Month: July 2019

  • TLDR: Score a lifetime of top language learning for under $150 with Babbel. Satisfied customers can’t be wrong — especially when they number almost half a million. Thanks to reviews in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, Babbel Language Learning gets an impressive 4.5 out of 5.0 stars from more than 430,000 customers. Glowing reviews like that have made Babbel the top-grossing language app in the world — and you can join those happy ranks right now with a lifetime subscription to Babbel Language Learning at 50 percent off its regular price, slashed to $149 from TNW Deals. Babbel offers training that can get you fluent in any of 14 different languages. In fact, Babbel says with their curriculum, developed by over 100 linguistic experts, you can be speaking confidently in a new language in just one month. From big ones like Spanish, French and German down to more specialized languages like Russian, Italian and Swedish, you’ve got enough options to keep your plate full for months, if not years ahead.  Of course, you’ve still gotta do the work. To help, you’ll get access to more than 8,500 hours of high quality language education, broken down into easily digestible 10 to 15 minute lessons that can fit effortlessly into your schedule. Each lesson works on building your basic conversational skills, guiding you through useful real life subjects like travel, family, business, food and more. And this isn’t all academic book learning. Babbel’s own personalized lesson reviews help make sure each new training takes root, plus their speech recognition technology assesses your pronunciation so you don’t just understand your new language — you speak it correctly as well. From beginner lessons up through more advanced teaching, Babbel will elevate your language learning at your pace. Regularly $299, you can save half...
  • Izotopes’ Spire Studio is a portable 8-track all-in-one recording studio. It’s brimming with features and powered by incredibly smart software. It may be the most innovative tool I’ve used in my home recording studio. I wanted to hate the Spire Studio. It’s a product that takes decades of my hard-learned experience and distills it into a demure cylinder-shaped gadget capable of replacing me in my own home recording studio. But, if I’m being honest, I’m completely impressed with it. It’s been years since I used a digital multi-track recorder machine. These days I’ve got everything running straight to PC through a USB interface. I’m somewhere between hobbyist and enthusiast – and leagues away from being a pro engineer – but I’ve been fiddling with music tech for decades. On first glance the Spire Studio would be a hard pass from me. Why would I want an 8-track when I can record as many tracks as I want in a digital audio workstation? The answer’s pretty simple: it’s the closest thing you can get to having an assistant engineer in the studio without actually hiring one or spending thousands on expert-level software solutions. Credit: Nicole Gray Specifications: 8-tracks @ 48kHz/24-bit 2 XLR/TS combo inputs 2 1/8″ headphone outputs 2 mic preamps with 48v phantom power built-in omni-directional condenser microphone lithium-ion battery (4-6 hours per charge) requires iOS 10 or higher, or Android 7 and up You can go from unboxing the Spire Studio to laying down, mixing, and exporting individual tracks within about 15 minutes. It requires an iOS or Android device for use – you’ll need your phone or tablet to mix or export your projects – but you can record tracks using just the buttons on the Spire Studio if you prefer that to operating it via the app....
  • It comes as no surprise that women are grossly underrepresented in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Although the stats are disheartening, it doesn’t reflect women‘s ability, instead it acts as a stern reminder on the realities of the society we live in. This reality is that, even from a young age, girls are discouraged from pursuing a career in STEM, and instead are told to look pretty and be “princesses.” It’s also a time when women who have carved out their career in science are struggling to get acknowledgement for their work and discoveries as Wikipedia is removing the biographies of women scientists.  Currently, just 17 percent of the English-language biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and women scientists in particular are poorly represented. A few months ago, Sarah Tuttle, an astrophysicist, tweeted how her Wikipedia page was flagged for deletion. This came after the online encyclopedia platform had removed Clarice Phelps’, an African-American nuclear scientist, bio three times during Black History Month in February.  I’m being deleted from wikipedia, which feels like I’m famous. 😂😂😂😂 — Sarah Tuttle (@niais) May 3, 2019 Tuttle and Phelps’ entries on Wikipedia were written by physicist Jessica Wade, an advocate for diversity in science. Wade balances her work as an award-winning physicist at Imperial College London with her role as a ‘Wikipedian’ — creating and uploading the biographies of scientists who are women, people of color, and part of the LGBTQ+ community — every day. “I’ve spent the last year trying to improve the representation of women scientists and engineers on Wikipedia, to celebrate the important contributors of underrepresented groups.” Wade told TNW. “I’ve recently just written my 700th biography.” 🧬Meet Prof Nurcan Tunçbağ, computational biologist @METU_ODTU + @4womeninscience Rising Talent. @ntuncbag works on statistical models of protein interactions, developing...
