Latest Posts
Latest Technology, Sony

First to Greatness: 64 PS4 Challenges to Test Your Mettle

PS4’s North American launch heralds the dawn of a new gaming generation, and today we’re upping the ante with an interactive event called First to Greatness. Using DualShock 4’s Share button, you’ll capture and upload videos of your conquests across 64 challenges detailed on the First to Greatness site (see the full list here). The challenges are spread across a who’s who of PS4 launch titles.
Latest Technology, NVIDIA

Six In a Row: GPU-Powered System Again Wins Student Supercomputing Competition

TexasPeekFor the sixth consecutive time, a system powered by GPUs captured the top-spot overall in the Supercomputing conference’s Student Cluster competition. With longhorn hand-signs and smiles flashing, an 11-person team from the University of Texas, at Austin, claimed the award before a crowd of more than 500 at the end of three-day show in Denver.… Read More
Latest Technology, Sony

Twitch on PS4: 7 Tips for New Broadcasters

It’s been less than a week since PS4 launched with Twitch broadcasting functionality, and the feedback we’ve been getting from new broadcasters has been phenomenal! To help new streamers ease into the Twitch community - which is already 45 million members strong - here are some tips for first-time broadcasters.
Google, Latest Technology

Making it easier to bring Hangouts to work

Posted by: Ronald Ho, Product Manager, Google Apps for Business

Whether your organization has two people or 200,000, it should be easy to communicate and get stuff done together. In May, Hangouts launched as a unified way for people to communicate by voice, video or text across devices. Following the introduction of the new look full-screen video chat last month, today we're rolling out some new Hangouts features specifically for Google Apps customers.
With the addition of support for the Global Address List, it'll now be easier to quickly find and chat with your colleagues. The conversations you've recently had will still sit at the top of your Hangouts list, but start typing the name of anybody in your organization and auto-complete will help you find who you’re looking for.

New settings also give admins the ability to customize which Hangouts features are available to which employees. Admins can now choose to limit Hangout chat messages to being internal-only, set chat history to off by default and decide whether users within the domain can contact each other without sending or accepting formal invitations first. Video and audio chat can also be turned off across the organization.

Finally, the Google Apps support team will now provide the same level of help for Hangouts as they do for Google Talk, including 24/7 phone support.

Learn how to enable the new Hangouts experience.
Misc. Gadgets

Are big smartphones the future of e-books?

Stephen King once called books “a uniquely portable magic.” Thanks to mobile technology those words resonate more than ever. Question is, has the e-book revolution...
Latest Technology

MediaTek MT6592 octa-core SoC takes on Antutu, posts an impressive score

Antutu benchmark scores for the freshly announced MediaTek MT6592 octa-core chipset have emerged, showcasing its top-shelf performance. The MT6592 SoC with 1.7GHz CPU cores posted a result of 29415, while its sibling with 2GHz cores, came out with a truly impressive 32606.

The abovementioned scores put the 2GHz CPU version of the chipset at the very top of the Antutu performance chart, besting every high-end Android device we’ve tested this far. You can see how exactly the MediaTek MT6592 fares in the chart below.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • MediaTek MT6592, 2GHz CPU
    32606
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    31109
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    30850
  • LG G2
    30243
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    29185
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    27613
  • HTC One
    26389
  • HTC One Max
    26348
  • LG Nexus 5
    25097
  • Meizu MX3
    24391
  • LG Nexus 4
    17006

While the chipset’s score in undeniably impressive, it must be noted that the screen resolution of the device used for the benchmark testing hasn’t been disclosed. A device with a 720p display for example, would post a significantly higher score than one with a FullHD unit.

We will pass final judgment when we get to put a final production device with the new chipset through its paces. The initial impression though, shows that MediaTek might be dropping its budget credentials for more high-end ones.

Source | Via

Latest Technology

LG’s Odin SoC is rumored to have a quad-core and octa-core version

A report in Korean media made the rounds, shedding light on the development of LG’s previously rumored, in-house developed chipset dubbed Odin. The SoC will reportedly come in two different versions – one with quad-core CPU, and another with an octa-core setup.

The quad-core version of the chipset will allegedly pack an ARM Mali-T604 GPU. The octa-core one on the other hand, is said to sport ARM’s latest Mali-T760 GPU.

The quad-core configuration of the Odin chipset will reportedly find home in LG’s lineup of smart TV’s, while the octa-core setup will be featured in mobile devices. The Taiwanese chip maker TSMC will be in charge of the chips’ production.

There is no timeline on the chipset debut. The next generation of top-end LG mobile devices however, seems to be a safe bet.

Source (in Korean) | Via

Science

Does obesity reshape our sense of taste?

Nov. 21, 2013 — Obesity may alter the way we taste at the most fundamental level: by changing how our tongues react to different foods.

