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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Buttonless fingerprint sensors are coming to phones this year

Just at the moment when the outward appearance and construction of phones were beginning to stagnate, here comes another new tweak to keep us interested.

LG Innotek today joins Fingerprint Cards in announcing a fingerprint module that can be integrated under the same glass cover as a phone's display, obviating the need for a button. This will allow smartphone makers to have truly seamless designs while still offering the now-mandatory fingerprint authentication — and both companies expect devices with this new technology before the end of the year.

What's different about these new fingerprint sensors?

Traditional fingerprint readers have always required a discrete area just for their use. To integrate them most efficiently, smartphone makers have tended to build them into either the home button on the front, as Apple and Samsung do, or the power button on the back or side, as you'll find Google's Nexuses and Sony's Xperias. This year's new sensors offer the ability to integrate them into glass, which would remove any exterior sign of there being a sensor at all. Imagine Samsung's Galaxy S7, exactly as it is now, but with the home button being a capacitive key under the glass.

Is the benefit purely aesthetic?

No. LG Innotek points out that waterproofing a smartphone becomes significantly easier without a discrete button for the fingerprint reader. Plus the sensor itself is less susceptible to being scratched if it sits under the same tough cover glass as the display. Fingerprint readers have to be particularly robust, by microelectronics standards, because they sit on the exterior of a device.

Is there any downside?

Both LG Innotek and Fingerprint Cards promise to maintain the accuracy of current implementations — LG claims a false acceptance rate of just 0.002 percent — although the speed of recognition through the extra layer of glass might not be the same. That will have to be proven out by actual products, but other than potentially being slightly slower, the new glass-friendly fingerprint readers are basically as good as the button varieties we have today.

Who's going to use these new fingerprint readers?

Neither component supplier has announced any customers yet, but it's easy to offer up some informed guesses. Huawei has enjoyed great success being an early adopter of Fingerprint Cards' technology (2014's Mate 7 was one of the first devices to feature it), and it's likely to be at the head of the line for the upgraded 2016 version.

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Source: The Verge

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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Microsoft Sees Big Cloud Business Opportunity in Australia

crosoft has identified Australia as one of its top markets for intelligent cloud computing services. Seeing Australia’s strong uptake in the cloud, the company has sent its executive Julia White to Australia to promote its Azure cloud platform for the enterprise segment.

In cloud business, Amazon is Microsoft’s main rival in the local market. Julia White, who is heading Microsoft’s cloud platform, management, and security technologies, noted that Australia is a unique market in terms of its strong uptake of cloud and Aussies have been “very aggressive” customers in cloud adoption.

Toby Bowers, head of Microsoft Australia cloud and the business group said in the last six months, the company could triple the number of cloud architects and will be doubling the number in the next 6 months, reports The Australian.

In Australia, half of its enterprise customers are using Azure and 40 percent of its revenue from that service is drawn from small businesses and start-ups. Hailing the growth, White said the growth in MS Cloud business is a testimony of its security credentials.

“As people move to the cloud, security is absolutely top-of-mind,” White said. “We’ve very committed to making sure we have best-in-class security around our cloud technology,” she added.

White claimed that Microsoft has been spending $1billion a year on security technologies. To step up the cloud business, Microsoft had acquired Israel’s cloud security start-up Adallom for $320 million in 2015.

According to New York Times, Microsoft is at No. 2 position to Amazon in renting computing infrastructure to other companies in data centres, known by the name “Azure.”

“It remains clear we’re one of two leaders in this market,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in investors call in late April. Analyst Brad Reback at Stifel Nicolaus noted that the company is performing well in that area.

The growth in intelligent cloud business including Azure was one of the brightest spots with Microsoft. Despite a year-on-year quarterly revenue decline, the intelligent cloud segment has been doing well. In the first quarter that ended in December 2015, Microsoft’s revenue from Azure service leapt 140 percent.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s main competitor Amazon Web Services reported $2.5 billion revenue from its cloud sales in the December quarter.

Source: Australia Network

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05-03-2016 General
Cruise ship from Miami arrives in Havana for historic trip to Cuba

HAVANA As passengers cheered, Carnival Corp.’s Fathom Adonia arrived at Havana harbor on Monday morning, officially reestablishing the U.S. cruise business in Cuba.

