Saturday, September 22, 2018

DOE Awards More Than $3 Million For High Performance Computing Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy has granted almost $3.8 million for 13 industry projects in the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program, which operates in various national labs like LLNL, LBNL, Oak Ridge, and Sandia. The program combines DOE supercomputing capabilities and expertise with American manufacturers to improve innovation and industrial processes. Robin Miles, acting director of the HPC4 Manufacturing program, answered some questions about the projects, and Brandon Wood answered the ones related to KeraCel for CleanTechnica
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

One Man’s Journey To Becoming His Own ISP


America is a BIG country. There are pockets all across the land where broadband Internet is slow-to-nonexistent, and many individuals are left with wireless cell service as their only means of internet connection. This is the situation [Brandt Kuykendall] found himself in upon moving his family to Dillon Beach, CA. So he started up his own fiber ISP. (YouTube, embedded below.)

“Cell phone service was really our only option, but that proved to be extremely expensive. My wife came home with the bill (of) $707, and that was the last straw.”

Despite being a mere two hours from the technological hub of San Francisco [Brandt] found himself dissatisfied with the level of service he was receiving from his provider. However, instead shredding his current contract altogether he decided to go directly to the source. He tracked down the location of the AT&T cell tower in his area and made every call he could in order to find out who was in charge of “opening up the taps”. Months of negotiation between AT&T and [Brandt] ensued and eventually resulted in a fiber line being installed directly into his garage.

The story didn’t stop there, because [Brandt] took it upon himself to spread the wealth by providing his neighbors with Wi-Fi access to the fiber optic line in exchange for a small monthly fee. Employing the use of industrial-grade small cell transmitters he essentially created a point-to-point network along his neighbors’ roofs. [Brandt’s] garage serves as the network monitoring hub enabling him to diagnose any traffic issues. What began as one man seeking decent internet speeds burgeoned into a journey to becoming his own ISP which now serves over 100 other residents of the Dillon Beach area.

[Via CBS San Francisco]
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bose Sleepbuds review: Helpful, but needs improvement

Edit_04DSC06861-1.jpgBose, which is well-known for its quality (and pricey) audio equipment, went an interesting route with its latest piece of hardware. Two years ago, the company took to Indiegogo to gauge interest in a pair of noise-masking sleep earbuds. Essentially,...
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iOS 12 Installed on 10% of Devices 48 Hours After Launch

Apple's newest operating system, iOS 12, is installed on just over 10 percent of devices 48 hours after it launched according to data collected by analytics company Mixpanel. The data suggests customers are adopting iOS 12 at a slower rate than iOS 11 and iOS 10.

Last year, iOS 11 was installed on 10 percent of devices just 24 hours after launching, and in 2016, iOS 10 was installed on 14.45 percent of devices within 24 hours.

Customers may be reluctant to adopt a new operating system after all of the bugs and issues that were seen with iOS 11 software updates, but Apple made an effort to focus on the underlying code of iOS 12 and thus far, the update has been stable.

iOS 12 is an update that brings significant speed and performance improvements to older devices, so most customers installing the software should see notable speed improvements over iOS 11 after updating.

On the iPhone 6 Plus, for example, apps launch up to 40 percent faster, while the keyboard can appear up to 50 percent faster. Opening the camera on the Lock screen to take a photo can be done 70 percent faster.

Apple has made animations smoother and more responsive across the operating system, so accessing Control Center, scrolling in apps, or swiping up when multitasking feels more fluid.

iOS 12 also includes optimizations for when the operating system is under load. Apps launch up to twice as fast under a heavy load, as does the Share Sheet.

With iOS 12 installed on 10 percent of devices, iOS 11 adoption has dipped to 82 percent and will continue to fall as more people adopt iOS 12. Installation could jump this weekend as some people wait until they have a free block of time to complete a major software update.

iOS 12 is a free download that's available for the iPhone 5s and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch. In addition to noticeable and useful speed and performance improvements, the update introduces Screen Time for monitoring device usage, Memoji and new Animoji, ARKit 2.0, and a new Shortcuts app for creating customized automations. For more on what's new in iOS 12, make sure to check out our roundup.

