The Kolibree toothbrush, which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday, appears to be a gadget that will delight parents.
Kolibree is being promoted by its French-based makers as the world's first Internet-connected toothbrush.
"The technology in the industry has not evolved for years," Kolibree's co-founder Loic Cessot told AFP. "The idea is not to brush stronger, but smarter."
The Kolibree has a built-in sensor that can tell how much tartar is removed from the teeth during a brushing and sends this information via bluetooth (wirelessly) to a smartphone app.
Cessot says that parents will be able to check up on their kids' brushing with Kolibree.
"When you use a normal toothbrush you never really know what you've cleaned," added Cessot. "It might be 30 percent. The only person who really knows is the dentist."
According to the Kolibree website:
You can easily share your stats with your dentist and family or choose to keep it private. Designed for families, the app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate together. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are improving, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits.
CNET reports that Kolibree has included an API that allows third-party developers to create additional apps.
Kolibree is the brainchild of Cessot and former Microsoft and Google executive Thomas Serval, who plan to release the toothbrush worldwide via Kickstarter.
One woman was determined to prove that some men would really click on anything online, so she created the worst fake dating profile in history.
Columnist Alli Reed used a picture of her model best friend to create a fake profile to test what limits, if any, men had when it came to online dating.
Going by the screen name “AaronCarterFan,” the OkCupid profile included a picture of Reed’s best friend Rae Johnston and a series of answers to several questions. Reed’s objective was “probe that there exists an online dating profile so loathsome that no man would message it.”
In her fake profile, Reed made sure to come across as horrible, mean, spoiled, lazy, racist, and manipulative as possible.
But the fact that she wrote that she’s really good at “convincing people im pregnat [sic] lol,” and that the first thing people notice about her is the drink she is throwing in their face, didn’t stop swarms of men from messaging “AaronCarterFan.”
The account received more than 150 messages in just 24 hours.
Reed gave some men the benefit of the doubt and figured they didn’t read her profile. Her new goal then became to have these men to stop messaging her back.
“I was going to make AaronCarterFan come across as so abhorrent that not even the kinds of dudes who comment on YouPorn videos would respond to her,” she wrote.
Reed responded to messages with horrible messages, including admitting that she lied to a judge about being pregnant in order to get out of doing community service. But still, some men just kept sending messages.
“After reading 500 messages from men who apparently had just slapped their semi-erect penis on their keyboard a few times and pressed ‘send,’ my already flimsy grasp on reality was loosening,” she wrote.
Reed eventually ended her social experiment with a message to her respondents:
“You don’t want someone who will pull out your teeth and then sue you for your child support, you deserve someone who will make you want to be better than you are, and will want to be better because of you. You deserve happiness, and love, and adventure. Be brave. Don’t settle,” Reed wrote. “STOP F---_ING MESSAGING AARONCARTERFAN, YOU A------.”
Source: News.com.au, Cracked.com
Paul Hellyer, who worked as Canada's Defense Minister from 1963 to 1968, claims that up to 80 different types of aliens have been visiting earth for thousands of years.
Hellyer said the aliens from Venus, Mars and one of Saturn’s moons look like “short grays, "Nordic blondes” and “tall whites," noted RawStory.com (video below).
However, he also had a dire warning for earthlings.
“Something dreadful is going to happen to it if we don’t smarten up and change our ways,” Hellyer told Russia Today.
“We have a long history of UFOs and of course there has been a lot more activity in the last few decades, since we invented the atomic bomb, and they are very concerned about that and the fact that we might use it again, and because the cosmos is a unity and it affects not just us but other people in the cosmos,” added Hellyer. “They are very much afraid that we might be stupid enough to start using atomic weapons again, and this would be very bad for us and for them, as well.”
Hellyer also warned that if any UFO spaceships are ever shot down, it would start an interstellar war.
“As far as technology is concerned, they are light years ahead of us, and we have learned a lot of things from them,” stated Hellyer. “A lot of the things we use today we got from them, you know, LED lights and microchips and Kevlar vests and all sorts things that we got from their technology, and we could get a lot more, too, especially in the fields of medicine and agriculture if we would go about it peacefully."
About one in five middle-school children are sexting, claims a new study.
For the uninitiated, "sexting" is sending sexual pictures and/or sexually explicit texts via cell phone.
The study, which was published today in the medical journal Pediatrics, found that 17 percent of the children in the study said they had sent a sexually explicit text message in the past six months, while 5 percent sent sexually explicit text messages and sexual photos, notes Reuters.
