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Initiating the First Global Campaign for Printing Solutions

London to Amsterdam, people have been spotting a sign of innovation, literally. Samsung Printing Solutions’ new slogan, “Samsung. Printing Innovation”, has been making appearances in various cities around Europe. Innovation is definitely not a foreign …
Latest Technology

See all 5 copies of Lincoln’s handwritten Gettysburg Tackle on the Google Cultural Institute

Not quite four score and seven years ago, I was an elementary school student, staring at a classroom map, gripped by the (mistaken) deduction that since Los Angeles was in the southern half of the country, Civil War battles must have clattered on the ground outside my home. While a teacher eventually helped me understand that California wasn’t in the Confederacy, the moment led me to understand the weight of history and that it has shaped the world into what it is today.

Today, on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, we’re helping make the past come a little bit more alive. Three new exhibits now available on the Google Cultural Institute focus on President Lincoln and the 272 words that shaped a nation’s understanding of its identity. Thanks to our friends at the White House, the Lincoln Library, Cornell University, Dickinson College and the Library of Congress, you can browse high-resolution digital versions of all five Lincoln-handwritten copies of the address. You can also:


Comparing two copies, side by side

You can also contribute your own version of the Gettysburg Address to Learn the Address, a project by documentarian Ken Burns, who has also been reaching schoolchildren across the U.S. with Google+ Connected Classrooms.

Most of us will never stand in the Lincoln Bedroom and see the handwritten draft exhibited there. But now anyone with access to an Internet connection can explore all these artifacts from this defining moment in history—perhaps a bit more accurately than when I gazed at that map.

Posted by Amrit Dhir, Partner Development Manager

Latest Technology

Google is working on new camera API with RAW support

According to data from public Android source code, Google is working on new camera API. Support for camera RAW is apparently also coming our way, meaning that Nokia smartphones will not be alone in carrying the feature.

The public source code revealing the juicy details dates a month before the release of Android 4.4 KitKat. Other bits of data from the API suggest that in the future, Android might feature baked-in support for capturing images in burst mode, as well as removable cameras. The latter could include the likes of the Sony QX10 and QX100.

Support for uncompressed image files will greatly enhance the possibilities for post processing photos –both on the Android device, or using an external photo editor.

Welcome image quality improvements on an API level are also in the works. They should be particularly helpful for stock Android devices, which were never know for their outstanding camera performance.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Via

Latest Technology

Nokia Lumia 929 said to hit Verizon Wireless on November 21

A word got out that the yet to be announced Nokia Lumia 929 is going to hit the Verizon shelves this week, on November 21. The Windows Phone 8 powerhouse is rumored to launch alongside the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet.

The Nokia Lumia 929 has made a few of unscheduled appearances, but it is yet to go official. The Windows Phone handset is expected to feature the same specs as the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, except for the 5” 1080p display.

Source

Science

Biologists find an evolutionary Facebook for monkeys and apes

Nov. 18, 2013 — Why do the faces of some primates contain so many different colors -- black, blue, red, orange and white -- that are mixed in all kinds of combinations and often striking patterns while other primate faces are quite plain?

UCLA biologists reported last year on the evolution of 129 primate faces in species from Central and South America. This research team now reports on the faces of 139 Old World African and Asian primate species that have been diversifying over some 25 million years.

With these Old World monkeys and apes, the species that are more social have more complex facial patterns, the biologists found. Species that have smaller group sizes tend to have simpler faces with fewer colors, perhaps because the presence of more color patches in the face results in greater potential for facial variation across individuals within species. This variation could aid in identification, which may be a more difficult task in larger groups.

Species that live in the same habitat with other closely related species tend to have more complex facial patterns, suggesting that complex faces may also aid in species recognition, the life scientists found.

"Humans are crazy for Facebook, but our research suggests that primates have been relying on the face to tell friends from competitors for the last 50 million years and that social pressures have guided the evolution of the enormous diversity of faces we see across the group today," said Michael Alfaro, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science and senior author of the study.

"Faces are really important to how monkeys and apes can tell one another apart," he said. "We think the color patterns have to do both with the importance of telling individuals of your own species apart from closely related species and for social communication among members of the same species."

