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Industry & Technology

Huawei Mate 20 Pro pictures show off new triple-camera setup

Ars Technica - 11 min 9 sec ago


Huawei's latest flagship smartphone will be the Mate 20 Pro, and the first images of it have leaked. German site WinFuture has posted press images of the upcoming smartphone, which will be announced on October 16th.

The pictures show a mostly cookie-cutter smartphone design on the front. There's a sizable notch on the top and a bit of a "chin" bezel at the bottom. In the pictures, only the earpiece and a single front camera is visible in the notch, although it's a safe bet that there are sensors for proximity and brightness in there. Things get interesting on the back, where the triple-camera layout forms a big black square.

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Pulsed engines provide high efficiency, output power, low fluctuations

Ars Technica - 19 min 35 sec ago

Enlarge / Neither of these steam engines get close to the Carnot efficiency (credit: Les Chatfield)

Almost all of modern physics comes down to understanding steam engines. Yes, we have all sorts of fancy laws about the Universe and atoms, but thermodynamics rules them all (and not in Sauron’s benevolent dictatorship style). When thermodynamics slaps you, you feel it.  In a new theory paper, a pair of physicists have risked a slapping by nature. They’ve proposed a heat engine that may be practical—for a given value of practical—and operate very close to the limits of physical law. 

Carnot rules

One famous limit of thermodynamics is that heat engines, like steam engines and internal combustion engines, must be less efficient than a Carnot heat engine (a heat engine cycle designed by French engineer Carnot).  Although the Carnot efficiency is very easy to calculate, building an engine that operates at that efficiency is highly impractical.

It is not just the impractical mechanics of such an engine. The very nature of the engine suggests that the ideal operating efficiency is achieved only for zero output power. Not very useful, in so many words. But it gets even less useful than that. By delving into the details, you find that as the output power approaches zero, the fluctuations in output power get very large. In other words, even if we could construct such an engine, it would run erratically and drive the operator insane.

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Teardown reveals big changes inside the Apple Watch Series 4

Ars Technica - 33 min 37 sec ago

Enlarge / iFixit opens up the Apple Watch Series 4. (credit: iFixit)

Apple announced a number of features that got people excited for the Apple Watch Series 4, and its redesigned internals show how much thought the company put into its latest smartwatch. iFixit tore down the Series 4 and found a few interesting tidbits about the Watch that prove it represents a thorough redesign of the original device, making it a more repairable wearable.

Despite having the same estimated battery life as the Series 3, the Series 4's new battery stands out among the details of the teardown. A 1.113Whr battery powers the Series 4, which is larger than the 1.07Whr battery in last year's 38mm Series 3 but smaller than the 1.34Whr of the 42mm Series 3 (iFixit tore down a 44mm Series 4, which is the new equivalent to a 42mm Series 3).

It appears Apple tried to achieve a solid middle-ground with the battery's size, while relying on other hardware and software improvements to do extra work in maintaining overall battery life for both the 40mm and 44mm models. Both are expected to last up to 18 hours on a single charge.

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Mummy of paraplegic child shows how Peru’s Nasca culture treated disability

Ars Technica - 1 hour 14 min ago

The Nasca Boy's remains are now on display in the National Museum of Ica, Peru. (credit: Tilley et al. 2018)

Most Peruvian mummies come bundled in cloth, with their legs folded up to their chests and their arms around their knees. But the young boy we now know only as the Nasca Boy was buried in a position he probably occupied in life: on a contoured, cushioned adobe stool, with his lower legs tucked beneath his seat. It’s the only burial of its kind that archaeologists have ever seen, and it immediately suggests two very important things about this child: he lived with a disability that would have required additional care and resources, and he was well-cared for and valued by the people around him, even during a period of their history when food was scarce and life was uncertain.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, which revisits the original 1973 research on the mummified remains of the young boy, who died around 700 CE. The original archaeologists, led by the late Marvin Allison, focused on identifying evidence of tuberculosis in the boy’s remains; they provided the first evidence that the disease had stalked South American populations long before Europeans arrived.

