Which Gadgets Get You Through the Holidays?

The holidays are a magical time. They can also be incredibly hectic and stressful, as you struggle to juggle your responsibilities at work with visiting family members, shopping for gifts, and the link. No matter what your seasonal stress, however, technology is there to help. Read more...


Evernote now adds context to your memos on Android and Windows

Evernote's bringing Context, one of its more interesting announcements during its fourth conference in October, to Android and Windows. This feature, which was first made available to iOS and Mac users in November, pulls content (based on what you're...


BitTorrent Urges Sony To Release ‘The Interview’ On Its Paid Service

Filing-sharing giant BitTorrent is urging Sony Pictures to release "The Interview" on its new, paid service.

The software company, synonymous with illegal music and movie pirating, had several talks this week with the embattled movie studio about debuting the canceled Seth Rogen action-comedy as a "bundle" of links to files that can be controlled and sold to users legally. Sony scrapped plans to debut the picture in theaters next week after suffering a devastating cyberattack by hackers linked to North Korea -- apparently in retaliation for the film's depiction of the fictional assassination of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un.

"A group of hackers stopped an American company from releasing a commercial film -- this should not stand," Matt Mason, the chief content officer at BitTorrent, told The Huffington Post on Saturday. "This is wrong and we can help make it right."

BitTorrent bills its bundle service as the most lucrative means for artists and studios to distribute music, ebooks and films. It has positioned itself as an alternative to streaming services as more artists, such as Taylor Swift, abandon Spotify and Pandora in protest of the meager cut of revenues they receive. In September, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke became arguably the most famous musician to sell an album exclusively through a bundle. It was downloaded more than 1 million times.

The only overhead for the content creator is the 10 percent cut of each purchase that BitTorrent takes and the cost of processing the payments through PayPal or a credit card company. The artist is usually left with, on average, 85 percent of the revenue, Mason said.

That could be the file-sharing network's best pitch.

Sony stands to lose almost $200 million on the movie, according to Bloomberg. Canceling the film stirred public outrage, and calls for the studio to release "The Interview" online have grown louder over the past few days. Some have declared it a "civic duty" to see the film.

During a Friday appearance on CNN, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said no major video-on-demand distributors or e-commerce sites had offered to screen the film.

Sony did not respond to a request for comment.

Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon and platforms like iTunes and Google Play would undoubtedly court a similar cyberattack if they released the movie. And Sony has been reluctant to offer the film at all. The hackers, who the FBI claims are agents of Pyongyang, have threatened to release more of its trove of humiliating internal emails and documents if they reversed plans to drop "The Interview" altogether.

BitTorrent works as a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, with about 170 million users running the software each time their computers share files. It would be nearly impossible for hackers to suppress the movie as the files bounced between viewers' computers.

Plus, BitTorrent is beloved by hackers. The BitTorrent protocol -- a means by which computers communicate with each other -- makes up nearly 3.4 percent of all bandwidth used for file-sharing worldwide, making it by far the most popular software in that category.

"This is a way for Sony to not only deliver the film in a real way, but get out on the side of the hacker community," Mason said. "This is an issue that's bigger than 'The Interview,' bigger than the Sony hack -- it's really about free speech."


Google sues Mississippi Attorney General ‘for doing MPAA’s dirty work’ – The Register

New York Times
Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'
The Register
Google is taking legal action against the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, alleging he exceeded his authority in suing the search giant over piracy – and taking his cues from the Motion Picture Ass. of America. In October 2013, Hood filed a subpoena


How Mobile And Social Feeds Government’s Appetite For Innovation

government-issue-iphone


First Drone Launches at FAA Test Site in Nevada, Crashes Immediately

First Drone Launches at FAA Test Site in Nevada, Crashes Immediately

Friday was a big day at the drone testing facility in Boulder City, Nevada. It was the day that the first drone authorized to fly without FAA approval would take to the air. The bright orange unmanned aircraft, Magpie, did just that—and then it crashed to the ground in an embarrassing cloud of dust two seconds later.

Read more...




11 Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

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ChinaBuye

A better way to buy-Chinabuye.com is an e-commerce platform with a wide selection of gadgets,consumer electronics, flashlights, toys,...


