Apple’s iPod range gets revamped with new lively shades of pink, blue, fuchsia, grey and gold.

Rumor has it on the Internet that Apple is launching a new colorful iPod on July 14 in response to users’ repeated suggestions indicating that the music player should be revamped. There are many upgrades that users would like to see featured on the revamped model of the mp3 player. So far, analysts were only able to find out that the new version will be colorful, with many more shades than the ones of the previous models.

The last time iPods have been in the spotlight was in 2012, before smartphones stole all the attention. That was also the year when Apple last operated a system upgrade for the said music players. However, the company is now determined to make their media gadgets popular again.

Based on a recent report, Apple could be launching a new colorful iPod on July 14, even though the company did not confirm these rumors. The company that first put forth this hypothesis justified their belief by saying that the new iPod touch model will bear the reference number n102, as opposed to the n78 model available until now.

The entire iPod range is expected to receive upgrades. Thus, the new number of iPod nano is n31a, whereas the previous version has been labeled as n31. iPod shuffle, too, has been modified, if we were to judge from the n12d number that the revamped model received.

Customers will have many more colors to choose from as the smartphone producer is putting the all too dull Apple white aside to make room for lively shades of electric blue, fuchsia, gold, pink, gray sidereal and black.

While the new models may appear to target a feminine audience, the technical specifications of the new iPod Touch suggest male customers will also be satisfied with the new prototype. The music player will be now a lot faster thanks to its new 64-bit processor which comes to replace the usual 32-bit unit.

Tech savvies have also hinted to a possible camera upgrade for iPod Touch, although they did not venture into making too many suppositions in relation to its technical specifications.

Apple does not usually launch new products during the summer months. iPod and iPhone launches are usually organized in September, but, this time, Apple, like other developing customers, has decided to take customers by surprise with an unexpected July launch.

Image source: cdn.macrumors.com

The new dinosaur seems quite menacing, yet only eats plants.

There’s exciting news from the world of paleontology as something completely unique has been literally – unearthed. Fossil hunters have uncovered a new dinosaur in Canada named Wendiceratops, after Wendy Sloboda, the paleontologist and hunter who discovered it.

It really seems that the creators of “Jurassic World” really have nothing on Mother Nature and the diligent bunch of scientist, or paleontologists, who always working to dig up whatever hidden mysteries she’s left for us.

It appears that this dinosaur is much, much cooler than the Indominus Rex that they genetically engineered on the big screen. After all, what could be more amazing than a dinosaur with a crown of horns, and three other, bigger horns on its forehead and nose?

A piece of the skull of the newly discovered dinosaur was spotted in a picture by already renowned fossil hunter Wendy Sloboda. She quickly tracked the GPS coordinates, retrieved the fragment, and then showed to two other scientists, Michael Ryan and David Evans, her colleagues at the Southern Alberta Dinosaur Research Project.

When the two saw the bone fragment, they just jumped into a car and drove directly to the place where the skull had been found. All this happened in 2010.

Five long years after the discovery and the two above researchers have just recently published what they have learned in this period of studying the 200 pieces of bone. That’s four whole individual dinosaurs that were uncovered by a team of just five people jack-hammering a rock until they reached the bones.

The dinosaur is believed to be a more distant relative of the Triceratops, having lived approximately 79 million years ago. Measuring about 20 feet and weighing in at about a ton, the dinosaur is quite unlike most others, even different from its cousin mentioned above. Its crown of horns is extremely intricate, and Evans said it is a “most striking” since it’s the earliest example of all the horned dinosaurs. Despite these horns, the dinosaur was definitely an herbivore, Evans and Ryan say, and used the horns in battles over mating, or in defense against predators.

The most interesting of its horns is its protruding nasal horn, as no other example of an earlier form of nasal horn had been uncovered. Palenontologists are now looking at how the horn evolved from the Wendiceratops to the Triceratops.

