Micah

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Rwandan life expectancy doubles in last 20 years, study finds

Twenty years after the genocide that killed up to a million and left Rwanda one of the world's poorest and sickest nations, life expectancy in the country has doubled and it is on course to be the first in Africa to meet the UN millennium development goals' health targets.<p>This analysis of the …

Chicago Just Had Its Coldest Winter In History. Here's Proof.

We knew it was a doozy, but new numbers make it official: Chicago's seemingly endless winter was also its coldest since records began in 1872.<p>According to a statement released Tuesday by the National Weather Service -- it was not, unfortunately, an April Fool's joke -- Chicago experienced its …

Fruit flies fitted with tiny backpacks to save farms

<i>(Credit: CSIRO)</i><p><b>The CSIRO is putting RFID sensors on Queensland fruit flies to study their behaviour in the hopes of saving Queensland's crops.</b><p>What do …

Foodini Is A 3D Printer That Lets You Print Dishes With Fresh Ingredients

Foodini is a 3D printer for foodstuffs. Its Florida-based makers are hoping their time-saving device becomes as ubiquitous on kitchen countertops as the microwave oven has become.<p>But instead of forcing people to rely on highly processed convenience food that’s larded with additives and unhealthy …

Google launches Android Wear: A new project to bring Android to wearables like smartwatches

Google has officially launched Android Wear, an initiative to extend the Android operating system to wearable tech.<p>Google says Android Wear devices will launch “later this year” and claims to be working with “Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung” on devices. Interestingly, Google announced that …

Facebook's working on facial verification that's 'nearing human-level performance'

Identifying faces is a relatively simple task if you're a human, but it's been a long road for computers to do the same thing. Now Facebook says it's developed a technology for verifying whether two people in side-by-side photos are the same that comes pretty close to replicating human abilities. …

US Government Cedes Control Of The Internet

The US government is to give up control of the administration of the internet, handing over responsibility for the IP numbering network and domain name system (DNS) to the global community.<p>Since 1998, under a contract with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information …

MIT Students Use GIFs to Teach Computers Emotion

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth? We may be about to find out.<p>Two graduate students at the MIT Media Lab aim to create …

Hershey and 3D Systems team up to make 3D-printed chocolate candy

The chocolate in the candy aisle could soon begin to look a lot weirder. 3D Systems announced today that it will partner with the Hershey Company to develop "innovative opportunities" in 3D-printed food. The multi-year agreement will have 3D Systems working with Hershey to come up with new ways of …

Meta wants to augment your world with the 'Iron Man' interface

When someone tells you they have a pair of augmented reality glasses with an interface designed by the same Hollywood staple who created the Iron Man suit's UI, you listen. Then, you ask if you can put them on.<p>The glasses come from Meta, a small company with huge dreams that's already comparing …

Blood money: PulseWallet lets you pay with your veins

“Spread your fingers.”<p>“Capturing...”<p>“Remove your hand.”<p>Just like that, a machine called PulseWallet scanned the veins in my right hand and charged my credit card.<p>PulseWallet, or palm scanners like it, might soon call your local Starbucks home and provide one more way to pay for your Pumpkin Spice …

Intel Edison is a full computer on an SD card, launching in 2014

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used the stage at his first CES keynote address to announce the company's new smart product lines, and in addition revealed …

More Than 300 Sharks In Australia Are Now On Twitter

Sharks in Western Australia are now tweeting out where they are — in a way.<p>Government researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals are. When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a …

How to Use Your Fancy New Camera Like a Pro

Congratulations, you just scored an awesome new camera. Welcome to our annual guide to getting started with your new tool.<p>Whether you're shooting on …

8 Facts You Never Knew About Christmas

Magic mushrooms, prostitution, home invasions? The story that Americans celebrate has far from family-friendly origins. The truth about this holiday, …

Christmas Light Photography Tips

At this time of year, many of the world’s cultures and religions celebrate holidays that involve lights. While the use of lights and candles is often …

