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First human CRISPR study in the US could begin soon

The study will collect up to 18 patients with multiple myeloma, melanoma and/or two types of sarcoma. Penn scientists will use CRISPR to delete two particular genes in patients' T cells: The first, PD-1, can be manipulated by cancer cells to impede the immune system, while the second is an alarm-sounding receptor that will be removed and replaced with one engineered to alert the body to specific tumors.

The Penn scientists won't be injecting CRISPR directly into patients' bloodstreams; Instead, they'll use a method called ex vivo gene therapy, extracting blood and editing it with CRISPR before re-inserting it into subjects. This may bypass certain immune reactions that reject the former method. Last week, scientists published a study that found between 65 and 79 percent of human subjects produced antibodies fighting proteins made by two variants of the CRISPR Cas9 technique.

Penn scientists haven't announced a start date for their record-setting CRISPR study: "We are in the final steps of preparing for the trial, but cannot provide a specific projected start date," a Penn Medicine spokesperson told MIT Technology Review.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/first-human-crispr-study-in-the-us-could-begin-soon/

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Facebook taps Jada Pinkett Smith for new talk show series

According to Deadline, the intergenerational family talk show will be executive produced by Ellen Rakieten, Miguel Melendez and Pinkett Smith herself. It appears to be a follow up to 2012 YouTube channel called Red Table Talks, which brought the three women together to talk about "love, life, fame and family."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/facebook-jada-pinkett-smith-new-talk-show/

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FCC admits mobile internet is a poor broadband replacement

In the 2018 report, Pai's office concedes that "Mobile services are not full substitutes for fixed services -- there are salient differences between the two technologies." Beyond the obvious difference that only one of the technologies is, you know, mobile the report points out that "there are clear variations in consumer preferences and demands for fixed and mobile services." In this context, what constitutes broadband is benchmarked by the 25/3 rule -- that is, speeds have to hit 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.

As a result of that admission, the draft report urges that the commission evaluate the progress in deploying both mobile internet and fixed broadband services. However, in the very next breath the report states that it "takes a holistic view of the market and examines whether we are both making progress in deploying fixed broadband service and making progress in deploying mobile broadband service." Which sounds a whole lot like the FCC is still trying to treat mobile and broadband as one and the same, at least in how it measures deployment rates.

The rest of the report laid out the FCC's efforts to promote broadband deployment as required by the law, with no small amount of self-congratulation about voting to overturn Net Neutrality protections, before declaring that the commission "is now meeting its statutory mandate to encourage the deployment of broadband on a reasonable and timely basis."

Pai even managed to sneak in some spurious claims about deployment slowing under the neutrality rules. "The draft report indicates that the pace of both fixed and mobile broadband deployment declined dramatically in the two years following the prior Commission's Title II Order," he wrote in his Chairman's statement.

Mignon L. Clyburn, the same FCC Commissioner who was having none of Pai's shenanigans during the initial net neutrality debates, offered a dissenting opinion:

By the FCC's own admission, over 24 million Americans are still without high-speed broadband access where they live. For years telecom companies and government officials have promised Americans that "soon" they will have affordable, high-speed broadband. Yet millions continue to wait, hoping that this vital connection will bring economic development and prosperity to their community. I met many of these individuals during my travels around the country, including last summer in Marietta, Ohio.

So how can this agency now claim that broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion? Only by repeating the majority's tired and debunked claims that broadband investment and innovation screeched to a halt in 2015. While my initial review of Chairman Pai's draft report raises serious concerns, I acknowledge that it addresses one of my concerns by now correctly concluding that mobile and fixed connectivity are not substitutes. I look forward to carefully reviewing the findings presented in the draft report.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/fcc-mobile-internet-broadband-replacement/

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‘Battlefield 1’ DLC adds aerial-only battles and more next month

The add-on also brings a counter to those aircraft in conventional modes (the AA Rocket Gun) and a slew of new maps built around more of World War I's larger battles, such as Passchendaele, the Somme and Caporetto. Six more guns and two new aircraft also promise to add some variety.

