Incredibly Rare ‘Unicorns’ of US Paper Money Expected to Fetch Millions in Auction

Three extremely rare U.S. currency notes from the 19th century are expected to fetch up to a combined $8 million in an auction next week.

The notes — some of the rarest in existence — are all part of the Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States Paper Money listed with auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

One of the paper bills, the 1891 $1000 Silver Certificate is known by currency aficionados as the “Marcy Note” due to the portrait of William L. Marcy, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries. It is the only example of the design type in private hands and is one of just two known to exist.  The other example is forever held in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Just 8,000 examples of this note were issued.

The 1891 $1000 “Marcy Note” once set the world record for the highest price ever paid for a paper bill when it was sold in 2013 for $2.6 million. (Photo Credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

This Marcy Note once set the world record for the highest price ever paid for an example of paper money when it was sold by private treaty in 2013 for $2.6 million. The opening bid for this auction is $1.2 million, and it’s expected to fetch up to $3 million.

The auction also features the only privately held 1869 $1000 “Rainbow” note. It is only one of two known to exist; the other known note resides in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

A portrait of DeWitt Clinton is featured at center, while to the left is Columbus in His Study, depicting the explorer seated at his desk with a globe nearby on the floor. To the right is a large, pink spiked Treasury Seal. Series of 1869 notes were issued from October 19, 1869 until July 25, 1874, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries. There were 74,400 examples of the $1000 note printed.

The 1869 $1000 ‘Rainbow’ note is one of just two known to exist,. The other is forever held in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. (Photo Credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

This “Rainbow” note was last sold publicly in a 1946 auction where it fetched a then-impressive sum of $1,200 (when annual average income was around $2,600). It’s known as one of “the ultimate rarities in American numismatics.” The opening bid for this note is $900,000, and it’s expected to fetch up to $2.5 million.

An 1869 $500 “Rainbow” note is also up for auction — and it’s the only example of its type available to collectors. The note features the allegorical figure Justice at left, holding balance scales in her left hand and an upward pointing sword in her right. The portrait of President John Quincy Adams is in an oval frame at right.

This 1869 $500 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note is the only example of its type available to collectors. (Photo Credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Just 89,360 examples of the 1869 $500 “Rainbow” note were

Arctic Preps Freezer 50 TR: A ‘0 dB’ Cooler for AMD’s Threadripper

At an event for gamers in Leipzig, Germany, Arctic demonstrated a prototype of one the industry’s first partially-passive cooling systems for AMD’s Threadripper processors. The Freezer 50 TR is a sizable heatsink-fan cooler that is specifically designed to be able to cool a Threadripper processor passively under low loads, allowing its fans to be turned off to minimize noise. And while it looks extremely big and will be an interesting challenge in fit in most modern PC cases, having cooler that can run noise-free under light loads certainly comes with its advantages.

The construction of the Arctic Freezer 50 TR generally resembles that of other so-called “mega coolers”. The Arctic Freezer 50 TR is comprised of two massive aluminum radiators outfitted with eight thick heat pipes that are in direct contact with the processor’s IHS. The cooling system can be equipped with two (presumably 140-mm) fans that stop spinning when PWM signal drops below 5%. As an added bonus, the unit has adressable RGB LED bars.

Arctic is not disclosing the TDP rating of its Freezer 50 TR cooler just yet (just like it does not disclose maximum rotation speed of its fans) as the product is still a prototype. Given that it’s made especially for Threadripper, it’s reasonable to to expect that it can dissipate more than 250 W, but the upper limit is unknown. For reference, there are air coolers capable of dissipating up to 340 W of power, but they are pretty rare.

Since AMD’s Threadripper (as well as Intel Core i9/Xeon W-3175X) processors are aimed at extreme desktops and workstations and usually get overclocked by their owners, CPU makers often recommend using closed-loop liquid cooling systems with them to ensure consistent performance and longevity. Meanwhile since not everyone trusts LCS, many suppliers offer air coolers for “extreme” CPUs.

Arctic did not disclose when it plans to release its Freezer 50 TR as well as its estimated price. Considering the fact that it usually takes months to finalize validate CPU coolers, it is possible that the product will be launched towards Computex trade show. Whether or not it will support next-gen processors is something that remains to be seen.

