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Latest headline news from Gizmodo with momentary update to provide the online news, world news, sports news, family news, health news, video news, national news, food news and politics news from Gizmodo.



upgrade your workstation to 4k for just $270, today only

refurb samsung 28" 4k monitor, $270assuming your computer can handle it, a 4k monitor is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computing experience, and it’s never been cheaper than it is today on amazon.if you want the ultimate in desktop screen space, you have two options: get a bigger monitor, or…read more the next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels our monitors…read more for one day only (or until sold out), you can get a refurbished samsung 28" 4k display for just $270. that’s one of the first times we’ve seen a 60hz 4k display drop below $300. the same monitor is currently listed for $400 new, and while the refurb only includes a 90 day warranty, you can add three years of protection for about $20 (look above the buy button on amazon).$270from amazongizmodo media group may get a commissionbuy now





another ransomware attack is rapidly spreading across europe

a hacked atm in crimea, circa 2014. (photo: ap)hackers hit ukraine’s national bank, the state power provider, an airport, and a number of other agencies and companies with a ransomware attack on tuesday. this left top-ranking ukrainian officials unable to access computers and an untold number of citizens unable to access their money. the scariest part? the united states could be next.so far the ransomware attack appears to have affected over 80 companies in ukraine, russia, england, and india. hackers are demanding $300 in bitcoin to unlock the affected computers. one representative of the power company kyivenergo told the interfax-ukraine news agency that his company turned off all of their computers after the attack, and they were “waiting for permission from ukraine’s security service to switch them back on.” advertisementmeanwhile, anton gerashchenko, an aide to the interior ministry, called the attack “the biggest in ukraine’s history” in a facebook post. he went on to claim that it’s “disguised as an extortion attempt” but actually aimed at “the destabilization of the economic situation and in the civic consciousness of ukraine.” which, in the context of recent cyber attacks targeting ukraine, makes total sense.before we get into the geopolitical implications, though, let’s talk about the ransomware itself. the swiss reporting and analysis centre for information assurance (melani) has identified the ransomware as petya, a cyber weapon that’s ...





the anatomy of a motherboard

image: msiit’s a crucial component in any laptop or desktop computer, but very few computer owners actually know what a motherboard is or what it does. there’s a motherboard (often called a logic board in smaller more mobile devices) sitting in every computer system: the processor, ram, hard drives, graphics card, and other bits and pieces all plug straight into it. the motherboard makes sure all those components are speaking the same language and that the system all runs together properly, without any sparks or grating noises. think of it like the nervous system or circulatory system of the computer. it’s complexity is further hindered by all the confusing terms and acronyms applied to its components. advertisementthis can make understanding the motherboard really difficult, and it can make trying to purchase your own damn near impossible for someone new to computer building or repair. to help with that we’ve done our best to explain the major components of the motherboard, as well as the most common terms and biggest key features.slots and connectorscan you hook up a usb 3.0 external drive to your computer? or slot in the fastest type of ram available? it’s your motherboard that determines the answers to those questions and other ones like them, and if you open up your computer case them you’ll see a lot of slots, connectors and wiring keeping everything linked up.advertisementadvertisementthe ram slots are usually close to the cpu socket and will be some of the...





orlando jones on being the trickster who tells hard truths

image: starzone of the best things about the first season of american gods was how its thematic ambitions came to life inside the cast’s stellar performances. things often got weird and elliptical on the adaptation of neil gaiman’s 2001 novel, but you couldn’t stop watching because of the excellent acting on display. here’s how some of the show’s players brought their characters to life.last week, after the season finale ended with a shocking act of cosmic power, i talked to several actors who’ve been playing legendary beings on american gods. we’ll be rolling these interviews out over the next couple of days, starting today with orlando jones talking about where mr. nancy’s voice came from, why shadow moon should listen to mr. nancy, and how sleepy hollow changed his thinking about fans.along came a spiderorlando jones’ first scene on american gods served as a lightning-bolt moment, a sign that this fantasy show about gods living amongst people wouldn’t be shying away from ugly moments of human history. jones said that his approach to the character comes from both folklore and real-world happenings.mr. nancy—played by orlando jones—makes his debut on the next episode of american gods, and his…read more jones: i think i started the process really with just who anansi really is. all the stories about anansi, all over the globe, have always centered on this idea that he was the keeper of stories, that we was the spinner of tales, and that he was never ...





