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June 2016

What’s the worst sound you ever heard? – CNET

It’s a wide open question — the worst music, movie or any sound in real life — how bad was it? – Source

‘Old school’ synthesiser built 40 years on

Electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram’s Mini Oramics synthesiser is built 40 years after being designed. – Source

Man plays peek-a-boo with a hippo

More about Hippopotamus, Video, Animal, Hippo, and Watercooler – Source

SanDisk launches iXpand Memory Case for iPhone 6 and 6S

The iXpand Memory Case comes in three variants based on the storage capacities – 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. These are priced at $60, $100 and $130 respectively. – Source

Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition is an activity tracker for the pool

Last year Misfit and Speedo partnered to add swimming features to the Shine fitness tracker. It worked well enough that they are doing it again.

The Misfit Shine 2 is properly waterproof – IP ratings are only about submersion, not the rigors of swimming. They can also track your swim, including the distance (accurate to a meter, Misfit says) and counting your laps. Alternatively, you can set a timer if your exercise program is time-based.

This is in addition to the usual terrestrial activity tracking. You can also use the Speedo Fit app for a more insight into your exercise.


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This Woodpecker-Inspired Collar Could Protect Athletes from Concussion

Last year, Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers announced he was quitting football because of the high risk of concussion and long-term brain damage, despite protective helmets. And he’s not alone: it’s …

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Event in downtown Singapore inspires hundreds to ‘Dream Again’

Kids dream about the future like there’s nothing standing in their way. But somewhere along the line, those dreams get squashed by a pesky little thing called “adulthood.”

Here’s a staggering thought: One in two women have given up on their dreams. This figure comes from the Global Dreams Index Survey, the first survey of its kind conducted by luxury skincare brand SKI-II.

Just think about it: In every BFF pairing the world over, one of the women is unsatisfied with her life

SK-II is on a mission to change that, and took steps toward helping women feel more fulfilled with the “Dream Again” event that took place on June 21. …

More about Singapore, Dreams, Supported, Dream Again, and Lifestyle – Source

Jailbreak for iOS 10 already achieved, though still not ready for public release

The iOS 10 early betas are already out for developer accounts and iH8sn0w has already jailbroken the early build of iOS and also has a video to prove it. The hacker can be seen in the video with a successfully jailbroken iPhone 5 running Cydia on iOS 10 with no reported crashing “for now?”

Well, Cydia doesn’t crash on iOS 10. Hooray- no hacky fixes needed (for now?).— iH8sn0w (@iH8sn0w) June 14, 2016

While there is still no real jailbreak for the latest public release of iOS 9.3.2 and with Apple preparing for the release of iOS 9.3.3, you might have to wait until iOS 10 is…

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Oracle sets its sights on AWS as it ramps up cloud strategy

The company’s full-year results show a focus on IaaS and PaaS, with investment in more efficient datacentres and co-location – Source

Opera’s ad blocker now found on iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions of its browsers

According to data from PageFair, the number of people using an ad blocker on the mobile web shot up 90% last year to 419 million. That is about twice the number of people who block ads on their desktop computer. That is why Opera has announced today that its ad blocker is now available on all major mobile platforms.

Opera said today that it has added the feature to Opera Mini for iOS, Opera Mini for Windows Phone and Opera for Android. Opera Mini for Android already had the ad blocking feature added earlier.

According to Opera’s press release, its Opera for Android with ad … – Source

Galaxy J2 (2016) may replace notification light with Smart Glow Ring

Samsung likes to try new things with the J-series, like the Galaxy J3 (2016) with S Bike mode. The still-unofficial Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) will have a Smart Glow feature, which redesigns the notification LED.

Artist’s impression of the Smart Glow ring

A leaked manual shows Smart Glow is a ring around the camera on the back of the J2. The ring can light up in different colors, which are user configurable – a different color for different apps.

You can also set Usage alerts. They track battery, data and storage and can change the color of the Smart Glow ring after these pass a…

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Ann Morgan Guilbert, who played Yetta on ‘The Nanny,’ dies at 87

NEW YORK — Ann Morgan Guilbert, beloved as the next-door neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show and seen recently on CBS’ comedy Life in Pieces, has died.

