Barbara Larson

Barbara Larson

Most of the world wide web is invisible. Beyond the “surface web”—the parts accessible to search engines—there is a “deep web” containing (by one estimate) 500 times the content, secured in databases and hidden behind login screens. And within this deep web is a tiny corner known as the “dark web,” which requires special, anonymizing software such as the Tor Browser to access and contains everything from black markets selling drugs and counterfeit IDs to whistleblowing forums.

Gullies streak down the slopes of a frosty Red Planet crater in a gorgeous new photo by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

MRO captured the image using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which can spot features as small as a coffee table on the Martian surface.

"This is the location with the most impressive known gully activity in the Northern hemisphere," HiRISE principal investigator Alfred McEwen, a professor of planetary geology at the University of Arizona, wrote in an image description yesterday (April 18). The location he was referring to is about 51.7 degrees north latitude and 333 degrees east longitude, according to the description. [See more great Mars photos by MRO]

 

"Gullies are active in the winter due to carbon dioxide frost, but northern winters are shorter and warmer than southern winters, so there is less frost and less gully activity," McEwen added.

Therefore, the crater's gullies are quite different from the dark streaks known as recurring slope lineae (RSL) that temporarily stain some slopes near the Martian equator during the warmest parts of the year. Some scientists posit that RSL are signs of salty liquid water, but others point to dry landslides as the likely cause.

Though NASA released the gully-crater image yesterday, HiRISE actually took it on Jan. 15.

Zoomed-out view of the gully-streaked crater in the Martian northern hemisphere photographed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 15, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

The $720 million MRO mission has been circling Mars for more than 11 years, studying the planet's geology and climate, searching for signs of liquid water activity, and scouting out possible landing locations for future robotic and crewed missions, among other tasks. MRO also serves as a communications relay link between robots on the Martian surface, such as NASA's Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, and their handlers back on Earth.

MRO and its instruments remain in good shape despite the spacecraft's relatively advanced age, NASA officials have said.

Originally published on Space.com. By Mike Wall

Net Neutrality is without question one of the most important principles in modern life. Whether you realize it or not, the idea that web services should be provided equally without preference to one type of traffic or another has been the cornerstone of the web as we know it. And the Trump administration is doing everything in its power to trample the principle.

In the latter Obama years, net neutrality came to be enshrined, at least in part, by the FCC. The Open Internet Order of 2015 reclassified internet service providers as “common carriers.” This came with stricter rules regarding how ISPs handled internet traffic. It protected user privacy and forbade companies from prioritizing traffic from specific sites or services.

The current chairman of the FCC and Trump appointee, Ajit Pai, announced his plan to upend the Open Internet Order. Pai will hold a meeting to look re-examine parts of the order. First, Pai will push for reclassification of ISPs, removing the common carrier requirements, then the FCC will take a look and at provisions that prohibit ISPs from throttling traffic to their competitors, for instance.

That last bit is particularly concerning because internet service providers, particularly in the United States, have built themselves into tremendous companies wielding broad and dangerous power. Comcast, for instance, is part of the same mega-corporation that controls NBC and Universal. Already you can see a problem — Comcast provides internet and cable services, and without strict rules governing how Comcast handles consumer internet traffic or cable accessibility, there’s little to stop them from making competitors’ movies and television shows harder or more expensive to access.

We’ve already seen this happen a few times. Netflix was notably throttled until it agreed to pay more to have its traffic given priority. This kind of practice is the same that created the type of mega-monopolies of the gilded age. Rail companies, having few regulations, would often charge farmers more to send their goods to market than they were worth. That led to insane concentrations of wealth and many of the worst social disasters in history — not to mention countless anti-trust laws. As a global society, we’ve already learned this lesson, or at least we should have.

fcc

Now the internet faces its greatest existential threat. The US internet is already among the worst in the industrialized world, and it’s precisely because ISPs have had unchecked growth. As a result, there’s often only one high-speed company operating in any given city. Internet service providers have diced up the country to reduce consumer choice. No choice means no competition which leads to higher prices and lower quality for everyone. That’s one of the many reasons Comcast and pals’ customer service is so terrible — they know you don’t have a choice.

To be fair, ISPs are at least partially right. Having more than one major service company working in an area can cause a lot of redundancy regarding basic infrastructure. Typically services like this are what’s known as natural monopolies. Things like power companies or other utilities are common examples. And these are special cases where it doesn’t make sense to have lots of competition. Imagine having five different power lines running to your house so you could switch providers whenever you wanted — the costs would be higher because that system has lots of excess.

