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best tech deals and promos you should know about

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Welcome to Android Authority’s Black Friday 2017 deals roundup, the place where we try to make sense of the madness that is the Black Friday deals event.

Thanksgiving is today and as much as you may be looking forward to the break and the overindulgent turkey dinner, the biggest shopping event of the year that follows is even more exciting for many. Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017!

Editor’s note: This post will be updated regularly in order to keep up with the best Black Friday deals. In other words, be sure to return if you want to keep up with all the latest holiday deals.


Looking for some inspiration? Here are some great gift ideas!


Best Black Friday deals available now

The biggest three days of the “Black Friday deals season” are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving day, and of course Black Friday itself. All the biggest discounts will likely fall within that window, but if you want a deal now, let’s jump in and take a look at all the best Black Friday deals currently on offer.

Amazon is also offering a number of time sensitive deals in the form of “Deal of the Day” offers and lightning deals. Due to the fact lightning deals are very time sensitive (usually good for a few hours) and change throughout the day, we aren’t going to list them all here. The same goes for deals of the day. The kind of products typically offered include headphones, household gadgets, mobile accessories, and more.


If you want to shop from a specific retailer, here are the direct links to the major ones:

Amazon Black Friday promoBest Buy Black Friday promoTarget Black Friday promo | Walmart Black Friday promo | Newegg Black Friday promo | Samsung.com Black Friday promo


Smartphones


Televisions and Monitors


Media Streaming Devices


Smart Speakers


Smart Home


Speakers and Headphones


Tablets


Laptops and Computers


Wearables and Smartwatches


Gaming and VR


Drones


Others


Upcoming deals


This is just the start to all the great Black Friday deals that are coming up, and we will continue to keep this post updated with more deals! Keep it tuned!

Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.



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New discovery to accelerate development of salt-tolerant grapevines

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



A discovery is likely to improve the sustainability of the Australian wine sector and significantly accelerate the breeding of more robust salt-tolerant grapevines.



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At the Hotel (Soon to Be) Formerly Known as Trump SoHo

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


But the glitter masked a challenging reality, according to a longtime member of the staff who asked not to be named because employees had signed a nondisclosure agreement. After LeBron James publicly refused to stay at the hotel last year, the corporate clients and 20 or so sports teams that had been regular guests almost entirely disappeared, the staff member said. Porters whose base salaries were once buoyed by up to $60,000 a year in gratuities have earned half as much in tips.

Many employees, some of whom are immigrants from countries targeted by Mr. Trump’s policies, quit, the staff member said.

Yet for some visitors like Saman Gohari, 32, the association with Mr. Trump was the draw. The creation of the hotel was first announced on “The Apprentice,” Mr. Trump’s television show, and though it had been tangled in lawsuits, for Mr. Gohari it still had the burnish of success. “For me, the Trump brand is better than Versace,” he said, after posing for pictures with the golden logo on the doormat outside.

In a room on the 35th floor, things still felt opulent. Guests could be enveloped in Trump bathrobes while shod in Trump slippers, sipping a $75 bottle of Trump wine from the minibar and snacking on a $35 packet of milk chocolate nuggets shaped like gold bullion with the word TRUMP stamped in the candy — all overlooking New Jersey across the Hudson River.

For some guests, the politics was beside the point. It is just a hotel, after all, a cushy place to rest a weary traveling head. The association with the Trump brand felt burdensome, according to a German man who declined to be named because he didn’t want to be associated with the name.

“We have the feeling, that when you go somewhere and you say to a taxi driver, and they say, ‘Where are you going?’ and we say, ‘Trump hotel,’ it’s a political statement,” he said. “They believe that the people who are coming here are supporters of Trump, and the people who are not supporters of Trump are not coming here,” he said.

In fact, he is neither, he said; he has stayed in the hotel for years, well before Mr. Trump’s election, and likes the quality. “We don’t care about politics in the U.S.A.”

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Ghostly Cosmic Neutrinos Are Stopped Cold by Planet Earth, New Study Shows

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments
Ghostly Cosmic Neutrinos Are Stopped Cold by Planet Earth, New Study Shows

The IceCube lab in Antarctica, backdropped by the Milky Way and an aurora on the horizon. Image taken in May 2017.

Credit: Martin Wolf/IceCube/NSF

Subatomic particles called neutrinos are notoriously hard to catch because they pass right through regular matter like ghosts. But a new study shows that high-energy neutrinos from cosmic sources aren’t totally unstoppable.

Researchers from the IceCube experiment in Antarctica announced this week that they have measured the rate at which high-energy neutrinos interact with regular matter instead of passing through unencumbered.

“Understanding how neutrinos interact is key to the operation of IceCube,” Francis Halzen, a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the IceCube principal investigator, said in a statement from the university. [IceCube Photos: Physics Lab Buried Under Antarctic Ice]

The IceCube experiment was designed primarily to study aspects of particle physics, but neutrinos can also reveal new information about energetic cosmic events, like exploding stars or colliding black holes. They could even provide scientists with new clues about the mystery of dark matter.

This illustration shows how muon neutrinos can arrive at the IceCube detector via different paths through the Earth. Neutrinos with higher energies and with incoming directions closer to the North Pole are more likely to interact with matter on their way through Earth.
This illustration shows how muon neutrinos can arrive at the IceCube detector via different paths through the Earth. Neutrinos with higher energies and with incoming directions closer to the North Pole are more likely to interact with matter on their way through Earth.Credit: IceCube Collaboration

Neutrinos don’t really affect the everyday lives of most humans: they don’t make up atoms (like electrons, protons and neutrons), and they don’t play a crucial role in objects their mass (like the Higgs boson). And yet about 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second, according to a statement from the IceCube collaboration. Most of those neutrinos come from the sun, which releases a constant stream of low-energy neutrinos out into space.

The neutrinos that IceCube is seeking — those from cosmic sources — are almost a million times more energetic than solar neutrinos. These high energy neutrinos may be released by a variety of cosmic events including supernovas (exploding stars), black hole collisions and gamma ray busts (which may have multiple causes, including colliding neutron stars).

“We always say that no particle but the neutrino can go through the Earth,” Halzen said in the statement from the University of Wisconsin. “However, the neutrino does have a tiny probability to interact, and this probability increases with energy.”

The IceCube detector is buried under about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of ice, and collects neutrinos coming through the Earth from all directions. Thus, the detector is able to observe how many neutrinos are stopped as they pass through the planet at varying depths.

The IceCube Lab with the South Pole station in the background. Taken in March 2017.
The IceCube Lab with the South Pole station in the background. Taken in March 2017.Credit: Martin Wolf/IceCube/NSF

The IceCube scientists “found that there were fewer energetic neutrinos making it all the way through the Earth to the IceCube detector than from less obstructed paths, such as those coming in at near-horizontal trajectories,” officials said in the statement from the collaboration.

The rate at which neutrinos should interact with regular matter, based on the neutrinos’ energy, is called the neutrino cross section. Those values are predicted by the Standard Model of Physics, which is the most accurate model that scientists have put together of how the physical world should behave. A result that appears to contradict the Standard Model could indicate that scientists had stumbled into “new physics,” or an aspect of the universe that has not yet been predicted.

“We were of course hoping for some new physics to appear, but we unfortunately find that the Standard Model, as usual, withstands the test,” Halzen said in the statement.