Elon Musk’s ‘hyperloop’ idea takes next step – Pensacola News Journal

Pensacola News Journal
Elon Musk's 'hyperloop' idea takes next step
Pensacola News Journal
This handout photo released by Tesla Motors on Aug. 12, 2013, shows the concept drawing of the Hyperloop, a fast transport design unveiled by Elon Musk. / AFP/Getty Images. USA Today. by Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY. USA Today. by Chris Woodyard


Study confirms that Facebook popularity among teenagers and others is falling – The Westside Story

NDTV
Study confirms that Facebook popularity among teenagers and others is falling
The Westside Story
A survey conducted recently has confirmed that the popularity of Facebook among teenagers has fallen. Though still the most popular social site, only 88% of American teenagers (13 to 17 year olds) are today using the site as compared to 94% of them a year


North Korea On Sony Hack: It Wasn’t Us

2014-12-20_1021


Here’s what astronauts aboard Orion will see during re-entry

Most of us will never be astronauts -- sorry to break it to ya -- but we can at least pretend to be aboard the Orion capsule with this video (below the fold), courtesy of NASA. Orion's camera captured 10 minutes of footage from the time it started bl...


North Korea Wants to Work With the U.S. to Investigate the Sony Hack

North Korea Wants to Work With the U.S. to Investigate the Sony Hack

In a predictably bizarre move, officials in Pyongyang are now proposing that North Korea and the United States work together on a joint investigation into the Sony Pictures hack. The country says it can prove that they didn't do it. North Korea also warned of the gravest consequences if the U.S. does not agree to the inquiry.

Read more...




Google Doesn’t Want To Go It Alone With Driverless Cars

Google doesn't want to be the next Ford.

The Internet behemoth, bent on building the first fully-automated cars, said Friday that it plans to partner with traditional automakers when development of its self-driving technology is complete.

"We don't particularly want to become a car maker," Chris Urmson, the director of Google's self-driving car project, told The Wall Street Journal. "We are talking [with] and looking for partners."

Auto executives in Detroit and abroad confirmed they had been approached by Google, the Journal reported.

Google did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Recent advances in driverless technology have ignited competition in Silicon Valley. Google announced in April that its automated cars could successfully detect and avoid pedestrians and bicyclists. In October, Tesla Motors equipped the new D line of its Model S sedan with a limited autopilot feature. Mercedes-Benz's latest S-Class features a "traffic jam assist" that allows the car to automatically follow the vehicle in front of it at at low speeds.

Still, fully automated vehicles have a long drive ahead of them before they hit the market.

Regulatory and insurance policies will have to come first. Moreover, the technology faces serious ethical questions -- namely, if an accident becomes unavoidable, who should die?

Consider this scenario, spelled out by Jason Millar in the September issue of Wired:

You are travelling along a single-lane mountain road in an autonomous car that is fast approaching a narrow tunnel. Just before entering the tunnel a child errantly runs into the road and trips in the centre of the lane, effectively blocking the entrance to the tunnel. The car is unable to brake in time to avoid a crash. It has but two options: hit and kill the child, or swerve into the wall on either side of the tunnel, thus killing you. Now ask yourself, Who should decide whether the car goes straight or swerves? Manufacturers? Users? Legislators?

Google is as yet unprepared to answer that question.

"People are philosophizing about it," Ron Medford, the director of safety on Google's self-driving car project, told The Associated Press last month, "but the question about real-world capability and real-world events that can affect us, we really haven't studied that issue."


Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge – The Register

The Register
Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge
The Register
A US District Court judge has cast doubt on an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google, describing the damages sought as "speculative." The class-action suit filed earlier this year alleges that Google engages in illegal anti-competitive behavior by requiring


Gillmor Gang: Hackathon

Gillmor Gang Artcard


Happy Birthday Ames! Awesome Photos From 75 Years of Aerospace Research

Happy Birthday Ames! Awesome Photos From 75 Years of Aerospace Research

On the 20th of December, 1939, the second laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was founded. The facility at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California, would later be known as NASA's Ames Research Center after the founding chairman of NACA, Joseph S. Ames—but no one could foresee how iconic Ames would become.

Read more...




A Single Chinese Town Makes Most of the World’s Christmas Decorations

A Single Chinese Town Makes Most of the World's Christmas Decorations

At this point in time, you've already hung your tinsel and decorated your tree with blinking lights. Maybe there's even a glowing Santa statue on your lawn. But did you ever step back and think about where all of these holiday decorations come from? A factory in China is the easy answer. An entire town of factories specializing in Christmas cheer is the correct answer.

Read more...




Battle of the Baking Scales: Drop Kitchen vs. Perfect Bake

Battle of the Baking Scales: Drop Kitchen vs. Perfect Bake

Whaddya mean I can just pour ingredients onto either of these smart scales until they tell me to stop and I get delicious homemade cookies for my trouble?! What sort of black magic is this? It's called "baking by weight" and it will change the way you look at cooking.

