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Philips Hue Lights React to ‘Sharknado 2′ for Bloody Cool Effects



Ian Ziering looks serious. His character’s worrisome scowl appears permanent, a consequence of living through probably the most absurdly hellish scenario in B-movie history: a tornado that hoovers up thousands of hungry sharks from the ocean, only to rain them down onto Los Angeles to feast on hapless residents.

Sharknado was a social media sensation (as well as a ratings one) last summer, whipping Twitter into a feeding frenzy of shark-obsessed tweets, with notable influencers such as actor Wil Wheaton and writer Damon Lindelof leading the charge. Twitter even released analytics around the broadcast, showing how it went viral. Of course, a sequel was quickly green-lit. Read more…

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World’s Largest Flying Water Insect Can Cover an Adult Human Face



Warning: Don’t read this right before going to bed.

The largest flying aquatic insect on record was discovered in China’s Sichuan province. The specimen was delivered to the Insect Museum of West China and determined to be a larger version of the dobsonfly.

The creature has a wingspan of 8.27 inches. With its wings fully extended, this giant dobsonfly can completely cover an adult human face.

Giant Dobsonfly

Image: China News Service Zhong Xin

These gigantic insects have never been spotted in Sichuan before. They have a keen sense for water cleanliness and will leave a body of water that is even a somewhat contaminated. They typically are found in Vietnam, parts of India and elsewhere in China Read more…

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U.N. Chief ‘Alarmed’ by Disappearance of Rockets Found at U.N.-Run School in Gaza



UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza, and now “have gone missing.” He also demanded a full review of such incidents.

A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. This has happened at least twice so far in the current conflict, according to the U.N.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said. Read more…

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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

First time accepted submitter Carly Page writes When asked for its response to Edward Snowden’s claims that “Dropbox is hostile to privacy”, Dropbox told The INQUIRER that users concerned about privacy should add their own encryption. The firm warned however that if users do, not all of the service’s features will work. Head of Product at Dropbox for Business Ilya Fushman says: “We have data encrypted on our servers. We think of encryption beyond that as a users choice. If you look at our third-party developer ecosystem you’ll find many client-side encryption apps….It’s hard to do things like rich document rendering if they’re client-side encrypted. Search is also difficult, we can’t index the content of files. Finally, we need users to understand that if they use client-side encryption and lose the password, we can’t then help them recover those files.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Methane-Sniffing Supercomputer That’s Looking for Aliens



Biologically speaking, methane’s kind of a big deal. When it comes to finding life on other planets, it’s an even bigger deal

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed an absorption spectrum (i.e. supercomputer) that’s able to detect methane, via light absorption on other planets, at temperatures of up to 2,228 degrees Fahrenheit — more than 2,000 times more powerful than any devices before it

Elliott’s super pumped about it in the latest episode of Mashable Minute

Earlier this week, we took a look at an immersive theater company in London that’s recreating the setting of Back to the Future: Read more…

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Obama Meets Apollo 11 Astronauts to Mark Moon Landing’s 45th Anniversary



To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, U.S. President Barack Obama met with members of the crew on Tuesday, including Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Michael Collins and Carol Armstrong, the widow of Neil Armstrong

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moonSpending about two hours and 31 minutes on its surface, the astronauts collected some 47 pounds of samples and conducted four experiments, before returning to their spacecraft

Mike Collins & I met with President Obama today in honor of our #Apollo11 landing. I stressed to him the need for mi…

— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 23, 2014 Read more…

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Verizon’s Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff

mpicpp points out a new program from Verizon that is perfect if you don’t mind being tracked. Are you comfortable having your location and Web browsing tracked for marketing purposes? If so, Verizon’s got a deal for you. The wireless giant announced a new program this week called ‘Smart Rewards’ that offers customers credit card-style perks like discounts for shopping, travel and dining. You accrue points through the program by doing things like signing onto the Verizon website, paying your bill online and participating in the company’s trade-in program. Verizon emphasizes that the data it collects is anonymized before it’s shared with third parties. The program is novel in that offers Verizon users some compensation for the collection of their data, which has become big business for telecom and tech companies. Some privacy advocates have pushed data-collecting companies to reward customers for their personal information in the interest of transparency.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The 10 Most Disturbing Things About ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’



My name is Max Kardashian, and I am so much more famous than you. Well, at least in Kim Kardashian’s mobile game.

If the game achieves its projected yearly earnings, Kim Kardashian will make 85 million dollars in profits, a sum that would cost you more than $48,500 of real money to purchase as in-game money.

After having lived and breathed in the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood universe for several days, a few disturbing details have come to light. The world of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood isn’t the world you and I live our daily lives in. It’s some kind of darkest timeline future, in which photo shoots and Twitter feuds decide your success in life. Read more…

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Microsoft Says It Isn’t Abandoning Xbox Music, Promises It Will Suck Less Shortly

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 5.03.21 PM During Microsoft’s earnings call yesterday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella indicated that his company would “streamline” its work in music and video. That was interpreted in some cases to imply that Microsoft was walking away from Xbox Music, its beleaguered Spotify competitor. Read More

Photographer Brings Spam Emails to Life



One person’s spam email is another person’s art.

When those pesky emails began piling up in photojournalist Christina De Middel‘s inbox, she did something that most would consider unthinkable — she read them

What she found were some incredible stories of open heart surgeries, a young girl asking for her hand in marriage and an African attorney looking to share some of his funds

Each story — fabricated or not — demanded her attention and seemed engineered to make her feel somehow special

De Middel’s photo series, “Poly-Spam,” ran with this sentiment Read more…

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