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How One Man Hacked His Way Out Of Homelessness

A DIY workshop helped Marc Roth find a job. Now he's helping others overcome poverty.<p>In November 2011, Marc Roth spent the last of his savings on new work clothes. Two months after moving to San Francisco in search of a sales-engineering job, he had finally secured employment, and a six-figure …

San Francisco

Bold Modi tackles Muslim Kashmir head on

<b>A Hindu nationalist prime minister of India addressing a big election rally in Muslim majority Kashmir, the most troubled and disaffected corner of his nation.</b><p>That's the bold political move Narendra Modi made on Monday.<p>It's a sign of his style - highly engaged, politically courageous, much more …

India

Smartphone Theft Is An Epidemic, So Secure Yours Now

Don't worry, we'll wait<p>Raise your hand if you've had your smartphone stolen. According to figures assembled by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the phone theft rate for the year 2013 is estimated to be about 369 per 100,000 individuals--higher in cities. That's a problem that the FCC …

Information Systems

China's New Long-Range Weapon Causes Non-Lethal Pain From Afar

Nothing says 'this is my deserted island' better than ethically questionable sci-fi technology<p>A Chinese defense company recently unveiled a long-range weapon that can cause people overwhelming pain without killing them.<p><i>IHS Janes</i> reports that the system, known as the Poly WB-1, uses …

Facebook Says Wi-Fi Drones Will Be Jumbo Jet-Sized

The Internet is only one flying robot away.<p>If a new Facebook plan is successful, the easiest way to access the cloud may be ... in the clouds. Facebook wants to spread Wi-Fi Internet to unconnected parts of the world with drones, and at a summit in New York earlier this week, the company revealed …

The Turbine Tweak That Could Save Battered Bats

Solution: Make turbines look less like trees<p>Wind turbines kill upwards of 600,000 bats each year. (As if bats didn’t have enough problems already…) But the good news is that there may be something we can do to cut down on turbine-related deaths. Paul Cryan, a biologist with the U.S. Geological …

Wind Power

Space Combat Won't Look At All Like 'Star Wars'

PBS explains the physics of space skirmishes<p>If humanity brings war into space, what will those battles look like? Well, if our understanding of physics is anything close to correct, they won’t look at all like <i>Star Wars</i>. In this six minute clip by PBS Digital Studios, host Joe Hanson explores the …

Physics

Wearable Drone Nixie Flies Up From Your Wrist

Watches are out; drones are in.<p>Sure, Apple's new smart watch brings smartphone features to users' wrists, but can it fly free and take video in the air? The Nixie, which has none of the features of a watch other than wrist-wearability, is a drone for people who like robots as fashion statements, as …

Drones

Feds Bust Maker Of Smartphone "Stalker App"

It is the first indictment of its kind. "One down, and 400 to go," says anti-cyberstalking expert<p>On Monday, the Department of Justice announced the indictment of the manufacturer of the smart phone surveillance app StealthGenie on Monday -- the first such indictment -- but many other so-called …

Governor Brown Vetoes Drone Privacy Bill

Grey skies ahead for drone privacy<p>A California bill that would require police to obtain warrants before using drones for most purposes was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown this week. While the bill contains exceptions for emergency situations, wildfires, coordinating traffic accident first …

Drones

Man Shoots Down Drone, Lawyers Scratch Their Heads

Is it wrong to shoot a robo-trespasser?<p>Shooting down a small drone is hard. But determining whether people should be allowed to do so may prove more difficult still. A man in New Jersey fired a shotgun at his neighbor's drone, and as the quadcopter crashed to the ground, the incident raised new …

Using Lasers To Save Earth's Cultural Monuments

We have the technology; we can preserve it.<p>History is unwritten by the destruction of great artifacts. Six of the seven wonders of the ancient world are gone, fallen into ruin and sold for scrap, and it is only through historical memory that we know of them. Preserving modern wonders for posterity …

New Orleans

This Week In Numbers: A Paper Airplane Gun, Navy Drone Boats, And Trackers In NYC Phonebooths

