First British settlers in US ‘were cannibals’
BBC News: Newly discovered human bones prove the first permanent British settlers in North America turned to cannibalism over the cruel winter of 1609-10, US researchers have said.
Scientists found unusual cuts consistent with butchering for meat on human bones dumped in a rubbish pit. The four-century-old skull and tibia of a teenage girl in James Fort, Virginia, was excavated from the dump last year.
Photo: A painting of the Jamestown colony circa 1610, a period known as the starving time. (Getty Images)
Apple Is Quietly Working To Destroy The iPhone - Business Insider
Here’s the other reason it’s safe to assume Apple is quietly working on the destruction of its most massive business, the iPhone.
Just like Google and Microsoft, Apple is working on computerized glasses. Computerized glasses, are, at the moment, the technology that is most likely to bring the smartphone era to an end.
They fit into an obvious pattern, where computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning. First they were in big rooms, then they sat on desktops, then they sat on our laps, and now they’re in our palms. Next they’ll be on our faces.
Flash memory survives 100 Million Cycles.
Flash memory is currently used in solid-state drives, USB drives, or increasingly in server farms, but it starts to wear out after about 10,000 cycles of being programmed and erased.
Now a team of engineers from Macronix is planning to unveil a technology which has been shown to be able to withstand “at least” 100 Million cycles. They say at least because it will take several months to run it up to 1 billion cycles, and even then it may just keep going, with one researcher saying “We do not know what would eventually cause the device to fail, since we have not seen the end-of-life signals yet”.
The technique involves storing bits of data in a material called chalcogenide glass, which is currently used in PCRAM. That glass normally wears out over time, but by including tiny onboard heaters to bring the glass up to melting point, it was able to self-heal and be used indefinitely. The amount of power required for heating wasn’t disclosed but the team says “It’s not going to drain your cellphone battery”. The technique also allows for faster erasing of data.
World’s First Bionic Eye Receives FDA Approval
The new retinal prosthesis, called Argus II, can restore partial sight to people blinded by a degenerative eye disease. The Argus II works by substituting a small array of electrodes for the light-sensing cells that normally react to light by sending an electric signal toward the back of the retina. Those signals are relayed to the optic nerve behind the eye, and travel back along the nerve to the brain. In people with the genetic disease Retinitis pigmentosa, which affects about 100,000 people in the U.S. today, those light-sensing cells gradually stop working, resulting in total blindness. In addition to the electrode array, which is implanted in the retina at the back of the eye, the Argus II system consists of a small video camera attached to a pair of eyeglasses and a visual processor the user carries around their waist. Data from the video camera is sent to the visual processor and then back to the glasses, where it is transmitted wirelessly to the embedded electrodes.
7-Year-Old Zora Ball Is the World’s Youngest Game Programmer
The youngest person to create a full version of a mobile application video game. A first grader at Philadelphia’s Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School, she’s already more accomplished than everyone you know.
Ball built the app in the Bootstrap programming language, and unveiled her game at FATE’s “Bootstrap Expo” at the University of Pennsylvania.
Apparently some grumpy olds were suspicious that her older brother was really the mastermind behind the program, but Zora showed them. When asked to reconfigure the app on the spot, Ball showed naysayers what was up when she executed the request perfectly.
“We expect great things from Zora, as her older brother, Trace Ball, is a past STEM Scholar of the Year,” said Harambee Science Teacher Tariq Al-Nasir. No pressure, baby geniuses, but there’s an entire world for you to save. Please hurry.
Some people hack their iPhones to steal apps or install custom themes. I don’t find either of those things appealing. I’m mostly into what are categorized as “tweaks” by the jailbreaking community. Tweaks usually take small annoyances with iOS and fix them, like DietBulletin, which constrains notifications to the size of the statusbar.
But there’s one tweak that has really changed the way I use my phone. Activator by Ryan Petrich lets you set custom actions that happen when you perform gestures or press the physical buttons on your iPhone in certain ways. I have 1Password set to open up when I hit the home button 3 times, for instance. But what’s really changed my game is setting up Drafts, one of my favorite App Store apps, to launch when I swipe up from the bottom of my phone. So now, no matter what I’m doing, I can flick up on my screen and type. This text can then be tweeted, parsed by Fantastical into a calendar entry, Googled, saved to Evernote, etc. It’s smart too — if I send to Gmail it uses the first line of text as the subject of a new email and adds the rest of the text as the body.
This has completely changed the way I capture thoughts and turn them into actionable items. It has removed a certain level of friction that I’ve always felt when getting data into apps, by allowing me to easily dump a thought somewhere useful before I figure out the final thing I want to do with it. I’ve always loved the journal app Day One, for example, but could never be bothered with the small hassle of opening it up and making regular entries. With Activator and Drafts, I have a thought, I swipe, I type, and then I decide, Do I want to tweet this? Is this something I should email someone about? Is it something I want to save as a personal Journal entry? Did just I write ‘Whip My Hair’ so that I could search it in Spotify and jam to some Willow Smith? Basically anything you can think of is available as a Drafts action.
I feel like my phone finally understands my brain.