Blog Posts by Tecca

  • A golf-ball-sized meteor caused a major stir, rocking Wales with a sonic boom

    If you catch them at just the right time, a streaking meteor can be a stunning sight in the night sky. But when that meteor contains just a tiny bit of ice, a beautiful light show can turn into a violent explosion, as happened in the skies over Great Britain last night.

    The extraterrestrial explosion occurred just over South Wales in southwest Great Britain. The meteor rocked windows and set off car alarms, creating a sonic boom effect. Explained one witness, prior to the detonation "It had a heat trail behind, it was orange and white and very bright, and also seemed very close." No one was hurt.

    Why do meteors explode? Some are loaded with either ice or carbon dioxide, which can be trapped inside of the rock. As the gases boil and expand during entry into the Earth's atmosphere, meteors can explode in an epic display — with as much force as a hydrogen bomb.

    [Image credit: Meteor crossing the sky via Shutterstock]

    This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on

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  • The 101-year-old Liked the experience

    Though Facebook initially began its life as a place for college students to meet, interact, and even stalk each other, the social network has since expanded to include users of all walks of life. Yesterday, one of those post-collegiate users was given a special tour of the Facebook campus: Florence Detlor, the oldest registered user on the social networking site.

    For Detlor, it was a short ride to visit Facebook: The 101-year-old lives in Menlo Park, California, the same city the company's headquarters are located in. Not only did Detlor get the full tour, but she also got to meet storied Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. Detlor posed for a picture with the two — a photo that has already accumulated 6,600 Likes after being shared on Sandberg's page.

    Detlor graduated from Los Angeles's Occidental College in 1932. According to her Facebook profile, she's looking for a good book to read.

    [Image Credit: Florence Detlor, Sheryl Sandberg]
    [via Mashable]

    This article was

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  • Can Twitter tell if you’re a psychopath?

    Using certain words may mean you have psychopathic tendencies

    You probably have at least a few people on your Twitter or Facebook friends list that you'd consider "crazy," and a new study by Florida Atlantic University and the Online Privacy Foundation says you might be right. According to the researcher's results, simply using certain words in your daily tweets may be enough to determine if you have psychopathic tendencies.

    The study apparently tallies the frequency with which you use words like "bury," "die," and "kill," and weighs that data against other, unspecified warning signs. After putting 3,000 volunteers through the filter — and then questioning each one individually — the researchers found that 1.4 percent of those who participated may be closet psychopaths.

    Of course, having certain words in your Twitter vocabulary certainly seems like a rather flimsy way to help diagnose something as serious as psychopathic tendencies, and the scientists are quick to point out that the results may not be perfect. That's probably an understatement.

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  • A number of Galaxy devices are in the crosshairs

    After last week's court ruling against Samsung found that the tech giant had violated Apple's patents and awarded the latter more than $1 billion in damages, the technology world awaited both companies' next moves. Now we know that Apple is seeking to prevent the sale of eight Samsung smartphones in the U.S., according to a document filed today.

    While it might seem to be another huge blow for Samsung, the devices Apple is seeking to ban — notably the Galaxy S2 — are actually pretty dated at this point. The full list includes the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Prevail. While some of the Galaxy S2 models are still offered by carriers, the selection is already limited, as these devices have already been replaced with newer models.

    In addition to these devices, Apple is seeking to extend an existing ban on the wifi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 that went into effect in June to the 4G-enabled

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  • It's the latest case of someone's tweet getting them in serious legal trouble

    There's an old saying that goes something like "if you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all." If a Twitter user from the U.K. had abided by that, he might not have ended up in jail for saying some not-at-all-nice things about a popular soccer player.

    The unnamed man sent two tweets containing racist comments to Carlton Cole, a player for West Ham United. The tweets have since been deleted, but were around long enough to get the man arrested by authorities on a public order offense. He's currently free on bail awaiting trial.

    Cole responded publicly to the offensive tweets, stating that thinking he's bad at soccer is within anyone's rights — but that bringing his race, creed, or religion into question is a line that shouldn't be crossed.