That said, the internet is something that most people aren’t comfortable trusting to just one entity — and for good reason. The ability to control information or gather data on users is unsettling. And that’s precisely why the FCC filed the Open Internet Order. It simply doesn’t make sense for us to allow companies to have unchecked power over the market. These sorts of systems aren’t just anti-consumer, they’re anti-capitalist, and they only serve to further support the wealthy and help entrench a fundamentally broken system.

Doom and gloom aside, Ajit Pai’s proposal could also just make your browsing experience suck a lot more. As Ars Technica reports, before 2015, services like video streaming could often be unstable — the companies that carried the signals would always have to work out an exchange when the signal left systems owned by one company and transitioned to those of another. Classifying ISPs as common carriers got rid of that problem, requiring providers to leave all transmitted data essentially alone. So even if you don’t care about the fate of the internet or think I’m being melodramatic, your YouTube surfing is still about to get a lot more frustrating.

The one upside in all of this is that Tmobile customers and those who take advantage of data-free services that their providers offer will get to keep using them. Previously, the FCC was investigating whether or not allowing consumers to use Spotify, for example, without taking from their data cap qualified as a violation of Net Neutrality (it totally does, by the way). Now, Pai’s suspended that investigation. That’s nice for people like myself who use TMo, but it’s hardly worth everything else we may stand to lose.

Pai’s scheduled the initial meeting for May 18. If you’re so inclined to leave your thoughts, the FCC typically takes comments from the public on proposed rule changes. It’s also worth following closely as Pai will be unveiling more details as we get closer to the meeting. Regardless, hopefully, one day, we won’t still be stuck in this tired fight.

This article was  published on geek.com by DANIEL STARKEY

The lambs spent four weeks in the external wombs and seemed to develop normally

Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop — much like they would have inside their mothers. Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb. One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus — but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.

It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies, eliminating the health risk of pregnancy. But it’s important not to get ahead of the data, says Alan Flake, fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of today’s study. “It’s complete science fiction to think that you can take an embryo and get it through the early developmental process and put it on our machine without the mother being the critical element there,” he says.

Instead, the point of developing an external womb — which his team calls the Biobag — is to give infants born months too early a more natural, uterus-like environment to continue developing in, Flake says.

 Image: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Biobag may not look much like a womb, but it contains the same key parts: a clear plastic bag that encloses the fetal lamb and protects it from the outside world, like the uterus would; an electrolyte solution that bathes the lamb similarly to the amniotic fluid in the uterus; and a way for the fetus to circulate its blood and exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. Flake and his colleagues published their results today in the journal Nature Communications.

Flake hopes the Biobag will improve the care options for extremely premature infants, who have “well documented, dismal outcomes,” he says. Prematurity is the leading cause of death for newborns. In the US, about 10 percent of babies are born prematurely — which means they were born before they reach 37 weeks of pregnancy. About 6 percent, or 30,000 of those births, are considered extremely premature, which means that they were born at or before the 28th week of pregnancy.

These infants require intensive support as they continue to develop outside their mothers’ bodies. The babies who survive delivery require mechanical ventilation, medications, and IVs that provide nutrition and fluids. If they make it out of the intensive care unit, many of these infants (between 20 to 50 percent of them) still suffer from a host of health conditions that arise from the stunted development of their organ systems.

IT’S “COMPLETE SCIENCE FICTION” TO THINK YOU COULD DO THIS WITHOUT THE MOTHER

“So parents have to make critical decisions about whether to use aggressive measures to keep these babies alive, or whether to allow for less painful, comfort care,” says neonatologist Elizabeth Rogers, co-director for the Intensive Care Nursery Follow-Up Program of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “One of the unspoken things in extreme preterm birth is that there are families who say, ‘If I had known the outcome for my baby could be this bad, I wouldn’t have chosen to put her through everything.’”

That’s why for decades scientists have been trying to develop an artificial womb that would re-create a more natural environment for a premature baby to continue to develop in. One of the main challenges was re-creating the intricate circulatory system that connects mom to fetus: the mom’s blood flows to the baby and back, exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide. The blood needs to flow with just enough pressure, but an external pump can damage the baby’s heart.

To solve this problem, Flake and his colleagues created a pumpless circulatory system. They connected the fetus’s umbilical blood vessels to a new kind of oxygenator, and the blood moved smoothly through the system. Smoothly enough, in fact, that the baby’s heartbeat was sufficient to power blood flow without another pump.

FOR DECADES, SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DEVELOP AN ARTIFICIAL WOMB

The next problem to solve was the risk for infections, which premature infants in open incubators face in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. That’s where the bag and the artificial amniotic fluid comes in. The fluid flows in and out of the bag just like it would in a uterus, removing waste, shielding the infant from infectious germs in the hospital, and keeping the fetus’s developing lungs filled with fluid.

