CIA personnel left “explosive training material” under the hood of a Loudoun County, Virginia school bus after performing training exercises using the school bus last week. That very same bus was then used to shuttle elementary and high school students to and from school on the following Monday and Tuesday with that explosive material still inside the engine compartment.
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In what the Los Angeles Times reports was a 'freak event' at a Fresno home last Sunday, sunlight bouncing off of a mirrored headboard discarded in the back of a home magnified the sun's rays and started a fire that burned down the family carport.
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Amazingly, this is an improvement on last year, when hackers took 300,000 taxpayers' records from the IRS.
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Microsoft long ago stopped saying how many XBox Ones it had sold, but figures released by Electronic Arts expose numbers far short of rival Sony's Playstation 4.
On a financial call with reporters, CEO Blake Jorgensen said the combined install base of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was about 55 million units. With Sony boasting of 36 million PS4s shifted, that makes for 19 million Xbox Ones.
The numbers tally with rumors, but both machines are doing well given that we're still only 2 years into the current generation of hardware. The big loser this time around is Nintendo, thought to have sold only about 11m Wii Us.
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The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was the company's latest answer to Apple's dominating entry into the market. But it died fast, pulled off the shelves within a week due to an unspecified problem with the display.
Ron Amadeo writes that they "are not in a position to communicate the specifics of the issue that led to this decision."
LG is being as diplomatic as possible to not burn a bridge with its suppliers, but it's hard to interpret "image quality" as anything other than a finger pointed squarely at the display. The display would also fit the description of a "new advanced component" that had "never been used in an LG wearable device before." The Urbane 2 was the first smartwatch to hit a 480×480 resolution, bringing the round, 1.3-inch P-OLED display to 490 PPI.
Failed quality assurance at this level is just bizarre. What a train wreck. Read the rest
If they can keep up with Usain Bolt, I guess Segways can go kind of fast after all.
The Next Web's
I'd love to read
article titled "Ad-blockers aren’t ‘immoral,’ but maybe you’re using them wrong", but it is impossible because of the hilariously broken full-screen ad superimposed upon it. Read the rest
I bet the Vatican's commemorative coins celebrating Pope Francis's first year are suddenly much more valuable than expected. Why? They spelled Jesus wrong. According to The Independent, only four or so of the 6,000 medallions were sold before someone noticed. Praise Lesus! Read the rest
There are three things very wrong in this article at Livestrong.com, which my friend Meredith Yayanos pointed me to just now via Twitter. One, "nutrition" and "Velveeta" used in the same sentence at a website associated with cancer prevention and treatment. Two, the message in the yellow band—probably something they want to downplay right now, but no-one has gotten around to updating on the site. And the third is the real kicker, but you'll have to read the copy closely to find it.
The Livestrong dot-com site is basically a content farm populated with Turked-out SEO-bait by Demand Media; the dot-org is where the cancer advocacy organization does its thing. Read the rest
A Taliban spokesperson sent out a press-release and used CC instead of BCC, exposing a long list of Taliban press-contacts, as well as several parties friendly to Taliban communiques.
The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an l Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.
Taliban Oops Reveals Mailing List IDs [Muhammad Lila, ABC]
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The Swedish flatpack furniture company Ikea says it "regrets" that images of women went missing from the Saudi version of its mail-order catalog. Women are visible in the version of these same images in the English-language Ikea catalog. "Excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values," said a spokesbot this week. And, check it out: they're also PUTTING SOCKS ON PEOPLE! (HT: Antinous + Maciej Ostaszewski)
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Gary He of Inside Images today tweeted his photoshopped interpretation of an epic CNN gaffe. His 'shoop visually references the historic 1948 photo of just-elected President Harry Truman displaying before a crowd a newspaper that incorrectly reported his defeat.
The image went viral after inclusion in this New York Daily News article on how CNN and Fox totally blew it, by incorrectly reporting that the health care mandate championed by Obama was voted unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, when the opposite was in fact the case. More on Poynter. (thanks, Miles O'Brien!) Read the rest
I'm completely fascinated by stories from the early days of electricity ... specifically, stories of experiments that went horribly (and sometimes, comically) wrong.
For me, it's a great reminder that, no matter how much of a sure-thing a technology like electricity seems in retrospect, there was always a point in history where the future was uncertain, where mistakes were made, and where even the "experts" didn't totally know what they were doing. In general, I think it's good to remind ourselves that the real history of innovation is a lot messier than high-school level textbooks make it out to be.
In this short video, retired University of Missouri engineering professor Michael Devaney tells the tale of how a group of engineering students—armed with an early-model Edison electric generator—burned their school's main academic building to the ground. At the heart of the disaster: An attempt to see how many light bulbs the generator could light at once. To paraphrase Devaney, everything was going okay until the fire reached the ROTC's supply of cannon powder.
Read about how Thomas Edison himself set W.H. Vanderbilt's living room on fire.
Read about Thomas Edison and his staff accidentally turning a New York City intersection into a giant joy buzzer.
Read more on my thoughts about the messy history of innovation, published in last weekend's New York Times Magazine.
Thanks to Robert Solorzano and The Missourian for the tip on this story! Read the rest
[Video Link] There are probably easier ways to cause a column to buckle, but this way looks like fun. (Via Cynical-C) Read the rest
In Mexico City, butterfingers medics dropped a donor heart
being rushed to a hospital for a transplant operation. Rolled right out of the container and everything, right on to the street. All worked out in the end
. Read the rest