OK Go's "I Won't Let You Down"

#Music

Thu, Oct 30th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

OK Go somehow manages to constantly out-do itself whenever the come up with a new video. Case in point, I Won't Let You Down from the Hungry Ghosts. I am not sure how they're going to beat the production value of this one, but every time you were impressed, they would take it a notch higher and impressive you just a little more, all the way to a spectacular ending. Great article on Billboard explaining the creative process:

The innovative clip, released Monday on NBC News' Today show, raises this humans vs. machines theme literally sky-high. Filmed by a camera on a drone, the band members ride motorized scooter chairs made by Honda, which paid for the film. Accompanied by dozens of elaborately choreographed dancers in perfect synch, "I Won't Let You Down" takes OK Go's history of innovative…

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All Those Successful Kickstarter Projects That Never Made it Out the Door

#Internet

Thu, Oct 30th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Ars Technica brings to attention a side of Kickstarter we often don't see: what happens when a successfully funded project crashes and burns. Above, an image from the AirTracks Kickstarter page, a successful project which was "effectively abandoned by the creator in 2013."

Plenty of projects manage to deliver the goods, even if the timeline slides a bit. That was the case with Tim Schafer's Kickstarter game Broken Age. If creators miss deadlines, backers typically continue to receive updates via e-mail and the Kickstarter page. But sometimes the end of funding is the beginning of a slide into radio silence, which ultimately turns into few or no backer orders fulfilled, and no satisfactory explanation for why the project didn't pan out according to the orderly delivery schedule the creators promised.

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Humanoid Robot to Sell Nescafe in Japanese Stores

#Robots

Thu, Oct 30th, 2014 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Capable of understanding other people's emotion by their voice and facial expression, Pepper is a humanoid robot by Nestlé Japan designed to sell customers Nescafé coffee machines. Neat idea, albeit the robot's hand and arm movements are kind of weird.

Pepper is produced by SoftBank Robotics, a subsidiary of SoftBank Corporation and is part of the company’s ambition to take technology beyond factory floors.

“The dream to create an advanced consumer experience with Pepper is now coming true. We hope that by providing people the opportunity to interact with a robot whilst shopping, we can help create experiences of wonder and delight for consumers” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Corporation.

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"Their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke."

Antares rocket was powered by Soviet-era engines from the 1960s

#Space

Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Antares rocket explosion was probably caused by the Soviet-era engines used by Orbital Sciences. Built in the 1960s, the power plants just sat in storage when the previous iteration failed to launch the "mighty N1 Soviet rocket," leaving some to question why they're still being used today. Above, the video by Brad Panovich, who was recording the live NASA feed when the explosion happened.

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Orbital’s competitor SpaceX, has long warned against using such decades-old technology. Calling it one of the “pretty silly things going on in the market,” he told Wired last year some aerospace firms rely on parts “developed in the 1960s” rather than “better technology.” He called out Orbital Sciences in particular. It “has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch…

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How to Detect Time Dilation

"Behold the COSMOTRON 5000!!!"

#Science

Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Joe Hanson of It's Okay to be Smart demonstrates how a cloud chamber can be used to spot subatomic particles. The device can be built for $30 and requires dry ice, some alcohol, and a fish tank. The fascinating thing about detecting these particles is that, by travelling at nearly the speed of light, they're essentially travelling in time, appearing to exist longer than they should.

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App Let's You Pick a Restaurant, Handling Reservations and Payment on Your Behalf

Reserve: a Digital Concierge

#Food

Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

Currently only in beta in New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston, Reserve allows you to pick a restaurant. Once you've selected the time and the number of people, the app makes the reservations for you and even goes as far as handling payment of the meal. A copy of the bill debited to your credit card is then e-mailed to you. And if you're worried they're going to become the Uber of restaurants, they have this to say:

Reserve is different from other services.

Restaurants don't pay a cent — Reserve helps chefs and restaurateurs by bringing in diners for free, and there is no cost to restaurants for using our technology.

You're in control of the dining room — our partner restaurants are not required to hold tables and have more flexibility in how they run their businesses.