Flake and his colleagues tested the setup for up to four weeks on eight fetal lambs that were 105 to 120 days into pregnancy — about equivalent to human infants at 22 to 24 weeks of gestation. After the four weeks were up, they were switched onto a regular ventilator like a premature baby in a NICU.

The lambs’ health on the ventilator appeared nearly as good as a lamb the same age that had just been delivered by cesarean section. Then, the lambs were removed from the ventilator and all but one, which was developed enough to breathe on its own, were euthanized so the researchers could examine their organs. Their lungs and brains — the organ systems that are most vulnerable to damage in premature infants — looked uninjured and as developed as they should be in a lamb that grew in a mother.

OF COURSE, LAMBS AREN’T HUMANS

Of course, lambs aren’t humans — and their brains develop at a somewhat different pace. The authors acknowledge that it’s going to take more research into the science and safety of this device before it can be used on human babies. They’ve already started testing it on human-sized lambs that were put in the Biobags earlier in pregnancy. And they are monitoring the few lambs that survived after being taken off the ventilator to look for long-term problems. So far, the lambs seem pretty healthy. “I think it’s realistic to think about three years for first-in-human trials,” Flake says.

“It’s so interesting, and it’s really innovative,” Rogers says. “To be able to continue to develop in an artificial environment can reduce the many problems caused by simply being born too early.” Rogers adds that not every facility has the resources or expertise to offer cutting-edge care to expecting mothers — a problem that the Biobag won’t be able to solve. “We know there are already disparities after preterm birth. If you have access to high-level regionalized care your outcomes are often better than if you don’t,” she says.

“I’M STILL BLOWN AWAY, WHENEVER I’M DOWN LOOKING AT OUR LAMBS.”

And Rogers worries about how hype surrounding the Biobag could impact parents coping with preterm infants. “I think many people have been affected by preterm birth and they think this is going to be some magic bullet. And I think that prematurity is just really complicated.” Preventing it in the first place should be a top priority, she says, but the Biobag could help drive that research forward.

For Flake, the research continues. “I’m still blown away, whenever I’m down looking at our lambs,” he says. “I think it’s just an amazing thing to sit there and watch the fetus on this support acting like it normally acts in the womb... It’s a really awe-inspiring endeavor to be able to continue normal gestation outside of the mom.”

This post has been updated with video.

This article was published in theverge.com by Rachel Becker

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 11:12

Google Drive Tips You Can't Afford to Miss

Raise your hand if you remember Writely. A four-person company called Upstartle launched the online-only word processor in August 2005, taking advantage of a then-new browser technology called AJAX. It allowed users to instantly save and retrieve content generated in the browser but stored on the server. And it worked so well that Google bought Upstartle less than a year later.

At the time, a product like Writely was unique (the software didn't come on a CD), but still considered a gamble. Pundit Om Malik said of the purchase, "Convincing the masses that their documents will be safe [online]...may be quite challenging, even if it's FREE!"

Fast forward to today. Google's online office suite of tools has done nothing but grow and improve. Now under the umbrella of Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), you'll find a file management and storage service as well as the various apps, which still get collectively called Google Docs, even by Google. The apps include: a word processor (sometimes simply called Docs: it's Writely, all grown up), spreadsheet (Sheets), presentations (Slides), drawing, and forms.

It's a full suite of tools that now takes on Microsoft's far more mature Office; in fact, Google Drive's very presence in the market arguable drove Microsoft to create its own Office Online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to work with its OneDrive storage/sync service.

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Businesses have the option of using G Suite (formerly Google Apps), a version of Google Drive with all the storage and tools, plus integration of Gmail, Calendar, Sites, and more under their own domain name; the price starts at $5 per user per month and come with 30GB of online storage. Nonprofits and schools can get it free.

Drive—an Editors' Choice and one of our few five-star products—is a serious set of tools for serious (or fun) work, all entirely free. But it pays to know more than just the basics. That's why we've put together these tips for how to get the most out of Google Drive. Share your own advice for fellow Drive-rs in the comments below.

Collaborate Well with Others

 

Collaborate Well With Others

The name of the game with Google Drive documents is "collaboration." It doesn't matter if you're all on desktop PCs or tablets or smartphones, more than one person at a time can work on a document—up to 50 simultaneously. To keep tabs on what your colleagues have done, you can view a revision history via File > See Revision History or by clicking the link next to "Help" on the top menu (it might say "All changes saved in Drive" or "Last edit made by X 10 minutes ago"). A list on the right side will show you who updated the doc and when; click their name to see what they did.
Revise Like in MS Word

Revise Like in MS Word

What if you want the revisions to look more like they do when you track changes in a Microsoft Word document? Docs supports a feature called Suggest Edits. Click the Editing button (with the pencil icon) up by the Comments and Share buttons. You'll get a menu that lets you edit, suggest edits (with visible tracked changes), or viewing so you can see the final doc.

Seek Out a Collaborator

Seek Out a Collaborator

There are a lot of documents to keep track of. If you can't remember the name of the one you want, but you can remember who shared it with you, click on Shared with Me in the left menu of Google Drive. You'll get a list of all the documents you share access to. If the list is too long to parse, type the collaborator's name in the search field at the top to narrow down the choices.
 
Make a Document Public

Make a Document Public

To be part of the collaboration, the document has to be shared. The limit is 200 people, but if more than 50 collaborators try to edit a document, the late-comers can only view the changes. 

The owner(s) of the document can set who has edit privileges. But to avoid a hassle, you can also just make a document public. Click the "Share" button on the top right > Advanced > and "Change" under "Who has access." Note that public documents are made available to search engines... and Google happens to own one of those, too.

Set an Access Level

Set an Access Level

When you do all this document sharing, you might think everyone is equal. Not so. There are four levels of document access. Owners can do anything to the file—even delete it—and invite more collaborators. Editors can of course edit, but only invite more collaborators if the Owner allows it. Viewers get to see what's going on. Commenters can see it, plus leave comments on it. Viewers and Commenters can also make copies of documents, so don't think of them as "secure."

Communicate While Collaborating

Communicate While Collaborating

It's nice that Google Drive shows your fellow document collaborators in the upper-right corner as you work. But what if you want to talk to them about something regarding that shared doc? You can launch other windows and IM with a Google Hangout, or even send email—but that's a pain. If you click the little word balloon icon, it creates an instant chat that's just for that document. Like IMs, it comes complete with smileys.

Embrace Add-Ons

Embrace Add-Ons

There are a slew of add-ons that can expand the functionality you already get for free in Docs and Sheets. You can find them or activate them by clicking the Add-ons menu when editing a document. Among the best: Avery Label Merge, for importing addresses from Sheets into Docs for mail-merge print jobs; EasyBib for creating bibliographies and citations; Gliffy for inserting diagrams and flowcharts; and Table of Contents for quick creation of a clickable ToC to use for navigation.
Hug it Out With Apps

Hug it Out With Apps

Not to be confused with Add-ons, there are also a number of Google Drive apps—entirely new web-based applications you can link to your Google Drive and take advantage of. There's some overlap with the add-ons—you probably don't need the HelloFax app and add-on. But the apps, found in the Chrome Web Store, make it easy to do some extra editing elsewhere. For example, toss images over to PicMonkey or Pixlr Express, convert files to any format with CloudConvert, and sign documents with DocuSign.

Upload via Drag and Drop

Google Drive has a big "New" button on the interface, for creating new files. It's also what you click to go through the steps of uploading a file or folder (left). Skip that part—drag files from Windows Explorer or the macOS Finder right into Google Drive list of file. At the bottom of the browser screen, you'll see cloud with an up arrow to indicate you can let go of the file you're dragging to drop it right into Drive.
Quick Creation Links

Quick Creation Links

If you want to quickly create a new doc, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing, you can add the following links to your browser's bookmark bar for easy access:

      Or hit Shift + D for a new Doc, Shift + S for a new Sheet, and Shift + P for a new Slide presentation.

Use Drive Like Dropbox

 

Use Drive Like Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular sync service that makes sure when you edit a file in one place, that edited file shows up on every other PC where you have Dropbox installed. Plus you can access the files online or via mobile apps. 



Google Drive does exactly the same thing—and it works with any kind of document, not just Docs, Sheets, and Slides files. Best of all, you get that instant access to edit the files with a double-click, as if they're regular offline word processor docs (but the click launches the file in Google Drive in your browser). This requires installing the Drive program that runs constantly in the background of the PC to sync files for you.

Remember, if you sync a lot of files—like space-consuming video and photos—you may need to pay for extra storage through Google. But the cost is low: on top of the 15GB you already get free, the price starts at $1.99 a month for 100GB. Even a terabyte is only $10 a month.

 

Access Drive Files Offline

 

Access Drive Files Offline

You typically access files stored on Google Drive when your browser is connected to the internet. You can always use Google Drive like Dropbox to have all your files also on your hard drive, but this option puts that function on just one PC: install Google Docs Offline on the Chrome browser, then go to Google Drive settings. Check the box next to "Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so you can edit offline." Note this only works with Google Chrome.



If you want to work with a file on your smartphone but don't have internet access, set up the file to be available offline ahead of time. Open a file in Docs, Slides, or Sheets, click the three-dot menu at the upper right, and toggle the switch next to "Available Offline." Next time you go online, any changes you've made will sync again with Google Drive.

