How Lucasfilm’s Master Foley Artist Perfected the Sounds in Your Favorite Movies

Wired News - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 5:00pm
John Roesch, the head Foley artist at Lucasfilm, takes us through a day in the life of a man with golden ears. The post How Lucasfilm's Master Foley Artist Perfected the Sounds in Your Favorite Movies appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Building Your Own Personal Weather Station Is a Breeze

Wired News - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 5:00pm
Linked together, the 180,000 personal weather stations in the US provide the most accurate weather forecasts on the Internet. Join the party. The post Building Your Own Personal Weather Station Is a Breeze appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Choosing to Skip the Upgrade and Care for the Gadget You've Got

Slashdot - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 4:45pm
The New York Times has run a piece on its "Tech Fix" section, in which it argues, citing a user's experience, why skipping an upgrade might not be a bad idea, and how you could hold on to your existing device for a little longer. The story revolves around Vincent Lai, who dug up a Palm Treo, a smartphone that was disconnected last decade, and found that with little tweaks, the phone still had some life in it. From the article: Mr. Lai's behavior might be extreme, but his experience with the Palm Treo illustrates there is another way: If you simply put some maintenance into electronics as you would a car, you can stay happy with your gadgets for years. It is part of a movement of anti-consumerism, or the notion of cherishing what you have rather than incessantly buying new stuff. Signs of this philosophy are spreading: Industry data suggests that consumers are waiting longer to upgrade to new phones than they have in the past. [...] When smartphones and tablets were fairly sluggish and limited in abilities compared with computers, there was a compelling reason to buy a new mobile device every few years. But now the mobile gadgets have become so fast and capable that you can easily keep them much longer. "A five-year-old computer is still completely fine now," Mr. Wiens said. "We're starting to hit that same plateau with phones now."The article also shares some tips such as clearing up storage and getting your device's battery replaced -- which costs roughly $20 to $40 -- that can help you get the max out of your phone and tablet. There's one more aspect, which the aforementioned article doesn't talk about. If you have an old iDevice -- iPhone or iPad -- upgrading to the latest available version of the operating system could substantially slow it up. Not upgrading, however, exposes your device to a range of security attacks. It's a tough choice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

What Are Cosmic Rays?

Space.com - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 4:45pm
Cosmic rays are atom fragments that rain down on the Earth from outside of the solar system.
Categories: Science

Microsoft Translator App For Android Can Now Translate Text In a Photo

Slashdot - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 4:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has updated its Translator app for Android to add the ability to recognize the text inside a photo. The photo, Microsoft explains, can be something that you have clicked on your phone as well as an image stored on your phone or cloud. "With this new feature in the Translator app for Android, you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text. If you see a sign, menu, flyers, etc. you can point your phone's camera at it, and you won't have any confusion about what you're looking at. You can also translate saved images such as pictures from emails, the Internet and social media," the company wrote in a blog post. The new feature supports simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Additionally, the new update adds 34 languages to the list of available downloaded language packs for use when you're not connected to the Internet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Google's Ray Kurzweil Wants To Live Forever, and He Thinks It Includes Nanobots

Slashdot - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 4:01pm
Reader Esther Schindler writes: Whatever else he is (author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist, Google employee), Ray Kurzweil is undeniably fascinating, with intriguing predictions about the future -- some of which might be accurate. In an interview, he discusses life extension and technology, as well as how he thinks they'll be connected. "When people talk about the future of technology, especially artificial intelligence, they very often have the common dystopian Hollywood-movie model of us versus the machines. My view is that we will use these tools as we've used all other tools -- to broaden our reach. And in this case, we'll be extending the most important attribute we have, which is our intelligence." Part of what I like is that he sees ways to use technology for good and not for evil. "By the 2030s we will have nanobots that can go into a brain non-invasively through the capillaries, connect to our neocortex and basically connect it to a synthetic neocortex that works the same way in the cloud. So we'll have an additional neocortex, just like we developed an additional neocortex 2 million years ago, and we'll use it just as we used the frontal cortex: to add additional levels of abstraction. We'll create more profound forms of communication than we're familiar with today, more profound music and funnier jokes. We'll be funnier. We'll be sexier. We'll be more adept at expressing loving sentiments."Kurzweil also thinks his diet can help him live forever. Kurzweil claims that he spends "a few thousand dollars per day" (or roughly a million dollar a year) on diet pills and eating right. According to a Financial Times report from last year, Kurzweil's breakfast includes:Berries (85 calories for a cup), Dark chocolate infused with espresso (170 calories for an ounce), Smoked salmon and mackerel (100 calories for a 3-ounce serving), Vanilla soy milk (100 calories for a cup) Stevia (zero calories), Porridge (150 to 350 calories for half a cup, depending on ingredients and cooking method), and Green tea (zero calories). Kurzweil takes 100 pills a day (down from 250 a few years ago, technology has advanced, you see) for "heart health" to "eye health, sexual health, and brain health."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Rituximab is superior to fingolimod for certain patients with multiple sclerosis

