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TECH VODAVIRAL WOW

Biggest Google Maps Mistakes

We’ve all likely experienced a Google Maps mistake at some point. Maybe it took you down a strange route, led you into worse traffic, or kept bringing up a totally different location than you wanted. With technology, this stuff will happen. However, it’s one thing to get bad directions because of a Google Maps error and something else entirely when it involves international border negotiations. That’s right, Google Maps is so vital to the stability of the world that one mistake could lead to international disputes. Curious to hear more? Then get ready for the 25 Biggest Google Maps Mistakes.

Mount Rushmore


For nearly five years, Google Maps was sending people to the wrong location when they typed “Mount Rushmore, SD.” Instead, it took people to a retreat center called “Storm Mountain Center,” which was about thirteen miles away from the real Mount Rushmore. The problem became so persistent, they had to put up a street sign warning people about it.

Round Valley State Park


When people entered “Round Valley State Park” into Google Maps, they instead ended up at New Jersey resident Laurie Gneiding’s house. People trickled in at first, asking for the state park, and Gneiding would kindly tell them they were on private property and where the park was actually located. Eventually, dozens would come by every year at all hours, sometimes acting indignant and belligerent.

Wrong Direction


This is more human error than Google’s error, but at one point, Noel Santillan, an American tourist in Iceland, drove six hours in the wrong direction simply because he spelled part of the address wrong.

Emden, Germany


Located in North-West Germany, Emden sits right next to the Netherlands border, and Google made the error of including part of Emden’s harbor in Netherland’s territory. According to a Google spokesman, however, a border dispute dating back to the 15th century was to blame.

Boston South Station


A Redditor discovered the Google Map directions to Boston’s popular and traffic heavy South Station were placing the building underground adjacent to I-93. Even though the building extends below ground, there’s no entrance underground. He found this out when his driver kept dropping him off at the wrong spot.

Christ the Redeemer


Argentinian tourist Natalia Lorena Cappetti, her husband, and another couple used Google Maps to get to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Instead, Google Maps took them to Morro dos Prazeres, one of their most dangerous slums. When they traveled through there, they endured heavy gunfire and Natalia Cappetti was shot in the back. At the time of reporting, she was in serious condition and undergoing surgery.

Rowlett, Texas


In 2016, Lindsay Diaz pulled up to her driveway to find quite a surprise – her entire house was demolished. The firm Billy L Nabors Demolition tore down her house by mistake, claiming they used an incorrect listing on Google Maps.

Underwater Tunnel


After using Google Maps for directions, a Turkish cyclist shut down a 4.5-mile underwater tunnel in Norway for thirty minutes as it wasn’t made for cyclists. Authorities had to go on a rescue mission to find the man and remove him from the area.

Preikestolen Cliff


For a time, tourists in Norway looking for Preikestolen cliff were in for a rude awakening if they used Google Maps. Instead, the app would send them to Fossmork, a small Norwegian village about 20-miles away.

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IT_MORE KJAUNT TECH Travel_Tips

The Best Travel Apps, Period

Yes, there is an app for too many things to count, indeed, just about anything! And since we’ve been talking about travel, decided to dig around in a few easy applications to help you with sleeping over, flying, dining, navigating and safety. We noted which apps require pay, so if we don’t mention it, it’s free and available to iOS or Android users, unless otherwise noted.

Flying
• Dealray
It’s $9.99 per month that will help you find inexpensive flight deals, alerts you to big price decreases, sales and error fares. Sorry, this one is iOS, but no Android.

• Freebird
Once you record your flight on this site, they will alert you if the flight is delayed by four or more hours or canceled. You can also book a new flight on any airline; one-way fees start at $19.

• Skiplagged
This is a fun app that helps you find one-way tickets with a stopover. The fun starts at the stop over location because you aren’t returning to the plane for your original destination. This is an option usually less expensive than a non-stop flight.

Dining
• Grab
Who has these good ideas? This app looks at restaurant menus inside the airport, map them for you and in some cases, even helps you order in advance so you can grab and go on your race to the gate. Today, it lists over 170 restaurants at 17 US airports.

• HappyCow
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian and you enjoy travel you must download this app! It will find restaurants for you in over 10,000 world cities. London, New York City, and Moldova and they provide very brief menu descriptions as well as customer reviews. There is a cost of $3.99.

