Study Finds Practicing Yoga Regularly May Help Ease Depression...

A small study from Boston University has revealed that twice weekly yoga sessions may play a part in easing depression, thanks in large part to the deep breathing involved with each session. The study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and included 30 participants from ages 18 to 64, all of whom were diagnosed with clinical depression. The participants were either not taking any antidepressants or had been prescribed a steady dosage for a minimum period of three months. Half of the study participants were instructed to take Iyengar yoga sessions three times weekly, as well as four 30-minute home sessions on their own each week. Iyengar yoga is an important style for beginners because it focuses on finding modifications to avoid injury. The other half of participants were instructed to take two in-class sessions and three home sessions every week. One of the major benefits of Iyengar yoga, aside from its emphasis on alignment and modification, is the deep breathing exercises that are performed in 20-minute intervals. After approximately three months of attending these sessions, the majority of participants in both groups lowered their scores on depression-screening tests by almost 50%. The group that took additional classes exhibited better results, but they reported that the large time commitment was a challenge that made the assignment more difficult for them. Regardless, even those participants who took fewer classes reported significant results. Dr. Chris Streeter, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, is the lead author of this study. He explained that while yoga isn’t a traditional treatment method for depression, it still has “far fewer side effects” than anti-depressants and other mood-altering medications. In fact, the only major complaint from study participants was temporary muscle...

Fire Resistant Mattress Stopped Blaze in Washington Warehouse...

A fire-barrier on a Jones Nonwovens mattress is credited with preventing a warehouse from being burned to the ground. After several days of employees complaining of a burning smell, a sales associate discovered one of the warehouse’s heaters had been causing a mattress to smolder for nearly two days. Loepp Furniture stores their mattresses in an old downtown warehouse with heaters that are built directly into the walls. A burned plastic smell began to flood through the warehouse, initially being blamed on either a wiring or lighting problem. However, when a sales associate removed a bed to check the label, he was met with melted plastic cover and singed mattress. It was only thanks to the mattress’ fire-resistant thermally bonded barriers that the whole warehouse did not end up getting burned to the ground. This would’ve cost owner Kevin Portch a large sum of money, not only from the warehouse being lost but the inventory inside the warehouse falling to the fire as well. A typical mattress can last around seven years, but if the fire had spread, all of those mattresses would have been destroyed. Many mattresses in the modern age are investing in fire-resistant technology. Even memory foam mattress toppers are made with material that makes them resistant to fire. This is not only safe for families in the event of a house fire, but, as clearly shown, it is a benefit to employees and owners of furniture businesses as well. The use of this technology continues to prove itself the more it’s being used. And people like Kevin Portch can rest easy, knowing the mattresses they wish to sell are kept safe thanks to fire-resistant...

Swedish Singer Pays Musical Homage to 3D Printed Tumor Models...

The benefits of modeling tumors in 3D are numerous and rarely questioned. With these innovative models, cancer researchers are better able to observe cell-to-cell interactions, growth rates, and gene expressions in 3D than they ever were in a 2D culture. Along with 3D tumor models that use live cells, the popularity of 3D printing has allowed surgeons to better plan out complicated procedures or provide superior education for medical students. But, apparently, 3D tumor models have musical benefits as well. This incredible technology has been memorialized as part of the musical landscape by one Swedish singer-songwriter who knows the importance of such advancements. The tune, written by Jens Lekman, serves as tribute to a personal friend who developed a tumor. He eventually had the tumor removed, but he still owns a 3D printed model of the cancerous growth. The song “Evening Prayer” is surprisingly upbeat, given its subject matter, and is in the style of 70s disco. That contrast is intentional, though. While another artist might have turned the material into a predictably mournful ballad, Lekman wanted the song to have a pop feel, full of vibrancy and life. Lekman says of the song’s conception to NPR: The idea of printing out something that’s as scary as a tumor into its concrete form was something that spoke to me — there is something very liberating about that idea. I think a lot of my anxieties and fears are things that are very abstract. Of the times that I’ve been able to overcome a fear, it’s been by making it something that I can understand, that I can hold on to — just something that’s more tangible. While other musical artists have featured 3D printing in various forms — Björk’s latest world tour included 3D...