The IceCube observatory consists of an array of 5,160 basketball-sized detectors, spaced out evenly along 86 “strings” that are dropped down into boreholes in the ice. Collectively, the strings and the detectors take up 0.24 cubic miles (1 cubic km) of ice, located 1 mile (1.6 km) beneath the geographic South Pole.

When neutrinos are absorbed by or collide with particles of regular matter, the interaction produces showers of secondary particles. Those particles generate light in the IceCube assembly, which the detector picks up. Researchers can use the signal to measure the energy of the original neutrino and the direction it came from.

 

An IceCube sensor, attached to a "string," descends into a bore hole in the Antarctic ice.
An IceCube sensor, attached to a “string,” descends into a bore hole in the Antarctic ice.Credit: NSF/B. Gudbjartsson

The ice blocks particles other than neutrinos that would interact with the detector and create noise in the data.

It’s possible that with more data, researchers could use IceCube to study the Earth’s interior, perhaps mapping the thickness and of its inner and outer cores, according to the statements. The new paper only relies on data from one year of IceCube observations — between May 2010 and May 2011 — so there is still more for the researchers to analyze.

“We have more than seven years of data in the can with the completed detector; therefore, we will deliver a much more precise measurement in the future,” Halzen said in the statement from the University of Wisconsin.

Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Carjacker successfully takes a car and then gets shot and killed by the owner

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Only in Brazil



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Could The Punisher’s Frank And Karen Ever Get Romantic? Here’s What Deborah Ann Woll Told Us

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



While Karen is clearly aware of the strings still attached between Frank and his wife, she and Frank have forged a bond out of their own loneliness and relative isolation. They know each other quite well after everything they’ve gone through, but that may not be enough for a romance to work. There’s definitely a lot of complication in their dynamic, which is a big part of what makes it so engaging to watch. We’ll have to wait and see if that dynamic turns overtly romantic in future Marvel ventures on Netflix.



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Macy’s first Thanksgiving parade photos

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Balloon Puppeteers Macys Parade 1924Macy’sAround 3.5 million people attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City every year. Fifty million more tune in to watch it from home.

Before it became the national spectacle it is today, the first parade in 1924 was a relatively modest assembly of Macy’s workers, elephants, monkeys, camels, Broadway performers, and small floats.

Take a look at archive photos of Macy’s first parade.


On Thanksgiving morning in 1924, Macy’s procession launched as the Christmas Parade.

On Thanksgiving morning in 1924, Macy's procession launched as the Christmas Parade.

Macy’s

Macy’s was not the first company to have a parade like this. In 1920, Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers Department Store staged a Thanksgiving parade with 50 people, 15 cars, and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus.

The performers marched 6 miles, starting from the intersection of 145th Street and Convent Avenue in Upper Manhattan.

The performers marched 6 miles, starting from the intersection of 145th Street and Convent Avenue in Upper Manhattan.

Corbis/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

The parade featured elephants, monkeys, camels, and bears borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Live animals made appearances for just two more parades after 1924.

The parade featured elephants, monkeys, camels, and bears borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Live animals made appearances for just two more parades after 1924.

Getty Images

Source: History

In 1927, Marionette maker Tony Frederick Sarg’s large animal-shaped balloons replaced the animals. The first flying balloon, filled with air, was Felix the Cat. That year, the event was also renamed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

In 1927, Marionette maker Tony Frederick Sarg's large animal-shaped balloons replaced the animals. The first flying balloon, filled with air, was Felix the Cat. That year, the event was also renamed the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

A worker assembling the Felix the Cat balloon in 1927.AP

Source: Business Insider

In the first parade, some of the floats matched Macy’s Christmas window display themes. The participants dressed up like characters from Mother Goose stories, including the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffet, and Little Red Riding Hood.

In the first parade, some of the floats matched Macy's Christmas window display themes. The participants dressed up like characters from Mother Goose stories, including the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffet, and Little Red Riding Hood.

Macy’s

Macy’s employees wore costumes to look like clowns, cowboys, and knights.

Macy's employees wore costumes to look like clowns, cowboys, and knights.

Getty Images/NY Daily News Archives

The company threw the parade to draw more holiday shoppers into New York’s Macy’s, which touted itself as the “world’s largest department store” in 1924. It included 1 million square feet of retail space. (The store is only slightly larger today.)

The company threw the parade to draw more holiday shoppers into New York's Macy's, which touted itself as the "world's largest department store" in 1924. It  included 1 million square feet of retail space. (The store is only slightly larger today.)

Macy’s

Source: Macy’s

The last float, decorated like a sleigh, had a Santa Claus who waved to spectators.

The last float, decorated like a sleigh, had a Santa Claus who waved to spectators.

Macy’s

The parade ended at the Macy’s store in Herald Square on 34th Street, where the Santa climbed a short ladder resting against a new Christmas window display called “The Fair Frolics of Wondertown.” He drew a curtain to unveil it.

The parade ended at the Macy's store in Herald Square on 34th Street, where the Santa climbed a short ladder resting against a new Christmas window display called "The Fair Frolics of Wondertown." He drew a curtain to unveil it.

Macy’s

The parade became an annual tradition.

The parade became an annual tradition.

A thank you note from Macy’s published in The New York Times on November 28, 1924.Macy’s/The New York Times Archives



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Give them the cosmos for Christmas – GeekWire

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Science book roundup
This year’s science reading list includes “Magnitude,” “Big Pacific” “People of the World,” “Otherworlds” and “Soonish.” (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

When it comes to holiday gifts, books are tricky things: How do you know your gift book will resonate with the recipient? If they’re geekily inclined, at least one of the books on this science reading list should strike a chord. And if you’re on the other side of the gift-exchange algorithm, chances are you’ll see something worth adding to your Amazon wish list.

We’ve put together a selection of 16 recently published books that hit a variety of genres, from astronomy to zoology, and are suitable for the coffee table, the kids’ table or your favorite geek’s bookshelf. Follow the links for more information, and still more recommendations.

Coffee-table cosmos

Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe

Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe: Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke, who are part of the team supporting NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, team up with illustrator Katie Peek on a big, bold book that brings perspective to measurements such as distance, volume, temperature and acceleration. How much more energy is contained in a fast-food meal than in the typical AA battery? “Magnitude” has it covered, colorfully. Extra points for Watzke’s status as a Seattle-based science writer.

Otherworlds: Visions of Our Solar System: Artist-photographer-filmmaker Michael Benson follows up on previous coffee-table books such as “Far Out,” “Planetfall” and “Cosmigraphics” with a stunning volume that takes you on a tour of the solar system, starting with low Earth orbit and the moon, and moving outward all the way to Pluto. Greatest hits from Voyager and other classic missions are included, as well as recent snaps of Mars from Curiosity and Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta. (But alas, none of the Dawn mission’s pictures of Ceres.)

Big Pacific: Rebecca Tansley’s photo-filled book is a tie-in for a five-part PBS series that aired this summer, focusing on the dazzling creatures that live in and around the Pacific Ocean. It’s not all just pretty pictures: Tansley addresses the challenges of conserving endangered coral reefs, confronting ocean pollution and dealing with the effects of natural disasters. Toward the back of the book, she gives a shout-out to the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia subduction zone, which unleashed a huge earthquake and tsunami in 1700 and could do so again.