• Velocity
Velocity tells you where all the hot restaurants are located, and you can also pay your bill or share it with your dining partner. They are working on adding the most popular spots for an exciting nightlife in Gstaad and Verbier in Switzerland as well as Aspen, Colorado.

Hotels
• AsYouStay
This app helps ease some of the pressures of making sure you check in by 3 pm and out by noon. The app owners have partnered with over 50 properties in New York City and about a dozen more in South Beach, Miami. Coming soon, Chicago and San Francisco.

• Chatnbook
iOS is available today, and Android is still in testing, but this app lets you load your travel details and once you do the app will deliver properties which meet your specifications. If you tap on the right symbol (green thumbs up), your chosen hotel will contact you directly with their best rates.

• Dayuse.com
If you have an extended layover, this app helps you book a room for just a few hours so you can grab a hot shower, nap or just clean up a tad. Their 3,000 hotels usually offer as much as 75 percent off standard nightly rates.

• Hostelworld
The purpose of this a is to bring single travelers together in either boozy events, private rooms or having fun at communal activities.

• Oasis
Oasis offers a variety of luxury short term apartment rentals in about two dozen locations. Rio, Miami, and Milan to name a few and you will have 24/7 concierge service to help with tour bookings, restaurant and theater tickets.

• Roomer
Substantial discounts on hotel rooms from other travelers who have had to unexpectedly had to cancel their trips. You can expect discounts of about 30 to 80 percent. And if this has happened to you, sell your reservation here as well.

• TripHappy
And happy is what you’ll be when this app finishes dissecting 37 million pieces of data and spits out the best places and hoods for you to stay in during your travels. Then you can sort your results by rating or price.

Navigation
• Cool Cousin
We don’t know about you guys, but none of our cousins are very cool. LOL. But this application sure is cool! Collections of “off-the-beaten-path” recommendations from residents in 14 destinations. A mixologist in London and an artist in Paris are two fun examples. You can expect to see some trendy suggestions here!

• Sidekix
While it may not be the shortest route, this app will give you the best walking instructions that will meet your preferences and interests. It is currently prepared for us in over 100 prime cities, and more are being added every week.

Driving

• Rideways
By entering your trip destinations and times, you can schedule a “rideway,” which is owned by Priceline to book a taxi, train or bus in over 500 worldwide cities. It’s a more cost-effective way to travel.

• Turo
This app lets you rent automobiles from owners. You may have known it as RelayRides; it’s prior name. It’s available for both US and Canadian users. You can search for any desired vehicle and likely find it for a much lower rate than a rental agency. Europe has recently been added to their service area.

• Wingz
Book your travel methods here in over a dozen metropolitan US cities. You know in advance the cost, the name of your driver and if you have a favorite, you can request him or her. All drivers have been checked out via their DMV records.

Health and safety
• Binaural
Who knew there was an app to help us fight jet lag? This app uses binaural beats, which are sounds that many cultures have relied upon for hundreds of years to relax. These repeated “beats” can improve learning and focus, reduce anxiety and relax your mind.

• Geosure
For whatever area you are in, the app can report a personal safety score, environmental threats, health risks, political threats and information about thefts and assaults in the area via crowdsourcing. It is a location-sensitive app.

• My Panda
This app tells you the level of security via GPS. It was founded shortly after the Paris terror attacks in 2015. In some locations, it will also direct you to the nearest police station and a one click option to call them.

Categories
G24 INSTA NWT_Animals NWT_Biology Research SCI TECH

Study suggests narwhals and beluga whales experience menopause

A team of scientists discovered that narwhals and beluga whales experience menopause, which brings the total number of species known to experience the process to five. Humans aside, the species known to experience menopause all belong to the toothed whale parvorder.

“For menopause to make sense in evolutionary terms, a species needs both a reason to stop reproducing and a reason to live on afterwards,” said Sam Ellis of the University of Exeter, first author of the study. “In killer whales, the reason to stop comes because both male and female offspring stay with their mothers for life—so as a female ages, her group contains more and more of her children and grandchildren.”

“This increasing relatedness means that, if she keeps having young, they compete with her own direct descendants for resources such as food,” he added.

“The reason to continue living is that older females are of great benefit to their offspring and grand-offspring. For example, their knowledge of where to find food helps groups survive.”

More than four decades of intense study has documented the existence of menopause in killer whales.

