Show Notes – April 6th, 2015

Operating Systems

http://xkcd.com/1508/

 

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Your Keyboard Could Tell If You Have Parkinson’s An everyday technology is becoming the central figure in how scientists understand and diagnose Parkinson’s—the keyboard. Researchers at MIT are working on a method that would create keyboards that could actually tell whether you have this unfortunately common neuron impairment.It’s all mechanical—no apps or special software required. All the information is hidden in the precise ways we all strike
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Yahoo Screen supports Chromecast, but only for ‘Community’ If you needed one more way to watch Community now that it’s on Yahoo instead of NBC, the Yahoo Screen app on Android (but not iOS) has “basic Chromecast support.” You could get the show (already on its fourth streaming episode) to connect with Google…
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LA’s New Parking Signs Are Brilliant and Every City Should Copy Them In the quest to make parking suck less, there are apps that help you find a space, and meters where you can pay with a swipe of your credit card. But LA has launched a simple, low-tech solution to make parking better: Well-designed signage that offers no ambiguity whatsoever when it comes to where you can park, when you can park there, and how much it will cost.A proposal by designer Nikki Syliant
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Hulu’s GIF library offers visuals for your reaction tweets Websites like Giphy and others are useful for supplying a GIF to get your point across. Hulu is looking to help too, so long as your thoughts/feelings/hot takes can be summed up with an image from one of the TV shows streamed there. The company launc…
16h
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Periscope update keeps viewers from showing up at your house Twitter’s video-streaming app Periscope may have buried Meerkat’s hopes of being the go-to way to show the world your office refrigerator. But until today, it had a rather scary privacy issue. When a broadcaster shared their location, instead of that…
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What It’s Like to Work For Putin’s Internet Troll Army The Guardian has a doozy of a report on Russia’s secret troll army: hundreds of bloggers and commentators paid to flood the internet with pro-Kremlin posts. Two former employees gave the paper a rare glimpse inside the troll army’s headquarters. The bloggers and commentators work in 12-hour shifts inside a St. Petersburg office building, where the work environment is described as “humourless and d
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TrueCrypt’s Security Audit Is Finally Done, with (Mostly) Good Results TrueCrypt, one of our favorite encryption tools of the past few years, has finally finished undergoing a security audit. Here’s how it fared, and what that means for you.First, the results: TrueCrypt’s audit showed no evidence backdoors or serious flaws, which is good. The researchers did find a few issues, however, with the random number generator and the possibility of “cache timing” attacks. Ho
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Snapchat transparency report shows cops don’t care about your junk Snapchat’s spent the better part of the last year doing its best to dispel the notion that it’s just an insecure way of letting people see your genitals. It’s already started to refashion itself as a media platform and a money wire service, but now t…
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Georgia wants EV owners to pay for saving the planet Climate change is still a real, looming threat, so you’d think that getting people using electric cars would be a vital project to safeguard the future. Unfortunately, the state of Georgia is so broke that it’s not only pulling its electric vehicle s…
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Venmo finally gets more secure with two-factor authentication If you’re the type who uses Venmo to pay your buddies back for artisanal cupcakes, congratulations: You’re a little bit safer now. Venmo announced the other day that it was rolling out a new two-factor identification feature — when the service detec…
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Reinvigorate your inner nerd at this retro-computing exhibit Modern computer interfaces are swiftly being reduced to glossy touchscreen slabs, distancing us from the inner workings of devices we use every day. Kimon Keramidas, director of the Digital Media Lab at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, is offeri…
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Monkeys Can’t Stop Eating India’s Delicious Fiber Optic Cables Right now, India’s in the middle of launching a massive, $18 billion plan to finally bring the country’s shoddy internet up to speed. There’s just one little problem: Adorable monkeys just can’t stop eating its delicious, delicious data cables. Specifically, its the 3,000 year-old holy city of Varanasi that’s having the hardest time getting an internet overhaul, since its many temples are home to
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Inside Morgellons, the Internet’s Disease Joni Mitchell was hospitalized this week, but the songwriter has been sick for years. She has described her debilitating illness as “a slow, unpredictable killer–a terrorist disease. It will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year.” Yet doctors have described this same illness as an internet meme, a delusion spread online. Mitchell is talking about Morgellons disease, a condition
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Will a “Programming Boot Camp” Help Me Get a Coding Job? Dear Lifehacker, I’m interested in getting a job as a programmer, but I don’t have any formal training. I heard boot camps can get me into a job in just a couple of months. They seem intense and expensive, though. Are they worth it?Signed,Could-be CoderDear Coder,You’re definitely not alone in your interest in coding as a career. Programming is one of the highest paying and most in-demand careers
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DHS seeks bids for access to license-plate tracking systems The Department of Homeland Security wants access to data about when and where suspects have traveled, and it could get that information from a license-plate tracking system. According to The Washington Post, the DHS first sought a private company tha…