Have you installed iOS 12 yet? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

Discuss this article in our forums

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

You can now use Google Maps with Apple’s CarPlay in iOS 12

With iOS 12, Apple added support for third-party mapping services, namely Google Maps, to its CarPlay service, a much-needed feature that’s been a long time coming. That means, starting today, you no longer have to solely use Apple Maps when connecting your iPhone to your car’s infotainment and navigation center.

With Google Maps version 5.0, the update for which should be available for iOS users right now, you’ll get the ability to sync Google Maps navigation to your vehicle’s built-in display. You unfortunately cannot use Siri to control Google’s app, but it does come with built-in voice control that involves tapping a button to activate. (Taking your hands off the steering wheel is not recommended... but hey, it beats using your...

Continue reading…
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Here’s what Google’s $149 Home Hub smart display will reportedly look like

Google is reportedly getting ready to launch some new hardware at its October 9 hardware event and we just learned a lot more about a new product that might be launching.

It was rumored that Google was working on its own Smart Display, now we’ve got images of the Google Home Hub and details about its price tag via a report from AndroidAuthority.

via Android Authority

The device certainly looks like a Google Home product with all the fabric anyone could ask for and then far, far more on top of it.

It’s rocking a 7-inch screen and will cost just $149, which is quite a bit cheaper than the 8-inch Lenovo Smart Display which is currently the cheapest option at $199 while its 10-inch varietal ships for $249 as does the stereo-speakered JBL Link View.

Having played around with Lenovo’s product, Google has some very pretty software for their Smart Displays but there are some strange quirks given that the screen is basically superfluous by design as it can’t ever assumed that the speaker can see the screen when an answer is being given. Google has their work cut out for them, but it might be in their best interest to introduce some light touch interactions that allow you to perform more actions without speaking at all, otherwise the screen is always going to feel a bit misplaced aside from pulling up a YouTube video or watching a slideshow.

What will be interesting to see is what exclusive software wizardry the device has, if anything. The report details that the device will not have a camera like other Smart Displays which is a bit funny given that the whole point of it was to bolster its Duo video call service, which Google seems to realize either isn’t worth the inexpensive components or the potential privacy overhead.

If the rumored price of $149 proves accurate and Google opts for most of the internals that the partner Smart Displays have, this will be a very cool device at a great deal that will not get used very often. It is wildly unclear what the point is of this product vertical, and without breaking it free of its software prison Google seems to be missing a big opportunity that could be fulfilled by whatever the big G’s competitors eventually release.

This report seems pretty solid, but we only have to wait a couple more weeks to see what Google has in store, TechCrunch will be keeping up with the details at the company’s Pixel 3 hardware event on October 9.

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How bad was Florence? Here's a boat motoring down the interstate


While flying a drone over the completely flooded four-lane Interstate 40 on Monday, the North Carolina Highway Patrol spotted an unusual sight: A motorized boat leaving a large wake over the highway. 

The storm formerly known as Florence — which hit North Carolina as a Hurricane last Friday and then proceeded to drop historic rainfall over much of the state — has brought catastrophic and deadly flooding to inland cities and coastal communities alike. 

Florence has demolished rainfall records. 

Previously, North Carolina's rainfall record from a storm was 24 inches, set by Hurricane Floyd nearly twenty years ago. On Monday, the National Weather Service reported that nearly 36 inches fell on Elizabethtown, North Carolina. At least 11 other areas also broke the old record. Read more...

More about Science, Extreme Weather, Flooding, Hurricanes, and Hurricane Florence
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The World’s Most Expensive Cruise Will Be the First to Stop on All 7 Continents

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Love cruises?  It’s time to start saving for the trip of a lifetime!  The luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises has announced the first-ever cruise to hit all 7 continents.

