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

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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Design Studio Creates Installation That Lets You Experience Nature Through the Eyes of Various Animals

Here’s a chance for nature-lovers to experience the world from completely new and different perspectives. ‘In the Eyes of an Animal’ is an art installation in Grizedale Forest, UK, that lets people the woods through the eyes of its various animal inhabitants!

The futuristic project is the brainchild of a London-based design studio called Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). Commissioned by the AND Festival, it is a virtual reality experience combining nature and technology. Visitors are asked to wear large, moss-faced black headsets as they journey through a LIDAR-scanned woodland, while coming into contact with various creatures.

First, the forest is scanned using a Lidar scanner, a type of remote sensing technology. The points collected are then “decimated into real-time and combined with further data collected with CT scanning and photogrammetry techniques.” The rendered scenes harmoniously blend the elements collected through Lidar with CT scans of insects and animals, thereby interpreting their world. Audio effects are then added to complete and enhance the overall experience. Bass vibrations help recreate the sensations of a breathing, flying animal.

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This Environment-Friendly Bathing Suit Cleans Polluted Water as You Swim

Thanks to this cool new two-piece bathing suit, cleaning up the world’s oceans might actually become the ‘in’ thing to do during the hot summer months!

The 3D-printed Sponge Suit bikini is made of flexible, carbon-based filler materials that function like a sponge, absorbing all sorts of pollutants from water. So you put it on, wade into the water, and end up cleaning the seas “one stroke at a time”. It’s supposed to be absolutely safe for the wearer. 

The sponge filler was invented by a group of engineers led by electrical engineering professor Mihri Ozkan. But instead of just dumping it into water, they wanted to find a fun way of getting people involved in the cleaning process and add an eco-friendly element to the leisure activity of swimming. So they enlisted the help of design firm Eray Carbajo to convert the material into a functional, wearable swimsuit that’s economically sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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This Tail-Mounted Sensor Can Tell You What Your Dog Is Feeling

There’s a tale behind every wagging tail, or so believe the founders of New York tech company DogStar Life. They’ve created a wearable device called TailTalk that accurately translates dogs’ emotions by analyzing their ‘tail language’.

The company is currently trying to raise $100,000 through Indiegogo, in order to develop the technology further and also prepare for mass production. “The tail is the dog’s social interface, like a smile for humans,” the campaign page reads. “Understanding the tail means understanding the dog.”

The device is a lightweight sensor that is placed on a dog’s tail to capture movement patterns all day long. “It basically combines an accelerometer and a gyroscope much like the Fitbit, but it’s picking up on the way the tail is moving,” co-founder Mark Karp told Yahoo News. “The idea is to capitalize on all the research that’s been done in the last two to three years on what tail movement means, and translating that into emotion.”

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Innovative Razor Now Lets You Shave with a Laser

Thanks to a couple of Swedish entrepreneurs, it might soon be possible to get a clean shave without the little nicks and cuts. They’ve done away with blades in their new invention ‘Skarp’, a futuristic razor that magically makes hair fall away when waved over skin!

Well, it’s not exactly magic. Skarp uses laser beams to assist in hair removal. The concept isn’t new, lasers have been used to eliminate body hair cosmetically and medically since 1989, when Morgan Gustavsson invented the IPL (Intense Pulse Light). He also wanted to bring lasers into everyday hair removal, but he couldn’t really do it before because the wavelengths could only cut through dark hair, not light or grey hair.

But now, Morgan and his partner Paul Binun claim to have discovered a part of hair molecules called chromophore shared by all humans irrespective of hair color. Chromophores can be cut easily with a particular wavelength of light. So they used the discovery to develop a commercial laser razor that can be used on any part of the body, by men and women.

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Woman Has Ingenious “Robot” Standing in Line at an Apple Store in Australia

Believe it or not, the day has finally come when people can have their iPads wait in line every time a new iPhone is released! A woman named Lucy Kelly was the first to try it out – she sent an iPad robot to stand proxy for her at an Apple store in Sydney, just before the launch of the new iPhone 6s.

