concertina226 writes: Apple has been granted a patent for interchangeable camera lenses — which could be used on the up-coming iPhone 6. The application was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in remarkably quick time, according to Patently Apple.
Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for "Bayonet attachment mechanisms," i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras, used to attach lenses to the camera body.
At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone.
concertina226 writes: Starting in Japan 19 hours ago, Google has launched an impressive April Fools' Day game that lets Google Maps users catch Pokémon hidden all over the world while using the app on the smartphone or tablet.
To earn the great prestige of becoming a Pokémon Master, all you have to do is launch the Google Maps app on your iOS or Android device and tap the Search field at the top of the screen.
A new option in blue called "Press start" will appear on the screen with a Poké Ball symbol next to it, and once you press it, Google Maps will take you on a dazzling adventure across the world to catch elusive wild Pokémon species.
In addition to viewing your new Pokémon (rendered using Nintendo-licensed artwork), you can also view the Pokédex, which has a list of 150 Pokémon for you to capture.
concertina226 writes: Understanding how retroviruses are passed down through our DNA could be the key to helping researchers re-programme normal cells to become stem cells for treating diseases.
Researchers from Canada and Singapore have discovered that the ancient viruses which entered our ancestors' genomes thousands of years ago have altered the way our cells behave; the material left by dead viruses in our cells is the answer.
1,000 copies of one particular class of retroviruses, known as the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-H, is still in our genome, and while the HERV-H retrovirus DNA is dead and cannot replicate itself, it continues to send out messages telling the embryonic stem cell how to become other cells in the body, and this is what makes the cells pluripotent.
concertina226 writes: Scientists expect to be chatting with dolphins this summer after researchers developed a computer program that analyses dolphin whistles and translates them into English.
Together with Dr Thad Starner, the technical lead researching Google Glass at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the researchers have created the Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), the world's first prototype dolphin translator.
CHAT is a small underwater keyboard fitted to the arm of a diver. It has four symbols which correspond to four artificial whistle sounds that researchers have taught the dolphins to mimic. Each sound represents an item the dolphins like to play with, such as seaweed, rope or a scarf. By pressing a button on the keyboard, the diver can activate a sound through an underwater speaker.
Since 2011, they have digitised the database and used it to collect data on all the different whistle sounds they make, many of which the human ear cannot hear, since dolphins' whistles are on frequencies up to 200 kilohertz, which is 10 times higher than the highest pitch a human can hear.
concertina226 writes: Scientists studying the human remains of plague victims found during excavations for London's new Crossrail train line have concluded that humans spread the Black Death rather than rats, a fact that could rewrite history books.
University of Keele scientists, working together with Crossrail's lead archaeologist Jay Carver and osteologists from the Museum of London, analysed the bones and teeth of 25 skeletons dug up by Crossrail.
They found DNA of Yersinia pestis, which is responsible for the Black Death, on the teeth of some of the victims.
concertina226 writes: Controversial internet entrepreneur and hacker Kim Dotcom has launched his own political "Internet Party" in New Zealand.
If you haven't been keeping up and don't quite understand the world's obsession with him, here's a timeline of his life, complete with how he made his millions.
Dotcom was arrested in 1994 for trafficking in stolen phone-calling card numbers, and eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud and 10 of data espionage. He was given a two-year suspended sentence since at 20, he was still under age when the crimes were committed.
Dotcom set up premium toll chat lines in Hong Kong and the Caribbean and then used a "war dialer" software program to call the lines using the stolen card numbers, which earned him €61,000.
concertina226 writes: Surgeons at a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are conducting the first human trials into the use of suspended animation, whereby a patient's body is cooled down and suspended between life and death in order to buy time for doctors to save their lives.
The first 10 potentially fatal gunshot or knife wound victims to be brought to the UPMC Presbyterian hospital's emergency room at the end of March will be subject to a ground-breaking technique, whereby on-call surgeons will replace all the patient's blood with a saline solution.
While the trial could potentially be a breakthrough in emergency healthcare as surgeons would have 2 hours to save a life instead of 45 minutes in normal induced hypothermia, it is controversial as neither the patient nor their family can give consent to the suspended animation treatment.
The FDA has approved the trial only because life and death situations are considered to be exempt from informed consent.
concertina226 writes: Chinese researchers at Peking University in Beijing have invented a small generator that uses the human body as an electrode to power devices without requiring batteries.
The researchers have created a new material known as single-friction-surface triboelectric generator (STEG). They covered the screen on a smartphone with a layer of the transparent STEG composite material and also added a body contact electrode, which is used to conduct electricity, to the casing and the frame of the phone.
