Sunday 31 December 2017

BMW X3 2018: With a King Called X3 M40i

The third generation of the BMW X3 will debut in Frankfurt, but it has already been revealed The German SUV will be manufactured in the United States and promises to be a bestseller Its range part of a 2.0 diesel engine of 190 horses with a price of 51,000 euros

The BMW X3 M40i acts as top of the range thanks to its 360 horsepower

The 2017 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show will witness the presentation of the new BMW X3. A premiere forced by the huge competition in the SUV segment and reinforced by the successes that are reaping the X1 and the X5. Like the latter, it is built on the CLAR platform. However, before its official debut the BMW X3 has been presented in California. The most German SUV is born in America and the BMW X3 M40i is its best example.

It will not be until the next Frankfurt Motor Show when the third generation of the BMW X3 arrives in Europe, but we already know all its details after its presentation at the factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it will be manufactured. Based on the CLAR (Cluster Architecture) platform that already uses the X5, the new SUV of the Bavarian firm will be 100 kilos lighter than its predecessor, a figure that should be taken into account if we look at its new measures. Apart from this, its design is more elaborate and complex than in the BMW X1, following the line of the BMW 5 Series or the BMW 7 Series.

To speak of a clean design is to do it of an SUV that will have a fluid design in spite of having a muscled frontal and that transmits power. Its bumper and its traditional kidney-shaped grille (larger) mark the front, although optical groups with LED technology also exude a great personality thanks to its sharper design. The anti-fog lights contribute to this sensation, for the first time with hexagonal shape in an X model. The alloy wheels in black finish give a very sporty touch to its side image, although they are reserved for the BMW X3 M40i variant. Its lines are more sculpted and marked.

In his rear, the BMW X3 marks differences with the X5. However, the third generation of the medium-sized SUV of the brand maintains the tailgate of a piece despite its widened pilots, which is associated with the opening of the moon individually and the opening without hands with sensor. This will allow a much easier access to a large boot that will have different load levels depending on the position of the seats. Its rear is completed by a small spoiler, LED optical groups and a double exhaust outlet. BMW will offer the X3 under three variants: 'xLine', 'Luxury Line' with chrome accents and 'M Sport'. The front or the rims are the main elements that change between each version.

On a mechanical level, the BMW X3 will arrive in the fall with a complete range of propellers that have been revised and that improve the features offered in the outgoing model. The range of the BMW X3 will start with the sDrive20i and xDrive20i versions. The first will not be available in Europe, while the second will be available, but none will arrive before the spring of 2018. In both cases, it would mount a four-cylinder engine associated with a Steptronic 8-speed gearbox.

This propeller offers 185 horses and 290 Newton / meter. Its acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour is set at 8.3 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 215 kilometers per hour. The combined consumption for the European variant is 7.2 liters per 100.

The BMW X3 xDrive30i will arrive at dealerships in December 2017 and will equip a four-cylinder petrol engine associated with a Steptronic 8-gear box. Its power is 252 horses and its torque of 350 Newton / meter.

Accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 6.3 seconds, while its maximum speed is set at 240 kilometers per hour. Top of the range is the BMW X3 M40i with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with the aforementioned 8-speed Steptronic box. Its power is 360 horses and its torque of 500 Newton / meter. Accelerates from 0 to 100 in 4.8 seconds and its maximum speed is 250 kilometers per hour.

For its part, the Diesel range is defined by two models. The first is the BMW X3 xDrive20d with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine associated with an 8-speed Steptronic gearbox. Its power is 190 horses and its torque of 400 Newton / meter. Accelerates in 8.0 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour, while its top speed is 213 kilometers per hour. Its consumption is 5.4 liters at 100. For its part, the BMW X3 xDrive30d equipped a diesel engine with six cylinders in line with identical transmission that the range of the range. This 3.0-liter engine offers 265 horsepower and 620 Newton / meter of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 100 in 5.8 seconds, its maximum speed is 240 kilometers per hour and its combined consumption of 6.0 liters at 100.

As regards its interior, the BMW X3 presents a total renovation. It presents new and more modern finishes under the trademark of the brand, as well as a wide technological endowment that begins with the infotainment system already equipped with the Series 5 and Series 7. The dashboard is completely digital, it has three areas of air conditioning and a touch screen of 10.2 inches with Air-Touch technology that becomes the protagonist in the center console.

The new X3 will feature Head-up Display with integrated browser information. As in the exterior, there are optional packages and different versions to create personalized spaces and everything from the hand of the most complete technological equipment. The third generation of the German SUV equips Adapatito Cruise Control with Driving Assistant Plus.

It also has a lane guidance assistant and the assistant to change lanes as a result of the incorporation of the first semiautonomous driving technologies. All these semi-autonomous systems are included in the so-called BMW Connected Drive and in the BMW Co-Pilot system with complete integration of mobile devices. Some navigation or infotainment functions can be controlled by gestures or by voice commands.

Finally, with regard to its cost, BMW Group has already made public the official prices that will have in Spain the first three versions of the new SAV -Sports Activity Vehicle- of the Bavarian house, all of them with integral traction and two of the which will be Diesel: access to the range will be available with the X3 20d of 190 horses from 51,000 euros, the first six-cylinder engine will be defined by the 30d of 265 horses from 59,500 euros and, finally, the top of the range will be personified in the M40i of 360 horses from 70,500 euros.

Already on the X3 20d there is an exceptional standard equipment among which we find 18-inch alloy wheels, electric tailgate, distance control in front and rear parking, automatic three-zone climate control, LED lights, multifunctional sports leather steering wheel, light and rain sensor, adaptive cruise control with emergency braking function, hands-free, several USB sockets and intelligent emergency call, among others.

