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Mashable

Man redesigns iPhone home screen in the style of MS Paint, with glorious results

Microsoft Paint truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Nowadays, with the likes of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop knocking about, Bill Gates’ crowning design software jewel barely gets a look in — but that doesn’t mean it’s been completely consigned to the digital history books. On Sunday, 31-year-old indie game marketer Thomas Reisenegger decided to pay homage to it, using Apple’s Shortcuts app to redesign the app icons on his home screen. As you can see, the results were nothing short of glorious. iOS 14 let’s you re-do app icons so naturally remade them all much worse in MS paint style Sorry to all app icon designers that spent years making them nice pic.twitter.com/bsa0E5VvSy — Thomas Reisenegger.gif (@Olima) September 20, 2020 We particularly love the little hand-drawn Snapchat ghost and the Twitter bird. Reisenegger told Mashable the whole process took him around 40-50 minutes, which included some time to figure out how to make custom icons and connect his Apple pencil. It’s worth noting that the ability to customise app icons isn’t strictly related to iOS 14 — in order to make it work you have to use the aforementioned Shortcuts app, which has actually been around for a while, in order to swap out the icons. But Reisenegger’s inspired design still deserves credit. “I thought it was quite funny and I’m very glad people seem to appreciate and honour the ancient legacy of MS paint,” he said. “Also, I’m of course very glad to see that it made…Continue readingMan redesigns iPhone home screen in the style of MS Paint, with glorious results

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The Verge

Many states aren’t reporting rapid COVID-19 test results

Over 20 states aren’t including results from a type of rapid COVID-19 test in their overall case numbers, according to a survey by Kaiser Health News (KHN). The federal government is sending millions of these types of tests all around the country in an effort to keep up with the pandemic. If states don’t release the results from those tests through their public health departments, it creates a blind spot in the overall data. The tests, called antigen tests, work by detecting a small protein on the surface of the coronavirus. They tend work much faster than the tests that look for the virus itself, called PCR tests, although they can be less accurate. According to the KHN survey, 21 states and the District of Columbia don’t report all of their antigen test results. Fifteen states and DC don’t count positive antigen test results as confirmed cases, and nearly half of the 48 states that responded to the survey said that their antigen test results are probably underreported. At the start of the pandemic, the majority of testing done in the United States was PCR testing. Then, the Food and Drug Administration started authorizing antigen tests in May, and over the past few months, others have started to enter the market. Still, it took until August for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say that a patient with a positive antigen test should be considered a probable COVID-19 case, even without checking for symptoms. Even now, the agency’s…Continue readingMany states aren’t reporting rapid COVID-19 test results

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The Next Web

Algorithm downgrades nearly 40% of English exam results

An algorithm used to determine school-leaving grades in England has downgraded 39% of the results predicted by teachers — with disadvantaged students suffering the biggest drop. Exam regulator Ofqual adopted the system when exams across the country were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, teachers were instructed to submit their predicted grades for each student. The algorithm then moderated their assessments by comparing them to their school‘s historic performance and each pupil’s past results. In total, the algorithm downgraded about 280,000 A-level results, with poorer students more likely to receive lower grades. Ofqual’s figures revealed pupils at fee-paying schools received double the improvement in the top A* and A grades compared to students at state-funded comprehensives. [Read: Algorithm that determines school exam results risks ‘baking in inequality’] The watchdog admitted poorer students would be hit the hardest. “There was a tendency for some more generosity to be there in the predictions for students from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds,” said Michelle Meadows, the watchdog’s deputy chief regulator. “So you see a very small effect where there is some more – I don’t want to use the term downgrading, I think that’s the wrong term here – but there is a small effect of a greater difference between the end calculated grades and the centre assessment grades.” Looks like sixth form and FE colleges have particularly lost out in the standardization process for this year’s A Level results. Private schools reaping the benefits with a huge increase in grade A and above. pic.twitter.com/DaRecmUrWK — Michael Goodier (@michaelgoodier) August 13,…Continue readingAlgorithm downgrades nearly 40% of English exam results