People of the World: Cultures and Traditions, Ancestry and Identity: An encyclopedia of the world’s ethnic and cultural groups sounds like an invitation to an argument, but Catherine Herbert Howell and her colleagues handle the diversity issue with the skill you’d expect from National Geographic. For example, when you turn to the chapter on North America, “Americans” and “Canadians” are just two entries mixed in with 28 indigenous groups. Humanity’s genetic story is interlaced throughout the text like a twisting double helix.

Flights of fancy

Archangel by William Gibson

Archangel: Cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson teams up with Michael St. John Smith and illustrator Butch Guice on a graphic novel that takes on a classic science-fiction theme: What happens if someone travels back in time and changes the course of World War II? Oh, and did we mention that there’s a Donald Trump angle? Extra points for Gibson’s status as a resident of Vancouver, B.C., just up the road — and for his willingness to take on the comic-book medium. If for some reason you’re not a fan of ink on paper, the tale is also available as a five-part digital download.

Artemis: How do you follow up on a smash hit like “The Martian”? Andy Weir’s latest novel is set in a lunar colony called Artemis, where a down-on-her-luck porter gets tied up in a criminal tangle of cosmic proportions. Film rights to the book have already been sold. Extra points for the fact that Weir and fellow sci-fi author Neal Stephenson will be talking about the novel and the writing process at Third Place Books next week.

Autonomous: Annalee Newitz, a veteran of far-out news sites such as io9 and Ars Technica, delivers a debut novel that delves into DNA hacking, patent piracy and emancipated robots in 22nd-century Canada. The Verge says “Newitz’s pared-down style makes ‘Autonomous’ a lean thriller that pairs a fast-moving cat-and-mouse game with an impassioned ethical argument.”

New York 2140: Speaking of the 22nd century, Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel addresses the coming climate change catastrophe and how it could change the character of the world’s financial capital. (The country’s political capital, meanwhile, has been moved to Denver.) Robinson’s New Yorkers of the future turn out to be as scrappy, resourceful and resolute as today’s denizens of the Big Apple.

Stranger than fiction

The Gene Machine

The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids — and How Many Kids We Have: Seattle journalist Bonnie Rochman’s first book tackles the knotty issues that face parents in a biotech age: How much can genetic testing reveal, and how reliable are the results? If tests suggest your infant daughter is genetically predisposed to breast cancer, would you want to know? Rochman turns to genetic counselors, spiritual advisers, researchers, parents and her own experience to explore the ethical dilemmas and potential routes to resolving them.

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything: Dude, where’s my flying car? My spaceship? Fusion power? Robot butler? Brain chip? Kelly and Zach Weinersmith select 10 technological frontiers, explain why they’re harder to get to than people may have thought, and project what the state of things will be. “We urge you to check back in a few years to grade our accuracy,” they write. Extra points for Zach’s status as the cartoonist behind Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which comes in handy for illustrating the book.

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story: For centuries, adventurers and archaeologists have puzzled over reports of a lost city in Honduras, dating back to the 16th century. In 2012, researchers took advantage of high-tech aerial surveys to turn up fresh evidence of ancient settlements. Bestselling author Douglas Preston brings the centuries-old quest up to date. If you enjoyed “The Lost City of Z,” put this book on top of your reading list.

Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hopes and Wastes Billions: NPR science reporter Richard Harris sheds light on the dirty secrets of biomedical research: how scientists used the wrong types of cells for breast cancer studies, even though they should have known better … how researchers win rewards for flashy results, and avoid punishment for getting the facts wrong … and why billions of dollars go to studies that can’t be replicated. “We the public need to realize that failure is impossible to avoid in science,” Harris says, “but we can expect scientists who are spending taxpayer dollars to avoid unforced errors.”

Science for kids

Feathered Dinosaurs

Feathered Dinosaurs: Paleontologists have found solid evidence that many types of dinosaurs had feathers, but you don’t often see them shown that way. Brenda Guiberson and illustrator William Low remedy that sad situation for kids aged from 4 to 8. The National Science Teachers Association praises the book for “showing feathers as a major evolutionary development, which gives evidence of the ‘connection between the feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.’ ” (More recommendations from the NSTA)

Wicked Bugs: The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth: Amy Stewart’s bug book for grown-ups has been adapted for young readers aged 8 to 12, with elegant illustrations by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Some of the meanies featured in the book are well-known critters like mosquitoes and bedbugs. Others are exotic insects like the brain-eating phorid fly and the chemical-spraying bombardier beetle. In every case, you’ll learn something weird and wonderful about wicked bugs.

Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond: How can you go wrong with robots and space exploration? Martin Jenkins’ prose and Stephen Biesty’s illustrations, geared for the 8-to-12 set, win high praise from the Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla: “A very good introduction to the exploration of space by humans and robots, with detailed hand-drawn illustrations that remind me of my favorite David Macaulay books.” (More recommendations from Emily Lakdawalla)

Try This, Extreme: 50 Fun and Safe Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You: Karen Romano Young’s sequel to “Try This!” kicks things up a notch. Kids can learn how to freeze bubbles, or build a solar still to purify water. This recipe book for hands-on science experiments, written with 10- to 12-year-olds in mind, is one of the finalists in the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize competition. (More recommendations from SB&F)

Backlist for geeks



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Co-founder of unicorn InMobi is launching a bike-sharing startup in India

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Over in India, there are a handful of startups working to get the country’s billion-person population on bikes. One of them is Yulu, co-founded by Amit Gupta, who formerly co-founded profitable, billion-dollar startup InMobi.

In the next three to four weeks, Yulu will launch its bike-sharing service in Bangalore with a few hundred bicycles. Yulu is starting with regular, dockless bicycles that people can rent using their iOS or Android phone. The bikes unlock via QR codes and bill the rider for every 30 minutes of use.

In order to achieve scale, Yulu is working with local city governments in India to create more dedicated bike lanes as well as working with agencies to carve out places that are safe to park the bikes.

Bike-sharing has become a hot space for founders and VCs alike. In China, companies Ofo and Mobike have both achieved unicorn status for their respective bike-sharing startups.  Over in the U.S., investors have poured in $62 million to LimeBike and $8 million into Spin as both startups aim to compete against Motivate, the company behind Ford’s GoBikes in San Francisco and CitiBikes in New York City.

“The bike-sharing space is pretty new India,” Gupta told me over the phone. “At the same time, there are things happening in the country, as far as competition is concerned. We believe that both Ofo and Mobike would like to enter India. It’s a country with one billion people, so it makes sense for them to enter.”

Meanwhile, ride-hailing startup Ola recently announced its entrance into the bike-sharing space with a pilot program in Faridabad. ZoomCar has recently done the same.

A few things have happened in recent years that are making it possible for bike-sharing to become a reality in India, Gupta said. There are, for example, now 300 million people on smartphones with active data connections, more people getting on board with a cashless society and more emphasis on building smart cities, Gupta said.

“That’s why it matters right now,” Gupta said. “I had been happily running first company, InMobi, and very proud of what we’ve done. But in my own mind I had an itch where I was wondering if I could do something that would impact society more closely. I just turned 40 and I thought that if I  commit the next five to ten years to solve for traffic and pollution problems, which is becoming  big social problem in the country, I could make an impact using technology.”

Yulu has a co-founding team of four people who have self-funded the startup with some help from friends and family. Yulu has enough capital to get it through the next six to nine months, but plans to raise money from institutional investors down the road.

“We will start to talk to institutional investors once we understand our operating metrics and how demand and supply comes together,” Gupta said.