High Prices Becoming Issue for Fitness Wearables and Smartwatches...

Usually, after a house and a vehicle, furniture is the third-most expensive item a person will buy during their lifetime. Of course, that’s starting to change in the digital era, now that smartphones and laptops have become so essential. And while furniture items like sofas can typically last up to 15 years, the latest tablet or smartphone will be obsolete in two to three years. Technological advancements are leading to an increase in consumer spending across virtually all industries, but these smart devices come with significant high costs. In particular, the high price tag that comes with fitness trackers and smartwatches is starting to turn off many consumers. Across the board, wearable technology devices are being developed, marketed, and distributed at prices higher than ever before. In general, smartwatches and Fitbit-style fitness trackers are now much too expensive for the majority of people. According to The Motley Fool, the most expensive wearable device in 2016 was the Apple Watch Series 2 Edition, retailing for $1,299. “Dropout from device usage is a serious problem for the industry,” said Angela McIntyre, research director for Gartner. “The abandonment rate is quite high relative to the usage rate.” Readwrite reports that Gartner’s survey shows that nearly one-third of smartwatch or fitness tracker owners end up abandoning the technology after a brief flirtation with wearables. So what’s the solution? McIntyre’s idea is for these companies to improve their marketing approach, the products themselves, and make the prices much more affordable. “To offer a compelling enough value proposition, the uses for wearable devices need to be distinct from what smartphones typically provide,” McIntyre added. “Wearables makers need to engage users with incentives and gamification.” Many of these wearable items would be great gift ideas, but are just too expensive for...

A Peek into the Future of Shopping: How Retailers Are Responding to E-Commerce...

As Americans continue shying away from brick and mortar stores and more towards the online shopping market, retailers have had to revamp their business models to keep up with consumer needs. When it comes to clothes shopping, one of the biggest reasons people still visit these brick and mortar storefronts it to try things on. Since sizes can vary between brands, collections, and cuts, many people still choose to try on their clothes with unfamiliar brands. In general, people also like seeing what the clothes look like on their bodies before they make the commitment to buy. But the future of shopping may be well under way. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced that his company has developed a 3D in-store knitting machine that creates custom fitting garments on-demand, instead of displaying handmade garments knit from one of three different needle sizes. The machine was unveiled in mid-January at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York City and has a lot of potential to eliminate unnecessary costs and bring in more profits. “If you end up selling a model of sweater that goes really [fast], you can keep making it here,” said Joe Jensen, general manager of Intel’s retail solutions division. The machine takes about 45 minutes to create a garment, while it can take a human hours to knit or weave a fabric before even creating the garment. Virtual and augmented reality were also highly showcased at the NRF convention. Gap is currently working with Google and San Francisco-based app developer Avametric to continue the development of its app that shows exactly how each piece of clothing in their collection would look on a specific person’s frame, eliminating the stressful need to try clothing on in the dressing room. Not only...

3 Years After Elk River Spill, Advocates Continue Work to Protect Drinking Water...

The third anniversary of the Elk River chemical spill came and went at the beginning of January. Though the chemical spill occurred over three years ago, advocates remember clearly how more than 300,000 West Virginia citizens were left without usable drinking water for over a week. The chemical leak started at Freedom Industries, located just beyond Charleston. The spill created a serious need for new legislation, which is exactly what the West Virginia Legislature did. The legislature passed a bill that required 125 public water facilities across the state to create new water source protection procedures. The new plans included updated lists of potential sources of contamination, as well as new procedures for responding to imminent spills. In addition, public water systems were required to identify alternative water intakes so that in the event of contamination from one source, another could be used. These preventative measures will ensure that customers will still be getting clean water in the event of a spill. Approximately 16,000 chemical spills occur every year when materials are being transferred to trains, trucks, and storage tanks. Evan Hansen, an advisor to the WV Rivers Water Policy Workgroup, explained that the biggest challenge now is implementing the new laws that have been written. Hansen said that some of the newly written laws will “require changes to the state code or the state rules,” which is placing some strain on getting the job done. This is one of the major issues behind advocates’ work. Citizen organizations and environmental advocates gathered on the spill’s anniversary and explained that while the state has made progress, it needs to maintain its keen focus on providing clean, safe water to its citizens. Angie Rosser, executive director of the Rivers Coalition, said that the groups wanted “to...

