11-Year-Old Entrepreneur Sells Secure Account Passwords for $2 Each

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11-year-old Mira Modi is cashing in on her knowledge of strong, easy-to-memorize passwords. She started her own online business earlier this month, selling hand-generated cryptographic passwords for $2 each!

“I’m a sixth-grade student in New York City,” Mira writes on her website. “This is my first business (other than occasional lemonade stands!). But I’m very excited about it and will be very responsible.” She also explains how Diceware, a decades-old password generating system, works: “You roll a die 5 times and write down each number. Then you look up the resulting five-digit number in the Diceware dictionary, which contains a numbered list of short words.”

The result, apparently, is a combination of five to eight words in a non-sensical string that is so random that it’s extremely difficult to crack. While a five-word string is breakable with “a thousand or so PCs equipped with high-end graphics processors,” an eight-word string “should be completely secure through 2050.”

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Australian Chicken Restaurant Has an Actual Chicken Handling Its Twitter Account

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An Australian takeaway place is trying to win a Guinness World Record by having their mascot Betty become the first chicken to ever send a readable tweet! The marketing campaign is a lot like shooting in the dark – they’re letting Betty peck away randomly at a keyboard, hoping that she will accidentally tweet something meaningful by the end of October. 

Perth marketing agency Marketforce came up with the idea for their client ‘Chicken Treat’, who operate over 70 franchises in Western Australia. “Betty will be tweeting away until she sends a proper five-letter word in English,” the promotional video states. “Follow her as she makes history at the Chicken Tweet Twitter page.”  

According to independent brand analyst Michel Hogan, it’s great that a company is using humour in its marketing. “This isn’t a new idea by any means, but I can see it working – depending on where they go with it and how they do it,” she said. She added that smaller chains need such stunts and tricks to grab eyeballs in an industry that is dominated by larger corporations.

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Extreme Phone Pinching – Probably the Most Nerve-Racking Internet Trend of 2015

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Move over extreme sports, ‘extreme phone pinching’ is guaranteed to deliver an adrenaline rush like never before. Warning: It’s not for the faint-hearted.

The nerve-wracking new challenge has people dangling their expensive smartphones over all sorts of dangerous places like toilets, drains, balconies and even high cliffs. There’s only one rule – they’ve got to ‘pinch’ their gadgets using only their thumb and forefinger!

The bizarre, rather pointless trend was apparently started by Twenty One Pilots, an American indie pop band. They posted a YouTube video of them performing the phone pinch stunt and it spread like wildfire across various social networks, garnering over 300,000 views. Before long, the hashtag #extremephonepinching became a thing and people began tweeting videos and pictures of their own attempts.

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Meet Baddie Winkle, the Internet’s Coolest-Dressing Octogenarian

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Lots of people believe in dressing for their age, but Tennessee-based Helen Van Winkle does not subscribe to such hogwash. The 87-year-old sports outrageously loud outfits with peculiar prints and posts photographs of herself on her Instagram account – ‘Baddie Winkle’. With over 1.5 million Instagram followers, she has become the internet’s most popular grandma. Her account is followed by celebs like Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Beyoncé, Drake, and Rihanna. She was even photographed with Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks ago.

“I don’t feel old,” she told online magazine Refinery29. “I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to.” At age 87, it looks like she’s got more spunk in her than most kids one quarter her age!

But believe it or not, the spirited Winkle was a mess a few years ago, after the deaths of her husband and her son. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” she said of her loss. “I blamed God forever. I cried all the time because I couldn’t come to terms with it.”

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Meet Loki, the Internet’s Favorite Vampire Cat

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Loki is the internet’s newest feline sensation – her pictures have gone viral and people can’t stop gushing over her evil vampire face. With over 50,000 followers on Instagram already, her distinctive appearance is only making her more popular by the minute.

Loki’s owner Kaetlyn Koch, from Portland, Maine, says that in real life, Loki is just as adorable as any other cat. She loves to to hide under bath towels and lay on her back for a rub. Her murderous stare only seems to emerge when she’s confronted with a camera lens. She looks downright scary with her fangs jutting out, even when she’s peeking out from under towels or lazing in Kaet’s lap. Loki’s eyes never seem to close, which is a bit of a mystery.

Kaetlyn didn’t know about the vampire look when she adopted the Siamese-mix cat from a shelter two years ago. “They didn’t give me many details about her looks,” she said. “They said it was healthy but she wasn’t able to close it (her eyelids). She’s been to the vet three times in the last year, and no one has made mention of her teeth or why she looks the way she does. Still a mystery.”

