Data models and query languages are admittedly somewhat dry topics for people who are not in the inner circle of connoisseurs. Although graph data models and query languages are no exception to that rule, we've tried to keep track of developments in that area, for one main reason. Graph is the fastest growing area in the biggest segment in enterprise software -- databases. Case in point: A series of recent funding rounds, culminating in Neo4j's $325 million Series F funding round , brought its valuation to over $2 billion. Neo4j is among the graph database vendors who have been around the longest, and it now is the best-funded one, too. But that does not mean it's the only one worth keeping an eye on. AWS entered the graph database market in 2018 with Neptune , and it has been making lots of progress since. Today, AWS is unveiling support for openCypher , the open-source query language based on Neo4j's Cypher. We take the opportunity to unpack what this means, and how it's … [Read more...] about AWS Neptune update: Machine learning, data science, and the future of graph databases
With climate change causing temperatures to rise across the globe, extreme heat is becoming more and more of a health threat. The human body is resilient, but it can only handle so much. So what is the highest temperature people can endure? The answer is straightforward: a wet-bulb temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), according to a 2020 study in the journal Science Advances . Wet-bulb temperature is not the same as the air temperature you might see reported by your local forecaster or favorite weather app. Rather, a wet-bulb temperature is measured by a thermometer covered in a water-soaked cloth, and it takes into account both heat and humidity. The latter is important because with more water in the air, it's harder for sweat to evaporate off the body and cool a person down. If the humidity is low but the temperature is high, or vice versa, the wet-bulb temperature probably won't near the human body's tipping point, said Colin Raymond, a … [Read more...] about What’s the hottest temperature the human body can endure?
The world's best free divers can survive brain oxygen levels lower than those found in seals , according to a new study. Free divers, or those that dive without breathing gear, can hold their breath for more than 4 minutes and descend to ocean depths of more than 328 feet (100 meters). But this endurance feat takes a toll on the body's ability to pump oxygen through the blood and to the brain . And if not enough oxygen goes to the brain, free divers are at risk of losing consciousness . "Before now, understanding the effects on these exceptional divers' brains and cardiovascular systems during such deep dives, and just how far these humans push their bodies, was not possible, as all research was done during simulated dives in the lab," senior author Erika Schagatay, a professor of animal physiology at Mid Sweden University, said in a statement . Related: Striking shots: winning photos reveal amazing life underwater "The diver can reach … [Read more...] about Free divers’ heart rates can drop as low as 11 beats per minute
If spending upwards of £1,000 on the latest premium smartphone sounds like a tough sell, then what about once those premium smartphones are no longer as fresh as they used to be? While we absolutely love the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra , both devices rolled out in 2020. That makes them relatively long in the tooth in smartphone terms, which makes a direct comparison all the more fascinating. There was little to separate these two titanic phones when they first hit the market, with both securing 9 out of 10 ‘Recommended’ awards from us. So how do they stack up to one another now that they’re a little more seasoned? iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra price and availability The iPhone 12 Pro Max landed with a bang on November 13, with pricing starting at $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$1,849 for the 128GB model. That leaps up to $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,019 for 256GB, and $1,399 / £1,399 / AU$2,369 for 512GB. The Samsung Galaxy Note … [Read more...] about iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: old rivals get ultra-competitive
Our Google IO 2021 keynote live blog is now over, but we've left everything together below so you can see how the event unfolded as Google revealed new upgrades such as Android 12 , tweaks to Wear OS and a variety of other new software reveals. Android 12 is perhaps the most exciting addition with a whole new look for smartphones, plus the company confirmed a variety of new changes to Google Maps as well. We were gearing up to see the Google Pixel 5a , Pixel Buds A and Pixel Watch , but there wasn't any hardware at the event. It may be that Google announces this at a later date, but that's currently unclear. Below you'll find our commentary of what happened at the keynote, but before that we have specific articles on a variety of announcements and details about the upcoming Google IO show that lasts until May 20. Android 12 release date, features and which phones will get it Google wants to help you learn languages, athletics and more Google is … [Read more...] about Google IO 2021 event recap: Android 12, Wear OS tweaks and big Google Maps changes
Between November 1936 and November 1937, H.G. Wells gave a series of lectures in Great Britain, France, and the US about the world’s impending problems and how to solve them. The lectures were first published under the title " World Brain" in 1938, and they’re sweeping in scope. Wells argued for rearranging both education and the distribution of knowledge and thought we should probably get rid of nationalism while we’re at it. MIT Press has just issued a compendium of these lectures , along with related material Wells presented as magazine articles and radio addresses. The collection also includes a foreword by the science fiction writer Bruce Sterling and an introduction by Joseph Reagle, an associate professor of communication studies at Northeastern who writes and teaches about popular culture , digital communication , and online communities . Unequal information Humanity had all of the information necessary to live together in peace … [Read more...] about H.G. Wells’ “World Brain” is now here—what have we learned since?