Related Reading:

CES 2019: Deepcool Unveils 280W Capacity Assassin III Air Cooler Alpenföhn Unveils Olymp: A Giant Air Cooler Rated for 340W TDP The 140mm Slim Tower CPU Cooler Roundup: Thin & Light Done Just Right Top Tier CPU Air Coolers Q3 2015: 9-Way Roundup Review

Source: AquaTuning/Twitter, Arctic
Image Source: @AquaTuning

Samsung Reveals Galaxy Fold, Three Galaxy S10s

The new Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10+, and the Galaxy S10 smartphones are displayed during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If you choose to pronounce it correctly (which you shouldn’t) the “X” in iPhone X represents the ten years it’s been since Apple changed the smartphone game. So that means it’s also been about ten years since Samsung started Apple’s main Android rival the Galaxy series. Two billion sold devices later Samsung just revealed a suite of new Galaxy smartphones at its recent Unpacked event, proving the company hasn’t just been twiddling its thumbs and making batteries blow up for the past decade.

The most interesting device on display was the Galaxy Fold, the smartphone you can fold up like a piece of paper Samsung first detailed last year. For me the most exciting part is that you can use this thing as a relatively small 4.6-inch phone. But for most people the key gimmick is how you can unfold the phone into a 7.3-inch tablet.

There’s a lot of cool engineering going on to make this work. The (potentially colorful) hinge is a hidden system of gears. There are two batteries funneling into one power source. Six cameras are spread across different parts of the interior and surface. And the 7nm processor and 12GB of RAM power impressive app multitasking and “App Continuity” features like looking at Google Maps on the front and then unfolding to seamlessly see a bigger picture.

This Nintendo DS for the modern era comes at a cost though. At $1,980 you’re basically paying for the price of the two phones you’re buying. And that’s before upgrades like 5G and more storage than the base 512GB. But the Galaxy Fold doesn’t launch until April 26, so there’s plenty of time to decide.

You may in fact choose to get one of the three new Galaxy S10 phones instead. Like the current iPhone X series, the 6.1-inch S10 now has a cheaper 5.8-inch S10E model to complement the larger 6.4-inch model.

Beyond the new range of options the S10 series also introduces some nifty new features, as part of Samsung’s desire to prove there’s still room left for smartphone hardware innovation. The sensors are housed in a tiny hole notch that lets the AMOLED display be even more expansive. The display also has better color accuracy and less blue light. There’s a more secure ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and upgraded Wi-Fi 6 for better connections in crowded areas.

Cameras got a lot of love, as they often do at these things. The new lens lets you take wider pictures than before and the camera is smart enough to offer composition advice. Adobe is putting out a version of Premiere Rush for video editing right on the device. And specs are powerful enough not just for productivity apps but also Unity-powered games through adaptive performance.

Honestly though

College Student Indicted for Creating ‘Banana Plug’ Drug Dealing App

A University of California Santa Cruz student was indicted on federal drug charges after he was accused of creating an app to sell cocaine, meth, and other illegal substances.

Collin Riley Howard, an 18-year-old man from Sunnyvale, California, allegedly developed the “Banana Plug” app, which was previously available on the Apple App Store. The app reportedly, “offered for sale contraband, including cocaine, Molly, and Shrooms,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a press release.

UC Santa Cruz student indicted for developing ‘Banana Plug’ app to sell cocaine, ecstasy, meth, mushrooms and morehttps://t.co/hWoal9RLqW

— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 20, 2019

“Banana Plug,” which allegedly allowed customers to play a game and buy drugs, might have been named after the Banana Slug, UC Santa Cruz’s sports mascot, The New York Daily News noted. Howard reportedly advertised his illegal services with posters around campus, which caught the eye of local investigators.

“Upon discovering the posters and the application, a UC Santa Cruz police officer, in coordination with HSI, used the application to request a purchase of marijuana and cocaine and then communicated with Howard via Snapchat to set up the purchase,” said the press statement. “An undercover HSI agent made that purchase and separately continued to communicate with Howard on Snapchat to set up three additional purchases of controlled substances.”

Howard, who unknowingly sold drugs to an undercover UC Santa Cruz police officer, was eventually caught by law enforcement. The undercover officer, who went to Howard for multiple drug purchases, bought more than five grams of methamphetamine from Howard, and at a fourth meeting, UC Santa Cruz police officers arrested Howard before payment arrangements were made.

On Feb. 15, Howard was arrested on federal charges and he made an initial court appearance on Feb. 19. At court, he was indicted by a federal grand jury, “with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.” On Friday, Howard will have another court appearance for a bail review hearing.

