Category Archives: Tech

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Google’s new AI can predict heart disease by simply scanning your eyes

The secret to identifying certain health conditions may be hidden in our eyes. 

Researchers from Google and its health-tech subsidiary Verily announced on Monday that they have successfully created algorithms to predict whether someone has high blood pressure or is at risk of a heart attack or stroke simply by scanning a person’s eyes, the Washington Post reports. 

SEE ALSO: This fork helps you stay healthy

Google’s researchers trained the algorithm with images of scanned retinas from more than 280,000 patients. By reviewing this massive database, Google’s algorithm trained itself to recognize the patterns that designated people as at-risk.  Read more…

More about Google, Health, Artificial Intelligence, Ai, and Tech

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Google launches Google Pay, its answer to Apple Pay

Google has combined its two payment services, Google Wallet and Android Pay, into a new app: Google Pay. 

SEE ALSO: Google Pay makes online payments even easier on Android

With Google Pay, you can digitally store your credit and debit cards, as well as gift cards and rewards cards. You can use the app to pay for purchases online and in stores, just as you could with its predecessor, Android Pay. 

Image: google

Google announced it would be combining both of its payment apps to make Google Pay in January. Now, finally, the app is rolling out to everyone, but it’s still a work in progress. Google Pay isn’t yet empowered with one of its most useful features: the ability to send and request money from friends and family. You’ll get that functionality in “the next few months” according to Google’s blog post.  Read more…

More about Google, Android Pay, Google Wallet, Google Pay, and Tech

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Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency is officially up for sale

The bleeding Venezuelan economy is pinning its hopes on cryptocurrency.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan government launched a pre-sale of “Petro,” a new cryptocurrency backed by the country’s oil reserves. The aim of Petro is to raise foreign investment in the socioeconomically struggling Venezuelan economy, which has resulted in rampant inflation, food and medicine shortage, dried up cash reserves, billions in debt, and mass protest. Venezuela is calling the Petro the world’s “first state-issued cryptoasset.”

SEE ALSO: Venezuela to launch ‘petro’, a cryptocurrency backed by oil and other reserves Read more…

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Electric Cars In The UK Could Get A ‘Superfast’ Charging Network

The National Grid has proposed a new ‘superfast’ charging network that would see 90% of all electric car owners within just 50-miles of a charging station.

According to the Financial Times, the proposal would see the creation of around 100 high-powered chargers located along existing networks found under the motorways.

What makes the news so exciting for electric car owners however is not the amount of chargers but the power that they’ll be able to deliver.

All 100 of them would be new 350KW ‘superfast’ chargers that could charge an electric car in 5-12 minutes rather than the current charging times of 20-60 minutes.

A number of German manufacturers (and Ford) have all signed up to a universal charging system known as Combined Charging System that will support the new 350KW network.

At the moment it’s fair to say that electric car owners currently have a dizzying array of choices when it comes to how they charge their cars so manufacturers and governments are keen to start providing some consistency within the network as adoption rates increase.

According to the FT, National Grid put estimates around the construction of the network between £500 million and £1 billion, putting the final cost at around 60 per driver every year.

In addition to these high-powered chargers the government has also proposed increasing the number of urban chargers by converting street lighting to also support roadside charging.

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You’ll soon be able to buy an SSD with 30 TB of storage

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

There’s something about storing immense amounts of data on a tiny gadget that makes the tech geek’s imagination run wild. A decade ago, 30 terabytes was a superfluous amount of storage, reserved for professional use. Not anymore. Soon, you’ll be able to buy a single 2.5-inch SSD and store roughly 5,700 HD movies on it. 

This is thanks to Samsung, which announced on Monday it will start mass producing the largest capacity SCSI SSD.  Read more…

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Japanese Company To Build Sustainable Skyscraper Made Out Of Wood

Japan will soon be home to something pretty remarkable, a 70-storey skyscraper made almost entirely out of wood.

Designed by Sumitomo Forestry and the architecture firm Nikken Sekkei, the W350 tower will be a flagship of sustainability thanks to its unique construction that use some 185,000 square meters of wood.

If that wasn’t enough, the skyscraper will feature trees, gardens and foliage on every single level and will contain up to 8,000 homes.

W350 isn’t just a statement of what sustainable buildings could look like it’s almost to commemorate the company’s 350th anniversary.

Compared to concrete and steel buildings which can contribute to global emissions, this wooden structure will be able to absorb carbon, rather than emitting it out into the atmosphere.

While high-rise wooden buildings certainly aren’t new, they are complex and expensive. In fact the estimated cost of the W350 is expected to be around £4bn, almost twice the cost of a conventional skyscraper at the same height.

