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Microsoft aims to replace the traditional BSOD with a green screen of death.

In other news, Microsoft is thinking of replacing the ominous blue screen of death with a green screen of death as part of the Window 10 Insider version. When asked about their change of heart, the developers said that they’ve to change the color in order to make the message less threatening.

The Blue Screen of Death has been around for some time now. To be more precise, the concept was introduced back in the odd ‘90s, when Microsoft released the Windows NT family. With the OS still in baby diapers, the average was unaware of the danger which was lurking in the shadows.

As a PC/laptop user, you must know about what happens when your system displays this type of error – tons of hours wasted doing something, lots of frustration, and of course, the anticipation. More than likely, all of us stood there after restarting the computer, asking ourselves things like: ‘will the computer work now?’, ‘what happens if the computer doesn’t boot?’, and, of course, ‘what if I need to format my computer and install a fresh copy of Windows?’.

A BSoD was and is the last thing you would want to see before hitting the save button on a large document, or before arriving at a checkpoint in a game. What’s even worse is that your computer might not recover from such an error (it isn’t called the blue screen of death for nothing). This basically translates as hours lost trying to make the computer boot, and more times lost trying to reinstall the operating system in case everything else failed.

In some very rare instances, this type of system error would render the computer as useful as a sniper scope on a hunting knife. The Blue Screen of Death soon to be the green screen of death is the arch nemesis of every game, especially those who play ‘under the counter’ PC games.

Pirated software is probably the most common cause of BSoDs, since the initial code has been altered in order to circumvent safeguards. As for the green screen of death, Microsoft said that the new color would replace the old one as soon as Windows 10 Insider hits the market.

When asked about this change, the big-time tech giant said that its reasons are purely client-focused. And since every computer user associates a blue screen with the fear of losing information, perhaps a green one will alleviate their fears.

Image source: Wikipedia

Scientists discovered that migrating insects are everywhere.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – A group of experts from Britain, Israel, and China joined their efforts to conduct a comprehensive study about migrating insects. They discovered that more than three trillion insects fly over southern Britain every year.

If we compare this number to the Britain’s human population, then we have 54 insects for each person. The researchers have been tracking and monitoring the insects over the past ten years.

According to the team, the bugs fly at altitudes ranging from 492 to 3,937 feet. The scientists also used catching nets to collect smaller specimens. Jason Chapman, a co-author of the study and entomologist at the University of Exeter, says that the presence of these insects in the air can be compared with the presence of plankton in the oceans.

In other words, these bugs are vital for the balance of the world’s ecosystem. The researchers were not surprised by the sheer number of insects. However, what impressed them the most was that the behavior of those migrating insects was similar with the one of the birds.

More precisely, these bugs migrate north and south, while they also reach great speeds between eighteen and 37 miles per hours. In addition, they have a combined weight of roughly 3,200 tons, which is the equivalent of over 636 elephants.

The researchers underline that most of these insects are very small. As such, they have been ignored by many other scientists who focused on monarch butterflies and migratory birds. Chapman says that the marmalade hoverfly is the perfect example of a tiny and important bug.

The hoverfly is around one centimeter long, it is orange and it has black stripes on its body. Also, this insect is widely spread across the world and very important because it pollinates wildflowers and crops.

Chapman says that this study can be applied to many regions of the world because migrating insects are everywhere. He points out that warm and moist areas in southern California and the Amazon are home to over 3.5 trillion bugs every year. Chapman underlines that without these migrating insects, we wouldn’t survive.

Besides pollinating millions of species of plants, they represent the main source of food for bats, birds, and other animals. Therefore, the scientists will continue their research to find out more about the migrating insects.

Image Source:Wikipedia

One of the reasons for these warm temperatures is the storm that brings warm air to the North Pole.

(Mirror Daily, United States)- Climate change is striking again. Despite the fact that in a few days Christmas is coming, at the North Pole the temperature is a lot warmer than it should be. Santa might need to find another suit because it is too hot out there for him. The temperatures are under the freezing point by just a bit which is way too warm for the North Pole in December.

While for other parts of the world 32 degrees Fahrenheit might seem like a normal weather for the North Pole is almost like it was summer. Normally these should be with about 50 degrees less in order to have a December temperature.

This, of course, is causing the sea ice to melt. This is really concerning because the ice coverage in the Arctic has dropped so much in the last year. The warm temperatures have been melting the sea ice in the North Pole all year and scientists were hoping that in December and January the sea ice recovers a bit. This is not going to happen if the temperatures continue to be the same.

This is not the first year the Arctic’s temperatures are way too high for this time of year. Last year there was the same problem and it was even worse than the one predicted this year. Last year the temperatures passed the melting point. This is a phenomenon that doesn’t happen in the Artic, especially in December.