Are still pending to be included in the range the basic 20i petrol engine of 185 horses, whose cost is expected to be below its petrol-fueled counterpart, the intermediate power 30i petrol engine of 252 horses, also a few thousand euros more cheap that the 30d and, finally, a powerful X3 M of approximately 430 horses that recently captured one of our collaborators rolling down a Spanish highway with its due dose of camouflage.

Although we have talked about it throughout the article, special mention deserves the BMW X3 M40i as top of the range of the new X3. It is the first M Performance model of the series waiting for the X3 M and as such marks notable differences. It has a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a preparation that allows you to climb laps faster and have a great capacity for recovery. This propeller offers 360 horsepower and a torque of 500 Newton / meter. This propeller is associated with a 8-speed Steptronic gearbox with Launch Control. There is no lack of the xDrive all-wheel drive system.

The BMW X3 M40i is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.8 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour. Their combined consumption is 8.2 to 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers, while the CO2 emissions of this SUV are set at 188 to 193 grams per kilometer. Beyond these data, it should be noted that the X3 M40i additionally presents a special adjustment and several specific details that enhance and accentuate the performance and dynamic qualities of this SUV.

What do we mean? On the one hand is the specific M Performance kit that includes an aerodynamic kit 'M', an M sports exhaust system with outputs with dark chrome finish. This kit also includes specific brakes 'M' and an exclusive setting for the chassis (optionally adaptive), which is essential to take advantage of the variable sport steering. It also equips light tires of 20 inches, while technologically they emphasize the system 'Performance Control'. It should be remembered that the BMW X3 M40i arrives in autumn and has a price in Spain of 70,500 euros.

Friday 22 December 2017

What is HDMI 2.1? Everything You Need to Know about It

HDMI 2.1

A new age begins with the adoption of the HDMI 2.1

Most of the people don’t think much about the HDMI cables until it is broken or needs to be fixed. It should be noted that HDMI cables are widely used to render video content from the Bluray player to the television, soundbar or projector and it has a dedicated community working towards enhancing its capability for better. A new version of this cable has been developed dubbed as HDMI 2.1 which happens to be future ready thereby allowing users to view 4K to 10K from any source to their screen like a magic wand.

HDMI 2.1 The new age cable for modern needs

The technological evolution is happening at a breakneck speed especially when to comes to computing and consumer electronics. It is worth noting that HDMI 2.0 was released way back in 2013 and it had maximum ability to offer video content in 4K at 60 frames per second and now the capability of the monitors, television and others devices has been increased significantly. The HDMI 2.1 will help in doubling the performance of the cables from its earlier iteration wherein it will allow overreaching the 4K up to the massive 10K at 120 frames per second.

More pixels means requirement of greater bandwidth and it is possible only with the new advanced HDMI 2.1. These cables can easily upload the task of channelling video content at the upper limit of 48 Gbps rather than the paltry 18 Gbps. It also supports the dynamic HDR which will allow the televisions to adjust video as per the frame information. This is almost similar to the way Dolby Vision and HDRR10+ operates now days. People who love consumer virtual reality and core gaming will love to have this advanced cable to get the best experience on their televisions and consoles.

Features of the new HDMI 2.1 cables

As put forward by the HDMI Forum the new Ultra High Speed HDMI cable with boast of the HDMI 2.1 support allowing them to handle higher data load efficiently. It has highly advanced high bandwidth depending features which can help in generating uncompressed 8K video with HDR without much hassle. The best thing about these new age cable will be the ‘backward compatibility’ thereby it will be able all the pre-existing devices with ease and grace.

Some other features to be seen new HDMI cable include Variable Refresh Rate which is designed to eliminate the lag, frame tearing and stuttering for bettering game play experience. It will also have Quick Frame Transport which will help in reducing the latency in order to offer highly interactive VR experience to the users with smoother and no lag content render. Another feature worth mentioning is the Quick Media Switching which will help in eliminating the delay which causes black screen before content is displayed as it usually happens when watching movies.

The HDMI Forum will be running extensive compliance tests in the varied during the first three quarters of the next. The availability and adoption of the HDMI 2.1 in the consumer market will depend upon on the manufacturers.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Cortana now supports Google Calendar

The mere idea of a personal assistant is to do things for you with minimal effort. That is, you do not need to go to the application of time to see if it's going to rain or Google Maps to find the nearest coffee shop, but you can ask it out loud, with a mere interaction.

That's why Google responds to "Ok Google", Siri to "Hey Siri" and Cortana, in theory, should respond to "Hey Cortana". In Android it already did, but the permanent listening system caused incompatibilities with Google Now and has been deactivated since the end of 2015. Microsoft continues to expand the functionality of Cortana. After the Redmonder has already integrated its digital assistance system into Windows 10, Microsoft Edge and Office and even launched variants for the competitor platforms Android and iOS, the long overdue Google support follows. In addition to the in-house services Office 365, and LinkedIn Cortana can thus synonymous with the Google services dovetailed.

With the new support, the assistance system now has direct access to Gmail messages and Google Calendar entries. As a result, users of the service can be informed by voice command about incoming e-mails and upcoming appointments. Support expansion is also likely to increase the attractiveness of smart Cortana-based speakers such as the Harman Kardon Invoke.

Now, Cortana - the cross-platform personal assistant developed by Microsoft, is now compatible with Google Calendar. The Redmond giant has integrated a new Gmail connection to Cortana, which will allow the personal assistant to access the Google Calendar data. Thus, Windows 10 users, who frequently use their Gmail account, will now be able to directly access from Cortana calendar appointments and activate reminders.

The new Google Calendar support also allows the use of commands on speakers powered by Cortana, such as Harman Kardon's Evoke device, to access calendar information. In addition, the Cortana versions for iOS and Android will also be able to read and use Google Calendar information.

