John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

John Gordon Ross header image 3


Anyone who works as a freelancer these days has to be at least a bit familiar with techie things. But it isn’t just that. When I was a kid and those vaguely SF puppet shows were on the television and all the other kids wanted to be Greg Gogetem or Steve Savetheuniverse, I wanted to be the guy in a white coat and glasses called Doc or Brains. Here are some technology-related feeds I find useful and/or entertaining.

Mashable » Cole Sprouse from 'Riverdale' gave his brother a very interesting Christmas gift

Thursday 28 December 23:56:19 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCole Sprouse is officially the king of gag gifts.  The actor, who plays Jughead, our favorite troubled teen on Riverdale, showed off the gift he bestowed upon his twin brother, Dylan, this Christmas. It's an interesting choice, but the joy of it all is Dylan's befuddled reaction—a reaction you can only dream of from every person you've ever given a gift … [Link]

Mashable » Apple Patents a Mysterious iPhone 'Window'

Thursday 28 December 23:43:27 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Read more…More about Mashable Reels, Tech, and Iphone [Link]

Slashdot » Apple Apologizes For iPhone Slowdown Drama, Will Offer $29 Battery Replacements

Thursday 28 December 23:40:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Apple just published a letter to customers apologizing for the "misunderstanding" around older iPhones being slowed down, following its recent admission that it was, in fact, slowing down older phones in order to compensate for degrading batteries. "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down," says the … [Link]

Slashdot » Google Stops Selling the Pixel C Android Tablet

Thursday 28 December 23:00:00 UTC 2017

Google is no longer selling the Pixel C, its flagship Android tablet released about two years ago. "Google's commitment to Android on tablets wasn't strong even then, and now the Pixel C is gone from the Google Store — the listing page redirects you to the Pixelbook," reports Android Police. From the report: The Pixel C was an odd device. … [Link]

Mashable » How Newark's mayor will buck the FCC and protect the city's net neutrality

Thursday 28 December 22:25:24 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe FCC may have squashed net neutrality, but Newark mayor Ras Baraka says the city will keep its internet lanes open and equitable.  Unlike most U.S. cities, Newark has its own internet fiber cables running through town, so it can offer its own fast broadband service, called Newark Fiber. In a partnership with the internet connectivity company Gigxero, Newark Fiber provides … [Link]

Slashdot » How Pirates Of The Caribbean Hijacked America's Metric System

Thursday 28 December 22:20:00 UTC 2017

If the United States were more like the rest of the world, a McDonald's Quarter Pounder might be known as the McDonald's 113-Grammer, John Henry's 9-pound hammer would be 4.08 kilograms, and any 800-pound gorillas in the room would likely weigh 362 kilos. NPR explores: One reason this country never adopted the metric system might be pirates. Here's what happened: … [Link]

Mashable » Watch someone use their voice to break a perfectly useable wine glass

Thursday 28 December 21:49:00 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook If you ever feel the need to break a wine glass but don't really want to go through with actually smashing it to the ground and would rather bully it to it's death, Gus Johnson has the trick for you.  The YouTuber shared a video on Thursday that's short and sweet, but may not make you feel too great. "But … [Link]

Slashdot » HTC, Motorola Say They Don't Slow Old Phones Like Apple Does

Thursday 28 December 21:40:00 UTC 2017

After Apple confirmed last week that it reduces the performance of older iPhones to improve battery life, it has left many wondering whether or not other smartphone manufacturers do the same. HTC and Motorola are the two most recent OEMs to say they don't throttle their phones' processor speeds as their batteries age. The Verge reports: In emails to The … [Link]

Geek Culture » Susan Kare on her iconic work…

Thursday 28 December 21:30:33 UTC 2017

via The Loop! [Link]

Mashable » Team Trump tried to diss Obama in its website code, but couldn't even get that right

Thursday 28 December 21:26:32 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, has tried, and failed, at many things over the course of his questionable career. From Trump University to Trump Steaks, the man who would be king seems to repeatedly stumble into avoidable morass after morass despite his promises to only surround himself with "the best people." But if there was one thing … [Link]

