Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Ashley Madison hackers drop another 20GB of stolen data

Ashley Madison hackers drop another 20GB of stolen data

The Ashley Madison hackers have released a larger cache of information stolen from the website for affairs. The first batch of data — which has already revealed numerous well-known names and email addresses tied to government agencies, among others — was about 10GB compressed, and this latest data dump is about double that: 20GB or so of compressed data on more users of the infidelity website. This latest dump appears to, in part, include emails belonging to at least one of the site's executives.

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July 2015 is the new hottest month on record

July 2015 is the new hottest month on record

As mostly everyone anticipated, July 2015 became the hottest month on record, trumping previous title holder June 2015, which itself broke the record held by recent months before it. Last year was the hottest year on record, but as we've previously reported, this year has already broken heat records and is on track to become the newest "hottest year" recorded. In addition, a report from earlier this month has revealed that humanity has already used up nature's resources for this year, a rate that happened faster than in previous years.

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Researchers made an entirely new type of glass…by accident

Researchers made an entirely new type of glass…by accident

University of Chicago scientists have accidentally created an entirely new type of glass. Until now, glass has been defined by its randomness — it is amorphous and without a distinct order. That's why when scientists were presented with what UChicago says were “unusual peaks in what should have been featureless optical data,” they proceeded to investigate the matter. The end result? They'd created an entirely new type of glass, one that is organized rather than random, and that could result in more efficient devices in the future.

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Sony SmartBand 2 is durable, waterproof, and arrives next month

Sony SmartBand 2 is durable, waterproof, and arrives next month

Sony has introduced its new SmartBand 2 wearable. This wristband is designed to track fitness and activity metrics while also feeding the most pertinent data from the paired smartphone. The newest SmartBand is able to offer up email and social notifications from a paired smartphone, call info, “visual feedback” delivered via colored LEDs, and more. Says Sony, the SmartBand 2 also features an “advanced heart rate sensor”, and offers up insights on things like the wearer’s stress level and sleep patterns.

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California DAs: Uber background checks didn’t find criminal records

California DAs: Uber background checks didn’t find criminal records

A pair of California district attorneys have alleged that Uber’s background checks failed to find the criminal records of 25 drivers operating in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The claims have been added to a civil suit that was first filed in December by both cities’ district attorneys. Uber is accused of continually misleading its customers about the level of background checks its drivers undergo. It is also being claimed that Uber representatives keep changing their details about the type of screening Uber performs.

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Rare Fire Rainbow appears over Isle of Palms, SC

Rare Fire Rainbow appears over Isle of Palms, SC

On Sunday, South Carolina became the canvas for a rare "fire rainbow", which is a rainbow that, in this case, twisted upward in the sky and formed what appeared to be a pair of wings. The phenomenon happened at Isle of Palms, and isn’t something you’re likely to see too often. It is rare enough, in fact, that many viewers were baffled by the sight, but a quick look at the tweets filling Twitter reveals they found it pleasant regardless.

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Google data center loses data after lightning strikes

Google data center loses data after lightning strikes

One of Google's data centers located in Belgium has lost some data after being pummeled with four lightning strikes. Unfortunately, this is said to have resulted in some Google users permanently losing access to some of their data, though Google has since managed to access some of the discs that were damaged. This affects the Google Computer Engine (GCE) service, but at this time it isn’t known which clients lost data as a result, nor the nature of the data that was nuked. Google has reassured users that while serious, the data loss was also very minimal, permanently affecting only 0.000001% of the disk space.

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YouTube Space studio is coming to India

YouTube Space studio is coming to India

Google announced today that Mumbai, India will be counted among the few select cities laying claim to a YouTube Space studio. YouTube Spaces have already been launched in LA, London, Tokyo, New York City, Sao Paulo, and Berlin, with the first one having been launched in 2012. Thousands of YouTube creators have visited the YouTube Spaces, according to Google, and it’ll likely see those numbers increase more rapidly with this latest launch.

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Macy’s dressing room tablets deliver clothes via chutes

Macy’s dressing room tablets deliver clothes via chutes

Amazon is chomping up a growing number of consumers, and other retailers — particularly those of the brick-and-mortar sort — are feeling the pressure. Macy’s is trying out new methods to retain customers, and one of those methods is putting tablets in dressing rooms. The idea is that while anyone can buy something online, they can’t try it out over the Internet to see how it looks before buying...meaning that, at least for now, physical retail stores still have an edge, and they're doing everything they can to keep it.

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Urban grime ‘breathes’ pollution when exposed to sunlight

Urban grime ‘breathes’ pollution when exposed to sunlight

Urban grime ‘breathes’ pollution back into the environment when exposed to sunlight, according to researchers. Grime, in this case, is the slurry of chemicals pumped into the air from common city trappings: car tail pipes, house chimneys, factories, and more. These chemicals build up on surfaces, forming a distinct dark “grime” over time. This grime has been known to absorb pollution out of the atmosphere, but according to a study conducted in Germany, it can also release some nitrogen pollution back into the environment.

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Skype for Android update brings custom ringtones

Skype for Android update brings custom ringtones

Skype for Android has received a new update, bringing it to version 5.10. The update is relatively small, at least as far as apps go, but it does bring a couple of welcomed features, the most important for many users likely being personalized ringtones. With this, Skype users are able to set custom ringtones for contacts, making it possible to know who is calling without pulling out your phone or tablet and taking a look.

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Researchers: hummingbirds drink using ‘tiny pumps’

Researchers: hummingbirds drink using ‘tiny pumps’

The hummingbirds that show up around your porch to drink up proffered sugary water are, as you know, zippy little birds. It’s hard to see anything more than their quick darting around, but thanks to slow motion video we’ve been given a look at what we’ve been missing. Much like cats, hummingbirds drink using their tongue, but rather than lapping it up, they use their tongue as a type of tiny pump that works very, very fast.

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