The voyage of the Adonia, with about 600 passengers aboard, was the first trip from a U.S. port directly to Cuba in more than 50 years, and the importance of the historic trip wasn’t lost on anyone.

Aboard the ship, cruise passengers waved Cuban and American flags. In the Old Havana terminals, Cuban flags and banners from Havantur, the official tourism agency, were draped along the second-floor balcony as a crowd of officials, port workers and media welcomed the ship.

The ship officially docked at 10:24 a.m..

The visit began when the first hazy outlines of the Havana skyline appeared on the horizon about 7 a.m., and excitement aboard the Adonia began to build.

About 7:45 a.m. when the city was still about seven or eight miles away, Captain David Box came on the public address system, noting the great dome of Havana’s Cathedral was clearly visible and pointing out that Havana, founded in 1515, was once known as the “Rome of the Caribbean.”

Read m“We’ll never forget this day,” he said.

By 9:30, the ship arrived at the mouth of Havana harbor, where it lingered before finally docking almost an hour later.

Heather Lacy ?@Heather_Lacy1 And there she is! The first US #CubaCruise is in port in Havana. #cruisetocuba … 10:13 AM - 2 May 2016

Although the Adonia is a small cruise ship — it has to be because a tunnel passes under Havana harbor, making it inaccessible for larger, deeper-draft vessels — it has a loud horn that it sounded as it slowly glided into the harbor around 9 a.m., where it stopped before it was to head to the Sierra Maestra terminal.

“Our ship is small but our ship’s horn is huge and will reverberate across the world,” Box said.

Cubans along the shore and workers at a restaurant at El Morro Castle whistled and wave as the Adonia entered the channel on a bright, sunny day.

“Good morning, Cuba,” exclaimed Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald as he invited guests to an 8 a.m. poolside party as the ship neared Havana. “Just enjoy this very special day.”

The band started playing and drinks started to flow more than three hours before the passengers were allowed to disembark for their first day of people-to-people tours.

The week-long cruise will circumnavigate Cuba and will also stop in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. As a people-to-people trip, the voyage is supposed to encourage interactions with the Cuban people.

While baking on the beach is not part of any people-to-people agenda, a wide variety of cultural and artistic activities are permitted.

Source: Miami Herald

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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Your phone’s biggest vulnerability is your fingerprint

n five minutes, a single person faked a fingerprint and broke into my phone. It was simple, a trick the biometrics firm Vkansee has been playing at trade shows for months now.

All it took was some dental mold to take a cast, some play-dough to fill it, and then a little trial and error to line up the play-dough on the fingerprint reader. We did it twice with the same print: once on an iPhone 6 and once on a Galaxy S6 Edge. As hacks go, it ranks just a little harder than steaming open a letter.

Of course, this particular method only works if you have help from the person whose fingerprint you need — and even then, it’s not a foolproof system. As luck would have it, my own fingertips turned out to be too smooth to leave an impression, so we had to rely on our director Phil Esposito, who had his thumb successfully molded and used it to unlock both phones.

It’s also one of the more primitive ways to bypass a fingerprint scanner. I’ve seen researchers at CITER pull off a similar trick with a 3D-printed mold, developed from a stored image rather than a real finger. If the mold is filled with rubber, you can wear that print permanently, and fool any reader small enough to fit on a smartphone. At the CCC conference in 2014, a security researcher called Starbug used those techniques to construct a working model of the German defense minister’s fingerprint, based on a high-res photograph of the minister’s hand.

It’s a good trick, and one that should make us a little bit nervous. Fingerprint readers are now an essential part of a modern smartphone, and in most cases, they make apps more secure. Most biometric readers work with isolated hardware and a zero-knowledge proof, so capturing the data in-transit isn’t enough to spoof a login. If you’re going to break in, you need the fingerprint itself. The bad news is, fingerprints can still be stolen — and unlike a passcode, you can’t change your fingerprint, so a single credential theft creates a lifetime vulnerability. What looks like a security upgrade turns out to be something much more complex.

That’s particularly true in the wake of the San Bernardino case, which saw government agents working to unlock an iPhone linked to a mass shooting. As it happens, the iPhone in question was a 5C — the last iPhone made without a fingerprint reader. But if a more recent phone had been keyed to Farook’s fingerprint, it would have been trivial for investigators to break in. As a number of morbid commentators pointed out at the time, the FBI had possession of Farook’s corpse, so they could have simply taken the phone to the morgue and placed his finger on the TouchID pad.

