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*LATEST* GTA Online Summer Update: When is the release time?

All the latest GTA Online summer update rumours, leaks, and speculations

GTA Online summer update is arriving TODAY and will be called Criminal Enterprises, Rockstar has confirmed.

It will launch for free – and Rockstar has promised there will be tons of stuff to do. However, we do not know yet exactly what time it will drop.

Rockstar write on their blog: “The Criminal Enterprises is a sweeping update bringing new missions and upgrades to GTA Online including significant expansions to business prospects for Criminal Careers, plus new, elaborate Contact Missions with players operating as a sworn-in agent for the IAA and much more starting July 26.”

The Tweet from the Rockstar official account gave us details about Criminal Enterprises

GTA Online Criminal Enterprises latest news

According to leaker Tez2, Rockstar has recently updated their website’s page to include a link to a Prime Plus offer.

It is not live yet but hints that there could be a deal for those that have both Prime Gaming and GTA+.

The leaker also goes on to claim that:

 18 New vehicles are coming to the game (dripfeed included)

There are 4 New Bennys vehicles

New events like Ammunation Delivery, dealing with troublemakers at the Nightclub or collecting a dufflebag for the Clubhouse

Metal Detector collectible

GTA Criminal Enterprises release time prediction

As per any other GTA Online update, we are expecting the expansion to go live at 10am BST. That’s 5am EST.

Rockstar confirmed there will be new vehicles arriving to next-gen platforms, but last-gen players are set to miss out.

Elsewhere, nightclub owners are now able to contact Yohan to take on missions to source goods, or call Tony for club management missions.

Rockstar confirmed: “Two new Club Management missions have been added to the roster, giving you new ways to promote your above-board operations.

“Meanwhile, inside your club, you’ll be able to maintain the vibes by ejecting troublemakers and chaperoning passed-out VIPs to safe locations off-site.”

Those who have an Executive Office will notice new staff manager Lupe – who will be able to source additional Special Cargo.

There will also be a new side gig, where a shipment of Special Cargo will arrive daily outside your Warehouse.

Rockstar go on to confirm: “Plus, two new sources of Special Cargo will also be added to the mix of Source Missions, increasing the variety of missions available to white-collar criminals statewide.”

Bikers meanwhile, will see their Custom Bike Shop getting a FREE upgrade, while there will be two Clubhouse Contracts.

Rockstar also stated: “A Bar Resupply mission will keep the kegs tapped and the clientele happy while earning a little extra income for your MC.”

Criminal Enterprises will bring with it one new vehicle and a host of new stuff for players to enjoy

GTA Criminal Enterprises new vehicles

Rockstar confirmed new vehicles arriving ‘throughout the summer and beyond’.

To kick things off, two new Imani Tech-eligible vehicles be able to get special upgrades, including remote control and missile lock-on jammer.

Previously, Rockstar has been pretty quiet about the Summer update.

On 14 July, 2023: Rockstar extended GTA Online event until Tuesday the 26th of July, which caused fans to speculate the GTA Online Summer update was imminent.

The leak comes from reliable GTA leaker, Tez2:

11th July 2023: Concepts around “a more convenient way to access snacks and armor” are explored by fans of the game. The latest comes from Twitter user JohnM90GTA who shares this idea:

7th July 2023: Rockstar has officially released the latest GTA Online weekly update and it clearly confirms some of the suggested rumours we’ve been hearing.

The new event week is set to run between July 7th and July 18th – leading many to believe that the big GTA Online Summer update might drop on the 19th of July.

6th July 2023: No news regarding the upcoming GTA Online summer update. However, it looks like Red Dead Online players won’t be receiving any updates this time around. Our thoughts go out to our fallen brothers.

Initial leaks surrounding the GTA Summer Online update came from Tez2 who noticed that the GTA Online membership only ran until the 18th of July – leading many to believe the new DLC would be available on the 19th.

UPDATE: The GTA Online Summer Update is out now! It’s a 12GB download though, and people are reporting issues when it comes to downloading the actual update, so be patient.

Last year’s GTA Online summer update, Los Santos Tuners update, launched in July – leading many people to believe the same will occur for the 2023 summer update.

The Tuners update was an instant hit with fans of the game, offering up new vehicles, missions, music, and more.