Use Drive Like Evernote

Use Drive Like Evernote

Evernote is the best repository online for all your stuff. But you can use Google Drive in a similar fashion. There's a Google Chrome extension called Save to Google Drive that acts somewhat like the Evernote Web Clipper, making it a breeze to save almost anything to see online to a folder on Google Drive. There are some caveats, though. You can't really save just the good text parts of a page—you can only save a view of it as a PNG file, the entire HTML source code, or save it as a Google document (which will throw the formatting off). Right-click an image and you can save just that. This extension is a fun option, but for serious saving of info, stick with Evernote or OneNote.

Direct Share Docs via Gmail

Direct Share Docs via Gmail

If you use Gmail and Google Drive, you're in luck: you never need to attach a document ever again. That means you'll never run into that 25MB attachment limit—instead you can send up to 10 Gigabytes worth of files. Of course, the files have to be uploaded to Google Drive storage. Insert the files into a Gmail message with a click of the Google Drive triangle icon at the bottom of a message composition screen. If the files are still on your hard drive, the Upload tab makes it easy to drag and drop them for quick upload and insert.

Use Separate Mobile Apps for Editing

Use Separate Mobile Apps for Editing

Google has offered a Drive app for iOS and Android for a long time, but the file editing was a mixed bag. Google ultimately moved the editing to completely new apps, one for Docs (iOSAndroid), Sheets (iOSAndroid) and Slides (iOS , Android ). The Drive app lives on to provide access and viewing of stored files; when you need to edit, it'll shunt you over to one of the other apps. 

Convert to Google Docs Format

Convert to Google Docs Format

There are a lot of files in the world, and you can upload any of them to Google Drive for storage. But what about working with them after they're uploaded? Converting a file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides format is pretty easy: upload the file, right-click and select "Open with." A sub-menu of choices will appear with options that let you change, for example, a Word doc into a Google Docs format. It'll create a copy, leaving your old file intact.

OCR Images/PDFs into Text

OCR Images/PDFs into Text

If you want every item you upload on the desktop—even PDFs—to convert to text you can edit as a Google Doc, you can. In a desktop browser, go to the Settings menu (the gear icon) and check the box next to Convert Uploads. File uploads may take a little longer, but it's worth it. You'll end up with a Google Doc that has the image inserted and editable text below.

Scan with the Mobile App

Scan with the Mobile App

One unique feature of the Google Drive mobile app (not in the separate Docs and Sheets apps) is the ability to upload a picture. Why would you do that? The words in the image are scanned by Google and become searchable text. It's great for taking a picture of a recipe, menu, store hours—anything you'd need to find later, but don't want to retype. (The iOS app doesn't make the text editable with OCR however—that only works from the desktop or from Android.)

Collect Data From Others

Collect Data From Others

One app in the Google Drive collective that doesn't get a lot of attention is Forms, but it's a handy one. Think of it as your own personal SurveyMonkey. You set up a poll, survey, what-have-you, and share it. The data that's collected is inserted into a Sheets spreadsheet file. Forms are just as collaborative to build as any document. Forms support progress bars to show respondents how long they have to go, images, and YouTube videos.

Draw in Docs

Draw in Docs

The Drawings app in Google Drive doesn't replace the late Piknik image-editing web app that Google killed—it's not really for photo editing. But it can be used to whip up some graphics. If you need some of that image creativity in a document, you have it. Go to the Insert menu in Docs, Sheets, or Slides and select Drawing—you'll get a scaled back version of the Drawing app that makes it a breeze to include your art. (Strangely, however, you can't insert a drawing you've already created and saved in Google Drive.)

Go Full Screen (Twice)

Go Full Screen (Twice)

You can typically set a browser to full screen, hiding all the menus and toolbars, by clicking F11. In Google Drive, your apps can also be set to go full screen again, eliminating the app menus and toolbars at the top. Just select the Full Screen option in the view menu. It's a fast way to create a distraction-free writing screen in Docs. To get out of it, hit the Esc key.

Research Pane Finds More

Research Pane Finds More

When you've got a head of steam on a project and limited screen real estate, the last thing you want to do is leave the page to do a search. The research pane (accessible in Docs only) gets around that, providing a way to search the web for research. Click Tools > Explore (or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I) to access it. Best of all, it makes it easy to insert a footnote citation in your document that links to the results. Use Ctrl+Shift+Y when your cursor is on a certain word and the pane shows the definition.

View Every Single Shortcut

View Every Single Shortcut

Embrace keyboard shortcuts and you'll be a Google Drive god. Except what are they and how do you find them? No matter what Drive app you're in, even in the main Google Drive page, just type Ctrl+/ and the shortcut menu will reveal every keyboard option available.

Put Drive on the Windows 'Send To' Menu

Put Drive on the Windows 'Send To' Menu

This one only works if you've got Google Drive installed on Windows. Open Windows Explorer and paste in %APPDATA%/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo, which opens the SendTo folder. 