Most Old World monkeys and apes are social, and some species, like the mandrills, can live in groups with up to 800 members, said co-author Jessica Lynch Alfaro, an adjunct assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology and UCLA's Institute for Society and Genetics. At the other extreme are solitary species, like the orangutans. In most orangutan populations, adult males travel and sleep alone, and females are accompanied only by their young, she said. Some primates, like chimpanzees, have "fission-fusion societies," where they break up into small sub-groups and come together occasionally in very large communities. Others, like the hamadryas baboons, have tiered societies with harems, clans, bands and troops, she said.

"Our research suggests increasing group size puts more pressure on the evolution of coloration across different sub-regions of the face," Michael Alfaro said.

This allows members of a species to have "more communication avenues, a greater repertoire of facial vocabulary, which is advantageous if you're interacting with many members of your species," he said.

The research, federally funded by the National Science Foundation and supported through a postdoctoral fellowship from the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, was published Nov. 11 in the journal Nature Communications.

Lead study author Sharlene Santana used photographs of primate faces for her analysis and devised a new method to quantify the complex patterns of primate faces. She divided each face into several regions; classified the color of each part of the face, including the hair and skin; and assigned a score based on the total number of different colors across the facial regions. This numerical score is called the "facial complexity" score. The life scientists then studied how the complexity scores of primate faces were related to primates' social systems.

The habitat where species live presents many potential pressures that could have influenced the evolution of facial coloration. To assess how facial colors are related to physical environments, the researchers analyzed environmental variables such as geographic location, canopy density, rainfall and temperature. They also used statistical methods that took into account the evolutionary history and relationships among the primate groups to better understand the evolution of facial diversity and complexity.

While facial complexity was related to social variables, such as group size and the number of closely related species in the same habitat, facial pigmentation was best explained by ecological and spatial factors. Where a species lives is a good predictor of its degree of facial pigmentation -- how light or dark the face is.

"Our map shows clearly the geographic trend in Africa of primate faces getting darker nearer to the equator and lighter as we move farther away from the equator," Lynch Alfaro said. "This is the same trend we see on an intra-species level for human skin pigmentation around the globe."

Species living in more tropical and more densely forested habitats also tend to have darker, more pigmented faces. But the complexity of facial color patterns is not related to habitat type.

"We found that for African primates, faces tend to be light or dark depending on how open or closed the habitat is and on how much light the habitat receives," Alfaro said. "We also found that no matter where you live, if your species has a large social group, then your face tends to be more complex. It will tend to be darker and more complex if you're in a closed habitat in a large social group, and it will tend to be lighter and more complex if you're in an open habitat with a large social group. Darkness or lightness is explained by geography and habitat type. Facial complexity is better explained by the size of your social group."

In their research on primates from Central and South America published last year, the scientists were surprised to find a different pattern. For these primates, species that lived in larger groups had more plain facial patterns.

"We expected to find similar trends across all primate radiations -- that is, that the faces of highly social species would have more complex patterning," said Santana, who conducted the research as a postdoctoral fellow with the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and UCLA's Institute for Society and Genetics and who is now an assistant professor at the University of Washington and curator of mammals at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. "We were surprised by the results in our original study on neotropical (Central and South American) primates."

In the new study, they did find the predicted trends, but they also found differences across primate groups -- differences they said they found intriguing. Are primate groups using their faces differently?

"In the present study, great apes had significantly lower facial complexity compared to monkeys," Lynch Alfaro said. "This may be because apes are using their faces for highly complex facial expressions and these expressions would be obscured by more complex facial color patterns. There may be competing pressures for and against facial pattern complexity in large groups, and different lineages may solve this problem in different ways."

"Our research shows that being more or less social is a key explanation for the facial diversity that we see," Alfaro said. "Ecology is also important, such as camouflage and thermal regulation, but our research suggests that faces have evolved along with the diversity of social behaviors in primates, and that is the big cause of facial diversity."

Alfaro and his colleagues serve as "evolutionary detectives," asking what factors produced the patterns of species richness and diversity of traits.

"When evolutionary biologists see these striking patterns of richness, we want to understand the underlying causes," he said.

Human faces were not part of the analysis, although humans also belong to the "clade Catarrhini, which includes Old World monkeys and apes.

