Friday Tech News Roundup #29

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Microsoft advances several of its hosted artificial intelligence algorithms – Microsoft Cognitive Services is home to the company’s hosted artificial intelligence algorithms. Today, the company announced advances to several Cognitive Services tools including Microsoft Custom Vision Service, the Face API and Bing Entity Search. Techcrunch

UK and Australian governments now use Have I Been Pwned – Troy Hunt is turning Have I Been Pwned into an essential pwning monitoring service. The service monitors security breaches and password leaks so that you and your users remain secure. And now, the U.K. and Australian governments are monitoring their own domain names using the service. Techcrunch

Uber is the next big tech company getting into the healthcare business – Healthcare is big business, and tech companies don’t want to miss out just because they’re busy building smartphones, apps, and self-driving cars. Mashable

Skiers and snowboarders, the Apple Watch has a treat for you – Skiers and snowboarders, the Apple Watch is your new best friend. Mashable

Microsoft joins forces with Intel to beat Spectre – In a fresh move to further shore up security, Microsoft is providing Intel’s Spectre fix for PCs with Skylake processors running Windows 10 – with further patches to be delivered for older generation CPUs in the future. Techradar

Don’t get your hopes up about seeing Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards this month – Previous speculation has pointed to Nvidia being set to launch its next-gen graphics cards later this month, but a new rumor is claiming that this won’t happen – and indeed we may not see a hard launch (i.e. products actually becoming available) until July, or possibly even later. Techradar

Alibaba Cloud Launches ‘Bare Metal,’ HPC Instances in Europe – Alibaba, the e-commerce giant from China, is taking a run at AWS in the global public cloud computing market with new offerings aimed at the surging demand for AI and HPC solutions among European enterprises. HPCWire

GitHub falls victim to largest DDoS attack ever recorded – GitHub was hit yesterday by what is reported to be the biggest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever. According to GitHub Engineering, the site was shut down by the attack from 17:21 to 17:26 UTC on February 28. Afterwards, the website maintained intermittent functionality between 17:26 and 17:30 before fully recovering. Techspot

Mobile upgrade cycles will stretch to 33 months by next year – Market saturation and disinterest due to slowed innovation are just a few of the many hurdles plaguing the smartphone industry. As The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted, slumping sales can also be attributed to the fact that older devices are remaining popular for longer than anticipated. Techspot

Microsoft’s Xbox spring update adds 1440p support and new Mixer features – Microsoft today detailed its upcoming Xbox spring update, which is available now for those who are part of the Xbox Insider’s “alpha ring” group. The most notable addition in the update is support for 1440p video output, which is a popular resolution choice for PC gamers who prefer to keep high frame rates instead of prioritizing 4K visuals. With 1440p support on Xbox One S and X, those with compatible monitors should be to make the most out of 2560 x 1440, or “QHD,” displays. The Verge

Wednesday Science News Roundup #28

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Hidden secret of immortality enzyme telomerase – Research has recently uncovered a crucial step in the telomerase enzyme catalytic cycle. This catalytic cycle determines the ability of the human telomerase enzyme to synthesize DNA. Science Daily

Behavior in high school predicts income and occupational success later in life – Being a responsible student, maintaining an interest in school and having good reading and writing skills will not only help a teenager get good grades in high school but could also be predictors of educational and occupational success decades later, regardless of IQ, parental socioeconomic status or other personality factors, according to new research. Science Daily

Simple urine test could measure how much our body has aged – New research shows that a substance indicating oxidative damage increases in urine as people get older, and describes an easy method to measure the level of this biomarker in human urine samples. This potentially provides a method to measure how much our body has aged, which could help predict our risk of developing age-related disease, and even the likely time-frame for our death. Science Daily

A rare rainstorm wakes undead microbes in Chile’s Atacama Desert – Chile’s Atacama Desert is so dry that some spots see rain only once a decade. Salt turns the sandy soil inhospitable, and ultraviolet radiation scorches the surface. So little can survive there that scientists have wondered whether snippets of DNA found in the soil are just part of the desiccated skeletons of long-dead microbes or traces of hunkered-down but still living colonies. Science News

Some flu strains can make mice forgetful – With fevers, chills and aches, the flu can pound the body. Some influenza viruses may hammer the brain, too. Months after being infected with influenza, mice had signs of brain damage and memory trouble, researchers report online February 26 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Science News

Man Risks Death By Not Pooping For 40 Days – A man has been holding in a poo for over 40 days now, seriously risking his own health. IFLScience