If you're on Windows 10, right-click on Google Drive in the Quick Access section. If you're on Windows 7, open Windows Explorer and search for Google Drive. Then drag that file to the SendTo folder. 

Then, whenever you right-click a file in Windows, find the SendTo section and you'll have the option to send it directly to Google Drive.

Insert Links With Search

Insert Links With Search

It's easy to insert a link in a Google Doc. Select the text, click the chain icon or hit Ctrl-K, and a menu pops up where you can paste the URL. But if you don't already have a URL for the link, Google will find one for you, since Google search is built in. It will search first on the term you've highlighted. If that doesn't work, put in different search query—it won't change the text of the document. Once you find a link you like, click it to insert instantly.

Translate on the Fly

Translate on the Fly

Got a document in a foreign language? Upload it to Google Drive, open it (as a Google Doc), click Tools, then Translate Document. You'll get a duplicate doc in your preferred language.

Use the Web Clipboard

Use the Web Clipboard

When you copy and paste in Windows or the Mac, you generally get one item stored in the clipboard. With Google Drive, there's a special shared Web Clipboard that holds multiple items. In a Doc, for example, select something, go to Edit > Web Clipboard > Clip Selection to Web Clipboard. Then you can use it in other Docs or Slides or Drawings (it doesn't work in Sheets). Save a bunch of items you need to copy/paste, and then go back into Web Clipboard to Clear All when you're done.

Voice Type in Docs

Open up a brand new blank Google Doc file for word processing on the desktop, and if your computer has a microphone, you have the option to do Voice Typing. If it doesn't come up automatically, you'll find it in the tools menu. It puts a microphone icon next to the document—click on it to speak, and what you say appears in the doc. The microphone icon pulses when it hears you. 

No one is going to say it's exactly Dragon-speech capable as yet, but Google's done a lot to perfect voice recognition and dictation over the last few years. And this works pretty great. Not only for writing down what you say (including basic punctuation: say "period" when you end a sentence for example) but also for making corrections and formatting changes via voice, and navigating around the document without touching a mouse. The list of supported languages goes far beyond just US English, as well. It will, however, censor your cursing with asterisks—you'll need to retype that bull**** later.

Perfect Your File Search

Perfect Your File Search

Looking for a specific file or doc in Google Drive? Google's got the search stuff down, so it's usually easy. But if you need to do an advanced search, you can open the options to do so with the down arrow in the search box. From there, you can search on the file type, the owner, if it's starred or trashed, when it was last modified, who it's shared with, and more.

 

Better yet is the upgrade to use Natural Language Processing when you search Drive. That means you can skip the esoteric search operators and try something like "find my sales meeting minutes from last July."

Colorize the Folders

Colorize the Folders

It helps to keep folders in order, but sometimes you just want your eye drawn to the most used folders by, say, a color choice. Google Drive offers that option, with a rainbow of choices. Right-click any folder and select Change Color to get the menu.

Get a new Outlook

Get a new Outlook

If you use Outlook.com or the Outlook app for iOS or Android, you're not limited to just using Microsoft OneDrive for accessing in-the-cloud files. You can also get them from Dropbox, Box, Facebook, and yes, Google Drive as well.

This article was  published in yahoo.com by ERIC GRIFFITH

It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director

As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.

2. Supervisory Attorney

Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

3. Senior Medical Writer

Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.

4. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

5. Director of Quality Improvement

Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.

6. Senior Software Engineer

It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

7. Director of Business Development

As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.

8. Research Biologist

One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

This article was originally published in Lifehack.org by Matt Duczeminski

Scientists have just made a huge finding in space that could permanently change our search for alien life.

Scientists have discovered something big about 40 light years away, something that could completely change the search for alien life. An exoplanet that is orbiting a red dwarf star may be the best place to look for signs of life outside our solar system, according to a statement from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysis.

Scientists used ESO’s HARPS instrument at LaSilla and linked it with telescopes around the world to discover this so-called “super-Earth” orbiting in the star’s habitable zone. The planet is much more massive than Earth, and it likely still has an atmosphere, a key ingredient for any planet to host life.

It’s certainly one of the most exciting finds in modern astronomy, and it will make a big target for future studies that will likely focus on its atmosphere: how thick it is, what it’s composed of, and the like. The findings were published in the April 20 issue of hte journal Nature.

The statement is below.

The study of alien worlds is entering its next phase as astronomers amass the best planets outside our Solar System to look for signs of life. A newly discovered “super-Earth” orbiting in the habitable zone of a nearby small star, has catapulted itself to the top of that list.

“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science − searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”

The newfound planet is described in a paper appearing in the April 20th issue of the journal Nature.