Microsoft's Google Calendar support for Cortana is now available for most PCs with Windows 10, and can be accessed by clicking, first, on the "Notebook" option of Cortana and then on "Adding a service".

In short, this new Cortana update allows quick access, through instructions or voice commands, not only to Microsoft services but also to those linked to Google. Thus, managing all our data and information will be easier from the personal computer with Windows 10 or another device that supports the Cortana personal assistant.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Ruthenium Monomers: Organic Electronics Beyond Cell Phone Screens

Ruthenium Monomers

Get ready for the age of Organic Electronics

When we think of future we assume of world of better machines, services and futuristic design and appeal taking care of our today’s problems. Organic electronics can help in achieving the very same future we think of with the help of the ruthenium monomers thereby we will get age of carbon based molecules rather than the silicon atoms.

The team behind this research

A team of researchers from the Princeton University, Georgia Institute of technology along with the Humbolt University of Berlin Germany has helped in creating such technology which will pave way for the organic electronics in the future. Their research has already published in the journal named Nature Materials wherein a piece was written on the feasibility in creation of the organic semiconductors.

Organic semiconductors created using this advanced technology backed with ruthenium monomers will help in creating a wide range of flexible electronics in near future. This will also usher an age of emerging technologies ranging from the solar energy conversion to the high quality colour displays which will be seen on the smartphones and other consumers electronics.

How organic semi-conductors are being made?

It is worth noting that the usual semiconductors are made out of silicon which has become a modern found of electronics. It allows engineers to take varied advantages associated with unique properties at controlling the electrical currents. Semiconductors are used across the devices and applications from the computing, switching to signal amplification. They can be found easily in the energy saving devices like the solar cells and the light emitting diodes. To tinker with the ability and functionality of the semiconductors researchers makes use of process called doping wherein a chemical makeup is modified in order to very small amount of impurities or chemical in it.

Organic semi-conductors are developed through using molecular dopants which ensures that it helps in creating highly efficient organic electronic devices. Scientists herein make use of very stable kind of molecular p-dopant which can be easily and successfully deployed in the devices. But so far they had been able to develop such molecular n-dopants which can work with the materials having low electron affinity than the others. The use of the n-doping on the semiconductors has helped in creating high efficiency organic light emitting diode which offers better conductivity than ever before.

What makes the new advanced technology best bet for future?

The best thing about the organic semiconductors is that it can be easily use in the fabrication of flexible devices which will help bringing energy saving products which can optimum functioning at the low temperatures. However the major disadvantage arising from the use of the organic semiconductor that it tends to have a relatively poor electrical conductivity. This disadvantage can result in causing unwanted difficulties in the processes and can even hamper the overall efficiency of the devices. However researchers have started working on improving the electrical properties of the organic semiconductors with ruthenium monomers in order to make them the best option available in the market.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Google Wants You to Experiment With Its New Photo Apps

Google launches three Photo Apps to take photographs

As part of its new 'experimental' program, the technological giant has launched the applications that is one of the best photo apps. Storyboard, Selfissimo! and Scrubbies.

Google does not want to limit photography to the capacity of mobile cameras. As an introduction to its "appsperimental" program - one of the best photo apps, it has launched three photographic applications: Storyboard (only for Android), Selfissimo! (for iOS and Android) and Scrubbies (only for iOS).

These photo apps have been developed in the laboratories of Google. That's why the company asks all users if they try the applications, take a minute to evaluate them and write a comment with their opinion and with ideas for new photo apps.

The first application is Storyboard, available for Android. This app creates comic pages with the frames of a video. It works as follows: the user records a short video and uploads it to Storyboard. The application automatically chooses some frames.

Then he places the images in a way that looks like a comic and applies a filter. If you like the result you can save it on the reel, and if you do not like it you can create a new comic page from the same video. According to Google, with each video there are more than a trillion possibilities.

This is the first trial of a new way to test more experimental functions to see how users respond, the company explained in a post on its Google Research blog. The "appsperimental" program - one of the best photo apps is inspired by the Motion Stills app, whose video stabilization system allows converting short videos into cinemagraphs (moving pictures), time lapses or GIFs. The photo apps involve various technologies that Google is developing:

They are based on object recognition, people segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image coding and decoding technologies and, perhaps most importantly, fun!

Many of the functions of these photo apps are the newest features that manufacturers include in the camera of mobile phones. The technological giant is asking for feedback and ideas from people, so we can expect to see the most popular photo apps adapted to other types of applications. This will also help Google develop an AI capable of working on virtually all facets of photography, not just in areas such as image quality and portrait effects.

Storyboard takes video clips and automatically takes out six frames, which you set in a comic style template. The app can be updated to obtain new designs and frames. Google states that there are more than 1.6 billion combinations.

On the other hand, Selfissimo! It's like a black and white photo booth. When you touch the screen to start a session, take a photo each time you pose. The idea is that you make different poses and that the app takes your photo every time you stop moving. Finally, Scrubbies allows you to remix DJ-style videos, creating video loops when passing and fast rewinding through a clip.

Monday 18 December 2017

Small Earthquakes at Fracking Sites May Be Early Indicators of Bigger Tremors

7 fears about fracking: science or fiction?

The extraction of shale gas with fracking or hydraulic fracturing has revolutionized the production of energy in the United States, but this controversial technology, banned in France and New York State, continues to generate criticism and protests.

The detractors of the technique, which consists of injecting water and chemical additives at high pressure to fracture the rock containing the hydrocarbons, warn about the possible contamination of water, methane leaks and earthquakes, among other risks.