“It’s hard to study human behaviour in the modern world because it’s so far removed from the conditions our ancestors lived in,” said Darren Croft, senior author of the study. “Looking at other species like these toothed whales can help us establish how this unusual reproductive strategy has evolved.”

Despite the fact that many individuals in various species fail to reproduce later in life, the team looked for evidence that suggested an “evolved strategy” where females had a post-reproductive lifespan.

The findings were published in Scientific Reports.

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Science TECH

Study: Trapping atoms in a laser beam offers a new way to measure gravity

Trapping atoms in a laser beam may offer scientists a new way to study gravity.

According to a newly published study in Nov. 8 Science, scientists could better probe the gravitational forces exerted by small objects via lasers. The discovery may provide scientists with new insights into gravity and help test Einstein’s theory of gravity.

“Very impressive,” says physicist Alan Jamison of MIT. “It’s quite a challenge to work on these drop experiments, where you have a 10-meter-long tower,” he says. “Magnetic fields are hard to shield, and the environment produces them all over the place — all the electrical systems in your building, and so forth. Working in a smaller volume makes it easier to avoid those environmental noises.”

The discovery provides scientists with a solution to interference from stray magnetic fields. With a new tabletop setup, physicists can gauge the strength of Earth’s gravity by monitoring atoms suspended a couple millimeters in the air by laser light.

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G24 INSTA TECH

Elizabeth Warren unloads on Facebook

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren unloaded on Facebook on Tuesday, again calling for the breakup of the social media giant.

“Facebook has incredible power to affect elections and our national debate. Mark Zuckerberg is telling employees that he views a Warren administration as an ‘existential’ threat to Facebook. The public deserves to know how Facebook intends to use their influence in this election,” she said in a statement.

Citing a recent report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Democratic presidential candidate has repeatedly challenged Facebook’s social media operation, saying its lack of transparency regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election it troublesome.

Facebook has long promised to help solve the “truth decay” problems its service has deepened by providing academic researchers with the data they need to study the issue, but the effort has stalled.

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TECH

Facebook admits data security breach

Facebook is likely to face more criticism after announcing data was accessed without authorization by Facebook users.

“As part of our ongoing review, we recently found that some apps retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API, for longer than we intended. We have since removed their access,” the tech giant said in a statement. “Today we are also reaching out to roughly 100 partners who may have accessed this information since we announced restrictions to the Groups API, although it’s likely that the number that actually did is smaller and decreased over time. We know at least 11 partners accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days. Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted.”

The team noted that authorization was largely limited to social media management and video streaming apps

“These were primarily social media management and video streaming apps, designed to make it easier for group admins to manage their groups more effectively and help members share videos to their groups,” said Facebook.

The revelations come as Facebook is facing growing criticism from lawmakers in Washington. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has repeatedly traveled to meet with members of Congress, seeking to reassure them over compliance concerns and calls for antitrust legislation.

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CELEB DISPATCH HOUNDS_Entertainment Music NONE TECH TECH_Social TV

Chrissy Teigen joins other celebrities in Snapchat ‘boycott’

Chrissy Teigen has had it with Snapchat.

The model and cookbook author announced over Twitter on Saturday that she had stopped using the social media platform because of several factors– including the controversial advertisement Snapchat ran earlier this month, that alluded to the 2009 domestic violence incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown.

The advertisement was for a game of “Would You Rather,” which in turn asked users if they would rather slap Rihanna or punch Brown.

“I stopped using snap,” Teigen, 32, tweeted. “The update, the constant complaints of people not being able to find me, plus the Rihanna poll…no bueno.”

The Lip Sync Battle host’s complaints come two weeks after Rihanna took to Instagram to give a heated statement about the incident.

“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there!” She posted to her Instagram story,”But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!”

CNN reports that the platform lost $800 million in stock market value after the pop star’s statement.

“This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them…but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…you let us down!” Rihanna, 30, continued.
“Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”

This all comes less than a month after Kylie Jenner criticized the app’s new design, tweeting, “Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Jenner’s tweet resulted in a reported $1.3 billion loss in market value for the company.

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Business SCI TECH TECH_Technology

Galaxy Note 9 to launch ahead of schedule

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are seemingly the most remarkable Android smartphones available on the market presently. Nonetheless, the similarities to the previous year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ models display a current drop in sales due to missing the mark in consumer expectations with design and innovative features. Consequently, the reluctance of consumers to invest several hundreds of dollars or more towards Samsung’s new generation of smartphones is comprehensible.