Mashable » When an 85-year-old grandmother learns to use Google Home, an angel gets its wings

Thursday 28 December 21:25:32 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook If you missed your grandmother this year, this video will probably make you feel a little better.  YouTuber Ben Actis uploaded a video Wednesday of his 85-year-old Italian grandma trying to get acquainted with a new Google Home. Sure, her accent might get in the way, but she seems to have a difficult time understand the exact protocol when conversing … [Link]

Slashdot » SoftBank Acquires Big Stake In Uber In a Major Victory For Both Companies

Thursday 28 December 21:20:00 UTC 2017

According to Recode, "Softbank and its co-investors have successfully acquired at least 13 percent of Uber, a major victory for Uber's new CEO and one that will give billions of dollars in cash to some of the company's earliest investors and employees." Recode highlights the far-reaching consequences: Uber's board of directors, which had devolved into a power struggle between Uber's … [Link]

Mashable » Apple could be subject to criminal charges in France over phone slowdowns

Thursday 28 December 21:06:26 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThings are getting more serious for Apple over the revelations that the company purposely slows down older phones. They could face criminal charges in France under a recently passed obsolescence law.  SEE ALSO: Yes, Apple sometimes slows down old iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns A report from French outlet The Local (via The Verge) detailed efforts by Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée … [Link]

Slashdot » People Who Know How the News Is Made Resist Conspiratorial Thinking

Thursday 28 December 21:00:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Conspiracy theories, like the world being flat or the Moon landings faked, have proven notoriously difficult to stomp out. Add a partisan twist to the issue, and the challenge becomes even harder. Even near the end of his second term, barely a quarter of Republicans were willing to state that President … [Link]

Mashable » Don't worry, the world could still end before 2017 is over!

Thursday 28 December 20:55:03 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSeems like people are always saying the world is ending. So it probably is true, right? The most recent date the world was supposed to end was Sept. 23, according to a theory that another planet called "Niburu" was supposed to collide with Earth. The reason this didn't happen was because that planet does not actually exist. But people are still … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Gene therapy treats disease while in the womb

Thursday 28 December 20:40:52 UTC 2017

Brittle bone disease can cause bone fractures in the womb, but a trial of a novel therapy may strengthen bones before birth [Link]

Mashable » Here's when all your favorite shows are coming back in 2018

Thursday 28 December 20:40:14 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook2018 is the year we'll eat healthy, we'll go to the gym, we'll be nicer to our exes… but before we get into all that, let's set some realistic goals.  For example, 2018 could be the year we watch more TV than ever! Wouldn't that be something? We've got a plentiful supply of new TV coming our way and an ever-growing … [Link]

Mashable » 2017 was the year video went vertical

Thursday 28 December 20:33:05 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe iPhone X is basically one gigantic screen, but the "notch" right at the top of the display guides the owner on how to hold it. The phone should be held vertically, where the length is far longer than the width. And yet, since the introduction of the iPhone a decade ago, online videos have forced people to turn their phone … [Link]

Slashdot » Leaving the House Linked To Longevity in Older Adults

Thursday 28 December 20:20:00 UTC 2017

Researchers in Israel have found that leaving the house regularly can "contribute to a longer life" for elderly people. From a report: For study participants in their 70s, 80s and 90s, the frequency with which they left the house predicted how likely they were to make it to the next age milestone, researchers report in Journal of the American Geriatrics … [Link]

Mashable » Everything you need to know about the internet's new obsession with eating Tide pods

Thursday 28 December 20:16:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. Rule number one is do not believe everything you read on the internet—especially if someone is encouraging you to eat Tide pods.  Seriously.  Over the past week, Twitter has been filled with people talking about eating … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » Daily API RoundUp: Instawell, Skypicker, WorkWave

Thursday 28 December 20:08:38 UTC 2017

Every day, the ProgrammableWeb team is busy, updating its three primary directories for APIs, clients (language-specific libraries or SDKs for consuming or providing APIs), and source code samples. [Link]

