Barbara Henning, the wife of British hostage Alan Henning, has urged his ISIS captors to ‘please release him, we need him back home’.
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Chaos at Gumball Rally event as Mercedes sports car crashes into lamppost and Jaguar XFR ends up in…
More than 1,500 car fans travelled to the Trafford Centre in Manchester to watch young drivers showing off in their high performance vehicles at the Gumball Get Together.
Fluctuations in gravity can be attributed to the loss of ice in West Antarctica according to data from ESA’s GOCE satellite.
Marc Lore, the former CEO of Quidsi, is thinking about raising $600 million for his new startup, Jet, before the company has even launched, according to Re/code’s Jason Del Rey. Lore says that Jet wants to spend nearly that much on marketing over the next five years.
Pre-launch, Lore has already raised $80 million for the still-secretive e-commerce startup, which will reportedly price products dynamically, based on where they’re stored in relationship to the customer.
Lore promises that Jet will be a “new kind of e-commerce experience, uniquely grounded in transparency and customer empowerment.”
Apparently, $550 million of the proposed $600 million will be spent on marketing. Lore first aired the number at the Shop.org Digital Summit retail conference, but told Del Rey in a followup interview that Jet would need the enormous marketing budget to quickly build the huge customer base necessary to make its business model work best.
Lore also told Del Rey that a big customer base would be crucial for attracting retailers to the site — according to Re/code’s prior reporting, Jet plans on selling the same type of products seen on sites like Amazon, while undercutting them on price.
The backstory between Lore and Amazon is quite interesting:
In 2010, Amazon bought Quidsi — the e-commerce company responsible for Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, and other sites — for $540 million.
Quidsi’s founders, Lore and Vinit Bharara, made a killing, but the sale wasn’t entirely sweet.
Before the acquisition, Amazon had more or less declared a pricing war against Diapers.com. Amazon started offering deep, deep discounts on diapers, trying to undercut the smaller company. This was not the first time that Amazon was willing to lose money temporarily to stave off a competitor. Not long after Amazon started its aggressive price chopping, Quidsi sold.
Now, Lore has assembled a team of more than 30 employees (including many former Quidsi people) to launch Jet. Bharara will reportedly not be involved.
The site won’t launch until January, and then only to a small group of friends and family, Lore told Del Rey, with a full launch coming later that year. Lore also said he plans to raise another big funding round next year.
A drone captured sweeping aerial shots of the protest happening in Hong Kong over China’s refusal to allow democratic elections for Hong Kong’s chief executive.
Tobacco companies are about the last group you might expect to be overly conscientious about consumer health, but in approaching e-cigarettes, it seems they’re doing just that. The New York Times points out that tobacco giants Altria and Reynolds American, who make Marlboro and Camel, are branding their vapor products with elaborate warnings about the dangers of nicotine, despite being under no legal obligation to do so.
In some cases, e-cigarettes feature even scarier warnings than cigarettes do. For instance, look at the warning on Altria’s MarkTen compared to a pack of Marlboro Lights:
The MarkTen package warns: “This product is not a smoking cessation product and has not been tested as such. This product is intended for use by persons of legal age or older, and not by children, women who are pregnant or breast feeding, or persons with or at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or taking medicine for depression or asthma. Nicotine is addictive and very habit forming, and it is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed. Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea, and stomach pain. Inhalation of this product may aggravate existing respiratory conditions. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients in the cartridges can be poisonous.” It also warns: “This product contains nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” It also says “Keep out of reach of children” and promises “important additional safety information” inside the package.
The Marlboro Lights feature only one warning: “Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight.”
In that case, the e-cigarette case warns of the same problems as the cigarette pack — pregnancy complications — in addition to other risks.
Cigarettes in the US are required to carry either the aforementioned warning about pregnancy or one of the following (some of which identify risks that aren’t associated with e-cigarettes): “Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health”; “Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide”; “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.”
Tobacco manufacturers recently, and narrowly, avoided having to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, including pictures of diseased lungs and a smoker with a hole in his throat.
So why are these companies placing such aggressive warnings on e-cigarettes?
