Moore’s Law and Moving Beyond Silicon: The Rise of Diamond Technology

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:36pm

My “aha” moment occurred in 2004 when, as a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, double majoring in physics and engineering, a research paper seized my interest. It was about the role that diamond could play as an electronics material — vastly uncharted territory at the time. I recognized then that diamond technology […]

The post Moore’s Law and Moving Beyond Silicon: The Rise of Diamond Technology appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

2015: The Year of the Technologically Engaged Patient?

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:35pm

In 2014, wearables and the quantified self continued to grab headlines, from the de-emphasis of the Nike Fuel Band to the launch of Runkeeper’s Breeze activity sensor app to the backlash against attempts to feminize trackers by making them pretty. The Affordable Care Act continued to change healthcare, most notably when state insurance exchanges became […]

The post 2015: The Year of the Technologically Engaged Patient? appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:33pm
An anonymous reader writes A German company has converted a 1960s nuclear bunker 100 miles from network hub Frankfurt into a state-of-the-art underground data center with very few operators and very little oxygen. IT Vision Technology (ITVT) CEO Jochen Klipfel says: 'We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go outIt took us two years'. ITVT have the European Air Force among its customers, so security is an even higher priority than in the average DC build; the refurbished bunker has walls 11 feet thick and the central complex is buried twenty feet under the earth.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Not-So-Crazy Plan to Build an Ice-Skating Highway Through Edmonton

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:09pm

The Freezeway is a proposed a 6.8-mile skating lane through Edmonton, Alberta, for residents who want to commute on ice.

The post The Not-So-Crazy Plan to Build an Ice-Skating Highway Through Edmonton appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 11:50am
MojoKid writes Dell's 2015 XPS 13 notebook made a splash out at CES this year with its near bezel-less 13-inch QHD+ (3200X1800) display and Intel's new 5th Gen Core series Broadwell-U processor. At 2.8 pounds, the 2015 XPS 13 isn't the absolute lightest 13-inch ultrabook book out there but it's lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air and only a few ounces heavier than Lenovo's Core M-powered Yoga 3 Pro. The machine's Z dimensions are thin, at .33" up front to .6" at its back edge. However, its 11.98" width almost defies the laws of physics, squeezing a 13.3" (diagonal) display into an 11.98-inch frame making it what is essentially the smallest 13-inch ultrabook to hit the market yet. Performance-wise, this review shows its benchmarks numbers are strong and Intel's Broadwell-U seems to be an appreciable upgrade versus the previous generation architecture, along with lower power consumption.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 11:09am
An anonymous reader writes Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

New Fantasy Writers and Internet-Haters Dominate Our Favorite Books This Month

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:30am

While January can suffer from a post-holiday publication lull, it's a great time room for cooler, less conventional reads.

The post New Fantasy Writers and Internet-Haters Dominate Our Favorite Books This Month appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:27am writes with this paper from four researchers (Jehan-François Pâris, Ahmed Amer, Darrell D. E. Long, and Thomas Schwarz, S. J.), with an interesting approach to long-term, fault-tolerant storage: As the prices of magnetic storage continue to decrease, the cost of replacing failed disks becomes increasingly dominated by the cost of the service call itself. We propose to eliminate these calls by building disk arrays that contain enough spare disks to operate without any human intervention during their whole lifetime. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we have simulated the behaviour of two-dimensional disk arrays with N parity disks and N(N – 1)/2 data disks under realistic failure and repair assumptions. Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years. We observe that the same objectives cannot be reached with RAID level 6 organizations and would require RAID stripes that could tolerate triple disk failures.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Don't Look Now, But Deep Linking Just Got Hot

ReadWriteWeb - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:06am

Suppose the only way to get to this article—yes, the one you're reading—was to first visit and then trust that you could locate it using the site's navigation tools. Odds are good that you'd be somewhere else right now.