Andrew Noonan, a former UCLA undergraduate student who conducted research in Alfaros laboratory, was also a co-author of this research.

Latest Technology, Lenovo

A Leg to Stand On

Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with inventing unique stands for reading

Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with inventing unique stands for reading

In the world of hardware design, tablets have traditionally been seen as a race for thin. You can’t begin to imagine how many meetings I’ve attended over the last year debating tablet thickness. It must be one of the hottest topics in the entire industry, not just Lenovo. Every effort goes into squeezing the air out of tablets in order to gain a scant fraction of a millimeter advantage in thickness. Beyond actual thickness, we also seek to taper the design toward the edges to further enhance the impression of thin. Sadly, those pesky connectors and buttons seem to always get in the way of making the sleekest form . Do we really need them? I tend to prefer wireless solutions that provide freedom and simplify my world.

The Yoga tablet integrates high and low stand functionality thanks to a unique profile

With all the recent publicity surrounding the design of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet , and the integration of a flip out leg for viewing and typing modes, it makes me wonder if this isn’t the wave of the future.  At Lenovo we call these positions high and low angle modes. High is typically used for viewing content such as a movie and low primarily for typing. For the Yoga tablet, these modes were uniquely enabled by the use of a row of cylindrical batteries forming an asymmetrical profile. It could be done without using that form, but it would be at the expense of thickness. My favorite topic rears its head once again. I thought it would be useful to exercise the high and low angled stand debate on this blog and hear the voice of the customer.  The choices are pretty clear. Either we integrate stand functionality as part of the base product or we keep this feature enabled through an accessory such as a case, or screen cover/stand. Just remember, integration drives either greater thickness or a unique profile. Think Yoga tablet profile or something similar. The asymmetrical profile of Yoga also forms a handle for gripping the tablet. There must be a zillion accessory cases and covers that solve this inclination problem in unique ways, but they also ultimately increase overall thickness once attached. In the world of smartphones, nobody seems to care if their phone gets a bit thicker when a protective case is added. Is the same true for tablets?


I’ve enabled a quick poll to gather your feedback on this topic of interest. I’m looking forward to seeing the results and driving for the right solution in the future. Thanks in advance for your participation.

David Hill

Poll

Science

Global carbon emissions set to reach record 36 billion tons in 2013

Nov. 18, 2013 — Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels are set to rise again in 2013, reaching a record high of 36 billion tonnes - according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project, co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The 2.1 per cent rise projected for 2013 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 61 per cent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.

Prof Corinne Le Quéré of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia led the Global Carbon Budget report. She said: “Governments meeting in Warsaw this week need to agree on how to reverse this trend. Emissions must fall substantially and rapidly if we are to limit global climate change to below two degrees. Additional emissions every year cause further warming and climate change."

Alongside the latest Carbon Budget is the launch of the Carbon Atlas - a new online platform showing the world’s biggest carbon emitters more clearly than ever before. The Carbon Atlas reveals the biggest carbon emitters of 2012, what is driving the growth in China’s emissions, and where the UK is outsourcing its emissions. Users can also compare EU emissions and see which countries are providing the largest environmental services to the rest of the world by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

“We are communicating new science,” said Prof Le Quéré. “Everyone can explore their own emissions, and compare them with their neighbouring countries - past, present, and future.”

The Global Carbon Budget reveals that the biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions in 2012 were China (27 per cent), the United States (14 per cent), the European Union (10 per cent), and India (6 per cent). The projected rise for 2013 comes after a similar rise of 2.2 per cent in 2012.

The rise in fossil fuel emissions in 2012 and 2013 was slower compared to the average 2.7 per cent of the past 10 years. Growth rates in CO2 for major emitting countries in 2012 were China (5.9 per cent) and India (7.7 per cent). Meanwhile the United States’ emissions declined by 3.7 per cent and Europe declined by 1.8 per cent.

Emissions per person in China matched figures in the EU at 7 tonnes in 2012. The United States is still among the highest emitter per person at 16 tonnes. By comparison people in India produce a carbon footprint of only 1.8 tonnes.

