Rob D

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Modern Genes Reveal 100 Major Population Shifts In Human History

Wherever conquerors go, they leave a little bit of their genetics. Gene analyses of modern people are able to reveal those influences.<p><i>Spread of Mongol Empire. Astrokey44 on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0</i><p>Violence and love, conquest and assimilation, they're all in your DNA. Literally. As human …

Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."<p>In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million …

Congress requires publicly funded research to be publicly available

The new Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which Congress passed yesterday, contains an important -- and fantastic -- provision: it requires that …

Watch the world end in 20 minutes with TRIHAYWBFRFYH

In <i>The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home</i> (shortened as <i>TRIHAYWBFRFYH</i>), players have only 20 minutes before the end of the world wipes out their existence.<p>The debut title from indie developer Connor Sherlock, <i>TRIHAYWBFRFYH</i> s a minimalist game that focuses heavily on …

Steam Dev Days show plan for Valve-owned future, and Microsoft should be terrified

Steam's interface looks like a curved screen in virtual reality. There are no fancy effects, no rooms to explore in order to launch games.<p>The SteamVR beta makes it appear as if you're in a generic environment looking at Steam running in Big Picture mode. That's it.<p>It's also another data point that …

Rust turned me into a boring, methodical bandit and looter

Hunter S. Thompson’s children were in the house when he committed suicide, and they described the sound of the gunshot as a book falling flat onto a hard surface.<p>Thompson's son even picked up a book and dropped it to give you the sense of the flat, cold sound. It took him a minute or two to figure …

Just four months until we can understand dogs! Dog-to-English translator to become a reality

Anxious to know what your dog is thinking? The wait could soon be over as a ‘dog-to-English’ translator is set to become a reality in just four …

New Football Helmet Could Save the Sport

Athletes in the U.S. suffer 3.8 million sports-related concussions each year. While helmet makers dither with small improvements, Swedish scientists have built something that could protect us all.<p>On August 19, 2012, in week two of the NFL preseason, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie …

Dolphins caught chewing on fish to get high

A new BBC documentary will show adolescent dolphins getting high by chewing on pufferfish. The fish secrete a toxin that gives the dolphins a buzz, and the crew on the upcoming show filmed male bottlenose dolphins passing around a puffer fish before acting "most peculiarly." The program's executive …

Welcome to the Age of the Upgrade

As the 1980s came to a close, a curious thing happened to American consumers: they began to really understand what the word "upgrade" meant. This realization occurred thanks to a magical fusion of technological advancement and capitalistic opportunity: the video game console.<p>In the future-world of …

Kim Jong-un 'very drunk' when he ordered execution of uncle's two aides

Drink was taken as the North Korean leader ordered the purge of his uncle's inner circle<p><b>North Korea</b>'s leader Kim Jong-un was "very drunk" when he ordered the execution of two aides close to his purged uncle, according to Japanese newspaper reports.<p>The young leader ordered the execution of two aides …

Legendary hacker Geohot busts rhymes instead of code

Meet 'tomcr00se'<p>George "Geohot" Hotz has accomplished many things. In 2007, aged just 17, he became the first person to successfully jailbreak an iPhone, and within three years he'd also managed to hack the until-then secure PlayStation 3. After Sony filed a lawsuit against him for the hack, Hotz …

Tea Party Facebook group begins posting Bioshock Infinite propaganda

Right-wing group The National Liberty Foundation, a Florida-based political collective associated with the conservative Tea Party, is posting anti-immigration propaganda from <i>Bioshock Infinite</i>, originally designed to satirize real-world conservative politics.<p>According to the group's official …

The Trials And Torments Of Space School

What does it take to become a citizen astronaut?<p>Sending people to space has always involved a frank assessment of their defects, and in the early days, it was a matter of finding people without any. First it was fighter pilots—calm in a crisis, physically perfect, unquestioning in their execution …

Virgin Galactic

$19 million might produce the first ever image of a black hole

Astrophysicists think there's a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It's supposed to be four million times more massive than our Sun, but despite its stupendous size, we've never been able to see it. That might soon change. The European Research Council has given 14 …

In China, people are paying $13 to be locked in a room and forced to solve puzzles to get out

