TIME Gadgets

This Is Exactly When We’ll Know More About the Apple Watch

Apple has an event March 9

Apple just sent out media invites for a March 9 event most likely involving the upcoming Apple Watch.

 Invite
AppleApple Invite

“Please join us for an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on Monday, March 9, at 10:00 a.m.,” the invite reads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the Apple Watch will hit stores in April, making early March the perfect time to unveil new details about the device. The event could also involve other announcements, like a refreshed MacBook Air or Apple TV.

(Read more: Hands-On With the Apple Watch)

TIME Gadgets

You’ll Be Able to Get Your Cheap Apple Watch Gold-Plated

Apple watch is displayed in a shop in Paris, France.
Loic Venance—Getty Images Apple watch is displayed in a shop in Paris, France.

Here's how you can avoid paying for the gold Apple Watch Edition

This post is in partnership with Trusted Reviews. The article below was originally published at TrustedReviews.com.

Several companies have revealed to us that they will be offering gold-plating services for the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch.

One such company is Goldgenie, a UK-based company that already offers paid-for gilding of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to TrustedReviews that it would be offering that very same service for both the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport. This will result in a cheaper mark-up than the expected Apple Watch Edition pricing.

We will be offering a gold-plating service for the standard Apple Watch, and can offer finishes in rose gold, platinum, as well as 24-karat gold,” the source explained. “The service will cost approximately £1,250, ex. VAT.”

While prices won’t be confirmed until the launch, the spokesperson said the rose gold version was likely to cost £1,300, and £1,350 for the platinum version, not including the cost of the actual device.

Just last week, we saw estimates that put the actual price of 18-karat gold on the Apple Watch Edition at a raw value of around $900 (£585).

Apple, meanwhile, is expected to retail its Apple Watch Edition at anywhere between $5,000 (£3,250) and $10,000 (£6,500) – that’s over five to ten times the raw gold value.

If third-party companies are going to take a $349 (£225) Apple Watch Sport, and then gild it with £585 of raw gold, they will be able to undercut Apple pricing while still achieving huge profit margins.

Goldgenie also says that its technicians will use at least 5 microns of 24-karat gold for the plating, which it says is ‘significantly higher’ than the average 2-3 micron thickness of most gold-plated products. The actual value of raw gold in the process is still unclear.

Another company offering a similar gold-plating service is the UK-based Gold Status.


We spoke to the company’s director Luke Paul Waterhouse, who admitted that while Gold Status wasn’t currently planning to offer Apple Watch gilding, he would consider it if there was enough consumer interest.

“If we got a lot of enquiries, we may decide to customise the Apple Watch,” Waterhouse explained. “We would customise the aluminium versions only.”

Unfortunately, Waterhouse wasn’t able to tell us how much the company would charge for such a service.

“We couldn’t estimate a price at this time as we do not have an Apple Watch to take apart and trial.”

It’s not yet clear whether Apple would have any legal recourse against companies looking to woo potential Apple Watch Edition customers with gilding services.

We’ve asked Apple for comment, and we’ll update this article if we receive a response.

For the original article, please go to TrustedReviews.com.

TIME Innovation

Watch How Dust Makes an Amazing Journey From Africa to South America

This NASA footage shows show dust from the Sahara winds up in the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon rainforest might be a little less green if not for a massive plume of Saharan dust that drifts across the Atlantic Ocean each year, according to a new, multi-year study by NASA scientists.

NASA used light pulses from its CALIPSO satellite to measure the transatlantic dust cloud in three dimensions. They found that wind carries roughly 182 million tons of Saharan dust out to sea each year. The cloud sheds roughly 50 million en route to South America, but the remainder fans out over the Amazonian basin and the Caribbean Sea, dusting the soil with 22,000 tons of phosphorus, a nutrient commonly found in commercial grade fertilizer.

Amazingly, the special delivery of plant food almost perfectly matches the amount of phosphorous the Amazonian jungle loses through heavy rains and run-off water.

“This is a small world,” said study author Hongbin Yu, “and we’re all connected together.”

 

TIME climate

These Maps Show How Much Trouble We’d Be in if the Sea Level Rises

New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver, Seattle and London are all in trouble

At some point in the future, your favorite city might be a patch of sea floor.

Spatialities, a site devoted to spatial information and visualizations, has unveiled a series of maps that show how several urban cities and coastal regions would be impacted by various rises in sea level. And it’s bad news all around for cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver, Seattle, London, among others, which are prone to flooding—and total submersion.

