Mom's voice activates many different regions in children's brains

Children’s brains are far more engaged by their mother’s voice than by voices of women they do not know, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

Brain regions that respond more strongly to the mother’s voice extend beyond auditory areas to include those involved in emotion and reward processing, social functions, detection of what is personally relevant and face recognition.

Mom's voice activates many different regions in children's brains

The study, which is the first to evaluate brain scans of children listening to their mothers’ voices, published online May 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The strength of connections between the brain regions activated by the voice of a child’s own mother predicted that child’s social communication abilities, the study also found.

Read: How, not why, the human brain folds?

“Many of our social, language and emotional processes are learned by listening to our mom’s voice,” said lead author Daniel Abrams, PhD, instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “But surprisingly little is known about how the brain organizes itself around this very important sound source. We didn’t realize that a mother’s voice would have such quick access to so many different brain systems.”

Decades of research have shown that children prefer their mother’s voices: In one classic study, 1-day-old babies sucked harder on a pacifier when they heard the sound of their mom’s voice, as opposed to the voices of other women. However, the mechanism behind this preference had never been defined.

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“Nobody had really looked at the brain circuits that might be engaged,” senior author Vinod Menon, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said. “We wanted to know: Is it just auditory and voice-selective areas that respond differently, or is it more broad in terms of engagement, emotional reactivity and detection of salient stimuli?” 

The study examined 24 children ages 7 to 12. All had IQs of at least 80, none had any developmental disorders, and all were being raised by their biological mothers. Parents answered a standard questionnaire about their child’s ability to interact and relate with others. And before the brain scans, each child’s mother was recorded saying three nonsense words.

Read: Root, the code-teaching robot

“In this age range, where most children have good language skills, we didn’t want to use words that had meaning because that would have engaged a whole different set of circuitry in the brain,” said Menon, who is the Rachael L. and Walter F. Nichols, MD, Professor.

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How, not why, the human brain folds?

The distinctive troughs and crests of the human brain are not present in most animals; highly folded brains are seen only in a handful of species, including some primates, dolphins, elephants, and pigs. In humans, folding begins in fetal brains around the 20th week of gestation and is completed only when the child is about 18 months old.

Why the brain is folded can be rationalized easily from an evolutionary perspective: Folded brains likely evolved to fit a large cortex into a small volume with the benefit of reducing neuronal wiring length and improving cognitive function.

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Less understood is how the brain folds. Several hypotheses have been proposed, but none have been directly used to make testable predictions. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, collaborating with scientists in Finland and France, have shown that while many molecular processes are important in determining cellular events, what ultimately causes the brain to fold is a simple mechanical instability associated with buckling.

Read: Root, the code-teaching robot

Understanding how the brain folds could help unlock the inner workings of the brain and unravel brain-related disorders, as function often follows form.

“We found that we could mimic cortical folding using a very simple physical principle and get results qualitatively similar to what we see in real fetal brains,” said L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Physics.

The number, size, shape, and position of neuronal cells present during brain growth all lead to the expansion of the gray matter, known as the cortex, relative to the underlying white matter. This puts the cortex under compression, leading in turn to a mechanical instability that causes it to crease locally.

“This simple evolutionary innovation, with iterations and variations, allows for a large cortex to be packed into a small volume, and is likely the dominant cause behind brain folding, known as gyrification,” said Mahadevan, who is also a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a member of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, both at Harvard University.

Mahadevan’s previous research found that the growth differential between the brain’s outer cortex and the soft tissue underneath explains the variations in the folding patterns across organisms in terms of just two parameters, the relative size of the brain and the relative expansion of the cortex.

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Building on this, the team collaborated with neuroanatomists and radiologists in France and directly tested this theory using data from human fetuses. The team made a 3-D, gel model of a smooth fetal brain based on MRI images. The model’s surface was coated with a thin layer of elastomer gel, as an analog of the cortex. To mimic cortical expansion, the gel brain was immersed in a solvent that is absorbed by the outer layer, causing it to swell relative to the deeper regions. Within minutes of being immersed in liquid solvent, the resulting compression led to the formation of folds similar in size and shape to real brains.

The extent of the similarities surprised even the researchers. “When I put the model into the solvent, I knew there should be folding but I never expected that kind of close pattern compared to human brain,” said Jun Young Chung, a postdoctoral fellow and co-first author of the paper. “It looks like a real brain.”

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The key to those similarities lies in the unique shape of the human brain.

Root, the code-teaching robot

In the digital age, computing fuels some of the fastest-growing segments of the economy, making programming an increasingly important part of an American education. But the words “computer literacy” do not exactly excite the imaginations of most grade schoolers. So how to engage young minds with coding?

