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New Mac OS out today

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Apple has announced that OS X El Capitan, the latest major release of the mac desktop operating system, is available now as a free update for Mac users.

El Capitan builds on the features and design of OS X Yosemite, refining the Mac experience with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive.

“People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest reasons is the power and ease-of-use of OS X,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

Apple provided the following information:

El Capitan gives you simpler and smarter ways to do the things you do most with your Mac. A streamlined Mission Control makes it easier to see and organise everything you have open on your Mac. With a single swipe, Mission Control arranges all your windows in a single layer so you can find the window you need even faster. When your desktop gets crowded, simply drag a window to the top of your screen to create a new Space and spread out your work. And the new Split View feature automatically positions two app windows side-by-side in full screen so you can work with both apps without distraction.

Spotlight gets even smarter in El Capitan. You can now use Spotlight to check stock prices, weather conditions and forecasts, sports scores, schedules and standings, and even athlete information. You can also search with Spotlight to find a file using natural language. Simply type “email from Harrison in April” or “presentation I worked on yesterday” and Spotlight will help you find exactly what you are looking for. You can resize the Spotlight window to display more results or move it anywhere on your desktop.

OS X built-in apps are even better in El Capitan. Safari now features Pinned Sites to keep your favourite websites open and active and a new mute button to quickly silence browser audio from any tab. Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognises names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click. You can also swipe to delete messages, just like in iOS, and juggle multiple emails while Mail is in full screen. In Photos, you can now edit locations, batch change descriptions, sort albums by date or title, and take editing to the next level with third-party editing extensions from your favourite developers.

El Capitan features an all-new Notes app that lets you drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and other files into a note, and add content directly from other apps, such as Safari web links or Maps locations, using the Share menu. Easy-to-create checklists help you keep track of important to-do items, and the new Attachments Browser organises your attachments in one simple view, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. With iCloud, your notes stay in sync so you can create notes on one device and edit them or check off items on your other devices.

Improvements to System Performance

OS X El Capitan improves system performance across your Mac, making many of the things you do everyday faster and more responsive. Metal, Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology, accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent, resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps.* Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.

El Capitan also features enhanced international language support, including a new Chinese system font for both Traditional and Simplified, with 50,000 beautifully designed characters for crisp on-screen readability. Chinese keyboard input methods now offer regularly updated vocabulary lists and a smarter candidate window. El Capitan makes entering Japanese text faster by automatically transforming Hiragana into written Japanese and reducing the need to individually select and confirm word conversions. You can now also select the perfect font for your documents using four new Japanese typefaces.

Pricing & Availability

OS X El Capitan is available as a free update starting Wednesday, September 30 from the Mac App Store. El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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