SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Borrowing a page from war posters of yesteryear, Facebook is using posters of its own to encourage employees to dump their iPhones for Android devices.
After it was reported in August that Facebook employees were being "nudged, cajoled, and even ordered to give up their iPhones for Android devices," the social networking giant appears to be stepping up its campaign. Posters encouraging employees to "switch today" have begun appearing on the walls at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, according to a TechCrunch report.
While Facebook used to give its employees primarily iPhones, the aim of the Android effort is apparently to improve functionality for the app, which has been criticized as slow, thin on useful features, and a drain on resources. The aim of this so-called dog-fooding, in which employees are encouraged to use their own products, would be to improve the Facebook experience on the smartphone platform with the largest marketshare; recent data shows Android controlling 68.1 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple's iOS nabbed only 16.9 percent.
One such poster gracing Facebook's walls included a large graph displaying IDC data that predicted Android would control about twice as much of the smartphone market as iPhone in 2016. Both posters encouraged employees to contact Facebook's help desk immediately to arrange to have their device switched to Android.
CNET has contacted Facebook for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
When asked about the posters by TechCrunch's Josh Constine, a Facebook spokesperson said: "We don't encourage one device over another. We let employees choose."
News of the posters emerged as Facebook released new versions of its app for iOS and Android. However, while Facebook trumpeted that the iOS app was "rebuilt from the ground up," the Android app update was relatively minor.– www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — While we patiently wait for the day where we can replace the lower half of our bodies with a mechanical torso and robotic legs, it looks like we’re one step closer to getting there. Honda recently announced its new Stride Management Assist device that will go into testing late next month. Featuring technology that Honda has acquired over the years creating ASIMO, the Stride Management Assist device is a simple-looking, lightweight device that is designed to help folks with weakened leg muscles (due to age or other causes) with walking.
The girdle-looking device fits around the wearer’s waist while two metal braces that cradle the wearer’s legs. Weighing only 6.2lb (including batteries), it consists of a control computer and a DC motor on each hip. It can last for about 2 hours when the walking at 2.8mph (4.5km/h) which should be plenty of time for most people. The Stride Management Assist works by analyzing the wearer’s stride and boosts it by providing assistance to the thighs when extending the front leg and when the rear leg pushes off.
The device can also monitor a wearer’s heartbeat and make adjustments accordingly to their walking pace and rhythm. This way it can ensure that walkers don’t overstress themselves and could help lower the heart rate of the wearer. By making them walk properly, the wearer’s leg muscles can also be strengthened which means there’s a possibility of their walking function being restored without the aid of machines.—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — I would have thought that the realm of reverse engineering was limited to just hardware, but here we are with word that rat cells were actually used in the reverse-engineering process to create an artificial life form (a jellyfish) which will then be used to test drugs. Achieved thanks to the brilliance of a group of bioengineers, this artificial jellyfish relied on silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. Called a medusoid, this synthetic creature resembles a flower with eight petals. Whenever it is placed in an electric field, it will pulse and swim just like its living counterpart – albeit sans any nasty sting, I suppose.
Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said, “Morphologically, we’ve built a jellyfish. Functionally, we’ve built a jellyfish. Genetically, this thing is a rat.” You don’t say? It would be cool to see how future developments will unfold – in fact, Parker and his team already has plans to construct a medusoid that relies on human heart cells. Hopefully it will help usher in a new age of medical research.—www.shafaqna.com/english