    He's not the only British athlete to have come under attack on Twitter, either. Last month, Olympic diver Tom Daley was mentioned in a tweet from a disgruntled fan who said Daley had let his deceased father down for not

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  • A faulty Toyota truck led a Florida man to dish out some very creative retribution

    When most of us see Google's Street View car taking pictures of a local street or highway, we think little of it. For others, it's an opportunity to create some creative car-related mayhem, not unlike putting initials in wet cement. Car maker Fiat parked its popular 500 model right in front of the competition's headquarters when it saw the Google car pass by. And now, an unhappy Toyota owner has taken his revenge on the company that wronged him using Google Maps, Google Street View, and a little bit of black paint.

    According to the owner, the Toyota Tundra suffers from a "bump and jerk throttle." Not that we had to interview him to find this out — the criticism is written across the back and sides of his Toyota pickup truck in white stick-on letters. But that's hardly the biggest middle finger to the Japanese car maker: The man has also painted "Toyota sucks" on his roof in massive letters, a critique that's easily viewable via Google Maps.

    We're not sure this prank will earn the

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  • The world’s longest bus seats 256 people

    Germany is rolling out a mammoth 98-foot-long form of public transportation

    The city of Dresden, Germany will soon be getting a monstrous addition to its public transportation system that can only be described as a train on wheels. Designed by Fraunhofer IVI and the Technical University Dresden, the three-section Autotram Extra Grand bus is 98 feet long and can carry 256 passengers, but doesn't require any special training for its driver.

    Said to be as easily maneuverable as a commonly sized bus, the Autotram Extra Grand makes use of a computer system to aid its driver with turning. The system's primary purpose is to ensure that the rear section of the bus precisely follows the front and middle sections at all times. In addition to the sophisticated guidance system, the bus incorporates green technology in the form of a hybrid gas and electric engine that can travel five miles operating purely on battery power.

    The Autoram Extra Grand will hit the streets of Dresden in October after completing safety testing outside of the city. Its makers say that they've

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  • Report: iPad mini coming in October

    Could a tiny little tablet be the "it" gift of the 2012 holiday season?

    The hottest holiday gift for 2012 won't come from a cabbage patch, and it won't demand you "tickle me." No, this year's popular gift may very well be the new iPad mini, which, according to AllThingsDigital, will be officially announced at an event this October.

    According to AllThingsDigital's multiple sources, Apple will have two major unveiling events this fall. One on September 12 for the iPhone 5, and then another in October to announce the iPad mini. The idea is that the iPad mini will be a huge seller for Apple this holiday season — the company doesn't want to drop two atomic bombs on the same day.

    It's been rumored that the new iPad mini will have a 7.85-inch display, making it more portable than the existing new iPad with Retina display. The smaller size means it will compete directly with a smaller class of bargain-priced tablets that will include a brand new iteration of Amazon's Kindle Fire. And while we don't know the price point of the new iPad mini yet, many seem to

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  • Meet the world’s dumbest dumbphone

    Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices, but they're also incredibly complex. For us technophiles, that's great — we love being able to watch videos, download songs, and share things on Facebook. But what's great for us is terribly inappropriate for the tiny hands of a toddler, or even a grade schooler. Enter OwnFone, a device that cuts through the smartphone clutter to focus on the most basic of phone functions: making and taking phone calls.

    OwnFones are fully customizable devices: You choose the color, design, and exactly who the phone will be able to call. You need to first decide how many buttons their phone will have: two, four, eight, or twelve. Each button is like speed dial — press it, and your phone automatically completes the call. You can, of course, choose exactly who or what you want to call by filling out a form online. Right now, the buttons are text-only, but braille and picture buttons are "coming soon." The phone is very simplistic, but that helps it avoid the

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  • The electronic sutures can tell if your wound is getting infected and heat up to promote healing

    If you've ever needed stitches for a particularly nasty cut, you know that making sure they don't get infected is one of the biggest drags of the experience — besides, of course, having someone sew your skin together. Thanks to a new smart suture technology being developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, however, you won't have to worry as much about your wound while waiting for it to heal.

    Made from microscopic strands of etched silicon attached to silk or polymer thread, the electronic stitches react to heat by limiting the amount of electric current that can pass through them. This way, an attached sensor can tell if the wound is becoming warmer due to the presence of infection and let you know that some antibiotics are in order.

    The sutures also contain gold filaments that can heat up when attached to a power source. Heating wounds has shown to promote healing in tests, and we're assuming the developers of the stitches have sussed out a way to determine if heat

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