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This could be the next weapon of mass destruction

The atom bomb took more than 10 years to go from scientific conception to reality. The next weapon of mass destruction could take much less.

On Thursday (Nov. 19), a special agent from the FBI met with researchers in Washington, DC to talk to a scientific panel about the risks of a powerful new …


Razor scooters is going to make its own hoverboards

The company behind one of the most annoying crazes of the 90s and 00s—the Razor micro-scooter—has its sights set on annoying a new generation of parents, just in time for the holidays. Razor, according to BuzzFeed, has acquired the rights to Inventist’s Hovertrax—the company with the US patent for …


The US government is working on making implantable memory chips so we don’t forget anything ever again

He definitely remembers putting the keys by the front door when he got home last night. But they’re not there. So where could they be? He presses a button and all of the sudden he can see it clear as day—he never took them out of his jacket pocket, so they must be upstairs.

If work being backed by …

The Brain

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the hoverboard craze

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and one of the most sought-after gifts is loved by celebrities and athletes alike, happens to be illegal to use in some countries—and catches fire on occasion. The hoverboard is everywhere right now, and Quartz has complied a guide to help you understand …


Scientists built an AI robot that’s figuring life out just like humans do

There are so many precious moments in a newborn’s life that parents love to capture on film: The first time their child sits up on her own, the first time she stands, her first cautious steps. Igor Mordatch, a robotics post-doctorate student at the University of California, Berkeley, has been doing …

Artificial Intelligence

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 Footloose 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.

Using an …


A simple, mathematical formula for packing your perfect carry-on

Like a blank page, the sight of an empty suitcase can fill a person with dread. No matter how many times we face the task of packing for a trip, it can still be angst-producing, time-consuming, and inefficient. But done correctly, it makes all the difference. What a relief when your suitcase …


The cult of productivity is preventing you from being productive

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of years thinking about how to be more productive. As a graduate student and freelancer, there’s no one telling me what to do, and no (immediate) consequences if I spend all day procrastinating. But gradually, through trying different techniques, …


Relocating our startup from Seattle to Morocco was the best decision we ever made

Shortly after graduating from university in the UK—and united by our shared desire to escape the corporate conveyor belt—we left the quaint cobbled streets of Durham, England behind and embarked on a trans-continental quest to build our startup, Maptia.

One thousand days, four continents, and many …


The greatest football player never to play the game

Jonah Lomu was arguably the greatest player to set foot on the rugby field. Perhaps he’s also the greatest player never to play American football.

The Kiwi legend, who passed away from complications due to a rare kidney disease, was incredibly close to making the switch to American football and …

Dallas Cowboys

Weirdly, Ronda Rousey predicted her stunning loss to Holly Holm on a TV talk show.

It is as big an upset as when Douglas knocked out Tyson.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite that shocking, but Holly Holm’s defeat of the apparently indestructible defending champion Ronda Rousey on Sunday (Nov. 14) to win the women’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight trophy is certainly …

Ronda Rousey

Obama is America’s first basketball president, and his love of the game is all over his legacy

Ever since he stepped on to the national political stage, Barack Obama has been accused of being an elusive figure. But when it comes to sports, basketball especially, no one can doubt his conviction or what he stands for. The man just loves hoops.

In fact, basketball has been an important conduit …


Kenya says it will immediately establish an antidoping agency

Kenya, one of the world’s leading nations in track and field, has authorized the creation of an anti-doping agency with immediate effect, the BBC reports.

The news comes after a week of high-level talks about cheating and banned performance enhancement drugs in the world of athletics: On Nov. 9, the …


The IAAF suspends Russia following extensive doping violations

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today (Nov. 13) provisionally revoked Russia’s membership from the organization after a report released earlier this week by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) documented wide ranging and institutionalized doping by the country’s …


And Quartz’s award for the most corrupt sport goes to…

Soccer. Athletics. Cricket. Baseball. Is there any sport that isn’t corrupt?

