s natural neurological and circulatory function, thus allowing the body to be pushed and perform at a higher competitive level,” he said. Phelps even included the process, which can be painful, in a commercial he did for Under Armour on the rigorous training he puts his body through to get ready to compete. When he is competing in an event where victory is measured in fractions of a second, any little edge could make the difference. “If he feels like he feels better,” Hamilton said, “that’s never a bad thing.”
Under Armour | Rule Yourself | Michael Phelps
Image: Adam Pretty
HULU DROPPING FREE VIDEO AS IT PREPARES CABLE TV ALTERNATIVE
Hulu is dropping the free TV episodes that it was initially known for as it works on an online television service to rival cable TV. Free episodes - typically the most recent four or five episodes from a showâ€™s current season will be gone from the site within a few weeks. Instead, Hulu is making free episodes available through Yahoo . While Hulu started as a free site, supported by advertising, free video has become increasingly more difficult to find as Hulu tries to lure viewers into a subscription - $8 a month for a plan with ads, and $12 without. In recent months, visitors to Hulu.com have been presented with prominent links to subscribe, with links to free video buried in a menu after signing in. 146
And free episodes haven’t been available on Hulu’s mobile apps or streaming-TV devices, just on Hulu.com from a traditional computer. Now, they won’t be on Hulu.com at all. Devotees of Hulu’s free on-demand videos will be able to find them by visiting the new Yahoo View site from a computer. The Yahoo site will not have free episodes of CW shows such as “Arrow” and “The Flash,” as Hulu has been offering, because CW has a broader deal with Netflix instead. Yahoo says it will have the past five episodes of ABC, NBC and Fox shows available. The Fox shows will appear eight days after their TV airing, as is the practice at Hulu.com now. Yahoo will also have some older CBS shows. The episodes on Yahoo are not currently available on a phone, although Yahoo is working on a mobile web version and an app. Yahoo says the mobile version will be free, but it may not have all the same video as the desktop computer site because of content licensing restrictions.
Hulu says relatively few people watch the free videos. It now has about 12 million subscribers who pay for original shows, the entire current seasons of some network shows and access to Hulu’s library on mobile and streaming-TV devices like Roku. Hulu also plans to launch a live online TV service next year. It would show broadcast and cable channels in real time, without making viewers wait until the next day for episodes. In a move that could make that service more appealing, Time Warner Inc. recently took a 10 percent stake in Hulu, joining the TV and movie conglomerates - Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal - that already owned it. Time Warner plans to contribute some of its channels, including TNT and TBS, to the new service. Several other companies already offer live, paid TV over the internet, including Sony and Dish. DirecTV plans a service for later this year as well. Yahoo also has broader ambitions for View. It wants to add video from other Yahoo properties and from other networks and studios. However, its previous attempt at an online video hub, Yahoo Screen, shut down in January, despite having new episodes of the cult comedy “Community” after its cancellation by NBC. Verizon, which is buying Yahoo to help the phone company grow a digital advertising business , makes TV episodes and short videos available on its go90 mobile app. Phil Lynch, the head of media and content partnerships at Yahoo, says that as the deal gets closer to closing early next year, it “makes sense that we have integration discussions.” 150
PLAY IT FORWARD: ‘POKEMON GO’ PLAYERS ENCOURAGING DONATIONS
Some “Pokemon Go” players are asking participants to bring a canned food item or cash for charities to gatherings for the popular game. Players in Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, have started Poke-Aid. The Facebook group asks fellow players searching for the digital creatures on their smartphones to bring the donations to Pokemon meetings in parks and other public places. There’s a similar effort in Connecticut. Pat O’Mara noticed how people started gathering at designated “Pokecrawls” in Manchester and organized two “Play it Forward” events in Livingston Park. 152
Image: Alan Diaz
“I started thinking, ‘This many people in that area just to play ‘Pokemon Go.’ Why not set up food drives and also clothes because we’re getting closer to winter,’” the 20-year-old organizer said Tuesday. “There’s a lot of homeless. ... I wanted to help out as much as I can.” O’Mara said he’d like to expand the events to include blood drives and walks to raise awareness of cancer. Dave Roehrig of Poke-Aid Concord tells WMURTV (http://bit.ly/2aIYjnf) a recent event collected nearly $70 and 301 canned food items for the New Hampshire Food Bank. 155
LET ME LOVE YOU (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER)
HEATHENS twenty one pilotS
CLOSER (FEAT. HALSEY)
COLD WATER (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER & MØ)
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!