  • Geologists have dubbed Earth’s middle age the “boring billion”. Occurring some 1,800 to 800 million years ago, it has long been considered a period when little happened on Earth in terms of biological evolution, climate, or the chemistry of the oceans and atmosphere. But emerging evidence now suggests that the “boring billion” may have been far more dynamic than that. Our planet has been shaped by many monumental events. From the Cambrian explosion around 540 million years ago, when most animal forms appeared, to the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, the dramatic course of biological evolution is well documented by the fossil record. Similarly, from the glaciations of the most recent ice age, to much earlier “snowball Earth” periods, when the entire planet may have frozen over for millions of years, climate change has left a clear imprint on the geological record. But then we come to the “boring billion”, where the rocks appear to give us startling evidence for, well, not much really. Geologic clock: if Earth’s history is plotted over 12hrs, not much happened between about 7 and 10 o’clock. Woudloper / wiki, CC BY-SA At first glance, the Earth seems to have been stuck in perpetual stasis across this billion year interval. The planet was likely somewhat warmer than today, but there is zero evidence in the rocks for any dramatic change in climate. Oxygen in the atmosphere was stuck at a level much lower than we have today, and indeed much of the global ocean was entirely devoid of oxygen, leading to inhospitable seas that were rich in either iron or toxic hydrogen sulphide (the smelly gas released by rotten eggs). While the first eukaryotes (cells with a nucleus) had already evolved, the pace of biological evolution appeared to have stalled. Until recently, the most...
  • Nintendo and Sony this week posted sales figures for the Switch and the PlayStation 4, respectively — and the two consoles are cleaning house. If you’re looking for a reason why these two consoles have rocketed to the top so quickly, you can probably put it down to both consoles‘ sterling lineup of exclusives. Sony‘s PS4 hit the milestone of 100 million consoles sold in the last six years. It’s hit that milestone faster than any other console except the Nintendo DS (Ars Technica provided some handy numbers for reference). One of the things it’s boasted over its rivals is a list of exclusives from launch. Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, Spider-Man, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5 — the list goes on for a bit. This makes PlayStation 4 the fastest home console to reach 100 million unit sell in. Faster than both the PS2 and Wii which were just behind. It took PS2 a total of five years and 9 months. PS4 was just 5 years and 7 months. pic.twitter.com/g4Bk8sckYf — Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 30, 2019 The Switch is also posting excellent numbers. Nintendo updated its hardware numbers, listing the sales of the Switch as 36.87 million units. Considering it’s only been on the market a third as long as its fellows, that’s also an admirable number. The Switch has more exclusive games than you can shake a stick at — just in the next few months, we’ll be getting Astral Chain, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Pokemon Sword & Shield. Meanwhile, the Xbox One is trailing its competition — by how much, we can’t be certain, as Microsoft hasn’t released sales numbers for the One in quite some time. But the console is estimated to have less than half of its Sony counterpart. And its list of console exclusives isn’t exactly as impressive as its rivals. There’s...
  • Researchers from Disney have developed software for mapping CGI motion animations to actual robots – without any of the unwanted outcomes of porting virtual movements to the physical world. The researchers note that while it’s fairly easy to create virtual characters with a wide degree of motion, translating those movements to real robots presents a challenge due to “constraints imposed by the size, weight, and placement of [their] mechanical components.” “The combination of fast motions and unavoidable structural deformations leads to mechanical oscillations that negatively affect [the performance of robotic characters],” the researchers explained. “Our goal is to automatically transfer motions created using traditional animation software to robotic characters while avoiding [complications].” To solve this problem, Disney developed a special motion retargeting system that suppresses unwanted vibrations, which it later tested on five different robots – including a child-sized animatronic figure with highly dynamic drumming and boxing motions. Of course, the implementation has some kinks to iron out. “Our simulator captures the dynamic response of the physical characters well,” the researchers say. “However, it can be observed that there is still some deviation between the simulated dynamics and physical system, leading to small residual vibrations.” The new method was demonstrated at computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH 2019. For more details about the Disney’s technology, check out the footage in the video section above or head to this page. This isn’t the first time the entertainment giant has toyed with robots. Disney has previously showcased robotics research implementations that focused on ultra-realistic Avatar-themed animatronics and a one-legged hopping robot reminiscent of Tigger. Read next: UK judge slams Craig Wright’s defamation case against Roger Ver 10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute...
