Taking cues from chameleons and cuttlefish, University of Cambridge researchers developed artificial skin that changes color when exposed to light.
The technology, inspired by naturally occurring pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells, could be used for active camouflage or large-scale dynamic displays.
Some animal species are known to change their skin coloration and pattern through chromatophores: skin cells with contractile fibers that move pigments around.
The artificial version developed by Cambridge researchers is built on the same principles. But rather than contractile fibers, they rely on light-powered nano-mechanisms. And the “cells” are actually itty bitty drops of water.
As described in a paper published by the journal Advanced Optical Materials, the substance is made of tiny particles of gold, coated in a polymer shell and squeezed into microdroplets of water in oil.
When heated to temperatures above 32 °C (89 °F), the polymer coatings expel water and collapse, forcing the nanoparticles together, changing the color. Once cooled, the polymers absorb that water, expanding and pushing the nanoparticles apart like a spring.
“Loading the nanoparticles into the microdroplets allows us to control the shape and size of the clusters, giving us dramatic color changes,” study co-author Andrew Salmon, from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, said in a statement.
The geometry of the particles when bound into clusters determines their color: spread apart they are red, bundled together they are dark blue. (Watch them change in the video above.)
In its current state, the material developed at Cambridge is in a single layer, allowing it to fluctuate between only two colors. Different nanoparticle materials and shapes—ideal for fully dynamic equipment—may be achieved with extra layers (just like real chameleon skin).
Researchers also found that their artificial cells can “swim,” similar to the algae Volvox. Shining a light on one edge of the droplets causes the surface to peel toward the light, pushing it forward. Under stronger illumination, high-pressure bubbles form to push the droplets along a surface.
“This work is a big advance in using nanoscale technology to do biomimicry,” study co-author Sean Cormier said. “We’re now working to replicate this on roll-to-roll films so that we can make meters of color-changing sheets.
“Using structured light we also plan to use the light-triggered swimming to ‘herd’ droplets,” he explained. “It will be really exciting to see what collective behaviors are generated.”
Standard Chartered Bank voted best consumer digital bank in Kenya. (Image source: Kenyan Wallstreet)
Financial journal, Global Finance has named Standard Chartered Bank the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Kenya for 2019. The journal recognised SCB for its information security and fraud management systems under its digital offerings.
Commenting on the Award, Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director and CEO Kariuki Ngari says, “[we will] continue to make strategic and sustainable investments in technology that will complement the innovation agenda, as well as enhance digital offerings and client experiences”.
“At Standard Chartered we have responded to new trends and the evolving needs of Kenyans with a strategic intent of being Digital by Design through innovation and technology. Digitalisation to us means a disruption from traditional and conventional ways of banking to transforming banking business to conform to the lifestyles of our clients. We are glad these efforts have been recognized by our peers”.
Across Africa, the Bank won 8 of the top ten awards for 2019. Here’s a breakdown of their achievements:
Standard Chartered Tanzania won the top Mobile Banking App accolade as Standard Chartered Uganda and Standard Chartered Zambia voted the Most Innovative Digital Banks. Standard Chartered Nigeria and Standard Chartered Cote d’Ivoire won the Best Mobile Banking, the Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site, and Best Bill Payment & Presentment, respectively. Standard Chartered Botswana won the Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings Award.
Responding to the awards, Standard Chartered CEO for Africa & Middle East, Sunil Kaushal says, “the awards are a testament that [our African] digital transformation strategy is paying off. We are proud of the recent launches of fully retail digital banks in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe”.
“Digitising Africa remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region and we are glad that we have been voted the Best Consumer Digital bank in most of the countries we’ve implemented or continue to implement our digital transformation agenda,” adds Kaushal.
Apple Music may be playing catchup to Spotify, but it’s still growing rapidly. From today Apple has a new way to appeal to music fans: a daily updating curated playlist called New Music Daily.
Apple describes it as “the playlist that never sleeps, updated every day with new music you simply can’t miss.” The constantly updating nature of the playlist is bound to draw in music fans who are always looking for something new.
The lead single for the first Daily playlist is Taylor Swift’s latest release The Man, from her new album Lover. Other picks for the inaugural playlist include Missy Elliott, Sturgill Simpson, Lana Del Ray and Summer Walker.