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Guy Launches Kickstarter to Wipe the Silly Symbolic Rat From the End of ‘The Departed’

‘The Departed’ (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Kickstarter is a truly amazing thing. We’ve seen some extremely innovative products and wonderful creative projects launched there. There are also plenty of Kickstarters that are awesome because of their absurdity.

There was that whole potato salad thing, which raised more than $55,000 and got more looks than the original Oculus Rift and Reading Rainbow Kickstarters.

Now there’s a guy who wants $4,000 to digitally erase the painfully obvious symbolic rat from the end of Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.

The Departed was a good movie with a very bad ending. Here’s my explanation of the problem. pic.twitter.com/loXLMbqLDj

— Erase the rat in The Departed (@RatErase) February 19, 2019

The project is clearly not something that creator Adam Sacks just hastily threw together. He’s carefully laid out the entire process and crunched the numbers to arrive at his funding goal.

Sacks will start by buying a copy of The Departed on Blu-Ray, as well as a Blu-Ray player to play it on. He’ll also need to purchase Blu-Ray ripping software.

Once he’s got a digital file that can be worked with, Sacks will hand it off to visual effects artist Ed Mundy for the actual editing. He plans to pay Mundy $599 for his assistance, because $600 is the point at which you have to file tax forms with the IRS and he doesn’t need that hassle.

Once Mundy has done his thing, Sacks will pay to have a film print made — just like Scorsese’s original. Then it’ll be converted back to digital. $57.69 for a month of Adobe CC access will let Sacks splice in the rat-free closing scene.

Erasing the rat from the end of The Departed is a simple 9 step process. pic.twitter.com/hN0aCjxtSO

— Erase the rat in The Departed (@RatErase) February 19, 2019

Another $38.31 will go toward blank Blu-Ray discs that will be used to burn the finished product. $2.71 will cover a black Sharpie to “properly label” the discs (what’s more proper on a burned disc than Sharpie?).

A pledge of $70 will get you The Departed minus rat. Well, technically it gets you a sealed copy of the Blu-Ray which Sacks will helpfully throw away for you and replace with the expurgated version.

Assuming Sacks gets the $4,000 he’s after and the studio’s legal team doesn’t fire off a c & d, this is definitely a thing that could happen.

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Samsung Announces The Galaxy S10: 10th Anniversary Trio

It’s hard to believe, but it’s actually been 10 years now since Samsung released the first iteration of the Galaxy line of phones. The Galaxy S started a wave of success for Samsung that continued on in its various iterations over the years.

Today, in a slight change of pace, Samsung is holding the launch event of the new Galaxy S10 out in San Franciso – a few days earlier than the usual Barcelona/MWC unveiling.

The Galaxy S10 represents a new design iteration for Samsung, updating the “characteristic” look that the company tends to maintain for two generations. This year, Samsung does not only change venue as well as its product design, it also mixes up the traditional model line-up with the introduction of a new lower-end Galaxy S10 model.

Today’s announcement covers the new Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+, representing a trio of devices celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Samsung’s flagship line-up.

As is tradition, the easiest way to talk about what’s announced today is to present the specification sheets of the three models and dive into the differentiation factors between the different models:

Samsung Galaxy S10 Series   Galaxy S10e Galaxy S10 Galaxy S10+ Galaxy S10 5G SoC (North & Latin Americas, China, Japan)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 
1x Kryo 485 (CA76) @ 2.84GHz
3x Kryo 485 (CA76) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 (CA55) @ 1.80GHz

Adreno 640

(Europe & Rest of World)

Samsung Exynos 9820
2x Exynos M4 @ 2.73GHz
2x Cortex A75 @ 2.31GHz
4x Cortex A55 @ 1.95GHz

Mali G76MP12

Display 5.8-inch
2280 x 1080 (19:9)
(flat) 6.1-inch
3040 x 1440 (19:9)
(curved edges) 6.3-inch
3040 x 1440 (19:9)
(curved edges) 6.7-inch
3040 x 1440 (19:9)
(curved edges) SAMOLED, HDR10+, 1200nits peak brightness Gorilla Glass 5 Gorilla Glass 6 Dimensions 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm
150 grams 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm
157 grams 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
175 grams
(Ceramic: 195g) 162.6 x 77.1 x 7.94 mm
198 grams RAM 6/8GB 8GB 8/12GB NAND 128/256GB 128/512GB 128/512/1024GB + microSD Battery 3100 mAh (11.93Wh) 3400 mAh (13.09Wh) 4100 mAh (15.78Wh) 4500 mAh (17.32Wh) Primary Front Camera