All the depicted sea levels are possible scenarios: They’re all less than the maximum rise in sea level calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey, which estimates that if all the planet’s glaciers melted, then the potential sea rise is about 80 m., or 262 ft.

But the good news is that you won’t see a sea level this high in your lifetime — according to one study, it would take about 1,000 to 10,000 years.

 

TIME Social Media

Facebook Paid Researchers $1.3 Million in 2014 to Find Bugs

Facebook-logo
Robert Galbraith—Reuters

Facebook has paid researchers in the "bug bounty program" more than $3 million since 2011

Facebook paid security researchers $1.3 million in 2014 to find and and report security flaws.

According to a post by the company entitled “Bounties get better than ever,” Facebook has paid researchers in the “bug bounty program” more than $3 million since 2011 and now has 123 countries reporting security issues. India reported the largest number of valid bugs in 2014: 196.

“We’re excited to see what 2015 holds for the bug bounty program,” the Facebook post says. “Report volume is at its highest levels, and researchers are finding better bugs than ever before. We’ve already received more than 100 valid reports since the start of the new year.”

TIME Social Media

The 7 Best Facebook Alternatives You Didn’t Know About

TIME.com stock photos Computer Keyboard Typing
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

People are connecting on more than just Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Your Facebook friends are boring. Your Twitter followers sound like a bunch of parrots. And your LinkedIn contacts, well, who wants to talk about work all day, anyway? Amazingly, in 2015, it’s still possible to feel like you’ve reached the end of the Internet, especially if you rely on your social networks for news and amusement.

But there are more ways to connect with people online than the three most popular social networks. In fact, smaller networks are some of the best places to dig into topics you care more deeply about. So sign up and check out at one of these great alternative social networks:

App.net: Two of the largest complaints about Facebook are how the company gives your data to third party applications, and the way the company manipulates its News Feed to show things that aren’t necessarily updates from your friends. App.net is a great alternative to signing into third party sites (where it’s supported) with your Facebook account. But it also has a news stream where many media outlets post their stories. So, if you like to keep your friends’ updates and news stories separate, un-follow the media accounts on Facebook and add them to your App.net account, instead.

BeMyEyes: Technically speaking, BeMyEyes is not a social network. That said, it provides one of the most intimate interactions you’ll ever have with another person via technology. Designed to help blind people to solve everyday problems, the iPhone app connects the vision-impaired with fully-sighted users via video chat. Users can then point their iPhone’s camera to show their remote helpers the situation at hand — a door sign, an expiration date, a piece of mail. The sighted person lends their eyes to help the blind user solve their problem. It’s that simple, but it’s also that amazing.

DeviantArt: While image-oriented social networks like Pinterest and Instagram have rocketed in popularity, DeviantArt has held steady as the world’s largest online art community for 15 years. With more than 300 million original works of art submitted by at least 34 million members, this forum is home to artists from more than 190 countries posting everything from anime to 3-D landscapes for their peers to comment on. Whether you’re interested in traditional techniques like oil-painted landscapes, or off-the-wall topical themes like #cosplayfriday, you’ll find artists who appreciate your efforts and whose expertise will push your craft forward.

Doximity: Whether it’s for finding a new opportunity or making contacts to grow your business, LinkedIn is great for networking. But what happens when you’re already locked into your job and just looking to navigate your field? Doximity is a social network specifically for doctors, allowing them to network with other medical professionals in this secure, closed network. By using the National Provider Information Registry to authenticate doctors signing up, it assures all users are legitimate M.D.s. And with HIPPA-secure and encrypted interactions, safety is built into the network. Simply by reading their personalized news feed, doctors can even get continuing medical education credits using the iOS or Android app.

NextDoor: One of the curiosities of the social media age is how we can be so well-connected with people on the other side of the world, yet still not know our next door neighbors. A network designed for building and strengthening communities, NextDoor connects people within geographic neighborhoods, helping them talk about things that are important to the places where they live. Part Craigslist (with a classified section), part Yelp (where users can recommend local businesses), and part Facebook (with neighbors able to post updates and comments on other people’s posts), NextDoor pulls the seemingly invisible layer of social interaction out of the web and lays it onto the real world. Also, there’s some really catty online neighbor spats on this forum that you’re totally missing out on.

