Frosty Piss writes: By coating a normal fabric with an electroactive material, researchers have given it the ability to actuate in the same way as muscle fibers, creating opportunities for ‘textile muscles’ that could be incorporated into clothes, making it easier for people with disabilities to move. While advances have been made in the development of exoskeletons which enable people with disabilities to walk again, Edwin Jager, associate professor in the Division of Sensor and Actuator Systems at Linköping University says “The existing technology looks like rigid robotic suits. It is our dream to create exoskeletons that are similar to items of clothing, such as ‘running tights’ that you can wear under your normal clothes.” Applying a low voltage to the fabric causes the electroactive material to change volume, which in turn causes the yarn or fibers to increase in length. The exact properties of the textile can then be controlled by its woven or knitted structure.
Frosty Piss writes: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently ordered the genetic-testing company 23andMe to immediately stop selling its flagship product, its $99 “Personal Genome Service” kit. Taking a page from Uber, the company responded “relationship with the FDA is extremely important to us” and continued hawking its wares as if nothing had happened. Initially highlighting novelty traits, telling you why you had dry ear wax or whether you’re likely to sneeze when you look at a bright light, 23andMe realigned their marketing to predicting and even preventing health problems, and the FDA took issue with that. But as the FDA frets about the accuracy of 23andMe’s tests, it is missing their true function, and consequently the agency has no clue about the real dangers they pose. The Personal Genome Service isn’t primarily intended to be a medical device. It is a mechanism meant to be a front end for a massive information-gathering operation against an unwitting public. Scientific American discusses 23andMe in more depth.
Frosty Piss writes: Virtual reality may be a hot new trend, but one of the drawbacks of the infancy of the technology is cumbersome headsets. What if experiencing virtual reality was as simple as putting on a pair of contacts? A Washington State startup, Innovega, may have found a way to get rid of bulky virtual-reality headsets, using a pair of regular-size glasses and contact lenses. This is accomplished by fixing a screen to the inside of a traditional pair of glasses it wearing contacts which are outfitted with dual focal planes similar to bifocals. This wearers focus on the screen without its having to be set inches away from their eyes. The company has raised about $3million from investors, including Tencent, the owner of popular Chinese messaging app WeChat as well as about $6million from government grants, including from the National Science Foundation.
Frosty Piss writes: Soon after ex-President Obama ordered the secret program three years ago, North Korean missiles began exploding, veering off course or crashing into the sea, according to the New York Times. By most accounts, the North Korean missile failures were caused by US sabotage, the Times says. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un may have been rattled by the US cyber effort. Last fall, he was widely reported to have ordered an investigation into whether the US was sabotaging his country’s missiles. Obama’s effort is now left to President Trump and his administration. According to a senior administration official, the White House is looking at pre-emptive military strike options, the Times said.
Frosty Piss writes: TSA workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs for the screening line. The new touching — for those selected to have a pat-down — will be more invasive in what the federal agency describes as a more “comprehensive” physical screening. "I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved," TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson. While passengers may find the process more intrusive than before, the new procedure isn’t expected to increase overall airport-security delays. However, "for the person who gets the pat-down, it will slow them down," Anderson said.
Frosty Piss writes: Starbucks has rolled out a fancy new setup that will serve Starbucks’ high-end Reserve coffee beans, brewed with methods including pour-over, siphon and coffee press. A core-store latte, made with Starbucks’ classic espresso roast and varying from 12 to 16 ounces, ranges in price from $2.95 to $4.25. A Reserve bar latte ranges in price from $4 to $5.50 for 8- to 24- ounce drinks. There are even spendier Reserve bar beverages. Drinks made via the siphon method — which pairs immersion and vacuum filtration — cost $10 for a 12-ounce cup. Those brewed via the Chemex method — featuring pour-over in an hourglass-shaped borosilicate glass container — cost $7.50 to $11.50.
Frosty Piss writes: On the tail wind of Volkswagen's $4.3 billion settlement in their emissions-cheating scandal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board is accusing Fiat Chrysler of installing software on 100,000 diesel-powered cars and trucks that they say is cheating on emissions tests. The vehicles cited include 2014, 2015 and 2016 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees SUVs and and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3-liter diesel engines. Fiat Chrysler claims its emission control systems software is an allowable way to meet emissions rules. But the EPA said that since the software had not be disclosed to the EPA, that puts Fiat Chrysler is in violation of the Clean Air Act, even if it wasn't seeking to cheat on emissions tests.