Now’s your chance to journey from sunny Fort Lauderdale, to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, across the Pacific Ocean, through the Pacific Islands and Australia, around Southeast Asia, making your way through the Suez Canal, and eventually ending up in Amsterdam by way of Rome, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and the UK!

The Cruise Is 140 Days Long.  Folks Prone to Seasickness Need Not Apply!

The Silversea World Cruise 2020 will set sail on January 6, 2020, from Fort Lauderdale.  And will stop into 62 ports over the 140-day journey.

Sound incredible?  Well, the price is pretty incredible too…and not in a good way.  You’ll have to fork out $62,000 per person for a standard cabin, on up to $250,000 for the most luxurious cabin.

That just a mere 6,200,000 Capital One Venture miles for those hoping to use up your stash of credit card rewards. 😉

Now if you’re looking for the world’s longest cruise, that will set you back $93,000 per person.  On Viking Cruises’ Viking Sun trip, you’ll visit 113 ports around the world during your 245 days aboard.  But unfortunately, the itinerary doesn’t include Antarctica.

What do you think?  Does a cruise to every continent sound like a dream come true?

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Ferrari injects classic, windscreen-less beauty into Monza special editions

Ferrari's retro-modern Monza SP1 and SP2

Who needs a windshield anyway? Apparently not prospective owners of the just-announced Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2. The one- and two-passenger cars (respectively) are retro throwbacks that will be available in limited numbers only, "aimed at dedicated clients and collectors."

.. Continue Reading Ferrari injects classic, windscreen-less beauty into Monza special editions

Category: Automotive

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Space Tourism Is Getting Closer – and There’s Already a Way to Redeem Miles & Points for the Experience!

Have you been just about everywhere with miles & points?  Do you think the Earth is a snoozefest?  Then here’s some good news!

Space tourism.  It’s the natural progression of miles & points as technology moves closer to leisure travel above the atmosphere.

You’ve probably heard of programs like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, which are racing to introduce space travel to a demographic wider than just those with G-force centrifuge training.  At the moment, the privilege does NOT come cheap.

If you’re excited to take this next-generation step in travel, you can reduce the cost with miles & points, though it’s with miles that are a bit harder to earn.  Wake me up when I can use the Southwest Companion Pass for the experience (that’d save us hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single trip!).

Redeem 200,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles for a Big Discount.  Or 2 Million for a Chance to Fly for Free

Space Tourism Is Becoming a Reality!

SpaceX, a space travel venture launched by Elon Musk, plans to fly a Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon as their first-ever passenger in 2023.  The flight will take ~5 days to complete.

We don’t know how much it’s costing him, but right now it looks like space tourism is a multi-millionaire’s game.  Though if you have the right miles, you can get tens of thousands of dollars off!

Virgin Galactic isn’t offering to fly you around the moon, but they’ll instead perform a suborbital flight around the Earth for $250,000 per person.  They say you’ll have a STUNNING view of the Earth, and experience 6 minutes of weightlessness.  That’s nowhere near the duration of Yusaku Maezawa’s upcoming SpaceX flight around the moon, but it’s also probably nowhere near as expensive.

You can even knock 10% off a Virgin Galactic ticket by redeeming 200,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.  That’s a value of 12.5 cents each (10% off the flight X $250,000 = $25,000 / 200,0000 miles).  Not bad!

You also have the option of redeeming 2 MILLION Virgin Atlantic miles for an entry into a drawing for a “free” flight on Virgin Galactic.  But you must earn those 2 million miles by flying Virgin Atlantic.  And they can’t be collected by transferring miles from another account.  Fortunately, you’ll get the miles back if you’re not selected.

Nobody can say for sure when mainstream space tourism will actually begin, though Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Galactic) has said that they are just 2 or 3 flights away from sending their first paying passengers into space.

Are you excited for the next phase in leisure travel?  Let us know if you’re on board for space tourism!

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