RIDE twenty one pilotS
CHEAP THRILLS (FEAT. SEAN PAUL)
GOTTA BE ME
NOW THATâ€™S WHAT I CALL MUSIC, VOL. 59
BLURRYFACE twenty one pilotS
SUICIDE SQUAD: THE ALBUM
BURY ME IN MY BOOTS
the CaDillaC three
VESSEL twenty one pilotS
MAKE ME... (FEAT. G-EAZY)
ELEANOR RIGBY (FROM “YELLOW SUBMARINE”)
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR (FEAT. RIHANNA)
JUST LIKE FIRE
DAMN DRUNK (FEAT. KIX BROOKS)
HAVANA GOOD NIGHT
keepinG up with the karDaShianS, SeaSon 12
SuitS, SeaSon 6
baChelor in paraDiSe, SeaSon 3
baChelor in paraDiSe, SeaSon 3
HAVANA GOOD DAY
keepinG up with the karDaShianS, SeaSon 12
BODY OF EVIDENCE
the real houSewiVeS of new york City, SeaSon 8
mr. robot, SeaSon 2
A WAG WEDDING
waGS, SeaSon 2
BACK ON THE MAP
SuitS, SeaSon 6
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE
pretty little liarS, SeaSon 7
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
THREE SISTERS, THREE QUEENS
TRULY MADLY GUILTY
CLOSE TO YOU
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10
IT’S NOT OKAY
UNIVERSITY COLLECTS MEDICAL SAMPLES VIA DRONES IN MADAGASCAR
A suburban New York university is using drone technology to improve the health care of people in remote parts of Madagascar. Stony Brook University, which has been working in the island nation off the coast of Africa for nearly three decades, has teamed with a Michigan startup company called Vayu Inc. to transport medical samples by drone for laboratory analysis. The team made its first successful run of the drone technology in late July. Diagnosis of ailments, like tapeworm disease, which causes life-threatening seizures and contributes to malnutrition in villages on the island, can now be completed within a few hours, said Dr. Peter Small, founding director of Stony Brookâ€™s Global Health Institute. 166
The drones are about the size of a large picnic table and have two sets of wings. They take off and land like helicopters and have a flight range of about 40 miles. Blood and other medical samples can be secured in small compartments in the body of the aircraft. Drones are being used in other parts of the developing world to deliver medications and other supplies to remote areas, but Stony Brook officials say theirs is one of the first efforts involving a small unmanned aircraft that actually lands in remote villages and returns quickly to a laboratory. To reach these villages, medical workers have had to travel on foot - there are no roads - a trip that takes five to nine hours each way. By drone, they can dispatch the medical samples back to Stony Brook’s Centre ValBio research station and get lab results within an hour or two, said Patricia Wright, the station’s executive director. “Blood samples have a shelf life, especially in the tropics,” she said. “This is such an extraordinary thing, to see these people who have been suffering have hope for the future. Some of my best friends have died senselessly. The dying will not happen in the future because these things are preventable with the help of the drones.” Ultimately, the plan is to deliver the proper medications in a timely manner. Small said villagers who live as they did centuries ago were coached by Stony Brook personnel ahead of time so they would not be frightened by the drones. “That was the biggest unknown, seeing how they would react,” Small said, adding that “they didn’t throw rocks at it.”
THAI GOVâ€™T PLAN WOULD TRACK FOREIGNERS THROUGH SIM CARDS
Thailandâ€™s telecommunications regulator has approved in principle a plan to issue special SIM cards to foreign tourists so they can be tracked through their mobile phones. Officials at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said the plan would apply to tourists only, backtracking on an earlier announcement that it would cover all foreigners, including resident aliens on longterm visas, the Bangkok Post and other media reported Wednesday. The commission said the plan would be studied further after its endorsement Tuesday. Foreign and Thai users are already required to register when purchasing SIM cards. State surveillance of online activity is high under the military government installed after a 2014 coup, and there have been dozens of arrests of people for political material posted on Facebook and other sites. 171
NBTC Secretary-General Thakorn Tanthasit suggested that the plan would not only help catch terrorists and criminals, but also help find travelers who have gotten in trouble or gone missing. “We are not limiting any rights. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has no authority to check on the location of users,” he was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post. “But if tourists commit wrong, or there is a court warrant, we will then forward the warrant to a mobile phone operator and seek cooperation.” His failure to explain details of the plan has caused skepticism, since it is unclear how the special cards would differ from normal SIM cards, which already can be used for tracking phones. He was not available to answer repeated calls to his office. AIS, the country’s leading cell phone service provider, said in a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press that it “would be happy to comply” with the plan if it helps ensure national stability. The statement noted the existing requirement for everyone, Thai and foreigner alike, to register when buying a SIM card. Poomjit Sirawongprasert, president of Thai Hosting Service Providers Club and a strong advocate of free speech online, described the plan as useless, especially if is meant to capture criminals or terrorists. The use of roaming SIMs from other countries, or having a Thai citizen purchase a card for a foreigner, could evade monitoring, she said.
Image: Rungroj Yongrit
MISSOURI MAN: TESLA AUTOPILOT HELPED IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY
A Missouri man says his Tesla Model X’s autopilot mode helped him get to a hospital when he suffered a pulmonary embolism. Joshua Neally told the Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/2aLiMYD) that he felt pain in his chest and abdomen for days before it became excruciating on July 26 as he drove from Springfield, Missouri, on U.S. 65. “It was excruciating pain,” Neally said. “I’ve never had such pain in my life.” At first, Neally thought his pain might be due to a pulled muscle, and that the pain would pass. Then he realized he was having difficulty breathing and sometimes couldn’t see, so he turned on the autopilot, merged onto the highway and headed for an emergency room. 175
He said the pain subsided enough that he could see by the time he reached the highway exit, and he manually drove the last few blocks to the hospital in Branson, Missouri, where doctors told him he had an obstruction in a blood vessel in his lungs. According to Neally, the autopilot mode is designed for divided highways, not city streets, and the driver must grab the steering wheel every four minutes to show the vehicle that the driver is aware. “It’s more like the ultimate cruise control,” Neally said. Neally said if he was driving a tradition car, he might have been able to pull over and call an ambulance, but he doesn’t think he would have made it to the hospital any faster than he did by using the vehicle’s autopilot mode.
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