New Music Daily is Apple Music’s answer to Spotify’s popular Discover Weekly and other algorithmically generated daily playlists. Spotify debuted Daily Mixes in 2016, and went a step further in June with a mix of news and music in Your Daily Drive. Apple Music already offers a Friends Mix which is
Today is Friday, August 23rd, which means that we’re now just two and a half weeks away from seeing the official unveiling of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 11 lineup, and exactly three weeks away from being able to preorder it online. The launch date that BGR had suggested weeks earlier was recently confirmed by a leak in Apple’s iOS 13 beta software, so we now know conclusively that the company’s big iPhone event will be held on Tuesday, September 10th this year. Using Apple’s release schedule each and every year as a guide, we can then conclude that the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max will go up for preorder on Friday, September 13th, ahead of their release a week later on Friday, September 20th. In other words, we’re now just four weeks away from seeing Apple’s hotly-anticipated iPhone 11 phones hit store shelves.
There is a slew of exciting new flagship phones slated for release in the second half of 2019. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ are actually being released on this very day, and Huawei’s powerhouse Mate 30 shouldn’t be far behind. The OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro are on their way as well, plus we have two foldable smartphones set to launch by the end of the year: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold in September, and the Huawei Mate X in November. Sandwiched in between those two foldables, Google is set to release its completely overhauled Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL flagship phones.
It’s quite a time indeed to be a gadget fan, and all of those phones are expected to be terrific. But it’s the iPhone 11 series that’s at the forefront of most people’s minds right now. After all, Apple’s iPhone 11 lineup will sell more units in one month than any of those Android phones will likely sell during their entire lifespans. We’ve seen plenty of leaks so far and read about what to expect from the iPhone 11 lineup, but reading about it is one thing and seeing the new iPhone 11 design in action is another thing entirely.
We’ve heard time and time again that Apple’s new iPhone 11 series will look a whole lot like its current iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, but with a few key changes. We’ve also seen countless renders of the new phones. Renders are great and all, but seeing Apple’s leaked iPhone 11 design come to life is far better.
As is the case each and every year, the schematics for Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max were stolen from the Foxconn factory where the phones will be manufactured months ahead of their debut. Third-party accessory makers use this stolen design files to build protective cases for the new phones so that they’ll be ready to sell by the time Apple’s new smartphone lineup is released. Companies also use those design files to make physical mockups of the new iPhone models,
Lenovo is gearing up to release a new midranger called the A6 Note and the phone just appeared on VP Chang Cheng’s Weibo profile. The device previously bagged certification from Thailand’s NBTC and also popped up on Geekbench bearing the L19041 model number.
While we didn’t get much details on the specs, the Geekbench listing revealed the device will pack the Helio P22 chipset paired with 3GB RAM and run Android 9 Pie.
Looking at the new pictures we see the phone will ship with a waterdrop notch screen and fairly slim bezels all around. The back houses a dual-camera setup and LED flash alongside a fingerprint reader. In addition, the phone will come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top side while the bottom reveals a microUSB port.
The SIM card tray is placed on the left-hand side while the power and volume buttons are on the right. The posters also reveal that we are getting blue and black colors. Lenovo will announce the A6 Note soon at a company event in Beijing.
Windjammers is basically Pong on steroids. The original, released for the Neo Geo arcade system in 1994, had two players throwing a frisbee — sorry, “ultimate flying disc” — across a net. If you managed to hit the opponent’s end zone, you got some points. Simple, right? Yes and no. Lobs, curved shots and character-specific special moves added a surprising amount of strategy to each game. And now, there’s Windjammers 2. The sequel, developed by French studio Dotemu, has a brand-new art style and some extra mechanics to keep the action and inevitable mind games fresh.
It is, in a word, brilliant.
First, a quick breakdown of the controls. As before, you move with the left analog stick and execute both a basic throw and dash with the bottom face button (X on PS4, A on Xbox One, etc.) You can throw the disc quickly or slowly with a timed button press, and change its trajectory — with a slight curve, for instance, or diagonally so it bounces off the top or bottom wall — by pushing the stick in a specific direction. The lob has been shifted to
Plastic is everywhere. No, really, it is everywhere. Tiny bits of plastic waste, called microplastic, have come to permeate nearly every part of the planet. We drink it in our water. We breathe it in the air. It is inescapable. On this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED science writer Matt Simon joins Mike, Lauren, and Arielle to talk about where microplastic comes from, how it gets into our bodies, and what, if anything, we can do about it.