One of the reasons for these warm temperatures is the storm that brings warm air to the North Pole. Scientists are concerned about the fact that this is the second December in a row when the temperatures in the Arctic are too warm. They are worried that the sea ice might melt even earlier that predicted.

These events are causing the loss of habitats for many polar animals. The ones that are the most affected are the polar bears which are already on the verge of extinction. All of these problems are caused by the effects of climate change.

What is your opinion about the temperatures that are now in the Arctic? Do you think that the temperatures are going to get back to normal?

Image source: Wikipedia

Many conservation efforts are being made to save endangered Mekong species.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Biologists have recently discovered new Mekong species, such as a lizard with horns all over its back, a small frog, and a snake with a rainbow-colored head.

Last year, the researchers discovered over 150 new species in the Mekong region. This river has one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth as scientists discover every year many new species of plants and animals.

In other words, the identification process of Mekong species is constant and consistent. Nevertheless, the biologists studying this environment are worried that some species will be extinct before being discovered.

The area surrounding the Mekong river has been developing at a fast rate due to the lack of federal regulations. Worse, Mekong species are threatened by poaching and other environmental factors as well.

According to Jimmy Borah, a WWF researcher of the Greater Mekong team, this region has become a magnet for hundreds of conservation scientists thanks to its biodiversity of species which are constantly discovered here.

These conservationists are the last obstacle standing between multiple environmental threats and the newly discovered Mekong species. The Greater Mekong region includes Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and southwestern China.

As such, it is constantly pressured by road and dam building. Also, it has become the ideal place for illegal animal trade. Borah underlines that many of the endangered and new Mekong species are worth a fortune on the black market.

These animals are not sold just for medicinal purposes, but they are also very much desired by the wealthiest collectors in the world. In 2015, researchers listed 163 new Mekong species including 126 plants, 14 reptiles, eleven fish, three mammals, and nine amphibians.

Among the most attractive species is a snake called parafimbrios lao discovered in the northern Laos. The scales on its head reflect colors which resemble the rainbow. In addition, the biologists found on Phuket a lizard, known as Acanthosaura Phuketensis, which had horns all over its head and back.

In Vietnam and Cambodia, the researchers found a 3cm-long frog (Leptolalax Isos) which they could hold on a fingertip. Although it was first discovered in 2006, the scientists needed another ten years of research to confirm that it was a new species. From 1997 to 2015, biologists described 2,409 new Mekong species, meaning two discoveries per week.

Image Source:Wikipedia

Uber’ formed chief investigator accuses the company of allowing its employees to spy on celebrities, politicians, and spouses using the mobile app .

It would seem that Uber has recently come under fire after an ex-employee filed a lawsuit against the company. The former employee accuses the company of allowing its employees to spy on celebrities, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses, and high-profile celebrities using the mobile application’s God View.

After Uber passed down the passenger rulebook in which it penned down the actions that may revoke riding privileges, it looks like the company has some explaining to do.

The lawsuit filed against the company was initiated by Uber’s former investigator, Ward Spangenberg. Recently fired from the company, the man declared that Uber’s decision of sacking him was unjustified, and sought justice in court.

The man also accuses the company of spying on various passengers using the mobile application’s God Mode – sort of tracker which allows the user to see where a person was in the last week.

Spangenberg declared that Uber deliberately turned its view away from its employees who used the application to their benefit. The man added that some of his former colleagues would use the God View feature to retrace the steps of celebrities such as Beyoncé, high-profile politicians, and countless other people.

Furthermore, according to Spangenberg’s testimony, some of Uber’s employee would abuse this app feature in order to spy on their girlfriends or to discover their spouses’ whereabouts.

Of course, the company denied all allegations presented by Spangenberg’s lawyer saying that his information is either outdated or it comes from unreliable sources.

However, there is indeed a precedent. If you recall, the company came under fire in 2014, after several Uber clients declared that some of its employees are using the so-called God View in order to spy on people.

Uber ‘took care’ of the problem saying that it has restricted the employees’ access to the feature. It also changed the name of the feature from God View to Heaven View to make it sound less stalkerish (same thing, different name).

Spangenberg declared that even though Uber said it has closely monitored all uses of the Heaven View features since the 2014 scandal, employees still use it to the benefit. He concluded his testimony by saying that ‘ if you know what to do, then no one will find out.’

We will keep you apprised should there be any developments in this case.

Image source: Flickr

Cornell University computer researchers have created a soft-handed robot.

Cybernetics will never cease to amaze us. Recently, a team of computer engineers from the Cornell University announced that it was successful in created a soft-handed robot that has the ability to manipulate delicate objects and to feel their textures.

