News & Updates

Your driver’s license photo could be scarier than it actually looks — Well, here’s why:

With the help of state driver’s license data, U.S. law enforcement agencies have created a huge a face-recognition database of more than 117 Million American adults that are regularly scanned in the course of police investigations.

What’s even worse? Most of those people who are scanned by police without


(credit: nrkbeta)

Lawyers representing Artem Vaulin have filed their formal legal response to prosecutors’ allegations of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, among other charges. Vaulin is the alleged head of KickassTorrents (KAT).

KAT was the world’s largest BitTorrent distribution site before it was shuttered by authorities earlier this year. Vaulin was arrested in Poland, where he now awaits extradition to the United States.

“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a July 2016 statement.

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Enlarge / WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange comes out on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy to address the media in central London on February 5, 2016. (credit: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

Ecuador, the nation that has granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the country’s London embassy, said late Tuesday it had cut off his Internet access. Ecuador says it did this because of WikiLeaks’ recent dumps of hacked e-mails surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” the government said in a statement. “Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

Ecuador, however, said it wasn’t revoking the asylum it granted to Assange in 2012.

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Eric Wittler

Nineteen years ago, at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, a plucky bunch from the UK, led by Richard Noble and RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, set a new land speed record. Noble and his band broke the sound barrier in the process. This was Noble’s second land speed record; he was the current record holder at the time, having claimed it in 1982 with Thrust 2.

Regular readers will know that Noble and Green are trying to smash their existing record by aiming for 1,000 mph with Bloodhound SSC. But not everyone is content to let them set a new record unopposed. In fact, Ed Shadle thinks it’s his patriotic duty to reclaim the crown for the USA. He hopes to get there with the help of one of the most iconic planes ever to grace the skies: a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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Enlarge / 2015’s MacBook Air, which was introduced in March of last year. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Update: Recode is now reporting that Apple plans to release new Macs as part of an event on October 27th “at or near Apple’s Cupertino campus.” There are no new details on the Macs we might see, but the post below still represents the most persistent rumors from the most reliable sources.

Original story: With the exception of the 12-inch MacBook, all of Apple’s Macs are currently at least a year old, and many of them are significantly older. Rumors about new models have been making the rounds all year, but the most recent and most reliable say that we’ll be getting some updates later this month.

The latest report is from Japanese site Mac Otakara, which is normally a reliable source of information from Apple’s Asian supply chain. Its rumors about the MacBook Pro conform with others we’ve been hearing for most of the year. Both 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros are said to be getting thinner, and they will follow the thin-and-light MacBook in jumping to USB Type-C ports, but Apple is attempting to keep pro users happy by giving them more ports and adding Thunderbolt 3 support. Unique features like a customizable OLED function key bar and TouchID support are also said to be on tap, as are GPUs from AMD’s “Polaris” family. Intel’s Skylake CPUs seem like the best bet for the main processor, since “Kaby Lake” chips suitable for MacBook Pros aren’t due until January at the earliest.

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Enlarge (credit: NFL)

In 2014, Microsoft signed a $400 million deal with the NFL to ensure that its Surface tablets would become “the official tablet of the NFL.” Microsoft wanted coaches and players to use its systems from the sidelines.

That promotion hasn’t been entirely successful. Casters routinely refer to the devices as “iPads,” and a number of complaints surfaced about the tablets not working correctly. Those complaints have driven at least one coach, the Patriots’ Bill Belichick, to abandon the technology entirely.

A couple of weeks ago, Belichick slammed one of the tablets in frustration. In a press conference today, he delivered a five-minute diatribe bemoaning the technological failures that led the Pats to abandon the Surfaces entirely.

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

According to political pundits, this US Presidential election has turned “historical.” And by historical, they likely mean exceptionally dismal and noxious. So no one should be surprised that the election is stressing people out.

According to an annual poll on the stress levels of the country, the American Psychological Association reports that 52 percent of adults are “somewhat” or “very” stressed by the battle for the Oval Office. That mental anguish is felt about equally across party lines, with 59 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats registering as stressed. Women and men are also equally stressed, at 52 and 51 percent, respectively.

Data from the online poll, conducted between August 5 and August 31, 2016, offer a few hints at the factors that are ratcheting up election anxiety. The poll includes data from 3,511 US adults and is weighted to reflect national demographics. The APA found that social media usage boosted election stress. Of those who use social media, 54 percent report being stressed by the campaigns, while, among those who abstain from such online chatter, only 45 percent fret over the political fray.

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Amazon is reportedly considering offering home Internet service in Europe. However, the company would probably not do so in the United States because US law doesn’t guarantee wholesale access to existing networks.

Amazon hasn’t commented publicly on the topic, which was raised today in a report by The Information (subscription required). The technology news site quotes “a person briefed on the discussion” as saying that Amazon is considering whether to offer Internet service over the networks of existing providers. Since Amazon reportedly doesn’t want to build its own network, it would have to purchase wholesale access, which isn’t available everywhere.

“In parts of Europe, such as Britain, broadband providers like British Telecom are required to offer wholesale access to their network to rivals,” The Information noted. “A US offering would be tougher to pull off as US regulators don’t require cable operators to open up their networks to rivals.”

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It could be the ultimate archaeological discovery: a previously unknown chamber lurking beneath the stones of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. Now, a team using a cutting edge imaging technique called muography has picked up signals indicating a hidden corridor behind the famous chevron blocks on the pyramid’s north face.

Muography can detect voids or empty spaces inside thick layers of earth or stone, and it is often used to plumb the depths of volcanoes. Muons are cosmic particles that hit the Earth at an average rate of 10,000 per m² per minute, though they can be absorbed or deflected by dense material. To find voids in rock, researchers set up muon-detecting plates inside a corridor in the pyramid, and they measured the amount of muons that hit over a period of 67 days. By analyzing absorption patterns in the muons that hit the plates, the researchers were able to create a 3D model showing where empty spaces might be in the structure.

Scan Pyramids Mission

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