Slashdot » Chrome OS Will Finally Run Android Apps in the Background

Thursday 28 December 19:40:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader shares a report: While it's no longer a novelty to run Android apps on your Chromebook, that doesn't mean they run well. To date, most of those apps pause when you switch away — fine for a phone, but not what you'd expect on a computer with a multi-window interface. However, they're about to become far more … [Link]

Mashable » 20 things that will be 20 years old in 2018

Thursday 28 December 19:19:54 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. 2018 is nearly here. And while we wait to see what fresh joys and horrors it will bring, let's take a minute to rewind and see how far we've come. From Google to Harry Potter, the … [Link]

Slashdot » Amazon's YouTube App on Fire TV Stops Working Ahead of Schedule

Thursday 28 December 19:10:00 UTC 2017

Amazon has already deactivated its YouTube app on Fire TV devices, four days before a planned blockade by Google. Instead of opening YouTube directly, the app now encourages users to install Silk or Firefox, and will open a link to the site once either browser is installed. From a report: Google has said it will cut off YouTube access on … [Link]

Mashable » Tokyo may use facial recognition for security at the 2020 Olympics

Thursday 28 December 18:54:24 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhile the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are just around the corner, attention is already turning to the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan as reports indicate that facial recognition will be used as a security measure at those games. SEE ALSO: Facebook's new facial recognition efforts help blind users know exactly who's in photos Over the … [Link]

Mashable » Stop making smart speakers that look like trash cans

Thursday 28 December 18:53:27 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSomeone needs to end this madness. This insanity. This horrifying trend of smart speakers that look like trash cans. Ahead of CES, LG announced its upcoming ThinQ smart speaker with built-in Google Assistant. I haven't seen it in person, and I have no idea how large (or small) it is, or even how it sounds, but I already can't stand it … [Link]

Mashable » It's so cold in the U.S. and Canada that windows are breaking, and there's no end in sight

Thursday 28 December 18:44:26 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe Arctic blast is so severe in Canada that only those above the age of 24 have ever experienced something of this magnitude during the period between Christmas and New Years. Air temperatures from Nunavut to Ontario have plunged well below zero Fahrenheit, with wind chills colder than minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit.  The cold is so dangerous that it's caused authorities in … [Link]

Slashdot » UK Enjoyed 'Greenest Year For Electricity Ever' in 2017

Thursday 28 December 18:42:00 UTC 2017

The UK has achieved its greenest year ever in terms of how the nation's electricity is generated, National Grid figures reveal. From a report: The rise of renewable energy helped break 13 clean energy records in 2017. In June, for the first time, wind, nuclear and solar power generated more UK power than gas and coal combined. Britain has halved … [Link]

Mashable » Jay Z and Bey tease 'Family Feud' video, hoping their love makes you buy TIDAL

Thursday 28 December 18:23:02 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEven three years after launching, Jay-Z and Beyonce's family life still appears to be TIDAL's greatest asset. A 30-second music video clip for 4:44's "Family Feud" showcases the couple's latest attempt to use their marital troubles — well-documented in Beyonce's TIDAL-exclusive visual album Lemonade — to get you to buy a subscription to their "premium" music streaming service. And, tbh, it's … [Link]

Mashable » 2017 was a year of beauty— weird, weird beauty

Thursday 28 December 18:21:53 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe glitter tongue. The squiggly eyebrow. Anyone who's ever Instagrammed may remember some of these nightmare beauty trends of 2017, maybe you've ever tried them yourself. Who knows which of these sharp makeup looks will make it to 2018!  Our guess? Probably none. Read more…More about Mashable Video, Beauty, Makeup, Real Time, and Real Time Video [Link]

Mashable » Bumper cars on ice is perfect for those who don't know how to ice skate

Thursday 28 December 18:21:44 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe Providence Rink at the Alex and Ani City Center is now introducing bumper cars on ice. Each car is motorized and has two levers for control. Riders can slide, spin, and bump into each other on ice. Each ride costs $12 and lasts for 20 minutes. If you don't know how to skate, this could be a fun alternative to … [Link]

Mashable » World Health Organization will recognize video game addiction in 2018

Thursday 28 December 17:33:42 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookVideo game addiction will be classified as an official mental health condition next year.  The World Health Organization (WHO) will recognize "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition in its next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), coming in 2018. A beta draft of the WHO's 11th ICD includes a gaming disorder entry, which is described as an addiction … [Link]

