Lasers can search your DNA now

As we reach the limits of what computer processors can do, “biologists are testing a new way to efficiently sift through mountains of genomic data: lasers,” said Jamie Condliffe at Technology Review. The U.K.-based startup Optalysys has begun experimenting with a processor that “encodes data onto light beams that can be made to interfere with each other.” That allows the processor to spot identical sets of data or perform calculations in “one shot,” rather than over many stages, as a regular computer would do.

(Courtesy image)

Performing those calculations with lasers can be “10 times quicker and uses a quarter as much energy.” Recently, genomic researchers at universities in the U.S. and U.K. began using Optalysys processors to locate short snippets of DNA inside genomes, a process likened to rapidly finding “a needle in a haystack.”

…read more

Source:: The Week – Tech


Google Killed its Popular ‘View Image’ Feature, and the Internet Isn’t Having It

People online are upset over a new decision from Google that makes it a little harder to download photos.

The search giant removed its popular “view image” feature Thursday as a part of a legal settlement. The feature previously allowed users to download and save photos without having to navigate through to the pictures’ web pages.

Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018

The “view image” option has long frustrated photographers and publishers who say their work is stolen when people download photos through Google’s search engine. The change comes as part of a settlement with Getty Images that aims to improve attribution for their contributors, Google said. The search engine also removed its “search by image” button, but users can still reverse image search by dragging images to the Google search bar.

But killing off the “view image” feature hasn’t sat well with web users, who have since been raising their concerns online.

Cool, so Google got rid of the view image button on Google search. LITERALLY THE ONLY THING I EVER USE . THANKS GOOGLE

— Ali H 🔥 (@The_AliH) February 16, 2018

Dear @Google, please give us back View Image on image results. Some websites are littered in ads or other stuff, we’d rather avoid them. Sincerely, everyone 😔

— Martyn Littlewood (@InTheLittleWood) February 16, 2018

The frustrating part “view image” going away for some users was that the feature was a tool that many people used in their work.

Hey all you artists that use Google for reference images. Did you notice yet they removed the “view image” button? This is going to make research such a
pain… via @Verge

— Matt Moylan (@LilFormers) February 16, 2018

Google removing the “view image” option is legitimately one of the workflow crippling things I’ve experienced in a while and is so user hostile that either 1) they’ll be forced to pull it back or 2) an alternative will need to arrive

— Nikhil Krishnan (@nikillinit) February 16, 2018

And sure enough, some users have begun suggesting alternatives that …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


Apple Employees Keep Smacking Into Their New Headquarters’ Glass Walls

The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic.

There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

Surrounding the Cupertino, California-based building are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents.

Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass.

Apple’s latest campus has been lauded as an architectural marvel. The building, crafted by famed architect Norman Foster, immortalized a vision that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had years earlier. In 2011, Jobs reportedly described the building “a little like a spaceship landed.” Jobs has been credited for coming up with the glass pods, designed to mix solo office areas with more social spaces.

The building is designed to house some 13,000 employees. Wired magazine, first to pay a visit at its opening last year, described the structure as a “statement of openness, of free movement,” in contrast to Apple’s typically insular culture. “While it is a technical marvel to make glass at this scale, that’s not the achievement,” Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, told the magazine in May. “The achievement is to make a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. It’s not clear how many incidents there have been. A Silicon Valley-based spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration referred questions about Apple’s workplace safety record to the government agency’s website. A search on the site based on Apple’s name in California found no reports of injuries at the company’s new campus.

It’s not the first time Apple’s penchant for glass in buildings has caused problems. In late 2011, 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall walked into the glass wall of an Apple store, breaking her nose. She sued the company, arguing it should have posted a warning on the glass. …read more

Source:: Time – Technology