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Google Challenges Amazon's Drone Delivery Program With Project Wing

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:22am

Google has been secretly testing delivery by drone, the company announced Thursday.

A team of engineers at Google X, the technology company’s long-range research lab, safely carried out more than 30 1-kilometer test flights this month. The deliveries, consisting of items ranging from a chocolate bar to first aid, took place in Queensland, Australia to avoid the Federal Aviation Administration’s strict U.S. restrictions on drones.

See also: Why Commercial Drones Are Stuck In Regulatory Limbo

Now that Amazon has almost convinced the world its delivery drones aren’t a publicity stunt, the world may be ready to accepting Google at its word.

The Google X drone is a quadcopter, but it looks nothing like the ones many U.S. hobbyists use for aerial photography and other projects, or Amazon’s Prime Air octocopter. Instead, it relies on fixed wings for fast forward flight, and its four rotors for vertical takeoff and landing. The company released a YouTube video to show how it flies.

Project Wing, as the video labels the drone, is capable of carrying a roughly four-pound package. Meanwhile, Amazon says Prime Air can carry up to five pounds. Despite the design differences, it’s apparent that Google’s drone could realistically compete with Amazon’s.

See also: Amazon Tells The Feds It Really Wants To Test Drone Delivery

According to Astro Teller, Google X’s Captain of Moonshots—what Google calls its biggest, craziest ideas—delivery is just the beginning. Google envisions being able to use the drones for humanitarian solutions, too.

“Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation,” Teller told the BBC.

Screenshot via Google X

Categories: Technology

Updates on Eruptions in Iceland and Rabaul

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:20am
Yesterday we had two eruptions grab everyone’s attention – one from the area that has had everyone’s attention between Iceland’s Bárðarbunga and Askja in the Holuhraun lava field and one unexpected eruption from the Tavurvur cone in the Rabaul Caldera of Papua New Guinea. The Icelandic eruption that everyone has been waiting for ended up being small, lasting […]

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Magnetic Stimulation Boosts Memory In Humans

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:52am
sciencehabit writes: Our memories are annoyingly glitchy. Names, dates, birthdays, and the locations of car keys fall through the cracks, losses that accelerate at an alarming pace with age and in neurodegenerative diseases. Now, by applying electromagnetic pulses through the skull to carefully targeted brain regions, researchers have found a way to boost memory performance in healthy people. The new study (abstract) sheds light on the neural networks that support memories and may lead to therapies for people with memory deficits, researchers say. Similar studies have been performed using electric current.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

What Sort Of Man Shares Playboy? (He Friends His Mom On Facebook)

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:31am

Playboy relaunched its website on Wednesday, and one thing's for sure. This isn't your grandpappy's gentleman's magazine. 

Well, obviously. It's on the Internet—as opposed to a moldy box in the garage or hastily stuffed under your mattress where you shamefully hope Mom doesn't find it. As such, Playboy.com is ready for its Facebook close-up, fully clothed and safe-for-work (or SFW, as the kids say). Just in case you want to share its family-friendly content on any social network where Mom might see it. 

Cory Jones, Playboy's senior VP of digital content, aptly explained to AdAge the new site's savvy social media strategy. To wit: "Everyone's mom is on Facebook."


"We're having some kind of moment in American sexual culture," Rick Schindler, culture critic and author of “Fandemonium,” told ReadWrite. "Would Don Draper of Mad Men share Playboy with his mom? I guess, given she was a hooker."

This, however, is a new millennium. Take, for example, Playboy's feminist friendly "Should You Catcall Her?" that went went viral this week, a fun and funny flowchart which informs readers there are really only two circumstances in which such behavior is OK. (SPOILER ALERT: One of them is if she's actually a cat.) Lots of people and media outlets shared it; if anyone's mother took offense, she kept it to herself.

That's the way things are now on Playboy.com. When you click on a Facebook link to some some fascinating Playboy article, whether one of its branded 20Q (20 questions) celebrity interviews or its growing collection of "sharable" inforgraphics,  there's little to no chance of stumbling upon scantily clad women.