There’s Very Little (Convincing) Proof That Standing Desks Are Actually Good For You – A wealth of scientific research shows us that regularly sitting for long stretches of time has severe consequences for both mental and physical health –and yet computer-based, industrial societies make it extremely difficult to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. IFLScience

The North Pole Has Gone Above Freezing in The Dead of Winter, Stunning Scientists – The sun won’t rise at the North Pole until March 20, and it’s normally close to the coldest time of year – but an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Science Alert

The Closest Star to Our Solar System Has Suffered an Insane Eruption – Our closest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri, knows how to belch ’em out. According to new research, in March of last year it erupted into an absolute beast of a stellar flare, 10 times brighter than the largest flares produced by our own Sun, even though it has only about one-eighth of the mass. Science Alert

Water on The Moon Has a Surprising Quality, According to This New Study – Recently, scientists discovered that there is an enormous quantity of water on the Moon, hiding beneath the surface. Science Alert

Wednesday Science News Roundup #27

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Depression linked to reduced arginine levels – People suffering from major depressive disorder, MDD, have reduced arginine levels, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows. Arginine is an amino acid which the body uses to produce, e.g., nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, and it also plays a role in vascular regulation. The global arginine bioavailability ratio, GABR, is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide. Reduced arginine bioavailability is also known to be an independent risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. Science Daily

New stem-cell based stroke treatment repairs damaged brain tissue – A team of researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and ArunA Biomedical, a UGA startup company, have developed a new treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain’s natural healing tendencies in animal models. They published their findings in the journal Translational Stroke Research. Science Daily

First vaccine in the world developed against grass pollen allergy – Around 400 million people world-wide suffer in some form or other from a grass pollen allergy (rhinitis) — with the usual symptoms such as a runny nose, cough and severe breathing problems. In collaboration with the Viennese firm Biomay AG, MedUni Vienna researchers at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research have now shown in a Phase II-b study with 180 patients in 11 European centres, that four injections of the synthetically manufactured vaccine BM32 in the first year and a top-up in the second year of treatment relieve the sufferers’ symptoms by at least 25%. Science Daily

We Might Finally Know Why The Blood of Young People Can Rejuvenate Old Brains – Scientists have been rejuvenating old mice with infusions of not just the blood of younger mice, but even blood from teenage human beings – and we finally have our first clues on why this strange technique works. Science Alert

Here’s Why Matching Your Diet to Your DNA Is a Waste of Time – Diets have always gone through fads. The grapefruit diet, Atkins, paleo, Whole30 – like a many-headed weight-loss hydra, just as soon as one falls out of favor, another rises in its place. Science Alert

Scientists Just Discovered a Never-Before-Seen Structure in Human Sperm – The sperm’s tail is perhaps one of the most iconic structures among all of the cells in the human body, so it’s odd to think there are still some things we don’t know about it. Science Alert

Household products make surprisingly large contributions to air pollution – In urban areas, emissions from consumer goods such as paint, cleaning supplies and personal care products now contribute as much to ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere as do emissions from burning gasoline or diesel fuel. Science News

Babies can recover language skills after a left-side stroke – A stroke on the left side of the brain often damages important language-processing areas. But people who have this stroke just before or after birth recover their language abilities in the mirror image spot on the right side, a study of teens and young adults shows. Those patients all had normal language skills, even though as much as half of their brain had withered away, researchers reported February 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science News

GM Crops Found To Increase Yields And Reduce Harmful Toxins In 21 Years Of Data – A study looking at 21 years of data on genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the US has found that not only can they increase crop yields, but they can also be good for you. IFLScience

Heavy Drinking Is The Biggest Avoidable Risk Factor In The Onset Of Dementia – An analysis of more than a million dementia patients has found that chronic heavy drinking puts you at serious risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, alcohol use disorders were found to be the biggest avoidable risk factor in the onset of dementia. IFLScience

Friday Tech News Roundup #27

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

As Stripe backs away from crypto payments, Coinbase offers a new solution for e-commerce – Popular payment enabler Stripe announced plans to end support for bitcoin last month, but crypto exchange Coinbase is stepping into the gap after it released a new option for online merchants. Techcrunch

Apple and Android are destroying the Swiss Watch industry – In Q4 2017 – essentially during the last holiday season – market research firm Canalys found that more people bought Apple watches than Swiss watches. Two million more, to be exact. Brian Heater has more data but this news is quite problematic for the folks eating Coquilles St-Jacques on the slopes of the Jura mountains.Techcrunch