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Source: The Verge

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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Australian tells BBC he created bitcoin, but some skeptical

Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright told the BBC that he was the creator of controversial digital currency bitcoin, but some scepticism remained about the identity of a person who until now has gone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.

The BBC reported on Monday that Wright gave some technical proof demonstrating that he had access to blocks of bitcoins known to have been created by bitcoin's creator.

Unmasking Nakamoto could be significant for the future of bitcoin, a computer-generated, digital alternative to other currencies that has attracted the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators.

Researchers believe Nakamoto may be holding up to one million bitcoins, which is worth about $440 million, and the price of the cryptocurrency could plunge if that was to be unloaded.

Wright declined requests from The Economist to provide further proof that he was Nakamoto.

"Our conclusion is that Mr Wright could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that important questions remain," The Economist said. "Indeed, it may never be possible to establish beyond reasonable doubt who really created bitcoin."

The BBC said prominent members of the bitcoin community had confirmed Wright's claim. "I was the main part of it, but other people helped me," the BBC quoted Wright as saying.

Hopes that bitcoin would become broadly used helped buoy its price to more than $1,000 in December 2013, when its market capitalization was $13 billion.

But the market cap has retreated since then, to about $7 billion currently. Bitcoin fell more than 3 percent after news of Wright's claims, from $454.89 to below $440, before recovering slightly.

Wright told The Economist he would exchange bitcoin slowly to avoid pushing down its price.

"If Mr Wright is in possession of Satoshi's original nearly one million bitcoins, he will be for sure closely watched by investors trying to guess his future moves," Tomas Forgac, who runs bitcoin startup Coin of Sale, told Reuters.


In December, police raided Wright's Sydney home and office after Wired magazine named him as the probable creator of bitcoin and holder of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, which has attracted the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators.

The treatment of bitcoins for tax purposes in Australia has been the subject of considerable debate. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) ruled in December 2014 that cryptocurrency should be considered an asset, rather than a currency, for capital gains tax purposes.

On Monday, the ATO said it had no comment while police were not immediately available for comment.

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Source: Reuters

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05-03-2016 Cars
BMW i3 Gets Beefier Battery, Increases Range To 114 Miles

BMW's engineers have managed to increase the range of the 2017 BMW i3 series electric cars by an estimated 50 percent.

Drivers of electric vehicles benefit from not having to worry about maintenance costs such as oil changes, spark plugs, fuel filters, as well as fluctuating fuel prices and other concerns of conventional car drivers.

One worry unique to electric vehicle owners though is range anxiety. Charging options may have increased over time, but finding a place to quickly charge your car's batteries is more difficult than finding a gas station.

Using dense upgraded lithium ion batteries, the new i3 electric car has increased the total power storage from 22 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in older models to 33 kWh without increasing the overall size of the battery pack. The new batteries also support higher charging capacity with the 50kW DC fast charging Level 2 technology.

Originally, the electric car took 3.5 hours to fully charge. The i3's upgraded charger, however, now requires the vehicle 4.5 hours to charge completely. With more than 50 percent increase to both range and battery capacity, this additional time is still faster compared to the original charge on a per mile/ minute basis. Quick charging is also supported and the car can gain 80 percent charge in as little as 40 minutes.

The 2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle also comes with a Range Extender option, which includes a small 650cc two-cylinder gasoline engine, that fires up automatically when the batteries reach 6.5 percent. BMW is not publicizing an estimated range for this option at this time, however, the older model reached the top range of 150 miles with a full charge and a full tank. The added weight of the new battery pack does come with a slight trade-off. The new car is rated to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds, which is one second slower than the original i3.

Other updates include a new color option in both metallic and non-metallic bases. The new Protonic Blue metallic paint design, which was originally offered exclusively in the i8 model, compliments the blue lighting accents in the i3 electric vehicle.

The 2017 BMW i3 is available starting at $42,400 for the base model, while the Range Extender model starts at $46,250. The 2017 BMW i8, a sporty plug-in hybrid, is also available starting at $140,700.