Unmanned Submarines Bring Scientists One Step Closer to Understanding the Deep Seas...

It’s hard to believe that there could be life in the deep recesses of Earth’s ocean, but over 13,000 feet below the surface, small shrimp, crabs, and other creatures flourish near hydrothermal vents. An unmanned submarine named SuBastion recently ventured down into the deep to join them. Scientists located a previously undiscovered group of hydrothermal vents in a region titled the Mariana Back-Arc — located near the Mariana Trench — in 2015. They returned to the marked location with SuBastion, a remotely-operated submersible developed by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. SuBastion was launched from their ship, Falkor, which gathered information and broadcasted Subastion’s video via livestream. Video footage revealed chimneys up to 100 feet tall in the Back-Arc region, as well as vast numbers of sea creatures around them. The chimneys teemed with life, which included shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. National Geographic explained that the hard rock around the chimneys provides a better setting for these sea creatures to live on, when compared to the soft mud on the sea floor. But SuBastion isn’t the only submersible setting out to explore the depths. Students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay have been working hard to develop Matsya, an autonomous submersible that is capable of controlling its own movements and tasks without the need for human guidance. Right now, the only unmanned submersibles operated by India’s naval forces are remotely operated. Matsya’s technology could actually “train” the equipment currently being used to act independently. Unlike military forces in the U.S. and in China, which have been using unmanned submersibles for some time, India’s entry into the world of unmanned equipment is fairly new. The IIT project’s 21-year-old team leader, Varun Mittal, said that while space exploration has forced the need for unmanned machines, “development of underwater...

Norway Accuses Group with Links to Russia of Executing Cyber Attack...

A recent survey revealed that approximately 87% of small businesses experienced a cyber security breach in 2012 alone, and the number of attempted attacks is increasing. But one group of cyber criminals with alleged links to Russia had a much bigger target in mind. Norway’s foreign ministry, army, and a number of the nation’s other institutions were targeted in a serious cyber attack at the beginning of February. According to Norwegian intelligence reports, a group with suspected links to Russia was allegedly responsible for carrying out the attack. The group, known as APT 29, was called out by Oslo and has already faced accusations of interfering with the U.S. Presidential election. Arne Christian Haugstoyl, an official with Norway’s intelligence service, told television channel TV2 that as many as nine e-mail accounts were singled out “in an attempt at what is called spear phishing, in other words, malicious emails.” Haugstoyl explained that it’s difficult to ascertain the end goal of the attack, but APT 29 has consistently been described as a group “with links to the Russian authorities.” He added that Norway was notified of the attack not from an internal source, but from an allied country. The attack came at a point when Donald Trump had just eased a set of sanctions against Russia implemented by the Obama administration. Earlier in the month, the U.S. Treasury Department allowed some cyber-security sales to go to the Russian Federal Security Service. This is the same organization that was accused by U.S. Intelligence of interfering with the electoral process. While Trump has suggested that all Russian sanctions should be lifted if America sees “some really great things” from the country, Norway is still viewing Russia as a serious security threat. In addition to the PST and the...

Extreme Cold Settles in on Chicago Area Following Dangerous Winter Conditions...

Monday morning brought near-record breaking low temperatures to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, with temperatures falling to minus 13 degrees at one point. Temperatures began to slowly rise after the sun rose, but frigid temperatures still plague the city. Chicago public schools remained open on Monday despite the freezing temperatures, but 270 other schools in the area closed, leaving children at home with parents. The closures prompted many parents to bundle up their children and set out for indoor fun at the city’s museums. The Lincoln Park Conservatory was filled with families seeking respite from the cold. People have speculated as to why Chicago-area schools closed on Monday, but most believe it was a matter of making children wait for the bus. “I think the main reason was the transportation department didn’t want to pick up the kids from the bus stop,” said Verity Cusik, a parent. Although temperatures climbed a little bit on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service has continued to issue cold weather alerts in several states, Illinois included. After the intense storm that brought winter to the U.S. in full force last week, the nation is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its citizens. Nearly 40 million people visit Chicago every year, but the winter storm left many of those visitors stuck in airports and unable to leave over the weekend. Chicago’s heavy snowfall has forced airlines to cancel more than 1,300 flights out of O’Hare International Airport over the last two weeks. For commuters, the only option was to deal with the frigid temperatures and drive carefully. Those commuters who travel by train may have experienced more significant delays, as nearly every Metra line was running late as a result of the weather. In weather this cold, Metra...

