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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How To Make Calls On The Gear S2 (No Plan Required)

How Facebook censors your posts (FAQ) - CNET

"After Korryn Gaines entered her Baltimore apartment earlier this month, she pulled out a shotgun and then her phone. She opened the Instagram and Facebook apps so she could post details of her standoff with the police.

Facebook cut her off.

Gaines wasn't the first black person to post about a run-in with the police. Others include Philando Castile, whose fiancee in July streamed live video on Facebook as he lay dying after a police officer shot him. A few days later, a protestor streamed a sniper attack on Dallas police on the social network.

But her clash marked a turning point in the conversation about Facebook's role in empowering speech. That's because her friends watching did more than just watch: They urged her not to acquiesce.

Facebook temporarily shut down Gaines' account at the request of the police. It came right before officers opened fire, killing her and striking her 5-year-old son.

The decision put a spotlight on another Facebook activity: its routine censorship of users."

How Facebook censors your posts (FAQ) - CNET

Wil Wheaton talks growing up on Star Trek, as actor and man

"What are some of the "Next Generation" behind-the-scenes moments you look back on most fondly?

In the second season when Whoopi Goldberg joined the cast it was a big deal. It's kind of like if Jennifer Lawrence or Tom Hiddleston said, "I want to be on Star Trek." Whoopi was the biggest star in the world at that time. I don't know if this is true or not, but I've heard from more than one source that we hadn't really earned a second season based on merit, but when Whoopi said "I want to do this" it gave us another shot. She was that big of a deal then. We got a really cool new set and it also gave us a whole other dimension to the show."

Wil Wheaton talks growing up on Star Trek, as actor and man

Found in space: Planet Proxima b could be Earth's closest cousin - CNET

Found in space: Planet Proxima b could be Earth's closest cousin - CNET

Neil deGrasse Tyson prefers Star Trek over Star Wars, YEAH! - Millennium Falcon or Starship Enterprise?: Fan Question | StarTalk

Monday, August 22, 2016

Android 7.0 Nougat review: great, but does it matter? | The Verge

"Google has announced that the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, is rolling out to newer Nexus devices starting today. It’s a good upgrade, but only available if you have a recent Nexus device like the Nexus 6, 6P, 5X, Pixel C, or Nexus 9 tablet — and it will take some time for everybody's devices to receive the over-the-air update. I've been using the various public betas that have been running since March of this year and most of the bugs have been worked out.

Nougat isn’t radically different from the last version, Marshmallow, but does add a handful of notable user-facing features. Some of them, like improved multitasking, are long overdue and really useful on tablets. The rest are tweaks around the edges — but there are bigger changes underneath that should make Android faster and more secure, too.

But the story of Nougat isn't really whether it’s any good. Instead, it’s the same old Android tale: unless you have a Nexus, it could be a few months, it could be a year, before it becomes available on your phone. The real story of Nougat isn't happening today, it's going to happen over the next few months as we watch to see which Android phones will actually be updated."

Android 7.0 Nougat review: great, but does it matter? | The Verge

Google's ​Android Nougat is finally here for your Nexus phone and tablet - CNET

Google's ​Android Nougat is finally here for your Nexus phone and tablet - CNET

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Whoa! Let's slow down talk of a fifth fundamental force of nature - CNET

"This week in science and physics nerd circles, facial muscles have been at an increased risk for sprains. That's thanks to the eyebrow-raising over headlines declaring scientists have "confirmed the possibility" a fifth fundamental force of nature exists.

If true, it would require rewriting an awful lot of textbooks. I reached out to someone who lives and breathes particle physics to see how excited we should be getting at this point. More on that later.

First, a little primer on the four key things that we take for granted even though they help hold our very reality together.

Most of us interact with two of the fundamental forces every day: Gravity keeps you from being propelled toward the horizon by even the most casual fist bump, and electromagnetism is enabling you to read these words right now. The strong and weak nuclear forces round out the forceful quartet and are even more invisible, interacting only around the nucleus of atoms, but they're there holding everything together nonetheless.

That's all we've been sure about for years. But theoretical physicists at the University of California at Irvine say it's possible they've come across evidence of a fifth force that could help shine a light into the dark corners of the universe.

"If true, it's revolutionary," said Jonathan Feng, professor of physics and astronomy at UC Irvine, in a news release Monday. "If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter."

So what is this fifth force anyway, if it even exists? Well, we don't really know at this point. To make a long story short, some experimental nuclear physicists in Hungary were looking for so-called "dark photons," a hypothetical particle that could be linked to the elusive dark matter that's believed to make up as much as 85 percent of the universe. What they found instead was an odd anomaly they couldn't explain.

"The experimentalists weren't able to claim that it was a new force," Feng said. "They simply saw an excess of events that indicated a new particle, but it was not clear to them whether it was a matter particle or a force-carrying particle."

This is where Feng and his team entered the picture. They took a look at the Hungarians' data and other previous experiments and came up with a new theory: The anomaly they saw could be explained by a new protophobic gauge boson. In (slightly more) plain English, a gauge boson is a particle that acts as a carrier for force -- think of them as a tiny bundle of energy. The protophobic part comes from the fact this new particle was observed to only interact with electrons and neutrons, but not protons. This interaction happens at an extremely limited range, which is probably why it hasn't been noticed before.

So to sum up some really dense particle physics in one line: If the UCI theory proves true, there could be a hidden, miniscule fifth force that might be the bridge between our current understanding of particle physics and the unseen "dark" sector of physics that accounts for things like dark matter.

Of course, there could be another explanation for the anomaly the Hungarians found.

"If the measurement is confirmed, this is potentially a big deal," Don Lincoln, senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame , told me in an email. "But, even then, it is more likely due to improperly modeled nuclear physics."

Lincoln wrote at length about the possibility of a fifth force uncovered through the work of the teams in Hungary and at UCI in early July, before the Irvine team's latest paper came out last Thursday.

I contacted him to get his thoughts on the latest analysis, and his bottom line remains essentially unchanged: He thinks the theory of a fifth force comes from a top-notch team of researchers at UCI, but he's less confident in the original data from the Hungarian team that their idea is built upon.

"My first reaction is that I have great respect for the Irvine group. You can absolutely accept that they aren't cranks," Lincoln told me. "The theoretical work is well done by competent people. The experimental work was a group (the Hungarian researchers) with similar claims that didn't pan out. Until a confirming measurement is made by a reputable group, this theoretical work is just a thought experiment."

The researchers at UCI actually agree with Lincoln about the need for more measurements. Feng says further experiments are crucial. Interestingly, he notes that the qualities that have made the hypothetical new force tough to detect could also be what makes it easy to confirm in the future.

"The reason it's been hard to find is that its interactions are very feeble. That said, because the new particle is so light, there are many experimental groups working in small labs around the world that can follow up the initial claims, now that they know where to look."

So stay tuned, particle physics fans. The great protophobic gauge boson hunt has already begun!"

Whoa! Let's slow down talk of a fifth fundamental force of nature - CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 versus S7 Edge: Which phone to buy - CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 versus S7 Edge: Which phone to buy - CNET

Google Pixel C vs Asus Chromebook flip