That said, it was closely followed by the game’s most popular DLC to date, The Contract.

READ NOW: Do you need PS+ to play GTA Online?

If you want to buy everything that releases today in the GTA Summer Update, it’ll cost you roughly between $10 million and $15 million. $30 Million will cover all the vehicles including the dripfed content and 900K will cover the new weapons.

The new GTA Online Summer Update includes a grand total of:

18 new vehicles

4 new Bennys Vehicles

New events such as Ammunation Delivery

Metal Detector Collectible

The last big update for GTA Online was of course the GTA Online Winter Update that was pushed live on December 23, 2023.

That update added snow to the game world in order to make Los Santos a lot harder to travel around, while also creating the potential for snowball fights around the map as an ongoing threat.

It also added various different rewards for players such as new cosmetics and new vehicles, so it’s likely that the summer update will add something similar.

If players are lucky, they’ll even get a new weapon akin to the previously added Fireworks Launcher.

The GTA Online summer update is a DLC that occurs every summer, around this time of year.

It normally offers up fun new vehicles, missions, and music – alongside some interesting cameos too.

At present, we don’t have a tonne of information regarding the GTA Online summer update for 2023. However, we expect it to offer similar content to that of Los Santos tuners – the last summer update.

Like always, we will be keeping this page bang up to date with all the latest leaks, news, and announcement by Rockstar.

While the GTA Online summer update is a relatively sizeable event, it doesn’t manage to eclipse the winter/December update – which is said to be the game’s major DLC.

Having said that, Los Santos Tuners update still managed to clock in at around 3.5GB (Xbox), 3.6GB (PlayStation), and even bigger on PC.

READ NOW: GTA V system requirements

One of the big talking points surrounding the GTA Online summer update is the Oppressor MK2 – with many fans of the game calling for it to be nerfed.

One Redditor says, “A nerf to the Oppressor mk2 would be nice, so not every single mission in the game is absolutely trivial and low-level players can actually make meaningful progress and have somewhat fun battles.”.

Another agrees, saying, “Totally agree with a nerf to the Oppressor MK2; that stupid thing is the reason I always switch into a invite only lobby “.

Whether or not Rockstar decides to nerf the hover bike is yet to be known – however, it certainly seems like it’d be popular amongst the GTA Online community.

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How Should I Use Analytics When Time Is Short?

Making analytics make a difference – our interview with David Sealey

How do you try to make use of your analytics? We all know that in theory web analytics tools give us fantastic insight to help us improve results for our digital marketing. In practice you need to know the right questions to ask and use the right reports and measures to find the answer. You also need to know the intuition to follow-up on a hunch.

Every marketer and every analyst will have their own unique style. As a consultant I’m always keen to learn how others tackle a problem so I can learn from their ideas. In this interview, David Sealey of Design and Analytics Agency Quba shares his approach on how to avoid “analysis paralysis”.

Current marketing challenges for 2011

Question 1: What do you see as the current major challenges faced by marketers and how can analytics help?

We also live in a day and age with multiple marketing channels which need to be assessed and managed. Digital channels alone include web, video, email, SEO, PPC, affiliates, mobile, social media and online PR. If you”€™re not following the latest trend then you”€™d better have the evidence ready to defend that choice.

When I started my career in digital marketing, traditional marketers were playing catch up. Our knowledge of HTML, SEO and new media made us kings of schoolyard. There is now a reverse of this as digital natives find that they have to understand the basics of marketing as a discipline in its own right. So whilst the 4Ps (product, place, promotion, price) or AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) won”€™t replace new technology, they do need to work hand in hand. A perfect example of this is the merging of old school PR with the new kid on the block that is Social Media.

Where to focus investment

Question 2: What focus of time and budgets do you recommend to get better approach?

The focus is definitely on wringing the maximum value out of the web channel before completely changing it.

Obviously this is a much more cost-effective exercise and the results should be clearly visible through basic site metrics. With analytics tools that are ever easier to use, identifying the sticking points is a more straightforward exercise.

I personally appreciate this approach as the focus is on the results (an objective measure) rather than the creative (a more subjective matter). With the focus fixed on definable goals (e.g. double the site conversion rate) it is easier for everyone to pull together their ideas.

