Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Apple rehires top encryption pro Jon Callas as gov seeks data

Apple rehires top encryption pro Jon Callas as gov seeks data

Apple has rehired Jon Callas (again), the man who helped found Blackphone, Silent Circle, and PGP Corp. Callas previously designed an encryption system for Apple, having first worked for the company in the 90s, and later on from 2009 to 2011. Though Apple has confirmed that it rehired Callas in May, it has not revealed specifics about what he’ll be doing with the company, though it’ll no doubt be part of Apple’s efforts to further bolster its encryption.

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Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

About 176,500 years ago, Neanderthals created a pair of stone rings far within a cave (located in France) from stalagmites cut to similar heights ranging up to 16-inches. Why? No one knows. However, the discovery — which was made back in 1990 — was recently the subject of a study that found the structures date back to a time when Neanderthals would have made them. This further underscores reshaped notions of how intelligent Neanderthals were, and reveals a big mystery surrounding a possible ritual site.

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Facebook publishes letter to Sen. Thune over Trending bias accusations

Facebook publishes letter to Sen. Thune over Trending bias accusations

Remember the hoopla around Facebook’s alleged ‘Trending’ section news bias, something that arose from a report citing anonymous sources? Facebook has since published its editorial process concerning the section, and even talked with conservatives including Glenn Beck, who recently stated that he felt the social network was being honest. Before all of this, though, Republican Senator John Thune fired off an upset letter demanding answers from Facebook; this week, the social network has responded.

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Kilauea volcano in Hawaii sprouts two ‘vigorous’ lava flows

Kilauea volcano in Hawaii sprouts two ‘vigorous’ lava flows

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has announced that Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has a pair of new lava flows, and though neither lava flow is putting the nearby residential regions at risk, they have been described as “vigorous.” This is the same volcano into which NASA sent a robotic vehicle last year, and that caused evacuations two years ago.

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Netflix is bringing back BoJack Horseman on July 22

Netflix is bringing back BoJack Horseman on July 22

Netflix has a cartoon hit on its hands, and it goes by the name BoJack Horseman. The original series will be returning for a third season on July 22, the company has announced, marking yet another installment in the increasingly great show’s streaming life. The third season will follow BoJack as he 'tackles life's big questions," says Netflix, but that's all we know at this point.

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Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

As if murky water you can't see through wasn't frightening enough, a newly published study suggests there could be massive squid -- the kind you read about in mythological texts and fantasy books -- swimming around present-day oceans. Search squid sizes on Google and you'll see notes about how squids top out around 13m/43ft in length -- according to this study, though, the correct size may be closer to 65ft.

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Toyota recalls 1.6m more cars with Takata airbag inflators

Toyota recalls 1.6m more cars with Takata airbag inflators

Yesterday, Toyota announced that it will recall another 1.6 million cars in the U.S. over the Takata air bag inflators located within. As with other faulty Takata air bag inflators, the ones located in these newly recalled vehicles are prone to deploying with too much force if first exposed to excessive levels of humidity. The new recall affects several Toyota models dating as far back as 2006.

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Human Inc’s headphones completely encapsulate your ears

Human Inc’s headphones completely encapsulate your ears

Seattle startup Human Inc is working on a program called “Sound,” and it involves a pair of headphones that completely encapsulate the wearer’s ears, blocking out the external world while providing one’s self with a personal surround sound system. These won’t be just any old pair of futuristic-looking headphones, though — the startup plans to have them function as language translators and portable speakers, as well.

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R2-D2 lawn ornament is a droid for your flower bed

R2-D2 lawn ornament is a droid for your flower bed

The snow is gone, the flowers have bloomed, and your lawn is probably looking pretty open and bare right about now. What better way to fill the void than with a tasteful monochromatic R2-D2 lawn ornament? ThinkGeek has a new one in its catalog, joining the seemingly endless array of other R2-D2 and Star Wars products. Though it is made of resin, the lawn ornament appears to be crafted from concrete.

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Toyota tests the waters with a small investment in Uber car leasing

Toyota tests the waters with a small investment in Uber car leasing

Toyota has made a small, easy-to-escape-from investment into ridesharing company Uber, according to a new report, and the investment will in some way see Uber expanding its auto leasing program in collaboration with Toyota. Details are sparse at this point, as both companies have declined stating how much of an investment the auto maker has made. One Toyota spokesperson, however, has described the collaboration as being a 'pilot project' of sorts.

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Apple tipped to be making its own Echo competitor

Apple tipped to be making its own Echo competitor

Amazon's Echo may be facing yet another competitor, with word surfacing that Apple is going to make its own similar device with Siri at the core. Google recently unveiled its own Echo competitor following weeks of rumor and speculation; in Apple’s case, the company's device will reportedly let users issue voice commands for doing things like setting a timer or having the news read to them.

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Robomow robotic mowers are like a Roomba for your lawn

Robomow robotic mowers are like a Roomba for your lawn

Summer is finally here, and that means mowing the lawn, and that means griping about mowing the lawn and contemplating yet again about replacing the sod with mulch. If mowing really isn't your thing, Robomow wants you to consider its alternatives: robotic law mowers that are basically big Roombas with blades on the bottom.

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