The British Royal Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, said in its 2012 report that risks can be effectively managed in the UK "as long as the best operational practices are implemented," Richard Selley, professor at the University of Emeritus of Imperial College in London and one of the authors of the report.

But others, who have contrary opinions, are equal of strict. For example, regarding the possibility that fracking poses a risk of methane leakage, William Ellsworth, a professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. It is not a matter of determining if the wells may have leaks, but the question must be, what percentage has leaks.

In the middle of an intense and growing controversy about fracking, Stangford University Researchers investigated what science says up to now.

Can it cause earthquakes?

Two of them occurred in 2011 in England and led to the temporary suspension of the exploration with fracking.

The first, which occurred in April of that year, near the city of Blackpool, reached 2.3 on the Richter scale and was registered shortly after the company Cuadrilla used hydraulic fracturing in a well.

On May 27, after resumption of fracturing in the same well, seismicity of 1.5 was recorded.

The network of monitors of the British Geological Society, BGS, captured both events, which were not felt by the local inhabitants.

The company Cuadrilla and the government commissioned separate studies.

"Both reports attribute the seismic events to the fracturing operations of Cuadrilla," said the Royal Society, the British Academy of Sciences, in its joint report with the Royal Academy of Engineers on hydraulic fracturing, published in 2012.

Earthquakes can be unleashed mainly by high pressure injection of wastewater or when the fracturing process encounters a fault that was already under stress. However, the Royal Society said that activities such as coal mining also produce micro-organisms. The suspension of fracking in the United Kingdom was lifted in December 2012, following the report of the Royal Society, which ensured that fracking can be safe "provided that the best operational practices are implemented.

In the United States, a study published in March 2013 in the journal Geology linked the injection of wastewater with the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in 2011 in Prague, Oklahoma. The wastewater injection operations referred to in the study were conventional oil exploitation. However, seismologist Austin Holland of the Oklahoma Geological Survey said that while the study showed a potential link between earthquakes and wastewater injection, "it is still the opinion of the Oklahoma Geological Survey that those tremors could have occurred naturally."

Another study published in July 2013 in the journal Science and led by Nicholas van der Elst, a researcher at Columbia University, found that powerful earthquakes thousands of kilometers away can trigger minor seismic events near wastewater injection wells.

The study indicated that seismic waves unleashed by the 8.8 earthquake in Maule, Chile, in February 2010, moved across the planet causing tremors in Prague, Oklahoma, where the Wilzetta oilfield is located.

"The fluids in the injection of sewage into wells are bringing existing faults to their limit point," said Van der Elst.

Can fracking contaminate the water?

At the request of the US Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency of that country, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, is conducting a study on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water sources for human consumption.

A final draft of the report will be released at the end of 2014 to receive comments and peer review. The final report "will probably be finalized in 2016," the EPA confirmed.

In 2011, Stephen Osborn and colleagues at Duke University published a study in the journal of the US Academy of Sciences, according to which the researchers detected contamination of methane water sources near fracking exploration sites in the Marcellus formation. in Pennsylvania and New York.

The study did not find, however, evidence of contamination by chemical additives or the presence of high salinity wastewater in the fluid that returns to the surface along with the gas.

For its part, the Royal Society, the British Academy of Sciences, said that the risk of fractures caused during fracking reaching the aquifers is low, as long as gas extraction takes place at depths of hundreds of meters or several kilometers and wells and the tubing and cementing process are built according to certain standards.

A case cited by the Royal Society in its 2012 report is that of the town of Pavillion, Wyoming, where fracking caused the contamination of water sources for consumption, according to an EPA study. Methane pollution was attributed in this case to poor construction standards and shallow depth of the well, at 372 meters. The study was the first of the EPA to publicly link hydraulic fracturing with water pollution.

However, as in the Duke University study, there were no cases of contamination by the chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing.

We must remember that when a well is drilled and the aquifer area is crossed, three steel rings are placed, surrounded by cement, below the aquifer.

How to control the use of chemical additives?

Trevor Penning, head of the toxicology center at the University of Pennsylvania recently urged the creation of a working group on the impact of fracking with scientists from Columbia, John Hopkins and other universities.

Penning told that in the United States "it is decided at the level of each state if companies have an obligation to publicize the list of additives they use."

The industry established a voluntary database of used additives, on the fracking focus site. Penning explained that the additives used in the fracking fluid can be very varied and of many kinds, such as surfactants, corrosion inhibitors, biocides etc.

In toxicology they work on the basis that no chemical is safe, but that is the dose that makes the poison. Additives that could cause concern if they exceed safe levels are substitutes for benzene, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde.

"The potential toxicity of wastewater is difficult to assess because many chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing fluid are undisclosed commercial secrets," Penning added.

The scientist also told that "the potential toxicity of wastewater is difficult to evaluate because it is a complex mixture (the additives can be antagonistic, synergistic or additive in their effects)".

Anthony Ingraffea, professor of engineering at Cornell University, warned of the impact of the September 2013 floods in Colorado, where only 20,000 wells are located in one county. "A good part of the infrastructure was destroyed, which means that the ponds with sewage tanks with chemical additives are now in the water courses and there are leakages of damaged gas pipelines." "The clear lesson is that infrastructure for fracking in floodplains should never be built.

What is done with wastewater?

These waters are what is known as flowback or reflux water, that is, injected water, with chemical additives and sand, which flows back when the gas starts to come out.

Approximately 25% to 75% of the injected fracturing fluid returns to the surface, according to the Royal Society. These wastewater is stored in open-pit tanks dug into the ground and covered (open pits), treated and reused or injected at high pressure into rock formations. The danger of leakage of wastewater is not unique to the extraction of shale gas, but is common in many industrial processes, notes the Royal Society.