There is a downside to enhancing a website. We all know and accept that any technology will have bugs that occur. In enhancing a website, these bugs can be amplified or create additional errors. This adds to the overall technical debt which the system carries and your repayments (i.e. the amount of technical fixing time required each month) will only increase.

Whilst enhancements to an existing site may be a cost effective strategy, innovation may suffer due to technical platform limitations. Such innovations are needed to engage with users and be competitive.

Metrics that matter

Question 3: Which metrics do you think are important for marketers to focus on?

I”€™ve talked with marketers who are stressing over metrics that really don”€™t matter. “€œMy average time on site is down by 30 seconds! What do I do?”€ they ask in a blind panic, fearing the approach of the MD. The metrics I”€™m primarily interest in are:

Unique Visitors

Bounce rate

Conversion rate to goals

Average order/enquiry value

These stats really tell the story about the state of a business website. By addressing and segmenting these numbers first, I identify what can be improved and the goals that can be set.

The value of the feedback you receive will give you the insights necessary to make (or at least a/b test) improvements.

Outside the stats you need to be considering the entire end-to-end user experience. From the ad that they see before the site to any interactions afterwards, everything should be reviewed for consistency and ease of use. For instance there was one project I worked on where the email sent after registration didn”€™t contain the name of the company or a link to the site. Make it easy for people to do business with you.

How to apply web analytics

Question 4: How do you think marketers should best use analytics to get better results?

Analytics tools have greatly improved and Google Analytics has played a large part in moving both the industry and user intelligence forward. Its reports and interface have made web analytics accessible to everyone in large and small organisations.

However for analytics to really move businesses forward and provide greater value, the tools need to become smarter and simpler. With web analytics there is still a large amount of work to be done in interpreting the results into an insight that can affect change. Knowing that your bounce rate was 35% for the last twelve months isn”€™t actionable insights yet many marketers are sweating over figures like this.

In the future I think Analytics needs to move forward to a point where it can be easily configured by non-technical teams to record what is important to marketers rather than analysts. Deeper integration is also required with CRM systems to improve attribution of customer registrations and orders.

Ashes Of Creation Release Date: When It It Coming Out?

It’s been a long time since we saw a truly original MMORPG break through the genre’s increasingly stale and crusty exterior and reach new creative bounds. Promises have been made, hearts have been broken and disappointment has been aplenty in a genre overpopulated with auto-play, cheap gacha mechanics, and a seeming lack of will to see something new and novel.

Finally, all of that seems slated to change with Intrepid Studios’ highly anticipated Ashes of Creation. 

What is Ashes of Creation?

Ashes of Creation is quite possibly the most ambitious MMORPG project ever imagined (discounting notable scams) and one seemingly coming to fruition, slowly and steadily. The game is set to feature the most dynamic, energetic worldbuilding ever created through its unique Nodes mechanic, an absolutely gargantuan map, and one of the widest and thoughtfully developed spectrums of PvP and PvE content you’re likely to see for quite awhile.

Why is Everyone So Excited?

The Nodes mechanic is the source from which all of the incredible depth of Ashes of Creation flows. The almost 500km map is divided up into about 100 “nodes” that develop independently from one another and feature their own unique characteristics. As players spend time in a node, hunting, completing quests and other activities, it contributes towards that Node’s civilizational progress. On launch day, the world of Ashes of Creation will be utterly empty; but soon those empty, undeveloped Nodes will become villages, then towns, cities, and eventually a glorious, bustling metropolis. Other than a few starter cities, the entire world and everything in it will be entirely shaped by player activity.

And that’s just scratching the surface of the Node system. The way in which the Node develops is dependent on who develops it. If Orcish players contribute more towards a Node’s development, the next stage of civilization will take on an Orcish aesthetic, and so on and so forth with the other races. Nodes come in four types: Divine, Economic, Militaristic and Scientific Nodes, each of which have different effects on the landscape and content in its zone. Players can also be elected as mayors of nodes, responsible for their management and oversight, setting laws such as taxation and making management decisions regarding construction and Node development.

As a Node grows and develops, it directly impacts the direction the world takes. Dungeons, quests, events — everything depends on the Node, and not all Nodes can grow to maximum size nor are they ever static fixtures of the landscapes. Unlike other MMOs where major cities, landmarks, and areas are there to stay, that giant city on the hill or village hidden in the forest can be destroyed forever. Instead of a linear path that ends with the server being full of max-level nodes and nothing else to do, Nodes can be assaulted and everything in it sent to the afterlife. It’s pretty wild, there’s lots of reasons you might want to do that, and the large-scale player-driven means of accomplishing both developing and destroying a node involve mechanics of a magnitude hitherto unseen in any online game.