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Stock Footage Music Video

Please stop staring at me

#Music

Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

DJ Rashad's She's a Go redone by Peter Greenless using nothing more than stock Getty video clips complete with watermark. It's really creepy.

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Calculus Explained with Pics and Gifs

#Education

Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Oa, curator Archy Wilhes has a guide "for anyone who is new to calculus," where he explains it with pics and gifs.

One of the things I managed to teach myself after dropping out of school is calculus. Before I knew what calculus is, merely hearing its name gave me the impression that it is one of the hardest topics in maths, and that I could not possibly learn it by looking into the freely-available resources online.

I was wrong.

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How Religions View Extraterrestrials

#Religion

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

If you've ever wondered how religion views the possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets, according to The Boston Globe the results are varied. Some have absolutely no issue with aliens and welcome them practicing their religion. Other are focused on being God's only children and don't think anyone else is really out there.

Islam

In multiple places, the Koran asserts that other rational, intelligent beings exist on other worlds. Furthermore, those creatures worship and are accountable to Allah. The religion practiced by followers of Mohammed is only for humans on Earth. Other worlds would have their own prophets and their own prophetically revealed religions.

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"Aristocrats liked to flaunt their wealth; thieves liked to take it."

The Gentleman Thief

#History

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Medium, Epic Magazine has this great story on Pipino, "the gentleman thief" of Venice. The article follows the life and achievements of Pipino — the wealthy considered his robberies a sign of their good taste — all while sharing a regular coffee at the bar with the cop trying to catch him.

By the early 1990s, the police viewed Pipino as the most talented thief in modern Venetian history. Over the previous three decades, he had been responsible for a string of daring and idiosyncratic heists. He was best known for stealing masterworks from the homes of Venice’s nobility and was thought to have excellent taste in art. He was also versatile: He once infiltrated the Swiss Consulate and made off with 150 million lira in cash. In the late 1970s, he tailed Cary Grant, who portrayed one of the most famous thieves in film history, and…

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T-Mobile Makes it Harder for Spooks to Snoop

Mass surveillance becomes more difficult with A5/3 encryption

#Privacy

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Washington Post reports that T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States with Deutsche Telekom as its majority shareholder, has been "quietly upgrading its network" in order to make it "harder for surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on calls and monitor texts."

In places where T-Mobile is using A5/3 encryption, mass surveillance becomes more difficult because equipment that passively collects cellular signals from the air often cannot decode calls. Active attacks, involving a device called an “IMSI catcher,” may still be able to eavesdrop on individual calls by manipulating a phone’s security settings directly, without having to crack the encryption.

Speaking of spooks, reportedly the FBI has identified a second leaker who, much like Snowden, has been handing "over sensitive documents about the U.S. government's terrorist watch list." Wired's James Brandford had already proposed the existence of a second leaker back in August.

Greenwald tells…

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Zwipe: Biometric Contactless Payment Card

#Money

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Zwipe, which has recently announced a partnership with MasterCard, has created the first biometric contactless payment card. Much like an iPhone, your pin is your fingerprint, making payments fast and secure.

The card is the first of its kind to combine the security of biometric authentication with the speed and convenience of contactless payment. Cardholder fingerprint data is stored directly on the card, not in an external database. After activation by a simple fingerprint scan, the Zwipe MasterCard card can be used to make contactless payments. The biometric authentication replaces the PIN entry, thus enabling cardholders to make payments of any amount, unlike other contactless payment cards on the market. Zwipe is now working on the next generation of its card that will be the same format as a standard card and designed to work with all payment terminals for…

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"It's Uber for good-looking men you can order around."

Trying out Man Servant

#Products

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Matter, Julieanne Smolinski tries out Man Servant, a San Francisco-based start-up which provides ladies with "a gentlemanly tailored-to-order mashup of butler, bodyguard and cabana boy". The entire experience sounds somewhat degrading for the Man Servant in question and is best summed up with the following:

Just try, if you will, to imagine a man ordering a female valet who was hired for her physical attributes and ability to please men via abject subservience and old-timey ideas of gender-specific pleasure, then to stress that this is “not sexual” in any way. It is hard to do.

