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20 Sep 09:25

So Scotland has a lot of oil and possibly wants more freedom?

18 Sep 07:39

​BMW i8 owner sells car for 50 per cent profit after a month

by Christofer Lloyd

18 Sep 06:35

Schumacher medical treatment to cost £100k a week

by Daljinder Nagra

19 Sep 20:44

Man orders $20M-worth of Rolls-Royce Phantoms

by Chris Bruce

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Rolls-Royce, Design/Style, Luxury

Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase order by Stephen Hung

Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase Louis XIII HotelThe term "luxury" gets thrown around a lot when speaking about vehicles that are actually somewhat affordable like BMWs and Cadillacs, but Rolls-Royce and hotel magnate Stephen Hung (above in the wild suit) are proving what real opulence really is with the largest single order from the fabled British marque, ever. Hung is purchasing 30 custom examples of the Phantom Extended Wheelbase (pictured right) for $20 million. To push the deal even further over the top, two of the Phantoms are the most expensive examples ever commissioned.

This assemblage of über-luxury sedans isn't for Hung's personal collection. Instead, the cars are going to be part of the fleet for the swanky hotel and casino that he's opening in Macau, China, in 2016 called the Louis XIII. According to The Washington Post, when the 200-room resort opens, the Louis XIII is supposed to be one of the most mind-blowing places in the world, including a suite that costs $100,000 a night.

When completed, the 30 cars will be in matching crimson red to echo the exterior of the hotel. That color will be carried into the interior trim, as well, including the gauges, and the seats will have a checker board pattern. Each one will be outfitted with a bespoke clock from Graff Luxury Watches. The two most expensive Phantoms will get all of this attention, plus gold-plated trim covering the interior and exterior.

As this huge order suggests, Hung doesn't do anything on a small scale. If you need even more proof of that, Rolls-Royce isn't just providing him with the cars, the automaker is also helping to design the parking area to house them and training the staff to drive the special fleet. Scroll down to read the full announcement of this historic order.

Continue reading Man orders $20M-worth of Rolls-Royce Phantoms

Man orders $20M-worth of Rolls-Royce Phantoms originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Sep 02:08


30 Aug 04:54

There are two kinds of parrots…

There are two kinds of parrots…

18 Sep 14:08

Bono says he's working with Apple on a new music format to fight piracy

by Daniel Cooper
Bono's already inserted himself into everyone's iPhones this week, but now he wants even more control over the way you enjoy music. The Irish singer says that he's been working with Apple on a new audio format that'll get people paying for music once...
19 Sep 00:10

MinION, the USB-sized DNA sequencer, goes through real-world testing

by Mariella Moon
Back in 2012, a UK company called Oxford Nanopore announced a chewing gum packet-sized DNA sequencer, something that people found hard to believe since rival machines can be as big as fridges. After dealing with technical issues and bugs (as well as...
19 Sep 02:30

NVIDIA's latest GPU crams 4K images on 1080p displays

by Sean Buckley
Back in February, NVIDIA trotted out the very first desktop GPUs to feature its new Maxwell architecture: the GeForce GTX 750 and 750i. These entry level cards were paragons of efficiency, but they were hardly strong examples of what the company's...
19 Sep 11:58

France passes its anti-Uber law

by Daniel Cooper


Remember the French law that, if passed, would make life impossible for companies like Uber, LeCab and Allocab? Last night the country's national assembly gave a Gallic thumbs-up to the rule. The biggest change is that drivers are now banned from...
19 Sep 16:00

Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker review: Can WiFi make cooking easier?

by Kris Naudus
Frying, baking, grilling, searing, boiling, roasting -- whatever the method, I love to cook. It's not always easy, and sometimes it's just plain hard work, but at least it's the kind of work I enjoy. Even so, I've never used a slow cooker, and have...
19 Sep 17:37

Wolfram Alpha will answer your important questions on Twitter

by Daniel Cooper
Wouldn't it be great if you could just call up a supercomputer and ask it to do your data-wrangling for you? Actually, scratch that, no-one uses the phone anymore. What'd be really cool is if machines could respond to your queries straight from...
20 Sep 01:32

