Monthly Archives: March 2014

Pygmy T-Rex Found in the Arctic

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A new Tyrannosaur about half the size of T-Rex has recently been discovered in the arctic. The scientists who discovered the dinosaur named it Nanuqsaurus hoglundi and announced their findings in a new study released on March 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Since this little guy lived up in the arctic, the researchers speculated that its small size was likely the result of limited resources. This was still a surprising find given the fact that animals usually get bigger at the north and south pole (polars bears for example).  It’s fascinating to note that this finding shows that Tyrannosaurs were much more adaptable than they were previously believed to be. Also notable is the fact that Nanuqsaurus was found much farther north than most other Tyrannosaur fossils, and challenged scientists’ assumptions about the diversity and distribution of the species across the globe.

According to a National Geographic interview with the paleontologist Tony Fiorillo who discovered the fossils,  the tiny T-Rex likely sported some kind of thicker coat than its larger relatives who lived in warmer southern climates, though this is still only a matter of speculation due to the difficulty of establishing such information from fossils.

Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear 2 Fit

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Samsung introduced some shiny new devices recently, namely the Galaxy S5, and three new wearables: Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit (though in an interesting move Samsung announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo  over the weekend while keeping the Fit a surprise).This was definitely one of Samsung’s coolest product launches in recent history.

Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 has some pretty awesome features, and definitely offers more than just the expected better camera and longer battery life. The GS5 boasts a heart rate monitor, water resistance, and an ultra power saving mode that turns the display black and white and purportedly can stretch a full 24 hours of standby on 10% battery (mentioned by Samsung during their unpacked 5 launch event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona). Though some may say that these are incremental updates more fitting of an intermediate model (like the iPhone 5S), there’s definitely some pretty cool features on the Galaxy S5 that other phones don’t yet have.

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Similarly to the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint sensor, though Samsung has leveraged it to authorize mobile payments in an attempt to derive greater functionality from the technology than Apple has so far. On top of all that it does offer a better camera, with new features like HDR and advanced auto-focus,  and a much bigger battery.

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Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit

Another big announcement for Samsung was their new wearables: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Right off the bat one notices that the “Galaxy” name has been dropped, with Samsung choosing their own Tizen OS over Android. This means that interactions on the Gear 2 might be a bit different than the original, but it remains to be seen exactly how different.

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Some cool new features of the Gear 2 are a heart rate monitor, and the ability to play music without needing to be connected to a smartphone. The Gear 2 has a camera on the watch body itself (as opposed to on the strap like the original Gear), while the Gear 2 Neo has no camera.

The Gear Fit is a fitness tracker wristband with a curved screen. The Fit has a heart rate monitor and provides personalized coaching during exercise (although it remains to be seen if anyone wants to be coached by their fitness tracker). The Gear Fit displays notifications, and allows you to take simple actions like ignoring calls or dismissing alarms.  In terms of customization, the user has the ability to change the background color, clock design, or wallpaper.

A Good Day For Samsung

Altogether, Samsung introduced a strong group of new devices that provides many things consumers desire (large screens, fitness tracking, etc.). Many are predicting that Apple will introduce many of these same features with the iPhone 6 and the iWatch (stay tuned for an upcoming post on these!), and it will be interesting to see how Samsung’s new offerings will stack up.