WhatsApp For Android Gets A New Material Design Overhaul

WhatsApp For Android Gets A New Material Design Overhaul

WhatsApp for Android has received the long awaited update, which brings Material Design elements to the application. The update is currently available through WhatsApp’s site, but should eventually make its way to all devices worldwide in the form of an update. If you’re impatient to wait for an update on the Play Store, you can download the apk file from WhatsApp’s official site and sideload it to your phone.
What’s immediately noticeable with the update is the change of colors and the way menus are displayed. It essentially looks like a stock Android app now, which is a welcome addition if you own an Android 5.0 running device.

There’s no changelog for the update yet, so we don’t exactly know what else is different apart from the visuals. But needless to say, we expect WhatsApp to have made quite a few changes under the hood as well.

Leaks have suggested that WhatsApp will also get deeper Facebook integration in the future with the Facebook app expected to get a new “Share with WhatsApp” button. It’s not clear if this update will introduce support for this feature, although we think Facebook will have to bring those changes on its app.

WhatsApp recently began the rollout of the VoIP based voice calling feature on its app to the masses, which has been well received by the public. You can grab the WhatsApp apk file from the link below and install it on your smartphone right way. The new UI is said to be available on WhatsApp version 2.12.38 or higher.

Largest Email Study Ever Shows How Very Predictable We Are

Email has been staple of our lives for over two decades, and yet many of us still struggle to manage it. We’ll whittle our inboxes down to empty one week, only to feel overwhelmed as the number of unread messages climbs into the hundreds the next. Are we always an unpredictable mess when it comes to email?

Actually, no, according to researchers at Yahoo labs, who examined more than two million users exchanging some 16 billion messages in the largest email study ever conducted. To search for patterns in our email behavior, the researchers tracked the identities of senders and recipients, the time of day emails were sent, email length, the number of attachments, and the type of device used. They also looked at demographic factors, including age and gender. The conclusion? When it comes to email, we’re drearily predictable.

Younger people tend to send shorter, faster replies than older people, and men send slightly shorter and faster replies than women, the study finds. We respond more promptly during weekdays and work hours, and when we receive more messages, we tend to respond to a smaller fraction of them, and with shorter replies.

Perhaps this information comes as no great surprise to you, but it’s incredibly valuable for computer algorithms. Software developers can use our predictability to design better email management applications that’ll ultimately prevent us from experiencing “overload”-the scientific term for that feeling when you’d rather jump in piranha-infested waters than open your inbox.

Does Dark Matter Cause Chaos On Earth Every 30 Million Years?

In 1980, Walter Alvarez and his group at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered a thin layer of clay in the geologic record, which contained an unexpected amount of the rare element iridium.

They proposed that the iridium-rich layer was evidence of a massive comet hitting the Earth 66 million years ago, at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. The Alvarez group suggested that the global iridium-rich layer formed as fallout from an intense dust cloud caused by the impact. The cloud of dust covered the Earth, producing darkness and cold. In 1990, the large 100-mile diameter crater from the impact was found in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The timing of this impact, together with the fossil record, have led most researchers to conclude that this collision caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and many other forms of life. Subsequent studies found evidence of other mass extinctions in the geologic past, which seem to have happened at the same time as pulses of impacts, determined from the record of impact craters on the Earth. And these co-incidences occurred every 30 million years.

Why do these extinctions and impacts appear to happen within an underlying cycle? The answer may lie in our position in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Our Galaxy is best understood as an enormous disc. Our solar system revolves around the circumference of the disc every 250 million years. But the path is not smooth, it’s wavy. The Earth passes through the mid-plane of the disc once every 30 million years.

I believe that the cycle of extinctions and impacts is related to times when the Sun and planets plunge through the crowded disc of our Galaxy. Normally, comets orbit the Sun at the edge of the solar system, very far from the Earth. But when the solar system passes through the crowded disc, the combined gravitational pull of visible stars, interstellar clouds and invisible dark matter disturbs the comets and sends some of them on alternate paths, sometimes crossing the Earth’s orbit, where they can collide with the planet.