Alibaba IPO makes it worth $231 billion, more than Amazon and eBay combined

by Richard Lawler
We'd heard that the US IPO for Chinese company Alibaba could be among the biggest ever, and it did not disappoint. Closing at a stock price of $93.89, it raised $21.8 billion for the company and is the biggest IPO in US history. According to...
16 Sep 20:00

The Rise Of Open Source Hardware

by Rachel Nuwer

An open source 1-inch OLED screen.
Emile Petrone founded Tindie for selfish reasons. “The basic idea was that there wasn’t a marketplace for the things I was interested in,” he says. At the time, those things were his latest DIY hardware obsessions—specifically, kits to support Arduino and Raspberry Pi. “Ebay’s not really right, and neither is Amazon. Hardware projects had no natural home.” 

So in the summer of 2012, Petrone (then an engineer at a Portland startup) launched a site where flexible matrix boards and laser motion sensors could be sold alongside build-it-yourself weather monitoring kits and robot birds. Almost immediately, Tindie began attracting favorable attention from the indie hardware community—and then expanded from there. Today, around 600 inventors sell more than 3,000 different hardware products, which have shipped out to more than 80 countries around the world. Some customers are hobbyists like Petrone, but others are large entities like the Australian government, Google and NASA. These days, Petrone says, “NASA’s purchasing department just calls my cell phone.” 

Just as Etsy became the go-to marketplace for craft creators, Tindie has become the primary hub for hardware aficionados.

The site has also gained a strong following from hard-core DIY types. Just as Etsy became the go-to marketplace for craft creators, Tindie has become the primary hub for hardware aficionados. “We are definitely part of and supportive of the maker movement,” Petrone says. “We fill the hardware side.”

While Petrone achieved his goal of creating a marketplace for hardware projects, Tindie also inadvertently made a second contribution to the hardware world: it now stands as the largest collection of open-source hardware on the planet. “Nothing on the site is patented, and the vast majority of sellers have their source code and documentation links available right there on the page,” Petrone says. “Open source has become very much a part of the brand and what people within the hardware world associate with us.” 

An open source rolling robot.
Petrone, who stands on the board of the Open Source Hardware Association, insists that this development was not intentional but rather just happened. Whatever the reasoning, it could be a boon for hardware. Unlike software, which has been open sourced for decades and includes hundreds of thousands of projects, hardware has lagged behind the open source movement, wherein the inner workings of a program or a product are openly available for anyone to see, edit or modify. Open source software projects demonstrate the value of this approach, having led to integral creations such as Linux, the operating system that vast majority of the Internet runs on today. “The more people who know about a project and have access to it, the better it becomes,” Petrone says. “We then all benefit from that collective development.” 

Part of the reason software has led the open source charge is that it has the advantage of being “lightweight,” Petrone explains. “It’s a case of atoms versus bits.” 

Historically, big companies have dominated hardware production for two simple reasons: manufacturing is both expensive and difficult. Hardware requires physical objects, which entail manufacturing costs and, usually, shipping. But a precipitous drop in prices—which some attribute to the rise of cell phones, which made components cheap—is helping to lower the barrier to open source entry for hardware, as are crowd-sourcing platforms such as Kickstarter.  

For companies and makers, the revenue model for open source hardware is still being worked out, since a person could potentially exploit an open source platform and sell it for profit. But as Arduino— a micro-controller for DIYers, and the most successful open source hardware project to date—shows, people tend to buy the $30 original version rather than the $10 copycats. “Most people want to support those who are actually contributing and putting the sweat and time into the project,” Petrone says. “You don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling when buying a closed product as you do when you support someone who is creating an open one.” 

As for Tindie sellers, monetary support has so far not been a problem. There is so much demand for the open source products sold on the site that the waiting list alone contains nearly half a million dollars’ worth of orders. For Petrone, “This has been something incredibly interesting to see because, ultimately, it’s a totally new market that doesn’t exist anywhere else.” 

Tindie, however, is likely only an early example of what is to come. 

“I think open hardware will start coming into its own in the next ten years,” Petrone says. “Apple’s not going to open source their products anytime soon, but Tesla could.”

