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Three days are remaining in this year’s WWDC, and the pulse of rumor mill is running high. Since yesterday even more leaks have started to come out about iPhone 8, the gadget that’ll be the cynosure of entire WWDC keynote address. The latest leaks have given us enough idea about the device that now we can guess to some extent what the next iPhone will look like. So let’s take a look on it:

A Bigger 5.8-inch Display With Slim Bezels.

Benjamin Geskin, who is well known in the circles of rumor mill, recently tweeted an image showing schematics of iPhone 8. The photo shows what iPhone 8’s display may look like from a size and shape perspective. It suggests that we may see a 5.66-inch display with rounded edges, which upon accurate measurement will come down to nearly 5.8 inches. This is in-line with other leaks as well, which had previously suggested that iPhone 8 may come with a 5.8 inch display.

View image on Twitter

Besides that another major thing that becomes clear from the image is that the bezels of this device will be very slim. So slim that it can come close to the so called edge-to-edge displays. It may not be perfectly edge-to-edge, but pretty close to that.

A Step Forward in Everything – Including Size.

Another image leaked by the same user on Twitter gives an even more accurate idea of how large and thick the next iPhone(s) will be. The image shows iPhone 8 stacked in the middle of iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone 8 size comparison

As you can see in the image, it’s a bit larger and thicker than its predecessor. The impact of this change on the weight of device remains to be seen.

And This One is Disappointing – Touch ID Sensor on Back!

TouchID sensor on back

While this is extremely unlikely to happen, some images that appeared on iPhoneros suggest that Apple has, for some bizarre reason, slapped the TouchID sensor on the back of iPhone 8. This rumor had come to light sometime before as well, but then it went away as news came that sensor will be hidden in the screen instead (which sounds like a very cool thing). But now these images have come out to support that rumor again… and we wish that this particular rumor turns out to be fake. No Apple fan wants a TouchID scanner on back – literally none! It’ll be a step backwards, and we’re sure that Apple also knows that.

So, A Bigger and Thicker iPhone is In the Making.

If these rumors turn out to be true, iPhone 8 will be a bit bigger, thicker and more cool than ever, especially if TouchID sensor is hidden under the display. Same can be said regarding iPhone 8 as well. But for now let’s do just one thing – pray that Apple doesn’t engineer a TouchID sensor in the back of this otherwise awesome device.

For more details keep checking out HiTechWiki, because we’ll be bringing you every update about this device. By Ashish Bhatnagar

It turns out your name is written all over your face.

Have you ever met someone, discovered their name is Jennifer, and thought to yourself, "Yeah, you really look like a Jennifer."

If so, new research backs you up.

According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a person's facial features actually become those we associate with their particular name. That's right--you actually grow into your name.

Here's how the study worked: Researchers out of Hebrew University used volunteer participants from France and Israel. Each person was shown photos of different people and asked to guess that person's name (from a list of five).

It turned out people were able to guess the correct name far more often than they would have done by chance. The random chance for getting it right is 20 percent; study participants nailed it a full 35 percent of the time.

Significantly, the study only worked on those who shared a culture. That is, French people were unable to select the "right" name for Israelis and vice versa. Israelis are apparently clueless as to what a Jacques looks like, and the French know nothing about a typical Aviv's facial structure.

As it turns out, there's precedent for this kind of research. Previous studies have established that in the U.S., you'll view a man named Scott as more popular than one named Herman. You'll see a Katherine as more successful than a Bonnie. And you'll picture Bob as having a rounder face than Tim.

Not only that, but the new research team was able to repeat their test with computers. They showed machines 1,000 pictures of women named Samantha, and 1,000 named Barbara. When shown 400 pictures without a name, the algorithm picked the correct name more often than by chance.

This last part is perhaps the most compelling in terms of the study's implications: that over time, we really do start to "look like" our names.

According to the study authors, "Our given name is our very first social tagging. Each name has associated characteristics, behaviors, and ... a prototypical facial appearance such that we have a shared representation for the 'right' look associated with each name."

Thus over time, a Bertha will get a pudgier face, a Troy a stronger jawline.

The research also begs the question: What else is associated with our names? As lead study author, Yonat Zwebne, puts it, "If other people expect from you certain things, you may eventually fulfill their expectations."

