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A hydrogen bond forms between a propellane (lower molecule) and the carbon monoxide functionalized tip of an atomic force microscope. The measured forces and the distance between the oxygen atom at the AFM tip and the propellane's hydrogen atoms correspond precisely to the calculations. CREDIT: University of Basel, Department of Physics

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are connected to one another via hydrogen atoms, an interaction known as hydrogen bonding. These interactions play an important role in nature, because they are responsible for specific properties of proteins or nucleic acids and, for example, also ensure that water has a high boiling temperature.

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To date, it has not been possible to conduct a spectroscopic or electron microscopic analysis of hydrogen and the hydrogen bonds in single molecules, and investigations using atomic force microscopy have also not yielded any clear results.

Dr. Shigeki Kawai, from Professor Ernst Meyer’s team at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel, has now succeeded in using a high-resolution atomic force microscope to study hydrogen atoms in individual cyclic hydrocarbon compounds.

Choosing the right molecules for a clear view

In close collaboration with colleagues from Japan, the researchers selected compounds whose configuration resembles that of a propeller. These propellanes arrange themselves on a surface in such a way that two hydrogen atoms always point upwards. If the tip of the atomic force microscope, which is functionalized with carbon monoxide, is brought close enough to these hydrogen atoms, hydrogen bonds are formed that can then be examined.

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Hydrogen bonds are much weaker than chemical bonds, but stronger than intermolecular van der Waals interactions. The measured forces and distances between the oxygen atoms at the tip of the atomic force microscope and the propellane’s hydrogen atoms correspond very well to the calculations performed by Prof. Adam S. Foster from Aalto University in Finland. They show that the interaction clearly involves hydrogen bonds. The measurements mean that the much weaker van der Waals forces and the stronger ionic bonds can be excluded.

This article has been republished from materials provided by The University of Basel Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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WeChat Pay, the mobile payment arm of the hugely popular WeChat messaging app, will be accepted in every shop in China within two years, the service’s GM Zhang Ying predicted.
Reuters reported the executive made the comment during an industry event held in Hong Kong this week.
WeChat Pay is one of the two most heavily used mobile payment systems in China, alongside Alipay, with over 650 million monthly active users. Both brands already have a significant retail acceptance footprint for their QR code-based mobile payment services.
Mobile payment is becoming increasingly popular in China with official figures estimating 68 per cent of the country’s mobile phone users made a transaction of some sort using their handset in 2016.
The figures recorded 469 million people used mobile payments in China during 2016, a year-on-year rise of 31 per cent.
Although the vast majority of its user base is in China, WeChat Pay signed deals with a number of major retailers in markets popular with Chinese tourists, increasing its acceptance footprint well beyond its home market.
The main WeChat app had an estimated user base of 890 million monthly users as of March 2016.

G   :  ALPHA JETMAN BLOWS THE DOORS OF POSSIBILITY WIDE OPEN   |   11 MINUTES


Now if we had a balance of positive news stories each day like this one, there’s no telling what students and ordinary people might be inspired to do!
Today’s EWC Thought-Leader pushes the edges of possibility way back for all of us!

Image: Yves Rossy flying his rocket wing jetpack
SOURCE: AIRBORNE-FILMS // YOUTUBE

Meet Yves Rossy, JetMan. Rossy has earned that moniker for his astonishing work with a winged jetpack that enables him to take to the sky with the freedom of a bird.
Upon discovering this man’s work, we were scratching our heads once again: why isn’t the negative 24-hour news cycle celebrating innovators like this. There is barely anything on the web about this leap forward.
But that’s the point of our work here. As you know if you are a regular to this website, Ever Widening Circles is on a mission to propagate the notion that this is still an amazing world.
Every day we bring our growing global community one carefully fact-checked article about extraordinary insight and innovation. Rarely do we get the privilege of bringing you the work of a thought-leader whose work leaves us so speechless.