Again, this is just scratching the surface of just one mechanic at play in Ashes of Creation — albeit the most important one. And it sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder, when will Ashes of Creation be released?

With many MMORPG fans over the moon with what Ashes of Creation has the potential to become, the question reverberating throughout the internet is “when will Ashes of Creation come out?”

And the answer is, fortunately or unfortunately, not for a while. Despite several years of coverage and ongoing updates, the game is currently still in Alpha and we could easily be as far as two years from a real Ashes of Creation release date.

But don’t despair! There’s a lot to be positive about. Intrepid Studios has made a commitment to transparency throughout the process and is as engaged with the community as any MMORPG fan could ask for. The team has seemingly ramped up production this year too, with enormous amounts of in-game footage showing the successful operation of many of its ambitious mechanics from real-time Node development to player elections to PvP content.

There are even regular monthly live streams that players can tune into to see the latest in testing as it happens so you can make sure we don’t have another Chronicles of Elyria on our hands. Intrepid is incredibly open about their process. So much so, it seems to be a core principle of development; openness, regular feedback, and consistent engagement.

Ashes of Creation Price: Will It Be Free to Play?

Ashes of Creation will not be free to play, and will instead come with a $15 dollar a month subscription in the style of WoW. There will, however, not be a box price to purchase the game, and Intrepid has made a firm and repeated commitment that Ashes of Creation will always and forever be free of any traces of pay-to-win anywhere in the game. For further monetization, there will be an in-game store featuring only cosmetic items with no effect on gameplay whatsoever.

How to Follow Ashes of Creation Development

With intrepid ramping up development this year, and doling out larger and larger chunks of footage, it’s pretty easy to stay up to date on the goings on in the world of Ashes of Creation. If you’re as interested as everyone else in keeping a close eye on what’s happening with the game, considering donating or participating in testing, we’ve compiled a few useful links for you to check out.

There’s a No-NDA Alpha planned for later this year, meaning that content creators and testers will be able to release real in-game footage and present it in whatever way they want. So, if you’ve somehow managed to remain skeptical of any of Intrepid’s content thus far, keep your eyes peeled because before year’s end we should have an unvarnished look at where the game is and a better idea of how long we have to wait to step foot in the lands of Verra.

Pumped for Ashes of Creation? So are we! Make sure to follow along with us as we keep an eye on Ashes of Creation’s further development, and keep your fingers crossed that it lives up to its potential — because if it does, Ashes of Creation will be an MMORPG for the ages.

Special shoutout to TheLazyPeon, whose video on Ashes of Creation is a great place to learn more about the specific mechanics of the game, from Nodes to its combat system and developmental history.

The Toughest Competition For The Latest And Greatest Airpods Is From Apple

AirPods 3 launched last October. With a brand new design, Spatial Audio technology, and a $50 price increase, these wireless earbuds try to bring the original AirPods experience to another level. But are they as magical as the first version was?

AirPods changed the way people use wireless earbuds. With instant connection and great sound quality, AirPods also got the impressive feature of understanding when you take one earbud out and also made it possible to connect your AirPods automatically with any Apple device associated with your ID.

With the AirPods 3, Apple was able to improve the sound quality, the instant recognition of whether they were in your ears, and so much more. That said, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently reported that sales of AirPods 3 aren’t as good as they should be, with Apple cutting orders for this product by over 30% for the second and third quarters of this year.

Kuo explained that demand for AirPods 3 is “significantly weaker” than AirPods 2 due to the “failed product segmentation strategy.”

AirPods 3 orders for 2-3Q22 have been cut by 30%+. Due to the failed product segmentation strategy, demand for AirPods 3 is significantly weaker than for AirPods 2. AirPods Pro may get discontinued after Apple launches AirPods Pro 2 in 2H22 to avoid repeating the same mistake.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) April 5, 2023

Different from the original AirPods and its second generation, which Apple only kept selling the second one, the company has a more diverse lineup made of the second and third generations, as well as Pro and Max models.