Read more...




How to Actually Catch Santa This Christmas

How to Actually Catch Santa This Christmas

Some magical fat guy in a red suit thinks he's coming into your house as he pleases in the middle of the night?! Not on your watch. Here's what you'll need to start your own personal War on Christmas.

Read more...




Stichy Makes It Easier For Groups To Curate And Share Mobile Media

Stichy


Slow laptop. IE/network is unreliable. (Win7Pro-64) 2nd machine.

TechSpot - Found 4 hours ago
Dell Feature Enhancement Pack Dell System Detect Dell Touchpad Dell Webcam ... Helper HP FWUpdateEDO2 HP Officejet 4620 series Basic Device ...


Chromebooks are getting always-on ‘OK, Google’ voice search

Google is ready to up the level of Chromebook voice control, judging by a new, experimental release. According to François Beaufort, you can now say "OK, Google" to activate voice search on your Chrome OS notebook anytime the screen is on and unlocke...


Transforming The Conversation On Women In Computer Science

womancomputer


BlackBerry Is Now Helping Boeing Build a Self-Destructing Phone

BlackBerry Is Now Helping Boeing Build a Self-Destructing Phone

We've known for nearly a year that Boeing is working on an understandably hush-hush smartphone project. It's a self-destructing phone for spies called the Boeing Black . And now we know that BlackBerry is helping—which is kind of weird since the Boeing Black runs on Android. Again, it's all very hush-hush.

Read more...




‘The Interview’ Porn Parody Is Really Going To Upset Kim Jong-Un: Hustler Boss

Nothing screams freedom of speech like a good ol' American parody porn film.

Hustler boss Larry Flynt announced that he's producing a parody version of 'The Interview' as a response to the film being pulled from theaters amid threats by hackers linked to North Korea.

Sony's move was criticized by President Barack Obama, as well as Hollywood A-listers like George Clooney and Sean Penn.

But Hustler Video is not backing down. The parody, which is titled "This Ain’t The Interview XXX," will be released first quarter of 2015.

In "The Interview," Seth Rogen and James Franco travel to North Korea in a plot to kill leader Kim Jong-un with an exploding tank shell that blows off the dictator's face. What raunchy surprises will the Hustler treatment of the film have in store?

“If Kim Jong-un and his henchmen were upset before, wait till they see the movie we’re going to make,” Hustler founder and chairman Larry Flynt said, according to AVN. “I’ve spent a lifetime fighting for the First Amendment, and no foreign dictator is going to take away my right to free speech.”

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The Christmas Question: PS4 Or Xbox One? – Forbes

Forbes
The Christmas Question: PS4 Or Xbox One?
Forbes
Christmas is less than a week away, and it's time to make some big purchasing decisions, if you haven't already. Out of every question posed to me by readers (and even Forbes staffers), one comes up more than any other. PS4 or Xbox One? Obviously there


T-Mobile paying up to $90M for unwanted services – Midland Daily News

Philly.com
T-Mobile paying up to $90M for unwanted services
Midland Daily News
WASHINGTON (AP) — T-Mobile US will pay up to $90 million, mostly in refunds, for billing customers for cellphone text services they didn't order, under a settlement with federal regulators. The Federal Trade Commission announced the agreement Friday


Boeing, BlackBerry working together on self-destructing smartphone – SlashGear

SlashGear
Boeing, BlackBerry working together on self-destructing smartphone
SlashGear
The Boeing Black phone, an Android-based smartphone from the aerospace and defense contracting company, has long been in development, but little heard about in the last 2 years. With many questions raised over the devices main feature, its ability to


Take a Tour of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

Take a Tour of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

People do some pretty dumb things for YouTube videos. Derek Muller does them for the sake of science, though. The host of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science, recently visited the most radioactive places on Earth for a TV show about how Uranium and radioactivity affected the modern world. And he lived to tell about it.

Read more...




Cut the Cord in the New Year with These Discounted HDTV Antennas

Cut the Cord in the New Year with These Discounted HDTV Antennas

If you're ready to stop paying the cable company $100 per month for channels you don't use, maybe it's time to cut the cord and get an antenna . Amazon's leaf-style indoor models have great reviews, and they're both marked down to all-time low prices today.

Read more...




