jody thomas

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What’s in all that e-cig vapor?

Wander into a vape shop in the mall or online, and you can find a smorgasbord of flavors: cotton candy, vanilla custard, even Unicorn Milk or Katy Perry’s Cherry.<p>Flashy flavors have helped e-cigarettes, designed to vaporize a nicotine solution, grow into an industry with an estimated $3.5 billion …

UN rejects Palestinian resolution for statehood

A Palestinian draft resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories by late 2017 was defeated in UN Security Council after failing to get sufficient votes in favour<p>The United Nations Security Council has rejected a Palestinian resolution demanding an end to Israeli occupation …

State surveillance is enabled by our own sloppy habits

Our willingness to accept outrageous terms and conditions allows the security services to do as they wish<p>One night last week, I had a conversation over dinner with a student who is as puzzled as I am about why people seem so unworried by online surveillance. What would it take, we wondered, to wake …

Progress report from CERN | Jon Butterworth | Life & Physics

Another end-of-year report from CERN. No new collisions yet, but lots of progress<p>I made it back from CERN last night, despite the “problem with radar” over London, as the attendant in the Swiss lounge had it. (It turns out a computer failed rather than the radar itself.) I was lucky - some of my …

Coming In 2015: The First Spacecraft Encounter With Pluto

What's on the horizon for the New Horizons spacecraft<p>On Saturday, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft awoke from a very long slumber. The space probe – which has been traveling for nearly nine years and has traversed 3 billion miles of space – has spent much of its life in “hibernation” in order to …

Solar System

Highlights from a year in space - in 60 seconds

From possibly finding life on Mars to landing a probe on a moving comet - it's been an exciting year for space exploration - watch our 60 second round-up of the highlights<p>It's been a big year for the space community, the European <b>Space</b> Agency completed their 25 year mission to land a probe on a …

Stretchy Artificial Skin Lets Prosthetic Hand Sense Heat, Humidity, and Pressure

It's so sophisticated, it can even tell the difference between a dry and soggy diaper<p>Prosthetic limbs that can be controlled by an amputee’s thoughts or muscle movements already exist. But what if they could also sense the environment and then send that information back to the amputee’s nervous …

Nature Communications

Scientists simulate time travel using light particles

We may never see practical time travel in our lifetimes, if it's possible at all. However, a team at the University of Queensland has given the Doc Browns of the world a faint glimmer of hope by simulating time travel on a very, very small scale. Their study used individual photons to replicate a …

Skynet Watch: Android Anchors Now Read the News

Robotic Ron Burgundy is coming to a broadcast near you.<p><i>(Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)</i><p><b>Coming straight out of my nightmares, these creepy and realistic "Kodomoroids"</b> made in Japan can read and report the news. With the written text entered into the system, the androids never stumble and …

How Google Glass can be used to steal your PIN code

Researchers demonstrate how vulnerable phone users are to having their PIN codes recorded by the new Google Glass<p>Google Glass can be used to covertly steal people’s PIN codes from as far away as 10ft, researchers have warned.<p>Just by looking at someone’s tablet or smartphone, wearers of the new …

Google Glass

Scientists find switch for people to control their dreams

Have you ever had a dream where you realized you were dreaming? The technical term is a lucid dream. And people who are lucky enough to have them can often control the dreams, as well. This week, researchers showed for the first time that they could use electrical stimulation to switch lucid …

Republicans Fear Obama Will Let Russia Seize Internet Power

Walden and oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans are push­ing a bill that would block the trans­fer of au­thor­ity un­til the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice …

Noah's Ark Blueprints Found—4,000-Year-Old Detailed Instructions

Irving Finkel, British Museum curator and author of “The Ark Before Noah,” has found a 4,000-year-old tablet that describes the materials and …

Sewage reveals the popular drugs of the world's cities

An anecdote from a student over drug use at the University of Puget Sound led one professor to test sewage in an effort to gauge the use of illegal drugs. "The amphetamine levels go through the roof during finals," says chemistry professor Dan Burgard in an interview with <i>Gizmodo</i>. Sewage tests in …