Guilbert died of cancer in Los Angeles on Tuesday, her daughter Nora Eckstein said. She was 87.

Recent TV appearances included a starring role on the hospital comedy Getting On and a guest shot on Grey’s Anatomy. She was a regular as feisty Grandma Yetta on the 1990s sitcom The Nanny, and in the early 1960s, played Millie Helper, Laura Petrie’s gabby pal, on the acclaimed Van Dyke series.

She starred in Nicole Holofcener’s 2010 Sundance Film Festival selection, Please Give. …

More about Ann Morgan Guilbert, Obituaries, Entertainment, and Tv – Source

HTC 10 early adopters should be receiving their “thank you” gifts

Shortly after unlocked models of the HTC 10 started shipping, those that pre-ordered the device received emails from HTC thanking them for ordering the new flagship, and that they should keep an “eye out for a package in the next couple weeks.”

We offered some glamorous guesses as to what the small token of appreciation might be. As it would happen, none of our guesses were correct, but gifts are gifts, and gratitude is gratitude.

HTC sent its fans an extra USB-C cable. No, it is not extravagant, but it is on-target. The global smartphone user base is at the tipping point of a massive … – Source

Risky stem cell treatment reverses MS in 70% of patients in small study

MS brain lesion as seen on an MRI. (credit: James Heilman, MD)

By obliterating the broken immune systems of patients with severe forms of multiple sclerosis, then sowing fresh, defect-free systems with transplanted stem cells, researchers can thwart the degenerative autoimmune disease—but it comes at a price.

In a small phase II trial of 24 MS patients, the treatment halted or reversed the disease in 70 percent of patients for three years after the transplant. Eight patients saw that improvement last for seven and a half years, researchers report in the Lancet. This means that some of those patients went from being wheelchair-bound to walking and being active again. But to reach that success, many suffered through severe side effects, such as life threatening infections and organ damage from toxicity brought on by the aggressive chemotherapy required to annihilate the body’s immune system. One patient died from complications of the treatment, which represents a four percent fatality rate.

Moreover, while the risks may be worthwhile to some patients with rapidly progressing forms of MS—a small percentage of MS patients—the researchers also caution that the trial was small and did not include a control group.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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For the Alt-Right, the Message Is in the Punctuation

This is how a hate symbol rises in 2016: A podcast sound effect becomes a Twitter meme and a browser extension before it finally slithers into the physical world. – Source

The Giants Nurtured by Thomas J. Perkins

The technology companies were among some of his major investments. – Source

More photos of the OnePlus 3 surface

It seems like OnePlus is determined to squeeze out every last bit of viral hype before it actually releases the OnePlus 3. Then again, it could very well be eager fans behind the recent avalanche of leaks about the flagship. Regardless, with the unveiling officially set for June 15 and the dreaded invite system allegedly ditched for good, we can’t help it but hop on the hype train ourselves.

OnePlus 3

THere is the latest batch of shots of the OnePlus 3 leaked online. Once again they come courtesy of a Weibo user and this time around look to be official renders, probably…

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Think talking on your hands-free phone is safe? Think again, say researchers

Driving while talking on a hands-free phone can be just as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile phone, psychologists have found. – Source

After SD823-powered ZenFone 3 Deluxe rumors, new leak reveals SD821 variant

While it has already been made official, the Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe is still keeping the rumor mill spinning. Just last week, there were rumors that the Taiwanese company will soon launch a Snapdragon 823 variant of the device, and now, a new leak has revealed the existence of an SD821-powered model of the phone.

There’s currently no confirmation on whether or not both variants will see the light the day, although rumors say the SD823 variant could arrive a bit later. In fact, word on the street is that flagships arriving in H2 2016 will instead be powered by SD821. This is, however, in…

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Bits Special Section: In the Fight for Transgender Equality, Winning Hearts and Minds Online

Facebook has become a critical tool for visibility and acceptance, and is seen as contributing to the shift in mainstream attitudes toward transgender people. – Source

Deal: Nextbit Robin is just $299 on Amazon ($100 off)

The Nextbit Robin is certainly one of the most unique smartphones to launch in 2016. It not only aims to alleviate the ongoing problem with on-board storage that many of us face every day, it also tries to do so without breaking the bank. It originally launched at the beginning of the year for $399, and now that price is getting even lower.

