Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Humans are using up nature’s resources ‘budget’ faster than ever

Humans are using up nature’s resources ‘budget’ faster than ever

On Thursday, Global Footprint Network issued a statement saying that over the past eight months, humans have “used up nature’s budget” for 2015, meaning the remainder of the year will be spent using up resources and impacting Earth in such a way that is, in the long term, unsustainable. Carbon sequestration is said to be responsible for more than 50 percent of the demand on nature. Humanity’s ecological footprint continues to exceed our planet’s biocapacity — that is, nature’s ability to keep up with our demands.

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Apple’s newest diversity numbers show small yearly gain

Apple’s newest diversity numbers show small yearly gain

Apple is one of several tech companies that have publicly proclaimed goals to increase workforce diversity. Today it published its updated diversity numbers, and relatively speaking, the company made small but appreciable gains. Over the last twelve months, Apple made positive changes in nearly every category, increasing the diversity of its new hires for an overall more diverse workforce. Said CEO Tim Cook in a statement, “Diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple’s future.”

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Reddit finally checks its email, gets unbanned in Russia

Reddit finally checks its email, gets unbanned in Russia

If you spend any time on Reddit, you’ve likely seen the Russia drama unfold. Though the entire thing has been confusing, the timeline goes something like this: a Redditor published a post on growing drugs in Russian, and Russia didn’t like that. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media watchdog, made a post on a Russian social network (more or less) asking that someone with contacts “with the Reddit administration” ask them to “check their email for messages” the agency has sent. If Reddit didn’t respond, Roskomnadzor said it may end up having local ISPs block access to the website.

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Tinder follows Twitter meltdown with new CEO

Tinder follows Twitter meltdown with new CEO

This week Tinder was in the news for its epic meltdown, which took place on Twitter in tweet form following a piece about the company in Vanity Fair. The company has left that news behind, though, admitting that it shouldn't have happened and then quickly shifting focus: the company has given CEO Chris Payne the boot, and will be replacing him with former CEO and co-founder Sean Rad. The reason is said to revolve around Payne not being a good fit for the company, something Payne is said to agree with.

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Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is (maybe) getting a reboot, too

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is (maybe) getting a reboot, too

You can add Will Smith's popular 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to the list of TV shows getting a reboot. According to recent reports, Smith's production company has a project in the pipeline that will either be a reboot of Fresh Prince, or will be a sitcom series that is similar in nature -- reports are conflicting, but the more reliable of the sources indicate the upcoming show will be in the vein of Fresh Prince rather than a direct update. It has been just under 20 years since Fresh Prince wrapped up.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne completes sixth rocket engine test

Aerojet Rocketdyne completes sixth rocket engine test

Aerojet Rocketdyne has announced it successfully finished a complete verification test with its RS-25 rocket engine, which will be powering NASA’s Space Launch System in the future. The full duration was 535 seconds long; the test was performed alongside NASA at its Stennis Space Center. This marks the half-dozen test out of a planned seven-test series. The first test took place back in January. The RS-25 rocket engine was formerly referred to as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), and spent decades in service powering the space shuttle, according to Aerojet.

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Periscope hits 10 million users milestone

Periscope hits 10 million users milestone

On Wednesday, Periscope announced that it had reached (and subsequently exceeded) the 10 million user accounts mark on August 2, underscoring the success it has seen since launch and the growing adoption by mobile users. Periscope first launched back in late March, making it a fresh-faced service with a big-name foundation: Twitter. The service has so far trumped competing product Meerkat, though both of those services are staring down the barrel of big competition with YouTube’s newly made live streaming announcement.

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NASA’s latest contest seeks smartwatch app for astronauts

NASA’s latest contest seeks smartwatch app for astronauts

NASA contests are nothing new -- it has one every so often seeking different things from the public for its various efforts. The space agency has initiated a new one, this time oddly enough through the freelancing website Freelancer, where it is seeking entries related to a smartwatch app for astronauts. According to the contest’s description, NASA has an interest in smartwatch technology, and is planning to use such devices to aid astronauts. Ordinary watch apps won’t do, however, and so it is looking for the creations of the public. The space agency has detailed its requirements, but developers are given freedom around them.

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FAA details upswing in close calls between drones, airplanes

FAA details upswing in close calls between drones, airplanes

The FAA has announced the instances of close calls between drones and airplanes has increased drastically over recent months. According to the administration, pilots have reported in excess of 650 close calls with drones up through August 9, a big jump over last year’s 238 reports. Drone use near airports, airplanes, and helicopters is forbidden and extremely dangerous. That hasn’t stopped operators from carelessly flying near them, and the FAA has warned that it isn’t going easy in such cases — operators could face jail time for flying near planes.

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Perseid meteor shower peaked with 100 meteors an hour

Perseid meteor shower peaked with 100 meteors an hour

Last night brought a grand celestial show for those who were in regions with agreeable weather. The Perseid meteor shower was complemented by a lack of intrusive moonlight, and as a result many got a solid look at the meteors as they blazed by. The shower started in earnest earlier this week and increased over a couple days to hit its peak last night. Very early this morning was arguably the best time to have watched the shower, but it you go out tonight you'll still be able to catch the stragglers.

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‘Cyberflashing’ incident ushers in new era of perverts

‘Cyberflashing’ incident ushers in new era of perverts

The modern world is full of funny new terms that speak of situations facilitated by the gadgets we carry around with us. The new word buzzing around is 'cyberflashing', and some are saying the first of such incidents has taken place via a lone pervert using AirDrop. Reportedly, the suspect used Apple's AirDrop to send unsolicited indecent pictures (it is unclear whether they were images of the suspect) to a passenger on a train in London. Police say they have investigated the matter.

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ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

A project called Cities at Night is using photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station to map nightly light pollution in cities across the world. The project started last summer, and requires the mapping of more than 130,000 high-resolution photographs using geo-centric details. This project is looking at the amount of light produced by cities across the entire globe, including the smaller sources of scattered light in addition to the bigger, more obvious points of light pollution.

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