With great deals regarding AirPods Pro and AirPods 2, is it justifiable to buy AirPods 3 at the moment?

Are AirPods 3 worth the money?

So far, I have had the greatest experience with AirPods 3. I do enjoy AirPods Pro, but for casual listening and working out, the third-generation AirPods are a killer. I don’t feel them in my ear, they have a secure fit, and their sound improved a lot. With better bass and Spatial Audio technology, I can enjoy my favorite albums without losing a beat.

I also think AirPods 3 are great wireless earbuds for calls and virtual meetings. With extended battery life, I don’t need to worry about participating in lots of meetings throughout the afternoon. Another selling point for these buds is the MagSafe compatibility – it’s so much easier to put them down to charge wirelessly and know that they are really charging.

Last but not least, AirPods 3 also hint at a technology the future AirPods Pro 2 could have, which is the skin-detect sensor. This could be used for health monitoring on these rumored wireless earbuds.

What Apple should do to improve sales?

While I praise Apple for giving users so many choices regarding AirPods, I think AirPods 3 will feel like a better deal a few months from now. I strongly believe AirPods Pro 2 will cost more than the current model. Not only that, but I also think Apple will take AirPods 2 out of the lineup.


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When The Best Tool For The Job Is An Animal

After DARPA announced, somewhat sheepishly, that after $19 billion and six years of research, they had concluded that the best bomb-detecting device is a dog, we got to thinking: what other instances are there in which you’d reach not for a traditional tool, but for an animal? These eight examples range from the medical to the military to the culinary fields, but all have one thing in common: there’s no better tool for the job than an animal.

Dolphins of War

The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP), based in San Diego, CA, began in 1960 when the military examined the Pacific White-sided Dolphin, trying to figure out the secret to its hydrodynamic body with the aim of improving torpedo performance. (Given 1960s technology, the NMMP never managed to solve the puzzle.) That later expanded to other marine mammals of the Pacific, especially other dolphins and California sea lions, which led to the discovery that these animals are not only trainable but fairly reliable even while untethered in the open ocean. NMMP has been a controversial program, but the Navy insists that the program complies with all available statutes, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act. The NMMP also states that, despite rumors, marine mammals have never and will never be used as weapons themselves. No attack dolphins. So what does the NMMP do now? Dolphins are used as undersea mine detectors, even finding more than 100 in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War in 2003. Dolphins and sea lions are used as sentries to find and alert the military to unauthorized swimmers and divers, and sea lions are used to retrieve objects from the ocean depths (at this they outperform human and robotic swimmers by a fair margin).

Mites in Your Cheese

Porcine/Canine Mercenaries

Truffles, of the black French variety from Perigord as well as the white Italian version, are renowned for both their enticing flavor and aroma, and the heart-attack-inducing prices they can bring. Considering they can fetch thousands of dollars a pound, making truffles one of the most expensive natural objects on the planet, you might expect that science has devised all kinds of amazing, high-tech ways to find the pungent mushrooms beneath the ground. But you’d be wrong. The two main tools used to find truffles? Pigs and dogs. Truffle hogs are have been the traditional truffle-hunting tool of choice for hundreds of years–their strong sense of smell and apparent deep love of truffles makes them ideal tools for the job. Studies have indicated that a chemical in mature truffles is also found in the musk of male pigs and boars when in heat, so sows will make a beeline for any mature truffles they can find. But despite the romantic image of a Frenchman walking his truffle pig through the forests of Perigord, pigs haven’t really been in use for quite a few decades. Dr. Charles Lefevre, president and founder of New World Truffieres and the Oregon Truffle Festival, as well as one of the foremost truffle experts in North America, notes that there are quite a few reasons pigs have been replaced by man’s best friend. Aside from the basic problem that pigs, unlike dogs, will try to eat the truffles before a human can snatch them up, “pigs don’t have all that much stamina,” says Lefevre, “and they’re less inclined to try to please their handlers.” Then there’s the modern-day oddness of transporting a pig around. “Truffle-hunting is always a surreptitious activity–you don’t want other people to know about it,” says Lefevre, who compares it to hunting for hundred-dollar bills in the forest. “It’s a lot harder to transport a pig around, and people will know what you’re doing if you’re walking a pig.” Dogs have taken prominence in truffle-hunting–they have to be trained, unlike pigs, but it doesn’t seem especially difficult. One breed, the lagotto romagnolo (which is related to poodles and water dogs), has been long bred for truffle-hunting, though the Oregon Truffle Festival offers training for all sorts of dogs. Essentially, you just have to imprint the dog with the smell, and reward them for finding truffles. “People use all sorts of breeds,” says Lefevre. “The individual dog is much more important.” But why, in 2011, are we still using dogs? Surely we can plant truffles, or at the very least use machines to find them, right? The problem, says Lefevre, is that truffles are “like a tomato: they take a long time to ripen, and they ripen at different times.” And an unripe–“immature,” in truffle-speak–truffle is “worthless in cooking.” So the dog’s role “isn’t really to find truffles, but to pick the truffles that are ripe.” There are some artificial sensors that can detect the chemical compounds in truffles, but they’re nowhere near as effective as dogs, which can calculate location based on wind patterns and strength of scent, and, best of all, take you right to the site of the truffle. Mechanical devices are used like metal detectors–not nearly so efficient.