The robot, also named Lucy, consists of an iPad attached to a Segway-type device. Created by Californian company Double Robotics, it allows a person to be virtually present anywhere without actually having to be there. And the company that Kelly works for – Atomic 212 – happened to order six of these robots to play with at their office.

“We use them for everything, just to show new technology,” Kelly said. “It is a cool demonstration of what the future of technology will be. We are obsessed with them.” So on the eve of the iPhone 6s release in Sydney last Thursday, Lucy the robot arrived to take the fourth place in the long line of Apple fans.

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High-Tech Automated Restaurant Totally Does Away with Human Interaction

A new restaurant in San Francisco is making headlines for entirely doing away with human staff. Instead, customers at ‘Eatsa’ directly send their orders to the kitchen through iPads. When the meal is ready, it will appear through a small glass compartment. Although there are real people working behind the scenes, patrons don’t have to interact with any of them.

It’s a radical alteration from the traditional model of dining out, but Eatsa owners feel that San Franciscans are ready for the change. They did have concierges in red shirts on the opening night late last month, to help customers place their order, but the restaurant is now fully automated, with no sign of staff anywhere – no cashiers, no waiters, no maître d’. Customers jokingly call it the “robot restaurant”.

It might sound rather inhospitable, but the restaurant, located in the Financial District, has is so far proving a success. “We are producing food at an incredible rate,” co-founder Tim Young said. “And we’re creating a new kind of fast food experience. What we’ve designed creates a sense of mystery, creates a sense of intrigue.”

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The WalkCar, a Japanese Gadget Designed to Make Walking Obsolete

Thanks to Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito’s new invention, walking could soon become a thing of the past. He’s created a portable transportation device called ‘WalkCar’, which he describes as the world’s first ‘car in a bag’.

The WalkCar is about the size of a laptop, and is somewhat similar to a skateboard in terms of functionality. According to Saito, the gadget is very easy to use – just stand on it and it starts, step off it and it stops. To change directions, users simply have to shift their weight towards the left or right. Uphill or downhill travel can be achieved by applying pressure forwards or backwards.

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Swedish Airport Installs Climate Simulator of Cities Around the World

Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport offers a weather service quite unlike any other. Instead of doling out boring reports, it actually lets people feel what the weather is like in various cities around the world before actually flying there.

Yvonne Boe, communication manager at Swedavia – the company that manages Sweden’s airports – describes the unique Climate Portal as an “experience for all your senses which replicates the weather live from all over the planet, a direct link to the whole world. It’s also a preview of where you’re going, so you know if you need that warm sweater or an extra pair of sunglasses before boarding.”

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Controversial Weight Loss Device Lets You Eat Like a Pig Then Pumps Your Stomach

Cashing in on people’s desperation to lose weight is a new device that’s pretty much the medical equivalent of bulimia. Its main function is to pump out the contents of a user’s stomach, right after a heavy meal.

The makers of ‘AspireAssist’ claim to have already helped hundreds of patients in the US shed copious amounts of fat, some dropping as much as a 100 pounds. The controversial product will also be available in the UK within a few months, but hundreds of critics are speaking up against the outrageous device, warning that it is a stop-gap measure that fails to address the real cause of obesity.

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Game of Drones – Australia’s Awesome Underground Drone Racing League

Drone racing is a mushrooming trend in Australia, catering to a growing band of enthusiasts looking to fulfill their need for speed. The races, organised by underground ‘leagues’, generally take place in rundown warehouses, farms, and go-kart tracks in the fringe suburbs of various cities.

The relatively unknown sport is called FPV (first person racing). Participants spend countless hours custom building their quadcopters, fitting them with onboard cameras and ‘blinging’ them up with LED lights. During the actual events, racers don special goggles – sometimes held together with gaffer tape – to give them a drone’s-eye view as they steer their machines around the course. So it’s a lot like video gaming, except players get to control a real device instead of a virtual one.

