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December 8th, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Welcome to the third age of online education

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 The strangest things can trigger intense memories. For Marcel Proust, the taste of a madeleine cookie famously unleashed his entire childhood. In The Game, a reflection on life and hockey, my boyhood hero Ken Dryden, the great Montreal Canadiens goalie, recounts waking up in his parents’ home in Islington (a Toronto neighborhood) thinking he’s hearing the sounds of skates biting the ice and pucks thumping off the boards on the backyard rink his father built for him and his brother. And for Britain’s Prince Andrew, an allegation that he’d been intimate with a 17-year-old girl evoked an evening at a nondescript chain restaurant in a nondescript town in Surrey on the very date in question more than 18 years earlier.

Last month in an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew contended he couldn’t have been with Virginia Giuffre on March 10, 2001 because he “weirdly distinctly” remembers taking his daughter to the Pizza Express in Woking that evening. If you’ve ever been to a Pizza Express – let alone one in a London commuter town like Woking – I guarantee you’ll have trouble remembering you were ever there. None of this was lost on the British public, which began posting video of the unremarkable restaurant and flooding Google and Trip Advisor with new reviews like: “Pizza Express Woking is like no other Pizza Express! It’s a memory which will never disappear… The pizza is so good from this specific branch, it gives you the ability to not only remember what year you visited, but the exact day and month! Truly incredible.” And “if you’re in need of an alibi, this is the restaurant for you.”

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December 8th, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Google Maps may soon highlight well-lit streets for walkers

Google to provide Android operating system for media displays in cars

New Lighting layer could make walking at night safer.

Google Maps is great for getting directions while driving and using public transport, but in the last year it has been rolling out more features focused on traveling by foot as well. Recently, the company introduced AR walking directions and detailed spoken walking directions for people with vision impairments. In the future, Google may be adding a new feature to help people find safer streets to walk at night.

According to XDA Developers, an Android development community whose members have analyzed the Android APK to look for unreleased features, there are indications of a new Lighting layer in Google Maps. This layer would indicate which streets are brightly lit by street lights by showing a yellow highlight.

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December 8th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Study finds aging tends to shift gears as you turn 34, 60 and 78

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It’s possible to predict a person’s age from protein levels in their blood according to a Stanford study

 The blood-borne signs of aging – and indeed, perhaps the causes of aging – make three big shifts around the ages of 34, 60 and 78, a new Stanford-led study has discovered, potentially leading to new diagnostic tests and avenues of anti-aging research.

The study measured levels of nearly 3,000 individual proteins in the plasma of small blood samples from 4,263 people aged between 18 and 95, and found that 1,379 of these proteins varied significantly with a subject’s age. Indeed, with information about levels of just 373 of these proteins, the researchers found they could predict a subject’s age “with great accuracy,” and an even smaller subset of just nine proteins could do a “passable” job.

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December 7th, 2019 at 1:49 pm

The worst designed products of 2019

 

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 Don’t add any of these to your holiday wish list.

It’s never a good sign when the masses wonder whether your latest product is really an April Fool’s Joke. (Looking at you, Creme Egg Mayo.)

Heinz and Cadbury weren’t the only ones to launch a highly mockable product. For your reading pleasure, we’ve rounded up a shortlist of this year’s worst design fails. In no particular order, here are the products that most invite the question, why?

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December 7th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

7 Anti-drone weapons used by the military and law enforcement around the world

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Drones can be used for some very nefarious activities. For this reason, armies and law enforcement need some effective means of countering them.

Drones are, frankly, awesome. But there are some bad actors who could use them for nefarious activities.

For these reasons, many companies around the world, including engineering-giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are producing anti-drone weapons to counter the potential threats drones can offer.

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10 Unanswerable questions that neither science nor religion can answer