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TechCrunch

IPO mistakes, fintech results, and the Zenefits ‘mafia’ – TechCrunch

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter for your weekend enjoyment. It’s broadly based on the weekday column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free. And it’s made just for you. You can sign up for the newsletter here.  With that out of the way, let’s talk money, upstart companies and the latest spicy IPO rumors.  (In time the top bit of the newsletter won’t get posted to the website, so do make sure to sign up if you want the whole thing!) BigCommerce isn’t worried about its IPO pricing One of the most interesting disconnects in the market today is how VC Twitter discusses successful IPOs and how the CEOs of those companies view their own public market debuts. If you read Twitter on an IPO day, you’ll often see VCs stomping around, shouting that IPOs are a racket and that they must be taken down now. But if you dial up the CEO or CFO of the company that actually went public to strong market reception, they’ll spend five minutes telling you why all that chatter is flat wrong. Case in point from this week: BigCommerce. Well-known VC Bill Gurley was incensed that shares of BigCommerce opened sharply higher after they started trading, compared to their IPO price. He has a point, with the Texas-based e-commerce company pricing at $24 per share (above a raised range, it should be said), but opened at $68 and is worth around $88 on Friday as I write to…Continue readingIPO mistakes, fintech results, and the Zenefits ‘mafia’ – TechCrunch

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The Next Web

Algorithm that determines school exam results risks ‘baking in inequality’

An algorithm used to calculate exam results in England risks unfairly punishing poorer pupils, politicians have warned. The system was introduced when school exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers were instead asked to hand over their predicted grades for each student to exam regulators. The algorithm then adjusts their estimates by comparing them to the school‘s past results. The approach aims to moderate teacher predictions that are overly generous. But critics fear that basing results on a school‘s past performance rather than a student’s work will unfairly penalise children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In Scotland, a similar system downgraded the exam results of pupils in deprived areas by more than twice the rate of students in the country’s richest regions. [Read: Study: Only 18% of data science students are learning about AI ethics] “A shameful attainment gap exists in Scotland, and the Scottish government chose to add that to the algorithm rather than address it,” said Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish secretary, in a blog post yesterday. In total, the system reduced around 125,000 estimated grades — a quarter of all results — while only about 9,000 were pushed upwards. Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson Iain Gray accused the exam authority of treating teachers’ judgement “with contempt.” South of the border Labour fears that similar issues will arise when English exam results are released next week. Kate Green, the party’s shadow education secretary, has asked the government for assurances that the system won’t “exacerbate existing inequalities.” “Young people deserve to have their…Continue readingAlgorithm that determines school exam results risks ‘baking in inequality’

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Engadget

Qualcomm results suggests the 5G iPhone will be slightly delayed

Carolina Milanesi, Principal Analyst, Creative Strategies said to Engadget that “I would imagine this could be as simple as the iPhone not making the last week of Q3 as it has done over the past few years. Such a delay would be in line with rumors coming from the supply chain but would not necessarily mean that the delay will impact Q4.” Similarly, Anshel Sag, Consumer & Chip Tech Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy surmised “that it’s very likely to be Apple, especially when you consider that the company’s most crucial period of its development cycle was probably hit the hardest during the peak of COVID-19.” Apple is a few hours away from revealing its latest results and giving guidance to investors, and we may hear more about its launch plans then. If there is a delay on the launch of the next iPhone series, it’s likely only going to be a few weeks later than usual — think October instead of September — but Avi Greengart of Techsponential explained “Apple is certainly large enough to move the needle for any component supplier.” On their call with investors, Qualcomm Akash Palkhiwala said “our customers end up buying chipsets that facilitate the launch in the couple of months before the launch. So what we’re really seeing here is because of the delay, a portion of those purchases are happening in the September quarter and they’re factored into our guidance and another portion would get pushed out to the December quarter.”…Continue readingQualcomm results suggests the 5G iPhone will be slightly delayed