“It’s addictive. It’s like playing a video game,” says drone racer Darren French, who has clocked over 60 kmph. “It’s fast. The more you do it, the more you want to fly.”

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Thync – A Wearable Device That Alters Your Mood

‘Thync’ is a new wearable device that makes use of electroencephalography to measure the brain’s electrical activity, and modify neuron activity. Simply put, it has the ability to change your mood!

All you need to do is attach the device to your forehead and it will instantly shift your state of mind. A corresponding iPhone app lets you pick the type of mood you want to experience, and even adjust the intensity. You could choose to become happy, relaxed, focused, or energised. And the best part is, you get to do it without using drugs, energy drinks, or alcohol.

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This Electric Thinking Cap Boosts Learning and Decision Making

Up until a few weeks ago, the proverbial thinking cap only had a figurative meaning, but apparently science has finally managed to catch up. A couple of American scientists have created a real thinking cap that could help people learn and make decisions quicker.

This unique device is the brainchild of psychology professor Geoff Woodman and Ph.D. student Robert Reinhart of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and works by sending very low electrical shocks to the brain when worn. The duo claim that the electrical stimulation of certain parts of the brain could make the wearer learn new skills and make better decisions.

Indeed, studies performed on the human brain have revealed that negative voltage spikes occur in the medial-frontal cortex of the brain, milliseconds before we make a mistake. Woodman and Reinhart figured that a part of the brain can influence learning and decision making, helping us avoid the same mistakes later.

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240-Year-Old Writer Automaton is the Ancestor of Today’s Computers

“The Writer” is a clockwork automaton created in the 1770s by the Swiss-born famous watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz. The mechanism, designed to write words and sentences of up to 40 characters, still works perfectly after almost 240 years, baffling everyone with its complexity. The very concept of a machine that could mechanically reproduce the human act of writing was well ahead of its time. Moreover, it must have taken a lot of time, patience and resourcefulness not only to put the idea into practice and build the mechanism, but also to give the machine the look of a boy.

The Writer uses cam technology: as the cams move, the cam followers interpret their trajectory and move the boy’s arm accordingly. The cams play an important part in the mechanism because they control not just the strokes of the pen, but also its pressure on the paper. Indeed, as Professor Simon Schaffer states in BBC Four’s documentary “Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams”, The Writer is “one of the most remarkable realizations of cam technology”. Another fascinating detail regarding the mechanism of the automaton is that it can write any word (and, therefore, any sentence) and follow the text with its eyes. What makes this possible is the fact that the wheel controlling the cams is composed of signs and letters that can easily be re-arranged in any order to form various combinations. Actually, the fact that it is “programmable” makes The Writer the ancestor of modern computers.

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No Internet, No Cable, No Problem – Canadian Family Lives Like It’s 1986

Most people couldn’t imagine a day without their fancy smartphones, but a family in Guelph, Canada has decided to shun all post-1986 technology from their lives for a whole year, as part of a social experiment.

It all started last year when Blair McMillan asked his five-year old son if he wanted to come outside and play, only to realize that even on a perfect summer day the child preferred to stay indoors and play video games on an iPad. He started thinking about his own childhood and how today’s youth have become so dependent on modern technology like computers, mobile phones and the internet. The 26-year-old father-of-two talked to teens and young people in their 20’s, most of which confessed they couldn’t even picture their lives without all their different gadgets, and began questioning contemporary public service announcements that encourage parents to get their kids active outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day. He remembered that when he was a child, it was nearly impossible to keep kids siting quietly indoors for half an hour. And that’s when it hit him – what if he could go back in time and give his own children a taste of how life was back then? Since April, the McMillans have given up all modern-day technology, and went back to living in 1986 (the year Blair and his wife were born) with its bad hair, cassette tapes and most importantly, real social interaction.

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