Source: Tech Times

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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Astronomers Find First-Ever Tailless Comet That Could Give Answers to Solar System Formation

Astronomers recently discovered a unique, tailless comet that could provide important clues and answers to questions about the formation and evolution of our solar system. In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, observations done with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and the Canada France Hawai'i Telescope revealed a comet called C/2014 S3. Because of the comet's lack of the characteristic tail that they usually have when approaching close to the Sun, the newly discovered space object is dubbed a "Manx" comet, after the breed of cats without tails. Usually, as comets approach the Sun, the ice vaporizing gleam and reflect due to the sunlight. But when the Manx comet was spotted, it was very dark, like an asteroid. Reuters reported that the C/2014 S3 was discovered in 2014 using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. This device is a network of telescopes that looks out for fast-moving comets, asteroids and other celestial objects in the night sky.

This comet has also an interesting composition. It is made up of rocky materials, rather than the usual ice. Researchers believe that the Manx comet was formed in our solar system, around the same time as the Earth itself. However, they concluded that it was booted out of our system at an early stage, just as the planets were jostling around and getting to its current positions. The study said it has been preserved in the Oort cloud for billions of years and is now making a comeback to our solar system. Lead author Karen Meech of the University of Hawai'i said in a press release that this is the "first uncooked asteroid" that astronomers could study. She said, "It has been preserved in the best freezer there is." This new discovery can lead to other stems of studies on our solar system. However, there isn't much time to dilly-dally.

New Scientist reported that the team hopes to find 100 more similar Manx objects, but they have to ask fast. It was only 18 months after the discovery of the C/2014 S3 that they were able to observe it under a full moon. Soon after their observations, the sun blocked it from view. It cannot be seen for another 860 years.

Source: Nature Wolrd News

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05-03-2016 Science&Technology
Leica's M-D is a digital camera for manual purists

You may be able to live without WiFi on your camera, but would you be willing to ditch JPEG capture, autofocus and any kind of electronic screen? Oh, and pay $6,000 for the privilege, plus thousands more for a lens? If not, you don't fit into Leica's target market for its latest model, the 24-megapixel M-D. The company calls it a "purely functional" camera that's "radically reduced to the most important parameters required for photography -- shutter speed, aperture, distance and ISO sensitivity."

The camera is essentially a Leica M model without an LCD screen. So, forget about reviewing your images afterwards, and with the optical rangefinder, you focus like it's 1955, snapping when two superimposed images come together. The viewfinder has a 0.68x magnification, with markings to help you frame shots for 35/135mm, 28/90mm and 50/75mm lenses.

Normally we'd mention additional features, but instead let's detail what else it lacks: It doesn't shoot JPEG stills (only RAW), there's no video capture, ISO range is limited to 200-6400 and, of course, there's no menu system -- just manual dials for aperture, shutter speed and ISO. However, it does have a nearly silent shutter release, a full-frame CMOS sensor, a top brass plate and 3fps continuous shooting speed. The company also omitted the typical "red dot" branding "in favor of its unobtrusive appearance."

We can't imagine too many folks, especially professional shooters, who'd be willing to give up the ability to quickly review photos. On the other hand, there's something appealing about the lack of a screen, as you're forced to give up any sloppy habits and concentrate on each photo. If you're into purism for the sake of purism and have an extra $6,000 lying around, your camera has arrived.

Source: Engadget

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05-02-2016 Cars
New Rolls-Royce Luggage Set For The Wraith Costs More Than A Car

If you happen to have $46,000 burning a hole in your luggage, then Rolls-Royce has a luggage set for you.

Rolls-Royce has been known for producing vehicles that embody the soul of pure luxury, and they're bringing that design mindset to their new six-piece luggage set.

The design engineers at the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Studio consulted with the top butlers of the most prestigious worldwide hotel chains to refine the styling and features of the Wraith collection.

Rolls-Royce has leveraged its eye for detail to include hand-stitched leather, carbon-fiber frames, and unique magnetic clasps on each piece of luggage. The carbon-fiber body provides a rigid and durable structure with an incredibly low-weight ratio. The magnetic fastenings form a smooth, seamless and durable hold and are fashioned with aerospace-grade polished aluminum. The full set includes one garment bag, two valises, and three weekender bags.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce, spoke about the design and how the company continues to follow Henry Royce's Manifesto, "Take the best that exists, and make it better. When it does not exist, design it."