Most emissions are from coal (43 per cent), then oil (33 per cent), gas (18 per cent), cement (5.3 per cent) and gas flaring (0.6 per cent). The growth in coal in 2012 accounted for 54 per cent of the growth in fossil fuel emissions.

CO2 emissions from deforestation and other land-use change added 8 per cent to the emissions from burning fossil fuels. Cumulative emissions of CO2 since 1870 are set to reach 2015 billion tonnes in 2013 – with 70 per cent caused by burning fossil fuels and 30 per cent from deforestation and other land-use changes.

Prof Pierre Friedlingstein from the University of Exeter said: “We have exhausted about 70 per cent of the cumulative emissions that keep global climate change likely below two degrees. In terms of CO2 emissions, we are following the highest climate change scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September.”

The new online Global Carbon Atlas allows users to explore, visualise and interpret data of global, regional and national emissions. To find out more visit www.globalcarbonatlas.org.

Latest Technology

Amazon announces an OS update for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon released a firmware update for the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire HDX. Version 3.1 of the company’s custom Android OS brings a host of improvements to Amazon’s family of tablets.

One of the most notable features which the firmware update brings on board is the ability to wirelessly stream video content from the tablet to another screen. Supported devices include Samsung Smart TVs and PlayStation 3 consoles.

Other new features are related to Amazon’s own services. They include the ability to find and share books with Goodreads, organize your personal content with Cloud Collections, and free up storage by archiving content to the cloud with a single tap.

Furthermore, the update allows users to print directly from their Kindle Fire. It also brings enhanced enterprise features on board.

The new firmware is available to download over the air, or directly from Amazon.

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Logitech

Top Tech Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Parents are advised to baby-proof their homes, but what about their tech products? From curious infants to accident-prone toddlers, parents need tech accessories that can handle all of life’s messy …
Science

The big male nose: Why men’s noses are bigger than women’s

Nov. 18, 2013 — Human noses come in all shapes and sizes. But one feature seems to hold true: Men's noses are bigger than women's.

A new study from the University of Iowa concludes that men's noses are about 10 percent larger than female noses, on average, in populations of European descent. The size difference, the researchers believe, comes from the sexes' different builds and energy demands: Males in general have more lean muscle mass, which requires more oxygen for muscle tissue growth and maintenance. Larger noses mean more oxygen can be breathed in and transported in the blood to supply the muscle.

The researchers also note that males and females begin to show differences in nose size at around age 11, generally, when puberty starts. Physiologically speaking, males begin to grow more lean muscle mass from that time, while females grow more fat mass. Prior research has shown that, during puberty, approximately 95 percent of body weight gain in males comes from fat-free mass, compared to 85 percent in females.

"This relationship has been discussed in the literature, but this is the first study to examine how the size of the nose relates to body size in males and females in a longitudinal study," says Nathan Holton, assistant professor in the UI College of Dentistry and lead author of the paper, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. "We have shown that as body size increases in males and females during growth, males exhibit a disproportionate increase in nasal size. This follows the same pattern as energetic variables such as oxygenate consumption, basal metabolic rate and daily energy requirements during growth."

It also explains why our noses are smaller than those of our ancestors, such as the Neanderthals. The reason, the researchers believe, is because our distant lineages had more muscle mass, and so needed larger noses to maintain that muscle. Modern humans have less lean muscle mass, meaning we can get away with smaller noses.

"So, in humans, the nose can become small, because our bodies have smaller oxygen requirements than we see in archaic humans," Holton says, noting also that the rib cages and lungs are smaller in modern humans, reinforcing the idea that we don't need as much oxygen to feed our frames as our ancestors. "This all tells us physiologically how modern humans have changed from their ancestors."

Holton and his team tracked nose size and growth of 38 individuals of European descent enrolled in the Iowa Facial Growth Study from three years of age until the mid-twenties, taking external and internal measurements at regular intervals for each individual. The researchers found that boys and girls have the same nose size, generally speaking, from birth until puberty percolated, around age 11. From that point onward, the size difference grew more pronounced, the measurements showed.

"Even if the body size is the same," Holton says, "males have larger noses, because more of the body is made up of that expensive tissue. And, it's at puberty that these differences really take off."

