Friday, February 24, 2017

VX was the liquid that killed North Korea's Kim Jong-nam, but what is it?

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It's almost like something out of a spy novel.

On Friday, Malaysian authorities announced that VX, the "deadliest nerve agent ever created", was used to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea's current leader.

The alleged killers are believed to have wiped a substance on Kim's face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The poison was so fast-acting that Kim died soon after, on the way to the hospital. 

What is VX? 

VX has been described as the "most potent of all nerve agents", and is so lethal its only known use is in chemical warfare.  Read more...

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Embark’s self-driving truck is ready to assist human drivers

nevada-1-8 Self-driving trucking startup Embark is revealing its tech for the first time, showing off a competitor for Uber’s Otto that uses neural networks and deep learning to teach trucks how to drive themselves through their own processes of practice and trial and error. Embark’s trucks are also approved to test on Nevada roads, hence the desert scenery you see in the video above, and in… Read More
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This is what America looked like before the EPA cleaned it up

horse in front of chemical company

It wasn't pretty

A snapshot from America before the impact of the EPA and the effects of rules regulating clean water and air were felt.
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New leak exposes a trove of personal passwords and sensitive info

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Cloudflare, one of the giants of internet security responsible for keeping the websites we all visit safe, is itself the source of a vulnerability that has the potential to rival the Heartbleed bug of 2014. And to make things worse, we don't even know the full extent of the damage yet. 

Let's get this out of the way early: Change your passwords. Starting with Uber, Ok Cupid, Yelp, Fitbit, and Authy. But if you don't use the services, don't get complacent. There's a long list of sites that could be affected, and new ones are bound to be added, so stay vigilant. 

The leak, being referred to as "Cloudbleed," is a vulnerability that has divulged everything from passwords to private messages on dating sites, hotel bookings and other personal info. And to make things more terrifying, even sites that don’t use the company's service but have a lot of Cloudflare users could have compromised data on their servers. Read more...

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2017 Acura NSX in Depth: We Test, Measure, and Rate the Dual-Purpose Supercar

2017 Acura NSX – Overview

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The legendary NSX, touted as a supercar that’s easy to live with on a daily basis, is reborn for 2017 with a trendy hybrid powertrain. Don’t confuse this low-slung car for a hyper-miler—it has serious performance chops, though it can’t quite hang with similarly priced nonhybrids from McLaren and Porsche. The twin-turbo V-6 sings when pushed hard, and it can be shut off to allow the NSX to tiptoe on electric power alone. The cabin is comfortable for two, but a dearth of storage space counters Acura’s daily-driver claim. Additionally, a frustrating infotainment system and a smattering of low-rent switchgear are not up to scratch. READ MORE ››

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

February heat wave: record highs beating lows by more than 100-to-1 ratio

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There's just something about a warm February day that reminds you that something just isn't right. It gives you that nagging feeling that maybe global warming is real after all (newsflash: it is). 

February 2016 has featured prolonged warm weather the likes of which many areas have not seen before, or have only experienced on rare occasions. 

Taken as a whole, the month-to-date in the U.S. has seen a ridiculously lopsided ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows, which is a key indicator of short-term climate and long-term climate change. 

More about Temperature Records, Global Warming, Science, Weather, and February Warmth
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Here’s The New Mercedes W08 Up Close

Following the new Mercedes W08 breaking cover at the Silverstone circuit, the 2017 Formula 1 car has now been officially launched and it’s a beauty.

Hamilton giving the W08 a shakedownHamilton giving the W08 a shakedown

Mercedes has given us a closer look at the stunning W08 that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will race this year with official on-track shots and launch pictures.

Hamilton braved Storm Doris in the morning to complete a shakedown run of the W08 EQ Power+ (yep, that’s it’s full name) at the home of the British Grand Prix, providing us with our first glimpse of the new car.

Why hello thereWhy hello there

Social media went crazy with photos of the new car, which is undoubtedly the most sleek and elegant-looking of the 2017 beasts unveiled so far – while still being incredibly detailed too.

It was then properly showed off to the fans in an online, 360-degree unveiling (watching it back is great for looking at the finer details) before a photoshoot on the breezy main straight.

Bottas has now had a go in the W08 too, getting his first taste of the machine that’ll probably take the 2017 title.

Alongside the new look, the car also features a revised livery (which was teased on Wednesday) with more flashes of green and some hints of blue too. It’s pretty similar to 2016 but a bit more vibrant.

Photoshoot time!Photoshoot time!Up close!Up close!

Mercedes is on the hunt for a fourth consecutive championship double after three seasons of domination.

Will the Silver Arrows be the team to beat this year? It seems likely, but we’ll have to wait and see.

No thumb nose for the W08!No thumb nose for the W08!

The 2017 campaign marks a major shift in the regulations, with wider front and rear wings and 25% wider tyres – to name just a few.

Sauber, Renault and Force India have already revealed their new cars, with very different interpretations of the rules.

The post Here’s The New Mercedes W08 Up Close appeared first on WTF1.

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McDonalds' fancy new straw doesn't suck

milkshakes

And that's the problem

We tested out McDonalds' crazy new straw. It's got some issues.
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Here's What Those Little Shapes On Car Bumpers Are For

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If you look at the front and rear bumpers on many new cars, you’ll notice little squares and circles about the size of potato chips sitting right there in the plastic bumper covers. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know why they’re there! I’m about to tell you.

Read more...

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The sci-fi propulsion system that will get us to TRAPPIST-1 fastest

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800,000 years: That's how long (buzzkill) astronaut Scott Kelly said it'll take us to get to the TRAPPIST-1 star system and its seven newly-discovered, potentially life-supporting, Earth-sized worlds.

That timeline, Kelly also notes, is using our current propulsion systems. Which max out at a robust, but not interstellar-ready 29,000 mph.

But what if we could traverse those 235 trillion miles (40 light years) with some other technology—like something from the world of science fiction?

This is awesome! Send me! Be there in 800,000 years w our current propulsion technology. More work to do. Let's get on it! #TRAPPIST1 https://t.co/lCbfGkBpLY

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 22, 2017 Read more...

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