Microsoft’s next Windows 10 update will include high-performance mode – Microsoft is adding a new enhanced power mode to Windows 10 Pro for users who need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their computer. Mashable

Facebook’s new slogan: ‘If you think we’re not good for your business, leave’ – Facebook is famous for the mantra “move fast and break things.” But these days, the tech giant is all about time well spent, and with that comes a new tagline for everyone to follow: If you don’t like us, leave. Mashable

Intel’s new graphics drivers automatically optimize game settings – Intel is introducing a new feature for its processors with integrated graphics, allowing games to be automatically optimized on systems. The Verge

Apple says new apps must support the iPhone X Super Retina display – Today, Apple informed developers that all new apps that are submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display, starting this April, reports 9to5Mac. The Verge

Facebook using 2FA cell numbers for spam, replies get posted to the platform – Facebook is reportedly spamming some users by text, using a cell number they provided only for use in two-factor authentication. 9to5Mac

Receiving an Indian character crashes Messages and other apps in iOS 11 [U: Mac & Watch too] – There have been a number of cases where sending a particular message to an iOS device causes the Messages app to crash, leaving users unable to re-open it – and a new one has emerged in iOS 11. 9to5Mac

Researchers discover two new Spectre and Meltdown variants – Spectre and Meltdown are two serious, recently discovered security flaws tied to CPU hardware. Techspot

MIT’s new chip makes neural networks practical for battery-powered devices – Researchers at MIT have developed a chip capable of processing neural network computations three to seven times faster than earlier iterations. Techspot

Wednesday Science News Roundup #26

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Alzheimer’s disease reversed in mouse model – Researchers have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby improving the animals’ cognitive function. The study raises hopes that drugs targeting this enzyme will be able to successfully treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Science Daily

Experimental therapy restores nerve insulation damaged by disease – When the body attacks its own healthy tissues in an autoimmune disease, peripheral nerve damage handicaps people and causes persistent neuropathic pain when insulation on healing nerves doesn’t fully regenerate. Unfortunately, there are no effective ways to treat the condition. Now scientists describe an experimental molecular therapy that restores insulation on peripheral nerves in mice, improves limb function, and results in less observable discomfort. Science Daily

Poor fitness linked to weaker brain fiber, higher dementia risk – Scientists have more evidence that exercise improves brain health and could be a lifesaving ingredient that prevents Alzheimer’s disease. Science Daily

Ancient ozone holes may have sterilized forests 252 million years ago – Volcano-fueled holes in Earth’s ozone layer 252 million years ago may have repeatedly sterilized large swaths of forest, setting the stage for the world’s largest mass extinction event. Such holes would have allowed ultraviolet-B radiation to blast the planet. Even radiation levels below those predicted for the end of the Permian period damage trees’ abilities to make seeds, researchers report February 7 in Science Advances. Science News

The small intestine, not the liver, is the first stop for processing fructose – When it comes processing fructose, the liver is a pinch hitter for the small intestine. Science News

Humans are overloading the world’s freshwater bodies with phosphorus – Human activities are driving phosphorus levels in the world’s lakes, rivers and other freshwater bodies to a critical point. The freshwater bodies on 38 percent of Earth’s land area (not including Antarctica) are overly enriched with phosphorus, leading to potentially toxic algal blooms and less available drinking water, researchers report January 24 in Water Resources Research. Science News

Watch nerve cells being born in the brains of living mice – Brain scientists have filmed a first-of-a-kind birth video. It reveals specialized cells in the brains of mice dividing to create newborn nerve cells. Science News

Surprise Discovery Shows We Have Been Totally Wrong About The Size of Andromeda Galaxy – A new technique for measuring the mass of galaxies has been applied to our closest galactic neighbour – and it has found that the Andromeda galaxy is roughly the same size as the Milky Way, and not two to three times bigger as was previously thought. Science Alert

Scientists Just Found a Super-Powerful New Class of Antibiotics in Dirt – The modern medical era began when an absent-minded British scientist named Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find that one of the petri dishes he forgot to put away was covered in a bacteria-killing mould. He had discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic. Science Alert

An Incredible New Type of Brain Implant Can Boost Memory by 15% – Neural implants that claim to boost memory function aren’t new, but a novel approach to the problem has led to a device that listens to the brain before responding. Science Alert