(Here, for example, is a link to the Playboy 20Q with Idris Elba of The Wire and Mandela fame, which you should feel perfectly comfortable with clicking on while at work, even if you work in one of those free-range call-center office-pen dealies so popular now.)

Notably, the lack of lady skin doesn't include the site's sponsored listicle for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, featuring a scantily clad and provocatively posed Jessica Alba. (Of course, this is the same Sin City posters your kid can see when you open the newspaper.)

"What we're going to be doing is, if you go to a Playboy.com link that's not around girls, there won't be girls around the page," Jones told AdAge. It's the obvious next step in Playboy's savvy social media strategy to ingratiate itself with the ladies, who share on Facebook just the eensiest bit more than the gents, according to the Pew Research Internet Center.

The 60-year-old printed Playboy magazine is still very much alive with naked ladies, and still accounts for most of the empire's income, AdAge reported. The new digital strategy for its 20-year-old website, however, is aimed at upping the social sharing most media outlets increasingly value. "The editorial mantra for content is to ask ourselves, 'Would you send this to a friend?'" Jones said. 

More importantly, would you send this to your mom?

Lead image by Joel Kramer

Categories: Technology

Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:10am
An anonymous reader writes: Caffeine is a staple of most workplaces — it's rare to find an office without a coffee pot or a fridge full of soda. It's necessary (or at least feels like it's necessary) because many workers have a hard time staying awake while sitting at a desk for hours at a time, and the alternative — naps — aren't usually allowed. But new research shows it might be more efficient for employers to encourage brief "coffee naps," which are more effective at returning people to an alert state than either caffeine or naps alone. A "coffee nap" is when you drink a cup of coffee, and then take a sub-20-minute nap immediately afterward. This works because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to get into your bloodstream, and a 20-minute nap clears adenosine from your brain without putting you into deeper stages of sleep. In multiple studies, tired participants who took coffee naps made fewer mistakes in a driving simulator after they awoke than the people who drank coffee without a nap or slept without ingesting caffeine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Friday Fun: Build Your First Chrome Extension

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:01am

Google Chrome is the most popular Web browser in the world. Part of its appeal comes from its ability to let you fully customize your browsing experience with a slew of extensions. Extensions are small, lightweight programs that personalize your Chrome installation with new features.

You’ve probably already downloaded an extension or two. But did you know it’s almost as easy to build your own? Chrome extensions are written in a relatively beginner-friendly language—JavaScript—and require only two files to function.

Since they’re so easy to build, there are currently more than 53,000 extensions in the Chrome Web Store, ranging from productivity tools to stupid entertainments.

Today's Project

Today we’re going to build a Chrome extension that isn’t particularly useful, though it's sort of funny. We’ll be transforming Steven Frank’s Cloud to Butt Plus extension, which edits every Web page you visit by replacing the phrase “the cloud” with “my butt.” You can judge the results for yourself.

With Frank’s permission, we’ll be creating a derivative work out of his Cloud to Butt GitHub repository in order to build a “find and replace” extension of our own.

Since I rarely build a coding project that isn’t trolling my coworkers in some way, my example envisions the Web the way my Paleo editor Owen Thomas probably sees it. The Paleo diet puts carbohydrates off limits, so I decided to make his dietary choices simple by making “bread,” “pasta,” and related taboo foodstuffs less appealing to him on the Web.

My finished extension is on GitHub for anyone who wants to use it. Here’s how it works.

Anatomy Of An Extension

Extensions piggy-back off of existing Chrome functionality to add new features. This means anyone can build an extension using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, without having to learn to work with Chrome’s native code. As the Chrome Developer site promises:

If you've ever built a web page, you should feel right at home with extensions pretty quickly.

That’s quite an assertion, and it certainly depends on the complexity of the extension you want to build. Still, all you need for a basic extension are these:

1. A manifest.json file. Here, .json stands for JavaScript Object Notation. This manifest file stores metadata about our extension and shows Chrome how to use it. Every manifest file includes the extension’s name and description for Chrome Web Store browsers. After that, it declares dependencies, permissions, and any browser actions the extension will perform.