When naming a baby, then, it's worth pondering what the expectations would be of a Janelle, or a Kevin, or a Bernice.

One study author concludes, "If a name can influence appearance, it can affect many other things ... this research opens an important direction that may suggest how parents should consider better the names they give their children."


"It's not how big your pencil is; it's how you write your name." - Dave Mustaine

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

As we edge closer to the expected introduction of the iPhone 8, two big and interrelated questions have come to the fore.

First, has Apple figured out how to embed its Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the phone's display? And second, can the company (and its suppliers) implement this new technology in time to deliver the 10th anniversary edition model on schedule in early September?


Opposing viewpoints are driving a blitz of rumors on this topic. In the optimist camp, there is Chinese site Economic Daily News (whose reports are often publicized by DigiTimes). EDN says Apple and its suppliers have resolved any potential Touch ID issues and are right where they want to be -- preparing to ramp up production in June, with every intention of delivering millions of new iPhones in early September. (Since the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012, Apple has delivered all major introductions of its flagship product in September.)

And in the other, more crowded, corner -- the naysayers. These include veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a handful of analyst firms, and the blog Mac Otakara, all of whom are reporting variations on one theme: Apple has been working to integrate this technology into the next iPhone; the process been more difficult than was anticipated; and, as a result, the usual September rollout is in doubt.

The theories about Apple's potential contingency plans, including a delayed or phased release, are detailed below. For now, there's one thing we feel very confident about: the iPhone updates made in March were not the main event for 2017. All the signs point to a major redesign coming later this year. And as we move ever closer to the introduction of the iPhone 8, we'll be assembling the most significant rumors below.

Specs we might see on the iPhone 8

  • Three new models including two incremental "S" upgrades plus an all-new iPhone 8
  • Home button/Touch ID embedded in display or located on back
  • New Touch ID featuring face or iris scanning
  • Curved, edge-to-edge OLED display with True Tone technology, possibly with Ion-X glass
  • Facial recognition via LG's new 3D sensor technology
  • AirPods come included
  • Wireless charging
  • Dual-lens camera, possibly in a vertical configuration and/or with AR capabilities
  • Support for the Apple Pencil
  • USB-C replacing Apple's Lightning connector
  • Enhanced water resistance
  • Higher quality earpiece for louder, clearer audio
  • Apple's next-generation processor (the A10X or A11)
  • Stainless steel and glass body
  • Upgraded storage starting at 64GB and 3GB of RAM
  • Intel or Qualcomm modem
  • Priced between $850 and $1,099

The iPhone... when?

We've grown accustomed to seeing a new iPhone every fall. But an expanding chorus of sources is casting doubt on Apple's ability to deliver this September. In recent weeks, there has been a steady stream of reports about manufacturing issues in Apple's supply chain related to the "significant hardware upgrades" the company has planned for the iPhone 8.

These rumors are driving multiple theories. Some of the scenarios in play include a October or November launch, an announcement in September followed by "severe shortages" of product, and deliveries delayed until later in the fall. There's also a credible story circulating that Apple will make a phased rollout -- that is, a launch of the "S" series editions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in September, with the big iPhone 8 debut coming a month or two later.

It's worth restating that that there are also reports that suggest that Apple is right on schedule. And, of course, officially, we have no idea when Apple will drop the iPhone 8. Could the company shock us with an introduction at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in a few weeks? Unlikely -- though it sounds like we could see new MacBooks and MacBook Pros and even a new iPad there.

The iPhone... what?

For now, we're calling it the iPhone 8, though we don't know officially what the company will call it. As seen most recently with the new iPad -- with the iPad Air 2 succeeded by the iPad -- Apple may take a freewheeling approach to nomenclature.

It does seem likely that the company will offer up an iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus -- updated versions of the current models -- as less expensive alternatives to the next generation flagship. For the 10th anniversary model itself, however, anything is possible. The iPhone 8 is the conservative bet but we've seen rumors about an iPhone 10; an iPhone X; and the offbeat iPhone Edition, seemingly inspired by the premium Apple Watch Edition.

