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I Dare You Not To Spend Your Entire Day Playing The Rubik’s Cube Google Doodle

M. Umar Muzaffar:

I double dare you. ;D

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The Rubik’s Cube, both a torture and a delight to many of us, today celebrates its 40th birthday, and Google has joined in with an interactive Rubik’s Cube Google doodle.

I’ve already spent about 15 minutes playing around with it, so before you type in “www.google.com” to your browser just take a moment to prioritize the tasks of the day. Otherwise, they’ll surely be lost.

The Rubik’s Cube is said to be the most popular puzzle game in the world, with 1 in every 8 people on the planet having tried their luck at the color-matching, geometry-based game. But it’s much more than a game. For years, we’ve seen the Rubik’s cube (and those that can solve the puzzle quickly) as a marker of true genius.

Remember this?

That scene was also impressive, but there are folks in real life who can solve the king of puzzles…

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Gaza’s only female photojournalist, Eman Mohammed, shows the devastation of war on private lives

Originally posted on TED Blog:

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At the age of 19, Eman Mohammed became the only female photojournalist based in Gaza, breaking longstanding cultural taboos around the role of women in society. Three weeks into her career, the Gaza War began. Now 26, Mohammed continues to document harrowing and intimate stories of war and its aftermath in Gaza and beyond. Here, Mohammed tells the TED Blog her extraordinary story of battling professional bias and sexual harassment from male colleagues — while simultaneously documenting the battle raging around her.

How did you end up on the battlefield as a photographer? What was your inspiration?

My inspiration is my mother. My father’s Jordanian with Palestinian roots, and my mother is a Palestinian — Gazan. When they separated when I was 3, my mom went back to Gaza and raised me there. In those years, I saw how the community mistreated her because she was divorced and raising her kids alone, an unknown thing. In…

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Massive Security Bug In OpenSSL Could Affect A Huge Chunk Of The Internet

M. Umar Muzaffar:

Change your passwords when there’s still time. :P

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

I saw a t-shirt one time. “I’m a bomb disposal technician,” it read. “If you see me running, try to keep up.”

The same sort of idea can be applied to net security: when all the net security people you know are freaking out, it’s probably an okay time to worry.

This afternoon, many of the net security people I know are freaking out. A very serious bug in OpenSSL — a cryptographic library that is used to secure a very, very large percentage of the Internet’s traffic — has just been discovered and publicly disclosed.

Even if you’ve never heard of OpenSSL, it’s probably a part of your life in one way or another — or, more likely, in many ways. The apps you use, the sites you visit; if they encrypt the data they send back and forth, there’s a good chance they use OpenSSL to do it…

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The First $299 3D Printer Hits Its Kickstarter Goal In 11 Minutes

M. Umar Muzaffar:

WOAH WOAH WOAH!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Lots of things can happen in 11 minutes. You can grill a nice steak, you can bake a pan of cookies, or you can raise over $400,000 to build an ultra-compact 3D printer that, for a brief period, cost a mere $199. Called the Micro, the printer smashed its Kickstarter goal of $50,000 and is now well on its way to becoming one of the most interesting projects on the site.

Created by a team in Bethesda, MD, the Micro originally sold for $199 for early birds and his since risen by $100. It’s a tiny printer, to be sure, with a 4.5 cubic-inch build volume and a special internal spool that holds the filament inside the printer’s case. It can build objects 4.5-inches high, which isn’t much but it’s enough to have a bit of fun.

Now, for the tough question: can M3D pull this off? The case…

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A giant art installation targets predator drone operators

M. Umar Muzaffar:

Value human lives, they’re not a bug splat.

Originally posted on #NotABugSplat:

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In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as ‘bug splats’since viewing the body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed.

To challenge this insensitivity as well as raise awareness of civilian casualties, an artist collective installed a massive portrait facing up in the heavily bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly occur. Now, when viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face.

Bugsplats

The installation is also designed to be captured by satellites in order to make it a permanent part of the landscape on online mapping sites.

The project is a collaboration of artists who made use of the French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement. Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights helped launch the effort which has been released with the hashtag

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This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: Amazon FireTV, Windows Phone 8.1, And The New Start Screen

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Another week has come and gone, and with its close, we offer you this Friday Gadgets podcast.

Today we’re talking about Microsoft’s introduction of Windows Phone 8.1, as well as their re-introduction of the much beloved and never-forgotten Start screen. Plus, Amazon launched a brand new media console called the FireTV that includes gaming functionality.

I know, it was a big week.

We discuss all this and more on this week’s episode of the TC Gadgets Podcast featuring John Biggs, Matt Burns, Jordan Crook, and Darrell Etherington.

Have a good Friday, everybody!

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We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern and noon Pacific. And feel free to check out the TechCrunch Gadgets Flipboard magazine right here.

Click here to download an MP3 of this show.
You can subscribe to the show via RSS.
Subscribe in iTunes

Intro…

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Unreal Engine 4 Gets Support For Making Linux And SteamOS Games

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

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Unreal Engine 4, the newest version of the game engine that powers many a AAA gaming title, just got a feature that may prove quite important in the near feature: the ability to build games that run on Linux.

This news comes just weeks after the entry fee for making an Unreal Engine-powered game got slashed considerably. Instead of requiring weeks of licensing negotiation and hundreds of thousands of dollars up front, Epic Games decided to license Unreal Engine 4 to developers for $19 a month (plus 5 percent of gross revenue).

That news (and this move into Linux to some extent) are almost certainly meant to help Epic secure their footing among indie developers — a market that a relative newcomer, Unity, has managed to get a pretty solid grasp on. With past releases of the Unreal engine, Epic largely focused on licensing to huge development houses…

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