2. A JavaScript or HTML file. Here’s where you write the program detailing what your extension does. In the example the Chrome Developer site gives, it’s popup.html, a page that delivers cute cat photos to extension-users. For more complex extensions, it’s a JavaScript file containing a program that delivers the meat of the extension.

3. An icon. Actually, this is optional, but it's helpful and certainly looks cute when your extension is installed. For best results, save an icon as three square images at resolutions of 16px, 28px, and 128px.

Building Manifest.json

At its very minimum, a manifest file needs only to include a name and a version. At 17 lines, ours does a little more. (Here's the full thing in one place.)

This part includes all the metadata:

{ "manifest_version": 2, "name": "Caaaarbs", "version": "1.0", "description": "Paleo's best friend.", "icons": { "16": "images/carbs16.png", "48": "images/carbs48.png", "128": "images/carbs128.png" },

Manifest_version refers to the version of the file format we’re using. Chrome requires that you use version 2, so that’s what we’ve indicated.

Next comes the extension name, version, and description. These are really up to you.

After that, I listed out the extension’s icon sizes. First, I picked an image that I thought fit my extension—a royalty-free vector graphic of a croissant—and then sized it in Photoshop three times. Now, Chrome automatically puts the correct size of the icon where it is needed.

Here's the rest of the file:

"content_scripts": [ { "matches": ["*://*/*"], "js": ["myscript.js"], "run_at": "document_end" } ] }

These are the content scripts that make the extension tick. The first one here simply indicates that my extension will do its thing on any website. Under different circumstances, you could edit the asterisk wildcards to limit use of the extension to particular pages—you know, like http://readwrite.com.

The second line indicates that manifest.json will read in the extension's underlying program from a JavaScript file named myscript.js. That’s where the whole “find and replace” function lives.

Finally, the third line instructs my extension to run after the full page has loaded in the browser window. If it ran before I brought up a site, some of the words I want to find and replace might not have loaded yet!

Building Myscript.js

This file may be 40 lines long (see it here), but it’s mainly home to two JavaScript functions. In programming, a function is a reusable bit of code that performs a specific task.

The first function, called walk, executes an action that JavaScript programmers refer to as “walking the DOM.” DOM stands for Document Object Model, which is a code-based representation of a Web page and every element—text, images, form fields, and so forth—on it. It sort of resembles an upside-down tree, with a single trunk at the top and a bunch of ordered code "branches" below.

The walk function explores the whole tree, starting at the trunk and moving down to the end of the first branch, then back up until it finds another branch to examine. Basically, it's crawling all the data on the page to locate the textual elements.

That's where the second function, handleText, comes in. When walk finds some text, handleText scans for the words we want to replace, and then replaces them wherever it finds them.

How does it know which words to replace? We specified that this way:

v = v.replace(/\bbread\b/g, "caaaaarbs");

This is one of the five lines that specifies the words I want to swap out. You can choose any number of words for substitution, though each one will need a line like the one above. (It's not the most graceful program ever written, but it is straightforward.)

Some technical details, for those who are interested: "v" is a variable that stores a temporary copy of “textNode.nodeValue=”—i.e., the text in a particular text element called "textNode." The function v.replace rewrites the text in that element by replacing the first string (everything inside the parentheses before the comma) with the second string (the word "caaaaarbs"). The first string in the example above is a dense bit of code that identifies all text matching "bread" and then instructs the function to replace every word that is a match to this one.

At the end of the function, the temporary value stored in "v" gets copied back to "textNode.nodeValue" and then written into the code representation of the Web page—which then displays your change in the browser.

Uploading to Chrome

Collect your manifest.json, myscript.jpg, and your icons in a new folder by themselves. Now, navigate to chrome://extensions/ in your browser window.

Now, click the checkbox to put Extensions in “Developer Mode.” This will give you a few more options regarding what you can do with your extensions.

Click “Load unpacked extension…” and navigate to your Chrome extension folder. If all is well, it should upload without a hitch. If it returns an error, there's most likely a syntax error in your code, so check it and try again.

Success! The image above shows my extension among others I’ve installed.