Archaeologist Lorna Tilley and her colleagues have taken a second look at that study in an effort to reconstruct details of the child’s experience with his illness and disability, the kind of care he probably received, and what that reveals about the culture in which he lived. “I rely on taking the information available from the work of other archaeologists and synthesizing it, hoping that I've understood their research results and providing copious references so that readers can go to the sources themselves,” Tilley told Ars Technica.

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Facebook moderator sues over 'beheading stress'

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 19 min ago
A contractor working on the social network says it does not do enough for traumatised staff.

Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

The Register - 1 hour 22 min ago
Can he make it to 12 months without telling anyone his real name?

A man who has refused to identify himself to Google or the courts but is still trying to drag the ad tech company through a Right To Be Forgotten legal action has had his second attempt to take it to the Court of Appeal denied by a senior judge.…

After a decade of testing, propylene rocket fuel may be ready for prime time

Ars Technica - 1 hour 24 min ago

Enlarge / In May, Vector launched a full-scale prototype of the Vector-R rocket. (credit: Vector)

For a long time Rocket Propellant-1, or RP-1, reigned supreme as the fuel of choice for the first stage of rockets. This highly refined form of kerosene, which was derived from jet fuel, powered the Saturn, Delta, Atlas, Soyuz rockets throughout the 20th century. It even served as fuel for modern rockets like the Falcon 9.

RP-1 has the benefit of being dense, which means a lot of fuel can be packed into a relatively small tank. However, RP-1 isn't the most effective fuel at creating thrust, a measurement known as specific impulse. Liquid hydrogen, by contrast, has a really high specific impulse. But because it is not at all dense, it can't efficiently be used as a first stage fuel.

This is one reason why a number of major new rocket engines developed during the last decade, including SpaceX's Raptor and Blue Origin's BE-4 engines, have been designed to use methane as a fuel. It represents a compromise between RP-1 and hydrogen—not quite as dense as the former, and with not quite as high a specific impulse as the latter. Methane is also useful if you want to go to Mars, because it is relatively abundant in the red planet's thin atmosphere and could be used to refuel an ascent vehicle.

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Tinder tests new feature for women in India

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 26 min ago
The dating platform is testing letting women take control of sending the first message to a match.

Should gammon slur be banned on Twitter?

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 28 min ago
Twitter asks its members to help shape new rules banning "dehumanising speech".

Amazon Echo Dot deal: Just $23 - CNET - News - 1 hour 33 min ago
It's used, but still the cheapest Dot to date.

Fujifilm's $4,500 GFX 50R hits a new low price for medium format - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 46 min ago
The company's eagerly awaited "affordable" version of its GFX 50S trims features you probably won't miss -- and a couple you might.

The HP Tango X writes the book on bookshelf printers - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 46 min ago
Printer design has been stuck in the '90s, this mobile-first printer aims to change that.

Samsung, Bosch, LG lead in the eternal race to fill your home with appliances - CNET - News - 1 hour 46 min ago
A survey of 250,000 people have made their appliance alliances.

Firefox Monitor shows if your personal information was lost in a hack - CNET - News - 1 hour 46 min ago
Mozilla's service can help you decide which passwords need changing.

Yale smart locks get the August treatment with new kit - CNET - News - 1 hour 46 min ago
Assa Abloy acquired August last year, and now we're getting a look at what that means for Yale and August smart locks.

Mac users get to join the OneDrive Files On-Demand festivities

The Register - 1 hour 53 min ago
Because there ain't no party like a cloud storage party

A year after Microsoft reintroduced placeholders for Windows users of OneDrive in the form of "Files On-Demand", Mac users of the cloudy file service are getting the same love.…

Japan’s mini space elevator goes to space - CNET - News - 2 hours 58 sec ago
And we have liftoff!

YouTube channel owner 'arrested over child sex abuse'

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 2 min ago
BuzzFeed claims to have a warrant suggesting the British national, 55, was arrested during a video shoot.

One small live-TV streamer is rolling out a big Netflix-like design - CNET - News - 2 hours 20 min ago
FuboTV is aiming for flashy design its heavyweight-backed competitors haven't tried.

Turns out download speed isn't everything when streaming video on your smartphone

The Register - 2 hours 20 min ago
Someone should tell mobile industry. Oh, here we go

The Czech Republic and Hungary top the world for mobile video performance – even though they don't have the fastest networks.…

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