U.S. traffic deaths go down, driving getting safer, feds report – NOLA.com

NOLA.com
U.S. traffic deaths go down, driving getting safer, feds report
NOLA.com
FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2011 file photo, cars travel on a freeway in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) (Gregory Bull). Print


Best Tweets: What Women Said On Twitter This Week

The holiday season is officially here. Mary Charlene is definitely in the Christmas spirit, tweeting: "My ugly Christmas sweater perfectly matches my ugly personality." Oh.. adorable.

Twitter user Tammy is celebrating a bit differently this year, tweeting, "Tequila has never made my clothes fall off. // Challenge accepted." Sounds like a great way to ditch that ugly sweater.

For more great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.

My favorite Christmas carol is the one where they blame the weather for their social anxiety and just stay home.

— (maura) (@behindyourback) December 18, 2014


[During Interview]
"Do you have any questions?"
- Yeah, inTitanic why did Jack sink when he died but everyone else floated?

— Jamie Lynn (@Jay_FrickinLynn) December 14, 2014


"this salad is really hitting the spot"
- no one ever

— Carly Ledbetter (@ledbettercarly) December 15, 2014


my ugly Christmas sweater perfectly matches my ugly personality

— Mary Charlene (@IamEnidColeslaw) December 17, 2014


I'm Irish on my mom's side, narcissistic maniac on my dad's.

— Shalyah Evans (@ShalyahEvans) December 17, 2014


Just got sent a bottle of red wine and a blanket at work, because apparently someone wants me to accomplish nothing today.

— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) December 16, 2014


"I had to wonder.. are our girlfriends our real soul mates, and males are just biological accidents?" - me if I was a popular dating blogger

— Callie Beusman (@cal_beu) December 16, 2014


Home for the Honda Days

— shelby fero (@shelbyfero) December 16, 2014


I am in my own clique, just me, myself, and all my other personalities

— Feeds On Your Soul (@tiemespankme) December 17, 2014


Hypocrites

Because the world needs yet another derivative of assholes.

— ALICE (@In_Twittaland) December 15, 2014


Always hated Merry-Go-Rounds.

I can go nowhere in my own life.
And not get nauseous doing it.

— Ginger (@GingerJ17) December 16, 2014


Plug the coffee maker into an Ethernet hub to see what happens.
Not (too) much.

— ~Tweety~ (@XAIMMadellynne) December 15, 2014


I've noticed that my last hour at work is usually spent coming up with different reasons as to why I can't cook dinner when I get home.

— NotTHATSheila (@peb671) December 16, 2014


You know you're tired when you drop something and negotiate with yourself how badly you need it...before you bend down to pick it up.

— blondie (@Blonde4Dayz) December 16, 2014


Who called it "twittercide" and not "doing something productive and meaningful with your life?"

— protolalia (@protolalia) December 17, 2014


Those stick figures on the back of cars represent what's in there?

*Attaches pics of dried cheese sticks, 13 random socks & biohazard sign*

— Marl beans (@Marlebean) December 16, 2014


The amount of times you tell yourself it doesn't matter is directly proportional to how much it does.

— Ann (@writerPT) December 16, 2014


You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why. Life gets worse when you're an adult.

— Tweets by Dreidel (@OhNoSheTwitnt) December 17, 2014

Tequila has never made my clothes fall off

Challenge accepted

— Tammy (@OkieGirl405) December 16, 2014


"whale" is the weakest insult ever. oh, i have a giant brain and rule the sea with my majesty? what have you accomplished lately, steve?

— Lindy West (@thelindywest) December 19, 2014


Imagine me, sexting you.
Nope.
More sitting on the toilet.

— NickyNackyNoo (@BritishNicx) October 10, 2014


Ways to get me to fall in love with you:

1. Be a donut.

— The Alicianater (@leechee420) December 19, 2014


Follow HuffPostWomen's board Funny Tweets From Women on Pinterest.


Facebook’s Messenger Gets Stickered App – Voice Chronicle

Facebook's Messenger Gets Stickered App
Voice Chronicle
Facebook is releasing a new app called 'Stickered' for its messenger, which lets users edit images and paste Facebook Sticker on top of them. These edited images could be shared among friends. Stickered for Messenger, which was developed by


Recommended Reading: The life and death of ‘The Colbert Report’

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. Stephen Colbert Is Dead. ...