The soft-handed robot created in Cornell’s laboratories is regarded as a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of robotics. Researchers argued that if the robotic handed can be perfected, its design can be used to produce cheaper biocompatible prosthesis for patients who have lost their limbs.

The robotic hand has already undergone a series of lab-controlled tests, and, according to the team, the results are more than encouraging. In the first series of test, the robotic had was tasked with choosing the ripest tomato from a group of three tomatoes.

To do this, the robotic hand had to feel the texture of each tomato and then to pick it up from the lot. Without even flinching, the robot picked up the ripest tomato from the group after groping each fruit.

Huichan Zhao, the project’s senior researcher, explained how the soft-handed robot works. Traditionally, robotic arms could ‘feel’ the objects around them if they were made of metal or they conducted electricity.

However, the latest project ditches the old electricity/metal approach, and instead focuses on light. Zhao explained that the robot’s hand is more or less similar to a balloon. This state-of-the-art balloon contains countless waveguides or pipes which are able to guide light waves.

The Professor also explained that these pipes are very flexible, as to allow the robot total freedom of movement. Whenever the robot moves its arms, the light pipes are obstructed. The sensors inside the robotic hand sense these changes in light pattern and are able to convert them into sensation-like signals.

The robot’s soft hand features high-tech sensors on the outside, as well as the inside. These sensors allow the soft-handed robot to figure out what it’s touching at the moment.

Zhao declared that this type of technology could be used to fashion cheap prosthesis, but it’s still far from leaving the laboratory. The senior researcher said that, at the moment, the handed using a high amount of energy just to stay in an upright position.

Theoretically, the device can be used to create hand prosthesis, but the wearer will need a sufficiently powerful battery in order to power up the assembly. In addition, the senior researcher declared that a human brain – robotic arm interface has not been devised.

Image source: Cornell University 

With Occipital Bridge you will be able to mix virtual reality with augmented reality.

Since everyone’s only talking about Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, we wish to present a VR alternative which not only cost less, but it’s also as powerful as the two VR headsets.

Introducing the Occipital Bridge, a VR headset created exclusively for iPhones. This newcomer is not only a great alternative to the VR headsets we’ve mentioned above, but it’s also very powerful since it was designed to mix virtual reality with reality.

The new VR headset is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2017, and it would seem that it’s got all the bells and whistles to wrestle with the heavyweight champions. Occipital Bridge was specifically designed for users who want to experience VR, but don’t want to empty their bank accounts in order to do so.

The new iPhone-compatible AR/VR headset is somewhat similar to Samsung’s Gear VR headset and Google’s Cardboard. However, unlike the devices created by Samsung and Google which use a pseudo-stereoscopic effect to fool you into seeing images in depth, Occipital Bridge is capable of rendering frames in true VR.

The headset features a Structure Sensor which is able to map out the real environment in order to construct a virtual reality environment. Occipital Bridge also has a built-in proximity sensor which alerts you whenever you are in danger of colliding with an object in the real world.

The room VR feature was also present in HTC’s Vive VR, but according to many users’ reviews, the feature was quite hard to set up, since it would require the user to buy and install multiple 3D sensors around the room in order to achieve the desired effect.

With Occipital Bridge, this option is activated by default, and, might we add, that’s it’s awesome. Imagine how it will be to fill your living room with otherworldly objects or recreate a full-fledged battle arena.

Like its peers, the Occipital Bridge VR/AR headset features kinetic controller, outfitted with several gyroscopes. This means that you won’t have to lie still in front of your computer in order to explore the VR environment.

The only disadvantage we could think of after reviewing Bridge’s specification is that the VR headset is only compatible with iPhone handsets and tablets.

So, what to expect in terms of price? According to the company, Occipital Bridge will have a price tag of $400.

Image source: Wikipedia

NASA’s Advanced Food Technology lab has developed energy bars for Mars mission astronauts.

As the much-anticipated manned Mission to the Red Planet draws closer, the North American Space Agency now focuses on an important aspect of the mission – dinner time. NASA just declared that its scientists are currently looking for a way to create nutritional energy bars for astronauts.

It may seem like a trivial matter, but NASA takes everything serious when it comes to the upcoming Mars mission. According to the agency’s latest statement, it would seem that they are still looking for a way to feed the astronauts during their deep space mission.

Using the current propulsion technology, a trip to the Red Planet should take about 6 to 8 months. During this time, the crew must be well fed in order to able to fulfill its duties. You would not think that this is an issue considering that ISS’s pantry contains over 200 varieties of food, but the Mars won’t have the luxury of riding a ship with such a high storage capacity.

More than likely, the crew will set out to the Red Planet flying an Orion shuttle. As the NASA engineers have anticipated, weight will be an issue. This means that the shuttle would not be capable of carrying the same load as one departing for the International Space Station since more weight equals more fuel.

