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Subway Derailment in Manhattan Injures Dozens

NY Times - 2 hours 21 min ago
A southbound A train between 135th Street and 125th Street came off the tracks and crashed into a wall; the Fire Department said 34 people were injured.

Cillizza: Nancy Pelosi can't be beaten

CNN - 2 hours 23 min ago
In the wake of Jon Ossoff's special election loss a week ago, calls began, again, within some corners of the Democratic caucus that it was time for Nancy Pelosi to step aside as the highest ranking House Democrat.

Serena Williams bares baby bump in naked cover

CNN - 2 hours 24 min ago
Serena Williams is still wrapping her head around her own pregnancy.

U.S. Has Seen Chemical Weapons Activity in Syria, Pentagon Says

NY Times - 2 hours 30 min ago
The Defense Department detailed the activity after a White House statement warning Syria against an attack. Syria and its Russian patrons rejected the accusation.

Yankees Charity Neglects Stadium’s Neighbors

NY Times - 2 hours 47 min ago
A fund created by the Yankees as an olive branch to the communities around the stadium has disbursed millions. But a majority of that money has gone elsewhere.

What's streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu in July

CNN - 2 hours 53 min ago
Claim your Independence from the summer doldrums.

No, the government did not pay for Mitch McConnell's polio care. Charity did.

Washington Post - 3 hours 29 sec ago
Left-wing websites have falsely claimed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell relied on government health care for his polio treatment.

No questions allowed: Trump hails democratic bonds with India’s Modi while ignoring the press corps

Washington Post - 3 hours 29 sec ago
The White House strays from the tradition of allowing questions in a Rose Garden appearance during the U.S.-India summit.

'Bachelor's DeMario Jackson claims Olympios was the 'aggressor'

CNN - 3 hours 10 min ago
DeMario Jackson spoke out for the first time about what happened between him and Corinne Olympios on the "Bachelor in Paradise" set where misconduct allegations prompted producers to suspend production earlier this month.

FIFA Publishes Secret Garcia Report, Which Detailed Corruption in World Cup Bids

NY Times - 3 hours 13 min ago
FIFA on Tuesday published an American investigator’s top-secret report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, acting, it said, “for the sake of transparency.”

Kevin Bacon rebooting 'Tremors' for Syfy

CNN - 3 hours 20 min ago
A cult classic monster film could be finding new life on Syfy.

Gene Munster Predicts Apple Will Eventually Earn More From AirPods Than Apple Watch

MacRumors - 3 hours 22 min ago
Despite selling for $159, considerably less than the Apple Watch at between $269 and $1,499, longtime Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster believes AirPods will be "bigger than the Apple Watch" over the next decade.

Munster predicts that AirPods will contribute "about the same amount of revenue" to Apple's pocket as the Apple Watch by the company's 2022 fiscal year. He also predicts that AirPods will have an average price of $200 by then, as the product shifts towards what he calls "augmented audio."AirPods: Bigger Than Apple Watch. Over the next 10 years, we anticipate that AirPods will be bigger than the Apple Watch as the product evolves from simple wireless headphones to a wearable, augmented audio device. While both AirPods and Apple Watch should continue to grow, we see AirPods contributing about the same amount of revenue as Apple Watch by FY22. We expect the AirPods ASP to increase from $159 today to $200 in FY22 as the product shifts to augmented audio.Apple doesn't disclose AirPods or Apple Watch sales in its quarterly earnings results. Both products are instead grouped into its "Other Products" category, alongside sales of iPods, Apple TVs, Beats products, and accessories. Any revenue or sales numbers that circulate around are purely estimates.

Apple reported $2.87 billion revenue from "Other Products" last quarter, a 31 percent increase from $2.18 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Early last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the response to AirPods has been "great," with the wireless earphones remaining hard to come by.

"Demand for AirPods significantly exceeds supply, and growth in Beats products has also been very strong," said Cook. "In fact, when we combine Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones, our revenues from wearable products in the last four quarters was the size of a Fortune 500 company."

Despite launching over six months ago, AirPods continue to have a 6-week shipping estimate for orders placed on Apple's website. Some third-party resellers have occasionally had them in stock with earlier delivery.

Apple analyst Neil Cybart recently said Apple is "underpricing" the Apple Watch and AirPods in an effort to bring new users into its ecosystem. He said this pricing strategy was "unimaginable" ten years ago, when Apple was often accused of pricing products artificially high—aka the so-called "Apple Tax."

Cybart said a strong case could have been made for Apple to price AirPods at $249, or even $299. By selling them for $159, he thinks Apple has "removed all available oxygen from the wireless headphone space," and forced other wireless headphone makers to cut their own prices in order to remain competitive.

AirPods have been well received by early adopters, achieving a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate in a recent survey conducted by Experian and market research firm Creative Strategies.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: Gene Munster, AirPods
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Watch a tiny ‘guillotine’ slice cells in half

Futurity.org - 3 hours 24 min ago

A new tool that is basically an assembly line guillotine for cells.

Stentor coeruleus is a single-celled, free-living freshwater organism shaped like a trumpet and is big enough to see with the naked eye. And if cut half, it can heal itself into two healthy cells.