Sexual or not, there is an element of degradation to ManServants that you’d have to be a complete psychopath not to feel, even if one was just at your bachelorette party and not pretending to be one of the guys from Mount Rushmore.

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Plane's Windows to Be Replaced With Monitors

#Travel

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Guardian, UK-developer Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is planning on replacing "heavy aircraft windows with uber-light smartscreen panels." The screens, which would reduce fuel consumption for the airlines, would allow passengers to still see outside as well as surf the Internet.

The concept for the plane, said Helliwell – letting passengers see outside while allowing a lighter fuselage – followed discussions with the aerospace industry. The idea of having the displays lining the inside of the plane could become reality in 10 years, after other “building blocks” in the development of OLED are completed, he added. “We are talking about it now because it matches the kind of development timelines that they have in the aerospace industry.

More here.

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Robotic Grippers Use Static Electricity to Pick Up Objects

#Robots

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Verge brings to attention these robotics pickers by startup GrabIt which use "electrostatic attraction to gently pick up and transport objects."

Grippers are the business end of robots: without them, machines wouldn't be able to pick up or manipulate objects. But it's not easy to pick things up: many robots rely on mechanical movements or vacuum suction, both of which are big, expensive, and power hungry. More importantly, they can be less flexible than grippers that use electrostatic attraction — often they need to be reconfigured to pick up particular objects. And they can struggle to pick up fragile objects like sheets of glass. GrabIt says it's overcome that issue with its powered electrodes — they evenly distribute force across a large surface area. And the technology's not just for robot hands. One of the more promising ideas is to…

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The Empire Strikes Back Uncut

#StarWars

Sun, October 12th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

With Star Wars Uncut finished, it was only a matter of time before The Empire Strikes Back Uncut would come to light. It features more and faster transitions between segments, some seriously creative variety, and a lot of cool tips-to-the-hat. Well done!

With more than 480 fan-made segments culled from over 1,500 submissions, The Empire Strikes Back Uncut (also known as ESB Uncut) features a stunning mash-up of styles and filmmaking techniques, including live action, animation, and stop-motion. The project launched in 2013, with fans claiming 15-second scenes to reimagine as they saw fit – resulting in sequences created with everything from action figures to cardboard props to stunning visual effects. Helmed by Casey Pugh, who oversaw 2010’s Emmy-winning Star Wars Uncut, the new film has a wonderful homemade charm, stands as an affectionate tribute to The Empire Strikes Back,…

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"As Ebola enters a deepening relationship with the human species, the question of how it is mutating has significance for every person on earth."

#Health

Tue, October 21st, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

After a laymen tour in the New Yorker on what makes the Ebola virus tick, Richard Preston explains what "genomics research" can do to "help contain the outbreak." It's terrifying to read that despite many precautions taken, front line workers were infected — even those not working directly in contact with the sick — and died.

Despite its ferocity in humans, Ebola is a life-form of mysterious simplicity. A particle of Ebola is made of only six structural proteins, locked together to become an object that resembles a strand of cooked spaghetti. An Ebola particle is only around eighty nanometres wide and a thousand nanometres long. If it were the size of a piece of spaghetti, then a human hair would be about twelve feet in diameter and would resemble the trunk of a giant redwood tree.

Once an Ebola particle enters the bloodstream, it drifts until it sticks…

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In an Era of Mass Surveillance, Technology Companies are Responding to the Demands of their Customers

#Privacy

Sat, October 18th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Although Apple's encryption on the iPhone 6 has sparked both sceptics doubting its efficacy, as well as the criticism of law enforcement agencies, Wired's Ken Gude argues that in an era of Government mass surveillance, this kind of "encryption is clearly in the public's interest."

Comey wants us to believe that the elimination of the key could allow violent criminals to “go dark”—thus evading detection and arrest. It is possible to construct a hypothetical scenario in which the only evidence of criminal activity is stored on a suspect’s personal device, consists only of data not backed up in cloud storage, and is not in the possession of third parties like telecommunications carriers or app developers. But none of the criminal cases cited by Comey meet that hypothetical because in real life those instances would be extremely rare and far outweighed by the clear public…

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Scientists Sceptical of Lockheed Martin's Promised Fusion Reactor

#Science

Fri, October 17th, 2014 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Mother Jones, scientists are being sceptical of the recent announcement from Lockheed Martin, promising fusion reactors in as little as a decade, because it "is all theoretical at this stage."