“The wastewater may contain radioactive materials of natural occurrence, Naturally Ocurring Radioactive Materials, NORM, which are present in the shale rock in quantities significantly lower than the exposure limits," says the Royal Society report.

Can it exhaust water resources?

The use of water in large quantities in fracking operations is a cause of concern for some. "For natural gas, for example, fracking requires millions of gallons of water (around 2 to 5 million, or even more than 10 million, that is, from 7 to 18 or up to 37 million liters) for fracturing, which is several times more than conventional extraction requires, "John Rogers, senior energy analyst and co-manager of the Energy and Water Initiative of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Union of Scientists Aware, told.

"The extraction of shale gas by fracking consumes on average of 16 gallons of water per megawatt-hour, while conventional gas extraction uses 4. That is, fracking requires 4 times what conventional extraction requires, "said Rogers.

"That amount of water is less than what is involved in the extraction of coal, but the use of water is very localized and can be very important in the local scene, in terms of what would be available for other uses."

The Water-Smart Power study of the Union of Aware Scientists points out that about half of the hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States occur in regions with high or extremely high water stress, including Texas and Colorado.

Melissa Stark, global director of new energies at Accenture consultancy and author of the report "Shale gas water and exploitation", admits that the extraction of shale gas with hydraulic fracturing uses a lot of water (about 20 million liters per well), but notes that "it does not use more water than other industrial processes, such as irrigation for agriculture. The volumes required may seem large, but they are smaller compared to other water uses for agriculture, electric power generation and municipal use," he told.

Can there be methane leaks?
Anthony Ingraffea, professor of engineering at Cornell University in the United States, says that it is not about determining if wells can leak, but the question must be, what percentage has leaks?

Ingraffea analyzed the situation of the new 2012 wells in the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania, based on the comments of the inspectors, according to records of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

According to Ingraffea, the inspectors registered 120 leaky wells, that is, they detected faults and leaks in 8.9% of the gas and oil exploration wells drilled in 2012.

A study published in September 2013 by the University of Texas, sponsored among others by nine oil companies, ensured that while methane leaks from shale gas extraction operations are substantial - more than one million tons per year - they were less than the estimates of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

However, the Association of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for a Healthy Energy in the USA, of which Anthony Ingraffea is president, questioned the scientific rigor of that study, noting that the sample of 489 wells represents only 0.14% of wells in the country and also the wells analyzed were not selected at random "but in places and hours selected by the industry".

Some reported images of tap water that catches fire if a match is approached could be explained by the previous presence of methane.

"We must not forget that methane is a natural constituent of groundwater and in some places like Balcombe, where there were protests, the oil flows naturally to the surface," Richard Selley, professor emeritus of Imperial Petroleum Geology.

"We must remember that when a well is drilled and the aquifer area is crossed, three steel rings are placed, surrounded by cement, beneath the aquifer," added Selley.

How does global warming impact?

Between 1981 and 2005, US carbon emissions They increased 33%. But since 2005 they dropped by 9%. The reduction is due in part to the recession, but according to the US Energy Information Administration, Energy Information Administration, EIA, about half of that reduction is due to shale gas.

Globally, coal provides 40% of the world's electricity, according to the International Energy Agency, International Energy Agency. Advocates of shale gas extraction say it is cleaner than coal and can be a transition fuel, while expanding the use of renewable sources such as solar or wind energy.

In Spain, for example, renewable energies "are bordering 12% and there is an objective of the European Union so that by 2020 20% of European energies are renewable," said Luis Suarez, president of the Official College of Geologists of Spain, ICOG.

But others point out that the gas extracted in the process of hydraulic fracturing is methane, a gas much more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, a molecule of methane equals 72 of carbon dioxide after 20 years of emission, and 25 molecules of carbon dioxide at 100 years.

Robert Howarth and colleagues at Cornell University estimated that between 4 and 8% of the total methane production of a well escapes into the atmosphere and adds that there is also emission from the reflux waters that flow along with the gas to the atmosphere. surface after fracturing.

But this analysis is controversial. Lawrence Cathles, also of Cornell University, says the high potential for methane heating in 20 years must be counteracted by the fact that methane has a much shorter life in the atmosphere than CO2.

Robert Jackson of Duke University in North Carolina says that instead of worrying about fracking emissions themselves we should concentrate on leaks in the distribution chain. "Only in the city of Boston we found 3,000 methane leaks in the pipes," Jackson told to New Scientist magazine.

Friday 15 December 2017

Horrifying macOS Bug Lets Anyone Become Admin With No Password

macOS Bug

New bug found on macOS giving Admin Access to anyone without password input

All the users with a Mac should note that a new bug has been discovered on the latest version of macOS High Sierra. This particular bug can jeopardise your security as it allows anyone to get into the system that also as an administrator by simply typing ‘root’ in the username section. This bug is so dangerous after giving up the name as ‘root’ users are not even required to put in the password.

Taking the Twitter by storm

This dangerous bug has been found by a software engineer going by the name Lemi Orhanm Ergin. He claimed that this bug has the ability to grant admin access to anyone of any mac system within few seconds. The most horrifying thing about this bug is that it even allows anyone to login to the system just after the reboot. He described his finding in a series of tweets which were picked by a number of tech enthusiasts and soon the Twitter was flooded within huge number of users replicating the acts of the bugs.

It became apparently clear to millions of macOs High Sierra users that simply typing the ‘root’ in the username will help in bypassing the Apple security in no time. Some of the experts had stated that this bug is eerily similar to the Apple’s very own ‘root user’ login feature. It seems like this bug is actively making use of this feature which happens to enabled by default on the macOS. If you are whether your system is affected by this bug or then check your macOS by giving a click on the Apple logo present on the left top left corner of the screen. Now select the option “About this Mac” to know your device macOS version.