this story about killer whales eating great white sharks is basically a horror movie now

image: hennie otto/marine dynamics/dyer island conservation trustyou might remember last month when orcas ate an enormous great white shark’s liver, hannibal lecter style, in south africa. it seems the killer whales have decided, why stop there? why not take the testicles and stomach, too?if you’re afraid of sharks, well, this blog should convince you it’s actually orcas you should…read more the dyer island conservation trust, a south african conservation program, was called in to investigate a shark carcass, or as i will call it, a sharkass, that washed ashore this past weekend. the scientists confirmed it as the fourth instance of a great white shark becoming orca lunch since this past may, according to shark tour company marine dynamics sharkwatch sa blog. advertisementhere’s another picture of the half-eaten 4.1 meter (13.5 foot) meal.image: hennie otto/marine dynamics/dyer island conservation trustas we’ve reported, there have been a few notable instances of orcas eating great white sharks before, like this 1997 orca-on-shark attack off the california coast. but in an incredible series of events, half-noshed great whites have been washing up on the gansbaii beaches in south africa since may.advertisementadvertisementin previous instances, the whales opted for the sharks’ livers. this time around, they ate the stomach and testicles, too. the livers, at least, contain the nutrient squalene, which could be a reason the orcas opt for that organ, specifically.im...





zillow sends cease and desist letter to mcmansion hell, the architectural criticism blog we need right now

source:gettyreal estate aggregator site zillow has sent a cease and desist letter to the creator of mcmansion hell, the most popular lampooner of suburban ticky-tacky monstrosities. zillow claims that by using photos from its site, the architectural criticism blog violates its terms of service.mcmansion hell posts feature promotional home shots taken from real estate sites, along with hilarious commentary and annotations about things like “doors to nowhere,”“windows you could scrape off with a paint knife,” “compulsory chandeliers,” and “dueling bay window purgatory.”advertisementthe site is run by kate wagner, a johns hopkins graduate student focusing on architectural acoustics. wagner shared the letter on twitter along with a solicitation for help.since wagner launched the blog in july 2016 it has built a loyal following and been featured on dozens of sites, including huffington post, slate, and business insider. but earlier today, the project was featured in a washington post article about the mcmansion boom. “[mcmansions] were built to sell in the year they were selling, not for future generations,” wagner told the post. “these houses are kind of disfigured, because they were built from the inside out, to have the most amenities to sell faster.”advertisementwagner told gizmodo she makes about $22,000 a year from freelance writing and mcmansion hell patreon donations and merchandise sales. “needless to say, if something significant were to happen...





investor jitters and 4chan hoax knock $4 billion off the value of ethereum cryptocurrency

image: shutterstock following a flash crash last wednesday, the company that runs gdax, an exchange for the ethereum digital currency, announced that it would pay back investors who lost money. if monday’s market performance for the cryptocurrency is any indication, that move didn’t reassure investors. cryptocurrencies are risky as hell. a new competitor in the blockchain currency world, ethereum,…read more the most reasonable explanation for why the ethereum currency dropped from a high of $311.46 on monday to a low of $238.65 is that a market correction is taking place for the out of control values of digital currencies. analysts reasoned that investors who have seen their bets pay off decided today was a good time to take their money and run. across the board, the most popular cryptocoins showed huge declines.advertisementethereum, the second most popular coin offering around was particularly vulnerable today. it didn’t experience the highest losses but it came close, shedding 19.79 percent of its value. the aforementioned flash crash and its recent notoriety mean that a lot of eyes were watching as its counter steadily ticked down. but some observers have placed part of the blame for ethereum’s fall on the shameless tricksters on 4chan’s /biz/ board.advertisementon sunday, an anonymous post appeared on 4chan claiming:vitalik buterin confirmed dead. insiders unloading eth. fatal car crash. and now we have our answer. he was the glue. it will be difficult for et...





america's nuclear weapons labs are safety nightmares

in this undated photo provided by sandia national laboratories, researcher leonard martinez makes an adjustment at the lightning simulator lab in albuquerque, n.m. researchers are using the simulator to test their knowledge of lightning protection systems by looking at how lightning currents flow through rebar lattice structures. (randy montoya/sandia national laboratories via ap)as dangerous as nuclear weapons are, you’d think the management running them would prioritize safety. this is not the case at all.in an extensive report by the center for public integrity, the investigative journalism outlet found that america’s eight nuclear weapons labs and plants and two sites that offer them support are rife with safety problems, but the corporations that run them face minimal penalties when accidents occur. during the year-long investigation, the publication found that the department of energy waived 19 of the 21 major penalties officials said were tied to workplace misconduct and safety lapses.advertisementin total, companies were spared $3.3 million of $7.3 million they were fined.here’s an example of the risks: in 2011, a worker at sandia national laboratories incorrectly turned a valve that unleashed an explosion that could have killed him another co-worker. the nuclear weapons lab, this subsidiary of lockheed martin, had two more incidents during the three years the department of energy investigated the 2011 explosion. all were tied to poor safety protocols.advertisem...