In a Nov. 13 study in the journal PLOS ONE, University at Buffalo biologists report that being severely overweight impaired the ability of mice to detect sweets.

Compared with slimmer counterparts, the plump mice had fewer taste cells that responded to sweet stimuli. What's more, the cells that did respond to sweetness reacted relatively weakly.

The findings peel back a new layer of the mystery of how obesity alters our relationship to food.

"Studies have shown that obesity can lead to alterations in the brain, as well as the nerves that control the peripheral taste system, but no one had ever looked at the cells on the tongue that make contact with food," said lead scientist Kathryn Medler, PhD, UB associate professor of biological sciences.

"What we see is that even at this level -- at the first step in the taste pathway -- the taste receptor cells themselves are affected by obesity," Medler said. "The obese mice have fewer taste cells that respond to sweet stimuli, and they don't respond as well."

The research matters because taste plays an important role in regulating appetite: what we eat, and how much we consume.

How an inability to detect sweetness might encourage weight gain is unclear, but past research has shown that obese people yearn for sweet and savory foods though they may not taste these flavors as well as thinner people.

Medler said it's possible that trouble detecting sweetness may lead obese mice to eat more than their leaner counterparts to get the same payoff.

Learning more about the connection between taste, appetite and obesity is important, she said, because it could lead to new methods for encouraging healthy eating.

"If we understand how these taste cells are affected and how we can get these cells back to normal, it could lead to new treatments," Medler said. "These cells are out on your tongue and are more accessible than cells in other parts of your body, like your brain."

The new PLOS ONE study compared 25 normal mice to 25 of their littermates who were fed a high-fat diet and became obese.

To measure the animals' response to different tastes, the research team looked at a process called calcium signaling. When cells "recognize" a certain taste, there is a temporary increase in the calcium levels inside the cells, and the scientists measured this change.

The results: Taste cells from the obese mice responded more weakly not only to sweetness but, surprisingly, to bitterness as well. Taste cells from both groups of animals reacted similarly to umami, a flavor associated with savory and meaty foods.

Medler's co-authors on the study were former UB graduate student Amanda Maliphol and former UB undergraduate Deborah Garth.

Science
Science

‘The era of neutrino astronomy has begun’

Astrophysicists using a telescope embedded in Antarctic ice have succeeded in a quest to detect and record the mysterious phenomena known as cosmic neutrinos -- nearly massless particles that stream to Earth at the speed of light from outside our solar...
Latest Technology, Sony

PlayStation Blogcast 099: Best of a Generation

Subscribe via iTunes or RSS, or download here Today's show is momentous! With PS4 in the wild in North America, we take a look back at the best of a generation. Two PlayStation legends, Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida and Worldwide Studios America Senior Vice President Scott Rhohde, name their 10 favorite games of the PS3 generation!
Science

How flu evolves to escape immunity

Nov. 21, 2013 — Scientists have identified a potential way to improve future flu vaccines after discovering that seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution. Additionally, they found these single amino acid changes occur at only seven places on its surface -- not the 130 places previously believed. The research was published today, 21 November, in the journal Science.

"This work is a major step forward in our understanding of the evolution of flu viruses, and could possibly enable us to predict that evolution. If we can do that, then we can make flu vaccines that would be even more effective than the current vaccine," said Professor Derek Smith from the University of Cambridge, one of the two leaders of the research, together with Professor Ron Fouchier from Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands.

The flu vaccine works by exposing the body to parts of inactivated flu from the three major different types of flu that infect humans, prompting the immune system to develop antibodies against these viruses. When exposed to the actual flu, these antibodies can eliminate the flu virus.

However, every two or three years the outer coat of seasonal flu (made up of amino acids) evolves, preventing antibodies that would fight the older strains of flu from recognising the new strain. As a result, the new strain of virus escapes the immunity that has been acquired as a result of earlier infections or vaccinations. Because the flu virus is constantly evolving in this way, the World Health Organisation meets twice a year to determine whether the strains of flu included in the vaccine should be changed.

For this study, the researchers created viruses which had a variety of amino acid substitutions as well as different combinations of amino acid substitutions. They then tested these viruses to see which substitutions and combinations of substitutions caused new strains to develop.

They found that seasonal flu escapes immunity and develops into new strains typically by just a single amino acid substitution. Until now, it was widely believed that in order for seasonal flu to escape the immunity individuals acquire from previous infections or vaccinations, it would take at least four amino acid substitutions.

They also found that such single amino acid changes occurred at only seven places on its surface -- all located near the receptor binding site (the area where the flu virus binds to and infects host cells). The location is significant because the virus would not change so close to the site unless it had to, as that area is important for the virus to conserve.

"The virus needs to conserve this, its binding site, as it uses this site to recognize the cells that it infects in our throats," said Bjorn Koel, from Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands and lead author of the paper.

Seasonal flu is responsible for half a million deaths and many more hospitalizations and severe illnesses worldwide every year.