Rubicon Announces Waste and Recycling Partnership With City of Atlanta...

Rubicon Global recently announced a public-private partnership with its host city, Atlanta, GA, that will assist the city in advancing its environmental leadership through recycling and waste technologies. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to use technology to help improve the city’s residential recycling and waste services. Rubicon’s proprietary cloud-based platform is being used as part of the initiative, which will run for six months. Michael Allegretti, Director of Public Policy for Rubicon, explained in a statement that the company is constructing a new ideal for the waste and recycling industries. He said one of their goals is to realign incentives in a manner that operates “away from landfills and in favor of more sustainable communities.” In addition to utilizing Rubicon’s technological services, the partnership will help gather and distribute valuable data to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. One of the biggest benefits is that Rubicon’s technology will allow for real-time updates on topics such as landfill diversion and recycling rates. Approximately 69% of steel is recycled in the U.S. every year, but improvement is the key to the future. Not only does working with Rubicon provide the city with valuable data, it allows the city the possibility of cutting costs while helping climate change efforts and still supporting local growth. The partnership is also the first of its kind for Rubicon. The company hopes that it will open the gateway to work with more cities in the future for waste collection. Rubicon might have revenues stretching into the hundreds of thousands, but compared to industry giants like Waste Management, the company is still just getting started. Rubicon Global co-founder and CEO Nate Morris has expressed excitement about the partnership not only for the company’s growth, but for the positive impact it could...

Insurance Companies Launch Programs Rewarding Holders With ‘Smart Home’ Devices...

We truly are living in a golden age of technology. Although they used to seem like a sci-fi concept, so-called smart homes are quickly becoming commonplace, if not yet the norm. The Internet of Things allows us to be in control of just about every single appliance in our homes through a computerized device. Voice activated systems like Google Home and Amazon Echo allow us to unlock our doors, turn on some music, or dim our lights on command. Smartphone applications allow us to do the same thing, but they can also work remotely — just in case you forgot to close the garage door when you left the house, or want to turn on your slow-cooker while you’re in a meeting. While the commercials advertising these “smart” devices and the convenience factor are extremely compelling, an often overlooked component of the smart home movement is how this could affect insurance policies. There hasn’t been a lot of coverage on the topic, but many insurance agencies are testing pilot programs that offer incentives to those who have a connected home. Some companies are subsidizing the cost of smart devices or offering better terms and conditions in relation to their coverage. The number of these pilot policies increased from 9% to 22% from 2014 to 2015, and is only expected to grow as this calendar year comes to a close. In the U.S., there is no insurance policy that will cover all of your connected home devices across the board, but some companies will give you a more enticing regular policy if you have a home connected with smart devices. But in the U.K., an insurance company describes itself as the first connected home insurance provider in the kingdom. Neos is set to launch soon, and plans to expand...

The Next Big Thing in Buying and Selling: Virtual Reality...

If you consider virtual reality options to be limited to gaming, you certainly aren’t alone. But the real reality is that this technology could soon help you to buy or sell your home. While 37% of adults have never left their hometowns, the majority of us have had to move to a new community at least once in our lives. If you’re moving to an entirely different state, the process of buying a home can be an expensive endeavor — and that’s before you even find one you like. The costs associated with traveling in and out of state to purchase a home can add up quickly. And if you’re in a whole new place, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line. That’s just one of the ways in which virtual reality technology can be helpful for homebuyers. Matterport, a San Francisco-based media technology company, provides real estate agents and brokers with 3-D cameras that will capture the entire interior of a home. Then, the company pieces the images together in order to create a complete walkthrough of the home. Matterport uploads this walkthrough to a cloud hosting service, allowing prospective buyers to view 3-D models of the property using a computer, tablet, smartphone, or virtual reality headset. Matterport is also experimenting with augmented reality elements in these walkthroughs. CEO Bill Brown says that “in addition to being able to walk through the space, people can mark in objects within the space, and they can annotate those objects.” That means that future buyers can make note of features they like, such as appliances with energy-efficient features or desirables like granite countertops. In highly competitive markets, having access to this technology can be a real asset. These...