Image: Jets flying in formation with Jetman under his own wing's power
SOURCE: AIRBORNE FILMS // YOUTUBE

Today’s innovator is one of those people who must never have heard “it can’t be done”, and we thank both  Airborne FilmsJetman (what beautiful work) and XDubai (leading out on the edges) for bringing us some of the Jetman story.
When I saw the video we will point you to first, all I could do was mumble, “What? “How? Why!”
Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.
The marvel of this leap in aviation is incalculable. I’m not sorry to admit that my sense of possibility was expanded by watching this and that I shed a little tear.
Just imagine the thoughts of those jet pilots flying in formation, watching JetMan and his friend crisscross the sky above them.
I was going to leave it there, but I had so many questions. I’m not sure the following video answered many of them but the pure wonder and spectacle of this next video creates an entirely different kind of awe. 

Hacker News

According to a Microsoft KB article published last Thursday, Microsoft may soon begin blocking systems running Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen CPUs from installing updates if they’re running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. The KB article (KB 4012982) applies to users who attempt to update one of those two operating systems, but receive an error message notifying them that their CPU is not supported or a Code 8024003 error (unknown error).
In both cases, according to Microsoft, the root cause is that you are using a CPU that isn’t recognized as compatible with Windows. These CPUs include:
Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
  • AMD “Bristol Ridge”
  • Qualcomm “8996″
Microsoft continues: “Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.”
The solution — you guessed it — is to upgrade to Windows 10.

Mountain or molehill?

This is the kind of issue that could kick off a whole new round of Windows 10 hate-bashing, but it’s not at all clear if anyone has actually had this happen to them.
What makes this particularly confusing is that AMD itself has gone back and forth on the Windows 7/8.1 support question. Last summer, the company confirmed that its Bristol Ridge chipset wouldn’t support any Microsoft OS but Windows 10. Later, the company backtracked on that claim, saying it would release drivers for the OS. AMD has made it clear to us that these releases aren’t formally supported. As we’ve previously discussed, you probably can continue to shove older versions of Windows on to newer platforms, but as time passes, the number of hoops you’ll have to jump through to get everything working is only going to grow.
Intel’s Skylake was originally only going to support Windows 7 and 8.1 for 18 months, but Microsoft eventually walked that claim backbefore dumping the idea altogether. Nevertheless, they’ve always said that Bristol Ridge, Kaby Lake, and Qualcomm 8996 or above would always require Windows 10.
modernxp-devmgmt
Windows XP on Haswell hardware. Image by YKM
The other possibility is that Microsoft intends to push a Windows Update to Windows 7 or 8.1 that will prevent them from being updated again on new hardware, but has not yet done so. Until we know how many people have actually been impacted by this problem (if any), I’d keep the pitchforks and torches unlit.
If you’ve purchased either a Kaby Lake or Ryzen system and loaded a pre-Windows 10 Microsoft OS, it may be in your best interest to patch it up completely, immediately, and create an updated installation image to ensure you’ll still have access to security and feature updates that exist today in the event that Microsoft shuts down access in the future. Meanwhile, please let us know if you’ve installed Ryzen to either Windows 7 or 8.1 and seen any of these messages.