Bringing updates in quick time intervals

Apple has claimed that its macOS is simply the most secure operating system in the world but that doesn’t mean it is free of bugs. Apple is known to offers patches and fixes as quickly as possible which isn’t the case with other operating systems where users have to wait for months to get the incremental updates.

Just a few weeks ago Apple brought a massive supplemental update for the macOS High Sierra which helped in fixing a wide range of bugs along with improving the installer robustness and along with other issues. Some of the major issues resolved with this update include the fixing of the graphical problem associated with Adobe InDesign and issue related to addressed in the Yahoo accounts.

Apple has been quick at coming up with the fix as well this time around. Apple has even issued a statement where it stated that security is always been a top priority for every Apple product. It even clarified that the Apple engineers have found this issue in the Tuesday afternoon and they had started immediately working on patching up the security hole.

Now this big has been squashed in the macOS High Sierra for good and it shows why a huge number of are fan of the Apple products.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Paper Signals: Cute Voice Experiment Lets You Track World

Google experiment allows the construction of interactive paper signals

Have you ever thought about building your own functional and interactive speech recognition device? Know that Google is turning this unlikely possibility into reality. And most interesting of all, the objects are practically all made out of paper which is called as interactive paper signals. Google surprises us from time to time with very curious experiments demonstrating that technology can be used in very different ways and without the need for many resources. A recent example: cardboard glasses for virtual reality. Now they surprise us with a nice application to take advantage of Google Assistant.

This is an experiment of the company that besides having a rather unusual proposal, visually it is quite curious. They are paper structures that respond physically to voice commands. Paper Signals is a kit that allows us to make paper cutouts, connect them to Adafruit and move them when we do a specific search through Assistant. For example, we can create an umbrella-shaped one that opens when we ask if it's going to rain, a rocket that takes off when NASA launches a real one or see if there are variations in the Bitcoin's price.

Among the possibilities of utensils that can be built we have a weather alert, timer, signal for pauses, alert for low or high Bitcoin, or even a warning that shows when NASA is launching a rocket into space. All paper signals can be checked in the video below.

For the assembly of the paper signals it is necessary the Paper Signals starter kit, which includes an Adafruit plate, all necessary cables and the servo motor that gives life to the structures. Added to that, there will also be a need for a device that has access to Google Assistant - it has gained a function to find services like plumber and electrician recently - a printer and a lot of patience.

This is a great design to pass the time and have fun with the montage. We cannot fail to mention that Google kept the experiment code open, meaning anyone can create any kind of wizard. Do you have any favorite Paper Signals? Do not stop commenting.

Monday 11 December 2017

Samsung: Graphene Balls Boost Battery Charging Speed by 500 Percent


Graphene Balls to Charge your phone Faster

Have you ever stepped out of your house and then realized that your phone is dead and charging could mean another hour or so when you don’t really have the time? Well, all that is going to change with Samsung’s 12 minute charge time. I don’t mean 12 minutes for just a bit of charge either but a full charge cycle.

In smartphones, a number of hardware has undergone changes to not only make the phone more efficient but also to make it more capable. But one of the things that has taken a backseat or which has not developed at the same rate, is the battery used in these smartphones.

How can a phone get a full charge in 12 minutes with Graphene balls?

Previously, or even now, smart phones had/have lithium-ion batteries. With today’s smartphones doing more than before, they also take up a lot of juice and this requires a lot of charge as well as the time it takes also increases.

Researchers have been looking for alternatives to these lithium-ion batteries but nothing seems to be promising until now.

A new study by Samsung has found, Graphene balls which is supposed to increase battery capacity by 45% and what is the greatest yet- it can increase charging time by a whopping 500%.

Why are Graphene Balls so great?

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology or SAIT for short, has discovered this novel method of charging. But coming to the question of why are Graphene balls so great?

The answer is simple, with Graphene balls, the batteries not only have a higher capacity but also a faster charge time than ever before. Earlier, other solutions could either have a higher capacity or a faster charge time but not both.

Getting the ingredients for these graphene ball batteries is neither expensive nor difficult to find and another major advantage is that Samsung can incorporate Graphene balls into the batteries without majorly altering its manufacturing Equipment which otherwise could have been an expensive venture. So it means that the battery will still be able to give its best and at, hopefully a reasonable price for customers.

More about Graphene balls…

Graphene is a highly advanced substance which is a hexagonal lattice of carbon. SAIT used this lattice structure to create a Graphene ball with the help of silica. These Graphene balls will be located as a protective layer on the cathode and anode ends of the battery. The location is also deliberate as this point allows for greater charging capacity and faster speeds.

With the Graphene balls high stability, ability to act as a semi- conductor and its good thermal conductivity, it is proving to be a really good substitute for those lithium-ion batteries.

Everyone remembers the note 7 fiasco; this time around Samsung is taking no chances with the graphene balls. The graphene balls will allow the battery to charge without getting too hot.

When I’m talking increased capacity with the graphene balls, I mean a tablet’s worth of charging capacity that is 5000-6000mAh at a charge time of a mere 12 minutes.

Saturday 9 December 2017

Santa’s Village is Back in Business

Santa’s Village

Santa-Tracker: Google's Interactive Advent Calendar is Back

Google has built the Santa's Village and now The Santa Tracker is back: As every year, Google has again gathered a series of entertaining games in Santa's Village an interactive Advent calendar. This time kids can even program visually.

Santa-Tracker: From a misprint in 1955 into the Internet age

This Santa's Village has a long tradition at Google. Already in 2004, the search engine showed for the first time children on Google Maps the supposed course of Santa's journey from Santa's Village on Christmas Eve. The tradition is actually much older and was long before Google or the Internet. In fact, the Santa Tracker was created by a misprint in 1955.