“It is one of the Holy Grails of engineering to make self-healing materials and machines,” says Sindy Tang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University. “A single cell is analogous to a spacecraft—both have to figure out how to repair damage without anyone’s help from the outside.”

Tang and colleagues wanted to figure out how the organism self-repairs, but first they needed a way to efficiently slice the cell in two—traditional methods take three minutes per cell and they needed hundreds for their experiments.

The device, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pushes a row of cells down a tight channel onto a pointed knife blade, which cuts the cells evenly in half. The guillotine is able to cut Stentor cells 200 times faster than the previous method with similar survival rates.

In addition to spurring the development of self-healing materials, being able to efficiently study cell healing could eventually help scientists study and treat a variety of human diseases related to cell regeneration, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, says Lucas Blauch, a graduate student in the Tang lab and lead author of the study.

This self-healing ‘gel’ is stiff like a sugar cube

Prior to Tang’s cellular guillotine, scientists hoping to study Stentor had to slice the cells by hand under a microscope, using a glass needle.

“Cutting a single cell by hand takes about three minutes if you’re good at it, and even if you’re good at it, you can’t always cut the cell equally in half. This method has not changed for over 100 years,” Blauch says. “We knew that our lab’s expertise in microfluidics would allow us to create a device to do that much faster.”

Using the century-old cutting method, it would take a researcher five hours to cut 100 cells, and by the time they were done, the cells they cut first would be well on their way to healing. The guillotine could cut 150 cells in just over 2 minutes, and the cuts were much more standardized and synchronized in the stage of their repair process. They achieved this rate by creating a scaled-up version of their tool with eight identical parallel channels that run simultaneously.

Now, Tang says, her group is ready to study how the cells heal. “From the engineering perspective, we hope to be able to extract basic principles from our studies, and apply them to engineering design to make self-healing materials and machines.”

Other researchers from Stanford and from the University of California, San Francisco, are coauthors of the study. The National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society funded the work.

Source: Stanford University

The post Watch a tiny ‘guillotine’ slice cells in half appeared first on Futurity.

Algorithms decode complex thoughts from brain scans

Futurity.org - 3 hours 24 min ago

Scientists can now use brain activation patterns to identify complex thoughts like “The witness shouted during the trial.”

The research uses machine-learning algorithms and brain-imaging technology to “mind read.”

The findings indicate that the mind’s building blocks for constructing complex thoughts are formed by the brain’s various sub-systems and are not word-based. Published in Human Brain Mapping, the study offers new evidence that the neural dimensions of concept representation are universal across people and languages.

“One of the big advances of the human brain was the ability to combine individual concepts into complex thoughts, to think not just of ‘bananas,’ but ‘I like to eat bananas in evening with my friends,'” says Marcel Just, professor of psychology in Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“We have finally developed a way to see thoughts of that complexity in the fMRI signal. The discovery of this correspondence between thoughts and brain activation patterns tells us what the thoughts are built of.”

Previous work by Just and his team showed that thoughts of familiar objects, like bananas or hammers, evoke activation patterns that involve the neural systems that we use to deal with those objects. For example, how you interact with a banana involves how you hold it, how you bite it, and what it looks like.

The new study demonstrates that the brain’s coding of 240 complex events, sentences like the shouting during the trial scenario uses an alphabet of 42 meaning components, or neurally plausible semantic features, consisting of features, like person, setting, size, social interaction, and physical action. Each type of information is processed in a different brain system—which is how the brain also processes the information for objects. By measuring the activation in each brain system, the program can tell what types of thoughts are being contemplated.

For seven adult participants, the researchers used a computational model to assess how the brain activation patterns for 239 sentences corresponded to the neurally plausible semantic features that characterized each sentence. Then the program was able to decode the features of the 240th left-out sentence. They went through leaving out each of the 240 sentences in turn, in what is called cross-validation.

Brain ‘reads’ sentence the same way in 2 languages

The model was able to predict the features of the left-out sentence, with 87 percent accuracy, despite never being exposed to its activation before. It was also able to work in the other direction, to predict the activation pattern of a previously unseen sentence, knowing only its semantic features.

“Our method overcomes the unfortunate property of fMRI to smear together the signals emanating from brain events that occur close together in time, like the reading of two successive words in a sentence,” Just says. “This advance makes it possible for the first time to decode thoughts containing several concepts. That’s what most human thoughts are composed of.”

He adds, “A next step might be to decode the general type of topic a person is thinking about, such as geology or skateboarding. We are on the way to making a map of all the types of knowledge in the brain.”

Funding for the work came from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

The post Algorithms decode complex thoughts from brain scans appeared first on Futurity.

'There's no camera on, Jim.' Sean Spicer's untelevised news briefing, annotated.

Washington Post - 3 hours 30 min ago
Spokesmen for President Trump have allowed question-and-answer sessions with reporters to be televised just six times in the past six weeks.

House Ethics Committee is reviewing allegations against three Democrats

Washington Post - 3 hours 30 min ago
The lawmakers facing an ethics review are Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich), the longest-serving sitting House member, and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as a senior aide.
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