“A novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation.”

French students learn to recognise online misinformation


Fri, Dec 14th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to the New York Times, students at the Collège Henri Barbusse near Lyon, France, students participated ina workshop that would teach teenagers how to recognise online misinformation.

The class was part of a novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation. France is coordinating one of the world’s largest national media and internet literacy efforts to teach students, starting as early as in middle school, how to spot junk information online.

Since 2015, the French government has increased funding for courses about the downsides of the online world. About 30,000 teachers and other educational professionals receive government training on the subject every year. In some places, the local authorities require young adults to complete an internet literacy course to receive welfare benefits, such as a monthly stipend.


“We’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them.”

Shenzhen has 16,000 electric busses, taxis are next


Thu, Dec 13th, 2018 08:03 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Guardian, the Chinese city of Shenzhen has systematically replaced all its diesel busses with electric ones reducing not just noise but pollution. Taxi cabs are next.

“Typically, more than half of the cost of the bus is subsidised by government,” says Ma. “In terms of operation there is another subsidy: if we run our buses for a distance of more than 60,000km we receive just under 500,000 yuan [£58,000] from local government.” This subsidy is put towards reducing the cost of the bus fares: “The government looks at the public transport very much as social welfare.”

To keep Shenzhen’s electric vehicle fleet running, the city has built around 40,000 charging piles. Shenzhen Bus Company has 180 depots with their own charging facilities installed. One of its major depots in Futian can accommodate around 20 buses at the same time. “Most of the buses we charge…


"Free apps make money by selling your personal data."

Everyone, not just Facebook, making money from your personal data, often behind your back


Wed, Dec 12th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While Google's CEO claims that its users know how much they are being tracked, The New York Times explains the scale of location tracking behind Android and Apple phones (Apple may claim to be privacy-centric but they make a pretty penny selling your information to third parties). And with Facebook now wanting to predict your movements Vice has one suggestion: delete all your apps.

Many location companies say that when phone users enable location services, their data is fair game. But, The Times found, the explanations people see when prompted to give permission are often incomplete or misleading. An app may tell users that granting access to their location will help them get traffic information, but not mention that the data will be shared and sold. That disclosure is often buried in a vague privacy policy.

“Location information can reveal some of the most intimate…


“Both spacecraft are still operational when they reached interstellar space.”

Voyager 2 enters interstellar space


Tue, Dec 11th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Launched in 1977, NASA reports that Voyager 2 has now officially exited the heliosphere — a bubble-like area of space created by the sun — and is now travelling in interstellar space.

“Voyager has a very special place for us in our heliophysics fleet,” said Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “Our studies start at the Sun and extend out to everything the solar wind touches. To have the Voyagers sending back information about the edge of the Sun’s influence gives us an unprecedented glimpse of truly uncharted territory.”

While the probes have left the heliosphere, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have not yet left the solar system, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. The boundary of the solar system is considered to be beyond the outer edge of…


Stripper Robots

Getting ready for the sexbot revolution


Mon, Dec 10th, 2018 08:16 by capnasty NEWS

Mashable speaks to Giles Walker, the man who a decade ago built the first stripper robot.


Optician Sans

Free typeface inspired by eye charts


Sun, Dec 9th, 2018 17:31 by capnasty NEWS

Optician Sans, the brain-child of typographer Fábio Duarte Martins , s a free typeface based on the historical eye charts and optotypes used by opticians world wide.


“Make it so. Make it so. Make it so.”

Captain Picard sings "Let it Snow!"


Fri, Dec 7th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Just in time for the holiday season, Captain Picard sings a very special version of Let it snow. Shut up Wesley.


“Can you replace the spring of a pogo stick with repelling magnets?”

Converting a Pogo Stick from spring to magnets


Thu, Dec 6th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

K&J Magnets experiments with replacing the spring in a Pogo Stick with repelling magnets. It kind of works albeit it seems that magnets don't make for good springs.

We receive quite a few questions about replacing compression springs with repelling magnets. Is it possible? Can it be done? What magnets should be used to replace a given spring?

It’s possible, but tricky. Magnets aren’t a one-to-one replacement – magnets behave differently than springs.


“Initial riders may be more comfortable getting into a car with a human in the driver seat.”

Self-driving taxis are now a thing—almost


Wed, Dec 5th, 2018 09:47 by capnasty NEWS

Google seems to have beat everyone else to the punch. As of December 5th their autonomous vehicles rolled out and started picking up passengers for a fee. Well, only those part of the Early Riders club. And only in four suburbs of Phoenix. But still, I am sure in no time they will be everywhere. More info here, here, and also here.

Waymo declined to comment on how quickly it plans to open up its service to the rest of us. “We want to understand each step,” Chu said. “How are people responding? How are people feeling? Then, as people are comfortable with that, it means we can broaden out.”

The cars aren’t fully driverless yet: they will include “trained drivers” behind the steering wheel until Waymo decides to pull them…


“Which calls itself Netflix for cars.”

Subscription based car ownership


Tue, Dec 4th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

CNBC brings to attention Flexdrive, a subscription based service that lets you drive a car without the hassle of owning one. The subscription cost, which varies drastically between vehicles, all the associated expenses of owning a car are included — except for gasoline. The article argues that in some cases financing a vehicle may actually be cheaper.

"This is for people who want to have a car in the driveway all the time, but don't want a long-term car loan," said Jose Puente, founder and CEO of flexdrive.

Financial experts and consumer advocates caution that you'll want to pull out your calculator before you abandon car ownership, which they say remains a better deal in most cases.

"This isn't a magic formula that suddenly makes car ownership cheap," said Jack Gillis, executive…

Nov 18“Google and Facebook figured out how to commodify 'reality' itself by tracking what people do.” #Advertising
Nov 10“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.” #Future
Nov 19“The latest warning sign for cities who are considering signing over public spaces to major tech companies.” #Privacy
Nov 09“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.” #Technology
Nov 11Origami Lunchbox #Products
Nov 14"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December." #Driving
Nov 28“Many people say they’re resigned to the idea that we’re going to be spied on and there’s nothing we can do about it.” #Privacy
Nov 05If You Ever Wanted to Build a Model Lighthouse #HowTo
Nov 06“Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.” #Space
Nov 25“In light of recent events implicating Facebook in objectionable behavior, is there a duty to leave it?” #Opinion
Nov 12“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.” #Technology
Nov 08“Pack Behaviors in Autonomous Robots.” #Robots
Dec 12"Free apps make money by selling your personal data."
Jan 09CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form
Dec 13“We’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them.”
Dec 14“A novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation.”
Jan 11How to Avoid Jury Duty
Dec 19The Festive Funk Machine: Click to Make Your Own Festive Music
Jan 04The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit
Dec 05“Initial riders may be more comfortable getting into a car with a human in the driver seat.”
Dec 09Optician Sans
Dec 07“Make it so. Make it so. Make it so.”
Dec 11“Both spacecraft are still operational when they reached interstellar space.”
Jan 22Fake Name Generator