Stephen Hawking Says There Are No Black Holes

The physicist offers a new theory that allows energy to escape.<p>Stephen Hawking has a big announcement. No, it's not that aliens exist or that humans won't survive another 1,000 years on Earth. The physicist claims, in a paper posted online Wednesday, that the idea of an event horizon—the point of …

Stephen Hawking

Google now offers employees ferry service from San Francisco - The Margin - MarketWatch

With tech companies the scapegoat for rising real-estate prices and blamed for the growing cost of living in San Francisco, company shuttle buses …

Bitcoin’s Future Foretold By Developer Momentum

If you think developers predict the future then there is more reason to believe that Bitcoin is the real deal. The crypto currency is a hit with developers, according to data collected on GitHub by the founders of Bitcoin Pulse, a service recently launched that tracks Bitcoin adoption.<p>Bitcoin Pulse …

Latest space tourism trip uses balloon to take passengers 100,000 feet up

You may soon have a less expensive way to get into space. A new space tourism venture plans to bring visitors 30 km (about 100,000 feet) into the stratosphere in what is essentially a space-ready air balloon for $75,000. The capsule won't technically be in space — and that's not high enough to …

A first look inside Google's futuristic quantum lab

In May, Google launched the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab with hardware from the Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave and technical expertise from NASA. It was an ambitious open research project aimed at exploring both the capabilities of quantum computer architecture and the mysteries …

A Very Simple Explanation Of The Higgs Boson

François Englert and Peter Higgs just received the Nobel Prize in Physics for laying the groundwork for the discovery of the Higgs boson. But can someone please explain what a Higgs is? Like, really simply.<p>François Englert and Peter Higgs have won this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, as was pretty …

Physics

Peru exports more illegal gold than cocaine, and it’s the world’s biggest exporter of cocaine

Peru isn’t merely one of the world’s largest exporters of gold—it’s also one of its dirtiest.<p>According to a recent report by international labor watchdog Verité, over 20% of the gold being mined in Peru is produced illegally. It’s higher in remote, hard-to-monitor regions; in Madre de Dios, for …

Exports

Commercials During 'Breaking Bad' Finale Commanding A Cool Quarter Million

What’s the price of history? If the history is a spot on series finale of <i>Breaking Bad</i> the week after its first Emmy for Outstanding Drama, the answer is around $250,000 for 30 seconds.<p>That puts this very special episode of <i>Breaking Bad</i> at the very top of television’s scripted shows. Extrapolated to …

Stunning Maps Show A Day In New York And San Francisco In 32 Seconds

Foursquare, the location-based social network, has put together a series of videos tracking "the pulse" of various metropolises -- New York, San Francisco, London, Chicago, Tokyo and Istanbul -- using check-in data from its users. The resulting animated maps are gorgeous, all black backgrounds, …

Your future ultra-fast internet connection just launched into space

Elon Musk’s commercial space company, SpaceX, has just launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit carrying a Canadian Space Agency satellite, CASSIOPE. Part of the satellite’s payload is Cascade, a prototype for a super-fast space-borne file-transfer system—a kind of digital courier service.<p>The idea …

Google Fiber

Scientists Unravel Secrets of Monster Black Hole at Center of Milky Way

Supermassive black hole last erupted two million years ago, and will again.<p><b>For years astronomers have been puzzled as to why our Milky Way galaxy's "volcano"—a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its core—is dormant today.</b><p>It seems the answer may simply be that we didn't catch the cosmic …

FYI: Is It Possible To Control Our Dreams?

Yes, but only with practice. The best place to start is right before bed. Deirdre Barrett, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of <i>The Committee of Sleep</i>, asked 76 college students to choose a problem (where to take a vacation; how to arrange their furniture) and focus on it …

This bracelet could replace your passwords, your car keys, and even your fingerprints

Fingerprint readers. Face Unlock. Retinal scanners. They're all no better than your average password, at least the way Dr. Karl Martin sees it. "Your face, your iris — they're all physical features that can be stolen, that you leave everywhere."<p>Luckily, Dr. Martin has a better idea. He's planning …