Subsequently, this also means that the food the ship will be carrying must not exceed a certain weight. While the rehydratable food packs seem like an obvious solution, NASA is looking for a way to diversify the meal time selection.

For this purpose, NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Laboratory has developed special energy bars for the astronauts to enjoy at breakfast. These energy bars are nutritionally balanced, and they were designed as to occupy as little space as possible.

And to satisfy everyone’s taste buds, the food researchers working at the lab have designed a wide variety of flavors including barbecue nut and orange cranberry.

But energy bars alone won’t be enough to keep the astronauts in shape for the duration of this mission, and NASA’s looking for ways to cram in more food without taking the much-needed space.

At the moment, the new energy bars are being tested by astronauts. The team wanted to see how nutritious the bars really are and if the astronauts can eat the same thing each morning for the duration of a long deep space mission.

Image source: Wikipedia

JAXA launched a space junk collector on Friday.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has announced that it has successfully launched a cargo ship on Friday. Nicknamed the Kounotori, the vessel was designed to be a heavy-duty space junk collector.

At 10:27 pm, the space junk collector was launched from the Tanegashima Island, in the south of Japan. The space junk collector was carried into space by an H-IIB rocket. According to ground control, fifteen minutes after liftoff, the space junk collector was disconnected from its carrier rockets, and placed into an orbit.

The space junk collector is actually a large tether, having a length of 700 meters. If successfully implemented, the new junk collector will help scientists clear away some of the debris left behind by past space missions.

According to the recent estimates, since Russia launched its first artificial satellite back in the late ‘50s, Earth has developed its own belt of floating objects, just like Saturn. However, unlike Saturn’s ring which is composed of water ice and rocky materials, our is composed of spaceship leftovers.

The junk belt around our planet now houses more than 100 million particles, with different sizes and configurations. The scientists working on the projects have declared that these particles floating around our planet can endanger future space mission since the risk of collision is very high.

In fact, all shuttles going up to the International Space Station have reported colliding with some of these particles on more than one occasion. If the project is successfully tested, similar shuttles may be launched, in the future, in order to clear out the space debris.

The space junk collector is actually a very large tether, similar to a fishing net. Harnessing the power of electromagnetism, the space junk collector is composed of thousands of thin wires made of aluminum and stainless steel.

After the space junk collector is launched, one end of the tether will attach itself to a metal debris. Then, as the tether swings back and forth through our planet’s magnetic field, it slows down the metal fragment, pushing it into a lower atmosphere. Earth’s gravity will kick in and pull down fragment.

Eventually, the metal fragment will enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. At the moment, JAXA is experimenting with an only 700-meter long tether. However, should the test be successful, the Japanese space agency declared that the tether would need to be at least 10,000 meter-long in order to clear away all the space junk.

Image source: Wikipedia

With the new nanogenerator you will be able to power your wireless headphones just by walking around the house.

A team of computer researchers from the Michigan State University was successful in creating a device which can charge any kind of gadget using our body’s motion. If successfully implement, electronic devices will not require a battery to function since they will function solely on kinetic energy.

Nelson Sepulveda, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the study’s senior researcher, declared that the nanogenerator created in the University of Michigan’s computer laboratory would soon replace traditional batteries.

Imagine what it would be like to not having to charge your phone ever again. This will give tech companies an opportunity to add more features to phones or tablets without having to worry about battery drainage.

According to the team who created the nanogenerator, the device feature thin silicon wafer, which houses layers of polypropylene, polyimide, and silver ferroelectret. After the wafer is created, the scientists add charged ions on each layer. As a result, whenever someone swipes this thin surface, it will start producing electrical energy.

Sounds like something out of a science-fiction novel, but the team of scientist proved that not only the nanogenerator works, but that it can be embedded in a wide variety of electronic devices such as LED TVs, smartphones, tablets, and even wireless keyboards.

To test out the capacities of this nanogenerator, the team embedded it in several devices. In the first experiment, the scientists wanted to determine if the generator can power a wide-screen LCD with touch screen. The nanogenerator used in this experiment was not bigger than a finger, but more than enough to power the touchscreen.

In the second test, the researchers connected approximately 25 LED lights to a palm-sized nanogenerator. Again, when someone rubbed or swiped the nanogenerator, the lights would turn on.

Sepulveda, the project’s senior research declared that the nanogenerator becomes even more powerful when it’s folded. Subsequently, the more you fold it, the more electrical energy it produces. The lead scientists believe that the device can be adapted to fit inside a shoe so that every time you walk, your foot produces enough energy to power your smartphone, iPod or your wireless headphones wirelessly.

At the moment, the research team is still performing tests on the newly-crafted nanogenerator, but they are confident that the device will soon be ready for mass production.

Image source: Wikipedia

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