Also in the news: Reddit gets into the livestreaming game, the latest version of Android’s operating system gets a healthy name change, and reviews are in on Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10+. The consensus is that it’s pretty darn cool.
Matt Simon’s story on microplastics is here. Read Arielle’s story about Reddit’s livestreaming experiment here. Read Lauren’s review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ here. Read Boone Ashworth’s story about Android’s new naming conventions here.
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.
Every episode also gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figure it out, or there’s another platform you use that we’re not on, let us know.
Parenting involves more than a little magical thinking. If I go anywhere that parents gather, sooner or later a desperate mom or dad will ask me for the one thing that will make it easier to travel with a baby or small children. I can’t make a 4-year-old avert a meltdown at an airport gate, or change a dirty diaper in a cramped airplane bathroom for you. But I can make a list of the travel gear and gadgets that I’ve found to be indispensable for the past four years while taking my kids on planes, trains, and road trips. If you need a tablet, compact stroller, or baby monitor, read on.
We’ve told you about this promotion a few times already, but it’s friggin’ FREE MONEY, so we’re definitely going to tell our readers about it again so that as many people as possible can get in on the action. Long story short, Amazon wants to give you $15 for free!
Here’s how it works: buy $50 worth of gift cards in any denomination — you’re going to add them to your own account anyway, so you’re not really spending that money. When you check out, use the coupon code 19GIFTCARD and Amazon will give you a $15 credit for free. FREE! The only caveat is that the promo only works if you’ve never bought Amazon gift cards before on the Amazon website. If you’ve purchased Amazon gift cards in stores, can still take advantage of the promo.
Some people have been having trouble with that coupon code. If that’s the case for you, just head to this page and click the button to add the promotion to your account. How could you not want $15 for free!?
Here’s more info from the Amazon page:
Amazon.com Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees. Multiple gift card designs and denominations to choose from. Redeemable towards millions of items store-wide at Amazon.com or certain affiliated websites. Available for immediate delivery or schedule up to a year in advance. No returns and no refunds on Gift Cards. Amazon.com Gift Cards can only be used to purchase eligible goods and services on Amazon.com and certain related sites as provided in the Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions. To purchase a gift card for use on an Amazon website in another country, please visit: Amazon.ca, Amazon.cn, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.in, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.es, or Amazon.com.au.
Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals from around the web. Quantities may be limited. Prices are subject to change without notice and coupons may expire at any time. BGR may receive a commission on orders placed through this article.
A first-of-its-kind mapping model tracks how hate spread and adapts online—providing what researchers hope is a blueprint for stopping it.
Analysts from the University of Miami and George Washington University developed a chart showing how “global hate highways” can bridge social networks, geographic borders, languages, and ideologies.
“Hate destroys lives,” GW physics professor Neil Johnson said in a statement. “Not only as we’ve seen in El Paso, Orlando, and New Zealand, but psychologically through online bullying and rhetoric.”
The team focused on global platform Facebook, as well as its European counterpart VKontakte—the most popular site in Russia.
Over a period of a few months, they mapped how clusters (groups or pages that build a community based on shared views, interests, or purposes) interconnect to spread narratives and attract recruits.
The results, published this week in the journal Nature, suggest a sort of Catch-22 for social media companies and their users.
While administrators are expected to aggressively eradicate hate content, banning trolls from one platform often compels them to move to another—simply shifting the resentment instead of eliminating it.
“It is essentially a whack-the-mole game,” senior study author Stefan Wuchty, an associate professor at UM, explained. “Once you whack one mole it will show up somewhere else.
“It is counter-intuitive, but pushing hate groups from social media platforms actually has the opposite effect,” he continued. “It creates a more concentrated assembly of those groups on a different platform.”
A researcher team mapped how clusters of hate interconnect to spread narratives and attract new recruits (via University of Miami/George Washington University)
At the core of the problem, Wuchty pointed out, is social media platforms’ reluctance to work together and unite their policies for change. Until then, hate groups will only continue to grow across the world wide web.