At that time, the US mail order company Sears printed an advertisement that asked children to call Santa Claus from Santa's Village. However, instead of connecting to Sears, the number led to the North American Air and Space Defense Command (NORAD). In order not to disappoint the calling children, the local soldiers were ordered to give them the alleged position of Santa Claus. This is how a tradition emerged that, in cooperation with Google, spilled over into the Internet from 2004 onwards and it created Santa's Village.

In 2012, however, NORAD decided to monitor Santa Claus no longer with Google but with Microsoft's help. Obviously, after eight years, the search giant did not want to break with tradition anymore, so there are now two Santa trackers: Santa from Santa's Village created by Google and the original NORAD.
Google's Santa Tracker 2017: This year too with Coding Games
Google's Santa from Santa's Village has long been more than a preparation for Santa's fictive itinerary. It's now an interactive Advent calendar, featuring a range of Christmas games and informational materials. Kids learn, for example, how the Christmas traditions in different countries of the world look like.

In this beautiful Santa's Village, we particularly like the Coding game available since December 2nd. Here children have to program a virtual plotter so that a snowflake comes out of it. This is done using a visual programming language modeled on Scratch. This Santa's Village from Google is available as in previous years as a website and Android app.
The original: Santa Tracker by NORAD supports Alexa and Cortana
NORAD's original Santa tracker will also be available again in 2017. Here, too, children can learn about Christmas celebrations from all over the world. There are also different games. Unlike Google, however, the NORAD site makes no effort to deduce the desired language from your source. Children therefore have to manually switch to the various languages via a drop-down menu.

Interestingly, the Santa Tracker makers have not overslept the current hype about voice-controlled assistance systems. On Dec. 24th, according to the creators, you can ask Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana where Santa is currently in, and then get an answer from Santa's tracker.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

What is KRACK Hack vulnerability


What is Krack

Krack is said to be an abbreviation for Key reinstallation attack which tends to involve an attacker utilising a one-time key which has been provided to the device of a client intending to connect to Wi-Fi network.

According to KU Leuven’s Mathy Vanhoef the researcher who discovered the vulnerability, his discoveries had been reported by tech site Ars Technica recently. He states that in some of the instances, hackers tend to exploit Krack in order to inject malware like ransomware in websites.

Vanhoef, informs that on doing so, the hacker has the potential to decrypt information which has been swapped from the access point with the client device wherein the personal details such as credit card numbers, together with messages and password can be exposed. It is here that the process of the hack can take place as described on the website of Vanhoef.

This latest discovered vulnerability can permit attackers to seize sensitive data which is transmitted between Wi-Fi access point and a computer or a mobile device which can be encrypted. This error is known as Krack that affects WPA2 which is a security protocol extensively utilised in the up-to-date Wi-Fi devices.

Four-Way Process Handshake

When a device tends to connect with a protected Wi-Fi network, there is a four-way process handshake for Krack , which occurs wherein this handshake warrants that both the client and the access point have the precise login authorisations for the network.

This tends to generate a new encryption key in order to protect web traffic wherein the encryption key is installed at step three of the four-way handshake. However the access point at times tends to resend the same key if it considers that the message could have been misplaced.

 Research of Vanhoef has discovered that the attackers could force the access point in order to install the identical encryption key which the intruder could utilise to attack the encryption protocol and decrypt the data. Vanhoef cautions that any device that seems to support Wi-Fi could probably be affected by Krack though Linux-based devices together with Android devices running version 6.0 or higher of the Android operating system are likely to be in danger. Presently it would comprise of over 40% of Android devices.


Update Wi-Fi Devices

Proof of the concept had been displayed by Vanhoef portraying how exploitation utilising the Krack technique was possible. He cautioned on his website that he was not in a position to determine if such attacks had been actively utilised.

Vanhoef also mentioned that in order to protect the user from Krack attacked, it was essential to update Wi-Fi devices such as the smartphones, laptops and tablets no sooner the updates are made available. Users are also cautioned to update their firmware of router. A security update addressing the issue had also been released by Microsoft according to the reports of The Verge.

Wi-Fi Alliance which is a network of companies making Wi-Fi devices, defining Wi-Fi standards and programs had informed that platform providers have begun organizing patches for the purpose of addressing the problem.

Monday 4 December 2017

Beetles Backpacks Earthquake Detect Trapped Humans

Beetles Backpacks

New age real beetles equipped with backups set to boost disaster management efforts

Scientists were looking for new way to boost the disaster management efforts on the global scale by bringing the world’s first smallest disaster management squad. The look of the beetles is very much similar to wearing backpack but it does have a number of unique features. These beetles have the ability to detect the carbon dioxide within the collapsed building and they controlled remotely using the tiny packs fitted right on their back. The carbon dioxide being released by the people trapped inside the buildings and other places will help in getting them detected by these beetles and rescue efforts will be centered round getting them safely and soundly fast.


Saving lives by detecting carbon dioxide

Scientists are immensely hopeful that these beetles will be sent in areas which have suffered from earthquakes, hurricanes and other disaster to boost the rescue efforts. The detectors placed on the beetles will help the people controlling the beetles to locate the life in the rubble. These beetles will be able to find whoever or whatever is generating carbon dioxide and could help in lessening the time usually lost in finding the victims after disaster events. Secondly it will also remove the need of digging up areas in hope of finding people alive rather focusing on concentrating on such areas from where carbon dioxide is being generated and there is more likelihood of finding the trapped person or persons.