RallyPoint: Service members often equate being in the military with being in a family. If that’s so, RallyPoint is the largest family gathering online. A site that mixes the professional side of serving in the Armed Forces with the personal, RallyPoint lets users weigh in on discussions on everything from military policy to post-military life. It also connects to a variety of other networks to help you find your friends and contacts on its own Android and iOS app. And you don’t need to be an active-duty member to use the service — even military family members can sign up to connect.

Untappd: Of all the things we post for friends on social networks — pictures of our kids, recipes, news stories — beer might be the only one we’d actually share in real life. A social network for people who enjoy great tasting suds, Untappd lets users check in at bars, write a review of their pint, check in to see what their friends at other establishments are sipping, and of course, take that highly-filtered half-drunken beer picture for all to enjoy. If this sounds boring to you, you might want to try ordering something a little more expensive other than Miller Lite once in a while.

Read next: How Facebook Is Helping Suicidal People

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

How Facebook Is Helping Suicidal People

Facebook will offer suicide prevention resources to users posting troubling messages

Facebook is going to give timelier help to users who post updates suggesting thoughts of suicide, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to a Facebook post written by Product Manager Rob Boyle and Safety Specialist Nicole Staubli, a trained team will review reports of posts that appear to be suicidal and if necessary send the poster notifications with suicide prevention resources, such as a connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline.

The Facebook support posts are expected to look something like this:

Facebook-Suicide-Prevention-hotline-posts
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They also will contact the person reporting the posts, providing them with options to call or message the potentially suicidal friend, or to also seek the advice of a trained professional.

The new approach is an update on a clunkier system, implemented in 2011, that required users to upload links and screenshots to the official Facebook suicide prevention page.

For the project, Facebook worked with suicide prevention organizations Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org.

The company was clear that the update was not a replacement for local emergency services.

TIME Video Games

This Computer Learned How to Totally Devastate You at Pong

Iowa Town Plans To Launch Video Game Hall of Fame And Museum
David Greedy—Getty Images A version of Pong is played on the orignial Magnovox Odyssey 200 during the launch party for the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum on August 13, 2009 in Ottumwa, Iowa.

And that's a huge development for artificial intelligence

Need a new gaming buddy? Just call DeepMind.

The artificial intelligence company, owned by Google, has developed an algorithm that can learn how to play almost 50 classic arcade games nearly from scratch, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The system can learn titles from Pong to Space Invaders after getting the same instructions no matter which game it’s about to learn, a big improvement from computers programmed from the get-go to master single games like chess.

While this research sounds like it’s all fun and games, it has big implications for artificial intelligence. According to Nature, DeepMind uses a combination of AI technologies based on the human brain that let it learn from experience as well as respond to rewards—in this case, high scores in video games—much like people respond to a jolt of dopamine. That means DeepMind could give researchers new insight in how to replicate human brain functions in digital code.

Still, DeepMind’s software isn’t about to destroy all your high scores. Nature points out it has trouble with maze games because it “struggles to link actions with distant consequences,” not unlike most of your buddies in high school. And for now, it can’t take what it learns from one game and apply it to another similar title.

Google bought DeepMind in January of last year for a reported $650 million.

[Nature]

TIME Innovation

See the Men Who Got Their Hands Cut Off and Replaced With Bionic Ones

Milorad Marinkovic holds an egg with his bionic arm with his bionic arm in Vienna, Austria on Feb. 24, 2015.
Ronald Zak—AP Milorad Marinkovic holds an egg with his bionic arm in Vienna, Austria on Feb. 24, 2015.

"I can do almost everything with it. I just don't have any feeling in it."

Three Austrian men who lost motor control over their hands volunteered for a breakthrough surgical procedure to amputate their lifeless appendages and replace them with bionic hands.

Doctors hailed the operations as the first cases of “bionic reconstruction,” in which the mechanical hand is hardwired directly into the patient’s arm, enabling the patient to open and close the fingers without external controls, the Associated Press reports.

Milorad Marinkovic demonstrates writing with his bionic hand as he poses for a photograph at his home in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs. The three men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as “bionic reconstruction,” which includes voluntary amputation, transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Ronald Zak—AP

Nerves and muscles transplanted from the patient’s legs run signals from the brain directly into the prosthetic arm. “I can do almost everything with it,” one patient, Milorad Marinkovic, 30, told the Associated Press. “I just don’t have any feeling in it.”

Milorad Marinkovic shows his bionic arm as he poses for a photograph at his home in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs. The three men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as “bionic reconstruction,” which includes voluntary amputation, transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Ronald Zak—AP

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