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Scientists plan on breeding bald, heat-resistant chickens

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 8:36 pm

The inevitability of intensifying global warming isn't just a problem for humans - it's a problem for the world's livestock too. Now, to make chickens a little less susceptible to the heat, one team of scientists has started research to breed poultry that are born bald.

 

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Carl Schmidt, a geneticist at the University of Delaware, is embarking on a mission to Uganda and Brazil, where chickens have naturally shed their feathers over the years, according to Gizmodo UK. Schmidt's worried about feeding the world by 2050, adding that it'll be made even worse "if the climate does continue to change."

 

"We're going to be seeing heat waves that are both hotter and longer," Schmidt said in an interview with Modern Farmer. "We need to learn how to mitigate the effect of climate change on animals - we need to figure out how to help them adapt to it." For now, Schmidt plans a programme of selective breeding rather than alterations to their core genetics. But as well as breeding a whole new race of heat-resistant super-chickens, Schmidt and the team are also investigating other elements of selective pressure. "We're isolating the genetic variants that have allowed them to survive," Schmidt said.

European Space Agency software used to help detect bank fraud

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 8:20 pm

Researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA) have developed software that is now being used to help detect online bank fraud. Former ESA consultant Paulo Marques, founder of Feedzai, sought a need for a sophisticated solution for communications via the Internet.

 

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Fraud detection demands large amounts of information to be analyzed in real-time, with thousands of banking transactions taking place per second. Unlike space technology, bank fraud software must be able to learn the behaviors of each individual and company - and the software has the ability to store information up to four years, helping create personal spending profiles.

 

In Portugal, every electronic purchase uses the sophisticated software, with Feedzai screening $229 billion worth of purchases and payments per year. An important task with cybercriminals targeting banks and financial instructions, with $11.4 billion lost in credit card fraud each year.

Continue reading 'European Space Agency software used to help detect bank fraud' (full post)

UK privacy chief warns wearables must comply with data law

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Britain's privacy regulator has warned that wearable tech must comply with existing privacy laws, in the wake of a Google Glass soft launch in the UK.

 

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Andrew Paterson, senior officer at the Information Commissioner's Office, said in a blog post that there's a danger wearable tech could intrude on the privacy rights of everyday citizens. He asserted that there's a debate to be had surrounding how comfortable the public feels with pervasive wearable devices that are always connected and capable of filming at any time.

 

"If you are using a wearable technology for your own use then you are unlikely to be breaching the [UK Data Protection] Act," Paterson wrote. "This is because the Act includes an exemption for the collection of personal information for domestic purposes. But if you were to one day decide that you'd like to start using this information for other purposes, for example to support a local campaign, then this exemption would no longer apply."

Continue reading 'UK privacy chief warns wearables must comply with data law' (full post)

Report finds online vs offline media consumption is split nearly 50-50

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 6:33 pm

Almost half of all Brits still read printed newspapers to get their fix of current affairs, according to a new study by the UK regulator Ofcom.

 

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Despite the repeated shouting that print is well and truly on its last legs, 40 percent of British consumers still pick up a paper to find out what's going on. But 41 percent of consumers do get the majority of their news from websites and mobile apps.

 

According to the report, younger generations are driving the shift towards online media - which itself enjoyed a leap in popularity by nine percent between 2012 and 2013. For younger people the growth was even greater, with 60 percent of 16-24 year olds consuming media online or via apps now, compared to 44 percent in 2013. Young people also find mobile and internet apps as the best way to consume news media. But a touch depressingly, one in ten youth said they do not follow the news at all.

YouTube to create weekly radio show for Sirius XM

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 5:00 pm

YouTube is a place where we mostly think of video being the focus of attention. However, a lot of music artists use the video site to get their music out there. YouTube has announced that it is helping to create a weekly radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio called the YouTube 15 on Sirius XM.

 

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The weekly show will be played on the Sirius XM Hits 1 radio network and will be hosted by Jenna Marbles. The show will air on the satellite radio network starting July 11 at 6pm ET. Replays of the show will be aired over the weekend.