Friday Tech News Roundup #26

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple AirPods are the latest tech product that can allegedly explode – Another tech product, another explosive allegation. Mashable

Some iPhone source code just hit GitHub, and Apple isn’t pleased – Apple’s legal team has been busy. Mashable

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Apple’s HomePod – Apple HomePod sounds really great, works with Apple Music, Siri is still meh, and it requires an iOS device to set up. The end, right? Mashable

Microsoft is testing authenticator logins for Windows 10 S users – It seems Microsoft may be aiming to ditch passwords sooner than some may have thought. The company first made their anti-password goals clear back in 2015 with the release of Windows 10 which launched with the “Windows Hello” facial recognition system for logins. Techspot

Intel rolls out random reboot-free Spectre microcode updates for Skylake chips – Back in January, we covered Google Project Zero’s disclosure of massive CPU security flaws Spectre and Meltdown. If you’ve never heard of these vulnerabilities before, here’s the gist: Spectre and Meltdown are two serious CPU security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal personal data from computers, mobile devices and servers without a given machine’s owner ever realizing it. Techspot

Hacker group manages to run Linux on a Nintendo Switch – Hacker group fail0verflow shared a photo of a Nintendo Switch running Debian, a distribution of Linux (via Nintendo Life). The group claims that Nintendo can’t fix the vulnerability with future firmware patches. Techcrunch

Nvidia up 10% after Q4 earnings beat, says cryptocurrency demand ‘exceeded expectations’ – Nvidia’s successes are continuing to pile on as the company’s gaming and data center businesses drove revenues up 34 percent year-over-year. Techcrunch

From July, Chrome will flag all unencrypted websites as ‘not secure’ – Google’s fight for a more secure internet continues with the announcement that its Chrome 68 update – to be released in July this year – will see all unencrypted websites (HTTP sites) marked with a ‘not secure’ label. Techradar

Surface Pro 5 release date, news and rumors – You might suspect that the Surface Pro (2017) is the closest we’ll ever get to the Surface Pro 5, but if Microsoft itself is anything to go by, you would be dead wrong. The Surface Pro 5 doesn’t exist right now, as Microsoft Surface leader Panos Panay confirmed last May, but it will when more meaningful changes erupt from the geniuses at Microsoft’s hardware design lab. Techradar

Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows strategy as it tries to outmaneuver Apple and Google – Last weekend, long-time Microsoft blogger Brad Sams reported that Windows 10 S – the latest version of the operating system, launched in mid-2017 – is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Business Insider

Wednesday Science News Roundup #25

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

New CRISPR method efficiently corrects Duchenne muscular dystrophy defect in heart tissue – Scientists have developed a CRISPR gene-editing technique that can potentially correct a majority of the 3,000 mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by making a single cut at strategic points along the patient’s DNA, according to a new study. Science Daily

Magnetic brain stimulation alters negative emotion perception – A new study reports that processing of negative emotion can be strengthened or weakened by tuning the excitability of the right frontal part of the brain. Science Daily

Brain pacemaker study shows promise in slowing decline of Alzheimer’s – Researchers have studied how using an implant — likened to a pacemaker for the brain — could help Alzheimer’s patients to retain cognitive, behavioral and functional abilities longer while also improving quality of life. Science Daily

It’s a bad idea for a toad to swallow a bombardier beetle – Toad versus bombardier beetle is almost a fair fight. Toads are hugely bigger, can tongue-strike in an eyeblink and swallow all kinds of nasty stuff. But bombardier beetles can shoot hot steam and noxious chemicals from their back ends. Science News

A blood test could predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease – A new blood test might reveal whether someone is at risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Science News

Insane Numbers of Viruses Are Constantly Falling on Us From The Sky, Study Shows – If there are viruses on the ground and viruses in the water, one might expect there are viruses in the sky as well. Science Alert

Ingredient In McDonalds Fries Key To Curing Baldness, Researchers Find – You wouldn’t expect a McDonald’s Happy Meal to be a cure for anything, unless you’re chronically underweight. However, a new study has found that a key ingredient in making the meals might be better used to cure baldness. IFLScience

Woodpeckers Seemingly Avoid Brain Damage Despite The Build Up Of Abnormal Tau Proteins – As an animal that spends much of its time hammering its head against trees at a force of 1,200 g’s, it’s unsurprising that many sports companies have looked to the woodpecker’s biology to design better safety equipment and helmets for football players, in order to protect them against brain damage. IFLScience