10MP f/1.9
4K video recording

Secondary Front Camera – 8MP, f/2.2
Dual Pixel PDAF
“Live focus” Primary Rear Camera 77° Regular Angle
12MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PDAF

Tri-stack CMOS Sensor (Embedded DRAM),
4K60, 1080p240, 720p960 high-speed recording

Adjustable aperture f/1.5 or f/2.4
OIS, auto HDR, LED flash

Secondary Rear Camera 123° Wide Angle
16MP 1.0µm f/2.2 Third
Rear Camera – 45° / Telephoto lens 2x zoom
12MP 1.0µm f/2.4,
OIS Fourth
Rear Camera – hQVGA
3D sensor
Modem Snapdragon X24 LTE (Snapdragon Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 20/13)
DL 2000 Mbps (7x20MHz CA, 256-QAM),
 UL 316 Mbps (2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM)

Shannon LTE (Exynos Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 20/13)
DL 2000 Mbps (8x20MHz CA, 256-QAM),
 UL 316 Mbps (3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM)

SIM Size NanoSIM
Dual NanoSIM/Hybrid SIM/microSD (Certain models) Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2×2 MU-MIMO,
BT 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Galileo/BDS Connectivity USB Type-C, 3.5mm

Google Apologizes for ‘Hidden’ Nest Secure Microphone Dilemma

Customers didn’t know that a built-in microphone existed on their Nest Guard devices. (Photo Credit: Nest)

Customers are not happy with Google: The company is under fire after it forgot to tell Nest Secure users about a “hidden” microphone built into the security system.

On Tuesday, Google apologized for the security issue and said that the built-in microphone was supposed to be disclosed in Nest Secure’s product specifications. “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” a Google spokesperson told Business Insider. “That was an error on our part.”

Now with Nest Secure you can check the weather, change the temperature and arm your home with nothing but your voice. Get more info on our blog. https://t.co/jMjG7a9978 pic.twitter.com/ySz90ohDF0

— Nest (@nest) February 4, 2019

Earlier this month, Google announced that Nest Secure, its home security and alarm system, would receive an update: Nest Secure users would be able to use Google Assistant, Google’s virtual-assistant technology, with their devices. The only issue was that Nest Secure customers had no idea about the built-in microphone that was installed into the Nest Guard, Nest Secure’s alarm, keypad, and motion-sensor component.

According to Google though, the Nest Secure microphone, “has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.” The company added the microphone to the Nest Guard to enhance the device’s security features in the future. The microphone would enable the Nest Guard to detect other security threats, such as broken glass, in customers’ homes.

Google’s Nest Guard mistake follows the company’s other security issues: In December, Google said it’s shutting down its Google+ network early, after a bug exposed millions of customers’ private data to application developers. The company, which already alerted customers that might have been impacted by the bug, aims to shut down the Google+ network in April.

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Samsung Announces The Galaxy Fold: The First Folding Display Smartphone

Samsung has unveiled the its first ever folding smartphone – the Galaxy Fold.

Today’s at Samsung’s Unpacked launch event in San Francisco, alongside the much awaited Galaxy S10 line-up of phones, the company has revealed its first ever folding smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Fold   Galaxy Fold SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 
1x Kryo 485 (CA76) @ 2.84GHz
3x Kryo 485 (CA76) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 (CA55) @ 1.80GHz

Adreno 640

Display Main Display:
7.3″ 2048 x 1536 Foldable Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3)

Cover display:
4.6″ 1680 x 720 Super AMOLED (21:9)

Dimensions thick RAM 12GB LPDDR4X NAND 512GB UFS3.0 Battery 4380mAh  (16.86Wh) Front Camera Cover Camera:
10MP f/2.2 “Selfie camera”

Front camera:
10MP f/1.9 4K video recording

Front camera:
8MP, f/2.2
Dual Pixel PDAF
“Live focus”

Primary Rear Camera 77° Regular Angle
12MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PDAF

Tri-stack CMOS Sensor (Embedded DRAM),
4K60, 1080p240, 720p960 high-speed recording

Adjustable aperture f/1.5 or f/2.4
OIS, auto HDR, LED flash

Secondary Rear Camera 123° Wide Angle
16MP 1.0µm f/2.2 Tertiary Rear Camera 45° / Telephoto lens 2x zoom
12MP 1.0µm f/2.4,
OIS SIM Size maybe? Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MU-MIMO, BT 5.0 LE,
NFC, GPS/Glonass/Galileo/BDS Connectivity USB Type-C, 3.5mm headset Features it folds Launch OS Android 9.0 Launch Price $1980 / 2000€

The Galaxy Fold includes the same high-performance innards as the Galaxy S10.