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Popular Science with the title, "The Etsy Of Hardware." It has been expanded in this web version. 

17 Sep 14:09

Twitter Executives 'Probably' Smoke Too Much Pot

Dude, did he just say "Twitter executive smoke too much pot" on live TV? Whoa. That's harsh bro. "Twitter is hard to evaluate. They have a lot of potential. It's a horribly mismanaged company — probably a lot of pot-smoking going on there. But it's such a solid franchise it may even work with all that," Thiel said. Comments
17 Sep 18:16

Is Microsoft's Azure permanently broken?

by Guy Wright
There appear to be some serious issues with Microsoft’s Azure cloud services and some experts suggest the problems might be difficult if not impossible to fix.

18 Sep 06:40

How a massive black hole looks in an ultra-dense dwarf galaxy

by Mariella Moon
The M60-UCD1 is a dwarf galaxy that's so dense, you'd see 1 million stars at night if you lived in it instead of the 4,000 we typically see on Earth. Now, thanks to data from Hubble, NASA found that the galaxy, which is only 1/500th the diameter of...
16 Sep 15:10

IBM brings Watson Analytics to all with freemium model

by Chris Merriman
IBM brings Watson Analytics to all with freemium model

Ask a simple question, get a comprehensive answer

16 Sep 17:09

Funny Microsoft Minecraft Image of the Day

Regardless how you feel about Microsoft buying Minecraft, you have to admit this image is pretty damn funny. Comments
16 Sep 14:44

Wikileaks releases Finfisher malware to help developers defend against it

by Carly Page
Wikileaks releases Finfisher malware to help developers defend against it

Assange slams Germany for continuing to sell weaponised malware

16 Sep 14:50

‘Castle’ cast gets slap-happy in season 6 gag reel

by Samantha Highfill
The cast of Castle has a certain way of showing love toward one another, and it seems to involve a
16 Sep 13:00

‘The Flash': The fast story behind making a fast spinoff

by James Hibberd
Everything about The Flash happened fast. Producers conceived of the spin-off just two months after Arrow premiered. They cast the
15 Sep 13:13

Amateurs to Anfield in four years

Liverpool's Champions League opponents have had a meteoric rise, partly thanks to their penalty-saving defender Cosmin Moti.
15 Sep 16:01

‘CSI: Cyber’ casts Luke Perry

by Teresa Jue
CSI: Cyber is gathering the best of the ’90s and early 2000s, all in one place. Fresh off the casting
15 Sep 20:18

‘Helix’ season 2 trailer shows a very different series

by James Hibberd
Goodbye snow! The first trailer for the second season of Helix shows a radically different setting. Leaving behind the Arctic
15 Sep 20:57

‘Big Bang Theory’ star Kaley Cuoco explains why she chopped off her long locks

by Natalie Abrams
By now, fans of The Big Bang Theory have seen the season premiere photos that show Kaley Cuoco’s new ‘do
15 Sep 21:30

Genetically, Schizophrenia Is At Least Eight Separate Diseases

by Rafi Letzter

An illustration of DNA
via Pixabay
Research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that schizophrenia is not a single genetic disease, but in fact a class of diseases with variable symptoms.

Schizophrenia is known to be passed in families, implying genetic origins, but no single mutation has ever been shown to cause symptoms to emerge. It turns out, that's because different "orchestras" of mutations working together cause a range disorders that until now had been understood as a single disease. These results emerged from a new approach to studying the illness. Scientists examined the DNA of 4,200 people with schizophrenia and 3,800 healthy controls, looking for places in the genome where a single nucleotide -- the smallest unit of data in DNA -- had mutated. They found that none of the individual mutations produce significant risk for the disorder on their own. However, particular clusters of mutations create risk of developing schizophrenia and different symptoms. Eight have been found so far, and they expect to uncover more.

"This is better than saying that someone either has or doesn't have the disease," Dr. Igor Zwir, a lead on the study, tells Popular Science.