Instead, you probably followed a link shared on Twitter, passed along in email or even displayed here on ReadWrite. That "deep link" made it possible for you to zip right to this page, the same way you can visit just about anywhere on the Web with a single click. Deep links make the Web what it is; they're so deeply ingrained in our online understanding that we take them for granted.

At least on the desktop, that is. Mobile is a different story. Most mobile apps live in their own silos, and offer no way to directly access photos, stories, messages and other information to which they control access. Instead of letting you tap through to a relevant page, mobile links generally direct you to the app’s own home page—leaving you to search around the app, often in vain, for whatever you're really looking for.

See also: Facebook Still Thinks It Can Make Apps Work More Like The Web

It’s a problem that leads to increased user effort and frustration, and mobile app developers consider solving it a high priority. Suddenly, deep links in mobile are a hot topic.

Button Me Up

Right now, Button SDK is the development world’s most prominent open source solution to the mobile deep linking problem.

Out of hundreds of thousands of iOS repositories on code storage community GitHub, Button has trended in the top five most popular for weeks. That means a huge number of users are watching it, downloading it, and using it to integrate deep linking into their mobile apps. Recently, Button added ridesharing service Uber as one of those companies.

Chris Maddern, cofounder at Button, said the company built the SDK as a tool for its own app integration needs, but made it open source when they realized so many other developers were experiencing the same problem.

“From app to app, it’s all about taking a user’s intent and most closely matching it to the user’s action,” he said. “If I’m looking at an item and want to buy it in an app, why would you throw me on the home screen? I want to land on the item page so I can buy it.”

Why We Need Deep Links On Mobile

It’s hard to see the impact that deep linking has on our Internet browsing behaviors until it’s no longer there. Users expect to be able to tap from link to link between apps as easily as they do in their browsers. Deep linking is the one technology that lets them.

See also: Google Has New Targeted Ads That Encourage You Dive Into Apps

URX is another company that helps marketers implement deep linking. Mike Fyall, the company's head of marketing, told me that until Android and iOS enable HTTP links on their end, mobile apps will need to use deep links to mimic Web browsing.

“Mobile web browsers support HTTP links just fine—it’s apps that are the problem,” he said. “They aren't built to respond to HTTP links in the same way, so deep links are used to create similar functionality.”

URX takes the technology a step further with a type of deep linking it calls URX Links, previously known as omnilinks. Even deep links have their limits, and URX Links prevent a user’s app ownership from curbing his or her browsing experience.

“If a user clicks on a deep link but doesn't have the app installed, they will get an error message,” said Fyall. “URX Links route users to the right place whether or not the user has the app installed. If the user has the app installed, the deep link is used and the user is taken inside the app. If the user doesn't have the app installed, they are taken to the mobile website.”

The Future Of Mobile Deep Linking

Deep linking is becoming a big asset for marketers who want to drive mobile traffic seamlessly from mobile browsers to mobile apps. The next step for URX, Button, and other companies in the deep linking space is to foster deep linking between different apps. For example, if a user makes a table reservation on partner Rezy, Button wants there to be a link within the Rezy app to order an Uber car to the restaurant. 

“We want to build a more connected app ecosystem,” said Maddern. “To create the fluid world of users moving around on the Web, and a standardized way of moving users between apps.”

Right now, the process of deep linking is wildly different between Apple and Google. URX supports both Android and iOS with separate SDKs, and Button supports just iOS for now, (but is working on Android support). Both companies agree that the possibilities for deep linking could change dramatically depending on what Apple and Google do next.

“For the best user experience possible, we will always need to be able to link directly to a specific place in an app," said Fyall. "Deep links will be the answer for the foreseeable future. However, if the industry agreed on a deep linking standard that worked across platforms and operating systems, they would be easier to implement and use.”

Photo by Yandle

Categories: Technology

“Naches” from our Machines

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:04am

Why we need to be proud of and take joy from our machines, even if they are more powerful than we are.

The post “Naches” from our Machines appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Building’s Pixelated Facade Regulates Its Temperature

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:00am

The initial designs have a foreboding kind of beauty, an atmospheric choice that was intentional says Snøhetta.