Biz Break: Tesla Motors to try out battery-swap station – San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury News
Biz Break: Tesla Motors to try out battery-swap station
San Jose Mercury News
Today: Tesla Motors announces that its battery-swap offering will begin a pilot program next week in California. Also: Facebook is losing teens, but Instagram's value is shooting higher. The Lead: Tesla Motors to roll out battery swapping next week. More than


Facebook Sticks With The Sticker Fad, Brings Stickered For Messenger Into The … – Android Police

Android Police
Facebook Sticks With The Sticker Fad, Brings Stickered For Messenger Into The ...
Android Police
You know what would make me use Facebook Messenger more? (... Said no one ever, but let's just pretend, OK guys?) If I could send my friends photos with a bunch of stickers plastered all over them. Thinking that it's a great idea 4SHO (that's one of the


Facebook Sticks With The Sticker Fad, Brings Stickered For Messenger Into The … – Android Police

Android Police
Facebook Sticks With The Sticker Fad, Brings Stickered For Messenger Into The ...
Android Police
You know what would make me use Facebook Messenger more? (... Said no one ever, but let's just pretend, OK guys?) If I could send my friends photos with a bunch of stickers plastered all over them. Thinking that it's a great idea 4SHO (that's one of the


Meet Amazon’s #1 Reviewer, a Quirky Woman Who Loves Battery Chargers

Meet Amazon's #1 Reviewer, a Quirky Woman Who Loves Battery Chargers

Ali Julia may or may not be her real name. But to the complex and influential world of Amazon reviews, Ali Julia is a name to be reckoned with. The mysterious Boston woman with an affection for computers and battery chargers is the number one ranked reviewer on Amazon. She sounds a little quirky, too.

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Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics?

yahoo-fail-3


North Korea, Angrily Denying Sony Attack, Proposes Joint Investigation With US – New York Times

Times of India
North Korea, Angrily Denying Sony Attack, Proposes Joint Investigation With US
New York Times
Tokyo — Warning of “serious consequences” if the United States retaliates against it, North Korea on Saturday insisted that it was not behind a damaging cyberattack on Sony Pictures, and offered to prove its innocence by proposing a joint investigation with


Google lawsuit forces MPAA-backed attorney general to retreat

Remember that post Google put up this week that accused the MPAA of trying to resurrect the spirit of SOPA with the help of state prosecutors (that included evidence based on some of Sony Pictures' leaked emails)? It just turned into a lawsuit -- and...


How the World Changed in 2014

From industrial robots to wheat production to female billionaires, the statistics that lurked behind the scenes this year


The weirdest and most wondeful inventions in Australia's history

From the Winged keel and Wi-Fi to James Bond-style aeroplane-submarines and bizarre exercise contraptions, the 110-year history of IP Australia has been party to some of the best and weirdest ideas our country has to offer.


Scrap Tire Playgrounds Lighten Landfills, But Raise Cancer Fears

The fire burned for nine months, billowing toxic black smoke thousands of feet above its Appalachian valley source and across five states. It would take 20 years and $12 million to clean up the remains of the tire heap.

At the time of the 1983 Rhinehart, Virginia, tire fire, about 90 percent of America's discarded tires went to landfills. There, they would take up massive amounts of space, occasionally ignite, and collect water that created fertile breeding grounds for disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Today, in part because of actions sparked by the Virginia disaster and many smaller tire fires, more than 90 percent of the nation's approximately 230 million tires scrapped each year are put to use -- burned as fuel, incorporated into asphalt roads and, increasingly, shredded into components of products such as synthetic turf sports fields and children's playgrounds.

Industry leaders tout this as a win-win for businesses and the planet. But others say we've simply swapped one bad set of environmental health risks for another. And these critics highlight moves by industry and government to promote lucrative landfill diversions, such as ground-up tires -- so-called crumb rubber -- despite acknowledging hazards.

Meanwhile, the old tires keep coming.

In 2007, a committee of state, academic, industry and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives published action plans to "promote increased use of ground rubber made from scrap tires" in playgrounds, sports fields and colored mulch, among other products. The toxicity, volatility, leachability and flammability of the tire products were noted in the document, as was a need to "identify and mobilize champions" to "enhance market growth" in the face of these "barriers."

Nearly 60 million tires were ground up for reuse in 2013.

"How do you turn a hazardous material into something you can sell the public on? I would say they've done an ingenious job," said Nancy Alderman, president of the nonprofit Environment and Human Health Inc., who has advocated against the use of crumb rubber where children play.

crumb rubber

Crumb rubber contains carcinogens, advocates warn. (Lynne Peeples)



"On the face of it, recycling material that is otherwise going to waste piles sounds good," said Linda Chalker-Scott, an associate professor of urban horticulture at Washington State University Extension. In fact, she is among proponents for the use of scrap tires in energy production and rubberized asphalt.

