Solar-powered stick connects to the internet even when it’s offline

The internet is an incredible thing, but two-thirds of the world population still don’t have access to it. Even in emergencies, the internet might go down when responders need it most. We’ve previously written about BRCK, which boosts data signals to improve web infrastructure in Africa. Now the Outernet Lantern is a portable device that works anywhere, receiving web data from space when the internet’s not available. READ MORE… 

Hacker Collective Anonymous Promises to Take Down Missouri Government and Bank Sites
In the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, hacker collective Anonymous posted a video promising to take down websites belonging to the government of Missouri.<br/><br/>The video is posted on YouTube by a different offshoot of the hacker group than the one responding to Ku Klux Klan taunting last week.<br/><br/>This time, the threat comes from a band calling itself GSA AMCF (Ghost Security Anonymous / AnonMafia Cyber Family), a…

Source: General Security News | News
November 26, 2014 at 11:28PM via \hack\

Computer Simulated Hummingbird

A study to understand the controlled flight of a hummingbird discovered that the physics are similar to insects - via Nerdist:

The team who simulated the wing beats of the birds — a pair of mechanical engineers from Vanderbilt University and a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — first needed data. So they placed nine dabs of non-toxic paint on a female ruby-throated hummingbird’s wing and tracked their motion as the bird hovered with four cameras running at 1,00 frames per second.

Then the team produced the most detailed simulation to date of hummingbird flight. Using super-computers at the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) and Vanderbilt’s Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education, they simulated the thousands of tiny vortices in the air around the hummingbird’s wing to find out how it was keeping itself in the air. The result is mesmerizing, and informative.

… This lift-generating upstroke is why the hummingbird flies more like an insect. Many larger birds only use a downstroke to generate lift. On the upstroke they retract their wings to minimize drag. Dragonflies and other insects that hover, dart from place to place, and annoyingly dodge your hands use the same technique as the hummingbird. And though the hummingbirds are typically larger than these insects, the birds are able to keep their upstrokes surprisingly efficient — hummingbird upstrokes produce 30 percent less lift but use 30 percent less energy, making it as efficient as the downstroke, the team estimates.

More at Nerdist here

Researchers at Indiana University have released another study examining the ways people perceive same-sex relationships. The latest findings show that straight people are generally okay with LGBT folks, but still have a problem with public displays of affection between same-sex couples.

The research looked at both straight and queer people’s acceptance of LGBT people in two main categories: “formal rights,” like marriage equality and hospital visitations, and “informal privileges,” like being able to hold hands or kiss in public. Here are some of the key takeaways about how straight people view same-sex relationships:

  • Straight people are overall accepting of legal rights like visiting a same-sex partner in the hospital, sharing health insurance, and taking family leave to take care of a same-sex partner
  • But fewer straight people are okay with same-sex couples actually getting married, so perhaps some are only okay with the above in the context of civil unions or other legal, non-marriage relationships
  • And across the board, straight people believe that PDA is less acceptable between queer couples than between different-sex couples, including holding hands, kissing on the cheek and making out. Not surprisingly, straight men were more OK with two women kissing in public than two men (hey, male gaze), but overall still viewed queer PDA as more icky than straight PDA. 

Straight and queer people alike were surveyed, but queer folks’ responses are less exciting, as we tend to support our own formal and informal rights pretty consistently. However, it is worth noting a substantial number of LGBT people said that same-sex (their own) public affection was less acceptable than that of straight people — internalized homophobia, anyone?

Here’s another important point from Mari’s writeup at Autostraddle:

As with all sociological studies, this data should be taken with a bit of a critical eye. First, while the study is just now being published, the survey data was collected back in 2010, a time when gay marriage was legal in only six states. So, while this data may have reflected attitudes then, it’s possible and even likely there have been some shifts in that period. Secondly, this study relied on presenting written scenarios in a survey, and it’s possible that being actually confronted with an amorous queer couple may elicit different reactions from people. Regardless, it appears that the queer community has a ways to go in gaining the same degree of social acceptance for our relationships that straight people enjoy. Psychology says that exposure is one of the best ways to break down discomforts. We all clearly need to spend more time sucking face in public. You know, for the greater good.

Thoughts? Opinions? Agreements or disagreements?

Here’s a visualization, via Twitter, of national conversation about “Ferguson” last night. These are only the tweets that are geotagged, which comprises a very small percentage of total tweets sent. Twitter says there were 3.5 million tweets sent last night mentioning “Ferguson”.

Conversation bubbled for most of the evening, and then, around the time of the grand jury announcement, it exploded. 

We’ll have live coverage of America’s reaction to the Ferguson grand jury decision throughout the day.

New* Data Knit Edition 2 Scarf

This digital design scarf motif by J.Donaldson is machine knit pixel to stitch, bringing binaries and bespoke together in an ultra modern accessory with 8bit style.

Shown here in white, light blue, navy blue and dark gray, scarves measure 45x17cm (57”x7”) and are Oeko-Tex 100 certified acrylic.

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Each scarf is made to order. Please allow 4-6 weeks delivery.