Frosty Piss writes: Customers of Uber have reported being offered drugs by drivers. According to the Sunday Times, dozens of people have alleged on social media that a driver offered to sell them drugs, and some suggested that the practice was common. One customer of UberEats said 'I ordered food one night, which was delivered by a young chap on a bike. After the food transaction he attempted to close a second deal' involving marijuana. While some have said the offers were polite, others experienced aggressive sales tactics. Josh Klein, a technology expert and author, told Vice 'You have a massive drug market which requires extralegal delivery mechanisms and a widespread, independently operated network of drivers for whom it is an ideal means of masking their activities.'
Frosty Piss writes: Intel is acquiring computer vision startup Movidius for an undisclosed sum in order to bolster its RealSense gesture-sensing platform. In a blog post, Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane announced that his startup will continue in its goal of giving "the power of sight to machines" as it works with Intel's RealSense technology. Movidius has seen a great deal of interest in its radically low-powered computer vision chipset, signing deals with major device makers, including Google, Lenovo and DJI. "We're on the cusp of big breakthroughs in artificial intelligence," wrote El-Ouazzane. "In the years ahead, we'll see new types of autonomous machines with more advanced capabilities as we make progress on one of the most difficult challenges of AI: getting our devices not just to see, but also to think. The company's Myriad 2 family of Vision Processor Units are being used at Lenovo to build the company's next generation of virtual reality products while Google struck a deal with the company to deploy its neural computation engine on the platform to push the machine learning power of mobile devices.
Frosty Piss writes: A small asteroid has been found circling Earth. Scientists say it looks like the asteroid, named 2016 HO3, has been out there for about 50 years. Calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come. Scientists think the asteroid is between 120 and 300 feet (37 to 91 meters) in diameter, and NASA says it never gets closer than 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) from Earth. It was found on April 27, 2016 by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii. So how do we miss a 300 foot object that has been orbiting the Earth for around 50 years? Probably the same way we've missed all the flying saucers!
Frosty Piss writes: Seattle music-licensing firm Audiosocketalleges in a lawsuit that Sen. Ted Cruz's Hollywood ad agency, Madison McQueen, used two of the firm’s songs in two separate political ads despite signing contracts specifically stating the music could not be used in political advertisements or television broadcasts, one of which aired on Fox Business News more than 86 times. Audiosocket is seeking at least $2 million in damages, $25,000 for each of those alleged contract breaches.
Frosty Piss writes: Philip Kives, a Canadian entrepreneur whose company, K-tel, saturated North American airwaves for decades with ads for a gaggle of gadgets like the Patty Stacker ("Your hands need never touch the meat!"), the Ginsu Knives, and the emblematic Veg-O-Matic. In touting one miraculous product after another, Mr. Kives reputedly coined the catchphrase "As Seen on TV." But wait, there's more! Mr. Kives, who was born on a small Saskatchewan farm, is considered the "father" of compilation music albums — "Hit Machine: 20 Original Hits, 20 Original Stars," "25 Polka Greats" and "A Musical Journey: Pan-Flute" — died on Wednesday in Winnipeg, Canada. He was 87.
Frosty Piss writes: Philip Kives, a Canadian entrepreneur whose company, K-tel, saturated North American airwaves for decades with ads for a gaggle of gadgets — the Patty Stacker ("Your hands need never touch the meat!"), the Miracle Brush and the emblematic Veg-O-Matic. In touting one miraculous product after another, Mr. Kives reputedly coined the catchphrase "As Seen on TV." But wait, there's more! Mr. Kives, who was born on a small Saskatchewan farm, is considered the "father" of compilation music albums — "Hit Machine: 20 Original Hits, 20 Original Stars," "25 Polka Greats" and "A Musical Journey: Pan-Flute" — died on Wednesday in Winnipeg, Canada. He was 87.
Frosty Piss writes: In its annual environmental report released this week, Apple said it recovered 2,204 pounds of gold from recycled iPhones, iPads and Macs last year, worth almost $40 million. Of the 90 million pounds of e-waste that passed through Apple's recycling programs, 61 million was in reusable materials, including 23 million pounds of steel, 13 million pounds of plastic, 12 million pounds of glass, 4.5 million pounds of aluminum, 3 million pounds of copper, and 6,600 pounds of silver. Apple has been ramping up its recycling programs in recent years, and says it reuses many of the materials it extracts from the recycled products.
Frosty Piss writes: Seattle police raided the home of two outspoken privacy activists early on May 30th. Jan Bultmann and David Robinson, a married couple and co-founders of the Seattle Privacy Coalition, were awakened at 6:15 a.m. by a team of six detectives from the Seattle Police Department who had a search warrant to examined their equipment. They claimed to be looking for child pornography, however Bultmann and Robinson believe the raid is because they run a Tor exit node out of their home. They said they operated the node as a service to dissidents in repressive countries, knowing full well that criminals might use it as well, much like any other communication tool. The SPD acknowledged this morning that no child porn was found, no assets were seized, and no arrests were made.