“Experts with years studying tobacco company behavior say they strongly suspect several motives, but, chiefly, that the e-cigarette warnings are a very low-risk way for the companies to insulate themselves from future lawsuits and, even more broadly, to appear responsible, open and frank,” Matt Richtel writes in the Times. “By doing so, the experts said, big tobacco curries favor with consumers and regulators, earning a kind of legitimacy that they crave and have sought for decades. Plus, they get to appear more responsible than the smaller e-cigarette companies that seek to unseat them.”
In any case, most experts agree that e-cigarettes are not as bad for you as cigarettes, though the full extent of their health effects is unknown.
We do know that nicotine is addictive; withdrawal effects include feeling irritable and depressed. Being a stimulant, it can also be dangerous for people with heart problems. However, it is not a carcinogen. And according to the American Cancer Society, “[i]n the brains of animals, tobacco smoke causes chemical changes that are not fully explained by the effects of nicotine” that might partially explain why cigarettes are so addictive. Many brands of e-cig also contain propylene glycol, which can be dangerous, but typically only at exposures much higher than those caused by vaping.
On the other hand, the health effect of smoking cigarettes are well-documented, and include lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, and heart disease.
Parts of the River Wharfe in North Yorkshire have completely dried up due to lack of rainfall, leaving a rocky scar across the countryside.
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Diane Parr, 50, from Cornwall, says she was desperately using every fibre in her body to attract the surgeon’s attention as he asked for the scalpel.
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I’m not fond of reviewing expensive products I didn’t pay for. It seems difficult to come to an objective conclusion at times that best reflects the interests of the consumer. With that in mind, I did run the Asus Republic of Gamers G-Series GL551JM through the series of rigorous tests, examinations and benchmarks. Ultimately, when all is said and done it must be asked: is it worth $1,099?
Mrs May said the country needed to ‘face down extremism in all its forms’ in the wake of the murder of British hostage David Haines by a British ISIS terrorist.
The former Chancellor and Home Secretary said Nigel Farage’s supporters were like a ‘mob’ – blaming the country’s woes on foreigners.
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Physicists at the University of Rochester have created an incredibly versatile cloaking device, which hides things from view. But more importantly, you can make this crazy concealing device at home for under $100.
All it takes is four lenses, an optics bench for holding the lenses in place, and an insatiable appetite for making things disappear.
The four lenses, when aligned just right, will bend light around the object you place between them, cloaking the object in the process. Watch this device, called the Rochester cloak, in action below, “cloaking” the researchers hand:
To first understand how to perform your own disappearing act, here’s a basic lesson in lenses.
Lenses, like the convex lens below, bend rays of light. When a lens is convex, these bent light rays focus to a single point.
This point is called the focal point, and it is where the bent light rays converge to produce a magnified version of an object.
The distance from the center of the lens to the focal point is called the focal length, which is shown below. How strongly a convex lens can magnify an image depends on its focal length. The shorter the focal length, the stronger the magnifying power of the lens.
With these principles in mind, you’re ready to build your own Rochester cloak in four simple steps!
What you will need to do:
- Obtain two sets of two lenses with different focal lengths. The first set will have one focal length while the other set will have a different focal length. You will have four lenses in total, which should cost you no more than $30. The lens provider will include the focal length information (sometimes denoted as FL) so you don’t have to calculate it yourself.
- Using an optics bench, select one lens with the first focal length and a second lens with the second focal length. Separate them by a distance that is the sum of their focal lengths. For example, if your first lens has a focal length of 5 centimeter and your second lens has a focal length of 3 centimeters, then separate these lenses by 5+3 = 8 centimeters.
- Now, do the same with your remaining two lenses.
- Lastly, you need to know how far apart to separate your two sets. This will take a little math, but here’s an example using the same measurements in Step 2: D=[2 (3) (5+ 3) ]/ (5— 3) = 12 centimeters should be the distance between your two lenses with the focal length of 3 centimeters.
You can see the full equations with a diagram on the University of Rochester’s website. Here’s a helpful diagram to give you a better idea:
Below is the device that the University of Rochester physicists designed.
They used lasers to show how each of the four lenses bends light rays to recreate the image at the back of the set up, even if something’s in the way between lens 1 and 2. You can see a great example of the laser rays converging at the focal point after exiting lens 1 located at the far left.
To make an object disappear, the physicists place it in between the first two lenses on the left side of the optics bench in the image. Below, they have placed a silver ruler between these two lenses.
The ruler then disappears when you look through the front lens. Ta da!
