Monthly Archives: June 2015

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This Is How Disney Knows You Won’t Get Dismembered On A Roller Coaster

If you’ve ever been on Space Mountain at Disney, you just know deep down that if you stuck your arm out, your limbs would get chopped off by one of those rafters flying by. Except it doesn’t. No one’s limbs ever get chopped off. This weird looking device is how Disney makes sure it doesn’t happen.

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Quantify Your Oral Care With This Smartphone-Connected Toothbrush

Quantify Your Oral Care With This Smartphone-Connected Toothbrush

The Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries is the first toothbrush on the market to connect to your smartphone over Bluetooth, which allows you to track your brushing habits over time, see which areas of your mouth could use more attention, and avoid damaging your gums by brushing too hard. If you’re worried that’s just a gimmick, the brush’s 4.4 star review average should reassure you that it really does make a difference.

The brush is listed at $150 right now, but if you clip the $30 coupon on the product page, you’ll score one for just $120. Spending that much money on a toothbrush may seem extravagant, but it’s a bargain compared to any kind of serious dental work. [Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush, $120 after $30 coupon]
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00…

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What Vehicle Trim Needs To Be Offered That Isn’t Already?

The Kia Soul is a funky looking hatchback, that according to television, is driven primarily by overgrown hamsters that like hip hop. That is a very narrow demographic, but it seems humans buy them too. The problem is the Soul has the most ridiculous trim names, and it is time Kia added one more.

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Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

When you think of internet security from Cisco, you probably imagine firewalls and routers (usually) stopping hackers and malware from hitting your network. You’re going to have to expand that definition very shortly, though. Cisco has snapped up Ope…

Op-ed: Safari is the new Internet Explorer

Last weekend I attended EdgeConf, a conference populated by many of the leading lights in the Web industry. It featured panel talks and breakout sessions with a focus on technologies that are just now starting to emerge in browsers, so there was a lot of lively discussion around Service Worker, Web Components, Shadow DOM, Web Manifests, and more.

EdgeConf’s hundred-odd attendees were truly the heavy hitters of the Web community. The average Twitter follower count in any given room was probably in the thousands, and all the major browser vendors were represented—Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Opera. We had lots of fun peppering them with questions about when they might release such-and-such API.

There was one company not in attendance, though, and it served as the proverbial elephant in the room that no one wanted to discuss. I heard it referred to cagily as “a company in California” or “a certain fruit company.” Its glowing logo illuminated nearly every laptop in the room, and yet it seemed like nobody dared speak its name. Of course I’m talking about Apple.

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Argentine Pilots Invite Playboy Model To Fly Plane, Promptly Get Fired

Argentine airline Austral Líneas Aéreas announced that it has terminated two pilots after they invited model Victoria Xipolitakis into the cockpit and allowed her to fly the plane, including during takeoff. Xipolitakis is best known for appearing on Argentine TV shows as well as in the Greek verison of Playboy.

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Google dev apologizes after Photos app tags black people as “gorillas”

Last month, Google rolled out an updated version of its Photos app that had been divorced from Google+ and bolstered with a few slight tweaks—in particular, its ability to automatically tag photos and generate albums based on objects it identifies, including “food” and “landscapes.”

Unfortunately, that object database not only included wild animals but also conflated them with humans—specifically, on Monday, when an African-American man looked in his Google Photos collection and discovered an automatically generated album of him and his black female friend labeled “gorillas.”

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The First Car To Be Repo’d Was Also The First Car In A Police Chase

One of my personal crusades is to raise awareness of the fact that Mercedes-Benz did not invent the car like they claim to, and that automobiles have been around far longer than most people realize — viable cars have been around since at least the early 1800s. That’s why I’m so delighted to tell you about the first car to be repossessed, and used to run from a cop — way back in 1867.

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Researchers expose Dino, espionage malware with a French connection

Security researchers at ESET in Bratislava, Slovakia have published an analysis of another apparently state-sponsored cyber-espionage tool used to target computers in Iran—and potentially elsewhere. The malware, also recently mentioned by Kaspersky researchers, was named “Dino” by its developers and has been described as a “full featured espionage platform.” And this advanced persistent threat malware, according to researchers, might as well come with a “fabriqué en France” stamp on it.

Based on analysis of Dino’s code from a sample that infected systems in Iran in 2013, “We believe this malicious software has been developed by the Animal Farm espionage group, who also created the infamous Casper, Bunny and Babar malware,” ESET’s Joan Calvet wrote in a blog post today. The Casper malware was part of a large-scale attack on Syrian computers last fall. “Dino contains interesting technical features, and also a few hints that the developers are French speaking,” Calvet noted.

Other members of the “Animal Farm” malware family have been attributed to French intelligence agencies by researchers—including a 2011 analysis by Canada’s Communications Security Establishment revealed by documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Dino shares attributes with the other members of the “Animal Farm” malware family and improves on many of the techniques of “Babar,” the previous generation intelligence-gathering software implant.

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California governor signs bill eliminating personal vaccine exemptions

On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law one of the most stringent vaccination laws in the United States, eliminating the state’s previous personal and religious belief exemption for vaccines.

Under the new law, which takes effect January 1, 2016, all California schoolchildren must prove that they have been vaccinated in order to attend school. They can only be exempted when that child’s physician explicitly approves it.

“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown wrote in a signing statement. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”

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