Right now, you can pick up a Nextbit Robin in both Mint and Midnight color options from Amazon for just $299. That’s $100 off the normal retail price of the phone.

See also: Nextbit Robin Review27

As a refresher, the Robin features a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera. It comes with 32GB of on-board storage and 100GB of cloud storage, with the ability to offload unused applications and photos to the cloud. The Robin also recently got a big software update that brought some notable improvements to the camera, audio and general performance of the device.

If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out our full review for all the details. And remember, the Robin is no longer coming to Verizon or Sprint, so this deal is for T-Mobile and AT&T customers.

Get it now from Amazon – Source

Officials may never find out who carried Bangladesh bank heist

Sean Kanuck, who was the most senior official in charge of cyber security at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for five years said that there had been no official determination on who committed the cyber heist, one of the biggest ever. – Source

Jesus’ Tomb Is Finally Getting the Restoration That Bickering Monks Delayed for 200 Years

The are many reasons one might put off a much-needed home improvement project. Budget. Can’t find the right contractor. When it came to the tomb where Christians believe Jesus was buried, it was two centuries of infighting between some very possessive monks.

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Focus on What You Learned From Failure to Avoid Self-Criticism

There’s a reason failure stories are popular: they’re relatable. We all fall on our faces at some point, and stories of redemption are encouraging. However, it can be tricky to find a balance between discussing your failure and just self-deprecating.

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Optics revolution: flat, powerful camera lens can make phones even thinner

A breakthrough discovery can shrink traditional molded glass optics to a practically flat chip that is a fraction of the size, yet performs better than the highest-end research microscopes. That’s the promise from a Harvard University team that managed to pass light through an array of nanothin titanium oxide (TiO) fins, perched on a flat sheet of quartz glass.
The whole planar structure is just 2mm thin, because that’s the smallest they could make it with the existing Harvard equipment, but since those revolutionary optics can be printed like chips, … – Source

Talking Brazil with Accel’s Kevin Efrusy

As you might have noticed, things aren’t going so well in Brazil. Its economy shrank 5.4 percent in the first quarter, according to government figures released yesterday. Its president, Dilma Rousseff, was temporarily suspended by a congressional impeachment vote. Brazil is also home to much of the outbreak of the dreaded Zika virus, which has a growing number of people wondering… Read More

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Do you have a tablet? How old is it? Are you planning on a new one? (poll results)

The tablet market has been slowing down for over a year now, according to analysts the world over. And based on anectdotal experience, at PhoneArena we’ve been observing the same reality for a while now. It seems like the once mega-hyped field was never meant to take over traditional laptop and desktop computers—contrary to what companies tried to convince us of, and what various industry pundits repeated again and again.
This is not to say that the market is dead. Plenty of people still like the tablet form factor, whether for media consumption, superior browsing experience, … – Source

Xiaomi unveils the Mi Band 2, a Fitbit-like activity tracker for $23

Xiaomi just unveiled a brand new wearable device, the Mi Band 2. Despite the name, it’s the company’s third fitness tracking device after the Mi Band and Mi Band Pulse. It track your steps, monitors your heart rate and (for the first time) features a tiny display. It costs RMB 149, or a little less than $23.
According to Xiaomi, Read More

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Jaunt launches a new virtual reality content company in China

Virtual reality software startup Jaunt announced today that it has teamed up with two Chinese media firms to launch a new company called Jaunt China. Read More

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Google Home will be powered by Chromecast hardware, says report

Google has decided to enter the smart home market with its not-so-recent acquisition of Nest and most recently at Google I/O with the announcement of Google Home. A new report from The Information says that Google has forgotten to mention one detail about Google’s new home assistant.

The report claims that one of the developers of the product has direct knowledge that the device is actually an enclosure with lots of components: microphones, a speaker, and LED lights that are all built around the hardware of a Chromecast.

The Chromecast’s micro computing capabilities proved to be…

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