Lots of potential changes to the display

After months of debate and conflicting reports, there appears to be one area of consensus: at least one new iPhone model will have an OLED display. (The iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, according to the rumors, are more likely to stick with current LCD technology.)

The Wall Street Journal and Nikkei Asian Review are predicting that Apple will give the iPhone 8 a curved OLED panel manufactured by Samsung. Purported documentation published by /LEAKS appears to suggest that the display could be made of Ion-X glass, like the Apple Watch.

And it's this new display technology -- new for Apple, Samsung has been using it for years -- that could be one of the major factors potentially pushing back the release of the iPhone. Bloomberg (and others) have published reports that Apple is testing a version of the iPhone 8 that features a screen that "covers almost the entire front of the device." Which leads one to wonder...


What's up with the home button?

The nature and location of the iPhone 8's home button and optical fingerprint scanner is a hot topic. The latest buzz is that Apple could move it to the back of the phone, as shown in alleged render images leaked on Chinese site Weibo (via /LEAKS) and on Twitter by Apple leaker Sonny Dickson. Analyst firm CLSA has also gotten in on the action, suggesting that there is a "high chance" that Apple will locate the scanner on the back of the iPhone, according to its supply chain sources.


It's also possible that Apple could ditch the home button altogether, following in the footsteps of Samsung with its Galaxy S8. But the most interesting scenario is that Apple has figured out some way to embed or integrate it directly into the display. Which brings us to...

Touch ID 2.0

Today, Apple's Touch ID authentication protocol uses a fingerprint reader embedded in the home button. Over the past few months, there have been multiple reports that Apple has been working to integrate Touch ID into the iPhone 8's new OLED display -- and is running into big problems. According to analysts, the crux of the issue involves embedding a virtual home button and optical fingerprint sensor into the new full-screen OLED panel.

Economic Daily News reports (via MacRumors) that Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company says the company has "finalized a solution." That noted, there are several interesting theories about what Apple might do if this manufacturing process doesn't coalesce.

These range from relocating Touch ID to the back of the phone to eliminating Touch ID to, again, delaying the iPhone 8 launch altogether. But there's also another possibility: that the phone could leverage an entirely new (for Apple) paradigm for authentication that's rumored to be in development.

Benjamin Geskin's render of the iPhone 8

A render of the iPhone 8 with a pair of front-facing cameras and sensors.Benjamin Geskin

Face ID?

According to a report from The Korea Economic Daily, LG will provide 3D facial recognition technology for the iPhone 8. The article suggests that the new technology could be used for "biometric" identification. So it's plausible that Apple could use this new capability, which would ostensibly use the iPhone 8's new front lens array, to replace the fingerprint sensor as the primary interface for user authentication.

New body

The majority of images of cases, renders, and molds that have appeared so far show an iPhone 8 that, size-wise, sits between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It's worth noting that the iPhone 8's display, rumored to extend from edge to edge, would likely be more comparable with that of the 7 Plus.

In terms of materials, one of Apple's prototypes features a combination of curved glass and stainless steel, according to Bloomberg. This corroborates earlier rumors (reported by DigiTimes and Nikkei Asian Review) suggesting that the company might replace the traditional aluminum iPhone design with a glass and steel body. Previous rumors about the possibility of a ceramic body seem to have faded out.

Enhanced audio

According to JPMorgan (as reported by MacRumors), Apple may equip the iPhone 8 with an "enhanced receiver," which is housed within the slit on the front of the phone where you put your ear during calls. This upgrade would ostensibly deliver louder, clearer audio as well as superior water-proofing (more on that below).


Today, the AirPods are a $159 accessory. Could Apple included them for free with the iPhone 8?Apple

AirPods included

JPMorgan has also postulated that the iPhone 8 will come with AirPods included. These Bluetooth-enabled headphones currently sell as a $159 accessory. And so this one is a stretch. But if Apple prices the new phone high enough, there could be margin enough to make it happen. Which brings us to...

Price Point

This remains way up in the air. Sources ranging from Morgan Stanley to Fast Company to, most recently, Goldman Sachs are talking about an iPhone 8 that could cost more than $1,000. A UBS analyst has theorizedthat the 64GB entry-level model would start at $850 -- just like the new Samsung Galaxy S8+ -- and that the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus would cost $649 and $749, respectively.