Sumitomo Forestry have scheduled the building to be completed by 2041 with the expectation that advances in construction techniques will have allowed the cost of wooden skyscrapers to drop considerably.

W350 is by no means the first wooden skyscraper, with the current wooden height record going to the Brock Commons Tallwood House student accommodation in Vancouver.

Finished in July 2017, Tallwood House is currently the tallest mass timber building in the world and is home to some 400 students from the University of British Columbia.

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This Video Game Lets You Build A Fake News Empire

We’ve already had a fake news ‘vaccine’ but now a video game has become the latest tool to stop people being lulled into believing news stories that quite simply aren’t true.

The game is meant to teach players to be more savvy about misinformation in the media, and how these fictitious accounts spread, to stop them falling victim.

In the game you take on the role of a fake news producer and score points by winning followers for peddling your conspiracy theories and (angry) tweets.

Research has previously shown that exposing people to the propaganda tactics being used to trick them helps to stop them being duped by them. Essentially it inoculates them against the danger.

Dr Sander van der Linden, director of Cambridge University’s Social Decision-Making Laboratory, said: “We want to help grow ‘mental antibodies’ that can provide some immunity against the rapid spread of misinformation.”

In this case it is hoped that the more people who play this game, the more they will be able to spot real fake news in their timelines or social media and therefore reduce the power it has to influence people’s opinions.

“Inoculation theory suggests that exposure to a weak or demystified version of an argument makes it easier to refute when confronted with more persuasive claims,” added Dr Sander van der Linden.

The game, which can be accessed via this website, is free for players to use: “If you know what it is like to walk in the shoes of someone who is actively trying to deceive you, it should increase your ability to spot and resist the techniques of deceit,” said the team.

Players set up fake news websites and are encouraged to manipulate public reaction to thorny topics such as climate change and genetic engineering.

The game works at different levels, involving a combination of false conspiracy theories – one being the claim that dinosaurs built the pyramids – and misinformation with a genuine history.

An example of the latter is the theory surrounding Agenda 21, a non-binding sustainable development action plan proposed by the United Nations in 1992.

The apparently innocent document sparked a cultish belief in some circles that it was the start of a plot to establish an eco-totalitarian world government.

Jon Roozenbeek, another member of the Cambridge team, said: “This really happened. The game shows how ridiculous it is.”

A pilot study in the Netherlands tested a paper version of the game on 95 students, focusing on the refugee crisis.

Players were tasked with distorting a government fact sheet on asylum seekers to produce fake news articles. They were found to be less easily taken in by fabricated news reports presented at the end of the experiment than students who had not played the game.

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Welp, Steven Seagal is endorsing a cryptocurrency called ‘Bitcoiin’

Questionable ICOs have left many investors with Exit Wounds, but that hasn’t stopped Steven Seagal from backing one.

The ’90s action star became the worldwide ambassador of a cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin 2nd Generation, news that he confirmed on his Twitter account.

SEE ALSO: How to make sure you don’t get swindled in an ICO

If the double “i” in the name didn’t prompt reluctance, there’s a couple of worrying signs regarding Bitcoiin2Gen.

As noted by Coindesk, the website for Bitcoiin2Gen lists no details about who’s actually behind the cryptocurrency. Its domain was originally registered in 2015 in Panama, but changed hands around Jan. 8.  Read more…

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There are too many ways to DM, and it’s stifling the way we communicate

At any given moment, I have, on average, five unread text messages, a couple unread Instagram messages, dozens of unseen Twitter DMs, and close to 1,000 unread emails along with a smattering of other messages on services like Facebook, Snapchat, and Slack. 

It’s too much, and it’s becoming too hard to keep up with all of it.

SEE ALSO: One woman’s quest to find the right meditation app in a messed-up world

All of these inboxes to check and ways to talk to one another, in theory, make communication easier, more natural, and fluid. But in practice? This disjointed way of communicating in the modern world just makes everything more exhausting.  Read more…

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Is someone hijacking your Spotify? Here’s what I did when it happened to me.

For years, I’ve had a bit of a digital pen pal.

His name is Kevin. He loves music, “Coffee Table Jazz” in particular. He owns an Amazon Echo, through which he listens to his lovely, soothing John Coltrane trumpet croons. He doesn’t often listen during the day, but at night the tunes come alive — probably while he’s also hand rolling linguine next to a glass of a full-bodied cabernet. (Or at least, that’s what I imagined.)

SEE ALSO: Amazon may be building a new brain for Alexa

I know all of this because Kevin and and I have been linked at the hip (digitally) for years, all through a connected Spotify account. Every so often, while I’m listening to music on the app, it’ll stop abruptly and I’ll get a message that has become the bane of my existence: Now Playing on Kevin’s Echo. Read more…

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