Located just 40 light-years away, the planet was found using the transit method, in which a star dims as a planet crosses in front of it as seen from Earth. By measuring how much light this planet blocks, the team determined that it is about 11,000 miles in diameter, or about 40 percent larger than Earth.

The researchers have also weighed the planet to be 6.6 times the mass of Earth, showing that it is dense and likely has a rocky composition. Small, potentially habitable planets have been found in the TRAPPIST-1 system, located a similar distance from Earth, but only one of those worlds has had its density measured accurately, showing that it isn’t rocky. Therefore, some or all of the others also might not be rocky.

Since this planet transits its star, unlike the closest world to the solar system Proxima Centauri b, it can be examined for the presence of air. As the planet moves in front of the star, the star’s light will be filtered through any atmosphere and leave an imprint. Large, next-generation telescopes will be needed to tease out these subtle signals.

“This planet will be an excellent target for the James Webb Space Telescope when it launches in 2018, and I’m especially excited about studying it with the ground-based Giant Magellan Telescope, which is under construction,” said co-author David Charbonneau of the CfA.

The planet orbits a tiny, faint star known as LHS 1140, which is only one-fifth the size of the Sun. Since the star is so dim and cool, its habitable zone (the distance at which a planet might be warm enough to hold liquid water) is very close. This planet, designated LHS 1140 b, orbits its star every 25 days. At that distance, it receives about half as much sunlight from its star as Earth.

Although the planet is potentially habitable now, it might have faced a hellish past. When the star was young, it would have bathed the planet in a harsh ultraviolet glare that could have stripped any water from the atmosphere, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect like we see on Venus.

However, since the planet is larger than Earth, it might have possessed a magma ocean on its surface for millions of years. Powered by heat from naturally radioactive elements, that churning ocean of lava may have fed steam into the atmosphere long after the star calmed to its current, steady glow. This process could have replenished the planet with water, making it suitable for life as we know it.

“Right now we’re just making educated guesses about the content of this planet’s atmosphere,” said Dittmann. “Future observations might enable us to detect the atmosphere of a potentially habitable planet for the first time. We plan to search for water, and ultimately molecular oxygen.”

In contrast with the TRAPPIST-1 star, LHS 1140 spins slowly and does not emit much high-energy radiation, which also may help the likelihood of life on its planet.

LHS 1140 b was discovered using the MEarth-South telescope array at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. This collection of eight telescopes, with its companion facility MEarth-North, studies faint, red stars known as M dwarfs to locate orbiting planets using the transit method.

In follow-up work the team was able to detect LHS 1140 wobbling as the planet orbits it, using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) installed on the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6m telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile. This information was combined with data from the transit method, allowing the team to make good measurements of the planet’s size, mass and density.

The MEarth Project is supported by the National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

Source : babwnews.com

Key hires indicate a new push into space

Apple looks like it’s staffing up an internal hardware team responsible for satellite internet delivery, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company just hired Alphabet’s John Fenwick, who was Google’s head of spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, Fenwick’s colleague and head of satellite engineering, to be part of a new team under Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy. Apple hired Duffy, who himself left Alphabet in 2015 shortly after Nest acquired Dropcam, earlier this year for an undisclosed position.

APPLE IS PUTTING RESOURCES TOWARD SATELLITES AND SPACE
 

It’s unclear what exactly Duffy’s unit is working on, but Fenwick and Trela’s expertise in the satellite business seems to suggest the company is looking into internet delivery. Fenwick was the co-founder of SkyBox Imaging, a satellite company Google acquired in 2014 and later sold to competitor Planet Labs back in February of this year. Another big name in the satellite business, Greg Wyler, left Google back in 2014 to work with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Google ultimately invested $1 billion alongside Fidelity in the space transportation company it appears in lieu of building out its own division.

So it’s clear the general winding down of satellite work at Google has pushed some of its in-house talent to competitors, but Apple is still a peculiar pick given its nonexistent track record in the satellite space. Both Facebook and Alphabet are the biggest players in the tech industry when it comes to delivering internet over the air, with Facebook working on solar-powered drones and Alphabet having shifted its resources from satellites and drones of its own to its hot-air balloon project Loon and Google Fiber unit.

But telecom consultant Tim Farrar wrote last month that Apple is funding a Boeing effort to deliver internet using a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites. Duffy’s role at Apple working under Dan Riccio, who oversees Apple’s consumer hardware teams, also suggests Apple could be building some of this tech itself, according to Bloomberg. While what the iPhone maker is up to is all very murky right now, it’s clear CEO Tim Cook has gotten serious about looking beyond smartphones and other consumer electronics and into more forward-looking industries like satellite internet and self-driving cars.