New Drug Found to Slow Progression of Breast Cancer in Women...

Breast cancer is all too common in the United States, where about one in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. However, a recently approved drug has been found to potentially slow the progression of advanced breast cancer. The drug, palbociclib (Ibrance), was approved by the FDA last year for the treatment of ER-positive breast cancer, a specific strain of cancer fueled in part by estrogen. The approval for this drug came after a clinical trial that utilized two medications, a standard cancer treatment drug Femara, and Ibrance. Researchers found that patients who used both medicines in conjunction doubled the length of their remission, compared to only using Femara. In this latest trial, researchers randomly selected 666 women to receive the drug duo or just Femara. They found that in those who only took Ibrance or Femara , 44% and 62% had died or seen their cancer spread, respectively. However, the cancer of those who were prescribed both not only went into remission but didn’t spread to any other areas of the body. Among the postmenopausal women in the trial, the average length of remission was two years when taking Ibrance in addition to Femara. Ibrance is one of the first drugs that prevents two separate enzymes, CDK4 and CDK6, from spreading ER-positive breast tumors. The patient would take the tablet medication daily for three weeks, followed by one week off. Comparatively, Femara works by decreasing the estrogen levels in the body. Considering the fact that two-thirds of all breast cancer cases have receptors for estrogen and/or progesterone, the researchers on this trial are exceptionally happy with these results. “We found that the degree of clinical benefit was, again, remarkable,” said lead researcher Dr. Richard Finn, an...

Wal-Mart to Kick Off Cyber Monday on Black Friday This Year...

With Black Friday spilling over into Thanksgiving dinner, the “holiday creep” is already testing its limits this year. Wal-Mart, however, is taking it even one step further by starting Cyber Monday on Black Friday. The world’s largest retailer, eager to start making that holiday cash, won’t even wait for the weekend to pass before offering big online sales. In fact, they don’t even intend to wait until the turkey is cooked. Wal-Mart’s Cyber Monday will kick off at 12:01 a.m. EST on Friday morning; however, Walmart.com will start its online Black Friday sale at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. By offering their Black Friday sales online on Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart is blurring the lines between the two sale-snatching celebrations Americans typically indulge in after Thanksgiving. Not only are they starting their online sales earlier than usual, Wal-Mart will also beef up its product offering from 8 million items to more than 23 million. “By tripling our online product assortment, we’re able to offer a lot more new brands and choices to customers all season long,” said Steve Breen, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart.com. Every holiday season, retailers try to one-up each other in order to grab a larger share of consumers’ wallets earlier and earlier. Offering online deals is, undoubtedly, a smart move as more and more shoppers are making their holiday purchases online. Back in 2011, $1.1 trillion in sales were web-influenced, and even more sales can be attributed to the Internet today. In fact, global e-commerce generates over $931,000 every 30 seconds. The National Retail Federation estimates that about 137.4 million people will shop either online or in stores this holiday weekend. According to Adobe Digital Insights, Cyber Monday is poised to be the largest sales day of 2016, generating roughly...

New Startup Tackles Urban Blight With Shipping Container Homes...

