Spotify Used 'Pirate' MP3 Files In Its Early Days: Report

Slashdot - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 7:20pm
According to Rasmus Fleischer, one of the early The Pirate Bay figures, Spotify used unlicensed music in its early days. From a report: "Spotify's beta version was originally a pirate service. It was distributing MP3 files that the employees happened to have on their hard drives," he reveals. Rumors that early versions of Spotify used 'pirate' MP3s have been floating around the Internet for years. People who had access to the service in the beginning later reported downloading tracks that contained 'Scene' labeling, tags, and formats, which are the tell-tale signs that content hadn't been obtained officially. Solid proof has been more difficult to come by but Fleischer says he knows for certain that Spotify was using music obtained not only from pirate sites, but the most famous pirate site of all.

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Categories: Science

Avastin as effective as Eylea for treating central retinal vein occlusion

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:58pm
Monthly eye injections of Avastin (bevacizumab) are as effective as the more expensive drug Eylea (aflibercept) for the treatment of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), according to a clinical trial. After six monthly injections, treatment with either drug improved visual acuity on average from 20/100 to 20/40.
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Materials bend as they 'breathe' under high temperatures

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:52pm
Researchers develop high-temperature systems based on metal oxides that 'breathe' oxygen in and out, that could be used to control devices inside nuclear reactors or jet engines.
Categories: Science

Microsoft Is Planning To Turn Windows 10 PCs Into Amazon Echo Competitors

Slashdot - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:40pm
Speaking of Amazon's Echo devices, it appears Microsoft also wants a slice of this nascent market. The Verge's Tom Warren claims that Microsoft has been working on a feature for Windows 10 that would allow it "to better compete with devices like Amazon's Echo." Dubbed HomeHub, the feature is designed to create "a family environment for a PC with shared access to calendars, apps, and even a new welcome screen." He adds: Microsoft is even planning to support smart home devices like Philips' Hue lights, to enable Windows 10 to act as a hub to control and manage smart home hardware. While we've heard about HomeHub before, The Verge has obtained internal concepts of exactly how Microsoft is imagining HomeHub will work. The major addition is a new welcome screen that includes an "always on" digital corkboard to let families use to-do lists, calendars, and notes. The welcome screen is really designed for kitchen PCs and new smaller hardware with screens that will support Cortana voice commands from across the room.

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Categories: Science

How varroa mites take advantage of managed beekeeping practices

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:19pm
As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be allowing the mite to 'co-opt' several honey bee behaviors to its own benefit and disperse widely, even though the mite itself is not a highly mobile insect.
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Alzheimer's disease likely not caused by low body mass index

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:19pm
A new large-scale genetic study found that low body mass index (BMI) is likely not a causal risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, as earlier research had suggested.
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Vitamin D levels not linked to asthma or dermatitis

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:19pm
Vitamin D supplementation is unlikely to reduce the risk of asthma in children or adults, atopic dermatitis, or allergies according to a new study.
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Seniors who live with their abusers often suffer recurrent abuse

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:18pm
Older adults who have been hospitalized for injuries from an assault are more likely to experience subsequent physical abuse if they are female, widowed, diagnosed with dementia, or return home to live with the perpetrator, according to a new study.
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New method of microbial energy production discovered

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:18pm
For all living things to succeed, they must reproduce and have the energy to do so. An organism's ability to extract energy from its surroundings-and to do it better than its competitors-is a key requirement of survival. Until recently it was thought that in all of biology, from microbes to humans, there were only two methods to generate and conserve the energy required for cellular metabolism and survival.
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Repair Shops Are Stoked That the Samsung Galaxy S8 Is the Most Fragile Phone Ever Made

Slashdot - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 6:00pm
Smartphone repair companies are expecting to fix a lot of those beautiful, cracked Infinity Screens, the headline feature of the Samsung Galaxy S8. From a report on Motherboard: The Samsung Galaxy S8 is expensive, popular, and fragile. Its parts can also be sourced relatively inexpensively, which means that third party repair companies are salivating over the prospect of you fumbling the phone and bringing it to them for a screen repair. "The price point is good, the repairability is there," Justin Carroll, owner of the Richmond, Virginia-based Fruit Fixed smartphone repair shop told me. "Durability-wise, it's definitely going to break, no question about that." Soon after its release, electronics insurance company SquareTrade put Samsung's new flagship phone through its breakability test, a series of drops, dunks, and tumbles. It was deemed the most breakable phone of all time: "S8 is the first phone we've tested that's cracked on the first drop on ALL sides," SquareTrade wrote in a video demonstrating the drops.There's an obvious reason for this, of course. The S8 is made almost entirely of glass, and has barely any top or bottom bezel, which is why the phone is marketed as having an "infinity screen."