Wendy Sloboda, one of few women fossil hunters in the world, chose to celebrate having a dinosaur with her name by tattooing his face on a very special region of her body she had reserved especially for this occasion.

Image source: turner.com

Rapidly decreasing population of wild bees is yet another disastrous side-effect of our planet’s changing climate, leaving us without one of the most important pollinators of crops and wildflowers.

Reports covering the bee populations across North America and Europe have been going on for the past century. Jeremy Kerr, a biologist from the University of Ottawa, decided to narrow his bee observations to bumblebees, which are easily identified by their big, fuzzy shape.

Unlike the honeybees managed by beekeepers, bumblebees roam freely across North America in dozens of different species. In total, bee observations have exceeded 422,000, and Kerr explained that each one of them is carefully registered so researchers know what type of bumblebee was observed and the time and location of the bee colony.

Kerr’s focus was a cross-reference between where each species was found several years back and where they are now. His collaborators helped him identify potential effects of a warming climate, as it was shown when some species of these wild bees were nowhere to be found in the warmest places where they used to buzz.

Published in the journal Science, Kerr’s report clearly reveals that the decrease in bumblebee population is not the results of pesticide use or land clearing. Ecologist Lawrence Harder of the University of Calgary has been studying and observing bumblebees for the past 35 years.

Even though she was not involved in this particular study, she complete agrees with its conclusions, explaining that the shape of a furry bumblebee allows it to keep its warmth in colder environments. However, the same characteristic makes it difficult for them to survive in heat.

One of the most surprising things that Kerr and his colleagues noticed is that bumblebees are rather different from other insects in the aspect of expanding their range at the cooler edge. Butterflies and insects in general move along to cooler regions when heat comes, but not bumblebees.

Kerr explained their observations showed they seemed kind of stuck, and Harder thinks he might know why. Unlike other insects, many bumblebee species are restricted by boundaries of vegetation, and not by cold temperatures criteria. Even if it gets really warm, bumblebees will stick to their favored open grassland instead of moving northward into Canada’s forests.

Honeybees get all the attention nowadays, as their numbers are threatened as well. But bumblebees play a crucial role in various ecosystems, as agricultural crops and wildflowers depend on them for the complex task of pollination.
Image Source: Beneficial Bugs

If you’ve been complaining about the 640x640px resolution that Instagram was offering its users, the popular photo-sharing app has finally heard you. After years of stubbornly sticking to the small resolution, Instagram has introduced the option of taking and posting crisper 1080x1080px pictures.

Users have started noticing the change early in the week, and Instagram has confirmed to have started “gradually rolling out 1080 across iOS and Android.” That means most of the amateur and professional photographers using Instagram have already enjoyed clearer photos.

Following the upgrade of Instagram’s self-description as a reliable source of real time news, it was about time that Instagrammers were enabled to post pictures that are closer to the quality of the original photograph (wasn’t it frustrating that the perfect sunset looked so blurry after having the Instagram experience?).

According to a statement from last month, the Facebook-owned company will use the platform as a medium for real time news. With more than 300 million users active all around the globe, Instagram decided to also improve its Explore option; searching a simple hashtag, key word or place would reveal if there are any pictures for real time events.

Pictures related to significant topics and popular hashtags will also be featured as trending photos, allowing users to spot much easier the images taken at a specific place or event. In a recent interview, Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom said that the 70 million photos that are uploaded on the platform daily will be sorted as to offer people information on the main events happening all over the world.

Company reports show an improved location-search function that can now tap into more picture information than just the location your smartphone automatically attaches to the image.

The new algorithm is able to sort images based on two criteria: popularity – influenced by factors such as likes, comments and time people spend looking at photos – and it features the pictures uploaded most recently in detriment to the older ones.

Hashtags and tags will also influence how Instagram groups pictures, in addition to searches based on places cross-referenced with most-recent photos posted on the app.
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Theranos blood tests favor direct to consumers medical services.