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Guys I’m Not Sure This Senator Knows How the Internet Works Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) wants to remove The Anarchist Cookbook from the internet— you know, that notorious DIY bomb-making manual that has been around since the 1970s, is still available in print, the one you can buy on Amazon and find literally thousands of places online and offline for a pittance. Feinstein made her modest, thoroughly impossible proposal in a statement following an incid
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For 50 Years Now, the U.S. Has Had a Nuclear Reactor Orbiting in Space Exactly half a century ago this week, a rocket shot off from the California coast. It carried the U.S.’s first and only (known) space nuclear reactor, SNAP-10A, which has been circling the Earth ever since and will continue to circle for another 3,000 years. Back in the 1960s, NASA ran a Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) program to study nuclear power’s potential in space exploration. Th
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There’s no longer a place like PlayStation Home PlayStation Home, Sony’s answer to the Second Life question no one asked, was never where the company’s heart lived. Maybe its greasy, suppurating id lived in those gleaming neon halls, somewhere between the bowling alley full of dead-eyed polygon pe…
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Delphi’s Autonomous Audi Made It From San Francisco To New York City Delphi’s driverless SQ5 covered almost 3,400 miles while crossing 15 states and the District of Columbia in nine days. Delphi packed their SUV full of autonomous features that should make it into production in just a few years from now. The coast-to-coast trip was the longest automated drive in America so far, and with 99 percent of the distance covered in fully autonomous mode, Delphi calls it
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There’s a 400 million dollar collectible sneaker economy on Ebay Remember those Back to the Future shoes we all freaked out over in 2011? They’re but one instance of rare collectible sneakers, which have grown into a 400 million dollar economy on Ebay. Who knew? And the number of collectors, or sneakerheads, is growing daily. According to Quartz: Today, the numbers point to a growing, and increasingly globe-spanning, population of eBay-enabled sneaker collect
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Despite its looks, this 3D printed violin (probably) won’t kill you It might not be a Stradivarius, but the violin you see above is pretty impressive on its own merits. For starters, it’s 3D printed and only has two strings. And that’s to say nothing of its appearance; this thing looks like it’d be right at home on T…
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Revenge Porn Site Operator Gets An 18 Year Prison Sentence If you think posting naked photos of someone out of spite is a funny thing to do, a) you’re wrong and b) the law is not on your side. Kevin Bollaert, former operator of the now-defunct revenge porn site ‘ugotposted.com,’ just got sentenced to 18 well-deserved years behind bars. ‘ugotposted’ hosted more than 10,000 sexually explicit images of women posted without their knowledge or consent. Bolla
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Google wants no-cost international roaming for its phone service Google may not have grand ambitions for its upcoming cellular network, but the company could still have a few clever tricks up its sleeve. The Telegraph claims that Google is talking to wireless giant Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of Three (and soon O…
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Affordable Electric Cars Are Coming Soon, Study Says For many of us, purchasing an electric vehicle is still a pie in the sky dream. But that might be changing soon, if a new peer-reviewed study is correct that the cost of electric car batteries is falling much more quickly than we assumed. Lithium ion batteries make up anywhere between a quarter and half the cost of electric cars today. By systematically reviewing over 80 cost estimates published b
14h
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Roku upgrades players, adds more ways to discover and search content It’s been a while since Roku updated its set top streaming boxes. Today its two highest-end models, the Roku 2 and 3, are getting a minor hardware revision, but it’s the accompanying software upgrade that’s adding some welcome new features. Firstly, …
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The next Apple TV won’t play 4K video The long-rumored Apple TV update is expected to do many things, including run apps and stream a TV service, but there’s one thing it isn’t expected to do: play 4K video. A source for BuzzFeed News’ John Paczkowski (who’s historically accurate with su…
21h
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Someone Is Finally Making Parking Signs That Make Sense Parking violations are a lose-lose situation. Drivers obviously lose because they have to pay substantial fines. But those fines are levied by local governments because having cars blocking the way at crucial times is costly for a city. Unfortunately for both parties, parking signage typically ranges from confusing at best to misleading at worst, leading to a lot of parking tickets that don’t need
21h
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Amazon’s grocery service stops delivering beer and wine We hope you weren’t counting on AmazonFresh to stock up on alcohol for your next big party. GeekWire reports that beer and wine have vanished from the internet grocery service without either a warning or any indication as to whether or not the booze …
17h
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Internet of Cowbell If this is a sign of the times, the Internet of Things promises a lot of entertainment for hackers who can come up with wacky ideas and interactive projects. [Brandon] built a cowbell that rings when you tweet #morecowbell. Why? Because! On the hardware side it is quite simple, and can be built in a number of different ways depending on the parts you have lying around. [Brandon] used an Electric I