Specific attention was paid to the creation of the Long Weekender bag, which sports exquisitely smooth carry handles with an even weight distribution system to ensure the contents can be handled easily. Each piece also features totally invisible hand stitching, with the same material used in haute couture gowns.

The Wraith luggage set is designed to contour the stylings of Rolls-Royce Wraith luxury vehicle, which is described by the company as "the ultimate gentleman's gran turismo." The six-piece set fits like a driver's glove within the interior, and the same iconography that adorns the vehicle is used to great effect in the design of the luggage.

Each piece includes a detailed rendition of the "Spirit of Ecstasy" that thrusts itself forward to lead each Rolls-Royce vehicle since 1911. The Grand Tourer bag has self-balancing wheels that proudly display the Rolls-Royce Double-R emblem in the center, which will remain parallel to the ground regardless of motion. Additionally, each bag set is fully customizable to match the individual styling of the luxury vehicle.

The bag set can be purchased at Rolls-Royce dealers worldwide as a complete set for a staggering $46,000. Additionally, each bag may be bought individually, if for some reason you left your wallet in your other Rolls-Royce.

Source: Tech Times

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05-02-2016 Science&Technology
Amazon's AI Assistant Hits SyFy, The First Entertainment Channel To Get Alexa Skills

Amazon's popular AI assistant, Alexa, is broadening its horizons and is now landing on a sci-fi network.

SyFy proudly announced that it's now the very first entertainment channel to tap into Alexa's powers for a better, more engaging experience.

For a good while, Amazon has been encouraging third parties to plug into Alexa and develop products that use the voice-controlled AI software. At the same time, Amazon has also prompted others to customize Alexa's skills for convenient ways of interacting with the software.

That's what the SyFy network did: the entertainment channel tapped into Alexa's skills to deliver a new and exciting experience to its users.

"SyFy is the first entertainment network to launch an Alexa skill, which allows you to interact with Alexa for immediate and exclusive news about SyFy's shows simply by requesting it," says SyFy. "For example, you can ask Alexa 'What happened on the last 12 Monkeys?' or 'What happens in the next episode of Hunters?' and Alexa will answer with the information you've requested."

The new SyFy experience with Alexa skills on board is the result of a collaboration between the company's SyFy Labs innovation labs and NBCUniversal Media Labs. According to the announcement, the new SyFy skill will also allow users to enjoy neat behind-the-scenes previews as well as schedules and episode information. The new experience will also include a number of "Easter Eggs" to further sweeten the deal.

With this new integration, users will be able to ask SyFy questions on any device equipped with Alexa. In terms of schedules, Alexa will be able to give information on upcoming SyFy programs for the next 14 days.

Amazon's AI assistant shows amazing potential and has already stirred great interest operating as the brains behind the Amazon Echo family of devices, so it's no big surprise to see it reach other devices as well.

Just recently, Invoxia launched a portable speaker called Triby, rocking Alexa chops for some neat functionality.

SyFy now joins the party with Alexa by its side, and things are looking up. Of course, you'll need an Alexa-powered device to take advantage of the functionality.

Source: Tech Times

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05-02-2016 Science&Technology
The Apple Watch: Year One

This week was the official one-year anniversary of the Apple Watch. I've owned one for almost all of that time, and — like many tech journalists and gadget commentators — I believe it's worth reflecting on what the Apple Watch has meant to the tech world, the wearables category, and Apple.

I didn’t actually get my Apple Watch until May 5. The reasons for that 11-day delay have to do with poor band choices and a a big chunk of FOMO, but 51 weeks is still enough time to write a reflective analysis.

Let's talk about apps

A lot of us thought apps would end up making or breaking the Apple Watch. A year later, I have to admit that I use very few non-native apps on the Apple Watch.

Part of that is because of how apps on the watch work. In the first six months the watch was available, the non-native app experiences on the watch were slow. The slowness of these apps — coupled with the staggered rollout of the watch itself — was my chief complaint/fear about the Apple Watch, one month into using the device.

After announcing watchOS 2.0 in June 2015, Apple rolled it out in September, which allowed developers to build faster watch apps that were native to the device.