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:55pm
A new study indicates that rituximab is more effective than fingolimod for preventing relapses in patients with highly active multiple sclerosis switching from treatment with natalizumab. The study included patients infected with JC virus, which is present in approximately 50% of the general population. While the virus generally causes no problems under normal circumstances, it can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a serious demyelinating disease of the brain, in patients with immune deficiencies due to disease or immunosuppressant drugs.
Categories: Science

A 'Bubble' for Hubble: Iconic Telescope Snaps Spectacular Birthday Photo

Space.com - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:55pm
The Hubble Space Telescope may be turning 26 years old this weekend, but its vision is still out of this world. Case in point: this jaw-dropping view of the Bubble Nebula to celebrate the iconic space observatory's birthday.
Categories: Science

Safety of outpatient hand, shoulder surgeries examined

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:46pm
A large study of hand and shoulder surgeries performed at a freestanding, outpatient center found few complications -- 0.2 percent in nearly 29,000 patients over an 11-year period.
Categories: Science

Caught in the act: 3-D structure of RNA-modifying protein determined in action

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:46pm
The structure of a bacterial RNA-binding protein has been determined in the act of modifying a molecule of RNA, an achievement that provides researchers with a unique view of the protein's function in action and could lead to clues that would help in the fight against the development of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Categories: Science

Beyond Earth Day: Where Will Alien Life Be Discovered First?

Space.com - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:45pm
Which places in the solar system are the best bets to host alien life? Our friends at ThinkGeek.com recently asked 2,400 readers this very question, and the results are pretty interesting.
Categories: Science

Finding sleep's sweet spot

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:31pm
A new study shows that when it comes to promoting healthy hearts, it's not a matter of getting more sleep. It's a matter of getting adequate sleep at optimal times, say researchers.
Categories: Science

Algorithm for robot teams handles moving obstacles

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:31pm
Researchers will present a new, decentralized planning algorithm for teams of robots that factors in not only stationary obstacles, but also moving obstacles. The algorithm also requires significantly less communications bandwidth than existing decentralized algorithms, but preserves strong mathematical guarantees that the robots will avoid collisions.
Categories: Science

Infectious outbreaks must be combatted strategically, experts argue

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:31pm
New funding is not enough to guarantee success against emerging infectious diseases around the world. Rather, good governance, a long-term technology investment strategy and strong product management skills are essential, say researchers.
Categories: Science

Unique regulatory pattern that promotes essential cell function found

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:31pm
Scientists and clinicians often encounter road blocks in designing specific treatments for diseases like cancer or developmental disorders because proteins that regulate cell functions through complex mechanisms are misunderstood. A researcher has discovered a novel aspect of a fundamental cellular process that could be a key to overcoming that barrier.
Categories: Science

US national forests and grasslands could yield less water in future climate

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:28pm
A warmer climate may lead to higher growth and productivity on US national forests and grasslands, but researchers say this could reduce quantities of freshwater flowing from most of these lands, even with increases in precipitation.
Categories: Science

Bubble Nebula looks like a gigantic cosmic soap bubble

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:28pm
A new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures in stunning clarity what looks like a gigantic cosmic soap bubble. The object, known as the Bubble Nebula, is in fact a cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the brilliant star within it. The vivid new portrait of this dramatic scene wins the Bubble Nebula a place in the exclusive Hubble hall of fame.
Categories: Science

Facial grading systems for patients with facial paralysis

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:28pm
When patients have facial paralysis, many rehabilitation specialists and facial reanimation surgeons use the time-tested Sunnybrook Facial Grading System (FGS) to measure and look for changes in facial function. A new electronic and digitally graded facial measurement scale called eFace was recently created to provide similar information to the Sunnybrook FGS.
Categories: Science

No risk association observed for anthracycline chemotherapy, cognitive decline

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:28pm
New data analyses found no association between anthracycline chemotherapy and greater risk of cognitive decline in breast cancer survivors, according to an article. Possible adverse effects of breast cancer treatment on cognitive function have been acknowledged but the risks of specific chemotherapies remain undetermined.
Categories: Science

No increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events for breast cancer patients on newer hormone therapy

Science Daily - Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:28pm
The use of aromatase inhibitors, hormone-therapy drugs used to treat patients with breast cancer, was not associated with an increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events, including heart attacks or stroke, compared with tamoxifen, another commonly prescribed anti-cancer drug that works on hormones and which has been associated with a serious risk of stroke, report investigators.
Categories: Science