The key feature of the phone is its dual-screen design: a 4.6” cover display, and a foldable 7.3” main screen. Samsung has put a lot of engineering into the folding design, especially on the mechanical hinge which had to be extremely durable in its implementation.

Samsung’s software is said to be optimised for seamless application switching between the cover display and the main foldable display. Samsung further demonstrated three-way app multi-tasking, taking advantage of the larger screen.

In the presentation event, the phone looked relatively rough in its design, seemingly twice as thick as a regular phone when folded.

Samsung’s pricing for the novelty model is also quite shocking, coming in at $1980/2000€.

Asher Bohbot in impassioned defence of EOH at company AGM

EOH chairman Asher Bohbot

Amid a crisis that has seen shares in EOH tank after allegations of corruption so serious that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may now be investigating, outgoing chairman Asher Bohbot on Wednesday gave an impassioned speech in defence of the troubled company he founded more than two decades ago.

Analysts and investors applauded and offered hearty handshakes at the company’s AGM, where Bohbot appealed for people not to judge 11 495 employees badly just because of a few bad apples. This phenomenon of collective punishment was “totally and utterly irrational”, he said.

The AGM took place on Wednesday afternoon as the company was drowning in a wave of negative publicity — with the shares plunging to an eight-year low.

We don’t want to have people around that the organisation suspects of anything (unethical)

Yet, instead of the fireworks that might have been expected, the AGM was more like an oasis of calm, with no one present mentioning the herd of elephants trashing the rooms outside. Resolutions were read out and approved. Polite applause greeted the confirmation of Stephen van Coller as the new CEO, a position he took last September. Then Bohbot looked around the room at those present at the AGM at EOH’s Bedfordview, Johannesburg campus and launched into an at times emotional defence of a business facing the most severe crisis in its history.

“This business was created and conceived with love, care and wanting to do good for our society. Our purpose is to be a force for good,” he said.

‘Decent people’

The company’s knowledge, skills and technologies enabled South Africa’s economy, because its solutions are entrenched in more than 90 of the country’s top 100 companies, he said. “Our people get up in the morning and seek ways to add value to our customers. The culture of the business, which was formed over 21 years ago, is strong, it’s healthy and driven by people thinking — decent people.”

But the past 18-24 months have been exceptionally tough for EOH, with allegations of wrongdoing swirling around various government contracts. That all came to a head this week when TechCentral broke the news that a whistle-blower had alerted Microsoft to massively inflated fees allegedly being added to a software deal with South Africa’s department of defence. Microsoft ended its relationship with EOH’s Mthombo subsidiary, and the SEC may now be investigating Microsoft under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. An SEC spokesman declined to comment when contacted by TechCentral this week. EOH shares plunged and law firm ENSafrica is now reviewing all EOH contracts with public-sector entities in the past five years.

Before this latest scandal, the company had already made a move to stronger governance by appointing Van Coller, choosing him for his background in banking, a sector Bohbot described as having the highest levels of governance. “Stephen wants to be more religious than the Pope,” he joked. It also hired Megan Pydigadu as the new financial director for her

The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019 Live Blog (Starts at 2pm ET/19:00 UTC)

01:38PM EST – I’m here at the London venue for Samsung’s global Galaxy Unpacked event. Samsung’s annual gathering for flagship smartphone news, we’ll be seeing the eagerly awaited (and widely leaked) Samsung Galaxy S10 series of phones. And maybe a few other surprises along the way?