top epa official 'bullied' scientist to change testimony about dismissed scientists

administrator of the environmental protection agency scott pruitt. photo: getty according to emails obtained by the new york times, the top scientist on the environmental protection agency’s scientific review board was instructed to downplay the mass dismissal of advisors when she testified before congress. “i felt bullied,” she says now.on monday, the washington post reports that epa head scott pruitt was behind the dismissal of half…read more the epa is technically required to listen to official scientific advice when setting policy. in fact, the supreme court ruled in the case of whitman v. american trucking associations that the administrator of the epa is not even allowed to factor in the costs of implementation when setting new air quality standards. it, therefore, behooves the current climate change-denying administration to clean house and try to find some kooky (or greedy) scientists that agree with them.advertisementin may, epa head scott pruitt informed 18 members of the agency’s board of science counselors that their terms would not be renewed. the scientific community was outraged and several scientists on the board resigned in protest. one member of the board told the washington post, “i’ve never heard of any circumstance where someone didn’t serve two consecutive terms.” two weeks later, dr. deborah swackhamer, an environmental chemist, and leader of the board was due to testify in front of the house science committee.advertisementher formal ...





william gibson's 'hinterlands' is becoming a multimedia animated franchise

concept art from hinterlands. all images: last studio standingthe hand-drawn animation studio last studio standing just announced plans to adapt william gibson’s scifi story “hinterlands” into a short film and a television series, with a potential second tv series that could spin off the first.the short story, originally published in 1981, is about a russian space station that goes missing, only to reappear years later with everyone dead. soon, people realize any ship that goes to those coordinates disappears into a mysterious other place. everyone who goes, dies—but then some of their remains start returning with clues about this other place.advertisement“it is such a great story,” says jonathan kitzen, ceo of last studio standing in a news release. “we know we can do more with it because animation is an all-powerful tool that can create anything. we plan on making something that looks like gravity mixed with blade runner, and this story offers us a huge palette of possibilities, for about $100 million less than a traditional live action film.”by 2018, last studio standing hopes to have a short pilot episode done for a longer tv show. it will show the pilot in theaters, then kick off what is described as a “five year plan” for the franchise, including a tv show with a potential spin-off.advertisementabove, and below, are some concept art released for the show.this is one of those impressively ambitious plans that has one potentially fatal flaw: we don’t...





google slapped with record $2.7 billion fine in europe for manipulating shopping results

margrethe vestager, member of the european commission in charge of competition, in a press conference today broadcast live online (screenshot)this morning, government regulators in europe hit google with a record €2.42 billion fine, roughly the equivalent of $2.7 billion us. the search engine company was found to be manipulating search results to favor its own shopping service, a violation of antitrust laws. and if it doesn’t fix the problem within 90 days it faces an additional €12.5 million fine per day.“google abused its market dominance as a search engine to promote its own comparison shopping service in search results, whilst demoting those of rivals,” said margrethe vestager, member of the european commission in charge of competition, in a press conference broadcast live online. “this is not competition on the merits and is illegal under eu antitrust rules.”advertisementthe ruling has been years in the making, with the european commission first sending a letter to google about the matter in 2015. vestager said that they studied 1.2 billion search inquires before they reached their decision that google was unfairly manipulating results.“we’ve had many exchanges with google to hear their views,” vestager said. “and we have had many exchanges with customers and competitors, and some of them, some us companies, were involved as complainants. and hundreds of companies took the time to reply to our questionnaire.”advertisementgoogle pushed back in a st...





volvo's driverless cars can't figure out kangaroos

gif the swedes, geniuses that they are, have long led the world in conquering the moose test. but here’s one thing they don’t seem prepared for: the kangaroo test.the swedish moose test is infamous for finding stability issues in cars. it sounds silly on first…read more volvo began looking into how autonomous vehicles would react when encountering animals over a year ago, and they noticed these marsupials a lot harder for computers to figure out than expected. advertisementit turns out the hopping of a kangaroo throws off the car’s detection system. the cameras and sensors aboard a self-driving car typically use the ground as a reference point. volvo found that the system has a tough time predicting the random jumping movements of a kangaroo.advertisement“we’ve noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight… when it’s in the air it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer,” david picket, volvo australia’s technical manager, told abc. “if you look at a ’roo sitting at the side of a road, standing at the side of a road, in motion, all these shapes are actually different.” an airasia x flight from perth, australia, to kuala lampur, malaysia, encountered some sort of…read more volvo, long the arguable world leader in car safety, is at the front lines in the unending battle between beast and automobile. volvo’s large animal detection system is already in use on the company’s 2017 s90 and xc90 models. the system watch...