A new not-for-profit is aiming to combat poverty, unemployment, and housing problems all at once with one simple solution: shipping containers. Urban designer and social entrepreneur Wanona Satcher founded ReJuve Corporation a little over a year ago with the intention of upcycling old shipping containers into the “tiny houses” that have become vogue for eco-conscious — but usually rural — home dwellers. ReJuve, however, wants to utilize these highly cost-efficient and practical living spaces for struggling urban communities that already have housing infrastructure in place but suffer from a lack of affordable developments. “Inner city communities are plagued by increased housing costs, cheap land due to blight, lack of jobs and no access to services, technological and entrepreneurial resources and too many systems to navigate,” reads ReJuve’s crowdfunding page. So far, the company has raised nearly $5,000 of its $20,000 goal to put its first project into action. “As cheap property is acquired and then developed into high market housing existing families that can’t afford to stay are pushed out of their homes with no equity, no resources, no jobs, no ownership and no sense of community.” The ready-to-go shipping container homes, what ReJuve calls “Plug In Pods,” are the ideal solution, Satcher says. With only 6 million of the estimated 17 million shipping containers around the world actually in use for trade, that leaves some 11 million containers that could be converted into homes for people in need of housing. In a recent interview with Forbes, Satcher revealed that she also plans to start a for-profit company to manage real estate development, landscape architecture, master planning, and urban design services for ReJuve. The company isn’t solely focused on urban blight, either; Satcher envisions containers as useful for building more affluent homes, as well...

Cybercriminal Group Targets Hotels, Restaurants With Malware...

Hospitality businesses should be on high alert for attacks from a notorious gang. But rather than doing physical harm, this group is attempting something much more sinister: they use malware attacks to steal countless credit card numbers. A 2013 study found that an average of 82,000 new malware threats occur on a daily basis. That number has most likely increased within the last three years, especially as more organized cybercriminal groups choose to orchestrate widespread attacks. A security firm called Trustwave confirmed that three of the company’s clients have fallen victim to malware attacks in the last month. Although not confirmed, the offenders behind the attacks are likely the Carbanak gang, which was blamed for stealing nearly $1 billion from numerous banks last year. The malware coding in these recent attacks matches that of previous onslaughts perpetrated by the group. The recent invasion has targeted the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants. The culprits will call a customer service line and pretend to be customers who are unable to access the business’s reservation system online. They will then send an email to the customer service representative. These emails have Word documents attached that supposedly contain their reservation information. Instead, opening these documents will allow malware to be downloaded to the computer system. These hackers are particularly persistent, as they seem to be doing a lot of research through sites like LinkedIn in order to sound more legitimate. “During the call, they’ll do some name-dropping to establish credibility,” says Brian Hussey, the global director of incident response for Trustwave. He says they’ll also insist on staying on the line with the rep until the document is opened. After the malware is installed on the computer, it turns vicious. The entire point of the attack is...

New Futuristic Train Promises Speeds Of Up to 500mph...

Almost half of all U.S. residents report being more concerned about traveling than in the past. However, a new U.S. technology company is hoping to eliminate this stress by dramatically cutting down the travel time with their new transportation innovation. The California-based company Hyperloop One has recently signed a deal with emirate country Dubai to create a train that looks like it’s right out of the future. This electromagnetic train will run at 500 mph and will connect Dubai to Emirati capital Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes. The distance between these two cities is 90 miles. Instead of using traditional wheels, the Hyperloop One train will use electromagnetic technology. The train will be composed of wheelless pods that travel within an enclosed low-pressure tube. This technology will allow the train to travel at an unprecedentedly fast speed. Electromagnetic travel was the brainchild of Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO, Elton Musk. Hyperloop One is just one of the companies looking to bring his idea to life, while the other — Hyperloop Transportation Technologies — is currently working with French railway company SNCF to develop high-speed transport all throughout France. Hyperloop’s CEO Rob Lloyd explained to the Telegraph, “from a technological point of view, we could have a Hyperloop One system built in the UAE in the next five years.” The company then hopes to expand its projects to neighboring Gulf countries. Their next goal is to complete a trip between Dubai and Saudi capital Riyadh — a trip that typically takes two hours by plane — in under 50 minutes. However, Mattar al-Tayer, Dubai Road Transport Authority’s director general, explains that the cost of building this futuristic system is a crucial factor in their decision-making process, in addition to safety concerns. Earlier this...

New Smart Phone on the Market Offers Artificial Intelligence Features...