The post This Building’s Pixelated Facade Regulates Its Temperature appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Quantum Experiment That Simulates a Time Machine

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:45am
KentuckyFC writes One of the extraordinary features of quantum mechanics is that one quantum system can simulate the behaviour of another that might otherwise be difficult to create. That's exactly what a group of physicists in Australia have done in creating a quantum system that simulates a quantum time machine. Back in the early 90s, physicists showed that a quantum particle could enter a region of spacetime that loops back on itself, known as a closed timelike curve, without creating grandfather-type paradoxes in which time travellers kill their grandfathers thereby ensuring they could never have existed to travel back in time in the first place. Nobody has ever built a quantum closed time-like curve but now they don't have to. The Australian team have simulated its behaviour by allowing two entangled photons to interfere with each other in a way that recreates the behaviour of a single photon interacting with an older version of itself. The results are in perfect agreement with predictions from the 1990s--there are no grandfather-type paradoxes. Interestingly, the results are entirely compatible with relativity, suggesting that this type of experiment might be an interesting way of reconciling it with quantum mechanics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Big Data Could Limit Super Bowl Sticker Shock

ReadWriteWeb - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 9:00am

Guest author Alex Salkever is the head of product marketing and business development at

Andrew Kitchell is from Seattle and is the co-founder of PriceMethod, a startup that helps AirBnB and HomeAway hosts price their properties. His co-founder Joe Fraiman is from Boston. They both follow football and pondered going to the Super Bowl, but were floored by the high prices for accommodations—even though their business is all about supply and demand, which gives them a certain insight into the impact of 100,000 people abruptly descending on a city in search of an affordable place to stay.

Credit: PriceMethod

So Kitchell and Fraiman flipped their methodology around and built a simple tool to help Super Bowl attendees find cheaper last minute lodging. They took the same Big Data harvesting and categorization infrastructure they had built and, on a dime, put a new UI on the results to make it easier for the public to search for cheap accommodations—the exact opposite of their normal business helping peer-to-peer property owners charge what the market will bear.

I caught up with Kitchell to talk with him about their Super Bowl findings and how PriceMethod crawls data and builds data models that can give property owners the same pricing tools as big hotel chains. Here's a lightly edited version of our conversation.

Leveling The Playing Field

ReadWrite: So where did the idea come from?

Andrew Kitchell: We are a data science-focused team of Y Combinator alums, and usually we help Airbnb and HomeAway listings with data-driven pricing. However, my co-founder is from Boston, and I'm from Seattle, so we thought this would be a fun time to use our data to help our fellow football fans.

RW: Tell us a little bit about how PriceMethod works.

AK: We’re trying to level the playing field for P2P (peer-to-peer) accommodations versus traditional big hotels. To do that, we need to have a good picture of the entire market including hotels and other accommodation sources.

As a base we collect data from Airbnb and HomeAway, the two biggest P2P accommodation networks. We do that several times per day. Additionally, we collect hotel price and occupancy data from multiple sources across the Internet. Primarily, we use hotel data to build a predictive pricing model for local demand. We assume that hotels, because they have very strong predictive pricing tools, are already baking in good assumptions for local demand based on their own algorithms and historical data.

We also use vacation rental and P2P property data to build a reactive pricing model. This adjusts prices based on how local demand translates into actual bookings within a neighborhood, inventory type. You need that in the P2P market because it is still somewhat unpredictable.

RW: How do you account for things like the price of inventory taken off the market?

AK: For scraped hotel and vacation rental or P2P listings, we infer the "booked price" for any day from the last observed price. We collect data from channels throughout the day, so we will observe and record any booking within, at most, 24 hours. With a linked account, we can get perfect access to booking data. However, as a first step, we can use the last observed price to inform a robust model.

How To Build A Pricing Model

RW: Your team has some deep experience in building pricing models for big financial firms in commodities and other trading markets. How do you build your pricing models for the P2P accommodations markets?

