Daily Archives: February 22, 2017

First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia

One afternoon in November, Fran Serenade led me and her daughter Barbie down a steep section of the Appalachian trail. The sun was high and Fran hiked briskly, ducking the blue-green diagonals of fir trees, her hair wild behind her. She wanted to show me her log cabin, which was off the trail next to a red barn by a blue lake with a pretty waterfall. Outside the barn, we met Fran’s kitty, Amici, and a handful of other cats, all of them wearing knit caps. Fran pet Amici, who followed her, mewling.Inside the cabin, a fire raged in the fireplace. Fran pointed out her favorite things: an antique icebox; an embroidered tablecloth; a crochet basket. Then we were off to Tai Chi practice.With her mountain of blonde curls, heart-shaped face, hip-hugging jeans, and tiny waist, Fran recalls a young Dolly Parton. She’s so pretty, she’s almost doll-like. Barbie is slim and pretty, too, though, in her leopard print vest and red lipstick, her look is less country, more glam. Mother and daughter both wore heels, even as we hiked.It turns out heels work perfectly well on virtual trails, no matter how steep. The trail and cabin we visited exist inside an online virtual world called Second Life. They were designed to recall a real-world trail and cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where Fran once lived. Fran Serenade is the avatar of Fran Swenson, an 89-year-old former nurse with a head of silver curls and a Brooklyn accent. Barbie is the avatar of Barbara, her daughter in real life.

Source: First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia

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Genetically Engineered Muscle Cells Power Tiny Bio-Robots | Hackaday

One of the essential problems of bio-robotics is actuators. The rotors, bearings, and electrical elements of the stepper motors and other electromechanical drives we generally turn to for robotics projects are not really happy in living systems. But building actuators the way nature does it — from muscle tissue — opens up a host of applications. That’s where this complete how-to guide on building and controlling muscle-powered machines comes in.Coming out of the [Rashid Bashir] lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign, the underlying principles are simple, which of course is the key to their power. The technique involves growing rings of muscle tissue in culture using 3D-printed hydrogel as forms. The grown muscle rings are fitted on another 3D-printed structure, this one a skeleton with stiff legs on a flexible backbone. Stretched over the legs like rubber bands, the muscle rings can be made to contract and move the little bots around.

Source: Genetically Engineered Muscle Cells Power Tiny Bio-Robots | Hackaday

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New And Best Features Of Linux Kernel 4.10

Back in December, 2016, Linux boss Linus Torvalds rolled out Linux kernel 4.9. Thanks to tons of code due to Project Ara’s ‘greybus’ and AMD GPU register definition files, it was the biggest ever kernel release in terms of commits. The release also opened the Linux kernel 4.10 merge window. Kernel 4.10 is expected to be released this weekend–most probably on February 19.Having said that, I know you’re pretty excited about this release and you might be wondering about the new and best features coming to Linux kernel 4.10. So, here they are:

Source: New And Best Features Of Linux Kernel 4.10

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Study: Those High-Priced Antioxidants May Be Killing You – Study Finds

BEIJING — Fear of mortality is one reason Americans spend so much on “antioxidant” products, including Vitamin C supplements and beta-carotene, which promise a longer healthier life. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of adults in the U.S. consume some kind of antioxidant product, spending $37 billion each year.But a study conducted in China – where aging is akin to a national obsession these days – claims that antioxidants don’t work as billed.

The study is published in the journal Redox Biology.A new study finds that antioxidant supplements may be more harmful to the human body than believed.Rather than extending longevity, researchers say they trigger a stress reaction which causes the body to age more rapidly.

Source: Study: Those High-Priced Antioxidants May Be Killing You – Study Finds

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Twitter Is Now ‘Ghost’ Deleting Offensive Tweets | Heat Street

Early this month Twitter unveiled a new plan to crack down on harassment. They laid out three new tools to start fighting against abusive accounts and comments. They neglected to mention, however, the real changes they would be making to punish users for using supposedly offensive language.Last week we discovered Twitter was punishing accounts for using “offensive” language by removing account features for 12 hours. Now it appears they are “ghost” deleting Tweets they deem offensive.When a Tweet is ghost deleted, the person who wrote the Tweet still sees it and does not know it is technically deleted. But everyone else trying to find the Tweet cannot see it, and even if you manually enter the Tweet’s URL, it will bring you to a page that says it was deleted.

Source: Twitter Is Now ‘Ghost’ Deleting Offensive Tweets | Heat Street

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How to Install Linux Kernel 4.10 on Ubuntu 16.10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

A step-by-step tutorial with easy-to-follow instructions

Source: How to Install Linux Kernel 4.10 on Ubuntu 16.10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

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