WatchOS 2 was a good step forward, but coming five months into the product’s life cycle, I do wonder how much it hurt developer momentum, in turn crippling Apple Watch app quality.

As it stands, a lot of companies were quick to jump on the Apple Watch bandwagon, but a year in, there still aren’t many third-party apps I use regularly or can even name.

Part of the reason I don’t use Apple Watch apps is speed. Even with watchOS 2’s native code, loading an app and opening it up can often take more time than just grabbing my phone, which is always by my side anyway. And with a few exceptions, I haven’t really run into any apps that I feel offer a truly superior wrist experience.

That said, I do enjoy a number of the built-in apps. The Music app is great and I often like to use it to control what I’m listening to while running. I also love having my calendar on my wrist.

As with the Pebble smartwatch, the true “killer app” for the Apple Watch is notifications. I love getting notifications on my wrist. I like getting alerted that my Uber is ordered and on its way, my Postmates is at the door. I also like being able to answer or decline phone calls from my wrist.

And I love having iMessage on my wrist. Depending on the type of notification, you can often reply right on the watch, which is great. This can be as simple as marking an email as “read” or flagging it. Using Siri, I can even respond to a text message.

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Source: Mashable

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05-02-2016 Politics
Hillary Clinton coming to Williamson

On Monday, May 2, and Tuesday, May 3, Hillary Clinton will launch her “Breaking Down Barriers” tour with stops in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. In her remarks in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, Clinton said, “I want you to keep imagining a tomorrow where instead of building walls, we are breaking down barriers. We are making it more likely that Americans will be part of a prosperous, inclusive, decent society.”

On this tour, Clinton will meet with voters, hear their stories, and discuss how she will fight to raise incomes and expand opportunities for them and their families as president. The trip will underscore Clinton’s focus on the aspirations and needs of families, especially in often overlooked or underserved communities across the country, and what they are looking for in their next president.

On Monday, Clinton will make stops in Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia. On Tuesday, Clinton will stop in West Virginia and deliver remarks on jobs and the economy in Ohio.

Additional details about this tour will be released later.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin also recently announced he would endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

Tomblin noted, “Although I remain concerned about some of Secretary Clinton’s positions on fossil fuels, I believe she is the best choice to unite the Democratic Party and, after being elected president in November, our country. I have had discussions with former President Bill Clinton and representatives from Secretary Clinton’s campaign and believe Hillary Clinton is committed to working with us to diversify West Virginia’s economy while continuing to find ways to use our abundant coal and natural gas to power the nation.”

Source: Logan Banner

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04-26-2016 Politics
Ted Cruz, John Kasich join forces to stop Donald Trump

(CNN)Ted Cruz and John Kasich are joining forces in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination.

Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements late Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy -- something the two campaigns have been working on for weeks -- is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer.

The extraordinary moves reflect the national strength Trump has shown and the inability of Republicans who oppose the New York billionaire to come together to stop him. Dividing up some of the remaining primary states by putting forward one strong alternative to Trump in each could be enough to take away delegates and curb Trump's run to the nomination. "This is a nationwide campaign and we're making a decision where to focus our time, energy and resources," Cruz told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday. "We are now focused very, very heavily on the state of Indiana. It is significant that John Kasich is pulling out of Indiana and allowing us to go directly head to head with Donald Trump."

Kasich said Monday despite the agreement, he still wants Indiana voters to support him. "They ought to vote for me," he said during a gaggle with reporters at a Philadelphia diner. "I'm not campaigning in Indiana and he's not campaigning in these other states, that's all. It's not a big deal," Kasich said. Trump is the only candidate who can realistically get a first-ballot victory -- there's no mathematical path for Cruz or Kasich to clinch the nomination heading into the convention. The billionaire is poised for a strong performance Tuesday, when Republicans in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island head to the polls.

Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said in a statement the Texas senator will focus on the May 3 Indiana primary. He called Trump at top of the GOP ticket "a sure disaster." He added: "To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico."

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Source: CNN

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04-26-2016 Science&Technology
The Play Store Is Coming To Chrome OS, Complete With All The Android Apps You Could Ever Want

In 2014, Google brought a few Android apps to Chrome OS - at first it was a trickle, and then more and more came, until an astounding 29 apps were available. Google then released ARC Welder, a tool that allowed developers to port their apps without Google's involvement. But Android apps on Chrome OS have always felt like they didn't really belong on Chrome. Now, Google might be about to change that.