“The analogy is no matter how much weed killer you place in a yard, the problem will come back, potentially more aggressively,” according to Johnson.
“In the online world, all yards in the neighborhood are interconnected in a highly complex way—almost like wormholes,” he said. “This is why individual social media platforms like Facebook need new analysis such as ours to figure out new approaches to push them ahead of the curve.”
The team proposed four distinct policies that, if executed properly, could cut hate groups off at the knees:
Ban numerous small hate clusters rather than a few large ones. The idea is that abundant small groups are easier to locate, and eliminating them prevents the emergence of other large clusters.
Ban small numbers of users selected at random from online hate clusters. This random-targeting approach avoids potential violations of privacy regulations.
Promote the organization of anti-hate clusters. These groups could serve as a “human immune system” to fight and counteract haters.
Introduce an artificial group of users to encourage interactions between hate clusters with opposing views. Researchers hope the members will battle out their differences among themselves, instead of taking their anger out on the public.
Google Photos is easily one of the best apps you could have installed on your phone, especially if it’s an Android device, and especially a specific type of Android that comes with unlimited storage. Even if you prefer a different cloud or storage device for your photos, you should still consider getting the Google Photos app on your Android or iPhone right now, because the service is about to get a super convenient feature.
That’s optical character recognition (OCR), a feature that allows Google to read the text in photos and turn it into text that you can search for, and even copy and paste into documents. That’s a handy feature to have on a phone, especially if you find yourself taking lots of photos of things that contain plenty of text that you’d want to be able to access later. You know, like that secure, but very complex password of your home Wi-Fi. There are other ways of saving that password, of course, but who hasn’t taken a photo of a Wi-Fi password at least once in their lifetime?
Wow, @googlephotos has OCR to turn screenshots into copy/paste text!
A. Open google photos and select screenshot B. Pick “Lens” feature [image 1] C. Highlight text [image 2] D. Pick copy/paste [image 2,3]
Pulling text out of screenshots you’ve saved at some point on your phone is one other great example of what OCR tech can do for you. Being able to find that screenshot by search is also going to be a lot easier than browsing your photo gallery.
According to 9to5Google, it’s the OCR feature that already that exists in Google Lens powering the new feature. Google Lens is an AR app that delivers more information based on the visual data it captures from your surroundings. And now you’ll be able to search Google Photos for text by text using the OCR feature, and then copy and paste the information you needed.
Google quietly confirmed the feature on Twitter, saying it’s rolling out to Photos users this month the ability to search photos by text.
You spotted it! Starting this month, we’re rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them.
Once you find the photo you’re looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text. Take that, impossible wifi passwords 😏
Huawei Technologies expects US export restrictions to reduce annual revenue at its consumer devices business by about US$10-billion, as the company is banned from buying American components like semiconductors and software.
China’s largest technology company is seeking ways to replace key US suppliers such as Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys, deputy chairman Eric Xu said Friday. The overall damage to the company will be a “little less” than billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei’s initial estimate, Xu added.
Huawei is seeking to develop alternatives after coming under intense pressure from the Trump administration, which has argued its technology represents a security threat. On Friday, it introduced its most powerful artificial intelligence chipset, the Ascend 910, which is poised to rival some of the best offerings from Qualcomm and Nvidia. Earlier this month, it offered the first glimpse of an in-house software — HarmonyOS — that may someday replace Google’s Android.
Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of the upheaval will be widespread and painful
The company is also researching ways to replace chip-design software tools offered by Cadence and Synopsys, Xu told a news briefing in Shenzhen without elaborating. “There were no chip design tools 10 years ago, but the industry still developed chips,” said Xu, who argued that Cadence and Synopsys were not must-haves for design. “Intel started to develop chips in the 1970s, when those companies didn’t exist.”
Since May, Huawei has occupied the uncomfortable position of being both an established global brand and a member of the US Entity List, which bars it from trading freely with American suppliers. Despite a series of 90-day reprieves, the latest of which came this week, the uncertainty caused by American sanctions has already cost the company a great deal.
Slower sales growth
Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of the upheaval will be widespread and painful. Already, it reported slower sales growth in the second quarter compared to the first as the ban started to bite, especially into a consumer business encompassing smartphones and laptops. That, in turn, is accelerating Huawei’s effort to become self-reliant.