Recognition of this 30-million-year galactic cycle is the key to understanding why extinctions happen on a regular schedule. But it may also explain other geologic phenomena as well. In further studies, we found that a number of geological events, including pulses of volcanic eruptions, mountain building, magnetic field reversals, climate and major changes in sea level show a similar 30 million year cycle. Could this also be related to the way our solar system travels through the Galaxy?

A possible cause of the geological activity may be interactions of the Earth with dark matter in the Galaxy. Dark matter, which has never been seen, is most likely composed of tiny subatomic particles that reveal their presence solely by their gravitational pull.

As the Earth passes through the Galaxy’s disc, it will encounter dense clumps of dark matter. The dark matter particles can be captured by the Earth and can build up in the Earth’s core. If the dark matter density is great enough, the dark matter particles eventually annihilate one another, which adds a large amount of internal heat to the Earth that can drive global pulses of geologic activity.

Dark matter is concentrated in the narrow disc of the Galaxy, so geologic activity should show the same 30-million-year cycle. Thus, the evidence from the Earth’s geological history supports a picture in which astrophysical phenomena govern the Earth’s geological and biological evolution.

And if you’re wondering about your own prospects for encountering this dark matter-driven phenomenon? We’re just passing through the Galaxy’s dense disk within the last couple of million years, so a comet shower may be in the offing.

Air India Receives The First Dreamliner With The Star Alliance Livery

Air India Receives The First Dream liner With The Star Alliance Livery


Air India as a service may well be seen like a ship which is leaking money from virtually every corner; yet every now and then, it brings a feather to the cap that even if you are not proud of, you take notice. The state-owned carrier has achieved another such feat yesterday when it received its 20th Boeing 787 Dreamliner from the assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The 20th Dreamliner is also Air India’s and the world’s first 787 that features that the Star Alliance livery. Air India had joined the world’s largest global airline alliance last year, which is a reflection of the growing prowess of networking in the Indian Aviation market. The 20th Dreamliner is by no means the last to be delivered, as the company is still waiting on seven other planes from its initial order of 27 to Boeing.

Rohit Nandan, chairman and managing director of Air India, commented, “Taking delivery of our 20th 787 Dreamliner marks an important day for Air India. With this airplane we are building on the success of our other 787s, which are providing an exceptional experience to our passengers while allowing us to expand our network both within India and around the world.”

Dinesh Keskar, the senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, was quick to congratulate Air India for being in the “elite group airlines who have taken delivery of 20 or more 787s”. Currently, Air India is serving 37 international destinations and this number is likely to grow with the new 787s in the pipeline.

Just Like Humans, Rats Are Bestowed With Power To Imagine!

Just Like Humans, Rats Are Bestowed With Power To Imagine!

What sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our prodigious ability to reason. But is it truly a human-unique feature or even our nonhuman relatives bless with this? Well, a new study on rational behavior in rats reveals that rats have the ability to link cause and effect such that they can expect, or imagine, something happening even if it isn’t.

This study paves way in order to understand human reasoning, especially in older adults, as ageing degrades the ability to maintain information about unobserved events, the researchers said.

Lead researcher Aaron Blaisdell of the University of California, Los Angeles, along with her other colleagues, stated that the recent study draws from long-understood ideas that when a rat (or dog or pigeon) observes one event followed by another, such as a tone followed by food, it forms an association between the events. And once the association is formed, whenever the rat hears the tone, it expects food to follow. The researchers added that the rat appears to believe that the tone causes the food.

Blaisdell also stated, “What I have shown in my research is that rats not only acquire these types of associations between two events, they can form a causal link between them as well.”

They also discovered that once rats observe two events together, it not only forms an association but also an expectation. For example, if two lights occur at the same time, a rat will expect one light to occur whenever the other one does. But even more remarkably, if researchers cover one of the lights so that the rat cannot see it and then the researchers present the other light, the rats take actions as though the hidden light might be on. According to Blaisdell, “They maintain an image or expectation that the light is present even though they can’t see it.”

“Rats, and many other nonhuman species, continue to provide a treasure trove of information about cognition and reasoning,” said Blaisdell. By merely looking at an animal is like looking into a mirror that reflects back a part of ourselves, he concluded.