But as Chalker-Scott wrote in an academic fact sheet, set for publication soon, that grinding up old tires can put their toxic components -- including polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and carbon black -- in close contact with people, pets and the environment.

Chalker-Scott's expertise is in rubber mulch, a bark look-alike made from recycled tires and popular in yards and children's playgrounds. "Some of what leaches out of the rubber as it decomposes can be pretty toxic," she said.

The same worries are spreading among athletes, coaches and parents. In May, a college soccer coach in Seattle sparked a national conversation with her suspicions concerning a number of current and former soccer goalkeepers who had developed rare cancers. They had all played on artificial turf fields infilled with recycled rubber tire crumbs.

The new-generation synthetic fields began popping up in the 1990s. Nearly 10,000 of them can now be found at schools, parks and professional stadiums, each providing a home for about 40,000 scrap tires. While initially pricey, the turf generally holds up better to weather and wear than natural grass.

Public health experts have given some credence to rising concerns over possible health risks, including cancers, although they underscore the need for more study before any definitive links can be made.

"The research is not solid yet one way or another," said Chalker-Scott. "But that's the whole problem -- it hasn't really been studied."

Susan Buchanan, associate director of Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health and an assistant professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, shared her worry about the particular vulnerability of young children exposed to the loose little black bits on fields and playgrounds. She also noted the dearth of data.

"I think the EPA promoted this in good faith," said Buchanan. "But they did not have adequate data on the safety of exposure in children. The data are still inadequate."

In the wake of the recent alarm, some schools and municipalities have canceled plans to install crumb rubber turf. Lawyers, such as Connecticut's Ed Jazlowiecki, who called crumb rubber "the next asbestos," are collecting names for class-action lawsuits. And citizen-advocates are pushing their local governments to change policies.

Carolyn Dennis, a health advocate in Kentucky, is calling for her state to stop issuing grants for schools and municipalities to use crumb rubber. A Lexington news station recently told the story of one former local soccer player who has twice battled lymphoma. The athlete's twin sister, who chose not to play competitive soccer growing up, never developed cancer.

"Something has got to change," said Dennis.

Dick Brown, spokesman for the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, noted in an email to HuffPost that he is reviewing the crumb rubber issue. "The division has not asked for applications to apply for the next round of funding," he said.

Industry representatives emphasize that the emerging cancer stories, while tragic, remain anecdotal. They also point to research they say supports the safety of crumb rubber. Among their highlighted studies is one published by the EPA in 2009.

An EPA spokeswoman said in an email to The Huffington Post that the agency's research was "very limited in scope" and was "intended to determine a testing method to study tire crumb, not to determine the potential health risks."

"The agency believes that more testing needs to be done, but, currently, the decision to use tire crumb remains a state and local decision," added Rachel Deitz, the EPA spokeswoman. Deitz said the EPA no longer has an initiative to reduce tires in landfills.

Recycled tires are one of five options recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as a shock-absorbing playground material "to reduce the severity of injury to children when they fall," said Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the commission.

"The CPSC is always interested in new research or more data to be brought to our attention regarding any sort of risk of exposure or chronic hazard to children," added Wolfson. "We're trying to address an acute hazard for children but always cognizant of the role we play to try to address chronic hazards to children."

Some destinations for scrap tires remain less controversial, including energy production with low-emission technologies, and rubberized asphalt. From 800 to 2,000 old tires can be incorporated into one lane-mile of roadway, said Dan Zielinski, a spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association. In addition to fewer tires in landfills, he added, drivers get a durable, quieter road that requires less maintenance than standard asphalt.

Zielinski also emphasized how individuals can help reduce the number of scrap tires: "Look for a high-mileage tire, keep up with wheel alignments and rotations, and maintain proper air pressure to keep them on the road as long as possible."

Generating fewer scrap tires also means fewer will be exported, which remains the fate of some 250 million tons of U.S. tires every year. Some of those tires put in additional mileage abroad, but all eventually become scrapped.

Evans Afriyie-Gyawu, environmental health and toxicology researcher at Georgia Southern University, has begun investigating a practice he has so far confirmed in at least six countries, including Ghana: The burning of scrap tires to singe meat. His preliminary data suggests the cooked meat is contaminated with toxic chemicals. But perhaps even more concerning to him are the massive plumes of toxic smoke that he has seen meat processing plant workers and children inhaling.

"This is a huge problem," said Afriyie-Gyawu. "It doesn't sit well with me at all."