12h
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Disney is pouring $250 million into a fantasy sports site Disney apparently doesn’t think it’s enough to offer sports coverage through ESPN… it wants to fuel your fantasy leagues, too. Wall Street Journal sources report that the House that Walt Built is investing $250 million into DraftKings, a fantasy sp…
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The Solarbike is a very real thing Here’s an electric bike that doesn’t need plugging in.. or swapping out batteries. As the name suggests, the Solarbike has solar cells built into both sides of the party typical bicycle wheels, using cells (and a design) that’s apparently “shadow opt…
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A Musical Prank Card That Drives Someone Mad Is the Perfect Gift The older someone gets the harder it is to find them the perfect birthday present. So why not just throw in the towel and go the gag gift route instead? This amazing musical card plays Happy Birthday to help someone celebrate their big day, except once started the only way to silence the card is to destroy it.Inside the mostly blank card there’s plenty of space to write a custom, heartfelt message
7h
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Would you pay $0.21 to read this article? The New York Times and its contemporaries may have conditioned their readers to pay subscriptions for access to online content, but one Canadian news source is about to mix things up with the introduction of a pay-per-article model. In addition to of…
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You Can Now Serve Divorce Papers on Facebook What to do if you need to serve divorce papers to a spouse that’s nowhere to be found, or dodging your calls and visits? Send them a Facebook message, of course. This is now an accepted way to start the process of ending a marriage.A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice recently ruled that a 26-year-old woman named Ellanora Baidoo could serve her husband divorce paperwork “using a private message throu
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NSA Has a Special Room to Find Terrorist Memos Hidden in Porn If you’re working for the National Security Agency, watching hours of hardcore porno can be just another day at work. So much so, there’s even a special porn room in which to protect national security, where agents look past boobs for clues in the glut of smut.NSA agents analyze the pornography that terrorists and suspected radicals watch, since embedding hidden, encrypted messages in porn clips i
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Yelp Vigilantes Are Organizing Against Businesses in the Name of Justice After the owner of a pizzeria said last week that he wouldn’t cater a gay wedding, a group of Yelpers took action, using their reviews to bring down the business. Not customers unhappy with the service, but social justice protesters reviewing the business based on ideology. And it’s not just an isolated case. With the passing of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, any potential
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Intel’s $150 Stick That Turns a TV Into a Windows Desktop Is Now on Sale The Intel Compute Stick, a snazzy $150 dongle that can turn anything with an HDMI port into a full-fledged Windows computer, made a bit of a splash when it touched down at CES 2015. And now it’s landing for real, preorders have started at Amazon and Newegg.The slight catch is that the retailer on Amazon seems to be listing the good version of the stick (Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom with 2GB of RA
5h
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Why We Need a Better Way to Kill Satellites 2,465. That’s the number of satellites that are whipping gracefully around the Earth as you read this. Of those, only 1,100 are actually active. The rest are either unresponsive or inactive—essentially, space junk. Here’s another number: 21,000. That’s the number of fragments—at least 4 inches wide—that are currently being tracked as they orbit the Earth, too. There are probably millions of smal
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Here’s how YouTube is making it easier to watch 4K video It’s one thing to find 4K video, but it’s another thing to play it — the bandwidth needed to play high-quality 4K video could easily crush many home internet connections, let alone your mobile service. YouTube isn’t taking that challenge lying down,…
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5 Lesser Known Episodic Games on Steam You Should be Playing After years of being released just under the radar, episodic games are now getting much more attention. Here are a few older episodic games on Steam you may have forgotten about, but are worth playing in 2015. Just Chill, ‘Til The Next Episode Episodic games are a midpoint between AAA games and casual games, meaning they’re bigger and more story-heavy than most casual games, but still not as deman
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Watch Out for These Products That Charge More for “Women’s Versions” Women are being charged $1,351 more than men, per year, for almost identical products, just labeled “for women.” This pricing phenomena, often called the “Pink Tax”, can typically be avoided by shopping in the men’s section for identical products and paying close attention to pricing.Read more…
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Become a Better Public Speaker by Imitating These TED Talks For many people, TED Talks represent the epitome of public speaking. These people have likely only seen the best talks offered by TED, conveniently overlooking the more “average” presentations given over the years. That being said, there’s still a lot we can learn about good public speaking skills from TED presentations. All it takes is a critical eye and a willingness to adopt some of these princ
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Laptop destroyed over Snowden leaks is now an art exhibit Remember how, after the initial Snowden revelations, the Guardian newspaper was forced to destroy all of its computers that held the whistleblower’s leaked documents? It was a strange moment; a small group of editors, under the watchful eye of two GC…

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