All posts by avanzar

Ruling gives FAA more power over drones than local governments

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Getty Images

When it comes to drone regulations, the FAA’s rules trump anything local governments conjure up. That’s what a federal court in Massachusetts has proven when it ruled in favor of a commercial drone owner who sued the city of Newton over its drone ordinance. Newton resident Michael Singer filed the lawsuit in a bid to eliminate some of the city’s rules that don’t align with the FAA’s, including having to register with every municipality it has to fly over and to maintain an altitude of 400 feet and above over private and Newton city property. Two of the rules he chose not to challenge prohibit operating drones in a reckless manner and the use of drones to spy on people.

Singer argued that having to register with every municipality would make flights impossible, since an unmanned flying vehicle could cross several for a trip that takes a few minutes. In addition, the FAA requires UAVs for businesses to fly under 400 feet. US District Judge William G. Young explained that “Newton’s choice to restrict any drone use below this altitude (400 feet) thus works to eliminate any drone use in the confines of the city, absent prior permission. This thwarts not only the FAA’s objectives, but also those of Congress for the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace.” Singer said the ruling “ensure[s] that the skies would remain open for new technology that would benefit society.”

Since we’re still figuring out which drone rules and regulations work, the judge’s decision could influence similar cases and even local authorities’ decisions regarding drone use in the future. Doug Johnson, Consumer Technology Association’s VP of Tech Policy, said the ruling “establishes a rock-solid affirmation that the federal government unequivocally holds jurisdiction over the drone industry.”

 

 

Jared Kushner uses private email for White House business

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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You don’t have to be a former presidential hopeful to draw heat over using private email for work. Politico has revealed that presidential senior adviser (not to mention son-in-law) Jared Kushner has been using a private email account to conduct White House business. He has used the account since December to discuss event planning, media coverage and “other subjects” with both key White House members and advisers, including former strategist Steve Bannon, ex-chief of staff Reince Priebus and National Economic Council leader Gary Cohn, among others. The account was set up in December as part of the transition, but it’s been in use well since President Trump took office.

Some of those involved messaged him first, including from their own private accounts.

An attorney for Kushner, Abbe Lowell, has been quick to acknowledge the ongoing use but is also downplaying its scope. Kushner has sent or received “fewer than 100 emails” between his personal account and White House officials, Lowell says. These “usually” included forwarded news stories and opinion pieces, and were typically started by someone sending a message to Kushner rather than the other way around. The lawyer says that Kushner is honoring the Presidential Records Act, which requires archiving all presidential correspondence (and related material), by forwarding messages to his government account.

The problem that it’s difficult to verify that this forwarding is taking place. It also reflects a tendency of current White House staff to rely much more on private messaging instead of government supplied accounts. Unlike past administrations, it could be much harder to keep a historical record if staff are regularly using private accounts. And while analogies between this and Clinton’s private email don’t fit all that well (Clinton was using a private email server for potentially sensitive correspondence), it’s hard to escape the irony of attacking a politician for using private email only to do that yourself.

 

 

Television with built-in Fire TV makes better use of your voice

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Engadget / Cherlynn Low

One of the Element Fire TV Edition set’s main hooks is clearly its Alexa voice control, so it stands to reason that the entire television stands to benefit the more you can use it, doesn’t it? Sure enough, Element is trotting out an update that makes better use of voice recognition. You can enter text into fields using your voice instead of the keyboard, which could take a lot of the pain out of filling out forms and certain search boxes. Also, you can rename inputs to more familiar terms and use Alexa to switch to them — you can specify that you’re jumping to your PS4 instead of “HDMI2.”

The upgrade isn’t all about verbal communication. Element went so far as to tweak the standard picture setting for higher contrast, particularly black levels, and adds customization for element like gamma and white balance. You can alter the image quality for individual inputs, too, and it’s possible to add individual channels to your favorites from the On Now row that shows what’s hot. These and the Alexa improvements won’t necessarily make you skip over a high-end set, but they could make Element’s unit a more tempting proposition if you’re on a budget.

