The Forgotten Material That Changed the World

The Forgotten Material That Changed the World

There is something wonderfully seductive about our gadgets. Sleek and futuristic, they seem not of this world – and certainly not of the toxic, noisy world of extractive rock mining. Few think of the ecological impact of our craving for a range of lightning-quick, portable and disposable devices. The smartphones that allow us to connect instantly with the far corners of the planet rely on as many as seventeen so-called rare earth metals such as scandium, yttrium and lanthanides.

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This robotics hobbyist makes a living creating shitty robots

This robotics hobbyist makes a living creating shitty robots

They're so bad, they're good. Simone Giertz’s morning routine involves a lot of really bad robots. They fail miserably at waking her up, brushing her teeth and making her breakfast. The 25-year-old Swedish robot enthusiast has parlayed their failures into a very successful YouTube channel, and full-time job. Watch the video above to see some of her best (or rather, worst) robotic creations.

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How fake news sites frequently trick big-time journalists

How fake news sites frequently trick big-time journalists

It would’ve been one hell of a story. Early this month, “news” surfaced that Michael Jordan—yes, the Michael Jordan—had threatened to move his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, from North Carolina unless the state repealed a law barring transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Air Jordan hadn’t seemed so heroic since he saved Bugs Bunny in the 1996 movie Space Jam. Except the news was as fictional as the film.

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The White House Is Finally Prepping for an AI-Powered Future

The White House Is Finally Prepping for an AI-Powered Future

Researchers disagree on when artificial intelligence that displays something like human understanding might arrive. But the Obama administration isn’t waiting to find out. The White House says the government needs to start thinking about how to regulate and use the powerful technology while it is still dependent on humans. “The public should have an accurate mental model of what we mean when we say artificial intelligence,” says Ryan Calo, who teaches law at University of Washington.

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Spending A Lot of Time On Social Media? You Might Be Depressed

Spending A Lot of Time On Social Media? You Might Be Depressed

Feeling down, withdrawn, and out of sorts? Don’t be surprised if your therapist asks you how much time you’ve been spending on social media. A recent study published by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has found a significant correlation between heavy social media use and the likelihood of depression.

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Device used in Nazi coding machine found for sale on eBay

Device used in Nazi coding machine found for sale on eBay

For codebreakers with the allied forces, it was more important a discovery than the Enigma machine, offering encryption for the Nazi command that, when cracked, would hasten the end of the second world war and lead to huge breakthroughs in modern computing. Less than 80 years later, for a thrifty woman in Essex, the “telegram machine” was little more than a dusty old gadget languishing in the garden shed. But after an eagle-eyed volunteer with the National Museum of Computing (NMC) spotted an ad on eBay this week, the extremely rare, military-issue Lorenz teleprinter has been saved and provides the latest piece in…

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One fascinating reason cable companies won’t willingly compete against each other

One fascinating reason cable companies won’t willingly compete against each other

If you're like many Americans, you might live in an area that's effectively dominated by a cable monopoly. And maybe you were hoping that someday, another cable company might come in and start competing with the local incumbent to drive down prices and improve your service. Charter's recent takeover of Time Warner Cable made that a distinct possibility. As part of the deal, regulators required Charter to start building Internet pipes to serve new customers beyond its current footprint — and to tread directly on the territory of other Internet providers.

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