Haiti switches on to solar power as sustainable electricity solution

Mirebalais is just an hour's drive north-east of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, but in terms of technological distance travelled, the town might as well be on another planet. On moonless nights, much of the capital is dark; its shacks and makeshift roadside stalls are lit only by flickering …

Facebook’s New “Donate Now” Button Makes Impulsive Giving Easier Than Ever

Inspired by a successful partnership with the Red Cross after Typhoon Haiyan, Facebook is now making it possible for vetted charities to solicit donations on the social network.<p>Computers and cell phones have made it far too easy to spend large sums of money without actually thinking about it. When …

Fully wearable Iron Man Mark III suit is made to 3D printed order for $35,000

We joked yesterday about finding the perfect gift for that eccentric billionaire (or millionaire, or really just any "rich" person) in your life, but nothing truly says <i>money to burn</i> like your very own <i>Iron Man</i> suit. The real kicker here is that this Iron Man Mark III suit, made by (wait for it) Iron …

Google acquires Boston Dynamics, maker of animal-inspired robots

Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, maker of Cheetah, BigDog, WildCat and other nature-inspired robots.<p>Google confirmed the acquisition in a Saturday New York Times report, which also broke the story earlier in December about former Android chief Andy Rubin leading a robotics push at Google.<p>Boston …

Is Texting Actually Advancing Language?

<i>Part 1 of the</i> TED Radio Hour <i>episode</i> Spoken And Unspoken.<p><b>About John McWhorter's TEDTalk</b><p>Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? Linguist John McWhorter says that there's much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it's all good news.<p><b>About John McWhorter</b><p>Linguist …

A gorgeous, colorful look at the cellphone signals we never see

Invisible signals are all around us, and now we can finally see what we've been missing. Data visualization artist Nickolay Lamm created psychedelic images of the cellphone signals that live in the air, but are invisible to us.<p>At first glance, the visualizations look like tiny mountains illuminated …

IBM's Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Will Power A 'Cognitive, Expert Personal Shopper' App Next Year

IBM Watson Solutions VP Stephen Gold told us that starting in 2014, consumers can look for the first three Watson-powered apps from IBM business partners.<p>We were most intrigued by the description of one of these apps in particular, Fluid Retail. Here's how Gold described it to us:<p>"Fluid, which …

Amazon Prime Air: Delivery by Drones Could Arrive As Early as 2015

For the next few weeks UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service will be working overtime to make sure you get your holiday gifts on time, but if Amazon …

Sickweather tracks then alerts you of nearby illnesses

With flu season fast approaching and holiday travelers carrying germs throughout the world, it sure would be nice to know what kind of illnesses are nearby. As Mashable reported, an app called Sickweather wants to give you that information on your iPhone, using your current location.<p>Download the …

12 Cheap Gifts For Photographers (Plus 12 Expensive Ones)

Buying gifts for photographers can be tough, but it doesn't need to be expensive and if you're unsure of what to buy then our list is going to make …

How does Thanksgiving actually make us feel?

Thanksgiving can mean a lot of things, from the usual turkey feast to more idiosyncratic and potentially stressful traditions like a Black Friday campout or a death-defying deep fry. The holiday varies from person to person and family to family, causing real problems for anyone who wants to …

Tech News & Analysis - Wall Street Journal

Dow Jones, a News Corp company<p>News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information …

Historical photographs get a 'colorized' makeover - in pictures

Do historic photographs look better in colour? The colorizers think so. Skilled digital artists such as Sanna Dullaway and Jordan J Lloyd are keen to remind us that the past was as colourful as the present – and their message is spreading though Reddit and Facebook.<br>• Read Jon Henley on the …

Oxford Word Of The Year 2013

Oxford Dictionaries just announced that their Word of the Year for 2013 is <i>selfie,</i> which means "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."<p>According to Oxford research, the use of the word <i>selfie</i> has increased by …