It seems that it’s impossible to turn on the TV or go to a sporting event without questioning whether the whole thing will be just annulled in six months time. But never fear. Quartz is here with a handy sport-by-sport …

Match Fixing

Manchester United is about to become the highest-grossing soccer club ever

Although Manchester United is currently lingering in fourth place in the Premier League, the club might be about to seal a title that no other soccer club has attained. According to the BBC, United’s earnings were up over 39% for the quarter over last year, and the club announced that it expects …

Manchester United FC

Crowdfunding’s latest dud: The “smart cup” that knows what you’re drinking

Amid last year’s frenzy of wacky crowdfunded gadgets, Vessyl stood out. Produced by San Francisco’s Mark One, the Vessyl was a cup that purportedly could detect the liquids poured inside of it—pour in your morning java, for example, and Vessyl would tell you if you were drinking a cappuccino or a …


Forget tattoos: Biohackers are putting LED implants under their skin

Last weekend (Nov. 6-8) in Düsseldorf, a biohacker successfully implanted an electronic device under his forearm; when it comes into contact with a magnet, its five LED lights switch on, to illuminate his skin.

That may sound like a lot of pain and a high potential for health risk for such a novel …


SpaceX will launch the next GPS satellite, thanks in part to Vladimir Putin

It took SpaceX several years of rigorous inspections and a lawsuit to earn the right to bid for US military satellite launches. Now the company looks set to win its first competitive bid—but only after the sole opposing bidder bowed out, citing a US ban on business with Russia.

Bidding closed …


I’m a NASA astronaut, and here’s what it takes to become a space voyager

I was teaching a third-period science class on April 12, 2004, when I got the phone call from NASA I’ll never forget. Soon I’d relocated to Houston, Texas, close to the Johnson Space Center, to begin training to become an astronaut.

As I would quickly discover, it’s a long and rewarding road. But …


Flightless or no, SpaceX investors say its value has grown 15% since January

With all the focus on fund-manager Fidelity’s 25% markdown of its investment in Snapchat last week, one of the few private investments the firm boosted flew under the radar: Fidelity said its stake in Elon Musk’s rocket-maker SpaceX grew by 15% since January, which would value the company at more …


Congress has passed the first US space law for asteroid mining

For aspiring asteroid miners—there are more than you think—the challenges of extracting metals from the inner solar system go beyond the fuss of getting prospecting platforms into space. There are important legal considerations, too.

Existing space laws were written for governments, since at the …

Asteroid Mining

Snapchat’s lofty $16 billion valuation takes a hit

On paper, Snapchat was worth $16 billion after raising its latest round of funding in May. But it appears some of the excitement around the disappearing photo app has since faded.

Fidelity recently lowered the value of its stake in the four-year-old company, reports the Financial Times. Data from …


New SEC rules will allow anybody—not just the wealthy—to invest in startups in the US

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has approved new rules that allow crowdfunding backers to receive shares of stock in the companies they’re supporting.

The SEC voted 3-1 on Oct. 30 to approve Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which will go into effect 180 days …


Coding bootcamp grads boost their salaries by 40% on average

A comprehensive study examining the outcomes of coding-school alumni found they, on average, boosted their salaries by 38%, or $18,000, after completing their programs.

In a report released today (Oct. 26), the Course Report, which tracks the learn-to-code industry, found participants on average …

Boot Camp

The number of billion-dollar startups has finally plateaued

When the US markets turned in August, some venture capitalists foresaw a bloodbath of unicorns—i.e. startups valued at $1 billion or more.

It hasn’t been quite so dramatic (yet), but the number of billion-dollar startups does appear to have plateaued in the third quarter, based on data from CB …


The Paris attacks look to be altering the EU’s stance on bitcoin

While the EU recently took steps to treat bitcoin like any other currency, the Paris attacks seem to have prompted a new round of debate on the issue in Brussels.

Reuters reports that EU interior and justice ministers meeting tomorrow (Nov. 20) will propose cracking down on electronic payments, …


Square has jumped 45% in its first day of trading

Expectations for Square’s IPO were all over the place. The company itself had planned to issue the shares in a range of $11 to $13—and then priced the stock late yesterday (Nov. 18) at $9.

That wasn’t a turnoff for investors, though. The shares opened at $11.20 on the New York Stock Exchange under …


Kleiner Perkins is backing its first bitcoin startup

One of Silicon Valley’s premiere venture capital firms is making a bet that bitcoin will make it easier for businesses to move money around the world.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was part of $12.5 million investment in Align Commerce, a San Francisco-based startup that uses bitcoin to enable …


Apple is making a grab for Venmo’s turf and might use iMessage to do it

Apple is wading into Venmo’s main business, betting that letting users easily send money to each other will make its Apple Pay service more appealing.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 11 that Apple has been talking about the program with US banks, including JPMorgan Chase, US Bancorp, Wells …