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This Woodpecker-Inspired Collar Could Protect Athletes from Concussion

Last year, Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers announced he was quitting football because of the high risk of concussion and long-term brain damage, despite protective helmets. And he’s not alone: it’s a growing concern, particularly for teenaged athletes. But a new collar inspired by the humble woodpecker may help protect athletes from such trauma in the future .

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A blockchain ‘smart contract’ could cost investors millions

Investors in a “smart contract” built on the Ethereum blockchain platform may have lost cryptocurrency worth millions of dollars because they missed a loophole in the contract’s fine print.

The contract was written in Ethereum’s Solidity programming language, and the fine print was the code that set out the rules for investing in, operating, and withdrawing from a crowd-sourced venture capital fund called The DAO (The Distributed Autonomous Organization.) .

Ethereum, like other blockchains, is a distributed public ledger, or record of transactions. Where the bitcoin ledger records bitcoin transactions, the Ethereum blockchain records transfers of a cryptocurrency called Ether. But there’s more: Ethereum is also a platform for running smart contracts. Its creator, the Ethereum Foundation, describes smart contracts as “applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.”

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How a slowing economy could accelerate public cloud growth

As we all know, the public cloud has been growing incredibly fast. What may be less obvious is that growth is likely to continue even if the overall economy—and tech spending—slows.

At least, that’s what cloud companies are seeing… and betting on. According to the Wall Street Journal, ”business demand for cloud services remained strong even amid signs of a broader economic slowdown.” And according to RBC Capital projections reported in the Journal, capital spending among the 18 cloud service providers it tracks jumped 29 percent in 2014, rose just 6 percent in 2015, but will accelerate to 15 percent in 2106. The Journal also said that Amazon, Microsoft and Google spent $ 26 billion in capital expenditures in 2015, a good chunk of it on data center capacity.

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Apple patent envisions fuel cell battery that could power a smartphone for weeks

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Quick, what’s your No. 1 qualm about smartphones? Chances are, you said “battery life.” Most smartphones today, even high-end ones, barely last a day of heavy use.

Apple is looking to fix that problem with a new patent, filed in March and published Sept. 3, that describes a “fuel cell system for a portable computing device.”

The patent envisions a system consisting of a fuel cell, which converts fuel to electrical power, an interface to the portable computing device (e.g. smartphone) and a controller that monitors the state of the fuel cell and controls it Read more…

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