Gigabit LTE

One area in which the iPhone 8 may end up trailing the Galaxy S8 is cellular network speed. The Samsung phone features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor or, in some markets, Samsung's own Exynos 8895 chip -- both of which support Gigabit LTE. According to CNET's Roger Cheng, Apple uses Qualcomm and Intel modems -- and, at the moment, the Intel version can't deliver Gigabit LTE speed. This could force Apple to slow down the Qualcomm version to ensure all iPhones are on the same footing.

USB-C vs. Lightning

Countering a Wall Street Journal report that Apple would go with a USB-C port for the iPhone 8, a Barclays analyst (reported by MacRumors) has suggested that Apple will stick with its Lightning connector -- and include a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter -- for the next phone.

Wireless charging


Reuters reports that there are multiple groups at Apple working on technology for an iPhone that supports wireless charging. And we are seeing more leaked schematic drawings that seem to suggest that wireless charging could be a real thing.

In the past, The Verge has reported that Apple has been staffing up on wireless-charging experts. The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Foxconn, one of Apple's main manufacturing partners, is making wireless charging modules. Though Apple would likely make this feature available on the premium iPhone 8, MacRumors reports that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that all new iPhone models -- that would include the "S" series, presumably -- will get it.

Enhanced waterproofing

Apple could walk away from the Lightning port and not add a USB-C connection, of course, which would make the iPhone more resistant to water. On that note, the Korea Herald reports that the next iPhone will have a higher water resistance rating -- IP68 compared with the current generation's IP67, for those keeping score.

Vertical cameras and AR

Nearly every "leaked" image, including the one here published by OnLeaks, shows the iPhone 8 with two cameras in a vertical configuration; this one appears to show an LED flash in the middle. And if the iPhone does come with those LG 3D sensors, they would almost certainly also support augmented reality applications.

More storage

Apple may dump its 32GB model and offer a 64GB and 256GB model, according to TrendForce; the report also suggests that the company will boost the amount of RAM to 3GB. This incremental bump would follow the recent precedent of Apple ditching its dreaded entry-level model (formerly 16GB) when it released the iPhone 7.


Is True Tone coming to the iPhone?Apple

Mood lighting

And Barclays analysts have predicted that all three forthcoming iPhones -- the 7S, 7S Plus, and iPhone 8 -- will come equipped with Apple's True Tone technology, which adjusts display settings for ambient lighting conditions, and which is currently featured on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. (The next edition of the iPad Pro is also rumored to have a True Tone display.)

Bringing the GPU in house

Apple is developing its own graphics chips to be used in future versions of products including the iPhone. But the timeframe for phasing out its current supplier is 15 to 24 months, so it's unlikely that an Apple-manufactured GPU will make it into the next iPhone. We're probably looking at 2018 or 2019 for this one.

And what about the iPhone 9?

From the outer frontier of the iPhone hype cycle, The Bell (via Korean site The Investor) reports that Apple will supersize the next generation, with the iPhone 9 featuring two variations with an OLED display -- a 5.28-inch model and a 6.46-inch model.

Source: This article was published cnet.com

Google's computer vision technology is now so good it's able to find specific objects within a video or group of videos.

During the company's Cloud Next event in San Francisco Wednesday, Google unveiled its new Cloud Video Intelligence API.  The tool, which is currently available to developers in a closed beta, analyzes videos to make their contents searchable.

With the tool, you can search one or more videos using keywords and get back a list of results showing you where in the video you can find the objects relevant to your search terms. You can see a bit of Google's demo of the software onstage at Cloud Next in the video below.

Google just showed off a new Video Intelligence API that lets you search for objects within video clips, here's an bit of the demo 

Google says the Video Intelligence API allows developers to take advantage of Google video search capabilities even if they don't have a background in machine learning or computer vision. "This API is for large media organizations and consumer technology companies, who want to build their media catalogs or find easy ways to manage crowd-sourced content," Google's Chief Scientist Fei-Fei Li wrote in a blog post.  


Though the Video Intelligence API is limited to those who are part of the beta for now, the tool could have far-reaching implications. If Google were to bring it to YouTube, for example, the contents of the platform's 1 billion+ videos would become searchable, opening up far more possibilities in terms of discovery. Just imagine! Or, rather, just search for them.

