Japan eyes 2020 robo-Olympics

"In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills," said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week. This is where it begins, meatsacks.

Comcast retention rep's network boasts expose company to liability

When the Comcast Rep From Hell insisted that Comcast had the "fastest network in the USA," he was speaking on behalf of the company -- and it was a lie.

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If London builds a new mega-airport, what happens to Heathrow?

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There's something pleasantly old-school about the futurism in these paintings of how Heathrow airport could be turned into a less horrific environment for human beings--and creepily modern, what with all the drones.

Forget not the Aird of Sleat, Londoners.

White House caught secretly tracking Web visitors with sneaky spyware


They proudly say that they comply with federal privacy law, eschewing cookies, but sneakily use Addthis's "canvas fingerprinting," a product whose other major user is Youporn (but they stopped after they were outed, and the White House didn't).

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Jack White at a Chicago Cubs game

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Gadget waterproofing kit

$30, and your phone becomes waterproof, or, rather, "Anti-wet". Any takers?

Impervious is an invisible nano spray with molecules 1000x smaller than a human hair with super-hydrophobic properties. When applied externally to your device, Impervious protects against spill damage and screen scratching. When fully applied to the outer & inner components of your device, Impervious is classified as IPX 7. We currently only offer full waterproofing kits for the iPhone 5, 5s and 6. When applied, your device can be submerged in (1) meter or (3) feet of water for up to 30 minutes (We do NOT recommend)..

[via BGR]

Engineering versus science


It's not just a clever way to while away the time between ordering and eating -- this fork/penny/glass sculpture is also a clever way to understand the difference between theory and practice.

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Sixth grader's internet-famous science project misleadingly promoted as "new"

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This is scientist Zack Jud, posing with a lionfish he caught in a estuary river in 2010 — four years before 6th grader Lauren Arrington, who is now being credited with the discovery.

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Cop suspended after threatening to "knock out" bystander during arrest

A police officer in Staffordshire, England, was suspended from duty this week after threatening a bystander during an arrest.

The Stoke Sentinel reports that cops were dealing with a rowdy group of late-night revelers in the city of Hanley. When a woman began filming the arrest of her boyfriend, however, she was approached by a bobby and "verbally abused."

Video footage shows an officer saying "Do that to me again and I will knock you out." It's not clear what she had done, though the officer seems to suggest a punch was thrown his way--or why being knocked out would be an appropriate response to it.

"I'm not knocking the police and the policeman we first spoke to was really nice," the 22-year old filmer told a reporter. "After this all happened he spoke to us and he was really calm. But I don't know where that one particular guy came from and I don't know why he threatened me."

When a black woman becomes a white man online

Blogger Mikki Kendall is black, female, and receives a daily deluge of violent, threatening invective. When she temporarily "became" a white man, all that changed.

Yaruvi: A necropolis for the Dead Sea


You'd bring your dead to it on a boat, bear the body through a ceremonial labyrinth and the body lifted to the rooftop, exposed to the elements.

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Web Trackers Paint a Fresh Picture of You

Glenn Fleishman on the tricky new user-tracking method that sees through privacy controls.

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Super-Fun-Pak Comix

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Super-Fun-Pak Comix features Vampire Hunter, Zombie Slayer, or something like that.

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How Harry Potter shaped a generation

Seven years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Caroline Siede looks back on the book series that defined a generation.

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Romantic Han and Leia mugs


These "I Love You"/"I Know" Han/Leia mugs are $34 from Mugoos on Etsy; they're a great wedding/anniversary gift idea. (via Geekymerch)