Holton says the findings should hold true for other populations, as differences in male and female physiology cut across cultures and races, although further studies would need to confirm that.

Prior research appears to support Holton's findings. In a 1999 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers documented that males' energy needs doubles that of females post-puberty, "indicating a disproportional increase in energy expenditure in males during this developmental period," Holton and his colleagues write.

Another interesting aspect of the research is what it all means for how we think of the nose. It's not just a centrally located adornment on our face; it's more a valuable extension of our lungs.

"So, in that sense, we can think of it as being independent of the skull, and more closely tied with non-cranial aspects of anatomy," Holton says.

Thomas Southard, professor and chair of orthodontics in the UI College of Dentistry, is a contributing author on the paper. Other authors are Todd Yokley, from Metropolitan State University in Denver, and Andrew Froehle, from Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio.

The Department of Orthodontics in the UI College of Dentistry funded the research.

Science

Bacteria recycle broken DNA: Modern bacteria can add DNA from creatures long-dead to its own

Nov. 18, 2013 — From a bacteria’s perspective the environment is one big DNA waste yard. Researchers have now shown that bacteria can take up small as well as large pieces of old DNA from this scrapheap and include it in their own genome. This discovery may have major consequences – both in connection with resistance to antibiotics in hospitals and in our perception of the evolution of life itself.

Our surroundings contain large amounts of strongly fragmented and damaged DNA, which is being degraded. Some of it may be thousands of years old. Laboratory experiments with microbes and various kinds of DNA have shown that bacteria take up very short and damaged DNA from the environment and passively integrate it in their own genome. Furthermore this mechanism has also been shown to work with a modern bacteria’s uptake of 43,000 years old mammoth DNA. The results are published now in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The discovery of this second-hand use of old or fragmented DNA may have major future consequences.

Postdoc Søren Overballe-Petersen from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark is first author on the paper and he says about the findings: "It is well-known that bacteria can take up long intact pieces of DNA but so far the assumption has been that short DNA fragments were biologically inactive. Now we have shown that this assumption was wrong. As long as you have just a tiny amount of DNA left over there is a possibility that bacteria can re-use the DNA. One consequence of this is in hospitals that have persistent problems with antibiotic resistance. In some cases they will have to start considering how to eliminate DNA remnants. So far focus has been on killing living pathogen bacteria but this is no longer enough in the cases where other bacteria afterwards can use the DNA fragments which contain the antibiotic resistance."

The research group’s results reveal that the large reservoir of fragments and damaged DNA in the surroundings preserve the potential to change the bacteria’s genomes even after thousands of years. This is the first time a process has been described which allows cells to acquire genetic sequences from a long gone past. We call this phenomenon Anachronistic Evolution – or Second-hand Evolution. Professor Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark is the leader of the project. He says: "That DNA from dead organisms drives the evolution of living cells is in contradiction with common belief of what drives the evolution of life itself."

Furthermore old DNA is not limited to only returning microbes to earlier states. Damaged DNA can also create new combinations of already functional sequences. You can compare it to a bunch of bacteria which poke around a trash pile looking for fragments they can use. Occasionally they hit some ‘second-hand gold’, which they can use right away. At other times they run the risk of cutting themselves up. It goes both ways. This discovery has a number of consequences partially because there is a potential risk for people when pathogen bacteria or multi-resistant bacteria exchange small fragments of ‘dangerous’ DNA e.g. at hospitals, in biological waste and in waste water.

In the grand perspective the bacteria’s uptake of short DNA represents a fundamental evolutionary process that only needs a growing cell consuming DNA pieces. A process that possibly is a kind of original type of gene-transfer or DNA-sharing between bacteria. The results show how genetic evolution can happen in jerks in small units. The meaning of this is great for our understanding of how microorganisms have exchanged genes through the history of life. The new results also support the theories about gene-transfer as a decisive factor in life’s early evolution.

Søren Overballe-Petersen explains: "This is one of the most exciting perspectives of our discovery. Computer simulations have shown that even early bacteria on Earth had the ability to share DNA – but it was hard to see how it could happen. Now we suggest how the first bacteria exchanged DNA. It is not even a mechanism developed to this specific purpose but rather as a common process, which is a consequence of living and dying."