The secret engine technology that made the SR-71 the fastest plane ever

The secret engine technology that made the SR-71 the fastest plane ever

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first airplane ever at 6.8 mph (10.9 km/h). Only 61 years and five days later, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird took off. It's still the world's fastest airplane with a speed of 2,193 mph (3,530 km/h.) This fascinating video reveals how its top secret engine technology works.

Read more...




North Korea offers joint probe with US over Sony hack – CITY A.M.

CITY A.M.
North Korea offers joint probe with US over Sony hack
CITY A.M.
In a new twist in the Sony hack story, North Korea has apparently extended an olive branch to US offering to help investigate the attack. The Communist state has denied any involvement with the hacker group Guardians of the Peace that threatened Sony with


Volvo’s bike helmet concept alerts riders and drivers to each other

You know what will go perfectly with those futuristic rocket-powered, heartrate-monitoring bikes? This smart helmet that Volvo wants to create. It's a two-way system that works by uploading both cyclists' and drivers' locations to Volvo's cloud. Whil...


North Korea denies attacking Sony, offers to help investigate

North Korea has ratcheted the absurdity level of the Sony hack up a notch by pleading its innocence again and even offering to help find the real perpetrators. The FBI recently blamed North Korea for the attack that forced Sony Pictures Entertainment...


Doomsday approaches for XP users

Millions of computers and ATMs run the operating system. But support will soon end.        


BlackBerry 3rd-quarter revenue falls more than expected, shares drop – Financial Express

Toronto Star
BlackBerry 3rd-quarter revenue falls more than expected, shares drop
Financial Express
BlackBerry Ltd on Friday reported a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter revenue, sending shares of the struggling smartphone maker lower, even as it eked out a small adjusted profit and began generating cash flow again. Revenue fell to $793 million


New app tells you what to take when you’re sick

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Iodine.com, an online health information database designed to give users access to more information about medications and other healthcare choices, has launched a new web app dedicated to treatments for the cold and flu season.

“With the variety of symptoms you get, and the marketing hype of name brand drugs, it can be tough to find the best medicine for your cold or flu symptoms,” said Lifehacker.com. “Iodine's new Cold-and-Flu feature tells you exactly what to buy based on the symptoms you have.”

In a statement, the company said that the new site allows people to look through over 300 different cold and flu medications to find and compare those that treat their own specific set of symptoms. They call it the first app of its kind dedicated to influenza and the common cold.

Once you get to the web app, you just enter your symptoms, and the site will generate a list of medicines that will help you based on their active ingredients. It lists the type of drugs that can treat the cold and flu, as well as information about dosages and potential health risks, and also lists store brands that are comparable to well-known products.

“Choosing between cold medicines is confusing,” the company explained, noting that the hundreds of products sold at drugstores “combine just four types of ingredients: decongestants, pain and fever reducers, cough suppressants, and expectorants (mucus thinners).”

Each different name brand has its own version of nearly every combination, as well as different dosage forms (such as tablets or liquids) and dosage strengths. “Deciphering different products and ingredients is confusing to anyone without medical training,” Iodine officials added.

The website also said that customers tend to overpay for brand name medications, spending an additional $44 billion on over-the-counter medications and other health items. Pharmacists, on the other hand, are reportedly 90 percent more likely to buy money-saving generic drugs.

“People are taking more medicine than they need: Many choose combination products that have more ingredients than they need, putting them at higher risk for side effects, drug interactions, and overdoses,” the company explained, adding that people can select symptoms to see a short list of ingredients that treat them, as well as a product comparison. Then can they print or email the list to themselves and take it with them the next time they do to the drugstore.

“We built our cold and flu app because we think consumers are overwhelmed by options and marketing in the cold and flu aisle," said Dr. Amanda Angelotti, director of product at the San Francisco-based company that has been called “the Yelp of medicine” by Time.

“They're overspending on brand names and often taking combination products with more ingredients than they really need,” Dr. Angelotti added. “Iodine's cold and flu app helps you narrow down your options to products that treat the symptoms you actually have, and shows you store brands and generics that cost less but work just as well.”


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2014 Is Ending, but This Wave of Technology Disruptions Is Just Beginning

2014-12-20-imrs.jpeg
The sun is setting on 2014, but we're about to watch a new wave of technologies rise and remake the world. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Changes in technology are happening at a scale which was unimaginable before and will cause disruption in industry after industry. This has really begun to worry me, because we are not ready for this change and most of our leading companies won't exist 15-20 years from now. Here are five sectors to keep an eye on:



1. Let's start with manufacturing.



Robotics and 3D printing have made it cheaper to manufacture in the United States and Europe than in China. Robots such as Baxter, from Rethink Robotics, and UR10, from Universal Robots, have arms; screens which show you their emotions; and sensors that detect what is happening around them. The cost of operating these is less than the cost of human labor. We can now have robots working 24×7 and doing some of the work of humans. Over time, these robots will become ever more sophisticated and do most human jobs. The manufacturing industry is surely going to be disrupted in a very big way. This is good news for America, Europe, and parts of Asia, because it will become a local industry. But this will be bad for the Chinese economy -- which is largely dependent on manufacturing jobs.