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Russia's competition watchdog has found that Apple fixed the prices of certain iPhone models sold in the country.
The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (Fas) said that Apple's local subsidiary told 16 retailers to maintain the recommended prices of phones in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 families.
Non-compliance with the pricing guidelines may have led to the termination of contracts, it found.
Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.
At the time of the investigation, Apple denied that it controlled its products' pricing, telling Reuters that resellers "set their own prices for the Apple products they sell in Russia and around the world".
The regulator said Apple had now ended its price-fixing practices but has not said whether the company faces a fine.
The FAS claimed that Apple Rus monitored the retail prices for the iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus.
"In the case of the establishment of 'inappropriate' prices, the Russian subsidiary of Apple sent emails to resellers asking them to change," the watchdog said.
The deputy head of the FAS, Andrey Tsarikovsky, added that "Apple actively co-operated" with the investigation and that the company had "adopted the necessary measures to eliminate violations of the law".
That included training employees in the "anti-monopoly legislation norms" in Russia.
In May, the FAS found that Google used its dominant position to force its own apps and services on users and fined it £5m ($6m).
And, in November, the regulator opened an investigation into whether Microsoft abused its position in the security market with Windows 10, following a complaint from Moscow-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky.
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A new transparent, flexible touchpad can sense the touch of a finger even when the material is stretched or bent, which could help engineers one day create advanced wearable touch screens, according to a new study.
Increasingly, researchers around the world are developing flexible electronics, such as display screens, cameras, batteries and solar panels. These devices could one day be woven into clothing, prosthetic limbs or even human bodies, the researchers said.
Previously, scientists developed flexible touch screens based on materials such as carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires that are only nanometers — billionths of a meter — wide. However, these devices typically struggled to operate well when they were stretched, which included the material's inability to distinguish between a touch from a finger and a stretch of the fabric itself. [Body Bioelectronics: 5 Technologies that Could Flex with You]
"This is the first time anyone has made a transparent, touch-sensitive electronic device that can detect touch while the device is being bent or stretched," said study senior author John Madden, an electrical engineer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
The new device is made with a hydrogel, which is structurally similar to the materials from which soft contact lenses are made. "Often when people think of gels, they think they're soft and weak, like Jell-O, which is purposefully weak so you can chew it," Madden told Live Science. "But people have developed these extremely tough gels to replace cartilage, and some of these can stretch by a factor of 20 or more."
By adding salt to the water-laden hydrogel, electrically charged ions can flow within the hydrogel and generate an electric field around it. When a finger comes near the hydrogel, it interacts with the electric field in a way that electrodes attached to the hydrogel can detect. These signals are readily distinguishable from those generated when the hydrogel is flexed, the researchers said.

The array retained its sensing abilities even when it was bent or stretched, and it could withstand such common environmental contaminants as coffee spills, according to the study. The transparent pad could also detect multiple fingers simultaneously, which is necessary for a typical zoom function on a smartphone, the researchers said.
The scientists embedded the hydrogel in silicone rubber. They created a square transparent touchpad about 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) wide, with 16 buttons that are each about 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) wide.

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The iPhone 7 Plus.  (Apple)
The iPhone 7 Plus. (Apple)
Apple has been awarded a new patent for facial-recognition technology that has stoked flames the company might be planning to integrate it into the iPhone 8 and Apple Car technology.
The patent, called "Enhanced face detection using depth information," describes a method by which a device's built-in camera would capture a depth map and places a window frame over each face. Using the depth information it's already mapped, the technology in the patent, which was earlier reported on by AppleInsider , would scale each face to accurately depict how far away or close people are in the frame.
Interestingly, the technology was invented by Primesense, the company that created Microsoft's original Kinect and Apple subsequently acquired in 2013.
While Apple files for patents all the time on technologies that might or might not make their way to its devices, this one describes in detail a feature that the rumor mill has been churning out about Apple's iPhone 8. Specifically, rumors have said that Apple wants to deliver a high-end front camera in its iPhone 8 that would feature 3D-sensing capabilities similar to what's described in the patent. It might also be used in augmented reality applications, which Apple has also said it hopes to deliver in future devices. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been one of the foremost sources for Apple's augmented reality plans, has also said that the camera would use facial detection to authenticate users who want to access iOS or possibly make Apple Pay payments. The latest Apple patent suggests it's capable of doing just that.
But there's also more to the patent than the iPhone.
In addition to iPhones, Apple is rumored to be considering augmented reality in car technology it's said to be working on. And it might want to use facial recognition and depth-sensing technologies to help provide drivers with more information on the road.
In the face-detection patent Apple now owns, it hints that an Apple Car integration could be possible, saying that the technology "may be used in a vehicle-mounted system for automatic detection and reading of traffic signs."
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously signaled that augmented reality could play a critical role in his companies products in the coming years. He hasn't, however, confirmed in which products it might be offered.
This story originally appeared in Tom's Guide.

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