Natasha de Kriek

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Fraud Alert: Scammers Get Victims to Pay With iTunes Gift Cards

Everyone likes gift cards — even scammers.<p>A gift card is like cash — a quick, convenient and untraceable way for con artists to get money. And even if the victim realizes they’ve been scammed, there’s typically no way to reverse the transaction.<p>Right now, the popular iTunes gift card is the payment …

Identity Theft

French financial prosecutor went dark for a year to investigate Google France

Google was caught by surprise. Last week, nearly 100 employees of France’s equivalent of the IRS (Direction générale des Finances) raided Google’s office in Paris for a tax non-compliance investigation. French financial prosecutor Éliane Houlette told Europe 1 that her team had been secretly …

France

The brain-computer duel: Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making

Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making<p>Our choices seem to be freer than previously thought. Using computer-based brain experiments, …

The Brain

Scores of women 'divorced or abandoned' for voting in Tanzanian elections

Up to 50 women in Zanzibar have been divorced for taking part in the recent Tanzanian elections against the wishes of their husbands, according to lawyers and women’s rights campaigners.<p>Mzuri Issa, coordinator of the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) in the semi-autonomous Zanzibar …

Africa

100 years on, is this Einstein’s greatest gift to human understanding?

The detection of gravitational waves will open up a new spectrum of the universe – finally demonstrating a theory presented a century ago<p>History may judge 2015 as the year when mankind opened up a completely new window on the universe, exactly a century after Albert Einstein laid the scientific …

Physics

Want to be more charismatic? Science finds out how

It doesn't matter how smart you are - as long as you're quick<p>Want people to think you're charismatic? Then think fast - and don't worry too much about accuracy.<p>According to a new study by researchers at the University of Queensland, an ability to think, and act, quickly plays a vital part in …

Meet the Russian Company That Got Its Antitrust Watchdog to Bite Google

A chat with Yandex's top lawyer gunning for Google.<p>Here’s something Yandex has accomplished that few other Google competitors have: It took the Internet behemoth to court for antitrust — and won.<p>In October, Russia’s antitrust authority ruled that Google’s practice of bundling its services on …

Android News

Apple's Swift programming language is now open source, and has its own website

Apple had until the end of the year to make good on making Swift open source, and now it has. The language, along with its compiler, libraries and debugger, are all open source.<p>Swift has been released under the Apache 2.0 license, which means developers can use it as they like — even in commercial …

Open Source Software

Student-Created 'Snowstorm' Flying Machine Takes a Passenger Aloft

Jetpacks may be cool, but they're not exactly practical. This flying machine called "Snowstorm," created by engineering students at the National University of Singapore, isn't as flashy — but it's a whole lot safer.<p>"Snowstorm shows that a personal flying machine is a very real possibility, …

Snowstorms

'Li-fi 100 times faster than wi-fi'

<b>A new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves, has been tested in a working office.</b><p>Li-fi can deliver internet access 100 times faster than traditional wi-fi, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second).<p>It requires a light source, such as a standard …

Wi-Fi
Darknet

Hackers can hijack Wi-Fi Hello Barbie to spy on your children

Security researcher warns hackers could steal personal information and turn the microphone of the doll into a surveillance device<p>Mattel’s latest Wi-Fi enabled Barbie doll can easily be hacked to turn it into a surveillance device for spying on children and listening into conversations without the …

Beautifully Endless Looping GIFs Created by a Legally Blind Artist

Native American artist George Redhawk creates eerily beautiful gifs even though he's legally blind. With help from computer software, the designer utilizes the art of gif-making to show others how he sees the world as a man who suddenly lost his sight. “It's an artistic expression of the confusion …

Art

Facebook for dreams: Scientists are mapping your brain’s social networks

You’ve probably played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon—a game based on the premise that any actor in Hollywood can be connected back to the prolific <i>Footloose</i> actor within six movies or less. New research suggests that this is true not just of movie stars, but of the people in our dreams.<p>Using an …

The Brain

Thousands of Texas Women Are Trying to Perform Home Abortions, Study Finds

A study has found that more than 100,000 women have tried to end their pregnancies without medical assistance since a Texas law aimed at restricting …

U.S. Supreme Court

Power plants: how scientists could harness energy from flowers

Researchers at Linköping University have shown it was possible to create an electric circuit within a plant<p>Scientists have woven electronics into the vascular system of living plants for the first time in a breakthrough which could allow them to convert photosynthesis into power.<p>A team at Linköping …

Republican governors and candidates move to keep Muslim migrants out

Nearly two dozen Republican governors moved Monday to close off their states to Syrian migrants as leading GOP presidential candidates outlined positions that would discriminate against Muslims seeking refuge in the United States.<p>The efforts come amid heightened fears among Republicans, and some …

Republicans

Cyber-crime is Africa's 'next big threat', experts warn

<b>Government and commercial online services could become the next frontier for illegal activity in Africa, security experts are warning.</b><p>As more people get access to the internet across Africa, governments and businesses are increasing their online presence but there are questions about how secure …

Cybersecurity

Graphene Could Give Us Sleek Night Vision Sensors

As goggles, and maybe even smartphone cameras or windshields<p>Because of its unique chemical and physical properties, graphene has helped scientists design new gadgets from tiny computer chips to salt water filters. Now a team of researchers from MIT has found a new use for the 2D wonder material: in …

UK Muslims seek own path in countering jihadism

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has planned a series of conferences around the country where community leaders, activists and others will speak out against jihadist ideology, but also government security measures they say alienates Muslims.<p>"We do know that for any policy to succeed it needs to …

Radicalization

Attackers can hijack an Android phone just by convincing you to click on a link to an infected website

Another day, another hole in smartphone security.<p>Security researcher Guang Gong recently discovered an exploit in Android phones that allows for an attacker to gain control of a person's phone if they click on a link to a website containing malicious code, The Register reports. The attacker then …

Android Phones

Stealthy Shape-Shifting Skin Could Wrap Chinese Aircraft

Researchers publish stealth secrets<p>Chinese researchers have developed a new aircraft skin that makes planes even harder to see on radar. Published this week, the technique makes a plane skin that can adapt to different radar frequencies and react to them, the radio wave equivalent of chameleon skin.<p>…

The Brain

Computer Vision Is Better At Seeing Your Secret Emotions Than Humans

Don't even try to hide them<p>A lot of people aren't able to perceive micro expressions. They're the tiny facial ticks that reveal what we're feeling when we're trying not to let it show. So, understanding those micro expressions could allow you to look deeper into peoples' faces and know what what's …

Artificial Intelligence

Filipinos worried about 'bullet-planting' shrink wrap their bags with warning notes

MANILA — Filipino travelers gripped by a "bullet-planting" scheme at one of its busiest airports are combatting it with DIY measures, from shrink …

Asia

10 Things We're Obsessed With In November

Some things are just...better<p><i>This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of</i> Popular Science, <i>under the title "Obsessed.”</i>

Self-driving cars may already be obsolete before they get here

In 10 years, there's no question that driverless systems will be ubiquitous, but self-driving cars will not be, Ian Pearson, a futurologist, told …

British baby given genetically-edited immune cells to beat cancer in world first

A British baby has become the first in the world to receive genetically modified immune cells from a donor and is now cancer free<p>A British baby has become the first in the world to be free of leukaemia through a ground-breaking genetic editing technique which creates designer immune cells to fight …