New Data Shows TRAPPIST-1 Planets Are More Habitable Than We Ever Thought – You’ve probably been on the edge of your seat wondering what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system has been up to. Now we have four new studies that have probed the planets and its star, and found that they definitely bear further investigation in our search for extraterrestrial life. Science Alert

For The First Time Ever, Astronomers Have Detected Planets Outside Our Galaxy – In an incredible world first, astrophysicists have detected multiple planets in another galaxy, ranging from masses as small as the Moon to ones as great as Jupiter. Science Alert

Friday Tech News Roundup #25

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

iPhone sales numbers dipped slightly, but revenue is up courtesy of the iPhone X – As far as sales figures go, this last quarter wasn’t entirely rosy for Apple. During today’s earnings report, the company posted sales of 77.3 million iPhones, down just under a million from this time last year. Of course, that 78.2 million figure from 2017 represented a new record for the company. Techcrunch

Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue from AirPods, Watches, TVs and other products last quarter – Other than its iPhones and computers, Apple sells a bunch of other products, like the AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats products, iPod Touch and, most recently, the HomePod. In Q1 2018, Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue for these other products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. Techcrunch

Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads due to frequent fraud – Those cryptocurrency ads that promise to make you rich in a matter of days? You won’t see them on Facebook any more. Mashable

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop is cheaper and slower at $799 – Microsoft has launched a new version of its Surface Laptop today, bringing the base unit price down to $799. The software giant quietly unveiled the cheaper Surface Laptop over at the Microsoft Store, and the new $799 variant ships with Intel’s Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That makes the new base model slower and cheaper than the previous version at $999 that shipped with a Core i5 processor and the same low amount of RAM. The Verge

Apple finally lists all the ways you can play audio on HomePod, and Bluetooth isn’t one – After a degree of confusion over the possible ways to play music on its new HomePod speaker, Apple has cleared things up by posting more information on compatible audio sources. The HomePod does indeed work with iTunes Match and purchased iTunes tracks as well as Apple Music, according to Apple’s website, which also mentions Beats 1, podcasts, and the ability to AirPlay “other content” from various Apple products. You should be able to beam songs from apps like Spotify, then, though you won’t be able to play them with spoken commands. The Verge

Google and 3M join the USI, an initiative aimed at creating an open standard for styluses – Touchscreens may have become the norm but styluses still have their uses. While they are primarily used throughout the digital art community, many regular users still prefer them over their fingers due to a stylus’ superior accuracy. Techspot

Cisco issues critical vulnerability alert for devices using WebVPN – Cisco recently issued an urgent security advisory regarding devices configured with WebVPN. The vulnerability is in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) devices. The company has labeled it a critical flaw with a CVSS score of 10 which is as high as the scale goes. Techspot

Samsung launches 800GB Z-SSD for AI and high-performance computing – There is no shortage of demand for faster enterprise storage and Samsung now has a new product to offer. The SZ985 Z-SSD is an 800GB, four-lane PCIe SSD based on Z-NAND memory that offers nearly ten times the read performance compared to 3-bit V-NAND chips. The SZ985 is designed for supercomputing and artificial intelligence applications and can act as an extremely high-speed cache drive. Techspot

Quantum Computers Threaten Data Encryption – The promise of quantum computing comes with a major downside: “Cryptographically useful” quantum machines will threaten public key encryption used to secure data in the cloud, a new report warns. HPCWire

Firefox users should update now to patch security flaw – Mozilla has released a critical update for Firefox that repairs a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to run unauthorized code on a user’s PC. Techradar

Wednesday Science News Roundup #24

Below are 10 science news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Your brain reveals who your friends are – You may perceive the world the way your friends do, according to a new study finding that friends have similar neural responses to real-world stimuli and these similarities can be used to predict who your friends are. Science Daily

TBI is associated with increased dementia risk for decades after injury – Traumatic brain injuries increase the risk of a dementia diagnosis for more than 30 years after a trauma, though the risk of dementia decreases over time, according to a new study. Science Daily

Language is learned in brain circuits that predate humans – It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose. Now, new evidence strongly suggests that language is in fact learned in brain systems that are also used for many other purposes and even pre-existed humans. Science Daily

Life may have been possible in Earth’s earliest, most hellish eon – Maybe Earth’s early years weren’t so hellish after all. Science News