01:39PM EST – Samsung’s official event is in San Francisco, and London is the satellite event. Luckily, I live close enough to attend this one 🙂

01:39PM EST – We’re only a few days away from Mobile World Congress, the normal venue to launch these devices, in Barcelona. It does mean that there are journalists either going to SF or London and then flying on to Barcelona in order to cover everything

01:40PM EST – If the logos and images haven’t given the game away, Samsung looks set to announce its Galaxy S10 line of products for 2019

01:41PM EST – If previous years are any indication, we’ll see US variants with Qualcomm chips and the rest of the world with Exynos

01:43PM EST – We’re expecting some hands on-time with devices after the presentation

01:43PM EST – About 15 minutes or so until go time

01:48PM EST – Just under 1000 people here at the London event

01:50PM EST – 10 minutes to go, music has just changed

01:50PM EST – new video on the screen

01:50PM EST – I can’t read Korean though

01:51PM EST – ‘The Future Unfolds’

01:55PM EST – Show will begin shortly

01:56PM EST – It looks like there are some UK specific speakers here

01:57PM EST – I’ve seen Arm floating around

01:59PM EST – Looks like Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm, is at the SF event. He just tweeted #5G is here

01:59PM ESThttps://twitter.com/cristianoamon/status/1098295453278298112

02:01PM EST – Legal slide shown for 3 seconds, over 400 words on it

02:01PM EST – Here we go

02:01PM EST – 10 year Galaxy anniversary

02:01PM EST – Announcing a whole new world to mobile

02:01PM EST – ‘The Future Unfolds’

02:02PM EST – A folding phone

02:03PM EST – ‘We changed the shape of tomorrow’

02:03PM EST – Justin Denison to the stage

02:03PM EST – Galaxy Fold

02:04PM EST – Samsung is driven to invent breakthroughs

02:04PM EST – Our screen size is fundamentally limited, until now

02:04PM EST – A new dimension to your phone

02:04PM EST – It defies categories

02:04PM EST – A smartphone and a premium tablet in one package

02:04PM EST – folded, 4.2 inch display

02:04PM EST – 7.3 inch infinity flex display

02:05PM EST – Every element was redesigned from common smartphones

02:05PM EST – new hinge

02:05PM EST – 100k+ folds and unfolds

02:05PM EST – multiple locking gears are hidden

02:05PM EST – Four colors

02:06PM EST – Martian Green, Astro Blue

02:06PM EST – Personalise the hinge color

02:06PM EST – One of a kind

02:06PM EST – Two different screens

Epic Sues the Fyre Fest of ‘Fortnite’ Parties

By far the word I’ve used the most over the past few dumb years is “grift.” It just keeps popping up as folks try to scam each other more in more in increasingly dumb and elaborate ways. And then they keep getting away with it! The thing about grifters is they need to associate themselves, however illegitimately, with something actually good and cool and appealing. And one of the biggest coolest and most appealing things right now to a bunch of kids is Fortnite.

That why so many families unfortunately fell for Fortnite Live, a real grift of a failed gaming event in Norwich, England many folks compared to the hellish Fyre Festival you may have seen a documentary or two about.

But while Fyre Fest rightfully suckered a bunch of insufferable Instagram influencers out of money they already had too much of anyway, it’s much less funny to see British kids suffer just because they like flossing in a battle royale game. That why we won’t shed too many tears for Exciting Events, the folks behind Fortnite Live, as Epic Games sues them.

How bad was Fortnite Live? After paying to get in, kids then had to wait in long lines and pay again to play Fortnite, a free-to-play game, on a handful of PCs. Beyond playing the game in the saddest way possible you could also climb a sad small mountain, take some sad small archery lessons, ride some sad small go-karts, eat some sad food and crawl through a sad small tunnel made from an overturned trailer. And there was basically no Fortnite branding at all since Exciting Events didn’t actually have official licensing, a detail almost as tough to spot as the refund link on the event’s now-deleted Facebook page.

That last part is why Epic is pursuing legal action. This is the worst case scenario of people using your #brand without permission, they screw up and damage public perception. Exciting Events maintains Fortnite Live wasn’t so bad and even wanted to do it again. But because of the lawsuit the company will now “cease all trading activities immediately.”

As Fortnite continues being the biggest thing in the world, the grifts will surely keep coming. For more on Fortnite read about the legal troubles Epic is facing for ripping off famous dance moves and remember how the Infinity Blade absolutely broke the game.

NASA Volunteer Finds Coldest and Oldest Known White Dwarf Star With Strange Rings

In this illustration, an asteroid (bottom left) breaks apart under the powerful gravity of LSPM J0207+3331, the oldest, coldest white dwarf known to be surrounded by a ring of dusty debris. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger)

A citizen scientist has found the oldest and coldest known white dwarf — an Earth-sized remnant of a Sun-like star that has died — encircled by strange dust and debris, according to NASA.

Astronomers suspect this could be the first known white dwarf with multiple dust rings.

