Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease
A team of Duke University researchers have demonstrated the creation of synthetic strands of DNA that, mixed together in the right concentrations in a test tube, can create analog circuits able to add, subtract, and multiply as they form and break bonds. Rather than voltage, DNA circuits use the concentrations of specific DNA strands as signals. The technology takes advantage of DNA’s natural ability to zip and unzip to perform computations. Besides addition, subtraction and multiplication, the researchers are also designing more sophisticated analog DNA circuits that can do a wider range of calculations, such as logarithms and exponentials.
The hope is that, in the distant future, such devices could be programmed to sense whether particular blood chemicals lie inside or outside the range of values considered normal, and release a specific DNA or RNA (DNA’s chemical cousin)that has a drug-like effect.
Read more here.
Strong demand for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 tests supply chain
Tech giant Samsung said stronger-than-expected demand for the new Galaxy Note 7 is causing supply constraints globally, suggesting strong initial sales for the premium device. “As pre-order results for the Galaxy Note 7 have far exceeded our estimates, its release date in some markets has been adjusted,” Samsung told in a statement without commenting on where launch delays could occur. The phone went on sale on Aug. 19 in countries including the United States and South Korea, where it retails for $882.
You can read more details about the Note 7 here.
HP’s new laptop screen can prevent people from spying on you
HP developed a new screen that can cut off viewing angles with the press of a button, making it much harder for anyone on either side of a laptop to see what’s being displayed. The feature is called Sure View and works by preventing light from shooting off to the side. That way, when it’s active, you should only be able to see the laptop if you’re facing more-or-less straight on, within the the 70-degree arc right in front of it; 95 percent of light directed to either side of that is supposed to be cut off. What’s interesting about HP’s privacy filter is that it can be turned on and off by pressing a keyboard shortcut. That way you can leave it off when you don’t need it, so you’re not always staring at a dark screen. Starting in September, the Sure View screen will be available on two HP laptops: the EliteBook 1040 and EliteBook 840. It has a 1080p resolution and can support touch.
Read more here.
Top new products
LG unveils three new speakers offering 360-degree sound: the PH2, PH3, and PH4
The upcoming PH2, PH3 and PH4 portable Bluetooth speakers will debut at IFA 2016 in Berlin next month. The PH2 is a 2.5-watt portable, splash-proof speaker with a circular design with a 6-hour battery. The PH3 is a 3-watt speaker with a sleek, candle-like design available in three colors with five different multicolored lighting modes, with a 10-hour battery. Finally, the PH4 is a 16-watt, water resistant speaker with dual passive radiators and a cylindrical design. The unit measures 2.5 inches x 3.1 inches and also includes an integrated 10-hour battery.
You can read about the speakers here.
Fujifilm debuts improved X-A3 mirrorless and fast, weather-proof 23mm lens
With a revised, retro-inspired design that’s intended to appeal to a younger generation of photographers, the X-A3 features a newly developed 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Unfortunately, although the megapixel count is similar, it isn’t the same sensor or image processor as you’d find in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, Fuji’s high-end mirrorless offerings. It does, however, have expanded focus modes and, of course, a few million more pixels on it. You’ll be able to pick up the X-A3 for $600 with the standard 16-60mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, or less without.
Read more here.
Canon 5D Mark IV shoots 4K video, 30.4-megapixel stills, has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
The just-released Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR takes Canon into the realm of 4K video while increasing the size of stills to 6720 x 4480 pixels. A new 30.4-megapixel dual pixel sensor improves focus speed, Canon says, and can capture two images simultaneously with slight different focus points that can be adjusted in post-processing. The Canon 5D dates to 2005 f0r stills, and to 2008 and the 5D Mk II for video. With the Mark IV, video is bumped to to DCI 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) at 24 or 30 frames per second for up to 30 minutes per clip. There’s also Full HD video (1920 x 1080) at up to 60 fps, or HD (720p or 1280 x 720) at up to 120 fps for quarter-speed slow motion.
You can read about it here.
Top interesting info
World’s first self-driving taxis debut in Singapore
Select members of the public will be able to hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup. The service will start small – six cars now, growing to a dozen by the end of the year. The ultimate goal, say nuTonomy officials, is to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore by 2018, which will help sharply cut the number of cars on Singapore’s congested roads. Eventually, the model could be adopted in cities around the world, nuTonomy says. For now, the taxis only will run in a 2.5-square-mile business and residential district called “one-north,” and pick-ups and drop-offs will be limited to specified locations.
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Android Nougat rollout allegedly hampered by Snapdragon 800
Many older smartphones dating 2014 and earlier are being left out of the Nougat party simply because Qualcomm won’t be releasing updates to the graphics driver of the Snapdragon 800 or 801 powering those devices. Qualcomm, for one reason or another, has supposedly decided not to release updated drivers for the Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 801 processors, which happen to drive practically all 2014 flagship devices, and even some 2015 ones that decided to stay off the ill-fated Snapdragon 810. And, for technical reasons still not clear, such updated drivers are supposedly required to run Android 7.0 Nougat.
More info here.
Japan may forge Olympic medals from recycled smartphones
Organizers for the Tokyo Olympics are hoping to source the bronze, silver and gold needed to make medals from the country’s “urban mine”, which is made up of millions of discarded phones and other e-waste. Unfortunately, collecting enough material might be a problem. While Japan’s electronic recycling produces more than enough precious medal each year to forge the Olympic prizes, most of that material is already being used to create yet more electronics. To that end, the Olympic planning committee is asking companies to pitch ideas for electronic recycling collection programs.
More info are available here.