One answer, say researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is a robot named Root.

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“Right now, coding is taught at a computer keyboard. It’s an abstract process that doesn’t have a relationship to the real world,” said Raphael Cherney, a research associate at the institute. “What Root does is bring coding to life in an extremely fun and approachable way. Kids with no experience in coding can be programming robots in a matter of minutes.”

Read: RoboBees can perch to save energy New technique can extend the flying time of microrobots

Fitting somewhere between old-time remote-controlled toy trains and today’s video games, Root is a robot that is programmed using a tablet interface called Square. Root has light and color sensors, bumpers, and a touch surface that enable it to respond to the physical world. In a classroom setting, Root would “drive” along a magnetic dry-erase whiteboard at the front of the class, giving the young programmers an “instant, physical manifestation” of the code, according to Zivthan Dubrovsky, who leads the robotics platform at Wyss.

The six-sided robot, roughly the diameter of a mouse pad, is “an approachable product with a very clear mission — to teach kids how to code,” said Dubrovsky.

The Wyss is a cross-disciplinary research institute that focuses on developing “bioinspired” devices for use in health care, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The idea is to make the devices user-friendly, intuitive, and visual.

Read: Chemical flavorings found in e-cigarettes linked to lung disease

Root’s hardware is the same from kindergarten to college, but the interface is sophisticated enough that it allows students to program at different levels of proficiency, from a blocks-based graphical environment designed for beginners and early elementary school students to a traditional, text-based environment for older students or intermediate coders. Root includes a feature that lets users toggle between any of the levels, thus helping support the transition to more advanced concepts and coding processes, ultimately leading to work on Java Script.

Young children may not intuitively understand coding, but they do understand consequences framed by “if” statements: If this is true, then that happens. The tablet that programs Root features an interface that lets children build strings of “if” statements by moving icons around with their fingertips. The emphasis with Root, especially at the beginning, is not on coding but on problem-solving and pragmatic thinking, said Dubrovsky.
The device has been tested extensively by children, some as young as 5. “It didn’t feel like learning or work to them; it felt like fun,” Cherney recalled.

The Wyss team is currently seeking the right partners to help put Root into action in a classroom. The next step, said Dubrovsky, is to develop a curriculum, including a coding module, around Root.

Dubrovsky, who has three young daughters who have tested the robot, says he’s “over the moon about the project.”

“We’re in the digital world, but schools don’t teach coding. America needs computer programmers to be competitive — 71 percent of new jobs in STEM are going to be centered around coding. If we can solve this problem, this will be a big step forward for our country.”

Read: China gets the world’s first wearable smartwatch with projector

A video featuring grade-school-age children interacting with Root was made to introduce the product. When filming, “We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t even know if they’d smile,” said Cherney. “Seeing the students light up working with the robot was really, really cool.”

Chemical flavorings found in e-cigarettes linked to lung disease

Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, was found in more than 75 percent of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids tested by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Two other related, potentially harmful compounds were also found in many of the tested flavors, which included varieties with potential appeal to young people such as cotton candy, “Fruit Squirts,” and cupcake.

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The study was published online today in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the flavoring industry have warned workers about diacetyl because of the association between inhaling the chemical and the debilitating respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans, colloquially known as “popcorn lung” because it first appeared in workers who inhaled artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn processing facilities.

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“Recognition of the hazards associated with inhaling flavoring chemicals started with ‘popcorn lung’ over a decade ago. However, diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors beyond butter-flavored popcorn, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and, we learned in our study, candy-flavored e-cigarettes,” said lead author Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment sciences.

There are currently more than 7,000 varieties of flavored e-cigarettes and e-juice (nicotine-containing liquid that is used in refillable devices) on the market. Although the popularity and use of e-cigarettes continues to increase, there is a lack of data on their potential health effects. E-cigarettes are not currently regulated, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a proposed rule to include e-cigarettes under its authority to regulate certain tobacco and nicotine-containing products.

Allen and colleagues tested 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes and liquids sold by leading brands for the presence of diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-pentanedione, two related flavoring compounds that the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association lists as “high priority,” i.e., they may pose a respiratory hazard in the workplace. Each e-cigarette was inserted into a sealed chamber attached to a lab-built device that drew air through the e-cigarette for eight seconds at a time with a resting period of 15 or 30 second between each draw. The air stream was then analyzed.