The star, named J0207+3331 (or J0207, for short), was discovered by a volunteer working with the NASA-led Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, and is forcing researchers to reconsider models of planetary systems and could help scientists learn about the distant future of our solar system.

“This white dwarf is so old that whatever process is feeding material into its rings must operate on billion-year timescales,” said John Debes, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “Most of the models scientists have created to explain rings around white dwarfs only work well up to around 100 million years, so this star is really challenging our assumptions of how planetary systems evolve.”

The findings are described in a paper published in the Feb. 19 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

J0207 is located around 145 light-years away in the constellation Capricornus, NASA said in a statement. White dwarfs slowly cool as they age, and Debes’ team calculated J0207 is about 3 billion years old based on a temperature just over 10,500 degrees Fahrenheit (5,800 degrees Celsius).

The animation shows a ‘flipbook’ of images containing the newly discovered ring-bearing white dwarf J0207 (circled).
(Credit: Backyard Worlds: Planet 9/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

A strong infrared signal picked up by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission — which mapped the entire sky in infrared light — suggested the presence of dust, making J0207 the oldest and coldest white dwarf with dust yet known. Previously, dust disks and rings had only been observed surrounding white dwarfs about one-third of J0207’s age.

Melina Thévenot, a co-author and citizen scientist in Germany working with the project, initially thought the infrared signal was bad data. She was searching through the European Space Agency’s Gaia archives for brown dwarfs, objects too large to be planets and too small to be stars, when she noticed J0207.

When Thévenot looked at the source in the WISE infrared data, it was too bright and too far away to be a brown dwarf. Thévenot passed her findings along to the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 team. Debes and Kuchner contacted collaborator Adam Burgasser at the University of California, San Diego to obtain follow-up observations with the Keck II telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The Keck observations helped confirm J0207’s record-setting properties.

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This ‘Virgin’ Stickleback Fish Mysteriously Fertilized Its Own Eggs

Scientists just discovered a “virgin” stickleback fish that produced offspring after mysteriously fertilizing her own eggs.

The fish, which was called “Mary,” was collected by University of Nottingham scientists on an expedition to the Outer Hebrides near Scotland, an area known for its wild stickleback population, said a University of Nottingham press release. The team, which published their research in Scientific Reports on Wednesday, found that “Mary” was a rare fish that experienced internal fertilization and baby development inside a normally egg-laying species.

Solving the mystery of a ‘fishy’ virgin birth – Dr Laura Dean @UoNLifeSci tells the story of Mary the amazing stickleback and a fascinating scientific discovery https://t.co/BNXp3texwc pic.twitter.com/D8ibqlcZlv

— UoN Press Office (@UoNPressOffice) February 20, 2019

Gasterosteus aculeatus, also known as the three-spined stickleback fish, has an interesting reproduction process: A male stickleback builds a nest and performs a zig-zag dance to lure a female stickleback to lay her eggs inside the small space. Next, the male stickleback chases the female stickleback away, so he can fertilize the cluster of eggs. The make stickleback then serves as a bodyguard and caretaker for the eggs by fanning them with his fins until they hatch.

“Mary” didn’t have this same experience: The scientists said that her strange pregnancy was “egg-bound” and that her offspring would die if they didn’t take proper action. The team decided to put “Mary” to sleep and deliver the almost-complete embryos via C-section. Fifty-four embryos were delivered in the process, and nearly 20 have grown to adulthood in the aquaria at the University of Nottingham.

One of Mary’s offspring in the aquarium at the School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham. (Photo Credit: Dr. Laura Dean/University of Nottingham)

“We were astounded at what we found when we examined “Mary” in our lab in the Hebrides. She looked like an ordinary egg-bound fish, so we couldn’t believe it when we found she had almost completely developed embryos inside her ovaries,” said Dr. Laura Dean from the University of Nottingham. “This is pretty much unheard of in an egg-laying species.”

Mary’s situation is unusual, considering two scenarios can lead to abnormal reproduction in fish: Parthenogenesis, where the fish makes a clone of itself, and if the fish is a hermaphrodite with both female and male sex organs. When both of these causes were ruled out by the team, they conducted additional genetic testing and found that Mary’s offspring had a father.