From the release of the iPhone 7 to the malfunctioning Android Note 7, it seems like smartphones and technological advances are always in the news these days. Indeed, the revenues of consumer electronics and appliance rentals are projected to reach 5.7 billion U.S. dollars this year. Soon, the way that these technologies dominate our world may be changing, and the change is signaled by yet another noteworthy gadget release — Huawei Technologies has just released a new smartphone, complete with new artificial intelligence. Huawei hopes that their new technology will help them compete more directly with Apple and Samsung. The new Mate 9 is a fast phone with a long battery life and has a feature that enables it to learn about the habits of its user. It also automatically places most frequently used apps within easy reach, unlike the iPhone. “It learns how you use your phone,” said European head of handset portfolio and planning at Huawei, Arne Herkelmann. Indeed, the standard smartphone package is no longer enough. Manufacturers are looking for new ways to stand out and pioneer new trends. “AI and voice control will be main features on smartphones in the coming years,” said Roberta Cozza, an analyst at the research firm Gartner. The wave of new A.I. technologies is definitely coming. Last month, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launch the Pixel smartphone, which carries Google Assistant, the voice-activated A.I. Samsung, still reeling from the huge blow of its failed flagship phone, said it was going to purchase Viv, run by co-creators of Apple’s Siri, in order to integrate voice-assistant services into its devices. The Mate 9, among other things, also offers a 5.9-inch screen, a camera with autofocus, and directional microphones with noise...

Nuclear Reactors Could Be Put At Risk Because of Outdated Technology...

Across the U.S., there are currently 99 operating commercial nuclear reactors at 61 nuclear power plants. And it turns out that these powerful sites are not as secure as one would think. The culprit? Pagers. According to a report by computer security company Trend Micro, workers at nuclear plants across the nation have to follow government regulations and use pagers as their main form of communication. Problem is, this outdated form of technology puts the security of these plants at risk. Used by workers to send messages and alerts about power plant functions, these little pieces of technology have absolutely zero security features. Hackers are able to easily access the data that is sent, putting the entire nuclear plant and its critical infrastructure at risk. While earlier pagers would only send the user an alert that someone had called them, later models were able to display SMS text messages. It is this model that the workers are mandated to use, even though no one knows why. The researchers at Trend Micro collected over 55 million pager messages within four months from plants across the nation. They found that the confidential information sent was not secure at all. So what is at risk? Researchers told Science Alert that these pagers release passive intelligence. Basically, they give out confidential information to anyone that manages to listen in. “Pages, it turns out, are considered a source of high quality passive intelligence,” researchers explain in the report. “During four months of observation, we saw messages containing information on contact persons, locations inside manufacturers and electricity plants, [and] thresholds set in industrial control systems.” There was also identifying details on multiple critical operations. This information comes on the heels of a discovery that a German nuclear plant was infected...

Dutchman Behind One of the World’s Largest Internet Attacks Goes on Trial This Week...

The Dutchman responsible for almost breaking the Internet back in 2013 is going on trial this week. However, 39-year-old Sven Olaf Kamphuis is denouncing the case against him and refusing to show up in court. Instead, he will be represented by his lawyers in the southern Dutch city of Dordrecht. Kamphuis is accused of being the mastermind behind a massive distribution denial of service (DDoS) attack against Geneva and London-based volunteer group Spamhaus, which publishes spam blacklists used by networks to filter out unwanted emails. The organization blames Dutch web-hosting service Cyberbunker for the attack. Kamphuis was the spokesman for Cyberbunker at the time of the breech. The cyber attack and its subsequent domino effect was described by the Dutch daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad to The Guardian as being “so big that the world came within a hair’s breadth of being without the Internet for a week.” The DDoS assaulted multiple websites with traffic from various sources in order to disrupt and/or seize servers. Experts said the DDoS flooded Spamhaus with 300 gigabytes per seconds of data, an unprecedented number compared to previous DDoS attacks measured at 50 gigabytes per second. This breach impacted nearly every connected Internet user worldwide. Considering the fact that global mobile traffic accounts for 10% of all Internet traffic, a simple crack in the Internet can potentially disrupt thousands in a split second. Shortly after, Kamphuis was arrested in Spain and extradited to the Netherlands, where he was remanded for two months. In response to the response, Cyberbunker said it had been unfairly labeled as a haven for cyber crime and spam. According to Kamphuis’s lawyer, he no longer lives in the Netherlands and is staying in either Berlin or Barcelona. Kamphuis has also counter-suing the Dutch state for...