Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

A simulation of a Martian day has revealed the possible cause of Mars’ extensive seasonal gullies: boiling water. The conclusion was made after researchers used Open University’s Large Mars Chamber, a steel decompression chamber equipped with simulated hills, to test the effects of water running down the surface. The gullies were first discovered in 2011, and how they formed had largely remained a mystery.

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Robot monk Xian’er teaches temple visitors, chants mantras

Robot monk Xian’er teaches temple visitors, chants mantras

Longquan Temple, a Buddhist temple not too far from Beijing, is home to Xian’er, a 2ft. tall robot monk donned in a yellow robe and seeming holding a tablet in his hands. The robot is an unexpected blend of modern with the ancient, and is designed to, among other things, teach visitors some basic things about Buddhism. When not teaching, the robo-monk can chant mantras. The robot’s purpose is fairly simple — it is designed to attract visitor attention that may otherwise be dedicated to a smartphone.

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CST-01 Watch officially dead: company files for bankruptcy

CST-01 Watch officially dead: company files for bankruptcy

The CST-01, the “world’s thinnest watch,” has seemingly been dead in the water since last summer when the company behind it, Central Standard Timing, posted their last update declaring that Flextronics had decided to back away from the project. The company first sought funding on Kickstarter, where its promise of an incredibly thin e-ink watch raked in $1,026,293 from more than 7600 backers. The campaign ended on February 22, 2013 -- the first delay was announced by July and now, nearly a year since the company's last update, backers have received paperwork announcing bankruptcy.

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Mighty No. 9 launches June 21 in North America and Asia

Mighty No. 9 launches June 21 in North America and Asia

Mighty No. 9, the game that has been chronically delayed, will be launching in North America and Asia on June 21, the game’s creator has announced. In a statement today, Keiji Inafune said everyone outside of North America and Asia will get access to the title soon after starting on June 24. He describes the game as having “gone gold,” and says the team is in its final stages before it hits digital and retail shelves.

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Hulu tipped in plan to launch Sling TV competitor next year

Hulu tipped in plan to launch Sling TV competitor next year

Hulu could be the next company to offer a live streaming real-time TV service, according to sources. The service would be akin to Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, enabling subscribers to watch live cable channels and broadcasts over the Internet rather than through a satellite or cable television subscription. Sources say Hulu is aiming to launch the live service in the first quarter of next year.

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Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Steaks are good, yes. So are burgers on the grill and a roast in the oven. Cows, though, aren’t so great for the environment, an issue that must be addressed as the world becomes hotter and climate change becomes more rapid. It takes a lot of water to raise a cow, but that's arguably not humanity's biggest concern at the moment. It is farts...cow farts, to be specific. A cow's fart has a lot of methane, and methane is a big contributor toward a warmer planet.

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UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

The United Arab Emirates is considering building a fake mountain to, it hopes, increase rainfall in the region. Later this summer, the US’s National Center for Atmospheric Research will provide the UAE with a report on the first stage of its evaluation of the plan — NCAR is looking into what kind of weather effects a man-made mountain would have, the kind of slopes it would need, and how tall it would have to be.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer modes, maps will be free

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer modes, maps will be free

Details have been dropped on the multiplayer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, with the first and foremost tidbit being that future multiplayer modes and maps will be arriving in the game for free. As well, all of the gameplay and vanity items available in the in-game store will also be obtainable through ordinary (read: free) gameplay. The idea, says the game's creator, is to have a game that "won’t be fragmented by different types of DLC."

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Ghostbusters reboot trailer sets YouTube ‘most hated’ record

Ghostbusters reboot trailer sets YouTube ‘most hated’ record

The upcoming 'Ghostbusters' reboot had its first full official trailer released not too long ago, and many complained. Many complained. It was quickly remixed by those who thought they could do better, but the original lived on, and now it has made history...as the most disliked movie trailer in all of YouTube history.

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Waze: hackers can’t track you specifically, so stop worrying

Waze: hackers can’t track you specifically, so stop worrying

Researchers detailed a security vulnerability affecting navigation app Waze this week, and it ignited concerns about potential privacy violations and mass surveillance. Waze has been quick to respond, saying in a lengthy statement today that it has tighten up the vulnerability, but also that concerns were overblown and you shouldn’t waste your time worrying. Among other things, the vulnerability wouldn’t have allowed anyone to find you specifically.

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Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

In May 2015, Jawbone slapped Fitbit with a lawsuit over what it claimed was the latter company’s systematic ‘plundering’ of confidential company data by hiring now-former Jawbone employees. Such was the start of a long-running legal battle between Jawbone and Fitbit, one Jawbone has been given the go-ahead to pursue. Yesterday’s ruling wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Jawbone, though — Fitbit proved victorious in a spat that has resulted in some of Jawbone’s patents being invalidated, reducing the odds of Fitbit being hit with an import ban.

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Science says dogs hate being hugged

Science says dogs hate being hugged

Sorry dog owners, your favorite furry companion probably doesn't like your hugs. Sure, humans enjoy hugs — more than a few studies have found them to be a developmental necessity — but dogs aren’t humans, and, frankly, hugs freak them out. Why? When a dog doesn't like something, it runs away; it can't run away when you're hugging it, though, so your affection is perceived as something akin to shackles around the paws.

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