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Updated: 1 year 6 hours ago

Burglars steal Vudu account IDs, passwords

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 6:45pm
Streaming video provider Vudu announced that a break-in March 24 resulted in the theft of hard drives containing customer information, including names, email addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, account activity, dates of birth and the last four digits of some credit card numbers.According to Vudu, full credit card numbers were not stolen and that user passwords were encrypted. However,...    

Written in the stars: How an alien planet helped a man woo his true love

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 6:45pm
Zeb Gray thought naming an exoplanet after his girlfriend would be the perfect tribute to "the eternal love that we share for each other" — and whether or not the name sticks, the decision arguably changed his life. On Friday, Gray asked Amara Somers to marry him, and she said yes.Did the fact that Gray proposed the name "Amara" for the planet now known as Alpha Centauri Bb have anything to do wit...    

Ozone overdose confuses pollinators

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 5:29pm
By Larry O'HanlonDiscovery NewsOzone isn't just bad for your lungs, it also gets in the way of insects finding their favorite food, say researchers. Ozone, because it reacts readily with aromatic compounds put out by plants, interferes with the come-hither call of the plants to insects.“The insects need a threshold amount of gas released by the flower,” said Jose Fuentes of Penn State University. ...    

Google Fiber, AT&T target Austin for high-speed Internet

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 5:02pm
Google said Tuesday it plans to bring its ultra high-speed Internet and television service to Austin, Texas, next year, prompting AT&T to reveal its own plans to follow suit — if it gets the same terms from local authorities.AT&T appeared to be making a political point to highlight the heavy regulations that encumber traditional phone companies, analysts said. Google promised to begin conn...    

How 'burps' help forecast volcanic eruptions

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 4:42pm
By Becky OskinLiveScienceIt's rarely good news when a volcano has indigestion. Volcanic gas "burping" from a fiery peak signals magma moving down below — a warning sign of a possible eruption.If scientists can reach hazardous volcanoes — such as at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano — on foot or by helicopter, they collect samples to track the volcanoes’ gas emissions. Now, a new study of Kilauea's 2008 sum...    

Windows XP death watch begins

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 4:31pm
If you, or your workplace, are still using Windows XP, it’s time to move on. Microsoft will officially end support for the 2001-vintage platform on April 8 of next year, 2014. That means no more service packs, no more updates and, most importantly, no more security patches. Windows users generally receive periodic updates from Microsoft via its Windows Update service. These fixes often patch ...    

Passwords? What about passthoughts? New login relies on brain signals

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 4:26pm
Just mental humming of your favorite tune, a mental reconstruction of your favorite yoga move, or focusing on your favorite color could soon unlock your computer.Say you were wearing that computer — as you might if you owned Google Glass. A "passthought" reader that decoded your EEGs would be way more convenient than typing in a password on a real or virtual keyboard."You can see all these picture...    

NASA spacecraft take spring break at Mars

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 3:58pm
By Mike WallSpace.comNASA's robotic Mars explorers are taking a cosmic break for the next few weeks, thanks to an unfavorable planetary alignment of Mars, the Earth and the sun.Mission controllers won't send any commands to the agency's Opportunity rover, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) or Mars Odyssey orbiter from Tuesday through April 26. The blackout is even longer for NASA's car-size Curiosi...

Poop in space revisited: Apollo 10's floating turds pop up 44 years later

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 3:58pm
Bathroom rituals in outer space are a perennial favorite, particularly when they go wrong — as evidenced by the latest wave of hilarity over the runaway poop that prompted rude remarks during the Apollo 10 round-the-moon mission in 1969.A 500-page-plus transcript of the declassified mission log records tons of routine conversations among the mission's three astronauts: commander Tom Stafford, luna...

Pilot texting a 'self-induced distraction' in helicopter crash, says NTSB

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 3:31pm
Could texting while piloting have caused a fatal 2011 helicopter crash? It had more to do with an empty fuel tank and poor decision-making, according to a National Transportation Safety Board inquiry — still, the texts didn't help.At an NTSB meeting held Tuesday, board members discussed the 2011 crash of a medical helicopter near Mosby, Mo., which killed all four people on board. It is the first f...