[...]The challenge, essentially, is putting the sun in a box. That box, in theory, is packed full of charged particles, moving at great speeds, constrained by a strong magnetic field that enhances the probability that the particles slam into each other. With enough pressure, the particles stop resisting, and finally fuse, let off an amazing amount of energy.

The problem, says Reed, is that usually it takes just as much energy to power that controlling magnetic field as the power you get from fusion, hence the current size of the reactors. Lockheed claims to be able to harness that energy at a more efficient rate, so it can then make the reactors smaller.

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Lockheed Martin to Develop Compact Fusion Reactor Prototype in Five Years

#Future

Thu, October 16th, 2014 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Aviation Week, Lockheed Martin has been quietly working on a compact fusion reactor which could, with an estimated 25 kg of fuel, "run an entire year of operations."

Although the first-generation reactors will have radioactive parts at the ends of their lives, such as some steel elements in the shell, McGuire says the contamination situation “is an order of magnitude better” than that of contemporary fission systems. “There is no long-lived radiation. Fission reactors’ stuff will be there forever, but with fusion materials, after 100 years then you are good.” Contamination levels for fusion will improve with additional materials research, he believes. “It’s been a chicken-and-egg situation. Until we’ve had a good working fusion system, there has not been money to go off and do the hard-core materials research,” McGuire says. “So we believe the first generation is good enough to go out and do, and then…

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YouTube Videos With Generic Filenames As Their Title

The lesser seen, the underviewed

#Video

Sat, October 11th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Underviewed site finds YouTube videos that contain generic filenames as their title. Since nobody searches for filenames, this causes them to be rarely seen. Underviewed helps bring to attention all these videos in a variety of generic filenames, in the vague hopes that a gem can be discovered. The site was created by Felix Jung.

In an age of social media and viral videos being viewed millions of times, this site focuses on the undiscovered - the personal and private moments that the world hasn't had the chance to see.

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The Analog Keyboard Project

Remember the Palm Pilot?

#Technology

Mon, October 13th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

For those not old enough to remember the Palm Pilot, it was a PDA device that came with a little stylus that allowed you to write on it by hand. Microsoft Research is reviving the concept with their analogue keyboard project in order to give devices too small for a full keyboard, the ability to write text.

With the Analog Keyboard Project we are exploring handwriting recognition for text input on small touch screens. Handwriting, unlike speech, is discreet and not prone to background noise. And unlike soft keyboards, where many keys have to share the small touch surface, handwriting methods can offer the entire screen (or most of it) for each symbol. This allows each letter to be entered rather comfortably, even on small devices. In fact, it has been shown that some handwriting systems can be used without…

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Foldable, Portable Desk Made Out of Cardboard

Refold

#Products

Tue, October 14th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Currently seeking your financial support on Kickstarter, Refold is a light, strong, portable standing-desk made entirely out of cardboard.

100% recyclable and completely New Zealand made it showcases the perfect combination of innovation and environmental awareness.

This desk enables your lifestyle. It folds into a lightweight, compact carry case, allowing you to work and live the way you want.

The flexible, user-friendly design caters to endless applications. It could be used for offices, schools, creative studios, events, or even mobile offices and disaster relief. The desk is yours to decide how it can work for you.

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Connecting to a Public WiFi Makes Your Phone Vulnerable to Attack

"Everything, with very few exceptions, can be cracked."

#Privacy

Sun, October 19th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The Correspondent, Maurits Martijn looks at all the information that can be gained from a smartphone when it connects to what appears to be a public WiFi network, but is instead a rogue system set up by a hacker. According to the article, once connected, the hacker could "retrieve their passwords, steal their identity, and plunder their bank accounts."

First we google her name, which immediately allows us to determine what she looks like and where in the coffeehouse she is sitting. We learn that she was born in a different European country and only recently moved to the Netherlands. Through Delicious we discover that she’s been visiting the website of a Dutch language course and she has bookmarked a website with information on the Dutch integration course.