Featured Image: Yulu



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Food52 is promising to help people with Thanksgiving emergencies

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



2016 1024_AM headshots_james ransom 357_preview
Amanda Hesser of
Food52/Credit: James Ransom/Food52

Food52

  • Thanksgiving is a massive day for food content sites
    like Food52.
  • The web publisher has a digital hotline promising
    readers help with cooking queries and emergencies within 10
    minutes.
  • Forgetting to defrost is a big issue. And sometimes
    it’s a “purple turkey.”

For food publisher like Food52, Thanksgiving is its Super Bowl.

The site’s November user base is already up 60% versus the same
month last year, and its search traffic has surged by 80%
over the same period.

Back on July 1, Food52
attracted 192,000 unique visitors in a single day. On Monday of
this week the site drew 344,000 unique visitors. That audience is
expected to swell over the next few days, as Food52 hosts
its annual
Thanksgiving hotline
, via which the site promises visitors it
will answer queries within 10 minutes.

That mean the site has a dozen staffers working two hour shifts
between now and Thanksgiving night, answering turkey queries like
doctors on call.

Business Insider caught up with cofounder and CEO Amanda Hesser
to talk about what it’s like to man a holiday hotline.

Mike Shields: So what is this week like for you
guys?

Amanda Hesser: It’s really our moment to
shine. We’re here to help people. Thanksgiving is a big daunting
meal for people. Even experienced cooks don’t make turkey that
often.


Barbara Kafka's Simple Roast Turkey, Bobbi Lin
Bobbi
Lin/Food52

Food52

And you’ve got the presentation, and the cousins that aren’t
getting along, you’re supposed to put this big meal on at 4:00 in
the afternoon, and the family pressure – it’s all completely at
odds with regular cooking. So all of a sudden you have a bunch of
questions.

Shields: What’s it like doing the hotline?

Hesser: We’ve learned a lot in the seven
or eight years we’ve been doing it. We take two-hour shifts, and
get email alerts when people have questions. I actually find it
really fun to help people.

Shields: What kind of questions do you get?

Hesser: Well, the most common mistake is
that people forget to defrost the turkey. And once you realized
you’ve forgotten, there’s only so much you can do. It’s a big
bird to defrost. Yet people don’t think ‘I should really do this
on Monday.’ That doesn’t seem logical. So we actually post a
reminder of this on the site all week.

Shields: What other kinds of questions are
common?

Hesser: Most people want reassurance. Or they’ll
ask things about whether they can replace certain things in a
given recipe. The way we come at it is, we share their anxieties.
We’ll get hundreds of questions. And our search tool has become
bigger.

Another thing we offer people is a menu maker.
People can essentially take a quiz, walk through what they want
to serve and how many people they expect, and this generates a
menu they can print as a place setting. Plus they can print out
all the recipes they need. [A variation of the menu maker will be
available on the site throughout the holidays; it’s being
sponsored by
Braun cookware
].

Shields: Any funny stories?

Hesser: There have been some unusual ones. For
example:


My oven is broken the night before Thanksgiving.

My
turkey is purple.


8408e638 01f1 41a0 92cf a7c91a0f97c6 IMG_1652
Purple turkey
Food52

Another
My turkey is purple.


Help! I date someone from Texas who wants brisket for
Thanksgiving. Should I make turkey?

And
more
.

Shields: Anything you’ve learned that you’d
change?

Hesser: A few years ago we started a
commerce business
. And that year, we decided to also sell
turkeys for Thanksgiving. We sold 90 turkeys that year. And 89
made it there, and one didn’t. There was a shipping problem. It
took five of us to find a way to deliver that customer an
alternate turkey, along with a gift. You just don’t want to be
the one not delivering Thanksgiving dinner to some one. So we’ll
never sell turkeys again



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A Cheap, Portable Skin Cancer Detector Has Won the Dyson Award

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


 

In Brief

A team of engineering graduates has won the prestigious James Dyson Award for their cheap and portable device that can detect melanoma, a form of skin cancer. The device could potentially save thousands of lives, as skin cancer is the most common type worldwide.

Meet sKan

Detecting skin cancer early isn’t easy. Currently, it’s done through visual inspections or biopsies, but some doctors may not pick up on the disease using the former, while some patients may not be able to afford the latter. As such, a team of graduates from McMaster University in Canada set out to develop an inexpensive skin cancer detector, and their innovative work has earned them the prestigious international James Dyson Award.

Cancer affects the metabolic rate of skin cells, with cancerous cells heating up faster than their healthy counterparts following a shock of cold temperature.

To make identifying these cells easier, the McMaster University team — Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Prateek Mathur, and Shivad Bhavsar — built a skin cancer detector with 16 thermistors that can track the rate of temperature increase following a cold shock from an ice pack.

The thermistors are simply placed on the potentially cancerous area of skin, and the device produces a heat map that can be used to determine the presence of melanoma.

“By using widely available and inexpensive components, the sKan allows for melanoma skin cancer detection to be readily accessible to the many” award founder James Dyson said in a statement announcing the win. “It’s a very clever device with the potential to save lives around the world.”

In addition to winning the Dyson Award for their skin cancer detector, the team also received a cash prize of approximately $40,000 to advance their research. They received $10,000 at the the Forge’s Student Start-up Pitch competition in March.

Diagnosing Skin Cancer

According to Mathur, the team was inspired to create sKan after realizing technology hadn’t had the same impact on skin cancer diagnosis as it had on other medical fields.

“We found research that used the thermal properties of cancerous skin tissue as a means of detecting melanoma. However, this was done using expensive lab equipment,” he said in a McMaster University news release. “We set out to apply the research and invent a way of performing the same assessment using a more cost-effective solution.”

Going forward, the sKan team hopes to create a more advanced prototype that will allow them to begin pre-clinical testing.

skin cancer detector
Image Credit: James Dyson Awards

As reported by The Guardian, nearly 39 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the U.K., and the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates 87,110 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. 2017, with 9,730 people dying from the condition. Early detection is key to cancer survival, so if sKan succeeds, it could significantly reduce that number.

“Our aspirations have become a reality,” said Mathur. “Skin cancers are the most common form of cancer worldwide, and the potential to positively impact the lives of those affected is both humbling and motivating.”

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Swedish band taps Google Translate to perform song in 3 new languages

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Online translation tools have gotten pretty good at converting words between languages and, if not always perfect, can usually be relied on for a decent approximation of the original message.

With that in mind, Google has now enlisted Swedish indie band Vita Bergen to demonstrate how good its translation technology has become. Vita Bergen’s new single, “Light the Lights,” was originally recorded in Swedish, but the band said that it has used Google Translate to convert the song into three new languages. On December 1, the band will embark on a mini Google Translate tour of Europe to perform the song on the streets of London, Paris, and Madrid — in English, French, and Spanish.

Ahead of the mini tour, the band posted recorded versions of the song to YouTube in the three new languages.

This could be pegged as little more than a marketing gimmick for both Google and Vita Bergen, but it still serves as an interesting use-case for translation technology that has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. It’s now a year since Google Translate switched to neural machine translation, which effectively allows it to garner greater context and meaning from a series of words by translating them as a sentence rather on a word-by-word basis.

While you wouldn’t want to rely on Google Translate to convert your company’s mission-critical documents at this stage, it may well suffice for bands looking to market themselves to new markets.