Pest Control

What’s the best way to get rid of an animal? To ask Dan Frankian, owner of Hawkeye, the answer is…another animal. Frankian is a licensed falconer and pest control expert, with four offices in the Toronto area. His main customers are city governments and airports, and they go to him for two main reasons: his methods of getting rid of animals (most often birds like seagulls and geese, but also skunks, beavers, raccoons, and more) are frequently more humane as well as more effective than other methods. And his methods rely heavily on raptors–birds of prey–and other animals. Pests aren’t just annoying; as we all learned from the Hudson River emergency airplane landing, birds can be a legitimate hazard, especially overpopulated species like gulls and geese. Parks and bodies of water can be swiftly polluted by geese, which excrete more than two pounds a day, and they often cause auto accidents. Modern methods of ridding areas of these pests often fall back on killing en masse with nets, which is kind of unpopular and gruesome, or using mechanical devices, often audio-based, to scare pests away. Frankian does, in a Bond-like way, have a rare “license to kill” from the Canadian government, but says it’s more effective to scare. “You can kill all of them, if you want,” he says. “They won’t learn. Scaring them is faster.” Frankian has an arsenal of more than 100 raptors, mostly hawks and falcons but also including a few owls and even three bald eagles (which he refers to as “the big bang in bird control”), as well as five dogs. He demonstrated his technique with Clara, a five-year-old Harris hawk, in this slideshow. Basically, he stakes out territory, flying the hawk around the entire area to be monitored (in this case a gull-infested landfill). “This basically tells every gull out there that this is no-no territory,” he says. Once a gull sees a raptor acting this way, marking its territory and even hunting a bird or two, it’s unlikely to come back–whereas a simple kill trap would remove gulls but not discourage them from coming back.

Sniffing Bombs

Human innovations are pretty good at replacing some of our senses, especially sight and hearing, with mechanical or electronic equipment. But one sense in which natural, organic versions outstrip human inventions by a laughable degree is that of scent. The Pentagon recently announced that after six years and a whopping $19 billion in spending, some of the world’s best scientists and engineers concluded that the best bomb-sniffing device is…a trained dog. The most sophisticated detectors ever invented can detect maybe 50% of IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. But a simple soldier accompanied by a trained dog can detect 80%. Dogs proved so efficient, in fact, that the Pentagon shifted this team’s focus from detecting bombs to simply disrupting them–radio jamming to mess with the frequencies used to detonate bombs, aerial sensors to scan bomb-heavy areas, that kind of thing. Dogs are ideal for this kind of work in the field, thanks to their physical endurance, easy trainability, and eagerness to please their handlers. But they’re not the only animals found to be far better at detecting explosives than anything we humans can come up with. In Israel, bomb-sniffing mice are being tested in airports, and early tests showed them detecting bombs 100% of the time.