Mashable » Nobody hated Milo Yiannopoulos's book more than Milo's editor hated Milo's book

Thursday 28 December 17:25:11 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookFirst drafts are never good, but damn, Milo Yiannopoulos, WTF kind of book manuscript did you file to Simon & Schuster? On Wednesday, Jason Pinter, a publisher at Polis Books, tweeted out excerpts of Milo Yiannopoulos's lawsuit against Simon & Schuster for canceling the publication of his memoir Dangerous in the February.  This section of Simon & Schuster’s rebuttal to Milo’s … [Link]

Slashdot » MoviePass Adds a Million Subscribers, Even if Theaters Aren't Sold on It

Thursday 28 December 17:20:00 UTC 2017

From a report: As streaming services like Netflix and Hulu surge in popularity, movie theaters have been trying to compete by rethinking the concession counter and installing seats that resemble beds. Yet attendance was flat at North American cinemas in 2016, and analysts are predicting a 4 percent decline in 2017, bringing ticket sales to a 22-year low. Perhaps something … [Link]

Mashable » 2017 was the year women took back their own narratives

Thursday 28 December 16:47:28 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe year began with a record-breaking march, and chant: "The pussy grabs back." At the time, it felt like an abstract promise. As the months went on, it became our warning, until it came to define 2017: the year women took back their narratives — both real and fictional. Turning the language of so-called "locker room talk” into our rallying cry … [Link]

Slashdot » Postcard From Pyongyang: The Airport Now Has Wi-Fi, Sort of

Thursday 28 December 16:40:00 UTC 2017

Eric Talmadge, writing for AP: North Korea is one of the least Wi-Fi-friendly countries in the world. Having a device that emits Wi-Fi signals can result in detention and a major fine. Worse, if you are a North Korean. Public use of the internet is a concept that just makes North Korean officials really nervous. But here's a sign that … [Link]

Mashable » Mom, who is sadly not our mom, crochets 'Golden Girls' cast for son's Christmas

Thursday 28 December 16:39:16 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookYou don't need to know how to crochet the Golden Girls in order to be a good parent. Let's just say … it helps. David Goodwin is lucky enough to have a mom who hand-crocheted the entire cast of the beloved sitcom as a Christmas present this year. SEE ALSO: The cast of 'Girls' does the 'Golden Girls' crossover we should … [Link]

Mashable » Lake Erie's 5 feet of snow sure makes for some weird ass stunts

Thursday 28 December 16:39:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookMany people dream of a white Christmas, but the good people around Lake Erie probably never dreamed of this.  A record-breaking storm flew through the great lake this week, dropping more than 65 inches of snow in parts of Pennsylvania. Yeah, that's more than five feet. SEE ALSO: These beautiful snowflake photos were actually captured using a microscope Since it's the … [Link]

Mashable » Cybersecurity maestro and former fugitive John McAfee claims his phone got hacked

Thursday 28 December 16:26:17 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJohn McAfee — an early cybersecurity pioneer — claims someone hacked into his phone and hijacked his Twitter account. The 72-year old McAfee is a dubious character with an admittedly colorful past, so his exploits should be considered wearily. He believes the Belize government once had a plot to kill him — and supports it with evidence. He fled the jungles … [Link]

Mashable » Uh-oh! The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 might have its own battery problems

Thursday 28 December 16:01:49 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook 6b8c 8746%2fthumb%2f00001 Read more… {"player":{"descript~ still makes the best phablet.","image":&q~ Samsung Galaxy Note 8 destroys iPhone 7 Plus in one key way","sources":[{&qu~ choice,galaxy note 8,note 8,shopping-skimlinks,shopping-solo&~ choice,galaxy note 8,note 8,shopping-skimlinks,shopping-solo&~ More about Mobile, Gadgets, Android, Samsung, and Smartphones [Link]

Slashdot » The Year in Crowdfunded PCs: Who Succeeded? Who Failed?