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World’s Most Exclusive Site Can Only Be Accessed by One Person per Minute

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With his online experiment, Reddit user Justin Foley is demonstrating the power exclusivity. He’s proving how people will fall for pretty much anything – or nothing – by merely tagging it ‘exclusive’.

Foley set up a portal called ‘mostexclusivewebsite.com’, consisting of just a few lines of text and a counter. Access is granted to only one person at a 60-second interval. With the click of a button, you will be added to a virtual line of over 2,500 people (at the time of this writing), waiting to gain access. If you close the website window, the ticket is lost.

“The internet was designed to be open and accessible; what if I made a design that was the antithesis of one of the defining qualities of the internet?” Foley told The Washington Post. He added that about one in nine people are making it inside the website – the rest leave before their number is called. And Wired.co.uk explaines why: “The website is simple, and the concept both alluring and incredibly frustrating.”



Russian Homeless Video Blogger Finds Fame and Fortune Online

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A homeless man in Moscow has steadily been building himself an army of followers online ever since he started video blogging in May. The self-confessed ‘bum-blogger’ says his videos are so popular because they “show you the Moscow you have not yet seen “.

Many of the homeless blogger’s videos have gone viral in Russia, and his YouTube channel – where he goes by ‘Zhenya Yakut’ – now has over 35,000 subscribers. His most-viewed videos have nearly half a million hits, and he has over 3,000 followers on Instagram. Yakut, 43, says he’s been homeless for five years now. Through his videos, he tries to give people the low-down about life as a homeless man in Moscow, including “where to eat for free, to sleep, to wash up, where to go, what to see.”



Spanish Town That Runs on Twitter Shows Off the Power of Social Media

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Twitter, along with countless other social media websites, is often viewed as a productivity killer. But a small town in Spain has actually been using the platform to improve communication between authorities and the people. In fact, Twitter is so important to the people of Jun that they actually built a monument of the iconic ‘blue bird’ in the town’s square.

Since September 2011, the 3,500-strong community has used Twitter to spread local news, developments, job opportunities, orbituaries, and even school dinner menus! Residents book doctor’s appointments, register consumer complaints, and report crimes through their tweets. Jun’s Mayor, José Antonio Rodriguez Salas, has his own account, with a massive following of over 340,000. Locals can contact the Mayor by tweeting him directly.

All the town’s public services, including the police force, have their own Twitter accounts. The force, consisting of only one officer, drives a squad car with ‘@PoliciaJun’ painted on the bonnet. In fact, the bird logo can be seen everywhere, including the Mayor’s office. Even the guy who sweeps the streets tweets amusing messages, with before and after shots of his handiwork.  The town’s elderly aren’t ignored either – there’s a special program in place to teach them how to use the internet and social media.



Rare Condition Gives Cat Creepy Alien Eyes

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Matilda the cat is well on her way to becoming an internet sensation, thanks to her large, glassy, ‘alien’ eyes. Her mysterious appearance has earned her over 33,000 followers on Instagram and that number is about to skyrocket now that her photos have gone viral.

Sadly, Matilda’s story isn’t as amusing as it seems. The two-year-old tabby suffers from a rare condition that’s only getting worse as she grows older. Matilda’s anonymous owners, who refer to themselves as her ‘servants’, have revealed that she used to be pretty normal as a kitten, with the exception of having a ‘squinty eye’ from time to time.

“Matilda lives with her loving servants who include The Bearded Man, The Lady and Dog,” the servants write on Matilda’s official site. “She was born on Valentine’s Day in 2013 in a hoarder house in a small town, and was quickly picked up by a rescue society. When she found her forever home she was only 12 weeks old and the cutest, teensiest thing that anyone had ever seen.”



Dr. Pimple Popper – Dermatologist Films Herself Popping Zits, Becomes Internet Sensation

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How would you like to watch a big, fat, juicy pimple pop and ooze pus and gunk? Sounds revolting? But you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it can be. And thanks to YouTube sensation Dr Sandra Lee, you can watch tons of such videos online. Nearly 60,000 people subscribe to her channel, where she regularly posts videos of herself popping her clients’ zits.

Lee is a California based dermatologist and a regular guest on a talk show called The Doctors. But on the internet, she is popular as Dr Pimple Popper – a nickname that she chose for herself when she first started posting clips of blackhead and whitehead extractions. Apart from her massive YouTube following, she has a loyal fan base on Reddit as well.

