"Instability and collapse could soon take place in North Korea."

Former U.S. Commander predicts North Korean collapse imminent


Fri, May 27th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Stars and Stripes, former U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp is predicting that the collapse of North Korea will happen "sooner than many of us think." The downfall of the regime may begin with attacks from the Hermit country, until its eventually collapse due to instability.

There’s long been speculation about how long the regime can continue to hold power in a country riddled with serial famines, drought, draconian punishments, poor medical care and an ever-increasing regimen of United Nations sanctions. Some analysts believe the North needs only one more jolt before it tumbles, while others say it has muddled through worse times in the past.


"Anything that you’re doing on your phone, Facebook is watching."

Facebook listens to what you say and picks up on keywords


Thu, May 26th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to News 10, Facebook uses the microphone of a mobile device to "identify the things you’re listening to or watching" in order to show taylored advertising on that user's news feed.

We tested the theory with Kelli, and even we were surprised by what we found and saw.

Kelli enabled the microphone feature and talked about her desire to go on safari, right down to her mode of transportation. “I’m really interested in going on an African safari. I think it’d be wonderful to ride in one of those jeeps,” she said aloud, phone in hand.

Less than 60 seconds later, the first post on her Facebook feed was a safari story that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Turns out, it was a story that had been posted three hours earlier. And, after mentioning a jeep, a car ad also appeared on her page.


"An artist shouldn't be judged by the medium for which it was created."

Video essay on Calvin and Hobbes


Wed, May 25th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On his latest video, essayst kaptainkristian looks at how Bill Watterson managed to take the limited medium offered by a four-panel comic and produce Calvin and Hobbes, a strip capable of challenging its readers to think outside the box -- through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy.

A look at the comic strip that elevated the medium.


The Entire Universe, Explained, in 4 Minutes


Tue, May 24th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Funny exurb1a explains everything that makes the universe, from its smallest component to, well, the universe itself.


"Lightsabers were wilting among the faithful"

Everything is a Remix: The Force Awakens


Mon, May 23rd, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Kirby Ferguson explains how Episode 8, impressive as it was when compared to Episodes 1 to 3, follows nothing more than J.J. Abrams remixing techniques and wonders if remixing in general has reached its limits.

The remix method of copying, transforming and combining is definitely used in The Force Awakens, as well as the other works of JJ Abrams. Is remixing a weak point in The Force Awakens? Is the remix method growing stale? Have we reached the limits of remixing?


"The slightly comical Dalek design was intentional."

Robot security guard patrolling mall in Palo Alto


Sun, May 22nd, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Guardian, the Stanford shopping center in Palo Alto, California is now being patrolled by a Knightscope, an egg-shaped Dalek-like robot that performs routine patrolling. The unit, which while capable of self-preservation does not come equipped with any offensive capabilities, is able to scan license plates, listen for the sound of breaking glass, interact with humans, and besides high-definition infrared cameras, comes equipped with "detection systems that can intercept the pings of mobile phone devices."

All the information is streamed to Knightscope’s cloud software and then streamed back either to the customer’s control center, or in some cases to a mobile app held by a human security guard.

The units cost $7 an hour to rent, which is considerably lower than the going rate for security guards, though Stephens said they were meant as more of an…


AI Will Create a Class of Eternally Useless Human Beings

Intelligent robots will make some people always unemployable


Sat, May 21st, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian looks at Yuval Noah Harari, lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who predicts that the rise of artificial intelligence will create a class of humans who, unless they're able to constantly reinvent themselves whenever they are replaced, will become utterly useless. And while the workforce continues to become like a cloud-service reminiscent of artisans before the industrial revolution, it won't be long until AI can simply be told what to do without any skilled programming needed.

AIs do not need more intelligence than humans to transform the job market. They need only enough to do the task well. And that is not far off, Harari says. “Children alive today will face the consequences. Most of what people learn in school or in college will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40 or 50. If they want to continue to have a job,…


"There may be a connection between certain facial features and personality traits after all."

Facial analysis software can recognize key personality traits


Tue, May 17th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Snapmunk brings to attention Faception, machine learning software capable of predicting a person's personality traits based entirely on their facial features. Reportedly, the software performs with an incredibly high rate of accuracy.