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The Verge

Google adds creepy crawlies to its AR search results

If you’ve ever wanted to invite giant beetles or hornets into your living room without fear, Google has got you covered. The search giant is adding 23 creepy crawlies to its growing roster of augmented reality search results that also include dinosaurs, cats, scorpions, bears, tigers, and more. The full list of insects includes: rhinoceros beetle, Hercules beetle, Atlas beetle, stag beetle, giant stag, Miyama stag beetle, shining ball scarab beetle, jewel beetle, ladybug, firefly, Rosalia batesi, swallowtail butterfly, morpho butterfly, atlas moth, mantis, grasshopper, dragonfly, hornet, robust cicada, brown cicada, periodical cicada, Walker’s cicada, and evening cicada. You’ll be able to see the AR insects by searching for the name of the insect and selecting the “View in 3D” option. Android users will even be able to hear the insects, if you want to listen to the startling buzz of a hornet hovering next to you. You’ll need an ARCore-supported device on Android, or an iOS 11 and up device on the iPhone and iPad side. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even pose for a selfie with the critters. I broke my first computer desk running away from an actual moth, so I’d make sure you have plenty of room around you for these AR creatures if you regularly run and hide from insects like I do. Source linkContinue readingGoogle adds creepy crawlies to its AR search results

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The Verge

The MTA’s got porn in its Google search results

On the list of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s most-pressing problems right now, porn is nowhere near the top. But that doesn’t mean the agency, which operates New York City’s subway and bus systems as well as its commuter rail systems, isn’t irked that obscene language keeps showing up in its search results on Google. The problem was first noticed by the Queens Daily Eagle newspaper, which published its findings in an article titled “The MTA has a porn problem.” It turned out that if you searched for a Metro-North station name in Google, you’d get some, shall we say, less-than-delicate-sounding language among your results. And the description kept showing up for at least 13 stations along Metro-North’s Hudson line. This was no isolated incident. As you can see, as of Monday, July 27th, at 3:57PM ET, the X-rated results are still showing up when you search for the Ossining Metro-North station. The MTA probably would have preferred that Queens Daily Eagle headline include the addendum “— and it’s Google’s fault.” That’s because these bawdy search results were exclusive to the company based in Mountain View. The MTA’s search results on Bing and Yahoo were decidedly G-rated. I have so many questions about this particular string of words — how can a dildo be flirtatious? I’m so confused — but I don’t want to get sidetracked by the ribald content because, at its heart, this is a tech problem, and The Verge is a tech site. Let’s focus on the ones…Continue readingThe MTA’s got porn in its Google search results

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TechCrunch

COVID-19 vaccine trials from the University of Oxford and Wuhan both show early positive results – TechCrunch

There are more promising signs from ongoing efforts to develop a vaccine that’s effective in preventing COVID-19: Two early trials, one from the University of Oxford, and one from a group of researchers in Wuhan funded in part by the National Key R&D Programme of China. Both early trials showed efficacy in increasing the presence of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19, and also indicated that these prospective vaccines were safe to administer based on available information. The University of Oxford study is one of the leading vaccine development efforts in the world, and among those that are furthest along in development. The results of their study covered 1,077 participants, all of whom were health adults aged between 18 and 55 with no prior confirmed history of having contracted SARS-CoV-2. That’s important because they received double randomized trials of the vaccine candidate, or an existing vaccine for meningitis as a control acting as a placebo. The results showed that across the group, 100 percent of the participants had demonstrated neutralizing antibody responses by the end of the course, which include a booster does. Additionally, while some participants exhibited side effects, including “pain, feeling feverish, chills, muscle ache, headache and malaise,” none of these represented what the researchers consider series reactions, and these were also mitigated with use of paracetamol (standard painkillers available over the counter). Patient reactions were monitored for 28 days following the administration of the vaccine. Oxford’s team is now ready to move on…Continue readingCOVID-19 vaccine trials from the University of Oxford and Wuhan both show early positive results – TechCrunch

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Engadget

Peacock’s Android app doesn’t appear in Google Play search results

“We do not have control over when platforms release and surface the app to their users, but the app is now live,” a Peacock spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNET. “We have a large marketing and promotional plan with Google, which you will see across Google platforms starting today.” In contrast to Google, Apple is promoting Peacock in the App Store, and the app does appear in App Store search results.  Google has not yet responded to Engadget’s request for comment. Source linkContinue readingPeacock’s Android app doesn’t appear in Google Play search results