Source: This article was published mashable.com By KARISSA BELL

Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.


1.  Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.


2.  Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.


3.  Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.


4.  Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.5-5.-Crossed-arms5.  Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

6-6.-Inconsistency6.  Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.7-7.-Exaggerated-nodding7.  Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.

8-Fidgeting-with-or-fixing-your-hair8. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.9-9.-Avoiding-eye-contact9.  Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

10-10.-Eye-contact-that’s-too-intense10.  Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.11-11.-Rolling-your-eyes11.  Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.

12-12.-Scowling12.  Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.13-13.-Weak-handshakes13. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.

14-14.-Clenched-fists14.  Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.15-15.-Getting-too-close15. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Source: This article was published 3.forbes.com

Thursday, 18 May 2017 08:57

Bing Makes it Easier to Find Chat Bots

Bing has released an update designed to make it easier to find chat bots for instant messaging platforms.

Searching for a command such as ‘travel bots’ will return a dedicated answer box where you can browse through chat bots for Facebook, Skype, Slack, and Telegram.

Bots can be added to messaging platforms directly from search results by clicking on the “Add bot” button.

Bing is piloting a test program which allows searchers to interact with chat bots on Bing itself. Searching for specific restaurants in the Seattle area can return a dedicated bot which you can chat with for more information about the restaurant.

The company says it will be expanding restaurant chat bots to more US metropolitan areas eventually.

Bing is also working on its own “InfoBot”, which taps into information from Wikipedia to answer questions. Multiple domains may be added in the future, such as webmd.com, stackoverflow.com, allrecipes.com and more.

With the Microsoft Bot Framework developers can design their own chat bots for Bing. Bots will have to be reviewed and approved before being made available to searchers.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal By Matt Southern

Ever have a mini panic attack because you couldn't remember where you parked your car? You may never have to live through that frustrating situation again, thanks to Google.

The company on Tuesday introduced a new Google Maps feature for iOS and Android that will help you remember where you parked.

On Android (pictured above), tap the blue dot and press "Save your parking" to add your spot to the map. From there, you'll see a label on the map identifying where you left your car. You can tap that label to add additional details like the exact spot number, an image of your parking spot, and the amount of time before the meter expires. The app will even give you a reminder 15 minutes before your meter expires, if you enter this information. You can also send your parking location to friends.

The experience is similar on iOS: just tap the blue dot and select "Set as parking location." From there, you can tap on the parking label to share it with friends or view photos of your parking area.

Google Maps for iOS also offers an automatic parking detection feature that should make things even easier, should you choose to set it up. Connect the app to your car using USB audio or Bluetooth and your parking spot will be automatically added to the map when you disconnect and exit the vehicle, Google Maps Product Manager Jeff Albertson explained in a blog post.

The update comes after Google in January introduced a new beta Maps feature that gives you a heads up about the parking situation near your destination, so you can be mentally prepared if parking is limited. The Google-owned traffic and navigation app Waze, meanwhile, has a "where to park" feature that can help you locate a spot, as well as a "where I parked" option.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com

What the hell is that thing?

If there is one thing social media teaches us today, it's not to leave naming rights up to the hive mind.

Move over Boaty McBoatface – a group of aurora enthusiasts have given a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon the name 'Steve', because ... well what else are we going to call a mysterious glowing light in the sky?

Before you assume Steve is named after Professor Hawking or the theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg, the Facebook group Alberta Aurora Chasers were instead inspired by a scene in the animated movie Over the Hedge, in which one of the characters gives a hedge that name to make it seem less scary.

Not that there is anything terrifying about this Steve –  a number of stunning images of the ribbon of flickering light in the northern hemisphere were shared on the Facebook group last year, considered by some of the members to be a proton aurora.

Just check out below how awesome Steve looks in all his glory.

SteveESA: Dave Markel

You might be familiar with the more 'normal' kinds of auroras, which are the flickering curtains of light in the skies above our planet's poles, caused by streams of charged particles channelled down by the Earth's magnetic field, where they bash into the atmosphere.

As electrons hit the different gases, we can see them emit different colours of light, producing what are colloquially called the Southern and Northern lights.