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At least one of the three chemicals was detected in 47 of the 51 flavors tested. Diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection in 39 of the flavors tested. Acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione were detected in 46 and 23 and of the flavors, respectively.
“Since most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes. In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and as our study shows, flavoring chemicals that can cause lung damage,” said study co-author David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics.

Other Harvard Chan School authors included Skye Flanigan, Mallory LeBlanc, Jose Vallarino, Piers MacNaughton, and James Stewart.

This study was supported by an NIH/NIEHS Center grant.

RoboBees can perch to save energy New technique can extend the flying time of microrobots

Call them the RoboBats. In a recent article in Science, Harvard roboticists demonstrate that their flying microrobots, nicknamed the RoboBees, can now perch during flight to save energy — like bats, birds, or butterflies.

“Many applications for small drones require them to stay in the air for extended periods,” said Moritz Graule, first author of the paper, who conducted this research as a student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. “Unfortunately, smaller drones run out of energy quickly. We want to keep them aloft longer without requiring too much additional energy.”

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The team found inspiration in nature and simple science.

“A lot of different animals use perching to conserve energy,” said Kevin Ma, a postdoc at SEAS and the Wyss Institute and co-author. “But the methods they use to perch, like sticky adhesives or latching with talons, are inappropriate for a paper clip-size microrobot, as they either require intricate systems with moving parts or high forces for detachment.”

Instead, the team turned to electrostatic adhesion — the same basic science that causes a static-charged sock to cling to a pants leg or a balloon to stick to a wall.

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When you rub a balloon on a wool sweater, the balloon becomes negatively charged. If the charged balloon is brought close to a wall, that negative charge forces some of the wall’s electrons away, leaving the surface positively charged. The attraction between opposite charges then causes the balloon to stick to the wall.

“In the case of the balloon, however, the charges dissipate over time, and the balloon will eventually fall down,” said Graule. “In our system, a small amount of energy is constantly supplied to maintain the attraction.”

The RoboBee, pioneered at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, uses an electrode patch and a foam mount that absorbs shock. The entire mechanism weighs 13.4 mg, bringing the total weight of the robot to about 100 mg — similar to the weight of a real bee. The robot takes off and flies normally. When the electrode patch is supplied with a charge, it can stick to almost any surface, from glass to wood to a leaf. To detach, the power supply is simply switched off.
“One of the biggest advantages of this system is that it doesn’t cause destabilizing forces during disengagement, which is crucial for a robot as small and delicate as ours,” said Graule.

Read: Robot Waiters in China Failure to Serve

The patch requires about 1,000 times less power to perch than it does to hover, offering to dramatically extend the operational life of the robot. Reducing the robot’s power requirements is critical for the researchers, as they work to integrate onboard batteries on untethered RoboBees.

“The use of adhesives that are controllable without complex physical mechanisms, are low power, and can adhere to a large array of surfaces is perfect for robots that are agile yet have limited payload — like the RoboBee,” added Robert Wood, Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS and the Wyss Institute, and senior author of the study. “When making robots the size of insects, simplicity and low power are always key constraints.”

Right now, the RoboBee can only perch under overhangs and on ceilings, as the electrostatic patch is attached to the top of the vehicle. Next, the team hopes to change the mechanical design so that the robot can perch on any surface.

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“There are more challenges to making a robust, robotic landing system, but this experimental result demonstrates a very versatile solution to the problem of keeping flying microrobots operating longer without quickly draining power,” said Ma.

The paper was co-authored by Pakpong Chirarattananon, Sawyer B. Fuller, Noah Jafferis, Matthew Spenko, and Roy Kornbluh. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Swiss Study Foundation.

MODE: Snap-and-swap watch bands designed for Android Wear

With Android Wear, you can wear what you want with watches from 12 different brands and thousands of interchangeable watch faces. And while you can change your watch face with just a tap, it has not been as quick and easy to change your watch band. Starting today, updating your style is as easy as “snap-and-swap,” with new MODE watch bands in partnership with b&nd by Hadley Roma. 

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Change your look with one click: MODE snap-and-swap watch bands feature a simple slide button so you can attach and detach your band in one click.

Read: Garmin vívomove activity tracking fashionable analog smartwatch

MODE bands are versatile—they come in four widths, fit most Android Wear watches, and work on mechanical watches too. This first collection comes in a rainbow of colors, and is available in leather and silicone, so you can easily go from the office to the gym to a night out.

MODE bands are now available online at the Google Store (US), Amazon, and Best Buy. 

Starbreeze and Acer to Form Joint Venture for the StarVR Virtual Reality Headset

Starbreeze AB and Acer Inc. today signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture for the StarVR Virtual Reality (VR) Head-Mounted Display (HMD). The two companies aim to cooperate on the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD to the professional- and location-based entertainment market.