 

 

Robots learn to walk naturally by understanding their bodies

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EPFL

The challenge with bipedal robots isn’t so much getting them to walk at all (although that’s sometimes a problem) as it is getting them to walk naturally. They tend to either step cautiously or quickly run into trouble. Swiss researchers think they can do better, though: they’re working on COMAN (Compliant Humanoid), a headless robot designed to master walking. The automaton is more graceful through a combination of more flexible, elastic joints and a control algorithm that helps the bot understand its own body.

COMAN is aware of the symmetries in its dynamics and structure, which helps it not only walk with a natural gait but carry objects, navigate uneven surfaces like stairs, and react to surprises. If you push the robot, for instance, it knows exactly where to place its foot so that it doesn’t tip over like some of its peers. And thanks to that added flexibility, it’s more likely to survive that rudeness.

The technology is a long way from reaching robots you can interact with. For one thing, these machines would need ‘heads’ or some other way of exploring the world on their own. They may be particularly clever when they arrive, though. The team is also exploring the possibility of teaching bipedal robots t coordinate in shared actions, such as carrying a table. You could eventually see moving robots that have no problems hauling your couch down a flight of stairs.

 

 

Ranveer Singh cut off his Padmavati beard for this reason…

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Ranveer Singh cut off his Padmavati beard for this reason...

Padmavati is hands down the most awaited film of 2017. Starring superstars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor is another one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dram magnum opuses.
 
The film is in the news everyday for all the right and wrong reasons. All the controversies aside, the first look of Deepika Padukone as Goddess Queen Padmavati had set the Internet on fiire. What’s more there is also a bisexual twist to it.
 
The latest update on the Padmavati front comes from Ranveer Singh himself. The actor who’s been sporting a heavy beard for almost a year now got rid of it a while back. But it’s for a reason. While interacting with the media at an event in Mumbai he said, “There are lots of expectations with ‘Padmavati’… Film is shaping up really well. I am very excited about the film. As of now, I shaved off my beard to shoot young Alauddin’s portion and I really miss my beard.”  
 
He further added, “Now slowly material will start to come. Deepika’s look has been launched then Shahid’s and my look will also be out and after that trailer of the film will get release.”
 
Padmavati is slated for a December 1 release.

Newton is going great at the box-office

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Newton is going great at the box-office!

2017 can be recorded as one of the worst years for Bollywood at the box-office. But one thing stood out stark – while big stars failed to give hits, it was the smaller budget films with good content that shone big and bright. 
 
Once such example is Newton starring Rajkumar Rao. The film opened to rave reviews but a mild day 1 at the box-office. 
 
It opened to an average Rs. 96 lakh. But as soon as news started pouring that it’s India’s offical entry to the Oscars, the Vworld of mouth spread like wildfire. 
 
It showed a massive jump, 162% to be precise on Saturday and minted around Rs. 2.52 crore making a total of Rs. 3.48 crore.
 
As far as today is concered, Sunday is a movie day and the audience is rather excited to watch Newton. A 4 crore business looks attainable for Newton today.
 
Newton had clashed with the Sanjay Dutt and Adti Rao Hydari starer Bhoomi and Shraddha Kapoor’s Haseena Parker on Friday. 
 
Bhoomi’s total collection is Rs. 4.72 crore as of now – it collected Rs. 2.25 crore on Friday and 2.47 crore on Saturday. 
 
Given the budget of the film, it’s going to run into loss for sure. And from today’s trend reports the film is showing no signs of growth.
 
Shraddha Kapoor’s Haseena Parker is a disaster as far as the reviews are concerned and box-office is no different. It banked Rs. 1.87 crore on Friday and  Rs. 2.60 on Saturday. A complete washout.
 
With Judwaa 2 coming, let’s see if Varun Dhawan breaks the dry spell Bollywood is having. 
 
Stay tuned for more box-office updates!

Office 365's revamped web launchers put you to work sooner

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AOL/Microsoft

Sometimes, it’s not your productivity apps that need a tune-up… it’s how you get to those apps that needs work. And Microsoft knows it. The tech firm has redesigned the Office.com front end and Office 365’s web app launcher. There’s now a recommended section that surfaces the activity that’s relevant to you, so you can quickly jump to where you’re needed — say, a Word file that needs edits or your recent PowerPoint presentation. You can also search for people, apps, documents and sites right from the get-go.