Laboratory Testing

The Nose Knows

Sniffing isn’t restricted to bombs. As it turns out, the schnozzes (scientific terminology, look it up) of some animals are so delicate that they’re capable of smelling all kinds of things far beyond the reach of our puny proboscises, let alone any robotic sniffers we could create. It’s true: animals are capable of smelling disease. Earlier this year, we reported on the Gambian pouched rat, a giant rodent (about three feet long, including a long tail) that looks more like a hamster, with its cheek pouches and white tummy as well as its intelligent and friendly disposition. But, as Belgian Bart Weetjens figured out, the pouched rat’s amazing sense of smell and trainability would enable it to do much more than serve as an exotic pet (or, if we’re being honest, an occasional invasive species). Weetjens started APOPO, an NGO that uses these rats as both bomb sniffers and disease sniffers. As bomb sniffers, the rats (or as they’re known in-house, HeroRATS) are well-suited: they’re native to sub-Saharan Africa, where they’re often deployed; they have a long lifespan at 6-8 years; and are trained to work for food, rather than a bond with a handler, as dogs do, which means they can be swapped to different handlers without losing efficiency. They also are light enough to walk over buried land mines without triggering them, unlike dogs. But it’s their abilities as disease sniffers that’s most amazing. Tuberculosis, a widespread and destructive disease, is especially prevalent in the developing world, and the only detection methods available are nearly a century old and notoriously unreliable. Typically, TB is found using a microscope to a stained sample of phlegm. But this method misses as many as 60 to 80 percent of cases, because there needs to be a very high number of the offending bacteria in the sample to spot. Even worse, microscopy is very slow, only able to sift through about 40 samples per day. The HeroRATS are better than this option in every conceivable way. Trained to spend longer at infected samples and scratch at them, they can test the same 40 samples in less than seven minutes. Not only that, but the rats were able to detect 44 percent more positive cases than microscopy. Plus, rats are cheap, especially compared to the newer, admittedly more accurate models endorsed by the World Health Organization. But the rats are affordable, far better than current options, and, come on, kind of adorable.

Medical Maggots

Maggots, which are actually fly larvae, earn a morbid reputation, as they feed on dead flesh. But before you pass judgment, remember that sometimes that’s exactly what you need. Maggots have been used for medical purposes since antiquity, and they’re still used today in certain cases. Maggot therapy, as it’s called, involves introducing maggots to an exposed area of flesh, where they will clean the area of necrotic, or dead, tissue while leaving the living tissue intact. Most recently, maggot therapy has received attention for its effectiveness in treating MRSA, a bacterium that’s resistant to most antibiotics and which often includes flesh-eating types, which can cause serious injury or death if untreated. Without the benefits of antibiotics, this bacteria can only be removed through invasive surgery, and that surgery is often imprecise; surgeons are simply not as good at identifying dead from living tissue, and any surgery to debride, or remove necrotic tissue, results in an unwanted loss of living tissue. As Professor Andrew Boulton of the School of Medicine at the University of Manchester, said at the time of that 2007 study: “Maggots are the world’s smallest surgeons. In fact they are better than surgeons. They are much cheaper and work 24 hours a day. They remove the dead tissue and bacteria, leaving the healthy tissue to heal. There is no reason this cannot be applied to many other areas of the body, except perhaps a large abdominal wound.” Even better, maggots actually secrete certain antibiotics that serve to disinfect the wound, and maggot secretions also include allantoin, a substance used in many cosmetics and toiletries as a skin-soothing ingredient. Modern use of medical maggots was reintroduced in 1989 as a last-ditch option to remove newly antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A type of green bottle fly (pictured) larva is often used, marketed under the name “Medical Maggots,” and can be prescribed by any physician. The maggots are placed in either a cage or a ventilated pouch–they need oxygen to survive–and feed on the necrotic tissue. It’s a remarkably safe procedure; the maggots have no interest in living tissue, will stop feeding when full, and cannot reproduce, as they are of course in the larval stage. They do have some drawbacks; medical maggots have a short lifespan, cause what is described as an “uncomfortable tickling sensation” (though you have to believe that’s better than the alternative), can only be used in certain cases (a moist wound with available oxygen is essential), and of course some patients find the idea of medical maggots distasteful. In a 2008 study, maggot therapy was found to be just as effective as leading hydrogels used for debridement, and debridement was much faster. Morbid? Maybe. But it’s proven to be more effective than our best surgeons.

Jupyterlab 3.0 Is Out! Get Your Hands On The Latest Jupyterlab Now


JupyterLab is a brilliant coding environment to perform data science tasks

JupyterLab releases JupyterLab 3.0 with some exciting changes and updates


A lot of us were taken aback when we heard there is something better than Jupyter Notebook. Since many of us gave our hands to Jupyter Notebook to progress in our data science journey, there was not a chance to not check the ever-better- JupyterLab.

