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Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 14, 2019.

Good news: Bitcoin probably isn't the Antichrist's tool, after all

<a href="https://splinternews.com/good-news-bitcoin-probably-isnt-the-antichrists-tool-1793847591" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Good news: Bitcoin probably isn&#39;t the Antichrist&#39;s tool, after all</a>

Bitcoin is many things: an innovative cross-border payments platform, a hilariously bad short-term investment, a facilitator of illegal drug purchases and Winklevoss space trips. But here's some good news for fans of the cryptocurrency: it is almost certainly not an indicator of the apocalypse.

The Biblical scholars at Newsmax, a right-wing political site, have looked into the connections...

Alexis Madrigal Alexis Madrigal Jul 14, 2019.

What memorizing a TED talk did to my brain

<a href="https://splinternews.com/what-memorizing-a-ted-talk-did-to-my-brain-1793846502" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">What memorizing a TED talk did to my brain</a>

Standing in the wings of the TED stage this week, waiting to give my first-ever talk at the conference, I had a bizarre experience. There I was, in my shirt and my jacket with my hands upturned, breathing in and out, shaking the fear out of my legs. And as I repeated the first line of my talk over and over (In late 2013, a San Diego high school sophomore named Olive opened up her Twitter...

Kristen V. Brown Kristen V. Brown Jul 14, 2019.

Airbnb went to war with San Francisco and won. This is what it means for the rest of the country.

<a href="https://splinternews.com/airbnb-went-to-war-with-san-francisco-and-won-this-is-1793852542" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Airbnb went to war with San Francisco and won. This is what it means for the rest of the country.</a>

In a time of great unease over San Francisco's relationship with the industry that inhabits it, the 2015 election became a voter referendum on the tech world and its workers.

In response to the tech boom's effect on local real estate, there were two affordable-housing measures (one failed, the other passed) and a narrowly successful proposal to help legacy businesses survive among the city's...

Kashmir Hill Kashmir Hill Jul 14, 2019.

10 years after his epic MySpace hack, Samy Kamkar is trying to turn hackers into heroes

<a href="https://splinternews.com/10-years-after-his-epic-myspace-hack-samy-kamkar-is-tr-1793850061" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">10 years after his epic MySpace hack, Samy Kamkar is trying to turn hackers into heroes</a>

Samy Kamkar is in a dark room in Bally's Casino in Las Vegas; the room is lit by blue lights and the glow of laptop screens. A DJ is spinning lyric-less music while hackers sit at round tables intermittently coding and chatting. This is the designated "chill-out room" at DEFCON, the annual hacking convention, but Kamkar is not feeling chill at the moment. He's preparing to give a presentation...

Kristen V. Brown Kristen V. Brown Jul 14, 2019.

What does 'perfect sound' look like? Inside the bizarre science of concert hall design

<a href="https://splinternews.com/what-does-perfect-sound-look-like-inside-the-bizarre-s-1793852919" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">What does &#39;perfect sound&#39; look like? Inside the bizarre science of concert hall design</a>

Zackery Belanger

When Charles Garnier designed the Paris Opera in the 1870's, he said that architecting the acoustics of a room was a “bizarre science.” Garnier compared the acoustician to an acrobat “who closes his eyes and clings to the ropes of an ascending balloon.”

More than a century later, how sound moves through a room is still sometimes a mystery.

At the spherical Mapparium, a so-called...

Jul 14, 2019.

How soft robots will help sick kids walk and make the elderly stronger

<a href="https://splinternews.com/how-soft-robots-will-help-sick-kids-walk-and-make-the-e-1793852928" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">How soft robots will help sick kids walk and make the elderly stronger</a>

The SRI International campus is nestled on a quiet tree-lined Silicon Valley street, down the road from a high school and a seminary. The commuter train runs nearby. Its buildings are nondescript brick constructions that harken back to the 1970s. By all accounts, it’s a rather unimpressive place.

But within its walls, scientists are building the future. SRI has been at the forefront of...

Jul 13, 2019.

Sex in space is so much harder than you could have ever imagined

<a href="https://splinternews.com/sex-in-space-is-so-much-harder-than-you-could-have-ever-1793860831" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Sex in space is so much harder than you could have ever imagined</a>

For as long as people have been going into space, other people have been wondering, "Are they, you know, doing it up there?"

