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Original author: 
Aaron Souppouris

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According to the noted psychologist Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, it takes three positive emotions to balance out a single negative. As Fast Company reports, Fredrickson's findings are at the heart of Google's Android design philosophy. When considering any user interface decision, designers working on Android have to work out how to inform users of an issue — such as reaching the final homescreen — without making them feel like they've done something wrong, meaning that means pop-ups and other invasive techniques are a no-go. For the homescreen problem, Google settled on the now-familiar glimmering animation, which subtly shows that a user has no more homescreens to swipe across to, while rewarding them with an artistic flourish.

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Original author: 
Sean Hollister

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In Michigan, you can smoke marijuana and still drive a car. That's what the Michigan Supreme Court ruled this Tuesday, albeit on a technicality. Though Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving "under the influence" of marijuana, it also has a law on the books that exempts medical marijuana users from any sort of persecution for its use, and so the court had to decide which of the two laws it wanted to uphold.

Since Michigan doesn't actually specify an amount of marijuana in a user's system that impairs driving judgement enough to be considered "under the influence," simply outlawing drugged driving altogether went too far, argued the court. If the state could prove that a driver was under the influence, the court decided, then...

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Original author: 
Aaron Souppouris

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When Cards Against Humanity saw its $4,000 Kickstarter campaign successfully raise almost four times its original goal, its makers were ecstatic. Two years later, the cards-based party game, which is available as a free PDF download or for $25 as a ready-made package, has generated an estimated $12 million in revenue, and in the past year alone was downloaded 1.5 million times from its website. It's also spawned a reseller culture, with frequent stock shortages leading opportunists to sell the game for as much as $100 on sites like eBay. Despite that, its makers have stayed true to their cause, and have refused several investment and merchandising offers, preferring to go it alone. A profile from Chicago Grid looks at how the game came...

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Original author: 
Adi Robertson

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To call something "propaganda" is to connote a laughably unsubtle attempt at mind control, from the kind of nasty stereotypes mocked in BioShock Infinite to a hilariously redubbed North Korean propaganda video that many thought was real — precisely because we expect such attempts to be ham-fisted and idiotic. At The Guardian, Eliane Glaser argues that we should be looking instead at how behavioral science, advertising, and even memes can nudge us in certain directions. "The notion that propaganda is always a state-run, top-down affair provides a cloak for our complicity," she writes. "Social media's veneer of openness and people-power exemplifies western propaganda's habit of masquerading as its opposite."

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Original author: 
Jeff Blagdon

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In 2002, a startup named SawStop demonstrated a table saw that could miraculously cut through wood, but stop itself dead (video below) as soon as its spinning blade touched skin. The mechanism was incredibly effective, heading off some 2,000 of the nearly 300,000 table-saw-related emergency room visits that occurred in the US since the company sold its first saw. But despite SawStop’s effectiveness, the big tool companies still haven’t added it to their products. Meanwhile, saw-related injuries result in some $2.3 billion in medical bills, lost wages, and other societal costs every year. Fair Warning investigates why the power tool industry has so far failed to license the SawStop technology or implement its own alternative. "If the...

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Original author: 
Aaron Souppouris

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The asset freeze at Mt. Gox was due to the Bitcoin exchange's failure to obey financial regulations as required by US authorities. The news comes via IDG, which obtained a copy of the seizure order from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The agency froze the Dwolla (a US-based online payments system) account of Mutum Sigillium (aka Mt. Gox) on the grounds that it had lied in an official form. When asked if his company "[accepts] funds from customers and send[s] the funds based on customers' instructions," Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles answered "no." When asked if Mt. Gox "deal[s] in or exchange[s] currency" for its customers," Karpeles again answered "no." In both cases, it seems likely — and ICE asserts — that these...

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Original author: 
Jeff Blagdon

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The charitable work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the focus of the Microsoft founder’s recent 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, but the longtime richest man in the world got emotional when the conversation turned to friend and rival Steve Jobs. When asked what the pair talked about during their final meeting at the Jobs home in May of 2011, Gates welled up, saying, “what we’d learned, families… anything.” He later went on to say that he and the Apple founder "practically grew up together."

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Original author: 
Joshua Kopstein

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The US government is waging electronic warfare on a vast scale — so large that it's causing a seismic shift in the unregulated grey markets where hackers and criminals buy and sell security exploits, Reuters reports.

Former White House cybersecurity advisors Howard Schmidt and Richard Clarke say this move to "offensive" cybersecurity has left US companies and average citizens vulnerable, because it relies on the government collecting and exploiting critical vulnerabilities that have not been revealed to software vendors or the public.

"If the US government knows of a vulnerability that can be exploited, under normal circumstances, its first obligation is to tell US users," Clarke told Reuters. "There is supposed to be some mechanism...

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Long Beach, California—TED convened in Long Beach this morning, and in the beginning, there was science. Dubbed The Observatory, Session 1 was about how we look at our world and choose to engage it.

"Gazing out at the stars is the best way I know to evoke wonder," Chris Anderson, TED’s curator, opined. But just what are we looking at?

Brian Greene told the audience at TED that the wonder we see is not only mysterious, but a limited-run engagement. Greene is a theoretical physicist who has been engaging the public through books, PBS specials, and by organizing the World Science Festival. Here, Greene was in cosmologist mode, talking about how the Universe is going to change in ways that will fundamentally alter how it can be observed.

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