Collin Ballou

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MIT's light-up robot garden teaches you how to code

If you're teaching kids how to code, what do you do to show that software makes an impact in the real world? MIT has a clever idea: a robot garden. The project lets you control a grid of Arduino-linked "plants" through programming that makes them blossom and light up in pretty (and occasionally …

'Sony-pocalypse': Why the Sony hack is one of the worst hacks ever

In a single week, hackers have brought a major Hollywood studio to its knees.<p>Sony Pictures is dealing with more than downed computers and frozen email. Movies have been leaked, and internal documents have exposed private company memos, along with employees' salaries, Social Security numbers and …

World of Warcraft servers taken down by DDoS

World of Warcraft's fifth expansion -- Warlords of Draenor -- has proved massively popular with players, so much so that Blizzard's servers have been struggling under the strain. And, to cap it all off is news that should surprise precisely no one: the game's North American servers have been hit …

World of Warcraft

Source: Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA For Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) And Nexus 10 Will Drop On Nov. 3rd, Other Devices Later In November

We have a reliable source (two, in fact) telling us that the first over-the-air updates to Android Lollipop will come not to the Nexus 4 or 5, but to …

Weird Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later

This could potentially make fuel cells, space travel, and scuba diving a lot more efficient.<p>Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark say they’ve invented a crystal that pulls oxygen out of the air and even water. Apparently, just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a …

PlexiDrone is modular, customizable, and cool

Aerial photography is one of those things that makes drones cool. If you were in awe of the drone video from inside a fireworks show, a new drone …

Drones

Google's Perks Are So Amazing That Employees Have Found Ways To Secretly Live On Campus And Avoid Paying Rent

Google perks are so good some employees say they've spent weeks living on campus to avoid paying rent, according to a Quora thread.<p>"Technically, you weren't supposed to live at the office, but people got around that by living in their cars in the parking lot of the office or the Shoreline parking …

Early Moto 360 prototypes look uglier than expected

Early tests may prove the Moto 360 certainly has its defects, but no device has yet to beat its good looks (at least that’s what most techies believe). The Moto 360 wasn’t always meant to be the gorgeous, circular smartwatch made with premium materials. It turns out early prototypes were quite ugly!<p>…

New malware can live inside any USB device undetected

It turns out that the stalwart USB thumbstick, or any universal serial bus device, isn't as trustworthy as once thought. A pair of security researchers has found we need to worry about more than just malware-infected files that are stored portable drives, and now need to guard against hacks built …

The Internet of Things Is the Hackers' New Playground

A new study finds new Internet connected gadgets tend to lack the most basic security.<p>Excited about the promise of the shiny new Internet of Things? Good. Because hackers are too. Or at least they should be, according to a study by computing giant Hewlett-Packard.<p>The company’s Fortify application …

Hack Your Brain With A Machine That Reads Minds

Star Wars first planted the idea over 35 years ago that we could move objects with our minds. That idea is now a reality that has come a long way in the last few years. Emotiv is on the cutting edge of that technology with headgear that allows you to do things, such as make a toy car whiz by or …

Cicada 3301

<b>Cicada 3301</b> is a nickname given to an organization that on six occasions has posted a set of puzzles and alternate reality games to possibly recruit …

Smartwatches still aren’t sexy, but Android Wear makes them useful

Google claims the average Android user digs into his pocket 125 times a day to retrieve his phone. That’s either a sobering statistic about just how …

40 Clever Life Hacks to Simplify your World

Back in January the Sifter posted <i>50 Life Hacks to Simplify your World</i>. The post went on the be one of the most shared articles in the history of the …

The 2-Minute Workout That Works Your Abs From Every Angle

How strong is your core? Find out with this ultimate ab challenge<p>Ripped abs are reason enough to add some core moves to your routine. But a strong torso can also give you the foundation you need to lift more weight with less risk of injury. "Crunches alone won't get the job done, though," says Todd …

Jason Kilar's New Startup Has a Name, and a Whole Lot of Money

"Vessel" has money from Benchmark, Greylock and Jeff Bezos. But what is it?<p>Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar still doesn’t want to say much about the startup he has been working on since last fall. But he’s showing a little bit of leg today: Kilar has announced his new company’s name and some of his …

10 Features EVERY Smartphone Should Have!

Introducing Galxyz: Come for the Intergalactic Battles -- Stay for the Science

Galxyz allows players to battle King Dullard, while learning about physics, math and more.<p>Entrepreneur Osman Rashid is taking the wraps off his latest education venture on Tuesday, introducing a mobile game designed to inspire interest in science and help students meet new education …

Samsung explains the Galaxy S5's "Camera Failed" issue

Last Friday, Samsung and Verizon officially acknowledged the “camera failed” issue that has been affecting a small number of Galaxy S5 customers. Although Samsung has said that it will replace any handsets that succumb to the fault, it doesn’t look like there’s much the company can do to advise …

Samsung Level up with new headphones and speakers

Samsung wants to level up your ears: Samsung Level is a new range of lughole-massaging audio accessories complete with an app for your S5 smartphone and other Galaxy devices. Lend an ear for the Level Over wireless headphones, Level On cans, Level In earbuds, and Level Box Bluetooth speaker.<p>The …

Consumer Tech

Hackers may accomplish what Microsoft can’t—kill off Windows XP

Despite the fast growth of Google’s Chrome web browser, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still has hundreds of millions of loyal users, and remains the most popular browser in the world for desktop computer use. But that lead could be in jeopardy after Microsoft said over the weekend that its browser …

Microsoft Windows

This Origami Toothpaste Tube Squeezes Out Every Last Drop

Our modern toothpaste tube designs have survived from the 1890s, despite the fact that they can waste up to 13% of the goods. Can this collapsible version change that?<p>Before a 19th-century Connecticut inventor named Washington Wentworth Sheffield came up with the idea of using a collapsible lead …

Amazon 3D smartphone to compete with Apple and Samsung – report

Amazon is reportedly preparing to release a smartphone with 3D-type imagery which will compete against devices produced by Apple and Samsung.<p>The online retail giant has showcased the hardware to developers in Seattle and San Francisco in recent weeks in advance of a rollout later this year, the …