Scientists @UoNLifeSci solve mystery of a fish called Mary’s ‘virgin’ birth https://t.co/yHblqvvLfc 🐟 pic.twitter.com/VqMhrl1d0N

— UoN Press Office (@UoNPressOffice) February 20, 2019

“Our theory is that somehow sperm had got into the fish, fertilized the eggs, and they developed into normal two-parent embryos. What has probably happened is that she has gone into a nest to lay her eggs, where another female had already laid her eggs, which had been covered with sperm by a male stickleback,” Dr. Dean added. “Somehow some of the sperm in the nest must have got into “Mary,”

Marvel’s ‘Wolverine’ Podcast Gets Second Season in March

There are so many ways to experience superhero stories these days. You can watch them in movie theaters. You can follow them on television. You can sign up for their adventures on streaming services. You can be old-school and crack open a comic book. And last year Marvel proved you can even listen to them as scripted podcasts with Wolverine: The Long Night, a compelling blend of pulpy radio melodrama and modern true-crime mystery fans of audio entertainment can’t get enough of.

Writer Benjamin Percy teased that first season as just the start of a Marvel Podcast Universe. And next month that universe gets even bigger with season two, Wolverine: The Lost Trail, premiering March 25.

What was so cool about The Long Night is that it kept Wolverine as this sort of ghost cowboy in an otherwise realistic Alaskan world. It worked well with the intimacy but also distance you had only listening to the story, not seeing it. Fantastical X-Men elements were introduced slowly but steadily.

The Long Trail can’t really pull off that same trick again now that we’re deeper into the plot, so from the sound of things it’s leaning further into familiar comic book elements. Wolverine, once again played by Richard Armitage, journeys to New Orleans to find an ex-lover. And he’ll encounter powerful famous X-Men characters like Mastermind, agents of Weapon X, and of course Gambit (played by Bill Heck, not Channing Tatum). Plus there’s an orphaned mutant child Logan has to take care of. Classic X-Men stuff.

Wolverine: The Long Trail premieres exclusively on Stitcher Premium on March 25. If you need to catch up though season one is available for free on a variety of podcast services. They’re even turning it into a comic book, in case your imagination needs some help. In the meantime, check out our ideas for some other Marvel podcasts. And here’s our Wolverine gift guide.

‘The Gifted’ Season 2, Episode 15 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For

Well, last week ripped our heart out with the death of Blink (noooo, she was my favorite!), and this episode made sure the wound stayed open. The opening flashback isn’t a years-ago parallel to the events of this episode. It’s from two months ago. A tender moment between Thunderbird and Blink. From the moment he convinced her to stay. Jeez, they really had to make it hurt. More importantly, it featured Thunderbird reassuring her that he believed Lorna would return. That she’d see how terrible the inner circle was. Well, the latter happened. And with Reeva closing in, Lorna’s return to the Underground is inevitable.

For now though, Thunderbird is angry and in pain. He lashes out at Erg, trying to bait him into using his power against him. Erg nearly does too, until the little girl stops him from murdering a fellow mutant. It’s really the only rational thing going on right now. For everyone else, the world has been thrown into chaos. The Underground is trying to find space for all the Morlock refugees. A task Eclipse has to pull away from to deal with a grieving John. To make matters worse, after the Purifiers massacred the Morlocks, Reeva is ready to enact the next phase of her plan. She plans to send her team to destroy government buildings.

At least one thing goes right. While Reid is checking out the area Thunderbird’s having his crisis in, he runs into Ted Wilson. He’s initially able to convince him that he’s not a mutant, but the stress of the situation sets his powers off. Before Wilson can react, Reid grabs his gun, turning it to ashes. When Wilson threatens to wipe out all mutants, Reid grabs hold of his neck and does the same to him. Reid looks like he feels guilty, but it’s about time this racist cop got his.

Lowery Brown and Stephen Moyer (Cr: Annette Brown/FOX.)

Reid and Eclipse convince Thunderbird to come back with them, rather than wait for Purifiers and/or cops to take him out. Even though he’s able to calm down a bit, he still can’t use his powers. Anytime he tries to track anyone, he just sees Clarice. That’s going to make finding Lauren and Kate, still on the run from the cops they shot at last week, a little harder. They resort to the old-fashioned way of using a police scanner. And hey, it’s a little slow, but it works. They come across a large police response and narrow down which building Kate and Lauren are holed up in. They find the one unguarded brick wall, meaning Reid has to break it down on command. I have to say, this particular arc was handled pretty well this season. It’s been fun to watch Reid, little by little, accept and learn to control his mutant powers. Here, it comes to its logical conclusion, with Eclipse giving Reid an impromptu lesson right when he needs it most. With the Strucker family mostly