The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in UP Diliman has officially opened its Core Facility for Bioniformatics (CFB), with the capability to analyze biological data for local scientists and researchers. “The Core Facility for Bioinformatics, a part of the research project ‘capability building in R&D genomics’ is now open to local researchers through the grant from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD),” NewsBytes quoted Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, executive director of the PGC. Beyond advancing bioinformatic and computational genomics research in the country, CFG aims to address the deficiency in local expertise for genomics, biotechnology, and computational biology. More »PHL Genome Center's supercomputer goes online
The Galaxy S5, Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, may not be quite that smart after all, as its fingerprint scanner can apparently be fooled by a fake finger. Not only that - the Galaxy S5 lacks safeguards contained in the rival iPhone 5S that was released much earlier - according to researchers who tested the S5's fingerprint scanner. A YouTube video published April 15 by SRLabs showed flaws in the phone's fingerprint authentication system allowing an attacker to access an app to "(make) purchases and unsolicited money transfers from the victim's PayPal account." In the video, the researchers said the attacker managed to access the app because he had unlimited tries at getting past the S5's fingerprint authentication system. More »Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner is hackable, allowing access to online accounts
Remember Clippy, Microsoft's helper who users loved to hate? Clippy is now an Easter egg in Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft's latest operating system for mobile devices. Users on forums at Windows Phone Central said one can trigger Clippy's appearance by asking Cortana - Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri - by asking "Do you like Clippy?" But after that, another question asked of Cortana will prompt her to change her "avatar" into a Metro-style Clippy. More »Clippy's back as Windows Phone easter egg
GMA's one-stop online public safety portal IMReady is now available in condensed, smartphone and tablet More »IM Ready mobile app launched in time for Holy Week
Users of the University of the Philippines' email system may have to change their passwords, as the mail service may have been affected by the newly discovered Heartbleed bug. In an advisory, UP Manila Information Management Service director Romeo Villarta Jr. said UP Manila and UP System use the mail service of Google, one of the affected entities. "Users of UP Manila network are informed that email accounts of UP Manila (@post.upm.edu.ph) and UP System (@up.edu.ph) utilize Google Mail Service," Villarta said. From IMS-UPM: SECURITY VULNERABILITY .... A newly discovered security vulnerability that puts users' (cont) http://t.co/dxL2lyd2ls More »UP email users advised to change passwords due to Heartbleed bug
Written by Tim Seeley and Tom King and illustrated by Mikel Janin, Dick's new solo title—simply entitled “Grayson”—will spin out of the devastating events of “Forever Evil,” DC Comics's current major comics event. After being captured by the Crime Syndicate (an evil alternate version of the Justice League) at the beginning of Forever Evil, Nightwing's secret identity was revealed to the world. He was kept alive as a prisoner by the Syndicate, but apparently died during a rescue mission by his mentor Batman and a seemingly reformed Lex Luthor in “Forever Evil” #6. Forever Evil #6's cliffhanger ending, coupled with “Nightwing” #30 being solicited as the last issue of Dick's current series, fueled speculation that the character might end up being killed off permanently (which, when talking about comics, actually means “until a new writer decides to revive the character”). More »DC's Nightwing goes from superhero to super-spy in new solo series
The spectacular "blood moon" will be directly observable by observers in the US, but eager sky watchers in other parts of the world can join in through this live online stream, beginning at 2 p.m. Philippine Time. The lunar eclipse will unfold over three hours beginning at 1:58 a.m. EDT (0558 GMT or just before 2 p.m. in the Philippines) when the moon begins moving into Earth's shadow. A little more than an hour later, the moon will be fully eclipsed and shrouded in a red glow. The celestial show will be over by 5:33 a.m.(0933 GMT), according to NASA. More »Watch the 'blood moon' solar eclipse live here
When Janet Lim-Napoles faced the Senate to answer allegations regarding the pork barrel controversy, social media sites were flooded with countless humorous photo manipulations of the main players in the controversy. This was perhaps best illustrated when the Philippine national basketball team Gilas lost against the Iranian team in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. Passionate Gilas fans (mostly Filipino) took to their social media accounts, blasting the Iranian team with derogatory names, accusations of cheating, and racist insults. No one questions the presence of racism in any country – it's a given that people belonging to a certain race would not necessarily be equal in terms of their level of racial tolerance. More »Are Pinoys really racist?