Here’s why so many saiga antelope mysteriously died in 2015 – Spring calving season for the saiga antelope of central Kazakhstan is a delight for the researchers who keep tabs on the critically endangered animals. During the day, thousands of newborn saigas lie quiet, hidden within a sea of waving grass. Mothers return twice daily to feed them. “If you come at dawn and dusk, it’s magical,” says E.J. Milner-Gulland, a conservation biologist at the University of Oxford who has studied saigas for 27 years. “You hear this mewing noise, and all the babies come rushing up to the females.” Science News

There’s a Scary Link Between Bad Sleep And The Onset of Alzheimer’s – Fragmented sleep, marked by repeated wake-ups during the night and a need to nap during the day, could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. Science Alert

Earth Went Strangely Quiet About 2 Billion Years Ago And We Don’t Know Why – A new study has added evidence to the hypothesis that our planet experienced a lull in geology between 2.2 and 2.3 billion years ago, when not a lot went on as far as rock-forming processes go. Science Alert

The Eastern Cougar Is Declared Extinct After Not Being Seen For 80 Years – The eastern cougar is now officially extinct. IFLScience

Discoverer Of Gabon’s Strange Orange Crocodiles Thinks They’re Evolving Into A New Species – Just 10 years ago, an expedition of biologists came across a very strange group of cave-dwelling, bat-munching dwarf crocodiles living within Gabon’s Abanda cave system. IFLScience

More Evidence Has Been Found For A Link Between Sugar And Alzheimer’s – A new study provides more evidence for a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s, something that’s been hinted at before. IFLScience

Friday Tech News Roundup #24

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Google hired professional photographers to help train its AI cameraHow – did Google get Clips, its AI-powered camera, to learn to automatically take the best shots of users and their families? Well, as the company explains in a new blog post, its engineers went to the professionals — hiring “a documentary filmmaker, a photojournalist, and a fine arts photographer” to produce visual data to train the neural network powering the camera. The Verge

Lyft employees may have improperly looked at customer data – As Uber goes, so does Lyft, apparently. The ride-hailing company says it’s investigating whether some of its employees abused access clearances and looked into customers’ information, with one saying it went on for “too long.” The Verge

Singtel to offer Apple Watch Series 3 with built-in cellular service from Feb 9 – Singtel will be the first telco in Singapore to offer a new model of the Apple Watch Series 3 which has a built-in cellular service, from Feb 9, according to a statement on Friday (Jan 26). Business Insider

Spotify user? You may as well forget about Apple HomePod – Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker is finally launching on Feb. 9. There are a dozen reasons why you shouldn’t buy one — it’s kind of big, it’s expensive, it doesn’t support the ballyhooed multi-room audio at launch, Siri (lol) — but my biggest concern hinges on its key selling point: music. Mashable

Apple raises privacy concerns by putting medical records on iPhones – Apple wants to put your medical history in the palm of your hand. The tech giant confirmed Wednesday that it intends to allow customers access to their medical records via iPhones on iOS 11.3 beta. But like with so many things in the world of highly personal data, putting medical information on a digitally connected device is not without risk — and how it all shakes out could have a huge impact on the lives of millions. Mashable

Firefox’s Quantum update will block websites from tracking you 24/7 – Mozilla’s speedy Firefox Quantum browser hit the ground running when it rolled out in November. On Tuesday, Mozilla released an update to the browser, called Firefox 58. Its most significant feature: 24/7 tracking protection. Mashable

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem – “The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved,” proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and received a patent for a “processor design, which allows representation of real numbers accurate to the last digit.” The patent (No. 9,817,662, “Apparatus for Calculating and Retaining a Bound on Error During Floating Point Operations and Methods Thereof”) was issued on November 14, 2017. HPCWire

Apple could be redesigning the iBooks app – As AppleInsider first spotted, the first beta of iOS 11.3 includes a subtle change. iBooks is now called Books. And Mark Gurman thinks it could be a sign that there will be bigger changes with Apple’s ebook reading app. Techcrunch

You can now buy a Surface Laptop with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed – Microsoft’s productivity-focused Surface Laptops were met with a fairly positive reception when they launched back in May. However, not everybody was a fan of the devices’ stripped-down Windows 10 S operating systems. The OS, created to compete with Google’s lightweight Chrome OS, only allows customers to download and use apps from the Microsoft Store. Techspot

Fitbit to end support for Pebble smartwatches in June – Fitbit on Wednesday said it would be extending its support of the Pebble smartwatch ecosystem for an additional six months, until June 30, 2018. Techspot