Protons can hit the gases as well, but while the electrons they bump loose can cause light to spill down, the wavelengths emitted by the proton collisions themselves aren't visible.

Physicist Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary in Canada understood this subtle difference, so wasn't convinced the pictures were of proton auroras. Steve had to be something else.

Combining information on the times and locations of Steve with data gathered by the ESA's Swarm magnetic field mission, Donovan began to piece together some of the phenomenon's unusual characteristics.

"As the satellite flew straight though Steve, data from the electric field instrument showed very clear changes," Donovan said.

"The temperature 300 kilometres (185 miles) above Earth's surface jumped by 3,000°C (5,400 degrees Fahrenheit) and the data revealed a 25 kilometre (15.5 mile) wide ribbon of gas flowing westwards at about 6 km/s (3.7 miles per second) compared to a speed of about 10 m/s (32.8 feet per second) either side of the ribbon."

Donovan told Gizmodo's George Dvorsky that while they have some idea about what might be causing the immense spike in temperature inside Steve, he and his colleagues are keeping the details under their hat until they publish.

Since the first images were posted, more than 50 new reports of Steve have been shared.

Check out the video below of some images of Steve posted by Aurorasaurus:

While this beautiful cousin to the aurora might be new to scientists, it's certainly not because it's a rare phenomenon.

"It turns out that Steve is actually remarkably common, but we hadn't noticed it before. It's thanks to ground-based observations, satellites, today's explosion of access to data and an army of citizen scientists joining forces to document it," says Donovan.Social media, amateur blogs, and dedicated citizen-science projects are providing researchers with observations and crowd-sourced mind-power like never before, allowing scientists to spot everything from new species to new planets.

Steve mightn't even be all that bad for a name – one of the Alberta Aurora Chasers group members even suggested it could become an acronym for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.

That's something we couldn't do quite so easily with Boaty McBoatface.

Source: This article was published sciencealert.com By MIKE MCRAE

Recently I handed over the keys to my email account to a service that promised to turn my spam-bloated inbox into a sparkling model of efficiency in just a few clicks. Unroll.me’s method of instant unsubscribing from newsletters and junk mail was “trusted by millions of happy users,” the site said, among them the “Scandal” actor Joshua Malina, who tweeted in 2014: “Your inbox will sing!” Plus, it was free. When a privacy policy popped up, I swatted away the legalese and tapped “continue.”

Last month, the true cost of Unroll.me was revealed: The service is owned by the market-research firm Slice Intelligence, and according to a report in The Times, while Unroll.me is cleaning up users’ inboxes, it’s also rifling through their trash. When Slice found digital ride receipts from Lyft in some users’ accounts, it sold the anonymized data off to Lyft’s ride-hailing rival, Uber.

Suddenly, some of Unroll.me’s trusting users were no longer so happy. One user filed a class-action lawsuit. In a blog post, Unroll​.me’s chief executive, Jojo Hedaya, wrote that it was “heartbreaking to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetize our free service.” He stressed “the importance of your privacy” and pledged to “do better.” But one of Unroll.me’s founders, Perri Chase, who is no longer with the company, took a different approach in her own post on the controversy. “Do you really care?” she wrote. “How exactly is this shocking?”

This Silicon Valley “good cop, bad cop” routine is familiar, and we spend our time surfing between these two modes of thought. Chase is right: We’ve come to understand that privacy is the currency of our online lives, paying for petty conveniences with bits of personal information. But we are blissfully ignorant of what that means. We don’t know what data is being bought and sold, because, well, that’s private. The evidence that flashes in front of our own eyes looks harmless enough: We search Google for a new pair of shoes, and for a time, sneakers follow us across the web, tempting us from every sidebar. But our information can also be used for matters of great public significance, in ways we’re barely capable of imagining.

Privacy costs often become clear only after they’ve already been paid

When I signed up for Unroll.me, I couldn’t predict that my emails might be strategic documents for a power-hungry company in its quest for total road domination. Such privacy costs often become clear only after they’ve already been paid. Sometimes a private citizen is caught up in a viral moment and learns that a great deal of information about him or her exists online, just waiting to be splashed across the news — like the guy in the red sweater who, after asking a question in a presidential debate, had his Reddit porn comments revealed.