According to Samsung’s report released last week, the developer is implementing a strategy to launch the Galaxy Note 9 in advance of schedule. The early release is predicted to counterbalance slow-moving Galaxy S9 sales while providing the new smartphone a supplementary period of time prior to the anticipated Apple iPhone X release this coming September.

Purportedly, Samsung’s impending Galaxy Note 9 will highlight a design and specification comparable to the Galaxy Note 8. The new Android is projected to be powered Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset or an Exynos 9810 with a contingency of region. A Super AMOLED display is anticipated for this new smartphone, setting it apart as the greatest quality available.

Samsung is estimated to reveal the Galaxy Note 9 in late summer, with a release scheduled for August or September.

Categories
NONE Robotics SCI TECH TECH_Technology

Artificial muscle makes soft robots stronger

Scientists from Harvard University and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created artificial muscles that allow soft robots to lift objects that are up to 1,000 times their own weight, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.

Soft robotics has made large strides over the past decade. However, while recent advancements have enabled the machines to bend and flex in new ways, the softer materials typically come with reduced strength.

The new origami-inspired muscles in the study get around that obstacle and could one day lead to much more efficient machines.

“We were very surprised by how strong the actuators [aka, “muscles”] were,” said study co-author Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, according to Phys.org. “We expected they’d have a higher maximum functional weight than ordinary soft robots, but we didn’t expect a thousand-fold increase. It’s like giving these robots superpowers.”

Making muscle-like actuators is one of the largest challenges in engineering. Now that it has been overcome, scientists can potentially build nearly any robot for almost any task.

Each artificial muscle consists of an inner “skeleton” made from materials like metal coil or a sheet of folded plastic surrounded by air or fluid and sealed inside a plastic or textile bag. A vacuum inside the bag causes the muscles to move by forcing the “skin” to collapse onto the skeleton. That tension drives the motion, and allows the device to work without any other external human input. 

In the study, the team created dozens of different muscles with materials ranging from metal springs to packing foam to sheets of plastic. They then experimented with different skeleton shapes to create muscles that can contract down to 10 percent of their original size, lift a flower off the ground, and twist into a coil.

Those experiments showed the muscles can move in many ways, and are able to operate with a high amount of resilience. Not only that, but the technology can generate roughly six times more force per unit area than mammalian skeletal muscle, and is both lightweight and easy to make. A single muscle can be constructed within ten minutes using materials that cost less than $1.

Another important property is that the actuators are highly scalable, meaning they can be constructed at different sizes. That is important because it greatly increases their potential applications. The team believes they could one day be used for a wide variety of tasks, including miniature surgical devices, wearable robotic exoskeletons, transformable architecture, deep-sea manipulators, and large deployable structures for space exploration.

“The possibilities really are limitless,” added Rus, in a statement. “But the very next thing I would like to build with these muscles is an elephant robot with a trunk that can manipulate the world in ways that are as flexible and powerful as you see in real elephants.”

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Business NONE SCI TECH TECH_Technology

Artificial muscles could one day help robots lift massive objects

Researchers from Columbia University have created a new type of artificial muscle that could allow robots to lift things up to 1000 times their own weight, a study in Nature Communications reports.

The team created the new technology with a 3D printing technique. The rubber-like material — which is heated by a small electric current — not only lifts like real muscle, but it is able to expand up to nine times its normal size as well. That gives it a lot of flexibility other such substances do not have.

During the study, the team found that the muscle has a strain density — the amount of energy stored in each gram of a stretched elastic body — 15 times greater than natural muscle.

“We’ve been making great strides toward making robot minds, but robot bodies are still primitive,” said study co-author Hod Lipson, a professor at Columbia University, according to Telegraph UK. “This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We’ve overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots.”

The new muscles are important because, not only could they be used to make better, stronger robots, they could also lead to more effective surgical devices and help out any field where careful manipulation is important. Lifting is the main application, but the soft material could go far beyond that.

“Our soft functional material may serve as robust soft muscle, possibly revolutionizing the way that soft robotic solutions are engineered today,” said lead author Aslan Miriyev, a researcher at Columbia University, in a statement. “It can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight. It’s the closest artificial material equivalent we have to a natural muscle.”

The team hopes to expand on the new study by furthering the muscle’s development. They also plan to use better materials, which will help accelerate the muscle’s response time and also increase its shelf life.