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“Since our launch in June 2015, we have had an amazing start with StarVR. By partnering with Acer we shift gears yet again to firmly position us as the leader in top-end VR experiences. Acer is an excellent, experienced and prominent hardware partner that will accelerate us in realizing and producing a high-definition, high-fidelity VR headset,” said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO. “We’ve been working with a clear roadmap for our VR strategy from day one, and are now about to realize one of the first major collaborations we set out to achieve. The future for StarVR is now set and extremely exciting.”

Read: China gets the world’s first wearable smartwatch with projector

“Acer is thrilled to join forces with Starbreeze in bringing the StarVR head-mounted display to the market,” said Jason Chen, Acer Corporate President and CEO. “We are devoting R&D resources across multiple aspects of the VR ecosystem for a coherent and high-quality experience, while just last month Acer announced powerful desktops and notebooks fully-ready for StarVR. Starbreeze and Acer share the same goal of delivering best-in-class VR applications, and we look forward to unlocking new VR possibilities together with this partnership. ”

Starbreeze launched StarVR with a VR-experience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June 2015 by the acquisition of French company Infinite Eye, that brought the StarVR HMD technology and an outstanding and agile engineering team into Starbreeze. After the launch, the VR-experience was brought on the road entertaining thousands of consumers. In January 2016, Starbreeze unveiled its location based StarCade initiative, introducing VR centers looking to allowing customers to immerse themselves into premium VR experiences.

Read: Meet the new Moto G Family: Whichever you choose, you get more of what matters most

Starbreeze additionally premiered its first cinematic VR experience “Cockatoo Spritz” directed by Stephane Barbato in Cannes during the first week of the festival. Visitors in Cannes can preview the experience by invitation to the exclusive cocktail party taking place Sunday May 15 or by appointment up until May 20th 2016.

For over 40 years, Acer has continued to bring cutting-edge technology to the market through its innovative computing devices. With the recent launch of its VR-ready Predator line-up of performance driven devices, the company is again leading new trends for computing and entertainment. This agreement further underlines Acer’s relentless pursuit for innovation and ambition to deliver technology in blazing time-to-market.

Read: Garmin vívomove activity tracking fashionable analog smartwatch

China gets the world’s first wearable smartwatch with projector

Chinese start-up ASU, have just launched a new smartwatch in Beijing that offers the unique feature of having a projector built-in.

ASU are so confident that wearers of the device will be happy to project their screens around the world for all to see, that they have even removed a screen from the watch itself and instead only offer a touch panel.

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The projected screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720, and as the wearable has a quad-core Qualcomm chipset and 768mb RAM there is enough power on tap for simple games.

Read: Mobi electric folding wheelchair is a powered mobility device designed by Jack Martinich

Other features include WIFI, Bluetooth, fast charging and notification LEDs. We’re trying to track down the full details, but from what we can see the ASU doesn’t have any data connection capabilities of its own so you will still need to sync it to your current phone.

Read: The Hands-Free Triple Therapy Knee Pain Reliever

At this time the ASU will go on sale in China only, and I wouldn’t hold your breath for an international launch yet as pricing has been announced at 2999 Yuan (more than the ZUK Z2 Pro with 6GB RAM and a Snapdragon 820 chipset for more information.

Meet the new Moto G Family: Whichever you choose, you get more of what matters most

The thinner fourth-generation Moto G has a vivid 5.5” full HD display and a 13MP camera for crystal-clear, share-worthy pics. Its 3000 mAh battery and blazing-fast octacore processor will get you through afternoon video calls with family and into the evening out with friends.1 And when you finally need a battery boost, TurboPowerTM gives you six hours of power in just 15 minutes.

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Moto G Plus has all the features of Moto G, along with some new features designed for those who need even more from their phone. The first is an impressive camera. There’s nothing worse than missing a moment. Now you won’t. The 16MP camera on Moto G Plus has two additional rapid focus technologies, laser focus and phase detect autofocus so you always nab sharp, clear pictures, day and night. DxOMark, the trusted industry standard for camera and lens image quality ratings, has rated the Moto G Plus photo quality among the top smartphone cameras, ahead of iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and other phones that are more than twice its price.

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Tired of fumbling with your phone to switch it on and sign in? With a fingerprint reader typically found in more expensive devices, a touch is all you need to instantly wake up your phone. You can even use it to authorize purchases on the Google Play StoreTM.