Thursday 28 December 16:01:00 UTC 2017

Sean Portnoy, writing for ZDNet: The ever-maturing PC industry hasn't deterred manufacturers large and small from embracing crowdfunding as a method of bringing new systems to market, whether they need the funds to produce their new product, or just want to gain publicity and guarantee some upfront sales. Not every launch on Kickstarter or one of its rivals is a … [Link]

Mashable » Why Twitter banned the bot that unmasked neo-Nazis. (Hint: Neo-Nazis)

Thursday 28 December 15:50:59 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookTwitter’s number one goal in 2017 was curbing abuse and cracking down on hate speech. But when one intrepid Twitter user tried to help with the problem, the company shut down his efforts. SEE ALSO: New Twitter ads ignore the site’s Nazi problem and admit another major issue Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer at Tablet Magazine and reporter, with the help … [Link]

Mashable » If you want people to attend your hockey game, hold wiener dog races on the ice

Thursday 28 December 15:41:37 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThere’s nothing in the NHL rulebook that says a dog can't play hockey. That's just the sort of bravery that minor hockey league team the Atlanta Gladiators showed on Tuesday night, when they held their first wiener dog race.  It's exactly what it sounds like. In between periods, they lined up a bunch of Dachshunds on a blue line and off … [Link]

Mashable » Museum doppelgängers tweet goes massively viral because they're always amazing

Thursday 28 December 15:23:52 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookPeople are endlessly fascinated with doppelgängers, as one massively viral tweet definitely proves. The original tweeter shared some pictures from other sources, and it definitely captured imaginations. (It looks like many of these are in a compilation by Bored Panda, although they've been circulating the internet for a while.) Here's the original tweet: people that found their doppelgängers in art museums … [Link]

Slashdot » Google Works With Hotels To Hurt Travel Competition

Thursday 28 December 15:21:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader shares a WSJ report: More than 100 million Americans are expected to travel during the holidays, and many will search for lodging online. But travelers may unknowingly pay more and fail to see all of their options because some major hotels have ganged up with Google to undercut competition (The link may be paywalled). Online travel agencies … [Link]

Mashable » This chart proves that Trump made 2017 feel like it went on forever

Thursday 28 December 15:08:50 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAs we crawl to the finish line of 2017 while Trump plays golf behind a white truck, it's still hard to grasp how this year managed to be even more surreal than the tire fire that was 2016.  And, yet, here we are, at the end of a year that felt like ten.  Remember when James Comey testified before a congressional … [Link]

Mashable » Billie Lourd remembers Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds with touching Instagram posts

Thursday 28 December 14:54:58 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookTo mark the one-year anniversary of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' death, Billie Lourd paid tribute to her mother and grandmother by sharing two touching posts on Instagram. The 25-year-old actress shared two photos of herself standing in front of the Northern Lights in Norway in honor of Fisher, explaining the significance behind her trip. "My momby had an otherworldly obsession … [Link]

Mashable » Bitcoin's price sinks as South Korea bans anonymous crypto trading

Thursday 28 December 14:47:42 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookBitcoin’s price is taking a dive again after news broke that South Korea plans to make it harder to trade cryptocurrencies anonymously.  The price of Bitcoin dropped to $14,081 Thursday morning, down roughly 16 percent from its $16,895 high on Wednesday. The most popular cryptocurrency has since recovered a bit and is currently trading at $14,686 with a $246 billion market … [Link]

Slashdot » Where Did WikiLeaks' $25 Million Bitcoin Fortune Go?

Thursday 28 December 14:40:00 UTC 2017

Everyone from early investors to cybercriminals has benefited from the huge spike in the value of bitcoin in the past few weeks. It's a boon for one other outfit that has likely racked up tens of millions of dollars' worth of the cryptocurrency: WikiLeaks. Joseph Cox, reporting for The Daily Beast: The transparency organization may be sitting on a stockpile … [Link]

Mashable » Team internet reunites a man with an envelope full of money after he left it in the pub

Thursday 28 December 14:13:51 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHere’s a tale of lost and found that'll restore your faith in humanity. A pub in London rallied to find the owner of a packet of wages that had been left on the premises in the run-up to Christmas. And, much to the relief of the internet, the pub jolly well found him!  SEE ALSO: This teddy was flown 200 miles … [Link]