In the next decade, robots will likely go on strike, because we won't need them anymore. They will be replaced by 3D printers. Within 15 to 20 years, we will even be able to 3D print electronics. Imagine being able to design your own iPhone and print it at home. This is what will become possible.



2. The reinvention of finance



We are already witnessing a controversy over Bitcoin. Many technology and retail companies are supporting it. Crowdfunding is shaking up the venture-capital industry and making it less relevant because it provides start-ups with an alternative for raising seed capital. We will soon be able to crowdfund loans for houses, cars, and other goods. With cardless transactions for purchasing goods, we won't need the types of physical banks and financial institutions that we presently have. Banks in the United States seem to be complacent because they have laws protecting them from competition. But our laws don't apply in other countries. We will see innovations happening abroad which disrupt industries in the United States.



3. Health care



Apple recently announced Healthkit, its platform for health information. It wants to store data from the wearable sensors that will soon be monitoring our blood pressure, blood oxygenation, heart rhythms, temperature, activity levels, and other symptoms. Google, Microsoft, and Samsung will surely not be left behind and will all compete to provide the best health-data platforms. With these data, they will be able to warn us when we are about to get sick. AI-based physicians will advise us on what we need to do to get healthy.



Medical-test data, especially in fields such as oncology, is often so complex that human doctors cannot understand it. This will become even more difficult when they have genomics data to correlate. Over the last 15 years, the cost of human genome sequencing has dropped from the billions to about a thousand dollars. At the rate at which prices are dropping, the cost of sequencing will be close to zero in a few years and we will all have our genomes sequenced. When you combine these data with the medical-sensor data that the tech companies are collecting on their cloud platforms, we will have a medical revolution. We won't need doctors for day-to-day medical advice any more. Robotic surgeons will also do the most sophisticated surgeries. We're going to disrupt the entire health-care system.



4. Now take the energy industry.



Five years ago, we were worried about America running out of oil; today we're talking about Saudi America -- because of fracking. Yes, fracking is a harmful technology; nevertheless it has allowed America to become energy independent and will soon make it an energy exporter. And then there is solar energy, which some people have become negative about. But it is a fact solar prices have dropped about 97 percent over the past 35 years, and, at the rate at which solar is advancing, by the end of this decade we will achieve grid parity across the United States. Grid parity means it's cheaper to produce energy at home on your solar cells than to buy it from utilities. Move forward another 10 or 20 years, and it will costs a fraction as much to produce your own energy as to buy it from the grid. This means that the utility companies will be in serious trouble. This is why they are beginning to fight the introduction of solar. If solar keeps advancing in the way it is, it will eclipse the fossil-fuel industry. Solar is only one of maybe a hundred advancing technologies that could disrupt the energy industry.



When we have unlimited energy, we can have unlimited clean water, because we can simply boil as much ocean water as we want. We can afford to grow food locally in vertical farms. This can be 100 percent organic, because we won't need insecticides in the sealed farm buildings. Imagine also being able to 3D print meat and not having to slaughter animals. This will transform and disrupt agriculture and the entire food-production industry.



5. Communications



Yes, even this industry will be disrupted. Note how AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have seen their landline businesses disappear. These were replaced by mobile--which is now being replaced by data. When I travel abroad, I don't make long-distance calls any more, because I just call over Skype. Soon we will have WiFi everywhere, thanks to the competition between companies such as AT&T and Google to provide superfast Internet access. We will be able to make free calls over open WiFi networks.



***



In practically every industry that I look at, I see a major disruption happening. I know the world will be very different 15 to 20 years from now. The vast majority of companies who are presently the leaders in their industries will likely not even exist. That is because industry executives either are not aware of the changes that are coming, are reluctant to invest the type of money that is be required for them to reinvent themselves, or are protecting legacy businesses. Most are focused on short-term performance.



New trillion-dollar industries will come out of nowhere and wipe out existing trillion-dollar industries. This is the future we're headed into, for better or for worse.



This column was adapted from Wadhwa's talk on Big Think, watch it below:





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