The team behind this new age technology

These new age cyborg beetles have been developed by a group of scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The lead scientist on this research has asserted that these beetles will help in locating, finding and detecting the survivors buried below the debris and rubles quickly than any other technology present at hand. It will also help in combing a wide or large area within the shortest amount of time to get to the survivors as quickly as possible. The small size and some tool used in the development of the cyborg beetles makes them more suitable to get through the small spaces with much agility.

Scientists had made use of the darkling beetles and their backs are fitted with the tiny computer with the use of simple beeswax. The computer is used by the beetle handler to send electrical pulses to the beetle which is received by its antenna and helps in steering them on the right month. Beetles makes use of the temperature and heartbeat vibration apart from the carbon dioxide generation in order to detect survivors.

A number of critics have emerged who are actively against the use of the beetles for the rescue efforts. They believe that putting a tiny computer on the back of the beetles and steering them to detect and fin survivors is nothing less than animal torture. They are asking the scientists to make use of the mechanical robots rather than real beetles. Scientists has stated that they had taken good care of the beetles and when they are not being controlled then are living their normal lives.

Sunday 3 December 2017

Google Can Tell If Someone is Looking at Your Phone over Your Shoulder

Android 8.1
Android 8.1 is all set to make its debut in December of this year. While the Beta version of the OS is already out, android is bringing out an update to 8.1 Users are encouraged to get the update onto their beta versions or in case of no beta version, they will be able to get the update only once they download it. This is in order to make a seamless transition from the old Android version to the new one.

Besides all the bug fixes and security patches, the update to android 8.1 also makes enhancements to Goggle Go which is meant for mobiles running on 1GB or less of memory space and also enhancements to Neural networks API which will basically enhance mobile intelligence.

8.1 Update and Pixel Phones: 

All the pixels, coming December will run on android 8.1. With the update all pixel phones will be close to the final version of the OS. The phones will get all the latest in neural networks API, which is at level 27, and all the latest updates besides the usual bug fixes and security patches.

With the 8.1 update, Pixel 2 users get Pixel Visual Core which is an additional processor for images that works alongside a third party app. So apps using Android camera API, can take HDR+ pics.

TensorFlowLite and 8.1: 

The update to 8.1 creates enhancements to Neural Networks API and accelerated performance to Google’s intelligence framework, TensorFlowLite.

All developers can now get their hands on TensorFlowLite download. Neural Networks API allows TensorFlowLite to run models such as Smart Reply, Inception V3 and MobileNets.

8.1 Update for App Developers: 

Developers are encouraged to get their apps tested before the official release of android 8.1 in December. With the new update, developers can test their apps from Google play. For phones that are not pixel or nexus, developers can get their apps tested on an emulator for android 8.1

Speeding up App Development: 

Developers can speed up the process of developing apps by using android studio 3.0. Android studio 3.0 allows developers to not only speed up app development but also has features like Instant Apps, XML Fonts, adaptive icons and more

A side Note…

Google recently presented a project, which they call electronic screen protector. All Google pixel phones will have this feature whereby the front facing camera on the phone and its artificial intelligence show if someone is looking into the phone without permission.

This new intelligence temporarily pauses apps to inform the user that someone is peeking at their screen. It is said that this feature works in all types of light settings and all poses. The peeping tom can be identified within 2 milliseconds.

One of the major reasons for this feature to run fast is that all processing is done on the phone itself and not from a remote server.

A major encouragement to Developers is the invention of GoogleFlowLite. Developers can now develop apps using artificial intelligence more quickly and with more computing power and less storage than its former GoogleFlow.

Friday 1 December 2017

MIT Team Wins Mars City Design Contest

Redwood Forest idea by MIT team helps them win Mars City Design contest

We aren’t going to Mars anytime soon but NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) are simply giving wings to our aspiration with a unique competition. A competition conducted by these two premium space research organization has asked the participants to bring innovative solution for problems likely to be faced while journeying to the Mars. This particular competition focused on building design habitats which can be utilized on the Red Planet in future and it has been aptly titles International Mars City Design competition. Winner for 2017 edition of this completion is a bunch of engineers and architects from the Massachusetts of Technology (MIT).

Aiming for Mars City

A number of contests are conducted all round the world by different space research organization and private players to solve the problems associated with journeying or living on the Red Planet. The Mars City Design competition is quite well known and notable as it exclusively aims to some up with such solutions which help in building livable and sustainable spaces on Mars. It is also looking forward that the participants will come up with some solution which will allow astronauts to make a return journey with unique and exotic Martian resources with limited cargo.

Redwood Forest is a design for Mars city

MIT team has termed their winning design ‘Redwood Forest’ which as the name suggests has a collection of tree habitats and it is connected together using a system of tunnels termed ‘roots’. These roots effectively helps in navigating through the Redwood Forest as one can move from one tree habitat to another safely. It will also feature a number of private spaces along with a unique and amazing ‘shirtsleeve transportation’ system. Making use of the tunnels in the Mars City design will help in providing the residents the much needed protection against the abundant cosmic radiation, extreme atmospheric changes and other calamities present on the Martian surface.

The Redwood Forest wouldn’t be going to find itself as a sprawling habitat rather it will be made in the form of dome housing as many as 50 people. MIT engineers are looking forward to get 200 of just domes constructed which will be more than enough to support the group of 10,000 first settlers on the Red Planet. The best thing about this structure is that it easily offers private and public spaces along the possibility of harvesting plants and water on the northern plains of Mars.

MIT Engineers has stated that their Mars City will mimic the functionality and feel of the forest to its very core and it will utilize the existing Martian soil called regolith and ice or water along with the ‘sun’ to support life on the planet. This team even spiritually defines that having a design of forest brings the potential to showcase the outward growth which is seen in the nature and it will help in spreading the habit across the Red Planet in the future.