 

The show will highlight artists that are emerging on YouTube and other pop songs that are on the video sharing site. Some of the up and coming artists have videos on YouTube that generate millions of views.

GoPro IPO goes well, stock surges to over $31 per share

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 4:04 pm

GoPro cameras can do just about anything from recording racetrack antics for car guys to diving into the ocean depths. The rugged camera is among the most popular for sports fans of all types for recording their fun. GoPro went public this week with an IPO that kicked off yesterday.

 

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GoPro began its IPO with share prices set at $24 per share. The stock surged in trading to over $31 per share in trading. GoPro raised about $425 million and is now valued at nearly $3 billion.

 

After the IPO, GoPro has about 123 million shares outstanding. GoPro currently holds about 45% of the camcorder market in the US by dollars, but the company is facing some serious competition with other firms, like Google, stepping into the wearable camcorder market.

Apple Podcasts app users faced crashing issues yesterday

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 3:01 pm

Fans of podcasts on the iPhone or other Apple devices faced an annoying issue yesterday afternoon that saw the app crashing frequently. The Podcasts app was crashing on multiple devices running iOS 7.1.1 and for devices that were running the iOS 8 beta 2 version of the OS.

 

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Users report that the app would open briefly on the Apple device, but would then close only a few seconds later. The crash issue began early in the morning on June 26. Later that morning, users reported success with getting the app to work after switching the phone into Airplane Mode and then opening the Podcasts app.

 

Once that was done, the app would reportedly stay open for some users when Airplane mode was turned off again. By 10pm last night, the podcasts app was reportedly working normally.

WatchESPN World Cup viewership was higher than the Super Bowl

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 2:07 pm

Depending on what country you are from, Football can mean different sports. In the US, football is what we watch in the fall with the NFL, but in much of the rest of the world football is soccer. With the World Cup tournament underway, people all around the globe are flocking to the TV to watch the matches and root for their favorite team.

 

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WatchESPN is available as an app or a website and allows people with verified cable subscriptions to watch sports content, like the World Cup, on the TV screen. WatchESPN has set a viewership record with more people streaming World Cup matches at the same time than streamed the Super Bowl earlier this year.

 

WatchESPN racked up 1.7 million concurrent viewers during the World Cup US versus Germany match this week. In fact, the number of viewers was so high that many people had trouble logging on to view the game. Concurrent viewers using WatchESPN to watch the Super Bowl hit 1.1 million.

Google Chromecast to pair with devices using ultrasonic sounds

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 1:00 pm

Users of Chromecast devices know that it is easy to pair the Chromecast with a phone or tablet if the devices are all on the same Wi-Fi network. The catch is if you have a friend over who wants to stream content from their device to the TV via Chromecast, you have to share your Wi-Fi credentials with them to make that happen.

 

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Chromecast is set to get a new way to pair with devices that aren't on the same Wi-Fi network using ultrasonic sounds. Humans can't hear the ultrasonic sounds, but nearby devices can. The feature was announced at Google I/O 2014 last week.

 

With this new feature enables, users will be able to cast content from their phone to the TV when on a mobile network. A four-digit pin will also be offered to allow users to manually pair devices that aren't on the same network. Google's Chromecast device will produce the ultrasonic sounds from the TV audio system to pair with the mobile device. Ultrasonic paring will hit Chromecast in the coming weeks; no specific time frame is offered.

Apple working on smart home gear says rumor

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 27, 2014 12:00 pm

We can thank companies like Nest for raising awareness about home automation and related gear and thanks to that raised awareness more companies are looking to get into the home automation market. One of the companies that are looking to get into the home automation market is Apple according to a rumor.

 

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That rumor claims that Apple will be putting out a line of home automation products that integrate deeply with existing Apple devices. Rumor sources haven't said what sort of products Apple is developing, but the project is said to be past the exploratory phase.

 

Rumor sources have claimed that Apple isn't building gear to compete directly against Nest; presumably, that means no smart thermostats or smoke detectors. Apple is targeting devices with wider usage than the gear Nest is producing. Exactly when these Apple home automation products will hit the market is unknown.

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