104th Trainees Squad, rejoice! More »Season 2 of Attack on Titan to be released in July
In the manufacture of consumer-based electronics, valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper are used. However, once such devices become obsolete or disposed of they simply become electronic waste. But scientists at the Finland-based VTT Technical Research Centre have developed a biological filter made from mushroom mycellium that enables the recovery of as much as 80% of the gold in these piles of gadget-originated refuse, according to a report on the EE Times. "Because it is difficult to remove the components from the circuit boards, the first step in most recycling processes is to crush everything into particulates and that's how we start, too," explained Jarno Mäkinen, research scientist at VTT. More »Mushrooms used to get gold from discarded mobile phones
And much like the words spoken by his genetic offspring decades later, “War has changed” with the newest and latest installment of the Metal Gear series with “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes”. Rather, series creator Hideo Kojima and Konami have released what is considered a “Prologue” chapter and first part of the overall new sequel - intended to tide fans over until the real meat of the experience, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is released. With development for that game still ongoing, Ground Zeroes literally gives us a taste of things to come, and is honestly quite short to finish for a standard released next generation title. However, don’t let the length of the game fool you, as Ground Zeroes is still very much a must play title despite its short main narrative. More »GAME REVIEW: Metal Gear Solid V is a taste of wars to come
A US journalist was assaulted last week for wearing Google Glass—the eponymous tech giant's experimental wearable computing device—in what was apparently a politically-motivated incident. Kyle Russell said the incident occurred in the Mission District of San Francisco, after he covered a protest against a Google employee who evicted tenants after buying a home in the area. "The individual who smashed my Google Glass on Friday — because of political beliefs or a personal impact that has been made by the tech industry — felt that it was appropriate to destroy my personal property in protest against what I seemed to stand for, based on my appearance; Russell said he and a colleague had covered a march protesting the eviction of tenants from a home bought by a Google employee. More »Tech journalist assaulted for wearing Google Glass
When “Diablo III” was unleashed upon us mortals two years ago, it was met with a barrage of criticisms. But while the title’s first expansion, “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls”, still demands an internet connection, it has addressed every other issue damning the original title to the realms of mediocrity. “Reaper of Souls” continues “Diablo III’s” less-than-stellar story with Act V, in which the Angel of Death, Malthael, becomes the big bad. More »GAME REVIEW: Crusade against Death in 'Diablo III: Reaper of Souls'
A strange mix of high fantasy and cyberpunk, Shadowrun's world is populated by megacorporations and dragons, hackers and elves. Over the course of twenty-five years, Shadowrun has maintained a consistent cult following, despite the tumultuous fortunes of tabletop role-playing games. The resulting game, Shadowrun Returns, was released last year and is one of a handful of videogame Kickstarter successes that resulted in actual product. Shadowrun Returns is modeled on the kind of computer role-playing game classics that desktop grognards spent long nights with. More »'Dragonfall' opens up the world of Shadowrun Returns
But her enemies have learned to weaponize their “Goku” school uniforms, which bestow upon their wearers superhuman strength, agility, and other bizarre abilities. Even in the unlikeliest of pairings, the friendships that form between these characters are touching. More »ANIME REVIEW: No-holds-barred insanity in 'Kill la Kill'
With the help of a team of physicists from Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) Collaboration at CERN in Geneva has successfully verified the existence of a new “exotic” type of particle that does not fit within the Standard Model of particle physics. However, it was the LHCb that was able to conclusively prove that the “ghost” particle was certainly no ghost, using data from both Belle and Babar. More »Physicists confirm existence of new 'exotic' matter
Potential flash floods and landslides threaten parts of Eastern Visayas as a low-pressure area continued to hover near Eastern Samar, PAGASA said Monday morning. In its 11 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said the LPA was estimated at 120 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar as of 10 a.m. "This weather system will bring cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over Eastern Visayas which may trigger flash floods and landslides," it said. PAGASA advised residents and disaster management councils concerned to "take all the necessary precautionary measures and continue monitoring for updates regarding this weather disturbance." More »Eastern Visayas cautioned against flash floods, landslides Monday