Moto G full specifications

Operating System:     Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow

System Architecture/Processor
Motorola Mobile Computing System, including an up to 1.5 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617 octa-core processor with 550 MHz Adreno 405 GPU

Memory (RAM)
2 GB / 4 GB

Storage (ROM)
16 GB / 64 GB internal, up to 128 GB microSD Card support³

Height: 153 mm
Width: 76.6 mm
Depth: 7.9 mm to 9.8 mm


1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080)
401 ppi

All-day battery¹ (3000 mAh)
TurboPower™ for up to 6 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging¹

Read: The Hands-Free Triple Therapy Knee Pain Reliever

Water Protection
Water repellent nano-coating²

4G LTE (Cat 4)

Bands (by model)
Moto G Plus - XT1644
CDMA (850, 1900 MHz)
GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS / HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 25, 26, 41)
Band coverage varies by model, country, and carrier.

SIM Card
Micro-SIM, nano-SIM with included adaptor (available in select regions)
Dual-SIM available in select regions

Rear Camera
16 MP
Laser auto-focus
Phase detect auto-focus (PDAF)
ƒ/2.0 aperture
Color balancing dual LED flash
Professional Mode
Quick Capture
Best Shot
Tap (anywhere) to capture
4X digital zoom
Burst mode
Auto HDR
Drag to focus & exposure
Video Stabilization
1080p HD video (30 fps)
Slow Motion video

Front Camera
5 MP
ƒ/2.2 aperture
Wide-Angle lens
Display flash

Google Photos
Two years of storage at original quality

Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack

Bluetooth® Technology
Bluetooth version 4.1 LE

802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)

Front-ported loud speaker

Video Capture
1080p (30 fps)

Location Services

Fingerprint reader
Ambient Light

Base Color
Black or white

Read: Mobi electric folding wheelchair is a powered mobility device designed by Jack Martinich

Moto Maker
You can also design your Moto G to match your style on Moto Maker or by switching up colors with interchangeable shells.

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Mobi electric folding wheelchair is a powered mobility device designed by Jack Martinich

The Mobi electric folding wheelchair is a powered mobility device designed to meet the lifestyle requirements of our aging population. Mobi reflects the future of products for an aging population. Stylish and convenient, it offers urban mobility alternative to bulky, generic electric scooters.

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For added versatility, the design of the wheelchair features an innovative folding mechanism that allows it to be folded up and stored and transported in a vehicle without any need for disassembly. To encourage user independence and promote the user to be physically active, Mobi electric folding wheelchair is controlled similarly to a traditional manual wheelchair; the user pushes on the hand rims. However, force sensors in the hand rims detect the user’s physical exertion and add additional power to the wheels. This means Mobi makes physical movement easier in a similar fashion to power steering in a car. Unfortunately, this wheelchair is only concept at this moment.

Read: The Hands-Free Triple Therapy Knee Pain Reliever

This electric wheelchair incorporates self-balancing Segway-inspired technology that positions that keeps the user in the centre of gravity while balancing on two wheels. The elimination of the need for castor wheels leads to more compact and manoeuvrable vehicle. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries power the electric servo motors located in the base of each of the hubless wheels, giving Mobi a range of approx. 20km with one charge.

Read: Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer will end on July 29

Mobi electric folding wheelchair features other notable design innovations intended to make assisted movement a more pleasurable and confident experience. The wheelchair features bigger, 26” tyres for improved comfort. Integrated handrest/wheel guards protect the users’s clothing from tyres. Wider ergonomic pushrims also allow an easier grip. To improve user confidence and safety automatic kickstands deploy when footrests are shift ed upwards while standing out of or sitting into the seat.

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Dimensions: 700x700x500mm.
Specified Materials: Aluminium Chassis, Polyurathane, ABS plastic.
Model Materials: MDF wood, acrylic paint.
For more information on Mobi electric folding wheelchair.

The Hands-Free Triple Therapy Knee Pain Reliever

This is the hands-free device that combines LED light treatment with vibration and compression massage to ease pain and stiffness in the knee. Only available from Hammacher Schlemmer, it is ideal for addressing the symptoms of arthritis, bursitis, edema, and injuries without medication. 

Read: Garmin vívomove activity tracking fashionable analog smartwatch

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The reliever consists of a vibrating shell that fits around the patella and a surrounding ring of 12 LEDs. While the nodes systematically vibrate to massage muscles surrounding the knee, kneading out tension and knots, the LEDs emit safe red light that penetrates deep into muscles, soothing pain, boosting circulation, and speeding healing. Users select their preferred combination of therapy from four treatment modes and duration (3-, 6-, 9-, or 12-minutes) via a control panel that displays the current settings and allows mid-session adjustments without removing the reliever. Secures comfortably around legs up to 13 1/4" with hook-and-loop fasteners. Plugs into AC with 5' cord. 7" L x 4 3/4" W x 3 1/2" D. (1 1/4 lbs.) for more information on Triple Therapy Knee Pain Reliever.

