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27 Apr 2017

FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

Simon Sharwood, The Register

FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

Debian's decided to shut down its public File Transfer Protocol (FTP) services, because hardly anybody uses them any more and they're hard to operate and maintain.

The reasons are pretty simple: Debian contributor Cedric Boutillier says "FTP servers have no support for caching or acceleration," which probably means Debian has to throw more hardware at FTP than is sensible. He also notes that "Most software implementations have stagnated and are awkward to use and configure," not least because "The protocol is inefficient and requires adding awkward kludges to firewalls and load-balancing daemons."

Posted in IT & Computing

26 Apr 2017

Smartphone-controlled designer cells could help keep diabetes in check

Emily Mullin, MIT Technology Review

Smartphone-controlled designer cells could help keep diabetes in check

Researchers used optogenetics and a mobile app to stimulate cells that were designed to produce insulin in diabetic mice.

Scientists in China have used a smartphone and a technique called optogenetics to precisely control cells to deliver insulin to diabetic mice. The approach could be used to continuously monitor blood glucose levels in human diabetics and automatically produce necessary insulin, a hormone that converts sugar from food into energy the body can use.

Posted in Medical

26 Apr 2017

Switching and Protecting Electronics in Battery-Powered Systems

Pinkesh Sachdev, EDN

Switching and Protecting Electronics in Battery-Powered Systems

Battery-powered electronics poses multiple challenges to the power system engineer. At a theoretical level, the battery related circuitry (before DC/DC conversion) may be divided into four functions: power selection, charging (for rechargeable batteries), monitoring and protection. Power selection prioritizes between the multiple power sources typically available in a battery-powered system, e.g., wall adapter, USB port and internal battery, whereas the charging circuit needs to be customized to the specific battery chemistry. Monitoring circuitry reports battery voltage, charge, and temperature status, which used alongside a battery protection circuit, ensures higher reliability. In this article, we will explore the features and benefits provided by a new micropower battery protection device, ideal for battery applications ranging from automotive, medical to consumer applications.

Posted in Electrical & Electronics

24 Apr 2017

Applications Of Machine Learning For Designers

Lassi Liikkanen, Smashing Magazine

Applications Of Machine Learning For Designers

As a designer, you will be facing more demands and opportunities to work with digital systems that embody machine learning. To have your say about how best to use it, you need a good understanding about its applications and related design patterns.

This article illustrates the power of machine learning through the applications of detection, prediction and generation. It gives six reasons why machine learning makes products and services better and introduces four design patterns relevant to such applications.

Posted in IT & Computing

24 Apr 2017

The next generation of jobs won't be made up of professions

Alina Dizik, BBC

The next generation of jobs won't be made up of professions

When Jean-Philippe Michel, an Ottawa-based career coach, works with secondary school students, he doesn't use the word profession. Neither does he focus on helping his young clients figure out what they want to be when they grow up--at least not directly.

For him, there's really no such thing as deciding on a profession to grow up into.

Rather than encouraging each person to choose a profession, say, architect or engineer, he works backwards from the skills that each student wants to acquire. So instead of saying, "I want to be a doctor", he'll aim to get students to talk about a goal, in this case "using empathy in a medical setting".

Posted in General

22 Apr 2017

What if we're living in a computer simulation?

Andrew Anthony, The Guardian

What if we're living in a computer simulation?

Virtual reality technology is making great advances, but it has also helped popularise a theory long debated by philosophers and now gaining supporters in Silicon Valley -- that the outside world is itself a simulation.

As Yuval Noah Harari argues in his book Sapiens, the ability to create binding fictions is what enabled us to become the most dominant species on the planet. And what are stories if not representations, or simulations, of reality?

Posted in IT & Computing

21 Apr 2017

Researchers build a microprocessor from flexible materials

Peter Sayer, Info World

Researchers build a microprocessor from flexible materials

It's a one-bit microprocessor with four instructions, but it could open the way to more flexible electronics.

Researchers have built a primitive microprocessor out of a two-dimensional material similar to graphene, the flexible conductive wonder material that some believe will revolutionize the design and manufacture of batteries, sensors and chips.

Two-dimensional materials have the benefit of flexibility, meaning that they can be incorporated more easily into wearable devices or connected sensors, and potentially making them less breakable: Picture a smartphone that bends rather than breaks if you drop it.

Posted in Electrical & Electronics

21 Apr 2017

Lilium's electric personal jet manages a vertical takeoff

Mariella Moon, Engadget

Lilium's electric personal jet manages a vertical takeoff

The Lilium jet may look like somebody's wacky concept of a futuristic aircraft that will never be able to fly, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It has recently completed a series of flight tests in Munich, Germany, proving that the first all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet is capable of taking to the skies. The company even released a video of Lilium's maiden flight, which you can watch after the break.

Posted in Aerospace

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