The escape-room gaming business is booming in Beijing. <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> has a great story about the converted bomb shelters, office complexes, and apartment buildings where groups of friends must solve puzzles in under an hour in order to get out. It's modeled after Takagism, an online game …

'Braid' creator will support Oculus Rift with his next game, 'The Witness'

As Oculus secures $75 million in funding and embarks on the next phase of its ambitious plan, the virtual reality headset company has also received a vote of confidence from none other than famed indie game developer Jonathan Blow. The man behind <i>Braid</i> says that his next game, <i>The Witness</i>, will …

How the “internet of things” will replace the web

<i>The second in a series.</i><p>We’ve already written about why 2014 is really, finally the year that the “internet of things”—that effort to remotely control every object on earth—becomes visible in our everyday lives.<p>But most of us don’t recognize just how far the internet of things will go, from …

Where's The Best Of What's New?

<b>We're still adapting our Best of What's New pages from prior to 2014--thanks for your patience!</b><p><b>Until then, take a look at our 2014 BOWN winners.</b>

Amazing Batman graffiti discovered inside abandoned nursing school

A Redditor exploring the streets of Ronse, Belgium stumbled across some spectacular art. Hidden inside an abandoned nursing school were walls full of Batman graffiti, featuring various incarnations of the Dark Knight alongside the Joker, Bane, and many others from the DC universe. The Redditor, …

Don't be fooled by the 60 Minutes report on the NSA

Tonight's episode of <i>60 Minutes</i>featured what CBS promised was an unusual inside look at the secretive National Security Agency, but instead offered a routine look at the agency's propaganda with no critical voices. Opening with the disclosure that CBS correspondent John Miller formerly worked in the …

Naughty Dog and friends wish you happy holidays

2013 was a banner year for Naughty Dog, and the studio put out a holiday card today to celebrate its good fortune over the past 12 months and thank its fans.<p>The card features fan-favorite characters and a creature from the studio's most recent games, <i>Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception</i> and <i>The Last of Us</i>. …

The worst thing ever written

Her name was Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way: vampire, witch, time traveler, sex bomb. When she first appeared online in 2006, she was wearing a black corset, a leather miniskirt, pink fishnets, black combat boots, red eye shadow, and had purple streaks in her hair. In time, she would come to …

Water on the red planet: more findings point to flowing liquid on Mars

Is water seeping out of Martian soil?<p><i>Dark streaks in images from Mars, seen above, suggest flowing water. (NASA)</i><p>During spring months on Earth, the ground thaws and new life abounds. On Mars, scientists have observed activity of a different sort — water that seems to bleed from the ground.<p>Mars is …

Why Is Potentially Lethal Contraceptive NuvaRing Still on the Market?

<i>Vanity Fair</i>writer-at-large Marie Brenner investigates the birth-control device NuvaRing, which has allegedly caused blood clots in thousands of its users. As NuvaRing’s manufacturer, Merck, which made $623 million in NuvaRing sales in 2012, is facing roughly 3,500 lawsuits against it, Brenner asks …

Could contested technology have prevented the Metro-North train disaster?

In the rail business, it's money versus safety<p>After a New York City-bound commuter train derailed last Sunday in the Bronx, it got David Clarke thinking about death and money. The director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Transportation Research wondered: what’s a human life worth, in …

Disney takes control of 'Indiana Jones' franchise

Disney now controls the future of the <i>Indiana Jones</i> franchise. Though Disney has owned the franchise's rights since it purchased Lucasfilm last October, rights to distribute and market any new films remained with Paramount Pictures, which released the series' first four installments. That could have …

Japan's new state-secrets law gives leakers up to 10 years in prison

Japan has enacted a new state-secrets law that strengthens punishments for journalists and government officials who leak or seek top secrets, reports Reuters. The legislation has been met with protests and criticism by the public, with many fearing that the law will be used to silence media outlets …

AT&T says it doesn't have to disclose NSA dealings

Business News<p><b>SAN JOSE, Calif.</b> — AT&T, under fire for ongoing revelations that it shares and sells customers' communications records to the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence offices, says it isn't required to disclose to shareholders what it does with customers' data.<p>In a letter …

Nelson Mandela is dead at 95

NBC News is reporting that South African civil rights icon Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Known throughout the globe for his role in dismantling the South African apartheid regime, Mandela had been treated for a persistent lung infection earlier this year, and in recent days had …