You'll need a Premium Pass to see what "Apocalypse" entails. That's a bit of a pain when some of Battlefield 1's extras have been available for free, but this definitely isn't a small addition. If you play regularly but thought things were getting stale, this could keep it fresh for a while longer.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/battlefield-1-apocalypse-in-february/

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Second ‘Tomb Raider’ trailer adds welcome backstory to all the action

If you played the 2013 Tomb Raider game (itself a reboot of the series) and follow-up Rise of the Tomb Raider, you'll recognize their influence in the new trailer. Not just the extensive bow-and-arrow action, either: While Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft as a Jane Bond-meets-Indiana Jones globetrotting adventurer, Alicia Vikander embodies a much greener but determined heroine. Also a very durable one, as she endures nature's beatdown and emerges a bold yet grimy survivor, which mirrors the new games' overarching theme. (Destiny's Child's Survivor playing in the background is far from subtle.)

Tomb Raider is directed by Norwegian Roar Uthaug and written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and also stars Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) and Dominic West (The Wire, 300). The film arrives in theaters on March 16th.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/second-tomb-raider-trailer-adds-welcome-backstory-to-all-the-a/

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Intel’s new cameras add human-like 3D vision to any machine

Intel says the cameras' target audiences aren't just developers and manufacturers, but also makers and educators, since they're easy to use and will work as soon as you plug them in. Also, it comes with Intel's RealSense SDK 2.0, which is now a cross-platform, open source SDK.

Intel RealSense VP Sagi Ben Moshe said in a statement:

"Many of today's machines and devices use 2D image recognition-based computer vision, but with Intel RealSense's best-in-class depth technology, we are redefining future technologies to 'see' like a human, so devices and machines can truly enrich people's lives. With its compact, ready-to-use form, the Intel RealSense D400 Depth Camera series not only makes it easy for developers to build 3D depth sensing into any design, but they are also ready to be embedded into high-volume products."

The D415 and the D435 are now available for pre-order for $149 and $145, respectively. D415 has a narrow field of view and a rolling shutter that scans its environment from one side to the other to take an image. It works best when dealing with small objects and anything that needs precise measurements. D435, on the other hand, has a wider field of view and has a global shutter that takes images all at once. That makes it ideal for capturing depth perception of objects in motion and for covering big areas, since it minimizes blind spots.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/18/intel-realsense-ready-to-use-depth-cameras/

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GoPro’s Fusion camera is ready to work with a few Android phones

GoPro's ability to nail the experience with its 360-degree Fusion camera will rely on its marriage of hardware and software capabilities, and now the latter is getting a boost. An update to the company's Android app allows certain phones (listed below) to pair with the camera and share 360-degree stills or video clips.

There are only about ten models on the compatible list, and just like on iOS, capabilities vary by platform, however, GoPro expects the list to expand as "we continue to improve stability, image processing and overall performance on the platform." Until then, Pixel and recent Galaxy owners are among those with one more reason to consider the $700 camera, even if some other Android users don't.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/19/gopro-fusion-android/

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Airbnb cuts half of San Francisco listings as new laws kick in

In 2014, the city passed laws limiting home rentals by absent tenants to 90 days per year, though owners can rent them year-round if they live there. However, San Francisco decided to crack down further in 2015, forcing all Airbnb hosts to register with the city via an onerous process. That prompted nearly a $1 million in fines and a lawsuit from Airbnb, but both parties eventually settled on a system whereby Airbnb could register hosts itself.

We just wanted to have commonsense regulations whereby San Francisco's acute housing crisis isn't exacerbated. The board is unanimous in its desire to have real home-sharing that does not take units off the market that would otherwise go to people who live and work here.

Of the rentals left on the market, 2,650 are for commercial BBs, hotels or long-term (30 days or longer) listings. That leaves around 3,000 typical Airbnb listings, compared to, say, 65,000 in Paris. The latter city recently enacted its own rules requiring registration and limiting rentals to 120 days a year, but only 11,000 hosts were signed up a month ago.

Airbnb is beloved by tourists and travelers, but hotels consider them as unlicensed competition and city councils and housing advocates say that they take thousands of rentals off the market and distort market prices. "We just wanted to have commonsense regulations whereby San Francisco's acute housing crisis isn't exacerbated," county supervisor Aaron Peskin told the SF Chronicle. "The board is unanimous in its desire to have real home-sharing that does not take units off the market that would otherwise go to people who live and work here."