In less than 20 minutes, here’s what we’ve learned about the woman sitting 10 feet from us: where she was…

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The Ability to Regrow Organs Might Be Dormant in Humans

#Science

Sun, October 12th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Scientists have been looking at the Hydractinia, a miniature marine animal that has the extraordinary ability to regrow any missing limb — including its head. And while that might sound pretty impressive, what's unique about this creature is that "it retains its embryonic stem cells for life," which can reach any affected area that needs to be reconstructed from scratch.

At a gathering of developmental biologists earlier this year, Frank showed a video of the creature’s head-budding process in action, embryonic stem cells that had been genetically altered to glow green rushing to the neck end of a headless Hydractinia. Attendees were agog. As one tweeted: “Uri Frank shows timelapse movie of Hydractinia stem cells physically moving across to head (wound site) – Wow!”

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Brutal Honesty, Now on Sale

"Your friends are lying to you. For $10, I won't."

#Companies

Sat, October 11th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

California-based software developer Jordan will provide you with the kind of constructive criticism you deserve but are often denied by the kindness of those around you. Is it really kindness? Get the truth, just $10.

After you pay $10, I'll email you to start the conversation. You then share whatever it is you're looking for feedback on, and I'll tell you exactly how I feel about it. Most submissions are handled within a few hours, but some might take up to a few days. All submissions are completely private.

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Apple's Siri, an Autistic Boy's Best Friend

#Health

Sun, October 19th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The New York Times, Judith Newman looks at how Siri, the "intelligent personal assistant" found on Apple's iPhone, could become a best friend for a 13-year-old autistic boy. Siri's advantage, it appears, is not only that it "encourages polite language," but that it is a "nonjudgmental friend and teacher."

For most of us, Siri is merely a momentary diversion. But for some, it’s more. My son’s practice conversation with Siri is translating into more facility with actual humans. Yesterday I had the longest conversation with him that I’ve ever had. Admittedly, it was about different species of turtles and whether I preferred the red-eared slider to the diamond-backed terrapin. This might not have been my choice of topic, but it was back and forth, and it followed a logical trajectory. I can promise you that for most of my beautiful son’s 13 years of existence, that has not…

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Citizenfour, Documentary on Edward Snowden

#Video

Thu, October 16th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

National Journal brings to attention Citizenfour, a documentary about Edward Snowden, directed by filmmaker Laura Poitras and produced by Steven Soderbergh. The documentary, which will have a limited release in the U.S. on Oct. 24, isn't about what Snowden revealed but about "what happens when people take personal sacrifice to expose what they think is wrongdoing."

As soon as Snowden started emailing me in the winter of 2013, I felt that this was very dangerous waters. This is way deeper than I've ever been. It made [filming in] Iraq seem just whatever by comparison. We knew we were going to piss off the most powerful people in the world, which we have. And I was also very aware that the source I was talking to was also putting his life on the line. That was clear. So…

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E-Watch Can Call and Text Without a Phone

will.i.am's PULS

#Technology

Thu, October 16th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

TechCrunch showcases the PULS, a digital wearable created by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am. The device allows users to make calls and text without having the need for a smartphone for connectivity.

He’s been talking about this device for a while now, referring to it as more of a fashion technology than a watch. And he’s right. The device, called the PULS, is much more than a watch. It’s definitely a wearable that has a watch in it, but it also has a GPS map system, a music player, fitness tracker that tracks your steps, weight and calories burned, social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and it can use your contacts to call or text, without the need for a phone.

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"Function/Void," Apocalyptic Short Film

#Video

Fri, October 17th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

From The Creators Project comes this video by Factory Fifteen for The Bug's Function / Void. What happens when you stop taking the pill and become aware of your monotonous existance?

Set in a landscape which combines London’s brutalist architecture with computer-generated skyscrapers, the new short film by Factory Fifteen for The Bug's "Function / Void" sees the daily, monotonous routine of its protagonist suddenly and inexplicably start to crumble. A collaboration with digital studio and production company Nexus, the new video, premiering today, was created for two tracks off The Bug's album, Angels & Devils (out now on Ninja Tune) and was produced in conjuction with The Creators Project.

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