The study also says that children, who were sexting, are four to seven times more likely to have sex than adolescents who don't participate in sexting.
“Certainly, if [parents] see photos, then that’s an extra warning sign that there might be a real need to have a conversation and to monitor,” Dr. Christopher Houck, lead author of the study and a psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital's Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center in Providence, told Today.com.
“Previous studies have suggested that a very small percentage of early adolescents were sexting, but we don’t really believe that,” added Dr. Houck.
He says the study was based on young people who have behavioral and emotional problems.
For the study, 420 children, between 12 and 14 years old, from five urban public schools in Rhode Island were studied between 2009 and 2012.
In a previous study, almost 60 percent of teens said that they had been asked to send naked photos of themselves through text or email.
That study was conducted by Jeff Temple (and his colleagues), who is the director of behavioral health and research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
"It should go hand in hand with a talk about healthy relationships and sexual behavior," Temple previously told Reuters. "It's just part of the new portfolio of adolescence these days."
"That's going to happen," added Temple. "Your kid is going to be asked to send a naked picture."
Sources: Reuters and Today.com
A 2013 documentary about SeaWorld, "Blackfish," is a serious contender for an Academy Award nomination this year.
The film includes interviews with numerous former SeaWorld trainers who described the small holding pools for killer whales, the early separation of killer whale babies from their mothers, misinformation read to the public by Sea World employees and the numerous attacks on trainers by killer whales that are not made public by SeaWorld.
The focus of the film was on the killer whale "Tilikum," who killed senior SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 and another trainer in Canada years earlier.
Before "Blackfish" even debuted, there was a massive PR campaign by SeaWorld to discredit the film, which SeaWorld officials refused to appear in.
SeaWorld claimed that the film "exploited" the death of Brancheau, but couldn't explain why Brancheau's sister appears in the film.
In response to the film, numerous musical acts have canceled their concerts at SeaWorld, including Willie Nelson, Heart and Barenaked Ladies, reports The Guardian.
SeaWorld responded to the film by citing its contributions to "education and science," as well as its own research papers in an email interview with CNN.
Now, SeaWorld is being accused of rigging an online poll to show fake support for the company over the film, notes the Orlando Business Journal.
The poll, created by the Orlando Business Journal, asked "Has CNN's 'Blackfish' documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?"
On Jan. 2, about 99 percent of those responding to the poll claimed that the film had not changed their view of SeaWorld.
But more than 54 percent of all the votes came from one Internet Protocol Address that is owned by SeaWorld.com and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
“Our team members have strong feelings about their park and company, and we encourage them to make their opinions known,” said SeaWorld Spokesman Nick Gollattscheck.
However, after this story about the possibly poll-fixing got out, the numbers drastically changed with 79 percent saying the film has changed their perception of SeaWorld.
Disney’s theme parks are offering their guests rubber wristbands instead of paper tickets.
These “MagicBands” can be used as a park ticket, hotel room key and credit card, notes Time magazine.
While Disney's “MyMagic+ vacation management system” sounds convenient, the wristbands are also embedded with computer chips, which track each guest (wearing the bands) in the massive Disney parks.
The wristbands can track guests' buying habits, but also help locate missing children, if parents choose to set that feature.
Walk-around characters in the park can also track children and their information, enabling life-size Mickeys, Donalds and Goofys to greet children by their names.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) criticized the “MagicBand” last year over privacy issues in a letter to Walt Disney CEO, Bob Iger.
"Widespread use of the MagicBand bracelets by park guests could dramatically increase the personal data Disney can collect about its guests," wrote Rep. Markey, noted WESH.
“Although kids should have the chance to meet Mickey Mouse, this memorable meeting should not be manipulated through surreptitious use of a child’s personal information,” added Rep. Markey.
He also claimed the MagicBand bracelets "could potentially have a harmful impact on our children" and the "privacy of millions of guests."
One upside for the National Security Agency since whistleblower Edward Snowden began leaking classified documents about surveillance capabilities and practices is that the NSA is gaining the reputation as the agency that can do the impossible. The Washington Post reported Thursday about the NSA program “Penetrating Hard Targets,” a story which has only been bolstered by that reputation.
Despite the program’s potential for comedy-fodder (because of the name), it is perhaps the most ambitious computing project the NSA could possibly undertake: the development of a quantum computer that would be capable of any calculation in almost no time at all.
In a video for Big Think, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss describes how a quantum computer differs from the PCs we use every day. Rather than rely on microscopic silicon transistors, quantum computers calculate using atoms themselves and exploiting the quantum mechanical property of superposition.