Airbnb, for its part seems satisfied that it now has ground rules to follow, at least. "We look forward to building our business in San Francisco with a strong foundation of dedicated hosts, clear rules and a streamlined registration process that supports compliance," said spokesperson Mattie Zazueta in a statement.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/19/airbnb-san-francisco-listings-cut-in-half/

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Microsoft adds real-time collaboration to Office 2016 for Mac

On Word and PowerPoint, a little flag icon shows you where other people's cursors are, and you'd be able to see their changes as they make it. In case you walk away for a bit, PowerPoint will highlight slides that have been changed, so you can check them when you get back and make sure nobody has ruined somebody else's hard work. To make sure everyone's edits are incorporated into the file, the apps now auto-saves changes. But you can thankfully roll back to an earlier version by accessing history in case somebody makes a huge blunder. In addition, you can now easily access the files you're frequently working on through the Open menu.

The update also comes with new charts and functions for Excel, as well as QuickStarter, which auto-creates an outline for your topic, for PowerPoint. You'll now also be able to manage Google Calendar and Contacts from within Outlook. All these are now available for download when you go to Check for Updates under Help. If you're using a work or a school computer, however, when you'll get them depends on when the admin deploys update packages for the apps.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/19/microsoft-real-time-collaboration-office-2016-for-mac/

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The Morning After: Friday, January 19th 2018

For the target audience, $48,000 is reasonable.There's a point to Hasselblad's crazy 400-megapixel camera

If you judge cameras by megapixels and dollar signs, then Hasselblad just introduced the ultimate model. The H6D-400c can shoot 400-megapixel photos and will cost you $48,000, the price of a well-equipped Tesla Model 3. It does so by combining up to six different exposures from its 100-megapixel, medium-format 53.4 X 40.0mm sensor in a process it calls Multi Shot. Each image is shifted by a pixel, resulting in a much-higher resolution image.

Perhaps, both?Nintendo Labo: overpriced or innovative?

Nintendo is reinventing imagination, and charging you for the cardboard. While a room of cynical Engadget editors is probably not the target audience (we had one submission from a parent), we have thoughts on the Labo. For better and worse.

The geo-fencing system alerts authorities when targets stray beyond a "safe area."China uses facial recognition to monitor ethnic minorities

China is adding facial recognition to its overarching surveillance systems in Xinjiang, a Muslim-dominated region in the country's far west, which critics claim is under abusive security controls. The geo-fencing tools alert authorities when targets venture beyond a designated 300-meter safe zone, according to an anonymous source who spoke to Bloomberg.

Managed by a state-run defense contractor, the "alert project" matches faces from surveillance camera footage to a watchlist of suspects. The pilot forms part of the company's efforts to thwart terrorist attacks by collecting the biometric data of millions of citizens aged between 12 to 65, which is then linked to China's household registration ID cards.

Australia's 'Little Ripper' UAV swooped in to save two teens sucked out to sea.Lifeguard drone completes world-first ocean rescue

Australia's Little Ripper drone has saved a pair of swimmers caught in rough seas in what's thought to be a world-first rescue operation. Lifeguards were busy testing the UAV off Lennox Head as part of New South Wales' $250,000 shark-spotting strategy when the distress call came in. Within 70 seconds, the aerial helper had tracked down the stranded duo and dropped them a flotation pod, which they used to safely make their way to shore.

The top five warmest have all been since 2010.NASA: 2017 was Earth's second-warmest year since 1880

After careful analysis, NASA has declared that 2017 was the second-warmest year since the end of the 19th century. In a separate study using different analytical methods, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ranked last year as the third warmest in their records. But both agree that, since 2010, the globe has experienced its five hottest years.

Behave.Facebook and YouTube are removing Tide Pod Challenge videos

Apparently, adults need intervention to stop people from eating (drinking?) laundry detergent. As a result, YouTube and Facebook have committed to taking down videos of people willingly ingesting Tide pods. It's apparently gotten bad enough that in the first 15 days of 2018, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received as many calls about intentional consumption of laundry pods as it did in the entirety of 2016.

But wait, there's more...

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Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/19/the-morning-after-friday-january-19th-2018/

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