Michael Watson

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Bing will soon encrypt your search queries by default

If you’re using Bing to search the Web, your queries will soon be encrypted by default.<p>The option to encrypt your questions to Bing has been available for about 18 months, but Microsoft will make it standard starting “this Summer.”<p>In an attempt to satisfy everyone involved, Microsoft will still use …

Unorthodox Sprite drone tolerates abuse and actually flies

When you picture a consumer drone, something bulky with four or six props <i>à la</i> DJI probably pops to mind. But the folks behind a new model on Kickstarter think that such UAVs have two big problems -- namely, they're hard to carry and break easily if you mess up. They built The Sprite to overcome …

Inside Google's Secret War Against Ad Fraud

In a conference room nine floors above London's St. Giles High Street, a Russian engineer named Sasha booted up a computer and began giving me …

Advertising

Google has a team of 100 people working on a project so secretive most of them can reveal only their first names

Advertising fraud is a serious problem. The Internet Advertising Bureau predicts ad fraud could cost brands as much as £6.5 billion ($10.1 billion) in wasted spending each year.<p>For Google — the world's biggest seller of online advertising — that's a huge problem. Google requires trust that ads …

Videopixie, A Video Production Startup That Connects Buyers And Creators, Raises $1.1M

Videopixie, a Y Combinator alumnus that handles video creation and production (like filming and post-production editing), has raised $1.1 million in seed funding.<p>The startup connects clients — like retailers and brands — with video production professionals. Clients post in Videopixie what they are …

Startups

Public photos mined to create beautiful time-lapses

In many ways, the internet is simply an extremely badly coordinated attempt to document our planet. Hundreds of millions of photos are uploaded online every day, depicting ourselves, our cities, our landscape, and our food. However, they're also isolated and disparate: it's difficult to sieve …

10 Clever Lifehacks You'll Wish You Thought Of

Never do battle with a jar again<p>No matter what you're doing, there is usually a better way to do it. And to that end, here are 10 lifehacking GIFs that will show you clever, better ways of accomplishing tricky things around your house. That plus a few that are just silly fun.<p>You can find all these …

Traditional owner keeps roadside vigil as oil company readies to frack

Buru Energy has government approval to frack but one Yawuru man who is camped out at the entrance to the exploration site keeps turning them back<p>Just off the Great Northern Highway 70km from Broome, Western Australia, Micklo Corpus has set up camp next to a sign that says, “Don’t Frack the …

Medical Research Suggests You Might Be Able to Think Your Way Back to Strength

Years ago -- freshman year of college, to be exact -- I had shoulder surgery. The recovery process was long, tedious and, at times, painful. After nearly six months of daily physical therapy, I was back in business.<p>At about the same time, Lucas, one of my wrestling teammates, was recovering from a …

Robert Reich: Americans are utterly powerless

The former secretary of labor examines how we let our biggest corporations get away with whatever they please<p>A security guard recently told me he didn’t know how much he’d be earning from week to week because his firm kept changing his schedule and his pay. “They just don’t care,” he said.<p>A …

Sound of crinkling tin foil can cause seizures in cats

Even deaf cats can end up unconscious after hearing the sound of crinkling tin foil, say vets<p>Owners of elderly cats should avoid clanging spoons, rustling tin foil and clinking coins to stop their pets unexpectedly collapsing from seizures, experts have warned.<p>Scores of animals have been struck …

Asio Act review told journalists face jail even if reporting on serious wrongdoing

Journalists who report on serious wrongdoing by Australian intelligence officers may still face prosecution under new national security laws, according to the commonwealth director of public prosecutions (CDPP).<p>Australia’s acting independent national security legislation monitor, Roger Gyles QC, is …

Researchers use sound waves to control iPhones

If you're like me, I'm sure you often look at your skillfully crafted iPhone and think: If only it had really big, physical buttons.<p>Okay, we don't …

Adobe shows off slick new features for its Creative Cloud video applications (pictures)