  • The car sure-footedly descended from what felt like a cliff’s edge. (Maserati/) A turbocharged, Ferrari-built 590-horsepower 3.8-liter V8 engine makes the Levante Trofeo the most powerful production Maserati in the company’s storied history. The $169,980 vehicle is also the most exclusive, thanks to the availability of 400,000 option combinations, plus Maserati’s available personalization program. For the uninitiated, Maserati is one of Italy’s old’s exotic car brands, founded in 1914 as an engineering company; it’s been building sexy Italian automobiles since 1926. Today, it is one brand in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, alongside its neighbor, Ferrari. The two companies cooperate on technology, and Maserati relies on Ferrari for its cars’ V8 engines. Sales of 55,000 Levantes since the car’s launch in 2016 make it the best-selling Maserati ever. And its crossover SUV body style, and sophisticated all-wheel drive system, make it the most capable off-road Maserati ever, too. Active suspension, computer-controlled all-wheel drive and turbo power let the Levante Trofeo transform between an Italian hot rod and an off-roading beast literally by pushing a button. By switching modes, the vehicle will move from having 6.9 inches of clearance all the way up 9.85 inches. Off-roading We put this vehicle to the test in a quarry outside the company’s Modena, Italy headquarters, where the rip-snorting, track-ready Levante Trofeo crawled effortlessly up absurdly steep inclines, rolled over blind crests, and sure-footedly descended from what felt like a cliff’s edge with the security of electronic hill descent control. The Trofeo’s V8 engine is derived from the one seen previously in Maerati’s flagship Quattroporte GTS sedan. Revised turbocharger impellers boost airflow, while higher-lift camshafts and freer-flowing valves let the air from those turbos blow through the engine more efficiently. A reprogrammed engine management computer wrings the most out of this new hardware to produce...
  • A UK judge has dismissed a defamation case filed by Craig Steven Wright, Bitcoin‘s self-proclaimed creator, against Bitcoin Cash advocate Roger Ver. The case was thrown out of court on grounds that it was “weak,” “lacking in detail,” and “inappropriate.” High Court Judge Sir Matthew Nicklin said there was little evidence to support Craig Wright‘s claims of damage to his reputation, and highlighted that Wright had failed to provide enough evidence of “the global reputation he enjoys and, more particularly, the extent to which it has been damaged.” The judge’s decision, which surfaced today, brands the case as a form of “libel tourism,” a term used to refer to opportunistic cases seeking to get damages in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions. Wright handed Ver a legal notice when he was in the UK earlier this year, alleging that a video he made describing him as a fraud damaged his reputation. Ver lives in Japan and was only in the UK for a brief visit, leading the judge to argue that the UK may have not been the most appropriate place to launch the case in. Wright’s spokesperson told Decrypt that the Ver case had “only been thrown out because of the jurisdiction, not the content.” Wright, who is seemingly building a patent empire, is notorious in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. In December 2015, two simultaneous investigations by Wired and Gizmodo claimed he could have invented Bitcoin. However, subsequent reporting raised concerns that the Australian computer scientist could potentially be involved in an elaborate scam. To date, Wright has filed several suits against well-known figures in the cryptocurrency industry, including Ethereum‘s Vitalik Buterin. Wright is facing legal action in the state of Florida, accused of swindling $5 billion dollars worth of Bitcoin from the late Dave Kleiman, his ex-business partner. Published July 31, 2019 — 15:39 UTC 10 minutes mail...
  • A forest. (Pexels/) Powerful winds can topple trees and tear up shrubs in the forest, and this can create an opening for invaders—plants that don’t belong there. To learn more about this post-storm phenomenon, scientists decided to take an up-close and personal look. This can be grueling, as Eric Larson and Melissa Daniels discovered: For Daniels, who did most of the fieldwork, it meant scrabbling over trunks scattered across the ground like pickup sticks, hustling away from a falling tree that crashed down a scant 10 feet behind her, fighting steep hills, ticks, nettles, and poison ivy, and wielding a machete—yes, a machete. “Besides almost stepping on a venomous snake and pulling ticks off of ourselves, critters were probably the least of our worries,” Daniels said. “We were doing intensely strenuous work in obscene weather conditions—the heat index is frequently 100-plus degrees. The terrain is very hilly, and hiking up and down hills is tedious, but even more so when the hiking is constantly interrupted by climbing over trees… or forcing our way through endless thickets of thorny vines. Big thanks to Eric for letting me buy a machete for the lab.” The terrain was so difficult to navigate, in fact, that it often took as long as 30 minutes to get from one random sampling point to the next, only about 50 yards away. “Melissa got a lot of use out of the machete that summer,” Larson said. But slashing her way through the vines—and everything else—was worth it. The two set out to determine the extent to which invasive species were taking over forest “blowdown” areas hit by tornadoes and other storms. Once established, invasive plants can hamper a forest’s ability to recover, and harm native ecosystems. Technician Amanda Niebuhr at a site hit by a 2009 derecho....