But our digital dossiers extend well beyond the individual pieces of information we know are online somewhere; they now include stuff about us that can be surmised only through studying our patterns of behavior. The psychologist and data scientist Michal Kosinski has found that seemingly mundane activity — like the brands and celebrities people “like” on Facebook — can be leveraged to reliably predict, among other things, intelligence, personality traits and politics. After our most recent presidential election, the company Cambridge Analytica boasted that its techniques were “instrumental in identifying supporters, persuading undecided voters and driving turnout to the polls” on Donald Trump’s behalf. All these little actions we think of as our “private” business are actually data points that can be aggregated and wielded to manipulate our world.

Years ago, in 2009, the law professor Paul Ohm warned that the growing dominance of Big Data could create a “database of ruin” that would someday connect all people to compromising information about their lives. “In the absence of intervention,” he later wrote, “soon companies will know things about us that we do not even know about ourselves.” Or as the social scientist and Times contributor Zeynep Tufekci said in a recent talk: “People can’t think like this: I didn’t disclose it, but it can be inferred about me.” When a peeping Tom looks between the blinds, it’s clear what has been revealed. But when a data firm cracks open our inboxes, we may never find out what it has learned.

Privacy has not always been seen as an asset. The ancient Greeks, for instance, distinguished between the public realm (“koinon”) and the private realm (“idion”). In contrast to those public citizens engaged in political life, humble private citizens were known as “idiotai,” a word that later evolved into “idiots.” Something similar is true of the English word “privacy.” As Hannah Arendt wrote in “The Human Condition,” privacy was once closely associated with “a state of being deprived of something, and even of the highest and most human of man’s capacities.” In the 17th century, the word “private” arose as a more politically correct replacement for “common,” which had taken on condescending overtones.

Privacy is increasingly seen not as a right but as a luxury good.

And yet somewhere along the way, privacy was recast as a necessity for cultivating the life of the mind. In George Orwell’s “1984,” the proles are spared a life of constant surveillance, while higher-ranking members of society are exposed to Big Brother’s watchful eye. The novel’s protagonist, Winston, begins to suspect that real freedom lies in those unwatched slums: “If there is hope,” he writes in his secret diary, “it lies in the proles.” In the influential 1967 book “Privacy and Freedom,” Alan Westin described privacy as having four functions: personal autonomy, emotional release, self-evaluation and intimate communication. This modern understanding of privacy as an intimate good grew up right alongside the technology that threatened to violate it. At the end of the 18th century, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protected Americans from physical searches of their bodies and homes. One hundred years later, technological advancements had legal minds thinking about a kind of mental privacy too: In an 1890 paper called “The Right to Privacy,” Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis cited “recent inventions and business methods” — including instant photography and tabloid gossip — that they claimed had “invaded the sacred precincts of private and domestic life.” They argued for what they called the right “to be let alone,” but also what they called “the right to one’s personality.”

Now that our privacy is worth something, every side of it is being monetized. We can either trade it for cheap services or shell out cash to protect it. It is increasingly seen not as a right but as a luxury good. When Congress recently voted to allow internet service providers to sell user data without users’ explicit consent, talk emerged of premium products that people could pay for to protect their browsing habits from sale. And if they couldn’t afford it? As one congressman told a concerned constituent, “Nobody’s got to use the internet.” Practically, though, everybody’s got to. Tech companies have laid claim to the public square: All of a sudden, we use Facebook to support candidates, organize protests and pose questions in debates. We’re essentially paying a data tax for participating in democracy.

The smartphone is an intimate device; we stare rapt into its bright light and stroke its smooth glass to coax out information and connect with others. It seems designed to help us achieve Westin’s functions of privacy, to enable emotional release and moments of passive reflection. We cradle it in bed, at dinner, on the toilet. Its pop-up privacy policies are annoying speed bumps in the otherwise instantaneous conjuring of desires. It feels like a private experience, when really it is everything but. How often have you shielded the contents of your screen from a stranger on the subway, or the partner next to you in bed, only to offer up your secrets to the data firm tracking everything you do?