A question nearly as old as time, or at least as old as the MIR space station, where in the 1990s, the first mixed crews spent any significant length of time together in space. Since then a bunch of other men and women astronauts have lived together for various...

Kashmir Hill Kashmir Hill Jul 12, 2019.

Obama is pushing 'smart guns' as a solution for America's shooting problem

<a href="https://splinternews.com/obama-is-pushing-smart-guns-as-a-solution-for-americas-1793853845" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Obama is pushing &#39;smart guns&#39; as a solution for America&#39;s shooting problem</a>

Mass shootings were a horribly frequent occurrence in 2015. To kick off 2016, the White House announced that it plans to use its executive authority to improve gun control because Congress is unable to pass any significant legislation. Among President Obama's proposals is the adoption of "smart gun technology" by the government so that it's harder for people to shoot guns that don't belong to...

Alexis Madrigal Alexis Madrigal Jul 12, 2019.

Who wrote this amazing, mysterious book satirizing tech startup culture?

<a href="https://splinternews.com/who-wrote-this-amazing-mysterious-book-satirizing-tech-1793848234" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Who wrote this amazing, mysterious book satirizing tech startup culture?</a>

A mysterious little book called Iterating Grace is floating around San Francisco right now. At least a dozen people have received the book in the mail—or in my case, by secret hand-delivery to my house. (Which is a little creepy.)

The artifact itself consists of a 2,001-word story interspersed with hand-drawn recreations of tweets by venture capitalists and startup people like Chris Sacca,...

Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 12, 2019.

NASA's Messenger probe is giving up on life this afternoon

<a href="https://splinternews.com/nasas-messenger-probe-is-giving-up-on-life-this-afterno-1793847486" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">NASA&#39;s Messenger probe is giving up on life this afternoon</a>

Sometimes, you just can't make it to Friday.

Around 3:30 p.m. EDT this afternoon, NASA's Messenger spacecraft, a $446 million probe that was launched in 2004 to study Mercury's geology and atmosphere, is expected to crash into the planet, ending a successful four-year orbit.

"Following this last maneuver, we will finally declare the spacecraft out of propellant, as this maneuver will deplete...

Kashmir Hill Kashmir Hill Jul 12, 2019.

These two Diablo III players stole virtual armor and gold — and got prosecuted IRL

<a href="https://splinternews.com/these-two-diablo-iii-players-stole-virtual-armor-and-go-1793847840" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">These two Diablo III players stole virtual armor and gold — and got prosecuted IRL</a>

These days, we all have shadow selves that exist in virtual environments — be it on Facebook, Twitter, or in video games. And those digital avatars, it turns out, can get us in IRL trouble. Last year, in a first-of-its-kind legal case that has not previously been reported, two men pled guilty to misdemeanors in California and Maryland that stemmed from their robbing video game characters of...

Jul 11, 2019.

What tech companies think of New Yorkers, based on their ubiquitous subway ads

<a href="https://splinternews.com/what-tech-companies-think-of-new-yorkers-based-on-thei-1793855829" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">What tech companies think of New Yorkers, based on their ubiquitous subway ads</a>

New York City's subway system is, among other things, a very large advertising platform.

Around 5.6 million riders pass through the subway on any given weekday. And thanks to the shaky cellular service underground, many of them actually look up from their smartphones at the posters on station walls and rows of ads that line subway car interiors.

Increasingly, those advertisements are for...

Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 10, 2019.

Prisons are punishing inmates who use Facebook with decades in solitary confinement

<a href="https://splinternews.com/prisons-are-punishing-inmates-who-use-facebook-with-dec-1793845280" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Prisons are punishing inmates who use Facebook with decades in solitary confinement</a>

Last week, in our "Tech Behind Bars" series, we explored the intersection of technology and prisons, including the many ways inmates are using contraband gadgets to stay connected to the world outside their walls. Now, a new report finds that prisons in South Carolina are punishing hundreds of inmates for using Facebook and other social networking sites by giving them years or decades in...

Jul 10, 2019.

