India open-sources its coronavirus tracker after privacy concerns

Nearly two months after its launch and several privacy-related concerns, India has finally open-sourced its coronavirus tracking app, Aarogya Setu. The makers of the app today released the source code of the Android version; the source code of the iOS version will be released in the coming weeks. The government also opened up a bug country program with rewards up to ₹100,000 ($1,325) for finding bugs in the app. The app was originally launched in April on Android and iOS to keep a check on the the spread of coronavirus. To ensure that its effective, the government made it mandatory for private…

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Future AirPods might jam light sensors into your ears because… health

That’s right, Apple might be putting ambient light sensors into future pairs of its earbuds. The reason? So they can be used as part of a health monitoring system. This comes from a (paywalled) Digitimes report that states Apple is expected to “incorporate ambient light sensors (ALS) in next-generation ‌AirPods‌ devices in the coming [one to two] years.” Now, the report in question doesn’t specify exactly why Apple would put ambient light sensors in future AirPods, but the common consensus (and something suggested by this other Digitimes piece) is that it’ll have health or biometric tracking features. With the Apple Watch, the…

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5 cognitive biases in data science — and how to avoid them

Recently, I was reading Rolf Dobell’’s The Art of Thinking Clearly, which made me think about cognitive biases in a way I never had before. I realized how deeply seated some cognitive biases are. In fact, we often don’t even consciously realize when our thinking is being affected by one. For data scientists, these biases can really change the way we work with data and make our day-to-day decisions, and generally not for the better. Data science is, despite the seeming objectivity of all the facts we work with, surprisingly subjective in its processes. As data scientists, our job is to make sense…

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Xiaomi’s wireless Redmi Earbuds S are dirt-cheap at just $23 — and that’s about it

Xiaomi’s Redmi sub-brand is synonymous with affordable hardware — primarily smartphones. Today, Redmi launched its first audio product, the Redmi Earbuds S, at ₹1,799 ($23). While these truly wireless buds aren’t a carbon copy of the Airpods,they do have a few drawbacks (which should be expected at this price point). I’ve been using the Earbuds S buds for a few days, and if you aren’t hell-bent on saving a few bucks on truly wireless buds, you should look for alternatives. Let me tell you why. Features and function The Redmi Earbuds S ships with a compact plastic case with a matte finish.…

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Chrome is testing dark mode for Google Search

You might soon be able to rummage through the internet… but in dark mode. The Big G is testing a dark theme for Google Search on Chrome. For now, the feature is solely available in Google’s experimental versions of the browser, Chrome Canary and Chrome Dev, as Google9ot5 has spotted. From the looks of it, though, the feature is still in early development — and it doesn’t always work as intended. It’s also limited to mobile only for the time being. Those who want to give searching the web in dark mode can try either of these two approaches: First method: Download Chrome…

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There’s an actual science to good Instagram photos

Social media managers, aspiring influencers, and individual users are all seeking that winning combination of composition, lighting, color, and subject matter that will drive up likes, followers, and click-through rates on Instagram. But what is it that gets the perpetual scroller to stop in their digital tracks?  We spoke with a neuroscientist, a top designer, and a visual psychologist to find out.  What’s science got to do with it? In 2017 Dr. Tedi Asher became the first ‘neuroscientist in residence’ at the Peabody Essex Museum. She was hired by PEM to enhance the visitor experience by conducting research into influences…

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This GTA V mod lets you ride your own bike around Los Santos

With lockdown measures enforced around the globe, exercising indoors has had a bit of a boom — particularly indoor cycling. Online video game-like training platforms like Zwift have brought new realms of realism to the activity, but this ingenious GTA V mod has taken it to a whole other level. In short, the GTBikeV mod lets you ride your real bike around GTA V’s massive virtual world, Los Santos, almost as if you were actually there. The mod allows you to connect your bike and smart trainer to the game, so as you pedal your indoor exercise bike, your in-game…

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Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Visa approves launch of crypto debit card in Europe’

Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin every fucking day. Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Locke used to say: Let’s add the milk of data to the cereal of understanding! Bitcoin price We closed the day, May 25 2020, at a price of $8,906. That’s a minor 1.37 percent increase in 24 hours, or $120. It was the highest closing price in one day. We’re still 55 percent below Bitcoin‘s all-time high of $20,089 (December 17 2017). Bitcoin market…

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The center of the Milky Way twinkles in radiation — this could explain how supermassive black holes behave

The center of the Milky Way twinkles in microwave radiation, seen in new data obtained by astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. This study could help explain the behavior of supermassive black holes found throughout the Cosmos. Supermassive black holes reside in the central core of every major galaxy. The one at the center of our own galaxy is called Sagittarius (Sgr) A* (usually pronounced SAJ a star). Sagittarius A* has the mass of four million suns. Astronomers have seen flaring of radiation from this supermassive black hole before, but never in the detail recorded in this new…

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5 things to do if you’re worried about job security

Coronavirus has ground many industries to a halt, causing huge ripples of unemployment in countries such as the US. Even though some countries are starting to ease lockdown measures, and businesses may be looking to re-open soon, the pandemic’s knock on effect on the world’s economy is likely to be felt for a while yet.  So here are a few things you should consider if job security is keeping you awake at night.  [Read: 7 tips on lockdown career advancement — for employees and managers] How real is the fear? The first thing you need to think about is whether the…

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