“I find this little subculture fascinating,” Lee said, in a recent interview. “I pop these things, and yeah they kind of make me feel good, they’re satisfying, but it’s not like I seek them out.” But every time a client walks in to her office, she offers to pop their zits for free, if they’ll allow her post it online. Interestingly, no one has ever refused the offer.



Disturbing New Trend Has Teenagers Sucking on Glasses and Bottles to Get Fuller Lips

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In a bid to achieve pouty lips à la Kylie Jenner, teens all over the world are engaging in a bizarre DIY lip job challenge called the #kyliejennerchallenge. It involves blowing up their lips to comically large proportions by sucking on a glass or a jar.

The method is reportedly rather painful – participants need to place their lips in the opening of any narrow vessel and suck in all the air, causing a vacuum. The lips will eventually swell due to increased blood flow, creating an effect that teens hope will resemble the 17-year-old Kardashian clan member’s highly coveted pout.

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Cicada 3301 – The Internet’s Most Baffling Mystery

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Cicada 3301 is often referred to as the internet’s most elaborate and mysterious puzzle, one that often leaves cryptoanalysts and hackers scratching their heads. A sort of cross between a contest, job interview and highly complex puzzle, Cicada 3301 recurs each year, but no one knows who is behind it or what prize awaits the person who solves it.

The first internet puzzle appeared online on January 5, 2012, and two subsequent rounds were released on the same day of the following years. During the first year, Cicada 3301 started with a picture on 4Chan, along with the message: “Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.” The message was simply signed 3301.

The ensuing puzzle provided focused heavily on data security, cryptography and steganography. The clues were scattered in locations all over the world – from the US to France and Poland, within various forms of communication including the internet, telephone, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, and physical paper signs. The clues have also referenced several books, poetry, artwork and music. Clues are always signed by the same cryptic private key to confirm authenticity.



Chinese Teen Cut Off His Hand Because He Was Addicted to the Internet

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In a desperate attempt to cure himself of his internet addiction, a Chinese teenager simply chopped off his own left hand. The 19-year-old, from the city of Nantong, in Jiangsu province, took the drastic measure last week.

“We cannot accept what has happened,” said the kid’s mother, who refused to be identified. “It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy.” She had gone to her son’s bedroom at 11pm last Wednesday, only to find him missing from his bed. Instead, she found a handwritten note that said: “Mum, I have gone to the hospital for a while. Don’t worry, I will definitely come back this evening.”

In the meantime, the boy had snuck out of the house with a kitchen knife. Once safely out of sight, he severed his left hand at the wrist. He then called a taxi to take him to a nearby Emergency Room, leaving the hand lying on the ground.

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Meet Skellie, the Popular Skeleton Taking Instagram by Storm

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With over 150,000 followers, Skellie the skeleton is a true Instagram celebrity. Her account, aptly titled ‘@omgliterallydead’, chronicles her daily activities like hanging out at Starbucks, brunches with her BFFs, makeup-free selfies, visits to the dentist, chilling in the bath, or just staying home to enjoy a Netflix binge.

The whole concept apparently started as a joke between a few co-workers at a Toronto-based social media marketing company. “In early October, a pose-able, plastic skeleton arrived at our office,” said social media manager Dana Herlihy. “My coworkers took to it; someone taped a Starbucks cup to the skeleton’s hand and I took a photo for my personal Instagram.” When that photograph went viral, Dana decided to take a few more, and before she knew it Skellie had her own account.

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Real-Life Truman Show: Finnish Man Broadcasts Every Minute of His Life via Webcam

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48-year-old Ari Kivikangas is into life-casting, which basically means he’s constantly broadcasting his day-to-day life webcam. But unlike other vloggers who try to come up with entertaining things to do and say on camera, Ari makes no effort to seem interesting. Surprisingly, that’s what draws more people to his UStream channel, because it makes him look authentic.

Ari, or ‘Cyberman’, as he has come to be known online, claims to be online 24/7, except for a few rare breaks when he’s out picking up his epilepsy medicine or spending time with a female friend. Apart from that, he films pretty much everything he does – like a self-enforced Truman Show of sorts. His viewers apparently find all of this fascinating, especially because he doesn’t seem to care what other people think of him.

“I started about four years ago,” Ari explained. “I was stuck at home for three months and had a lot of time on my hands but nothing to do, so I started doing this. I’m epileptic and I don’t work any more, so I’m always home. I’m online 24/7.”



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