Here’s how Apple, Google, and Microsoft are trying to get inside your genes

<a href="https://splinternews.com/here-s-how-apple-google-and-microsoft-are-trying-to-g-1793847714" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Here’s how Apple, Google, and Microsoft are trying to get inside your genes</a>
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Not satisfied by having our emails, chats, status updates, search histories, clicking behaviors, and shopping preferences, some of Silicon Valley's most powerful tech titans are in an arms race to get access to your most personal information: your DNA.

Last week, for instance, the MIT Technology Review reported that...

Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 10, 2019.

Hey, IRS: Here are some Bitcoin users who might need help paying their taxes

<a href="https://splinternews.com/hey-irs-here-are-some-bitcoin-users-who-might-need-he-1793846693" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Hey, IRS: Here are some Bitcoin users who might need help paying their taxes</a>

It's tax season, which means that people all over America are nervously meeting with their accountants or sitting down with TurboTax, trying to figure out how much they owe Uncle Sam this year.

For law-abiding Bitcoin fans, tax season can be especially stressful. The IRS's guidelines for virtual currencies, laid down last year, classified Bitcoin as property for federal tax purposes. That...

Kashmir Hill Kashmir Hill Jul 10, 2019.

Attention, people: Your phone should never make noise in public

<a href="https://splinternews.com/attention-people-your-phone-should-never-make-noise-i-1793849156" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Attention, people: Your phone should never make noise in public</a>
Your browser does not support HTML5 video tag.Click here to view original GIFElena Scotti/FUSION

Last week, I was eating lunch at one of those artisanal, organic Los Angeles cafes where shot glass-sized smoothies cost $8.  There I was in the cafe's peaceful courtyard sipping my tangerine-blood orange juice when a jarring noise disrupted the blissful scene: brrrrrr-ing….. brrrrrrr-ing……...

Kashmir Hill Kashmir Hill Jul 10, 2019.

The Ashley Madison hack, and the value of averting your eyes

<a href="https://splinternews.com/the-ashley-madison-hack-and-the-value-of-averting-your-1793850112" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">The Ashley Madison hack, and the value of averting your eyes</a>

Since news broke yesterday that millions of hacked records from infidelity dating site Ashley Madison had leaked onto torrent sites, a handful of websites have popped up to make searching through that data easier. On https://ashley.cynic.al/, for example, you can plug in an email address and it will tell you if the person affiliated with that address was found in the leaked records. The

Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 09, 2019.

Happy 25th birthday, Hubble Space Telescope — here are 10 of your trippiest photos

<a href="https://splinternews.com/happy-25th-birthday-hubble-space-telescope-here-are-1793847346" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">Happy 25th birthday, Hubble Space Telescope — here are 10 of your trippiest photos</a>

On April 24, 1990 — 25 years ago tomorrow — the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit. Ever since, it's been sending back some of the most captivating images of outer space ever taken. The Hubble's images have become a staple of science textbooks, and a core enabler of modern astrophysics research — without them, we wouldn't know nearly as much as we do about how the universe...

Kevin Roose Kevin Roose Jul 09, 2019.

The Oculus Rift is finally (almost) here

<a href="https://splinternews.com/the-oculus-rift-is-finally-almost-here-1793848335" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">The Oculus Rift is finally (almost) here</a>

After a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, a $2 billion Facebook acquisition, and months of rumors and leaks , the Oculus Rift is finally shipping to the public.

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe unveiled the first shipping version of the Rift at a press event in San Francisco today. Iribe touted the Rift's ergonomic design and its hyperrealistic renderings of games, and announced a partnership...

Jul 07, 2019.

At home with Silicon Valley's young Bitcoin stars

<a href="https://splinternews.com/at-home-with-silicon-valleys-young-bitcoin-stars-1793846121" data-id="" onClick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Permalink page click', 'Permalink page click - post header', 'standard');">At home with Silicon Valley&#39;s young Bitcoin stars</a>

Vitalik Buterin is a crypto-celebrity. If you are into Bitcoin, there's a good chance that you know who he is. In 2011, after his dad told him about Bitcoin, Buterin, then 17 years old, decided to immerse himself in the new technology. He found he could easily parse Bitcoin's underlying code, even if the concept of Bitcoin itself was difficult to explain to non-geeks. Hoping to spread the...

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