Plus: spaceship wars<p><b>9:</b> paper airplanes folded and launched by this inventor's wonderful gun in its YouTube debut.<p><b>0.2 micrometers:</b> the microscope resolution limit Eric Betzig, William Moerner, and Stefan Hell beat on their way to a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Their nanoscopy technology opened up a …

Nevada Corporation

MIT Students Claim Astronauts Will Starve On 'Mars One' Mission

But CEO Bas Lansdorp says the study used bad data.<p>PhD students at MIT published a study this week that seems to debunk Mars One's plan to land humans on Mars by 2025 using existing technology. They say that without dramatic improvements in equipment life, the space colonists, who would have no way …

Popular Science's Strange Reporting Of The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

The flu was clearly on our editors' minds, but they seemed to have left the more straightforward reporting to other outlets.<p>_This year marks the centennial of the start of World War I. To honor it, _Popular Science _is combing through our archives to bring you the best of our original war …

Flu

Here's What Scientists Discovered When They Conducted A Rigorous Study Of Pizza Cheese

Nobody can ever seem to agree on which pizza is the best, so a team of scientists decided to call in an unbiased pizza-evaluation algorithm to determine how to compose a winning pie.<p>While a fair assessment of pizza quality — a pressing concern in certain food circles — would require considering …

Post-pigeon: 100 years since most common bird's extinction

On 1 September 1914 a pigeon died in Cincinnati zoo, around lunchtime, and with her died her species. The pigeon's name was Martha and her species was the passenger pigeon. Only 50 years before, passenger pigeons flew in flocks of millions across the forests of the eastern US and Canada.<p>They ate …

Digital Pioneer Decides to Freeze His Body in Hopes of Future ALS Cure

The first person to ever participate in a bitcoin transaction used his stash of cryptocurrency to break another unique barrier: He decided to freeze his body in hopes of being revived in the future when his ailments may have a cure.<p>Fran and Hal Finney both embraced emerging technologies like …

Liam Neeson Willing to Play Ra's Al Ghul on Arrow

Neeson's would play Ra's again "in a heartbeat." If he was approached to, of course.<p>Last month, at Comic-Con, Arrow fans went nuts when it was …

What Happens When A Volcano Erupts Under A Glacier?

In Iceland, a question of ice and fire<p>When Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano blew up in 2010, the relatively small eruption belched out a 30,000-foot-tall plume of ash that shut down airports throughout most of Europe for six days.<p>Now Iceland is warning airlines that another volcano named …

Welcome To Mars. Here's Where You'll Be Staying

In a fun competition to design a 3-D-printed Martian habitat, three designs are finalists.<p>NASA has plans to put humans on Mars in the 2030s or 2040s, and the private company Mars One is already interviewing applicants to for its one-way trip to the Red Planet. But a couple of crucial questions …

ATVs

Players Build Working Hard Drive Inside Minecraft

It's a computer inside a computer game.<p>Over the hills, across the stone bridge, past the giant pony, around the lake of questionable test, and beyond the giant rainbow barrier sits a work of great artifice on a grey plain. Far larger than any single inhabitant of this virtual world, the contraption …

How to See the Future In Kids’ Drawings

Give a kid a pencil, and she’ll draw a blob – but pretty soon that shape will start to have a face and body. Stick drawings are an easy way to monitor cognitive development, and a new study finds a link between the ability to draw well and intelligence years later.<p>Rosalind Arden, a cognitive …

Drawing

Weapons Can Be Carried Easily Through The TSA's Full-Body "Naked" Scanners

The backscatter technology might be completely ineffective.<p>Since 2010, the Transportation Security Administration has largely dismissed the public's worries about the use of full-body x-ray security scanners. The official line is that the “naked scanners,” despite privacy and health concerns, are …

Extreme Drought Is Causing Land In The Western U.S. To Rise Upward

No, you're not getting taller.<p>The drought permeating the western United States has gone from bad to worse over the past year and a half -- especially in California. As of two weeks ago, more than half of the state is considered to be in an “exceptional drought,” and the conditions are predicted to …

Climate Change