the best place to view the total solar eclipse this summer, according to science

image: nasaby now we’ve all heard the biggest news of 2017, fated in the heavens for eons before humanity’s earliest ancestors walked the savannahs: there’s an eclipse this august 21st, and it’s carving a path right through these great united states of america. go get it nerds.being both a meteorologist and an astronomy buff, and (quite frankly) a human being that relishes in once-in-a-lifetime soul-shattering experiences, i whipped out microsoft excel to try to answer the first question that came to mind when a few friends and i were planning our road trip target to the centerline of the eclipse. factoring in clouds, where is the best place to go that maximizes our chances of seeing this spectacle?advertisementi couldn’t find a single source on the internet that answered this most crucial of queries. so, i dug into it myself.canadian meteorologist and self-proclaimed “eclipsophile” jay anderson offers a comprehensive resource for the historical cloud cover along the eclipse swath—the path the moon’s shadow will take across the earth’s surface—using a 17-year database of weather satellite records, complete with satellite photos of august 21sts of the recent past. anderson masterfully explains the meteorology of why certain places along the eclipse path might or might not have clouds that day—for example, at around 10:30 am local time, in the lee of the cascade mountains, typical summer thunderstorms haven’t yet had a chance to bubble up, increasing t...





welcome to the town that is trying to cure aging

illustration: sam woolley/gizmodofor just about his entire life, ron smith has been a subject of a scientific inquiry. at birth, in 1972, he was studied by scientists, and then assessed again at age three to document his physical fitness, mental health and intelligence. every few years after that, he has returned to be poked, prodded and tested in the name of science. this year, smith will turn 45.now, this detailed catalogue of biological data is helping researchers answer one of the most perplexing scientific questions of all time: why do some of us age gracefully, while others find that their bodies begin an inelegant process of failure long before death? advertisementwhere smith is from, a life under the microscope is not unusual. in fact, most of the people he went to high school with are lab rats, too. unless you share an enthusiasm for either the great royal albatross or gold mining history, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard of his hometown, dunedin, a university town of 127,000 that occupies the bulging southern tip of new zealand’s south island. but since 1972, researchers here have been studying more than 1,000 babies born over a year-long period at the city’s queen mary hospital. over 45 years, the research had yielded important insights into things like what leads to substance abuse and how early childhood experiences can shape adult life. one finding from the study helped determine the us supreme court ruling that a juvenile cannot be sentenced to deat...





is warner bros. really considering a live-action adaptation of superman: red son?

kevin feige still has hope for blade’s return to the marvel cinematic universe. stephen amell wants a more socially-minded oliver queen on arrow. plus, one familiar face will not return to american horror story next season, and new pictures from the doctor who season finale. spoilers, assemble!superman: red sonden of geek reports that warner bros. is allegedly attempting to woo directors to the dceu with the chance to direct an adaptation of mark millar, dave johnson, and kilian plunkett’s iconic miniseries red son, an ‘elseworlds’ tale that images a world where kal-el’s pod crashlanded in ukraine rather than kansas, leading to him being raised under the soviet union.advertisementadvertisementthe news spiralled out of a twitter conversation between millar and skull island’s jordan vogt-roberts, who stated to the red son writer that he’d pitched a red son film to warner bros., only for millar to respond that he’d heard the studio had approached at least another 2 directors recently, offering a live-action adaptation of the story as a project:while den of geek’s anonymous sources stated that a red son adaptation is in the works, when contacted by the site for clarification, millar seemingly backed off a touch from his earlier tweet:is this something they’re genuinely planning? i have no idea. i’ve got pals at warner bros but never discussed it with them. i think they’re just going through their back catalogue of big books and hoping to lure in good direc...





