Taylor Anubis-TAn Bunch

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The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks

A Gameboy with a sardine can inside. A printer stuffed with a piñata. ‘Return fraud’ is costing retailers billions—and the ingenious swindles are …

Birds detect approaching storm from 900km away

Infrasound may have alerted warblers to the massive storm, prompting them to fly more than a thousand kilometres to avoid it<p>A group of songbirds may have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after detecting telltale infrasound waves.<p>Researchers noticed the behaviour …

Astronomer Royal: Life on Mars would change everything we know

If life had originated twice, independently, within our solar system, we’d have to conclude that it can’t be a rare fluke, says Martin Rees.<p>More than 100 years ago, a French foundation offered the grand prize of 100,000 francs to anyone who could prove the existence of extraterrestrial life. But …

Planetary Habitability

Why Finding Nemo could be more traumatic for kids than Pulp Fiction

Children’s animated films are hotbeds or murder and mayhem, researchers at University College London have found<p>Children’s films are rife with murder and mayhem and can contain more violence than gory gangster shoot-em-ups like Pulp Fiction, researchers have found.<p>Although cartoons like Finding …

Pulp Fiction

Jaguar's smart windshield will eliminate blind spots

It's hard to spot every possible road hazard. Mirrors and cameras will show what's behind you, but your car's roof pillars can still hide careless pedestrians and aggressive drivers. They won't be issues if Jaguar's 360-degree Virtual Urban Windscreen comes to fruition. The update to the company's …

Make this monster pay a price: Why we needed to hear from Dick Cheney one last time

<b>(NBC News)</b><p>He’s the horrible face of American torture. Here’s why Cheney’s defense of his war crimes was important to record<p>Joan Walsh<p>December 15, 2014 4:20pm (UTC)<p>Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s time is about up, in many senses. For a Republican Party trying to look forward, he shouldn’t be a …

6 worst right-wing moments of the week: Princeton mom says college rape is “clumsy hook-up melodrama”

The inexplicably famous Ivy League parent questions rape victims, while Geraldo Rivera keeps saying racist things<p><b>1. Michele Bachmann has a very cuckoo Christmas wish.</b><p>Michele Bachmann has just one big wish for Christmas this year: Mr. President, please bomb Iran. That’s what the outgoing Minnesota …

Rouble plummets to a record low against the dollar as oil crashes

Falling oil prices and uncertainty over Ukraine have dragged Russia's currency to a record low, falling to just 60 roubles against the dollar<p>The Russian rouble crossed the 60 a dollar mark for the first time on Monday, weighed down by a crash in oil prices and ongoing uncertainty over Ukraine.<p>The …

Economics

Banks Are Firmly On A Multi-Year Path Towards Becoming Utilities

From JPMorgan, which some say could face a shortfall of $22 billion on account of the suggested regulation, to other major banks whose seemingly-adequate capital cushions would need to be revisited, analysts will be busy calculating what this could imply over time for earnings, capital raises and …

The chilling rise of American militarism

Chuck Hagel’s ouster signals a shift in foreign policy. Welcome to the new Washington, where peace is a dirty word<p>It was the end of the road for Chuck Hagel last week and the Washington press corps couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about writing his obituary. In terms of pure coverage, it may …

Samsung's virtual reality headset, Gear VR: what you need to know

Samsung's virtual reality headset, dubbed "Gear VR," is available for purchase as of today. For those not following the last three years of virtual reality's return from obscurity, today is a big day: Gear VR is the first virtual reality headset available to general consumers. Though Sony's …

Have scientists found first sign of Dark Matter?