Now check out all the code to my extension on GitHub, clone your own copy, and make your own find-and-replace extension. I used this to prank my editor, but the possibilities are endless! You could prank your family or friends, too. Or you could even—gasp—use the find-and-replace action to create something useful! 

In any case, I'd love to see what you build. Tell us all about it in comments.

Engineer Jack Lawson contributed to this article. 

Top photo by Darren Harve; all screenshots by Lauren Orsini

Categories: Technology

US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:29am
An anonymous reader writes: On August 6, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the federal government to "explain why the government places U.S. citizens who haven't been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database." Unsurprisingly, the federal government objected to the order, once more claiming that to divulge their no-fly list criteria would expose state secrets and thus pose a national security threat. When the judge said he would read the material privately, the government insisted that reading the material "would not assist the Court in deciding the pending Motion to Dismiss (PDF) because it is not an appropriate means to test the scope of the assertion of the State Secrets privilege." The federal government has until September 7 to comply with the judge's order unless the judge is swayed by the government's objection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Twitch And YouTube Are Making Video Games A Big Business

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:01am

Mark this moment: Watching people play video games has become a big business, with Amazon, Google, Disney, and others vying for a piece of the action.

Call it livestream gaming: Top players record themselves playing popular titles and delivering commentary—or compete against each other in big, live, arena-style events. 

By turning video games from a solitary living-room obsession into shared events, livestream gaming is letting advertisers tap into a hard-to-reach demographic of mostly young men.

The Game Is Afoot

That means a huge influx of money into the video-game world: It's changing from a hardware-and-software business into a Hollywood-like media operation, complete with its own celebrities, agents, studios, and networks.

The big event in livestream gaming was Amazon.com's announcement that it will acquire Twitch, a site which specializes in livestream gaming videos, for a cool $970 million, after rumors that Google's YouTube might be interested in buying it, too.

Gaming as a spectator sport has already attracted audiences of millions of online users, most of whom watch it on gaming-dedicated YouTube channels or on Twitch. It's no longer an online subculture: For many teens, it is their mass media.  

And the wars to capitalize on livestream gaming and its personalities is underway. Maker Studios, a Disney-owned Web network that operates like a talent agency for popular YouTube stars, has just partnered with one of YouTube’s top gaming channels, The Diamond Minecart.

The Diamond Minecart joins two other Maker-represented gaming channels, PewDiePie and Stampylonghead. That means Maker Studios now has the top three most-subscribed gaming channels on YouTube. And it means Disney and Google have partnered up against Amazon and Twitch. It's on like Donkey Kong!

Gamers at Insomnia 52, the UK's biggest gaming festival.

Livestream gaming grew along with YouTube. Video-game streams were just one more genre of YouTube's early bedroom-webcam confessionals. What else would teens talk into the camera about?

But as passionate and engaged fan communities blossomed into subcriber bases that numbered in the millions, then big businesses began to take notice.

Swede IdeaPewDiePie trying Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality gadget.

While Twitch specializes in gaming, the topic is no stranger to YouTube. PewDiePie, YouTube's most-subscribed channel, is the online-video home of Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old Swede. He has 19 million subscribers, but he's just at the apex of a community of gamers on YouTube who garner massive fan followings by uploading videos of themselves playing games. 

Some advertisers are already tapping into their popularity.

Kjellberg recently agreed to appear in a promotion for Hollywood horror movie As Above, So Below. The film's marketers sent Kjellberg to Paris to record himself looking for missing keys within a haunted catacomb, complete with zombies and live cockroaches. It works particularly well because of the similarities to the horror-themed video games he often plays.

Video-game publisher Ubisoft partnered with popular YouTube comedy duo Smosh to create a song in 2012 for the release of Assassin's Creed 3. The accompanying music video now has a total of 54 million views.

In 2012, first person shooter video game Halo released Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a science fiction action show, on YouTube channel Machinima Prime. The show has since been added onto Netflix’s roster of content.

Entering The Arena

Livestream gaming was born on the Internet—but it's jumping into the physical world. 

Where livestream gaming involves posting videos, esports—short for "electronic sports"—involves quasi-athletic video-game competitions, often staged in big venues before live audiences and, increasingly, broadcast on television.