“The music industry in Sweden is one of the world’s most successful exporters of hit music in English, with artists such as Abba, The Cardigans, and Avicii originating from the country,” said Google Sweden’s head of communications, Farshad Shadloo, in a blog post. “But there are still many talented Swedish artists who may not get the recognition or success they deserve except for in a small country up in the north. This sparked an idea: Might it be possible to use Google Translate with the sole purpose of breaking a Swedish band internationally?”

It’s not entirely clear whether the band (or Google) ran the translated lyrics past a human translator to ensure there was nothing too ridiculous in there. In all honesty, it’s difficult to make out every word from the audio recordings, and song lyrics don’t always make a great deal of sense anyway, so either way, the band can probably pull this off without too much scrutiny.



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OnePlus isn’t about that Black Friday life, leaves the OnePlus 5T’s price mostly intact

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving, which means it’s the official start of Black Friday shopping. Many retailers and companies use today as a means of pushing as many of their products into your shopping cart as possible with a litany of deals, but do not count OnePlus as one of those companies.

If you visit OnePlus’ website, you’ll be met with a large message that basically states that the company will not partake in Black Friday discounts. According to OnePlus, folks already save money buying its smartphones because they offer similar internals and a better user experience compared to their competitors. In other words, it would not make sense to discount the OnePlus 5T, the company’s current flagship, since it’s already offered at what OnePlus believes is a fair price.

At the same time, OnePlus says that it needs to make money to pay its team and keep making products. We’re not sure if those last two bits are true, but it makes sense for a company trying to be as lean as possible by opting for direct sales and little to no marketing.

Whichever reason you buy into, the result is that you can buy the OnePlus 5T at roughly the same price — there is a $0.01 discount off your purchase. Also, you can pick up the Dash Power Bundle, which comes with a Dash Power Adapter and Dash USB Type-C cable, for $17.56, almost half of the bundle’s normal price tag.

It’s an interesting manifesto to have plastered on your website, but then again, we almost expected something like this from OnePlus, which is known to do some out-there things. What are your thoughts on the company’s coming out against discounting the OnePlus 5T? Do you agree with its stance? Let us know in the comments below and, if you are looking for Black Friday deals elsewhere, make sure to check out our round-up of the best deals we could find.



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Highly charged molecules behave paradoxically

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Chemistry researchers have now discovered how certain small biomolecules attach to one another. The researchers’ study also overturns the standard picture – particles with the same electrical charge appear to be drawn together and not vice versa. The results may be important for the development of new drugs.



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Explosion Was Recorded Where Argentine Submarine Went Missing

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Itatí Leguizamón, 29, the wife of Germán Suárez, 32, an engineer on the submarine, said the crew had been worried about the state of maintenance of the vessel.

“My husband told me there were problems,” she said.

Ms. Leguizamón said that she and other relatives felt the navy had withheld information during the search.

“They deceived us,” she said. “They manipulated us.”

A man was sobbing as he left the area where relatives had been told about the explosion. “The bosses steal all the money,” he said.

Experts have said that if the San Juan was intact but submerged, its crew might have only enough oxygen to last seven to 10 days.

The United States Navy, which is helping with the search, shared the information about the catastrophic explosion with the Argentines on Wednesday, according to Captain Balbi.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, which runs monitoring stations equipped with underwater microphones that scan the oceans for sound waves, supplied corroborating information about the explosion, via the Argentine ambassador in Austria, on Thursday morning.

After analyzing the two pieces of information, the Argentine Navy broke the news initially to relatives and then, minutes later, to journalists assembled at a base in Mar del Plata.

The submarine was not armed with nuclear weapons and the explosion was not believed to have involved a nuclear weapon, Captain Balbi said.

The two reports about an explosion — from the United States Navy and from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization — each provided a radius of about 77 miles, and that area is now being searched.

He said there was no way of knowing what had caused the accident.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have that information: what may have been the cause in that location, on that day, of an event of these characteristics,” Captain Balbi said.

Cmdr. Erik Reynolds, a spokesman for the United States Navy, said that American analysts had ruled out the possibility that the “hydro-acoustic anomaly,” as he called the explosion, could have been caused by volcanic or seismic activity.

“That was not a natural sound you hear in an ocean environment,” he said.

Commander Reynolds said that despite the bleak news, American rescue personnel were still scouring the area.

“For the United States, this is still a search-and-rescue mission,” he said. “We’re still presuming that they’re alive.”

The news on Thursday followed a string of reports that had raised and then dashed the hopes of the sailors’ families.

They included an account about satellite phone calls having been made from the submarine, which turned out to be false, and recordings of sounds that were described in news reports as possibly having come from sailors banging on the hull of the vessel to alert rescuers. That report, too, turned out to be unfounded.

Correction: November 23, 2017

An earlier version of this article misidentified the agency that supplied corroborating information about an explosion near an Argentine submarine. It was the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, not the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Continue reading the main story





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Lightning Bolts Are Churning Out Antimatter All Over Planet Earth

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Particles split in the hot belly of a lightning bolt. Radioactive particles decay in the afterglow. Gamma rays rain down to Earth.


Teruaki Enoto, a physicist at Kyoto University in Japan, proved for the first time, in a paper published Nov. 23, that lightning bolts work as natural particle accelerators. Enoto and his co-authors’ results confirm for the first time speculation dating back to 1925 about this phenomenon. Back then, scientists suggested that energized, radioactive particles might zip through the booms and flashes of a thunderstorm. Those particles emit energy at precise wavelengths, which Enoto and colleagues are the first to detect. [Electric Earth: Stunning Images of Lightning]


Here’s what that means:


When lighting strikes, electrons shoot screamingly fast between clouds and Earth’s surface (or between two clouds). But the particles don’t travel through empty space. Along the way, they crash again and again into atmospheric gas molecules. All those collisions heat the gas into a state called plasma, which glows with blackbody radiation (a type of electromagnetic radiation given off by some opaque objects).


Some of that glow, people can see, in the characteristic bright flash of lightning. But some of the emission takes place at frequencies, including X-rays and gamma-rays, far above what the human eye can detect.


Enoto’s results show that those beams of invisible energy — especially the gamma-rays — excite ambient nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, knocking out neutrons from the molecules the gamma rays encounter. In other words, the process results in nuclear fission. Now, things get really exciting. Nitrogen nuclei with 14 neutrons are stable. But take one of those neutrons away, and you’re left with nitrogen-13, an unstable, radioactive isotope. Similarly, oxygen-16 is stable, but -15 … not so much.


Soon, all of those N-13 and O-15 molecules decay. Each unstable isotope fires off an additional neutrino and positron (the antimatter partner of the electron); both are elementary particles with exotic properties. The neutrinos stream away, nearly undetectable. But the positrons, or anti-electrons, go on to collide with their twins: ambient electrons in the atmosphere. And when matter and antimatter meet, they annihilate in a signature flash of energy.


In this case, that signature is a gamma-ray with an energy of 0.511 megaelectron volts. And that’s what Enoto and his colleagues detected streaming down from a lightning storm, showing that a thunderhead is a giant, natural particle accelerator drifting through the sky.


Original article on Live Science.



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Tiger bites hand that feeds him

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Hand into the cage, feed the tiger, Henan man, his right hand was bitten, to fleshy and fuzzy



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The 60 Best Streaming Movies To Watch On Thanksgiving

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Through four major streaming platforms, there’s a cornucopia of options that children, adults, and everyone in-between can enjoy, and we’ve compiled a list of the best 15 from each to kickstart your holiday feast, With our wishes for a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, take a look at what we think are the best films available for your holiday celebration, below.