A signal picked up by Dutch and Swiss scientists is thought to be the first phsical evidence of Dark Matter<p>It was first theorised more than 70 years ago, but after decades of searching, scientists believe they have seen the first sign of elusive Dark Matter.<p>Researchers have picked up unexpected …

Dark Matter

Mountain-sized asteroid is heading towards Earth, says scientist

A Russian scientist has discovered a huge asteroid '2014 UR116' passes Earth every three years<p>A mountain-sized asteroid which crosses paths with the Earth every three years has been discovered by a Russian scientist.<p>Vladimir Lipunov, a professor at Moscow State University, said the space rock, …

Asteroids

Russia Is Militarizing The Arctic

Moscow's new Northern Command will subsume the Russian Northern Fleet and form a unified military network of ground troops, aircraft, and naval vessels in an attempt to leverage Russia's strength in the great north.<p>Mark Galeotti, an NYU professor specializing in global affairs and Russian and …

Sony saved thousands of passwords in a folder named 'Password'

Sony is facing further embarrassment over its latest data breach, after it emerged that its security precautions were somewhat lacking<p>Sony Pictures Entertainment saved thousands of company passwords in a file directory entitled 'Password', it has emerged, after hackers published a new trove of …

Fox News wins the award for most tone-deaf response to Eric Garner grand jury decision

<b>(Fox News)</b><p>“We’ve got the tree lighting ceremony!”<p>Joanna Rothkopf<p>December 3, 2014 9:45pm (UTC)<p>When a Staten Island grand jury announced its decision not to indict NYPD officer David Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, Fox News was ready with its hottest take. Host Gretchen …

L.A. school district halts iPad contract as FBI seizes documents

The L.A. School District's plan to equip all students with $500 million worth of iPads and software has officially ended in a cloud of suspicion, according to the <i>LA Times</i>. Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said it would terminate the original contract following a raid on district offices by the FBI, …

Did North Korea Hack Sony?

Hard to believe, but Sony executives and U.S. spies suspect that the huge hack that has taken Sony Pictures' office offline for more than a week was …

Is Rubber Mulch a Safe Surface for Your Child's Playground?

The public playground in Bandon, a small town on the blustery coast of Oregon, has everything a kid could want. Swings and an orange, twisting slide, even a bright blue boat.<p>But after the playground was installed in 2009, some mothers became concerned about the springy black stuff beneath their …

School Districts

The Night Sky in December: A new cold war waged not on Earth, but in space

A war not with nuclear-tipped missiles but with destructive laser beams, travelling at the speed of light and reaching their targets 50,000 times faster than today’s missiles<p><i>The chart shows the sky at the start of December. The positions of the stars on other nights can be found from previous</i> …

Astronomy

Google Unseats Apple In U.S. Classrooms As Chromebooks Beat iPads

As of the third quarter of 2014, Chromebooks have displaced iPads as the most popular new devices shipping to U.S. schools. This is a huge win for Google in a market historically dominated by Apple and Microsoft. According to the <i>Financial Times</i> and IDC, “Google shipped 715,500 of the low-cost …

Commuters’ daily drudge is a problem for employers too

Even by the exotic standards of train delay excuses, the reason for my commuter service’s late arrival one day last week was unusual: “Swan on the …

Republican aide faces backlash for criticism of Obama daughters' 'classless' dress

Elizabeth Lauten, a Republican spin doctor, apologises for damning Facebook comments on Malia and Sasha's attire and attitude at White House Thanksgiving ceremony<p>It is never wise to publicly denigrate someone else’s children – and when the offspring concerned are the daughters of the President of …

The FAA wants you to have a pilot's license to fly commercial drones

If you're planning to shoot your next movie using a drone, beware: you may need to meet some stringent conditions to stay in the Federal Aviation Administration's good books. Sources tell the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> that the agency will propose commercial drone rules that require a conventional pilot's …

Records reveal net neutrality chats between FCC and telecoms

It's no secret that the FCC has at least a few links to the communications companies it's policing. Chairman Tom Wheeler is a former lobbyist, and commissioners have taken industry jobs mere months after leaving office. However, <i>Vice News</i> has obtained records showing that the two sides are …

Environment: News & features

Environment

Japan's Military Is Revving Up To Meet China's Growing Regional Ambitions

But in July, the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a reinterpretation of the pacifist clause called Article 9.<p>Without changing the constitution's wording, Abe made clear that Japan intended to step up its military prerogative in the region, allowing it to come to the aid of an attacked …