upgrade your workstation to 4k for just $270, today only

refurb samsung 28" 4k monitor, $270assuming your computer can handle it, a 4k monitor is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computing experience, and it’s never been cheaper than it is today on amazon.if you want the ultimate in desktop screen space, you have two options: get a bigger monitor, or…read more the next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels our monitors…read more for one day only (or until sold out), you can get a refurbished samsung 28" 4k display for just $270. that’s one of the first times we’ve seen a 60hz 4k display drop below $300. the same monitor is currently listed for $400 new, and while the refurb only includes a 90 day warranty, you can add three years of protection for about $20 (look above the buy button on amazon).$270from amazongizmodo media group may get a commissionbuy now





how to give poor people money in order to save the world

image by jim cooke/ gmgpaul niehaus is the cofounder and president of givedirectly, a direct cash transfer program rated as one of the most effective anti-poverty charities in the world. he is currently putting together the largest basic income experiment ever designed. we spoke to him about the politics and perils of changing how the world helps the poor.the idea behind givedirectly is simple: donor money is transferred directly to some of the world’s poorest people. research has shown that such direct cash transfers are an extremely effective way to alleviate poverty. now, gd is set to run a 12-year basic income experiment in kenya that should provide the best long-term data yet on the effectiveness of what has become an increasingly popular—and controversial—policy idea on both the left and the right. niehaus has a better perspective than almost anyone on what actually works when it comes to helping the poor.advertisementhow did givedirectly come about?paul niehaus: it started when some of the other founders and i were in grad school doing phds in development economics. it really reflected two things that were happening at the time that we felt were pretty exciting and could change the way we fight poverty. one was it was the middle of the whole experimental testings revolution in development economics. one fact a lot of people don’t know about development is for the first 50 years or so, we didn’t test things experimentally, which is kind of sad. so what happene...





kinja roundup

deadspin russell westbrook’s mvp acceptance speech was worth the wait | the slot poll: other countrikinja!52 minutes agofiled to: morning favorites0deadspin russell westbrook’s mvp acceptance speech was worth the wait | the slot poll: other countries hate trump even more than we do | the root ‘i could kill you’: video shows off-duty ill. police officer pinning black teen to the ground | fusion how to give poor people money in order to save the world |replyleave a reply





asus zephyrus review: has the age of powerful and convenient gaming laptops finally arrived?

all images: alex cranz/gizmodoa couple of weeks ago i was braving the big crowds of e3 to meet with the nvidia team, and while i was ostensibly there to check out destiny 2 on a pc, what i really wanted to know was what the hell max-q design was. nvidia announced its new design philosophy back in may, and i’d spent the intervening weeks unable to shake the sense that this was all just a great big marketing ploy—an acknowledgement that nvidia’s most powerful gpus often end up in great big computing monstrosities.when you think gaming and laptops, images of massive, dictionary-thick machines come to mind.…read more at e3, the men of nvidia attempted to disabuse me of that notion. they pointed specifically to the new asus rog zephyrus as an example of what could happen when a collaboration was motivated by the max-q design philosophy. after testing the zephyrus for a week, i’m returning to the question of whether max-q design is a gimmick meant to move laptops or a shift towards a new laptop status quo. the truth, it turns out, lies somewhere in the middle; this is an extraordinary laptop that manages to be so thin and powerful that it boggles the mind a little—but it’s also got a very serious flaw.with those hard titanium powerbook g4-like edges, the zephyrus calls to mind its boxy forbearers, yet it’s so much thinner than any laptop of its power-level that’s come before. at 0.65 inches, it’s actually only a little thicker than the much less powerful .61-inc...





scientists use ancient dna to identify bizarre species that baffled darwin

image: jorge blancowhat has a body like a humpless camel, legs like a skinny rhino, and a face like the short-trunked saiga antelope? until only recently, the accepted answer was charles darwin’s, and i paraphrase: “i have no idea what the hell this is.”a team of biologists used ancient dna to finally find this mysterious mammal a home on the evolutionary tree. the species, a creature called macrauchenia patachonica that lived in south america before going extinct around 10,000 years ago, is genetically closest to the order containing the odd-toed ungulates that includes tapirs, rhinos and horses. but finding that relationship wasn’t easy, given the old, short segments of dna scientists had available.this could seriously be some dr. seuss character (image: robert bruce horsfall/wikimedia commons)“paleontologists until modern days have been confused by these animals,” study principal investigator michael hofreiter from the university of potsdam told gizmodo. “reconstructing a reliable sequence from these short dna segments with only distant relatives, that’s a challenge.”advertisementadvertisementscientists have been aware of these fossil animals in south america since the 1830s, but the confusing combination of body part shapes have made placing them on the evolutionary tree pretty much impossible. all that famous biologist richard owens could gather from m. patrachonica was that it was an “ungulate,” which basically means he knew it was a hoofed mamma...