Source : theverge.com

Scientists have just made a huge finding in space that could permanently change our search for alien life.

Scientists have discovered something big about 40 light years away, something that could completely change the search for alien life. An exoplanet that is orbiting a red dwarf star may be the best place to look for signs of life outside our solar system, according to a statement from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysis.

Scientists used ESO’s HARPS instrument at LaSilla and linked it with telescopes around the world to discover this so-called “super-Earth” orbiting in the star’s habitable zone. The planet is much more massive than Earth, and it likely still has an atmosphere, a key ingredient for any planet to host life.

It’s certainly one of the most exciting finds in modern astronomy, and it will make a big target for future studies that will likely focus on its atmosphere: how thick it is, what it’s composed of, and the like. The findings were published in the April 20 issue of hte journal Nature.

The statement is below.

The study of alien worlds is entering its next phase as astronomers amass the best planets outside our Solar System to look for signs of life. A newly discovered “super-Earth” orbiting in the habitable zone of a nearby small star, has catapulted itself to the top of that list.

“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science − searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”

The newfound planet is described in a paper appearing in the April 20th issue of the journal Nature.

Located just 40 light-years away, the planet was found using the transit method, in which a star dims as a planet crosses in front of it as seen from Earth. By measuring how much light this planet blocks, the team determined that it is about 11,000 miles in diameter, or about 40 percent larger than Earth.

The researchers have also weighed the planet to be 6.6 times the mass of Earth, showing that it is dense and likely has a rocky composition. Small, potentially habitable planets have been found in the TRAPPIST-1 system, located a similar distance from Earth, but only one of those worlds has had its density measured accurately, showing that it isn’t rocky. Therefore, some or all of the others also might not be rocky.

Since this planet transits its star, unlike the closest world to the solar system Proxima Centauri b, it can be examined for the presence of air. As the planet moves in front of the star, the star’s light will be filtered through any atmosphere and leave an imprint. Large, next-generation telescopes will be needed to tease out these subtle signals.

“This planet will be an excellent target for the James Webb Space Telescope when it launches in 2018, and I’m especially excited about studying it with the ground-based Giant Magellan Telescope, which is under construction,” said co-author David Charbonneau of the CfA.

The planet orbits a tiny, faint star known as LHS 1140, which is only one-fifth the size of the Sun. Since the star is so dim and cool, its habitable zone (the distance at which a planet might be warm enough to hold liquid water) is very close. This planet, designated LHS 1140 b, orbits its star every 25 days. At that distance, it receives about half as much sunlight from its star as Earth.

Although the planet is potentially habitable now, it might have faced a hellish past. When the star was young, it would have bathed the planet in a harsh ultraviolet glare that could have stripped any water from the atmosphere, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect like we see on Venus.

However, since the planet is larger than Earth, it might have possessed a magma ocean on its surface for millions of years. Powered by heat from naturally radioactive elements, that churning ocean of lava may have fed steam into the atmosphere long after the star calmed to its current, steady glow. This process could have replenished the planet with water, making it suitable for life as we know it.

“Right now we’re just making educated guesses about the content of this planet’s atmosphere,” said Dittmann. “Future observations might enable us to detect the atmosphere of a potentially habitable planet for the first time. We plan to search for water, and ultimately molecular oxygen.”

In contrast with the TRAPPIST-1 star, LHS 1140 spins slowly and does not emit much high-energy radiation, which also may help the likelihood of life on its planet.

LHS 1140 b was discovered using the MEarth-South telescope array at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. This collection of eight telescopes, with its companion facility MEarth-North, studies faint, red stars known as M dwarfs to locate orbiting planets using the transit method.

In follow-up work the team was able to detect LHS 1140 wobbling as the planet orbits it, using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) installed on the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6m telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile. This information was combined with data from the transit method, allowing the team to make good measurements of the planet’s size, mass and density.

The MEarth Project is supported by the National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

Source : babwnews.com

ROME: In a potentially landmark case, an Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.

In a ruling handed down on April 11 but only made public on Thursday, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.

The ruling is subject to a possible appeal.

Roberto Romeo, 57, had testified that his work duties obliged him to use his mobile for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years.

“For the first time in the world, a court has recognised a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumour,” his lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio said in a statement.

Romeo said he did not want to demonise mobiles, “but I believe we have to be more aware about how to use them.

“I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organise work — for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car.

“I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumour was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve.”

A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23 percent of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of 500 euros per month to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance scheme covering workplace accidents.

Scientific studies of the potential health risks of mobile phones have mostly concluded that they pose no serious risk to human health at the level of most people’s use.

Heavier use may pose some risk, other studies have found, and many experts say it is too early to do a proper assessment of what is a relatively new technology.

Source : arynews.tv

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