The surveillance economy works on such information asymmetry: Data-mining companies know everything about us, but we know very little about what they know. And just as “privacy” has grown into an anxious buzzword, the powerful have co-opted it in order to maintain control over others and evade accountability. As we bargain away the amount of privacy that an ordinary person expects, we’ve also watched businesses and government figures grow ever more indignant about their own need to be left alone. Companies mandate nondisclosure agreements and demand out-of-court arbitration to better conceal their business practices. In 2013, Facebook revoked users’ ability to remain unsearchable on the site; meanwhile, its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was buying up four houses surrounding his Palo Alto home to preserve his own privacy. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, has defended President Trump’s secretive meetings at his personal golf clubs, saying he is “entitled to a bit of privacy,” and the administration has cut off public access to White House visitor logs, citing security risks and “privacy concerns.” When The New York Times reported that the president takes counsel from the Fox News host Sean Hannity, Hannity indignantly tweeted that his conversations were “PRIVATE.”

We’ve arrived at a place where public institutions and figures can be precious about their privacy in ways we’re continually deciding individual people can’t. Stepping into the White House is now considered more private than that weird rash you Googled. It’s a cynical inversion of the old association between private life and the lower class: These days, only the powerful can demand privacy.

Source : This article was published nytimes By AMANDA HESS

A SECRET document shows in scary detail how Facebook can exploit the insecurities of teenagers using the platform.

FACEBOOK has come under fire over revelations it is targeting potentially vulnerable youths who “need a confidence boost” to facilitate predatory advertising practices.

The allegation was revealed this morning by The Australian which obtained internal documents from the social media giant which reportedly show how Facebook can exploit the moods and insecurities of teenagers using the platform for the potential benefit of advertisers.

The confidential document dated this year detailed how by monitoring posts, comments and interactions on the site, Facebook can figure out when people as young as 14 feel “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”.

Such information gathered through a system dubbed sentiment analysis could be used by advertisers to target young Facebook users when they are potentially more vulnerable.

While Google is the king of the online advertising world, Facebook is the other major player which dominates the industry worth about $80 billion last year.

But Facebook is not one to rest on its laurels. The leaked document shows it has been honing the covert tools its uses to gain useful psychological insights on young Australian and New Zealanders in high school and tertiary education.

The social media services we use can derive immense insight and personal information about us and our moods from the way we use them, and arguably none is more fastidious in that regard than Facebook which harvests immense data on its users.

The secret document was put together by two Australian Facebook execs and includes information about when young people are likely to feel excited, reflective, as well as other emotions related to overcoming fears.

“Monday-Thursday is about building confidence; the weekend is for broadcasting achievements,” the document said, according to the report.

Facebook did not return attempts by news.com.au to comment on the issue but was quick to issue an apology and told The Australian that it will conduct an investigation into the matter, admitting it was inappropriate to target young children in such a way.

“The data on which this research is based was aggregated and presented consistent with applicable privacy and legal protections, including the removal of any personally identifiable information,” Facebook said in a statement issued to the newspaper.

However there is suggestion that the research could be in breach of Australian guidelines for advertising and marketing towards children.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose last month. Picture: Noah Berger
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose last month. Picture: Noah BergerSource:AP

Many commentators have suspected Facebook engaged in this sort of cynical exploitation of the data it gathers but the leaked document is scarce proof.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has not been shy about exploring ways it can manipulate the data it collects on users.

For one week in 2012, Facebook ran an experiment on some of its users in which it altered the algorithms it used determine which status updates appeared in the news feed of nearly 700,000 randomly selected users based on the post’s emotional content.

Posts were determined to be either negative or positive and Facebook wanted to see if it could make the selected group sad by showing them more negative posts in their feed. It deemed it could.

The results were published in a scientific journal but Facebook was criticised by those concerned about the potential of the company to engage in social engineering for commercial benefit. 

Facebook’s Data Use Policy warns users that the company “may use the information we receive about you … for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”

Currently information about your relationship status, location, age, number of friends and the manner and frequency with which you access the site is sold to advertisers. But according to the report, Facebook is also seeking to sell ads to users concerned with insights gleaned from posts such as those concerned with body confidence and losing weight.

Source : This article was published in news.com.au By Nick Whigham

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