According to reddit user /u/TheWiseYoda, there is a setting in Chrome OS v51 (which is currently available through the developer channel) which says "Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook." In and of itself, that's not really saying anything - Android apps have been on Chrome OS for a while. This option quickly disappeared, meaning /u/TheWiseYoda could not tick it to see what happened.

However, others had better luck and were able to enable the setting. They found that it brings up a window with "Google Play store now on your Chromebook." It also says users can choose from "over a million apps to install and use on your Chromebook." Like the earlier checkbox, this window automatically closes pretty quickly, but the information is there for all to see.

Pretty cool, huh? Could this be the big Google I/O news this year? We'll have to wait and see, but it certainly looks promising.

Source: Android Police

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04-26-2016 Science&Technology
Screaming woman hints at the true potential of virtual reality

Virtual reality is a piece of tech that although drastically updated and re-introduced to the masses in 2016, probably won’t take-off properly for another year or two. It faces a few issues that will take time to overcome, namely cost and experiences.

Virtual reality at the level of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is expensive, but that cost will come down as the kit gets cheaper to make and more people buy it. The lack of engaging experiences is simply down to the tech being so new and developers getting to grips with how best to use it.

The video below shows us the potential VR has to provoke a very emotional response, and although simple, it’s very encouraging for the future.

I admit I laughed a lot watching that video. She is genuinely scared because of the situation she has been placed in. With the headset and headphones on, her world is the dark world filled with zombies trying to attack her, and she accepts it completely.

For experienced gamers, such a setup would form a basic stimulation at best. It may be enjoyable depending on how the gameplay varies after the first wave of zombies, but it’s nothing mind blowing. However, such experiences will get made and will provoke the same response as this woman showed.

Virtual reality will have its Doom moment, but I expect it will come in more than one form catering to very different audiences. Sure, VR is highly focused on gaming right now as it makes sense to help with adoption, but the breadth of experiences available is much larger and to a much wider age range.

If anyone is interested in experiencing this relentless zombie shooting experience, then check out The Brookhaven Experiments, which will be available to play in June.

Source: Geek

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04-25-2016 Cars
Is this the city car of the future? Shell reveals bizarre bug eyed vehicle with a flip up front

n about 50 years, three quarters of the world is expected to live in cities, while the number of cars on the road will double.

While most manufacturers are developing electric solutions, unsurprisingly Shell has designed a vehicle that they say 'is intended to inspire thinking about maximizing personal mobility, while minimizing energy use'. Shell's city concept car uses a third less energy compared to the average, as it gets 107 miles per gallon and is only 1.5m high, 2.5m long and 1.3m wide – making parking in the city a breeze.

Last year, well-known car designer Gordon Murray revealed his collaboration with former engine specialist Osamu Goto and oil company Shell, called 'Project M.' 'We decided to build a car from scratch, a practical solution to driving in modern cities,' said Murray. 'The car is now here, it works and its performance is incredible.' This car of the future is based around the concept of 'co-engineering -- the body, powertrain, and lubricants are all designed to work with each other. 'You could build this car and drive it for around 100,000 kilometres before consuming the same energy it takes to make a typical SUV,' says engineer Bob Mainwaring, Shell's Technology Manager for Innovation, who is leading the project. Electric, low-carbon biofuels or hydrogen powered cars are going to play a major role in the transportation industry of the future, but experts say we still need to develop more efficient combustion engines using petrol and diesel if we want to combat climate change. 'We wanted to see what kind of an impact we could have if we really pushed the boundaries of what combustion engine cars can do today,' says Mainwaring. The concept car maxes out at speeds of 110 kilometers per hour, but rides like a dream at 50 to 70 kilometers per hour.

Shell has conducted independent tests that show it will only use 2.6 liters of petrol on a 100 kilometer drive, while coasting at a steady 70km/h. The car also proved to give off a quarter fewer CO2 emissions than the average hybrid cars. Shell used low-cost, recycled carbon fiber for the car's body, which reduced the weight to 550 kilograms and cut energy used to manufacture it by 45 percent compared to a city car that is on the market.

'We decided to build a car from scratch, a practical solution to driving in modern cities.'

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Source: Daily Mail

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