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Hidden FBI microphones planted in public outside California courthouse

Hidden FBI microphones planted in public outside California courthouse

For a period of 10 months, the FBI planted hidden microphones in several public locations outside a courthouse in Oakland, California, it has recently been discovered. A warrant wasn't needed, but the microphones allowed the government to secretly record and monitor private conversations during the period between March 2010 and January 2011.

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Mirrow Provocator is the size of a Smart ForTwo, but it seats four

Mirrow Provocator is the size of a Smart ForTwo, but it seats four

City driving is best done with small cars — they’re easier to park, easier to zip around in, and easier on gas consumption — but small cars have a big downside. Models like the Smart ForTwo are only big enough for two people, and they don’t have much room for storage. Russian company Mirrow’s Provocator is different (and yet, in many ways, similar) — it manages to squeeze four seats into a small body, shrinking the big-size sedan down into a mini-car.

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Ontario bill will make parents take a class to get vaccine exemptions

Ontario bill will make parents take a class to get vaccine exemptions

Before getting a vaccination exemption, parents in Ontario may first have to attend an educational class teaching them about vaccines, what they are, and why they are important. Such is the foundation of new legislation recently introduced in the region, and it aims to reduce the number of parents who choose to skip vaccines over fears about autism, random conspiracy theories, and other concerns.

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What is Didi Chuxing and why did Apple invest $1bn?

What is Didi Chuxing and why did Apple invest $1bn?

Ride-hailing is big business, and if you needed any further evidence the fact that Apple just pumped $1bn into a Chinese Uber-alike should confirm it. The Cupertino firm may have made its money convincing us to upgrade every year to the latest iPhone, but its latest investment shows it has ambitions far beyond just smartphones and Macs. Question is, what exactly is Didi Chuxing?

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Walmart rolls out free two-day shipping in jab at Amazon

Walmart rolls out free two-day shipping in jab at Amazon

Walmart's no stranger to taking on Amazon; last year, for example, the retailer announced a flat-rate unlimited shipping option called ShippingPass that undercut Amazon Prime at $50/year while offering a similar level of convenience. Now the company is stepping up its game, revealing plans to offer free two-day shipping to customers who prefer ordering online rather than visiting a store; a $49/year ShippingPass subscription will be required.

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Ax fragment found in Australia is world’s oldest

Ax fragment found in Australia is world’s oldest

The world’s oldest ax fragment has been discovered in Western Australia, researchers have announced. The fragment is very small, being only about the size of a dime or a fingernail, but it shows a distinct shape and polish that hints at its past life — as a tool used during the Stone Age by humans to make life a bit easier. According to researchers, the tool hints that these newly-arrived humans were technically inclined and able to craft items for use in the rather inhospitable Australian wild.

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Netflix may ruin studio by refusing to adjust contract dates

Netflix may ruin studio by refusing to adjust contract dates

Netflix is on the receiving end of some incredulous stares and disappointed head-shaking, according to a new report. The company is planning to stream a pair of films from producer Relativity Media LLC before they arrive in theaters, and it may be able to do so because of the current contract in place. The studio, it turns out, ran into some pretty big financial troubles and is banking on movies “Masterminds” and “The Disappointments Room” pulling it out of the frying pan. While making some big financial adjustments, the company had to delay the theatrical release of both movies, and the expectation was that Netflix would agree to adjust its streaming dates for after the theatrical releases. Netflix, though, says it is going to proceed with the original dates against the studio’s wishes.

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Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

A 15-year-old Canadian teenager has seemingly discovered a long-lost Mayan city after noticing previously-undiscovered correlations between maps of star constellations and the locations of the largest (known) Mayan cities. At some point William Gadoury realized that the two matched up — something, apparently, no one had ever noticed before. After using his discovery to match 117 Mayan cities with 22 star constellations, he discovered that one was missing…and, soon after, satellites revealed that he had probably pinpointed it correctly on a map.

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Republican Senator mad at Facebook for news bias

Republican Senator mad at Facebook for news bias

It would appear that Republican Senator John Thune has a problem with how Facebook may or may not filter its news feed. After a story on Gizmodo suggested that "several former unnamed Facebook employees" spoke about surpressing "conservative viewpoints" and "artificially highlighted other news stories" - words from Thune's press release. He's displeased with how Facebook chooses to use their news aggregator, suggesting that if these claims are substantiated, "Facebook's assertion that it maintains a 'platform for the people and perspectives from across the political spectrum' misleads the public."

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Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Researchers have developed a polymer they call a ‘second skin,’ and it could one day be used to apply medication directly to a person's skin or to protect against UV exposure, among other things. The polymer comes from Olivo Labs, a company that focuses on creating proprietary biomaterials for use in the dermatological field. Researchers call their new polymer ‘XPL,’ and say it offers the same mechanical properties as “youthful [real] skin."

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New blood glucose monitor replaces finger pricks with microwaves

New blood glucose monitor replaces finger pricks with microwaves

The future holds a lot of promise for diabetics, not the least of which is because of the more advanced glucose monitors researchers have been creating. There's the Patch monitor, a band-like wearable that sticks on the skin to keep track of sugar levels. Similar but suitably different is a new contraption created by researchers at Cardiff University's School of Engineering -- a small device that attaches to the skin and uses microwaves instead of finger pricks to check sugar levels.

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Mount St. Helens’ recent earthquakes are nothing to fear

Mount St. Helens’ recent earthquakes are nothing to fear

Small earthquakes that have recently taken place near Mouth St. Helens, a volcano that erupted in 1980 and caused a few dozen deaths, have stirred up concern among those who worry another eruption may happen in the near future. Put those fears to rest, folks -- there's nothing to worry about. Researchers say there is no sign the volcano will blow anytime soon, and that so-called 'earthquake swarms' have happened in the recent past.

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