New Scientist – News » Plants use sand armour to break teeth of attacking caterpillars

Thursday 28 December 14:06:37 UTC 2017

Some plants are coated in sand, and it seems the sand grains act like medieval armour that protects these “psammophorous” plants from munching caterpillars [Link]

Mashable » 10 TV shows we can't wait to see in 2018

Thursday 28 December 14:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook2018 may continue to be a raging sociopolitical cesspool, but TV will continue to save us from drowning in existential dread (mostly). Featuring a real-life murder, an overblown heist, and a suspicious amount of work leading back to Jason Katims, here are 10 new shows we're most excited about in the coming winter. SEE ALSO: The 10 best new TV shows … [Link]

Slashdot » Mark Zuckerberg's Real Campaign: Save Facebook

Thursday 28 December 14:00:00 UTC 2017

From an Axios report: Mark Zuckerberg started 2017 scoffing at the idea of Russia election manipulation on Facebook, and looked like he was contemplating his own possible run for the presidency. Facebook's CEO ends 2017 a very changed man: scrambling to curtail (some of) the manipulation he now acknowledges exists, and to save the most powerful platform in human history. … [Link]

Mashable » Make 2018 the year you finally learn how to code

Thursday 28 December 13:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHeads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Was your resume not quite impressive enough to get anyone's attention this year? Flipping the switch on your job search luck could be as easy as loading up on an in-demand skill … [Link]

Mashable » Get this beloved backup battery pack on sale for just $20

Thursday 28 December 13:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHeads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Real talk: How did we ever live without cellphones? These days, if you let your battery die for five minutes, you'll miss out on a billion texts and news updates, not to … [Link]

Slashdot » Carlsberg Turns To AI To Help Develop Beers

Thursday 28 December 13:00:00 UTC 2017

From a report: One of the reasons it takes so long to develop new beers is because brewers have to rely on actual humans — and techniques like chromatography and spectrometry — to test liquids and detect flavors and aromas. Carlsberg thinks it's found a better way. With help from researchers at Aarhus University, the Danish beer-maker has developed sensors … [Link]

Mashable » Enormous mural of erect penis briefly pops up in New York

Thursday 28 December 12:44:53 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAs the headline might suggest, this story contains images of, well, a rather enormous penis. For a brief spell over the festive period, the Lower East Side had an enormous erection.  No, really it did. A huge, four-storey mural of a turgid penis popped up on a building on Broome St. in New York City on Christmas Eve. But, a mere … [Link]

New Scientist – News » Human or robot? Google’s speech generator makes it hard to tell

Thursday 28 December 11:51:44 UTC 2017

Instead of stitching together short human sound bites to create words and sentences, Google’s latest system generates vocals from the text alone [Link]

New Scientist – News » Plants use sand armour to break teeth of attacking caterpillars

Thursday 28 December 11:51:43 UTC 2017

Some plants are coated in sand, and it seems the sand grains act like medieval armour that protects these “psammophorous” plants from munching caterpillars [Link]

Mashable » Verne Troyer unboxes his new Tesla for Christmas and takes it for a spin

Thursday 28 December 11:39:58 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Actor Verne Troyer got a sweet new ride for Christmas, and he takes us for a spin in this video on his YouTube channel.  It's a Tesla…. Model S for Kids, by Radio Flyer. ("Ages 3 to 8… I'm 48," Troyer points out in the video.) He manages to get it out of the box and shows us its features, … [Link]

Slashdot » The WHO May Recognize Excessive Video Gaming As Mental Health Disorder

Thursday 28 December 11:30:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: The World Health Organization is poised to classify "gaming disorder" as a mental health problem in its 2018 update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Gaming disorder could be diagnosed if a person's video game habit "is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, … [Link]

Mashable » 'Game of Thrones' star Instagrams precious baby pic and fans are gushing

