Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Snapchat video ads may get three second delay to stop rapid skips

Snapchat video ads may get three second delay to stop rapid skips

Snapchat is considering a new monetization method that will upset users should it go live: three-second wait times before skipping advertisements. According to sources speaking on the matter, Snapchat is "serious" in its contemplation of the change, which would come close to mirroring the skip-button used on YouTube video advertisements. The reason, according to the sources, is young users' tendency to immediately skip ads.

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China’s first space station is about to crash back down to Earth

China’s first space station is about to crash back down to Earth

China's first space station, the Tiangong-1, was launched in late September 2011 with a massive weight of about 19,000lbs. The space station was pushed past its usable lifespan, and in 2016 it became clear that Chinese officials had lost contact with it...and, therefore, control of it. That triggered a process that will end this upcoming March, when the vessel will fall back to Earth with pieces of it likely surviving the reentry.

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Robots deployed in Japan hospital to ease nurse workload

Robots deployed in Japan hospital to ease nurse workload

A hospital in Nagoya, Japan, has deployed robots to help nurses during the overnight shift. The robots aren't involved with patients, instead designed to serve as something like a rolling delivery cabinet. Less nurses work the overnight shift, leaving less humans to take items where they're needed. These robots fill that void, transporting medicine, samples and other items between in-hospital destinations.

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Drinking raw water is a terrible idea

Drinking raw water is a terrible idea

A recent report highlights a concerning new trend: drinking "raw water," which means water that hasn't been treated in any way. The motivation behind this trend seems to be a misguided attempt to avoid harmful elements that may be found in tap water while gaining beneficial elements believed to exist only in untreated spring water. The reality, though, is one that could involve serious illnesses uncommon in modern America.

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30 fossilized dinosaur eggs found on Christmas day in China

30 fossilized dinosaur eggs found on Christmas day in China

Construction workers in China discovered a cache of fossilized dinosaur eggs on Christmas day. The eggs, which were found in what appears to be a dinosaur nest, are described as being in great condition, a fortunate reality considering the use of explosives in the area during the construction process. The preserved nest and egg cache is located on a site that will ultimately be a middle school.

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VPN services that let you pay with unwanted retail gift cards

VPN services that let you pay with unwanted retail gift cards

Internet-related privacy concerns are growing, but many people still haven't signed up for a VPN service. If you received any unwanted gift cards over the holidays -- perhaps ones for a coffee shop you'll never visit or a store that doesn't exist in your region -- now is the time to subscribe. Several VPN services accept gift cards as a form of payment, and using them has the added benefit of being a little extra anonymous.

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Facebook apologizes for inconsistent hate speech enforcement

Facebook apologizes for inconsistent hate speech enforcement

Facebook has apologized for its uneven enforcement involving hate speech, allowing some offensive content to remain while removing others. A recent report called attention to the discrepancy, showing some offensive posts that were allowed to remain while others were deleted. When asked to review 49 questionable content decisions, Facebook said that there were 22 instances in which its content reviewers made mistakes.

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Forever 21 reports credit card breach: encryption issue blamed

Forever 21 reports credit card breach: encryption issue blamed

Clothing franchise Forever 21 disclosed a security breach involving credit cards last month, and now the company is back with an update on its investigation. According to the company, it was alerted to a potential security issue by a third-party back in October of this year. That triggered an investigation by the company, which found that some stores' point-of-sale devices didn't always utilize encryption.

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Qoobo therapeutic cat pillow with wagging tail now up for preorder

Qoobo therapeutic cat pillow with wagging tail now up for preorder

Back in October, Japanese company Yukai Engineering introduced a therapeutic pillow called Qoobo. Though it is a pillow, it has a big twist compared to other pillows: it is styled after a cat, including soft fur and a wagging tail. That makes Qoobo as much robot as it is cushion, one designed to give someone a sense of comfort without squeezing an actual living cat.

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AT&T FirstNet public safety network has all 50 US states participating

AT&T FirstNet public safety network has all 50 US states participating

AT&T has announced that all 50 US states are participating in its public safety network called FirstNet. The project will take place over the next handful of years, ultimately culminating in a robust broadband network provided specifically for first responders. The carrier recently held an opt-in/out period during which states had to decide whether they wanted in...and, it turns out, they all do.

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CDC says flu widespread in US: 21 states have high case numbers

CDC says flu widespread in US: 21 states have high case numbers

The Centers for Disease Control has released a new report indicating that the flu is off to a strong start in the US this year. Influenza-like activity has been reported as widespread across 36 states, with 21 of those states having a large number of flu-related cases. The reason for the widespread presence, according to the CDC, is this year's flu vaccine having a low effectiveness rate.

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Supermoon 2018: Full Wolf Moon and Blue Moon, plus a total lunar eclipse

Supermoon 2018: Full Wolf Moon and Blue Moon, plus a total lunar eclipse

Next month will bring a pair of supermoons, the first arriving on New Year's day, the other managing to slip in on the last day of the month. You'll be able to see both, assuming the weather is agreeable. The first supermoon of 2018 is called the 'Full Wolf Moon,' and it will be visible starting early in the night on New Year's day, while the second supermoon is what is known as a 'blue moon.'

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