Stephen Straits

23 Flips | 3 Magazines | 2 Following | @stephenstraits | Keep up with Stephen Straits on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Stephen Straits”

6 ways to delete yourself from the internet

If you're reading this, it's highly likely your personal information is available to the public. And by "public" I mean everyone everywhere. To drive home this point, I give you exhibit A: Earlier this week, Facebook came under fire when it was revealed that the data of more than 50 million …

Watch A Homemade Coilgun Destroy A Laptop

It's an electric gun, boogie woogie woogie.<p>This homemade gun uses electromagnetic coils to send steel rods flying at a speed of 138 feet per second. Pressing the trigger loads a steel rod into the barrel, where the first electromagnetic coil pulls the rod forward via magnetism, then turns off. The …

A new way of thinking about how the brain works

My book, <i>50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know</i>, is out now, and is available at a discount price from Amazon and the <i>Guardian</i> bookshop. (And here's a lovely review by Vaughan Bell, who calls it "a concise, solid grounding in neuroscience… remarkably lucid… balanced and entertaining".) When I …

Thousands Of MacBook Pro Batteries Are Being Recalled Because They Can Catch On Fire

Digital Trends is reporting that thousands of the Pro's batteries are being recalled by retailer Best Buy.<p>Best Buy issued the recall on 5,100 faulty batteries that have the potential to catch fire and cause burns. One woman has already suffered what Best Buy is calling a "serious burn to the …

Thousands Of Bridges Are One Freak Accident Away From Collapse

The crossings are kept standing by engineering design, not supported with brute strength or redundant protections like their more modern counterparts. Bridge regulators call the more risky spans "fracture critical," meaning that if a single, vital component of the bridge is compromised, it can …

What goes on when lightning strikes?

A new theory from Russian researchers suggests that lightning may be a by-product of cosmic rays. Surprisingly, despite studying lightning for …

How America's 2-Tiered Education System Is Perpetuating Inequality

And how online courses might only exacerbate the problem<p>In 2006, Amherst College made a decision that administrators at some other schools considered radical. The critics said it would dent the value of the school's degree, or force it to "lower its standards." The school's then-president pushed …

Xistera iPhone 5 Multitool Does Everything. EVERYTHING

The obvious thing to say about the XiStera is to call it the "“Swiss Army Knife” of iPhone 5 accessories. Leaving aside for a second the fact that, if all the Swiss Army is bringing to the fight is that little knife, it’s no wonder it refuses to play in any wars, let’s make a better analogy for the …

iPhone 5

Noah's Ark and the Great Flood: Did it Really Happen?

<i>“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great</i> …

QuickLock Is The Quickest & Most Convenient Way To Lock Your Mac

QuickLock is a terrific little tool from ThinkDev that makes it quick and convenient to lock your Mac when you leave your desk. It sits in your menubar out of your way, and a click (or a keyboard shortcut) is all it takes to keep your Mac safe.<p>With the latest version of QuickLock, users can enjoy a …

Use Siri To Add Relationships To Your Contacts For More Natural Interactions [iOS Tips]

If you’ve tried to use Siri to call or text someone, you know it’s pretty simple. Just say, for example, “Call Joe Smith,” and Siri will call the person named Joe Smith in your Contacts App.<p>But did you know that Siri can also identify people via their relationship to you? You can say, “Call my …

Siri

The Constitution And The 3D Printed Plastic Pistol

By now, you have probably heard about the Liberator, a 3D printed plastic gun designed, assembled, and test-fired by Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed. Is it legal?<p>Last week, the State Department’s arms export office demanded that Defense Distributed remove CAD files for the Liberator from its …

6 Sweet and Satisfying Sugarless Desserts

Treats that put maple syrup, honey, agave nectar and chocolate front and center—without a grain of white sugar in sight.<p>On the Joys of …

Top 21 under-the-radar destinations

From Canada’s Yukon wilderness to the mountaintops of India, these unconventional holiday destinations will lead you off the beaten path and onto an adventure all your own.

National Parks

Religious right shuns black gay athlete

The movement’s defense of Tebow in the wake of Collins’ annoucement reveals the depths of its persecution complex<p>T.F. Charlton<p>May 9, 2013 8:05pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on Religion Dispatches.<p>On April 29, the New York Jets released quarterback Tim Tebow from their roster after only a …

Smart Food Scale Makes iPad Even More Kitchen-Friendly

You already have a connected scale for tweeting your weight. You might also have a baby scale to do the same, (only for the baby). Now you can get a smart scale for dinner. Not to <i>eat</i> for your dinner–to weigh your dinner. Or breakfast. You know what I mean.<p>The Smart Food Scale is a Kickstarter …

Skip The Domain Suffix And Prefix To Get To Websites Faster Via Mobile Safari [iOS Tips]

Want to get to websites faster using mobile Safari? No, I’m not talking about upgrading your internet or data plan to LTE or something, though that will obviously help. No, I’m more interested in showing you how to get to most major websites with just a bit less typing involved.<p>It’s pretty simple …

Five Sweet Tips To Help You Master iTunes On Mac OS X [Feature]

iTunes has gone from a basic mp3 player based on SoundJam in 2000 to a full-fledged movie and music media player, digital media distribution center, and repository of all your iOS apps. That’s quite a lot of functionality for a music player.<p>iTunes is still a pretty decent media player, even if it …

iTunes

Five Ways To Really Master Mobile Safari On Your iPhone And iPad [Feature]

Somehow, Apple managed to cram in a ton of web browsing functionality into a teeny, tiny package called Safari. To distinguish the mobile web browser from the one of the same name on OS X, we’ll call it Mobile Safari and be done with it.<p>Regardless of the name, the mobile version of Safari is chock …

iOS

This Is The World's First Entirely 3D-Printed Gun

Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun.<p>Now he has.<p>Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year-old University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls …

Cost of feeding a family of four: $146 to $289 a week

Latest statistics give a range of prices for feeding a family of four a healthy diet.<p>The cost of feeding a family of four a healthy diet can run $146 to $289 a week, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.<p>That's based on preparing all the meals and snacks at home …

22 Amazing Destinations You Can See With Google Street Views

That trip you'd been thinking about is so far down the horizon, you can barely make it out.<p>To top that off, your passport expired three months ago, you have a whopping credit card bill, and you need to pay a parking ticket. You are eternally trapped here, but through the power of The Internet you …