The study could have broad implications for the severe mental illness, which appears in about 1 percent of the population. Sufferers can experience a range of symptoms from delusions and hallucinations to disorganized speech and apathy. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published in 2013, called for interpretation of schizophrenia along a spectrum, but, according to Zwir, no comprehensive method for doing so existed, leading doctors to rely on trial and error for treatment.

"You can have one patient on seven drugs," he says. "One doesn't work, so they try another, and another, and another, and another. The problem is no one knows how to divide schizophrenia into groups."

By looking at the genetic roots of the disease instead of symptoms, Zwir hopes doctors will be able to be more direct in their treatment.

According to Zwir, the next step is to develop inexpensive targeted tests for the groups of mutations that produce schizophrenic symptoms. That could lead to a future of quicker, more effective care.

15 Sep 09:00

The deployment pipeline

by sharhalakis

by Julik and Aaron

11 Sep 21:00

The Ozone Layer Is On The Mend

by Emily Gertz

ozone layer, nasa, antarctica
Ozone Hole Over Antarctica
In this false-color image of total ozone over the South Pole on September 8, 2014, blues and purples are areas of least ozone, and yellows and reds show where the ozone layer is thickest.

An international agreement to phase out use of chemicals that damage the ozone layer appears to be working. A new report finds that ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere are down by 10 to 15 percent, and that the ozone layer is by and large getting thicker.

The reason is that nations have followed through on commitments made under the Montreal Protocol and related pacts to phase out use of chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) and halons, according to the new assessment (PDF) released this week by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization. About 300 scientists contributed to the report.

The ozone layer is a thin film of gas in the stratosphere. It protects the Earth from the Sun's ultraviolent rays, which can cause skin cancer, eye damage, and other forms of ill health for both animal and plant life on Earth.

CFCs and halons were common in products like refrigerators, fire-fighting foams and aerosol spray cans. But from the early 1970s onward, evidence mounted that UV radiation broke down these compounds in the mid-stratosphere (about six miles above the Earth's surface), resulting in the release of chlorine and bromine atoms that break down ozone (O3) molecules. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one chlorine atom can rip apart over 100,000 ozone molecules.

ozone layer chart
Ozone Layer Progress
The ozone layer has shown signs of recovering from human-caused damage since a worldwide ban on ozone-destroying substances began in 1989.

After the Montreal Protocol came into effect in 1989, countries began phasing out manufacture and use of ozone-destroying substances. There have been signs in the past 10 to 15 years that the atmosphere's "ozone column" is thickening in places, suggesting that the ban is working. The new report estimates that by 2050, the ozone layer in the Arctic and middle latitudes should return to roughly the condition it was in in 1980. Because natural atmospheric conditions cause air pollutants to concentrate over the poles, the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica each spring (which has caused changes in the summer climate of the Southern Hemisphere) will take longer to heal.

A side benefit of CFC reduction is that it may be helping to blunt the progress of global warming, since CFCs are also powerful greenhouse gases. The assessment estimates that in 2010, lowered emissions of ozone depleters equated to keeping around 10 metric gigatons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, “which is about five times larger than the annual emissions reduction target” for 2008-2012 under the Kyoto Protocol climate treaty.

There are some warnings in the report as well. Some of the compounds being swapped in for ozone depleters – such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – are also potent greenhouse gases. If their use increases as predicted, they will contribute quite a lot to surface temperature rises.

As well, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) levels remain unexpectedly high, even though the substance was banned under the Montreal Protocol. Participants in the treaty reported no new emissions of CCI4, which was used in fire fighting and dry cleaning, between 2007 and 2012. NASA credits the high levels to "unidentified industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or unknown CCl4 sources."

The UN assessment also warns that the options available for stopping future damage to the ozone layer are becoming limited as most of the most straightforward actions play themselves out. These have ranged from ending the production of ozone-harming substances, to the destruction of "banks" of destructive chemicals and upgrading to appliances that don't contain CFCs.  Presumably more ingenuity will be required on humanity's part to continue making progress -- by coming up with new, safe chemicals and technologies --  as well as not repeating the mistakes of the past.

12 Sep 09:00

Work - some days

by sharhalakis

by uaiHebert