Monthly Archives: November 2016

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NASA hopes for five more year-long ISS missions

Just because Scott Kelly has landed and retired doesn't mean that NASA is done with long-term stays in space. The agency informs Ars Technica that it's aiming for five more year-long missions aboard the International Space Station, with the first sta…

Because You Demanded It, The Old School Jalopnik Logo Is On A Shirt Now

Bright orange isn’t for everybody. Some of us look better in vintage chrome. Now, by popular demand, the original Jalopnik logo is here at our official store.

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Google warns journalists and professors: Your account is under attack

Google is warning prominent journalists and professors that nation-sponsored hackers have recently targeted their accounts, according to reports delivered in the past 24 hours over social media.

The people reportedly receiving the warnings include Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Stanford University professor and former US diplomat Michael McFaul, GQ correspondent Keith Olbermann, and according to this tweet, Politico, Highline, and Foreign Policy contributor/columnist Julia Ioffe; New York Magazine reporter Jonathan Chait; and Atlantic magazine writer Jon Lovett. Reports of others receiving the warnings are here and here. Many of the reports included banners that Google displayed when account holders logged in. Ars spoke to someone who works for a well-known security company who also produced an image of a warning he received. The person said he was aware of a fellow security-industry professional receiving the same warning.

One of the red banners included large white text that stated: “Warning: Google may have detected government-backed attackers trying to steal your password.” It included a link that led to advice for securing accounts. Some of the people who received the warning reported their accounts were protected by two-factor authentication, which requires a piece of cryptographic hardware or a one-time password that’s sent through a mobile device. Google has been sending warnings of nation-sponsored hacking attempts since 2012.

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Jill Stein, citing hacking attacks, calls for recounts in three states

Enlarge / Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, speaking at Old South Church in Boston on Oct. 30, 2016. (credit: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Citing the dangers of hacked voting machines, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said today she intends to raise more than $2 million by Friday to initiate vote recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual e-mail accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable,” Stein said in a statement. “These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust.”

In her statement, Stein claims that some election machines used in Wisconsin were banned in California because they were “highly vulnerable to hacking and malicious reprogramming.”

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The Black Sand Desktop

We’ve been seeing a lot of water-based, beach-y, ocean-y wallpapers lately, and that makes us think you guys must be yearning for warmer weather. This one, from Sebastian, is a gorgeous, stark, black and white desktop with just a little customization. Here’s how it’s all set up.

Sebastian is running Windows, which means you’ll need Rainmeter to get this done. If you’re unfamiliar, check out our getting started guide, it’ll help you out.

Once you have the basics, you’ll need these components to make your desktop look like this:

That’s all there is to this one. You have to overlay some of the elements over one another to get the desired look, but this is a sharp one. Black and white, minimal, non-distracting, but still informative and useful when you can look at the desktop. If you have questions about how it was made, or want to make your system look like and can’t figure it out, hit the Flickr link below to let Sebastian know how much you like his work—and ping him there!

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag DesktopShowcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 1280×720 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Black Sand UI | Flickr

Steam’s first game awards are chosen by you

Valve doesn't want to leave game awards to others any more. The gaming giant is introducing its first-ever Steam Awards, and it's asking the community to decide on both the nominees and the winners. These aren't the usual best-in-category awards, eit…

Why Buy A G-Wagon 6×6 When You Can Get This Six-Wheeled Jeep For Less?

If you’re a bro with 86 grand to burn, and you often find yourself driving your tank-top wearing buddies—along with their kegs, Three Days Grace mixtapes and protein shakes— to get swole at the gym, here’s a six-wheel Jeep Wrangler that you can buy right now on Ebay.

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Seriously, Go Buy A Minivan This Weekend

I know I just got done telling you not to buy a car on Black Friday, but if you absolutely must get a new car this weekend, do yourself a favor and buy a minivan because the deals are really good.

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The World’s Most Massive Vehicular Adventure Is Going Somewhere New Next Year

2017 will kick off with one of the most massive motorized adventure events of all time: the 39th annual Dakar Rally. Next year’s route and favorite competitor lineup has just been announced, and of course the 5,500-mile odyssey is slated to be more badass than ever before.

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On Fiji, ants have learned to grow plants to house their massive colonies

High in the trees on the island of Fiji, ants in the species Philidris nagasau are doing something extraordinary. They’ve brought in seeds from several species of a large, lumpy fruit from a plant known as Squamellaria and carefully planted them in the nooks and crannies of the tree bark. Once the plant takes root in the tree and begins to grow, the ants climb inside its young stalks and fertilize it. But then the real action starts. As the fruit swells, the ants move inside, carving tunnels and rooms into the fleshy interior. When the colony expands, it may include dozens of these fruits, which look like strange tumors sprouting from tree branches.

Though researchers have known for a while that ant colonies can live inside fruits, a new study in Nature Plants reveals that this housing arrangement is far more complex and ancient than we knew. University of Munich biologists Guillaume Chomicki and Susanne S. Renner went to Fiji to observe the ants and found that they inhabited six different species of Squamellaria. Each of these species evolved to grow in tree bark using a specialized root system called a foot. When the plants are still young, the ants enter a small cavity in the stalk called a domatium to fertilize it. Though the researchers never directly observed how the ants did the fertilizing, they speculate that basically the ants are pooping in there.

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