Traditional computing relies on binary code—ones and zeros—that are fed to the processor in a linear fashion, essentially one at a time. In a quantum computer the information fed into the processor comes as one and a zero (and all decimals in-between). Applied to an NSA paradigm, this means that they could break any code and hack any system in a fraction of the time it would take on a conventional computer.
Yet despite the NSA’s ability to surprise the population with “diabolical” schemes and the $80 million they have invested in the program this, at least, remains mostly theoretical. A company known as D-Wave has claimed to have produced the first “commercial” quantum computer but experts such as theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and computer science professor Scott Aaronson (of MIT) find their claims somewhat dubious.
The problem with quantum superposition—with respect to particles or calculations in a computer—is that once a measurement is taken that quantum state has been broken down and the computer is no more powerful than a laptop. Until a practical method of retrieving the results has been discovered, for the NSA at least, the computing methods in place remain their best option for breaking through encryption.
Ford will debut its new C-Max Solar Energi car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV next week.
Ford says the C-Max Solar Energi gets the same performance via solar power (sunlight) as a plug-in hybrid with a four-hour battery charge, notes Fox News.
C-Max Solar Energi’s estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg and will reportedly reduce the average driver's greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons.
The C-Max Solar Energi car can drive about 620 miles, may be charged via electricity like a normal hybrid car and runs on gasoline.
The solar power comes from the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels, which include a “special solar concentrator lens similar to a magnifying glass.”
However, solar-powered cars have been tried in the past and failed.
USA Today reports:
Other automakers have put solar cells on the roofs of their cars, but didn't get much power out of them. Fisker, the defunct automaker, put an array on the roof of its Karma sedan, but officials estimated it would good only for about five extra miles a week. Toyota offers a solar option on Prius, but its usefulness is limited to powering an interior fan.
Ford still has to further test the C-Max Solar Energi to determine if it’s possible for mass production.
Sources: USA Today and Fox News
Netflix is testing out a new payment plan based on the number of users on one account, in an attempt to crack down on household sharing.
The new plan charges a user for each screen they stream Netflix from.
Why would anyone want that? Well, the new system would allow the same account to stream four different things at the same time throughout one house, just like set-top boxes from cable providers.
“I am sure that they have the ability to monitor device use,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “I admire their resolve to try to combat piracy. This is an ingenious solution.”
The one-user, one-screen plan is priced at $6.99 per month, two-screen is $7.99, three-screen is $9.99 and four-screen is $11.99.
The largest subscription streaming service is currently using the plan for new users and will expand it to its 40 million current subscribers if the plan is successful.
“We test all the time in an effort to come up with better options for consumers,” Jonathan Friedland, a spokesman for Netflix, told Bloomberg. “There are numerous tests at any given time.”
"Not everyone will see this and we may never offer it generally," he added.
Georgia Police Launch Investigation After Twitter Users Post Pictures of Passed Out Woman, Joke About Raping Her
Police are investigating the case of a Twitter user posting a picture of a woman passed out on the floor with the caption, “Somebody put something in her drink, anyways, me and my brother bout to rape this b**ch.”
The tweet was posted just after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and it quickly spread all over the Internet. The user, @RichloneyJuan, continued to tweet about the passed out girl all night, and even after he insisted it was a joke, police are not taking the situation lightly.
In the tweets that followed the initial posting, the user continued to make light of the incident, even tweeting that the woman had stopped breathing and didn’t have a pulse.
At one point, another Twitter user, TaBarius, posted a picture that appeared to be the same girl, but in this picture, she was dressed and cleaned up, although still passed out on the floor. The user went on to keep tweeting, saying that he had the girl locked up in the trunk of his car and asked his followers whether or not he should kill her.
People all over social media were outraged that the users would make jokes about rape and murder, and now, the police are involved. Dana Pierce, an officer in Cobb County, Georgia, said that they don’t have the names of the two men yet, but plan to begin a thorough investigation.
“How are we going to find them?” asked Pierce in a statement to Buzzfeed. “We could find their IP addresses, but we’re not going to do that on New Years Day… They [detectives] will probably really sink their teeth into the case tomorrow. “
Police say that someone claiming that none of what was posted was truthful contacted them, but the investigation will still go on despite the claims.
“The alleged incident that has gone viral is not a crime,” said Pierce. “We need a lot more evidence to prove that this happened.”
Both Twitter users are from the same area in Georgia, according to their accounts, which is why Cobb County police are heading the investigation.