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Why tornadoes and hailstorms are more common during the workweek

why tornadoes take weekends off

A new study suggests that in the summertime, tornadoes and hailstorms in the eastern US occur significantly more often during the middle of the week. Why? There’s more pollution during the workweek due to commuting and other factors. From National Geographic…

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Inside the Apple archives at Stanford Libraries

In 1997, Apple gifted the Stanford University Libraries its historical collections of paperwork, hardware, software, artifacts, and other materials documenting the organization since Woz and Jobs founded it in 1976. The Associated Press toured the collection. No, it’s not available for public viewing.

KRIV FOX 26 Houston Live report on Air Jordan Shoes

“WHAT IF YO CHILD GET AMMONIA??!?!!!?!?!”

60beat GamePad controller plugs into iOS sound jack

This $50 controller looks cool, and the man in the video seems much nicer than Paul Christoforo. 60beat GamePad controller

Pound On My Muffin

Behold the inexplicable Shira Miss Muffin, who appears to be Pittsburgh’s answer to Rebeccah Black.

Bowling in un programma argentino

The Dark Knight Rises Official Movie Trailer

Nice to see Pittsburgh represented so well.

Alaska State Legislator Makes a PSA Warning Travelers about the TSA

I like that guy.

HOWTO: Keep your data safe at the US border

EFF border searchThe Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a new guide, “Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices,” which explains how the law, good technology choices, cryptography and backups can be combined to keep your data safe while you travel, especially when crossing into the USA, where customs officials reserve the rights to search your laptop and mobile phone without a warrant and keep whatever they find.

“Different people need different kinds of precautions for protecting their personal information when they travel,” said EFF Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen. “Our guide helps you assess your personal risks and concerns, and makes recommendations for various scenarios. If you are traveling over the U.S. border soon, you should read our guide now and get started on taking precautions before your trip.”

Over the past few years, Congress has weighed several bills to protect travelers from suspicionless searches at the border, but none has had enough support to become law. You can join EFF in calling on the Department of Homeland Security to publish clear guidelines for what they do with sensitive traveler information collected in digital searches by signing our petition. You can also test your knowledge about travelers’ privacy rights and help spread the word about the risks by taking our border privacy quiz.

“We store detailed records of our lives on our laptops and our phones. But the courts have diminished our constitutional right to privacy at the border,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “It’s time for travelers to take action and protect themselves and their private information during international trips.”

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House Committee Postpones Action on SOPA

Wowsers!George Orwell irony privacy

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has postponed further debate on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until after Congress’ holiday break.

At the urging of some SOPA opponents, Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and committee chairman, said Friday he will consider a hearing or a classified briefing on the bill’s impact on cybersecurity. More than 80 Internet engineers and cybersecurity experts have raised security concerns about the bill, which would require Internet service providers and domain name registrars to block the domain names of foreign websites accused of copyright infringement.

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Homemade anti-SOPA PSAs

We Forgot Our Name! is so worried about the Stop Online Piracy Act that he’s created four short PSAs to help explain what’s wrong with the idea to your friends and family: “The Stop Online Piracy Act will be going back to the House for a vote this WEDNESDAY December 21st. The House tried to make people think they would not reconvene to vote on S.O.P.A. until after the New Year but are now trying to sneak back in to vote before everyone realizes how bad S.O.P.A. is. Help spread the word!”

Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial

Guantanamo Bay

Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.

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An easier-to-build solar cell

Solar cells are not easy to build, but a new technology from Notre Dame could, someday, change that. It involves a nanoparticle paste made from t-butanol, water, cadmium sulfide and titanium dioxide. Here, you watch the process of constructing a solar cell this way and see why it could be easier and cheaper than current options. The downside: These solar cells won’t be coming to a neighborhood near you anytime soon. They’re in the early stages of research and are still only 1% efficient at converting solar energy to electricity. (Standard solar cells tend to be closer to 25% efficient.)

ICanStalkU twitterbot nags Twitter users about disclosing their location

ICanStalkU is a twitterbot Twitter-analyzing servicethat seeks out Twitter users who transmit their location in the photos they tweet and generates responses like “ICanStalkU was able to stalk @XXXXXXXX at http://maps.google.com/?q=35.5371666667,139.510166667,” with the stated purpose of “Raising awareness about inadvertent information sharing.”

icanstalku?I generally like the idea of helping people understand that their software may be disclosing information about themselves that they’re not aware of, but I find this method a little tiresome. On a few occasions, I’ve deliberately turned on location data when sending out an image (for example, when tweeting an image of a public event or artwork and wanting to conveniently attach a location to the tweet so others can find it) only to get chided (not by bots, but by other Twitter users) who sent words to the effect of, “Some privacy advocate you are! Why are you sending location data with your images?”

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Obama Girl creator does an anti-SOPA anthem

FighterJet + GoPro = Awesome

GoPro‘s are becoming my new favorite toy.

You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000

Cliff Notes: Guy drives an rc car with a camera into one of the great pyramids, wants $5,000,000 to keep a lid on what he found

Why Men and Women Cant be friends

Answering the age old question, Young Independent Filmmakers Jesse Budd and Patrick Romero set out to simply prove a point.

Tom Cruise at the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai

The actor has been snapped perched precariously on a box at the very top of the 829m (2,723ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai dressed in a grey T-shirt and jeans.

Daredevil Cruise was so carefree he wasn’t even wearing any shoes.

And if you’re starting to doubt the authenticity of the photo, a video has been released showing Cruise casually sitting on the top with a yellow helicopter flying above him.

Filmmakers reportedly had to monitor temperatures on the building’s sun-baked surface so he wouldn’t get burned while Cruise also had to be careful of cross winds.

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Today, porn sites set to go .XXX

.xxx web domain

It’s either a new, safer era for adult content on the Web or the first step in creating a digital porn ghetto, depending upon who you ask.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET, more than 100,000 websites are expected to go live with the new .xxx domain.

The suffix was approved as a “top-level domain” address last year by ICANN, the international not-for-profit that coordinates Web addresses. The idea, they say, is to more safely organize content that has become, like it or not, common on the Web.

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