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Why some people turn red when they drink alcohol

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


This video was first published in April 2017.

Some people will have their face turn extremely red when they drink alcohol, and it is not a good sign. Those who do turn red after drinking alcohol have a condition called alcohol flush reaction. They’re literally poisoning their bodies whenever they drink. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Here’s why some people turn red when they drink. It’s a condition called “alcohol flush reaction.” Side effects include flushed skin, nausea, headache, and rapid heart beat.

The cause is a buildup of acetaldehyde in the body. Acetaldehyde is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. When alcohol hits the liver, it metabolizes into acetaldehyde.

Usually, it’s quickly converted to a safer form, acetate. But people with alcohol flush reaction are different. Their body turns alcohol into acetaldehyde faster. But their liver takes more time to turn acetaldehyde into acetate.

The results are: A less intense “buzz,” harsher side effects from acetaldehyde poisoning, and long-term, a higher risk of mouth and throat cancers.

Alcohol flush reaction is a genetic condition. It’s thought to originate among the Han Chinese, in central China. Over the centuries, it has spread throughout East Asia. An estimated 1/3 of East Asians have it.

Since the condition is genetic, there is no cure. The upside? Those afflicted often avoid excessive drinking and alcoholism.



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Intel Capital invests in IOTAS, a Portland-based ‘smart apartment’ startup – GeekWire

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Photo via IOTAS.

IOTAS is raising more cash to build out its smart apartment technology platform.

Intel Capital is the latest firm to invest in the Portland-based startup, which confirmed the additional funding but declined to say how much it raised. Total funding in the 4-year-old company is $6.5 million; it raised a $5.3 million round in May. Other backers include Oregon Angel Fund, Rogue Venture Partners, the National Science Foundation, Creative Ventures, Oregon Best and Portland Seed Fund.

IOTAS will use the fresh cash to expand its operations, hire more employees, and add features to its technology. The startup works with rental property managers to install “smart” hardware and software throughout an apartment, which includes smart thermostats and outlets, and door and motion sensors. It can customize the technology for each apartment, depending on a renters needs, and integrates with smart home products from companies like Nest or Amazon.

“Our customers include property managers, developers and residents in the multifamily apartment industry,” noted Brian Young, vice president of operations at IOTAS. “The implementation of the IOTAS platform increases the market value of properties while also raising occupancy. This increases revenues for our partners which ultimately benefits IOTAS through its contracts with property management companies.”

Young added that the company also helps improve energy efficiency for residents and vacant apartments. It is also helping create a marketplace and messaging forum between residents, like at Seattle’s Nexus condominium development, as Bisnow reported.

IOTAS, a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree, employs 34 people. The startup is led by CEO and founder Sce Pike, who started IOTAS with co-founder Jeremy Steinhauer.

Intel, meanwhile, is investing in its own smart home technology. It is also partnered with Amazon for a “Smart Life Roadshow” this year and last month debuted its Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit for Alexa-enabled products.



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ProtonMail bolts on an encrypted contacts manager and digital signing for contacts

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Another neat addition to end-to-end encrypted email client ProtonMail: It’s added a zero-access encrypted contacts manager that also digitally signs the contact info you store in it.

The new features have been added to v3.12 of ProtonMail’s web client, with the Swiss-based startup saying it’s working on also bringing the feature to its Android and iOS apps.

In a blog post announcing the contacts manager, it says the feature is a security benefit especially to those with a strong need to keep sources confidential — such as journalists — although it’s worth noting that any email addresses stored in the contacts manager are not encrypted (so the added security layer only applies to phone numbers and addresses).

ProtonMail writes:

The addition of encrypted contact fields brings many security benefits. For example, if you are a journalist with a confidential source, it is very important to protect the phone number or address of that source. Using the notes field in contacts, you can also add other information about the contact that will be protected with zero-access encryption. In order to do email filtering, we do not use zero-access encryption for email addresses — doing so also does not significantly improve privacy because as an email service, we necessarily must know who you are emailing in order to deliver the message.

It adds that it’s digitally signing contacts to “verify the integrity of contacts data” — offering users a “cryptographic guarantee that nobody (not even ProtonMail) has tampered with your contacts”.

The new digital signatures are used for all contact fields, including email address, with signed (and thus untampered) contacts being denoted by a tick icon displayed alongside.

ProtonMail‘s zero access encrypted email service exited beta in March last year. The company offers both a free e2e encrypted email client, with limited storage and feature, and paid tiers that beef up available capacity and capabilities.

It tells TechCrunch the new digital signature verification for contacts is available for all users.

While the e2e encrypted contact fields feature is currently only available for paid users — although co-founder Andy Yen says “this may change in the future”.

“In our view, verifying the authenticity of contacts data is even more important than hiding contacts data which is why digital signature verification is available for everyone,” he adds.

The full implementation of both features can be examined by outsiders via ProtonMail’s source code, which it open sources.

The company is also trailing a number of additional security enhancements that it says will build on the new contacts manager — and are coming in 2018.

“For example, our new contacts manager can also be extended to store public keys, which is an essential component for both sending PGP messages to people who don’t use ProtonMail, verifying the integrity of the keys themselves, and verifying the authenticity of received messages via digital signatures,” it writes, adding: “We are working on these, and many other security enhancements, and look forward to sharing them with the ProtonMail community in the future.”

The pro-privacy startup reported a boost in sign ups for its email service a year ago, following the election of Donald Trump in the US.

Yen says ProtonMail has around five million users at this stage — across its email product and a VPN service it also now offers.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch



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Trump, GOP tax reform bill analysis gives bad reviews

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments




donald trump mitch mcconnell
Donald Trump and Mitch
McConnell

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Images



  • Three new analyses of the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs
    Act all delivered bad news for Republican leaders.
  • The Tax Policy Center found that more
    than 50% of Americans would see a tax increase in 2027
    under the bill.
  • Only one out of 42 economists surveyed by the
    University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business said the bill
    would increase economic growth substantially.
  • The Penn-Wharton Budget Model found that the bill would
    blow a hole in the federal deficit.

While Congress is on a week-long Thanksgiving break, the
breakneck speed of the Republican push
to reform the
US tax code has brought a bill to the edge of passage
in the Senate.

The latest version of the chamber’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
(TCJA) passed the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday,
and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants
to bring the bill for a full Senate vote when lawmakers return
from the recess.

But on Tuesday, Republicans were hit with something of a
triple-whammy: Three different groups offered three critical
analyses of the bill’s potentially negative effects on
the federal budget, Americans’ taxes, and the broader US
economy. While the Senate is still expected to make changes to
the legislation, each of the new studies shows that the Senate’s
TCJA has some significant underlying issues.

Tax Policy Center says it would raise taxes on half of Americans

Perhaps the most damning of the new reports came from the
Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center.