Things promise to be simpler once you’re waist-deep in work, too. There’s a streamlined Office 365 web launcher that focuses just on the most common apps and those you use often, so you’re not wading through menus to return to a favorite tool. You can pin apps if you know you’ll need to use, them, and there’s a prominent recent documents section that will switch you back to that all-important report. If you’re not sure which app to use, you can explore recommended apps to get resources, install desktop apps and otherwise determine whether or not it’s the right tool for the job.

Microsoft expects these updates to reach Office 365 users “soon,” so don’t be surprised if they aren’t visible right away. Whenever you get them, it’s clear that Microsoft is increasingly treating Office’s web version as its own sort of operating system, not just as a collection of apps. This won’t necessarily lure you or your company to Google Apps, but it could make the Office experience more cohesive.

 

 

I wonder who these new Ikea wireless charging ads are aimed at

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Ikea a few years ago started selling furniture that contains circuitry that charges devices wirelessly. That’s not something new. But now that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X are going to be the first Apple products to support wireless charging out of the box, Ikea is launching a brand new campaign to promote its products. The new advertising initiative targets Apple fans directly, and it’s hilarious.

“IKEA has been very progressive with wireless charging, and we are thrilled that new iPhone owners finally can make use of one of the most powerful lamps we’ve ever made,” Creative Director at IKEA Creative Hub Morten Kjær told Design Taxi

Ikea is using some of Apple’s signature slogans and adapts it for its needs. That’s how This changes everything becomes This charges everything.

Similarly, Apple’s Think different becomes Ikea’s Link different.

Image Source: Ikea

The iconic One more thing… is also prominently featured in an Ikea ad version. It now says: One more thing… It’s also a lamp.

Image Source: Ikea

Then there’s also your regular Siri jab: Siri, what lamp should I buy reads an ad.

Image Source: Ikea

Apple juice is also one other iPhone-centric commercial from Ikea.

Image Source: Ikea

Expect to see these ads everywhere, now that Ikea is looking to relaunch its wireless charging products.

As for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, they work with regular Qi wireless chargers, including the ones that power Ikea’s own furniture and lamps. Apple doesn’t sell a charger of its own yet, but it will launch AirPower at some point in the future.

This actor is feeling majorly insecure on his films set. Heres how…

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This actor is feeling majorly insecure on his film's set. Here's how...

This particular blind item publised by a leading daily is doing the rounds of the Internet today. Let’s see if you can crack it.

Here goes…

This actor whose last outing at the box-office was a major dud, is hitting his insecurity issues. He’s usually making headlines becuause of his love life – be it slaps from exes or dinner dates with his current girlfriend.

What we read is that he’s not very happy on the sets of his next film. Reason being his leading lady. The lady in question is being pampered on the sets and is given a lot of importance which of course is not going well with the actor. While he tries to maintain a calm exterior, the crew says his insecurity is getting the worst of him as he throws unwanted tantrums on sets. What’s more, the girl’s mother too is keeping an eye on him given his ahem… past records with the ladies.

So… can you guess who is this troubled womanizer?

This actress will replace Shruti Hassan in Sangamithra

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This actress will replace Shruti Hassan in Sangamithra!


If sources are to be believed then hottie Disha Patani is likely to bag the Tamil historic drama Sangamithra. Disha has replaced southern superstar Shruti Hassan in this magnum opus. In fact, the makers and the then leading lady Shruti had launched the project at the Cannes Film Festival. After which, Shruti stepped out of it due to reasons unknown.

Helmed by Sundar C and produced by Sri Thenandal Films, the film is set to release in Telugu and Hindi, it stars Jayam Ravi and Arya and will have music by A.R. Rahman.

This is definitely a big win for Disha as we haven’t heard of any of her upcoming projects other than Baaghi 2 with boyfriend Tiger Shroff.

The actress who marked her Bollywood debut with MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has a pretty strong fanbase and is touted as the next big thing. Let’s wait for the official confirmation soon, eh?

Filmfare

This Japanese “All Alone” Tent Lets You Wile Away Hours at The Computer in Solitude

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When you’ve got a lot of work to do on the computer (or you just want to look up awesome makeup, snacks, or shop for fun stuff) you probably want to be left alone, right? Hopefully, you’re not up to anything weird or sinister. It’s good to have some privacy, though, in case you’re binging on some weird show you don’t want anyone to know you like or anything. That’s why Japan’s Bibi Lab has created the bizarre Bocchi Tent, which is a solo tent meant to act as a “room in a room” that you can buy and shut yourself up in as you get on with the day’s activities. Whatever they may be, anyway.

