Reddit is testing a news tab in its iOS app

You can filter the news you see based on topics and subtopics you’re interested in, such as US/world news, politics, tech, entertainment and gaming. The feature will source news from more subreddits over the next few months, and it will arrive on desktop later in the summer.

Reddit is also working on a way to link to different threads in various subreddits that are discussing the same link. That could be especially useful if it’s a political story and you want to rant about it with like-minded folks, or its a sports play you want to break down with other fans of your own team.

At first glance, the News tab is a little hit and miss. The sports section has all the key details from the latest World Cup games, including a nifty Neymar trick. The gaming section, however, features someone’s (admittedly nifty) pixel read more

Google adds anti-tampering DRM to Android apps in the Play Store

This is primarily helpful in developing areas where people don’t always have reliable data, and may have to go through a peer-to-peer portal or another channel beyond Google’s own. The DRM addition should help them download apps with a reasonable assurance that they’re getting the real thing, not a surreptitiously modified rogue app that could compromise their handsets. It’s no secret that malware writers will sometimes bury malicious code in familiar-looking apps, and this might catch the trickery before it compromises a device.

Simultaneously… well, it’s DRM. As with media services, there’s the potential for companies to use DRM to determine how and when you use their apps. It might be difficult or impossible to tinker with an app (say, to remove ads) without stripping the DRM. There’s also the chance that a developer could force you read more

Cell-sized ‘microlasers’ could regulate brain activity

Even in their rough state, the bead lasers can work for at least five hours of continuous use, even if you immerse them in blood or other less-than-pristine environments. They don’t wear out quickly, either. The team found that beads pulled “off the shelf” months or years later still function as lasers. And if you need to redirect the lasers, you can use the same infrared light you’d use to excite them.

Refinement is necessary before this is useful. Researchers are still looking at how they can tweak the nanoparticle elements and the makeup of the beads themselves to both optimize performance and determine the laser light they get. The implications could be far-reaching, though. Berkeley noted that you could use this to control neuron activity, which might help with brain diseases. It might also be helpful for sensors that detect chemical and environmental changes, read more

‘Snapdragon 1000’ chip may be designed for PCs from the ground up

A reference design found in import databases might give a clue as to what you could expect: it’d have up to 16GB of RAM and two 128GB storage modules. There are also mentions of gigabit Ethernet and a socketed processor design, although those last two may be more for Qualcomm’s development purposes than any real-world use. It’s expected to use ARM’s next-generation Cortex-A76 architecture, whose overall speed boost (about 35 percent, according to ARM) could be key to challenging Intel.

It’s not known when Qualcomm might announce the SDM1000, although it’s not keeping a tight lid on the project when at least one of its employees has mentioned working on the chip as a Windows Multimedia Project Engineer. SDM1000 could pose a serious problem for Intel if and when it does show up, however. Intel is already anxious about ARM-powered PCs eating into read more

Scientists are building a DNA database to fight illegal logging

Wood from the bigleaf maple fetches top dollar, making the trees a natural target for poachers. In fact, it was at the center of a controversial case back in 2015, wherein a sawmill owner admitted that he had suspicions that the logs he was buying weren’t legally obtained. Authorities used DNA testing to prove that the logs were indeed taken from a national forest. While the US Forest Service had to gather a team of experts for that incident, this initiative relies on volunteers and citizen scientists.

If you’re interested, you’ll have to complete a training course online and pass a test to show that you understand how to collect samples. In addition to taking a leaf or a piece of the tree’s wood with you, you’ll also have to use an app, which asks a number of questions about the specimen, while in the field. The hope is that the samples volunteers collect can serve as vital DNA evidence for any future illegal logging cases.

Norway and the US Forest Service read more

World’s tiniest ‘computer’ makes a grain of rice seem massive

The size limitations forced researchers to get creative to reduce the effect of light. They switched from diodes to switched capacitors, and had to fight the relative increase in electrical noise that comes from running on a device that uses so little power.

The result is a sensor that can measure changes in extremely small regions, like a group of cells in your body. Scientists have suspected that tumors are slightly hotter than healthy tissue, but it’s been difficult to verify this until now. The minuscule device could both check this claim and, if it proves true, gauge the effectiveness of cancer treatments. The team also envisions this helping to diagnose glaucoma from inside the eye, monitor biochemical processes and even study tiny snails.

Why the air quotes around computer, then? The tiny size is leading the University to question what a computer is. This does have a full-fledged processor (based on an ARM Cortex-M0+ design), but it loses all data when it loses power, just read more

Mercedes pulls its plug-in hybrids to prepare for new models

The new system, mentioned earlier in the spring, mates a nine-speed automatic with the electric motor and clutch in the same unit, promising both considerably longer range in pure electric mode (up to 31 miles, or about 10 miles more) as well as a slightly faster top 87MPH top speed. You’ll have to lean on the gas engine less often, even when you’re mashing the throttle.

Just when the EQ models will arrive depends on how much you’re willing to spend. The first in line is the ultra-posh S-Class, which arrives in the UK this fall and in the US in mid-2019. Two E-Class variants (one with a diesel) are due by the end of 2018, while a C-Class diesel PHEV is expected in spring 2019. There’s no official word on a GLE replacement, although it may show up later in 2018. And if you don’t have a nicely-padded bank account, a plug-in A-Class is poised to arrive soon after the C-Class.

The push isn’t completely surprising. Mercedes has made clear that electrified read more

Security researcher bypasses iPhone’s limit on passcode attempts

Hickey said that when an iPhone is plugged in and a hacker sends it passcode guesses using keyboard input (as opposed to typing on the screen), the action triggers an interrupt request that takes precedence over everything else. That means the iPhone would be too busy to erase the device if the attacker sends it one passcode guess after another. As a result, they can guess as many times as they want instead of being limited to 10 guesses.

Hickey said he already reported the vulnerability to Apple, noting that the bug isn’t difficult to identify and that there are probably other people who’d already found it before he did. Companies like Cellebrite, which unlocked the San Bernardino shooter’s phone for the feds, and GrayKey’s maker might even be using a similar brute force technique and taking advantage of the same bug to break into iPhones.

Cupertino might also be already aware of the vulnerability, which is why iOS 12 will feature a Restricted read more

Tesla’s Model 3 catches up on Autopilot and WiFi features

The patch also adds something as simple as WiFi access. Until now, the Model 3 had to connect to LTE to receive updates — this could give you a speedier connection when you’re parked at home and help you grab… well, more updates. And if you live in a hot climate, cabin overheat protection (again available in other models) prevents the temperature from venturing past 105F for up to 12 hours after you’ve left your vehicle. It’s primarily intended for drivers worried they may leave a kid or pet in the backseat for an extended period.

The ongoing updates are a reminder of how aggressively Tesla launched the Model 3 in order to meet its production promises — the software continues to be rough around the edges nearly a year after the first vehicle rolled off the line. read more

Apple quietly kills Modern Buckle Watch band in the US

Apple regularly kills off products in silence, simply yanking it from stores without so much as a notice. That’s how its super expensive gold Edition watches and even something as big as the iPod Classic went the way of the dodo. This time, Apple has killed the Modern Buckle Apple Watch band, which was one of the first styles available for the device. It’s not quite as huge as an iPod, but its removal could disappoint those who’ve been eyeing it for a while. 9to5mac first noticed that it’s not available from Apple’s online store anymore, and upon checking with Wayback Machine, the last time it was up for purchase was back in mid-March.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget