YouTube Shorts to Begin Beta Testing

· Charlotte Henry · Link

YouTube Shorts Logo

YouTube unveiled plans to begin rolling out a new product called ‘Shorts’ in a blog post on Tuesday. It is user-generated videos that last up to 15 seconds. Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…

We’re excited to announce that we are building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test this out. This is an early version of the product, but we’re releasing it now to bring you — our global community of users, creators and artists — on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback. Here are more details on what to expect.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 Brings ML Super Resolution to iPad

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

The Pixelmator Photo 1.4 update brings ML Super Resolution to the iPad. This is the feature introduced on macOS that lets you upscale images using machine learning. “Today’s update also adds a very awesome comparison slider, letting you quickly compare your edited image with the original in a split-screen view. And it works all around the app, so when using the Repair tool, you can turn on and move the comparison slider to see just the changes made with that tool. When the Color Adjustments tool selected, you’ll see just the color changes, and so on. Super useful.” Finally, the company has raised the app’s price to US$7.99, up from US$4.99.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 Brings ML Super Resolution to iPad

CISA Believes China Hacked US Government Systems

· Andrew Orr · Link

Generic image displaying the word hacked.

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chinese-affiliated hackers have compromised U.S. government computer systems.

“This beaconing is a result of cyber threat actors successfully completing cyber operations that are often designed around emergent vulnerabilities and reliant on existing exploitation tools,” the advisory states. “CISA observed activity from a Federal Government IP address beaconing out to the threat actors’ [command and control] server.”

Get we just get it together for 10 seconds, please?

Ice Age Ecologist Dr. Jacquelyn Gill - BGM Interview

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Jacquelyn Gill on Background Mode.

Dr. Jacquelyn Gill is an Associate Professor of Paleoecology and Plant Ecology, School of Biology, Ecology and Climate Change Institute, the University of Maine. Her research interests include: Paleoecology, community ecology, vegetation dynamics, extinction, climate change and biotic interactions. She received her Ph.D. in Paleoecology from the Univ. of Wisconsin.

An outdoor life, science fiction, cave exploration and a professor who taught her how to ask questions about what she saw in the natural environment laid the foundation for Jacquelyn’s interest in Nature and Ecology. She tells a remarkable, instructive story about how she got admitted to her Ph.D. program. Then we chatted about just what Paleoecology and Biogeography are as well as the effects of animal extinction, recovering extinct animals from DNA, ecological models, and recovery from bad ecological trends. Jacquelyn is spellbinding in her description of her work.

FCC Tests Eero Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Routers WIth BTLE, Zigbee

· Andrew Orr · Link

The FCC has been testing Eero’s Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers. Not much is known about these devices, including a launch date, but it appears that these products will have Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee to enable smart home automation connectivity.

Although the underside diagram for Gateway and Extender is shaped somewhat like the second-generation Beacon design, we don’t see any plugs shown—so it seems unlikely that they will be wall-wart designs like the Beacon’s or like Eero competitor Plume. We expect the new generation of devices will likely be desktop-style designs, with external power supplies.

‘Attack Surface’ by Cory Doctorow has a Kickstarter Campaign

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

One of my favorite authors, Cory Doctorow is well-known for books like Little Brother and Homeland. Now he’s trying to publish the third book in the series called Attack Surface. Instead of relying on publishers that use DRM, Mr. Doctorow is releasing it through Kickstarter. There is an eBook and audiobook (Narrated by Amber Benson of “Buffy”). You can also preorder the eBook on Apple Books. In his most recent campaign update he breaks down the financials.

Gaming Company Razer Leaked 100,000 Users’ Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alert symbol of an exclamation point inside triangle

In August, security researcher Volodymyr Diachenko found a server owned by Razer that exposed the data of over 100,000 users. It took the company over three weeks to get around to fixing the issue.

The cluster contained records of customer orders and included information such as item purchased, customer email, customer (physical) address, phone number, and so forth—basically, everything you’d expect to see from a credit card transaction, although not the credit card numbers themselves. The Elasticseach cluster was not only exposed to the public, it was indexed by public search engines.

This Camera Has 1080p Resolution, 2-Way Audio, Motion Detection, Companion App: $59.95

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Sinji Smart Outdoor Camera

We have a deal on the Sinji Smart Outdoor Camera. It features 1080p resolution 2-way audio, motion-detection, a companion app, 128GB of on-board storage, and a cloud storage option. You can also remotely control this security camera with a user-friendly app and install it via your WiFi network or with an RJ45 Ethernet cable. It’s $59.95 through our deal.

Life in Clouds Around Venus? Scientists Now Think it's Possible

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Could there be life… around Venus?! That’s a question being asked by some UK scientists, who found evidence of phosphine, a gas associated with life, around the planet’s atmosphere, BBC News reported.

On Earth, phosphine is associated with life, with microbes living in the guts of animals like penguins, or in oxygen-poor environments such as swamps. For sure, you can make it industrially, but there are no factories on Venus; and there are certainly no penguins. So why is this gas there, 50km up from the planet’s surface? Prof Jane Greaves, from Cardiff University, UK and colleagues are asking just this question.
They’ve published a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy detailing their observations of phosphine at Venus, as well as the investigations they’ve made to try to show this molecule could have a natural, non-biological origin. But for the moment, they’re stumped… Given everything we know about Venus and the conditions that exist there, no-one has yet been able to describe an abiotic pathway to phosphine, not in the quantities that have been detected. This means a life source deserves consideration.

What Does NVIDIA Buying Arm Mean For Apple?

· Charlotte Henry · Link

NVIDIA’s purchase of Arm throws about a lot of interesting questions. One is what, if anything, does it mean for Apple. Gizomodo took a look.

Nvidia, however, is the least controversial processor company that could buy Arm. While it also licenses Arm technology, Nvidia’s main schtick is GPUs. There’s a reason you don’t really hear about Nvidia with regard to smartphones. In fact, the only real outside hardware using its mobile chipset Tegra is the Nintendo Switch and the Magic Leap headset, which let’s be real, doesn’t really count as a win. That said, should the deal go through, Nvidia buying Arm could mean a lot of major improvements to the Tegra chipset and could theoretically, be a good thing for Nintendo down the line.

The Journey Towards Apple Making a Carbon Neutral iPhone

· Charlotte Henry · Link

GQ has taken a look at Apple’s green revolution in a new feature. It poses the question – will there be a carbon neutral iPhone?

When Cook unveils the iPhone 12 to an empty arena in Cupertino, California, in the next few weeks, it is therefore sure to be its most eco-friendly smartphone ever. If history is a guide, this will largely go unmentioned compared to the usual cocktail of redesigned hardware, customer satisfaction scores and perhaps “one more thing” to send the tech press into a tizz. Make no mistake, for a company that sold a reported $142 billion worth of iPhones last year, this is the work that we ought to be scrutinising most carefully right now… [Lisa Jackson] says that it wasn’t only the scale of the task that drew her to the job, but also the belief that Apple didn’t merely want to tick boxes. “During my interviews no one said, ‘What do we have to do to get in front of all these environmental rules and regulations?’” she recalls. “They said, ‘What can we do to lead the world to a better place?’ And that was really impressive to me. I didn’t run across that practically ever.’”