This is the first cloaking device that can make an object appear to vanish at multiple angles. So, if you move your eye from looking straight down the center of the lens to looking slightly from the left, right, top, or down, you still won’t see the ruler in the image above.
The device does have its limits, though. The device only cloaks at 15 degrees in either direction from where you deviate your eye from the central axis of the lens. But that’s 15 degrees more than any former cloaking device. Here’s the video, from Rochester University, with more details:
Less than 3 percent of companies that received venture capital funding have women CEOs, according to the study.
Paypal’s spinoff from Ebay may allow it to return to its entrepreneurial roots, and the independent company could push the idea of the mobile wallet further.
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There’s more than one way to participate in a fandom, as fanatics the world over likely know. Some participate in cosplay, others write fan fiction. And some people collect, as is the case for this Mexican Harry Potter fan, who’s accumulated so much Harry Potter paraphernalia, he’s made the Guinness World Records.
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Presidents have faced astonishing breaches at “the people’s house,” long before an intruder with a knife managed to slip past security and run around the State Floor this month.
Apple is rumored to update its iPad lineup soon, and some additional details have emerged about the tablets’ features.
Apple is expected to introduce new models of both the iPad Air and the iPad Mini during an October event, and it looks like both tablets will include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, just like the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.
What’s more, Apple appears to be planning on including some level of Apple Pay integration for iPads, according to a line of code found within the newest beta release of Apple’s iOS 8.1 operating system (via MacRumors).
Now, this doesn’t exactly mean that you’ll soon be waving your iPad at a cash register to pay, but Apple is likely going to at least allow people to make in-app purchases using the Touch ID fingerprint and Apple Pay, which would speed up the process of inputting payment information.
Apple Pay requires Touch ID, however, which further lends credibility to both iPads featuring a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
As of now, only the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch have been confirmed to work with Apple Pay, but we know that Apple is already working on three major updates to iOS 8, one of which could introduce Apple Pay to Apple’s tablet lineup.
To get a sense of what the new iPads would look like with a fingerprint sensor, you can check out these conceptual renders from Martin Hajek below.
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Instagram has suddenly become the go-to social network for young adults and teens in the United States.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we unpack data from over a dozen sources to understand how social media demographics are still shifting, including the migration of young users to photo-based social networking.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from the BI Intelligence report:
Instagram has edged out Facebook and Twitter in terms of prestige among young users. U.S. teens now describe Instagram as “most important,” while Facebook and Twitter lost ground on this measure, according to Piper Jaffray’s twice yearly teen survey. The survey also found that 83% of U.S. teens in wealthy households were on Instagram. It is now more gender-balanced. Growth has made it less female-centric. In the U.S., men now account for about half of Instagram’s users; older data from various sources showed a pronounced skew toward female users. Instagram has drawn close to Twitter in terms of the number of total users. In total, Instagram has over 200 million users, just behind Twitter, with younger users driving uptake. The app has reached the youth tipping-point: Over half of teens and people in their early twenties are on Instagram. More than half of American 12- to 24-year-olds said they had an account on Instagram in early 2014, according to a survey from Edison Research and Triton Digital, compared to 19% of all those survey respondents 12 and older. It’s even more popular among teens from wealthy households in the U.S. Additionally, Piper Jaffray found that Instagram reached 83% penetration among upper-income teens, ahead of even Facebook. This makes the social network a particularly attractive marketing platform for youth-centric premium brands.
In full, the report:
Looks at overall social networking adoption in the U.S. and globally Assesses the most important demographic skews at the top social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr Examines whether Facebook is losing out on teen and millennial users as sites like Instagram grow Compares how demographics have changed over time as older social networks have matured Identifies the social networks that have become more and less gender-skewed in the last year Digs into demographics at top social messaging apps, including Snapchat
For full access to all BI Intelligence reports, briefs, and downloadable charts on the digital media industry, sign up for a free trial.
Diana Garbutt, 40, pictured, was bludgeoned to death by her husband Robin, 49, as she slept above the shop and post office they owned in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, in March 2010.
Accents are extremely difficult to lose because our infant brains codify a lifetime’s worth of sounds before we’ve spoken our first word
The post What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Lose an Accent appeared first on WIRED.
: The discovery of the Higgs boson, the particle thought to give all others their mass, was music to scientists’ ears, but now the data has been turned into literal music.
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