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Comments Off on The real reason why Saturday morning cartoons disappeared

The real reason why Saturday morning cartoons disappeared Kids today don’t know the glorious experiences they’re missing. Back in the day, Saturday morning was the best time of the week. You’d get up early, and you’d be happy about it. You’d pour yourself a huge bowl of sugar disguised as cereal (and never disguised as nutrition). Then you’d turn the TV on, and let it assault you with a barrage of cartoons until noon … or whenever American Bandstand or Soul Train or golf came on. Then you’d go back to whatever children did before they had cell phones to stare at. But over the past couple decades, the big broadcast networks have slowly stopped offering a Saturday morning lineup. (Unless you count infomercials and multi-level marketing schemes, which, seriously, those things are fun, but only when you get in on the ground level.) What became of this American institution […]

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Comments Off on How Does NASA Test For Spacecraft Safety? Brutalize a Replica

How Does NASA Test For Spacecraft Safety? Brutalize a Replica NASA’s Orion structural test article (STA), in its “full stack” launch configuration, was lifted into a reverberance acoustic chamber at Lockheed Martin Space.   Inside an 80-foot-tall chamber on Lockheed Martin’s Denver-area campus, backgrounded by red-rock ridges, stands a hulking spacecraft. You have to crane your neck to see the top of the apparatus. At the bottom, wires spew from a porthole to snake up and down and away. The cylindrical structure flows into a duller, funnel-like cone, which tapers into a tower with rocket nozzles. Next to it, the blue scaffolds of an indoor crane resemble a launchpad gantry. But this spacecraft isn’t going anywhere. It’s a copy of Orion, the NASA vehicle that will someday ferry crew and cargo beyond Earth’s orbit—to the moon, to Mars, to deep space. This Orion twin, which we shall call PseudOrion, is […]

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Comments Off on How the US Government Secretly Sold ‘Spy Phones’ to Suspects

How the US Government Secretly Sold ‘Spy Phones’ to Suspects In 2010, a suspected cocaine smuggler named John Krokos bought encrypted BlackBerry devices from an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent. That sort of federal subterfuge is par for the course. But in this case, the DEA held onto the encryption keys—meaning that when the government moved on Krokos and his alleged collaborators a few years later, they could read the emails and messages that passed to and from the phone. That revelation is detailed in a new report from Human Rights Watch, along with a 2015 email that shows that the DEA had expressed interest in using smartphone malware from Italian company Hacking Team to spy on multiple suspects’ locations. Together, they illustrate a potentially chilling practice on the part of the US government to preemptively plant spy devices on suspects. They also shed light on actions by federal law […]

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Comments Off on How to See Everything Your Apps Are Allowed to Do

How to See Everything Your Apps Are Allowed to Do   You probably spend a lot of your day inside apps: catching up on the news, playing music and movies, keeping in touch with friends, racing cartoon characters around a track, and so on. Every once in a while though, it’s worth running an audit on these apps to make sure they’re not overreaching and going beyond their remit—collecting more data about you and controlling more of your devices than you’d like. Here’s how you can put controls on what your apps are allowed to do on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. Choosing App Permissions App permissions are the privileges an app has—like being able to access your phone’s camera or your laptop’s contact list—but deciding which ones to switch on or off isn’t an exact science. Granting those permissions isn’t in and of itself a mistake; generally, trusted developers […]

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Comments Off on Radical As Ever, Boots Riley Takes On the Tech Boom

Radical As Ever, Boots Riley Takes On the Tech Boom Sorry to Bother You is in some ways a classic tale of warring allegiances, but the rapper/activist’s first feature is clearly a Boots Riley Production: a fast-paced, outré assault on both capitalism and polite society. When I meet Boots Riley at an art studio in Downtown Oakland, he’s wearing a little bit of everything. On top, a checkered blazer over a cardigan and a white dress shirt open to the fourth button; below, salmon pants and bright white sneakers. His outfit is accented by a pocket square, and by his unruly signature mutton chops and mustache. Trying too hard is frowned upon in Oakland, and Riley was brought up in The Town, so while the first-time filmmaker may be making Hollywood inroads, his mismatched mise-en-scene is pure Bay Area: an overburdened key ring, a wallet straining with business cards and […]