Garmin vívomove activity tracking fashionable analog smartwatch

Garmin announced vívomove, a fashionable analog watch with activity tracking1 features and one year battery life. Adding style to activity tracking the vívomove combines classic design with function, monitoring steps and sleep and reminding users when they’ve been inactive too long with its move bar. With one-year battery life, a water rating of 5ATM (50 meters) and a variety of interchangeable bands2 vívomove is wearable 24/7, no matter the occasion. 

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 Designed to be worn all day vívomove features a timeless analog style face and is available in several models: the sleek vívomove sport, vívomove classic with leather straps, and the more upscale vívomove premium with leather straps and full steel body. With interchangeable leather and silicone strap options and a variety of fashionable case finishes including black, white, rose gold-tone, stainless steel, and gold-tone, the vívomove can be customized to a user’s personal style. It’s swim and shower safe3 with a water rating of 5 ATM, and has up to one year of battery life, no recharging needed.

The watch face features two bars that allow users to view step progress and inactivity at a glance. The bar on the left side of the face shows the progress toward a user’s personalized daily step goal. The red bar on the right side of the watch face reminds users when they’ve been inactive too long, filling half way after one hour of inactivity and building with every 15 minutes after that until its reset by walking for a couple of minutes. The vívomove also tracks how well users slept by monitoring movement and restlessness. 

Read: Garmin Approach X40: the first golf-specific activity tracker band

 Throughout the day, the vívomove automatically syncs with the Garmin Connect Mobile app, a free online fitness community where users can track workouts, sleep patterns and trends, join online challenges to compete against friends and earn virtual badges. They can also receive Garmin Connect Insights, smart wellness insights personalized to each user that provide cues to help them reach goals, shout-outs when milestones have been met and relevant healthy tips from experts. Insights also show users how they are doing in comparison to people like them for extra motivation.

Read: Garmin Vívoactive HR GPS Smartwatch With Wrist-Based Heart Rate

The vívomove is available in sport (black or white) for $149.99, classic (black with leather band or rose gold-tone with leather band) for $199.99, and premium (stainless steel with leather band or gold-tone steel with leather band) for $299.99. 

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Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, announced Dishonored 2 will release worldwide on Friday, November 11, 2016 for the Xbox One, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and PC. Dishonored 2 is the highly-anticipated first-person action game under development at Arkane Studios, and the follow-up to the 2012 ‘Game of the Year’, Dishonored.

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New details about the game will be revealed in Game Informer’s upcoming exclusive cover story available on Saturday, May 7th, with the digital edition available today. The world premiere of Dishonored 2 gameplay will take place during Bethesda’s 2016 E3 Showcase being held in Los Angeles, California on June 12th beginning at 7pm PST, and streamed live around the world via Twitch and YouTube.

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Reprise your role as a supernatural assassin in Dishonored 2 – the next chapter in the award-winning Dishonored saga by Arkane Studios. Play your way in a world where mysticism and industry collide. Will you choose to play as Empress Emily Kaldwin or the royal protector, Corvo Attano? Will you make your way through the game unseen, make full use of its brutal combat system, or use a blend of both? How will you combine your character’s unique set of powers, weapons and gadgets to eliminate your enemies? The story responds to your choices, leading to intriguing outcomes, as you play through each of the game’s hand-crafted missions. 

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After playing as Empress Emily Kaldwin during the prologue of Dishonored 2, players can decide to play either as Kaldwin or as Corvo Attano (the protagonist from the previous game). Players can choose whether to play stealthily, and can finish the game without killing. The developers have stated that there will be a "third" path, although no details about it are known. As in the original game, the player works to save the Empire of the Isles from an "otherworldly usurper".Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin will both go through the same set of missions, but from different perspectives and through different paths. Attano retains his supernatural powers from the previous game, but the upgrading system has been changed to a skill tree with multiple paths and more possible upgrades. Emily Kaldwin will have a different set of powers including "Far Reach" which allows the player to travel without physical movement, similar to Attano's "Blink" power from the original game, and "Shadow Walk" which turns her into a shadowy cloud that can move swiftly and change tangibility at will. The developers have confirmed that the game will be more challenging than its predecessor, for example by the player being seen by guards if they peer from behind a wall for too long

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Garmin vívomove activity tracking fashionable analog smartwatch

ZTE New Smartphones ZTE BLADE A910 and ZTE BLADE V7 MAX

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer will end on July 29

How to Speed up page load in windows 10 Microsoft Edge

Quantum Break Now Available on Xbox One and Windows 10


Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer will end on July 29

Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices around the world. Windows 10 offers experiences that are familiar, safer and more secure, and more personal and productive – enabling innovative new experiences.