League of Legends World Championships

In October 2013, video-game publisher Riot Games held its League of Legends World Championships at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The arena was sold out, and 32 million gaming fans watched the competition online.

In July, ESPN, the Disney-owned cable network, broadcast The International, a tournament which featured an online battle-arena-style game called DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) 2, with an $11 million prize. 

League of Legends gamers.

So what can we expect for the future of livestream gaming? We’re already seeing Disney, Google, and Amazon getting into the mix, putting down eye-popping amounts of money into acquisitions and poaching top YouTube gamers.

Google and Disney's interests are obvious, since they are big sellers of advertising with a keen interest in teenage audiences. Amazon's interest in Twitch came as a surprise to many—but it, too, has an increasing interest in video games, thanks to its Kindle tablets and its in-house game studios, as well as in online advertising, where it hopes to challenge Google.

Others are likely to pile into the market now. The big winners may be anyone who loves video games. Heck, you don't even have to play them anymore. You can just lean back and watch.

Lead image by Madeleine Weiss, images courtesy of Riot Games, Tubefilter, PewDiePieThe Diamond Minecart, Flickr user artubr

Categories: Technology

Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 8:46am
rtoz writes: Google's research division, Google X, is developing a fleet of drones to deliver goods. This drone delivery system is called "Project Wing," and Google X has been developing it in secret for the past two years. During a recent test in Australia, drones successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers. The self-flying vehicle uses four electrically-driven propellers to get around, and it has a wingspan of about five feet. It weighs just under 19 pounds and can take off and land without a runway. Google's long-term goal is to develop drones that could be used for disaster relief by delivering aid to isolated areas.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 8:04am
snydeq writes Microsoft has re-released its botched MS14-045/KB 2982791 'Blue Screen 0x50' patch, only to introduce more problems, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. "Even by Microsoft standards, this month's botched Black Tuesday Windows 7/8/8.1 MS14-045 patch hit a new low. The original patch (KB 2982791) is now officially 'expired' and a completely different patch (KB 2993651) offered in its stead; there are barely documented revelations of new problems with old patches; patches that have disappeared; a 'strong' recommendation to manually uninstall a patch that went out via Automatic Update for several days; and an infuriating official explanation that raises serious doubts about Microsoft's ability to support Windows 9's expected rapid update pace."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Why Doesn't Your Government Run Like This?

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 8:02am

Imagine your company got a 90% approval rating on its latest app. You'd be rich, right? Now imagine that your government got a 90% approval rating on anything, like passport approval or paying a parking violation or ... well, anything.

No, really. Stop laughing.

In the UK, a slew of changes to how technology is delivered has upended decades of dissatisfaction with government services. So much so, in fact, that one recent service upgrade netted a 90% approval rating from citizens.

What's going on?

Putting Citizens First

Mike Bracken (@MTBracken), executive director of the UK's Government Digital Service, is a man on a mission, and that mission is to revolutionize how the UK government serves its citizens. After joining the UK's Cabinet Office in July 2011, Bracken created the GDS and launched an all-out assault on IT incompetency.

Mike Bracken, executive directly of the UK Government Digital Service

His first big move was to change the definition of service. As he tells McKinsey & Co.:

Government around the world is pretty good at thinking about its own needs. Government puts its own needs first—they often put their political needs followed by the policy needs. The actual machine of government comes second. The third need then generally becomes the system needs, so the IT or whatever system’s driving it. And then out of those four, the user comes a poor fourth, really.

So Bracken "inverted that," creating a set of Design Principles that govern how the UK thinks about citizen services:

1. Start with needs (user needs, not government needs)
2. Do less
3. Design with data
4. Do the hard work to make it simple
5. Iterate. Then iterate again
6. Build for inclusion
7. Understand context
8. Build digital services, not websites
9. Be consistent, not uniform
10. Make things open: it makes things better

Such design principles would serve any organization well. Now imagine bumping into a government worker who has incorporated these principles into her DNA. Amazing. 