Cosmic Crab scurries its way into night sky

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 3:19pm
By Joe RaoSpace.comThe dim constellation of Cancer, the Crab, high toward the south during the mid-to-late evening hours recently, is the least conspicuous of the 12 zodiacal constellations.Aside from being in the Zodiac, Cancer is probably noteworthy only because it contains one of the brightest galactic star clusters in the sky. It appears to the eye as a fuzzy patch of light, but binoculars wil...

Crashing continents caused deadly Iran earthquake

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 2:36pm
By Becky OskinLiveScienceCrashing continents caused Tuesday's deadly earthquake in Iran, which killed at least 20 people, according to news reports.See more NBC News coverage see "Devastating" quake strikes near Iran nuclear plantThe magnitude-6.3 Iran earthquakehit in the southern Zagros Mountains, a stunning range that marks the boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, said Bil...

'Batman: Arkham Origins' revealed, Rocksteady Studios out of the loop

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 2:36pm
Every superhero needs a good origin story. And no hero has one as iconic and apocryphal as Batman. So it makes a certain amount of sense that after publishing two of the most highly regarded comic book video games ever made — "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Batman: Arkham City" — Warner Bros. wants to return to the series again. And that's exactly what the "Arkham" series publisher is going to do, ac...

Google Play cleans out nasty apps, updates its look

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 1:51pm
Google Play, the app store for Android phones and tablets, is not only rolling out a cleaner look, it's cleaning house, so far removing a reported 60,000 apps that were of questionable quality."The largest category of apps they cracked down was the MP3s and ringtones, which were heavily abused by slightly dodgy apps," Chester Wisniewski, Sophos senior security advisor, told NBC News Tuesday.The ap...

Feral pigs population fight: There's no bacon down

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 1:40pm
By Douglas MainLiveScienceFeral pigs are becoming a wild problem in the United States.The wild hogs can now be found in three-fourths of U.S. states — and their populations are growing in many areas — and are estimated to cause $1.5 billion in damages each year, The Associated Press reports.  There are currently more than 5 million wild hogs in the United States, according to the U.S. Department o...

For historic Yuri's Night, party like it's 1961

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:56pm
By Miriam KramerSpace.comThis week, space geeks around the world will celebrate the historic flight that made Yuri Gagarin the first person to leave the confines of Earth 52 years ago."Yuri's Night" (celebrated annually the week of April 12) commemorates Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first flight with parties and special events honoring more than five decades of human spaceflight. This year, fes...

Hacker 'Kayla' admits attacks on Sony, Nintendo, Arizona State Police

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:56pm
LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - A British computer hacker pleaded guilty on Tuesday to cyber attacks on targets including Sony, Nintendo, Rupert Murdoch's News International and the Arizona State Police. Ryan Ackroyd's plea meant his planned jury trial did not go ahead and, as a result, the court did not hear any evidence on the motivation behind the attacks he made using the persona of a 16-year-old ...

With just his mind, man wiggles rat's tail

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:29pm
By Charles ChoiLiveScienceBy linking the brains of a human and a rat, scientists have now helped a man wiggle a rodent's tail using only the man's thoughts.These new findings are the first case of a brain-to-brain interface between species, and the first example of a noninvasive brain-to-brain interface, researchers added.In February, scientists revealed they linked together the brains of two rats...

Look out: Insatiable, supersized crabs are coming

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:07pm
By Marc LallanillaLiveScienceThe giant crabs are coming. And they're hungry.Researchers at the University of North Carolina's (UNC) Aquarium Research Center have found that higher atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that's linked to global warming — are also causing crabs to grow to bigger, faster and stronger, according to the Washington Post.As the oceans absorb significant a...

Do you have the lazy gene? Some rats do

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 11:39am
By LiveScienceNew research might help explain why some people have trouble getting off the couch. Experiments on rats suggest there could be a genetic predisposition to laziness.A group of scientists put rats in cages with running wheels — a subtle suggestion for them to start exercising — and recorded how much time each spent running during a six-day period. They then bred the top 26 runners with...