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Over 63 billion minutes were spent on Microsoft Edge in March alone, with 50% growth in minutes since the last quarter. Exclusively available on Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is our modern browser for helping you get things done.

Read: 8 Micosoft windows 10 features you must know

Cortana, the personal digital assistant in Windows 10, has helped answer over 6 billion questions since launch.

People are playing games on Windows 10 more than ever before, with over 9 billion hours of gameplay on Windows 10 since launch.

Apps that come with Windows 10, including Photos, Groove Music, and Movies & TV are seeing millions of active users each month, including more than 144 million people using Photos.
And, the Windows Store continues to grow daily with new Universal Windows Platform apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger; updated UWP apps from Vine, Hulu, Netflix and Twitter; and popular PC games including Rise of the Tomb Raider and Quantum Break.

The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 was a first for Microsoft, helping people upgrade faster than ever before. And time is running out. The free upgrade offer will end on July 29.

Read: How to Speed up page load in windows 10 Microsoft Edge

After July 29th, you’ll be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.

Additional details on the free upgrade offer for customers who use assistive technologies can be found here.

Qualcomm TruPalette brings your smartphone’s display to life

According to a recent study, the average person looks at his or her smartphone 46 times each day, which translates to a lot of time spent staring at a phone display.

The color on the display plays a big role in defining your smartphone experience—for example, the color of the sneakers you purchased on your smartphone should match what arrives at your door. The color in photos should look natural, yet brilliant, just like what you see in the real world. 

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When a display’s colors are dull and lack accuracy, your smartphone experience can be bland. Photos look unnatural and gaming environments aren’t as vivid.

Read: How to Speed up page load in windows 10 Microsoft Edge

The type of display a phone has can play a big role in how colors look on-screen. A smartphone today typically has either an AMOLED or LCD panel. Each has unique strengths: AMOLED panels typically render a wider color gamut (in other words, a wider range of colors) than LCD panels, while LCD is often better at rendering natural colors. If we dig one level deeper, displays from different manufacturers will support different color ranges, which means smartphone manufacturers must fine-tune each model of LCD or AMOLED panel to render colors accurately.

This is where Qualcomm TruPalette display technology comes into play. It’s designed to work behind the scenes, without any user adjustments to display settings, and is engineered to enhance the display’s appearance through an intelligent color adjustment and gamut-mapping system to make colors look vibrant and true to life.

Having a display that renders a wider color gamut means you can see more colors, and that those on the display are accurate—this is one of the things that TruPalette does really well. Using TruPalette and the Qualcomm Display Color Management tool (QDCM), smartphone manufacturers can choose a set of colors, such as blue skies and green grass, to enhance with saturation, while keeping other colors like skin tone as accurate as possible.

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For “colorphiles,” and those who like to tinker, TruPalette also enables various viewing modes, such as vivid mode, cinema mode, and photo mode. So depending on your mood and the content on the screen, you can adjust the display to fit your needs.  

Qualcomm TruPalette is supported by most Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, and along with other display technologies like Qualcomm EcoPix, helps build a vibrant on-to-go visual experience.

Olivier Giroud says his goal against Manchester City “meant a lot”

Olivier Giroud says his goal against Manchester City “meant a lot” because it came after a difficult period.

The forward had gone 15 Premier League games without a goal before his 10th-minute strike at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud says his goal against Manchester City “meant a lot”

Giroud also created Alexis’ goal with a deft flick, and the 29-year-old revealed his relief at finding top form once again.

“The goal meant a lot because it has been a tough time for me on the pitch as I have missed a bit of efficiency, a bit of luck and a lot of things,” he told Arsenal Player. “Things haven’t gone my way to [allow me to] finish, but I kept the faith and knew that it would come back.

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“It is always nice for a striker to score, even more with an assist for Alexis’ second goal which was important. We now have our own destiny in our hands to finish third or maybe second.

“These last few weeks I tried to set up goals. [Alexis’ goal] was my sixth assist but I’m happy to score too and help the team to reach our target and qualify for the Champions League. That is a great present.

“We are a team and a group that makes the difference. We try to help each other do the job. We fight for each other and we have a good understanding.” for more information.

How to Speed up page load in windows 10 Microsoft Edge

Starting in EdgeHTML 14.14316, Microsoft Edge supports WOFF 2.0 fonts — a new format that reduces the size of a font file by more than 30%, helping web pages load faster. This feature is available to preview via the Windows Insider Preview starting with build 14316, and is coming to stable builds with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

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Over 60% of web pages use custom fonts, which make up 5.3% of the size of the average web page today. Modern sites are loading ever more data in the form of fonts, as the demand for custom fonts grows, and as site payloads in general trend upwards. Because of this trend, loading font files faster when rendering a page makes a huge difference in perceived performance; WOFF 2 provides a substantial improvement here.

Read: 8 Micosoft windows 10 features you must know

WOFF 2 compresses fonts with Brotli to deliver more than 30% reduction in font file size over the earlier 2009-era W3C WOFF standard, which used zlib/compress2. WOFF 2 also uses  font-specific compression based on the MicroType Express format that first used in web fonts in the EOT font format.

Using custom fonts is now easier than ever – WOFF 2 is widely interoperable, with support in EdgeHTML 14.14316 and later, in Firefox and Chrome, and coming soon in Safari. If you are using Google Fonts on your site, your work is already done – Microsoft Edge is already using WOFF 2 fonts from this service, with more services coming soon.

ZTE New Smartphones ZTE BLADE A910 and ZTE BLADE V7 MAX

ZTE Corporation released two new smartphones, the ZTE BLADE A910 and ZTE BLADE V7 MAX, at a company product launch conference with the theme of “Enjoying innovative fingerprint and excellence camera” in Beijing.

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ZTE BLADE A910 is the first smartphone with 5.5-inch, AMOLED HD live color screen in China. Its powerful features also include a fingerprint scanner, all in the ultra-thin phone priced affordably. Following ZTE’s strong design tradition, the ZTE BLADE A910’s all-metal frame is only 6.9 millimeters thick, and its stylish design integrates a metallic trim for a noble look. The ZTE BLADE A910 includes the newest generation of fingerprint scanner; its Quick Unlock feature only takes 0.3 seconds. In another new development, users can program up to five fingerprint application shortcuts, to quickly and conveniently open different apps. 

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The ZTE BLADE V7 MAX once again demonstrates key smartphone technology experiences, including side fingerprint recognition, an autofocus speed comparable to professional cameras’, pop culture wallpapers, and a near-cinematic sound quality. The side fingerprint scanner is key to the phone’s innovative design: The BLADE V7 MAX’s placement of the fingerprint scanner on the side of the device frees up space on the back, leading to a compact, elegant design. It also provides an ergonomic user experience, allowing convenient, one-handed operation for either left-handed or right-handed users. The ZTE BLADE V7 MAX’s side fingerprint scanner also continued ZTE’s functional design tradition. For example, users can use fingerprint commands for encryption, unlocking, photographs, answering calls, mobile payment, and many other features.  The innovative 3D fingerprint functionality breaks away from traditional fingerprint technology to provide a uniquely and human user-friendly experience. 

ZTE BLADE A910 Specifications

Chipset            MT6735 1.3GHz Quad-core CPU

OS                   MiFavor UI 3.2(Android 5.1)

Dimensions     152*75*6.9mm

Display            5.5”HD,AMOLED, Multi-touch

Camera            Rear Camera : 13MP, PDAF, 0.1s autofocus

Front camera:  8MP, Smart facial recognition

Battery             2540mAh

Interface          3.5mm Headset Jack, 5pin Micro USB, 4FF+4FF/SD Card

Memory           2GB RAM+16GB ROM, 3GB RAM+32GB ROM

Other features   NFC; Fingerprint; GPS/A-GPS/ Beidu; WiFi 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.1LE;

Sensors            Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope

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ZTE BLADE V7 MAX Specifications

Chipset            1.8GHz Octa-core CPU

OS                   Android OS6.0

Dimensions     154 x 76.5 x 7.2mm

Display            5.5”FHD, 2.5D, Five point touch

Rear Camera   16MP, PDAF, 0.1s Focusing

Front camera   8MP, Double color Flash

Battery             3000mAh

Interface           3.5mm Headset Jack, Micro USB Type-C, 4FF +4FF Dual SIM, Up to 128GB microSD Expansion

Memory           3GB RAM+32GB ROM, 4GB RAM+32GB ROM

Other features  WIFI 802.11b/g/n, BT4.0, FM, GPS/Beidu

Sensors             Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Compass, Gyroscope, Hall sensor, Fingerprint, DTS; CA(Carrier Aggregation)