The nonpartisan group’s analysis
of the legislation found
that while all income groups would get a tax
cut from the bill in the short-term and long-term, many
Americans would also see their taxes increase. Per the
report:

  • In 2019: The average tax cut for all
    Americans would be $1,300, an increase in take-home pay
    of 1.7%. Americans in the middle quintile of income
    earners — $50,000 to $87,000 a year — would get an average
    tax cut of $850 and receive 18.4% of the tax cuts’ benefits.
    People in the top 1% of incomes, more than $750,000 a year,
    would see an average cut of $34,130 and receive 17.6% of
    the bill’s total benefit.
  • In 2027: Due to the TCJA’s proposed
    sunset of the individual tax cuts, combined with other
    changes to the code, benefits would be substantially less for
    the middle class. The average cut for all
    Americans would be just $300, and 50.3% of American households
    would actually see their taxes increase by this point.

    Those in the middle quintile of earners would get an average
    tax cut of just $50, and 65.6% of these people would see their
    taxes actually go up. People in the top 1% of income earners,
    however, would still get an average tax cut of $32,510 and
    would receive 61.8% of the total tax benefits from the plan.
    Just 16.8% of people in the top 1% would see a tax increase.

Economists don’t think the TCJA will grow the economy

Trump and Republicans have argued repeatedly that the cuts in the
plan would
stimulate economic growth
 and even help “pay for” its
new spending. Most economists aren’t buying the rosy projections.

But according to the IGM Forum
survey
of 42 academic economists by the University of
Chicago’s Booth School of Business, only one economist agreed
that “US GDP will be substantially higher a decade from now”
than under the current baseline.

In fact, 52% disagreed or strongly disagreed that the bill would
lead to significant economic growth, and 36% were uncertain.

And when asked if the “US debt-to-GDP ratio will be
substantially higher” in 10 years under the bill compared to
current law, 88% of the economists agreed or strongly agreed, 2%
were uncertain, and the rest abstained.

Penn-Wharton budget model says the TCJA will blow a hole in the
deficit

The final rough analysis for the legislation came from a new
report from the University of Pennsylvania, using its
Penn-Wharton Budget Model to assess the potential
budgetary effects of the bill.

While Trump administration officials claiming the
TCJA would pay for itself
, some Senate Republicans
have been hesitant to support the bill over concerns that it
would cause a massive increase in the federal debt.

According to the Penn model, the TCJA would increase the federal
deficit by $1.327 trillion
over the first 10 years
after it becomes law (not including debt
service costs). Even when factoring the economic boost from the
tax cuts, according to the report, the bill would still add $1.271 trillion in
debt
.

Either way, the model shows that much like the House
version of the bill
, the Senate TCJA would not come
close to paying for itself.



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The Toxic Secret Of The Semiconductor Industry

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


toxic

In 1984, James Stewart, a graduate student, discovered an unusually high number of miscarriages at the Digital Equipment Corp while working through school as a health and safety officer. Digital Equipment agreed to fund a study, helmed by professor Harris Pastides to investigate the matter. In 1986 it was found that women working at the plant experienced twice the number of miscarriages compared to the average rate.

Tech companies including International Business Machines Corp., Intel Corp., and about a dozen other top technology companies grouped under the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) sent experts who gathered and met with Pastides, scrutinizing his findings and criticising his work at a hotel near Bradley International Airport.

“That was a day I remember being at a tribunal,” Pastides said, and the atmosphere “bordered on hostility. I remember being shellshocked.” 

They did, however, agree to fund three more studies into the matter. Then something miraculous happened: unlike most industry-funded research, instead of aligning closely with what the industry expected, all three studies showed a doubling of miscarriage rates for women working in their plants.

The companies blamed a group of toxic chemicals commonly used in chip assembly and claimed that they would phase them out completely by 1995. (Interestingly a recent SIA-commissioned study found that  “Work in the US semiconductor industry, including semiconductor wafer fabrication in cleanrooms, was not associated with increased cancer mortality overall or mortality from any specific form of cancer”  but apparently SIA’s website made no mention of miscarriage rates)

Unfortunately, this part of the arrangement turned out exactly as you would expect when chipmaking got outsourced to Asia  partly due to the lack of control over foreign manufacturers who independently behave as they will and partly due to the concept of “Fabless Chip Manufacturing”, wherein American companies like AMD or Nvidia design chips and export the actual manufacturing process to companies in countries with cheaper labor, fewer… restrictions… and in some cases ignorance of the dangers of these chemicals.

Bloomberg Businessweek obtained data from the companies that women continued to be exposed to these chemicals, at least until 2015. To this day many may still be exposed. And the ramifications of this show in the very same rates of miscarriage.

Further, there may be other chemicals to blame, chemicals which have not even been disclosed which cause other devastating health problems. Cancer, for example.

A South Korean physician named  Kim Myoung-hee would stumble upon another curious case:

Two young South Korean women, who worked side-by-side at the same Samsung Electronics workstation and were exposed to the exact same chemicals, developed the same aggressive form of leukemia (one which typically affects only 3 out of every 100,000 South Koreans). They died within 8 months of each other.

Soon other cases were revealed at Samsung and other microelectronics companies. Kim started digging deeper: “I had no idea that this is a chemical industry, not the electronics industry.”

(Speaking of chemicals, Gordon Moore is a chemist and a founder of Intel. He worked with physicist Jay Last to found the process used to print circuits onto chips. He had this to say in an interview for an oral history project for the Chemical Heritage Foundation:

“We were putting into industrial production a lot of really nasty chemicals,” Last said. “There was just no knowledge of these things, and we were pouring stuff down into the city sewer system.”

Moore noted that when workers dug up the pipes beneath Intel, the “bottom was completely eaten out the whole way along, and that was just about the time we really started recognizing how much you had to take care of this.”)

Kim would find that every study published since the 1990s claimed that the global semiconductor industry had stopped the usage of miscarriage-causing chemicals by 1995. Strangely, she found that this did not seem to affect the young South Korean women workers her associates interviewed  some would go months to a year without menstruating.

In 2013, Kim finally managed to obtain national health-insurance data, circumventing the lack of cooperation she faced from South Korean chipmakers. The results of her study showed a familiar trend: women in their 30s had a miscarriage rate nearly as high as their American counterparts decades prior.

“This was not the result I had expected,” Kim said.

According to Kim, it is impossible to estimate the number of women exposed to the toxic chemicals. Turnover rates at semiconductor plants are high, and estimates of 120,000 female employees are probably on the low side.

It is easy to forget that in these statistics lie thousands of individuals.

Toxic

Take Han Hye-kyung, a former worker at a Samsung LCD factory:

I just hate Samsung. More and more. I hate Samsung

Her mother continued on her behalf because she had difficulty speaking:

“Hye-kyung started work in 1995 and quit the job in 2001. In September 2005 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She quit Samsung because her period completely disappeared…  But even after she quit, her period was still irregular. She got the brain tumor while she was being treated for her irregular periods, you know?”

Samsung, in particular, would wage war against former employees, hiring South Korea’s top lawyers to combat their workers’ claims for compensation. According to Bloomberg, the company’s execs have been secretly recorded offering payouts to families who were willing to withdraw their claims. Hush money.

By 2014, Samsung finally apologized for how it treated the families of victims, and privately arranged to compensate workers past and present for illnesses and deaths. Payouts are inconsistent though, and it still denies any causal link between illnesses and its processes.

When Bloomber interviewed Pastides, he said: “The fact that women around the world were still being subjected to things that experts, including corporate leaders, decided should not be used in the workplace — to me that is an extremely sad story, and a loss for public health.”

Sources: Bloomberg, NCBI, The Independent, LevyLawSemiconductors.org



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No, A Doctor Did Not Perform the First Human Head Transplant

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Although the doctor planning a human head transplant insists it’s possible, medical professionals remain skeptical.