Theranos, an Arizona-based company has been struggling for a long time to make its blood tests commercial. The first step in this direction was made on Friday, when the U.S. FDA approved the Theranos blood test for herpes.

The medical method went through a series of tests and experiments until the Food and Drug Administration has finally acknowledged its accuracy. The medical authority stated on Friday afternoon that the blood tests that Theranos has designed are in accordance with the national regulations and they can identify traces of the herpes simplex 1 virus IgG.

The Theranos System, the pack that the company is selling for blood tests, is not only cost-effective ($9.07), but it is also incredibly easy to use. According to Theranos’ CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, customers only have to sting their fingers and the device will use those few drops of blood to diagnose the patient.

Based on the description that the producing company has made, the system contains the device that provides support during the withdrawal of the blood samples, the Nanotainer Tubes and the analytical software.

The FDA closely analyzed the 818 blood samples that Theranos has performed on their subjects before they concluded that the system is reliable. The investigation has proven that tests are just as accurate, no matter the age and the ethnicity of the respondents.

The decision of the administration was positively influenced by the recent law that the Arizona state has passed enabling direct to consumers blood tests. Holmes believes this is an important step that the company has made because it will render doctors’ job a lot easier.

The founder of Theranos told the press that the new system is not meant to steal doctors’ authority on the matter; on the contrary, it will simply render blood test interpretations a lot easier and faster.

The Theranos System is expected to bring many advantages to consumers with smaller budgets. Most of these patients have poor health insurances; therefore, these new tests could help reduce great part of the costs. Patients will no longer have to drive long distances in order to get their health condition checked as Theranos’ blood analyses can be carried out anywhere, anytime.

Even though FDA’s approval clearly indicates that the Theranos System is valid, some biotech analysts are still skeptical in relation to their accuracy. The majority of them question the ability of the system to correctly interpret the results of the blood tests.

Image source: foodworldnews.com

Birds speak like humans, new study reveals.

A recent study indicates that babbler birds speak like humans, scientists have revealed after carefully studying the behavior of Australian birds. The latter are known to emit special sound strings that can take different meanings depending on their voice modulations.

Birds are very popular for the numerous sounds they make and yet very few scientists have actually taken the time to study whether their sounds contain coded messages or not. A group of researchers from the University of Exter and the University of Zurich were the first to publish a similar study saying that babbler birds speak like humans.

For the current experiment, they have observed the activity of a small group of Australian birds. They have chosen this particular type of winged beings because unlike other birds, they do not sing, but rather make special sounds.

The first days of observation led scientists to conclude that there are certain sounds that the chestnut-colored birds repeat on given time intervals. Analyses have shown that these sounds become more intense when another feathered creature flies nearby or during feeding time.

To better pinpoint the link between these vibrations and the aforementioned activities, investigators have assigned sounds to two different categories, A and B. By studying their repeated strings, analysts have concluded that AB is usually emitted during flights, whereas the BAB model is used during feeding.

The conclusion of the study was reached after scientists have noticed that Australian birds raise their heads and look towards the nest every time the BAB pattern is expressed. The AB string, on the other hand, made birds look towards the sky every time they heard it.

The voice modulations of the birds further indicates that the chicks can also understand different meanings. The same patterns might take different meanings, depending on the manner in which they utter sounds.

Investigators pertaining to this group study have been particularly pleased with the results they have obtained during the recent experiment. They were glad to have finally proved that birds use a system of communication that is very similar to the ones of humans.

Animals’ capacity of generating and understanding messages through sounds has long been discussed, especially in relation to dogs and dolphins. The new findings about birds’ communication system, which were published in the journal PLOS Biology, contribute to the widening of scientific horizons.

Image source: india.com

New guidelines have been released just before marathon and sport camps training is set to begin in the US; they represent an upgraded version that makes sure athletes keep their hydration levels under control.

Doctors warn about the health issues resulting from drinking excessive amounts of water – mainly reducing the sodium in the blood to the level that sportspersons can develop a condition called hyponatremia.

