Jul 30, 2015

KFC’s new mobile gimmick is a photo-printing bucket

posted by Christy Wilding

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These days, fastfood chains are thinking up of unusual and sometimes bizarre marketing stunts to appeal to today's mobile generation? Remember the Pizza Hut projector box in Hong Kong? Or how about KFC's Bluetooth keyboard food tray? It seems that the latter is at it again. Its Canadian branch will soon be celebrating its 60th anniversary and to honor that memory, it is going to help their devoted customers make their own memories. How? By turning their boring chicken buckets into instant photo printing machine.

via Slash Gear

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Jul 30, 2015

The world’s biggest free form 3D printer is being used to build houses

posted by Christy Wilding

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The dream of 3D printing buildings is not a new one and, typically, it’s not a pretty one either. However, the visionaries at Branch Technology, a startup founded by architects in Chattanooga, Tennessee, want to change that—and they’ve built the world’s largest free form 3D printer to do it.

via Gizmodo

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Jul 30, 2015

Ambient sounds can make a creepy place feel comfortable

posted by Christy Wilding

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Regardless of the actual chances of being the victim of a random murder in a dark alley, people tend to get the willies in deserted, shadowy public places. But the right sounds can put people at ease in an otherwise creepy, isolated parking garage or metro station, a new study in the International Journal of Research in Marketing finds. Natural sounds, like human voices and bird songs, can make people perceive their surroundings as safer and more comfortable. 

via Mental Floss

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Jul 29, 2015

Scientists have discovered a new taste that could make food more delicious

posted by Laura Domela

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Taste, the sense that allows us to appreciate the beauty of good food, is something scientists understand fairly well. The sensation we feel when eating a piece of cake, chewing on a hamburger or taking the first bite of a piping hot piece of pizza is triggered when chemicals in our food interact with receptors in our mouths.

For hundreds of years, scientists have known about four basic tastes: sour, sweet, salty and bitter. More recently, a Japanese chemist discovered a fifth basic taste, umami, which is triggered by monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as it's more widely known. Umamiperhaps best described as savory, is especially prevalent in truffles, meat and anchovies.

And now, scientists believe they have found a sixth basic taste that could profoundly change the way we eat.
via Washington Post

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Jul 29, 2015

Life-changing lamp uses a glass of salt water to supply 8 hours of light

posted by Christy Wilding

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Engineer Aisa Mijena has developed an innovative lamp that could change many lives for the better. 

‘The SALt Lamp’ is an affordable light source that literally runs on one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt for as long as eight hours. 

The product can even run on ocean water. It will be an incredibly valuable item to have for households that are unable to access or afford electricity. You can even charge your smartphone with this nifty lamp—simply plug in a USB cable to the side of the lamp.

 via Design Taxi

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Jul 28, 2015

How the way you type can shatter anonymity—even on Tor

posted by Christy Wilding

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Security researchers have refined a long-theoretical profiling technique into a highly practical attack that poses a threat to Tor users and anyone else who wants to shield their identity online.

The technique collects user keystrokes as an individual enters usernames, passwords, and other data into a website. After a training session that typically takes less than 10 minutes, the website—or any other site connected to the website—can then determine with a high degree of certainty when the same individual is conducting subsequent online sessions. The profiling works by measuring the minute differences in the way each person presses keys on computer keyboards. Since the pauses between keystrokes and the precise length of time each key is pressed are unique for each person, the profiles act as a sort of digital fingerprint that can betray its owner's identity.

via Ars Technica

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Jul 28, 2015

Man born with "virtually no brain" has advanced math degree

posted by Christy Wilding

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The subject of this paper grew up with a normal cognitive and social life, and didn't discover his hydrocephalus -- which had all but obliterated his brain -- until he went to the doctor for an unrelated complaint.

via Boing Boing

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