The post No, A Doctor Did Not Perform the First Human Head Transplant appeared first on Futurism.



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Google to launch Hong Kong cloud region in 2018

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


Google has announced that it’s opening a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Hong Kong.

Launching sometime in 2018, it will be Google’s sixth Asia-Pacific (APAC) region after Singapore, Sydney, Taiwan, Tokyo, and the recently announced Mumbai region.

Above: Hong Kong: Coming in 2018

Hong Kong represents a notable addition to Google’s global roster of cloud regions. The company has yet to launch its cloud platform in mainland China, despite rivals Microsoft and Amazon’s AWS having offered cloud services there for a number of years, albeit in partnership with local players.

China isn’t exactly embracing foreign cloud companies, however. Regulators have been tightening rules on foreign data and cloud services while also implementing new surveillance measures around cross-border data transfers. Amazon recently announced it was selling off the hardware from its public cloud business to Chinese partner Sinnet to comply with local law.

Google, for its part, has had a fractious relationship with China, with many of the internet giant’s services banned or heavily restricted in the country. The company’s lack of cloud service in China has had a knock-on effect for Google’s clients who may wish to launch in the country. Snapchat is one such example. Its parent company, Snap, opened a Chinese office last year, but in a filing a few months later it conceded that its hands were tied in terms of launching in China. Snap said:

Access to Google, which currently powers our infrastructure, is restricted in China, and we do not know if we will be able to enter the market in a manner acceptable to the Chinese government.

Snap later signed a separate cloud services deal with Amazon’s AWS.

Cloud conundrum

While Google is still indicating that it doesn’t plan to launch in China, its long-term cloud success may lean heavily on the country. As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong is afforded a degree of autonomy and could serve as a gateway of sorts to mainland China, though how exactly that would work isn’t clear. Officially, Google said that its new Hong Kong region is purely about serving that one market.

“Hong Kong has just begun its digital transformation, and this new GCP region will make it easier for Hong Kong companies to build highly available, performant applications,” wrote Rick Harshman, Google Cloud’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, in a blog post.

“Hong Kong is an international commercial hub and is among the world’s leading service-oriented economies,” he added.

Google previously intended to launch datacenters in Hong Kong, but it shelved those plans in 2013 to focus on Taiwan and Singapore. “While we see tremendous opportunity and potential in Hong Kong…we will not be moving ahead with this project,” a Google spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal at the time, citing cost and the lack of available land in Hong Kong as among its reasons for ditching the plans.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced plans to open a region in Hong Kong next year, while Microsoft has yet to reveal its intentions on this front.

Google has launched a number of new GCP regions this year, including its first in Latin America, which opened in Brazil back in September. Again, this brought Google in line with Amazon and Microsoft, which had operated cloud infrastructure in the region for several years.

In many ways, Google has always been playing catch-up in terms of global cloud service provision. But its services are immensely popular around the world, so having local infrastructure to ensure high performance and low latency is integral to the company’s mission, irrespective of any longer-term plans it may have to enter mainland China.



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Make big savings on SanDisk storage products today only on Amazon

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments


SanDisk is one of the most popular producers of external storage products and is favored by many Android users (we consider it one of the best microSD card brands too). Among the bazillion other Black Friday deals currently ongoing is a SanDisk sale which includes a range of microSD cards and flash drives.

You can find them all on Amazon at the links below, but note that these particular offers are available only until midnight tonight.

MicroSD Cards

Flash Drives

Have you found any better deals on storage products this Black Friday? Let us know what they are in the comments and check out our Black Friday 2017 hub for more.



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How to cut your lawn for grasshoppers

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Picture a grasshopper landing randomly on a lawn of fixed area. If it then jumps a certain distance in a random direction, what shape should the lawn be to maximize the chance that the grasshopper stays on the lawn after jumping?



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A Thanksgiving for the Turkeys

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Step into the barnyard at the Celebration for the Turkeys. For three decades, Farm Sanctuary, a vegan animal rescue organization, has been hosting a turkey dinner where the birds are the guests of honor instead of the main course.



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Man Develops Rare Infection 30 Years After First Exposure

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



An uncommon fungal infection appears to have lingered in one man’s body for 30 years before making itself known in his brain — and a heart transplant may have played a role in making him sick, a new report of the man’s case reveals.


The 70-year-old man was diagnosed with histoplasmosis, an infection caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum.


Histoplasma is common in some parts of the U.S. — namely, around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys — but not in the Southwest. Indeed, the case is unusual because the man lives in Arizona and he did not spend much time outside of the state. He likely picked up the infection during a brief visit to North Carolina three decades earlier, according to the case report, which was published Nov. 8 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.


Histoplasmas spores live in soil that may contain bird or bat droppings, and people can inhale these spores after dirt or dust containing the droppings gets disturbed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This can happen during activities, such as cleaning chicken coops, exploring caves, and landscaping or demolishing old buildings, the CDC says. [10 Bizarre Diseases You Can Get Outdoors]


Histoplasmosis usually affects a person’s lungs and causes flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, cough and fatigue, the CDC says, but the fungus can also spread to other organs.


But not everyone who inhales the spores gets sick, according to the CDC. In this man’s case, he may have been more vulnerable to the infection because he was a heart-transplant recipient who received a donated organ in 1986.


The man’s heart transplant wasn’t the source of the infection, but it may have been the reason the histoplasmosis infection was reactivated, said Dr. Carol Kauffman, an infectious-disease expert at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan. Kauffman was not involved in the man’s case, but has written extensively about histoplasmosis.


After an organ transplant, people must take drugs to suppress the immune system so that the body doesn’t attack the new organ. These medications lowered the man’s immunity and allowed the fungal spores that lay dormant in his body to grow again, Kauffman told Live Science.


The man learned of his infection when he went to see infectious-disease experts at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson because he had been feeling confused for four days, according to the case report.


Brain scans of the man’s head revealed abnormal brain tissue, leading doctors to think that he might have had a tumor. Additional tests revealed that the man also had abnormal growths on his adrenal glands, which produce a variety of important hormones.


The doctors then performed a biopsy of the adrenal glands — which are located on top of a person’s kidneys — and found areas of inflamed, dead tissue, which can be a symptom of histoplasmosis, according to the case report.


Lab tests and a fungal culture confirmed the man’s diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis, the more severe and rarer form of the disease. (“Disseminated” means that the disease spread beyond the initial location of the infection, in this case, the lungs.)


Indeed, the man’s initial symptoms — confusion and an “altered mental status” — were likely the result of the infection spreading to his brain, Kauffman said.  


The case report authors said that histoplasmosis was an unusual diagnosis, considering that the man could recall only a short visit, more than 30 years earlier, to North Carolina, which is an endemic area, meaning an area where the disease is seen more regularly.


Kauffman noted that the report doesn’t provide all of the details needed to know how the man first picked up the infection. For example, he might not remember all of his travels; and if he drove to North Carolina, he could have stopped along the way in endemic areas, she said.


The fungus can be in the soil in many places, and a person can be exposed to it without having a history of being in contact with birds, bats or caves, Kauffman said.


The man was given an antifungal medication to treat the infection, according to the case report.


Originally published on Live Science.



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FLY ON MY HAM – CLOSE UP

| November 23, 2017 | 0 Comments



Fly shit out liquid at 0:50 …. nasty bugger



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