Just last year, exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) has killed two high school football players. If you want to make sure you still keep yourself hydrated, but you want to remain on the safe side, doctors recommend you drink water only when thirsty.

Drinking in advance – for whatever the reason, such as marathons – water drinking should still be kept at sensible levels. Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler from Oakland University is the senior author of the updated recommendations of the International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference report.

She explained that drinking water based on the needs prompted by the innate thirst mechanism is the best strategy, which helps athletes (and other people as well) thoroughly hydrated and limits excess drinking that can lead to hyponatremia.

Dr. Hew-Butler added that one of the most difficult things is re-educating the general public in light of the hazards presented by excessive drinking during exercise, especially because we have been taught for so long only about the dangers of dehydration.

Hyponatremia – the loss of blood sodium – affects plenty of body functions, such as normal function of the nervous system, healthy blood pressure and maintaining fluid balance in the organism. Even though it’s not always caused by drinking too much water, hyponatremia is sometimes referred to as “water intoxication.”

Symptoms of the disease include confusion, sezuires, severe headaches and convulsive vomiting. As most of the EAH fatalities have taken place in the US, Dr. Hew-Butler thinks the updated recommendations are especially welcomed, as the marathons and sports training camps will soon begin in the United States.

Since hydration is one of the most important factors contributing to an athlete’s performance, couches have often encouraged them to drink even if they haven’t gotten thirsty. What they don’t seem to take under consideration is that such a practice is dangerous, and has the potential of worsening performance.

And it’s not just athletes that need to be extremely careful of the dangers – heat waves are usually accompanied by people who give into excessive drinking; some of them, who don’t give it a second thought, can even die.

Most people think that the only effect would be getting bloated, but several incidents across the years have shown that excessive water drinking can be lethal. Re-educating the population is essential, because EAH deaths can be prevented, if only we would listen to our bodies’ needs.
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Earlier this year, an independent panel of experts has proposed some controversial advice for the updated set of recommendations of federal dietary guidelines: you can help the environment by eating less meat and more green.

But if House Republicans have a say in this, the recommendation may never reach the final form of the update. Two bills that are currently moving through the House Appropriations Committee specify that dietary guidelines should be restricted to referring to diet and nutrient intake.

By default, such a specification will ban the warning that red meat might contribute to climate change; therefore, the House Republicans are trying to protect and encourage its production.

According to Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has no business imposing such anti-meant policies, as its intended purpose was to improve American health by offering “science-based comments on the relation of diet and nutrition.”

He also added that it wouldn’t be fair to spend taxpayer funds to promote an anti-agriculture agenda and impose the climate-change ideology even on the American diet. This is the first time the American dietary committee has even considered addressing the impact that food cultivation has on the environment.

But it was about time, as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization revealed that almost 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated by livestock. Therefore, environmentalists wanted to warn Americans about the carbon footprint they’re leaving by consuming so much meat, and what they can do about it.

Environmentalists have been encouraged in their history-making attempts, as the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has released a report earlier this year in line with their desires.

They mentioned it is healthier and less environmentally-damaging to follow a diet based on plant foods – vegetables, fruits, whole grains. They also recommended people keep their calorie-intake in check by consuming less animal-based foods.

But if the two bills on the requirement to stick to diet and nutrition in the American dietary guidelines will receive approval, environmentalists will be out of luck. With the support of the scientific community, some representatives, such as Democratic congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, are still trying to make their wish come true.

She gave an interview on Wednesday explaining that opponents of the green-eating recommendations argue that they want the dietary guidelines to be “science-based” but only when it fits their agenda. They shouldn’t get to pick which science facts they like and which they don’t.
Image Source: Plos Blogs

Home security is yet another field in which Google has spread its tentacles, and for which Nest Labs – Google’s home sensing department – is responsible. Nest Cam is their latest project, based on technology offered by Dropcam, a last-year acquisition.