It’s going to be a long celebration ahead for DC Comics’ own Dark Knight superhero Batman, as the character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger celebrates his 75th Anniversary this year. As a result, many who have had a hand in the character’s growth and legacy over the years will pay tribute to the Caped Crusader through their own respective means, and that includes famed DC Animated Universe and Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Timm, who has created a special animated short that commemorates this milestone and occasion. Premiering in Cartoon Network’s “DC Nation” block last April 9, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment have officially released “Batman: Strange Days”—a near 3 minute short feature that sees a Batman in his early days taking on Hugo Strange and Solomon Grundy in order to save an innocent girl. More »'Batman: Strange Days' short cartoon is a film noir tribute
LIX demonstrated in a video its 3D printing pen, which it said is the world's smallest to date - and may be cost as little as about $140. A separate report on tech site Mashable said the LIX pen can heat a plant-based PLA filament or ABS plastic that allows "doodling in the air." On the other hand, Mashable quoted LIX co-founder Anton Suvorov as saying the pen may arrive in Kickstarter around April 14. More »Smallest 3D-printing pen to go Kickstarter
Finally, Facebook users may get some relief from spammy or unwanted posts on their news feeds: the social network is tweaking its software to filter out such content. Software engineer Erich Owens and product manager Chris Turitzin said the software update aims to "deliver the right content to the right people at the right time." More »Facebook cracking down on spammy news feeds
After overhauling its Web look, micro-blogging site Twitter is rolling out another new feature to its users - popup notifications. Twitter's Michael Ducker said the real-time notification feature aims to inform users when someone is engaging with their Tweets. They’re fully interactive, so that you can reply, favorite, retweet, and follow right from the notification. A separate report on Mashable said the notification will appear in the lower-right hand corner of the timeline. More »Twitter rolls out popup notification feature
Soon, taking selfies and posting them on your favorite social media site may take not much more than just standing in front of a mirror. LEDs controlled by an Arduino visualize the countdown timer, and lets the mirror take the photo, which is then posted on Twitter along with a watermark (https://vimeo.com/90791484). A report on Mashable said the magic mirror is an experiment for now, though those who want one for themselves can contact iStrategyLabs. More »Magic mirror takes hands-free selfies
Character creation systems are an essential component of just about every computer role-playing experience, but Black Desert takes it to the next level. Produced in South Korea by developer Pearl Abyss, Black Desert is a sandbox style MMORPG that in most cases, wouldn't be much to write about. However, in addition to its detailed weather modeling system, seamless open world and reports of parkour style traversal, Black Desert features a character creator that permits a level of customization like no other. More »Upcoming MMORPG features the most amazing character creator ever
High-end car maker Jaguar Land Rover on April 8 unveiled a new augmented reality concept that allows you to see the road under the front of your car, making the vehicle 'virtually' invisible. Jaguar Land Rover's Transparent Bonnet virtual imaging concept uses cameras in the vehicle's grille to project an image of the road onto a Head-Up Display on the windshield, allowing a "see-through" view of the ground under the bonnet and engine bay. "We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Bonnet to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of an urban car park," the release quoted Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, as saying. More »Jaguar Land Rover invents 'invisible car'
Vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy for jellyfish stings, but recent research suggests that it might actually make things worse by causing more venom to be discharged into the body. This is at least true for the box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), a potentially deadly species that made headlines recently because of an accident involving local actress Anne Curtis. Biologist Jamie Seymour safely holds a box jellyfish up by its "bell", away from its nematocyst-laden tentacles. Researchers from the Cairns Base Hospital (CBH), Queensland Emergency Medical Research Foundation (QEMRF), and James Cook University (JCU) in Australia have discovered that the application of vinegar, commonly recommended as a first aid measure for jellyfish stings, promotes the further discharge of venom from already discharged nematocysts of the box jellyfish. More »Don't use vinegar to treat box jellyfish stings: it only makes things worse