Trust me it was love at first sight for me and I am pretty sure you will or would have also enjoyed your transition to JupyterLab to perform your data science tasks.

The new year for people using JupyterLab started with its latest version- JupyterLab 3.0. In this article, I will walk you through all the updates and changes that you can see in JupyterLab 3.0

We recommend you go through this article before proceeding-

Table of contents-

How to install JupyterLab 3.0

Changes/Improvements in JupyterLab 3.0


Table of contents

Changes in the interface

Multiple languages support

Another method for installing extensions

How to install JupyterLab 3.0

If you already use JupyterLab then just use the following commands to upgrade your JupyterLab-

With pip: pip install --upgrade jupyterlab With conda: conda update jupyterlab

If you’re new then use the following commands to install JupyterLab-

With pip: pip install jupyterlab==3

But before this, you need to have pip installed on your system.

With conda:

conda install -c conda-forge jupyterlab=3

same with this, you need to have Anaconda/Miniconda installed on your system before running this command.

Changes/Improvements in Jupyter Lab 3.0 1- Debugger

JupyterLab 3.0 now comes with a front-end debugger by default. This means that notebooks, code consoles, and files can now be debugged from JupyterLab directly!

In order to use this debugger, you’ll need a kernel that supports debugging. For example, for python, we have xeus-python, commonly known as xpython. As of now, it is the only Python kernel that supports debugging and is compatible with JupyterLab. You need to install it first. Follow the following commands for installation of xeus-python-

With Conda:

The safest usage is to create an environment named jupyterlab-debugger with your miniconda installation-

conda create -n jupyterlab-debugger -c conda-forge




xeus-python conda activate jupyterlab-debugger

After this installation, you can just select this kernel from the launcher

or you can switch to the xpython kernel using the kernel selection dialog:

And then you’re all set to debug your code-

2- Table of contents 3- Changes in the Interface

There have been several changes in the user-side interface. The property inspector moved to the right sidebar now-

The command palette now comes floating on the center of the top of the window. This enables users to quickly invoke a command while keeping the sidebar closed or switching sidebar panels. You can access the command palette using the View menu or directly using the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C.

The file browser now has a filter input which filters the list of files using the same fuzzy matching as the command palette-

And if we talk about Simple Interface mode then it has been extensively updated for a more targeted, documented-oriented feel. There is a toggle on the command prompt to switch to the Simple Interface mode,

or you can select Single Interface mode from the View menu, or you can just directly press Ctrl+Shift+D-

4- Multiple languages support

Yes, now you can change your interface and view contents in your language. For this, you will need to install a language pack. And you can get the list of available packs from here. Currently, only the Chinese language pack is available and its code is zh-CN.  So to install this pack use the following command-

With pip: pip install jupyterlab-language-pack-zh-CN

With conda: conda install -c conda-forge jupyterlab-language-pack-zh-CN

In order to install these language packs, only the language code gets changed and the rest of the command remains the same. Once you’ve installed the language pack all you need to do now is to change the interface.

Go to:

A confirmation pop-up will appear and once you will accept that and refresh your page, you’ll see everything on the screen in your selected language(Chinese in this case).

5- Another method to install extensions

JupyterLab is designed as an extensible environment. JupyterLab extensions can customize or enhance any part of JupyterLab. Earlier the Extension Manager in JupyterLab and the jupyter labextension install command can install source extension packages from npm. Installing a source extension requires chúng tôi and a JupyterLab rebuild to activate.

This method is still available if you wish to do it this way but now there’s another and easier method available which is using Python pip and conda packages.

One of the examples of extension is Debugger, which you saw earlier in this article. Another simple example of a Jupyter Lab extension is a Python file. In order to install this extension use the following command-

With pip-

pip install jupyterlab-python-file

With conda-

conda install -c conda-forge jupyterlab-python-file

As simple as that! and after successfully running this command you’ll see that the launcher now has an option of python file in it-

Here is the official documentation on how to install and manage extensions of JupyterLab.

End Notes

Here is the official documentation of all the JupyterLab changelog in version 3.0 along with the changes from developers’ end, bugfixes, etc. I hope you were able to understand this.


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