It’s so much alike what Dropcam developed with its first generation, that the Nest Cam is basically an upgraded version. Very much so, as the new prototype has the ability to film footage at full 1080p high definition, better than Dropcam’s 720p.

Nest Cam is said to have improved capabilities of distinguishing between movements captured on video, which translates into sending more accurate alerts to users when they are away from home. Moreover, the design for Nest Cam is slimmer, its night vision has significantly improved and it comes with tripod mount.

Nest Labs’ latest baby will soon become available in seven countries, including some in Europe, but also in Canada and the U.S.

Having the possibility of reviewing what your Nest Cam recorded will be conditioned by buying a subscription. If users pay subscription fees of £8 and £24 per month, they get to keep the video for 10 and 30 days, respectively.

Along with the unveiling of the Nest Cam in a San Francisco event, Google also announced the second generation model for its Protect device, a “smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.” Nest guarantees this one will be even better at detecting fires with a better reaction time. The device will become available next month at the price of $99.

It was a very productive event for Nest, as the department also released a new mobile and desktop app that acts as a master remote control for all the Nest devices. Nest Cam comes as the third product of the company, after Nest Protect and Nest thermostat.

Nest’s products are part of a series of Internet connected devices that allows Google to collect even more data from its customers. Fortunately, the current policy requires the user to authorize Google before it can gather any potentially sensitive data.

According to Greg Hu, Nest’s leading product manager and director of its developer program, the user can opt out of this setting, but if they allow it, several third-party services alongside Google will be able to interact with Nest devices.

Nest was purchased by Google last year with more than $3 billion (£2 billion), eager to expand in the young market of the so called “smart home.” After Nest, home camera maker Dropcam was the next on the acquisition list, for which Nest paid $555 million.

Plenty of users already use Dropcam’s cameras – which can stream live over Wi-Fi – as vigilant eyes for when they are not at home.
Image Source: i4u News

Mad cow disease and other ailments of the sort have become better understood by scientists as they investigated the dietary habits of a Papua New Guinea tribe, previously infamous for including human brain eating in their funerary rites.

A team from Papua New Guinea and British researchers have focused their attention on studying the members of the Fore tribe and found out their strange diet gave them an interesting upper hand.

As they used to eat human brains at their relatives’ funerals, the tribal population has become genetically resistant to kuru, a disease which is strikingly similar to the infamous mad cow disease. Their discovery might also help in the advancement of treatments for prion diseases – mental illnesses, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

The world first found out about kuru after a medical officer working in New Guinea noticed that some of the people of the Fore tribe were victims of a mysterious and fatal disease. They would lose the ability to walk, followed by an inability to chew or swallow.

Eventually, these tribe members would lose a lot of weight and die. Kuru means “trembling in fear” and the disease would cause more than 2 percent of deaths per year. After extensive research, scientists discovered that some of the Fore funerary rites included some practices that sound at least strange for the occidental man.

At mortuary feasts, men who were related to the deceased would pay their respects by eating the flesh of the dead, while the women ate their brains. What they didn’t know is that a deadly molecule living in human brains can be fatal if eaten.

In the present, kuru has been joined by several other diseases caused by proteins called prions. These can reproduce and become contagious. Mad cow disease is probably the most well-known prion disease in contemporary times, which got its name after a breakout in cattle during the 1980s.

Mad cow disease ravaged and caused political turmoil all over Europe and beyond. By 1993, more than 120,000 animals had received this diagnose, which increased to 45 million cattle that needed to be put down in 1996.

Even though we can’t currently talk about a mad cow disease epidemic, there are still some local reports of animals dying of this ailment up until 2012.

Deformed prions, the proteins at the root of these diseases, are basically indestructible. Latest researches, however, show that genetic protection does indeed exist, but it also proves that – just like the Fore people – many more tribes used to see cannibalism as a universal practice.

After the kuru outbreak in the 1950s, human brains became a no-no for all the tribes in New Guinea. Slowly, the disease began to disappear.
Image Source: International Funeral News