Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Google makes two-step verification easier with new prompt

Google makes two-step verification easier with new prompt

Google has made two-step verification easier with a new prompt that simply requires a tap — tap “Deny” to block an attempted sign-in, or tap “Yes, allow sign-in” to approve it. This is optional -- if you really prefer codes, you can still receive them instead. By enabling it, though, getting into your own account, or keeping someone out, is faster than it has ever been.

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Lightsaber screwdrivers make DIY projects a little more fun

Lightsaber screwdrivers make DIY projects a little more fun

If you’ve been a Star Wars fan for a long while, you probably had a lightsaber toy of some sort as a kid, even if it was just a fancy stick you painted neon green. If you feel that such toy ownership as an adult would be too awkward, ThinkGeek has a grown-up alternative: a trio of screwdrivers with lightsaber hilts. Officially dubbed the Star Wars Lightsaber Tool Kit, the trio feature handles from Luke’s, Vader’s, and Yoda’s lightsabers.

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NOAA coral reef bleaching update: “no signs of stopping”

NOAA coral reef bleaching update: “no signs of stopping”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published an updated look at coral reef bleaching around the world, saying that high water temperatures have persisted into an “unprecedented third year” and will cause an increased number of bleaching events..and that, unfortunately, there’s no signs of this slowing down or stopping.

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CW may let Netflix stream new seasons two weeks after airing

CW may let Netflix stream new seasons two weeks after airing

Both Netflix and the CW have been in talks about bringing the latter network’s shows to Netflix, doing so less than two weeks after the season wraps up on traditional television. The talks come as the CW’s deal with Hulu reaches its end; under that deal, Hulu provided access to a limited number of episodes shortly after they aired. Hulu reportedly wanted the CW to give it increased rights to stream its content in order to renew the deal, with the talks reportedly having dragged on for months before being abandoned altogether.

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Chameleon spit is ultra sticky, enables tongue to nab insects

Chameleon spit is ultra sticky, enables tongue to nab insects

Chameleons have long intrigued humans, due in no small part to their funny eyes, their color-changing skin, and their whip-like tongues. When hunting, a chameleon will shoot its tongue out to surprising lengths, striking an insect and reeling it back in for a quick meal. How the tongue itself works is no mystery, but how it managed to cling to the insect wasn't so clear until now. Turns out, chameleons have super-sticky spit.

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Spotify says it has more than 100 million monthly active listeners

Spotify says it has more than 100 million monthly active listeners

Spotify has announced that it has more than 100 million people listening to the service every month. The company is seeing substantial growth, according to its most recent statements, with each month nabbing it another 1.8 million or so users. As expected, though, the majority of these subscribers are listening to the ad-supported version of the service; only 30-percent are paying subscribers.

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Zika vaccine approved for phase one human trial

Zika vaccine approved for phase one human trial

A pair of companies have gotten the go-ahead for human trials of a zika virus vaccination, they have announced. Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science got approval for a phase I trial, which will concern Inovio’s Zika DNA vaccine GLS-5700. The vaccination is designed to prevent zika virus infections in humans; it showed promise in pre-clinical trials involving both small and large animals.

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Acer hack may have exposed 34,500 customers

Acer hack may have exposed 34,500 customers

Late last week, a letter surfaced detailing a data breach with Acer’s website which left customers’ credit and debit card details vulnerable, among other things. Though the time frame for the breach was stated — May 12 of last year through April 28 of this year — how many people may have been affected wasn’t detailed. Acer has revealed the number this week, though, and it’s substantial: as many as 34,500 customers may have had their banking details stolen.

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Seek’s CompactPRO thermal camera works with iOS and Android

Seek’s CompactPRO thermal camera works with iOS and Android

Seek Thermal has taken the wraps off its new CompactPRO, a thermal camera for use with Android smartphones and the iPhone. The camera is said to offer professional-grade quality at a price point that is within the reach of most consumers and small companies. As with other thermal cameras, the device features a thermal sensor array that measures temperatures — in this case, from as low as -40F to as high as 626F.

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Twitch files lawsuit against seven alleged viewbot sellers

Twitch files lawsuit against seven alleged viewbot sellers

This evening, Twitch’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Matthew DiPietro tackled the issue of ‘viewerbots,’ bots that are designed to make it look like a channel is getting more viewers than it is, as well as other bots that artificially inflate chat activity and follower count. “We take this situation very seriously,” he said, “and would like you to know what we’re doing about it."

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NFL blackout hits Dish Network as talks sour

NFL blackout hits Dish Network as talks sour

For the first time ever, the NFL has had its channels dropped by a TV service provider, a popular one at that. Dish Network kicked off an NFL Network and NFL RedZone blackout after talks between the two companies soured. The squabble is reportedly over distribution fees; the existing contract that gave Dish the NFL channels has expired, and the service provider apparently didn’t like the terms being offered by the new proposal.

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Shazam for Android adds auto mode for background listening

Shazam for Android adds auto mode for background listening

Shazam, the handy app that figures out what song is playing on your behalf, just got a new auto mode that enables it to listen in the background. This new feature comes with the latest update, and is designed to make the entire process hands-free. If you’re walking through the store and hear a song you like, no need to stop and pull out your phone. Shazam will already be listening, will figure it out, and will add it to your list of songs.

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