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Comments Off on This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns

This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns The giant hogweed is hard to miss. The monstrous plant towers up to 15 feet tall, with a crown of white flowers the size of an umbrella. They burst into bloom between the last week of June and the first week of July—just in time to be the perfect dramatic backdrop to red-white-and-blue-themed parties. But whatever you do, don’t touch it. The giant hogweed’s toxic sap could give you third-degree burns if you don’t get out of the sun and wash it off immediately. Like an anti-sunblock, chemicals in its juices disrupt your skin’s ability to filter out harmful UV rays. Get it in your eyes and you could go blind. In places where hogweed has been around for decades, residents know its risks well. But while the majestic flower of the hogweed adds a courtly presence to any landscape, it […]

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Comments Off on Get Yer Bread and Milk From Kroger’s Cute New Delivery Robot

Get Yer Bread and Milk From Kroger’s Cute New Delivery Robot The R1 can carry 12 large grocery bags, what if someone orders 13 bags worth of stuff? Ask most of the people developing autonomous vehicles how robo-cars will change the world, and most will say safety—more than a million people die on the road every year, and self-driving cars could prevent some of those deaths. Some might say smarter cars can battle congestion. Ask Dave Ferguson, though, and he’ll pitch the idea that this technology could make moving about so efficient and affordable that transportation becomes effectively free. But first, before the zeroes and ones can do any of that, they may bring you your groceries. If you shop at Kroger, that is, and are cool with a Lilliputian pseudo-car pulling into your driveway all by itself. Ferguson is a co-founder of Nuro, the startup making that robot, and […]

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Comments Off on Man trolls festival-goers by selling hot dog water for £30 – and people actually bought it

Man trolls festival-goers by selling hot dog water for £30 – and people actually bought it While food trends may get a little weird from time to time, we can’t help feeling a little grossed out by this one. A man sold bottles of hot dog water for $38. WOW When it comes to food and drink, it’s always nice to try new things. But just because something says it’s packed with health benefits – does that mean we should buy it? That’s the point an artist from Canada attempted to make this week at a street festival in Vancouver. Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans set up a booth at the Car-Free Day Festival and started selling bottles of unfiltered hot dog water for $38 (just under £30). Yep, you read that right, hot dog water – that’s water that has been used to cook hot dogs in. The […]

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Comments Off on CERN Begins ‘High-Luminosity’ Upgrade for Large Hadron Collider

CERN Begins ‘High-Luminosity’ Upgrade for Large Hadron Collider The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been churning out groundbreaking science ever since it went into operation in 2010. The giant particle accelerator, perched on the border of France and Switzerland, has gotten several upgrades over the years, and a new project is just getting underway now. CERN has broken ground on the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), which will result in more particle collisions and more data to help scientists unravel the mysteries of the universe. The LHC operates by accelerating protons around the 16.8-mile (27-kilometer) ring using cryogenically cooled, superconducting magnets. Some of those protons smack into each other in the detectors at nearly the speed of light. The exotic matter that spills out is short-lived, but the decay products can tell us about the fundamental laws of the universe. With more collisions, you can gather more data on those particles. That’s […]

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Comments Off on Astronomers Are Watching a Black Hole Tear a Star Apart in Another Galaxy

Astronomers Are Watching a Black Hole Tear a Star Apart in Another Galaxy Astronomers detected a massive outpouring of energy from a distant galaxy 10 years ago, which would usually mean a supernova event — the death of a star. The galaxy in question is actually two galaxies colliding, so the region known as Arp 299 is rich with supernovae. However, the signal changed in unexpected ways over the last decade, and scientists now believe this is a result not of a supernova, but of a star being gobbled up by a black hole. In a new study, astronomers claim a star with around two solar masses came apart at the seams when it encountered a black hole with the mass of 20 suns. The original event (about 150 million light years distant) showed up in the sky to be detected by the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands. […]

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Comments Off on The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist

The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist At 2:28 pm on August 28, 2003, a middle-aged pizza deliveryman named Brian Wells walked into a PNC Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. He had a short cane in his right hand and a strange bulge under the collar of his T-shirt. Wells, 46 and balding, passed the teller a note. “Gather employees with access codes to vault and work fast to fill bag with $250,000,” it said. “You have only 15 minutes.” Then he lifted his shirt to reveal a heavy, boxlike device dangling from his neck. According to the note, it was a bomb. The teller, who told Wells there was no way to get into the vault at that time, filled a bag with cash—$8,702—and handed it over. Wells walked out, sucking on a Dum Dum lollipop he grabbed from the counter, hopped into his car, and drove off. […]

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Comments Off on Trump Can’t Block Critics on Twitter. What This Means For You

Trump Can’t Block Critics on Twitter. What This Means For You   On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump’s practice of blocking his critics on Twitter violates the First Amendment. The practice is unconstitutional, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her 75-page decision, because the @realdonaldtrump Twitter account is a public forum operated by the government, meaning viewpoint discrimination is strictly prohibited. While the case has drawn attention for its ties to the Tweeter-in-chief, legal scholars say it has far-reaching implications, protecting all Americans’ rights to communicate with elected leaders and government entities online. “This is a really important contribution,” says Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and author of the book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. Judge Buchwald’s decision explains how the case hinges on two crucial questions: Whether a public official can block people on Twitter in response to their political views […]

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Comments Off on The great meal-kit shakeout continues as Kroger plans to buy Home Chef for at least $200 million

The great meal-kit shakeout continues as Kroger plans to buy Home Chef for at least $200 million   A year ago, no meal-kit startups of consequence had gone public or sold to a competitor. As of today, at least five of the startups in the space have, or intend to. The latest: On Wednesday, Kroger announced its intent to purchase Chicago-based Home Chef for $200 million up front. The value of the deal could balloon to $700 million over five years if Home Chef hits certain “significant growth” milestones. Home Chef, the third-largest meal-kit company, grew 150 percent in 2017 to $250 million in revenue, Kroger said. The company has historically been unprofitable, but recently posted two quarters in the black. Home Chef, like others in the space, ships pre-measured ingredients to customers’ homes so they can make recipes that are included in the order. The string of transactions in […]

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Comments Off on Woman sparks bizarre craze crafting creepy ‘WerePups’ selling for up to £1,000 – and celebrities love them

Woman sparks bizarre craze crafting creepy ‘WerePups’ selling for up to £1,000 – and celebrities love them Horror icons such as Alice Cooper and Robert Englund, famous for playing Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street, are said to be on Asia Eriksen’s customer list Click to play Watch NextUnderground four-mile beer pipeline to supply thirsty metalheads at this year’s Wacken Open Air showpiece This horror-loving woman creates creepy werewolf babies that sell for hundreds of pounds and celebrities can’t get enough of them A woman has sparked a bizarre online craze crafting creepy ‘WerePups’ selling for £1,000 – and celebrities love them. Horror fan Asia Eriksen, 34, transforms herself into mad scientist alter ego ‘Dr. Baxter’, before creating her customisable hand-held monsters called ’WerePups’.The bizarre doll-like creations resemble a hybrid of a baby and a werewolf and can take months of intricate work. Bought to commemorate a lost loved […]

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Comments Off on France, China, and the EU All Have an AI Strategy. Shouldn’t the US?

France, China, and the EU All Have an AI Strategy. Shouldn’t the US? If the United States wants a prosperous economy, it needs a national plan for artificial intelligence. HOTLITTLEPOTATO French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to Washington highlighted how differently our two nations are thinking about the future. In March, the French government unveiled a national strategy for artificial intelligence technology that has a clear goal: make France a global leader in AI. In the last year, China and the European Union have taken similar steps. If we’re serious about having a prosperous economy for decades to come, the United States should do the same. OPINION ABOUT US Representative John K. Delaney (D-MD) (@RepJohnDelaney) is the founder of the AI Caucus and is the only former CEO of a publicly traded company in the House of Representatives. The French strategy—ambitiously titled “For a Meaningful Artificial Intelligence”—was outlined in a […]