One area in which the Chinese company is rapidly developing in-house expertise is semiconductors, propelling Beijing’s ambitions of weaning itself off foreign chips. HiSilicon — Huawei’s chip design subsidiary — has been developing its capabilities for a long time, and it’s recently grown into the second largest customer (after Apple) for the world’s biggest chip manufacturing contractor Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. Huawei has also elevated the presence of homegrown technologies throughout its product line — from base stations to smartphones and servers — as a key step to limiting the damage of the US ban.
The Ascend 910 processor unveiled Friday is a show of technological prowess. It will be used for AI model training, and Huawei says it outperforms all existing competition. Xu proclaimed that “without a doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world”. The company
As much as having a website is almost a prerequisite if you have a business, it is not just a case of building it and watching the magic happen. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Building your website is just the start, generating traffic and then converting that traffic into leads, interactions or business is another matter altogether.
So how do you go about reaping some reward from the investment that you have made on the website to ensure that it fulfils the purpose for which it was built? There are lots of tricks that can be employed, some fairly obvious and some a little more complicated – here they are for you to try out at your leisure:
Importance of search Of all the ways that traffic is generated, the search is one of the most important. Thus, in order to ensure that you are getting in front of the right eyeballs when searches are entered Google, you need to make sure that your site is correctly optimised. This is quite an advanced process that has many elements to it, but the importance cannot be overstated.
This is an area that you could look to tackle yourself, or, perhaps given its importance, you might want to find an SEO company in Australia and work with them. A recognised leader in the field will position you right in this crucial area and the benefits should be noticeable.
Keep it fresh If you want people to discover your website, then you need to make sure that there is a reason for people to land there in the first place. The more content that you have on offer the easier it will be for people to discover you.
Obviously, the content needs to be relevant and you cannot add content simply for the sake of it. You also need to make sure that you are adding original content and not simply cutting and pasting from other sites.
Position yourself as a thought leader; don’t just look to sell a service, be informed and current and have opinions and you will find people start to take you a lot more seriously. And you will build up a reputation that goes beyond a purely transactional one and into the realm of reputational.
Work the socials Social media is a great place to play when you are looking to build an audience. Insert yourself into conversations. Interact with people who have large audiences and comment on relevant threads and hashtags where you can contribute positively. This is a great place to leverage the blog content that we spoke about above.
Identify influencers Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular and important. Identify people who have big and relevant followings on Twitter and then engage with them. Either pay them to write a blog or offer them something for free in exchange for a post or two. Find a fee that works for both of you and watch them work their magic.
Soft robots have potential applications in everything from space exploration to health care, as they’re able to change shape depending on the needs of their environment. Most soft robots need to be “tethered” though, meaning they need to be attached to a cable which supplies compressed air or instructions. Now, a team of scientists has come up with an untethered soft robot which is able to change its shape in response to heat.
In a new paper in Science Robotics, a team from Caltech describe using sets of folds like origami to create a flexible soft robot. They created two different type of hinges which fold at different temperatures, so when the robot is heated it folds in a specific order.
The advantage of the hinges is that they allow the robot to be configured into different shapes but within set parameters. Other soft robots have blobby bodies which are difficult to predict and control, but the hinging robots only need to be
Redmi officials are so proud of their upcoming Note 8 Pro smartphone, they can’t stop teasing it. After Lu Weibing, Redmi brand manager, teased the quality of the 64 MP camera, more details about the hardware and performance emerged.
The phone will be powered by the 12nm Helio G90T chipset by Mediatek, which will match the 7nm Kirin 810 SoC performance, according to its AnTuTu scorecard. It will also come with some sort of liquid cooling, as confirmed by the latest teasers.
Redmi Note 8 promo posters
According to the official posters, the liquid cooling will manage to lower the temperature up to 6 degrees Celsius, which would be handy for those long gaming sessions.
The Redmi Note 8 series is being announced on August 29, and the company started gathering reservations a week ahead of the launch, which was yesterday. In just 24 hours over a million people subscribed to learn when the phone will be on the market, meaning it could easily smash the sales record of its predecessor, Redmi Note 7.