Thursday 28 December 11:11:20 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEveryone loves a good ol' rummage through the family album. And, one Game of Thrones star shared a particularly precious photo of himself as a wee tot.  SEE ALSO: The end of 'Game of Thrones' earned a standing ovation from the cast Will Tudor—who played Olyvar, Ser Loras Tyrell's lover in Seasons 3, 4, and 5—shared a photo of himself playing … [Link]

Mashable » 'Doctor Who' star Peter Capaldi sends beautiful letter to kid worried about regeneration

Thursday 28 December 10:42:20 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt’s always sad when your favourite Doctor leaves the show to make way for a newly-regenerated Time Lord. But they're never really gone, are they? And it always works out best for Dr. Who. That's the advice that one distraught young Peter Capaldi fan received from the man himself, handwritten with a custom picture of a Dalek.  SEE ALSO: Regenerate just … [Link]

Mashable » Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey has issued her order on when to take down the tree

Thursday 28 December 10:01:44 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAlas, Christmas is all but done and dusted. But, Mariah Carey isn't anywhere near ready to bid farewell to her favourite time of the year.  SEE ALSO: Mariah Carey already has her Christmas tree up You might recall that Mariah put up her Christmas tree back at the beginning of October. Well, she's now advocating leaving the damn thing up until … [Link]

Slashdot » Web Trackers Exploit Flaw In Browser Login Managers To Steal Usernames

Thursday 28 December 10:00:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: Princeton privacy experts are warning that advertising and analytics firms can secretly extract site usernames from browsers using hidden login fields and tie non-authenticated users visiting a site with their profiles or emails on that domain. This type of abusive behavior is possible because of a design flaw in the login managers included with all browsers. … [Link]

Mashable » The definitive countdown of the best 'Carpool Karaoke' episodes of 2017

Thursday 28 December 9:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWith the possible exception of that one where Britney Spears didn't really sing, there is no such thing as a bad Carpool Karaoke episode. SEE ALSO: 15 times Carpool Karaoke was the perfect antidote to 2016 2017 was absolutely no exception. From Miley Cyrus licking postage stamps to Usher teaching James Corden his best dance moves, it was a strong year … [Link]

The Joy of Tech » If people had dog behavior…

Thursday 28 December 7:08:01 UTC 2017

JoT thumbTake a sniff at the latest comic… Comic link! [Link]

Slashdot » A Reporter Built a Bot To Find Nazi Sock Puppet Accounts. Twitter Banned the Bot and Kept the Nazis

Thursday 28 December 7:00:00 UTC 2017

Yair Rosenberg, writing for the New York Times: I asked my own Twitter followers whether it might be possible to create a bot that would reply to these impostors and expose their true nature to any users they tried to fool. Neal Chandra, a talented developer in San Francisco whom I've never met, replied, "I can try to throw something … [Link]

Mashable » Lorde's cancellation of Israel show sparks meeting request from its ambassador

Thursday 28 December 5:12:44 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookLorde’s decision to cancel her performance in Israel has been suitably contentious. Now Israel's ambassador to New Zealand has requested to meet with the Grammy-winning singer following her decision to pull out of her Tel Aviv show in May. SEE ALSO: Israel is looking to launch a national cryptocurrency In an open letter posted on Facebook Wednesday, ambassador Itzhak Gerberg called … [Link]

Mashable » The backyard Hot Wheels track of your childhood dreams

Thursday 28 December 3:56:29 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook If you've ever built an epic Hot Wheels track through your house, much to the dismay of your perpetually tripped parents, this will be right up your alley. YouTube channel 5MadMovieMakers released a video detailing a colossal Hot Wheels track that careens over two stories. This is a serious amount of track. One car zooms from a second-story window into … [Link]

Slashdot » FBI Software For Analyzing Fingerprints Contains Russian-Made Code, Whistleblowers Say

Thursday 28 December 3:30:00 UTC 2017

schwit1 shares an exclusive report via BuzzFeed: The fingerprint-analysis software used by the FBI and more than 18,000 other U.S. law enforcement agencies contains code created by a Russian firm with close ties to the Kremlin, according to documents and two whistleblowers. The allegations raise concerns that Russian hackers could gain backdoor access to sensitive biometric information on millions of … [Link]