AK: Our current pricing model consists of four components. First, we base price recommendations on the average market value of similar listings. Then we make a local adjustment due to the popularity of any given neighborhood. This adjusts and improves our base pricing model.

We then apply a time-sensitive model model informed by the booking curve of the local market, taking into account time periods expected for local bookings. Lastly, we look at demand driven changes depending on the local availability of vacation rentals and hotels.

Q: So how is the Super Bowl different in terms of pricing?

A: By our calculation, at least 75% of the P2P and vacation rental market is underpriced for the Super Bowl. We're seeing some amazing price increases for informed owners, and our favorite example of how the rest of the accommodations market is moving is captured by the fact that someone is selling a basic room for 20x their normal rate.

For the Super Bowl, we wanted to determine how hosts could price their home during a period of exceptional demand. So we actually skewed our model to analyze how much experienced P2P hosts—those with more reviews and more future bookings—were increasing prices, and how booked out these listings were at their raised prices. In some cases, owners are increasing their prices up to 15 times their normal rates, so we were able to observe bookings at this homes to discern the efficacy of these increases.

For hosts during the Super Bowl, we used this analysis to recommend a reasonable range of price increases for other homes. For travelers attending the Super Bowl, we used this same process to determine which homes were priced best in comparison to their potential value.

Let's Talk Nerdy

RW: What does your tech stack look like? 

AK: It’s a Rails stack with a PostGres database and Reddis for caching. The whole thing is sitting on top of Amazon Web Services so we can spin up as many nodes as we need to do our crawls. We use Mechanize for a lot of our crawling and are using a combination of APIs, mobile APIs and standard Web data to fuel our system. AWS makes it very easy to get up and running. It’s almost a no brainer. It has so many tools and for the cost and the power, it’s quite amazing.

RW: For vacation rental owners that use you, how much more money can they expect to make?

AK: Our initial numbers show we are increasing their revenue by 20% to 40%. Those numbers will get better as we have a large set of customers. We can’t disclose numbers right now but this is a huge, multi-billion dollar market that is poorly addressed right now. AirBnB is adding thousands of listings per day. We’re bootstrapping right now and are going to raise money in a few months. But we’re confident the market is there. 

Lead graphic courtesy of Shutterstock

Categories: Technology

A Closer Look at Slow Motion Video on the iPhone 6

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 8:37am

How does the iPhone handle this transition from real speed to slow motion speed? In other words, what is the time rate of change of the frame rate during the transition.

The post A Closer Look at Slow Motion Video on the iPhone 6 appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Sequencing Foods’ DNA Could Help Us Prevent Diseases

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 8:00am

Scientists from the IBM Research and Mars Incorporated today announced the Sequencing the Food Supply Chain Consortium, a collaborative food safety platform aiming to leverage advances in genomics and analytics to further our understanding of what makes food safe.

The post How Sequencing Foods’ DNA Could Help Us Prevent Diseases appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Cape Watch: Joss Whedon May Abandon the Avengers as Fantastic Four Gets a Trailer

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 7:00am

Whether or not we'll get a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer for the Super Bowl, at least we finally got to see some Fantastic Four footage.

The post Cape Watch: Joss Whedon May Abandon the Avengers as Fantastic Four Gets a Trailer appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Facebook Dominated Mobile App Downloads in 2014

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:30am

According to a new report about 2014 mobile app usage, iOS and Android users downloaded Facebook's mobile apps more often than any other apps, both in the US and globally.

The post Facebook Dominated Mobile App Downloads in 2014 appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

14 Goofy Gadgets You Might Find in Pawn Shops in 2050

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:30am

These products don’t exist, at least not yet.

The post 14 Goofy Gadgets You Might Find in Pawn Shops in 2050 appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

I Love You, Grim Fandango, Even Though You’re Broken

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:30am

Despite how many modern games are driven by the engine of nostalgia, it can often be difficult to go back and replay the games of your youth -- not just emotionally, but technologically.

The post I Love You, Grim Fandango, Even Though You’re Broken appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology