Skeletal stem cells could regrow damaged bones

The breakthrough wasn’t a simple affair. To pinpoint the human skeletal stem cell, the scientists couldn’t just use the tricks they’d used to isolate the equivalent in mice. They had to compare the mouse’s gene expression profiles with those of several human cell types you’d find on the growing ends of human bone. That let the group find cells with similar proteins as the mouse’s skeletal stem cells, helping the team find relevant markers on human cells.

The findings will should help understand the nature of human bone, but Stanford noted that it’s ultimately interested in medical uses. You could heal broken bones at a faster pace, repair cartilage or even grow new bones for reconstructive surgery. Conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis might be much less serious, as you could generate unaffected bones and cartilage as necessary. This is only the beginning, [...]  read more

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Mobvoi TicWatch E2 smartwatch teased with water resistance

The Mobovi TicWatch E2 is official, but details on the new smartwatch are currently thin on the ground after the firm posted a teaser image on its website.

Along with the words “water is now a friend of your watch” we’re given our first look at the TicWatch E2 thanks to a press image of the smartwatch being dropped into water.

Comparing it to the TicWatch E, design-wise it doesn’t appear that too much is changing other than the crown button swapping sides, but the E2 will have improved water resistance over its predecessor.

The TicWatch E (and TicWatch S) both have IP67 water resistance which Mobvoi says is “splash-proof in daily wet environments (not suitable for shower and swimming).”

The teaser for the TicWatch E2 suggests that it could work in the shower and be suitable for swimming.

Turning on the water works

This isn’t the firm time Mobvoi has made a more waterproof wearable, with the TicWatch Pro boasting [...]  read more

It sounds like Apple’s original content is going to be really, really bad

Last year, an investor projected that Apple would be spending up to $4.2 billion on original content by 2022, but if the reports coming out now about what that content will look like are correct, the company may want its money back.

A new Wall Street Journal article highlights some of the tensions that Apple faces as it looks to create a streaming media service in the age of Handmaid’s TaleHouse of CardsOrange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

To set the table, The Journal walked readers through some of the issues Tim Cook apparently had with Vital Signs, a title the company had acquired loosely based on the biography of rap legend (and former head of the billion dollar Apple acquisition, Beats) Dr. Dre.

Reportedly, after Cook saw scenes including a mansion orgy, white lines, and drawn guns the Apple chief put the kibosh on the whole production saying it was too violent and not something that Apple can air.

For Apple’s content business, [...]  read more

Casio’s see-through G-Shock watches are an icy blast of nostalgia

As you might imagine, the designs will cost decidedly more than they did in G-Shock’s early days. If you want to go for the purest retro look, the squarish DW-5035E (based on 1983’s DW-5000) and slightly more circular DW-5735E (derived from 1985’s DW-5400) will feature prominent all-digital faces when they go on sale in October for $220. If you’re willing to go for a mix of digital and analog timekeeping in much more recent designs, the GA735E and GA835E will sell for $160.

That’s a lot to pay when you can get full-fledged smartwatches for less, but raw functionality really isn’t the goal here. This is about a dash of style that just happens to have a digital flair — it’s for the watch connoisseur who remembers the days when a liquid crystal display was still a novelty.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/24/casios-see-through-g-shock-watches-are-an-icy-blast-of-nostalgi/

Uber and Grab hit with $9.5M in fines over ‘anti-competitive’ merger

Uber and Grab have been hit with combined fines of $9.5 million after their merger deal was found to have violated Singapore’s anti-competition laws.

Grab acquired (and then merged/closed) Uber’s Southeast Asia business in March, but the Competition Commission of Singapore today declared the deal is “anti-competitive” following a months-long investigation into its impact on Singapore.

The CCCS levied an SG$6,582,055 (US$4.8 million) fine on Uber and an SG$6,419,647 (US$4.7 million) fine on Grab, but it won’t unwind the deal, which had been an option. The fines relate only to the businesses in Singapore, which is just one of eight markets where Uber and Grab competed. Grab has raised $6 billion from investors so it shouldn’t have an issue paying that back.

Chiefly, the CCCS found that Grab had raised prices by 10-15 percent following the deal, whilst its market share grew to 80 percent. That’s despite Grab [...]  read more

What will virtual private networks look like in the future?

I think everyone will have a VPN account in the future although it may be known under another name (ed: they’d still have to pay for it though otherwise it would be unsustainable). At the moment, it still comes across as being far too ‘techy’ and many people don’t really understand why it is needed. 

Most users know they are not fully safe in a public Wi-Fi network but they aren’t aware the solution if someone wants to hack them is to use a VPN or to create their own network.

In the future, it is something that could be addressed by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), such as chip manufacturers, that could integrate a VPN technology (or something akin to it) into the device. 

It could also be that companies like ours that supply public Wi-Fi will provide the infrastructure to give a super safe solution. It is not easy to do but is something that is on our business roadmap to start working on in the next 12 months.

We would encourage everyone to use a VPN. At the moment it [...]  read more

Deezer’s AI mood detection could lead to smarter song playlists

Deezer trained the AI using raw audio signals, linguistic context reconstruction models and a Million Song Dataset that aggregates Last.fm tags describing tunes (such as “calm” or “sad”). The researchers mapped the MSD to Deezer’s library using song metadata, extracting individual words from the lyrics in the process. The result was an 18,644-song database the team could use to both train AI on song moods and to test its theories.

The system is merely average at detecting the mood of a song based on lyrics. However, the association between audio and lyrics helped it gauge the energy of a given piece more effectively than past techniques. This could help identify the difference between a soothing downtempo piece and an upbeat dance track, as an example.

This isn’t ready for use in services like Deezer. The research group wants to look at different training models (such as an unsupervised system that looks at huge volumes of unlabeled info) to improve [...]  read more

The Markup, a tech-focused investigative news site, raises $20 million from Craigslist founder

Celebrated former ProPublica investigative journalists Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson are launching their newest venture, the investigative nonprofit news organization called The Markup, with help from some big donors including Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark.

The Markup co-founders Angwin, Larson and executive director Sue Gardner (the former head of the Wikimedia Foundation), are backed by a $20 million donation from Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies; $2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and additional support from the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, according to a statement.

The project was incubated with an investment from the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative and news of the new media venture was first reported in The New York Times.

“In a healthy society, there’s an ongoing conversation about what’s in the public interest—a debate that includes [...]  read more