Mashable » 'A dog's breakfast' explained for everyone confused by that CNN alert

Thursday 28 December 2:51:57 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCNN sent out a news alert Wednesday that was … well, a little confusing to some people.  Here's what it said: "Analysis: With Trump at the helm, US policy in the Middle East has been a dog's breakfast of confusion and contradiction." SEE ALSO: A mysterious white truck coincidentally blocked the media's view of Trump's golf game Yes, "a dog's breakfast." … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Bitcoin and ICO bubbles are set to burst

Thursday 28 December 2:41:54 UTC 2017

Even more money is set to pour into cryptocurrency-backed initial coin offerings, but will the industry survive or will the whole thing collapse? [Link]

Mashable » Merriam-Webster tweeted about doggos, so people sent a flood of personal pooch photos back

Thursday 28 December 2:32:18 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookDogs are good. Merriam-Webster got plenty of them when they tweeted the word "doggos," which is one of the words the dictionary is watching — but hasn't yet made the criteria for entry. SEE ALSO: Late night walks with your dog just got a lot more safe The classical definition of doggo originates from late-19th century slang. It means to be … [Link]

Mashable » 5 new 🔥 NBA uniforms that you're gonna want real bad

Thursday 28 December 1:37:16 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCheer up, Memphis. The Grizzlies are a pitiful 10-24 this season, but at least they're getting some cool new threads.  The NBA and Nike dropped special "City Edition" uniforms for the 2017-2018 season on Wednesday and some of them look amazing. (Others not so much.)   SEE ALSO: The secret meaning behind the NBA's esports league logo Here are the hottest … [Link]

Slashdot » Empirical Research Reveals Three Big Problems With How Patents Are Vetted

Thursday 28 December 1:30:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: If you've read our coverage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Stupid Patent of the Month" series, you know America has a patent quality problem. People apply for patents on ideas that are obvious, vague, or were invented years earlier. Too often, applications get approved and low-quality patents fall into the hands … [Link]

Mashable » Yes, everything is hard, but at least your family isn't being circled by a great white shark

Thursday 28 December 1:19:14 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSharks are invariably a part of the sea in Australia, but this encounter was a bit too close for one family. Jodie Brown was on a boat with her family of seven on Tuesday near the town of Port Victoria in South Australia, when a great white shark estimated to be five metres long began to circle them. SEE ALSO: 10 … [Link]

Slashdot » Nintendo Delaying 64GB Game Cards For Switch Until 2019, Says Report

Thursday 28 December 0:50:00 UTC 2017

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is pushing back the introduction of larger 64GB game cards for the Switch. Nintendo had planned to make them available during the second half of 2018, but has reportedly told developers that they would have to wait. The reason is reportedly due to technical issues. Kotaku reports: As Kotaku previously reported, Nintendo's Switch … [Link]

Mashable » Chance the Rapper has some thoughts about 'Bright,' Will Smith's new Netflix film

Thursday 28 December 0:48:16 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookBright, starring Will Smith, hasn't been received well by critics, including Chance the Rapper.  The movie, which is streaming on Netflix and currently has a 28 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is "Training Day meets Lord of the Rings," as Smith described it. It was directed by David Ayer — the same dude who helmed Suicide Squad.  One critique that keeps … [Link]

Mashable » Instagram has a new feature that adds 'recommended' posts to your feed

Thursday 28 December 0:40:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhat are your friends liking on Instagram? Whatever it is, it's about to land in your feed. Instagram is quietly rolling out a new feature that will recommend posts for you based on the activity of the accounts you follow. "Recommended for You" posts will sit in their own section, accessible through a thumbnail above your main feed, according to TechCrunch. … [Link]

Slashdot » Apple To Release Lisa OS For Free As Open Source In 2018

Thursday 28 December 0:10:00 UTC 2017

New submitter Jose Deras writes: Nearly 35 years ago, Apple released its first computer with a graphical user interface, called the Lisa. Starting next year, the Computer History Museum will release the Apple Lisa OS for free as an open-source project. According to a new report from Business Insider, the Computer History Museum will release the code behind the Apple … [Link]


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