Victoria scraps $13 fee to stay at basic camping grounds

People will no longer have to pay fees to stay at dozens of basic camping grounds in Victoria's national parks, after the State Government announced …

Glow-in-the-Dark Tampons Track Sewage Pollution in Rivers

Environmental watchdogs have a new weapon in the fight against the sewage polluting our rivers: glow-in-the-dark tampons.<p>It's not as icky as it sounds. Here's what happens: Researchers dip fresh, out-of-the-box absorbentampons into river water, and then check them out under ultraviolet light. If …

Menstruation

How to tell if you've been hacked

Worried that you might get compromised by hackers? The bad news is that the rest of the internet might know before you do<p>According to the UK Government’s 2014 cybersecurity survey, 81% of large businesses have suffered malicious data breaches. That suggests almost one in five didn’t. But how can …

Security

10 Habits That Will Make You Happy Today (Even If Life Isn't Going Your Way)

In 2010, after losing my job and being unable to find another one for close to a year, I fell into a deep depression. During this time I read dozens …

Happiness

Researchers just built a free, open-source version of Siri

Major tech companies like Apple and Microsoft have been able to provide millions of people with personal digital assistants on mobile devices, allowing people to do things like set alarms or get answers to questions simply by speaking. Now, other companies can implement their own versions, using …

Watch people code in real time with Livecoding.tv

There are plenty of decent options to learn basic code — such as Codeacademy or Coursera — but what about people who want to take it a step …

Signal Keeps Your iPhone Calls And Texts Safe From Government Spies

Don’t want someone else handing your text messages, pictures, video or phone conversations over to the government? There’s an app for that.<p>An iOS app called Signal is a project out of Open Whisper Systems, a not-for-profit collective of hackers dedicated to making it harder for prying government …

Apps

The Islamophobia stirred up by Abbott and Bolt is a bigger threat to us than terrorism

I have been criticised by several people I respect (and a few I do not respect) for a tweet last week in which I said, “Sorry to see Andrew Bolt stirring up Islamophobia today on his blog. People like Bolt and Abbott are the real threat to our way of life.”<p>Australian citizenship: What does it mean …

Australia

Ad outlet tries using drones to track your phone's location

Irked that advertisers are already trying to pinpoint your phone's location? It might be even harder to escape their grasp if AdNear is successful. The ad intelligence group is experimenting with location-tracking drones that profile audiences in harder-to-reach areas (say, field concerts or …

How to Throw a Chinese New Year Dumpling Party

From wrappers and fillings to dipping sauces, all you need to know to make dumplings for Chinese New Year, courtesy of Beijing's Black Sesame Kitchen<p>Even before the metaphorical Chinese New Year's ball drops this Saturday night, families across China (and around the world) will already be stuffed …

The Cutest Little Kitten in the World

By golly, I think we've done it. We just found the cutest kitten in the world! Her name is Daisy and she lives in Japan. The blue-eyed ball of fur is only cuter because of her miniature size, which owner Ben Torode accentuates by capturing her peeking her head out of a mixing bowl or from under a …

Climate change marchers told to hire private security firm

The right to stage demonstrations in Britain could be threatened following a demand that climate change protesters planning a march next month hire a private firm to oversee it – a role previously carried out by the police.<p>The Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC) says it is effectively being made …

This App Identifies Your Most Toxic Friends

There are apps to track your sleep, your steps, and your pets, but this may be the first that tracks your friends.<p>Pplkpr, pronounced "People Keeper," connects to a Bluetooth heartrate monitor and measures your response when certain people are around. One goal is to help you identify your most toxic …

Missing links in the consciousness debate

Reading Oliver Burkeman (The I in mind, 21 January) I was surprised to discover that many scientists deny there’s such a thing as consciousness. They should read Mary Midgley’s Are You an Illusion?, I thought. I liked Philip Goff’s response (Letters, 29 January), but now I wonder, why do academics …

Consciousness