The tent itself is available in Japan for about $94, which is around 10,346 yen if you’re in Japan. The tent can open up and close in just a few seconds, and it’ll pop up in the exact same shape you put it away in. It’s also well-ventilated, with several mesh openings in the walls and the ceiling of the unit. You can close all of the zippered off areas and the makers of the Bocchi tent claim that it will supposedly block out every trace of outside light sources, leaving you completely in the dark. It’s not quite vantablack, where it’ll suck in light and all that weirdness, but it’ll be pretty dark.

The pop-up tent creates a space where you can have a private nap or some time away from the rest of the world. It’d be great for an apartment if you find that space is at a premium, or if you have to work in a confined space often where prying eyes may be spying on what you’re up to. You can actually order one if you think you might have a use for it, and chances are you’ll probably think of one. It’s available right now via Amazon Japan in two sizes, one a little bigger than each other, but both the same price. Just make sure you try not to use it for any weird, nefarious purposes. Stay away from the Bocchi tent, Light Yagami. We’ve warned you.

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Irrfans airport look is quirky AF

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Irrfan, who’s been MIA for a while now was snapped at the airport earlier this moring. The ace actor’s airport look took us by surprise, a good one of course. His travel gear was a mix of a camouflouge pants, yellow tant, a white jacket, a vintage cap, blue sunnies and kolhapuris. Love at first sight, it was. Talking about love, Irrfan’s jacket read ‘my love is rare’. Ahem ahem…

As 2017 belonged to ‘airport looks’ and all the fuss around it, this will will definitely be a memorable one.

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan

All pictures Check out who all attended the grand Ambani bash

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Nita Ambani and daughter Isha Ambani threw a bash last night for Natalia Vodianova, model and founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, at their Mumbai residence Antilia. In attendance were the best of the best of Bollywood.

The guest list included the likes of Karan Johar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Mira Rajput Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Malaika Arora Khan, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shraddha Kapooor, Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor, Punit Malohtra, Kanika Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Neha Dhupia, Sidharth Malhotra, Arjun Kapoor and many more.

Here’s a compilation of all the paparazzi moments!

Aditya Roy Kapur, Neha Dhupia, Arjun Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra

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Aditya Roy Kapur, Neha Dhupia, Arjun Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra

Hrithik Roshan

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Hrithik Roshan

Karan Johar

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Karan Johar

Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan

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Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan

Shraddha Kapoor

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Shraddha Kapoor

Malaika Arora

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Malaika Arora

Manish Malhotra

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Manish Malhotra

Jacqueline Fernandez, Varun Dhawan

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Jacqueline Fernandez, Varun Dhawan

Mira Kapoor

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Mira Kapoor

Khushi Kapoor, Jhanvi Kapoor

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Khushi Kapoor, Jhanvi Kapoor

Maze-like chip helps spot aggressive cancer cells

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Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

It’s difficult to spot cancer cells — just one in a billion blood cells are cancerous. How do you isolate them to know the trouble someone is facing and eventually treat it? By drawing the kind of mazes you enjoyed as a kid, apparently. Researchers have developed a microfluidic chip that uses a circular labyrinth to separate cancer cells from the rest of your bloodstream and spot the stem-like cells that will aggressively spread that cancer. Ultimately, it’s a creative use of physics. The curves tend to push larger cancer cells forward (smaller regular cells cling to the walls), while the corners mix things up and put white blood cells in an ideal position.

And importantly, it’s much faster than conventional methods, which use markers and traps to gradually bind cancer cells. Blood flows quickly, so you’re only waiting minutes to pinpoint the cancer. And if you need better results than you got the first time around, you just have to add another chip.

The technique could be the key to a new wave of cancer treatments. If you can single out aggressive cancer cells, you’ll have a better sense of how to treat the cancer in question. In an ongoing breast cancer trial, for example, it’ll show whether or not blocking a immune signalling molecule might reduce the number of stem-like cancer cells. This won’t necessarily lead to cures for stubborn cancers, but it could offer hope in situations where a cancer would otherwise be impossible to stop.