If you were listening to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing Tuesday (Oct. 30) as New York City began to tally the damage from Hurricane Sandy, you may have been surprised by what you heard. "There has been a series of extreme weather incidents . That is not a political statement. That is a factual statement," Cuomo said. " Anyone who says there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think, is denying reality." Yesterday he added, "I think part of learning from this is realizing that climate change is a reality." Former President Bill Clinton told a crowd Tuesday: "All up and down the East Coast, there are mayors ... being told, 'You've got to move these houses back away from the ocean. You've got to lift them up. Climate change is going to raise the water levels on a permanent basis. If you want your town insured, you have to do this.'" Add to the mix Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who endorsed Barack Obama for president on Thursday (Nov. 1), saying Obama is … [Read more...] about Will Sandy Change the Climate Change Conversation?
An unusual trio of weather factors conspired to create Hurricane Sandy, the enormous storm churning toward the mid-Atlantic states today — that much is clear. What researchers aren't as sure of is how much climate change influenced this particular storm. Attributing a certain event to climate change is always tricky territory, so much so that some scientists contacted by LiveScience said it was too early to make any judgments. Others were more willing to say that global warming contributed to, but did not cause, the massive Category 1 storm. "The climate influences on this are what we might call the 'new normal,' the changed environment this storm is operating in," Kevin Trenberth, who heads the climate analysis section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told LiveScience. Sandy's cause In the immediate term, three factors have come together to make Hurricane Sandy what it is: A huge storm with winds gusting up to 90 mph (145 kph) set to make … [Read more...] about Weather or Climate: What Caused Hurricane Sandy?
If you're like most people, you probably can't stand the sound of fingernails scraping across a blackboard. You're probably cringing just thinking about it. This ear -piercing noise is so universally disliked, perhaps it's no surprise that dozens of scientists have researched why it evokes such a visceral reaction. Overall, research shows that this ear-splitting noise has the same frequency as that of a crying baby and a human scream, indicating that these sounds are tied to survival. For instance, people attuned to these frequencies may rescue a crying infant sooner, improving the baby's longevity. One study has suggested that the shape of our ear canals, as well as our own perceptions, are to blame for our distaste of shrill sounds. Related: Why do we bend our arms when we run? The study's participants rated their discomfort to various unpleasant noises, such as a fork scraping against a plate or Styrofoam squeaking. The two sounds rated as the most unpleasant, … [Read more...] about Fingernails on a chalkboard: Why this sound gives you the shivers
A year and a half ago, a cryptic NASA press release focused attention on what it promised would be new evidence in the hunt for life on alien worlds. NASA and the journal involved ( Science ) sat on the results for days as rumors built. Eventually, the paper debuted: NASA scientists had found evidence that life on Earth could rely on alternate chemistry, one that replaced the phosphorus used in many biomolecules for a chemical relative that is usually toxic: arsenic. Controversy did not end there. Researchers quickly identified a number of holes in the initial analysis, both logical and experimental. Less than six months later, Science published a series of responses to the original paper that raised significant questions about its accuracy. Now, the topic is back in the pages of the same journal. Two labs have obtained the original arsenic-tolerant bacteria and shown that some of the original paper's conclusions are completely off-base. The bacteria themselves were … [Read more...] about New papers deal huge blow to NASA-backed finding on arsenic-based life