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Categories: Science

Can’t touch this: The psychological effects of functional intimacy

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:30pm
Researchers have explored the discomfort felt in a situation that requires functional intimacy. The study presents a novel point of view for both service providers and service recipients.
Categories: Science

Sound projection: Are Stradivarius violins really better?

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:29pm
Researchers have shown that recently-made violins have better sound projection than those built by the famous violinmaker Antonio Stradivarius. This study also shows that, despite the prestige of these old Italian violins, listeners prefer the sound made by recent instruments and cannot distinguish the two.
Categories: Science

‘Inverse Designing’ Spontaneously Self-Assembling Materials

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:29pm
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are exploring how molecular simulations with the latest optimization strategies can create a more systematic way of discovering new materials that exhibit specific, desired properties. 
Categories: Science

Most home kitchens in Philadelphia study would earn severe code violations

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:28pm
A pair of studies found that most of the home kitchens in Philadelphia that they examined would get critical code violations if they were judged by the same standards that we hold to the restaurants where we eat.
Categories: Science

Men and women show equal ability at recognizing faces

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:28pm
Despite conventional wisdom that suggests women are better than men at facial recognition, psychologists found no difference between men and women in their ability to recognize faces and categorize facial expressions.
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How Pokémon GO can help students build stronger communication skills

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:28pm
Technology continues to change the way students learn and engage with their peers, parents and community. That is why a professor is working with teachers to develop new ways to incorporate digital tools in the classroom, including playing games such as Pokémon GO.
Categories: Science

Smile and the world thinks you're older

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:28pm
Turn that frown upside-down? Not if you're keen on looking younger, you shouldn't. A new study shows that smiling can make you appear to be two years older than if you wear a poker face. And if you reacted to that finding with a look of surprise -- well, that expression might just have dropped years from your visage.
Categories: Science

Amazon Just Announced the Touchscreen Echo Nobody Asked For

Slashdot - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 5:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon just announced a new grandmaster Echo gadget with the company's voice-assistant technology built in. It's called the Echo Show. It's got a touchscreen. It's got wi-fi and Bluetooth. It costs $230. And it's even creepier than its siblings. At its core, the Echo Show is just a regular Echo with a 7-inch screen. That screen lets you watch YouTube videos and see the weather forecast after you've asked for it. The new gadget also lets you make calls, video calls, and send text messages to other people using Echos or to mobile devices with the Alexa app installed. Thanks to Alexa integration with gadgets from Arlo and Ring, you can also see what your nanny cam sees. But check this out: the Echo Show also has a 5-megapixel, front-facing camera. So now, instead of your Echo just listening to your commands, it can watch you as well. The Echo Show joins the screen-free Echo Look as the second Amazon Echo device to feature a camera. On a sidenote, Amazon said it will bring the voice-calling ability to all other Echo devices.

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Categories: Science

Canonical Founder Says Recent Changes In Ubuntu Were Necessary To Prepare the Company For an IPO

Slashdot - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: Canonical was doing well with Ubuntu and cloud and container-related technologies, such as Juju, LXD, and Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS). In addition, its OpenStack and Kubernetes software stacks, according to Shuttleworth, are growing by leaps and bounds on both the public and private cloud. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said "in the last year, Ubuntu cloud growth had been 70 percent on the private cloud and 90 percent on the public cloud." In particular, "Ubuntu has been gaining more customers on the big five public clouds." What hadn't succeeded was Canonical's attempt to make Unity the universal interface for desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Shuttleworth was personally invested in this project, but at day's end, it wasn't getting enough adoption to make it profitable. So, Shuttleworth said with regret, Unity had to be dropped. This move also means Canonical will devote more of its time to "putting the company on the path to a IPO. We must figure out what steps we need to take moving forward." That means focusing on Canonical's most profitable lines. Specifically, "Ubuntu will never die. Ubuntu is the default platform on cloud computing. Juju, MaaS, and OpenStack are nearly unstoppable. We need to work out more of our IoT path. At the same time, we had to cut out those parts that couldn't meet an investors' needs. The immediate work is get all parts of the company profitable."

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Categories: Science

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

Science Daily - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 4:20pm
Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway. A team discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.
Categories: Science