[...] the team behind Faception constantly puts their product through rigorous testing.

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015, Faception conducted an internal study to see if its software could identify terrorists from an input sample containing images of people from all walks of life. The software classified nine of the 11 terrorists correctly; only three of them had a criminal record previously.

In Russia, meanwhile, facial recognition software that allows someone to take a photo of a stranger and find them on social media sites, may "mean an end to public anonymity."

It does not take a wild imagination to come up with sinister applications in this field too; for…

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"Pressure to boost fast-food workers' wages [...] may accelerate the move to automate more jobs."

Minimum wage increase paves way to automation


Mon, Apr 18th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With minimum wage set to increase in the United States, companies like McDonalds and Wendy are looking into removing the human factor altogether and replacing it with automation. Automated McCafé kiosks are already appearing, while companies like Momentum Machines are already producing machines capable of making 400 complete burgers in one hour with very little human supervision.

[...] A San Francisco-based company, Momentum Machines, says it has already built a working hamburger-making robot that can do the job of up to three kitchen workers, grilling a beef patty, adding lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions and dropping it all on a bun. It can reportedly produce up to 400 hamburgers per hour. “Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas has said. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”

There’s a good chance that will happen, according to The Future of Employment, a 2013…

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Running Windows 95 on an Apple Watch

And it boots


Sun, May 1st, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Nick Lee showcases how he installed Windows 95 on an Apple Watch. That red straw you see spinning has one end glued to the watch's crown and the other to a motor to prevent the watch from sleeping. Insane, involving a ridiculous amount of very talented work, but it boots.

With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package. On paper, its processor alone is about twenty-five times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid nineties, not memory. As a result, I was feeling confident that the Apple Watch had the ability to run one of the most revered desktop operating systems Redmond has ever produced.

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"To continue advancing as a space-faring species, we need to embrace this commercial space mining industry."

Consequences of space mining


Wed, Apr 20th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With space mining "no longer science fiction," Nautilus' Ramin Skibba worries about the consequences of claiming valuable asteroids by different countries. Not only this will hamper research, but it may even "extend geopolitical struggles into astropolitical ones" as nations race to claim the most valuable resources.

Like all forms of mining, it will be dangerous. If space-mining activities break up asteroids, the resulting debris could be hazardous for satellites, other spacecraft, and astronauts nearby. On the other hand, in a best-case scenario, space mining could be environmentally safe, capture only necessary minerals and water, and, in the more distant future even lead to the construction of a far-flung space station led by NASA and other space agencies, orbiting 200 million miles from Earth and serving as both a mining depot and a pit-stop for passing spacecraft.

But it’s not clear that a pact between the commercial space mining…

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Frozen Urine Killed the MIR Space Station

Unusual dangers of space travel


Fri, May 6th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, SciShow Space talks about three unusual dangers found in space travel. Learnt the hard way: proper disposal of urine.

We all know space travel is pretty dangerous, but here are a few more things that you probably wouldn't have thought to look out for!

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Turn Waste Plastic into a Precious Resource

Precious Plastic


Thu, Apr 21st, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Dave Hakkens is providing plans to build basic but functional machines that allow to take waste plastic and — aside from the environmental benefits — turn it into a useful manufacturing material. Full video guides are here.

The primary goal is to recycle as much plastic as we possibly can. This would clean up our shared environment, improve living conditions and possibly create financial value!

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"Understand one of several foreign languages through real-time in-ear translation"

The Babel Fish is here


Thu, May 19th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

BoredPanda brings to attention a device by Waverly Labs called The Pilot. The gizmo, which fits in the ear, is capable of doing real-time translations between French, Spanish, Italian, and English.

[...] When it hits the shelves in September, the system will allow the wearer to understand one of several foreign languages through real-time in-ear translation. A handy app will allow you to toggle through the languages you want, and the selection includes French, Spanish, Italian, and English. It’ll retail for $129, and you can pre-order one here. Or you can just keep talking to people really loudly and slowly in English. Good luck with that.

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