After repeated tapping and patting, when the palm of a hand or fingers came into contact with the phone, electric charges moved back and forth between the electrode and the charged skin, transferring electricity to the phone.
concertina226 writes: Iowa State University researchers have created the first heat resistant "nanovaccines" to help doctors vaccinate people in developing countries, where there is limited access to cooling equipment.
Vaccines have to be kept cool, at a temperature below 8 degrees Celsius from the moment they are made until they are administered to a patient. In developing countries with hot or tropical climates, doctors working to provide emergency medical care currently face great challenges in keeping crucial vaccines from going bad.
Now researchers from Iowa State University may have cracked the problem by packing the antigen (the active ingredient in the vaccine) within nano-sized non-toxic, biodegradable polymer particles. The nanovaccines can be stored at room temperature for between six to 10 months.
concertina226 writes: Freshly unsealed court documents show that Steve Jobs emailed Eric Schmidt a smiley face emoticon:) after getting a Google employee instantly fired for attempting to recruit an Apple engineer by email.
Schmidt and Jobs agreed an illegal and secret non-solicitation pact in 2005 which broke US antitrust laws by agreeing not to poach employees from each other. Their agreement eventually spread across the tech recruitment market in Silicon Valley.
Now an enormous class-action lawsuit encompassing 64,000 engineers is underway, brought by five engineers who used to work for the six companies who claim that their former employers conspired to suppress wages to "artificially low levels", and court documents have recently been unsealed containing a series of incriminating emails sent between Schmidt and Jobs.
concertina226 writes: Chinese authorities have detained a total of 1,530 suspects in a crackdown on spam SMS text messages being sent out by illegal telecoms equipment, according to Chinese news agency ECNS.
Over 2,600 fake mobile base stations were seized and 24 sites manufacturing illegal telecoms equipment shut down as part of a massive nationwide operation involving nine central government and Communist Party of China departments.
A report released by Trend Micro this month looked into the telecoms equipment black market in China and found that cybercriminals routinely use either a GSM modem, an internet short message gateway and an SMS server to send out spam messages.
On the underground market, SMS servers come in "all-in-one" packages that include a laptop, a GSM mobile phone, an SMS server, an antenna to send out the fake signal and a USB cable, all for RMB 45,000 (£4,355).
concertina226 writes: Wikipedia's founder Jimmy Wales has refused to allow "true scientific discourse" about holistic healing on the free online encyclopedia, calling alternative medicine practitioners "lunatic charlatans".
The ACEP strives to "establish the credibility and efficacy of energy psychology methods", and is petitioning Wales to change Wikipedia's rules so that "misinformation" about holistic approaches to healing may be corrected.
The organisation says that the Wikipedia pages relating to Energy Medicine, Energy Psychology, and specific approaches such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques, Thought Field Therapy and the Tapas Acupressure Technique are all biased due to Wikipedia's pages being controlled by "a few self-appointed sceptics".
concertina226 writes: A 22-year-old woman has received the world's first full 3D-printed skull replacement transplant in a 23-hour operation at University Medical Center Utrecht three months ago.
The patient suffered from a disorder that caused her cranial bones to thicken to the point where too much pressure was put on her brain.
"The disease manifests itself in the beginning with severe headaches," said Dr Bon Verweij, a neurosurgeon at UMC Utrecht. "Over time, the increasing pressure on the brain from the thickening skull began to affect her eyesight and coordination. It was only a matter of time before other crucial brain functions became compromised and she would die."
concertina226 writes: Lord Ian Livingston, former CEO of BT, is at the centre of a row over BT's involvement in America's secret military drone war, which has killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen.
The contract was to provide fibre-optics communication cables between RAF Croughton, a US communications station military base in Northamptonshire, and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the US headquarters in Africa from which the unmanned drones are dispatched.
It is believed that the US base in the UK sent crucial data to Camp Lemonnier using the communications cable, which facilitated the drone attacks on civilians in Yemen.
Livingston left BT in December to start a high-profile trade job in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – the same government department which investigated the BT deal with the US military.
The complaint was rejected twice coinciding with Livingston taking up his new position.
concertina226 writes: Apple is now in talks with senior executives of big music labels about the possibility of launching an on-demand music streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Last FM, as well as an iTunes app just for Android devices, since sales of Android smartphones now exceed the iPhone.
Digital music sales have fallen for the first time since Apple launched the iTunes Store in 2003, while Music revenues just from streaming and subscription services have jumped by 51.3% globally and have crossed the $1bn (£606m) mark for the first time, and this is where Apple is looking as it changes its iTunes strategy.