Opening And Sharing

One of the most impressive things I've seen Bracken and his team do, however, is to inculcate a culture of sharing through GDS. In a recent blog post, Bracken describes how two organizations ended up sharing code to solve a common problem:

Early on in the project, the Registered Traveller team found they needed software to help them work out what all the different possible visa documents are—a big task. Thankfully, the same problem had already been solved by another team in the Home Office working on another exemplar project. The Visit Visa team built a product catalogue to help make sense of it all, and shared their work on GitHub.... So even at that early stage, the Registered Traveller team was able to make use of the Visit Visa team’s code, saving themselves considerable time and effort and ensuring their own work didn’t get held up.

GDS isn't alone in turning to GitHub. As recently reported, more than 10,000 government users are active on GitHub today, with an ever growing number of code repositories residing on the popular service:

Credit: GitHub

But Bracken's UK team is pushing this sharing agenda much more actively than most, and to good effect. Even as President Obama's Healthcare.gov was melting down, the UK's gov.uk was scaling to meet user needs without a hitch.

Not because it was designed to scale perfectly from the start in a traditional waterfall development process—but rather because Bracken had infused the UK government with an agile development process that enabled them to iterate toward a scalable model. Gov.uk launched without major issues.

Why Can't Your Company Operate Like This?

Most governments struggle to function this efficiently. But then, so do most enterprises. The reason is that both tend to put user needs second to organization needs, and both struggle to share. 

On this last point, Bracken concludes, 

If one team shares code, another team benefits. Today it’s a couple of teams in the Home Office, tomorrow it might be a few more in other departments. Imagine how much better public services will be when this becomes the default behaviour across government. That’s what we’re aiming at.

Or imagine how much better your company would be. It all starts with the right principles.

Lead image by Michael D. Beckwith

Categories: Technology

Pop Culture’s 6 Biggest Losers This Summer, From Godzilla to TV Execs

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
Yesterday, we sang the praises of the Big Winners of the summer. But for every person, movie, etc. that comes out of the season smelling like awesomesauce, there are bound to be even more who, well, stink. Sometimes they fail of their own accord, sometimes they are failed by their audience. Either way, they just didn't have the goods. Here are a few of the summer's biggest disappointments.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

MIT and Marriott Are Testing a Matchmaking Table Fed by LinkedIn Data

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
How do we curate those experiences and connect people with like interests? With a LinkedIn-connected table, of course.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Is How You Have to Ship Bugatti’s $3M Supercar

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
When you drop $3 million on a special-edition Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, you want everything to be perfect. That's why, before it leaves the factory, Bugatti wraps the car more carefully than royal nurses swaddle the future King George.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How to Use OS X Yosemite’s Best New Messages Features

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
For those who’ve just started using the beta, or are just anticipating its launch later this year, we’ve got some tips on how to best take advantage of the redesigned OS and its many new features. In this edition, we take on the new features in Messages.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Turns Out Wolves’ Yawns Are Contagious, Too

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
In the yawns of wolves, scientists have found a hint of emotional depths once thought restricted to humans and our closest ancestors. Contagious yawning — the tendency to involuntarily follow suit when seeing another person yawn — is thought to be linked to empathy, drawing on some of the same cognitive mechanisms that underlie our ability to share the feelings of others. According to a new study, wolves yawn contagiously, too.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

A Massive Installation That Makes This Building Change Colors

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
Driving past the parking garage at Eskanazi Hospital in Indianapolis, however, is akin to visiting an abstract art museum.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Uber’s Biggest Danger Is Its Business Model, Not Bad PR

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
The real peril to Uber isn't bad PR. It's what the costs of recruiting drivers, both in terms of money and a blemished brand, says about Uber's business model compared to those of traditional software companies. More drivers don't equal more value added. They simply equal staying alive.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
Could Apple debut its new wearable at the company's September 9 event?

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Absurd Creature of the Week: The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys a Net of Death

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:43am
These are the siphonophores, some 180 known species of gelatinous strings that can grow to 100 feet long, making them some of the longest critters on the planet. But instead of growing as a single body like virtually every other animal, siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team---a very deadly team at that.

Categories: Open Source, Technology